tv News Nation MSNBC April 13, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
a burning building to carry his neighbor to safety. >> there was a time when i got through the kitchen and was searching for her and look back and saw the kitchen in flames. it was a really frightening experience. i didn't think we would get out of there. >> great to have you with me. i'm robert thomas sitting in for tamron hall. mitt romney will speak in about 20 minutes at a national rifle association conference taking pla it is in st. louis. it is his chance to appeal to the group that has had its doubts about him in the past. that is conservative gun owners. peter alexander covering romney's speech in missouri, joins me live on the phone. what do we expect to hear this afternoon from mr. romney? >> we do expect to hear from governor romney about 20 minutes from now. we are at the nra convention. over seven acres of guns here and outfitters, more importantly perhaps for romney, what he has to do is try to find that
delegate balance, appealing to the conservatives who make up so many of the gun owners in the country. not scaring off independents. we spoke a short time ago in a conference cup who said this speech will be less about guns and more in his words about freedom in the speech that mr. romney, governor romney will refer to the assault on freedom, personal, economic and religious. and they say this will be one of several major speeches that the campaign gives going forward before the fall election. trying to crystallize the choice between president obama and mitt romney himself. >> peter, the governor has had a really interesting relationship with the nra over the years, becoming a lifetime member. roughly about six years ago. do we expect anything to come up about stand your ground laws? the nra backed those laws. the defense now, the center of the trayvon martin investigation. has the campaign taken a position on that prior to what we're going to hear this afternoon? >> reporter: a good question.
i posed that question to one of the senior advisers and they would only say that governor romney believes that it is the right of state to make their own laws on issues like the stand your ground law that is the explosive issue in sanford, florida right now. with the preview of the remarks of what the governor will say today, he will say among other things, we need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners. in his words, he will say president obama has not, i will in that conference call. he couldn't really name any specific new laws that they oppose but did refer to the fast and furious federal operation that allows weapons to pass through the hands of gun smugglers and ultimately led to the death of the american border agent members. >> peter alexander traveling with the romney campaign in missouri. thanks so much. joining me now is scott lehigh. great to have you with me. let's talk about the rim the governor has had with the nra.
when he ran for governor in your state in 2002, the nra known for its conservative members, gave his democratic opponent bear gun rating. what was romney's stance, his record on gun control while governor of massachusetts? >> you know, gun control wasn't a huge issue. we have quite tough gun laws here. i don't remember him doing much one way or the other. i think the nra was nervous about him. you recall when he ran against ted kennedy in 1994, he said quite specifically in one of the debates, i don't line up with the nra. when he became governor last time around when he was running for president he announced that he was a lifetime member of the nra. it turned out he had joined in that recent period as he was preparing his cab candidacy. what recall was the big issue, when mitt was raising all kinds of different fees. that's what you do here when you don't want to raise taxes. you raise fees to try to work on
the budget gap. he proposed the fee for getting a gun license from, 25 to i think $75. and i think it kicked in finally, the legislature bumped it up to 100 and i think he signed that. and the gun crowd, our gun group, our nra affiliates called the gun owners action league. they were upset about that but we didn't have any big fights over the principles of owning guns. at least not that i can recall. so i don't think it was an issue that defined his tenure. mitt had -- >> i was going to say, you point out about becoming a lifetime member in 2006. i do want to remind everybody that mitt romney, while he's been trying to court this groom for some time going back and forth. there was a well known gaffe about guns in hunting in indiana in 2007. listen to this. >> i'm not a big game hunter. i made it very clear. i've always been if you will a road sent and rabbit hunter. small varmints if you will.
and i began when i was 15 or so. and have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. more than two times. i also hunted quail in georgia. so it's not really big game hunting fulfill it's not deer and large animal but i've hunt a number of times. >> the varmints, rascally rabbits and the alike. >> the authenticity. >> the problem with that, once you say you're a hunter, people say where have you had a hunting license. those are the things you can hunt in some states without a license and i think that's what happened. he claimed he had been a lifelong hunter. people said then where have you had a hunting license? so they had to find something you didn't need a license to hunt. mitt, that's a problem for people who run from new england states. this is not a big hunting license. remember john kerry, he is not a hunter either. mitt, i very much track he could track an elephant in the field of fresh snow. it is not what he does. you have to pretend if you're
from massachusetts that you're out there and love to hunt. he probably has gone out and gotten himself a couple times around. he was talking about his son's guns and he probably has been on a hunting trip or two. but the idea of loving hundreding and the outdoors, that's not who he is. >> we'll see the speech coming up in about 20 minutes. thank you, scott. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> with an eye toward the likely match-up with mitt romney, president obama tuks his full throttle attack on wealth and privilege. this week he held a series of events pushing for implementation of the so-called buffett rule. today president obama along with michelle obama and joe biden and his wife jill released their tax returns. mark murray joins me with a closer look on this. what did we learn from these tax returns? pretty standard stuff or any bomb shells? >> no big bomb shells.
the adjusted gross income for president obama was about $800,000. and he paid an income tax of about $162,000 which comes to an effective tax rate of about 20%. for vice president joe biden, his income was about $400,000 and he paid an income tax of about $88,000. his effective tax rate was about 23%. >> so when we talk about the fact the president is on the campaign to talk about wealth and privilege in this country, people being able to have their fair shot and people on the upper end of the income scale paying their fair share, when we talk about the buffett rule and the pitch that he has on that based on investor warren buffett saying he shouldn't to have pay a lower rate than his secretary. >> 20% effective tax rate. the buffett rule essentially applies to millionaires. that one would need to pay at least a 30% tax rate. so president obama is below that. when you look at where people
who make about a million dollars or more typically, they're paying about 25% effective tax rate. the biggest part of this whole buffett rule is most people who have a lot of investment income get to deem that at 15%. so that's where you end up getting that much lower effective tax rate. >> so oxley this is being pushed up. just before tuesday's filing dead line, the cloture vote coming up on monday. does this put any pressure here or there on helping what the president wants to push? >> i'm not sure it will help all that much. this has turned into a big political football and it doesn't have much of a chance of passage at all. this is about putting republicans on the record on wanting to hold tax cuts for millionaires and specifically go after mitt romney and his wealth. >> if it goes after mitt romney, is this really maybe be so much going to do anything for that cloture vote but do anything to get mitt romney to release his tax records? >> you could see, the guidance
we've started to get is expect mitt romney to probably have some kind of extension on his tax income for 2011. which means we might not get something until october 15th if we see a six-month extension on that. with the obama campaign really wants are those tax returns going back to 2009, 200 aerkt 2007. so far mitt romney has just released 2010 and an estimate of 2011. >> thank you, sir. a quick programming note this sunday, on "meet the press" david greg gregory will talk to treasury secretary tim geithner. the president's plan as well as what he needs to do to speed up hiring across the country. if it is sunday, it's "meet the press" on nbc. a swift reaction from the white house today to north korea's failed rocket launch carried out in defiance of the international community. the obama administration canceled an agreement reached just weeks ago, weeks ago to provide food and aid to north
korea. it was carrying a communications satellite broke apart about 90 seconds after its launch. the pieces fell harmlessly off the yellow sea into the peninsula. it was an embarrassing failure for north korea and its new leader. the u.s. had called the launch a cover for testing a long range missile that could possibly carry a nuclear warhead. mike viqueira joins me now. he does have a stop now. >> reporter: he's already stopped in tampa, florida. he's talked about his export initiatives. he's talked about the upswing in exports to latin america. no one has to be reminded of the importance to president obama and mitt romney presumably come the fall and the rising influence and numbers of the hispanic vote. the president giving interviews to at least one hispanic media or latin media outlet today. then he's on to south america
where he promised the crowd that he would talk about exports, he would talk about the economy, he would talk about what it all means for jobs, as you might expect back here in the united states. meanwhile, he is under attack. his administration and others over his north korea policy. you mention that had it was just about a month ago when the administration announced they would be sending some 240 tons of food to north korea. it is kind of a reward to them for toning it down, for following u.n. resolutions in materials of the weapons programs, in terms of the missile technology. all that now out the window. the u.n. security council met today. they called it in direct violation of at least two u.n. violations. susan rice, the ambassador there, said the u.s. deplores that. the deputy national security adviser here said it was a provocative action and there's mitt romney said that the food deal we just talked about was naive as it was short-lived. he said the obama administration has displayed incompetence.
but incompetence when it comes to dealing with north korea but thomas, as this is a problem that has vexed presidents and administrations since harry truman. north korea will be on its best behavior to get food aid. then they'll attack a south korean ship. they'll enrich plutonium, uranium and yesterday an aborted missile test. >> with the embarrassment that is this failed launch, what is the white house saying? what are people expecting to battle back having egg on their face? >> reporter: that remains the question. in the past they have not reacted well. we talked about the attack on a south korean ship several years ago, killed some 40 south korean sailors. many people fear that north korea will retaliate, will lash out. will sort of try to change the sub after this international embarrassment. the international media was there and north korea was under a virtual blackout as this launch ultimately failed. so meantime on the international stage, there is coordination
among all the nations. japan, south kree, the united states. everyone has a stake. and even china, the ally of north korea that fought on the side of north korea in the korean war, a war in which there is no official armistice. and working to try to get north korea off their ultimately destructive actions on the international i know at a. >> mike viqueira at the white house, thank you. still ahead, a small new hampshire town mourning the death of their police chief. the chief just days away from retirement. also, could the case against george zimmerman be thrown out even before it goes to trial? some experts say yes. plus -- >> there were 2,200 plus stories that were played out that night. and there are so many stories left to be told. >> the 100th anniversary of the titanic sinking is early this sunday morning. we'll tell but the new efforts to preserve the ship that are
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we're back with the next steps in the case against george zimmerman. the neighborhood watch volunteer charged now with murdering trayvon martin. zimmerman's lawyer said he has requested a bail hearing exactly one week from today. an arraignment is set for may 29th. mark o'mara said his client will plead not guilty to second-degree murder claiming self-defense under the controversial stand your ground law. >> right now, it's the law of florida and it is the law that will have impact on this case. >> nbc's ron allen joins us now live from sanford, florida. weng we understand that there was this hearing in the last hour about the possibility of a conflict of interest. what was determined out of that?
>> reporter: well, it's a very small world in the legal community here in central florida. the judge in the case, jesaid h husband is a partner in a firm with mark nejime. he was contact some time ago about representation. that didn't work out. but the lawyer also has business arrangementes with the zimmerman family and he is a paid legal analyst for cnn. so the current lawyer said he thinks that's a bit close and that is a possible conflict of interest for the journal judge. the judge with instructed him to file a motion about that to replace her as soon as possible. perhaps monday. we may see that. he gave every indication that will happen. she instructed him to do it before the bail hearing set for next friday so as not to delay the proceedings but a very
unusual twist that will probably see a lot more of that. >> thank you. i want to bring in kendall coffey. let's begin the news for the bail hearing. what information will the judge take into account when deciding to release or not release zimmerman? >> the bail hearing is a big deal. it is a personal ordeal for the defendant but it also makes everything that the defense lawyer does that much more difficult. in florida we have a state constitutional provision that actually make it easier to get bail even in a case like this that in many other places. what the prosecution will likely do is have to address the strength of their case. to show that he should not be bondable because we have an overwhelmingly strong case of second-degree murder them don't have to prove it with live
witnesses. they can use transcripts and affidavits. it would normally give a real glimpse of what the prosecution thinks is their strongest evidence. if the judge finds the prosecution does not meet this very, very high standard, it is actually higher than the reasonable doubt standard in the state of florida. then judge would have to consider some kind of pretrial release such as, for example, house arrest or home detention, assuming you find the right place with various conditions to assume that george zimmerman will indeed be available and be in some form of custody between now and the time of trial. >> when you talk about the trial and the strength of the case itself, let's talk about the strength of potential defense. zimmerman's attorney said the stand your ground law will likely come into play. zimmerman as entitled to a hearing, he and his lawyers have to convince the judge that he killed trayvon out of here of his own life. only two people really know whammed in the moments before trayvon was shot and trayvon
obviously can't tell his side of the story. does that put extra pressure on zimmerman that we'll all hear from him testifying? >> well, that is a distinct possibility. what florida does with respect to stand your ground type defenses, is a very unusual feature. it allowed the defendant to actually ask the judge to throw the whole case out before trial. not just a defense that you can raise in front of a jury during the time of trial but a defense that grants you immunity. the defendant would have to prove it by a preponderance of evidence. that means it is more likely than not that george zimmerman has a veiled self-defense claim under the stand your ground law. but to be sure, there are a number of cases that have been thrown out based upon immunity and that is another major issue we'll see before the first juror ever steps foot in a courtroom in what could be the trial of george zimmerman. >> a lot of people have been learning about it. maybe in certain states have never heard the stand your
ground law but learned about it after trayvon martin's death. this allows them to use the stand your ground law when they feel their life is being threatened. i want to read to you from this public record. it says trayvon martin was, quote, profiled by george zimmerman. also that martin was scared because he was being followed and martin attempted to run home but was followed by zimmerman who didn't want the person that he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime to get away. so when you see that and hear that on the affidavit, these hinder zimmerman's defense. or will it be the moments before the shooting that carry the most weight? >> what the affidavit does, it has a very important couple of statements which says this is not all the evidence we've got. with that affidavit, what it only needs to do is establish probable cause. more likely than not, that george zimmerman committed the crime of second degree. there is a lot more evidence
we're not at. ag angela corey knows she has to have sufficient prove to have a sufficient likelihood of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. the affidavit is instructive. we're all at it but it is far from a complete picture. >> nice to talk to you today. thank you. a new report out today detail yg a stage collapsed, collapsing moments before the band sugarland perform at the indiana state fair. what is being blamed. we'll have that straight ahead. plus -- >> i did not feel too heroic. it all happened very, very quickly and i feel blessed that she and i got out of there alive. >> he is a humble hero. the new york, new jersey mayor saving the life of one of his neighbors. quirsfirst a quick look at numbers.
when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
we're tracking severe thunderstorms that could bring tornadoes today through the weekend. we want to go to carl parker for a closer look at the time line. what are you watching? where is it going? >> well, there could be some storms this afternoon that produce tornadoes. certainly there's a wind and hail let the. tomorrow we're looking at the potential for significant tornadoes in the central plains. i'll show you where in a moment. this courtesy of a very powerful storm that's now coming into california with a lot of wind energy aloft. an area of showers and storms moving into los angeles. with this line of storms, it is now approaching santa monica. there could be some hail and even a tornado. that's a possibility. notice the tornado watch that has come out across this cold front.
that's where storms will initiate into parts of tornado. we're looking at a hail and wind threat. a chance of tornadoes. tomorrow as the stronger storm comes out of the west, a lot of moisture feeding into that. we'll see very strong winds aloft. the wind sheer that is necessary to produce rotating storms and tornadoes, that will really converge on the central plains. so a significant tornado threat in oklahoma is extending into kansas. also here into lincoln, big game tomorrow in lincoln. thatred and white spring game. there will be 50,000 people in town for that. so hopefully they're aware of what's going on. and in iowa, significant long track tornadoes entirely possible toward late afternoon and through the evening hours. and then that storm lifts up into the western lakes. again, there will be a tornado threat and that will extend into eastern parts of texas. so thomas, a very busy weekend, unfortunately, in the nation's heartland. >> a lot of spring weather to watch. still ahead, ann romney more
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in this encounter. the main see in this photo is cullen mutrie. the alleged shooter. police say he opened fire when they showed up. after barricading himself inside his home, he and a female acquaintance were found dead from gunshot wounds. a new report by the fbi is highlighting a really disturbing trend for police officers. despite a decrease in violent crime across the country, the number of officers killed in the line of duty is on the rise. according to that report, 72 officers were killed by perpetrators in 2011. that's a 25% increase from the previous year. and a 75% increase from 2008. a majority of those officers were killed in smaller cities. 13 were kill in cities with a population of at least 250,000 people. i'm joined now by michael schmidt, reporter for the new york times. it is good to have you here. you're obviously drawing a point of interest to something that's really concerning. this trend growing in the country. how much of this rise can be attributed to tough economy or
forced cutback on the police force. what have you been able to pinpoint? >> there's some thought that it is due to the cutback in police forces but there is a larger theory that in policing, police officers are pushing their office entire the more violent sections of the cities. they're thinking that a small group of people are committing the vast majority of the crime and they need to push all their officers into that area to try and confront them and stop them. by doing that, the officers are being put in more violent situations. >> so when we look at this, you would think, and the larger aspect of this report, you might assume that most of these officers are killed in major cities. but the opposite is true here. why is that? >> it is unclear. there is some thought that some of the techniques pioneered by the nypd which became popular a little more than a decade ago have sort of dissipated throughout the country and are now being used by smaller departments and smaller departments are feeling the pressure that's many governments are across the country to keep
crime low. there's a real thought today that police officers can actually do something and stop crime. unlike decades ago when there was certainly less confidence in them. >> what is being done to combat this problem? as in, the growing trend is something for people that is going to get a lot of attention but people want to know their officers are safe. police want to know they're safe out on call. they know this line of duty is dangerous for them but what can be done to reassure their safety. >> the fbi has had a longstanding program where they go out and train officers across the country. in that training now, what they're doing is telling officers the different things where they're more likely to encounter violence with a perpetrator. so they're telling them the times of day, later in the day, the day of the week. thursday. in which they would be more likely to face a perpetrator that would be coming after them with a gun. so it is that increased education that the fbi is
pushing. >> michael schmidt with "the new york times." great to have you on. thank you. three years syrian protesters were killed in the first u.n. test of the truce and that tops our look around the "news nation." this is amateur video of what is reported to be protesters. confronting syrian protesters on the second day of a cease fire but msk has been unable to independently confirm the video. the clash is whether they will send monitors to oversee the peace plan. a stage that collapsed at the indiana state fair last summer was not strong enough to meet building codes. a separate report blamed inadequate emergency preparedness. a strong wind gust caused it to collapse while they waited for the band sugar land to perform.
storm names are reused every six years unless they are removed from the list or the being too destructive. irene was blame for 49 deaths. she has been replaced with erma. the mayor of newark is the newest humble hero. on the way home last night he saved a neighbor from her burning home hours after being treated from smoke inhalation, corey booker held a news conference. and a bandaged booker told reporters, he is no hero. >> i'm a neighbor that did what most neighbors would do which is to jump into action to help a friend. and i consider all of us very lucky. there was a time when i got through the kitchen and was searching for her. i looked back and saw the kitchen in flames. it was a really frightening experience for me. i didn't think we were going to get out of there. i went into the kitchen through back room. at that point i did not feel bravery. i felt terror. it was a very scary moment. i couldn't find her. it look like i couldn't get back
through where i came from. i couldn't breathe. and it was a moment that i felt very religious, let's put it that way. that's why i really feel thankful to god. just when i was falling down trying to find some way to breathe, i finally heard her and found an opening where could i grab her. so just i grabbed her as quickly as i could and got through the kitchen i'm a somewhat out of shame 42-year-old man now. back then i was chiselled. now i just jiggle. it was all adrenaline at that point. >> well, they did make it out. the female neighbor that he saved is being treated for burns. cory booker is trending on twitter. miles grant said when chuck norris turns nightmares, cory booker turns on the lights and sits with him until he falls back asleep. one time i needed a kidney. cory booker ripped out his own and handed it to me and flew away.
and billy joel didn't start the fire but cory booker put it out. here are some of the thing we thought you should know. we have graphic evidence of the firestorm on twitter ignited by hillary rosen's controversial comments about ann romney. a chart shows twitter traffic. mentioning justin bieber whose normally twitter's most popular subject. tweets from ann romney went from zero to about 6,800 wednesday afternoon. meantime, superstar singer beyonce has posted an open letter to the first lady expressing her gratitude and praise. beyonce called michelle obama the ultimate example of a truly strong african-american woman. beyonce goes on to say i'm proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to. those are the things we thought you should know. i wasn't eating well. she's a dietitian, and she suggests that i try boost complete nutritional drink
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hour, mitt romney addresses the nra faithful. we'll address the candidate's rather tortured history on the history of firearm. plus, don't blink, nuclear talk in iran. sabre rattling and serious consequences. now back to thomas. tomorrow marks the 100-year anniversary of what many once considered unthinkable. the sinking of the titanic. kevin tibbles is in nova scotia where 121 victims from that infamous tragedy are buried. >> reporter: it is here in halifax where many of those who lost their lives 100 years ago are buried. some of the head stoengs here have names. others don't. this one simply says j. dawson. that probably stands for joseph dawson as opposed to the fictional character jack dawson played by leonardo dicaprio in the film version of the titanic. when the titanic set sail on its
maiden voyage in 1912, it was the biggest ship ever built. the length of an 80-story building. believed to be unsinkable. what man had made, nature's cold hand quickly undid. in just under three hours, the ship took on water and sank to the ocean floor. over 1,500 lives were lost. as headlines spread the news to the world, the details of what exactly happened to the titanic were sung. two and a half miles below the ocean surface, guessed at for decades. in 1986, a team led by robert ballard delivered the first incredible pictures of the wreck as underwater technology advanced, answers started to come including how the ship broke apart. >> broken in two. those two pieces are separated by about six football fields. so you have the bow up here. the stern here. about six football fields in
between. but there's a much larger area around that where objects spilled out of the shipment as it sanks. >> an expedition launched by rms titanic incorporated and their partners took on an unparalleled effort. to shoot the titanic in 3d and thoroughly map the wreck site. it is the object of a documentary. >> the object is to find out what's there. how do you begin to manage something if you don't even know what's out there? >> reporter: sonar robots laid a grid across a 15-square mile of the ocean. every significant piece of the titanic wreckage noted and brought to life through 3d and graphic imagery. >> like csi titanic. we're now able to come into this crime scene. we can start to inspect little by little put it back together again and tate back to the surface. it is kind of neat. >> reporter: doorways lying in
muck give hints to the grandeur of the ship's rooms. dots on a sonar scan become giant boilers 15 feet in diameter. a telltale brass whistle gives away the resting place of the iconic smoke stacks. shoes and cups are ghostly reminders of the long ago tragedy human toll. >> you can't help but realize there were 2,200 plus stories played out that night. and there are so many stories left to be told. >> reporter: as titanic explorers james cameron, robert ballard and others endeavour to document and protect this site, they bump up against the indifferent hand of time. once one of man's bigg greatest creations, the ocean floor will eventually wipe the titanic away until all that's left are pictures, history, and the memory of what was. >> i want to take you now to st. louis. ann romney has joined her husband mitt to come out on stage talking about being a stay
at home mother. >> -- are special. we love this country. we love the people of this country. we've had an extraordinary experience going across and meeting tens of thousands of wonderful americans that are so concerned about the future of this country. we recognize that we are heading in a direction that is perilous. we're also, and this is what i love the most. women are talking about the economy and jobs and about the legacy of debt that we're going to leave our children, and we are mad about it. and we're going to do something about it in november with your help. we need to make sure that we keep this country strong and fighting for the right reasons. so thank you all very much. we'll hear from mitt. >> you bet.
thank you, sweetheart. it is great to be with so many friends here today from the national rifle association. this organization is sometimes called a single issue group. and that is high praise when the single issue you're fighting for is freedom. and you can be proud of your long and unwavering defense of constitutional rights and liberties. in about 207 days, we're going to do something that's really quite amazing. americans will be choosing not only a president, but an entire house of representatives and a third of the u.s. senate. the entire world will be watching us. and by around midnight on november 6th, midnight, maybe a little earlier, we'll know the will of millions of americans
exercising their right to vote. in doing so, americans will be a profound choice. a decision which is much more important than just one person or one party. we will not just select the president who will guide us. we will also choose between two distinct paths and destinies for the nation. so many of the big issues in the campaign turn on our understanding of the constitution. and how it was meant to guide our lives. it was one of missouri's greatest sons, harry truman, who expressed a guiding conviction that you and i share. in a ceremony that placed the constitution and the declaration and the permanent care of the national archives. president truman offered a word of caution. liberty, he said, can be lost and it will be if the time ever comes when these documents are regarded, not as the supreme expression of a profound belief
but merely as curiosity in a glass case. truman believed as we do that the principles of the constitution are enduring. and universal. that they were designed, not to bend to the will of presidents and justices who come and go. the belief that we are all created equal. that we're endowed by our creator with our unalienable rights. these are not relics of another time. they reflect truth that's are valid in every era. and the framework of law created by the declaration and the constitution is the source of american greatness. it has generated unparalleled opportunity and prosperity. our founders understood this which is why they created a system of government that's limited. president obama is moving us
away from our founders' vision. instead of limited government, he is leading us toward limited freedom and limited opportunity. this november we face a defining decision. i'm offering a real choice. a new beginning. i'm running for president because i have the experience and the vision to lead us in a very different direction. we know what barack obama's vision of america is. we've lived it this last three and a half years. mine is very different. my course restores and protects our freedoms. as president, the constitution would be my guide. the declaration of independence will be my compass. today i want to talk about this administration's assault on our freedoms. first, our economic freedom. then our religious freedom. and then our personal freedoms. and i want to share my own plans
to return america to the first principles of the nation. the american economy is fueled by freedom. free people and free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality. the obama administration's assault on economic freedom is the principle reason why the recovery has been so slow and so tepid. and why it is it couldn't meet their projections, let alone our expectations. the president's assault on economic freedom begins with taxes and his tax hikes. by their very nature, taxes reduce freedom. their only role in a free economy is to fund those things that are essential like national security and to care for those who can't care for themselves. yet this president has proposed raising the marginal tax rate from 35% to 40.
the vice president has now proposed a new global business tax. a new tax on revenues and the president is touring the country, 200ing a new tax on investment and the wealthy. congress does not need more money to spend. it needs to spend only what it has. the dowd frank law is another attack on economic freedom. an 848-page behemoth that will be followed with thousands and thousands of pages of new regulations. regulations, of course, are necessary. but burdensome regulations serve only to restrict freedom and imperil enterprise. and the victims of the
regulation are not nameless faceless banks. they're employees, business owners, and customers who rely on banks that ultimately lose ou under president obama, bureaucrat rins since waiting themselves into every corner of the economy, undermining economic freedom. they prevent drilling rigs from going to work in the gulf. they deem coal from being mined. they impede the reliable supply of natural gas. they even tell farmers what their children can and can't do to help on the farm. remember that old line from will rogers, he said that he worried whenever congress was in session. today our freedom is never safe because unelected, unaccountable regulators are always on the prowl. and under president obama, they're multiplying. the number federal employees has grown by almost 150,000 under
this president. for centuries, the american dream has meant the opportunity to build something new. some of our greatest success stories are people who started out with a good idea and a corner in the garage. today americans look at what it takes to start a business and they don't see a promise, an opportunity, they see government standing in the way. the real cost of this isn't just the taxes that we're paying. and the money spent complying with all the rules. it is the businesses that are never started. the ideas that are never pursued. and the dreams that are never realized. we once built the interstate highway system and the hoover dam. today we can't even build a pipeline. we once led the world in manufacturing and exports,
infrastructure investment. today we lead the world in lawsuits. we once led the world in educating our kids. today half the kids in our 50 largest cities won't even graduate from high school. if we continue along this path, we'll spend our lives filling out forms and complying with excessive regulations, and pleading with political pointes for waivers and subsidies and permission. that path erodes freedom. it deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. and it hurts the very people it is supposed to help. freedom is the victim of unbounld government appetite and so is economic growth and job growth and wage growth. and as government takes more and more, there is less and less incentive to take risk and to invest and innovate and hire
people. this administration thinks our economy is struggling because the stimulus was too small. the truth is we're struggling because our government is too big. i'm running for president because i have the vision and the experience to get us out of this mess. my agenda takes america in a right direction. it preserves freedom. it encourages risk taking and innovation. it fosters competition. it promotes opportunity. instead of expanding the government, i'm going to shrink it. instead of raising taxes, i'm going to cut them. the answer for a weak economy is not more government. it is more freedom.
now, economic freedom hasn't been the only one of the obama administration's targets. our first freedom, our religious freedom, has also been under attack by this administration. you may have seen in a recent labor regulation case, the government claimed that a church should not be free to determine who qualifies as a minister under the law. it claimed that the government should instead interfere with that decision. the government. the constitution came to the rescue. we wondered what the court would do. they rejected the obama administration's attack in a 9-0 unanimous decision.
and of course now the obama administration has decided that it has the power to mandate what catholic charities and catholic schools and catholic hospitals must cover in their insurance plans for their employees. it is easy to forget how often candidate obama assured us that under obamacare, nothing in our insurance plans would have to change. remember that one? well, here we are, just getting started with obamacare and the federal government is already dictating to religious groups on matters of doctrine and conscience. in all of america, there is no larger provider of health care for women and their babies than the catholic church. but that's not enough. that fact doesn't satisfy the obama bureaucrats themselves want the catholics to fall in line and violate the