tv Politics Nation MSNBC January 25, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
we know this. the day before he left for texas, president kennedy was thinking about an exit strategy. he asked national security aid michael forest to organize an in-depth study of every possible option we've got in vietnam, including how to get out of there. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead -- can president obama sell his message of fairness? fresh off his state of the union speech that put the national spotlight on fairness, the president went to iowa today to drive the point home. >> there are people in washington who seem to have collective amnesia. and their philosophy, what there is of it, seems to be pretty simple. we're better off when everybody
is left to fend for themselves and everybody can play by their own rules. and i'm here to say they're wrong. >> it's central to what president obama stands for and what he told the nation last night. >> we can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of americans barely get by. or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules. now you can call this class warfare all you want. but asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes, most americans would call that common sense. >> this is common sense. it's a fact that there's a raging economic divide in america. but common sense isn't a republican strong point. here's how gop establishment's
pet mitch daniels spun it last night. >> no feature of the obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some americans by castigating others. >> no, governor, not talking about inequality divides us. the message is wrong. but the messenger is even worse. mitch daniels worked in the bush white house. and oversaw the first round of bush tax cuts. the man who said the war in iraq would be swift and affordable. he was the man who oversaw a $200 billion increase in the deficit. that's their guy. that's their mr. economy. so it's no wonder other republicans missed the reason why this country is so angry. >> the reason why warren buffett's secretary and so many millions of other americans are frustrated is they see policies
that have been promoted for the last three years by this white house that frankly don't work. >> i have never seen i a president pit americans against each other like this president does. >> more talk of division, but the poster boy of unfairness had his own take. >> i also looked at a president who, i think is disconnected from reality. i just don't think he understands what's happening in american homes across this country. people in the middle class in america are hurting. >> the president doesn't understand the middle class? this from mr. .006%. this from let detroit go bankrupt. this from foreclosures run their course. no, willard, you are the one with the disconnect. president obama is doing what he can to fix it. joining me now from the north lawn of the white house is valerie jarrett, white house senior adviser and assistant to president obama. ms. jarrett, thanks, as always, for coming on the show. >> my pleasure.
good evening, reverend sharpton. >> now after such an optimistic speech last night that i heard nothing but a lot of applause and a lot of positive comments from all kinds of americans, what do you make of these absurd claims from some elements of the republican parties that this is divisive and that the president's disconnected from the middle class? >> well, you know what? we prefer to listen to the american people. what we heard last night and what we've heard in the course of today is overwhelming support. an outpouring of support for president obama's message because, reverend sharpton, you are right. was an optimistic message. a message about fairness and equality and making sure that we're building an economy that will last and where nobody gets left behind. those are the basic values of our country. and the president had a chance to outline his plan. it's a bold plan. it's one based on supporting manufacturing. making sure that we have an energy policy where we're building for the future,
investing in domestic production, reducing our dependence on foreign oil. he focused on american skills, making sure that our workforce can compete against anybody in the world because they are trained to the marketplace, to the innovative and great ideas of our entrepreneurs. and he also talked about american values. about fairness. about making sure that nobody gets left behind. this is a make or break time for the middle class. and people who are moving -- want to move into the middle class. president obama is fighting for those people each and every day. he's had a terrific first day of his trip. he's out in cedar rapids, iowa, a great company that's building conveyor belts and it really shows the american people what manufacturing is all about. these are great jobs. jobs we can have them. you can have a lifetime career at one of these companies. you can put your children through college. have a life saving, retire with dignity. those are the companies the
president wants to help. the ones who are going to invest in america, not ones that are outsourcing, ones that are coming back right here because they recognize that this is the greatest country on earth. that's the optimistic spirit that i think the american people were responding to last night. >> and you know what you just said, i know the particular policy things the president outlined last night. i also know that he's going to have to face stiff opposition because there's some in congress that will fight on every one of the points. but the one thing i think they can't fight is the spirit he raised last night of america is back. and really igniting in the american people some hope and some we can make it. i know that we're hurting, but times are looking better. and if we finish the journey, we can bring america together if we get on everyone's side. i think the key last night was he really revived a lot of the american support and the unity of what we could do if we all came together. >> absolutely. he believes in america.
and, yes, we went through a very tough time. we lost 4 million jobs as the president said in the last six months of the prior administration. 4 million jobs before president obama's policies could take hold. but we've also had 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth. over 3 million jobs have been created. now our unemployment rate as you know, reverend sharpton is still far too high. we much have work left to do. we are absolutely moving in the right direction. and it is that optimistic spirit that i think the president captured. and that resonates with the american people. people want fairness. they know that the very wealthy didn't get wealthy alone. they got wealthy because they live in a country that -- where a government does what it's supposed to do. it educates our children it provides infrastructure, roads and bridges. it provides the research dollars for science and technology. and so when you do well in america, as we want everybody to do, you also have a
responsibility to your country and to make sure that it's a country where everybody has a chance to move to the middle class and do well and have that great invention that turns into a global company that's started in a garage. everybody should have that opportunity. that's what the president is fighting for. >> and that's fairness. let me ask you one question, quickly. i know that the president more than most public figures i've ever known or studied is involved in a lot of these speeches and themes himself. give us a peek in the public. how much of what we heard last night, especially that rekind ling of the american spirit and values and hope, how much of that is the president and how much of that is the speechwriters? because we got a sense last night this was personal to him. >> it was very personal. and the president has a terrific team of economic advisers who proposed a wide range of policies to the president. he has great speechwriters. but in the end, i think it was the president's personal touch,
the edits and re-edits. he wanted to make sure he delivered a speech that was passionate and embodied what he truly believes. and i had read the speech ahead of time, reverend sharpton, but listening to the president deliver it, you could tell me meant every word he was saying. that passion and energy and love of country came through and it resonated broadly to the american people. and i think that's a spirit that will keep us moving forward. you can't stop him. he made it clear he wants to work with congress. he has a robust agend abut he also made it clear he's not going to stand back and wait for congress alone. he's going to do what he can do within his power through executive authority and he's going to move our country forward. he wants to do that in a collective spirit. as he ended his speech, he made it very clear if you think about those navy s.e.a.l.s as they went up those stairs looking for osama bin laden. they did that as a team. and it's a model that we should all be following.
so he really called upon us to think about that model and try to work together because that's what makes our country so great. and we work together, there's no limit to what we can do. >> valerie jarrett, thanks for joining me tonight from the white house briefing room. thanks as always for your time. >> thank you. good night, reverend sharpton. joining me now, senator bernie sanders, independent from vermont. senator sanders, thanks for coming on the show. >> my pleasure. >> now the president talked about fairness and we hear a lot of people now raising the issue that you've been raising for years about economic fairness. about we're not saying that there must be equal results but there certainly should be equal investment and an even playing field. does this put the republicans in a bad spot, senator sanders? >> absolutely. i mean, they talk about class warfare. the fact of the matter is, there has been class warfare for the last 30 years. it's a handful of billionaires
taking on the entire middle class and working class of this country. and the result is, al, that you now have, in america, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth, and the worst inequality in america since 1928. >> wow. >> how can anybody defend the richest 400 people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of america, 150 million people. and that gap between the people on top and everybody else is growing wider. how would you like to try to defend that? >> well, let me show you. today to probably no one's surprise, at least not to your surprise, let me show you what the personalities at fox news had to say after an inspiring speech and appeal to fairness. here's what they had to say. >> i didn't get any sense at all of any grand vision that he has for the country, short of igniting these embers of class
warfare. >> the president using warren buffett's secretary to kick off his class warfare campaign in last night's state of the union address. >> last night our president declared war on success. in the name of this class warfare politics. this envy. >> class warfare seems to be their talking point. and, you know, someone tweeted me today, senator, something that's very interesting. when they attack working class people and the poor, when they attack people that need assistance, when they attack people that need help, when they attack people who want the right to collective bargaining, when they attack people that want better schools, it's called responsibility. but when those people question why they pay less percentage of tax, why they have loopholes, it's called class warfare. so if the rich attack, it's not warfare. if the poor raise a question, it's warfare. there's something funny to me about that scenario. >> well, i think, al, the
republicans now have a very hard and difficult hand to play. they are very much on the defensive, and they should be. look. in the last ten years, 80% of all new income went to the top 1%. and to pick up on your point, you got republicans out there who want to destroy medicare. they want to destroy medicaid. at a time when 50 million people have no health insurance at all. that's a death sentence. and yet they see this as a responsible action. the truth of the matter is, and i think the occupy wall street people deserve some of the credit. the american people are catching on that the game is not fair. that the rich are getting richer while everybody else is getting poorer. they want economic policies now which protect the 99% and not just the 1%. now there's one point, al, i thought a lot of what the president said last night was good. his one point where i have real concerns. you may have heard him talking
about his willingness to talk to republicans about quote/unquote reform of social security, medicare and medicaid. >> right. >> between you and me what reform is are cuts. i will strongly oppose that. social security, medicare and medicaid, life and death for tens of millions of our people. we've got to defend those programs. not see them cut. >> we'll be watching it, senator. and it is amazing to me how people that need help, children, become a football to play games with in a political contest rather than something that this country should say how do we elevate and make their lives better. senator bernie sanders, thanks for your time and thanks for joining me tonight. >> my pleasure. ahead -- the debate over millionaires paying their fair share. a lively discussion. one with a member of congress and of the tea party caucus. plus -- is there panic
inside the romney camp? we're live in florida with some big news on willard's woes. and i'm still waiting for my call from newton leroy gingrich. but he was all over the air today with his racial politics again. i'm responding to that tonight. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. eggland's best eggs. the best in nutrition... just got better. high in vitamins d, e, and b12. plus omega 3's. there's one important ingredient that hasn't changed: better taste. better taste. yum! [ female announcer ] eggland's best. the better egg. the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. you can adjust it to whatever your needs are. so whatever you feel like, the sleep number bed's going to provide it for you.
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president obama in the state of the union said millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share in taxes and democrats in congress are ready to help him get it done. >> nothing is more important to congress than reducing income inequality. >> it is a matter of, as republican critics would say, paycheck envy or class warfare. it's a matter of reality. >> it's a priority for us to act on some kind of romney -- i mean buffett rule this year. >> a "new york times" poll shows 55% think the rich don't pay their fair share. and majorities of republicans, independents and democrats also
say there's a class conflict between the rich and the poor. with that kind of public opinion on his side, can the president get gop lawmakers to see things his way? joining me now is congressman t tim, a tea party candidate from kansas. congressman, thanks for joining me again. >> thank you, reverend al. >> let me ask you a question. let's forget parties. is it fair that billionaires pay a lower tax rate than their own secretaries? >> well, i think what we heard the other night was a campaign speech. we can't forget. this guy has been president for three years and we have 2 million less americans working today and he needs to run on something other than his record. >> but congressman -- >> yes, sir. >> i have those talking points, too if the gop. i asked you a question off the sheet. is it fair for billionaires to pay a lower tax rate than their
secretaries. >> well, they actually don't, according to the irs. the effective tax rate of these millionaires and billionaires is more than most secretaries unless they are exceptionally high paid. 48% of all americans don't pay any income taxes right now. >> is it fair, though -- >> one of your candidates for president, willard mitt romney reported himself that he paid around 14% in taxes. the average middle class american, warren buffett's secretary, pays 30% about. is that fair? >> reverend al, the average american doesn't pay 30% in income taxes. >> it's not true, al. >> is it fair? if those statistics that i reported that they are saying is true is it fair? >> it's not true according to the irs. >> so you won't answer whether it's fair. >> it's not true. >> you're trying to argue -- >> on the basis of the report, if the report is inaccurate, fine. you stipulate that.
i'm asking you, is it fair? is the arrangement fair, in your opinion? >> well, the arrangement is not the fact. the fact is, 2 million americans are out of work today because the president's policies. let's not forget -- >> so you're saying that mr. romney and mr. buffett are both misleading the public? >> what is misleading the public is the president of the united states. just a yearing -- >> the president of the united states didn't release mr. romney's taxes. the president didn't release the figures on warren buffett's secretary. >> but two yearsing -- excuse me, 13 months ago, the president of the united states said we can't raise taxes on anyone. he actually signed the extension of the bush/obama tax cuts. it's deceptive to turn around and say, now i'm against them because it's a campaign here. he signed those into law last december of 2010. is that fair of him to do that? >> well, i would hope that he doesn't -- that he didn't do it then and i hope he doesn't extend them now. but what i'm trying to bring
home to the american people is that you guys can't even discuss fairness. i have asked you several times whether something is fair. and you can't even bring yourself to discussing fairness. we're going into the president is misleading and the president -- basic fairness. that's all american people want to know. can we think -- >> you know what i think the american people want? >> but i'm asking you. several times, as an american, to -- >> is it fair? >> you can't even answer that. >> no, here's what i will answer, what fairness is. when i talk to americans in kansas, they are looking for a job. and what's unfair is the policy of this president have lost 2 million jobs in america. actually we have 4 million americans -- 4 million more americans in poverty because of this president's policies since he took office. that's the failure of his policies. >> well, all right. let's take what you just said since you won't answer the fairness question. let's go to kansas, to your district. in your district, the median
income in your district is $43,013 per year. mitt romney pays a lower tax rate and makes $57,000 a day. since you are worried about your district. how do you think the people in your district feels that mr. romney who makes more a day than they make a year pays a lower tax rate. you said they want jobs. they get a job and they'll be paying a higher tax rate than mr. romney. does that concern you as their congressman. >> most kansans i talk to aren't worried about what the guy down the road makes. they'd like to make a living themselves. >> they'd also like to be paying a fair rate or you don't think they care? >> there are plenty of folks that would like to punish others, but that's not -- >> how is that punish ago. >> so let me get this right. for billionaires and millionaires to pay at the same rate as everyone else is a punishment? >> they don't pay at the same rate as everybody else. >> i gave you specific example with mr. romney.
>> 48% of all americans pay no income taxes whatsoever. the effective tax rate is zero, reverend al. and you know that. >> we can get into the argument of payroll tax and all that. but what i'm telling you is one that we all know. mr. romney released this himself. he's paying 14%. we're not guessing. he released it. the democrats didn't release it. the president did. he said this is what he's paying and you know that in your district people pay a higher rate and you can't even say whether that's fair or not. that's the problem in america. >> fairness in america is not the end result. it's not the end result. it's the opportunity. and everybody in america today has the opportunity to get ahead. we have opportunity in america unlike any other country in the world. and that's what we should be promoting rather than dividing america. this president has said -- >> i think you are absolutely right and i think the only way we're going to get ahead is we at least have to agree on fairness. as long as we can't even talk about whether someone making
more money a day than people in your district make a year and whether they ought to be paying the same rate or a fair rate, whether we can't discuss whether that's fair -- >> reverend al, can i ask you a question? can i ask you a question? >> congressman, i've got to go. thank you, congressman. >> appreciate it. >> maybe next time we can talk about fair. >> let's not be envious? >> i'm not envious. i am trying to be -- >> what is your income a year, reverend al? >> my income -- my tax rate is the same as the people -- >> what is your income? what do you make for this show? >> my taxviate the same percentage that the average person in your district. it's certainly not 14%. i just paid it quarterly. i wish i had a 14% rate. >> tell us your income. >> the three-day blitz through five battleground states is under way. we're live in arizona when the president comes up. this new at&t 4g lte is fast.
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doing better than others, the president said. those of us who are doing better, those that are not doing as well, there shouldn't be different standards and different rates and loopholes and ways of ducking and dodging. and not having the same investment. but we can't ever get to legislation if we can't even discuss fairness. the president of the united states when we come back as he continues talking about fairness around the country. ries. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
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ceo, someone whose advice i rely on as a member of my jobs council, announced -- he announced that intel would be building a new factory here in arizona. a factory which will turn out some of the fastest and most powerful computer chips on earth. a factory so big i'm told that right there is the world's largest land-based crane. can pull up to -- what is it, 4,000 tons? is that right? 4,000? so not only that, but paul informs me that the microscopes that they are going to have here will be twice as good as the ones they had. up in oregon. so i decided i had to check this out for myself.
because, honestly, first of all, who wants to miss out a chance to see the crane. that thing is huge. but there's a more important reason that i'm here. i'm here because the factory that's being built behind me is an example of an america that is within our reach. an america that attracts the next generation of good manufacturing jobs. an america where we build stuff and make stuff and sell stuff all over the world. we can do that. we've got to come together. we've got to come together and restore the basic american promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family and own a home. send your kids to college. put a little away for retirement. maybe come down to arizona.
where the weather is like this all the time. it never gets above 70 degrees, does it? that's what people are looking for. they don't expect anybody to give them anything. but they want to be able to earn and deserve security, the ability to take care of their families, dignity in their retirement. that's what americans are looking for. that's what they deserve. now we're still recovering from one of the worst economic crises in three generations. we lost nearly 4 million jobs in the six months before i took office. another 4 million before our policies had a chance to take full effect, but here's the good news. over the last 22 months, our
businesses have created more than 3 million jobs. last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. today, american manufacturers are hiring again and creating jobs for the first time since the 1990s. so our economy -- >> that is the president of the united states. again, with his message on manufacturing, dealing with the jobs situation, speaking now in chandler, arizona. we're going to monitor and go back as he makes his points. i want to bring in democratic strategist tad devine, a senior adviser for the kerry and gore campaign. tad, great to have you with us. >> good to be with you. >> what is president obama trying to accomplish with this five-state swing after the state of the union address? >> well, i think he wants to take that message that he delivered so powerfully to the nation last night and amplify it.
he's standing in front of a construction site. a high-tech manufacturing site. earlier today he was in iowa at another manufacturing site. he's going to go on tomorrow and the next day to talk about energy and education and job training. so i think what the president wants to do is take that message he gave to america last night. if we pull together, have a system that treats people fairly, if we make the right investments we can rebuild this economy and don't have to go back to the economy he was left with the day he became president. >> now one of the things he has said is that we should -- the congress ought to extend the payroll tax extension and he also talked about how they should deal with a fair tax reform policy. i just had a tea party congressman on who fairness, you can't even get them to discuss. how do we translate this into legislation, tad? >> well, i think what the president is doing is the right way to win that fight. last night he talked about it in very human terms. he had warren buffett's secretary sitting next to his
wife in the halls of congress and he illustrated what warren buffett said months ago. that his secretary pays a lower rate than a billionaire does on his tax ooes -- >> that warren buffett pays a higher rate than his own secretary. and there's no better illustration of that than mitt romney's tax returns which he made public. it's unbelievable that somebody who is making so much money, over $20 million, is paying so little in taxes. it's because the system is broken. i think the fact that the president has decided to take this on, the fundamental question of fairness in our society and make the fight on behalf of the middle class is very, very powerful. it's going to resonate with people. and i think the reason he's going to win this election. >> now the thing that bothers me is that when you raise this, their response is you are just envious. you are just jealous. i mean, it is bad enough you have this lopsided arrangement, but on top of that is to say,
well, this is lopsided. this is not fair. oh, you're just jealous. >> well, you know, they are going to do everything to try and stop this debate. let's face it. the public is with the president when it comes to this issue. i think people recognize that there's fundamental unfair innocence the tax system. the president said it well. it's not a question of class warfare. it's just common sense that millionaires should pay as much in taxes as secretaries or working people do. so i think if the president goes out and frames that argument powerful, if he advances it the way he's doing today, i think he's going to win that fight and ultimately win the election as well. >> now we had a note that he was met at the air strip when he landed by the governor of arizona. and they exchanged some words about the book scorpions for breakfast and how the president wasn't pleased with it and how she's been extremely critical of the president. i think also while he's there he's going to deal with the
question, at least deal with the whole question of immigration and latino voters who are dissatisfied with a lot of what the right has done around this question of immigration, which is certainly this governor's -- i know from marching out in arizona about immigration rights. so clearly that's part of the issue when we look at the polls. the president is more than 2-1 beating mitt romney with latino voters. does this five-state trip also deal with the issues like immigration and other issues around the economy? >> i think he will deal with the issue of immigration as he did in the state of the union address last night. i think the president is going to have a real advantage with latino voters. he's on their side and fights that matter to them. whether it's the dream actor other policies that mitt romney and other republicans have opposed. the president has made it clear he wants to take on this tough issue of immigration and try to find a path forward so we can
have people who want to come to this country have an opportunity to do so legally. that people who seek an education can do so with as much assistance as possible. and i think our business leaders are telling us they want people who are trained here with the skills that they need to work in businesses and to establish new businesses. that's a key to our economic success and future. so the president is on the right side of that fight. the fact he'd go to states like arizona and nevada and colorado, where latino voters can be the crucial difference in winning those states where he has a huge advantage already and where he can build on that advantage, i think it's one of the reason he's has a good chance of winning all those states in the general election. >> tad devine, thanks for your time tonight. ahead -- newt surging in florida. is there panic inside the romney camp? that's next. i'm robert shapiro.
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requires more than wishful thinking. it requires determination and decisive action. i go to e-trade and get unbiased analyst ratings and 24/7 help from award-winning customer support to take control of my finances and my life. i tap into the power of revolutionary mobile apps. to trade wherever. whenever. life isn't fully experienced sitting idly by. neither is investing. [ birds chirping ] welcome back to "politics nation." sunshine showdown. a new poll shows mitt romney's lead has all but disappeared. in just one week, willard has wilted 7%. but newt has shot up 16%. gingrich is riding this wave all across florida with hundreds of supporters cheering him on at a
rally today in coral springs. much smaller crowds greeted willard at his campaign event this morning in orlando. joining me now from florida is rod smith, chairman of the florida democratic party and from miami is erin mcpike from real clear politics. thanks to you both for being here tonight. rob, let me start with you. you know florida politics better than anyone i know. is this newt surge real? >> yes. it's real. i started off telling people that i thought florida's heavily dependent upon resources because of our expensive markets, but the momentum and the feel out there in my view is one in which speaker gingrich will do well. the reason why is florida has a recent history of a tea party insurgency doing well. governor rick scott ran against the then establishment attorney general and he beat him. and our new attorney general, pam bondy, ran against the
sitting lieutenant governor and defeated here -- defeated him. and both of them, i think, have -- were kind of associated with tea party support. i think this is also in the long run, moving the whole debate farther and farther to the right. to the degree they do that it helps the democrats in the long run. speaker gingrich has moved romney a long way to the right. and i think that his insurgency if you will is one that's got them scared to death. >> erin, you are there in florida. you've covered both willard mitt romney's appearances and you've covered newton gingrich's appearances. what can you tell us about the size and enthusiasm of the crowds that you've observed. >> well, newt gingrich's crowds are certainly larger and more raucous than mitt romney's crowds. i think mitt romney's events are coming off a little bit flat. it's clear that they are starting to panic a little bit. last night, newt gingrich had a
very big rally in naples. and it felt like it was a big fourth of july celebration. it feels like summer here, obviously. lots of american flags. just very boisterous rally. and i think you are seeing that romney is starting to get nervous and they are sending out s surrogates to gingrich's events. they've come to talk to the press and drive a message. he's crashing newt gingrich's events. i think with mitt romney, he's getting a little bit nervous and that's coming across in some of those interviews. so they are bringing out john mccain over the next few days to campaign for mitt romney here in florida. >> now do you think, erin, that's panic? are you sensing panic in the romney campaign? >> you know, i think that's clear to a lot of people here in florida by how both the campaign is acting and how the candidate is acting. and he had an event at this
building behind me, the freedom tower here in miami, to talk about his policy toward cuba. and he used some more bombastic language than we heard from him before to kind gf toe-to-toe with newt gingrich on some of those policies. so i think that's just showing that he really has to get more visceral to go at it with newt gingrich. >> rod you chair the party, the democratic party there in florida. and you've had to council many a candidate. willard tried to go after gingrich the other night, and it seem league didn't bump him up to where he wanted. what has to happen tomorrow night? what do you think will happen in their debate tomorrow night which is before the florida vote on next tuesday? what do you think newt is going to do? what do you think willard is going to do? >> well, right now, i think that romney has a problem in florida. and tomorrow night, i -- he would have to work to dispel that. and that is he really isn't
connecting with voters. in north florida inever thought he would connect. north florida is kind of southern. i never thought he'd connect in my neck of the woods. in south florida he's got an immigration policy. he's gone so far on his immigration policy that he's allowed speaker gingrich to steal that issue from him. tomorrow night i think he's got to go on the attack. but the truth of the matter is it's hard from a guy who was kind of a -- he was a presum presumptive leader for a long time. he's the establishment candidate. now he's got to go on the attack and be attacking someone that he thought was going to be out of the race by now. so i think it's going to be very difficult because i think all gingrich wants to do at this point in time is to continue to make romney less comfortable in his skin. right now romney does not seem comfortable in florida. and i think that the release of the tax returns yesterday couldn't have been at a worse time for him. the idea in florida, as i tell people all the time, have your money in the cayman islands,
it's legal, but people figure there's some reason behind it that they don't like. so i just think everything right now is stacked up and it does have the romney campaign uncomfortable. and i, you know, i got to believe in every debate you have to be yourself and you have to connect. the other night, i thought he looked terribly uncomfortable being on the attack. he knew he needed to be there. but that's not who he is. if it's not who you are you can't carry it off. >> now erin, the newt gingrich has been hitting him on the swiss account and hitting him on the cayman islands. very interesting, today, though, romney has attacked newt for making money off the housing crisis. but today, think progress reports that romney also made money off of foreclosures in florida. they say willard and his wife ann invested in goldman sachs strategic income fund. 25% of the fund was in mortgage-backed obligations. the romneys invested between $1
million to $6 million in the fund. and the fund grew 8% a year yielding a hefty profit for the romney family. so it seems that even with his attack on newt on this area, it may come back and bite him facing this debate tomorrow night, erin. >> well, sure. but to be clear, mitt romney didn't make those investments himself. it was a blind trust. and so someone was making those investments for him. but the point he was making in the last debate about the drip, drip, drip is why he didn't want to release these tax returns at a critical time anyway because it's stepping on any good headlines he could create. and so that's why i think that issue is going to keep coming up. but both newt gingrich and mitt romney are going to find little pieces in each of their records to continue stepping on potentially good headlines for them. but one thing i would add, al,
about romney and gingrich going back and forth and the volatility in the polls. the democrats cannot contain their glee about the fact that -- >> well, that's for sure. let me ask you something quickly, rod. we talked a lot about voting here. i want you to come back and talk about this rally friday and what they are doing with voter suppression in florida. i know they've already canceled the sunday voting. the big concern. so i'd like you to come back so we can talk about friday. rod smith and erin mcpike, thank you for your time tonight. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition?
finally tonight -- we know politics can be ugly. but arizona congresswoman gabby giffords gave us a true moment of unity. today in an emotional ceremony, she delivered her letter of resignation to speaker boehner. so that she can focus on her recovery. members of the house who rarely see eye to eye on much of anything came together to honor
their colleague on the floor. >> though gabby may be leaving washington today, i know this won't be the last we see of her. >> you will be missed in the house of representatives, but your legacy in this congress and your leadership in our nation will certainly endure. >> gabby, we love you. we have missed you. >> america thanks you. it thanks you for the example you have given of overcoming adversity and doing so with a spirit unparalleled. >> gabby wants her constituents to know her public service has meant a great deal to her and that this is only a pause in that public service and that she will return one day. >> we all look forward to that day. her progress has