tv The Last Word MSNBC May 2, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
nothing. today's chart epiphany, in way too much of our world money trumps politics. not this year. in wisconsin. chart imitates life. now it's time for lawrence o'donnell. move over bill clinton. the election campaign has a new surrogate speaker. make room for newt gingrich. >> i'm newt gingrich and i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> newt gingrich. >> newt gingrich. >> newt gingrich. >> gingrich. >> gingrich. >> suspending his campaign. >> finally calling it quits. >> with the longest good-bye in political history. >> today i'm suspending the campaign. >> newt, we knew you. >> i could neither predict the low points or the high points. >> i don't think he ever got his mojo back.
>> he's the person to claim. >> don't try to blame somebody else. >> he had his own destiny. >> i'm committed to going all the way to tampa. >> we're going to go all the way to tampa. >> we will be in tampa as the nominee in august. >> the campaign, which was clearly over a month ago -- >> romney and the super pac spent $20 million. >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> how does newt gingrich get all of that back? >> there was a hot and heavy campaign. >> newt gingrich showed a lot of great bravado. >> we will have the first permanent space on the moon. >> he's an idea person. >> it's a gun a glower rouse ride for you. >> the game is not over yet. >> you've chosen to start the debate. >> can we stop the bias baloney? >> the odds are very low.
>> we're going to go all the way to tampa. >> newt, we knew you. [ laughter ] >> today is a first in presidential campaign history. a history that we will soon forget. >> in a real sense, we can be free of radical islam, saudi kings, and chinese bond holders. >> and we are now free of newt gingrich because he apparently recently learned to count, he is no longer so confident about his future. >> i'm going to be the nominee. >> we are going to win and we will be in tampa as the nominee in august. >> by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent
base on the moon. >> by the end of my second term. gingrich may be gone but his contribution to the presidential campaign will not be forgotten. essentially his contributions to the obama re-election campaign. >> as a man wants to run for president of the united states, who can't be honest with the american people, why should we expect him to level about anything if he's president? you certainly have to say that he engaged in behavior that left behind 1700 people. >> there was a pattern in some companies, a handful of them, of leaving them with enormous debt and then within a year or two or three having them go broke and that is something he ought to answer. i don't know of any american president who has a swiss bank account. i'd be glad for you to explain that sort of thing.
the romney machine can drive down turnout, run over opponents with negative ads. it doesn't seem positive. the result is very, very worry some if you're thinking about the fall campaign. >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> newt gingrich could not bring himself to endorse mitt romney today, even though gingrich has already lost his two most prominent endorses, mitt romney and herman cain who has endorsed their party as the nominee. this is the best newt could do for mitt today. >> as to the presidency, i'm asked sometimes, is mitt romney
conservative enough? and my answer is simple. compared to barack obama, you know, this is not a choice between mitt romney and ronald reagan. this is a choice between mitt romney and the most radical leftist president in american history. >> any political media today controlled by newt gingrich is an odd one. mitt romney issued a statement about newt today that was presented on fox news this way. >> mitt romney has released a statement on the departure of newt gingrich on the campaign. it reads, in part, ann and i are proud to call newt and calista friends. we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead. that from mitt romney. politics is weird and creepy. and now i know even the elucist attachment to reality.
>> and now for more weird and creepy, joining me now are steve, a political columnist for salon and msnbc analyst and richard wolffe, an msnbc political analyst. we will now spend a few minutes discussing the weird and creepy. starring newt gingrich. mr. alec baldwin sat in that chair last night and said, all you have to do in the obama campaign is run newt gingrich stuff, which they are not doing. >> it's clear to me that even in a presidential primary in the same party, harsh words are going to be exchanged. what gingrich said about romney stands out for two reasons. one, unusually vicious personally. he called the guy a liar. but number two, a lot of the attacks were basically the same attacks that democrats want to be making against mitt romney in the fall. all the stuff about bain
involves a swiss bank account. what i think about is, if there's a parallel here, it's 1980. one of the most devastating general election ads that i've ever seen was run by ronald reagan and they took 30 seconds from ted kennedy against carter, railing against jimmy carter and his failure as president, there was the ad. >> richard wolffe, to be fair to newt gingrich -- >> yes. >> -- and there's no reason not to be. everything he said about mitt romney was a legitimate shot in the presidential campaign. i don't remember him taking any cheap shots. >> no. and he had reason to be disdained. of course, the irony was is that here was a guy that had doing something more than anything else and has delighted in
tearing people down and not engaging in politics but also as a permanent campaign and precisely the tactics that poured heat upon his head and they did him in. so, yes, all of his defense and counter attacks, yes, they were grounded in more reality than that statement we heard from mitt romney but the tactics that killed him and tactics that he unleashed on american politics for much, much bigger deal and goals and damage to our society than, frankly, this election campaign. >> let's listen to the last thing that president obama said about newt gingrich, which was actually at the white house correspondence dinner. >> now, i know at this point many of you are expecting me to go after my likely opponent, newt gingrich. newt, there's still time, man.
>> steve, newt should know that by saturday night, in fact, long before that, had he become a joke. and so today when he comes out there to do his farewell announcement, he maybe should have written something down instead of this wild gingrich stream of consciousness, this is how weird and creepy i can be as shepherd smith picked up on. >> you've got to stick with your brand. >> and he's an anti-teleprompter brand. >> but he said in the year 2020, and the end of the mitt romney term, he thinks he will be too old to be viable to be a presidential campaign. so he conceded that the gingrich 2020 campaign will not get off the ground. >> i want to go back to the original burst of i guess honesty in newt's case that spells trouble for his campaign. he was on "meet the press" with david gregory a year ago and this was his first big problem.
>> i don't think right wing social engineering has any more desirable and a better medicare system and more choices for seniors. and imposing radical change, i'm going to be against a conservative imposing radical change. >> richard wolffe, it is kind of a miracle and that was against the front-runner of the candidacy that for a while, the republican party really didn't want to see make it all the way. >> right. because if there's one thing more weird and creepy than newt gingrich, it's actually the multiple personality disorder of the republican party.
how could someone so wrong be so right? his critique of the ryan plan was spot on but his critique of the president, he called it the in the american history and it's barely 24 hours after president obama says we're going to be in afghanistan after 2024, not a very good radical leftist. failure at being a social radical and he had moments of lucidity and completely you're going to have to be selective about these quotes if you use them from chicago, by the way. some of them go right off the rails. >> i assume the mitt romney campaign doesn't care what newt gingrich says at this point. doesn't care if he endorses. he will at some point endorse but they don't care. >> that's the one solace that they can take, about how this played out.
the newt gingrich campaign was the triumph of political science. whatever the elite party thought, the first thing they did was knock him down and so he has very little standing. >> big names in washington came out and said, in effect, newt is crazy. >> absolutely. >> they went on the record saying, don't go with this. >> whatever lack of enthusiasm there was for romney, there was total enthusiasm to make sure that newt gingrich did not leave this party. coming up, more on the gingrich effect, including how newt destroyed the founding father's vision of congress. and how republican party gay bashers targeted the romney
campaign and forced an openly gay member of the romney team to resign. and in the rewrite tonight, you are going to hear the vicious baptist pastor who advocated child abuse in his sunday sermon. he has apologized today. that's in the rewrite. every communications provider is different but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide and around the world. and we will continue to free you to do more and focus on what matters.
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america today. and in the rewrite, on sunday, a baptist pastor said -- and you're going to hear, you're going to hear him say this, he said that you should punch a 4-year-old boy if he has a limp wrist. and he had other really disgusting ideas about little girls. he issued a written apology today. and he lied in writing on church stationery. [ male announcer ] fighting pepperoni heartburn and pepperoni breath? fight both fast with new tums freshers! concentrated relief that goes to work in seconds and freshens breath. new tums freshers. ♪ tum...tum...tum...tum... tums! ♪ [ male announcer ] fast relief, fresh breath,
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discussion about how to get congress to be effective. congress has decayed dramatically in the last 20 years. the senate in particular has become a stunningly institution. >> that was the disgraced former speaker of the house today choosing not to mention his role in launching congress on its way to this year achieving the worst approval rating in gallup polling history. in a new book entitled it's even worse than it looks. gingrich crystallized the approach of crafting a cohesive parliamentary style minute north parity and using it as a battering. joining me now is krystal ball and norman, co-author of, "it's even worse than it looks."
thank you both for joining me. krystal, here's newt gingrich who, as norm tells us and i think we all have known, was the original guy in terms of, shut it down. do whatever you have to to stop this congress from passing more laws because we don't need any and now he's saying, how do we fix this? >> i've been thinking about this. in a weird way, if he were actually sincere about saying it, it would be like hiring the criminal who broke into the bank to find all of the other bank robbers. but something tells me that he's not actually sincere about making the changes that we need to be made to the congress. when newt gingrich set his mind to take control, he used these sort of insurgent gorilla tactics that were successful in terms of taking power and
control. they are still using those same insurgent divisive uber-partisan extreme tactics and it doesn't work when you're part of a country. >> newt got elected into a house of representatives that never expected to be in republican control again. the democrats held it for 40 years but you knew him early on. did he really believe that they were going to win back the house? >> yes. we started a new class coming in every six weeks or so we'd get together for an informal off the record discussion. it was newt gingrich and geraldine ferraro and newt gingrich had the pack particulars set.
it took him 16 years. he knew full well what he was doing and he persevered and i do think -- i would say to a little bit of balance on newt, i don't think it worked that way for him. he wanted to have it remade in his own image. but the prodigy that he believed in, he unleashed a group of frankensteins that roamed around the landscape and destroyed american civility and the opportunity for compromise. >> and i count rush limbaugh among his prodigy. i don't think there could be a rush limbaugh without the gingrich leading the way that rush throws out there. let's listen to rush talking about political partisanship. >> they are not interested in truth or reality. they are making the case in
their own minds and is all that really matters to them. since the republicans took over the house, the democrat-controlled senate has taken up the bill. the best that can be hoped for right now is gridlock, bring a stop to everything. >> uh-huh. >> that obama wants. >> krystal, it sounds like newt's dream come true. >> that's their view. you listen to the rhetoric from rush and many others like him and you just have to shake your head and go, what planet are they living on? i mean, let's all recall -- >> living on the moon. >> we wish, right? let's all recall that last summer this was the party that nearly forced for no reason a default, the first ever in america and did actually force a downgrade of our credit, just to be a point, just to be obstructionist and just to disapprove this president and us
unbelievable and unprecedented. >> you co-authored this piece about how this government is stuck. headline, let's just say it, the republicans are the problem. >> and i have to say, lawrence, it's not that democrats are angels here. it's not as if we have a party -- >> i know you're nonpartisan history. that's why this is so striking. it's not easy for you to come to the writing of that story, that the republicans are the problem. >> what's become clear, we have in a parliamentary-style system, they have become an insurgent out liar and the goal has not to become a way to solve problems now, it's to throw a wrench into the system with consequences that they are willing to take, including the default, so that they can take overpower and do what they want to do. but it's a very different republican party. frankly, it goes beyond ideology. there are very strong conservatives who are problem solvers but there are people
like bob bennett and dick luger and those are people on their way out and others intimidated, including areas where they have strongly supported in the past. we point out instances where you have co-sponsors of bills voting against their own bills so that they don't give any credit to the president. the ideas don't matter. it's who is espousing them. and that's just different from what we've seen. >> thank you, norm ornstein, "it's even worse than it looks." thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, it used to be the cars a candidate drove, that's all they had to worry about. now it's everything, including the candidate's wife's clothing.
ann romney's $1,000 t-shirt is tonight's item in the politics of price tags. mitt romney says he has no problem with hiring gay people but his party certainly does. why the romney campaign's newly hired openly gay foreign policy adviser had to quit. and a baptist pastor who tells his congregation how to vote also told them and you will hear him say this, he told them that they should beat their 4-year-old sons if they suspect there is something feminine about them. the pastor apologized today but when you hear his sermon, you might find that his apology just isn't good enough. that's in the rewrite. anti-aging cream undeniably. it creamed unbelievably a $500 cream and now women have made regenerist microsculpting cream also unscented. women love it. in original and also fragrance-free.
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you're going to hear a sermon tonight by a baptist pastor that will disgust you. he advocates punching a 4-year-old boy if the boy let's his wrist go limp. he talks about how little girls should smell. this is really sick stuff that you're about to hear and he also, that same preacher, tells his congregation how to vote. that's in the rewrite. and a foreign policy adviser was pushed out of the romney campaign because he is openly gay. fred carter the first will talk with me next.
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i had a member of my cabinet was who gay. i was looking for people to appoint sexual orientation. >> that was mitt romney at a presidential debate in december yesterday. rick was hired only two weeks ago to be the romney campaign spokesman resigned and issued this statement. my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes come from a presidential campaign. and the romney campaign insists that grenell was not pushed out for being openly gay but brian fisher of the right-wing family american association is claiming victory. >> so ladies and gentlemen, this
is a huge win and it's a huge win for us in regards to mitt romney because i will flat off and you are not going to make that a homosexual activist. >> the case of rick grenell is involving a campaign staff and may help some forget an earlier romney staff controversy. >> well, i think he hit a reset button for the fall campaign and everything changes. it's almost like an etch-a-sketch. you shake it up and we start it all over again. >> he had this to say about rick grenell today. >> we tried to persuade him to stay. he felt for his own reasons that he couldn't serve effectively and we were disappointed that he decided to resign. i can't speak for rick.
but i think that he felt his effectiveness was going to be compromised, that he couldn't carry out the job the way he wanted to do it. >> joining me now is fred carter. fred, does it surprise you that the romney campaign would hire an openly gay staffer two weeks ago and not be able to hold on to him, that the pressure would build to him to this point? >> yeah. i mean, it's a very sad day for this country, that a bigoted bully like brian fisher can force a campaign like mitt romney's who was trying to extend an olive branch with a brilliant appointment of an immensely talented to let him go. i'm not sure i buy eric's comment on that. i think that he was forced out. >> "the huffington post" reports, speaking to a campaign source, saying the main source of the criticism was from a person on the far right that romney had taken on before, the romney source said the far right
source is bryan fischer who romney did condemn and it was not over sexual orientation but over fischer's criticism of mormonism. we have romney standing up to fischer's criticism of mormonism but not over hiring a homosexual. >> he works for a known hate group. how can anyone listen to the language of a hate group as some of the other critics are. and this is a man who is a distinguished diplomat who
served at the u.n. under george w. bush and did an incredible job as communications director and i'm very disappointed in governor romney that he caved in to this far right bryan fischer and other pressure. he must have are gotten a lot of pressure to let him go. >> i'm willing to take mitt romney at his word as expressed in that december presidential debate when he said that he would not discriminate against gay people in hiring. he didn't. he hired a very prominent and openly gay staffer two weeks ago. he made good on what he said in that debate. but his word -- well, it -- i guess it depends here on whether mitt romney was in any way involved in pressuring rick grenell to leave. he's saying, no, he didn't. it could be that mitt romney stuck by his word all the way
through the story but the pressures in the republican party make mitt romney's word, in effect, meaningless. >> i work for president reagan for seven years on his campaign and political side. and this is despicable what is going on and it's not necessarily the republican party. i'm the first openly gay presidential candidate of either party. the republican party from reince prebius welcome me. the national organization for marriage that all of these candidates sign this hateful anti-marriage pledge and we need to -- we need to cleanse the republican party of this type of bigotry. this is not the republican party that i am a part of. i'm a clint eastwood republican. those are the kind of
republicans that we need to bring younger people in to the republican party some day. >> thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, next, you will hear a baptist pastor say things more horrible than you can probably imagine. he says it in his church sermon and he has now apologized for it. but when you hear what he says about beating a 4-year-old boy, you will probably not be ready to accept that apology. and, later, not all t-shirts are created equal. an romney has one that costs $1,000 and made the mistake of wearing it on tv the other day. the politics of price tags. [ female announcer ] it figures...on your busiest day you see the gray. try root touch-up by nice 'n easy. just brush our permanent color matching creme
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in tonight's rewrite, you will actually hear a north carolina pastor telling his congregation to beat their children if they seem gay. we have the video of him saying this. this very, very sick man apologized today but he lied while he was apologizing. that's next on the rewrite. and, later, meghan mccain thinks ann romney made a mistake by wearing a $1,000 t-shirt the other day on tv. the price of politics. greetings from the windy city of chicago.
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time for tonight's rewrite. sean harris, the hate-driven pastor of a baptist church in fayetteville, north carolina, has finally, after days of protest, apologized for this sermon that he gave this sunday. >> so if your son starts acting girlish when he's 4 years old and instead of squashing that and saying get outside and dig a ditch because that's what boys do you, get out the camera and you start taking pictures of johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to youtube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.
can i make it any clearer? dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and you crack that wrist. man up. give him a good punch. okay? you're not going to act like that. you were made by god to be a male and you are going to be a male. and when your daughter starts acting too butch, you rein her in. and you say, oh, no. oh, no, sweetheart. you can play sports. play them. play them to the glory of god. but sometimes you're going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you're going to be beautiful, you're going to be attractive. you're going to dress yourself up. say, can i take charge as a parent? yeah, you can. you're authorized.
i just gave you a special to do that. >> in his official statement of retraction entitled official statement of retraction issued today, sean harris said he is retracting any and all words that suggest that child abuse is appropriate for any and all types of behaviors including but not limited to feminacy. i should not have said what i said about cracking and punching and outward bias towards girls nor should i have used the world special dispensation. i did not say that children should be squashed. >> your little son starts to act a little girlish when he's 4 years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach. >> wait, isn't the 4-year-old boy you're talking about there the cockroach that should be squashed?
sean harris' statement of official retraction also said, i have never suggested children or those in the lgbt lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused physically or psychologically in any form or fashion. >> dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. man up. give him a good punch. okay? >> a good punch. what kind of holy man, what kind of man of god lies about what he says in a videotaped sermon when he is apologizing for what he said in that sermon? he did say that if your son has a limp wrist, you should punch him.
but on his baptist church stationery in his official retraction of his statement, he lies about having said that. he also says in his official statement, i apologize to anyone i have unintentionally offended. i did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the lgbt community. what does he sound like when he is intentionally trying to offend someone? >> and when your daughter starts acting too butch, you rein her in. and you say, oh, no. oh, no, sweetheart, you can play sports. play them. play them to the glory of god. but sometimes you're going to act like a girl, talk like a girl, and smell like a girl. >> smell like a girl.
the child abuse advocating pastor did not explain what smell like a girl means. does he mean that he knows little girls who don't smell like a girl? what do they smell like? does he know how very, very sick that sounds? >> but sometimes you can act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl. >> sean harris asked for forgiveness in his statement of retraction but he didn't ask for everyone's forgiveness. only christians. he said to those in the greater body of christ in fayetteville, north carolina, and the world, i seek your forgiveness if i have offended or hurt the cause of christ. so, if you're jewish and you are offended and hurt, he doesn't care.
he's not seeking your forgiveness. he lives in that world where only christians matter. and professor tony cartilage got his doctor of divinity teaches the old testament saying that the sermon was one of the most disappointing and un-christ-like diatribes i have ever heard. i would not dishonor the word "sermon" by stating it as such. harris' position presents a distorted view of scripture that is completely out of keeping with the teachings of jesus. and why did sean harris spew all this hate? >> my job this morning, my objective this morning is to so
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>> it turns out the craziest thing about that romney tv appearance was the shirt ann romney chose to wear. it was instantly recognized as the silk shirt part of the 2012 summer collection and the shirt is available to anyone for a mere $990. yet another example of how out of touch the romney family can be with how 99% of americans live. >> what is wrong with mitt romney? he doesn't have to build a $19 million in california, does he? can he wait for that for a few years? and now he's got an elevator in his garage? >> i tell you what, 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> take a shot. go for it. take a risk. get the education. borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business. >> joining me now, jonathan
washington post opinion writer and meghan mccain, columnist for the daily beast. meghan, first of all, it's a really ugly t-shirt. first of all, did you like that thing? >> no, it's not my style. but what's important to say is she has custom designer clothes as well. >> i believe the tennis shoes were $450. >> well, more expensive than what i wear and what the average american wears but what ann romney needs to remember is she is on the campaign trail and she should probably be more cognizant of the message. >> she should have been warned by some of these things that came out against michelle obama. on clothing they can tell, i trace the politics to 1992. i want to show you this piece from 1992 where pat buchanan, running for president, got in
trouble because of his mercedes. >> pat buchanan, it's america first in his political speeches but a foreign-made car in his driveway. >> jonathan, it used to be all you had to do was worry about your car. that was the only thing where everyone knew the price tag and which country it was from and now you have your $1,000 t-shirts and these identifiable watches. >> right. >> and apparently the tennis shoes. if you're going to wear these things, people will know how much they cost. >> right. because people are looking to see whether the people who are running to govern them can relate to them. and to take issue for just a little bit with what megan just said. we have a first lady that may wear $400 tennis shoes but we also have a first lady that shops at j. crew. michelle obama has been photographed in her j. crew outfits and they sell out the
moment that they are photographed. but where i agree with meghan and with you, lawrence, on the campaign trail, you have to be very aware, very cognizant of the message that you're trying to send. particularly, mitt romney continues to send the signal that they are somehow removed, out of touch with the people that they hope to govern. >> was this the smartest thing that she ever did? no, of course not. but i don't think we can demogog their success. >> no, there is no comparison between the wealth of the obamas and -- >> so the romney people are bad people because they are wealthy? it's happened to the family member of a -- >> romney's family has hundreds and hundreds and millions of dollars that. is different from the approximately $10 million net worth or so of the obamas now
after book sales and earned income from salaries. it is a very different level of rich. they are rich. the obamas are rich. absolutely. but romney is mega rich which means he's got more to worry about in this category. he's got to be more sensitive in this category. >> i agree. and if i were ann romney, i would tell her to stick with white blouses and jeans from here on out. >> you're going on with charlie rose this morning on the show, what are you wearing? >> this is something i'm cognizant of, when i make speeches at colleges across the country, i'm -- >> there are some that say what are you wearing and there is a reason to check that? >> i think sarah palin since her stylist and all of the check against that, whether we like it or not, we have to pay attention to the kind of clothes that we wear. >> jonathan, last words, fashion authority, thank you very much. >> thank you. i've talked to norm. we may be changing the title of