tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC September 18, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
>> you know, it's hard to now how well, it will turn out. >> then, there was the paul ryan pick, after being heralded by members of his own party for making a tough, bold choice, in his running mate, romney immediately distanced himself from any of the tough bold choices put forward by his running mate. >> i have my budget plan as you know that i've put out and that's the budget plan that we're going to run on. >> when romney tried to get his mowjo back with his acceptance speech at the convention he was blocked by a chair, empty chair, that led off the prime time coverage of the rnc and according to a pew poll 20% of americans that was the most -- for them that was the most notable part of the entire convention. if the chair wasn't bad enough romney's speech itself would quickly become famous for what he did not say, afghanistan, not one mention of the war that has already cost 2,000 lives and nearly $450 billion. perhaps in an attempt to prove to the country that he had some
awareness of issues, relating to national security and foreign policy, two weeks later mitt romney waded into a diplomatic crisis with a misleading and uninformed attack on the president at exactly wrotsening time, which brings us to the present day. the campaign desperate to get back on message a video has surfaced featuring romney speaking at a closed door fund-raiser last may in florida. the auto he vent see the questionly filmed and given to the magazine mother jones. after months of asserting the president has run on a campaign of, quote, division and anger and hate, here's how mitt romney responded when asked about convincing the american public that, quote, everybody has to take care of themselves.
>> that 47% figure comes from the number of americans who do not pay federal income tax. for the record, those are mostly elderly and poor americans, many of whom pay other taxes and at a higher rate than mitt romney's own 13%. this is what romney had to say about those 47%ers. >> in his words, mitt romney believes that nearly half of the
country will never take personal responsibility for their lives. rarely one to admit fault romney stood by his comments of the fund-raiser as the campaign hastily scheduled a press conference last night. >> this is the same message i give to people, which is we have a very different approach, the president and i, between a government dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams. i'm talking about the process of campaigns. typically i don't talk about process in speeches because i think candidates are wiser to talk about policy. >> how will the past eight weeks of abysmal message management and seemingly nonexistent strategy play out for candidate romney. from bloomberg view -- mitt romney lost the election. from david brooks, mr. romney your entitlement reform ideas are essential but when will the
incompetence stop? we don't know, david brooks, but one thing remains certain, this avalanche of errors has made the upcoming presidential edebates which begin two weeks from today not nearly crucial but critical. romney must deliver a super human performance to not only reverse the downward spiral of his campaign but cat ta put him to where he might win an election that is seven weeks away. we hope rob portman is one heck of a sparring partner. john heilemann, your colleague in "new york" magazine said mitt romney has revealed himself to be the smearing pluto crat everyone thought he would be. has he and can he reverse that impression in the course of the next few weeks? >> i don't know if everybody thought he would be. certainly there's a negative stereotype of governor romney. it's been an open question. is he a sneering police toe
crat, is he not, who is mitt romney? he's done a lot of things to create the stereotype david brooks called him -- i like to pair that with gordon gekko and make gordon gekko the hall the third. so many problems with this statement. certainly furthering that impression for a lot of people is one of the most powerful, he -- made this comment last night in the press conference when wasn't apologizing saying he spoke inartfully. i think the biggest problem with the video he speaks very elegantly. he speaks more eloquently and articulately in the video than on stage. i think that impression the fact he's speaking with passion and conviction and not haltingly and stumblely leads people to say this is the real mitt romney and the combination of condensation and conten tu wasness he speak of 47% of the country is troubling. challenger in any race has an
uphill battle always, against anybody, under any circumstances. he is like sisofis where the rock is rolling down the mountain is his own campaign and performance. he's trying to push up against this huge weight he imposes on hisself and it is, you know, i think a lot of people are looking to the extent there are people in the middle of the electorate trying to decide is this a plausible alternative what they want to see is a president, a potential president, and if you think about the libya comments last week and these comments this week, this is a person not coming across as a serious, sober presidential person, big enough tofy fill that chair. >> it's also there's a bigger problem than that. i completely agree but i also think it shows, david brooks said this, a lack of understanding of this country and who the people who inhabit this country are and what the experience is. more and more americans have an experience in the terms of role of government than the republican narrative is willing to acknowledge and they're not lazy and they're not victims and
they're not not willing to work hard. an increasing number of americans are stepping back saying that's not my life, how i live, how i think of myself and are offended by the idea he's so dismissive of half of the country and of the experience and the life reality of half the country. >> i thought it was questionable when he said, i don't really like focusing on process. this is not about process. this is about policy. david brooks writes romney criticized president obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups the makers. romney's comments reveal he has lost any sense of the social compact. sort of the fund mentalals of role of government in life. >> it's funny where he wants to talk about policy where we haven't gotten a single lick of -- >> this is the pivot, sfloob pivot into armageddon. but it's like, no, the obama people have been hitting him r
months and months. he wants to talk about policy. that wouldn't be a terrible idea for him right now to sort of shut down the -- we seem to be having a nightly 10:15 press conference with mitt romney. he's entering the letter zone. >> working on a hawaiian time zone. i thought this was a really notable comment made by joe scarborough regarding how other people in the conservative party in the gop have treated the notion of sort of the haves and the have nots. this is joe scarborough talking about his time with jeb bush. take a listen to that. >> i was in rooms with jeb bush when he was governor and there would be wealthy people that would say things like this to jeb bush, and he would just glare at them. and then he would say, when nobody was watching, you don't understand. those are the people we have to help. you can help yourself. you get your lawyers, whatever. these are the people we've got to help.
>> those are the people we have to help, ari. i think the most damming part of mitt romney's fund-raiser video tape is my job is not to concern myself with those people talking about half of the people. >> right. scarborough's point really overlaps what you're saying which is this is not about tactics, this is not about tone, this is not about misspeaking. this is about a world view. and it's where his process as he calls it, overlaps perfectly with the policies which is leaving a lot of people behind and mistaking at least for the oppressed minority that needs help. it's remarkable. that's really the point about separating out income taxes, that statistic which is legion on the right is a fact without a point. right? it divides up the tax burden into certain categories and says you don't pay this category. i don't pay the boat tax because i don't own a boat but that doesn't tell you much about the burden. this is the most important thing to come out of all this. the people he's talking about pay a higher tax rates than he does for the few years of income
taxes he has released as you pointed out in the open. that can't be repeated enough. 15% here. and he wants to not only pay less than these people but then attack them for not paying taxes. >> we will talk about the specifics of the tax breakdown. the 47% don't pay taxes. it's like a -- it's exactly what david brooks says, this narrative of the makers versus takers and he's fueling that further. >> he also splits it out somehow f you're in the 47% which that number i think is disputable, you know, somehow you're a victim, you're a moocher but if that top 3% lucky enough not to have to pay taxes on your income as the irs said, 3% of america because they had all kinds of good lawyers and schemes so they could, you know,obligations, th because you're hard working and the rest of you people you're moochers. >> but he is tapping into the life force of the republican base here. this has been the argument. this is not a mitt romney
argument. >> that's not right. >> he's tapping the life force of certain set of conservatives, right wing elites. the conservative base is a lot of white working-class voters who have received tons of entitlements spending. >> for the last three years when i was on the hill i watched vote after vote in which the majority on both houses on the republican side vote on extending unemployment -- >> lot of toughing going on. >> separate you guys. >> the point is, like i -- look, there's definitely a dog whistle, an argument that's become totemic for conservatives for right wing conservatives. one of the things that david brooks points out that is a fact that is what is crazy about this politically if you look at those people, who is it that are the majority of the beneficiaries of the entitlement society? those are white working-class voters, that's the republican base. who are actually not paying income taxes, elderly voters. the only segment of the electorate voting for mitt
romney. beyond all of the things that are -- enormative sense that are wrong about this statement it's political suicide. >> the political dog ma of republicans is to say they're not that group of people and there's somebody lower than you if and if you don't hate those people, the karl rove anger points, you got to hate those people because you're a little higher up than them. >> if you go to the rallies in toledo, go toes these rallies in a lot of these battleground states and all over ohio and western pennsylvania, scranton, you find people, including obama supporters, articulating that very point, which is why they push why the republican found it fortuitous to push the anti-union stuff in wisconsin. a lot of this -- >> immigration. >> viewed as being very much in terms of base energizing. i think the problem with mitt romney he's still trapped in the mind space of the republican primary. he has not been successful in terms of toggling, he hasn't shored up the base and he is singing to an audience not going
to get him -- >> that's right. that's the irony of all of this. he can't really even apologize for these comments because that's seen as capitulating to the left when in reality there are a lot of people in the republican party that hear the comments are like finally you're saying it, calling it like it is, we understand you had to do it in a closed door fund-raiser but that's what's going on in the country and they don't see themselves, people on the base, they don't think of themselves as those moochers. no no no. [ inaudible ]. >> keep your hand office my medicare and my -- keep your hands off my social security. >> not understand d. >> hey, guess what. >> in the early days of the tea party who is a tea partier and these people are against government intervention and handouts and don't want their social security -- >> i don't think this is just damaging for independents or liberal critiques. glen's point i disagree. i think there are a lot of conservative voters out there who will see the totality of these remarks, ricochet around, from the candidate's vote voice, a disdain for people who pay
taxes, classic, elite gimmickry of calling this one thing and the other thing. if you pay payroll tax, rich or poor worker, every time you get a paycheck there's a bunch of money missing. if mitt romney and his buddy want to tell you we have a different name for that and the lower rates we pay, i don't care what union hall or senior center you're i don't think it sells well. >> we have to talk about the 47%ers. governor romney was asked if he was worried whether the offended whether he offended half of the united states in his videotaped comments. >> well, you know, it's not eloquee elegantly stated, i'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question and i'm sure i could state it more clearly in a more effective way than i did in a setting like that. and so i'll -- i'm sure i'll point that out as time goes on. >> we will try to elegantly and
effectively answer any lingering questions about who those 47% are next on "now." bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. for the spender who needs a little help saving. for adding "& sons." for the dreamer, planning an early escape. for the mother of the bride.
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in the video that has surfaced from a romney campaign fund-raiser the candidate divides the country between those who pay federal income tax and those who do not. it's not that simple more than a quarter of americans do not pay federal income taxes but pay payroll taxes. according to the tax policy center only 18.1% of americans pay 0 income or federal tax. who are the 47% who don't pay federal income tax?
44% are elderly americans who get tax credits, 30% are the working poor or those who get tax credits for their children, a little over 5% are students who get credits for school, and guess who else doesn't pay federal income tax? 3,000 high-income earners who brought in more than $2 million but through deductions paid no federal income tax at all. john, those -- that's a very small handful of the american electorate. the irony is not lost, of course. mitt romney doesn't need to care about these people because he may be one himself but we wouldn't know because we don't have more than a year and a half of his federal tax returns. the irony of this, it gets romney back on the tax question, not a comfortable place for him as you know. when you were talking about earlier, you know, this sort of being political suicide or politically not so expedient to put it in milder terms a great map out from the tax policy center that shows the states with the top ten nontaxpayers
and they're all red for a reason because many of them are republican strongholds. the blue states reflect those where there is the bottom percentage of the nonpayers, which is to say the fewest amount of folks who don't pay their taxes, many of them are states that are either swing states or states that may go democrat in this election cycle. the question in terms of identity politics when mitt romney says something like this, how does it play out in red states for him? >> well, i think a lot of it depends on -- i think the red states, really the deep red states will vote for romney rrls and this isn't going to matter much. a couple states like florida is obviously a huge swing state and important and when i say political suicide, there are a lot of seniors in florida who are going to fall into this category and i'm, you know, going to be a lot of obama ads running in florida over the course of the next two months that will take advantage of this video and it's a state that mitt romney is already behind by five points, a state he should win, was faring relatively well in
until about two or three weeks ago, it makes his lift that much harder. he has such a narrow electoral college map to get to 270 that, you know, he can't lose florida, he can't lose ohio. >> virginia is one of those states. >> there are none of these states he can afford to lose and as i -- kind of straining with the metaphor, he just makes it harder for himself at every turn. it's not only does he not want to talk about taxes, every day, when is the last time anybody can remember mitt romney winning a news cycle. >> thus the point of my prolonged wind baggy open to this show -- >> beautiful wind, cooling all of us, soothing across the plains. >> like a bad -- we don't want to get too far into that. >> but let's go back to -- this has been -- you talked to the romney camp. this has been going on since july. >> it's 50 days from election day and we haven't spent a day in the last -- in my memory and now granted i'm adult.
>> yes, very old? >> but in my memory i can't remember the last day we spent talking about the nurse of barack obama's stewardship. that's the only message they have that wins and we're 50 days out and going to spend the rest of this week talking about this and you pointed out at the beginning, i'll shut up, be it's just escalates and elevates how important the debates are to the point where not just voters, but most of the republican party, if barack obama does not physically -- for republicans if barack obama does not end up physically on his knees at the end of the first debate most of the republican party is going to say we're done. >> it's a loss. he has to arrive -- >> focus on the senate and the house. >> he has to arrive in cake or a spaceship and exit in the other -- one of the other. >> that will help with the weird thing. >> glenn, the narrative in terms of what john is talking about, about team obama and this being, you know, this just sort of playing directly into their hands there's some really interesting focus group footage
that we have from c-span where folks are asked about mitt romney, who, you know, has been accused by the obama campaign of having some sort of secret agenda for being an out-of-touch plut plutcrat and that was getting legs even before this week. do we have that tape? we do not have it right now. this would seem to in every way cement that in so far here he is at a rich person's house talking specifically about policy which is not something he ever really gets into, this happened before when he was talking about shutting down the department of education at a fund-raiser, but the idea -- that only a few privileged individuals are privy to what mitt romney actually thinks and what he thinks benefits only them. >> i think we're really narrowing down the topics that mitt romney can talk about in public at this point, don't you. he doesn't talk about sports. he's not going to talk about policy. >> sport. >> sport. >> sport. it. >> just seems like in addition to his narrow path to the
electoral college it also seems like he doesn't have very much to say in general. by the way, i think the worst thing about the two press conferences, romney and the optics. looks like he just lost his lunch money. a look of absolute distress in that man's face and that is i think a huge issue people pick up on. >> a distress he got caught, not a distress i said something i shouldn't have said and that i equally as damming and i think going back to the map, this goes to this point that, you know, again in those red states, right, that narrative of those people, and democrats have asked themselves this question, right, in 2004 in the aftermath, we said, why are these people -- why are people voting against their self-interests when these are people who rely on the programs that we're the ones we fight for and i have to tell you, governor dean himself said, made a great point which is, it's a sign of respect to go to people and ask for their vote and essentially what romney is saying, i don't have to care about those people. not only -- and he's also said,
remember, time and again, talked about the freeloaders and people wanting free stuff. clearly in his mind, this is a mean, a narrative of courrativn of his world view. >> it undercuts something like he said like this, with a taped interview with kelly and michael, i'm going to be the america, a president for all of america and i want to help the people that need the most. let's listen to what he said in his interview when he wasn't talking about snooki and honey boo boo. >> 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or under employed. half the kids coming out of college can't find work or work consistent with their degree. 47 million people on food stamps and i know what it takes to get this economy going and to get people back to work and i want to help people. that's why i'm running. >> i want to help people and i'm running. before these tapes were released, these mother jones video footage. but i -- it's hard to take any
of it seriously. >> that's part of mitt romney's problem. he's particularly ill suited for campaigning in this digital age. and the days when you could do really targeted messaging and say one thing to the crowd and another thing to the donors, and another thing to the media, and get away with it off ending -- and that's not solely mitt romney's problem, barack obama ran into this as well in '0, it was one of barack obama's only unscripted gaffe s over several years in the public eye. it happens repeatedly to someone like mitt romney because there is more scripting going on and more time off script. and so part of what he has to do is figure out who does he want to be, what is the core message he wants to give to everyone and can he stick to it? i think that's hard in an era where more of what you say pops off on twitter or on a handheld device. >> remarkably -- the line that he is treading is so thin, it is so painfully apparent that he
himself is not comfortable with speaking sort of in an open fashion to the american public. >> when president obama in 2008 made the comment about people in pennsylvania clinging to their guns and their religion, he was making the case for this is why we have to do a better job of reaching out to people and talking to people because here's what happens. he wasn't saying so we should blow them off, we're never going to get them, don't have to care about them. granted, it was inartfully said but the point he was driving at was a bit different than i'm never going to get those people, they're lazy, they're victims. >> you have to say two separate plans about that point. it with yas not inartfully said. the president paid a huge political price, lost pennsylvania by ten points, creamed in west virginia, lost india indiana, had a sustained problem with white working-class voters which is still a problem for him going forward and was a real problem. to your point to be specific, the interesting thing about that entire statement, was what he was saying at the end, literally in that quote was, this is
what -- i'm going to have to go and talk to those people, some of them -- should support me and are not going to and that's okay. i still have to go there and make my play for them which is 180 degrees from what romney was saying in the video. >> yes. >> where he's saying these people aren't going to like me and i -- forget it they're written off, i don't care. the difference between the point we're making before, even people who are partisans, deep democratic partisans or republican partisans, want a president who is trying to be the president for all america. >> that's right. >> it's not -- they don't want just -- nobody just wants a president for their party. they want a president who has a bigger vision than that and the difference between those gaffes which are really revealing, really damaging but one person trying to project that big thz and the desire to be the president of the whole country versus one who is slicing and dicing and writing off whole segments of the electorate. >> also a lack of understanding who those folks are he's talking about. >> misunderstanding on not only
taxes and who pays them but the american social compact. coming up a suicide bombing caps a weekend of deadly attacks in afghanistan as the violence escalates, the u.s. announces the suspicion of joint military operations with afghan forces. what does it tell us about transition and exit strategy in the country? we will ask general barry mccaffrey ahead on "now." >> time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. joshua davis knows the frustration of looking for funding. after being turned down by multiple lenders the own of gelato fiasco contacted a community group making loans to small business owners. he got the money he needed and now he' back to focusing on gla vers. for more watch your business sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. [ male announcer ] you like who you are...
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coming up, that process continues. so said white house press secretary jay carney just moments ago, regarding the u.s. pullout timetable in afghanistan. we will discuss the escalating violence in the country and what it means for transition with general barry mccaffrey that's coming up next. [ female announcer ] want to spend less and retire with more? then don't get nickle and dimed by high cost investments and annoying account fees. at e-trade, our free easy-to-use online tools
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to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone's ready with the know how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at devry.edu/knowhow. ♪ a suicide bombing in afghanistan killed at least 12 people near the kabul airport today. the insurge group took responsibility for the attack claiming it was in retaliation for the internet video that sparked violence across the middle east. the bombing comes as the u.s. is
suspending most joint military operations with afghan forces following a space of insider attacks that killed six nato members this weekend. on sunday before the suspension was announced chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general dempsey said commanders have been trying to stop the green on blue attacks adding, quote -- joining us now, nbc news military retired general barry mccaffrey. great to have you on the program. >> good to be with you, alex. >> a lot going on in the region and more broadly in the arab and muslim worlds over the course of the last week. let's focus on afghanistan for the moment. what does the latest news signal as far as the u.s. transition and our exit strategy, we know press secretary jay carney said effectively it's still a work in progress? >> well, i think we're in a real strategic vulnerability right now. we're conducting withdraw under
pressure. we're 800 miles from the ocean. we're trying to get 50,000 vehicles, 100,000 containers and our combat forces out by 2014. we're going to have to rethink the strategy. 20% of our combat deaths so far this year have been afghan army or police turning on our troops. so i was somewhat dismayed to hear secretary panetta say this was the last gasp of the taliban. nothing could be further from the truth. we're in real trouble in afghanistan. >> and sir, certainly glen, you know, the chaos in the region underscores the volatility, questions about america's role on the global stage, how much foreign policy will dominate the election cycle leading into november. you're at the white house every day, in terms of the president there are a lot of optics to manage with regards to afghanistan as well. if he is seen as sort of withdrawing under pressure that will win him no favors in a lot of republican and military circles. the other, the flip to that is
that there's overwhelming public support for getting out now or getting out as soon as physically possible. >> this is the good news story for the obama administration, right? i mean they apparently have this under way, they were able to sort of achieve some of their benchmarks in the year, but i'm struck by that huge number, 350,000 members of the afghan military going, and the one question i would like to ask general mccaffrey is, this is the sort of thing that happened, if i'm not mistaken, with the soviets when they tried to withdraw. that was the period of some of their largest casualties. how serious a situation is this and how many american deaths are we talking about if this isn't managed properly? >> well, look, first of all, i don't think it's good news for the obama administration or the republicans. both have been absent from the political debate. they're not talking about it. they're trying get through the election and then i think you're going to see a quite different take in which our allies will flood out of there as quickly as
they can and probably we will also. but also say, we're not in strategic vulnerability like the soviets or british in 1848, we're not going to lose thousands of u.s. troops but we're in a very dangerous situation. we're going to have to rethink the strategy. we won't be able to take all the combat brigades out and leave isolated groups of trainers and mentors, intel, air power, all over afghanistan. the marines just lost eight aircraft and the squadron commander was killed in kandahar. >> does it -- >> again, we need to rethink it. >> do you think this means a more accelerated timetable for withdraw or something that's more stretched out than the 2014 benchmark? >> i think we're going to come out of there very quickly and my guess is we'll be completely out of afghanistan within two or three years. we won't leave people in there
until 2024 and on top of that, you're going to find a growing recognition that if we haven't in ten years trained the afghan army and police, why do we think this last 18 months is so crucial? i think we ought to draw back on that training system. the pashtun south has decided the taliban are coming out and get us, the americans are leaving, they're going to the other side. i suspect essentially that's what happened. you know, again, i was sort of dismayed general allen said these people are attacking our troops because of ramadan fasting and they're thirsty and it's cultural insensitive. nothing of the sort. this is a widespread viewpoint. the americans are leaving, let's get ready to survive after 2014. >> john, you know, we discussed and you've been writing about the foreign policy question of last week in new yor york magazine in terms of this
and its effect on the campaign and there's going to be a dedicated debate focused on foreign policy it's been tricky fort republicans to elucidate a platform markedly different from the president. the fact that situation keeps shifting only complicates that mission. >> it does. governor romney's position on afghanistan is, more hawkish than president obama's and part of the reason not that they're -- in many places they can't make arguments that are different from what the president wants to do because they're the same. the places where there's divergence are where their policies are more unpopular, staying in afghanistan on an indefinite timeline is not more popular. >> he hasn't said indefinite. he hasn't subscribed to the 2014. >> we shouldn't have a deadline and he's not being more specific than that. look, i mean the republican side has massive communications problems, it's an area where it's very hard for them to win because up until this moment at least, president obama's had
this massive edge over governor romney in terms of foreign policy credibility. american people see him as being a strong leader in this area. we do have not just in afghanistan but across the region we have live fire in a lot of different places and, you know, it's -- it is genuinely unpredictable what is going to happen over the course of the next two months. the impression right now on a comparative bases on an absolute basis is president obama is doing just fine in this area, that could change next week, two weeks from now and if there is a series of crises and lives being lost and embassies under siege, and spirals under control, forget about govern romney's positions on this issue, the president looking weak, like he's not able to handle the situation, all those things could be -- why this is the thing the white house has been most worried about. worried for a year and a half about variables, things from the outside that make what they want, which is a predictable environment, make that situation unpredictable and it's why this is the thing that has the most
nervous right now and rightly so. >> but nobody wants to go to war. that's the thing you saw with the embassies when romney was saber rattling, there's just no -- on any end of the political spectrum desire to get ground troops anywhere. >> general mcafee -- >> go ahead. sorry. >> i was going to say, that's an excellent point. i think the republicans would be ill-advised to run on an aggressive muscular campaign in afghanistan. the american people want out. this is $10 billion a month. we're getting 200, 300 killed or wounded a month. there's no political sustainable for continued presence in afghanistan. >> thank you to nbc news military analyst retired army general barry plk caffey. thanks for your time. >> good to be with you. coming up, did he give us the skinny? or did he give us a big fat lie? paul ryan gets creative with facts about his fitness level again. we will lay out the details ahead in what now. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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coming up, fat chance, paul ryan. the vice presidential nominee once again makes a bold claim about his athletic prowess. remember what he said about his marathon time? >> but you did run marathons at some point. >> yeah. but i can't do it anymore. >> i got asked. what's your personal best? >> under three, high twos. i had two hours and 50 something. >> and i run a four-minute mile. the marathon myth was debunked by runners world magazine but now we're learning that ryan claims he has the body fat of an olympicen. the latest example of ryan's truth gap in what now. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true.
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
welcome back. time for what now. paul ryan says he keeps his body fat level between 6% and 8%. here is a picture of paul ryan working out with p 90 x creator tony horton. just to put that into context, just to put that into context that is the same level as owe limb pib marathon runners, boxers and sprinters. ari -- >> and cable hosts. >> well, not this cable host, but at any rate. ari -- >> and ari melber. >> you're a runner. >> i am a runner. >> i'm an occasional runner. arm chair runner. it's not bad for the country that he's telling us he has better marathon times, not bad that he's saying his body fat is lower than it is, but this is mr. sbreg grity, numbers guy. you know, this is the guy that's supposed to be the eager beaver
honest john and he's lying about this stuff. >> well, full disclosure i feel good about breaking my eight-minute mile so i may not have a lot of ground to stand or run on as john heilemann would say. it goes to two things. one is we brag about the things that we are most proud of. that's very human. he's a human being. he may be exaggerating on the things he cares about. he clearly cares about his physique. read into that if you will. >> wait. i have a theory on that. >> read away. i'll finish soon. and then second thing is, that there's some exaggeration going on. this thing in politics about exaggerate about one thing, exaggerate about everything. no. people exaggerate like exercise and sex than other things like the budget. he exaggerates about the budget as well but i don't think they're linked. i think they are overlapped. >> next thing you know he's going to have been the inspiration for the book love
story. >> good al gore. >> we have a theory this the classic behavior of the late stage hottie, wasn't so popular, wasn't hot, now he lost weight, kind of hot, all into touting his hotness. late stage hottie. >> right. >> expert on late stage hottieness. >> let's not be cruel. let's not be cruel because i think -- >> i'm just being honest. >> absolutely talked about being a handsome man -- >> i want to know how much he can lift. >> there you go. >> like pat robertson with the 2,000 leg press. >> that i don't believe is real. >> you seem to think pat robertson did leg lifts -- >> i seem to have recall him making that leg. i don't know if it was 2,000 pounds but it's possible. >> he had the help of the lord. he can do anything. >> let's not get into that. >> this is an awkward but necessary transition. chris christie, the governor of new jersey, tweeted this. i am the governor of every
citizen in our state. not just the ones who voted for me. there is not a hash "time" magazine -- hash tag that says 2016 but that is a tweet of a man who does not care about how that plays out. >> tim tebow now lives in his state. he represents tim tebow. this is not exactly, you know, how many times have you mentioned romney how long into his speech at the convention did it take to mention the -- >> the last three seconds. >> i think this is actually a really serious trend for us to watch. when are people going to start ditching romney. we did not see a lot of -- i was checking the twitters. we did not see a lot of republicans coming to defense for this guy. >> christie is double discoursing saying that in a way that's clearly an implicit knock against romney but if asked about it he can say, romney was a governor too. i'm just saying that's what governors do. we have that experience. it's both. which is clever and shows that the kind of angling he wants to do. >> romney is already having a
challenge with the republican governors who in their states are doing well economically because they want to tout that things are better and he's like hey, cut that out, everything is bad bad bad, you're not on my message. this is maybe a little bit of payback saying dude, i'm definitely not on that message. >> the party cannibalization question is interesting. >> when i was writing about the libya things, a senior republican strategist said to me, when do we get to every man for himself moments. back in 1996 in the race with bob dole after the first debate there was a month where every republican said we don't care about that, focus on ourselves. last night, right after these -- after the video was released the same republican strategist sent me a text said i think i saw every man walk past my door. >> that goes to the first thing i said on the show when does an infection point become a spiral. >> thank you to john, glenn, karen and ari. see you live tomorrow from
washington, d.c. when i'm joined by new york magazine's jonathan chase, casey hunt, and "the new york times" mark leibovich. until then find us at facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. good afternoon to you. >> thanks so much. coming up next, the leaked mitt romney tape. both sides including romney representative, former governor john sununu. do the american people believe the country is better off since president obama took office. our first look at our new nbc news/wall street journal poll with chuck todd. woodward on obama. the price of politics. plus chris. join us. great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. i'm eating what i know is better nutrition. mmmm. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself.
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i was skeptical at first. but after awhile even my girlfriend noticed a difference. [ male announcer ] rogaine is proven to help stop hair loss. and for 85% of guys, it regrew hair. save up to 42% now at rogaine.com. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" damage control. mitt romney tries to contain the fallout over that secretly recorded video showing him speaking to wealthy donors in boca raton last may. >> it's not elegantly