tv Politics Nation MSNBC January 12, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
chosen, to use a handy godfather phrase. so here we go. loop de loop. a presidential campaign where we see trouble on the home front. a couple of bulls are raging at the front-runner. can't get better than this, but maybe, just maybe it will. hold on to your hat. if you are a republican, hang on, period. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though? >> you know, i think it's fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms. talk about those things in quiet rooms. in quiet rooms. in quiet rooms. >> welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight, i'm coming to you live from a quiet room. since willard spoke, i decided to come see what these quiet rooms are really like. so this is where the willard mitt romney says we can talk
about inequality. amazing. it turns out this is where you are supposed to talk about injustice, not out in public. you aren't supposed to raise uncomfortable topics out there. you need to save that for quiet rooms like this. you aren't supposed to talk about huge income gaps in this country. no, sir. you save that for the quiet room. well, you know what? i had enough of quiet rooms. turn the lights on. get rid of this backdrop. folks, this country doesn't need to be quiet. this country needs to make some noise. i'm done with quiet conversations. when 66% of americans say there's a conflict between the rich and poor, we shouldn't be whispering. we should be shouting. when 1 in 2 americans are poor or struggling, we shouldn't be speaking in hush tones. we should say it loud. when the 400 richest americans have a greater combined wealth
than the bottom 150 million, we need to speak out. we need to get loud. willard, we're done with quiet rooms. but i can see why you like them so much. we know to expect this talk from someone who casually makes $10,000 bets. from someone who says this to people who could lose their homes. >> don't try and stop the foreclosure process. let it run its course and hit the bottom. >> let things run their course. that's what you say in the quiet room. that's heartless. but it's consistent with someone who has trouble identifying real people. >> corporations are people, my friend. we can raise taxes on -- of course they are. all the money corporations earn eventually go to people. >> can you hear me now, willard? joining me now with their loud voices are former pennsylvania
governor ed rendell, now an nbc news political analyst, and joan walsh, editor at large for salon.com. thank you both for being on the show tonight. >> our pleasure. >> thanks, reverend. >> governor rendell, is this a conversation mitt willard romney and the republicans are hoping not to have this year about income equality? >> sure, but that's a false hope. there's no way we can't discuss that issue when more americans than ever are in poverty, when in my home state, 1 out of every 10 people is on food stamps. i never thought i'd tloif see that. with statistics like that, with hurt and pain like that, it's got to be the number one discussion during this entire election year. and if mitt romney believes he's got a way to put people back to work and to raise incomes, then let's hear it. but don't say we're going to talk about it in quiet rooms. you know what that means. we'll talk about it after the election is over. >> that's exactly right. >> joan, when you -- today, mitt
romney went even further. he started trying to show a different, soft, kinder, gentler willard. let me show you what he said. >> i think any time a job is lost is a tragedy. for the family, for the individual that loses the job, it's just devastating. and every time that we invested in the business it was to try and encourage that business to have ongoing life. the idea of making a short-term profit actually doesn't really exist in business because no one wants to buy something or buy stock in a company that's just going to be a short-term success. >> so he says that losing a job is a tragedy. this from the guy who wrote an op ed piece in "the new york times" saying let detroit go bankrupt. this from a guy who bought chopped companies. i mean, do you think that he is beginning to understand how much his track record and the bringing it out is hurting him? >> i think, obviously, he is, reverend al.
i mean, mitt romney is the face of the top 1%. he is mr. 1%. and he's providing us with an opportunity. and this primary is providing us with an opportunity to really have a national conversation about income inequality. you know, occupy wall street did a great job opening the doors and starting that conversation. and now you have got a candidate who is tailor made to -- to help people really understand how the very, very wealthy make their money off making money and literally don't care if they throw people out of jobs. they are after efficiency. they are after a profit. that's the bottom line. so, you know, mitt romney is in a position now of having to defend that record. and it's not very much fun for him. >> now, governor, when you look at, it's not just occupy wall street now. i think joan is right. they help to change the conversation. look at this graph of where all
americans are on this question from different parties, from different backgrounds. you have republicans, 55% say class conflict between the rich and poor is real. you have independents, 68%. democrats, 73%. how would these figures, you've governed. how would these figures -- do you tell people, let's be quiet about it. you've had to deal with people, i'm sure, that were adverse to whatever decisions you make. >> sure. >> the most insulting thing to tell people in pain is to be quiet about it. suffer but suffer in silence. >> right. what mitt romney's got to do and do it, i think, fairly quickly, even though for the republican base, none of this has hurt him so far. but what he's got to do fairly quickly is say to people, okay, look. the president cares very deeply about people in pain and people who have gone into poverty. but he hasn't been able to do anything about it because he just doesn't know how to run an economy, how to get an economy started. i'm going to tell you how we can
put these people back to work. so he's got to change the conversation from, let's not talk about it to, yeah, let's talk about it. it's the central issue facing america today. and i have got a better plan. he's failed. i have a plan that's going to work. if he doesn't quickly move to that dynamic, i think he's sunk. >> joan, when you look at the reality, the reality is that willard lives in quiet rooms. i mean, he has a co-chair of the private equity firm blackstone group doing fund-raising -- two fund-raisers this week. i think he's in west palm beach tonight at a fund-raiser. so i guess quiet rooms is where they do their business. but this is a guy who called proposed tax increase on private equity partners a war and i'm quoting him, like when hitler invaded poland in 1939. he later, to be fair, apologized for saying that, but he said it. >> but he said it. it is outrageous.
i think one of the reasons mitt romney doesn't want to release his tax returns is not so much that it shows he's wealthy, because we all know he's very rich. but because it probably shows that he pays a rather low tax rate given that all of his income comes -- most of his income comes from investmentinv and those tax rates are very different than the tax rates most of us pay on our income. my jaw dropped last week when andrea mitchell asked him, would you release them if you become president, and he wouldn't say yes. every president in history has released his income tax returns. i mean, that is the height of arrogan arrogance. that combined with the quiet rooms comment just shows a sort of elitism and a fear of democracy and what people will really do and think if they knew the truth. >> now, governor, when "the washington post" today called him to release his tax returns,
i know even when you run for president if you do public finance you have to disclose everything. so, i mean, this is unprecedented that you are not disclosing things if you are a candidate for the highest office in the land. >> al in the 34 years i've run for office in the last 20 for my two races for mayor and two races for governor, of course, i released my tax returns. there wasn't any question or doubt about it. joan, i'd also like to see bain capital's tax return. >> right. >> that would be very interesting. republicans are always arguing corporate taxviate too high. it's 35%. you saw the "forbes" study out. the top two corporations paid 17%. 17%. so i'd love to see what bain capital paid. >> yeah. >> maybe that's what they are doing in them quiet rooms. joan, i think the other thing that is very disturbing is that when you now are looking at 50% of the country -- i think the exact number is 49% -- that are at poverty level or near it, we're not talking about just
sections of the country now. we're talking about almost half the country really have an insecurity about where the future lays for them and their children. and i think the governor is right. if you are not saying this is my plan to restore the economy, to give jobs, to protect you, if all you can say as he said better than most nights, but he still only said the criticisms of the president, really what are you saying? he made a better speech than i've heard him make lately the other night when he won new hampshire but it was all on attacking president obama. i still have no idea what is willard's jobs plan. >> i really don't think he has one. he talks about oh, it's hundreds of pages. but, really, there's nothing that he can articulate because it comes down to the same republican policies of reduced taxes. and so, you know, you made a really excellent point right after that speech when he came up with the line, the bitter politics of envy that, really,
it's not about jealousy. it's about justice. we're not envious. we just want fairness. so all he can do is insult people who raise the question and insult the president who, by the way, has created more private sector jobs, i believe, than the bush administration did in eight years, and has -- and even the stimulus. they say the stimulus didn't work. the stimulus worked. it was just too small. while we had the stimulus, employment was rising. so the president knows what to do. the president has a jobs plan, but mitt romney doesn't have a jobs plan. >> governor rendell and joan walsh, thank you both for being with us tonight. ahead, the republican establishment is desperate to stop them. but newt doubled down. he's hammering mitt's record at bain capital, and it's about to get way worse. plus -- we marched, we fought and vowed to recall scott walker. now we're days away from
defining the moment in the war against the middle class. big news tonight. and wait until you see the skeleton newt found in willard's closet. it involves mitt, his dog and the roof of a car. you need to see this one. you are watching "politics nation" live on msnbc. ♪ you're singing with a broken string ♪ ♪ tell me what you really mean ♪ do you know what you want? ♪ while beating up on yesterday ♪ ♪ rolling on, moving on [ female announcer ] the space of a small suv. and more ways to connect to your world. ♪ do you know what you are? the all-new prius v from toyota. ♪ do you know? in what passes for common sense.
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the gop establishment is desperately trying to put the bain genie back in the bottle. but it's about to get worse. >> what the hell are you doing, newt? >> newt's on a mission to take down romney. that's next. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you
welcome back to "politics nation." it's taken many months, but republican elites have finally found a reason to rally around mitt romney. they are in a panic over attacks on willard's record at bain. from newt gingrich and rick perry. petrified that it's laying the groundwork for president obama's re-election. their message, don't talk about bain capital in public. save it for the quiet room. >> what the hell are you doing, newt? i'm outraged about what he and rick, who is a very close friend of mine. i'm shocked what they are doing. i'm going to say it's ignorant. dumb. >> now that newt and others do not appear to be in the game, to
damage a front-runner makes no sense to me. >> rudy giuliani and jim demint join rush limbaugh, sean hannity and "the wall street journal" in defending romney. but newt is still not backing off. his pac released this ad in south carolina today. >> a group of corporate raiders led by mitt romney, the company was bain capital. more ruthless than wall street. >> pulled the rug out from under our plant. >> everybody was fired. >> they fire people. they cut benefits. they sell assets. >> mitt romney and them guys. they don't care who i am. >> i feel that is a man that destroyed us. >> and it looks like some other republicans didn't get the memo about being nice to mitt and are going rogue. >> governor romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at bain, and, you know, people are
wanting to know, is there proof of that claim? that's not negative campaigning. that's fair to get a candidate to be held accountable to what's being claimed. we'll vet within our own party and we'll allow that most prepared candidate to rise to the top. so it's tough. it's rough and tumble, but this is the way that you hear claims absolutely that are being made today. >> joining me now, jonathan capehart from "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. thanks to both of you for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> jonathan, are there a lot of sarah palins left in the gop who think the bain attacks are fair game. >> i'm actually not surprised -- well, i'm surprised she's revealed herself after many months of being away. but i'm not surprised and
actually kind of heartened at her consistency of holding politicians accountable after months of hurling brick bats at president obama and holding him accountable for every utterance. she's now doing that to mitt romney. and i think that republicans who are trying to stop fellow republicans from asking serious and real questions of mitt romney are more focused on the brand of the gop than they are about mitt romney if you ask me. >> now, jackie, would you say that all of this back and forth with the establishment and some of the more popular named establishment republicans trying to tell people don't talk about it. and then you have people like sarah palin coming out. today let me show you both rick perry and newt coming out. watch this -- those attacks today. i want to put it in context. >> i'm saying for a guy to run for president, use his record as
the basis for running and then tell us we're not allowed to even ask about his record? >> i'm shocked at how defensive they are. >> this process is about winnowing out individuals who -- and testing whether or not they are a flawed candidate or not. i will tell you that when people can point to where you've made a quick profit and kicked people out of their jobs, that is an issue that's got to be addressed. >> so the context i'm trying to raise is when you have people -- especially with the tea party having shown some strength in south carolina, when you have people like palin coming out saying it's fair game, and perry and gingrich and others acting as if they are almost trying to silence them to hide something, couldn't this backfire on the established republican people that are speaking? >> you know, i don't know that it's just establishment republicans. ron paul came out and said this wasn't a good line of attack. i don't think anyone would call ron paul establishment.
at the end of the day, the root of this, it might help romney at the end of the day if he becomes the nominee. think about it. the obama administration was going to go after this anyway. so right now, we're getting some of that vetting over with right now. and while all voters aren't paying attention right now, a lot of them are. and they'll have heard this attack before. much like seamus the dog, which you mentioned earlier. >> how could this help him? >> i think he's developing an answer to this issue now. they are striking back in south carolina now on this, and they are getting people together to had jobs because of bain capital. so i'm just saying it's giving them practice. as far as for the general election. if they get that far. whether this could backfire on the establishment, i don't know because you also have people like jim demint who south carolinians will listen to saying this is a bad call. >> jonathan, the democrats have certainly, it seems like they're not exactly weeping for willard.
look at this where david axelrod, president obama's senior strategist tells "the new york times" they will likely just open the floodgates. and an unnamed campaign strategist for the president tells talking point memo having the republicans eat their own actually makes the bain story more potent than we ever could have. >> well, sure. and the reason is because, could you imagine if you had these kinds of attacks coming from the president's re-election campaign or a pro-obama super pac. people could automatically discount it as, oh, it's just the democrats beating up on the republican. what you have now are republicans focusing in like a laser beam on a fellow republican and using arguments and lines that are just tailor made for a general election and tailor -- you just put them out there. you don't even have to -- the president doesn't have to say a word. he can let newt gingrich or rick perry do the talking or any of
the other republicans do the talking for them. a couple of things jackie was saying that i wanted to pick up on. one, yes, this helps romney in that he gets to develop his arguments that he's going to have to use come september, assuming he's the nominee. but it could also lay the groundwork for things that the obama campaign might have, you know, waiting once romney is the official nominee. they could have some things that no one knows about right now that could lay on top of things that an already established record. and then in speaking of the establishment, people keep wondering why newt gingrich is doing what he's doing when the establishment is trying to get him to stop. one of the things i think folks should keep in mind, could it be that newt gingrich views himself as the establishment? remember -- >> he was. >> right, exactly. >> or maybe he sees these guys as kids that are -- when he was
the guy and they are not going to teach the teacher. >> right. who are you to tell me what to do? >> newt gingrich is also the guy who said the super pac ads were unfair and then now that he has his own super pac, which i might ad, i think it was tonight that sheldon addison is backing away from this ad. saying that, no -- saying it was a source in the las vegas paper that said that he is saying, oh, no, he loves capitalism. no one would say that he doesn't love capitalism and is kind of slinking away from this ad as well. so even the people that are backing gingrich who has marketed himself as the outsider's insider outsider. somewhere along the line. >> the problem you have got here is you have gingrich who was against super pacs. now using one. and you have willard who used all of these tactics against gingrich in iowa now complaining about their using it in south carolina. so it's almost a question of who is the most consistent here or the most inconsistent. but the real question, jackie,
around this whole bain thing is this really a question of character? >> that's what they are trying to make it. it certainly doesn't help -- the picture they are trying to paint of romney is as this kind of cold, calculating businessman, right? i mean, that's what's behind all of these tactics. so what the romney campaign, i think, has been trying to do more is getting his family out there, his wife out there, trying to humanize this person who they are -- his opponents, be it democrats or republicans are trying to paint as this cold, calculating, gordon gekko, i think, kind of figure. and so that's going to be a huge challenge for them to humanize him for the general election, if hee he ends up the nominee. >> all of this, the south carolina poll says romney is at 37%, santorum 19%, gingrich 18%, paul 12%, perry 5%, huntsman 1%. if that holds, and willard wins and wins with this kind of margin, it would be just about a
lock, don't you think, on the nomination? >> yes. i think governor romney would be well on his way to becoming the nominee. but let's keep in mind, the south carolina primary is not until the 21st. look what happened to rick santorum between iowa and new hampshire, which was seven days. a lot can happen between now and when folks go to the polls on saturday the 21st. >> yeah, i agree with that because it is -- we watch the polls tighten in iowa right at the end. everything does kind of tighten up. especially with all these ads running and just south carolina politics in general. i agree, they'll tighten. >> south carolina is one nasty pit when it comes to electoral politics. >> willard starting fighting back today with his super pac attacking gingrich. so we are seeing that the fireworks are just getting started. we have seven days to go. it's going to be very interesting.
jonathan capehart and jackie kucinich, thanks both of you for your time tonight. >> thank you. still ahead -- how president obama's case for fairness in jobs is laying the groundwork for his re-election. >> no matter who you are, where you come from, there's a place where you can make it if you try. that's at stake in this elect n election. >> i promise you change will come. if you stick with me, we're going to finish what we started in 2008. jeb bush for president? wait until you hear which top republican wanted him to run. but first -- five days to go in the scott walker recall petitions are rolling in by the thousands. but the real fight is just starting. that's next.
now it's time for an update from our scott walker has got to go files. just five days until recall petitions are due, and they are reportedly rolling in by the thousands. wisconsin democrats announcing today they'll submit the petition signatures this tuesday with a massive drop-off of boxes at the election agency. a democratic party spokesperson saying today we actually anticipate that we will be able to succeed in triggering the recall. but the fight is just beginning.
walker's team is spending millions on tv ads and state republicans are planning to rally behind him next week. but we won't stop working. we won't stop fighting. we won't stop marching until we finish what we started last year. that's why this segment comes from the scott walker has got to go files. [ male announcer ] what if that hemorrhoid pain is non-stop to seattle? just carry preparation h totables. discreet, little tubes packed with big relief. from the brand doctors recommend most by name.
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download the new geico app today. whee wheeeeeeeeeeee-he-he-heeeeee! that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. they'll fight with their last breath to protect tax cuts for the most fortunate of americans. but they'll play political games with tax cuts for the middle class. it's time when we're talking about redhiucing the deficit to ask people like me to pay our fair share in taxes. we can do that. >> welcome back to "politics nation." that's president obama last night in chicago making the case for fairness. on a noisy public stage, not in
some quiet room. it's becoming more clear every day that economic justice will be the central theme of his campaign. inequality is the issue. and pointing that out is the perfect argument against a 1% candidate like mitt romney. joining me now is bob shrum, democratic strategist and professor at nyu and perry bacon from the grio.com and an nbc contributor. >> glood to be here. >> thanks, al. >> is the obama team right to think they've found a winning message? >> oh, absolutely. and all you had to do was listen to the president in that speech. he's gained his voice. for some time he's been determined not to let this be a referendum on him or the economy, although it's getting better and that's not a good sign for the republicans. he wants to make this a choice, draw dividing lines. ask who stands up for you? who stands up for the middle
class? who is on your side? romney is not the answer. not the guy who has been pushed far to the right in the primaries, wants to privatize medicare, wants massive tax cuts for the wealthy. wants to deregulate wall street. was arguably a job destroyer in the private sector and his party is rooting for recession. he is the candidate of the 1%. that's going to become clear and then it's going to be hard to get 50% of the vote. >> now perry, we hear romney and the leading republicans telling people, deal in quiet rooms, really acting like if you question the inequality in the country that you are some kind of socialist, that you are unpatriotic and you contrast this with the president. let me show you what he said last night about social inequality. >> we cannot go back to this brand of you're on your own economics. we believe that everybody has a stake in each other and that if we attract an outstanding teacher to the profession by
giving her the pay and training and support that she needs, she'll go out and educate the next steve jobs. >> now when you look at the percentage of republicans, 55% saying there's a problem between the classes, and on and on, i don't see how they are trying to tell people to be quiet, perry, or telling people they are socialist is going to work against that kind of argument that speaks right to where the american -- majority of americans poll, including republicans are saying their concerns lay. >> i think, al, what we're seeing is mitt romney is kind of an unforced error again the last few days with the comment about inequality in quiet rooms. rick santorum who is a republican in the same primary has talked about inequality himself. it's not as if republicans as you noted in the poll, don't see inequality. i'm not sure what romney is thinking about saying that. and the president sounds like he did in 2008 like late into
september and october after the wall street crash. this is a message from him before. something he's familiar with and pretty good at making. this is a good week for him and not as good a week for romney the way he's speaking about the economy. >> when i look, bob, at the fact that this is not only working so far to be good politics, it happens also to be good policy. look at the president's top economic adviser alan kruger what he had to say about how equality actually will improve the economy. >> the evidence suggests that a growing middle class is good for the economy. and that a more fair distribution of income would hasten economic growth. we should also end unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy and return the estate tax to what it was in 2009. >> now when you look at that and contrast that with romney's tax plan, which is really a complete handout to the top 1%, in his
plan, the bottom 20% would only get a 1% tax cut while the top 1% would only -- would get a 38% tax cut. 1% for the bottom 20%. 38% for the top 1%. when you contract what both of them are saying and proposing, it's almost impossible for me to understand how willard romney could think he would get to 50%, as you said. >> well, look. you've got to take the other. take the book end of that because if you pass that kind of tax cut with these massive giveaways to the wealthy, who is going to pay for it in the romney plan tells you who is going to pay for it. he's endorsed paul ryan's medicare proposal. seniors would pay $6,000 more a year. he wants to shred a whole set of social programs, cap federal spending, make the government incapable of dealing with recession and responding to recession. so this is somebody who would take us back to the economic
inequality we saw in this country before theodore roosevelt, franklin roosevelt, john kennedy, even ronald reagan, by the way, who never challenged the major parts of the new deal. he'd take us back to the days when the few did very, very well and the rest of us did not do very well. but i'll tell you something. it is absolutely right that if you get greater income equality, you get greater prosperity. you know, look at the clinton years. we had higher marginal tax rates. we created millions of additional jobs. full employment. and we had a surplus. so i think that argument is pretty sound on policy grounds and political grounds. >> bob, you ran the candidate against romney in '94, senator kennedy. you beat him in '94. how would you beat him now? >> well, first of all, i had an extraordinary candidate, and i think obama is an extraordinary candidate, too. two things happened in that race. one, the bain capital issue emerged. people found out about what romney had really done. in those days, al, he was saying
he had created 10,000 jobs. that suddenly ballooned to 100,000 jobs. >> so bain is not new? >> no. bain is not new. >> just the figures are new since we're running 50 states, we've tried to inflate the figures. >> yeah, he's just raised the figures. but we had five ads where workers got on and they ran in rotation and told what he had done to them when he'd taken over the company. the other thing that happened, and i think romney has to worry about this because while he's programmed for these debates, he's stiff. he went into that debate which he demanded in 1994 against senator kennedy and senator kennedy annihilated him in the debate. there were points at which romney was almost spluttering. so i think we've seen this election before. romney, by the way, had been ahead in that campaign in '94 and ultimately senator kennedy won. >> now, perry, i read you guys at the grio.com. but i read some news today that i didn't even get off you guys and you guys keep me up to
speed. did you know that a leading republican wanted jeb bush to run this year? and that they felt this was the year he should go for it? let me show you. on our screen. laura bush said that we wanted him to run this time. quoted by the "sarasota herald-tribune." i think that's very interesting. >> i'm not surprised by that. if you look at the candidates we've seen this year if you could run jeb bush, michele bachmann, herman cain, rick perry, this has not been a stellar group of candidates from the republican side. i think jeb bush would have been up there. i don't know if he would have won the election -- won the primary. he has a very big last name problem, of course. but i do agree he would have been among the stronger candidates for the republican field. i'm not surprised to hear that. >> bob shrum, perry bacon jr., thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks for having me on. ahead, the right wingers are
going undercover and possibly breaking all kinds of laws trying to show voter fraud exists. it's a phony publicity stunt, and we're setting the record straight tonight. and a dog is a man's best friend unless you are willard's dog. newt's blowing the lid off of this one. trust me. you'll want to hear this one. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business... protect your family... and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com, we put the law on your side. ♪ baby, baby, come along ♪ baby, baby, come along with me ♪ [ air horn blows ] ♪ i love you and i need you ♪ just to hug and squeeze you ♪ baby, why can't you see? [ female announcer ] the space of a small suv. the fuel efficiency of a prius. ♪ well, baby, can't you see
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isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool. ♪ right wingers are so desperate to justify their radical voter suppression agend athey'll do anything. even if it means possibly committing voter fraud themselves. you may remember this guy. he's the professional smear artist who was behind the fake acorn scandal. now he sent his cohorts out to fraudulently collect primary ballots in new hampshire using names of voters who recently died. federal law says it's illegal to get ballots, quote, that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious or fraudulent. watch this. >> there you go.
>> okay. thank you for that. >> this sure looks like they are getting ballots to me. also, new hampshire law requires all parties to agree when they are being recorded. >> hello. >> do you have a robert bailey on your list? >> a what? >> robert bailey. >> do you have a thomas mccarron? >> spell your last name. >> i don't see consent there. but no matter what games this guy or anyone else tries, it's baloney. voter fraud does not exist on a major scale, period. the right wingers are trying to fool the public and games and tricks are their strategy. in this new hampshire scheme, the conservative provocateur claims he got his hand on more than a dozen ballots. if these radical voter i.d. laws were passed nationwide, 21
million voters would no longer be able to vote. is that any way to justify these radical laws? they have one goal, stop blacks la, tinos, elderly and the poor from voting. joining me from manchester, new hampshire, is paul bergeron. he is from nashua, new hampshire. he's city clerk there and has been in charge of overseeing elections in nashua for 20 years. thanks for join neing me tonigh. >> thanks for having me. glad to be here. >> did they break new hampshire law in trying to record getting some voter ballots with dead men's names that they knew were dead? >> in my belief they did and certainly i know the attorney general's office is investigating the matter. these people went up to the checklist table and presented themselves as being people that they were not. and our election laws state that anyone who poses as a different
individual as to the qualifications as a voter has committed a crime in our elections laws and is subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000. they took physical possession of the ballots. and that, to me, shows that they were acting in illegal manner. >> now, paul, according to what we've been able to get, including some of the information from republicans, there's been a case of one case of voter fraud in the last several years in new hampshire. just one in the whole state. >> i'm only aware of one. it happened on the sea coast area and was a young man who used his father's name to obtain a ballot. and he went to court and was found guilty and sentenced to community service. >> 1 out of 3 million votes. just one. so if, in fact, this man collected more than a dozen ballots during this film, he actually increased fraud in the
state by 1200% to try to prove there was a problem that didn't exist. >> yeah, you don't prove there's been voter fraud by committing it yourself. he's establishing an activity that creates a voter fraud situation and it's his own activity that should be looked at and prosecuted. >> so, paul, you are there. you are the city clerk in nashua. do you feel there is a problem of voter fraud in the state? >> no, i do not. i have not seen enough instances of any voter fraud in the state. i know the attorney general's office investigates any claims of voter fraud and have not found any to be of substance. >> now the estimates from -- that we've been able to get from the secretary of state in new hampshire estimates that 50,000 to 75,000 new hampshire residents don't have photo i.d. the fact is that if you put photo i.d. laws in, you are
actually disenfranchising legitimate voters and you aren't stopping massive voter fraud because there is no massive voter fraud. >> let's not forget it's also possible to counterfeit i.d.s as well. so if someone were to decide that they wanted to commit fraud in a state that has voter i.d. laws, that can still be done. we're not changing or limiting voter fraud by putting up obstacles to get to the ballot box. >> very interesting. so if you are saying that even if you have photo i.d., if one was really trying to play a fraudulent game, they could just play phony voter i.d.s. so this investigation really would amount to much of nothing anyway. >> absolutely. >> it's amazing. have you in your experience, and i've got to let you go, i know, but in your experience, have you ever had a concern raised about massive voter fraud? i know you said it is not there,
but i'm trying to find out where this came from giving them all the benefit of the doubt that maybe i'm wrong, that it's not geared for a certain demographic. but have people come up to you saying they are worried about voter fraud? >> no, i don't get a lot of complaints about that. occasionally in an election, someone will complain that a car without a state plates or a bus with out of state plates are bringing people across the border. there are people out there believe there's conspiracy in every action that government is involved in. i haven't seen any instances of voter fraud up until this particular election in my city or the city that i worked in previously. >> well, it's up 1200%. now you have 13. paul bergeron, thanks for joining us tonight. >> you're welcome. thank you. up next, the dog story that's hounding mitt romney on the campaign trail. would you put your pet on top of
they say if you want a friend in washington, you should get a dog. and lots of politicians have taken that advice. willard romney has a dog story of his very own. on a trip in the '80s, he strapped the family's irish setter seamus to the roof of his car for a 12-hour drive. the story has been hounding willard ever since. a seamus look alike has popped up on the campaign trail. and newt gingrich is reminding voters about the story in his latest ad from this dog eat dog republican primary. >> he climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. he was in a kennel at home a great deal of time as well. we love the dog.
it was where he was comfortable. we had five kids inside the car. my guess is he liked it a lot better in his kennel than he would have inside. >> romney isn't the first politician to take heat for his pooch. president johnson took a lot of heat for this picture showing him holding his beagle up by the ears. but politicians have hidden behind their pets, too. when richard nixon was accused of accepting improper donations in 1952, he won back public opinion by talking about his getting his dog checkers from a supporter. >> and you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog. and i just want to say this right now that regardless of what they say about it, we're going to keep him. >> mitt can't score those kind of points off seamus. it's for voters to decide what if he did to that dog tells us a whole lot