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tv   [untitled]    August 24, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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this is an see the headline it's. a caution no way decides masculine just bravely he's saying as the judge sentences him to at least twenty one gay is in prison that's while the case of south high life if they give multiculturalism the you. say europe's premier economies dodge greece's hopes for more time to implement while athens lashes out and germany demanding it stop spreading rumors of its imminent year exit. the us nuclear watchdog where news talks with iran over its disputed atomic program which the country claims is purely peaceful. the next day it's the
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latest episode of crosstalk. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear sees some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom are welcome to the big picture. and if you. still. want to. follow in the welcome to cross talk i'm here to talk about americans are told they face the fiscal cliff as election day nears is this presidential election campaign really about issues and visions of the future of course it's really about
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likability and the politics of hope and fear. and. rostock the us presidential campaign i'm joined by george john in new york he is a international political consultant and commentator also in new york we have stephen lesser he is a senior partner with democratic spring strategies and in toronto we have michael cohen he is a television host columnist and author of hard john cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want michael i'd like to go to you first in toronto but recent polls suggest that nearly two thirds of americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction we also have the congressional budget office saying that the country is facing a fiscal cliff but at the same time it looks like obama is on his way to victory how do you explain that. well you assume that people are rational and emotionally and don't vote according to issues of gender or race or prejudice also you have
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been wrongly one of the least charismatic leaders of any party's probably in more than a generation so it is very problematic but obama trait of the difficult economy very different difficult foreign policy he hasn't done extraordinarily well he's done fairly badly however he still has a grasp a grab i think of the electorate they like him and romney is a difficult man to like added to this and we just heard yesterday apparently no black people are tall will vote for romney actually that's not true however we have probably more than any other time in american history a breakdown on racial lines more black people voting than ever before and more black americans of course most in the vast majority of war will vote for barack obama if you look at the other breakdowns of ethnic votes in the jewish vote isn't as universally supportive of of obama but that's very interesting because even though he's been probably lukewarm towards israel compared to his predecessors still he has a vast majority of of the jewish vote the catholic vote the so-called catholic vote
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which actually i mean that that is flummery that is that is not genuine because the catholic church is so divided now there are so few catholics who actually live their catholicism there's no real catholic vote and when the church thought that so many of its followers would not vote for obama because of health care it's probably five the very most ten percent of catholics will be affected by those policies so it's going to be a very close run thing when as you say judging by what has happened the past two years in particular republicans should be walking it yet george you know it's just getting down to a campaign for obama to lose right i mean it's remarkably so we have this awful awful economy economy that we have never had in memory and he's still ahead in the polls it's extraordinary because we're told americans usually vote by their pocketbook. well i think ultimately that will be true and that's the challenge for romney i think by choosing paul ryan he put things on the right foot he researched his campaign to go more on the attack
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of obama whereas previously a lot of people in the republican party myself included were disgruntled feeling that romney was just saying i'm not obama the only reason to vote for me is that i'm not obama now he's going sort of lee and saying look with paul ryan at my side we have a plan we're going to we're going to clear up this as you say get us all away from the fiscal cliff so it's up to him you know i agree with michael's comments about romney's problems with his charisma and i'm hoping and i think a lot of republicans are hoping that the convention upcoming in tampa next week will will be an effort to rebrand romney make him more appealing to the american people stephen what do you think about obama's prospects right now they look pretty good even though it's very gloomy as we move forward. i think this is the worst peter that you're going to see as far as obama's standing in the polls versus mitt romney i disagree with both of the other men in terms of their characterization of the economy where the where the country is right now if you compare if you compare it to where it was when president obama came into office it is actually much better
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unfortunately everything is relative but the fact of the matter is when president obama netted a stimulus plan we had thirteen straight months of loss of jobs now we have nearly twenty seven straight months of more jobs being added to the point where we're at four million new jobs created by president obama when president obama came to office we had eight jones industrial average at eight thousand points now we're at thirteen thousand points that represents an enormous increase in private sector wealth that the conventional wisdom up until now by many pundits is president obama can't run on his record i think that's not true i think we're going to hear that being talked about a lot more the other point that i think i would make right now is that. a lot of you know no no focus actually has been paid to mitt romney's record and mitt romney does does have a political record himself he was governor of massachusetts when people start taking a look at that i think they're going to really wonder why this guy is even there you know their party's nominee he ran for political office for twenty five straight years he only won one election he didn't get half of the vote in massachusetts he
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did such a poor job that less than thirty percent of the people in massachusetts. thought he was doing a good job at the end of his tenure was so bad he couldn't even think of running for reelection which you're actually seeing here is the peter principle in effect in politics somebody who couldn't do a good job of governor of a somewhat large state now wants to be president of one of the most important countries of the world after being shown to be incompetent as governor so when when we really start taking a look at both men when we really start taking a look at their records i'm very confident that obama was that is actually going to sail to a fairly easy reelection ok well michael it did to sound like you know if it gets down it gets down to four years ago this is why people are going to jump in because that was. propaganda it was nothing but propaganda romney has been a vis arrays it has been analyzed. that is easier record the economy what is he talking about a lot of very ominous regular very i don't want to talk about any right propaganda what i did i had go ahead go ahead michael please go ahead well i mean you know
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look as as a canadian who's done half his life in britain half his life in canada i don't vote in either space and so i don't know i can see the screen i don't know the last fellow who spoke but it's very sad i'm not going to dissipate in your election but what you just said was just based propaganda the economy is in deep trouble obama's had quite a long time now to put it right which the interesting. things that i just want to finish if you just interrupt me what's the point of doing ok and then he got myself into. a sleaze finish a point. thank you if i may if i may i could look i couldn't care less about both of your parties really i'd like to see the united states and the american people have an economy they can rely on your playing games obama has not been a good economic leader he's been a dreadful foreign policy leader i think romney is not a particularly impressive man i think in fact and this is almost unprecedented he's vice president would probably do far better than he would do is a far more impressive figure but to argue that the economy's got stronger in the last two years is fantasy to argue that the press and the pundits haven't gone
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after these record where are you living so they've tried every way to try to expose them and the fact is he's really he can almost run for the democrats he's a sort of centrist and obama is a liberal there's no conservative represented actually is rather a shame for the body politic george you want to jump in there you want to get on one side or another yeah i would work with respect to what michael said yes i agree there's a there's a lot of you know standard talking points in what was said criticizing romney that being said if you believe that obama citing the statistics you cited about so-called twenty seven months of job but those are macro economic statistics it's very very unwise for a candidate to pin his or election up on macro economic statistics i mean the history of that and the track record of that of candidates doing so is not very good so i think if you when you go on the street you talk to people and you tell about twenty seven months of job growth that doesn't necessarily resonate with people i think the math the micro economic reality for many many americans is far
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far worse than those statistics. portray and for that reason i think that romney's people realize that obama's people realize that that's why their campaign is basically class warfare against mitt romney which is really insulting to people's intelligence but that's that's the tactic that they're using and judging by that what we see in the electoral college map a reminder for your viewers that american elections are not decided by a strictly popular vote state by state and there's proportional representation and proportional of votes by state and if you look at the. it's that obama needs to win he has virtually all of the votes that he needs to win and all of the key states that he needs to win and so he basically had just has to keep attacking romney and hope that romney is not able to rebranded self michael is that just because romney's just running an awful campaign that behind in the polls well i think you made a very good decision with selecting run as a candidate for vice president of course we had this idiot who had
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a new idea of what rape means and you rather interesting idea of the anatomy of the female body which i've never encountered before and i'm going to be pro-life and i believe the issue of abortion rate is a complex and compelling one we need to discuss but not in an ignorant sound bites he hasn't done a good look you know the program he is a slightly uncomfortable republican he doesn't really have the base certainly if you want to call it tea party even jellicoe vote they will vote for him they may even work for him but they won't do it with a smile will do it reluctantly they don't want obama to be in the white house but he's not an exciting man and he's economic solutions and i think the other two gentlemen know this are not radically different from barack obama's now his vice president actually does have a radical alternative but he doesn't when he was in massachusetts he governed pretty much as a democratic anomic lee no one is putting forward at least the two presidential candidates are not putting forth an economic plan that will actually change radically and it has to be changed radically the american economy it's even if i go to you does it bother you the kind of negative campaigning that obama and his team
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are pursuing very different obama this time around isn't it. well you know the interesting thing is you know i gave out some statistics there the republicans and the folks who are supporting them say you know rip obama can't run on his record so he's attacking i just gave his record i just gave actual statistics and people are complaining about that i think that's that's what you see you know that they say you can't run on his record i just explain the record they say it's propaganda i gave actual statistics you know republicans you know if you don't consider the. new economic you had you know you had george h.w. bush running the willie horton ads trying to convince white men around the country that michael dukakis would let black criminals out of prison early to rape their wives in nineteen in one thousand two thousand and four you had george w. bush with the swift boat ads you know tarnishing the record of a thrice decorated prized purple heart decorated veteran saying that he didn't
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really deserve those awards in two thousand and eight you had john mccain and sarah pail and saying that president obama was paddling around with terrorists you know what they really object is that we're actually fighting back you know they don't want that they want a democratic candidate to act like a punching bag and president obama is not going to do that president clinton didn't do that either and that's why he was successful when democrats fight back when they give republicans some of their own medicine then republicans are all up in arms but we can we can we can deal with the attacks that republicans are going to level with us and we can also talk about saving i mean here gentlemen we're going to go to a short break and after that show will continue our discussion on the u.s. presidential campaign stage.
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let's. play.
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well with her colleagues technology innovation all the list of elements from around russia we've got the future covered. the top and if you. look. at the flow. welcome back to the time you know a little too much you were talking about the u.s. presidential election. the two and. such. ok george i'd like to go back to you mentioned class warfare you know and it really gets down to fear that's being used in this election here but it's working isn't it it is is it. well i'll give you an example in the state of new jersey which recalls i said before it's a state by state so candidates are more likely to put the resources in states that
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are considered competitive new jersey is not a competitive state and hasn't been for senatorial or presidential elections for many many years and so that's clearly pretty much a lock for president obama outside some very very dramatic circumstances yet he's running ads in new jersey is running a thirty second spot that basically says mitt romney made twenty million dollars last year and he pays less taxes than you so essentially saying romney is rich and he can understand your problems and he's he what he's going to manipulate government to suit his own interests in the interests of rich people that is class warfare and he's doing that even in a state that's not competitive that's going to show that on a nationwide basis that's his overall strategy is to portray romney as a person who is not worthy of being president because he's rich and he pays less taxes than the average person it's as you said it's fear mongering it's scare tactics and look that's fair game i grew what steve said before look. that there be a punch but you know it's it's disappointing we should we should point out that that it is class warfare ok stephen jump in go ahead peter can i jump in yes so you
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know this is that's really what you hear is we just heard or william logic here we have a wealthy person who is paying thirteen percent or thirteen percent in federal taxes most middle class americans are paying twenty five percent or so that's class warfare to point out though they're saying the point is to deigned to dare to point that out and say that that's a problem is class warfare you know it's exactly the opposite of what we should be talking about the fact that a wealthy person is playing paying less than a middle class person in america is a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy that is class warfare ok want to do something is there not a lot of potential that's a problem and that is not in the form steven go ahead george george but then again it's a simple question for you is there then you know the way to solve that is a flat tax is there a flat tax one page ten forty proposal in obama's platform yes or no. so you're saying that to resolve
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a class warfare situation where the wealthy are paying too much pink and not paying enough taxes the middle class is paying too much dissolution to that and to resolve forty years of inequity where the where the rich have piled up money. and unequal system is to make it even now all of a sudden unfortunately no this is the way to resolve that is to reverse that for about another thirty or forty years and then you might be able to talk about something like a like a flat tax when when when the inequity in wealth has been resolved and you know the middle class has been given a break though their resolution is not to put a flat tax on it right now ok i want to go to michael here it seems to me in looking at this presidential election in the last one it's always change the subject change the subject because there isn't a big difference between the two candidates i'm sorry there isn't. no no there is you know what as someone who spent his formative years in britain the young communist league i was grinning because this idea that this is class warfare. and laughable class warfare is about who has power in
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a society and altering the taxation level and seeing who can get the better accountant has nothing to do with fundamentally changing the way people live the fact that romney as in a lot of money is largely irrelevant of record barbour is surrounded by multimillionaires by billionaires george soros has more money than god for goodness sake mainstream media which is losing wealth is largely behind behind the democrats so i think that that is a digression but you're right look we had a prime minister very briefly could kim campbell in canada i mean she was a very good actually however she did say that the election is the last time to talk about serious issues and it is you can maybe refer to them in the middle of an administration but right now if you mention a serious issue the other side both sides will not say how do we respond to the issue how do we respond to that is surely how do we obscure the issue no one is allowed to make a good point no one is allowed to score some victory in debate but i'm not going to be cynical and so democracy is failing elections fail of course they do people come by elections that there will be an absolute ceiling on how much money could be spent the idea that barack obama and i don't single him out because republicans are
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the same is spending so much time going to fundraisers now dozens and dozens of fundraisers to raise money because the other guy has money to this is really a reprieve what parliamentary or congressional democracy or presidential rock receives meant to be it's meant to be a conduit the ordinary person says i want that individual and it was i think this is the vision the founding fathers to rule this country with my agreement with a consensus of the people we lost that some time ago and it's not that i'm some sort of revolutionary but it's very difficult to take either man very seriously you mentioned earlier the figures you quoted about the economy you didn't mention the debt and the deficit and the fact that america is now owned by china you didn't mention the fact that many of those jobs have been purchased by raising taxes the whole thing is circular the american economy is in enormous trouble you can play cosmetically with the figures but i guarantee you in a year or two they'll come back to haunt you stephen you want to refine that. you know cosmetically what the figures the unemployment figure the amount of jobs
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created the gross national product the dow jones industrial average those are cosmetic figures i mean other than that michael i have to say i agree with you and i think if you came with a proposal to democrats about campaign spending and said we're going to limit every single presidential campaign to spending only five million dollars we would agree what you would have from republicans though is crying out that you're restricting people's free speech so i think fundamentally democrats would agree with you on your campaign finance point but the idea that we're going to that is very interesting this is the interesting because. i know you meant and i was out against a resident obama doesn't want to talk about the issues but when i noticed that notice peter that when i tried to talk about statistics and issues. i was attacked for a what's really going on the statistics tell you what's going on that's how you know what's going on michael you want to find out before we go to george well i guess i will if i may the idea of having the ceiling i do agree with the sitting but there's a context here and again i mean look we're not for there's always a context these conversations other than fox news which has become very influential
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the major the major networks support democrat rather than republicans so the republicans agree to a ceiling what they're really saying is what's been the same amount of money but you have multibillion networks on your side when it comes to obscuring figures president barack obama on for we haven't discussed foreign policy he's foreign policy has been a disaster even democrats senior ranking democrats will say privately i don't know where we stand on foreign policy he's allowed the people of iraq when they came out so courageously to demonstrate to be killed on the street it took him forty eight hours to respond you mentioned going after people's backgrounds the man went to a racist church for years and that was all covered up by media the met the man is a third rate his background i don't care where i was born it's irrelevant to me i care how we govern if he doesn't govern particularly well just coming out with the cliche about yes we can or no we can't. make economy america the country it could be and not going to make the economy it is all about the economy is not going to make the economy sick. the average american kid is as he or she should about
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whether they will have a job the kids will be able to go to college will they can get some sort of health insurance no one is arguing those questions honestly and properly right all that said i want to go to the georgia i want to go to you something it's called cultural wars here and again it's always change the subject for foreigners it's mystifying to understand american politics because of all these cultural wars but it is change the subject right well in american politics you have to go back to the history you know deep in the history of the united states there's a strong component of religious freedom that was involved in the founding of american people that originally emigrated here so those those deeply held christian beliefs that pertain to many of the citizens of the united states have an influence on our politics and yes i agree in european and international contexts as i work in campaigns in other countries these issues never come up in abortion never comes up as an issue people talk about it at a bush in a much different way than they talk about it out in the open in american politics as we saw over the past few days with the situation in missouri but it's
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a uniquely i think a cultural aspect of of american society in american politics that these cultural and somewhat religious issues and moral issues come into play very strongly in our political system you know stephen if i go back to you i mean again another thing that people say looking at america from the outside that it's an amazingly polarized society until the getting worse how do you respond to that. it really it really is a shame you know i wish we could sit down with republicans and really just just talk about the issues and not talk about people you know michael it's funny he said he doesn't care about those things he wants to concentrate on the issues but then you brought up barack obama's church i don't understand that mike the other thing i would say you know you talk about vacation and obama's foreign ritson is a bad. way to do that i'll give you you know i'm sure it will give you a chance but the reality is we talked you talked about president obama's foreign policy whenever i go to europe i've gone to europe a couple of times in the last year everybody i talk to loves president obama that
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to me is a pretty good measure of how successful this foreign policy is united states is not hated abroad people google well i don't know i don't know yet and that's i would not agree with you and also as a matter of fact most people would say this is not the situation of george bush when it comes to foreign policy they actually. president obama they don't like the united states in some cases that's absolutely true but certainly the situation has improved since george w. bush was put into the white house and much of the policies that michael talks about that weren't that he doesn't like in terms of president obama's policies towards iran towards israel or whatever the rest of the world likes those changes are mentioned don't want to go back. toward that interesting well you shall. go head gentleman michael if these ugly americans should be quiet i think european i mean. please with all due respect the patronize ing i way i've been to europe quite a lot and they love barack obama europe is
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a multi-dimensional multi-faceted country continent with all sorts of people some like barack obama some don't i think the chances are you met like many people when you went that if you went to the labor party conference in britain most of them would like barack obama the tory party you have a different point of view europe is not the only place that matters here if you look at the middle east and the middle east is probably the no it is the most dangerous and unstable area at this point. i spent a lot of time in the middle east not spent two years of my life living there you will find people on both sides if you want to say there are two sides of the divide unsure where the united states stands i'm not look i think the iraq war was a disaster i think it should never have happened for goodness sake i'm not saying the last administration was particularly good but there are valid movements such as in iran in iran to get rid of the the effect of dictatorship in to run it is really that and when these people did ask for help from the united states of america and they're not radical they were dismissed israel and egypt and its neighbors and their neighbors they want stability and security they'll pretend to hate each other
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what they really want is to know what happens next they have i know we're almost there i want to ask everybody here a question really quick very very fast george who's going to win. i think if you look at it if you look if you look at state by state romney would have to really win every single competitive state to be able to win so ok i mean this week steve who is going to win for obama is going to win. barack obama's going to win by a similar margin that he beat john mccain michael i think george clooney is going to win this one ok we've run out of time like that really made me think so my guess is in new york in toronto one thanks to our viewers for watching as you are to see you next time and remember crosstalk.
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