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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  September 21, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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but i wonder. mitt romney is hiding those tax returns for 10 of the past 12 years. there's a reason why these doing it. it may have to do with what he really thinks of the haves and have notes. that's "hardball" for now. the "ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. >>. evening. welcome to "the ed show." mitt romney's week from hell just ended with a bang. tonight the republican candidate's newest tax returns is leaving more questions than answers. romney also tells "60 minutes" his campaign doesn't need a turn around. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i believe he genuinely believes that nearly half this country is made up of people who see themselves as victims. >> the obama team release the biden.
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mitt romney released his taxes. it turns out he has already disqualified himself from being president. >> i don't pay more than are legally due and, frankly, if i had paid more than are legally due, i don't think i'd be qualified to become president. >> tonight the epic campaign day that ended an epic campaign week with former ohio governor ted strickland and the nation' ari melber. a full analysis of romney's sketchy tax return with david cay johnston. and bernie sanders joins me to look at paul ryan's attempt to fool people at the aarp convention. >> the first step is to repeal obama care because it represents the worst of both worlds. >> and tom aiken is forced to
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answer for his illegitimate rape remarks for the first time. >> they say a lot about how he views thing. >> good to you have with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the dynamics of the presidential race changed this week and there's no turning back. for the next 46 days the two candidates will be dealing with the fallout of the reaction of what happened this week. regardless of the outcome on november 6th, this week was a game changer the hidden video recording of mitt romney at a top dollar fund-raising in florida underscores the major differences between the two candidates and the philosophies they bring to the presidency. mitt romney stood by his comments about the 47% of americans being dependent on government. today president obama threw his biggest punches yet at mitt romney over these comments. the president told a virginia crowd what it would mean for them if mitt romney were elected president. >> i don't believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims.
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who think that they're not interested in taking responsibility for their own lives. i don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today. i see hard working virginians. >> the president made sure to emphasize hard work. it's a contrast to comments from the romney video, where the candidate claimed the economy will suddenly improve if he is elected president without romney lifting a finger. >> if we win on november of 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. and we'll see capital cop back and without even doing anything, we may get a boost in the economy. >> a lot has been made about the people who are in the 47% of americans mitt romney was talking about. president obama painted a picture of exactly who those 47% are. >> some of you may be students
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trying to work your way through college. some of you may be single moms like my mom, putting in overtime to see if you can provide a better life for your kids. some of you may be senior citizens who have been saving your whole life for your retirement. some of you may be veterans who served this country bravely, soldiers who defend our freedom today. >> vice president joe biden kept quiet after the romney video was released. this week the words -- he said the words speak for themselves. but today biden let the romney campaign have it during a campaign stop in new hampshire. >> believe they're entitled, that they've become dependent, they see themselves as victims who won't take responsibility
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for their own lives. how could he be so profoundly wrong about america? how is that possible? not in my neighborhood. not where i grew up. not the people i know. >> the vice president's a good attack dog for the obama campaign by joe biden knows the strongest messages come from the heart. he spoke softly when talking about what the romney camp doesn't get when it comes to government. >> as my dad would say, i don't expect the government to solve my problems, but at least expect them to understand my problems. at least understand them. >> even bill clinton is getting back into the mix. the former president was called the secretary of explaining stuff by president obama and clinton was back on television explaining why romney's math
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doesn't work for americans. >> if i come to you and i say we have this terrible national debt and here's my opening gam bit, first i'm going to increase it by 5d trillion by doing another round of tax cuts that mostly benefited the people we benefited in the last decade, even though it didn't produce jobs. now we're in a really deep hole, much bigger than this clock i just showed you. let me tell you how we're going to get out it have. what about the details? see me about that after the election. >> the 47% comments gave the obama campaign and all across the country plenty of ammunition. the romney camp scrambled to find something else they could use against the president in the same way. yesterday they jumped on a comment president obama made during his town hall forum on u univision. >> i've learned some lessons over the last four years and the most important lesson i've learned is you can't change
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washington from the inside. you can only change it from the outside. that's how i got elected and that's how the big accomplishments like health care got done was because we mobilized the american people to speak out. >> this message of civic enga engagement is one the president makes quite often. you know,he centered a lot part of his convention speech around it, i think. >> at citizens we understand that america's not about what can be done for us. it's about what can be done by us. >> a lot of people agree with president obama on this, including mitt romney. while campaigning in 2007 romney told reporters "i don't think you can change washington from the inside. i think you change it from the outside." but this didn't stop mitt romney from trying to drum up controversy over the president's words. >> the president today threw in the white flag of surrender
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again. he said he can't change washington from the inside, he can only change it from outside. well, we're going to give him that chance in november. he's going outside. >> this is another situation where the differences between the two candidates are being defined right before our eyes. in the news cycle day after day. mitt romney thinks people will reject a president who says you need american citizens to change washington from the inside, from the outside? president obama has no problem embracing this message and he said so today. >> now, for some reason my opponent got really excited. he rewrote his speech real quick. he stood up at a rally, proudly declared i'll get the job done from the inside. what kind of inside job is he talking about? we don't want an inside job in washington.
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we want change in washington. and from the day we began this campaign, we've always said that change takes more than one term or even one president and it certainly takes more than one party. it can't happen if you write off half the nation before you even took office. >> romney's change argument was a flop. so the candidate was in need of something else to turn attention away from his 47% comments, which has been in the news cycle all week long. well, surprise, surprise, how about it, today the romney campaign made the candidate's 2011 tax returns public. the numbers revealed mitt romney made nearly $14 million mostly in investments, paid $1.9 million in taxes, a rate of 14.1%. he gave $4 million in donations
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but only claimed about 2.2 5 million in deductions. he actually paid more taxes than he needed to, which really is at odds of the philosophy of a certain republican candidate. >> my view is i have paid all the taxes required by law. i don't pay more than are legally due. and frankly if i had paid more than you are legally due, i don't think i'd be qualified to become president. i think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires. >> now wait a minute. someone who pays more taxes than necessary is not qualified to be president. did he really say that? >> i pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. i don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes. >> oh, yeah, he said it. many conservative republicans
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are in agreement with mitt romney. but they are not convinced he's qualified anymore. columnist peggy noonan continued her assault on the romney campaign in the wall street journal. this week i called it incompetent but only because i was being polite. i really meant rolling calamity. "the washington post" reported on senior republicans on capitol hill who have become convinced about a likely obama victory and the possibility of striking a deal on tax increases for the rich. romney can't even hold on to the confidence of herman cain, the former pizza man ceo says that he would have a substantial lead on president obama at this point. according to herman cain, the reason is quite simple "i have some death to my ideas." hold it, 9-9-9 ain't too deep. but that's a real ouch for the romney campaign. romney is not throwing in the towel, not giving up. in an interview with "60
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minutes," maybe he's in denial, he says things are going just fine. >> actually, we tied in the poll, we bounce around, some days we're up, some days we're down. we go forward with my message that this is a time to reinvigorate the american economy, not by expanding government and raising taxes on people but instead by making sure government encourages entrepreneurship and innovation and gets the private sector hiring again. >> i appreciate your answer. that wasn't precisely the question. you're the ceo of this campaign. a lot of republicans would like to know, a lot of donors would like to know how do you turn this thing around? you've got a little more than six weeks. what do you do? >> it doesn't need a turn around. we have a campaign tied with an incumbent president of the united states. >> he could be right or he could be incredibly disastrously wrong.
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make no mistake the 47% statements were a game changer. there is no longer any doubt what the two sides believe. the comments allowed president obama to go out on a message of inclusiveness, a message you'll hear a lot more about in the next 46 days. >> the values we believe in just don't belong to the workers, the 53%, the 47%, rich or poor or 99%. these are american values. they belong to all of us! >> now, compare those comments with mitt romney's final words on the hidden video from florida. >> one of the benefits is eating the world's best dessert, which i will. >> romney may have eaten the world's best dessert at that fund-raiser but on the campaign trail the only thing he can find right now is raw crow. what's is going to be like the next 46 days? how about this weekend?
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how is he going to begin to turn it around? the best thing he can do right now is call up tom cruise, the actor, and ask him about that thing he put together, i think a couple of movies called "mission impossible." that's what it looks like right now for mitt romney. throughout this entire process he has been an adversary to labor, an adversary to wage earners, an adversary to anybody covered in obama care. there are more people realizing every day that mitt romney has never had a plan, he's never had a vision and the only thing he's had in his back pocket is the wealthiest americans. he's not going to get it done. and if he does, it will be a miracle. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question: does mitt romney's campaign need a turn around? text a for yes, text b for now to 622639.
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you can go to our web site and leave a comment. coming up, we're starting to see the impact mitt romney's mistakes are having on the polls. find out why it might be just too late for him to turn this whole thing around when we come back. ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just to stay alive... but feel alive. the new c class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services.
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coming up, a look back at mitt romney's rough week with ari melber and ted strickland. and later harry reid is jumping all over mitt romney's taxes. and the democrats keep surging in senate races across the country. todd aiken got crushed by senator claire mccaskell in a debate today. we'll show you the highlights. share your thoughts on facebook. we're coming right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching. this has not been a good week for mitt romney and he's running out of time. a video surfaced showing him insulting 47% of americans. he was widely criticized for accusing the president of the united states of being a terrorist sympathizer on 9/11. his staff has been depicted as disorganized. today romney's tax return is under the microscope. and this is what all of those problems look like when you add them up together. the new national journal poll shows romney's at least 7 points behind, a poll of 12 swing states shows romney is actually
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slipping. he had a 1-point lead over president obama last month. today the president's lead, well, he moved 5 points ahead. but wait. you might say there are still 46 days left until the election, romney's got some time, right? actually, the voting has already started. absentee ballots are going out in dozens of states. for instance, in iowa, election officials are getting a record number of requests. 30% more than in 2008. by tomorrow half the country will be casting votes either by absentee ballot or early in-person voting. bit end of the month people in 30 states will be able to cast a ballot. mitt romney's problems might be costing him the election before act even begins. let's bring in ari melber, correspondent for "the nation"
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magazine and ted strickland. governor, let's start with you. how serious, how damaging, how bad a week has this been for mitt romney? and then throw on the fact that on a 5:00 document dump on a friday afternoon, put it all together. >> it's been a terrible week. the president's doing well in ohio. we think we're 7 points ahead according to the polls. and i want to tell you, ed, when he showed such disrespect for 47% of the american people, we're talking about seniors, we're talking about veterans, we're talking about soldiers, we're talking about students and he looked down his nose at 47% of us while he was talking to those fat cats down there in florida and i think it has put a bad taste in the mouth of americans who have heard this videotape and then these tax returns, ed, he still is hiding the truth. why is he not releasing his tax
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returns? he's got something to high. >> how do we know this is politically fatal? >> we don't know yet. we know it's hurting him. he has the lowest net favorable rating of any party candidate since 1988. even bob dole and john mccain who lost were viewed more positively at this point than he is. it's taking a huge bite out of him. you saw this at the democratic national convention. part of what's happening out here is i think that facts are the new spin. i think people care a lot about their livelihood, they care about their jobs, this is an economic election. people are looking at the numbers. i'm just give you a couple. we have the 47% that you gave us and that romney has seared into the public imagination, all the people he's dismissed. 15% today is what middle-class
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taxpayers have as a total federal tax burden. 14% is what mitt romney paid, 9% is what he owed. you total it all up and what you have is a 1% mentality. he doesn't want to follow the rules that everyone else does. >> that is so politically fatal when it's connected to the middle class in this country that it's just getting butchered in many ways when it comes to the economy and getting out of it. governor, who is going to pull mitt romney out of this? who is going to stand on stage with him? look at the politics of the last two years in this country. where's chris christie, where is rick scott, where is snyder from michigan, where is walker from wisconsin, which is mitch daniels from indiana? where are all these governors who have been attacking barack obama but they won't stand up for mitt romney right now and this is a political crisis for him right now. where is the chris christies of the world? what do you think? >> even ohio government kasich
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has indicated recently that he does not agree with the romney criticism of 47% of americans. >> they're running for the hills. >> they're running for the hills. and they should because, you know, they're going to be pulled down by this guy and candidates for the senate, candidates for the house, they see what's coming. a tsunami is coming unless this man is able to turn this around. and, ed, he spoke from his heart when he criticized 47% of americans. it was not a slip of the tongue. he revealed the true romney. and he gave us evidence of what many of us have thought about this man for a long, long time. he is concerned about the wealthy and i think he has a lack of capacity to understand what life is like for just regular people. . >> i think it speaks volumes that the guys have been going
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over obama for years are silent when mitt romney is in crisis. ari, final point to bring up here, president obama didn't waste any time. he's using this hid i don't know tape. he believes it's what romney is all about. is he going to continue to do this? and will he bring it up in the debates? what do you think? >> i think he's absolutely going to bring it up. i think you have here a moment of clarity, a moment of candor, a moment of truth and that is going to just stick to mitt romney. can you distract away in the news cycle. i do think the media gets distracted. you got to watch out because some of the press is going to look to even this up. they're going to want to find something wrong with obama. >> can't do it with any credibility. i don't think they can do it with any credibility. president obama's campaign has been damn near flawless. when you want to compare it to mitt romney's i got what you're saying. ari melber, governor strickland, great to have you with us tonight. >> coming up, mitt military
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releases his 2011 tax returns. turns out he chose to pay a higher rate. david cay johnston is here to crunch the numbers. and paul ryan gets booed at the aarp convention. senator bernie sanders joins me on "the ed show." managing my diabetes is part of my life,
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it turns out being unemployed pays pretty well, if you're mitt romney. he released his 2011 tax returns in a late friday news dump. he paid $1,935, 708 in taxes. his effective tax rate was 14.1%. would you like to have that rate? the romneys also donated to their credit $4 million to charity in 2011 and claimed a $2 million deduction on those contributions. if he had taken full deductions, his tax rate would have been somewhere around 9%. that probably wouldn't have fared very well with the american people. romney also released summaries of his tax president 1990 to 2009. they claim romney's average tax rate for those years is 20.2%. they also claim that the lowest
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rate romney ever paid was 13.6%. there is a whole lot of information here to digest in these documents and what it all means. our next guest can do it better than anybody. i'm joined by david cay johnston, author of "the pine print, how big companies use plain english to rob you blind". great to have you with us tonight. when you see the tax return of mitt romney 2011, what jumps out at you? what did they do? how did he get 14%? >> well, he's at 14% because he mostly has this capital income and we tax people who are wealthy on the income from their money less than we do people who work. what's interesting here is romney said in an interview with abc if he paid $1 more than the minimum tax the law requires, it would make him unqualified to be president. well, he paid somewhere in the order of $265 and 600,000 more
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than necessary because he didn't at least for the moment deduct the full $4 million of charitable contribution. so by his own standard, he's made himself unqualified to be president. i think it's a silly standard but he said it. >> isn't this a classic example, his tax return, how the wealthiest americans really have it pretty damn good in this country. >> boy, i would love to be paying a 14% tax rate. romney should be trying to shut this down every way he consideration ed. you have to wonder about his judgment in all of this because that's the only test we have for somebody running for president is judgment and house of representatives he's handled this. in the statement he put out about the 20 years of returns they use the verb "owed," they didn't use the word paid, mean paid in each individual year. that leaves open the possibility
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that he-the-filed an amended return or they were audited and had to pay additional taxes. i wrote the campaign and i got back an answer that was unresponsive to this. well, were there in fact big audits of you? did you make a big payment because you underpaid? did you ever pay penalties? all these questions are now back on the table because they didn't carefully write the statement they issued or they wrote it the way they did because they have to. >> and there are questions and also some maneuverability that he can do with this tax return of 2011. isn't it possible for romney he can deduct an unclaimed amount in future years. if he doesn't get elected president here, can go back and say i'm going to take the full deduction rather than the 2.2 million. >> mitt and ann romney have
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three years to amend their return. if he's not elected president, i'm sure he'll file an amended return. you have to do some technical work, it will knock it down as low as 9.6% and as high as 12.2%, well below anybody working paying as a share of their income. >> senate majority leader harry reid sent out a tweet on romney's taxes earlier today. he said when will the american people see the returns he filed before he was running for president? what do you think about that comment? are you curious about his tax returns before he said he was going to run for president? the way the market went in 2008 and 2009, there might be a chance that romney didn't pay any tax. >> they assert in there, that's why that word "owed" is important as opposed to "paid." i was probably the first person to call on romney to release his
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returns. it's getting close to a year ago now. he hasn't done this. clearly there's something in there. even if there's something that's legal that they know would just be fatal to his campaign. and in all of this it's just astonishing to watch how he has mishandled this. he's a guy who says i'm this brilliant businessman, i'm proud of all this money i made and he can't seem to run a campaign where he can talk about the only issue that can get him elected which is that the economy hasn't improved as fast as some americans would like. that's a really serious flaw on his part as ceo of the romney campaign, that's not a job he's handling well. >> friday tax return releases might change the subject a little bit this weekend on the talking heads because of the 47% comment earlier this week. we'll see how it all plays out. david cay johnston, thanks for your analysis tonight. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed
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show." stay with us. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care because it represents the worst of both worlds. [ booing ] >> the republican plan to end medicare as we know it gets a rude greeting at the aarp convention today. up next, senator bernie sanders on paul ryan's rough day with seniors. and the republican senate implosion continues across the country. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> today it was todd akin's turn to debate claire mccaskell. >> he has apologized for the comments but they say a lot about how he views things. in amg out of a vital resource we need
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senior citizens gathered in new orleans today for the aarp's annual convention. first president obama addressed the crowd via satellite,
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assuring them the programs they paid into will remain in tact. >> given the conversations that have been out there in the political arena lately, i want to emphasize medicare and social security are not handouts. you've paid into these programs your whole lives. >> then it was the republican ticket's turn to speak pup the the romney/ryan campaign offered up the man who vows who end medicare as we know it, the architect behind fundamentally changing the program for generations to come needless to say, a few of his big ideas were met with boos. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care. because it represents the worst of both worlds. [ crowd boos ] >> i had a feeling there would be mixed reaction so let me get into it. it weakens medicare for today's seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation.
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[ crowd boos ] >> they ain't biography it. aarp is a nonpartisan organization. >> time and again this president has dubbcked the issues, put hi own job security over your retirement security. [ crowd boos ] >> of course he said he'd be willing to work with republicans but he has not moved an inch closer to common ground. [ crowd boos ] >> some convention-goers walked out of the ryan speech. it should be of little surprise that seniors in attendance weren't sold on ryan's rhetoric. >> i think they could see the shallowness in some of the arguments that mr. ryan had proposed. the people around me were booing and i think they get the feeling that these folks will say
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anything just to get elected. >> well, i didn't find ryan sincere at all. >> it's the haves and the have-notes. it bothers me because i grew up in a party that was not that way. 47%, that's horrible to come out with a statement like that because, hey, i've worked since i was 14 years old, i'm 72 now, i've paid for these program, for medicare. they're not entitlements. >> joining us tonight, bernie sanders, senator from vermont. great to have you with us tonight. the ryan/romney campaign was going to run on changing medicare. doesn't look like it's going to work out. they say the democrats have ducked the issues. what's your response to that? >> well, in fact, obama care, so-called obama care that ryan was attacking, while it doesn't go as far as i would like to go, i'm a single-payor advocate, it
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provides health insurance for 30 million more americans, a huge step forward, ending this obscenity of preexisting conditions, making sure kids under 26 can continue o get health care from their parents and putting huge amounts of money into disease prevention and keeping people out of the hospital and out of the emergency room. we also doubled the number of community health centers in this country so 20 million more americans can get primary health care. i don't think that is ducking the health care issue, i think that is probably the boldest step forward in many, many years. >> senator, do you think that this just walks seniors right into the democrats' camp? go ahead. >> this is what i think, ed. when you get old probably the issue you worry about most is you're going to get sick, what kind of health care is out there for you, can you afford it.
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and when you have somebody like ryan come forward and saying we're going to end medicare as we know it, people were saying what is he doing? medicare is a popular program. it's not perfect but it is saddam good program providing health care to millions and millions of people. >> they make the case that -- senator, they make the case that they're trying to save the program. what about that? >> they're quote unquote saving the program by forcing -- of course they're not trying to save the program. what they are trying to do is create a voucher program, which will mean that a significant increase in cost will fall on the backs of the average senior citizen. and that's why he gets booed. they know that. you just stop and think for a second, ed. you're 70 years of age. you've been diagnosed with cancer and they give you an $8,000 check to walk into a private insurance company. what do you think that private insurance company, whose function in life is to make
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money, is going to say to you when you have tens of thousands of health care bills in front of you? they're going to reject you. seniors understand that. and then you got paul ryan, who has been a leader in trying to privatize social security, you got paul ryan, whose budget in the house would cut medicaid by over $700 billion in a ten-year period, devastating cuts for children on health insurance, throwing millions of people off of health insurance and in addition making it much, much harder for people to afford nursing home care. seniors understand what i think an increasing number of americans understand, that these guys are there to protect the wealthiest people and the largest corporations and they're going to devastate virtually every program we have passed in the last 80 years, which protect the elderly, the children, the sick or low-income people. >> senator, goi got to ask you, you have signed on to a letter
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along with senate majority lead are harry reid to president obama asking him to state exactly his position on saving social security. why would 29 democratic senators sign on? are you not sure the president will there been when it comes to the debt reduction cost that, he would put the big three on the table for a big chop? what do you think? >> let me tell you what i think and i helped write that letter. what i think is that four years ago president obama was very clear when he was running against mccain. and he said i will not cut social security or raise the retirement age. and 29 of us wrote a letter today because we want the president to make that statement again. he has not made that statement. and i worry very much that after the election, corporate american, republicans, some democrats are going to get into a room and in fact they are going to do deficit reduction by cutting social security, by moving toward a so-called chained cpi, which would mean
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very significant cuts over the years for the elderly and, by the way, for disabled veterans. i hope the american people -- go ahead. >> well, it sounds to me like 29 senators want some very direct answers from the white house. have you gotten a rye responsible back on this letter? >> no. >> do you expect a response? >> we have not gotten a response and i'm nervous we have not gotten a response. i hope the american people say make it clear, mr. president, do not cut social security. >> vermont senator bernie sanders were us tonight on "the ed show." democrats are surging in senate races across the country. it's real. stay with us. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! monarch of marketing analysis.
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vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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tonight in our survey i asked you does mitt romney's campaign need a turn around? 70% of you say yes, 30% of you say no. coming up, congressman todd akin had a rough time of it in the debate with senator claire mccaskell. stay with us. [ humming ]
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election overall is about talk, but it's really about two visions of what america is. >> and in "the big finish" tonight, that was senator todd akin answering questions about his legitimate rape remark. just like other gop senate candidates lately, it did not go well for todd akin. here's senator mccaskell from the debate. >> he has apologized for those comments, but they say a lot about how he views things. i believe a rape victim should be allowed to have emergency contraception in order to avoid pregnancy. todd akin does not. i believe his view is extreme and out of the mainstream for most missourians. but there's other extreme views. he wants to abolish the minimum wage. he wants to privatize medicare, privatize social security.
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he wants to do away with the student lunch program. >> senator mccaskell kept going, but you get the picture. later today todd akin tweeted a picture of a woman's rally for the congressman. if it looks sparse, it's because the associated press says more than 100 people were there. a gop senate candidates seem to be having a really hard time as of late. former wisconsin governor tommy thompson complained about the effect mitt romney could be having on his own senate race. here's romney defender john sununu responding. >> my good friend tommy thompson sounds like barack obama blaming it on somebody else. campaigns go up, campaigns go down. i'm sure tommy will be fine in the long run. >> according to politico, a senior romney campaign official dismissed questions about romney's down-ballot impact as "glaktically stupid." he says gop nominees have stayed close to the top of the ticket.
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really? let's turn to john nichols, author of "uprising." john, what's unfolding here? is there any doubt mitt romney is starting to have a down-ballot effect? >> not among gop senate candidates there isn't. tommy thompson said that the reason he has gone from a 9-point lead in wisconsin to a 9-point deficit is because of mitt romney. now up in massachusetts scott brown has said, you know, he doesn't have the same world view as mitt romney. in connecticut the republican candidate there has renounced mitt romney's 47% remarks. the fact of the matter is republican candidates who are in tight races are terrified of mitt romney and you saw it large across last night's debate between elizabeth warren and scott brown. the most devastating thing that elizabeth warren said in that debate was simply i support barack obama for president. i think he should have another
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term. you saw scott brown gulp. because when you bring romney into this thing, that's trouble. >> john, doesn't this embolden democrats quite a bit, to go for the jugular on the issues, to be aggressive? because it seems republicans across the board are so terribly off message, especially with the middle class. >> absolutely. you saw what was happening in that akin and mccaskell debate. claire mccaskell did reference akin's extreme comments as regards reproductive rights and rape but then she used it as a bridge into a host of other extremes. the host of the matter is when mitt romney goes off message and todd akin goes off message, it starts americans across the country to think is this republican party so far out there that i just ought to go down my ballot and pick the democratic candidates? i think you're seeing a lot of that happening. the polls are suggesting an
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obama connection. >> president obama will be in your state of wisconsin tomorrow. it seems that the pick of paul ryan on the ticket has had a negative effect. cbs/"new york times" poll shows obama leading mitt romney. what's happening in wisconsin? >> the polling is astounding. we are now seeing what i think is the best of the polls, a marquette university poll that came out yesterday, it showed a 14-point lead for barack obama. it also showed a 9-point lead for tammy baldwin in that senate race. you'll note that tomorrow barack obama will stand right next to tammy baldwin, the democratic senate candidate and you're starting to see that up-and-down the ticket message coming through. i don't think that anybody would have thought you'd see that even two months ago. now democrats are feeling incredibly confident and i think for some good reason. >> john

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