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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  June 12, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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chris, we have a poll that says two-thirds of americans are tuning out political advertising and 54% are tuning out election coverage. we know based on the president's schedule and mitt romney's schedule that there's going to be a lot of attention paid to nine swing states this november, and by the analysis from the punditry, it's 8% of the population that is actually going to determine the results in november. what do you make of that as far as democracy? >> i'm glad you bring that up. i think there's a connection between the two. we come to take it for granted that the incredible focus with which these national campaigns are run both on geographic areas, subdivisions of those areas and sub-demographics in those areas is just the way you run a campaign now and the more robust and powerful the targeting machinery gets, the narrower the focus of the candidates and it is alienating. i grew up in the bronx. there's two million people in the bronx, 1.5 million people in the bronx. no candidate is ever going to
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come talk to the bodega owners who live there. they might as well not exist from the perspective of national politics. so why would you pay attention if you are essentially written out of the equation? >> they are definitely not coming to brooklyn. patricia, let's talk about that, though. in terms of the message, we have got -- certainly the media cycle has a role to play in all this but in terms of the sort of microtargeting message management, that is increasingly the focus of these campaigns. i have to drive everybody's attention to the back and forth between mitt romney and mitt romney on the teachers, firefighters and policemen comment. this is what he said on friday, then we will play sound from what he said today. let's take a listen. >> he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message of wisconsin? the american people did. it's time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> he says that you're out of touch. he says you want to cut firefighters and teachers.
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>> well, that's a very strange accusation. of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. the federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. so obviously that's completely absurd. >> also asked on a rope line earlier today about the same comment, mitt romney said i am not going to talk about that. what was that? what was that? are we being unfair? >> aside from the fact that i love nothing more than a romney v romney contest, because you could just spend your entire career doing that, romney, there's a couple things wrong here. romney is wrong that federal money doesn't go to teachers and firefighters, because that's what the bulk of the stimulus was, that republicans are complaining so much about. it really helped a lot of their local states, it helped their police departments, it helped keep the cops program going, it kept teachers on the job. there's just a factual inaccuracy there. then also, just in terms of what
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romney is saying, it's the state government, the federal government, it doesn't make a lot of sense. of course he contradicted himself but i do want to say for mitt romney, to be criticizing the president for not listening and for raising too much money, for the last six weeks, romney has done nothing but raise money. now he's going on this bus tour and you notice that his numbers have been going up while he has been basically living in a snow globe. he's not been saying a whole lot, not doing a whole lot besides having private fund-raisers. now he's going into this bus tour with his every town counts. cannot wait because that is when romney really has to prove himself in front of actual real americans with problems. >> there's a parenthetical which is for the most part, almost every town counts. steve, what -- give me some analysis, though, that would seem to be the romney campaign assessing the scenario or the situation, which is the teachers, firefighters and policemen comment wasn't great, let's try and back away from that. >> yeah, and that was kind of clear from the beginning because
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you had scott walker, sort of the most famous union busting republican governor out there, even looking at romney's comment and saying no, that's not the message we want to be sending here. when you're far to the right as scott walker on public employees, that tells you something about your positioning. at the same time, what this speaks to, what you heard romney saying, this is totally incoherent, the walk-back he's offering here, that's also very consistent with the romney strategy for this campaign and really honestly what the romney strategy boils down to this fall is they want this obviously to be a referendum on obama, and it's not about having a policy argument with obama about here's what you did, here's what you should have done. it's offering -- >> what you should have did. >> it's offering up rationalizations, taking people who are in the mood in a firing mood. i'm not in a good place economically, i want to blame somebody, it's giving them what do you need to blame obama. i'll give you this, give you that, give you that. what will it take to connect that impulse to firing obama. that's all he's doing. >> if mitt romney could get away
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with it, he would get the unemployment rate tattooed on his forehead and every interview he would do, he would put tape over his mouth and sit there with a camera on the number. that's a win for them. >> you're giving them all the answers. let them work for their paychecks. carol, steve brings up a very good point. the president has said as much. this is what he said in one of his local interviews yesterday regarding the vision thing. let's take a listen. >> ultimately the election's going to be a choice between a vision that says we're all in this together and we're making investments in the future on things like student loans or refinancing, and a vision that says everybody's looking out for themselves. >> or as steve says, it's the vision that mitt romney is not the vision. the reality that mitt romney is not president obama and every bad thing you want to think about is just part of the president's vision for the country. >> right. as obama says, the romney slogan is essentially it's obama's fault. what i want to say about the
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walk-back is they are now 1 for 1 on walk-backs. this all started because the president said something and had to walk it back. it's never really clear when they're doing walk-backs, it's never actually working out for them, i don't think. but in terms of the vision the president's talking about, what you're going to see him do on thursday is hold his first campaign policy speech which is going to be, you know, a fairly small event, about 1,000 people in a swing state of ohio and cleveland, and he will talk about this vision. that's what he wants this election to be about. they very much want to look to the future in terms of what is mitt romney going to do about the economy and the future, what's he going to do about the middle class. >> and pin him to some specific policy. >> right now they are pinning him to things like the house republican budget -- >> which is a pretty good thing to pin him on. >> i don't think obama can get away with not talking about his record. he's been in office for three years and it's not getting better as fast as americans want. people are so deeply anxious. i don't think he can get away with saying don't pay attention to that, let's talk about what's going to happen. >> i feel like the president --
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i mean, forward is not just coincidentally their motto although we haven't heard much of that lately. >> no. >> but that will certainly be brought up in the debates and after the convention i think by the romney team. but i do want to talk about where the president goes. there's a massive article out in "the new yorker" this week talking about what happens in a second term for the obama presidency and there are very real statistics in here. i thought this one was of many depressing things i have heard this week, pretty depressing. if he wins, obama will have less than 18 months to pass a second wave of domestic agenda, of his domestic agenda which has been stalled since late 2010 and has no chance of moving this year. his best opportunity for a breakthrough on energy policy, immigration or tax reform would come in 2013. by the middle of 2014, congressional elections will force another hiatus in washington policy making. effectively he has one year to do anything. >> it's unclear to me why if you retain republican control of the house or you get republican control of the senate, if either or both houses are controlled by the opposition party, why they
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would change from what they have been doing which is total implacable consistent obstruction and resistance. that has been the strategy from the beginning. i think they feel that it is conferred political benefits on them. i don't see anything forcing them off that strategy no matter what the president proposes, because we have seen in the past when he proposes things that are centrist, things that have been endorsed by republican policy makers in the past, the political drive is to reject it out of hand. i don't see that changing. >> it sounds like the white house is betting that if the president is re-elected that will break the fever? >> he'll have a mandate. >> right. there is a lot of unpacking about what a mandate is and whether effectively in that year it will be sort of squandered on one thing or the other. >> has to be tax reform. immigration, no. climate change, what? >> that seems the most likely candidate. >> yeah. >> we will talk a lot more about the president's potential second term in the coming days and weeks. but not after the break, because we are going to be talking about new evidence that the american dream is becoming the american debt. looking at the new social
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disorder and talking about chris' new book, next. [ male announcer ] you sprayed them. thought they were dead. huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering so, i'm walking down the street, sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering just you know walking, sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering and i found myself in the middle of this parade honoring america's troops. which is actually quite fitting because geico has been serving the military for over 75 years. aawh no, look, i know this is about the troops and not about me. right, but i don't look like that. who can i write a letter to about this?
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a new report from the federal reserve shows the recession wiped out 20 years of personal net worth, threatening to turn the american dream into the american debt. the median wealth of the american family fell 38% in just three years, matching a level not seen since 1992. the report showed the middle class bore the brunt of the economic hit with the middle 60% of the country seeing the greatest losses. the top 10% actually saw their net worth increase. chris hayes, you have a new book out, "twilight of elites." if you don't see an uptick in amazon sales at 1:05 p.m., i
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failed. one of the themes of the book, you were talking about income inequality. i want to read an excerpt. we largely ignore the effect of extreme inequality that is in the long run the most destructive. the way it makes those at the top of the social pyramid worse. for this reason, extreme inequality produces elites that are less competent and more corrupt than a more egalitarian social order would. this is the fundamental outcome that several decades of failed production have revealed. as american society grows more elitist it produces a lesser caliber of elites. all the data and all the trend lines point towards less of an equal society, greater income disparity, how do we reverse that trend? >> well, i think we need to reassess some of our basic intuitions and tacit assumptions about the way american society should work. i think we all buy into this vision that says the best and smartest from all walks of life, gay and straight, black and white, male and female will get funneled through this process
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and ascend to the heights of the pillar institutions, whether wall street or washington. i think what we found is inequality means those folks making the decisions get more socially distant from the people that those decisions affect. that makes them worse decision makers. you raised a great study from the federal reserve which is a fascinating institution for all sorts of reasons. one of the things the federal reserve did during the housing bubble was completely miss the housing bubble. they had meetings with people who were saying there is craziness happening in the subprime market. i talked to the center for responsible lending in raleigh-durham and they were working in a community in which you had 70-year-old grandmothers who had a home equity loan, were getting foreclosed on after owning for 30 years because the predatory nature of the loan and that information was not being conveyed to the people at the top. so there was this profound disconnect between the way the subprime market was operating and the people at the bottom taking out the kind of net wealth we saw in those numbers -- >> most of that take-down of american wealth is because of homes being underwater, the mortgage crisis, et cetera. >> you get this disconnect and
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when you get disconnects like that, one of the amazing intuitions our founders had, one of their big complaints was the distance of the king. there's this line in the declaration of independence which we don't think about anymore which says aside from the other things the king's doing wrong, he keeps dithering with decisions and then he makes them wrong. the idea that being making decisions need to be imbedded in the system that those decisions affect. that's the genius of democracy. the more unequal our social order gets, the less we are able to achieve that. >> you talk about, when talking about elites, i have to bring in the op-ed which would seem to be a rebuttal to many of the points you make in your book. it says then there is our fervent devotion to equality, to the notion that all people are equal and deserve equal recognition and respect. the common assumption is that elites are always hiding something, those people at the top are nowhere near as smart or as wonderful, as pure as all-knowing me. he ends with i don't know if america has a leadership
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problem. it certainly has a followership problem. i will let you respond but i also want to bring in -- one of the examples used is occupy wall street. that's an example of the incredibly self-important crowd, not partaking in the political system and fundamentally, this mistrust of institutions has not created better institutions because people aren't buying in. it's not because the people at the top aren't doing very well but because of the followership problem. >> occupy wall street is interesting to me because i always felt there were two stories going on there. one was the actual physical movement itself, the people who were camped out and some of them who are still active in that movement. i think it connected with something much broader than that. it's people who would never come to new york to be part of that, would never take part in their city but who the idea, i think the idea in the wake of the meltown,-d it'sinally kind of occurred to them what inequality actually is, how they actually fit into that picture, how their personal situations fit into that. i have seen these polls before where you start asking people about the distribution of wealth
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in this country and you say, you know, roughly what share of the wealth do you think the top 10%, 5%, 1% own. people do not know this. >> vastly underestimated. >> they always get it wrong. >> yeah. one of the things i think that's always interesting, i disagree with david brooks on a variety of points he makes in that piece, mostly because we may pay lip service to equality but we actually aren't that committed to it. we do believe in the model, we believe in taking the people who are the smartest and putting them in charge of things but more than that, one of the things that's really fascinating about the data you just showed, who got hit the hardest from their wealth. it wasn't the poorest people. wasn't the working class. it was the middle, upper middle class who have seen their prospects dimmed and that's when you're seeing radicalization among that socioeconomic demographic. if you look at the tea party, and some folks in occupy wall street, a lot of that is frustration and betrayal from people who have degrees, are kind of upwardly mobile and have professional aspirations. >> also, it's important to note,
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pew also has a study on average income between 2005 and 2009. white incomes are down 16%. hispanic incomes are down 65%. african-american incomes are down 50%. you talk about a sense of disenfranchisement with the electoral process, talk about turnout in november. these communities have been disproportionately hit and yet, i think the blame lies really on both sides of the aisle here. the president has made no particular effort to reach out and stanch black unemployment and the black unemployment crisis. >> he has been very -- you can make the argument, the argument the white house would make, this is the argument when you bring up the specific racial questions, that everything we're doing is for everyone. that the recovery act helped black and latino families because it helped the economy as a whole, particularly helped people in the bottom, affordable care act helps black and latinos because medicaid expansion, getting people coverage. but it's true that he's been reticent to talk about it in those specific terms and i think, look, when you look at those numbers, it's been a rough decade in this country. this mood of betrayal and
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distrust and kind of dyspeptic discontest, 2006, throw the bums out, 2002008, throw the bums ou. figuring out how to navigate that is the president's challenge. >> we look forward to the sequel, which is the dawn. is civility in politics an oxymoron? is it done?
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congress, the first time she was on the floor of the house, one of the first times, one of the first things she did is walk from across from the left to the right side of the aisle to greet, you know, the republicans that she hadn't met before and these were people that she was able to establish a relationship and work to get things done for this country. >> that was mark kelly, the husband of gabbi giffords, sitting beside ron barber, who is running in a special election for her congressional seat in arizona today. giffords resigned from her seat in january and is expected to cast her vote today alongside ron barber. patricia, it was a national moment when gabbi giffords was shot and there was a lot of discussion about civility returning to political discourse. that moment seems short-lived at best. politico has a preview of a study called civility in america 2012. nearly 7 in 10 americans have quote, lost hope that our political parties can discuss matters civilly. >> yes. if i was in that survey i would have been one of the seven. i could have kicked it up to 8
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in 10. i actually think that the civility, the level of civility on capitol hill, when you go there, is actually pretty high. but the problem that i have with their discourse is they talk completely past each other. there is a democrat party and a republican party. they refuse to even engage. republicans will not debate issues. it is their way or the highway. so you have all sorts of incidents in history where civility in the senate, preston brooks beat somebody with a cane and i don't think that strom thurman was an example of beautiful rhetoric in congress. the rhetoric has been worse. to me, the concern, i have never seen this calcified, i have never seen people so unwilling to even try to get anything done or even want to get anything done. >> you know, when we're talking about sort of the parties, jeb bush had a few tweets yesterday and comments yesterday talking about the republican table and whether it was big enough for his father or his brother to have a seat at the current republican table. he tweeted out the point i was
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making yesterday is this. the political system today is hyper partisan, both sides are at fault. and then in the later tweet, said my dad and reagan sacrificed political points for good public policy. you have prominent republicans who are sitting on the side who are not running for office, who are not in office, but who have been critical of their own party and it almost seems like blasphemy at this point to criticize your own party. >> what's interesting about jeb bush is that he's seen as this patrician of the party, someone people look to and really respect. he talks a lot about this and he is someone who has tried to talk to both sides. he's met with president obama. he appeared with president obama in miami. it's something a lot of other republicans wouldn't do. in terms of the way people feel about the tone right now, i think one of the reasons why we are still seeing people tuning out and getting frustrated with the discourse is, a, because nothing's getting done in washington, because both sides have really dug in their heels. that's just going to continue,
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at least through the election, perhaps beyond. but also because a lot of people rallied around president obama in 2008 because he promised something different and he has been -- he has really struggled to try and make that, to change the tone in washington and the public discourse. it's not something -- >> it's also aided by money, too. if we're talking about superpacs, the new tactic is carpet bombing. >> sorry, but there's also a dynamic here that i just want to stress. to push back a little on the idea that there's polarization happening in both parties, the data that we have on polarization shows there's a tremendous asymmetric polarization happening. republicans are turning to the right more than democrats are turning to the left. there's a ton of political science on this that establishes that pretty firmly. we're talking about nothing getting done in washington. the idea of revenue sharing which is the federal government giving money to the states to close budget gaps was come up
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with by richard nixon. that's exactly the kind of thing the republicans in congress are standing against. >> to carol's point, there was the promise of sort of a new dawn in washington. you can argue that it's no fault of the president that there has been no dawn but he is the one getting blamed for it in a lot of ways. >> in a marriage, one person cannot unilaterally stop a divorce. that's an important point to make. >> he does not reach out to republicans. he does not have them up to the white house. he has no relationship with republicans, probably because they give him the cold shoulder every time. i agree with carol. the president has some responsibility based on what he promised. he's not delivering. republicans are doing it twice as bad. >> there is an expectation that a very high expectation, and i think that's one of the reasons why people hold president obama to a higher expectation, is because he's the one who set it. so when you look at how he's governed in the last couple years, he got a lot of things
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through when democrats had control and he didn't feel the need to talk to republicans during that time, and now once the republicans got control of the house, there was a back and forth and he came, conceded on certain things when he was trying to cut a deal and save the deficit but neither side is absolved of -- >> historically, let's be clear about the way the affordable care act went down. there were five months, literally five months spent with max baucus negotiating at a table of six, three republicans, three democrats who were the bottleneck for the entirety of the 2000 page bill. the entirety of the policy was being funneled through a bipartisan split, 50/50, three and three, group of six that were working on it. eventually the republicans walked from that because they had been delaying it for so long, they realized nothing was going to get -- >> steve. >> what we're seeing in a way is new and in a way, it is not new. ideological polarization is not new. there has been a really sharp left and right divide. there has been resistance from
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liberals to conservatives. what's different is tactical right now, because fundamental shift happened in sort of american parties from the mid 1960s on, basically triggered by the civil rights movement, voting rights act, all this, where the ideologicthey are syn now. the republicans are the right of center party, the democrats are the left of center party and there's no more mixing where you'll have weird coalitions in congress. there's a need to be civil to the other side within congress because i'm not with you on this but our coalition will be with you on that and it's created an opening for the republicans. for the republicans to basically say we're going to use every possible legislative tool at our disposal to stall the other side's agenda and engage in partisan warfare. >> it is amazing to me that if you talk to probably a broad swath of the american electorate, the blame does not lie exclusively with republicans or even overwhelmingly, and you have someone like scott walker who today is holding a beer and brats summit, hoping for i think you get a big cup of amnesia
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juice if you go to that. >> sounds gross. >> yes, it does. anyway, coming up, is the death penalty coming to an end? we will be discussing that next. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ in the state of texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you are involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of texas, and that is you will be executed. >> that was rick perry during a presidential debate defending his use of the death penalty. no governor has executed more inmates than perry, 243 and counting, in less than 12 years. across the nation, more than 3,000 inmates are sitting on death row.
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but most of them will remain there. that's because recent trends point to a decline in the number of people being executed. one reason, growing fears about taking the life of an innocent person. joining us now is the governor of connecticut, dan malloy. in april, his state became the fifth state in five years to abolish the death penalty. governor, great to see you. >> great to be with you. >> i have a couple questions to get us started. the first is, do you think, the death penalty is a very loaded issue, a lot of contentious debate around it. but given the recent trends, the fact that connecticut is the fifth state in five years to abolish the penalty, did so in april, we know that california's going to be tackling the issue in november. a few other states are bandying it about as well. do you think there's enough national attention on this? i wonder about the fallout since you repealed the death penalty. >> a couple things. the fallout i experienced was actually when i was running for governor and i said i would sign a bill doing away with the death penalty, and they tried to beat me like a dog on that issue,
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made the election particularly close because we had a particularly heinous crime that had been committed and those trials were going on in the middle of the election. but listen, i adopted this position way back in the 1980s when i was a prosecutor in new york city. i tried four homicides there, i subsequently tried a homicide as a defense attorney. i made a decision that justice has not been meted out equally. you're far more likely to be sentenced to death if you're a black man or hispanic man who has killed a white person and the same statistical variation doesn't hold for white people killing black or hispanic people. we also know that we've convicted people and put them to death wrongly. the first person to be put to death in connecticut was put to death for being a witch. so connecticut finally joined the other states that have outlawed the death penalty beginning in 1852, when wisconsin did it, or 1876, when maine did it.
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this is a slow-moving trend, i suppose i would say, but nonetheless, it's a trend. you know, i think what we did was the right thing. i will point out to you that usually when you ask the question do you favor death penalty, people say yes, but when you ask them to make a choice between the death penalty and life in prison without the possibility of parole, life without the possibility of parole wins. so it really depends on how you ask the question. you know, i also would point out to you, texas has put a lot of people to death. the united states has put a lot of people to death. about 77 last year. but that puts us in a class of countries like iraq or yemen or china that put 444 people to death last year. that's not necessarily where we want to be. there is a reality that if you wanted to be in the european union, you can't have the death
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penalty. this is a trend on an international basis which will play itself out for generations to come. >> governor, i would ask you and also ask the panel, if we talk about the cultural shift around the death penalty, we played that rick perry sound from the debates last year for a reason, which is to say rick perry got applause when he talked about men and women, death row inmates being executed. there's still a certain amount of support for the death penalty and if you look at sort of the national breakdown in terms of the number of executions which is 1,296 since 1976, it is -- executions are disproportionately happening in the south, specifically in texas. in the south alone there were 1,063 executions. the midwest, 151. the west, 78. northeast, four. we have been talking a lot about swing states and this sort of national political map but i wonder if you did sort of a transparency overlay, how much of those are sort of red states and whether this is an issue that's going to be decided largely along political lines. >> there's a pretty big overlay
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if you want to compare on social justice issues. the states that recognize civil union or marriage versus those that have passed constitutional amendments in their own states for banning that. there is an overlay. that's a reality. on the other hand, there's a movement and people -- the united states citizens overwhelmingly are religious people, and most religions practice that there is redemption and there is forgiveness, and so we have this very strange situation where this very religious country, where people self-recognize as being religious, also still supports the death penalty when the precepts of most of those religions don't allow for it. >> the redemption narrative is fascinating, especially when you talk about the support that exists for life without parole, and yet you still have governors like again, rick perry, who are staunch in their defense of the death penalty. steve, when we talk about other sort of factors that are leading
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to a decline in executions, i thought it was really interesting that we talk about dna evidence being a big factor but in fact, the leading causes include perjury or false accusations, mistaken eyewitness identification, official misconduct and of course, false forensic evidence. >> i think there has been a shift in the polling because there's an awareness of how easy it is relatively speaking to make mistakes when it comes to putting somebody on death row. but the flipside of it and the governor alluded to this at the beginning of his comments there, is the one thing that seems to drive public opinion back toward the side of the death penalty and this happened in connecticut, is that case you talked about. in 2007, in that state where this woman and her two children were held hostage in their house all day, they were brutalized and then ultimately killed. the evidence was clear-cut and overwhelming in those cases about the two men who did it. there is no doubt these two men are guilty. there is no doubt that they ought to be held responsible and i think there's a sense among some people in connecticut, that's what i see in the polling, that yeah, we tend to
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use this nationally, we tend to use the death penalty too much, there is potential for error, but in those cases like this, there needs to be something. i see that in the polling, in the clear-cut cases, there is still a strong desire among people like that for a death penalty. >> high profile -- >> we don't want to go to a popular vote over who actually gets put to death, do we? >> no. i don't think we do, governor. unfortunately, we do have to leave it there. thank you so much for your time, sir. we will follow the death penalty trend as it makes its way across the country and certainly hope to have you back soon. governor dan malloy, thanks a lot. after the break, the mayor of mayors. mike bloomberg has his sights set on bigger objectives as usual. we will ask gabe sherman about his honor's next act. the medicare debate continues in washington...
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latest piece in "new york" magazine, bloomberg wants to be mayor of the world. he has already started his campaign, spending his multi billion dollar fortune to improve other cities. gabe joins the panel now. his story is called "the mayor of mayors." great read, gabe. >> thanks for having me. >> thanks for coming on. we talk about the globe-trotting michael bloomberg. certainly new yorkers have lots of ideas about the mayor, how he's run the city. one of the most interesting things on the panel, we were talking about this during the break, is that fact that mayor bloomberg is actually problem solving in other cities in america. >> yes. it's not just super-sized sodas here in new york. he is taking a model that he built here in new york which is using his private money to support organizations and constituencies that are useful politically to him, and issues that he cares about, and he's branching it out to cities not only around the united states but around the world. so he really is almost like a one man stimulus program for these cash-strapped local governments who don't have the money to spend on new
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innovations, new programs. he's taking his personal fortune and spending it and building an international coalition or at least, that's the plan. >> well, the fact that he spent $125 million just to improve road safety globally? only mayor mike could be doing that. >> yes. very wonky kind of down in the weeds work but that's what he cares about. >> let me just say, i feel like that's the mayor at his best. road safety is precisely, there are issues sometimes he champions that are those technocratic issues that don't have political traction. >> or don't inspire partisan emotion. >> but road safety is important. >> spoken as a bicyclist. carol, when we talk about bloomberg's sort of political capital, he's definitely sort of gone outside traditional party lines in terms of what he's advocated for, whether that's immigration, smoking, gun control, sugary sodas, gay marriage. where do you assess him in terms of sort of national political scene in terms of his clout? >> at this moment, he's the guy, the obama team would love to
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have him in their tent. the romney people would love to have him in their tent. he's courted on both sides. he's sort of a made man in that sense. he has golfed with president obama, very few people beyond the tiny little group that he golfs with all the time can say that. he's having coffee with romney in his office in new york. and so i think right now, he's in this position where people want him and that could change if he were to try and aspire to higher office just because of some of his positions and because of where he's been politically. he's a republican, a democrat, an independent. >> he's everything. the other thing that struck me about the story where he sort of digs if not subtle digs, digs at the administration. >> at the white house. >> i'll read one excerpt. look at obama as he goes around the nuclear summit. his posture is sort of that guy making entries rather than that of an established global leader, says a senior bloomberg advisor. look at the way mike operated.
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he produced what i say are the beginnings of an international infrastructure that can promote a level of change that is hard to fathom. >> well, i think that quote is revealing of a couple things. one, it's no secret there has not been a lot of warmth between mayor bloomberg and this white house. they haven't clicked. rupert murdoch reported in the press he had a conversation with bloomberg in which he described obama as the most arrogant man he had ever met. this is no secret there's tension between these two camps. i think this quote is revealing of the sort of frustration in the bloomberg world that here's a man who has achieved so much and yet his limit is -- he's reached his limit politically as a mayor, and the office of the presidency is sort of out of bounds. so what does someone with that money, that media power, and that ambition do? >> can i also say, that quote to me, i thought it was a really well reported piece, really great piece, and i thought that quote also stuck out as a certain level of self-delusion to say the president is a
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supplicant. he's not writing huge checks to everybody that he needs to get on his side. to sort of casually toss this off, a huge part of the political strategy of this mayor, as you know, has been to use his personal fortune to curry favor with people he needs to curry favor with. that is not an option for the president of the united states. >> i don't think they see it that way. i think they see, the bloomberg people see the success that bloomberg has had both in business and as of now three-term new york city mayor as a testament to his uniqueness and they are frustrated that can't translate into sort of bigger political foils. >> maybe they need to come up with a different title, like king of everything, as something he can do after he's done with his mayoral tenure. >> as a lifelong new yorker, mayor of new york, that's a heck of a job. >> it is. he has done a heck of a job. thank you, gabe sherman. everybody should read that article. coming up, if you can't beat them, launch your own cable channel. campaigning goes the way of the truman show in a key senate race. details next. ♪
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welcome back. time for "what now." a u.s. senate candidate in hawaii is giving the term "channel surfing" a whole new meaning. former hawaii governor linda lingle has launched her own cable channel to say aloha to voters. she's a republican running for the seat of retiring senator dan akaka. i was wondering how many surfing metaphors i would get in. i got two. apparently on oceanic time warner cable channel which sounds like it's straight out of the script of "lost," l.l. 2012 was added to the channel guide yesterday, you get an on-demand menu with videos and reading materials. could this be the answer? >> i got to say, this is brilliant because if there is one state in the country where people do not spend time outside and are just on their couches looking for something to watch on television, got to be hawaii. >> terrible weather. >> well played.
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>> could it be -- i mean, obviously we talk a lot about messaging and ad wars and ad buys and maybe the answer is just to say we're buying a channel. >> it's very counterintuitive because the whole way politicians reach people is by bombarding them with advertising and mailings or whatever, and this assumes people are going to want to actually go and find you. >> it's a way of getting around the ad, just go for the main programming and leave the ads to the player haters. okay. i saved this one for chris and patricia. a public school in brooklyn banned the song "god bless the usa" from kindergarten graduation ceremony last week, just banned justin bieber's hit song "baby" from the program as well. according to new york's mayor michael bloomberg and former president george h.w. bush isn't a fan of the song, either. without getting into the partisan politics, clearly at play here, we are, you know, what is appropriate to play at a kindergarten graduation if not "god bless the usa"? >> i think they're both very
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appropriate. the way to solve this is a mash-up of the two which i'm sure there are talented folks out there, "god bless america"/"baby" mash-up. that's bipartisanship. >> i think beyonce already bridged the divide by cutting her own version of "god bless the usa." i want to say if beyonce is on it, what could be so wrong for a kindergartener? >> patricia pinch-hitting for beyonce. that's why we're on television. thanks to chris, carol, patricia and steve. that's all for now. see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when i'm joined by nicolle wallace, patricia murphy is back with more beyonce trivia and planned parenthood's president, cecile richards. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. good afternoon, andrea. thanks so much. coming up next, the u.n. says the syria crisis is a civil war. we'll talk to richard engel in the region.
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there are calls for eric holder's resignation on the hill today. plus evidence that the recession hit a lot harder than we thought. joining me, white house economic advisor jean spurling and pat toomey. an exciting discovery with doris goodwin. plus the anniversary of watergate and with ronald reagan's speech at the berlin wall. happy birthday, george herbert walker bush. next on "andrea mitchell reports." thought they were dead. [ laughter ] [ grunting ] huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. america's number one weed killer. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. guaranteed. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem. in here, great food demands a great presentation.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" the attorney general in the hot seat. today, a leading republican senator accuses eric holder of perjury and demands he step down. >> mr. attorney general, it's more with sorrow than regret -- than anger, that i would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those that call upon you to resn your office. americans deserve an attorney general who will be honest with them. they deserve an attorney general who will uphold the basic
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standards of political independence and accountability. you have proven time and time again, sadly, that you're unwilling to do so. the american people deserve better. they deserve an attorney general who is accountable and independent. they deserve an attorney general who puts justice before politics. it's my sincere hope that president obama will replace you with someone who is up to that challenge. >> mr. attorney general, you certainly have the right to respond to that. the senator from texas accused you of perjury which is a criminal offense. i realize that -- i remember his strong support of one of your predecessors, attorney general gonzalez. i have a different view of that. i felt that you were a more appropriate person to be attorney general. so feel free to respond. >> yeah. with all due respect, senator, there is so much that's factually wrong with the premises that you

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