tv The Last Word MSNBC June 11, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
in the world today. thank you, guys. that does it for us. we'll see you again tomorrow night. until then, you can check out my work at wonkblog.com. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. what are they going to call the new romney campaign bus? it can't be the straight talk express, because romney tells a few too many, you know, lies for that. and the straight talk express turned out to be an express to nowhere. i've got no suggestions for the romney campaign, but tweet your suggestions to me and we'll read some of the good ones on the show. colorado, florida, iowa, north carolina, new hampshire -- >> 7 or 8% of the electorate that's going to matter in six or seven or eight states. >> nevada, ohio, pennsylvania, and virginia. >> president running with 13 different states in mind. >> and if you don't live there, you don't matter. >> obama fights for the middle class. >> tailoring its message to particular swing state economies. >> president obama announced a new commitment to invest in rural businesses. >> things are improving slightly
in ohio. >> florida's coming roaring back. >> clearly, both sides think that they have found a winning strategy. >> maybe sarah palin will show up. going flub for flub. >> all of this is silly. >> it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. >> uncharacteristic of obama. >> private sector companies are actually doing pretty well. >> mitt romney says we don't need more firemen, policemen, or teachers. >> he wants to hire more government workers. >> larger class sizes and fewer teachers. >> there's wisdom in the common. >> that's not what i think of when i think of big government. >> did he not get the message of wisconsin? >> i think it would be a huge mistake for republicans to misread wisconsin. >> mitch daniels says, you know, don't get too comfortable yet. >> not even clear that governor romney will be that strong in wisconsin. >> jeb bush is someone who you kind of have to take at your word. >> i'm not sure i would have been successful as a candidate
either. >> in the gaffe derby here, mitt romney is way ahead. >> he's living on a different planet. >> my theory's always been he's an an destroyed and not an alien. >> i like being able to fire people who provide services to me. i stand by what i said, whatever it was. mitt romney is launching a bus tour of six states in five days. romney will start this friday in new hampshire, one of romney's many home states, where president obama currently has a sizable lead on mitt romney, 51% to 42%. according to the latest wmur granite state poll. on saturday, the romney bus will head southwest to pennsylvania, where a recent franklin and marshall poll shows president obama with an even bigger lead over mitt romney, 48% to 42%. on sunday, the bus will travel to ohio, where our own nbc news/marist poll shows president obama with a six-point lead over
governor romney, 48 to 42. on monday, the romney bus tour will stop in iowa, where the latest nbc news/marist poll shows the president and romney in a tie, 44 to 44. also on monday, the bus will also go through wisconsin, where the recent marquette poll shows president obama with 51% to mitt romney's 43%. and the bus tour will end next tuesday in michigan, where the most recent poll by epic mra shows them in a statistical tie with romney at 46% and president obama at 45%. today, the obama campaign kicked off its road to recovery tour, what it's calling the road to recovery tour, highlighting the impact of the auto rescue on businesses and communities across michigan. it comes as the obama campaign and the romney campaign are each trying to capitalize on comments their opponents made last week
about the economy. president obama said this friday while taking questions in the white house briefing room. >> we've created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months. over 800,000 just this year alone. the private sector's doing fine. where we're seeing weakness is in our economy, have to do with state and local government. and so, you know, if republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry, because the recipes they're promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy.
would result in further layoffs. >> perfectly reasonable. and shortly afterward, mitt romney said this while campaigning in iowa. >> he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message of wisconsin? the american people the did. it's time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> joining me now are krystal ball, a democratic strategist, and msnbc political analyst, and steve kornacki, a political columnist for salon and an msnbc contributor. krystal krystal, the romney bus tour is going to states in where almost all of them, president obama has an significant lead, and it must be the romney calculation that they better get to those states now before they lose any possibility of getting them. >> yeah, i think that's right. and i have to say, lawrence, i'm pretty excited about the romney bus tour. i'm excited about him -- >> oh, yeah, i can understand that, who isn't?
the bus tour doesn't even need a name, it's so exciting, it doesn't even need a name. >> i'm hoping he can take his message of laying off teachers and firefighters to these small towns and maybe have even an opportunity to insult some more small business owners on the quality of their cookies. it should be a good time for everyone. but i think you're absolutely right. when you look at the national polls, things are a bit tighter, but when you look at these swing states, the president clearly has an electoral map advantage. and that has to be making romney very nervous. he also has to be thinking that his best opportunity to pull these states into his column is in the industrial -- in the industrial midwest, ohio, pennsylvania, michigan, the states that he's going to, where, frankly, white, blue-collar voters have always been lukewarm at best on the president. so i think that's where he sees his opportunity. the flip side of that, in the purple poll we talked about some last week, that highlights the fact that mitt romney's time at bain is a significant vulnerability, particularly in
ohio and pennsylvania. people are very mistrustful of his time there and see him as having hurt the economy and hurt workers through his work at bain. so that is a vulnerability that he's going to have to deal with as well. >> steve kornacki, the one state there where mitt romney seems to be running best is michigan, where he's in a tie with president obama. that's also the only state that has an unemployment rate higher than the national average at just 1/10 of a percentage point higher than the national average, and the obama campaign seems to recognize the possibility of problems in michigan. that's why they're going there too. >> and they're going to be very careful. but michigan's one of those mic with wisconsin, those really are sort of reach states for mitt romney. i think when you get to the end of the day, whatever these policy say right now, when you get to november, if we're looking at mitt romney winning or being very close to winning any of those three states, i think it also indicates the national race is going to be probably pretty clearly going in his favor. i'm a little skeptical when we start talking about the
individual swing states at this point in the campaign, because there's some political science research on this that actually found, well, we can talk about the unemployment rate's a lot lower in this state, a lot higher in this state, so the incumbent should have the advantage in the state where it's lower. actually, the effect on presidential approval ratings is about one fifth of the effect that national data has. basically, even if these states where the unemployment is very low, like iowa, where you showed that poll that has the race dead even right now, iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and yet mitt romney's doing very well there. john mccain lost it by ten points to obama in 2008. so, again, i think there's no escaping at the end of the day the national economy's going to be what drives all of these states. >> krystal, when romney turns on the tv in the bus in pennsylvania and ohio, he's going to be greeted by an ad that the super pac supporting president obama is running there. let's take a look at that. >> romney and bain capital shut this place down. they shut down entire livelihoods.
they promised us a health care package, they promised us to maintain our retirement program. and those were the first two things to disappear. this was a booming place. and mitt romney and bain capital have turned it into a junkyard. just making money and leaving. they don't live in this neighborhood. they don't live in this part of the world. >> priorities usa action is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> krystal, is there anything mitt romney can say when he gets out of the bus in pennsylvania, where he's already trailing badly, to try to counteract that ad running in pennsylvania? >> well, there is something that he could say, but i don't think he's going to say it. if he had a policy that would actually help the middle class rather than supporting the ryan budget, rather than supporting undercutting social security and medicare, financing more tax cuts for the wealthy, if he was willing move away from that message, it might have an appeal. something tells me that he's not going to be able to do that. but i also look at that ad and i think it highlights the obama
campaign's state-by-state regional approach. that's a message that's going to work very well in ohio and pennsylvania. and i lived on the border for a while of ohio and pennsylvania in a town that looked very much like the town that they highlighted in that ad. people there know this story already. and this serves as a reminder to them of the career path that mitt romney chose and the fact that he did cause a lot of devastation to companies and to employment in certain places across the country. >> steve kornacki, if a pundit could live in one place in america, it would be on the border of ohio and pennsylvania. krystal's cheating, having done that. you're supposed to stay in new york in the studio and -- >> yeah -- >> well, i'm a native virginian, too, so i've got it all covered. >> as a massachusetts native who now lives in new york city, let me give you my perspective on what -- >> that's what i'm talking about. go ahead.
>> i think what's interesting here is the basic message that romney is bringing to these states really, as krystal says, it really isn't a message in sort of the traditional sense of the campaign, where he's not looking at them and saying, hey, you're suffering right now, and here's the 20-point plan that i've laid out that's going to fix this. it's really not the calculation this campaign has made in this election. the calculation is here's your pain, here's your suffering. i am now going to try to give you, throw a bunch of rationalizations out there to get you to blame this on obama and vote against him. look only at how the economy's doing right now, not look at what he inherited, not look at republican obstruction, not look at anything i'm saying or my party's doing in congress, just look at where the economy is, and to take it out on obama. and if the message is incoherent or self-contradictory, they're willing to take that chance, because they feel at the end of the day, no matter what else they say, their calculation is, this will be a referendum on obama. >> i have been registered to vote in exactly three states,
massachusetts, new york, and california, in that order. not one of them has ever been a swing state. i don't think i've ever met a swing voter. so, krystal ball, you're our authority from now on on this one. >> excellent. >> krystal ball and steve kornacki, thank you both very much for joining me. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, it's bush versus grover norquist. norquist attacked jeb bush for suggesting that ronald reagan wouldn't be welcome in today's republican party. and in the "rewrite" tonight, the crazy pastor in florida who wanted to burn the koran has now hung president obama in effigy. but another southern pastor defends president obama's position on marriage equality. and later, you already know how to get to carnegie hall, right? practice, practice, practice. tonight, right here in our los angeles studio, we have the man who can tell you how to win an oscar. and we'll learn why the people who could never have won their
one of the bush boys is now in a fight with the owner of the republican party, grover norquist. we'll find out whose side ronald reagan would be on. that's coming up. and in the "rewrite" tonight, good pastor, bad pastor. the good pastor tries to make his congregation see the light about the president's position on marriage equality. the bad pastor hangsre obama in effigy. lynches him up and claims there was absolutely nothing racist about it. that's in tonight's "rewrite." and tonighe who have helped more people win oscars than anyone else, but they have never been thanked in oscar acceptance speech. they'll be in the studio. coming up. [ male announcer ] this is genco services --
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educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this. you, in testimony before congress, said that you are okay, as you well know, with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of tax revenue. >> yeah. >> well, that's a different position than every republican candidate in the primary. >> i know. i know. because we have unsustainable deficits -- >> but i haven't heard governor romney say, i take that position back, that i'd be prepared to raise taxes -- >> no, no. >> that was jeb bush, trying to talk a tiny bit of sanity into mitt romney and the republican
party on thursday. the former florida governor continued his efforts today in an interview with reporters in manhattan. "back to my dad's time, and ronald reagan's time. they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support, he said. reagan would be, quote, criticized for doing the things that he did." that earned jeb bush this response today from anti-tax enforcer and reagan worshipper, grover norquist. "there's a guy who watched his father throw away his presidency on a two to one ratio of spending cuts and tax increase promise, and he thinks he's sophisticated by saying that he'd take a ten to one promise. he doesn't understand, he's just agreed to walk down the sam alley his dad did with the same gang and he thinks he's smart. you walk down that alley, you don't come out." joining me now, msnbc's john heilemann and jonathan capehart. john heilemann, you wonder if the younger generation of
republicans like some of these current governors understood what ronald reagan actually did as president, and the kind of compromises that he actually made with democrats. >> well, lawrence, some of them clearly do. governor bush understands exactly -- >> yes, he does. >> he does. and i think there are a lot of republican governors around who think the same thing that governor bush just said, they are just in some cases more politic about saying those things publicly than he is. but there's a lot of amnesia about ronald reagan and what he said. there is some question about whether or not that deal was the thing that led to george herbert walker bush's undoing in 1992 or whether it was the macroeconomy that hurt him. but this is apparently going to be bad surrogate week for mitt romney, just as bad surrogate
week for barack obama were the last couple of weeks when he had to deal with bill clinton and cory booker and ed rendell were heading off in different directions with the surrogates gone wild. >> let's listen to what he said this week. >> i hope he takes a page out of president reagan's playbook, where it was not only a referendum on the failed policies of president carter, it was something where president reagan laid out o clear plan. i don't think we win if it's just about a referendum on barack obama. >> now, jonathan capehart, i don't know scott walker, but i look into his eyes on tv and i believe i'm seeing a hannity republican who simply has no idea, no information whatsoever, has no idea that ronald reagan raised taxes 11 times as president. >> probably not. look, scott walker is a governor whose time is now. and what i mean by that is he's a republican governor in a party that as jeb bush -- they don't like compromise.
look at how governor walker started his governorship, just plowing right ahead, just stripping collective bargaining rights. today you hear him expressing some contrition, but he's still plowing ahead. the one thing scott walker does say in that clip, the second half of that clip, of his statement, of governor romney, where he says, governor romney can't just talk about how bad president obama is, he has to talk about where he, mitt romney, wants to take the country. and on that, i completely agree with scott walker. >> jeb bush also said another reasonable thing. he watched his father in the presidency struggle with a difficult economy and a recession. and he has acknowledged that president obama has a difficult economy to struggle with. he said, jeb bush said, i don't see how with we get out, notwithstanding who's president. we've got major head winds with europe and a slowdown for asia as well. john heilemann, what does that kind of reasonable talk and understanding of the real world
do to jeb bush's standing in the current republican party? i mean, it sounds like he's not the kind of guy they're going to want on the convention stage. >> i think there's a lot of things that he's doing and things that he said, the interview he's made over the last couple of weeks, the thing about the deal he'd take a lot of spending cuts, and he'd be able to raise taxes to get that kind of a deal, he was critical of the party and to some extent of mitt romney on immigration this morning with his interview with the republicans at bloomberg. he is not a guy who sounds to me, like a guy who is trying to get a big place on the convention floor in august or in september with the republicans. certainly not someone who's angling for a vp spot. i think if you're thinking about the floridian who's going to get the higher profile spot, that's going to be someone who's like marco rubio who toes the tea party line a lot more aggressively than jeb bush ever
would or could. >> to my wonder, the republican party, who used to be the law and order party, starting with richard nixon and forward, is now the fire the police, lay off flis party. let's listen to john sununu defending the idea that, you know what, we have too many cops in america. we have too many public schoolteachers in america. let's listen to that. >> let me respond as a taxpayer, not as a representative of the romney campaign. there are municipalities, there are states where there is flight of population. and as the population goes down, you need fewer teachers. there are places where just pumping money in to add to the public payroll is not what the taxpayers of this country want. i think this is a real issue and people ought to stop jumping on it as a gaffe, and understand there's wisdom in the comment. >> jonathan capehart, he didn't have a prescription for the places where the population is increasing and how many teachers
or. cops that they need. >> this is one more statement from the land of mitt-believe, where suddenly we don't need cops, we don't need firefighters, we don't need teachers. can you imagine if a democrat had said this or if president obama had said this today or even five years ago or ten years ago, a democrat making that kind of statement? why this particular gaffe hasn't gotten more attention is beyond me. it's still, you know, suffering in the shadow of what president obama said on friday, but the idea that we don't need more -- we don't need cops, teachers, and firefighters is just astounding to me. to come from a republican. >> the law and order party becomes the fire th parties in the 21st century. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, walmart, yes, walmart has commissioned a poll of women in swing states that has produced surprisingly
positive results for president obama. that's next. and in the "rewrite" tonight, a southern pastor lynches president obama in effigy, you have to see this, and he claims the presidential race has nothing to do with the image he selected of lynching the president. he has a lot to explain now to the secret service who have been calling him. and later, the two most sought-after people in hollywood are the two people you have never heard of. they're going to join me here in our los angeles studio. that's coming up. er is different but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide and around the world. and we will continue to free you to do more and focus on what matters.
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you remember the crazy southern pastor who wanted to burn the koran? well, he's back. and now he has decided to lynch president obama in effigy and the secret service wants to talk to him about that. that's in tonight's "rewrite." and later, two of the most important people in hollywood who you have never heard of will join me here in our los angeles studio, the biggest movie stars in the world beg to see them every day, some of them get in, some of them don't, and these guys are talked about in hushed tones on film sets around the world. they're both here tonight. they're going to join me in the studio.
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voted for president obama in 2008, but then switched and voted republican in 2010. a team of bipartisan pollsters conducted focus groups with these swing voters in two key swing states, virginia and nevada. while most of the women said they are not better off today than they were four years ago, the good news for team obama is that the women said they don't want a change in leadership. one las vegas mother told the pollsters, it's only been three years and you can't grow a flower in one week. it takes time. mitt romney, on the other hand, is still largely unknown to these undecided voters, but some are concerned about his record at bain. one virginia woman said, "the whole romney thing where all these people, the factories that have been shut down, where they've worked for over 30 years, and then they are left with nothing, that concerns me." joining me now, one of the
pollsters who conducted the focus groups, margie o'maro, president of momentum analysis, and lisa menendez, a host of "huff post live. margie o'maro, why did walmart conduct focus groups with these women? >> this has been an ongoing analysis that we've been talking to these moms over the course of a couple of years, through surveys and focus groups, and really, as far as walmart's involvement, it's really to see what these moms think. and we've, i think, really injected the views and positions and needs of these moms into the political dialogue. the focus groups that we did last weekend in a couple different states were swing moms. some of them were leaning obama, some of them were leaning romney, some of them voted for mccain last time, some of them
are pure undecided this time. they really were all over the swing voter map. and then we did a group of latino moms in las vegas, who were also a mix as well. and it was a fascinating look at how they really grapple with the decision that they're going to have in november. >> but margie, just so i understand walmart's position on this, is most of your research about trying -- about walmart trying to serve these people better as customers and the political stuff is just a sidebar, in effect, in the focus groups? >> no, this isn't about custom -- you know, their shopping behavior or anything related to them as customers, this is really just about their views as moms, and how they view the political dialogue, how they're viewing the election. we talk to them in 2010. they said that they had voted for obama in 2008, then they leaned a little bit republican. they voted decidedly republican in november of 2010. they seemed more up for grabs. we did focus groups last year in
a survey then, and focus groups last week. so they are really -- it's really all about looking at their views politically. and their views as moms and how being a mom affects how they view the political debate. >> alicia menendez, there's one woman i want to read to you what she had to say about, she's tired of the social issues. she said, i don't want to hear about same-sex marriage and reproductive rights, only because nothing's going to get done. they've talked about it way too long. they bring it in every presidential election to sway people and nothing ever gets done. that's how they try to get the women's vote, one way or the other. this woman sounds like she wants to hear about the real issues that will really affect her life. >> and i think that bore out this margie's focus groups. overall you saw the economy was a very important issue for these voters. we also know from other polling that a lot of the conversations that we have here that get us fired up, like these conversations about access to contraceptives, they do fire up
a small part of the democratic base. white college-educated women. that is a small part of a larger group that democrats will need to turn out in november. this conversation about the economy expands to a much larger, much broader group. >> and alicia, these focus groups are great for showing you, i think most interestingly, what voters don't care about. you can pick several of the topics that we talk about here in the course of the week, and they won't care about them at all. they're focused on these other things. >> i think that's absolutely right, though i do think there are some points that do stand out additionally. you know, that these focus groups are one thing. you look at the additional polling about latinas, for example, latina moms, education, a huge issue. and when latina moms think about the dream act, they don't think of that as an immigration issue, they think of that as an education issue. they lump that into their conversations about who in their
community is going to be able to go to college, who's going to be able to graduate and contribute, and that's different than the way in which we talk about it. >> margie ohero and alicia menendez, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, the men to see in hollywood if you want to win an oscar. the trouble is, it is very, very hard to get in to see them. they are turning down appointments with movie stars every day. but tonight you will meet them both right here with me in our los angeles studio. and in the "rewrite" tonight, the crazy southern pastor who wanted to burn the koran has now lynched president obama in effigy, and that has got him an appointment with the secret service. that's coming up in tonight's "rewrite."
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scripture and then explains and defends what the president said about marriage equality. that's next in tonight's "rewrite." do you read in bed? do you read out loud or in your head? do you need a lamp to see? and does it leave your bedmate be? don't you wish there was a light that wouldn't keep them up all night? if so, you'll be happy to know, our newest nook now comes with glow. introducing nook simple touch with glowlight, the only e-reader made for bedtime reading. find your nook at your neighborhood barnes & noble. laces? really? slip-on's the way to go. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks.
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the president, is proudly standing nearby. and in the background, you, of course, see a sign saying, "obama is killing america." and the white cross that adorns the madhouse that florida pastor terry jones runs, which he calls the dove world outreach center. terry jones, you'll remember, is the attention-craving lunatic who was threatening to burn the koran publicly and then, at the last minute, decided not to after a phone call from then defense secretary robert gates. and then six months later, when no one cared, he actually did burn the koran to very little to almost no attention. as soon as the secret service began investigating this potential threat to the president's life, suddenly this happened. uncle sam suddenly traded places with president obama and terry
jones explained that secret service pressure made him rewrite his symbolic message to coincide with the worlds, the worded message on his sign, "obama is killing america." jones said, "president obama is killing our nation. we have hung uncle sam to represent that." while they were at it, they apparently hung a baby, which i think we can interpret that as to have something to do with abortion. and you'll notice a gay pride flag in president obama's hand. this is all, of course, in protest of the president's announcement that he personally supports marriage equality. and after choosing to use the imagery of lynching in the south to express his feelings about the first african-american president of the united states, the very sick man who did that, of course, denied that race ever crossed his mind.
pastor jones said, "we are not looking at him as a black man. he is not black. he is not white. he is the president of the united states and the noose, of course, was to represent the death of his presidency and political career. not at all to represent his race. his race has absolutely nothing to do with it." pastor frederic haines iii of the friendship west baptist church in dallas, texas, did not use symbols to explain his reaction, he led his congregation to a better understanding of what the president wail did say about marriage equality. >> the president remembered that when on january the 20th, he lifted this nation by raising his hand, 2009, and took the
oath of office, don't forget that he was sworn to uphold, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states, which was born out of a declaration of independence. do you know the words of the declaration of independence? we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, all people are created equal. i got to hang out there. notice, it does not say that all straight men are created equal. it does not say that all men, unless you are gay and lesbian, are created equal. he swore upon oath to uphold, protect, the constitution of the united states, not the bible, pu the constitution of the united states. he is not the pastor of the united states, he's the president of the united states. and for the first time in the history of this nation, we have
a president who has dared to use his position to make the democratic promise available, not just for a select few who are up and in, but for everybody, regardless of their race, their creed, their color, or their sexual orientation! and my brothers and sisters, i salute the president for that now. i recognize those who are upset about this. have you ever read the gospel and heard jesus say anything about homosexuality? why are you so angry? jesus never said a word about it. y'all are not feeling this, but i'm going to preach the gospel anyhow, because you do understand, my brothers and sisters, that the sad reality is, we love to judge other folk's sins, because it keeps it off of us as opposed to looking at us, oh, yeah. it's very important to understand
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los angeles studio, two guys who have more than a semester and a half of college and call not be happier, phil stuts and barry michaels. they are the go-to guys in hollywood if you want to win an oscar or maybe a golden globe or an emmy or even get a party in a movie, they are not agents, they are not producers, they are not studio heads, but all of those people look to them for guidance every day, because they are the most sought-after shrinks in hollywood, and they have a new book out, explaining how they do what they do. "the tools: transform your problems into courage, confidence, and creativity." this is a coup in hollywood, to have the two of you guys in one place. you know, i see people gush over celebrities, but it's hard for me to convey to the audience, in hollywood, you guys are the mythical celebrities of this world. i've heard you both discussed in great detail on film sets and, phil, the thing you hear the most, the first five, ten
minutes of any actor saying here's what it's like with phil stuts is they're constantly explaining how you're so different from any other shrink. >> mm-hmm. well, i think one difference that strikes them right away is, we don't go into the past as our go-to default position. we deal with the past, but the focus is on help -- >> you don't spend all day on the -- >> no. >> see, tony soprano would like that. >> would like not spending -- >> no, he wants to know what to do next, right? >> in that particular clip, that was her reaction to him. what that reaction said was, just be patient. don't bother me. >> yeah. >> be calm. and at some later date, you'll be healed. >> and a neutral response with no prescriptive information at all. and tony was always going in there with problems and what do i do next, and i've got these heavy decisions. you have guys, moguls, actors, people every day coming in with big, heavy decisions to make. >> this was one of the most exciting things when i met phil
as a beginning therapist -- >> phil's your guru, right? >> absolutely. >> he's the guy that led the way on the tools -- >> he really taught me how to do therapy. i came out of school very frustrated with my education. i loved being a therapist, but i came to the conclusion that we had been taught to analyze problems, but not to solve them, so therapy went on interminably. >> someone had a broken leg and you talked about it. >> exactly. >> "the new yorker" did an article about you recently. the first paragraph begins about a writer who had writer's block for a year and a half. my the end of the first paragraph, the line is, and then he won an oscar. after talking to you and getting him the tools to get him moving. that story happens a lot in hollywood. but i watch the oscars, i have never heard -- have i missed this? i have never heard one of your many clients, who's walked away with one of those statues, say thank you to phil stutz.
they mention the agent and producer and everybody, i have not heard barry michels. >> no. >> you might want to complain about that the next time. >> no, we understand, some people may not to reveal they're in therapy. >> but some people do. john cusack appeared on a tv spot with you, did a little session on the phone. and they'll talk about it very openly with someone they just met at a cocktail party. you are big subjects at cocktail parties among people who have just met. >> well, we should be looking for some residuals. >> exactly. phil, i went to a seminar you did many years ago for actors, and it was focused on the audition process and the horrors and the frustrations and the agonies of the audition process. i'm sitting there as a writer, learning more about actors, and i'm also realizing, when you're
doing this, that life is full of auditions. that we're going through auditions all the time, with the same kind of agonies, even little moments, sometimes with our children are, in effect, an audition. i want to sell myself to her as her adviser or something. what about political candidates? it seems to me that presidential candidates are auditioning the issue they spend two years audition for this thing, and it seems to me that a lot of them are getting wrong the issue they're getting things wrong in the audition process. >> yeah, i think they try to be a little bit too calculating. the problem, you know, we've learned is from actors, but it's very similar with politicians, which is, you have to make a connection to a person or to a group of people, you've got to make it fast, you've got to make it impactful. and they have to feel there's something human in that connection, that it's not completely fully contrived. and that's fascinate of the ideology. >> and the trouble with the calculating thing is the camera will always find you calculating. you cannot hide calculating from the camera.
actor, politician, anybody. i want to look at one more tony soprano scene, because i want to get your view of this particular shrink session with tony. let's look at that. >> believe me, in your childhood, she's inflicted serious psychic injuries that are still there. >> poor me. >> and your father, the gangster, tough guy. but did he protect your kids from this borderline mother? what the hell was going on there? >> what is this? hmm? little snacks of thought for me to take home? >> is that what most shrinks are delivering, little snacks for thought for you to take home? >> she actually talks more than the average -- >> well, she has to. they have to have the dialogue there. but phil, i once heard a big, big movie star on a set say that you had, in effect, said one
day, in a session, i don't care that much about feelings, or i don't concentrate that much on feelings, something like that. it shocked everyone there who had been to regular shrinks who spend their time on nothing else. >> well, it may have been lost in the translation a little bit, hopefully, but what i don't -- if somebody comes in with a problem and most of these problems are emergent, it could be a problem on set, somebody he can't get along, he can't stand the director. he's about to blow up the whole process and get himself in a lot of trouble. what we need is a view of how best to conduct himself and the tools to allow him to do that, and sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of self-restraint. sometimes it's a matter of not acting on certain feelings. and every situation is different. but when i say -- when i say i'm indifferent to feelings, what i mean is i'm indifferent to feelings that have been repeated over and over and over again, sometimes in therapy for six or eight years and is an indulgence
to the feelings. so we need something -- in a way, we need something stronger than feelings. >> it's really the repetition, the pattern of feeling certain things over and over again that's more important than the quality of the feeling itself. >> are actors your best patients, because you ask your patients to go into their own heads in ways that other shrinks never do. and actors are doing that all day, with their parts. >> i would say they're the best patients. >> actors are great patients. >> everyone in show business thinks they're just outright crazy 24 hours a day and kind of don't want to deal with them in any way besides from hiring them and making them say the words. but you guys seem like much more than that. >> you have to like them to work with them, and they have a lot of courage. and sometimes when they understand something, even if they don't understand it, they will do it. they'll put their ass out there and risk it, and do it over and over and over again. >> can you guys stay and we'll add more to this online. and online, i'll ask you for the names of all your most famous patients.