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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 18, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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build up their candidate rather than try to tear down the moderator to try to pretend like that was the problem. >> well, this volley back and forth about libya certainly sets the table for the third and final debate, which is going to be on foreign policy on monday night. karen finney, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. and i want to say that i had no problems sleeping last night. how about you? >> i slept very soundly last night. in part because i was so wrung out. it was fun to watch, wasn't it? as a debate? >> it was fun to watch. you know, the look of the president last night was so totally different. the look in his eye, his demeanor, his intensity, very impressive in his game, no doubt. >> your intensity today, when you sung out the word "fumble" in your eblock tonight, i was like, oh, yeah, ed's still feeling it. thanks, ed. >> and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. you know, winning a debate is not the same as winning an election. and common wisdom holds that winning even all the debates doesn't necessarily guarantee that you will win the elections. it may not even help you very much at all.
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but after the big bump in the polls that mitt romney got after his dominate performance in the first presidential debate this year, all eyes right now are on whether last night's debate win by president obama will similarly move the needle. we are three weeks out from election day. but people are voting now, right? people are voting early and by absentee ballot, across the country, including in the swing states. and the early word is pretty good for the president. i mean, every snap poll taken after last night's debate showed president obama as the winner of the debate. the polling outfit ppp even did a swing state specific snap poll in colorado. ppp is generally seen as a slightly democratic leaning firm, but their sample for their colorado voters watching the debate last night actually skewed a little bit conservative. and those colorado voters overall thought president obama won. even better for the obama campaign, the margin of victory for the president was particularly large among the
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independents who were watching that debate. which is exactly who the president wants to be winning over. you know, it's funny, one of the things we have learned over the course of this campaign is that mr. romney doesn't like to do stuff the morning after big events. at least, they don't like to have big, public events planned for mr. romney after big events. i mean, traditionally, candidates see, and campaigns see big marquis events like debates or conventions as springboards for the next day's public attention and momentum. but the romney campaign is not like that. after his convention, mr. romney did not do a traditional bus tour or barn storming campaign trip. after his convention, you will recall that mr. romney went on vacation. mr. romney, even after he had such a big win at the first presidential debate, he did not have any big, morning after the debate rallies or anything. he went and did an event that was off his public schedule, but nobody knew for sure he would be anywhere, and there wasn't a big crowd of people around him while he was rallying the troops to his big win. it was a very quiet morning. and then again today, after the second presidential debate, mr.
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romney did no public events in the morning. i mean, i don't know if it means anything important, but it is an unusual choice for this candidate that no other modern candidate has done. and mr. romney, it wasn't just a fluke. he keeps doing it after big events. that said, mr. romney did not take the whole day off today. this afternoon, he did a rally in virginia and then he stayed in virginia for the day to do another virginia rally tonight. on the democratic side, vice president joe biden did an early afternoon rally in greeley, colorado, today. he was very fired up at that rally. vice president biden is campaigning tonight at an event in reno, nevada. the republican side, the vice presidential nominee there, paul ryan, he was out and about in the morning today. they put him out well before they put mitt romney out. and specifically, they put paul ryan out at a photo op and at a rally, with condoleezza rice. you know, there are a lot of former george w. bush administration officials advising the romney campaign. but even they, you would think, would be sort of cognizant of how people view that
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administration, right? you think they would recognize that there is a little political peril in trying to underscore to a country that is really paying attention right now that everybody should expect a lot of continuity between the george w. bush years and a romney presidency. if you like the george w. bush years and you miss all those folks, like condoleezza rice, don't worry, if you elect romney, you'll see more of them again. this came up last night in what i thought was a brilliant question from one of the audience members at that debate at hofstra, and it got right at the central problem that the republicans have been dealing, since the support for romney creatored during the george w. bush second term. the greatest show on earth has been the republican party figuring out who it is after bush and cheney. the republican party figuring out if they are like bush and cheney or if there's something they learned from those years they don't want to do anymore. are they any different from bush and cheney? who's the new leadership of the party and what do they stand for that's different than the bush and cheney years? it's a really vexing political quandary for the republicans.
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it's been amazing to watch them try to work it out. they still haven't totally worked it out, but that all made for a very good pointed question at last night's debate. >> i want to move us along to susan katz, who has a question, and governor, it's for you. >> governor romney, i am an undecided voter because i'm disappointed with the lack of progress i've seen in the last four years. however, i do attribute much of america's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the bush administration. since both you and president bush are republicans, i fear a return to the policies of those years, should you win this election. what is the biggest difference between you and george w. bush and how do you differentiate yourself from george w. bush? >> yes. great question.
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a question that nobody had any idea how romney was going to answer it. this is why town hall is such a great format. you get real people asking direct questions, that the campaigns do not want to talk about, and that the beltway press maybe hasn't been focused on, but they are questions that are really on regular people's minds. and to mr. romney's credit, he did not try to evade that question. he did try to answer this question by pointing out differences between himself and president bush. he said that the first difference between him and george w. bush is that he, mitt romney, would make us, he said, north america, actually. he said, he would make us energy independent. he, mitt romney, unlike george w. bush, would promise to get america totally independent from foreign sources of oil. >> we've got to become independent from foreign sources of oil. >> mr. romney also distinguished himself from george w. bush by saying, unlike president bush, he, mitt romney, would expand trade in latin america. he said, unlike president bush, he, mitt romney, could promise more free trade with nations in
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latin america. >> our goal will be free trade agreements with all the nations of latin america. >> see, that's what mitt romney is promising. which is totally different from george w. bush promising the exact same thing. the kicker, though, and this one really has to sting a little bit for the republicans, is that mitt romney said last night that he would promise to balance the budget. something president bush never did. >> first, we must balance the federal budget. >> see, susan katz of hempstead, new york, doesn't that set your mind at ease about how mitt romney is going nothing like george w. bush? it is -- i realize this is not a question the beltway press has been asking, but do you really think that nobody in the country, nobody at the town hall debate was going to ask this?
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this wasn't on people's minds. it is hard to believe that the romney for president campaign has yet to think about something that they might say, that might hold up to any scrutiny at all to distinguish themselves from bush. to distinguish what they're offering from what the last republican to hold the office of president to offer the country. the bush/cheney overhang is so ominous in republican politics, in terms of the country being willing to trust a republican again in the white house, that you think they would have had to come up with some explanation for how mitt romney would be different than bush, other than mitt romney pledging to do all the same things that bush pledged to do. and then after mr. romney got his turn, president obama took hold of that knife that mr. romney had shoved between his own shoulder blades and the president turned that knife 90 degrees. >> you know, there are some things where governor romney is different from george bush. george bush didn't propose turning medicare into a voucher. george bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform.
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he didn't call for self-deportation. george bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for planned parenthood. so, there are differences between governor romney and george bush, but they're not on economic policy. in some ways, he's gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy. and i think that's a mistake. >> any further discussion, gentleman? no. from there, they moved on. the george w. bush question, settled. for undecided voters, who very reasonably might be worrying about putting another republican in the white house, since the last guy was george w. bush, this is what was ringing in your years last night if you've ever thought about that problem. and actually, in terms of the day two coverage, or even the late, late night coverage after the debate wrapped up last night, in terms of fact checking that whole exchange, george w. bush did hint at privatizing
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medicare, which the president referenced there. george w. bush did hint at that, but he did not go as far as mitt romney did, which is to put the guy responsible for the kill medicare budget on the ticket as his vice presidential nominee. think about that as a political point. the fact check just twists the knife further, for romney it just makes it worse. all the promises you say differentiate yourself from bush are things that bush promised too. and the president points out, all the places that you say you are actually worse, all the places where you are actually worse than bush on social policy. but then the second day story is that, actual, bush is even worse than we remember him being on social policy and romney turns out to be worse even then that. so if you are among the roughly 3,000% of american who is do not remember the bush/cheney years fondly, then what happened last night, in terms of knitting mitt romney to george w. bush, in ways that he self-inflicted, and ways that were further inflicted upon him by the president without rebuttal, it was just disastrous. big picture question, do we want another republican president after george w. bush, that was the question last night. some of the stuff you forgot that wasn't that bad about bush, we are going to remind you about that now, and i am worse than that.
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and what's the big next event in the campaign? foreign policy debate. where paul ryan and mitt romney have precisely zero experience between them combined and 17 of the campaign's 24 announced advisers on foreign policy are bush foreign policy people. and president obama has frankly not even hit mitt romney yet for the way his foreign policy apes the catastrophic foreign policy of the bush/cheney years. the romney campaign knows that punch is coming, right? how do they inoculate themselves against that? how does the romney/ryan campaign protect itself against the other shoe that everybody knows is about to drop, which is the withering allegation that if you squint at romney and ryan on foreign policy, what you know you're going to get is act ii of the bush and cheney foreign policy. what's their defense on that? really? paul ryan does a photo op today with condoleezza rice. was paul wolfowitz not available? yeah, they had paul ryan go to a cleveland brown football practice, a practice at which paul ryan misidentified the
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cleveland browns quarterback and called him by the wrong name in front of a whole bunch of reporters. and then ryan pleaded for mercy when he noticed his mistake. but look, i'm here with the smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud lady from the cheney years. mccoy, is that your name? president obama today, for his post-debate campaigning, went first to iowa, where thanks to last night, he was able to add to his standard stump speech a whole enough riff about women and why women should vote democratic. >> when young women graduate, they should get equal pay for equal work. that should be a simple question to answer. when governor romney was asked about it, his campaign said, we'll get back to you. that shouldn't be a complicated question. equal pay for equal work. i want my daughters paid just
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like somebody else's sons are paid for the same job. that's straight forward. now, i've got to say, last night, governor romney's top adviser finally admitted, no, the governor didn't really support that bill. you don't have to wait for an answer from me. the lily ledbetter fair pay act was the first bill i signed into law as president. the first bill. >> now, an update on that riff, actually. what the president just said there about mitt romney's top adviser, admitting last night that mitt romney was actually against the fair pay act for women. that is true. ed gillespie said that on mitt romney's behalf last night. but then, update, today the campaign changed its mind and said, never mind, no, no, no, mitt romney is not against fair pay for women. of course, paul ryan voted against it in congress.
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the romney campaign used to say it did not know mr. romney's position on the subject. last night mr. romney himself refused to give a position, then the campaign said last night that he was against it, then today they say he's not against it, but he wouldn't repeal it, so maybe that means he's fine with it. everybody clear on that? the president went on today to talk about mr. romney's ideas on contraception, another area where mr. romney's campaign is an impenetrable mess. he got a big round of applause last night -- sorry, mr. obama got a big round of applause at his speech today for saying that nobody should be able to interfere with a women's access to contraception. again, like the connection between romney and george w. bush, and like the basic question of supporting or not supporting fair pay for women, the most amazing thing is not that the romney campaign's position on this subject is any particular thing, but the fact that it's not any particular thing. the fact that mapping their position on this relatively
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straightforward subject lacks like a jackson pollack painting. this is not drip art. this is a simple issue. tens of millions of american women right now, who have health insurance, do not have to pay extra for contraceptives under their health plans. and insurance regulation says if contraception something you want, you do not have to pay extra for it, above your premiums. it's covered under what you pay for your premiums. millions of american women are covered by that. that is because of president obama. what is the mitt romney position on that? well, i'm glad you asked. do you have a second or an hour? when republicans decided to make this new regulation an issue back in the spring, mitt romney was asked then, do you think your boss should be able to block you from having access to contraception? and mr. romney recoiled from that question. he said, no, he was not for that bill. that very same day, though, later on, he was reminded that, actually, it was his republican party that was promoting this legislation that says, your boss really should be able to block your access to contraception, and he was supposed to be all on board with that. so then he said, oh, of course i'm in favor of your boss being able to block your birth control access. i didn't understand the question. but then president obama last night pointed out that that was mitt romney's position, and mitt romney totally denied that that was his position.
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>> in my health care bill, i said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. because this is not just a health issue, it's an economic issue for women. it makes a difference. this is money out of that family's pocket. governor romney not only opposed it, he suggested that, in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a women gets contraception through her insurance coverage. that's not the kind of advocacy that women need. >> i don't believe that bureaucrats in washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. and i don't believe employers should tell someone whether they should have contraceptive care or not. >> yeah, you do believe that. at least that is your policy position. remember? i mean, you can see the wheels turning in his head. man, that sounds awful. i would never support that. would i? would i support that? yes, governor, yes, you would support that. this is your policy position. your boss decides whether or not you get access to contraceptions
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under your health insurance. and the fact that you can't remember it or that you can remember it, but you don't understand that not only is that your position, but it's the kind of position that people pay attention to, because it freaks people out, and a lot of people are focused on it in this election, and maybe you ought to figure out how to say one thing or the other about it, and not both things all at once, denying your positions. this is the incredible thing about the romney campaign. that's what is so strange. in this campaign at this late date, everybody can understand the concept of two people, running against each other, on an issue on which they disagree. everybody can grasp a politician holding for some reason or another, a political view that is unpopular and that is going to be difficult to defend. but he or she is going to learn to defend it anyway. what is new and weird and hard to believe and that i don't think we have much precedent for, in fact, it is hard to believe it's true, until you see it in motion, and in an incredible debate, like we had last night, what is new and true and strange is a campaign and a politician that cannot be bothered to come up with real
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positions that the candidate believes. that the campaign admits to, and that everybody, at least, pretends to understand. dan rather joins us next. my insurance rates are probably gonna double. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands?
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the one and only dan rather joins us here live, next. i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow! [ male announcer ] when your favorite foods fight you,
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fight back fast with tums smoothies. so fast and smooth, you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums [ male announcer ] tums smoothies. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at let's recap what we learned last night. his tax plan doesn't add up. his jobs plan doesn't create jobs. his deficit reduction plan adds to the deficit.
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so iowa, you know, everybody here has heard of the new deal. you've heard of the fair deal. you've heard of the square deal. mitt romney's trying to sell you a sketchy deal. >> i just think that the american people had expected that the president of the united states would be able to describe what he's going to do in the next four years, but he can't. he can't even explain what he's done in the last four years. i mean, he spends most of his time trying to talking about how my plan won't work. well, what about his plan? >> that's president barack obama in iowa and mitt romney in virginia at campaign rallies today, continuing the fight from last night or trying to. joining us tonight is dan rather, the host of "dan rather reports" on axs tv. glad to have you here. >> always glad to be here. >> the first debate was a big and consequential win for
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governor romney. that tracks with incumbents beating challengers in first debates. how do you think president obama's rebound performance last night stacks up historically? >> it was very important for if no other reason, this reason. i can't think of another president who has demonstrated that he could absorb criticism, accept it, and say, you know, they're right. and then study what it takes to come back and then come back strongly with optimism and strength, as president obama did last night. you have to go back, at least as far as president eisenhower to find a president who publicly did that. i think he has a hard time finding anyone who did it privately. >> it strikes me hearing you say that before. in early interviews that president obama did, as president-elect and in the first year of his presidency, one of the thing that he would use as a criticism of the bush administration is that there was no critical feedback loop. and he kept referencing that when interviewers weren't
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bringing it up as a way of saying what he thought was wrong with the previous administration. >> and i think he can do it, he did it here. i don't think that his win last night, i cast it this way, that president obama won more than mitt romney lost. mitt romney had his moments, and didn't do all that badly. we'll see what the polls say. but i don't expect, romney got about a four to six-point bounce out of what the newspapers say the drubbing in denver. but heavy night at hofstra, i expect president obama to get a modest bounce out of this, maybe in the order of two points, two and a half points, and the polls won't play completely out, because, after all, we have the foreign policy debate coming up next monday night. so we'll have another set of polls at that time. the race right now has been as hot as a burning stump for a long time. last night put kerosene on that. the race is still close, very close by anybody's estimation. the key, as we said before, california, virginia, ohio. governor romney, partly because he's bounced from the last debate, seems to have pulled up at least even, probably a little ahead in florida.
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virginia, almost dead even. but president obama clings to a whisper close lead in ohio. now, if you do the electoral college math, it's very hard to see how romney can win, if he doesn't win at least two, and he probably needs three, all three of those states, florida, virginia, and ohio. on the other hand, if president obama can just win ohio, he's probably going to win the election. >> one of the reasons that i think the vice presidential debate was very fun to watch and last night was very fun to watch, they were just good debates, is they covered a lot of other ground that hasn't really been trod in this campaign. and i think last night in particular, we got to a bunch of issues asked by those voters in the audience that are the kind of things that undecided voters
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might be hung up on, even if the beltway press hasn't. things like differences between you and george w. bush. i didn't much like obama, but i really didn't like the last republican president, how are you different? you saw my introduction there. i was struck by the fact that mr. romney chose to put condoleezza rice out on the campaign trail today after that whole discussion. what did you make of that? >> this is a puzzler. on the night after -- a few hours after the candidate who is trying to separate himself from president george w. bush, the very next morning, at an early event, up comes president bush's principle foreign policy adviser, condoleezza rice, with his vice presidential candidate. somebody in the romney campaign has got to be asking, whose idea was that? now, there are plenty of people, not all of them democrats, who are saying, you're more likely to see the return of a woolly mammoth than you are to see romney able to separate himself completely from the george w. bush record. but since he's trying so hard to do that, why send condoleezza
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rice out first thing the next morning. makes no sense to me. >> that was the morning. and then in the afternoon, the romney campaign made a big announcement about their new military adviser's group. and the headline name that they put out, front and center, the marquise name that would get reports in every article was tommy franks, the general from the initial invasion in rack, from the bush administration in 2003 pip mean, i don't -- i wonder if they're playing a game of chess here that i can't see. that they think there's something good about associating themselves with the bush foreign policy? or the iraq war, specifically? >> listen, governor romney has some good advisers around him. it's a puzzle to me, whether you like candidate romney or not, he has some good advisers around him. and these things, trotting out condoleezza rice, trotting out tommy franks, which tie him directly to the bush administration simply do not make any sense. having said that, rachel, i thought this was a great debate last night. i went through the historical record and have seen all of the televised debates.
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this was, i think, the best single debate that we've had in the history of the television debates and the three debates, the two presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, as a threesome, are by far the best series of debates that we've had. it's rather encouraging. the format last night worked. i did like the idea that real people were asking real questions. the best question of the night, you've already said, was the women who said, look, i've got my concerns about you, about president obama, but you, governor romney, i want to know how you explain the difference between you and president george bush. best question of the night. >> absolutely. and i think the best question thus far, i think candy crowley deserves credit for choosing good questions. >> i'm glad you raised that. candy crowley, you know the republicans believe they lost the debate last night when they start whining about the referee. and let the record show that candy crowley brought, she brought honor to the whole business of moderating, she honored the profession of journalism. she did her job. you don't have to be a republican or democrat to acknowledge that she did a good job. and the fact that republicans are whining about it tells you they pretty much know they lost. maybe a modest loss, but a loss.
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>> dan rather, it is an honor for us to have you here. anytime you want to be here. thank you so much, sir. >> thank you, rachel. thanks so much. >> all right. we'll be right back. users chos. prego?! but i've bought ragu for years. [ thinking ] wonder what other questionable choices i've made? i choose date number 2! whooo! [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego. wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] [ yawning sound ] [ male announcer ] if we want to improve our schools... ... what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers
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okay. after last night, how long did you think you would have to wait for the inevitable video of women standing on the steps of the ohio republican women's headquarters dressed up like binders? >> equal rights not binders! >> there it is. we knew it was coming, and there you go. >> equal pay, not binders.
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>> very exciting. more ahead.
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after last night's debate,
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after what was, i think, a pretty clear win for president obama, what seems to worry the romney campaign the most is the mien that sprung from mr. romney's weird reference towards binders full of women. >> i went to a number of women's groups and said, can you help us find folks, and they brought us whole binders full of women. >> so as the obama campaign launched a website at and texts from hillary, lol, to the very idea that mitt romney was still using binders and there was the facebook page and there was the video game that i'm not really sure how you win, but it works kind of like the atari game kaboom, and lfs the twitter feed for mr. romney tease binders. of course, as all of that was happening last night and today, the romney campaign fired up their patented mien doubling machine. they tried to make it seem like president obama was the one with the big, embarrassing binder problem. the republican party put out this picture of a binder, an empty binder and said, this is president obama's binder, his binder of policies.
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see how it's empty?! see, obama's the one with the hilarious binder! did you hear a binder thing from the debate! it was a thing about obama! this is insane, right? but this is what they do. this is their trick. war on women? your war on women. the overall problem here is that mr. romney brought up the binder story as a way of avoiding answering a very direct question on policy, which is, does he support fair pay for women? his running mate, after all, voted against the lily ledbetter fair pay act, and the question's first response about that question, the response was memorably noncommittal. >> does governor romney support the lily ledbetter act? >> sam, we'll get back to you on that. >> that was six months ago. last night, this was still an unanswered question. would mitt romney support fair pay for women? we know his running mate was against it. is he for it? mr. romney gave no answer about
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the policy at the debate. that's when he instead wandered off into the now-infamous binders anecdote. his campaign followed up last night. ed gillespie said, "mitt romney was opposed to the lily ledbetter fair act at the time." but now they sent out another change, in the form of a correction, mr. gillespie saying, no, no, no, i was wrong, when i said he opposed the lily ledbetter act, he never weighed in on it. so the problem for mr. romney last night, it was for the purpose of avoiding a direct statement about that policy that he wandered into his anecdote about binders full of women. he thought that was safer territory than actually addressing the question. the problem for him today, even the awkwardly distracting anecdote about binders turns out to be poison for him. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work.
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>> which was very uncomfortable. joining us now for the interview is shannon o'brien. she ran against mitt romney in the 2002 massachusetts governor's race, that was a race, of course, that mr. romney won. shannon o'brien, thanks for joining us tonight. nice to have you back. >> thank you, rachel. >> that '02 campaign is at the heart of today's debunking, if you will, of the binders thing. can you explain to us what was going on in 2002 at that time that governor romney was talking about last night? >> well, it was fascinating for me to listen to that story. i called on another one of mitt's massachusetts myths. and he's made himself the shining knight. the fact is, there was a group, mass gap, which is the government appointments project, put together by a number of bipartisan women's groups. at the time there were approximately, i don't know, 30% of women in high-ranking positions in that administration. and this group got together and demanded, frankly, of me and of mitt romney that we make a pledge. that we pledge to bring more women into, whether it was my or
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his administration. so we actually signed, i think he did too, signed the pledge. so when he goes and says that he was out finding all these women, the fact is, the women beat on our doors and said, take these binders. so at least the binders, i think, was truthful. >> but the binders -- so you're saying, just so i get this right, it's not that mitt romney realized that all of his cabinet, potential appointees, as he mentioned last night, were too male in terms of the pool, and he needed -- he sent people back to go find binders full of women in order to change the gender makeup of the people he was considering for his cabinet. you're saying that you guys were both offered these binders before you were ever in a position of appointing anybody? >> i'm saying that i'm sure the things that was delivered to him may well have been in a staples binder, was these groups had a discussion with both candidates well before he got sworn in in january. so these people were putting together resumes and women who had the right credentials to serve in some of these high-ranking positions.
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so the real absurdity is that he looked around and that he personally met with groups to go out and find these women, as if this was some sort of affirmative, good act on his part. >> so people were standing up for women, it just wasn't him who was initiating it? >> it was the bipartisan women's groups who were standing up for women. and the good news is he actually did appoint women to his administration. so he can get a little bit of credit for that. >> did he put in place any actual policies in terms of benefiting working women, affirmative action for women, the kinds of things that were being discussed last night? >> not so much. i'm not really aware of any policies. when he first came into office, he did have something like 40, 42% of the people in some of the higher ranking positions in his administration, but by the time we got to the end of his gubernatorial term, he had lost interest in governing massachusetts.
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he was already off running for president, or at least staking that out. and so, the numbers had shot back down to 25%, frankly lower than what the previous administration had. so he lost interest, and i guess maybe the women in his administration lost interest too, because they left. >> so he did have a high initial number female appointees, but they fled when his administration sort of pooped out toward the end? >> again, it was 30% before he got there, 32% when he launched, and we the time he left, it was something like 25% women. >> shannon o'brien who ran against mitt romney in the '02 massachusetts governor's race, and who now has a national role in telling what it was like in massachusetts at that time, thank you for helping us understand this tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks. mitt romney's worst moment last night win mean, really, really bad, concerned an issue where the right were absolutely positive they had president obama nailed. and boy are they mad about it. and that brings out bad behavior. and that is straight ahead. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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it seemed too strange to be true when mitt romney embraced donald trump after donald trump became a full-time birther, questioning whether president obama was secretly foreign. what is stranger than that is who is on the mitt romney campaign plane today. hold on. [ male announcer ] there are only so many foods that make kids happy.
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when mitt romney got on his campaign plane today to go do some post-events in virginia, dylan byers noticed a very surprising person. this guy. from world net daily. that's the website that has done all of the exclusive reporting about president obama's birth certificate. at the world net daily super store you can still by the yard sign. but maybe now that the book is down to 78 cents on, mr. corsi has moved on to a new conspiracy theory which is that the president is secretly gay. actually i should say secretly gay married. secretly gay married to a whole bunch of different guys who he
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killed because he's a secretly gay married murderer. the ring he wears says he's a muslim and he's gay and a murderer. the romney campaign put him on the campaign plane with the candidate. but the world net daily website kind of sucks now. it's always been -- but now that they've tried to move on from the birth certificate conspiracy to the new conspiracy theory, it's clear that it's really just not giving them the same juice that it used to. they're not pushing that many stories, nobody is really linking to them. the best stuff in their super store now is all about how to protect themselves from home invasions. it's clear they're not able to energize as many people as they used to. and i think that's because of
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what feels good about a good conspiracy theory. what gives conspiracy theories their appeal. in the case of the birth certificate, what those folks were saying, what they were claiming, even if you didn't follow all the steps about kenya and the grandmother and the newspaper and how the infant must have been moved and even if you didn't follow all the steps. what they were selling you was the basic idea that president obama is not actually president. he is secretly foreign, he is ineligible therefore to hold office. so therefore even though it seems like we've got this man as president. feel better, he's not really president. he's not eligible to hold the office. so he's secretly not holding the office. don't you feel better? the problem with world net daily now is that their new theory, president obama being secretly gay married, it doesn't elicit the same feeling. nobody needs to be comforted about that. nobody needs to be comforted that president obama doesn't really love michele. nobody needs to feel that way. but that dynamic and in conservative politics that an
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mates those conspiracy theories. it does not only happen on the fringes. we've seen it over and over again as republicans increasingly isolate themselves in our country. they stay inside a media bubble where they do not hear any contrast continuing point of view. to republican politicians who are playing only to those hosts and news shows and bloggers in a loop that just gives people what they want to hear in those settings. and in that environment when something happens that makes people feel uncomfortable, there is an almost irresistible impulse on the right to assure people that uncomfortable thing really happen. >> unbelievable jobs numbers, these chicago guys will do anything, can't debate so change the numbers. i don't know what the right number is, but i'll tell you, these numbers don't smell right when you think about where the economy is right now. >> sadly, no. the unemployment rate really is below 8%. i know it feels awful to you
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because of your politics, but the unemployment rate really is below 8%. it is 7.8 truly. >> unemployment is going down, just as a factual matter. why would congressman ryan in defines of facts suggest otherwise? >> i think what he was saying is the truth which is unemployment is higher today when the president took office. >> no. that is not true. i know you want to think that congressman ryan said the truth when he said that, but he did not. the unemployment rate is factually going down. and that must feel awful to you guys, but it really is the truth. truly. that impulse on the right now did not just down play or distract from or try and explain away from things they didn't like. the impulse not to do that normal stuff, but to assert that uncomfortable facts just aren't
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real facts, that the president isn't really president, that the unemployment rate hasn't really gone down, that closed loop, cuddle yourself, pretend it isn't happening impulse that's what made the right's presidential candidate last night walk into this horrible wall. >> i'm the president and i'm always responsible. and that's why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than i did. the day after the attack, governor, i stood in the rose garden and i told the american people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. that this was an act of terror. >> i think it's interesting that the president just said something which is that on the day after he attack he went in the rose garden and said that this was an act of terror. >> that's what i said. >> you said in the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying? >> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make sure we get that for the record.
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because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript. >> he did in fact, sir. so let me call it an act of terror -- >> did you say that a little louder, candy? >> mitt romney repeating the story told about the subject on the right in the way that is very satisfying to conservatives. in a way that is told on the right is a story is told the stories exactly what they want to hear. a comforting story about how this bad president never used that word terror in talking about these attacks until two weeks that happened. that story must feel great if you're against this president and if you only experience reality as mediated through the conservative media, you might think that is really what happened. that is not what happened. >> no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. today we mourn for more americans who represent the very best of the united states of
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america. we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. and make no mistake, justice will be done. >> you can count on 3-2-1 until the right starts saying that the tape has been doctored and the transcript has been forged from a fax machine in hawaii. mitt romney getting it wrong last night because he apparently consumes the right wing version of reality instead of the real reality. that was the story of the night when he face planted on that story. just a shocking face plant by an excitable candidate who decided to take a leaping round house punch while his opponent was standing there -- too painful. debate interruption by candy crowley steps on major moment for governor romney.
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oh, darn that candy crowley. her pointless interruption >> politifact, so when mitt romney wrote an op-ed entitled let detroit go bankrupt and he went on cbs news to defend it, they found that half true.
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because basically they don't think that mitt romney likes to be quoted saying let detroit go bankrupt or something, even though he did. so half true? politifact looked into last night whether he used the phrase act of terror. >> no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation. >> politifact said yes he did say that but it's only half true because he didn't mean it when he said it. this infection is leading the conservative media, these baldly false conservative feel-good assertions that come from the right end up becoming just the other side of a political issue. we're taking an objective look and that is bull. barack obama was born in hawaii, the unemployment rate is under 8%. the day after the benghazi attack, the president called it an act of terror. do not confuse your world net daily caliber fantasy babble for


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