tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC May 15, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
>> there are a lot of folks hurting out there and in that type of environment. >> there was still a lot of problems in my life. >> the confidence, martin, i want to bring you in on this first. >> did you nose ee elizabeth hassle back was not clapping. >> the president has really begun. i think we see this week as the beginning of the election. branding exercises to show mitt romney is a vampire ceo of corporate radar and so forth. i want to go to stephanie cutter speaking on "the daily rundown" which attacked romney on his record at bain.
>> this has nothing to do with private equity. this has to do with mitt romney making the central premise of his campaign for presidency. the central qualification for his business experience, the economic policies that he's put on the table. they represent those same values and lessons. the people at the top do very well. the people in the middle are left holding the bag. >> now, we know that mitt romney is going to be giving a big speech on the economy and he says, my time spend leading businesses taught me that we need to hold every agency to a simple test. if something can be done more efficiently outside the federal government, that's where it belongs. saying nothing about if they are paying wages too high, we will -- >> i think there's a slight mistake being made because people are suggesting that the president has chosen to brand mitt romney like this. and stephanie cutter is right. he's allowed himself to be portrayed in this area.
the problem is, when you look at his performance as governor of massachusetts, he was 47th in job creation. >> right. >> out of 50 states. student fees went up 63%. 14% cut in higher education budgets. so on economic and job creation issues, he's actually very, very weak. the one thing that he's actually very good on, what the health care where 63% of the people in massachusetts like -- i don't even want to talk about it. if you like a fracture in his own presentation himself that is inviting the critique of the president. >> so, lois, to martin's point, bringing up bain as a job creator is a flawed tactic. the point of bain was not to create jobs, it was to create profit. this is potentially going to be a weakness for romney, although it bears mentioning that romney is out with its own ad.
saying, look, at this other steel plant we created 6,000 jobs. do you think this is something that he can win on the bain equation? >> no, i don't. because mitt romney -- when you look at these polls, even people who think he's strong on the economy think he's out of touch. so portraying him as a bain multimillionaire, i think that totally goes into that narrative completely. so i think -- you know, i think romney's opened the door. it's like when you're on a stand and you're a witness and something gets raised and the lawyer goes, he's opened the door. well, that's what romney has done. he has totally defined himself by his business successes and so he's fair game now. >> steve, you're a student of history and we have a little montage here of how candidates can get termed. let's take a look at that. >> for ton received ten weekend passes from prison. horton fled a kidnapping couple.
dukakis on crime. >> he voted against t he voted for education reform and claims he's against increasing medicaid premiums but voted five times to do so. john kerry, which ever way the wind blows. >> it bears mentioning that mitt romney likes water skiing. we haven't seen that yet. we haven't seen an ad with water skiing out yet. but can team obama define mitt romney as the vulture capitalist early enough in the campaign cycle that it will be a real problem for him come november? >> honestly, i'm not sure. when we talk about history, the interesting thing is that they run in six competitive elections in his political career, going all the way back to 1994, saying this is a guy who stole all of the oil money for himself.
it's worked for ted kennedy. same thing. didn't work. my question about it is this. the advantage that romney has in polling, you ask who is better on job creation, on economy. romney has consistently been ahead. the obama campaign, you undermine his credibility and maybe he doesn't win that argument. but my question is, is he winning that argument despite of his background? and de-facto the guy the alternative is better. >> ben, the words -- you know, leverage, buyouts, managed bankruptcy, we haven't done a deep dive into what it is precisely that mitt romney has done as the head of bain and sort of his methodology is
broadly speaking for the economy. do you think the american public gets into those terms, vulture capitalism? it's a much more of a buzz word. >> "rolling stone"s reader. i think there are people -- i think part of it is that romney doesn't come from the private sector that his father came from. like an easily understandable manufacturing. it's grown and he comes from this new hard to understand widely distrusted part of the economy. i think in the broad strokes he comes from a weak recovery. i think most people following it, the general sense that he was in business is a plus, certainly the obama campaign is going to do everything that they can to mute that. >> it's weird, because what is the basis for his great performance as a job creator? >> that's fundamentally the problem. >> successful business figure.
>> he's not a job creator. >> job creator statistics, they were 47th and the two states behind them were hit by katrina. >> where president gets credit for jobs that started on day one and ceos have things to do with the broader economy. >> i think it's a brilliant play because he looks like the community organizer, someone who doesn't have that kind of private sector experience in his own background and, therefore, they have embellished the businessmen. i'm still struggling to find the actual job creation record. yes, he's now worth $250 million. but so are lots of people who promote the vash crash in 2008. >> the narrative of being a mr.
fix-it in the business world is helpful when you're trying to raise vast sums of money from wall street. and 72% of the donations so far. on that note, it's working. coming up, president obama zeros in on his base at a series of campaign events. can he make real headway before november? the reverend al sharpton joins the panel next. [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale.
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24 hours he's also been described as the first gay president and the first female president. yesterday he played to both of those blogs at the commencement address and speaking at a fund-raiser hosted by ricki martin. >> i want to treat everyone fairly in this country. we have never gone wrong when we expanded rights and responsibilities to everybody. that doesn't weaken families. that strengthens families. >> joining our panel now is the unstoppable reverend al sharpton, host of "politicsnation" here on msnbc. this is like a legendary moment for al and alex. this is right now. >> now. >> rev, let me point you to a "new york times" cbs poll that says most americans, 67% think president obama supported gay marriage because of political reasons. 24% think that he supported it because he just generally thinks
that it's right and it's a moral thing to do. do you think that is an issue, the fact that most of this country sees this as a political calculus? >> i think that le have to address it but i think that clearly as we go down the rest of the poll there was not that much of a political advantage here and, if anything, he got some flack in his own base. so i think that those that have been made to believe or believe on their own, he did it for political reasons, would then have to look at results and say they would have to be smarter than that to know that he was not going to gain politically because he didn't. >> also to the reverend al's point, it's actually mitt romney who's been the great beneficiary of this position because conservatives have suddenly found something that the so-called severely conservative candidate -- >> it's actual evidence. >> right. and therefore, if you're going to accuse the president for doing this for political reasons, it's been beneficial to
romney, not necessarily to the president's space. i think that he was evoking, in my view, much of the late martin luther king's basis, which everyone has an equal right in this country to all of the laws and justices that are provided and that is what he was doing. >> no doubt about t and i think where the arguing has been cast wrongly by the right wing and by the republicans, this is not a religious issue. it's a civil rights issue. and where you have religious leaders, black, white, hispanic, others that have taken different positions, notice that no major civil rights leader has come out opposing the president because you cannot fight for civil rights for anybody unless you support -- >> you can't be selective. >> you can't be selective. >> when we talk about the political risk, i draw your attention to reverend, a baltimore pastor that said this
yesterday. >> people come up to me saying that they don't support this. they don't like this. they are disappointed with the president, and they plan to stay home. i don't plan to vote for romney for sure. right now i plan to stay home. and when we talk about the black vote, the african-american vote in november, how real do you think that risk is? >> i would say -- and i travel a lot, i've talked to people, i do a call in radio show. >> because you're not the hardest working person. >> in maryland, are you going to
stay home with o'malley, who just passed a law there? are you going to stay home with -- how many times are going to stay home in when we say that, we're going to risk the supreme court, risk the economy because any governor or president or anybody that on one issue i disagree with, i'm going to stay home. just remember now, in new york and maryland and seven other states, they made law if he gave his the governor in the own state. >> you think it's not enough? >> i think people are not giving it immediate reaction. i took this position in '03 when i was getting ready to run in '04. i don't think there will be a lot of people staying home. i think people initially took sides and then will say, you know, because look at the nine states that you now have the right for same-sex marriage and, guess what, we have not seen
armageddon coming. we have not seen bridges fall. people start saying, well, maybe i don't agree with it but there are things that are going to continue to happen any way. >> the other thing that the gay marriage question does, martin, is open up the door to other issues that play well or are important to the president's base. immigration is now discussed. the his sthispanic community an immigration reform, will he open the door to that in 2013? >> i mean, if you look at the period of the president's term, he has moved forward on health care reform, which is extremely difficult, and as we know, republicans have opposed him on absolutely every step of the way. i think that you would be the first to admit that on issues like climate change and climate control he hasn't been able to execute his agenda on ways that he wishes and on immigration. but he does believe in these principles and wants to move them forward.
under the current situation where we have a congress that single mindedly has chosen on absolutely everything, regarding of what it is, it's been hard to make those substantive changes that he would have liked to have seen. >> which i think is fair, right? but at the end of the day, in terms of tangible changes on gay marriage, nothing has changed. >> nothing. >> if the president can say -- can make this statement and really get up enthusiasm among the base, why wouldn't he take up the issue of climate change or energy reform and talk more forcefully about alternative sources of energy? you feel like the narrative -- >> because off congress where 80% of them don't believe that the climate is that way. >> you already have 30 states about more than he should but on the immigration question, the justice department administration has taken on
arizona. if i were speaking for the president, we would be more definitive there than on same-sex marriage because we're talking about an opinion. they have actually taken arizona on and they just sued the symbol of immigration. >> sheriff joe arpaio. >> what are you talking about, when is he going to do something on immigration? duh. he has taken on immigration. >> it's true that eric holder has sitting on sidelines and comprehensive energy reform. >> but, remember, alex, this has been incredibly difficult and i'm hearing now john boehner say at the cnbc reform, a debt ceiling. >> so let's just be a bit more
reasonable when we come to expectations with regard to what this president should have done. you know, i think it's a shot in the arm to those in the base that have seen them take up a controversial measure. >> when he was having more flexibility. >> i think one of the things that you have to do, to bring us and entertain us, say i'm going to throw it out there and i'm going to tickle your funny bone, he talks about the reality of what to get done. i would remember be respected
and coming down with something that really he's going to bother me. so maybe the problem is that unlike politicians, president obama respect us enough to talk real to us. >> real talk. thank you. you can see reverend al sharpton on "politicsnation" right here on msnbc. >> is he getting younger. >> he is getting younger. the photograph ages him. >> i hung out with alex. >> oh, please. after the break a. reformer rupert murdoch aide faces prosecution in connection with the news corp. scandal. details on that next. [ male announcer ] this is genco services -- mcallen, texas. in here, heavy rental equipment in the middle of nowhere, is always headed somewhere. to give it a sense of direction, at&t created
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>> bris tissue british authorities are charging a top aide with charges. brooks is accused of conspireing to prevert the course of justice by concealing documents and other key materials from investigators. martin, certainly a big day for the news corp. what do you think the broader implications of this are for rupert murdoch? >> well, at the moment, there are two requirements going on. there is this criminal inquiry which resulted in rebekah brooks, both of whom have been charged with conspiracy for allegedly hiding computer records over a period in july when police officers were looking for them. and that's included her show officer and personal assistance.
that is also a problem because, of course, rebekah brooks was and is a close friend of david cameron, the prime minister of the uk. she was texting him twice a day during his election campaign in 2010. if she is found guilty, she could face a sentence of anything up to about 12 years in prison, although reading the reports earlier today, the expectatio expectations is that if she's found guilty, she could go to prison for two years. >> we also know, ben, that there is a department of justice investigation as to news corp. activities here in the u.s., whether they have been hacking into phones in 9/11 and 9/11 victims. what do you make of the rupert murdoch brand here? keep in mind that this is coming on the heels as a uk panel found them unfit to lead a media company? >> it's an incredible corporate
crisis for them and has side lined the son that expected to be his heir. but it has been -- the u.s. has so far been quarantined from it, the guy running the program at this point, he's a new york figure and while there have been rumblingings looking that serious credit reports that it happened and. >> i think it's worth repeating. there is no worth and the backlash and the main media critic. >> rebekah brooks what lol
means. something you're familiar with, ben. >> omg, and like you're the bomb. what does that mean? >> are you bomb? you're bombing. >> you are the bomb. >> and rebekah brooks, i'm going to stop right there. i'm stopping right there. thank you goes to martin bashir who you can see later at 3:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. the finest hours of television in the history of the western world. >> no ex saj rags. >> okay. coming up, republicans on capitol hill are now scrambling to contain damage from the resistance to the violence act but they are not the only ones who might have trouble ahead.
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[ mini ] yee haw! a big breakfast in a little biscuit. one reason we fight long settled battles over women's rights, i'm not saying that the only way to achieve success is by climbing to the top of the corporate ladder or running for office let's face it, congress would get done a lot. >> alluding to congress' so called war on women, they are going to vote on the bill to reauthorize violence against women act. and in an attempt to quiet opponents, they will provide protections for illegal immigrants and native americans but not gays and lesbians. let's talk about the war on
women and the gop. house gop leadership brought in the national organization for women, according to politico, in order to blunt the impact of the latest stances and maybe soften the legislation. the fact that there was even a debate about the violence against women act was not playing well for republicans and i think for the first time they seem to have taken notice against it. >> it was ridiculous. this act was passed in 1994 real estate was reupped twice by bipartisan support and all of a sudden they don't want to protect immigrants anymore and to be fair, the democrats in the senate expanded the provision of the violence against women act. the republican version of the bill being debated in the house expand them for illegal immigrants and lesbians and the problems with mitt romney and here's a great example, the
republicans in the house are making it a point of excluding gays and lesbians. at a time when mitt romney's record or position on gay rights and civil rights is being questioned on the heel of the report of his time in high school. >> i think it's remarkable on two levels. one, what lois is saying is true. this represents the oppressive position. this is a step beyond what they would have done in the last year and a half. this represents an awareness of problems on culture issues and look at the reaction from romney and most top republicans in the wake of the gay marriage thing with obama last week. the response was not like '04 where we are going to wage a war against gay marriage. the response from romney was very much an awareness of, i need to strike an accommodating open tone on this and, remember, he said i'm okay with gay adoptions. he is looking for a gesture short of saying that he's okay
for gay marriage and this is the act opposite. this is going out of your way to exclude the population from legal protection and domestic violence and, again, the bestselling author, the juice, venus is the best book about wine ever. for those of you, the problems mitt romney and the members of the house republican caucus and his competitors ran and socially conservative party and the latest developments are part of a long history.
>> but what's interesting to me is we're beginning to maybe see the movement from the republican caucus and representative of mark quigley. it's almost like a competition to be the most anti-gay and it's a shame romney can't pull away from that. that's a gay issue. we talked about this on the show and introduced a bill to prevent lawmakers from blocking funding to planned parenthood saying, look, this is crazy and the republicans are gradually you have certain national figures in
the republican party and, you know, the state legislators are busy passing aggressive legislation on many issues related to women's health and the protection of women and other minorities. i don't know how they are going to pull far enough back to the middle. i'm fascinated to see. >> well, the other thing, ben, is that we're talking to congress, there's a lot on the table as far as the lame duck session and house appropriation bills coming up modeled on the paul ryan budget. there's not been a grand american dye dialogue but, among other things, it could uninsure up to 57 million americans and largely balances the budget on the backs of the poor and this, is it not, makes it a lame-duck
session and as it has happened repeatedly, everyone thinks that they will find some solution and they won't and. >> will be a massive showdown and romney will take the opportunity to stand to the right or take an opportunity to break -- >> does mitt romney ever take a dramatic opportunity? >> he never does. he never does. you always say, this is the time where romney can roll the dice. he never does that. >> he's pretty boxed in. because of all of the statements that he made during the primaries. he has to be extremely careful because i would -- i would venture to guess that the obama campaign has a dozen ads in the can waiting for him to say well, let me move to the left. and you listen to what john boehner says about any fight in congress, there's going to become a bigger fight and in
terms of the calendar, these wars are slated to take place in september, october, and possibly november. >> and this is the biggest problem for romney, and every one of those issues become as loyalty test and i really think that the easiest way to understand that romney went to liberty university in may 2012, not may 2011. normally the republican candidate was early in the primary process, shores up the base and then is going to store a more mainstream university as the nominee. romney felt the need as presumptive nominee to go there. >> purity tests, something to look forward to. especially if you're mitt romney. after the break, he's not dropping out but he's not exactly barn storming. as ron paul clarifies his campaign plan in the race and his legacy going forward. that's next on "now." [ male announcer ] when a major hospital wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac
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ron paul is not suspending his campaign and he's not dropping out of the race. dr. paul plans to active campaign. >> that was ron paul's chief strategist on a conference call this morning clarifying the campaign statement which many media outlets took to mean he was ending the campaign. while he's not ending the campaign, he won't invest in the remaining primary states. can ron paul still be in, then if he's actually out. >> he's never been in or out. and he didn't suspend and when you talk about the end game
here, steve, they outlined three goals. they would like to continue more states, continue party leadership positions and more delegates. presumably because they want to have a roll in tampa and what role that is specifically worth discussing. you think the paul campaign, according to a piece you wrote yesterday, could create chaos in t tampa? >> yes. forget all of the substantive stuff. if you see any of these video clips from republican state conventions where delegates are picked, this is many tampa bays, basically. the paul supporters have been flooding these things. they have been heckling romney speakers. and overtook the convention. there is some dispute over what happened but they were booing mitt romney's kid. romney has won the right to have delegates but who they actually are is totally up for grabs. the ron paul people have
grabbed, by their estimate, a couple hundred delegate spots reserved for mitt romney. they will go to the convention and have to vote for mitt romney but they are paul purists at heart. are they going to show up there and heckle speakers in what is supposed to be an infommercial? >> they all don't have to vote for romney. some of them they are not committed. >> well, this -- and this, again, points to romney as a candidate having a really hard time building a coalition which is different than the tea party, although that's certainly a strain of ron paul's support base. when we talk about ron paul on this show, when i talk about ron paul, i think, you know n. a large part we sort of dismiss his lasting legacy in the republican party because i do think there will be some moment of sort of wag don scircling after november. it really does resonate with younger voters and they are true believes in this message.
and when you talk about where does ron paul go from here? he goes to rant and he's got a database and he's got a following into a 16. this is very valuable for his son. >> ron paul is basically close to a mainstream republican figure who is a credible contender. he got elected statewide. >> and i'm dying to see what his supporters do at the convention. whether they are comic relief, whether they really staged some noisy protest or light up a bunch of joints, you know. >> i think this has got to add some interest. >> can there be a pot smoking dreadlocked contingent in tampa? the media would certainly hope so, right, ben? >> we do hope so. and they were going to try to tell the people how to behave themselves. >> and then charlie was teasing
in politico, my own sense is that paul was sending a message to the gop establishment that he's not interested in the convention. >> who has control over his own supporters does not strike me as total. >> but that you talk about rand in 2016, that is ron paul's incentive to keep his crowd under control. >> exactly. >>. >> coming up, you probably heard the phrase god saved the queen but it was something else that tony blair wanted to bless. details next on "now." [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust.
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the all-new f sport. easy label, right? but that label can lead to prejudice and discrimination, and we don't want to go there. so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know. welcome back. time for what now. former prime minister tony blair
is revealing differences between american and british audiences. he said he once wanted to end a speech with glod bless britain but his former spin doctor said, quote, we don't do god. jay, you're a man of culture. a man of culture and wine. the brits say god bless the queen but the outward sort of -- >> i have to say, going back all the way to obama's inauguration, for instance, i was struck by how much god there was there, in terms of the ministerial presence but also how many references there were to god. i guess as anning ing a no, sir stick that they are obliged to drag god into the equation. i guess we are very different from the brits that way. >> apparently blair says a committee was convened and we had to discuss it. one civil servant said, i just remind you, prime minister --
i'm not going to fake an accent, this is not permitted. a texas police officer has added a clothing designer to his resume with a line of webbing concealing garments. american tactical apparel. >> i would venture that they will ban these garments. you will see them heavily sold in texas, oklahoma, where they don't have red state wear. i like that. >> there's a precedence for this. james bond had to have his ga garments tailored. >> and you bring it back so neatly to american relations. ben, as someone who works at buzz feed, i think you will be able to laugh at this with me.
>> next week. >> all right. sleep walking? sleep walking might be more prevalent than you think. nearly a third of americans have sleep walked or will at some point in their lives. steve cornake, any sleep walkers in your family? >> the time my 10-year-old cousin knocked on the door of my hotel room and he was coherent. his eyes looked a little lost. we had a random sort of conversation that philosphers would have had. i sort of shrugged it off and she said, it's a good thing you didn't know he was sleep walking
and tried to wake him up. apparently that causes serious trauma. don't wake them up. >> before we leave, what's the best time -- >> for sleep. >> ambien is the best pharmaceutical for sleep walking but the best one for me is burgundy. that's my soft spot. >> and low wis was bringing this question up during the break. what's the best -- who's the most unsung wine on the market? >> the most unsung wine, i'm actual actually writing my article on bogilae. >> i'm promoting it. it's a great value. the crew is from the best villages from tremendous red wines. >> so unfashionable, they are
fashionable again. words to keep in mind as we head into november. thanks again. that's all for now. see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern at 9:00 a.m. pacific when i'm joined by ed rendell, george and michael steele, and "the huffington post" journalist david wood. until then, follow us on twitter. good afternoon to you, andrea. >> hi. good to see you, alex. coming up, bain pain. the new ad attacking mitt romney's tie at bain capital. joining me, bill burton, the head of that super pac and romney supporter, madden. and jpmorgan chase's $2 million mistake. and the american dream. you'll meet the immigrant that just graduate from columbia
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