tv News Nation MSNBC February 21, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PST
he's goi where mitt romney can't follow him. >> his lead in michigan still there and his team says he has no plans to back off on any of his recent comments. call it money ball as mitt romney plots his way forward. new numbers show he may need to dig into his own millions to avoid his cash drying up. what happened to that strong money game. the dow does it for the first time. a major milestone as the economy show some sign of life. will this good news by siphoned off by growing gas prices? forgive and forget. pop star rihanna's song with ex-boyfriend chris brown has leaked on into the internet. she is ready to move on with the man who beat her. is she bruising her relationship with young female fans? i'm tamron hall.
we have a live picture from arizona where rick santorum is rallying his supporters. santorum is trailing mitt romney by double digits in that state. we know it's momentum in michigan that is fueling santorum's campaign. it's also his willingness to not become down on social issues in the midst of an economic tender box that is making santorum more than a passing threat to mitt romney. in fact, former white house press secretary said he's ready to say santorum could gain the gop nomination even with comments like this. >> he went to reverend wright's church for 20 years. you can question what kind of theology reverend wright has. it's a christian church. he says he goes to a christian church now. >> joining me now is andrew rafferty. we know the story the talked a
lot about it during the primary four years ago. it's the deeper message he is sending to people. >> that's right. in arizona, this afternoon, we're hearing him start his speech talking about how he was an outsider in washington even when he was inside washington. this morning ron paul comes out with an ad in michigan attacking his credentials saying he really isn't this conservative spender he proclaims himself to be. romney calling santorum went to washington and never came back. at least in arizona we're hearing more of a transition of him portraying himself as a guy that fought corruption and really shook things up inside though he was considered an insider and spending more than a decade in the senate and the house. we haven't heard these religious issues brought up here yet. that's not to say they will.
right now the message is focused on defending himself. >> he's just starting to speak there in arizona. mark was on with chris matthews yesterday. he said he spoken with top aids with santorum's campaign and they are digging their heels in. he's not ready to back down on some of these issues even though we thought we would be talking about the economy, but these past two weeks solely about social issues when you talk about rick santorum. >> that's right. this is, he's going to these tea party rallies and there's plenty of red meat. the crowds are buy and large just really responding extremely well to santorum. a lot of times you'll find the rhetoric is ramped up shs ramped up. the difference is he's finding himself in that spot that front-runner spotlight. along with much larger crowds there's the much larger media
contingent that's following him around and hanging onto every word. a lot of this stuff is not new for him that's why he's surprise and the campaign is surprised they are facing the criticism. these are thing he's been saying more or less since in iowa, but the reality is now that there's a new found scrutiny that everything he says is up for debate and it's going to be reported on. >> thank you very much. let me bring in the "news nation" panel. michael smerconish and steve. steve, i couldn't help but to notice the headline on drudge satan is attacking the great institutions of america. he has a audio from a few years ago of rick santorum basically saying we're under attack by satan in this country. i could not help but to notice
because drudge and many other members of the gop establishment went after newt gingrich when they thought he was a real threat to mitt romney. what do we make of this headline on the conservative website, drudge? >> they're going to help rick santorum. >> how are they helping? how does that help him? >> the reason they're going to help him is because it looks like what they're doing is doing the left's dirty work for them against the social conservatives and the christians in their own base. they're going to rally reasons to rick santorum and christians really, the faithful people that dpo to church every sunday, as much as the republican party doesn't want to admit this, makes up the bulk of its base. barack obama was right. we do cling to our guns and our religion. he was right about that the. if they continue to attack rick santorum like this, they're going to propel him to the nomination because they will make everything think this is
the guy, the party establishment can't stand, so get on with him to stick it to them. >> michael, you live in pennsylvania. the state the president was referring to in those words republicans like to say clinging to gun, bible and religion. what do you make of rick santorum stick to his gun, so to speak, and these remarks, thooes starting off with the economy and we know that red meat will come out because that's what's been fueling him. >> i think steve is correct in the short term. this will help him with the base, but it will spell doom for a candidacy in the long term. i think there's many americans on the sidelines who.net have a dog in this fight in primary season who will hold all the cards and the general who are horrified that we're going to have a theology litmus test. what separates us from iran or al qaeda? if we're talking about the
theology principles of our respective candidates. i find it abhorrent. >> this is not a new conversation. many people thought that mitt romney being a mormon would be part of the reason that southern conservatives would not vote for him. franklin graham was on "morning joe" this morning. mitt romney said he would support him if he got the nominati nomination. he questioned the president's faith and whether he's a real question. i want to play what he said on "morning joe". i just don't get it. i don't mean to harp on this because we have other things to talk about. why can't you say i believe he's a christian. he said it. he goes to church. he practices his faith. i don't get it. >> that's all i can go on. i've told people this many times. i accept him as what he says. if he says he's a christian, i accept that. i'm not going to say he's not.
all i know is what jesus christ has done in my heart and changed my life. >> he firmly believes that getting an extra $40 in every paycheck is of vastly greater significance to most americans than someone's opinion expressed on cable television about his personal faith, which again, he has spoken about as recently as a few weeks ago. >> part of what franklin graham said is he spoke with the president and ask him when did you come to christianity and he for some reason, at least the wap he articulated didn't buy the story, but he buys that rick santorum is an authentic christian, however that is defined these days. nevertheless, i think we speak in terms of religion shouldn't be part of our political dialogue, and i don't think it should be, but it is. it's fantasy land to think it won't root its head. what's why rick santorum brought
up the jeremiah wright story. he knew what he was doing with those words. >> don't try to say when you assert that the president is associated with some quote, phony theology, don't try to mask that in the context of an environmental conversation because the way that i'm taking this is this is a slightly more sophisticated version of the internet -- the e-mails that i get that say you must read this and then it wants to sell me on some theory about what, that the president is the an other. he's not one of us. he's a muslim. he wasn't born here. it's all that all over again. i just find it frightening. people need to read that first amendment. we have freedom of religion. we also have freedom from religion. it guarantees both. that's being violated in this conversation. >> steve let me bring you in quickly here.
as i pointed out earlier, rick santorum does not plan to back away from these social issues. chris matthews asked what i thought is the question. is this a trap? is he going where mitt romney cannot follow? doesn't dare follow? >> yes, is the answer. it's the right play for rick santorum. i was on here a week ago and i heard your mention ari. if mitt romney loses michigan to rick santorum, romney is done as a presidential candidate. rick santorum will be the nominee. romney will not survive losing michigan. >> for what its worth, rupert murdock tweeted great values really do count in america and he says win michigan. game over. thank you. now to the issue that started to impact the presidential race and could threaten the economic recovery. surging gas prices. the national average inched up
again overnight. it now standss at $3.50. the average price is already over $4 in hawaii and california is is fastly approaching that in alabama, new york and connecticut. parts of california are seeing prices over $5 for some grades of gas. we could see five bucks solid by memorial day. here is what jay carney said minutes ago. >> rising gas prices is clearly the effect of a variety of factors on the global price of oil. they include unrest in certain regions of the world. they include growth in areas like china and india. >> joining me now oil industry analyst, peter. i think if you ask anyone at any gas station, they will say it's about iran. is that the case? >> it's partially about iran, but it's partially about greece.
it's about the stock market making new highs. it's about economic data suggesting that the recovering is gaining momentum. >> none of those factors are new. the crisis in greece has been ongoing. it's a fact moving, we believe, toward a close. the unrest may not go away but closure as far as bankruptcy. the newest denominator is the situation in iran. >> that is certainly been the latest factor, but the price has been moving slowly higher for a number of weeks now. every monday we come in and greece is factor. by friday they are on the verge of solving it again. the market doesn't think when greece is factor, but every time they are about to fix it, it rises. it's one of those bizarre things. on to of this, demand is horrible. the worst it's been a number of
years. >> explain to me what you mean by demand. >> from gas station, refineries and consumer demand is down 5 or 6.5% depending on whom you believe. mastercard says it's down 5.3% the it's doing research at the pump. >> why would that be the case? >> this is something that a lot of us are wondering about because historically when demand is lower, prices move lower. lately we have seen demand drop right off a cliff. it's normally at its lowest point in january and february, which makes this rise so irregular. >> noticing to say the least especially when you use your credit card. the dow average hit 13,000 today. that's the first time since may of 2008. right now the dow is up four points. investors have been wrestling of
what to make of a long awaited deal to give greece a second bailout and prevent a default on its debt. joining me now news columnist. i'm happy you were here to hear peter's comments. i think people will say this never makes sense. there's always a factor but none of it seems to connect. it's like a puzzle that never fits together. >> the politics of an election year. there's the psychological battle of $4 a gallon of oil. it's seen as a negative head wind for politics. this is an incredibly delicate topic. you talk about the price of oil and you talk about debt and people get very emotional. i understand that. if you got a car and have to get somewhere, you don't have a lot of choice to fill up your tank. the flip side is how that relates to overall spending and
the economy and what people do. do they drive less? do they car pool more? all those factors are much more fuzzy and kind of deciding if the price of oil hits $4, that's it for the recovery, not so simple. the people who don't have a lot of money are not going to do better if the price is $3. the people who are doing okay aren't going to do better if the price is four. >> we pose the question of will that siphon off any confidence that folks might have? >> i don't think it works that way. we know a lot of retail investors who used to be part of the market have been so burn bid the volatility of stocks, by the decline of stocks since the last time the dow was at 13,000, is a lot of market is professionals. >> these are people that don't get excited easily. >> they get excited. they're just not the same people buying gas at the pump. they get emotional and ir
rational too. i'm just say that the relationship between these two things is much more unclear. obviously, we'll see if the dow holds the 13,000. i think the reality is with greece, in my view, being a crisis, but not one that will bring the global economy down with the markets doing relatively well and economic data shows improvement, the price of oil will be an issue. it will make people feel unclear. it's not a game ender. >> it's not a game changer that would have been in other times? >> absolutely not. >> there was a report out in california that people were so angry, one gas station attendants someone was hurling cans at the guy who changed the number, who was changing it from $3.50 to four bucks. >> this is an emotional issue. it's not a game ender when it
comes to the overall trajectory. >> i hope you're right. the supreme court will hear a case filed by a white student who was denied a place at the university of texas. this decision could come down in the heat of the presidential election. we'll get a live report from the supreme court. i offer my sincere apology for any offense this may have caused. >> hours after copies of the koran was burned, the commander issues a quick apology. how could this have happened in the first place? the christian post sites one doctor who says rick santorum is right about his comments that prenatal testing results in more abortions. i'm talk with an obgyn says prenatal tests lead to healthier babies. you can join us conversation on my twitter page. es since i was a kid. [ mike ] i always wondered how did an airplane get in the air.
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welcome back. the top commander of nato forces is apologizing after copies of the koran was burned at a military base north of khabil. some demonstrators through stones while yelling anti-american slurs. the u.s. was quick to respond calling it isolated and unintentional. >> i assure you. i promise you, this was not intentional in any way. i offer my sincere apologies for any offense this may have caused. my apologies to the president of afghanistan. my apologies to the government
of afghanistan and my apologies to the noble people of afghanistan. >> many people are asking how could this have happened. >> here is what u.s. officials tell us about what happened. and that is that the guards at a detention facility at the air base had gathered up a number of korans and other religious material. there are reports that some of the prisoners in that facility were actually using the korans to pass messages. those are unconfirmed. for whatever reason, they were gathered up and as we heard general allen claim, they were inadvertently turned over to some troops and taking to an incineration facility to disposal. some local afghans discovered that the korans were being
buried and that word was passed along to commanders who stopped it and some of the civilians had taken them outside the base and taken message they were burned and that's why we saw those demonstrations. apparently, it was totally unintentional and inadvertent listen they were burned. it's causing some consternation. we've seen similar innocecident where there appeared to be disrespect for the religion. the big concern here is that too month, six month, a year down the road, somebody will remember the americans that burned the koran and act out against american forces. general allen has ordered an investigation and a refresher course for culture sensitivity.
not only for the u.s. but international forces there. >> thank you for those details. the head of iran forces vows the country is ready to act without waiting if it feels threatened by foreign county ris the. an indiana lawmaker is taking the girl scouts. maybe they delivered him the wrong thin mints we don't know, but it's one of the things we thought you should know. here is a look at the markets. sweet, nutty crunchy nut... can't wait 'til morning.
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here is what the "news nation" is following. supreme battle. the high court will hear an affirmative action case filed by a white student who didn't get into the the university of texas. under attack. why an indiana lawmaker refusing to sign a resolution honoring the girl scouts on its 100th anniversary. rutgers hate crime trial. jury selection is underway of a former college student using a
web cam to spy on his roommates intimate encounter with another man. . it's today's "news nation gut check." rihanna and brown teamed up for two songs. this s this sending a bad message? we start with the emotional debate over prenatal testing. >> one of the things you don't know is they require free prenatal testing. why? because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and less care that has to be done because we call the ranks of the disabled in our society. >> that was one of a series of recent comments citing prenatal testing as one of the reason he's against the president's health care law. the christian post has an article with the headline,
ob/gob/g ob/gyn, santorum was a right. what premayal care has developed into is a search and destroy mission. joining me now is dr. marjorie greenfield from case medical center. i should note your hospital is one of leading neo natal care facilities in this nation. i don't want to get you locked up in a political or religious battle, but i want to talk about the science here. you have a colleague who is saying that this is a search and destroy mission. what is your response to that? >> that's really a terrible way to frame prenatal testing. it's much more than about abortion. i think when you narrow it down that's way, it's politically motivated as opposed to talking about what happens with patients. >> what are the numbers here? rick santorum says this results in most abortion whence testing
is done. i've read countless articles over the last ten days or first five days when first came up with this, i have to say, i've not seen a clear figure here. what can you tell me. >> the decision about what you do with abnormal result s a personal decision. when owe talk about prenatal testing. wh what are we talking about? an ultra sound is k detect fetal abnormalities. the other tests are blood tests that can be done or a sampling which are the diagnostic tests that give you the true, final answer of what's going on with chromosones. he used the term prenatal testing which is a much broader term than that. >> i know you've written about how emotional this is.
some families don't want to do testing because they don't want to face the decision of what to do next. it is a personal and a family's choice here. you're in contact with people every day who decide on testing. just take me through your world and the perspective of what women are looking for when they decide to go ahead with this. >> when i frame this with patients, i say that people fall into three groups. there's a group that don't want to do any of this testing or screening because they know that they would not change their behavior at all based on the results and they don't want to be worried about this during the pregnancy. there's another group that knows that they would terminate an abnormal pregnancy and they want the information that they can get so they can make that decision. then there's a large group in the middle that wants to know about the health of their baby so they can make the best possible decisions. they might decide to get in contact with a support group so
that they would learn more about this condition so they could make a good decision about what to do for themselves or they might, sometimes we're talking bt about a condition that's not compatible with survival. sometimes we get hospice involved for people that would not terminate but want as much information as possible. these decisions are incredibly personal decisions. the other thing i want to make sure people understand is that amnio is done for anybody that's at increased risk for finding a problem. most are carrying healthy fetuses. one thing it turns out to be reassurance for the family and the baby ent doesn't have a problem. >> in most cases the baby is healthy? >> the vast majority doesn't find a problem. >> you've said that overall this is commonly accepted and one of quotes is that this is like not
covering an ultra sound. the ideas that are coming from rick santorum in that he would not want insurance to cover the prenatal testing. >> right. you can do an ultrasound and find a very severe problem on a fetus that would not be detected by amnio. it's an anatomical problem that could be severe and not compatible with survival or quality of life that family would go forward with. would that mean that the doctor would be not supposed to tell the family that this abnormal finding was there because the family might make a decision for abortion. you end up going down a path that really interferes with the doctors ability to take care of the patients and the family's independence. >> it's a rejection for some of science here. this is science used to, as you pointed out, help with the mother to have a healthier child in the end here.
if insurance cover it, that would mean on the wealthy perhaps would have the ability to have this testing done. i would imagine it's quite expensive. >> i looked into it. there's quite a range of charges across the country but we're talking about $2,000. that's really going to be unreachable for a lot of people. >> if you're rich, you'd be able to do it and have this testing but obviously the other 99%, as we like to say, would not. >> right. what you could end up having, for instance, i can give you an example of a patient that has a routine ultrasound, they see shotgun that makes it likely you find a problem and the family would have to make a decision, are they going to spend the money for the amnio or just be terrified for the rest of the pregnancy when it could be just fine. >> we greatly appreciate it. we have been trying to get you on for two days. i'm glad you were able to make it.
thank you so much. >> happy to be here. thank you. the hot button issue of race and college admission makes it back. the high court says it will determine if race can be used as a fak. a white student sued the university of tax back in 2008. pete williams joins us live. a lot of people assume this was a settled issue. it's been discussed so many times in the past. >> reporter: it was nine years ago that the supreme court said colleges could use race. they couldn't have quotas but could use race. that decision was written by justice sandra day o' connor. she's no longer on the supreme court. she's been replaced by a more conservative judge, less willing to approve these affirmative action ideas.
she said maybe they should continue for 25 years. there's now five votes against using affirmative action in this context. for advocates of using affirmative action the fact that the supreme court has decided to hear this case is not a good sign to them. one other thing in terms of the timing, they agreed they will hear this case. this terms calendar is already full, but it's very likely the supreme court will hear this case on affirmative action in october or perhaps the first week in november just as voters are preparing to go to the polls. a new investigation involving co involving dominic straus kaun. several women say they had sex with him during party. his attorneys says he never knew
the women were prostitutes. jury selection has started in the case of the former rutgers student facing for ten years in prison for hate crimes. he's accused of using a web cam to spy on his former roommate while he had an intimate encounter with another man. he later committed suicide. he's been charged with 15 criminal counts. accused him of acting against him because he was gay. iran raise tensionings another notch today threatening strikes against any perceived enemies if it feels its national interests are in jeopardy. iran placed limits of a visiting team of nuclear officials. ali joins us live from tehran. tell us about these restrictions here. >> reporter: that's right. this high level delegation of inspectors are here for the second time in a month. they have requested to go to
sensitive nuclear sites. they will not be visiting sites. it look likes the inspectors are not going to be doing a lot of inspecting. just here for talks. as you said some fighting wor i coming out of tehran today. iran would make a preemptive strike. they said it was going to beef up its presence in international waters as two iranian warships head back from the mediterranean. they said this was a clear warning to the united states. thank you. some of rihanna's friends are outraged after her new duet with chris brown is leaked. the song includes sexual lyrics
where brown has said it's been a long time and he misses her body. is she sending the wrong message to young women by teaming the up with brown? it's our "news nation gut check." a suspect has reportedly been arrested and charged with robbing is stephen breyer earlier this month inside his vacation home. he, his wife and other guests g were in the home when a man barged in. a state lawmaker in indiana has refused to sign onto a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the girl scouts. in a letter sent to fellow republicans bob morris calls the girl scout, quote a radicalized organization that supports abortion and homosexuality. those are the things we thought you should know.
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there's no going back. i'm fill ng for martin bashir. it's not the economy, stupid. that's what you may believe listening to the republican candidates for president. this is callture war. while president obama may be the target, women are caught in the cross fire. we'll explain. the city of new orleans is in full party mode. culminates today. fat tuesday with hundreds of thousands of people expected to gather for the party. a big parade. jay gray join us live from the big easy. looking like you having a good time for a change. we got you somewhere fun. >> reporter: you're right. what a mardi gras it's turning out to be this year.
the chaos and crowd building. i've been here since late last night. there are a lot of party goers who have done just the same. they are getting the most out of their experience here. more than a dozen parades across the area today. more than a million people expected this year and that is great news for this city. when you talk to the merchants, when you talk to the vendors, they will tell you this is the strongest mardi gras in the six years since katrina. they feel like as far as this festival is concerned, they are finally back. the direct impact this year expected to be around $200 million, something this city really needs. they are rolling right now. they had the bcs championship. they will have the final four and early next year the super bowl. they feel good about the way things are going. i can tell you most of the people at mardi gras feel pretty
good. >> a good time. you're not far from my favorite restaurant, irene's. have a good day. maya angelou is recovering after being in the hospital for three days. fans are reacting to rihanna and chris brown. stephen colbert is back with his mom. what's going on with maya? >> she was in the hospital for three days. her rep says she's been leased. she's a national treasure to many. people worry about her health. she's out of hospital. >> all right. on to the other hot topic. it's rumored that rihanna and chris brown have reconciled. >> they starred with each other on different remixes. the songs leaked online. people are saying how could she do this. others are saying if she forgave
him, why can't we? >> this is a remix of her two songs that she's released? >> one is his song and one is her song. they guest starred. they are talking. he tweeted happy birthday. her birthday was on monday. >> i guess we have a clip of the chris brown song turn up the music. let's play that. ♪ turn up the music ♪ turn up the music because i feel a little turned on ♪ >> there's another one with some lyrics where he appears to be referring to her body and missed being with her. >> it's called birthday cake. it's sexually charged song. he talks about her. >> she doesn't need him. she is at the top of her game right now. >> she's been doing so successful. she's got make up contracts, woman of the year for so many different places. >> she was as a point where people were putting her music back first rather than seeing
her as a victim. what are her fans saying? >> they are saying you are a role model. like it or don't like you're a role model for young women. some people are upset. >> she said she has forgiven him. >> she said i've moved on. they performed on the same stage at the grammys. >> but not together. >> she's moved on and showing the world. >> who benefits? >> chris benefits. he says my exhas forgiven me. why can't you? >> stephen colbert is back. >> he was off the air for two days. >> we're out of time. he's one of 11 and it take a strong person. great job. >> thank you. >> thank you for the information. do you think rihanna is sending the wrong message to young women with her collaboration with her ex. it's our "news nation gut check."
it's now time for "news nation gut check." look at the screen. this is how you can reach us. we're available all the time for your thoughts and comments. a lot of you have started commenting. is rihanna sending a bad message to young women by teaming the up with chris brown? go to facebook.com/newsnation. i've gotten a ton of tweets. this one from beverly crossly. leave ree yihanna and chris alo. they are grown. you can't live it for her. not trying to rule and not trying to live it. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. such a pleasure to be here with you. the best approach to food is to keep it whole for better nutrition. that's what they do with great grains cereal.
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good afternoon. it's tuesday, february 21st. here is what's happening. the new radicals. >> these folks, these radicals that are in the white house right now. >> barack obama is the most dangerous president in modern american history. >> the president has a radical environmental idealology. >> you not believe he's a muslim? >> no. >> these guys call the president di visive. >> he's done more to provide. speech after speech trying to divide america. this is the great divider in chief. don't you see how they see you. how they look down their nose at americans. these elite snobs.