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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  May 18, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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>> a scheme that's dominated headlines. >> here's the report. i have it in my hand. >> titled the defeat of barack hussein obama. >> joe ricketts. would bank roll the initiative. >> he's a billionaire. >> with $10 million. >> to argue the president misled the nation. >> what are the words metrosexual black abe lincoln mean? >> portraying himself as -- >> metrosexual black abe lincoln. >> john mccain's lead media strategist. john mccain nixed the idea. >> this is not a winning idea. >> fear mongering. >> it's insulting. >> it is nasty. >> this is hate porn. >> gutter politics. >> how does mitt romney respond to this? >> haven't seen the papers this morning. >> it's a lack of courage on the part of mitt romney. >> it takes attention away from the key issues. >> i'm not familiar with exactly
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what i said but i stand by what i said, whatever it was. >> overall this is terrible for our democracy. >> whatever it was. whatever it was. >> we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems. >> i stand by what i said. >> either black, white, latino, asian. >> whatever it was. >> but rather problems that confront us all. the day begun with the revelation of a plan of attack against president obama that republicans began to disown quickly and mitt romney demonstrating his usual followship instead of leadership took his position only when it became absolutely clear he had no other choice. on the campaign plane this morning, romney was asked about the new plan of attack against president obama. and this was his reaction. >> have you seen the report in the times this morning? >> haven't seen the papers this
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morning. >> governor, do you think reverend wright is off limits in this campaign? >> i'll be right back. >> get a copy of the times. they have a copy you can borrow. >> on the plane, romney had time to read the new york times piece which revealed the plan, the defeat of barack hussein obama. the ricketts plan to end his spending for good. that's the title of hit. the ricketts plan was to be funded by a crazy billionaire named joe ricketts. the founder of td emeritrade. and the owner of the chicago cubs if you feel like canceling season tickets, go ahead. the attack on president obama was to center on his past relationship with the reverend jeremiah wright. the plan describes wright's preaching as black liberation theology and calls president obama a metrosexual black abe
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lincoln. i told you this ricketts guy was crazy and is crazy. the proposal admits the plan faces a serious problem in that voters quote, still aren't ready to hate this president, end quote. the plan was for the crazy mr. ricketts to find quote, an extremely literal african-american, end quote, to help america learn to hate this president. the plan was drafted by republican strategist fred davis who worked for john mccain in 2008. the plan in writing calls john mccain quote, a crusty old politician who often seems confused, burdened with a campaign just as confused. john mccain's office responded first thing this morning. quote, senator mccain is very proud of the campaign he ran in 2008. he stands by the decisions he made during that race and would
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make them again today if he had to do it over. the statement was a clear warning to the romney campaign and republicans everywhere that if the crazy ricketts plan is carried out, john mccain would make the decision to denounce it. he would make, as he put it, the same kind of decision today that he made in 2008. this afternoon when romney was ready to stake out his position on the metrosexual black abe lincoln, he really had no choice. >> on the aircraft this morning i was asked by someone here about whether i had seen the new york times article with regards to a pac that was presumably being formed to attack president obama and if i had a reaction to it. i had not seen the article at that point. but i read the article on the aircraft.
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as i read the article, i want to make it very clear, i repudiate that effort. i think it's the wrong course for a pac or a campaign. >> joining me now is john haur. and karen finney and dorian warren. former senator mccain adviser mark salter told abc news what i think everybody can maybe figure out is that this was leaked probably by someone who wanted to stop it from happening. he said any day spent on anything spent on it is a wasted day. karen finney, would this plan in your judgment have been stopped if it had not been leaked ahead of time? >> it surely does not seem that it would.
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it seems that there was -- you know, if you think about fred davis' desire to proceed with this kind of campaign four years ago, there would have been voices thought to be the only way to take down president obama, i suppose, during this campaign. but misunderstanding where the country is right now. but let's be very clear, lawrence, about what this was about. this was about a back door way to inject race and fear into this campaign and to have a character assassination. remember. all of this is tied to a website that's called character matters which is part of this whole strategy. that's what this is. we should be very clear. this is about injecting race into this contest. >> let's listen to what mitt romney actually said about reverend wright. he was asked this question this morning on the plane, is reverend right off limits?
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he had brought up reverend wright back in february. let's listen to that. >> i think, again, that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths but instead from those who would like to see america more secular. >> you had an interview with sean hannity in february. you said that you thought obama was trying to make america a less christian nation. it was responding to a quote that he had played for you on the radio. do you stand by that? and do you believe that president obama's world view was achieved by reverend wright? >> i'm actually going to -- i'm not familiar precisely with exactly what i said. but i stand by what i said whatever it was. >> dorian warren, i'm familiar with what he said and i guess he stands by with what he said. it doesn't get stranger than
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that. >> very strange. in fact, i think there's a way in which both romney and this effort to inject race and wright back into the campaign could backfire for romney. because it reintroduces people to reverend wright which reminds voters by the way the president is christian and not muslim. then it brings up doubts especially from social conservatives about the mormonism. there's a way this could backfire on romney as well as the super pac that's trying to inject racial fear into this election. >> john, i think of myself as the white metrosexual abe lincoln. what's their complaint there? what is it they don't like about metrosexual or abe lincoln? it can't be that they don't like black. that couldn't be it. >> no.
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lawrence, not at all. i think i view that way myself. if you read the proposal -- i keep thinking that this -- this is obviously a scurrilous proposal. but it's mostly the pros in the proposal in the plan is so purple and so ridiculous. you read it and think this is just silly. it's bad politics. and there's nothing i think about the president's biography that was litigated in 2008. there's no doubt that reverend wright posed a real political threat to president obama. it's why he gave that big speech. it's now four years later. republicans have said that the president's real vulnerability is the economy. that's where he's weakest. there's no swing voter in america who cares about anything from obama's biographical past. none of those things are going to matter. this is a huge distraction. it's a huge waste of time.
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today was a big good day for the white house. what they got out of this and i was down there today talking to officials out of this. what they got was the romney campaign to repudiate this. and the extent it was going to be part of the campaign, it's not anymore. >> john, i think john mccain was a key player in the way this unfolded today. in this plan they specifically cite the ad that mccain refused to run last time around and how he should have run it. and he was a clown not to. let's look at the ad john mccain refused to run. the thing these guys would have run. >> long before anyone knew who john mccain or barack obama were, one chose to honor his fellow soldiers by refusing to walk out of a prisoner of war camp. the other chose not to even walk out of a church where a pastor was spewing hatred. >> not god bless america, god damn america.
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>> character matters especially when no one's looking. >> karen finney, when john mccain said this morning i would make the same decision again, it seemed to me he was clearly saying to these people if you do this stuff, i'm going to make that same decision again and rule it out of order. >> absolutely. and you know, lawrence, i'll go a step further. i think anyone who employed fred davis, he did the debbie spend it now ads, should fire him. this is the kind of immoral activity this guy think candidates should go to. remember that barack obama not only repudiated this, but he did so specifically point by point and he went to bill o'reilly. he didn't just do some mealy mouth b.s. taking two questions from reporters. he went to a number of news outlets and he sat down with bill o'reilly and went point by point as to why he repudiated this. >> karen finney, john heilemann,
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and dorian warren. thank you for joining me. coming up, crazy billionaires united to defeat president obama. we'll have more on the crazy billionaire's plan to convince america to hate the president. and later, rich guy mitt romney says if you tax him, you will kill job creation. an even richer guy says don't believe it. it's the middle class that creates jobs. nick hanauer will join me in an exclusive. and bill o'reilly is in the rewrite. he agreed with a guest last night that said president obama is not as smart as president nixon. yes, that president nixon. the anti-semitic criminal president who sacrificed more than 20,000 american lives in vietnam for no reason. and celebrity chef mario batali gets the last word
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tonight as he and his family complete one full week of eating only what they could afford on a food stamp budget. mario batali joins me from one of his restaurants. that's coming up. ...which helped students and teachers get better results in ap courses. together, they raised ap test scores 138%. just imagine our potential... ...if the other states joined them. let's raise our scores. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this. we have product x and we have product y. we are going to start with product x. the only thing i'll let you know is that it is an, affordable product. oh, i like that. let's move on to product y, which is a far more expensive product. whoaaa. i don't care for that at all. yuck. you picked x and it was geico car insurance
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celebrity chef mario batali has been living on a food stamp budget. he will join me to tell me how his wife and family have done it. and ben stein told bill o'reilly that president barack obama is not as smart as president nixon. so how smart is ben stein? bill o'reilly, ben stein, and richard nixon. all in tonight's rewrite. [ female announcer ] removing facial hair can be irritating.
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are on the baseball field. >> joining me now maggie haberman and johnathan capehart. well, they are running scared at the chicago cubs and td ameritrade. the two companies that have an association with the latest crazy billionaire to emerge. i want to read you the first sentence of a chicago cubs statement from ricketts' son joe ricketts. as chairman of the chicago cubs, i repudiate any return to racially divisive issues in this year's presidential campaign. like my father has. jonathan capehart, i don't quite get what he's saying there about his father. his father was part of a group that was trying to push this crazy idea forward until they got caught today. >> right. until they got caught. this is supposed to be financed by his father's super pac. i think it's called ending the spending.
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and the new york times did a great service later in the day after putting this huge story on the front page. they provided a link on their website to the entire plan. and jeb later in the day tweeted out something i think most people hadn't paid attention to which is something that's on page 46. now, while mr. ricketts and everyone is trying to walk this back. this wasn't really a plan. no one really approved it. it wasn't really going to go anywhere. i'm focused on the economy and jobs. on page 46, the drafters of this plan say after your preliminary approval at the new york meeting, comma. this was more than just some radical proposal that came out of left field. this is something that they sought. this is something that got if not a green light, a yellow light and was almost there until it got leaked. >> yeah. he obviously had approved it and was ready to go with it.
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and maggie, the cubs are kind of nervous about this. td ameritrade is nervous about this. since he's associated with them. they in response to questions about it at td ameritrade said obviously he is a founder of the company, but his thoughts, opinions, and activities are not those of td ameritrade. his political work is independent of any involvement with the company. however, he would not be able to afford this political work if he hadn't made all this money at td ameritrade. >> right. i think this is sort of the issue where you have similarly mitt romney talks about bain and when he left bain and what happened after bain. it's hard to move him away from where he is. it's hard with ricketts as well as. i think this is brand damaging potentially for these companies, for the cubs, for td ameritrade. joe ricketts has been making himself a player in politics since the 2012 elections.
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so he is making a lot of moves. i don't think anyone, obviously if you're him you don't want to see it end up this way. and if you're these corporate entities, this is not good pr. >> they recognized in the design of the -- the ambition of the plan is that the problem they were facing was america doesn't hate barack obama. and that's been the sticking point on this. their mission was to get america to hate barack obama. >> throughout the plan, it talks about -- and yet people still like him. and people still like him. so we're going to have to go the lowest road possible to try to get people to not like him. particularly independents is who they were going for. the only problem is the only people who would be susceptible to that kind of message that they were trying to push are people who already don't like barack obama and who weren't
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going to like him no matter what he said, no matter what he did. so i'm really wondering about the utility of this plan. to jump on something that maggie said, there's also another piece of this. talk about the business interests here. particularly the chicago cubs. mr. ricketts has, you know, made what might be a fatal mistake. he is looking to the government -- the city of chicago for some money to help him renovate his stadium. and who's the mayor of chicago but rahm emanuel, the former chief of staff to the president of the united states, barack obama. >> i'm so glad you brought that up. as a self-confessed socialist, there is no form of socialism i despise more energetically than sports socialism which is republicans' favorite type of socialism. this ricketts family wants some sports socialism pulled straight out of chicago taxpayers in order to do their plans with
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their stadium. and maggie, this is the kind of thing that is all over the wild inconsistencies of this kind of billionaire's thinking of, you know, i hate all -- obama is this crazy socialist. but i'd like to take sports socialism money and put it in my pockets. >> there are different realities of the business world. subsidies and tax breaks play a role for a lot of companies. one of the things that's been chasing mitt romney with bain is certain companies he started at bain that were getting tax breaks. they touted in their pushback web video. that company got some tax subsidies. so yes, it is very complicated. i don't think -- again, this is not -- this didn't blow up in a way anyone wanted. if they were going ahead with this, it's not going to stay a secret. if they did it, everyone would know who did it. they would have to claim ownership of it.
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fred davis who has been behind this plan and who wrote this plan, which i think most people -- the details of that plan are what was especially surprising to see. it was very detailed. it was very specific. things that you don't typically see certainly on paper in politics. but fred davis is known for ads. this is something that he does. it's not a huge surprise to see it come from him. this would be the first time you see the jeremiah wright issue in an election. i think that's what they were banking on. >> thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks. coming up, celebrity chef mario batali is finishing his week of eating on a food stamp budget. that's $1.48 per meal for each member of his family. his wife and two sons. mario batali will join me from one of his restaurants coming up. and in the rewrite, actor pundit ben stein told bill o'reilly last night that president obama is not as smart
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as richard nixon. yes the richard nixon that was driven from the presidency for committing high crimes and misdemeanors. yes the criminal richard nixon. we'll find out how smart ben stein is in tonight's rewrite. ♪ [ male announcer ] we believe in thinking day and night... about your dog's nutrition. like the dual-defense antioxidants in our food
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i'll ask him why he chose to do that and what he and his wife and kids have learned from it. he will join me from one of his restaurants coming up. and in the rewrite, actor pundit ben stein said president obama is not as smart as the worst president we've ever had. the anti-semitic criminal out of control richard nixon. ben stein, bill o'reilly, and richard nixon are all together in tonight's rewrite. and then there's this. >> there can never be enough super rich people to power a great economy. somebody like me makes hundreds or thousands as much as the median american but i don't buy hundreds or thousands of times as much stuff. >> that's an excerpt from a six minute speech that brilliantly argues that the rich are not america's job creators. and that speech was considered so controversial by its sponsors that they would not put it on
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how many jobs were you able to create when you were at bain capital? >> the number is over a hundred thousand. >> my job creation number in the private sector has created more jobs than obama created in the country. >> those businesses have now added over a hundred thousand jobs. i have a record of learning how to create jobs. >> mitt romney has now spent years on the campaign trail running on his so-called job creation record. at last count, romney says he helped create over a hundred thousand jobs. but another incredibly rich guy says the notion that rich people create jobs is completely false. that was considered so partisan
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by the t.e.d. conference they refused to put this man's speech on their website as they do most of their other speeches of their conferences. and under pressure today, the t.e.d. organization finally released that video. here's nick hanauer, venture capitalist who became the first non-family investor in >> i can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs. nor do businesses large or small. jobs are a consequence of a circle of life like feedback loop between customers and businesses. and only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. in a sense, an ordinary consumer is more of a job creator than a capitalist like me. that's why when business people take credit for creating jobs, it's a bit like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. it's actually the other way around.
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>> joining me now for an exclusive interview is nick hanauer, author of "the gardens of democracy." nick, your message is a very simple one. it's taught somewhere around the first week or so of any kind of economics course. which is that consumer demand rules everything. and it's something that henry ford knew. he knew when he was making -- when he was mass producing cars that the workers in his factory had to be able to afford to buy them to generate and keep that demand going. >> correct. correct. only consumer demand can animate hiring. although it's not quite true that economics textbooks reflect that idea because that idea is -- what's necessary in order to reach that conclusion is to understand that the economy is an ecosystem and subject to the same kinds of feedback loops that natural ecosystems are. once you understand that, it
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becomes transparently obvious that this trickle down orthodox is a complete and bogus lie. and that the true job creation lies in animating consumer demand and the feedback loop that comes from it. >> i want to show one more piece of your speech. for two reasons. one, because it's been suppressed and we're exciting we have it. and the other, it beautifully puts this notion about consumer demand and how the rich absolutely cannot generate enough consumer demand. let's listen to that. >> sure. >> there can never be enough super rich people to power a great economy. somebody like me makes hundreds or thousands times as much as the median american but i don't buy hundreds or thousands of times as much stuff. my family owns three cars. not 3,000. i can't buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed americans can't by any new cars, clothes, or enjoy
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meals out. >> nick, the point couldn't have been made more perfectly. i've never heard it made so well. >> thank you. >> look, we've got three cars. that's it. i can't go out and buy 3,000. >> right. but think about what the economy would be like if the 280 million americans who aren't in the top 1% had seen their wages rise as fast as mine has over the last 30 years, they could buy a lot more cars. and as a consequence, our economy would be growing far faster than it is. >> and it seems one of the points you make is that in order to keep these tax rates on the rich low and get these policies across, they have to come up with some sort of an almost devine reason this should be. hence the new notion of job creators and job creators residing among those people who are in wall street anyway
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shuffling money all day. they're not running factories anywhere. >> it's true. when a capitalist claims to be a job creator it sounds like we're describing the way the economy works. what we're doing is making a claim on status and privileges. look, there's a small leap from job creator to the creator. if you're the creator, you're at the center of the economic universe and deserve status and privileges. which is how in a democracy you can come up with this astounding 233% differential between the tax rates i pay, 15% on capital gains, dividends, and carried interest. and the 35% top marginal rate on work that ordinary americans pay. you can't get there any other way than specially defying capitalists. i'm not saying they don't provide an important role in the economy. what i do is awesome and useful. in an ecosystem all parts of the ecosystem are equally important. >> before we go, you make the point that hiring a new employee
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is a last resort for someone running a business. >> absolutely. capitalists like me, you know, for us when you're running a business, hiring more people is a course of last resort. it's what we do if and only if rising customer demand requires it. and more to the point, the measure of the quality of a business, how profitable it is, is largely the difference between how few workers we hire per unit of sales versus our competitors. right? the fewer jobs i create per unit of sales, the more profitable my company becomes. in that sense, calling ourselves job creators isn't just inaccurate, it's somewhat disingenuous. >> i think no one has explained this more clearly. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> happy to be here. thank you. >> you can see nick's entire speech and it's only six minutes long. you will learn more in that six minutes than any other six
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minutes you will spend. you can see it on our blog. coming up, celebrity chef mario batali and his family spent a week on a food stamp budget. that's about $1.48 per meal. mario batali joins me in a "last word" exclusive to talk about why the food stamp program is so important. and in tonight's rewrite, an all star cast. bill o'reilly, ben stein, and richard nixon. ben stein told o'reilly last night that the anti-semitic criminal president was smarter than president obama. how smart is ben stein? we're going to find out next. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62%
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mario batali joins me to talk about why it's so important. but first, actor pundit ben stein thinks he's smarter than everyone, especially president obama. and he thinks the worst president we've ever had, the anti-semitic criminal richard nixon, was smarter than barack obama. and he got bill o'reilly to agree to that last night. the dream team, ben stein, bill o'reilly, and richard nixon all in tonight's rewrite. [ male announcer ] knowing your customers is important to any successful business. which is why at wells fargo, we work with you to get to know the unique aspects of your business. we can recommend financial solutions that can work for you that have helped millions of business owners save time, reduce expenses, and maximize cash flow. as the number one small business lender for nine years running... we're with you when you need us. so you can be there for your customers. wells fargo. together we'll go far.
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time for tonight's rewrite. last night bill o'reilly asked a question he thought we could all agree on. >> my final question. barack obama is a smart man. you would say that wouldn't you? >> i wouldn't say that. >> uh-oh. disagreeing with bill o'reilly. this isn't going to go well. >> you wouldn't even say he's a smart man, huh? >> i would say he's a smart man, i don't think he's a -- i mean, he's not in the same league of presidential genius of nixon, for example. but he's smarter than the average bear. >> that's all i'm saying. >> and there we have another classic o'reilly moment where o'reilly tries to create the image of fair and balance for his viewers. most of whom like ben stein are not willing to say that barack obama is a smart man. when the fox news audience hears bill o'reilly say barack obama is a smart man, they think wow. bill is being way, way too fair.
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here's bill o'reilly who thinks he is a very smart man asking ben stein who thinks he's a much smarter man, is barack obama a smart man. and the agreed upon ruling seems to be, no. certainly not as smart as president richard nixon. but maybe smarter than an average bear. if ben stein looks familiar to you it is more likely to be from his acting career than his pundit career. more people worldwide have seen him in ferris bueller's day off than will see him on fox news. he played a high school teacher. and on fox news, he plays an economist. the qualifications for the use of the label economist are lower at fox news than anywhere else in the world. ben is not by anyone else's reckoning an economist.
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he majored in economics in college, as did i, but that doesn't make ben or me an economist. and ben knows that. but ben is related to an economist. a famous economist. ben's father, herb stein who i briefly knew was very well liked by both parties that served as president nixon's chairman of the council of economic advisers. calling ben an economist is like calling me a cop or a lawyer because my father eventually became a lawyer. it's easier for me to believe that the people at fox news who write those labels don't know what an economist is than it is for me to believe that ben is lying to the people at fox news than he is an economist. and it's impossible for me to believe that ben really thinks barack obama is not a smart man.
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ben and barack have similar academic credentials. they went to the same college, columbia. ben went to yale law school, barack went to harvard law school. that's a coin toss. most of the legal world is a bit more impressed with harvard law school. the supreme court has five harvard law graduates. and barack was not just a member of the harvard law review, he was the president of the harvard law review. ben, i'm afraid, didn't make the law review cut at yale. so barack obama's academic distinction is not just higher than ben stein's, it is higher than every president who has been elected in my lifetime. president nixon who ben thinks was a genius went to whittier college in duke law school and was considered by many who worked with him to be in o'reilly's phrase, a smart man.
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in some ways. but richard nixon is the president who got elected on his lie about having a secret plan to end the war in vietnam and then continued that war for four more years costing another 20,000 american military deaths and achieving absolutely nothing in that war that wasn't achievable on his first day in office. nothing. by the time nixon eventually in effect completely surrendered to the north vietnamese. nixon is also the president who took the single most socialistic action imaginable. he instituted wage and price controls. something that only had marginal support among some very liberal economists and then only under certain crisis conditions. president nixon did this while ben stein's father was serving as his principle economic adviser.
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richard nixon, ben stein's definition of presidential genius, is also the man who said this. >> ben stein who is jewish has heard all of the nixon anti-semitic quotes yet he still assigns presidential genius to a known anti-semite. and he was such a genius he got himself impeached by the house of representatives and chose to resign the presidency instead of
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going to trial in the senate. because republicans senators told him he would be convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors. still, ben stein wants you to believe that the worst president we've ever had, the president who wasted over 20,000 american lives in vietnam, the proven anti-semite, the president who got caught and driven out of office for his part in a criminal conspiracy, that man is the stuff of quote, presidential genius. and president obama's intelligence should not be compared to anything more than an average bear. oh, the twists of mind that are necessary to come up with that, to justify wasting lives in vietnam, to justify anti-semitism, criminal conspiracy.
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and indeed to any right thinking conservative to justify wage and price controls. those twists of mind are poisonous to contemplate. richard nixon himself never claimed to be a genius. never. and in the end, he claimed only this. >> well, i'm not a crook. >> and even that wasn't true. you can't argue with nutrition you can see. great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. i'm eating what i know is better nutrition. mmmm. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms.
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at the big food bank for new york fund raiser about a couple of weeks ago, i challenged everyone to try to walk a mile in another person's shoes. and that was to see if you could live on food stamps. what it really does is causes us
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to think about what hunger is. whether the state is responsible for feeding people. what kind of things are going on in politics and what really makes it a great engine for our discussion is we have to think about what we're eating. >> that was celebrity chef mario batali on day four of the seven-day food stamp challenge. a hunger awareness campaign led by batali and for the food bank of new york city that encourages americans to try eating the equivalent of a food stamp budget which is $31 per person for the week. $1.48 per meal. today mario batali, his wife, and their two teenage sons are on their seventh and final day of the food stamp challenge. joining me now from one of his new york restaurants, mario batali. how is day seven going? how are you feeling?
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how hungry are you right now? >> well, i'm looking forward to dinner in about 20 minutes, but i must say i'm not starved. i'm certainly not withering away. but it was an interesting challenge. the family really kind of rallied around the flag. we thought about it and talked about it in ways we never really thought about food. food has always been a gift for us and something we appreciated but never had to think about in terms of budgeting. >> yeah. you had to go into the market place as it were, struggling to put something on the table and try to make it stretch. i mean, did you find by day three that you were coming up with different stretching the dollar strategies? >> well, i think stretching the dollar is the key to this in understanding that if you can, shopping at more than one store was the key to understanding it and getting through with it. they have to manipulate their own supply and demand. only out for the good deals when moving quickly.
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we were lucky enough to go to four different stores. i know there are food deserts or places that are difficult to find food which would make that is lot more difficult to achieve. but at that point you have to give it over to allowing the store to dictate your menu by buying what's on special. which may be chicken legs. which may not be flank steak, it may be beef chuck. it's understanding that you really have to think about in a different way and allow the store to drive what you're going to eat. >> part of your motivation for this is in congress the food stamp program is under siege. there are dueling proposals about how much to cut it and cut it very significantly. how do you cut $1.48 per meal. >> well, the proposal is somewhere between 20% and 30%. so i guess you're going to cut it between a quarter and 50 cents. i think what's more significant than the number is why we would be cutting anyway. it seems to me when 75% of the
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food stamps go to families with children, the idea of not investing in our human capital is perhaps the most preposterous of all ideologies. certainly not giving children enough food to come to fruit is what this county should stand for. in investing in our own people. >> and then we will cut the food stamp program. we will send some kids to school hungry. then we will complain about what's happening to their low grades. >> standardized test scores go down if you don't have enough food in your belly. you're more thinking about if you're going to get lunch. >> mario batali, this has been a really instructive week you've gone through. thank you for sharing your story tonight. >> it's an honor. thanks for having me. and a sad last word tonight. five-time grammy winner donna summer has died after a long
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battle with cancer. she began her singing career in her hometown of boston. she and i are from the same part of the city. it was in europe where she became a hit. needless to say, no one from the jeremiah e. burke high school has had a bigger impact on music or popular culture worldwide. donna summer was 63 years old. ♪ ♪ jeremiah was a bull frog, let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews, in washington tonight, bad men with dirty angry among. the guys funding the pro-romney super pacs are getting as dirty


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