tv Politics Nation MSNBC August 9, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
away from millions of americans. but in the crucial state of colorado, the president hit that point very hard today. >> mr. romney wants to reverse the affordable care act. obama care. let me tell you something. right now 6.5 million young people can stay on their parents' plan because of the health care law i passed. millions of seniors are seeing lower prescription drug costs. we are going to make sure that if you've got a pre-existing condition, you can now get health insurance. we're not going backwards. we're not going to take that away. and we're certainly not going to follow mr. romney's lead and go back to the days when women
didn't have control of their own health care choices. women can make their own decisions. we don't need politicians doing it. >> the president wants our mothers, daughters, and sisters to make their own choices about health care. mr. romney calls that a war on religion. the president calls it faness. and the american people are responding. a brand new cnn poll shows president obama leading mr. romney by seven points. 52% to 45%. and the public predicts the president will be re-elected. 63% think he will win in november. just 33% think mr. romney will win. folks, that's big. very big. in late summer polls of past elections, the public accurately predicted the winner in 1996,
2000, and 2008. and in 2004 they called the race a tie when it turned out to be a razor thin election. all of this is bad news for mr. romney. and good news for the president. joining me now is michelle cutter correspondent for news week, daily beast. and patricia murphy. thank you both for joining me. >> hello. >> michelle, let me start with you. the president has focused on fairness and romney's record. it seemed to be pulling off in the polls. is that the message in 2012? >> the polls are telling us that romney cares about the rich and they're not convinced that if he were president he could do a better job with this economy. that's a disaster for him because his whole message is i
could do a better job with this economy. i think the drip, drip, drip has done its work in some way and is eroding the thought he would be a better steward. >> now, patricia, following up michelle's point, in this cnn poll, 64% say that they feel mitt romney favors the rich. 29% say he favors middle class and poor. same poll says 18% feel the president favors the rich. 76% says he favors the middle class and the poor. this whole issue of fairness and who is working class, working poor, and the middle class seems to be making the difference for the president. >> it's making a huge difference. i think romney has made a series of errors in the summer. his refusal to release his tax
returns doesn't have a lot to do with the middle class but it shows somebody who is so wealthy that has so much going on in returns, most americans can't relate to that. they have no relationship to somebody who has such complicated tax returns and tax havens and things he doesn't want to talk about. there's also an important report released last week from the tax policy center about mitt romney's economic plans, his plans for the country. and they said his tax cut really would hurt middle class taxpayers. if you're just doing it by the numbers, they're the majority of voters. they're the ones making the decision in this race. that report coupled with a sense from mitt romney that he doesn't relate well to middle class voters and his misdemeanor that he comes off as an uptight rich guy. he has not done a whole lot to go after middle class voters. to act relaxed around middle class people. i think it's all compounding
what should be a better election for republicans. the president does not have a great economic record going into this record. he should be more vulnerable. mitt romney has not taken advantage of that. >> when you look at romney's tax plan raises taxes on middle class families by $2,000. and when you see the president talking about workers and women's rights. yesterday he had sandra fluff introduced him. today we find that a delegate -- get this -- a delegate, a romney delegate to the republican national convention is david koch. david koch whose net worth is $25 billion. he's the cofounder of americans for prosperity. and he's committed $25 million for ads against the president this month alone.
if you've got one hanging out with middle class women and those that want to see women's rights to choose protected. those that want to see middle class get tax breaks. those that want to stand up in the gap. and another having billionaires as their delegates to their convention. it's no wonder you get these poll results. >> yeah. i think the romney campaign doesn't still grasp the optics matter. in addition to whatever policy issues there are when you run a presidential campaign, people pay excruciatingly close attention. who's hanging out with you. who you have stand up with you at events. and every day they'd come up with new stories related to romney's own wealth issues. you know, the obama campaign has jumped on this story that's out there about how when he was on marriott's board, romney helped marriott do some funky tax accounting to get breaks that
were above board. and people are going to take these things and run with them. they add up to a narrative that romney cannot afford. >> when you say funky, you mean negative. because some places where i go funky is a good thing. >> this is not the good funky. this is the ethically legally questionable funky. >> just checking. talking about funky, other than the economic issues, the president also dealt with some of the issues that concerns a lot of americans and he came out very strong talking about gay rights and immigration. listen to what he said. >> mr. romney thinks don't ask don't tell was a good idea. i think anybody who loves this country should be able to serve this country. that was the right thing to do. mr. romney believes in something called self-deportation. thinks arizona's a model for immigration laws across the country. i think -- i think we did the right thing to say a young
person who comes to america, is brought here, is raised here, is friends with your kids, is going to school with our kids is american in every single way except for a piece of paper. should have a chance to be a part of the american family. that was the right thing to do. >> now, patricia, when the president comes after mitt romney on these positions. i was reading even in the new york times today, some republicans that are young are having a problem with some of these issues and are in favor of some of the women's right to choose and same-sex marriage. i mean, is romney out of touch with where a lot of people in the country are in 2012? >> he's especially out of touch with young voters. a young republican is very different from an old 65, 75-year-old republican. a young republican in america is probably for gay rights. it's just a much more
progressive segment of that party. that is an area where the president has an opening to go in there and pull out some of these young independents or republicans who may agree with mitt romney on the economic issues but just don't agree with him on gay marriage or gay rights. when you look at demographics, hispanics are the fastest growing in the country. if republicans don't get right with the issue, they're not going to be a majority party. it's also something the democrats are naturally aligned with the hispanics on in terms of their immigration system. these are going to be the issues of the future. i think the election will be decided on the economy. if it's a close election and we know it will be, it will also come down to a few points. and it could be voters voting on other issues. immigration and gay rights are absolutely key points for small but key pieces. >> thank you so much for your time. >> thank you.
coming up, the former top republican in florida says voter suppression was openly discussed. it's shocking. and he's here live tonight to talk about it. plus governor romney wants a culture war. his new ad says president obama declared war on religion. wait. i thought he was the jobs guy? and folks, take a look at this one. we've got a kangaroo boxing in your summer break. look at him go. nice moves. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. [ donovan ] i hit a wall. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going.
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the conversation is going all day long. today republican efforts to suppress the vote is a hot issue. connie said more people need to speak out against it. voting is a right for all americans, no exception. jennifer wonders why are we refighting rights we fought for in the '60s? why is this country moving backwards? people are also buzzing today about the first lady and her style. don says michelle brings true class and grace to the white house. couldn't agree more. we want to hear what you think too. head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. we hope to see you there. we b, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs.
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welcome back to "politicsnation." folks, remember this picture? there's the big money man, mr. romney. hanging out with his bain capital buddies. dollar bills literally falling out of his pockets. now for the first time, he's trying to explain what in the world is going on here. what was he thinking? in an interview with bloomberg business week, he explains quote, that was a moment of humor. we had a great group of people, each of whom i think of fondly. a moment of humor? yeah. ha-ha. i can't contain myself. here's the point. this election comes down to a question of fairness. and this picture only fuels the
image of someone out of touch with americans. from the very beginning he's had a problem connecting even with his own party. since he became the nominee, there's been no excitement, no buzz, nothing to energize the far right base. enter young gun congressman paul ryan. mr. end medicare as we know it. the darling of the right wing. conservatives are already so excited at the idea of ryan as vice president, they can hardly contain themselves. but this pick would be a big risk. if paul ryan gets on the ticket, the fight is on. and america has a serious choice to make. joining me now is eugene robinson for the washington post and an msnbc political analyst. eugene, thanks for being on tonight. >> great to be here, al. >> now, a lot of conservatives
are in lather about ryan. is it a smart move? >> to put him on the ticket? i think it's a risky move. and the risk ask that if you put ryan on the ticket, you own the ryan budget. you own this transformation of medicare into a voucher program. you own the whole thing. and if you want to run on that, fine. but that's risky. >> well, the medicare plan of ryan is to pay for massive tax breaks and turns medicare into a voucher program. it raises the eligibility age of 67 to make seniors pa$67 to mak more for their coverage.
so why would you risk it? but eugene, the present nominee mr. romney has had a problem exciting his base, has a problem of getting turnout. does he have to take a hail mary pass and put son like ryan on who can at least energize the far right base to come out in big numbers? >> well, it's true if the conservative base doesn't come out, there's no way he can win the election. but it's also true that he needs more than the conservative base to come out. if it's just the republican base that votes for mitt roey, he loses the election. and he loses it big time. you've got to fight for those independents who are in the middle who swing back and forth. they're a larger and larger share of the electorate. so you got to get them. and the question is how do you get them with paul ryan budget? how do you get them by promising
to end medicare as we know it? i think that's a -- you know, if you can do it, fine. but that's a tall order. >> but he seems to be reaching for straws. he comes out with this whole attack on president obama and welfare reform saying that the president is taking work out of the welfare reform bill. something that is blatantly untrue. a clear distortion. but it seems like he's trying to reach for things to energize that far right base and to really get them excited and angered and ready to come out. >> well, al, to tell you the truth, i'm not exactly sure what the romney campaign is trying to accomplish right now. in the last few days we've seen them bring bill clinton into the campaign on this welfare stuff which does not seem to me to be a great idea. after all, he just refutes what they said.
it gives him more incentive to play a big roll in the campaign. they have embraced romney care which was the model for obama care. and thus alienating the conservatives. i don't know exactly what they're trying to do. so my prediction is that their vice presidential pick will probably be somebody i don't predict and someone whose choice i might not understand. i'm trying to get inside their heads and it escapes me right now. >> well, right now. of the list that is voted around includes chris christie, tim pawlenty, rob portman, paul ryan, marco rubio. which of those if it's one of those, we have no way of knowing, but let's say it's one of those. which of those gives him the most asset politically if you put him on the ticket in your opinion? >> in my opinion, if you want to go big risk, big potential gain, go with either marco rubio who
may make inroads with latinos and who is a charismatic good looking young guy. who knows. it could be another palin situation. chris christie has a certain macho appeal. a certain -- a good campaigner, i think. but i'm not sure that romney would want to pick somebody who would threaten to overshadow him on the campaign trail. i think christie would do that. if you want to go with a safe choice, i think you go with pawlenty. who is a pretty good campaigner. who's not going to strike out on his own. who has a bit of a populous touch. >> and he will not overshadow. thank you so much for your time tonight. eugene robinson, washington post. ahead, funny things are happening over at the romney campaign. they're going back to the
culture wars? didn't they see how it ended last time? and move over herman cain, there's a new right wing pizza man in town. the ceo of papa john's is complaining that the health care law costs 14 cents per pizza. >> i believe every human being has a fundamental right to affordable health care. but at what price? there has to be a line we do not cross. and it's 14 cents. >> you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. wake up!
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folks, we've heard some pretty cheesy attacks on the president's health care law. but a new one takes the pie. john shnuder, the ceo of pizza chain papa john's slammed the law saying quote, our best estimate is that the obama care will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza. wow. 14 cents. their workers get health care. and that's a problem? is he joking? who knows. but this guy is. >> i believe every human being has a fundamental right to affordable health care. but at what price? there has to be a line we do not
cross. and it's 14 cents. >> and it's not just comedians laughing. customers have bombarded papa john's facebook page to say they'll gladly eat the cost. adam writes, a dime per pie seems like a reasonable price to pay for health care for your employees. susan says i lose more than that in a week under my sofa cushion. and lauren writes if you have enough money to throw lavish fund raisers at your mansion for mitt romney, you have enough money to provide basic health care to your employees. that's right. mr. schnatter held a fund raiser at his kentucky estate earlier this year. the candidate topped the event off with this. >> what a home this is. what grounds these are. the pool, the golf course. you know, if a democrat were here, he'd look around and say no one should live like this.
you know? republicans come here and say everyone should live like this. all right? >> democrats want everyone to have nice houses too. but they also want them to get health care. next time hold the right wing rhetoric and the anchovies. papa johns, did you think we wouldn't notice your cheesy argument? nice try, but we got you. xñ
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forcing religious institutions to go against their faith. mitt romney believes that's wrong. >> war on religion? what does a war on religion have to do with job creation? absolutely nothing. he's declaring a culture war because he's in a jam. mr. romney is struggling to win the support of social conservatives. and comments like this one from his spokesman yesterday aren't helping his cause. >> if people had been in massachusetts under governor romney's health care plan, they would have had health care. >> that comment stirred outrage from the right that we haven't seen in this cycle before. and that's why romney's waging a culture war. it's the only chance he has to win over the staunchest social conservatives. like the right wing in colorado trying to get a personhood amendment back on their ballot for the third time. and conservatives who think the
affordable care act birth control mandate is a war on religion. but i wonder if they know about romney's own war on religion when he was governor. it was called romney care. romney care provided access to publicly financed birth control. and expanded access to family planning services. and prescription contraceptives for the people of massachusetts. and get this, in 2005 mr. romney signed a bill that increased access to the morning after pill. he even wanted to require catholic hospitals to issue the morning after pill to rape victims. and now he's saying the president is waging a war on religion? mr. romney's all tied in pretzels. and he's struggling to figure out which way to bend next. joining me now is dana milbank, columnist for the washington
post and terry o'neill for the organization of women. thanks to both of you for being with us tonight. >> good evening, reverend. >> back to the culture wars? wasn't he the jobs guy? where's the romney campaign at right now? >> well, this is happening a little early this year. usually we have the war on religion comes out about christmas time. and bill o'reilly gets all excited about the banishment of christianity. but it is coming out early because the election this year. i think it's a difficult thing for romney to do for the reason that you stated that this was supposed to be about economics, about the economy. and also because every time he tries to venture anywhere near obama care, it winds up hitting him because
him. >> you head the national organization of women. the president is trouncing, literally trouncing romney with the women's vote. 58% to 36%. is this in your opinion because of romney's positions on women's issues? >> absolutely, reverend. mitt romney is waging a war on women. he has throw his lot in 100% with the likes of paul ryan whose economic plans for women will devastate women's economic security. mitt romney has repeatedly said he would, quote, get rid of planned parenthood. mitt romney is all in for zero funding family planning clinics in this country. which by the way not only affects whole family's security but is a serious public health risk. this is a war on women that women understand. and the gender gap -- i predict
the gender gap will only increase as more and more women begin to pay attention and see what mitt romney really has in store for us. >> dana, look at the figures. that's 22 points. can't they see these numbers? what is he thinking about politically? >> always something of a gender gap that's going to benefit the democrats in terms of the women's vote here. i think what romney is doing right now is he's less concerned about the gender gap and he's more concerned about is he turning out his base enough? that's why we're seeing what he's been doing with the culture wars, what he's been doing in trying to revive the welfare reform debate. his numbers evidently internally are telling him that he is not generating the enthusiasm that he needs to among the hard right to get them out. and unfortunately that fairly honest statement on romney care by his spokeswoman is not going
to help things. >> talking about that statement, terry, congresswoman marsha blackburn was asked to respond to romney's spokesperson's comments on romney care. let me play you what she said. >> i didn't hear the full interview. and i haven't seen the tweet. but i can tell you what i know about the obama care plan. i know that it is already doubled in cost. >> but you bring up the fact he could have gone to massachusetts and he would have been covered with insurance under governor romney's plan. she brings up romney care. >> president obama's -- president obama's plan is going to limit access to health care delivery. >> but we're talking about mitt romney here. >> it's going to increase -- >> with all due respect, we're talking about mitt romney. we're talking about a mitt romney spokesperson -- i'm specifically asking you to react to her comment. we played the sound bite where she basically is saying if this
man had been in massachusetts where he would have had health care, perhaps that would have prevented his wife's death. this has nothing to do with obama care. >> the point remains obama care is what is on the table. >> having a little problem with the talking points, it looks like on this one. because they're trying to get around what romney did and put it all on the president. it's not seeming to work too well, terry. >> it really doesn't work well at all for her. let's actually look at what's on the table. let's look at obama care as she calls it. 14 million more women are going to be covered by health insurance because of obama care. and that's just one part of obama care. that's just the expansion of medicaid coverage. there is tens of millions more women will be covered because of the subsidies that are provided under obama care. and really tens of millions of
women have told pollsters that would have health insurance only if they could afford it. it's an important legislation for women and it in fact will expand women's access to health care. every woman covered by insurance now has preventive care. it's really important for women. >> dana milbank, terry o'neill thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. still ahead, the former chairman of florida gop has made some shocking claims about the effort to suppress the black vote in that state. i'll talk to him live. and up next, here's a kicker. a boxing kangaroo and a whole lot more coming up on your summer break. [ male announcer ] we did a febreze experiment
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we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com. we're back with a pause from the political battles of the day. a time to rest, relax, recharge. that's right. it's time for the "politicsnation" summer break. we begin with your daily traffic report. traffic seems to be moving smoothly. heading to st. petersburg this morning. but wait.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. republicans are using an all above strategy when it comes to suppressing in this. gop effort to limit voting rights are a lot broader than that. in the last two years, nine states have tried to pass laws that limit early voting. five of them succeeded.
and now voter purges are re-emerging in a bunch of states including battle grounds. both president obama and governor romney know how important swing states are. that's why they are spending the bulk of their tv ad money in four states. crucial states where voting rights are under attack. most republicans insist it's all about preventing voter fraud. but once in awhile we hear someone tell the truth about what's really behind these attacks on voting rights. joining me now is jim greer. former chairman of the republican party of florida. mr. greer, thanks for being on the show tonight. >> it's a pleasure to be here, al. >> now, you recently made some stunning claims in court documents about florida's gop's new voting laws. take us into the meetings you
were at and what was said about suppression. >> i think first of all you have to realize most reasonable republicans and americans as a whole if they knew what went on behind the political curtain, they'd not only be disgusted, they'd demand it stop. as a member of the rnc rules committee, i sat in on many meetings where it was discussed of how to make sure what happened in 2008 when president obama brought out the college age voters, the minority voters, never happened again. and, you know, the republican party believes that minority voters in general are not ever going to vote republican. so discussions centers around how do we make sure that what happened in '08 never happens again. and part of those discussions dealt with changing the election laws in florida. and how to ensure that the republican party doesn't have to deal with what it dealt with in '08. and some of those changes dealt with reducing early voting.
because people know or statistics show that early voters are not generally leaning republican. >> well, let me stop you right there. we had the data. 54% of african-americans voted early in 2008. so you're right. the data is very clear that early voting was certainly used. go ahead. >> so they talked about reducing early voting. because that wasn't helping the republican party win. they talked about making voter registration much more difficult for third party organizations. organizations like the legal women voters who have been doing this for many years. there were a lot of discussions of what could the republican party do led by the strategists to ensure that republicans win in 2012. it's very sad what's going on in the republican party. it's very sad that the republican party doesn't want to
win votes by talking about what it stands for. it wants to ensure that some people can't get to the polls, can't register to vote. you know, the political strategists of the gop can't control what voters do in the voting booth, but they can certainly try and control them ever getting to the voting booth. and that's what's happened in florida. >> so you were chair of the party. you were on the rnc rules committee, and you were in the room -- and you said this in sworn deposition -- when the discussion was not about fraud or any of the things but really how we affect who will be able to vote and particularly minorities and young people because they felt that gave the edge to president obama. you're stating that was the discussion in the room. >> absolutely. three and a half years as the chairman of florida, i never had one meeting with voter fraud was discussed as a real issue effecting elections. >> never one time?
fraud was never a major issue in any of your discussions in three and a half years? >> never one time did we have discussions where voter fraud was a real issue. it's simply been created as a marketing tool here in florida for the right wing that is running state government now to convince voters that what they're doing is right. it's a marketing tool. that's clearly what it is. there's no validity to it. we never had issues with it. the main purpose behind it is to make sure that what happened in '08 never happens again. and if that includes keeping voters from voting, keeping voters from registering. that's what the gop-led government in florida is going to do. >> now, you said in your deposition that political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. they were talking about not letting blacks vote and minority
outreach programs were not fit for the republican party. some are saying you just said this to get even, some payback. how do you respond to that? >> first of all, it's sad. the republican party particularly the political strategists are very good at discrediting somebody who knows the truth. they do this for a living and they've done everything they can. the right wing people took over the republican party here in florida. they forced me out as chairman. they hated charlie crist. governor crist and i were considered moderates. i like to refer to us as reasonable republicans. but, you know, they've tried to discredit me. they forced me out as chairman of the party because they wanted someone who fit their views better. they were successful at that. the republican party right now in florida and unfortunately a lot of parts of this country is being run by pitch fork, torch bearing mobs looking for frankenstein. and anyone who gets in their way or any law that gets in their
way to winning elections, they're going to try to push it aside. that's not what it's about. >> i know we had one segment, but i'm going to break rank here. stay with me. i want you to stay with me. we'll be back with more from you right after this. jim greer on "politicsnation" with al sharpton. we'll be right back. [ donovan ] i hit a wall.
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we're back with more of my conversation with jim greer former chairman of the florida republican party. jim, let me ask you this. i was in miami earlier this week with congress woman wilson and others rallying around these new laws. but you were in the room. you were the chairman of the party. you're still a republican. you disagree with a lot of what we believe in in politics. but is there any doubt in your mind that what you heard in the room and what you state was
designed because of what happened in 2008 and these laws and these things are not being done around fraud but really to limit voters from certain particular demographics, minorities and youth, because they want to try to limit the people who will vote in this election? >> yeah. there's no doubt that what the republican-led legislature in florida and governor scott are trying to do is make sure that the republican party has an advantage in this upcoming election. by reducing early voting, putting road blocks up for potential voters. latinos, african-americans to exercise their right to vote. i was in the room. it's part of the strategy. the one thing people don't realize is winning elections now has become a multi-million dollar business. there are political consultants that get hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses if they win elections. and if they've got to change a few voter laws and make it more
difficult for minority voters to get to the polls, they're going to do it. because the republican party has given up on minority voters. i didn't when i was chairman. i believe that we needed to reach out. we needed to talk about our message. i did a lot of outreach. they opposed it from day one. it was just -- it's just not what the republican party -- >> jim, we're going to have to go. we went over time. we'll certainly have you back. thank you for coming on. and thank you for your time tonight. let me say that if you're a republican, a democrat, or an independent and heard what you just heard, this is about people's rights. th is not even about who wins this election. this is about who and what this nation is and is going to stand for. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. newt gingrich. let's play "hardball."
good evening. i'm chris matthews. let me start in mitt romney's look for a running mate. what's he looking for? does anybody believe he's out there looking for someone to share the burden and grander of office? does anybody believe romney's the kind of guy to share the decision making power of the presidency? so what does he want? someone to help win the election, obviously. someone to get him a state he's unlikely to get otherwise. perhaps portman of ohio or rubio of florida. someone to offset his rich guy stiffness and remoteness. then pick a regular middle class guy like pawlenty of minnesota. how about someone to show conviction the kind people don't
associate with romney himself. then paul ryan would make the case. i've got an idea. how about he makes a running mate decision that shows who he mitt romney really is. someone who has the right stuff to be president. that would show character, judgment, true patriotism all important to any president no matter what his philosophy. let's see where he's heading. joining me now is newt gingrich who ran against romney for the nomination. mr. speaker, thank you. >> good to be here. >> you must be thinking and have your ear to this. is he going to do the obvious, white bred, double down on boredom and pick pawlenty or portman. or go to the right and pick a guy of conviction, i'm going to pic paul ryan. >> i don't know. i don't think anybody knows. i think the only three people who have a pretty good idea about these are meyers who's doing the job and governor romney and his wife ann. i think those are the only three peop