tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC May 13, 2012 10:00am-12:00pm EDT
50-year-old romney story. and you can't raise children from behind bars where too many mothers are. first, as popular opinion turns to same sex marriage, politicians are scrambling to get with the times because they know what happens if they don't. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. i was going to start the show with a different story today. i thought we had heard both sides of the same sex marriage issue. then yesterday mitt romney, who could have given a speech about his love of family and his plans for the economy added this remark, and drew a line in the sand. >> as fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate from time to time, so it is today with the enduring institution of marriage, marriage is a relationship between one man and
one woman. >> did you hear that reaction by the audience? and given the reaction by the audience to romney, would president obama's mid week announcement be enough for those on the side of equality? at the same time, romney was speaking to students in lynchburg, virginia. the first lady was giving her own commencement address in greensboro, north carolina. >> i know that all of you know the story of the greensborough for and how they changed the course of our history. but since we have the nation watching, let's talk a little bit. >> so both romney and the first lady spoke the same week that north carolina voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage again. but her speech was in north carolina, not virginia, and the state is important, but so is the fact that she mentioned the
greensboro four. those were the four students that sat at a restricted woolworth lunch counter in 1960 and stood up against segregation. they launched the movement for civil rights in the united states. through the use of history, the first lady reminded us that equality isn't for some, it's for everyone. and some republicans are starting to get the hint. sort of. even before yesterday's speeches in a leaked memo, a top republican polster urged his party to take a different stand on same sex marriage, saying as people who pronote personal responsibility, family valleys, stability and emphasize freedom and limited government, we have to recognize it means freedom for everyone. this includes freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing. the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government. while the tone is for limited government, it is also a wakeup call for the party to embrace
the rising tide of support for marriage equality and stop making the love lives of some part of public political discourse versus a basic private right. with me at the table, and thee a butler, professor from university of pennsylvania. michael tomorrow as ski. thanks to you all for being here. yesterday mr. romney certainly had the option to ignore the same sex marriage question. it wasn't an interview, it was a speech. he decided to draw a line in the sand. what are the politics of this decision? >> well, i think first of all, they're internal intrarepublican and intraconservative politics as far as concerns what he said there yesterday. he was speaking to a skeptical audience, an audience that doesn't think a member of his church, lds church, i think i read they officially teach it is a cult. so he had some persuading to do. of course had he to say that.
notice he said one man and one woman, so they wouldn't get any ideas he meant one man and four women. >> there certainly is at least i come from a tradition includes on the maternal line mormons going back, including members of the lds, a great great grandfather in prison for polygamy when it became illegal in the u.s. i am always a little anxious about the issue of plural marriage with lds identity. that said, it certainly is for evangelicals, particularly in the south who romney is going to need, that issue of marriage and sort of what do you mean when you say traditional marriage is on their minds. what else do you think is likely to occur, beyond the lds question. same sex marriage, we are at 53% support, 52, 53 support among americans. >> you can see how uncomfortable he was this week, romney talking about this. it looked like he was like this
is the last thing i wanted to happen. i really need to talk about the economy, not about marriage. he has to walk a gentle line. yesterday when he said this at liberty, that was for the shocked troops of evangelicals to say you can vote. it was also a signal to the rest of the party, i am going to say this once, i don't want to say it again, can we move off this topic. that's the biggest crowd he probably speaks to until republican national convention. it is important to have said it. now he has to quickly move off it. >> pander. >> pander. what he is going to do also is to emphasize what was in the memo, freedom piece. that's crucial to do. if you look at the republicans, they want freedom from government, but at the same time they're trying to legislate everyone's morality. >> let's take some sound from santorum who was making argument he should go, you know, right in on the marriage equality, not pander and pivot but make it a
vehicle. >> this is a very potent weapon if you will for governor romney if he is willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of america, and hopefully governor romney will continue to stand tall for his position on this issue. >> out of touch? 53% of americans support marriage equality. why would the president be the one out of touch? >> 53% of americans voted for rick santorum, i don't think he would be saying the american public was out of touch. there's nothing quite like the study of people cheering for bigotry. it is quite compelling. >> at a religious institution. >> right, after that memo has gone out talking about freedom. i was born and raised in australia, and marriage equality is not reality in australia yet, but this week there were rallies
all around australia in favor of marriage equality. at one of those, someone stood up and said if it is good enough for the leader of the free world, it is good enough for us. >> makes a difference for him to have just taken that stand. >> absolutely does. you talk about inter party values, impact beyond the republican party, not just beyond the republican party, beyond america, this is to paraphrase the vice president, a big deal. >> the first lady in greensboro, north carolina, after that amendment vote, it is historically a black college, and saying, invoking greensboro four, scott hall, invoking that civil rights narrative. she didn't say and gay marriage and marriage equality, but certainly there's no way you can stand in north carolina invoke the greensborough four and not be talking about it.
>> good point. the north carolina story, people want to say the african-american community are going to vote against gay marriage and that hasn't always been the case. that was a mixed bag last week. you had naacp coming out, other pastors wanted to get rid of this amendment. i think what's important, there's a subtle message you have to see civil rights are about everybody, not one cause. we all need to be civil and fight for each other's civil rights. >> it is about courage to stand up there and do that. she has been in many ways the kind of ambassador to african-american communities for the obama administration, quite a stand for her to take. >> courage and courage what the president did. we should say that, we haven't said it, that's big courage. it is 53%, but 53% isn't a massive majority. you really don't know how this is going to play out. i suspect santorum is exactly
wrong for this reason. romney has a more nonmainstream position, more than obama. he is against civil unions. romney is in favor of he says, we don't know if this is an etch a sketch romney position, but he says he does support a constitutional amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman. that's quite extreme. i suspect that even as risky as obama has played this, as risky as he played it, when they get to debate in october, he will show voters in the middle that romney's position is more extreme. >> glad you brought us to the constitution. that's where we're going to pick up when we come back. how we dis the constitution with defense of marriage talk. also later this hour, what lenore romney and stanley ann
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what if your right to marry, provide for, and protect your family was up for a vote? would that be okay? that's what same sex couples face in the form of different ballot measures and amendments across the country. if your private life shouldn't be up for a vote, neither should anyone else's. back with me, anthea butler from university of pennsylvania, michael tomasky. what killed me about the north carolina piece, it was already illegal for same sex couples to marry, but they talk about the constitution. what kind of violence are we doing to the idea of basic
rights when we don't make it a legislative act but by referendum change constitutions to limit rights of other citizens? >> i think it is chloe's turn. >> what we're talking about is second class citizenship, plain and simple, and that's simply not acceptable. look, i am a straight person, i am an ally. my right to marry has been enshrined since i was 18. the only marriage trouble i face certain grandmothers are hinting. >> time for mother's day to be more exciting. >> i should exercise that sooner than later. we're talking about voting on people's personal lives, yes, but in an incredibly public way. marriage has always been a public expression of a private institution. but that doesn't mean that the public gets a say in what we do in our private lives. >> obviously i felt quite emotional about this in part,
thinking about how enslaved people were kept from being able to marry as a matter of policy. if you're enslaved, biggest problem isn't marriage, biggest problem is fundamental human freedom. the fact people tried to find ways to create marriage in the context of intergenerational channeled slavery tells me marriage must be important. >> what's going on with the african-american community, if you think of post civil war, people looking for each other, looking for the spouse they couldn't get married to, try to find them in the newspapers. >> one of the first thing people did. >> right. looking for each other. then you have the marriage getting enshrined, people from the '20s and '30s getting married. now you say i don't want you to get married because you're in the same sex, the same as interracial marriage was. so you have a vote on somebody's right to be with someone, and it should not be that way.
you cannot just legislate this into a place where you have certain people vote, other people won't. it should be something done in a different kind of space. we didn't do this with civil rights movement. >> i think the good news, melissa, is that despite this passion of this minority, i think the majority of americans are extremely skiddish about messing with the constitution and constitutional amendments. even this flag burning constitutional amendment in the mid 2000s went once to the senate, didn't become law. they may not be constitutional scholars, may not be able to articulate why they feel funny, but people understand if you amend the constitution, you're making a statement, it better be something important and worthy, and it is not this. >> and whenever we amended it, it was always to expand rights. one time to limit rights, that was prohibition and didn't work out well.
>> we got cocktails out of it. >> we got al capone as a result. let's take a look. the fact is it is not a fully partisan issue in the sense that some democrats are not falling in line behind the president, especially those that are facing tough re-election bills, as you point out that are skiddish. there are dems like claire mccast gill, jon tester that say i am not sure im's going to get on board with this. >> it is a real problem, in the down ticket races. it won't be a problem in the presidential races. most of the states already have something about no same sex marriage or something. but i think it is going to play as a political issue as opposed to that, used as a wedge issue, so the democrats that are in states that have to sort of hold on do what they have, push back on republican tea partiers, it is hard to step out to say what they think or don't think. it may cut into their votes.
>> will it really be the political issue? it is may. for all of our emphasis, it is may. won't it just be the economy stupid by the time we get to september, october, november? >> i think mostly. i do think some, many probably democratic senatorial candidates have to distance from this. but the white house knows that. i don't think it will be that tricky. it will make for interesting commercials by joe man chen i bet. >> i want us to focus on the idea that we have a question of how important is an executive on leadership. so you said okay, here we are in sydney, people say the leader of the free world, but many pro-life presidents, except for judicial nominations made little attempt to change access to reproductive rights. how much difference does it actually make who is in the white house on this question?
>> there's a difference between power and influence, what we saw obama do this week was exercise his influence, rather than his power. i have been hearing from the lgbt community how it was a personal affirmation, affirmed his personal belief and didn't take any concrete steps. i think it was still, it may have been symbolic, but i think it was still hugely important. obama of all the recent presidents is an incredibly influential president, partly because he has this cool thing going on, but also because people respect him. he uses the bully pull pet quite effectively. >> as does the first lady, which was so nice. up next, we talk about the young mitt romney being a good momma's boy. we dug into the vault. isn't he adorable? ♪ [ male announcer ] american innovation. 29 years ago, it helped us invent the minivan.
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executive, of a popular three term governor, of the secretary of housing and urban development. mitt romney's legacy as his father's son is a key part of the candidate's narrative. but what of the mother? lenore romney also had political ambition, which brings us to this week's mother's day vault. lenore romney ran and loss a race for the u.s. senate in 1970 in michigan. so the nerdland crew dug around archives, found this campaign video from her senate bid. it features a very young mitt romney making the case for mom. >> so many of our senators sometimes become so caught up in the political situation that their answer is made politically before the issue is even brought up. why, you could come out with a new bill, and you could decide down the line how everyone is going to vote, mostly on their political background, which party they're for, but she isn't so aligned to a political ideology or a political side of the spectrum that she can't
analyze the situation and vote in it and work in it completely candidly. >> mother of four, grandmother of 15, devoted family, a full and varied life. yet lenore romney chooses the rough road, the race against very difficult odds for a seat in the united states senate. why? >> i'll be a voice. i know i'm one voice, but everything starts with one, right? i believe there are millions that feel as that i do. i think i can enlist their help. i believe maybe i can be useful. this may be a one term, but i think every woman longs to be pertinent to her age. >> never before has the voice and understanding of a concerned woman been so needed. >> yeah. actually, we still need her. up next, we'll discuss
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president obama's re-election campaign officially relaunched last weekend. as such, the first lady, michelle obama, went about the business of reintroducing the country to her husband. >> we all know what our president stands for, right? [ cheers and applause ] he is the son of a single mother who struggled to put herself through school. >> you see what she did there? reintroducing the president means bringing his mother, ann dunham, back to the forefront. frankly, given how phenomenal she was, i think that's where
she belongs. after lenore romney. back with me, anthea butler from university of pennsylvania, michael tomasky, and ronald scott, author of mitt romney, inside look at the man and his politics. pulitzer prize winner janny scott, contributor to the "the new york times" and "the singular mother." the whole culture is mommy obsessed. saw a time magazine mother with the lactation anxiety, should you let your baby breastfeed until they're president or something. so given our angst about mothers
helping you become what you are going to be, you can see in the governing and ethical policy choices of their sons? >> president obama makes it clear that his choice to go into public service came from his mother, who was an anthropologist, who worked in international development, micro finance, lived half her adult life in indonesia. the country with the largest muslim population in the world. a very unconventional person, but in can you patrioted values about concern for poverty. most valuable thing you could do in life is contribute to helping other people with opportunities that weren't born to them. you see it is clear in the way he chose to live with his marriage and family, completely different from her. she had two husbands, spent a lot of her adult life -- >> not at the same time, correct? >> correct. and he made a very clear choice to root himself in within place,
marry a woman from chicago. in reaction to the constant motion of his childhood. >> she's the cosmopolitan influence that makes him all things american, but she also is probably more influential than the father in making him an international citizen, not literally a citizen, taking him around to the rest of the world. >> absolutely. she took him to indonesia at the age of six. he lived there with her for four years, came back for a different kind of education in the united states. she was always a kind of global person. he often would go to indonesia later to stay with her. they kind of, yes, the world was a more familiar place to them than it is to many americans. >> i feel like ann dunham is clearly unconventional, but lenore romney is more unconventional we might expect given she was a stay at home mom. this senate bid in 1970 was a big deal. >> it is. she is unconventional in the
mormon sense, mixed public life with private life. people say her family, members of the romney family say mitt is more like his mother than he is like his father. they're both very waegt conscious as you can see from pictures of mitt now, looks terrific. his mother is a driver. she has a sharp tongue. mitt has a fairly sharp tongue, sometimes gets him into trouble. she ran for the senate in 1972 when he was a young father just getting started. and there was this incident in the nixon administration when george was secretary of housing and urban development where he was getting beat up by the ehrlich mans of the world, she gets a letter, saying tell the bullies stop beating up on my husband. a self confident person. i think that self confidence
comes out in -- she liked the stage, wanted to be an actress. >> in hollywood. and george chased her to washington, and the family, he married up as it were. all of that dynamic is going on. george is more of a can do, hard charging guy. >> part of what i found interesting, the romney campaign put ann romney out front with the motherhood language, debate between her and hillary rosen about what counts as a real mother, but lenore romney complicates the kind of mom story in some important ways, particularly given that she was pro-choice of a sort. certainly had a stronger stance on reproductive rights, montgomery county one that sounds like romney's original stance as governor of massachusetts, and he said quite openly initially his father's position on civil rights would lead him to be sort of pro-civil rights for gay and lesbian americans. i wonder if part of the reason
we hear less about lenore is her lessons may be counter to the current policy position he is taking. >> you ask a lot of questions there. >> sorry. >> i don't want to be defensive about mitt, i am a journalist and i wrote a book, not his advocate, but the fact of the matter is he probably is going to end up where he was in 1993, vis-a-vis same sex marriage and gay rights and so forth. >> a civil union supporter but not marriage supporter. >> i think so. supreme court rules in favor of same sex marriage, he will look to enforce the law, not overturn it in my judgment, that's my opinion. same is true of civil rights. his dad was an advocate in that area. i think that's a sincere belief on his part, and not one he comes to by unnaturally or politically, it is just there. the mommy controversy came into play because it was raised by the other side.
i don't think this is a model they're pushing as the ideal model. it's a model that worked for them. >> and likeable. if i'm the romney campaign, it is not a bad strategy to put ann romney out front for all of the critiques of mitt, she feels quite likeable. >> it is a model to work for them, not a mormon model. my wife is senior executive of a major company. lots of mormon couples work two jobs, raise kids like everyone else. they had an option to do it a different way. interesting thing about ann is after they got married, she was i think 19 years old when they got married, had a baby a year later, when she got to boston in business school, she went back to harvard extension service and got her degree. that's a mormon model. get married young. don't stop educating. >> keep building education and
family. is this too much throwing the candidates on the couch and psyc psychoanalyzing them or is there something we can learn. >> i don't know if it is throwing them too much on the couch, i was thinking about lenore, i was thinking i want to know more. the problem is i can't seem to map what his personality is. hearing about his mother helps me say here is where this person is. he is probably a little closer to his mom than some of the policies he is saying now, so that gives me a little bit of hope about him in a certain kind of way. i think we know a lot about president obama's mother because she has been so much a part of the story because he has told that story, even though he is telling his father's story, his mother is part of that story as well. what's important is to look at him, see how she shaped him. i always think about her being the anthropologist. that's why he looks at people a
certain way. he studies, wants to see what you're doing, he can figure out how do i understand this society of tea partiers or whatever. >> what i loved that i heard about ann's and throw po logical work from your book, she was less sort of look at all of the cute rights and rituals people do and much more interested in global economic justice, real questions of how do people in a situation of overpopulation and significant poverty make life for themselves. >> that's true. she wasn't an economic anthropologist. she studied village industries. the point anthea makes is interesting. it is true one of her great ethics, people that worked with her, younger people that worked with her told me this, when you look at people, don't judge them. make sure you understand first, and even when you do understand, don't judge. i think that kind of anthropologist curiosity and lack of judgmentalness is something you see in the president.
>> openness to difference. >> absolutely. >> i think it is also interesting i guess that taking them off the couch, maybe putting us or the electorate on the couch, these people in addition to being human beings, they're symbols to the electorate, and they carry certain sets of signifiers with them. it is interesting as different as they are ideology, their backgrounds are different and what the backgrounds represent are different. if you're kind of a traditionalist person, mitt romney's background and upbringing is more appealing to you and comfortable to you. if you have a touch of the nonconformist in you, mitt romney's upbringing is kind of off-putting, and you look at obama's conventional upbringing, that's my guy. americans divide like that. when we think about the candidates, we don't just think about what they will do to social security trust fund, we think of who they are and where they come from.
>> we get invested. i remember the president's grandmother that was key in raising him passed away the day before the election in 2008, and when the then candidate obama stood that night to make that speech, there was a great kind of emotional outpouring among americans for a woman we didn't know, came to know through the very idea that this woman of the greatest generation helped to raise this african-american child, and there was, i don't know, a bit of emotional -- his grandmother doesn't live to see. >> to see the whole thing. think about a day like mother's day, you think of all the mothers in your life, grandmothers, mothers, i think for obama, that's an important moment because you don't see, you see him tear up, but you don't see the rest of the grief that's there. he spent a lot more time with her i'm thinking than with his own mother. so it also brings up all of
these things about how people live today in these extended families and grandmothers are taking care of kids instead of mothers for whatever reason there might be. i also think, too, circling back to lenore a minute, it might be helpful for mitt romney's campaign to start talking about his mother in a certain sense, the whole thing about her being an actress goes back to nancy reagan, gives it up to be with her husband, and then goes out into civic service. that speaks about what women do in the lds church, too. we don't see that. there's a mono lit of what people think is going on. >> when we come back, i want to talk about lds, the symbol that is ann dunham versus the person. later, we talk about mitt romney's high school hunting memories, but i also want to ask more about the moms. [ male announcer ] they were born to climb...
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[ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health. tnchts. it begins with the women that shaped my life. >> my mom loved singing. she used to sing songs from american heritage. >> grew up the son of a single mom. raised two kids by herself with some help by the grandparents. >> my mom would read to us from a book that told the stories of the settling of america. >> she used to wake me up before dawn to study. when i would complain, she would let loose with this is no picnic for me either, buster. >> that's a little of the president and the republican presumptive nominee about their mommas. let me ask you about ann. i have a theory if ann dunham
were still living in the 2008 campaign, it would have been difficult for president obama, then candidate obama, because the image that the campaign created of her was sort of frozen in that 19-year-old moment innocent single mom moment. she was actually more complex, more radical, had that ann dunham been available for interviews, it might have been harder to cast her in that particular rosie glow of the memoir they create of who she is. >> i think there's a lot of truth to that. i wouldn't call her radical, i think she's as used before, unconventional in the american context, but you're right, the president and the campaign in 2008 packaged her in a particular way. she was the white woman from kansas, always coupled i will littively to the black father from enka i can't. single mother on food stamps, died fighting with her insurance
company over her healthcare coverage. in fact, in his book, she comes off as a slightly naive, idealistic young woman, the innocent abroad. the story is far more complicated and i would say far more interesting. she was very tough minded. she had an extraordinary career, something of a path breaker in a country that many americans don't understand, indonesia, a place with the largest muslim population in the world. she works in a micro finance -- >> early years. >> she was in on the ground floor of that. she had a very unconventional romantic life. married an african at a time when two dozen states have laws against interracial marriage. went on to marry an indonesian, took her son to indonesia where a bloodbath went on. over and over makes choices many americans find challenging to
understand. and also she raises this fascinating question, what makes a good mother. she produced a president. and yet she did it in a really -- a way that's not familiar to many of us. it's not actually accurate to say his grandmother spent more time, the first 13 years of his life, he was really with his mother, except for a short period. but yes. >> but she was a critically important. my mother, after i suffered my divorce, my mother helped me raise my daughter until remarried. there's no doubt, my daughter is impacted by me but on a daily basis as well by my mom. let me ask. the obama campaign really did craft a lovely story of ann dunham, one that was accurate if not fully complex, but helped him to reach kind of a broad audience of americans so he could say i'm like you, any
story you have, i am an immigrant, i am from kansas, anything you are, i am. i wonder about mitt romney and mormon identity. and it feels to me as someone that comes from mormon ancestors that there is an opportunity for someone in lds, latter day saints, to craft a narrative of inequality, bullying, being pushed out, of all of the challenges that mormons in america faced as a way of generating a sense of empathy between being a mormon, something a lot of people have negative affect about, but being able to repackage it. i wonder is there any way the romney campaign might be doing a better job talking about lds than it currently is? >> there is. but they have it as one of their strategies, they won't do it, won't talk about mormonism. they're going to keep that off the table. that was the strategy during the primary season. that may change for the general
election because as you say, there are things that recommend him as a president, that mormon background, and the narrative about mormons pushed from ohio, missouri, then because of the government chasing down polygamist fathers, putting them on the lam, colonies got started in new mexico where mitt's father was born and my mother as well, that story really hasn't been told, and it is compelling in its own right, and it will generate, if it is told well and accurately. >> and told by them, right? they want to control it. they don't want it as a "the washington post" or "the new york times" front page path, they want to control it. >> i think so. it has been told in bits and pieces but never been put together as here is our story. i have this massive book at home
of the biographies of the families that lived in mexico, written by descendants. the language isn't particularly good, but it is massive. >> it is one of the things mormons do best, keep family history. >> that's exactly what it is. a big bound volume. >> we don't just get lost in multiple generations later. >> he is in a real pickle, though. i have some sympathy for him. obviously his religious heritage and belief are important to him, a central part of his life, but can't talk about it politically, feels he can't talk about it. now he is in this situation today, who is the more likeable candidate, barack obama or mitt romney, it is 62-30, obama. romney is just getting slayed on this likability question. that suggests he has to do something to tell people something about himself, his biography. he has to tell more of the story who he is. this is the time between capturing the nomination and
convention, at the convention you give the big speech and all that stuff, so he has to do that, but is he going to tell that part of the story? >> yeah. in fact, we'll talk later in the show about the part of the story leaking about his past that he may not want to talk about. thank you, janny scott. i feel like having you here is a gift to my mom for mother's day. she adores the book and story of ann dunham. the rest of you guys stick around. coming up, what the death of trayvon martin means on mother's day up next. time for your business entrepreneurs of the week. ken whiting owns this business on the santa cruz boardwalk. they employ hundreds of high school and college age employees. managing this generation means you have to speak their language. for more, watch your business
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violence. take a look. >> i am sybrina fulton. this will be my first mother's day without my son, trayvon. i know it will be hard, but my faith, family and friends will pull me through. on sunday, i'm going to say a prayer for other mothers across america who share this unbearable pain. just like me, 30,000 mothers lost their children this year to senseless gun violence. nobody can bring our children back. but it would bring us comfort if we can help spare other mothers the pain that we will feel on mother's day, and every day the rest of our lives. i'm asking you to join florida by calling upon the governor of your state to re-examine similar stand your ground laws throughout the nation to keep our families safe. i thank you from the bottom of my heart. happy mother's day.
>> sybrina fulton. courageous and full of grace. thank you for showing us that a mother's work is never done. up next, the high school memories dogging mitt romney's campaign this week. what we're going to try to make of them. you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings for getting a check-up. it's our wellness for life program, with online access to mayo clinic. see the difference at avivausa.com. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you. children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade.
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let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this. welcome back. this week "the washington post" provided a detailed account of his prep school days. doesn't paint a nice picture of the candidate. further biographical details will be welcome, not these details. say what you will about romney's family dog that had to ride on the roof of the car. that's reported cruelty with his peers. at the prestigious tran brook school in detroit, michigan, he
bullied john lobber. he pinned him to the ground, i filled with tears, screamed for help and romney clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. the family issued a statement saying portrayal of john is factually incorrect. we are agreed john would be used to further a political agenda. each candidate has had to deal with their pre-existing narrative about the kind of men they were and have become. for romney, it is the privileged side of a rich man disconnected from the average american, and new stories seem to confirm that sense of self. it shows a man that enjoyed relative privilege of being able to screw up as a stupid teenager, but go on to run for political office. the fact is many average americans don't have that
opportunity. for many their teenage bad behavior is the end of the line. that's the disconnect for mitt romney. back at the table, anthea butler, michael tomasky, special correspondent for "news week", chloe will angyal, and ronald scott. >> under the state law, what he did would be a hate crime, premeditated violent assault with three or four people on one, and it was clearly -- it was memorable enough four decades later the men that were involved in it remembered it, and were concerned enough about what it said about mitt romney's character and capacity to lead that they were willing to talk on the record about it to "the washington post." >> interesting you used the language of crime. one of the things we have seen
happen in american schools is these zero tolerance policies, where if you are a kid in a marginal school, often students of color, often poor kids, and you behave badly, the police are called, not just a school infraction, but for school infractions police are called, and you don't necessarily have a chance to be boys being boys and girls being girls and have opportunity later in life, you literally end up with a criminal record. >> right. i'm almost as shocked not at the incident itself but at the fact all these years have passed and evidently according to "the washington post," according to anything we know so far, he never called john lauber and said went a little overboard that day, never expressed to his confederates in the mission that we shouldn't have done that, we were wrong to do that. that's more of a shock than doing it. then his handling of it this
week, pretty abyss mal. >> listen do what he said about it being a hate crime, about the sexual orientation and his general feelings about it. he said this on fox news. >> first of all, i had no idea what that individual's sexual orientation might be, going back to the 1960s, that wasn't something we all discussed or considered. so that's simply just not accurate. i don't recall the incident myself, but i have seen the reports, and not going to argue with that. there's no question, i did some stupid things in high school. obviously if i hurt anyone by virtue of that, i would be very sorry for it and apologize for it. >> i just want to briefly recall that presidents, people running for president, candidates do bad things in their past. i just want to compare what we heard mitt romney say to what george w. bush said as a candidate on the republican ticket on november 2nd, 2000, a
couple days before the election when his dui came out. here is how later president bush handled it. >> there's a report out tonight that 24 years ago i was apprehended in ken bunk port, maine for dui. that's an accurate story. i'm not proud of that. often times said that years ago i made some mistakes. i occasionally drank too much and i did on that night. was pulled over. admitted to the policeman i had be drinking, i paid a fine and i regret that it happened, but it did. i've learned my lesson. >> in both cases there may be a story of privileged, wealthy young men who were able to get off, but politically when george w. bush as a candidate -- he is like i did it, sorry about that, and romney does not respond that way. is that an indication of
something? you're his by og rafer, does that tell us something about romney the teenager but range of motion the candidate? >> it does. there's this history of i don't remember or i don't remember it exactly or i'm not going to apologize about something i can't remember specifically, and you can see the pattern unfolding in virtually every controversial thing he had to face as a candidate. you see it happening in the way he handled rescue of the people in salt lake, people that did a good job in the wrong place at the wrong time, didn't just say good-bye, he kind of ground them down when they were there. i was mortified at the report in "the washington post" and i read it very carefully, obviously. i was mortified, number one, that i missed it as a journalist doing the biography. i am sure boston globe guys were
mortified they missed it, too. >> he had been in public life a really long time. >> he has. to frame it, i'm about the same age as mitt is. he has gone to an all boys private school, probably the last time the police were called to an all boys private school was never. it isn't going to happen. it wasn't a hate crime in the truest sense of the word. just checking with family members as well, this is a guy that felt that he owned the school, he knew what the school stood for, and here was a kid who was in the fringes, a little different. it wasn't in afem nat thing, it was that he was a weird guy in the fringes. the four went after him, had hair that hung down -- >> that sense of privilege. >> frat boy kind of bit of nonsense. the fact that he couldn't say
like george bush did i did it, it was a dumb thing, i should have apologized for it then, i now apologize for it, it is troubling. >> and anti-bullying is officially the last bipartisan issue in america, right? >> almost, yeah, exactly. i think this story tells a couple things about him. one is that he is a control freak, because he couldn't stand that anybody's hair was out of place when his hair is always perfect, number one. so that really says something about him. then the second thing i just realized this not long ago, he is a cheerleader. he is trying to keep his space on top of that school. this is how he has played out his whole life. been the ceo, crushed companies, done these things, he has to remain on top. if you would ask the republican candidates up against him, they felt some of this same kind of thing, this election, this time he had other surrogates to do the bullying for him.
i think it says a lot about him. also says that he has to go a long way to try to figure out how to craft his personality. that was not an apology. it was like i am really kind of sorry, it was the same thing a bully would do, sorry if i hurt you, but it is over now. >> i'm sorry if you are offended by it. >> and here is the thing about bullying, it is the last bass tee and. this country has been an on-going, upsetting conversation about homophobic bullying of teens, something people are attuned to. this plays differently four or five decades after the fact. >> we will come back, talk about whether he is a bully or just a bad boy, maybe just miss behaving. more on this candidate's past and still ahead, what it means to be a mom behind bars. for three hours a week, i'm a coach.
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talking about mitt romney's gaffe of the week. we talk with anthea butler, michael tomasky, chloe and ronald scott. i want to listen to what ann romney said about mitt romney. this changes how we hear this. let's listen. >> again, people like to keep him in that narrative, so it's nice for me as a wife to be able to say no, look, this is the person that's really there, this is the boy that i knew, i still
look at him as the boy i met in high school, when he was playing all of the jokes and really just being crazy, pretty crazy. so there's a wild and crazy man inside there. >> may 1st, there's a wild and crazy man inside. >> by wild and crazy, someone that violently polices other people's gender expressions. >> right. it is fine when it sounds like he is horsing around with the boys and with the sons, but when it's i held down a boy and cut his hair because i didn't like how he self expressed, it suddenly feels like -- it feels menacing in a new way. >> and it also says that nonconformity is not something he wants around anyone. so i think what this really shows is that it's going to go part to how he may even govern, even if he has to think of how different people are around him, i don't know that this is a person that can be open with
everybody and accept people for who they are. that's what i am wondering. i feel like he is missing a chip about emotion or, you know, empathy. he doesn't seem to have it and i'm looking for it here. >> and look, we don't know what is in mitt romney's heart, whether he is a home oh foe. we know he -- >> the kid was different. he had long hair. had nothing to do with homosexuality as far as i can tell, i checked into this to get a sense where things were at cranbrook during that period. and it was because the kid had long hair, didn't conform to standards of cranbrook. i don't think it even crossed his mind the kid was gay. one thing i think you can't accuse mitt of is being a home foe. chief advertising guy from
the '93 campaign to 2002 run for the governorship, olympics in salt lake, a guy very gay, head of a major advertising agency. >> this last moment with the guy that ended up leaving, right? >> so that when you put the two things together, you can't say that about him, there's a track record he has. >> here is what i am saying. we don't know what is in his heart, not saying he is a home foe. we need to hold him accountable for individual actions, one as a teenager, one last week when he dismissed -- >> we don't know if he hates or is afraid of people that are gay, right, what we do know is he was willing to let a staffer openly gay resign in the context of -- >> a sharp tongued staffer who was openly gay. >> sure. >> was he let go because he was sharp tongued or gay. i have to believe knowing romney
history, it wasn't because he was gay. >> he took the opportunity to say he is not supportive of marriage equality, even if he is not afraid or bigoted, in the end, it is support for policy and policy equality that's more troubling than the story. charles blow in "the new york times" writing about it, calling it mean boys said, you know, in part, mike, you pointed out the issue is in part how he responds. he says honorable men don't chuckle at cruelty. >> right. that's the part about his denial. the chuckle was the tell. >> how old are you. something really weird about this. my whole theory about romney has to do with his allergy, as probably a soft way to put it, to taking really firm stands and to being a person of conviction. i think this has to do, my theory is this has to do with his father. i think his father was large in
his -- he was a man of outspoken conviction, civil rights, stormed out of the republican convention in 1964. >> and he lost. >> quit the nixon administration because of a principled disagreement, on and on, and he lost, said he was being brain washed in vietnam, and he was right, and never got elected president. i think mitt saw my dad was too direct. that's not the way to be. >> it is a great lead. on the one hand, teaches him how to stand up, how to have these positions, but also teaches him and if you do, particularly at a time when the party is in a hard right i did ee logical shift, this is a losing position. >> funny you mention that. the people is currying favor with now are the very people that caused george to storm out of the convention. they would say why is he kissing up to the christian right?
why isn't he leading them back to the middle. is he misrepresenting our religion suggesting we are in bed with people radical on the right side. why isn't he showing leadership instead of making love to people you can't -- >> i can't agree more. part of what is happening with him, he is going so far to the right that he is missing himself, he is missing what he is supposed to stand for, and by not standing for anything, he will go for anything. he has gone for the flavor of the week, that's not going to win an election. he has to get backbone. the only backbone i see he has is backbone for self, and it is not about caring for others. i know that's not part of what lds tradition is. he is misrepresenting his own tradition, who his family made him to be, but he is also going after something, some people that he doesn't speak their language and understand half the time what the right is really
thinking about him. it is about expediency. the only way -- he may end up trying to win this being the mean boy in this election, trying to pounce on obama, doing that same thing, trying to cut his hair. >> this is one of my favorite tv moments ever. the biographer of mitt romney was speaking, althea was getting religious over here. this is a great moment. >> say hallelujah. >> to moderation in the mormon church. thank you both so much for being here. up next, proof that stars are not just like us. ♪ [ male announcer ] american innovation. 29 years ago, it helped us invent the minivan. ♪ today dodge grand caravan is the most awarded minivan ever. ♪
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sometimes forget. same can't be said for celebrity moms who in some cases see more than our actual mothers, because much like our real mothers, the famously fertile are always there for us. actually, always there in us. us weekly, that is, almost from the moment of conception, we are laser focused on their bellies, searching the folds of every garment for the slightest indication of the bump, which has become a celebrity in its own right. who could miss jessica simpson on "elle" magazine doing her best demi moore impression. where would reality television be eager to give all the late night detail, every contraction, every diaper change, every designer outfit. celebrity moms have given birth to a lucrative cottage industry around motherhood. the reason their bundles are joyful is because they're filled with money. pause.
i think it is time for reality check. we got one this week from professor an act vis in a column in "the nation." reflecting on her impending motherhood, watching the bump. she writes for the vast majority of american women pregnancy and childbirth makes us more financially vulnerable, not less. consider that women without children make 90 cents to a man's dollar. mothers make 70 cents to a man's dollar. single moms only 60 cents to a man's dollar. she points to the findings of a 2007 cornell university study, when a childless candidate applied for the same job as an equally qualified mother, the mother was 100% less likely to be hired. they also were offered $11,000 less pay than childless
applicants. compare it to fathers who were offered 6,000 more dollars than nonfathers. women that go it alone as single mothers earn $40,000 less than married household. housing and child care account for more than three-quarters of monthly expenses. that's for mothers that are paid for their work. salary.com took a look at the various jobs that stay at home moms juggle from ceo to psychologist to housekeeper, and how much time they spend doing each of those jobs. then crunch the numbers to find out what salary compensation ought to be. get this. this year, the average stay at home mom will work 94.7 hours a week. in real life, her labor would be worth at least $112,962. of course, she never sees a dime of that money. if we think all moms work, maybe we should be sure that all moms are paid? but for now, mom gets paid only
in the currency of your love and appreciation. so today, treat your mom like a celebrity, and pay up. coming up, over 65,000 mothers are behind bars. what happens to their kids while they're there? it is a national crisis. we're going to introduce you to a mom forced to give birth behind bars shackled, after the break. to being a different kind of communications company by continuing to help you do more and focus on the things that matter to you. ♪ got it all. here. have a good day, honey. i love you, ok. bye, mom. [ female announcer ] sam's mom is muddling through her allergies. what can she do? she can get answers at walgreens. with guidance and information to help her make informed choices for her allergy needs. like zyrtec -- with the strength of 24-hour zyrtec, you get relief from your worst allergy symptoms, indoors and out.
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if you are not feeling like trying this on, that's not normal. activia helps with occasional irregularity when eaten 3 times a day. feeling regular to me was a new feeling... i came to find my 'new normal' and i love it! ♪ activia and try new silky, fruity activia harvest picks. another way to enjoy activia. last week i told you about 31-year-old marissa alexander, florida woman found guilty of three charges of aggravated assault after she fired a single shot from a handgun into a wall near her abusive husband who was standing with his two children from a previous relationship at the time. no one was injured. but this friday marissa was sentenced to 20 years in jail without parole. it is the mandatory sentence under florida's 10-20-life law,
someone convicted of a handgun in a felony. 20 years for shooting a wall. in a recent interview, she defended her actions saying i chose that day not to kill my husband, it was a deterrent. thank god it actually worked. had it not, we would have been another statistic and that would have been me being dead. no mercy or justice for marissa alexander or her children. today they face the first of many motherless mother's days, because when mothers go to prison, they aren't the only ones that are punished. marissa alexander joins 65,600 women in federal and state custody who are mothers of 147,400 minor children. one of those women that gave birth in prison is here with me today. tina reynolds, advocates on behalf of incarcerated women as co-founder and cochair of women on the rise, telling her story.
also a lecturer at new york college. and also here, reverend vivian nixon, executive director of college and community fellowship and co-founder of education from the inside-out coalition. and in san francisco, robin levi, coauthor of inside this place, not of it. thanks to all of you for being here. >> thanks for the invitation. happy mother's day. >> thank you. as well to you. i want to start with you. tell me about your story. want folks to have an understanding, when we say mothers in jail, in prison, what we're talking about and facing here. >> all right. so in 1994, i gave birth to my son, last son, ky in prison. i was shackled and handcuffed during birth and delivery in transport to and from the prison. and i believe at that time i understood why i was in prison. i was there for a parole violation, but i just could not understand during my labor and delivery why i had to be
shackled and handcuffed. >> i want to pause so folks understand. these were nonviolent crimes, crimes related to -- drugs, this was parole, this was not about some kind of violent crime. >> but melissa, it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter. childbirth is the most sacred act that we're offered. we celebrate mother's day because of that. i think that regardless of what crime a woman has committed that she should be offered that freedom and that liberty to give birth without shackles and handcuffs. >> that's a very fair point. tell me, because i just, you know, mother's day, you start thinking about moment of birth and you take your child and hold your child. my understanding was the seal walked off with the child. >> i was able to hold my child a minute. i was handcuffed with a long chain to my wrist. i was able to hold him for a little while. there was some complications, so they had to take him from me
right away, so i didn't get a chance to have that full 20, 30 minutes we often have. i had seven children. i know what it felt like to hold my child, have that first immediate bonding opportunity. but he was taken away. not only the correctional officer was there while i gave birth, parents, your own family members aren't allowed to be there watching and witnessing the birth of your child. >> obviously this is a particularly sort of poignant moment, this idea of giving birth in the context of being shackled and in prison. even for women for whom they may not actually give birth in prison, trying to parent and to mother from the context of behind bars, how is that even possible or is it possible? is there anything that helps facilitate it? >> it is very difficult, of course. there are some prisons that facilitate that better than others. bedford hills correctional facility in new york tries to put resources in place where parents can communicate with
their children through teleconferencing and other means, but there are far reaching implications of mothers not being able to connect with their children while incarcerated. up until 2010, there was a law on the books in new york state as a result of the adoption and safe families act, that any mother away from her child more than 18 months would automatically lose all parental rights. >> you are stripped of parental rights for not having contact with the child, and you're not having contact because you're incarcerated. >> that's correct. and that's not something in the woman's control at the time. so a lot of laws are put in place that impact the population of incarcerated women, whether they're mothers or not, that are not thought through what the long term implications of the policies. that's why it is important that women have a voice in what goes on in the criminal justice system, even though women are only 17% of the total criminal justice population, it is still
important that their voices be heard. >> right. so women are only 17% of the total population of incarcerated people. one of the things we know, when fathers are incarcerated, only 2% of children of fathers end up in foster care, whereas 11% of children of mothers who are incarcerated end up in foster care. robin, i want to come to you on this question because it feels to me like as we talk about incarceration, we may have viewers that say you give up your rights to be a mom when you break the law, when you go to jail. this is just the cost you pay. but i think i would like us to have a clearer understanding of why women end up incarcerated in the first place. >> as you mention, the vast majority of women in prison are there for nonviolent offenses, largely drug related or survival crimes, trying to pay to help your family, pay the bills. so that's first of all what we're seeing for women inside prison. again, more than two-thirds of
them are the primary care takers of minor children. so they are the first line. and if they are sent to prison, then it is far more likely their children are going to go into foster care. >> robin, as an attorney, do judges take this into account when a judge is potentially sentencing? in the case of marissa alexander, the judge made a variety of decisions, but was bound by a mandatory minimum sentencing law. but when judges have the opportunity, do they take into account the welfare of children and the idea that this is a mother? do they think about alternatives? or are they willing to punish women? >> well, sadly i think it is important to realize that mandatory minimums are all across the 50 states, and largely are dealing with drug offenses again. so many, many judges are bound by those mandatory minimums. in a few situations, they have been allowed to use some
discretion. however, in my experience in california and actually in researching the book, that discretion is rarely used on behalf of moms going to prison. >> tina, in your advocacy work, what are the things that you find from other mothers as their core concerns once they're in the situation of incarceration, what are the things they want to be able to do to continue to parent? >> well, i think their first concern is the safety of their child no matter what, and they do know it is a hardship on many families taking care of their children. most families that are taking care of their children struggle. their own family members struggle to bring the children up to see them, so moms are worried about whether they get to see them, how they're doing in school, whether they're fairing well. children walk around with a lot of embarrassment.
it is not something you can talk about where your mom is. and then family members and foster parents may not be completely honest with the children they're taking care of, so the child needs to know what is exactly going on, and it's the responsibility of the mom and those that are taking care of the child during their parent's incarceration. >> you make that point about visiting, also want to bring you in on this, in many states the women who are incarcerated are often from urban areas but incarcerated in fairly remote, rural areas. your point about if it is a sister or mother taking care of the children, the burden just literally on transportation just to see one's mother. >> it can be costly, in terms of actual dollars spent, in terms of time, and just in terms of just the stress and the pressure, and in some of the facilities, correctional personnel really treat families badly.
but there's a flip side of this whole story. as much as we are talking about women that are incarcerated that have children, there are 2.3 million people in america's prisons and jails. every one of them has a mother. so there are mothers in our communities that have been ravaged by mass incarceration because having your son or your daughter imprisoned takes a toll on a mother. it really rips the heart out of a mother to realize there's nothing she can do to ease the suffering, shame, guilt and all the things people experience on the inside. >> and it is expensive to take a phone call from your child incarcerated, it puts a financial cost on the moms, right, trying to take the phone call because of course as we know, for those of us with loved ones that are incarcerated, they're collect calls, they enrich some private corporations that make a lot of money from the phone calls, but they take a lot of money out of the
pocketbooks of many mothers. robin, you said earlier some of what we see are survival crimes, but i think i read also in your work you notice many of the women that are imprisoned are themselves survivors, which is to say survivors of either domestic or sexual violence. >> yeah. it is quite amazing. i have been doing this work almost 20 years. and the numbers that you most often cite are more than two-thirds of women inside have experienced sexual or physical abuse. in doing this work inside this place and reading narratives and interviewing approximately 30 women around the country, that number is far too low. we're looking at something that looks like 80 to 90% of women inside prison appear to have experienced childhood sexual and or physical abuse, and then receive little to no therapy for
that experience, which leads them to self medicate, because right now in the current healthcare system, it is often cheaper to get heroin than to get therapy. and also may end up in questionable and other physically abusive relationships later on that may lead them into offenses that take them into prison. >> so we're talking about people that are themselves victims, being victimized again, and what that may mean for their children. we will stay on this topic, more on this when we come back. for three hours a week, i'm a coach. but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids. but my coach had hit that pitch before.
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the teacher that comes to mind for me is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us. we're back, talking about women and incarceration this mother's day. tina reynolds, reverend vivian nixon, and althea butler and
chloe angyal. let me start, i want to go to solutions, and i want to start with again this deeply ethical question, i think, of shackling mothers who are giving birth in prison. in 37 states, there's no law against shackling mothers. give us a sense of what that kind of policy even means. >> it means you're treating women like animals, and it is just not right. nobody is getting up in the middle of childbirth to go away. >> i remember. >> nobody is getting up to go away. to shackle a woman is just in the most painful, but most joyous thing happening to you, you have to remember you're a possession of the state, and the state will hold everything about you. there's no reason to do this at all. where would you go? what would you do? it makes no sense whatsoever. on a humane basis, if we can't get rid of the death penalty, we
could stop shackling women. >> apart from the fact it is cruel and inhumane, it is ill advised. american college of obstetricians and gynecologists came out against it, it prevents doctors from performing medical necessary operations. apart from treating women like animals, we are possibly inhibiting childbirth. >> i gave birth to nothing more than a -- you don't know what's going on, it is a basic fundamental human moment in this. what are the policies, where should we be going next? what is it an advocate or someone watching at home that never thought about incarcerated mothers, what ought we be doing next? >> there's a few things. for one thing, tina should talk about it more, support the birthing behind bars campaign. tina is leading that campaign, and i'm sure she'll talk more about it. we need to think seriously about
our sentencing policies that sentence people to inordinate amount of times in prison. >> 20 years for shoot ago wall. >> 20 years for shooting a wall, and that's a mother doing that time, her children will be deeply impacted by that. there are ways to get around this. there are diversion programs, alternative to incarceration programs that cost the state far less money and are far more effective in helping people redirect their lives so crime and punishment is no longer part of their story. >> tina? >> it is really important what vivian says. it is about preventive care as well, offering services that will prevent people from making those decisions. if there were services in the community that were available for people, they would use those services. if they were effective services, they would go at them more. even having those services in place would be an ideal situation for people to be able to at least make choices. when you think about women and
the way in which they make decisions around using drugs or committing crimes, think about the core issues. there's a lot of trauma that a woman has experienced, and we really need to address those core issues. we really need to come together. there are wonderful organizations here in new york like our children that works with mothers in prison and out of prison, and women have their children in prison and come out and stay with them, and they incubate them, offer them everything they need to come back and make a really successful return with their children, because it's not just the mom that needs help, it is a family. >> right. >> you can't just think about the mother or the child, you have to think about the family. there's never been a child i worked with or met that hasn't loved their mom. regardless of what their mom has done. >> whatever the choice is. robin, 30 seconds. i'll give you the last on this
segment. what should someone watching at home if they have an opportunity to do something, what should be the policies we are supporting or charitable things we ought to be doing. what should we do? >> i need to echo what tina and vivian said, about putting into the communities and one of the biggest things, advocate to end mandatory minimums, be it for drugs or shooting a gun into a wall. we need to end that and be sending women, letting women be able to stay home in their families in their communities. >> i thank all of you for redefining what a family value system, what a family valuelike. in just a moment, when thank you is never enough. but first, it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." >> this is a story that pain me to share this mother's day. the tragic death of three boston university students in a car crash overseas, how it unfolded and who might be at fault. california, we have a problem. we're going to tell you about the almost unprecedented step the golden state's governor is
taking to fix a surprise fiscal crisis. some recaon paul supporters turned into boobirds. and mick jagger and the rolling stones will be making a very public appearance to mark an incredible milestone. we'll say happy mother's day to you, melissa. >> i'm lobbying for your gorgeous daughter to come to my alma mater for college. >> okay, thanks. up next, my footnote and this one comes from the heart. thanks to all of you.
this morning, we hold in our hearts all the moms who made the loving choice to place their children for adoption. and who think of them today. and all the moms who opened their hearts and gave those children homes. this morning, we hold in our hearts all the mom who is are incarcerated. and worry for their children's safety every day. and all the moms whose sons and
daughters are behind bars and far from their loving arms. this morning we hold in our hearts all the moms still fighting in our nation's foreign wars, waiting on us to fulfill our promise to bring them home. and for all the moms whose children are still on those battlefields. this morning we hold in our hearts all the white moms raising proud, independent self-loving children of color. and undocumented moms who live under a pallor of fear while they try to give their kids a better life. all the black and brown moms who worry their children will be profiled and harmed. and all the moms whose children are teaching them to be more tolerant. this morning, we hold in our hearts all the moms who embrace their lgbt kids without hesitation or regret. and all of those moms who are still struggling. we are grateful for mother who is are patient and those who lose their tempers. those who raise the children
they bore and those who mother us as teachers and friends, sisters and companions. we are grateful for kind mothers and for gruff ones. we embrace our living mothers and mourn our mothers who have passed. we say thank you for the work that mothering does in our world. and that is our show for today, thank you tore robin levy and thea butler, vivian nixon, chloe angel and tina reynolds, thanks to you at home. as we go, the staff here at mhp wantsed to send a special thanks to all our moms for what they do for us. the books you read to us, the pictures we drew that you hung. the dance recitals and soccer games that you attended. the late nights you spent with us on our homework and for all of your unconditional love throughout. we are nerds because ever you and we love you. i'll see you next saturday. ♪ you are the sunshine of my
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a powerful three-in-one detergent that cleans, brightens, and fights stains. pop in. stand out. hello, everyone, it is high noon here in the east, it's 9:00 a.m. in the west, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." here are some of the first five stories trending this hour. california in crisis. the republican same-sex marriage response. the $2 billion question. mick jagger and ron paul supporters