tv Morning Joe MSNBC June 18, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT
this will be a very close electi election. let's talk about immigration for a minute. mitt romney said he would veto the dream act if he was elected president during the republican primaries in debate after debate talked about how he would send the 11 million people home. looking for immigration reform, comprehensive reform, mitt romney is never -- he's been clear he's not going to be a solution here. >> good morning. it is monday, june 18th. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set we have msnbc political analyst and visiting professor at nyu and former democratic congressman harold ford jr. politicking. you can't help yourself. >> i haven't seen him in a while. >> and former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve rattner, also a financier. in washington, msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele. good to have you all on board this morning. we have a lot to get to. you heard the back and forth over the executive order on immigration. so the question we're going to
talk about coming up is who is really playing politics, the president for issuing it or mitt romney for not answering the question on whether he would repeal it? seems like a game on both sides. but first, we'll get to greece. president obama touched down in mexico last night for the start of the g-20 summit. where he's expected to urge european leaders to focus on pro-growth policies before austerity. this comes as stocks opened in europe strong on the news that greece's pro-bailout party claimed victory in this weekend's parliamentary elections. european union leaders are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the conservative new democracy party took a narrow victory over the anti-austerity left meaning greece will remain a member of the union at least for the time being. they have to build a government. republican presidential nom my mitt romney reacted to the financial crisis saying no matter what happens in the eurozone, under a romney presidency, europe will never get a u.s.-backed bailout.
>> we're not going to send checks to europe. we're not going to bail out the european banks. we're going to be poise ed here to support our economy but i'm in favor of the fundamental things one does to strengthen the economic footings of a nation. i couldn't believe we should expose our national balance sheet to the vagueries of what's going to be happening in europe. europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so. >> we have a lot to get to this morning. let's get to steve rattner's chart and how the europe debt crisis relates to the u.s. take us through them and explain what happened and what it means to us. >> first of all the election was good news in the sense it doesn't, as the story suggests, it doesn't suggest that we're going to -- going to be an immediate departure from the euro by greece. we avoided the cliff. for the moment we have not gone over the cliff, the europeans have not gone over the cliff. they're teetering on the edge. can they put a government together that can implement the
kinds of reforms they have to achieve to be competitive within the eurozone. >> what do we know about their ability to do that? >> their ability to do that so far has been very limited. you're dealing with a country that operates in a different way than europe where people retire at the age of 50, as hair dressers because it's considered a dangerous profession, where they have the largest pension system of any country in europe, where they have a tax collection system that's a problem. and all this boils down to competitiveness and this is really the key chart, because unless greece can solve its competitiveness problem, it can really never function as a fully parse paer to member of the euro. you see all the members of the eurozone and the u.s. laid out in terms of what we call competitiveness. what is competitive snz a mix of efficiency and labor costs. want high efficiency, low labor costs makes you competitive. won't be surprised to see germany at the bottom at 104 compared to 100 back in 2000
meaning their costs have only gone up 4%. you see greece all the way at the top at 143%. because they've had this explosion of wage increases, a lack of frankly work ethic, and the result is they are the least competitive there, the least competitive country in europe and they are going to have to face that. and if they can't face that, it really doesn't matter all the rest of the stuff who gets elected, what they say they're going to do. they have to get themselves into position if they're not all the way down in germany, at least have to be able to compete with their european brothers. so that's the really tough test to have and that's why the markets overnight initially reacted very well, because this is certainly better news than it could have been. >> people are calling it a fake rally. >> markets are pulling back. >> we look a lot, steve, as well as debt to gdp. 150%, something like that in greece. a lot of people wondering is the united states heading down the path of greece. how close could we come? >> that's the exact right question. what does greece mean for us?
we don't have the same competitiveness problem but if you look at this next chart we have a debt problem that is growing at a massive pace. and you can see here, that back in 2004, our debt to gdp was only 37%. was only about 37%. and then it started to rise and today, it's 73%. and it's rising, and it's rising rapidly. the dotted line across the middle is greece. these are cbo numbers. these basically say if we do nothing else to our policies, don't reform medicare, don't deal with our tax problem, et cetera this is the trajectory we're on. out here in 2132 may seem like a long time, only 20 years away, i hope to be around then, we will pass greece currently unsustainable debt level if we stay on the course we're on. so the the message from greece is twofold. it's they have a terrible competitiveness problem that is almost uniquely greece that they
have to solve, it doesn't relate as much to us, but the consequences of overleveraging yourself and taking on too much debt we can see pretty clearly in our own situation. >> so, michael steele, just looking at the politics of this, front page of the "new york times" this morning, all the different foreign crises that are impacting this presidency as obama also seeks re-election and how distracting it can be, especially when you have a jobs crisis and people are more focused inward, more worried about their own wallets but you have greece, you have syria, egypt and the list goes on. >> right. >> it is. and it does. and it's a big distraction for the president and part of the challenge he's got is dealing with his right flank in terms of mitt romney and the republicans calling out the fact that, you know, we are headed on an economic glide path towards greece, while at the same time he's trying to balance the international hot spots, whether it's the middle east, whether
it's the economic front in the european union. and it poses some real challenges. which is why i know we'll talk about it later, the immigration debate is a welcomed distraction because at least gets you some cheers in some corners politically that otherwise you're not getting cheers right now. i think that that's something when you look at what steve just pointed out in terms of the economic trajectory, that's why you've had this discussion in the congress, certainly among republicans, about the spending aspect of this. and also got to be the revenue side which you've talked about a lot, mika. it's both of those coming together for the president to sort of make that case, but mitt romney will also have to address this issue as this campaign heats up and we get to labor day, and focus really, people really focus in on what his policies will be, vis-a-vis europe and the united states, he's going to have to address both of that ying and yang of spending and debt to give the
people a sense of what's coming next and what to expect. >> what he's made of. and those two issues will certainly heat up as well. let's get to immigration. mitt romney spent much of the weekend trying to clarify his campaign's position on illegal immigration largely due to a surprise move by president obama. on friday, the president announced a plan that would stop the deportation of young illegal immigrants who were brought into the country as children. and have been through schooling or served in the military. romney took a tough stance on illegal immigration during the republican primary vowing to veto the dream act which would have created a path to citizenship tore many illegal immigrants, but yesterday, he avoided the question when asked whether he would repeal obama's new plan if he were elected in november. >> with regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is. >> would you repeal this? >> well, it would be overtaken by events if you will, by virtue
of my putting in place a long-term solution. >> i won't keep on about this but just to make sure i understand, would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just -- >> repeal it? >> we'll look at that setting as we reach that, but my answers is, i would come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis, not this kind of a stopgap measure. >> michael steele, let you jump in and respond, first let me go to harold ford. everyone is askccusing the president for his executive order calling it purely political, he could have done this the first two years when he had the power to do it, he didn't, he went his own way and didn't engage congress, just issued an executive order. this is buying, what, 800,000 latino votes and nothing more. and you know what, i can see the argument for that, until mitt romney waffles around on answering the question on whether he would repeal it, five
times. so who's playing politics if obama is, that's one thing, but mitt romney, plug the same game not answering that question. would you not agree. >> the president showed leadership and answered the question. this is a policy challenge and one that i believe that the obama administration is has tried to address, but they've been blocked and thwarted by this congress. the president had it within his power to do it. now mitt romney when given an opportunity and a chance as you would hope you have in politics to answer yes or no about a policy decision -- >> at this stage of the game it seems a little -- >> particularly when he was so definitive in the primary when he made it clear he was in support of how -- i don't know how you can be in support of something called self-deportation. >> i'm not thinking someone is going to self-deport unless they need -- >> you wouldn't come if you were going to self-deport. he had the opportunity to turn back. what i like about what the president did this week, just to tie in for one moment mr. rattner's charts, the world is gripped with uncertainty. the world -- america is gripped
with uncertainty around the immigration issue. how the president shows the same kind of leadership when it comes to trying to instill and introduce more certainty into the markets and to the minds of business people by dealing with tax reform, by dealing with the debt issues, i think the president is saying over and over again my jobs plan and the president talking, my debt reduction plan, he's got to give us a little more than that. i think the win in greece is not only important for the short rally, i hope it's a sustained rally, but it's important because we now are able to at least dodge that bullet and begin to focus on a larger banking reform there in europe, whether or not the germans announce the need to become more involved but more important, may give mr. geithner and the president and white house an openness to say perhaps we should take a bigger step and a more assertive step around debt, tax reform and for that matter jobs plan. >> here in the united states? >> here in the united states. the president can control this. he controlled immigration issue by taking charge and be more in charge of our debt, tax reform
and even a jobs plan that might garner support from republicans, prior to the election. >> on that immigration question, the most recent gallup poll has the president up 43 points still, tightened from 53 points a month before that. >> set up an extra seven. >> if it is political as some are accusing the president, why would we do it? he's up by 45 points. do you believe this was a political move by the president or because of what he believes? >> belief? what belief? there's no belief here. >> come on. >> there's no belief. you believe in the early days of your administration if you're that -- and the president talked about immigration back in '09 and 2010. that was the opportunity then to really set the course. by that point, the chart that the congress has set was very clear they were not going to be, you know, the combay ya congress. the reality this is blatant politics and helps him with churng out that vote.
this is a turnout election. >> michael -- >> let me finish. this is a turnout election and he's -- and this helps him turn out that vote that he needs among young voters who have not saddled up the way they did in 2008. this is something the president could have done three years ago very easily. i get the whole thing going around congress fine. but the reality of it is, let's not sugar coat this and make this seem like this was some profile and courage. this is politics raw and simple and k5u8 it what it is and go with it. i'm not saying it's a bad thing. >> is the policy the right one? >> is the policy a right one? >> the policy the right one that the president has taken thing, the right thing to do, the executive order? yes or no? >> i don't think you do it this way. you're not addressing the underlying fundamentals of immigration. this is patchwork. you haven't addressed the security interests on the border, you haven't addressed what you're going to do with these folks. you haven't looked at the economic impact.
all you've said is you all get to stay. >> would you support repealing it? >> repealing the dream act? >> no. repealing the president's executive order? >> at this stage, i mean, if this -- this is zero sum game one way or the other. it's not going to do anything, that's the point. >> let me ask you -- >> one of the 800,000 kids -- >> this is a band-aid on a big wound. >> if you are a kid who came here, how ever their parents got them here and this was repealed, i think it would impact you. i don't think you can say it does nothing. the question is would you support repealing it? >> wait a minute. mika, what's going to happen for that kid between now and november? because if mitt romney wins in november, everything changes come january. >> i don't think -- he didn't really answer that question. >> he did answer your question. saying he would repeal it. >> what's interesting about this from a political point of view, it put romney in a box because -- >> it has. >> the republicans -- during the republican primaries romney was adamant that every one of these
people would be deported, no immigration reform, no nothing except to secure our boarders. and then yesterday, he started waffling around and said i don't know what i would do, looking -- because he's in a terrible position he wants the hispanic. if he goes against the president he's lost the vote, if he goes with the president he contradicts everything against the primaries. the white house has put him in a very tight political box on this issue. >> not only that. >> bam, that's the politics. >> but michael, to the larger point that steve is making is that also, reinforces the white house's political statement which is simple about governor romney, that you don't know where he's going to end up on any given day on any given issue. >> exactly. >> he was so strong and assertive during the campaign. i disagreed with his position. but now his position is when i get into office i will evaluate all these options, i will evaluate that policy i want a longer term policy. does he want self-deportation
policy, santorum policy. >> who is he? >> at least you admit it. chairman you're absolutely -- at least you admit where you stand. >> michael -- >> he won't admit where he stands on it. >> yes, mika. >> you don't want me to say you got nothing again, do you? >> no. go ahead. >> you can say that. >> i don't think you do here. i think you've got a half a point. listen, wouldn't you agree that there are key issue, key issues affecting this country, immigration being one of them, where a candidate like mitt romney who has been campaigning for many years now and is the republican nominee should have a clear, unequivocal answer on and should not go five times with bob sheefrer asking politely what do you believe? >> yes. >> yeah. >> i mean -- but that's -- >> it shows him to be completely who is he? at least the question. >> that's the politics. >> if you watch the round tables after that discussion both on cbs and a bit on nbc, the reporters even people like peggy
noonan and rich laurie said he has to get specific and answer the questions. can't go through this campaign dealing in generalities. >> check back with his staff. i mean every time he does this -- >> worse than that. looks like he will check back with his political pollster. >> whatever. >> he's got no convictions when he loses out on answering questions he shows he has no convictions. >> mika, i would agree with you on that and i think that's my whole point. that's the political box he's been put into, that's the got you, i tweeted that on friday when it happened that this was a got you moment and they knew exactly what the romney team was going to do. you were between a rock and a hard place here and it showed in that shaffer interview. the reality the fundamentals of immigration reform in this country has still not been addressed, this is a band-aid on a big problem. it makes folks feel good at the surface but doesn't fundamentally deal with the fact that we have 11 million people
in this country with a big question mark over their heads and neither the obama administration in the last three and a half years nor the romney campaign in the last five months have addressed that issue. >> chairman f he had taken the position and articulated it as clearly and cogently as you did, but prefaced it with i support the president doing this for the moment, but and said what you said, we wouldn't be talking about this morning. >> well -- >> as a matter of fact, he would have found himself -- look this is a band-aid approach i would not want to deport 800,000 kids, we've got to fix this larger problem and in the short run the president probably did the right thing. i might not have done it that way. probably did the right thing. the bigger issue is this, the more the president is able to keep romney talking about this and not the romney it's a win/win for the. >> the you're right, harold. >> i think he would have faced a flip flopping issue. >> he's facing it right now too. >> now mushy land. if he had been specific, directly contradicts what he was saying during the republican primaries. >> he will have to flip flop in
the campaign. >> that's an etch-a-sketch. >> he does not appeal to mainstream voters. i'm not in that campaign. >> it's unbelievable. it's frustrating. as it should be easier. >> there was some expectation this week mitt romney was going to get together with marco rubio -- >> who was on the front page of "usa today." >> diffused by what the president did on friday. there wasn't a lot of distance between with what romney was going to announce and the president announced on friday. a little bit. i want to ask you one other thing as a man who served in congress, how do you feel about the use i would ask this about george bush too, of the executive order? in other words, we couldn't get the dream act through congress so he's going to sign something and put it into law, something that could be as easily erased by the next president? are you troubled at all? >> i am. when i was in congress i supported both president bush and clinton used the executive order when the issue i thought warranted it. this issue here again as chairman steele said there's a
temporary nature to this. this is not a permanent nature. i'm not as opposed to it. however there are times when which former presidents democrats and republicans did it which i did not support. i'm not bothered by. >> one other thing in the news, we'll get to the break, nevada billionaire shelden adelson pledging another million dollars to a super pac. telling "forbes" magazine he's willing to spend up to $100 million to elect republicans in november. so, we'll talk about that coming up as well. money -- >> unbelievable. >> corroding the system. whole thing is sick. it's disturbing. coming up we'll talk to republican senator pat toomey of pennsylvania and former u.s. comptroller dave walker, vet wes moore and chuck todd live from the g-20 summit in mexico. up next, an exclusive first look at top stories in the politico playbook. first, here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> mika, get ready for the heat. everyone on the east coast
including the mid-atlantic and new england will see the hottest temperatures of this early summer seasonp the middle of this week. all that hot air is in the middle of the country. there was a very hot weekend in the four corner region, colorado especially with the wild first burning and now that hot air will spread east. the cool air with us today will be long gone by wednesday and thursday when temperatures will be about 95 to 100 from boston, d.c., new york, baltimore, and philadelphia. so, it's the first one of the season so that's why it's going to be a little shock to the system. we have a little bit of light rain trying to head from west virginia through northern virginia and central pennsylvania a few showers today. d.c., a cloudy, cool day, 77. still very cool from boston to philly. that's why it's going to be a shock once the heat finally arrives. today, 98 in denver, 112 in phoenix. all of texas is hot too. the only other cool spot on the map is up in the pacific northwest. but once again, make sure that a
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welcome back to "morning joe." 6:26 here on the east coast. with us the chief white house correspondent for politico mr. mike allen, has a look at the playbook. good morning. >> good morning, guys. >> big headline at politico, mitt romney covering a lot of ground in ohio, made his first appearance there with speaker john boehner. you are calling the romney/boehner alliance a complicated one. what do you mean. >> we're not going to see them a lot together as our jake sherman said, take a picture of them yesterday, save the video because they're going to be
going on different paths now. speaker boehner's priority, keep a house republican majority. he's more oriented to firing up conservatives who will turn out in his republican house districts where mitt romney will be focused on the middle. now, the significance of yesterday's event is it's another sign that conservatives are accepting not embracing, but accepting mitt romney as one of them. so, as we talked to the most conservative conservatives in the country, they're still not wild about mitt. i don't think they ever will be. but there's not this sort of peanut gallery or drag against him that we thought there might be. so mitt romney heads into the summer, with conservatives behind him. >> what are the perils for mitt romney on the other side? he's had already the ryan/romney budget, the ryan/romney wing of the republican party strung around his neck.
he wants to distance himself a little bit and play to the middle. >> that's a good point. he's going to keep hearing that, the obama campaign was thrilled to see them -- two of them together. they did take that picture. they will keep that video. but he's used that as a way for him to lock in as a conservative. he was going to be tagged with the republican budget anyway by accepting paul ryan. he now is getting the advantages of that. and we don't know who his vp pick will be, but the people that look most logical, rob portman, tim pawlenty, maybe marco rubio, john thune, all of them will give him more level with conservatives and then free him, as he heads into the convention in the fall, to focus on the middle which has shrunk, one of the campaign's giving the estimate, the middle is really as small as 3%. the people that can be swung. >> you guys also write this morning a piece that jumped at
us about scott walker. survived the recall election and for a lot of conservative bloggers he's actually the star, he's outshining mitt romney the guy who could be president? >> that's right. this really surprised me. our james heilman went out to the right on-line conference in las vegas, the conservative equivalent of net roots nation up in providence, rhode island, last week and they were buzzing about mitt, buzzing about governor scott walker of wisconsin. we've talked before on "morning joe" about how he's able to raise an astounding amount of money across the country. now even before his big victory. now coming across it, he's a real republican rock star. he's going to be somebody out there people are looking for for endorsements and even more importantly, look to as a style of governing. it's almost the chris christie style. in their face, do what you say you were going to do, both of these guys have proved you can do that and survive. >> michael steele, what is scott walker's place in the republican
party? he said he's ready to sit tight and govern and make, i don't know, make some amends with democrats up in madison but what about the future for him? >> i think that's the smart tactic right now, is to show his political strength by governing well, and taking wisconsin to a successful end at the end of his first four years and then run for re-election. i think the future is whatever he wants it to be at this point. certainly as mike has pointed out, he is one of the go-to leaders right now in the party. he's shown through his governance style and his political savvy his ability to rally and to generate a lot of excitement and that's going to bode well for him. again, but for executive leadership the proof is always in the pudding in the numbers at the end of the four years, how does wisconsin look? how do things -- how do people feel about his tenure as governor? and will they give him another four years as we saw, for example, in indiana with mitch
daniels who did virtually the same thing without all the fanfare around him and four years later was elected with over 70% support by the voters. i think scott walker is well on that trajectory. and will be a force within the gop. >> all right. we'll see. >> go ahead, mike. >> let me ask chairman steele real quick, can you imagine governor scott walker on a vp list or is it too soon? doesn't have enough polish and record? >> i think it's too soon and i think that the smarts around him, including himself, would be, to finish his term, to govern well, to get the job done and then look at that type of arena in 2016. >> all right. mike allen, we'll look at the politico playbook. thanks so much. >> have a great week. >> coming up lebron james comes up with another big game in the nba finals but could the heat survive another fourth quarter rally by the thunder? highlights and analysis from harold ford next in sports. ♪
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let's go to miami, closing seconds of the third, oklahoma city, up one point. dwyane wade finds lebron with just under a minute to go. hits a big three to give miami the one-point lead. they have been down as many as ten points to take the lead there. fourth quarter, now thunder refusing to go quietly. harden up top to kevin durant for the dunk. brings the thunder within one. durant on the bench with foul trouble. later in the fourth heat with a one-point lead, dwyane wade and one, free throw puts the heat up four. wade had 25 points in the game. now under four minutes to go, durant trying to defend lebron. lebron with nice body control here. lay-up and foul, puts the heat up seven points. 30 seconds left. thunder still with a shot down three points here, russell westbrook gets a great wide open look. but it's long. heat get the rebound and hang on to win 91-85. lebron, 29 points, 14 rebounds, 8 of those points in the fourth quarter. the series resumes with game
four tomorrow night in miami. the heat up two games to one and lebron's starting to shake that image now, playing great through the series. >> look, i thought we said when the boston series when the big shot was hit by pierce that it could be the end. i think these guys have shown resiliency and if garnett doesn't get the ball more and a can't stay out of foul trouble -- >> durant. >> forgive me. they could win and end this series in miami. >> two more games in miami. golf, final round of the u.s. open at the olympic club in san francisco. tiger woods still having trouble on sunday after a miserable saturday. misses the par putt. finished 7 over for the tournament. webb simpson, a number you want to remember this morning. 26 years old out of north carolina. his second shot on the par 4 10th spins within a couple feet, tapped in for birdie. and eventually headed to the clubhouse with the lead. never led while he was on the course. got in the clubhouse. graham mcdowell can force a playoff with that birdie putt but pulls it wide.
simpson watching in the clubhouse. now can celebrate the 112th u.s. open champion. finished at 1 over par for the tournament. nobody finished under par. the 15th different winner in the last 15 majors by the way. 26-year-old american started his day in 29th place. that's the worst position ever for a u.s. open winner after 36 holes. as if simpson's day wasn't strange enough and surreal enough he was treated to this interruption during his trophy ceremony. >> three straight birdies and four and a five hole stretch turned it around for you today. >> that was the difference. i got off to a slow start but i knew that -- -- i knew -- >> always something to spice matters up. >> yeah enjoy the jail cell, pal. >> says webb simpson. congratulations him. i don't think a lot of people
knew his name until last night. >> matchup of division leaders, six inning, herrera hits the fly ball. appears matt trainer beat the throw home to score the tying run in the game for the dommers. white sox say trainer left early, tagged up too soon, umpire on appeal calls him out. the white sox were right. so the sox get out of the inning with the lead. dodgers' manager don mattingly doesn't like the call. comes out to argue, early trip to the showers. donnie baseball going to get his money's with worth. win 2-1 and remain in first place in the nl west. best record at 42-25. big series in washington, yankees and nationals, yanks looking for their ninth straight win and sweep of the nates. top of the seventh, robinson cano a solo home run deep to center, little left center, win 4-1. yankees on their longest winning streak since 2009. lead the al least by a game and a half over the orioles.
have the second best record now in all of baseball. coming up next, mika's must-read opinion pages. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. our cloud is not soft and fluffy. our cloud is made of bedrock. concrete. and steel. our cloud is the smartest brains combating the latest security threats.
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hello ? hello ?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, sz. i think there will be scandals as associated with the worst decision of the united states supreme court in the 21st century. uninformed, arrogant, naive. >> do you think adelson himself will have undue i influence on mitt romney. >> not any more than other people who give money, not any more than the trade unions have, the whole system is broken and is a wash. i don't pick out mr. adelson than i pick out mr. trum ka. >> senator john mccain on "meet
the press" expressing his disgust for the supreme court citizens united ruling back in january of 2010 which opened the doors to unlimited donations to third-party groups. one man taking advantage of a new system, nevada billionaire sheldon adelson. telling "forbes" magazine he is willing to spend up to $100 million to elect republicans in november. adelson has already donated at least $30 million to super pacs in this election cycle. which leads to our must-read opinion pages in a different angle on money getting just add something toxic entities to the process. here is frank rooney with a piece on how both sides are cashing in. he talks about, let's hold on on that for a second, alex. first in the piece he talks about the fund-raiser at sarah jessica parker's house in greenwich village, 50 paid $40,000 each, $2 million hall.
a fallollow up headed by maria carey to which the president dipped in, double dipping in manhattan's waters to maximize their catch and let's go to the graphic, frank goes on to write we have romney ignoring donald trump's attention mon guring attentions about obama's birth place in return for fund-raising help including a 63rd birthday lunch for ann romney on the 66th floor of trump tower in april. the equest yen themed cake was an edible ann on an edible horse. the tally was reported $600,000. we have both romney and obama campaigns soliciting donations by promising to enter donors in lotteries for dinner with the candidate and one or more of his celebrity boosters and he have e-mail subject lines from the obama campaign like these, clooney, george clooney, really, and throw bo a bone. bo as in the first dog. the money hunt enlists all
creatures great and small. so michael steele, start with you, just the news alone about sheldon adelson and money he wants to put into this, why would anyone with a brain even bother at this point? >> you mean in terms of bothered to do what? >> make a choice between these two candidates when it it's so infused with money -- >> sheldon adelson is one voter. >> who can completely influence the process and you know that. completely -- you can build a candidate and make a candidate with his money. >> a build, make a candidate that the voters will decide on by their vote in november. i understand the frustration a lot of people have with the amount of money -- and i do too. my problem with the amount of money coming in -- and i applaud shelden because he's putting it out there exposing himself, but there's a whole lot of money coming to the table that's not so exposed because there is no reporting requirement, there is no requirement that they disclose fully the amounts and to whom and when these dollars
are given. having said that, you also see the campaigns taking and tapping into that small dollar donor, for $3 enter a raffle to have dinner with george clooney and the president at some undisclosed location. so that then gets the little guy, if you will, to the table and, you know, you've got one person writing a $10 million check and 100,000 people sending in $3. so the reality for the campaigns is, they're trying to get it at both ends for what they know will be an expensive campaign. >> the public airwaves owned by the people to allow anyone, i happened to disagree with mr. adelson's politics, but say he decided to make the case we should pass simpson-bowles something i agree with, i might have a slightly different take on it. however, the principle of it is, the public airwaves are owned by the people, one, two, three, four shouldn't dominate in a political contest, i can see dominating in a strict commercial setting but where
public discourse needs to take place around big public issues, be it a democrat, republican should not dominate that. i hope the court which will revisit this issue hopefully this session, i hope that take that into account. the first amendment is vital, is first and foremost in our constitution. but the first amendment should also protect those of us who are unable to give $100 million to influence a public policy discussion using the public air waves to make the case. >> i think you have to put this in the arc of the history of campaign finance. in the post-watergate era we imposed limits on what people could give to campaigns. then mccain feingold trying to tighten up the leaks and problems with that in the late '80s and that gradually got sort of emasculated to the point where people could give unlimited soft money donations all through the '90s, never reached these levels but you had that ability. then tightened up again to eliminate the soft money. that was successful. essentially it's a process of plugging holes on a leaky boat
continuously. now a huge rush of water coming in through a big hole in the boat, and i think it's our job to plug that to create a level playing field for all sides in this. >> michael steele. >> yep. >> is it fair to say that money from gentlemen like sheldon adelson are what kept newt gingrich and the former head of godfather's pizza in the race far longer than they would have been without it? >> i understand that argument. >> is -- >> is it true? >> an the first blush i would say yes. i think that's true. but i would also have to give some nod to the process, the primary process, which had become elongated which allowed for those candidates to compete in different ways than just money. so, i think in the first blush, yeah, having that infusion of $10 million into your campaign absolutely allows you to play longer. >> having candidates like gingrich and i can't remember 999's name -- >> herman kaine.
>> in the race, doesn't it just water down the debate, doesn't it lower the level of debate and keep the national conversation -- >> i don't think so. how do you make that equation because i give you $10 million, that somehow you're watering down the debate? i think herman kaine's 9-9-9 was an important stimulant within the gop primary process in terms of a discussion point about taxes and spending. >> okay. >> what newt gingrich had the arguments that newt gingrich made -- you can talk about the ability to run and manage their campaigns. >> right. >> and how that worked. >> and how it was a clown show instead of a real debate, yeah. >> but michael, you're basically saying you think the system as it is now is just fine. >> no. didn't you hear what i said earlier? i think there should be full and uninhibited disclosure of those dollars amount. i happen to view my money as my property and i can do what i want with it, but i have no problem disclosing what i'm about to do with my money and as a candidate, if i don't accept -- don't want to be
associated with your money or your program, then i don't take it. because i know there's going to be a backlash. if i don't mind that i take it and deal with whatever comes. disclosure to me is the key thing here and my problem with mccain-feingold it limited my ability as an individual to participate through spending. >> you're saying with disclosure, anybody should be able to give anything they want to any candidate that will take it? >> well, yeah. it happens in virginia. look at virginia. virginia has full disclosure for the state level financing and you don't have all the scandals and the nightmares that people fear of because it's fully disclosed within 24 hours. >> but it's not scandal. scandal is the standard. the question is whether or not your statute and standing in the process as you said, michael, diminished if adelson is giving $100 million or trump or whom ever. the public discourse and public policy making should be held to a different standard than the commercials. >> in virginia they've elected very good governors and state reps in virginia through this
process of full disclosure. it has not had that negative impact. >> fascinating conversation. ly, what do you have next? >> it better be good. >> mitt romney visits a wawa in pennsylvania where he mixes it up with the folk. >> oh, yeah. >> discovers his new favorite thing. >> you're not goin going disappointment me, are you? >> no. news you can't use is next. also, get a free flight. you know that comes with a private island? really? no. it comes with a hat. see, airline credit cards promise flights for 25,000 miles, but... [ man ] there's never any seats for 25,000 miles. frustrating, isn't it? but that won't happen with the capital one venture card. you can book any airline, anytime. hey, i just said that. after all, isn't traveling hard enough? ow! [ male announcer ] to get the flights you want, sign up for a venture card at capitalone.com. what's in your wallet?
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time for news you can't use. >> is it going to be good? >> the horse riding deal the equestrian. >> ann romney's horse has qualified. >> fantastic. >> for the u.s. olympic equestrian team. >> rafalca. >> stephen colbert had a field day last week poking fun at the candidate and his wife's appreciation for dressage known as horse ballet i'm told. ann romney tweeted this photograph waving her dressage number one foam hand for her horse rafalca. that's what colbert did in his bit. mitt romney thrilled for his wife, talking to bob schieffer about it yesterday. >> i hear you have an olympic athlete in the family. >> it's not me, it's my wife, she's the athlete, but it's not her personally, but she along
with two other people purchased a horse and have trained it up so she's quite thrilled and i'm sure she'll be watching. i have a campaign to attend to so i won't be able to see it perform. but i'm very pleased for her and her trainer. >> dressage. >> the sport of dressage. not many people are familiar with it. but something for which she has a passion and frankly, her getting back on a horse after she was diagnosed with ms, was able, she's convinced, to help her regenerate her strength and review that vigor. she's a real -- i joke that i'm going to have to send her to betty ford for addiction to horses. >> loves her a horse. >> she does. i went riding with her. it's -- >> all flat. >> i went riding with her a couple years ago. she's fantastic. great rider. >> is she? >> fantastic rider. >> olympic level. >> uh-huh. >> that's great. >> so now if you live in delaware, maryland, pennsylvania, new jersey, across the river you know what wawa is. the market, the kind of
convenience -- >> it's more of a little upscale. you can add, with all due respect to 7-eleven, ad mitt romney to the list of wawa enthusiasts, campaigning in pennsylvania. made his first visit to a wawa described it and added an "s" to the end. >> oh, dear. >> by the way where do you get your hoagies here? do you get them at wawa's? i went to place today called wawa's. ever been to wawa's? anybody been there? i'm sorry. i know it's a big state divided. we went to wawa's. i was at wawa's. i went to order a sandwich. you press the little touch-tone keypad. touch that and you know, the sandwich comes at you. touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier there's your sandwich. it's amazing. >> boom. amazing. got a meatball hoagie. >> sounded like h.w. bush with the scanner. >> he tried. >> this is a whole system. >> he needs to go do a pbar and do some shots. >> pat toomey joins the conversation and david walker.
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe." steve rattner is still with us and joining the set republican senator from pennsylvania senator pat toomey and ceo of the comeback america initiative former comptroller to u.s. david walker and still with us in washington, taking his lumps this morning, michael steele. thank you, michael. joe is off today. we look forward to having him back later in the week.
i'll do my best to hold down the fort here. start with greece. set the scene with me steve, and we'll take it to the panel. president obama touched down in mexico last night for the start of the g-20 summit where he's expected to urge european leaders to focus on pro-growth policies before austerity. now this comes as talks in europe opened strong on the news that greece's pro-bailout party claimed victory in this week's parliamentary elections. european union leaders are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the conservative new democracy party took a narrow victory over the anti-austerity left meaning greece will remain a member of the union. mitt romney reacted to the greek election and european financial crisis saying no matter what happens in the eurozone, under a romney presidency, europe will never get a u.s.-backed bailout. >> we're not going to send checks to europe. we're not going to bail out the european banks. we're going to be poised here to support our economy, but i'm
very much in favor of the fundamental things one does to strengthen the economic footings of a nation. i certainly don't believe that we should expose our national balance sheet to the vagaries of what's going to be happening in europe. europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so. >> mitt romney very clear in his position there, but steve rattner, set the scene for us in greece, crisis averted, but? >> greece avoided going over the cliff. if the election had gone the other way, then it would have been a disaster. but this is only a temporary reprieve. they still face enormous challenges in trying to get their budget and their austerity program and their whole way the economy functions in line with the eurozone. the problem with the eurozone as we've talked about before, you have 17 countries tied together with one currency which means they all have to march at the same speed forward and greece has not been able to march at the same speed forward. they have bloated labor costs, they have an inefficient government system, they don't
collect taxes. it is a country that simply does not operate if any way that's similar to the countries like germany and france and belgium and the netherlands the leaders of the eurozone. it is crisis averted for today but in that g-20 meeting in mexico there's going to be a lot of discussion, european summit meeting at the end of june. this is going to be to continue. this saga will not end for a long time. >> this will demand a lot of the president's time. he's got a lot of different issues around the world that are simmering at the same time senator toomey, how does greece impact the united states and also what you were trying do in washington and the economic problems that we are facing here? >> you know, i think the important thing is to make sure that our financial institutions, that our financial system, minimizes the exposure to a meltdown in europe. frankly, i don't see how it's at all possible for greece to stay in the euro. i think the euro was an impossible idea and that's playing out right now for the reasons that steve alluded to. greece has a 25% higher per unit
labor cost than germany. it simply can't compete and that makes this an unsustainable arrangement. the last thing we ought to do is put u.s. taxpayer resources into propping up something that is guaranteed to fail just a question of when. what they need to do is make their economy more competitive. the greek political system is not demonstrated the will to do that. so, you know, they've bought a little time. the best thing they could do with this time they've bought seems to me is to plan an orderly change in the euro, orderly recomposition because there's several countries that can't stay in. >> dave walker, would you agree with that and the eu's woes can they be fixed through austerity alone? >> no, they can't. we're in the middle innings with regard to greece and greece isn't the only country that has challenges in europe. the truth is, there's a difference between maximizing the common market which is in the interest of europe, and maximizing the eurozone. the eurozone needs to be
rationalized, somewhat smaller, needs to have a lot tougher fiscal policy and more enforceable fiscal policies and hopefully the europeans will recognize that reality. but trankly, a lot of americans might say why should they care? the reason they should care, because we have an interconnected and interdependent economy. financial markets will be affected, the european economy if it's weak it's going to affect us. very a temporary reprieve on our interest costs because of the uncertainty in europe. frankly the other reason we ought to care, when you look at our comparable numbers, 134% of debt to gdp based upon comparable numbers which is less than two years away from greece when greece had its initial problems. >> michael steele, you've heard mitt romney talking about never bailing out europe in any way. how does this play politically if it does at all given the fact that people are focused inwards on jobs in the race for the white house? >> i think it plays very well simply because it's -- a
consistent message that mitt romney has had from the beginning about spending, about creation of debt and the weight of debt on the back of the american taxpayer. so you heard him say several times, you know, i'm not looking to bail out europe. as the president, we're not going to put in policies that would require our banking system to underwrite or somehow support their banking system. so i think that that's very important message for the american people to hear, that we are focused as you said, mika, closer to home and our own bank accounts, own worries and knowing at least mitt romney and maybe president obama to some extent, but certainly mitt romney is very clear and adamant about making sure there's a bright line between where the water's edge is from what we are able to do and will do with the european crisis unfolding the way it is. they don't have the same banking system we have and i think the point that was just made is a correct one about how, you know, this system is a failed system from the beginning because all they did was say, we're all kind of working together financially now, let's pool our money
without the -- the fundamental underlying financial structure to support the weight of disparages between the cost and the benefit analysis that's required to be successful and the reality is coming home to roost right now. >> there's a fed meeting this week, we're going to get to that with steve rattner in a moment. let's go to los cabos mexico, chief white house correspondent and political director and host of "the daily rundown" chuck todd is standing by there where the g-20 summit is going to be taking place. i can't imagine, chuck, they won't be talking about what happened in greece? >> no, it's going to be a big part of this meeting. i mean, they knew this going in, white house officials knew how big you had the greek vote and essentially until they knew the results of that, you didn't really have an idea of what this g-20 would be. this would be a much different g-20 had the greek vote gone the wrong way and then a little more panic, little more of these leaders having to figure out
where to go next where to do here, how to see if there's any sort of international solution to helping the europeans. there certainly is sort of a sense of relief here, certainly among the americans, but among everybody that okay, at least now there's a way forward. merkel just landed, the german chancellor, the president will have added a one-on-one with her to try to deal with her. the other issue out of here is syria. the president has his first one-on-one with putin since putin moved from being prime minister to president. that actually happens before the g-20 starts. so the first piece of big news out of here, may be on syria, not the world economy. >> dave walker? >> chuck, obviously they're going to be talking about greece, but in the backdrop of all of this, we've got our own problems here. i mean, to what extent are you hearing people talking about the fact, who's the united states to be able to tell europe what to do when we haven't begun to take steps to put our own financial house in order? and when you look at some
comparable numbers, frankly our numbers are pretty ugly. >> well, they are, except there are some -- the u.s. feels that given the growth numbers of europe versus the growth numbers of the united states, that actually what the united states did for -- three years ago in dealing with their initial financial crisis, their banking crisis, that now looking backwards it looks a heck of a lot more like a potential way half forward for the europeans as opposed to what they had been doing. that is how the u.s. plays sort of an advisory role here, saying look, this is what worked for capitalizing our banks, this is what worked. when you talk about the different pieces of advice that the role the united states is playing here, they say hey, look at what the united states did in '09 and as unpopular as some of those things were, when you consider the state of our economy, versus europe's, it
actually does look like something that might be worth borrowing from. >> wow. chuck todd live from los cabos, mexico, thanks very much. as i mentioned, the feds open market committee kicks off a big meeting tomorrow where it will consider whether to provide further monetary easing in the wake of the poor jobs number. steve rattner, you have more charts. you came equipped this snoorng i came equipped this morning. people would be interested in being able to follow what is going down at this fed meeting and what it will mean to them given the job numbers. >> the issue is the job numbers and what to do about it and engage in another form of easing. remember that interest rates are already almost 0 for short-term borrowing, somewhat higher but low for long-term borrowing, and the question for the fed is, do they continue buying bonds in order to keep interest rates low. let me give you background using a couple charts. the first one takes a look at our deficit. obviously each year when we run a deficit, we then have to go
out and borrow money to fund that deficit. back in the '05, '06, '07 period the deficits were low, funded heavily by foreign borrowing, although they look small now in retrospect. fed wasn't terribly active. private sector meaning americans weren't terribly active. then in '08 the deficits exploded and so they had to be funded and initially the private sector, which is the green bars, the red which is the foreign buyers, continued to step up their purchases and the fed was more active but not that active. when you get to 2011, interesting thing happens. the private sector steps back, i think there was a conventional feeling that interest rates were so low here it was not an attractive investment, the foreign sector steps back, perhaps for the same reason, perhaps for other agendas, and the fed steps up. and was literally buying 60% of the treasuries that were issued last year. what this is in effect is the fed printing money to buy our bonds.
and this is a very controversial subject and i suspect senator toomey may have a thing or two to say about this and dave walker. let me lay out the facts. what the fed is trying to do is keep long-term interest rates low to stimulate the economy. now, you can see the trend here in the ten-year treasury and if we went back further it would have been even higher, but you had this dramatic drop in the ten-year treasury rate all the way down to about 1.6%, a record low, and what's unusual about this is normally in a recovery, interest rates start to go up. but because this economic recovery has been so weak, the fed has been trying to push interest rates down and has been quite successful at doing it. now, a lot of people worry about the consequences for inflation because the flip side of printing too much money is inflation. the fed watches this very closely as we all do and one way to look at it is what's called inflation expectation or what do people expect inflation to be. what does the market expect inflation to be. you see back in the 2008 period
during our meltdown, we were actually worried about deplation, worried about the economy collapsing, prices collapsing. that would be a bad thing. the fed stepped into action and it began buying debt to bring interest rates -- to bring interest rates down, but as the economy recovered, and you can see here the three times that the fed bought debt, each time it bought debt, inflationary expectations went up a bit because people expect a little more inflation. can i say one thing and then senator toomey has the floor. >> yeah. >> the key part even after all of this, inflation expectations have remained very stable, just above this 2% level, which is why the fed may well take the view that it has the room to continue to buy large amounts of debt when it meets this week. >> the in my view, this isn't just playing with fire, but explosives. >> why? >> when a central bank monetizing a huge portion of its government debt, this is generally a recipe for disaster. right now, we have $1.5 trillion of excess reserves from the
banks sitting on deposit with the federal reserve. that starts working its way through the system and the natural multiplier effect of a fractional reserve banking system, there's a huge risk of inflation. finally, the fed is a huge enabler here. maintaining artificially low interest rates disguises the true cost of our deficits. and our debt is being funded at these ridiculously low rates because the fed is -- has engineered it that way and frankly, it has relieved the pressure on politicians to fix what's broken to get our fiscal house in order. >> dave walker? >> we are self dealing in our own debt to try to stimulate the economy, keep mortgage rates down, to help the housing market. >> doesn't the housing market need help? >> it does need. that short-term gain but it's increased risk of long-term pain. you can't self-deal in your own debt forever. in addition, we're benefiting from the uncertainty in europe and, therefore, we are a temporary safehaven for investors. ultimately we're going to need
to put our finances in order if we want to combat inflation over time, if we want to moderate interest rates over time. my personal view is, we need some targeted investments in the short term, coupled with a real structural reform program at the same time. you need to do both in order to have a prudent path forward. >> steve? >> i don't disagree with you guys in part anyway. i think we have to get our fiscal house in order. i think we have to restructure how we spend our money and make it productive. our congress is gridlocked. nothing is happening. the fed -- >> nothing. >> the fed is the only game in town and i think that what it's doing to try to keep our economy going is the right thing. i share your concern about inflation, senator, and i'm counting on the fed and ben bernanke who i think is a fine individual to find the moment when to start to move in the other direction and sell these bonds and, you know, let it -- >> he's got to be looking at the fact that nothing is being done in congress. >> if you have a hammer every problem looks like a nail and the problem is, our fundamental problems of our economy are not
monetary in nature and the fed, of course, has this dual mandate which i disagree, i think their only mandate should be price stability. they're going to great lengths here but it's very dangerous. we should be dealing with the underlying problem getting our fiscal house in order, removing some of the excess regulatory burdens and taking this massive tax increase off the table so our economy can grow. >> i think steve is exactly right that the fed is the only game in town, that the executive and legislature branches aren't doing their job, but the other thing that's happening, is that congress changed the fed's mandate in 1978 to require it to start focusing on short-term unemployment. which politicized the fed. so i do think the fed is the only game in town. it needs to do what it can. but we can't -- we can't continue to kick the can down the road with regard to the congress and the president starting to make tough choices. and i have more confidence in the fed's ability to change course than i do -- with
executive order -- >> is there any way to break the cycle of getting nothing done until the election in washington? it's not possible, is it? can you tell me republicans will compromise on anything and democrats will compromise on anything? >> i understand the frustration and you're completely right. we're not getting anything done as we should. it's not quite fair to paint everyone with the same brush. >> i'm not. >> republicans have introduced budgets, passed a budget in the house for two consecutive years. four republican budgets were offered on the senate side. zero from the democrats. when the president's budget was put on the floor he got zero votes in both bodies because it's not a serious document. i'm very frustrated. we got a big farm bill, going to spend a trillion dollars over the next ten years and republicans are not allowed to choose the amendments they want to offer. it's maddening and dysfunctional. >> if you look at the u.s. government, we've been a republic for 223 years and we still don't have three things that it takes to maximize success and mitigate risk. one, we have no plan.
number two, we have no budget. number three, we don't have performance indicators to understand which government spending programs tax policies and regulatory actions are working and which ones aren't. we're 0 for 3. that's a strikeout. it's time that we address that. >> yeah. i do blame, pat toomey, hold your point, i'm sure you have one, for passing an executive order on immigration, what would he have gotten done in congress? nothing. >> but mika, here's the point, the president -- >> nothing. >> but the president disagrees with congress about the right income tax rate. does that give him the power and authority to go out and establish his own and collecting a higher end. >> the point is nothing would have gotten done so he issued an executive order. you tell me what -- >> a constitution that says when the president wants to change the law he needs to do it in cooperation with congress. he can't just do it unilaterally. >> the constitution doesn't say if congress is slow he can do what he pleases. >> i'm nervous. go ahead. >> my point is senator you paint a picture of a congress chugging
along, republicans passing bills -- >> no, that's not my picture. totally dysfunctional. >> totally dysfunctional and the blame lies on both sides and lies in an unwillingness to compromise in my opinion and unwillingness to compromise on things like taxes. >> do you think it matters at all that one party is putting out a budget proposal that lays out a ten-year plan to restore fiscal solvency and the other party refuses to offer an idea. >> that's not exactly true. >> where is the democrat's budget? he got zero votes from democrats. >> puts that budget out. >> zero. >> the point is there is no willingness on either side to meet in the middle and we're not going to solve these problems unless we meet in the middle. >> i think we need to adopt what no labels organization is advocating and i'm one of them, no budget no pay. if you don't have a budget passed in all the appropriations bill by the beginning of the fiscal year, congress doesn't get paid until it does. it is fundamental. we can blame a lot of people --
>> yeah. >> we need a basic budget, the appropriations bills, that is the only thing in the constitution -- >> would that incentivize you? >> what more inventive am i supposed to have. i wrote a budget two years in a row, i introduced it on the senate floor. i took arrows because it does dramatic things people disagree with. totally entitled to their point of view on that. i don't think it's acceptable for the other side to have no idea. to put no budget on the table. almost all the republicans voted for my budget, and most republicans voted for the ryan budget. we've got different ideas about how we get to fiscal solvency. but it's just not acceptable to me for the other side to throw rocks and have no plan of their own. >> would you have xroes miced on anything? >> absolutely. i took ideas from the president's budget. >> like what? >> like, for instance, the fact that i think upper income senior citizens ought to pay more for their medicare benefits. i think it's ridiculous we subsidize medicare for wealthy people. >> why not just endorse simps
simpson-bowl simpson-bowles? a bipartisan agreement including a number of republican senators -- >> you may recall i was the guy on the super committee that put together a framework that was parallel and many ways consistent with simpson-bowles. i got no cooperation from the other side. >> senator pat toomey, thank you very much. david walker, thank you as well. our next guest was once viewed as a rising star on the democratic party, speaking at the 2008 convention? support of then senator barack obama. we'll ask former alabama congressman artur davis why he's not switching political parties. and is critical of the obama administration. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. [ thunk ]
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wherever your business takes you, nobody keeps you on the road like progressive commercial auto. [ flo speaking japanese ] [ shouting in japanese ] we work wherever you work. now, that's progressive. call or click today. jo i'm honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know america
can be, ladies and gentlemen, this is the cause for which we stand. an american president named barack obama, who will lead and inspire the free world. my fellow democrats, my fellow americans, i have never seen a moment like this, i have never seen a sense of urgency like this, as our next president has said, from the places in america where people hurt, to the places where people dream, our time is now, our time is now. >> that was former democratic congressman artur davis, seconding the nomination of barack obama as the democratic presidential candidate in 2008. what a difference four years makes. artur recently announced his switch from democrat to republican. and is now taking on president obama and his policies. artur davis joins us now. >> thank you for having me. >> wow. >> because can i say it's the most people have ever seen that speech.
>> i saw the speech. what's it like to see that speech given the fact that you made such a big change in your life in terms of your political affiliation? i mean what do those words mean to you now? >> you know, two things. millions of people have done the same thing that i did, which is to leave the democratic party. millions of people who voted for president obama four years ago indicate they don't plan to do that again. look, i'm proud of most of the time i spent in the democratic party. i'm proud of the career i had in public service. but there's a virtue in being on the sidelines and, you know, harold could probably testify to this too, when you're out of political office, the one great thing about it is not a whole lot of people listening to you so you don't get to talk as much. you have to join the ranks of the listeners. over the course of the last two years, as one of the listeners in this country instead of one of the talkers, i had a chance
to weigh what both sides were saying and probably late last year, people started to say to me, you know what, you don't really sound like you're a democrat anymore. you don't really sound like the things you're saying fit the democratic party. and you know what, one day i woke up and said, you know what, you don't a point. my views on the things i'm talking about, the things i believe in, line up closer today with the republican party than the democratic party. so you know, i've gotten a little bit of attention because i used to be a politician. >> what are those views that are so republican? i got to ask you about the party you have decided to join to and its state of affairs? >> most people were sitting in new york, i spend a lot of my time in d.c. and we know what the conventional wisdom is in d.c., that republican party is gone over the deep end, gone for the right. look, we have a left party and we have a right party now. liberal and conservative party. i happen to think and the things
i care most about, education reform, strengthening this economy, focusing on growth as opposed to focusing on inequality, which matters but something of a red herring, on the issues that i care most about, frankly most of the issues that we're debating today as a country, i have to be honest truth in advertising, i line up more with republicans than democrats. now a political party is not a prism. i'm always struck that in the last several weeks a lot of people say, you have no right to do this and that. a political party is a voluntary affiliation that you've adopted based on your views and your way of looking at the world. >> okay. >> you don't need a get out of jail card to leave it. >> the views you're putting out there and what you think is important, are you going to tell me mitt romney has a record that is successful, that backs up those views? >> oh, i think mitt romney was a successful governor of massachusetts and i think he has the potential to be a successful president. i want to make this point, you don't leave a party simply
because you're not going to vote for the nominee for president. i didn't decide to leave the democratic party simply because i decided if i wasn't going to vote for barack obama, it's because i feel more comfortable aligning myself with republican party. >> let me bring michael steele into this. but first, let me just -- michael, jump in after he answers to this, here's what jeb bush, do you consider him a good, kind of -- >> he's someone i admire a great deal. >> yeah. he says, ronald reagan would have based his record of finding a combination, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad, they would have a hard time if you define the republican party and i don't, as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground. back to my dad's time, ronald reagan's time they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support and right now, that would be difficult to imagine happening. this is jeb bush on the republican party. would you agree with that statement? >> no, and in fact i wrote a
column on my website disagreeing with it. here's the bottom line, if you want forces in both parties pushing the parties toward their respective bases i will grant you that, but i'm also entitled to say when like at what the two parties have become, a right party and left party, i line up with the right as opposed to the left. that's my right and where i happen to be. >> can i ask the question -- >> but then michael steele. >> i'm sorry. >> no. i just want to say i'm just happy to have another brother in the room. i'm just very -- i want to welcome you artur as a friend and we talked about this over the past year and a half. i've watched his journey, his evolution philosophically and politically and i think he's a reflection. he said a lot of what's going on out in america that's reflected in the polls that we see, that slippage, that disillusionment with both party and leadership. i think that for the gop, this is a welcomed opportunity to have someone like artur who will
come in, with fresh eyes and a fresh voice, to really kind of move this elephant in a very strong and positive direction. i happen to agree with jeb bush more broadly speaking in terms of how the party is positioned with key issues with key constituencies. it doesn't undermine the point artur makes about philosophically where we're grounded and rooted and what drew him into this party. that's what i celebrate. >> harold ford jr. artur and our friends served in the congress together and worked together on issues. the question i would have in -- i don't know when the statement was released but you said this is not bill clinton's democratic party. i've read [ inaudible ]. do you see yourself ever coming back to the party if the party returns to this approach strategy? >> harold, you know, being in a political party -- >> there are times i disagree with the party and consider
myself an independent democrat. i couldn't switch parties. >> how did you do this? >> could you come back? i think -- >> if i decided to go back it's not just one issue. your point, the quote you mentioned about the economy, as someone who got to be one of the great listeners instead of one of the talkers in the last few years, every time i heard the president, every time i heard the democratic party, talking about the economy, i heard two solutions -- no matter what the problem i heard two all-purpose solutions, all-purpose solution number one was go to people and making over $1 million or some days over $500,000 and raise their taxes or, grow the footprint of government. you could raise the taxes tomorrow of everybody in this country making over $1 million and wouldn't hurt them one bit because all they would do is find more deductions and wouldn't lift the conditions of anybody in this country making below the median income around $52,000. you can grow the footprint of government all you want, but
that's not going to solve every problem. you know, we know that. on a range of fronts from health care to poverty over the course of the last 40 years, and i kept hearing the same solutions over and over again. but -- >> i would submit -- >> but mitt romney and paul ryan their budget which has become the centerpiece of the governor romney's campaign, and i know where you stand on some of them, you don't want to see veteran programs cut, programs that would affect -- >> no. i think you need performanced based budgeting, based on what programs are working that's the place where i might be in a different space of paul ryan. >> but mitt romney has endorsed it. >> if i look at the republican governors, christie, bobby jindal, people making constructive, intelligent reforms, that are standing up to the teachers unions, standing up to the -- >> fair snuff. >> state employee unions and making tough choices that have to be made and i found myself admiring that. that's part of what led me to
switch. >> but just to follow up on harold's question, you're in effect endorsing the ryan/romney economic plan saying you're a supporter of theirs -- >> i'm not endorsing every aspect of the ryan plan. i don't have a vote to cast in the congress but i give paul credit for the courage of his convictions. >> i give him credit for the courage of specifying as well. he's done an impressive job now we know what's in that plan and it would essentially privatize medicare and turn night a voucher plan. >> can i finish? >> sure you can. >> thank you very much. he would cut discretionary spending to the point where military and civilian pensions would be cut by a third, food stamps cut by a third, all kinds of other welfare programs cut by a third. i just want to know if those are the kinds of programs you're endorsing? >> here's what you have to appreciate. we have a massive problem with hunger among children in this country despite 28 federal programs that supposedly relate to hunger related to children. >> you want to cut those? >> we're growing -- if cutting them means simplifying them
that's the smart thing to do sometimes. >> all right. before we close let's get to the personal side of this. there are skeptics for your decision. you were -- congressman for four terms in birmingham, you failed to win a bid in the democratic nomination for governor of alabama. when you lost your bid for gonchtsership you refused to endorse the democratic candidate who defeated you. democrats are, or at least some, who don't agree with your decisions saying you defected clearly for political reasons because you feel that your political stardom is failing. >> look, people -- >> did that play a role at all? did you feel you couldn't succeed where you were in the democratic party so you made a switch so you could continue in politics in win? >> i'm not in politics and i no longer live in the state of alabama. i live in virginia. if i wanted to go where republicans were winning all the time i would go back to alabama. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i have no idea. >> i have no idea. >> but people who don't agree with your choice they are going to say i don't like what you do.
i love these people a year ago who said we don't want you in the democratic party you don't sound like us and the minute you leave you have no right to leave. >> he has a little bit of inconsistency there. i left because i go back to truth in advertising. i no longer felt that the things that i believed in were things i was talking about, lined up with the democratic party. i have a right to do that. i hope i'll be a good, constructive member of the republican party and that's my priority right now trying to be a good, constructive participant in the political debate. i've simply chose to do it as a republican and democrat. >> people have every right to change. i'm a democrat. but when republicans switch to the democrat party democrats embrace and say it's a good thing. congressman has every right to make that change. i'm going to try my harder to bring him back. >> artur davis, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> coming up american presidents at war from lincoln to obama, a new book measures the successes and nurse of our commanders in chief and the trap many fall into during military conflict.
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43 past the hour. a quick other headline for you, happening this morning, the muslim brotherhood is claiming victory in egypt's first ever democratically held presidential election but the real question is who holds the power. mohamed morsi the muslim brotherhood candidate has claimed victory over hosni mubarak's former prime minister in a runoff but ahmed shafiq refuses to concede. morsi supporters celebrated in tahrir square, but the win set up a power struggle in the country between the new president and the powerful military. last night a military council announced it was revoking power from president to wage war and announced it would be the military who oversees the writing of egypt's new constitution. late this morning the military announced it will hand over power by the end of june. we'll follow that story. when we come back, the lessons of war time presidents and the pitfalls that repeatedly
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the true peacekeepers are the soldiers who are breaking the terrorist's grip around the villages of vietnam. >> i pledged in my campaign for the presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace. >> on my orders, coalition forces have begun strikiing selected targets of military importance to undermine saddam hussein's ability to wage war. >> it's harder to end a war than begin one. all of it has led to this moment
of success. >> welcome back to "morning joe." at 48 past the hour, war time presidents making their appeal to american voters. the question is, how much power does the commander in chief have during a national security crisis? professor at hunter college and the graduate center at the city university of new york, andrew polsky explores that topic in his book "elusive victories, the american presidency at war." andrew joins us now. also joining the table best selling author and combat veteran of the u.s. army who has the cutest baby on the face of the earth, she's coming this friday, we booked her, i hope she's got not some other plans. >> [ inaudible ]. >> she should come here first. first on "morning joe." all right. let's go into your book, andrew. and you know, your book again, examines the limits of presidential power while at war. let's look at the wars that
president obama has basically inherit inherited. on afghanistan, you say in the first years of obama's presidency, quote, he gave up on winning the war in favor of managing it. >> that's right. >> and tell us what went -- first of all how is he doing that and managing it as opposed to winning it, what does winning mean by the way and was that the problem and why he ended up managing it? >> he recognized it was not realistic to expect to defeat the taliban in afghanistan and an attempt to do so with a long-term counterinsurgency strategy of the sort that military recommended could easily take ten years. he wasn't prepared to make that kind of commitment. and so he decided at that point, that it would be sufficient to contain the taliban threat in the hopes that the government of afghanistan could be stabilized, that terrorist threat from al qaeda could be contained, and that eventually there might be some political opening that could be created that would allow some rec sillation with taliban factions. the idea of victory at that point gets moved aside.
and when he announces his troop surge in 2009, sending 30,000 troops to afghanistan with less attention, he also at that point indicates, we're going to stop the effort to defeat the taliban and effectively try to contain the threat. >> one of the big points you make in the book, which is really interesting, is about the erosion of presidential power and freedom to act over time. so when 9/11 happens, you've got the backing of the american people, the backing of congress, kind of go in and do what you want. you know, what pearl harbor is blown up, it happens again and again over time. what happens to a president like president obama or johnson or anybody else who comes in the middle of that and the power has already started to erode? >> well, the president -- presidents lose their ability to shape events very quickly during a war. and the best presidents -- the best war-time commanders in chief recognize this danger, and try to manage it as effectively as they can. i think franklin roosevelt deserves high praise here, because he understood the need
to try and retain his freedom of action, and yet even roosevelt by the end of world war ii has very little control over the course of events. there are things happening toward the end of the war. that he can't -- he has no say over, effectively. he can't contain the soviet union in eastern europe. he has very little say over the final bloody battles in the pacific. and if he had lived, he would have dropped the atomic bomb, just as truman did, at least the first one. and this happens to other presidents, as well. but most of them don't appreciate it. so they let the power slide from their hands without really being aware of it. this happens to lyndon johnson in vietnam, pays almost no attention to the importance of his freedom of action. i see it happening to george w. bush, as well. when a president takes over a war that's already under way as richard nixon did in vietnam or barack obama did in afghanistan, he does gain a certain grace period, a short time when he has a little bit more freedom of action and both the american people and congress are willing to give him -- cut him some slack and give him some more time.
that's a very pivotal moment for a president, to use that time correctly, to use it wisely. and i think in the case of barack obama in afghanistan, he made some missteps at the beginning. i think he has gotten better as time has gone on. >> wes. >> well, there's elements of the -- of the missteps in afghanistan i would like to go over. but another question i have is, we haven't had -- this is the first election since 1944 where neither nominee has -- is going to have military experience. is there a difference in the the way that a president manages the military when they have military experience versus when they don't? >> i don't think there's much evidence that presidents who have military experience are better wartime commanders in chief. abraham lincoln and franklin roosevelt, in my view, rank as our best commanders in chief in war time. unless you count lincoln's few weeks of experience during the black hawk wars and the militia as military experience, he comes in essentially with none. franklin roosevelt doesn't have
direct military experience. they learn on the job. they all learn on the job. and so i don't think there's much to be said in terms of the experience of being in the military that makes you more effective commander in chief in time of war. >> the book is "elusive victories: the american presidency at war." andrew polsky, thank you very much. >> thanks. more "morning joe" in just a moment. sometimes, i feel like it's me against my hair. [ female announcer ] weak, damaged hair needs new aveeno nourish+ strengthen. active naturals wheat formulas restore strength for up to 90% less breakage in three washes. for strong, healthy hair with life, new aveeno nourish+ strengthen.
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♪ still ahead, a new documentary exposes a systemic problem in his the u.s. military. now prompting the pentagon to make changes. we'll bring in the filmmakers behind "the invisible war." and much more with harold ford jr., steve rattner and michael steele. we'll be back with much more "morning joe." ♪ the medicare debate continues in washington...
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♪ what the president did, he should have worked on this years ago. if he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had had a democrat house a senate but he didn't. he saves these sort of things until four and a half months before the general election. >> why do you think he did that? >> well, i think the timing is pretty clear. if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in america, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three-and-a-half years, not in his last few months. >> so he did it for politics. >> well, that's certainly a big part of the equation. >> your view is that mitt romney can't compete among. >> he will compete everywhere. this is going to be a very, very close election. but listen, let's just talk about immigration for a minute. mitt romney said he would veto the dream act. if he is elected president. veto it. during the republican primaries in debate after debate, he
talked about how he would just send the 11 million people home. so if you're looking for immigration reform, comprehensive reform, mitt romney has been clear. he is not going to be a solution here. >> good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast. welcome back to "morning joe." it's 5:00 on the west coast. time to wake up. as you take a live look at new york city. back with us on-set, we have harold ford jr., steve rattner and in washington, michael steele. we have a lot to get to. you heard the back and forth over the executive vote on immigration. so the question we're going to talk about coming up, who is playing politics, the president for issuing it or mitt romney for not answering the question on whether he would repeal it. seems like a game on both sides. but first we'll get to greece. president obama touched down in mexico last night for the start of the g-20 summit where he is expected to urge european leaders to focus on pro growth policies before austerity. this comes as stocks open in europe.
strong on the news that greece's pro bailout party claimed victory in this weekend's parliamentary elections. european union leaders are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the conservative new democracy party took a narrow victory over the anti austerity left, meaning greece will remain a member of the union, at least for the time being. they do have to build a government. republican presidential nominee, mitt romney, reacted to the greek election and european financial crisis, saying no matter what happens in the eurozone, under a romney presidency, europe will never get a u.s.-backed bailout. >> we're not going to send checks to europe. we're not going to bail out the european banks. we're going to be poised here to support our economy, but i am very much in favor of the fundamental things one does to strengthen the economic footings of a nation. i surely don't believe we should expose our national balance sheet to the vagaries of what's going to be happening in europe. europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if
they choose to do so. >> we have a lot to get to this morning. so let's get right to steve rattn rattner's charts and how the europe debt crisis relates to the u.s. take us through them, and explain exactly what happened and what it means to us. >> well, first of all, the election was good news in the sense that it doesn't, as the story suggests, it doesn't suggest we're going to -- there's going to be an immediate departure from the euro by greece. so we avoided the cliff. for the moment, we have not gone over the cliff. the europeans have not gone over the cliff. they're teetering on the edge of it. the next question is, can they put a government together that can implement the kinds of reforms they have to achieve in order to be competitive within the eurozone. >> what do we know about their ability to do that? >> their ability to do that so far has been very limited. you're dealing with a country that operates in a completely different way than the rest of europe, where people retire at the age of 50, as hairdressers, because it's considered a dangerous profession, where they have the largest pension system of any country in europe, where
they have a tax collection system that's a problem. and all this boils down to competitiveness. and this is really the key chart, because unless greece can solve its competitiveness problem, it can really never function as a fully participatory member of the euro. so if you look at this chart, you see all of the members of the eurozone, plus the u.s. laid out. in terms of what we call competitiveness. what is competitiveness? it's a mix of efficiency and labor costs. you want high-efficiency, low labor costs makes you competitive. you won't be surprised to see germany all the way at the bottom at 104, compared to 100 back in 2000, meaning their costs have gone up 4%. but you see greece at the top at 143%. because they have had this explosion of wage increases, a lack of, frankly, work ethic. and the result is they have the least competitive -- they are the least competitive country in europe, and they are going to have to face that. and if they can't face that, it really doesn't matter. all the rest of the stuff -- who
gets elected, what they say they're going to do. they have to get themselves in a position, if they're not all the way down in germany, they've at least got to be able to compete with their european brothers. and so that's the really tough test. and that's why the markets overnight initially reacted very well, because this is certainly better news than it could have been. >> people are calling it a fake rally. >> and you look a lot, steve, as well, a debt to gdp, 150%, something like that in greece. a lot of people wonder, is the united states headed down the path of greece. so the question is, how close could we come? >> and that's the exact right question about greece. what does greece mean for us? what i'm trying to point out, we don't have the same competitiveness problem. but if you look at this next chart, we have a debt problem that is growing at a massive pace. and you can see here that back in 2004, our debt to gdp was only 37%. it was only about 37%. and then it started to rise. and today it's 73%. and it's rising rapidly.
the dotted line across the middle is greece. these are cbo numbers. these basically say, if we do nothing else to our policies, if approximate we don't reform medicare, if we don't deal with our tax problem, et cetera, this is the trajectory we're on. nonpartisan numbers. out here in 2132, that may seem like a long time, it's only 20 years away. i hope to be around then. we will pass greece's currently unsustainable debt level if we stay on the course we'reon. so the message from greece is two-fold. it's -- they have a terrible competitiveness problem that is almost uniquely greece they have to solve. doesn't relate as much to us. but the consequences of overleveraging yourself and taking on too much debt, we can see clearly in our own situation. >> so michael steele, just looking at the politics of this, front page of the "new york times" this morning, all the different foreign crises that are impacting this presidency as obama also seeks re-election. and how distracting it can be,
especially when you have a jobs crisis, and people are more focused inward. more worried about their own wallets. but you have greece, you have syria, egypt, and the list goes on. >> it is. and it does. and it's a big distraction for the president. and part of the challenge he's got is dealing with his right flank in terms of mitt romney and the republicans calling out the fact that, you know, we are headed on an economic glide path towards greece, while at the same time, he's trying to balance the international hot spots, whether it's the middle east, whether it's the economic front in the european union. and it poses some real challenges. which is why -- and i know we'll talk about later, the immigration debate is a welcome distraction. because at least gets you some cheers and some quarters politically that otherwise you're not getting cheers right now. and i think that that's something when you look at what steve just pointed out in terms of the economic trajectory,
that's why you've had this discussion in the congress, and certainly among republicans, about the spending aspect of this. and also got to be the revenue side, which you've talked a lot, mika. both of those coming together for the president to sort of make that case. but mitt romney will also have to address this issue as this campaign heats up and we get to labor day, and focus really -- people really focus in on what his policies will be vis-a-vis europe and the united states. he's going to have to address both of that ying and yang of spending and debt to give the people a sense of what's coming next, and what to expect. >> and what he's made. and those two issues will certainly heat up, as well. let's get to immigration. mitt romney spent much of the weekend trying to clarify his campaign's position on illegal immigration. largely due to a surprise move by president obama. on friday, the president announced a plan that would stop the deportation of young, illegal immigrants who were brought into the country as
children. and have been through schooling. or served in the military. romney took a tough stance on illegal immigration during the republican primary, vowing to veto the dream act, which would have created a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants. but yesterday he avoided the question when asked whether he would repeal obama's new plan if he were elected in november. >> with regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is. >> but would you repeal this? is . >> well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution. >> i won't keep on about this, but to make sure i understand, would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just repeal it? >> we'll look at that setting as we reach that, but my anticipation is, i would come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis, not this stopgap measure. >> michael steele, i'll let you
jump in and respond. but first let me go to harold ford, because everyone is accusing the president for his executive order calling it purely political, naked politics. he could have done this the first two years when he had the power to do it, he didn't it. he didn't engage congress, he just issued an executive order. that this is buying, what, 800,000 latino votes and nothing more. and, you know what? i could see the argument for that. until mitt romney waffles around on answering the question on whether he would repeal it five times. so who is playing politics? if obama is, that's one thing. but mitt romney playing the same game, not answering that question. would you not agree? >> well, the president answered the question. >> that's right. >> this is clearly a policy challenge, and one that i believe the obama administration has tried to address. but they've been blocked and thwarted by this congress. the president had it within his power to do it. now, mitt romney, when given an opportunity and a chance, as you
would hope you would have in politics to answer yes or no about a policy decision -- >> at this stage of the game, it seems a little -- >> particularly when he was so debative in the primary, when he made clear -- he was in support of -- i don't know how you can be in support of something called self deportation. by definition it doesn't make sense. >> and i'm not thinking someone is going to self-deport. >> you wouldn't come if you were going to self-deport. all that being said, he had the opportunity to turn back. what i like about what the president did this week, and just to tie in for one moment mr. rattner's charts. the world is gripped with uncertainty. the world -- america is gripped with uncertainty around its immigration issue. the president showed leadership. i hope the president shows the same kind of leadership when it comes to trying to instill and introduce more certainty into the markets and to the minds of the business people by dealing with tax reform, dealing with the debt issues. i think the president is saying over and over again, my jobs plan, and this is the president talking, and my debt reduction plan, he's got to give us -- he's got to give us more than that. i think the win in greece is not
only important for the short rally. i hope it's a sustained rally, but important because we are now able to at least dodge that bullet and begin to focus on a larger banking reform near europe, whether or not the germans announce the need to become more involved. but more important, may give mr. geithner and the president of the white house to say, you know, perhaps we should take a bigger step and more assertive step around debt, tax reform and for that matter -- >> you're talking about here? >> here in the united states. i mean, we -- the president can control this. he controlled immigration issues by taking charge. i think we ought to be more in charge of our debt, tax reform and even a jobs plan that might garner support from republicans prior to the election. >> willie. >> michael, on that immigration ye question, the most recent gallup poll has the president up 43 points. if it is political, as some are accusing the president, why would he do it? he doesn't need to do it. he's up by 45 points.
do you believe this is a political move by the president? or is he doing it because of what he believes? >> belief? what belief. there's no belief here. >> oh, come on! >> look, you believe in the early days of your administration, if you're that -- the president talked about immigration back in '09 and 2010. so that was the opportunity then to really set the course. no, by that point, the chart that the congress has set was very clear, they were not going to be the kum ba yah congress. so the reality, this is pure, blatant politics. it helps him with churning out that vote. this is a turnout election. >> michael? >> this is a turnout election. and this helps him turn out that vote that he needs among young voters who have not saddled up the way they did in 2008. this is something the president could have done three years ago, very easily. i get the whole thing going around congress. fine. but the reality of it is, let's not sugar coat this and make this seem like this is some, you
know, profiling encourage here. this is politics, raw and simple. and just call it what it is and go with it. >> so michael? >> is the policy the right one, michael? >> and is it in line? >> is the policy the right one? >> not to jump in front, but is the policy the right thing to do, the executive order, yes or no? >> i don't think so, no. i don't think you do it this way. because you're not -- you're not addressing the underlying fundamentals of immigration. you're still -- this is patchwork. >> so would you support -- michael. >> you haven't addressed security interests on the border, you haven't addressed what you're going to do with these folks. you haven't looked at the economic impact. all you've said is, y'all get to stay. and this is the reality of it. of yes, ma'am. >> michael, would you support repealing it? >> repealing the dream act? >> no, repealing the president's executive order. >> at this stage? i mean, this is zero sum game one way or the other. this is not really going to do anything. that's the point. >> unless you're one of the 800,000 kids. >> if you are a kid who came
here, however their parents got them here, and this was repealed, i think it would impact you. so i don't think you can say it does nothing. so the question is -- would you support repealing it? >> wait a minute, mika. what's going to happen for that kid between now and november? because if mitt romney wins in november, everything changes. come january. >> well i don't think -- you didn't really answer -- >> he did answer your question. he's saying he would repeal it. >> but what's interesting about this from a political point of view is that it's put romney in a bit of a box. >> yes, it has. absolutely. >> the republican primaries, romney was adamant that every one of these people was going to be deported, no immigration reform, no nothing, except to secure our borders. and then yesterday he started waffling around, and he said well, i don't know what i would do. we would look at it, because he's in a terrible position. he wants the hispanic vote. if he goes against the president, he's lost the hispanic vote for good. if he goes for the president, he's contradicted everything he said during the republican primaries. >> absolutely. >> so i think the white house has put him in a very tight
political box on this issue. >> not only that -- >> bam! that's the politics. >> but michael, to the larger point that steve is making, is that also reinforces the white house's political statement, which is simple about governor romney. that you don't know where he's going to end up on any given day on any given issue. >> exactly. >> he was so strong and assertive during the campaign. i disagreed with his position. but now his position is, when i get into office, i will evaluate all of these options. i will evaluate that policy. i want a longer-term policy. does that mean he wants a self deportation policy? does that mean he wants a santorum policy? >> who is he? >> at least you admit it. i respect you. you admit where you stand. >> michael? >> no, i -- yes, mika. >> you don't want me to say you got nothing again, do you? >> go ahead. >> okay. >> you can say that. >> i don't think you do here. i think you've got a half point. listen, wouldn't you agree that there are key issues, key issues
affecting this country. immigration being one of them. where a candidate like mitt romney, who has been campaigning for many years now, and is the republican nominee, should have a clear, unequivocal answer on. and should not go five times with bob schaeffer, asking politely, what do you believe. >> yes. >> yeah. >> but that's -- >> it shows him to be completely who is he. it begs the question, who is he? >> that's the politics. >> if you watch the round tables after that discussion, both on cbs and nbc, the reporters, even people like peggy noon an and rich lowry were saying, he's got to get specific. he's got to answer the questions. he can't go through this whole campaign -- >> he looks like he's going to check back with his staff. i mean, every time he does this -- >> worse than that, it looks like he's going to check back with his political polster. >> whatever. it's just -- he's got no convictions when he loses out on answering questions like that. he shows that he has no convictions. >> mika, i would agree with you on that. and i think that's my whole
point. that's the political box that he's been put into. that's the gotcha. i tweeted that on friday when it happened, this was a gotcha moment, and they knew exactly what the romney team was going to do. you were between a rock and a hard place here. and it shows in that schieffer interview. i think the fultz of immigration reform in this country has not been addressed. this is a band-aid on a very big problem. it makes folks feel good at the surface, but still doesn't fundamentally deal with the fact that we have 11 million people in this country with a big question mark over their heads. and -- >> but chairman, if he had taken -- >> neither the obama administration in the last three-and-a-half years, nor the romney campaign in the last five months have addressed that issue. >> coming up, a new documentary exposes a shameful epidemic within the u.s. military. one that has grabbed the attention of defense secondly on panetta, prompting changes within the pentagon. we're going to talk to the filmmakers behind "the invisible
war" next. also, much more on the elections in greece, including how world markets are reacting. cnbc's brian sullivan joins us. but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good morning, mika. everyone has been complaining about the chilly weather for the beaches in new england and the mid atlantic. get ready for a blast of heat this week. first things first. worst weather in the country right now? just crossing lake michigan. very strong thunderstorms rolling across the lake, exiting wisconsin and heading for central portions of michigan. looks like they'll stay just north of grand rapids. forecast today, only area we're concerned with is michigan through wisconsin. beautiful weather conditions out there today. the southeast really not that bad. not huh that hot yet. all the really hot weather in the middle of the country from denver to chicago. here's what's going to happen later this week. all the hot air in the middle of the country drifting east and northeast. we're going to look at temperatures from boston to d.c. on wednesday and thursday about 95 to 100 degrees. that will be a big shock that will easily be the hottest temperatures we've seen in the
northeast and mid atlantic so far this year. of course, everyone in the west and rockies was laughing at us because they've been dealing with the heat all june long. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about how some companies like to get between ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you and your money.
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barracks in washington. i was excited. it was the tip of the spear as far as the marine corps is concerned. >> you would stay, work late and then drive home and call me and be on some kind of little high and she would talk about how she loved her job. she was a -- this sweet person who was trying really hard. and succeeding. >> one of the first things i was told when i checked in was, don't wear any makeup, because the marines will think you want to sleep with them. and i thought, that's just ridiculous. >> the atmosphere off the bat at marine barracks washington was horrible. people asked me what sexual favors had i performed to get my orders there. >> okay. joining us on the set, the film's director kirby dick and amy ziering and wes moore at the table, as well. good to have you on for this segment. okay. this documentary has prompted some change, and we'll get to
the news part of that. but let's talk about just how bad the situation was, and what people didn't know. but what was happening in our military. amy, would you like to -- >> sure. well, one of the ways this issue has always been reported in the press is just anomalous, ab or rent situations or scandals that seem like a few bad soldiers here and then we have taken care of the problem. >> what you're talking about is a culture. >> exactly. >> systemic, yes. >> what our film does is connects the dots and shows this is chronic, ongoing, it's a systemic epidemic that's a daily problem in our military. >> so spell it out for us. what are we talking about? we heard it in the clips. but just as bluntly as you can, what are we talking about here? >> well, even -- according to the department of defense's own estimates, 19,000 men and women were sexually assaulted within the u.s. military each of the last two years. and over -- obviously, over the last several decades, we're talking in the hundreds of thousands of men and women being
assaulted. >> we talk any about ptsd and suicide and unemployment among active duty and veterans, a lot on this show. but this is a topic that hasn't come up, quite frankly, very often. and what you're trying to do with the film. what's the protocol right now inside the united states military in terms of dealing with a complaint about sexual assault? >> sure. generally, up until very recently, actually, the unit commander made the decision whether to investigate and prosecute a sexual assault. and that created all kinds of problems and potentials for conflict of interest. they might know the assailant, they might know the victim. they might have reasons not to want a sexual assault reported in their unit. so that -- that has recently been changed. but up until just a few months ago, that's been the protocol. and as a result shall many, many of these sexual assaults go unreported. in fact, most of the sexual assaults, less than 14% of the sexual assaults, are actually reported. again, this is dod's own estimates.
>> you know, it -- wes, i don't know if you want to join in at this part. but is it something that a woman who enlists needs to consider? when you look at these numbers? i'm sorry, but i mean, it sounds to me like you're talking about a culture, an epidemic, something that is prevalent. something that will probably in some way, shape or form happen to you as a woman in the military. am i wrong? >> well, statistics are one in five or two in five. so what we don't want is for people not to enlist. what we did want to make is a film that showed the best that the military can be and wants the it to only improve. so it is something that everyone has to be aware of. we know the military can take care. they have taken care of these problems if they wanted to before. we've seen that. and so i feel bad. understand, we do want it to be on people's radar, but only so the military can take action to improve conditions for women and not to prevent -- >> do you have a daughter by any
chance? >> i do have a daughter. >> if she wanted to go into the military, what would you say? how would you warn her about it? >> i would hope by the military by that time -- >> what if it she were enlisting right now? how would you describe the situation? the risks that she would be putting herself in. >> i would say it's something she has to be very, very concerned about and aware of and be very careful. but one thing i do really want to say, every single woman i talk to was grateful for their service. and they said please don't make an anti military film, because i love the military. i'm only speaking out because i want it to be the best it can be. and i want my daughter to enlist. right now it might not be a safe place for women, but we want it to be in the future because the military needs its women. >> so what's the progress now since you've seen since the film has come out and where are we going with this? is the military taking it as seriously as you would hope? >> we have been very heartened. it's beenin creditelable. the response from the military has been extremely extremely positive. in fact, secretary of defense
leon panetta saw the film and two days later held a press conference to announce significant changes which he said was a direct result the film had on him. >> it's wonderful to hear all the women you interviewed saying they're thankful for their service, because honestly, we're very thankful for their service. and what's interesting, you talk about the statistics. another stat that rely jumped out at me, the fact that women have a female soldier, sailor and marine has a better chance of being physically and sexually assaulted than actually dying in combat. and so when we look at all these dynamics, we know that these past two wars have introduced a whole collection of new dynamics. they have entered a collection of rapid and multiple deployments and tempo. they also introduced that blurring line between male responsibilities and female responsibilities in the military, has essentially been eviscerated. women are doing all of the different combat operations that all of the men are doing. what are some of the big factors we have seen? is and, again, there is never an excuse forr sexual assault.
or is it just being reported now? >> i don't think there is a jump. i think it's been going on for decades. it's not the culture per se. most men are horrified by this. most sexual assaults are committed by serial perpetrators, people who assault again and again. and this is what we're asking the secretary of defense and the pentagon to do, is to go after these people and investigate, prosecute and incars rate them. put them away. go after them with the same will they fight a war. these are really enemies within, decimating the force from within. we lose tens of thousands of good soldiers each year after they have been assaulted they leave the military. >> complicated question, but recruiting. can anything change in recruiting? because it seems, some would argue, that recruiting standards lowered significantly as we were trying to get men and women to serve in these endless wars in which they were having repeat tours of duty, and some even reported that they were
lessening what the risk would be that you would see the front lines, along the way. there have been recruiting stories on every level that shows the standards are lowering. what about on this level? >> well, i -- you know, they did grant more waivers for a time during the iraq war. and that's changed somewhat. and i think the standards could be tighter. but i think, again, really what they need to do is they need to up their investigation, prosecution and incarceration. >> and take that out of the hands of the commanders. >> and out of the chain of command. >> and why it's become so important, if a person violates that code and that trust while they're in uniform, they'll also do it when they're out of uniform. >> exactly. >> we've got to stop this when we see it. >> exactly. many of these serial perpetrators come out with honorable discharges and everybody completely trusts them, in fact, and it makes it worse for the rest of society. >> "the invisible war" will be in theatres in select cities friday. kirby dick and amy ziering, thank you so much for your work and contribution on this issue.
>> thank you. when we come back, how the obama campaign plans to counter one of mitt romney's biggest political donors. mike allenes joins us next. [ 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.
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i think there will be scandals as associated with the worst decision of the united states supreme court in the 21st century. uninformed, arrogant, naive. >> do you think addleson himself will have undue influence on mitt romney? >> not anymore than people who give lots of money, not anymore than the trade unions and labor unions have. the whole system is broken. i don't pick out mr. adelson anymore than i pick out mr. trumpca. >> senator john mccain yesterday on "meet the press" expressing his disgust for the supreme court citizen united rule in january of 2010 which opened the doors to big donations to third party groups. one man taking advantage of the new system, nevada billionaire sheldon adelson telling kwbs forbes" magazine he's willing to sends up to $100 million. he has donated $30 million to super pacs in this election cycle.
the chief white house correspondent rejoining us for politi politico, mike allen. mike, good morning. >> good morning. >> so this adelson ramping up of funding, saying he's willing to spend $100 million to defeat president obama has now become a bit of a fund-raising pitch for the obama campaign. >> well, that's right. back in the george w. bush presidential campaigns, conservatives had had a lot of fun going after george soros, the big democratic liberal donor that made him their sort of bogeyman. they made him someone they could rile up their supporters with. now the obama campaign is doing it with the casino owner. and surprising, because it's one of those names that you don't normally hear. but they want to make sheldon adelson as famous among liberals as george soros was among conservatives. so we have a fund-raising pitch going out for obama for america, making a big deal, trumpeting the $10 million that he's given, and he's agreed to give to the
romney super pac, restore our future. and they're saying it would take -- that it would take hundreds of thousands of you, giving your average donation, to come up with the same amount. but willie, what this points out, there isn't an equivalent person on the democratic side. democrats would love to have a similar sugar daddy. instead now on the republican side, we have someone whose budget for this campaign cycle has gone from $10 million to $100 million. and one of his associates even said that he would give a limitless amounts against this president. now, maybe it wouldn't happen. but it's the possibility that in chicago really gives them pause. >> well, mike, you led me to my next question. where is george soros on this? for all of the complaints we hear from democrats about citizens you wanted, the rules apply to everybody. so if they wanted to put up some big money for a third party group in support of president obama, they certainly could. where is that big money? >> that's a good point. george soros has said he's going
to give some money to some other liberal groups, to some groups outside the campaign. but this is so surprising to democrats, because this is a real opportunity to -- for someone to become instantly famous for someone instantly to have their issues at the top of the agenda. and i asked the obama campaign, where is your guy? and it's very surprising, that person hasn't come forward. it's such an opportunity that you can definitely see someone, whether it's from someone from the tech world, someone from hollywood, coming forward. definitely not going to be from wall street. the buzz we hear from wall street about the president remains very sour. and the giving from there is way, way, way off from 2008. >> wes. >> good morning, mike. you bring up a really interesting point. you say this is an opportunity for someone to have their issues heard. and their opinions heard on a much bigger scale and much bigger level than might have traditionally been heard. what are sheldon adelson's issues, what are his pet issues he wants to push and wants the republican party to take more
seriously? >> so far, he hasn't used this platform for that. we know he's extremely interested in the u.s. relationship with israel. that's something that he certainly has talked a lot about in the past. but he hasn't picked a particular issue. and just the fact he was able to go from newt gingrich to mitt romney gives you a clue to what his real issue is. and they say his real issue is president obama. and that's why they threw out the word "limitless." he doesn't seem to want to talk about a particular type of energy which you can imagine from one of these guys or a particular technology. he's just anti obama. and i guess that that is the biggest romney argument. and what is staking his campaign up. >> mike, let me ask you before we go what we were talking about in our first segment this hour, which is the immigration question. and really the inability to nail down mitt romney on where he is right now. we heard one thing during the republican primary yesterday when he was asked by bob
schieffer to kind of pin him down on where he is in the dream act and the president's proposed order here. where is he, and how big a problem could this be for him? >> well, it's a huge problem. and he was caught totally flat-footed by the president's announcement on friday. the announcement was very politically clever. it preempted what republicans on the hill wanted to do. senator marco rubio of florida had a plan that he was talking to other democrats about. all the oxygen has gone away from that. and romney is in a bind. because he probably needs to say that he would leave this temporary plan in place once he got to office. but he would get a lot of criticism from conservatives to doing that. so at the moment, he's not answering that, and just saying i want to put a long-term plan in place. but what we need to see from the romney campaign very shortly is they need to show their cards about what they're going to do with the hispanic community. because right now they still are in this deep hole we talked
about on "morning joe" so many times. it hasn't changed. their plans have reached the hispanic community, but they need to do it in a hurry. the obama campaign, very focused on it. invest state-by-state programs focused not only on hispanics, on african-americans on asian and pacific islanders. this is a place where the obama infrastructure really pays off. >> mike allen with another look inside the politico playbook. up next, has a crisis been averted in greece and how will wall street respond? brian sullivan, cnbc, joins us next. ♪ this message. back from the worst economic depression. almost 4.3 million new jobs we're still not creating them president's jobs plan firefighters, police officers, work. right now. wealthiest americans congress refuses to act.
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let's get a check now on business for the bell. cnbc's brian sullivan live at cnbc global headquarters. brian back in the box. let's start with greece. >> you know, mika, last night when the news came out, the futures spiked. asia went up. it looked like everything was fine. the optimism lasted just slightly longer than my first date. >> oh. >> yeah. this morning -- listen, lack of leadership in europe. it's the fact that spain, which is bigger than, you know, ireland, you know, greece, portugal combined, doubled, whatever. they've still got problems. their bond yields are up. you name it, greece's problems are not solved. europe's problems are not solved so it was a very nice, brief respite from the worry. but we are indicated down today. i have to say, we have had a good last couple weeks. >> i take it there wasn't a second date. >> you know, let's hope the second date lasts longer than the third date and maybe someday everybody gets married and the problems get resolved long-term mika. right now, every day wake up to
these problems and your viewers are thinking why the heck to i care? you care because the combined eurozone is bigger than the united states in terms of overall gdp. it's hard to believe, but it's true. so they're very important to the world. if they have problems, then we're probably going to have problems. >> we need to watch that. also, microsoft has got a big release today. tell us about that. >> you know, i would like to tell you more, but it's very secretive. so just between you and i, mika, and your millions of viewers and the people out ther watching, it's expected to be a tablet, maybe compete with the ipad, very sort of mysterious microsoft imitation just said this is a big event. you will not want to miss it. that's all the invitation said. the speculation is that it's a tablet that does business with barnes and noble. maybe live tv, live movies. barnes and noble trying to be like amazon.com. that's what the blogs and reports are saying. we'll have to wait and find out. microsoft could use a big hit. they could use a winner. and so we're going to have to wait and see what happens today.
>> certainly matches the climate that barnes and noble is trying to keep competing. >> they're scrappy, i'll give them that. they're not giving up. they're fighting. i like that. >> brian sullivan, thank you. >> all right, take care. up next, a look at the west coast papers. we'll be right back. ♪ [ jennifer ] i always knew my voice would take me places. i never believed i'd be in control of my weight. [ whistles ] ♪
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"l.a. times," rodney king, the man whose brutal beating at the hands of the los angeles police sparked national outrage and sent the city into chaos for days has died. police say king was discovered at the bottom of his swimming pool by his fiancee early sunday morning. the death being treated as an accidental drowning. he was 47 years old. add california to the list of states with wildfires. the "san diego union tribune" says the fire has charred 450 acres, changing winds and dry conditions are fueling this blaze which has been difficult so far to control. > "san jose mercury news", webb simpson kissing the trophy. mcdowell was this close with the birdie putt and goes wide. and simpson takes home the hardware. there he is watching that last putt as if it his day wasn't surreal enough already, he was treated to this strange moment
during his trophy ceremony. >> three straight birdies turned around for you today. >> yeah, that was kind of the difference. i got off to a slow start, but i knew that -- i knew -- >> always something to spice matters up. >> enjoy the jail cell, pal. >> webb is the champ. up neck, what, if anything, did we learn today? [ male announcer ] considering all your mouth goes through, do you really think brushing is enough to keep it clean? while brushing misses germs in 75% of your mouth, listerine® cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine®... power to your mouth™.
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♪ china will send its first female astronaut into space. >> audience: [ cheers and applause ] >> which sounds awesome until you hear the parents already have a boy. [ laughter ] >> play by the rules, you guys. >> time now to talk about what we learned today. i know what i learned. i'm going to meet mia on friday and she is going to sit on my lap and do the show with me. she is 1. >> she is. >> and i can see where she got her cute face. >> from her mother. >> cutest baby in the world, i'm told. in the world. >> that's an exclusive "morning joe" booking. >> i look forward to that booking. wes, what did you learn? >> i learned that sheldon
adelson doesn't seem to have a major motivation except for beating president obama. >> okay. that sometimes for some people is enough, apparently. willie. >> i was reminded and i would remind mr. mitt romney that wa-wa is not wawa's. people love their wawa. twitter and e-mails. >> he was so close. that whole thing about pushing the button and the sandwich coming out, that was cute. >> but -- >> wawa is great, by the way. great. >> i love wawa. you know what beats wawa? sorry. you better check out the sheets in lennox, pennsylvania it's called sheetz like a mini mal, gas station, it's got its own junk counter, a plethora of possibilities for obese americans. willie, it's way too early. >> it's "morning joe" tomorrow. stick around for chuck. president obama arrives in mexico for the g-20 summit,
where all of the leaders here are breathing easier following the sunday vote in greece that at least for now keeps the eurozone intact. on the president's agenda today, his first meeting with russian president vladimir putin since his return to the presidency. disagreements overseer i can't and iran means temperatures could get high. mitt romney's bus tour hits wisconsin where he's looking to capitalize on republican victory there in the scott walker recall vote. but it's his delegate response to the president's immigration decision that's getting the attention this morning. he won't say if he would repeal the order. and innocence lost. we'll look at the legacy of watergate 40 years after the scandal, and the few remaining mysteries, including just what secrets were learned during those phone-tapped conversations. good morning from los cabos, mexico, i'm chuck todd. this