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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  October 29, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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powerful storm. >> it's a very unique weather event. >> we should plan to see heavy rain that lastsor 36 hours. >> i wonder what would happen if the other team were in charge? >> every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> when there is a disaster, there's an appropriate federal role, and we will find the monies, but we've had discussions about these things before and those monies will be offset with appropriate savings or cost cutting elsewhere. >> president obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the ocean oceans. not familiar with precisely with exactly what i said but i stand by what i said whatever it was. ♪
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>> good afternoon from new york where a monster storm is bearing down on the city and the entire eastern seaboard is due to make landfall as soon as an hour from now south of atlantic city, new jersey. at this hour just one example of the hazards brought by this storm, a partially collapsed crane is hanging over the streets of midtown manhattan. 57th street and 6th avenue, just a few blocks from here at rockefeller center. a volatile situation with winds just starting to reach hurricane level. this storm has already left at least 69 people dead in the caribbean and as it barrels up the coast, sandy is bringing furious winds, fierce rain, and dangerous flooding to nearly 60 million people in its path. a path that stretches more than 800 miles from north carolina to maine. hundreds of thousands have been ordered to evacuate. transit systems are shut down.
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the federal government is closed. and just eight days out from election day, the super storm is impacting the presidential race as well. president canceled a florida campaign rally this morning, returning to washington to meet with his storm response team. and this afternoon the president assured anxious americans that the federal government sf ready. >> we have prepositioned assets so that fema personnel are working closely with state and local governments. we're making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available. i'm confident that we're ready, but i think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. >> and with that lengthy cleanup in mind, the president was asked about the potential impact on the quickly approaching election. >> the election will take care of itself next week. right now our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search and rescue teams are going to be in place, that
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people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter they need in case of emergency and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track. >> as for mitt romney, he and paul ryan have canceled events tonight and tomorrow, but earlier in ohio governor romney did extend his concern and sympathy. >> on the eastern coast of our nation a lot of people are enduring some very difficult times, and our hearts and our prayers go to them. >> indeed. prayers are always important, but even more so if romney were to become president since prayer and the private sector would take the place of the federal emergency management agency as he stated in a tea party debate last year. >> fema is about to run out of money and there are some people who say do it on a case by case basis and some saying maybe we're learning a lesson that states should take on more of a role. absolutely. every time you have an occasion
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to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. if you can go any further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> to which one might ask, even better for who, mr. romney? we'll get to our panel for more on the intersection of a hurricane and presidential campaign in a moment, but first, we want to get more on the crane collapse here in midtown manhattan. a precarious and dangerous situation as the boom itself is now hanging on top of what will be the tallest residential building in new york city on 57th street and 6th avenue. let's get right to rehema ellis, about a block away from the building, for the latest. as i understand it, construction sites were ordered to tie things down by 5:00 p.m. on saturday, so what has happened here? >> reporter: well, what happened is what they hoped would not happen. what they feared could happen, martin, because, as you point out, two days ago they had ordered all building construction crews to stop, to
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suspend that construction with anticipation that something like this could happen. but this is beyond their anticipation. in fact, what we're told by the national weather service is that the wind was blowing at only about 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 miles per hour when the crane came down into its dangling position right now. imagine what it would be like when those winds kick up to an even higher miles per hour later this evening. as a rul, the police have roped off an area around the building. the few people who are out on the street are standing in complete awe looking up at it. we're about a block, almost two blocks away, because it is dangerous. as one person said the only thing you can do right now is look at it and wait because they're not going to send anyone, no construction crews are going up on top of this building. here we are in the middle of the storm. so all police can do and the emergency crews can do is keep people away. they have told vos folks who
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live in buildings at that area to move to a lower floor because imagine, martin, if the wind starts to blow this dangling crane even more and it blows, it could blow into an adjacent building, an pardon me, and someone could be seriously injured. so precaution is the operative word right now as the police are just in a waiting and a watching mood and keeping people as far away from this as they can. >> indeed. this is possible a very highly populated area. i know of two schools that are actually very near that crane. we spoke to one individual who runs a construction business. he told us he didn't think anyone would be anywhere near that crane for at least perhaps ten days to two weeks given the weather conditions. and so we are literally waiting to see what happens, are we not, with this crane? >> reporter: absolutely. we are all in dangling position, if you will, just like the portion of this crane is dangling as we wait to try to figure out, number one, what the
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weather conditions are going to be, when it's going to clear up so it will be safe enough for those construction workers to get back on top of this building. you point out it's supposed to go up to 90 stories. it's currently at 65 stories. it will be the highest and tallest residential building in midtown manhattan when it's completed. this is a wait and see game in one of the busiest sections in new york city. we're right in midtown man haden, schools, apartment buildings, restaurants, nightclubs, shops. you name it, it's right here. and nothing is going to change in that area of this building until the weather improves. martin? >> rehema ellis, thank you so much. let's bring in our panel now. from miami, democratic strategist julian epstein and in washington msnbc political analyst professor michael eric dyson. julian, how does the romney/ryan argument of getting rid of government, giving it back to the states, not having a federal emergency management agency, how does that work on a day like
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today when 60 million americans may be affected by this storm? >> well, first of all, martin, as you indicated at the top of the show, our hearts and prayers go out to the people who are affected by this storm. that's first and foremost. secondly, to the extent politics enters this conversation, this discussion really highlights the difference in philosophies. when there is a crisis in this country, as there was during hurricane katrina in 2005 or the economic crisis in 2008, 2009, republicans believe that you are on your own. that's what the republicans did during katrina, under the president bush administration, that's what they wanted to do when we had an economic crisis in october of '08. that's what they said to the auto industry when the auto industry was on the verge of bankruptcy. democrats, on the other hand, take a different point of view. rather than you are on your own, we have your back. it doesn't mean that the government is the answer to every problem. it doesn't mean the government is the bailout to every problem. it is the belief that the
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federal government players an important role as a partner in trying to get the country back on its feet when we hit a crisis. that's exactly what the democrats did with the economic crisis in '08 and '09 and that's exactly what you will see this administration doing during this crisis. the republican view is basically to let the states be on their own and to run emergency relief to be the first and only responders. anybody that has had any experience with disaster relief knows the states do not have the resources, the scope, or capacity to do everything on their own. they need a federal backstop. >> professor dyson, to julian's point, isn't this a moment for people to reflect on what kind of governance we want? you will remember that the president in his state of the union address in january quoted abraham lincoln who said the legitimate ont of government is to do for a community or people whatever they need to have done but cannot do for ourselves. isn't this at the very heart of this presidential race? >> absolutely right, martin. the purpose of government is to
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deliver critical resources in a time of crisis to vulnerable populations who otherwise couldn't survive. so when we talk about fema, look at the history of fema. let's be honest. under ronald reagan, there was a rather more valued position of fema. it declined under george h.w. bush. it was restored and then upgraded to a cabinet level position under bill clinton, and then reorganized under homeland security to an ancillary position within the broader framework there. so the problem is when you have competing forms of disaster for our attention, one which is natural, another one which is so-called manmade, you have a kind of moral triage going on in the government and that's problematic. the democrats have got it right. you put fema on its own bottom, allow it to address federal emergencies, and then you deliver resources to states and to local governments from the central organization of the government. yes, you're right. i think julian epstein is absolutely right. the democrats have been inclined
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to help those who are in need, and this is a challenge to us and a choice for americans here. what kind of government do you want? one that stands behind you when you are in trouble, or the one that kicks you to the curb and pours salt in your already open wounds and tells you you're on your own? that's the kind of choice we're facing here. >> michael makes a really good point, martin. 2005 with katrina wasn't the first time that this republican philosophy of you're on your own during a national catastrophe actually showed its true colors. remember, where i am sitting right now in miami in the year 1992 when herbert walker bush was president we had the famous hurricane andrew in which the federal government took this you're on your own approach to the disaster recovery in southern florida, and that turned out to just compound the disaster many times. so we've seen this pattern repeat itself with republicans. the you're on your own philosophy doesn't work. it's also from a business person's point of view incredibly inefficient. the idea that every state would have to have the resources, scale, and scope, all of the
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relationships with national retailers, all of the capacity to get resources into disaster areas -- >> but also just the fundamental issue of your budget, julian. many of these states are hard pressed. when we hear these people talk about this, oh, give it back to the states, where are they going to find the funding for this -- >> that's exactly the point. the idea you would have 50 states having to have all of those backstops is incredibly inefficient from an economic point of view rather than having one entity which is the federal government. >> professor dyson? >> not only right, all that is true and you have to deal with your bobby jindals of the world who say we're not going to receive these funds and contribute them according to what the federal mandate is. we're going to use the arbitrary calculus of our local situation here to determine how those funds are distributed. not only do you deal with the comparative poverty in some states in comparison to others but you deal with governors and those who are in the local scene who don't want to act accordingly to distribute those resources and there's no bully
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pulpit from the federal level to do so. you're in a very bad situation. >> indeed. of course, both of you and myself and our broadcast extend our concerns and our prayerful concerns who all who are being affected. thank you, gentlemen. next, what does this storm spell for the presidential election? stay with us. these fellas used capital one venture miles for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you. but, with the capital one venture card... you can fly any airline, any flight, any time. double miles you can actually use. what's in your wallet? alec jr? it was a gift.
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we're expecting hurricane sandy to make landfall in less than two hours. ten states have declared a state of emergency with hundreds of thousands ordered to evacuate low-lying areas. but sandy is also having a major impact nationally on the 2012 presidential race. gallup has suspended its daily
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tracking poll due to the hurricane, and the bureau of labor statistics now says it may have to delay the scheduled friday release of its monthly jobs report. most importantly, both campaigns have temporarily halted any public appearances tomorrow leaving only the president of the united states front and center in his role as commander in chief. >> the great thing about america is when we go through tough times like this, we all pull together. we look out for our friends, we look out for our neighbors, and, you know, we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness and that's exactly what i anticipate is going to happen here. >> joining us now is michael steele, former rnc chair, and msnbc analyst. and karen finney, former dnc communications director and an msnbc political analyst. thank you both for joining us. karen, if i can start with you, is it your view that given the severity of this storm, the
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political campaigning for this election may well be over because the storm and it's consequences, i suspect, are likely to dominate discourse for at least the next week? >> i don't know if i'd say over. i would say -- i think certainly there are some campaigning and some activity going on in other parts of the country, although i think depending upon what happens tonight and tomorrow, that may actually be suspended out of obviously the concern that, you know, people will be concerned for loved ones here in the east. today you saw it ratchet back very dramatically, although you had some campaign surrogates on the campaign trail. there are ads. i can tell you haven't been at home watching them. the campaign ads are bombarding the airwaves. some of it has definitely kind of taken a step back, but i think we'll have to wait and see before we can say it's flat out over. >> okay. michael, let me play you something that president bill clinton said today. take a listen to this.
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>> sure. >> and then we went to florida last night, and he got up this morning and called me, he said, i got to go back right now. this storm is getting out of hand, i got to handle it, and i said, mr. president, that is the right call. thank you for doing that. >> michael, if we've learned one thing about this president, it is that he is steadfast and strong in a crisis. it doesn't matter if he's commissioning the killing of bin laden or leading emergency planning at a time like this, does it? >> no, it doesn't, and it's one of the advantages of being president at a time like this. and i think -- >> but, michael, i would -- i'm thinking of the contrast between this president and, of course, the former president who was embarrassing, as you will remember, george w. bush, in relation to hurricane katrina. >> lessons learned. katrina was a lesson throughout the federal government of what not to do, not just at the presidential level, but operationally well below the president.
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and even for the states, quite frankly. the governor and the mayor weren't shining examples of, you know, state control over that situation. so there was enough blame and mistake-prone action to look at and learn from, and obama is nothing if not a quick study in that regard and understanding and appreciating how to use the tools of this government at a time of crisis. now, we'll see. the expectation for the president is to do his job and to be on top of doing his job. so politically i don't know if there's a huge upside -- there's more of a downside risk than anything if there's a gaffe somewhere, if there's a mistake somewhere in the execution of responding to those in need, but i think this president has shown that his administration will be prepared for that because that's what people expect. >> karen, i was watching your facial expressions there and they were quite perfect. perhaps you'd like to put words to them. >> well, you know, nice try, michael. i mean, let's remember that in
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terms -- the october surprise in 2008 we saw a real sharp contrast between john mccain and president obama, and i think people, you know, times like this you look to your leaders and see how they hnl handle crises. i think it's not just that he's a quick study. i think he's a very steady lead leader. he's proven that time and again. it is part of being an incumbent that people in a time of crisis get to see how you handle a situation like this. i think he's done a good job. he'll do a good job and that may remind people, this guy is a good guy to have in a storm or a good guy to have in a crisis. it's not just about political study though. >> it is about political study in this calculation with respect to this election, particularly what i've been hearing from the left about how this is going to be some boon or benefit for the president. i don't think the people are looking at it in those terms. i'm certainly as a political analyst don't look at it in those terms. i think the reality of it is the president has an expectation of
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doing his job. that was one of the shortcomings for george bush was he did not do the job as the people expected him to. to his credit, i'm giving the president credit, he has always been at the table, in the room, engaged and has met those expectations. and i suspect he will do it here as well. >> and i just want to concur with you, michael, that we're not exploiting this for political reasons either. >> we're not. >> we recognize it's a very serious event. the question, and both of you have addressed it, concerned the president's reaction and i think we agree he's reacted substantively and sensibly in these circumstances. michael steele a and karen finney, thank you both. next, we'll track sandy and give you the latest on this very dangerous storm do stay with us. at optionsxpress we're all about options trading.
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seaboard. 60 million americans from virginia to new england are in its path bracing for its impact. that, the sight of a crane in new york city that is dangling. we'll have much more ahead on hurricane sandy. stay with us. is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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this storm is intensifying by the moment. for the very latest we're joined by nbc's ron allen who is directly in the path of the storm along the jersey store. ron, you've been on location now for a considerable amount of time, and i guess you're witnessing increasing wind speeds, increasing size waves and so on, is that right? >> reporter: that's putting it mild, martin, yes. been on this sand dune for like the last -- all day, and suddenly the waves are washing over it at least halfway over it and there's water that's actually now in front of us. i don't think we're going to be able to stay in this position much longer. the winds have picked up
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significantly in the last couple hour hours and i can't turn my face too far this way because the sand is blowing -- but, yeah, things are deteriorating. the rain is falling as well. we've been driving around town, pleasant beach, the town, and there's a lot of flooding, a lot of roads are cut off. the police have roads leading to the ocean blocked. there's a mandatory evacuation. most people have gone but there are a few stragglers. police trying to get people out of their homes. they did it voluntarily. but, again, yes, the situation here is getting very, very difficult. we're watching these waves. they've been topping i guess as much as 10 or 12 feet, and the wind gusts have been up to 70 miles per hour i'm told by the folks at the weather channel to the north of us in sandy hook and down to the south of us as
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well, cape may, new jersey. about 175-mile stretch of land exposed to the ocean. barrier islands along there. that's where the people have been evacuated from. that's the area that will take the hardest hit. atlantic city, not far from us, somewhere along this jersey coast, we are right in the target zone. >> nbc's ron allen. thank you. and do stay safe, ron. we will continue to follow the very latest on hurricane sandy. and with that let's take a turn to a rather stormy edition of "top lines." batten down the hatches. >> before obama got in the smithsonian couldn't mention global warming as a possible reason the glaciers were shrinking. heat, melting ice was just a theory. >> this is a serious and big storm. >> don't be stupid, get out. >> biggest question with sandy is exactly where and how much damage are we going to see. >> i turn out to be right and you turn out to be dead, that's not a great equation. >> we'll cut through red tape. >> some people in the country
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are nervous about a storm. >> governor romney says he believes in climate change but he says he's not sure manmade causes are the reason. >> president obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans. >> i believe scientists. >> sandy could wind up being the october surprise. >> i have to get back to d.c. because of the storm. >> every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> does it show a side of disarray or discontent within the obama re-election campaign that he comes down here, doesn't do anything, and flies back. >> i am not worried at this point about the im35k9 on the election. >> you with pull hearts and clear eyes can see what's happening across the country right now and on the eastern coast of our nation, a lot of people are encuring some very difficult times. >> the election will take care of itself next week. right now our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives. >> we're counting on ohio.
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i know the people of the atlantic coast are counting on ohio and the rest of our states, but i also think the people of the entire nation are counting on ohio. if ohio votes me in as president, i will be the next president of the united states. >> when you elect mitt, you're not just electing him, you're electing every right wing nut he's pandered to in the last ten years. let's get to our panel now. we're joined by my colleague steve kornacki co-host of the "the cycle" and jonathan capehart of the "washington post" and also msnbc contributor goldie taylor, managing editor of the goldie taylor project. steve, a lot of people are wondering if the current hurricane has anything to do with global change, climate change, global warming. we just had bill mahr talking about right wing nut jobs. isn't this the central deceit of this election in a way? romney gives no details about himself, his extreme supporters
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stay silent but after november 6th if he gets in, what happens then? >> i think this gets to what is the best way to understand who mitt romney is and what kind of president he would be. everybody says he was on this side and then on this side so we don't really know. i think we do know. the easiest clue you can ever look to to a politician is what is their party label. mitt romney's role, if he's president, his role in the republican party will be to implement the agenda of the republican party and the agenda is very clear when it comes to climate change, it's skepticism, hostility to the idea of cap and trade, pro coal, pro drilling, pro-pipeli pro-pipeline. >> reduce regulations. >> we know what you're getting. i don't know what mitt romney believes in his heart of hearts but he cannot survive as president politically if he's not actively trying to implement his party's agenda. >> nbc news poll found that 43% of voters have a somewhat positive view of mr. romney. only 36% say the same thing about the republican party.
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so if mr. romney is more popular than his own party, does that suggest that the moderate mitt routine has actually been working? the subterfuge has worked? >> the subter fuge has worked. he looks presidential. he seems like a nice guy. but mitt romney is sort of like forest gump. the great line, life is like a box of chocolates. you never know what you're going to get. mitt romney is like a bokts of chocolates. you never know what you're going to get from one day to the other, one year to another, one nsh to another. you never know what he's for or against at any given day. >> isn't that a bit of a problem for mr. romney? because words do matter. people who live in places like virginia and new jersey today are relying on agencies like fema to support them, and yet there was mr. romney in the primaries saying things like, you know, fema wouldn't exist if
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he had a choice. >> you know, you have to believe that mitt romney doesn't know that the videotape was actually invented, that we can roll these things back and that over the course of his career he has said and done some things that don't quite square with some of the positions he's taking today. that we do know about mitt romney. you know, but to say that he's going to move fema funds back to the states in terms of bloc grants or move these things privately, you know, the strength of natural disaster rescue or recover is all about multijurisdiction cooperation. when the federal, state, public, private partners do work together, when communities get together and work with states. that's when, you know, the real magic happens, when communities really begin to recover. i led some recovery efforts here in georgia. but at the end of the day to send this back to the states would be making 50 little lock boxes waiting for each governor to pick it open when his bth runs short. that's what would happen.
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mitt romney has a problem of thinking before he speaks and sending this back to the sats is just a bad idea. >> ron paul in the primary said exactly the same thing. i remember him in one interview saying, let's go back to 1900. let's go back to 1930, 1940 where fema didn't exist. >> well, i rest my case, ron paul said it. >> and that's part of a broader sort of trend here. something to really think about when i say consider mitt romney's party label and not so much mitt romney's personal politics, wharf they are. the republican party right now has committed itself to the idea it's not just fema, it's medicaid, medicaid should be taken away from the federal government and sent back to the states. and can you imagine, think of a conservative state with a republican governor, republican legislature, how they would handle if they can say here is the criteria, the federal government no longer sets the standards for who is eligible. he wieligibility is going to go and less money is going to be spent. the irony of that is the appeal
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of that in terms of selling it to the public is well, the federal government bungles everything. but if you look at the ability of the medicaid program as it currently exists to control cost, it does a better job than private insurance. >> goldie, did i hear you mumbling agreement? >> i do, i absolutely agree with that. we see it happening with so many programs that are bloc granted back to the states. you know, the problem with this republican party, with mitt romney, is they have become to rigid about ideology, about their platform that they really can't see when they're saying exactly the wrong thing. and so i think that's the problem with the fema funding. we're going to see over the next couple days as this natural disaster unfolds. we're going to see communities coming together with their states. see states coming together with the federal government. we're going to see a multijurisdiction public/private partnership in play and that's what should happen here. what i don't want to do is wait for private business to make a profit off people in distress if they take over recovery efforts. so i think mitt romney is
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absolutely wrong-headed about this. >> final question to you, john, this is obviously happening as we approach the last week of the presidential election campaign. how do you think the events of this storm are likely to affect the outcome of this election or are they? >> well, i don't know how it will affect the outcome of the election, but i will have to agree with i believe it was chuck todd who said it earlier and you mentioned it earlier as well that this -- the race is frozen at the moment or basically has effectively ended when you have the president off the campaign trail, his republican challenger off the campaign trail, and the president ont othe only one on television looking presidential talking about efforts to make sure people are safe, making sure that states have everything they need from the federal government to help people in distress. whatever momentum mitt romney had, whatever slide the president may have been experiencing in support is frozen in place where it was this morning or late last night.
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but, again, in terms of the outcome of the election, i have no idea what the outcome of the election is just as no one else does, no matter what the polls say. i think we're all sort of waiting for november 6th to come so that we can finally definitively know what the hell is going to happen? >> eight days to go. stand by your buzzers. thank you very much, steve kornacki, jonathan capehart, and goldie taylor. next mitt romney tries to sell voters in ohio the worst lemon we've ever seen. stay with us. [ female announcer ] you can make macaroni & cheese without freshly-made pasta. you could also cut corners by making it without 100% real cheddar cheese. but wouldn't be stouffer's mac & cheese. just one of over 70 satisfying recipes for one from stouffer's.
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that's right for you. [ male announcer ] the way it moves. the way it cleans. everything about the oral-b power brush is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque with more brush movements than manual brushes and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to for the latest offers. as we enter the final week of campaigning, it's emerged that the romney campaign has spent over half a billion dollars on television advertising. some of that money has gotten mr. romney in a little trouble. a new ad being played in battleground ohio contains the complete fiction that the president is moving the production of chrysler jeeps to
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china. something chrysler itself has denied. still, as you'd expect, the advert keeps running. joining us now is brad woodhouse communications director for the democratic national committee. brad, good afternoon to you. >> hi, martin. sw >> even the chrysler spokesman said a professional acrobat couldn't achieve the misrepresentation of the truth that mr. romney achieved. >> this is incredible. there's no surer sign that mitt romney is behind in this race, that he's behind in ohio, and that he's heading towards a loss in this race than the fact of this ad. it is such a blatant lie, it is such a blatant falsehood. someone who was in a stronger position politically wouldn't take this type of risk. he's never recovered -- go ahead. >> doesn't this ad prove that the romney campaign is basically
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predicated on fearmonger and lying given that nothing they say about the jeep production is true? >> well, nothing of it is true. they have -- their whole campaign has been predicated upon fearmongering. they have lied about the state of the economy. now they're lying about this. you know, and every time you turn around, they're trying to sell a bill of goods to the american people. the people in ohio know better. the people in toledo know better and the people in detroit know better. they know that mitt romney said let detroit go bankrupt. he's never recovered from that, martin. he is desperate. he cannot win this election without ohio. he's behind in ohio. the president is over 50 there in a recent poll and he's trumping up these lies to try to win. >> this ad was released without any fanfare or announcement. what does that tell you? >> i think it tells you exactly what's going on here. they were hoping to slip this in, get it on the air for a few days, maybe no one would pay attention, and they could convince people that somehow the
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president has this plan to move their jobs to china. look, the only outsourcing in this race is mitt romney. he was part of a company that was a pioneer in outsourcing. he said let detroit go bankrupt. there's not any middle class person in america that should trust their job or their future in this economy to mitt romney. >> one of the things we hear in that ad is that mr. romney quotes, he has a plan for the auto industry. well, what is that plan? i mean, reporters have been asking his campaign for his plan for the auto industry. they got absolutely nothing. what is it? >> i know. reporters asked his campaign this morning. guess what? it was crickets. he hadn't said what his plan was. we know what his plan was in '08 and '09. he said let detroit go bankrupt. he said we don't have any business saving that industry. let the free market reign. instead of going into one of the worst recessions, we would have sunk into a depreths if mitt
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romney would have had his way. detroit would have gone bankrupt, michigan would have been in the tank, ohio would have been in the tank. mitt romney is wrong on this issue and it's going to cost him this election. >> brad, final question, if this ad says something about the romney campaign, what does it tell you about mr. romney's character? >> well, look, i think mitt romney has throughout the course of this campaign either peddled one lie after another or allowed his campaign to peddle one lie after another. and, look, if you can't trust what somebody says on the campaign trail, you certainly can't trust what they say in office. this is not a distinction -- a difference of interpretation. this is a blatant falsehood, even the company has said it's a lie, and mitt romney should be ashamed. >> let's hope he withdraws it. brad woodhouse, thank you, sir. >> thank you. next, the president suspends campaigning to deal with hurricane sandy. we'll go to the white house. when we come back.
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>> thank you.
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hurricane sandy is expected to make landfall possibly in southern new jersey in about an hour. ten states have already declared states of emergency with at least half a million people now without power. the president returned to the white house this morning after canceling a day full of campaign events. he met with his emergency planning team and then gave a briefing in which he said that the election will take care of itself as he, instead, focuses on the effects of hurricane sandy. joining us is msnbc's kristin welker in orlando, florida. kristin, we heard earlier from president bill clinton who said that he had a telephone conversation with the president this morning who, of course, was expected to attend a campaign event in florida which is why you're down there, and he said, no, no, i have to get back to the white house immediately. can you tell us any more about that conversation? >> reporter: well, martin, you know, at the end of the day the president is the president. so president obama essentially saying, look, i just can't be here. i have got to get back to the
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white house. and you notice sort of president obama's surrogates kept their schedule today, martin. former president clinton here in florida. he was also down in ohio along with vice president biden, first lady michelle obama making two stops in iowa today. all of them referencing that their thoughts are with the folks who are being impacted by this storm. but they went on without president obama who had to go back to the white house and essentially manage this very serious storm system that is moving towards the east coast. of course, there are pros and cons to this from the perspective that the election is just around the corner. on the one hand, president obama had to cancel a number of his events today. on the other hand, he gets to sort of look presidential. you heard him not really wade into that discussion though when he was asked about it. he essentially said my thoughts are not with the election right now. the bottom line is everything has the potential to become political so there are a lot of eyes watching how the president
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manages the storm and how mitt romney is going to respond to the storm. mitt romney did attend some campaign events the first part of the day but, of course, has canceled them into this evening and tomorrow. >> kristin welker in florida. thanks so much, kristin. and we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] with swiffer dusters, a great clean doesn't have to take longer. i'm done. i'm gonna read one of these. i'm gonna read one of these! [ female announcer ] unlike sprays and dust rags, swiffer 360 duster's extender gets into hard-to-reach places without the hassle. so you can get unbelievable dust pickup in less time without missing a thing. i love that book. can you believe the twin did it? ♪ swiffer. great clean in less time. or your money back.
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begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye. as we draw this hour to a close, we wanted to update you on the partial crane collapse here in midtown manhattan. the crane boom is now hanging precariously on top of what will be the tallest residential building in new york city on 57th street and 6th avenue. the result of high winds caused by hurricane sandy. for more now we go to rehema ellis who is standing just a block away. rehema, can you tell us more about the situation surrounding there? have the local people in the area been evacuated? have people been advised to move away? >> reporter: they absolutely have, martin. as you can see behind me, authorities and police and fire crews have blocked off the street. they have advised people who
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live in the buildings nearby to leave, particularly if they're on the higher floors, to move from there to a lower floor or evacuate altogether. there's extreme concern that if this portion that's dangling snaps, it could go flying into an adjacent building and who knows what would happen before it then hits the ground. so they are urging people to exercise extreme caution and stay out of the area if they can. a lot of people are standing around in disbelief. we talked to a man just a short while ago up here visiting new york with his wife on his 25th wedding anniversary, and they were walking in the area of that building around 2:30 this afternoon and suddenly something he said came crashing down like a big steel door slamming shut, and when they looked ten yards from them were these two huge pieces of pipe. and then frightened, not knowing what was happening, they made a beeline back to their hotel and realizing that they had been -- they had just narrowly escaped a
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very serious situation. so that's what authorities are worried about. they would very much like to get some crews up on top of that 65th floor and secure this dangling crane, but until this weather improves, there's no way they're going to be able to do that, martin, because it is just too dangerous. >> we're hearing that new york governor andrew cuomo is sending some structural engineers to assess the site, is that right? >> reporter: i have not yet heard that but i wouldn't be surprised because this is a situation -- >> i believe -- rehema, sorry to catch you somewhat blind. i believe he just said that as a press conference. >> reporter: all right. thank you for sharing that with me. i was not yet aware of that, but again i would not be surprised to hear that. this is a very busy area. it's a residential area, it's a commercial area, it's a business area with shops, restaurants, schools. you name it, it's in this area. they have to do what they can to secure this but i'm not quite
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sure how they do this other than to secure the area, to make certain that no one is around in the event that these winds kick up even higher than they are right now and that piece of crane comes tumbling down. >> now, of course, that's the biggest anxiety because as we know, rehema, this boom on the crane was moved by the earlier wind of today, but, of course, we're expecting gusts and winds to increase exponentially over the course of today and into the night. >> reporter: you're absolutely correct, martin. because authorities say the call came in about this accident around 2:30 this afternoon eastern time. the national weather service says at that time the wind was blowing at about 20 miles per hour and gusting up to about 40 miles per hour. we're getting wind gusts right here right now. who knows what it's going to be exactly later on as we get into the heaviest part of the storm. and that's where all the anxiety is. what's going to happen then. if that piece of metal comes off, all bets


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