tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC September 22, 2012 5:00am-5:30am EDT
don't do the crime if you can't do the time. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews out in los angeles, doing the "bill mahr show." let me start with the difficulties mitt romney's been having in this campaign. the fact is romney is reaping what he sowed. who was it that suppressed the effort to suppress the black vote? if he and his agent, the chairman of his party wasn't behind it, he should say so.
who orchestrated this racially coded attack on poor people, welfare, for not having to meet a work requirement? wasn't that mit's voice saying, "i'm mitt romney, and i approved this message"? who's been backing 100% the obstructionist republican congress and its number-one priority to terminate the obama presidency through the filibuster? if romney's got it hard, perhaps it was he from the start using the dirty tools of the old days this responsible, voter suppression, coded racial appeals, the filibuster. if he's having a tough month, maybe he's earned a few more. howard fine men and more are here. first, new polls in the presidential race. let's check the scoreboard. according to a national journal poll, president obama leads 50-43. the president also has a seven-point lead nationally in
the new princeton poll, 52, romney at 45. two interesting state numbers from the new purple strategies poll in north carolina. president obama has a two-point lead over mitt romney, 48-46. look at this -- the race is tightening in deep red arizona. that new purple strategies poll shows romney with a lead of three points over the president. this just in -- the romney campaign says everyone is safe after ann romney's plane made an emergency landing in colorado after smoke filled the cabin. ann romney even tweeted saying everyone's okay. good for her. let's go to this with howardfeinman now. i want to read to you a classic example of friday afternoon news dump. mitt romney releasing his tax returns for last year. he paid an effective rate of 14.1%, below the rate we know that people pay of payroll taxes. the campaign also released a summary of his taxes for the past 20 years -- a summary. they say romney paid an average of 20.2%, and they say he never paid less than 13.6%.
republican stratojist alec castellanos had a strong response telling "the "politico,"" at first i thought this was an april fool's joke, i can't believe that david axelrod will say i'm glad mitt put this behind him. this will drag his taxes into the debate. i can't imagine why nay would do this." i know they said they would release the current years or last year's return, they did that showing he pays less than the average guy. he says is one of the victim class who only pays payroll taxes. he pays less, it turns out. why would they tease us with this judge stennis solution, like nixon did in the old days of saying, well, i won't tell you what the taxes i paid were for the last ten or 12 years, but here's a hints of what i claim i paid? why would he do this? >> chris, i'm tempted to say they've had such a bad run that they wanted to get the bad stuff out there right away. but as -- at the end of this week. as alex castellanos pointed out,
this won't end the discussion. i think if you look closely at what mitt romney did in his 2011 taxes, as we've done at the "huffington post," you could see he disallowed just enough of the deductions he was going to take for his charitable contributions to inch it over 14% but no more. so if we calculated that the white house is worth $200,000 to him because that's what he paid to get it over 14%, and then of course in tax law he can claim those deductions later on. in other words, he forewent $2 million of tax deductions. he could amend his taxes over the next three years, and i'll bet you anything that he does. he'll eventually take the deduction. everybody's going to sit around doing these calculations. and it just brings up the whole -- this in conjunction with the videotape. the 47% pa pay no taxes versus this, just doesn't solve any problems at all politically. >> this strikes me as the word cute, a good four-letter word for this, very cute to put out
only what you promised, not to put out 10 or 12 years, then to give a sketchy look at what you say you did. as howard points out, have a trap door. we could grab the money and lose the election in this year's returns. >> chris, i think that literally what the romney campaign was trying with this friday document dump was to replace the smell of decay with the smell of tax returns. this is a classic sort of move to try to get the howard finemans of the world, to get the political media to chase these returns, to spend now time digging into mitt romney's tax returns and just the barest minimum of the tax returns to stop the story and the bleeding that's happening over the last two weeks of terrible news. >> why do you think knowing that he won't -- >> it worked. >> release information about the tax returns improves the story, joy? >> that's the problem. they know that the tax return story is a bad news story. it's the returns previous to 2011 that harry reid and others are speculating romney paid even less than 14%. and harry reid sort of, you know, smoke and mirrors thing, maybe zero.
this doesn't help. but i think that they've decided that because this return shows that he paid some taxes at least it will take away the talking point that, well, you're one of the 47%, mitt romney. you didn't pay any taxes. so at least it showed he paid something. >> joy, he paid less than you pay of payroll taxes -- >> a bad storyline. >> the federal income level do pay when they go to work. you know, paper boys pay that. go ahead. >> chris, it's like fire-fighting. if you're out at a forest fire, you build a becomefire to stop the bigger fire. that's what they did. they set a second fire to stop the spread of the first. >> we'll get back to the tax story again and again. today president obama gave a rebuke to mitt romney over his 47% comments this week. let's watch the president. >> in 2008, 47% of the country didn't vote for me. but on the night of the election, i said to all those americans, i may not have won your vote, but i hear your voices, i need your help, and i
will be your president. the values we believe in don't just belong to workers or businesses. the 53% or the 47%. the rich or the poor, the 1%, the 99%. these are american values. they belong to all of us. >> down in new orleans at an aarp annual conference, paul ryan got booed by the audience when he talked about appealing obama care. let's listen. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care. [ booing ] >> it represents the worst of both worlds. i had a feeling there would be mixed reaction -- >> what do we make of that? here's a group of older people -- i keep looking at the polls that say the only age group that supports mitt romney are 65 and older, that's it. if people under retirement age got to vote only, he'd get killed. so the fact is why is he going to war with his v.p. nominee with older people saying get rid
of obama care, why is he stirring this up? >> well, he's speaking to the wrong audience in going after obama care, chris. i think the attack on obama care worked to some extent in the 2010 congressional races when they focused on the fact that some tax money would be necessary and that some medicare spending would be cut. remember that's what they used in 2010. >> right. >> that worked. but the people that worked with were not the seniors. that worked with swing voters and younger voters who were, you know, looking at how that was going to play out. so i think to go into the teeth of the activists at the aarp with that argument was going to elicit boos. you knew that was going to happen. again, you ask why would they want to do that kind of thing, why would they want to get booed at the aarp? i can't imagine any positive -- this is not like a sister soja moment from the bill clinton years. >> speaking of bill clinton,
let's watch. again he's clarified something that's murky. in 30 some states around the country, the republican legislatures have tried to restrict the rights of people to vote. limit the number of hours you can vote early. limit the opportunity to vote different ways, have to show more documentation. clearly a partisan effort. here's bill clinton saying this is still a big concern with him, especially down in florida but also in pennsylvania. let's watch bill get to the heart of this. >> how much will the vote be lessened or reduced by the fact that in florida except for four counties the pre-election voting, advanced voting's been cut down to eight days and doesn't include the sunday before the election which is an arrow aimed straight at the heart of the african-american churches who pull up the church buses on the sunday before election and take elderly people who will have no cars, people who are disabled to the polls to vote? how much is all that going to affect the turnout?
i never -- in my lifetime, nobody's done anything this blatant. >> quite this blatant. joy, what i don't understand -- i'm going to get ethnic here, why white people don't hear the whistle. they don't see just the whistle but the changing of the law, the changing of the goal line really for getting ready to vote or being able to vote because they see these people and -- here's a chance to screw the black voter. they had traditional voting after church. people don't have private transportation. they get on the church buses and go from church, perhaps, a black church, they vote that sunday. nice tradition, very democratic. then republicans say, oh, i know how to screw these people. we're going to take away that sunday before the election. it's so blatant, as bill says, bill clinton. >> it's incredible. you look at a state like florida where they literally legislated every kind of voting except absentee, the one kind of voting republicans do well in. and the one kind of voting, by the way, where you do see fraud. right now the miami-dade election -- absentee ballot,
people going to nursing homes and filling them out for people with alzheimer's and turning them in. that's the fraud you see in florida, not legislated by the republicans in florida. you have in ohio where you literally are having precincts with majority democrats getting less time to voted. they're doing it that blatantly. chris, i'm not sure that white voters don't see this. i think that the blatantness of this, the obvious sort of racial going after latino voters and african-american voters -- americans, you know, in 2012 are not for that kind of thing. people don't see any problem with having to show an i.d. i think on that level people don't have a problem with voter i.d. but when you have republican legislators literally saying this is going to help mitt romney get elected, i think that hurt them with white swing voters as much as it does energize african-americans and latinos to defend their right to vote. coming up, see how they run away from mitt romney. one republican after another saying, sure, we're behind you. way behind you. and this is what happens when a presidential campaign begins to take on water. that's what it's taking. and there are a few republicans
who democrats would more like to defeat -- a few that would like to beat alan west of florida. that guy's a character. that's patrick murphy's job. he joins out tonight as well as tim kaine of virginia running for the senate seat. and don't look now, but homer simpson's going to the polls. >> but i'm a 40-year-old white guy who didn't go to college and gets all his news from monitors at gas stations. >> in you go! >> wait until you see what happen when homer gets a look at mitt romney's tax returns. finally, let me finish tonight with a question -- what is mitt hiding in those tax returns? this is "hardball," the place for politics. at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air. country? rocker? glam? take off that mask and see! clean makeup won't fake up... won't clog your pores so it lets your skin breathe. it lets you be you! flawlessly. clean makeup. from easy breezy beautiful. covergirl.
on monday in which he wrote off nearly half the country, a steady stream of republicans have distanced themselves from the candidate. they include senate candidate lindalingoff of hawaii, george allen of virginia, tommy thompson of wisconsin, as well as senators scott brown of massachusetts and dean heller of nevada in tight races. what does it say about romney that so many of his allies don't want to be seen too close with him or his words? david corn broke the story. he's washington bureau chief for mother jones, the much-respected mother jones, and also more than political analyst. and robert costa is a political reporter for national review. thank you for joining us. we had this in iowa in a radio interview. ann romney had strong words for conservative critics of her husband's campaign. let's listen to ann romney. >> what do you say to your fellow republicans who are -- >> stop it. this is hard. you want to try it, get in the ring. this is hard. >> who is she talking about? people like conservative columnist peggy noon yoon today.
she wrote, this week i called romney's campaign incompetent but only because i was being polite. i meant rolling calamity. i lot of people weighed in, i suppose in expected ways. glad you said this. mad you said this. some surprises, no one that i know of defended the campaign or argued you're missing some of its quiet excellence." that's sahrtastic. his surrogate responded to noonan's criticism on more than today. let's watch. >> i wouldn't hire peggy noonan to run a campaign. i don't run her columns. >> there he is. let me go back to david on that. getting sununu out there, a canine aspect to the way he defends the president. he's at the gate, it says beware of dog, and there's john sununu there with no leash. he'll say anything in defense of romney. smart people -- let's go through the list, dean heller, nevada, tommy thompson, problems in georgia. george allen, neck in neck in
virginia. these are pros who are trying to keep alive politically and want real separation as they say in the nfl from this guy, romney. what's going on? >> you know, romney's taking all these hits in the last four weeks from his miserable trip to london, to clint eastwood and not mentioning the troops in afghanistan, the disaster with the libyan statement. of course, the video that i made public earlier this week. and the thing is, if he had a real good overarching strategic plan and message that the conservative republican, heats here and members of the -- republican elites here and members of the senate could see, discern, i think people would be more willing to stand by him. he doesn't have a strong message. every day he's changing strat y strategy, more michael jordan, an outsider, insider. obama says black, i'm going to say white today. the campaign is bouncing around like a ping pong ball, being buffeted by winds. without a strong rudder, you move back and forth. i think that's what peggy noonan
and everybody else is responding to. that there's -- we talk about there being no core about mitt romney, there's no strateenage uc core to the campaign. >> i would say a ping pong ball in a bathroom. you can hear the bing, bing, ping. and this explanation for why poll are showing he's trailing, that's tommy thompson. well, he's blaming romney -- watch this. >> the presidential thing is bound to have an impact in every election. you know, whether you're a democrat or republican. if you're -- if you're a standard bearer for the presidency, it's not doing well, it's going to reflect on the down ballot. >> let's go back to robert. you're close to the romney campaign. if t seems if you have a true believer at the top of the ticket people don't mind associating with that person. ronald reagan, an example of the true believer s. it true that romney doesn't seem to be a true believer, that people don't want to stick him?
>> at "national review" i support the national movement. are there grumbles, sure. but linda lingle, scott brown, those candidates mostly come from blue state. they're backing away, not from romney particularly, but from the -- >> wait a minute. i'm checking you there. nevada, virginia, you think there's -- haley barbour from mississippi? haley barbour? let's watch him here. he isn't running for any of. he criticized romney for not apologizing. highway told bloomberg, "i don't know what the question was, but it is not correct that 47% of americans are on means-tested entitlement, welfare. many of those people are retired military. perhaps a better way to say it is i made a mistake on that number." he's haley barbour, not exactly a blue state. >> i agree, haley barbour's from mississippi, a red state. what i'm seeing from the romney campaign, you see the 47% comments, were they a big problem? of course they were. look at the gallup poll, romney
still neck in neck with president obama. conservatives are wary of the taxes he running, but big picture, this is a close race. >> thank you very much. next, which former presidential candidate now says he'd have a substantial lead over president obama if he were the nominee? that's next in the "slide show." this is "hardball," the place for politics.
to habl. this is "the side show." espn, there's buzz in the sports world about john l. smith, head coach of the university of arkansas. in addition to a dismal start for his fifth football team, smith's racked up $25 million in personal debt and recently filed for bankruptcy. let's go to espn's "outside the lines," where a panel weighed in on smith's trouble and found a prominent political figure to compare him with.
>> sitting down with john l. smith and saying cut out the circus act is impossible. no one in this country with the possible exception of mitt romney's had a worse two weeks than john l. smith. >> how would you characties the last couple of years in smith's tenure? >> absolutely circus act. >> so romney's the new tackling dummy on espn. anyone else had a worst circus act than mitt romney? the "washington post" reports that smith, the coach, is trying to win over critic with his "engaging personality" and "infectious smile," not qualities that people have been tossing around about mitt romney. to "the simpsons." spoiler alert, homer votes for mitt romney. but there's more to the story in this online promo. >> man, not another election. why do we have to choose our leaders? isn't that what we have the supreme court for? >> you're going to vote, we'll need some photo i.d. >> but i lived here all my life. >> stopping all americans from voting is for the protection of all americans. >> but i'm a 4-year-old white guy who didn't go to college and
gets all his news from monitors at gas stations. >> in you go. >> barack obama? i don't know. i already got one wife telling me it eat healthy. mitt romney, his horse totally choked at the olympics. on the other hand, he did invent obama care. >> thank you for voting for mitt romney. you may now see his tax returns. >> wow. medical deduction for personality implant? the government paid him taxes for five years! i've got to tell the press! ah! >> are you now being outsourced. >> whoa! >> did we really just see "the simpsons" tackling voter i.d. laws? finally, remember herman cain, countrionce the front-run. his self-confidence took a hit. at a campaign he talk to reporters about how he would be doing in the nomination, "cain said he'd be doing and would have a substantial lead on barack obama at this point. the reason is simply simple -- i
have depth to my ideas." he said he'd turn down a slot on mitt romney's cabinet. instead he's focusing on a stint as a radio host and maybe a career in tv. remember when cain blasted critics saying his campaign was more a publ see it stunt? that's "hardball." coming up, j.j. ramberg with "your business." icken broccoli . or best-ever meatloaf. go to campbellskitchen.com for recipes, plus a valuable coupon. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. plus a valuable coupon. [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them.
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