tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current September 20, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
we're not going to let you get away with it. that's what these guys do. that's how they get paid. it is not the salaries they get as politicians. it is when they leave, who can i sell out to for the most amount of money? that's exactly what pawlenty is doing now. "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer is next. >> eliot: good evening. i'm eliot spitzer. this is "viewpoint." mitt romney continues to struggle to get past the infamous video that shows him writing off nearly half the country as dependent on government handouts. meanwhile, the president's rise in the polls could boost senate democrats and maybe just maybe bring an end to gridlock in congress. starting with the fallout from the video, according to the latest reuters poll, better than 40% of registered voters have a less favorable view of romney after viewing the video. meanwhile 26% opinions
improved. 30% said it made no difference whatsoever. with the video driving numbers down romney sounded contrite at a univision forum last night. >> romney: my campaign is about the 100%. >> obama: when you express an attitude that half the country considers itself victims. that somehow they want to be dependent on government, my thinking is maybe you haven't gotten around a lot. >> eliot: univision's anchors pressed both and candidates on immigration. romney stuck to promising comprehensive change while hammering the president for failing to achieve his own comprehensive reform. >> romney: i'm not going to be rounding people out and deporting them out of the country. we'll put in place and a permanent solution and when i'm president, i will actually do what i promise.
i will put in place an immigration reform to solve this. >> eliot: for his part, president obama admitted that while immigration policy was his biggest failure it wasn't for lack of trying. >> obama: i'm happy to take responsibility for the fact we didn't get it done. we did put forward a dream act that was passed in the house. got overwhelming majority of support from democrats in the senate and was blocked by the republican party. >> eliot: gridlock did seem alive and well on the floor of the senate today. minority leader mitch mcconnell took to the floor to condemn the democrats. >> never before have a president and a senate majority party done so little. our challenges were so great. >> eliot: never has a minority senate party been so completely obstructionist. be quiet mr. mcconnell, you don't know what you're talking about. another measure that should be worrisome to mitt romney, he's trailing in the polls on the economy. a cnn poll taken less than two
weeks ago showed likely voters favoring the president over romney on the issue by a point and the latest nbc news "wall street journal" poll of registered voters showed the president ahead on romney's key issue by 6 points. with the president's numbers improving, democrats look to hold. jim demint told bloomberg news in a comment that would have been unthinkel six months ago and i quote... >> eliot: still not quite sure who that productive class is they always talk about. new york senator charles schumer seemed to enjoy demint's conditional change of heart. >> you know the tide is turning. we shouldn't have to wait for an election for the two sides to come together. but for the republicans it just might do the trick. >> eliot: another shift of
position. romney campaign national cochairman tim pawlenty is resigning to become president and chief executive of the financial services roundtable where his job presumably will be to lobby against dodd frank and other financial regulationsment to think it was over a year ago during his aborted campaign for the republican nomition that that pawlenty told bloomberg tv... >> the true message wall street will be get your snout out of the trough just like everybody else. >> eliot: due to one's views especially in washington. it is being reported that pawlenty's paycheck will be in the $1.8 million range per year. for more, let's go to political reporter joe williams and sam seeder, home of ring of fire and the majority report. thank you, both. it seems to me the republican campaign is imploding for a business executive who touted his management skills as rarely seen anything as poorly run as poorly managed lacking in coherence. joe, is mitt romney in 47% rehab
and he will never make it out? >> it certainly is looking like that. and aside from the factors that the polls are trending in the wrong direction for him the fact that all of these gaffes keep popping up that reminds me of the side show of bob from the simpson series where he keeps stepping on the rake with his big feet and smacking his own noggin here. the trend i'm observing is talked about how this is going to be a billion dollar presidential race. how romney is going to have access to deep-pocketed donors. when was the last time you heard sheldon adelson's name? the koch brothers kicking out a big check to romney. the political wisdom is that whenever you have the width of a -- the whiff of a losing campaign, the money starts to flee. that's looked like the case with mitt romney. and he's struggling to keep cash on hand. so to me, that's the biggest indicator that romney's campaign is in very, very serious trouble. but, of course in washington
you never know. anything can happen to turn this thing, mitt romney is still within striking distance. >> eliot: joe, i love you dearly. did you mix metaphors? i think your point is right either way. sam, am i right? i just don't think any amount of money could salvage this campaign for mitt romney. he stands -- nobody likes him. >> i think you're right. the fat lady has sung and the fork is inside him. >> eliot: use both metaphors. >> not only are we seeing a lack of the big donors step up for the romney campaign, also outside expenditure groups like the super pacs starting to focus more on the -- because romney is starting to go down. i don't see how he comes back from this. i think he's been in trouble for months frankly. >> eliot: the underlying problem for mitt romney was always nobody knew what he today is the for. he had no empathy. there was no coherence and no
staying power to his positions. everything that has happened has merely confirmed that. there's not enough time for him to remake his image with all of the money in the world. >> the obama campaign basically defined him early back in -- june may. frankly, it was also newt gingrich who helped define him. vulture capitalism came from newt gingrich and rick perry. this whole project of defining mitt romney and frankly think it was quite easy because he continually reinforces this definition and it seems valid. >> my observation at least on that point is let's give credit where credit's due. that's to mitt romney himself. because he has not run a bigger campaign. you talk about the troubles, the internal turmoil, the shiftless -- the gaffe after gaffe after gav. it is a reflection of the candidate. the candidate has not done a very good job managing himself much less the campaign. that's where a lot of the
troubles have come in. >> eliot: just you're successful doesn't mean you're either very smart very competent or articulate or can even think clearly. that's a critical message. i want to come back for a moment to immigration. you saw mitt romney using that, trying to use that as an attack point today. it seems to me so completely false and groundless. sam, what am i missing here? how can they get away with this or will they get away with this? >> no, they won't. there's been a lot of concern in the latino and in the community about the amount of deportations under president obama. but his -- administrative efforts in pushing some form of the dream act i think has gone a long way. i think you know, the president got up there and he took some responsibility for the failures and said that we gotta go forward. it is a little late in the game for the republican party to go back to the latino community. i mean they have been -- hammering them. so i just -- it's too late.
>> eliot: joe if mitt romney had pulled -- where you completely turn the tide. after he had the nomination, gone out there and sedley do what the president ended up doing thereafter, i will not deport any kid. i will administratively pursue the dream act then he would have been showing himself to be courageous and thoughtful and smart. instead, flak for the right wing. how does he hope to overcome. he's losing the latino vote two to one. he can't win that way. >> it is tough to see how he can. we're looking at a situation where it was almost a hail mary to try to walk back all of the stuff. we don't -- we haven't forgotten self-deportation which happened in the republican debates in the primaries. there also was not a lot of transition between the general election and the primaries to where mitt romney suddenly became a friend of the latino community. that just didn't happen. we also have president obama
talking and able to use parliamentary -- his powers of the presidency to get some latino -- wish list items done. and to also be able to talk with latinos in a way that they can understand. mitt romney is not capable of. >> eliot: mitt romney has missed the window whenner or the republican party can make an appeal. is there anything, if you were coaching mitt romney right now if you had to say to him okay, you've got one last, bottom of the ninth inning opportunity here. you've got the debates coming up. what do you do? how do you reposition yourself? >> i'll tell you something. i wouldn't know what to say. i would imagine if i was coaching mitt romney right now i would be trying to get him so buy as much media as possible if i got a commission from it. that's what i would be doing. >> eliot: may be that the media advisers are doing that. line their pockets but there's no way to victory. state after state you see the numbers -- he's down by 5 to 6 in iowa. wisconsin, colorado.
he needs to sweep these states to see a transition of that sort almost unheard of, absent a gaffe from the president. this president whatever you may say, he doesn't make gaffes. >> he is very, very disciplined and again, it doesn't make sense. campaign reflecting the candidate, obama certainly has. very disciplined. very focused. they were talking about ground game of second to none. they were touting that even as romney was out raising them early in the race. obama people are able to talk about how they've gotten efficient. it will be tough for romney to combat that even if he had good press. he's losing in ohio, down by 5 to 7 depending on who you look at. everybody in d.c. is saying that it is hard to see how romney wins without ohio. if he doesn't have ohio, he has to run the rest of the table. that isn't going to happen. >> eliot: sam you mentioned it won't happen. they'll run away for mitt romney, the sure sign that
confidence has gone to zero. tommy thompson has done this. >> tommy thompson today blamed his sagging poll numbers on romney. he's probably right. over the past two months, democrats have become double digit increase in their enthusiasm relative to republicans. also independents have gone up about 10 points in their enthusiasm to vote. it is impossible to imagine they become more excited about mitt romney. he is casting a poll over the entire race. >> eliot: does this increase the chance, assuming it is hard to see how democrats -- democrats are going to hold the senate the way things are trending right now. sam, if there is one, i know you can jump out of your skin in november. >> absolutely not. jim demint walked back those comments that he made to bloomberg in just a couple of minutes ago, he did to politico.
i'm very nervous when i hear jim demint and david koch say we can expect taxes because i think it opens the door for the democrats and president obama who has signaled a desire to do this. to cut medicare. cut medicaid. perhaps even cut social security. i think that's absolutely -- would be disastrous. >> eliot: that's the bargain they should not make. joe, last question. throw. >> curveball. three senate races virginia, massachusetts, and montana. pick one tell me who's going to win. go out on a limb. >> let's go massachusetts. my former home state. elizabeth warren is looking good coming off strong. good appearance at the convention in charlotte. senator scott brown is feeling the weight of the mitt romney anchor and is struggling to try to break and hold and serve against warren. i think he's pretty much going to be a one and done. >> eliot: sam, any one of those three? two word answer? >> tester could pull it out. warren definitely.
>> eliot: okay. all right. political reporter joe williams and sam seder host of ring of fire and the majority report, many thanks to both of you. >> my pleasure. >> eliot: chunk of planet earth vanishing in the last days of arctic ice. (vo)answer: pour disaronno into a flute glass and top with prosecco. brought to you by disaronno. be originale.
by john mccain and the family research council? soldiers were going to flee the service by the hundreds of thousands. troop unity would unravel. recruitment numbers would drops by thousands. well, none of it happened. recruitment, retention morale and cohesion all are the same if not better than they were a year and a day ago. more and more young recruits just don't share the homophobia that plighted previous generations. this is important to remember. the next time we hear cries from organizations that resist social change. they have been wrong time and time again. even allowing women to vote, despite their fears we continue to advance equality for all people and it continues to work.
>> eliot: climate change is becoming harder and harder to deny. besides the rising temperature and increase in severe storms, the most dramatic visual evidence comes in the form of the ice that sits atop the arctic ocean or at least it used to. according to the national snow and ice center, the area covered by ice has dropped to a new low. 24%. an area larger than the state of texas. this new low level shocked scientists whose computer models had not projected this dramatic dip.
>> eliot: author of language intelligence, joe romm, thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks for having me, eliot. >> eliot: now explain to those of us who aren't -- sort of living and breathing this all the time why this arctic icecap is so important in terms of the larger implications for global warming? >> well, it is sort of the arctic icecap is like thate's freezer in some sense and the door is now left open. i mean it's been covered in ice for most of -- thousands of years. and as you expose the ocean, a couple of things happen. first of all the ocean is a lot darker than the ice. so the ocean actually absorbs the sun's light better than the ice so you get this feedback effect. the ocean warms, more ice retreats. that's what we're seeing is
accelerated feedback. the other thing is of course is the ocean is much warmer than the ice. so when you're exposing, like you said an area which is the size of almost half the continental united states is now much warmer than it used to be. that's going to change the climate. that's going to change the weather. there is some early evidence that it may be weakening the jet stream and causing more extreme weather here in the united states. >> eliot: i'm going to pick up on your metaphor. it used to be that defrosting the freezer was something you did. defrosting this freezer is not a good thing to be doing. >> no, not at all. there's a couple of other reasons why. because right next to the arctic when you melt floating ice, it doesn't raise sea levels much as when ice in your glass melts. it doesn't overflow. but right next to the arctic is greenland and greenland has an ice sheet which had record ice melt this year and greenland has enough ice that if it melts, it can raise's sea levels by itself
20 feet. >> eliot: i saw that number. it was so shocking to me, i want you to repeat it so people can absorb it. if the water melts the water level around the entire globe will rise by 20 feet. >> by 20 feet, that's right. the good news is it won't happen in 100 years but the bad news is it is also an accelerating process so if it gets to a sufficient amount of warmth in the arctic, particularly because the ocean becomes ice-free, that yes, you're going to see steady sea. >> eliot: rise and you know, you may remember mitt romney said he didn't want to become president to slow the rise of the seas. but i'll tell you, we need some president to help -- otherwise they're predicting a rise. >> eliot: critically important, not only this year have we seen the shrinkage which
set new records but the pace and acceleration of the shrinkage or the ice tap is, itself, accelerating. i say this -- i think we can put up a chart that shows -- you may not be able to see it unfortunately, but shows that the expectations in terms of the shrinkager the icecap had predicted that while the line would be dipping down, year by year, it has been dipping faster than any of the scientists had predicted which means that all of our predictions may simply be too conservative. >> absolutely. that's just a graph of the area of the ice. which is what you can see from the satellite. but using submarines and other satellites, they found the ice has also gotten thinner. that's why professor wad ham said he's expecting maybe five years out. i've talked to people who think it might be ten years but the point is the ice is now 75% less volume than it was just three decades ago. very, very serious. >> eliot: correct. the premise needs to be articulated and stated with
clarity. this shrinkage in the icecap, you believe and i -- is it fair to say all credible scientists believe is a consequence of human activity. >> yes. human emissions are widely to believe -- believed to be the largest cause of this. this is a prediction of climate science of course that as you heat up the earth, you're going to see melting ice. it just so happens this particular melting ice is melting faster than people thought. and taking with it, like i said, the greenland ice sheet to extend the freezer metaphor, you have a lot of frozen carbon in the tundra and as that melts it kind of thaws like a frozen freezer, too, it gives off methane. that's a greenhouse gas. there are a lot of people worried you go et this feedback effect. people should be concerned about this and it's really high time that the world takes action. >> eliot: we always say we don't want to hit the panic button and have people screaming and shouting but if i hear you properly, scientists are not
prone to get size but they're looking's data saying wait a minute, this is getting close to the precipice of point of no return in terms of our abilities to reverse this process. >> well, i would say there's always time to act. but the longer you wait, the worse the consequences are going to be and the harder it's gonna be. you're right. many, many scientists are concerned about this. one meteorologist wrote a post today saying thate's attic is on fire and if the roof of your house was on fire, you would start to do something about it. and just because it happens to be up there in the north pole doesn't mean it's not going to have consequences for us down here. let's say, on the second floor of the house. >> eliot: only about 30 seconds left. carbon dye oxide would be one smart way to do this. carbon tax? do you think we should be moving in that direction? >> absolutely. make polluters pay. have the cost of carbon-based energy you know, reflect to
society. tax pollution more. >> eliot: it is what we have to do, otherwise we'll be heading toward some sort of dangerous climate effect we don't want to go on. editor of climateprogress.org and author of language intelligence, joe romm. >> thank you for having me. >> eliot: harder to watch than paul ryan, a british royal dancing. viewfinder is coming up next.
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[ male announcer ] snickers satisfies. >> eliot: still to come, a new low for congressional republicans, block appearing veteran's jobs bill. but first, mitt still getting mocked and we're still loving it when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> well, it's fall. you know. unless you're mitt romney then it's freefall.
>> well today once again, mitt romney addressed the controversy in a press conference. that's not fair. that was a gotcha question. >> the biggest problem with the denizens of [ bleep ] mountain is they act like their bleep prepare don't stink. if they had success they built it. if they failed, the government ruined it for them. if they get a break, they deserve it. if you get a break, it's a handout and an entitlement. it is a baffling, willfully blind cognitive dissidence best summed up by their head coach. >> i've been on food stamps. everybody help me out? no. ♪
>> this man who didn't want to show his face but is going to tellis his story that he moved his big screen tv out on but -- on the deck. why? turns out it is gospel music. >> let me make this clear when you're president you represent the entire country. you can't be president of half the country. >> hey mitt, 47% of the country just canaled they said you get to be president. object. >> mitt romney said at a recent fund-raiser that he doesn't need to worry about 47% of the united states population. he also has a message for the remaining 53%. mitt says you too can kiss my ass. >> mitt romney and i approve this message. >> eliot: which party would block a bill to help veterans get jobs? i'll give you three guesses coming up next.
they have to go through the training, this bill would have expedited it and opened new job opportunities in that way as well. >> eliot: as we know unfortunately, one of the horrors of our current economic circumstance is the unemployment rate among veterans in particular is higher, especially veterans coming back from afghanistan and iraq, is higher than it is across the general population. >> exactly right. the estimates vary depending on the age group and the geography from a few points higher to double the general unemployment rate. among younger veterans coming back nonofficers that is enlisted the estimate is that the unemployment rate is as much as double the average population which is a really searing indictment of our nation if you think about it. these are young men and women called to serve the country and
their contemporaries are employed and they can't find jobs. >> eliot: the other aspect of this is this bill was paid for. i've read all of the articles and statements. explain to us because it directly rebuts the republican claim this bill was paid for. explain to us how that was. >> paid for by savings closing loopholes, direct dollar for dollar. all of this talk about the deficit and destroying the budget and so forth and so on. first of all even if it hadn't been paid for in my view, as a member of the armed services committee, someone who has visited our wounded veterans as well as our veterans on the battlefield, i think we owe them this program. but it was paid for and i believe all of this other talk is baloney. >> eliot: correct and correct. it is amazing to me the republicans who filibustered this on the floor show up at every veterans day parade, stand next to the veterans, claim to be supportive then they vote against a bill that as you say
even if it hadn't been paid for these are our veterans. incomprehensible to me they could be opposed to it. then you have rand paul. the pakistanis aren't releasing a doctor. >> irrelevant, emtreatmentist. that's really i think what is the tactic as well as some of the amendments that were offered. and very realisticically just a deliberate attempt to delay and block legislation that not only was the right thing to do but let's be very blunt. politically would have been seen as an accomplishment for the president of the united states. and remember and we said it again and again the first pledge by the minority leader, the republican leader in the united states senate was that he will make barack obama a one-term president. that would be his goal. i think that that goal is driving many of these decisions. >> eliot: i think politics
overwhelms any sensibility of judgment or good policy. it is just a horror show. highlights once again the necessity filibuster reform. you've been talking about this rightly so, for some period of time. do you think there will be any greater impetus now assuming, as i think it may be fair to assume that the democratic party holds control of the senate. in the first couple of weeks in january of next year or two to fundamentally reform the filibuster rule? >> i think views have changed. among democrats. one of the first votes i took 20 months ago when i was sworn into the senate was in fact, to eliminate the 60 vote threshold the filibuster rule. all of the delaying procedural tactics that can be employed. at that time, many of my democratic colleagues said you should be concerned that you may some day be in the minority. you'll want to use these kinds of filibustering tactics. now, i think the views have changed because what we've seen is a repeated, relentless,
absolutely tireless use of these tactics to simply block any action. and i think that may well have changed the views of many of my colleagues who hear from americans saying why can't you get the job done? >> eliot: i think the role of the senate has always been to be the deliberative body. it moves at an intentionally slower pace than the house perhaps. it is meant to provide fair and -- for those in the minority. in an era where that occurred and then there was resolution, having a filibuster perhaps made sense. but now as you just pointed out the fill buster is being used for craven politics and is preventing any forward movement on any issue from the most critical to the most minor. i think that has changed the calculus as you pointed out for many senators. if you had to assess, will there be a concerted effort to change this come january and if so, what should the reform look like? >> very definitely a concerted effort. i'm determinedly join with leaders of my party who have been at the forefront.
tom udall for example and senator merkley both colleagues who have helped to lead this effort in the past and others. but i also think that it will take a very determined effort and we will have some bipartisan agreement on it. maybe the republicans will come around to saying this body needs to get things done. but remember with all due respect to the senate, we have passed a postal reform bill. we passed a farm bill. we passed a renewal of the domestic violence protections. the violence against women act and it is now sitting -- all of those measures are now sitting on the house side because of a small extremist right wing group there. which prevents any kind of action even without the 60 vote threshold and the filibuster. >> eliot: the republican majority in the senate has caused mayhem but the speaker of the house, john boehner has done worse, you're exactly right. >> you put it much more
>> eliot: if democrats keep the senate, they'll have one brief chance to end filibuster. let's check in with jennifer granholm in "the war room." what have you got for us tonight? >> jennifer: eliot, we're going to talk about the issue of redistribution. aren't all taxes just redistribution? and then we've got national pollster mark to talk about what the heck needs to happen to get the independent voters off their duff. and then did you know the cast of the west wing has come together to do a political commercial? it is incredible. you have to tune in to see it. it is the best political ad in the history of political ads! all at 10:00 tonight eastern.
>> eliot: can't wait to see the ad. mitt romney on his web site says he's in favor of redistribution. redistribution is as american as apple pie. we'll be watching your show at 10:00. >> jennifer: all right thanks. >> eliot: more "viewpoint" coming up next. >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the easy answers.? ttv