tv Martin Bashir MSNBC August 20, 2012 1:00pm-1:59pm PDT
time. thank you, guys. it is great to be back. it's monday, august the 20th and here's what's happening. romney and ryan rally the faithful. >> we are going to win this debate about medicare. >> his name is mitt romney and he is going to be the the next president of the united states of america. >> thank you, paul. paul, you're terrific. thank you. gosh, i feel like i'm almost a new hampshire resident. save me some tax dollars, i think. >> but one man has stolen their plight. >> it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> this statement is kind of a window into todd akin's mind. >> the views expressed were offensive. rape is rape.
we begin with just one week to go before the republican convention, a day when mitt romney and paul ryan thought they would reset their already faltering bromance, hosting an event in new hampshire, hoping it could grab headlines with their matching outfits, wits and five-point plan. turns out it was another republican grabbing headlines, provoking even the president to speak on camera, denouncing remarks by todd akin. asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape, this is how he answered. >> seems to me first of all, from what i understand from doctors, if it's a legitimate rai rape, the female body has ways to shut that down. let's a assume that didn't work. there ought to be some
punishment, but it ought to be on the rapist. >> it was the phrase, legitimate rape, that was the focus of the president today as he was asked in an unscheduled appearance today whether he thought akin's remarks were emblematic of the republican position. >> rape is rape and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the american people. >> as if for mr. akin, he took to the air waves trying mightily to apologize. >> let me be clear. r rape is never legitimate. it's an evil act committed by violent predators, i used the wrong words in the wrong way. >> but listen further as mr. akin struggles to say just what
he meant by those ridiculous words. >> what did you mean by legitimate rape? were you attempting to say forcible rape? >> yeah, i was talking about forcible rape and it was absolutely the wrong word. yeah. >> and regarding mr. akin's scientifically challenged remarks, that's where the rubber meets the road because last year, akin joined with none other than paul ryan to sponsor anti-choice legislation that introduced the bizarre term, forcible rape, an effort to narrow the definition and limit funding for victims seeking an abortion. so while mitt romney was agast today saying -- we haven't heard much from mr. ryan, have we? that's because he and mr. akin have been partners in their
effort to exclude acts of rape that involve the victim being drugged or victims of incest if they're over 18 or statutory rain, a 14-year-old girl impregnated by a 40-year-old man. no, that's not forcible rape. in their view, it doesn't count. which is why the president had to make this clear for voters today. >> what i think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women. >> well said, mr. president. i'm delighted now to be join ed by democratic congresswoman january shah kos. >> i've been trying to get my head around mr. akin's problems. what do you think he was saying in his original comments? >> well, i don't know. he said he talked to some
doctors that the women have this ability to i don't know if it's secrete something or what happens in order to not become pregnant if they are raped. >> so, was he suggesting the catastrophic trauma such as rape can actually function as a form of birth control? that an egg released by a woman's ovary might somehow knowingly prevent fertilization if she's being raped? >> and that the 32,000 women who become pregnant every year because of rape, probably it wasn't really forcible, but he said or wasn't -- it wasn't really legitimate, but also, he says well, if something goes wrong though and she does become pregnant, they should punish the rapist, but not the child, by
allowing that woman, the victim of a rape, an illegitimate rape, to have an abortion. >> has he made some kind of new scientific discovery which reveals there's a difference between consentual sperm and that sperm secreted by a rapist? >> i'm not so sure he was giving credit to the sperm as much as to the woman. i don't know the science. he's on the science committee, i understand. >> he is, indeed. >> yes, so maybe there is some data that the rest of the world like all of the world, is completely unaware of. but as you pointed out, this is not the first time that he tried to change the definition of rape and along with paul ryan, wanted to add the word forcible to rape in order to have a woman qualify to have an abortion after being raped, i guess she had to show
that her eyes were bloodied and black and blue et cetera in order to be legitimate and explain a forcible rape. so this is consistent and it's consistent for paul ryan. >> now, you mentioned last year, he joined with mr. akin. they were cosponsors of the bill. no taxpayer for abortion funding act and introduced the country to a somewhat bizarre term, forcible rape. meaning say a victim of statutory rape would not qualify for a federally funded termination. so even though they issued this statement through their spokesm spokesperson, that bill doesn't seem a million miles away from what mr. akin was saying. >> no, it's very close. in fact, when he, the clip that you just showed, when he's trying to correct himself, that instead of using the word
legitimate, he should have used the word forcible, so he's really doubling down on that notion, which again, this was a ryan akin proposal, as there were many. ryan and akin teamed up on the personhood amendment that says at the point of fertilization, that becomes a person and that that person should not be, there should be no exceptions for abortions in that case. they teamed up on a bill that says any organization that also performs abortion should never get any family planning money and of course, that would be planned parenthood and others. they cosigned a letter saying that ruth bader ginsburg should rekuz herself from any decision relating to abortion because she had something with the now organization for women.
so this is a long time alliance that ryan has had and actually, mitt romney himself you know, they're going to vote tomorrow on the human life amendment being part of the republican platform and mitt romney has in the past said he supports that. so what's really confusing is that romney and ryan are now disclaiming any association with the akin remarks, when really it's not so much an inconsistency, but an inconvenien inconvenience. >> thank you for joining us. i want to bring in karen finney. with us from washington. karen, given the chorus of disapproval from republicans out to mitch mcconnell, calling on him to reconsider his run, even sean hannity suggesting an impact on down ballot races, does his candidacy survive much further? >> he actually sent out a tweet
that he is staying in the race and that the good people who voted for him deserve to stay in. >> he's inviting people to continue donations to him. remarkable. using this scandal, his public appearance, as an opportunity to raise funds. >> right. but politically speaking, democrats need to be very careful here and the president was very smart when he made the point, rape is rape. we cannot let the gop get away with this parsing of language that somehow there's a forcible kind of rape and then these other kinds of rape. that's the kind of language and you remember, that we've heard in the discussions about redefining rape, letting women die, all these really outrageous proposals that have come up. the ones that unfortunately mr. akin and mr. ryan supported, so we need to continue to remind people of that. but again, this idea it's okay to parse this language and i'm going to tell you, i agree with sean hannity. every single gop candidate
should be asked do you believe that rape is rape or let them see if they'll say it's forcible versus some other kind of rape because that is going to lose them the women's vote. >> you mentioned this tweet, but he's been condemned by everybody within the republican party including speaker john boehner. can we really survive? they've even threatened to withdraw their funding for him. >> apparently, there's one deadline for tomorrow, then another that's further along. my asunlts, let's do some fund raising, do what we need to do. rove and cross roads has pulled out now, but money will be there for him. >> were you surprised that mr. ryan and romney issued a written statement through their spokesperson as opposed to taking an opportunity to come out and condemn these disgraceful remarks for what they were? >> of course i was. but of course, they did it on paper, martin, because then that
way, you can make sure nobody misspeaks and that you get it out correctly. but again here, let's remember, the kind of proposals that romney and ryan have put forward are as irresponsible and ill advised as to suggest women have some kind of biological mechanism that we can just, i don't want the say how congressman akin said that. we also let's go back to the record, policies and remember there's a lot in there that is equally as ignorant when it comes to women's lives. >> to be fair to both of them, they issued this statement. they did condemn what he said. >> they did. >> but would it not have been more forceful, more effective in a campaign like this to actually speak about it in person? >> sure, although i would say, remember in the past, we haven't really gotten any kind of tough language from governor romney, so i guess the fact there was even a paper statement that had more clearly crisply worded
language against this kind of thinking. again, i still have the question in my mind, so, are you talking forcible rape or believe that rape is rape? of course american women who have liked to see if you're running for president, we want to see you out there standing with us and acknowledging rape is rape. >> thank you and thank you so much for anchoring last week. i've got a bone to pick with you because the audience loved it. >> i know they're happy to have you back. >> thank you, karen. do stay with us. max. this is the plan that revolves around you. introducing share everything. unlimited talk. unlimited text. and a single pool of sharable data
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both candidates have major media events and call each other liars. the president may have won the day upstaging a well choreographed romney town hall with a news conference of his own hours later. the president took questions on a wide range of topics, but it was mr. romney's off cited and ridiculed claims about mr. obama gutting welfare which drew the president's eyre. >> this notion that we're taking the the work requirement out of welfare. which every single person here who's looked at it says is pat enly false. you can't just make stuff up. that's one thing you learn at president of the united states. you get called into account. >> and mr. romney, yes, the president just called you a liar. for his own part, mr. romney tried to hustle a crowd in new hampshire with the usual pab lamb about his ability to magically create jobs and also claim eed it's the president whs
the true liar of this campaign. >> all we've heard so far is one attack after the other and frankly, they're not, they're typically not honest. >> indeed, there is one interesting aspect to these competing claims, where as the president cites facts and details when calling out his opponent, mr. romney still has trouble pointing out specifically any actual lies being told about him. joining us now, jonathan capehart and in minneapolis, ana marie cox, a correspondent for the guardian. how can mitt romney say with a straight face that he's the one who should be upset at the lies being told about him? >> you know, i don't know. especially since mitt romney, governor romney continued to peddle the false notion that the president has gutted the welfare requirement, continuing to talk
about it on the campaign trial, both he and congressman paul ryan. even though as you said, it has been rebutted, proven false over and over again, but perhaps, governor romney is still trying convince the republican party base that he's one of them by playing into this notion that there are people out there who are willing to take government money without ever having to work for it, which as we all know, is just not true. >> do you agree with jonathan, that that's the strategy as far as romney's concerned? say these things that are false in the hope of sustaining support from the base? >> i think so. if i can just answer the question, i think it's the only face he has. his program doesn't really allow for other kinds of faces can be made. he only has dead plan. which is fine for for him because he tells these extraordinary lies. i think it's fine for politicians to call each other out on things and i think
jonathan's right. he's sort of pushing these big lies ahead of himself because they're easy for the base to believe. it's extraordinary that the campaign though, that feel like they have to placate the base. the selection of paul ryan sort of underscored that as well. they seem to believe they don't have the base in their pocket, which is a real problem only a couple of months away from the election. >> indeed. now, no mitt romney appearance is complete without a gaffe. watch this. >> gosh, i feel like i'm almost a new hampshire resident. it would save me some tax dollars, i think. >> jonathan, why would you remind people you like lower taxes and if you can find a place that will lower your taxes? is this man completely tone deaf? what's going on? >> completely tone deaf, yeah, i would have to think so. clearly, that was a comment he made not thinking about the larger implication of what he's saying and how those of us in the media will leap on what he has said and what that means and
how it plays into the larger discussion. as the president said in the clip you showed at the top of this segment, when you're president of the united states, you're held accountable. everything you say is picked apart for you know, hidden meanings or just you know, whatever meanings that can be gleaned from it and mitt romney still hasn't learned the fact that if you say, when you say things that lead us to question your veracity in a whole host of areas, you probably shouldn't do that. >> ana marie, were you shocked, surprised that the president literally stormed the white house press briefing room, took hold of the microphone and made a statement to contradict the falsehoods being spun by ryan and romney? >> i don't know, i think the president's feeling pretty feisty today. that had to me the flavor of someone who sees a battle that he can win right there in front of him. >> jonathan, do you think it was that? because some think it was somewhat defensive of a
president who perhaps felt if he didn't take the initiative on this, he'd be outfooted. >> no, no, no. it was a classic example, we talk about the power of the presidency. here, what we saw today was a classic example of the person who has the presidency wielding that power to his advantage. we're talking about congressman akin, not just today, but we'll continue to talk about it tomorrow because the president went into the briefing room and answered a question about it. >> next, after a weekend on martha's vineyard in nantucket, mitt and ann find a little time to unwind. stay with us. it's something you're born with. and inspires the things you choose to do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology.
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for america's middle class probably isn't one of him. take for instance his well documented love affair with water sports. nothing wrong with water sports, but in the midst of difficult economic times, the photograph like this is one -- who can't spend the summer's evening on a back of a well appointed motor boat. but jfk was the president who proposed medicare, where as mr. romney hopes to be the one who ends it as we know it. fdr declared himself the proud enemy of economic loyalists. he raised taxes, where as mr. romney wants to cut his own taxes and raise them on the middle class. >> there will be heem people and you know this already, who will look at you as just a successful rich guy. >> like fdr and john f. kennedy. there have been plenty of people. >> that's right, mr. romney.
there have been plenty of rich people who served in the white house, but they tended to sail against the wind and against their own interests. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer. [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing,
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[ roger ] same agent and everything. [ kyle ] it's like we're connected. no we're not. yeah we are. no...we're not. ♪ ask an allstate agent about the value plan. are you in good hands? from those small minded questions about mitt's tax rates to one big republican controversy, here are today's top lines. what a treat. >> my son's missing the first day of school to be here for you today. >> governor romney's tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle class families with children. >> oh, what a treat to be here. thank you. >> when they're here in new hampshire, ask him if that's fair. >> the fascination with taxes i paid i find to be very small minded. >> his new running mate put forward a plan that would let governor romney pay less than 1%
in taxes each year. >> taxes are not an issue. it's not what the american people are talking about. >> gosh, i feel like i'm a new hampshire resident. it would save me some tax dollars, i think. >> i think people want the know that everybody's been playing by the same rules, including people who are seeking the highest office in the land. >> paul ryan. what are you thoughts on him? >> he's a nice person. >> when i think about medicare, it's what my mom relies on. >> i don't really know him well because i've never been to the gym. >> what we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package -- >> then writes to the government, i did not request any stimulus money. >> i take full responsibility for it. wasn't my intention to send letters in support of stimulus. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> rape is rape. >> this statement is kind of a window into todd akin's mind.
>> we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians making the decisions on behalf of women. >> it seems that the first victim of an obama campaign is the truth. >> you can't just make stuff up. that's one of the things you learn at president of the united states. >> let's get right to our esteemed panel. steve kornacki, one of the hosts of "the cycle" and matt miller, and dana milbank, political columnist with "the washington post." steve, we were supposed to begin this week enthused by a thunderous performance by romney ryan in new hampshire and yet, here we are today talking about a bloke we haven't even heard of 24 hours ago. >> who's this romney guy? this is a crucial time for mitt romney because what his campaign is really looking at is one of the themes this summer is that romney's favorable rating is a lot lower than what it should be. people clearly prefer obama.
that's the press, the obama attack ads, the questions about the taxes. what they are thinking of, what the romney campaign is thinking of is what happened to bill clinton in 1992. in the spring of 1992, people thought bill clinton was going to be an electoral disaster. he had really from an image standpoint, the best convention. where they did the man from hope. really told the bill clinton story to america. and people left saying not only do i like this guy, this guy should be president of the united states. that's what republicans are trying to do here. but this is not a good start. >> it's not, is it? they've got seven days to warm up. >> and they've lost one so far to the forcible rape issue. they lost all of last week because once you put ryan on ticket, the debate became about medicare cuts, not about the people out of work or looking for work, the unemployment rate, all the messages romney has
wanted. "the new york times" had that big piece today on image crafting, i think they're in trouble there as well because no matter how many jumbotron screens you try and put sense around, their agenda, continuing to cut taxes on the top, slashing programs for the poor and raising taxes on the middle class, you can't get around them. >> dana, do you agree they have a problem now with seven days to go? >> i think they were making an interesting calculation by rolling ryan out early. usually, you get a bump out of the convention, but in part you get that bump because there's something exciting, intriguing about it. now, they have taken away the only intrigue that could have had down there in tampa c. we're not going to have george w. bush and dick cheney in the hall. what are they going to be looking at? if people are packing heat because they're in fact allowed
to do that around the convention area. they're going to see everybody paying tribute to grover norquist. they took the risk of doing it early and i think they may have stepped on the the opportunity to get a big bang. >> dana's view, that they stole prematurely, but are are having some women. but can they clean up the mess they have with the women's issues that have just dogged the republican party over the last two years? >> i don't think you're going to clean up the specific issue just by having speakers like connie rice at the convention. it's going after sort of the swing voters, who are really uncom with the entire republican party brand. when you look at the two parties on your basic image, one is overwhelmingly popular.
it's because of the problems they've had with the republican congressman. the bad image. what they're trying to do here is showcase speakers like condi rice who are not really associated with the congressal tea party wing. they're trying to showcase speakers who are more acceptable, who don't like the republican party. >> condi rice is connected to george w. bush. that's not -- >> and to the iraq war although she is a trail blazer again, being one of the first women into augusta national golf club. >> congratulations to her on that. we're talking about 5 or 6% according to recent polls who are undecided. now, this is the crucial ticket for this period, isn't it? >> it is. i always wonder who are these 5 or 6% who don't know what they want. you see some analysis that it comes down to 900 people. i don't know who's been alert in any way wouldn't have a point of view as to who it is.
i think they're going to try hard to make him more appealing to the independents, but how many brown wooden frames around the jumbotrons in soft tones they can put on. >> you love the the jumbotrons, don't you? a member of the mormon church is now scheduled to deliver the invocation the night of romney's speech. why does he suddenly feel there's no problem reminding social conservatives he's a member of a -- that many regard as a cult? >> let's not forget that will be another appearance and that is donald trump, so he certainly has a wide expansive views within the conservative movement being there. i think there's a little bit of dance going on here and one is to keep the conservatives on base and that's why you take such a risk in having donald trump appear at the convention. but at the same time, he's also getting more comfortable in
saying this is his story and he's not going to be craving it every moment, giving into the conservative base. in this case, by having a traditional evangelical protestant give the invocation. perhaps that's one instance of growing confidence. >> indeed. fabulous threesome. thank you. coming up on "hardball," chris matthews with more on the republican's problem with women voters. plus, walking on water. the gop's skinny dip in the see of galiea. next, paul ryan equates running in the olympics to serving in one's country. >> it was an embarrassment at the time. they were in trouble. so who did they look to to help them save the olympics? mitt romney. this man stopped what he was doing, went to serve his country, save the olympics and we're all the better for it and we're proud of that achievement.
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if there's one area where the romney ryan ticket is weak, it's on the subject of foreign policy. the top of the ticket has some experience, but defending the british over their organization of the olympics isn't exactly the the experience that's needed. as for the bottom of the ticket, i'll let mr. ryan speak for himself. >> i've been in congress for a number years. that's more experience than barack obama had when he came into office. i voted to send people to war. >> not sure if that's the kind of experience we're looking for. joining us now is jon salts. you were one of the people mr. ryan voted to send to war in iraq. in fact, i believe you did two tours and we thank you for your service. but what do you think of mr. ryan's answer? do you think he's qualified trt
job because he voted to send you to war? >> he may be more qualified than sarah palin, but if you look at the ticket he's running against, president obama served on the senate fortune relations committee, ran against hillary clinton, who spent years on the committee. joe biden was chairman of the foreign relations committee, so there was a tremendous amount of experience they're running against. he's fundamentally weak when it comes to foreign affairs. he didn't serve on the intel committee, the armed services committee. so he's not just weak on understanding what's going on in our foreign policy, but he doesn't know how to take take care of our veterans. indeed and what's remarkable, sir, is that these two invoke their pride in the military at every opportunity. mr. ryan was announced in front of a battleship, yet mr. romney
avoided military services by receiving four draft deferment, including a stretch in france as a mormon missionary. does the reality therefore of mr. romney's life live up to his rhetoric? >> i don't think it lives up to either of the rhetoric. they're both supporting a policy of continuing war in afghanistan, so if you look at what's created things like votevets.org, we've taken a chung of people that used to be republican and are now supportive of our organization. the romney act that congressman ryan supported, all of their advisers are from the bush administration. they have an opportunity to move to the left on the president on afghanistan, where the man is a very moderate plan. he's not calling for a rapid withdrawal. instead, the reason neither of them like to talk about it is that they're both in weak positions from a polling standpoint and what governor
romney wants is endless war. when it comes to governor romney, it's times he's talked about how he was supportive of the war in vietnam. at times, he says he was against. they're kind of all over the map and none of them have lived up to the rhetoric. certainly when you start talking about things like sequestration where they care about the richest 2% and they don't want to talk about raising taxes on people like governor romney. governor romney doesn't even pay social security. >> yes, indeed. mr. romney did get a question today about question. you mentioned afghanistan. take a listen to this. >> i expect the presidents of the united states to address the nation on a regular basis and explain what's happening and why they're there, what the mission is, what it's purpose is, how we'll know when it's completed. other presidents have done this. we haven't heard this president do this. >> now, again, mr. romney appears to be suffering from a form of amnesia. just off the top of my head, i
can think of at least two prime time speeches the president gave on afghanistan. one at west point when he announced the surge and just in may when he gave a live address to update the american people on our progress. so what on earth is mr. romney talking about? >> i find that humorous. the president's been clear on the strategy in afghanistan, to continue the counterinsurgency, to transfer to more an adviser role, then the timeline for withdrawal as a way to prokt so the afghans can capture terrain and hold enough to leave president karzai a certain amount of leverage with the taliban. i think we should have a more rapid withdrawal. with that said, what governor romney supports is an endless war. he's supporting the president's plan with no timeline. so a continued commitment of long-term of u.s. troops under the same tactical strategy that
this president has outlined, so it's really the president's plan times 20 or 30 or 40, so for him to make the argument the president has explained is beyond me. >> thank you so much for joining me. next, why questions on mr. ryan's budget leave many economists thinks this man is not serious. while some fiber ads use super models, metamucil uses super hardworking psyllium fiber, which gels to remove unsexy waste and reduce cholesterol. taking psyllium fiber won't make you a model, but you should feel a little more super. metamucil. down with cholesterol.
although the cnn poll found that no less than 63% of americans would like to see more of mitt romney's tax returns, mr. romney has responded by calling that majority small minded. today in new hampshire, romney suggested he may have found yet another way to reduce that tax rate of his. >> gosh, i feel like i'm almost a new hampshire resident. it would save me some tax
dollar, i think. >> a short time later, the president made it clear why romney's tax returns are important. >> well, we're going to be having a huge debate about how we perform our tax code and how we pay for the government that we need. i think people want to know that everybody's been playing by the same rules including people who are seeking the highest office in the land. >> jared bernstein is an msnbc contributor and former chief economist and policy adviser to vice president biden. eric fern strum says taxes are not an issue, the american people are not interested so, i guess we should move on. >> it's interesting. i was looking for a poll result much like the one you just said. that kind of supports my priors. in fact, people do want to know and let's not lose sight of the underlying policy issue here, which is really twofold.
one, why is a guy who's income is in the multi-millions of dollars paying a tax rate that's well below that of so many other people and the answer is because we have extremely low tax rates on what's called owner of income. things like capital gains. groups like bain finance their work. dividends are half the rate from wage income, so it's indemic of a larger problem in our tax code and b, there's the fact we need new revenues. >> well now, paul ryan who republicans revere as a deficit hawk has a plan to cut taxes by $4.3 trillion, which is he says will be off set by spending cuts. but in today's "new york times", paul krugman writes this and i'm quoting. which deductions would he eliminate? he refuses to say. he asserts that he would major huge cuts in spending.
what would he cut? he refuses to say. if this sounds like a joke, that's because it is. >> look, there is no person i can think of who less deserves the title of fiscal hawk than representative paul ryan. let's remember, this is a guy who supported putting both of the wars as well as the bush tax cuts and prescription drug bill on the nation's credit card and those factors, particularly the bush tax cuts, are behind today's budget deficits. outside of course the downturn. then this plan, the 4.3 trillion in new tax cuts is above making the new tax cuts permanent. the unspecified loopholes are particularly agreenlgs because a group here in town said what if you took all the tax expenditures that these wealthy families enjoy. would that off set the revenues you lose from these tax cuts?
the answer is no. >> some would define that as voodoo economic, jared. thank you so much. we'll be right back. [ kate ] many women may not be properly absorbing the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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it's time now to clear the air. in today's edition of insulting our intelligence, we focus on the issue of mitt romney's tax returns. now, as you know, mr. romney has dismissed those of us who would like to see more saying our interests is small minded. and a spokesman went even further making it plain that the romney campaign believes the issue is irrelevant to the american people. >> taxes are not an issue. it's not what the american people are talking about. >> oh, really?
that's an interesting analysis. because according to a cnn poll, almost two-thirds of americans would like to see more of mr. romney's tax returns. answering the question do you think romney should or should not release tax returns from additional years, 63% said he should. just 36% said he shouldn't. so, his finger, not quite on the pulse there, but why are americans so interested in looking at his tax returns? well, it's actually quite straightforward. taxes are at the very center of his campaign. mr. romney is selling his entire candidacy on the basis of his background in private equity and his successful career. his vast wealth estimated to be above $250 million has clearly been embellished by his brilliant exploitation of the tax code. in addition, mr. romney has said that he wants to extend all the
bush tax cuts and to slash the marginal rate to just 20% and by selecting paul ryan as his running mate, it is possible to imagine that mr. romney will pay even less than the 13% he says he's paid in taxes because ryan's 2010 budget proposed the complete elimination of taxes on capital gains, dividends and interests. the very sources of mr. romney's income. the president speaking just a few hours ago explained why mr. romney needs to disclose more. >> the american people have assumed that if you want to be president of the united states, that your life's an open book when it comes to things like your finances. it's what the american people expect. >> you see, mr. romney, it's not us who have put taxes on the table. it's you.