tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 23, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
has a vice presidential process in place. i think from this point moving forward, it would be wise for all republicans to respect that process. >> sex, lies and videotape. opening statements today in the trial of former presidential candidate john edwards. on charges of violating campaign finance laws. plus, the secret service investigation. meet it the female supervisor for south america who had to clean up the mess. and i know lawmakers say the agency needs more women like her. chinese murder mystery. how the suspicious death of a british businessman threatens to unravel china's ruling elites. and a rare april nor'easter blasts up the coast leaving a foot of snow and more in its wake. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. in our daily fix today, mitt romney is set to hold another audition of sorts in aston, pennsylvania, at this hour. marco rubio is the latest republican to say no thanks to the number two slot. when it comes to being a running
mate, no doesn't really mean never. chris cillizza is is managing editor of post politics.com. let's talk about the vice presidential running mate and the marco rubio trial run today. we've seen senator portman on the road for mitt romney and others, as well. how important is this test drive for marco rubio? >> well, look, part of the marco rubio story we already know. he's from florida. he's a tea party favorite. he's a cuban-american. he brings a lot to the table. i would say i think one thing that does tend to get overlooked in this vice presidential sweep steaks is chemistry between the two candidates. one of the reasons that the clinton/gore pick at least at the start worked was because they had -- it was the young team, democrats are back. there was kind of a chemistry feel there. i this i all these things, you mentioned it rob portman. i would also mention paul ryan. he campaigned with romney for four straight days in the leadup
to the wisconsin primary. marco rubio today. i think this is all aimed at how does mitt romney work with these people? does he like them? does he not like them? i think that matters. we assume all politicians know one another and have a personal relationship but they don't. a lot of times they're running in parallel to one another. so i think these kinds of things less maybe even the public event than what goes on privately, the conversations and how they feel together does matter. chemistry, it matters in sports, it matters in politics. >> some of the players have recently been asked about it and have done their version of a tap dance. let's watch. >> i can't speak for governor romney and i can't speak for senator rubio, but if i was on both sides of that conversation, i would ask and i would hope that marco would accept. >> that's very nice of jeb. i hope he'll say yes if future president romney asks him. >> i think he would be a
fantastic vice president. >> romney, portman? does that have a ring to it. >> i think rubio has a better ring. >> i think i would demand reconsideration and sends mr. romney a list of people i think col suit better. >> now, i in talking to some people close to mitt romney and this is slew very every, very e. we know from last time how much vetting they will do, i think right now the most likely people really on the short short list would be rob portman, rob portman and rob portman with paul ryan if he wants to throw a long ball, but paul ryan would be much more controversial. i think port man is the overall best fit. >> the portman is clearly, he's the kinds of insider pick. he's very steady, served in the bush administration. he ran a terrific attest, a terrific senate campaign in 2010. he's steady. he wouldn't overshadow romney in
a way that rubio or chris christie might. they're all right now practicing the art of misdirection which is tried and true in politics. when asked about it, defer and mention someone else. we all know at least history would suggest, if you're offered this job, you almost always take it. there are very few stories in which someone demurs and backs away. so i think the best way to show interest right now is to show no interest at all. these are conversations that happen in private, not in public. those who are talking about being interested are almost certainly people who will not be seriously considered. >> and to all those who say it's not important that geography doesn't matter that all kinds of other demographics don't matter, the bottom line is, this is the first and really the most important test of mitt romney's showing the world that he is ready to be president because his judgment is called in play as to whom he picks. that's why this test is so important. >> go back to 2008, andrea. barack obama picks joe biden
kind of a steady safe you know, someone who was solid. john mccain picks sarah palin. it raises questions about his judgment. it also raises questions about the fundamental issue of the campaign, experience. he took that issue off the table in one pick. so i do think it does matter. i'm with you on that. >> chris, see you later. thank you so much. high stakes for john edwards today. his criminal trial is starting in north carolina, the latest chapter in the continuing saga. he is accused of using campaign funds to cover up an affair he had while run for president in 2008 while his wife was dying of cancer. joining me from greens brother, north carolina is correspondent lisa myers who has been following this throughout, was in the courtroom today. what's happened so far today and talk to me about the witness list. >> well, in the last few minutes, we've just finished up opening arguments. prosecutor david murdoch painted a very cynical view of john edwards. he said ambition is a good thing
in a politician, but too much ambition is dangerous. and that's what john edwards had. he was willing to say and do anything to be president. he said again and again, he denied, he deceived, he manipulated. and that he knew about and orchestrated the money that was used to hush up his affair, which the government is charging was amounted to an illegal campaign contribution. the defense lawyer, allison van landingham says edwards committed many since but no crimes. she said what the jurors need to do is follow the money and that the almost a million dollars here is -- was actually most of it ended up with andrew young who be the prosecution's first witness this afternoon. >> the key witness. and the real challenge for the prosecution is to persuade this jury that even though he did a lot of bad things and he's really, really unpopular with the american people, considering
his relationship is, his child and what happened with his wife, the fact is, was this campaign money or was it as he claims, a gift? and if he treated it as a gift, how do you persuade a jury that it was campaign funds and therefore, illegally used? >> reporter: well, the prosecution argues that it was given for the purpose of influencing the presidential election. now, the defense argues it was what motivated john edwards here was not ambition, but fear of the anger of his wife and fear of his own humiliation, that he wanted to cover up the affair long after he had any chance of being president because he did not want to have to deal with the consequences. so it's going to be -- you know, campaign contribution versus private contribution, and who really benefits from the money? the defense is going to argue that most of the money ended up with andrew young, a campaign aide who built a $1.5 million home.
>> it's such a seamy trial, but here's someone who was the vice presidential running mate, ran for president. had a star political career and now look at what it's come to. thanks so much, lisa myers for joining us today from north carolina during a court break. the pentagon has now suspended security clearances for military personnel implicated in the colombia prostitution scandal coming as is secret service movers quickly to try to contain the fallout from its own agency. at the heart of the effort is the special agent paula reed, head of the part-time office that is oversees colombia. she is being widely praised for moving quickly within hours to round up those involved, get them out of the country and jump start the investigation. >> i can't help but wonder if there have been more women as part of that detail, if this ever would have happened. nbc's kristen welker is following the story.
susan collins is part of the investigating committee, the homeland security committee. the ranking republican on that committee. kristin, a lot of focus on this. "the washington post" first reported this weekend about paul lal reed. she was a by the books -- you know, tough supervisor. not entirely popular with the men under her command. and the fact is that there are only 11% of the secret service force are women. fewer than that are african-american women as paula reed is. this was a very tough call. she's the one who reported it up to the director sullivan. and immediately acted, which rays questions whether a man in her position would have done the same. >> absolutely, andrea. this was a tough position to be in. and she will acted swiftly and her colleagues are praising her for that. she has been with the agency for more than 20 years and i spoke with a number of her former colleagues this weekends who said she's the cream of the drop. that was their language, andrea, just to give you a sense of how
much respect a lot of the folks have for her with the secret service. and they say it's really no surprise that she will acted as swiftly as she did to round up these men, to have them swapped out. remember, this it is all occurring with just hours until the president arrived. but there is no doubt that this was a tough position to be in. she is one of the highest ranking african-americans. she's a woman, which as you say there aren't very many women as part of the secret service. so there's no doubt that she was in a tough position and today, people are really praising her for how she reacted. as you know, there have been a lot of twists and turns since she made those initials steps and as of right now, as it stands, six secret service employees are on their way out the door, five still under investigation. and we learned just this weekend, andrea, that the 12th secret service agent who's under investigation was staying at president obama's hotel. however, that alleged incident happened several days before the president arrived. so important to get that in. but we're still learning a lot
more every day about this. >> a lot of people are asking questions whether the presidential security was threatened. so far they will say not. there's also the question of political accusations being thrown back and forth. interestingly both peter king and darrell issa andther republicans who were on the relevant committees and in charge of these investigations are saying that they do not think that this investigation really sullies president obama. the political fallout is another issue, but sullivan was, of course, an aappointee from the george w. bush days and is widely praised. i guess is going to be testifying, as well. >> absolutely. sullivan was appointed in 2006 under george w. bush. he has a lot of allies on both sides of the aisle. that's one of the things so interesting about this, andrea, is you've really heard peter sing, people within the administration say that they support him right now. they absolutely don't think that he should step down at this point in the investigation. i spoke with representative
peter king who said look, he is asking all of these questions because he wants to cast a very wide net. he sent a list of 50 questions to director sullivan. he said, i don't want to leave any stone unturned. that's why you are seeing peter king, chuck grassley and others really write up a list of questions and say look, we want answers to this. another question that they're asking, andrea, is were any white house staffers potentially involved. i spoke with administration officials about that question over the weekend. they bristled at the very notion and said look, there's no evidence to suggest that white house staffers are involved and secret service echoed those comments. again, representative peter king saying it's important that we ask every potential question. we don't think any secrets were compromised in this instance. however, we need to know. so the investigation moving forward quite swiftly on all fronts. >> kristin, thanks so very much. since it was first authorized back in 1994, the violence against women act has
had overwhelming bipartisan support. this year there is a big fight over reauthorizing the bill dividing the senate. though the current version would continue grant programs to local law enforcement and battered women's shelt shelters, most republicans are opposing efforts to expand the legislation to inclul indian tribes, immigrants and some same-sex couples in domestic violence programs. texas senator john cornyn is a member of the judiciary committee and in charge of getting senate republicans elected as chair of the national republican senatorial committee. thanks for being with us. tell me why you are opposing these democratic efforts led by joe biden who was the first sponsor of this bill back when he was a senator? the democratic efforts to expand the reach of the violence against women program. >> andrea, i'm a long-time supporter of the violencence against women act and was way' key author of a part of the last one that allowed us to gather more dna evidence and bank it and to match that against sexual
assault, persons accused of assault in order to get them off the street and hopefully exonerate the innocent. this should not be a political football but unfortunately, in this election season, now even the violence against women act is being politicized. it shouldn't be. i intend to offer an amount that i hope will get broad bipartisan support that will prioritize the testing of untested rain kits. the estimates are as many as 400,000 rain kits, these are samples taken in the course of an investigation of a sexual assault that have not even been tested that could then be matched against the dna banked materials, and identify perpetrators. unfortunately, many of these people don't just do it once. they're serial perpetrators. we need to use this information, this valuable tool to get them off the street and to protect future possible victims. >> but senator, even though many democrats i'm sewer would support that as well, willet me
play for you the appeal of sharon love, the mother of yeardley love, the young woman who died at the university of virginia after being beaten to death by her boyfriend who was accused and convicted of this crime. now, the fact is that a lot of this the law is to prevent and to permit investigations into domestic violence which doesn't deal with your amendment. i wanted to play a little bit of sharon love at the white house last week. >> domestic violence has shattered so many lives and will continue to do so until we stand united and say no more. my daughter was murdered almost two years ago at the university of virginia by an out of clinical cross player with a violent past. our lives will never be the same. >>ful you can't agree the republicans and the democrats can't agree on the reauthorization and this bill expires, what about future victims like yeardley love?
>> well, of course, we all deplore the kind of violence that mother just described. and as the father of two daughters and a husband, you know, these are the sorts of things that really i think tug at your heart and deserve the support in a nonpolitical basis. i know it's hard in an election year when everybody seems to be more focused on in over than they are on governing. but the violence against women act will be renorrized. the question is are we going to provide local law enforcement agencies these additional tools to focus on these untested rain kits who get more erperpetrator behind bars where they deserve. i hope people will show a little self-restraint and not try to use this as a wedge issue when in fact, republicans and democrats an like both support the reauthorization of the violence against women act. there are concerns about some provisions that indeed, may be even unconstitutional like
giving indian courts jurisdiction over nonindians to be tried on their reservation. but we can work through these if we'll handle this in good faith, and without trying to play the gotcha games that unfortunately seem to proliferate here in washington during an election year. >> briefly before i let you go, could you just tell me whether you think orrin hatch going to survive this primary challenge now that he didn't reach the thresh hold to avoid having to fight for the party's nomination in utah? >> i think senator hatch will win. and he'll be the next chairman of the senate finance committee and we need to do some important work like tax reform among other things to make us more competitive here in america. so i look forward to serving with him and getting that important work done come next year. >> of course, you're assuming that you're going to take the senate from the democrats. but we'll pursue that another time. thank you very much.
thanks, senator cornyn. good to you see you. was walmart involved in a massive bribery conspiracy in mexico in the potential fallout from the nation's largest retailer. and still ahead, jon huntsman's tough love for the republicans. join me for a live web chat between 2:15 and 2:45 eastern online@andrea mitchell.msnbc.com. mine stopped hurting faster... [ female announcer ] neosporin® plus pain relief starts relieving pain faster and kills more types of infectious bacteria. neosporin® plus pain relief. for a two dollar coupon, visit neosporin.com. trouble with a car insurance claim. [ dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed. [ foreman ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
walmart's financial position is taking a big hit today amid allegations the company covered up an internal investigation into a widespread bribery scandal. a scheme that if true would violate u.s. laws. according to an extensive investigation by "the new york times," walmart's own investigator found that will company officials spent as much as $24 million on bribes to
speed up expansion in mexico and to shut out the competition there. but the investigation was swept under the rug and the company if fact promoted some of the officials involved to top management jobs here in the u.s. jim cramer host of cnbc's mad money with jim cramer" joins us now. well, jim, in reading this detailed investigation in the "new york times" is, i found it one of the most shocking exposes if true of any american company that i've ever seen. i don't know what your reaction is. >> completely. i was aghast. i mean, look, this is one of the largest employers in the world, the largest private employer in mexico. this is a company that everyone knows. this is a company that has high standards. and yet, what they did is if the article is right is unforgivable. they buried a major investigation. >> and in can the fa, this was reported to them at a pretty high level back in 2005 if i'm correct. they had a former fbi man come in and investigate for the company. he reported that there was
substantial suspicion that the allegations were true. they had a whistleblower, a former lawyer whistle blowing on himself for whatever reasons. he was a disgruntled former employee and then they covered it up and promote the guy in charge of the alleged scheme to become the vice chairman of the company in arkansas? >> sarbanes-oxley is specifically designed for this kind of event. sarbanes-oxley, you it your these over to the audit committee that the hires a blue chip law firm frrm outside. they decided to not use wilky far, that law firm and a forensic investigator immediately get solved. the sec only deals with them. that's how you're able to root out corruption. this is was without a doubt if the times is right such a violation of sarbanes-oxley that the justice department can have a field day if they want to. >> we should also point out although it happened in mexico, there is a long-standing law, the foreign corrupt practices
act. that's what knelt bribery overseas even if it's accepted practice in mexico, it's a violation of u.s. law and this is a u.s. corporation. >> two weeks ago, a major executive from a company called kbr which had been part of halliburton was actually sentenced to 30 months. the investigation began 2003. turns out that that company made payments to nigeria to get a very big liquefied natural gas plant. guys going to jail for three years. now, 30 months. i want to say, andrea, this is the kind of case where if the justice department has decided that they do not like the tone of what happened in the times, you will see indictments. you will see prosecutions ta you won't believe that reach levels of walmart that are unthinkable. if what "the new york times" wrote is the truth. >> and, of course, none of this was known until the "new york times" i guess two weeks ago notified walmart of what it had.
and published a huge expose this weekend. final question i guess is what the impact would be on the bottom line on walmart here in the u.s. they might have to pay big fines if eventually convicted. but what about the stockholder support and their shares? >> well, i think the stock can go lower. i'm saying tonight on "mad money" this is not a buying opportunity. wall street tends to bring that fact out immediately. president obama, he may read the article and say this sounds dead wrong. the justice department might just say you know what? this is the kind of thing we must stop in country. next thing you know you've got to prolong the investigation that reaches to the highest levels of walmart. how are they supposed to compete with target and costco and dollar general and dollar tree if their executives are constantly involved with lawyers trying to be able to deal with not being indicted? >> well, typically you've got your finger on it all. jim cramer, can thank you.
don't miss mad money with jim cramer" weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 on cnbc. president obama paid tribute to victims of the who cast today at the memorial museum. he toured the museum with peace prize winner and survivor he will i weasel a-- he will i wiezel. >> i come back to something that he said that day we visited buchenwald together. reflecting on all he had endured, he said we had the right to give up. we had the right to give up on humanity, to give up on culture and education, to give up on the possibility of living one's with dignity in a world that has no place for dignity. they he had that right. imagine what they went through.
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jon huntsman sounds like he's fed up with the republican party. and after he compared leaders to chinese communists, the feeling is probably mutual. the former presidential candidate was upset that he was disinvited to a fund-raiser after publicly calling for a third party. on sunday, huntsman said "this is what they do in china on party matters if you talk off script." he tried to explain those comments on "morning joe" today. >> if you're not on script and you get knocked out of an event like that, the parties are supposed to be big tent. you're supposed to bring in all ideas. i thought for a moment about what they do in china if you're off script from the party, they knock you out. we shouldn't be doing that here. >> lois romano is a senior political writer for politico. you can understand party sensitivity when you start talking about third parties but jon huntsman is clearly someone who is never really comfortable
with the right word tilt of his party in these primaries. >> i think it's very hard to figure out what jon huntsman is doing. he endorsed mitt romney but made very clear he wasn't going to lift a finger for him. he wasn't going to go out and campaign. there's a lot of speculation that he's actually interested in a third party for himself because he's mentioned it on numerous occasions. he's denied that. but it keeps coming up. and he actually unfortunately sounded a little bitter making that comment comparing the party to the chinese communist party. >> and it does sound -- of course, the connection is that he was our ambassador to china and ambassador for president obama in china which is one of the reasons why he had so much difficulty with the conservative wing of his own party. so he's -- he seese to be a man without a country, if you will. >> exactly. i mean, and there was some people were talking about maybe he was making these comments because he's trying to get
another appointment from president obama. if he has designs on a future political career and everybody thought he was laying the groundwork for 2016, he's not going about it very well because he's alienating a lot of people in his party and i don't think the democrats embrace him because he left the obama administration to run against obama. it's unclear where had guy is going. >> to be continued. lois romano, thanks very much. topping the headlines, george zimmer pan is a free man today after posting 10% of the $150,000 bail and leaving the sanford jail at midnight last night in florida. dim zimmerman did not speak to reporters before getting into a car and leaving. no word where he was headed. he will be monitored. the u.s. has agreed to use the american military to help defend afghanistan for at least another 12 years. a period that stretches a decade beyond the 2014 deadline for withdrawal of combat troops.
the strategic pact was signed on sunday and includes a financial commitment in the neighborhood of $40 billion and a promise that the u.s. not use afghanistan as a is takening ground for attacks on other countries. president obama introduced new sanctions on syria today even as troops there again defied a u.n. cease fire killing dozens of citizens. earlier today, nobel peace prize laureate he wil laurea laureate elie wiesel challenged the world. >> have you learned anything from it? if you have, how is assad still in pour? we must know that when evil has power, it is almost too late. >> preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the
united states of america. that does not mean that we intervene militarily every time there's an injustice in the world. we cannot and should not. >> and still ahead, the murder mystery that threats to lift the veil on corruption in china. and next, two years after the bp oil spill, what is the environmental impact? guys. come here, come here. [ telephone ringing ] i'm calling my old dealership. [ man ] may ford. hi, yeah. do you guys have any crossovers
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children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. hard to believe but it's been two years since the bp drilling rig exploded on the gulf coast triggering the largest offshore oil spill in u.s. history. some scientists and residents say at the are starting to see signs of environmental damage caused by the spill in fish and other marine life in the gulf coast which has a vital part of courts, to the local competenec. senator mary landrieu, thanks so much for joining us. tell us about what you have found so far pap it's hard to
determine linkage but what what is the evidence to continuing damage to the environment and to the cycle? >> it's important to remember how huge and unprecedenced the spill was. it was over 5 million barrels is of oil spilled in the gulf of mexico. 600 miles of coastline along america's energy coast was oiled. we had about 87,000 square miles of fisheries were closed. and frankly, the sad part of this is we don't really know the extent of the daniel because we've never invested enough money in the science that would be required to give us some really firm answers, which is one of the reasons why we're pushing the restore act to make sure, andrea, that the penalties money that bp is going to pay comes back to this area so we can give people answers about what the short-term, intermediate and long-term daniel has been to this important coast for the country.
>> now, there is some evidence according to the associated press of sick fish. what else are you concerned about? >> well, of course, our fishing industry is just as important as our oil and gas industry and our maritime industry. these are industries that have coexisted fairly well together. now, all the studies show that will gulf seafood is safe to eat. i mean, we are eating it in louisiana. we're frying it and iting it as fast as we can. our oysters are good, our shrimp are good and safe accord doing every test done. but there's still some science that we need to know about how the dispersants worked. what are the long-term effects. this restore act that we hope to pass as part of the transportation bill will direct a portion of the penalty money that bp has to pay, not taxpayer money and no new taxes but the portion of the money bp is going to pay to invest in coastal restoration and as i said, to give us the answers to some of these important questions. >> given that it's passed the
house, do you expect that you will have bipartisan support? >> well, andrea, amazingly this bill has gotten broad bipartisan support in the house and the senate. we actually passed the restore act two weeks ago off the senate floor with 56 senators which is almost unprecedented in this day and age. the house put a place holder of the restore act in their transportation bill and the happy news is, it's going to conference. so if we could get this transportation bill passed which means millions of jobs for americans, the restore act which will dedicate a portion of this to the gulf coast which helps all of america and some other parts in their transportation, it would be a great boost to our economy both the home in the gulf coast and around the country. >> mary landrieu on the case. thank you very much, somer. >> thank you. some news from cuba we wanted to share with you today. two of the young stars of the much talked about cuban film una
noche have gone missing and believed to have defected to the u.s. they were en route to the film's premiere at the tribeca film festival in new york and went missing while changing planes in miami. film itself concerns cubans wanting to flee the country. on friday i received a call from alan gross seen there recently in prison with pat leahy visiting him serving 15-year sentence in a cuban prison. he's allowed one phone call a week and reap the out to me to explain his plight. the message when i asked him what he wants to convey, he said get me the hell out of here. his 90-year-old mother is dying from lung cancer. so far gross has not been granted a special request to visit her. that is him with his wife judy gross. coming up, the tale of corruption and murder that is tearing back the secrecy surrounding china's communist ruling party. stay with us. science initiativ. ...which helped students and teachers get better results in ap courses.
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i'm tamron hall. coming up, john edwards former aide is set to take the stand at the top of the hour in the former presidential candidate's corruption trial which started today. prosecutors already called edwards' ambition dangerous and they say he would say and do anything to be president of this country. plus, the family of an illegal immigrant say he was beaten and tased to death by border patrol agents. new video of the incident has surfaced and the justice department now investigating. plus, when peace and violence collide. metta world peace says this is bow was an accident. do you buy that? it's our gut check. >> the chinese murder mystery is peeling back the curtain on the culture of corruption at the earth of the leadership. it could be right out of a john la car ray book. a leading candidate stripped of all power his wife accused of murdering a british colleague and whose body was cremated
within hours of his mysterious death before an autopsy could be held. the case has raised embarrassing questions also of a cover-up for downing street which failed to investigate for months. paul french is a journalist and the author of "midnight in peking." he joins me now. your mystery you've examined is an older mystery but paul, you've looked into this one, as well. we're talking about agextraordinary about bo xilai who was up for the politburo, a prominent communist party leader. his bif gu kailai, both of them descendents of leading is revolutionaries. these were the elite of the elite in china. tell us what you've learned. >> well, i mean what seems to have happened is we've had an unparalleled look into the inner workings into the communist party of china that would like us to think that everythinging is smooth and done by consensus. it looks like when they go for infighting they really go for infighting. this started back in march when
a man called wangly june went into the u.s. consulate in a city not far away and we're not exactly sure what happened there but he certainly, this started the process that ended up with us seeing bo xilai kicked off the sanding committee of the party and now this bizarre case of whether or not his wife and his aides were involved in the murder of a british businessman. >> and we should point out that the u.s. had the opportunity then but did not grant him asylum. the decision seems to have been just before the very important visit of the next leader of china. they decided to treat it as a domestic political dispute and apparently notified chinese authorities turned him back. more importantly though, the british didn't seem to quell this man's death, the chinese said that he had died of drinking too much. but colleagues said he was not a heavy drinker. and there's no evidence, but now with this immediate cremation, there's no way to test that.
the other piece of it is that the son of bo xilai is a student at harvard at the graduate school at harvard. had been at hair row and at oxford i guess. and is something of a playboy which is also embarrassing to the elites. >> i think we have to be a little bit careful who is giving us the story here. it's certainly true that bo xilai's son because he's from the bo clan, they were are what we would call red princes, with elevated status. he did to a private school in england and went to oxford. the pictures we'd seen of him before were the normal proud mom and dad at the graduation type photos. all of this political infighting starts, bo's career is finished. his wife is accused of murdering a british citizen and all of a sudden, pictures pop of his son in a hawaiian shirt dancing around with a very pretty woman at oxford.
one has to wonder who is manipulating everything behind the scene alittle bit. people pop up on chinese television or talking to foreign reporters who say i can tell you this about the bo family, i can tell you that. we don't know. china is not a country where people pop up and giveaway celebrity gossip like that. someone's told them to say this. it's very, very difficult for all of the western press particularly to investigate this and work out how we're being manipulated on this story which comes down to internal political intrigue in china. >> good point that a lot of negative publicity is coming out now that they are in disgrace and the other point is is that e was a big, a major business leader. she had a lot of business interests. so this is all exposing the financial rewards that come with these premier elite families. >> yes, indeed. this is something the communist
party is very worried about. we have repieces leaks. particularly on the internet. this wouldn't get into the main stream media. we have leaks about senior party officials right to the top level whose sobs and daughters get very excellent education abroad. and then this red prince and princess phenomenon. people get very annoyed about it. the idea that somehow this one has been stoked up when all sorts of people could be put in the spotlight really shows that again and again, we come back to the issue. this is all about an absolute bare knuckle fight. it will take place in october. we know who won that fight. we know because he's been and sat down with president obama. you only get to do that if you're the heir apparent. the main competitor is the man in the biggest heap of trouble for a long, long time.
>> fascinating stuff. paul french scraping the surface of what is obviously going to be a much bigger scandal to come. thank you so much for joining us today. what political story will be headlines in the next 24 hours? that's next right here on "andrea mitchell reports." >> some people now suggest that i'm too professorial. and i would like to address that head on. by assigning all of you some reading that will help you draw your own conclusions. others say that i'm arrogant but i found a really great self-help tool for this. my poll numbers. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers.
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philadelphia, i guess, as they go about tomorrow is the pennsylvania primary. not that it matters anymore but rick santorum still has not met with mitt romney. and i'm told that the bad blood continues. he wants a convention speech and he may not get it. >> i think that you've hit it exactly right. this is a negotiation process at this point. what can rick santorum get out of mitt romney for a public endorsement? and obviously we haven't had that yet. i would note very quickly, i thought the romney/rubio press conference. romney made a point to talk about his support for extending low interest rates for student lobes trying to co-opt president obama who is going to colleges talking about this with the 18 to 29-year-old voters. >> thank you so much. that does it for us. join my web chat today and tomorrow on the show. time and msnbc political analyst
previewing. and joining us, erin brockovich. hi, tamron. we've got the color. >> we got the red memo. it's on fire today. john edwards' former aide is set to take the stand in the form he presidential candidate's corruption trial. saying edwards would say and do anything to be president. plus the family of an illegal immigrant said he was beaten and tased to death by border patrol agents. new video has surfaced. the justice department now investigating. plus, when peace and violence collide, meta world peace says it was an accident. are you buying it? eat good fats.
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