jenna: that wasn't so bad. it didn't feel like a monday, right? jon: no. got the week off to a great start. thanks for joining us. jenna: "america live" starts right now. peg meg fox news alert on some big new questions about the president's re-election effort as we get a major new piece of reporting on the inner workings of his campaign. welcome to "america live," i'm megyn kelly. a reporter at politico releasing an eye-opening new e-book entitled, "obama's last stand." and it delivers an eye-opening account of the dysfunction among the president's campaign staff starting, according to mr. thrush, from the very top. the book mentions at one point that the president is fine with all the negative attacks we have seen on governor romney, calling them necessary which is a considerable change from the hope and change promised four years ago and suggests that another point that the president's re-election efforts seem more motivated by, quote, his dislike of romney than by those themes of hope and change. now, we are expecting the white house press secretary, jay carney, to take questions on this during today's white house press briefing. we will bring it to you if there is white house reaction. in the meantime, we're joined by chris stirewalt, host of "power play" on foxnews.com. all we've seen so far, chris, is the "the politico" writeup, but the author, glenn thrush. we asked around about him because if you read the political write-up of the book, it sounds like he's not a fan of president obama's, although that wasn't what we were told, that is not how it seems -- i don't know what the truth is about mr. thrush. is this a big hit piece, or is this an objective piece of journalism? >> definitely not a hit piece, and thrush is known for his deep connections, good sourcing inside especially the democratic establishment, especially the obama campaign, and we have not seen anybody try to knock this down. we haven't seen anybody come out and say, oh, this is hogwash and taken out of context. so as it relates to the obama campaign, thrush is somebody whose reporting we would pay attention to. and what this tells us, yeah, there's the in-fighting, and you hear the thing about the one senior staffer fighting with the other senior staffer -- megyn: very senior, david axlerod. >> the point being, those things you would expect to occur in any campaign. that's the friction, the back and forth. now, the romney campaign is sort of the no-drama campaign that obama was in 2008. there has been some friction in boston, but we haven't heard it boil over like this. the interesting thing here, though, that what thrush is standing strongest on here in talking about the dozens of interviews that he conducted about the president's embrace of the negativity in this race, the president's embrace of making this personal about mitt romney, that's something that we've talked about before, about the unprecedented negative negativity of a re-election campaign for president obama, but the fact that thrush says the president's animus towards mitt romney is behind all that is very revealing. megyn: he interviewed, thrush did, some dozen or so current and former obama campaign officials, and he said not one said president obama expressed any reservations about the negativity in this race, he views it as a necessary part of campaigning. he has no use for governor romney, he doesn't like him, admire him or even grudgingly respect him. they talked in this article, chris, about how this obama campaign is mostly joyless, riddled with dysfunction, talking about that the discord on occasion flows from obama himself and how he's dissatisfied with his campaign team, its messaging, even vice president joe biden, or has been repeatedly, about the messaging they're putting out and the position in which they are placing him. what a change from what we saw four years ago at exactly this time. >> it was the no-drama campaign. and one of the things that helped president obama defeat hillary clinton, one of the things that helped him defeat john mccain was that his team was unified, his team was on the same page, his team was a movement, an insurgency. something else here that is complicating for the president and his organization, he opted to send his re-election effort to chicago. now, president bush, president clinton kept their re-election operations near washington so that they could be in constant consultation, and they could have those meetings. the president chose to ship his re-election folks, like david axlerod, out to chicago. that creates some communications problems, and most importantly you don't have the president as a presence there to say, hey, wait a minute, everybody, now, you need to get on the same page here and remember what we're doing. so that geographic distance may have created some emotional distance between the folks in this campaign. megyn: talks about the president's dissatisfaction, reported dissatisfaction with debbie wasserman-schultz as the head of the dnc, some in the white house believing she comes across as too partisan, talking about their messenger saying jay car think rates in about the middle, that robert gibbs does much better with the people, who was his predecessor at the white house, and talks about how the president himself has been very concerned about the enthusiasm gap between '08 and '12 and believes that it could cost him this election, that he's constantly gauging the enthusiasm among the democratic base, focusing on voter enrollment this the swing states and at college campuses. that's something you and i have been talking about for some time, about that enthusiasm of the democratic base and how the president's probably right, chris, that will make or break him. to some extent in this election. >> and we talked on friday about the drop, the new report on the dropping numbers of democratic registrations in swing states. very significant. the president is right on the money here, that if this race, this what has been scorchingly negative race, personal, very rough and tumble in the attacks on romney, romney always on offense against obama or every moment that he can be even if he's taking it from from more of a policy side of things, this has been a scorchingly negative race, what you expect to see is a base versus base election. the hard core left, the hard core right coming out doing battle, and the president's right to be concerned here because we continue to see democrats lagging in voter enthusiasm with republicans. megyn: chris stirewalt, thank you, sir. >> you bet. megyn: well, just ahead, the fallout from this report. again, it's appearing in an article in politico which is based on this e-book that's coming out based on two months of reporting and questioning, according to glenn thrush, of a dozen or so current and former campaign or obama advisers. we're going to speak with our panel about what this could mean for the president's campaign as the white house is forced to go on the defensive once again. two longtime campaign pros, ed rollins and joe trippi, just ahead. plus, we'll monitor the briefing with jay carney and bring you any information that comes out of it. >>> well, the white house is also taking new questions today, new heat today, i should say, about the president's recent communication strategy of speaking to entertainment outlets and pop culture magazines like entertainment tonight and people magazine, but avoiding the white house press corps. here is a short clip from tonight's report that will be aired -- it was a three-part report -- from president obama's recent sit-down with "entertainment tonight." >> he does seem like a friend. we've seen so many different pictures, and he seems to be such a fan of yours. do you keep in touch with him? >> you know, george is a low maintenance guy, as am i. megyn: so the white house press corps, i mean, you've got reporters from nbc, abc, fox news, you name it, criticizing the president for ignoring the white house press corps for two months during some major times in this country but sitting down with entertainment tonight to talk about his relationship with george clooney. the rnc blasting the president's approach, using those interviews against him in a web ad that asks, where are the jobs? >> our big question is, red or green? >> red. although every once in a while green is solid. >> what's your favorite new mexico food? >> if we were going to chicago, what would you recommend if i wanted to eat some really good soul food? [laughter] megyn: that debate took a new turn this weekend when the white house communications director suggested these entertainment outlets are just as important as news outlets like "the new york times," fox news channel, as the white house press corps is. that that is where a lot of americans get their news. we'll have a fair and balanceed debate on that coming up. >>> fox news alert now on a disturbing new report that was just released detailing what is called a growing number of threats to religious freedom in the united states. according to the survey, there have been more than 600 documented incidents of hostility against religion in america, most of them occurring within the last decade. shannon bream live in washington with the breaking details. shannon? is. >> reporter: well, megyn, this massive report springs from a 2004 senate hear anything which senators ted kennedy and john cornyn said they wanted to see specific examples backing up the claim that religious hostility was growing right here in the u.s. the authors of the report say religious freedom is, quote, facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, congress and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom. they cite examples like the ongoing legal battle over a simple cross erected in the mojave december effort as a war memorial. -- desert as a war memorial, fighting in court for more than a decade to get it torn down for goods. and the administration's directive that will require employers to comply with a regulation insuring that the policy includes cost-free access to birth control even if that is in direct conflict with the employer's religious beliefs. >> this administration has brought in a decidedly more secular philosophy when it comes to america, and that is not the philosophy of our founders, it's not the philosophy of mainstream america, but they've done some very intentional things that causes people of faith, mormons and muslims and hindus and you name it, you know, people are increasingly nervous about saying what they believe because who knows what's going to happen next. >> reporter: ironically, the family research council, one of the groups behind this report, of course, there was a shooting right here in washington at headquarters, and the fbi report says the suspect before he opened fire said, quote: i don't like your politics. megyn? megyn: shannon bream, thank you. >>> well, a scary warning from moody's credit rating services today, that the slate of bankruptcies in california, among these big cities, is just the tip of the iceberg, and that this could be the beginning of the financial meltdown america has been warned about for years. in three minutes, lou dobbs is here to tell us why he thinks americans need to pay attention to this like never before. >>> and it has been called the fort knox of nuclear weapons, one of the most secure nuclear facilities in the world. so how exactly did an 82-year-old nun and her friends break in and manage to shut the place down? >>> and a new trial delay for the accused fort hood shooter, army major nidal hasan, over whether he should be forced to shave his beard. it has been almost three years since the shooting that killed 13 people and left almost three dozen injured. ahead today, we will speak live to one of those who was shot six times by this suspect, and we will ask him what he thinks about this beard issue and whether justice is being served for the families of those who died. >> my brother was, um, nine years younger than me, and he was a very gentle boy. >> he just was a good, decent man. you know? he really was. ve lately. but because of business people like you, things are beginning to get rolling. and regions is here to help. making it easier with the expertise and service to keep those wheels turning. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together. many. megyn: fox news alert, we just got reaction in now to our top story today which we talked about with chris stirewalt moments ago, this politico story on an e-book that politico reporter glenn thrush is coming out with after two months of interviewing what he says is a dozen or so, or numerous and current and former advisers. this is a patchwork of hearsay, distortions and outright fault hoods. if it or were actually in print, it would belong in the fiction section. that's from the obama campaign. we are going to discuss it, as i mentioned, in just a bit here with the panel. that's all they say, they don't say exactly what the lies are, but they have no use for the book, and we will see whether jay carney mentions any of this, he is mentioned as somebody who may not be that well regarded by some americans, and sort of they said he ranks in about the middle. debbie wasserman schultz, according to polling, is at the bottom, robert gibbs at the top, jay car think and others in the middle -- jay carney and others in the middle. in any event, we'll monitor this for news, we'll bring you the debate coming up. >>> well, we have another story to talk about, and that is a new warning from one of the nation's top credit agencies today, moody's. it is now saying that even more cities in california are at risk of decan claireing bankruptcy, and that this financial be meltdown could soon spread to other cities around the country. lou dobbs is the host of lou dobbs tonight on the fox business network. lou, we've had three cities now so far, stockton, san bernardino and mammoth lakes have filed for bankruptcy in california, and now moody's seems to be raising some sort of flag about how it could be the tip of the iceberg? >> the tip of the iceberg, it is also, i think the best way to put this, it's a rising danger, but it is one that is right now not rising to the level of imminent bankruptcies on the part of these 10% of the california municipalities and districts that have declared a cry us. crisis, a financial crisis. but it is worrisome, and moody's is bringing, appropriately, attention to them. we've been doing that very same thing here on the fox news channel, on fox business for some time now. bret baier hosting a "special report" on cities going broke in this country -- megyn: and it's not just cities, it's been states too. we saw governor walker in wisconsin try to crack down on certain things, ohio, they attempted, new york and new jersey have been taking a hard look at pension plans and how we make ends meet given the current financial crisis. >> what is happening is scott walker in wisconsin really drew the nation's attention to the issue of the municipal bond market. what is happening is states, counties, school districts, whatever the jurisdiction, there are 40,000 of them who are issuing bonds. i mean, this is a time where we have lower tax revenue, we have ever-increasing expenses because of public employee pensions and benefits, health care plans, and a slower rate of layoffs, if you will, than in the private sector. so all of that is just crushing these government the entities at the same time. bankruptcy in the case of the three cities you just mentioned. the ultimate choice. 10% of them. imagine, 10% of those districts and municipalities and jurisdictions in california in financial crisis. megyn: that are now at risk. but now this moody's report, i gather, prompted the california state treasurer to come out and say look, in part, california has 482 cities, three have declared bankruptcy. that's troubling, but hardly evidence of a looming stampede into bankruptcy court and default. so is the problem, you know, it's only three cities, he says, you know, it's not great, but don't be panicking. >> there is no reason for panic, he's quite right in that. but there is also no reason for the sleep walking that has been the posture of public entities whether they're cities or counties or the state in california, or school districts. these people are trying to suggest that this is fine, this is a great way to do business. it is not. and if california doesn't get this in, get this under control, there's going to be great trouble. and by under control i mean they have to make a choice. what obligations will they pay? what can they pay, and when will they back off -- megyn: they've been walking on the high dive for a while, and they're at the end. the diving board is almost over, ending. >> we've got a market of $3.7 trillion in municipal bonds in this country, and what people don't recognize, it's not regulated. it's self-regulated. megyn: so you can just print a bond and you get cash many? >> exactly. look at what jerry brown and previous governors in california have done, all, democrat or republican, they have to have a balanced budget, so if they don't have sufficient monies from tax revenues, they're going into the municipal bond market and borrowing and borrowing and borrowing. and that has been replicated across the country by highly irresponsible leaders at all levels of government. megyn: moody's does expect the vast majority of these cities will probably not resort to bankruptcy, they will probably instead cut spending, reduce services, increase taxes and reserve drawdowns. either way, the taxpayers are going to feel it. gotta run, lou. >> and i'm delighted to be with you while you tolerate me. [laughter] megyn: it's always a pleasure, tolerate, what? enjoy. look forward to the next time, sir. >>> coming up, the y12 nuclear facility in tennessee is supposed to be the fort knox of the nuclear weapons program. so how did an 82-year-old nun and other protesters get inside and shut the facility down? we'll answer that after this break. >>> and when a dog is abandoned by a climber in trouble, his owner, two other hikers decided to stage a rescue. now that everyone's safe, what should happen to the dog and the man who left it behind but wants it back? that's on the docket in today's kelly's court. >> we knew this dog's life was in jeopardy, and we thought, you know, if there's something that we can do right now, might as well do it. we would have had a heck of a time trying to sleep that night if we would not have gone. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle -- 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time. 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[ major nutrition ] ensure. nutrition in charge! megyn: fox news alert on augusta national golf club announcing its first female members in its 80-year history. among them, former secretary of state condoleezza rice and south carolina financier darla moore. this is the place where they play the masters. now we're going to have women. ms. rice releasing a statement that reads in part, quote: i have long admired the important role augusta national has play inside the history of golf, i also have an immense represent to the masters tournament, particularly with youth here in the united states and throughout the world. congratulations! moving on -- >>> some serious security questions now at a place that is supposed to be the fort knox of american nuclear weapons program. an 82-year-old nun and two other protesters reportedly cut through the finance finances and got inside the y12 national security complex in oak ridge, tennessee. hmm. the stunt shut down operations there for more than two weeks, and trace gallagher is here to fill us in on exactly how this happened. you've got to hand it to them, social it's not like ocean's eleven, blasting stuff to get in. does anyone have some fence cutters? be okay, i do. sister, you? >> reporter: and you've got to know, megyn, the y12 national security complex has uranium, and it makes those parts for every single u.s. warhead in our arsenal. in fact, it is the biggest storage house for weapons-grade bomb material. take a look at this. this thing was built to withstand a 7.7 magnitude earthquake, right? a tornado with winds up to 200 miles per hour. the impact of a passenger jet and a full-scale military assault, but 82-year-old sister megan rice and her two older anti-war protester friends, they walked right in. as you said, they used bolt cutters. they cut the fence, they walked right past the sign saying that they could be shot and the numerous cameras, and despite the cameras and alarms going off, these intruders spent more than two hours inside the complex totally unchallenged. they spray painted the walls, they splattered blood on the walls. the security complex says, well, they were never really that close to the uranium which, by the way, can be detonated on site or stolen and used to build a dirty bomb. the critics say we're lucky this was a nun and her two friends and not a terrorist outfit. the department of is not happy, they are now undergoing a full-scale investigation. they say the contractor is now in jeopardy of being replaced with an entirely different security contractor. in fact, the manager of that security contractor has already stepped down, and he said that, yes, this was a major breakdown, a list, a laundry list of breakdowns in this case, megyn. and by the way, the nun and the two other protesters now facing 16 years in prison. they're throwing the book at 'em because this was a major embarrassment. megyn: and a whole bunch of hail marys. thanks, trace. >>> after to the white house we -- off to the white house we go where the president makes a surprise appearance in the daily press briefing room. talking medicare. let's listen. >> at no extra cost. these are big deals for a lot of americans, and it represents two important ways that the improvements we made as part of the affordable care act have strengthened medicare and helped seniors everywhere get better care at less cost. that's been our goal from the very beginning, and i'm going continue to do everything i can to make sure that we keep our seniors healthy and the american people healthy. so with that, let me start off with jim -- [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. president. thank you for being here. you're no doubt aware of the comments that missouri senate republican todd aiken made on rape and abortion. wonder if you think those views represent the views of the republican party in general? they've been denounced by your own rival and other republicans. are they an outlier, or are they representative? >> well, let me first of all say the views expressed were offensive. rape is rape. and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the american people. and certainly doesn't make sense to me. so what i think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a heart of whom are men -- a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women. and so although these particular comments have led governor romney and other republicans to distance themselves, i think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying forcible rape versus nonforcible rape, i think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party. but i don't think that they would agree with the senator from missouri in terms of his statement which was way out there. >> should he drop out of the race? >> you know, he was nominated by the republicans in missouri, i'll let them sort that out. nancy courts? >> yes, mr. president, thank you. as you know, your opponent recently accused you of waging a campaign filled with anger and hate, and you told "entertainment tonight" that anyone who attends your rally can see they're not angry or hate-filled affairs. but recently your campaign has suggested mr. romney might be hiding something in his tax returns, they have suggested that mr. romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of bain capital, and your capable and the white house have declined to condemn an ad by one of your top supporters that links mr. romney to a woman's death of cancer. are you comfortable with the tone that's being set by your campaign? have you asked them to change their tone when it comes to defining mr. romney? >> first of all, i'm not sure all those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate. for example, nobody accused mr. romney of being a felon. and i think that what is absolutely true is if you watch me on the campaign trail, here's what i'm talking about. i'm talking about how we put americans back to work. and there are sharp differences tween myself and mr. romney in terms of how we would do that. he thinks that if we roll back wall street reform, roll back the affordable care act, otherwise known affectionately at obamacare, that somehow people are going to be better off. i think that if we are putting teachers back to work and rebuilding america and reducing our deficit this a balanced way, that's how you put people back to work. that is a substantive difference. that's what i talk about on the campaign. when it comes to the taxes, governor romney thinks that we should be cutting taxes by another $a -- $5 trillion, and folks like me would benefit disproportionately from that. i think it makes a lot more sense and have put out a detailed plan for a balanced approach that combines spending cuts and asking people like me, millionaires and billionaires, to do a little bit more. that's a substantive difference in this campaign. whether it's on wind energy or how we would approach funding education, those are the topics that we're spending a lot of time talking about on the campaign. now, you know, if you, if you look at the overall trajectory of our campaign and the ads that i've approved and are produced by my campaign, you'll see that we point out sharp differences between the candidates, but we don't go out of bounds. and when it comes to releasing taxes, that's a precedent that was set decades ago, including by governor romney's father. and for us to say that it makes sense to release your tax returns as i did, as john mccain did, as bill clinton did, as the two president bushes did, i don't think is in any way out of bounds. i think that is what the american people would rightly expect, is a sense that particularly when we're going to be having a huge debate about how we reform our tax code and how we paid for the government that we need, i think people want to know that, you know, everybody's been playing by the same rules, including people who are seeking the highest office in the land. this is not an entitlement, being president of the united states, this is a privilege. and we've got to put ourselves before the american people to make our case. >> but why not send a message to the top super pac that's supporting you and say i think an ad like that is out of bounds? is we shouldn't be suggesting that -- >> so let's take that particular issue as opposed to, you know, because you lumped in a whole bunch of other stuff that i think was entirely legitimate. i don't think that governor romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad. but keep in mind this is an ad that i didn't approve, i did not produce, and as far as i can tell has barely run. i think it ran once? now, in contrast you've got governor romney creating as a centerpiece of his campaign this notion that we're taking the work requirement out of welfare. which every single person here who's looked at it says is patently false, right? is what he's arguing is somehow we have changed the welfare requirement, the work requirement in our welfare laws. and, in fact, what's happened was that my administration responding to the requests of five governors, including two republican governors, agreed to approve giving them, those states, some flexibility in how they manage their welfare rolls as long as it produced 20% increases in the number of people who are getting work. so, in other words, we would potentially give states more flexibility to put more people back to work, not to take them off the work requirement under welfare. everybody who's looked at this says what governor romney's saying is absolutely wrong. not only are his super pacs running millions of dollars worth of ads making this claim, governor romney himself is approving this and saying it on the stump. so the contrast, i think, is pretty stark. that's, you know, they can run the campaign that they want, um, but the truth of the matter is you can't just make stuff up. that's one thing you learn as president of the united states. you get called into account. and i feel very comfortable with the fact that when you look at the campaign we're running, we are focused on the issues and the differences that matter to working families all across america, can that's exactly the -- and that's exactly the kind of debate the american people deserve. jake taft. >> mr. president, um, a couple questions. one, i'm wondering if you could comment on the recent spate of -- [inaudible] in afghanistan, what is being done about it, why? do your commanders tell you they think there has been an uptick in this kind of violence, and, second, with the economy still the focus of so many americans, what they can expect out of washington, if anything, when it comes to any attempt to bring some more economic growth to the country. >> um, on afghanistan, obviously, we've been watching with deep concern the so-called green on blue attacks where you have afghan individuals, some of whom are actually enrolled in the afghan military, some in some cases dressing up as afghan military or police attacking coalition forces, including our own, our own troops. i just spoke today to marty dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who happens to be in afghanistan. he is having intensive consultations not only with our commander, general allen, on the ground but also with afghan counterparts. and i'll be reaching out to president karzai as well. because we've got to make sure that we're on top of this. we are already doing a range of things, and we're seeing some success when it comes to better counterintelligence, making sure that the vetting process for afghan troops is stronger, and we've got what's called the guardian angel program to make sure that our troops aren't in isolated situations that might make them more vulnerable. but, obviously, we're going to have to do more because there has been an uptick over the last, over the last 12 months on this. part of what's taking place is we are transitioning to afghan security, and for us to train them effectively, we are in much closer contact, our troops are in much closer contact with afghan troops on an ongoing basis. and, you know, part of what we've got to do is to make sure that this model works, but it doesn't make our guys more vulnerable. in the long term, we will see fewer u.s. casualties and coalition casualties by sticking to our transition plan and making sure that we've got the most effective afghan security force possible. but we've got to do it in a way that doesn't leave our guys vulnerable. so we are deeply concerned about this from top to bottom. and, hopefully, over the next several weeks we'll start seeing better progress on this front. in terms of the economy, you know, i would love to say that when congress comes back, they've got a week or ten days before they go out and start campaigning again that we're going to see a flurry of action. i can't guarantee that. i do think that there are some specific things they could do that would make a big difference. i'll give you a couple of examples. first of all, just making sure that we've got what's called a continuing resolution so that we don't have any disruptions and government shutdowns over the next couple months. that's important, it appears that there's an agreement on that, but we want to make sure that that gets done. number two, you know, we have put forward an idea that i think a lot of americans think makes sense, which is we've got historically low interest rates now, and the housing market is beginning to tick back up, but it's still not at all where it needs to be. there are a lot of families out there whose homes are underwater, they owe more than the house is worth because housing values dropped so precipitously. and they're having trouble refinancing. we're going to be pushing congress to see if they can pass a refinancing bill that puts $3,000 into the pockets of the average family who hasn't yet refinanced their mortgage. that's a big deal. that $3,000 can be used to strengthen the equity in that person's home which would raise home values, alternatively, that's $3,000 in people's pockets that they can spend on a new computer for their kid going back to school or, you know, new school clothes for their kids. and so that would strengthen the economy as well. obviously, the biggest thing that congress could do would be to come up with a sensible approach to reducing our deficit in ways that we had agreed to and talked about last year. and i continue to be open to seeing congress approach this with a balanced plan that has tough spending cuts building on the trillion dollars worth of spending cuts that we've already made, but also asks for additional revenue from folks like me, from folks in the top 1 or 2% to make sure that folks who can least afford it aren't suddenly bearing the burden, and we're prooproviding some additional certainty to small businesses and families going forward. alternatively, they could go ahead and vote for a bill that we've said would definitely strengthen the economy, and that is giving everybody who's making $250,000 a year or less certainty that their taxes aren't going to go down next year. that would make a difference. obviously, the republicans have voted that down already once. it's not likely realistically that they're going to bring it back up again before election day. but my hope is after the election people will step back and recognize that that's a sensible way to bring down our deficit and allow us to still invest in things like education that are going to help the economy grow. so, chuck todd? >> latest thinking on where you think things are in syria, and in particular whether you envision using u.s. military if simply for nothing else the safekeeping of chemical weapons and if you're confident -- [inaudible] i also want to follow up an answer you just gave to nancy. you said that one of the reasons you wanted to see mitt romney's tax returns were you want to see if everybody is playing by the same set of rules. it actually goes to the question she asked, do you think there's something mitt romney is not telling that his tax returns that indicate he's not -- >> no, there's a difference between playing by the same sets of rules and doing something illegal. and in no way have we suggested the latter. but the first, the first disclosure, the one year's of tax returns that he disclosed indicated that, you know, he used swiss bank accounts, for example. well, that may be perfectly legal, but i suspect if you ask the average american do you have one, and is that part of how you manage your tax obligations, they would say, no. they would find that relevant information. particularly when we're going into a time where we know we're going to have to make tough choices both about spending and about taxes. so i think the idea that this is somehow exceptional, that there should be a rationale or a justification for doing more than the very bare minimum has it backwards. i mean, the assumption should be you do what previous presidential candidates dating back for decades. and governor romney's own dad says, well, the reason i put out 10 or 12 years is because any single year might not tell you the whole story. and everybody's, i think, followed that custom ever since. the american people have assumed that if you want to be president of the united states, that your life's an open book. when it comes to things like your finances. and i'm not asking to, you know, disclose every detail of, you know, his medical records. although we normally do that as well. [laughter] you know? i mean, this isn't sort of overly perm here, guys. this is pretty standard stuff. and i don't think we're being mean by asking you to do what every other presidential candidate's done, right? it's what the american people expect. on syria. obviously, this is a very tough issue. i have indicated repeatedly that president al assad has lost legitimacy, that he needs to step down. so far he hasn't gotten the message, and instead has doubled down in violence on his own people. the international community has sent a clear message that rather than drag his country into civil war, he should move in the direction of political transition. but at this point the likelihood of a soft landing seems pretty distant. what we've said is, number one, we want to headache -- make sure we're helping with humanitarian assistance. we want to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of refugees that are or fleeing the mayhem, that they don't end up creating or being in a terrible situation or, also, destabilizing some of syria's neighbors. the second thing we've done is we said that we would provide, you know, in consultation with the international community some assistance to the opposition in thinking about how would a political transition take place. and, you know, what are the principles that should be upheld in terms of looking out for minority rights and human rights. and that consultation is taking place. i have at this point not ordered military engagement in the situation, but the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. that's an issue that doesn't just concern syria, it concerns our close allies in the region, including israel. it concerns us. we cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people. we have been very clear toss assad -- clear to the assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start to see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus, that would change my question. >> is somehow under -- >> in a situation this volatile, i wouldn't say that i am absolutely confident. what i'm saying is we're monitoring that situation very carefully. we have put together a range of contingency plans. we have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that's a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons. that would, that would change my calculations significantly. so, all right? thank you, everybody. [inaudible conversations] megyn: there you have it. after two months of not speaking to the white house press corps and the din in the washington growing in criticism of the president for that silence, the president makes a surprise appearance at the white house daily press briefing today. he was under fire for speaking in the past week to "entertainment tonight," to a new mexico radio station where it ended with the interviewer saying i just flirted with the president. he's been under fire for not speaking to reporters, to the reporters who are paid to cover him and know what questions to ask in terms of what's happening in the nation and beyond. and so today he did so in part, taking a few questions from the white house press corps about a number of issues including his campaign and the situation in afghanistan, saying that the president is watching with deep concern the number of killings of nato troops by afghan security forces, saying he's going to reach out to president hamid karzai about that and talking about syria. for now we will continue to give only humanitarian assistance. there has been a call by many for us to do more than that, the president saying he's concerned about chemical weapons there, but they'll likely -- we're not prepared to do more than humanitarian assistance right now. on the campaign he had a lot to say, in particular he's not being mean by asking for mitt romney's tax returns and making this a campaign issue, saying that nobody has ever accused governor romney of being a felon. we're going to look at that in a moment. and saying that although he has pointed out sharp differences between himself and mr. romney, we -- meaning his campaign -- do not go out of bounds. here now to discuss some of that, brad blakeman and dick harpootlian. brad is a former adviser to president george w. bush, and dick is the chairman of the south carolina democratic party. gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. megyn: so i want to start with the president saying he hasn't gone out of bounds, brad, his campaign has not gone out of bounds because you heard the reporter asking him about some of the ugliness in this campaign, hasn't done that, and that no one has ever accused mr. romney of being a felon. do we have that stephanie cut kerr sound bite? let me -- cutter sound bite? let me play the sound bite that may contradict the president on this. i'll ask you to answer it, brad, stand by. >> either mitt romney through his own words and his own signature was misrepresenting his position at bane to the sec, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at bane to the american people -- at bain to the american people to avoid respondent for some of the consequences of his investments. megyn: brad? >> well, as an attorney you're familiar with the position of slander per se. this was a slanderous statement not backed up by fact and certainly alleged that he was doing something that was criminal. a felony. so the president may be take what he considers to be the high road himself, but certainly his campaign is not. is and let's remember, the president had to be shamed into making a surprise appearance before the white house press corps when last week he's acted more like the president of disney corporation, meeting with " entertainment tonight" and "people" magazine and all these other inconsequential social and entertainment publications instead of sitting down with a wall street editorial board, real, meaningful interviews with fox news or other competent and important news outlets. the president had to be shamed today into doing something that he should have been doing all along. megyn: dick, as i wrote it down and forgive me, i just took notes, i don't have the actual transcript crept. the president said nobody accused mr. romney of being a felon. that sound bite from his campaign spokesperson, stefan yi cutter -- stephanie cutter, seems to do exactly that, does it not? >> it does not. and we're both lawyers, so let's parse this out. she said what they filed with the sec said he was running bain. she says either he was lying to the sec -- which is a felony, which he didn't do -- or he's lying to the american people saying he had nothing to do with bain during that period of time, which he did do. he's not a felon, a liar. and, brad, there's nothing wrong with showing that he is lying to the american people about bain -- which he obviously was doing -- because he wouldn't have filed, they didn't file a misstatement with the sec claiming that he was -- >> he wasn't, he wasn't -- >> wait a second now. >> -- he wasn't doing a criminal act. >> he wasn't doing a criminal act -- >> so why did she allege it? >> well, because you put it in the context of he would not have done this criminal act of lying to the sec, so he must be lying to the american people when he said he had nothing to do with bain in 2001 when the sec filing says he's the ceo of bain in 2001. megyn: the president was also asked about this campaign and the ad put out by priorities usa which is the super pac supporting his candidacy that suggested mitt romney was responsible for the death of a woman who lost her health care insurance in a company that had been taken over by bain. he came out and said i do not think governor romney is responsible for that woman's death. now, his senior adviser -- and he said i didn't approve or produce that ad, it's barely run. brad, his senior campaign advisers were asked about this ad at length and refused to disavow the ad, refused to go as far as the president did by saying that i don't think mitt romney is responsible for that woman's death. so he, the president, his campaign team has been given the opportunity to speak to this, and for weeks now they have refused to expressly disavow that ad. you know, why now? why does the president -- if the president doesn't believe that, why didn't he call up bill burton, his former spokesman, and say, bill, take that down? >> well, not only that, but his campaign lied to the american people and said they didn't know who this guy was, they had no contact with him when his campaign operatives were on the phone with this guy on a conference call, they knew who he was, they had advance knowledge before the commercial capable out as to what his story was, what the allegations were. and finally the press caught up with this campaign and showed them that they had been outright lying and misleading the american people. so while i don't think the president should have gotten necessarily on the phone because there are coordination rules between -- >> aha. megyn: that's the problem. >> no, it's not the problem. megyn: well, he can't call them up and say take that down, can he? >> he can't. he can cannot. >> no, but he can go on television and say he disavows this -- megyn: all right. i'll give you the last word, dick. >> well, and, megyn, you got it entirely correct. he cannot, nor his campaign call priorities and say don't do that. even though mitt romney's campaign has conceded -- megyn: why didn't stephanie cutter come out and say what the president just said when they were on the sunday shows and asked about this ad? well, i think for two reasons. one, they don't want this appearance of coordination, which is illegal, and, two, the president was asked, it's the first time he's been asked about it, and he responded. megyn: yeah, but his people were asked about it. why couldn't they go as far as the president did? >> because they're not the president, number one -- >> [inaudible] that's why. they like the ad. they like the message. megyn: all right. i've got to go. >> there's a lot of gotcha. megyn: gentlemen, thank you so much as always. >>> coming up, we've got other breaking news from the white house. just before the president came out, the administration answered a question about our top story, this politico report. that's next. flu protection with a 90% smaller needle. a 90% smaller needle. announcing fluzone intradermal vaccine, a 90% smaller needle, wow that's...short. to learn more talk to your health care pvider. 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[ female announcer ]isit fluzone.com or these locations to find fluzone intradermal vaccine. tiny needle, big protection. ♪ insulifreestyle lite can. bighelp youitest easy. they need a third the blood of onetouch ultra. zipwik tabs target the blood and pull it in. call now for free strips and a meter. megyn: more than the president's impromptu news conference taking questions from reporters. first the president's stinging criticism. they responded before the president came out and this report out of politico suggests that the president is more focused on beating governor romney than is with delivering the hope and change he promised four years ago. a brand-new hour of "america live." glenn thrush of politico said he spoke with several members of the president's reelection campaign. the press secretary jay carney was out at the microphones before the president and offered his take on this report based on an e-book that's being repleased response to a question from our own ed henry. ed is live with washington. he was at that news conference for mr. carney's comments and the president's comments. >> reporter: it's interesting because jay carney was trying to dismiss this e back saying it was a bunch of hearsay slapped together into a book, pushing back on this report from politico that there is a lot of infighting inside the obama camp inside chicago. all pushing back on the book when it eadges that the president has almost a hatred of mitt romney on a personal level. the book suggesting the white house and obama campaign do not have a lot of confidence in debbie wasserman shuts. she serves as chair of the democratic committee and he says that's not true and gave her a vote of confidence. after a few weeks of white house aides and obama campaign advisers not denouncing the ad and not plattly saying the cancer ad -- the president today -- he's the top one finally saying he does not believe that mitt romney in his actions led to the death of this woman. he flatly said that. he was pushing back on the notion that he had anything to do with the ad and was hitting romney hard for the ads he has been running. but part of the question my col he can from cbs was asking, what about the fact that one of your campaign advisers called romney a felon. the president denied that had happened. but stephanie cutter said quote either mitt romney through his own words and own signature was misrepresenting his position at bain which is a felony, or she says he was misrepresenting his position at bain to the american people. there was no followup on that but the bottom line is maybe she didn't call mitt romney a felon but she did suggest he committed a felon. megyn: what is her title? >> reporter: department campaign manager. this book from politico alleges that there is a lot of infighting and there has been a lot of back biting in economy. jay carney is insisting the bikes not true. we'll see how all of that plays out. megyn: the campaign came out and said it should be in the fiction section. ed henry, thank you. i wanted to bring back chris stirewalt for more analysis of the president's surprise appearance at the white house press briefing. do we have a sound bite on the stephanie cutter thing in hold on a second. we'll get it teed up. i want to point out to the viewers what the president said and what stephanie cutter had said so they can make up their minds whether there was an inconsistency. there were two topics where the president may have been inconsistent. stephanie cutter is a deputy campaign manager or senior official within the obama campaign. this issue about whether the president stands by this ad by the priorities usa super pac. mitt romney came out with his super pac saying i can't coordinate with them and i don't control them. president obama does not control that souper pack. but his highest advisers, cutter and bolt and others were on the sunday talk shows and they were asked about that ad that suggests romney is responsible for some woman's death and they refused to disavoid. why didn't they say what president obama just said. i don't believe mitt romney is responsible for that woman dying. >> reporter: the president didn't say anything that contradicted this senior advisers directly. the super pac says they are just raising issues and talk about it. what the president didn't do, that what's significant about this moment. after all the pressure for him to comment. mr. president, what do you say about this ad, that insinuates that somehow mitt romney bears some responsibility for this woman's death and the president did not denounce the ad and he didn't say anything that bill push on who is his former spokesperson and who runs the pac that the president has endorsed and his people raise money for, what the president didn't say is i disavow that ad, that ad is wrong. he simply said something bill burton could have said. we don't bleach mitt romney was responsible for that woman's death. megyn: you think the headline will be he didn't go far enough in disavowing it or saying he doesn't believe the premise. i want to ask you about number two. this issue of whether he accused mitt romney of being a felon or suggested mitt romney was a felon. this has been used by many to say the campaign is getting extremely ugly. it's contrary to hope and change. where is the man who promised not to demonize his adversary but to discuss big ideas. that's been the criticism of barack obama. he's gone and in his place is some mean guying to things like calling mitt romney a felon. he said nobody accused mr. romney of being a felon, first all, miss reporter, then we pulled the stephanie cutter sound bite that led to the question. i want to play the president's comment followed by stephanie cutter the senior adviser and get you to react on wet there is inconsistency. >> are you comfort with the tone being set by your campaign? >> i'm not sure all those crankizations you laid out were accurate. for example, nobody accused mr. romney much being a felon. >> mitt romney through his own words and own signature was misrepresenting his position at bain to the fcc which is a fellly or he was misrepresenting his position at pain * to the american people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments. megyn: what do you make of it? >> if you parse it, stephanie cutter did not say mitt romney was a felon. she said he was either a liar or committed a felony. if you parse it you can say that. for the president, this is why he doesn't want to do these national press corps things. with that ad, the glenn thrush book, this is a very negative campaign. this is not the way the president wanted to run for reelection. when you are doing that rough stuff and getting your opponent in the corner and beating him up, the last thing the president want to do is get grilled on that because you have to parse and say things that sort of bend the rhetorical bow in a way that doesn't look good for a sitting president. that's why he hasn't wanted to do that. that's why it took so many weeks of pressure to get him to go out and answer questions. megyn: the rhetorical bow. the other point the president made web was hammering mitt romney on not releasing more of his tax returns. even some republicans have said he should release more. the president said, look, i'm not being mean, he said, i am just asking him to do what every other presidential candidate has done. is that true? >> i believe john mccain only released two when he was running. and certainly it was not the kind of deal then. the obama campaign tried to make it a deal, tried to talk about john mccain's wealth and the wealth from his wife's family business in arizona. tried to bring up his houses and what he drove and where his ranch was. it didn't work as well with john mccain because it's a war hero. with mitt romney they found a much more receptive press. so two years on mitt romney gets placed differently than two years on john mccain. megyn: mccain only released two years of tax returns and apparently prior to that michael dukakis released six. hillary clinton and barack obama released 7. the numbers have been all over the board. but mitt romney is in the company of john mccain on that note. nine months ago pat caddell and doug schoen said president obama would engage in the nastiest campaign on record this year. moment ago the president said his campaign has not done anything out of bounds. we'll check on that debate right after this debate. a dog was abandoned by 13,000 feet by a climber in trouble. some other hikers decided to stage a rescue and got dog. now that everyone is safe, what should happen to the dog and the man who left it behind and now wants it back. >> she was in bad shape. severely dehydrated. she didn't make a sound. 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[ hikers laughing, commenting ] at&t introduces the htc one x. now $99.99. rethink possible. >> if you look at overall extra joke trif our campaign and the ads that i approved and are produced by my campaign you will see that we point out sharp differences between the candidates. but we don't go out of bounds. megyn: that was the president moment ago responding to questions about his campaign going negative, saying they have done nothing out of bounds. but back in november when governor mitt romney was one of the gop challengers vying for the nomination, doug schoen and pat caddell said put simply the white house concluded if the president cannot run on his record he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history to stand any chance. nine months later they are here to take a look at where we stand. doug schoen is a form adviser to president clinton and pat caddell is a former pollster for president carter. you predicted the president could not relationship by running a constructive campaign. he would have to go there regular tough. the president says we have done nothing out of bounds. >> i think pat in my judgment has been vindicated. they have been running tough campaign commercials themselves. the super pac ad they could have disavowed. they didn't do that today. th effectively have accused governor romney of giving a guy cans -- a guy cancer. stephanie cutter called the governor a felon or said he committed a felony. that's way beyond anything i remember from my experience with bill clinton. we wouldn't have done anything like that. >> no sitting incumbent has ever this early in the campaign and to the intensity the obama white house and the president himself is doing in this campaign team to attack a challenger at this level. ever. it diminishes the white house. but the president going out today elevated the stakes because he is in real trouble of potentially being on a knife edge. megyn: you heard the president say on his own. he used the word mean -- i didn't hear that in the question. he said that on the tax returns. we are not being mean. we are just asking for what every other presidential candidate has offered. politifact says that's not true. you say that word and the identification of being mean is something barack obama doesn't want. >> one of the reasons democrats and independents are unhappy with him and have moved away and are unsure whether they are going to vote for him is because he promised hope and change. i sought to distinguish between our opponent ronald reagan and the president after a rough primary. the press decided jimmy carter was mean and "the washington post" wrote a key editorial saying the mean president. and we had to live with that for a long time. in barack obama case because of what he campaigned to be, this is really dangerous for him. i thought today he upped the stakes because he didn't disavow the ad. by the way, no one explained how the guy in the shirt appears in the same shirt in his ad and their ad. what's happening with the attacks with biden. what happens with harry reid. let me tell you what no one asked him today -- does he call stephanie cutter in and say i don't want you saying those things? did he call joe biden in and say don't do that? this is a president trying to have it both ways. megyn: stephanie cutter seems to be the person all over these charges. she goes out and doesn't expressly disavow that ad. she said he's either committed a felony or he lied to the american people. now president obama says i don't believe mitt romney is upon for that woman's death and nobody has accused mr. romney of being a felon. is stephanie cutter some rogue employee at the obama camp? >> she is the opposite of a rogue employee. she reports to the highest levels of the campaign. she is trying obama individually and through his campaign is trying to have it both ways. he's trying to be about of all but his deputy campaign manager -- i know stephanie cutter. she is a friend of mine. i worked with her in campaigns. she doesn't do things on her own. she is not a rogue. she is a loyal professional who does what she is told to do. megyn: she suggests mitt romney might and felon that has to have a stamp of approval. >> has anyone disavowed stephanie cutter and said she was speaking for herself and we told her to apologize? you haven't heard that. >> the president can't play this game of "murder in the theater." get rid of the troublesome priest but i have nothing to do with it. somebody has to ask him, are you responsible or not. you can't say go on "entertainment tonight" and say we are uniting the country. megyn: he said to the reporter, you have followed me for 24 hours, have you seen anything divisive? >> the answer is you are responsible. in "game change, questions's quote saying i'm the pollster, i'm the strategist, i run my campaign. he's the president. is he responsible or not? at some point he will be called on his. it's a dangerous place. megyn: does this get held against him by the independent base or democrats? >> independent who voted for hope and change are seeing politics as usual. this was devoted to avoid it being held against him. >> but it may have escalated. megyn: the university of colorado making a move causing controversy. deciding students who hold gun permits must be segregated in a special dorm. why the school thinks these students pose such a special threat to campus safety. a new book claims president obama's campaign is driven more by a dislike for governor romney and hope and change. two top campaign pros weigh in moment away. >> this book from politico is suggesting -- i know you won't answer specific things about the campaign -- buff it says the president has an intense dislike of mitt romney. you are around the president a lot. personally does have that dislike of mitt romney? 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[ male announcer ] it's nice to finally say "yes." new oscar mayer selects. it's yes food. megyn: an autopsy is scheduled for hollywood director tony scott. the filmmaker between top top gun and "days of thunder" died after jumping off a los angeles bridge. >> reporter: the autopsy is still underway. they are determining the cause of death. we asked a couple of things. we were told a number of letters were found in his car. a toyota prius that stopped on the bridge. it spanned from san pedro to terminal island. the cruise ships park right next this bridge. he stopped his car 1 5eu9 -- 180 pete above the water. he may have had inoperable brain cancer. a number of analysts reporting that. that may have led to this situation he jumped from the bridge. he's known for wearing that red hat. he's well known in hollywood for having that red hat. "days of thunder," "before hills cop 2." his older brother ridley to the also a well-known director. he had other bronze on television, hollywood respond. this happened late in the day. by the time the forgot out. we are hearing most of the responses today. we have dweets from robert rolling are you guess saying great knowing you, buddy, thanks for the advice, and encouragement. dane cook says devastated by the death of tony scott. the actor elijah wood. ridley scott is flying back to los angeles to be with the family. that autopsy is ongoing right now. if we hear information about what those letters contain we'll let you know. we know they were to his family and some of his friends. megyn: so sad. new questions about what is driving the president's reelection campaign. a new book claims the president is more focused on his alleged dislike for his opponent than with the themes of hope and change. reports on what president obama is most worried about when it comes to his reelection chances. the white house reaction and the must-see political debate is next. when a dog was abandoned at 13,000 feet by a climber in trouble a group of hikers decided to stage a versus cue. now that everyone is safe, what should happen to the dog and the man who left it behind but now wants it back? "kelly's court" has that debate. >> guys who never met each other coming together and rescuing a dog heyed only seen in pictures. - 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time. [ female announcer ] ensure muscle health has revigor and protein to help protect, preserve, and promote muscle health. keeps you from getting soft. [ major nutrition ] ensure. nutrition in charge! energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy development comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self-contained well systems. and, using state-of-the-art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment. we're america's natural gas. >> this book from politico is suggesting -- it's saying about the president that he has almost sort of -- an intense dislike of mitt romney. you are around the president a lot. personally does he have that kind of dislike of mitt romney? >> absolutely not. i would say this book is a collection of hearsay and random alleged conversations. i can tell you i have never heard the president express anything like that. he feels very strongly that governor romney's policies are the wrong ones for the american economy and the american people, that we can't afford to go back to the policies that got us into this mess. megyn: that exchange happened moment ago. that was white house spokesman jay carney responding to questions about a new back entitled "obama's last stand. it's an e-book written by a reporter at politico which we are told has deep ties to the obama campaign. it's an account of deep dysfunction according to the author starts at the very top. joe trippi and -- this is a lengthy article based on a report talking to numerous and current obama advisers. it talked about personal rivalries that haunted this reelection effort. saying second guessing about personnel, and strategy and tactics has been a dominant theme of this reelection campaign. is that unusual? >> first of all, i don't know how true any of it is. but it wouldn't be unusual at all for there to be differences of opinion, arguments and even some division inside a campaign, any presidential campaign. when i was in the dean campaign the woman who has been howard dean's chief of staff, we shared an office and she at one point put tape across the floor of the office and i was not allowed to step on the other side of it. megyn: what did you do? >> i did not step on the the other side. you did not do that with kate. but these things happen. i was in obama headquarters thursday, saw both stephanie cutter and david axlerod. they were -- everybody was getting along great. megyn: it says they had a major fight in which they weren't even speaking to each other and disagreement go across the campaign. the suggestion is even though they may have been getting along while you were there, joe, that there have been intense disagreements within the campaign and from the president himself. they talk about the book -- the reporter talks about how in may when david axlerod went to massachusetts to make the case against mitt romney right as he was securing the win on the gop side to become the nominee. axlerod went there and he got booed an got into a contentious back and forth with voters. apparently they say president obama was in the west wing watching with growing disgust. calling it an ill conceived spectacle. and chastised the team we are not going to do this kind of thing again? he many right it was a dumb thing to do. anybody who has been around the game knows it's a dumb thing to do. every campaign i have been in and i have been in 8 or 9 presidential campaigns. the wheels always come off whether you are in a wing or losing campaign. these two have been together a long time. but there is no second guessing, there is no formula you pull off the wall and run the same campaign. this one is equally stressed out because they moved the campaign to chicago. you can't have a campaign in chicago when the white house and half the operatives are in washington, d.c. i think a failure to communicate and a failure sit across the table and iron these things out. but i believe it's in the book because i know the reporters. i have watched this for a long long time. they will get it over with and move forward and deny it all the way. but at the same time it's probably very true. megyn: why are they doing this? according to the author these are current and former advisers -- obama advisers. why are they talking to this reporter and talking about dissention among the ranks and how it's a mostly joyless campaign and the president has no reservations about the negativity. why are they doing this to their boss? >> first all i know the reporter, too. and i'm inclined to think poem told him these things. my point is, they may not -- this is kind of normal stuff inside a campaign as ed points out. and as i experienced in presidential campaigns. there are very few where it's all harmonious and everybody gets along the entire way and there are no discussions about anything. what it says to me about the president is you want people to fight it out. megyn: but you don't talk to politico. >> there have been embeds before. most of these books come out after the election. this is the first time having them now which i think is a little bit strange. i don't know if people thought it wasn't coming out to later or what. >> you never expect it to come out. we all say dumb things during the course of a campaign. we get information both ways from reporters. but the embarrassment today is the embarrassment to the president. and the president has to walk into the press room as he did a little while ago. and you always want to protect your candidate. a campaign is not a democracy. you have strong players, but someone is in charge to kick tail and make sure is a discipline in the campaign and you set clear guide lines. who talks, who doesn't talk, and what the message is. this is a distraction going into the republican convention. we'll take great relish and use it as much as we can. but the embarrassment is to the president who wants to be mr. cool and not be a hater. megyn: the narrative last time around was that machine was so impressive to watch. i want to ask you, joe. this is a line from the politico report. it is not the solidarity of a hard-fought cause in this the mostly joyless campaign. it's obama's burning competitiveness and his focus on beating mitt romney who he generally views with contempt and thinks is unfit to run the company. you heard jay carney denying he has contempt for romney and trying to refute that report. litigation -- when i used to practice it was kill or be killed. you have a way of demonizing your opponent. what do you think and what do you make of those allegations? >> it's not my experience with both candidate obama and president obama at all. he's a fierce fighter. and i think there is definitely a disdain for some of the policies and maybe even a real belief that the country would be much worse off with romney that he dislikes. but i don't think he is the kind of person -- again i have seen him in tough situations where the -- where everything was flying in the 2008 campaign. it's just not who he is. he is very motivated. between when i was at their headquarters, i saw a machine that was humming with everybody playing on the same team. so i think some of these facts may have -- somebody may have said this -- megyn: joe, they are not going to hang out the dirty laundry when joe trippi is coming by. then saying don't worry, did you hear what happened to his campaign? he couldn't even cross the line with his office mates. >> i think the president is obviously a competitive guy. he doesn't like romney. he has watched romney attack everything he has done. this is a thin-skinned president. we saw that with this bat with hillary. at the end of the day he has a lot at stake. he loses, he has no place in history. at the end of the day he gets a second term. he can try and finish out. he will do everything he to be get reelected. megyn: one of these days we'll get joe to tell us what led to the tape. but it won't be today. coming up, new fallout after the university of colorado has decided that students who hold gun permits need to be segregated over to a special dorm. really? why? coming up after the break. "kelly's court" takes on the case of a dog abandoned on a mountaintop. now that she is safe and sound the owner wants her back. that's next. >> the thought of a dog slowly dying up on the top of the mountain was tough to stomach. that's why we went. >> i don't believe he deserves the dog back. he left the dog for dead. mom: ready to go to work? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ every mom needs a little helper. that's why i got a subaru. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. megyn: "kelly's court" is back in session. abandoned at 13,000 feet. a man climbing one of colorado's tallest mountains faces animal cruelty charges after the sheriff says he left his german shepherd mix behind. some other hikers town the dog. at 112 pounds, missy was too big to carry. so those hikers left her some water and some food. they hiked down the mountain and organized their own rescue effort and eventually missy was saved. >> it struck a chord. the same with all the other guys who went up that night. we knew this dog's life was in jep i. we thought if there was something we could do we would do it. megyn: now the dog owner wants her back. joining me now to discuss it, lis weihl and mark eiglarsh. so the guy who left the dog wants her back, and he's also facing animal cruelty charges. dots outcome of the criminal case determine the question about whether he gets her? >> if he's charged and convicted of animal cruelty he will never get missy back. he brought missy onto this mountainous hike. he brought her on, not even caring about what was going to happen to her and left her. not only did he endanger missy the dog. he endangered all the other hikessers. the hikers said we couldn't leave this dog behind. what if something happened to those hikers? megyn: he says he was trying to help a human being get down the mountain as opposed to the dog and says he thought after a couple of days that the dog was likely no longer alive. >> i would have done things a little differently, but not too differently. let's understand what he's alleging. he says he brought the dog on a hike. i don't hike soy don't know if you are supposed to bring up dogs or not. the problem is the dog was severely injured somehow in a fluke accident. then weather problems kicked in. he tried with his partner to lower the 112-pound dog down. that didn't work. then he allegedly lifted the dog up and tried to bounce from boulder to boulder trying to save the dog's life. he dropped the dog once. >> 112-pound dog. you are talking about the colorado mountains. >> you are interrupting me before i get to my big moment. as soon as he gets down he calls 911. he called the sheriff's deputy and called search and rescue and they all said no we can't go up there. megyn: there was secret option number two which these do-gooders, the hikers who had no connection with the dog thowpt. why don't we organize our own search and rest exiewp that's how missy was saved. >> good for them by it put their lives in peril. you take a 112-point dog up the mountains. you should foresee that something bad could happen and you should foresee if you are going to hikers in deputiy for your actions. megyn: he brought missy up there. so he goes down. i understand weather conditions are bad and 911 says we don't do recuse efforts for dogs. but you can find a search and rescue team of your own. what's happening up on the mountains, she was up there for six nights. missy was could could -- was cog beneath the rocks. her pause were completely raw, her elbows were toirn and her owner was sitting at base of the mountain forgetting about poor missy. you tell me why should this buy get the dog back. >> i would do things differently. my golden doodle angel was up there i would be back the next day. but legally, did he do all that he could? maybe. morally the answer is no. that then trickles into whether he should get the dog back. >> abandonment and endangerment. >> you love to interrupt me today. give me a second. what would i like to see is a hearing. i would like this guy to testify in front after judge and all the facts brought out. you read articles on the subject, they only put in a few paragraphs and leave out his version. megyn: i don't understand how we get to the point where you say, we tried. i just assumed she was dead. he left her up there. why isn't that abandonment of your property. a dog is treated as property. forget how the animal cruelty case comes out. isn't it open and shut? >> abandonment and reckless endangerment. megyn: the owners who found her named her lucky. she winds up with her she may be. we'll have that story on the university of colorado putting students with gun permits in their own special dorm next. 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[ yawning sound ] megyn: a fox news alert. new developments with a big political controversy it started with republican congressman a u.s. senate candidate todd aiken who was asked this weekend if abortion should be aloud in the case of rape. his response was it's his understanding from doctors that it's rare for someone to become pregnant from rape. saying quote the female body has ways of trying to shut that whole thing down. a firestorm blew up with the romney campaign saying it disagrees with mr. aiken's statement and governor romney called on mr. aiken to correct his statement. president obama called it offensive and said rape is rape. the congressman has since apologized calling rape an evil act committed by violent predators and he used the wrong words in the wrong way. we'll continue to follow the fallout on that. meantime, students packing heat at university of colorado are getting their own dorms. the school deciding to segregate students who have permits to carry weapons. >> reporter: the students have been moving into their dorm rooms at the university of colorado. ed boirld and colorado strings campus early as tomorrow. now many of them have gone the their assignments and they will get directed in a different direction. the students will live in a segregated dorm. but the firearms they carry will have to be locked up before they go to bed at night. the university of colorado had band weapons on campus all together at the supreme court ruled they had no legal right to do that. the university now says you still have to carry the weapon concealed, meaning hidden away, but everybody who carries those weapons are outed because they all live in the same dorm. the university says it's all about safety. >> with the potential of having a roommate that may appropriately have a conceal care question permit and the gun being mishandle by another student or a friend. >> reporter: the colorado gun owners' association says we are saddened the university of colorado continues to fly in the phase of their students. less than 1% of the university of colorado students have a concealed carry permit. so that dorm that's now being segregated may not be anywhere near capacity. megyn: trace, thank you. we'll be right back. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.