tv The Ed Show MSNBC August 9, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
>> it's really remarkable to watch. and just the sheer complexity of the project both from the technical perspective and also just the human perspective. how many people worked on this to make this happen? >> jpl alone, we had about 3,500 people. >> amazing. >> that doesn't include all the other centers and contractors and everything else. i believe i heard a number 7,000 people worked on this project. >> thanks so much. be sure to watch the very last word on the website. you can follow me on twitter at chrislhayes. "ed show" is up next. that everybody is talking about has mitt romney whining. republicans are on defense and ann coulter is calling for the head of romney's spokesperson? gosh, it's getting interesting. all that and harry reid is starting to reveal more information about his source. i'm loving it.
hope you are too. this is "the ed show," let's get to work. the past when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why campaigns pulled the ad, they were embarrassed. >> the debate over the joe soptic ad hits fever pitch. mitt romney is crying foul in a stunning display of hypocrisy. >> they just blast ahead. journalist michael kinsley says the ad is fair game and he joins us tonight. newt gingrich admits romney's welfare commercial is full of holes. >> we have no proof today. >> democratic strategist chris kofin kofinis agrees and hes ear to set it straight tonight. >> corporations are people, my friend. >> romney thinks corporations are people, but when it comes to releasing his tax returns, mitt says he's not a business. the big panel weighs in on the romney reverse. and the romney camp is out with yet another lie. >> president obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion. plus, the nuns on a bus
challenge mitt to spend a day on tour. sister simone campbell tells us why mitt romney needs to be educated on america's poor. good to have you with us tonight, folks, thanks for watching. mitt romney finally responded to a pro-obama super pac ad. after getting hammered by members of his own party. the ad features former steelworker joe soptic. it tells joe's story after he was laid off from a plant closed by bain capital. romney went on right-wing radio today and called the ad inaccurate. >> you know, in the past when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns either pulled the ad, they were embarrassed. today they just blast ahead. >> really? mitt romney wants campaigns to pull inaccurate ads? someone should ask mitt romney why he didn't pull this campaign ad. president obama is quoting john mccain, but the romney camp edits it to make it sound like the president is talking about himself. >> it's going to take a new direction.
if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> or what about -- what about the ad accusing president obama of not visiting israel, even though only two presidents ever visited israel during his first term. >> over the past four years, president obama has traveled all over the world. he's traveled all over the middle east, yet he hasn't found time to visit our ally and friend, israel. >> i don't remember mitt romney asking karl rove's super pac to pull this ad, which falsely edits president obama's comments about businesses. >> people who've worked hard started a business and created jobs can't believe what president obama's saying about them. >> if you got a business, you didn't build that. >> now mitt romney wants candidates to ask super pacs to pull ads? but not too long ago, mitt romney was singing a much different tune. >> the super pacs that are out there running ad ron paul's, mine, yours, as you know, that
is not my ad. i don't write that ad, i can't tell them not to. >> no doubt, mitt romney has a double standard about campaign ads, but what really bothers me and i think a lot of other americans is romney calling joe soptic's ad inaccurate. here are the only things joe soptic says about mitt romney in the super pac ad. >> i don't think mitt romney understands what he's done to people's lives by closing the plant. i don't think he realizes that people's lives completely changed. i do not think mitt romney realizes what he's done to anyone. and furthermore, i do not think mitt romney is concerned. >> what was that? those sentences are joe soptic's opinions. this ad is a testimonial from one worker. joe soptic formed opinions about mitt romney based on his treatment as a worker under romney's firm. now mitt romney wants the obama campaign to denounce the ad because romney doesn't like joe soptic's opinions? romney is stuck on defense while the obama supporters are on
offense. the right wing, really? well, they're not happy about it. here's what ann coulter said about romney's spokeswoman andrea saul. >> anyone who donates to mitt romney, and i mean the big donors ought to call mitt romney and say if andrea saul isn't fired and off the campaign tomorrow, they are not giving another dime, it is not worth fighting for this man if this is the kind of spokesman he has. >> what did andrea saul to do to provoke the wrath of ann coulter? well, she told the truth. >> if people had been in massachusetts under gov romney's health care plan, they would have had health care. >> yes, coverage like the kind in massachusetts and the kind passed and signed by president obama will help people in the soptic's situation, but conservatives, you see, they can't handle the truth. they are working too hard telling lies. >> what the we're watching and witnesses here -- >> no, i'm serious about this. >> i know you're serious. >> there's no point to you doing your show. no point in us going to a convention and pushing for this
man if he's employing morons like this. >> i want everybody watching this broadcast to see her words in writing to make sure it sinks in with all of us, including me. ann coulter said, there's no point in you, sean hannity, doing your show. there's no point in going to the convention and pushing for this man, meaning mitt romney, if he's employing morons like this. i guess the only morons tell the truth, right? but even mitt romney is starting to talk up his health care record on the stump. >> we've got to do some reforms in health care, and i have some experience doing that, as you know. >> this is why the joe soptic ad has republicans absolutely scrambling. it puts the gop in unfamiliar territory and drives home a very vital point about the middle class in this country. put yourself for a moment in joe soptic's shoes, the soptic family. with affordable health care coverage, his wife would have had a fighting chance. this is a kitchen table issue
that hits every american family, health care. how much it costs, and just how good is it? and guess who doesn't have to deal with this, with that kind of a worry, the very people who are in washington who vote on health care legislation. health care is dictated by the most secure members of society. that's right, three-term senators have it pretty damn good. the politicians and beltway types don't experience the problems of people like joe soptic and his family. middle class workers, they get it. i hear every day about how joe soptic's situation is very relatable to them. here's another thing the middle class workers, i believe, understand in this country, the idea of workers not being recycled back into the economy. you know, when joe soptic lost his job, well, he was making $46,000 a year plus benefit at the mill. six months later, he finally found another job. it paid him around $15,000 a year as a janitor, no benefits.
republicans can whine and complain all they want about this commercial, but you see, it does not hit below the belt. i think it hits right in the heart of the problems facing the middle class in this country, and just a reminder to democrats who are out on the stump trying to get elected, just remember to show your constituents or people that you want to have vote for you, show them the vulture chart. this is all you need to know. this plays right to the income gap in this country. the people down on the blue line where their wages have been for the last 30 years, when they lose their job, they can't afford health care. they're in a soptic situation. the red liners may get recycled back into the economy, but they get a cushion because that's where their income has been, they can afford this health care insurance. i am so glad that this super pac has done a favor to the american people in the election cycle here in 2012. it's about health care. it's about a priority. what do we want to do in this country when people get sick and they can't have insurance?
because they can't afford it. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, will republicans keep lying to get mitt romney elected? "a" for yes, "b" for no to 622639. go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and leave a comment. we'll bring the results later on in the show. i am joined tonight by msnbc political analyst bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter. also with us, michael kinsley, who is also a columnist for bloomberg view. gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. michael, we'll start with you. michael, you wrote today that the ad, it may be tough, but it is not dishonest. do you agree it really puts the focus on the serious issues, generically speaking, overlooking this whole campaign? >> sure,eth, but i think we have to concede that this ad did imply that romney was in some way responsible for this woman dying of cancer, but i think you got to say that's fair when you
lay off hundreds of people and they are not going to have health insurance, it's statistically certain. people with health insurance live longer because they go to the doctor when they get sick. and people without health insurance don't. so i think that conclusion is perfectly fair. i don't -- i mean, i believe in capitalism. i believe in free markets. i would not even say for sure that perhaps -- perhaps this guy -- laying off people in this factory was the right thing to do, but romney won't defend it, like he never defends anything he's done that comes under criticism. instead, he says the buck doesn't stop here. >> jonathan -- jonathan alter, i want to ask you, did the situation damage the romney camp with conservatives? >> you know, i think it did, because the conservatives want
romney to retreat all the way from what he did in massachusetts, which was the model for obama care. remember, the house of representatives has repealed obama care 31 times. if mitt romney is elected president, they will repeal it and he will sign that repeal on the first day of his presidency, the first week of his presidency, as he has pledged. and i wish the debate would move from this ad and that ad and, you know, what did stephanie cutter know and when did she know it about joe soptic and what was the timeline of when bain -- when romney left bain and all the idiotic questions that the press is obsessing on, and instead what the press should be focused on is what are the consequences of repeal of obama care? and the consequences, as mike just indicated, are death. repeal equals death. people will die in the united states if obama care is repealed.
that is not an exaggeration. that is not crying fire. it's a simple fact, if you have pre-existing conditions and you are thrown off of health insurance or if you get sick after you or your husband, spouse, loses the job, you're not going to go to the doctor as soon, your cancer or disease is not going to be caught as quickly, and your odds of dying are much, much increased. so obama care will save, literally, thousands of lives. and this is what the debate should be about. do we, as a country, want to throw sick americans to the wolves, people with pre-existing conditions? >> but we get taken into the arena of political mess when you have the people on the right saying, well, they are accusing president obama, you know, of murder or accusing romney of murder on this. and throwing it back at the obama people. here's one conservative pundit saying the romney campaign needs to fight back harder. >> guess what, you know who the
real murderers are in the white house if you want to talk about figurative murder? how about the obama jobs death toll. >> michael, who benefits from a debate over who the real killers are? >> i don't know who benefits, but the reference to the death panels is pretty funny. i mean, if anything can be funny on this subject, you know. the opponents of obama care during the obama care debate went on and on about how if this happens and that happens, you're going to have the equivalent of death panels. well, if we don't go through with obama care, there will be death without panels. >> well, jonathan, this has got to renew the discussion about repealing obama care, and you made a very direct point on all of this, but where does this go from here in the campaign? of what do you think -- i mean, why aren't the obama people just embracing this super pac, because it tells the very truth about what happens to people when they lose their jobs in
this country. >> they don't need to embrace this ad and get into a big fight about whether they were calling mitt romney a murderer or whatever. they need to move on to a debate about the main issue, which is obama care. and they can bring death into the conversation and say, no, we're not calling mitt romney a murderer, what we are saying is that if he's elected president, a lot of people will die. those are two slightly different but related issues. and to get off of bain, get off of the bain timeline and all the questions surrounding that and get on to the main question. romney knows that ending discrimination against people wf pre-existing conditions is very popular in this country. he's already backing away from his support for total repeal, even though he said 100 times during the primaries that he would repeal on day one. so now as romney backs away, it's up to the obama campaign to say, hey, wait a second. i'm sure the president will do this in the debates.
wait a second, you have said all along you want to repeal this thing. now don't start talking about how, you know, it's okay if you get cancer in massachusetts but you're on your own if you get cancer somewhere else. >> michael, if health care becomes a main issue down the stretch of this campaign, will romney have to defend his record in massachusetts? according to his spokesperson, he probably would have to, but what do you think? >> he seems to be able to get away with not defending his record on all sorts of things. as i was saying, the buck doesn't stop here. he had nothing to do with any decision at bain to close a factory. he has nothing to do with his wife's horse hobby. he doesn't even know when her horse is performing in the olympics and so on. i think that's a tick of his. >> michael kinsley, jonathan alter, great to have you with us, thanks so much. remember to answer tonight's question at the bo bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter at ed show and on facebook. we always want to know what you think. coming up next, another low level, a new low for newt
gingrich, the former speaker is trying to defend mitt romney's latest lie. see him finally admit the truth when we come back. he... ♪ are you seein' this? ♪ ♪ uh-huh... uh-huh... uh-huh... ♪ ♪ it kinda makes me miss the days when we ♪ ♪ used to rock the microphone ♪ back when our credit score couldn't get us a micro-loan ♪ ♪ so light it up! ♪ even better than we did before ♪ ♪ yeah prep yourself america we're back for more ♪ ♪ our look is slacker chic and our sound is hardcore ♪ ♪ and we're here to drop a rhyme about free-credit-score ♪ ♪ i'm singing free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ dot-com narrator: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world.
coming up, newt gingrich admits the romney camp has no proof to back up their claim about president obama's new welfare policy, but it isn't stopping them from pushing their favorite lie. republicans aren't even trying to hide their voter suppression efforts in the state of ohio. we'll show you how they're rigging the vote ahead of the november election. and a group of catholic nuns are questioning mitt romney's morals when it comes to policies for the poor. the leader of the nuns on the bus tour will join me later. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using #edshow. we'll be right back. are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪ ♪
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welcome back to "the ed show." the republican's favorite attack dog is having a tough time defending mitt romney's latest lie. it took less than nine hours, pretty comical here, less than nine hours and two interviews for newt gingrich to break down and admit that romney's new welfare ad is simply not true. the romney camp started running this ad op monday. almost every major news outlet debunked it. here's why. >> president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. >> totally untrue. in fact, we won't even show the rest of the ad because it's so packed with lies. but here's the truth. states now do have the power to award temporary assistance. republican governors, they asked for this policy change. romney himself when he was governor asked for this change. states still have to fulfill welfare for work requirements. there is no welfare handout.
newt gingrich admits he's just speculating on what the obama administration might do someday. >> we have no proof today, but i would say to you under obama's ideology, it is absolutely true that he would be comfortable sending a lot of people checks for doing nothing. >> gingrich is stuck defending romney's lie, so instead of talking about the romney welfare ad, gingrich is going on the offensive. today he called on president obama to disvalue the priorities usa ad we told you about at the top of the show. gingrich actually said the candidate should be held accountable. here's the problem, it's not the president of the united states' ad. >> priorities usa action is responsible for the contents of this advertising. >> but mitt romney is personally responsible for the blatantly false welfare ad. responsible for the welfare ad. romney says so himself.
>> i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. >> newt gingrich is right about one thing, the candidate should be held accountable. let's bring in democratic strategist chris kofinis tonight. good to have you with us, you've been down this road before, the mud slinging back and forth about what's true and what isn't. is there a difference between these two political ads? >> there's a huge difference, legally if nothing else. legally, you cannot coordinate between an independent group and a campaign. you'd be breaking the law if you did, so right there there's a difference. just in terms of the message, you know, the romney ad, that is their message. that is something that the romney campaign approved, that governor romney now owns. the ad that was put out by priorities usa is not an ad on behalf of the obama campaign. it wasn't put out by the obama campaign. it was not funded by the obama campaign, so there's a fundamental difference. i find it somewhat ironic, to say the least, when you think about the fact that -- you think about the fact that newt gingrich is out there defending
governor romney. what level of dante's political hell has newt gingrich and mitt romney entered? >> this is what i find so confusing, why in the world would newt gingrich go out there and talk about welfare when he knows that he has to talk about an ad that admittedly isn't true, i mean how stupid is that? why would he do that, what's the upside of doing that? >> you know, this campaign, it is the most puzzling campaign, to me, the romney campaign. there's no message. we're now about what 90 days out, there's still no focus. you could literally walk down the street of any major city or small town and no one can tell you what governor romney is running for or running about. what has happened is they have to distract. they have to attack, and it is a puzzling strategy. it's political malpractice, if nothing else, but you see their surrogates are left in this box, what do they go out there and tout governor romney's vision is going to be for the country? they can't say what it is, so
they have to attack president obama and in a sense attack him over something that isn't even true. >> but it needs to be pointed out, i believe, over and over again, that romney endorsed an ad that was totally false about welfare. he attacked the president. the ad attacked the president, made claims that simply weren't true, and then when his lead surrogate, one of his lead surrogates, newt gingrich, goes out on the stump and has to defend it, he finally breaks down and at admits, well, it's really not true. is romney's welfare ad trying to play into old racial stereo politics about poverty? >> i mean, i think there's definitely an element to that. i think there's an element to -- it's playing into the anxiety people have about the economy and where the country is going, and it's just kind of the lowest base politics. i mean, politics is a tough business. i've engaged in it, you hit back and you hit back hard. you get hit, and that's part of the business, but there's also, i think, a positive part to it. you have to have a vision in terms of where you want to take the country. i think the best ad of this
cycle has been president obama's ad where he laid out the choices, the different visions the country has in terms of where you want to go. one stands with the middle class and one that does not. i cannot tell you, nor can anyone else, what governor romney stands for. >> wouldn't it help the romney camp if they actually came out with an ad that's factually correct? could they not get back and try to be brilliant on the basics to define who their candidate is? chris kofinis, always a pleasure, good to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. next, the latest on the effort to block the vote in ohio, republicans slash early voting time for democratic-leaning areas, yet expand the time for republican areas. ari berman of "the nation," and ohio state senator nina turner will join me next. and mitt romney has said corporations are people, but now mitt says, well, he's not a business. the panel will try to make sense of romney's latest flip-flop.
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welcome back to "the ed show." i don't think we can talk about this story enough. the republican effort to suppress the vote in this country. the disenfranchised democratic voting blocs and stack the deck against the poor in this country, against minorities. i mean, this has been going on for years, but now they are not even trying to hide it anymore, and it couldn't be any more
obvious than in the state of ohio, which we've talked about the last few nights. this was the scene, i want you to remember, this was the scene on election day 2004, you know, when bush won re-election. i mean, folks were waiting in line to vote for hours. a lot of folks got frustrated, they just walked away. well, according to one tally, 174,000 people in the state of ohio walked away from the polls that day. george w. bush won re-election and won the state by just 118 votes. now, the 2004 disaster prompted the state to make some changes and add early voting time to improve and to enhance the process. president obama won the state in 2008. well, republicans, they can't let an obama victory happen again, so now in heavily democratic areas, you won't believe this, early voting hours, they have been slashed. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on week days. now, if you're a working person, do these hours seem very
convenient to you if you're holding maybe one or two jobs? democrats have tried to fight this, but the republican election commissioners in the state are blocking it. the republican secretary of state, john husted, is siding with them, but only when it comes to the democratic-leaning areas. as ari berman of "the nation" reports, in solidly republican counties, gop election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends. now, just so we're all on the same page here, in republican areas, early voting is convenient for working folks. in democratic areas, well, not so much. you got to do the 8:00 to 5:00 thing. here's how one democratic party chair put it. the republicans remember those long lines outside board of elections last time in evenings and on weekends. the lines were overwhelmingly african-american, and it's pretty obvious that the people were predominantly obama voters.
the republicans don't want that to happen again. it's that simple. let's turn to ohio state senator nina turner and also ari berman, contributor for "the nation" magazine and "rolling stone" magazine and author of "herding donkeys." great to have both of you with us. senator, i want to ask you, are people in ohio, are they on this, and what's their reaction? >> people are outraged, ed. i mean, no one should have to beg to vote, and that is exactly what is happening in ohio in the predominantly urban areas, as you have laid out, ed. and it is absolutely shameful that jim crow has been resurrected in this country and particularly in the state of ohio. he's packed his bags and he's moved north. he's in ohio, he's in pennsylvania, he's making repeat performances in florida. we have to stand up and speak out against this, but it is absolutely shameful, and as you pointed out, that working folks, some people were piecing
together two and three jobs. early voting from 8:00 to 5:00 does not make sense for them. we should be expanding the franchise and not trying to take the right to vote away from poor and working-class people and urban people, ed, and that is exactly what is happening in ohio. >> ari, you dug into this quite a bit in "the nation" magazine, how are republicans getting away with this? >> well, they are getting away with it, ed, in the same way they are getting away with it all across the country. which is they got power in 2010. the first thing they did was to try to restrict the right to vote for obama voters who were so successful in 2008 to make sure they didn't turn out again in the same numbers in 2012. and it's interesting. in ohio, there's been a lot of pushback to voter suppression efforts in the state by republicans. actually, republicans had to repeal their own legislation, but they've short circuited that now by limiting these early voting hours by going to the ultra-local level and using their power on the county board of elections, which in many democrat cities are split between democrats and republicans 3-3. what happens is when there's a
split the ohio secretary of state, who is a republican, he has intervened on behalf of the republicans to limit early voting hours in places like cleveland, columbus, akron, and toledo. that's how they are getting away with this. >> republicans in the state say slashing the early voting is all about cost. why is that a lie? >> you know, never let the truth get in the way of a good story, ed. the republicans have a lot of good stories, but not a whole lot of truth. what is the cost of the state of ohio returning to the debacle of 2004? yes, there will be a cost to holding clean and fair elections, but that is a cost worth paying. it is absolutely outrageous that in the 21st century, 2008, that we would have elected officials trying to suppress the vote in this state, particularly of working class people. and ed, i will tell you in cuyahoga county in 2008, 56% of the early in-person voting were african-americans.
you tell me what's going on here. call it what it is. >> well, you are doing just that, and it's very interesting statistic you point out there, but if it's that intense and severe, could this not throw the state for mitt romney, could this have that big of an impact, senator? >> it could have that kind of impact, ed, but i want to encourage folks in ohio and other viewers across the country not to be sidelined and sidetracked by the foolishness. my republican colleagues are stuck on stupid and dazzled by dumb, but the people in the state and country make sure to know the rules of engagement in their state when it comes to voting and you get out and vote. >> i got to mention, it's funny that republicans are saying they don't have the money to expand early voting when they spent millions and millions and millions of dollars on necessary and costly voter i.d. laws, so it's okay to pass a voter i.d. law to make it harder for democrats to vote but not okay to spend money on early voting. and it's worth noting the democrats were willing to pick up the tab in these counties to pay for early voting, and
republicans didn't even give them the option to have early voting. so it's an incredible double standard and example of hypocrisy by republicans in ohio in cutting early voting and saying it's because of financial reasons. >> cuyahoga county was one of the counties willing to pick up the tab. ari hit the nail on the head. >> ari berman and nina turner, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. a lot more coming up on the next half hour of "the ed show," stay with us. >> president obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion. >> a fantasy commercial from romney is putting the campaign in a tough spot. plus, sister simone campbell wants romney to join her bus tour. she thinks mitt needs a lesson about america's poor, and she joins us tonight. mitt romney thinks corporations are people, but not when it could hurt mitt romney. the big panel weighs in on more hypocrisy from the middle class millionaire. er ] jason bourne was the tip of the iceberg. what are you gonna do?
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corporations are people, my friend. we can raise taxes -- of course, they are. everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. where do you think it goes? whose pockets? whose pockets? people's pockets. >> welcome back to "the ed show." almost one year ago today, mitt romney stung the crowd at the iowa state fair when he said corporations are people. well, a year's a long time and mitt's changing his tune to avoid answering hard questions. in a recent interview, romney was pressed on releasing only two years of tax returns. bloomberg asked romney if he was investing in a company, wouldn't he want to see more than just two years of financial reports? romney stood by his decision saying, i'm not a business. we have a process in this country which was established by law which provides for the transparency which candidates are required to meet. i have met that requirement. it's another shocking double standard from mitt romney.
he wants to give benefits and tax breaks to corporations, claiming that they are people, however, he says he's not a business. when it keeps his tax returns hidden. go figure. let's turn to new jersey republican assembly leader jon bramnick, also with us tonight, michelle goldberg of "newsweek" and the daily beast and democratic strategist john hlinko. great to have you with us tonight. leader bramnick, is there a double standard here? on the stump he says people are corporations, but then when he is asked to release his tax returns, he can't go down that road. >> first, he's released 2010, he's released an estimate for 2011. he's filled out every financial form when he ran for governor, when he's run for president in the primary campaigns, so he's met every requirement under the law. this is a distraction because what we should be talking about
is how to lower taxes, not how to look at taxes, and that's what the people in america are really aching for. >> well, you know, i actually think that, in a way, you have a point. because they are talking about how to lower taxes, that's the center of his campaign, we should know how much taxes people like him pay. he's running on the idea people like him need a big tax break, and so if he's paying -- well, we already know he paid 13.9%, which is a lot less than i pay and a lot less than most viewers pay and the other years are almost certainly less than that, and so how is that not germane to the kind of central issue in this campaign? >> well, congress passed the law that created these incentives, so if it's 13% or 20%, like president obama paid during one year, that's what congress and the prior president signed so we would stimulate certain areas of the economy or certain investments. that's what makes america grow. >> the thing is, people are talking about this and will keep on talking about this, it's like a horror movie where a person
goes into a hotel, hey, welcome, welcome, don't go in room 23. you're wondering, what the heck's in room 23. now everybody is wondering what's in it. we already know he had a $77,000 deduction for a dancing horse. what can be more embarrassing? >> the horror movie is when you don't have a good job and you want this economy to start to be stimulated. that's the real horror. >> but the focus -- >> -- stimulate the economy to give people like mitt romney more tax brackets -- >> everybody -- >> more dancing horse credits. >> everybody needs to be -- >> can we be clear, romney's tax plan, while giving massive tax breaks to people like mitt romney, involves by closing various loopholes, involves tax increases on the middle class, so we need to be clear about the impli kathss of the policies that he himself is promoting. >> i don't think there's any doubt that mitt romney doesn't want to raise taxes on anyone, including middle income earners.
>> there's no doubt the policy he's put forward will do that. >> let's get back to the fundamental point here. mitt romney on the stump says corporations are people, but then when asked about his taxes, he says he's not a business. how can he have it both ways? >> he's flip-flopped on so many things, why not this? i'm waiting for him to come out against mitt romney and do the ultimate flip-flop. this is going to continue to be a distraction, and, frankly, people are wondering did he honest to god pay zero in taxes for any of those years? if we did and gave him a tax cut, we'd have to pay him to earn money. >> to be fair, i bet mitt romney also supports greater secrecy for corporate earnings as well. >> nobody's asked him that. leader, is he? >> in secrecy, no. what he really wants is to turn around america, and i think there's a real desire for that. i think people want that change. when they go in the voting both, they are not going to say did he release a return in 2006? that's not going --
>> a new cnn poll shows 67% of independent voters think romney should release more than two years of tax returns. i mean, he's swimming up against stream on this. >> most people want to see more tax returns? >> absolutely. independent voters want full disclosure. they want to know what happened when the market went south in '08 and '09, there's a chance maybe he didn't pay any tax. how would that fly with the american people? >> i don't think, though, the majority of people are going to vote based on how many years of tax returns he releases, and i think, in essence, when they go into that voting booth, they want to vote for the person who's going to be the real person of change. >> wait a minute. it would open up a whole pandora's box of tax fairness discussion in this country, exactly what president obama's been talking about, about paying your fair share. if he paid zero tax and he's a multimillionaire because the market went down a little bit and still made a ton of money, the fact is that would walk them right into the discussion of tax fairness, which would put him behind the eight ball, wouldn't it?
>> that's one of the central issues in this campaign, you can't get around by saying this is a distraction or just personal. the central issue in the campaign is -- >> zero percent doesn't sound like fair share. >> he has a history of being aggressive within the law of seeking tax shelters and tax breaks that are available to corporations and corporation people like mitt romney but are not available to the vast majority of americans. >> do you think people really want to tax success? dow jones that's what -- do you think that's what they're about? >> no, they just don't want millionaires getting away with not paying anything, and i think politically it's a tough place for mitt romney if he were to release tax returns that showed he paid no tax in any of the last ten years he's trying to hide from, because that walks him right into a discussion he's going to have to defend it. he's going to have to defend it when we're showing this vulture chart about where the top 2% have gone in their income in the last 30 years and where the middle class has gone. the fairness argument would work for the obama team. they would have more evidence. >> sure, think about mitt
romney's dad ran american motors and paid 37% tax, people understood what he did, he built a company and paid tax. mitt romney, on the other hand, is downsizing, outsourcing, doing all kinds of things that are not growing this economy, yet he's paying a lower tax rate, it just makes no sense. >> it does show, regardless of what these tax returns demonstrate, this is a very smart businessman, someone who you want at the helm of the economy. >> 67% of independent voters just want to know how smart he actually is. >> he probably did what was legal, which we all should do. >> how do you argue simultaneously the fact he paid a low tax rate indicates he's smart enough to lead the country but we don't have the right to see the machinations that went into that? >> michelle goldberg, jon bramnick, john hlinko. >> hlinko, close. >> first time on the show, i'll get it right next time. coming up, nuns on the bus are back and this time they are inviting mitt romney along for the ride.
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still to come on "the ed show," a group of catholic nuns is questioning mitt romney's morals when it comes to his policies for the poor. sister simone campbell, leader of the nuns on the bus, has a challenge for the republican nominee. she joins me next. don't forget, you can listen to my radio show on sirius channel 127 monday through friday noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern time. follow me on twitter @edshow and like "the ed show" on facebook. we're coming right back. it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education
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>> in the big finish, mitt romney's embrace of paul ryan's budget has a group of cathline nuns calling him out. the nuns on the bus tour traveled across nine states protesting the ryan budget plan that slashes programs that help low income americas. they called the proposed cuts immoral and inconsistent with the catholic social teachings. the group invited mitt romney to
join them for a day and give him the opportunity to meet the people who depend on the programs he wants to cut. the romney camp has yet to respond to the invitation. joining me tonight, the sister simone campbell, leader of nuns on the bus and director of the national catholic social justice lobby. sister, nice to have you with us on the program tonight. what do you want and what would you like for mitt romney? what does he have to know that he may not know? >> he didn't know how those at the lowest 20% of income in our society live and how hard way work and how they struggle every day and he is making gross generalizations about them being lazy or not working. that's just plain wrong. we found on the bus trip over and over that people who are the working poor, working at low wage jobs are using the social
safety net to keep a roof over their head or food on the table. governor romney doesn't appear to know this at all. we would like to introduce him to the reality of our nation. >> you don't think he know this is and you think this would be an educational experience for him if he did join you on the bus tour? >> that would be our goal. he can't make the kind of statements he just made in this ad that infers that people who are in poverty are lazy? he has no idea how hard it is to keep a family fogg when you have low income. how hard people work every day just to make the basic necessities for their family and how little wages employers actually pay. on the bus trip we found many of the people using the social safety net were working at low wage jobs. we discovered that the employers were benefiting because their employees could eat with the programs, so it was an employer benefit as well as employee
benefit. we have to see we are all in this together and i don't think governor romney knows that. >> you called the cuts in the ryan budget immoral and inconsistent with the catholic social teachings. it is rumored that paul ryan might be on the republican ticket. what message do you think this would send to the poor in this country if he is on the ticket. >> for he is on the ticket it would indicate a strong preference for those at the top. the fact that we are not going to be the nation that we have always been. all the people as the constitution said. it's we the people together. it also said that this individualistic isolationist approach of congressman ryan is being endorsed by governor romney. that's a scary thought for who we are as community. >> paul ryan cites his catholic faith. in your opinion, where is he
going wrong? >> what he totally misses, he speaks about the individual responsibility. where he is wrong is he totally misses the idea of solidarity and we are in this together. part of our responsibility individually is to be responsible for community together. he misses that part entirely. the catholic bishops first said it was an immoral budget. we are standing with our bishops echoing that reality. >> are you expecting mitt romney to take you up on the invitation? >> i sincerely hope he will. we delivered the invitation and we encourage them to come along. i would love to show them what we saw. when you meet billy and margaret's family and all the people we met along the road, he couldn't continue to say that they are lazy or not working. that's wrong. >> i want to drive that point home quickly if i may. sister simone