tv The Last Word MSNBC September 20, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EDT
>> mitt romney is about to hit the ground in what could be hustle territory. >> mitt romney back on the campaign trail today. >> his first time since friday. >> and in damage control mode. >> the question in this campaign is not who cares about the poor and the middle class. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. >> i do. he does. >> pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. >> the question is who can help the poor and the middle class. >> i like being able to fire people who provide services to me. >> strengthen medicare, save social security, this is the essence of compassion and conservatism. >> we have frankly two different views about america. >> with less than 50 days to go, the vultures are circles. >> a wide spread panic. >> open rebellion from the right. >> criticism from romney from fellow republicans is coming in fast and furious. >> why? >> they are not seeing mitt romney out on the trail enough. >> a brilliant fundraiser.
>> our campaign is doing well. >> even your own conservative cronies are not being it. >> how bad is this for mitt romney right now. >> a disastrous campaign. >> a political catastrophe. >> our campaign is doing well. >> romney will be the nominee and will lose. >> with 48 days until the presidential election, how bad has the leaked tape hurt mitt romney's presidential campaign? according to bill o'reilly, a lot. >> a bad week for mitt romney. many republicans are frustrated. they believe he's made too many mistakes comes across as remote and is on defense not offense. certainly the governor has not brought a sense of urgency to the campaign. it looks like he will have to sway voters by winning the debates.
there are tree of them in october and if the governor does not come across well, he's finished. i think that mitt romney looks like he doesn't have control of the campaign. >> we'll show new clips from the leaked tape throughout the hour tonight. yes, there is more that you haven't seen. but first, here is mitt romney tonight at uni vision meet the candidates forum trying to minimize the damage that 47% of americans are hopeless losers. >> my campaign is about the 100% of america. and i'm concerned about them. now, i know that i'm not going to get 100% of the vote and my campaign will focus on those people that we think we can bring in to support me. >> well, that ought to fix it, then. on that leaked tape, mitt romney slipped in this lie about
growing up romney. >> actually he inherited a million. apparently if you're mitt romney, earning the old fashioned way means inheriting stock from your father. and he told the "boston globe" in 1994. i was raised in a lovely neighborhood and at byu we moved into a $62 a month basement apartment with a cement floor and lived there two years as students with no income. neither one of us had a job because mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a
time. the stock came from mitt's father. mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education. talking about paying no income tax, there was mitt romney back then paying no income tax. and apparently, if you're mitt romney earning the old fashioned way also means your old man buys you a house. according to ann romney, when mitt was accepted at harvard law, we came east, this is when we took the gnaw-famous loan that mitt talks about from his father and bought a $42,000 home in belmont. we stayed there seven years and sold it for $90,000. so we not only stayed for free, we made money. we had no income except the stock we were chipping away at. new mexico republican governor martinez who had a prime time speaking slot at the convention and introduced paul ryan said this today about romney's 47% insult.
>> every vote counts. every single vote counts in new mexico. whether it doesn't matter what level economic level you come from, what kind of jobs you had. every single voter, every single vote counts in an election. >> governor martinez joins other elected officials who are running away from romney saying they disagree with mitt romney's remarks. republican mark mckinnon who served for bush and will be joining us later writes that the romney tape reveals say deeply cynical man. i honestly don't know what romney can do to win support from the voters he needs to gain a majority. i thought the debates would be an opportunity but he has dug his hole so deeply now, i don't know if he can pull himself out. in today's "wall street journal"
the editorial board rights surely a man as smart as the former ceo of bain capital can give a better speech on taxes and dependency than he delivered at that fundraiser. if he can't, he'll lose and he'll deserve to. it's starting to get lonely out there for republicans supporting mitt romney. >> we're the ones supporting romney and the guys that were all in at the beginning say -- romney is the only guy who's electable. now they're bailing on him. and you know all they're doing is trying to protect their own reputations. they think everybody else sees romney as stupid so they've got to say so too to make sure they're not looked at the same way people are supposedly looking at romney. i've never met a bigger bench of defeatists. >> stupid? what do you mean, rush? no one is calling mitt romney stupid.
>> mitt romney is drowning in stupid people. they work for his campaign, they send clint eastwood out on the convention stage, they contribute money to his campaign. they ask him incredibly stupid questions at his fundraisers when we now have on tape. but as that same tape proves, the very stupidest person in mitt romney's life tonight is mitt romney. >> well, okay, but that was like 24 hours ago, which is like a year ago in this story so i forget about that part. what i meant to say is no republicans are calling him stupid. but wait, i guess a few are. so some are calling him stupid, but not all of them. but they will, all be calling him stupid around 9:00 p.m. on election night.
tonight, nate silver of the new york times blog's forecasts that on that night, president obama will win 305 votes and president obama has a 75% chance of winning the election. >> that was a long lonely piece of tape. he was not for romney at the beginning. it was the establishment types that were for romney. rush was hoping for someone real and conservative and he got stuck with romney. but there's rush. and they're fighting for romney today. >> and the striped shirt made him look like the unpopular kid in class. it's incredible, and you know what? thank you for playing those bytes in the beginning of the show about mitt romney's annoying lie, i inherited nothing. by the time george romney died in 1995, mitt romney was already the head of bain capital.
he was already a very rich man, having paved the way for that success, because people wanted to do business with the son of the former governor of michigan. because the money that he inherited, that he says we gave it all away. yeah, you did an endowment to brigham young which was probably a tax shelter to avoid the estate tax. so this idea that he inherited nothing and he built it all from scratch is annoyingly false. it's not just wrong, it's annoyingly wrong. >> he was richer than his father when his father died. his father did in fact give him a million which he didn't need so he gave away. and he was reacher than his father because his father had gotten really rich during mitt's lifetime, became the governor. got his kid this fabulous education, including harvard law school and harvard business school, which greased the skids for mitt romney to slide into
bain world. where it turns out life is pretty easy, because a guy as stupid as mitt romney could rub money together at bain and make more money. >> let's just remember that all of this came out at a fundraiser where a super wealthy guy was asking more wealthy people for money. the only reason they're giving him now is they think he's going to win. by this point this man should be doing no fundraisers. how stupid do you have to be to be super wealthy and you're blaming everyone else for not working and not paying taxes. what planet is this happening on apart from this one? >> the usa today editorial says romney's 47 percenters blur facts, say romney keeps doubling down on his mistake pushing a kind of resentment politics. joy, that room and i've listened from the tape from beginning to end, it was reeking of resentment and resentment is the mildest word you could use for
what's in that room. >> absolutely. i, like you, had to go back and listen again. it was so stunning. and the party found the most exemplary what as wrong with being rich? we kill ourselves. we don't get to be around our families. i missed my kid's lacrosse games. we're suffering, why don't you go out and defend it mitt. this attitude of we're the ones dragging along the ballast of the losers who are not as good as we are, it is the defining principle of conservatism right now and that's why mitt can't walk away. >> let's take a look at the big come back. they've dug out this ancient tape of a young barack obama.
>> i think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some restriction. because i actually believe in re distribution. >> the economic illiterates don't seem to comprehend that no tax has been recreated in human history that does not involve re distribution. that is what every government collection of money has ever done in its history. >> let's be clear. what mitt romney was saying in that fundraiser is a very transactional view of politics. people will vote for me if i give them a tax cut. that fundraiser is a very transactional view of politics. people will vote for me if i give them a tax cut.
if i don't get a tax cut, they're not going to vote for me. that is the whole deal here. >> he's giving them some money. that is their principle of life. that is their prism of politics. and let's say it's very reductive, it's small, it's small for an american president. it's small for any politician. if you are smart, you are saying we have bigger goals, we have bigger dreams. we are trying to build something differently. and i'm appealing to your values. i'm appealing to your as preparations. not a naked trade, which is what he sees politics as. and presumably what that fundraising crowd and all those conservatives who think redistribution is wrong. i give you money i want something back. that's not how society actually works because otherwise you would only have the fire truck stopping at your house.
we have moved beyond that point. >> exactly. we're going to have more of the romney tapes coming up, stuff you haven't heard. there is more things on this you haven't heard, including something for the rewrite that is really ugly and nasty stuff. stuff that was being flown around that room during mitt romney's speech. we'll be back with more. ♪ [ man ] when i'm in my zone...
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i will be in those debates. there be, i don't know, 150 american watching. if i do well, it will help. if i don't, it won't help. >> well, he got that right. exactly 14 nights from now at this very hour, you will be watching the debate. joining me now mark mckinnon, chief adviser for george bush, and jonathan capeheart opinion writer for "the washington post." >> mark, i've read what you have to say about mitt romney, i understand your shock at what you've heard from him. there's nothing from what he said at that fundraiser that i can link to the previous two republicans presidents, george
w. bush or george h.w. bush when speaking about similar matters. can you find any connection between what george w. bush used to say about compassionate conservatism, what george h.w. bush used to say about thousand points of light? >> no. and it was those ideas that compassionate conservatism that drew independent conservatives like me at the time to the republican party. interestingly, in his response on fox yesterday when he was trying to walk all this back, he kept talking about those people. i never heard the words those people from george w. bush or george h.w. bush or ronald reagan or bill clinton. those are the kinds of things that cause some concern. >> let's listen to george w. bush in 2002 talking how he believes people, everyone really
deserves a chance. >> we believe that everyone deserves a chance. that everyone has value. that no insignificant person was ever born. we believe that all are diminished when any are hopeless. we are one people, committed to building a single nation of justice and opportunity. >> jonathan capeheart, in politics, it doesn't really matter how much a candidate like this believes these things in his heart when he's saying them. but to have the basic understanding that this is the accepted public approach to discussing the population of the united states of america seems to be something that every
politician has known here literally for hundreds of years. and to have a guy go in front of an audience and say you know what? 47%, forget about them. >> who cares about them, screw them. what george w. bush did there is presidential. what barack obama did on election night when he acknowledged the fact about half the country didn't vote for him, that he was going to try everything in his power as president of the united states to win them over, to ensure that he would be able to govern the country, you know, as one. and here you have the republican presidential nominee who very -- unnervingly comfortable talking about the 47% in such an undignified sarcastic -- not sarcastic -- condescending way. just writing them off completely. he didn't have the decency to say i'm not talking about all
47%, but maybe some of them. he didn't do that. but what he said in that one clip was unpresidential and how he can think he win over enough people to become president of the united states is beyond me. >> i want to play another yet unplayed on this show, and i think unheard by most people, clip of the secret romney tape. and it's about this basic notion of being your brother's keeper. and it would be easy to make too much of this particular section of the tape, if it didn't come in the full context of everything else mitt romney had to say. let's listen to this part. you know if we all work and we all save, we could afford to send one of us to college. and they sent my wife's dad. every day taking a couple of jobs, so that your brother, i would never do that for my
brother. he actually starts to laugh can you imagine working a couple of jobs and saving your money he starts to laugh at the idea of working so that your brother could go to college instead of you and he says i would never do that for my brother. in another context you could take that as a joke and you could look at the guy and go i know, you would. my mother did this for her sisters. she was the oldest one. her two younger sisters could then go to college because of that kind of sacrifice. it's not an unusual american sacrifice to make. and mark, to hear him mocking and laughing about it, within this larger context of everything else he was saying, is just one of the uglier notes of the evening. >> it is, lawrence. we want our presidents to be big. we want them to be
compassionate. we want them to care for the least among us. we want to know they want to be the president of everybody. i think jonathan mentioned the word transactional earlier. that's what comes to my mind when i see these tapes. romney has been a mystery for a lot of us and we keep waiting for what we hope is a revealing moment that reveals his true character and unfortunately i think this tape is that moment although it reveals his character in a way that surprised us. but what i think also is part of the problem, i think, is that mitt romney at his core is really not a hard-core conservative. i think he's more in line of what his father was or what he was at governor. but because he's transactional, he's realized what he has had to do in order to win these republican primaries and speak to these conservative audiences and i think this tape reflects what he thinks he should be saying to these audiences.
and the language about the 47% i think is a scripted way in what he thinks people want to hear. either way it's transactional or inept but either way it causes concern. >> mark, the piece you wrote is the most dispirited piece, emotionally drained piece of any republican i've read who disapproves of what mitt romney has to say. i'm wondering are you an undecided voter as of tonight. >> well, the libertarians are looking pretty good. >> coming up, harry reid reminded everyone today that while mitt romney disparages people who do not pay income tax for whatever reason, legitimate or illegitimate, we actually
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secret recording of who was saying stupid and hateful things about americans. every questioner who spoke to mitt romney embarrassed themselves in the process. one in particular you will hear. going after eric holder, having a very, very peculiar take on the first african-american attorney general of the united states. that's coming up in the rewrite. remember when you said men are superior drivers?
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>> there are 47 perfection of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. there are 47% who are with him who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that the government has a responsibility to care for them. who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing. you name it. these are people who pay no income tax. 47% of people pay no income tax. mitt romney must have hoped that insulting 47% of americans would at least distract attention from his still secret tax returns, but as bill o'reilly said, this is a bad week for mitt romney. >> for all we know, mitt romney
could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax. thousands of families making more than a million a year pay nothing in federal income taxes. is mitt romney among those? we'll never know since he refuses to release his tax returns for the years before he was running for president. >> pollsters for reuters showed the tape and monitored their reaction. 59% said he was unfair to label americans as victims and 67% said they identified with the 47%. romney's victims remark was front page news in local papers in pennsylvania, indiana, virginia, wisconsin and other swing states and editorial board are weighing in. at a fundraiser hosted by a
florida private equity manager the republican president voiced contempt because they are dependent upon government. the almost half of americans whom mitt romney so casually insults include middle class working class and older voters in ohio. the richmond times dispatch writes. we're all in this together. mitt romney evidently things otherwise republicans who have the interests of the country at heart know their job is not to the interests of the country at heart know their job is not to write-off these dependent on government but to help them find some boots and pull on the
straps. and "the sun-sentinel" newspaper which serves boca raton, romney's captured remarks reinforce a narrative that he is an out-of-touch elitist who does not -- there's no question that americans gained some important information about mitt romney from the leaked video. joining me now are our correspondent for the nation and msnbc contributor and esra klein. ezra, much has been talked already about the actual math and the reality of the 47% that mitt romney was lying about. where do you think the argument
goes from here? will there be more pushback on exactly what the details are about the economics of the 47%, or is it really going to be played pretty much the way the editorial boards are playing it? >> i wish there was a whole lot more to do, because i have loved this return to tax policy in the >> i wish there was a whole lot more to do, because i have loved this return to tax policy in the election. but there's something i don't know more to say except for this one particular thing. what mitt romney has not said, what he didn't say in those comments that were recorded, what he hasn't said before any audience that i'm aware of is what exactly would he do about that 47%. would he cancel the earned income tax credit? would he begin taxing social security benefits. there are things you could do to make sure all americans paid more income taxes.
why we're only talking about income taxes i think is an absolute conceptual mistake that serves to undermine people's understanding the tax code. but he has never said what he would do to change the tax. >> i think ezra hit it right. we're not talking about the entire tax burden. we're talking about the attack that mitt romney has made. that is what it's so striking. jay-z was with the president last night and i'm reminded of the line that the sword that knight you could also be the sword that good night you. >> i think ari just won the segment. >> but this sword wielded by mitt romney and a lot of hypocritical republicans for years on taxes, taxes being an attack on democrats, but mitt romney has two problems. number one, he wound up attacking the elderly, veterans, the working poor, people who chip in through payroll taxes at about 15%, which is a higher rate than he paid.
so this sword is pointed right back at him for the secrecy and the open questions that ezra raised because he hasn't given answers, and his own personal problems which is he is the problem that he's identified. >> usa today gallup poll says 29% say they will less likely to support him because of these comments. there's a movement there that hurts romney in that poll. ezra, what should the obama campaign do rhetorically? >> i think the question has always been there way try to make it specific, concrete. the question someone should get mitt romney to answer is why does he think that a single mother with two children who is working at wal-mart making maybe $25,000 a year, has taken a standard ducks in the earned income tax credit, why is she not taking responsibility for her life? what is she needs to do that would move her in range of motion's mind to somebody who is being helped by the government
into work which is of course what the earned income tax credit and income tax credit were passed to help do. they work on the broad level of generalities and you get into individual cases and you think that doesn't describe anybody i know or the lived experiences of the americans that he's talking about and if he's got that wrong, then the policy that's flowing from it that he would make at president is wrong and that's really the ultimate issue here. thank you for joining me about and if he's got that wrong, then the policy that's flowing from it that he would make at president is wrong and that's really the ultimate issue here. thank you for joining me tonight. coming up, the people who questioned mitt romney on the secret tape of that fundraiser were at least as stupid and
hateful and malicious as mitt romney. and you'll hear one of them next. and later mitt romney was confronted on spanish language television about his attitude towards 47% of the american population. that's coming up. in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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in tonight's rewrite, another piece of the secret romney fundraiser tape that you haven't heard. i know you think you've heard all the good stuff, i mean all the crazy stuff. but there's so much crazy in there that no one has been able to play it all on tv. as i mentioned last night, mitt romney proved himself to be the stupidest person in a very stupid rim room. it wasn't easy because the people we hear on tape questioning romney were all, let's say, very slow students of american politics. they are all rich, that's how they got in that room. that's how they were able to attend a high dollar political fundraiser. many of them were surely people
like mitt romney to whom much was given at birth by their rich parents and they are all people who are bitterly and angrily resentful of any system that requires them to part with anything they've been given, which explains their hatred of taxation. like mitt romney, they lie to themselves and each other about the world they live in. one of the most vial and despicable lies told in that room that night was by the rich republican buffoon who said this to mitt romney. >> that eric holder was probably the most corrupt attorney general that we've had ever in american history and i think it's something that if spun in the right way and in simple terms can actually resonate with the american people. >> that's the kind of campaign advice he was getting that night from the lazy fat cats in that
room. he was told to run against eric holder, because he is the most corrupt attorney general that we've ever had in american history. the man who said that began his comments by saying he thought he might be the oldest return there, because he said the first campaign he worked in was barry goldwater's presidential campaign. he was the republican who lost the presidential election in 1964. the next republican nominee four years later was richard nixon who won the presidency. this old and loyal republican surely helped nixon's campaign, too. and then this loyal republican must have missed his newspaper delivery the day john mitchell was indicted for perjury. and he must have missed the delivery when john mitchell was
convicted in federal court and sentenced to prison and served that sentence. john mitchell was steeped in filthy politics before he became nixon's attorney general. john mitchell was nixon's campaign manager and he became the first attorney general in the history of the united states to be convicted of a crime. but he was not the last. the next attorney general to be convicted of a crime was the very next man richard nixon made attorney general of the united states. so we've had exactly two attorneys general convicted of crimes, both of them republicans. both of them appointed by richard nixon. the man at the romney fundraiser who says he worked on barry goldwater's campaign may very well have known john mitchell, may very well have known both of
the republican attorneys general who were convicted of crimes, but he still could say, without any correction from the confederacy of dunces in that room, that eric holder is, in his words, the most corrupt attorney general that we've ever had in american history. the most corrupt. so in that room of rich republicans, the unique characteristic of eric holder as attorney general is that he is the most corrupt of the 82 attorneys general that we have had in this country. eric holder's bio is not unlike some of our most distinguished attorneys general, he attended new york public schools. he went to columbia college and columbia law school and went straight to work in the department of justice. in 1988 president ronald reagan
nominated eric holder to become a federal judge in the district of columbia. that's right. president reagan. eric holder later left that judgeship that reagan had given to him in order to serve as the justice department's chief prosecutor in washington, d.c. nothing terribly unusual in that resume for an attorney general of the united states. nothing unique. there is only one unique thing about eric holder as an attorney general of the united states. eric holder is the first and only african-american attorney general this country has ever had. that is what is unique about eric holder as an attorney general. he's black. and every person at the mitt romney fundraiser knew that,
especially the old republican who knew all about the criminals, the convicted criminals that richard nixon had as attorneys general, and still insisted to mitt romney and everyone in that room that eric holder is the most corrupt attorney general that we've had in american history. how did eric holder get that label in that room with those rich republicans? did eric holder get that label by being attorney general while black? you don't want to think that. you want to think better of the people in that room. but there was nothing said in that room, not one word spoken in that room by anyone in that room, that indicates in any way, that those people are better than that. what i clearly heard from one of
the people in that room is sheer hatred of eric holder. it was a room filled with contempt for 47% of the american people. that's over 150 million people. in that room, hating one more person wasn't hard. in that room, all the rich republicans and the richest major party presidential candidate in history were not made even slightly uncomfortable lies and hatred spewed at the first black attorney general of the united states by the party that has given us the most corrupt attorneys general in history. [ woman ] ring. ring.
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>> and by the way, if a student does so well that they get an advanced degree, i would staple a green card to their diploma. >> that was mitt romney tonight pandering to the audience of the univision forum. joining me now an msnbc contributor. i wanted you to hear how romney being confronted on his position about english as the official language. >> you're here tonight with us in spanish and also that you support the idea that there is an important roll for spanish in this country. what roll should spanish play in america? >> you know, english is the language of government in this country.
that's the way it's been for some time, as you know. i take some inspiration from the comments of the governor of puerto rico. he said that spanish is the language of our heritage, english is the language of opportunity. >> that english as the official language is going to be a real problem in california where i live. they're going to have to change the name of the city of los angeles. >> you know i think this is fundamentally mitt romney doesn't know the latino community. the majority agree they should be learning english. i want to talk about this whole 47%. when he talked about 47%, he's also talking about latinos who are working two to three jobs who believe in the american dream.
he by going after the 47% is attacking those people. he doesn't understand these people are hard working. they believe in their possibility and they don't feel like victims. if anything they feel that by working these jobs it might be tough today, but there's an as preparation for a better tomorrow and that's what i find so disappointing with this comment. >> the latest poll showed that latinos support obama about 68% and romney at 26%. he said that if he thinks the latino lines up that way with president obama, it is a threat to this nation. >> again, it's mitt romney not understanding the latino community. had he start the talking about small business, talking about taxes in a real way, talking about education, he would have a shot at the latino community. they're very much issue oriented. but instead he's attacking their sensibilities. when you started talking about the 47% of victims, you're not