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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 10, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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both women, gu kailai, believed in their husband's missions. it looks like gu will as well. it made us wonder why their husbands weren't held accountable in the same way. standing by your man is a dark and twisted thing in china. thanks so much for watching. q.a.c. 360" starts now. welcome to a special keeping them honest hour. we're focusing on the presidential campaign. specifically on the messages both candidateand their sur guts are putting out there. millions of dollars of campaign advertising. according to a research group, 97% of the ads were negative. only some of them stayed true to the facts. sorting fact from fiction takes more than just the 30 seconds or the minute it takes each spot to play. tonight we're taking some of the most factually challenged media spots and campaign claims up to this point in the campaign season and we're holding them up for a close examination.
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it's what we do every night keeping them honest. as always, we're not taking political sides here. we're trying to figure out what is true and what is not. we begin tonight with a romney ad. >> in 1996, president clinton and a bipartisan congress helped end welfare as we know it, by requiring work for welfare. on july 12th, president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. under obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. they just send you your welfare check. welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare. >> you'll hear from newt gingrich who joins us to defend that ad but also makes a stunning admission whether that ad he's defending is also speaking the facts. also mitt romney on the claims made in that ad. >> he removed the requirement of work from welfare.
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it is wrong to make any change that would make america more of a nation of government depend denicy. we must restore and i will restore work into welfare. >> listen to that and watching the ad you would think the white house with a sweep of the pen somehow managed to undo all your elected representatives accomplished back in the late '90s in welfare reform. you get the impression the obama administration wants an america where lazy ones sit around collecting welfare. romney's surrogate, newt gingrich, today spelled it all out. >> i think on the hard left there is an unending desire to create a dependent america. it's not just that obama is radical but the people he appoints are even more radical. >> the white house, the obama campaign, strongly disagree. a string of fact checkers have blasted the ad as false. politico fact gave us a pants on fire rate. "the washington post" fact guy rated in with four pinocchios. that's their rating system.
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what the white house and the department of health and human services proposed doing was give govers the flexibility to tailor programs for their own states. but what about this claim? >> if president obama didn't want people to think that he was ing to waive the central work requirement in welfare reform, his administration shouldn't have written a memo saying it was going to waive the work requirements in welfare reform. >> keeping them honest, here's the relevant portion from that very memo from the department of health and human services. will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals. so the administration's insisting they aren't trying to waive the work requirement. they're trying to make it less bureaucratic and more effective. precisely what those republican state governors asked for. newt gingrich is defending the ad. as you'll see later on in this interview, speaker gingrich, who i talked to just a short time ago, makes a surprising
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admission. i spoke with the former presidential candidate a short time ago. mr. speaker, this ad says, i quote, under obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work, they just send you a welfare check. accord to pretty much every fact checking organization, that's not true. president clinton who worked on the law says it's not true. even george haskens who worked as george w. bush's policy adviser says there's no plus automobile scenario under which this new policy institutes a new attack on welfare reform. are they all wrong? >> well, the individual from the heritage foundation who was the originally developer of welfare reform, worked with president reagan, he was the first person to come out aggressively and say this will in the end gut welfare reform reform. once you start allowing states -- this is why the law itself does not permit waivers. the president actually could not waive section 407, which says
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there can't be any waivers to the work requirement. so he fudged and found a way to get around it which i suspect will turn out to be illegal. governor mcdonald of virginia hvirginia came out and says this is clearly gutting welfare reform. the two governors the obama administration is hiding behind have both come out and said that is not accurate, this is not what they wanted, this is not the flexibility they skasked fo >> they said they just send you the welfare check. there's no evidence of that at all. >> well, given that this is an administration which has maximized the increase in dependency, maximized the number of people on food stamps, there's also no evidence that once the waiver system's in place that you could rely on this administration to defend work. i mean -- >> it would be up to governors, as you just said. according to the governors themselves that is not their
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intention. you talked about utah governor, gary herbert's office said, utah's request for a waiver stems from a request for the desire to maximize employment. that's almost word for word what the hhs is saying. the hhs acting assistant secretary of hhs said this is all about trying to create innovative strategy, flexibility, policies and procedures designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families. they're basically saying the same thing. >> sure. the question you have to ask yourself is given the track record of this particular secretary of health and human services, given the general way between appointees. the strong reaction. was this came out in the same 48-hour period as the president's famous speech that you didn't build it. that you aren't responsible as a small business owner for what you achieve.
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it's almost as though he wastta and achievement at the same time. this is not the administration that i tnk you're going to find any conservative give the benefit of the doubt to. >> i got to come back, then, to the wording of of this ad. it's under obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work, you wouldn't have to train for a job, they just send you your welfare check. that's not saying we assume this or we think this or we worry about this. it's saying as a fact this will happen. that's just not supported by evidence. >> i think if the ad makers would ask me, i would have said this makes it possible. >> so you think the wording of the ad is not accurate, that it is too straight forward? >> well, i think that the ad does assert -- this is a political ad. in 30 seconds, you tend not to get all the various amendments and things. >> right, but accuracy's important. >> i'm here tonight supporting the idea, and i believe,
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absolutely, that this administration, the obama administration, is filled with people who do not believe in the work requirement, and as you yourself pointed out, even when bill clinton agreed to sign the bill, half the democrats in the house, 101 representatives, voted no. barack obama himself was opposed to it as a senate senator, illinois. there was a huge defense of dependency without work. if you say, do i think all those people who oppose the bill will probably try to gut it if they get a chance, of course i do. >> but if you were running this ad, you would change the wording in the ad to at least say "i worry about this," or based on what i believe abou the president, i think he will do that -- >> if i were running the ad, it would be a much tougher ad, because i'd start by saying as the leading food stamp president in american history and the person who has increased american dependency more than anyone else in modern times and a guy who has failed totally with child poverty. remember, with the clinton/gingrich welfare plan,
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child poverty went down by 25%. was because we had a work requirement and people went to work and went to school and their lives got better. my ad would probably have been tougher for this ad in eting is up the conditions you're looking for. then it would have been a 60 second ad and i don't know if we could have afforded it. >> i think you could have afforded it. i got to come back to this because it did sound like you were saying earlier, and i want to just clarify this, you do think the actual working under obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work, you wouldn't have to train for a job, they just send you your welfare check that is not factually correct? >> we have no proof today but i would say to you under obama's ideology, it is absolutely true, that he would be comfortable sending a lot of people checks for doing nothing. i believe that totally. >> speaker gingrich, i appreciate you being on, thank you. >> thank you. let us know what you think. we're on facebook, follow machine on twitter or instagram, @andersoncooper.
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next, draws a clear line between mitt romney and a woman's death from cancer. i confront this ad when our "keeping them honest" special continues. are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love.
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powered by intel core processors. male spirit present.trong it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here. >>in the refrigerator? we're focusing tonight on campaign ads, campaign claims,
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and the truth. the plain, old-fashioned truth. keeping them honest. a factually bogus romney ad. now the factually bogus ad created by the pro-obama super pac. >> when mitt romney and paybain closed the plant, i lost my health care and my family lost their health care. a short time after that, my wife became ill. i don't know how long she was sick. and i think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew we couldn't afford the insurance. and then one day she became ill. and i took her up to the jackson county hospital. and they admitted her for pneumonia and that's when they found the cancer. by then, it was stage 4. there was nothing they could do for her. and she passed away in 22 days. >> it's a very sad story. keeping then honest, as heart wrenching as the loss of a job and death of a spouse is,
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virtually nothing else about the story fits the time line or the facts. mr. romney was still on the books in bain's ceo when the steel mill shut down. he had left two years before to head the olympics. you could argue he had a hand in how the company was handled. but in the ad, he says his wife became ill a short time after romney and bain closed the plants. it turns out it was five years after that in 2006 his wife unfortunately died. cnn's brianna keilar spoke to him. he told her his wife had other health insurance. her primary insurance was from her own job and she still had that when he lost his health insurance. the fact checkers are not smiling on this one either. "the washington post" giving this ad the same as romney's, four pinocchios. concluding, quote, on just every level this ad stretches the bounds of common sense and decency. the white house and the obama campaign are trying to distance themselves from the ad.
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press secretary jack keacarney saying, quote, i still haven't seen the ad. i speak for the president and the administration and i explain and defend his policies. saying, quote, we have nothing, no involvement with any ads that are done by priorities usa. she went on to say, we don't have any knowledge of the story of the family. keeping them honest, though, the campaign ought to have at least some knowledge of joe soptak and his family because they used him in one of their own campaign ads earlier. >> i was a steelworker for 30 years. we had a reputation for quality products. we weren't rich but i was able to put my daughter through college. >> that was joe soptak in an earlier ad for the obama 2012 campaign. bill, let's talk about this. "the washington post" says about your ad, quote, on just every level, this ad stretches the bounds of common sense and decency, independent fact
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checkers have echoeded that sentiment, saying it's inaccurate. how can you say mitt romney and bain are somehow to blame for that poor woman dying cancer >> my goodness, we don't and we would not. that's not the point of the ad. the point of the ad is to tell the story of the impact that mitt romney had on the live, of thousa thousands of people. when he came to town, they lost their jobs, their lost their health care, they lost their pension benefits. that impact is felt still today in those communities. >> you're a smart guy. you have a lot of smart ad people in the group you're working with. half the ad is him talking about his wife's demise. and it ends with him saying, i do not think that mitt romney realizes what he's done to anyone. the implication is clearly that he is responsible or -- the actions he took led to his wife's death. >> no, i -- you know, the story is a very sad one. and the truth is that there are thousands of stories that are --
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that happened as a result of mitt romney and his time at bain. and some of them are really tragic. but just because they're really sad or tragic doesn't mean they should be off limits. we think it's important to tell the stories of these folks and how they're impacted by mitt romney. he put his business experience -- >> how does a woman dying -- i mean, she had health insurance from her job after this man lost his job, and then she got an injury years later, and then lost her insurance. >> right. to say that presupposes that we're trying to link mitt romney with her tragedy. >> you claim -- you really claim -- you really want people to believe you're not trying to link, in any way, even just subtlety or not subtlety, that there is some linkage between mitt romney, bain capital, business decisions he made, and this woman's death? >> anderson it would defy logic to do so. the point is even to today that community is completely worn
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down. the whole area. the factories abandoned. people still don't have jobs in some cases. many folks still don't have health insurance. people who do have jobs are getting paid much less. and the point is that mitt romney's business experience had a profound effect on the lives of thousands of people. and that effect is still being felt. and that'ses what this s whawh story of. >> i don't want to go back and forth on this. this ad tell us the very specific story. more than half of the ad is him talking very detailed about his wife -- >> anderson, it's a sad story. >> it is a very sad story. it also jumped over -- it truncates time in a way that makes it seem like he got fired, she didn't have health insurance, which she did from her other job, her primary insurance, in fact -- >> not at the time when she died though. she had health insurance for a very short time. >> right, because she lost her other job. >> right, but ultimately when joe osoptik needed health insurance for his family, health
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insurance promised to him by a contract mitt romney helped to negotiate, he didn't have the health insurance. >> right, because under bankrupt sip protection, they were able to do away with the promises they had made. >> they were able to void a contract they had are workers. >> that's bankruptcy law. >> they made plenty of money. all those workers got screwed. >> you can make an ad all about that. you're implying -- i think any rational or certainly nonpartisan observers look at this and say you are linking this. otherwise, you would not put this in an ad. >> i think just the opposite. the rational thing to take away is how on earth can you possibly imply that? >> you made a 30-second spot about this. when you're saying how can you possibly imply that, it's totally disingenuous, come on, you know that. >> i don't think that's through. >> i appreciate you coming on to talk about the ad. up next, trump's incorrect birther claims.
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do surrogates and supporters on both sides help candidates on controversial topicings?
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well, no hour on bogus complain claims would be complete without a visit to birther land. embraced america's number one birther donald trump. d despite report after report showing there's nothing to the birther's story, mr. trump is
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not backing down. the romney campaign hasn't backed away from mr. trump since this controversy erupted several months ago. >> nothing's changed my mind. by the way, you know, you have a huge group of people. i walk down the street and people are screaming please don't give that up. look, a publisher came out last week and had a statement about obama given to them by obama when he was doing a book as a young man a number of years ago in the 90s, born in kenya and raised in indonesia. i mean, this was a statement, this was from obama. >> that's not true. the publisher says it was only a typo. for the record, president obama has produced both a short and long-form birth certificate showing he was born in hawaii. he made the long form version public. when we sent gary tuchman to hawaii, he found plenty of evidence the president was born there but no sign of mr. trump's
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investigators. i asked him, donald trump, about it months ago. we've had a team in hawaii talking to everyone from the state health department to the school where obama's mother went to other families in the hospital at the same time when he was born, none of them say they've been contacteded by anyone working for you. >> well, maybe they're not saying and maybe they haven't contacted the same people, anderson. >> we've interviewed the former director of the hawaii department of health, a republican, one of two state officials who has actually seen the original birth certificate you're talking about in the department of health vault. she says she hasn't been contacted by your people. isn't that somebody they should talk to? >> i've been told recently the birth certificate is missing. i've been told it's not there and it doesn't exist. >> told you that? >> i just heard that two days ago from somebody. >> can you name one person your investigators talked to? >> it's not appropriate right now. >> you can't say? >> it's just not appropriate, anderson. >> he never named any names. as for the missing birth
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certificate, it was released shortly thereafter. missing in quotes. as for mitt romney, he said, i don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything i believe in. donald trump is not just any romney supporter. he's been aiming to raise $2 million tonight for the romney campaign and hinted today to wolf blitzer he might personally donate millions more. he's also made robo calls for the campaign and up on the romney website now, this picture of donald trump as uncle sam on one of those old-fashioned recruiting pictures. the winner gets flown to new york for dinner with mitt romney and donald trump. he's clearly more than the run of the mill supporter. the question is could his support actually cost the romney campaign with votes? polling earlier this year shows what a trump endorsement would make 1 in 4 voters less likely to vote for governor romney. the governor has also said he needs to get 50.1% support to win and he's happy to have the help of, quote, a lot of good people. back to those remarks we
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mentioned at the top. he was talking tonight about president obama's lack of business experience. listen. >> sometimes i just don't think he understands what it takes to help people. imknow he wants to help. he doesn't know what he's got to do. i was speaking with one of these business owners who owned a couple of restaurants in town. he said, you know, i'd like to change the constitution. i'm not sure i can do it he said, but i'd like to have a provision in the constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the constitution, i'd like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he can become president of the united states. >> joining me now is republican strategist and romney adviser kevin madden. kevin, some people are looking at those commes that the candidate made tonight and saying that it was sort of a dog whistle, the fact he would bring up the birth requirements in the constitution on a day where donald trump has talked a lot about birthers with sort a dog
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whistle on this issue, fair? >> no, well, i just don't agree with that. i think it was -- the governor was actually relaying a conversation that he had had with a voter. and the voter's emphasis was on the business experience. and i think that's what governor romney is finding as he engages voters all across the country, is that they're focused on the economy. they're focused on somebody who can turn the economy around. quite frankly, that's been the entire focus of the governor's -- the message told when he was out there the in colorado, craig, colorado, he was talking about energy. he was talking about how important energy is to helping -- helping sustain the economy in that region of the country and how important the economy is, in turning the economy around. >> but he is holding this big event with donald trump tonight. and donald trump is up on his website. and donald trump is out there talking about birther stuff. when a supporter in a crowd said something false about then candidate obama to john mccain, john mccain set that supporter straight. trump is clearly a surrogate.
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democrats are i sag the fasayin romney hasn't said that trump is wrong shows romney doesn't have backbone. does he have -- that's what democrats are saying. does he have an obligation in any way to set his surrogate straight on these birther claims? >> oh, he has. i think it's -- >> so he's spoken -- you think he's spoken to trump? >> every time this issue has come up, governor romney has made it clear he disagrees with trump. he disagrees with the emphasis on the issue. he believes that the reason we need to take -- that we need to beat president obama in november is because he hasn't done enough to fixthe american economy. every time he's had an event, he's talked about what it is that he would do to fix the economy. what he'd do differently -- >> -- does he say it to donald trump? >> he has said it publicly. the focus of this campaign has to be the economy. >> you were saying it doesn't really matter what surrogates say. when hillary ross ary rosen, su
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president obama, said something about ann romney, the obama white house was very quick to distance themselves from her. and a lot of conservatives jumped on her as speaking for the candidate. so isn't it fair, then, for democrats to do the same thing about what mitt romney -- what donald trump is saying? >> having worked on so many of these campaigns, i think the scrutiny is fair. that crysllized the debate about the economy. about women's role in the workplace. and the different -- the different visions that each party has for the economy. that is what really crystallized that debate. i don't think there's a lot of people sitting at home with 23 million people out of work with unemployment over 8%, consumer confidence going down, i don't think there's a lot of people talking about that issue. >> it's not just the media uk thatti ing talking about the birther stuff.
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i mean, there are initiatives in a number of states across the country and have been since he's been in office. >> i think that's right, anderson. do you think right now voters -- that that's going to drive what their main decision is on this campaign? i really don't think so. i think over kitchen table also now across the country there's so much economic anxiety about the state of employment, the lack of jobs. people who have one are worried about losing theirs. i think that's really what the american people want to see debated. that's the focus that they want to see if this campaign. a lot of this are distractions. >> kevin madden, thank you for being on, thank you. >> always great to be with you. >> when we come back, a trip across the aisle to america's top democratic lawmaker. a man who's made big claim also against romney and taxes without showing the slightest evidence. that's next. [ male announcer ] count the number of buttons
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senate majority leader harry reid is from nevada of course. he's a former boxer and is known to this day to enjoy landing a political punch. well, he has. the question is, is it a cheap shot? standing by unproven allegations by mitt romney and taxes. claiming romney didn't pay any taxes for a decade. without the chips in this case, the facts, to back it up.
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governor romney reacted sharply to the claim. >> it's time for harry to put up or shut up. harry's going to have to describe who it is he spoke with. because of course that's totally and completely wrong. it's untrue, dishonest and incorrect. it's wrong. so i'm looking forward to have harry reveal his sources and we'll probably find out it's the white house. >> he's not backing down a bit. just allegations and insinuat n insinuations. before we go any further on this story, you should know we're not being partisan here. for weeks we reported on michele bachmann and her four colleagues making unfounded allegations about islamic radicals infiltrating the u.s. government. making claims of relatives of a top aide to hillary clinton. the standard should be the same for anyone. extraordinary allegations require extraordinary proof. frankly, any kind of proof. michele bachmann and company don't even have ordinary proof and neither, so far, does
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senator harry reid. this began earlier this week when mr. reid told the huffington post what he said a bain investor told him. quote, he didn't pay any taxes for ten years. we went on. now, do i know that's true? well, i'm not certain. that was harry reid saying "i'm not certain." you think not being certain about the truth of an explosive allegation, you'd keep it to yourself, right? instead, senator reid, the highest ranking democrat in congress, went further with some local reporters saying he had a, quote, number of people tell me that, unquote. so it went from one person telling him to, now, a number of people. then today he went even further. >> so the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't. >> okay. so now this is on the floor of the senate. he's now saying the word is out. well, the word is out because senator reid put it out.
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what he hasn't put out is anything that anyone can check. not the name of his source. not anything. here's what republican senator john mccain told me about this earlier today. harry reid on the floor of the senate today reiterated this idea that mitt romney has not paid taxes for ten years. he said, and i quote, on the floor of the senate, so the word's out he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove he has paid tax because he hasn't. he's offered absolutely no proof at all about this. does it surprise -- i mean what do you make of this? is this just politics? is this acceptable? >> first, i've known senator reid for many years. occasionally, he displays some rather erratic behavior. to accuse someone of doing something without a shred of proof that the allegation has any substance is really something i frankly don't understand. politics are tough and i enjoy
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the give and take. but i think harry might have gone over the line here. >>let's bring in our panel. democratic strategist paul begala currently advising the top pro obama super pac. and republican strategist mary matalin. paul, you cannot defend harry reid on this, can you, seriously? >> you watch me. but harry reid -- >> right, doubled down on this. he went on the floor of the senate and said well, you know, it's out there, that he hasn't paid in ten years. it's only out there because harry reid saided it two days ago without any evidence whatsoever. >> first off, there's tons of evidence. the one release he prettied up and turned over to the public -- >> there's evidence he hasn't paid taxes in ten years? >> there's evidence of tax avoidance. incredibly aggressive tax avoidance. >> reid says there's evidence he hasn't paid taxes in ten years. >> the senator spois pointing o this guy has a long -- well, incredible history of tax avoidance. shell corporation in bermuda. cayman island.
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switzerland accounts. this guy goes to -- first of all, freshman philosophy, when you're confronted with something, you have limited information, you choose the s simple simplest, most obvious choice. do you think he secretly owns the bunny ranch brothel? i don't. i grant him that, he's got impeccable personal moral character. i don't think he's secretly owning inner city liquor stores that sell to children or something. no. >> but you did just put that out there. >> really, i'm just trying to show that it's not -- it's the most logical explanation. people should like on the twitter machine -- give me your ideas. what other reason is he hiding his tax returns for? >> anderson -- >> mary, harry reid has no evidence on this. >> we have lots of evidence. >> go ahead, mary. >> really? you know what's -- to answer paul's question, this is a
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fallacy logic. this is how they argue. they make the accused -- put the burden of proof on the accused. you really think -- does this pass the smell test, the laugh test, that this man would have been governor, that he would have been running for president for eight years, that he has all of this money. yes, he has a lot of money. he has a big success. he's an american opportunity inspiration. that he would not -- that he would be doing something illegal. they've called him felon. here's the sad thing. the really sad thing is harry reid is not -- ostensibly not some goofball back bencher. he is the democratic senate majority leader. doesn't that give -- if i were a democrat, that would give me great pause. that the majority leader in the senate, in that aghast bouft bo behaving like mccarthy. >> it just seems hypocritical to me. when louie gohmer went on the
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floor of congress and said some unnamed former fbi agent told him middle eastern women were coming to the united states pregnant to have babies, taking them back to the middle east to raise them for 20 years as terrorists so they could then come back as american citizens and attack us 20 years from now, and that he had sources on this, though he didn't call the fbi about this, and when we called the fbi, the fbi said, what are you talking about, we never heard of this. what is the difference between that lunacy and what harry reid is saying? >> akmon's razor. what gohmert posited is ipto facto crazy. as mary points out, he should have known, getting into this business, it's not pleasant, perhaps, but these guys and women at the top level, the presidential level, they all have to release their tax
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returns. >> i'll tell you what akmon's razor. we know he paid $7 million in contributi contributions. >> wonderful. >> may i? may? i quit imitating james. the akmon's razor is this. that the obama strategic imperative is to distract. can't run on his record. this is just a distraction. he put out two. if he put out four years, they'd ask for six. look what jon stewart said of reid. this is really gross too. he played the dead card. his father would be embarrassed? what has happened to your party, paul? >> romney has the evidence. we can't see it. he's choosing the most sensible explanation for a puzzling political thing. why is romney feeding this distraction, as mary calls it? why, because there's something in there he does not want us to see. when politician, don't disclose their tax, it's because they
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can't. >> before i get inundated saying i'm a stooge of the gop or supporting romney on this, my point is simply for any sitting member of congress or the senate, republican or democrat or whatever party, to be making allegations, serious allegations, about somebody, without offering any evidence whatsoever, i think seems a troubling precedent. and it surprises me more people aren't upset about it. whether it's this or whether it's bachmann at all making allegations against uma abadin. we got to leave it there. paul begala, mary matalin, thank you. what's the strategy behind these lies? we'll dig into that when this "keeping them honest" special continues. ent. it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym,
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with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. our "keeping them honest" special report continues. both sides are using campaign ads heavy on attacks but light on facts. what's the strategy behind these adses? does it help or hurt the campaigns? let's talk about it with cnn chief national correspondent john king, cnn political correspondent candy crowley. and "the washington post" nia henderson. i want to play that for our viewers. >> you know, it's interesting, too, the various fact checkers look at some of these charges in the obama ads and they say they're wrong and inkraebeing a
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accura inbeing an u rate, they keep running them. today, they just blast ahead. >> the interesting thing about that is he and his supports are just as if not more guilty of doing the same thing. the obama ad we're focusing on tonight by a pro obama super pac. is this sort of argument just par for the course? >> well, first of all, i think it's amazing that he can remember a time when campaigns actually pulled ads deemed to be wrong. first, i think there's a lot more watchdogs out there in this campaign. >> so we know about it more? we pay more attention? >> yes, we pay more attention to it. and, you know, the rise obviously of television advertising has been out there for a while. but now it's almost a campaign unto itself. we used to talk about the money and we certainly talk about the
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content but there's so many people watching these ads now. i'm not sure there's more. but there are more ads. so numerically perhaps there are more. i tell you, they are earlier. a lot earlier they went negative and a lot earlier they went not just stretching the truth, just plain-out lying about stuff. >> john, because i guess the power of the super pacs and the money involved, they're able to kind of take it to a whole new level. >> they're taking it to a whole new level. last july, last month, in july, than there was in the final month of the campaign in 2008. it's at a new level. when you call into the campaigns or super pacs and you say, hey, that's wrong, you going to take it down? they kind of shrug and they say, well, the other guy's doing it too. the standards when you call them, it sort of numbs you a bit. look, they believe, especially the obama side needs to disqualify romney, there's no question about that, so they're running these things. this particular ad, i asked bill
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burton of priority ads usa today, will you take it off the web? he said no. >> malik, romney's favorability numbers have taken a tumble recently. is it possible they do more damage to him because he's more of an unknown? >> well, that's certainly what the obama campaign and his supporters are bet. they're looking in 2004. you saw in that campaign that bush really moved to define john kerry very early. he started running ads in march. this campaign, started in may. and almost, you know, a lot of what we've seen has been negative. the thing about negative ads is they've always been around and they often work. i think what you're see, particularly now in august, each of these campaigns is really trying to generate some feeling among their base, among those voters, because if you generate some feeling, some sort of moral outrage and some anger, those are the sorts of feelings that really prompt people to actually act, to actually donate and actually start knocking on
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doors, mobilizing behind these candidates. that's what you're seeing these campaigns really trying to grab people by the collar and get them to feel and get them to act. >> candy, that's behind the big expenditure behind the obama campaign early on. to try to define his opponent early on. >> yes, and -- because he was undefined. president obama, people have gotten used to him, he's been on tv every day. he has a record now in the white house that is much more difficult to redefine president obama. i think what's interesting to me is the obama camp -- i'm association the romney campaign knew this early on. they admitted that the idea of making people dislike president obama probably wasn't going to happen. and what they wanted to do is make people like mitt romney. the negative ads, i totally agre agree, were aimed much more at mitt rom nney getting his base activated than try to drive down
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obama's favorabilities. the really key question now, though, is whether mitt romney at this point can come back and use these big opportunities he's about to get to define himself in a positive way, and bring up the likability. >> john, do you think he can do that? whose ads are working the best? >> there's no question the obama and the obama allies have done the most damage. they've hurt romney over the last month. there's been the most effective so far. there's been more of them in many of the key markets around the country. you'd have to say they are winning if you will in terms of moving the numbers with negative ad, some of which happen to be reprehensible. we have a lifetime left in politics. the vice presidential rollout will be part of it. he has to work on his economic plan. he has to convince people he will fight for the middle class. the damage done against him in the spring and summer so far has been to say he's a rich guy, he's hiding his taxes, he doesn't care about you and your community when it comes to the economy. it's a steep hill. he has this convention opportunity. he will own the second half of
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august. that's how it works. he has a big opportunity to do that. the question is can he, are they up for the challenge. >> john king, candy crowley,hee much. it's something you're born with. and inspires the things you choose to do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology. we believe in the power of people when technology works for you. to dream. to create. to work. if you're going to do something.
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there's a lot more we're fol lowing tonight. >> the lebanese based group. comes as the u.s. treasury places more sanctions on
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hezbollah for its support of the government. opposition groups say at least 160 people were killed by government forces. they say most of the deaths happeneded in aleppo, syria's largest city. the attorney for scott smith, the ohio man arrested for bringing guns amo and knives to latest batman movie says his client had the gear for his protection. the attorney claims his client feared an attack like the colorado theater shooting spree. police say the items were found in a bag smith was carrying last saturday night. of the anti-muslim cries of not in my backyard, a new islamic center and mosque opened in murfreesboro, tennessee, today. security is tight. and dramatic rescue at sea caught on video. this 49-year-old fisherman was forced to tread water for 20 hours when his boat sank off the coast of western australia. sharks were circling him when a tv news crew spotted hi