tv The Ed Show MSNBC July 31, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
manhattan, you can hear the bark, loud, clear and happy. the big dog has gotten his bone. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. don't forget, tomorrow on "hardball," will "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans. twok "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. the miss adventures for mitt romney continues. he froofl traveled to israel this weekend. we'll have all of the details. this is "the ed show" and as ed would say, let's get to work. >> somebody who spent most of his life in business, i'm particularly impressed with israel's cutting-edge technology and thriving economy. >> mitt romney thinks that israel's economy is based on culture and the hands of providence. >> you export technology, not tyranny or terrorism. >> dnc chair, debbie wasserman
schultz will weigh in on mitt's lack of foreign policy knowledge. >> dick cheney speaks the truth about sarah palin and sparks of family feud with his daughter. >> i think that was a mistake. >> liz says palin is more qualified than president obama. we'll see if jonathon alter agrees. bill clinton is set to play a major role at this year's democratic convention. meanwhile, the gop is running away from bush and cheney. e.j. dionne "the washington post" has the latest. governor mitt romney's european missed a venture is now 0 for 2. after insulting britain, he tried to praise israel but it backfired. instead of looking like a president in waiting, he's come off as diplomatically tone deaf, at best. his latest mess happened at a
fund-raiser in jerusalem. initially the romney campaign wasn't going to allow reporters. after criticism, it reversed its position, no doubt with great regret. in front of a group of wealthy donors, including billionaire sheldon adelson, as you come here and see the gdp per capita in israel which is $21,000 and compare that with the gdp per capita just across the areas managed by the palestinian authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality. as i come here and look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, i recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. yes, a few other things just might account for the gdp difference. the palestinian president's reaction to romney was swift and severe. through a senior aide, saeb erekat. >> mr. romney takes another step forward of a racist statement
saying it's because the israeli culture is better than the palestinian culture. look, the palestinian and israels are people and equal and such racist statements does not serve those who are trying to protect and save lives in this region. >> mr. erekat also said that this man doesn't realize that the palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an israeli occupation. he also lacks knowledge about the israels themselves. i have not heard any israeli official speak about cultural superiority. the criticism came from both sides. a political science professor in tel aviv suggested romney's comments can be seen as anti-semitic. you can understand this remark in several ways. you can say it's anti-semitic, jews and money. romney camp spokeswoman said, his comments were grossly miss characterized. the income disparity between israel and palestine is even greater. but romney and his campaign made
other far bigger mistakes. romney's top foreign policy adviser suggested that romney would support a unilateral israeli strike against iran. three hours later, he tried to clarify his remarks. no options should be excluded. romney created yet another failure of diplomatic skill when he canceled a meeting with israeli's labor party at the last minute. how to imagine how any of this will help romney back home. his support from jewish voters is already poor. the latest gallup survey shows president obama beating mr. romney from 68 to 25. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, can mitt romney go anywhere without offending people? text a for yes, text b for no to 622639. or go to our blog. i'll bring you the results later in the show.
i'm joined by florida congressman, debbie wasserman schultz. chair of the democratic national convention. congresswoman, thank you for being on the show. >> great to be with you. >> did mitt romney do himself any good by suggesting a cultural superior of israel over the palestinians, bringing in an ethnic specificity to the debate here? isn't that treading on dangerous territory? >> well, i think what happened here, michael, is that when you are a candidate for president and you're taking a foreign trip, the idea is that you are supposed to come back at least leaving the impression that you are ready to be the commander in chief and chief diplomat. the first rule of a trip like this should be, first, do no harm. mitt romney went over to great britain and to israel and essentially was like a bull in the china shop. what was amazing to me was that
particularly in a sensitive region like the middle east and israel and the west bank in particular, to not be careful about the way he chose his words and to risk potentially setting back the process in which we hopefully will be able to get both sides, the palestinians and the israelis back to the table for direct bilateral negotiations, that really is damaging and potentially harmful to that goal. so i think it's been an unmitigated disaster so far. >> you cited the hippocratic oath for politicians as well, first do no harm. and secondly, do no fool. you mentioned already the dispute between the israelis and the palestinians. he had nothing to say about that. wasn't that remarkably depressing for a leader who showed ostensible commitment to
being leader of the free world and bringing peace in that region? >> let's compare president obama's trip to israel when he ran for president. president obama went to israel as a candidate and what he did was he went to southern israel and met with the families of -- and victims of rocket attacks that were being launched into israel from their neighbors. and not friendly neighbors at that. and that trip informed his policies as president, which is why president obama has stepped up to the plate repeatedly and authorized and pushed through funding for the iron dome missile defense system and then on friday in the oval office signed the u.s.-israel enhanced security act which adds more funding and more batteries for the deployments around the perimeter of israel because he saw firsthand the impact of those and the harm of those rocket attacks and knew that the united states had to stand by israel's side. that is what a trip as a
candidate for president should do, inform your policies as president. what mitt romney seems to be doing is basically throwing in a few meetings to basically dress up the fact that he wanted to raise some money over there. and that's a really cynical approach to a foreign policy trip. basically, it's disguised -- it's a fund-raiser disguised as a foreign policy trip. >> let's piggyback on what you said. in fact, israel's deputy prime minister said today that president obama's administration has been extraordinarily supportive. >> absolutely. and he's repeatedly said that, as has prime minister netanyahu and, that president obama has been a strong friend of israel and that israel has no greater friend than president obama. >> absolutely. so the other problem romney has is this considerable inability to articulate a clear message. his chief foreign policy aide suggested support for a
unilateral support of an israeli strike against iran, and later had to walk it back. are they simply in over their heads, congresswoman? >> they really seem to be in over their heads. they have not been able to articulate any foreign policy position on israel and the iran sanctions, mitt romney has absolutely agreed with president obama. president obama has always said that all options are on the table and all options means all options but that we need to use diplomacy and the most biting sanctions that he's pushed through as president, both international and domestically against iran to ensure we do everything that we can before you go to a military option. if mitt romney thinks that we should be pursuing a military option against iran, then he should just come out and say it but to dance around it and to essentially pretend that he has a different policy than barack obama is simply ridiculous and continues the distortions and the lies that mitt romney and his supporters have engaged in.
barack obama has said not only will we do everything as a nation to ensure that iran never achieves its nuclear ambition but that we do not have a policy of containment, all options are on the table and president obama, both internationally and domestically has ensured that iran is suffering under the most biting economic sanctions ever and has brought our fellow nations, like russia and china who previously have not been -- we have not been able to bring them to the table, to support those biting sanctions at the u.n. that's because barack obama has on the world stage re-established the united states diplomatic relationships that were pretty decimated after the iraq war. mitt romney seems on his way to being hell bent on doing that just as a presidential candidate on setting us back and it's unacceptable. he should just come back to the united states and stay here because his trip has not done us any favors. >> of course, it's not just israel.
last week it's romney insulting the british in their own country. has the trip accomplished anything for his presidential aspirations that we can count up and point to? >> i think trips like these are important because it shows american voters whether or not the candidate actually has the policy chops, the diplomatic skills, the experience, and the ability to actually be the world leader that the president of the united states is expected to be and mitt romney has proven with this trip that he's absolutely not ready. not ready for primetime. it's been amateur hour, unfortunately. but i guess that helps us inform voters as they make that very important decision over who has the ability to be our commander in chief. president obama has been the chief diplomat. the commander in chief for almost the last four years and has really done america proud on the world stage, has strong
foreign policy credentials and accomplishments and the alternative, mitt romney has shown us would really be terribly problematic for the united states. >> all right. thank you for giving us the political low down on whether or not he's ready for primetime. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, thank you for your time. >> thank you, michael. >> remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen and share your thoughts on twitter. i want to know what you think. coming up, the cheney family is a house divided and sarah palin is the culprit. we explain why the sarah palin effect is still rocking the republican party.
coming up, dick cheney and his daughter liz disagree over sarah palin's qualifications. jonathan alter will weigh in, next. former president bill clinton will get a prime spot at the national democratic convention but republicans are not willing to embrace the bush years. we'll have the details. a prominent black journalist
if you're wondering if the gop is still enthralled to the tea party and other fringe elements, look no further than dick cheney's interview with abc news. the former vice president was asked about the vp selection process and noted that the john mccain selection of sarah palin was not well handled. >> i like governor palin.
i've met her. i know her. she's an attractive candidate but based on her background -- she had only been governor for, what, two years. i don't think she passed that test. >> being ready? >> being ready to take over. and i think that was a mistake. >> it was only a few hours later when cheney's own daughter liz had to smooth over her father's rough remarks. rarely do i disagree with the best vp ever but sarah palin more qualified than obama and biden combined. huge respect for what she's done for the gop. liz cheney needs the palin constituency on her side if she mounts a run for office. hence the rapid smackdown of her dad. senator john mccain was also quick to dismiss the cheney, the elder. >> i'm always glad to get comments four years later. look, i respect the vice president. he and i had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not.
i don't think we should have. but the fact is that i'm proud of sarah palin. i'm proud of the job she did. i'm proud of the job she continues to do. and so everybody has their own views and i respect those views. but i'm proud of what we did. >> who says the republicans can't make ample and liberal use of the retro activity that romney has so recently accessed going back four years and talking about stuff, referencing cheney for torture. we, he said, being the key word. john mccain's legacy is forever linked to sarah palin. he needs to play nice if he wants continued support from the party's far right wing. let's turn to jonathon alter, msnbc political analyst and columnist for "bloomberg view ". jonathan, are republican candidates still afraid of the power wielded by the tea party wing? it seems they are still a bit shaky by them and nervous. >> no question about that but this was cheney family business.
liz cheney lives in virginia but wants to run for the u.s. senate from wyoming and there are a lot of tea party folks and palin supporters in wyoming. so she's just looking out for her own future. but it's true that in a number of different states the tea party is very important to mitt romney getting elected. so take a state like iowa. they basically have nothing going on the ground there except for evangelicals and tea party folks. so that's one of the reasons you have not seen mitt romney move to the center. you have not seen his people saying critical things about sarah palin or the tea party. they are going to have a very fine line to walk on this, michael, at their convention, because they are not giving palin a big role and we'll see that. >> if she's important, why not give her a bigger role or at least a role at all to play before the cameras so that she can secure that particular element of the party? >> because they are worried
about what pat buchanan did to the republican party at the 1992 republican convention where he got up and gave this very extreme speech and it really hurt george h.w. bush get re-elected that year. so sarah palin's not very popular in this country, especially with certain constituencies that they are trying to woo. mitt romney is in israel trying to get jewish votes in the united states. obama got 78% of jews the last time, in large part because sarah palin was on the ticket. so if he wants those jewish votes in ohio and florida, mitt romney wants to move away from sarah palin. on the other hand, if he moves too far away, he alienates the palin supporters in states like iowa that he's going to need for his base. >> sure. >> so he's in a tough spot on palin. >> very difficult spot there. does liz chainy do damage to her
credibility saying that sarah palin is more qualified than barack obama and joe biden combined? i don't know many republicans that will honestly say that. >> that was kind of over the top. she was trying to clean up for her old man and show her loyalty to sarah palin and the tea party folks. they should not be underestimated. the most vivid demonstration of the power of the tea party was at the utah state party convention in 2010 when they took bob bennett, the son of a president of the mormon church, a very, very conservative republican senator who had been in the senate for 20 years and they threw him out on his ear and ended his political career. you know what his sin was, michael? he talked to a democrat. senator ron wyden, they worked together on a piece of
quite conservative health care legislation and the price that he paid for that was the end of his political career. that's how powerful the tea party is in republican primaries and in get out of vote efforts with the rank and file. and so this will be a continuing problem for mitt romney going forward. he is their prisoner and he would be as president, too. he would not be able to move very far away from their agenda as president. >> that's a big dilemma. when it comes to picking the vice president, dick cheney told abc news that there are two lists to consider. >> it was easy to get on the big list. the tough part is the small list, the one under active consideration and the test to get on that small list has to be is this person capable of being president of the united states? and that's usually a very, very short list. >> he ought to know. he chose himself off the short list. do you think mitt romney is heeding this advice or do you think he'll want to choose another game-changing pick like sarah palin?
>> it's not going to be another sarah palin. most people think that romney will go with a safe pick. everybody also fights the last war in politics. so that would argue for a rob portman or tim pawlenty, bob mcconnell, the governor of virginia, somebody safe like that. there could be something unusual that happens. you could get maybe bobby jindal who's got some experience now that he's been governor of louisiana for a while, trying to go for an out of the box choice, who also would pass that test of getting over the threshold of being a plausible president, which palin's two years as governor did not get her. also, she just wasn't as smart as jindal. so they could go that direction. oftentimes it is not the person that the press most speculates about. there's a long history of this in both parties. so folks that in trade should get pretty skeptical of anybody who thinks they know exactly how this is going to go. you would have to give an edge
right now to a conservative choice in both meanings of that word. a political conservative and also a safe choice. >> we thank you for your moderate views on those conservative people. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, michael. next, bill clinton will play a key role at the democratic convention. e.j. dionne will way in on that. plus, playing dumb. mitt romney gives an interesting excuse why he won't reveal his tax rate. the panel weighs in on his newest nonanswer when we come back.
ladies and gentlemen, i am honored to be here tonight. sit down. >> he's back. that was former president bill clinton working the crowd at the 2008 democratic national convention as only still bill can, to borrow the moniker from bill withers. democrats announced today that clinton will play a bigger role at this year's convention in charlotte, north carolina. he will formally nominate barack obama for the democratic ticket and make the case for a second obama term. the former president is expected to argue for the current president's economic policies, offering a clear contrast between the obama plan and the romney one, or as bill clinton puts it, bush on steroids. with a 66% approval rating, the
democrats know the guy who feels our pain is the best person to appeal to voters. meanwhile, the republicans are running away from their last president, neither george w. bush or dick cheney will be attending the republican convention in tampa, which is is odd, considering romney's economic advisers were bush's economic advisers. according to one republican official, romney's policies are bush's policies, just updated. come to think of it, romney rarely invokes the good old bush administration. even when asked to explain how his policies differ from the former president's. >> the major planks of your job plan, lower taxes, both corporate and marginal rates and reduce regulation, explain how that would be different than what george w. bush tried to put through. >> my policies are different than anything you've seen in the past.
they are designed for an america that has new resources, energy being one of them, trade with latin america being another and the need for a balanced budget now more urgent than ever before. >> you get the feeling that romney needs to listen to beyonce, say my name, george w. bush, say my name? i'm joined by e.j. dionne and author of the book "our divide political heart." >> i feel your pain too, michael. i really do. >> thank you, e.j. bill clinton has given a marquise for the convention. that's a no-brainer for many. george w. bush endorses mitt romney in an elevator. will this be a tale of two conventions? >> it's certainly a tale of two presidencies. if you think about it, in the 16 years before barack obama took office, we had two presidents and you ask the question which one is very popular? you showed the 66%. which one had his term end in prosperity, not economic
collapse and which one balanced the budget? and the answer is clinton. it's not surprising that democrats pull clinton out and i guess the republicans want president bush to cut some more brush down on his branch -- on his ranch in texas. but i think what's really interesting here is how prominent a role the obama team decided to give bill clinton and i, for one, think this is a very shrewd move politically because bill clinton can reach precisely the voters that barack obama is having some trouble reaching, particularly white working class voters. if romney doesn't have a margin of around 25% in this group, he's in trouble. if obama can only lose by 15%, he's in good shape. bill clinton can reach those voters. the second thing is, whose tax rates are -- is barack obama trying to restore? he's trying to restore the clinton rates. who can make a better case for
clinton economics than bill clinton himself? and that's the other constituency. upper middle class people who may not want to pay the clinton rates sure have fond memories of the economy in the clinton years. >> whatever you said about him, at least your pocketbook was in good shape and the bottom line was being observed. clinton, as economic messengers, is that very effective, or very, very effective? >> i think the second. bill clinton had something in common with ronald reagan. the two of them both knew how to make an argument. i think a lot of times we underestimate how important it is for a politician to make an argument to the voters and keep making it. here's why i'm doing what i'm doing. here's why it makes sense. here's why what the other guy wants to do doesn't make sense. bill clinton is one of the best people we have in politics and even though i didn't agree with him, ronald reagan was good at doing that, too. why not haul out your best argument maker and i think that's what they are doing here, too. >> they are political
sermonizers, right? what do they say about sermons? you tell them what you're going to tell them, then you tell them, then you tell them what you told them. it seems to me bill clinton is expert at that. four years ago obama was not invoking ronald reagan, as you say, speaking of someone who could give that kind of speech. what does this full embrace of clinton say of a subtle shift of obama's idealogic universe itself? >> well, you know, a lot of people look at it that way. i think obama's always been fairly close to clinton. i interviewed him back in 2007 and he went out of his way and maybe some of it was tactical because he was running against hillary clinton and he went out of his way to say that bill clinton shifted the democratic party in the right direction in important ways. when you look at his economic team, this was clinton's economic team. when you look at his foreign policy team, a lot of those folks were bill clinton people. so i have never seen the big ideological gulf that some
people see between barack obama and bill clinton. the obama campaign and the primaries in '08 probably wanted to make it look a little bigger because he was running against hillary clinton at times, particularly on the iraq war. i think these guys are very close in their view of the world. >> no doubt about it. we'll see how close during that convention as well. e.j. dionne, thank you so much. >> it's great to be with you. a lot more coming up in the next half hour on "the ed show." stay tuned. >> was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9%? >> i haven't calculated that. >> mitt romney can't answer a very simple yes or no question. up next, our panel will weigh in on romney's best nonanswer yet. >> i don't pay more than i legally have to, and if i had paid more than is legally do, i don't think i'd be qualified to become president. in tonight's dyson-ary, i'll define the word obphiscate.
well, esurance is now in a relationship...with allstate. and it looks pretty serious. esurance. click or call. mitt romney was asked a very simple yes or no question about his taxes this weekend. the question, was there ever a year when you paid less than 13.9%? >> i haven't calculated that. i'm happy to go back and look. but my view is, i have paid all the taxes required by law. i don't pay more than are legally due. >> ain't got a calculator that big. so romney's endured weeks of pressure about his taxes on every network and in every major newspaper, everyone from president obama to george will has weighed in and romney says he just hasn't had the time to check his tax rate.
let's bring in joy-ann reid, jon bramnick, and emily tisch sussman, executive director of the young democrats of america. mr. bramnick, i've got to ask you, are we really supposed to believe that romney hasn't had time to check his tax rate? >> if the issue is tax rate, president obama only paid 20% as effective tax rate in 2011 and 26% in 2010. >> but he knows what he paid. he can answer when asked, did he pay the rate. >> first, i have no problem with the fact that romney is successful. and if that's the criticism, that's exactly what we want in america, people who are successful. so the fact that he doesn't give you the exact number, do we want to stop charitable deductions? that's one way to lower your tax rate. what is wrong with doing what is legally responsible. >> you're giving great detail,
but romney has not answered the simple question, did you or didn't you. didn't romney have to calculate his tax rate when he filed his return? >> what i focused on, one of the things that i focused on is that when he was asked further, sort of more probing questions about this, he said, the accounting firm that does my taxes, the accounting firm -- most people i know will say, the guy, the turbotax that does my taxes. he's got an entire accounting firm that does his taxes. maybe the reason he doesn't know is that romney is so rich, he has like eight degrees of separation from the -- >> it takes a village. >> it takes a village. >> and a firm. >> romney says he doesn't know his tax rate but he knows he pays a lot. listen to this. >> the tax rate paid year by year, i pay a very substantial amount of taxes and every year since the beginning of my career, so far as i can recall. >> so romney pays a substantial amount but it could be less than
most middle class americans, right? >> sure. you know, a substantial amount, as the law requires, let's just end all of this dancing around. and release your tax returns. one year is absolutely not going to cut it. young people, as so many americans, are looking for two things. authenticity and to be spoken to like you respect them. by mitt romney refusing to release the fierce of returns for fear that people will question them, you're not acting like you respect people. i think people see through this. >> mr. ramnick, you understand that. you're a politician. you have the trust of people at heart. don't you get the fact that romney won't answer goes to the issue of trust and respect and desep si? >> even if he releases his tax returns, i assume you're going to pick it apart any way. he's saying i've done what is legally required. if people want to pay more than legally required, the president could pay another 10% and follow
the buffett rule. there's options for everybody who wants to pay more that's not legally required. >> but joy-ann, if you've not nothing to hide, what are you hiding for? >> exactly. this goes back to what romney has done, which is try to run for president by telling americans as little about himself as possible. he won't talk about his governorship of massachusetts. he doesn't want to talk about bain. he essentially wants to be the brand x that somehow gets into the white house but what he doesn't understand is that the american people want to know who they are voting for and he really leads nothing positive for people to look for on the ballot in november. >> so you didn't even set that up but we're going to talk about him in the first dyson-ary. the word on few skate d obfuscate. miss sussman, you made an interesting point about the politics and respect. do you think that will affect who the young people will vote for? >> absolutely. if you look at a president who has grown up understanding the
issue that so many young people are facing today and you look at a man who is running who -- he really does not act like he respects young people. speaking to college students in ohio, he did a major flip-flop a couple of weeks ago when the stafford rates were looking to do you believe. he said you can have as much school as you can pay for. when a young person said how should they for it, he says, ask your parents. then he flip-flops and says, i definitely support the rates not doubling. that's not showing the respect. that's not showing the respect that you understand the young people in america. >> speaking of disrespect, i want to ask mr. bamnick, how do you think the adventure overseas is going? >> i think people respect his success as a businessman. his strong support for israel. his success in running the olympics. i think they understand this is
someone who knows how to get a job done. >> what about as a diplomat representing the interests and values of america? >> i think if you blow up small, little statements -- and the media is good at that -- you can take any comment by any president or candidate and make it into international issue. i don't think it is an international issue but people like to make it an international issue. >> do you think they're detonating the bomb or is he a suicide bomber rhetorically blowing himself up? >> depending on which station you watch, each media has a different angle on that. in essence, i think he's a very capable person as a governor as well as a president. >> joy-ann reid, what do you think? >> i don't think it depended on what british media you were watching. mitt romney went to britain and united all parties conservative to liberal in mocking him. then he goes today to israel and essentially says that the israeli culture is superior to that of the palestinians. he's going from nation to nation offending people. i don't know if that's a good resume builder for president of the united states. >> he's taking the word
offensive to a new level. joy ann-rein, jonathan bramnick, and emily tisch sussman, thank you. >> thank you. coming up, we'll go beyond the sound bites to get a better understanding of what romney is up to. kate and i have been married for 15 years. that's 3 moves, 5 jobs, 2 newborns. it's no wonder i'm getting gray. but kate still looks like...kate. [ female announcer ] with nice'n easy, all they see is you -- in one step, nice'n easy with colorblend technology, is proven to give more blends of tones. for color that's perfectly true to you. [ rob ] i don't know all her secrets but i do know kate's more beautiful now, than the day i married her. [ female announcer ] with the dimensional color of nice'n easy, all they see is you. [ female announcer ] with the dimensional color of nice'n easy, [ feedback ] attention, well, everyone. you can now try snapshot from progressive free for 30 days.
welcome back. as many of you know, i've been a university professor for nearly a quarter of a century but you may not know before that as a kid in the ghetto of detroit, my schoolmates teased me as brainiac. they predicted what i would become long before i new my destiny. as a 10-year-old i won a couple of spelling bees and contests as
well. i guess you can say my love for words started when i was knee-high to a tadpole. back then when i didn't know a word, my mama used to tell me, look it up in the dictionary. those were the days when a kid had to turn to a physical volume that contained the wonder of the worded world. now you just google it. the merriam-webster dictionary was my favorite. tonight i want to introduce you to the dyson-ary. get it? dyson dictionary. each night this week i'll define a word. tonight's word is obfuscate defined through the candidacy of mitt romney. here's a quick example. >> i can tell you we follow the tax laws and if there's an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country, will follow that opportunity. doing away with redundancy in government and shifting programs to the economic player who deliver the best. these are the serious steps towards getting our debt and spending under control that i'm
going to take. >> you've asked quite a few questions there. so let's go through. i didn't involve myself in any way with bain capital's enterprise after february of 1999. >> he says he's following the tax laws, but he's evasive about the details. he'll cut government, but he won't be clear about how he'll do it. he says he wasn't involved with bain capital after 1999, even though he signed legal filings for the company as its ceo in 2001. so let's check that dyson-ary one more time. obfuscate, to dismable, not answer, confuse, be evasive or unclear. until after elected. see mitt romney. tonight in our survey, i asked, can mitt romney go anywhere without offending people? 6% say yes, 94% say no. coming up in the big finish, much ink has spilled in 2008 about how president obama's election would usher in a post racial america. t.j. holmes joining me next to
to get your feet moving to the beat. it's time to start gellin' with dr. scholl's and feel the energy from your feet up. thanks to the energizing support and cushioning of dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles, you'll want to get up and go. racial discrimination is a part of america that is hidden in plain sight. it's felt on a daily basis by millions of americans, and in one instance today it was felt by a public individual and documented in a very public setting. former cnn anchor and b.e.t. host t.j. holmes was driving
near his home when he was pulled over unaware of any wrongdoing. he kept a running account of the traffic stop while on twitter. driving while black ability no joke, he wrote. later he updated, officer's reason for pulling me over. wanted to make sure you had insurance on the car. i kid you not. unfortunately, this is hardly shocking. it may, however, come as a surprise to some who believe we're living in post-racial america. a gallup poll taken the day after barack obama's election in 2008 showed 70% of americans thought the election would make race relations better. but less than a year later, we were hearing things like this. >> this president, i think, has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep seeded hatred for white people or the white culture. i don't know what it is. >> that's a far cry from the hopes of a presidential candidate who sought a more nuanced conversation about race in america. >> i have asserted a firm conviction, a conviction rooted
in my faith in god and my faith in the american people. that working together, we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact, we have no choice. we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union. >> let's turn to t.j. holmes, the host of b.e.t.'s upcoming show "don't sleep" which launches on october 1st. t.j., welcome to the show. >> hey, good evening. good to see you, dyson. didn't expect to be talking to you like this. kind of a reluctant guest in some ways. i didn't expect to be here documenting my experience, which i know, as i mentioned, so many other young people probably went through just today. >> that's all right, my friend. i appreciate you as a very public person coming on here to explain this because millions of people around the world watch you, and we want you to help us understand this. so explain what happened during your traffic stop today. >> well, i literally was 1.5 miles from my driveway. the officer had been following
me for at least a mile, maybe even a couple, and he was following closely. knew something was up. i anticipated his lights coming on. sure enough, they did. i pulled over and do what i always do, which some people find crazy. i stick my arms out the window and cross my hands like this so that the officer sees my hands. that's just something literally my mother has taught me to do. >> you do it because you're a black man. you don't want them to think you have a gun or anything. >> there you go. i don't want the officer nervous when he walks to the door. sure enough, the only thing he asked for, and i asked specifically several times why was i stopped. he said i want to make sure you have insurance on the car. he even asked me for a bill of sale on the car. >> what kind of car is it? >> you know what, a couple things on that. i purposely didn't say what kind of car it was because i didn't think it should matter. if i was in a 2012 bmw or '89 pinto, it shouldn't matter. the other part of that is that really, what difference does it
make what kind of car that i was in? so i purposely didn't put that out. i might talk about it later. i didn't think it should matter. he wasn't rude or anything necessarily, but he didn't have a reason for pulling me over. i was, i was frustrated at the time. i tweeted about it. i was frustrated at the time. all day today, i have wondered if maybe i made a mistake. if i did something wrong by enflaming people's emotions. by using the phrase driving while black and putting that out, immediately, there were two sides, clearly polarized on the issue. one side, mothers, fathers, young black men who have gone through this experience. and another side that called me a racist. the n word has been thrown around today. been called other names saying there you go using the race card. talk about post-racial country, well, we can't have a conversation about race ever because this is the -- it happens every single time. we go to our corners, we come
out, we fight for a round, beat the crap out of each other, and go back to our corners and get ready to fight again and nothing ever gets done. >> we have 30 seconds left. you're an expert at this. you're a journalist. in 30 seconds. what's the nub of this matter? what do we learn from this? >> well, what we learn is, hopefully, and the reason i'm talking to you today is there was another young man who got stopped today who didn't have several attorneys on his contact list that he could call. he didn't have an attorney he could go to and say hey, i would like to file a complaint, which i did do today with that police department, but i want to start the conversation, continue the conversation, put a face and name on it, make it real. i'm not naming the officer. i'm not naming the police department just yet because i want to go to them and try to make an improvement in my local community before i just put them on blast. hopefully having this conversation, putting my name and face on it, gets it out there and makes it more real to some people. but it happens to a lot of people who are not going to have a voice. >> t.j. holmes, thank so muc