tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current September 24, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
♪ ♪ all right. that's our show for tonight. "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer is next. [♪ theme music ♪] >> eliot: good evening. i'm elliot spitzer, and this is "viewpoint." romney is ramping up his campaign this week. the republican candidate appeared this colorado today and plans to join paul ryan tomorrow on the final two days of a
three-day bus trip through ohio even though as we told you last week ohio polls show president obama with a five-point lead in the critical swing state. it's a part of fire up gop voters and get back on track a week after romney secretly taped statements damming half of the population. romney insisted in his "60 minute" interview last night. that his campaign was doing just fine. actually romney is trailing in all of the latest national and zing-state polls, and in the "politico" poll out today . . . the president may be giving romney an opening for attack on fiern affairs.
that after steve quizzed the president. >> i was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there will be bumps in the road because in a lot of these places one organizing principal has been islam. there are strains of extremism, and anti-americanism and anti-western sentiment and can be tapped into my demagogues. >> eliot: mitt romney was quick to jump on the bump in the road comment. >> romney: his indication that bumps in the road is a different view than i have. i can't imagine saying something like the assassination of an ambassador was something like a bump in the road. >> the president was referring
to the situation in the region. there is an attempt to gain political advantage here. >> eliot: the president may have given romney another opening with this comment. >> obama: we're in close consultation with the israelis they with one of our closest alleys. >> eliot: jay carney tried to beat that one back as well. >> you have heard the president say numerous time that israel is our closest ally in the region. the depth of our assist importance and cooperation has never been greater. >> mitt romney attack 47% of americans who pay no income tax including veterans elderly, and
the disabled. >> romney: my job is not to worry about those people. >> myth millionth paid just 14.1% in taxes last year he keeps millions in bermuda and the cayman islands. he won't release his tax returns before 2010. >> eliot: then mr. obama made this comment to 60 minutes website. >> obama: do we see us sometimes going overboard in our campaign? areas where there's no doubt that somebody could dispute something we're saying that happens in politics. >> eliot: maybe the president is beginning to feel a little sorry for mitt romney don't do it mr. president. i'm joined now by thomas frank, and david catanese who is a
reporter with political.com. david the un is meeting here in new york. i know that because you can't drive anywhere. it's gridlock alert every moment of the day, but the statements the president has made does it make the president a little bit vulnerable on foreign affairs which until now had been a strong suit for him. >> these are not the most el event comments the president has made. overall this doesn't his best interview. but i don't think this is sort of a game changer or doesn't rise to the level of the 47% comment that everyone was abscessed with last week around mitt romney because this campaign isn't being designed by foreign policy and most polls have shown obama has a nice cushion there, and i think because mitt romney has had his own fumbles, if he could show more competency on these other
issues the voters might give him he benefit of the doubt. in our own political, georgia washington survey today, you see the president expanding the lead. >> eliot: david was being nice he hasn't just fumbled the football here. we all remember the era when we did feel as though we were under siege, will they have any traction on that issue? >> it doesn't seem likely. think of how -- you know how he fumbled this thing with israel. one of our allies instead of our main ally come on. if it was syria, then yeah that would be a bad screw up, but come on.
>> eliot: i agree this is parsing syntax that shows how desperate the other side is. and david, so let me come back to you, that's what i continue to marvel at. mitt romney has not given the speech that i thought he was going to give. when will we hear that? >> he is running out of time here. the next big chance is the debate, but it didn't seem like he was willing to go there on detail. and i'm talking about big images that the voters have about both candidates here. president obama hasn't laid out a vision for his second term in much detail either but voters are giving him the benefit of the doubt because they know him and trust him. romney they don't even like him yet. and this is getting to be go
time. so when he says i'm going to give you details of my tax plan later on voters pause and say wait a second here we don't know you, and this gives us another reason not to trust you, you see it in the favorability rating and now they want more details -- i think 63% want more details from romney only half want more details from the president. >> eliot: i want to ask you about that 47% take because your book so powerfully explained how the republican has managed to appeal to votes who -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> half of the population -- they have nothing to look forward to from a mitt romney presidency is what he is saying. but also the whininess of it. this is the theme of pity the
billionaires. they believe they are the makers and producers of this economy and everybody else is a parasite. >> eliot: don't they understand they are ciphers. >> yeah everything is flipped on their head. >> eliot: it is alice in wonderland, but will that tape finally cure what happened in kansas? [ laughter ] >> i think it has to be more than that. people have a way of brushing these things off even when it is as direct and blunt and undeniable and in your face as that. i think -- i don't think things look too good for mitt romney right now, but i don't think that's going to change you know -- the phenomenon -- >> eliot: i agree with you. i think mitt romney loses -- i
don't see any way he comes back. i think you are right, those who view the democratic party through the prism mitt romney does -- david the public wants specifics from mitt romney. he was pushed a little bit on "60 minutes." he didn't bend there at all. will he make it through the debates when he is asked point blank to give us an answer? >> i don't know why he changes an answer a week later a high pro file interview on "60 minutes" to a very high profile debate. he -- there also some fear here.
because some group will start to say, wait a minute this is not what we like. >> that's right. waste, fraud, and abuse, we have to get rid of those. >> eliot: i have been been in politicked -- you always want to do it. we should do it. but it's not even relevant. it's like dick army or grover norquist coming on and saying we're going to balance the budget by eliminating funding for npr. [ laughter ] >> eliot: so -- so -- but, you know, give mitt romney credit he has had the fortitude not to give us an answer. >> he is getting away with it so far. stuff like that is not what moves -- that's what -- people like you and me really care about that. does the general public really
care about that? >> eliot: mitt romney has not broken through -- >> they nominated a ridiculous candidate. look at the people who have won. it's always the guy you want to have a beer with. you can't have a beer with mitt romney. you can't even get into his gated come pound or -- >> eliot: there is a lack of humanity to him. david i'm sorry. >> no i would -- i would just say this. there is one comeback story left with mitt romney. the media is not going to sit for six weeks and let this be written. everyone has written that piece already. and for six weeks someone in the media -- the networks, the newspapers, the publication i look for, they are going to be looking for a moment that says okay when does romney have his comeback story? maybe mid-october, maybe after the first debate if he does
well. watch the polls. i think there is one more chance for that and for romney to seize it. i'm not saying he is going to win the election but there's no much of a vacuum to be filled -- >> eliot: you are right, we want this to be a better boxing match, but there is the tiniest sliver of the public is that undecided. and thomas with all of the money that has been spent -- we were also saying super pac money is going to determine the outcome, but it hasn't moved the needle. >> fair enough. but end of the day these two candidates are very similar because of where they have to go for their money. and you would think with all of this money and great capitalist
ayn rand there would be some creativity out there. >> eliot: creativity breeds risk. anyway harper's magazine columnist and author thomas frank, and political reporter, david catanese great to have you on the program (vo) brought to you by citi private pass. more music, more sports, more family, more dining. get more access with a citi card.
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ahead of romney among nascar fans. as a nascar fan myself that made me feel better about my fellow fan base, but made he show how much trouble mitt romney is in. the nascar fan tends to be white men. by the way this whole presidential race feels like a elections are a simple concept whoever gets the most votes wins. there are two basic strategies appeal to the most voters or two, prevent those who disagree with you from casting their
votes. a new report out shows just how effective republicans have been in blocking hispanic voters. the study calculates that new voting laws could stop 10 million eligible latinos from voting. joining me now is penda hair, co-director of the advancement project, and congress woman loretta sanchez from california. thank you both for your time tonight. penda, 10 million votes at risk. when we remember 2000 when literally the race hinged on a handful of votes. explain how you have come to this number. >> what we noticed around the country was we work in a number of different states to try to
open up access to the ballot box, and we notice there are new strategies this year that seem to be targeted toward latino voters. and we looked at three different practices, voter purges based on allegations that people were not citizens. we looked at the -- i'm sorry. we looked at -- >> eliot: the registration -- >> the voter registration. and citizenship requirements. and what we found is that in fact there were 23 -- oh and we looked at voter id. and in 23 states we found had enacted or were trying to enact one of more of these practices. and we particularly focused on the impact on naturalized
citizens. because we're seeing a large group of latinos who are becoming naturalized. and in colorado and states they were sending out very threatening letters. and 98% of the people who received these letters are in fact citizens and the 2% were just not sure. >> eliot: this whole issue of voter id and voter fraud and impersonating another person to cast a ballot is a solution where there is no problem. all sorts of other problems with our voting system we'll get to in a moment i hope. but congress woman jump? here and explain. california is not a swing state, we don't think in the presidential race but you must be in the epicenter of this
because you are in a district with a heavy latino population. >> i sit here in orange county california which traditionally have been republican and i'm one democrat of the six sent to the house. so we have seen voter suppression schemes if you will right here in orange county. in 1992 believe, the republican party here dressed up people as ins agents and stopped latino voters asking for voter id cards, and turning them away from the booth before they got to the booth. i believe i'm any only federal official that currently had a former opponent who is now
serving prison time for voter suppression. so we are very cognizant of trying to get people to go and vote and the blockades, and obstacles that are put in people's ways. >> eliot: courts are beginning to strike down some of these statutes as unconstitutional. but the effort continues uni baited on the part of the republican leadership that is recognizing that it can't succeed against the tidal wave of new voters who are not lining up with the republican agenda. so where do you think this moves next? will these statutes remain on the books? what will happen next? >> well the courts have been very active this year. and we're very pleased that the wisconsin voter id was struck down by two courts.
the pennsylvania supreme court recently sent the case back to the lower court with a very strong indication that the law should be struck down unless the court finds that everybody who wants this id can get it. and we know at the department of transportation in virginia it's not true that everybody can get it. we know voters who have gone back multiple times and been turned down. the district courts in stuck down the law in texas and they are considering a law in north carolina. they are proceeding to consider these issues and florida recently agreed to stop. so i believe that the courts are stepping in because they see that politicians are
manipulating the system. >> eliot: it is the case as somebody who has spent most of my career in the world of courts and the law, it's comfortable to see the courts provide that support. congress woman there have been some very simple ideas, the same day registration, the ability to vote by mail given complete fraud in those areas, is there any sense in washington that these would be good things to do. >> certainly we have put forward as a congress some of the very things that you are talking about. same day. there are bills for uniformity across -- on a national election. we saw, for example, with the gore election, that each state and county does things differently in each state, but unfortunately at least in the
house of representatives we never get those into committee, because they are controlling it. >> eliot: there's no question, as i said at the top, there are two ways to win an election get the most votes or keep the ones who where not voting for you from voting. but it is so frustrating to watch. but let me ask you an overt question. do you see anything that will shift the latino vote towards romney? >> certainly a pledge to do things differently. but i don't see that coming. i think they -- that mitt romney came out of a primary even more hardened and more to -- to the right, and that he doesn't
appeal -- he does not appeal to the latino voter on a lot of issues whereas president obama has done several things recently in particular that has shown the latino community that he wants to serve us and be our president. and i fine it very hard for mitt romney to move those numbers, be they 70/30 or what have you. he has to significantly move those numbers. and in particular swing states nevada texas, colorado pennsylvania ohio and that will be the difference of a victory in those states. >> eliot: he is not going to do it. because he is the most awkward politician in history. all right, penda hair and loretta sanchez thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you.
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coming up with 43 days left before election day, it is a sprint for the finish line. but first bill maher explains undecided voters mitt romney explains his 47% comment, and the emmy for best mitt romney joke goes to jimmy kimmel. when it doesn't go anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> i will admit there is so much meticulous at attention to detail. [ applause ] >> it really gives you a sense of what it must have been like to grow up in mitt romney's life. >> i'm a cool down to earth dude person. >> he paid an effective tax rate of 14%. >> the 14% mitt romney paid is
less than the average american. how did he claim such a low rate? he claimed 47% of americans of dependants. >> when i say that i was just cashing. ha, ha ha. >> rich white laughter, rich white laughter. >> if you are one of the 5% of undecided american voters it's okay to admit you just don't give a [ censor bleep ]. >> i guess some of us are harder to please. before you get our vote you're going to have to answer some questions. >> what more information does someone need to make this choice? >> when is the election? >> what are the names of the two people running? and be specific. >> who is the president right now? is he or she running?
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septic disasters are disgusting and costly, but avoidable. the rid-x septic subscriber program helps prevent backups by sending you monthly doses right to your door so you will never forget to maintain your system. sign up at rid-x.com. ♪ >> eliot: with three presidential debates to go and six weeks until election day, president obama and mitt romney are going to toe to toe fighting for the sliver of the electorate undecided voters. but do they even exist? last year only 6% of the
electorate appears to have been undecided, since then about two-thirds have made up their mind. and that's not hard to understand considering the race presents a choice as spark as any in recent memory joining me now is sasha issenberg, columnist for slate and author of the new book "the victory lab," which shows our campaigns are using data mining to win the elections. and how voters on different sides of the aisle may be hard wired differently. let's begin with the notion of micro targeting. we haven't thought about the fact that presidential campaigns are going to use that data to talk to us. how are they doing this and why? >> what campaigns were able to do after 2000 is take the limited information on your voter registration record layer
on to it some census data about your neighborhood, socioeconomic status stuff like that and brought in all of the information that the commercial world has used to determine your credit rating direct mail marketers, and by running complex to fiscal algorithms through thousands of data points, and they make an individual-level prediction about every voter, the likelihood they'll vote for a certain candidate, and it allows the campaign to no longer think about brood areas of voters like women, and treat each voter individually. >> eliot: so they can now say we only want to target people who by ammo magazine and watch
nascar on sunday. >> yeah. but say in alabama democrats could write off counties but now they have good tools to find the 30% they need to interact with. >> eliot: some of the polling data may not be representative of how campaigns and election day will turn out. because that's the gross data of the random sample but it wouldn't pick up what you are talk about here in terms of the myrow counting. where they might speak to the christian coalition base and they know how to pull that base out. so we may see variations on election day that we're not
predicting right now? >> yeah and i think where campaigns know a lot more is likelihood of turning out to vote, which is not a question about opinion, it's a question of behavior. so they basically just ask people. whereas campaigns have tons of data points and they treat it as a behavior that can be predicted. there's a huge disparity. >> eliot: this is not so much about persuasion because only 2% of the electorate it's about passion. and that's what the campaigns need to do. >> yeah, passionate or habit behavior. a lot of the most interesting
devices dentfied in the last decade have been things that moved from behavior psychology into elections. refer to them as a voter. there's an idea that voting is sort of a social activity. >> eliot: okay. i want to turn to an amazing article called "born this way"? which you say people are separate sides of the political aisle actually have certain easily identifiable character traits. explain that to us. >> i think we started to accept recently how much of our identity characters are shaped in some way or another by genetics and her redty.
and yet we have also assumed politics is off limited -- if they are mean spirited or short tempers or selfish we can attribute some of that to genes. and all sorts of scientists are starting to identify relationships between political orientation and underlying notions of heredity. it seems really crazy that we have determined that politics is is probably the only aspect of exist that we feel is taboo to tack about in genetic terms right now. >> eliot: we have run out of time but i want you to come
back and talk about this. you realize, as you said a few moments ago, we may really not be able to persuade people to cross the aisle, because our predisposition is baked into us. sasha issenberg, columnist for slate and author of the new book "the victory lab," thanks for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> eliot: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
>> eliot: freedom of speech means protecting speech we don't even like. but first let's check in with jennifer grandholm. >> thanks elliot a new week and mitt romney is attempting to get his campaign back on track. we'll take a closer look at one of his investments in china. and talk campaign crisis
communications with chris lahain, and michael is back in "the war room." and he is feeling a little sorry for our conversation is with you the viewer because we're independent. >>here's how you can connect with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the easy answers. >> eliot: as world leaders descend upon the united nations this week for the annual meeting of the assembly plenty of voices will be heard, including the president of iran. while the topics will cover a
brood spectrum the focus will be on the continuing violence in the middle east and now africa. using a perceived attack on the koran by a private voice as a pretext to incite anger, usually causing damage of some sort and in the most recent incident leading to a tragic and devastating loss of life. one of the tough questions that follows is how should we respond? we should be clear understanding that these attacks are the price we pay for believing in free speech. we are used to dismissing as cranks and crazies, those two feel compelled to elevate their
own views by speaking in venomous terms about others. yet in parts of the world where free speech has not become part of the social fabric free speech can be used to incite. it is often the intent of those causing the riot the tough restrictions on speech be imposed, the very violence they cause being the argument they can use to stifle opposition voices. all of which brings me to a simple point. intolerance in free speech gives sus ta innocence to those against it. if we would all waiver in defending it as a principal, we give up hope that it is well.
the point must be articulated even in those lands where the concept may now seem foreign. it is in our long-run interest to remain firm in our view and our clear articulation that the use of violence in response to speech is to be condemned. it is a direct consequence of the fact that we have been willing to do so so rather than apologize for legal speech we could say simply legal speech within our borders is neither endorsed nor condemned by our government, and the use of now to my point. (vo) jennifer granholm ... >>for every discouraged voter, there are ten angry ones taking trickle down does not work. in romney's world, cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft.
let officials know how they feel. joining us now is ben cohen from ben and jerry's, and head tamper of the stampstampede.org campaign. thank you for joining us tonight with our stamps. and you also brought ice cream. >> of course. >> eliot: you know what people want -- >> that's right. >> eliot: explan to me what you are trying to target and how you are doing it? >> i think over two-thirds of all americans, republicans, democrats, independents all agree that money in politic is destroying our democracy, and neither party has done anything about it and clearly what is needed is a constitutional amendment to overturn the rulings that money is free speech and corporations are people. >> eliot: and you want people to literally take out their dollar
bills or for mitt romney his hundred dollar bills, and stamp them. >> exactly. not only did i bring a whole bunch of stamps but i brought a whole bunch of dollars. >> eliot: singles are the best ones? >> singles circumstance a little a lot better than -- >> eliot: at fox they use 20s. [ laughter ] >> eliot: stop. stop. this is legal. >> this is totally legal. >> eliot: everyone is told at an early age not to deface money because it is illegal. is that right? >> it is legal. >> eliot: all right. you are not going to leave these dollars with me. [ laughter ] >> eliot: i always pay full freight for the ice cream and the -- okay. this one.
stamp money out of politics. not to be used for bribing politicians. >> yeah. >> eliot: what economists value the velocity of money. if i put this in my pocket and stayed there, nobody would see the message. but it will be used over and over again. >> right. single dollar bills last about 4.8 years, and we assume the average stamper is going to get a bill in the middle of its lifetime, and we big your the bill will get passed around say once a day, and that would be $875. >> eliot: if enough people do this within the next few months a member of congress will be given one of these at a fund raiser. >> i'll say.
[ laughter ] >> i happened to be at an obama fund raiser once and i did hand him a $1 bill that said the system isn't broken it is fixed on it. and he thought about it and he liked it -- >> eliot: and then he gave the dollar back. >> he said watch out there's a lot of secret service around here. >> eliot: that's right. what do you want people to do once they have seen this? >> there is a growing movement to pass this constitutional amendment. over 300 cities and towns have passed resolutions in favor of it. seven state legislatures have passed resolutions in favor of it. 22 senators have signed on to an amendment, so this is a growing
movement. and the idea is if you have more and more people stamping these things it helps spread the movement. >> eliot: the whole problem we have is that even though 80% of the public knows this is a problem, our politicians are impersous to it. so can we persuade that to vote in a way that would change the constitutional finesse. >> i do. when you demonstrate overwhelming support for something, congress does act and there is massive grass roots
support for getting money out of politics. you can get one of these stamps and stamp at home your business your club anywhere -- >> eliot: do you want public financing of campaigns? is that the objective here? >> i think there's two potential solutions. one is an amendment that mandates that all federal elections must be publicly financed, or the other amendment would say that corporations are not people money is not free speech, and that would allow states and congress to pass a really good publication. >> eliot: i would love nothing more than to see those. when i was in office he pushed public finance, and republicans simply wouldn't go for it. put that aside, when disclosing super pac contributions are on the table, it m