tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current September 10, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
week. we're going to look forward to seeing you tomorrow. tavis smiley, willie brown will be inside "the war room." we'll see you tomorrow. >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." president obama's poll numbers show the post convention that mitt romney wanted and didn't get. homey shakes the etch-a-sketch on healthcare andnd can't explain why the g.o.p. would cut the budget without hurting the middle class. likely voters gave president obama a six-point lead and a four-point lead in the latest reuters poll while the register registered voters back the president in the recent gallup poll. but
>> eliot: the basic structure of the race does not seem to be benefiting mitt romney. the g.o.p. candidate for president was in" today where the latest public policy poll shows them trailing the president by 5%. faced with poll, an anonymous top romney adviser sold us, quote number: >> eliot: chicago, of course, is headquarters to the obama campaign team, and blaming the messenger, like romney's adviser did, is a classic response that one would expect from the candidate who feels the election slipping away. themitt romney found key provisions he would like to keep on sunday's "meet the press"." >> romney: there are a number of
things that i like in healthcare reform that i'll put in place. one those with pre-existing conditions will get coverage. two, policies that will cover their family to whatever age they might like. >> eliot: well, not exactly according to an anonymous aid quoted. any future romney care would insure coverage for quote individuals with preexisting condition who maintain continuous coverage. nothing new there. that provision became law back in 1996. as for provisions to cover adult children, they would make those plans available without the federal mandate, which is not much more believable than paul ryan's explanations about why the romney campaign won't explain which middle class tax hoop holes they plan to close. >> we think the best way to do this is to show the framework and then work with congress to do this. that's how you get things done.
>> isn't that a secret plan? >> no, no. >> why not say right now. >> because we want this debate in the public. we want this debate with congress. >> eliot: makes no sense at all. and according to president obama, it's not where you have the debate, it's the ryan-romney numbers. >> it doesn't add up. you can't reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach. >> eliot: for more on the 2012 election i'm joined by joan walsh editor of salon.com and author of "what's wrong with white people." a fascinating book that we'll talk about in a few moments. the president has a solid 4-5 point margin. even after last friday's really bad jobs numbers. what's going to change? >> i can tell you what he
shouldn't have done, and that is go and meet the press and save those wild things and then take them back. and also to southbound paul ryan out there to look like sarah palin. i had a moment where i thought he's supposed to be smart but he looks like sarah palin. he's gulping and he said it will be made public but it will be decided private. >> eliot: that made no sense. paul ryan was created by the washington, d.c. intelligentsia who said that a republican with numbers, but they never bothered to add the numbers. >> they never did the arithmetic arithmetic. that's why president obama's use of arithmetic is smart. >> they want to believe there are serious republicans out there who want to do something
about the deficit. they don't want to accept the extent to which this party has become unhinged, and paul ryan is part of it being unhinged. he voted for every budget change under president bush. >> eliot: paul ryan was not a deficit hawk. it was voodoo economics and moronic from the start. that's who he is. he was chosen for a different reason which are the culture wars which i think plays into mitt romney's only wedge. so how does he do that? in we saw it over the abortion platform and he's the ultra pro-life candidate but i'm not sure he can do that. mitt romney did that thing about
he wanted to take god out of our hearts and our coins. i'm not sure about that. god is in high heart, i don't know if they'll do away with the coins. that's what they're trying to do but they can't double down on that. they talk about the mat form, and then they say that's not mitt's platform. the other interesting thing that romney did in met the press. abortion oh, that's a matter for the court. and on "meet the press," he stepped out and said that was a matter for the courts and i would like look at that. but they can't double down on the budget. >> eliot: and the healthcare bill where they say there are key pieces that we like. here is the guy who drafted it in massachusetts, then repeal it and now he wants to keep it.
the etch-a-sketch metaphor is so penetrated by this guy. >> that's what he tries to do, every time he goes on tv he holds it up and shakes it. >> cenk: now just for a strategist i say i'm down 45 points the jobs are not coming in my direction because of that. maybe it's just culture wars. >> that welfare add did do well for them. they did have a problem. they need to pump up their white support. that's what they were trying to do with the welfare ad. interestingly they're not closing the deal with white working class voters. >> eliot: well, they're ahead but not by enough. >> president obama will never win their that segment but it's not quite working. >> eliot: it's not resonating the way the segue to your book.
"what's the matter with white people." that's a grabber of a title. what is it? what is the issue that you're confronting and what is the answer? >> i'm really looking at why the white working class left the democratic party in our lifetime and became the question. >> eliot: you work for salon in san francisco, you feed every everyterio type. >> i'm a working class irish-catholic and i did see the way republicans youd fear of change in the 60s. it was not all racial. there were scary things that happened in the 60s. then they used the great society and war on poverty to say government is now only caring
essentially about black people, and they're taking your money and giving it to those people and they're leaving it behind. >> it carries into another theme in this campaign. they created the notion that the only beneficiaries of the government is lower class. >> right. >> eliot: where you pointed out we're all beneficiaries. >> yes, i lived in the dreamiest moment of the american dream. my generation is the last generation to whom they kept their promises. when my parents arrived they were dirt poor. they rose thanks to unions. my parents thanks to the g.i. bill. >> eliot: interestingly the cover of "time" magazine has a very interesting story about how we're all subsidized. we don't want to admit it to us. >> the white working middle class forget it was subsidized.
>> right, they came for some help. >> eliot: it plays in the argument, who built it. the notion you didn't whether that basically the president and elizabeth warren said it with more specificity. and they say we are a community and we benefited from our own actions. >> no one got rich on their own and no one became poor on their own. people had a stake in society and people have amnesia. that's the golden age that i speak about. >> eliot: at least there was an acknowledgment at a public policy level marginal tax rates were 90% under fdr. >> yes, under eisenhower. it continued. jfk brought them down to 70. there was a consensus that we
all do better, and that would be true today. >> eliot: i've got to ask you the question that you pose in the beginning of your book, the 99% in wall street made a metaphor why can't 99% get 99% of the polls. >> the last liberals ceded the ground to roomed reagan and we didn't tell the story of how we came together. president clinton did it to some extent. president obama is doing it in the last few years. this is a very important moment for the democratic party to take back those themes, and we're the 99% or 79% we're not margincal. >> eliot: we need to talk about the 99% not in a divisive way. >> that's the way i think we need to do it. >> eliot: the author of "what's
the matter with white people" we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership.
>> eliot: during the election season everything gets overly simplified and viewed through the prism of politics. sometimes that includes issues that just don't fit this mode of analysis. that brings us to the number of the day. 350,000. that's how many public school students didn't go to class because of the teacher strike in chicago. and it's the kids who matter in this situation not the politicians. this is a battle over education reform and how to accomplish it. the teachers object to the retournament presented by rahm emmanuel. and the union wants teachers who have been laid off to be first in line when new jobs open up. but maybe emmanuel facing a shrinking balance is push pushing for the evaluation and discretion in
rehiring. with mitt romney blaming everything on the unions, and of course on president obama. this is not the national partisan divide, this is a mayor hitting a logjam over job security and performance evaluation. it is, in other words, a conflict with pain on both sides, and pain especially for 350,000 students who are caught in the m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m (vo) this is joy. >>who the heck does mitt romney think he is? (vo) this is joy on current tv. >>if mitt romney treats his magic underwear the same way as his tax returns, then he's been going commando for the past 10 years. if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now.
>> david: the august jobs numbers may not have been great news for president obama. fortunatelily there are another set of numbers that are reassuring. the obama campaign for the first time in months raised more than the romney campaign. the margin was slim, according to the obama camp, 98ers 98% of those donations were $100 or less. joining me now, ken vogel whose recent piece democrats lower sites on donors tackle this very issue. ken, thank you for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure tonight. >> eliot: if i read your article properly the super rich democrats are fleeing for the hills, basically saying to the president, don't chase us, we're not interested. >> there has been a little bit of this dynamic in play for most
of this election cycle. a number of these wealthy democrats are philosophically opposed to the super pacs and raising and spending unlimited money in politics. as a result, they don't want to play the game. the operatives who are trying to get them back in the game, if you don't help, we're never going to address this legislatively and get fixes in terms of campaign finance that will change it. some of these donors are not happy with president obama. they believe he's been inefficiently aggressive on keystone issues most notably the environment. and some of them more selfishly perhaps don't think president obama and his team have done a good job with the "donor maintenance." in other words patting them on the back and giving them perks. >> eliot: wait a minute, someone
who has a billion dollars wants a photo. they just want that old fashioned pat on the back? >> yes is the short answer. if you look at the clinton administration, which was so effective at this, they brought in donors to the white house and let them stay overnight in in a lincoln bedroom in exchange for donations to the dnc. that may have crossed the ethical line but they gave access to top financial backers. the obama campaign has shooed this type of donor maintenance and those who are high minded in their giving want that recognition. >> eliot: the lincoln bedroom is probably the most expensive leaveoversleep over in history. president clinton loved
hand-to-hand donations barack obama doesn't. >> they are not getting anything. they don't feel like they're getting anything in exchange for their donation. yes they want him to win. i talked to a representative for peter lewis the progressive insurance magnate who gave around $20 million or more to the 527 groups who was supporting john kerry. that left a bad taste in many mouths yes peter wants barack obama to win but he wants want to give to the super pac. i don't see him coming back to the game. >> eliot: this is personal experience. i knew peterly ways. he was a donor to me, full disclosure. i think he maxed out whatever new york state permitted. he's an extraordinarily principled guy.
if he doesn't believe in the super pacs, i could see him say i won't play that game. and donors are tired of the game. if you don't give to me the maximum amount, i won't be able to change the law that you won't have to give that much next time. they say i'm too smart to believe that and they're backing away. >> that is one of the main arguments that we're hearing. there are other folks who relish the game. some of them are coming back, the super pac that is supporting president obama raised $10 million. we don't know where that came from because they haven't had to release the commission reports. it will be interesting to see if it's old blood clinton big donors or new donors. we've seen new donors coming on the scene from hollywood the gay community for both the obama campaign and the super pac supporting it, but there is disaccident among democratic
big-mondayed operatives that they're woefully behind. if they don't see a real shift in big donors sitting on their wallets coming to play, that will move the margins in some of these key states where advertising is so expensive. >> eliot: there is no question back in '08 wall street fell at the knees of the president. they fell in love with him. saying someone who understand arithmetic and economics now they've pulled back and has this been reflected in the contributions given. >> yes, it's been reflected. wall street was the top source of bundled money in 2008. and then going back to the clinton administration democrats worked really hard to cultivate wall street to show that democrats could be business friendly. some of these operatives tell me privately they think obama in the first year of his presidency when he really went after wall street, when he supported
regulations, that camped down on the finance sector, he did away. he threw out the window all this work that the clinton people had done on donor maintenance. they have swung rather dramatically from barack obama to mitt romney. you see some of these big names donors like ken griffin out of chicago, a big hedge fund guy who supported president obama now supporting mitt romney very vocally. >> eliot: the notion that the president has not been friendly to wall street is a myth out there. the president has spoken occasionally with an edgy language but underneath it the substance has been incredibly friendly. saying let me say a few things to let the public know that i feel their pain but i'm not going to do anything in prosecution, certainly. wall street i thought it was smarter, but this shows our grossly self interested wall street.
ken, i won't put anything in your mouth but have i said anything that makes sense. >> yes, there are a few politician who is have been as tough on wall street as you were. but these folks feel it's not rhetoric. certainly they're offended that president obama has gone after the fat cats on wall street. they feel his support for dodd frank and the regulatory implementation has been deft to their concerns, and they felt they had earned some entree and access from their donations in 2008 that has not been support good we should feel bad. we hurt their feelings but they betrayed the economy. shame on them. ken vogel, thank you for your time. >> thank you, eliot.
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grand home gets the holy spirit. when it does not fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> team obama getting up close and personal with voters on the campaign trail. >> i do think that the secret service allowing a guy at a size to lift up the president--that's kind of-- >> what about bill clinton? do you think he could get elected today for president? >> you know, if the constitution were in his way. >> we're here to nominate a president, i've got one in mind. >> unfortunately, barack obama defeated her four years ago. luckcally--luckcally bill had another option. >> of course i'm talking about me. bill clinton jk. although, let's face it.
who would stop me. i'm back, baby. >> now, now, you know i can't. i already served my two terms. no i get what you're saying, man, but just--the constitution is what it--oh, you mean, oh, okay. >> how about former michigan governor jennifer granholm energy's speech. oh, my god. she was working that crowd like an evangelist. [ cheering ] [ cheering usa ] >> he trotted out the same wild claim that republicans have been working for years to disprove. >> i'm the president.
[applause] but it's so arrogant. i bet you anything you never hear mitt romney say those words. >> eliot: just so it's clear jennifer moved the spirit, and we could not be more proud of her. that's jennifer granholm, our own current tv host. coming up i'm jennifer granholm, let me tell you a story. in colorado the auto rescue saved more than 9,000 jobs. in the great state of michigan, 211,000 good paying, american jobs! in romney's world, cars get the elevator, and the workers get the shaft! (vo) want more granholm? get her every night.
>> eliot: who is playing politics with president's decision to take out public enemy number one? the president and his allies refer to or the former navy seal whose book "no easy day: the firsthand account of the mission that killed osama bin laden" contradicts the raid. both sides deny playing politics, but speaker after speaker praised the president for his leadership in ordering the raid on osama bin laden. >> and thanks to the courage of american special forces and the bold leadership of our president, owe osama bin laden is at the bottom of the ocean. >> after mitt romney said it would be naive to go into pakistan to pursue the terrorists it took president against the advice of many, to give that order and finally rid this earth of osama bin laden.
>> ask osama bin laden if he is better now than he was four years ago. [ cheering ] >> osama bin laden is dead, and general motors is alive. >> eliot: could be the slogan that gets the president rerecollect elected. meanwhile, republicans by and large refrain from mentioning bin laden, the former secretary of state condoleezza rice had this to say after her speech to the convention crowd. >> we can argue the successes of one administration or the other. much of the machinery put in place to kilo sam bin laden to deal with al-qaeda was put in after the immediate aftermath and it's two administrations that we have to credit to deal with al-qaeda. >> eliot: joining me now borris epshteyn and m margie omero for
joining me. the republican party is saying that the president is overplaying his hand on the osama bin laden claims that are being made. do you think that's fair to say. >> it's fair game for the president to take credit where credit is due. just like condoleezza rise said it's a credit to this administration and the prior administration to put in the policies, and this president did put in the order. there is no dispute. but voters are not going to vote based on what happened may of last year with bin laden. they're going to vote based on where the economy is. what the president is trying to do is take attention away from where it is and should be, which is the economy and put it on really the only success of this presidency. >> eliot: boris, i hear you on that but let me turn to margie. it seems to me that the president is doing more of that. as lawyers say take away your
opponents best argument, and the president has not only taken the argument from them and turned it and pivoted against them. >> yes absolutely. i think the voters who say this. it's republican strategists who say this. obama has had a double digit lead over mitt romney for months now on handling foreign affairs. it's one of the things that obama gets the strongest ratings on where the majority approve of his record. this has been consistent throughout his administration, and it's a great accomplishment. it's a great accomplishment for this country and it's important for the president to talk about. it's also a real clear contrast with governor romney who said we should move heaven and earth to find osama bin laden. drawing a real contract between the two approaches of the two of them. >> eliot: borris, i can see that you want to rebut that. >> it is over the line to argue just because this president made that call and pulled the trigger
and got osama bin laden through the seal team six that mitt romney would not have done so. >> those were his words. >> there is no evidence at all that mitt romney would not have done the same thing, and president bush spent along time going after for a long time. >> that's not true. he said he didn't think about him very much. >> that's not true. he read his books. >> i'm going by what he said. >> i think a lot of people on the obama team will say a lot of policies that are in place now were put there by bush. two, margie is right. had president obama done well in the polls on foreign policy? he has. but not on economy. >> eliot: margie, let me build on your point. i think you're not only actually
right, but al-qaida has been destroyed. i think the public appreciates that the president in targeting our foreign policy has been able to say we're out of iraq. we will be out of afghanistan but we managed to destroyed al-qaeda. that's where our foreign policy should be focused on. there is a sense that we succeeded in our objective and that's why the president is standing so well on foreign policy issues. >> it's a clear example where he had promise and he delivered on them. and mitt romney who did mention afghanistan in his nomination speech. they didn't really focus on in their convention or in the speechers or really in mitt romney's proposals or what he's saying about himself. again, it's a real important contrast. i agree with borris, there are not a lot of single-issue foreign policy voters but nonetheless it's a clear
advantage for obama and a disadvantage for romney in terms of what he has been trying to say and the proposals he's being putting out there. >> eliot: i know you want to rebut that with the obama administration foreign policy but answer that, and then tell us how mitt romney foreign policy actually differ because i have trouble seeing the divide between the two. >> well, the difference are on other fronts. you look at russia and the points that obama made to russia who said wait until i'm re-elected and i'll give you what you want. and then china what is the foreign policy with china? some months were played tough and some were giving china what it wants. on counter terrorism obama has continued many bush policies. and the drone attacks are also not popular. those are continuations and
mitt romney would continue those as well. >> eliot: i think guantanamo was a difficult issue. i think you're right. we'll put that one aside. counterterrorism, the president has been successful. margie let me ask you. i think borris does have a fair point when it comes to china and russia reset. those have not worked out terribly well. whether you fault the president or say that's the nature of foreign policies, it's slow and lumbering, how do you address what can be perceived by some as a lack of consistency in our relationship with china? >> i know a few things. i know first of all people think that the president has been handling foreign affairs really well. i know that they feel that secretary clinton is enormously popular and doing a great job traveling around the world and i know what romney does has not sent a clear vision by saying whatever obama is for i'm
against. did doesn't matter where in the world he is, what country he's talking about syria or even in at the olympics. >> that's not true. >> it's true. you quoteed borris quoted obama in his visit to russia, not actually quoting but putting words in his mouth which is different from when i was talking about mitt romney or president bush using their actual words about how president bush never thought much about osama bin laden and mitt romney saying we should move heaven and earth. >> no one disputes that, and secretary gates is a republican at the time that owe osama bin laden died. >> eliot: one thing we can agree ohen economics is more likely to drive this election than foreign policy but the debate of where and how the candidates differ on foreign policy is something that we should pursue. it's the area of exclusive
>> eliot: mitt romney double talks on healthcare again. that's later in the show. and after "viewpoint," joy behar say anything, coming up, a great show. joining us jennifer granholm at its new time 10:00 p.m. eastern it's go time. it's go time. it's go time. go time. you know what time it is. go time. it's go time. it's go time. what time is it rob? here comes the young turks go time! it's go time. oh is it? then it's go. go. go. go. go. go. go. go time.