tv Politics Nation MSNBC March 1, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
never even met, a law student, a slut. talking about her making her perform sexually for a video shoot all because she wanted to testify on behalf of college students getting birth control as part of their health insurance before the united states congress. well, this ladies and gentlemen is the guy republican members of congress treat like a pharaoh. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. today republicans hid behind religion to attack the health care rights of millions of women and men across the country. but democrats stopped them cold. senate democrats blocked the so-called blunt amendment in a 51-48 vote. the gop plan lets any employer deny any health care services to any person based on what they
claim as a religious or moral conviction. >> and the republicans are kicking off women's history month by bringing the blunt amendment to the floor in the united states senate. a blunt sweeping overreach into women's health. part of the republican agenda of disrespecting women's health issues. >> stop making women's health care a scapegoat for what you think is wrong with america. it's actually what's right with america and let's focus on jobs. >> i don't envy the rank and file republicans who walk the plank on this vote. >> this was an important step today. and an important message to the women and men in this country that we in the democratic caucus will stand up to fight for their rights as we always have. >> despite today's votes, republicans aren't backing down yet. speaker john boehner says he may soon hold a vote on a similar bill in the house.
supposedly to protect religious freedom. >> the government's moving in a direction that would force some americans to violate their religious beliefs. this is wrong. and we want to stop it. >> sorry, speaker boehner, but you're wrong. the president added a compromise rule to his medicare law that specifically takes religiously affiliated employers out of the equation. it let women and their health insurance companies work out the details directly. the employer isn't involved anymore. that's why there are all sorts of catholic groups, including a group that runs catholic hospitals around the country gave the compromise a thumbs up. the blunt amendment isn't about religious liberty. it's about playing politics. and republicans are on the wrong side. joining me now, senator maria cantwell, a democrat from
washington who voted against the blunt amendment today -- earlier today. senator, thanks for being here. >> good evening, reverend sharpton. >> now did your colleagues who voted for this bill make a big mistake, in your judgment, today? >> well, i think the issue is that we keep going back to every progress that we're trying to make her to talk about jobs or the budget or reconciliation or appropriations. and every time it's a battle over trying to defund access to women's health care. i don't understand why the other side thinks that that's so important in balancing the budget or jobs and the economy or what it has to do with the transportation bill. and these issues have been settled law and giving women access to their employers instead of having their boss decide whether they should be given access to these things it should be between a woman and her physician. and these have been upheld in
court. so we're just going over it again and again when there's important work to be done for the nation on jobs. >> senator you said two things that i want to bring you back to. one, this was a transportation bill that senator blunt, for whatever reason, adds this amendment that has really nothing to do with the jobs that that bill would create. secondly, where we raised earlier, the president had already come with a compromise embraced by many catholic organizations that took the religious organizations or the religious employers out of the equation so that the employee and the insurer would deal directly. so this really had nothing to do with religious freedom as speaker boehner is talking about. >> well, last spring, we almost came to a standstill over a budget agreement. and, obviously, there are differences between each side about how to reduce our deficit. but we couldn't even get an agreement at the 11th hour, the one thing that everybody wanted was to have a vote on the
republican side to defund planned parenthood. as if that was going to somehow get to a budget agreement. and so there's been three other attempts to try to just attack the access. and these are prevention programs for breast cancer screening, for diabetes, for all sorts of things that are very important for prevention. in my state, washington, we have a very high rate of breast cancer among women. it's 130 women incidents per 100,000 population. so if you start talking about taking away that screening mechanism, you are talking about impacting the health of many women. so i don't know why they keep bringing it up in this forum. and, obviously, this amendment was way too broad, way too encompassing that really was opening a pandora's box and putting employers in the decision-making mode of deciding what to cover of women's health care. >> well, and i might say seven
republicans did vote against it. voted along with the democrats. but three of them are in potentially tough races. scott brown of massachusetts, dean heller of nevada, richard lugar of indiana and corker, hatch, barrasso and wicker are all up for re-election. >> well, all i know is that we keep having this debate over and over again. and the komen debate. and i think what people are realizing is that there is a very strong support across america to keep the access to women's health care on prevention because it's helping save women's lives and controlling health care costs by making sure we catch things early. and so why do people want to upset that at such a critical time? >> i don't understand that -- i don't understand why these senators could vote for it, even
those with tough races because it doesn't make sense. but i thank you for being with us tonight. i'm glad to put it bluntly that so far you stopped the blunt amendment, pun intended. kaernt cantwell, thank you for your time tonight. this blunt amendment today was also a big problem for mitt romney who wants conservatives to know he really, truly supports the plan, even though he initially said he opposed it. >> i'm in favor of the blunt amendment. >> can you elaborate? >> elaborate? >> yeah, absolutely. >> romney's campaign claimed he was confused by the reporter's question when he was first asked about it yesterday. well, let's go back to the tape and see how confusing it really was. >> rubio is being debated, i believe, later this week that deals with banning or allowing employers to ban providing
female contraception. have you taken a position on it? >> i'm not for the bill. >> sounds pretty clear to me. willard was against the bill before he was for it. or something like that. joining me now, former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, now an nbc news political analyst. and chip saltsman, a republican strategist who was mike huckabee's campaign manager in 2008. thanks to both of you for joining me tonight. governor, it looks like every time you just start shaking your head like you just can't believe -- i mean, this is not the romney you served in the governor's association. can you believe this apparent blatant flip-flop? >> it's incomprehens ibible. we served together. did a great job with the olympics. obviously a successful businessman. he's the worst campaigner i've ever seen. that question, rev, couldn't have been any clearer. and that was the real mitt
romney. he's against it because it's stupid and as he said in a later clip that you didn't run, we shouldn't be debating stuff like that now. we should be talking about the economy and jobs and iran and things like that. and then to go back on it because you're afraid of what? the people who care about the blunt amendment, they aren't voting for mitt romney anyway. they're voting for santorum. show some cajones. stand up and be for what's right occasionally. and to contradict yourself in less than a half a day is absolutely stunning. i literally can't believe it. barack obama must live under a lucky star somewhere. >> well, let me ask you this, chip. >> i don't think chip should answer. he has no answer. >> i'm not going to ask you whether he lives under a lucky star but i'm going to say, governor rendell mentions mr. santorum. well, santorum attacked romney for the flip-flop on the blunt amendment, too. he's getting hit by the left and the right. listen to santorum.
>> governor romney was asked that question. his knee-jerk reaction was, no, i can't be for that. if i was asked a question like that, my gut reaction would be always my gut reaction would be you stand for the first amendment. >> you know when you walk down the middle of the street you get hit by traffic coming both ways, chip. i mean, i -- this is a classic case of that. >> which is what i feel like right now in between you guys. i'm getting hit from both sides. >> i talked to a couple of folks in the romney campaign today. he didn't know what the blunt amendment was when he was first talking about it. he came back and said he was for it. i think this is a little bit of gotcha politics. and i'm not for any one of these guys. i think senator santorum jumping on was just a little more of, we're five days until super tuesday and he's throwing the kitchen sink, anything he can get ahold of. the majority of, i think, americans and republicans support the blunt amendment because it is about religious freedom. reverend, i respect you and i
was listening to your last segment. this is about the overreach of barack obama mandating to the catholic church what they can and cannot do. and i think that's an issue that most people disagree with. the federal government does not -- >> but there's a compromise on the table that takes the church out of it. how do you -- >> the church doesn't support. the leadership of the church, the bishops don't theenge-- >> the church will not be involved. i fundamentallily disagree with a federal government mandathy what a church can and can't do. i don't think you'd appreciate it for them to say at your church you have to watch fox news for 30 minutes. >> but if they told me at my organization or church that had an external university or school that i could not block fox news, i would say, if i want to operate with federal funds or subsidies or medicare as they do in hospitals that i either would say i'm not going to operate with federal rules and get federal money or i'm going to
have to do what is right and have fox news on. >> well, first of all, the catholic church gets federal dollars. why? because they are one of the best organizations in the country at charitable activities. and they do that just about as well as -- >> and they have to follow federal law. but this is -- how does -- governor rendell, how if you have a compromise on the table, does this have anything to do with religious -- and all religious freedom when they're not asking the church to do anything. they're dealing directly from the insurer to the employee. what's the problem? now you are going to enforce upon an employee your will when you're not even in it? >> and, chip, actually, before this brouhaha started, most catholic law schools, many catholic universities, depaul university, already voluntarily gave their employees contraceptive coverage. so this is a lot of -- to do about nothing. but the bottom line is the blunt amendment does much more than what you said, chip. it says that any employer can
deny an employee virtually anything for reasons that he doesn't even have to spell out. it's a ludicrous amendment. it violates every principle this country was built on. should have been voted against. and let me tell you, if there are women out there thinking of voting for republicans in the fall, they ought to get their head examined. >> i think this is about religious freedoms. this is about what our -- >> read the amendment. this is not about religious freedom. >> the federal government mandating to a church to do something they don't believe in is not american. >> first of all, they don't mand tate to churches. so be correct in your facts. they mandate it to catholic organizations that take federal money. the organizations don't have to take federal money. if they don't like the rules, then just say, we decline federal money. then you can do anything you want. >> i think that's where the catholic churches may be going on this. >> i don't think depaul university is. i don't think georgetown law school is. >> chip, and if they do that, then you can say if you have a
very fundamental conscientious objection to something then you say, i can't take your money. but you can't turn around and tell the church you are going to tell the state what to do. i'm going to take your money but i'm going to do it my way. you can't have the church dictating to the state. and let me also say this to you, chip. you are telling me that mr. romney's running for president and he didn't know the blunt amendment and you think that helps him? next time get ready to help me, chip. save it. governor rendell, chip saltsman. >> sorry, chip. sorry. >> ahead -- they are blaming high gas prices on the president. but he's calling on them to -- he's calling them all, really, in a big way. >> let's put every single member of congress on record. you can stand with oil companies or stand up for the american people. and rush limbaugh doubles
down on those offensive and sexist comments. i'm addressing them ahead. and president obama makes a big revelation. it's the interview everyone is talking about. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. piro.obert over a million people have discovered how easy it is to use legalzoom for important legal documents. so start your business, protect your family, launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com, we put the law on your side. ♪ ♪ liquid gooooooooooooooooooooooooold ♪ ♪ liquid gooooooooooooooooooooooooold ♪
rush limbaugh is once again going over the line on this birth control debate. i'm addressing his anti-woman tirade and the silence from gop leadership. that's next. no, no it's her dad. the general's your soul mate? dude what? no, no, no. he's, he's on my back about providing for his little girl. hey don't worry. e-trade's got a totally new investing dashboard. everything is on one page, your investments, quotes, research... it's like the buffet last night. whatever helps you understand man. i'm watching you. oh yeah? well i'm watching you, watching him.
we're back with the impact the gop war on women's health in the last five weeks, they've tried to defund planned parenthood, limit access to abortions and contraceptives and force women to have ultrasounds. president obama vowed to continue to defend the rights of women. and today, we are learning more of the american public is with him. 66% of women support the president's policy on contraceptions. 66%. and since december, his approval is up 10 points with women. republicans might want to rethink their anti-woman policies. check out this graph. since 1980, women have outnumbered men at the polls in millions. you can clearly see the line on top in red represents women. they can make or break this election and the gop is losing them by trying to pass unpopular bills like the blunt amendment
limiting women's rights. joining me now is economist, author and president of bennett college for women, julia -- dr. julianne malveaux and laura bassett of politics reporter for the huffington post. thank you both for joining me tonight. how devastating can this be politically for the republicans? >> it can be extremely devastating. this makes no sense at all. no sense for them to limit contraception. as president of a women's college, i can't tell you how critical it is that young women have options. contraception is simply a form of health care. there's nothing controversial about contraception unless you want to make it so. most republican women support the availability of contraception. so this just seems to get them headlines as opposed to being any kind of practical measure. now when you look at what rush limbaugh continuing his attack on sandra fluke today, testified
at the hearing on contraceptions. let me show you what he said, laura, today. >> if we're going to have to pay for this, then we want something in return, ms. fluke. and that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money. >> i mean, can you believe he is saying this and we've not heard the republican leadership and those that are rush limbaugh's fellow travelers, so to speak, politically anyway, come out and say this is way over the line? this is disgusting? >> i cannot believe he said it, and i cannot believe republican leadership hasn't come out against it. it's just absolutely disgusting and wildly offensive on every level what he said. and i think that it's really going to hurt republicans, you know. every time, you know, a foster
friess or rush limbaugh comes out and says something like that about women, it goes beyond religious liberty debate, contraception debate. this is about a disdain for women and women's sexuality. i think it's a coin in the democrats' piggy bank. house democrats have raised more than a million dollars in the past week on their war on women campaign. and i think that's only going to get better for them. >> julianne, the democratic congressional campaign committee is out with a petition to tell republican leaders to denounce limbaugh's anti-women tirade. you are the president of a women's college. young women. younger than my daughters' age. what message are we sending when a young woman can go before the congress, talking about her right as a woman with contraception and she be disparaged in this way. what are we saying to young women? >> we are telling young women they are disposal. that anything can be said about them. for rush limbaugh to use the terms slut that he used against that young woman who is a young woman of courage. she didn't have to do that. she stood up for college
students all over the country. so for him to do that, he really ought to be off the air. rev, when lefties make a mistake, they are off the air. when limbaugh -- it's just a market for disrespect. and it's a disrespect for women. more than half of the population as your chart shows, you know, a sizable part of the vote. not only calling that young woman a slut but every young woman. i'm sick of this, the aspirin between your legs. i think i've heard this five or six times by various idiotic republicans. i don't want students getting pregnant while they are in school. i want them to finish school. it's not my business whether they have sex or not nor any republicans' business. and not only should mitt romney, santorum, all of them repudiate limbaugh, but their wives should as well. >> let me say, laura, that ms. fluke said in response today, this language is an attack on
all women and has been used throughout history to silence our voices. the millions of american women who have and will continue to speak out in support of women's health care and access to contraception prove that we will not be silenced. and i think that it goes to your point and julianne's. this will galvanize a lot of women. but can you believe in 2012 we are even having this discussion? >> no. no, the debate over whether women should be able to use birth control is over. it's been over for decades. and the fact that it's resurfacing in this way is just shocking to me which i think is why -- i think the gop realizes that and it's why they are reframing the debate as one about religious liberty because they're going to lose if they frame it as about contraception. >> the president is leading santorum by 16 points with women. women are a key voting bloc in 2008. he had 56%, a 13-point margin
with women over mccain. kerry only had a three-point over bush. so, clearly, women make the difference when they vote in big numbers. so the politics of this could be very devastating for the republicans. >> it's kryptonite for them. they shouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole. it's one of the most dangerous and silly things. not only dangerous but also silly things that i've seen them do. i've seen a lot of silly things republicans have done. to attack a whole gender to attempt to erode women's health care, at a time when as maria cantwell said, some of the issues with breast cancer and uterine cancer, things that visit women, we ought to be encouraging women's health care not attempting to take away from it. and, you know, again, the use of language. the attempt to basically villainize sexual activity which is a human activity. there is nothing dangerous. so to -- you limit contraception for married women as well.
don't they and their husbands have a choice of whether or not they oopt when they want to time their families? i mean, it's just really laughable. but the bottom line is it will backfire on republicans. i don't think this will be the only issue that pulls people to the polls. i thing economy is still going to be the overriding issue. but i think that you are turning a lot of women off and that may be turning off women they don't have to turn off. wom republican women who support birth control, contraception but may have problems with president obama may look at obama more carefully because who wants to have their reproductive rights compromised? >> dr. julianne malveaux and laura bassett, thank you for your time. >> thank you. and sandra fluke will join ed on "the ed show" in an exclusive interview tonight at 8:00 p.m. here on msnbc. still ahead, bill clinton has tough words for romney on the auto bailout. wait until you hear what he said about willard and his father. but first -- the sheriff
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welcome back to "politics nation." republicans have been trying to downplay the progress in the economy by trotting out their old talking points about gas prices and drilling. well, today, the president hit them with the facts. >> america is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. that is a fact. since i took office, america's dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year. every single year. >> since president obama took office, there's been a 7% decrease in foreign oil imports and a 14% increase in domestic oil production. things are looking up. but mitt romney just can't admit it. >> he's responsible for it not being as much of an increase as it could have been. he should be hanging his head. and taking a little bit of the blame for what's going on today. >> interesting, willard.
that's exactly how you explain the improvement in the economy. you admit it's getting better but claim it's not getting better fast enough. we know the president can't lower gas prices overnight. but he can ask congress to take away corporate welfare for oil companies. >> right now $4 billion of your tax dollars -- $4 billion -- subsidized the oil industry every year. every time you go to the gas tank, or fill up your gas tank, they are making money. every time. >> as a matter of fact, for every extra penny you pay at the pump, the big oil companies make an extra $200 million in quarterly profits. republicans just don't have a good response to the president's fairness message. they are too busy trying to protect big oil and big bankers on wall street. joining me now is senator sherrod brown, democrat from
ohio. thanks for being here tonight, senator. >> of course. thank you reverend sharpton. good to be back. >> now do you thing gop's drill, baby, drill plan is really an answer for high gas prices? >> of course it's not. i mean, you know, you start with, as you point out on your show you start with they pror tecting the oil industry. they know they can't justify to anybody except to some texas oil men that the oil industry should get subsidies and tax breaks. those subsidies and tax breaks were based on when oil was $10 or $20 a barrel and now it's $10 and 20 times that. and so our -- or ten times that. so it's clear that that's where they start with and they just want to attack the president who -- with governor romney, it's always, i mean he just keeps shifting his positions on this. no matter what the president, does he would do better. normal he he wouldn't and i think the president is exactly right on this, talking about take something -- considering taking oil out of the strategic petroleum reserve, closing these
tax breaks. standing up using -- stopping the speculators on wall street. that should be part of this. across the board, we know how to do this. and the president is doing the right thing. >> now when you look at the fact that when you were discussing these subsidies as the president did, the oil industry, the oil profits had a huge year, setting an all-time record $137 billion. so, i mean, when you say that they are using old figures, the figures they are dealing with now only underscores your point, senator brown. >> yeah, how you can continue to defend, as mitt romney has his whole career, and as far too many of my colleagues in the senate have done, so many of the republicans that depend on oil money for their campaigns, how they can continue to defend this industry when they are making that much money and we're not willing to do anything. they're not willing to do anything to try to fight for real energy policy and real help
for american consumers because we know that it hurts individuals that have to fill their gas tank up at these high prices. and we know it potentially can hurt this economic recovery. we've seen coming out of the auto rescue in my state, which has put tens of thousands of people to work that wouldn't be otherwise, we've seen manufacturing job growth in this country and in this state for 20 straight months after 12 years of decline. and how anybody can criticize that kind of policy when we're going in the right direction. we want to do more of it. we want to grow faster. but clearly that's the right direction. >> now the -- on super tuesday in the republican primaries next week, they go to your state of ohio, the republicans in your state are among others that will be voting in the process of choosing a nominee. the impact of the auto industry, let's go there for a minute, also affects your state. but let me show you something that former president bill clinton said about mitt romney's position on the auto industry
bailout when romney had written that infamous let detroit go bankrupt op ed piece in "the new york times." bill clinton addressed that today. >> i happen to think this auto industry package is the most important thing that was initiated by president obama. every time i hear mr. romney talk about this, i think his daddy must be turning over in his grave. >> that's pretty strong language, but when you get to ohio, 792,000 ohio jobs depends on the auto industry. how do you think the average ohioan is going to look at a man who said, let detroit go bankrupt? >> i don't know how governor romney defend that position. he paid a price in michigan. as a native, quote/unquote. he should have gotten 60% or 70% of the vote there. so many people turned against him because he turned against
them in the auto industry. i'd ask governor romney to make up for his opposition to the auto rescue. maybe he can do something for us. the senate passed the biggest bipartisan jobs bill that we've passed last year. it was my legislation to fix the currency, the gaming of the currency system that the chinese have used that have cost us thousands of manufacturing jobs. we passed this legislation. it stuck in the house. i'd ask governor romney to pick up the phone, call speaker boehner and say pass brown's, pass the senate's bill to fix the currency system. and i'd encourage your viewers to go along with that and to come on my website, sherrod brown.com. send a note to sign our petition to say to speaker boehner, schedule this job -- this jobs bill that will help us with currency with china and put a level playing field so china can't cheat anymore. and we can make a difference for job creation. that plus the auto rescue is going to really matter for jobs. not just in the midwest but throughout the country.
>> well, i can say to our viewers go to sherrod brown.com. you'll have to get willard to make that call yourself, senator brown. i don't have much influence. >> thanks for that. >> sherrod brown, thanks for your time tonight. always good to have you. >> of course. up next -- new signs that republicans are plotting to steal the election by suppressing the vote. we'll talk about it with a congressman who risked his life for the cause. civil rights legend john lewis. and president obama is praising something george w. bush did. it's not what you'd expect. stay with us. [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are choosing advil®. here's one story. pain doesn't have much of a place in my life. i checked the schedule and it's not on it. [ laughs ] you never know when advil® is needed. well most people only know one side of my life. they see me on stage and they think that that is who i am. singer, songwriter, philanthropist, father, life's a juggling act. when i have to get through the pain, i know where to go.
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♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion, also refreshing plus tea. could've had a v8. now to the right wing effort to block the vote. they are doing everything possible to fix a problem that doesn't exist. 31 states are pushing new laws requiring voters to show i.d. at the polls. they are doing it despite the fact that voter fraud is practically nonexistent. just this week, michigan primary voters were required for the first time to show proof of citizenship at the polls.
they say it's for a secure and fair election. but it's really another way to turn people away. here's the bottom line. these laws strip poor people, minorities, elderly and even young people of their right to vote. people like 96-year-old dorothy cooper who voted in every election since the jim crow era until tennessee's voter i.d. law made it impossible for her to register. and 42-year-old rita platt of wisconsin, who struggled to get the proper i.d. to vote. and lee and phyllis campbell, a tennessee couple who told a congressional panel about how they couldn't get a free voter i.d. and that's why we're marching in alabama next week, retracing the historic voting rights march from selma to montgomery that led to the 1965 voting rights act. joining me now, georgia congressman john lewis. almost 47 years ago, congressman
lewis helped lead 600 people in a voting rights march in selma, alabama, that ended when police in riot gear launched a vicious attack on the group. that confrontation now known as bloody sunday helped galvanize support for the civil rights movement. today, the house unanimously passed the resolution making the office of the historian compiled testimonies from lewis and others in congress who participated in the civil rights movement in alabama. congressman lewis, thank you for being here tonight. and thank you for joining us and, of course, we'll be with you sunday. and as you know, some of us are marching on following your footsteps all next week to montgomery. >> thank you, reverend al for having me here. today was a wonderful day on the floor of the house of representatives to pass this resolution without a dissenting vote, offered by two young women. two members of the congress.
one black, one white, from the state of alabama. it was very moving. and at the end, the two young women came up to me and gave me a hug. it's really almost unbelievable to see the distance we've come and the progress that we've made. and at the same time, that some people try to take us back to another period. >> now, i was moved by the -- your quote on the resolution where you said this is a gracious act on the part of the majority leader and the house leadership to help preserve the democacy. without the brave and courageous souls who shed blood, sweat and tears in alabama. without them this would be a very different nation today. you commended eric cantor and others that with all the acrimony that we see in washington, this was a rare coming together of showing that we can come together for a good
cause. >> that's what the movement was all about, to bring people together. to create that sense of one community, one family, one house. we were struggling not against people, but against bad laws. customs and tradition to make it possible for every american, every alabaman. back in my native state of alabama during that period, 47 years ago, it was almost impossible for a person of color to register to vote. yes, we were beaten. we were trampled by horses. teargas. but we never gave up. we never gave in. we kept the faith, and that's what we must continue to do as we go back to birmingham, montgomery and selma on sunday to walk across that bridge one more time. >> now as you have said that you have also dealt with these voter i.d. law. a law we'll be marching against
all next week. and you on sunday will lead us across that bridge. and then later that night, we'll begin walking the miles to montgomery every day. the voter i.d. laws are 11% of eligible voters. 25% of african-americans. 16% of hispanics. they really threaten what you and others achieved 47 years ago. and thank god you are here 47 years later showing leadership and giving voice to us saying let's not go backwards. not even a step. >> well, we must not go back. not even one step. the voter i.d. laws, and it's not just in the american south, but throughout our country, it's a form of a poor tax. we got rid of the poor tax with the voting rights act of 1965. we got rid of the literacy tests and we should make it very simple for people to be able to participate in the democratic
process. it should be as simple as getting a glass of water. it's not any room in our country or in any state for a voter i.d. law. >> now were there also in certain states challenging section five of the voting rights act claiming it's no longer needed. they are challenging it in alabama, arizona, north carolina, south carolina and texas. so we have voter i.d. laws, 34 states. they are attacking section 5 of the voting rights act. it's time to march again. >> well it is time to march again. it is time to dramatize the fight that there are forces in america today, 47 years later, after people died for the right to participate in the process. after people were beaten. you know, i gave a little blood on the bridge. other people gave their very lives. the three civil rights workers. jimmy lee jackson in marion,
alabama, and many, many others. so we must continue to march. and i appreciate that you and others going to lead an effort, not only across the bridge on sunday, but you're going to walk on to montgomery as we did 47 years ago. >> well, congressman lewis, i appreciate you. and we were planning that walk. i brought some of the young leaders to your office. you showed them the pictures of viola, luis and others as you marched as a student leader. so we know when you say how whites and blacks embrace each other in congress today, whites also died on that bridge. this is not a black against white. it's right against wrong. and we do that spirit when we march behind you sunday and march on in your name and in your footsteps all next week. congressman lewis, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you very much for having me, al. and again, we'll kick off our alabama march on sunday over
the next five days. we'll cover up to ten miles a day retracing the route of the historic 1965 march from selma to montgomery facing what's going on today. we'll be reporting back to you every step of the way. ahead -- the president makes a big prediction today, but i bet it's not what you're thinking. that's next. the employee of the month isss...
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finally tonight, i want to talk about presidents and their passion for sports. richard nixon famously drew up plays for the washington redskins. he even invited their coach to the white house. president clinton's love of golf sparked a friendship with golfing legend greg norman. but president obama brings that
love to a whole new level today with an interview with espn. >> i always pictured you in bed pretending you were work bug watching league pass on your ipad. >> i have league pass on my ipad. >> you do? >> did you pay for it yourself or do you charge the white house? >> no, i've got to pay for it myself. >> that's something i bet you didn't know. and it's not just the pros he follows. the college games. >> i knew about jeremy before you did. or everybody else did because arne duncan was captain of the harvard team. i've been on the jeremy lin bandwagon. >> are you taking credit for linsanity? >> i can't take credit for it but i'm just saying i was there early. >> who knew the president had scouting skills? but it wasn't all basketball talk. he's got a tough job. but who really knew what really stresses him out. >> you've thrown the first pitch
in front of 60,000 people. you are obviously wearing a big bulletproof vest under your suit. all these people staring at you. >> i give credit. when i think about george bush and the pitch he threw -- >> after 9/11. >> unbelievable pitch. >> right down the middle. >> right down the middle. huge credit for that. >> all right. i agree. it was a great pitch. but the biggest news of all was a special prediction about his hometown chicago bulls. >> how many times have you envisioned welcoming the world champion chicago bulls to the white house? >> every year. and it hasn't happened yet. but it will happen. >> it will happen. >> i've got another five years here and -- >> you are guaranteeing that, too? >> somewhere along the line my bulls are going to come through here. absolutely. >> did you catch that? another five years. hey, willard, i don't know about the bulls, but i think he'll be there five years. that's president obama. i bet you $10,000.