tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 21, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PDT
is rising republican star marco rubio romney's man for all seasons? >> look, i don't want to talk about the process. i haven't up to this point. >> marco rubio joins us live this hour. and fast and furious. even in denmark today, eric holder can't avoid the showdown with republican members of congress. >> we put before the committee a proposal that would have allowed what a resolution of that matter, consistent with the way in which these have been resolved in the past through negotiation. i think the possibility still exists that it can happen in that way. plus the supreme court is unanimous. fleeting expletives are okay on tv. so what the heck is a fleeting expletive? we'll explain, but we'll keep it clean. and going purple. secretary of state hillary clinton gets in on a running joke behind purple fridays while swearing in her assistant secretary of public affairs mike
hammer. >> thanks to the good work of the p.a. staff. then, of course, the resistance. so -- let me formally welcome mike's family, the people in purple. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell. all in good fun an the state department today. we're live in washington, of course. our daily fix today, mitt romney has just finished speaking to a leading latino organization, and importantly the speech was held in florida. chris cillizza is an msnbc contributor and managing editor of postpolitics.com. hey, chris. this is the group president obama is going to be in front of tomorrow around this time.
this is a very important audience and romney laid out new proposals. he had moved from where he was during the primary campaign. >> yeah, you know, andrea, this is not unexpected. he talked about green cards for people under one roof. he talked about if you get an advanced degree, a green card will come stapled to your diploma. everything in the broad context of the economy as an issue for hispanic americans. this is, again, not new. mitt romney wants to talk about immigration. he wants to talk about every issue through the lens of the economy or through the lens of barack obama said he would do one thing, and he didn't do it or he didn't do what he said. so i think you heard a lot of talk from mitt romney and the specific proposals aimed at saying, we are looking out for you, we are looking out for your economic interests. we are not isolating you as a group. we are saying we know you care about the economy, let's figure out how to do this. again, do i think mitt romney wins 65% of the latino vote in
november? no. but it is an important step, andr andrea, because republicans know that long term they simply cannot lose two-thirds of the hispanic vote and hope to win national elections. >> but let's get specific here, because what he's trying to do, of course, is counteract what the president announced last week where he was going to sop enforcing regulations, deportation of some of the children of undocumented immigrants. this is what romney had to say about whether or not he would basically cancel what the president did if he becomes president. >> some people have asked if i will let stand the president's executive order. the answer is that i will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. as president, i won't settle for stop gap measures. >> does that fix what happened last sunday when he went on with bob schieffer and repeatedly
refused to say what he would do about this? >> well, it's certainly a better and more concise answer, politically speaking, that president obama offered a short-term fix, i don't think that's enough. in the end, romney also said he's pandering to you, he's trying to get your votes but i'm about your long-term interests. it's clearly a better political answer, but, again, there are not a huge number of specifics about how mitt romney would go about bringing to bear that longer term solution. this is not an issue. we saw this almost cancel out john mccain's presidential campaign in 2008. it's an issue hotly debated within congress, though not in a presidential year. this is not an issue with an easy fix. i think president obama, himself, acknowledged that what he was doing was sort of what he, in his own mind, believed he could do thinking that a long-term solution is possible. this is mitt romney i think trying to sell himself on the vision thing, that he believes he can lead and get a bigger plan in place, a broader plan, a
plan that is more long lasting and far reaching. you know, the question is, do they believe him? >> and then the money race. what we see now are the head to head and the fact that campaign to campaign, president obama's campaign doing well, but that mitt romney is certainly outpacing them when you add in all the other fund-raising. the fact they have more, they seem to have more big dollar donors who can shift some of the extra money from their $75,000 contributions over to the victory fund. >> you know, andrea, i was struck, not just by the fact that president obama, as you see in that chart, raised less money than he spent in may, a lot of that is they're just spending a lot of money on television ads. but the fact that several obama campaign advisers gathered with reporters yesterday, they predicted -- some of this is spin -- but they predicted mitt romney in kind of all the ing aggregate conservative groups, american cross roads, americans for prosperity will spend in their estimation $1.2 billion on television ads, alone, for the
presidential election. and that they expect themselves to be outspent. some of that is spin. they want to send a message to their donors larger a small, republic chance are gathering their financial forces, we need to do the same. it's a striking admission an incumbent president of the united states expects to be outspent on television in a re-election race. >> first time that's happened. chris cillizza, thank you very much. >> thank you. hispanic voters could hold the key to the white house. mitt romney's effort to win latinos may have gotten tougher last week after the obama administration's decision not to enforce deportation of all children of illegal immigrants. his best surrogate may be marco rubio, whose family story and fast political rise are subject of a new autobiography "an american son." >> thank you for having me. >> your reaction to mitt romney's speech.
he was not specific. he did say certain things. he's talking about green cards for people who are in american colleges. he's talking about bigger, longer-term solution, if he were elected president. what about the contrast between that and what president obama laid out last week? >> well, first of all, i've consistently said the republican party is not the anti-illegal immigration party. it is the pro-legal immigration party. and i thought what you saw today from mitt romney was an excellent, you know, laying out of exactly that vision for the future. he talked about on the one hand he recognizes that immigration is so important for our future, it is an economic issue, as he said. it's important for people that need to hire temporary workers, it's important for the high-tech industry. at the same time, he recognized there are millions of people waiting to emigrate to the united states legally, who have done it the right way but face extraordinary bureaucratic impediments to doing that. he used a line to me which was strikes. we want to make illegal immigration -- i'm siorry, we
want to make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration. that's exactly right. that's what most people want, including americans of hispanic dissent. he laid that out in a compelling way. >> "american son," in your book, you write, a narrower bill would permit undocumented students covered by act to go to school without exacerbating the problem. the modifications ensure its passage are not difficult to conceive or write into law. it seems to me what the president did last week is what you were talking about in your book. explain the differences to me. >> the major differences, the way he was implemented mattered. here's why. the only way we're ever going to solve immigration, ever going to deal with this issue of these kids which is a very compelling group of kids is we're going to have to depoliticize this issue. i know that sounds difficult to do given this environment and this place, but we have to elevate this issue. we have to say this is a
humanitarian issue. we're going to deal with this without it becoming a political ping-pong back and forth. when the president does this in an election year, five months from the election, without including anyone in the conversations about how to do it, after viciously, some people on the left condemning the concept, the very concept, similar concept that he's now implemented by executive order, it sets us back in that endeavor. i hope i'm wrong. i hope people are willing to continue to work toward creating an alternative to the dream act that allows us to accommodate these kids without encouraging illegal immigration. i'm not optimistic based on things i've heard. we'll keep working and i hope i'm proving wrong on that regard. >> last week when you were at the bloomberg breakfast i was attending hosted by bloomberg you talked about your own version of the dream act and told us your dream act alternative could get, quote, significant republican party in the senate. on monday you told "the wall street journal" you weren't planning to propose this before the election. at the time you had said you had talked to a lot of republicans,
you were working on the details, you still were planning, last wednesday, to propose the legislation. so is it because of what the president did in the intervening days that you decided not to submit your legislation? >> well, again, we're going to continue to formulate the idea. the question of the timing it would be left up to what we see and what the circumstances are in terms of -- i don't want to trigger a partisan bickering over an issue because it's just going to set us back. the first thing i learned when i came here, no one wanted to talk about immigration because they had the scars from years of combat over it. but here's the other point i would make. one of the arguments i would use, i would go to my colleagues and say on both sides, quite frankly and say, let's do this issue. they would say, why now? there are so many other important issues. can't this one wait until after the election? i used to say, these kids want to go to college in september. now that argument is gone. that sense of urgency has been taken away. the fact it's all gotten mixed up in this election year and being used to attack republicans has only made it harder. i'm still optimistic about the long term of this idea, but i think there's a lot of work to do now because of the way the
president did it. >> well, at the same time, is it because the romney campaign has asked you to back off? >> no, absolutely not. on the contrary, we've kept them up to date on what we've been working on. here's another thing that's important. when you do important and significant legislation like this that impacts real lives of real people, there's a lot of questions that need to be answered. how many people will it impact? does it have any costs? is there anything we're missing here? we want to have answers to every question. we want to be able to have answers to every conceivable, you know, circumstance that it would apply, and we're still in the process of getting that. we've also, in just a week ago, have been meeting with stakeholders, whether it's kids that would be impacted by it or people concerned about illegal immigration. we're trying to take as much input as possible. i think we're very close to having a very specific piece of legislation. look, again, i hope i'm wrong but i'm concerned the way the president did this last friday by politicizing this is going to make it harder to find a long-term solution to a long-term problem. >> when we talk about
immigration, you have your own perspective, as you write in "american son." you write that many people who come here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn't feed our families. if my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn't give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn't a law no matter how restrictive that would prevent me from coming here. that's on page 248. you know, you have that perspective, and arguably that's one reason why many people believe that you would be a big addition to the ticket. because you can express what many people are feeling. you understand it because you've lived it. >> well, again, i think the point i make and people find it hard to argue against, if your kids were hungry every night, there's virtually nothing you wouldn't do to help them out. understand that's why most of the people come here, to provide their families a better life. we can't be every country in the world that doesn't enforce
immigration laws. no other country even comes close. so we have to -- people are concerned about the impact of illegal immigration is having and rightfully so. those are two very legitimate considerations. they have to be balanced. we'll only be able to balance them responsibly if we have the kind of -- if we can depoliticize this issue. that's the point i'm trying to drive through my family experience and my book. >> and the debate, the republican debate. there's a reason why a lot of hispanic people felt that the debates and the republican party was excluding them. you had mitt romney talking about self-deportation, you had herman cain talking about electric fences. in your book, you say, there is no doubt that the rhetoric and tone used by some republican opponents of immigration reform have hurt the party with hispanics. i can't stand to hear immigrants described in terms more appropriate to a plague of locusts than human beings, and although i believe they are a small minority, i begin to wonder if some of the people who
speak so disparagingly about immigrants would be worked up if most of them were coming from canada. >> let me be clear. i wasn't referring to the presidential debate when those words were written. those debates hadn't happened yet. the herman cain incident you talked about was a joke that he admitted was in poor taste. mitt romney's term is not a policy. he's describing what would happen in a country where there was an effective e-verify system and things of that nature. there are voices in american politics on the right that have said things that are unfortunate about immigration that have not recognized what i've discussed as the human element of immigration. there are voices on the left that say outrageous things, too. when i first presented my idea about giving non-immigrant visas to the kids, harry reid wrote an op-ped in the "miami herald" attacking me, "the new york times" said it should be dismissed. i had some liberal bloggers say i was proposing a form of american apartheid. there's outrageous speech on the
left on this issue. it gets back to the point i made unless we depoliticize this issue we're never going to begin to work on a real responsible balanced solution. >> we've been sharing with our viewers some of the pictures you've provided through your book of your and your family. and the whole story of the cuban migration to florida. and in your case, your family, you've learned through the research and through other people's reporting as well, they came earlier than you thought they came. before the castro takeover. what is that experience, and what does that say to all americans about those who are, and you describe it as being exiled from cuba? >> first of all, i think the cuban exile story is a complicated one. it's not a neat chronological one. there have always been cuban exiles. the great cuban patriot was an exile most of his political involvement living in new york and tampa, not even in cuba, itself. my parents came in 1946 and t56.
there was a lot of instability in cuba and looking for a better life. they always longed to be able to move back to the united states -- i'm sorry, to cuba. of course that became impossible for them. they settled in this country. this country gave them extraordinary opportunities. the arguments i make in my book in "american son" is the american dream can be defined in many different ways. for my family the american dream was the ability for my parents to give me the chances that they didn't have. and i recognize that i was privileged not with money, not with wealth, not even with connections. i was privileged with a strong and stable home and i was privileged to grow up in a family that encouraged me to dream and the opportunity to grow up in this the greatest country in the world. >> i wanted to ask you also about your comments about eric holder. you have said you think that he should resign? >> i do. >> should he be fired? what should happen to eric holder, the attorney general and why? >> first of all, i've held back on commenting on that. i always like to give the benefit of dwooubt. i don't like these kinds of constitutional arguments back and forth in terms of who should
be in office and calling for resignations. after yesterday, asserting executive privilege a year after these events efsh s occurred, te is bent over backwards to provide the opportunity to address the concerns the congress has without endangering the ability of eric holder to do his job. i think we've reached the point of no return. there's very little confidence here in the senate on behalf of republicans. i think in general in congress on eric holder's ability now to do the job. there's now real and increasing concern he lied to congress, that the administration was involved in an effort to lie to congress. and this notion about keeping information away from us has only heightened those concerns. >> we've had confrontations like this in previous administrations, be other attorneys general. most recently with the bush white house, with attorney general gonzalez. do you really think this has reached the stage where eric holder should not be holding his job? >> i do. if you look at those cases the administrations almost always gave in at the end and produced documents, whether it was in some of the investigations that happened under president bush or
president reagan. this assertion of executive privilege on this instance is troubling because it indicates potentially there was impact communications directly with the white house, itself. again, we don't know. that's the problem. we don't know. and if indeed there's nothing like that in there, then why not make it available to a select group of congressmen who have specific oversight over this issue? so, look, i don't take this stuff lightly. i don't like calling for rez resignati resignations. i was asked a question today and my opinion is we reached the point of no return with regards to eric holder. >> and mitt romney has sort of broken his own self-imposed rule and confirmed that, in fact, the campaign is vetting you to be the running mate. so have you been sharing your finances and all of your background information with the campaign? >> well, i made a decision a couple months ago not to discuss the vice presidential process at all. it's not my process. i want to respect the governor's ability to go through his process. i just don't comment on it one way or the other. the one thing i can say definitively is knowing what i
know about mitt romney's career, i have no doubt in my mind he's going to make a very good selection. >> now, the convention is going to be in your state in tampa. how about you as the keynoter, if not the vice president? >> i haven't thought -- i'll do whatever they ask me to do to be helpful. i don't have any specific goal in mind in terms of the convention. my only advice is, you know, it's going to be plenty hot. bring sunscreen and some patience. >> we will. and lots of water. thank you very much. >> that's right. >> senator rubio. thanks, on a busy day. appreciate it. the book is "an american son." thanks for your time. >> thank you. and how does a campaign go about picking a running mate? nicolle wallace knows. we'll ask her next on "andrea mitchell reports." 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. sven's home security gets the most rewards
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who is on everyone's list as a potential vice presidential pick for mitt romney. romney spoke before the national association of latino, elected appointed officials in florida, major battleground state. >> improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation. me must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration. so that people are rewarded for waiting fas ining patiently in >> joining many now, nicolle wallace, mccain/palin campaign, george w. bush's communications director and author of the novel "it's classified." it's terrific, out in paperback. time for beach reading. you know better than anyone what it's like to go through these lists and vet people, and the sort of awkward court of vet, perhaps, that mitt romney was describing, unclear what was happening last week with all the reports of rubio's on, he's not on. what is your take on all that? >> look, i mean, these lists are
very tightly held, and, you know, my advice in making the selection is to do it slowly and carefully. and it would appear from the outside that that's what was happening, until this very peculiar leak. and i just listened to your great interview with senator rubio. he's tremendous. he's by all counts a rising star in our party. so whether he was in the group being vetted or not in the group, it's very odd that that information was made public. >> the initial information that he wasn't on the list, and then, of course, mitt romney kind of broke his silence to say, yes, he is. >> right. >> obviously awkward. there are others who are attending a retreat with romney this weekend, and we're talking about jeb bush, condi rice, john mccain, bobby jindal, bob mcdonald, people who may or may not be on the list, they're going to be with major donors in dear valley, utah. does the speech today help him with hispanic voters, though, or is it too late? >> i think when we talk about
hispanic voters we have to be very careful. i feel the same way when we talk about women voters. >> good point. >> they're not a group that care about a single set of issues. a lot of people who are not hispanic care a lot about -- i'm proud to have worked for george w. bush, the last president who really used the power of the presidency. he addressed the nation in primetime from the oval office and tried to rally democrats and really more troubling for ourest efforts, our own party to do something comprehensive when it came to immigration reform. he had the great late senator kennedy in the fold and willing to work with him. unfortunately, neither man could rally enough members of their own caucus to get something done. that was the last opportunity. it's sad it's come to this. it's sad president obama didn't do anything earlier. i think the policy he announced last week is sensible and popular and should have been done a long time ago. the fact we're doing this in a piecemeal way leaves the white house open to legitimate
criticisms it could be politically motivated. >> wasn't it also the fact some of the strong immigration reform supporters on the hill on the republican side abandoned that fight in recent years? and that president obama didn't have any partners on the hill to work with? >> yeah, and, look, it's -- i've been to this movie and i know how it ends. it ends sadly and badly for everybody, because the problem of illegal immigration doesn't just affect the -- i think it's 11 -- the numbers are somewhere 11 million to 15 million people living in the shadows. in the years after 9/11, there was some urgency to bring everybody inside our borders out of the shadows. not suggesting that anybody who was here illegally represented a threat, but just for the governance of that, to bring people out of the shadows to get them paying taxes and in our systems and to be part of society and that was really george bush's vision. that was what he wanted. that was one of his motivations. i think to dance around on the outskirts of this issue without going right at the heart of that and having the debate in this country about what do you do with the 11 million people who are already here?
it is not possible. it is not viable. and it will never be the case that we can send all of them home to the country where they were born or where they came from. i think until we have leadership on both sides of the aisle willing to put the reality of this issue in front of the public and have a good healthy debate about it, i don't think anything meaningful will happen. >> nicolle wallace, thanks for joining us today. up next we have the politico briefing. how far will the fast and furious showdown go? and the annual congressional women's softball game occurred last night between lawmakers and congressional reporters. despite the incredible heat, raised a lot of money. $50,000 for the young women's survival network. new york senator kirsten gillibrand was on the mound, and congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz among the all-stars for the members. speaker boehner came, nancy pelosi, a host of other leaders showing up to cheer the teams
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that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the 2012 jetta for $159 a month. visit vwdealer.com today. in today's politico briefing, the contempt citation against eric holder. fast and furious is escalating. neither side backing down. joining me, politico's jake sherman covering the hill. >> how are you? >> you saw, i don't know if you just saw marco rubio saying eric how older should resign. he was asked about it today in denmark. holder was. again, said that they provided what the committee asked for, or what they think that they should be giving the committee. where is this all headed once it gets to the floor? >> it's headed for a floor vote. it's expected to pass on the house floor next week. now, this is a longer process than republicans would like you to believe. i mean, this is likely to go to the courts. it's likely to get to refer to
obama's justice department. so it's not -- these documents aren't going to start pouring out of the air as soon as contempt passes congress. now, it's going to be a long slog, but the one thing could happen that could avert this or at least slow it down. if holder brings up some documents to the hill, the committee will have to take some time to look through those. leadership would want the committee to take time to look through those and have to do their due diligence. democrats are sending signals that holder could do that or might do that. that would at least slow the process. other than that, next week we're going to see a contempt vote. >> our own luke russert asked the speaker about whether or not holder should resign. he had a different answer than the answer marco rubio gave us. >> that's right. >> speaker boehner, knowing what you know now, should attorney general holder resign? do you call for his resignation? >> what we're trying to get to her a here are the facts and the truth
about where this program started, why it continues and why an american border agent was killed as a result. >> so he should not resign? >> so the speaker is taking a more cautious approach, clearly. >> and perhaps that's the story that's not being told is that boehner, darrell issa, who's the chairman of this committee that just voted to hold them in contempt, some of the key players, jason chaffetz of utah, didn't call an holder to resign because they think it makes them look political and think it would be a step too far. they say they want to get answers, get to the bottom of this. they think calling on holder to resign would get in the way of that. they're absolutely being cautious. >> thank you very much, jake sherman from the hill. >> thanks. last year, pulitzer prize winning journalist jose antonio vargas revealed a secret held hidden for nearly two decades. writing in "the new york times" magazine a year ago tomorrow he admitted he was living in this country illegally like millions of other undocumented immigrants
here. vargas arrived in the country when he was only a child. in last week's edition of "time" magazine on the cover vargas writes about his journey since coming out of the shadows and the challenge this country has to address. 12 million illegal immigrants who call america home. joining me now, jose antonio vargas, contributor to "time" magazine. it's a pleasure to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> pulitzer prize winning writer for your coverage of virginia tech. >> i was part of the team. >> for the "washington post." looking back, a year now of living with this, what has it been like since you took that step and declared yourself? >> you know, i traveled around the country. i actually went to about 20 states in a year. 60 events in 20 states in a year. alabama, arizona, iowa, georgia. what was stunning to me was just the level of ignorance that people have about this issue. like the question that i got asked most was, why don't you
just make yourself legal? which i think speaks to the fact that people don't understand that there is no process until the president issued the order last friday, mind you, that is the biggest development in immigrant rights since ronald reagan signed amnesty in 1986. >> now, i don't know if you're under 30, does it apply to you? >> i'm 31. no, i'm four months older. >> four months? >> yeah. >> how does that make you feel? why the cutoff at 30? >> well, because actually that's the version of the dream act the house of representatives passed in 2010 that the republic chance in the senate blocked which is why it's fascinating listening to some of the republican leaders talk about, hey, let's find a congressional solution. but the congressional solution was available in 2010 and 36 republicans voted against the dream act in the senate. so -- >> that's what mitt romney said today. he said that the president worked on cash for clunkers and didn't work on immigration. >> well, but this is also the same mitt romney, i was in iowa when he was campaigning for the iowa caucuses who said he would
veto the dream act if it reached his desk and said people like me should quote/unquote self-deport. so i mean, look, i came out last year and the cover of "time" magazine, to me my favorite part about the cover is there's 36 undocumented americans from 15 different countries. and our goal is, let's have a conversation. i would love to talk to governor romney and senator rubio and actually get at some solution. actually, as marco rubio said, depoliticize this and humanize it. >> well, when you talk about depoliticizing it, we're in the middle of a political campaign. >> we always are. we always are. >> the constant campaign. >> yeah. >> what happens next for you? four months too old for the president's policies. >> look, i could not have been more thrilled. i mean, look, can we think of another time a governmental policy is actually going to be producing tax revenues? we're going to have people step forward, have jobs and contribute to the economy. i'm thrilled by that. i'm going to keep fighting and,
you know, we need comprehensive immigration reform. >> thank you so much for being with us. and president obama has just come out of the white house. he's going to be talking about trying to do something about cutting the expected increase in interest rates on student loans in july, if congress doesn't take action. >> when i get a chance to talk with you college students about the importance of earning a higher education in today's economy, and i'll admit that, you know, the east room isn't as rowdy as carmichael arena, unc, any unc folks here in the house? there we go. coors center at cu boulder. any? no. okay. i have to say most of you are much more dressed up than usually when i see you in your own natural habitats. but our message today is serious.
right now the unemployment rate for americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average. they earn twice as much as those who don't have a high school diploma. so whether it's at a four-year college or a community college or a technical program, some form of higher education, something beyond high school has never been more important. it's the surest path to finding a good job. earning a good salary. making it into the middle class. and at the same time, over the last two decades, the cost of college has doubled. it's actually more than doubled. and that means, and i don't have to tell you because you're probably tallying it up right now, the costs for you to take out loans has increased and you are more likely to rack up more debt. the average student who borrows to pay for college now graduates with about $26,000 of debt from their student loans.
americans as a whole now owe more on student loans than they do on their credit cards. and that is wrong because we cannot afford to price the middle class and folks who aspire to go into the middle class. we can't price them out of the college education market. we can't stand by when millions of young people are already saddled with debt just as you're starting off. your parents, your grandparents, oftentimes they were in a position where when they got that first job the first thing they're thinking about is how do i save to buy a home? and start a family? and if you're already dealing with a big bunch of debt before you even get started, that's a problem. and it's mind-boggling that we've had this stalemate in washington that threatens to make the situation even worse. so the reason you all here, the reason all these fine looking
young people behind me are here, is that in just over a week, the interest rates on federal student loans are scheduled to double. i've been talking about this for, what, a month and a half, two months, three months, five months? i've lost track. we've been talks about it for a long time. if congress does not get this done in a week, the average student with federal student loans will rack up an additional $1,000 in debt over the coming year. if congress fails to act, more than 7 million students will suddenly be hit with the equivalent of $1,000 tax hike. that's not something you can afford right now. now, as i said, this warning sounds familiar, we've been talking about this for months. congress has had the time to fix this for months. it's part of the reason why everybody here looks impatient.
this issue didn't come out of nowhere. it's been looming for months. we've been stuck watching congress play chicken with another deadline. we're nine days away from thousands of american workers have to walk off their job because congress hasn't passed a transportation bill. we're ten days away from nearly 7.5 million students seeing their loan rates double because congress hasn't acted. this should be a no brainer. it should not be difficult. it should have gotten done weeks ago. now, the good news is, there are folks in congress trying to do the right thing. last month, the democrats in the senate put forward a plan that could have kept these rates in place without adding a dime to the deficit. unfortunately, senate republicans got together and blocked it. over in the house, the republicans said they'd keep these rates down only if we agreed to cut things like preventative health care for women which obviously wouldn't fix the problem, but would create a new problem.
this is, even as they were voting lock step for an economic plan that would cut financial aid for 9 million college students by an average of $1,000 and give $150,000 tax cut to wealthy americans. so i recognize that there's been some effort to change the subject from this rate hike. one congressman warned that this is all about giving college students free college education. which doesn't make much sense because the definition of a loan is it's not free. you have to pay it back. others have said, we're just talking about student loans to distract from the economy. that doesn't make much sense because this is the economy. this is all about the economy. this is all about whether or not we are going to have the best trained, best educated workforce in the world.
that improves our economy. and higher education cannot be a luxury reserved just for a privileged few. it's an economic necessity for every family and every family should be able to afford it. so, you know, you guys, during this period, when you've been in college, have been some of the toughest economic times since the 1930s. and there's still a lot of challenges ahead. globally. and we can't control every economic headwind that we face. but this is something we can control. this is something we can do something about. stopping student rates from doubling at the end of the month is something we can do right now to make a difference in the lives of all the american people. so there's still ten days for congress to do the right thing. i understand that members of both parties say they want to get this done and there are conversations takes place, but they haven't done it yet. and we have to keep the pressure on.
that's where all of you come in. over the past few months, there are so many students and participants w parents working hard to shine a light on this issue. you've rallied in campuses, in your communities, you've called, you've e-mailed, you've tweeted your representatives in washington. you've played your part in making sure your voice is heard and your democracy is responsive. my main message is, as you guys embark on this day of action, i want to make sure you keep this going. don't stop until it's actually done. there's nothing more powerful than millions of voices that are calling for change, and all of your voices can make a difference. so keep telling congress to do what's right, to get this done. tell them now is not the time to double the interest rates on your student loans. tell them to double down on an investment in a strong and secure middle class and that means your education. tell them now is the time to double down on america where everybody who works hard has a
fair shot at success. and for those who are not here and are watching, if you tweet, use the hash ta tag #don'tdoublemyrate. don't double my rate. but i tell you, when i look out at this group right here, you give me confidence in america. you make me optimistic, not only because you're getting a great education, but also because all of you are participate in making sure that this democracy works the way it's supposed to. we need outstanding engineers and we need outstanding non-profit leaders and we need outstanding entrepreneurs. but we also need outstanding citizens. and that's what you guys are displaying by your presence and your activities. so keep it up. let's get this done. thanks, everybody. >> president obama with students talking about the student loan rates which are due to go up at the end of the month unless
congress intervenes. meanwhile, breaking news in the jerry sandusky trial. as we enter day eight of the trial the future of the former penn state assistant football coach is now in the hands of the jurors. kate snow has an exclusive interview with one of sandusky's accusers. travis weaver is the first alleged victim to come forward and tell his story on tv. weaver has testified in front of a grand jury. he was not called as a witness in the current trial. he's suing sandusky and penn state university. here's his words. >> if jerry sandusky were sitting right here -- >> i'd punch him in his mouth. >> would you say anything first? >> no, there'd be no reason to say anything. he knows what he did. i know what he did. >> reporter: travis weaver says jerry sandusky sexually abused him more than 100 times over a period of 4 years. starting in 1992 when he was just 10 years old. he says he thought he was the only boy it happened to. until he saw sandusky on the
news, arrested on charges he molested other boys. weaver, now 30, had never told a soul but last fall he told his family his story for the first time. he says he still feels numb. you don't cry about it now? >> no. >> when's the last time you cried about it? >> a long time ago. >> kate snow joins us now from our new york newsroom. kate, i know this is going to be on a special edition of "rock center" tonight with brian williams. in interviewing him, how has he dealt with this? the grand jury testimony, all of the pressure right now and being in the middle of the storm? >> yeah, he's been following it all as you night imagine, very closely. as we just made clear, andrea, he never told anyone in his life, not his parents, not his girlfriend of eight years, no one until last fall. frankly he thought he was alone. he thought he was the only alleged victim of jerry sandusky. last fall he saw the tv coverage.
he saw the indictments and the arrest of jerry sandusky and thought, well, i'm not alone. so i can now reach out to a lawyer which is what he did. he then told his family his powerful story and tonight you'll hear it in his own words. >> and the effect on him, i guess it's hard to calculate what the effect on one's life is assuming what he claims is true. >> he says it has had a dramatic effect on his whole life. you'll hear him talk about the years in question. now, he alleges that from the year 1992 to 1996 when he was just 10 years old, 11, 12, 13 years old, that this abuse was happening. he alleges that it happened more than 100 times with him. he has really suppressed this, a andrea. he said to me, i bottled this u, pushed it so far down. you see in the tape he doesn't express any emotion. he looks like he's hiding or holding back a lot of rage inside. he did say to me, it's therapeutic for him to now speak out about this and one of the reasons he sat down and did this interview, andrea, is he feels
like he wants other kids out there to know it's okay to tell. it's okay to talk. someone will help you. >> kate snow, it's extraordinary, and gripping, and thank you for sharing. and, of course, don't miss kate snow's full interview tonight, a special edition of "rock center" at 10:00, 9:00 central on nbc. we'll be right back. rking ] i'm your dog, holding down the fort while you're out catching a movie. [ growls ] lucky for me, your friends showed up with this awesome bone. hey! you guys are great. and if you got your home insurance where you got your cut rate car insurance, it might not replace all this. [ electricity crackling ] [ gasping ] so get allstate. you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me. [ dennis ] mayhem is everywhere. so get an allstate agent. are you in good hands?
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a political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours. joining me now is susan paige. the president tomorrow is going to be exactly where mitt romney was today speaking and presumably he'll say mitt romney said he would veto the dream act. that's their basic argument that mitt romney is working around the edges here and talking about comprehensive reform but it's republicans in the senate who have along with democrats not produced the reform that anyone had in the communities been hoping for.
>> think we can assume president obama will get much more enthusiastic welcome from the latino officials. remember when romney tried to build a relationship with latino voters about what he's going to do. he don't refuse to say if he would reverse the executive action that president obama took to keep the young latinos here without fear of deportation for the next go years. he talks about he's going to impose, he'll reach a long term solution but he doesn't say how he'll do that and how he'll do that with voices in his own party that will object posed to letting any illegal immigrant whose are now here stay here. >> senator mccain, senator graham who have been active in trying to come up with an agreement during the mid-term elections pulled back there was no space on the hill for barack obama, for the white house to do anything. >> senator rubio said this is a really polarized, politicized issue. a lot of republicans think they
are on the wrong side of it, over the long term it will cost them dearly in national elections. but for the moment this is a time when governor romney during the primary said he would not only repeal the dream act he talked favorably of the arizona immigration law that is so detested by so many latino americans and talked about self-deportation. he has a long way to go to mend fences with latino voters. >> at the same time the president can't count on hispanic-americans being enthusiastic. he certainly improved on that record with what he did last friday but he still has a way to go in getting the real enthusiasm of that base to come out. >> he promise ad comprehensive bill himself four years ago. he hasn't delivered on that, number of deportations are at record levels. they both have challenges with this voter group that's so crucial. one thing we heard from mitt romney, economy really matters. hispanic has an 11% unemployment
rate worse than nonhispanics in the united states. so the argument that the economy isn't doing well enough under president obama is one that resonates with a lot of hispanics. >> and with other voters as well. that's why we have this closely fought election. neither campaign has been specific on issues. that is the conundrum that critics of the process say. >> this is an election that matters. if that's the case. a lot of critics are saying talk to us more about what you will do if you win. >> thank you for talking about the next 4 and that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. tamron hall has a look on what's next on news nation. >> a lot coming up. developing news for you. we just heard from president obama on student interest loan rates but we also heard from mitt romney regarding the president's new immigration policy. our news nation political panel that we assembled will score mr. romney's speech and talk about
the economy in the latino economy and unemployment. also we're going discuss a congressman now leaving washington, d.c. you will not believe what he is saying as he leaves out about you the voter. that's next on news nation. consider the journey of today's athletes. their training depends on technology. and when it takes a battery, there are athletes everywhere who trust duracell. they rely on copper to go for the gold. duracell. trusted everywhere. and soon...even more reason to trust duracell. duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. duralock. coming soon to every duracell battery. there's another way to help erase litter box odor. purina tidy cats.
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if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy? >> hi, everyone i'm tamron hall. president obama just wrapping up remarks at the white house where he put more heat on congress to renew the current interest rate cuts for student loans. as of july 1st interest rates will double. he said congress had plenty of time to fix this problem. >> this issue didn't come out of nowhere. it's been looming for months. but we've been stuck watching congress play chicken with another deadline. >> mitt romney has responded to president obama's new plan to allow some illegal immigrants who were brought here