Reihan Salam

  • Aired:  09/04/12
  •  | Views: 6,586

CNN contributor Reihan Salam examines Paul Ryan's GOP convention speech and suggests that Republicans did their best to work with President Obama. (5:48)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST WHO HAS ADVICE ABOUT HOW THE REPUBLICANS

CAN WIN THE WORKING CLASS ASIDE FROM TIPPING THEM MORE.

PLEASE WELCOME RYE-HAHN SALAM.

[CROWD CHEERING]

YOU ARE CONTRIBUTING EDITOR FOR THE NATIONAL REVIEW.

YOU'RE ALSO A CNN CONTRIBUTOR.

YOU ARE WHAT ETHNOLOGISTS CALL A MODERATE HOW CAN, TRUE.

>> I'M A TEMPERAMENTALLY MODERN REPUBLICAN.

>> Stephen: TEMPERAMENTALLY MODERATE.

>> I TRY TO BE HELPFUL AND CONSTRUCTIVE.

I VEX TREMELY RIGHT WING VIEWS.

>> Stephen: YOU MEAN MAINSTREAM AMERICAN VIEWS.

>> EXACTLY.

WITH A CAPITAL M AND A CAPITAL A.

>> Stephen: YOU SAW PAUL RYAN'S SPEECH DOWN IN TAMPA.

>> I DID.

>> Stephen: HE GOT HAMMERED BY FACT CHECKERS OUT THERE WHO SAY THE PLANT WAS CLOSED IN

2008, HE VOTED AGAINST SIMPLE -- SIMPSON BOWLS.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE FETISH HIS ENEMIES SAY WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS ACCURATE.

>> I THINK IT'S A REASONABLE THING TO ASK THE QUESTION BUT

PEOPLE ARE BEING OBTUSE AND THE REASON THEY'RE BEING AWK TOOLS

BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TWO PARTIES, WE HAVE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES THAT REALLY NEED TO BE

SLIPPERY BECAUSE WE HAVE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES BOTH OF WHICH,

BOTH SAY A COUPLE OF GOOD SENSIBLE THINGS AND ALSO SAY A BUNCH OF BAD STUPID CRAZY THINGS

AND THEY DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION.

THAT'S WHY WE MAKE CLAIMS AND COUNTERCLAIMS ABOUT LYING RATHER THAN TALK ABOUT DEEP UNDERLYING

SERIOUS ISSUES AND DEEP DISAGREEMENTS.

>> Stephen: DIDN'T HE TELL THE TRUTH.

TO ME IF HE TOLD THE TRUTH IT WOULDN'T MATTER WHAT THE FACTS YOU.

>> I THINK IF HE TOLD THE TRUTH,

THE ALLEGATION IS HE WAS BEING MISLEADING.

THAT'S A FAIR POINT.

MAYBE HE WAS BEING MISLEADING BUT I THINK IN THESE POLITICAL CONVERSATIONS WE ALWAYS OVER

SIMPLIFY PARTLY BECAUSE HAVING A VERY POLARIZED CONVERSATION IN WHICH PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO

DISAGREE WITH THEM, THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.

SO WHEN THEY HEAR SOMETHING THAT SEEMS VAGUE, SEEMS LIKE IT'S ILL

DEFINED THEY DON'T THINK THAT'S MUST BE WHAT HE MEANT, RATHER

THEY SAY WHAT IS IT NARROWLY AS POSSIBLE WHY, RATHER THAN HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT

WE'RE SAYING.

>> Stephen: SO, SO I'LL BE THE ONE TO DISPARAGE MY GUEST.

[CROWD CHEERING]

I HAVE TO.

THERE ARE THINGS THAT CAN BE NOT ACTUALLY FACTUALLY TRUE BUT THEY COULD BE FIGURATIVELY TRUE.

THEY CAN FEEL TRUE.

>> THEY CAN FEEL TRUE BECAUSE THEY GET AT A GREATER TRUTH.

PAUL RYAN SAID IN THAT SPEECH THAT THE PLANT WAS ABOUT TO CLOSE AND THE TRUTH IS THE

PRODUCTION STOPPED IN THAT PLAN IT WAS -- IT WASN'T FORMALLY CLOSED AND IT WOULD HAVE

REOPENED HAD DEMANDS FOR SUVs INCREASED DRAMATICALLY.

THAT'S REALLY COMPLICATED.

IT TOOK ME SEVERAL SECONDS TO SAY THAT, BUT IT HAPPENS TO BE TRUE THAT IT WASN'T ACTUALLY

CLOSED IN 2008.

>> Stephen: RIGHT.

IT TOOK YOU SEVERAL SECONDS TO SAY IT.

SECOND SEVERAL PAUL RYAN DIDN'T HAVE.

NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE BEFORE SHATTERING ABOUT THAT ARE.

THE IDEA, I BELIEVE THE REPUBLICANS WHEN THEY SAY THEY DID THEIR BEST TO WORK WITH

BARACK OBAMA AND THEY HOPED HE WOULD ACHIEVE SOME SUCCESS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT.

>> I DO BELIEVE THAT AND I KNOW A LOT OF THE FOLKS IN YOUR AUDIENCE MIGHT NOT BUT YOU HAVE

GEORGE W. BUSH WHO WAS UNDER A SERIOUS CLOUD ABOUT HIS EGITIMATE SEE IN 2001, HE GOT AL

FAIR NUMBER OF CRATS TO VOTE FOR THAT LEGISLATION DESPITE THE FACT THE DEMOCRATS DETECTED THE GUY.

THIS IS FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE PRESIDENT OR JUST A FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE REPUBLICANS.

I THINK IN THAT EARLY PERIOD.

>> Stephen: A LOT OF THE FAILURE ON BEHALF OF THE DEMOCRATS THAT THEY ARE WILLING

TO COMPROMISE WITH PEOPLE THEY DON'T LIKE.

WHEREAS THE REPUBLICANS HAVE THE STRENGTH TO NOT DO ANYTHING FOR SOMEONE THEY WANT OUT OF OFFICE

AFTER ONE TERM.

[CROWD CHEERING]

GIVE THE REPUBLICANS SOME CREDIT.

>> I ACTUALLY DON'T THINK THAT'S QUITE RIGHT.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT 2009 A LOT OF REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS WERE ACTUALLY REALLY AFRAID.

THEY THOUGHT NEGOTIATOR BARACK OBAMA IS REALLY COMPELLING HARISMATIC HE HAS A POPULARC

AGENDA AND IT PROVES NOT TO BE POPULAR WITH THE BROAD INDEPENDENTS AND HE WASN'T WHO

WE THOUGHT HE WAS.

>> Stephen: DO THE REPUBLICANS HAVE THE ENTHUSIASM.

[LAUGHTER]

THAT HE DESCRIBES?

I MEAN HE'S THE CHEERLEADER OF ALL OF THAT EXCITED?

[LAUGHTER]

>> I THINK THAT THERE ARE A TON OF FOLKS IN BOTH PARTIES WHO ARE

VERY EXCITED AND ENGAGED BUT NOT FOR THE BEST REASON.

I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE EXCITED BECAUSE THEY CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE TO BE SO

DREADFUL THAT THEY WILL SUPPORT PRETTY MUCH WHOEVER STANDS FOR THEIR PARTY'S NOMINATION.

I THINK THAT'S A SHAME BECAUSE IT REFLECTS A LOT OF REALLY UNHEALTHY DYNAMICS IN OUR DEMOCRACY.

>> Stephen: WILL YOU COME BACK AFTER WE FIND OUT WHO WON.

>> I WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO COME BACK, STEPHEN.

>> Stephen: PERHAPS THEN WE COULD DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT THE TRUTH WON OR THE FACTS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

[CROWD CHEERING]

>> Stephen: WE'LL BE RIGHT

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