Let Me Start: ‘Apologize, then blame someone else’


PUNCHING UP: The “war on women” criticisms took a turn against Democrats on Sunday when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul used Bill Clinton as an example of Democrats’ “war.” In an interview on Meet the Press, Paul dismissed the idea the Republican Party was waging a war on women, and instead argued that Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, and Bob Filner are all examples of the other side’s hypocrisy. 

But doesn’t insisting that the Democrats are waging a war on women because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal further show Republicans aren’t really aware of what “waging a war on women” is referring to? Policies, not actions, are what progressives are protesting when they discuss the “war on women,” and it’s also important to note in the cases of Spitzer and Weiner did not have support from their party leaders the way some Republicans caught in scandal have.

THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES: The brakes have yet to be fully applied to the Chris Christie/traffic scandal. A joint state legislative committee will meet Monday to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane closures that led to allegations of political bullying from the Christie administration. 

‘LIBERAL’ MCCAIN?: The Arizona GOP adopted a resolution over the weekend condemning Sen. John McCain for a “disastrous and harmful” record: “For too long we have waited, hoping Senator McCain would return to our Party’s values on his own,” the resolution states. “That has not happened. So with sadness and humility we rise and declare…that until he consistently champions our Party’s Platform, we, the Republican leadership in Arizona will no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. Senator.”

Programming note: Timothy Schwartz, Arizona District 30 Republican chairman, will join Hardball tonight at 7 p.m. ET on msnbc to discuss the resolution.

LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT:I am sorry that so many people have been making insincere apologies. I hasten to add that I am not to blame for these terrible apologies, but I regret them deeply, all the same.” That’s how Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank summarized Republicans’ “go-to” answer when it comes to the scandals they find themselves in. From Chris Christie to Bob McDonnell to even Glenn Beck, who recently admitted he played a role in “helping tear the country apart,” the ability to accept responsibility for one’s actions seems to elude the right.

Programming note: Dana Milbank will join Hardball tonight at 7 p.m. ET on msnbc to discuss.

STATE OF THE UNION: What do you think the “state of our union” is? Share your answers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Vine with msnbc using the hashtag #SOTUis, or submit your photo/video at sotuis.msnbc.com.

Programming note: Tune in to msnbc tomorrow night for full State of the Union coverage.


  • JUMPSTART OF THE DAY: Hillary Clinton may not have made any announcements yet, but that’s not stopping Ready for Hillary from organizing for the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. 
  • ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DAY: Less than a month after returning to work from drug rehab, Florida Congressman Trey Radel will resign from Congress.
  • NUMBER OF THE DAY: 3–that’s how many State of the Union responses will be given from the other side of the aisle tomorrow night. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will deliver the GOP’s official response, Sen. Mike Lee is set to deliver the tea party’s response, and Sen. Rand Paul is promoting his own speech. (Update: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will also deliver a response in Spanish.)
  • POLL OF THE DAY: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows a small lift in President Obama’s approval ratings, but confidence overall is still incredibly low in our nation’s leaders.

Hardball - Let Me Start

Let Me Start: 'Apologize, then blame someone else'