Transcribed by the Barefoot Accountant
Cenk Uygur: Now we are going to dive into the body and heart of the GOP, which sounds a little scary, and find out what makes it tick.
Now Newt Gingrich has been on the attack against Mitt Romney saying that this guy at Bain Capital would come in and clean out your jobs, and they don’t want me to talk about the rich but I’m going to tell you all about it:
Newt Gingrich: Don’t talk about who got all the money. Don’t raise the questions of looking at all of the decisions. Can’t we just move forward, letting the rich keep all of the money.
Cenk Uygur: Look at what the Republicans are talking about, we’re not going to let the rich keep the money. But the rest of the Republican Party is not happy about it. Now this clip of John Sununu, former Governor of New Hampshire, who is one of Mitt Romney’s top surrogates now, is really telling. He’s going to be telling about the people who gave Newt Gingrich money. Of course, Sheldon Adelson is one of those top guys. He’s one of the richest men in the world; he owns a lot of the casinos in Las Vegas. Look at Sununu threatening him:
John Sununu: Does he think that people don’t remember when people attack him and pay for the attacks in the primary, especially when one of the parties that is receiving that attack is the same investment community that he likes to go to to finance his expansions. There is just no commonsense in this process and you kind of feel sorry for people that aren’t that bright.
Cenk Uygur: That Adelson people had a great comeback to that: “yeah, he’s among the top twenty-one richest people in the world. Yeah, there’s no hope for people who are not so bright.”
But look at what he is doing here: he’s threatening these people. He’s saying the way the Republican party works: look, if you are a good boy, we get you a lot of money. If you are a big investor, or need investment like Adelson, the financiers come in for you. If you are Gingrich and you want to get the speaking fees, we will do that for you. But if you are going to go around here breaking the china, you’re done, we are going to cut you off.
Michael Shure: And we’re scared. That’s the other thing. The John Sununus of the Republican Party feel like in Mitt Romney they had their safe candidate. And here he was, we will present him to America, he’s got the polling the best against the President—there was a poll that showed Ron Paul tighter—but in general he is the safe guy. A lot of the Republicans of the John Sununu ilk love the safe guy. And now they panicked because they see the safe guy becoming unsafe from within. It’s like friendly fire and it’s hurting. I think the Republicans are scared.
Cenk Uygur: But I think that it goes deeper than that. Sam, let me go to you again. Look, I think they feel that Romney is their guy. Romney is going to give Wall Street everything that they want. A lot of those financiers that Sununu is referring to are behind Romney, and they thought they had this thing in a good lockdown, and now are saying, why are you [the Republican Party] trying to ruin the good racket that we got going on?
Sam Seder: But I think that it even goes beyond that. Do you remember about a month ago there was a story about Frank Luntz telling Republicans that they should watch out for this rhetoric that’s going out there, coming out from Occupy Wall Street. There have been reports that people have been warning bankers the real problem could be that if the Republicans actually adopt some of this language, I think that this fear goes even beyond some type of Republican loyalty, I think it goes to the heart that there is a real concern that there is something catching fire amongst the American public.
When you see that 66% from that PEW Survey that you talked about yesterday showing that Americans think that the biggest conflict is class conflict. Thing like race, things like age came in the thirties, even immigration was lower than that class conflict, this has got to worry the establishment in this country. And it’s got to really worry them when the Republican party starts talking this way. And so I think that you see not only a fear about what’s happening amongst the Republicans, they are afraid that this is going to unleash something across the country. And I hope they are absolutely right.
Ben Mankiewicz: When I hear John Sununu speak, I feel that Citizens United worked. Because what they were able to do was control people, control their crowd. And now you got a crazy billionaire in whose hotel that I am going to stay in this weekend and he’s throwing $5 million out there and they can’t stop it. And they got no control over this all of a sudden. And it’s speech.
Michael Shure: Adelson said to Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC on election night that it’s the law, that they are allowed to do that. And then O’Donnell asked, do you like this law. And he said, no, but it’s the law, I don’t like it, but it’s the law.
Cenk Uygur: Ben makes a great point. Now we’ve got these three actual maverick guys, unlike the fake mavericks in 2008: you got Adelson (the guy from Vegas that Ben was talking about) who gave $5 million to Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC; you got Foster Friess, who is the big founder of Santorum’s Super PAC—he’s the guy from Wyoming, and Mr. Friess is saying, I don’t what any of you guys think, I am going to give all of the money to Santorum; and then, of course, you have John Huntsman, Sr., backing John Huntsman, Jr., which is understandable. And they are saying, oh, you want us to stop? Nah, I don’t think so.
Ben Mankiewicz: Why: we’re beyond your reach; we are too powerful.
Cenk Uygur: Right. So weigh in here, Jimmy, is Citizens United screwing the Republican party?
Jimmy Dore: It is right now, and it might in the long run, too, because Barack Obama outraised John McCain last time. So it might screw them: who knows. The snake might bite its own head off.
Cenk Uygur: You know what’s interesting? Glenn Greenwald was in favor of Citizens United. You wouldn’t expect that at all, right? In fact, on the Young Turks, we had a debate between Glenn Greenwald and Professor Lessig from Harvard on Citizens United. And Greenwald in an interesting camp said let them all speak and see what happens. Sam, are we seeing it’s an unexpectedly decent point given that now the “establishment” can’t control these guys, and you got these guys saying, I have $5 million, you step aside, I am going to do some serious damage.
Sam Seder: I don’t know. I am not terribly excited about the prospect of just watching billionaires deciding who it is that they want to be President. They are going back and forth. What you are seeing is just how petty these guys are and just how little $5 million means to a guy who has a billion dollars. When I went out to buy this sweater vest, I thought more about that purchase that this guy who dropped $5 million. You know, Newt’s a good guy, he hates Islams, so I will give him $5 million, maybe I’ll give him $50 million, what difference does it make.
Michael Shure: Nobody says Newt’s a good guy.
Sam Seder: Adelson does.
Cenk Uygur: And the irony is, and it’s full of ironies, the rest of the Republicans are kind of pulling for Adelson for the first time in history, saying, okay, going to do some damage to Romney, let’s see how that works out. He’s not a guy that I agree with at all.
But I want to go back to the idea that we started with, which is how the Republican party works. And I think that this is how they keep people in line with these threats, not just Sununu against Adelson, but much more effectively, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, who is a conservator blogger over there, saying, hey, all these guys who made this documentary about Bain, we are coming for you. She called one of their employers, a PR company, and said, why are you employing this guy who seems to be agreeing with Democrats and Progressives. And the whole system is based on how do you keep people in line.
Jimmy Dore: You know, Tony Blankley passed this week and everybody was talking about how a great guy he was. And he was. He was a nice guy, he was affable, he never yelled when he made his points. People liked to see him at parties and he was a good father and had a nice British accent. But no one is going to say what defined Tony Blankley, which was his inability to tell the truth unless it already lined up with his partisan view.
That’s the thing that kills me about the Republicans. You can have a great career as a right-wing talking head and columnist as long as you never really tell the truth.
Cenk Uygur: That’s exactly it. And David Frum actually said some very similar things. A huge neocon; but when he stepped off the reservation on a couple of points that they didn’t like, he was immediately fired. And he wrote about that: they made the gravy train stop. That’s how they keep everybody in line. It’s the party of the rich, funded by the rich, completely directed by the rich. The only reason that we are having a disagreement now is because a couple of the rich guys went off the reservation.
Jimmy Dore: And if there is a gravy train on the Left, can you point me to it? It’s filled with gravy.
Cenk Uygur: There’s no money. Everybody always talks about Soros. I haven’t seen a dime from Soros. Where are you Soros?