tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 5, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST
>> governor dan malloy, thank you very much. really appreciate it. appreciate you telling us what it was like at the white house today. >> thank you. >> chris hayes is up next. president and commander in chief. and i feel ready to fulfill both role. >> that was hillary clinton in our big interview tonight. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in des moines, iowa. a few hours ago, hillary clinton gave me her first interview in the year 2016. you'll notice the colorful backdrop of the osage firehouse. thank you, madame secretary. this is a big interview for us. 22 years we've been doing this and this is one of our big ones. i want to ask you about 12 questions tonight. >> okay. >> in two segments. i hope we get through them all.
>> thanks, chris. >> back in 2001 when we had 9/11 and you were a senator from new york, there was a different spirit in this country, including the republican party. you had a republican party that went on the air and made it clear time and again, this is not a battle between the west and the east, it's not about muslims, it's about terrorism. and they did it so effectively. and now we have the leading candidate for the republican nomination of president, basically declaring a war on muslims, saying they're not allowed in the country. the whole works, what do you make of this? >> well, it's deeply distressing to me, because i, as you know, well remember what happened after 9/11. and i have publicly given president bush a lot of credit for the way that he set the tone and his entire administration echoed that. and now, we need to have a sense of unity and purpose in combatting terrorism. i view it as a threat. i believe isis cannot be contained. it has to be defeated. but in order to do that, we need to work within our own country,
with muslim americans, so that what i'm hearing from the other side, is not only offensive and shameful, it's dangerous, counterproductive. and of course we have to work with countries around the world in order to have a unified coalition against terrorism. and i've laid out very clearly what i think needs to be done. and it does include an american-led air alliance and we're doing that. and we're supporting troops on the ground that are not americans, special forces, but we do need to have the courage in the arabs with special forces support, but not american combat troops. and we need to go after the arc of instability, that fuels this terrorist ideology, from north africa to pakistan, afghanistan, and go after their funding and their foreign fighters, and their very effective use of the internet. but then the third pillar of my approach is, we have to be safe here at home. we have to work with our friends and allies around the world. i know you just got back from israel. we have a lot of important work to do, with countries, from one
end of the globe to the other. and we need to do it in alliance with muslims here in america and elsewhere. and that's what i'm advocating. >> that's why i'm concerned about the republican party, because this ethnic way of going at this situation, the way they seem to be going at the muslim people rather than the terrorists, this started, remember when the man whose name we dare not speak anymore, donald trump, i mean, the fact is, trump started his sort of initiation in politics by saying the president in the united states was an illegal immigration, he was probably a muslim, he almost was an identity thief, who created a notion of himself through a phoney birth certificate, a phony birth announcement, and he was somehow, in fact, he used to say things like, trump would say things like, nobody knew him in school, like he's some phantom impersonator, usurper. the republican party, every time he did that, said nothing. boehner, the speaker of the house, who was pretty much respected, wouldn't -- isn't this a republican party problem, which started with trump's first
arrival on the party stage, as some sort of politician, that it's ethnic with them? the president of the united states is one of the bad guys, if not the terrorists, one of the sneaker-iners. he snuck into the country and assumed an identity. it's pretty sick. >> well, it's very divisive. and i think counterproductive. it undermines our values, who we are as a people. we are a nation of immigrants, which you know so well. and when i hear what's coming from the other side, and it's not just one person. there's an echo chamber there. and it's very troubling to me to try to divide and conquer, divide and conquer, and you know, a house divided against itself cannot stand. we need to be united. and we should not reward people who use inflammatory rhetoric, when use the kind of derogatory comments, whether it's about muslims or mexicans or women or people with disabilities, whoever it might be. that's not a sign of leadership. that's a sign of showmanship, of desperation that should be rejected roundly by the american
people. >> by the way, my grandmother spoke irish when i grew up, i had an irish accent in the house. >> i would haven't guessed that. >> let's talk about guns. you've shown a lot of guts out there. and we know all the politics of guns. you know with your husband, ran before for president. there are states that have a real gun culture, including the state i grew up in, in pennsylvania. you come from that part of the world, in a way. you do come from -- >> my father comes from, right. >> so you know there's a gun culture. how do you do that in electoral college situations where you've got to beat a republican come next september, for you. how do you make sure the gun people don't emotionally say, oh, she's an enemy of guns. >> i think it's important to be focus on what we can do together, that's why i do support comprehensive background checks and to close the online loophole and the gun show loophole and the charleston loophole and to prevent people on the no-fly list from getting guns. in fact, what i'm proposing is supported by a great majority of the american people and a
significant majority of gun owners. just today at osage, you were here when i was speaking to the crowd, and afterwards i always take time so people can come up to me. sometimes i do it publicly, a lot of times i do it privately, what's on their minds. and a man came up, he had a veterans cap on and he said, i'm a gun owner, but he said, i can't see any reason why we can't do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands. and he asked me, what can i do? and i said, please stand up against the nra and the gun lobby. and please talk to your friends, because what we are proposing is consistent with constitutional rights. but i agree with you, chris, it's going to be part of the, you know, the political debate and frankly the battle in a lot of parts of our country going forward. but it is so important, when we lose 90 people a day, 33,000 americans every year, and when you have met as many victims of gun violence as i have. when you've sat there and you've listened to their stories about losing a child, losing a
husband, losing a parent, and i've met with the mothers, who have lost children to gun violence by police hands, by, you know, more likely, gun and gang, deadly combination. i've just so many people, from columbine to sandy hook. i just can't remain silent. and i think we are at a turning point. and what i said to the man here is, you know, there needs to be a rival organization to the nra of responsible gun owners who know that their hunting rights -- >> moms in action. >> their collecting rights, all of that is not going to be affected. so i'm going to keep beating the drum and i'm delighted that the president announced the actions he did today. >> well, you're back in this fight. you were here eight years ago and here you are again. i do wonder sometimes at your ability. to use the word "stamina," that hasn't been used correctly lately. you know, i'm a student of history like you are, and you know nixon ran against helen douglas, one of the first women out there to try to win a big seat. and he said things like, you
know, it's awfully hard on a woman. he would use these little shots at her. here we are, two-thirds of a century later and the leading republican candidate is out saying that you don't have the stamina, the strength -- is this sexism? is it what it is? >> you know, i have a new year's resolution -- >> i know, i've heard this. >> i will not respond to -- >> how do you phrase this? >> what does it say about the republican -- let me try to phrase it -- i feel like a lawyer now. how do i rephrase. how does the republican party support the fact they're supporting this guy. why would he go after your stamina or bill's stamina or george mcgovern's stamina or anything other than the fact you're a woman? he's older than you. i'm older than you. >> that's right! >> why is he doing this? >> a lot of this back and forth that goes on in the political.
>> but he's winning. >> we'll see. we haven't had a single caucus or single primary. the republicans will have to choose whoever they decide to be their nominee and i'm looking forward, if i am so fortunate to be the nominee, to run against whoever they put up. i'm going to keep working really hard, like right out there today, you know, getting people to caucus for me, connecting them up with my great organizers. i have an amazing team here, and we're going to work as hard as i can to make my case. >> he ain't going to stop. he did an interview with my colleague, joe scarborough this morning, he's out there again saying he's going after your family. he said it's fair to go after them. >> well, i just -- >> he's just going to keep doing it. he says you're an enabler. he's making it personal with you. >> he can say whatever he wants to say. i'm going to keep talking about what people talk to me about. and what they talk to me about is, what are we going to do about prescription drug prices. >> by the way, you're good on that one. that's so true. everybody's taking drugs now, if you have diabetes like me or somebody, everybody needs it -- if your parents died of
alzheimer's, these are real things. >> these are real things that people talk to me about. and i'm going to be a president who does the big stuff, that gets in the headlines, that, you know, you and other analysts and reporters talk about, and i'm going to do the stuff that keeps people awake at night, like, you know, making sure they can afford their prescription drugs. >> i want to say something nice about you. >> oh, please. >> i have to. back when you had all the difficulty in the second administration of president clinton, your husband, and you had a difficult situation to go through. and you went through it, and i think you were completely stunned by it initially, and you had to deal with it as you became aware of what was going on. and what did you do? you didn't cry. you didn't go away and say, gee, whiz, this is terrible. you went out and acted like a champion for democrats. you went around the country campaigning like mad. you were the real banner carrier for the democratic party in '98. and something interesting happened. an epiphany happened. somehow out there campaigning in new york for chuck schumer and other people, you said something to yourself. you know what, something good can come out of the for me. i can become a hero to people.
and you ran for the senate for new york when a lot of people were critics of you, would have loved for you to have fallen on your face. they would have eaten it up if you would have gone down in a ditch. because at the time you were running against rudy who looked unbeatable and you had the guts to go out there. what made you do it? there are a lot of women watching right now, half my viewers are women, and they want to hear, what's it take for a woman to rise out of a situation, which is pretty bad, and come out of it and say, you know what, i can rise to this occasion. how did you do it? >> well, you know, that's a great question, because i -- >> do you know the answer? >> i didn't have any sense that all of this would happen. i really didn't. >> well, new york came and fell in love with you and said, we love you, come up here and be our senator. >> and i said, no, no, no, for four months. >> rangel -- >> and so many others. and i absolutely said no. and i'll tell you what changed my mind. it's maybe something other women can relate to. because i was in the news, like, would she or wouldn't she, and i kept saying, i'm not going to. and i was first lady to go up to do an event in new york city to promote women in athletics and
billie jean king and great athletes. so i was introduced by this young woman. i think she was the volleyball or basketball captain. and i came up and shook her hand and i said, you know, great job. she leaned over to me and she said, dare to compete, mrs. clinton, dare to compete. and i thought, wow, you know, i have encouraged so many women and girls to compete on the athletic fields, in academics, in politics, in business, and i'm being asked to compete. >> stick your neck out. >> and stick my neck out. and it is scary. >> it's different than supporting your spouse, isn't it? >> totally different. i had the hardest time when i started, saying, i am me. i'm happy to say, you know, my husband this, or candidate "x" or "y," but to stand up there and be the person out there, and it is a big change. and i think because we're coming into our own as women in all walks of life, but still, there's something a little bit daunting about holding yourself
out, asking people to support you, to give you money, to vote for you. it's hard. >> and you know who went through that, another new york senator, bobby kennedy. >> i remember reading about that. he was his brother's brother and all of a sudden he had to be the guy and stuck his neck out. anyway, we'll come back and talk about you, because the way i look at politics, and you call me an analyst, i like that. i'm an analyst. and i look at this race for president, 2016, which we're now in. and really, that list is closing. and a guy at georgetown, a professor once said, there's a difference between free will and free choice. free choice means there's a limit number of choices. and it looks like there's a limited number of choices for the president of the united states in 2016 and you're one of them. we'll be right back and talk about hillary clinton as possibly the next -- in fact, the first-ever woman commander in chief of the united states. in a world that's trying to turn you into someone new...
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have a new title if this campaign is successful. you've got to win the primary, beat bernie and martin o'malley. but if that happens, and you have to beat whoever on the republican side, you can be the first commander in chief. this is all happening, perhaps coincidentally, when ashton carter has just made it clear now that all combat roles are open to women, this is something unique in our history. you can go out there and be infantry, you can go out there with a knife in your teeth and swinging on ropes, whatever valley, women are going to be doing that. when's our country going to adapt to that. it's important for us to have women in this combat role. >> i think it's important to open up all roles to women. but i also agree with secretary carter, that you have to have standards. and women and men have to meet those standards. because we're talking, literally, life or death. so i am -- >> like climbing ropes and things like that? >> absolutely. absolutely. and how much weight you can carry, because maybe one of
your, you know, fellow soldiers will need that one day. and so, i am a huge supporter of women being able to break whatever glass ceilings are holding them back. >> if they can physically handle that. >> and mentally. physically, mentally, you have to be prepared. you have to be ready. and i think that, you're right, not every woman's going to want to do that. and some of this women who want to do it are not going to qualify it. but we just had a few women pass ranger school, which is an enormously competitive, grueling experience. it was just less than a handful, but they proved they could do it. and from everything i know, nobody cut any slack for them. they did it. and in fact, after it was over, day interviewed some of the male competitors to go through ranger school, and these guys said, you know, after a while, i didn't even notice. yeah, you're right, she was a woman, she carried her weight, she pulled her own. that's what you want. because i think about the job that i'm applying for. and it really is a job interview that i'm doing all over america. >> commander in chief. >> president and commander in
chief. i feel ready to fulfill both roles. i think it's important the next president get the economy working for everybody, so we don't keep having the deck stacked for those on the top. we've got to stay safe at home and strong in the world and we've got to deal with these problems that keep people up at night, i like to say. i feel particularly well prepared to do every part of the job. and when it comes to being commander in chief, my eight years as a senator, my four years as secretary of state, my many, many hours in the situation room -- >> you were there when osama was killed? >> i was. i was one of the very few people who was brought in to advise the president. and it was the most -- >> you said go for it? >> i did. i did, you know, after -- as i say, sitting through hours of meetings, listening to the intelligence being presented, listening to admiral mccraven, who was the head of special
forces, talking about what special forces could do, looking at other options like a cruise missile or an armed predator, and recommending to the president that we go with the navy s.e.a.l. option, and then being there that day, watching part of the operation on a video screen in the situation room, just holding my breath, literally, through the whole thing. i know how hard these choices are. and i know what a cool, deliberative head needs to be finally making them. i've learned so much, chris, over the last years. i feel very ready -- >> you know who said you had the temperament for it, bill clinton, chi thought was interesting, because he would know your temperament. let me ask about your sort of position on this. you voted for the iraq war authorization, if not the war. bernie sanders is out there still hitting you on that one. of course, he's coming from the left on you. you have rand paul out there, a libertarian, and a bit of a dove, saying that you would be more for regime change, that you would start the next war.
>> yeah, well, he's wrong. >> they're positioning you to the hawkish side of obama. you read fred on "the washington post" yesterday positioned you as someone a notch to the hawkish side, because he said you were for a no-fly zone in syria, you said you were for ground troops, not necessarily our troops, but you need a ground component to tell them where to drop the bombs. >> exactly, right. >> does that make you more hawkish than the president? >> i think most of what i have been advocating, the president is now doing. >> well, not that. >> but we have special forces on the ground, he sent them. >> but no fly zone? >> the no-fly zone for me was an idea i developed with some advisers. >> is it dangerous with the russians flying around there? >> of course you would have to have the russians sign off on it. and we were making progress. i don't know what the result will be of the conflict now between saudi arabia and iran, but, you know, for the last four years, we've been pushing to try to get a peace conference going. and i give secretary kerry credit for getting everybody
agreed to be in the same room. i saw the no-fly zone as leverage. number one, if we could get the russians on board, because we would have to. and i think we could, if we were to say, look, we need safe zones. if we're going to be operating on the ground, advising the kurds, the arabs, we need safe zones. we also need safe places for civilians, so that they're not refugees leaving iraq and syria. and it can be done. it can be done in a way that doesn't create more problems. but now i'm very supportive of what the president's doing. we're making some progress. and i've been calling for that, calling for reconstituting the approach toward the sheik, the sunni sheiks and anbar province, getting them back into the fight, so to speak. they are. rebuilding the iraqi army. >> that's what we need. >> we need that. >> we need the sunnis to retake their land, because the shia can't do it. >> the still largely shia iraqi
army took ramadi, but with sunni troops. >> they had to turn it over to sunnis. >> this makes all the sense in the world to me. so i view myself as being a realist, being practical, and in accordance with our values. because i think it's very important we get back to promoting our values and pursuing our interests and protecting our security. if the united states doesn't do that on our own behalf or on behalf of our friends in europe and asia and the middle east, no one will. so this is not a choice. it's not a luxury. it's an necessity. >> last question, we're running out of time. i want to try to help you for this audience tonight, our audience, locate yourself politically in this country. now, we have trump out there and we have bernie out here. bernie calls himself a socialist. nobody uses a derogatory term anymore. he loves to have that label. he's never ran as a democrat, he runs against democrats up there in vermont. you're a democrat. i would say you're a pretty typical democrat, in the traditional democratic party. and not even scooped, i would say you're somewhere in there.
what's the difference between a socialist and a democrat -- >> well, you have to -- >> is that a question you want to answer or -- >> well, you would have to ask. >> but i'm asking you. you're a democrat, he's a socialist. would you like somebody to call you a socialist? >> but i'm not one. >> what's the difference between a socialist and a democrat. >> i can tell you what i am. i am a progressive democrat. >> how is that deferent than a socialist? >> i'm a progressive democrat who likes to get things done and who believes we're better off in this country when we're trying to solve problems together. getting people to work together. there will always be strong feelings and i respect that, from, you know, the far right, the far left, libertarians, whoever it might be, but we need to get people working together. we've got to get the economy fixed, get all of our problems, you know, really tackled and that's what -- >> i think the difference is, and debbie wasserman schultz -- i know the center left and left have to work together, let me ask you about working together. you gave a nice speech here in
osage, i wrote a book about tip and reagan, and when it comes to an urgent issue, they can work together. and i've supported the president, but he doesn't seem to like the company of fellow politicians. he doesn't want to hang out with them and play cards, maybe me did it in springfield, for some reason -- you seem to like the company of people like lindsey graham and john mccain and you can find a way to get along with them. and it seems to me that is an important part of life. you have to find, you were talking about tom delay here. and i get along with tom delay, even though you disagree 180 on something, you've got to find congress means coming together. >> well, your book is a perfect example -- >> "tip and the gipper." >> exactly. >> you read it? >> i did. >> thank you. >> i don't want you to know that. >> you just told me that. i like that. >> i am always looking for ways that we work together. it used to be easier in the past. i think the polarization has
gotten so acute now, so you have to work even harder. but the relationships are the beginning of everything. >> so you can imagine if you're fortunate to become the next president of the united states, having people over to the white house, not going to the jefferson hotel, but having people come over and talk it over. >> yeah, well -- >> by the way, you're an empty nester, so it's easier for you. >> it is easier, and everybody has strengths that they bring to this position -- >> is schmoozing one of yours? >> i think that i like it. because i am looking for that common ground somewhere. and i don't think that you get it just on the first try, you've got to listen to people and get to know people and you've got to look for ways that you can reach across the aisle. i'm not saying it's going to be magic, because part of what's happened, and it is different from when tip o'neil and president reagan were working together, it is so much more gerrymanders. >> you don't have any more republicans in the democratic district. i've been telling people for
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it's ethnic with them. the president of the united states is one of the bad guys, one of the -- if not the terrorist, one of the sneaker-iners. he snuck into the country and assumed an identity. it's pretty sick. >> well, it's very divisive. and i think counterproductive. it undermines our values, who we are as a people. we are a nation of immigrants, which you know so well. and when i hear what's coming from the other side, and it's not just one person. there's an echo chamber there. we should not reward people who use inflammatory rhetoric, who use the kind of derogatory comments, whether it's about muslims or mexicans or women, or people with disability, it's whoever it might be. that is not a sign of leadership. that's a sign of, you know, showmanship, of desperation, that should be rejected roundly by the american people. >> michael steele, we all know that donald trump did not begin his war on islam with his call for a ban on people coming into the country. he began it by calling the president one of them and basically suggesting he's an
alien, forged his identity, forged his birth certificate, forged his birth announcement, somehow got here from some alien land. he's never made it clear where he came from. and of course is not loyal. and of course, is someone to be feared as some sort of other being of some kind. isn't this where it started? and my question to hillary, in part of the interview is, why didn't john boehner shoot that down when trump started pushing this crap. why didn't the republican party say, enough, this doesn't belong in american politics. >> i think there were a lot of people who bought into that sort of fierce speak about the president, the sort of "other than us" attitude that people kind of had about it. and it goes back to really when his campaign began to solidify and he would be the nominee and run his campaign. where you began to hear some of that early bubbling up inside the gop about this man who would become president. and it's unfortunate, because there has been no real upside to it. the president got re-elected,
despite that type of rhetoric. you can see now that trump does not really want to engage directly in that. when you interviewed him and brought up his past comments about birtherism, he's moved away from that. in terms of the party, chris, i think there's some truth there that they didn't push back, they didn't cut that conversation off, because there were great opportunities to talk about this president's policies and where he was going, other than his birth certificate. >> well, here he is, going in another direction. here's more of the divisive rhetoric, hillary clinton was talking about. here's donald trump tonight, targeting ted cruz now with birther talk on him. cruz was born if canada, of course, to an american mother, but in the interview, another interview with "the washington post," trump said, quote, republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question, do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years? that would be a big problem. a lot of people are talking about it. and i know that even some states
are looking at it very strongly. the fact that he, that's cruz, was born in canada and he has had a double passport. cruz responded to trump on twitter with a clip of "the happy days" episode when fonzi jumped the shark. it's an episode that's widely considered to be the moment when the show began its decline. moments ago, cruz was asked by reporters to respond to trump. and he said he had nothing to add beyond his tweet. for trump, this is a major reversal on cruz, because we do have a memory and we do have tape. here's what trump said to abc news back in september about whether cruz is actually an eligible presidential candidate of the constitution. >> do you still think he's ineligible to be president because he was born in canada? >> from what i understand, everything is fine. i hear that it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and i understand ted is in fine shape. >> well, let's go to susan page. what's new, pussy cat?
i mean it to everybody, that question. i mean, what's different now between past september. all of a sudden he's questioning the guy's constitutionality to run? susan? >> here's what's different. cruz is leading in iowa. i think that's the critical difference, so this is a point of attack on ted cruz. i mean, his initial response is the one that we know constitutional lawyers have looked at this and said, he's eligible -- ted cruz is eligible to be president. don't know if he'll make it there or not, but his place of birth is not a legal problem. so the idea that he's raising this, i think, indicates that he's worried about cruz politically. >> so he's now being equal in his treatment of cruz and the president? he's saying they're both not really americans, that they're illegal -- well, i don't know what he's saying. if the guy wasn't born in america and he isn't eligible, then he would have to be naturalized. and since cruz was never naturalized, he's an illegal alien by the argument of donald trump.
you're either naturalized or naturally born, there is no other alternative. are you laughing bhooik, because this is weird stuff? >> it is weird. and you know, i'll let david make the broader point. but i'll say again, this is trump right now trying to come back and double down on a concept to create doubt. that's really what it's about. he wants to create that doubt going into the last four weeks of his campaign, because exactly what was just said, his opponent, cruz is now leading him in iowa. >> but i don't think we should be surprised at all that donald trump is acting like a bit of a snake here. i mean, his whole essence of his campaign for the last couple of weeks, has been, let's face it, bigotry and hatred. you know, he said we should ban muslims from entering the country. he never ran away from that. in fact, it's a centerpiece of his first tv ad. so for you're going to go that far, it doesn't seem to me to be a much greater sin to flip-flop on whether you think ted cruz is
a natural born citizen or not. i think donald trump has seemed to indicate that he'll say whatever it takes. i thought hillary clinton was very smart to make this -- to have this line that he's not leadership, he's showmanship, because he's really trying to undermine his sort of authority as a political statesman, policy maker, anything like that, which, you know, two-thirds of the republican party buy, but not all of it. >> well, i love it. i love the fact that trump is now circling around, firing at everybody in every direction, claiming the role of foreign born. anyway, donald trump's escalating his attack that hillary clinton isn't fit for office, that she's got no stamina and trump unleashed that attack multiple times now in an interview airing on "morning joe." he just did it today, he's at it again. here he is. >> hillary's low-energy, but she doesn't have the strength or the stamina. >> take a look. >> what do you mean by that? >> she doesn't have the strength
or the stamina. you need a person with tremendous strength or stamina. hillary doesn't have the strength or the stamina to take on her enemies. >> this is like precious bodily fluids in some movie, "dr. strangelove." i asked hillary clinton if she thinks those attacks are targeted at her as a woman. and why she's doing this, i asked her. here's what she said. >> why does he do whatever he does? i can only tell you what i hear from people and what i hear from people is really about their lives and their future. i mean, a lot of this back and forth that goes on in the political universe -- >> but he's winning. >> we'll see. we haven't had a single caucus or a single primary. >> he's out there again saying he's going after your family. he says it's fair to go after them. >> well, i just -- >> he's going to keep doing it. he says you're an enabler. he's making it personal with you. >> he can say whatever he wants to say. i'm going to keep talking about what people talk to me about. >> susan page, can hillary clinton and bill clinton, her partner now in campaigning,
resist the push to respond? >> we will see if they can. i mean, yesterday when they were both out doing campaign events and tonight in your interview, they managed to be very disciplined about this and refused to respond to donald trump, which i know that they have made a political calculation. there is no advantage to trying to get, encounter donald trump on some of these personal accusations. it means that you're talking about his issues and these personal issues and not talking, as hillary clinton said, about the issues that hillary clinton care about in their loan lives. but whether they'll be disciplined enough to keep doing that. i think when he got the question about trump, it was hard for him to not respond. i think his stwingts are to respond. we'll see how that goes. >> you know chris, my dad once told me, you never want to get in a fight with a skunk, because you end up smelling like the skunk. i can see bill clinton bristling, just wanting to get into this, but knowing that's not what he wants the campaign to be defined. >> to neutralize the argument. that's what he wanted to do and
he did it. >> we'll see. there's another argument for the swift vote, when you go after john kerry, when he doesn't respond, he gets nailed. i think these charges about stamina, she doesn't look like she's lacking in stamina. the roundtable is sticking with me. up next, hillary clinton reacts to the top news of the day, that president obama's executive order is not going out on gun safety reforms. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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welcome back to "hardball." in my interview with hillary clinton today, the former secretary of state, she talked about why she feels she's prepared for the job of commander in chief. let's listen. >> i think about the job that i'm applying for, and it really is a job interview that i'm doing all over america. >> commander in chief. >> president and commander in chief. and i feel ready to fulfill both roles. i think it's important that the next president get the economy working for everybody, so that we don't keep having the deck
stacked for those on the top. we've got to stay safe at home and strong in the world. and we've got to deal with these problems that keep people up at night, i like to say. i feel particularly well prepared to do every part of the job. and when it comes to being commander in chief, my eight years as a senator from new york, after 9/11, my four years as secretary of state, my many, many hours in the situation room, i know how hard these choices are. >> you were there when osama was killed? >> i was. >> and we're back with the roundtable. michael, susan, and david. david, this is interesting, because she's really embracing here the role of commander in chief. she talked about the women in combat, of course, situation developing and how women like israeli women are in the idf over there. and quite comfortable in talking about it. she talked to it earlier about the kind of leaders she's talked about being in the world. it's quite interesting, the way she's so comfortable with this now, in this debate. >> well, you know, she was a senator for a number of years,
and then she was secretary of state, so she has about as much foreign policy experience as almost any presidential candidate can have. so maybe someone who wasn't vice president already. and she was in the white house, for eight years, as bill clinton's wife. i think she knows this stuff well. and i'm just wondering, think about her versus donald trump in a general election, with him just saying whatever he wants to say about killing this person, making that country pay, whatever. and hillary clinton talking with a voice of competence and experience, whether you agree with her politics or not. i can't imagine a greater contrast in the history of american politics. >> chris, this is so interesting, because there was a time when the ramp against a woman running for president was, she could not be seen as a credible commander in chief. remember when pat schroeder ran for president. there are questions about hillary clinton. this is not one of them. i think there's no question she's qualified to be commander in chief. the idea is, is she tough enough
to send troops into battle, absolutely. we know that from the advice that she gave as secretary of state, advice that wasn't always taken by president obama. so this important issue that women candidates have faced, she has really addressed. >> but there's also the accountability side of this. and i agree with both my colleagues here in terms of her readiness and preparedness to be commander in chief and to be president. but now, once you get passed this kind of la la part of the primary for the democrats, and she gets into a head long race for the white house, against a republican, whether it's donald trump or anyone else, there's still going to be questions about character, there's going to be questions about decisions that she's made, and there are going to be questions ability accountability, as secretary of state and as a just senator on a lot of these big issues. so how she threads that needle will be just as important as her stating her readiness to be president. >> are you saying she's vulnerable on those issues? >> i think there's potential vulnerability. we'll see to what degree she is
vulnerable in terms of, not just questions about benghazi, but questions -- >> i was waiting for you to say "benghazi." >> no, i'm not raising benghazi. i think there are legitimate questions about her -- she was the one who's pushing the reset with russia. well, how is that working out, madam secretary? so this idea that she brought these things to this administration. there she was touting them and she was all for them, now she's backing away from them. they haven't played out the way she articulated they would be. she hasn't -- the bill of goods weren't bought the way she thought they would be bought by the american public or certainly our allies and enemies in the middle east. and around the globe. so as secretary of state, you're going to have to account for some of those decisions that you made. >> yeah. you know what, guys, i think two words explain her advantage right now as a woman, potentially the first woman commander of chief, it is angela merkel. i think everybody reads the papers, who does reads the papers, reads about this incredibly strong woman in the very successful country of germany these days and they see her leading the country and i think, to me, it's a tangible
he recalled the young victims, the first graders of those mass shootings in this country. >> every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. and by the way, it happens on the streets of chicago every day. >> and we'll be right back. even though you disagree 180 on something, you've got to find congress means coming together. >> yeah. p >> yeah. example of. >> tipping the gipper. >> exactly. r >> exactly. and look. >> you read it? r>> you read it? >> i did. >> thank you. p >> thank you. that.
>> tipping the gipper. >> exactly. and look. >> you read it? >> i did. >> thank you. >> i don't want you to know that. >> i liked it. i don't want you to know that. that was hillary clinton telling me something i didn't know today. that she read my book "tipping the gipper." it's time for the "hardball" round, someone to tell me something i don't know. starting with michael. >> real quick, all the bluster about the president's executive decision on guns, very little if anything will be done by the gop to up end that decision. now or in a republican administration. >> okay. that's wonderful news. david? >> ammon bundy, the leader of the arms standoff up in oregon, while he hates the federal government but five years ago, he got an sba, a federal government-backed loan for half a million dollars, chris. he didn't hate the federal government so much back then. >> so biting the hand that fed him. susan? >> chris christie surging in new hampshire but where he could win beyond that? he told me in an interview yesterday if he gets a ahead of steam out of new hampshire, he
will win south carolina. not a natural fit for him but that's what he says. >> we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. thank you michael steele, susan page and david corn. when we return, let me finish with the extraordinary story hillary clinton told me today. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
when you're on hold, your business is on hold. that's why comcast business doesn't leave you there. when you call, a small business expert will answer you in about 30 seconds. no annoying hold music. just a real person, real fast. whenever you need them. so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. let me finish tonight with the extraordinary story that hillary clinton told us today. it's the story of how she, the
long-time spouse of a political figure, became one herself. dare to compete, mrs. clinton, a young woman said to her. dare to compete. and that's what did it for her. it got hillary clinton off the seesaw of decision making on the side of being a candidate for office herself. let's watch. >> i had the hardest time when i started saying i and me. i'm happy to say you know my husband this or candidate x or y. but to stand up there and be the person out there and it is a big challenge, and i think because you know, we're coming into our own as women in all walks of life but still, there's something a little bit daunting about holding yourself out, asking people to support you, to give you money, to vote for you. it's hard. >> she was talking about her decision to run for senator from new york back in the year 2000 just months after enduring the difficult time of her husband's impeachment and all which attended it.
dare to compete. it's because she did that she now stands as one of the very few people who could be our next president because you can't win actually if you're not in the competition. a lesson for all of us, not just women. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> the gun lobby may be holding congress hostage but they cannot hold america hostage. >> president obama's emotional call for action on gun violence. >> every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. >> will a fight over gun laws cost democrats in an election year? plus, the predictable outrage. >> he's obsessed with undermining the second amendment. >> i'll speak with texas congressman michael burgess who calls the president's actions unconstitutional. then, donald trump refuses to say what he would do as president. >> the voters want to see