tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 11, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
definitively. if i'm president, job one for me will be creating jobs. let me say that again. my agenda is not to put in place a series of policies that get me a lot of attention and applause. my policy will be number one, create jobs for the american people. i do not have a hidden agenda. and i submit to you this. if you want a president who will make things better in the african-american community, you are looking at him. you take a look. finally, i will address the institutionalized inequality in our education system. and i know something about this from my time as governor. in the years before i took office, our state's leaders had come together to pass bipartisan measures that were making a difference. in reading and in math, our students were already among the best in the nation. and during my term, they took
over the top spot. those results revealed what good teachers can do if the system will let them. the problem was, this success wasn't shared. a significant achievement gap between students of different races remained. so we set out to do our best to close it. i urged faster interventions in failing schools and the funding to go along with it. i promoted math and science excellence in schools. and proposed paying bonuses to our best teachers. i refused to weaken testing standards and instead raised them to graduate from high school in massachusetts students had to pass an exam in math and english and i added a science requirement as well. and i put in place a merit scholarship for all those students who excelled. the top 25% of students in each high school in massachusetts were awarded a john and abigail adams scholarship.
four years, tuition free at any massachusetts public institution of higher learning. and when i was governor, not only did our test scores improve, we also narrowed the achievement gap. the teachers unions weren't happy with a number of these reforms. they especially did not like our emphasis on choice through charter schools which is a great benefit to inner city kids trapped in underperforming schools. accordingly, the legislature passed a moratorium on any new charter schools. in boston and harlem and los angeles and all across the country, charter schools are giving children a chance. children that otherwise could be locked in failing schools as inspired just a few weeks ago by the students in one of kenny gambel's charter schools in philadelphia and here in houston is another remarkable success story, the knowledge is power program which has set the
standard, thanks to the grownbreaking work of the late harriet ball. these charter schools are doing a lot more than closing the achievement gap. they are bringing hope and real opportunity to places where, for years, there's been none. charter schools are so successful that almost every politician can find something good to say about them. but as we saw in massachusetts, true reform requires much more than talk. as governor, i vetoed the bill blocking charter schools. but my legislature was 87% democrat and my veto could easily have been overwritten. so i joined with the black legislative caucus and their votes helped preserve my veto which meant new charter schools, including some in urban neighborhoods would be opened. when it comes to education reform, candidates can't have it
both ways. talking up education reform while indulging the same groups that are blocking reform, you can be the voice of disadvantaged public school students or you can be the protector of special interest like the teachers unions. but you can't be both. i've made my choice. as president, i will be a champion of real education reform in america, and i won't let any special interest get in the way. i will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school. for the first time in history if i'm president, federal education funds will be linked to a student so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school they choose. and i'll make that a true choice because i'm going to ensure there are good options available for every child.
and should i be elected president, i'll lead as i did when i was governor. i'm pleased to be joined by the reverend jeffrey brown who was a member of my kitchen cabinet in massachusetts. that cabinet helped guide my policy and actions that affected the african-american community in particular. i'll look for support wherever there's good will and shared conviction and i'll work with you to help our children attend better schools and help our economy create good jobs with better wages. i can't promise you that i'll agree on every issue, but i do promise that your hospitality to me today will be returned. we will know one another. and we will work to common purpose. i will seek your counsel and if i'm elected president and you invite me to next year's
convention, i would count it as a privilege. and my answer will be yes. you know, the republican party's record by the measures you rightly apply is not perfect. any party that claims a perfect record doesn't know history the way you know it. yet always in both party there have been men and women of integrit edecency and humility who have called injustice by its name. for every one of us, a particular person comes to mind. someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example. for me that man is my father, george romney. it wasn't just that my dad helped write the civil rights
provision for the michigan constitution, though he did. it wasn't just that he helped create michigan's first civil rights commission or that as governor he marched for civil rights on the streets of detroit. though he did those things, too. more than these acts, it was the kind of man he was and the way he dealt with every person, black or white. he was a man of the fairest instincts and a man of faith who knew that every person was a child of god. i'm grateful to him for so many things and, above all, for the knowledge of god. whose ways are not always our ways but whose justice is certain and whose mercy endures forever.
every good cause on this earth relies in the end on a plan bigger than ours. without dependence on god, dr. king said, our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises in the darkest night. unless his spirit pervades our lives, we find only what g.k. chesterton called cures that don't cure, blessings that don't bless and solutions that don't solve. end of quote. of all that you bring to the work of today's civil rights cause, no advantage counts for more than this abiding confidence in the name above every name. against cruelty, arrogance and all the foolishness of man, this spirit has carried the naacp to many victories. more still are up ahead. so many convictries are ahead. and with each one of them, we
will be a better nation. thank you so much and god bless every one of you. thank you. >> and you've been listening to mitt romney addressing the naacp trying to accomplish what many consider a mission impossible. making his case to african-american voters. a very good day. i'm richard lui in for thomas roberts. this is romney's biggest overture toward this traditionally democratic voter group. a group that president obama won by 95% four years ago. the presumptive gop nominee trying to chip away at that numb number this november. the target of his strategy, their hearts and their bank accounts. >> i believe that if you understood who i truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what i believe is in the real enduring best interest of american african-american families, you would vote for me for president. now i want you to know that if i did not believe that my policies
and my leadership would help families of color and families of any color, more than the policies and leadership of president obama, i wouldn't be running for president. >> governor romney saying that just about 20 minutes ago. romney's economic appeal to the naacp comes at a time when unemployment among african-americans is higher than the national average. you see those numbers there. 14.4% to 8.2%. joining me now is congressman emmanuel. let's get your thought on how did romney do? >> first of all, i would give governor romney an "a" for attending the naacp convention and speaking. i think that the time has passed when republican candidates for the highest office in the land cede the black vote. i would give him a "c" for some
of the positions he took, but an "f" on the politics. i don't know if he has any african-americansviation him at the much to his campaign staff, but it would have been horrible advice if someone gave it to him to go into the naacp convention in houston texas and then criticize president obama. it was obvious that they have differences or they wouldn't have been running against each other. so you leave that out and you speak. i thought that the end of his speech was very, very powerful. but i think that with an african-american audience, he missed out on an opportunity to talk about many of the things that matter in a way that the audience could accept. for example, the whole charter school issue. we have charter schools all over the country. but when you talk about closing the charter schools, i mean, making everybody open to going to a charter school, it means the end, i think, to public
schools. and the problem with charter schools is that there are some students you can turn away. in the public schools you have to accept everyone. so when you go to a black audience and create that idea that some students might end up being turned away is not going to play well. >> you know, congressman, another issue that he brought up that did not get good reaction had to do with health care. obama care specifically. and this is where he was booed. take a listen. >> yes. >> we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. and so -- and so to do that, i'm going to eliminate every nonessential expensive program i can find. that includes obama care, and i'm going to work to reform and save -- [ audience booing ]
you know, there was a survey -- there was a survey of the chamber of commerce. >> now congressman, you heard the booing and let's get local for a second. you are very aware of the dynamics there when it comes to health care. 26% to 133% of the poverty line. they will be the victims if the aca, the affordable care act is not implemented. many of them will be african-american. so this audience, this local audience is listening to that statement about the elimination of obama care and they may not like that at all. >> well, here again, i don't know who is advising governor romney from the african-american perspective, but i would give him an f-minus on talking about obama care. in terms of repealing it. not to this audience. if you want to talk about, we've got to find a longlasting solution to the rising cost of
health care, okay. now i didn't support the booing. i think that was inappropriate, but predictable when you start saying i'm going to eliminate something that the african-american community has embraced in numbers larger than any other component of the american society. he should never have gone there in the first place. i think that his advisers are not serving him well in that kind of a context. >> before we go, net/net, did governor romney walk away with more african-american voters supporting him you think than when he entered and when he started that speech? >> i think he walked away with some african-american appreciation at a higher level. i think the content is not just showing up. it's the content that matters. i think in terms of the content, nothing changed. the people who -- african-american who support him will continue to support him. it's going to be somewhere around 3%, maybe 5%.
but he didn't change anything. he had an opportunity, i think, to push the needle over just a little if he had not gone into somewhat of a criticism of obama in a crowd like that. >> congressman emmanuel cleaver, chair of the congressional black caucus. appreciate your time today. more with the political power panel after a break. and later this hour, reaction from congressman james clyburn as well. ale announcer ] research suggests the health of our cells plays a key role throughout our entire lives. ♪ one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. ♪ it has more of seven antioxidants to support cell health. that's one a day men's 50+ healthy advantage.
you were just listening as well. i to believe what mitt romney was saying. i spoke directly with the president this morning. let's listen to this first and i'll get your reaction. >> someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the 44th president of the united states, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised. picturing that day we might have assumed that the american presidency would be the very last door of opportunity to be opened. before that came to pass, every other barrier on the path to equal opportunity would surely have had to come down. of course it hasn't happened quite that way. many barriers remain. old inequities persist. in some ways the challenges are even more complicated than before. >> april you spent some time with mitt romney on the campaign trail in michigan. also the one, i believe, who broke the news that he would be addressing the naacp convention. when you listen to what he has just said, what has the
president done for the african-american community that will energize them to get them to the polls and that's what mitt romney was saying there. >> you know, beyond the picture of the first black president, which is very significant for not just african-americans, for people in this nation period because of the history of this nation, this president feels successly right now with this -- his push for the extension of the bush tax cuts, the white house believes that will impact african-american and latino americans who are disproportion ately affected. also and i listened as well when governor romney received the boos on the affordable -- trying to repeal the affordable health care act. now you have to remember, african-americans benefit very much so with the health care reform law because, one, many african-americans have pre-existing conditions.
and that now is not an obstacle. also, many community health clinics will be created through the affordable care act in many communities that just don't have decent or any kind of medical care facility there. so african-americans are benefitting to a certain extent. yes there is still a disproportionate number of african-americans without work. that is true. we still have a lot of disparities. but change does not happen right away as we know. >> that's what mitt romney is trying to hit on and trying to get some of those if there are any swing votes from the african-american community. there's a gallup tracking poll of black voters. it found only 5% said they support romney right now. and that's compared to nearly 90% for the president. so for romney, is this really less about appealing the black voters and more about sending a message to white independent voters who are looking for a candidate that does have broad
appeal across various groups. >> when it comes to the african-american community, mitt romney is not going to make any significant inroads. president obama will get roughly the same percentage of the black vote he did the last election. but my instinct tells me the strategy here was, obviously, do i think to speak to an important group and to the black community across the country, but i think the real message here was to moderates and independents to kind of, you know, soften his image. i think the problem, you know if that was a strategy or whatever the strategy was, when you scratch at the surface and listen to the substance of his speech, much like when you listen to the substance of his policies, there's not much there beyond any nice rhetoric that we've heard from republican candidates every time they've ran for office. the problem is when they get in office, those policies end up ba backfiring. that is the problem for governor romney. >> chip, this may be the positive side.
president george w. bush grabbed 11% of voters in '04. mccain just got 4% in '08. when we're looking at governor romney and what he might be able to get is it that space that comes into play in the african-american vote? >> it is that space in the percentage and the space on the numbers. obviously in 2008, the african-american community, not only a big margin. they had a huge turnout because they were so excited to vote for barack obama the first time. you fast forward four years later and talk about the economy and some things that mitt romney has done and the turnout numbers may not be as large as sheer volume. percentages would probably be about the same. there's key states that could make a big difference. >> 40% of the new voters in '08 were african-americans. so the challenge here is you are intimating to get them back to the polls. >> it's going to be very hard to repeat that. >> april, chris, chip, thank you to all of you. a clash over pay and vice president joe biden's hometown
of scranton as the mayor cuts the pay of city workers, including firefighters, police officers, even himself to minimum wage. >> i can go down the street and scoop ice cream that a high school kid for the summer is making $8.50 an hour doing. >> could this battle have a wider impact on the presidential election? plus, the mystery surrounding jesse jackson jr.'s medical leave of absence. his colleagues want to know what's going on. ♪ [ male announcer ] we believe small things can make a big difference. like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. purina one discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind so he's up to his old tricks. with this kind of thinking going into our food, imagine all the goodness that can come out of it. just one way we're making the world a better place... one pet at a time. vibrant maturity. from purina one smartblend. ovider is differentime.
here's a look at some other stories topping the news now. the ntsb will launch an investigation into this morning's train derailment in ohio. part of freight train carrying ethanol. derailed and caught fire in columbus. a mile wide area was evacuated because of that. authorities deciding to let the fire burn out instead of trying to put it out. a wisconsin father is now in jail on charges of killing his three children. the 34-year-old man surrendered
an hour after they went to the family's home in river falls. that's where they found his three daughters, ages 5 through 11 dead in the house which they say splmelled of gas. the call was triggered by the girls' mom. search crews are back in the waters off island sound where they are trying to locate a sunken yacht. it capsized during a fourth of july fireworks display. a 12-year-old boy and two girls ages 11 and 7. they hope the wreckage will tell them more about what caused that tragedy. lance armstrong continues to fight for his reputation and his career. he refiled a lawsuit yesterday against the u.s. anti-doping agency over alleged doping violations. armstrong could be banned from sports and lose his seven tour de france titles if he does not submit to arbitration by saturday. three of his associates were handed lifetime
the medicare debate continues in washington... ...more talk on social security... ...but washington isn't talking to the american people. [ female announcer ] when it comes to the future of medicare and social security, you've earned the right to know. ♪ ...so what does it mean for you and your family? [ female announcer ] you've earned the facts. ♪ washington may not like straight talk, but i do. [ female announcer ] and you've earned a say. get the facts and make your voice heard on medicare and social security at earnedasay.org.
the mayor says the rollback is survivable but workers who put themselves in harm's way say the cuts are outrageous. >> as the mayor, i not only have to provide for salaries but health care, it are the gas and diesel for our trucks and landfills. i have to do and take care of the whole city. our employees are great employees that do an outstanding job. we'll get through this. >> you are the head of the household making a salary and then it gets cut to minimum wage. your son or daughter works at an ice cream stand down the street and is making more than you. our members are real concerned about what this means and we're
taking all appropriate steps to make sure we right this wrong. >> ice cream truck. >> ron allen is live in scranton. this issue is pinning a democrat against unions. how is that irony playing out in the city and what do the unions plan to do next on this? >> well, it's all democrats. the city council, the mayor. they're all democrats. and so it's interparty politics if you will. but it's mostly about money and the courts. the unions have taken the city to court. the courts have ruled in their favor. they ordered the mayor to pay them their full wages. he did not do that. he took them back to court to try to get a contempt citation. we'll see what happens if there are penalties and fines. the mayor doesn't have the money. after one point after paying the unions even minimum wage, the city had $5,000 left. so now they're going to get more money as tax revenues come in and as they don't pay some bills and do pay others. but the bottom line problem here is that this is a distressed city. they have to come up with a plan approved by the state and their banks before they can borrow
more money to fill a 16 or so million dollar budget gap. and it's a structural problem that's going to happen again and again and again. one way politics comes into this is some of the solutions involved raising taxes. the mayor, for example, said he wants to raise property taxes by as much as 78% over the next three years. that's 78%. they are talking about sales taxes, commuter taxes, something that republicans outside of pennsylvania and in pennsylvania will perhaps seize on as not the way to do this spoep that's one political aspect of this. but the bottom line is the city is broke. they are juggling bills, borrowing from peter to pay paul, and the unions insist they are being treated unfairly. >> that's startling, ron. $5,000 left there. nbc's ron allen. thank you so much there in scranton, pennsylvania, with the latest. if you want a president who will make things better in the african-american community, you are looking at him. you take a look.
>> that was mitt romney just a short time ago facing a tough crowd at the naacp convention. it's only the second time that romney has addressed african-americans. the first was in philadelphia in may where he visited an inner city school and spoke with teachers then. joining me now, philadelphia's democratic mayor, michael nutter and on capitol hill, democratic congressman james clyburn of south carolina. good morning to both of you. and i want to start with you, if i can, congressman. when we look at the unemployment rate nationally for african-americans, that is a key issue. unemployment among that group at the beginning of the obama presidency, now it's just over 14%. about half before as you look at the line chart as you can see what's on the screen right now. when we look at the issue of unemployment, is the president taking the african-american vote for granted given this reality here? >> well, i can't see what you've got on the line there, but thank you so much for having me. first of all, let me say this. i was in the room back in
september 2008 when we were confronted with what we needed to do to face an impending crisis. i know what the job losses were in november of 2008 in december 2008, in january 2009. 2.1 million jobs lost in that 90-day period. when president obama took office, our first order was to try and stop the hemorrhaging. i think we did. and we now see over 4 million jobs have grown in the private sector. so the president is doing what i think is a very good job of trying to get us back on track. i want to see that 14% down to less than 4% in order to go to what i would call full employment. but the fact of the matter is,
we are on course to do that and i'm doing everything i can here in the congress to help him get there. i wish we could get some help from the other side of the aisle and pass the president's jobs program because that's what we need to be doing. >> that's perspective on the national level. there's, of course, what is happening in key swing states which both candidates are focusing on. mayor nutter, there in pennsylvania, a key swing state. some swing state unemployment rates with african-americans in the high teens. up to 19%, for instance in north carolina. when we see and listen to what mitt romney is saying to the african-american community, there some are applause points, as we were listening to this speech last hour. he got a lot of applause during his -- at the beginning, at the end when he was talking about his father and he did have some religious notes. he also got applause there. what are some of the things he's saying that might attract african-american voters in those key swing states like the one you're in? >> well, richard and certainly
to the congressman, great, great leader, and i appreciate his service and his work. he's doing the job in d.c. need some help from the republicans in congress to complete that work. to be honest with you, i've not heard really anything that is of substance from mitt romney that would attract whether it's african-americans or white americans, latino americans or asian americans or anybody else. he had essentially a failed tenure as the governor of massachusetts. he cut funding for education. he came to philadelphia not too long ago saying the class size doesn't matter. he wants to repeal obama care. 7 million african-americans who are uninsured benefit from president obama's work on
reforming health care. the governor wants to repeal the tax cuts. he wants to get rid of pell grants or reduce pell grants? the president has supported increasingly so i don't know what he's saying. i'm sure the audience is trying to be respectful and be polite, but this is not about applause lines. this is about running and being president of the united states of america. >> specifically, he -- you heavily criticized romney when he came to your city earlier. but in a speech today, as you heard, he said he was inspired by the students in one of the charter schools in philadelphia. so wouldn't members of the african-american community be glad that he is addressing the issue that is specific to the community and, two, that he's making the effort? >> we always appreciate effort. that's nothing but a throwaway line. we know that. i mean, come on. that same school is where he also said that smaller class size doesn't matter.
every second grader in america knows that class size actually matters. that you get more traengs from your teacher if you have fewer students in a classroom. he fundamentally has no idea what he's talking about. he cut funding for education when he was governor in massachusetts. he can say whatever he wants. that's the ability of living in a free country. but he has a record. we need to stay focused on that record. it's about jobs. it's about economic opportunity. and he has no record to stand on as it relates to the african-american community and people need to know that. >> a very busy day. mayor nutter, congressman clyburn. wish he had more time. thank you for coming by. bill clinton is back, or at least in name only. why both presidential candidates are talking about him on the campaign trail. ron reagan weighs in on the clinton factor. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
craving carb laden foods? there's a good chance you skipped breakfast. a new cornell university study shows that people who skipped breakfast or who fasted for more than 18 hours were more likely to crave starchy carb-filled foods than those who had not fasted. researchers say this may be because starch is a fast-acting energy. there's been heated debate already today on the house floor over repealing president obama's health care law. that vote is expected in just a few hours. and is purely symbolic. will pass the house but not the senate. throw in the latest tax cut argument and they are symbolic of the question, what has congress gotten done? here's what lawmakers had to say this morning. >> what exactly are the house republicans trying to accomplish with today's 32nd repeal vote. >> after it's over we can start
over with common sense reforms that will restore choices to the patients and not burden job creators with higher costs news, regulations and more uncertainty. >> joining me now is "the washington post's" ezra klein. also an msnbc policy analyst. good to see you. there's an a.p. article today that points this picture of congress and says, congress has mired itself in a faux legislative session loudly holding court before going home in argue to campaign. taxpayers foot the more than $2 billion a year bill to run congress. whether lawmakers hold session, pass bills or not. in july 2012 it seems a bad investment. now the numbers crunched in the last year showed a congress with low legislative output. put this in context for us. has that or will that change? >> this congress is less productive than the 1948 do nothing congress. so this is the do less than nothing congress. they are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad at their jobs. maybe if this was a year in
which the country had no problems in which we didn't have 8.2% unemployment, didn't have 50 million uninsured, okay, they don't have anything to do. obviously, they have things to do. but i want to make a point, richard, on today's actual vote on repeal of the health care bill. they mentioned a second ago the congressman you kwoetd that after it is gone they can begin on a replacement. they don't have to wait, right? this would be a very different conversation if house republicans said we are going to put in a rule and we're going to have the congressional budget office score any replacement we put forward and until we have a bill that can cover the same amount of people as the affordable care act, we won't move forward with it. we're going to replace it with something similarly large, better bill, cut costs more. they haven't done anything like that. they've put in no structures to replace it and they have no replacement. they know how to undo things. they know how to break things but not put them back together. right now the fact of the matter is, even if they were trying to get things done, they don't have the basic legislative products they would need to actually move
forward on it. >> let's also look at what they have done here, ezra. you know, they just passed a transportation bill that included an extension of the low interest rates on student loans and extended payroll tax cuts. this congress has only passed 133 bills. when you look forward to the numbers here, when do they kit that kumbaya point? when is that time? the end of the year? >> there is no point coming. i wouldn't even bet on that. and let me say something about the transport bill and student loan bills. the bills they've been passing are disaster bills. we have legislation that expires at a certain point. transportation funding runs out and all the states currently getting money to fix roads aren't getting it anymore. legislation on student loans was expiring. all these students going to college would see their loan rates double. what we've been able to do at the stroke of midnight, usually, sometimes, although not always, they have been able to keep disaster from happening. what they have not been able to do is move forward on problems.
they've been able to occasionally keep themselves from sheer brunt of legislative inaction creating new problems but they haven't been able to do a lot of work on their own to make things better. as for after the election it deped depends on the composition of congress and who it is and whether they decide to cooperate and make the legislative compromises that in our system of government, where it is difficult to get things done without people crossing the aisle, they will be able to cross the aisle and get things done. >> or it could be a sprint in the last six months, right, ezra? >> or it could be a disaster and we'd go right over the debt ceiling and trigger a financial crisis. nothing is out of the question. >> thanks, ezra klein. appreciate it. up next, the bubba factor. bill clinton is once again front and center on the trail. why are both candidates fighting so hard to claim the clinton mantel? ron reagan weighs in. aspirin, really? i haven't thought about aspirin for years. aspirin wouldn't really help my headache, i don't think.
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here's something you don't usually see during a presidential campaign. candidates praising big names from the other party. just yesterday, president obama and mitt romney invoked bill clinton's name while talking taxes. >> bill clinton called himself a new democrat. he put that behind him. he believed in smaller government, reformed welfare as we knew it and tried to get the economy going with trade and other provisions, lower taxes. >> anybody making over $250,000 a year, including me, we would go back to the tax rates that we were paying under bill clinton. which by the way, was a time when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and created plenty of millionaires to boot. >> joining me now is former radio talk show host and political commentator, ron reagan. good to see you. how does the bubba factor help romney here? >> well, do you think mitt romney is suggesting we ought to go back to the tax rates under the clinton administration?
i'm sure president obama might agree with him there. it's not surprising that president obama would cite bill clinton who after all has been a surrogate for him and is supporting him and is a member of his own party and after all, presided over a fairly successful administration, successful economy for the united states. but yes, why is mitt romney citing bill clinton? i think the political jiu-jitsu is this. he wants to portray barack obama as some kind of radical leftist and he himself, mitt romney, has been running far to the right in the primaries. what he wants to say to centrists mainly is look, i'm a reasonable guy. i can see the good in democrats as well as republicans. this barack obama guy, on the other hand, though, he's so far to the left that even bill clinton would find him communist or something like that. that's the underlying message. >> you know, also, it might seem like a given that obama would bring up clinton as he has but take a listen to what joe
scarborough had to say first. >> were i barack obama, i might not bring up bill clinton and tax cuts because bill clinton is of course a guy that said we need to cut corporate taxes. bill clinton's a guy that says we don't need to raise taxes on anybody. >> what do you think about that, ron? some might ask why hasn't obama reached out more than in the past three years. >> reached out more to bill clinton? i think he has reached out. listen, bill clinton's wife is barack obama's secretary of state. we ought to remember that. bill clinton has been campaigning actively for barack obama. so again, there's no surprise that barack obama would reach out to bill clinton or cite bill clint clinton. what barack obama is actually doing is similar to what mitt romney is doing with bill clinton is giving kudos to people like john mccain, though. he's doing the same thing that romney is doing in the opposite way. he's saying look, i, barack obama, am a reasonable guy who has tried to reach out to republicans like john mccain. hey, i agree with john mccain,
my erstwhile opponent, on a lot of things. this mitt romney guy, on the other hand, is so far to the right that he's leaving john mccain in his dust. >> you know, before we go, the speech that mitt romney had just given to the naacp, i want to get your view on this. he had outlined five points on his getting america back to work plan and this of course is a fight for the middle. one of which was taking full advantage of the united states energy resources, expanding trade, reducing government spending, just three of the five areas that he outlined. what's your thought on that? will that work to get the middle? >> he is not going to win over the african-american vote, if your question is is he making any inroads in the african-american vote, no. he is not. he will never get more than 5% of that vote and he didn't win himself a lot of friends, i don't think -- i didn't actually have a chance to watch the speech. it's a little earlier out here than it is back east. but i saw some excerpts of it
and this just didn't go over too well. he starts talking about charter schools and vouchers and things like that, and obamacare. a lot of african-americans benefit from -- and will benefit from obamacare. so that's not a winner for him. >> ron reagan, thank you so much for your time. >> sure, richard. >> that wraps up things for me. "now with alex wagner" is next. what you got, alex? mitt romney attempted the near impossible today, courting an african-american audience. romney supporter and former ohio secretary of state ken blackwell is here to help us assess his performance. meanwhile, house republicans are making their 33rd attempt to repeal the nation's health care law. theater enthusiast laurence o'donnell is in the bull pen to discuss that most washington of performances, political kabuki. all of that when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. medical exp.
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