tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC May 6, 2012 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT
"meet the press," vice president biden defended the white house's record on jobs. >> we created 4,250,000 jobs, last month job numbers have been re-evalua re-evaluated. it's been a steady path, 26 months straight employment gain, private employment. >> a republican sometimes mentioned as a poe teng running mate for mitt romney, senator marco rubio went on the attack. >> this president asked us to hire him for four years ago on the promise he knew how to fix this economy, that he would be different, he would unite this company. the economy is worse off, the kebt debt is $$2 trillion highe. >> president obama keking off his re-election bid. he made his first campaign appearance of 2012 at a rally in ohio. >> we have to move forward to
the future we imagine in 2008 where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share. that's the choice in this election. and that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> mitt romney is not making any public appearances this weekend. a response to the president's speech did come from senator rob portman, republican from ohio. quote, ohio voters want to see results, not rhetoric and unfortunately, the results of the obama administration's policies are bad for ohio and the country. 39 straight months over 8% unemployment, record debt and deficits, and gas prices that have doubled. joining me now, wanda summers, national political reporter for politico and amy gardner, national political reporter for the "washington post." nice to see you both. wanda, i'm going to have you start. you just heard from vice president biden and senator rubio. the fight is all about jobs, jobs and jobs. as the campaign officially gets under way. it is all about the economy, isn't it?
or do you see it differently? >> well certainly the economy is the most personal issue of the election, nothing hits folks at home more than their pocketbook does, but it's a more nuanced race than that. there is quite a focus on social issues. mitt romney is looking to attract some of the social conservatives that may have one point during the primary season looked to one of his rivals as their best choice. >> obama re-election campaign kickoff, you could hear now but cheers in the crowd. and the one woman you talked to about the concerns, you know, tell us about that. >> well it was interesting. clearly the president is able to generate a lot of the excitement and emotional investment that we all saw yesterday at the two rallies. and that mirrored some of what made 2008 an historic election. but it was really interesting. i interviewed about a dozen
folks walking around the arenas where these two rallies occurred yesterday. in columbus and richmond. and i was struck by the nervousness, that people who are hard-core, steadfast obama supporters are feeling about his chances. they're worried. they, so there's a sense of almost physical nervousness that i sort of sensed with some of these voters. that shall going to be a difficult election. now what's interesting, too, is that in some respects may play right into what the obama campaign is trying to accomplish yesterday. with these rallies. which is to motivate supporters, make them understand how close this election could be. sign them up to volunteer. i mean part of yesterday's goal was and purpose was to gin up the volunteer apparatus that helped him win in 2008. in some respects that nervousness could play into their goal of doing just that. >> that i think is what michelle obama was charged with doing. you'll recall in her speech she was saying to people, even one vote can make a difference, if each of you goes out and
registers one vote that could be the difference when you add it up this november. >> wanda, the president did not shy away from going after mitt romney yesterday. calling him out certainly by name. here's one example of that. >> bigger profit haven't led to better jobs. governor romney doesn't seem to get that. he doesn't seem to understand that maximizing profits by whatever means necessary, whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoindance or union-busting, may not always be good for the average american. >> so we know that mitt romney is trying to frame himself as the economic candidate. and it seems like the president is trying to undermine that basic message. what's your take on that, wanda? >> that's absolutely right and that's very different from what you heard in the 2008 campaign where president obama, then candidate obama ran a very positive uplifting message. he didn't go straight at mitt romney where it was very clear
that his speeches were all about mitt romney. as he kicks this campaign off. and i think that that shows just how different this campaign will be while a lot of the 2008 campaign was emotion, hope and change. sure, the hope and change is still there. but this is going to be a very different race. >> a few minutes ago you may have heard ohio senator rob portman giving a response to the speech. msnbc political analyst mark halperin believes that portman is the lorj cal choice for his running mate. >> i think he makes a ton of sense for a ton of reasons and no one punches as many tickets as he does, starting with qualified to be president. democrats like him, a lot of republicans across the spectrum like him. it would be hard to find someone, i would say next to impossible, to find someone who knows him at all. with any credibility, who would say, he's not qualified. he meets that as well or better than a dick cheney, a joe
lieberman. a joe -- a joe biden. >> well much better than a marco rubio. you know, the amount of words spent on discussing marco rubio as vice president, already going forward, i think is just a total waste. >> amy, what do you think? is that why he's giving one of the responses? >> well certainly he's an important figure in critical battleground state, ohio. republicans, most elections in this country's history have not won the white house without winning ohio. so it is a crucial battleground state. having a senator from there on your team is obviously an advantage. the other factor that i think is really important and i agree with everything mark said there, i think it's important that somebody that governor romney feels comfortable with. people debate how important the pick of vice president is to winning. how important the state where that person comes from is. one thing you could argue is a fact that are could matter here is the comfort level of a candidate and that's a hurdle that lots of us have heard about and talked about with mitt romney. voters don't feel like they know
him, don't feel like they connect with him. if he has a vice presidential candidate that helps him feel comfortable and helps the world see the world as he does, could be important. >> here's what we've been asking all of you today. six months to election today, have you made up your mind? if so, why. here are some of your tweets, patrick says why obama? because he's on the side of women in the war and he supports lgbt. another response, if the country wants four more years like the eight we had with bush, romney is their guy, if not, the clear choice is obama for 2012. another response, obama has proven to be the best for the job. he now has a track record of success, even with vast gop opposition. keep talking to me, my handle is @alex witt. some dark and developing news to share with you right now. we're tracking this, a murder on the grounds of churchill downs, a day after the kentucky derby.
louisville metro police say the body of an unidentified hispanic man was found early this morning on barn number 8 on the back side of the track, just a few barns away from where derby winner, i'll have another, is kept. investigators are calling it a homicide. no word on the cause of death. we'll keep you posted on this investigation. lawyers are speaking out following the military hearing of the 9/11 mastermind and his alleged accomplices. attorneys cannot say much about the case but outlined a strategy to prove their clients were tortured. nbc national investigative reporter michael isikoff is in guantanamo bay with more. >> it was a difficult day for a military judge and a painful one for the families of the 9/11 victims. al qaeda al qaeda and four co-defendants were back in the military courtroom at the u.s. naval station in guantanamo bay. for their arraignment on charges they orchestrated the attacks that killed 2,976 people on
9/11. but mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators were defiant, refusing to answer the judge's questions or look at him or even wear a headset to understand the proceedings. the reason he's not putting the ear phones in his ear is because of the torture that was done to him his lawyer told the judge. an accused plotter twice interrupted, once by standing up to pray and another by shouting out that there were threats against defendants in guantanamo bay. the judge ordered him to sit down. saying he would address such issues later. during a court break, mohammed and the other defendants could be seen leaning back, laughing and chatting, apparently pleased with their tactics. but family members, some watching here at guantanamo, and others on closed circuit tv at seven sites around the country, were infuriated. >> they have nothing but
contempt for our values and our way of life. >> so many people were killed that day. so many good people. >> defense lawyers said in court what they've been saying publicly this week. that their clients protests were aimed at highlighting the injustice of their treatment by the u.s. government and the unfairness of the proceedings before military commissions. >> despite the claims of reform, the military commissions are an unjust system. >> despite the disruptions, the judge moved the case forward, but agreed to one defendant's request to read allowed all 87 pages of charges against them. laying out the entire plot. when he granted the request, bin al shibh grinned. >> prosecutors said they could be ready to present the case by august. but the defendants declined to enter pleas and the lawyers asked for a delay for up to a year. the defense lawyers held a press conference today in which they said their clients' behavior was
peaceful resistance to their treatment by the u.s. government and an unjust military commission system. alex? >> all right, nbc's michael isikoff, thank you. economic troubles here and abroad, fueling voter anger in france, today's runoff will decide who leads the country for next five years. and early polls suggest president nicolas sarkozy is on his way out. socialist candidate, fran choice hollande beat nicolas sarkozy by half a million votes in the first round of balloting last month. today a friend of chen guangcheng said he's in good spirits as he waits permission to leave for the u.s. he became a symbol for civil rights in china. and recently he escaped house arrest and took refuge in the u.s. embassy, sparking a tussle between the two countries. >> hello, alex, chen guangcheng, his wife and two children are still in a beijing hospital where he's been treated for a
broken foot which happened during his dramatic escape from house arrest. friends who have spoken to him today he's in good spirits and has met with government officials. friday's outline agreement under which chen and his immediate family will be able to leave china on a student visa, still leaves a lot of detail to be fleshed out. not least, the timing. u.s. officials have asked china to move ahead quickly. the breakthrough came when china's foreign ministry suggested chen could apply to study abroad like any other chinese citizen and the u.s. offered him an american fellowship to study law at new york university. it followed several extraordinary days of twists, turns and plenty of intrigue of the his fate has been the biggest test of u.s.-china relations in years and overshadowed last week's visit here by hillary clinton. the blind human rights lawyer had taken refuge in the u.s. embassy for six days. but left under an apparent
u.s.-brokered deal, guaranteeing his safety in china. u.s. officials insist that he wasn't pressured to leave, that he wanted to stay to continue his struggle for human rights, once in hospital, chen had second thoughts, appealing for help in a series of increasingly desperate telephone calls. friends of chen say he may be a i loued to leave soon, but he doesn't see his exit as a one-way ticket to exile and does hope to come back. >> thank you for that enterfrom beijing. a real-life mystery in hollywood. the story of the movie studio executive who went out for a drive and then vanished. we'll talk about it here on "weekends with alex witt." do you read in bed? do you read out loud or in your head?
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there way out. their way of making a statement. their way of making their point. and unfortunately, the problem is is that it doesn't seem like the courts so far have found the right method of trying to put them in their place to make sure they're not disruptive. because if this keeps going on, this trial is going to last years. >> here's something that was interesting. one of the defense attorneys wore islamic headdress in the courtroom and she explains why she did this let's listen to this, everyone. >> you dress that way when i meet with my client. at all times.
he's never seen me dressed like this. and it's out of respect for his cultural and religious beliefs. and i dress like that in court, because that is what is required of me. >> so what's your reaction to that. >> the question is are we bending over backwards to adhere to somebody else's idea of moral standards that are not normally applied in a u.s. court of law. as much as i understand what her point is here, it's an issue that has come up before, where defendants have complained about the immodest dressing of some of the prosecuting attorneys, i don't know if the right idea for us to bend over backwards or for a defense attorney to ask other attorneys to bend over backwards. to adhere to a moral set of standards, that i don't think is mainstream. >> logic might suggest that sheryl borman, that attorney, might extract more information or might extract a better relationship showing some due respect.
>> no, no. >> are these the kind of guys who would react that way. i said logic would suggest. >> these guys do tend to respond to their attorneys more when their attorneys cater to these oddball requests. that being said, it's one thing for the defense attorney to do this. she's representing her client. i mean that's what she's supposed to do. to ask this of other attorneys or other courtroom staff, there's a question about whether that really is appropriate or not. >> so then you know, again get back to the whole logic of all this. the way these defendants are behaving inside the courtroom, you say it is planned, it is calculated, it is deliberate. others would suggest that they've just lost it while they've been at gitmo. do you think their mental stability, their state of mind has changed from the point at which they entered gitmo to now? >> everything we've seen of their behavior in open court, especially when the cameras are off, when the jury is out of the courtroom, suggests that these guys are in full mental capacity. they have their full mental health. >> they know exactly what
they're doing? >> they know exactly what they're doing. when ramsey bin "wake up with al" they're they're going to try to frustrate the procedure as much as they can. their goal is to make this into a circus and unfortunately if we're not careful, that's what they're going to achieve many the point of no trial in new york was to avoid the circus, let's make sure it doesn't replay itself in gitmo. >> we have some of the defense attorneys say things aren't particularly fair because getting access to their defendants, to their clients is difficult. >> right. >> so does that pave the way for problems down the road, i.e., appeals. >> there's certainly an appeal lying somewhere there and i've been to gitmo on numerous occasions, it is not that easy
to meet with clients. on the other hand, these individuals are also accused of being international terrorists, being dangerous individuals that kind of goes along with the territory. it's the same thing here in federal court, if you have someone who is a dangerous individual it might not be so easy to go meet them in jail. that being said, look, i there's going to be appeals on all sorts of issues. the number of appeal issues that defense attorneys here, you could write a book on it. this case is, these cases, frankly are going to be going on, both in the original case itself and then the appellate versions, for maybe for decades. >> evan comb which means we'll be talking with you in the future, thank you. their engagement started in an iranian prison, it ended yesterday in a private wedding ceremony in california. shawn bower tied a string around sarah shore's finger in 2010. they were all taken into custody in 2009 when the hikers wandered
into iran. he was released after 14 months and the two men were tried and held for 781 days before being freed on bail last september. we wish them well. a fantastic finish yesterday at the 138th kentucky derby. >> far outside, i'll have another, has won the kentucky derby! and then it was pony meister. >> wow, i'll have another. >> i'll have another, indeed. brought home the bank with 15-1 odds if you took the 3-year-old to win. in case you're wondering where the came from, let's just say the owner has a penchant for raiding the cookie jar. people with a machine. what ?
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in today's tech watch, you may want to smash that old laptop or cell phone before you recycle it identity theft experts say older products can be a gold mine for identity thieves because they retain sensitive data. when it comes to iphones, ipads, the risk isn't to great. forbes magazine names austin, texas as the best big city for jobs. the forbes study highlights a rise in private-sector jobs and a decline in government jobs. houston, texas ranking second, salt lake city third. floyd merriwether got a $32 million prize and gets a cutten pay-per-view money. he won the super welterweight title. a mag nave sent marvel at
the box office, "the avengers" set a record for the biggest opening weekend in u.s. history. knocking harry potter from its perch. and some 700 dogs and their owners, set out to set the record for the largest number of costumed canines. the folks at guinness still need to verify the new mark. those are your number ones here on weekends with alex witt. hey dad. see how the carrots i grow make that new stouffer's steam meal so tasty. actually, the milk from my farm makes it so creamy, right dad. dad can see... boys! don't you think stouffer's steam perfect bag should get some credit? my crots. my milk. [ female announcer ] new from stouffer's. farmers' harvestteam meals taste so good we'll bet the farm on it. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard."
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every communications provider is different but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide and around the world. and we will continue to free you to do more and focus on what matters. at 32 past the hour, welcome back, it's time for strategy talk. for a closer look at the candidates' battle plans in the race for the white house, a lot of focus on the critical swing state of ohio where president obama launched his re-election
campaign. this fomorning, former ohio governor ted strickland said it's no surprise that the race is neck and neck right now. >> the nature of ohio, we're a microcosm of america, the country is divided and the electorate in ohio is divided as well. it was close the last time, it will be close this time. it's always close in ohio. >> with me now, larry sabateaux, the director for the university of virginia center for politics and krystal ball an political strategist and msnbc contributor. >> the auto industry bailout helped save jobs in ohio, are you surprised there's not more support for barack obama in ohio at this point? the last poll we looked at, only two points separated barack obama and mitt romney. >> alex, you know what governor strickland said is absolutely
correct. ohio is traditionally very closely divided, that's why it's been such a barometer of national opinion. it's why it's been right presidentially 27 of the last 29 presidential races. i suspect we'll go down to the wire in ohio and i would expect ohio to be won 51-49, 52-48, something like that. >> do you want to predict who will take it? >> too early for that. right now president obama is leading slightly. but no, this is may. i have learned over the years, the hard way, that people who predict in may eat crow in november. >> we're going to come see you for office politics in september. so i want a prediction then. krystal what i'd like to do is play a clip for you from a recent obama campaign ad and a clip from the speech yesterday, i want you to listen to the different messages they emphasize, first the campaign ad, whose theme is forward. >> i believe the country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot. when everyone does their fair share.
when everyone plays by the same rules. >> okay. now let's go to the speech from yesterday where you're going to hear some old familiar themes, here it is. >> if people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it's still about hope. you tell them it's still about change. >> so what's going on here? forward or hope and change? because yesterday while covering the speech, we're getting both. >> right, well it's, it'sed place where the president is. on the one hand he needs it recapture some of the magic and enthusiasm from 2008 and i actually spent part of the week in virginia and i think people are, democrats are recapturing the excitement and getting really excited to work hard forred president. they also have shaken off some of the apathy that quite frankly they felt in 2010. where democrats had done very well and we felt like we won and they kind of wanted to sit at home. they've shaken that off.
they're nervous about what's to come. at the same time, it's not the same set of circumstances. the president is now an incumbent. he's not the new fresh face. so we have to have a different set of policies. one thing i wanted to point out quickly, alex. he mentions in the ad a lot about fairness. he's talking about fairness and leveling the playing field with mitt romney's set up as sort of the personification of people who are gaming the system. romney has also adopted some of that fairness rhetoric. which i think shows how powerful and effective it's actually being. >> larry, you want to pick up on that and talk about the messaging for this campaign? how you think about it? what do you think is most effective? >> sure, you know it's amazing to me, alex, go back a long way, i still hear the same themes i heard in the '50s and '60s, the republicans say the democrats are the party of tax and tax and spend and spend and regulate and regulate. the democrats turn back and say, we're the party of the average guy, you're the party of the
rich. these are fundamental themes that arise in every presidential election, you heard it in president obama's two speeches yesterday. you've heard mitt romney say the same thing on his side in reverse. the themes will play in and out because this is both a referendum and a choice, it's a referendum on president obama's presidency. but it's also a choice between president obama and republican nominee, mitt romney. and that's the great battle to define this election. if it's a choice, president obama has a much better chance to win. if it's a referendum, he has less of a chance to win. depending on what happens with the economic numbers. >> you know what, i want to pick up on that. mitt romney is making the case that the president is a nice guy, but just not up to the job. i want you to listen to what he said and react to that. >> sure. >> even if you like barack obama, we can't afford barack obama, it's time to get someone that will get this economy going and put the american people back to work with good jobs and rising incomes.
the president is a nice guy, but we just can't afford him for four more years. >> is he a socialist? >> you know, i prefer to use the term that he's just over his head. >> is that a smart move by the romney campaign, krystal? >> i think that's what he has to do, because frankly, the president is a nice guy and americans like him. on every poll of his likeability, the president rates very well. so attacking him personally i think would go over very poorly. it underscore what is a difficult place mitt romney is in. because the president is so likable and when you like someone, you want to cheer for them, you want to see the best in them. so he's having to walk this line of saying yes, the president is a good guy. but here's where his policies have failed. by the way, the president is doing a little bit of that, too, he said he's doing the same thing about mitt romney, he's a good guy, but learned the wrong lessons from his career. there's a little bit of it going on on both sides, because americans are sick and tired of negative partisan nasty rhetoric that we saw a lot of in 2010 in
particular. >> hey, lary, i'm so out of time. i have to ask quickly with president obama being up by seven points in your state there in virginia, can you give me a quick snap sop sis of why that ? >> the state that has changed the most politically over the past ten years hasn't been florida, texas or california, it's been virginia. the demographic engine of change in northern virginia, and virginia and to a lesser degree, hampton roads, have transformed the state and you'll see it in the fall. >> to words, alex, women and latinos. >> there was an article in the "washington post," i'm looking at it right now. >> krystal ball, and larry sabato, thank you. we'll hear vice president joe biden's comments on gay marriage, coming up. a hollywood mystery, a real-life story of a missing movie executive. police in los angeles are looking for the 20 century fox
employee who disappeared four days ago. and now gavin smith's family is making a public plea for help. >> the mystery began wednesday morning. when movie executive gavin smith didn't show up for work. >> it's so out of character for gavin to just be off the grid. >> chris aaronson is his boss at 20th currentry fox for smith has worked for 18 years. >> he's one of our key players. >> he worked at a office in kalabasas, he managed theaters in oklahoma city. >> he was last seen tuesday and also missing, his black mercedes, similar to this one. >> he's never done anything like this before. >> 57 years old, a married father of three with a successful job. smith's family says they have no idea why he would disappear. his son, a basketball player, at the university of southern california, tweeted, please help me find my dad gavin smith.
more people looking, the better. >> we all miss him. we want him home and we want him home safe. >> so far, investigators aren't saying much. only that they need the public's help. >> do you suspect foul play? >> right now it's a missing person situation. >> the case of a movie executive caught up in a real-life hollywood mystery. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. los angeles. in today's then and now, remembering those who fought in the war that changed the world. here's brian williams on "nbc nightly news" 17 years ago today. >> 20,000 people died on average on each day of world war ii. in europe, the war against the nazis lasted five years, eight months and one week. 50 years ago, monday, the fighting stopped and the celebrating started. today, it resumed. our report from nbc's linda vester in london. >> this day, will bring back
many memories to many people. god bless them all. >> veterans of world war ii, joining the queen mother to celebrate their victory of 50 years ago. 60 heads of state, some former allies, sorm former enemies, toasting peace. a special ceremony for the thousands of americans who died in battle. >> but at last in may 1945, the killing stopped. and the silence of exhaustion settled down over these ancient lands. >> all these years later, a national memorial to those who fought now stands in washington, it was dedicated in 2004. according to the veterans administration, world war ii veterans are dying at a rate of 740 a day. this means approximately only 1.7 million are still alive. out of the 16 million men and women who served our nation. and andy warhol painting of
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it's got what a plant needs. even plant food that feeds them for up to 6 months. you get bigger, more beautiful plants. guaranteed. who's got two green thumbs thanks to miracle-gro? uh, this gal. boom! everyone grows with miracle-gro. taking a look at the week on wall street, the excitement is building for the initial public offering of facebook. the ceo is meeting with potential investors across the country this week, drumming up interest in the company. the new stock should begin trading at the end of the month. the senate resumes work on legislation to stop the interest rate hike on federally subsidized stafford loans. the rate for the loans could double in july.
and an andy warhol portrait of elvis presley will be auctioned this week at sotheby's in new york city. the double elvis is expected to bring in $50 million, wow. that's one of 22 pieces warhol dedicated to elvis. every year, humans around the world produce about five billion tons of trash, a lot of it ends up in the ocean. the great pacific gore badge patch a large concentration of trash, plastic bottles in the pacific ocean between california and hawaii. most of the debris is under the surface, but it can be very harmful to marine life. a new graphic novel called "i'm not a plastic bag" that portrays the pollution of our seas. joining me is jeff corwin, host of abc's "ocean mysteries" we're glad to have you back here. so great to be here, alex. >> this is a really cool book. tell me what is so unique and what stands out about it. >> well, when we've been filming
ocean mysteries which you can see on abc every saturday, right before your show. we've been traveling around the world, it didn't matter how deep we went in the depths of the ocean or how far we went off to remote place. we found trash. everywhere we went. and the impact of marine debris is really a pandemic impacting wildlife and ecosystems around the planet. i wanted to find a story to tell that through our company, jeff corwin connect, we partnered are area, the number one comic and graphic novel producer. and we found the story by rachel hope allison. through this journey, we see this plastic bag find its way from an urban street, as it then becomes incorporated into this great catastrophic mound of trash that's literally poisoning our planet's oceans. >> it's things like a seagull will pick up the trash and care i it further. it's not like people necessary put it directly into the ocean. you have to understand that,
right? >> trash comes from landphils, a big impact today is marine debris. things like fishing lines, fishing nets, tackle. strapping for cargo containers. it adds up. what's shocking is that as americans, we produce about five pounds of nonbiodegradeable waste every day. >> each person? >> each person. that adds up. even though we're 3% of the world's population we produce 40% of the trash. only 3% of that recycled. and garbage like this that we're seeing right there can last for 400 years before it begins to break down. >> i did some volunteering at the monterey bay aquarium at the beginning of my career and i was told that the things that hold the aluminium cans together, the rings. >> exactly. pull those off, cut them up because it might harm the sea life if they swim and you find them, they will put their heads through that. that helps the sea life. but even cutting it up, that's
not doing anything to eradicate the trash. >> that's an excellent point. it's what do we do in our lives, the little changes and the big changes to radically impact the health of our planet's oceans. and there are many things we can do. ultimately, what we learn in this story is that wildlife today is in serious trouble. we just came back from hawaii, filming an "ocean mysteries" we have a remote island, elephant seal working with a monk seal and what we discovered with the monk seal, only 1400 left, were working with noaa, entangled with fishing line and hooks in its mouth. i wanted to have a story that engaged kids and their parents. >> it's an awesome accomplishment. i'm so glad you came to talk about it i'm not a plastic bag, there it is. all good. jeff corwin, so good to see you. thank you. now number four of our first
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denise baloney is a reporter for the "orlando sentinel" thanks for joining me. two more band members turn themselves in friday. regarding the charges in this case, why manslaughter? why aren't they going with murder here? >> well the state attorney's office is telling us that the just don't have the information to prove something more serious. i mean obviously the family is very upset. they're very disappointed in this. but the state attorney's office, they say we're going to go with hazing because you know, florida has a very strict hazing statute. it's, we have felony hazing. and you know, considering the complexity of the case, they've decided to go after felony hazing. because they have to prove two things, they've got to prove there was a death and robert champion is dead and they've got to prove that there was hazing involved. i think that they don't think they're going to have a hard time proving those two things. >> robert champion died back in november. here we are in may. what's taking so long to bring
justice here? >> well, it's like i said, it's a complex case, a lot of the experts and scholars that we talked to are telling us that you know, i've got a bus full of people on that night on november 19th. you've got you know, by some accounts, more than 20 people. students and alumni who may or may not have participated in some way, so it's going to take a long time to figure out not only the details of what happened that night, but who did what, and then try to find out you know, using witnesses who may or may not have completely different stories. >> you bring up something. because police say there's still one felony suspect at large. described as a lone female. why hasn't she been identified, what's the role that police think that she played? >> we don't know yet. they're not telling us a lot of information. a you will we know is that for some reason she has not come forward or has not been arrested. we're checking regularly.
but we don't know what role. all we can assume is that you know, she, she was one of the 11 who apparently played one of the, one of the more severe roles or dealt some of the more severe blows in that hazing. >> denise, quickly, has hazing been a problem on florida a&m campus? >> as far as we know, we have, you know, we understand it's been a problem for a number of years. parents, students, a lot of people have come forward and complained for a long time. trying to get the university to be more aggressive. and the university police department has been investigating this for a number of years. >> let's hope they do something about it, because otherwise it is shameful. thank you very much. office politics, part three with war journalist sebastian junger, why he says he's decided to stop covering wars. [ male announcer ] we asked real people if they'd help us with an experiment
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good day, everyone and welcome to "weekends with alex witt," it's 1:00 on the east coast, 10:00 a.m. out west. we'll get to what's happening out there as new details in a developing story. we're tracking this out of churchill downs, where police are investigating a murder less than a day after the kentucky derby. investigators say the body of an unidentified hispanic man was found lying in a barn in the back side of the track, just yards from where the winning horse was being kept. michelle sigona joins us with more. who found this victim this morning? what are police doing to identify this person? >> reporter: well i spoke with alicia smiley from the from the louisville police department. churchill security called 911 to say they found a body.
the body as you mentioned was on the back side, inside barn number 8. this is an area that's accessible by employees and workers, and when investigators arrived, they did find evidence there, which led them to suspect foul play and that's why this is a homicide investigation. >> have they given you any heads up as to what the evidence is? >> no, butky tell you investigators are out there today, interviewing employees, interviewing workers, interviewing anyone that may have information that was on or near the track overnight. i can tell you from what, from what mrs. smiley had told me was that there are workers that are there overnight. so it's possible that someone may be saw or heard something, especially inside barn number 8. i want to make it clear this was not inside of a stall where a horse was kept. this is actually inside of the barn. >> okay. and the fact that you've not given us a cause of death, leads me to believe that they're not
releasing that information? >> exactly. here's what will happen. the body has been taken to the medical examiner's office, the autopsy will be performed tomorrow. and if they need more, obviously it will be sent away for toxicology reports. toxicology takes four to six weeks to determine more about the cause of death. so that's something to take into consideration. also as of right now, no arrests, no suspects. churchill downs, the main area is open to the public today. so again, this is on the back side portion. where a lot of the employees go. >> okay. and lastly, we mentioned this was very close to the place where the winning horse, i'll have another was kept. is will any connection here? just not too sure right now. the cause of death again, unknown, we do know it's an hispanic male. i can tell you that from what i've learned, is that they're pretty certain this is not a jockey. but not sure if it's an employee or not. so you know that's another sort
of key piece of clue to this. also i asked any missing persons reports filed, you know between last night and right now, and i was told no new missing person reports have been filed. so it's possible maybe them some idea who the person is, they've reached out to the family. i'm sure as the day progresses and as the hours tick away, we will know more about this person and how they died. >> okay. michelle sigona, many thanks. we're going to go now to the a battle for the white house, six months, voters are heading to the polls. today on "meet the press," vice president joe biden said voters have to remember the bad economy the president inherited. >> this is the greatest recession in the history of america short of a depression, and if these guys would get out of the way, for example, had they passed our jobs bill, all the experts said it would have created two million more jobs. two million more jobs. >> nbc's viquiera at the white house for us. good sunday to you, mike.
what's the latest on all this? >> reporter: it's interesting, everybody agrees, even the candidates will agree and their campaigns, that the election is going to boil down to economic issues. we saw the unemployment rate just tick down to 8.1%, a mixed message on friday about that. today, alex, a dust-up over one of the social issues and perhaps the biggest social issue of all, one of the biggest wedge issues, and that is gay marriage. the president opposes gay marriage. that has been his long-time policy. although he has recently said, that his thoughts are quote evolving on that. well david gregory, the host of "meet the press" pressed joe biden on that today. he said something that people are interpreting a little bit different from what the president are saying. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying each other are entitled to the same act rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties and quite frankly i don't see much of a distinction beyond that.
>> and today, the human rights campaign, the largest and most influential gay rights organization here in washington put out a statement lauding the vice president's comments. but white house officials, campaign officials are pushing back a little. david axelrod, the president's senior adviser tweeting that there's no daylight. this is something that has been precisely the president's position and the vice president's office telling us on background that the vice president was expressing that he, too, is evolving on the issue after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country. so it promises to be a bit of a controversy over the coming days here, alex. >> it's interesting to see the way he is evolving on that thank you for sharing all of that on "meet the press." now to front-page politics, with me christina belantoni, political director for pbs political hour. i'll begin with you, i want to play a clip of president obama announcing his candidacy back in 2007 and then his announcement
this weekend. here it is. >> that is why in the shadow of the old state capital, where lincoln once called on a house divided to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, i stand before you today, to announce my candidacy for president of the united states of america. >> we have to move forward. to the future we imagined in 2008. where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share. that's the choice in this election. and that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> i'm not going to ask you how this looks a little different, all we can say is a little more gray in the hair to be expected in what ways does this feel different for president obama? and what are the similarities? >> well, the similarities are the screaming, you know crowds,
the people taking a lot of pictures there is still a lot of enthusiasm, you can argue about crowd counts there are people that are excited about this man running for a second term. but what you see a lot of different things, the president is talking about the things he's been able to accomplish in his administration, things that his supporters are going to like. but he's also having to make the argument that hay, remember i told you change wouldn't be easy. change wouldn't happen quickly. he has to make an argument blaming the republicans by setting up that contrast. that's politically what he's found himself needing to do. so it's very interesting for example the words he chose to use yesterday. he said, the republicans who have been in charge of congress for the past few years. that's an interesting point. the republicans have been in charge of house for 16 months, but certainly the democrats have controlled the senate this whole time. and we all remember there was a democratic super majority in both chambers. he has to be very careful of the way he portrays these things. the republicans haven't blocked all of his agenda.
it's only a year and a half they've been in charge of one chamber. >> does it all come down to this? here's vice president biden, as well as marco rubio, boat bot from this morning. >> look, we've created 4,250,000 jobs. last month's job numbers have been re-evaluated, up to 150,000. this goes up and down, but there's been a path, 26 months straight employment gain, private employment. >> will the campaign ultimately come down to the competition between two messages on jobs and the economy? >> i think yes and no. i mean if this were strictly an election on the economy, i think the president would have some down side and he's still at 8:00, although the upside is that the trajectory is going in the right direction and people do feel like things are getting somewhat better. what's interesting is that the framing that the president was making yesterday, is he is essentially the backstop against republicans come back and doing to the economy what they did before. whereas previously this was an argument against george w. bush,
if you notice, this is an argument against congress. the president is running against congress, saying they are the hand maidens of wall street, the rich big corporations who want to go back to doing what they did before. he's essentially reduced mitt romney to sort of a nonentity, a rubber stamp for this congress that he's saying, they're the reason we haven't created more jobs, they're the reason things aren't better than they and they want to go back to hurting the middle lass. >> the first couple, having michelle obama join president obama at the rallies this weekend. here's what some of what michelle obama said in ohio. >> if we want to keep on moving forward, then we need to work our hearts out for the man that i have the pleasure of introducing here today. are you ready? it is my privilege to introduce my husband, and our president, president barack obama. >> so with all that energy, how much concern is there in the
romney camp that they're not going to be able to match that? >> well, i'm sure the romney campaign sees those big crowds and sees a lot of the enthusiasm and recognizes the president has the bully pulpit and a lot of resources and recognizes it's going to be close race. they've got to keep an optimistic attitude to be able to forge their path in battleground states, i want to point out something about the first lady's speech. two interesting things, the first she focused on her family and the middle class message they're trying to get at. saying her father was proud to responsibly pay his bills. that's a message exactly that the tea party and the people worried about the deficit, and the other thing was she very specifically asked, we need you to work at least once a week for this campaign. you can show that one vote can make a difference. that's exactly what the campaign needs to do. >> she's talking about voter registration. to that i want to ask you, joanne, as i look in this article in the "washington post," voter registration is down among hispanics and blacks. put it into context. >> it's very important for the
president, he's obviously winning those groups, young voters, african-americans, hispanics, these are constituencies romney has not been able to make inroads into, which is single white women. they need turn-out, they need the percentages, they need to get the same level of turn-out. it will be a push in terms of increasing voter registration and trying to counterbalance against the really tough economic hit the groups have taken to make sure they get out in the numbers they did before. that's what the president needs for his re-election. >> joanne reed and christine bellentoni, inks a pleasure. lawyers in the 9/11 case are speaking out. the detainees knelt in prayer, ignored the judge and would not listen to arabic translations. one of the attorneys wore islamic headdress in court and explained that decision today. >> i dress that way when i meet with my client at all times. he's never seen me dressed like this and it's out of respect for his cultural and religious beliefs.
and i dress like that in court because that is what is required of me. >> nbc's national investigative reporter, michael isikoff is in guantanamo bay with the latest. michael, good morning to you. >> hi, alex. at guantanamo bay it was a difficult day for a military judge and a painful one for the families of the 9/11 victims. accused mastermind, khalid sheikh mohammed and his four co-defendants were formally arraigned in a military courtroom here on charges that they plotted the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people more than a decade ago, mohammed and his co-defendants were defiant, repeatedly refusing to answer the judge's questions or even put on headsets so they could hear translations of what he had to say. one of the co-defendants, ramsey bin al shibh stood up and shouted disrupting the proceedings, suggesting guards and guantanamo were trying to kill him. but the judge moved the case forward and agreed to a defense to hear a defense motion that
would delay the trial for up to a year. meanwhile, the defense lawyers today held a press conference, suggesting that their clients' behavior was peaceful resistance to what they said was their torture by the u.s. government and unjust military commission system that seeks to put them on trial. alex? >> all right. thank you. a short time ago, a 9/11 family member who attended yesterday's terror atrainment spoke out. eddy bracken lost his sister in the attacks and said he remained in guantanamo bay today to share his thoughts with the media. >> it brought up 9/11. i mean i was in my job and i'm watching the plane go into the second building and i didn't know that was my sister's building. i knew she worked down there, i didn't know what floor, exactly. and then when i found out, you know, when the towers fell down, i thought, i got to go see my sister. yeah, if i had them in a corner, i would take a couple of them and do whatever i got to do.
yeah i'm really, i'm hurt. but i've been doing this for ten years of living it day in and day out and i'm going to do that the rest of my life. they're complaining and our families can't complain no more. because they took their lives, they took my sister's life. i wouldn't care if they were on a bed of nails. you know what i mean? but it's our justice system. and they have rights as of right now. and whatever the due course is and how the process works, eventually they're going to either be in jail for the rest of their lives or they're going to be dead. >> the impassioned words of eddie bracken who lost his sister, lucy fishman on september 11th. for reaction from other family members, go to our website, msnbc.com. up next, sex, lies and bunny money. what next can we expect from the john edwards trial? and office politics, renowned
we are moving into week three of the john edwards' criminal trial and wow does this have all the ingredients of a courtroom drama. we've got sex, we've got lies, we've got political scandal. all of this possibly covered up with campaign cash. so guess who we're bringing in right now? news woo newsweek and daily beast correspondent diane. i know you've been covering this. you wrote about something interesting on friday, the jury hearing from this interior designer who said he funneled
the secret checks that were worth like three-quarters of a million dollars. what's that about? >> wouldn't you like to have friends like john edwards had friends? he got almost $1 million from two people, the octogenarian, almost 102 years old, bunny mellon and fred baron, who is, was before he passed away, a texas billionaire. the big question for this jury is, did john edwards spend that money to hide his mistress, to keep the bad us from his wife or to help keep his presidential campaign going. that's the big question for the jury in my opinion. >> the question will be answered by the testimony of john davis, were people to find him credible. he's a former aide and traveling companion to in other words. i john edwards. >> are you talking about andrew young? >> john davis and the information he said, andrew young as well. >> uh-huh. you know, look, a lot of people
think that this is a case of john edwards versus andrew young, the one who wrote the book about him. i think it's more than that, we've heard from john davis, we've heard from several former staffers to john edwards, that he lied to them about the affair. that he manipulated people. that he just was not an honest, truthful guy. you know, it isn't just andrew young who was the lead-off witness, it's all of the other witnesses who come since that. but i have to say, we've only heard prosecution's case so far. the defense could start as early as this friday. >> so what is it? is it a cumulative effect you see? you're inside the courtroom. can you look at the jurors' faces? can you get any read, diane, as to how they're interpreting all of this information? >> well you know i learned a long time ago, covering these trials, you don't try to read the jury. but they do seem very attentive, there's a former accountant. there is a financial adviser. there's a vice president of a corporation.
but there's also policemen and mechanics and the human resources person on the jury. and so i think it may wind up being more a decision they make about personalities that they're seeing here. and a lot less to do with the intricate little details of the election law. which by the way, is not even the election law today. it's what it was back then in 2006 and '7. >> a point they'll have to consider. "newsweek" and "daily beast" correspondent. thank you very much. the full moon was dubbed super moon last night. it passed about 15,000 miles closer to the earth than normal. even so, we should remind you it was about 221,000 miles away. next year's super moon will just be a little bit further away. last night was the night. [ male announcer ] with six indulgently layered desserts,
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40,000 people attended the official opening ceremony for the new main olympic stadium. the stadium is ready, how about the athletes? well joining me is one of the guys who going to represent the united states and be in that staed yim, this is olympic wrestler, jake herbert. you know what's so cool about this as i welcome you. jake told me it's the first time he's ever had makeup on. he's coming to do interviews. he just made the olympic team, that happened april 22nd. >> yes. >> you're going on the tour and talking about it you've been wrestling since you were ten years old. you qualified in the 84-kilo class. what does this mean? >> it's amazing. to wrestle for the united states, to have a dream like this, and you know, not just ten years of hard work, we're talking 17 years of dedication, hard work, i mean wrestling is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle. everything i eat, ever i do, going into the dream. to have it all come to fruition right now is awesome. it's, like i said, the goal is a goal now. >> total focus. >> yeah. >> you won't be happy with
anything less? come on, it's going to be an amazing experience. >> i didn't train for a silver medal, i trained for a gold. that's where my blood, sweat and tears and what i sacrificed my life for. >> you're so determined, it's true. you moved to michigan because you wanted to train with one specific club that had several of the wrestlers there all qualify for the olympic trials. >> the coach had a club in neighborerville in chicago. a couple of us moved there, no pay, fund raise on our own. he called the university of michigan, put it together and now we have the cliff keene wrestling club. which helps support my wrestling and everybody else's there. >> what do you know about your competitors? >> i know one, they'll be afraid to wrestle me. i'm in shape, i go hard. six-minute matches isn't long enough for me, and it's too long for them. i'm excited to go out there and show them what i have. >> if you have anything to do
anything different between now and when the games get going. is it a special kind of training? >> if you take let's say a football player's hardest day workout they've ever had, you multiply it by about six or seven, and then you add in all the injuries and if i would break my hand, i'm still going to wrestle. it's a lot of maintenance, i've had surgery, surgery. broken hands, broken, slipped discs, all that stuff. it's a brutal sport. but you do it for the love of it and when you get an opportunity to win an olympic gold medal, if they want to win the gold, they have to kill me to take that. >> wow. so if you have an olympic gold medal around your neck at the end of the games -- >> when. >> when you do. i got to get this all right. when he wins, okay, what does that mean for your life, going forward? i mean other than being identified always as an olympic gold medalist? >> it's huge. one i'm an olympic gold medalist for the greatest country in the world. i got to represent the united states of america, which
personal favorite, my favorite, favorite country ever, will always be. and i don't even know how you can explain. it means i've reached the pinnacle of my sport. i want to be a national champion in college, i got that. i want to be an.i got that. that's the top of the sport, the best you can get for wrestling and that's what i want to do. >> you're going to have all your fans from northwestern university where you went. and i have the coolest picture, can i show everybody. it's signed already from a future gold medalist. i'm going to keep this. best of luck to you, jake herbert, i know you're going to do really well. >> you can follow me on twitter and i got a lot of help, a lot of pittsburgh stuff going on. >> all right. >> usa. >> thank you very much. nbc, the home of the summer olympics, it begins with the opening ceremonies on july 27th and we'll be right back. bobby. it's me marty.
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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. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team.
today the friend of a blind chinese dissident says chen guangcheng is in good spirits as he waits permission to leave the u.s. he became a civil rights symbol in china for exposing forced abortions and sterlizations and recently escape house arrest. taking refuge at the u.s. embassy, sparking a tussle between the two countries. joining me is lawyer, columnist and author of "the coming collapse of china." gordon. if china let's chen go free, what does the move say to other activists? is that why they would never have considered doing this before now? >> yeah, certainly they would be inspired, but they already are inspired. you have the story of a blind man who breaks free house arrest. travels to the heart of chinese power, manages to get himself into the u.s. embassy and what he's doing is he's saying, this is the great escape. that's what chinese people are saying. a number of others are saying, it's not a great escape.
the security forces are incompetent and when people don't fear a regime, you know what happens next. >> what do you mean, the concern about social unrest now? >> the concern about social unrest and the stability of the regime. that's why i think chinese leaders view this as an extension threat because chen can inspire people. >> what happens when the government tries to clamp down. is that what happens next? >> they would like to. the obama administration is working hard to get him out and the other thing we need to do is protect his mother and brother, back in shandong province. and all the dissidents who helped him get to beijing. >> if gordon, something we to happen, some act of retribution against his family, it would be obvious the how mu. >> the chinese government don't care about the mother or brother or what we think. what they care about is what the
chinese people think if they can show that they're coercive, that is very important message that they want to convey. >> if you're talking about that, and being coercive and the like, if they don't really care what we think, how much does that place a strain on our relationship? >> well our relationship is strained. and it's going to get worse. because there are a number of irreconcilable differences, we differ on north korea, we differ on iran and a lot of other things. we can sometimes push the chinese in better directions, but nonetheless, we're getting down to some very core issues here. and human rights, there's no compromise on this. >> what happens if he is allowed to leave? do you expect, the word is that he will be. is that a fait accompli now? >> maybe not a fait accompli, but i think it will be weeks, i hope that i'm wrong on that and that it's sooner. but you know, this is going to be important for the regime because it depends on how the chinese people are going to view it one thing that chen wanted to stay, he wanted to be a force for change in his society.
he knows if he leaves, he'll be marginalized along with other dissidents who have left china. >> will he be allowed to return if he does leave? >> they haven't let other dissidents return except of course when the people's republic fails then he'll go back to a free china. >> well, the reason they wouldn't let him come back, why? throngs of adoring followers? >> yes. they don't want to destabilize society and there's already a lot of protests in china now. they don't want to add another factor in the mix. >> well gordon chang thanks very much. ballots are dropping in france at this hour. voters sentiment holds up in today's run-off, president nicolas sarkozy will be out of a job, socialist candidate, fran choice hollande beat nicolas sarkozy in last month's first round of voting. many blame sarkozy for the joblessness throughout the country. part three of my conversation with author, film maker and war correspondent, sebastien junger. his journalist partner and very
close friend, tim hetherington, was killed just over a year ago while covering libya. he died minutes from getting help and sebastian tells us how that motivated him to prepare other journalists out on the front lines. >> tim and i became very, very close friends, brothers in a sense, colleagues in afghanistan. and then in the years afterwards, as we made "restrepo" and promoted the movie and wound up with the oscars. it was an amazing collaboration. some weeks after that, we were supposed to go to libya to cover the war. and i couldn't go for personal reasons. tim went on his own. and then on april 20, of last year i got the awful news that he had been killed by a mortar fired by gadhafi forces in the city of misrata. >> the day that he died, i decided i would not cover war any more, i was out, i was done. i'm 50 years old. i think there comes a point in your life where you have to stop
scaring people who love you. with your actions. tim bled out. he died of loss of blood if an arterial bleed in his groin. i found after his death there are things you can do medically to prevent that. and had the journalists around him known what to do and been equipped for it, they might have been able to slow down the blood loss enough to get him to a hospital. tim died just minutes from a hospital where they could have saved his life. so the first thing that i did was try to figure out how to start a medical training program for freelancers almost everyone on the front line is freelance, how could i start a medical training program for freelancers that might have saved tim's life or that will save the life of the next tim. >> which resulted in r.i.s.c. training.org. what's the reaction been? >> we're all freelancers. most of the combat reporting is being done by freelancers,
they're absorbing most of the casualties. the point of it is, how do you stabilize someone in the first, those first crucial few minutes, three, four, five minutes, reduce the loss of blood, clear the air passageway. how do you do that in a battlefield situation and then get them to medical help where they can really be treated. >> can you do it without having special equipment to do that? >> when tim and i were in at restrepo, the medic spent a day training us in, he gave us basically a combat medical kit. he trained us how to use it. in case one of us was hurt. it's just a matter of buying time for like ten, 15 minutes. >> you've been compared to earnest hemming way, many say you are this generation's earnest hemingway. how does that make you feel? >> he mostly wrote fiction, he's known for his fiction and i
think he's a brilliant fiction writer and i think he deals with a lot of themes of masculinity and confused masculinity. in a really powerful way. i've never written, i really have never written fiction, i've never written a novel. so i'm not quite sure where the comparison is coming from. i think it's something about you know, my prose style is quite sort of clean and simple. i think there's a little bit of that in the comparison, my themes tend to be, i don't know, for sort of masculine themes for lack of a better word. so i think that's where the comparisons come from. it's very flattering. i don't think it's entirely apt, but it's very flattering. >> how about the book "a death in belmont." i find it fascinating that you think the man who could have been the boston strangler may have worked in your home. >> al disalva went on to confess to being the boston strangler.
the case never was completely resolved. because there was no way to test dna back then and his confessions were pretty believable. and he worked in my home when i was six months old. he was a carpenter and he worked for my parents, building an addicti addition to a house. >> there's a picket of him somewhere. >> at the end of the job, my mother is holding me in her arms, i'm a very young baby, and he's standing behind her, along with another carpenter, an old guy from maine, and al is standing behind my mother, with just this, he had these enormous strong hands, it was right placed on his chest, right behind my mother's head. >> you can see his hand. >> right behind my mother's head. just this enormous hand is the center of the photo. if you understand what he confessed to doing? it's a really chilling photo. pretty wild, huh? well next week on "office politics" we'll talk with the host of nbc's "meet the press," david gregory as the political season heat up. discuss the latest in the campaign trail and i'm going to
ask david if there's a question he'd like to ask his "meet the press" guests but has never dared to. we'll see what he answers to that. coming up in the big three, why mitt romney's corporations comment from last august may be coming back to haunt him right now. a party? [ music plays, record skips ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. twenty-one vitamins and minerals. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. refreshing nutrition in charge! in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. kiwi. soy milk. impulse buy. gift horse. king crab. rhubarb pie.
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i've seen you, when you get down to it, do republicans love mitt romney or do they just like him, listen to this rather lukewarm support that romney is getting from fellow republicans, even those who have endorsed him, like newt gingrich. >> you still believe mitt romney's a liar. >> i still believe that the romney campaign said things that weren't true. they knew weren't true. >> is mitt romney a liar. >> the governor said things at times that weren't true. >> this reminds me of going to a surgeon, right? if i've got a terrible cancer or something to be operated on. when i had to be operated on for prostate cancer. i didn't go to the nicest doctor, i went to the best doctor. >> mitt is not a perfect candidate. he has a number of problems, it's hazard for blue collar family like mine to identify with him. it's hard for economic conservatives to identify with him. he needs to do more to reach out to the latinos. >> autu all of these armstrongs sound like they're qualified. how worried should the romney
camp be. >> he's an alienating factor for some reason. something goes on in the locker room and everybody walks out not likinging him. but they like everybody else. they hold their nose and tolerate him. to them it's not really about mitt romney. it's about defeating what they consider the most radical person who has ever occupied the white house, in recent memory, and that's president barack obama. they will support romney because they have to do that. they will try to unify the party. they would prefer another candidate. he certainly doesn't have the conservative bona fides. no one knows what he believes in he's always running away from his record. but he's all we got and that's what you got to go to the polls with this fall. >> here's what newt gingrich had to say about mitt romney on today's "face the nation." >> i'm going to campaign for him. i favor him over obama and i went like through seven different issues where i favor him. i'll do everything i can to help elect romney. to help the senate and the house republicans. i'm not sure what an endorsement means beyond that. >> so does romney really need
any more than that from his fellow republicans? >> not, not really, not from somebody like newt gingrich and i think really, his competitors' reluctance to embrace him is pretty emblematic of the republican party at large. a lot of these activists are not excited about mitt romney. it's a fact, very reflective of what's going on in the grassroots, but they hate barack obama. i think there will be energy and passion on the republican side, it's not going to be for their own nominee. it's going to be against the president and that's going to be enough to get them pretty close, actually. i think they'll need to focus less on the newt gingrich camp and more on independent votes, those are the ones that they're going to battle over between obama and romney. otherwise the republicans are going to vote for him. they're just not going to love it when they do it. >> do you think republicans will rally around him ultimately because he's the only choice they have? >> all of these endorsement clips you've been showing me more of one of those weak deadfish handshakes than a rally
cry for the candidate. but romney has two problems here. one is that he has a major enthusiasm gap even within his party. sure people on his side of the aisle may not like the president, but they're not excited about him, either. and that doesn't get you out to the polls, out door-knocking, raising money. and the second is the conservative candidates who he wants their support, he wants their endorsement to help with this enthusiasm gap, they also have positions that are out of the mainstream and that's problematic for him as well. >> armstrong, i move on to the fight over a simple question, are corporations people. as you know, mitt romney famously said they were now barack obama is going after him for that statement. let's listen to that statement. >> i was in iowa the other day and someone said, why don't you raise taxes on corporations. and i said, because corporations are people. raising taxes on corporations is raising taxes on people. >> i don't care how many ways you try to explain it, corporations aren't people. people are people. >> the obama camp clearly thinks it has an opening to attack
romney here. armstrong, is it right? >> you know, it's just politics. go back to the supreme court ruling in this case, when it ruled that corporations have a right to spend as much as they'd like on these elections. and obviously, you know, it's just semantics, obviously corporations are corporations and people are people. everybody understands this. >> this is just politics as usual. but it's going to take much more than that. i hope the president does not underestimate romney. because romney has spent the last two years debating republicans underestimate romney because romney has spent two years debating and president obama has not. he may be an underdog, but president obama has a lot of problems he's addressed between here and november. >> what do you think of this, jan? is it just a night over semantics and do you worry as
well about the white house making hey omak making hay out of something that maybe was misspeaking, maybe it was a certain qualificatioquali. >> this is a statement in a long laundry list of statements mitt romney has made that show he's out of touch with the challenges people are facing. more importantly, nothing about his record or policies contradict this statement or the perception of him that he's out of touch whether it's fighting for tax cuts to the highest income or supporting a budget plan that would dramatically cut head start. that's the issue and that's what the race is about. >> okay. sit tight. patricia, you're first after the break. coming back with the mid three. a grateful 9/11 family member who thanks president obama for killing osama bin laden. [ female announcer ] got a bad odor in your high-efficiency washer? clean it with tide washing machine cleaner.
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i would like to thank you and shake your hand for doing your job. as an american and as our president and showing the world that you will bring the fight to their doorstep if terrorists are harbored by any country. that's what i call a commander in chief in my book. >> that was eddie. [ -- bracken who lost his sister in 9/11. joining us, are republicans wrong to criticize president obama for citing the killing of osama bin laden as an accomplishment? >> i think the reason it's a mistake for republicans is they keep reminding americans that president obama killed osama bin laden with the direction of the navy seals. it reinforces one of his best accomplishments throughout his presidency. when you look at his approval ratings, not strong on the economy. has a lot of areas of weakness. foreign policy he's well over
60%. the american people give him credit and the credit is due. he made the call and the seals did it. >> he's not spiking the football on the issue, yet the obama campaign released a video about the decision to get bin laden. can you see why some republicans might consider it spiking the football? >> no one can take away the accomplishments the president had on national security whether it's killing bin laden, ending the war in iraq, repairing relationships in the world. this is about courage and leadership. there is a contrast between him and a between mitt romney. i think he has every right to talk about it, as does the campaign. >> armstrong, come november, how big a factor is this topic? won't voters think about jobs and the economy first and foremost? >> it is the president's only accomplishment in the white house. he deserves the credit. but as president he should share the credit and should not use it in the campaign where he tells
the american people romney would not have acted with courage and made a decisive decision. that's the yush. not the fact that anyone's taking his credit. he's not willing to share it and now will exploit it in a campaign ad. people see it as un-american. we should be united states, not divided. >> i wasn't able to see particularly jen's face during that comment, but that will be a wrap now. thank you armstrong, jen and patricia. that's it, everyone. do stay with us for headline updates and breaking news. up next, "meet the press." have yourselves a great day. i'll look for you next week. [ clang ] my house is where plants came to die. ♪ but, it turns out all i was missing was miracle-gro potting mix. it's got what a plant needs. even plant food that feeds them for up to 6 months. you get bigger, more beautiful plants. guaranteed.
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