tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC May 9, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
it's wednesday, may 9th and this is "now." joining me today, patricia murphy of citizen jane politics and a contributor to "the daily beast" and d.c. news political analyst, former governor ed rendell. that means crossword lover. maggie haberman and mr. sunday morning himself, hugo lindgren of "the new york times magazine." tea party challenger richard mourdock ousted senator dick lugar in last night's primary after 36 years in office. he grated mourdock but offered an ominous prediction for congress, writing "what mourdock has promised in this campaign is reflexible votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party. if that attitude prevails in american politics, our
government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during the last several years, and i believe that if this attitude expands in the republican party, we will be relegated to minority status." mourdock responded to this, this morning on "the daily rundown." >> what i've said is i certainly think that bipartisanship ought to consist of democrats coming to the republican point of view. >> well, there's that. joining us now from washington is former rnc chair and msnbc political analyst, the notorious michael steele. chairman steele, is this win, is mourdock's win a good thing for the republican party? >> well, yeah. i mean, i think it's -- you know, every win is, you know, a good day for the republican party if you're getting candidates out there who can carry that state or carry a congressional district for you, if that's what the people in that state or that congressional district believe. i think this race now puts the senate a little bit more in play. i think that a lot of the voters
who supported lugar over the last few years who didn't get to vote in this primary are going to be looking very closely at mourdock going into the general, which makes this seat now a little bit more of a question mark for the republicans to keep it. that is ultimately a consideration politically that the state party and political actors on the ground have to take into consideration when they get behind certain candidates to oust an incumbent who has traction with the opposition, if you will. in other words, democrats voted for lugar in general elections. they now have to recalculate, particularly when mourdock comes out with a statement like he did this morning, when you're telling the other side, look, the only way this is going to work is if you agree with me. that's going to cause the voters to have pause, particularly in a climate where they're sick and tired of being sick and tired with the bs that comes out of candidates' mouths and out of elected officials' mouths when it comes to solving problems. >> chairman, it's maggie haberman. how much -- there are specific factors in this case involving
senator lugar. >> yep. >> he dnst didn't live in the state. >> right. >> and was seen as disconnected from the electorate. at what point is it incumbent upon the senators and people in office to run a race, campaign, do things that you actually have to do to stay in office, as opposed to just not have a tea party challenger? >> maggie, you're absolutely right. if you're going to parse this thing down and look at it, that was the nub of the loss here. you know, the tea party challengers in these races have had the advantage of going in and filling a void that's been left by the incumbent who's come to washington, forgotten their home state. they've, you know, not lived there for quite some time, as in the case of lugar, and become disconnected, as we saw with bob bennett in utah, for example. and so, the reality is that you have to stay engaged, you have to, you know, do politics 2.0, and really stay in this new environment, connected in this new environment, where you have not just tea party activism, but you know, occupy type of
activism and union activism that are shaping and formenting the body of politic at the grassroot level. if you're disconnected of that, you go the way of lugar, bennett and others, who are ousted because the voters ultimately decide you're not connected to me, so i'm not connected to you. therefore, let's look someplace else. >> okay, but what do we make, folks on the panel here, about -- i mean, we're talking, there are state interests, obviously, as you pointed out, maggie, not feeling like your representative is representing you, but then there's also the national concern and i think that's what lugar is giving voice to in terms of where this country is going and where the party's going. and you know, you think about what mourdock has said in terms of bipartisanship. that's not bipartisanship. that's my way or the highway. >> sure, but i think we're missing the point here. the real thing we should be discussing now is the loss to the country. this is going to create enormous problems on two counts. number one, we lost someone who after the election, assuming whether it's obama or romney,
the next president has to get everyone together and say we've got about 4 1/2 months that we've got to do simpson/bowles, a good energy bill, an infrastructure bill, education and we've got to do it bipartisan. everyone's going to have to give up a little bit. number one, we lost dick lugar, who was one of the guys who could do that from the other side if president obama is re-elected. and two, this is going to have a chilling effect on other republicans who are up two years from now. >> right. >> right. >> a chilling effect, sort of, but also, i mean, i think it's not politics 2.0, it's literally politics 101. >> right. >> and i think that's the failure here. it's like, this is where, you know, it's one thing to be a moderate. it's another thing to be a moderate who's not really playing the game. >> see, that, i disagree with that. mike castle went home every night to delaware. he was mr. delaware. people loved mike castle. he lost because he was too moderate. >> well, i think the most important thing that lugar said last night that was very true is that republicans are losing the
ability and democrats are losing the ability to even explore alternatives. and when you see what's going on in the house and the senate, there is my way and the wrong way, and lugar was one of the few people who would explore the other way and talk to other people, talk to democrats about where can we be in the middle. but he did things like vote for multiple debt ceiling increases, voted for both of obama's supreme court nominees, which in the old days was just being polite politics, being polite to the president. i think now the next step is, who's going to win this race in november? somebody like joe donnelly, quite moderate, he did not vote for nancy pelosi the last time around. i think he's the best choice that democrats have to put out on the field. but if you look at what happened in 2010, dan coats beat brad ellsworth, who was also moderate, by 15 points. so indiana i think is a big question mark for democrats now. >> it is. >> michael steele, the conventional wisdom here, if you look at the polls done in late march, joe donnelly, who of course is the democratic challenger here, got 35% of the vote to mourdock's 35% of the
vote. but when you paired him up against dick lugar, donnelly was getting 29%, lugar 50% of the vote. this is a statement that theoretically shouldn't even be in play for the democrats and now would seem to be. >> and now it is, and that's the reality. it's delaware all over again. you've got to -- you know, i get the passion to get someone out, you know, who's not necessarily, you know, giving you the good vibes that you want, but the reality of it is, there are political consequences and impacts and i think both patricia and the governor are dead on here. you're looking at what lugar said really is a manifesto for the party in terms of staying relevant in this changing political environment. >> and michael, i think worse is what mourdock said. >> yes. >> if i'm the democrats, i'm taking that around right now today -- >> oh, my gosh! >> they will be. >> well, they'll need somebody else besides dick lugar to say it as a manifesto -- >> no, we democrats say it, coming from mourdock's mouth. >> i'm talking about the republicans, though. >> can it possibly that be both things are true?
can it that be dick lugar is a loss to the country, that this is going to be harmful in d.c. and for getting things done, and at the same time, there are basic lessons that you do actually have to campaign for your state? >> sure. >> don't try to be so reasonable, maggie. you have such a moderate opinion. >> he has it on his driver's license. you can't get elected no matter what you say -- >> he wasn't warned, and essentially for the response to be, you should elect me anyway because i am a centrist and can get things done. that's a problem. >> we have to go to break, but i have to say one thing. if we are talking about the reality of campaigning and needing to run a campaign to get re-elected, it's important to note that the club for growth spent $2 million on this race to help mourdock and super pacs and the influence of outside groups. lugar should not have been in danger. he kicked the door open for the tea party to walk through. >> correct. >> yes, he did. >> and was warned by washington republicans for months to take it seriously. >> look at the club for growth. these are people who say they want the u.s. economy to recover. well, we're not going to have a
recovered economy, folks, unless we do simpson/bowles. and simpson/bowles means both sides have to compromise. and we just, thanks to the club for growth, kicked out one of the few guys who could broker that compromise. >> there's still a republican -- >> good job. >> there's still a republican in washington who's talking bipartisan language and his name is michael steele. mr. steele, thank you, as always, for joining us. >> thank you guys. >> we'll see you soon. >> all righty. coming up, president obama receives a primary challenge from a federal inmate, and you thought the controversy over gay marriage messaging was bad. we will look at some of the president's latest troubles when chris matthews joins the panel next on "now." [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks.
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has work to do to win over independent voters, he may actually have more to do to convince members of his own party. this is a challenger who claimed over 40% of the vote in west virginia in the democratic primary against president obama. keith judd, who doesn't even live in west virginia, is a convicted felon serving a 17-year sentence for extortion at a federal prison in texas. judd declares himself a member of the federation of superheroes and listed his religion as rastafarian christian. again, he took more than two-fifths of the votes from west virginia democrats. joining us now is the host of "hardball" here on msnbc, the great chris matthews. also author of "elusive hero," the best book ever written by the kennedys. >> thank you. it's out now. by the way, it's rough when you lose to one of these characters, 40%. >> it is. this is what i want to ask -- >> well, this is student voting, stupid voting. >> he didn't quite lose, but it was a semi-open primary. i think it's a bellwether if if
not angry, how apathetic voters are. >> but answer the question. >> this is my thesis. >> it seems to me that -- >> raise the iq level. >> it's not serious voting. but i do see a pattern out there of angry voting and it's polarizing. it's not just in indiana, where they showed no sympathy for lugar, but in pennsylvania, the governor people like altmire lose, people are polarizing. we grew up in a world, the governor and i, where people split their tickets. who's splitting their ticket anymore in this world? it's all left or right, no room in the middle, we don't like the other side. and this sort of, obviously, immature voting and people voting for this guy. >> would that happen 20 years ago, a arrest rastafarian chri inmate? >> he would probably vote for lassie if he could. >> and governor, you guys are sort of lions of the industry. i mean, would this have happened 20 years ago? >> no, probably not, but i think chris is right. i wouldn't take this too
seriously, although if i was president obama, i wouldn't spend much time in west virginia. >> yeah, i think that's fair. that will help with his strategy. >> when mike nutter in the primary last year, mayor of philadelphia who was very popular, he ran against a guy who was literally out of federal prison for two months, who owed $500,000 in city taxes, and that guy got 26%, 26%. >> to a tax cheat. that's different. >> in the general election, mike nutter got 81%. so that's number one. number two, look, i think president obama is going to do very well among democrats. if you look at the polls, he's got 92%, 93% of democrats already supporting him. there were independent voters in this primary. that's a little bit of a problem. but independent voters in west virginia are different than independent voters -- >> across the country. >> and democratic voters in west virginia are very different from democrats in the rest of the country. >> absolutely. >> there is no liberal or even centrist -- >> sure, hillary clinton -- >> very conservative.
hillary won -- >> 31 points. >> and i think she had already dropped out of the race by then. >> no, she was still in it. [ everyone talking at once ] >> down here. bang on the pipes, make some noise. show them you're animate, you're alive and you're mad. it's like the movie. >> how many votes did colbert get, though? >> that's another part. >> let's talk, though, about another sort of -- >> when goldwater was running, used to have a bumper sticker, gillespie for president. >> miles davis for president. chris, what about north carolina? >> well, that's a trouble sign. >> it is a trouble sign. >> what was interesting is, in the press conference this morning, you see that north carolina's behind catching up to the other southern states, that every southeastern state now has got a ban on same-sex in their constitution. >> same-sex marriage. >> which really shows how serious this challenge is for the president. if he says something in this interview this afternoon that goes too far. he has to be very careful, i think. >> and what's interesting -- >> despite what the governor says. see, the governor's not running this year, nor is hillary clinton running.
by the way, hillary clinton hasn't stated a clear position on this either. so it's not like everybody's out there jumping up and down saying same-sex. >> the same-sex marriage amendment sort of outlawing any kind of civil unions between same-sex partners passed. if you unpack the numbers and look at what happened in largely black communities, in hartford county, 60% black, 70% of the black population supported the amendment. halifax, 53% black, 68%. we've talked a lot about the president on gay marriage, and there's been a lot of talk about the political calculation there and whether or not a full endorsement of gay marriage alienates him from black supporters. >> well, it happened in ohio last time in 2004. look what happened. don king and karl rove got tied into the black ministers up in cuyahoga county in cleveland, got like 76% of the vote against the black candidate on this issue. it's very smart to go into the conservative black communities and make this case. there's a lot of worries about marriage in those communities, just stable marriages. they'll say this is one more
threat -- of course, you can argue it's ludicrous, but this is one more threat to the marriage in this situation. >> i don't -- >> why are you laughing, governor? you know what's going on. >> because i actually don't think this is going to hurt obama tremendously if he comes out in favor of gay marriage. but i'm just trying to elevate the iq. >> ooh! maggie, maggie, let me tell you, you're wrong. i'm telling you. >> no, let me finish. here's the thing. i think this is becoming a political problem about leadership for obama that transcends the issue of how swing state voters feel about this. i think it's equally problematic for the president. i think he looks most like mitt romney than he has the entire cycle, and i think that's what hurts him. >> in the end, the argument's in november, how people vote. >> north carolina is a high-wire act for this president. he won by 14,000 votes out of 4 million cast. he has no room for error, no room for risk, really. and so, i understand why they are just not even ready to dip a big foot in that water, let alone a toe, because -- >> but there's -- >> -- there's no room for error here. >> they're summoning the abc
news reporter to the white house at the last minute -- >> robin roberts will be sitting down with the president. >> right. >> the interview is set to air later today. it's interesting, the president could not avoid putting out a statement on this. and this is what the statement said. "the president believes the north carolina measure singles out and discriminates against committed gay and lesbian couples, which is why he did not support it. president obama has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples and is disappointed in the passage of this amendment." >> i think we're forgetting one thing. let's examine single-issue voters. there are very few of us in the country that are single-issue voters, and the only people who are single-issue voters on the gay marriage thing are gays and lesbians who are for obama, no matter what. and the other side are people who never would have voted for president obama to begin with, on a whole host of different issues. >> that's right. >> so i don't think it loses people. independents, chris, are not voting on this issue. they're voting on the economy, they're voting on, as maggie
says, leadership. >> wait until republicans get to spend six months making this into the biggest thing you ever saw. >> i think if they do that, they make a big mistake. >> they turn him from the independent that he painted himself to be in 2008 to the liberal that they want everyone to believe that he is, and i think that something like this will help -- >> this will help -- >> this will help in virginia and -- >> we have a poll out this week that said 54% of the country thinks obama is to the left. this will help make that point. >> that's exactly right. >> also there is a poll that 50% of the country says gay marriage is okay. >> they live in states that democrats are going to win anyway. not all. >> on the accusation of obama being a liberal, this is what mitt romney is saying on the campaign trail. >> president obama chose to apply liberal ideas of the past to a 21st-century america. liberal policies didn't work back then. old-school liberals saw a problem and thought a government-run program was the answer. the liberals of the past raised taxes. old-school liberals envision
government guiding and providing every need of every citizen. >> and there you have it, liberal, liberal, liberal, liberal. >> but that's liberal fiscal policy he's going toward. this is liberal policy with the independent, i think. i think that's what the point is here. i don't think that's about gay marriage, per se. you can certainly say that's on the fringe of it. i think there's a real risk for romney if the republicans make this a huge issue to try to bank votes on. i think that it ends up alienating under age 40 voters and independent voters, potentially. and you know, the thing is for romney, the flip side is that evangelicals are not that excited about him anyway. if he is now going to have to start continuing to go hard right in a general election, that's not a winner for him. tell me i'm wrong. chris agrees with me. pursing his lips. >> i also want to know what the white house does. >> i wish you were wrong. that's what i'm saying. >> do you think the president needs to come out one -- >> better angels. maggie's right, believe in our better angels and -- >> i don't think they exist. the point is they don't exist. [ everyone talking at once ] >> i will take you to -- >> can i just tell you, if this
goes wrong, hillary clinton gets to run against a republican in four years. that's not the worst thing to ever happen. >> that's true. that's very true. >> chris, i will tell you -- >> but you'll be at the right side of history because four years from now, this issue will be more popular. >> that's right. >> i will take you to any restaurant you want in the world, chris, and i'll fly you there -- >> wow! >> -- if barack obama gets less than 90% in any african-american precinct. >> wow! okay. >> let's look at cuyahoga county this time and north carolina where 70% is stunning to me. but i'll tell you -- >> they'll vote barack obama. >> i think pennsylvania is endangered by this issue. in danger. >> there is nobody on this issue that was voting for barack obama to begin with. >> how can you go to break when you're flanked by -- >> let's see how the president decides with robin roberts this afternoon. >> indeed we will. everybody will be watching right before they tune in at 5:00 p.m. -- >> why is he with an old philly
pitcher, anyway? what's he going after? >> chris matthews, ladies and gentlemen. catch "hardball" here on msnbc every evening at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. eastern and go pick up a copy of "elusive hero." after the break, mitt romney takes credit for the move he once derided, the bailout of the auto industry. hmm, what else did romney take credit for? we'll discuss that next on "now." ♪ ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism.
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to support cell health. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. ears perked up yesterday after mitt romney made a bold claim about the auto bailout, telling a local tv station, "i'll take credit for that." last night on "the daily show," jon stewart said there's more that romney should take credit for. >> a few years ago, mitt shared this touching dhild hood memory. >> my dad marched with martin luther king.
>> now, while technically, it turns out that wasn't true, it feels true. in fact, you know what? as a boy, mitt romney marched with martin luther king, fine. let's do that! as a direct result, the barriers that could have kept a certain young black man out of law school fell away. so, without romney's help, america would never have elected its first black president, which means that that said president would never have given the order to kill osama bin laden. so, who killed osama bin laden? >> i'll take a lot of credit. >> mitt romney. okay! maggie, you said you enjoy this quote. what do you make of mitt romney's logic on the fact that he'll take credit for the auto bailout? >> i think that they are, number one, i think they're kind of message testing. i think they're seeing what works in ohio. number two, i think -- look, there's a piece of this that he
is saying that a lot of republicans actually think he should have been saying for a while, which is that i had been in favor of managed bankruptcy. that's true. the problem is, there is a vast difference between where the capital came from. >> yes. >> which is the piece involving the government and unions. >> yes. >> he was not in favor of that. so, to go from saying i did believe in this concept to i will take credit for it i think is where it kind of, you know -- >> i think that's what we call the outlandish, is when you go from a sort of tethered to reality to just plain outlandish. far be it for anybody to understand the difference between government intervention and managed bankruptcy. this is the man who wrote the op ed "let detroit go bankrupt." hugo? >> i think it's brilliant. i'm sorry, i've got to stick up for mitt here. he came up with an incredible idea, is rewriting history. i think it's incredible. it's great. >> nobody is behind this, are they? >> it works, what the hell? >> i think they have a problem on credibility with independent voters. where does he stand on a lot of issues? when he comes out and says something so ridiculous and the internet exists and you can see
what he did and said before, he's wandering toward al gore territory. you can become a big joke real quick when you start taking credit for things that you clearly didn't do. >> and you're playing on ground that actually, ultimately favors the president, right? >> right. >> the democrats will then say, well look, the auto industry is still standing. you had that famously headlined op ed. this is something that we actually got right. at a certain point, it does tell you sort of how slim the path is for mitt romney. you know, he needs ohio. they would like to flip michigan, a democratic state. i don't think this is how they're going to be able to. >> i agree with maggie and i think that's one of mitt's problems is that he's trying to have a sort of pro economic growth, here's how we create jobs, but he doesn't have any do's fill in behind that, so he's got to take other people's ideas. >> the free market trumps all, managed bankruptcy. coming up, if you're down more than 50 points with hispanic voters, you may want to launch a site in spanish, who knows? we'll take ac look at mitt romney's latino problems and jose ballard, next on "now."
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♪ [ speaking spanish ] the obama campaign is out with a new round of spanish-language ads in the swing states of colorado, nevada and florida. the new commercials come as the gop's latest efforts to reach out to latino voters got off to a bumpy start when hispanic outreach coordinator for the republican party went off script and said mitt romney is "still deciding" what his position on immigration is. joining us is telemundo's jose diaz-balart, the man with all the answers. great to see you, as always, jose. >> good to see you. thank you. >> jose, what do you make of the comments that the latino outreach coordinator, who said basically i don't know what mitt romney's position on immigration
is, and then tried to walk that back, saying "i misspoke, romney's position is clear and is on the website." how bad do you think that hurts with voters? >> really not any worse than he is already, and let me tell you why, alex. because again, to quote bob dylan, when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. so, betty, who is a fabulous spokesperson for the republican party in the latino community, simply said what i think the whole party recognizes, which is that as a political party, the republicans don't have a very clear message on immigration reform, and the messages that have been coming out over these last months has been a message which hasn't exactly been positive. it's been a pretty negative message, you know, deport yourselves has i believe been the clearest position that romney has taken so far. >> indeed. >> on immigration reform. >> self-deportation. but i mean, i guess, jose, does
it surprise you that at this point he is very likely the republican nominee? in many ways, effectively begun a campaign in a general election. he doesn't have a spanish-language website, has done limited interviews with spanish-language media, says he would veto the dream act as it stands now. he hasn't even come out in terms of supporting marco rubio's dream-like prescription. and he has said himself that the current polling among, republican polling among hispanics spells doom for the party. >> right. >> so, why isn't there more outreach? >> yeah. well, and let's talk about the latest polls on the latino community, vis-a-vis mitt romney. one says that the president has 80% of the support, and the other one says the president has 70% of the latino voters that have been asked on this issue. so, it's a very steep, uphill climb for governor romney. here's the question that i have. and to quote governor rendell, a
lot of people in the hispanic community are asking the governor to man up, and say, listen, what specifically are you proposing on immigration reform, on the dream act? and we have to remember that marco rubio, the senator from florida, has yet to give any details on what his proposal would be. so, it's unfair to ask romney to comment on rubio's proposal when rubio hasn't really put forth a very specific proposal yet. so, i think it's time for all of these people to man up on immigration reform and decide what exactly the position is. i think they were correct, he's still working on it. it shows the difficulty of pivoting from a primary to a general election. >> governor, do you think mitt romney is going to -- you were saying during break, wow, i mean, it's almost -- mitt romney is almost helping the president at this point by ignoring these sections of the electorate. do you think he will, in fact, as jose says, man up? >> well, i don't think he's ever
going to take a position on immigration that hispanics are going to like. i think what he'll try to do is probably come out for rubio's bill, but rubio's bill, and jose, correct me if i'm wrong, rubio's bill is very unsatisfactory to most hispanics, at least because it doesn't guarantee a line to citizenship. >> well, it's still murky, governor, in the sense that because he hasn't given any specifics -- and i asked chuck schumer last sunday on our public affairs show based in d.c. if he would support or even talk to rubio about the issue, and schumer said, listen, i haven't seen the details, and unless there are details, what are we going to talk about? the sky is blue and the clouds are white? the specifics have to be out there. and so, i think that rubio has so far implied that there is a way that these dreamers could get working documents, get study, you know, be able to study legally, be able to later get a work permit, and then eventually get residency.
and if you get residency, eventually you get your citizenship. so, it's still murky. again, we haven't seen the details of any rubio plan. i think that's why romney is having a difficult time to answer that. but we have to remember, and i'm sorry i'm talking so much about this issue, but we have to remember that on the obama side, there's 1.2 million deportations. >> right, and jose -- >> under his administration, and that has affected a ton of people. >> you bring up a very fair point, which is the sort of flip side here, what the administration is doing, increased number of deportations. i want to call everyone's attention to interesting analysis from the brookings institution. when you talk about the hispanic vote and the percentage of the population that they represent, it is not a parallel percentage of the voting population that they represent, which is to say for every 100 hispanic residents in this country, only 44 are, ry 100 white residents of the u.s., 78 are able to vote. so when you talk about turning out the hispanic vote, i mean, you really have to turn out all of the eligible hispanic vote for it to make a difference.
>> yeah, but that number is changing every day. this is the fastest growing segment of the population that will be eligible to vote, if not now, then two, four, six, certainly 10, 20 years from now. it will be just a dominant force in the elections. and my question for jose, actually, is there are things that the obama administration has done to alienate latino voters and haven't i don't think pushed immigration reform as much as latinos hoped and thought he would. so, is there room for romney to run? can he exploit any economic issues which i know are latinos' top issues? is there any place for him to increase his share? and if there is, what does he need to do? i know he's not going to win the latino population, but how high does he need to get to at least be within -- >> competitive. >> -- the possibility, to be competitive? >> these are great questions. number one, you talk about the growth of the hispanic population, and alex showed that graphic. let's remember that every month in the united states, 50,000 latinos turn 18 years of age,
every single month. if they register to vote, it's going to make a difference before november the 6th. on the issue of romney, i don't think obama has really insulted or hurt the latino sensitivity. i think what it's done is, by saying you support immigration reform but not proposing specifics on immigration reform, by deporting 1.2 million people but not having a plan "b" once that deportation number reaches a record number, i think what it may do is, they're not upset. i think what they are is disillusioned. and so, that causes the question, what happens on november 6th? if he needs that number of overwhelming support to come out on the 6th of november, and a lot of people don't have the heat for him, then maybe they won't come out to vote. >> and that's the question, is voter turnout, a big question. >> but jose, don't you think there's going to be a major effort, not only by the democratic party and the obama campaign, but by groups like america votes to register and turn out latinos? i think you're going to see an incredible amount of activity. >> absolutely, governor.
as a matter of fact, we have an active program in telemundo network that's been going on now for six months, which is called vote for your future, and it's specifically targeting latinos, young people, and letting them know that, later, you can't complain about what happens if you have the possibility of registering to vote and you don't. so yeah, we're going to see it. but again, and patricia's point, the economy, more than 10% unemployment in the hispanic community, that has an impact on what people feel come november 6th. but i've got to tell you, the immigration issue is really hurting romney. >> jose diaz-balart, thank you, sir. always a pleasure to see you. >> pleasure's mine. thank you. after the break, hollywood blockbuster or national security concern? we will discuss the double agent who foiled the latest al qaeda plot, next on "now." i look at her, and i just want to give her everything. yeah, you -- you know, everything can cost upwards of...[ whistles ]
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i don't think that al qaeda will be shocked that we can use agents like this. this is exactly what the cia and other intelligence services attempt to do. but they will simply be that much more cautious next time. there is an enormous amount of courage on many fronts on this, and we're just lucky that in this case it worked out well for us. >> that was former director of the national counterterrorism center, michael leiter, on the "today" show this morning, discussing what sounds like a spy thriller. the man at the center of the latest foiled terrorist plot was a double agent, an informant who managed to infiltrate the al qaeda affiliate in yemen. hugo, this story was quite sensational. he was working with u.s. and saudi intelligence services. he volunteered to be the suicide bomber. he was in this from day one -- >> and it involved and underwear bomb. >> yes. >> involved him actually putting it on. >> an underwear bomb that would have gone through airport security.
>> yeah, yeah. >> i'm glad you're lauding the courage. >> well, the double agent guy thinks so. we were talking before, i'm a little surprised that there's any, well, any surprise that this story got out there, given that it's really the most successful sort of antiterrorism maneuver since the killing of osama. i mean, it is an incredible story. and you know, i think it does what people -- it's what people want to hear, that the government is doing things we don't know about. it isn't just screwing up afghanistan and iraq. >> well, we do know that there is -- >> the blunt hugo today. >> yeah. the confirmed -- there is a confirmed congressional investigation into the leak. i mean, i think while it is sensational, we do love hearing about this, there is the concern that not only for the safety of our double agent, but in terms of our terrorist strategy -- >> well, he's not a double agent anymore. >> and he was a saudi, right? and mitt romney's been to saudi arabia, so he can probably take credit -- >> take credit for it. >> oh, low blow. >> no, but you raise a good point. we have talked a lot about the president on foreign policy and counterterrorism in the last couple weeks.
this is certainly another feather in his cap. governor, do you think the democrats can possibly take away foreign policy and being tough on terrorism from the republicans? >> i think they've made it a non issue. if you're a democrat and it's a non issue, that's a good thing. i don't think people will necessarily vote for president obama because he's stronger on terrorism than the republicans, but i think they wipe the slate clean. it's even steven. and for us, that's good, because john kerry lost on one issue, in my judgment. >> to be able to neutralize that issue is just unbelievable how much it meant for this administration, when you think about just how visceral those feelings were in 2004 and before, and even up through 2008. there was a real concern among americans what's going to happen next, and i think the obama administration has managed to say we're taking care of it, we're in charge and you're safe. and for that to be the case this far into a democratic administration, i don't even think democrats could have predicted that. >> barring any unfor seen events on the world stage, which
obviously could happen, but this is not expected to be a foreign policy election still. so, while this is good for the democrats, this is good for the white house, it's certainly not territory they're creed ieding. it takes away a strength point for romney, but ultimately, it's going to be about the economy and there's a risk of overplaying your hand on this. >> just how comfortable the white house has gotten in terms of their counterterrorism strategy is borne out by i think the lack of debate over the strategy itself, which is to say the drone strikes -- >> i wouldn't go that far. i think the drone strikes certainly would be viewed in history as a lot more controversial than they are talked about right now. >> not by the american people. >> exactly. >> yeah, not by the american people -- well, by some american people. >> 0.1% of americans are -- >> as a political issue, i think you're right. as an issue of humane conduct, i think there's a lot of good debate -- >> sure. it's worth noting. in the pages of the "washington post" today, it says -- speaking of drone attacks -- "president obama is not only justified to respond with military force, he is obligated to do so in order
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welcome back. time for "what now?" hillary clinton is wrapping up her eight-day trip to asia, but her decision to go o natural at an event in bangladesh may be getting more attention than her diplomatic efforts in the region. governor rendell, as a close confidante here, hillary says, you know what? if i want to wear my glasses, i'm wearing my glasses, straight up. what do you make of it? >> of course. i think if we're talking about hillary as a potential candidate, i think people still do, look, membn are never criticized for wearing glasses -- >> for not wearing makeup.
>> let's treat women candidates the same as men. if hillary clinton wants to wear glasses and no makeup, let's not worry about what's in here and what's up here. >> i think everybody knows that. i think it's just a bit of sport. i don't -- >> a bit of sport -- >> they talk about jay carney's glasses, too. >> hugo, the dissection of hillary clinton and her image and women on the public sphere face scrutiny unlike i would say most men. >> a woman's image does matter, and if you're somebody who may or may not run for president in the future, you need to look young, vibrant, fabulous -- >> i think people really respect the work hillary's doing and that's the important thing. i don't think there's any danger of some stupid thing like that -- >> but i think it's code to some extent for hillary for the fact that she's known as somebody being tightly controlled and this is an image of her being political and has a game face on. i am not excusing it, because i think women candidates go through a lot of different about look than male candidates do, but i think some of this is about sort of a more relaxed hillary. that's the point. >> she's comfortable in her own persona. texting at the correspondents dinner -- >> she's gone viral.
>> like i've never seen her. >> streaker in england. she had great fun with that. look -- >> she should be able to get away with it. >> sentences i never thought i would hear. >> it's reality and it will always come up, especially for hillary clinton. and it's not fair, but it's real. >> look, margaret thatcher was not -- >> yeah, this is true. speaking of women and their images, as republicans -- >> don't finish the sentence. >> as republicans decry european-style socialism, it looks like one of their own may be running for office there. actually, that's not true, but michele bachmann now has swiss citizenship. how about that? that's the fastest presidential run that's spawned foreign citizenship in this country. >> it's amazing -- >> is it worse to have a swiss bank account or be a swiss citizen? >> i thought you were playing the role of pushing back on the rest of us and standing up for mitt romney. >> i'm just asking a question. >> what would michele bachmann say about any democrat who accepted citizenship from a
european nation? what would she have said? >> would the standard -- at any rate, if she wants to run for higher office in switzerland, we say best of luck to you, michele bachmann. thank you to patricia, governor rendell, maggie and hugo. that's all for now. see you back tomorrow at noon eastern when i'm joined by raul labrador, jay hogan and more. until then, follow us on twitter @nowwithalex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. good afternoon, andrea, here in new york city. what a treat! >> here in new york. thanks so much. coming up, breaking news. we expect an evolution from the white house. the president about to make some change on gay marriage. is he about to endorse the concept? stay tuned to us, coming up on "andrea mitchell reports." also, of course, the lugar loss. what it means for other incumben incumbents. senator joe lieberman and former senator bill bradley both joining us. and writer robert kerro, his
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right now "andrea mitchell reports," incumbents beware, republicans reject a senate icon. >> i look forward to what can be achieved in the senate in the next eight months, despite a very difficult national election atmosphere. >> is this the beginning of a tidal wave to come? north carolina outlaws same-sex marriage and a lot more. how will democrats handle that at their convention in charlotte? and what were they thinking? four out of ten west virginia democratic voters choose an unknown felon over the president. the state of politics ahead with former senator bill bradley on his new