tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 20, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
good saturday to you. i'm richard lui and you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. just 17 days until voters go to the polls to decide whether president obama deserves another term. two days until final race off between governor mitt romney and mr. obama. and 5k, how far ann romney walked today in a breast cancer charity event in florida. it's just a small part of the final sprint to election day. topping our political headlines today, both president obama and governor romney are off the trail today, focusing instead on debate prep. but their running mates are both on the stump.
congressman paul ryan held rallies in pennsylvania and ohio and the vice president was in florida. he took aim at mitt romney, saying he has changed his positions more than a couple of times. >> the president said the day after the romney debate that governor romney was awful sketchy. now, look, it's not my position to take issue with the president, but i'm going to correct him here. romney wasn't sketchy, he was etch a sketchy. that's what he's doing. he's up there, he's shaking that thing. >> meanwhile, the romney campaign is out with a new tv ad that paints a grim picture of what a second term under president obama might look like. >> if barack obama is re-elected, what will the next four years be like? one, the debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion. two, 20 million americans could lose their employer-based health care. three, taxes on the middle class will go up by $4,000. four, energy prices will continue to go up.
>> and news today of a florida company urging its 1,300 employees to donate money to the romney campaign, suggesting their jobs may be at stake if he loses. not the first time we heard about that. in an e-mail obtained by msnbc's "up with chris hayes," the ceo of aeg software solutions writes this, "i'm encouraging everyone to go to the romney for president website and contribute as much as you can to his campaign for president, up to the maximum of $2,500 per person. we need to elect a fiscally conservative president and vice president and stop this ridiculous government spending." now, in his statement to "up with chris hayes," asg says that it's a privately held company and its publications are intended to be informative, not coercive. more on these stories throughout the next two hours right here on msnbc. all right. here's what he said moments ago. listen to joe biden. all right, we don't have that
tape. when we do have it for you, we'll get it to you a little bit later in the program. let's move to president obama. where is he? he's holed up for a weekend of debate prep. the third and final debate is on monday in the all-important battle state of florida and will be entirely focused on foreign policy. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house for us right now. good to see you. republicans keep beating the drum on the libya consulate attack. it can't be as singular as that, though. you don't expect that, do you? >> no, there are going to be other issues involved. certainly iran, its relationship with israel, and its burgeoning nuclear enrichment facilities they have in iran. china and trade with china. this is something that mitt romney has been hitting on, including the last debate. but libya, of course, richard, that was the big controversy, the big talking point coming out of that last contentious debate. this is a talking point and an attack that the republicans have been leading ever since that tragic attack on september 11th in benghazi at the american facility there that left four americans dead, including the american ambassador. romney was building up to that.
republicans really wanted to see him go after the president on that, but he got tripped up by this timing and what exactly the president said in the rose garden two days after with secretary of state clinton by his side. richard, there is so much ambiguity around this story, about exactly what happened at that compound in benghazi, there is going to be some wiggle room, if you will, as they go after each other. just today a report from the ap, that the station chief reported 24 hours after the assault that it was, in fact, a mob action upset about that film that we've heard so much about that inflamed much of the arab world. "the washington post" reporting -- i'm sorry, darrell issa, the republican in the house, releasing memos yesterday, suggesting that ambassador stevens himself had concern over islamic radicals and al qaeda elements in benghazi. there was a september 11th cable concerned about libyan militias helping to provide security to ambassador stevens. and last but not least today, a report by david ig nashs, a veteran foreign affairs
correspondent in "the washington post," citing a cia talking point. remember, susan rice, the ambassador to the united states got in a lot of heat because she went on shows a week later and said it was a spontaneous action. it turns out, that's exactly the talking points that the cia was distributing within the united states government. so a lot of controversy, a lot of ambiguity. it's not likely to die down between now and monday and even after that, richard. >> it's going to be a very detailed and involved issue, if they do bring it up. we're getting information each and every day. mike viqueira, thank you so much. now, the attack on libya, as mike viqueira was telling us, goes back to this exchange. this is a big issue and might be a very big part of what is going to be happening as this debate becomes more charged after what had happened. let's listen to that exchange and what happened there. >> you said in the rose garden, the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.
it was not a spontaneous demonstration. >> please proceed. >> is that what you're saying? >> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make sure we get that for the record, 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. he -- >> can you call that a little louder, candy? >> he did call it an act of terror. >> republicans have called foul on that, saying the president was vague in his rose garden statement. here to straighten out the confusion, lori roberts and deputy editor for politico. lori, we start with you. that question about whether the president called the attack in libya a terror attack, can you look at the details for us? we have discussed this many times since that debate. >> sure. well, he referred to acts of terror in that rose garden appearance and also later that day in a campaign speech, the next day in a campaign speech as
well. however, romney said that he -- it took him two weeks to refer to it as a terrorist attack. after those initial speeches, where he referred to it as an act of terror, acts of terror, he then -- the president then did refuse to call it a terrorist act or even an act of terror again. and even there were some members of the administration who had come out and called it a terrorist attack and obama, when he was asked about it, was still saying it's under investigation and we're still gathering information. >> so, she was alluding to the president saying, no acts of terror in the rose garden, and then she was also alluding to governor romney and his statement, and he was saying that he also was correct. and what was she saying he was correct on? >> what was candy crowley saying he was correct on? >> yes. >> well, that it was two more weeks before the president called ate terrorist attack. so they kind of both have a
point on this one. >> edward isaac, let's go to you now. i do want to shift gears a little bit and talk about how they might use this in the debate. because that was an issue that we were discussing with mike viqueira. is this something that because of all the details here, that they should try to really touch on and move away or is it something that -- because nobody will come away a winner, basically? because there's so many moving parts to it? >> it's hard to see how with the foreign policy debate on monday, 90 minutes on foreign policy and this issue so much in the air, it won't be a major part of a debate. what it does, though, with all of these different details and differing accounts a give both of them a way of sort of being right and sort of being wrong. and that's what we're going to litigate, i'm sure, for at least part of the debate on monday night. >> lori, this is another part that those who are watching the issue of immigration, this is the third debate. it is the first time the issue of immigration was brought up. let's listen to what was said. >> he called the arizona law a
model for the nation. part of the arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stop folks because they suspected maybe they looked like they might be undocumented workers and check their papers. >> your thought, lori? was this right on point? did it stretch it a little? >> oh, it's actually completely wrong. the president's wrong on this one. romney did call previous arizona law a model for the nation, but that was a law specifically relating to something called everify, where employers can check the documentation status of the employees. romney was not referring to this papers, please, as it's known, arizona law, that the president referred to. >> edward isaac, i want to help you take a listen to this right now. this is on taxes. >> the president's spending, the president's borrowing will cause this nation to have to raise taxes on the american people.
not just at the high end. a recent study has shown the people in the middle class will see $4,000 a year higher taxes as a result of the spending and borrowing of this administration. >> okay, so, edward isaac, the number here is $4,000. romney is saying that's what the average tax bill will go up. >> and that is an assumption based on an assumption at this point. it's what the governor says what would happen if we continued with obama's spending plans and tax plans. that the deficit would go up so much that in order to pay for it, we would have to raise taxes about $4,000 on middle class families. it's not in the president's plan, it's not something that would for sure happen. it's not something that everybody agrees would happen at all or to that amount, but governor romney believes that $4,000 is the number, based on the leap that he's taking off of a report by the american enterprise institute. >> all right. lori robertson, edward isaac, thank you so much. >> thank you. still to come, gaming the election. how a video game system more
associated with football and first person shooter games is being used in the race for the white house. plus for you -- >> this is where the action's going on. it's hugely important. >> they're calling it the bellwether county in the bellwether state of virginia. how this set of suburban communities around richmond could swing the entire state. but first, why is the romney camp moving out of north carolina? what do they know that we don't? we'll ask the campaign next. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. look, if you have copd like me, you know it can be hard to breathe, and how that feels. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms.
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moving staff out of north carolina, confident of a win in this state, which the president carried four years ago. and that confidence is also apparent in mitt romney's language, as he visits other swing states like florida. >> have you been watching the obama campaign lately? it's absolutely remarkable. they have no agenda for the future. no agenda for america. no agenda for a second term. >> joining us now from washington, rnc surrogate and former spokesperson for the george w. bush administration, mercedes slep. thank you for joining us. >> hi richard, thank you. >> what are your thoughts here, these reports of the romney campaign moving resources, moving some of their staff out of north carolina and into ohio. >> well, what we're seeing with governor romney is that his message has resonated with the people of north carolina. we've also seen widening polls in north carolina, where romney's ahead. with that being said, the victory centers remain open, and the ground game is very strong
at this point. we're seeing very strong early voting as well in north carolina. and so i really do think that governor romney and his staff is going to beat president in north carolina as well, but as in every campaign, you're allocating resources to different states and it changes week by week. >> but might it be more about ohio, as ohio has become even more important? >> well, ohio's very important, wisconsin. we're seeing in pennsylvania, there was one poll that just came out that showed that romney was ahead by a few points. so, again, there's all these different battleground states in play at this point. >> so they may have shifted scenarios here at this point, saying, things are looking closer in ohio, let's rejigger. >> you have to civil right for every vote, and part of it is allocating these resources. when you have to invest resources in different areas, at this point in north carolina, we have the victory centers open and everything, but at the same time, it's moving these
resources where, in other key states as well. >> let's shift to an issue, an important constituency. "the new york times" reporting that both campaigns looking at latinos as deciders in three swing states. that's colorado, nevada, and florida. however, mitt romney trails the president among latinos at the moment in a recent pew poll. when you look at phrases like self-deportation, the issue of the use of illegals, which is seen by tb latino community as being very insensitive, how does this resonate, then? how does this show that the romney campaign does, indeed, value this constituency? >> well, i'm a latina, from florida, originally, now in virginia. but i have to tell you something, immigration's an important issue and governor romney has made it very clear that he has a long-term plan for immigration policy in this country. where he's going to be working with both parties. but, you know, for the hispanics, it's about the economy. and you look at a recent poll from fiu, basically saying that
nearly half of the latinos believe that obama ended up breaking that promise. secondly, more than half of the latinas also believe that obama is basically not -- you know, they're not better off than they were four years ago. so, again, i think romney has made huge strides with latinos in florida, especially when you see with like the enthusiasm in the cuban community, down in south florida. many who voted for obama in 2008, they're shifting towards romney. >> so you think the use of self-deportation, the use of the illegals, is not going to be an issue for this voting group? >> well, again, as i explained, governor romney has presented a long-term immigration policy, that as we know -- >> but it's the connotation that i'm talking about. what it conotes about what's
valuable to a certain group. i understand what you said about his plan. >> we can fight -- you know, talk about the terminology. but if you look at what the hispanics are suffering under the obama economy, where under 10% of unemployment rate for hispanics, that's greater number than the average american. secondly, you have the poverty rate of his pacs has skyrocketed under obama. i mean, this is just not acceptable for the hispanic community. and so i think that -- >> mercedes, i want to get to this while we have some time left. that's the issue of, he's put a line in the sand, mitt romney has. he says he needs 38% of latino vote and we've been seeing numbers of around 30, 31%, the new latino decisions poll showed about that number. john mccain, as you know, got 31%. can he reach the 38? >> well, you know, i think that governor romney's going to fight for every vote. i think in florida, it's going to be very decisive. i've seen polls where they're pretty much tied in terms of the hispanic voters. so i think that's going to be a
huge play in florida in particular. >> state by state. >> exactly. >> mercedes sclap, thank you very much. coming up, what's behind the obama campaign midwest firewall. and later, a live report on the pakistani girl who was shot by the taliban. her case has gripped world. now malala is making progress. . and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
you'll have to remind your family they can use less. charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less versus the leading value brand. don't worry, there's plenty left for you dad. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra soft? in our what's the big idea segment, we bring you a voter identification tactic so simple a kid could do it. in fact, most kids, well, they are doing it. from microsoft comes election 2012 on xbox live, which allows voters to plug into the election using their xbox 360 video game system and its xbox live online service. with content provided by nbcnews.com, gamers can learn about candidates and watch the upcoming debates on their xboxes. now, the xbox website has also joined with rock the vote to encourage voters to register online. microsoft saying 40% of their 40
million xbox live subscribers are still undecided. coming up, could this whole presidential contest come down to one county? we'll take you there, next. and later, who would new yorkers prefer as their next mayor? anthony weiner or alec baldwin? you may be surprised at that answer. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
all right. here's a quick look at some of the top stories making news right now. the death toll from those steroid infection s infected wih fungal meningitis climbs again. more than a dozen people were hurt after severe weather brought down a pavilion they had gathered under to get out of the storm. several kids were among the injured there. a power failure stalled a ride at this texas state fair last night, leaving two dozen
riders stranded 165 feet in the air for about two hours. no one was hurt, good thing. but the same ride reportedly suffered the same problem at the minnesota state fair in august. and o.j. simpson is trying to get out of jail. the former football star says the lawyer who represented him in 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping trial had a conflict of interest. a nevada judge now says he will hear that case. simpson is serving 9 to 33 areas in prison. now to an update on the 14-year-old pakistani girl who was shot by the taliban. after arguing girls deserve an education. nbc's duncan golistani is in london for us with the latest. duncan, what are you seeing? >> hey, richard. well, malala is in the hospital and still very much in everyone's thoughts. today there was a candlelight vigil for the 14-year-old in birmingham in central england where she is being treated. doctors there say she is not out of the woods, but she is doing well and has been able to stand
for the first time. they say malala has been writing messages because she's unable to speak after undergoing a tracheotomy so she could breathe through a tube in her neck. the operation had to be performed because her airways had been swollen by the bullet that hit her. the schoolgirl was shot as she left school in pakistan's swat valley. the taliban says they attacked her because she spoke out against the group and praised president obama. malala was shot at point-blank range, with the bullet hitting her left brow, but thankfully it didn't penetrate her skull. richard? >> what about her parents? you know, being able to communicate with her, obviously, that has been tough, because it hasn't been happening. >> i think, yeah, they are just thankful that she's able to write these messages to them and she did say that she wanted her health to be shared. she is aware that there has been this incredible outpouring of support from people around the world, amazed at her bravery.
>> all right, duncan golestani, thank you so much in london. in the battleground state of virginia, the race could not be tighter. the latest nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll shows the president and governor romney within one point of each other among likely voters. and there's one county on the north side of richmond where the race could be decided. nbc's john yang takes us to the once reliably republican enrico county, which is now up for grabs. >> reporter: in enrico county, the presidential campaign is being fought person to person. >> can mitt romney count on your vote in november? >> nope. >> reporter: door to door. phone to phone. >> thanks so much and have a great day. >> reporter: both sides say this is ground zero. >> we're the bellwether county and the bellwether state. as enrico goes, so goes virginia. >> this is where the action's going on. it's hugely important. >> reporter: at the richmond folk festival, henrico county voters say they like it that
way. your voter's pretty important. how does that make you feel? >> you know, it's good to feel important. but then on the other hand, you've got to tune everything out. if you're important, everybody wants, you know, wants you. >> it feels pretty good. i think it's going to come right down to henrico. >> reporter: for a long time, it didn't. in 2008, president obama was the first democrat to win the county since president harry truman in 1948. 19 past two decades, the county's minority population has boomed. african-americans, hispanics, and asians. >> long story short, we've become a much more diverse county. >> reporter: both sides say the key to winning is getting their voters to the polls. for the obama campaign, that means van alamb. >> i feel that he's a good leader and he's helping health care and he's helping families and the middle man. >> reporter: for the romney campaign, it's voters like herold wright. >> he's got the experience.
he's a great businessman. and i have all the faith in the world in him. >> reporter: both sides are looking for ways to sway undecid undecideds. >> i would like to hear how we're going to fix the economy. that to me is the most important. >> every president inherits challenges. >> reporter: to get their messages out, the campaigns and their allies are blanketing the airwaves. >> i'm more concerned about the debt our children will be left with. >> reporter: voters have a message of their own. >> please stop the commercials. i'm sick of them! my wife's sick of them. everyone's sick of them. >> reporter: john yang, nbc news, richmond, virginia. >> well, president obama was in northern virginia friday making a pip for women voters and mitt romney has an event planned sunday in virginia's coal country. joining me with what's at stake in virginia is john harwood, cnbc chief washington correspondent. you've seen all those ads, i'm sure, john. but break it down for us, if you can. you know, virginia, a state with two personalities, really.
the northern urban suburbs, as john yang was alluding to outside of washington, d.c. then you've got the farming and mining regions. when you look at those, which region will hold the key to victory in november? >> i think the extent to which voters turn out in the northern voting suburbs is his key to victory. about 40% of the vote gets cast in those northern virginia suburbs. and as you heard in john yang's piece, the key to improving democratic prospects in virginia over the last several elections is diversity and suburbanization. the republican strongholds in the rural parts of the state have been growing more diluted as a proportion of the final vote in virginia, and that's why you've had governors like mark warner and tim kaine elected, but it's not overwhelming, by any means. and you have to say in a very, very close election, nationally, mitt romney's chances of winning this state are probably better than 50/50. when you look at those even
national lpolls, you've got to think that's good news for romney. >> why better than 50/50, do you think? >> well simply because when you look at a national race that's essentially even in terms of the popular vote, the relative strength of democrats is in other places. is on the west coast, is in the northeast. virginia is one of those that's right on the bubble. it's a purple state. and when the democrats are riding high, they can win it narrowly in a national election. president obama, remember, beat john mccain by six percentage points in the popular vote, and barely won virginia, also north carolina. you've got to look at both of those and say that they are uphill fights for him, if you do have an evenly matched race nationally, is how it looks to be right now. >> john, let's dig into that poll that i was discussing before i went to john yang's piece. and that's where president obama is 47% ahead of the vote right now, at least from the poll, and romney has 48. that's a shift in the tide. >> well, it has. and what's happened is, since the first debate, you see
republicans feeling a lot better about mitt romney and some independents leaning republican feeling better about him as well. so he rose, he had a lot of vote which he was not harvesting because people had misgivings about him. and we're in a different situation now. president obama is fighting it out on an even basis, nationally. he may be able to prevail in virginia, but the burden is on him to finish strong over the last couple of weeks to do that. >> is it because -- and you know, john yang, going to his piece and what he discussed, something you're also very familiar, those northern urban counties that we've been talking about here, it's also where you have a larger percentage of minorities. we have latinos, which are, what, 8.2% of americans. you have asian americans which are 6%. and in a very close race, both sides, if they can address the issues and address them in language-specific ways, this could help them in these numbers that we've been seeing as they
swing. >> well, there's no question. as i mentioned, diversity is a real critical element of democratic prospects there. but richard, there's a reason why no democrat since lyndon johnson had carried virginia before barack obama did in 2008. the state is changing, but some of the vestiges of that conservatism, the -- dating all the way back to the old confederacy remains in the state. so even though democrats can win it, there is certainly no guarantee. and when you get in a neck and neck race, it's anybody's guess who's going to come out on top. >> so we flushed out really the northern part of virginia. let's move a little bit south. governor romney, headed to coal country tomorrow, as as you know. and he's spent a lot of time in mining countries so far. president obama is perceived as not being coal industry friendly. how's this all going to play out in that space? >> well, that's part of mitt romney's appeal to those more conservative parts of the state. it's the same formula that george w. bush used in 2000.
he was prying west virginia out of the democratic column, but the emphasis on extraction in conservative parts of west virginia, ohio, virginia, north carolina, all that plays very well for conservatives, and it's why mitt romney is going to go to coal country and make that appearance. >> now, if virginia does go red, what might be telling about that here, john? would we also then think or would bit fair to say that north carolina is going to be going red as well, or returning red, i should say. >> yes, i think north carolina will go red before virginia does, but succeed see both of them going in that direction. if it happens in virginia, i think we can also think it will be likely that mitt romney mitigated some of his short coming among women voters. women voters are critical in those northern virginia suburbs. and you know, we've seen some polls indicating a narrowing of mitt romney's deficit among women. in our nbc/"wall street journal"/marist polls late last week in both iowa and wisconsin,
we showed romney down 18 points. he can't expect to carry virginia if he's down that much among women. but if he can narrow that gap somewhat and mitigate some of the loss of votes the that he has in the northern suburban part of the state, the more conservative parts of virginia could tip him over the finish line. >> all right. great stuff. john harwood, thank you so much. cnbc chief correspondent, chief washington correspondent, specifically, thank you so much. >> you bet. all righty, one politician hoping the gangam style dance, it's really the key to reaching some young voters. wait until you we tell you who it is. and the battle for young voters. the new poll with surprising results about where they stand right now in the presidential race. i don't spend money on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago.
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time to great some trail mix. civil rights icon congressman john lewis joins a dance craze in an effort to get out the youth vote. ♪ ♪ hey, sexy lady ♪ gangnam style >> vote, vote, vote, gangnam style. >> voting gangnam style. it's going to be a crazy day at the polls there. the president opening up about his friendship with jay-z and e beyon beyonce, saying they're down to earth folks and their conversations are no different than other folks, even offering up baby advice. he told a cleveland radio station, "they just had a new baby. i made sure jay-z was helping beyonce out and not leaving it all to mom and the mother-in-law." and the rap mogul stars in a new campaign ad that was just released this week. and there's also financial help.
he and beyonce recently hosted a fund-raiser that brought in $4 million. alec baldwin might have an empire state of mind, but apparently the empire state does not want him to run for mayor of new york city. in fact, according to a new york poll, two politicians lost their jobs over sex scandals have a better job. 30% say former governor eliot spitzer should run. 25% say former congressman anthony weiner should get in the race. only 18% want baldwin in that race. and new york senator kirsten gillibrand's republican challenger, wendy long, turned about 50 shades of red after being asked this question at their debate the other night. >> miss long, have you read "50 shades of gray"? >> no. >> senator? >> no. >> senator gillibrand did not have a problem with that question, but wendy said it was out of tough and outlandishly sexist issues there. the presidential nominees are battling for female voters. women had the highest turnout
rate in the 2008 election. about two-thirds of female registered voters went to the polls. and women voters were the key to barack obama's victory in 2008. 56% cast their vote for him. so, what is going to be happening in 2012 when it comes down to the women's vote? joining me now is anita mcbride. anita is a senior adviser for the george w. bush foundation and she was chief of staff to laura bush. anita, thanks for being with us on this saturday. i want to first focus on a "usa today"/gallup poll out this week on women voters. in swing states, it shows that mitt romney is leading over mr. obama, 50% to 46. and when we look back at 2008, it was the women vote that was a given for president obama and also leading up until today. >> mm-hmm. >> what happened? >> well, i think that we are seeing that, you know, mitt romney and paul ryan are closing
this gap and this so-called, you know, war on women, that had been in the headlines for a number of months is really coming down to the reality now that, you know, women are not single-issue voters. and they are focusing on a lot of things. and they're now also having an opportunity, after these last couple of debates, where they can hear from governor romney, himself. the words are from him. and no longer the narrative is defined by a message that has been perpetrated on him. and it's starting to resonate. women are -- they care about the economy. and he is talking about that first and foremost. >> this despite what we've seen recently about women's health issues. there's the comment that was made by governor romney during the debate, about binders full of women. the issues about contraception. despite all of that, there's still this shift. and why is that? >> well, let me first address the binders full of women.
i think you know what, i lived my life by binders. i carried a binder, that had every single piece of information i needed to know to make good decisions throughout the day and be able to structure a very hectic, you know, life. and a life of decision making that was important. and i think that, you know, that actually, when i heard it, that appealed to me. that it was that organized and business like and methodical. and as far as the -- and also, i have to say, the numbers of women who have worked for governor romney during his time in public life and also private life are all coming out and talking about the extraordinary leader that he was. >> are you saying, then, anita, that peas points of criticism coming from the obama campaign are not resonating? >> i think the binder issue is something that's silly and not resonating. i think the contraceptive issue,
though, is definitely, is something that, of course, you know, do women care about that? yes, they do, but is that the only thing they care about? i don't think so. and i think that there is also this mind-set of the '70s and '80s, when we're talking about this issue of contraception and abortion. and not the women of today. this has been the law -- abortion has been the law of the land for 40 years. i have worked for three pro-life presidents. i've never seen one of them try and overturn roe v. wade. >> there's a new story in the atlantic, that says that women are abandoning president obama to some of the statistics that we were bringing up earlier. the name of the article, revenge of the soccer moms, says "more than any other group, women have accounted for romney's surge in the polls." and when you look at this issue of soccer moms, and that's looking back in history a little bit here. >> sure. >> it goes back to the point where the women voting bloc is not a bloc. it evolves many different thoughts, it's single women, it's suburban women, it's what
some people call dot-moms, it's soccer moms as well. which parts are going which way? >> well, i think that all women, and you're right, this is a very big voting bloc, and a lot of different age groups within the women's vote. and young women, you know, coming into the workforce are worrying about getting a job. they're interested in a career and a level playing field and an opportunity to have a job and make a life for themselves. married women, who are working women, are certainly worried about a fair shot at a good job. but also worried about their families, if they have children, and worried about their families 'opportunities and what their kids' life is going to be like. and then older women, as they're thinking about retirement and their savings and how protected that is and what the state of the economy is going to be. and of course when you are retired and older and living on social security and medicare, how protected that's going to be. and i think every single one of these age groups of women in
this bloc are -- care about the economy. and i really do think that's the bottom line. >> anita mcbride, former chief of staff to laura bush, thank you so much for your time today. >> thank you. from one battleground to another, we'll head to iowa for a look at why that state's six electoral groups are so crucial this year. ♪ [ male announcer ] it's time for medicare open enrollment. are you ready? time to compare plans and see what's new. you don't have to make changes, but it's good to look. maybe you can find better coverage, save money, or both. and check out the preventive benefits you get after the health care law. ♪ medicare open enrollment. now's the time. visit medicare.gov or call 1-800-medicare.
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only 17 days left until the election. today we're going to focus on iowa. president obama holds a lead in that state. the latest nbc "wall street journal" marist poll continues to show president obama with an eight-point lead over mitt romney. so why is iowa so critical? joining me now is stefan schmidt, a professor of political science at iowa state university. stefan, thanks for joining us. the romney campaign believes the race is closer than our poll is suggesting at the moment, and early vote cog be the issue. the poll finds 34% of likely
voters have already cast their ballot, and the president leads in that voting specifically 2-1. but among election-day voters, mr. romney is likely to do better in our poll finding that 54% of those who would vote for mr. romney versus to 39% to mr. obama. when you look at this the absentee ballots could help mr. romney. lay this all out for us. >> you know, the polls have been all over the place, richard. and i am a big skeptic this year of the accuracy of the polls. any one given poll has shown barack obama blowing away mitt romney with the women's vote, and suddenly it tightens up and mitt romney is ahead. i think it's a very volatile, and as in iowa as in other places, it is touch and go. and i think it's going to be a close race. i don't think it's going to be a cakewalk for whoever wins in iowa. but barack obama seems to be back to where he was in september, which is sort of
remarkable given the fact that we've had, you know, debates and the vice presidential debate and problems in libya and other things, and yet the poll numbers are now back to where they were. so i would say that what is happening in iowa is in fact iowa is a swing state that is going to begin to trend i think more and more towards the democrats because the rural areas and small towns are shrinking, and suburban areas and nonagricultural activities, including technology and biotechnology and so on are growing. so i think the numbers that we're seeing now are probably not too bad. >> you know, when we look -- and put this in context for us, steffen. when we look back to 2008, this was a very important state for president obama and his win. in the caucuses, it showed that because of the white vote going towards president obama, that he was electable. and then this year, this is the state where the president began his campaign.
how important? and i should say symbolic is iowa to the president? >> well, it's very symbolic. as you said, iowa has a very small minority population. and yet he came out on top in the caucuses, and i think it gave him the credential with other states where white voters could say, well, look, he did well in iowa and the iowans are pretty smart politically. he didn't get, you know, the victory in the caucuses because of minority votes, african-americans, and others. so it is symbolically important. i think the other problem in iowa is that the republican party in iowa has really been very conservative. you saw that in the primaries in the caucuses, which then went to the primaries where we had evangelical and other conservative christian voters very actively pushing for someone much more conservative than mitt romney. and so what that has done, and i go around the state, i meet with
people, have i coffee with independents and a democrats and republicans. all of the moderate republicans in iowa were really kicked out of the republican party, were alienated. and i think those folks may account in part for why obama is doing a little bit better and romney is a little less, because they have joined the ranks of the no party independents. and i think probably a majority of those this year seem to be tracking towards barack obama. >> what might help mitt romney is recent polling showing that he is doing quite well with the white vote by 20 points, some are saying. steffen schmidt from iowa state, thank you so much. >> thank you, richard. >> all righty. coming up, we know this has been an expensive election, but just where is that money going in the last weeks of the campaign? and up next, what you won't hear at monday's debate? you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. ♪ capella university understands rough economic times have led to an increase in clinical depression.
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