tv Politics Nation MSNBC May 31, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
she will spend her life in this 31 21st century perhaps right through the end of it. she'll have us devoted ander pa. we're very fortunate, and thank you so many of you for recognizing that and sharing in our celebration. thank you. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> welcome to "politicsnation," i'm al sharpton. breaking news, john edwards is speaking out after a mistrial was decliered in five of the six counts of the campaign finance trial. on the other remaining charge, he has been found not guilty on the count that he took illegal campaign contributions from
wealth -- he was accused of hiding his pregnant mistress in 2008. he walked out a free man and addressed the media. >> i wanted to say first thank you for the jurors and their incredibly hard work and diligence. they took their job very, very seriously. all i can say is thank goodness we live in a country with the system like we have. i want to make sure everyone hears from me and my voice that while do i not believe i did anything illegal or ever thought i was doing anything illegal, i did an awful lot that is wrong.
and there is no one else responsible for my sins. none of the people who came to court and testified are responsible, nobody working for the government is responsible. i am responsible. and if i want to find the person who should be held accountable for my seasons, honestly i don't have to go further than the mirror. it's me. it is me and me alone. i also want to say i'm worried about my own children. kate, who all of you have seen, has been here every single day. she has been here no matter what. no matter how awful and painful, and then finally, emma, who turned 14 recently, and jack, who just turned 12, who i take care of everyday, and then finally my precious quinn who i
love more than any of you could ever imagine. and i am so close to and so grateful for. but you know, this is the last thing i will say. i don't think god is through with me. i really believe he thinks there is still some good things ki do. >> today's news came after dramatic and confusing day in court during which the judge mistakingly thought the jury reached a verdict in all six counts. i have two guests with me now. one was a chief strategist for the john kerry campaign in 2004, and david corn. he is the author of the new book called "showdown" live from
outside the courthouse in north carolina, hampton dellinger, thank you for being here. >> bob, let me start with you. you know john edwards well, what a day. >> i don't know him well for the last eight years and i decided not to work with him for president in 2003 because i thought he wasn't ready, but when i met him in '98, i thought he had enormous potential. there is another verdict that's been rendered here. the self-inflicting downfall is a tragedy. he will never dream again, maybe he is, about being on that mountain top that he almost reached. if he dreams about that, it's a foolish and false dream.
he said god is not finished with him yet, but the voters are. >> david, do you think the jurors were the last people to vote in favor of him? >> it might have been the last elect electorate he got on his side. he is 58 years old. which doesn't seem that old, he has a lot of intelligence, america is a place of second, third, and fourth acts, but it's incredibly hard to see how he gets to any place from outside of this valley that bob accurately describes. somebody asked me to give an evaluation of where he is, and i said what comes after your toast? he is as low on the public scale as you can reach. >> he has like 3% favorable. so what -- >> so people are clear though, let me ask -- >> this speech today and these
remarks didn't seem to help him any. i don't think it was a well played moment for him. >> i want to come back, but hampton help me and the viewers understand. he was charged with six counts. explain what was the one count he was acquitted of, and what was the five that were considered mistrial? what was the essence of what we're talking about here on a legal term? >> sure, reverend, the one count he was found not guilty of is money from rachel mellon. no verdict on the contributions, no verdict on two counts related to support from fred baron. >> now the youngs worked for john edwards, people not too
familiar, john edwards owns aids that helps with his campaign and were orchestrating getting this money through. >> right, and the defense was that edwards knew almost nothing about the defense money. andrew young pocketed most of the money at issue. so no guilty verdict on the conspiracy count, and no guilty of filing a false commission he will port. it would be john edwards in the abiys abyss. he took a giant risk taking this to trial and he is walking away the victor. >> a lot of people down in north carolina and around the country said they think as he said, he
committed grave sins, dispterri acts, but they think it was politically charged trial. the u.s. attorney that brought it was a gop appointee of george bush, he stayed on under the obama administration to get the case to trial, then he retired a month after securing indictments for edwards and ran for congress. a lot of people think this should not have been in court in the first place even though they were outraged in the actions that mr. edwards participated in. >> there's real basis for that. this crossed administrations, but for the prosecutors to bring a criminal case when the federal
election commission did not see a civil violation raised a serious question. this is like no case ever brought before. this was not edwards selling an ambassador seat. he had to show he had criminal intent. they could not get a conviction. >> bob, do you think, and david said that he felt the end of mr. edward's statement of saying, you know that he wanted to couldn't in some public life, and you mentioned his statement with god is not through with me yet, do you think he may read this in some kind of way of cracking the door that he is not finished? that he comes out of this perceived as some victim of a political vendetta. >> he would be self diluted if he thought that. i don't rule that out. if you step back a little from
the legal issues and think about what was at stage in 2008, and this guy was running for president, he has a mistress he was covering up, the technical agree in his involvement in the money, i don't know. he was covering it up. what if he had been the democratic nominee for the president of the united states and this was exposed a month before the election. it would be a disaster for this party and country. that's why i found this strangely jubilant end of that speech so weird. >> he obviously could not help himself. >> i want people to see this. i was watching, and i felt that his confessions, his tribute to his family, his -- talking about his kids, very moving, and then he kind of turned right before. and this is what he said.
>> and i don't think god is through with me. i really believe he thinks there is still some good things i can do, and whatever happens with this legal stuff, what i'm hopeful about is all of those kids i've seen in the poorest parts of this country and in some of the poorest places in the world, they can help them. >> i don't think the thing that got me, and david you can speak to this, is him feeling he is still of value because i think everyone is of value, but today, is that what you really need to throw out there when you have shown such great contrition, and you escaped a very narrow, narrow, end of everything in terms of your freedom? >> i think bringing god into this was not the right decision at this point in time. i think the only thing he can
care about other than his children and being a family man is redemption high pressure he has to be thinking how can i redeem myself. i had a storybook career, i was a senator, i was a almost a presidential nominee. i have intelligence. di this awful thing, how can i redeem myself. i believe that's the only thing that can be driving him forward now and he jumped the gun. he could not help himself to start his redemption story. it may never happen at all, but that has to be what's motivating him, and it will be interesting to see what happens when, you know, the networks call, and you know, people bothering him in the next few days saying you have a lot to tell, how will he play that? >> how will he play it, bob? i ran in the '04 race, and i
spotted him for vice president. >> i'm happy that he wasn't convicted. i know his kids. i news elizabeth very well and his parents who will were wonderful people. >> and i don't know that this was really criminal. >> i agree with that. i'm not expert on that. but i think david is absolutely right. the restraint here would have been to thank the jurors, talk about his family, confess what he had done wrong, and walk away and leave the rest of this for another day. and before you go on a redemption tour, you should go out and do redemption things. >> he should have said a real word about his ex-wife. >> thank you so much for your time.
coming up, president bush comes back to the white house. and his record comes back into public debate. that's not good news for mitt romney. plus, the star of tv's "ugly betty" comes to washington for a good cause. she is here to talk about fighting for the right to vote. and republicans renew their attack on women's right with a bogus vote in congress. aren't they supposed to be creating jobs? [ male announcer ] this is genco services -- mcallen, texas. in here, heavy rental equipment in the middle of nowhere, is always headed somewhere. to give it a sense of direction, at&t created a mobile asset solution to protect and track everything.
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based on the sex of the fetus. i can't even believe it, but they said this with a straight face. >> this is the ultimate war on women. if we don't allow women to be born we can't talk about any other rights. >> this is a war on ethics. don't vote against this bill. >> planned parenthood aborts 330,000 children every year. this is the real war on women. >> the real war on women? this is one of the most outrageous lines i heard from this group. studies show sex selection is incredibly uncommon in the united states. it required a two thirds majority to pass so luckily it failed. let's be clear what's going on here. this is not about protecting women, it's about limiting
choices for women, but speaker boehner was out there backing his anti-choice crew. >> this type of sex selection americans find pretty repulsive and our members feel strongly about it, that's why it's being brought to the floor. >> it's an important issue to the american people. funny, what about the other issue. >> people are still asking where are the jobs. >> millions are still asking the same question, mr. president, where are the jobs? >> either we're going to get serious about the number one issue which is the creation of jobs, or not. >> the american people are stale waiting for the gop to get serious. joining me now is caroline maloney, a democratic from new york, and terri oneil, president of the national organization of
women. this is the gop that says they care about jobs, but tell us what actually happened today. >> well, it was just the same old same sold old going to the to bash women and bash their access to choice. they passed at least 20 bills that put obstacles in front of or limit a woman's access to choice, but they have not come to the floor and supported and infrastructure bill to put people to work or supported the president's budget or had a budget deal or jobs deal to work with people and put them to work. instead, they have come in with a sweeping agenda that has attacked women's rights and all kins of directions. it is sweeping in it's scope, appalling in it's indifference, and i would say outrageous in it's arrogance towards women. >> now, terri, this was laid out
explaining the gop and why it keeps introducing anti-choice bills, today talking to tamron hall, let me show you this. >> i spoke to an aide today, and they told me look, we have to feed our rank and file red meat every now and then, this is some meat for them to chew on. >> what they're saying which is preposterous, is they wanted to stop women from getting abortions based on the woman saying i am having a girl and i wanted to boy, i want an abortion. that never happens. this is the most absurd premise i've heard for going back at choice other than throwing red meat to their base. >> it's remarkingly hypocritical, trent franks as to go to china and india to find an excuse to demonize women seeking
abortions. the fact is we don't have son preference in this country. it's a problem in the world, but the way to fix it is to improve the status of women, improve the economic standing of women, and to eliminate gender based discrimination. mr. franks, on the other hand, has voted for an entire slew of bills that would do the opposite and entrench the disempowerment of women. just recently the violence against women's act, that sandy adams proposed was an anti-violence against women act verse of this bill. he has supported anti-woman efforts to slash spending programs that support women and that employ women. so right along the line mr.
franks and the other cosponsors and the politicians that voted for this anti-abortion but bill, they have voted for a series of anti-women bills. the one thing they have right is that there is a war on women, and women are watching their hypocrisy and are not impressed. >> the last time we heard from franks, he was proposing a bill to limit voting rights for people in the district of columbia even though he is from arizona. now she is back with this. >> a number of papers said that sex selection growing especially in the asian immigrant community. >> congresswoman, academic papers that established this, how do you respond? >> i would say everybody opposed to any form of discrimination and sex selection, but that is not what was on the floor.
it was a sham bill limiting a woman's access to health care and to reproductive rights. and this is the same team that voted to defund planned parenthood earlier in the house of representatives which supplies health care to one in five women in america. it's the primary health provider for millions of women. so they're extreme in their actions. the violence against women act. they excluded huge swaths of our population, the lbgt community, men on indian reservations. immigrant visas, and we're still 77 cents to the dollar, and yet many of them voting against the lily ledbetter act that allowed people to sue for discrimination and have opposed any fair treatment and pay. they say it's not a war, but let me tell you all of the
casualties are women whether it's slashing women's programs, day care, supportive services have been slashed. there is an effort to roll back health care. the president's health care bill does for women in health care what i would say title 9 did for women in access to sports and education. it really covers women entirely with their health care. it's a major step forward. >> let me ask you because i'm going to run out of time. does these kind of continued assaults on women by the congress and the republican candidates, has this energized your members? are your constituents, the people you hear from, are they energized around this election. >> it is increasing our membership. no question about it. we're seeing an enormous number of women who have not been politically active, paying attention, and by the way, we're seeing a lot of men who have not
been paying attention to this war on women. waking up to it, and becoming appalled by it and reaching out to us to say how can i help. the way -- what's going to happen i think, is people will start asking candidates in the 2012 elections where do you stand on protecting women's access to reproduckive health care and from protecting women. where do you stand on paycheck fairness for women. if we don't get the right answers you will see people paying a price at the polls. >> thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> women will remember in november. >> remember in november, i like that. >> absolutely, we will remember. >> ahead, president bush back in the white house today. we'll tell you why it could impact the romney campaign. and, we need to be watching what's going on in florida.
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love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is. welcome back to "politicsnation." there was differently after sense of deja vu at the white house today. former president bush joined president obama for the unveiling of his official portrait. it was warm and friendly. >> i'm pleased that as you wander these halls, you will be able to gaze at this portrait and ask, what would george do? >> it's a funny line, but it may be more accurate than president bush realized. really?
president bush added $4.9 trillion to the national debt. median income dropped 4 minute 2%. and by the time he left 8 .2 million more people were living in poverty. those years are willard's blueprint for the future. romney surrounded himself with the best and the brightest from the bush administration. glenn hubbard designed the tax cuts and is now part of his tame. greg mancue was a key bush economist. now he is advising willard. these are the guys that helped romney create a plan that extends tax cuts for the rich,
and gives them an extra tax cut on top of that. president obama says this is not the way forward. >> this time their agenda is on steroids, but it's not new. they want bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, more cuts in education and technology. but last not new, that was tried, remember? the last guy did all this. >> folks, there may be one thing we learned at the white house today, w. stands for willard. i have a former communications director for the democratic national committee with me, and wes moore best selling author of "the other wes moore" and a u.s. arm veteran. karen, let me start with you,
does romney want to take us back to the bad days of the bush era? >> it sure seems that way. we have a vision that if romney were to win he would be asking himself what would george do. interestingly if you look at economic and foreign policy team, the people that have been named and a few people like rob portman come from the bush administration and were responsible for some of the greatest mistakes in economic and foreign policy history. >> wes, when you look at the people that he surrounded himself, a couple of which i named and karen named, portman is being considered for vice president, and you look at the polls of who the american people play the economy on, 49% still
blame president obama, 34% president obama. this is three and a half years later. i mean, is it wise, politically, or just they are so locked into their dogma to even surround yourself with advisors who the overwhelming majority of american people feel they're policies cause us to have a weak economy. >> it's interesting because you hear the arguments, and things aren't better and they're blaming him for it. and i think what we're seeing here is this is the difference between being the president and running for president. you have to have policies to push forward. mitt romney can put together any type of platform because what he says doesn't matter. it doesn't influence the american quality.
and that's where leadership comes in. it's not about conforming yourself to a doing ma and sticking to it. it's about understanding the environmental context and making decisions based on that and the policies that bush shows he has no context as to where we are right now. >> before people say that i'm embellishing this connection, let me play something to you an rnc spokeswoman said this about the economic agenda of mitt romney and how it relates to the bush agenda, listen to this. >> it's less government spending. it's lowering taxes so small businesses can grow. >> how different is that concept from what was -- what were the policies of the bush administration. >> i think it's that program, just updated. >> so all of the right wing bloggers that like to attack me,
and i'm trying to keep them employed, they have to deal with the fact that rnc spokes people are saying this is the bush agenda a little updated. >> we can take that one step further. there is a wonderful piece that points out of romney's top donors what their issues are. guess what, some of these guys want regulation particularly that pesky. it's not just the same agenda, but the donors, the major donors to his campaign and super pac are people to whom he will be holden around that agenda. so he's got really, as wes was pointing out, where is the leadership? there's no reason to leave that strategy because it's paying the billing. >> when you look at the romney tax plan, does it help the rich?
the top .1% would see a tax cut of more than $735,000. and with this kind of imbalance, even john bolten, no liberal or democrat, he said i think people would agree with obama that he was left with a mess. >> and you can't talk to a single economist on the right or left and look at where we are now, and we still have a stubbornly high unemployment rate. we have an economic swing. but we're not where we need to be. you can't talk to one economist on either side that says well the policies we put in place right now is basically policy that's are not just regressive tax policies, but retracting economic policies. we have to be forward thinking about how we get the economy going.
and what's being pushed right now are not those policies. >> again, karen, let me ask you this. the campaign is about recovery, who can do the best with the recovery. this president continuing where he has gone in terms of the auto bailout and other things, and whether romney can do a better job. but how does he sell that if he says i'm going to do exactly the policies that we're trying to recover from? >> i think part of what romney team is banking on, and i think this is where the hieliability for team obama, they have to be fairful for not being scene as blaming bush. here is where things were laid out when we came in, but they are talking about the future and talking about the blueprint for the future. it's about part of why the rhetoric from team obama and democrats, and rightfully so, is
romney's policies would take us back. and quite frankly that frame is not only true on economic policy and on a number of social policies that we were discussing earlier. team romney is trying to make the argument that because she a businessman, he would be a better stoou argue eward of the. >> karen is right, and i think the president is taking a very good tone that is not about taking blame or pushing blame on anyone. let's think carefully about what will be the best policies going forward. >> thank you both so much for your time. >> ahead, the florida voter purge. florida is set to exclude thousands of voters, nearly 60% are latina.
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>> we're back with the coordinated effort to block the vote. we all need to be watching this, especially what's going on in florida. earlier today, a judge in florida shot down part of a new election that that would impose a filing deadline for third party votes that register new voters. but governor rick scott is set to exclude more than 180,000 voters. the miami harold reports that 68% of them are latino. thousands have been purging, alleged felons or people they claim is dead but it's litters with errors. u.s. citizens are improperly inclued in voter purge. there is this 91 year world war two veteran who voted in florida
for the last 14 years, and mauren russo who has been a registered voter for the last four decades. they mainly target minorities. democratic voting block, and now is the time to fight back. everyone can make a difference. access america ferrara is noun to much of us as the star of the show "ugly betty" she is helping with a new campaign, america for america, launched in washington dc today. >> america for america is not about me or a political party or any one candidate. it's a chance to have a national conversation about our future and how we can claim a better future by voting. >> joining me now is actress america ferrara, thank you for
being here tonight. >> hi, thank you reverend for having me. >> there are so many causes people in hollywood embrace. why is this voting cause so important to you? >> i think this year and this election is really critical time for the latino community, and a critical time in our history as all americans, not just latinos. it. making voting hard is against all americans and it is an initiative we should all feel obligated to take on, not just latino organizations or voters. >> america, many of us in the civil rights community are fighting about the problems in terms of voting block, but you came out today trying to encourage americans in general, latinos in general to come out and vote.
not even just dealing with the civil rights issues, but come out and vote. why is that personally so important to you. what got you interested in voting in your own life? >> you know, i was born and raised in los angeles in southern california, and i remember a very pivotal moment when u became aware of being labelled as the other. i was eight or nine when prop 187 was around. and i had to be pulled over my my mother and she had to say to me, brief me, basically and said people might ask you questions and question where you're from. you're an american and you have ever right to be here and don't be intimidated and don't be afraid. being 8 or 9 years old and having to deal with that reality stuck with me. nearly 20 years later people are living with this now. and in even more aggressive
ways. so it's a very personal issue for me and one they witnessed with my own eyes on the ground in states like arizona and alabama, and i think it's shameful that any american would stand for this type of intimidation of our own citizens. >> when i look at the fact that 17 states passed the voter suppression laws in 2010, and when i see all of the immigration laws passed, and then you look at the fact that there are 21.7 million latinos eligible to vote today, up from 19.5 million, and i hear your story, it's a story that goes beyond those of us engaged in politics or those of us that takes size, but you're telling a very human story. obviously successful in hollywood, you don't have to get out and do what you do, but
saying i can't forget what happened with me, and i want people to vote, that's a very compelling message. >> thank you, and you know, every month 50,000 latinos turn 18 every month. those are 50,000 18-year-olds that need to be empowered and feel like their voice should be used and not suppressed or that they're being intimidated or asked not to engage civicly or that they live in a country trying to make it harder for them to engage civicly. >> that's great, thank you for your time tonight. what's with you?
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the president said today, they share a love for this country and a respect for the office of the presidency. >> it's been said that no one can ever truly understand what it's like being president until they sit behind that desk and feel the weight and responsibility for the first time. and that is true. after three and a half years in office, and much more gray hair, i have a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the presidents who came before me including my immediate predecessor, president bush. we may have differences, but the presidency transcends those differences. we all lo this country and want america to succeed. >> i'm pleased that my portrait brings and interesting symmetry to the white house collection. it beginning and ends with a
george w. now michelle, if anything happens -- there is your man. >> it was really gracious of you to invite us back to the white house to hang a few family pictures. and i'm sure you know nothing makes a house a home like having portraits of it's former occupants starring down at you from the walls. >> it's been amazing to learn from your example not just as a first lady but as a mother of two wonderful daughters. you know you're on the other side of where we hope to be in a couple years, two daughters that sit up straight and cry and think lovingly about their mom and dad. >>