tv The Last Word MSNBC May 14, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
only the candidate himself can answer it. ron paul? come on. i would so love to talk to you. we used to talk all the time. i would love to have you. we will have a great conversation. we used to talk all the time. help us understand what you are doing. come on. it will be fun. now it's time for the last word with lawrence ork donnell. have a great night. >> a conservative columnist said that headline is worth at least a $20 million donation to the romney campaign. president obama said he's not worri worried. >> marriage is the union of one man and one woman. >> one man and one woman. >> one man and one woman. >> this conversation has not gone away. >> president obama will attend an lgbt fund-raiser. >> independents will decide the election. >> 62% either favor same-sex marriage and civil unions. >> marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.
>> it seems like romney is fighting a 2004 campaign years too late. >> culture matters. >> america does not stand still. we look forward, not back. >> president obama launched a potential game changer today. >> today with the new video. >> it paints mot romney as greedy. >> the new two-minute ad. >> a full two minutes worth. >> airing in five swing states. >> workers from gst steel. it will run in five states, a company that went bankrupt after it was bought by bain capital. >> this is not the only way to do capitalism. >> this is an effective ad. >> they made as much money as they could. >> you see the faces of america. >> he worked against romney. >> no one thinks he is a great jobs creator. >> for someone takes the money out of your company -- >> we need more venture. >> leaves you bankrupt while
they go off with millions. >> less vulture capitalism. >> not even as friends in the gop. president obama's week began with this cover of news week, declaring obama as the first gay president to which new york post opinion writer tweeted over the weekend and news week gives romney an inkind contribution worth $20 million. the president came to new york city for a commencement address and a fund-raiser with supporters of marriage equality and to tape an interview on the view where barbara walters and crew pushed the president to explain how his support for marriage equality translates into action. >> my justice department has said to the courts, we don't think the defense and marriage
act is constitutional. this is something that historically had been determined at the state level and part of my believingons were not sufficient. >> will you personally fight to repeal that act? >> well, look. congress is clearly on notice that i think it's a bad idea. >> a poll out today by the pew center for research said 52% said it doesn't change their opinion of him. 25% view him less favorably and 19% more favorably. a news poll finds that more than 60% of americans thinks gays and lesbisbians deserve at least ci unions and 33% favor no rights whatsoever. when civil unions are eliminated
as an option, opposition to same-sex marriage rises to 51%. >> these issue dos matter. i don't think the president did a calculus to do this. if he did, he needs to go back to the calculator. it's a bad formula. >> today's "new york times" poll has mitt romney leading the president 46% to 43%. that's within the margin of error. the president told the audience at his fund-raiser headlined by ricky martin that as long as his supporters continue to work hard, he's not worried. >> what they meant was this distracts from our basic argument that you are frustrate and it's obama's fault. they will spend hundreds of millions of doctors trying to drill that home. but i'm not worried. the reason i'm not is because i believe if we are getting our message out effectively. >> joining me now is steve from
salon.com. contributor and democratic strategy and zack wahl and the author of my two moms about his family and the necessity for marriage equality. to the news week cover of the first -- >> the romney contribution. >> this is obviously a playoff the notion that bill clinton was the first black president. they don't mean it literally and news week had two headlines. please buy this magazine was one. we are desperate and the other was the first gay president. >> time had taken one and they had to go in the other direction. over the weekend was trying to push the narrative that obama would be crusading on gay rights issues. that image on the news week
cover. that is the visual depiction. when people are saying that's the contribution, this helps the com me in campaign, that's what they mean. it's not an insult to be called gay. it shouldn't be. that's how it favors the romney campaign. >> we know what news week means. we are new york elites here. when you necessary new york, you are a new york elite. but steve, i have a journalist question. we live in a wicked stupid country. they believe in proportion that barack obama is a muslim and huge number, millions of people, some crazy percent like 30% think he wasn't born american and think he's kenyan. crazy beliefs. news week it seems to me has to consider the responsibility of sending out into such a
collectively stupid country and stupid electorate, this thing which is the only sentence in news week that most people are going to read this week. the sentence on the cover. >> right. i look at it this way, i would not deny the fact that this is going to fire up a certain segment of the electorate. >> it's going to be fact in this country. >> right. >> 20%. >> for more than 20%. >> the obama is gay number is now going to go up to like 35%. >> they are already dead set against him. >> are we in favor of allowing stupid people to get stupider. news week, make them stupider. >> obama endorsing gay marriage wasn't enough to fire the people up, we are arguing. he has done something more substantial worth $20 million. what obama did last week is worth $20 million, but at the
same time it's worth the same amount to the obama campaign. we had stories in the first 90 minutes after barack obama came out and gave an interview to abc. the money was pouring in and i think we can look at it from the angle of how this hurts him, but it's balanced in the year 2012 by how much it helps him. in the future, that occasion will skew him to help him. >> it is yet to be determined. whose base does it energize more. this cover is designed to energize the right wing. i hope thaw are right and i think it's possible that young voters and people on the democratic side are going to be energized enough to overcome the energy on the right wing. >> it was a rare night where we have a younger voter than you on the panel. you can tell us something about it. >> lawrence is right. i don't think this cover was energize anybody, but buy magazines that some magazines
need help with these days. the fact of the matter is when you step back and look at what effect it will have on the race and not just the cover, but the issue generally, i think it's very overstated. 52% of americans believe it department have any effect. many talk about social conservato conservators. i have news for you. they were energized all right. we spent time listening to a lot of talk radio and these guys are firing on all cylinders and they are more than willing to take the time to get out and vote. >> that was that 19% in the poll think more favorably about the president because of this and the president was already before this the most advanced president on the issue of gay rights. if he picked up 19% more enthusiasm on his side. >> i was one of the 19%. i didn't get the phone call --
>> as a 19 percenter, it means you were going to vote for him. now you feel better voting for him. >> for sure. both of those things. >> i'm not sure what you said is right that they were super energize and the community, romney spoke to liberty university and received a very tepid reception. there was push back from the community over whether he should be allowed to give the address. that wasn't a totally done deal with energy in the christian right wing. >> here's the thing. the poll number they think we are focusing so much on, a new cbs and "new york times" poll that said 16% more likely and 25% less likely. >> where do they live? in what states? >> the red states. 43% of republicans say it makes me less likely. what's his number with republicans? 5%. 4% less likely. >> so he's going to lose mississippi. >> and maybe arkansas.
>> last time around, the president won north carolina by 14,000 votes. even 1 percentage point, it could matter very much. >> when you look at the numbers, the "new york times" has a neal 38% was supporting marriage. gallup had the number of 53 most recently. in states like ohio and virginia that are crucial to the reelection and support for marriage is not what it is on the nationwide average. the impacts will be more local than in a national level. the president has a great ground game. the states are more worried about economic issues. >> what do you think it mean that is the president said this. it's a lot easier now making the case with my colleagues. the republicans used to be able to say in my state legislature, president obama is against marriage equality. why should i vote for it? >> we have seen chris christie.
that was part of the reason his hand was forced. it wasn't about the policy, but is this a man who said what he means and can we trust he is speaking the truth to us. that was really the important piece here. in that way, i do agree with steve when it comes to it in the fall, because he exhibited courage, that's what this underscores. it's still tough. this was a courageous decision and that character argument is i think what the real contrast with mitt romney is. >> iowa is a tough state for the president. what does it do for his campaign? >> iowa is one of the state that is a lot people think, if you look at the last seven elections, that was once in 2004 with president bush. if you look at what's happening in the state, i have friends on the ground who has never left
since 2008 when he had the most expensive ground game in a generation covering the state. my sense is that republicans think that you can win an election on fox news and democrats think you win on the ground and at the end of theidate in iowa, it will be on the ground. >> thank you all very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> it will be commencement politics. mitt romney speaks to a christian college and president obama speaks to a women's college. we will analyze the politics. in the rewrite, i will analyze the religious content of romney's christian pandering at liberty university. his simple minded christian superiority that ignored the existence of all other religions. he did not mention another religion in his entire commencement address. that's in the rewrite. betty white who has never chosen to endorse anyone has decided to
endorse president obama. what is that going to mean? betty white's endorsement is coming up. ♪[music plays] ♪[music plays] purina one beyond. food for your cat or dog. are you guys okay? yeah. ♪ [ man ] i had a great time. thank you, it was really fun. ♪ [ crash ] i'm going to write down my number, but don't use it. [ laughing ] ♪ [ engine turns over ] [ male announcer ] the all-new subaru impreza®.
>> bain is back and going after the record at bain capital like newt gingrich and ted kennedy did. in the rewrite, mitt romney's speech at liberty university. it was the worst case of christian superiority publicly exhibited by a politician in our recent history. certainly no major party nominee has given a speech like this in which he refused to acknowledge the existence of non-christian religions. that's coming up in the rewrite and betty white made a decision. the pifrt political endorsement in her life as an actress to president obama. we will tell you why and see if
betty white's endorsement can pull any voters president obama's way. it's very important to understand how math and science kind of makes the world work. in high school, i had a physics teacher by the name of mr. davies. he made physics more than theoretical, he made it real for me. we built a guitar, we did things with electronics and mother boards. that's where the interest in engineering came from. so now, as an engineer, i have a career that speaks to that passion. thank you, mr. davies.
it's campaign commencement season on saturday. mitt romney went to liberty university, a standard whistle stop for republican presidential candidates trying to appeal to e van yell cal christians and president obama went to bar nard college on the upper westside of manhattan, the stifter school of the president's alma mater, columbia university.
if they switched audiences, none of their applause lines would have worked. >> young women are also going to grapple with unique challenges like whether you will be able to earn equal pay for equal work and whether you will be able to balance the demands of a job and family. whether you will be able to fully control decisions about your own health. >> you know we are better off when people are treated fairly in every aspect of american life whether it's the salary you earn or the health decisions you make. >> culture. what you believe, how you value and how you live matters. now as fund am am as these principals are, they may be topic of democratic debate from time to time so it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. marriage is a relationship between man and one woman.
>> joining me now is the director of the "huffington post" media group and karen finney, former communications director and msnbc political analyst. let's listen to the advice president obama gave to bar nard graduates today. >> the first piece of advice is this. don't just get involved. fight for your seat at the table. better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table. if you decide not to set yourself at the table, you have to make sure you have a say in who does. it matters. my second piece of advice. never under estimate the power of your advice. the last one is simple, but perhaps most importance.
persevere. persevere. nothing worthwhile is easy. >> karen finney, there has been nothing easy about barack obama's achievements in this life, but he chose bar nard as a way to play to his base and go straight at that gender gap in the polls and try to build it. >> absolutely. so as the father of two daughters which he talked about, he has a real -- >> a possible future barnard graduate. >> he has an investment to make sure women continue to do well. it's commencement season, but clearly this was a play to the women's vote. the other thing though is that the time we heard so much about in terms of what his girlfriends thought about him, it was interesting in the beginning of the speech. he had fun with his own time at barnard. at columbia relating to the
young women who were gathered there and talking about the idea of perseverance. >> i want to read something in the catalog at liberty university. it's one of the courses they teach and want to read this as a preceding a clip of mitt romney's speech. theology 678, western and new religions. the description is this. the history doctrines and present state of the major cults such as moerchl onnism, christian science, jehovah's witnesses and seventh day adventism and a study of the occult and emphasis is placed on the errors of these groups and on methods and materials for confronting them effectively. mitt romney was not confronted by anyone at liberty university, but let's listen to the portion of his speech where he talked about people of different faiths meaning the difference between his faith and the faith of the
people in his audience. let's listen. >> people of different faiths like yours and mine sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose when there so many differences in creed and theology. surely the answer is to meet in service and shared moral convictions steming for a common world view. >> at a university that teaches that mormonism is a cult and throws it in there with christian science, seventh day advestent and the occult movement, does that take care of the problem for mitt romney? >> i don't think so. i thought it was fascinating as you pointed out. he doesn't mention the word mormon or mormonism once. he did in that one phrase say christianity is a great religion and i will spend time crazing christianity, but i'm not one. that was fascinating since the
mormons do consider themselves christians. i have been down to liberty a million times and it is one of the centers and i went back to when jerry falwell was getting the place started. that remains what always was. at core and a fundamentalist evangelical institution. they mean the old and the new testament and not the book of mormon. i thought mitt romney did a fine job of praising christianity and in the one phrase, distance himself as he had to do because they don't consider him one of them. >> i think it is an interesting phrase and he does cover it that way, but i would say if a catholic or episcopalian or anyone who was not of the same christian and baptist style of christianity and sex of
christianity represented, they might say people of different faiths like your presidency mine, meaning you baptist, i'm a catholic. christianity, people within christianity do not think of themselves as being in the same faith. they are christians, but many sections within christianity and you could interpret the romney line that way. what howard suggested is also available in that line. he wanted to leave it open to that audience. i'm not going to insist to you that they are exactly the same. >> here's what i thought was interesting about this. this was a point of hypocrisy for me. this was the second time in front of an audience that this team of religion tolerance. last year he actually intentionally talked about tolerance and religious tolerance broadly and again trying to say we share values and i'm not going to tell you
that you have to believe what i believe. trying to have this message that we share common values. that's the same argument that none other than eric referenced last week in defense of what the departure of the openly gay staffer from the romney staff. here you have in a speech where he is talking about one man, one woman and a very clear message and a little bit of religious tolerance there and no tolerance for anybody else. they list a clear message. >> nothing like these two audiences to bring out and highlight just how different the two candidacies are. karen and howard, thank you both very much for joining me. >> thanks, lawrence. >> mitt's bain returns in the form of an ad above bain capital in the role of a steel plant in missouri. bain is back and betty white is back and wants a second term for
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a devastating ad about mitt romney's jobs record. that's coming up. in the rewrite tonight, more on mitt romney's speech and you will hear what a brave politician sounds like when speaking to a religious audience and yes, we have to dig up old videotape for that one. we will rewrite mitt romney's extreme christian superiority in tonight's rewrite coming up.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. it's like a vampire. came in and sucked the life out of us. >> like watching an old friend bleed to death. >> he got up and bragged about making jobs when he has destroyed thousands of people's careers, lifetimes, just destroyed people. >> she running for president and if he's going to run the country the way he ran our business, i wouldn't want him there. he is so oust touch, how could you care for the average working person if you feel that way? >> that's an excerpt from a new two-minute ad, the obama
campaign plans to air for only one day in five key swing states. the ad deploys a strategy ted kennedy used in the senate race against romney and newt gingrich and his super pac ally used in the lead up to the south carolina republican primary to take down mitt romney. >> a story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck. a group of corporate raiders led by mitt romney. more ruthless than wall street. for tens of thousands of americans, the suffering began. when mitt romney came to town. >> joining me now is national affairs editor and analyst. when mitt romney came to town, they want those words to haunt you. two minutes is a very expensive ad to buy.
that's why right now they are only doing it for one day. also you can't -- of the principals is that you can't ask them to watch it twice. that's the one-day buy. i'm sure they will do it at other times. >> shorter versions of that same ad. you mentioned the kennedy race. they went out and found a lot of these workers and cases where the bain experience led to job losses. the obama campaign has known he would be the nominee for months. they had people where they can find where bain led to people losing their jobs as opposed to jobs being create and they found workers and faces and they produced the ads and they are ready to go and they'll roll out a two-minute and 60 second version from now to election day. over and over. >> buzz feed dug up the 19 nor that mitt romney ran and the
claims he made about job creation. let's listen to that. >> ted kennedy is trying to destroy romney's record on jobs. listen to what the boston globe said in helping to create more than 10,000 jobs. >> the thing about 10,000 is now he claims it's 100,000 and he hasn't been in business since then. how did he add 90,000 to his job creation record while being basically unemployed? >> it's tricky how to figure out the job losses and the job gapes. the important thing here is that the obama campaign knows as we all do. they have a relatively weak hand on the economy. if the race is at a referendum on barack obama's stewardship, the country understands that the president was dealt a bad hand to begin with. they have patience for him and the romney argument that barack obama has not done that much for the economy and in over his head. that's a strong argument. they want to make it about a
contrast in visions and values. visions and values goes to romney's record as a job creator. did he create jobs in the private sector and as governor of massachusetts? they believe they have a strong case that the answer is no and that's going to be a big theme in advertising and the president's message. >> would this be politically riskier in some sense for the obama campaign if gingrich campaign had not gone first and we hadn't seen the republican version of the same attack. >> obama campaign was going to do this one way or the other. it has been planted in people's minds that there is questions about what bain did and whether the style of capitalism is legitimate. it's more powerful in some ways. republicans don't think bain is for sure. >> did gives the democrats more running room. >> they're would have been you lefty democrats don't understand business. it's all about you being so pro
government and to have a gingrich file as the foundations. >> no doubt and it lessens in the echo chamber. they look a lot like them. those people are not affected certainly within the media ecochamber, it lays the ground work for them for sure. >> thank you very much for tonight. on saturday, and turning with one nation under christ. romney gets the rewrite and see if betty white can move votes for president obama. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day with less chronic osteoarthritis pain.
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baptist and pandered in every way he could to his audience with the obvious shared belief in the superiority of christianity over all other forms of religious expression. it was christian chest thumping at its worst. a speech in which mitt romney had nothing good to say about your religion if your religion isn't christian. >> the welcoming spirit of liberty is a tribute to the gracious christian example of your founder. jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most as a cheerful confident champion for christ. he explained by pointing to me and then himself, he said christ died between two thieves. young christians were drawn to such a university in ever great numbers. here you are. christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or the timid. it demands and creates heroic
souls like wesley, will ber force and john paul ii and billy graham. each showed the relentless and powerful influence of the message of jesus christ. someone observed that the great drama of christianity is not a crowd shot following the movements of collectives or even nations. the drama is always personal, individual, unfolding for one own life. no greater good than christian conscious in action. >> there is no greater force for good in the nation. than jewish conscious in action. why didn't mitt romney say that at liberty university. why didn't mitt romney say there is no greater force for good than islamic conscious.
in action. would he have gotten applause? why didn't he say there is no greater force for good than conscious in action or if he is one of the mistaken soul who is believes without religion there can be no conscious, why didn't he say there is no greater force for good in the nation than religious conscious in action. why did he have to exclude all non-christian religions from his reference to conscious in action? the next time mitt romney is speaking to a jewish audience, do you think he would dare to speak this sentence? >> there is no greater force for good in the nation than christian conscious in action. >> obviously mitt romney will never say that to a jewish audience. he would never say that to n
israel. no nominee should be saying things to one audience that he would not dare sito another audience. integrity aside, it's not good politics and not smart politics. romney was speaking at a university whose commission "to produce christ-centered men and women." and so romney and his speech writers, the most thoughtless panderers in the modern history of presidential campaigning thought nothing of dropping this sentence into his teleprompter. >> there is no greater force for good in the nation than christian conscious in action. >> romney told his audience that christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable, or of the timid. sometimes it is. like when mitt romney is talking about it. here is what christians sound like when they are not timid.
here is ted kennedy 29 years ago speaking at the same university that mitt romney spoke at this university. with the mission to produce christ-centered men and women. listened to ted kennedy say this. >> in short, i hope for an america where neither fundamentalists nor humanist will be a dirty word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at live and into their own souls. i hope for an america where no president, no public official, no individual will ever be deemed a greater or lesser american because of religious doubt or religious belief. >> that's what not being timid sounds like. that's ted kennedy saying that religious doubt does not make you a lesser american than the most doubt-free believers at
liberty university. that is something mitt romney would not dare say at liberty university and it is something that mitt romney clearly does not believe. in 1984, the catholic governor of new york, mario cuomo spoke at america's most renowned catholic university, notre dame. he was not timid. >> proi tenth my ride to be a catholic by preserving your right to be a jew. or a protestant, or a nonbeliever or anything else you choose. >> there is mario cuomo not only acknowledging the existence of non-christian religions, something romney could not do, but acknowledging the existence of what he called "the nonbeliever." and acknowledging the existence of your right to believe as he put it, anything else you
choose. mitt romney would never dare speak that sentence to any audience anywhere. but the cuomo position is the true american position. mario cuomo the catholic did not pander to his largely catholic audience. mario cuomo challenged his audience not to is you sum to the temptration of forcing their beliefs on others. something mitt romney will dare not do. in front of any christian audience at any time. mitt romney stands so timidly before his christian audiences that he dare not do anything but pander. >> we know that the price of speaking to force our belief on others is that they might some
day force their belief on us. this freedom is the fundamental strength of our unique experiment in government. way down deep, the american people are afraid of a relationship between formal religions or whole bodies of religious belief in government. the sense that told us it's wrong to presume to speak for god or to claim god's sanction of our particular legislation and his rejection of all other positions. most of us are offended with when we see religion triviali d trivialized. they need no course in philosophy or political science or church history to know that god should not be a celestial party chairman. >> that was mario cuomo 28 years ago challenging his audience to
think, to think about their religious beliefs and how their religious beliefs should and should not intersect with governing choices. 28 years from now, you cane sure no one will remember and no one will quote mitt romney's christian superiority pandering at liberty university. [ donovan ] i hit a wall. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy.
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old. in fact, i don't believe it. that's why i'm writing to ask if you will be willing to produce a copy of your long form birth certificate. thanks and happy birthday no matter how old you are. >> president obama recently won the endorsement of an important hollywood starlet, america's golden girl, betty white. the actress said she usually stays out of politics, but this year she decided to go on the record as an obama supporters and very, very much favors barack obama and likes how he represents us. she came out for marriage equality before the president in 2010 and said i don't care who anybody sleeps with. if a couple has been all that time and there gay relationships than some heterosexual ones, it's fine if they want to get married. i don't know how people can get so anti-something.
take care of your affairs and don't worry about other people so much. >> joining me now is dana mill bank who never worries about other people. dana, betty white has such an interesting following. she was kind of pushed on to "saturday night live" boy a youth movement online. she said she had more influence with the grandfathers or grandchildren of america. >> this is going to be huge. we had the soccer moms and the hockey moms and 2012 will be the year of the golden girls. you mark my word on that. it is sort of interesting here. she fulfills a useful demographic for obama. not like the president needs more hollywood celebrities. he can use something here, particularly on the gay issue. the polls indicate that a majority of women under 50 are supportive of gay marriage, but a majority of women over 50 are
not supportive of gay marriage. this is helpful in a rather serious way for her to come out and say that. he went and many people say he was looking to rile up the youth vote and seems to have done something. >> she seems to get both ends of the age spectrum that way and have an appeal to them. that is where the problem is on same-sex marriage. in the older voter, 24% of americans above the age of 45 support marriage equality and only 24% above the age of 45. i would have thought huh to go bif 65 to get a at least. the issue definitely needs help in the older age groups. >> right. all those numbers are higher for women generally, but a poll recently said 60% support if you are over 50. it was down to like 34% support
if you are over 50 and 60% if you are under 50. this sort of endorsement, endorsements are fairly meaningless in politics anyway, but this sort of thing doesn't hurt. >> i completely agree endorsements are meaningless. what i wonder about in this one since it's so unusual is, is there something interesting that she can reach in terms of the communication and the places, parade magazine where betty white will get quoted are different and much more mainstream. they will skew towards in many situations older audiences that wouldn't be carrying items like that. >> sure. it's older which obama is not particularly weak on and women where he is trying to exploit this gender gap advantage. think about what he was doing inviting himself to receive the