tv Politics Nation MSNBC August 16, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
is it going to work? if life is any example, a person who kars about something is the one who ends up calling the shots. and the one who doesn't goes along with it. i'd keep my eye on this ryan person. he's the one to tell us which way this duo is headed. the other part of this odd couple just wants the ring on his finger. get it? watch ryan. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, governor romney breaks his silence on taxes. he's been under fire for months for refusing to release more than two years of his tax return. the pressure has been building from both sides. from the press and from harry reid. and today speaking to reporters at south carolina at an impromptu news conference, he went there.
>> given the challenges that america faces, 23 million people out of work, iran about to become nuclear, one out of six americans in poverty. the fascination with taxes i paid i find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues that we face. but i did go back and look at my taxes. over the past ten years i never paid less than 13%. i think the most recent year is 13.6% or something like that. i've paid taxes every year. harry reid's charge is totally false. but every year i've paid at least 13%. and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, the number gets well above 20%. >> this is a big development. but we won't be seeing any more releases. in an interview to air tonight on nbc's "rock center," ann romney said there'll be no more tax returns.
>> the more we release, the more we get attacked. the more we get questioned, the more we get pushed. so we have done what's legally required and there's going to be no more tax releases. >> and senator harry reid's camp responded today telling buzz feed quote, we'll believe it when we see it. until mitt romney releases his tax returns, americans will continue to wonder what he's hiding. so how will all this play out? joining me now is msnbc political analyst richard wolffe. he's the author of "revival: the struggle for survival inside the obama white house." and rebecca wilkins senior council for citizens for tax justice. thanks to you both for being here tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> richard, let me start with you. what do you make of the announcement today?
>> he knows how to drag this out if he has nothing to hide and he's been paying taxes at a respectable albeit low rate, then he should put the returns out there. but the cost politically to him is considerable. it looks like he's still hiding something. it looks like he's doing it from a position of privilege. i know something, you don't need to know it. and he's wasting his wife's political capital. she as the candidate spouse shouldn't be talking in this way about this kind of subject. she should be reaching out to voters her husband cannot reach. honestly politically it's a waste. and it's head puzzlingly awkward and curious as to why they're doing this. >> awkward and curious, head scratching. do you think this was calculated? or it was spontaneous? because it was an impromptu press conference. >> i don't think anything that came out of his mouth today wasn't rehearsed five, ten times in front of his advisers. that was very careful language. >> why now?
why didn't he do this before and shut this down? >> why now? his big message with the white board was about medicare and his vp pick. why now? that could be the bumper sticker on this whole campaign. >> let me go to you, rebecca. he says he paid at least 13% in taxes over the past ten years. if that percentage is correct, is that fair? i mean, when you look at the fact that he's worth an estimated $250 million, if he paid 13.9% in 2010. but a worker who earned $60,000 a year pays 29.9% in taxes on average. so given the percentage he said today he did over the last ten years, is it fair? >> it's not fair, reverend al. and it's a perfect illustration of what's wrong with our tax system. the primary reason that romney's paying such a low ralt is that most of his income is from
capital gains and dividends. we tax income from wealth at a much lower rate than income from work. if you work for a living, you're going to pay about twice as much federal income tax as somebody with the same amount of income from wealth. and it doesn't matter how much you make. whether it's 60,000 or 60 million, you'll pay twice as much federal income, you'll pay twice as much if it's from work. and payroll taxes on top of that. >> so he paid over 13%, does that mean that there could be other income that was not taxable like these offshore allegations or the fact we know he did have offshore companies. what does that -- could there be a way around this with various tax shelters and other things that really don't reveal totally what the income and what was taxed and what was not? >> well, there's a lot of types of income that aren't taxable that don't show up on your income tax returns. income earned by an individual
retirement account, for one, and we know from his financial disclosure forms that his ira has at least 20 million and maybe as much as $102 million in it. all of the earnings on that is not being taxed. i'm also noted when he talks about it, he doesn't say federal income taxes. he says he paid taxes of 13%. is he throwing in sales taxes and property taxes and all other kinds of taxes? is he including his state income taxes? because massachusetts has about a 5% tax rate? so i think the language that he's using is intentionally vague. and again, i agree with richard that we really won't know until he shows the tax returns. >> where does this go politically, richard? it's been back and forth, back and forth. where does it go? does it stop here? does it exacerbate? what happens? >> it does not stop here, because he keeps tribling out
information. i think the information moves to his policies now. now we're talking about budgets. now we're talking about his budget proposals versus paul ryan's budget proposals. under both men's budget proposals he'd be paying even less. so the question here now comes into play of does his personal position, his personal approach to taxes affect his judgment about what taxes should be for the whole country? and it should be a forward looking debate here. what is the right level? is 30% actually too much for someone as wealthy as mitt romney? that's where the debate i think should go and i think will go. along the way he'll face daily, weekly pressure from reporters and everyone else, put out your tax returns. >> what do you think about harry reid? is he going to get involved in this again? he's the one who had made the statement that he had someone who had been connected to bain that said he paid no taxes. >> harry reid is not going to
release the hold he has got right now. remember that harry reid, i said earlier this was a respectable but low rate. that's probably because harry reid set the bar at zero. so anything above zero sounds reasonable. harry reid isn't going to give this up. he has just set the bar very, very low for mitt romney to clear. >> now, rebecca, mr. romney said today that fascination with his taxes is small minded. yet 63% of people polled say he should release more returns. 36% say he shouldn't release more returns. is it small minded if you're dealing with tax policy and you, in fact, stating things that would affect people's taxes in terms of the percentage and you yourself may be paying what many would say is a low percentage?
>> i don't think it's small minded at all. it does implicate what his decisions would be in terms of where our tax policy goes. but it also goes back to the bigger question that he raised at the beginning of his statement. that is we have all of these issues to deal with. well, the government has to have revenues to deal with those issues. if a government can't tax effectively, it can't really do much of anything else. >> now, richard, in this back and forth on taxes, this is more about the percentage and the rate that americans are going to be taxed and the rate that he and mr. ryan are proposing more than dollar figures. i don't think this is about begrudging his wealth trying to find out numbers. this is about a question of fairness. >> right. well, i think yes. absolutely. fairness is a big part of this. but we're also talking about two people mitt romney and paul ryan who say we are the ones who can manage a budget responsibly.
we're going to bring down the deficit and balance the budget. if you just did spending cuts, that might be true. but what they also proposed is massive tax cuts across the board. if you're serious about balancing the budget, you cannot do both in any reasonable time frame. that's why it takes paul ryan three decades to balance the budget. if you or i would say i'm serious about balancing the budget. it's going to take me 30 years to do it, everyone would lap. that's the question here. if you think tax kutss are the most important thing even for people like mitt romney how can you sell yourself as being fiscally responsible, someone who cares passionately about getting the budget together? it's a very hard thing to put together. >> richard wolffe and rebecca wilkins, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks. ahead, the other big news out of mr. romney's press conference today. him trying to explain his medicare plan with a marker and a white board. well, i'm breaking out my own board tonight with congresswoman
you'll inevitably find yourself on a desolate highway in your jeep grand cherokee. and when you do, you'll be grateful for the adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed when approaching slower traffic. and for the blind spot monitoring that helps remind you that the highway might not be as desolate... ...as you thought. ♪
welcome back to "politicsnation." let's be honest, folks. ever since governor romney's big announcement on saturday, things haven't been going well for the campaign. suddenly paul ryan's budget is all anyone wants to talk about. so surprise, surprise. they're changing the conversation. as the new york times points out, the campaign is shifting focus. forget jobs. forget the economy. this is the ticket's new talking point. >> the president's campaign is all about division and attack
and hatred. i think unhinged would have to characterize what we've seen from the president's campaign. it's designed to bring a sense of jealousy and anger. >> mr. president, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting america. personal attacks and the kind of divisiveness that's unbecoming. >> that's the most divisive climate we've had. >> divisive? anger and hate? they're trying to drag the president's lack of ability down. but he's not falling for it. >> we're going around the country talking about how do we put people back to work. i don't think you or anybody who's been watching the campaign would suggest that in any way we have tried to divide the country. we've always tried to bring the
country together. >> now, this new strategy from the romney team is going to be a tough sell. joining me now is jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. and margie omero, democratic strategist. thank you for being here tonight. >> thank you. >> let's go to you, jonathan. i thought this was supposed to be about jobs and the economy. how did things get so ugly? >> things got ugly because mitt romney chose paul ryan to be his running mate. at first we're all talking about how it was a bold move, but after you say it was a bold move, you had to focus on why it was a bold move. and it was becau paul ryan is the author of the ryan plan. two budgets that have been passed by the house since he became house budget committee chairman, a plan that he has had
on paper since january 2010 when he wrote a road map for america's future as an op-ed in the wall street journal. he put his ideas out there crystal clear. and it's provided a big target for democrats and for critics to aim at. and we know that the ryan budget is a liability. because we saw what happened in the special election in new york in district 26 when kathy hokel was able to beat a republican in what was deemed a republican safe seat because she ran against the ryan budget. explicitly against the ryan budget. >> you know in today's new york times, i was reading about a shift in the campaign's tone. it says and i'm reading from the article, romney is now running a campaign more focused on energizing an anti-obama coalition than on trying to expand the universe of romney voters with an argument that he
is the most qualified economic steward. kind of a bit of a shift here. >> you have a lot of people who say they made up their minds and as people have gotten to know him, they have continued to not warm up to him. it makes sense to them for them to try to muddy the waters by saying well, the president's unlikable also. it's not really going to work. people don't really buy that about the president. and when they learn more about the ryan plan, they may appreciate that he has a plan. that doesn't mean they're going to like the actual plan. and they're going to find that that's really -- the ryan plan's a campaign of hatred in its own right. it's a campaign of divisiveness and encourages people to turn on one another. >> well, in that last statement where she was talking about --
when margie was talking about their campaign being divisive, jonathan, if you look at the fact that they have had rhetoric throughout the campaign and as late as a few days ago, statements that were divisive. listen to this. >> there's one line called place of birth. i'd like so see what it said. perhaps it's going to say hawaii. perhaps it's going to say kenya. >> if they want to punch us we're going to punch back with brass knuckles. if anyone in this debate has blood on their hands in regard to medicare, it's barack obama. >> i wish this president would learn how to be an american. >> now, these are all romney surrogates. one the chairman of the party, the others a spokesperson and fan of his. in terms of personal assessments have been positive about mr.
romney and ryan. look at this. >> i know him. i welcome him to the race. congressman ryan is a decent man. he is a family man. >> congressman ryan, he's a good guy. he's a decent guy. >> mr. romney's a patriotic american. he's got a beautiful family. >> he's a decent man. as is romney. and i mean that sincerely. >> congressman ryan -- no, no, no. congressman ryan, i know him. he's a good man, beautiful family. >> you know, we know about the vice president's chains statement, but when talk about their opponents personally, very complimentary. their surrogates, their attacks very personal on the president. who's been divisive here? >> well, clearly by the setup of your question, the romney campaign is being divisive. and they're being divisive for the reasons that you started
talking about at the top of this segment. it's because it's to divert attention away from the overall conversation about the ryan plan, ryan's plans for medicare. and also the disconnect between what ryan wants to do and what mitt romney wants to do. and quite frankly, we don't know exactly what he wants to do in terms of the specificity as much as paul ryan wants to do. but, look. when you listen to what the president and vice presidents say about paul ryan and mitt romney talking about them personally, they're decent men, family men. they're trying to make it clear to the people who are listening and to the american people that their disagreements with those two men are not personal. they are on policy. and so, you know, when you've got ryan and romney doing what they're doing and saying what they're saying, they're ginning up their base, but ginning up a base that is so angry with this president on a deep, personal level that they're hoping that
will be the few more people they can squeeze out to vote on those lines will be what will push them in the white house. >> in 2004 they called it swift boating. marge, let me ask you. the facts speak for themselves. look at the weekend's announcement. before the announcement over the weekend, president obama in the polls was at 45, mitt romney at 46. after the weekend, president obama's at 45, mitt romney's at 47. with all that bold deciding, a one point increase, i don't think mr. ryan came in with the great lift that everyone thought he would. >> i think here in washington we want immediate gratification. we want to see immediately what the results are and what the impact of the ryan pick will be. i think it's going to be awhile. but certainly in terms of an immediate jolt, i don't know if it's having an immediate jolt overall. i think it is exciting for the
base. and i think ryan has some warmth that romney lacks. but i think by the tone of the ads they have up and the other sideshows of calling obama team a hateful campaign, they're stepping on their own rollout. i think that's a mistake. ultimately this should be around trying to sell the ryan plan as it is. maybe they've seen polling that really unpopular. >> jonathan capehart, margie omero, thank you for your time. >> thank you. coming up, is it a campaign? or is it a classroom? >> excuse me. well, let's see. there we go. >> we'll tell you why mr. romney's medicare class is not accurate. and the right doubles down on its effort to block the vote. we're not going to let that happen. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc.
[ female announcer ] and that's what makes the moment we enjoy it, a little richer. ♪ real belgian chocolate whipped with philadelphia cream cheese. new indulgence. the moment just got a little sweeter. why not get buried in something other than work? new indulgence. get two times the points on travel, with chase sapphire preferred. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine
or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbaa.lt dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer.
especially mitt romney's big white board lesson. lorna says our memory isn't like an easily cleaned dry erase board. daniel calls the white board etch a sketch on steroids. glenda reminds us that writing it down doesn't make it so. we'll delve into the board game next with congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz, but we want to hear what you think too. head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. we hope to see you there. [ mal] when this hotel added aflac to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. ♪ ha ha! ♪ this is new york state. we built the first railway
and the first trade route to the west. we built the tallest skyscrapers, the greatest empires. we pushed the country forward. then, some said, we lost our edge. we couldn't match the pace of the new business world. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. build energy highways and high-tech centers. nurture start-ups and small businesses. reduce tax burdens and provide the lowest middle class tax rate in 58 years. once again, new york state is a place where innovation meets determination and where businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com.
my brother doesn't look like a heart attack patient. i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i'm a fighter and now i don't have that fear. welcome back to "politicsnation." folks, governor romney is getting desperate in the fight to define medicare. so desperate he's, well, playing fast and loose with the facts. today he spouted falsehoods
during a little board game he played with the press. >> with regards to seniors, those are people today who are 55 years of age and older. today's seniors, if you will. my plan presented no change. plan stays the same. no adjustments, no changes. >> no changes? really, mr. romney? you want to repeal the affordable care act and gut medicaid. that would mean rising drug costs and more expensive preventive care for seniors. but mr. romney's creativity with the facts didn't end there. >> the president's plan cuts medicare by $716 billion. cut. >> but mr. romney forgot to mention that those cuts are not directed at beneficiaries.
that's money saved by targeting waste and fraud. it affects things like drug companies, insurers, and yet he kept going. >> there's another topic which i'll call it the next generation, the generation after today's seniors. and on the president's plan, this goes bankrupt. under the plan i proposed, it is solvent. >> what? as the associated press points out, romney would move the programs insolvency closer. you've sullied the white board code of honor. but don't worry. i've got my own board. here's what reverend al says about your claims. >> not true.
joining me now is congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz, chairwoman of the democratic national committee. thank you for joining me tonight. i hope you like my white board. >> oh, reverend al. that was classic. thank you so much. >> so mr. romney keeps pointing his finger at the president for robbing medicare. what do you say about that? >> well, that just blows the facts up when it comes to mitt romney's full embrace of the ryan plan. i mean, he said as recently as last night in a local tv interview in wisconsin that his medicare plan is nearly identical to the ryan plan. the ryan plan -- the first version of it turns medicare into a voucher program, ends the guarantee that medicare provides now, shreds the health care safety net for seniors, and
takes away the promise that we made more than 50 years ago to seniors in america that there was a floor through which we were not going to allow you to fall through so that you and your family would not have to face medical bankruptcy. which before medicare, too many seniors did. we had to make sure that we took health care and keeping seniors healthy off the table so they weren't having to choose between medicine and meals. mitt romney and paul ryan turn medicare into a voucher program then repeal the affordable care act which takes away the preventive benefits, the without the deductible or copay that open the doughnut hole again and increase prescription drug costs. it cuts benefits for seniors while president obama enhances benefits for seniors. >> and at the end of the day romney still doesn't know if he
backs ryan. listen to this. >> some people are saying you can making it a referendum on paul ryan's budget plan. >> well, i have my budget plan as you know that i've put out. and that's the budget plan that we're going to run on. i'm sure there are places that my budget are different than his, but we're on the same page as i said before. there are some differences but they're very similar. paul ryan and my plan for medicare, i think is the same, if not identical it's probably close to identical. >> you know, congresswoman, maybe he's just scared to admit that he backs these proponents in ryan's plan. it would make seniors pay $6400 more for health care, gives millionaires a new tax cut. i see why he would want to be reluctant to say this especially in your home state of florida which has a lot of seniors and he needs them voting in the general election.
>> there's no surprise mitt romney while running for president is doing everything he can to confuse seniors where he really is on medicare, because his plan guts medicare. his plan ends medicare as we know it. the plan he's embraced, turns it into a voucher program. ends the guarantee. and the budget plan he's embraced and he's offered increases taxes on the middle class to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and increases the premiums to pay for those tax cuts. the obama plan, the one that's law, obama care actually in the last two years has saved more than $1.4 billion in medicare fraud. and prosecutions on medicare fraud are up 75% since obama care became law. that's where that $716 billion in savings has gone pop to make sure we crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse. we saved almost $10 billion in medicare fraud payments because of obama care in the last three
years. >> but paul ryan says today that he wants the conversation. he wants to have it. listen. >> president was talking about medicare yesterday. i'm excited about this. this is a debate we want to have. this is a debate we need to have. and this is a debate we're going to win. >> it's a debate he wants to have. you're the chairman of the democratic committee, what do you say? >> okay. we're going to have it. i welcome paul ryan to come to my home state of florida here and talk to our seniors about his plan. and i sit on the budget committee, reverend al. i've had a front row seat to paul ryan's plans to end medicare as we know it, to increase the premiums for seniors when you turn it into a voucher programy $6300. to use the savings that he gets in ending medicare as we know it to pay for the tax breaks that he's proposed for millionaires and billionaires. that is not the direction that seniors want medicare to go.
obama care saved eight years of solvency in medicare, added eight years of solvency in medicare. the romney/ryan plan would leave it where it is or roll back the solvency of medicare. that's unacceptable. we need no work together. we need to shore up medicare over the long-term, but we don't need to cut benefits in medicare and don't need to turn it into a voucher program and end the medicare guarantee which is what romney and ryan have proposed. zeal see what happens during that debate. >> in fact, it seems as the democrats are taking advantage of the gop's embrace of this radical plan. today the democratic congressional campaign committee released its first ad of the general election season targeting a michigan congressman for his vote on the ryan plan. democrats are also launching automated phone calls that would highlight 50 republicans voting for the ryan plan. so it seems that he wants the
conversation, it's fitting into the strategy of your party. >> absolutely. those who voted for the ryan plan voted to turn medicare into a skroucher program, voting to repeal obama care 31 different times. which means the wellness visit for seniors that obama care provides without a copay or deductible would be gone. the seniors who save on their prescription drugs. in south florida i have stood behind so many seniors in line at drugstores who when five or six prescriptions come to the counter, they have to leave two or three behind because they can't afford it because of that doughnut hole. the romney plan would reopen the hole. the preventive care to seniors would be gone. the one that makes sure they don't have to pay a copay or deductible. essentially the obama care plan changes our health care system to a wellness and prevention system. and romney and ryan change it to a voucher plan so they can pay
for the tax breaks that they provide to millionaires and billionaires. there is a stark contrast. we don't just welcome this debate on the future of medicare, we relish it. >> all right. any new information my white board is always available. congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz, thank you for your time tonight. >> you're welcome. coming up, paul ryan's known as the policy guy. but something happened today that shows he's actually the extreme guy on women's health. and the sport of noodling. catching fish with your bare hands. there's a very famous noodler. we'll introduce you to him in our summer break. next. you'll inevitably find yourself on a desolate highway in your jeep grand cherokee. and when you do,
you'll be grateful for the adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed when approaching slower traffic. and for the blind spot monitoring that helps remind you that the highway might not be as desolate... ...as you thought. ♪ an intense burning sensation i woke up with this horrible rash on my right side. like somebody had set it on fire. and the doctor said, cindie, you have shingles. he said, you had chickenpox when you were a little girl... i said, yes, i did. i don't think anybody ever thinks they're going to get shingles. but it happened to me. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com ♪ atmix of energies.ve the world needs a broader that's why we're supplying natural gas to
generate cleaner electricity... that has around 50% fewer co2 emissions than coal. and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. we're back with a pause from the political battles of the day. a time to rest, relax, and recharge. that's right. it's time for the "politicsnation" summer break. we start tonight with the sport of noodling. what's noodling, you ask? there it is. it's hand fishing. take a look at this. these pros just dangle their arms in the water to catch catfish. they pull them out with their bare hands. and why are we showing you all
of this? because today we discovered a famous noodler. >> they come up on your hands and you squeeze wherever you are on that fish and pull it up. i know it sounds a little crazy, but it's really exhilarating. >> who knew? i wonder if noodling was part of the vp vetting process. let's get out of the lake on on to the dance floor. check out this guy's incredible limbo skills. can he make it under the pole inch by inch. he does the seemingly impossible. wow. he twists and flips and flops. you could take the joke from here, everyone. and that's today's summer break. oolen.geic onte wi cor
insuring that stuff must be a pain. nah, he's probably got... [ dennis' voice ] allstate. they can bundle all your policies together. lot of paperwork. [ doug's voice ] actually... [ dennis' voice ] an allstate agent can help do the switching and paperwork for you. well, it probably costs a lot. [ dennis' voice ] allstate can save you up to 30% more when you bundle. well, his dog's stupid. [ dennis' voice ] poodles are one of the world's smartest breeds. ♪ bundle and save with an allstate agent. are you in good hands? we're back on "politicsnation" with a closer look at paul ryan's record.
on saturday virginia governor bob macdonald introduced governor romney at the event where had he announced ryan as he vice presidential nominee. macdonald was floated as a potential vp pick and was known to campaign with romney regularly. but macdonald was the governor who pushed forward ultrasounds on women before they could get an abortion. it was met with a severe backlash. and with that, he became political kryptonite. so he wasn't picked to run. we learned he will speak at the republican national convention. but what about paul ryan? sure he's mostly famous for his budget, but what about his views on women's rights? he opposes abortion even in rape and incest. he's against abortion even if the woman's life is threatened.
he supports personhood bills that would criminalize some forms of birth control. and he's voted to defund planned parenthood several times. and he sponsored a national ultrasound bill. that's his name right there. so we know him as the budget policy guy. but when it comes to women, his policies are as extreme as they come. joining me now is nia malika henderson for the washington post. thank you for joining me tonight, nia. >> it's great to be here. >> are paul ryan's positions going to hurt him with women voters? >> well, i think b the democrats certainly hope so. they are starting a campaign to really highlight some of these issues and points of view that you just laid out. they had an of end by the woman who was -- testified before congress.
so yes, i think they've already laid this out in some ways with mitt romney. now they can double down on it with the choice of paul ryan. we know that women will be about 53% of the vote come november. and also women are often the organizers in these communities in terms of grassroots and organizing and making sure people get out to vote. you'll see a strong push from democrats to get women out there. women typically vote democratic. there was a bit of an evening of the percentage of women who voted for democrats and republicans in 2010. and in some ways, the fact that they switch when to republicans in 2010 handed the congress over to republicans on the house side. and so democrats are obviously trying to keep this lead that they have. i think it's what? 15 or 20 points versus mitt romney in the latest polls. >> let's bring in terry o'neill. terry, thank you for coming
tonight. let me ask you how dangerous are paul ryan's policies for women? >> you know, it's just remarkable. he is across the board dangerous for women. he is a upon sponsor of the fetal personhood bill. which would criminalize all abortion without any exceptions whatsoever. and criminalize many forms of birth control. but he is also the sponsor of a mandatory ultrasound bill whose purpose really is just to demean and humiliate women. it doesn't stop any woman from having an abortion, but it does make the process more humiliating for her. and then his medicare turning it into a voucher system, in the retirement years for women, their ability to get those mammograms, the cervical cancer screenings, other preventive health care and health care for issues that they have, that goes
away under the romney/ryan plan. paul ryan is no matter what aspect of woman's life you look at, he seems to want to restrict her. >> and the ultrasound bill he's proposed nationally was the same bill macdonald got in trouble for in virginia, terry. >> that's right. there are a number of states that have these bills. in fact, the virginia bill actually required a transvaginal ultrasound. that's technically rape. that is penetration without consent. that's rape. the federal bill that paul ryan is sponsoring does not go quite that far, but there is another bill authored by michele bachmann and who knows if ryan would support it. he hasn't come across to cosponsor it, but he requires it. >> before i go back to nia malika, during his 1998 campaign for congress, the journal
sentinel reported that ryan quote, would let states decide what criminal penalties would be attached to abortions. ryan said he has never specifically advocated jailing women who have abortions or doctors who perform them, but added if it's illegal, it's illegal. >> yeah. you know, paul ryan is adamantly in favor of federal laws. never mind state. it doesn't matter what's going on at the state level. all women in this country would find abortion care criminalized if paul ryan has his way. for him to say that he thinks it should be state by state, we know that's clearly false. his name is on this legislation. >> nia malika, he's not shying away from any of this. he says back in 2010 when questioned by the weekly standard, he says quote, i'm as pro-life as a person gets.
you're not going to have a truce. judges are going to come up. issues come up. they're unavoidable, and i'm never going to not vote pro-life. >> that's right. and you -- i was actually traveling with vice president biden yesterday. he brought this up. of imagining what a supreme court would look like under a romney/ryan administration. to the crowd it's not something they would like. and partly it's an issue of roe v. wade. is this something that's going to be repeal snd it's something that romney said he would like to see repealed. i think you will certainly see democrats talk about this over and over again. you did have a sense, i think, from some republicans. i believe it was mitch daniels saying let's have a truce on social issues. i think in some ways romney had hoped he would be able to in some ways veer away from social issues in some ways. but by the choice of ryan, he energizes evangelicals. he's also going to really also
energize liberals as well. >> terry o'neill and nia malika henderson, thank you for your time. >> thank you. we'll be right back. so you brushed with colgate total and you didn't. let's compare. germ party! eww! now the colgate total mouth. nice! [ female announcer ] colgate total fights 90% more plaque germs. i'm in. [ female announcer ] colgate total. less germs. healthier mouth.
experience thehas your ticket pressure-relieving comfort of tempur-pedic, and sleep risk-free with sleep train's 100-day money back guarantee. get 36 months interest-free financing: no down, and no interest for 3 years. plus, get free same-day delivery. sleep train's 100-day money back guarantee, interest-free financing, and free delivery? that's the ticket! sleep train's ticket to tempur-pedic is on now. ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
i want to close the night with an important issue. the coordinated right wing effort to suppress the vote. it's a fight playing out in ohio, florida, and pennsylvania. where the aclu is planning to appeal a pennsylvania judge's decision to stop -- not to stop his state's strict voter i.d. law from going into effect. the law could keep as many as 1.5 million voters from casting a ballot. in florida, secretary of state ken detzner says he's planning to restart his state's voter purge program. election officials today
announced they will use an immigration data base to screen voters. in the first round of purging, 87% were minorities. in ohio, we're still waiting to hear a judge's decision on the obama administration's lawsuit against early voting restrictions for non-military voters. pop quiz. what do all these states have in common? they're all swing states. coincidence? i think not. you know, in march of this year, we marched. i helped to lead the retracing of the steps from the march to montgomery. and we showed it on this program every night. where whites and blacks, latinos, asians, all kinds of people marssed to give us the right to vote. those that were denied, some lost their lives leaving selma. some went to jail. some had homes bombed. but they fought, and we got the right to