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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  May 17, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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i'm tamron hall. the news nation is followinging news in what the president's re-election team calls a hate-filled divisive assassination. the new york time reveal today a secret conservative plan to attack the president by portraying him as a, quote, metro sexual black abe lincoln and by resurrecting the jeremiah wright controversy. according to the report, the $10 million campaign funded by the chicago cubs owner would do exactly what john mccain would not let us do. show the world how barack obama's opinions of america and the world were formed and why the influence of that misguided mentor has brought our country to its knees. they said the group has contacted the conservative radio show larry elder in an effort to find a, quote, extremely literal conservative african-american to
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be its spokesperson. the obama campaign hit back in a statement saying, this morning's story revealed the appalling lengths to which republican on that trayvons and super pacs apparently are willing to go to tear down the president and elect mitt romney. once again, governor romney has fallen short of the standard that john mccain set retepidly in a moment that required moral leadership and standing up to the very extreme wing of his own party. factor this in. in an interview set to air later today, romney repudiated the plan saying he would rather focus on the economy. joining me now, the nationally syndicated talk show host and msnbc contributor, michael smerconish. also, mary ann ahern from chicago. keith boykin, democratic strategist. and b.e.t. columnist as well as conservative radio talk show host, armstrong williams. thank you all. i wanted to assemble a wide range of people to discuss this hot topic of the day. michael, let me start with you. we've talked a lot about over the couple of years. what is your reaction to the
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times report? >> great news for the obama campaign. the obama campaign should be so fortunate that this path would be pursued. anybody who cares about jeremiah wright is not up for grabs in the 2012 cycle. nobody that matters would be influenced by this. there is nothing new in the story and we've already litigated it. and i think there would be tremendous blowback against romney, even if he had nothing to do with it if this type of a campaign were to be initiated. >> armstrong, let me bring you in. you're the conservative on the panel. i know you can't speak for all conservatives. here's the report. i have it in my hand. it is titled the defeat of barack hussein obama. the ricketts plan. according to his spokesperson, he is not even the person behind it. this was floated out may 10, 2012, in of all places, chicago, illinois, the home of the president. what is your reaction to what i'm holding in my hand? >> tamron, this is what the
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opposition party does. they try to defeat the person in the white house. this is not unusual. i don't know why it is so shocking and people are getting been out of shape about it. they're telling what you most people have been saying all along them want to do all they can to oust president obama from the white house themselves don't like the spending, the deficit, they dope like what this country is becoming and they want to do something about it. obviously super pacs have a lot of power and influence to spend their money any way they choose and people can contribute to it. it is illegal, it is not unethical. and i'm sure president obama and his team will do all they can to make sure mitt romney never sees the light of day inside the white house. business as usual. >> what there words metro sexual black abe lincoln mean to you? >> i have to tell you, that's a new one on me. i have no idea what it means. i'm sure before the end of the show i'll get a pretty good understanding but for now i don't know. >> we know according to the report, they were looking for an extremely literate conservative
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african-american. is that you? >> i find that offensive. >> that was on the list. let me read it again. you find it offensive and i want to know. why extremely literate conservative african-american. you are conservative. i'm not going to talk about whether you're literate or not. i think that is insulting or not. you're african-american as i look at this screen. so why does that part fob you if anything goes? you're telling me the super pacs, it is legal, anything goes. why are you offended by that? >> they obviously want to use a black face to be the messenger of this which is offensive. obviously, people will see a tink of racism. it is not something they can do and have credibility on unless they engage someone. and trying to engage larry elder, a black conservative. he shb offended by it. >> did they reach out to you? >> of course not. why? i'm not the kind of guy they're looking for.
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>> okay. we'll talk about that in a second. they said conservative african-american and you are and you told me you're a-okay with this strategy of the defeat of barack obama. let me bring in keith boykin. i know you could not resist. i heard you chuckling in the background. what's your reaction to this? >> you know, last week people were making this ridiculous argument that somehow barack obama was going to lose support in the black community because of his support of gay marriage. well, no longer will we be asking that question. if they even think about proceeding with this strategy, you can guarantee we'll have nearly 100% black turnout and support for barack obama. what's going on here is a lack of courage on the part of mitt romney and standing up to a clear race baiting campaign by joe ricketts and the republican strategists associated with him. and romney when asked about it earlier, "the los angeles times" reported, i haven't read the papers. i understand he's going to say something later on today but come on. how long does it take to respond
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to that? >> here's what romney is expected to say later today. by the way, he has an event within this hour. we'll see if he comments before. but there is an interview on conservative radio. he said i repudiate the effort by that pac to promote an ad strategy of that nature they've described. i think we've seen so far from the obama campaign, it is a campaign of character assassination. those are his words. let me bring in mary ann ahern, one of the best in chicago in the world of politics. joe ricketts has released a statement. he said not only was this plan mere eight propose ball reflects an approach to politics that mr. ricketts rejects and it is never a plan to be accepted but only a suggestion for a direction to take. meanwhile, it is called the ricketts plan to end his, meaning president obama's spending for good. tell me about joe ricketts here. >> the timing couldn't be worse here in chicago. joe ricketts actually lives in nebraska and certainly it was part of his money that bank
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rolled the cubs. it is his two sons and daughter who actually run the cubs that are considered the owners. not him. so the cubs today are very much trying to say, wait a second. that is our father. that is not us. because what's going on politically here in chicago, mayor rahm emanuel, former mr. obama's chief of staff, is trying to help lobby for a huge renovation of wrigley field, some $100 million, trying to get all the politicos in place to say yes, good idea. this would not help in any way, shape or form to say we're going to detract from the obama campaign at the same time as renovate wrigley and give them money? of course not. this is just complete egg in their face. >> michael smerconish, senator mccain has responded to this as well. he said in part, senator mccain is very proud of the campaign. he ran in 2008. he stands by the decision he made during that race and would make them again today if he had to do it over again. part of this plan, according to the new york times is to do what
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john mccain was unwilling to do. which was bring up the jeremiah wright issue and some of these things outlined in this 49-page report. >> according to the times this morning, mccain is like a doddering old fool who didn't have in his stomach to do what needed doing. all you need to look at the cover. barack hussein obama. it reminds me of a town hall scenario where senator mccain was taking a question from a woman who started talking about the woman. this is seeking to tap into that mindset. that's not how you win independents. that might be how you rally a hard core base but not how you win an election. >> ma leak a henderson is trafk with the romney campaign. what have you heard today in response to this explosive new york time report?
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>> reporter: well, unusually, this morning when the report came out, romney immediately responded. we were in the plane with him. he said he hadn't seen the paper. he had not seen the report. i asked him specifically, do you think that jeremiah wright is fair game? he didn't answer. he went to the front of the plane. we've seen sort of a rolling response to this. and finally, mitt romney has come out and has repudiated this report. and he has said, that it is not something that he wants. in talking to him off the record on backgrounds, his aides, they well know this might work for the base but it certainly doesn't work for the independent vote. and also, anything like this that is racially inflammatory could in some ways rally liberals around obama. so they know that they don't want to touch this. at some point today, probably in about an hour, mitt romney will come out and make a statement on camera about this and also take questions.
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>> thank you. mitt romney can really repudiated this wholeheartedly though. in february, he was on the sean hannity radio show and he was talking about reverend jeremiah wright and linking him to president obama. so now that it is inconvenient for him to make that connection because he is no longer in a primary campaign, he doesn't have to win the base. he can be go back and say he never thought this was fair game. i think it will look completely hypocritical on his part. >> as you pointed out, at least in your opinion. this is fair game, this is politics, what people do. if it is all of those things, why is joe ricketts seemingly backing off from this saying i was never going to accept this plan. mitt romney repudiating it and may be taking on stronger language. why do you see this as a good idea but the people who allegedly could benefit from it, if it is true, joe ricketts, as he billionaire. obviously if his plan works and mitt romney becomes president, he greatly benefits. those two men are running from
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this story? >> let me sort of reinterpret something for you. i'm not saying whether it is good or bad. that's not my decision to make. i'm saying that it is fair game. it is fair game for these politicians like the "washington post" resurrected mitt romney's high school years and about him bullying gays and even how we felt about this issue, that period of our lives ages ago. totally different from the environment today. we ask ourselves, why would the "washington post" resurrect a story like this? what i'm saying to you is that jeremiah wright is fair game. there are a lot of issues that people feel that were unresolved when the president ran for office. well, if you want to go back and reexamine jeremiah wrirkt you should do this. but not in the context of race. you said at the onset of this show that they wanted to go back and examine his ideas and what he believed in. and how it influenced the president and the kind of decisions he is making for this nation today. those are different issues. the bottom line is that they should not inject race.
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once you say you're going to look for a literal african-american to be your spokesperson, you lose all credibility. it is not the kind of thing that you want to be associated with based on race. if you want to deal with the merit of jeremiah wright and how much he has influenced the president, that's a legitimate issue. >> why can't you say if it is a good or bad strategy? why cannot you say, what precludes or prevents you from saying if this is a good or bad strategy? >> i'm neutral on it. people come up with all crazy ideas. and sometimes good ideas that keep throwing mud against the wall and hope that it sticks. they're just looking for something. people are desperate to get president obama out of the white house, those desperate for mitt romney to win. sometime people action on their own out of control. and sometime what has to happen like john mccain's reaction, the candidate romney's reaction. wait a minute. we're not going to be associated with this. and then somebody within the party will call this person and say look, you have to pull away from. this back off. i know you want to help us but in the long run you're going to hurt what we're trying to do.
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>> mary ann? >> isn't this just further proof that these super pacs really need to be wade in. we're going to see this again throughout the summer. and probably on the same set of the obama folks doing something similar. when you read this and hear what's going on, you have to stop and say, what is going on with the amount of money being spent on something that is absolutely ridiculous. >> to the facts of this, and mary ann, you brought up the point that the president did with the that years pacs from the beginning. he also has his own super pac that is bringing in a lot of cash because that's the way the game is being played. to the facts of this. one of the things according to the new york times, they wanted to bring up the president's black liberation theology. let me read here what the first read team points out. if they want to tie obama to being a socialist, his actual record of the past four years, championing legislation that once had gop support, the stimulus, health care reform, the cap and trade, and of
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course, killing osama bin laden does not back up the narrative portrayed in the plan, the narrative portrayed by some conservatives as well when you look at the facts. we can debate super pacs all along. the whole message, the whole idea behind this as pointed out in first read, doesn't match the record. this president has a record. he is no longer this ominous character from chicago that no one knows. he has been in the white house now. michael? >> the record hasn't stopped me opening my e-mail on an almost daily basis and getting a caption that says, you must read this. usually in all caps with some preposterous theory about the president. i come back to saying that this is bad political strategy. it cultivates support among a very narrow part of the base. it is not going to win the hearts and minds of independents who i think would be repulsed by this. the best thing that could happen to barack obama's re-election is that a campaign like this be implemented. >> all right, michael, thank you
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very much. and i greatly appreciate all of you bringing your voice to this big story this hour. thank you. for the first time, more minority children were born in the united states than white children. that according to a brand new census report released today. one sociologist calls this a watershed moment. we'll take a look at how the report ties into politics. plus, very sad news. dona summer's music legend queen of disco passed away this morning at the age of 63. looking good! you lost some weight. you noticed! these clothes are too big, so i'm donating them. how'd you do it? eating right, whole grain. [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios... five whole grains, 110 calories.
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the u.s. census bureau is out with a new face for america. for the first time ever, more than half the babies born last
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year were minorities. according to the government, blacks, hispanics, asians and other minorities accounted for more than 50% of all u.s. births. nonhispanic whites made up almost half. the executive director and the "washington post" nia-maleka henderson. she is with the romney campaign. we await new words from mitt romney regarding the new york time article. i grew up in texas and my entire life we heard the world needed to wake up. the hispanic population would be representing enormous numbers and could not be ignored. and politicians in texas, those even in this red state of texas who are successful worldwide were like governor perry many many ways who adopted or adapted to survive politically in embracing some parts of the hispanic community. >> i think that's absolutely right. what you're seeing is that was
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one of the reasons why perry was so for and in favor of the dream act. recognizing it was something that doesn't impact the majority of american latinos in this country but it does signal that you understand the needs of the latino communicate when it comes to policy and changes. you can say the same thing for the attorney general up in utah. the attorney general in utah basically went against the wave of anti-immigrant legislation that we saw in arizona, that we saw in florida. basically that, if you could demonstrate you speak english and pass a back ground check, we'll give you a worker's permit. signaling solutions in the communicate. that's one of the reasons when you take a step back and start talking about the latino vote in 2012, it is the beginning of a huge wave that we're going to see across the country. it is definitely a trend. >> it is a trend. let's go back to some of the republican debates that we saw. the large round of applause that came when governor perry was taken on, regarding the dream act that often comes when you hear from people who support jan
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brewer, for example, of arizona, who want tough immigration laws. they feel the federal government is not doing their job. this morning on "morning joe," joe scarborough points out how he believes mitt romney's team or mitt romney is not up in a way that karl rove, as he pointed out, and even george bush regarding the importance of the latino vote. >> that's absolutely right. what is happening, arizona is the perk example with jan brewer. 73% of babyboomers, 65 or oriole, are white. compared to 20% who are 18 and younger are white. you see a huge dem gratic change where the majority of young people in arizona are either latino or black. people of color. it is not a surprise the demographic changes are creating a political pools along ideological lines. however what both karl rove and president bush knew, in order to win the white house, they need 40% of the latino vote across the spectrum. across states in order to win the white house. and i think that's one of the
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reasons why mitt romney right now is back pedaling saying he supports the rubio plan for the dream action. he is bringing in hispanic outreach person. the rnc is. to ensure they can start talking to latinos about the issues they care about which is not necessarily immigration but it is jobs and education. however, is it too late for the romney campaign? >> let me bring you back in. i know you're traveling with the romney campaign. it was an excellent point made by joe scarborough this morning on his show that at least in his estimation, mitt romney is not perhaps, maybe has a tin ear to the concerns that his party certainly needs the latino vote or a great portion of it if they plan to win. >> reporter: he is certainly coming late to this party. it is partly because he is from massachusetts, a state that hasn't had to deal with the influx of immigrants. and it isn't as diverse a state as texas is, florida is, as arizona is. of course, john mccain came in at a very different place as
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well because he had some familiarity with these issues. you did see mitt romney a couple weeks ago overheard in a fund-raiser talking about the need to reach out to latinos. talking about the fact the party won't be able to expand. won't be able to survive on a national stage if they don't start reaching out to latinos. today you heard mitt romney drop the name of marco rubio. you also have somebody like susanna martinez publicly criticizing romney and the idea of self-deportation. i think republicans are certainly under the gun at this point and trying to frame these issues, immigration and jobs in a way they can attract latinos. that 40%, they have to get over that hump if they're going to want to win the white house. >> let me bring you back in. to her point, susanna march teen a's point, what the heck does
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self-deportation even means. she was on the list of people that could be vp picked for mitt romney and specifically what joe scarborough that, if you lose the hispanic vote, you become the minority party. and that was his message to republicans and mitt romney. >> it's very true. she is a special case. she has more of an extreme agenda when it comes to immigration. and one of her policies when she was elected was precisely not just self-deportation but a bigger crackdown and going further than arizona jan brewer's piece of legislation. so i think what she was looking for was something that was much more extreme and harsh. in regard to what joe scarborough is saying, it is absolutely important for both parties to start reaching out to the latino community today now and early. one of the thing when it come to the republican strategy, they know they have a latino vote problem. it is not surprising why you have over 22 states that have passed very difficult voter i.d. laws that were not in the books in 2008 but exist now in 2012.
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that's one of the reasons, they realize that these key states, we're about florida. we're talking about texas, air eric nevada, colorado. they all have the potential to become purple states, meaning they're the swing states. and it will be dependent on the latino vote. >> go ahead. >> reporter: to expand this out a little bit, the african-american vote is also important. if you think about ohio, george bush was able to win ohio because he was able to expand the african-american vote. a lot of the policies and sort of approaches that ken melmen the rnc chairman put in place came to play in that election. it is not just the latinos. they have to think about how they can peel off some of these african-american voters as well. they don't need all of them. just a portion of these different populations. >> thank you both. greatly appreciate it. jpmorgan's 2 billion loss could be bigger or more than previously thought. we'll have the latest on the billions that are being counted in losses. plus we're following big
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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,
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i have a career that speaks to that passion. thank you, mr. davies. we're following breaking news about the secret republican plan to paint president obama as a quote, metro sexual black abe lincoln. and resurrected the story of reverend jeremiah wright. mitt romney is holding an event in jacksonville. we're will that governor romney will make a new statement on the report. we'll have more with nbc news senior political editor mark murray after a quick break. n, diarrhea, gas or bloating? get ahead of it! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defend against digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. hit me! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours... everyone else buzzed about the band. there's a wireless mind inside all of us. so, where to next? ♪ mitt romney with live pictures speaking at an event in jacksonville, florida. we're waiting to see if he comments off new york time report showing a vicious attacking plan by a pro romney super pac linking president obama to the reverend jeremiah
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wright. senior political editor mark murray joins me. in your first read you point out that mitt romney had pointed out the story line would be a closing gap in fundraising. but this is the hot topic. >> it is the hot topic. i think what mitt romney's campaign can take, find sole as in the fact that they're narrowing poll number in the state like wisconsin. they're strong fundraising number will be stories we'll be about for the next month. they do impact this race. it remains to be seen whether today's story has legs that go all the way to november. certainly it is a story we're following today. >> i mean, it would likely, wouldn't it? have legs just based on the fact that it is a super pac involve in it. and we know the ongoing debate, the heated debate over super pacs. their influence and also the influence of a few very wealthy individuals. it was the story line in the primary. brought up even by newt gingrich. here we are moving into the general election and it would seem if nothing else this would come up when you talk about
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super pacs and some very influential people. >> yes. this story does emphasize that you have some billionaires, people who might not be fans of president obama who will be able to use their money, use their contributions as big, big weapons in this election. i was mainly referring to this particular jeremiah wright ad as far as maybe not having legs. we've already seen joe ricketts, the billionaire person, the founder of td who came out after this report. we've seen the romney campaign, repudiate that type of attack. we've also seen even the advertising firm that put together the pitch that basically said, look, this was one of several proposals. everyone has been distancing themselves from this so it remains to be seen whether jeremiah wright will be a story we'll be talking about in october, november, but
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definitely super pacs. >> but also, for people who perhaps are considered quote/unquote fringe or ultra conservative, for them the reverend jeremiah wright story never went away. he pointed out that one program had mentioned jeremiah wright, i think, seven time in the last week. so for maybe independent voters, maybe the women vote here's are right now trying to figure out if there's a quote/unquote war on women. this doesn't matter. those folks who are out of jobs right now, this doesn't matter. for a certain segment of our society, this story never went away. >> and it is a tight rope that republicans have to walk. in my conversations with the romney campaign, republicans on capitol hill, they want to talk about the economy them want to talk about the deficit and the debt. however, there is a very sizable portion of the republican base that actually wants to talk about these other topics like jeremiah wright. and actually, take the fight to
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president obama personally. that conflict within the republican party is something to watch. he is probably expected to give comments today. they want nothing to do with this story. >> that's why it more baffling when you look at it. anyone would have guessed that mitt romney certainly would have repelled. it was a question of how aggressively he would push back. with that said, why do you think, or what kind of information is out there that continue to push some of these conservatives they can get traction with jeremiah wright. is there any proof or any polling as to why they keep digging this story up? >> i think it goes back to the point you made with chuck todd. on certain news programs, certain conservative outlets, the topic of jeremiah wright. the topic of president obama's birth and citizenship really fires up people. certainly not main stream republicans. people who aren't tacticians,
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who aren't strategists. it does fire some folks up. i think there is this narrative that barack obama isn't one of us. that he is somebody who seems to be a little foreign to us and you take that narrative and you go a little too far and you end up with some of the things we see on the fringes of the blogosphere. >> how does that factor into the dynamic between the republicans who you point out say like speaker boehner, that he wants to talk about the economy with this other group of conservatives who say this is the fight we want. this is the fight senator mccain would not bring to barack obama and they believe that's why he lost. so is there, i don't want to use the word civil war but there seems to be a great divide there. >> tamron, it is a conflict. we even saw this with john boehner trying to get his tea party caucus to sign on to deals with they would actually try to cut with the obama white house. of course, it had nothing to do with jeremiah wright or some of these other social issues. but i do think that when you
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look back at today's republican party, there are folks who say we have the opportunity to win this presidential election. we have the opportunity to keep the house. maybe win back the senate. if we focus on the economy, we focus on jobs and the deficit. but there is this other stream within the republican party that wants to go even harder to charge full ahead, to make it very personal. to make it really tough. and so that is a tight rope that a lot of republican leaders really have to walk right now. >> all right. mark murray, thank you very much. great pleasure having you on. jpmorgan's staggering nosedive could be even larger than the ceo announced. it could be 50% larger totalling more than $3 billion. dimon says the losses could mushroom in the coming months, depending on how the markets fluctuate. the federal reserve is investigating the trading loss to see if any inappropriate risks were taken. despite the loss, analysts are optimistic about its future. jamie dimon said the numbers
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would perhaps change. when you're talking a billion here, a billion there, this is why the regulation and reform conversation goes right along with it. >> that's right. it is a number that gets your attention. i want to point out that cnbc has spoken to people familiar with this situation and they are downplaying the report that the losses have widened by another billion dollars in the last couple of days. that of course was reported in "the new york times." but again, when mr. dimon was announcing the initial $2 billion in losses on thursday evening, he remarked that a couple thing. first, this was going to be volatile. the bank was not going to sell out of any positions at a big loss because they were going on hold on to it, waiting for the market to move in favor of them before taking those losses. and keep in mine, the book that contains this trade is marked every night. its value will change on a daily basis. and again, people in the market know that jpmorgan has these positions out there. they're gunning for it right
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now. you could see some volatility which is what the bank had indicated before. the question, the parlor game on wall street continues to be just how big these losses could grow after the $2 billion. the bank is saying last week that they could grow by more than a billion. >> is there any sense that there is worry regarding these two investigations that are ongoing? >> i think there is always worry any time you have the regulators at least from the bank's perspective when you have regulators looking into something that you are doing. but you know, that's what the regulators' jobs are. there are regulators in the bank. more than 60. every day. at what the bank does. so again there's always concerns. you dope want to be found having done something wrong. >> and jamie dimon on "meet the press" says he welcomed any of these examinations from regulators. we'll see what the next move is. thank you. nbc news has been given access to trayvon martin's autopsy report. we're learning new details with
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the gunshot that killed the teenager plus another injury found on trayvon martin's body. 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. siemens. answers. whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪
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adding clear calorie labels so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories, america's beverage companies are delivering. coming up at the top of the hour, news. jeremiah wright back in the spotlight and mitt romney expected to respond to the dirty super pac play book. plus, charlie rangel on what may be the lamest duck congress and the exclusive interview with the attorney for the brothers. >> they've not seen their autopsy report of trayvon martin. nbc news was able to review the autopsy report and george zimmerman's medical report.
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nbc national investigative correspondent michael isikoff join me now live from saabford, florida. you know that there are perhaps more documents that could be released here soon. the trayvon martin family has issue with how this is going down. >> reporter: right. this is after all the autopsy report on their sob's death. a document they vnl seen but it is an important piece of evidence in the case. yesterday, i had an opportunity to review the autopsy report. trayvon martin was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest at intermediate range. 17 inches below the head. the bullet went through the lungs and there was a small abrasion on his ring finger. slightly below the knuckle of the left ring finger. that may be the most important piece of this. because it does, it can be
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suggested and will be argued that that is consistent with the injuries that were in that medical report on george zimmerman. which showed that he had prepared by a family doctor the day after the incident, which showed he had a likely broken nose, swollen lips, black eyes, and lacerations on the back of the head. all of which is consistent with the idea that there was a struggle that turned violent between these two men. now, that is clearly going to be argued by george zimmerman's lawyer as evidence that george zimmerman, when he shot trayvon martin, was acting in self-defense. that he had reason to feel he was threatened because he was in this violent struggle with trayvon martin. it doesn't answer the crucial question, what started the confrontation? how did it begin? how did it escalate? that's center to the state's case and central to resolving what actually happened that night. >> all right. michael isikoff in sanford,
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florida. i know you'll keep an eye on what's happening down there. thank you so much. some tragic news this hour about the woman known as the queen of disco among her generations of fans. grammy winning singer donna summer passed away earlier today. she reportedly had been battling cancer. her family release ad statement said while we dwreef her passing, we at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. words cannot express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time. and i was telling our producers that had a chance to sing with donna summer and interview her when i was in chicago. she just lived up to all the expectations of being this warm and amazing individual. >> amazing individual. and at 63, died way, way too early. i think one of the things that is unique about donna summer that make her so unique from our pop stars today, she really worked her way up through
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business. she grew up singing in her church. left as a teenager from her home town of boston to move to new york to make it on broad way. joined a company and that's when she was discovered. this great voice of hers was discovered and she started into disco. she wasn't just successful in disco. in the 80s she had that hit you work hard for your money. >> and a lot of celebrities and just fans who are not obviously but still love that music have been tweeting. one of our team members told me rihanna told me, for example, tweeted out. you say were it not for her, would many others who are similar be here today. >> definitely. and i have such respect for artist who's are able to have hits that resonate not just years after they come out but with so many different generations. "las last dance" has become an an them for every prom and wedding.
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>> she works hard for the money. that song was the one you could rile it up. you were out there hustling and getting your first job. that was a you good one. >> i think today you'll see a lot of people downloading on itunes if they don't already have it, her greatest hits and there are many of them. >> absolutely. and her family's words, obviously, just amazing and your heart goes out to her children, of course and we'll have more on it. thank you. our "news nation" gut check is up next. and we have republican congressman mike rogers with us. he said the tsa needs to get quote smarter, leaner and tougher, in order to keep americans safe. he will join me live next. [ female announcer ] e-trade was founded on the simple belief
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but that label can lead to prejudice and discrimination, and we don't want to go there. so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know. we hope to bring you our gut check with mike rogers.
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a result of recent security breaches at a up in of airports. with that that, he is not able to join us as a result of a few votes so we want to go back to the big news. what the president's re-election team is calling a, quote, hate-filled divisive campaign of character assassination. as we reported within the last hour, the conservative billionaire reportedly behind this plan to resurrect reverend jeremiah wright as well as refer to the president as a quote, metro sexual black abe lincoln. he is saying he will not go ahead with this ad that had been discussed in chicago for a couple weeks ago. the new york time made this big revelation this morning. it was a secret conservative plan to attack the president as i mentioned, by labeling hill and resurrecting reverend jeremiah wright. we are awaiting new words from governor mitt romney. he repudiated the statement. that is supposed to air. his comments are supposed to air in a radio interview later this
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evening. meanwhile this hour, the governor is in jacksonville, florida. and according to the information we've received, he is expected to make a new statement regarding this new york times report. all of this comes at this time. this is the owner of the chicago cubs. he is also the founder of td mare trade as well. he was going to reject there plan. we'll see the words that will come from governor romney's mouth regarding this and we'll have the latest reaction from the white house. any way, we apologize for not being able to bring you the gut check. we'll hopefully bring the congressman on monday. we'll have more of it for you. that does it for this edition of "news nation." you can catch "news nation" every weekday at 2:00 p.m. [ male announcer ] this is lois.
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good afternoon. it's thursday, may the 17th. here's what's happening. be afraid. be very afraid. >> god bless america. >> what the -- a plan surfaces to use jeremiah wright and america sees just how far billionaires may to go defeat president obama. i wonder what mitt thinks. >> do you think reverend wright is off limits in this campaign? >> any minute now, mitt romney is expected to comment on today's new york time report about a proposal to attack president obama's re-election campaign. that image is from jacksonville, florida, where romney was just speaking and it is an early kick-off to what could be a
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blistering hot summer of wild west style campaigning. a scheme that has dominated headlines all day with its details, exposing the darkest aspects of our post citizens united reality. the $10 million plan is titled, the defeat of barack hussein obama. the ricketts plan to end his spending for good. an incendiary plot for a multimedia blitz tying the president to his former minister, the reverend jeremiah wright. and part of a pitch to an super pac. according to the story boards, the campaign aims to recruit, quote, an extremely literate conservative african-american. you know, not the other kind. to argue that the president misled the nation portraying himself as, quote, a metro sexual black abe lincoln. now, if that sounds to you absurd but relatively harmless, the kind of thing don

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