tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC May 13, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT
hello, everyone, it is high noon here in the east, it's 9:00 a.m. in the west, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." here are so stories trendingcalifornia in c. the republican same-sex marriage response. the $2 billion question. mick jagger and ron paul supporters booing. we're going to tell you all about those stories this hour. but first, front-page politics and new today, the chair of the republican national committee defending mitt romney's opposition to same-sex marriage. here's what ryan previs said on this morning's "meet the press." >> mitt romney is a gracious caring person who believes that
every individual in this country, including people who are gay, deserve the dignity and respect that every american deserves. but that doesn't change the fact that we believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. >> meanwhile, president obama is headed to new york city, he'll deliver the commencement address at barnard university on the colombia university campus tomorrow. later the president will attend an lgbt event hosted by ricky martin. joining me msnbc contributor and "slate" contributor eric weigel and erin pike. >> former pollster for george w. bush has put out a memo suggesting a shift in the way americans discuss same-sex marriage. saying the increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups, while more democrats support gay marriage than republicans, support levels
among republicans are increasing over time. the same is true of age. young people support it more often than older people, but the trends show that all age groups are rethinking their position. dave, does this suggest the republican position itself could also evolve? or is this memo from just an isolated part of the gop? >> we are seeing it evolve. more local level. you're not going to hear the rnc chairman or the candidate jump out in front but i was in colorado this week. and colorado civil unions proposition is going to probably be definitely going to be debated in a special session. this coming week. one of the key votes is the republican legislator who previously was marilyn mustgrave's staffer. she was the former representative who introduced the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the house. you're seeing this evolution happen at a local level and states where people have stopped worrying about the cultural threat of gay marriage. using threat almost in square quotes. as it becomes more normalized in other places, there is less,
less fear, less of an ability to motivate voters against, against this. not only vote for proposition but to motivate them against gay marriage. they're getting more attuned to it. >> erin, here's the flip side there are some democrats who have not embraced the president's position on same-sex marriage. i want you to read something from the hill. senators john tester and claire mccaskill have declined to endorse president obama's call for same-sex marriage. democrats who have easier races but in states that could become more competitive in november have backed away from obama's stance. first of all the names on the list, erin, do any of them surprise you? >> no. they don't, i mean those five represent either very red states or they are personally very religious. now i would tell you that the democratic party in a blanket way, does support it. democratic campaign organizations that are trying to
elect democrats to the house and the senate started fundraising off of it this week. >> okay. dave, i want to talk about your recent blog post. which has a new "u.s.a. today" gallup poll showing independents and their reaction to the president's support of same-sex marriage. here we go with the numbers, 63% say it makes no difference. 23% say they're less likely to vote for president obama. 11% say they're more likely to vote for him. what's your take-away on those numbers. >> well, there is definitely still more intensity among people who, who oppose gay marriage. i mean when this comes up for a vote, as gay marriage opponents like to point out, it fails. no state has had a clear test of whether gay marriage should be, should be banned, whether traditional marriage should be written in the constitution and passed. the problem is how much does it affect your vote at the top of the ticket. it doesn't look great for the president. but remember, proposition eight when it passed in california by about six points, passed while
voters were split on the ticket and giving barack obama the biggest landslide for a democrat in california since fdr. so this is another problem for republicans who want to use the issue or motivate their base. there's a bit of a disconnect between your support for a candidate and his position on gay marriage. and your own feelings about the issue. >> so given what you're saying there with the disconnect, aaron what about the white house? all of those strategists are they poring over the numbers or are they thought them out? >> they are still poring over the numbers. on friday, just spoke to a democratic strategist who is close to the white house and he said there's been a lot of hand-wringing there. he says north carolina may be gone and not winnable. this fall, the democrats will still try to win it for president obama. but between north carolina and iowa, two states to watch that they are checking those poll numbers there. >> okay, dave, i want to play you something that you mentioned on your blog from mitt romney's
commencement speech at liberty university this weekend, let's take a listen to this. >> people of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we could meet in common purpose when there are so many differences in creed and theology. >> so, we heard no mention of mormonism per se. was this not the time nor place to discuss it? will we ever have to discuss it? or ultimately is this a nonissue? >> well we heard about mormonism without hearing the word that was a reference to the fact that he has theological differences and the reception among social conservative leaders was pretty positive. what the point he was trying to make later in that comment, was again without using the word that his church, his faith, works side by side with more mainline christians. and very aware of this. i mean i think there's a lot of sympathy among nonmormon christian activists to the way mormons contributed to prop eight, other ballot initiatives have been out in front on the marriage issue.
and been pilloried by supporters of gay marriage. you've seen more solidarity coming from activists who you know, don't feel that positively about this religion. a lot of liberty graduates are going to come out of there saying that mormonism is not christianity. according to some of them that it's almost cultish. but they're in the same fox hole on a couple of, a couple of social issues. that's what he was emphasizing, i think it worked. >> how about you, erin, do you think the issue is a moot one now? >> it might be, we'll see. >> well we'll see you both again later, thank you so much. new today, jp morgan's ceo jamie dimon spoke exclusively with nbc's david gregory on "meet the press." jamie dimon has been under fire since disclosing that the banking giant had a $2 billion trading loss. dimon said he was dead wrong when he disclosed concerns he had about the trading house last month. joining me is mike viquiera.
hello. >> reporter: hello. >> what did we hear from jamie dimon on "meet the press" this morning? >> remember when they were called masters of universe, these high-flying financiers before the 2008 financial collapse and the t.a.r.p. and the $700 billion that went to the banks and other entities to bail them out. a lot of people felt as though that was something that should never happen. we saw the dodd-frank legislation ha was meant to address this issue or the theory of too big it fail. yet here we are again and a lot of people are renewing those same fights. jamie dimon, the ceo of jp morgan chase who still enjoyed a sterling represent tarks, as someone who could manage the risk. but he revealed earlier in a conference call that they lost $2 billion in a trade. and so the debate has rekindled again about how much regulation is appropriate. a lot of these rules are still being form at lated within the u.s. government even after
dodd-frank was passed. here's what mr. dimon told david gregory on that score this morning. >> we want the federal government to be take down a big bank like jp morgan and we think it can be done. gave the fdic the authority. when it happens i believe the compensation should be clawed back. the board should be fired. the equity should be wiped out and the bank should be dismantled and the name should be buried. >> have you given the bank new regulation? >> this is an inopportune time to have had this kind of mistake. >> none of this happens in a vacuum. it's not going to be localized to wall street and the regulators here in washington. this is a political year. you can bet that this is going to become a political football in the campaign trail. alex? >> i think it's a safe bet. thanks so much. boston university is grieving after three students died in a car accident in new zealand. last night the campus held a memorial for the victims of the crash. nbc's michelle franzen is
joining me with more on the story. the kind of story you don't want to tell, particularly on mother's day. >> reporter: a very tragic story. one of the students remains in critical condition yet. she was airlifted from the accident scene to a local hospital. and her family says she is in a medically-induced coma. she was one of more than two dozen students from boston university studying abroad and traveling to hike through one of new zealand's most dramatic national parks, a trip of a lifetime that all changed in an instant. at boston university, sadness and disbelief over the deaths of three b.u. exchange students and five other students who were injured in a car crash in new zealand. >> if anything happens to any of us, i think all of us feel it. >> reporter: last night on campus, students and university officials mourned together at a vigil. >> it's an awful tragedy. they died authorities say, after the minivan they were riding in veered off the road near the
vacation spot of tawapo. >> the driver appears to have corrected or overcorrected and the vehicle has gone into a roll and cartwheeled down the road. >> investigators say it appears that some students were thrown from the vehicle and may not have been wearing seat belts, university officials say 26 students were wrapping up their semester abroad and traveled as a group in three minimums headed on a hiking trip. >> this whole situation puts everyone on pause and it's just really a pause to not only pay respects, but to, it's sad. >> it was the latest adventure for the b.u. students from all around the country. 21-year-old austin, an engineering major from huntington beach, california, posted pictures of his travels on his facebook page. his mom told nbc news, the hike was the last item on his new zealand bucket list and says she wishes he could have completed it. rock, who had lived both in
california and france, also chronicled his breathtaking experiences on facebook. daniella was from new jersey and studied international relations and economics. an overwhelming loss for family and fellow students, now left to cope. >> in a statement b.u. president said this is a horrible tragedy, our prayers go out to the students and their families. he also says the university is offering support and counsel doing students on campus and students abroad to help them deal with this horrible tragic extent. alex? >> hearts go out to all of those families, what a tragedy, thank you, michelle franzen. coming up, she fired a warning shot in fear for her life. so why is she looking at the next 20 years behind bars? and she couldn't dance away her past. a newspaper reporters gets bounced from her job after her boss found out she was once a stripper. you're watching weekends with alex witt. ♪ surf's up everybody get your boards and your wetsuits ♪
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> rnc chairman reince priebus appeared on "meet the press" and laid down the republican stance on gay marriage. saying marriage should be between a man and a woman. last week, north carolina voters turned out in reportedly record numbers to approve a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. the vote has launched the state into the forefront of the
national debate and inspired one lawmaker to take his opposition to the federal level. joining me is congressman bath miller from north carolina, thank you for being here, sir. >> thank you. >> what were you hearing from our constituents prior to the vote in terms of how big an issue this is for them. >> i think it was a big issue for north carolina. but apart from a if you right-ring politician who is said north carolina was telling gays and lesbian does move to san francisco san francisco if you want to be gay. in some of my gay friends took it that way, i don't think that's the way most north carolinians felt who voted for the amendment. i think they understand that society is changing, they understand which way history is heading. but they feel a discomfort with the speed at which history is heading in that direction and they're trying to slow things down. the republican speaker of the house said that he expected the amendment would only be in effect for maybe 20 years and after that same-sex marriage would be accepted in north
carolina and throughout the country and a poll showed that most north carolinians believe that i think they were trying to slow history down. >> you think they're slow to coming around to this? if you look at the numbers, the state voted 61-39 against gay marriage. our nation shows nationwide 49% of people support gay marriage. can you explain the disconnect between north carolina then and the rest of the country at this point? it can't just be about timing. why would they be so slow to come around to it. >> north carolina is a culturally conservative state. that's not, that's not news. we are somewhat more conservative on cultural issues than the rest of the country. but north carolina is changing, too. all parts of the country, every demographic, the poll that you cited earlier. every demographic is changing. but it's reexamining the assumptions of the society in which you were born. rethinking pretty basic ideas or
assumptions is never a comfortable process. but millions of americans are going through it there's a generational change. and then also people are simply changing their positions as they think about it. >> you may have been listening when one of my guests suggested that the white house is parsing through the numbers now and they believe they may have lost north carolina as a result of this vote. how do you feel about that? do you think that is so? >> i don't, i don't have any way of knowing. i have not seen any polling on it i expect i will see some polling next week. you know, i think the people who would vote against president obama because of this were already planning to vote against him. it may be a slight negative, but only a slight negative. not an enormous negative. >> if it is a slight negative. i'm showing viewers right now the numbers from the 2008 election in which it shows that the president won that state by a very small margin just barely over 14,000 votes. so could that be the kind of thing in flip that would make the difference?
>> if it is that close, almost anything could explain that difference. the polling i've seen shows it's a close race here as it is nationally. president obama slightly ahead. and i think it will be imponderable whether this caused it or not. the considerations of whether president obama's supporters were more motivated, more energized because of this. whether opponents were more motivated or energized because of this. all of this is impossible to calculate. i don't think for president obama it was a political calculation. i take him at his word, it is not possible for political leaders to get too far in front of public opinion. i think he has been going through the same process other americans, including me, have been going through in thinking about this again. thinking through the assumptions of the society to which we were born. >> you bring up a good point. i'm curious how as an elected official, elected by your constituents to represent their ideals in the house there, how
is it that you reconcile when there is a difference, whether it applies here or not, what you believe personally and the beliefs of your constituents, how tough is that to do? >> for anyone who thinks about it it's something that you have to think about all the time. there's some issues where you always have to keep in mind what your constituents think. the reality is that most constituents are not that deeply engaged on most issues. i've mainly worked on financial reform issues, i've never had someone in north carolina say to me i think derivatives should be traded on exchange, not over the counter. on issues like this i admire the southern politicians in the '50s and '60s, who were in the front of southern society. think it's important on those issues, you will be judged in history on whether you were on the right side of history and i think president obama has put himself on the right side of history. >> president obama stated that is seg wanted to do thank you very much from north carolina,
representative brad miller. now number five. one of mitt romney's sons caught an earful while speaking at a delegates convention in arizona. josh romney was trying to rally support for his father. but supporters of ron paul let him have it and they booed him off the stage. >> make sure it's as green. i appreciate your support, thank you very much. [ booing ] today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities.
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$1 million returning veteran and their families. hollywood celebrities and nbc universal are united behind the got your six message. which borrows a meaningful phrase from the military. >> i've got your six. >> i've got your six. >> mt military, got your six means i've got your back. >> i've got your six. >> i've got your six. >> through jobs, education, housing and more, we can support returning military veterans and their families. >> i've got your six. please show your support and prove to a veteran you got their six. >> i've got your six. >> i've got your six. >> i've got your six. >> i've got your six. >> i've got your six. >> hey, greg, thanks for joining us, what a great campaign. >> hi, alex. thank you, i'm thrilled to be here and we've had a great week. thanks for taking the time. >> we're glad to have you, we know with the explanation, what got your six means.
is pretty cool. but campaign overall, what's it mean to you? you know, so the idea is that we have over a million veterans coming home over the next five years. and for a long time the conversation has been about what a challenge that is going to be for our country. to make sure that we take care of these folks when they come home. when in reality. this is a massive opportunity for our country. to have a million men and women who are well-trained, highly skilled civic assets coming back into our community. we, we have a massive opportunity. that conversation, in this country. from one about veterans and military family members as a charity to one about veterans and military family memberers a leaders. >> given the kind of training that these men and women receive, it's actually shocking to think that this hasn't been done before. and that this change in ideology
that you're suggesting has not happened. why do you think that is? >> you know, part of it is as i sat in a room with these executives from hollywood about a year ago. >> and everybody was getting together to talk about what they could do individually to support military families. for the first time we are at a unique moment. we haven't had to think about this for a while. i think it's taken a little time to start to figure out and recreate that infrastructure that works for this generation of veterans and military families which is different from the one that worked for the generation of leaders before ours. i think folks have been eager in trying to figure out it's just taken a little bit of time. >> i know that when i see a military veteran and i make a point of saying thank you to them for their service to our country, because i appreciate what they've done. what can people do to really help them? is there something that just
practically speaking, we can do? first of all, keep saying thank you and after that, you can say now what, how can you continue to lead. what can we do to help you continue to lead. i think there's two categories of things you can do. one is do make sure you set up these veterans and their families for success in their community. the other thing is educate yourself, go out and speak with a veteran, they're all around us, begin to understand ha their life was like before and what their life is like now. it's not just enough to have a group of veterans that are great, we all have to be great. we're all in this together. >> greg proper, the campaign manager of got your six, thanks so much for your time, we appreciate it. >> thank you, alex, so much. if you want to see how to show your six and learn more about the campaign, go to gotyoursix.org. coming up, she used to be a
welcome back to weekends with alex witt. californians are responding to news today that their budget deficit has gotten bigger and the governor now rather says raising taxes is the only way to get out of the hole. the state is facing a projected shortfall of $16 billion. governor jerry brown says a failure to pull the state out of its fiscal nosedive will hurt public safety and education. >> we will have to go further and make cuts far greater than i asked for at the beginning of the year. we can't fill a hole of this magnitude with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools. >> the governor says he'll explain his revised spending plan on monday, we will go live
to california at the top of the hour. but now it's time for strategy talk. where mitt romney's consistency is back in the spotlight today after he waded into the gay marriage debate. joining me is former vermont governor, dnc chairman how old dean and michele bachmann campaign adviser, wesley donohue. mitt romney said in simple terms that gay rights have a right to adopt children in my view, that is something which people have the right to do. one day later, he walked it back saying he simply acknowledges that it is legal in most states, so why would he stick to his guns on what he himself calls his views? >> yeah i disagree with you that he's not sticking to his guns. he has said he believes one thing, just like the president of the united states, which by the way, i appreciate the president saying this. it is state issue, because it is a state issue. here's what bothers me. you guys keep saying things like
mitt romney is not sticking to his guns or he's flip-flopping when the president of the united states has flip-flopped on this issue. you all call it evolving. as if this great being is evolving into a greater being. >> do you think mitt romney has stepped it back. instead of using flip-flop, are you comfortable with stepping it back? >> no. >> you don't think he saying he supports gay marriage. it's fine. for gay adoption. you don't think that him saying that and then coming back and saying well, it's legal in these states. that's not stepping it back? that's not coming back with his own position? >> i think he's doing what the president of the state did. which is i believe this but it's a state issue. that's exactly the same thing as mitt romney has done. >> okay, governor dean to you now, do you expect president obama's campaign to use president bush's 2004 strategy of painting john kerry as a flip-flopper. do you expect that to be what they are going to do now? >> sure they are. i can remember mitt romney
debating ted kennedy in 1994 in the senate and saying, senator kennedy, i've done far more for gay and lesbian positions in massachusetts than you have. this is ridiculous. i respect governor romney. but the fact is he'll say anything he has to say, including vetoing the dream act and now trying to walk backwards back to his original position on immigration. he wants to be president and he'll say anything to do it think that's not the kind of person that people will elect to the united states. >> picking up on what wesley said, the president's position has evolved. there are those who would say it is a flip-flop of a position. what do you say to that? >> i think that's nonsense, i had to go through that myself. we were the first state in the country to grant equal rights to gays and lesbians. the court, our court ordered to us do something about it. they didn't say what. at the time i was incredibly uncomfortable with gay marriage. you know i'm 63 years old. i grew up at a time where people didn't talk about these kinds of things. you do have to evolve. the problem is you can't evolve and then unevolve.
that's the problem with governor romney. he's taken these positions in the past. he was for gay rights before, then he was against it. he was for it that's not going to fly with the american people. >> wesley, you know mitt romney. you've worked for him. talk about what it's like when the campaign hears the flip-flop portrayal. how do they fight that? what's the strategy? >> first of all, let me tell you i coordinated a lots of his grassroots policy. i will tell you, i think it's going to be easy for them when they have the president of the united states evolving just because the vice president made a gaffe that he shouldn't have made. listen, this is courage, this is straight flip-flopping on an issue because the vice president of the united states forced him into this. this is the first big gaffe that we've seen from the obama campaign since he started running. i think is just indicative, from a strategic standpoint all they have to do is saying wait, why
are you talking about the flip-flops when the president of the united states flip-flopped on this issue. and that's what he did. >> here's what the difference is i've been in president obama's position. and my evolution on the subject of same-sex marriage happened because i had to look at what was right and what was wrong. and the fact of the matter is that like president obama, when i took the position i did ten years earlier. i put a substantial part of my electoral capital on the table. i almost lost my fifth re-election bid because i came out in favor of civil unions, the first state in the country to do civil unions. president obama has not helped himself electorally by doing this. >> do you think north carolina may be lost as a result of this? >> i learned the hard way, alex, the hard way, do not ever underestimate ha these guys did. my personal advice to president obama in 2004 was don't bother with florida. it's going to cost you $45 million and it's a very complicated state.
you can't win it. to my view, the most miraculous, extraordinary things of all the extraordinary things the obama campaign did in 2004 was to win florida. i would never presume you're going to lose any state. i saw the previous discussion on this. this isn't going to move a lot of people. maybe in a state like north carolina where .3 of the state is the margin last time. there will be a difference. there was an interesting poll in iowa, about five or six months ago that showed 35% of the people were against same-sex marriage. and most importantly, 30% didn't care. that's where the swing voters are. this is not a big issue to swing voters. >> that's completely untrue. and iowa just last election cycle, they tossed out three supreme court justices over the gay marriage amendment. that was a year and a half ago, governor. >> i am telling you what the polls say. the reason they tossed them out, they were furious at democrats everywhere and we got dawesed out all over the country. most of it didn't have anything
to do with gay marriage. >> you're not worried about the independents? this gallup poll while you talk about the no difference exchange here, particularly with independents, 23% say they're going to be less likely to vote for him. you know, that, as opposed to -- >> but alex, those 23% might not have been inclined to vote for him in the first place. until you see the internals inside the poll, you don't have any idea what that means. >> this issue is going do hurt him. he's going to lose the middle. which is what gave him the white house in the first place, governor. >> i don't think that's true. i think that governor romney is going to lose the middle because of his horrendous gaffes on issues like birth control, insurance payments and immigration this is a guy who is behind 3-1 with latinos. >> the timing of all this, we're having this discussion a full six months prior to the election. >> at the end of the day, this going to be about the economy and whether women trust mitt romney. and i think the answer is they may trust mitt romney, but they sure don't trust the republican party.
i think there's a good reason for that. >> listen, ohio, colorado, florida, virginia, nevada, swing states that all have gay marriage amendments, president obama is going to be in some serious trouble when it comes to these battleground states, count on it. >> i bet you he wins all of those. i bet you he wins every single one of those states, right now. >> okay. out of time. thank you very much. howard dean. for more on all things political. be sure to check out first read's blog. the first place for news and analysis from the nbc news political unit. it is first read dle read.msnbc.com. let's check in with the weather channel's alex wallace with today's outlook. hello to you, alex. >> happy mother's day. we're finding ourselves dealing with wet weather. particularly on the east coast. wet weather we begin to move through the south as well. the good news, the east coast cities, new york, boston, those
areas should stay dry for the day. heading into the middle of the country. very quiet here for us. 70s, so mild but very comfortable, minneapolis down towards tulsa and then we head to the western half of the country. most of us are dry, the exception around denver, a few isolated storms. the big story is the heat building for us, we have numbers well above average. including around portland, 21 degrees above average for your sunday. so a hot one, feeling a bit more summer-like in this mother's day in the north and the west. we track our wet weather in the east throughout the southeast for our sunday and spreading to the east coast once we get to our monday hours, raleigh looks like you'll be wet on monday as well. decent amount of rain is going to be expected as well. generally we're seeing one to two around atlanta, heading north, more rain around knoxville as well as lexington, in the one to two-inch range. mid-atlantic, d.c., one to two inches of rain expected there. wet time, but summery conditions in the northwest. thank you very much, alex
wallace for that. now a list of today's number ones, here we go, america's favorite fast food joint in a new harris poll, subway comes out on top for the eighth straight year. for a second year in a row, dairy queen ranking second, just ahead of wendy's, five guys and chick-fil-a. secretary of state hillary clinton leads a forbes list of the most powerful moms in the world. first lady michelle obama ranking seventh. for a third year, save the children rates norway as the best place in the world to be a mother. the u.s. ranked 25th, which is six places higher than last year. what is the worst country to be a mom? niger. ♪ ♪ and carrie underwood's new album "good girl" debuts atop the billboard 200. ♪ why you got to be so nice ♪ won't you open up your eyes
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she's a reporter she probably had a duty to disclose. i don't know whether or not thee was an at-will employee or if she had a contract. so in the news business, whether you're a reporter or an anchor, there's very specific guidelines and policies and procedures. so we're not getting the chronicle's side of things so there's a lot of empty questions there. but if it really was just an application, i think there's probably a lot more to this than just the application. >> well let's talk to rebecca about ha we do know, she's suing for gender discrimination. here's what she claims, that most exotic dancers are to female. to fire an employee because they had previously been a stripper would have an adverse impact on women because it's a female-dom dominated industry. >> i am laughing. she was stripping allegedly at the same time she was "chronicle"ing for the paper. so at the exact same time. as far as the gender discrimination argument. that's a far reach for gloria
allred. the fact that someone is doing something female oriented. gender wasn't the reason she was fired, it was what she was doing that apparently the paper without disclosing why, the paper is saying, it is -- >> not pursuant to the morals clause of their contract. but this is a stretch. gender discrimination? because she was a stripper? no. >> you both make a good point. we don't know the "houston chronicl chronicle"'s take on this. there's a mother who is claim self-defense having taken a gun and fired at her husband what she called a warning shot. this is a man who has been arrested a couple of times on domestic violence charges. never proven. she said she was fearing for her life this is all part of you
know, the stand your ground law. that's what she's claim. why does this not apply here, karen? >> it doesn't apply because the jury said it doesn't apply. so apparently they didn't believe her defense. but in florida with the stand your ground, you'll go to a judge, you'll ask to apply the defense, he can do a complete immunity, didn't work. then she went to trial, apparently the jurors didn't believe her. jurors don't know if you're found guilty on something that you're facing how much time you're facing, whether it's mandatory, whether it's 20 years. those-o jurors who didn't find r her defense don't necessarily know that she's going to jail for 20 years. >> one of the problems they had was she apparently left the room to get the gun. does that then not fall under your stand your ground defense? >> i think it is a factual issue, the jury decided stand your ground didn't apply. this is why, according to the prosecution, i am going to judge yet. they say she was in a room.
he was very aggressive. she left the house and went into a garage. at that point got a gun and returned to the house. i think what we can determine from that is, was she standing her ground or did she return in a fit of anger? that was the big factual question and the jury decided she returned in a fit of anger based on the evidence. which would not then have stand your ground apply. stand your ground only applies when you're literally standing your ground in one spot. you have fear for your life and you react. apparently there was a timeframe in between that the jurors found did not allow the stand your ground defense in this case. >> thank you very much, happy mother's day to you. now number four on our first five web stories, mick jagger is creating buzz because is guest-hosting next week's "saturday night live" season finale. the 68-year-old's first time leading the show. can you believe he's 68? i mean come on. the rolling stones celebrating the 50th anniversary right now.
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a new study says he it comes it achieving the american dream, where you live makes a big difference. and geographically, experts say the difference is as simple as north versus south. erin occur kerr is the director of the project at the pew charitable trust. the pew study tell me what it's actually about and why it's so significant. >> well the pew economic mobility project investigates economic mobility, americans movement up and down the economic ladder over their lifetime and across generations. that's an important field of study because it's essentially the health and status of the american dream. >> this one was done between 1978 through 2007. so some of the results on the mobility scale, check this out
of the best states to live in. you've got maryland, new jersey and new york. they're in the top three. what makes these states so great and so successful in terms of mobility? >> this research did not actually investigate why states performed the way they do the economic mobility project has conducted a host of research at the national level. we know that drivers like educational attainment. savings and asset building and neighborhood are. >> in terms of the least upwardly mobile states, you have louisiana, oklahoma and south carolina all in the low end there. so what is preventing them from growing? >> again, i think the key take away from the report is that different states have different rates of economic mobility so where you live really matters. that's compelling data for policy makers and the public. >> i'm curious, what do you think, if could you interpret this, what do you think makes it
harder for a person say living in atlanta to move up the ladder than someone living in new york city? >> our research on the national level shows that economic mobility doesn't happen in a vacuum. a host of things impact a person's movement up the economic ladder and down over their lifetimes. we know education matters, we know savings matter and neighborhood poverty during childhood is a critical component of a person falling down the economic ladder. >> it is absolutely fascinating and it certainly tells you that where you live makes a difference, erin courier, have a good sunday. new next hour, my conversation with david gregory on why washington may be near its breaking point. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! put it on my spark card! [ high-pitched ] nice doin' business with you!
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we begin with a big developing story from the west coast. in the state of california, new word of an unexpected fiscal crisis. governor jerry brown just announced a budget shortfall which is almost twice as large as expected. california of course the ninth largest economy in the world. and brown is expected to release a bailout plan on monday. but he is already taken his message to the internet in an urgent plea. >> we will have to go much further and make cuts far greater than i asked for at the beginning of the year. we can't fill a hole of this magnitude without doing severe damage to our schools. >> nbc's miguel almaguer is live in los angeles with more. how much is the budget deficit versus what he thought it was going to be? >> reporter: we're talking about $16 billion now it's no surprise that california is in a budget shortfall. they seem to be the state, the state seems to be in a budget
shortfall every year. nobody quite expected it to be $16 billion now california's governor, jerry brown, who is known for being very frugal says the state is going to have to take some pretty severe measures and that voters are going to have to approve his layout, his budget plan that he puts, will put out on the table tomorrow. the voters will have to approve the plan come november. tomorrow at the capital he's expected to lay out in more specifics what the spending plan will be. it will call for unpopular tax increases that voters will have to approve to keep the state running. brown says he is warning californians if they don't approve the budget plan in november. public schools, colleges and public safety, are going to have to take some severe and drastic cuts, they have now the governor is going to the voters because he can't get two-thirds of lawmakers at the state capital to agree. it's mostly republicans who won't agree to the tax hike. brown says it's the first step to cleaning up the budget.
it's already very unpopular to asking for a tax hike. we'll see how the voters react when the specifics are laid out. >> you use the word unpopular. is there any read on how this is going over with the average citizen right now? >> reporter: you know, a lot of people, it's really split depending on who you ask. a lot of people are used to getting those tax hikes, every couple of years here in california. although many are saying you know, enough is enough. the state has to figure out the mess. jerry brown is known for being really frugal and a governor that looks to cut back where he can. but simply not enough was done over the last several years and of course he's going to voters again to ask for a bailout. >> okay. thank you very much, miguel almaguer, we appreciate the update from the cash-strapped california. another story of economic distress, new today, jp morgan's jamie dimon spoke exclusively with nbc's david gregory on "meet the press." he's been under fire since disclosing the banking giant had a $2 billion trading loss.
dimon says he was dead wrong when dismissed concerns about the bank's trading operations last month. joining me, nbc news white house correspondent, mike viquiera. another good sunday do you. what all did we hear from jamie dimon this morning? >> well you know, $1 billion here, $1 billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about big money. $2 billion, while jp morgan is not in any danger, even though it's a staggering loss, it's raised questions about regulations, and washington's approach not only in congress, to toughen up on wall street something that's been going on since the 2008 financial crisis. but among the agencies, including the s.e.c., which is still writing a lot of rules. a lot of people say if the rules were as tough as they were intended when congress passed them, it never would have happened. dodd-frank it is the law that was passed by congress to crack down on a lot of these practices. the debate back and forth. how much of it to go forward
with here's what jamie dimon said today on "meet the press"? >> we want the government to be able to take down a big bank like jp morgan and it could be done. we think dad-frank, which we supported parts of gave the fdic the authority to take down a big bank and when it happens, i believe compensation should be clawed back, the board should be fired, the equity should be wiped out and the bank should be dismantled and the name should be buried in disgrace. >> have you given regulators new ammunition against the banks? >> absolutely. it's a very unfortunately time to have this mistake. >> too big it fail? is it still in existence or do the regulations in dodd-frank take care of this? all of this will be happening in a political context, you can expect to hear a lot of talk about what's happening with jp morgan on the campaign trail. >> with regard to the president and the white house, what's beneficial reaction, if there's been any. what are you hearing? >> there hasn't beneficial reaction. i think you can expect this to play into the democratic narrative.
the president's narrative. mitt romney back to the past. we've tried the policies before. a lot of the banks republicans are trying to get rid of the lot of regulations. roll them back. the place, it's consistent with the president's narrative. we don't want to go back to the failed policies. >> mike viquiera, thank you very much. we appreciate your comments from the white house. let's go do front-page politics now and new today, the chair of the republican national committee is weighing in on the debate over the same-sex marriage. he defended mitt romney's position that marriage should be between a man and a woman on "meet the press." >> do you think the fight for gay marriage is a civil rights struggle? >> i don't think it's a matter of civil rights, i think it's a matter of whether or not we're going to add here to something that's been historical and religious and legal in this country for many, many years. >> meantime, president obama will deliver the commencement address at barnard college in new york city tomorrow. in the evening he will attend an lgbt campaign event hosted by ricky martin. >> joining me, politics staffer
writer for roll call, shira it upl uplet. >> we're going to talk about the same-sex marriage debate. but the president and the republicans are squaring off this weekend over another issue and that is, getting things done in congress. let's take a listen to this. >> now we need to do more. that's why we made congress a handy to-do list, just like i get from michelle. it's short but each of the ideas on the list will help create jobs and build a stronger economy right now. >> republicans are focused, we're focused on helping putting americans back to work. through our plan for america's job creators. in the house, we passed several all of the above energy bills to address high gas prices. and to help create jobs. >> we're six months from the presidential election. what do you think is going to get done in. >> not a lot, frankly, alex.
i think it will be one of the most unprotective periods in congress that we've seen in president obama's tenure in office. simply the calendar, we have a work period here, until about the fourth of july, then they go away for recess and come back a little bit in the end of july. then behave the convention and they come for two-month-long recess basically september and october to go home and campaign for re-election. just the colander is not exactly conducive to getting things done. besides that we've seen over the past two years or so, there's been stalemate in congress, the republican house, democratic senate. the president might have his own to hon do list but the rng house has a difference to-do list. it's just about impossible possible to get anything done. >> this period, a lead-up to a presidential election. it's always this way, correct? >> yes, yes. this is nothing new. the election year is usually the least active year, especially if a presidential cycle for congress. >> okay. back to our topic here, we led the block with we heard rnc
chair on "meet the press," defending mitt romney's opposition to same-sex marriage. assess the fallout over this issue and the president's support for it? >> i think it's been fairly energizing for the president's base to do this. i think the timing of this. he went to hollywood, he raised $15 million. at a fundraiser with george cloony. i think it's been good for the president for the most part when it comes to making his democratic base, that really supported him four years ago, enthusiastic again. i think he dealt with the some rather unenthusiastic members of his own party over the past two years. i think it's been good for that purpose. i thinkless been some political fallout for the president. he knows these conservative areas he won for southern indiana that put indiana in his column four years ago, he's not going to win them this time. he's just not. it's going to be a much more competitive election for him. i don't think there's been too much of a down side for him in this. >> i want to play a little bit more b. what reince priebus said and get your reaction.
>> i happen to believe at the end of the day, this election is still going to be about the economy and whether or not this president fulfilled the promises he made to the american people, which he clearly didn't. >> do you agree with the election being all about the economy ultimately? >> absolutely. i think the rnc chairman raises a good point that this election will be about the economy. i think come november, voters will go to the poll and they won't think about gay marriage because they have so many other things to worry b. you mentioned high gas prices earlier. i think they'll be worried about paying their mortgage. there are so many more important issues that voters are thinking about in terms of their pocketbooks that gay marriage probably won't be their focus come november. >> shira toeplitz, thank you. a heartfelt message and plea from trayvon martin's mom on mother's day. she asks supporters to voice opposition for florida's stand your ground law, which was cited by george zimmerman in the
shooting death of her unarmed teenaged son. she spoke of her sadness at spending mother's day without him. >> this will be my first mother's day without my son, trayvon. i know it will be hard. but my faith, family and friends will pull me through. on sunday, i'm going to say a prayer for other mothers across america who share this unbearable pain. >> sabrina also posted a message on twitter saying quote although i am down today it reminds me of maya angelou's poem, "still i rise." i would like to thank you all for your flowers, cards and the wonderful online messages. thoughts are with you, sabrina. david gregory object the political risks lawmakers won't take to solve the nation's problems. but up next, the same-sex marriage debate. has the tide turned against opponents and how much impact
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new today, rnc chairman, reince priebus said the republican party believes marriage should be between one manned and one woman. rick santorum urged mitt romney to take the offensive on the issue. >> this is a very potent weapon. if you will, for governor romney. if he's willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of america. >> well joining me is reverend
eugene rivers, senior policy adviser for the church of god and christ and an msnbc political analyst and eric dyson, an ordained minister. hello, gentlemen, good to see you both. >> good morning, michael. >> good morning, gene. >> i will begin with you, professor dyson. does rick santorum of mitt romney to use gay marriage as a weapon have any similarities to the southern strategy we saw used by president nixon and others in the 1960s? >> i think it does. i think there's a clear agenda item for the conservatives and the far right to exploit the base bigotries that prevail in the culture along with the anxieties along the new fault lines that are being developed as we grapple with questions of sexual orientation and the roimp between people's religious beliefs, the institutional expression of their religions, as well as their own understanding of sexual orientation. so as these questions continue to come before us, i think that
the exploitative divisive impulses of the far right resemble the kind of southern strategy that was used to divide and conquer. i think rick santorum is explicit here. if mr. romney takes up this as a cudgel to beats upon the heads of those who are outside of the parameters of his belief. i think it might have a negative effect. >> reverend rivers, do you believe gay rights is a civil rights issue? >> that has been asserted. my argument is that the analogizing of the homosexual marriage movement with the civil rights movement, is a fallacious analogy which doesn't stand up against the actual accounts in historical narratives of what black people fought for. your first question, that the southern strategy analogy, for
this issue what professor dyson asserted is partially correct. lyndon johnson after the passage of the civil rights legislation said we have lost the south for a generation. he understood that for every action there would be a reaction. so it didn't need to be a conspiracy. it was simply a logic of the process of electoral realignment. so one didn't need to construct some elaborate skpirgscy theory with a bunch of right wingers sitting in a room talking about what they were going to do. it was a inevitable consequence of the kind of initiatives tagsen by the johnson administration. and he understood the political cost for the initiative. >> so, professor dyson is there a danger of alienating the black community by equating gay marriage to their own civil rights struggle? >> well i think black people have to grow up and mature according to the lights of the civil rights movement that reverend rivers has so eloquently alluded to.
however let me say quickly the southern strategy is not something imposed after the fact. it was something that was revealed during the process that we learned later. that was engaged in by nixon and others. in regard to the civil rights movement, i think to deny the legitimacy of a civil rights claim by gay and lesbian people is itself equally problematic. because it doesn't have exact parallels with african-american people doesn't mean it's not a civil right. the civil rights movement inspired the women's movement as well as the environmental movement. black people didn't have a copyright on the civil rights movement. martin luther king jr. and others borrowed from other global movements. byron rusten inspired by gandhi, king inspired by gandhi. borrowed the language and the vehicles and the motivation for the civil rights movement broadly and then applied them to our indigenous situation. the same with gay and lesbian people. it's a right if they're being
denied access to the ability to be in a civil relationship and to be married to each other. if they fight for that right and they are engaging in the process of recognition, it is a civil rights struggle. it doesn't have to parallel african-american people in order to be recognized on its own terms. >> may i respond to that? this is a fascinating conversation because the overwhelming majority of black church people are on the opposite side of the president of the united states, the first lady, because of the erroneous presupposition this just because people are equal means that all sexual practices are equal. that logically does not follow. that's not a co-hart logically coherent proposition. you can't make the argument. >> we're not talking about sexual practices. >> gene, calm down a little bit. we're talking about engaging in
mutual affilation for the purposes of civil recognition and the stability of a relationship. we're talking about marriage. it could be a sexless marriage. we're not talking about sex, we're talking about affiliation, relationship and the legal establishment of the predicate for people to be able to engage in a relationship that will be recognized both by the civil courts and by society as well as hopefully, religious institutions, so don't make the two equate when you have a false equivalence going on there. >> that's, that's precisely my point. this is not simply about marriage, that's incorrect. this is about homosexual marriage. let me say for the record, i'm for civil unions, i think that the rights in a civil union context and benefits of these loving, permanent enduring relationships should be supported. however what we are talking about, professor, let's not dodge the inch, we're talking about homosexual marriage. that's the issue on the table. >> and i'm not dodging it at all. >> and the argument that
homosexual unions, homo erotic relationships are the equivalent of of heterosexual marriage, which produces pro creation, with marriage being defined as a union between a man and a woman for the pro creation of children. >> let mae finish, many heterosexual marriages do not terminate in a child. so that being the predicate for the relationship denies many relationships that don't have, that are childless. but secondly, let's deal with the fundamental issue. the fundamental issue is black people would have to apologize for bull conner and all the white racists who stood in the door to prevent black people in the name of jesus and the name of their god from enjoying equal access to civil liberties in america and being treated equally in american society. black people are now becoming the new sexual rednecks and bigots who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of people to engage in a religiously
sanctioned relationship. >> i want to debate you because the argument you made does not follow the historical evidence or the narrative. we got to do this because you're wrong, brother. >> any time, any place, you name it i'm there. >> okay, we going to do it. >> i have a question to ask, your stance on gay marriage and your support of civil unions as opposed to gay marriage. is that based on a biological fact that gay marriages cannot result in a biological birth of a child? or is it in a faith-based temperment for you? what is it that is the difference in your mind between civil unions and marriage? >> excellent question. see, it is a philosophical difference, see, this, i don't want it talk about the bible. my think ain't the bible, i didn't come on here to be the skunk of the party to preach quote some contradictory stuff out of the bible. my argument and our argument
moving forward because president obama is galvanizing black churches around the world on this issue. my argument is first, philosophically, that, that homosexual unions are not equal to the union of a man and a woman, which produces a child. there is simply -- i mean that's just an indisputable, biological fact of life. >> you're not wearing philosophical clothing, you're wearing a minister cloth. you're not plato and aristotle. you're appealing to the tradition of your faith. i understand that. >> not at all. >> it's a philosophical question rooted in deeply entrenched religious beliefs and bigotries i believe that have to do with the inability to recognize the other as the same as one self. i think it's an ethical question and i it has to do with the failure to recognize those people in due relationship and in the process of both the law and one's faith. >> alex this is about a dissenting view on the
philosophical anthropology of human sexuality. this is what this is about, it's not about mitt romney, obama this is a fundamental argument about the nature of equality. and a particular philosophical anthropology of human sexuality. my argument is that homosexual unions and homosexual acts are nonnomative. based on the fact that 95% of the planet earth abide by normal assumptions -- >> you talk about a philosophical anthropology. this has been defined as reverend rivers knows, when you look at the history of western philosophy. the evok indication, the eliciting of production of philosophy, anthropology and all kind of scientific discourse to legitimize why negroes were different from white people. their head size was different, anatomically, in terms of all
kinds of stuff. they were dismissed as not equal to. reverend rivers inadvertently but perhaps unintentionally has waded into the water and he sounds like some guy from the centuries ago trying to tell you why negroes, because of their brain size and body differences were philosophically different than white people. this is ridiculous. and eugene, you should be ashamed of yourself for replicating the same baseless big otdry that was evoked earlier to justify your beliefs about gay and lesbian people now. >> last word. >> professor dyson. there is a philosophical debate that you, reverend sharpton,ed president of the united states are not going to be able to dodge by creating this argument about equality which is asserted and not argued. >> i told you you're using the same argument that white race itists have used against black people for centuries.
you ain't dealing with the argument there it is. >> let's do it, brother, let's get it on. >> i do appreciate your discussion. whether listening to either of you from behind a pulpit or standing in front of you in a black board, i got to tell you, fascinating perspectives. absolutely, we appreciate it. >> all right. guys. next up, we've got money on our mind, the author of a new book on how to be smarter, richer and better looking than your parents, we're going to explain how to do it. ♪ ♪ why do you whisper, green grass? ♪ [ all ] shh! ♪ why tell the trees what ain't so? ♪ [ male announcer ] dow solutions use vibration reduction technology to help reduce track noise so trains move quieter through urban areas all over the world. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. [ all ] shh!
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in new york city, tickets for that cost up to $36,000 it comes after the president attended a fundraiser at the california home of george clooney that raised a record $15 million. joining me live, rebecca keegan, lax "times" reporter. thanks for joining me. how would you describe the hollywood event? was it unprecedented in some ways? >> it was unusual, not only because it raised an extraordinary amount of money, $15 million, but because about two-thirds of the money came from members of the general public who participated in an online contest to get to attend. >> what are the donors doing? just handing over money or do they have influence on the president at all? >> well the big ticket donors, the people who paid $40,000 a plate to be at george clooney's house with the president, are kind of unusual in hollywood in other industries, people donate because they want something for their industry. oil, insurance. in hollywood, people are
motivated by social issues. so the president's reasons statement on gay marriage was hugely important to political donors. >> how politically active are these donors? >> very politically active. hollywood has been engaged in politics going back to the early studio executives. and on this particular election, i think a lot of people in hollywood who have a lot of money are stepping into a role that perhaps wall street fulfilled for the president in 2008. >> do you think there's any legitimacy to the claim that people, the general people, the noncelebs out there sometimes resent their star power, if you will, as a status to influence the president? >> well you know, it's interesting. if you remember during the 2008 campaign, there was an ad that likened then-candidate obama to paris hilton. i think even though obviously the president won. many people considered that an effective ad campaign. there are folks worrying about
their mortgages and their college tuition. who are not necessarily impressed that the president gets to hang out with george clooney, or george clooney gets to hang out with the president. >> what about the celebrities themselves? settle a concern about the risk in terms of their public persona? >> it's interesting. some celebrities are very cautious about coming out about political causes. others like clooney, feel passionately about it other folks who are there, toby mcguire, barbra streisand, robert downey junior have obviously made the calculation that they care and they're not worried about it affecting their public image. >> rebecca keegan with the "l.a. times," one of my favorite papers, thank you so much. in part three of my interview with david gregory, moderator of nbc's "meet the press," he talks about his mentor, tom brokaw. i began about ask if he agrees with the public perception that washington is breaking down. >> oh yeah.
i think it is breaking down. i think it's, there's a lack of willingness to endanger yourself politically to solve the really big problems. whether it's entitlements or the tax question, so i do think it's breaking down. i think we've seen the cycles before just as a student of history. but i do think it's bad. and at some point, something's got to break it. some level of frustration. because you know, we're going to have to make choices you know, whether it's medicare cuts or other spending. we're facing it this year. at the end of the year, if congress does nothing, all the bush tax cuts go up. and it's $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that happen. so that's going to hurt people a lot and it's going to hurt programs that people care about. maybe that's the wakeup call so that's sort of the point. either you figure out a way to lead on this issue and find some sort of compromise, or you set it up so this these things happen automatically and that's
you know sort of where you get in a european model. where you reach a breaking point and things have to get cut. >> last weekend we covered the official kickoff of the president's re-election campaign and the tenor of his campaign speech was pretty positive. he spoke about mitt romney, but he didn't really cut him down in ways that we think could come, how nasty do you expect it to get? >> i think it will be pretty nasty. i thought he was tough, not in a personal way. but i think basically what the president is saying that he's, he should be disqualified from being an alternative. because he's too much of an idealogue. you know, i think the president will spend a lot of time tearing down romney as an alternative. in the same way that president bush attempted and ultimately successfully to tear down senator john kerry. he spent a lot of his time saying this guy is weak, you
don't know what you're getting, he can't keep you strong in the face of a terrorist threat. that was 2004. i think this president will say, you don't know what you're getting. you don't know who this guy is, he doesn't have a core, a political center. and you know, he doesn't really have, he doesn't have the vision to take you into a new, durable, economic recovery. that will be the argument. >> how about an idol. is there someone that you look at in your career as being the person after whom you model things? >> i feel like i've learned a lot from tom brokaw. >> i love this picture in your office of you and tom brokaw, when tom was handing over, having been interim chief and running "meet the press" in the wake of tim's untimely death that picture is a great picture. >> it was very emotional for me that day. because you know, i mean to have tom you know, who has meant so much to me in my career, being the one, because he was both
tom, but also the caretaker of "meet the press" after tim died, so for him to hand that over to me was significant. both because of how much responsibility he was turning over to me. but because i knew that you know, he was pleased for me. i think he felt you know, some ownership of what i had done. and you know, later that day, after that picture was taken, tim's widow had a get-together at her house for me and for tom. and that, too, was very emotional for me. here i was in this new position. and it was just an incredible honor and you know, a lot of responsibility. but you know, to be part of this you know, this legacy certainly was a lot. >> i now see exactly why you are in the mold of tom brokaw and tim russert. i think these are two men who were outstanding journalists.
but who also had that balance in their lives. >> that's nice of you to say, thank you. be sure to join david gregory at the top of the hour for meet the president, his exclusive interview with jamie dimon. up ahead, is mitt romney a flip-flopper? and so what if he is? you're watching "weekends with alex witt."
i'll go get two from the back. the droid razr by motorola now only $99.99. hurry in, offer ends may 13th. verizon. a new report in today's "new york times" has some startling numbers on college costs, 94% of students who earn bachelor degrees borrow money to pay for their tuition, up about 45% from 1993. zach bissonnette, author of how to be richer, smarter and better looking than your parents joins us now in terms of the richer and particular, talk about kids in your age bracket, they come out of college at a disadvantage. >> right. i think anyone who tells you
that kids graduating today are not facing unprecedented hurdles is lying to you. what that's done is if you talk to people in your 30s and 40s who are doing reasonably well with money, most of them would tell you they made a lot of mistakes in their 20s. what has happened in the job market and student loan debt is there's very little room for error in today's market. >> some points are specific and detailed. i want to have our director bring this up. you say learn to say no to yourself at least once a day. buy cheap or used clothing, take up cost-free hobbies, cheap food is wine. buy food in bulk. slow cook crock pot type of things. >> the say no to yourself is something i learned from, a great book called money secrets of the amish. one of the things that amish teak too etch to their kids is say no to yourself daily.
you think about stuff more and it saves you money. you look at the housewives series say don't look at them. don't watch that tv show because it's going to give you ideas of what's not adanable. >> fantastic research that says the more television you watch, the more people you think tend to have things like inground pools and maids. the reality tv, the research shows, the more debt you're likely to accumulate. >> i don't have a tv. >> getting good reviews on the "new york times," what do you think about all this? >> i think it's an important topic, i think it's timely. it's so important. >> how about the better-looking part. how has that happened? >> i there's an old yiddish proverb that says with your money in your pocket, you are handsome and wise and sing well. if you have the money part right, you'll have so much less stress, that you'll be better looking.
>> best of luck with the book, thanks for stopping by. next up with the big three is religion still an issue for mitt romney? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." [ thunk ] sweet! [ male announcer ] the solid thunk of the door on the jetta. thanks, mister! [ meow ] [ male announcer ] another example of volkswagen quality. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the 2012 jetta for $159 a month. you see the gray. try root touch-up by nice 'n easy. just brush our permanent color matching creme right where you need it. then rinse. in ten minutes zap those grays and get on with your day. nice 'n easy root touch-up.
it is time now for the big three. today's topics, what's next for same-sex marriage, off message and matters of faith. let's bring in the panel with the big three. msnbc contributor and daily beast columnist megan mccain, morris reed and reporter for real clear politics erin mcpike. must have got the green memo. megan, our first topic, what do you think is next for same sex marriage? i want to point out you're in the minority of the party by supporting gay marriage. as a society do you think we have reached a tipping point where republicans will have to start getting on board or do you never see it happening? >> i think we have reached a tipping point. this is the 11th hour when it
comes to gay marriage in america. andrew sullivan has an interesting article talking about how republicans will have no option other than to get behind gay marriage or have serious repercussions in an upcoming ten years, et cetera. my generation statistically looks at gay marriage and gay rights as an issue between the difference between bigotry and civil rights versus just politics. >> okay. erin, how about by november in terms of when folks go to the voting booth? how much of an impact will it will? a front-burner issue? >> no. it will be a back burner issue by the time the election rolls around. the impact it has is on fund-raising. you have seen the democratic party is raising money off of it. the republican party isn't talking about it as much. very conservative groups are starting to raise money off of it like mike huckabee's pack. statistically americans favor
gay marriage. >> what do you think the positives and negatives are for the president not just on the issue of same sex marriage but on how this was rolled out? >> the roll-out was interesting. almost as if biden appearance on "meet the press" was to test the waters. we are a very open society. we are all different people from all different walks of life. you have to embrace it as a diverse society. the timing, people can question. some of us get worried about the timing when the president is off message. it could be a rallying cry. or it could be a situation where the president. at the end of the day you want a job and the economy will be the deciding factor for the campaign. >> i'll begin with you on this. president obama launching his re-election campaign.
he wanted to talk about it but got sidetracked with the debate for same sex marriage. do you think it is a blip? >> every time the president gets to talk about an issue other than the economy he winds up scoring political points. whether it's immigration, women's health he tracks up. mitt romney wants to talk about the economy every day. certainly in this case it's something we won't be talking about much longer. same-sex marriage. the blips in the radar end up helping the president. >> what do you think is the big concern for the economy when it comes to beating the president in november. >> i agree with erin. he talks about the economy and his approval points go up. mitt romney has a 29% less lead than president obama. the issue should be mitt romney's likeability. >> how does the president sell his economic record? how does he make the case for re-election in the next six
months. >> he needs to localize and personalize issues. he needs to focus on the good examples of what's working in the community. he needs to roll up. with jp morgan there is a schism between haves and have nots. he needs to say, we are on the right track. we need to go the extra mile. we're not out of the woods. he needs to personalize and relate to people and focus on the economy. i agree that it does blip up. everything has to be tied back to the economy. ultimately this election will be decided on if you feel you have a future and the president has to be clear on the message. >> mitt romney spoke at liberty university where he talked about a different matter of faith between people. he didn't mention mormonism by name. there are a lot of republicans who will never vote for mitt
romney because he's a mormon. do you think that's true? if that is true, to what level do you think that is shared by that group of evangelicals? >> i think they will have no choice but to vote for mitt romney regardless of his mormon faith. people are afraid of what they don't understand. mormonism doesn't have a wide understanding nationally. he should do a serious interview where he talks about faith and the role mormonism plays in his life. >> your point being that you won't necessarily cross over and vote for president obama, but is it enough to keep them home from going to vote? >> i don't believe so. probably the dislike for obama will outweigh the dislike for mormonism. >> liberty university has a course called new religions. it says this. the history, doctrines and present state of the major cults such as mormonism, christian science, 7th day add venn timpl,
with that in mind what do you make of liberty having mitt romney as the commencement speaker. >> whether it's mitt romney or liberty university both sides wanted to bridge the gap and show the similarities that mitt romney shares with them on values, on cultural issues so that these students who generally support republicans don't stay home at the polls this november. that's the reason you're seeing him reach out to the community. >> morris, do you think mitt romney will have to deliver another speech on his mormon faith or are we done with this? >> we should be celebrating. only in america can you be an african-american and a mormon. we should celebrate diversity which makes us stronger. he needs to address it head on. once he addresses it head on for one final time people get over it. i agree with megan. people don't understand and they are scared. at the end of the day, stress and our diversity makes us
stronger. >> okay. megan, erin, morris, good to see you all. thank you so much. >> happy mother's day. >> to you as well. >> mom, i love you so much. thank you for watching. see you nx weekend. have a good one. i should be arrested for crimes against potted plant-kind. we're armed, and inexperienced. people call me an over-waterer. [ female announcer ] with miracle-gro, you don't have to be a great gardener to have a green thumb. every miracle-gro product helps your garden grow bigger, more beautiful flowers and bountiful vegetables. guaranteed. so even if... i have all these tools, and i have no idea how to use them. [ female announcer ] everyone grows with miracle-gro. [ female announcer ] everyone grows (female announcer) most life insurance companies look at you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings
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