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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  June 22, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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ben white. "rolling stone" executive editor, eric bates. the "new york times" jodi kantor, author of "the obamas" and the always buzzy ben smith. president obama is set to arrive in orlando in just a moment, where he will deliver a speech to the national association of latino elected and appointed officials. it comes a day after governor romney delivered his speech, where he kept mum on whether he would repeal the president's new policy on immigration. meanwhile, the romney campaign released four new television ads today, each individually geared towards separate swing states. the ads much like the governor's speech, are short on specifics and set vague goals. >> president romney's first 100 days, what will they mean for iowa? day one, president romney moves to repeal obamacare and attacks the deficit, starting with $20 billion in savings. by day 100, president romney is working towards a balanced budget. >> that was romney's pitch to
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iowans. in his north carolina ad, romney vows to cut taxes and spur growth in the high tech sector. romney tells ohio he will stand up to china on trade and repeal energy industry regulations and to virginia, he promises to reverse the president's offshore drilling policy. it sounds like an ambitious and very, very busy first hundred days. jodi kantor, there's been a lot of talk about what mitt romney needs to do, and one of the things that we hear a lot is that he's going to have to get specific. i wonder to what degree you think that kind of messaging works for the american electorate. >> what i think that messaging is about is that his positive ads have not been that great. we had the republican uber-pollster into the office this week to give us kind of a seminar and a.v. demonstration. it was really fantastic. it was ten reporters sitting in
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a room with him and we went through all the political ads of the season, both republican and democrat, and he analyzed each. what he said is that romney's negative ads are really effective but his positive ads are not. that's what they're trying to do here. >> okay. there's a lot to unpack there. ben, we know romney -- i mean, insofar as he's running positive ads now, i thought this was amazing in terms of -- there are a lot of phrases i could use to describe this choice, but romney is making a bid for hispanic voters and today, the team -- his election team announced a hispanic leadership teams in 15 states and in the announcement, romney wrote i am honored and humbled by the overwhelming support our campaign has received from hispanics across the country. i am overwhelmed and sort of stunned that he would even issue such a statement. >> it's overwhelming if you
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consider overwhelming being behind by about 36 points among hispanics. he's not getting overwhelming support. but clearly, he got put in the box a little by president obama's announcement on immigration and the changes he would like to see for the children of immigrants who came here illegally, so he had to do something. he had to go to the conference and try to staunch the bleeding among the hispanic vote, and you know, he's not going to win hispanics. he just nes to drive down the margin. to go back to those ads, one thing that was interesting in ohio, he talked about china, fighting china, stopping china's unfair trade practices. that's one of the things in his pitch that's among the more controversial, particularly among a lot of constituency in the business community that fears a trade war with china and really fears he follows up on some of the stuff he says he would do, china's going to slap tariffs on us. that's a big risk for him but plays well in ohio in manufacturing. >> of course. in fact, even on the immigration stuff, if you listen to the substance of his remarks yesterday, those were all immigration policies that business people favor.
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we're talking about high skilled laborers, green cards, educated immigrants, not really sort of the illegal undocumented worker problem. he didn't really take that on at all. ben, i want to play sound from bobby jindal on "morning joe" this morning talking about governor romney and his message. >> governor romney, on the other hand, is talking about energy policies that allow us to produce more energy at home, talking about repealing obamacare, talking about cutting taxes, cutting spending. i think the most important thing governor romney can do is make sure voters understand this is not about personalities, not about speaking styles. it's about two very different visions for america. >> okay. we know the president gave a 54-minute speech that really went hard on sort of republican vision for the country but i still maintain we have not heard any kind of vision for the country as far as romney's plan. >> i think you are likely to continue to hear very vague, broad strokes. romney wants to fade into the background. romney isn't trying to make it as jindal said about personalities, he's trying to say i'm competent, i'm a good
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guy, and obama's fundamentally unacceptable and to ask people to reject obama, not to embrace him. that's sort of the core of his strategy. >> right. he's the alternate none of the above. >> for so long, the president was on the defensive about immigration policy and with last friday's announcement, he was able to split the republican party and romney has a very tough choice in terms of what to say. >> do you think there's a lot of talk about jeb bush. i think we have limited sound. let's play that. i want to ask you a question about it, as i always do. >> as a former governor, i was asked by secretary duncan to introduce our current president of the united states in a high school in miami, because we share common ground and i don't know about you, but when we find common ground, we shouldn't fight anymore. we should move on and build on that success. apparently one can get in trouble when they say these kinds of things but i happen to believe it's the american way. >> okay. jeb bush, a lot of analysts said that he stole the show there. do you think, we talk a lot
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about this sort of fractured republican caucus. do you think if mitt romney was a stronger leader or the gop had a stronger candidate that commanded respect from all corners of the party, you could have a message like that coming from a republican candidate for president? >> no, probably not, but i think that's a big hypothetical because that's the problem for the republicans right now, is they can't decide which direction to go in. right now the tea party has seized the party and steered it hard right, and you're going to see moderating voices come out, particularly if there's a loss, saying okay, we got to course correct here. the thing about the immigration vote, the immigration issue, is they know the writings wr's on wall. they're trying to eke out a win going against demographic trends. the trends are against them in terms of women, in terms of his pan hispanic vote, in terms of african-american, in terms of the youth vote. so they're going to have to change course. there's going to be an increasing voice for the moderates in the party to say wait a minute, we're not going to be a party anymore if we keep
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this up. >> well -- go ahead. >> romney's vagueness is not only targeted at immigration advocates. i'm sure he would like to make a big deal with democrats in the senate when he's elected president and his vagueness is also targeted at not pinning him down on what republicans would like him to commit to on the immigration issue. his demographic trends, if romney is the president who cuts the big deal, all of a sudden it doesn't look like the democrats win hispanics forever. i'm not sure -- i think romney's vagueness doesn't necessarily mean he's going to tack right. >> there's only so far he can go from where he was in the republican primary which was very hard right on immigration and self-deportation and fences and everybody one-up themselves to try to be the hardest person on immigration. if he were to go left on that, he would be flip-flopping so what he's doing is softening the edges, taking the margin down among hispanics voting for president obama and deciding what his policy is. he can't go all the way back. >> he's tonally right on immigration but he's very good
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at not getting pinned down on stuff. the fact he still hasn't said whether he would overturn or uphold this executive order, he can't pull that off forever but it's sort of amazing he's lasted this long without giving a yes or no answer. he's nowhere on a lot of this stuff which gives him room to maneuver. >> he could try to make up the ground by getting a big deal done on immigration reform if he's in office. >> not punt but throw a very short pass. >> he's overwhelmed by the support he's gotten thus far. maybe he can stop while he's ahead. i want to talk about the op-ed in the "wall street journal" that talks about the president's problems on messaging. when the white house sends out spokesmen to make the case for him, it's campaign operatives like david plouffe and david axelrod. where are the heavyweights, the great men and women of the democratic party? hiding, unable to make the case, not trusted to make the case, or are the political guys the only heavyweights in the administration. what do you make of that? >> what about tim geithner?
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he's a heavyweight. he's secretary of the treasury. >> he's not on "now with alex wagner." >> jodi, it is true that we know there's been some surrogate-gate as of late with corey booker and bill clinton, although i don't know if he's anybody's surrogate. what do you make about that statement, more folks sitting on their hands and not coming forward speaking on behalf of the president? >> since the beginning of 2007 when i started to cover this president i always heard the same thing from his aides about surrogates which is he doesn't like to have a lot of surrogates, he likes to speak for himself. he's comfortable with michelle obama speaking for him. there are a handful of other messengers he really trusts to speak for him. i think there's that question of who the surrogates are going to be and also, what he is going to say about his experience of the presidency, the contradiction i keep coming back to is that this is the memoirist president who
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observes everything, who is a writer, and who has the most interesting job in the world. and so to what extent can he connect by taking us inside a little bit more and showing us through his eyes what he's seen in the last couple of years. >> i'm just saying when are we going to see the return of robert gibbs. robert gibbs. when are we going to see a return to the mike? people have been waiting. coming up, how to make a bad relationship even worse. we'll take a look at the potential political and legislative fallout from the fast and furious investigation, next. i want healthy skin for life. [ female announcer ] improve the health of your skin with aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. the natural oatmeal formula improves skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] only from aveeno. yoo-hoo. hello.
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i think that if he did this,
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then i think that there's something -- there's something that they don't want us to know and there's something to hide. >> that was the mother of slain border agent, brian terry, last night questioning whether the white house is engaging in a coverup of the fast and furious program. president obama and speaker john boehner had hoped to avoid a partisan battle over the controversial initiative, but that has so far proved impossible and next week, the house is expected to vote on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. eric, there's a new story out in politico discussing sort of the background, the tick-tock on fast and furious and basically the story, the nugget is that house republicans had to convince the speaker that this was worth pursuing, that there was something there, this wasn't just a sort of cooked-up controversy to hurt the white house and of course, the attorney general. in the end, boehner seems to have gotten the confidence that he wanted but i thought this was really interesting. they quote a former justice department spokesperson who says they, the republicans, have
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created their own problem because they made so many outrageous statements and created expectations that something big is going to happen. the republican leadership in the house is known for a long time that this is a fight they didn't want to have, but were going to be forced to by their base -- but were going to be forced by their base to have. in the broad sort of -- in the broad analysis of this story, who do you think is harmed more, the white house or the republicans that have pushed this through? because certainly, using executive privilege has sort of raised hackles that the white house needs to be more transparent, et cetera, et cetera. then again, the republicans may end up with egg on their face if there's nothing at the root of this. >> both sides have shot themselves in the foot. they're both helped and both hurt. it's a draw. the republicans box themselves into a corner, as you said, and their divisions are out in the open over this but at the same time, they've sort of forced the president into a position where he for the first time used executive privilege which makes him look like he has something
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to hide. that's a very easy selling point. it's very clear the white house is wrong on this in terms of transparency. they should be letting people know what's going on. whether they're wrong politically or not is a different question when the people who want the information don't plan to use it impartially, don't plan to use it even fairly, probably, and i think the clinton -- the obama white house learned from the clinton white house experience around whitewater that if you hand over something like this, you're just opening a pandora's box. it can be used all kinds of ways. i think both sides took a blow on this that makes them look bad. >> i think, you know, the american public don't follow this story very closely, don't really know what it's about other than that it sounds like a movie they once saw. it is' not something they're paying close attention to. the sound bite they're going to get, the headline they will get, is white house invokes executive privilege. whatever you say about the fact the house hearings are a political show meant to embarrass the white house, all that is probably true. there is a serious matter at the root of all this, that we could be investigating and talking
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about that matters a lot. this investigation is not really intended to get at that but the ultimate outcome is going to be president has invoked executive privilege, what is he hiding. why doesn't he want to give these documents over. ultimately it's worse for the white house than house republicans. >> the underlying story is ugly. there aren't a lot of people defending the operation of letting guns walk. there's a lot of people defending the false letter sent to congress, which they had to walk back and blame the local people in arizona for supplying the bad information. it's really a mess on the merits. you see this agent terry's family, it's a compelling story. >> from what we hear, the reason the white house is invoking executive privilege is because they have given over thousands of documents. the republicans have what they need as far as fast and furious goes. this is really an attempt to get correspondence on how they're going to handle this and just embarrass the white house. to ben's point, i don't know that people are involved in the nuances of all that, so they hear the president is trying to hide something, that's bad, but i don't know. at the end of the day, i think
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the white house also could have taken the posture which is okay, we'll give you everything you want and you guys can keep distracting yourselves with these nonissues while the middle class gets hammered, while jobs aren't being created and we're trying to focus on things to move the economy forward. >> it's the classic political conundrum, faced with a situation like this, do you block what's going on or do you say go at it, i have nothing to deny, you can have everything. but i think part of what we do see here is the relationship between the polarization in washington and the growing use of executive power, because the more ugly and fractious and difficult things become, the harder it is to get things done, the more presidents say i want control. >> you get the sense of frustration, surely, from the white house, first of all, you guys have been the most obstructionist congress ever and now you are going to occupy yourselves with this nonsense. >> yeah, not to minimize the mess that is fast and furious
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but this really is one program in a vast sea of department of justice activity and you know, somebody said during the break we're talking about fast and furious but we're not talking about gun control. >> i think that person was me. >> exactly. >> the idea, the notion, the reality is here, eric, we could be talking about the war on drugs and how ineffective it's been. we could be talking about drug control. but we're talking about eric holder's e-mail. >> i thought the republicans were in favor of handing out guns to everyone. it's confusing what their position is on this. the other thing that's getting lost is how much part of the status quo this is. the program itself is a program run under the bush administration, very similar kind of gun smuggling operations to try to bust the drug cartels in mexico, and the use of executive privilege itself is very commonplace. it's the first time obama's wielded it but it's not out of line for what presidents have done, including george w. bush. so none of this is abnormal in terms of the politics of washington. it's only abnormal in terms of
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as jodi said, the level of polarization that it's reached to where every part of the kabuki theater is taken as the end of the universe. >> i was waiting for someone to say kabuki theater. now we can officially go to break. after the break, does what happened in utah stay in utah? the gop glitterati descend on park city for a weekend of strategizing. we'll get a live report on the weekend at romney's. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites.
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innovation that excites. what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our 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. top republican donors, strategists, politicians and potential vp candidates are streaming into park city, utah today. that's where mitt romney is hosting a weekend retreat for the who's who of the gop. if they look for some local press at the newsstands, what will they find? the latest issue of "salt lake
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magazine" has the cover, the myth of mitt. think romney saved utah's olympic games? think again. the article reads in the decade that followed, no one has done more to remind the world of the questionable ethical origins of the 2002 olympics than romney. never mind the scandal itself had little to do with salt lake city. never threatened the viability of the games and was in historical context an olympic-sized trifle. nbc news campaign imbed garrett haich is traveling with the romney campaign and is in park city, utah. great to see you. >> thanks. good to be here. >> tell us a little bit about the mood there. i thought the "salt lake magazine" cover story is the may-june issue so not exactly timed to hit when this getaway is happening, but certainly undermining mitt's legacy vis a vis the 2002 olympics is not the best kind of press when you have a bunch of people arriving in town. >> no, but you know what, that's not going to push very far here in utah. i can tell you this.
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there's really no way to overstate how big of a political celebrity mitt romney is here. i met with a prominent utah republican yesterday who said you talk to most people in republican circles here, in their mind, he already is the president. there's a formality in november to get him selected but you have to remember he's now the most prominent mormon politician of all time, the olympic legacy here, there's still a debate over it but for folks, if you look around in park city, this is a town that primarily exists in the fashion it does today because of those olympics. so to chip away at his reputation in utah would be kind of a tough road to hoe. >> let's talk about the attendees at this soiree. karl rove is going to be there. we know he is running one of the largest super pacs expected to benefit mitt romney. there is to be no coordination between campaigns and super pacs. how do you think that will play out? i'm sure everyone will want face time with karl rove. surely it will be difficult to
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avoid getting any campaign strategy to the campaign operatives themselves. >> well, the rules on this are so convoluted and so sticky when it comes to super pacs and donors and the campaign, there's nothing illegal about karl rove being here. there's nothing illegal about him talking to the same donors that talk to the romney folks, but this is the kind of thing that has democrats up in arms and frankly, a little bit concerned. when you've got the same rain makers who are able to write $50,000 checks to romney's campaign and would write more if they could, well, there's someone there in the building who they could write a bigger check to if they were so inclined. there is an opportunity for both the donors, for people like karl rove and for the other politicians who are going to be attending this event to sort of hobnob with the people who can finance their campaigns for a long time. >> those of us locked in cells in new york and washington and not on the road, we hear a lot about the confidence in boston. tell us what the mood is like among the campaign core,
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especially going into this weekend. >> sure. the romney staff, even all the way up into the high command, they feel pretty good about where they are right now. you can just take a look at the bus tour that just wrapped up earlier this week. look at the states we were in. we were campaigning in wisconsin, we were campaigning in michigan. these are not states that the republicans have had any success in in the last 20 years. their idea here is if they can get the obama administration to play defense in states like this, you know, they're going to have the force of weight behind them. the obama people sort of concede they are going to get outspent in this thing. so if the romney campaign and their allies can even make the president spend time in places like michigan, in places like wisconsin, if he has to defend those places, it's a whole different map. also, by the way, just the fact that the entire boston hierarchy has cleared out to come to utah this weekend, that almost never happens. there's very few folks left in boston who are not here in utah handling this donor event this weekend. >> i want to bring in our panel a little. ben, you were nodding your head when garrett was talking about forcing team obama to spend in
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states where they don't want to. money is obviously going to be a huge part of this. one thing that i think a sort of a news tidbit that came to light this week was that the tension between state level governors and the romney campaign, when it comes to touting positive economic news. the sort of foremost example was that of rick scott, who has been sort of playing up florida's recovery, and apparently was asked although the romney team has pushed back on this, asked to sort of stop heralding the good news. john kasich in ohio, similar story there. it's a weird tension between the state governors and i would say some folks in congress who are trying to get re-elected or bump up their popularity numbers or have a good term in office and the romney campaign which has thus far banked on the fact the economy is headed south or at least flailing. >> it's a funny situation because the economy is not uniform. in fact, ohio's doing okay as these things go. michigan's doing okay as these things go.
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florida, rick scott is touting a very, very small -- i think a .1% decrease in unemployment as like this huge thing to celebrate. romney at the same time is trying to tell -- i'm not sure it's going to work. it's not exactly a great job surge. but what exactly the conversation was between the romney campaign and scott is disputed, but certainly the romney campaign doesn't want these governors out there cheerleading the economy. these governors' job is to cheerlead the economy. >> what sense do you get of the relationship between romney and some of the state governors as he's gone across -- scott walker gave a sort of, he's certainly been on the campaign trail with romney but has comments that were off-message during the magical mitt-stry tour or the bus tour. tell us about the dynamic on the state level between the governors and governor romney. >> sure. the romney campaign would like to draft off the success of some of these republican governors. you see this with rick snyder in
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michigan and with scott walker to a lesser degree in wisconsin. they're saying these are guys able to put in place the kind of conservative reforms that romney would want to do if he were president, and sort of say yeah, of course it's getting better in michigan, look what their governor has been able to do. now just imagine if we could do this on a national level. i asked a romney advisor about this during a conference call, who said exactly that, that you would see a romney presidency that operates like kasich, like walker, like christie in new jersey. and i would point also, alex, you guys were talking about the new ads today. when you look at those ads, note sort of how they talk about jobs and how they talk about the economy in different states. we were in iowa a few weeks ago when romney gave this big speech about debt. the unemployment rate in iowa is significantly better than the national average. aside from the line about getting rid of the president's health care reform, the ad in iowa focuses on the debt, not jobs. so they're trying to break this out in areas where they can't say this is a jobs issue, they can sort of point to other factors of the economy as the things he would like to address. >> it's certainly a tailored
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message. i notice he talked about the high tech sector in north carolina where there's sort of booming industry. the issue, though, is he's supposed to get this all done in 100 days which is a lot of work for any guy. garrett, i have to leave it here but i do need to ask since you're on the ground, with the swishy fund-raiser like this, are there goodie bags, do you know what's on the menu? can you give us intel on the bells and whistles? >> i can tell you there is -- i've been in some nicer hotels than these but not very many. i got to tell you, this is a very posh setup here. the guests get their booklet when they check in, then they are basically taken care of from the time they arrive to the time they leave. there are big dinners with governor romney and his wife both nights. it's really, it's summer camp basically for the sort of rain maker class of republican donors. >> summer camp for the rain maker class. nbc's garrett haich doing the heavy lifting in park city. thank you, as always. good luck to you. >> can we make one quick point about the fact that they're
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doing this bus tour and putting the obama camp on the defensive? just going to a state doesn't mean the other candidate is on the defensive. you can say that's the case, doesn't make it the case just because you go there. michigan is tightening up. wisconsin a little less low. just because you take a bus tour to the state doesn't mean you have the other candidate on the defensive. >> it does signal an interest in the state given the fact the party hasn't done very well in decades. fair point. thank you to you, ben white for joining us. coming up, from middle class to homeless. as the net worth of the average american family plummets, time to take stock of the american dream. we'll talk hard times next. ] du know the average person smiles 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. you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you wanted a firm bed you can
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[ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. would you mind if to be i go ahead of you?omer. instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. people don't like to miss out on money that should have been theirs. that's why at ally we have the raise your rate 2-year cd. you can get a one-time rate increase if our two-year rate goes up. if your bank makes you miss out, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. no group was harder hit by the great recession than the middle class, which has seen nearly two decades of wealth disappear. in a new "rolling stone" article, it's reported about the fallen, average americans who lost their jobs and homes and
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are now living out of their cars. quote, even if you've been unemployed for a year and are months delinquent on your mortgage, you still won't have a mental category for your own homelessness. it's impossible to project yourself into this scenario. the reality, when it occurs and endures, seems to have sprung from nowhere. joining us is the host of martin bashir, mr. martin bashir, who starting monday can be seen right here on this very channel at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. congratulations on that, sir. we're excited. we wish you had just been given two full hours. not that we're not excited about the new show. >> let's move on to the story. >> okay. eric, this is in your magazine. i want to get both your thoughts. we talk about the cratering of wealth in this country, the fact that 20 years of middle class wealth has been wiped out by the great recession. the other story is of course that of the long term unemployed. those numbers are up, 5.4 million, up -- 5.4 million in may up from 5.1 million in
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april. that is 43% of the unemployed in this country. you're talking about people who are now in the case of the folks profiled in the story, living effectively hand to mouth so the notion of staying on top of the job market and maintaining skills and sort of job preparedness goes out the window when you're literally talking about people who are foraging for food in parking lots. >> i read the article. i'm not just saying this. it's a depressing but brilliant piece. i'm interested in what mitt romney would say about how you would fill the gaps in this problem. how do you resolve this problem. his answer would be that you cut taxes and you reduce welfare and the safety net and things get better. i'm still struggling to understand how anyone living in their car is going to benefit. at the same time, there's no desire for any kind of redistribution of taxes as far as he's concerned because that's evil and that's socialist so we can't do that. so what are we left with?
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we're left with an individual who may well be in the white house for whom these people who are sleeping in their cars will receive no help whatsoever and that's the reality of an article that is bleak and depressing. do you agree that when you look at it and then you look for solutions to resolve this in the political spectrum, where does it come from? who's talking about these issues? >> in fact, it's worse than that because the very social services that these people now depend on and let's make clear, these are middle class people who owned successful businesses, who were never unemployed a day in their lives who are now living in a car, they go to get food stamps and are told because you have a car, we can't give you food stamps, sell your car. they're like but we're living in our car with our children, you know. they say sorry, until you have less than $500, until you basically are down to your last meal, we can't give you food stamps and the republicans are talking about cutting those very services. >> that's the issue. food stamps are not a way to get back on your feet and return to the life you once had. it's literally subsistence
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level. you're talking about $91 a month to feed a family. it's worth noting the center on budget and policy priorities talks about how tax, after tax income inequality has worsened between 1979 and 2007. the top 1% saw their after tax income rise 277%. the middle 60%, their incomes rose 38%. the bottom 20% increased 18%. the thing that i do not understand, mitt romney's plan, this sort of one thing we know is he will cut taxes across the board and they will disproportionately benefit the top 10%, why do people vote against their own economic interests? if you are a working class blue collar american, what -- how do you stand to benefit from that tax plan? >> well, i guess what i would ask is when jeff reported this article, did he find that some of these folks felt strongly about supporting obama because i remember at the end of the 2008 campaign, i went down to florida to look at the ground game and i met a lot of people like this, and the obama campaign had
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become their job. they wanted a place to show up every day, they wanted an identity and that campaign became that. i found myself wondering about those people over the last couple of months, saying what became of them, did they get jobs, do they still believe. >> yeah. these are folks who are just really focused on their own desperation and of trying to get out of their cars and these parking lots and in some cases, they were living in their cars with their children in the parking lots. that's really their sole focus. one of the striking things when we decided to do this story, what struck us is how invisible this fall has been. if you think about the great depression and soup lines and soup kitchens and tent cities, there was a little bit of flurry of tent cities a few years ago when we were in the wake of the foreclosure crisis but where are the images from this recession that's been the longest since the great depression, that has millions of people out of work and now an increasing number of people out of their home and on the streets, yet it's really invisible to our eyes.
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we really wanted to go out and try to make it human and show it in a very vivid way because it just hasn't been out there in that way. >> you talk about policies and the impact of people voting against their own interests. the attack on the affordable health care act is similar in the way that it will eviscerate the provision that is currently granted for people who are living with their parents, who don't have access to cadillac gold plated insurance plans and again, every time we talk about this issue, we hear romney say i'm going to repeal obamacare, it's hopeless, it's dreadful. actually, there doesn't often seem to be an explanation of why this will benefit and does benefit people. it is almost self-injurious all the time. >> you also don't read this article and say the status quo's great. >> no, you don't. >> that is almost the point. you are so subsumed with economic woe, it almost doesn't matter what the plan is. just bring someone else in.
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it's incredibly powerful. i can't recommend this story enough and something everybody should read as we talk about the economic crisis. after the break, it sparked outrage and compassion. a viral video of a bullied school bus monitor may reveal something deeper about american society, next. ♪music plays throughout summer in new york state has something different for everyone to love. discover what you love. visit ilovenewyork.com to plan your summer trip now. that could adapt to changing road conditions. one that continually monitors and corrects for wheel slip. we imagined a vehicle that can increase emergency braking power
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summer in new york state has something different for everyone to love. discover what you love. visit ilovenewyork.com to plan your summer trip now. oh, my god, you're so fat. look at all this blubber here. >> if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. >> shut the [ bleep ] up. >> probably misses her box of twinkies. >> that was from a video posted online showing seventh graders in new york bullying a 68-year-old school bus monitor. the video has gotten nearly four million hits. it has prompted outrage and outpouring of support and at least one serious question. does cruelty know no bounds? eric, we were talking about this during the break. there are a lot of things to
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unpack in this. one of them is certainly cruelty can be sort of spread across the internet in a way that when the internet didn't exist, it couldn't be spread across the internet, but cruelty can go viral in a way that it couldn't in other times, and certainly, there's been a lot of attention on the issue of bullying. the president and first lady have taken this on as an issue. it gets better campaign, of course. i wonder, tell us about what your thoughts were when you saw the video. >> well, one thought was it reminded me of my school bus ride in the mornings. it's not that different -- >> when you were little. >> when i was little, yes. no, yesterday. but yeah, kids can be mean. what's striking is that this was the woman whose job it was to control and contain that very kind of situation who clearly was sort of unable to figure out a way to deal with it. so it makes you worry about the other kids on the bus, too, who had probably been subjected to this kind of behavior who didn't have an adult there to protect
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them. the other problem is the kids themselves getting labeled as bullies. your 15-year-old kid, if you're acting like that, you obviously have a lot of problems in your life, you need help and guidance, you need to be able to learn and grow from your mistakes. what you don't need is a whole big heaping of national ridicule which is what we get today that kids in our era wouldn't have gotten. it makes the problem worse. >> all of those children have apologized via the police department although no one was directly apologized to the bus mon t monitor herself. >> there's something about the way this went viral and the way that virality changes people's behavior. there's like $400,000 raised to send her on vacation. what an insane thing to do. maybe some amount of money but like people are so eager to have a solution to this problem and like i want to do something positive myself in response. so almost anything will do. like, this was not a rational particularly response. >> the other responses online, too, you look at comments to the youtube video where people are saying those kids should die, their parents should die, let's
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get their names, let's let their comments follow them throughout their lives, get their names. >> it's the bullying of bullies. >> what's interesting, you watched the condemnation of these children's behavior, some of the people who have been most vociferous in their condemnation of this conduct are actually the most vicious and inappropriate when it comes to what they say about the president and his background and life, his origins, religious faith, family, wife. the early references that were barely concealed attacks on michelle obama. so it's been interesting to see this absolute outflow of anger and animosity coming from individuals who themselves behave like that on a daily basis. also, the other thing is, the facts especially i believe in most states is that we've seen a decline in crime so in terms of serious actions, many young people are actually not behaving like this. this isn't an exemplar of the generation of young people. i've got three children. they don't behave like this. you've got young children.
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they wouldn't. it's not true. >> not yet. we will leave it at that. coming up, take a walk -- taking wake on the wild side. we look back at the politicos who took the road less traveled this week. 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. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] get the mileage card with special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? [ male announcer ] the united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in. explorer card. ♪ what started as a whisper
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it's time to look back and ask what just happened? [ bird calls ] >> this week, perfectly normal people took a walk on the wild side. >> he lungeed and almost hit me in the teeth. >> prominent democrats got jiggy with it while the first lady was given an impromptu citizenship trial by fire. >> you could be deported.
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>> on capitol hill, the fast and furious investigation took a page out of the fast and the furious. >> we have made many attempts to accommodate the justice department. >> it don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. >> the subpoenas are eight months old. >> winning's winning. >> a contempt report is voted to the house. >> a former heavyweight debuted a softer side. >> i'm pretty naked there. >> you will not be really naked, everybody will be disappointed. >> the main contender tried a little tenderness. the magical mitt-stry tour gave voters the chance to see the real romney. >> that was water dropping down from the ceiling. you see that? it's so hot here the building is sweating. >> cocoa puffs is one of the guy's favorites. >> the eagles, i remember being here and seeing a lot of eagles.
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>> i went to a place today called wawa's. ever been to a place called wawa's? wawa's. >> he's playing a little prank on the press while they're off the bus. >> i erased your hard drives. >> just don't be you. >> having shown his lighter side, romney demonstrated he was still a man of action, someone who could walk the walk and prove he was willing to sacrifice anything for this country, even his khakis. >> this is so much fun. it's so much fun running for president, i got to tell you. >> the week that was. ben smith, who won the week? >> gosh. i think mitt romney had a pretty good week in the end. i will give it to him. >> wet khakis or no. jodi? >> the idea that the best way to test a president is to send him around the country in a bus and have him playing with rolling pins, that is, you know, i think that idea won the week.
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>> mitch mcconnell, it's astonishing to me the way the republicans have lined up. in the next week, they will have eric holder cited with contempt and they could well have the individual mandate on the health care reform tossed out. they are the most incredible party that from the beginning of this presidency, targeted this president and they have done absolutely everything to oppose him and they are achieving their end. it's remarkable whether you like it or whether you don't, it's unbelievable. >> whether it's to the detriment of american society or not. eric holder, who won the week? >> eric bates. >> sorry. >> eric holder definitely didn't win. >> attorney general eric bates. >> michelle obama, hands down. you saw that double dutch. let's get ann romney out there and give her a shot at that. >> that was a fierce double dutch. >> that was fast and furious. >> so good. you just won the week. thanks again to eric, martin,
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jodi and ben. do not forget, starting monday, martin bashir airs at 4:00 p.m. set your clock forward. that's all for now. see you back here monday at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific. until then, find us on facebook. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. states enrolled in the national math and science initiative... ...which helped students and teachers get better results in ap courses. together, they raised ap test scores 138%. just imagine our potential... ...if the other states joined them. let's raise our scores. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this.
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