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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  May 8, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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debated vote happening today in the swing state of north carolina. the state already banned same sex marriage but today's vote is to create a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. while the issue is focused in north carolina today, the results could send shock waves right up to the general election. it comes as we started off this week with the obama administration taking an intense hammering over where the president stands on same sex marriage as he, quote, evolves. and just a few hours ago, the white house press secretary jay carney was asked to clarify the president's position. he again stated the president has an unparallel record on gay rights. this of course came after yesterday's constant questioning at the press briefing. >> as you know, he said that his views on this were evolving. his personal views on this were evolving. i would say that his views are evolving. his views have not changed. i don't have an update for you.
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i don't have an update to provide you. i have no update to give you. the vice president expressed his personal views. he also said he was evolving. >> he did not say that. >> he did. >> no. the spokesperson said that. >> i don't have an update to provide you on the president's position. it is what it was. >> and this morning on the daily rundown, democratic governor bev purdue appeared to have the same stance as president obama and would not commit to outright supporting same sex marriage. >> do you understand the awkwardness of basically saying you're against banning gay marriage but not for it. that's where the president is. it sounds like that's where you are. it is a head scratcher to a lot of people watching this debate over the last 24 hours. >> let me just be very direct. you all can continue to scratch your head for another 48 hours. it is very important to me that the folks in north carolina who have not cast their ballot understand that this constitutional amendment takes away a lot of civil liberties.
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>> and the "news nation" political panel joins me now. migraine smerconish, talk show host and msnbc contributor. also steve deace. we're waiting for the reverend william barber, the president of the naacp in north carolina. and gentlemen, you may have seen this video of him. he went to a news conference and really took a strong stance against the state considering this amendment. but michael, i want to start with what the governor said about people scratching their heads over where the president stands and even where she stands as her key state, a swing state, michael, decides on this amendment at this hour. >> you take a look at some of the data from nbc and the "wall street journal" and you see the numbers are shifting. that what was a 49-41 in opposition is now completely reversed in the last three years. my point is that if the president's position is evolving, he is not alone. he has a lot of company. i happen to share the suspicion that jake tapper's question brought out that he is probably evolved to being supportive of
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same sex relations but if he were to say so, he would jeopardize his election in north carolina and virginia and i think that's what this is all about. >> let's look at the numbers. just some of them. we've broken it down in several categories. you have blue collar people up 20% when asked about same sex. african-americans up 18%. regarding same sex marriage. hispanics, independents up 9% there. you often hear people say that time is on the side of those who fight for this issue. with that said, what is your take on north carolina. the state by the way, already bans, or bars same sex marriage here. >> this is a race i've been watching closely because the folks that i syndicate my radio show through are based in north carolina. i have i have several affiliates there. i suspect it will pass today and if it does, it will mean the issue of marriage when put to this country is 32-0. it has won in oregon and maine.
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32-0. i cannot think of a single issue that is 32-0. we can't probably get 32 states to agree whether it is inmostly sunny or partly cloudy. >> why the silence for mitt romney? had reince priebus on with andrea mitchell yesterday. he said this puts the president's question of his credibility here. that he will not take a definitive stand, according to some. andrea pushed back saying, listen, that's the same problem mitt romney has. people like you, you're a conservative, believe that romney does not take a solid stand in the line anywhere including in quick sand. >> well, mitt romney already has taken a position on this issue. he took it as governor of massachusetts. he had a decision to make when the court tried to intervene there and demand the legislature act on their opinion. when the legislature did not, mitt romney chose to act on the court opinion rather than his own state constitution which forbids any entity other than the legislature in massachusetts from changing the marriage law.
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so he can sign all the pledges he wants. he can do all the dances he wants. he can bore tow phrase of the president and have the evolving views but when push came to shove as governor of massachusetts, he went in favor of destroying marriage. >> at least your argument, he doesn't have to use your vocabulary, he doesn't have a leg to stand on. >> i think that's why he is not criticizing him. he does not. it is very interesting. about the only person in america right now, or the only people in america trying to paint mitt romney as a right wing conservative are the president and his campaign. i mean that's kind of funny. the president is trying to make the case to romney's base better than romney is making it. >> to steve's point, let's just look at some of the states who are considering some type of action. you've got california, minnesota, maine, oregon, ohio, the list goes on and on, it seems. to steve's point, when it is put to a vote as it is right now in
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north carolina, despite the polling that shows the majority of americans changing their view on same sex marriage, it goes down. >> passion drives this bus. that's the explanation. you're looking at primary voters who are coming out today in north carolina. we had a primary in pennsylvania just two, three weeks ago where only 20% of those who were eligible came out. who are the folks who come out in these sorts of elections? those who are most passionate. who are the most passionate on an issue like this? they tend to be those who are in opposition. so i don't doubt the polling data when you survey america generally and you get people now saying by slight majorities, i'm okay with this and i think it is a growing number who are coming to that realization. when you put it to a primary vote, you get a different outcome. >> that goes to the point of the pressure on the president. his cabinet expressed support of gay marriage as we well know. president clinton was recorded on some phone messages urging people to fight this amendment. the president has come out
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against the amendment. but you see how easily, michael, some could label this as perhaps hypocrisy on the part of the president when you look at coming out against the amendment but not being willing to take a strong stance at this issue at this point. >> tamron, we had a conversation about ten days ago when the nra was meeting and people were trying to sell a bill of goods that obama would come for your weapons and your bullets in the second term. i said that was ridiculous. if the guy had some evil intention, he would do it right now. he doesn't know if he's getting a second term on. this issue i feel differently. on this issue, i do believe and it is just a gut instinct that he stands with same sex couples, for political purposes feels that he can't do so or he would cut loose a couple of states including virginia and north carolina. and it is not just southern white democrats who are looking at this. you know, within the african-american community, the numbers that i have seen show some strong opposition to
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recognition of same sex couples. i'm on the air right now and my affiliate in charlotte, north carolina, they're telling me the churches, the black churches are the ones most organizing in opposition to same sex marriage. >> these are the numbers. african-american views on gay marriage. in 2009, 32% favor, 53% oppose. march 2012. look at the number. 50% favor. 41% oppose. so i don't want to downer too hard because i didn't talk to you and the people steve spoke to but these are the number nationally. we also, let me bring in william barber, he is an african-american, the president of the north carolina branch of the naacp. thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you so much. thank you for this conversation. >> hang on. i want to quickly play a little of this news conference that you held and what you had to say as you were trying to fight this amendment in your state. >> do you believe that a majority of our popular vote
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should get to decide the rights of the minority? that's a dangerous precedent. because that means that the rights of people are determined by who is in the majority at a particular time. do you want to vote on an amendment that makes the only domestic union between a man and a woman there by undermining the rights of other couples and the rights of children and the rights of those who may be victims of domestic violence? do you believe, especially in the south with all of our ugly issues, in the south, where if we had had to vote on the laws that protect us today in the south, and some of them if we put them up for a popular vote today. if we put the voting rights up today in the south. if we put the civil rights act
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of '64 up for a vote in the south. it would probably be defeated. and if you believe in the south, we ought to be putting people's rights up for popular vote? >> so re rented, let me get you in here. you say a lot of people say the president is worried about losing the african-american churchgoers in states like yours. you don't speak for all black people but let me get your thoughts on when you hear people make that downer argument. >> we are having a slight technical difficulty but i can hear you well. there is an add element we need to discuss in this. that is parts of what has happened is we've been duped by the right to ask the wrong questions. when you ask people what do you feel about same sex marriage, you are asking a religious question that should not be a constitutional issue because we have the freedom of religion. what we have found is when you connect the dots and you show people who is behind this family
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research council that has been listed as a hate group. when you connect the dots of the same people that overturned to sue for the rights in our state that are trying to pass voter i.d. that cut $1.6 billion from education, that cut almost $2 billion for medicare. and have not addressed the issues like extreme poverty. $1.2 million people living in north carolina, living in poverty, the same people that sponsored this bill and have put up people's constitutional right for a popular vote. you get a very different answer. in fact, you get people saying i'm against same sex marriage but i'm not for voting on people's rights. i'm not for a states rights agenda to trump the 14 amendment. >> i guess my question. >> obviously it is. my question is president obama won north carolina by 1362 votes. the question is do you believe african-american voters will
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abandon this president if he strongly came out in support of same sex marriage? >> no, i don't. the fact is what you are in fact seeing in this particular area, we're about on this vote. the more we have educated people on who is behind it. what it does. why the national organization of marriage by their own admission said that they are doing this simply to split certain democratic allies, when we talk about how it would hurt heterosexual couples. the more people get educated, the poll numbers have cropped. because as people get educated, they see how bad this is constitutionally. it is bad law and it is a bad kind of politics. because it is the politics of division when you don't have the overwhelming vision that draws people to your politics. the only way you can win is to create division. the fact is we have 125 organizations working in coalition since 2006. 120 branches of naacp and people are pushing more now than ever
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before. and sometime even in our national discussion, we have missed that. and part of the problem is we ask the wrong question. the question is not so much what african-americans will do but what will north carolinians do. will we go backwards? we've not decreased people's constitutional rights since before slavery. after slavery, after the civil war, every constitutional amendment except the one to allow marmings were to expand constitutional rights. we have to have a different conversation. when you ask the right questions you get a very different answer on these matters. >> thank you so much. we'll see what happens in your state. as we mentioned, that vote is going down. last night, rick santorum finally endorsed mitt romney. it came in the form of an e-mail. tonight santorum has a high profile late night date and it is not with mr. romney. by the way, it is our "news
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nation" gut check. eric cantor is refusing to support the senior republican. >> first, i have not gotten involve in that race. >> why not? we'll get the latest on lugar's primary battle against a very popular tea party favorite. plus, stay quiet or speak up. mitt romney chose to stay quiet when a woman at a town hall accused the president of treason. >> i want to know. i do agree he should be tried for treason. >> we'll have the latest on the fallout there. you can always join our conversation. on the screen you see my twitter page. [ fabric flapping in wind ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at nissan, our ideal is innovation.
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in a few hours we'll know whether senator lugar. the 80-year-old republican service serving his sixth term. he is being charged by richard mourdock who hold as double digit lead according to the latest polling. questions over lugar's residency has defined him in the race. he has not lived in indiana for years now. >> lugar was also asked what a dress he has, what address he has on his driver's license. he said he wasn't sure but he presume it is the house he no longer owns. i asked him where he gets his mail from the dmv. he didn't exactly answer. >> when i renewed my driver's license, i come here to a proper office in indianapolis. and renewed it. >> so this residency issue has helped his opponent. mourdock defined lugar as a washington insider, out of touch with the people of indiana.
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>> when dick lugar moved to washington, he left behind more than his house. he left behind his conservative values. >> joining me once again, the "news nation" panel. talk show most msnbc contributor michael smerconish. also with us, the political science profess ompl a lot of people are listening to you there in indiana. >> i just had an hour-long conversation with listeners at wxnt and i made the argument that this will be the loss of another, it is hard to call him a moderate. i think of him as a conservative. someone who is toward the middle in the gop. and tamron, callers melted down the lines to disabuse me of the notion that this is about ideology. and instead, wanted to say as you've pointed out, a combination of his age, also a combination of this residency and him spending more time in mclean, virginia, than in indiana. >> all right. thank you. i know you have to get back to your phones. so let me bring you in on this.
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is this all about skensy or an example of what we talked about, the tea party having influence in state elections but not on national stage as we've seen them kind of muted when we're talking about the presidential race here. >> i think residency was a convenient issue for them to raise. it was actually raised initially by the democrats. but at that point in february, most people thought mourdock, he'll get a third but it will be again lugar. lugar didn't even have an opponent from the democrats' side the last time he ran. but when they had their debate, all of a sudden mourdock became viable. people looked at him and saidering held his own. he understands the issues. and there was the perception of two things. out of touch because he hasn't been here. and secondly, the underlying thing, age which really figured with some people. >> let me play kelly o'donnell's
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interview, asking about whether he's lost touch with the people in that state. >> i've been perfectly connected all the way along. it is a ridiculous charge. how could anybody be more hoosier? i have a farm out here that i continue to work with my sons. i manage it on behalf of our family. i'm in touch every week with everybody in the state. usually on the ground with visits but with our staffs, trying to meet almost every challenge of an individual hoosier or group. >> and those words sound good but they're not sticking. when you look at mourdock's background, he ran for office several times, not would have been in the past. so his resume is light but his words are strong or at least strong enough to have him really standing strong in the polling. >> well, he represents the tea party and they see all of a sudden, as it developed through basically in march that he was starting to be credible. the tea party sees this as a chance to really make a statement. not just a statement in indiana, by the way.
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but also nationally. and even though people like representative cantor have endorsed lugar and mitch daniels, there is a lot of feeling in indiana among the run-of-the-mill republicans, and this is a very republican state. that lugar had long ago lost touch. that he should step aside because of his age. now actually, mourdock is no kid. but he is also from a different part of the state. he is from the southern part of the state which has traditionally been sort of, secondly there is in this state, a great animosity toward the capital city. and lugar was, started as a school board member, then mayor of indianapolis. and so in the outer areas, he does not appear very often. i would disagree with his own
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characterization of how much he spends in the state. it was just yesterday that he was up in lafayette in the northwestern part of the state toward chicago but he hasn't been up in south bend, for example, in a long time. that i know of. he does have good constituent service and i don't want to put that on him. but he hasn't been here. >> that may be the argument that is noticed and sticking. i greatly appreciate you joining us. we'll continue to update our audience on the impact of all of it. we're following new details about al qaeda's failed plot to blow up a plane heading to the u.s., including more about the would be suicide bombers. new details to report in this story. but first today's money minute. here's a look at wall street before we go to break. [ female announcer ] the next generation of investing technology is now within your grasp with the all-new e-trade 360 investing dashboard.
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we're getting information into how the u.s. shut down a plot to bomb down a u.s. air flight. u.s. officials are saying they had a source inside the plot. that person turned out to be the actual suicide bomber himself. the officials say the bomber drove that device out of yemen and is now safe. the bomb is now at the fbi crime lab in virginia. earlier the white house terror adviser would not give specifics regarding that individual. >> we don't have to worry about the i.e.d. or the would be bomber. this is still in a sensitive stage. we're working very closely with those partners. we want to protect the source of methods. neither the device nor the would be bomber poses a threat. >> right now experts are examining the device. it is being called more sophisticated and similar to the so-called underwear bomber that failed in 2009. joining me now, republican
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congressman patrick mehan. thank you so much for your time. >> great to be here with you. >> let me get your reaction to this news that we just got in only an hour ago that u.s. officials say the source, the person that tipped them off was to be the suicide bomber. what can you tell me about that? >> whatever tactics are part of it, ultimately it would be a great effort to try to protect that, i believe. but it will likely come down. i think the more serious point as you see the persistence on the part of al qaeda to look at aviation as a target. to perfect their methods and the concern about yemen being a location in which we're seeing increased very dangerous activity with al qaeda. >> but can you, i know obviously, this is all still developing and you have limited ability to share with us what is being discussed privately. but this new information that u.s. officials say the source, the person who was supposed to carry that more sophisticated
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underwear bomb turned and provided this information that ended this plot. >> i'm not in a position to speak to that because of the classified nature of information that goes in to the tactics. that are part of it. which is the very serious nature of the continuing effort to try to perfect their ability to strike aviation. >> to your point about al qaeda and other terrorists continuing to try and attack us, i want to play with secretary of state hillary clinton said regarding this latest attempt to get a bomb on a plane. >> the plot itself indicates that these terrorists keep trying. they keep trying to devise more and more per verse and terrible ways to kill innocent people. and it is a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant at home and abroad. >> and part of being vigilant is being smart. do you have any concerns regarding tsa?
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we just had the reports of agents in l.a. who were charged with possibly smuggling drugs in. you've got that new video before you not terribly long ago, being pat down. do you have confidence in the tsa at this point, sir? >> well, i think this is one of the concerns you hear people say. do we need tsa at all? but you now see the reason that with aviation, as a target, why it is believed by many that it is necessary and it does help increase the likelihood that we will intercept an effort like this. and simply the fact that they've gone to such remarkable efforts to continue to try to find ways around it indicates that it is working here in the united states. of course, it is only as good as its weakest link. and oftentimes things can be connected through other nations or whatever way they can get something on to a plane may not always implicate going through the united states controlled protections. >> we know that at least this
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latest upwear bomb, the goal was to be able to get past the body screens, the body scans that we've talk so much about that tsa thought to use despite as you know, nationwide outrage who felt that they were intrusive and took away our privacy. with that said, there have been critics who have noted many problems with the tsa. i just named you one incident in los angeles where workers were accused of possibly drugs. what else will they struggle in for money? is the tsa part of the weak link that needs to be explored here? >> i think it is a very legitimate question when you start to look at the balance of how much freedom are we willing to give up. the truth of the matter is, we haven't had that kind of a bomb on to a plane in quite some time. so it is working. it does work. but there is no question that you've got to be eternally vigilant to make sure not only are we continuing to keep a certain standard but you're
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trying to match what would be the game of cat and mouse with the bomb makers. this guy is serious. it is believed that this is his third attempt. i was in philadelphia during the time that the cartridge bomb landed in that area. you're watching very, very sort of creative ways to try to circumvent the system. so that was the use of the mail that wouldn't go through, a mail package that wouldn't go through screening at an airport. >> congressman, we greatly appreciate you coming on and reacting to this latest news. giving us your insight. thank you. >> thank you for having me. we are following developing news. the senate on a bill that would stop student loans from doubling in july. could it be call awkward timing? george clooney is holding a $40,000 a plate fund-raiser at his home this week. will the stars confront the president over the same sex controversy?
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you have to know anything can happen at one of those town halls but they are calling the leadership into question for remaining silent when a support he claim the president should be tried for treason. here's how it all played out at the event in ohio yesterday. >> that microphone right behind you. >> we have a president right now that is operating outside the structure of our constitution. and i want to know -- i want to know. i want -- i do agree he should be tried for treason. >> so romney ignored the comment. observers, of course, took note comparing his reaction to john mccain in 2008 when a supporter went after the president. take a listen. >> i do not believe in -- i can't trust obama. i have read about him and he is not, he is a -- he is an arab. he is not -- >> no, ma'am.
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>> no? >> no, ma'am. he is a decent family man citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about. he is not. thank you. >> joining me now, conservative radio show host steve deace. gentlemen, thank you for joining me. steve i'll start with you. you're the conservative but you absolutely do not like mitt romney. you have gone after him time and time again. so this time around i guess it is a softball. what do you think of the way he handled it? >> listening to those two clips, you remind me of yesteryear when i found someone i disdained more than mitt romney and miss name is mccain. >> how do you -- go ahead. >> i love this argument. i have fundamental disagreements with a decent person. the other side of the argument, we're all called racists, mysogynists, traitors, we get called every name in the book. but he says he's a decent guy i
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have some fundamental disagreements with. that whole -- the clims you just played are a great example of why republicans lose all the time. all the time. >> you have to help me out. i can't see in your head right now and i don't know what you're talking about. you're telling me that it was not a stand-up way to handle this when senator mccain, this woman said that then candidate obama was arab. he is not. and calling her out on that left you with a bad taste in your mouth for john mccain? >> it is not that part. it is what he said next. i have to apologize for disagreeing with the american left. i'm sorry. and if i say really nice things about them, maybe like the other guy here, michael from the new york times, maybe they will say nice things about me. if i'm really nice about it if i say please forgive me that i might disagree. maybe e will be nice to me and all that does is leave men like john mccain and later this fall mitt romney to lose every time. >> i have to wonder if it is the rabid dog theory. it seems for some people, maybe
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steve, some other conservatives, maybe even some on the far left. if you're not constantly throwing bloody red meat out there, they're not happy. what would possibly be the problem with how senator mccain handled that compared to mitt romney who then later clarified or tried to come out and say the president should not be tried for treason. >> well, the interesting thing that i find with b this whole incident. you was at the rally for senator mccain four years ago when that happened. i remember that was late in the campaign. the intensity of the vitriol, the mud slinging that happened in 2008. that happened in october of 2008 as everything was winding down. that intensity seems to be here already. here we are six months from the campaign and the kind of passion and intensity and anger and frustration. i talked to both of the leading political advisers for both the campaigns yesterday and they both expressed the kind of frustration in the kind of language that is already out
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there. >> for fair not, let me play mr. romney's response. he said the president should be tried for treason. >> governor romney, do you think president obama should be tried for treason? like the person who asked you? no? is there a reason you didn't correct her or say that you would not? >> i answered the question. >> but you don't agree with her answer? >> i don't correct all the questions that get asked. i obviously don't agree. >> steve, your take on his answer there. >> oh, gosh. i love this show. it is the only place in america where i might defend mitt romney. just a week ago he was being called racist from people in the audience. and i don't recall there was any similar outrage to that. are you referring to when he -- >> hang on. we have to tell people what you're about. you have to clarify. he was in new york at the fire station. we don't even know the individual. if you've ever been in new york city, people yell all kinds of crazy things at you and about you. so i think that is not a fair thing. we're in a town hall. he is face to face with this
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woman and an opportunity, yes, to answer her question but also when something is wrong, when it is not right, why not say it? he was faced with that same thing with sandra when he had an opportunity to come out and admonish rush limbaugh. you don't have to throw the guy under the bus as you all like to say but you can say as a man, as a husband, i have daughter-in-laws. what he is saying about sandra is absolutely deplorable. this is the opportunity here. not just for mitt romney. for any politician faced with having their john mccain home. whether you like john mccain or not. that was a big moment for him. >> here's what i think it would be a big moment. if maybe we would ask the question, what is this current administration doing that has presented or has created people that have the sort of frustration and anxious that the people in the two clips that you just played are demonstrating. are they all insane? are they all crazy? maybe it is because regardless of whether we all approve of the
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way they're saying it maybe it is because we're seeing a reconstruction of the american system what used to be called right is now called wrong. what used to be called wrong is now called right. profit is criticized. where achievement is downgrade asked maybe people are feeling like, you know, the america that i grew up thinking we were, that's being betrayed. maybe we ought to ask what is going on in this country right now that leads people to come to these conclusions. >> people don't know but we consider each other friends. michael, i hate to bring you in our personal conversation but you host a radio show, steve. if someone called in and said tamron hall is arab or she should be called for treason, you might agree the second part but what would you answer? you said no, she's been. so you can save that for someone else. you know the man should have stood up and said what was right and wrong. >> i would say tamron hall is pleasantly misguided at times. that's what i would say. >> but she's not arab. you would say the truth of the matter and not that there would be anything wrong with if i am but let me go to you, not to pinpoint so much on mitt romney
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but to your point, the concern that this kind of language, this kind of rhetoric in a town hall this early in the game, what are we going to see in october or leading up days before the election? especially with the polling showing the razor thin margin between these two men. >> exactly. i think that is the question. these kinds of campaigns build over time, right? the kinds of frustrations. to steve's point, there is something there in a segment of the population that feels the way it does about president obama and that is only going to get more intense as the campaign heats up. on the republican side, you know, they pointed out that david axelrod said in a conference call with reporters yesterday, referred to the people running the super baghdapacs. that kind of language is also out there. that the republicans would take issue with and said that's not appropriate language either. i think the question is, is there any way to kind of reign
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that back for the two campaigns? or is it inevitable that it keeps ratcheting up for the next six months. >> i think some people don't want to rein it in. that's what they want. they want to see this red meat divisive language for whatever reason and it is usually because they think it will make they will a winner in the election. thank you, gentlemen. i greatly appreciate it. steve, my friend, if people call and ask things about me that are not true, you'd better say they're not. thank you. just a couple hours ago, senate republicans blocked a democratic bill that would have kept federal college loan rates from doubling july 1st. as expected, the measure failed to get the necessary 60 votes to move ahead. it fell eight votes short amid more partisan bickering. >> they're sending a clear message that they would rather protect wealthy tax dodgers. that's what they are. promising students. >> what matters to democrats is that they find a way to drive a wedge tweebl republicans and a
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constituency that they're looking the court ahead of the november elections. that's what today's vote is all about for them. >> both parties agree a bill should be passed by july 1 deadline. the battle is over how to pay four democrats. they want to use taxes on high earning stockholders. some republican version of the bill pays by limiting a prevent i have the health fund. es more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth. [ music plays, record skips ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party.
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it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. coming up at the top of the hour, the president has a to do list with congress. good luck with that. while mitt romney takes credit for saving the auto industry. good luck with that. plus, will the republican who brought a camera crew to deliver meals on wheel deliver a blow to that very program? now back to tamron. >> back to the politics of same sex marriage. what started off as a rough week for the president could hit an awkward note on thursday when he walks into the star studded
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fund-raiser hosted by actor george clooney. the event could raise a record $12 million with some of hollywood's most vocal gay marriage advocates. expected to attend. according to the hollywood reporter nearly every celebrity surveyed at the correspondence preparty listed the nationwide legalization of same sex marriage as one of the issues they most care about. so how beneficial will clooney's fund-raiser be for the president? joining us to talk about it. the political editor, ted johnson. thank you for your time. >> thanks for having me. >> it was chuck todd who brought it up earlier that this could be an awkward moment. we don't know how this will play out. let me get your thoughts. so many in hollywood have come out. some saying they would not marry until same sex marriage was legal in this country. >> yes. exactly. that came from brad pitt and angelina jolie. i should say that george clooney himself has become somewhat of a same sex marriage advocate. in march, he appeared as one of
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the stars of a performance of eight which is a play all about the trial over proposition 8. that was a big fund-raiser for same sex marriage advocates. it raised more than a million dollars in that single evening. so i wouldn't be surprised if this is brought up. clooney or some of his friends who are there who have really been out front on this issue. >> an article you wrote yesterday, you say the co-creator of will and grace sent a check to the obama campaign on monday. what did he say with that check? >> well, yeah. these were the co-creators of will and grace. and max is one of the co-creators of that show. and he sent this check on behalf of joseph biden. he was very pleased with what biden said. biden, supportive of same sex marriage but also crediting will and grace with really shaping public opinion on this issue.
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and on gay rights in general. nevertheless, max was very disappointed in the president's characterization of his stance. that it is evolving. he found that wholly offensive. those were his words. and i think a large part has to do with this attempt to have nuance. talking to a lot of donors and gay donors out here. they just don't believe that the president's position is evolving. they actually believe the president does support same sex marriage and that this is absolutely politically motivated. >> for the "washington post," reporting that one in six of president obama's so-called bundlers. they raise money in great stacks. one in six of them are gay. giving this issue great importance fiscally and as i pointed out, according to the hollywood reporter. nearly every celebrity surveyed listed this nationwide legalization as one of the issues they most cared about. not one in a laundry list. one that they most care about.
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>> for a lot of activists within the entertainment community, they see this as the civil rights movement of our generation. that has a lot of resonance. not just because of the history involved but also because there is a perception that the entertainment industry has been out front on this issue. that they've had a real cultural impact. not just with will and grace but ellen degeneres. a lot of these shows have really kind of set the stage for the public acceptance of gay rights and same sex marriage. you mentioned the george clooney fund-raiser. that will be telling on what the president says thursday evening. there is another event that the president has on his schedule and that's june 6th. that will be a fund-raiser for the gay and lesbian community here out in los angeles. that will include a lot of celebrities. a lot of producers, writers and
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directors and creators. and it is, he will undoubtedly be confronted on this issue. >> ted johnson, thank you so much. greatly appreciate your time. up next, rick santorum's late night endorsement of mitt romney is being called tepid, low key. what do you think? was it convincing? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn
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it is about rick santorum's endorsement of romney. he made a statement just after 11:00 p.m. last night and it came in the 13th paragraph of the statement, by the way. if you're downing and we are. and just over 24 hours later instead of appearing with romney, santorum will be with jay leno on "the tonight show." tonight. so what does your gut tell you? is trsantorum's endorsement convincing? about 200 of you started giving
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