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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  June 11, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" off message. verbal blunders turn to big headaches for both campaigns. >> the private sector is doing fine. >> he said the private sector is doing fine. >> he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message in wisconsin? the american people did. it's time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> i would suggest he's living on a different planet if he thinks that's a prescription for a stronger economy. and watergate 40 years later. were the crimes surrounding what the nixon white house tried to pass off as a third-rate burglary far worse than anyone knew at the time? >> i began by telling the president that there was a cancer growing on the presidency, and if the cancer was not removed, the president himself would be killed by it. >> what have we learned since? we'll talk to the first watergate whistle blower, john
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dean. and joe biden's water world. the vice president douses the press corps at the bidens' annual beach bash. we can tell you it was a wet saturday afternoon at the biden house. i'm andrea mitchell. today, commerce secretary john bryson has been released from the hospital after being involved in two car accidents saturday, possibly a third near his home in los angeles. according to commerce department officials, he suffered a seizure linked to the accidents. bryson allegedly rear-ended a buick with his lexus, then hit the same car again before leaving the scene and driving on. he then collided with a second car. police officials say there was no alcohol, no drug impairment. secretary had no security detail with him, according to officials, because he was driving his own car on his personal time. mark halpern is editor at large for "time" magazine. i think we have to wait to see what we find out about this, what kind of medical condition. everyone who knows the
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secretary, i know him, i have met him a number of occasions, know him to be a very sober-sided, well regarded business executive and newcomer to the cabinet. >> well, first, two things. you said let's wait for the facts which is hard to do in the age in which we live. the other is let's hope everybody, including the secretary, is okay. that having been said, as a political matter i'm a little surprised at the lack of information, the lack of awareness. we're in a presidential year and i think any time a cabinet member is involved in a potential crime, it's smart for the administration to respond quickly and get the facts available. otherwise, that vacuum is filled by other things. i'm just surprised, not sure what the reason is, there has been relatively little information forthcoming from the department. there's a brief statement from the white house. >> exactly. it just seems, he's a political newcomer in that he came from the business world, but the fact is the white house did not apparently find out about this in real time and there are some concerns there. we don't know what the medical
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conditions are and we wish that all involved are okay. moving on to the bigger political questions facing the white house right now, which are the incredible missteps both campaigns, but principally the president on friday at the end of a bad week, trying to get out front of it, change the message, and he himself, not some surrogate, he himself completely misspoke about the private sector. factually accurate, political devastating. >> well, look, i'm not a big fan of people in our business and people in politics trying to make a big deal of these things. the president knows the economy's not doing well. governor romney does not oppose the hiring of police officers. but there are real issues there. the president was trying to focus on private sector, public sector jobs, which some people think is a bad idea, not the right way to grow the economy. many people disagree with governor romney, who doesn't believe there should be more federal aid from washington for state and local governments to hire people. right now, this campaign seems to be bad for the candidates and
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their advisors. who's got a worse record on job creation and who is more out of touch. i hope for the country's sick that that's not the way this stands because it's worth scrutinizing their records, worth questioning who's in touch but they've got to be talking about the future and what they do about jobs going forward. this back and forth on twitter, conference calls, web videos, is not the right place for the discussion to be. >> i agree entirely. we have seen web videos from both sides. it seems nobody is talking about the real issues. the real issues obviously are that job growth in all sectors lagging, although the obama campaign quickly jumped all over the romney folks for mitt romney suggesting we needed fewer public sector employees, police and firemen in particular. >> if you want to take it to the level of pure politics and evaluating the two sides, i think what we've seen since friday is both of these sides are very aggressive. both have a lot of ways to get their message out, a lot of
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contact with their surrogates to try to flood the zone on these things, but it's absurd to have the obama people saying what the president said, he didn't use the best words but that's not what he meant but now let's spend as much time as we can going after mitt romney for the exact same thing. both sides will say no, there are real policy implications what the other side said but that's just not the case, at least not as big a deal as they are making it on either side. >> we should also point out this is june, and we will see some of these comments in ads in the fall, but this still is june. it's very early. none of these mistakes really matter in the long term. mark, thank you very much. >> thanks, andrea. for more on the political fallout from the president's comments on the private sector and romney's comments as well, i'm joined by eric furnstrom in boston today. first, let's talk about that. what the president said. we know what he meant. he meant that the private sector
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was doing better than the public sector, of course. how big a deal do you people plan to make of this? >> i don't know what he meant. i only know what he said. he said the private sector is doing fine. that's not the case. not when gdp growth has been revised downward in the first quarter. you need time lapse photography to detect any movement at all in this slow growing economy. i think the big problem here is that the first rule of a turn-around is to recognize the magnitude of the problem you're facing. but if the president thinks the private sector is doing fine, as he says, then he's not going to take the steps necessary to lead a real economic recovery. >> well, we all know that people misspeak. in your case it was the etch-a-sketch. we didn't focus on that very much here because there are larger issues. so what about the fact that mitt romney talked about the police and fire officers? let me play a little of that for
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you and the reactions to it. >> he wants to hire more government workers. he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message in wisconsin? >> i know in my state, our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. that's not what i think when i think of big government. >> even scott walker is pointing out that in his opposition to the union public employee bargaining agreements, there were exceptions and different rules for police and firemen. they were not treated the same way teachers and other public employee unions were treated. >> well, of course mitt romney respects the job that teachers do and firefighters and policemen but it was just a month ago that president obama was bragging about the fact that he has shrunk government employment. now he's suggesting that increasing the levels of government employment is going to lead us out of this -- these economic problems that we're
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having. if he truly believes that, and i'm not sure what he believes, because he's given conflicting messages on it, but if he does believe it, we have two very different visions between the president and mitt romney about how you get this economy going again. barack obama apparently feels you raise taxes, you borrow money, you give those funds to local governments and let them increase the level of public employment. he thinks that will create a robust recovery. mitt romney believes that the way to create the recovery is to unleash the power of the private sector, to empower our entrepreneurs and innovators and the way that you do that is by reducing regulation, by keeping taxes low, by encouraging free trade, pursuing energy development and making america the most attractive place in the world for investment and job creation. >> eric, you guys have had a lot of fun with watching bill clinton and some of the other democratic surrogates going off message. listen to what jeb bush told bloomberg today at a bloomberg
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news breakfast. he said regarding immigration and the hispanic community, he said i'd say that if an objective teacher was grading where we are right now, i'd say needs improvement. governor romney has used this as a means to connect with a group of voters that were quite angry and it was effective but now he's in this somewhat of a box. what about that and the whole question of the rhetoric and the policy of statements from the governor during the campaign debates on immigration and how it is affecting hispanic, the hispanic voters? >> well, i don't think hispanic voters are single issue voters. i don't care if you're white or -- >> i'm not saying they are. i know the argument, well stated argument that hispanic americans, latinos are as concerned about the economy as everything else but what about the immigration issue, which is one important issue to them. >> it is one important issue but the most important issue is the economy, and hispanics are
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disproportionately suffering from this bad economy. the national unemployment rate is around 8.2%. the rate for hispanics is in the low double digits. this is a real crisis for their community and what they want in their next president is someone who, one, recognizes that we have a problem, who doesn't believe that the private sector is doing fine, and two, will bring forward new policies that will create growth and expansion and encourage people to start up businesses. that's what mitt romney represents. i think we're going to do just fine with hispanic americans, we're going to do just fine with voters across every demographic. >> in addition to jeb bush, mitch daniels again was out there on fox news sunday and said the american people will rightly demand to know something more than that he's just not president obama. he better have an affirmative constructive message and one of hope. that's another criticism from a
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leading republican. >> i tell people to go to mitt so they can learn more about the very specific policies that the governor has put on the table. i'll give you three right now. he would repeal obamacare. obamacare is like a wet blanket on the economy. it inhibits job creation. the governor would also immediately authorize construction of the entire keystone pipeline. that's good for our energy needs. it's also going to put thousands of people to work. and he would open up and pursue free trade negotiations with our friends and allies around the world. if we can do some of these things, then you're going to see a true economic recovery take place. >> eric, thank you very much for being with us today. up next, the battle of the super-pacs and we mark 40 years since watergate with richard nixon's former white house counsel, john dean. [ female announcer ] you can make macaroni & cheese
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an obama super-pac is teaming up with an employees union to launch a $4 million spanish ad campaign trying to hit mitt romney where it hurts, with the hispanic community. >> you can focus on the very poor. that's not my focus. >> bill burton is co-founder of priorities usa, the pro-obama super-pac. john is a republican political consultant to ran rick santorum's political campaign. john, do you think that is going to be effective with spanish americans? eric just said hispanics are as concerned about the economy as everybody else and they are going to respond to the jobs numbers and what they think the president is or is not doing,
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but what about immigration and some of the other issues? >> first of all, i don't think this is about immigration. i think end of the day, if you look at the hispanic ad you just saw, if you look at the bain capital ads, they are all the same. what they are, they are somewhat divisive, they are middle class warfare. i believe what the obama campaign has come to the conclusion they don't have a record to run on. you can't run on mediocrity. what they decided is we celebrate success in this country and everybody knows romney has been successful. they're now going to try to taint that success. i think what they're going to try to do is discredit him with the middle class, be it hispanic or with blue collar voters in the midwest. >> bill, you designed or decided to run the ad, commissioned it. what is the strategy behind this ad? >> a couple things. the message in this ad and a lot of our advertisements isn't that dissimilar to what john was saying when he was working on senator santorum's campaign, which is that mitt romney's a guy that is a lot more for wall street than for main street.
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that's not class warfare. that's an honest assessment of his policies. when we designed this ad, what we did was talked to voters and what we heard from hispanic americans, they were disturbed by the things mitt romney had to say in his own words about the economy, about joking about firing people, joking about being unemployed. so what we're doing is telling the story of mitt romney and what kind of values he has through just regular folks who live in the hispanic community. >> you know, watching the healing, the coming together, and seen it in a lot of ways, of the republican party since the primary and mitt romney has done a pretty good job, you could argue, of pulling everybody together. but jeb bush, speaking on the bloomberg -- at the bloomberg breakfast today, talking about back to my dad's time or ronald reagan's time. they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support that right now would be difficult to imagine happening. because of the nature of the republican party right now. your campaign partly symbolized the nature of the republican
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party which has moved very far away from compromise and getting things done on capitol hill. >> one thing i would say is our party is very unified for this reason. barack obama is the great unifier. the one thing we understand is that higher taxes don't work. the one thing we understand is that obamacare has put american jobs at great risk. the other thing that we realize is that if you compare records, where you have mitt romney unemployment rate in massachusetts, 4.7%, this president, 8.2%, if you put those things together and show that to the american people, believe me, this entire country will be unified on who should be president. >> keep in mind, this was during a great boom time in this country. massachusetts actually went from 37th in the nation in job growth down to 47th in job growth. so if you look at the trend lines, they were moving in the wrong direction. just the hispanic community, also, unemployment has been moving in a downward trajectory as well. i agree that there are two people, two competing visions, but you know, i think when the american people size up the two different candidates, they want the one with a proven record of growth, not what they saw in
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massachusetts. >> then why are you running ads attacking romney instead of running ads that promote this president's agenda which nobody seems to be doing? it seems to me the democrats have already given up. >> the president is promoting his agenda and actually has tens of millions of dollars on tv talking about -- >> how well did he do in the briefing room on friday promoting his agenda? >> the whole reason the president went out there was to talk about the fact that the economy is not growing fast enough, that we have to do more. >> i know. but in reality, when he said the private sector is doing just fine, what went on in your stomach as you were watching it? >> well, there's no doubt that, you know, that it was -- there was a distraction that's been created here, right, but if you look at how mitt romney responded to that by saying the lesson of wisconsin is america doesn't want more teachers, firefighters and cops, that's not where the american people are. to hear that from romney, you get a clear sense of what the two competing visions for this
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country are. >> what is rick santorum's new proposal? i wasn't quite clear. i saw what he said about it in chicago on friday, but what is this new campaign that he's -- >> if you go to, you can see for yourself. but where rick santorum got almost four million votes in the republican primary, won 11 states, tied two others, when he was out there, he realized there's a great frustration of many voices in this country who feel they are not being heard. what he wanted to do was galvanize these people, give them a voice by collectively being together -- >> on behalf of mitt romney? >> on behalf of -- >> is this the time to launch some other thing rather than getting behind the nominee? >> that's something in the sense that one of the top priorities is beating barack obama. but it's also to give them a place to go to understand what's going on in washington and also, to make sure that people that they do help get elected, they also hold them accountable that they live up to the promises that they say they are going to have. >> sounds like we haven't heard the last of rick santorum at
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all. >> absolutely not. >> you know, these candidates, the whole problem with the campaign is that we hear from these candidates and they keep misspeaking. if we could just watch the ads, everything would be safe and well oiled. that's another whole -- >> we will try to keep putting together good ads. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. good to see you again. team obama's private agony over the private sector gaffe. nick brand of seattle wanted to start a window washing business. to stand out, he wore a scottish kilt his wife made for him, called the company men in kilts and went door-to-door offering his services. that attention-grabbing idea now has grown to seven franchises with more in the pipeline. managing my diabetes is part of my life,
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it was a horrible week and it will take more than a week to repair the damage. it wasn't so horrible in the president's actual gaffe, you know, the private sector is doing fine. what was odd was that this is a campaigner who almost never makes gaffes. he went through a tough campaign four years ago against hillary clinton and almost never said a wrong word during the primaries and during the general, and here we have a president who called a press conference and makes this bobble -- >> and he could have fixed it in realtime, stop himself and go back and say what i mean of course is -- >> that's the thing. he's smart, he's good, he's glib, but that i think is why the reaction has been so strong. not the words, but whoa, this guy doesn't make mistakes, what's happening here, if you're
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his supporter to begin with, you're wondering is there going to be more of this or what. >> arguably, it's early, it's june, and things can get fixed, but you just think this is a piece of tape that is going to pop up everywhere. >> it is, and here's the problem. it's a problem for both candidates. i once interviewed roger ayles for a book and he said -- >> when he was campaign advisor before he was -- >> campaign advisor. he said what you do is you create a cartoon of your opponent, one phrase, one line. the cartoon of mitt romney is doesn't care about ordinary people. the cartoon of president obama is doesn't understand the economy. now, both campaigns are going to build as much as they can to enforce those cartoons so that is what people have in the back of their minds when they go into
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the voting booth. there are issues. there's going to be other things. but they are trying to build a not so subtle negative issue that you can't trust your vote to the other guy. >> roger simon, thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, what happened 40 years ago this week? here's a big hint. our next guest is john dean. plus, is russia coming any closer to pulling the plug on assad? coustic guitar: slow ] [ barks ] ♪ [ upbeat ] [ barks ] beneful playful life is made with energy-packed wholesome grains... and real beef and egg. to help you put more play in your day. blast of cold feels nice. why don't you use bengay zero degrees? it's the one you store in the freezer. same medicated pain reliever used by physical therapists. that's chilly. [ male announcer ] new bengay zero degrees. freeze and move on.
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♪ one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. ♪ it has more of seven antioxidants to support cell health. that's one a day men's 50+ healthy advantage. syrian rebels say the government has escalated its assault on city of homes and several towns nearby involving 35 more civilian deaths. the renewed violence comes as former u.n. secretary general kofi annan blaming the regime for the failure of his peace plan. the u.s. is stepping up pressure on russia to try to signal to assad that his time is up. joining me is the former deputy assistant to the secretary of defense and president of the
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center for new american security. talk about syria and about leaks and about a lot of other things on the military and national security side. great to see you. first of all, the whole question of syria, a lot of criticism of the administration for not, mitt romney says we should be arming the rebels. where do you come down on this as to whether the rebels are well organized enough and trustworthy enough, transparent enough, to be armed and be an effective force? >> first of all, let me say i think everyone is horrified by the scale and scope of the violence and the targeting of civilians. but i think the focus right now is rightly on trying to engineer a political transition, a way to get assad out of power. he has lost his legitimacy. and to pursue a political transition plan. the concern about arming the rebels at this time is first of all, they aren't very cohesive as a body either on the ground or in terms of the opposition
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that is in exile. but in addition, you face a real risk that you could actually further accelerate the plunge into civil war, that weapons could fall into the hands of extreme fringe elements like al qaeda elements who are there and so forth. i think the focus right now has to be on pressuring the assad regime through sanctions, through isolation, expelling their diplomats, to try to get a political transition plan to work. >> and to get russia to finally say to assad it's time to go. there are some hints that russia is feeling so isolated, feeling so much pressure because of the horror of what we've seen from these latest massacres. i want to ask you about the leak investigation over the weekend. it heated up again, first of all, friday night, one of those late friday decisions which was announced by eric holder to appoint two u.s. attorneys to investigate not a special counsel, but two u.s. attorneys to investigate a flurry of leaks
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over the weekend. the two intelligence chairs, a democrat and republican, bipartisan, anger on capitol hill over all these leaks. >> both of us are committed to a process that isn't partisan, isn't ideologically driven. that would be a disaster. >> i take the president at face value. as chairman rogers said, the investigation has to be nonpartisan, got to be vigorous and got to move ahead rapidly. >> there's a lot of concern in the national security community on the hill that the white house has clearly taken part in many of these disclosures because chapter and verse of national security council meetings, and that our allies are upset, the brits are upset about the yemen case, and also, the whole question of cyberwar and making very explicit case in david sanger's book, extraordinary reporter that david is, about
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exactly how that started. what concerns should the administration have about this and how vulnerable are they? >> well, i don't think there's anyone who is more upset about this than the president. the nature of the materials are extremely sensitive. it goes to the heart of our national security. it makes the decision-making environment very, very difficult when you can't trust for people to give you frank advice in meetings without the information coming out and into the press. i think this administration has rightly taken on a very aggressive approach to prosecuting not only these leaks but frankly, throughout the administration they have been very aggressive going after -- >> some people say that is the hypocrisy. at the same time as you have a top national security official on the record talking about this stuff in a series of books. >> i don't think that any of these leaks originated from what
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the president's knowledge or the white house's knowledge. i think they understand how damaging it is. it's also something where this is a strong suit for the president, national security issues in general. doesn't need to be leaking information or giving things to reporters to make his case to the american people. i think the american people see him as a good leader, very strong leader on national security. i think everybody is appalled by this and i think the prosecution or the investigations will be taken as far as they need to go, up to and including criminal prosecution, if the evidence supports that. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> good to see you. 40 years ago this week, what the white house called a third rate burglary started unraveling a web of white house deception and crimes that eventually reshaped the way americans look at politics and the presidency. that's when a team of burglars in business suits and rubber gloves were arrested at democratic party headquarters at the watergate. the first domino in the scandal and cover-up that ultimately led
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to president nixon's resignation. john dean served as counsel to president nixon and in 1973, testified about his efforts to keep a lid on the scandal. and concerns that it would boil over. >> the president told me i had done a good job and he appreciated how difficult a task it had been, and the president was pleased that the case had stopped with liddy. i responded that i could not take credit because others had done much more difficult things than i had done. as the president discussed the present status of the situation, i told him that all i had been able to do was to contain the case and assist in keeping it out of the white house. i also told him that there was a long way to go before this matter would end and that certainly -- i certainly could make no assurances that the day would not come when this matter would not start to unravel. >> john dean joins me now. good to see you, 40 years later. what have we learned and was it
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a lot worse than we thought at the time? >> well, it was worse than it was reported, no question, as the tapes later revealed. it was certainly broader and deeper than a lot of people thought and as the white house has tried to portray it, but what have we learned? for awhile we learned a lot, but those lessons seem to have faded. today, by and large, all the post-watergate reforms are no longer in existence. for example, the independent counsel law's gone, investigative journalism is too expensive for most journalists and journalistic enterprises to undertake, financial reform that came with watergate is gone because of supreme court decisions. so not necessarily in any malicious way have those reforms gone, but just for other reasons, that they have dissipated. >> citizens united could be the nail in the coffin if it ends up being the law of the land for all future campaigns because there's no transparency as to where the money is coming from.
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let's go back to the tapes, at least the transcript of the tapes, and some of the things we learned since. bob woodward and carl bernstein over the weekend wrote back in "washington post" about the five separate wars that richard nixon was waging at the same time, that we did not fully know about. in one, nixon says to you how much money do you need. dean, i would say these people are going to cost a million dollars over the next two years. this is of course, the cover-up. nixon, and you could get it in cash. i know where it could be gotten. it's not easy but it could be done. this is a conversation on march 21st, 1973. >> that's where i alerted him there was a cancer on his presidency, as he would later write, i'm the only person who ever bothered to warn him and tell him of the problems. in that conversation, what i'm actually trying to do is not raise money, trying to get nixon to put his fist down on the table, say we've got to end this, this thing is
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preposterous, i earlier called it an obstruction of justice to make sure he knew we were violating the law. every time i come back to the problems, he has an answer. i think that's the first morning i really met richard nixon, because i'm pressing him very hard. he and i had had dealings, incidental dealings, i'm now carrying all of the news for him on watergate and watching his response to it. it wasn't a response i was hoping for, but it was the response i got. >> did you ever think that he should have been told to burn the tapes and that he should have burned the tapes? >> well, he was told that, as i understand, by john conley, his secretary of treasury, and had he done so, history might have been very different. it was very much at the last minute that i inserted that in my testimony, that i thought i had been taped. that would be the bit of testimony that would result in the minority counsel saying dean thought he was taped, that
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probably isn't possible, and asking alex butterfield that question, and of course, the rest is history. >> and when you listen to the tapes, and there are many of us who listen to these tapes whenever they come out and also sometimes on c-span radio, they play them on weekends, and it's just completely shocking. one of them that was quoted this weekend, this is july 3rd, 1971, richard nixon, who had brought in, you know, henry kissinger, leonard -- >> bill safire. >> a host of jewish officials within his cabinet and on his white house staff. he says the government is full of jews. most jews are disloyal. you know what i mean. generally speaking, you can't trust them. they turn on you. was that the atmosphere inside the white house? >> it really wasn't. i don't think that garment or kissinger or safire would think he's antisemetic. from anything that they dealt with him. but clearly there is this streak
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in his conversations, and some actions to follow up what he had fred mallick look at the problem, at one point he demands the names of every jew in his administration. i never saw that. but they were clearly, those actions happened and they are really a rather sorry chapter in that presidency with his focusing on that problem or that situation. >> what made you decide to go public? >> break ranks? >> yeah. >> i had actually tried to leave the white house a year before watergate in september. haldeman told me if i left i was burning all bridges to the administration and actually said we want you to stay. i suspect later he wished he had let me go. but at the time, he insisted i stay. i realized that somebody had to break and end the cover-up because it was just going to get worse and i was refusing to live the lie. nixon was trying to get me to write a bogus report that would clear everybody, so-called dean
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report, that he announced that i had done an investigation i had never done, and it was just getting to the point where the only way we could end it was tell the truth. so i decided that that was the way to go and i actually thought my colleagues would follow me. >> john dean, you are going to be participating with woodward and bernstein and other watergate alumni at a "washington post" conference later today? >> at the watergate. my first trip. i have never been -- i have been in an apartment but never been at the scene of the crime, so to speak. >> that's going to be an experience. we'll have to talk to you in the future about that as well. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> very good to see you again. up next, he started the peace corps. he changed the way the world looks at america. what about the private sargent shriver? his son remembering his father in his new book. ♪ surf's up everybody get your boards and your wetsuits ♪
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thought they were dead. [ laughter ] [ grunting ] huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. america's number one weed killer. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. guaranteed. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem. coming up in just 15 minutes on "news nation" a house panel
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just scheduled a vote on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress over the fast and furious investigation. we'll have what the justice department is saying about this move that is seen by many as extreme politics. plus the commerce department says secretary john bryson's hit and run crashes happened after he suffered a seizure and now, the super-pac linked to karl rove, they deleted a tweet suggesting alcohol was involved. we are live for the first day of testimony in jerry sandusky's trial. sargent shriver knew how to turn a concept into reality. in the first year of the kennedy administration, shriver proposed a new ground-breaking program called the peace corps. the rest is history. in this video from 1961, shriver talks about the group's mission. >> our basic objective is simply this. we are trying to find out from foreign countries what kind of
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genuine work, not make work, but real work, those countries want to have done. which they think members of a peace corps like ours could do for them. >> the goal was to send 500 to 1,000 men and women out into the world in that first year. 50 years later, more than 200,000 volunteers, including my own family, have served in the mission, created by sargent shriver. in a new book by his son, mark, we are rediscovering what made sargent shriver such a good man. that is the title of the book. it is great to see you. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. when you go back into the history of sargent shriver and look at all that he did, not just the peace corps, we were just talking about the job corps and his other war on poverty programs. >> yes. >> he stepped up in jfk's administration and even before that, in 1960. let's talk about sargent shriver and his relationship with martin luther king, jr. >> dad was head of the chicago
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racial council and had a lot of interaction with dr. king in the '40s and '50s, so had a long-term relationship with him, tried to desegregate the catholic schools and hospitals in chicago and was president of the board of education, tried to integrate the chicago public school systems. his actions in the '40s and '50s are consistent with what he did in the '60s and '70s and spreading special olympics all around the world with my mom right up until he died. he's very consistent in behavior. >> consistent throughout. when we talk about martin luther king, jr., in 1960, he was in jail in georgia. >> he was. >> and your father went up against the political group around jfk, kenny o'donnell, principally, wanting the kennedys to call coretta scott king and do something about that. >> dad ran the civil rights unit in that campaign and was told by many people if kennedy said anything nice about khruschev, castro or king, they would throw their support elsewhere.
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but he had that relationship with king. it was really an act of hope. some said it was a great political move to get senator kennedy to call coretta scott king. >> is it true he waited until o'donnell went to the bathroom? >> that's the story, told by a number of folks, he waited until o'donnell went to the bathroom, they had a conversation on the phone. senator kennedy, mrs. king, for about a minute. when he came out, the deed had been done. it really set an example of racial healing across the country and it swung martin luther king's daddy from nixon to kennedy and swung the vote in such a percentage it ended up getting senator kennedy elected president. >> doing the right thing can be good politics as well. you and your brothers and sister have done so much public service. clearly this is what eunice and sar shriver taught you. what is it about your father that became such a role model? i remember, in fact, when he was running for vice president in 1972, which many would say was a fool's mission because george mcgovern, he was the seventh choice to be the running mate. >> i think it was his deep
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faith. i really believe he was born and raised in a belief that we ought to all try to do something for the poor and for those that are disenfranchised, people with developmental disabilities. you see those actions actions a throughout his life. i think a great hope he had of spreading hope and love and what the book is really about. about a son trying to figure out what gave his father so much joy, learn a little bit about him historically and enabled him to be happily married for 46 years and raise five kids and do all of this stuff on the national and international stage and go to mass on a daily basis and have so many different friends. not just cardinals but the guy who used to eat lunch and all said he was a good man so trying to figure it out in this book. >> it is a wonderful book. >> thank you. thanks. >> we loved your father. >> thank you. >> so -- >> so did i. >> he touched a lot of people. thank you so much for sharing. >> appreciate it. thank you. >> a word about one of our colleagues. the unstoppable robin roberts of
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abc's "good morning america" five years ago she beat breast cancer. she is not only a public role model for cancer survivors, privately she has mentored and supported all of us in that very large community. today, robin disclosed on gma she is suffering from a rare side effect of cancer treatments. >> sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues and that is what i'm facing right now. it is something that is called mds, myeloplasta syndrome. if you're looking it up, i was doing the same thing. it is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow. >> her sister is a perfect match and is going to be her donor for a blood marro transplant and her
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doctors tell her she is going to beat this. we know what a fighter she is and send her all of the love she has as she, in her own words, focus on the fight and not the fright. i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids. but my coach had hit that pitch before. turning data into useful answers. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
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we look at an effort gabby giffords was campaigning. >> he is running against jesse kelly. a bit of a rematch, if you will. congresswoman giffords resigned from her seat after being shot almost at point blank range in the head at a campaign stop on january 8th, 2010. so this special election is to fill her seat and the rest of her term, and i think gabrielle
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giffords, she supports ron barber and, obviously, campaigning for him in hopes he comes out on top tomorrow. >> thanks so much. jonathan capehart. we will have the results tomorrow night or in the next day and that does it for us. thank you for joining us. my colleague tamara hall is coming up next. a lot going on in the next hour. a house panel has scheduled a vote to hold eric holder in contempt of congress over the fast and furious investigation. the commerce department says john bryson's hit and run over the weekend happened after he suffered a seizure. the super pac linked to karl rove deleted a tweet suggesting alcohol was involved. live for the first day of tomorrow in jerry sandusky's trial. ♪ ♪
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