tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC June 21, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
national dialogue? >> they have great faith in the notion that over time if they keep talking about the economy, that's what the election will be decided on. they put out the excerpts from governor romney's speech, and contrary to some people's expectations or hope that he would weigh in on what he thought of the president's decision on not deporting younger people, he's basically going to take the same position he's taken which is people want to know my position, what the president did, my position is i would do something comprehensive that would supersede that. he's not weighing in on the principle embodied in what the president did. i don't think it matters. it's certainly the case that the president is going to do better with hispanic vote than governor romney and certainly the case that that could decide the election. >> right. >> they're going to try to win on the same kind of rhetoric he's been going with before which is is for hispanic americans, who haven't done well in the obama economy, that's what you need to know and the president on immigration didn't do what he said he'd do.
your original point, i don't think they're worried by this. they have great faith as they must in the notion the economy trumps everything else. >> maggie, i mean, okay, in terms of policy prescriptions the general thinking is that team romney is not going to get specific at all before november. the question, i guess, then is, why bother doing this event? if you know you're under water with hispanics, if you're not going to put out any policy specific in any way, why do this? >> i think it's worse to not show up at all, i'm not going to do this because i don't want to answer the questions as you want me to answer them. he's sticking to his script as mark said. this is the way they've run the campaign the whole time. it's singularly focused on the economy. anything else is a distraction. he's starting to get pressure including from the right on the idea a president should be able to talk about more than one issue at a time. there are going to be other issues here. this is the formula that they're sticking to and it may very well work. >> we have some notes as mark, you mentioned, the romney campaign circulated some of these pegs of romney's speech. he'll be talking about
high-skilled visa -- visas for high skilled laborers. temporary worker visa stuff. whether or not we hear the phrase self-deportation remains to be seen. michael eric dyson, i want to play a little bit of sound, the governor talking about hispanic vote and whether or not he needs to make more outreach and sort of the minority populations in this country. let's take a listen to that. >> minority populations have been hit hardest, but other americans as well are really struggling under his policies. and in fact, he of course did not cause the downturn, but his policies have made it harder for the economy to recover. >> okay. so this is the general sort of, we've talked about this in terms of the broadconomic message. everybody got hurt. why focus on one particular segment of the population? i think these numbers, they're devastating. they're not discussed enough. from 2007 to 2010, the change in median net worth, whites were down 16%. african-americans down 53% in terms of their median net worth.
asians down 54%. hispanics were down 66%. so, yes, everybody hurt, but some people hurt a lot more than others. >> yeah, your hand might be hurt but your index finger may be hurt more. if you're going to fix it, fix the index finger first. i think that this notion of the universal, which is valvaliant, after all, it's part of the american dream. we all have this opportunity. you saw today in "the new york times" 50% of black people can't get a job in new york city. when you talk about targeted policies, targeted doesn't mean you exclude others. it means in other wor s in orde bounty of american capital to be distributed equally among all, fix the holes and i think that what romney is trying to do here is to tact toward the center. he doesn't want to talk about minorities so much. he is going to either, i stand to be corrected, the naacp or the national urban league -- >> the naacp -- >> right. he's going to go there. he knows he's not going to get a bunch of black votes. you can't pretend they can't
exist. the problem with the latino perspective, when you talk about guest worker rights and people who remain here, path toward citizenship, figure out what to do with the hundreds of thousands of millions of kids that are here that the joe arpaios don't speak to, that you're going to go out and arrest them. have a heart. what people are claiming about, mr. romney, you don't have feeling. don't give us policy wonkish stuff. give us your empathy. feel our pain. have a clinton moment where you can reach out to people. that will do more than any policy recommendation -- >> that's actually a really interesting point. i mean, you could still think that -- self-deportation could still be your policy stance but if you didn't call it that and perhaps had some empathy, ari me melber, the difference here and the always incisive jim band him and mike allen had a piece in politico talking about the two different approaches, rothe president targeting specific groups drilling down into their
concerns and needs. this week is exemplary of that with the president going forward on his new immigration policy, mitt romney going to a latino conference but not getting specific about anything. what do you make of those in terms of the future of the republican and democratic party if those are the two strategies? >> that's the theme of this election. it goes back to what mark is saying. governor romney's walking. he doesn't want to chew gum. the press wants him to chew gum. the obama campaign wa s to set a track and get him to chew gum. the extent he moves outside the cocoon of fox news and asks, what is your policy? i want to be clear, are you giving me no policy whatsoever? last time, governor, i have to ask you, do you have any answer? no, no, no. it's awkward. ultimately as you said, he's going to stick to his economic message. he's not going to do targeting and not going to be pulled off it. >> doesn't the republican party need to think, as far as the future, i mean, they can not
just have a party made up of aging white working class voters. in the broad scheme of things would it not behoove them to be able to talk about these issues with some amount of sort of empathy, sympathy and conviction going, you know, looking forward beyond 2012? >> what if he switches up runs for president of the shriners? >> then it's a wrap and he's got it on lockdown. >> the romney campaign so far, the moments that stick in the public mind and the minds of late night comics and people who follow it closely are bad moments for him. there are no moments of the campaign so far where mitt romney had a great moment. go in and show positive, passionate moment. that gets a lot of attention. i think the speeches coming up, the one today, the one to the naacp are opportunities for him to, as you said, i think quite right, show his heart. president bush did that incredibly well in 1999 and 2000, and i think mitt romney has that in him, will have to have it in him. >> you think he has those skills to be able to go to the naacp or
this particular conference? >> whatever you think of his policies, his heart and private self conveyed away from the camera regularly but not so far very much on camera, i think people would find more winning than he's currently portrayed. i don't know that he can pull that off. they think they can get through with a good vp pick, good speech and convention performances. he'll need a moment. today is one like that. the policy is going to be ripped to shreds by democrats and the white house and the obama campaign and a lot of people in the hispanic community. >> the thing he's running from, george bush, is the very thing he needs. whatever you felt about george bush, you understood what he believed. you might have thought he was crazy and he was out of control but he says, look, this is what i believe. i don't know about y'all, this is what i do. as long as i'm the president, it's going to be that way. i think in that sense, that kind of conviction, heart, this is
what i believe, you're invested emotionally enough in it to fight for it. >> romney among black voters is running 2% according to an nbc news/"wall street journal" poll taken may 23rd. obama is at 88% among african-americans, romney at 2%. >> within the margin of error, he could be a negative one. yes. >> if he weighed in on whether or not lebron james will have cramps tonight it will lift him up to 3%. >> you're saying the bar is so low at this point even the vaguest -- >> oh, my god, you could stumble your way into a high percentage point, how about winking, nodding, acknowledging? how about pretending that, look, in this economy where everybody has been hurt, some have been hurt even more so. it's not that i want to tact my policy toward those particular people, to the exclusion of others, but i also understand what you're facing. i tell you, he could come up a lot. >> we'll talk about that more coming up. the romney campaign is rakin it in. while team obama plays small ball. we'll talk fund-raising and message discipline with
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the campaign war-rooms in chicago and boston filed their may fund-raising totals last night. team obama has over $100 million in the bank. six times more than the romney campaign has on hand. but chicago is warning that combined with superpacs romney will have more than $1 billion behind him this election. joining us from washington, democratic strategist tad devine. thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> karl rove writing the pages of the "wall street journal" making a big point about the importance of cash in this campaign cycle. he brought up the example in
2008 president obama outspent john mccain by 7-1 in some red swing states and basically makes the case if nothing else cash may win this race. what do you make of that? >> well, you know, i can't dispute the facts. the obama campaign had a significant spending advantage in 2008 and really helped them to go into places like indiana and virginia and north carolina that, you know, democratic campaigns in the past couldn't go to. but i don't think -- i read karl's piece this morning. i don't agree with his conclusions. his conclusions are the president's in a precarious position and spending too much money. i don't think they're spending too much money at all. they're feeding a very large campaign organization, a grassroots campaign organization that is unprecedented in terms of its scope in target states. they're also i think winning the battle that needs to be won right now. look at florida, for example. we saw a quinnipiac poll come out today. the president's gone from six points down in florida on may 23rd to four points ahead in florida as of today. that's a ten-point swing in florida. what have they been doing in
florida the last month? advertising heavily. i think they're spending money wisely, gaining advantage from it and precisely what they should be doing. >> what did you make of bloomberg's michael bender said the romney campaign asked governor rick scott to down play the signs of economic recovery he's been touting for the last few weeks? >> i think the romney campaign understands if they don't win florida they don't win the election. the fact they'd go to governor scott and say, listen, stop talking about the fact unemployment is going down in florida, stop talking about job creation in florida, start to join the romney bandwagon of gloom and doom. that's the only way romney to win the election. i think they understand without florida there's simply no way to 270 electoral votes. they're getting beat in florida today badly according to the new quinnipiac poll. i think they're going to run out of time very quickly in florida if they don't turn things around. >> i want to open this to our panel. maggie, in talking about support from the big fish, is that what you call big donors, reeling in a big fish? romney is going to have a
retreat in park city, utah, with tom pawlenty, jon ryan, thune, bobby ryan, mentioned as potential vp picks. i will note as he's gathering his tribe, priority usa raised more than money in the last month than the prior two months combined. i wonder, is this possibly a turning of the tide in bigger democratic donors coming out from the woodwork understanding machine the republicans are building up, the machine, the resources romney has in his corner? >> i think that's the hope of priority usa action. things have been improving. i think they hope this is indicative of a trend and people get that baobama could lose. one person appearing at the event you mentioned that is as more interesting than the vp potentials is karl rove who runs, or half runs cross roads usa, cross roads gps and american cross roads which is an outside group. there's an interesting thing where you have somebody who is
part of an outside noncampaign group who's going to be part of this official campaign event. i think the laws are porous enough that it doesn't matter. it's an example of the extent to which people sort of realize that the way this works these days in terms of superpacs, in terms of outside support of groups, you have a lot of freedom. you can play around a lot. i've gotten a lot of calls from people suggesting i can't believe he's going there, is this a surprise? he's talking on a media panel. so i think as long as he's not talking strategy, it doesn't matter. >> i'm sure he's not going to talk to anybody else while there, right? >> that becomes the require, right? >> democrats who have been loathed to participant because they have an ideological opposition to the notion of a superpac, discover, hey, i wish kobe were in the finals but he ain't. this is the game we're playing. this is the teams that have been filtered. so i think big pocketed, deep interested democratic strategists and especially donors have to step up to the plate. i think that's at least part of the trend. as maggie said, they're hoping that will be the case. i think they have to wake up a little bit and understand adelson has given this dough and
billionaires and koch brothers are swinging the cash through. they have to step up to the plate. >> how much is karl rove involved in mitt romney's campaign? >> can you see the marinette strings? >> how visible are they from a distance? >> he has to keep distance because of cross roads. he goes to the event and talks to people who work with governor romney for some regularity and sends them as many messages and roadmaps they need in the "wall street journal" and on fox pretty regularly. look, every republican of any significance on the donor side, elected official strategist like karl rove, they're all engaged in this on one level or another. there's an extraordinary amount of communication amongst the republican outside groups as there was last cycle. part of their focus is on the down ballot races. they're invested in senate races as well. one reason why governor romney's good couple weeks and the president's bad couple weeks matter so much is these people are making their plans. how are we going to raise it, who are we going to raise it from, who are we going to spend
it romney. they think he will win. earned media matters a lot more in presidential campaigns. i don't think the president will have shortage of money in the nine states that are going to decide it. as a matter of psychology and matter of time spent, the democrats have to spend a lot of time worried about this. they don't want to be out-raised 2-1. >> i want to go back to you before we go to the governor set to take the stage any minute now. what do you make of the president's strategy thus far in terms of his line of argument? i also got an e-mail from the re-election campaign last night introduced dashboard which, of course, is their voter database. they are trying to be very transparent about this, the breadth, the depth of their tentacles. how effective do you think that is? >> i think it's very effective. i think the obama campaign revolutionized organizing politics here in america and many ways around the world with what they did in 2008. i think they're very smart to invest in that kind of voter contact. they're able to use social
networks very powerfully to get people to assemble and come together to persuade people and to vote. i also think that it's a little more complicated for the president. mark was saying before the romney campaign is very disciplined. i agree. they're on an economic message. the obama campaign has to talk to various groups, young people, single women, african-americans, latino voters. they have to build a constituency that's very diverse and requires them to put out ads like they did today targeted to women, for example. i think they have a different task. they're executing a good game plan and have resources to make sure they'll be where they need to be in the target states even if they are outspent and will be outspent by the superpacs. no doubt about it. >> there have been theories floated out there, tad, the president seems to do best when he's ignoring the race. is that an unfair assessment? >> that's a ridiculous assessment. the president does best when he's completely focused on the task at hand. he has a difficult challenging
election. the economy of the united states is not where people want it to be. i think he understands that. the people around him understand that. he's going to have an opponent who outspends him instead of an advantage in resources as he did last time. he needs to spend a lot of time raising money like he did last month and is doing this month. be focused on delivering a message. be prepared to be partisan and deliver a tough message if necessary. he's doing all those things. i wish i had a candidate who would do stuff like that all the time. many ways he's an ideal candidate. he's ready to deliver a hard message against romney and doesn't look nasty when he's doing it. >> maggie, i want to talk about a piece you and alex burns have in politico talking about the small ball campaign which some members in the media find somewhat self-loathing as we are in a lot of ways to blame. >> we described it that way in the piece. >> some members of the media, aka -- you. you say, you're talking answer the two campaigns and how they're sort of focused on, well i said small ball. the details rather than the bigger issues.
you say instead, they, being romney, they have embraced a campaign has been designed almost entirely by tactics and daily trench warfare, whether the chair of the democratic party labeling romney a job cremator or romney campaign driving its campaign bus in circles around an obama event honking a horn in a stunt right out of a third-tier frathouse. >> i think we've had small ball campaigns and campaigns that have had big messages. this time we're having solely small ball, not so much big messaging. >> speaking of messaging, small ball, big ball, governor romney is taking the stage. thanks so tad devnie. sorry we couldn't get back to you. governor romney speaking at the association of latino elected officials at the conference in orlando. let's listen in. >> united states of america. and i will govern from the principle that while this is a land of extraordinary diversity, there is much more that unites us than there is that divides us.
[ applause ] each of us walks a different path in life, but we are united by one great overwhelming passion. we love the united states of america. we believe in america. we are one nation under god. today we're united not only by our faith in america, we're also united by our concern for america. the country we love is in peril. that's why i'm running for president. almost four years ago, the american people did something that was very much the sort of thing americans like to do. we gave someone new a chance to lead. someone who we hadn't known very long, who didn't have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place. at the time, we didn't fknow wht kind of president he'd be. it was a moment of crisis for
our economy, and when barack obama came to office, america wished him well and hoped for the best. 3 1/2 years later, over 23 million americans are out of work. unemployed. underemployed. or simply quit looking for a job. at a time when we should be gaining momentum in the economy, we're actually seeing us lose a bit of it rig now. job growth slowed, and this week we learned that the number of job openings has fallen yet again. and as you know, hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard. while the national unemployment is still above 8%, and has been for 40 straight months, hispanic unemployment is at 11%. the middle class under president obama has been crushed. more americans are living in poverty today than any point in american history. over 2 million more hispanics
are living in poverty today than the day when president obama took office. home values have plunged. our national debt is at record levels. and families are buried under higher prices for things like food and gasoline. and yet the president said the private sector is doing fine. this is more than a policy failure. it's a moral failure. i know the president will say that he inherited the economic crisis. and that's true. but we shouldn't allow the challenges he faced four years ago to divert our attention from another important fact. the president pursued policies that have made this the slowest recovery since the great depression. and he broke promises many people were counting on to build a brighteruture. it did not have to be this way. just compare this president's record with the first term of
ronald reagan. president reagan also faced an economic crisis. in fact, in 1982, the unemployment rate peaked at nearly 11%, but in the 2 years that followed, just 2 years, he delivered a true recovery. economic growth and job creation were three times higher than in the obama economy. if president obama had delivered a real recovery, a reagan recovery, we would have 5 million more jobs today. 5 million more. the unemployment rate would be about 6% and our economy would be at least $1 trillion larger. now, tomorrow president obama will speak here. of course, that's the first time he's spoken here since his last campaign. he may admit that he hasn't kept every promise, and he'll probably say that even though you aren't better off today than
were you four years ago, things could be worse. he'll imply that you don't really have an alternative. i believe he's taking your vote for granted. i've come here today with a very simple message. you do have an alternative. your vote should be respected and your voice is more important now than ever before. this november we're going to make a choice. we can continue on the path we're on or choose a better way. instead of continuing with the policies of the last 3 1/2 years, we can revitalize our free enterprise economy. we can lead the world as we have in what we invent and build and create. let me make this very clear. this is the only way we can strengthen the middle class. and this is the only way we can create sustained prosperity. raising taxes to grow government
does not grow the middle class. today, i'm asking you to join me because while we may not agree on everything, we share the same goal. the same vision. and the same belief in america greatness that draws so many people to our shores. liberty's torch can burn just as brightly for future generations of immigrants as it has burned for immigrants of the past. we know our businesses can't succeed, grow, and hire more workers without a more competitive tax system. that's why i'm going to lower our corporate tax rate and reduce individual marginal tax rates by 20% across the board. we also know that our businesses and families need affordable and reliable energy. producing more of our own energy resources will create jobs in america and generate greater revenues for the country. it will also help bring manufacturing back to our shores. you're going to see a
manufacturing resurgence if we get that policy right. we know our economy can't grow if we're mortgaging our future to pay for the big government programs of today. think about that. we can't keep on borrowing massively more than we take in without putting the country in peril. so as president, i'll reign in spending and get the budget balanced and repeal obama-care. we can't afford another $2 trillion entitlement -- $2 trillion entitlement. [ applause ] everybody likes free stuff, but there is no free stuff when government has to pay and has to tax the american people or when it borrows from future generations and obama-care is depressing job growth. if priority number one is jobs, you got to get obama care out of there. in one study, 73% of a businessowners said that obama-care has made it harder for them to hire people.
think of that. almost three quarters of small businesses saying obama care is making it less likely to hire people. if jobs are your priority, you have to get rid of obama care and put in place real reform that works. repealing obama-care and replacing it will give businesses the kind of certainty they need to expand and to hire and to grow. now, by the way, we could also jump-start our economy by exp d expanding trade in our hemisphere. as you know, however, the president hasn't completed a single new trade agreement with a latin america nation and he's failed to crack down on countries like china that don't live by the rules. we know our kids can't succeed if they're trapped in failing schools. that's why as president i will give the parents of every low income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school. [ applause ] when it comes to education, a
choice for every parent means a chance for every child. an effective immigration system can also strengthen the economy. as it has since the nation's founding. unfortunately, despite his promises, president obama has failed to address immigration reform. for two years, this president had huge majorities in the house and senate. was free to pursue any policy he pleased, but he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. nothing. instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election. and trying to secure your vote. last week, the president finally offered a temporary measure. he called it a stop gap measure. that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election. after 3 1/2 years of putting every issue, from loan
guarantees, to his donors, to cash for clunkers, putting all those things before immigration. now the president has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on day one but didn't. i think you deserve better. some people have asked if i will let stand the president's executive order. the answer is that i will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. as president, i won't settle for stop gap measures. i'll work with republicans and democrats to build a long-term solution. and i'll prioritize measures -- [ applause ] and i want you to also know this. i will prioritize efforts that strengthen legal immigration and make it more transparent and easier. and i'm going to address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil and resolute manner.
we may not always agree, but when i make a promise to you, i will keep it. let me speak about some of the guidelines that i will use in putting together that policy. and as you've heard me say many times, it's critical we redouble our efforts to secure the borders. that means preventing illegal border crossings and making it hardero illegally overstay a visa. we should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high-tech fence and implement and improved exit verification system. our immigration system should help promote strong families as well. not keep them apart. our nation benefits when moms and dads and their kids are all living together under the same roof. but today too many families are caught in a broken system that cost them time and money and entangles them in excessive red tape. for those seeking to come to america the right way, that kind of bureaucratic nightmare has to
end. and we could do this with just a few common sense reforms. as president, i'd reallocate green cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof. [ applause ] and we'll exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents. and we'll eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from coming together. immigration reform is not just moral imperative, it's also an economic necessity. immigrants with advanced degrees start companies, create jobs, and they drive innovation at a very high rate. immigrants founded or co-founded nearly half of our top 50 venture-backed companies in this country. nearly half.
there are nearly 30% more likely to start a business. the kind of risk taking is something we need more than ever. new business startups in america are at a 30-year low. i'll work with states and employers to update our temporary worker visa program so it meets our economic needs. and if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here. so i'd staple a green card to the diploma of someone who gets an advanced degree in america. [ applause ] we want the best and brightest to enrich the nation through the jobs and technologies they're going to create. now, we also have a strong tradition in this country of honoring immigrants who join our military and put their lives on the line to keep the country safe. since september 11th of 2001, the united states has naturalized almost 75,000 members of the armed forces. too many of those patriots died
on distant battlefields for our freedom before receiving full citizenship here in the country they called home. as president, i will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. [ applause ] those who have risked their lives in defense of america have earned the right to make their life in america, but improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation. we must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration. so people are awarded for waiting patiently in line. that's why my administration will establish a strong employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment. we could find common ground here, and we've got to. we owe it to ourselves as
americans to ensure that our country remains the land of opportunity, both for those who were born here and for those who share our values, respect our laws and want to come to our shores. now, throughout my campaign, i've often had the chance to speak about my dad and how proud i am of him. he was born, as said, to parents, american parents living in mexico. when he was 5, they left everything behind and started over in the united states. his dad, my grandfather, was a builder, and he went bust more than once. my grandfather didn't make much money. there were times in my dad's life when he lived in poverty, but my grandfather had big hopes for my dad and tried to help him as best he could. my dad didn't finish college, but he believed in the country where the circumstances of one's birth were not a barrier to achievement. and he wasn't afraid of hard
work. he held odd jobs, putting up plaster board, selling paint. he was lucky enough to live in america where hard work can turn aspirations into realities. after he became a man in the business world, he got the opportunity to lead a great car company and ultimately he became the governor of a great state, the state of michigan. this is my father's story, but it could be the story of any american. most of you here, today, are leaders in your community. you're here because you've benefited from the land of opportunity and you want to give back to this country, to fight for its people so they have the same chance to succeed. we are truly one america. everyone here has made this exceptional nation what it is today. this isn't an election about two people. this is not an election about being a republican or a democrat
or an independent. this is an election about the future of america. i'd ask each of you to honestly look at the last 3 1/2 years and ask whether we can do better. is the america of 11% hispanic unemployment the america of our dreams? we can do better. we can prosper again. with a powerful recovery we've all been waiting for. the good jobs that so many people need. and above all, the opportunities we owe to our children and our grandchildren. i will do that. i will make that happen. with your help and your support. thank you so much. and god bless this great land. thank you. >> that was mitt romney speaking to latino leaders. i want to get everybody's assessment of that. mark, when we were talking, chatting lightly during the
governor's speech, two things stuck out to me. one, speaking about president obama's record, the takeaway is he did nothing, speaking to the hispanic community, he did nothing, and you deserve better. do you think that's a winning message? >> a new chart in "time" magazine out today, talking about the advantages the president has and advantages governor romney has. biggest advantage romney has, the speech he gave is like his advancement speech, the speech he'll give, it's his best template we'll see in some ways, the speech he'll give at the convention in temperature to. he's going to do the same message all the way through, the president has shifted from message to message talking about bain capital, talking about his record in massachusetts, talking about all sorts of things. that is a potentially effective message. if there's a winning message for governor romney, that's the winning message right there. >> ari, he talked about his father. a lot of stories we've heard sort of snippets. this is sort of quilting together of other epithets and
anecdotes. the policy prescription is rather thin, talking about green card visas. we did not hear the phase self-deport. what did you make of it? >> look, he gets minimal amount of credit and going there and saying to this community what he said elsewhere which is i don't have plan for you in detail, i don't have a response to the secretary of homeland security changing something that matters to a lot of people's lives which is whether you take children, people who came here as children and get rid of them. you know, he didn't speak to any of that with any depth or i thought with any feeling. so theuestion is there, is that snuenough? i doubt it's enough with a kmun community he has a deficit with. he runs down 35 points in this community. it's not just a fair fight, it's a community leaning the other way. he's saying i'm here, i have no answers for you, no feeling, no story. i don't see how this moves -- >> he did try to bring some feeling into it. he definitely brought in personal stories about his father not being born here and not going to college and the power of the sort of american dream. maggie, does the white house
like -- what do they make of this speech? i mean, i guess in terms of the question of immigration. is this something that they're going to keep hammering him on? >> yes. >> until november? >> yes. the short answer is yes. the response to the speech is going to be he didn't answer the question, he's still not answering the question. you know, he needs to lay out a plan and so forth. i think that has mark said, i think this is a good template for him. i think that, look, he didn't answer the question. he didn't say what his long-term plan will be. essentially it's a version of i have one, trust me, i'll deliver on it. that having been said, i think what the president did the other day is a big deal and is going to continue to be talked about in hispanic media. it's not just proposing legislation you know is not going to pass. right? that having been said, president is not perfect on immigration. that's where romney is heading into. he can have some impact with that message. >> that's a good point. the sense of outrage over the lack of movement on immigration reform. how much can the president capitalize on that among disenchanted base?
>> it's not where your plane lands. it's if you're heading in the right direction. ari's point earlier, you're already at deficit with the community. even if obama is messing up, saying, you're going to do stuff, he said it and is trying to do it. in the same argument he is about other stuff, he is about this issue as well. hey, i have people that oppose me politically. i can't get a paper stamp or a paper clip through congress because they're opposed to me. that's a huge advantage. secondly, because his -- >> you think there's an embedded sort of sense -- it doesn't actually -- that they're already sort of on the president's side, to the degree anybody who tries to rile them up with talk of failed promises -- >> it's just -- you're whistling dixie. you know why? that community is politically more sophisticated than they've been given credit for. they understand the nature of the hardball politics here. they understand that, you know, you can't be too explicit about certain things and have to make your moves strategically in other areas, whereas, you know, romney's coming in with a clean
slate. that's great if you're a philosopher. it's horrible if you're a politician. what are you going to write on that? you're offering nothing, saying nothing. you're saying that guy got it wrong. guess what, you're an etch a sketch again, can you say anything, can you imprint upon this? i think obama -- the obama administration's great with this. timely, you know, taking the story of your father is almost trying too hard. your father wasn't an immigrant in this sense. your father didn't understand the conditions in this sense. >> i will say, i do think, i mean, romney's father story is a pretty -- there are some incredibly compelling moments in his life story. >> no doubt about it. i'm saying if you don't have the story that actually parallels what theolk are going through, yes, you reaching forward could be a risk because it looks like you're saying, from nigh own perspective of privilege, i've suffered, too, and know what the deal is. that can backfire. >> to pick up on michael's point about the sophistication of the community, when he gets up there and says this president and the democrats haven't tried to do anything until the last minute as a political maneuver, that may play well with people who
haven't been following it. the people in the community know about the dream act, know 55 senators were pushing it, that it had a majority, that it was filibustered. they know that. you don't have to remind of them. that people follow the issue. for them to say that rings a little hollow. >> people remember that washington's broken. after the break, speaking of that, no win to holder. is the house oversight committee's vote to place attorney general eric holder in contempt an exercise in justice or a game of politics? we will discuss that, next. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and who doesn't want 50% more cash? ugh, the baby. huh! and then the baby bear said, "i want 50% more cash in my bed!" phhht! 50% more cash is good ri... what's that. ♪ you can spell. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? ha ha.
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the decision is invoke executive privilege is an admission that white house officials were involved in decision that misled the congress and have covered up the truth. what is the obama administration hiding in fast and furious? >> that was speaker john boehner, suggesting the white house is attempting a cover-up with the fast and furious memos.
meanwhile, democratic leader nancy pelosi had a theory of her own his morning. >> contempt of congress to frivolously use that really important vehicle to undermine the person who's assigned to stop the voter suppression in our country, i'm telling you, this is connected. >> the house oversight committee voted yesterday, recommending that attorney general eric holder should be placed in contempt of congress. the vote passed along party lines and will now go to a full house vote next week. ari, eric holder is a powerful figure in terms of both criticism and, of course, judicial weight. what -- not judicial weight, but weight in terms of the justice department. in terms of nancy pelosi's theory, because i want to unpack that one first, the notion that republicans are going after him because of his work on voter i.d. laws, he obviously is involved in a number of contentious pieces of litigation. what do you make of that? >> i haven't seen specific evidence that directly links the
two. i do think that any time you target an attorney general, you have to be very careful because this is the most independent member of the cabinet, you know, historically, and someone who is bound to faithfully execute the laws. so if she believes or members of the democratic caution believe this is a political act, it may be to distract the attorney general from executing those laws. if we look at the context here, there's a lot of little craft that happens in politics. this is very big. in the last 30 years, the full house has only held someone in contempt three times. and in those other cases it was not the attorney general which is an even bigger thing if you can get bigger. you need to have a really strong basis, a really good case for this. i think if you look the a what is actually at issue here, these are documents that basically came from after february 4th, so they're not even about the underlying issue. they wouldn't get you to the bottom of what happened with whatever guns disappeared in this dispute. so in all of the ways that you
can assess this, both how rare it is and what's at issue, it looks like a very weak and political case. >> but nonetheless, i mean, it's passing, you know, the initial vote passed on party lines. the house is expected in full vote to hold holder in contempt. mark, to what degree do you think the sort of scrum surrounding this was frothed up by the fact that the white house issued, went forward with executive privilege? i mean, that then sort of, i think, the ante went up given the fact there was a lot of talk about white house connections to this. of course the department of justice and white house are supposed to be separate. given that move, it sort of took it to the next level. >> look, as ari suggested, a contempt vote for a member is a big deal, invocation of executive privilege is a big deal. i could make the argument for either side about whose fault it is, but there's no question we should want an executive branch that has, a legislative branch, that has a check on the executive branch. there are questions here about government. they are with holding documents. i think what's driving this is less the election and more the
fact the republican party and to today a lesser extent, but still a significant extent, the democratic party is beholden to the party. look at talk radio, fox news, right wing blogs and twitter when it's working -- >> twitter hasn't been working. >> you'll see enormous pressure on republicans. there's no question if john boehner and mitt romney had their way, they wouldn't want this as a distraction. they'd rather focus just on the economy. to go back to the walk and chew gum metaphor, i think they -- pure politics. they can focus on this and do this for the base of the party and see where it goes and not have -- distract mitt romney from the economy. >> is it really even -- in the grand scheme of things, the base of the party, that's one part of the house republican caucus. in terms of actual voters, you see, i mean, this is i think a reinforcement of the narrative that nothing gets done in washington which is why behind closed doors we hear -- >> and it's also at whatever cost. how extraordinary this is. i want to give voice to
something i don't usually give voice to, the conspiracy theorists, you can't get the big black guy at the top so you get the next big black guy there. that's horrible. it may be antithetical to every notion of due process we're seeing. my god, what can you conclude from the fact to hold eric holder in contempt is an extraordinary act. pelosi is right. not only does it unnecessarily expend political capital but redirects attention away from the primary predicate upon which our democracy hangs which is just due process in fairness. i think this, to target eric holder when never before has an attorney general been targeted in this way, at least leaves you vulnerable to the argument that you're doing it for a bunch of reasons. first of all, you want to keep suppressing the vote. you want to distract people from the fact there are people organized with deep pockets to suppress that vote, that the florida governor has been involved, you know, in the past with voting machines that -- >> take the politics out of it. don't you want to live in a country where where the executive branch makes a mistake
and there's questions about what happened both in the act itself and how they've handled it since there's been controversy, that the legislative branch does oversight. don't they need documents to do oversight? >> i'm saying the contempt of the attorney general is another thing. this is hagel's problem. hagel thought everything was headed to the prussian state. we have no history here. is this the first time of the history of america an attorney should be held in contempt? if so, give me the evidence. >> if mark halperin is right from the first comment, this is about targeting the political base of the republican party, which you put forward as a theory, if that is true, that in and of itself is an inappropriate use of a contempt citation. >> they want the documents and attorney general won't give them to them. what should they do? >> they can continue do oversight. they don't necessarily have a right to the documents that were created in response to the justice department. if the theory is right, it's an inappropriate use of power. that's their problem. >> it is certainly something that we will be following. we did not get to discuss the issue of commerce secretary john brycen resigning.
>> he's glad. >> he's glad. he's out of there. thanks again to ari, mike, maggie and michael. that's all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern. 9:00 a.m. pacific. when i'm joined by martin bashir. eric bates. buzzsy ben smith and "andrea mitchell reports." good afternoon to you, andrea. sorry we're not in the same room anymore. >> at least we're talking. thanks, alex. coming up next, senator marco rubio reacting to mitt romney's immigration speech. he'll be here live. and of course all that speculation he is or is not being embedded as a potential running mate. plus his new book "the american son." the pill falls of picking a running candidate. and vargas about coming out of the shadows as an undocumented immigrant. we'll hear from president obama on his challenge to congress over holding down interest rates on student loans. all that and a lot more next on
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" chasing the dream. mitt romney courts hispanic voters with a major speech today in florida. >> last week the president finally offered a temporary measure. he called it a stop gap measure. that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election. after 3 1/2 years of putting every issue from loan guarantees to his donors to cash for clunkers, putting all those things before immigration, now the president has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on day one but didn't. i think you deserve better. is rising republican star marco rubio romney's man for all seasons? >> look, i don't want to talk about the process. i haven't up to this point. >> marco rubio joins us live this hour. and fast and furious. even in denmark today, eric
holder can't avoid the showdown with republican members of congress. >> we put before the committee a proposal that would have allowed what a resolution of that matter, consistent with the way in whichhese have been resolved in the past through negotiation. i think the possibility still exists that it can happen in that way. plus the supreme court is unanimous. fleeting expletives are okay on tv. so what the heck is a fleeting expletive? we'll explain, but we'll keep it clean. and going purple. secretary of state hillary clinton gets in on a running joke behind purple fridays while swearing in her assistant secretary of public affairs mike hammer. >> thanks to the good work of the p.a. staff. then, of course, the