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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  May 3, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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to depart china tomorrow. the next 24 hours are going to be critical for mr. chen and potentially for america's future relationship with china. this is what has happened so far. the next 24 hours are going to be really important. stay tuned. now, it is time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. the mitt romney campaign moved to virginia today where it was michele bachmann's turn to pretend she never, ever said, over and over, that mitt romney cannot beat barack obama. good morning. this is what victory looks like. >> michele bachmann is expected to endorse mitt romney. >> i am honored to be able to be here. >> a move that could help the presumptive republican nominee. >> to lend my voice. >> with skeptical conservative voters. >> she is a good one. >> michele bachmann's endorsement is good for mitt romney. >> better than newt gingrich. >> can he beat obama? >> no. are you calling mitt romney a
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liar? >> yes. >> he has tough primaries. >> i don't think they want to show him love. >> is he conservative enough? >> this is a very simple proposition. >> this is all on the republican party establishment. >> president barack obama, president mitt romney. >> this is what they wanted. >> you decide. >> i am so confident they know exactly what they are doing. >> mitt romney is closing the gap in several key swing states, florida in play, pennsylvania not in play. part of the reason is the economy. >> what would you do to get the economy going? >> at the end of the day, it is all about their policies. >> look at what the president has done and do the opposite. >> mitt romney would take us back to the failed policies of the past. >> and do the opposite. >> kormcorporations are people. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. i think it's about -- >> this is what victory looks like. >> smells like victory. >> oh, my goodness, yes!
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it has been 122 days since michele bachmann said this about mitt romney. >> no, he can't beat obama. >> he can't beat obama? >> because his policy is the ba is sis basis of obama care. you can't have a candidate that has given the blueprint of obama care. it is too identical. it is not going to happen. >> today, in virginia, michele bachmann said this. >> this is what victory looks like, to lend my voice and my endorsement to mitt romney as our president to take the country back. >> thank you. >> michele bachmann got a bigger response than the local governor, bob mcdonald, who is surely on the romney short list
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of vice presidential possibilities. >> ladies and gentlemen, i am thrilled to be standing next to the next president, because he is somebody who gets it. >> michele bachmann showed just what a good political actress she is, pretending to be excited about mitt romney. >> mitt romney's future for america would be a legalization of american energy, a legalization of millions of high-paying jobs. that's our future in america. that's something to get excited about. it is why we must elect mitt romney as the next president of the united states. [ applause ] >> you have already seen what mitt romney looks like when he is lying. so his performance today carries no surprise. >> congressman, michele bachmann, what a powerful leader in our party she is. what a privilege it is to have
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their endorsements. >> there wasn't anyone at that romney campaign event today including mitt romney who didn't know what michele bachmann was really thinking. >> mitt romney is the big government candidate. that's not what we want in our nominee. it doesn't even survive the falling off the chair laughing test. >> joining me now, alex wagner, the host of msnbc now and chris hayes, the most of msnbc up with chris hayes. both of them that surprised the falling off the chair laughing test. >> we are just back from the floor, lawrence. >> just barely. >> there was much laughter here during michele bachmann's endorsement. i guess we are going to have to call it. >> i guess we are going to have to call it there. you know, lawrence, it makes me sad this week. we said good-bye to newt gingrich, the penguin bites, the zoo tour. it is only natural that america, our heart would cry out for the other sort of campaign clown, the resurgence of michele
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bachmann. i will take that enforcement if only because we get to talk about michele bachmann again who i believe in that clip talked about mitt romney legalizing american energy. last i checked, it was still legal. the bigger issue here, jokes aside, is that mitt romney is going to have a problem with conservatives forever. this is not going away. we have talked a lot about the pivot, the etch a sketch. is he going to take it back to the center. he is always going to have to dauf his cap or more to the conservative base because they don't believe him. that's what we are facing with michele bachmann. >> i think it is right and it ends up restricting him strategically. he is in a position where i think we saw with the grinnell firing or resignation this week with the gay spokesperson resigning. >> who he hired. >> who he hired. let's give him the credit. he hires a gay man to work in his campaign. as he said in one of the debates, i will not discriminate in hiring. he doesn't. his resolve to do that lasts
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about 14 days. >> i think largely the reason he does it is because he gets attacked from the right. as alex said, it is going to be a constant, persistent nagging worry that they haven't shored up the base insofar as getting the enthusiasm and volunteers and having the turnout they need particularly among evangelicals that provide such an important margin and are affected by this intensity question. >> the thing about the grinnell moment, it was a teachable moment for mitt romney. it is not as if he had to support gay marriage or gay rights. he just had to defend the guy he had hired to do foreign policy and say, his personal life has nothing to do with that. this is how afraid he is of touching anything that could spook social conservatives. >> forget about mitt romney and where he has been on all these positions. he is going to be, if elected, a hard core right wing republican conservative because he would be ordered to be by grover norquist and others and he would not dare
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cross them. >> there is a great piece out by jonathan shay talking about paul ryan. grover norquist says, we don't care who the president is. we just need to have enough working digits to sign into law the paul ryan budget which unensures 50 million americans and balances the budget on the back of the poor. >> we have seen this ruthlessly impose this on not just members of congress but the entire party as a whole down to state legislators with signing the norquist tax pledge. it means that it has transformed itself like something in european democracy in which it really is the party and not the candidate. the party will carry the day much more than the candidate will. we know where the center of the party is. >> let's take a look at the state they were in today in polling. they were in virginia today. we have a public policy, a robo poll of virginia, showing president obama with an
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eight-point lead on mitt romney. 51-43. there is the governor of virginia doing what he can for romney today. if you are in the romney campaign and you are looking at an eight-point lead of obama in virginia, you are looking at a very serious problem. >> look. we know the obama campaign is going to keep virginia in play and it looks like it very much is in play. arizona, new mexico, colorado. these are states that were red or leaning red. the fact is the demographics and the position of mitt romney and the republican party opens up those states to a democrat in a way they haven't been in decades. >> when you run the numbers, the fact is now the combination, largely because of demographic internal migrations in the country, it is the case that there are more paths to victory for a democratic president, whether barack obama or not, than there is for a republican. that is a huge change from just about eight years ago.
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so they have an uphill battle of why usually the economy being what it is means that it is going to be a tightly contested race. it is a very polarized nation. when you start looking at how their paths of victory work out, there are a lot of combinations that barack obama can assemble that even include him losing states he won the first time around and far fewer i think for mitt romney. >> if you are wondering how big a factor the economy is and unemployment is in the election, virginia happens to be the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. that's what the margin looks like. >> that would be the case, i think, if every state had that margin, we would have a man there. >> i want to talk about this energy thing these guys talked about today. let's listen to governor mcdonald and mitt romney talking about energy. >> we are an energy capital when it comes to the nuclear industry. we haven't built a new plant in 25 years. he has cut back on the number of licenses by 50% given to drillers and public lands. his policies have made it harder
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for us to take advantage of our energy resources. >> chris, those happen to be lies. >> first of all, lies. domestic oil production in this country is higher. it is setting records in the united states. it is not like obama has been throwing some monkey wrench in this. second of all, i think the nuclear obsession of the right is fascinating. it doesn't dovetail at all with any idealogical commitments. the only way to get clear industry is massive state subsidies and loan guarantees like they hated against solyndra. they love socialism when it comes to nuclear power because it ticks liberals off. it is completely perpendicular to their posture in everything else. >> we happen to be building a nuclear power plant in georgia.
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another one in south carolina. it is true that george bush didn't get any going. under the obama presidency, in fact, what they said is a complete lie. >> look, the republicans have taken issue with the fact that there is more domestic oil production now than at any other time or under george bush. they say that's a credit to george bush's policy and they say they increased exports, because you have more demand from places like china. logic doesn't seem to be something this party is in favor of. two years ago almost to this month, we had one of the worst environmental crises in this country. let's not forget the japan nuclear disaster. on the heels of that, not only are we not embracing any alternative sources of energy, we are pillaring those including the president that called for a reasonable, rational multi-faceted portfolio for energy production which is not only irresponsible but ludicrous. >> this is a poll the quinn epea
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ac poll showing now that president obama is at 47 in pennsylvania. mitt romney at 39. a little over a month ago, they were basically tied within a margin of error. there is a real pull-ahead by president barack obama. significant drop by president obama. it comes after mitt romney ran a tv advertising campaign where he thought he was going to be running against rick santorum. it seems like familiarity didn't work for him in pennsylvania. >> it was the opposite for barack obama. the longer he was somewhere, the better the favor. what you are seeing in terms of how this strategy is going to play out in terms of what states they go big on, you are going to see ohio and florida, kind of
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ohio/florida based strategy from the romney campaign. those are the most gettable. >> they are much tighter. >> i think they are right in terms of their judgment of what the most gettable are. the amount of superpac money in error that is going to go into ohio and florida is going to shatter every single record on the books absolutely. >> the obama campaign in florida will be telling you all about that ryan plan and what it does to medicare. >> they will be running clips of newt gingrich and michele bachmann talking about mitt romney. >> alex and chris, thanks for joining me. coming up, someone i have been trying to get on the show since day one, simply because he is right about everything. he just is. everything he has said about what we should do and shouldn't do to pull this country and the world out of the big recession has been right. paul krugman will join me. i will be taking notes.
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>> also joining me, the republican legislator that fought the anti-gay legislation this week and told us a lot about himself in the process. he never expected to be telling the world that he is gay but he did. >> and, tonight, another president in favor of ending the war on drugs. he is a former president since this is not the kind of thing presidents like to say when in office. guess which former president? that's coming up. if you made a list of countries from around the world... ...with the best math scores. ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place. let's raise academic standards across the nation. let's get back to the head of the class. let's solve this.
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tonight's edition of veep auditions, bob mcdonald gave it a try and michele bachmann was also on the stage. that's coming up. which former president has come out in favor of legalizing drugs? the answer is in the rewrite. hint, he has a mustache. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like a lot of things, the market has changed,
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another day, another audition for a possible vice presidential candidate. governor mcdonald talked a few minutes more but that first sentence is his entire case for being on the republican ticket. he is a term-limited governor, not running for anything but still spending money on campaign ads just for himself in virginia. >> when we took office, times were tough for virginia's families. together, we focused like a laser on jobs and our economy, the result, the lowest
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unemployment and rated td best state for business joining me now pulitzer prize-winning journalist and msnbc political analyst and virginia registered voter, eugene robinson. here, your governor is running campaign ads in virginia and he is not running for anything. what do we make of this? >> we make of this that he is running for vice president. there is no reason, zero reason for a virginia governor who serves one term and out, for a virginia governor to run those sorts of ads. he can't be reelected. you can't serve sub quengs terms. >> how did he do today? it didn't help to have michele bachmann up there stealing all
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his thunder. >> she that is that sparkle. bob mcdonald is not the most charismatic politician you will ever meet. next to michele bachmann, i think it makes him somewhat recede into the background in terms of establishing a national profile, which he frankly doesn't much have right now. you ask people on the west coast, who is bob mcdonald, i don't think they would have frankly the slightest idea who he is. >> can he win the state? can he pull in virginia for them? >> well, there have been some indications from polls that he doesn't help that much in virginia. i don't think he would necessarily hurt it. virginia is the purpest of purp purple states. it can go either way. to be elected, you have to do fairly well in the bluer parts of the state, northern virginia.
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that's where a lot of the economic growth has been, a lot of the population growth. a lot of the diversity. he ran well there. i can see why he would be attractive. virginia is really going to be a slugfest for virginia this time. >> jean, i'm just filling out my checklist on my vetting file of mcdonald. is he likely to get the ticket in trouble at any point? is he one of these stable performers that never misspeaks and never commits a gaf that costs them anything. >> he is not going to mire himself in some sort of surprise controversy at the the last minute. there are a few issues on which he has problems. he has kind of a women's issue with this issue of the vaginal ultrasound before an abortion legislation that was up. he ended up signing a kind of different ultrasound version of that. now, there is a voter i.d. law that the legislature has passed
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that he has indicated he has problems with. he wanted some changes to the law, because he thought it was unfair the way it was written. they didn't make the changes. he has to decide whether to sign it or veto it. that will be very interesting. >> let's listen to what nutd gingrich had to say about the republican vice presidential possibilities. >> he has been in there a long time. you know him. >> joe biden has ridden the train from delaware to washington for many, many years. >> he has done a lot of other things. >> i think the comparison is, do i think that bobby jindal or bobby rubio would be as good as joe biden? >> there is no way those young inexperienced men would be that good. he brought to the office his experience. that's what they don't have. >> he brought experience. he might have been from delaware
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but he was known as the third senator from pennsylvania in a way. the neighboring state is very popular in pennsylvania, certainly didn't hurt president obama in pennsylvania where he was kind of weak during the primaries but, in fact, helped him. bobby jindal and marco rubio are not that. >> the possible vice presidential candidates up here we have about 12 names on it. should bob mcdonald be on that short list of the top four or four five? >> sure. i would put it in there. he has the right look. he is not going to really overshadow or overpower romney with charisma. he is not going to -- he is going to do his job as a vice presidential candidate. if it is attack dog, he will do
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his best. he doesn't snarl very well, but you think he will try. he is in a state that everybody wants to win. he checks a few boxes. he ought to be on the list. he is somebody to watch. the question is whether romney will get to a point where things aren't looking that good. the martino vote. whether he decides if he has to roll the dice nor marco rubio. >> the game changer. eugene robinson, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> great to be here, lawrence. >> coming up, he says the problem with the economy isn't economics, it is politics. he is right, because he is root about everything. paul krugman has been right about everything about our economy since president obama took office. he joins me next. and, in the rewrite, a former president reminds us that the country that is leading the global war on drugs is the
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country that uses the most drugs in the world. that former president has come out in favor of legalizing drugs. who is he? the answer is in tonight's rewrite. [ male announcer ] if you think any battery will do, consider this... today training depends on technology. and when it takes a battery, there are athletes everywhere who trust duracell. they rely on copper to go for the gold. duracell. trusted everywhere.
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well, all right. thanks. okay, here we go. whoa! no one said "cheese." progressive mobile -- insurance has never been easier. get a free quote today. easy label, right? but that label can lead to prejudice and discrimination, and we don't want to go there. so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know. last word exclusive, the republican state representative who when presented with a bill that keeps anyone from even talking about gay and lesbian issues in schools, including bullying, chose to do more than just vote against it. he came out and told his constituents he is gay. zach wyatt's first national interview is coming up. paul krugman will separate
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politics from economics and tell us how to get out of this depression. paul krugman joins me next. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. all at 150 calories or less, there's definitely a temptations for you. unless you're one of those people who doesn't like delicious stuff. temptations. it's the first jell-o that's just for adults.
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l. brooks. joining me now is nobel prize-winning economist, paul krugman, an economist for "the new york times," professor of economics at princeton university. he is always the smartest perch in the room. his new book "end this depression now! ." pa paul, i have been wanting to ask you for a long time. how awful is it being you watching the craziest -- is this the stupidest public discussion of economics this country has had since keynesian? >> we had some pretty stupid discussions in the 30s but only after the fact. we have the knowledge. we have the tools. that's what drives me crazy right now. we actually have everything we need. there have been some surprises but by and larnl, this is a well-understood script.
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we know what we could be doing. we could be out of this depression. we could be out of it faster than anyone now imagines. we are insistently doing the wrong things. terrible for me but much worse for the 13 million people that are out of work and the 3.9 that have been out of work for more than a year and we are not doing anything for them. >> in your book, you trace some of the political history of keynesian economics, he came out with some ideas that were considered radical at the time but started to take hold over time. you talk about william buckley and other conservatives opposing everything about keynesian economics. by the time we get to president nixon, he actually said people think he said we are all keynesians now. you point out it was the conservative economist milton friedman that said that. nixon's actual words were, i am not a keynesian in economics. how did we go from there where this was kind of the accepted
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math of economics to where we are now? >> i have actually been thinking about this. if this crisis had struck in 1971, the year nixon said that, we would have dealt with it effectively. somehow, we moved backwards. we lost it. what happened is, part of it is just a polarization. republicans will vote against anything that president obama proposes. if he wanted to honor motherhood, they would be against it. also, billionaires have never liked keynesian economics, for a couple of reasons. one, it suggests that the government can do some good. if the government can do some good, maybe the government needs to raise taxes, which means taxing them. it also suggests that the government can solve a slump like this and what business people, particularly what corporations love, they love to talk about confidence. that gives them power. if you say, well, you must nt say anything nasty about us or annoy us, you have to have
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confidence to get us out. actually, we don't need confidence. what we need i a jobs program. they have lost that lever over policy. there has been this an slaught on keynesian economics and the economics that we understood, the economics that works. the last three years have been a kind of acid test for which views of the economy work. guess what, good old kane ze an economics has tracked this crisis very, very well. the other views have been completely wrong. there was a campaign to drive that out of the discussion which has ended up perilizing us in this crisis we now face. >> just for the audience, what would be the bullet points of what the keynesian approach would have been for president obama in 2009 taking on this crisis? >> first and foremost, the private sector is not willing to spend, not able to spend, because it has some problems, hangover from the financial crisis. this is when you want the government to spend, to step into the breach. that's almost the principal goal
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of point. everything else is kind of secondary. we should be doing a lot of mortgage debt relief. we should have the federal reserve doing more expansion nary policy. a little bit of inflation would be helpful. the core thing is now is the time for the government to spend. later on, we can talk to it. he said now the boom is the time for austerity. we shouldn't be laying off school teachers but adding government employees. we have done this precisely wrong. >> because you have been saying from the start, for example, that the stimulus package should have been much bigger to take on the crisis that we were facing. you were right about that. >> right. >> i think some people have labeled you, people on the right have labeled you as someone who is not at all interested in trying to deal with the deficit ordeal with government overspending in any form where it might occur but more than anything else, what you are talking about, before you get into any specifics of what you might cut at some point, is when
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do you do this? when do you cut? when do you spend? those are the most important decisions more so than even how much those things might be. >> depression conditions are different. when you are in a depression and the economy is flat on its back and the federal reserve has cut the interest and controls all the way to zero and can't cut further, that's a time when cutting spending is ace disaster. it doesn't even help the budget position. the economy shrinks, tax revenue goes down. long-term employment undercuts the economy's long-run productive capacity, which means lower tex revenue in the future. pretty much a slam-dunk. cutting spending, austerity, a lose/lose policy even on the debt front. >> give me an economy that is
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not in a depression, it is a very different story. i was actually a deficit hawk when george bush was trying to -- ran through tax cuts that were unfunded. ran through unsupported wars, wars without any revenue source to pay for them. right now is the wrong time to obsess over the deficit. incredibly misguided obsession to have right now. >> when i was studying economics in college, i can tell you, the economics faculty used to very clearly look down their noses over across the river at the business school, the harvard business school. now, i think with this harvard business school candidate for president, we can see why. i want to listen to what he said about how young people should handle the massive expense of going to college. let's listen to that. >> this attack of success is very different than what we have seen in our country's history.
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we have always encouraged young people, take a shot, go for it. take a wrist. get the education. borough mon borrow money if your fronts. >> $40,000, $50,000 tuition. when we say students can't ford a college education, he thinks we literally mean just that student. we mean the student, their parents, their cousins, everybody who they could possibly get any money from are tapped out. they can't afford it. he doesn't seem to know that. >> there is a special romney touch which is this apparent complete inability to put himself in the shoes of someone else, to understand that other people don't grow up as the children of successful business executives. that's really distinctive. i don't think we have ever seen anything quite that obtuse if you like in a candidate before. the main point is, what he is not grasping is the sheer extent of the suffering going on.
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the policies would make it work. we have carried out a monstrous experiment on the workers of pretty much the whole western world. we said, we believe, we have this theory that says, slash government spending in a depress depressed economy and prosperity will follow as we will have confidence. you can see the results all around. take a look at the countries where the austerity has been most severe. look at the irish where we have been patting them on the head, good boys, you have been doing the right thing. austerity, 15% unemployment. romney is saying, let's do more of that. individuals can make their way by borrowing money from their parents. >> i want you to take credit for this. everything that's happened in europe as a result of these austerity measures, you predicted. thank you very much for joining me tonight and thank you for being right about everything. >> my wife wouldn't agree but
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thank you. coming up, a bill to ban discussion of gay issues including bullying in missouri schools was too much for one republican legislate tore tore take. he came out and came out as gay. >> a former president decides we rewrite the unwinnable war on drugs and start legalizing drugs. it is your job to guess which former president. that answer, of course, is in the rewrite. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or come in and pull up a chair. i have one real question for you, mr. president. what is the marijuana concern. pot smokers vote too, sometimes a week after the election but they vote. look at brit hume, he is high right now. he is on his fourth almond macha roon. >> tonight, another president is rewriting his position on the war on drugs. from support to opposition. two weeks ago, we reported that the president of columbia told president obama at the summit of the americas in carta hey na, columbia, that the war on drugs is a failure and that we should be moving towards decriminalizing, if not legalizing marijuana and
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possibly cocaine. you might remember president obama's response. >> i think it is entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether the laws in place are ones that are doing more harm than good in certain places. i personally and my administration's position is that legalization is not the answer. nevertheless, i'm a big believer in looking at the evidence and having a debate. >> notice he referred only to his opposition to legalization of drugs but president juan man well santos had urged him to consider decriminalization. here is what barack obama said about decriminalization back in january, 2004, before he became senator obama? >> in terms of legalization of
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drugs, i think that the battle -- the war on drugs has been an utter failure. i think that we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws but i'm not somebody -- but i'm not somebody who believes in legalization of marijuana. what i do believe is that we need to rethink how we are operating in the drug wars and i think currently we are not doing a good job. >> president obama has favored decriminalization in the past. he obviously completely understands the case for decriminalization. though, he will be unable to say that while in re-election mode. presidencies inhibit free speech in presidents. when vicente fox was president of mexico from 2000 to 2006, he cooperated in the american war on drugs but chafed against it at the same time. under intense pressure from the bush administration in may of
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2006, just seven months bfr he left office, president fox vetoed a mexican bill that would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs in mexico. at the time, he said that in mexico, the possession and consumption of drugs are and will continue being crimes. the mexican government will have to deepen the fight againdrug trafficking. since leaving office, former president fox has been speaking his mind without worrying about pressure from the united states government. in 2009, he said this. >> fighting violence with violence is not necessary the answer. i did use different instruments. i still think that today, we should open the debate on legalization of drugs. >> then, last year, he said this. >> we must come with new
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intelligent, bright ideas like, for instance, withdrawing the army out of the battle, number two, legalizing the production, distribution and consumption of drugs, all together and for all drugs all the way. we legalize consumption and then we can move out of enforcement and dedicate the money, efforts and public policy to attending a health program. >> former president fox called the war on drug an absolute failure. he said, the country that imposed the prohibition, the country that has punishments and considers drugs a crime is the country that uses the most drugs in the world. we must end this useless war.
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eo. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. [ woman #2 ] even my laundry started to get a funny smell. [ female announcer ] got a bad odor in your high-efficiency washer? clean it with tide washing machine cleaner. [ female announcer ] three uses will help remove odor-causing residues and leave your washer clean and fresh. to help maintain your he washer, use tide washing machine cleaner once a month and always wash with tide he detergent, specially formulated for proper he performance. tide washing machine cleaner. clean laundry starts with a clean washer.
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missouri house bill, 2051 says no instruction material or extra-curricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school. it is known in missouri as the don't say gay bill. it would allow absolutely no discussion of sexual orientation in any public schooling, no discussion at all, including any discussion of bullying. republican state representative zach wyatt yesterday stood up and said this. >> students need to feel safe when they go to school and be able to speak with teachers, counselors and administrators when they are getting bullied. this bill will make that
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illegal. >> there was a republican legislator opposing a republican anti-gay bill. in the same speech against the bill in the missouri senate capital yesterday representative, zach wyatt, also said this. >> i will not lie to myself anymore about my own sexuality. it has probably been the hardest thing to come to terms with. i have always ignored it. didn't even think about it or want to talk about. i have not been immune to it. i hear the comments, usually snide ones about me. today, i ask you to stand with me as a proud republican, a proud veteran and a proud gay man who wants to protect all kids addressing bullying in our schools. >> joining me now for his first national television interview, republican missouri state representative, zach wyatt. zach, thank you very much for joining me tonight. tell us what your thought process was in deciding to stand
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up, not only in opposition to that bill but to speak about yourself. >> well, first off, lawrence, thanks a lot for having me on this evening. you know, it took a lot of -- i would say a lot of thought for me to think about what i was going to do this week. it was probably in january when i really came to terms with that i was a gay man. then, when this bill came out, house bill 2051, i truly wanted to lead on this issue and not be at the sidelines anymore. >> the climate that you are working in there is really, i think, stunning for people certnly outside of missouri that aren't aware of it. i want to read one of the comments of one of your colleagues. one of the bill's cosponsors, dwight shinehorse the said told
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the "huffington post," talking about gay issues of any kind would lead to other discussions. he said, quote, there is no need to talk about billy wanting to marry a goat. that's the legislative body that you work in. >> i will tell you. i know representative scharnhorst really well. he has been great towards me and other members in the body. i think there is some concern for what he said but he has actually since then came up and talked with me and talked about other members and i really appreciate that. he wanted to make sure that we didn't take -- know that it wasn't meant towards us and he was -- i think it was just something that he said off the cuff. >> what everyone watching this show i think is thinking in the most simple terms, why are you a republican? why did you, when you decided to go in to pursuing public office,
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decide to go into it in this era as a republican knowing where the republican party is nationally and locally in missouri on issues involving gay rights? >> you know, the thing is, i'm not a one-issue person, lawrence. i really truly believe that we need to have a smaller government, we need to have a balanced budget. the state here in missouri, we have a balanced budget. i think that's what saved us in these tough economic times. i really think that the we should give more money to the taxpayers. they shouldn't be paying more into our government we should be giving more back to them and have an efficient government. >> what would you say to other republicans out there, particularly gay republicans that are not openly gay and officeholders in terms of what
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might be their responsibility. did you feel you had a responsibility to tell the country about this yourself? >> i thought i needed to step up and lead on this issue. i am not going to be returning to the legislature next year, because i have been accepted to the go to the university of hawaii to study marine biology. so i made that decision before i decided to come out. i wanted to make sure if i could get one student to not go home, not go home from being bullied and hurt themselves or worse yet, take their own life, i think i have done my job as a state representative. for the people that are republicans that might not be out openly and they are serving in an elected capacity, just, i really look towards them and hopefully they will come to
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terms with their sexuality as well on their own terms. it is a very personal thing. to be elected, we are all in this fish bowl. i just really wanted to make sure that the people of missouri truly knew that the republican party of missouri is inclusive to -- it is inclusive. i can tell you. there is 106 of us out of 163 down in jefferson city. each of us have something different to bring to the table. i really enjoy that. >> missouri state representative, zach wyatt, gets tonight's last word. thanks for >> good evening, americans. "the ed show" is taking the night off to show you brian williams and his exclusi


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