tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current June 5, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
tonight tonight. wisconsin election results coming up. we will be back live at 10:00 o'clock to tell you more about wiscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscsc ♪ >> eliot: good evening, i'm eliot spitzer. this is a special edition of view point. i'll be joined by our featured guest former vice president al gore. but first, it appears to be a major victory for conservatives and the republican party and a serious defeat for labor unions, progressives and the democrats party. the effort to recall wisconsin's govern scott walker has failed. walker with 57% of the vote compared to 42% for milwaukee mayor tom barrett.
let's go to madison wisconsin and current tv correspondent david schuster. what happened? everybody thought this would be neck and neck into late in the night. >> the thing that democrats were not counting on, and the democrats met their own turnout models, but the red parts of wisconsin are even more conservative and more energically red than they were. and let me give you an example. the greenbay packers. many of them supported the recall. they were mad about what scott walker did. and the packers are treated like gods in that state. president obama won brown county by nine points. nine points for president obama. two years ago scott walk center the scott walker-barrett match up in 2010 he won brown county
by 14 points. tonight, he won it by 20 points. hears what should have been a district that should trend closer for democrats, but it got more republican. county after county after incident, yes, the democrats got their numbers in madison and dane county, but the total ended up being 52-48. but the problem is the republican enthusiasm, it was as enthusiastic and as strong as even the republicans had been saying. that's what made the difference in this race race. >> eliot: and if the enthusiasm was greater than people predicted why was it not that increased on the democratsic side? why was the turnout in milwaukee--if you hit the threshold of 2.5 million or what the number is for raw turnout why did the democratic base turn out in significantly greater
numbers, do you think? >> the numbers indicate that they did in better numbers in the democratic areas of milwaukee and madison that two years ago. but the problem was he needed to hold the independent and moderate voters, and he didn't do that. the republicans swept in the rural areas and look it might be cultural. i heard some republicans and democrats agree there is a certain cultural feeling that feel, i may not like scott walker but i feel the process of recalling him before his next regular election, that is improper. we heard from voters say just on principle because of that, they felt that it was important. let's let the process finish, and let's let walker finish and have another crack at it in the next election. that is a weird strain that some of us on the coast do not understand about the midwest. >> eliot: we'll talk about this
more in a bit but one public sector unions are less popular than with anybody has recognized, and maybe they got less popular over this campaign, and secondaryily as a process level, people feel scott walker was voted in for a four-year term. it does not explain why all the data over the last couple of days predicted what a close race. what the pollsters missed that didn't pick up this greater turnout on the red republican side of the ledger. that is something in a people will have to ask themselves. >> even the exit polling. the final exit polling was 50/50 50/50. and labor union as a church of the overall vote was up by 6%. conservative participation, a
chunk of the overall vote was down. and even wrong independents, which walker won by 14 points two years ago, according to exit polls, he won them by one point. they couldn't account for the way the republicans would run the numbers in a very big name inway insome of these rural counties. >> eliot: the koch brothers and the red, didn't turn it. if the republicans hold and maintain control, governor walker would be able to push his agenda forward. and right now they're all in the republican cool bum. >> three of the four have been called for the republicans and the republicans are leading for the fourth. if they had taken any one of those four races then they have a democratic-controlled state
senate and perhaps put a check on governor walker. but coming up empty as they have, they don't get to do that. there is a tremendous amount disappointment for mitchell who thought he would pull off the prize over the sitting lieutenant governor, and he has not been able to do this. across the board, this is a bad night for democrats and as you know elections matter. >> eliot: the fourth state senate seat is rather significant in favor of the republicans, and so it looks like the democrats will be 0-for-4. i've been in the political arena for quite some period of time. i hate to do an autopsy on a body that is still alive but i have to ask the question, is the democrat parties in the state scratching their heads and say what are the lessons here and what did we do wrong? is there any take away from anyone in the leadership? >> yes, in the leadership of the democratic party who as of a
couple of days ago said if we lose this thing, the unions did not want us to go negative on scott walked. they wanted to focus on their support for the candidate who they thought would be a better nominee for the democrats, and spend the money there as opposed to going on the air months ago attacking scott walker. they didn't get the candidate they wanted out of the primary and they lost several months in which walker was up on the air promoting himself, and the only times the democrats started spending money was just in the final four or five weeks and they couldn't close the gap. you have democrats who think that was a strategic blunder. they should have gone negative use money to attack walker much earlier than they did. >> eliot: i hear the argument but over the past couple of weeks there was a lengthy enough period for that argument to sink
in. i don't think anybody could avoid all the negative critique of walker. i'm not sure if there was an absence of negative critique, but i think it just consistent register. i think something more strategically fundamental will have to happen. david, stick around. >> i hear you. >> eliot: joining me alex and with me in new york, john one of my favorite words, a firm named after you. a coincidence. down, whatjohn what is your take-away from this. many thought this would set the stage for the president to more on with the progressive agenda into november. clearly did not happen. >> that's exactly right. this was not a good night for democrats. it was a republican victory. once again we democrats have our hearts broken by the early exit
poll showing 50/50. it seemed like we could pull it off, but it was a good night for the republicans, no two ways about it. >> eliot: alex, let me ask you is one of the take-aways, the public sector unions are intensely unpopular and no matter how you want to look at the numbers, if the republican party or anybody else beats up on them saying they're paid too much they're overvalued, they will lose the election. >> it was special. there were idiosyncrasyies that made it difficult to draw large comparisons. you had a democratic primary that was decided less than a month ago whereas you had scott walker preparing for this for a year and campaigning for months and months, certainly the romney campaign and the republicans would make that argument, but i would hate to if to that conclusion. >> eliot: one of the data points that i saw over the course of
the day, the issue that led to the recall was the issue of scott walker's effort to under caught public sector unions. when that issue wasn't here, you see on the screen, early on 48% favored what scott walker, the incumbent governor was doing. after this issue had been debated to a significant degree 55% were with him. 7%, and the questions were not identical. ♪% of the public ended up with scott walker in terms of limiting public sector unions. how do you interpret those numbers differently. >> it was evenly split between
supporters of scott walker and those strongly against. they'll have a heard time going forward. you asked me the public sector union go all in there. this is what they pinned all their hopes and dreams to. they will have to make an argument that will resonate with the american voters that has not hasn't. you see this happening in education in particular where you have reform efforts going after teachers' unions. they'll have to come up with a better message, no doubt. >> eliot: john, let me throw a hypothesis to you. there have been others who have written about this. part of what we lived through at the end of world war ii, and give or take a few words our economy was growing, bunts were robust. we could spend more and more on education and infrastructure without people worrying too
much. now we're in the world of egative-sum politics and everything is being cut back and an he is target is public sector unions. >> i agree. we're in a year where deficits are extraordinarily high. spending has not gone up that much once you count in the stimulus. with the economy in the shape that it is, we have scarce resources and there is competition for them and in-fighting. it's like a "rocky" movie who can land the most body blows. i think it's very negative and i don't think see how this changes in the near term. >> eliot: it partly explains how negative politics is angel, and you see a live shot of tom barrett, the mayor of milwaukee. i'm told he is not conceding. he is going to say as long as
there are folks still voting he will not concede although i don't think there is any doubt that every news agency ander and--he is conceding. this is a disappointment that had not been predicted. alex, let me turn to the national elections. is there a lesson to be learned here? does the white house say, it's good that we stayed out. >> that's what they'll be saying privately. they didn't say anything publicly where the romney campaign put out a statement immediately. the obama campaign caught a lot of flack from local leaders who felt they had not invested heavily enough in this race. they had worked so hard to recall walker and they didn't
think they were getting enough support from the national party. with a tweet and a video that didn't even feature the president, they may be saved a little bit of face, and there is exit polling that showed obama up 11 points over romney. so you know, for them narrowly they can take away a little ray of hope even if the rest of the left will not be so happy. >> alex, i think that's right. john, tell me what you think that is correct in terms of the momentarily strategic decision not to get involved. on the other hand the arc and the momentum of the presidential race in in the past week or two has not been in favor of the white house, the economic news and domestically there has been an absence of affirmative news that allows the president to stand up and say, look at what i'm doing and this looks good. >> interest may have been an one-point difference, but if it's four or five points
they'll, as alex said be happy that they did not expend the political capital. i'm wondering if this is the beginning of the era of constant recall? it seems odd right now since it failed, but i wonder if we're going to enter an era where this becomes much more common. the campaign may be taken even to a higher level. >> eliot: david, let me take it back to you. i'm not sure you can answer this question, but what now? what happens next in wisconsin. we have scott walker continuing in office. he'll have a state senate that will be re re-energized. what is the expectation out there? >> if anything it will slow him down. is this a task cloud of an investigation hanging over his head.
the investigation in milwaukee into corruption and malfeasance and then the federal investigation we reported on and scott walker is identified as a target of the investigation. it does not necessarily mean that prosecutors will pull the trigger on indicting him. at a certain point this investigation will hurt him. he has had 13 people go to the government against him. staff has been prosecuted and charged, some are providing pretty dramatic testimony and so at a certain point he'll have to deal with that, and then the question is how does he governor?govern.it's going to be a
huge distraction for him. >> eliot: scott walker may be looking back on the recall and saying, gee, those were good times and wishing he were reliving the recall instead of the news of the federal investigation around your neck tighten every day. that's not something to look forward to. the more exciting shot of the scott walker headquarters. you can see the sign going up right at the right moment. the excitement at campaign headquarters when there is a victory. what is next for the wisconsin democratic party? do they say this is a bad chapter but now we can win in november. >> it looked good for president obama by 11 points. but the exit poll also said 50/50. i think president obama will win but it does bring in a doubt. >> eliot: the exit poll perhaps
the big loser along with barrett. we'll have to wait and see how it happens. david schuster, alex, many thanks we'll talk individual healthcare mandate with al gore. that's ahead on "viewpoint." stay right here. i have the most common type of atrial fibrillation, or afib. it's not caused by a heart valve problem. i was taking warfarin, but my doctor put me on pradaxa instead to reduce my risk of stroke. in a clinical trial, pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) reduced stroke risk 35% better than warfarin. and unlike warfarin, with pradaxa, there's no need for regular blood tests. that's really important to me. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding
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let facts get in the way of spin. >>do it, for america. >>(narrator) gavin newsom, lieutenant governor of california, and former mayor of san francisco is on current tv. >>every night on cable news networks everyone's focusing on what's wrong. i want this show to move past that. i love creative people, and with all the vexing problems we have we need creative thinking. >>(narrator) with interviews with notables from silicon valley, hollywood, and beyond. >>at the end of the day this show's simple. it's about ideas. ideas are the best politics. ideas can bring us together. >>(narrator) the gavin newsom show. friday at 11 eastern/8& pacific. only on current tv. >> mitt romney was for the individual mandate before he was against it. according to newly surfaced e-mails as his time of governor of massachusetts. he felt the mandate was one of
the essential pieces of a healthcare overhaul. as an op-ed signed before he signed the legislation, governor romney wrote, quota: >> indeed, e-mails revealed it in the original version of the op-ed, romney added, i quote an uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care but under law, that is impossible and i amnhumane. more proof the etch-a-sketch candidate continues to recreate himself time and time again. joining me former vice president and the co-founder of current tv, al gore and rolling stone national political correspondents, tim dickinson. mr. vice president let me begin with you. i continue to be amazed at the wait mitt romney has re-created himself on issue afficand these glaring inconsistencies are not -- he is not being held
accountable for it. how is that the case? >> i totally agree. and i have the same question governor. i think people get used to candidates being accused of flip-flopping, changing their positions, and it's not all that unusual. but the reality is that mid romney has taken that to a completely new level. i have never seen a candidate with as many positions changed 180 degrees on crucial issues and what "the wall street journal" uncovered in this morning's paper is a very clear black and white example, and we've known about his previous support for the principals on which obama care is based. the president's healthcare plan, and i don't know how he can deny
this. like you, i am surprised that has not been that he has been taken to task more than he has been. >> it's one thing if positions evolve. positions can change. there is a rational process of thinking, learning and changing one's view but on the other hand mitt romney on issues of economic theory social policy has gone across the spectrum as a mere factor of political calculation. >> climate also. >> i don't get why this has not sort of scarred him as a political candidate. >> you know, i think that there was a choice that his -- some of his independent had to focus on that or to try to paint him as a right-wing extremist. i don't know. maybe they will revisit that choice because i think he is highly vulnerable given the record of complete changes of position. >> look. i think we are all looking forward to the debates this fall. there are going to be three
podiums, one for the president and two for mitt romney. it's go back and forth. >> i thought teddy kennedy's line in the race when romney challenged him in the senate race teddy ken die said, i am pro-choice. it's multiple choice. that was pretty good. >> tim let me turn back to you. one of the things that has struck me that is almost ironic of the president and mitt romney on healthcare for each of them in a way, it is his signature accomplishment, the president did, in fact, get a healthcare bill through that extends healthcare to the entire populace. mitt romney did something creative when he was in massachusetts and neither one wants to talk about it. it's as though they may call each other at 2 in the among and saying gee wouldn't it be nice that we could talk about what we did that was great for the country? why is it neither one can talk about? >> the politics are very complications indicated. obamacare is a big sort of ugly
bill in its biggest form. the boogey man has been done so much as a popular thing. in fairness to romney president obama has had a flip-flop on the mandate issue as well. he was against it when he was running against hillary clinton and sort of dragged kicking and screaming to embrace it. i think the real reason is that this is go to be an election about economics and right now, the president's job the job of his political team is to make sure people don't feel romney has the magic sauce to get the economic going again because i think the issues of character the flipflopery isn't going to matter if they think romney has the solution on the economy. >> tim, i think that's right. as somebody once said, it's the economy stupid. mr. vice president let me come back to you. i am surprised the white house instead of attacking bain and mitt romney's record of bain has pluses and minuses, wouldn't the white house be better off saying, we are better off than you are contrat general motors
and the auto bail out and we are successful private equity investors. we know how to use and deploy capitol, use wide leverage and create jobs rather than just attacking bain and seeing the downside. >> i think there is a basic issue of candor here take the auto bail-out for example. governor romney wrote the famous op-ed where he called for letting general motors go bankrupt. now, he has tried to say that that wasn't his position. but again, it's there in black and white. i agree with tim's point on the economy. but on that issue as well, he endorses the paul ryan budget and as plain as day, that budget makes the budget deficit and the long-term debt much much worse. it's just simple arithmetic and it continues to make income
inequality worse in the country. the basic position is identical in almost every respect to the plan that the bush-cheney administration put in place that created the catastrophe in the first place. so yes, i think that the economy is clearly the main issue. but he needs to be held accountable for these non-sensical recommendations that are so identical to what caused the problem. >> look if ever there has been a campaign where it would be déjà vu al over again, it would be mitt romney bringing back bush economics which pushed us over the precipice in paul krugman's column, as if a con game would drive up employment. anybody who wants to go back to that has not been living in the same short period of recent history but we are going to have to wait to see.
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>> once more around the block. voter suppression rears its head in florida again after attempting to purge voters from the state's roles in particular's republican governor rick scott has been ordered to stop by the united states department of justice although walker says they were trying to remove non-citizens voters pounds that hispanic, democratic and independent voters were the most likely to be targeted by a
wide margin. the doj maintains the purn is a violation. the 1965 voter rights act which sought to protect minority voters from discrimination as well as the 1993 voter registration act which outlaws roll maintenance within 90 days of an election. joining us is mike papintonia head of the national trial lawyers association an the brennan justice and with us, al gore, thank you all for your time tonight. mr. papantonio, let me start with you. you have been involved in the litigation in florida. what is going on there. what is rick scott trying to do? and will he get away with it? >> i think the most important thing is if you are a supervise of e elections in florida right now, you have some things to confront. the u.s. justice department has told you if you are a supervisor of e elections that what you are doing by purging these rolls is illegal and to stop it immediately. >> that's the first thing you have to confront second of all,
your own attorney, the very people you have hired as general counsel to advise you statewide as to whether or not you are going to do this on is legal or not, he has told you to stop immediately. he said that for a couple of reasons. first of all, you are not complying with the law as it's written in the voters' rights act. you haven't gotten prior permission to engage in this purge, and more importantly, more importantly, governor, you have a situation where you are 90 days out. that area that you have to do this has passed. >> right. >> so with that type of information in fronts after supervisor of e elections has to be very, very cautious, especially when he knows that people have been prostituted for doing the very thing that they may be engaged with. >> mike, you have made a great opening argument. if i were a judge or jury i would say, you know rick scott what you are doing is illegal. if you don't stop we will do something horrific to you going to jail. it is indemic not only in
florida but you at the brennan center have been fighting to protect people's voting rights. explain why this continues to happen. >> you are exactly height, eliot eliot, that this comes on the heels of many efforts in florida and all over the country to cut back on voting rights we have seen in the last two years. it's the biggest cut back since the jim crow era. you have seen laws in state after state and in florida. there was a voting law passed last year. >> uh-huh. >> that basically cracked down on that pernicious social problem of voter registration. it imposed these. >> we want to get rid of voter registration? right? >> government policy that works. what happens is it put all of these burtens and fines and penalties on voter registration and the league of women voters our client, you know, a well-known organization had to shut down it's entire voter registration program inoperation
in particular but last week, a federal judge blocked that law and said that it was an affront to democracy and an afront to voting rights. that's what's happening all over the country now. the waiveve of anti-voting laws is meeting stiff resistance from voters and. >> earlier you referred to alec, the right-wing group that writes legislation for business interests, pushing these voter id laws through state legislatures and now fortunately, there has been a popular uprising. how do we support those because these voter id laws are personition and they are so fundamentally anti-democratic? >> they are racist because they have aimed at african-americans and hispanic americ
>> spelling out exactly why. he said, i want fewer people to vote. and here's why. he just spelled it out. so they have drafted these voter suppression laws and farmed them out to these right week legislators and governors who will do their bidding, then they rubber stamp them and put them into law. in this case as mike and michael have said, it is clearly a violation of federal law, and they're going to have to stop it. >> eliot: mike, let me ask you if i were the judge sitting on this case, you made a great opening argument not surprising, but let me is you a factual question. is there a problem? is there voter proud running wild throughout our system or is this fictitious.
>> if there is, governor, they have not been able to show it. they've been asked point blank, where is the problem, and bring the people forward. it has had the opposite effect. there is a case of where a 91-year-old world war ii veteran was told he could not vote. he came forward and said i've been voting for years what's the problem? those types of cases are rising more and more. the importance of florida, as you know governor, it's not just about florida colorado, new mexico, where you have a large latino population, there is an effort to purge there. florida has become the new selma, alabama. the fight has to take place here. i think everybody is all in on this one. >> eliot: as the vice president said, there is a racial overtone and it's quite public. the issue of voter proud is wheeled out all the time. it does not exist in the proportions that they want us to
believe it is. it is a canard, but michael you think it is bipartisan, clean up the voting process and make everybody comfortable. how do they do it. >> we could get past these voting wars easily if we put our minds to it. if they make a list, everyone eligible to vote is on the rolls. that's how this do it in canada in england, that would happen? it would add 65 million people to the rolls, it would cost less, and people afraid of voter fraud, it would solve that problem, too. mickey mouse does not have a social security number even in orlando where he lives. that will answer the concerns of the left and the right. the good news is that it's happening all over the country.
states are starting to do this and over the last few weeks john lewis introduced a bill more voter registration modern modernization in congress. it is the future. >> that's a great idea. >> eliot: and mr. vice president, i think there are nations out there that have done this. you have studied this? >> we have. other democracies do this without breaking a sweat canada england, similar countries, and we now have the computerized rolls in every state to do this. >> eliot: with everything from facebook microsoft, google, on down, it's conceivable. when voting issues cropped one in a big way, back then there were technological answers, and now it would be very easy if we put our mines to it. >> if we can get past the charges of voter fraud and all
the political gamesmanship those are things that we ought to be able to agree on. and maybe some day in washington. >> eliot: that means we never will. thank you for your time. michael waldman, we require more of your expertise and the vice president has been gracious to stay here. the supreme court changed the gamgame. are some of the justices having second thoughts? that's next on "viewpoint." you can book any airline, anytime. hey, i just said that.
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>> eliot: jennifer a big night out there. what do you have for us tonight? >> don't you just love these election nights? we're going to have the latest on the ground from wisconsin. i hope we'll be able to get some numbers and reports out to our viewers. we're going to be joined with david schuster, and we'll talk about the latest recall election. we're also going to be covering presidential elections and how the media has morphed over the
past century with none other than dan rather. we have a great program at the top of the hour inside "the war room"." >> eliot: dan rather one of the icons of tv. he tells it exactly how it is. >> he certainly does. he has a new book out and we'll be talking about that. >> eliot: i've had the good fortune of having lunch with him a couple of times. he's a man of great wisdom. but tell me, do you still get goose bumps on election day. >> i love it. the numbers are 96% turnout because of same day voter registration. unbelievable numbers. >> eliot: just proves a point that michael waldman was making registration. >> only in america. >> eliot: i think in australia--anyway, i think we'll figure it out. more "viewpoint" coming up next. i can't wait to watch your show jennifer.
the george bush promise. >>read my lips. no new taxes. >>this bill clinton commercial marked a new milestone in the "flip-flop" tv ads. now a days with video tapes, you can go and find a piece of footage of them saying one thing and then find another piece of footage of them contradicting themselves. >>we're never ever going to be able to totally control immigration. i promise you we can end illegal immigration. >>and, sometimes the candidate does the work for the commercial producers. >>i actually did vote for the $87 billion before i voted >> i actually did vote for the $87,000,000,000 before i voted against it. >> he bragged about voting for the 87 billion before he voted against it. >> in this new media age, a flip-flop ad is a verbal gaffecu right? [ laughter ] >> 46 minutes after the hour, right back on the "stephanie
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the new slogan should be "we own wall street." that's my view. >> in the post-citizens united world, we have seen the future campaign finance it is ugly. the flood of super p.a.c. dollars is exhibit "a." retired supreme justice john paul stevens has indicated current members may be having second thoughts about their decision in the case. >> it will be necessary to explain why the first amendment
provides greater protection to the campaign speech of some non-voters than to that of other non-voters. >> let's bring back vice president al gore and michael waldman president of the nyu school of law. thank you for staying with us. the issue of citizens united has turned campaign finance upside down, let loose this tsunami of money to no good effect and just so it's clear, i think as a first amendment matter, the case may have been right but the consequences have been horrific. mr. vice president, what do you think we should do to solve this problem? >> i am afraid it's going to require a constitutional andm amendment. i am aware of how difficult that processes is and how it should be only used as a last resort but having looked at the legal analyses of this problem, i don't see any alternative. i don't think there are adequate
signs the members of this court are going to change their minds. i think they are hardset. justice stevens made a good point. persons who live here and work here are not allowed to make a campaign contradiction. but corporations, some have no loyalty do. some have online said we don't -- openly said they don't care about helping the united states. how come they have the right to make unlimited campaign distributions? it is a horrible decision that is wrecking our democracy. >> michael the vice president is suggesting perhaps a rule of law which only real human beings forget corporations, either by voting or by supporting candidates. is that a way out of this morass? is that a way that could so far
the problem. >> that's one of the big problems with this decision. it may take a constitutional amendment or a different doctorine or different justices but in the last two years, there was another part of the decision that's proven even more immediately problematic, which was, it said that there can be no corruption. even the appearance of corruption from these corporate independent expenditures. that was one line in the opinion, but the lower courts and a paralyzed federal election commission have taken that and that's what gave us super p.a.c.s, this dystopian world where you had presidents and billionaires sponsoring presidential candidates that they could proudly show off. there is a chance, a chance that the supreme court is going to revisit that ruling this year. >> retired justice stevens who kind of is the crumudgeon of the court. he speaks truth when we don't often enough hear it. mr. vice president, do you think
that is what he is alluding to when he says the court is looking at the miss it created and we have to fix that the it createsfication. sometimes we have to create a divide between the money and candidates create if they are going to have true index and transparency, neither of which exist in the system. >> our system is based upon one person, one vote. so a billion air has a billion votes, that's just completely contrary to the american system. it's wrong. our democracy has been hacked, to use a computer term. it is no longer working in the best interest of the average person, middle income families it is working for the 1%, by the 1%, of the 1%. and people are waking up to this. and it's got to change. >> okay.
michael, let me play devils advocate because i am sympathetic and have been to the first amendment argument that the corporation has money, "new york times" or this t.v. network or anybody else should be entitled to broadcast and articulate its view. how do you distinguish in the context of the campaign where somebody such as the "new york times" edit earlier page wants to continue to proceed pound its perspective, why is that not speeched backed up by a lot of money that you would somehow be incumbering in the system? >> the reason is we have had that distinction about a hundred years going back to the 'tilman act passed by teddy roosevelt saying that corporations are different than natural people because they are not really people with views. they are piles of capital that exist to do something else and if not the same thing, to just cut a check from the corporate bank account as to actually have a personal view. something like the "new york times" and these other things
there is the specific protection for freedom of the press and again, we were able to make those distinctions just fine for years until the supreme court rather abruptly redrew those lines. what i think the real answer, though, we all know money sloshes around in olympics and you can't often make these parsing disdumplings. if we had a system of voluntary small donor public financing that matched and it may be multipleply matched the contributions of ordinary citizens, it wouldn't solve the problems or get the money out. it would give ordinary citizens a much louder voice than they have now. >> mr. vice president, i think michael, whatever my first amendment hesitation may be, you are right. certain states have embraced where if one wealthy candidate spends money the public spending is by some equality, do you think that could begin to bring back sanity to our political process? >> i certainly do. every year i was in the congress, i proposed full public
financing for all federal e elections. i am well aware the odds of getting something like that passed are low right now. i think the more people see of the consequences of this corrupting system where wealth buys e elections, the more we have a chance to do this. and by the way elliott, this first amendment issue, you know, the corporate personhood goes back to the 1880s, but it was louis pal in the 1970s who introduced this idea that corporations have first amendment rights and that's what has been expanded under citizens united into this bizarre situation where they are buying e elections. >> mr. vice president, i have got to cut you off because we come up against 9:00 o'clock, the witching hour for this show. i am cutting off my boss and the owner of this network, michael