tv The Last Word MSNBC September 12, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
ally, he said, but we don't consider them an enemy. in diplomacy at the presidential level words like that are chosen very carefully and they represent news. the story is obviously still unfolding. there are more protests tonight we will have more tomorrow night. you want to keep it here. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a good night. >> moments ago the president made another statement about the assassination of the american ambassador to libya. the president remains in command of the situation, and mitt romney apparently remains lost. >> foreign policy is back in the headlines. >> violent protests against the united states. >> four americans including our ambassador to libya have been killed. >> this morning romney used the
tradgedyty to criticize the agenda. >> this is no time for politics. >> did the romney campaign jump the gun last night. >> it's disgraceful. >> it's disgraceful that the obama administration first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks. >> justice will be done. >> team romney has -- >> we shouldn't be on an apology tour. >> the original statements by the cairo embassy were long before. >> six hours before these protests even started. >> it suggests a level of desperation. >> the desperate reach by mitt romney. >> that makes him look a little bit out of touch. >> contracts and tone deaf. >> how did mitt romney get into
this mess? >> he needs to be severely aggressive. >> the first response to the united states must be outrage. >> be very aggressive. >> well he aggressively shot himself in the foot. >> do not seem crass. >> he has a tendency to shoot first and aim later. today, mitt romney started a media controversy and media backlash for comments he made on the attack at the embassy in libya that killed four americans. obama said this moments ago in nevada. >> as for the ones we lost last night, i want to assure you we will bring their killers to justice. and we want to send the message all around the world, anybody who would do us harm, no acts of terror will dim the light of the
values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the united states of america. >> shortly before that speech, president obama conducted an interview with telemundo and he talked about how mitt romney reacted to today's foreign policy crisis. >> i have observed that there's a tendency to shoot before you aim as i pointed out, and that as president, my obligation is to focus on security for our people, making sure that we gather all the facts, making sure that we're advancing american interests. and not having ideological arguments on a day when we are mourning the loss of outstanding folks who have served our country very well.
>> as protesters gathered outside embassies in libya and egypt, cairo released a statement at 6:17 eastern time saying the embassy consems continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims -- president obama tells the news day it says it was an effort to cool the situation down. it came from folks on the ground. my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they're in that circumstance, rather than to try and question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office. at 6:25 p.m. last night, a state department spokes woman confirmed that the libyan protesters had tushd violent as reports emerged an american had been killed. at 10:10 a statement said it's disgraceful that the obama administration first response was not to condemn aparticulars but to sim thighs with those who
way with the attacks. releasing a statement before details of the attack and american deaths were known. mitt romney responded this way. >> some people have said that you jumped the gun and that you should have waited until more details were available. do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all the things that were happening? >> i don't think we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. we express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the prirnls of american. >> republican steve schmidt said that romney's comments were a big mistake and the decision to double down on them was an even bigger mistake.
the american people, when the country is attacked, want to see leaders who have measured responses, not leaders whose first instinct is to try to score political points. buzz feed reports that a very senior republican hand called the statement an utter disaster and a lehman moment, a parallel to the moment when john mccain failed to come across as a steady leader. here is what nicholas burns told andrea mitchell. >> i was frankly very disappointed and dismayed to see governor romney inject politics into this very difficult situation. governor romney has n a very unwise way, injected himself in a situation where he clearly doesn't have all the facts. >> romney's statement did earn him this praise. >> today romney is the only guy looking presidential.
romney is the only guy who looks like he understands what went wrong, what went right, and what shouldn't be happening now. he looks like he's the only adult in the room. >> republican congressional leadership chose not to join romney and instead chose to honor the dead. >> we honor the americans we lost in libya and we will stand united in our response. >> i'm going to ask that you all join me in a moment of silence. in tribute to ambassador stevens. >> joining me now, msmbc's john hiel man and washington editor at large for the atlantic, steve clemons. joy when your biggest fan is rush limbaugh, you're in trouble. >> the word that keeps coming back to me when i think about the performance mitt romney has put on here is it lacks a sesh dignity. when all you're doing is
constantly chasing the lowest common denominator and the approval of people who have no responsibility for governing, who have never been bothered to take the rivg of getting involved in politics and who themselves have no credibility other than the far reaches of the right, there is no dignity in that, the american people if nothing else they look for a lot of intangible qualities and dignity and decency are two of them. and i think at this point mitt romney has sacrificed both. >> how should the romney campaign have reacted the situation? >> i think they should have done, i think, what barack obama would have done if mitt romney were president. i can easily imagine him saying americans were attacked, republicans were attacked, democrats were attacked, the idea of america was attacked. and at this solemn time, including 10 libyans who were killed and wounded, that this is
a time to stand strong, and that would have been the kind of leadership that mitt romney often talks about. but whenever he delves into foreign policy, he doesn't make it come together. >> let's take a look at a fascinating chart about the online conversation volume on this subject, and the sentiment involved with mitt romney. we're putting it on the big board up there. and it shows you that starting around 9:00 a.m., this becomes the online conversation in america, peaking around 12:15 p.m. the romney public statement to the microphones there was around 10:30 or so. and if you look at it, everything is trending downward and negative. john hiel man, it doesn't seem that the romney campaign had that graph in their heads. they weren't reading the situation the way that graph tells you to.
>> well, no. and what that graph, what i'd like to have on that graph is also in addition to the pink coloring, i'd like to have a partisan breakdown. because what's so fascinating it was bipartisan. it was not just the left attacking romney. it was republicans, we had some in the opening of the show, republicans on the record, republicans off the record. no one, very few -- almost no one coming to his defense on how he handled this. one of the things that is -- i've been on tv a couple of times today and have criticized him for seeming crass and politically motivated and exploited and i think all of these are true and this gets to the point where someone made about a lehman moment. but what that chart gets to is another problem. which is that coming out of the conventions, the media at large have started to think that the
narrative is taking hold, that barack obama is winning this race in a decisive way. so they're looking to see how romney handles the fact that for the first time since his nomination, the basically static contours of the race have been probingen. obama is pulling ahead. he's approval rating over 50%, leading in the battle ground states. what is romney going to do? and what they saw across the ideological spectrum today what they saw was december preparation. and that is a dangerous place to be. because when the media filter starts to refract everything they do are they being desperate? are they off their strategy? are they losing their heads? you are in a downward spiral that can be very damaging to you on every possible level, in terms of fund raising, in terms of your standing with voters, with the press. this is a very delicate time for romney.
he made a situation in the world. in this election much worse than when he started out today. >> and joy, the bipartisan criticism came from what he had to say, it's being called a strikeout. and when you see a batter strikeout a couple of types in a row, the third times it becomes the expectation this is the guy who strikes out. >> i elections are a comparison. i think romney has gone into this thing from the beginning thinking this is just a referendum on barack obama. so if i just keep shining the spotlight on the bad things about barack obama, that's enough. but the electorate actually factors in the challenger. the comparison of the challenger to the president is amplified all the more. because now you get to see barack obama acting on an international event, acting in
his role as president and then you get to contrast that with mitt romney acting in sort of almost the shadow role, what he would be like as president responding to the same event. and when people see unsteadiness, a seeming desperation, it doesn't come across as somebody who would be a steady hand as a commander in chief. >> the crude political attacks on president obama, mitt romney is a discredit to his campaign. bill crystal is defending mitt romney. he says romney is right to seize on this moment as an occasion to explain the difference between his foreign policy and president obama's. he's right to reject the counsel of the main stream media. how would you respond to that? >> i think bill crystal has a lot of equity in the romney/ryan ticket and he's trying to defend what i think is indefensible.
what bill is not getting and what americans are becoming to get, it's not just this abhorrent day where he used the debt of an ambassador and a staff to take a political swipe of obama, incredibly unamerican act. but when you add it up with what was supposed to be a safe trip to israel, england and poland that really blue it up on romney, when you add it up with his comments about russia in the past, and you basically see a guy who's so mal adroit at large, his first two speeches had no sense. i've been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt at the time i said bad speech but he's got relatively good advisers around him. but those who are trying to lean over backwards and be fair, when we see the kinds of things not just today but have been
building up over a period of time, you begin to see that this guy is simply not prepared to make serious discussions on america's national interests. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, a fox news poll now shows president obama with a lead over mitt romney. and later, there was a touching tribute today in the united states senate for ambassador chris stevens, and this one was not from a democrat. [ male announcer ] this is rudy. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol.
the john mccain many of you remember resurfaced today. the john mccain you may have admired back in 2000. and he took to the floor of the united states senate and he taught mitt romney something about how to respond and react on a day like today. you have to see what john mccain had to say on the senate floor today. that's coming up. bob...
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you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. i think president obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy. as i've watched over the past 3 1/2 years, the president has had some successes, he's had some failures. it's a hit or miss approach but it's not been based on sound foreign policy. >> that was mitt romney today trying to do damage control this morning over the way he and his campaign have reacted to our latest foreign policy crisis, including the assassination of the american ambassador to libya. but some damage just cannot be controlled. republican joe scar borrow said
who told mr. romney to issue a political broadside against the commander in chief the day after a u.s. ambassador was murdered? here's how romney foreign policy adviser richard williamson defended mitt romney today. ty cob was the greatest hitter of all time and he batted about .355 and he still is the greatest hitter. there isn't something in my 63 years i couldn't have done better except con my wife into mar marying me. i think that was the crazest thing i have ever read from a campaign spokesperson. i have to read it again because he's absolutely nutty. he's comparing mitt romney's performance to ty cobb's batting average. basically he did well a third of
the time and he was out and wrong the rest of the time. and this guy seems to think that's okay for a presidential candidate and it's especially okay on foreign policy. >> i don't know baseball but those stats certainly don't sound very good sand they in some ways mimic what we've seen from mitt romney in terms of foreign policy. and many returns obviously have condemned what he said or even have much more measured approaches to this. he is a candidate who is very much surrounded by foreign policy advisers who feel like they have their day now and this whole idea of cowboy diplomacy which has been rejected by the american public, where they feel through mitt romney it can have a new airing and a new hearing. but again this was obviously mitt romney's decision alone. he sat with strategists, with policy advisers and communications folks, but
ultimately he's the one who signed off on this statement. it will be interesting to see if he doubles down on this. bill crystal says maybe it's an opportunity for him to outline some foreign policy views which he has yet to do but so far he just looks like he's doubling down on this statement. >> sam stein, this comparing mitt romney's performance to a baseball batting average has got to get this guy williamson fired by midnight tonight, right? >> i think he'll stay on the payroll, unfortunately. it's a bad analogy. mitt romney could have waited 12 hours, woken up and seen the news and said we all mourn the loss of life here but it's time to look at the president's strategy vis-a-vis the arab spring. the problem i think that romney has is that there's about three different factions within the
republican party. there are people who are unpoll jetically pro international engagement. there are people who want to do it more subtly, more realistic. and then there are the people who are the ron paul types who want to disengage from the international community. he has to contend with three separate faction within his over party and i think they look at that and say it's a lot easier for us to go after president obama on character groinds, accuse him of sympathizing with the protesters. and that's where he gets in twubl. he's not being weighty. he's actively shying away from the weightiness. >> a romney campaign staff that actually believed they could win a news cycle against the president of the united states during a foreign policy crisis.
i don't believe that has ever happened in our politics. >> and it's the nature of obviously the presidency and the sort of stature that any president has. but it's also the nature of these conflicts. they just unfold throughout the day. reporting on this throughout the day, i'm sure sam had the same experience, we just learn more and more about this as we actually report it and talk to people. so there was mitt romney again jumping the gun in a similar way he did with the chinese disdent. it was a similar situation where he weighted in early and got his hand slapped by bill crystal for jumping in so early. >> you're right. sometimes the scene tells the story and what you had this morning was mitt romney's advisers literally tearing down a campaign rally to set up a more somber setting so he can deliver this statement in a dark, jacksonville office. where as obama all he did was step out into the rose garden and by the sheer fact that he's president, he looked presidential.
sometimes we look too much into the optics and the setting. >> nia, there seems to be now a developing story here about the incompetence of the romney team. these are same people who brought clint eastwood out on to the stage. these are the same people who sent mitt romney on to a stage today where he could not possibly win, especially after what his staff had already done for him in this crisis earlier in the day. >> that's right. i mean, this is the same team. and people generally believe, and i thin mitt romney lost the summer. he was supposed to have something of a rebound in august with the choice of paul ryan and then the convention, but all missed opportunities and here again i think they thought they would have some opportunity to score some points against the president, primarily because mitt romney doesn't have a foreign policy record nor has he
outlined any foreign policy strategy. all he has is rhetoric. it's certainly not within the main stream of where americans are at this point. >> sam stein, does this kind of thing that makes republicans more nervous than the polls are making republicans about how the romney campaign is going? >> yeah. and you hit on the main point which is that they're not sure it's being run as an effective campaign. the convention clint eastwood gaffe was hugely embarrassing. people looked and said this is not a professional operation. i want to bring something there's a major endorsement out there for the taking in the form of colin powell. and his endorsement stopped the tie that the mccain campaign had. coal inpowell must be scratching his head and wondering what is the foreign policy mitt romney is trying to articulate.
should i go out and endorse obama again this cycle? if he were to do that it would be a huge blow to the romney campaign. >> i don't think there's a possibility of endorsement of romney. especially since powell criticized him for saying russia was our biggest foreign policy problem. >> he said the people who are surrounding mitt romney in terms of foreign policy are far to the right. so that just seems unlikely. but again if he does step out and come out and endorse barack obama, i do think that would be a boon to barack obama. but face it, president obama already has a lead on those issues. he's been out on the campaign trail saying -- he still has the pull pit and the upper hand on this issue. mitt romney did himself no good-bye jumping the gun. i'm quiting peggy noonan who had been a cheer leader of mitt romney in many aspects.
>> this was not a gaffe in any sense. you might want to call the russia thing a gaffe, except there's no indication that romney didn't fully believe it. this was planned, this was staged, this was the campaign saying this is what we must do today. >> no, no. i mean, they had hours and hours to think about this. remember, there was a supposed to be a partisan thing for 9/11. they actually lifted the embargo to get ahead of the news cycle. they were very much aware of what they were doing. the statement was signed off by romney himself according to the new york times. they knew what was happening and if it were a gaffe they would have backtracked today. they said we stand by it and condemning what the cairo embassy put out they totally miscalculated what would happen once they decided to say that obama was sympathizing with the protesters.
>> thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you lawrence. >> coming up, rush limbaugh says the polls showing president obama in the lead are a liberal conspiracy. rush is going to have a tough time explaining the latest fox news poll and john mccain is in the rewrite tonight teaching mitt romney a lesson which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. what a bargain! [ female announcer ] sometimes a good deal turns out to be not such a good deal. but bounty gives you value you can see. in this lab demo, one sheet of bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. so you can clean this mess with half as many sheets. bounty has trap and lock technology
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we're looking at live pictures of the scene outside the american embassy in cairo at this hour. egyptian police have surrounded the embassy at this time. the embassy is secure. that's the scene outside the american embassy in cairo at -- the crowd has been dispersed a short time ago. we will be back with more coverage of this breaking news situation in cairo. [ male announcer ] this is rudy. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills.
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richard wolf and time international editor jim frederick. jim, what is the new calculus? >> it goes back to the fact that before the arab spring you had dictators who might be bad guys but they had hold on their countries. what we're looking at is these democracies have flowered but they don't have good control, security apparatus, things are changing all the time. even obama said today he doesn't know whether he considers egypt an ally or an enemy. so now you have a much more chaotic environment where you really don't know where the attacks are coming from and the local security apparatus can't
really stop local and spontaneous demonstrations like these quite as well as they used to. >> richard, what is your sense of how spontaneous this was? first of all, very few people could possibly have seen this movie. but still, there's hundreds of people there. at most. reacting to this. and the vast majority, 99% of the people in these countries are not at all perturbed by this movie they're supposed to have heard about. >> you don't get many spontaneous demonstrations where people show up with grenades. certainly there was something organized by this. i've spoken to u.s. dip plats who have been there and they talk about how grateful the people are to the united states because the united states saved them from slaughter and helped
them to overturn the dictate orship. so yes, there's clearly some manipulation, there are strange forces at work in libya, the hard work that this em embassy staff were engaged with and surely will continue to be engaged with is about civil society. libya has never been a functioning society even in the corrupt and dysfunctional ways of the middle east. and the hard worth isn't about toppling the dictator. the hard work begins post regime change, post dictatorship ending and that's what we're seeing today. so it is ripe for misfits to come in and manipulate the situation, stage these fake demonstrations and use them as cover for attacks. there's no reason for the hard work that america has been engaged with to stop. >> we're looking at live coverage of the scene just outside the american embassy in cairo. the crowd seems to have been largely dispersed at this point. i want to go to jose diaz-ballart talking to the
president about egypt. >> would you consider the current egyptian regime an ally of the united states? >> i don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. they are a new government that is trying to find its way. they were democratically elected. i think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident, how they respond to, for example, maintaining the peace treaty with israel. >> jim, a new government trying to find its way. there's a any government in libya trying to find its way. these are unique presidential challenges about how we should find our way. >> yeah. i think the president in egypt has a lot to answer for because he's been elukt tant to come out with any statements condemning the attacks or declaring solidarity with the united
states, if anything as a member of the muslim brotherhood he probably would have been part of the demonstrations himself just a few months ago. so it is a new calculus in the middle east. at least the president of libya publicly apologized and as you mentioned as well. the people of libya, there's a spontaneous demonstration tide where local benghazi with signs apologized. i think for so long, so -- so to have egypt to be a big question mark and to have him be missing in action when there's something to say for him to be considered an ally of the united states, he needs to come out and say something. >> jim frederick and richard wolf, thank you for joining me on this breaking news story. coming up, rush limbaugh says that paul showing president obama in the lead are a
conspiracy. i don't know how he's going to explain the latest fox news poll. and john mccain is in the rewrite tonight. in the united states senate today, he taught mitt romney a lesson. chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for motorcycle insurance. geico, see how much you could save. ♪ something to me ♪ that nobody else could do
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so come talk to us to see how we can help. wells fargo. together we'll go far. i think i know how mitt romney will approach foreign policy. he will be very cautious. he will think about america's interest first. he will apply a decision-making process that relies very heavily on facts and he will distrust the state department. >> that expert on foreign policy and the state department had no idea who the ambassador to libya was before chris stevens was killed on the job. republicans like newt gingrich never miss a moment to take swipes at people working in the state department. they say things about them that they would never say about people working in the defense department. people who wear our military uniforms, even though they are government workers, too.
people like gingrich and mitt romney, both of whom never once considered enlisting in the military, are not just publicly respectful of our military government workers, they are publicly in awe of them. they are renks when they speak of the men and women in uniform. that is borne of the fact that our soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen so frequently put themselves in harm's way. willingly and bravely risk their lives. people like gingrich and romney, who would never consider doing a dangerous job, seem to think that the only government workers who risk their lives are the ones who wear uniforms. tonight they know better. tonight, their understanding of how dangerous life can be in the state department, has been
rewritten in blood. the blood of shaun smith and ambassador chris stevens. there is a republican who didn't have to be taught this lesson the hard way. he knew who the ambassador to libya was before he was killed. and that republican rose on the senate floor today where he proudly called chris stevens his friend. >> it's with a heavy heart that i rise today to speak about the horrific attack yesterday on the u.s. consulate in benghazi that killed four american citizens. the two confirmed thus far to be among the dead are shaun smith and air force veteran turned state department information management officer and ambassador chris stevens, one of america's finest and bravest foreign service officers.
i didn't know shaun smith. i know he's a great american who served his country. but i had gotten to know chris stevens quite well. and in ambassador chris stevens' death, the libyan people have lost someone in their democratic revolution. the american people have lost a selfless and dedicated servant of our interests and values and i have lost a friend. my thoughts and prayers today are with chris's family and the loved ones of his fallen colleagues. may god grant them comfort in their time of grieve. one of my most memorable meetings with chris stevens was last april. as u.s. eninvoice to the libyan opposition, he had traveled to benghazi at great personal risk to represent the country that he loved so much.
it was clear that there was no where that chris would rather have been than libya. we spent the day together meeting opposition leaders and many ordinary citizens who spoke about how much the opportunity to finally live in freedom meant to them and how grateful they were for america's support. chris stevens embassy odied that support and his passion for his mission was infectious. i kept in touch with him. i was happy when president obama nominated him to be america's ambassador to the new libya. the last time i saw chris stevens was shortly after he had taken up his post during my most recent visit to trip oli.
the sorrow that we and all americans feel at the loss of a brave and dedicated american. but it will be a long time before we forget chris stevens. because he will stand as a shining example of patriotism of love and country. chris stevens was not unaware of the danger he faced. he was privy to intelligence information and others. but he went forward and he did his job with a smile, love of his country and love of the country where he was serving. i cannot be more proud of ambassador chris stevens. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms
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>> i have never seen this intense an effort by the democrat machine, including the poll sters. we know these polls are all conducted by people who want obama re-elected, who want the obama agenda. the polls now are being used as another tool of voter suppression. the polls are an attempt to not reflect public opinion, but to shape it. yours. and to depress the heck out of you. >> a lot of the polls people could, all weekend long would ask me what do you think? the polls that showed that obama is still doing well. >> there are three sources of distortion in these polls you're looking at. >> oh, rush and shaun and that other guy have a big problem tonight. because of a new poll that they cannot blame on the lefty propaganda machine. in a new fox news poll of likely voters, president obama and joe biden lead mitt romney and paul
ryan 48 to 43. that incumbent ticket also has a 14-point lead among women voters. in that same fox poll president obama's job approval rating is at 50%. 57% of people say that they are as well or better off than they were four years ago. and with new numbers about an hour old, statistician nate silver of the new york times forecasts that president obama will within 315 votes. and president obama has an 81% chance of winning while mitt romney has a 19% chance. joining me now is ari. i want you to hear what president obama just said
talking about the republican obsession with taxes. >> this is their prescription for everything. tax cuts in good times. tax cuts in bad times. tax cuts when we're at peace, tax cuts when we're at war. tax cuts to help you lose those few extra pounds. tax cuts to give your love life that extra kick. >> he's turning it into a joke. >> yeah. he's turned it into a joke and he's turned it on them. the washington post poll had obama's trust on taxes at 43% two weeks ago. it is up to 50%. the democrats and barack obama have done something remarkable. they've taken taxes an issue that republicans as you know from your time in the senate, for decades have used against democrats and they're winning on the tax issues among others. >> they have a new 30-second ad out about taxes. let's listen to this. >> i'm barack obama and i approved this maes age.
>> mitt romney he won't reveal what's in his taxes and he won't tell you what he'll do to yours. to pay for huge tax breaks for mill heirs like them. he would have to raise taxes on the middle class. you could lose the deduction for your home mortgage, college tuition tuition, health care. how much would you pay? romney just won't say. >> most effective democratic campaign ad on taxation possibly in history. he won't reveal what's in his taxes and he won't tell you what he would do to yours. >> exactly. it's vintage bill clinton. there's a problem with mitt romney being a rich phoney who won't tell you the truth about himself or what he wants to do to your taxes or your livelihood. and i think that's very effective. >> what would the poetcy of that ad be if you couldn't say the part about he won't reveal
what's in his taxes. >> i don't think it goes as far. that's the funny thing, republicans, they dislike mitt romney for all kinds of other reasons, he's not conservative enough, but i think they're going to learn he's also really hurting them on the big grover norquist issue because he's such an unreliable messenger here. >> they seem to have thought we can get by this tax return theng. the media does historically have a habit if you stone wall them in a campaign for about two weeks, they tend to stop asking the question. that's not working this time. >> it's not working. i think we're in a different media ecosystem. i do think the instant fact checking means that issues don't die as easily. larry flint is offering a million dollar bounty for anyone with information on mitt romney's taxes. and we've got the debates starting in october.