tv Morning Joe MSNBC September 10, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PDT
anyway, i think he played "the creator" by pete rock going into that last break. i've got one more for you. how about a tweet right here. debbie gammons brown, a frequent viewer. "way too early" is like a willie geist bear hug to start my day. that's how i view myself, like this guy, the pizza shop owner in florida, who gave president obama a bear hug, lifted him off the ground. how great is that guy? "morning joe" starts right now. ♪ >> a lot of attention to, besides yourself, big headliner on your final night, and that was clint eastwood. were you laughing along with him, or were you wincing part of the time, governor? >> i was laughing at clint eastwood. look, to have him get up and speak in my behalf was a great thrill. i mean, this is a guy ann and i have watched from back in the days of "the good, the bad and the ugly." he's an american icon and hero. >> true enough, but it was a little bizarre, wasn't it, to have him talking to the chair? >> you don't expect to have a
guy like clint eastwood get up and read some speech on a teleprompter like a politician. you're expected to speak from the heart, and that's exactly what he did. >> good morning. it is 6:00 on the east coast. live look at times square. >> i don't know if he spoke from the heart. >> on monday. >> could have been more from the bottom of the bottle. >> september 10th. welcome to "morning joe." we're back here home. with us on set, msnbc and "time" senior political analyst mark halperin. how you doing, halperin? >> good morning. >> former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve ratner. it's been so long. >> i'm so happy to be back. i missed you all so much. >> i know you did. >> massive. just massive. >> missed you. >> and politico's executive editor jim vandehigh. >> it's a problem. >> it's a backdrop. >> that's nothing like a prop. >> it's like a curtain they roll down. >> they just proved it. the lights are on. these little rats that go around
on one of those wheels. willie, it's nice to be back home. it fits like a glove. >> long summer on the road. now we're back for the final stretch. less than two months till the election. >> fits like a glove. >> fits like a glove. the bus comes into town, and we plop out. >> yes, we do. >> what a tour it's been. >> it's been fun. did you guys enjoy yourselves on the road? >> yeah. i mean, you look at the two speeches that these guys gave, and they gave us such a clear outline for where they want america to go over the next four years. >> yeah. >> my faith in government is renewed. >> my father and i were talking yesterday about them. he said they both were contrived events that added up to nothing and basically money will decide this, and he's decided he's bet up. >> that's actually -- >> okay. >> your dad just nailed it because that is the case. mark halperin, that's the case, right? the two events all talked about two guys who in the end said nothing new. >> stunningly superficial. >> stunningly superficial. >> okay. for the first time in four
months, democrats have helped president obama pull ahead of mitt romney and his republican allies in monthly fund-raising. new numbers this morning show the president's re-election campaign along with the dnc took in more than $114 million in august. mitt romney and republicans raised just over $111 million. despite the president's edge last month, romney has raised over $100 million for three straight months and has more campaign cash put aside for the general election. a new gallup daily tracking poll shows his approval rating has jumped to 50%. >> wow. >> 44% disapproving only a week ago. his approval was upside down, then, with 45% approving and 48% disapproving. and in gallup's nation head-to-head tracking poll, president obama now leads romney 49% to 44%. a week ago the two were separated by just one point. >> so do mark halperin, about a four or five-point bump from the convention? >> today, but bounces, you know,
sometimes settle back down. >> it bounces around. but this was a dead heat before the convention started, and now barack obama has a three, four, five-point lead. >> there's a pretty close consensus amongst most people who follow this closely that the president now has a meaningful lead, that it's not tied in within the margin of error and that extends not just the national polls but to the battleground states. but governor romney has money and time to try to make up the difference. >> yeah. did you read jim vandehigh's article yesterday in politico? >> yeah. >> good stuff. >> it focuses a little on ohio. mitt romney campaigns today in ohio which is a critical state, or it could be one, for sure. president obama has a 50% to 44% advantage there, recent polling. no republican has won the presidency without winning the buckeye state. mike allen and jim vandehigh wrote an article called "state of the race: advantage obama." and there was some inside information, jim, that you all were getting that obama really
does have an edge at this point. >> and the information, jim, didn't come from giddy operatives for barack obama coming out of the democratic convention. >> rather. >> you were talking to romney's top people and top republicans who confessed to you, this is going to be a tough, tough ride now. >> right. i mean, of course, the obama folks think they're up. what was striking is how nervous romney is. and the reasons are a couple. one, they're seeing the same slight bump for obama coming out of the conventions that we're seeing. two, they had hoped that they'd get their own bump, and it never materialized. even for a couple days after their own convention. and three, what worries them most is when they look at the states. there's about nine or ten states that really matter. and in states that really, really matter like ohio. that ppp poll that you just showed has a five-point gap. they have internal polling coming both from the campaign and from outside groups that are worse than that. and that have been consistently worse than that.
and they use their own modeling. romney and conservative groups that have been in there tracking daily. >> wait. let me stop you here. so they're looking at polls in the romney campaign every day that show him down five, six, seven points? >> five, six, seven. there was one that they got back during their own convention that was around eight or nine-point deficit. and that's what -- and it's really, really hard, not impossible, but really, really hard for romney to win the presidency if he can't win ohio. there's a good piece in "new york times" magazine by a sharp reporter who looked at ohio and looks at how it's bucking the trend a little bit where its unemployment rate is about a percent below the national average. and there's this big debate about who deserves credit. does the republican governor, john kasich, who you know, or does barack obama deserve credit for that? that's going to be the big debate. you know, what romney has to do is go into ohio and say, listen, you might feel like things are improving a little, but they're really, really bad, and you have to vote obama out. that's going to be the trick for
him in ohio. and not just ohio. a lot of these other swing states like virginia where the economy is outperforming the national numbers. and that's what people have to pay attention to in these final nine weeks. look at nine states, that's it. that's all that this matters now. nine states. >> steve ratner, that is a nearly impossible thing to do for a politician, to go into a state where people go, hey, things are getting better. they're not really good. no, they're getting a lot better. and the politician said no, no, they're awful. and things are getting better in ohio. you look at the numbers. i mean, the big problem with a five, six, seven, even nine-point lead for barack obama is the fact that this year unlike previous elections, there aren't a lot of undecided voters. and as jim and mike pointed out in this piece, even if it's a three-point lead going into the final weekend, well, you're going to need to have a candidate, romney, who's going to need to get 75%, 80% of all the undecideds to swing the margin, that's just not going to
happen. >> well, the math on the undecideds is almost impossible. you have to believe that people who say they're going to vote for obama will have to switch in order for the numbers to work. you've got this conundrum, so they want to argue the economy's getting better. >> john kasich in virginia and bob mcdonnell in virginia. >> and then they want to argue the economy is not getting better. and then you have the republican governor of ohio basically saying the auto industry is irrelevant to ohio and therefore what obama did with the auto industry is irrelevant. by the way, it's a good thing he didn't let it go. and it's a complicated message they're all trying to convey. >> you can't make that sell. >> if you looked at the electoral map months ago, two years ago, before we started, this was going to be difficult for whoever the republican nominee was, to peel back all these swing states that president obama won in 2008. states like ohio, obviously, important, but florida, which is tied right now neck and neck. if mitt romney doesn't win florida, it's over.
>> florida should not be tied. >> it's tied right now. >> barack obama for two, three years had approval ratings in the low 40s in florida. >> yeah. >> and the states controlled by republicans, for the most part. >> yeah. >> and now you have this medicare issue that president obama is using against the romney campaign. mark, you've got to look at some of the swing states. >> do you want to show that? >> what romney has to do to get to 270. >> ohio is so important. if you just give barack obama the states he's going to win, all the coastal states, the nor northeastern states and wisconsin, you give him ohio, he's at 261 electoral votes. >> barack obama. >> that's without giving him virginia, florida, colorado, nevada, iowa or new hampshire. so all he'd have to do if he won ohio would win nine electoral votes, most of which he's ahead in. >> iowa. >> iowa, colorado, nevada, virginia. ohio is a big one. the only way governor romney could win, if barack obama won
ohio, was basically to sweep every other swing state right now. >> that could happen. >> it could. >> i could see a scenario where he wins nevada, where he wins colorado, where he wins new hampshire, where he wins iowa. i don't think, though, a guy like mitt romney, that type of candidate, is going to sweep all those states. >> you're from florida, obviously. why do you think romney's doing so poorly in florida? >> he's just a flawed candidate, steve. i'm telling you, the state has become more conservative by the day. the state legislature is extraordinarily conservative. the governor, extraordinarily conservative. the voters, very, very conservative. the congressional delegation, very, very conservative. democrats just hardly even have a bench down there. for mitt romney to be tied -- for him to be tied in a state that has become much more conservative in the ten years since i got out, i mean, the
state's too conservative -- i mean, for jeb at times. when jeb was there, he was considered, you know, pushing the boundaries of the far right. >> this is a critical moment for the romney campaign. the politico story that jim and mike wrote, "the new york times" story, the fund-raising numbers, the polling data coming out of the conventions, it's vital for them to do something to reassure their supporters that they are in this. and both of them, ryan and romney, on the sunday shows, muddled messages. >> we'll get to that right now. the question is when will they say something beyond in the debates when they have to but in very small amounts of time, and maybe with the super pac ads all speaking for them, it's safer to say nothing. you saw that on sunday where mitt romney and paul ryan stressed their plan to offset tax cuts by closing loopholes. speaking in separate interviews on sunday, the two men avoided naming any specific tax breaks, even when they would ask. >> give me an example of a
loophole that you will close. >> well, i can tell you that people at the high end, high-income tax payers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. those numbers are going to come down. otherwise they'd get a tax break, and i want to make sure people understand, despite what the democrats said at their convention, i am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers. i'm bringing down the rate of taxation but also bringing down deductions and exemptions at the high end so the revenues stay the same. the taxes people pay stay the same. middle-income people will get a break, but at the high end, the tax coming in stays the same. >> don't voters have a right to know which loopholes you're going to go after? >> so mitt romney and i, based on our experience, think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans, and then to work with congress to do this. that's how you get things done. the other thing, george -- >> isn't that the secret plan? >> no, no. no, no. what we don't want is a secret plan. what we don't want to do is cut some backroom deal like
obamacare and then hatch it to the country. >> why not say right now which loopholes you're willing to close? >> george, because we want to have this debate in the public. we want to have this debate with congress. >> the president responded -- we'll get to that in just a moment -- but you were tweeting on saturday night because you have nothing else to do, saying -- >> put my daughter to bed. and she was falling off. so i said, i'm going to catch some football scores. >> tweet. right. >> and, of course, it bled into politics. go, 'bama, and people then, why do you love barack obama so much? >> and you talked about how you can't win if you're running scared. and part of running scared is not answering questions. i mean, how can they not answer a question like that? what would be a bad answer to that? would there be some really, really, really rich people who would get upset? i mean, seriously. why can't you talk about a loophole that you would close? just one. one little one. can't you even just say one little one that you might close? must you keep that a secret as well? or do you not even know what's
in your plan? that's my question. but you point to a bigger picture, which is there are moments in history where leaders have won by being specific, by even giving people extremely hard news to listen to. >> harsh news, harsh news. i mean, hit romney is in trouble. you said what i felt on saturday night, after reading this politico article and a lot of other articles, that this is a moment where you can look back and say, all right, you know what? they had to change paths at this point, or else they couldn't have won. and i think we are there. after the conventions on labor day, after labor day, they have to start being aggressive, and they have to start being specific, and they have to start telling americans where they're going to take this country. they're going to have to jolt people with facts. and i brought up two great points. i thought two great leaders, i mean. one, margaret thatcher in 1975.
margaret thatcher had more of a chance of becoming conservative leader in great britain in 1975 and eventually becoming prime minister than i would have moving to berkeley and being named the president of the free speech society. i'm dead serious. you went to britain in '79, '80, '81. you were over there then. nobody expected margaret thatcher to be elected prime minister in 1979. and the only way she did it was by being brash, bold, radical and getting in people's faces and saying, this empire is collapsing. and the only way we change course and save it is by undertaking a radical course change. and she did it. if she had been tepid like mitt romney is, she would have been crushed by labor. >> and nobody had any doubt what she stood for. >> no doubt. >> what her policies were, what her whole personality was going to be, what she was going to do if and when which she did become
prime minister. >> and by the way, end of the story, what did she do for great britain? >> she turn it had around. >> she changed it. she fundamentally turned it around. >> one year later, ronald reagan, the same thing. ronald reagan mocked, ridiculed, called a b-list actor. this guy was a joke up until the night he won. but he did the same thing. he radically -- he promised radical change in washington, d.c. a timid ronald reagan wouldn't have made history. right? >> yeah. >> here's why. >> the romney people think that they can run a bob dole campaign, a john mccain campaign, a gerald ford campaign and win. that doesn't happen. republicans do not win by running these type of campaigns. and for those idiots out there saying that i'm a rhino or i'm not a conservative because i'm actually telling them we will lose if you don't start running as a conservative. if you don't start telling people what you believe, if you
really do, in fact, believe in anything, and if you don't start telling people, yes, these are the tax exemptions we're going to take care of, yes, this is how seniors who are going to be turning, you know, 65 in 15 years, this is how they're going to be paying more. this is how we're going to have to trim benefits. this is how we're going to have to trim benefits on social security. these are the wars we can no longer fight. these are the weapons systems we can no longer afford. unless you have somebody that's willing to do that, romney's going to lose. >> i think you're right. and it's not the kind of campaign they're currently running. to me the biggest danger for him right now is the very things people in the republican party are worried about mitt romney before he became the nominee are the things that are perceived to be hurting him now. that he's not likeable, that he has a health care plant plan that he can't defend and attack the president's plan at the same time and that he doesn't stand for anything. those images of him are front and center right now, and there's a lot of republicans who have started to say and more who
will say if things continue to slide a little bit, this is what we were worried about. this is why we felt this was a weak person to nominate. >> jim vandehai, your own wisconsin boy, paul ryan. it seems that he has adopted more of mitt romney's stance than vice versa. being general, not talking about how the numbers addbacked off h plan, they backed off his budget. it seems to me that he is firmly entrenched in romney land. >> and it's unusual because when he picked ryan, everybody assumed that this means there's going to be a war of specificity. you don't go with ryan who has a ryan plan and then not go to war with specifics. it's clear that they determined before that and didn't adjust afterwards that no, they're going to continue to run the campaign that they set out to run three months ago. they're very open in private conversations that they don't ever want to get into specifics. they think that any specific that you put out there, you'll get clobbered over the head by the media.
you'll get clobbered over the head by your democratic opponents. but you're right, there's two things to beating an incumbent. you've got to make the case that they should go. and then you have to make the case that you are a superior alternative. case one's already been made. if you look at the polls, most people seem ready to be open to accepting someone other than barack obama. they've done very little to make the affirmative case for mitt romney. and i don't see any indications that they're going to radically change their approach to sort of match what joe's been talking about on the show any time soon. >> you know, willie, i've been saying for several years, just like we said crazy never wins in the republican party, and it doesn't. >> yep. >> ee have nventueventually. i've been saying for years in congressional races you can beat something with nothing. i say i'm a good example of it. in presidential races, you cannot -- you cannot beat something with nothing. the romney campaign -- and i've been saying that for years -- people who know politics actually know presidential politics know this. for some reason mitt romney and his team don't know this.
in presidential politics, you can't beat something with nothing. you have to present a compelling vision. and if you don't, americans aren't going to trust you at the office. >> and this was a moment. this is after labor day. people are back now. they're tuning into the race. you had the candidate on "meet the press," paul ryan on with george stephanopoulos. to give specifics and they wouldn't. paul ryan who is incredibly smart and a good guy, that answer is insufficient. for people who want information for an undecided voter who wants to know these candidates and know what will happen if they're put into office, that answer just doesn't cut it. david gregory even started offering loopholes to mitt romney. would you take away the mortgage interest deduction? i'm not going to get into that. why not? when are you going to get into it? >> he's running for president of the united states, for god's sake. what are you going to do? >> david gregory, they just went round and round and round. and it was like jell-o. he could not get mitt romney to stand still on anything except to promise tax cuts without in any way specifying how they were going to get paid for it.
>> yeah. exactly. i'm not going to raise taxes on the american people. >> are we being too tough on these two guys, or were they really, really general in your eyes, too? >> they continue to amaze me, both the principles romney and ryan and their staff, they come to these shows with no news to me. and so the news they're going to make is news that's negative from their point of view. i thought, you know, they know what questions they're going to get. one thing we haven't discussed yet about romney is his answer about why he didn't mention the troops in his speech at the convention. he got asked about it and gave a very weak answer. >> he was also asked -- >> he was asked again and gave an even weaker answer. >> somebody who is really facing this unemployment crisis head on. and again, it was kind of a weak, generic answer with no specificity and no sense of heart. i'm going there because we got nothing else from him, nothing. absolutely nothing. these guys come on on every type of broadcast that interviews them, and i haven't -- i mean,
have they said anything? >> no. i tell you what. republicans that want mitt romney to win who desperately want barack obama out of the race, they'd better hope that people like karl rove and others that have influence on this campaign start going to the candidate and getting in his face and saying, we're investing a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money in you, buddy. and you'd better get your stuff together. and next time you go on a national sunday show, you'd better have some answers. you're not going to be able to coast into victory. you will coast into a 52%-48% loss. >> and paul ryan's becoming a problem as opposed to -- >> right now -- >> -- a solution. he's voted against everything he's fighting for now. >> 23 years old, he's never done this. listen, that's what you've got to do. i don't want to see paul ryan go out and, you know -- >> go rogue. >> -- go rogue. that's not his job. >> he should be allowed to speak his mind. and instead, he's being told not to say certain things.
>> none of them are speaking their mind. do they have a plan? >> well, ryan has a plan. >> no, no. >> a highly inflammatory plan. and that's why they won't let ryan speak as well. >> talking about the romney people, i don't get it. jim vandehai, thank you very much. >> take care. thanks. >> thanks, jim. great story. ahead, senator dick durbin, "new york times" columnist frank bruni and actor woody harrelson here on set to discuss his new off-broadway play "bullet for ado adolf." and mike florio will talk about how the jets pulled off the win in week one. first let's go to todd santos with a check on the forecast. todd? >> mika, thanks so much. want to zoom into florida just in honor of joe. it's also the only game in town as far as showers and thunderstorms going on. they're very isolated, but there are a few lightning strikes showing up the west side of tampa bay and laurel. keep in mind, we'll still see showers and thunderstorms
filling in with daytime heating across florida. especially central to southern portions of the state. aside from that, you kind of zoom out. you get the idea that the northeast, a lot of clear skies and specifically for the northeast, just breathe in. it feels so good especially early this morning with some cool temperatures out there. a lot of 50s showing up on the map. 61 in new york city right now. 59 in boston. i have tweaked these numbers a little bit. 72 in boston. albany coming in dry today. looks pretty good across a good stretch of the 95 corridor for everything you're doing outside. there's a look outside on this beautiful cool morning. more "morning joe" coming your way next. ♪ ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler.
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months of negotiating the union and the school district failed to reach a midnight deadline on a new contract. at issue, everything from pay raises to class size to the role of standardized testing. >> i'm not an expert on such things, but i would guess teachers going on strike at the beginning of the school year probably not a good pr move for teachers. sorry. sorry. it's not going to work out well for them, willie. >> i was in chicago over the weekend. this is a huge story there, obviously. a friend of mine works for chicago public schools. she's not a teacher but an administrator. but the administrators being sent to the schools today. 144 schools essentially to baby-sit 400,000 public school students. >> oh. >> okay. "the wall street journal," the u.s. treasury department said it's going to sell $18 billion of aig stock, making the government a minority shareholder for the first time since 2008. the project was the u.s. government's largest bailout
with as much as $182 billion in aid. "the washington post" with about two weeks left before todd akin can no longer have himself removed from missouri ballots. the race for mccaskill's seat has turned into a waiting game. akin has faced constant calls to bow out of the race after his comments about legitimate rape. but so far has been defiant about continuing his bid. >> mark halperin, what's the latest? >> what's interesting is mccaskill has not gone on the air with negative ads highlighting akin's controversial comments for a reason. she wants to wait till the deadline passes. what republicans say is ignore the fact that the polls are still close. as soon as the deadline passes and she goes on the air with those ads, he's a dead man. >> he's not raising money, is he? >> he's raising a little bit. you know, he's raising a little bit from people, conservatives -- >> like to lose. >> but he'll not raise sufficient money. and the national republican
senate committee and the outside groups like crossroads are not going to put money in there. >> still squeezing him. >> although they're surprised he's hanging on, he's not going to once those ads start. >> story out of washington, strasburg taken out for the rest of the season. that's weird. >> and not happy about it. davey johnson informed him that they were taking him out. he was shut down for the season, won't pitch regular season, won't pitch in the playoffs. >> that's amazing. >> because they're worried about his career. he's coming off tommy john surgery. they don't want to break him down like so many young pitch s pitchers. that's a tough call. you don't know you'll pass this way as a team. they have the best record now in the national league east. they could go to the world series. if they do, they'll do it without their best pitcher. time now for politico. >> jonathan martin has switched in the chair where mr. vandehai was just sitting. "playbook." how you doing? >> i'm doing all right. >> let's talk about that massachusetts senate race. both candidates spending an awful lot of money on tv ads,
but neither is mentioning the other by name. let's watch. >> this is scott brown from the road. and i approve this message. after i was elected, i got my first lesson on how washington works. turns out members of congress were making money in the stock market trading on insider information. and it was all perfectly legal. if you did that, you'd go to jail. so i filed a bill to stop insider trading in congress. and it got passed and signed into law. for me, it's pretty simple. the politicians, they should live by the same laws as everyone else. >> small business owners bust their tails every day. but they can't afford armies of lobbyists in washington. no one says it, but the system is rigged against them. >> big profitable corporations pay no taxes. big oil companies pocket billions in tax breaks. elizabeth warren's plan, get rid of the loopholes and special breaks and level the playing field for small businesses. give everyone a chance to succeed. >> i'm elizabeth warren.
i approve this message because washington shouldn't be rigged for the big guys. >> all right, jonathan. so not negative ads. forget what we think about them. how are they playing in massachusetts? >> i think the scott brown ad is exactly the kind of ad he has to run in a state that obama's going to win by, what, 15 points probably this fall. you see that spot, and he's talking about the bill that he got through. but what he wants voters to see is not the bill, it's the image of he and president obama at the signing ceremony. and of course the helpful closed captioning there where the president says "good job." i thought, the warren spot is striking, too, willie because you have a liberal democrat who is talking about washington but also talking about helping small business, too. so you've got both candidates here playing against tight which i thought was very, very striking. >> and jonathan, where is the race right now if you look inside the latest polls a couple months ahead of election day? >> it's much closer than democrats thought it would be. they have been really impressed, i think, if you ask most democrats by scott brown, the fact that we're after labor day,
this is a very blue state. this is going to be a big obama state. and brown is still hanging around. i think speaks to his qualities as a candidate and speaks to the difficulties warren has had as a first-time candidate running in a state that is, as you guys know, very, very tough politically for candidates. it is a place that is as difficult as anywhere in the country when it comes to candidates running statewide for the first time especially. >> all right. politico's -- >> you know, a lot of those ads that scott brown run now, this was one of them, every one of them will be like hey, i'm scott brown and steve ratner paid for this message. >> ratner. shame on you. >> how much personal funds have you moved in? >> whatever it takes. whatever it takes. >> oh, my gosh! >> jonathan martin with politico, thanks so much. we'll check you guys out at politico.com. up next, we're going inside week one of the nfl. he's back, mike florio. the season has begun. taking us inside peyton
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well, it's time, if mike florio's here, you know the football season is here. >> to talk about sports. >> the first week of the regular nfl season. the founder of profootball.com, host of "pro football talk" on nbc sported network. welcome back. >> it is great to be back with you guys. >> it means good things. very exciting. let's talk first last night, the sunday night game on nfl with the great al michaels on the call. >> we love al michaels. the guy is a progressive, but we like him. >> peyton manning. there were some questions, could he still play with the neck? i think he answered most of those last night. >> and there are still some issues. he doesn't have his full arm strength. his brain is 100%, always has been. he stays within his limitations. this goes into the stat sheet as a long throw. he knows how to get guys in the right position. he knows how to find the open man and beat the steelers at home. >> what a leader. >> i don't think they're going to regret it yet in indianapolis, but they have to look at this and say are we sure
we did the right thing? >> it's one game. do we have any sense for how good the broncos may be? it's hard to tell how good the steelers are so you don't really know. is this like a super bowl team, or what are we looking at? >> that's the thing about week one. you don't know what to read into the games. remember last year with the broncos' defense, they played well enough through the first three quarters where tim tebow wasn't playing well to keep the games close so he could work his magic. that defense is underrated. >> think about it, if the broncos got as far as they got with tim tebow, literally going 3 for 27 for the first 3 1/2 quarters, what do you do when you upgrade to peyton manning? what about the jets, willie? so every day i'm driving home, right? smoking my cigarette. >> your guy. >> and he's my guy. a little drink. a little martini as i'm driving home. >> okay. >> on the wrong side of the road. and i'm hearing these talk radio guys talking about sanchez. and all they do -- >> they talk. >> forget about the giants. all they want to talk about are the jets and they're the worst team ever and sanchez is the
worst quarterback ever. and sanchez goes, i can draw this huddle. it sounded pathetic. but yesterday, boom! >> no touchdown passes in the preseason for sanchez, and he went off yesterday. >> tebow didn't do anything. he had 5 carries for 11 yards. this is one of the reasons they got tebow. they're trying to light a fire under tebow. they want him to play in the regular season like they've seen him play on a big stage in january. and tebow is a threat to cut into his playing time. that may be different in pittsburgh. for sunday against the bills, it worked very well. >> willie, can i ask you a question? >> sure. >> i don't get -- you've got the super bowl champs. you've got the super bowl champs. you've got eli that's won it twice. nobody talks about eli. nobody talks about the giants around here. nobody talks about all the great things they're doing. everybody's obsessed with the new york jets. all they do is talk about the jets around here. why? >> no controversy. no controversy.
eli just plays it straight. he just goes out and wins. the jets have the quarterback controversy. and they've had rex ryan for the last four years making super bowl predictions. they always keep themselves on the back page of the tabloids. >> and the giants may be happy nobody's talking about them. we've forgotten about the fact that they lost to the cowboys at home five days ago. i think where is one of those days where they're happy to be ignored. >> rookie quarterbacks. we'll start with the number one pick, andrew luck, playing a good chicago team in chicago. threw for a lot of yards but also three interceptions. >> and look. nobody expected andrew luck to win out of the gates. peyton manning was 3 for 13 as a rookie in 1998. he had guys like marshall faulk and marvin harrison. so this wasn't unexpected. he looks the part. he can get the job done. the wins will come. if you look at their schedule this year, they've got plenty of games at home they can win. but nobody expected them to go into soldier field and win. i think what makes this more glaring is that the other high-profile rookie quarterback went into the superdome and won. if you were jim irsay and you're seeing what peyton manning did
in denver and what rg3, the guy you passed over, did in new orleans, you have to be wondering, are we sure we did the right thing on both counts? rg3 was incredible against the saints. >> i don't understand how anybody passes up rg3 for andrew luck. >> we will see. andrew luck is a very good quarterback. what makes rg3 so good? >> he's got the whole package, a rocket arm, ee very mobile later laterally, vertically. the shanahans have adjusted their offense to this guy. it used to be very ridgie i reg. and he's smart, too. he did one of those read option plays like tim tebow does, mike vick does, and he ran up the middle into daylight, and he slid when he got his first down. he didn't try to extend it. you try to avoid contact. you don't get injured. he's already showing that savvy of a guy who's been playing for a long time. mike vick's been playing for a long time and he can't slide. >> mike vick just keeps getting hammered. what about that yesterday? four interceptions.
and yet the eagles still win. >> yeah, the only thing encouraging about it is after he threw an interception for a touchdown to put the browns up late, he got it together on a 91-yard drive, and maybe that gives him a little spark. it's not a matter of avoiding injury. you avoid contact. he just doesn't know how to avoid contact. >> plus he has a line that was miserable, didn't protect him at all. >> lucky they were playing the browns. i think that was the good news for the eagles. >> for all we know, the browns will go 15-1. if you lose, you're the best you can be, 15-1. if you win, the worst you can be is 1-15. >> losing at home to the niners. >> yeah. and they have the bears coming in four days who look pretty good. they'll be 0-2 after going 15-1. >> mike florio, we could talk to you all day. >> mika could. >> we'll be right back with mika's "must-read opinion pages." [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
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♪ what this world is about ♪ some good friends ♪ get me out when you give a speech, you don't go through a laundry list. you talk about the things that you think are important, and i described in my speech my commitment to a strong military, unlike the president's decision to cut our military. and i didn't use the word "troops." i used the word "military." i think they refer to the same thing. >> i find it interesting that people are curious about mentioning words in a speech as opposed to policy. and so i went to the american legion the day before i gave that speech. >> you weren't speaking to tens of millions of people, governor, when you went to the american legion. >> what i've found that wherever i go, i'm speaking to tens of millions of people. it's picked up by you and others, and that's the way it ought to be. i have differences on policy with the president. i think those are more important
than what word i mention in each speech. >> hey, willie, explain that fox interview. >> that was an interview on friday conducted with fox's brett baer. and he asked governor romney, do you regret not talking about the troops and the sacrifice of the military in your convention speech to which we didn't hear it there, but mitt romney replied, "i regret you repeating it again day in and day out." in other words, i regret you bringing that up again. then he said it's not a laundry list, a convention speech. you talk about the things that are most important to you. presume reply the troops would be on that list if you were putting together a list of things that were important to you. so he said it was, you know, he's less interested in words and more interested in policy. he's just parsing this. >> man. >> it's an easy thing to handle -- >> what do you do when you really screwed up and you're asked about wry did you screw up? how does he answer that? >> i made a mistake. >> it's just a fumble. >> i made a mistake, and certainly blah, blah, blah. >> it's a really big one, though. i mean, it's an insult to basically who we are as a
country. >> i don't know that it's an insult to who we are as a country. i think it's an insult to mitt romney that his staff members didn't put that into the speech. i think they screwed up, and they let him down again. this is a recurring theme. >> that is a recurring theme. i mean -- >> and the candidate bears responsibility as well. but somebody, i guarantee you, if any other republican were giving a speech and there was nothing in there about afghanistan, you would have had a staff member going, hey. >> hello? >> yeah. we're in a hot war, longest war in american history, $2 billion a week. americans getting shot every week. we'd better mention this. and they didn't. and so the staff let him down. and he should have picked it himself. >> i saw this in "newsweek" which came early. the ghost of george w. bush. romney has tried to handle the bush legacy the same way mccain did, by ignoring it. when republicans convened in late august in tampa, as in minneapolis in 2008, bush was
not there. but in campaigns, ignoring your weaknesses rarely makes them go away. while at their convention, republicans tried to pretend that the bush presidency never happened. the obama campaign handed bill clinton the microphone and allowed him to define the race as obama/clinton versus romney/bush. the gop in clinton's narrative creates economic messes. democrats clean them up. mark halperin, did they -- what else could they have done with george w. bush? >> well, they did show a nice video featuring 41 and 43, but they don't want this to be about george bush. and i think part of the -- >> isn't that what's hamstringing this campaign? >> part of the power of bill clinton is he puts his imprint on the obama argument, then voting for romney sends us back to the bush years. and there's not much counter for that as long as mitt romney is not very specific about how he'd be different than george bush. >> steve ratner, isn't voting for romney bringing us back to the bush years in terms of
policy? >> essentially it is. essentially when you cut through all of romney's policies, it's more of what bush did. it's more of bush tax cuts and no real vision. >> why wouldn't they be proud of that and roll him out? >> we have that versus barack obama promising four more years of whatever we had the past four years. it hasn't revived the economy. the economy's as weak now as it was then. i think, though, that peter beinart makes a great point. you don't run away from perceived weaknesses. you run to them, embrace them, and you put the best spin on them. i think actually would have been a great touch. and i think americans would have connected. cynical, snippy, snotty journalists and media elites wouldn't like it. but then again, they were shocked on september 11th when the person who got the biggest applause down at 9/11 was -- george w. bush. george w. bush. from the families, from the survivors of 9/11, bush got it.
it would have been nice if the republicans had had the guts to beg him to come to the convention and say mr. president, we know you had a rough eight years. we know that you followed the, you know, you were there when there was the biggest attack on the united states in history. and we salute you. nobody would have believed on september the 12th that the united states of america would not endure another attack. you made tough choices. you were attacked viciously by democrats for eight years. >> demonized. >> for making those choices. you were demonized as a man who hated the constitution. your hon you were demonized as a man who dared to put the most dangerous terrorists in the world at guantanamo bay. we had a candidate promising that he would abolish -- you know, get rid of gitmo within a year. go down the time line -- >> the problem is -- >> hold on. and now after getting the first
briefing, we had a young president who realized that america wasn't protected by accident. that america was protected because of your policies, your policies that are now barack obama's policies. mr. president, barack obama can't say this to you, but we can. thank you for your service. thank you for keeping us safe. god bless america, salute, blah, blah, blah. standing ovation, he walks out. and they've handled it. and guess what? middle america would love that. snotty, sniveling northeast elites would not. they wouldn't get it. >> i don't know. >> but again, you go to the 9/11 ceremony. the families are giving bush the biggest applause. i think republicans, again, scared of their own shadow made a big mistake. >> it doesn't hurt that president obama is extremely strong on foreign policy. >> i disagree. i think the undecided swing voters don't pine for the bush years. >> i'm not pining for the bush years. i'm getting an ex-president and
saying thank you, sir, for your service. thank you for keeping us safe. mika, what do you think? >> i think you can always do well by thanking an ex-president for his service. but i think the fact that obama killed bin laden -- >> using all of george bush and dick cheney's tools that they started over eight years that democrats attacked them for using. >> they didn't get him. >> so? i mean, yeah. the war continues. the war continues using the terms of that war that were defined by bush and cheney. >> we'll be right back. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks. ♪ [ maine accent ] 50% more clams. it's a lobster, either way.
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give me an example of a loophole that you will close. >> well, i can tell you that people at the high end, high-income taxpayers are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. those numbers are going to come down. otherwise they'd get a tax break, and i want to make sure people understand, despite what the democrats said at their convention, i am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers. i'm bringing down the rate of taxation but also bringing down deductions and exemptions at the high end so the revenues stay the same. the taxes people pay stay the same. middle-income people, again, get a break. but at the high end, the tax coming in stays the same. >> governor romney and his allies tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions of more dollars on new tax breaks for the wealthy. listen, you've got to do the
math because when my opponents were asked about it today, they couldn't. it was like 2 plus 1 equals 5. that's not bold leadership. that's bad math. that gets a failing grade. >> welcome back to "morning joe." mark halperin and steve ratner are still with us. and joining the table, chairman and ceo of the holding company mdc partners, miles nadal. and in washington, columnist for "the washington post" and msnbc policy analyst, ezra klein. good to have you all on board this hour. boy, we could go through those sound bites right there and do the math. >> yeah, let's run through it because once again we've been complaining that we didn't get a lot of specifics from the president's speech and certainly not a lot of specifics from mitt romney's speech. and it continued after the convention. mitt romney on "meet the press," david gregory trying to nail him down. somebody said earlier, it was
like nailing jell-o to the wall. he couldn't do it. >> are we being unfire? miles nadal, asking for specifics like, for example, potential loopholes he might close. >> look, i think that businesses are more uncertain than ever before. they're uncertain about the fiscal cliff. they're uncertain about taxation. they're uncertain about anyone's policies of how to deal with something as logical as like what was proposed by simpson-bowles to deal with all of these issues. i think, you know, until there is certainty, let alone the geopolitical uncertainty that exists in the world, but look, what people need, there's no even knowledge about what's going to happen with taxation. so as a result, there's no -- there's no -- you had bad employment numbers on friday, 96,000 jobs created. yet the market's going up. so the market usually is a discount factor of the future. so obviously, the market believes that at some point in time, some of these issues will
be dealt with. but yes, it is a frustration that is felt that there is no viable alternative on either side. >> they've got trillions of dollars on the sidelines. there has been for several years. there's an uncertainty, but the uncertainty now, unfortunately, is not just barack obama, which you've been able to put it on barack obama for the past two years. business is uncertain about what a romney -- what an obama second term would mean. now that uncertainty slides over to mitt romney as well. mitt romney goes on shows and doesn't tell people how he's going to pay for it. >> steve ratner, if you talk about what the loopholes he might close, is that adding to the uncertainty, perhaps scaring businesses? and aren't the businesses we're talking about, the big ones, making record profits? can't they handle it? >> well, first the loopholes he wants to close really don't affect businesses. they affect individuals. the reason he won't specify him is because they are so politically toxic, eliminating the home mortgage deduction,
eliminating charitable contributions, eliminating the special tax treatment on your health benefits. the reason that both he and paul ryan say we're going to cut taxes by this much and here's how we're going to do it, but we're not going to tell you what we're going to do to offset it is because this part is so politically toxic. that's what puts us into this world of uncertainty and the numbers don't really work. you cannot cut taxes across the board as much as he wants to and find enough loopholes to keep the middle class from having a tax increase. it just doesn't work. >> is this all calculated? is a specific calculation by the romney campaign, we're going to promise a tax cut, we're just not going to explain how we're going to offset the lost revenue? >> yes. because although people would like a plan, they think it's enough to just say we have a plan. and as steve suggested, these tax deductions, even if you try to have an income cutoff and say, if you make below $250,000 a year, you keep the deductions, as steve said, the numbers don't add up by most accounts. and even for the wealthier
people, if you engage and enrage the realtors who care about that tax break or the museums and charitable institutions who care about that tax break or employers who care about the health care tax break or state and local governments who care about the deductibility of state and local taxes, you would be picking a fight of mammoth proportions. >> and you know, the thing is, you're picking a fight of mammoth proportion that's going to have no real impact on policy in the long run. ezra design, i heard the president say yesterday that this choice was -- every politician says this every four years, this election is the greatest choice of our time. no, it's not because we have a lot of generalities on both sides. and even if mitt romney were to win, and let's say republicans won the house and had 51 in the senate, you still have a senate setup that the minority in the senate, the democrats, would never allow these sort of tax cuts to break through. >> one thing we're saying is
that i think if romney wins, he'll have a republican senate. and you can do anything you want through the budget reconciliation process which only needs 51 votes. i don't know that you'll have a big democratic contingent. one place i disagree with you, i think you can say that president obama's policies are bad if you don't like them, but they are specific. i can tell you exactly what he wants to do to the tax code and where to find it in his budget. i can tell you exactly what his health care plan looks like and what he wants to do with it. mitt romney could end these conversations now by just releasing an actual tax plan, releasing a health care plan, releasing a fuller medicare plan, releasing a plan that shows you how he's going to get spending cuts to add up to $7 trillion over the next ten years. he hasn't done that. there is, in specificity, whatever you think of the general direction of their policies between these two campaigns a massive gap in the degree to which they have been willing to tell you what they want to do. and for the romney campaign, that has been a political decision. it is better to have these broad goals but not show people what it would take to reach them,
that's fine, that's a calculation, but we shouldn't say the two are equivalent. the obama campaign has released specifics. whether or not folks like them, they're there. >> the president promised 1 million new manufacturing jobs when he was reelected. how is he going to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs specifically? >> what's interesting about most of his promises is that things are mostly on track to achieve already. we've created about 500,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 20-some months. >> we can expect that that's going to continue accelerating as the rest of the world because manufacturing, of course, is very, very heavily export dependent. we can expect that to continue generating. >> he promised 1 million new manufacturing jobs. what specifics -- >> this is my point. >> -- when you stand up and you say i'm going to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs with my policies, and then you have absolutely no specifics in this speech that millions of people are watching. it makes one scratch his head and say how do you create those 1 million new jobs? what are the specifics? >> the speech didn't have
specifics on actually many things, but the manufacturing jobs goal is something we're probably going to reach a lot like the export doubling goal from a couple years ago. so you can attack the goal there for being just something that's likely to be baked into the cake in a global economic recovery. but if we're talking apples to apples, the tax plans, budget plans, spending plans, you have specifics on one side and not the other. the new goals in the speech the other night were not huge policy goals. it was striking to me how many of them we were already on track to hit. we're going to hit about one-third, the energy, we need to get up to a half. >> there's $1.6 trillion excess on the balance sheets of corporate america. there's a trillion of capital that banks have. governments do not create jobs. corporations do. governments create policies that induce investment by corporations. okay? and revenue growth is a critical part of this. all we've talked about is how are they going to cut taxes and cut, you know, cut spending?
>> right. >> but you've got to grow the economy. the president does not believe the pie has to grow. the pie has to grow because otherwise it doesn't work. and i think the fundamental issue is, what are they going to do? what policies are they going to put in place that makes corporations want to invest? capital spending and employment. and i've always been pushing this. i've said small business is also a key, and no one's talking about small business employment. >> let's bring in chuck todd right now. chuck, yesterday you had mitt romney on "meet the press." >> reporter: yeah. >> asked some specific questions. and surprise, surprise, never really got into the details of it. republican republicans, certainly the romney campaign growing more discouraged by what they're seeing in poll numbers. any chance at all mitt romney will start getting more specific about where he wants to take this country in the next four years if he's elected? >> reporter: well, you wonder
does he get more specific as he feels the need because he's behind, right? like which comes first? if he were ahead, i think he would not feel that need. i am surprised. i think they go -- they've been going back and forth strategically as the campaign for about that ten-day window had they picked paul ryan and even the week running up to paul ryan and the week after, it looked like, you mow what? they wanted to go ahead and say, fine, we're having a big-choice election. this is two different directions we could go. and they were going to get specific. and now they're back into, you know, their best shot at winning, their best shot at november is to make this a referendum is to say this guy's not working. and if you believe in the referendum election, you don't provide details, period. you do what you can. you hug on other issues like i thought it was interesting yesterday, you know, mitt romney again saying hey, the president and i, we've basically got the same stance on the auto bailout. health care, the stuff you like, you'll keep it. don't worry. i'll keep it in there. i'll figure out how to keep that in there. and then specifics on the tax
plan, not now. >> i mean, chuck, it's just unbelievable. and it's one of the reasons why he's losing right now. i wonder, if he's still behind five points, six points in ohio, two, three weeks from now, then does he panic and start actually telling americans what he'll do if he's elected president? >> reporter: well, that's the way the movie "bullworth" went as he was losing. that's when warren beattie started getting out there, truth to power. it's interesting. i think that he does seem sensitive to this charge. and it really is hurting him in ohio more than any other place. sensitive to this charge that he's going to give a tax break to wealthy people. >> all right. >> reporter: and yet when given the opportunity to explain how he's not doing that, he didn't provide the details. i actually think the pressure on him is going -- is going to increase. and i bet before the first debate, we see a major policy speech with actual detail. >> mika, i'll tell you also yesterday, we've said it before, he's a good man, a great father, great husband, great
businessman. he's a terrible politician. yesterday on "meet the press," asked about why he didn't mention afghanistan or the men and women who were dying there every week. he bungled that question as well. you just sit there and go, how exactly did that happen? that he was not ready to answer that question? >> they have lost control of a few things, i think, ultimately. joining us now from washington, the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. david, aside from the lack of details that mitt romney seems to constantly hide behind, it seems they have lost two major sort of messaging factors, and that is sort of addressing the needs and the experiences and the plight of the american military and also the concept of betting on america. it seems like the democrats have completely taken hold of those two incredible messages. >> well, on that latter point, i mean, i think it is striking. you heard governor romney tell me that, you know, he predicts, as well as the foundations are,
let me say that less awkwardly, as strong as some of the foundations of the economy are right now, that he predicts chronic high unemployment if president obama gets a second term, there is certainly some of that belief in the business community, but it does belie some of the economic indicators that we're seeing right now, more fundamental strength. despite a fair amount of uncertainty. and on your other point about the military, i think it is striking, yet again. i mean, if you're promising a better economy, why not simply say, hey, we deserve a better economy for our troops to return home to? i mean, isn't that consistent with what governor romney is talking about? it's all tied up in what you were discussing before, which is how difficult it is to walk the minefield of the bush presidency on national security. another area i thought was striking from the interview had to do with iran. there's really no difference between governor romney and president obama on iran, despite some of the rhetoric, because there's not much difference between obama and bush on iran. you've got two presidents who have tried roughly the same thing, and it hasn't worked yet. >> steve ratner, from what mitt
romney has revealed and divulged so far in interviews, do you see him as withholding information, or worse, playing with the truth? >> well, there's a little of both going on in terms of how he described his position on the gm auto bailout, for example. he's now saying president obama should have put gm into bankruptcy sooner whereas he's been saying president obama shouldn't have gotten involved at all. putting that aside, i think one thing we shouldn't lose sight of is that there is a fundamental difference between these candidates that is coming through in this campaign. as ezra said, president obama has a specific plan, raise taxes on the richest, not on the rest of the country. the health care plan, spending and so on. and romney has a plan of basically massively reducing the scale of government and massively reducing taxes, massively reducing spending, changing medicare. and it's not a plan that at the moment is being -- is something that the american people seem to want. they seem to be happier with something more like what obama has been proposing.
>> look, one of the key issues is i don't believe that either republican or democratic results will change employment. you're going to have 1% to 2% employment growth probably for a sustained period of time. you need 3% gdp growth -- okay, sorry, gdp growth. you need 3% gdp growth just to keep unemployment flat. nobody is forecasting 3%-plus gdp growth for a long period of time, either democratic policy or republican policy. so i think we're in a sustained high unemployment environment in either case. i think you made a very interesting comment. you said romney is not an astute politician. he's likeable. sorry, he's a good father and he's bright and he's a good businessman. the research shows he's not likeable. >> right. >> people want to have change. if you look at the history, no one has ever been in a second term who had the political --
i'm sorry, the economic factors that were negative that obama has. but the problem is that people don't want to vote for him. and that's the issue. so is it because he's a bad politician, or is it because he's just not got the personality and the charisma that people want to vote for? >> and ezra, as we move forward, obviously, unemployment is going to be a critical indicator. of course, the rate fell down to 8.1%. and the disconnect, those who still aren't following politics, will see 8.1%, you know, and go oh! things are getting better. but you look underneath it, the numbers are actually terrible. what's the white house thinking right now about the jobs situation, and what are their concerns over the next 60 days? >> right now jobs appear to be essentially flat. as you say, pretty much all the internals on that report were very, very bad. the recent unemployment rate dropped is because people left the labor force, not because we added a large number of new jobs. over the last couple months, we're on pace of adding 100,000
jobs a month, 130,000 on average. and remember, that report is going to get revised -- could get revised upward. so for the white house, this is basically what they've been expecting now on trend, right? this is a race they're winning on these particular fundamentals. if it doesn't change in a very dramatic way downward, there's no particular reason to expect that it will affect the race differently than it has up until now. they've been having months of unemployment reports. they were almost exactly like that one, and they seem to be a little bit ahead. >> david gregory, what was your biggest takeaway yesterday from mitt romney? >> well, joe, i think there was some flashes of pragmatism in how he talked about health care or the way he even talked about foreign policy. and a sense of pragmatism just spending some time with him about what is going to be required should he become president? how difficult it would be to govern the need to even infuriate some conservatives as he seeks a balanced budget and a recognition that the political
advantage of having paul ryan is to pacify, to assuage the concerns of conservatives. so i did get some of that insight. and yet what we've been talking about through the morning, he's still -- the core of his economic plan, to try to deal with the budget deficit, to increase defense spending, cut taxes beyond even the bush tax cuts without taking head on how he makes the math work, i thought it was striking that he just relied on an aie/wall street journal/harvard study to say no, the math all comes together. i think he's got to really spell out, this is a team of saying we're going to make the hard choices. you've really got to walk people through that if that's ultimately what you're going to do to make the numbers work. >> chuck todd, what is boston thinking this morning? they expected a bounce. they didn't get it. now they're privately conceding that their path to the white house is more difficult than barack obama's. any sense that anybody there, stuart stevens, anybody there
realizes that they're going to -- they're going to have to be more specific moving forward? they're going to have to be more aggressive. >> reporter: well, i think that there is a fear, and they're going to go into the, you know, david plouffe likes to refer to it as the bedwetter mode. i think the biggest concern for the romney campaign -- >> by the way, that's what losers always say. >> reporter: yep. >> they accuse their critics of being bedwetters as their plane is flaming out and adding strength toward earth. i've heard so many losers say that through the years. and whenever losers that are running campaigns start talking about bedwetters, they identify themselves as losers who, after the campaign, what do they do? they blame the candidate. i could have never won with this guy anyway. he's not good politically. >> reporter: well, it is interesting, though, that they do have -- they have a couple routes to go. they have the specific route. you know, one of the things that we talked about on david's show yesterday that i think they don't deal with enough, you were talking about it earlier in the
show. and that is the drag that the republican brand and the bush brand is on romney. and if romney does it, i think one of the impediments to him, if he doesn't figure out how to sort of prove that he's different, that he's got a different plan, that he's going to govern differently than the bush years, that his policies are going to be different on the economic front, particularly the last couple of years, he's got to figure out that distance. that is how bill clinton cleared the hurdle in '92. he had to prove he wasn't part of the mondale, carter, dukakis wing of the party. and he had to do it in certain ways. and he did it with the death penalty. he did it with sister soulja. romney has got to figure that out because i think the republican party is still the biggest drag on mitt romney more than anything else right now. >> chuck todd, david gregory, ezra klein, thank you so much. see you on "the daily rundown" after "morning joe." miles, stay with us, if you could. coming up, "new york times" columnist frank bruni who speculates why some high-profile
names were notably absent from the conventions. and later, actor woody harrelson joins us on set. when we come back, dave walker raises the bar on steve ratner's charts. hello. yes. >> holy cow! >> that's a visual aid. we'll have him explain what this means next on "morning joe." [ female announcer ] they can be enlightening. hey, bro. or engaging. conversations help us learn and grow. at wells fargo, we believe you can never underestimate the power of a conversation. it's this exchange of ideas that helps you move ahead with confidence. so when the conversation turns to your financial goals... turn to us. if you need anything else, let me know. [ female announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far.
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well, i want to maintain defense spending at the current level of the gdp. i don't want to keep bringing it down as president's doing. this sequestration idea of the white house, which is cutting our defense, i think is an extraordinary miscalculation. >> the republicans leaders agreed to that deal to extend it. >> i thought it was a mistake on the part of the white house to propose it. i think it was a mistake for republicans to go along with it. >> here with us now, we have the
ceo of the comeback america initiative and comptroller of the u.s., dave walker. >> you've got some money. >> i got some money. >> what do you have? >> $10 million. don't try to spend it, though. >> i can't spend it? no shoes? oh. >> you've got andrew jackson on the front who's the only president in the history of the united states who actually paid off the national debt. 1835. >> he also abolished the central bank. >> that's right. >> and 40 years of economic chaos. >> details, details. >> that's a footnote. >> you have a clock behind you, dave walker. explain, why do you take this to your bathroom and your apartment in new york? >> everywhere he goes. >> it's wherever you go. >> it's disturbing. >> that is a bright clock. >> yeah, my eyes hurt. >> explain it. >> the national debt clock low balls our problem because it only talks about debt that we owe to the public and debt that we owe to social security and medicare. this is from the official financial statements of the u.s. government, official social security and medicare trustees reports. >> so this is official. >> this is official.
>> this is not witchcraft. the numbers are good. >> we added the numbers up. >> what numbers did you add up? >> we added up the debt. we added up unfunded pensions, retiree health care. we added up the unfunded obligations for social security and medicare, traditional liabilities. it's $70 trillion over $400 billion. >> public and private. >> no. federal government. the federal government. >> jesus. >> he hasn't given you the scary number yet. >> you're starting to sweat. >> this is just the government debt? >> this is the federal government. >> holy cow, dave! >> what did you tell me in the green room, it's going up $10 million a minute? >> $10 million a minute. now, here's the good news. >> there's no good news. >> the national debt clock -- >> the jets won yesterday. that's his good news. >> the national debt clock, if we do a grand bargain next year, which i think we can, and i'm frying to help make sure that we do the national debt clock won't go down a dollar. this could go down tens of trillions, even if the changes are phased in over a number of
years because it's a discounted present value dollar. >> we're looking at long term. this is our long-term burden. >> this is not all debt. these are obligations. these are promises we've made to medicare and social security recipients so we can change it. you can change promises. and that's really what this campaign is about. are we going to change the promises to our medicare recipients and our social security recipients to deal with that clock? >> so miles, you made a great point last time you were here. you were talking about how in canada there's just a different mentality about debt. 50% of the homes don't even have mortgages on them. >> correct. >> the government -- culturally, what do you think the united states needs to do over the next decade to move more towards that mindset that we used to have here? >> well, the mindset that exists in canada is you buy what you can afford. okay? you buy what you can write a check for. it's way more difficult to get funding even for traditional mortgages in canada than it is
in the states, although it's catching up here. but like i said before, if you make it nondeductible, you will change people's propensity to borrow. i think at the end of the day, it's about living within the means, although -- >> yes. >> -- although there is a movement, i think even in the last 12 months, the number of defaults on credit cards has gone down significantly. people are starting to get more fiscally conservative. but ultimately, you know, it's interesting because i was asking david, does that mean we're going to ultimately have a balanced budget? and he said no, we don't have to have a balanced budget. by the way, governments in canada, for the last 20 years, a majority of them, they've had a fiscal surplus, okay? david said we don't need to have a balanced budget. we just need to alter the ratio such that it's in proportion to gdp growth. >> agreed. what's important is debt as a percentage of the economy. we need to get debt to gdp to a reasonable sustainable level.
between world war ii and the '80s, we went down from 122 to the 30s. we didn't pay off a dollar of debt. >> explain to people -- so -- because we always talk debt to gdp. >> that is percentage of the national income, of the total economy. >> so of all the united states economy makes per year, what is our debt? it got down to 30%. >> it got down to about 35%, % 38%. >> what is it today? >> today it's about 105%. >> i've always heard if it gets to 90%, that's a tipping point. and that's when things start -- >> that's when economic growth starts to slow. rogoff and rinehart showed that. and i agree with miles, that until we have more certainty about our tax laws, until we have more certainty about our regulatory structure, we're not going to have -- >> steve, do you get to 90%, 95% gdp, debt to gdp that it slows
down the economy? >> sure. but again, remember, this is a little bit apples and oranges. we're taking debt and adding to it these unfunded obligations to medicare and social security, things that we have within our power to change. >> right, but we're 95% to 100% right now. >> fu look at it in a more conventional way of our debt held by the public to gdp, we're, what, 80%? >> about 75%. >> it's a good bit lower. it is a massive problem and you're right to be worried. and it would slow the economy down. but we also have it within our power to fix it. it just takes the famous political will that we have not seen in great abundance in washington. >> can i just say one other thing? people are talking about the history based upon significant economic growth. we do not anticipate going forward the same level of economic growth in the next five years that we had in the last five years. or for sure in the last ten years. >> the problem is we don't know. are we japan of the 1990s? >> we don't -- >> are we going to grow at 3% or
4%? >> i don't know. steve, do you think people are forecasting 3% to 4% growth in the next five years on an annualized basis? >> it's not the conventional forecast, but it's not out of the question. you can make a bull case for america. you can make the case that as we work through the housing problem and housing begins to recover a bit, as households pay down some of that debt that miles was talking about before, if you get some certainty in washington, and frankly, it almost doesn't matter what the certainty is, but just some certainty, you could imagine this economy growing faster. i wouldn't rule it out. >> dave, real quick. >> miles is from canada. australia, new zealand, canada, sweden put their financials in order in the '90s. if they can do it, we can do it. and by the way, we are exposing specific reforms, tax reforms, defense reforms, health care reforms, medicare and medicaid, social security, and so we're getting 80-plus percent support. the american people are starved for truth. they need leadership. we need to talk about solutions.
10millionaminute.com. >> one big thing about canada, they put the value-added tax in place many, many years ago. it's a huge revenue producer for the government. that's another thing that a lot of the countries you're talking about that have fiscal success has been with a back tax. >> you can do it if you have tough budget controls. so that it doesn't just fuel additional growth of government. >> exactly. >> dave walker, thank you. the sign is beautiful. >> i like it. >> does your wife mind it in the master bedroom? >> i haven't put it there. you can get a suntan with this. >> i would like one of those for my rec room. >> he has it on the ceiling in the master. it's interesting. miles nadal, thank you as well. senator dick durbin of illinois joins the set in the next hour. you're watching "morning joe." hey! did you know that honey nut cheerios
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an estimated 350,000 students will be affected by the teachers strike. the city's first in 25 years. one of the biggest wedge issues is over teacher evaluations which the union fears will be based too heavily on students' standardized test scores. the union's president says that system doesn't take into account other factors including poverty and violence. >> class size matters. it matters to parents. our children are exposed to unprecedented levels of neighborhood violence and other social issues. so the fight for wraparound services is critically important to all of us. we are committed to staying at the table until a contract is in place. however, in the morning, no ctu members will be inside our schools. >> wow. you know, that is -- you
remember what i said about wisconsin, that they were making a horrible mistake going after scott walker wasting their union's money? and actually just helping scott walker build a base for his re-election and for romney, this is a horrible mistake. i understand unions have to have some influence over the situation, but mark halperin, yanking teachers out of schools at the beginning of the school year, you just set your union up to be just attacked by parents. they're losing parents right now. >> yeah. >> because of this. this is a pr nightmare for them. >> can you imagine? >> third biggest school system in the country, and they're going up against rahm emanuel who is not inclined to let the unions have their way in a symbolic way. >> because it's ra,hm, it's not like a right-wing republican who hates unions. this is a pretty progressive guy
who ran barack obama's white house. this is such a stupid political move for the teachers unions. even if you're supportive of the teachers unions, this is a terrible thing for them to do. >> teachers unions are not popular because they're perceived as obstacles to change. you see op-ed after op-ed saying we should do this, that and the other thing to public education and the union perceives to be blocking a lot of that so they were not popular before this. >> randi weingarten said one of the low points of her political life was when she saw carl bernstein on this show attacking unions as obstacles to change. there have been for a long time. there are good teachers unions that are trying to move forward into the 21st century, but this is such a bad move. >> it's extremely complicated, but this is clear it's a very bad move. up next with hillary clinton's notable absence from the democratic convention, the question everyone is asking, will she or won't she be running in 2016? we're going to talk to andrea
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we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪ 45 past the hour. no matter which candidate wins in november -- >> look how beautiful that is. >> that's gorgeous. >> it's fall. >> it's a beautiful morning. >> thank god. >> yes, it is, time to wake up, everybody. if you're not up yet, you have overslept. so you didn't see secretary of state clinton. she says she'll be stepping down as the nation's top diplomat, and that is sparking major speculation about what may happen four years from now. joining us now from washington, nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. good morning. >> good morning. well, the conventions were barely over, and already talk about 2016. and what hillary clinton might
be doing. the fact is that she has said all along that she was going to step down after this first term. but politicians in both parties now talking about contenders for 2016. and it's clear that overshadowing all others at the conventions, at both conventions, is the woman who wasn't even there. >> reporter: with the 2012 conventions for both democrats and republicans now history, the traffic on the road to the 2016 presidential campaign is starting to build. secretary of state hillary clinton was halfway around the world when she watched her husband nominate president obama. >> this is the first convention i have missed in many, many years. >> reporter: but even though she was 10,000 miles away, her presence was felt. >> president obama appointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported hillary in the primary. heck, he even appointed hillary. >> reporter: hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president. after losing a bitter primary
fight to then-senator barack obama four years ago. >> well, this isn't exactly the party i planned, but i sure like the company. >> reporter: she says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field. >> i think people know who the real hillary is, and they like what they see. and i think obviously she would be the formidable front-runner, no question about it. >> reporter: if she doesn't run and joe biden decides not to, the torch will quickly pass to a new generation of democrats, like new york governor andrew cuomo, trying to stay under the radar by not coming to the convention floor in charlotte. those who did like maryland's martin o'malley are already wooing iowa delegates. >> what i'm focusing on is the presidential election because i know how critical that is to my own state. >> reporter: amy klobuchar is clearly interested. >> i can see iowa from my porch. >> reporter: and devalue patrick's fiery speech put him at the top of a lot of lists. >> it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for
what we believe! >> reporter: while in tampa, republicans also seem to be trying out for 2016. just in case mitt romney doesn't make it to the white house. >> tonight i say together, let's make a much different choice. >> reporter: new jersey's governor chris christie seemed to spend a lot of time in his keynote talking about himself instead of romney. and florida senator marco rubio made a big splash. >> our problem is not that he's a bad person. our problem is that he's a bad president. >> reporter: if the romney/ryan ticket wins, paul ryan would also be high on a list of likely contenders. >> we can get this country working again. we can get this economy growing again. we can make the safety net safe again. >> reporter: still, hillary clinton is the most experienced of any of the candidates in either party. but jon stewart made it clear whom he hopes the future republican candidate would be. >> this is the republican
national convention, the road to jeb bush 2016. >> and as for hillary, her longtime fund-raisers certainly think she will run, but those who know her say she has made no decision yet. and she doesn't have to for a while. she has a huge base of support among women. as frank bruni wrote in "the new york times" yesterday, she is the comeback kid. >> okay. >> i think you've got frank there. >> he is. you heard us talking about him, ears were burning, joined us on the set. your piece "haunted by hillary" reads in part, like a poltergeist in a pantsuit. hillary clinton haunted charlotte where she was the grand phantom of the 2012 political conventions, but not the only one. both the republican gathering in tampa and the democratic conclave here were almost as fascinating for what and who were missing as for what and who were present. for the appearances that didn't happen or that occurred only briefly or belatedly. the democrats lacked not only hillary but also in the
beginning god. to some party stalwarts, that's probably a statement of the utmost redundancy. hillary is god or at least a holy ghost. she is the phantom of the conventions, but everyone's looking at her straight ahead. >> everybody was talking about >> everyone was talking about her. part of it was because bill was there speaking obviously and people were wondering, is he teeing uphill ri for a 2016 run. i think people are so unexcited about this run. i think there's a little bit of wish that we had a different set of candidates this time around. >> is it silly to ask the question, will she or won't she when you're talking about a clinton? >> well, i think it is, but there are enough people that say, no, she's not going to do it that you have to ask the question. but those who are really close to her, frapg, can't believe that a clinton will pass up an open shot at the presidency. >> most of the people i talked to who talk to her, i don't think she said i'm running, but they all assume that it is very, very much on the table.
i think maybe this stepping down and taking some time is about getting the clarity to figure it out. mark? >> i think the only things that would weigh on the negative side are if there's some health issue in her family or if joe biden is an incumbent vice president or runs. i'm not sure either of those would deter her, but everything else suggests all systems are go. she was popular as a senator. she was worse as a presidential candidate. one presidential campaign under her belt, i think she could take her current popularity and push forward. >> i don't see joe biden as a stop sign as far as the clintons are concerned. >> no, i don't think they're going to be too worried. >> i think they would go past it. >> people bring up her age a lot, which i think is totally unfair. she'll be 69. joe biden would be 73 and 74 when inaugurated. i don't think age really plays into it. >> reagan was 69. >> john mccain did it four years ago. i don't think that will be a roadblock. but i just don't see anybody -- we saw andrea had a bunch of names. martin o'malley, andrew cuomo
among them, none of those could stand up to hillary clinton if she decided she wanted to do it. >> democrats, they'd like to elect a woman. they made history. they created a milestone with the election of barack obama. >> i think women would like to elect her. >> yes, i think that's true. >> i think it's also fair though that i think the democrats may -- a lot of democrats a couple of years in why going why didn't we vote for the other one? >> the road not taken. >> the road not taken. i really do think that there are a lot of people that didn't like how 2008 ended and feel like hillary clinton deserves another shot and would absolutely love to see the ending of that story. >> a lot of moving parts there. andrea mitchell and frank bruni. thank you very much. andrea, we'll see you at 1:00. he played steve smith in the hbo movie "game change" now actor woody harrelson joins us. you're watching "morning joe"
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good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. on the west coast as you take a live look at new york city. welcome back to "morning joe." back with us on set, mark halprin, steve ratner and at political headquarters, jim van de hi. new numbers show president obama took in $114 million in august. mitt romney and republicans raised just over 111 million. despite the president's edge last month, romney has raised over 100 million for three straight months and has more campaign cash put aside for the general election. a new gallop daily tracking poll shows his approval rating has jumped to 50%. 44% disapproving only a week ago. >> that's big. >> his approval was upside down with 45% approving and 48% disapproving. in gallop's nationwide head-to-head tracking poll, president obama leads romney 49
to 44%. a week ago the two were separated by just one point. today -- >> so, mark, do we call this a four or five point bump from the convention? >> today. the bounces sometimes settle back down. >> bounces around. this was a dead heat before the convention started and now barack obama has a 3, 4, 5 point lead. >> pretty close consensus amongst most people who follow this closely that the president now has a meaningful lead, that it's not tied and within the margin of error, and that extends not just to national polls or the battleground states but governor romney has money and time to try to make up the difference. >> did you read jim vandehi's article in politico? >> yes. it focuses a little bit on ohio. mitt romney campaigns in ohio which is a critical state or it could be one for sure. president obama has a 50 to 44% advantage there, recent polling. no republican has won the
presidency without winning the buck eye state. michael len and jam van de hi wrote for politico. there was some inside information, jim, that you were getting that jim has an edge at this point. >> the information, jim, didn't come from giddy operatives of barack obama coming out of the democratic convention. >> right. rather. >> you were talking to romney's top people and top republicans who confessed to you, this is going to be a tough, tough ride now. >> right. i mean, of course the obama folks think they're up. what was striking was how nervous romney aids are. the reasons are a couple. one, they're seeing the same slight bump for obama coming out of the conventions that we're seeing. two, they had hold that they would get their own bump and it nearly materialized even for a couple of days after their own convention. three, what worries them most when they look at the states, there's nine or ten states that really matter. states that really, really
matter like ohio. the ppp poll he showed has a five-point gap. they have internal polling coming from the campaign and outside groups that are worse than that and that have been consistently worse than that. >> romney does? >> romney and conservative groups that have been in there tracking daily. >> wait. wait. let me stop you here. so they're looking at polls in the romney campaign every day that show him down 5, 6, 7 points? >> 5, 6, 7. there was one that they got back during their own convention that was around 8 or 9 point deficit. it's really, really hard. not impossible, but really, really hard for romney to win the presidency if he can't win ohio. there's a good piece in "new york times" magazine who looked at ohio and looks at how it's bucking the trend. its unemployment rate is about a percent below the national average. there's a big debate about who deserves credit. does the republican governor or does barack obama deserve credit for that? that's going to be the big
debate. you know, what romney has to do is go into ohio and say, listen, you might think things are improving but they're really, really bad. you have to vote obama out. that's the trick for him in ohio. not just ohio, other swing states like virginia where the economy is out performing the national numbers. that's what people have to pay attention to in the final nine weeks. nine states, that's it. that's all that this matters now, nine states. >> steve ratner, that is an impossible thing for a politician to go into a state where people are going, hey, things are getting better. no, they're getting a lot better. the politician says, no, no, they're awful. things are getting better in ohio. you look at the numbers, i mean, the big problem with a 5, 6, 7, even 9 point lead for barack obama is the fact that this year, unlike previous elections, there aren't a lot of undecided voters. as jim and mike pointed out in this piece, even if it's a
3-point lead going into the final weekend, well, you're going to have a candidate, romney, who's going to get 75, 80% of all the undecideds to swing the margin. that's just not going to happen. >> well, the math on the undecideds is almost impossible. you have to believe that people who say they're going to vote for obama would switch their vote in order to get the numbers to work. as jim said, you have this conundrum with states with republican governors, they want to argue the economy is getting better. >> john casey in virginia and bob mcdonald in virginia especially. >> right. you have a republican candidate who wants to argue the economy is not getting better. you have a republican governor in ohio saying the auto industry is irrelevant to ohio and therefore what obama did with the auto industry is irrelevant. by the way, it's good he didn't let it go. >> they're convoluting the messages. >> you can't make that sell. >> if you look to the electoral map months ago, two years ago before we started, this was going to be difficult for whoever the republican nominee
was, to peel back all these swing states that president obama won in 2008. states like ohio obviously important, but florida, which is tied right now neck in neck, if mitt romney doesn't win florida, it's over. >> it shouldn't be tied. >> it's tied. >> barack obama for two, three years had approval ratings in the low 40s in florida. >> yeah. and the state's controlled by republicans for the most part. >> yeah. >> now you have this medicare issue that president obama's using against the romney campaign. mark, you've got to look at some of the swing states right here. >> want to show that? >> what romney has to do to get to 2000. >> ohio is so important. if you just give barack obama the states he's going to win, all the coastal states, the northeastern states, give him wisconsin despite paul ryan being on the ticket, he's still ahead, you give him ohio, he's at 261 electoral votes. >> barack obama? >> that's without giving him virginia, florida, colorado, iowa, nevada. all he would have to do is win
nine electoral votes. >> iowa and new hampshire. >> iowa, new hampshire, colorado, virginia. so ohio is big for a reason. take ohio away from him, governor romney has a chance. he has to sweep every other swing state right now. >> that could happen. i could see a scenario where he wins nevada, where he wins colorado, where he wins new hampshire, where he wins iowa. i don't think though a guy like mitt romney, that type of candidate, is going to get a sweep all those states. >> you're from florida obviously. why do you think romney's doing so poorly in florida? >> he's just a flawed candidate, steve. i'm telling you, the state has become more conservative by the day. the state legislature is extraordinarily conservative. the governor, extraordinarily conservative. the voters, very, very conservative. the congressional delegation, very, very conservative. democrats just hardly even have a bench down there.
for mitt romney to be tied -- for him to be tied in a state that has become much more conservative in the ten years since i got out. i mean, the state's too conservative, i mean, for jeb at times when jeb was there. he was considered, you know, pushing the boundaries of the far right. >> this is a critical moment for the romney campaign. the politico story that jim and mike wrote, "the new york times" story, the fundraising numbers, polling data, coming out of the conventions, it's vital for them to do something to reassure their supporters that they're in this. both of them, ryan and romney on the sunday shows, muddled messages. >> we'll get to that. right now the question is when will they say something beyond in the debates when they have to but in very small amounts of time? maybe with the super pac ads all speaking for them it's safer to say nothing. you saw that on sunday, where
mitt romney and paul ryan stressed their tax cuts. speaking in separate interviews on sunday the two men avoided naming any specific tax breaks even when they would ask. take a look. >> give me an example of a loophole that you will close. >> well, i can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. those numbers are going to come down. otherwise they'd get a tax break. despite what the democrats said at the convention, i am not reducing taxes on high income taxpayers. i'm bringing down the rate of taxation but also bringing down deductions and exemptions at the high end so the revenue will stay the same. the taxes people pay will stay the same. middle income people will get a bray. >> don't voters have a right to know which loopholes you're going to go after? >> so mitt romney and i based on our experience think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans and then to work
with congress to do this. that's how you get things done. >> isn't that a secret plan? >> no. no, no. what we don't want is a secret plan. what we don't want to do is cut some back room deal like obama care and hatch it to the country. >> why not specify the loophole now? >> because we want to have this -- george, because we want to have this debate in the public. we want to have this debate with congress. >> the president responded. we'll get to that in just a moment. you were tweeting on saturday night because you have nothing else to do saying that -- >> put my daughter to bed. she was falling off so i said, i'm going to catch some -- >> tweet. >> -- football scores. it led into politics. go 'bama. why do you love barack obama so much? >> and you talked about how you can't win if you're running scared. >> right. >> part of running scared is not answering questions. how can they not answer a question like that? what would be a bad answer to that? would there be some really, really, really rich people who would get upset? i mean, seriously.
why can't you talk about a loophole that you would close, just one? one little one? can't you even just say one little one that you might close? must you keep that a secret as well? or do you not even know what's in your plan? that's my question. but you point to a bigger picture which is there are moments in history where leaders have won by being specific, by even giving people extremely hard news to listen to. >> harsh news. harsh news. i mean, mitt romney is in trouble. you said what i felt on saturday night after reading this politico article and a lot of other articles, that this is a moment where you can look back and say, all right, you know what, they had to change paths at this point or else they couldn't have won, and i think we were there. after the conventions on labor day, after labor day they have to start being aggressive and they have to start being specific and they have to start telling americans where they're going to take this country.
they're going to have to jolt people with facts. and i brought up two great points. i thought two great leaders, i mean. one margaret thatcher in 1975. margaret thatcher had more of a chance of becoming conservative leader in great britain in 1975 and eventually becoming prime minister than i would have moving to berkeley and becoming named president of the free speech society. you were in britain in '79, '80, '81. you were over there then. nobody expected margaret thatcher to be elected prime minister in 1979. the only way she did it was by being brash, bold, radical and getting in people's faces and saying, this empire is collapsing and the only way we change course and save it is by undertaking a radical course change, and she did it. if she had been tepid like mitt romney is, she would have been
crushed. >> and nobody had any doubt what she stood for. >> no doubt. >> nobody had any doubt what her policies were, what her whole personality was going to be, what she should do if and when, which she did, become prime minister. >> and, by the way, end of the story, what did she do for great britain? >> she turned it around. she made -- >> fundamentally turned it around. >> one year later, ronald regan, the same thing. ronald regan mocked, ridiculed, called a "b" list actor, this guy was a joke up until the night he won, but he did the same thing. he radically -- he promised radical change in washington, d.c. a timid ronald regan wouldn't have made history, right? >> yeah. >> here's what i think -- >> but the romney people think that they can run a bob dole campaign, john mccain campaign, a gerald ford campaign and win. that doesn't happen. republicans do not win by running these type of campaigns. for those idiots out there that are saying that i'm a rhino, i'm
not a conservative because i'm actually telling them, we will lose if you don't start running as a conservative. if you don't start telling people what you believe -- if you really do, in fact, believe in anything, but if you don't start telling people, yes, these are the tax exemptions we're going to take care of. yes, this is how seniors who are going to be turning, you know, 65 in 15 years, this is how they're going to be paying more, this is how we're going to have to trim benefits, this is how we're going to have to trim benefits on social security, these are the wars we can no longer fight, these are the weapon systems we can no longer afford, unless you have somebody that's willing to do that, romney's going to lose. >> i think -- i think you're right and it's not the kind of campaign they're currently running. to me the biggest danger for them right now are the very things the republican party worried about mitt romney before he became the nominee are the things that are perceived to be hurting him now, that he's not likeable, that he has a health
care plan that he can't defend and attack the president's plan at the same time and that he doesn't stand for anything. those images of him are front and center right now. there's a lot of rech cans who started to say and more who will say if things continue to slide, this is what we were worried about. this is why we felt this was a weak person to nominate. >> jim vandehei, your own wisconsin boy, paul ryan seems like he's adopted more of mitt romney's stance versus vice versa. they backed off his medicare plan. they backed off his budget. it seems to me that he is now firmly entrenched in romney land. >> and it's unusual because when he picked ryan everybody assumed that this means there's going to be a war of specificity. you don't go with ryan who has a ryan plan and then not go to war with specifics. it's clear that they determined before that and didn't adjust afterwards that, no, they're going to continue to run the
campaign that they set out to run three months ago. they're very open in private conversations that they don't ever want to get into specifics. they think that any specific that you put out there you'll get clobbered over the head by the media, you'll get clobbered over the head by your democratic opponents. you have to make the case that the incumbent should go and then you have to make the case that you are a superior alternative. case one's already been made. if you look at the polls, most people seem ready to be open to accepting someone other than barack obama. they've done very little to make the affirmative case for mitt romney, and i don't see any indications that they're going to radically change their approach to match what joe's been talking about on the show any time soon. >> coming up we're going to bring in senate majority whip dick durbin. woody harrelson joins us. stod santos with a check on the forecast. >> fairly quiet day across a good section of the east coast. chicago out to new york down to at least atlanta. once you get down to central and
southern florida, that's where you'll find a better chance for showers especially as we get throughout the area. tampa bay area. you see the flow coming across the gulf in through central florida. that will be one of the areas out ahead of a frontal boundary that may get fired up as we get some of that daytime heating involved. northeast, good stretch of the mid-atlantic are coming in absolutely beautiful, quiet conditions. cool temperatures this morning. central new york may even have a few areas with some patchy frost. should not be an issue for those growing. here's a look at today's forecast, 72 in boston, 74 in new york. this type of forecast is what you're going to find from d.c., philly, baltimore, boston. a good stretch of the week across a good portion of the east coast. temperatures across the west. warm numbers up across billings. the southwest dealing with some showers. st. louis, missouri, very good morning to you. lots more "morning joe" coming your way next. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital
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♪ ♪ i say we're going to replace obama care, and i'm replacing it with my own plan. and, you know, even in massachusetts where i was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people. >> so you'd keep that as part of the federal plan? >> i'm not getting rid of all of health care reform, of course. there are a number of things that i like in health care reform that i'll put in place. one of those is to make sure
that people with proo existing conditions can get coverage. two is to ensure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like. i also want individuals to be able to buy insurance -- health insurance on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantaged basis through their company. welcome back to "morning joe." it's 23 past the hour. here democratic senator from illinois and senate majority whip, dick durbin. >> great to be here. >> wasn't it great to hear mitt romney say he wants to maintain parts of obama care. >> well, he knows about it. as elton john would say, he should know,'s been there enough. >> he's the baby daddy of obama care. >> let's talk about chicago first of all. a teacher's strike going on right now. what do you say to parents who are sitting at home going, okay, wait a second.
so my kids are home all summer. it's time for them to go back and learn. what if your child's a junior or senior getting ready for the final push before college to get into a good college and, you know, the economy ever more competitive than ever before and your teachers strike. what do you say to chicago parents right now? >> good question. 400,000 kids, 200,000 plus families trying to figure out what to do with their kid this morning. and think about the children. they're not in school. we want them in school. so, you know, the basic message is, get back to the table. sit at that table and stay there until it's done. get these kids back in school tomorrow. that would be the message. >> i understand teachers have to have leverage. any union has to have leverage or else management's going to ignore them, but isn't there a better way to do this? >> well, we've avoided this for 25 years, that's a good thing. what happened was basically mayor daily, if you remember,
said way back when, give me the schools. he said i'm sick of them playing badminton with the schools. give them to me. give me the responsibility and i'll take it. that was a good move. at this point though they're two pretty strong willed individuals. lewis, the head of the teachers union and a fellow like rahm emanuel. >> it's not scott walker. it seems pr wise it makes it more difficult for the chicago school teachers to be going up against a democratic hero like rahm emanuel. >> and 45,000 kids are in school in the chicago public school system. kids in charter schools. think about that angle. >> that doesn't help the teachers' union each. >> senator, ask you about the election, the president if he's trying to get a deal, is he doing enough now to have a mandate and have good relationships with the congressmen? >> i think so. look at the scenarios. the one i don't want to see
happen is that he doesn't win. in that circumstance i don't know what happens to the lame duck session. because if mitt romney had to try to add up the things he said in his campaign, if he had to put together a lame duck session, it won't work. the president does have a plan. what it boils down to, we'll put a december 31st deadline there. we can't escape it. we don't want to lurch from one more debt ceiling debacle to another one. i think the sentiment is there in the united states senate. i think there's a bipartisan sentiment that gets things done. we can build it. the tea party element in the house is hard to deal with. >> senate tore durbin, they say they've been unwilling to work with him. senator mitch mcconnell wants to prevent the president from being re-elected. you're kind of in a unique position in that you're friends with president obama and that you work closely with republicans in the senate. what's the truth about who has and who hasn't reached out?
>> 86 fill ri busters in the last year and a half. breaks all records in the united states senate. all of these republican filibusters are an effort to stop things from moving forward. mitch mcconnell spelled it out. we're here to make him a one-term president and our job is to say no mp they've done it repeatedly. we always have 53 votes. we have a veterans jobs bill that may get through, but you have to look at it and say there's a real record of obstruction there. look at the farm bill. we passed a transportation bill and farm bill. sent it to the house and they fell flat on the face. they wouldn't call our bill. now we're in a situation with the disaster across the united states, the drought, and the house can't pass a bill. >> the republicans will say the same thing about harry reed. a lot of finger pointing going back and forth.
>> how many of those bills were bipartisan coming out of the house? >> right. >> virtually none of them. it's run the flag up. let's throw something at solynd solyndra, let's throw something at -- >> is harry reed bipartisan? >> he has been. he can point to the transportation bill and the ag bill, the farm bill, two classic examples. strong bipartisan vote, the house can't pass it. boehner, it's the old majority of the majority type of thing. >> you don't believe though, senator, that this is just one party's fault, do you? >> no. both of them. there is a sentiment still in the senate among some of us, 45, 46 of us who are getting together after simpson bowles, i think we are moving in the right direction towards some sort of interim effort after the election and then a serious effort in the first six months or so of the next year so we don't go into a debt ceiling mess again. >> we've rightly praised you for doing the right thing on the
simpson bowles even though there were a lot of items that were objectionable to you. >> there sure were. >> tom coburn did the same thing. saxby b. chandless, nice to see him taking a chance being from georgia. can you explain and peel back, i know you won't be partisan in the middle of a presidential campaign about a vice presidential nominee, but can you explain why paul ryan voted against simple -- simpson boels. i'm sure you felt like paul would take a chance. why did he vote against simpson bowles. >> i think there were three reasons. my analysis. i don't have any special insight. number one, it increased revenue. it was 60% cuts, 40% revenue. those who signed onto the grover norquist pledge were scared to
death. look what they did to spec tore and luger. secondly, paul ryan has said, it didn't cut deeply enough on health care. that is his stated purpose. there's a third, maybe the real reason, all three house republicans were up for election in their republican caucuses. jeb hintserling, dave camp and of course paul ryan on the budget committee. they had to face a caucus that didn't want to see any revenue. >> do you think the president should be rooechg out more though to the opposition, to republicans and having dinner and taking them into the office and talking one on one and, you know, trying to get to know their families? should there be more of an effort? >> he doesn't like to do it. he's admitted he doesn't like to do it. >> would you say that's a criticism perhaps that he could take onto the next term if he so, you know, is so lucky to win? >> well, i would advise that. there's nothing wrong with that. >> you would agree that's been a weak spot.
>> monique, what people say, look what bill clinton did. there's nobody like him. does this guy sleep? he's playing hearts, let's go out. i must have turned down the president of the united states six times with invitations to go golfing. i'm not a golfer. >> i'm not asking that. can he invite them over? does he? >> he doesn't like to do it. he didn't do it the first term and he'll tell people, i don't like doing that. that's politics, right? >> the first time i ever brought up the issue of running for president with him, it may have been one of the first elected officials to do that, he said, what about the kids? if you'll notice, what michelle said at the convention, that evening meal with those girls is the most important thing to him. he kind of focuses on a little different part of life than others have but, yes, both sides should reach out and try to get to know one another a little bit. doesn't hurt. >> might be nice if the families interact a little bit. >> little bit. >> i brought my daughter to the republican convention and she hung out with one of mitt's
people's kids. >> just like you, she broke out in hives. >> yes, she did. got hives. >> i went down to the dnc and i ended up with a terrible flu. >> senator dick durbin. >> i had a wonderful time. thank you, senator. >> up next, actor woody harrelson joins us on set to discuss his new off broadway play "bullet for adolph." don't go away. we'll be right back ♪ to all the girls i knew when i was single ♪ ♪ brought them altogether for one night ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safer place. that's the value of performance.
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director, co writer, oscar award nominated actor, woody harrelson. he co-wrote the comedy with an old friend, frankie heiman. >> i've known schmidt for a long time. usually you say the movie doesn't stack up to the book. when i see steve schmidt i'm like, you're no woody harrelson. quite playing yourself in real life. i'm not buying it. i'm just not buying it. talk about this story. talk about this story and be where it comes from. >> "bullet for adolph?" well, a buddy of mine after college drove down to houston to make some money working construction before moving to new york, try to break into acting. and while we were there we had one of the most amazing summers of our lives. met all these incredible characters, including this gentleman, frankie heiman i met the first day on the construction site. and after that summer it was such an incredible time, i really felt like we had to put
these people into a play. you know, all these great characters. >> so what happened? >> so we did. we wrote the play, and it's up at new world stages on 50th and 8th. >> there's a good story about you trying to find frankie. you had to track him down and go on the tonight show to track him down. >> i couldn't track him down. i asked if anybody knows frankie heiman, will you please have him get in touch. >> did he? >> yeah. his brother happened to be watching. >> that's a great story. >> he was in a low place at that time. >> was he? >> he was having a little trouble but, you know, he's doing great now. he's a hell of a writer. >> "bullet for adolph" where did that come from? >> well, in the course of the play, we worked construction and the owner of the construction site, jergan, semi-fasist guy,
did he have one nazi arm band or what on the construction site? what is that? >> semi in terms of not having the arm band but in every other way he was pretty -- anyway, he -- you know, he had this gun that was owned by hitler. the gun goes missing. >> now who does that, by the way? >> who buys it? >> who buys hitler guns? >> yeah. these are -- >> is this to impress like dates? is this -- what -- who -- >> well, jergan in this particular story, the end where hitler came to -- in this story that happens within the story, the end that he came to was owned by his family so that's why he ended up with the gun. >> yeah, okay. >> now have you done a lot of directing before this? >> no. no, i've done -- i directed "this is our youth" in toronto, which was a great experience. >> so do you wear a beret when you direct?
how does it differ? >> no. i just -- i pretty much wear the t-shirt and jeans. i should start thinking about my style though. >> you really should. i think you're doing all right, woody. woody's style works. >> i like the beret idea. sunglasses. round sunglasses. >> neck class you're wearing, otherwise it's quite a nice outfit. >> you don't like the neck class? >> i'm not sure. >> get off the neck class. >> ruby neck class given to me by somebody. >> somebody special. >> you don't like rubies, that's cool. you like diamonds or nothing. >> probably a patient that is on their death bed. woody, wear this on "morning joe" and look what you just did. >> i'm sorry. we were talking about style. >> he's got this hair. he comes on and he's crying and we're all crying and mika looks at him and goes, what's wrong with the hair? >> what's wrong with the hair. >> what is it with that? >> she hates when love would be so much easier.
>> i say what people are thinking. >> don't be a hater, be a lover. >> that's what i say, woody. >> let's talk about "game change" for a second. are you surprised how big that was? it just seemed to -- at least in our world it captivated everybody. >> it was pretty amazing how many people loved it, but i thought jay roach did a phenomenal job with it. i think he's a great director. >> yeah, he really is. so what's next for you after -- after -- >> i'm heading down to do "catching fire" in atlanta after this. >> yeah? >> the next hunger games. after that me and matthew mull con in a hey are going to do a show. "true detectives." >> sounds like fun. back in '81, '82 when cheers started, it's like the biggest fan. it was at the bottom. there was like 57 out of 60 or something like that.
i thought nbc was going to cancel it. they had the vision to stay with it. does that seem like an absolute lifetime ago for you? >> well, it seems like a while ago, yeah, but it was a great experience. >> yeah? >> it was literally going to work at a playground every day. >> you loved it? >> best people, ted, george, kelsey. >> what a riot that was. >> you still see -- do you ever see ted dan son anymore? >> oh, yeah, yeah, i see him. >> he's a great guy. >> he's fun, man. >> a great guy. >> i'd vote for him for president. >> i would -- i don't agree with all of his politics, but i would vote for ted danson in a second. >> you know he cares. >> yeah, he does. >> he really -- >> he might be able to -- he may be able to get pletler to get that back. i still can't believe they canceled -- what's his show again? >> brooklyn. >> yeah, the brooklyn show. >> jason schwartz but it was
incredible. >> "bored to death." >> god that was a great show. watched it every week. >> i know it. >> ted's character was just over the top. >> awesome. yeah. >> "bullet for adolph" is playing at the new world stages here in new york. go to bulletforadolph.com for more information. what a strange website name. >> get a friend back together, direct. >> wonderful actors now. >> woody harrelson, it is wonderful to have you on the show. >> show your bling, woody. show it. be proud. >> no. >> be proud. >> all right. >> i never wear bling. she don't like it. >> i'm sorry. >> that's terrible. >> when we come back, brian sullivan makes his triumphant return. what's triumphant about this? >> absolutely nothing. >> he's lucky. >>. ♪ ♪ jack, you're a little boring.
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♪ ♪ welcome back to "morning joe." as you take a look from the top of the rock. a beautiful shot. new york city on a sweet september day. let's go to business before the bell with the always sweet brian sullivan. his triumphant return. this is sort of like back in the '80s. very exciting. brian, what's going on today? i understand we've got a major milestone for aig. >> yeah, we certainly do. by the way, i don't know if i like that. the who weren't very good when they reunited. with that aside, i'll do the quad dra hini. the fed selling some stake in aig. it brings the government ownership below 50% since the first time of the $182 billion
bailout, unbelievable, back in 2008. kind of a little bit of a reason to cheer, i suspect. we've got the fed meeting with a decision on thursday where it's more expected now that we'll see another round of fed easing, call it qe 3, whatever you want. that's coming up on thursday. and then on wednesday before that we've got the apple event, which i'll be at in coopertino in california. i won't see you and your lovely audience. plus, a german high court decision about whether or not the eurozone bailout is constitutional. i know you're hanging on every word of that. >> of course i am. >> every word. >> we'll be reading it in the original german when it comes out. if you want to understand german legal decisions, the translations just don't suffice. now we keep flashing up because apparently t.j. is drunk. >> what else is news. >> sort of teases to iphone 5 information. talk about the iphone 5 and see if we can actually line up the
words with the graphics. go. >> line up the words to the graphics. >> you just talk. you talk. it is our job on this side of the camera in tv land to actually line those up instead of you talking about germany and iphone 5 with a question mark coming up. >> can i just say i love lamp? >> okay. >> i love lamp. >> rick, you're just saying that. >> put the hand at my back and i'll do this. here we go. listen, wednesday's the big unveil. a lot of talk about a potential iphone 5. >> look, there it is. now we'll leave a -- >> nailed it. >> they nailed it. >> one for one. go ahead. >> they nailed it. listen. lot of talk. maybe it won't be the iphone 5, maybe it will be tweaks to the shuffle or the ipod touch. apple, you know, about as secret as they come in terms of corporate america. there's about a billion rumor blogs out there. will it be the iphone 5? we don't know. i'll know as soon as it happens because like i said i'm going to be there doing live coverage on
cnbc. i'm doing the one day turn around to san francisco which you guys know, that's not fun. >> when you're there will you find out if this new version of the iphone actually when you drop it two feet doesn't like crack into a million pieces? >> i have heard, mika, this one is not going to be made of class. >> then i'm wondering if you don't have to buy expensive cases to go along with it. >> you need the ifoam, f-o-a-m, that floats. nobody is beating alabama, not even my 2 h 0 hokeys. >> i don't know who beats them. >> who beats alabama. they're such a dominant team. their line looked a little weak but it doesn't matter. >> lsu. >> brian sullivan. >> this could be a trap game saturday at arkansas. >> i thought arkansas was going to beat alabama or at least keep it close but not after lousie o
louisiana. >> could be a trap game. >> could be a trap game. >> coming up next. how does the secret service feel about this one? president obama gets a bear hug on the campaign trail? i've got to admit -- >> not good. that's how they feel. >> whoa. >> holy molly. 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 ♪rhyme about free-credit-score ♪ ♪ i'm singing free-credit-score- dot-com...dot-com ♪ narrator: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com
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biggest pizza parlor owner i've ever seen, man. >> you have no idea. >> everybody, look at these guns. if i eat your pizzaly look like that? >> you got it. here. >> come on, man. >> i've got to give you one of these. >> look at that. man, i am so excited. >> man, are you a power lifter or what? >> holy cow. >> so president obama stopped yesterday at a pizzeria in for the pierce, florida. greeted by the owner, scott van doozer who voted for the president and said he'll vote for him again. he says he can bench press 350. started washing dishes at the pizzeria at 16. president obama stopped to commend him because his pizza shop donates -- promotes blood donation. >> that's great. >> that's the moment right there. you wonder how quickly the secret service -- >> he handled it well, the president did. >> good guy, that man.
nothing complicated about a pair of 10 inch hose clamp pliers. you know what's complicated? shipping. shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping's easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that's not complicated. no. come on. how about... a handshake. alright. priority mail flat rate boxes. starting at just $5.15. only from the postal service. welcome back to "morning joe." it's time to talk about what we learned today. willie geist, what did you learn? >> i learned today is the first day of kindergarten for lucy. >> that's so cute. >> the long road begins. >> the long road. >> there you go. >> jack? >> can't really top