tv News Nation MSNBC August 23, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
the sweet reward, making a delicious choice that's also a smart choice. splenda no-calorie sweetener. with the original sugar-like taste you love and trust. splenda makes the moment yours. hi everyone. we're following big developing news right now. tropical storm issac tracking toward the state of florida just as the republican national convention is set to kick off in tampa. governor rick scott says his state is prepared for a potential hurricane. >> we have dealt with hurricanes. i mean, the state is more prepared than any state in the country for hurricanes. and we're talking to local emergency management teams all across the state. they're on our calls.
and so if that happens, we'll make the right decisions and if there needs to be an evacuation the decision will be made to do that. >> by the way that was governor scott just two hours ago. he is going to give another update at 5:15 eastern time. we'll have the newest information. meanwhile republican national committee spokesman shawn spicer said today, quote, there is no such thing as canceling, unquote, and added a contingency plan is in place as the storm makes its way through the caribbean. preparations are already under way in puerto rico. the mayor of san juan has declared a state of emergency. for more let's go to weather channel hurricane specialist brian norcross. as we heard from the republican national committee spokesperson they have a contingency plan. we're going to talk with the mayor of tampa a little bit later but he is prepared to evacuate if necessary. >> yeah. the tampa bay area is among the most vulnerable metropolitan areas in the united states to a hurricane that's behaving just the wrong way. in other words, pushing water up tampa bay and that convention center sits right at the north
end of tampa and hillsboro bay in an extremely vulnerable place to flooding. so their contingency plan, they might have a plan, but you can bet it's not to be right there in the way that we tend to think of the convention unfolding. let's look at the storm now. this is really a tough situation for them. we have a weak tropical storm. it's only 40-mile-per-hour winds at the current time. it's moving west through the caribbean. and it's brushing puerto rico and the virgin islands with gusty winds but not too dangerous. they declare a state of emergency really so they can put legal things into effect but it is not especially threatening on the north side of the storm. it's a big system which is going to be important downstream. as we look ahead in time here it comes off to the west and so the thinking is that by tomorrow evening it's affecting haiti, especially haiti and maybe part of the dominican republic. remember, it is a big circulation so it's actually larger than you would think by just looking at that cone so it's affecting the mountains and
those islands. if it stays a little farther south here, it doesn't go over the mountains and it stays stronger, perhaps, and gets stronger than a category one hurricane. if it goes a little further north it interacts with the mountains and gets weakened by those mountains. we have a question mark on how strong it is coming up toward the straits of florida early on sunday. so obviously by that time preparations in south florida need to be prepared and then here we go. now does it stay far west? or does it come close enough to tampa that it threat engs the tampa bay convention center area which is in a high flood zone there. they've got a very, very tough call to make and they'll have to make it in the next couple days. >> thank you very much. we'll be checking back with the weather channel and your team. thank you. also developing now as we mentioned the possible hurricane is not the only thing that could be threatening the republican convention. federal officials say they are confident anarchist groups will try to use force to disrupt the event. nbc's justice correspondent pete
williams joins us. pete, this bulletin came down a short time ago. what else can you tell me? >> it's an assessment based on what has happened at similar high profile events and it was sent to local law enforcement officials by the fbi and homeland security. it says the groups probably lack the capacity to overcome the heightened security measures around the actual convention facilities themselves but could target businesses or means of transportation. now, most of what these groups have done, it says, is vandalism, trespassing, trying to block roads, but it says some people in these groups are trying to use explosives. now, it says the fbi picked up some information in mid march indicating that some anarchists from new york were planning to go to tampa hoping to close all the tampa bay area bridges during the convention though it doesn't say how they plan to do it. and one other note here, the bulletin makes no mention of what you've just been talking about, tropical storm and potentially hurricane isaac. but it does say, quote, inclement weather and effective
crowd control could deter the action of these groups. >> pete, thank you very much. now to politics, the romney/ryan republican team working today to try and refocus the campaign to talk about the economy and away from the dominant issue we've discussed for the past few days congressman todd akin's remarks regarding, quote, legitimate rape. the gop vice presidential candidate talked about the romney/ryan economic plan in an exclusive interview today with cnbc's larry kudlow. ryan still gave little information on the plan. >> it's a three-point plan, pro growth policies, energy policy, regulatory reform, tax reform, spending cuts to get the deficit down in the near term, and reforms that get the debt paid off ultimately over the long term. that is how we dodge debt crisis. >> are we talking about $700 billion in spending cuts in the first term, $800 billion, a trillion? what kind of ballpark number? >> you know, we can have a long debate about this. that's what we're going to have
to negotiate with congress in january, but mark my words, we have to cut spending. we're very serious about that. mitt romney has been really clear about that. the house has led on cutting spending, on passing budgets. president obama has been m.i.a. on this debate. we have a debt crisis staring us in the face t's on our horizon. what has the president been doing? four budgets trillion dollar deficits every year and not a single solution to tackle this problem. >> basically you could hear it. look, i'm all in favor of tax reduction and tax reform. i'm a supply cider. but the numbers have to work or nearly so. and i think the missing piece is the spending cuts and they're going to have to come around and probably deliver some more information. >> so let me bring in our political panel to get their reaction to that new interview. alice stewart is the former press secretary for rick santor santorum's campaign. amy stoddard associate editor and columnist for "the hill" and chris cofinas democratic
strategist. you heard larry kudlow say we have to be strong on specifics. where will the cuts take place? we know that governor romney is not embracing the paul ryan budget plan but we're still in the situation, they're talking about cuts that seem to be still a mystery. where are they coming from? >> well, that will be determined as we get closer to it. but they've made it very, very clear -- >> what is closer to it? aren't we in a crisis? >> they made it very clear the most important thing to do at this point is cut federal spending and encourage private sector growth and get us back on the road to a balanced budget. that's most important. and they have outlined their middle class tax plan which includes energy independence, which includes better trade for america, which includes greater skills for american workers. they've outlined specific steps on what we need to do in order to rein in the size of federal government and encourage growth in the private sector and go back to a free market economy, free market principles that made this country the great country that it is today.
>> alice, i apologize for interrupting you but i'd like to get to the point here. the cuts, you say we're close to it. what do we have to do, fall off the ledge? close to what? what is the determining point at which we will hear the specifics regarding the romney budget? >> well, unfortunately the policies that we have under the current president have us heading over the fiscal cliff with a fourth year according to the cbo report of over a trillion dollars in deficit. we cannot continue to go in that direction. there was a great piece written when the ryan vp was announced. she said romney made his decision not because he'll win by default but picked ryan because ryan knows the numbers better than anyone else and knows where the cuts need to be made. >> we didn't hear it in the kudlow interview. if he knows the numbers why not give the numbers or provide the numbers to the american public? he just gave this interview. >> he is going to outline this as we go further down this election cycle. it's very important to note, make it very clear, that he,
more than anyone else, is not afraid to tell the american people that we do need to make serious cuts. he is not afraid to give them a taste of bad medicine because he is going to be truthful with them which is unlike what we've had with the current president who continues to break promise after promise where the romney/ryan plan will be truthful with the american people. >> chris, your reaction to what was just said? >> hog wash. let me be frank. if this is the problem with congressman ryan and romney, forget the fact they don't offer any specifics and we're a few months away from an election where supposedly they're going to offer a different vision, different course for the country yet they won't tell you where they're going to cut. here is the reality. right? i worked on the hill and i worked on these issues. we're facing a massive deficit. that contrary with what the republicans like to say it wasn't something president obama created. it was something that actually happened because of the tax cuts and wars that happened in the previous administration. i know they don't like to hear that but it is the reality. you're talking about dealing with a deficit and debt, trillions of dollars of
deficits. there is no possible way, mathematically, to deal with this without revenues as well as some spending cuts. they don't want to talk about revenues. let me tell you about cuts. you cannot balance it without cutting defense spending. that is one area. now they want to increase defense spending, have tax cuts, and somehow balance the budget. it is mathematical nonsense. >> alice, do you dispute that? >> well, it's mathematical nonsense for us to say we can continue down the road we've been on. >> specifically with the defense cuts that chris was specific regarding, i mean, can you answer that without going around it? >> well, let me just say this. it's beyond the point of continuing to blame the previous administration for this fiscal problem we're in right now. >> it is not a question of blaming the previous administration. it's a fact. >> this situation, three years into his presidency, it will be a one-term proposition and that is exactly what we're going to see. >> tell the american people one
area the romney people are going to cut and tell me how you balance the budget with also no revenue increases and without defense cuts. it is impossible. >> the most important thing as the romney ryan ticket continues to say, we need to cut spending and encourage private sector growth. >> where? >> that is how we bring in confidence to this economy. >> i would like your perspective in that we kept hearing earlier that romney and ryan wanted to get back on the economy and talk about the budget. here is the first big interview after the akin debacle. we're not hearing specifics. this is on the same day of course we know the cbo came out with the fact that for the fourth straight year deficits dating back to the end of george w. bush's term and covering alg of president obama's three and a half years in office, we'll talk more about this cbo report and the recession but here is the first big interview, larry kudlow coming out of the interview saying i'm a guy who would perhaps be open or
receptive to these ideas but there are no specifics here. >> well, i thought congressman ryan was going to be more -- be able to be more specific. he is a man who likes specifics and he is a numbers person. so governor romney has been unspecific throughout the campaign. i thought in picking ryan he would get more specific. as romney refused to detail deductions that he would eliminate in the tax code to find new revenue this week, congressman ryan doesn't feel as his vp pick he can get specific with numbers. i think what's interesting is in light of the cbo report, both parties by the way are responsible for the looming fiscal cliff we're facing in november and december with the economy on the brink literally $1.2 trillion in spending cuts both parties say are ridiculous but they agreed to because the super committee couldn't come up with some kind of consensus. >> right. >> then the expiration of all the tax cuts that will really set the economy back for years now, experts say. neither party, neither mitt
romney, neither president obama, neither party is talking about this. they're both complicit, tamron. they agreed to that in august of 2011. it is extremely consequential. it is really the job of mitt romney, who is saying he is going to cut spending but he doesn't like the defense cuts and the sequester as well as president obama to get specific on how they would come up with the numbers. >> and, quickly here, alice, congressman ryan will be in missouri today. we know the significance of missouri, akin and all that. he'll be at a private fundraiser. do you think it is necessary for him to mention this todd akin issue at that fundraiser? >> well, you know, the akin situation is really one that should be left up to the voters of that state. they're the ones that need to decide if that's where they want to go. he made a terrible statement. it was irresponsible. it was insulting. and he has apologized for it. but i think a lot of the party leaders, the romney/ryan ticket itself has said those comments are inexcusable and ryan has said that. >> congressman ryan will be in missouri today at a private
fundraiser. we know he cosponsored legislation with todd akin and says he disagrees greatly with the lawful comments regarding legitimate rape. tonight at that fundraiser should he acknowledge being in missouri, ground zero of all this, and we know they'd like to win the senate and now that race always but gone according to your republican colleagues. >> well, ryan and romney ticket have made it quite clear where they stand on this and certainly if this is going to be a q & a and opportunity for people to ask questions in that state certainly that topic will come up and they could not be more clear. while they disagree with the statements they want to make it clear that the romney/ryan ticket is pro life but they do approve of abortion in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother and they cannot be more clear on that. >> do you expect headlines out of this? you have congressman ryan in-ice miss oury. >> again, i think alice is right it is likely it is going to come up because 38% or something like it of the state's voters are
evangelicals. they are very upsnet the pro life movement that they think todd akin has been thrown under the bus by the national party. >> last but not least, this new ad regarding former president clinton and his economic budget. our first read team says remember when we told you the romney campaign was making a gamble by elevating bill clinton in its tv ads and on the campaign trail. the obama camp is calling their bluff by releasing a new tv ad featuring former president clinton. so there you have it. was this i guess the cat and the canary waiting to explore here? >> this was inevitable. president clinton, a big advocate of the administration obviously, but it's a fantastic ad and the thing that lays out very clearly, you know, the choice here and the vision here between the romney campaign or lack of specifics and lack of vision and the obama campaign in terms of where we're going. so i think you'll see president clinton play a pretty strong role in the coming months. >> thank you very much. alice, thank you as well. ab, thank you. up next nbc's new
battleground map. our first read team tells us what changed after a very bus twoi months in this race and another rock 'n roller slammed congressman paul ryan for using his band's music at rallies. this time it's desnyder. remember him of twisted sister? he is also on a new carpet commercial. one of the things we just thought you should know. ♪ [ male announcer ] now you can swipe... scroll... tap... pinch... and zoom... in your car. introducing the all-new cadillac xts with cue. ♪ don't worry. we haven't forgotten, you still like things to push. [ engine revs ] the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
a new nbc news battleground map is out today showing president obama maintaining his lead over mitt romney in electoral votes. right now the president is at 237 while romney is at 191. 270 of course needed to win. nine states hold the keys to the victory. those states with 110 electoral votes are rated as toss up. joining me now nbc news senior
political editor mark murray. i was listening to chuck todd this morning. it blends in these days. he was talking about receiving an e-mail from someone saying hey if i don't live in one of these battleground states does my vote matter? you have people watching the key states and it is important but it is inevitable you wonder something like that. >> it is a legitimate question. i actually live in washington, d.c. which is right next door to virginia so i'm seeing all the tv ads. you're seeing all the get out the vote operation. you are right. if you actually live in california, new york, texas, nebraska, there is really a question on whether your vote counts and that's why some people make the argument, should you just have a national, popular vote election and get rid of the entire electoral college system? of course that's not going to change any time soon. so that's why we are focusing on these battlegrounds because of the way the game is played right now, it comes down to these electoral votes. >> you've noted in the first read today, people can check it out of course online, that with
everything that's happened in the past few months, separate from the olympics, i mean, that was just a minor if you will blip in the political whirl, so many things have happened consistently and we've seen no change since june. >> it has been incredibly stable. i think one of the theories why is this country is just so polarized. everyone is locked in their corner. there are so few swing voters or people in the middle so that is why this race hasn't changed from when the general election began in april to where it is right now. you and i were mentioning yesterday, there does seem to be a little bit of a bump for mitt romney in some of these battleground states like wisconsin. maybe like florida, after the paul ryan pick, particularly wisconsin which is paul ryan's home state. but outside of that, the race hasn't changed all that much. >> let's talk about medicare. it seems to be unpopular in at least the romney/ryan plan, unpopular in at least three states you're watching. >> that's right. i think this is what people always thought along with when
the battle came about medicare. it was most striking to me in all three states that people actually gave president obama an advantage on handling medicare, then mitt romney. i think that is very key. you are going to end up seeing republicans as the romney campaign has done, as the gop continues to do, where they're going to actually punch back and note that president obama cut $700 billion in medicare in the health care law. they feel like that's an effective way to fight back. but when you see these questions on who do you trust more on issues regarding seniors like our nbc/"wall street journal" poll showed or this question who better handles medicare? when president obama is ahead you can see who might have the advantage when you have those two arguments side by side. >> all right. mark murray with the new battleground map out there. nine tossup states are the same on that map. incredible. thank you so much. great pleasure, mark. >> thanks. mitt romney says he is devoted to his religion though he does not talk about it a lot publicly. what impact could the mormon beliefs have on his presidency and what could it tell us about
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people are able to get. >> we did a couple different stories for tonight. one is about the mormon safety net. i'll talk about that in a second. it is amazing. but one of the things we focus on is it seems like mormons are really good at business and there are a lot of them sprinkled all across the top of many corporations in the country. we went to the guy who started jetblue, this crazy, are you notice, a low-cost airline with tv sets? >> innovative. right. >> take a look at this. why do you think mormons are so good at business? >> we're serious about life. we're taught it's not bad to make money in life. it's not bad but it's not your money. it's heavenly father's money and you should be good stewards over that money. >> that kind of thinking gets locked into many a mormon when they spend two years in the mission field. a personal test of faith and courage. he was sent to brazil. >> going on a mission is maybe
the most important thing that happens in a young mormon man's life. was that the case with you? >> yes, by far. i not only learned how to deal with people, i saw extreme poverty. i learned to love people like i had never loved before and to have compassion. >> and you were 19? >> i was 19. got a letter in the mail and it said you're hereby called to serve in the brazil rio de janeiro mission for two years. >> two years away from home trying to convince a skeptical world of the value of your faith turns out to be humbling and rewarding. there are plenty of people saying, no way. get out of my face. what does that teach you? >> just because you knocked on 200 doors on one day and were told they weren't interested doesn't mean the next day you don't do it anymore. you just go back and do it again. >> it's a life changing experience for them, like a fast track to seriousness. >> there's a song, a mormon hymn they sing that's dedicated to the pioneers about putting your shoulder to the wheel.
>> right. >> and as a mormon kid you hear about the pioneers over and over again. >> right. >> as you well know these people were persecuted as they moved across the united states. i mean, joseph smith was, you know, lynched. >> yes. >> so you have this history of these people who literally pushed these carts across the united states, across the plains and into utah, and they sing about putting the shoulder to the wheel, so it's work ethic. >> right. >> it's family. >> it's community. >> it's a huge amount of community. >> in the piece it was mentioned that the mission is life changing. it was life changing for mitt romney as well, for many reasons. he talks about almost having lost his own life. >> right. in this car accident that happened to him. and i think part of it is the people that we talked to are devout and in terms of mormonism, they say there's almost 40% to 50% who literally do go to church every sunday and the ones who are all in are really all in. it's a 24/7 total dedication
thing. and one of the other stories we'll show tonight is the mormon safety net. and this is every mormon who's devout fafts one day a month and the monday they would have spent on that food they donate this safety net that we'll show you tonight. you will freak out. >> i saw some of the video. it's incredible. >> stunning. >> you said it would rival costco. all of this food goes to help others in need in and out of the mormon community. amazing. thank you so much. "rock center's" look at the mormon faith airs tonight 10:00 p.m. eastern time on your local nbc station. we'll be right back. down here, folks measure commitment by what's getting done. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues...
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it's the only way to get fresh coffee. not in my house! this new flavor lock pack from maxwell house helps seal in freshness. wow! that is fresh! am i still yelling? [ male announcer ] maxwell house flavor lock. always good to the last drop. with more developing news to report today as tropical storm issac sets its sights on florida early next week organizers of the republican national convention in tampa say they do have a plan for possible hurricane but canceling is not an option. the site of the convention of course tampa bay times forum which sits in a low-lying water
front area. forecasters say even if the storm does not hit tampa directly there will likely be heavy rain, possible storm surge. over 50,000 people are traveling to the bay area for the convention. joining me now the mayor of tampa, and, mayor, thank you for your time. >> sure. >> you're all smiles, sir. >> good to be here. >> i can't believe you've got a lot on your plate here. where do things stand right now? >> things are doing great right now. we are in full preparation mode for the rnc. we're excited and have been training for it for a year and a half. it's going to be tampa's time to tell its story to the entire world. we couldn't be more excited. the good thing about being a floridian is you're used to this kind of stuff. >> but there was a quote from you yesterday saying you would not hesitate to evacuate tampa if the weather does not improve and we get the worst case scenario. was it an accurate quote? >> absolutely. i have an obligation to protect the citizens and the guests and the visitors that are here.
that was a hypothetical question involving a much more serious storm than what we're looking at right now. i mean, if you had a cat 3, cat 4, cat 5 storm i think everyone would come to the same conclusion but that's not the situation we find ourselves in now. this storm looks as though it is going to be heading off into the gulf of mexico. we may have one day of some rain and some wind but a category 1 storm, 100 miles off the coast of tampa is really not cause for a lot of concern. >> now, who would make the call? you or the rnc regarding the schedule if there is for example flooding or pretty bad flooding as i mentioned and you know very well the tampa bay times forum sits in the low-lying water front area. >> it does. absolutely. we would make the call together. i don't have any jurisdiction over the rnc or its proceedings. that is an internal decision. but the good thing is we've been together for a year and a half. we've been in lock step together. all of us that will be involved in that decision from the
governor to the emergency preparedness folks to the rnc to the city and my role as mayor, we would make that decision at the same time all looking at the same information. i don't think that's going to happen. the good thing about hurricanes is you have a two or three-day lead time that you can track these storms. you're going to know where landfall is. >> right. >> within some degree of certainty. this storm does not look like it's going to be a factor in those proceedings. you may have one day of rain on monday. the storm will blow through. and it will probably be nice on tuesday, wednesday, and thursday all right. i certainly hope your optimism and bright smile there brings out the sight in tampa. a lot of people will be there. thank you mayor. hopefully when we talk to you soon it won't be the worst case scenario. new research shows what many families have been feeling in their wallets. the american middle class is struggling. perhaps we may even need to create a different word past struggling. perhaps it is disappearing. a pew research study shows the
middle class is getting smaller and faces its worst decade in modern history. >> reporter: the american middle class, the historic back bone of the u.s. economy, is struggling through a lost decade, losing ground and shrinking in numbers. that's the conclusion of a new report from the pew research center, which found that in the past ten years, family incomes at all levels have declined. the first time that's happened since the end of world war ii. >> there are fewer people in the middle now than there used to be and they have a smaller share of a shrinking pie. >> reporter: not only did incomes fall, but so did median wealth. what people own minus what they owe. it went from about $130,000 in 2001 to around $93,000 in 2010. who do middle class americans blame for this? in a survey 62% said congress. 54% faulted banks and financial
institutions. 47% said big corporations. >> only 8% blame the middle class itself. they see this as a problem being imposed upon them by large institutions. >> middle class americans are also getting more pessimistic about the future. only 43% say their children will have a better life than their own down from 51% just four years ago. as people say they're working harder and harder just to stay even. nbc news, chicago. >> joining me now to talk more about this, the report that just came out, is daily beast columnist and nns fast money contributor zachary carobel. people are asked who they blame regarding this issue of the disappearing, shrinking middle class. a lot of the blame was placed on congress and banks for example. >> yes. >> do you buy that? >> look, i think that we've talked about this before. congress has a role to play in making this better and clearly has had a role to play in not making it better. and if you're anybody watching
us in the media listening to the news, listening to politics, of course you'll think it is entirely the role of banks and congress. i think, unfortunately, it's also the role of technology. you know, it's all those devices, robotics and factories. it's this process of people who did work in factories or did construction no longer having a role and that is a much larger issue. >> they're no longer having a role because those jobs especially technology have been moved overseas. >> some of them have been moved overseas. a lot of that is a function of because of robotics, you know, you open a factory now, a new manufacturing factory, what might have taken 5,000 people 20 years ago takes 500 people now. this is not an apology for the ineptitude of congress. i think we all know that. the problem is that if you think just because you elect different people in washington this will change, that's wrong. and we're not going to do ourselves any favors by thinking that. >> let's talk about for example china, the currency manipulation, and some of the issues we have with
import/export. >> yes. >> if you have a congress that can agree with the president on legislation and things like that that would help improve the situation, why then wouldn't that trickle down and help americans who would need jobs? >> okay. two issues there. one, i think the whole focus on china as a cause of this -- >> not a cause but part of the puzzle. >> again, it's more we wanted cheap goods and china made them just like mexico. >> sure. >> more to the point in terms of congress now we know you need a college education to do well in this economy and that the middle class as has been true all this week we've been told are bearing a huge amount of costs of student debt for college and of course that's not happening for everybody. those are the kinds of things president obama, some of the democrats have been trying to say, look. we need this as a long-term policy to change this past ten years which has been terrible for people. >> right. >> that is not happening in washington. that is clearly an issue of politics. >> i can tell you my entire adult life and beyond that i always grew up watching the "nightly news" and hearing the
disappearing middle class. >> right. >> you would hear, what are we going to do? then suburban flight, all of these things. >> yes. >> my entire life. but now it seems that it's more dire. i said earlier, shrinking. it's all but disappearing in some places it seems. >> your point is entirely right in that this is not just a product of the past ten years. although it is a first decade where this has gone. >> sure. >> income has shrunk. it's really been happening since the 1970s when the rust belt went away. >> yeah. >> the internet bubble in the '90s and the housing bubble in the 2,000s we were able to avoid that recognition of middle class wages going stagnant and down and very few people doing well. the 1990s were probably the time to deal with it when we had budget surpluses and peace. >> and that was not what happened. >> now it is going to be a tough call. and this is what this election should be about, which is what do we do about this reality? and it's not going to go away just because, you know, you cut the deficits right? >> and your theory not just also because you changed congress. >> yes. >> thank you very much.
an interesting report from pew research. the gop taking heat now for its strict platform on abortion. but the party is also taking some tough stances, some familiar stances on immigration and even voter i.d. laws. up next we'll talk with the cochair of the rnc platform committee, congresswoman marsha blackburn will join me after the break. but first there is a lot going on today. here are some things we just thought you should know. a documentary critical of president obama is set to be released nationwide this weekend. the film 2016. obama's america. it's based on a book "the roots of obama's rage." here is a look at the trailer if you have not seen it. >> obama has a dream, a dream from his father. that the sins of colonialism be set right and america be downsized. which dream will be carried into 2016?
>> so the film has already become a number two grossing documentary of the year. but it has yet to break even. it's also been highly criticized for inaccuracies. andy schneider from the group twisted sister is telling paul ryan to stop the music. he wants the vp hopeful to stop playing his 1984 hit "we're not going to take it" at campaign rallies. in a statement dee snider says, quote, i emphatically refuse paul ryan's use of my song recorded by my band twisted sister. there is almost nothing to know which i agree with paul ryan except possibly the use of p90x. his spokesman responded quickly, we're not going to play it any more. things we just thought you should know. ♪ we're not gonna take it constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks.
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the republican platform committee has been getting a lot of attention after calling for a blanket ban on abortions including cases of rape and incest. that is of course at odds with mitt romney's views. joining me now the cochair of the republican platform committee congresswoman marsha blackburn of tennessee. she joins us from tampa, florida the site of the gop convention. thank you so much congresswoman for your time. >> thank you tamron. >> how are you able to reconcile that your party's nominee, in fact the last two john mccain and george w. bush as well don't support the party platform on the ban of abortions, also in the case of incest and rape? >> well, basically what the platform does is to support life. and then it is silent on exceptions because that is the issue that goes back to the states. and the states will take action on that issue. and there are many republicans that are involved and are pro life individuals. i'm a pro life woman. i recognize the exceptions of
rape, incest, and life of the mother. and so many republicans do. but the platform is a visionary document. it is there supporting the culture of life and then the issue recognizing federalism, send it back to the states and the states will make their decisions. >> so the platform is silent on the issue of abortions for people who are victims of rape or incest? >> it is silent on the exceptions because that is an issue handled by the states. >> okay. might i ask why the platform or the plank would be silent about this issue? especially the more conservative members of your party, for example, todd akin who cosponsored legislation with your party's vp nominee who took exception prior to this past week to there being an exemption for people who are victims of rape or incest. >> bare in mind, tamron, a party
platform is a visionary document. and what you're going to see with our document when it's released at 2:00 on monday is it is first and foremost jobs and the economy and the focus is getting the fiscal health of this nation back in order. you are going to see provisions you would expect to see in a republican party document that deal with the social issues. we're about 90% focused on jobs, the economy. there is a section on the constitution, which is a new section for our republican platform and i think there's about 10% that are on the traditional issues that you're mentioning and we are the party that is supportive of life. and i would expect that we would continue to do that. and there are republicans who recognize the exceptions. now, there is a difference between the republican and the democrat party.
i remember the democrat party not allowing pro life democrats to speak at their convention. so, you know, you're going to see consistency in that we support life and that in the life community there are individuals that do recognize exceptions. >> okay. let me move on to the other issue of the medicare revamping plan by paul ryan. >> sure. the platform committee favors congressman ryan's plan for revamping medicare so that the platform favors it. what does mitt romney if you can recall say about congressman ryan's plan for revamping medicare? do you remember what he said? >> i don't remember any specific quotes. >> originally he said he was his own man with his own plan and now he says his plan is near identical but we still don't know that. so you are supporting congressman paul ryan's revamping of medicare but we're not quite sure where your nominee stands on it.
>> well, you know, this is the good thing in the republican party. we are the party of great ideas. we're the great opportunity party. and unlike the democrats that have their set of talking points and they're going to stick to them, we encourage individuals to bring us ideas that are going to solve problems, and you're going to see us in our platform talk about getting the money back in to medicare that this administration has cut, all $716 billion worth, and making certain that the federal government full fills their promise to those seniors and near seniors. and that is going to be a focus that you're going to see us working toward. >> congresswoman, with all due respect though i'm sure you know that the same cuts you just referred to are the same cuts in the ryan plan which the platform committee favors. >> tamron, i think you're incorrect on that.
because what you have to do once something is signed into law, a budget process requires that you recognize the law. so i would not -- >> i am certain i'm not incorrect on that. >> i think you might be incorrect on how that process works. >> we'll have you back on tomorrow and break down the numbers but i am certain i'm not incorrect on that. one more number and we'll get you back tomorrow if you're available. 45% have a negative view of your party. that is a brand new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. do you see that as a problem for your party? you said you're big thinkers and visionaries here. >> i think as i am across the country and talking to men and women whether they're democrats, republicans, or independents what they are very concerned about is getting this country back to work. they know that the economy that has been out there for the last
few years is not something that is working for them. the obama economy is not working for them. what they want to do is to get back to work. they want to see main street go back to flourishing and small businesses. >> but as you enter your convention, 45% negative view. why do you believe that many people have a negative view of your party? >> maybe they're listening too much to major media outlets and maybe we need to do more of working through our friends and family to make certain we set those records straight. >> congresswoman blackburn, it is always so interesting to speak with you. i appreciate your time and wish you the best in tampa. up next the news nation gut check. navy seal all set to release a brand new book. it's set off a firestorm of controversy.
today's news nation gut check. that new book that reveals secrets behind the death of osama bin laden. it's already drawing concern from washington. it is called "no easy day" written by a former navy seal who was on the mission. he's using a pseudonym. a lot of people feel this is crossing the line and this navy seal is breaking a code of silence if you will. should the seal have written this book due out september 11th? they say some of the proceeds will go to charity. so go to facebook.com/news nation to cast your vote. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. thank you so much for joining us for this interesting hour. "the cycle" is up next. xñ