tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current September 18, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
see you. i am sure it will be a best seller because its filled with juicy stuff. thank you for coming on. i appreciate it. >> thank you for show. enjoy it. >> joy: good night everybody. good night. >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," mitt, you're not having a bad day. you're just running a horrible campaign! >> 47% who are -- they're victims who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. who believe they're entitled to healthcare and food and housing you name it. these are the people -- 47% of americans pay no income tax. >> jennifer: mitt, just be quiet! >> romney: it is not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. >> jennifer: fine, pass the grey poupon then just be quiet!
>> jennifer: back in 1926, the peak of the roar '20s and three years before the great wall street crash sent this country spiraling into a deep depression, f. scott fitzgerald, famously wrote "let me tell you about the very rich. they are different from you and me." now, he wasn't talking simply about their vast material wealth. but about their world view. as nobel prize winning economist paul krugman put it "many of the very rich expect a level of deference that the rest of us never experience and are deeply distressed when they don't get the special treatment they consider their birth right." now, perhaps no one embodies that world view more than mitt romney who held his now infamous may fund rares at the home of private equity billionaire mark leader who according to the "new york post," is famous for
his extravagant gatbiesque parties. it was at that boca raton home that romney said this... our message of low taxes doesn't connect. and so my cut is not to worry about those people. i'll never get them. >> jennifer: then showing no shame whatsoever he said the very same thing to neil cavuto on fox news today. >> others have said that you've just kissed half the electorate good-bye. this election year. that you will -- you called them moochers. did you? >> romney: no. i'm talking about a perspective of individuals who are not likely to get to support me. those who are dependent upon government and those that think government's job is to redistribute. i'm not going to get that. >> jennifer: so who exactly are those people?
well first let's be clear. there are 47% of americans who because of certain tax exemptions, do end up paying no federal income tax. but they still certainly pay other taxes like payroll taxes state and local taxes sales taxes, gas taxes excise taxes much, much more. bottom line, 100% of americans pay some kind of tax. but here's a closer look at those people. 40% -- 47% of those who do not pay federal income tax. those people in particular. 70% of them are the working poor. that is people with jobs who do pay payroll taxes and they do contribute to social security and medicare. those aren't to borrow romney's words "people who think they're entitled to government services and feel no government responsibility." they simply don't make enough money to owe taxes after standard deductions.
22% of the 47% are retirees so mitt romney better tell the grandmas in florida he's been working so hard to court to get a real job. then there are 13% who are students or people with disabilities or others who have very very low incomes. and that 47% is not a static and unchanging group because people move in and out of it over a lifetime. mostly falling into that group when they're young like students or workers just starting out and then when they're elderly and then they're no longer working so they have no income to pay income taxes on. the reason this group even exists, by the way is due in large part to policies that are backed by republicans over the last 30 years starting with the great ronald reagan. he's the one who removed the very poor from the tax rolls as part of tax reform. and since then, we've seen things like earned income tax credit, a republican-introduced
program by the way that helps young families. and you know who was also part of the 47%? mitt romney's own dad. george romney. >> i've been poor. i've worked from the time i was 12. my parents were driven out of old mexico when i was only 5. my people were revolutionary refugees. they had to be fed by the united states government and housed by the united states government. i know what poverty is. i've been up through it. >> jennifer: george romney, a republican through and through who was not, like his son trapped in the bubble of wealth and privilege and who freely admits his family was helped by the u.s. government's social programs in their time of need. now many modern-day republicans are running away from romney's statement today. people like connecticut republican senate candidate linda mcmahon who said today "i disagree with governor romney's insinuation that 47% of americans believe they're
victims who must depend on the government for their care." mcmahon may not want to suffer the political backlash. but she like many other republicans and fox news commentators, she has used the 47% line before. here she is earlier in this very campaign. >> i would like to see everyone pay their fair share. 47% of the people today don't pay any taxes so let's have a fair tax code for everybody. >> jennifer: everybody does pay their taxes. so now to my point. in that video, of course, mitt romney said he's not worried about the 47%. not worried. >> my job is not to worry about those people. i'll never pick them up. >> jennifer: not worried. really? you don't worry about those people. almost half america. it wouldn't be a shock sediment
if it weren't predictable coming from mitt romney. we've all seen this before. >> romney: i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're doing just fine. >> romney: we've always encouraged young people, take a shot go for it. take a risk, get the education. borrow money from your parents. i like being able to fire people who provide services to me. >> jennifer: all of those things he said over the course of the campaign. $10,000 bets, corporations are people, let the housing market hit rock bottom, yadda yadda. i don't want to play armchair psychologist but taking mitt romney at his word that mitt romney isn't concerned about the 47% because he doesn't even see them. because he came into the world in a protective bubble and he's basically stayed there for his first 65 years. now lots of people are born wealthy. lots of people stay that way. that's not the point. the point is what have you done
to pierce the bubble? to see and to feel how the other half lives? there's this fantastic zulu greeting that says -- it means i see you. and the response to that is nikona, i am here. it is an acknowledgement that you exist now that you've been seen. i just don't think mitt romney has really tried to see those who struggle. don't take it from me. mitt romney himself said "my job is not to worry about those people." now mitt, your job as president should you be lucky enough to buy it, is, in fact, exactly to worry about those people. about all of the people in this country, every single one from the secretary in the company to the ceo. from the hairdresser to the hedge fund manager. from the crack addict who lives in the streets to those people who have the streets named after
them. a leader makes hundreds of decisions each day and while mitt romney may never consciously consider the 47% during a specific decision, his attitude toward them, who it is that he sees when he sees america, those things are present in each and every decision that a leader makes. and that is what character is all about. if a president decided to favor 53% of his people and disregard 47%, slowly but surely, over hundreds and thousands of decisions, his policies and the arc of justice and the arc of opportunity are going to bend away from them. my job, he said is not to worry about those people. well mr. romney, it is our job to worry about you. coming up, not easy to go from republican standard bearer to a
political cautionary tale in the space of a summer. we're going to take a look at how he's done it. plus don't sell the rest of us short, mitt. 100% of us rely on the government every day of our lives. it's called living in a great country. later, when it comes to taking a peek behind the curtain there's no more compelling real estate than the u.s. supreme court and nobody has a better knack for it than jeffrey toobin. it is tuesday night. you're in "the war room." we're just getting started. we'll be right back! membership. welcome in. american express.
john kerry of massachusetts? >> i actually did vote for the $87 billion before i voted against it. >> jennifer: kerry was discussing, of course, his decision not to support a supplemental bill that would fund the u.s. troops. now republicans pounced on that statement calling kerry a flip-flopper. remember that ad about him on the windsurf. then a label like that, of course stuck and some would argue helped him to lose to president george w. bush. but the point is that once the dye has been cast, an impression has solidified. once a story about a candidate takes hold, it is a really tough narrative to get it back. so how does a war room react when the negative impression, when the narrative starts to stick and when anything a candidate said is then viewed through that prism. tonight in "the war room," we actually have the perfect person to answer that question. ted devine is a democratic
strategist. he was a senior adviser to senator john kerry's presidential campaign and he's coming to us tonight from washington, d.c. tad, so great to have you inside "the war room." >> thank you governor, good to be with you. >> jennifer: great. so mitt romney has now twice doubled down on his remarks that many have said make him look like an out-of-touch, rich guy. do you think, as a strategist, that doubling down on that strategy is a good thing? would you have suggested that if you were on his team? >> no. i think it is a loser. i think governor romney has made a big mistake. and right now in this campaign, it's very ironic. i see happening exactly what happened in 1994, i worked for senator kennedy in his race against romney. in that race, the paid media the way we tried to define mitt romney in our paid media and the free media came together very, very powerfully. we made some ads about striking workers in indiana and those
workers actually came to massachusetts and tried for a week to meet with mitt romney. he refused to meet with him. you would watch the news at night. in boston. you see the striking workers. then in the middle of the news, the ads would come on of the workers who romney had laid off. that's what's happening right now. the free media is verifying and certifying the story that the obama campaign has told for months now that mitt romney is a guy who doesn't care about people. who likes to lay them off. who doesn't really share their values or priorities or concerns. when that happens, if you don't end it very quickly, you're going to be taken down by it. >> jennifer: his own words continue to reinforce that very impression. but he's got this book called no apologies so it seems as though he has said or his team has said you cannot walk anything back or else you will look weak. but in fact, the narrative about him being a rich guy is worse than him looking weak for having recognized he's made a mistake.
>> yeah, i think governor, i think they made a terrible mistake after they secured the nomination of the republican party. they had a chance, then, to reposition themselves. like bill clinton did, for example, in 1992. at the center of the political mainstream in america. but instead of doing that and instead of spending the spring and summer introducing mitt romney in terms of his values, laying out a framework substant live framework for a new future for the country under his leadership, they chose instead to run five welfare ads and to attack and attack and attack. i think they're paying a terrible price for that. at the convention, they had a great biographical film of romney and instead of playing the biographical film on the final night, they let clint eastwood speak to an open chair. these are mistakes they made and i think they're paying a real price for them. >> jennifer: something else that has come out today is a part of this video now that has been made fully available is a portion where romney's talking about palestinians. take a listen to this. >> and i look at the
palestinians not wanting to fix it for political purposes. committed to the destruction and elimination of israel. those are issues that i say there's just no way. and so what you do is you say you move things along the best way you can. >> jennifer: now this line that the palestinians are not committed to the peace process they're committed to the destruction of israel. could it actually, do you think one, help romney with conservative jewish voters maybe in florida or is it too damaging? >> i think it is very damaging. look, mitt romney has a problem. every time he goes in front of an audience, he wants to tell them what they want to hear. when he went to israel, for example, he attacked and insulted the palestinian people on their culture. you know, he did it repeatedly on his foreign trip. so i think this is not something that's going to gain him political support in a meaningful way. instead, the center of american politics suburban string voters, people will decide this election in places like the
philadelphia suburbs or the orlando suburbs or important areas, even the midwest and all through ohio and columbus. these people will be turned off by a guy who looks like he refuses to tell the truth to people and only says what his audience wants to hear. >> jennifer: yeah and we're on this -- this subject of gaffes, of course on a campaign trail. some might have said that obama did the same thing when he was running for president. take a listen to -- be reminded about that sound byte. >> >> jennifer: so now as a lesson in political strategy, that remark was a mistake to make. but it didn't knock him out of the race. why? >> well because i think he dealt with it. number one. he went out and he talked about
issues, what then-senator obama said during that speech, i guess in san francisco around the time of the pennsylvania primary was followed immediately by remarks where he said listen, that's why we need to go and campaign in these communities. that's why we need to reach out and talk to people. it is exact opposite of what mitt romney said in florida whereas i'm writing half of the country off. so i think you know, obama's approach to this was to first of all say listen, that's not what i meant. here's what i meant and here's what i want to do. i want to reach out to people and have them be a part of this cause which is precisely the opposite of what governor romney has said and what he's apparently wants to do in the course of his campaign. >> jennifer: so we've talked about a few of these mistakes in the spectrum of campaign mistakes. the one that mitt romney said -- or that was released yesterday about the 47%, where would you stack that? is that something that he can recover from? >> well, i think -- we'll have
to see how -- what happens in the days ahead. if this story persists and continues to undermine mitt romney i think it is really going to hurt him badly. and it could put him in a position where as he gets into the first debate, it is a do or die moment. so i think it is a serious mistake. i don't know whether it is going to be the mistake that defines the election yet. there's a lot of campaigning left made. this is a really big setback for governor romney because he's proved a case against himself that the obama campaign has been making for months. >> jennifer: i think it is -- i honestly think it is going to be one of those moments that is a defining moment in this campaign in the wrong direction for him. that's democratic strategist tad devine. thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." up next, the be afraid, mitch. be very afraid. there are more people mooching off the government than you might realize. we'll have that story and it is only you'll only find in "the
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>> jennifer: the 47% of americans who don't pay federal income tax are all part of the 100% of us who benefit from government. yet you may not think you're subsidized by government but honey, you are. you may not think your tax dollars are being redistributed for the greater good but honey they are. i know it's hard to hear but mitt romney would consider you a moocher. and you know what? he's one himself! 100% of us are proud moochers! think about it. from the minute your alarm clock goes off government is there to help you. that socket that the clock is plugged into, connected to the electricity grid and the government makes sure that the government subsidized electricity gets into your home. thank you very much. taxpayers. that police car, that passed you on your way to work, personal
safety for you. thanks to the government. and if you're fortunate enough to own a home, well odds are that the mortgage interest is a tax deduction. that's a government subsidy. so is the deduction for your property taxes. a nice dinner of safe e. coli-free turkey? thank you government! government inspected that so are you safe when you eat it. how does that safe, clean water get there? we all paid for it, friends through the fees and the taxpayer-backed bonds from municipal water projects and then we all benefit from the government subsidies that keep the rates in check. there are a million examples of obvious ones schools and roads and parks and ones like these. so mitt romney was right in a way. there is a large percentage of the country that is subsidized by government. only his number was just too low. it is really not 47%.
it is 100%. he just doesn't want his voters to think of themselves that way. and joining me inside "the war room" for ain sight on the 100% is journalist michael grunwald, the author of the new new deal, the hidden story of change in the obama era. he's also "time" magazine's senior national correspondent and haase the author of this week's cover story one nation subsidized under god. how big government underwrites your life. so glad you're inside "the war room." thank you for helping to illustrate this important issue. >> thank you for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. i was interested you had sent out a tweet. you wrote i get a mortgage deduction, child care deduction tax-exempt health benefits, tax-deferred 3401k business expenses up the with a zoo. -- up the wazoo. it is perfectly timed for your article and what romney had said, i'm sure you didn't plan
it that way on purpose but do you think it will actually bring to light the fact that government is omnipresent in people's lives in ways they don't realize? >> i don't know. people are aware that you know, our police and our trash pickup is sort of government subsidized. we have public roads and bridges. i don't think people think of tax expenditures which there are 1.3 trillion of them every year. >> jennifer: let's be clear. tax credits that the government pays to people because of their circumstances. >> exactly. higher your income tax rate, the bigger the benefit that you get. so you know, mitt romney's tax expenditures, he enjoys them a lot more than i do. i don't know if people understand that. i don't know if people understand that 80% of federal expenditures go to social security medicare, medicaid and the pentagon, things that presumably people like. most of our fighting when we talk about big government is that 12% of nondefense spending,
discretionary spending which is -- that all -- the fbi and you know, the crazy center for genetics and npr -- >> jennifer: a lot of people don't like that stuff. >> right. >> jennifer: but they do like their mortgage deduction. they do like the child care tax credit. >> exactly. that's the vast majority. >> jennifer: isn't that redistributing wealth? >> it is funny. i did write this article partly because i want to the debunk this idea that just some of us are takers because in fact, we're all takers, right? i mooch. you mooch. mitt romney mooches. we're all moochers. everybody that works is a maker too. that's one thing that's really been disingenuous about 47% of the country pays income taxes. everybody pays through income taxes. >> jennifer: including mitt romney. he doesn't have earned income. he's got capital gains.
>> exactly. a lot of people in the financial sector get -- special tax exemptions for carried interest. of course, we don't know whether mitt romney does. >> jennifer: he won't release his tax returns. it is such a fascinating discussion. people do not realize. in fact, the largest percentage of people who benefit from many of these exemptions are people in the reddest of states. >> that's right. people who are well off in the reddest of states. i was in florida which -- a red state is now a swing state but again, i live in subsidized housing, right because of my mortgage deduction. i have a subsidized nanny. i have subsidized savings and subsidized healthcare. you don't think about that every day. i don't think of myself and my wife as moochers. we have our children, our tax deductions. we don't think of ourselves as living on the government -- >> jennifer: one of the things that got people so upset about this comment is that the broad
brush that he cast painting people as victims. as though people claim a victim status. don't you think that's the thing that was one of the most offensive things? >> this idea that people are freeloaders. but in a way, you could see how not the way he phrased it. you can see how this idea of picking on the 47% is sort of politically clever, right? because we're all very proud of our making but we're blind to our taking. so people here oh, there is this 47% that doesn't pay taxes. that's not me. i pay taxes. he must be talking about some other freeloaders when in fact, it is this obscure semantic distinction about who pays income taxes as opposed to taxes on their income. you can see how it is very divisive thing. in fact, republicans, i wrote this book about the stimulus the new new deal where in fact, republicans were fighting the tax cuts for the working poor that were in the stimulus. because they don't consider those tax cuts.
they consider that welfare. that was some of the first big fight between president obama and eric cantor was that was when obama said -- >> jennifer: not really tax cuts but when it comes to tax cuts for business -- >> exactly. hey, look, because i'm an author in my spare time, i'm a small businessman. i got to learn a little bit about how you can use the tax code for things that are business expenses. they're legitimate. i.r.s. leave me alone. i'm very conservative but it is -- >> jennifer: you're writing off a portion of your house. >> exactly. it is another way that people with money who put a lot of these things -- i would save money anyway, i would have a nanny anyway, i would have healthcare but the government encourages me to do more of it. >> jennifer: it is a fascinating discussion. a really great discussion in a black and white world and very, very discouraging to see that it's being politicized like that. thank you so much for a great article and great book. appreciate having you.
[ indiscernible ] side "the war room." michael grunwald. up next, few people know more about the inner workings of the united states supreme court than jeffrey toobin. he will join us next to talk about the battle over obama care voter i.d. laws and much more. that's next. you don't want to miss it.
>> freedom is under assault here. i mean they're taking away american's freedom on one of the most important decisions that americans make. >> pragmatic effect is the decision is there will be a black cloud over any prospect of economic recovery in the united states. >> jennifer: whatever. based on their level of vitriol you would think that rick perry and michele bachmann had just learned the u.s. was on the road to armageddon. actually, they were reacting to the decision by the supreme court to uphold president obama's affordable care act
which, of course, in some circles probably does signal the end of time. let us be honest. chief justice roberts to the disappointment of many conservatives sided with his liberal peers is actually no lefty. and if mitt romney is elected president and gets several supreme court picks justice roberts, chief justice will preside over the most conservative court in our nation's history. and joining us from new york to discuss the intersection of presidential politics and the supreme court is jeffrey toobin, the author of the "the oath, the obama white house and the supreme court." jeffrey toobin, so glad to have you inside "the war room." >> great to talk to you governor. >> jennifer: you and your great books on the series of the court. will you go down in history as the documenter of all of the good gossip behind the pillars up there. before we talk about your book, i would love to get your reaction to breaking news today. that pennsylvania's highest court told a lower court judge
to stop the voter i.d. laws. he finds voters can't get easy access to i.d. cards or he think voters will be disenfranchised. >> i read the decision. i'm familiar with it. >> jennifer: do you think that will begin to be the end of that pennsylvania voter i.d. case? >> oh, i do. i think it is doomed. the instructions that the pennsylvania supreme court gave to the lower court really makes it almost impossible, i think for -- for that trial court to certify that pennsylvania has enough protections in place that would allow the vote to proceed under the new procedures. i think this really -- i think there's really sort of an untold story of the 2012 elections which began with all these states, many of them swing states where the new legislatures, the new republican legislatures, the new governors passed these laws restricting the franchise and virtually all of them have been overturned by
the courts. there has been an enormously successful pushback by the obama campaign, by the justice department, by public interest groups and you see that most of these laws have been cut back, if not overturned altogether. >> jennifer: it is a great day in america! >> it really is. >> jennifer: it is fantastic. >> that's a good thing. >> jennifer: it is a really great thing. you have brought our viewers the best news all week! well maybe not the best news all week. >> some other competing good news for your viewers. >> jennifer: but this is really great. really great. thank you for that. so let's get back to your book and to the behind the scenes stuff. i'm wondering from your experience jeffrey what are the cases that are on the supreme court's docket that progressives should be most worried about how the court will rule in the next year or so? what do you think is coming up? >> two of them, maybe three. certainly next year, they are
going to look at the future of affirmative action. the crowning achievement of justice sandra day o'connor's career was the 2000 case out of your state of michigan, the grudder case that said that universities may use race in admissions to graduate school. there is a case that directly challenges the grudder case based on what i've seen, it's very likely that the supreme court will overturn grudder and prohibit any sort of affirmative action in admissions. that's one. the other is the future of the voting rights act. section five of the voting rights act says that certain states, most of them in the south, have to get any changes in their voting system precleared by the justice department. that's one of the reasons why governor scott attempts to restrict voting failed because the justice department challenged it. that is being -- that is very much at risk.
and the third is the whole range of issues involving same-sex marriage. the defensive marriage act possibly proposition 8 there i think justice anthony kennedy who has usually been siding with the conservatives in recent years may side with the liberals. and i think the defensive marriage act is in a lot of trouble. >> jennifer: that's very interesting. well one of the things that comes out of your book clearly is that chief justice roberts you know may have tossed one to the liberals in this case but that sort of essentially frees him up to be more conservative on all of these other cases. so from your perspective, what is the long-term impact on the supreme court if romney wins? because he will have no doubt some appointments coming up. >> well, i'm not sure about the premise of your question. >> jennifer: really? >> we never know who's going to leave. you know, the rule about supreme court's departures is those who
know don't know and those who tell don't know. ruth bader ginsburg is 79 years old. she says she wants to serve until she's 82 at least which is how old her hero served. she's the oldest. justice scalia and justice kennedy are both 76. justice breyer is 75. they may or may not leave. you know, these justices are very aware of which president is in office when they leave. justice ginsburg is not going to leave under president romney if she can help it. scalia and kennedy aren't going to leave under president obama. now, they're starting to get to the age where it's not always your choice about when you leave but justice john paul stevens served until he was 90. we just don't know when these people are going to leave. >> jennifer: okay so you're not going to make any predictions for me about who's going to leave? >> after my record in predicting the outcome of the healthcare case, i'm going to stick to
predicting the past rather than the future. >> jennifer: i think you're going to run for office. [ laughter ] >> talk about unelectable and unconfirmable, that's me. justice ginsburg is the most likely candidate. if obama wins, i think she will leave. perhaps somewhere in the middle of his second term. if romney wins, i think it is much less clear who will leave but no democrat will leave if they can help it. under romney. you never know. if they can help it. >> jennifer: okay. so you write in your book that several of the supreme court justices that have been picture by republican presidents like sandra day o'connor left the court disillusioned with the republican party. >> you know, my book is really a story that you know, you talk about all the time which is the evolution of the republican party. think about the last three justices to leave the court. sandra day o'connor, david suiter, john paul stevens all republicans and republican
appointees who left completely alienated from their party because their moderate republican party no longer exists. it doesn't exist in the house of representatives, the senate or the united states supreme court. now, justice -- chief justice roberts, samuel alito justice thomas justice scalia, they represent the modern republican party and that is dramatically different. you know, moderate republicans really dominated the united states supreme court for many years. powell, stewart, they're all gone and they haven't been replaced. >> jennifer: it is such a shame for democracy, it is such a shame. i appreciate you coming inside "the war room." jeffrey, good luck with your book. jeffrey toobin author of "the oath the obama white house and the supreme court." and up next, mitt romney is like the guy who turns on the faucet and then stares into the garden hose for a second too long. we're going to see how his latest battle against his own instincts is playing out on the
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jennifer speaks truth to power. >>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard. >> jennifer: so on the campaign front president obama's allies are taking advantage of the furor over mitt romney's now infamous 47% remark. the priorities u.s.a. action super pac released this new tv ad focusing on taxes. >> mitt romney's budget plan will hurt the middle class. raising taxes on the average family by up to $2,000. while giving a tax break of $250,000 to multi-millionaires.
doesn't mitt romney understand? we can't rebuild america by tearing down the middle class. >> jennifer: that ad is airing in the swing states of colorado, florida, wisconsin and iowa. and in new hampshire paul ryan did not forget to leave the dependent masses out of his stump speech. >> this is what mitt and i are talking about when we're worried about more and more people becoming net feddent upon the government than upon themselves. because by promoting more dependency, by not having jobs and economic growth, people miss their potential. >> jennifer: vice president biden was in iowa today. he didn't mention the 47% issue in his speech. and the president and mitt romney have been out fund-raising today although romney did have a brief appointment on neil cavuto as we heard. joining me now inside "the war room" for insight on the strategy behind today's events is democratic strategist donnie fowler who is national field
direct forker al gore's campaign and has worked on every other one since then. he has his own firm called dog patch strategies. welcome back inside "the war room." >> good to be here. >> jennifer: i want you to listen to what the republicans have been rolling out. it is talking about redistribution and then there's romney's response to that. take a listen to both. >> i think the trick is figuring out how do we manage systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because i actually believe in redistribution. at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. >> romney: frankly, we have two very different views about america. the president's view is one of a larger government. there is a date that just came out today where the president saying he likes redistribution. i disagree. i think a society based upon a government-centered nation where government plays a large and larger role, redistributes
money, that's the wrong course for america. >> jennifer: okay, donnie, go. >> redistribution of fairness is what the president wants. we're based on a country that says if you play by the rules and do the right thing, you'll have the same opportunities as anybody else. when you're talking about redistributing fairness, you're talking about creating opportunity for everybody. >> jennifer: here's the irony is when you talk about redistribution, the 47% these are the states in red here that are not just red states but that are states that get the biggest benefit of government redistribution. these are poorer states and they get the most largesse. >> they send more money to the federal government than the federal government sends it to them. but they say they hate the federal government. >> jennifer: they don't know. the question is how do democrats turn this narrative around to say to these folks look, government is here to help? >> i think president obama and the democrats are doing this. the republicans talk in these
big terms as the others are dependent on the government but the democrats say if you like student loans, if you think social security should be protected and if medicare helps seniors pay for their medical costs then that's what we favor. that's what they oppose and what they want to cut back on. >> jennifer: the question is these are obviously republican states. >> except for florida battleground state. >> jennifer: and new mexico. >> most of them are republican. >> jennifer: the deep south here, republican states. your state. how do we get these voters to vote in their interest and not against their interests? >> you're saying how do we get them to vote in their interest. what i think you're asking is how do you get them to vote in their economic interests? this is a debate and a problem. it is not always about economic interest. sometimes it is their values. sometimes it is issues like gun control or patriotism or religion. the most predictive way to know whether someone is going to vote republican is how many times a week they go to church. it doesn't have anything to do
with economics. democrats have become more comfortable in talking about values issues and talking about what we're looking for as a country. that's how we talk. it is not always about economics. you know that. >> jennifer: for sure. are you kidding? don't talk about taking people's guns away. >> it doesn't stand for -- it is the values -- my lifestyle. you want to change the way i live my lifestyle. >> jennifer: romney says this thing about the 47%. a number of senate candidates start to flee. so here is what scott brown out of massachusetts told "the hill" newspaper. he says that's not the way i view the world. as someone who grew up in tough circumstances, i know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. how worried should republican candidates be about this? >> i hope they're very worried because they're running like rats from a sinking ship right now. >> >> jennifer: just sayin'. >> this is an awful time to be inside the romney campaign
because not only are republicans outside -- republican senator in massachusetts scott brown but you're starting to see the infighting and the blame game from within the campaign. that's when you know things are not healthy and they're not feeling very good. it does not mean that romney is going to lose or that obama is going to win but i'll tell you, this is not a fun time to be in a campaign when things are going this bad. >> jennifer: very quickly. romney has said he's going to be now inviting the media into his fund-raisers. good idea or bad? >> this is flailing. the campaign doesn't really know what to do. they're making mistakes and they correct them by making more mistakes sometimes. they lost their moorings. >> jennifer: thank you for coming inside "the war room. donnie fowler. brett ehrlich uncovers the super secret tapes that mitt romney does not want you to see. there's more. >> coming up i have the full story on how mitt romney's
$50,000 a plate dinner ate him for lunch. don't go away! do you share the sense of outrage that they're doing this, this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>i think that's an understatement, eliot. u>> i'm not prone tot. understatement, so explain to me why that is. i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa.