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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  January 24, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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him. >> people ought to be allowed to applause. it was almost silly. >> he'll take his ball and go home. boo-hoo, newt. we begin with a preview of tonight's state of the union speech already inspiring controversy and a republican backlash before anyone's heard a word of it. in just a few hours the president will stand before congress and offer his considered thoughts on the state of the union. we know it's not happy one. unemployment is above 8% and there's been nationwide occupy protests against the vast disparity of wealth in this country, and then there's the do-nothing congress with an 84% disapproval rating and an apparent reluctance to do anything in support of the president. joining us now is one lawmaker
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who has built his reputation on a head to head conflict with the president, tea party freshman. >> great to be with you. >> given that you were somewhat disrespect in not attending the president's speech to a joints session of congress last september, i have to ask will you be attending this evening? >> yeah. this is a state of the union address. as we do it in modern times, the president comes before us. i'll be there. the jobs speech he made wasn't a state of the union. i will be there, and i will listen. >> excellent. i'm sure your constituents will be glad of that. i believe your record in congress is something like 22 votes against anything the president and the democrats have sought to propose. are you proud of that record?
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>> yes. you and i probably disagree on what the president has done. if you came to washington like me and you genuinely believe that his policies were destroying the country, then it's your job to try to stop what he's doing. i would love it if he would adopt the opposite and try to undo a lot of what he's done. this will be campaign speech, pure and simple. i'll listen, but i know my speaker over the weekend called it pathetic if he's going to recycle all his old ideas. that's not what the word i'd used. the word i'd use is irrelevant. i don't think he's relevant anymore. >> that's an interesting that the speaker would say that without any knowledge of what's in the speech. here is how senate minority leader mitch mcconnell framed it.
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the goal is to conquer republicans. if this does work, there's a very good reason. it's because the average voter agrees with what he or she hears. your party doesn't really care what's in the speech, does it? you're going in there for a fight and that's what this is about? >> it's a little more new likes. we believe and i generally believe he's been campaigning since i got sworn in over a year ago. i do agree with the president on one thing, martin. there's not a lot that's going to get done this next year. he and us republicans have a dramatically different vision of what needs to be done and i say bring on the election. i think the election will present a wonderful contrast and look, the american people can decide which way they want to go. if they want to continue down the road the president's taking us, they will get rid of people like me. >> just so i go back for a
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moment, as you know, the president inherited the worst economic crisis since the great depression. starting under your friend george bush. unemployment has gone down. we have seen 23 months of private sector job growth. gdp is up. stock market is up. manufacturing is up. under difficult circumstance, you have to concede he's done well without support from john boehner, eric cantor and yourself. >> the proof is in the pudding. >> i have just given you the statistics. >> if the president agrees, he will spend the next eight months talking about his record. i don't think that's what he's going to do. by every single indicator, this is what the election will be about. the economy is worst by every
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indicator than when he was elected pch if he believes in what he has done, he will sound like you and he will articulate that. i think he will engage in class warfa warfare. he's going to run against the producers, takers and wealthy. i don't think the country will put up with that. >> you keep saying he's flogging old and tired policies. here is a question for you which isn't old and tired. do you support newt gingrich's plan for revising the tax code in the united states? >> i don't specifically, martin, know what the particulars of his plan are. i do know that for the last three, four years beyond, republicans have been advocating simplifying the code; getting rid of loopholes and all of the like. that's something we have all been on the record on. i love the notion of a small,
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simple flat tax to spur economic growth. i don't think that's what the president believes in. >> would you agree with newt gingrich when he says there should be a zero tax rate on capital gains on investments? >> absolutely. >> you support that? >> absolutely. >> if that's that case, would you be happy for mitt romney who has revealed that over the last two years he received over $40 million off the back of these investments, you would be happy that he would pay zero tax? >> martin, let me very succinct. that money has already been taxed. that money has already been taxed. the president can choose to go down this road. attack those. >> i'm asking you specifically. >> i gave my answer. >> you said you think a 0% tax rate on tax gains is preferable.
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>> a 0% tax rate on the death tax. i do not want to tax producers and the folks that create jobs, make investments grow this economy. i wish mitt romney would defend the tax and defend eliminating the gain tax. you would see this economy grow. all those middle class folks would get jobs. >> you've repeatedly said in your opposition to the president when he's even suggested raising a surtax of .5% to enable the american jobs act to be be paid for, leveed against people earning more than a million dollars. you have opposed that. one of the things you've said is you will not place another dollar on the back of your children. right? >> absolutely. >> can i ask you then because something our viewers are
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concerned about, haven't you already done that by inadequately paying child support that you owe to your wife and children? >> martin, that's an awkward segway on tv. >> that's what viewers have asked me. >> they would like to know why you owe 117,000 on child support. >> i'm fooiighting this issue. i'm going to fight it. this is not an issue i will bring up, my kids or my ex-wife on tv. >> are you aware that you have inspired the proposal of a bill in illinois that would forbid people owing more than $10,000 on child support to ever run for office? >> what do you think of such a bill? >> i'm asking you the question. i'm not in public office. >> i'm ware of it. what i'm mostly concerned about
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is this. this country is about to fall off a cliff. if in election resorts, if the election between mitt romney and the president or newt gingrich and the president resorts to these sorts of personal attacks by both sides these sorts of personal attacks by both sideides, the country w lose. i want to know what will the president do. what are both sides going to do about the debt? don't you think that's what matters? >> absolutely, i do. >> why are you asking me a freshman in congress -- >> because this speaks to the integrity of people. just as people have asked questions about gipg beginning and hi multiple affairs and people have asked very serious questions about mitt romney and whether he knows anything about what it feels like to be an ordinary wage earning in the
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middle class, i'm asking you honestly and honorably and respectingly, you are serving a constituency and yet many of your own constituents find you to lack integrity. you talk about not wanting to raise debt against your children and you yourself are in debt on child support. >> let me ask you a very simple question. do you believe in the principle that you're innocent until proven guilty? >> i do. >> if and when those charges are proved, if they are disproved will you acknowledge that i'm no not? >> i will. >> will you acknowledge that's been a charge presented against me and will you give me the respect to legally fight that charge? >> absolutely. >> that's all i'm asking for. >> you said earlier in this interview that it's going to be
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gridlock. you accuse the president of being responsible for that. for the next 11 months, are you going to oppose everything almost in a blind manner? >> not at all. >> are you prepared, sir, to be at least involved in a discourse, at least involved in trying to bring some kind of unity so that the immense needs of this nation can be addressed by the congress? >> the entire 14 months of my job have been a discourse. i've held over 100 town halls back home. republicans and independents and democrats. i've spent nothing but the last 14 months listening to all sides. that's what we need to do. there's a genuine difference between where the president wants to take the country and joe walsh does. that's a healthy disagreement. i'm glad we're fighting about it. the future of the country is at stake. >> we are deeply grateful for you for coming on.
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as i've said, come back when you resolve your issues over child support. we welcome you. >> would love to come back. thank you. >> tune in tonight for the president's state of the union address. 9:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. next, the men who want to replace president barack obama. seeing is believing, i guess. >> you have congressman who say that you came and lobbied them in regards to medicare part d. >> jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it. ♪ a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours...
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it's been an eye-opening day of disclosure on the campaign trial. our first look at mitt romney's reveal swiss accounts, cayman ties. first, mr. romney kicked off campaign day under a banner that read obama isn't working with a prebuttal to the state of the union tonight. >> instead of solving the housing crisis and getting americans back to work, president obama has been building a european style welfare state and someone ought to tell him in order to put the economy back to work, everyone needs to be working. >> everyone needs to be working. right, mitt. hang on. when was the last time mitt romney went to work. i don't mean a staged photograph of him doing a single load of
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laundry, i mean going today job earning salary. when we talk about romney's tax returns, remember, he didn't work at all. >> i should tell my story. i'm unemployed. >> that's right. mitt romney hasn't worked in years. he didn't work at all to earn $42.5 million over the last two years. because his income is on invest mentes, he paid $6.2 million in taxes. 15.4% in 2011. romney gave more to charity than he paid in taxes. $7 million in donations, about $4 million of it to the mormon church. just think, by this time in the afternoon, romney has made more than many americans make all year. forget speakers fees, he doesn't have to do anything at all.
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lucky for us, we get to hear mr. romney's passionate economic message for free as he campaigns for the highest office in the land. >> i'm passionate about our economic liberty because i've seen it award the ahard work of many people and create prosperity for many in our society. >> unfortunately, there are not many americans as prosperous as yourself. take people like sheldon and addleson who just injected $5 million into the super pac. that's $10 million they have given to bring anti-romney ads to the air waves. remember when newt blasted the negative ads.
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that's when he couldn't afford them. now he spits his most venomous at the media. he is in a bit of a snit complaining to his friends at fox this morning that he will take his debate ball and go home if the audience is asked to refrain from their cheers and jeers at future debates. >> the media is terrified that the audience will side with the candidates against the nemedia. we won't allow that to happen. >> let's bring in our guests now. in washington, david corn, washington bureau chief and goldie taylor. david, if i can start with you. can you help me with something that's been troubling me all day? >> i don't know. >> you're a man of sound
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intelluct. why have you waited your life in the business of journalism when you could have been receiving $57,000 a day for doing nothing but watching your investments. >> i wish i could get mother jones to pay me with carried interest. i can't get the folks to swing it. i was about to say newt romney which works. mitt romney is playing by the rules. he wants to keep the rules, the carried interest provision and other measures pertaining to capital gains are one of the things we have been fighting about in the last couple of years in policy terms. he's come on to the scene says he wants low capital gains, keep them low. the theory is if you have low capital gains it juices up the economy more so. we have a real good case study. a guy who worth almost a quarter
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of a billion dollars. he's paying 15%. is he doing anything differently creating jobs than if he was paying 25% ore 35% on these investments on this unearned or interested income. i can't see it. i can't see how this is changing his behavior, his investment strategies that is making it better for anyone else out there to get a job. >> indeed. it's making it better for him and his reconstruction of his mansion. michael, if this has nothing to do with tax evasion why did mr. romney see fit to have a swiss bank account, which he closed in 2010 and to place large money on grand cayman. what would be the purpose of doing this aside from the fact that he was placing money out of america for some unknown purpose. >> well, certainly excellent
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questions. brad molt who is the romney lawyer who briefed the press on this today, made the point that first of all, the swiss bank account has been closed and saying he was paying full taxes on the amount that the amounts were there. the question that you're raising is why do that. there are technical reasons in the tax code for that. the fact is if you talk to tax experts, they will tell you there are tax advantages to parking your money in these offshore accounts ranging from state taxes, minimizing your at a time taxes, minimizing your itemized deductions and a whole slew of others. he's paying the full tax rate, he's still getting a tax advantage or at least was in the case of the swiss bank account. what's worth noting is they only
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disclosed the 2010 return and the 2011. they didn't go back further and made it clear they are not going to raising questions how much money went through those accounts. >> goldie you've been through a fair few years, unemployment has been tough. there's a strong sense that the playing field has been skewed in favor of people like mitt romney but against people like nurses, teachers, skilled manual workers, all of whom pay more in tax percentage wise than mitt romney. these are the same people that needs to vote for him if he's going to win the nomination. >> there's no doubt about that. we don't begrudge. i don't think anybody begrudges him for being successful.
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i think people begrudge him for thinking his opportunities are equal to everybody else's. he didn't inherit money. it's what schools your parents could afford to send you, what kind of health care they would afford to give you. the warm winter coat on your back. that's the kind of head start that he needed, that he got and that's what got him on his way. what he doesn't understand is that so many of us, like me, went to head start, that free early childhood education program that the federal government pays for. that's the real tin ear that you hear out of mitt romney. as we see be wealth disparities happen and explode in this country, you look at someone like mitt romney, you ask him do you really understand what it means to feel like you're going to lose your house? do you really understand what it feels like you're going to lose your job and you don't have any money saved to continue to pay the rent or the car note? do you really understand?
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i know plenty of very well off people who do understand and that's the kind of person you want to be your president. not someone who really doesn't understand. >> indeed. david, final question to you. newt gingrich, as you know, started crying again. he originally started crying when he was hit by the negative ads. he is using those himself so he's not in tears about that. what's he is in tears about is controlling audience participation. he is suggesting he may not contribute to any debates unless the audience is allowed to be as raccus as possible. >> if he doesn't want to accept the rules from media outlets when they say please no wild applause when being thrown red meat during the debates.
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he can avoid the debates and he's taken so many different positions, he can debate himself rather well. i'd like to see that. i think msnbc was right to put the rules in. others can do the same. if he doesn't want to appear, without the debates, would anyone notice newt gingrich. >> i'm sorry we don't have more time. thank you for your expertise today. >> thank you. next, a democratic senator responds to the chorus of republican attacks and later, our top lines. >> if you don't deport them. how do you send them home? >> the answer is self-deportation. people go home because they can do better. we're not going to run people out. ♪ my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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the president shall from time to time give to congress information of the state of the union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. that's the constitution. in just a few hours, president in obedience to the constitution will do just that. among those gathering to listen will be senator robert menendez. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> publics version is damming with over 840% di0% disapproval. yet, all of it, all of it failed. why? >> well, martin, for the same reason that before the president even gives his state of the union address republicans and
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their leadership are tearing it apart before they have heard what he has to say. what we have seen, specifically with the tea party and the house and the republicans in the senate, is to oppose all of these initiatives that move the country forward economically and get people back to work and do so so that the president can fail. the sad reality is it's not about the president failing, it's about the country failing. that's what has created this sense of unhappiness by the american people. >> indeed. that was evidence just a few minutes ago. we had congressman joe walsh who expressed his on antagonism toward anything the president oppos opposes. mitch mcconnell has said let the press cover every futile thing
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the president does. do they not realize it's futile and juvenile? >> well, you know, the state of the union is an american moment. whoever is the president of the united states brings to bear upon the elected representatives of the country that american moment in a few of where we at and a vision of where we need to go. to act the way that so many of my colleagues is really unresponsible. what we sneneed is a coming together to get people back to work. he's going to talk about a sense of value and community in which not only is that opportunity more prevalent for each and every american but also the fairness in which that opportunity takes place and the responsibility of us collectively to help our nation
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move forward. that should be taken seriously and not just as a circus. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back with much more on 2012. i've never ever gone and done any lobbying. we brought in an expert on lobbying law and trained all of our staff. >> jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it. ♪ [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain. two pills can last all day. ♪
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>> how dare you sir in front of all good people in south carolina ask me as something as my three somewhat overhappening marriages. >> romney is chris christie's guy. >> do you go your own way? >> i've done a lot of that my my lifetime. >> i pay all the tacxes that ar legally required. >> when the average middle class ro worker is paying more in taxes, we have to change that. >> is the tax 50% or 0? >> zero. >> i've never referred to president obama as president obama because legally he is not. he is a vowed muslim. >> i'm doing my best to try to get him out of the government. >> he can defend himself. >> how do you send them home?
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>> self-deportation. >> i don't think fidel will meet his maker. >> the speaker was given an opportunity to be the leader, he had to resign. >> when i was speaker we had four consecutive balanced budgets. >> the speaker has been working as an influence peddler. >> this is the worst kind of trivial politics. >> let's get right to it with our panel. crystal, after the beating that mitt romney took in south carolina, he really needed to come out last nielgt in tght in debate and throw a few punches. how do you think he did? >> he did fine. this is definitely not hiss thing. you can imagine him in his room kind of practicing his lines.
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i thought it was funny he had five or six attacks he wants to make and he put them out there at the beginning, got it over with and moved on. like check the box, okay done. efficient. it's so much like the rest of his campaign. >> lacking in passion and personality and yet he does it. >> newt, we've heard is complaining because the crowd was not raccus enough. do you think he has a point not having the crowd baying against moderator, he likes that? >> he does. there's nothing neutral about neutrality. you can set the rules in advance. i don't think there's any evidence that any of these rules were made to hurt newt. they do hurt newt and they hurt any candidate who wants to play heavily off the audience. we know barack obama and his
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campaign did a lot with big speeches, big crowds, this cycle so far, debates are playing a much bigger role and newt has helped galvanize the crowd energy, not just because they're media but they can be cast as part of the elites he's fighting against outside. >> newt is not part of that elite. >> heaven forbid. >> he's a showman. i think this may have been, not to speculate too much, but it may have been a response to the very tense exchange that he had with john king. it wouldn't surprise me if that was taken into account when the rules were set forth. he's come out and said he will not allow this to stand. he will not allow the audience's first amendment rights of free speech to be trampled on. he will set it right for the next one. >> what do you think of this new
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policy on immigration called self-deportation? >> let me tell you, people say there's nothing more to learn. i learned a new word. >> i'm not going to respond to that because i think we're going to do some self-questioning instead. >> you have to answer the question. >> it points out the fundamental ridiculous nature of the far right approach to immigration which is nobody who is here illegally can stay but they don't want to talk about what are you going to doed with the millions of peoples who are here. are you going to round them up and send them back, at what cost? it makes no sense. mitt romney is trying to have it both ways by playing to the far right but not having some absurd notion of rounding up everybody. >> one brief point on that, you have a whole discussion about cuba antd a different direction because you have a very strong
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latino community there. i thought it was almost comical the way they were talking about castro going to hell but they didn't want to say the word. >> you need to remember that newt gingrich has power over everything, debates and where you go. thanks as ever. next, on the ground with the beginni gingrich campaign. stay with us. ♪ ring, ring.
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crowd that a florida sheriff estimated to be upward of 3,000 voters. ron mott joins us. what was it like? >> reporter: they filled up about half of this rather large hangar here. it was a much different atmosphere here today than in the debate hall. newt gingrich grumbled after the fact that the crowd was asked to not interrupt the candidates during the debate and holding their applause until they went to a commercial break. he thought that was unfair to not allow the audience to participate and said he wouldn't go forward and take part in another debate that had rules just like that. mitt romney said, you have to learn how to debate in all the formats. whoever the nominee is going up against president obama in the fall, those are the presidential debate commission rules. there's no audience participation like we saw in
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south carolina. he seemed a bit off of his game. he stopped for like three or four seconds as if he wanted to call a time-out. it was not the best debate performance. >> what was his focus there at this huge rally? >> reporter: it was a good crowd. they did a lot of marketing online. it was a standard stomp speech. he talked about abolishing the administration in the first hour or two if he's elected next january. we heard a lot of things we have heard on his traditional stomp speech. talking about big government and drawing the distinction between a reagan conservative and an obama liberal. he said he can show that difference where as mitt romney is too close to president obama where you can't really tell the two apart. >> thank you thanks so much for joining us. next, back to washington as
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president obama will deliver his state of the union address tonight before the most divided congress in history. seen here with speech writer john favro, the president will spend most of his time on the economy while doing what he can to get congress on board with a new series of initiatives. peter welsh is a democrat from vermont. he joins us live from capitol hill. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> just a few hours now until the president speaks. the white house has released a preview of his speech. i believe it's going to include references to cleaneducation, a. his republan critics are
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already calling it a campaign speech. spe speaker boehner described it as pathetic, which is remarkable for him. he's not able to see into the oval office, but how do you see what the president is going to say? >> i think two things. number one, congress is broken. whether you're a republican or democrat, you're a liberal or conservative, this institution is not making decisions that needs to be made. my hope is the president will challenge congress basically to get their act together and to be a functional congress. whatever the issue, unless we can find a way to work together and make progress, we're not going to. second, the middle class is under assault. we have to revive an economic policy that's about revitalizing the middle class. that's a lot of things. that's tax reform in the code that treats middle class people right. it's about promoting
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manufacturing and bringing money onshore. it's about having confidence as a nation to invest in research and development and in our infrastructure. so those are the areas. the middle class revival and institutional reform. those are the two things that america needs. >> yet it's absolutely incredible, sir, but less than 45 minutes ago i was speaking to a fellow congressman of yours, joe walsh, who suggested that he supports newt gingrich's idea of a zero level of taxation on capital gains, which would mean that mitt romney, who banked $42 million over the last two years, wouldn't have paid a single cent in tax. you talk about the president wanting to reform the tax code, but he's in gridlock here. >> unfortunately, it may be impossible. the bottom line here is it is a political year. mr. boehner is expressing shock that there would be a political component in washington to his speech. i'm shocked.
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but bottom line, those of us who have been elected have a job to do. we're going to get in the rough and tumble of campaigns, but as long as we're in office, our job is is to make progress. the thing i hear from people around the country is why don't you get together and get something done. this political back and forth is not get iting anything done. america is starting to decline. our middle class is eroding. we can't let that continue to happen. we can't use the excuse of an upcoming election be the basis to tem prize in doing things that need to be done. >> we know that the congress is dysfunctional. but is it also disrespectful to the president? we're hearing of two congressman who are not even going to bother to turn up for the state of the union. >> that is disrespectful. the same people that elected me or joe walsh, people in his
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district elected the president. there has to be some mutual respect here if we're going to make any progress. essentially you try to channel anger is very destructive to solving political challenges. >> warren buffett's secretary will be a special guest tonight of the first lady. that's clearly designed to make a point. >> it is designed to make a point. we try to make points. but the bottom line is, we have to make progress. and that's the job that we have to do. i hope we don't write off a year just because we're in the middle of a presidential campaign. >> sir, every single one of us hopes this is not going to involve congress writing off another year. peter welsh, thanks so much. >> we'll be right back.
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thanks so much for watching today. watch the state of the union tonight here on msnbc. coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. but right now, dylan ratigan is here to take us forward. i understand that you're on your way to florida, where all the republican action is tomorrow. is that right? >> we're off to florida tomorrow. florida represents a nice microcausism of this country. it has all the cue tra monts of glamour and sunshine amid-the chaos of a shattered housing market and health environment. our hope is we'll be able to illustrate that contrast, but more importantly, illustrate the solutions that exist. >> what you have also illustrated to us today is that you are

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