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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 19, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT

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we asked you at the top of the hour what you're doing up at this hour. john tower has a couple of answers. >> on twitter, michael writes, amazing. willie geist finally covered a west coast baseball game. >> guilty as charged. we actually just found out last night that there is a world west of riverside drive on the island of manhattan. so we are excited about this. it opens a new world of possibilities. we're really going to dig in. how about one more? >> debbie on twitter. just wondering if joe and mika will strap willie to the roof of the car to the road trip to fenway park tomorrow. >> we just keep coming back to the dog. let's get off the dog and move on. one thing i know, i'm not eating the turkey off the counter before we leave. "morning joe" starts right now. live from philadelphia -- >> here is a thing called the twist. ladies and gentlemen, here is chubby checker. >> it's the greatest fantasy of my life.
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i've been working 35 years in television. it's my first love. and "band stand" made it all possible. music underscores everything that happens to you, the good stuff and the bad stuff. music really is one of the three most important things in our lives. when i say new year's eve, do you think of any other place in the world? you think of times square. and now the big tonight we have all been waiting for. three, two, one, happy new year! good friday morning. a look at times square, where dick clark has been singing america and the world into the new year every year since 1972. dick clark passed away yesterday afternoon after battling the effects of a stroke for quite some time. welcome to "morning joe." so good to have you with us. and mike barnicle, i just have to go to you. my gosh, this guy, he was called america's teenager. and he was america's teenager for years.
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it is hard to talk about the importance of dick clark in bringing rock-n-roll straight into the living rooms of middle class americans and putting a face on rock-n-roll that made it -- made mom and dad feel ok. you cannot underestimate the cultural impact of this man over five decades, can you? >> well, that's it, joe. he had a huge, huge impact on our culture in the 1950s at a time when elvis presley would appear on "the ed sullivan show" and could not be televised below the hips. when bill haley and the comets, "rock around the clock," was thought to be, you know, risque music. when rock-n-roll had just come into its infancy and just seized a huge element of popularity from coast-to-coast. parents in the '50s terrified of the impact this kind of music would have on their children. and along comes dick clark, from
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philadelphia, pennsylvania. and "american band stand ". and became an iconic show on every afternoon. i think a lot of teenagers at that time knew every performer, dancer, people their own age, who appeared on tv on a first-name basis. i can still remember his producer's name, tony mamarella. and dick clark took that show and carved it into a niche in american cultural history that obviously has never been forgotten. >> it's never been forgotten. it's never been replicated. when it comes to rock-n-roll, rock-n-roll's dj, america's dj, dick clark. but willie geist, dick clark was also a hell of a broadcaster. beyond rock-n-roll. the things that this man did. and not just what we saw in front of the camera, but also behind the camera. dick clark productions is still responsible for so many things
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that americans -- you know, because it's fascinating. we keep hearing about how tv is less important by the day. but somehow broadcast tv. but somehow, dick clark has those huge events that everybody stops and sees, where it's new year's eve or the golden globes or the country music awards. you name it, this guy is at the center of it. >> and the kind of empire he built with dick clark productions has really not been replicated yet. people like ryan seacrest are beginning to do it. but dick clark, he laid the groundwork for that. he created the mold for it. the other thing to say about "american bandstand" beyond the music is that he helped create american popular culture. we see everything, we hear everything now online and on twitter and everything else. but at that time, all you did was hear the music until dick clark came around. then you saw what the acts looked like. you saw the way people were dressing. you saw the way they were dancing. it was all laid out in front of and you connected young people
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in a way that hadn't happened before. >> and, you know, there was another huge element of "american bandstand" that ought not to be underplayed. you saw the acts for the first time. and many of them in the '50s are african-american acts. and they would be on tv, and there would be african american teenagers dancing on american television. it was a huge it seems like weirdly odd today to even mention this. but it was a huge step forward in a time when you had brown versus board of education in 1954. you had the struggle of civil rights just in its incipient stage. just starting to take hold in the country. and you had young black teenagers dancing on "american bandstand." it was a huge step forward. >> there's a great story, john meacham, in "the new york times" op-ed from ted harbart, who incidentally is our boss now, but worked at abc with dick clark for such a long time, about what a great showman he
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was. but that he shot a lot of the acts performing on new year's eve in l.a. in august. dirty little secret. there would be people with the new year's eve garb smoking cigarettes and it was 100 degrees outside in burbank. but dick clark did what he had to do when he put the story together. >> that's like the old reagan story. when he was making the second movie of the b features, he would say, sometimes they would wonder why we were on a dir ijible sinking, it was because we had footage of the dir ijable sinking. but that's the let's put on a show thought of the era. they were all entrepreneurs and inventing this new medium. we get a little self absorbed about the new technology and how important it is. but television, arguably one of the most important cultural forces since the printing press, was just the day before yesterday. and here is a guy who in a weird way was kind of the mark
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zuckerberg figure in his own way in the development of the great mass media. >> well, he had a chance also to watch music change. you think about -- he got called before congress in the '60s to testify about whether or not he was taking money to play records or getting money to play records. you look at where the music industry has come today, and it's really phenomenal how far it's come. but everybody said everything. this year we lost don cornelius and dick clark. you won't find two americans who played a bigger role in delivering pop culture music of all genres to households all across the country. so bless him and his family. >> absolutely. dick clark died yesterday at the age of 82. again, he had a heart attack yesterday. our best goes out to his family. and we'll move on and talk about some politics. we know it's 6 1/2 months until election day, but these polls, we have to talk about them. >> why wait? >> "the new york times"/cbs has it in a dead heat right now, 46%
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to 46%, the president and mitt romney. 42% of registered voters have a favorable view of the president. just 29% see mitt romney in a favorable light. another 15% say they don't yet know enough about him to make a judgment on that question. when it comes to the economy, 55% are confident in mitt romney's ability to make the right decision versus 51% who are confident in the president's decision making in the economy. he here are the key numbers though that remind you that the economy is the issue. 4-10 voters say they are falling behind financially. 64% are concerned about housing payments. and nearly half think that the next generation will be worse off. 1/3 of voters believe that the economy is getting better. and, john, all you have to do is look at those four numbers there to tell you what's important. >> having the smallest number there be the getting better i think is what has chicago and washington worried. and it's -- you know, it's a
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51-49 country. and it's going to be close. we have not had a significant blowout election in -- well, really, since 1984. but '88 was a pretty big margin. otherwise, it's not been a run away race. and i think the as ever romney had -- the work romney has to do is introduce himself. i hate to say shake the etch a sketch, but that's an image that comes to mind. and try to reverse those numbers. my friend evan thomas has pointed out that romney has now flipped his favorable and unfavorable ratings the better he's gotten known, which is not a wildly encouraging way to start. >> joe, we can talk all we want about dogs and ted nugent and everybody else. but those numbers right there is what this race is all about. >> everything else is just white noise. and you're right. we talked yesterday, willie, about the fact that the election is six months off. everybody shouldn't get excited
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about poll numbers. but what the obama people are looking at right now is the fact that mitt romney's likability numbers are in the 20s. they are in the 20s. and yet their guy is still tied with him in most polls this week. that is a disturbing trend for the white house. it's something they are trying to get their arms around. and it's something they should be very concerned about. how do you have a candidate -- i mean, the beer theory just gets poured down the drain when you look at these numbers. who would you rather have a beer with? people don't want to have a beer with mitt romney. in fact, judging by the numbers, a lot of them want him to get the hell off of their lawn. but you look at the overall numbers, they trust right now mitt romney at least as much as barack obama. and it's what we've said before. barack obama is not really even running against mitt romney right now. he's running against the
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economy. mike barnicle, though, front page, "new york times," talking about voters in ohio. obviously the swing state along with florida. and yet they are very uneasy about the choice between barack obama and mitt romney. the working class whites, reagan democrats, whatever you want to call them. those reagan democrats don't care for obama, and they don't care for romney. >> no. and there's one interesting nugget that goes to that point, joe, in the poll. and it's based on the question that recent price increases in gasoline caused any financial hardship for you or others in your household. if yes, has the hardship been seriously, and 38% answered yes, the hardship has been serious. and that question is answered at a time when in ohio and other states there are a lot of voters out there, huge numbers of voters out there, neither one of
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these candidates, the president of the united states and mitt romney, are not hitting their hot button right now. >> let's listen to the president out on the trail yesterday. he was speaking about the economy during an event in ohio yesterday. and taking a little bit of a shot at mr. romney. >> investing in a community college just like investing in a new road or a new highway or a broadband lines that go to rural community, these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth. they have been made by democrats and republicans. for generations. because they benefit all of us. that's what leads to strong, durable, economic growth. somebody gave me an education. i wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. michelle wasn't. but somebody gave us a chance. >> mitt romney meanwhile also talking about the economy and what his campaign called a p
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prebuttal to the president's acception speech. romney mentioned the 2008 convention, which you may remember that candidate obama accepted his party's nomination against the backdrop as the mccain pointed out extensively of greek columns. >> those things he said about the prior administration are absolutely accurate about his administration. and that's why even if you like barack obama, we can't afford barack obama. it's time to get someone that will get this economy going and put the american people back to work. he can't continue to try and deflect blame elsewhere. at some point, he's got to acknowledge this is his economy. what's happened is the result of his policies. not of his predecessors, not of congress. and one thing i'm convinced that you're not going to see at the democratic convention, you're not going to see president obama standing alongside greek columns. he's not going to want to remind anybody of greece. >> harold, you heard it somewhere in that bite. he says even if you like barack
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obama, we can't afford president obama for another four years. so acknowledging to some extent that he is a likeable man. but says, on economic questions, we can't have him around anymore. >> smart of romney. this race is joined now. we have all predicted this on this show and other pundits and commentators have. the more romney stays on the economy, the more he's able to talk about the economic health of personal families across the country and small communities across the country. the more he's able to blunt this private equity background, the more he is able to blunt his personal wealth background. and i listened to the president. the president is making this a very personal story, community by community, talking about investments from the federal government in broadband lines which is important. investments in community colleges. the challenge for the president will be whether or not he can weave that local story community by community, congressional district by congressional district, state-by-state, into a national story, into a national narrative, that says we've done better over the last now years
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and we'll do even better the next four. romney is starting to find his groove. he had to take down every republican nominee one-by-one with the exception of jon huntsman, who never really emerged as a serious candidate against him. that has helped him. you hear confidence in his voice now. the president has it too. but i have to tell you, he's going to have to get even better. both have to get better. but romney has made progress just in the last week. now he is presenting and projects. >> something else i noticed in the speech by romney yesterday, it didn't seem quite as canned. he doesn't have to always be slick. sometimes it's better if he stumbles around for a word or two. god knows we do it here. but he had a line of attack that i think he needs to stay on. if he -- that i think will really work. and that is, basically, stop blaming bush. even if you inherited a lot of bad things from george w. bush, this is your economy now. you said it yourself.
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when you got inaugurated, that three years in, it would be your economy. and it would be your blame. now, we've been discussing of course on this show, and john meach meacham, we discussed last night the fact that you can't blame this economy on barack obama any more than you can blame it on george w. bush, any more than you can blame it on bill clinton, any more than you can blame it on bush the first or reagan. yes, their policies do have a big impact abou. but we are in the middle of a 30 to 40-year transition, and a painful transition. but barack obama can't point back to the other guys politically. i just don't think that resonates anymore. >> no. for the same reason i think you don't get political credit for things you avoid. the political market discounts faster than any other. so by arguing it could have been worse, intellectually i think people say, that's right, or historically say they that's interesting. but what about the gas prices
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that mike is talking about? you know, what about the house payments payments? what about the fact that tuition payments are going up? what about the fact there aren't community colleges around or broadband? i think harold is right. it comes down to a kind of -- i would call it an investment strategy. i think what the president was saying yesterday makes a lot more sense to my ears anyway. instead of talking about taxes and what you're going to take away from rich people, why don't we talk about what the taxes we all pay are going to give to the people who need a hand up and the way we can create growth? it's a much more interesting message i think. >> part of the reality of this election, i would submit, is the anxiety factor. >> yeah. >> this country is filled with voters who feel a high degree of anxiety about their immediate future and their children's immediate future. and george w. bush is not on the ballot. you know, people aren't going to get a chance to vote him out of office. barack obama is running against
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mitt romney. you can see where the romney campaign is going. they are going to attack him with a feather. a feather of kindness. wonderful guy, great parent, admirable selection for the president of the united states, not up to the job. that's what they are going to do. and we're going to see if it will be effective or not. but that's where they're going. >> willie said it best. and you quoted him. i like him. we all like him. and if he's able to stay on that and merge what barnicle just said, that's a formidable line. and maybe one that could be sustained. >> willie, by the way, mitt romney's approach is the right approach. it's what we've been saying around the table for three years now. that republicans best line of attack is not calling barack obama a communist or a racist or a marxist. that does not win national elections. what wins national elections is saying, he's a good guy. he is a great father, a great
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husband. you know what? he seems like a great, great guy. he is just wrong on the economy. he's wrong on foreign policy. he's wrong in all the important areas. and i respect him, but it's time for him to go home. that -- if that's the tack the romney people take, then that's a much smarter tack than most of the republican party has taken over the past three, three and a half years. trying to demonize a man that most of america likes. that's the reality, ted nugent. get over it. >> exactly. >> ted nugent. there's another big story this morning we're going to talk about, above the fold in the "wall street journal." europe's rescue plan falters. some kind of troubling news inside that story. and we have a good man to talk to about it, former british prime minister tony blair will join us here on the set in new york. also tavis smiley and dr. cornell west will join us. and later, she plays the vice
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president in a new series, julia lou lou louis-dreyfus will join us. tomorrow, we'll be live from fenway park. the forecast looks great. beautiful weather for your friday before rain moves in this weekend. showers exiting off the east coast. it's a cloudy start along i-95. but the sun will be out this afternoon. should be a beautiful day after the cloudy start. temperatures very warm. 60s and 70s for just about everyone with dry weather. severe storms possible. if you're in oklahoma city, kansas city, down to dallas, you could see a strong storm late today more or less towards this evening. i don't think tornadoes are a problem. damaging wind and large hail. forecasts today, we are looking pretty good during the daylight hours through the southeast. in florida, we'll have afternoon storms that shouldn't ruin your day. everyone is talking about the weekend. looks like we'll see some rain heading into pennsylvania and
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new york state, eventually toward the big cities saturday evening. also the southeast as far as florida is concerned, wet weather on saturday. then on sunday, that storm tries to head up the east coast. i think new england is actually going to be decent on sunday. the mid-atlantic down to florida could get some heavy rain. and then by monday, it looks like that's when new england will see that coastal storm. again, that storm has progressed a little further off the coast, so things are looking a little better for some of us for the weekend but not all. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪
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[ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business. welcome back to "morning joe." let's look at some of the morning papers as you wake up. from "the new york times" business section, the $1 billion deal with inthat st at gram.
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facebook paid 30% in cash and 70% in stock. the deal was framed around the assumption that facebook would be worth about, are you ready for this, $104 billion. once it starts trading publicly. >> and it's the average age of the owners is like 14. 14 or 15 years of age. >> that's almost as much as harold ford inc. >> we were valued at $92 billion. let's go to new orleans. tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the gulf oil spill. yesterday, the house of representatives approved a provision that would divide 80% of all bp fines, about $20 billion, between the five states along the gulf of mexico to help pay for restoration and recovery. the "boston herald" says senator scott brown of massachusetts has been playing up his love of the red sox. but records show, uh-oh, he accepted a $2,500 donation from the president of the new york
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yankees, randy la vine. he said, quote, this is their way of paying us back for babe ruth. nice spin there, barnicle. >> the yankees, $2,500? that's all the money they have? come on. >> we should mention senator scott brown will be our guest tomorrow live from fenway park. democratic senate candidate elizabeth warren will also join us. it will be an exciting day up at fenway. >> the yankees played last night too, willie. >> did they too? >> why don't you throw that in there? they lost as well. >> no, no, no. no time. >> the first time the yankees have lost a series to the twins since the norman conquest. >> which was in the year -- began in the year -- >> did they teach you this at vanderbilt? >> no, no, we didn't get that far. let's go down to our good friend mike allen, the chief white house correspondent for politico with a look at the playbook. good morning. >> good morning, guys. >> we were talking about in the
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last segment how the economy would decide the election. that's the issue. the people who will decide the election are what you are calling this morning the persuadables. tell us about them. >> willie, when you unpack who these 20,000 to 40,000 voters in ohio and virginia are who are going to decide the election, there's two big groups. and obama and romney both have sort of been equal opportunity equal trouble here. they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. both obama and romney do well with your overeducated white voters and struggle with the undereducated blue collar voters. so they are going to be splitting that upper income group, your starbucks voters, and both are trying to get the down scale voters that romney has had trouble with in the primaries that were more of the clinton constituency in the obama-clinton race. >> by the way, john meacham is a classic example of overeducation. he is one of the overeducated.
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>> mike, is that a santorum category, the overeducated? >> mike, do we have any data that we trust to tell us which way some of the swing voters are leaning at least at this point? >> yeah. president obama has the upper hand with the upper income voters. and romney is going to have to struggle. they both are going to have a tough time with the blue collar voters. what's fascinating is you see that we may have fewer swing voters than ever. that 40,000 voters may be even less because the two sides are so polarized. i like to say that elections are decided between the 40 yard lines. and maybe even narrower than that this year. so the campaigns are going to be identifying and talking to these voters even more specifically very fascinating way that president obama is talking about to his voters is this mantra that he is saying change is at his appearance in michigan last
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night at the henry ford museum, he used the phrase change is 10 times. so we're really seeing there what the obama message is going to be. >> mike, if you had to pick a state to own a local television station in that was going to receive all of this political advertising money in october, where would it be? what's the most important state you think? >> my bosses own a television station in virginia, which is a really good place to own a television station. >> come on now. aside from that. in addition. >> no. virginia is going to be one of the most advertised states. also ohio. in the cleveland market already, every single general election ad, including from the obama campaign, including from the outside groups, has run in the cleveland market. so if you're watching cleveland tv issue it's already fall. >> quick question. do you think we'll have a bigger turnout than 2008 and 2012? some have said no. a few have said yes. how do think it's shaping up?
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>> well, the trends so far are smaller turnout. what do you think? >> i think we'll have a bigger turnout. >> why? >> i think voters are going to pay such close attention to these candidates on the debt, taxes, and entitlements. near the end, i think the debates will be more watched and i think we'll have an equal if not bigger turnout than '08. >> mike, thanks so much. >> and voters feel more involved because they follow all of this in realtime and social media. that also could be a factor. >> i would agree. and they do that on politico for the most part. and coming up, she is perhaps the greatest basketball coach of them all, men or women. pat summit announces she's stepping down as the coach at the university of tennessee. we'll tell you what she said yesterday when we come back. ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." a break for sports now. pat summit yesterday stepped down as the head coach at the university of tennessee with the women's basketball team there. she will take the position of head coach emeritus. the decision comes less than a year after she was diagnosed with early onset dementia. longtime assistant holly warlick, a former player under
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summit, will become tennessee's new head coach. in a statement well released yesterday, summit said i have loved being the head coach at tennessee for 38 years, but i recognize the time has come to move into the future and step into a new role. summit leaves as the winningest coach, look at these numbers, in men's or women's college basketball history. she took over in 1974, and racked up 1,097 wins against only 207 losses. she won eight national championships, won 16 s.e.c. tournament titles, and most importantly perhaps in her 38-year tenure, every player who completed her eligibility at the university of tennessee graduated. what an incredible achievement when you look at statistics in college athletics these days. >> if those statistics were next to a man's name, we'd say they were the greatest coach in basketball. she is the greatest coach in college basketball, men or women's. and when you consider these kids graduated, when you consider the grace and dignity in which she
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approached difficulty and adversity in her career and certainly the personal challenges she's faced, she never made last season about her. it was always about the kids. she'll be missed, but she will still be on that bench and still be an inspiration. and i think dave hart, the athletic director, said it well. he said she's an icon. and the greatest and the best there ever was. >> when you turn on espn in early april, and you see the final four, the women's final four, and those arenas are full, and espn is there covering every game, even when you watch the wnba, you can go back 38 years to pat summit. there's a straight line between her and what's happening now in women's basketball. >> and if you said big light orange involving whatever the final four was. she is an institution within institution down there. she packed basketball games when the men's teams could not. >> that's right. >> and for that matter, we say thank you. >> and the court is named after her. an incredible run there. again, she be around. she'll be at the school, head coach emeritus, but stepping
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aside as the head coach after 38 years. moving on to baseball. we'll all be at fenway park tomorrow morning beginning at 5:30 a.m. and at this time moo be a little tense around there. >> why? >> the red sox were swept. the texas rangers went into boston and swept the home team. scoreless in the second inning. kevin youkilis, two-run home run. his first of the year. he's been involved in that back and forth with bobby v. red sox up a couple of runs. boston still ahead in the fourth but not for long. mike napoli, two-run home run over the monster. the rangers have to leave. later, more napoli. smokes a double off the wall to bring home a couple more. four rbis, napoli leads the rangers to a 6-4 win. and the sox are swept at home. they are now 4- 8, last place in the american league east. there are 150 games left in the season, though, joe. so step away from the ledge. >> no, seriously, you sit here and you gloat. but i'll remind you that last year we started 1-8. >> and you finished 1-8. >> but then -- no, no. and then look what we did in september.
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look what we did in september. so we start slow. but we end even more slow. mike barnicle, i'm wondering, though, if this team -- maybe we need to send this team down to pensacola. they can play pensacola's new aa team, the pensacola blue wahoos. they need to be in aa right now, don't they? >> well, they have a couple of players on the disabled list. els burry and carl crawford. and right now you have a .500 team in the field. you have a bunch of spare parts. good players, major league baseball players, but not everyday major league baseball players becoming everyday major league baseball players. so we'll see. as reggie jackson once said, you know, it doesn't matter where you are when the grass is green. it matters where you are when the leaves are brown. we'll see in october where we are. >> there you go. reggie jackson. >> mike, we knew all along when we became red sox fans, and you have been a red sox fan a lot
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longer than i have, that we were going to be supporting a team that was going to bring hardship. they play catch. you know, they play a little pepper. they don't have the big payrolls. they go out there for the love of the game. >> here we go. >> socialist. >> no. if we come in fourth place this year ahead of the orioles, that's a win for us. that's a big season, willie. >> these guys would play for nothing. they'd play for the love of the game. >> joe is for free markets and adam smith and everything except the american league east. >> right, right. >> well, you know, they would play for nothing. they really would. and judging by their performances the past week, that's exactly what they should be paid. [ laughter ] >> mike, can you speak to the degree to which on talk radio in boston the hair is on fire? i have friends up there who say you can't go to a channel without them screaming the sky is falling. >> you know, it's such a small market. it's like living in the palm of your hand. and the red sox have always dominated the conversation when it comes to sports. and right now, there's thousands
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of people involved in setting up their self immolation kits. [ laughter ] >> as they head out to the bus stop or the t stop. watch this. [ laughter ] >> i want to remind our friends in boston, 150 games left. in the season. >> yes. >> and lose most of them. >> we'll be live from fenway. baseball commissioner bud selig will join us. also, the great peter gammons, an institution up there in boston. >> and lenny clark will be around. >> it will be a big day starting at 5:30 a.m. eastern time tomorrow, live from fenway. when we come back, must read opinion pages. [ male announcer ] for david oliver,
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td ameritrade. you know, those farmers, those foragers, those fishermen.... for me, it's really about building this extraordinary community. american express is passionate about the same thing. they're one of those partners that i would really rely on whether it's finding new customers, or, a new location for my next restaurant. when we all come together, my restaurants, my partners, and the community amazing things happen. to me, that's the membership effect. welcome back to "morning
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joe." it's a beautiful live picture of a sun somewhere. 6:44 in the morning here in new york city. that is a nice picture. i just don't know what it is. just being honest. >> it's a new day. >> d.c. like i said, it's a beautiful picture of the sun rising over our nation's capital. let's do a quick must-read op-ed. the "wall street journal," daniel henninger writing it's 1963 all over again. he writes, barack obama is asking people to cast a less than hopeful vote in november. resentment is not something most people in 21st century america carry around in the front of their heads. once barack obama stirs it up, as he is doing now, he has to sustain it for six months. he is asking for people to vote out of something resembling, well, depression, incidentally. of the final four republican candidates three were about as personally grim and ernest as the incumbent. only one ran with unmistakable personal optimism. joe? >> you know, jon meacham, it reminds me of something that you and i were talking about last night.
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when you talked about how barack obama needed to be more hopeful. we were commenting on how steve jobs' comments about barack obama always saying what couldn't be done, what always stood in his way. and you compared that, contrasted that, to fdr's optimism in the middle of the great depression. and jfk's optimism in the middle of the cold war. ronald reagan's optimism in the midst of an american decline that he tried to reverse. i would guess you agree with him in parts here. >> i do. i think that whenever you have a president telling you why something can't be done, even in private, if it's private, there really is no private with presidents and it gets out. in which he's explaining the legislative obstacles or something or the interest group obstacles. then you're sort of predefeating yourself to some extent. you know, fdr's great line is we
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have to be about bold persistent experimentation. if something fails, admit it frankly and try another. but above all, try something. and i do think that was the spirit. i continue to be fascinated by what president kennedy put in motion with the moon landing. can you imagine now a president saying, we're going to do this by the end of the decade. and we're going to do it not because it's easy but because it's hard. and then we do the damn thing. i mean, as a congressman, you've been in the middle of these things. >> i think you are spot on. >> can we stop? because the first time harold has ever said that. >> the president has tried to do with this energy. he said that we're going to wean ourselves off ofs fossil fuels for an energy supply that is sustainable and job producing. but what barnicle said earlier, there is anxiety. people are worried about short-term issues which is important, like how will i pay my house note, my light bill.
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for those whose kids may be in school, how do i make tuition payments? so he's got to figure out a way to give us something short-term we can get to. and then a long-term goal that we all believe we're striving towards. landing on the moon, americans understood that was really against the russians. we had to find a way to get this done. and this president has to find a way. i think this local narrative he has in each of these cities is positive. but i'm not convinced that that alone in the middle of a challenge that america is facing against the world that, that alone will carry the campaign. >> well, one of the bottom lines of this campaign that we are in the middle of, unfortunately, whatever candidate, which one, the president or mitt romney, figures out a way to reteach or teach american history to americans, to tell us who we are and what we've done in the '30s and '40s and '50s, and this is what we end up with in this
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country today, and we did it together, and these are tough times but there have been tougher times and we can do it. whoever can instill that sense of optimism with a smile on his face will win the election. >> i agree. >> there's no doubt about it. and that is optimism wins. and it wins in american elections because we americans have every reason to be optimistic. look what we have faced over the past century. when i hear people whining about how this is the worst it's ever been, and america is headed for a decline that is irreversible, i sit back and laugh. even in my laughtime, i had hard in 1989, the japanese were going to take over. i heard that in 1973, 1974 with opec, the arabs were going to take us all over as hostages. we all heard that back in the 1960s as america's social fabric unravelled by 1968. my god, how many times have we said this over the past 30
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years? this is a country that survived 18 recessions, i think, over the past century. a pandemic, a flu pandemic. two world wars. a great depression. we can get past a recession. but we need leaders who are optimistic and who understand not just historically trends behind this, but the historical trends in front of us. and that's very hopeful. when we're going into a century that's going to be won by technology, that's going to be won by science, that's going to be won by engineering, and we've got eight out of the top 10 universities on the planet here in america, we're -- we've got a reason to be optimistic. >> joe, i've got to tell you, i was at an event last night for a group called network for teaching entrepreneurship, where they teach high school kids -- and >> nifty. >> in low income neighborhoods how to start a business. the optimism in that room about being the next generation and carrying this country into the
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next -- in the war with china and everybody else, there's no sense of depression in that room. they know they can do it. they have got tools and dreams to achieve these things. and all you've got to do is hang around people like that who still have that american spirit. realize we're going to be ok. >> that's great. and to go to joe's point, the role of government is to try to present equality of opportunity. we just have to be able to create an educational system, andincentives, to let people do what they do best. >> are you still bar tending part time? >> yeah, yeah. they let me in. >> you should see willie in the bow tie. >> i do what i have to do. i have the cable news salary, guys. next, we break down the question, which candidate is funnier? the president or mitt romney? we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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on our car insurance. great! at progressive, you can compare rates side by side, so you get the same coverage, often for less. wow! that is huge! [ disco playing ] and this is to remind you that you could save hundreds! yeah, that'll certainly stick with me. we'll take it. go, big money! i mean, go. it's your break, honey. same coverage, more savings. now, that's progressive. call or click today. oh, yes. is it time? >> it is time. prerecorded mika. time for news you can't use. jon stewart weighing in last night on the important question of which presidential candidate is funnier. here's what he found. >> who's funnier, romney or obama? barack obama working the big
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rooms where it's easy to get the big response. >> i am releasing my official birth video. >> boom! he's killing! literally actually during that speech, as it was taking place, around the same time the s.e.a.l. team six team was taking out osama bin laden. that's true. meanwhile, romney working the smaller venues, dealing with small crowds like this appearance before a group of out of work voters. >> i should tell my story. i am also unemployed. >> you don't want to heckle your audience. [ laughter ] lately, obama has been a little off his game comediwise. >> with a role like that, i guess it was worth crying over spilled milk. >> so in the final analysis, i'm going to give the edge in being funny to mitt romney. and do you know why? because for him comedy is not
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just a pastime. it's a passion. >> i live for laughter. i mean -- >> so the edge goes to romney because he lives for laughter. unless there was a piece of videotape somewhere, improbable, of him saying the exact opposite of that on the subject of his own comedic skills. roll the videotape. >> i'm rarely funny on purpose so we'll see what happens. [ laughter ] >> i love you. >> that face from the first lady, at the state of the union, told the whole story. come on. that's not good. still ahead, the bbc's katty kay will join the conversation. also ahead, former british prime minister tony blair will join us here on the set in new york. keep it on "morning joe."
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why are we going to be live from fenway park? >> baseball, joe. baseball. >> it's fenway's 100th anniversary. be there. ♪ our president launched a new campaign initiative today called latinos for obama. the idea is to get latino voters rallied around him. so today the romney campaign released their own ad aimeda the that particular demographic. and who knows? maybe this will be the thing that gets him over the hispanic hump. >> hola, mitt romney. [ speaking in spanish ]
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>> welcome back to "morning joe." joe scarborough with you, along with mike barnicle and jon meach meacham, harold ford jr. and from washington, d.c., a beautiful shot of washington, we have katty kay. great to have you here, katty. we're going to talk about the meltdown in europe in just a minute. but first, mike barnicle, let's go back to what we were talking about at the top of the last hour for people just tuning in. obviously, dick clark passed away yesterday. this is a man who defined american popular culture in the '50s, and by extension throughout the world by mainstreaming a form of music that too many middle class parents that would buy the records for their children, that would turn rock-n-roll into a
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global phenomenon, they were a little concerned about it. dick clark mainstreamed it. made it seem safe. so crazy guys like little richard and jerry lee lewis could sing their songs to american teenagers. >> oh, yeah. huge, huge cultural figure in the life of this country. dick clark, a cultural icon. you know, it's not overstating it. in the 1950s, i mean, it seems hard to believe now, people think of the '50s as sort of a sleepy decade. it really wasn't that sleepy. but dick clark came on the air with a show called "american bandstand." it was on every afternoon. and at that point in our history, a lot of parents were afraid of what rock-n-roll was going to do to their children. elvis presley was on "the ed sullivan show" but he was only allowed to be seen from the hips up because of the way he would i go gyrate and dance.
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and putting music into the culture in a way it had never been placed in the culture before. dick clark's "american bandstand" brought black teenagers onto the tv screen dancing for the first time to music played by black groups that had not had the opportunity to be presented to america before. he was a huge figure. "american bandstand" was a huge bridge into the 1960s. and the growth of music that literally changed the way we live. changed our culture. rock-n-roll. >> there's no doubt about it. and jon meacham, in the 1950s, even with president brown v board, america was still a segregated culture. and this was too many white american parents in suburbs saw rock-n-roll as, quote, black music. even if white guys, big white guys like bill haley, were singing "rock around the clock." but, you know, you had "black
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board jungle" had that as a theme song. teenagers would tear up theaters where it played. you had, as mike barnicle said, elvis the pelvis as a lot of parents derisively called him. and you had jerry lee lewis and little richard and characters that weren't exactly main stream. dick clark made it culturally ok. >> the music explosion and the marrying that to the mass medium of television, which as we've been talking about, that was the first great internet. that was the first great new technology. it's hard to understand now how important television was in changing all kinds of attitudes. particularly as you say after brown in '54 and the follow-up decision in '55. it wasn't just the news coverage of selma in '65. it wasn't just the coverage of the march on washington in '63. so much of civil rights had to
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do with sports, had to do with jackie robinson, it had to do with music. and realizing having people who had seen somehow foreign to you coming into your house in a quote, unquote, safe way and becoming part of the wallpaper of your life. >> dick clark was kind of like the guy that said, well, kind of like mika with me on this show. he's with me. it's ok. let him in. >> yeah, yeah. >> all of these rock stars that seemed foreign to the middle class. we had america's teenager. katty kay, let's go from something that's uplifting and exciting and transcendent like rock-n-roll and dick clark to something that's nasty and brutish like the european debt crisis. >> that's why you're going to me now? thanks, joe. thanks. the voice of gloom. >> yeah, the voice of gloom. but things have taken a turn for the worse in europe, have they not? >> well, you know, i'm going to
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dispute that slightly. this week we've had a whole bunch of news. the international monetary fund revised upwards its world economic forecast. ok. the italians slashed their forecast growth, but the markets kind of shrugged it off. so i think the picture out of europe is reasonably mixed at the moment. look, it can still go very wrong. greece can still go wrong. we're seeing the numbers out of italy. that can still go wrong. spain can clearly still go wrong, although today in spain they this a bond auction that sold better than they actually thought it was going to do. so i'm beginning to be a little bit less the voice of gloom than i was when it comes to the european picture. that doesn't mean that we could have a greek surprise or a spanish surprise come october and the markets could go crazy and that could total change the outcome of the election. >> well, obviously. and of course we're referring to the front page of the "wall street journal" this morning that talks about how the european debt plan is faltering right now. the rescue plan is faltering. banks in trouble. countries are close to exhausting money injected to ease the crisis.
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i guess the bigger question is, and george sorros predicted this earlier in the week, the bigger question is whether the eu will hold together or blow apart because of this crisis. what do you think? >> i think the long-term prognosis for the eurozone is still shaky. will greece still be a member of the eurozone? you can find a ton of people who think that's not going to happen. all i'm saying is that amidst headlines like that in the "wall street journal" we're actually having bond sales like the one we're seeing today in spain that are much more optimistic than people might have thought. so it's a patchy picture. i don't think the issue of whether you can have a financial house that includes germany and greece, two nations that are totally different in their spending and saving habits in the same financial union, that hasn't been row solvresolved ye.
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at some point, germans are going to turn around and say we're over the war guilt. we don't have to help out the greeks who we think have been irresponsible. >> of course, katty. and at some point, the german people are going to say enough to their government, and you're right. they are going to say we are not guilty anymore for what our grandfathers and fathers did. we're not going to carry the rest of europe on our backs. and, jon meacham, can you imagine the united states government being locked in some sort of economic -- some sort of economic system that would allow other countries to be even more reckless than us? and then the president going to the taxpayers time and time again saying, yeah, we've got to bail greece out again because they really -- they just don't really like cutting benefits, and they don't like the idea of five-day work weeks. >> right. i think that would be a difficult political sell.
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i think is what we would call that. i would ask katty playing off joe's point, to what extent do you think the european markets -- what does the european market view at this point of a potential romney presidency? or have they gotten that far? where is their money, where is their thinking in terms of a possible presidential switch? >> you know, i just don't think they have gotten that far. i mean, to the extent that the markets are watching america and not watching europe, it's when americans can't agree over something like raising the debt ceiling. and then of course everyone in the markets is sitting, if they can't keep the governments running, then maybe they won't be able to do the tough things we need them to do in terms of long-term entitlement spending and bringing down the deficit. but at the moment, they are watching week-by-week, and clearly the markets are very short-term at the moment. they are not thinking, oh, right this is what mitt romney's 50-page economic plan is going to give to us. so europeans generally, some of
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the blush over president obama has come off. but they would probably were they given a vote, which of course they're not, they would probably still want this white house rather than switching to a republican white house at the moment. that's a gross generalization. >> mike barnicle -- and, katty, don't worry about that, because we at "morning joe" specialize in gross overgeneralizations. >> you've got new york state and mississippi and alabama and california all in the same country, and there is cross subsidy going on from one state to another. >> we have fought in the same wars together and we have for hundreds of years. i think it's a little bit tougher for germans to bail out greeks and italians. but we'll see. it's fascinating. mike, let's come back to the u.s. politics.
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"the new york times" and cbs put out a new set of numbers which again we're not so interested in the overall result but you dig into some of the numbers, and you have got to be scratching your head wondering why the president is not 10 points ahead of a man whose favorability ratings are stuck in the 20s. >> yeah. the internals of "the times" poll are pretty interesting. the latest "new york times"/cbs poll has president obama and mitt romney in a dead heat. both get 46% support. 42% of registered voters have a favorable view of the president, while only 29% see romney in a favorable light. another 15% say they just don't know enough about him. the potential area where we can make up ground. he can carve out a definition of himself. when it comes to the economy, 55% of confident in mitt romney's ability to make the right decisions. that's up against 51% who are confident in president obama's decision making on the economy. the economy remains a central
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issue in the race, joe, with nearly four in 10 voters saying they are falling behind financially. 64% are concerned about housing payments. nearly half think the next generation will be worse off. that's a troubling number for any incumbent. 1/3 of voters believe the economy is getting better. joe, there is one element in the internals that we mentioned earlier that i thought i'd bring up again, and it is this on gas prices. recent price increases in gasoline cause any financial hardship for you or others in your household. and 38% of the respondents said yes, and it's had a serious impact on their living circumstances. that is a potential real trouble for the president. >> as we always say, that's the number that bill clinton always looked at the closest because he understood what people paid at the pump impacted americans more than almost anything else. so harold ford, what does the
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obama white house need to do to try to work through the fact that their guy is more likeable with the general electorate right now, and yet he just does not seem to be trusted on some of the key issues? on the economy, on bringing down the debt. how do they get past the fact that their guy is a lot more popular, but he's not ahead by margins he should be ahead by? >> the debt and gas prices are probably the two most important things on voters' minds outside of their own personal issues, meaning their home costs and other things. the president has got to figure out a way i think between now and mid to late summer to accomplish something more concrete, i believe around energy and around reducing the debt. if reducing the debt means announcing his unapologetic support for simpson bowles, urging members of congress to come back and vote up or down on it, even if they choose not to
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come back, he then has something tangible to lay blame on republicans. if they do come back and vote on and it passes it gives him something concrete to brag about. he has to do something about energy. the keystone pipeline has become a symbol of it. and the french elections seems to be creating uncertainty here with at least large asset managers. larry fink is indicating this morning that the french elections and the u.s. electrics are part of the three things that concern investors the most. i was wondering how is president sarkozy doing there. >> he has been slipping in the polls recently. he had that little flurry of a speak in the polls after the incident in toulouse, and that was seen around security issues and that helped hip. but he hasn't been doing that well in the polls. in the days before the first round of the approximapresident in france. and we are in a weird situation where economists i speak to say the trouble with what you're suggesting, harold, about
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getting big things done is that we have too many important elections, and the french one and the american ones are the two big ones, and that is actually hindering our chances of the kind of action that needs to be taken to improve the world economy. >> so, katty, there's a new poll that just got released this morning that digs into another issue. and that has to do with women. right now in the poll, barack obama leading mitt romney by a whopping 20%, 52%, to 32%, on women's issues as we saw dramatically re-enacted in "game change" from the 2008 election. republicans cannot win if they have a gender gap in double digits. and right now, that looks exactly like what we have right now. and you look at women voters, it is a double digit lead for president obama. ahead 49% to 39%. among women.
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>> joe, this isn't a gender gap. it's a gender canyon we have got going on between the democrats and the republicans at the moment. and you're right, they can't win unless they do something about trying to reach out to women. and i think the underlying issue here is not only stuff about mommy wars that we have seen recently. i think that's kind of irrelevant frankly. it's the perception that republicans have been trying to push positions on women's health that are not supportive of women. and i think that's what women in the center particularly of this political spectrum are finding so distasteful, if you like, about republican candidates. women are starting to think, are our health rights, are our reproductive rights, is my health, being protected by this party. and i think that's why you are seeing those gaps. and they are not shrinking, those gaps. and mitt romney will have to do more than sending out ann romney
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saying women are concerned about economic issues. of course they are. but that's not what is accounting for this began. gap. >> katty, you're right. there also seems to be an indifference toward women within a lot of the pronouncements of several of the republican candidates, which is going to be much more than harmful to them in the short run. it's going to be fatal to them in the long run. >> yeah. it's this kind of sense that we're back in the 1950s. the whole debate over access to contraception, about vaginal probes for ultrasounds. it makes women feel like they are some sort of side cast, that their thoughts and their feelings and their needs on this are not really central to the equation. and you see -- when you see a whole people of men discussing this up on capitol hill, it makes you feel like you're back in the '50s or a time before we even had the vote where we could say what we wanted on these things. >> are you there, joe? >> yeah. jon meacham, we had donny deutsch on yesterday. it's a mistake we make often.
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[ laughter ] >> i'm not exactly sure why. but for the fact that he does give mika some really nice shoes every once in a while, and apparently for some reason -- >> and security isso porous downstairs time sometimes. >> and there are some people, including kathy ireland, that actually like donny deutsch. but donny was taking refuge in the historical fact that americans don't usually kick incumbents out of the white house. and he said that over the past 50 years, perhaps, only jimmy carter and george h.w. bush were kicked out of the white house. and he doesn't see that happening to barack obama. and yet we've got a volatility. republicans wa republicans won or lost to independents by 18 or 20 points
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and then they lost by 18 or 20 points. i don't think it applies now. what do you think? >> i think that's right. i have a theory that because of the social media, because of the saturation coverage, four years now feels like eight. and we get -- we spend so much time with these candidates, these presidents, with us, that it feels as though they have been around. and therefore, wear out their welcome, more quickly. that's true on carter and the first president bush. it's also true that you had a couple of really anom las situations. in 1968, the democrat was too unpopular to run. in 19 -- the watergate, ford/nixon situation, obviously is anomalyous.
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so i think it is in our nature to re-elect a president, partly because we want to feel that we were right. so i think there is a cultural inclination for that. but i think arguing from a pattern that the president's re-election is secure or even likely because of history is not right. >> you know, mike barnicle, eye happy birthday today to ron coffman, our good friend, a boston guy, who is standing in the romney campaign. we have just compromised by calling him our good friend. but it's his birthday today. >> very good guy. great pal of former governor weld of massachusetts. and confidant of mitt romney. absolutely right, happy birthday, ron. and we have now compromised his future in the romney campaign by indicating that we know him and are close with him. >> it's over. >> yeah, it is over. one thing you and jon were just talking about, the polling today
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is very sophisticated. we all know that. it goes in depth about the human behavior across this country. but i don't know that it measures sophisticatedly enough the level of anxiety in this country. i don't know that the pollsters watch people shop. if you watch people shop, people with children, i was in a new balance outlet store over the weekend and watched people with children shop buying sneakers for their children. and they were almost always going down in cost because they are anxious about not just the future, that you are anxious about the coming week. and that's a troubling trend. >> mike, mike. >> yeah. >> they are anxious. those young mothers in the new balance store in boston are anxious for the same reason women walking through central park past the man in the all-black track suit and reflector shades are nervous when they walk past your station, your bench, in central park. they are nervous because -- >> that's just one element.
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>> it's a big element. >> you lost the cost issue i was addressing. >> whatever. >> you're lucky you're in d.c. this morning. stay with us. still ahead, former british prime minister tony blair will join us on the set. also, actress julia louis-dreyfus. wow. huge. tavis smiley and dr. cornel west next join the conversation. hi, i just switched jobs, and i want to roll over my old 401(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money. roll over your old 401(k) into a fidelity ira
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investing in a community college, just like investing in a new road or a new highway or broadband lines that go into rural communities, these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth. they have been made by democrats and republicans for generations because they benefit all of us.
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that's what leads to strong, durable economic growth. somebody gave me an education. i wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. michelle wasn't. but somebody gave us a chance. welcome back to "morning joe." it's 7:26 in the morning. joining us now, the cohost of the smiley and west radio show, tavis smiley and princeton university professor dr. cornel west. together, they are the author of the book "the rich and the rest us." good to see you here. >> good to be here. >> you have been on this poverty tour for some time now. what's been your biggest take away? what have you seen out there in the country? >> i'll pick up on what mike barnicle was saying in the last segment, that poverty is so extreme now, so deep, no broad, so significant, that a slight uptick in our economy is not going to address the issue of poverty. when one out of two americans is
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either in or near poverty, 150 million people, the persistent poor, the new poor, the former middle class, the near poor, this is the worst we've seen in a very long time. and it's no longer not that it ever was it's no longer color coded, jon. we think of poverty, we tend to think whatever reason black and brown. americans of all race, all colors, all creeds. again, one out of every two of us is poor. that's one, you, one, you, one, you. that's how serious this really is. so we saw something that was so dire that people are not -- they are beyond the embarrassment of losing their job and their home and their 401(k) and their savings. they are trying to hold onto their dignity. and to the point you raised in that earlier poll, when half of the country thinks that its best days are behind them and they are fighting to hold onto their dignity, you have a real problem. >> dr. west, joe is in his bunker somewhere.
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>> i am buried in west virginia in case things go terribly wrong at the white house. dr. west, i want to challenge you on the title of the book. you say "the rich and the rest of us." and i understand we need tax fairness, and that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorner countries across the globe. but it seems to me the great challenge is middle class entitlements. you will find republicans and democrats alike that are willing to go after medicaid because the poor really doesn't have representation on k street. >> that's right. >> but they won't go after medicare because that's middle class entitlements. there's a reason why the poorest sector in our society are poor, and for the most part minorities. and it's because they don't vote. they are underrepresented in washington, d.c. and so it's -- this is just a much bigger problem that's been coming at us now for 30 or 40 years. >> well, i mean, i think it
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depends on your framework, brother joe. and i must say i miss my dear sister, mika. but it depends on your framework, you see. because brother tavis and i decided when we met 25 years ago we would keep alive the legacy of dr. king until the day we die, which means we look at america to not spin how can we keep the debt down, but how can working americans live lives of peace and dignity. which means jobs with a living wage. how do we create conditions with the possibility for jobs with a living wage across the board, not initially cutting back on entitlements, or military industrial complex. look at this. broader drone tactics sought. we're going to find money for this. and we're going to kill some innocent people. we might take out some terrorists and kill some innocent people. it's a disgrace. it's the vantage point, brother
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joe. we look through a different set of lenses. it's not austerity. >> go ahead, joe. >> no. i was just going to say, tavis, the issue is if you look at our budget, the problem is everybody is cutting out of the 10, 11, 12% of the budget that affects programs for the poor. that affects infrastructure spending, that affects r&d, that affects education they're not going to touch defense, medicare, social security. over the arc of the next 30 years. because those are political sacred cows. don't we have to have leaders that are going to say, you know what we're going to do? we're going to ask the rest of the country to sacrifice, and we're going to try to save these programs but also help the poorest among us. >> i couldn't agree more. doc and i were just reading in the paper on the way to the studio here about the fact that
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the house agricultural committee just yesterday voted to tighten restrictions either further on food stamps. so this austerity stuff is really starting to irk me quite frankly. and i think we are going in the wrong direction if we think that's the answer given what dr. west just said a moment ago. but joe, you're right about the fact and we argue in the book that there seems to be a bipartisan consensus in washington that the poor just don't matter. both parties are quite frankly lacking when it comes to making poverty a priority in this country. this is not a skill problem. this is a will problem. do we have the will to make poverty a priority? right quick, mike, one of the things we argue in the book, the very future of our democracy is predicated upon how seriously we take the issue of poverty. poverty threatens our very democracy, poverty is a matter of national security. so this is not just looking out for a few people because, you know, they need our mercy and need our help, need our attention.
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this is about the democracy of this country being sustained. >> you know, cornel, i have always been amazed, 35 years benefit you left cambridge, you know, walking around the streets of cambridge in boston, writing about people, many of them not doing that well. and i have always been amazed at two things. first of all, the resentment toward the poor that there is. almost epidemic in this country. and secondly, the fact that so few people who have attained some status, politically, economically in this country, who don't understand nobody, if given the chance, would want to be born poor. >> that's right. >> nobody would. >> that's right. >> but i don't get the resentment. i do but i don't. >> well, i mean, you think of the late great john kenneth galbraithe, canadian, harvard man, but when that discipline was tied to public interest, common good, not just free markets, unregulated, unfettered
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or relatively regulated as if public interest is an afterthought. that's a great legacy connected to harvard in that regard. but i don't think it's just resentment. i think it's an indifference, a certain complacency in regard to the suffering of precious and priceless poor and working people. but, you know, the challenge is you're going to reap what you sow. sooner or later, you have to come to terms with this problem. 22% of our children are living in poverty in the richest nation in the history of the world. that's a moral disgrace. >> and the problem, jon, it's in the halls of congress too. >> well, there's never been a painless hour of great political action. i think a lot of politicians would like to do something heroic without having to risk their seats or their jobs and it can't be done. you look at george herbert walker bush and the 1990 budget deal. you look at lyndon johnson and the great society.
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think about '68 and vietnam. but he was killed in the '66 mid terms out of the civil rights and war on poverty. ronald reagan, governor of california, and the backlash begins. the more mainstream way to discuss what you're talking about is to talk about income inequality. as a national security issue, as an issue of our future. do you all embrace that? do you not want to use that term because you think it's a euphanism for the poor? or is it -- >> well, what we call for is fundamental fairness. so by any other name, income inequality, the growing gap between the have gots and the have-nots. mr. romney wants to call it the politics of envy. it's about fundamental fairness. nobody resents what romney has. they just want their own opportunity to have. so the book starts with a portrait of poverty. we have a chapter on the poverty
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of opportunity. but it's more about poverty of opportunity. it's a poverty of affirmation, a poverty of vision, a poverty of imagination. to your point, jon, you write about the fact that there is no way to do something heroic in this country without having some pain. but the question is, why does it have to be heroic versus doing the right thing, versus an attempt at fundamental fairness? why does it have to be something as heroic for people? >> because as dr. west would tell us, doing something that is selfless is countercyclical to the human inclination. >> martin king used to call for dangerous unselfishness. and that has to do with public service. think of those in the military when they are doing the right thing, they are doing, what, a dangerous unselfishness in the public interest. when you're fighting for the poor and working people in the face of indifference, complacency, calling for fundamental fairness, that's a dangerous unselfishness too.
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but in the end, poverty is a moral and political issue as well. what kind of a country do we want to be? >> it certainly is. and on that note, dr. west, i thank you and tavis for what you all have been doing while you've been on this tour and what you do every day. i love this country. i am proud to be an american. we have fed more people and freed more people across the globe than any other country in the history of mankind. and yet we have this one continuing blind spot. and it is taking care of the least among us. and you're right. there is a spiritual dimension to this. >> absolutely. >> if you don't believe it, go to matthew 25. jesus talks about it straight. >> that's right. >> and you guys do too. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you so much, brother joe. >> thank you. we'll be right back. the book, "the rich and the rest of us." [ male announcer ] when a major hospital
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coming up next, our conversation with the emmy award winning actress julia louis-dreyfus on her new hbo comedy "veep" where she plays the veep. "morning joe" is back in a moment. cuban
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this coffee is really hot. >> can you put it down right there? oh, gary, uh, oh, my god, what was i just going to say? oh. well, i don't know. it just went out of my head. it will come to me later. >> and joan is here from the white house. >> oh. >> i told him you were too busy to see him. but he ignored me, and by implication, you. >> madame vice president? >> close the door on your way out. quick, quick, quick. god, almighty. no. that was a clip of hbo's "veep," a new comedy that pokes fun at the office of the vice presidency. recently joe and mika and donny deutsch, i'm sorry to say, sat down with the star of "veep" and
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golden globe award winning actress julia louis-dreyfus. >> so mika is very excited to have you here. >> i'm going to watch. >> thank you. >> and the reviews have been over the top. >> so far, so good, baby. >> yeah. it's very exciting. i get to play the vice president. and a vice president who is, you know, in a powerful position and yet powerless. >> right. >> and it's a ripe area for comedy. >> and by the way, if you're at home thinking about sending us tweets about how this is a takeoff on sarah palin, joe biden, or anybody, you know what? go back to your mother's basement and relax. it's not. [ laughter ] >> come on. >> that's the way to bring them in. i like that technique. >> seriously, though, this is an important point to make. >> it is important. >> you're not making fun of
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anybody, but you are making fun of a position that even joe biden sometimes will say to us, what am i doing here? >> right. exactly. >> every vice president feels that way at one point. >> listen, there is -- i would say this. i would say there is no politician in washington who aspires to be the vice presidency. right? and so that makes it just a delicious fun thing to do. i have to say it is absolute -- just to go to your point, it's apt not a parody of any one specific person. but it's all about political behavior. >> it's a position you're number number two in the united states, but at the same time it's a degrading position in so many ways. i remember -- i don't know if you knew this or not. but i was in congress as a young man. >> oh. >> that's impressive >> but a guy comes to me, and i always say to people, what do you want to be at the end? give me the position i want to
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be and we'll back up from there and tell you how to get there. and he goes, one day, i'd like to be vice president. >> no way. >> and i was like, next appointment. nobody wants to be vice president. >> yeah. he didn't get the job. >> no, he didn't get the job. what is it about the job, though, that is, again, so powerful and at the same time degrading? >> well, obviously, the role of vice president is to preside over the senate. and then to step in should the president be able to govern. beyond that, it really is about the relationship in that particular administration between the vice president and the president. in our show, the relationship is, shall we say, highly dysfunctional. the president keeps the vice president at arm's length away. >> right. >> and you'll never see the president in our show. ever. and actually you'll never even know what party we're in. >> i was going to ask that. >> so have you talked to joe biden? because joe biden will talk to
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anybody. >> she talked to al gore. >> he is a nice guy. have you talked to joe biden? >> i have, but not in relation to this. i had met him prior to signing on to do this. i think he is a great guy. i love him. >> did you talk to al gore about this? >> well, i talked to a couple of vice presidents. and i was keeping that under wraps because i didn't want to -- i wanted to ask some really personal questions like, you know, i don't know, when you get up in the middle of the night because you have to go to the bathroom, does the secret service follow you? you know, how -- that's an important question, don't you think? can you see how i take this research seriously? >> so we have al gore. that cat is out of the bag. >> because he let it. >> did you talk to dan quayle? >> i'm not talking, man. >> what about sarah palin? >> i'm not talking. >> so you have a -- you know, we always hear about the body man. >> yes. >> and the body man is always, you know, you look at reggie love or whomever, always a fascinating relationship with the president. you've got a fascinating relationship with your, quote,
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body man. >> yes. tony hail, the wonderful actor tony hail from "arrested development" playing by body man. >> i have seen that show and it's fantasticment. >> it is fantastic. and he is so phenomenonally fabulous. he has everything in that bag that he carries, and he is right next to me all the time. so much so that i go like this and i immediately will get purell in my hands. in fact, we were in d.c. for the premiere, and reggie love was there. and i said, listen, you have to understand, we're not doing you, just so you know. we're not doing you. >> that's great. >> i'm hearing amazing things about this. really. and, look, once hbo puts you in that slot, it's like that endorsement when you have that kind of hbo, you know, big thin big thing before you, if they believe in it, it's probably right. >> john cincinnati for instance -- sorry, go ahead. >> you are trying to promote.
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>> knock me down. >> did you know i was in congress? excuse me? can i make a bigger point here? there are big things on hbo that don't get the reviews this gets. this looks like it's poised for success. i'm trying to compliment you and i'm getting killed. >> don't be sad. i want you not to be sad. >> i think i care too much. >> me, too. i'm getting teary. >> let me ask you think. i think enough time has passed since "seinfeld" when people see you on the street, they don't think, oh, she was in "seinfeld." it's not the first thing they think. she's funny, talented, a good script. this is going to be great. do you feel like that shadow,
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not a bad shadow, is passed now? >> i don't think it's passed. it's really in my history. it's a part of who i am. but i totally am -- you were in congress, weren't you? >> oh, lord. >> you know, i really don't like to talk about it. >> kind of like that. i'm proud of it. so, but i know what you mean. i think we can move on, at the same time embracing the past. >> you worked that out in therapy, didn't you? >> i did. anybody got a cigarette. >> i need one. >> give us your favorite larry story. >> he's at peace with himself. >> my favorite larry story. how about this? how about your worst one? >> there's so many. >> i know. >> i met larry david on "saturday night live" in the '80s.
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>> really? >> yeah. he was there, my third year on "snl." we bonded over the fact that we were both so entirely miserable on that show. >> one sketch on in a full year as i remember reading that. >> then it got cut between dress and air. we bonded over unhappiness and we will always remain bonded over unhappiness. >> i now remember, seriously, in my office, i have things taped to the wall. a quote you made for some reason was on a calendar. it said i love larry david. one of the funniest men alive, a gifted writer and he once threatened to kill dick. remember that quote? it's a great quote. anything else about veep we need to know about? >> tough watch it. >> when is it going to be? >> april 22nd, hbo. >> i can't wait. >> that's a clean up spot.
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>> yeah, it's a clean up spot. >> it seriously is. >> he doesn't kid around. >> what does that mean, clean-up spot? >> it's what sopranos is about. it's the big slot. >> yeah, yeah. it's a clean up spot. exactly. >> look at this picture, again. i love the shot they have to promote it. t.j., put that back up. she looks like a vice president. in the eyes. >> deer in the headlights. jul julia louie dreyfuss. thank you so much. [ male announcer ] this is corporate caterers, miami, florida.
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live from philadelphia -- >> a thing we call the twist. it's been the greatest fantasy of my life. i have been working 35 years in television. itis my first love. the bandstand made it possible. >> music underscores what happens to you. it's one of the three most important things in our lives. when i say new year's eve, do you think of any other place in the world? you think of new york times square. now, the big bonus we have been waiting for. happy new year. >> good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, april 19th. 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. with us this morning, mike barnicle, jon meacham and harold ford jr. mike barnicle, i have to go to you. my gosh, this guy called
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america's teenager. he was for years. it's hard to talk about dick clark and bringing rock and roll into the living room of americans and putting a face on rock and roll that made mom and dad feel okay. you cannot underestimate the cultural impact of this man over five decades, can you? >> he had a huge, huge impact on the culture in the 1950s, at a time elvis press lee appeared and could not be televised below the hips. when rock around the clock was considered risque music. rock and roll was in its infancy. popularity from coast-to-toast. parents in the '50s terrified of
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the impact that music would have on children. then along came dick clark. it became an iconic show on every afternoon. i think a lot of teenagers at that time knew every performer, dancer, people their own age who appeared on tv on a first name basis. i can remember his producers name, tony. dick clark took that show and carved it into a niche in american cultural history that certainly, obviously, has never been forgotten. >> it's never been forgotten or replicated when it comes to rock 'n' roll. rock 'n' roll's deejay, dick clark. willie, dick clark was also a hell of a broadcaster, beyond rock 'n' roll. the things this man did, not just what we saw in front of the camera, but also behind the camera. dick clark productions is still
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responsible for so many things that americans -- you know, because it's fascinating, we keep hearing how tv is less important by the day. somehow, dick clark has those huge event that is everybody stops and sees, whether it's new year's eve, the golden globes or the country music awards. you name it, this guy is the center of it. >> dick clark productions have not been replicated, yet. ryan seacrest is trying but dick clark created the mold for it. the other thing about american bandstand beyond the music is he helped create american popular culture. we see everything we hear online and on twitter and everything else. at that time, all you heard was the music until dick clark came around. you saw what the acts looked
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like, the way they were dressing and dancing. it was all in front of you in a way it never happened before. >> there was another huge element of american bandstand that ought not be underplayed as we talk and remember dick clark. as willie pointed out, you saw the act the first time. in the '50s, african-american acts. on tv, african-american teenagers dancing. a huge, it seems weirdly odd to mention this, but it was a huge step forward when you had brown versus education. you had young, black teenagers dancing on "american bandstand." >> dick clark died yesterday at the age of 82. he had a heart attack. our best goes out to his family. we'll move on and talk about
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politics. it's six and a half months until election day. the polls. new york times/cbs has it in a dead heat right now. 46-46, president obama and mitt romney. 42% of voters have a favorable view of the president. 29% see romney in a favorable light. 19% don't know enough about him to make a judgment. when it comes to the economy, 55% are confident in romney to make decisions. 51% on the president's ability to make decisions. the economy is the issue. nearly 4-10 voters are falling behind financially. nearly half think the next generation will be worse off. one-third of voters believe the economy is getting better. jon meacham, all you have to do is look at the four numbers
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there to tell you what is important. everything else falls away. >> having the smallest number getting better is what's got chicago and washington worried. it's you know, a 51/49 country. it's going to be close. we have not had a significant blowout election really since '84. '88 was a big margin. otherwise, it's not been a run away race. i think the, as ever, romney -- the work romney has to do is introduce himself, i hate to say, shake the etch a sketch, but it's an image that comes to mind and reverse those numbers. romney is now flipped his favorable and unfavorable ratings the better he's gotten known. it's not a wildly encouraging way to start. >> joe, we can talk about dogs and ted nugent and everybody else, those numbers are what the
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race is about. >> everything else is just white noise. you are right. we talked about the fact the election is six months off. everybody shouldn't get excited about poll numbers. what the obama people are talking about is mitt romney's likability numbers are in the 20s. they are in the 20s. yet, their guy is still tied with him in most polls this week. that is a disturbing trend for the white house. it's something they are trying to get their arms around. it's something they should be very concerned about. how do you have a candidate -- i mean the beer theory just gets poured down the drain when you look at the numbers. who would you rather have a beer with? people don't want to have a beer with mitt romney. judging by the numbers, a lot of them want him to get the hell off their lawn. look at the overall numbers, they trust right now, mitt
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romney at least as much as barack obama. it's what we have said before. barack obama is not really running against romney right now. he's running against the economy. mike barnicle, front page, new york times talking about voters in ohio. obviously the swing state, along with florida. they are very uneasy about the choice between barack obama and mitt romney, the working class whites, reagan democrats, those reagan democrats don't care for obama and they don't care for romney. >> no. there's one interesting nugget that goes to that point, joe, in the poll. based on have recent price increases in gasoline caused financial hardship for you and your household? if yes, was it serious?
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38% answered yes, it's been serious. that question is answered at a time when in ohio and other states there are a lot of voters out there. neither one of the candidates, the president of the united states and mitt romney are not hitting their hot button now. >> let's listen to the president on the trail yesterday. he was speaking about the economy at an event yesterday taking a shot at mr. romney. >> investing in a community college like investing in a new road or highway or broad band lines that go into rural communities, they are not a part of a grand scheme to redistribute wealth. they have been made by democrats and republicans for generations because they benefit all of us. that's what leads to strong durable, economic growth. someone gave me an education. i wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
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michelle wasn't. but somebody gave us a chance. >> mitt romney, meanwhile, talking about the economy and what his campaign call add prebutt l at the president's acceptance speech. then candidate obama accepted his party's nomination against the backdrop as the mccain campaign pointed out extensively of greek columns. >> those things he said about the prior administration are absolutely accurate about his administration. that's why, everyone if you like barack obama, we can't afford him. it's time to get someone that will get the economy going and put the american people back to work. he can't continue to flick blame elsewhere. at some point, he has to acknowledge this is his economy. it's not of his congress. one thing i'm convinced you are not going to see at the convention, you are not going to
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see president obama standing alongside greek columns. he's not going to want to remind anybody of greece. >> you heard it in that byte, even if you like barack obama, we can't afford president obama for another four years. acknowledging to some extent he's a likable man. on economic questions, we can't have him around anymore. >> smart of romney. this race is joined now. we have all predicted this on this show, other pundits and commentators have. the more romney stays on the economy, the more he can talk about economics across the country. the more he's able to blunt the equity background and blunt his personal wealth background. the president is making it a personal story, community by community talking about broad band lines this which is important. the problem for the president is
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whether he can weave it community by community, state by state into a national story that says we have done better over the last four years and we are going to do better the next four. romney is starting to find his groove. one of the things we said on this show, he had to take down every republican nominee one by one with the exception of huntsman who never emerged. you can hear confidence in his voice now. the president has it, too. he has to get better. both of them have to get better. romney made progress in the last week in how he's presenting and projecting. >> i tell you something i notice in the speech by romney, it didn't seem quite as canned. he doesn't always have to be slick. it's better to stumble around for a word or two. god knows we do it here. he had a line of attack that i think he needs to stay on. i think it will really work. that is, basically, stop blaming
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bush. even if you inherited a lot of bad things from george w. bush, this is your economy now. you said it yourself when you got inaugurated three years in, it would be your economy and your blame. we have been discussing, of course, on this show. jon meacham, we discussed the fact you can't blame this economy on barack obama any more than george w. bush or bill clinton or bush the first or reagan. yes, their policies have a big impact. but we are in the middle of a 30 to 40 year transition. a painful transition right now. with that said, barack obama can't point back to the other guy politically. i don't think it resinates anymore. >> no, i think for the same reason you don't get political credit for things you avoid.
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by arguing it could have been worse, intellectually, people say that's right or historically they say that's interesting. what about the gas price that is mike is talking about? what about the house payments? what about the fact tuition is going up? there aren't community colleges around. there isn't broad band. harold is right. it comes down to a kind of -- i would call it an investment strategy. what the president was saying yesterday makes more sense to my ears. instead of talking taxes and what you are going to take away, why don't we talk about what the taxes we all pay are going to give to the people who need a hand up. the way we create growth. it's a much more interesting message, i think. >> part of the reality of this election is the anxiety factor. >> yep. >> this country is filled with voters who feel a high degree of
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anxiety. george w. bush is not on the ballot. >> right. >> people aren't going to get a chance to vote him out of office. barack obama is running against romney. you can see where the romney campaign is going. they are going to attack him with a feather. a feather of kindness. wonderful guy, great parent, admirable selection for the president of the united states, not the one for the job. it's what they are going to do. it's where they are going. >> willie said it best, you quoted him saying i like him. we all like him. if he's able to stay on that and merge with what mike barnicle said, it's one that can be sustained. >> willie, by the way, romney's approach is the right approach. it's what we have been saying around the table for three years now. the republicans best line of attack is not calling barack obama a communist or a racist or
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marxist. that does not win national elections. what wins national elections is saying he's a good guy. he's a great father. he's a great husband. you know what? he seems like a great, great guy. he's just wrong. he's wrong on the economy. he's wrong on foreign policy. he's wrong in all the important areas. i respect him. it's time for him to go home. if that's the tact the romney people take, then that's a much smarter attack than most of the republican party has taken over the last three and a half years. >> coming up next, tony blair joins us here in the studio. we'll talk foreign policy, the countdown to summer olympics in london and his push for globalization. first, bill karins has a check
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on the forecast. >> less than 100 days to the start of the olympics. we have summertime thunderstorms this morning. if you are in the minneapolis area, iowa and des moines, you have rain heading your way. it will push toward wisconsin and chicago this afternoon. the east coast looks fine after showers. thunderstorms in florida. one of the stories is the drought on the east coast. improvement is coming this weekend. we are going to see significant rainfall. florida on saturday. rain from pennsylvania to new york, new england saturday evening. sunday, heavy rain along the east coast. it's not set in stone. this is a coastal storm that heads up to new england and monday. we'll track that for you. it could wash out your plans on i-95 this weekend. you are watching "morning joe," we are brewed by starbucks. ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ]
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all right. our dear friend, long time afghan producer, he that has taliban spokesman on the line. ask how he feels about getting his ass kicked. >> geraldo, that guy lives there. maybe you shouldn't announce his name and show his face while making him taunt the taliban for you. >> what did he win? what did you win? [ speaking foreign language ] >> what did you win? >> geraldo, when you return home to the states, you have nothing to fear from your neighbors. our friend lives in afghanistan. surrounded by those jerk
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[ bleep ]. >> joining us now, the former prime minister of great britain, tony blair. also from washington, chief nbc foreign affair correspondent, the host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. i want to be clear the song "you're so vain" was for geraldo, not the foreign prime minister. just an important clarification. i didn't want to get off on the wrong foot. >> a story we have been talking about this morning the front page of the wall street journal suggesting the $1.3 trillion bailout from the ecb has begun to falter. the countries are running out of money and perhaps will run into failure. >> the action by the european
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central bank in giving, you know, credit on easy terms has, to a great extent alleviated liquidity. the european economy is fragile and difficult. don't underestimate the will of the single currency. it's tough for these countries. they have to go through massive structural change. they can't devalue their currency. the growth rates are falling. it makes their position tougher. we are asking a lot of countries going through this period of pain. it's a tough and fragile situation for sure. >> describe the chess board for american viewers. germany has been asked to bear the brunt of this. how does that play out with germ ani germany and the rest of europe.
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>> germany is based on exports. they have a competitive edge. they are a credited nation. then you have countries like greece, portugal, spain and italy who have to deal with their structural problems and debt problems. they have to do it in circumstances where they are all part of a single currency. some of the economies aren't in line with each other. to get rid of the single currency is catastrophic. keeping it means very, very tough decision that is have to be forced through in great political disruption. this is a situation of which, i think, the only thing that will work is if it's absolutely clear that all the countries of the european union and particular germany stand behind the currency. it's what the german's are
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trying to do. as you can see from the market, it's very tough. >> mr. prime minister, let's switch the geography to the middle east. you are an envoy to the middle east. you gave a speech in florida and you mentioned the element of faith in terms of faith being part of diplomacy and we have to expand the faith of others as well as our faith. explain that, before we get to andrea mitchell, i would like to dry you out on that. >> what's interesting to me, this is a substantive question. you can't understand the middle east unless you understand the importance of faith. if you put the question to people, how important is religion to you? in the uk, the figures over 30%. in america, just over 60%. in all these countries, you are
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talking a fundamental social condition where faith plays an enormous part. it can mean an exclusive if you are not my faith, you are the enemy or values and a peaceful co-existence. it's important to understand. by the way, i spend a lot of time in the middle east. i just came back. from israel and palestine, you can't ignore faith in that conflict. what i'm trying to do is say to people, one xhendimension of ths to reach out to people. if i remain a christian and you are a jew or muslim, we can see a basis by which to live together, learn from each other and work together. because otherwise, you risk a situation where you get a perversion of faith so if you do
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not share my faith, you become the enemy and target of attack. that's a major part of what we are dealing with here. >> let's bring andrea mitchell in. >> i'm wondering if he can bring faith to fenway park. >> lost cause. >> yeah. more seriously, the challenge now, on tuesday the palestinians restated their demands. they went and the negotiator, you know him so well, went to the jerusalem office of netanyahu and gave their demand for settlements including in jerusalem. the israelis still have their demand for return to negotiations with no preconditions. they have not moved off that. there's not been meaningful negotiations since 2008. how do you get them in an american election year off the dime and into direct talks before it's too late? >> good question.
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i mean -- first of all, the good news is they are talking with each other. that meeting was important. but, we got together a process of engagement between the two parties. it's what we are trying to do to move things along on the ground. one thing that is important to understand, with all the revolutions in the region and the changes happening, the israeli/palestinian issue is still of fundamental important to the policy of the region and peace of the region. no matter how difficult and tough, we have to work on it and get the parties into some sort of dialogue to resolve the issues with borders and securities. issues with settlement come of secondary importance. >> prime minister, since your old office, a lot of observers were thinking the view the rest of the world had of america would
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change. do you think it's true? has the view changed in the past three years and what is it? >> to an extend. here 1 what i believe about the american position. the most important thing for you guys, in my view, is to remain strong. to understand that even though people criticize you a lot and, you know, it's the simplest thing to get out there with an anti-american message. even in the middle east where you think america is disrespected and dislike, there are a lot of people who look to america for a sense of freedom. there's admiration. my sense is, it's always going to be tough for america because you are the super power. people are going to attack you in whatever you do. it's true, there were attack ons america when george bush was
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president. barack obama has also taken tough positions. when you take tough positions, you come under attack. put up with that, but remain true to what you are trying to do in the region. >> sorry, harold. what does that mean to do in afghanistan. hang in there? stay in there longer. >> and what we do in pakistan with the drones. >> my view of afghanistan is ten years on, it's absolutely necessary that the afghans take charge
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we are not just walking away. we are still going to be there supporting and helping. >> let's take that argument back to the role of faith. you have in afghanistan a country where the median age is 18 years. they don't know who we are. they don't know who karzai is out in the providences. the degree of difficulty seems insurmountable. >> here is where the issue of faith is important. if these young people in afghanistan, by the way, in pakistan, where many of the young people are taught, if they are taught a view of faith, it's a view that is poisonous about people who don't share your faith. why are we surprised if we have a problem later on? i'm trying to persuade that a
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part of our approach is if you have a soft diplomacy. come on, you can't educate your people to have a closed mind then try to run an economy that requires an open mind. this is where i think the issue to do with faith. politics wants to put it to one side because it's tricky. i keep saying you can't be with religion if it is not religion. >> faith plays roles and political outcomes. the elections in france, the presidential race in france, investors here believe it has a big impact. there's a worry about the outcome of the race. it's an uncertainty that determines how and when the economy thrives again. your outlook and prediction of what happens in france? >> i think i'll leave the predictions. >> i had to try. >> it's obviously hugely
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important. it's important, i think to recognize the issue for people in europe and for people looking at the investment scene in europe, is this a hold on all? what's important is whatever happens in the french election or other elections because several are coming up in europe, there's no weakening of that will to hold the euro together. the problem with the single currency is the battle between policy and arithmetic. my experience is in the end, you have to get the arithmetic right. if that doesn't happen, ultimately, it beats the politics. we are not in that situation yet. the europeans are trying to make sure it's aligned but it's tough. >> is that why sarkozy is facing challenges? >> because of the economy. look, i was lucky, in my time in office, i had a growing economy.
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it's a lot easier in those circumstances. you are looking all over europe at the moment. even those countries not under attack in the bum market or through the stock market, they are having to put forward big amounts of change. areas like pensions, welfare and public services, they are all trimming back, reforming, reordering. it's a tough time to be a leader. >> they are questions we are confronting here as well. andrea mitchell has a quick question for you. >> because you spent so much time in israel, are they going to wait? do you think they will wait and see whether or not iran is willing to change or do you expect there's going to be some crisis point, perhaps as soon as this summer where they are going to move ahead? >> i think what was important is the last meeting between president obama and prime minister netanyahu, there was an
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agreement, an acceptance on both sides. prevent iran getting nuclear weapons capability. i think the process in the talk that is have taken place in istanbul and going to be in baghdad, you have to give it a chance. the consequences of action are so severe, you have to give it a chance. the diplomacy, the president is right saying it's got to be backed up. the options remain on the table. when we say it's not acceptable for iran to get nuclear capability, we mean it. it's what the israeli's want to hear. they want to hear it's a sincere commitment. the benefit and my appreciation is that that commitment was made clearly and accepted. >> we know you have to go. we appreciate you making time for us this morning. again, a nice recovery from "you're so vain" at the
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beginning. thank you so much. it's good to see you. >> great to see you, too. coming up next, the next guest says making the world energy efficient will not happen by getting on our bikes. it's going to take an effort. the owner of the umpire state building joins us next. cuban
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welcome back to "morning joe." here with us, the president of malkin holdings who includes the umpire state building. tony, good morning. good to have you with us. >> glad to be here. >> empire state building, the largest building in the world for a long time. >> for a long time. >> you had to retro fit that. >> it's easier than a house. it's a big building, we could attract top people. much, much easier and transparent than doing a home. >> what was the goal in doing
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that? >> take things away from doing the right thing and make it all about money. people don't understand the cost of carbon, but understand the watt. if we can focus on creating megawatts, watt that is are saves and compare it to the cost of an actual watt, we can have an actual discussion. >> are you getting help in the real estate community? >> we have been successful. it's attracted top quality residents taking an aobsolete building. it's changing the view of the world from putting in bike racks and showers to talking about real, verifiable savings, the cost and returns. >> is there a fear among other building owners, huge skyscraper
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buildings, is there a fear of going green? how much it's going to cost? how long it's going to take? >> it's a terrific question there.'s a fear of going green. green is an e mbig thing. it's open source. anyone can do it. it enables you to see, what am i going to spend? what am i going to make? what is my return? it makes the property owners more money. it saves the tenants money. the tenant piece is interesting. by understand thing that data, are looking at directing the e.p.a. toward making models and insen tents for tenants to get energy star ratings for their
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own installments. >> lyndon johnson used to turn the lights off in the white house. we have had various moments where things seemed to be on the cusp of why public consciousness and we are going to change something. how much has changed in your view? >> we are not focusing on the individual. we are not focusing on the environment as much as turning it into a business proposition. that's the purpose at the natural resources defense council. we want scaleable change with business models. this is an opportunity to go to the biggest utility consumers. if you take the top 25% in new york city, you are talking to way more than 50% of the total energy consumed in new york city. my argument is go for the biggest projects. empire state building
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contributed to 44 households of energy. the jobs we created are local. we are not importing in energy efficiency. it's not a solar panel or wind turbin. they are local jobs, typically with benefits. you get money into the community. reduce reliance on energy. reduce total energy consumption. they are verifiable ways. senators are all looking at different ways to approach it through legislation informed by practice as opposed to policy directive. >> the proof is in the numbers. you reduced energy consumption by 40% saving $4.4 million a year. who knew an 80-year-old building would pave the way. thanks for being here.
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>> thank you very much. coming up, new weekly jobs numbers and earnings report. business before the bell, next. ♪ [ male announcer ] from our nation's networks... ♪ ...to our city streets... ♪ ...to skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out! [ male announcer ] ...without their even knowing it.
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fidelity investments. turn here. welcome back to "morning joe." as you look at time square, check out business before the bell with cnbc. brian, how is it looking, man? >> it was looking okay until a few minutes ago. >> uh-oh. >> it's a bad news/good news morning. weekly jobless claims have come in above expectations. more people are filing for first time unemployment claims. the okay news in this has to do with the calendar, without
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getting wonky. if you have holidays it skews the data. listen, give it a few -- before we sound the alarm, give it a few more weeks because of the way the calendar fell. get a few more weeks of data before we say the jobs are deteriorating. on the good news side, bank earnings, a lot of viewers are saying why is that good news? bank of america's credit loss fell to the lowest level since the middle of 2007. so, their balance sheet gets better. they are more willing to make loans, et cetera. everybody agrees, it's a good thing. >> brian, that is good news. >> your hosts are slack. where are joe and mika? >> they are pretending to be
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here today. thank you so much. we'll take the good news. the weekly jobless number not great. we'll see if the trend continues. we'll be right back. with the spark miles card from capital one, thor's couture gets the most rewards of any small business credit card. [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! here's my spark card. and here's your wool. why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! the spiked heels are working. wow! who are you wearing? uhhh, his cousin. [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! wait! your boa. what's in your wallet?
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tomorrow, we'll be live from that very field. a very beautiful ballpark you are looking at now. fenway celebrating 100 year anniversary. itis where we are broadcasting. we have a crew setting up. the guests include senator scott
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brown, elizabeth warren, bud selig and the great peter gammon. that's tomorrow starting at 5:30, eastern at fenway park. we'll be right back. not in th. we also have zero free time, and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get one-on-one help from america's retirement leader.
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great. keep it moving, honey. honey? that's my wife. wow. there you go. there you go. [ male announcer ] go online to reach every home, every address, every time with every door direct mail. welcome back to "morning joe." great to have you here with us today.
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we hope you have a wonderful weekend. willie, first, what did you learn today? >> i learned that tony blair, the former prime minister is a good sport, even when we played "you're so vain." >> i learned that harold ford has a significant take on mitt romney. he thinks it's a closer race than we expected. >> i learned tony blair is an incredible person. understanding the element of faith in our lives. his mission is to understand that concept to understand other people's face. >> less impressive, the boston red sox. swept out of their own ballpark. >> do we have the seven second delay? >> not now. >> if it's way too early, what time is it? >> time for "morning joe." battleground america. president obama and mitt

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