tv The Last Word MSNBC May 22, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
what made our post 9/11 words two of the longest wars in american history is over. it was tried. it has been rejected. it's done. this nitto summit and is proclaimed and to the afghan war did not necessarily make headlines >> let's hear it for joe. >> making money for your investors is not the president's job. >> attacking romney's record at bain capicapital. >> it's fair game to talk about it. >> it's value versus skills. >> fair game. the business values don't fit. >> the um side and the downside -- >> all fair game. >> -- are worth examing. >> the idea about job creation -- >> fair game. >> -- is nonsense. >> we had over 100,000 jobs.
created tens of thousands of jobs. thousands of jobs. hundred thousand. >> ridiculous. >> when you're president -- >> the president is about people. >> your job is not simply to maximize profits. it's not the same job requirement. all fair game. now we have some numbers to discuss. there's a "washington post" abc poll today. >> the president ahead of romney. 49, obama. candidate romney relied on him to come vote for him. a gender gab with mitt romney on the other side of that. i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. do i believe the supreme court should overturn roe v wade, yes. have to be careful. >> i am pro-choice. my opponent is multiple choice. >> good evening and thank you
for joining us. i'm martin bashir in for lawrence o'donnell. the president said yesterday that mitt romney's experience as chief executive of bain capital does not mean he can create jobs as president of the united states. today vice president joe biden translated that message. >> making money for your investors, which romney did very well is not the president's job. your job as president is to promote the common good. that doesn't mean the private equity guys are bad guys, they're not, but that no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber. >> the vice president also honed in on bain capital. >> when they succeed and the company succeeds, they make money. when the company they get involved with fails, they still make money. it's legitimate. but folks, making money
regardless of the consequences for the workers, the companies they ache wire tor the communities that get wasted is another question. now republicans like to note that some democrats are uncomfortable with the obama campaign mentions of mitt romney's record at bain capital. a new pro-obama superpac ads reminds republicans that some republicans do not share that discomfort. >> i happen to think that companies like bain capital could have come in and helped these companies if they truly were venture capitalists. but they're not. they're vulture capitalists. >> someone very wealthy comes in, takes over your company, takes all the cash and leaves behind the unemployment, that's not a model we want to advocate. >> governor romney has claimed
to have created 100,000 jobs at bain, and you know, people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim, and was the us jobs created for united states citizens? and that's fair. that's not negative campaigning. that's fair to get a candidate to be held accountable. >> absolutely. that was sarah palin speaking to sean hannity in january. when palin sat down with hannity last night she magically no longer harbored concerns about mitt romney's record on so-called job creation. >> obama doesn't understand the free market system, and he will condemn private equity because he doesn't understand the benefits of private equity in job creation. >> the new nbc news wall street journal poll released this evening shows what americans think about bain capital. 9% describe their feelings toward bain capitol as positive. 19% describe their feelings as
negative. 53% are not sure or not familiar with bain capital. the nbc news poll shows president obama holding a narrow lead over mitt romney. obama polls at 47%. four points ahead of romney's 4 #%. joining us now is karen finney. former dnc communications director and current political analyst. jonathan capehart. "washington post" writer. thank you to all of you for joining me tonight. karen, we have democrats who say they're uncomfortable criticizing mitt romney's record at bain. but has the president and now the vice president articulated an attack that all democrats can agree on? basically, mitt romney is applying for the wrong job. >> absolutely. as usual the president articulated the message better than anybody else. joe biden the time followed the president quite well in making the point that this has nothing
to do with is bain a good company or not. is this kind of business a good thing or not? no. the question is the 15 years that he ran this company, what was the total picture of the record. not just here's where we did okay. let's see what really happened in the life cycle of that company, and that's part of what the groups are trying to show. perhaps job bs may have been created in the interim. but while the investors were able to make their money back, their pensions were reduced. they lost their job. so there's a total picture here worth looking at. >> jonathan, it appears that the vice president and president are saying that when you are president, you're president of the people. not president of profits. you're the president of communities. not the president of cash. mitt romney doesn't appear to understand that, does he?
>> well, not in the way he's running his came pan. i mean the president is basically contrasting two different skill sets and hoping the american people will understand that what mitt romney did as the founder of bain capital is not the same skills that you need in the oval office when you have to worry about everyone, and as you eni discussed earlier today on your show, mitt romney is oh, so happy to talk about the good stories and the good things, the good record, such as it is. that he mapped while at bain, but doesn't want to talk about these uncomfortable, the uncomfortable record of bain. during his time there. because, you're talking about companies that were closed, people who lost their jobs, people who lost benefits and other things that would ring to the heart of the anxiety that people feel right now. >> indeed. jonathan, thank you for
mentioning my own broadcast. i don't have to do that. does private equity manager mitt romney not understand, it comes down to something that governor romney said a number of months ago. he said, i understand the economy. i understand the economy. president obama does not. i thought about that. i looked back at the kind of record that he e massed in terms of job creation as governor. primarily during the 15 years at bain. he has a unique, private equity, financial market kind of understanding of the economy. the kind of understanding you would expect from someone in that position. and if you look at the goals of private equity, and i agree with the president and the vice president, there are laudable aspects of those goals. nowhere on the score card will you find job creation. it is not there. the goal is private equity. it's to maximize profits for th
shareholders. job creation isn't one of those goals. and if you're a private equity owner and you tell your client, i'm not really thinking about profits here, i'm thinking about job creation. you're not doing private equity. so yes, it's a very different understanding for a completely different set of criteria. >> and yet, karen, is mitt romney who had sold himself on the basis of this career. he's not talked about his service in the mormon church. he can't talk about his atrocious performance as governor of massachusetts. he sold himself on bain. he can't now complain that he started examining what that means and suddenly realized that doesn't work so well if you have to care about the poor, the disabled, the needy, it doesn't work so well. >> that's right. if you want to take that sort of
private equity or that shareholder perspective, you have a much more diverse group of invested interest when you're the president than when you are in the kind of business that mr. romney was in. and you're right. trying to talk about the record as governor. he flip-flopped all over the place. he created additional debt. clearly, it's not something you want to talk about. he put forward his time this 15 years as the basis for which we should judge his ability to be our president, to deal with everything from our nuclear threat in iran to job creation in lima, ohio. >> lord help us. jonathan, pro obama super pac has a new ad to air in five swing states. just watch this, john. >> i worked at the plant going on 34 years. i thought that have i was going to retire from there. i had about two and a half years to go. i was suddenly 60 years old. i had no health care. and that's scary. when mitt romney did that, he
made me sick. >> that's a very powerful ad, john. the president's message now that mitt romney is applying for the wrong job could not be called socialist or antique capitalist. but the message in the ad is vulnerable. is it not? do yo think it would be wise to leave these sorts of attacks to super pacs, or she could he continue to talk about bain? in terms as the skill set that mitt romney acquired by running bain versus the skill set that's required to be president. this kind of attack and that ad is, you know, very, very powerful. they said mitt romney literally made her sick by taking away her job and her health care at 60 years old, and you see her. she's a vulnerable person. this is where super pacs as we have seen throughout the republican primary process, this is where they can get really rough and mean and in some cases
nasty in a way that the candidate should not, could not and should not. >> jared, holding the highest office in the country is a constructive contribution. it's a public service. it's a contribution to civic society. private equity feels neither like a constructive contribution nor a public service. is that right? is that fair? >> absolutely. there's nothing public service about private equity. again, if it is in the interest of your shareholders to shut the factory down and move it to mexico or china, you would be derelict as a private equity fund director not to do so. obviously the decision sits in front of the president are the opposite of that. it's fair game, as we said so far. what is particularly telling, to get back to the core of all this. when mitt romney says i understand the committee, he's not talking about the economy of the people in that ad.
he's not talking about the economy facing elevated unemployment for years. he's talking about the economy with the largest gaps between high and low income people that we've seen in that decade. he's not talking about an economy suffering from fiscal constraints that his plans would make so much worse. these are the types around the problems associated with final equity. >> do you expect mitt romney to ever come out and say anything about bain? apparently he's been locked away in a hotel suite, talking to people planning on funding his campaign. is he ever going to talk about bain and address this? >> it doesn't appear so. it's almost like his campaign staff is derelict in their duty to not have a solid answer on this by now. if you look at our fabulous msnbc news wall street journal show, one of the most
interesting pieces in there, it shows there's still a lot of room to define what his business role was. does he really understand the economy? there's a mix that think working in business is a good thing, maybe not a good thing. they don't really know. that's a conversation we'll certainly have, not from romney, over the next several months. >> thank you so much, all of you, for joining us. >> thanks, martin. as governor romney con tebds his business record qualifies him to be president, the republican women of the house of representatives pretend they're fighting every day for every woman in america. melissa harris-perry is here to refind congresswomen of the actual record and the record of the republican party. another fight at fox news. karl rove and sarah palin don't see eye-to-eye on how to best attack the president. the weirdest ronald reagan story
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all 24 female house republicans have banded together the form the women's policy committee. their goal, to raise the profile of gop women in their role as lawmakers, highlighting their diverse achievements and providing a unique, unified voice on a wide range of critically important issues. in a statement the caucus, boehner was completely elusive. make no mistake, these aren't just leaders on so-called women's issues. these are women leaders on all issues. joining us now are crystal ball, democratic strategist and legal analyst and melissa perry, host of msnbc's melissa perry show. good evening to both of you. i wonder if i can play a quick fire round. how many of these republican women voted for the scaled back house version of the violence against women act, which would not protect immigrants, gays or
native american women. how many out of the 24? >> 22. >> excellent. both right. second question. how many of these 24 republican women which would cut child care, cut meals on wheels and other home based services to 1.7 million seniors. and cut care for nearly one million disabled adult americans. how many? >> 24. >> wonderful. you're both right. crystal, tell me, what on earth is the women's policy committee, other than a cosmetic attempt to redress the republican party on the issue. >> well, that's exactly what it is. >> their argument to women is basically like here's some women. there's some women republican. now vote for us. be a good girl and vote for us. that's their argument. and frankly it's the same strategy that john mccain tried to use in 2008. he thought if he put a woman as his vice presidential running mate that women who had
supported hillary clinton would then go and support sarah palin. well, that's ridiculous. we're not stupid. we look at the policies that people are supporting, and that's what we judge them on, not on their gender. so the fact that you have a woman there does not mean we're going to support you. >> the problem for john mccain the woman he selected opened her mouth, and that led to all kind of difficulties. >> i respect that women are a diverse political population. the president said this. you're not an interest group. you're half the population. there are legitimately conservative republican women. women who support the agenda that they're coming out on. this is a base level identity politics. the kind of base level identity politics that the gop said they don't agree with. part of what is so shocking when we look at republican not only
do they support them on, for example, equal pay or rights. but even on the base level identity of politics. when republican women have the year of gop women in 2010, we lost seats for women in the u.s. congress for the first time since the 1970s. >> yeah, and to that point, i mean, i don't know if i'm them. if i want to highlight the fact that out of their 2242 members, it's not all that impressive this is interesting and not widely reported. republican women have a harder time winning their primary than democratic women. democratic women are twice as likely to win if they're running rather than republican women. while melissa is absolutely right, women are not an interest group. they're varied. women on a whole tend to be more liberal. in a republican primary, not so much of a good thing. >> he's talking about the law he
created. the violence against women's act. they become part of the cultures, businesses. everybody has embraced the notion that a woman has a right to be free of violence and intimidation and on the the street in her own home, wlvr it is. and these guys in the house just voted down our version, the continuation of the existing violence against women act. and they cut out big chunks. folks, this is not your father's republican party. >> melissa, this is the current effect towards women, isn't it? >> this is just bad politics. let's walk away from saying republican men hate women or something. i think they don't dislike women per se. i think they have a very narrow idea as what counts as a woman. what counts as a woman's role. what counts as women's problems. let's take the issue of student loan debt. that's a problem that disproportionately impacts women. it's not just about violence.
but the bad politics here is when you can take someone like joe biden and and turn him into the advocate for women's rights. this is joe biden. though those of us who watch the anita hill, clarence thomas hearings haven't forgotten he has his own problems. this point this they moved so far right, they have joe biden looking like the king of women equality and now women's protection. it is just indicative of how far to the right this republican party has moved. >> one of the first acts this new congress took when they were sworn into office, was to threaten to shut down the federal government over funding for planned parenthood. a service that one in five uses. it is an economic issue and important issue to many people across the country. and you have a party that's it's not just one thing here or
there. you have in texas a similar thing where they're trying to defund planned harnt pood. they would rather low income women go without preventive care than have them receive it from planned parenthood. you have mississippi, where they're essentially making it impossible to have a safe and legal abortion in the state. so you're talking about a nationwide from the local level on up to the federal level assault on the rights that women have frankly taken for granted for a number of years now. >> indeed. krystal ball, melissa harris-perry, thank you sho much for joining us. >> thanks, martin. >> as president obama and his re-election team push to put arizona in the column, some are looking to keep him off the ballot. karl rove wants to keep attacks about jeremiah wright out of the
assassination by john hinkley jr. on march 30, 1981. it was obtained not from the hospital that treated maryland. unsurprisingly the form president's family has denounced the auction. his son michael suggested the vile was more likely filled with mouse blood. while some might regard this auction as a morbid attempt to cash in, political artifacts remain in interest. the bed abraham lincoln died in is on display. the bloodstained suit worn by jackie kennedy on the day her husband was assassinationed is being held by the national archives. donated anonymously, it won't be on display until the year 2103. the hearse that held jfk's body was sold for $168,000. the associated press reports the auction house website says the seller claimed he was a supporter of reagan's mic licie and believes the late president
would have wanted him to sell the vile, rather than donate it. that's what i call reaganomics. coming up, it didn't work in 2008. neither did she. but that's not stopping sarah palin from bringing up the reverend wright and claiming she disagreed with the campaign choice to steer clear of it. steve schmidt joins me now. and later, developments in arizona's plan to keep president obama off the ballot in november. wooil have the very latest coming up.
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governor of massachusetts there are increasing calls for him to attack the president by using the reverend jeremiah wright. first, "the new york times" revealed how one super pac was planning to deploy the controversy. and then last night came the loudest drum beat of all, from the one who started it all during the 2008 campaign. >> let me ask you this. you said nothing should be off the table when it comes to the vetting of the president. the issue of reverend wright came out again this week. this is relevant. you thought so in 2008. do you think it's relevant, these issues, today? >> i do. i thought so in 2008. that's why i went rogue and disagreed with campaignsed a virzs when they said no a lot of issues like past associations with reverend wright and those who helped shape obama's world view needed to be off the table
and not discussed. i disagree then. i disagree now. >> just a reminer. this is what sarah palin told "the new york times" just a month before the last election. i don't know why that association isn't discussed more because those were appalling themes that that paz tor had said about our great country and has sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that with, i don't know, a sense of condoning it. i guess because he didn't get up and leave, to me, that does say something about about character. earlier this week karl rove had this to say about dragging the reverend wright into the current campaign. >> trying to dredge up jeremiah wright, right or wrong, after this issue was litigated four years ago by john mccain deciding not to litigate it was stupid. >> joining me now is steve schmidt, msnbc political analyst, former seniored a virz
advisor for the campaign. palin told the times in 2008 she wanted to talk about reverend wright. last night she disagreed with mccain's owned a virzs during the campaign. did she ever say to you or john mccain that she wanted to use the reverend wright against barack obama? >> well, she did, martin. she did all time. and i think something that is important to understand here, is this is john mccain's decision. john mccain ran for president of the united states. john mccain won his party's nomination. it was his call. john mccain said absolutely not under no circumstances do i want to inject the poison of race into this campaign. it was the right thing for john mccain to do. this was the right thing politically for john mccain to do. most people understand it was john mccain's right to make the decision and got in line with
it. >> and yet many on the right say he might not have lost that election if he had used jeremiah wright. >> yeah, well that's dumb. and here's why. everybody had an opinion about jeremiah wright. there were no persuadable voters. the purpose of television advertising is to persuade people that are persuadable. there are for sure millions of americans who saw the reverend wright tapes and thought it disqualified president obama from being president. there are millions more who heard president obama's speech after all this became public. and that satisfied the issue. the point was, everybody knew who jeremiah wright was. everybody had an opinion on jeremiah wright. broadcasting was preaching to the converted. it would have had no political effect. it was a stupid strategy. it was bad tactics. and it's crazy to be talking
about it in 2012. >> why then are some republicans still obsessed with this elderly reverend from chicago? what secrets do they think this man provides into the life of a president who now we've seen in office for more than three years? >> i think there is a myth at the center of this argument that many on the far right are making. and that's is to say that this wasn't exploited and explored in 2008. and in fact, it was. millions of people saw all the speeches that he made. he gave several interviews. he gave speeches after obama distances himself from him. he's given interview off since then. this idea that somehow there's a smoking gun that needs to be explored, there's a shooting drop. i think it's a real myth. there is an obsession. it's part of this idea. if somehow outside of the mainstream that he's an other, and that's what they're trying
to do. paint him as a radical. he's not an american. therefore he's somehow not a legitimate person to occupy the white house. but i think the romney campaign obviously very quickly moved to distance themselves from this. it will be interesting to see if they continue to do that. but they very well know this is a campaign that will be fought along the lines of trying to convince independent voters, many of whom voted for obama in 2008. that's where they're looking. >> mitt romney made his stance clear on the issue. take a listen. >> i repudiate that effort. i think it's the wrong course for a pac or a campaign. >> but steve, there is, you know, still a covert campaign by people like sean hannity on fox news and sarah palin to some expent to launch in covert race based campaign regardless of what plomds the candidate or the
presumptive nominee says. >> well, martin, i'm sure people are talking about it. i disagree in the sense that -- >> steve, i'm sorry -- steve, i'm sorry to interrupt you. >> everybody has an opinion on it. >> steve, i'm sorry to interrupt you. sean hannity mentioned reverend jeremiah wright 300 times already. >> to what effect? everybody in the country know who is jeremiah wright is. everybody in the country has an opinion on jeremiah wright. it has nothing to do with the dialogue that is taking part of the presidential campaign. everybody mind their mind up four years ago, it makes no sense. and you saw mitt romney repudiate it as he should have. so he can get onto talking about issues that will determine the outcome of the election. that's what people want to hear who are in the middle of the electorate, that will decide the
outcome. it will be a close election structurally. >> we heard a moment ago karl rove, and he said that using the reverend jeremiah wright would be stupid. john boehner called it nonsense. but here's the point, aren't there still places in the country where some conservatives consider the president's citizenship and religion to be still up for question? >> yes, and you see that playing out in some of these states that have discussions about whether or not the president will be on the ballot. i think there's that going on in arizona. so yes, you do have ideas. so you've seen him distance himself. mitt romney himself could be open to some of this discussion about whether he's another. this isn't very familiar for a lot of americans. but you get into those questions, discussions black liberation theology then i think in some ways there's a straight
line. that's something of david axelrod says is not on the table. but he very well knows that going into these cultural issues around race and religion are dangerous for him as well as the president. he is obviously focused on the economy, and that's where he feels the election will be won or lost. >> thanks so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up, the birthers just can't quit. especially in arizona. now the secretary of state has got involved. >> plus, you're about to meet the congressional candidate who plans to light up on the steps of the u.s. capitol if he's a party? [ music plays, record skips ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. twenty-one vitamins and minerals. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
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i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. it's a tricky thing politically to jump on the bandwagon because i think that maybe people see it as taboo still, so i -- >> no politician, even if they thought it was a good idea -- >> oh my god. >> nearly 19 months and zach lit a joint during a discussion about an initiative to legalize marijuana. someone else has taken up the
torch and is lighting up on the campaign trail. >> a friend of mine. i'm the only candidate willing to get arrested on the steps of the capitol. medical marijuana has improved my life. i don't think another person should spend an hour in jail for marijuana. that's why i'm pro legalization. >> joining me now is andy caffery from california's newly con figured second district. good afternoon, sir. >> hi, martin. >> you use marijuana for medicinal purposes, as i understand it. what are your medical reasons?
>> well, i have three neurological conditions. post-traumatic stress disorder. attention deficit disorder and obsessive, compulsive tendencies. so i use it for sort of a tranquilizer effect. i use it for focusing. and i use it to get to sleep. >> those are strongly mental reasons for using the medication. >> that's right. i don't have a physical ailment that i'm using it for pain. 16 states have legalized medicinal marijuana. what is your argument for the legalization of marijuana all together. >> well, i live in humboldt county. we have ha new district. where i live the median income is $35,000 a year. in ma rin it's $85,000 a year. and our economy, the bedrock is marijuana. $1.6 billion a year comes into our county. that's a quarter to over half of the income of the county. so a lot of people locally that might make it legal in
california, and there shall spread the number of people who can groet it themselves. then there's more of a market. people like tom hartman who say if it's legal he would smoke marijuana. >> it sounds like you're arguing this from an economic perspective as opposed to medicinal. >> well, it's not either/or. as you heard in the clip my primary reason is because i don't think another person should spend another hour in jail. i don't want to call them crimes. >> one recent study found young people who smoked marijuana at least five times were twice as likely to develop psychosis over the next ten years than those who don't smoke pot. does that have any effect on your argument? i use a place with the fine nest the world. the emerald triangle. i talked to the doctor who has been the doctor in the area. ask him act effects on people. if anybody knew he would know.
and he said the only effect that he's seen in his entire career were two people who smoked about 20 joints a day and had esophagus bleeding. he also had concerns about young people from 15 to 18. i've heard studies for england about that, who you were talking about. i'm not here as an advocate for using marijuana. i hesitated a long time before allowing the image to be created of me smoking a joint. i don't want my being a congressman to cause young people to smoke marijuana. but i feel that it's our right to not be in jail. it's our the right to have an economy the lives are ruined when president obama comes in here and shuts the down the dispensary. >> candidate for congress from california, andy caffrey. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure, martin. coming up, the birther who
is never went away and are trying to keep the president off the arizona ballot. that's next. arizona has been reliably republican for decades, but all the polling suggests that this coming november politics are like ily to be in place. mitt romney is leading the bit just four points. 46 to 42. this may explain the worst outbreak of paranoia since the we love gardening...
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outbreak of paranoia since the salem witch hunt trials. let's start with ken bennett, also cochair of mitt romney's arizona campaign. he announced on friday that the president may be excluded from the state ballot. but it's not his fault. blame the birthers. >> i'm not a birther. i believe that the president was born in hawaii. or at least i hope he was. but my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in arizona are correct. >> bennett demanded, as arizona's secretary of state, that hawaiian officials verified the authenticity of the president's birth certificate. in response, officials over there mirrored by the lunacy have asked bennett to verify that he has the authority to make such a demand. the question would be, i would ask all of the candidates including the president maybe to
submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. but i don't want to do that. >> if you're waiting for the romney campaign to defend the behavior of their arizona state cochair, then make yourself comfortable, because you'll have to wait for some time. meantime, the state's other sheriff joe arpaio. the team is also dedicated to cracking the case of the presidential birth certificate. and sheriff joe doesn't care about the criticism. he says it's one deputy. so what? adding that the cost will be reimbursed. but at least it's diluted and deranged conspiricist is asking the right question. so what if denying what everybody already knows, that the president is indeed an american. embarrasses your states. so what if your actions as secretary of state bring you such ridicule that nearly 15,000 people sign the petition
requesting that your office investigating whether mitt romney is a unicorn. that's a real petition, by the way. so what if ken bennett and sheriff joe achieve the remarkable fete of making arizona governor jan brewer seem positively dignified. >> you know, i probably have better photographs of me than that. a picture is what it is. >> it appears the fear of becoming the next jan brewer was too great for mr. bennett. later this afternoon he was on a local radio show and apologized for being arizona's latest embarrassment. >> this issue is done. that's all we're going to do, and he's going to be on the ball lot. i was just trying to do a quiet little step that was provided in hawaii law so i i could tell