tv Morning Joe MSNBC September 20, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> they are fake. how about one more. >> we truckers are awake and listening to you on the radio. >> that's a new one. truckers hanging out watching. we appreciate you guys listening. can i get one of these? yes, i'm 6 years old. "morning joe" starts right now. my campaign is about the 100% of america, and i'm concerned about them. i'm concerned about the fact that over the past four years, life has become harder for americans. more people have fallen into poverty. more people we just learned have had to go onto food stamps when the president took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. today 47 million people are on food stamps. now, i know that i'm not going to get 100% of the vote, and my campaign will focus on those people we think we can bring in to support me. but this is a campaign about
helping people who need help. >> good morning. it's thursday, september the 20th. that's mitt romney on univision talking about how he wants to be the president for 100% of americans. he sounded pretty good there. with us on set, msnbc contributor mike barnicle. we also have former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve ratner. i'm still calling the financier, though it doesn't sound as good as when mika says it. also analyst and visiting professor at nyu, heese he's he former democratic congressman harold ford jr. and white house correspondent for the huffington post, sam stein, explaining how the red sox are still going to win the world series. and anchor for bb world news america, catty kay. so great to have everybody with us. willie, i was looking at the clips of mitt romney from his political performance last night. i thought he did pretty well.
you have so many people talking about how this race is over, and you hear it wherever you go. we've got a long way to go. and if romney can right his ship, anything possible. that said, a flurry of polls out this morning that are just absolutely devastating for mitt romney. if he's going to turn that corner, it looks like he's going to have to turn it pretty quickly. >> yeah, he did what a lot of people like you called for him to do which is to step into those remarks he said. a lot of conservatives said you said it, it's on tape, now embrace it. there's critical battleground states that don't look so good. joe, you want to take a look at some of these? >> first of all, willie, why don't we look at these fox news poll numbers because they are the battleground state polls. look first of all at ohio and virginia. in ohio, a state that, you know, mark halperin says you can get to 270 without ohio.
i really don't see him running the table without ohio. he's losing by seven points in the latest fox poll in ohio. he's losing by seven points, 50-43% in virginia. a state that he has to win if he doesn't carry ohio. and then in florida, willie, down 5 percentage points with barack obama holding five percentage point in florida this late in the game. in my state, i think it's impossible to win without carrying those states. pat, let's pass it around the table, willie. you take those three states right there, he's got to start -- he's got to win florida. he's got to win ohio. and if he doesn't do it, i just don't see how it happens. >> harold, i think florida, it goes without saying, he has to win. 29 electoral votes. he's got to win the west which becomes much more difficult, and these numbers are trending the wrong way for him right now. >> there's no doubt. he's placed a huge bet on
october 3rd, this romney campaign has. they picked paul ryan who is known in congress for being specific about ideas and plans for the future. and for some reason now the romney campaign doesn't want to be specific and detail oriented about what they'd do with taxes, how they'd reform entitlement, how they'd reform entitlement programs. they've given some sense but haven't gotten specific. there's no doubt this campaign is adrift. and without mitt romney being more active, engaged and specific, this could spell a second term which i would not be upset about at all for president obama. >> sam stein, as you look at some of those numbers and you look at mitt romney's performance last night, what changes the dynamic of this campaign? how does he stop the tide which is flowing away from him at the moment? >> that's the million-dollar question. what actually can mitt romney do at this juncture to change the dynamic? he could pray and hope that obama cops to being a closet socialist in the october 3rd debate, but i don't think that's going to happen. so what does he wait for? you know, there was a telling line in this politico piece from last night about the debates where romney advisers said
something to the extent of, you know, we feel like we are attacks against obama are a bit stale. we need to do something else in addition to that. i think we have reached a threshold in some respects whereby mitt romney's convinced all the people he can convince to vote against barack obama. he needs to convince them to vote for mitt romney. i'm just not sure what he has in the repertoire. >> katty, we've talked a lot about pennsylvania and michigan. perhaps the romney campaign conceding those if you look at where they're spending money or not. a cnn/opinion research poll shows obama leading romney by eight points in michigan. also in wisconsin, a state that obviously mitt romney had hoped to pick off with the choice of paul ryan. in just one month, the race has gone from a three-point margin to a 14-point lead for president obama. 54-40, that's according to this marquette university poll. meanwhile, in a new pew research poll, president obama is up by eight points nationally among
likely voters. and a "usa today"/gallup poll, more than half of independent voters, mitt romney's hidden camera comments did not make a difference at all. 29% say they're less likely to vote for romney because of what they heard. 15% say they are more likely to vote for romney because of the message on those tapes. katty, what's your take on all this? >> i guess the only thing that might reassure the romney campaign is, as joe said earlier, we are still -- well, i guess where joe is, it's probably like 100 days out from the campaign because he's so far away on the west coast. we are still several weeks away from the campaign, and there is time to turn some of this around to get the campaign back on track with the debates. and this is also not because that obama has been performing suddenly brilliantly or that the economy is suddenly picking up at great speed. neither of those two things are true. so it is about romney's mistakes, and that gives romney some power over the quality of his campaign. if he can go into the debates,
and as harold suggested, fill in some of the specifics about how exactly he would make the next four years better than barack obama will make the next four years, he has a platform there. he's going to have millions of viewers watching that debate. and if he can sound convincing on the thing that is his strong point, i will improve the economy, i will create economic growth, and i will provide more jobs for the american people, and here is how i'm intending to do it, as opposed to somebody who has been trying four years and hasn't been able to do it, then he has a chance to get positive focus back on his campaign. >> mike, look at these numbers. the fox news poll showing down in ohio by seven. romney down in virginia by seven. down in florida by five. down in michigan by eight. down in wisconsin by 14 points. time's running out. if he's going to turn things around, it had better happen soon. >> yeah, joe, the numbers are brutal, there's no doubt about
it in those key states, being behind in those key states is almost like a death nell around any campaign and the romney campaign. unfortunately for governor romney, well, he's got one positive thing going for him. >> what's that? >> in that, look. when he was running for governor for the first time, the only time in massachusetts, he was behind by quite a good deal at just about this juncture in that gubernatorial campaign. >> is that right? >> yeah. he came back, he caught up and won the governorship, but he did it by being someone that the voters obviously wanted to look at and like. his problem now is he's been running so long against obama. that's something obama's bad, obama's bad. you've got to vote against obama and not giving the voters anything of himself. and the other night in that clip that we showed, it's been shown endlessly, the lack of optimism in governor romney's voice, in his behavior, i think affects a lot of people who might be inclined to vote for someone else other than obama.
very negatively. >> that's a great point, mike. and again, we said it yesterday, if you look at -- and i'll say the names again. i know it drives people crazy on the left, but it's the truth. if you listen to what margaret thatcher said when she took control of the conservative party in '75, what ronald reagan said his entire life, they believe the conservative message helped the 100%. they believed that's how you got people out of the unemployment lines, how you got the working poor back to work with better jobs. and mitt romney just sounded so negative talking about the 47%, writing it off. forget the faux pas. i'm more concerned, as is daniel h heninger in "the wall street journal" this morning, i'm concerned about romney the man. what does he think? is he a conservative? is he an optimist? i have no idea. but steve, you actually -- you brought in charts this morning on exactly who makes up that now
infamous 47%. and as you and i both know, there are a lot of heros on that list, a lot of veterans, a lot of men and women fighting in afghanistan. and i'm not saying this to ding romney. i'm just saying to say it was an ignorant thing for him to say, and he's got to admit that because you look at some of those 47%s that he was going after, and they are big-time republican voters. >> remember, he's also got, i think, another problem at this point with the economy. the polls show that people's view of the economy has gotten somewhat more optimistic. some of that comes off the democratic convention. some of that comes off the stock market's been up. bernanke has done his thing at the fed. the economy isn't working argument isn't working quite as well. and secondly, as harold alluded to, he hasn't put forward a plan that not only isn't specific but isn't a plan that people can look at and say, i get it. this is how we're going to get 12 million new jobs. this is how we're going to get the economy back. but we can take a look at the
47%. and as joe said, i think there's some interesting things about it as you dig into it. so let's start with the fact that as has been pointed out, the percent of americans who don't pay federal tax has been growing. that is a fact. back in the '60s and '70s, it was down here in the 15% range, and it's been steadily going up. what has really been driving it up has been primarily a bunch of tax changes interestingly led by republicans, led by, for example, milton friedman providing things like the earned income tax credit. the argument being let people work, not have them pay taxes rather than be on welfare. you've in a series of increases in the last 20 years. most recently you've had a recession which has driven people down to the level where they simply don't pay federal tax. but that's not the whole picture. as joe said, it's interesting to look at who is in that 47%, and you'll see -- and you'll see that it's quite a number of different components.
so you do have, first of all, over 50% who do pay taxes, obviously. but you've got 28% of people who are working and are paying payroll taxes and considerable percentage of their income as we'll see in a minute. you have 10% who are elderly who are on social security and therefore don't pay federal income taxes. and then you have only 7% who are not elderly, but they have incomes under $20,000 and don't pay taxes. and so all that really leaves you with is less than 1% of sort of other students and other people, a few people who do have higher incomes and don't pay taxes, but the fact is that it's not quite as stark as you think when you see 47% floating around. >> so not exactly freeloaders gaming the system. >> they're not exactly freeloaders gaming the system. it's a system that was designed in many ways to encourage this. the other thing that we should look at is who's paying what taxes. and so if you look at the federal taxes which are these
blue bars, you'll see that it is very progressive, as people expect. as you go further up in income level, you pay higher levels of taxes. and there are, of course, a few people up in this famous 1% who pay lower rates like mitt romney. but for the most part on a federal level, as your income goes up, your taxes go up. but if you look at state and local, it's a very different picture. state and local, it actually goes the other way. people at the lower end of the income stream pay a higher percent of their taxes because this includes sales taxes. this includes excise taxes. if you drink liquor, whether you're rich or poor, you probably drink about the same amount of liquor. and so the tax rates -- the effective tax rates for the wealthy at the state and local rate actually go down. and so to get to this question about redistribution and who's paying their fair share and who's not paying their fair share, if we look at just this last chart for a second and you see the total of the federal and the state, you'll see that wealthy people here over on the right, the top 1%, they get 21%
of the total income in this country, and they pay 21.6% of the total taxes in this country. federal, state and local. and as you go down, you'll see, again, the numbers are pretty close among the income groups. at the very bottom, yes. they have -- the bottom 20% has 3.4% of the income. and they pay 2.1% of the taxes. but i think many of us would feel that that is certainly more than a fair proposition. >> i want to say, though, steve -- steve, you knew, though, i think you'd agree with me, there is a good ideological argument to make, mitt romney obviously was very clumsy and again negative about it, there's a good ideological argument to make as we move towards a time when more than half of americans aren't going to be paying federal income tax, that we could have that debate, and we could have a thoughtful, meaningful debate about -- and i understand that people are still going to be paying payroll taxes, that aren't paying income
taxes. don't you think that's an important debate to have at some point as we move to a place where more than half of americans don't pay income taxes, don't pay taxes into the federal education system or for national defense or for a lot of other areas. but that argument could be made, but mitt romney, again, was just so clumsy in the way he tried to make it. >> yeah, i go et that argument, and there are some very thoughtful people including our mutual good friend mayor bloomberg who has that view, who has a view that everybody should pay something, even if it's $100, they should pay something into federal taxes. i'm fine with that but that's not going to fund mentally change the idea that we do have a tax system in which the wealthy are supposed to pay more. the less wealthy are supposed to pay less, and the idea is to keep them off the welfare rolls and keep them working. >> can i jump in? i just want to correct one thing that steve said. some of us on the set pay a little bit more in liquor tax
than others. >> harold ford. >> i didn't want to single anybody out. >> my colleague, ryan grimm, pointed this out. one of the things that was problematic with romney's message is that he's been going around the country saying my tax plan which is a 20% reduction for everybody across the board is going to help everybody. it's a trickle-down approach. and in that video, what he was essentially saying is that 47% of the country won't take to my message because they don't pay taxes. he's actually defeating his own trickle-down economic approach. and i think that gets to joe's point which is that what he was saying was sort of quintessentially anti-conservative in some respects. the tax cuts are supposed to help everybody, but he was just qualifying it for basically half the country. >> harold, on the ballot, though, running for office, isn't one of romney's biggest problems this week is you take what he said, what was leaked, the tape, the 47% tape, and for months, people have been going
around saying, you know, he lacks specifics. newspaper editorials have been written, he lacks specifics. he's not specific about anything. give us a proposal. and now in people's minds, in a lot of people's minds, the only time he's been really specific is when he blurts out, you know, 47% of the people are moochers. >> it is, it's phenomenal in a lot of ways. i hear sam's points, and i think katty's points, she made stronger points on mitt romney than mitt romney's made on his own behalf about why he should be elected president. look, if this conversation stays here about the 47% not paying taxes, which steve has outlined brilliantly who makes up that group, mitt romney can't win. this campaign has to be about where we go, where the next four years will look like. how mitt romney or for that matter barack obama will grow the country, grow the economy. katty's other point is more poignant. neither candidate has laid out specifically where -- we all
know we want more jobs and growth, but how do we get here? i'm hungry to hear that. as much as i'm for the president, i'm hungry to hear him lay out specifically, how do you take us from point a to point b? "the wall street journal" indicates incomes for middle-income families remain stagnant or falling. how do we change that? that should be the crux and the centerpiece and the nucleus of the campaign going forward for both candidates. >> i want to follow up on what sam stein said because he nailed it. i always talk about my dad, when he was unemployed for a year and a half, voted republican, voted for nixon. he was a goldwater guy. i remember when i campaigned for the first time. i absolutely cleaned up -- i probably got 65%, 70% of the vote if you look at the cross-tabs of people making under $50,000. and what was i talking about? cutting the capital gains tax. i was talking about ending the death tax. i was talking about lowering tax rates across the board. and when i would talk to people
making under $50,000, they believed that was how you would stimulate the economy. they believed that's how you created jobs. people that wanted jobs, that 47% that mitt romney is talking about, if they need a job, if they need a better job, a lot of that 47%, katty kay, is not believing that, hey, the way we can help businesses is by raising taxes on businesses. so mitt romney's message was so defeatist. and i've got to say a true red-blooded conservative wouldn't have said that because true red-blooded conservatives don't believe that. they believe you help the 47% who don't pay taxes to get on the tax rolls by lowering tax rates. but romney doesn't believe that, does he? >> well, he doesn't seem to. and you know, to go back to your analogy with margaret thatcher, joe, i mean, that's exactly what she did in great britain. she reduced the top tax rate from above 80% and brought it down during the course of her
term to 40%. and it stayed there pretty much ever since in the uk. i mean, that was a massive tax cut for the wealthiest, and she did it by saying this will increase britain's economic growth, and everybody can take part in it. she came from that class that needed the benefits. her father had been a grocer, a classic conservative working-classman. and in that respect, she had a huge advantage over mitt romney because she understood the people that she was trying to persuade. she was one of them. and i think that's been part of mitt romney's problem. but there has been a debate, a valid debate, in the states, you know, very recently about whether the tax cuts have boosted economic growth as conservatives say they should do. you know, there was that great piece by david leonhard in "the new york times" last sunday in which he questioned the growth rates that we've had from tax cuts. again, like you said, we have to have -- there's a valid argument to have in the country and a
valid discussion to have in the country. i'm just not sure the country is in a position to have discussions about serious issues of economics when they have become so wrapped up in emotion and values that, you know, that we're not actually managing to have these discussions properly. >> right, exactly. and how can you have these discussions properly if the person that's the standard bearer for the republican party, for the conservative movement, doesn't believe that tax cuts are going to help the 47% that he writes off? ronald reagan and margaret thatcher weren't cutting taxes because they believed it was going to help the 1%. they were cutting taxes because they believed it would help great britain, that it would help american taxpayers. somebody around mitt romney believes it. his name's paul ryan, and maybe we'll hear more from him as we move forward. coming up, we're going to be talking to republican senators tom coburn and rand paul. also, political analyst richard wolffe will be here and former
mets' pitcher ron darling. up next, mike allen is with us in boston. the politico boys have been meeting with the romney campaign, and we're going to find out what he's hearing from the candidate's top strategists. that's straight ahead in the "politico playbook." first here is nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer with a check on the forecast. dylan, what's it looking like today? >> you know, it doesn't look like much. we're not seeing a whole lot of weather going on. we do have a line of showers and storms moving into eastern michigan, but really that's about it. the rest of the country enjoying high pressure. things remaining question et. we are going to see sunshine all across the northeast, the northwest, the southeast, the southwest. here is your one line of rain and thunderstorms moving through flint, michigan. it is going to spread into the detroit area, but most of the activity well to our north up into canada. the rest of the country, we are going to see lots of sunshine. temperatures today should be a little fall-like. we'll top out around 62 degrees in boston, but 76 down in washington, d.c.
philadelphia, 76 degrees with lots of sunshine as well. then as we go into your friday, temps still staying? the 70s. and the rest of the country, it is dry and cooler. up in minneapolis, highs today only topping out around 66. kansas city should be closer to about 80 degrees. so things looking quiet through the rest of this week. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman,
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chief of staff, and i was, like, i can't stand, but you feel so bad about hating your boss. don't worry about it, congressman. he hates you, too. >> the good old days for joe. the '90s in washington. joe on "the tonight show." joe, you did well with jay last night. >> yeah. i mean, how sad is it when you talk about the good old days. i mean, for barnicle, you know, it's lying face down somewhere in southeast asia. for me it's washington in the 1990s. that is really depressing. >> you, poehler, jay leno. that's a-list. >> it had to be pretty exciting for them, huh? >> a great thrill, a high point in her career. >> oh, no doubt about it. >> we'll play more of that throughout the morning. good job by joe last night with jay. let's take a quick look at the "morning papers." "new york times," chicago has drainedity pension fund setting
up another struggle to pay retired teachers. the fund pays out more than $1 billion in benefits every year, far outpacing the amount of cash it brings in. mayor rahm emanuel has called for raising the retirement age, but the state legislature opted to delay dealing with the issue until next year. in the "chicago tribune" today, american airlines is canceling hundreds of flights because of an alleged pilot sick-out. pilots have been calling in sick and filing more maintenance reports than usual, forcing the airline to cancel about 300 flights through october. american's parent company is in bankruptcy protection and hasn't reached a deal with its pilots union. some of whom are expected to picket at o'hare in chicago today. "usa today," more people are carpooling or riding public transportation because of the economy rather than concerned for the environment. according to an analysis, group commuting rose one-third in u.s. metro areas. new york city had the highest
increase. one-third of new york residents use public transportation. count me in on that list. >> you and i carpool sometimes. >> never once been alone in a car with you, thank god. let's go to politico. joining us from boston, chief white house correspondent for politico, mike allen with a look at his famous "playbook." good morning. >> good morning, willie. >> let's talk about why you're in boston, studying the romney campaign, i trust. >> that's right, the romney playbook. to give you a sense of where this campaign is, friday at the big hilton new york, a big fund-raiser raised $4.3 million for mitt romney. romney spoke. everyone there had given $2,500 to attend. some of them had raised $50,000. these are people putting their money where their mouth is. we talked to somebody who went around his table. ten guys at his table down front. after romney spoke, they took a poll. how many people thought mitt romney would win the election? not one of the ten. so that's the kind of hole mitt
romney is in even with his own people. what we found is that his aides and advisers are very clear-eyed about this. they get that if they're going to win, it's going to be very late. so what are they going to do? the two words that they're talking about are "more mitt." they recognize they need to personalize him. we saw an ad this week that was just the candidate's voice. we'll see more of that. second, joe was just talking about the appeal of paul ryan. we're going to see more of the two of them together. not only is it great tv, it gets better coverage, more durable coverage, makes more of a difference when the two of them go into a market together. so we'll probably see them together in ohio, virginia, wisconsin. and third, they're gambling on the debates. we discovered that mitt romney had done five practice debates in two days. shows you what kind of weight they're putting on them. >> you know, it's something, mike, you talked about how they're very clear-eyed about
this. you talk to the romney people behind the scenes. there is still -- you can still find -- well, actually, i found one person yesterday that said he's going to win. he's going to win. but most of them are very clear-eyed. they know they've got a terrible uphill battle. this has been a terribly depressing week. they haven't felt good since the convention. and i guess the question is, is there any belief -- is there any belief in that campaign that they can turn this thing around? is there any belief that by putting more -- you say more mitt, that that's somehow going to do it, or is this just them saying we have no other option but trying this last gasp? >> joe, they're not going to tell you this, but what's clear is that they're now dependent on a clinton implosion. it's totally out of their hands. and one number from this morning that really tells you what kind of a valley they're in, earlier
y'all were talking about the pew poll. forget the states. forget all the other numbers. there's one number to watch. and it's the percentage of people that think the candidate connects with ordinary americans. and in that pew poll, the most ominous poll number probably in this whole cycle for mitt romney. 66% of people say that barack obama connects with ordinary americans. 23% say mitt romney, a 43-point gap. and guess what? the people who vote in presidential elections, the people who decide them are ordinary americans. if you're in a 43-point hole, you don't have a prayer. >> they can't like those battleground state polls they're waking up to this morning. about a month and a half till election day. time to get going if you're the romney campaign. mike allen in boston, thanks. >> 47 days. another day, another extra inning, victory for the baltimore orioles. you cannot stop this team. one night after their 18-inning
marathon, extras again in seattle. highlights ahead in sports. you know who would be great in florida. >> who's that? >> joe. >> joe. >> exactly. exactly. >> do they allow write-ins down there? >> they would not allow me on their ballot. >> i think anybody should be written in anywhere. that's just freedom. that's just freedom. >> can i ask you, why do the leaders of south carolina hate freedom so much? >> they love freedom, joe. that's why we fought a civil war. >> then why aren't you on the ballot? >> hey, guys, it's hope solo. i just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. here's to another five years. ♪
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all right. time for some sports. on tuesday night, the baltimore orioles outlasted the mariners to win a game that lasted 18 innings and almost 6 hours. one night later, extra innings again in seattle. bottom of the ninth, tied at 1-1. mariners trying to get something going. manny machado makes a diving stop to rob franklin gutierrez of a base hit. they go to extra innings tied at 1-1. top 11, same score, man on for adam jones, and he yanks one out of the yard. a two-run home run.
that gives the orioles the lead. seattle still with a chance. mariners get the man on, bottom of the 11th. mike, how does this happen? tying run at the plate. oh, no. mike at saunders takes off from first base, and he's out by a mile. what a walkoff. taylor teagarden. it ends with a caught stealing. o's win their 15th consecutive extra-inning, 3-1, the first time they've won back-to-back games in 11 innings since 1991. there's something about this team, mike. >> it's one of those karma deals. you get buck showalter, manager of the year, has to be, duquette who put the team together with buck showalter, executive of the year, it's just one of those things. >> they just know how to win and they're keeping the heat on the yankees who play a doubleheader against the blue jays. yankees won the first game so they can take the a.l. east lead back with a nightcap.
derek jeter, 200 hits for the season, ties him with lou gehrig for the most 200-hit seasons in yankee history with eight. tied at 1-1 in the eighth. ichiro with a single to left. he was the player of both games yesterday. yankees win 2-1. ichiro, seven hits across two games, 7 for 8, 4 steals. the yankees now a half game up on the orioles in the pennant race. the orioles travel to boston up at fenway, they'll play the red sox beginning friday. >> derek jeter has to be in the mvp conversation. >> absolutely. >> absolutely amazing. >> nationals and dodgers played a couple yesterday, fourth inning of the nightcap, hanley ramirez hits one to the left side. ryan zimmerman. doesn't handle it cleanly. somehow bare hand gets the tag on adrian gonzalez from the ground. gonzalez tries to leap over him. what a play by zimmerman. the umpires rule that the run had crossed home plate before
zimmerman watch the tag. if you watch this replay, you'll see they were plainly wrong. there's the tag. he's not even close to home plate. tied at 6-6 in the ninth. matt kemp gets into one. solo home run. that proved to be the game winner for the dodgers. they win 7-6, split the doubleheader. los angeles just two games back of the cardinals for that second n.l. wild card spot. washington still five games up in their division. week three of the nfl season starts tonight. cam newton and the panthers host the giants. they'll be without ahmad bradshaw and hakeem nicks. the game starts at 8:20 eastern. when we come back, the "forbes" list of the richest people in america. we'll look at this year's big winners and losers. the magazine's editor, randall lane, joins us next on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] if you stash tissues
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joining us now in new york, the editor of "forbes" magazine, randall lane. he's here with the latest issue of the "forbes" 400. the richest people in america. thanks so much for being with us. let's launch right into the list. bill gates, number one. he's still number one with a bullet. you've got warren buffett, larry ellison and the coke brother k tied at four. what's fascinating is the biggest losers. looks like the flame-outs are the social media moguls, mark zuckerberg dropping all the way to 36. >> last year he's pushing top ten. he lost $8 billion in the past 12 months. and we didn't even have him valued at his high. i mean, it's still good to be mark. he's still in his 30s. >> it's hard to feel sorry for him. >> exactly. and he's got a long runway ahead
of him. we'll see if he comes back. yes, he's one of our biggest fallers. >> let's go back to number one. what did bill gates doing right over the last year? >> microsoft stock was up 20%, but he's diversified. he just invested in a waste management company. he's putting money -- he has 80% of his money outside of microsoft. he's also giving an incredible amount away. he's worth $66 billion. he'd be worth about $100 billion. he's already put about $30 billion into the bill and melinda gates foundation which we don't count. he's put that in permanently. this is somebody -- and we focus this issue on our 30th anniversary issue on philanthropy, not just how much they're making but how much they're giving, and he's giving away a massive amount of money. >> we should point out you got all these people in one place for this fold-out cover. how did you pull that off? >> this might be the richest photograph ever taken.
we had $126 billion of net worth in one room in the new york public library on june 26th. we decided this year, 30th anniversary, you guys have a big anniversary this week, happy anniversary. we said instead of it just being kind of a list, why don't we get the 400 in one room and talk about, you know, how to solve the world's problems. especially right now -- and the rich are richer. we just hit a record this year, $1.7 trillion in aggregate net worth for the 400. so realizing that the country's not feeling, you know, as exuberant as this list, why don't we get everyone together in a room and talk about how we use the wealth, how we use the influence and the power and the mindset. i mean, these people, 70% of them, are self-made. these are very successful, smart people who know how to solve problems. let's get together. we had 161 people talking about how do we solve problems? how do we use philanthropy and use the business mindset, the capitalist mindset, to solve
problems. so we took the top 12, oprah, bill gates, warren buffett, had a great cover, and all that's in this issue. >> steve, as somebody who's probably had dinner in the last week with most people on this list, what jumps out at you when you look at this? >> i think as randall said, it is interesting that 70% made it on their own and that there is still the possibility of some amount of wealth. i think also as you said, the rich are getting richer and the numbers are staggering. if you go back a few years, the number was much lower. >> 30 years ago, the first list, it was $75 million was the price of entry. this year $1.1 billion. you could be a billionaire this year and not be on the "forbes" 400. that's a first. we've now, in 2008, we had hit our peak. and now we surpassed that. >> i see the koch brothers on here. i've been looking at these lists for a while, wondering why willie and i can't crack the top ten. >> 401. >> are the koch brothers relatively new to being in the
top five? and that's the first question. second, it says they're diversified. how much of that is energy? >> a good chunk is energy, but, you know, they own dixie cups. they have -- their company owns -- has so many different lines, and they've been crawling up this list for 30 years. it's funny, there are actually four koch brothers on this list. and about a quarter century ago, two of them bought the other two out. and the two who kept, you know, the company are now two of the five rich either aest and famou their political activities. and the other two brothers are on the list for a couple billion dollars, probably not the best deal they ever cut. >> we have been saddled for months with the presidential campaign where neither candidate really gets specific about the issues about the economy, taxation, stuff like that. what were some of the specifics, or were there any specifics that came out of this meeting? >> this meeting was talking about how, you know, so we kept it political free, but what
there was a clear consensus on is that if you use problem-solving skills, it's not just 1% versus 99%, rich versus poor or if you look at bill gates who's not just giving money away, hey, look, i look at africa and people are dying of malar malaria. i'm going to create a market. i'm going to use capitalistic thinking and skills to create a market so that not only am i going to write a check so we get a lot of vaccine out there, i'm going to create a market so that it will be sustainable. that was coming through time and time again, using entrepreneurial minds, using a capitalistic mindset that capitalism can save the world. it's not just writing a check but building solutions. i think if you took these people and you put them into government or put them into an advisory role where you can step back, what makes sense? how do we use money and influence to solve problems? it was a very serious, sober and
honest look at how we take problems and solve them. >> steve, as you know, it's unpopular at this moment in our history to say good things about wall street, about the 1%. but you get up close to some of these guys, the amount of time and money, especially the guys with the most money give to charity and causes important to them including the koch brothers who i know are boogey men to a lot of people. >> there is a buffett pledge where they have 100 billionaires who say they'll give half of what they have to charity. david koch and i don't agree on anything, but he has contributed an enormous amount of things to new york. he's rebuilding the whole front of the metropolitan museum across where i live. he's built a theater at lincoln center. he's been very generous. >> about a quarter billion dollars to things like cancer and things like that. that's absolutely right. and i think that's something that's not emphasized, that people who have this amount of wealth, there was an acknowledgment that there's a responsibility there and that they are in a unique position not just because they can write
a check but because if they say i'm going to get behind this, i'm going to do this, other people will follow. so there's a leadership role they can and should play. >> it's a great issue. our humble mayor of new york city, michael bloomberg, number ten, $25 billion. >> up $5 billion. >> it's a private company so you don't really know what it's worth. >> i think it's low. >> lowball. >> randall lane, the new cover of "forbes," the richest people in america. thanks. appreciate it. we'll be right back with more "morning joe." [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans.
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hey, "morning joe," happy fifth birthday from brian sullivan and all of us here at cnbc. keep the coffee coming. keep up the great stuff. >> happy anniversary, "morning joe." and it's really great that we have this place to talk. >> congratulations, joe and mika. five years is a long time. but for a guy that's 84 years old, it is much time. >> we're moving through "forbes" to see where boone pickens is.
president obama unintentionally crashing an iowa wedding earlier this month. the gibbs planned their dream wedding set in a rustic barn in iowa. it was all ready to go until they showed up and saw the president of the united states holding a rally. the obama campaign had booked the same barn on the same date. >> just our luck. that's kind of how -- oh, yeah, figures, the one place which the president also chooses. >> so on the big day, president obama ended his campaign speech with moments to spare before the wedding. the bride rushed into her ceremony and walked down the aisle on time. to extend his apologies for clogging up the parking lot, president obama left behind a wedding gift, a silver tray and a mint julep cup. where he got that, we don't know. >> i used it the first night for sure. love him or hate him, it's a gift from the president. >> unknown fact. along with the football the president of the united states travels with, also travels with
a mint julep cup. the newlyweds say they're not democrats, but they admit the cup from the president was by far the coolest wedding gift they received. sam stein, thanks, man, we'll talk to you. >> thanks, guys. up next, senator tom coburn joins the conversation. also, richard wolffe. keep it on "morning joe." does your phone give you all day battery life ? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr.
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now and then the president says i'm the grandfather of obamacare. i don't think he meant that as a compliment, but i'll take it. this was during my primary. we thought it might not be helpful. but i've actually been able to put in place a system that fit the needs of the people of my state. and i'm proud of the fact that in my state, after our plan was put in place, every child has insurance. 98% of adults have insurance. but we didn't have to cut medicare by $716 billion to do that. >> hey, welcome back to "morning joe." a beautiful shot of the sun coming up over washington, d.c., the nation's capital. mitt romney wants to live over the next four years. there's a shot of reagan national. we are back with mike barnicle, harold ford jr., also steve ratner still with us along with katty kay in washington. and with us on set, msnbc political analyst and msnbc
contributor and frustrated liverpool fan, richard wolffe. >> don't. it's too early. >> our day is coming. our day is coming just like this election is not over, this season has just begun in english premier football. let me start -- mike barnicle, i'm just wondering, we bumped in with a couple of shots from mitt romney last night on univision. a lot of people are going to be jumping up and down on his statement about actually being honest. saying we weren't really sure whether that whole godfather of obamacare would be helpful in the primary. i actually -- the clips i've seen from last night looks like mitt romney's kind of being real. and to say i was able to get this done in massachusetts, and i couldn't talk about it that much in the primary, but we got some things done. i actually -- if he's got any chance, he's got to start being real.
and i thought that clip was actually pretty positive. >> well, joe, i mean, you're clearly on to something here, and it gets to something that romney has not been doing for now a year, year and a half as he runs for president of the united states. he's got to tell people who he is. who is this guy? now, you saw a part of who he really is right there in that clip. and he's got to own some of the things that he did in massachusetts at this stage of his campaign, given what's going on in the campaign because he's got to figure out what he can control, which is not much at this point in the campaign. but what he can control is who he is. and he's got to clearly identify himself. he's got 47 days to do it to let us know who he really is. >> yeah, who he really is. richard wolffe, right now the romney that americans have been seeing is in a lot of trouble. willie's going to be going through some polls in a minute, but he's getting pounded nationally. there's some new fox news polls out that willie's going to read in a second. >> yep. >> he's getting pounded state by
state by state in all the important swing states. it seems to me that romney does need a reset. and maybe being a bit more candid about what he did in massachusetts. >> right. >> maybe that's not a bad move. >> no. there was this -- there was a teensy bit of a missed opportunity which was called the republican convention. no references no matter to the war, no rempss references at a to what he did in massachusetts. that's a huge mistake. he can say we didn't want to talk about it in the primaries. that's one thing. but at a convention, you're well beyond the primaries, i think we can all agree. he should have talked as he moved back to the center about what he did in massachusetts. that was his best calling card for saying i have executive experience. i know how to do this thing. >> own it. >> you know, you always have in these elections, richard, defining moments. of course, we can go back to rag
kno reagan in '88, john kerry, i voted for the war before i voted against it. i really do believe, if you want to look thus far at the defining moment in this campaign, it wasn't that video last night. that will go away. it was a missed opportunity over one week in tampa, florida. that convention was horrific. and when i say this, there are certain people on the far right. they say oh, joe, you're a rhino, blah, blah, blah. daniel hennenger in "the wall street journal," i believe it was, said that the gallup poll that was taken after that measured romney's speech and said it was the least liked acceptance speech since gallup has been polling on such matters. they blew it! they blew it at the republican convention. they could have defined this guy, and they failed miserably. whoever was in charge of that task, fire them because they blew it. >> yeah, look.
honesty is not a partisan thing, you know. you've got to be able to speak frankly when politicians do something good or bad, and that's all we can do. >> let's look at these polls. this morning numbers in those battleground states, ohio and virginia. these are new fox news polls, and the numbers are not good at this moment for mitt romney. ohio, president obama leads by seven points. virginia as well by seven points. and in the state of florida, which is packed with conservatives, as joe has pointed out many times, the president now leads mitt romney 49-44%. it would be nearly impossible, of course, for mitt romney to win the 270 electoral votes he needs without florida which carries 29 votes. a cnn poll, meanwhile, shows the president leading mitt romney by eight points in the state of michigan. and in wisconsin, a new marquette poll of likely voters shows a race now a spread of 14 points in the state of wisconsin. katty kay, that's a state that the romney campaign had hoped to be competitive in with the
addition of paul ryan to the ticket. but when you look at the totality of the polls we just went through, what do you see? >> well, you know, it's hard to see how it looks good. and the only redeeming feature for the romney campaign must be that we're 47 days away, right? and that they must be hoping that there is still time to turn these things around and to try and get some of these poll numbers shifting in their direction. wisconsin, perhaps with more paul ryan, we heard mike allen earlier telling us that we're going to see more joint appearances between mitt romney and paul ryan out on the stump. maybe that's the way they can hope they can make some impact if he goes up there a little bit more. you know, and to joe's point about the missed opportunity at the convention -- and i was just looking at that article by daniel henninger. the gallup poll about this being the least popular acceptance speech they have on record. what he points to is what we were saying earlier is that there was a lack of specificity on the speech. i think there was so much of a
focus trying to make romney look human and who the guy is, but actually what daniel points out is that romney said, i have a plan to create 12 million jobs. and then he only spent 180 words on his five-point plan. in that whole 40-minute-long speech, there was only 180 words on what mitt romney will actually do to create jobs over the next four years. and he's got to flesh that out more. he's got to give people an alternative to the past four years and an alternative they see as a real vision and real leadership and real concrete job proposals for the country. and i think otherwise i just don't see how he's going to turn around those numbers in the swing states. >> let's bring in from capitol hill, republican senator from oklahoma, tom coburn. senator coburn, good to see you this morning. >> good morning. how are y'all? >> we're doing okay. we've been talking a lot about what mitt romney could do to change the dynamic in this race. if you were giving him advice about what he ought to be talking about at least on the campaign trail, what would you tell him? >> oh, gosh, i'm the last guy
you ought to be asking about what you ought to be talking about on the campaign trail. i'm too blunt and straightforward. i'm not sure -- i'm not sure i can give him any advice on what to do. you know, i've been through a lot of presidential elections. i've watched them and i'd remind you reagan was behind 14 points to jimmy carter at this time. i don't think the polls matter. i think people get it, and they know our country's in trouble. and i think you can poll any way you want, and you can pontificate. i think this is going to be a horse race down to the end, and i think romney will have a great chance if people see the real mitt romney and get in their vote and fixing our country. >> but you know, tom, you and i got elected in '94 in the same types of districts. i was the first republican elected in mine and we won by getting republicans but also independents, conservative democrats, populists. you got elected statewide by
doing the same thing. you may not want to give mitt romney advice, but the very people that helped elect you and me to congress and you to the united states senate are the very people that mitt romney hasn't close t thd the deal on . explain to our viewers how conservative policies help the 47% that mitt romney seemed to dismiss in this campaign video. >> well, i'm not sure he dismissed them. look. this is a country about opportunity. and what we've not had, if you look at media household income, it's gone down 9.5% in the last four years. i was actually in a meeting with chairman bernanke yesterday, telling us to quit worrying about inflation. it's not real. if you're a median household in this country, inflation's killing you right now. he's clueless about that. what you have to do is to explain how you're going to create opportunities for the people in this country.
and by the way, our own data in our office, when we look at it, 57% of american households get at least $2,500 a year from the federal government. some of it earned, some of it not. but the point is, if you want a vibrant, successful america, what you have to do is have great opportunities for people to succeed on their own, not create greater opportunities for people -- not self-reliant. and that's the problem. >> senator coburn, harold ford. good morning to you. >> hey, junior, how are you, man? >> i'm good, brother. i think you have been the most courageous voice in washington around lowering federal spending and getting some controls going forward. in terms of spending. what advice -- or i should say if president obama is re-elected, mitt romney is elected, can we have -- can the american people have some confidence that some spending controls will be put in place, be it simpson-bowles, the gang of six, be it a coburn plan, what can the american people
look forward to in terms of getting a long-term budget deal? >> harold, i think we have to. i don't think we have an option to do otherwise. you know, if you look at our total debt to gdp -- and remember, our total get to gdp doesn't include state and city and municipal debt. if you compare us to those, we're way beyond some of the european countries that are in a problem. we have to send the signal that we're going to be growing up. there's a lot of things that have to change. one of the reasons you can't recruit some of the greatest people into government is because you don't give them the tools to manage things in government. so we need to change some of the personnel policies in the government. we need to set new parameters on where we'll spend. we need to eliminate -- you know, the gao now shows us that there's $200 billion a year in duplicative services running from the federal government. i mean, we just stopped a program yesterday on a budget
point of order for veterans job benefit, we have six veterans jobs programs now. nobody knows if they're working. and we're spending $1 billion a year on it. and we were going to create another one that would have never gone away even though it was supposed to be temporary. so, look. we're our own worst enemy. and the career politicians in this country are the worst enemy this country's ever seen in terms of solving our problems. >> senator, on the veterans jobs bill that you just mentioned, it went down by a vote of 58-40. i am certainly not familiar with the arcane details of why it went down 58-40, and you mentioned there are several other veterans benefits jobs programs already in existence that we don't know whether they're working or not. but how does it happen when unemployment is so high among returning veterans from iraq and afghanistan that a bill like this gets voted down by 58-40? what was in the bill that caused 58 -- >> well, mike, that's a great question. first of all, is it's a
temporary program. there's no such thing as a temporary program in washington. you know that. you've seen it. number two is if, in fact, we're going to start addressing the bigger economic problems of this country, you've got to quit playing felonious accounting with what you're doing, which is exactly what that bill did. it violated the budget control act. it violated paygo. it's exactly the same kind of -- pardon my word -- crap that congress has done for years that says one thing and does another. and so it was a gimmick. we knew it was a gimmick in terms of getting around the spending. it's time for us to start acting responsible. if we want to create another veterans program, we ought to do two or three things. one, we ought to know what's happening to the other job programs, all six of them. there already is a preference for hiring of veterans in this country. number three is if we're going to spend $1 billion, we ought to
cut another program to do it. and we didn't do that. what we did is we took ten years of, quote, semi-cuts that aren't real to pay for spending over five years. that's how you get further in debt, not less in debt. >> okay, senator, so we understand the problem with that bill, but what's being done, then, to help veterans coming back? 11% unemployment. twice that for our youngest veterans. what are we doing now today to help veterans get back to work? >> here's what we need to do. we need a dynamic economy where people have confidence and certainty about the future. we need to restructure a tax code that will cause the capital that's sitting on the sidelines to be invested. you can create all the fake jobs you want, but in the long run, they're not going to do anything. and they're not going to produce any wealth. and all they're going to do is add to our deficit. so if you want a dynamic, thriving economy, what you have to do is reform the tax code, downsize the federal government, back off on regulations and let the entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity spirit of this
country thrive. we've not done that. we're not doing that. and that's why you have this terribly anemic recovery. that at every corner almost every business i talk to from small to large is getting bombarded with a bureaucrat from washington telling them what they can and can't do. so that's the way you create jobs. create opportunity. we're not doing it. we're stifling opportunity with this administration. >> steve ratner. >> senator, steve ratner. just to go back to your answer to junior's question a few minutes ago. >> that was my nickname in the congress. >> i like that. we should use it on set here more. i just want to underscore one thing you said about the inability from firsthand experience the inability of people in government to actually manage. and i think if we want to fix all the problems you articulated, i think there has to be more ability for people who are serving in executive branch to actually get some stuff done. >> i agree. >> let me come to a more immediate problem than the bigger issues you correctly
highlighted which is the fiscal cliff. some of us are counting down to election day, others of us are counting down to the fiscal cliff. without going into the details which at this point i think most people know, what's your guess, what's your expectation for what's going to happen as we get to december 31st, and do you think we're going to go over that cliff? >> no, i don't, and i think we'll solve that problem. it will create a compromise and will be there. we know on both sides of that balance sheet that that's too big of a hit to the economy. it doesn't mean we shouldn't do some of it. we certainly should. it doesn't mean we shouldn't reform the tax code. and we shouldn't set a structure that sends a signal. but we're not going to knock the economy 3.2% which is the federal reserve's estimate of what happens if we do nothing. plus the fact is is now is the worst time in the world to be increasing taxes on anybody with the anemic growth. the cbo uses 3.5% gdp growth. it's going to be half that, if that, in the next year. so all the cbo projections that
you see are actually are conditions much worse than what cbo says it is. so we're not about to let that happen. and compromise will be worked out. the point is that nothing's going to happen till after the election because all washington works on the next election cycle rather than what's best for the country. >> katty kay. >> senator, you mentioned compromise there and the election. i mean, what's going to be the trigger? let's say barack obama keeps the white house and democrats keep the senate and the house is still republican. we have the same makeup. what's going to change after the election? what's going to be the trigger that makes people on capitol hill do the things that need to get done and the compromises that need to be made to deal with things like the deficit and entitlement reform? >> here's the rule of politics that's going to apply. the pain of doing the hard thing, when it's less than the pain of not doing it, the politicians are going to act. and that's where we're going to
be after the election, facing the fiscal cliff and facing the problem. they're only going to make the tough decision when not making it causes them more pain. and that's the terrible assessment of politics in america today and probably in europe as well. don't lead -- don't get out, don't do the right thing. only do it when you're forced to because the pain of not doing it politically is too great. that's not leadership. that's cowardice, and that's what we see in washington today. >> tom coburn, i said it when you got elected to the senate. there are very few politicians that i'm excited about when they win elections. you were one of them because when you get -- when you start talking about causing pain for politicians in both parties, nobody does it better than you. >> it's unintentionally. >> no, no, no, you do the right thing. and that causes them pain. so tom, thanks so much for all you do, and thanks for being
with us today. >> all right. good to see you guys. see you, junior. >> take care, brother. still ahead, we've got republican senator rand paul of kentucky. he's going to be here as well. also, get an exclusive first look at the new issue of "time" magazine in a few minutes with managing editor of "time," rick stengel. that's right around the corner. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. i've discovered gold. [ female announcer ] new roc® retinol correxion max. the power of roc® retinol is intensified with a serum. it's proven to be 4x better at smoothing lines and deep wrinkles than professional treatments. roc® max for maximum results.
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welcome back to "morning joe." as you take a live look at the white house. with us now, "time" magazine managing editor rick stengel. he's here to reveal the latest issue of "time" magazine. rick, what is it this week? >> hi, joe. well, we have bill clinton on the cover with his five ideas that are changing the world for the better. this is a collaboration between us and the clinton global
initiative which starts next week to coincide with the u.n. general assembly. and you know, as i call clinton in my little editor's letter, he's the fiphilanthropist in chf around the world. and the clinton global initiative has, over the last five or six years, raised $70 billion for problems around the world treating inequality, instability, unsustainability. and it's really -- it's not a secret, but it's really one of the most powerful forces in the world now, as powerful and probably more than many governments and certainly than most foundations out there. so this is bill's view of the world. and why he's optimistic about things like inequality, instability, the growth of democracy and global economies. it's an unusually optimistic note in these somewhat pessimistic times. >> you've got to photograph, he's cradling the globe ever so gently, isn't? i >> yes. you know, he doesn't -- you know, they told us, the
president doesn't do props, but i thought, you know, we need to get some way to show that this isn't a story about bill clinton. this is a story about his ideas, and we got him to embrace that beautiful globe there. yeah. i like that. >> you know what you were just saying about the former president, president clinton, is striking in what's happened over the last three or four days, especially with the release of the romney tape, the 47% tape that we've run into the ground here on cable tv. >> i wanted to get off that. >> but when you listen to president clinton, and we've all spoken about it, there is always a note of optimism in his voice, in his thinking, in his projection, something that is really missing in the republican candidate for president. and it means a lot to people, i think. >> well, i mean, and mike, you've talked a lot about this. i mean, we like optimistic candidates. we like happy warriors. america has optimism in its dna. you know, every year is better
than the last. and so i think even if you don't always feel it, as a candidate, you have to communicate optimism because that's what our country is based on, you know, the hurrahs and always offering a better vision than where we are today. >> what are some of the ideas that are changing the world? >> he starts out with something we've written about before, about the rise of mobile phones and how there's a u.n. study last year showed that mobile technology, mobile phones, is the single greatest engine for decreasing poverty in human history. i mean, it really is kind of amazing. and he tells examples. he's traveling all over the world, you know, people in haiti using cell phones to pay for crops, people in africa using it in a way, it's become the vehicle of the economy. and it's a democratizing force. it allows people to buy and sell things in a way that really hasn't existed before. and again, it triumphs over, you know, the infrastructure problem in places like haiti and africa have, that man, you don't have
to put up telephone poles. everybody's got a smartphone. >> is the power of clinton's role here -- i know he does a lot of convening power of bringing these people together and putting their hand up and saying we're going to do something, but isn't it a vision thing we're talking about? we've talked a lot about how this election gets smaller by the day. isn't the relief of listening to clinton that he has a bigger vision? that's america's global role. >> yeah. >> that not only the optimism, but we can do big things, and we should think about big things. that, in part, is what his contest with 41 is about. >> again, what i'm about to say is a little bit absurd. i sometimes think when a guy is running for president, what's he going to be like after? what's he going to do? that does tell you about the values he has and the things he appreciates and cares about. you know with bill clinton that the day his presidency ended, he's going to continue doing things that animated him. he's going to continue servicing the issues and people that he couldn't quite finish even as
president because that's just the way he is. and i think that's what you want as your chief executive. >> you know what's -- the vision thing that you just mentioned, it might also be, in the case of clinton versus romney, who is on the stage as well right now, the belief thing. i mean, look where bill clinton came from and look what he has become. the belief in himself, the belief in this country, the belief that if -- you know, we've heard it ad nauseam, if you work hard, play by the rules or whatever, you can achieve greatness. bill clinton. look where he came from, hope, arkansas. where did mitt romney come from? mitt romney has no frame of reference to the kind of background that bill clinton came from. and clearly from the 47% speech, he has very little frame of reference for the backgrounds that many people live their lives by each day. it's an interesting thing. >> i mean, the fact that you're from a hardscrabble background doesn't necessarily mean you have empathy for people from that background. i mean, fdr had that empathy, and people felt it.
your background doesn't necessarily assume what kind of -- >> correct. >> -- sympathy you have for people. bill clinton felt people's pain because he had that empathy. >> katty kay is with us, kind of a british invasion this morning. first wolffe. >> what do they know about american politics? >> we just ask questions. you said what's interesting about presidents is what they're going to do after they leave office. what's the cover of "time" magazine on barack obama 12 years after he leaves office? what's he going to be doing, do you think? >> that's a good question. i think -- i would guess, if i'm guessing, i mean, i think he's always been involved with issues of social justice and equality, and i think he would try to do something like that. he also would -- you know, i think he -- and somewhere in his soul, he's a writer, and i think he would be writing books not only about his presidency but the role of the chief executive. you know, he could go back to teaching law. i don't really know.
i guess the question would be what would romney be doing after his eight years in office? >> can you answer that one, too? have you got the answer to that as well? >> i don't have the answer to that. he's a little older, so maybe he would be retired. >> who knows? we shall see, possibly. the new cover of "time" is "five ideas that are changing the world for the better." rick stengel, thanks so much for being with us, as always, we appreciate it. and a fascinating picture of bill clinton and that globe, as willie said. next tuesday, we're going to be interviewing the former president, bill clinton, at the clinton global initiative. that's always a lot of fun. coming up next, an internal revenue urges disciplinary -- an internal review urges disciplinary action on the justice department's fast and furious gun-running program. we're going to tell you about who's in trouble next on "morning joe."
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two top justice department officials have stepped down. a dozen others may be disciplined for their roles in a failed gun-trafficking operation known as fast and furious. after an 18-month investigation, an internal report by the department's inspector general found attorney general eric holder was not aware of the program's misguided strategy. "fast and furious" intentionally allowed thousands of guns to fall into the hands of mexican drug cartels hoping the weapons could be tracked to the cartel's leaders. few of the guns were ever recorded, and two of them were used in the deadly shooting of u.s. border patrol agent brian terry. attorney general holder said the findings in the report were consistent with the justice department's assessment, adding the agency did not attempt to cover up information or mislead congress about it. joe, what's your take on all this? >> you know, willie, this has been a story that's been brewing for a very long time. a lot of conservatives believe that this goes right into the office of attorney general eric holder. they're not going to be pleased with the findings of this report
this morning. but there's no doubt, this was a botched scheme by this organization. and unfortunately, people died because of it. it was complete government incompetence and the type of incompetence that makes americans more skeptical about whether government can get things right. and this morning, again, willie, a lot of conservatives very skeptical about the findings of this report that somehow this trail that went from arizona all the way to washington, d.c., got into the justice department but stopped just short of the attorney general himself. i'm sure we're going to be hearing a lot more about this on capitol hill from republicans as we move forward. >> richard wolffe, was this story underreported by the press as a lot have accused? >> i think there were two stories going on here. and i'd be interested to know jej joe's take on this. clearly the botched operation led to tragic consequences and was incredibly dangerous. and that's a perfectly important and proper area for congress to
dig and dig deep into. the second piece of it, which i think really animated republicans was the personal sort of hunting of eric holder and the idea that there was a conspiracy and a cover-up around it that went to him. and i think that was where, my understanding, that's where republicans got frustrated with the coverage and frustrated with this report. the question for me and maybe for joe is, did they overreach? did republicans actually go too far? should they have stuck to the issues here about these guns and what happened to these federal officials, or was it right to go after eric holder and try and find the fingerprints there? >> well, i know eric and like him an awful lot, but you always ask where the buck stops. and certainly when we had the valerie plame investigation week after week after week, every friday i'd get a call and say, you know, we may have breaking news. karl rove may be indicted
tonight. karl rove was going to be indicted like 27 fridays in a row. when he was at the white house. and of course when the story came out, it was much different than what the press had been pushing for for a long time. in this case, i think conservatives think it does stop at holder's doorstep. holder has been a part of washington politics for a very long time going back to the clinton administration. so there's no doubt, a lot of conservatives, a lot of republicans believe that eric holder was involved in this. and i think you're right. i think the questions are going to continue about how involved he was. but it certainly looks like this report at least clears his name in the view of the federal government. i think, though, you will continue to hear this certainly burning up the airwaves on certain conservative news channels, talk radio and certainly on the internet, asking what eric holder knew and when he knew it. willie, back to you.
>> it's important to note, the inspector general is an independent body. >> right. >> this is not the justice department itself. eric holder's a good guy. >> thank you, junior. >> thanks, junior. >> you're not allowed to use that if you didn't serve with him. just a quick note to you. >> thanks, senior. >> thanks, junior. up next, senator rand paul joins the conversation. keep it on "morning joe." [ female announcer ] born from the naturally sweet monk fruit,
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stouffer's. let's fix dinner. hey, welcome back to "morning joe." as you look at capitol hill. with us now from capitol hill, republican senator from kentucky, senator rand paul. the senator is out now with a new book, "government bullies: how everyday americans are being harassed, abused and imprisoned
by the feds." and the book talks about how both parties are contributing to the bloating of the federal government. we're going to talk about that in a minute, senator. but first, let's talk about "fast and furious." obviously, the inspector general's report came out yesterday saying that there obviously were a lot of mistakes made. what is your take on the fast and furious operation and the findings of that report? >> you know, i think one of the things beyond culpability, you know, whether or not someone's guilty of a crime is really are you sorry for the death of brian terry? and i think senator cornyn asked that question so poignantly when he asked eric holder, have you apologized to the family of brian terry? and a year and a half, two years into this, no one had apologized to the family. and it was a huge mistake in judgment to sell guns to people running drugs across the border. i mean, who would have ever approved of that? if you run a corporation and you make a bad decision that causes your company to go into bankruptcy or if you run a
corporation like the government or an entity like the government and someone dies, i think really someone should be responsible, whether it's criminal or not's another question. but politically and morally was it a good decision? it was a horrible decision to do this. >> senator paul, it's willie geist. talking about your book "government bullies." it seems to me is the thrust of your book is what we're deciding in this election, more government or less government. just to start the interview off, what is your view of the role government should have in american lives? what's the one-line explanation? is it to defend our borders and build roads? or where do you see the role of government? >> i would say there is a role in regulation. and some of the regulations that we discuss in here are well-intentioned like the clean water act of 1974. it says you can't discharge pollutants into the navigable waters. i think we all agree. nobody wants chemicals discharged into the mississippi river. but what happened over time is that well-intentioned regulation came to mean that dirt was a
pollutant, and your backyard was a navigable stream. so really it's the bastardizations and the overzealous applications by people who aren't balancing job creation and job production with regulations that let these things get out of hand. we're actually putting people in prison for this, and that's what the book's about. >> willie geist, i'm reading here that mothers can be arrested for buying raw milk. families are being fined forsselling bunny rabbits without a license. >> uh-oh. >> willie, when you listen to that and then think about the things that mike barnicle does every day in the sunlight of central park, it's frightening. it seems to be a double standard here. >> just wiped out almost all of his income with the bunny rabbit regulations. >> exactly. >> senator paul, what about things like a social safety net? do you believe that social security is a good idea? do you believe that medicare and medicaid have been helpful to this country over the years? >> yeah, i think the biggest question we face now is not whether to have a safety net.
it's whether or not we can save the safety net. and i consider this not to be a republican/democrat problem. it's a demographic problem. and in fact, i often say in my speeches, it's not my fault, it's not the democrats' fault, it's your grandparents' fault for having too many damn kids, and then you didn't have enough kids. so what it is is we have all the baby boomers retiring. we're living longer. you have to fix the entitlement programs. but it's a bitter pill. it requires that the age has to gradually rise. you means test the benefits. but i think republicans and democrats should come together and fix it. and when i've mentioned this directly to the president and to the vice president in private, they're receptive to the fact that there is a problem and we have to fix it. but in public, it's still a very political and partisan battle. >> but you believe fundamentally and theoretically that these are good ideas, that our seniors ought to pay into a system and be paid back later in their lives, that poor people ought to have help through medicaid, that our seniors ought to have help through medicare? >> well, i think we ought to try to, you know, help our fellow man, and there are many different ways to do it.
some's through government and some's not. we've chosen to have this large safety net. what it does illustrate is for example medicare has 50 million to 60 million people we insure. it's $35 trillion to $40 trillion short. so my question to president obama is, you want to insure 45 million, or to anybody else who wants to do this, you want to have a new government program to insure 45 million people, and it's not going to cost anything? that's just not believable. we can't pay for what we have, and we're going to shuffle money from medicare to pay for obamacare. it's a really fool's error to think these things can be done without costing any money. >> senator, talk about your frustration since you've been on capitol hill, not only dealing with democrats but also dealing with republicans. you know, when i left congress, we had a $5 trillion national debt. by the time george w. bush left, we had an $11.5 trillion debt. and republicans and democrats were responsible for that. every bit as much as george w. bush. right now we've got a $16.5
trillion national debt. over the next four years that goes over $20 trillion. it takes two to tango. and too often republicans have been just as guilty of spending too much, regulating too much. how does that change? >> ultimately, the compromise has to be the opposite of the compromise we have now. people think oh, you guys don't compromise. we compromise every day to raise military spending and raise domestic spending. we have to have the opposite compromise. we have to compromise to reduce military spending and reduce domestic spending and reform entitlements. that's both parties giving up some of their sacred cows, and that's the only way we'll ever get to resolve this, but it's an enormous amount of money. you would have to freeze spending for about ten years to balance the budget. but the cbo would call that a $9 trillion cut. so when people talk about we have to have at least a $4 trillion cut, that's a cut in proposed increases. if you have a $4 trillion cut over ten years, you add $5 trillion to the debt.
so really, i think we need to talk even more significantly about freezing spending until we balance our budget. >> senator, richard wolffe here. i have a question about the debt that you talk about. because there are choices that governments have to make at a time like this. and i wonder what -- how you weigh the value of certain moral questions. so you've got the moral value of providing health care to people who cannot afford it and the moral questions about debt. when you balance the two, what's more important to you, the moral problem of dealing with debt or the moral problem of giving health care to people who cannot afford it? >> the way i look at it is, what type of system distributes goods most efficiently? so, for example, if you want to get more product, and it could be health care, it could be ipads, you want to get more of them to the consumer, what type of economic system does that better? does the government do things well? does the government distribute
goods well, or does the private marketplace do a better job? and milton friedman put his finger on this very clearly when he said nobody spends someone else's money as wisely as they spend their own. that's why government is always inefficient, why president obama has it exactly wrong. you government workers. you have to expand the private sector so you can have government workers. it's not this real moral question. it's how do you get the most amount of resources. we are going to have some government. you don't get an economy to recover by simply employing more government workers. >> you don't think there's a moral issue in getting people health care when they cannot afford it in the open market? >> sure there is. you have your heart. you also have to use your brain. how do you distribute this good to the most people and get them the most benefit? my argument would be that government is inherently inept at doing most things because
government doesn't get the proper signals. what i would say is the marketplace works very well. capitalism has not been tried yet in health care. most of health care is government fixed prices and there's very little capitalism. in fact, i'm a physician. in my practice, about 3% of my practice was capitalism. those are people who came in with high deductibles or paid cash. that marketplace worked because we did bid down prices on things that people came in and paid for. >> i was wonder if he took government payments when he was a doctor? >> you can't be a physician in our country without participating in the government. that's the system we live under. >> you know, senator, it's so fascinating. you talk about health care reform. you look at a place like the cleveland clinic where results are rewarded instead of procedures being rewarded. the question is how we expand that nationwide. this government, this country spends more money on health care
per person than any other country in the world and we have one of the more inefficient systems because you're exactly right. market forces don't drive this system. it's just like education. we spend more money per pupil than any country in the world and yet look where we are when it comes to k through 12. we have to figure out a way to be much more efficient in health care, how to be much more efficient in public education because the systems that we're using are broken. the book is called "government bullies how every day americans are being harassed, abused and imprisoned by the feds." senator rand paul, thank you and say hello to your dad. we'll be right back in a minute on "morning joe." >> who do you think the best president you ever served sfw d? >> i'm not going to answer that. >> do you have an answer for that question? >> i do. it's highly classified.
>> confines of "morning joe." >> "morning joe." nobody is watching so if i -- >> that's just horrible. that was such a hateful thing to say. you yourself say -- i don't know why you are but you are a regular viewer of "morning joe." >> i am. i enjoy the show very much and watch it several days a week. ma] you are a business pro. governor of getting it done. you know how to dance... with a deadline. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. this is awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro. yes, it is. music: "make someone happy" music: "make someone happy" ♪it's so important to make someone happy.♪ it's so important to make someone happy.♪ ♪make just one heart to heart you - you sing to♪
>> tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of "morning joe" bonanza. we're not laughing at the guest lineup. we're laughing because something huge fell behind us as we celebrate five years on set when we come back, mitt romney looks to get his campaign back on trail and on message as he stumps through florida and new battleground polls he's not going to like when he wakes up this morning. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone... mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data
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>> my campaign is about the 100% of america, and i'm concerned about them. i'm concerned about the fact that over the past four years life has become harder for americans. more people have fallen into poverty. more people we just learned have had to go on food stamp which is the president took office 32 million people were on food stamps. today 47 million people are on food stamps. i know that i'm not going to get 100% of the vote, and my campaign will focus on those people we think we can bring in to support me, but this is a campaign about helping people who need help. >> good morning. it's 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. on the west coast as you take a live look at new york city. back with us on set, we have mike barnicle, harold ford, jr.,
and in washington, sam stein and of course the great willie geist. i got to tell you, i was looking at the clips of mitt romney of his political performance last night. i thought he did pretty well. you have so many people talking about how this race is over. you hear it wherever you go. we've got a long way to go. if romney can right his ship, anything is possible. that said, a flurry of polls out this morning that are just absolutely devastating for mitt romney. if he's going to turn that corner, it looks like he'll have to turn it quickly. >> he did what a lot of people like you called for him to do which is to step into those remarks he made. you said it, it's on tape, now embrace it. he did a little of that last night but there are critical battleground states that don't look good for him. joe, do you want to take a look at some of these? >> first of all, willie, let's look at these fox news poll
numbers because they are the battleground state polls. look, first of all, at ohio and virginia. in ohio, a state that -- you know, mark halperin says you can get to 270 without ohio, i don't see him running the table without ohio. he's losing by seven points in the latest fox poll in ohio. he's losing by seven points, 50% to 43% in virginia, a state he has to win if he doesn't carry ohio and then in florida, willie, down five percentage points with barack obama holding five percentage point in florida this late in the game in my state i think it's impossible -- it's impossible to win without carrying those states. pat, let's pass it around the table. you take those three states right there, he's got to start -- he's got to win florida. he's got to win ohio. if he doesn't do it, i just don't see how it happens for him. >> florida goes without saying
he has to win. 29 electoral votes. you can make a path for mitt romney without ohio but he has to win the west and it becomes much more difficult and these numbers are trending the wrong way for him right now. >> there's no doubt. he placed a huge bet on october 3rd, this romney campaign has. they picked paul ryan who is known to congress of being specific about his ideas and plans for the future and for some reason now the romney campaign doesn't want to be specific and detail orientated about what they do with taxes, how they reform entitlement programs. given some sense but not specific. there's no doubt this campaign is adrift and without mitt romney being more active, engaged and specific, this could spell a second term which i would not be upset about at all for president obama. >> sam stein, as you look at the numbers and mitt romney's performance last night, what changes the dynamic of this campaign? how does he stop the tide flowing away from him at the moment? >> that's the million dollar question. what can mitt romney do at this
juncture to change dynamic. he can pray and hope that obama cops to being a closet socialist in the october 3rd debate, but i don't think that happens. there was a telling line about the debates where a romney adviser said something to the extent of we feel like we are taxed against obama at this juncture a by the stale and won't persuade voters and need to do something else in addition to that. i think we've reached a threshold in some respects where mitt romney has convinced people he can convince to vote against barack obama. he needs to do something to convince them to vote for mitt romney. i'm not sure what he has in the repertoire. >> i want to show you other numbers here. we talked about pennsylvania and michigan and perhaps the romney campaign conceding those if you look at where they are spending money or not spending money. cnn opinion research poll those president obama leading mitt romney by eight points in the state of michigan. also in wisconsin, a state that obviously mitt romney had hoped to pick off with the choice of paul ryan, in one month the race
went from a three-point margin to a 14-point lead for president obama. 54-40 according to a marquette university poll. in a new pew research poll, president obama is up eight points nationally among likely voters and "usa today" gallop po poll says they are less likely to vote for romney because of what they heard. 15% say they are more likely to vote for romney because of the message on those tapes. what's your take on all this? >> you know, i guess the only thing that might reassure the romney campaign is as joe said earlier, we are still -- where joe is, it's probably 100 days out from the campaign because he's so far away on the west coast. we're several weeks away from the campaign and there is time to turn some of this around to get the campaign back on track with the debates. this is also not because obama
has been performing brilliantly or the economy is suddenly picking up at great speed, neither of those two things are true. it is about romney's mistakes and that gives romney power over the quality of his campaign. if he goes into the debates and fill in some of the specifics about how exactly he would make the next four years better than barack obama will make the next four years, he has a platform there. he has millions of viewers watching that debate. and if he can sound convincing on the thing that is his strong point, i will improve the economy, i will create economic growth, and i will provide more jobs for the american people, and here is how i'm intending to do it, as opposed to someone who had four years trying and hasn't managed to do it yet, then maybe he has a chance to get positive focus back on his campaign. >> mike barnicle, look at these numbers that we've gone through today. fox news poll showing down in ohio by seven. romney down in virginia by seven. down in florida by five down in
michigan by eight. down in wisconsin by 14 points. time is running out. if he's going to turn things around, it better happen soon. >> numbers are brutal. no doubt about it. being behind in those key states is almost like a death nail around any campaign let alone the romney campaign. unfortunately for governor romney, he's got one positive thing going for him. >> what's that? >> look, when he was running for governor for the first time, the only time in massachusetts, he was behind by quite a good deal at just about this juncture in that gubernatorial campaign. he came back. he caught up. and won the governorship. he did it by being someone that the voters obviously wanted to look at and like. his problem now is he's been running so long against obama, obama is bad, obama is bad. you have to vote against obama. the other night in that clip
that we showed, the lack of optimism in governor romney's voice, in his behavior, i think it affects people who may be inclined to vote for someone else other than obama very negatively. >> that's a great point. we said it yesterday. if you look at -- i'll say the names again. i know it drives people crazy on the left. if you listen to what hatcher said and what ronald reagan said his entire life, they believe the conservative message helped the 100%. they believe that's how you got people out of the unemployment lines, how you got the working poor back to work with better jobs. and mitt romney sounded so negative talking about the 47% writing it off. forget the faux pas. i'm more concerned as is daniel this morning in "the wall street journal," he's got a great editor al in "the wall street journal" this morning. i'm concerned about romney, the
man. what does he think? he is a conservative? is he an optimist? i have no idea. you brought in charts this morning on exactly who makes up that now infamous 47% and as you and i both know, there are a lot of heros on that list. a lot of veterans. a lot of men and women fighting in afghanistan. i'm not say pg this to ding romney. i'm saying that it was an ignorant thing for him to say and he's got to admit that. you look at some of those 47% that he was going after, and they are big-time republican voters. >> remember, he's also got another problem at this point with the economy. the polls show the view of the economy is more optimistic. some of that comes off the democratic convention. some come off the fact the stock market is up. the economy isn't working argument isn't working quite as well. and secondly, as harold alluded
to, he hasn't put forward a plan that isn't specific or a plan that people look at and say i can get this. this is how we get 12 million new jobs. this is how we get the economy back. we can take a look at the 47% and i think there's some interesting things about it as you dig into it. let's start with the fact the percent of americans that don't pay federal tax has been growing. that's a fact. back in the '60s and '70s it was down in the 15% range and it's been steadily going up. what's been driving it up has been primarily a bunch of tax changes interestingly led by republicans, led by milton friedman, the famous economist, providing things like earned income tax credit argument being let people work, not pay taxes rather than having them be on welfare. you've had increases on that over the last 20 years and most recently you've had a recession that's driven people down to the
level where they don't pay federal tax. but that's not the whole picture. it's interesting to look at who is in that 47% and you'll see that it is quite a number of different components. you do have, first of all, over 50% who do pay taxes obviously. but you've got 28% of people who are working and are paying payroll taxes and considerable percentage of their income as we see in a minute. you have 10% who are elderly and on social security and therefore don't pay federal income taxes and then you have only 7% who are not elderly but they have incomes under $20,000 and don't pay taxes. and so all of that really leaves you with is less than 1% of other students and other people, a few people who do have higher incomes and don't pay taxes. the fact is it's not as stark as you think when you see 47% floating around. >> not exactly free loaders gaming the system. >> not exactly free loaders gaming the system.
it was a system designed in many ways to encourage this. the other thing that we should look at is who's paying what taxes and so if you look at the federal taxes which are the blue bars, you'll see that it is very progressive as people expect. as you go further up in income level, you pay higher levels of taxes. and there are of course a few people up in this famous 1% who pay lower rates like mitt romney but for the most part on a federal level as your income goes up, your taxes go up. if you look at state and local, it's a very different picture. state and local it actually goes the other way. people at the lower end of the income stream pay a higher percent of their taxes because it includes sales taxes. if you drink liquor, whether you're rich or poor, you probably drink about the same amount of liquor. so the tax rates, the effective tax rates for the wealthy at the state and local rate actually go down. and so to get to this question about redistribution and who is paying their fair share and
who's not paying their fair share, if we look at the last chart for a second and you see a total of federal and state, you see that wealthy people here over on the right, the top 1%, they get 21% of the total income in this country and they pay 21.6% of the total taxes in this country, federal, state and local. and as you go down, you'll see the numbers are close among income groups at the very bottom, yes. they have -- the bottom 20% has 3.4% of the income and they pay 2.1% of the taxes. but i think many of us would feel that's certainly more than fair proposition. >> i want to say though, steve, i think you would agree with me there's a good ideological argument to make. mitt romney obviously was very clumsy and negative about it. there's a good ideological argument to make as we move toward a time when more than half of americans aren't going to be paying federal income tax
that we could have that debate. we could have a thoughtful, meaningful debate. i understand that people are still going to be paying payroll taxes that aren't paying income taxes. i think that's important debate to have at some point as we move to a place where more than half of americans don't pay income taxes. don't pay taxes into the federal education system. or for national defense or for a lot of other areas. but that argument could be made but mitt romney again was just so clumsy in the way he tried to make it. >> i get that argument. there are some very thoughtful people including our mutual good friend mayor bloomberg who has a view that everybody should pay something even if it's $100. they should pay something into federal taxes. i'm fine with that. that won't fundamentally change the idea that we do have a tax system in which the wealthy are supposed to pay more, the less wealthy are supposed to pay less and the idea is to keep them off
welfare rolls and keep them working. >> can i jump in? i just want to correct one thing that steve said. some of us on the saturday pay more in liquor tax than others. >> harold ford. >> i didn't want to single anybody out. >> my colleague pointed this out. one of the things problematic with romney's message is he's been going around the country saying my tax plan with a 20% reduction for everybody across the board, it will help everybody. it will help everybody. it will lift everybody. in that video what he was saying is 47% of the country won't take to my message because they don't pay taxes. he's actually defeating his own trickle down economic approach. i think that gets to joe's point which is that what he was saying was sort of anti-conservative in some respects. tax cuts are supposed to help everybody but he was qualifying it for basically half of the country. >> when we come back, the new era of big money politics. the latest issue of "atlantic"
peopling back the growing influence of corporate contributors and secret donations and show why some are saying the more money, the bed it'sor. we have the magazine's editor james bennett with us and also confe confessore. >> how is everything looking today? >> everything is looking fantastic. sunshine from the east coast to the west coast. there's one line of showers moving through the eastern great lakes right now. really that's about it. you can see the majority of the rain is up into areas across canada but here is that line of showers and storms approaching detroit. we do have some frequent cloud to ground lightning with this cold front that's moving in. we'll see a pocket of heavier rain in the detroit area shortly. other than that, temperaturewise, we are in the 50s right now. 50 in minneapolis. 51 out in seattle. hot in phoenix at 80 degrees. temperatures will warm up to 104 in the desert southwest later on this afternoon.
and as far as rain is concerned, a couple scattered showers and storms through florida. we could end up with an inch or two but that's been the story through most of this week and even last week. as we finish off the workweek on friday, we're looking at showers in chicago and we should see a good amount of sunshine everywhere else. temperatures get back into the 70s especially in the northeast. that's the latest check on your weather. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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welcome back to "morning joe." mike barnicle still on set as is richard wolffe. also from washington, editor in chief of "the atlantic" mr. james bennett who wrote the story for the new issue called "the new price of american politics." he looks at the intellectual architect of big campaign money. you may be one of those people who believe there's too much money in politics. you may believe the nation's founders would be repelled by the idea of corporations and billionaires pouring millions of dollars into political campaigns. it is reasonable and respectable to believe these things. what jim bopp, jr., believes is the exact opposite. more money and outside groups making more noise openly or
unanimously and believes in fact there can be so much thing as an outside group in american democracy. he believes that's the whole point of the republic. james, good to see you this morning. introduce us more to this guy and what he means by that. it will be counterintuitive to many people. >> he to me is a fascinating character, willie. he came out of the pro-life movement. actually quite a while ago. which was one of the so-called outside groups that was trying to play in politics. federal election commission was trying to restrict them. he was horrified by what he saw as kind of an infringement on free speech. people thought he was nuts. he's been battering away at the campaign finance system from the outside for a couple of decades now and he's knocked down regulation after regulation and is really as responsible for anybody in the moment we find ourselves in which is a step change, a radical transformation in the way we pay for politics. the watergate era reforms are
gone now, almost completely collapsed and politics has been open to money, outside money, nondisclosed money, in a way we have not seen in decades. >> he brought the citizens united case. what is the utopia for him? how would the money flow? >> ultimately it will force the final elimination of the last vestage of the watergate system which is limits on contributions to campaign to be competitive, candidates, incumbents, will have to eliminate all contribution limits and money will be able to freely pour in from all sources directly to candidates in whatever amount, from whatever source. >> nick, the mechanics of giving money has changed so drastically in terms of the amounts that are being given, quite recently we've seen that the romney campaign -- we were just speaking about this off camera. they had to borrow $20 million.
how does that happen given the vast amounts that they raise? >> because candidates have to raise money the old fashioned way, which is the way that jim bopp wants to eradicate. we have contribution limits to candidates. you can only give $5,000 per cycle to candidate. you have to do that one person at a time. you have to send out hundreds of people to call all their friends and get $5,000 from them and that's how you get up to those numbers. what jim bopp wants is call one person and get a million if you want. romney was so good with asking people for $5,000 during the primary, he started to run out of people he knew who had $5,000. so at a later point in the race, he was raising money for his party. a lot of money he was raising after he became the de facto nominee was earmarked for the republican national committee for other party organizations.
ultimately it will benefit him but he can't use it in his own campaign account the way that it would be most useful and flexible in terms of ad spending and other expenditures. that's why he got cash poor in his campaign account when he raised money for the general election and for the rest of the party. >> i got a question for my good friend, james, actually. james, the guy you write about is using the language of openness and freedom but what he's actually describing, the system he wants, is not open and free to everyone. it's open and free if you're super wealthy. power or influence gets concentrated in the hands of fewer people. the way you were talking and writing about this guy, did anybody seem to understand the contradiction and tension between the two things in saying this should be open to everyone but actually really only a handful of people can play this game. did they get that? >> you're exactly right.
campaign finance is really boring subject. it's very hard to get your hands around. there's a profound ideological debate that's been going on for years in this country largely taking place among constitutional lawyers and jurists and having a profound effect on the rest of us. that contradiction you just cited is at the heart of the debate. i don't think jim bopp is a cynical person. i think he believe this is is what the founders had in mind. the consequence of it is exactly as you described. you see a disproportionate share of voice in our political process giving it to the people who can afford to pay for it. you see it right now. i mean, in 2008, we actually have a public financing system in the general election for presidential candidates and in 2008 barack obama was the first president to depart from that system and continue to raise money into the campaign. this cycle both candidates are doing it. as a result you see mitt romney
and barack obama spending more time in fundraisers than they are spending on the campaign trail asking for votes. now, that tells you something about where the real influence is and whose votes really matters, i think. >> when did super pacs come into being and how it have they altered the mechanism of campaign financing? >> it goes back to this whole debate that we're talking about which is for a long time there's been a principle that political spending of speech should be unlimited. it's a first amendment thing. we'll take steps that we consider constitutional to limit how much you give to candidates because we think there's an appearance of corruption. what happened in 2010 with citizens united is the court said, you know what? corporations and unions or groups of people have free speech rights but you still can't give a lot of money directly to candidates. you can spend and give as much as you want as long as it is
independent. the fcc saw that and said, okay, you can have a super pac. instead of $5,000 limits of giving to a super pac, you can give whatever you want and take it from whoever you wanted. you have unions, corporations, rich people, putting as much as they want into these entities and only restriction is they can't coordinate how they spend it with the candidate. what that means in practice is let's say you're newt gingrich, a couple aides take a long vacation and set up the pac. they know how you like to work. raise a ton of money. millions of dollars from a few of your donors and in newt's case 20 million from one donor, and they spend it pretty effectively. the hugest change we saw so far is actually in the republican primary for a variety of reasons it's easier to use a super pac for one candidate in a primary. so we saw a candidate with the biggest super pac in the gop primary was mitt romney and he
won. it's less useful in general election context and that's where this other group that story talks about, tax exempt groups, become the bigger players. i'm not sure that jim bopp has anything to say about these groups as they are outside of the system and most of the money come from there. >> the president's aides say a dollar spent by a super pac is not the dollar spent by a campaign. voters treat the spending differently because one has a candidate's endorsement and the other one doesn't. do you think that's true? >> it's true in two ways. one, people do have some distaste for the outside groups and voters aren't stupid. i think they see this is some branding of people where i don't know where they are from and super pacs haven't got access to the same ad rates that candidates do. candidates get a discount when they buy advertising. super pacs don't. they have to spend more money to
have the same reach. in some ways, obama has the most hitting power with his money and karl rove and super pacs have to spend more money to get to the same place. >> james, what is the future then of campaign finance reform? everyone complains about money. it's unclear what to do about it. in this moment, the problem we have obviously is that the very people we're asking to reform the system, the people who serve in washington, benefit greatly from this influx of money. what's the future? what happens? >> that's why guys like jim bopp never trust politicians to write regulation on campaign finance because they think they do it to benefit themselves, which is actually quite a cynical attitude about this. as i said, i think we're at the kind of the tip of the iceberg here and we're looking -- there's been a tremendous increase in spending in this election. there's likely to be continued growth like we've seen this cycle and the next cycle and
next cycle if something is not done about it. the easiest place to start, logical place to start, is with the issue nick just raised which is all this completely undisclosed money that is now pouring into the campaign. congress could actually -- there's a disclose act which is pending in congress deadlocked right now, it would compel disclosure of funding. we have all of these wonderful technological tools. there's no reason you couldn't have instantaneous disclosure of money entering into either one of these campaigns. >> you know, these people that jim bopp thinks want to spend all this money in campaigns, a lot of them want to do it secretly. a lot of them don't want to actually have their names on a report. a lot of them are giving to groups outside of the system entirely, right, who haven't got to disclose which are irs reportable and not looked at closely. you can close some of the loopholes and shut down a lot of
money without getting to the first amendment questions. >> thanks so much. your article, the cover story in new issue of "the atlantic." thanks so much. when we come back, our next guest, a pitcher for the new york mets in the 1986 world series. >> i don't want to talk about it. >> red sox fans sitting at the table may be leaving. ron darling now a broadcaster for the mets joins us when "morning joe" comes right back. 5 >> you watch the show a lot? >> i watch the show all the time. i feel like i'm coming to town so let's call joe and make nice. >> just hang out and have coffee. >> i really love watching how you guys present such all sides of an issue and all the different points of view. it helps me. >> the qb killer want to say happy fifth anniversary -- wait a minute. you guys started when i retired so i've been watching for five
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broadcaster for tbs, mr. ron darling. >> thanks for having me. >> you're torturing mike barnicle. >> a terrible human being. >> going by game the 1986 world series including game four, ron darling goes into fenway park. must win. you can't go down 3-1 in the series. ron darling gets the win, mike. what a day, huh? for the country. >> come on, you're killing me. >> pittsburgh, holy cross college, whole thing. >> your family was torn in that world series. >> completely torn. other than my mother, i think all of my brothers and father wanted me to pitch well but for the red sox to win. the first game i lost 1-0 on an earned run. they were ecstatic. >> this was a good game. >> when you think back to that season, you played a lot of years. that had to be your most special year, 1986. what do you remember about that season? >> i think what you remember about that season is davie
johnson said in february that year that we're going to run away with the division, which put a little pressure on the team. he is still managing and doing great right now in washington. we felt that pressure. it was the kind of pressure you wanted. you wanted to get through the national league and get a chance to play for the world series and the red sox had a magical year that year too. >> the pictures that we show now on the screen show the biggest reason why you're here today and not to talk about the '86 series, but gary carter. >> you know, it's hard to talk about him in the past. passed away in february from a brain tumor. but he's going to live on. i think i was lucky enough to be involved in moments that matter and what we're trying to do is people that have symptoms go see a doctor who are going to push them towards a support network that will help them through when they get difficult diagnosis. >> what are the symptoms? >> anything from headaches that
you've never had butterflefore, headaches in a particular place of your head, a fall, memory loss, things like that. i think we've all had headaches. doesn't mean you have a brain tumor. we've all had memory loss. but i think it's important if it's something that's completely different than what you normally have had, it's good to see a doctor. see your physician who will then push you to people that will be great support network. gary, as you guys know, had an amazing family. his wife, sandy, and his children. he had a lot of people around. not all people are blessed with that. >> talk about gary as a friend and teammate. if you followed any of these mets teams he played on, he was the guy pumping everybody up. what was he like in the clubhouse? >> there's a rehn was nicknamed the kid. one of the things that makes you mad is when you see guys playing a sport and they're not enjoying it. they have the scowl. never did. he always had that big smile.
he loved playing. i think what people forget about gary is that in that clubhouse he was the pulse of that group. >> hard job. >> he was just so more mature than anyone else. he taught us lessons of that pitching staff which was young at the time that we carry today. and even though he passed in february, we're still getting lessons. >> that's going to be the moral compass in that crew. >> just get it back to the equator. >> new york in 1986. let's talk about baseball. new york mets, the team you're with every day having a disappointing season. how do they get back? they got the money. they got the beautiful stadium. they have all of the pieces. what do they need to do? >> it's interesting. i think that us being from massachusetts and being red sox fans, i do the mets games. a disappointing summer. how do they get back? the mets teams traditionally,
69-86, have come from a place of pitching. they had a kid last night, matt harvey, who pitched who will be outstanding and guys like zach wheeler on a trade that will be outstanding. i think the way to get back completely is they'll have to find position players to complement that pitching. if they do that, they'll be on a good road. >> you mention davie johnson. two of the best stories are located within 45 miles of one another. the orioles and davie johnson's nationals and the orioles. great story. >> a great story because davie for so many years was not part of major league baseball. he always should have been. he's a winner. always been a winner. buck, everywhere he goes he wins. those yankee teams that won in the late '90s, middle '90s, were set up by buck and even more importantly they'll draw 5 million to 60 million fans in two towns that are 45 minutes away. that's fantastic. >> incredible story. you're doing great work. we always enjoyed watching you
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they seem like best friends who can't seem to find the right gal. and in that same interview romney says he doesn't watch "keeping up with the kardashians." if he wanted to see rich people say dumb thing on camera, he could watch that video of him at the fund-raiser. he's covered. business before the bell with brian sullivan. good morning, my friend. >> good morning. i want to start with weekly jobless claims number here because it was kind of a wash although there is a little bit of a nervous trend in the numbers here basically we went down by 3,000 below expectations. up by three grand last week. it nets out. bigger problem is the five-week moving average has ticked up again. we're back to our highest level since june. not an overwhelmingly bad number but the trend is not going in the direction that we would like it to see which is probably why the fed took their action last
week. they get a sense of these numbers beforehand and felt the need to do the quantitative easing 3 as we call it. >> you are looking at oil price this is morning going down a little bit. what does that mean for the economy? >> i guess that's a bit of good news. we want to see gas prices go down because that's just a direct impact on the wallet of the consumers out there. but oil has dropped significantly in the last couple of trading sessions. a lot of talk, a lot of chatter and rumors about why that may have happened. it looks like perhaps it is just a technical move. everyone says it's too high. let's sell at the same time. either way, i guess that is a little bit of good news. i know many viewers out really early in california are paying well over four bucks a gallon. if we can see gasoline prices come down, maybe we can sell more iphones. >> finally, brian sullivan, what's up with the hokeys? what happened? what's going on? >> why do you have to bring that up? >> is that why you're not wearing a tie? >> i'm not wearing a tie because tomorrow i'll be on set with you
guys from 6:00 to 9:00. i'm just trying to get loose and get ready for the barnicle attack. >> you know that's coming. we'll see you tomorrow morning. up next, the best of late night. [ female announcer ] you can make macaroni & cheese without freshly-made pasta. you could also cut corners by making it without 100% real cheddar cheese. but then...it wouldn't be stouffer's mac & cheese. just one of over 70 satisfying recipes for one from stouffer's. starts with ground beef, unions, and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner. my name is adam frucci and i'm the i love new technology,om. so when i heard that american express and twitter were teaming up, i was pretty interested. turns out you just sync your american express card securely
>> how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate summary distribution because i actually believe in redistribution at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody has got a shot. how do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace and can foster innovation at a local level and attailored to particur communities? >> the romney campaign is honing in on the 1998 tape. last night steven colbert weighed in. >> here's his vision for america, folks. you pay taxes into a single federal agency that pools it and redistributes it across the
country to build roads and bridges. sometimes in states you don't live in. i bet ronald reagan is rolling over in his federally maintained grave. folks, there's no talking this one away. unlike mitt's secret video, i was made way back in may, obama's gaffe was recorded after labor day 1998. '98. you stepped in it, mr. president. you stepped in it wearing zoobas. but somehow, somehow, folks, obama still leads in the key swing states of ohio, pennsylvania, and florida. no surprise. blue collar whites, inner city blacks and elderly jews always vote as a block. which one is which? i can't tell. >> coming up next, what, if anything, did we learn today.
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>> is it an understatement to say this is just a bad month for mitt romney? >> good god, yes. you know, when your vice presidential nominee that you pick goes on there and says that you're inarticulate, seriously? honey boo boo questioning your fashion sense. it's a bad sign. i need something from over there. there you go. thank you very much. >> drop a honey boo boo reference. look at this. tomorrow's show, our big fifth anniversary extravaganza. melody barnes will be with us. thomas friedman. lawrence o'donnell and carole king. >> richard, what did you learn? >> two things.