tv News Nation MSNBC August 14, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
i'm jose in for tamron hall on assignment. with 12 weeks to election day republican vice presidential candidate paul ryan is on the stump in colorado as we speak. take a look at the pictures. it comes as both tickets fight for votes across five battleground states today. the president in ohio, mitt romney in iowa. vice president biden will speak at his second event in virginia. ryan prepares for his second event of the day, this one in las vegas. ron mott joins us live from lakewood, colorado. >> reporter: good day. you see folks filing out of the gym at lakewood high school. they heard a 15 to 17 speech by paul ryan. the speech was billed as a speech on energy, obviously very important out here in the mountain west. especially in colorado when you talk about oil and gas out here employing about 160,000 people. he touched on that at the beginning of the speech. was reading off of some prepared
notes. then meandered into the broader romney points, talking points, creating jobs and things of that like. the crowd really got into it. one gentleman that left here was really happy with what he heard in the speech. going forward, colorado with nine electoral votes. the president would seem to have an advantage in the 12 weeks leading up to the election. he trounsed john mccain if i can use that word four years ago by almost nine points. governor romney may, perhaps, and the republicans might have some ground to catch up here in colorado. they want to pass this keystone pipeline project to get it going down from canada all the way to oklahoma. the president has sort of tabled making a decision on permitting that line of the pipeline, about 1,300 miles from the canadian border down to oklahoma, the last 400 or so that will dump out in the texas gulf air he's already approved. those projects are under way. republicans want this project passed. they say upwards of 20,000 jobs could be created by the pipeline project.
every time you mention keystone pipeline it gets a big reaction in places like colorado, wyoming and other places where this pipeline is to go. a pretty good speech all in all. he's now off to nevada to talk about housing later today which is obviously very important to the folks out there. the foreclosure crisis hit very hard in the silver state. back to you. >> ron mott, thank you so much very. while campaigning in virginia today, vice president joe biden took aim at paul ryan's record in another attempt to link the republican's controversial budget to mitt romney. >> congressman ryan has now given definition to governor romney's vague commitments that he's been making in the last wree year. congressman ryan and the congressional republicans, as one person said, have already done what governor romney is promising he'll do for the nation. it's almost like running against an incumbent. >> that's bringing our news nation political panel. executive director of volto latina, maria teresa kuma.
adolfo franco. ado adolfo, is the republican candidate the ideal man to go out in many key states when obama is in the lead? >> absolutely. he's the best candidate i can think of. he's a candidate about reducing the deficit and about free enterprising, creating jobs. boy, i'd like to have a show, since the democrats don't want to talk about barack obama's record. i'd love to talk about it. a record of 42 months of consecutive unemployment above 8%, gasoline prices at record highs, killing the keystone project which is going to make gas higher. his own secretary of energy talked about $10 a gallon is desirable. a fellow that's pose thed the biggest tax increase in history. lastly and most importantly, he's the guy that cut $700
billion out of medicare. he's the candidate -- >> let me go back to the question that i posed to you. do you think a gentleman who has as part of his curriculum vitae a budget proposal that would include massively changing medicare and social security, do you think that's a good move when you are talking about states like florida, which many consider a key state to win if you're going to get to the white house? >> jose, let me answer the question very directly. >> please. >> absolutely he's the right candidate. paul ryan has said all along that no one 55 or older would be affected. so no senior is going to worry about the current program. however, he is concerned about reforming something that bipartisan commissions have said, including the president's own commission, is unsustainable for the future. so he's talking about preserving the program that's going to go bust. he wants to avoid greece or spain, the crisis countries in europe. >> we're talking about florida. not the countries in spain. >> florida voters have to know
this. this is a person who is committed to the current program. there is nothing -- >> adolfo, let me bring you in in a minute. nia maliki, a lot of republicans, not democrats, republicans have been suggesting maybe paul ryan is not the ideal candidate for mitt romney. what are you hearing? >> that's right. i think publicly, they're very bullish on paul ryan. i think privately they have some concerns. i just met actually with a top republican who expressed those concerns. who said she's worried about, for instance, going into the debates, how paul ryan will shape up against biden. how he will shape up just over the next 12 weeks in terms of the intense glare that he will get, that his family will get over these next 12 weeks leading up until november. and they're also concerned about now all of a sudden people are talking about medicare. they had thought this was going to be a referendum just solely on obama. a campaign that they could talk about this unemployment rate of
8.3% and 42 weeks over 8%. all of a sudden you're talking about medicare. paul ryan, of course, will go into florida this week and talk about medicare. you've seen the obama campaign obviously be very aggressive in trying to tag him as someone who would end medicare as we know it. there's some frustration on the part of republicans that the campaign, the romney campaign, hasn't been aggressive enough in terms of defining what they would do with medicare . >> interesting. words do matter. i want to put up on the screen some of the directives on medicare messages. they're told not to use entitlement reform, privatation, or every option is on the table. to use more safe words like strengthen, secure, save, preserve. is that a reflection, nia, of usual concerns or usual growing pains? >> there is real concern. this obviously was announced on saturday. you've seen paul ryan, obviously, out there. mitt romney as well. they have been talking about medicare. you saw paul ryan out there in
iowa where he was confronted with people who had concerns about medicare. so it's a real challenge for this party. the first rule, i think, when you want to pick a vice president, you to no harm. there are concerns among republicans paul ryan adds some baggage to this campaign that has had a difficult summer. >> maria teresa, i want to bring you in. you're so keyed in and in touch with the young people and the need for them to get involved and to vote. does the fact that ryan, you know, he's a young guy, you think that will play in anything as far as, you know, getting people jazzed up? >> i think, i mean, the fact that he's young and has a young family i think is appealing. when you start looking at what all of the sudden is at play, the romney campaign wanted this to be a referendum on job. because he chose someone like ryan all of the sudden you have the senior citizen vote up for play that you didn't have. folks may forget, but if you recall obama lost the senior vote in 2008. it's all of the sudden up in
play when you look at states such as florida, arizona. all the southwest where you have large retirement communities. that's probably the worst possible position. now instead of making it a referendum on jobs it's all a referendum on medicare and entitlement programs, social security. also unfortunately doesn't impact a lot of young people because they start scratching their heads saying, hey, are these type of entitlement programs that were affected for my parents, are they going to be there for me? >> let's see how they fine tune their message coming out of the convention. attack ads. both team romney and obama are out with new negative ads ironically criticizing the other over attack ads they say are false. >> shocking. >> take a look at these. >> if you had president obama's record, what would you do? would you joke? >> shovel ready was not as novel ready as we expected. >> deny reality. >> we tried it and it worked. >> shameful, dishonest attacks.
with no record to run on it's the only strategy obama has left. >> let's talk about what it takes to get america working again. >> president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform. >> politifact gives us the rating of pants on fire, really, really false. >> mr. president, take your campaign out of the gutter. >> adolfo franco, is the campaign in the gutter for both democrats and republicans. >> i think you can always expect hard ads in any campaign. the fact is when you're an incumbent, you have a record. i think frankly the romney ads as demonstrated here are talking about the president's own words. he's the president that said you didn't build that if you had a small business. he's the president -- i want to clarify this for this program, jose. he's the only guy that's ever cut medicare by $700 billion through his obamacare program. >> the affordable health care act is going to take care of
that. >> well, yeah, right. it's going to take care of it. >> ryan's plan also cuts. >> i think the ads on the romney side are accurate. i really do. i don't -- i think it's a political season. it's going to be hardball. >> let's talk about a little bit of a political season. because something that some republicans have been criticizing is the president's executive order which, starting tomorrow, starting tomorrow, as many as 1.8 million people, young kids that were brought to this country through no fault of their own, they got here before they were 16 years of age, they're under 30, are going to, for the first time, come out from under the depths and the shadows and be able to register and to stay here for at least two years. maria teresa kumar, how big is this deferred action process playing in the hispanic community? >> it's huge. because what it's saying is that if you put political pressure on
elected officials they listen to you. in this case obama listened to the latino community saying we need some sort of relief. it's not the perfect solution. but it's a pathway so if we start having national conversations on the importance of getting these young people out of the vad dshadows. it also plays very big, if you start looking how it polls americans in general are very in favor of the dream act. while it was a hot topic in the 2008 debate i don't think either party is really going to touch it because it is so complex. it's going to be very difficult for folks to back end on it. >> adolfo, let's talk about the dream act. for folks who don't know the dream act, what it is, is a legal process in washington, the senate and the house, which is a law that was presented last time in 2010 which says if you got here through no fault of your own and you know no other country you can reach a path to citizenship. that was not able to pass in the house, you know, it just wasn't able to pass. adolfo franco, you've got a vice
presidential candidate on your party who voted against the dream act and a presidential candidate who says if he were president he would veto the dream act. what do you think specifically the republicans have in their vest to tell voters that they can solve the immigration problem? >> first of all they should understand one thing. when the current president was a senator he voted for the killer amendment that killed comprehensive immigration reform under george bush. he was part of those that lost that opportunity. secondly, everybody understands what this is. this is an electoral ploy. senator rubio was on the verge of putting together a coalition. all the activists came to obama and pressured him after he didn't do anything for 3 1/2, almost 4 years of being president. all of a sudden he issues executive order which by the way is not law. it can be at any time revoked. he missed opportunity. he promised comprehensive immigration reform. he didn't deliver on that. it's a cruel hoax on the latino community -- >> it's a cruel hoax, you say, that's helping 1.8 million
people starting tomorrow. >> you know what would have been helpful? for senator obama to live up to his rhetoric and sit down with senator rubio and other republicans and sit down on something that would have been the law and comprehensive. >> nia, some thoughts on how you think it's going to play come 6th november? >> i think it's going to work down to president obama's benefit. we've already seen these polls that show president obama doing well among latinos. when romney first came out saying he would veto the act i got an e-mail from a strategist that said they thought they could poll 70% of the latino vote. it's close to that. 66% or so. i think this is going to be tough for republicans to really make an argument to the latino community. >> nia -- >> not only about -- >> nia and adolfo and maria
teresa, thanks for being with us today. new jersey governor chris christie is tapped for the most sought after role at the rnc. what do we expect from a christie keynote address? plus, you remember this? >> mitt romney has made his business record a center piece of his campaign. he's talked act himself as a job creator. therefore, it is reasonable, in fact, i encourage it, for the obama campaign to examine that record and to discuss it. >> newark mayor corey booker speaks out for the first time about the so-called hostage video he filmed after critici criticizing the obama campaign after slamming romney's record at bain. what he's saying about it now. join our conversation on twitter. find us at news nation. if you want to chat with me, j.d.valard. i warn you i chat in both english and espanol. be patient.
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governor romney's tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 to pay for this big tax break that's going mostly to the wealthiest folks. >> mitt romney's tax plan became the target as president obama's campaigning in iowa for a second straight day. unprecedented tour through the hawkeye state comes as recent polls show the race in a dead heat. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker is traveling with the president now headed to waterloo. kristen? >> good afternoon. his other focus today, wind energy. he -- for imposing an extension for the tax credit for businesses for wind and other alternative energy. this is a big issue here iowans care a lot about.
the win industry here is about 7,000 jobs. that's a estimate. even the republican governor, harry branstead, has criticized romney. that was president obama's other big focus. then something unexpected happened. president obama took the sort of unusual step of -- romney for that now infamous trip in which he put the family dog shamus -- family trip -- >> kristen? >> like wind are imaginary. his running mate calls them a fad. during a speech a few months ago, governor romney even explained his energy policy this way. i'm quoting here. you can't drive a car with a windmill on it. that's what he said about wind power. you can't drive a car with a windmill on it. now, i -- i don't know if he's actually tried that. i know he's had other things on
his car. >> while all this is going on, mitt romney's in iowa criticizing president obama for his regulatory policy, saying that it hurts coal miners there. president obama continues his three-day swing here in iowa. his next stop is in marshalltown. then he heads to waterloo. that's where we're going to meet up with him. jose? >> kristen welker, thank you so much. sorry about the problem we had listening to you on the phone. it's now official. two weeks from tonight new jersey governor chris christie will deliver the keynote address at the republican national convention in tampa. the governor told "usa today" he plans to make an emphatic argument on behalf of governmental approaches. will it be classic christie? >> you have numb nuts like reid kashura who put out a statement comparing me to lester maddox. at some point you've got to be
able to call bs. >> first of all, it's none of your business. i don't ask you where you send your kids to school. don't bother me about where i send mine. >> the president knew it was due for failure so didn't get involved. what the hell are we paying for you? >> michael sheer shear of the "new york times." thank you so much for being with us. >> happy to. >> i assume the governor will tone down some of that blustering conversation we've seen with him in the past? >> maybe a little bit. look, that's what has earned him the spot here at the convention. i mean, there's a feeling that that sort of blunt, brash kind of abrasive, edgy, i'm going to tell it like it is, that's his schtick. that's what might appeal to the swing voters in some of these swing states, that's who they want to appeal to. that's the kind of message they want to send. >> is this a traditional role for the keynote?
after all, we know keynotes in the past have worked for folks that have considered running for president in the future. clearly something the governor has thought about. >> he's definitely thought about it. toyed with it late last year. decided not to. there's a ying and yang of these speeches. barack obama gave the keynote speech at one point who clearly we all remember. there's a whole list. we could go through many conventions and nobody could remember who the keynote speaker was. it sometimes works and sometimes opportunity. chris christie has never been on a kind of -- has never sort of demonstrated this schtick of his on such a big national stage. >> there's another big name that's now being confirmed that will be speaking, introducing romney, as a matter of fact. senator marco rubio. >> right. look, it's sort of -- they're using both of these guys who were in their own right potential presidential or vice presidential picks to send messages. in rubio's case he's a guy who's beloved by the tea party.
he's also, you know, potentially has outreach to hispanic voters. all of that can be very helpful. while rubio doesn't get the keynote speech, look, there isn't almost a better, more high-profile position than coming right before the nominee, in this case mitt romney, accepts the nomination. that's a big, highly watched moment coming from just a couple of weeks. >> mark shear, "new york times." thank you, my friend. >> sure. as we've told you, tomorrow up to 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants will have a chance to come out from the shadows as president obama's executive order granting them a temporary reprieve from te p deportation goes into effect. we'll talk to congressman gutierrez who made headlines earlier this year when he invoked justin bieber on the house floor. and a lot more. >> i'm sure justin helped gomez learn all about american customs and feel more at home in her adopted country. oh, wait a minute. i'm sorry.
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♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] coming up, why secretary of state hillary clinton is gracing the cover of conde nast traveler magazi magazine. plus, computers and personal items stolen from the home of the late steve jobs. it's in our news around the nation. be sure to check out news nation, its tumbler page. you'll find behind the scenes pictures at newsnation.tumbler.com. that's, i think, the guy that anchors the news on telemundo at 6:30 p.m., 5:30 central. a little snack. on a wednesday. at 2 am.
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battleground state of ohio where he'll conclude his four-day multistate bus tour later today. couple of hours ago he appeared in eastern ohio and promised to make the u.s. energy independent by the end of his second term. he also attacked the energy plan of president obama. >> if you don't believe in coal, if you don't believe in energy independence for america, then say it. if you believe the whole answer for our energy needs is wind and solar, why, say that. i know he says that in some instances out west. it's time to tell the people of america what you believe. >> nbc's peter zanalexander traveling with the romney campaign in ohio. he joins us by phone. peter, good afternoon. >> good afternoon, right now we're traveling between events for mitt romney as he's crisscrossing the state of ohio today. the last day, of course, of a four-day bus tour. in the southeast portion of ohio, bellsville, ohio river valley a place where coal is
king we spoke to a lot of individuals there. he's trying to attack the president today, romney is, on what he refers to as a war on coal. i had an opportunity to speak to some of the miners there. is th is an event taking place at a location just above -- about 400 mines that snake in these ohio river valley hills. one of the individuals, a 36-year-old man named jay moore said one of his big concern is unless there's a new president, he says in his words, he says, our city will turn into a ghost town. there's sincere concern in that part of the region. those working class americans are among the folks mitt romney's trying to win over in advance of the fall election. obviously, ohio is a critical state. he has an ice cream social planned today. he'll end up in columbus, ohio. we're enroute to that event as we speak to you now. >> peter alexander in ohio, thank you very much. all the attention around romney's pick of running mate drowned out the gop candidate's primary message for the time being. nbc's first read points out, quote, you turn the race into a conversation about medicare, entitlements and the role of
government relegating a discussion about the economy to the backseat. nbc senior political editor mark murray joins me. good afternoon, mark. >> good afternoon, jose. >> this clearly can't be a good thing for the romney campaign. >> when you actually talk to the romney campaign they believe this medicare fight is one they can win. they're actually out at the brand-new tv ad hitting, criticizing president obama on the issue. but on the other hand, when you think the romney campaign has spent the past year building their entire campaign around the economy, talking about the unemployment rate, the jobs, the economic growth, they are getting a little bit off on a subject that has normally been a democratic strength. that's where the risk is for the romney campaign. >> republicans point out that rubio talked about this issue. was able to win. they've talked about other republicans with tea party support, i may add, win. is that what lets them win, or is it something else that garners them more voter enthusiasm? >> the one model actually shows that when republicans are very bold on something, whether it
was marco rubio talking about his tea party ideals in 2010 or even what scott walker did in wisconsin or even arizona governor jane brewer on immigration did, when they go with something bold, no matter how controversial, they see it as a winner. that americans are going to reward boldness. when you look inside all these poll numbers and see that medicare is the one government program that is more popular than all the others, it is very dangerous terrain. you look back to past contests where republicans and even democrats have lost on the issue of medicare. this is a really tough act for mitt romney. they do think this could be a winner. but, boy, it has a lot of republicans thinking it's risky. >> romney was in florida yesterday where he was asked about the differences between his plan for medicare compared to his running mate. take a listen to what he said. >> my plan for medicare is very similar to his plan for medicare which is do not change the program for current retirees or near retirees. but do not do what the
president's done, and that is to cut $700 billion out of the current program. >> nbc's garrett haake reporting ryan's budget assumes the same $700 billion in medicare cuts. is team romney trying to have it both ways? sf >> they are. the argument they make is president obama and his health care law ended up cutting $700 billion from medicare. we can muddy up the waters here that that's our defense. it actually turned out the ryan budget plan assumes all of those same medicare cuts. that became tricky terrain for the romney campaign. so they've tried to create some distance with paul ryan's budget. really the first evidence of that kind of trying to have some daylight between the ryan budget and what mitt romney wants to do. >> you know, mark, we've been talking about tomorrow. 1.8 million undocumented young people may be able to come out from the shadows for the first time. is this going to have an impact, do you think, in states like florida, nevada, new mexico, texas, et cetera. >> jose, you and i have been
talking about whether the democrats and president obama can get that enthusiasm from latino voters. i do think the obama campaign is hoping that that announcement as well as everything that they were doing in june on that issue really gets latinos fired up for the election. that's the one thing to watch in all the polls. whether they're as enthusiastic as other voting blocks. >> no better poll on this issue than the nbc wall street telemundo poll. we talked about this issue. i want to bring in congressman luis gutierrez, democrat from illinois to talk about this presidential directive and what is going to happen tomorrow. that for the first time in many, many years 1.8, 1.9, who knows how many thousands of young kids that know no other country but the united states are going to be able to come out from under the shadows. congressman, tell us a little bit about what you feel. how important is this tomorrow? >> i think it's going to be immensely important, jose, tomorrow. at navy pier in chicago, we have 5,000 people that have already signed up to get information,
see what universities they can attend. actually fill out the form for deferred action so they can get a work permit, social security card. obviously a driver's license and get to work and use the education that they've received here in america and get to work. my office, jose, i wish -- the best example is all the six lines are lit up. one goes up, another one. i already have an activity at benito jaurez high school in pilsen in chicago next tuesday because there are so many people that need help filling out those forms. the enthusiasm level is huge. >> congressman, i want to talk a little bit about this with you. because no one knows more about the subject than you do, i may add. one of the things that this program does is it tells young people who are not on the radar screen of i.c.e. and ins to come out for the first time. they're not facing e ining depo processes at all and say i was here before i was 16. what they have to do is to a government that has deported 1.5 million people over the last
three years, say, yes, i'm here. and my parents, who do not fall within the parameters of this executive order, are undocumented. is there a danger? is there a fear in the community that by giving up their parents, they may be being the snitches? >> well, there isn't. there should not be a fear because the information, the confidentiality in the information on that application is to be used solely to determine whether the applicant is eligible for deferred action, number one. there is, jose, a fear that that can happen. and it's founded. you and i both know when you deport millions of people over the last 3 1/2 years, that's kind of the mindset of a community. when something like this comes forward, there is some cautious and fear. i've got to tell you, the young people in the dream community, they're coming out.
they're going to set examples here in chicago. i know other places. and i think you're going to see that fear dissipate as they see people get their work permits. it's a work in progress. tomorrow is going to be an excellent beginning. i posted today ten reasons why people should come out and file tomorrow. don't be afraid. i met a beautiful young lady at the grocery store sunday. she cried when i told her she was eligible. and she's coming by my office tomorrow to fill out the forms. i meet dreamers every day. they're so excited. but there is that level of fear. >> some say it's extremely complicated to actual prove you were here before you were 16. >> so what the kids are doing is they're going to their eighth grade classes. they're getting their transcripts from elementary school. they're getting their birth certificates from their country of origin, whether it's ireland, mexico, guatemala, getting their birth certificates. they're getting high school certificates. transcripts are readily available. they kind of make sure, those
transcripts kind of tell us when you were in the united states and whether you were here before you were 16 or not. there's going to be a lot of documentation they're going to be able to get that's readily available to them. you've got to translate the birth certificate from the country to english. you've got to get photos. you know what? there are a lot of people that really want to help them. there's going to be this infrastructure that's being developed across this country. >> real quick, why do you think neither democrats nor republicans can get their eyou know what together on capitol hill to put forth some form of comprehensive immigration reform that both parties can agree on? what's going on? >> i have to tell you, i think democrats have to understand that we need guest worker programs, we need to provide businesses with the kinds of workers we need to make america strong. the republican party is just going to have to get over the fact that, look, pop aren't goi -- people aren't going to self-report. they're here. they have long standing roots in the community, american citizen
children, and they're good for the economy. we're going to have to get them back at the table. my hope, my hope, jose, i know the hope of most americans who understand that this issue should be resolved, is is that we can have a bipartisan approach to it after the election. it's not going to happen before then. in the meantime i'm going to sign up as many hundreds, thousands, millions of young men and women. bring them out of the shadows and sign them up. show america there's nothing to be afraid of. when you see them working, when you see them integrated in your community, i think it's going to be a blessing for all of america. >> congressman luis gutierrez of illinois, thank you, sir, for being with us. >> thank you, jose. coming up, syria's prime minister speaks out for the first time since defecting with a dire warning about the future of the country and the assad regime. first, there's a lot going on today. here's some of the things we thought you should know. newark mayor -- sorry. newark, new jersey, mayor corey booker says his so-called hostage video was a mistake. booker put out the video in may to clarify earlier comments in
which he criticized the obama campaign for focusing on mitt romney's role at private equity firm bain capital. booker told "the wall street journal," quote, i made the dumb decision to do the hostage video. the whole thing became more myth than fact. the cliff got its nickname of hostage vid wroe when people noted it looked like the mayor was doing it against his will. also, first lady michelle obama joined olympic gold medalist gymnast gabby douglas on "the tonight show" last night. the two shared some laughs over gabby's post olympics diet. >> after the competition i splurged on an egg mcmuffin at mcdonald's. >> egg mcmuffin. >> gabby, we don't -- don't encourage it. >> okay. >> you're setting me back, gabby. >> i'm sorry. >> that confession in front of the first lady's whose let's move campaign has been extremely effective. secretary of state hillary clinton will grace the cover of
conde nast traveler's visionary issue in september. clinton the most traveled secretary of state ever. logging more than 800,000 miles in her travels. both the secretary of state and first lady, clinton told the magazine that travels have taught her to be adaptable. those are some of the things we thought you should know. hey! did you know that honey nut cheerios has oats that can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. mine hurt more! mine stopped hurting faster... [ female announcer ] neosporin® plus pain relief starts relieving pain faster and kills more types of infectious bacteria. neosporin® plus pain relief. for a two dollar coupon, visit neosporin.com.
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neighbor to the north. kwha what's the very latest on the fighting today? >> reporter: as it has been for the past 17 months it's certainly unfolds in many cities all at the same time. syrian opposition activists who've been keeping a running tally of the death toll say today's death toll has already competed 60. over the past several days every day it's about 100 or so. today as they have been over the past several weeks, the syrian military and armed forces have been pounding the city of aleppo and other parts in eastern part of syria including suburbs of the capital, damascus. there's no doubt the syrian military is still continuing with its assault on various cities across the country. but as you mentioned, the former syrian prime minister says the government only controls about 30% of the country. that's mostly where these operations are taking place. >> also the rebels are claiming that a lebanese man captured in the capital yesterday is a member of hezbollah, set to fight in syria. how accurate are these reports?
>> reporter: well, hezbollah has come out from southern lebanon with a statement denying that that individual was a fighter or a member of the lebanese militant or resistance group as they are known there. but syrian rebels have said that over the past 17 months, hezbollah, which has been a very close ally of the syrian regime, has been sending fighters, particularly very technically capable and savvy fighters to help -- help put down the rebellion taking place in syria. now, according to the syrian rebels or free syrian army, they have captured many fighters over the past several months. this was the most recent example. the man on the tape identified himself as a hezbollah fighter. there's no way to independently verify that claim. >> aman, you're so close to the area. i think sometimes the distance doesn't make it possible for us to really understand this is not a battle going on on a battleground. these are cities that are being pummeled on a daily basis.
these are women, men and children who have no dog in the fight that are being slaughtered on a daily basis. paint the picture for us of just how widespread this is and who are the victims? >> reporter: well, when this uprising began, if you can call it that, when this revolution began, it began as a peaceful protest precisely by those you mentioned, men, women and children young and old. as the marine saw this gaining momentum they began to use military force. there's no town or city spared since the conflict began. it began in the country i'd. some of the bigger towns, moving into some of the major cities. now we've seen it reach the capital. we've seen it reach syria's largest city of aleppo. really it is everywhere. it has now covered the entire country and has really created some very dangerous sectarian fault lines. as you mentioned right now, most of the people fighting the regime, they're a bunch of rag tag rebels who've been able to get their weapons from makeshift places and on the black market.
by no means are they fully functioning opposition rebel movement. nonetheless, they are giving the regime a very hard time. >> ayman, thank you so much for being with us. in other news, what triggered a deadly shooting in college station, texas? tops our look at stories around the news nation today. police say it all started when a county official tried to serve an eviction notice monday near the texas a&m campus. police say thomas ailton calful opened fire killing a sk inin i. a bystander also killed. a burglary at the home of late apple founder steve jobs. a 35-year-old man has been arrested for stealing nearly $60,000 worth of computers and personal items from jobs' home in northern california. police say they don't think the suspect realized whose home he was targeting. jobs died last year. he was 56 years old. an incredible car crash caught on tape. take a look at this.
look at this! this is in mountain track, colorado. the driver, jeremy foley and his co-driver flipped off course while making a turn, falling off course, flipping several times before crashing below. not a movie. looks like a movie to me, but it's not. both drivers air lifted to a local hospital, had to be checked out. somehow didn't even break a bone. i'm thinking how did they film this? what was the cameraman doing? our news nation gut check is next. do you agree with skrat gists like mark mackinnon who say romney's choice of ryan means he's going to lose? we'll tell you how to weigh in.
strategist and former adviser to george bush told politico, quote, i think it's a very bold choice and an exciting and interesting pick. it's going to elevate the campaign into a debate over big ideas. it means romney/ryan can run on principles and provide some real direction and vision for the republican party. and probably lose. maybe big. end quote. do you agree with these republican strategists who say romney's choice of ryan as vp means he will probably lose? what does your gut tell you? go to facebook/newsnation to vote. that does it for this edition of news nation. i'm jose diaz balart. thanks for the privilege. i'll be back here tomorrow 2:00 eastern hosting news nation. all day tomorrow, msnbc will have special coverage of the drought of 2012. look, here's a telemundo logo in the middle. "the cycle" up next. hi, i'm phil mickelson.
i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness.
it's 3:00 in tampa, site of this year's republican convention. guess who's coming to the beach? the guy who told the rest of us to get the hell off it. that's right. chris christie. center stage at the gop's big party. i'm toure with the latest chapter in the penn state scandal. this one could have them losing accreditation. >> i'm krystal ball. today we're learning a new way to learn. a community-based program taking young people from failure to fortune 2500 in one year. >> i'm steve kornacki with the man show. watch what happens to one town when all the ladies say si good-bye. >> it's tuesday, august 14th, and you are in "the cycle." with the ticket set for the 2012 presidential race, there's suddenly a lot of talk about this year finally being the