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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  April 9, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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cenk. >> that's the next trend. think about it. eliot spitzer is next with "viewpoint." check that out. ♪ >> good evening. i am eliot spitzer. and this is "viewpoint," with the republican presidential field firming up a new poll suggests just 15% of the electorate will openultimately decide the next president of the united states. right now, they are leaning towards president obama. other data suggests that could change. looking at the electorate as whole, the latest gallup poll has the president's approval rating at 46%. a new agreeable strategy poll for the centrist think tank third way shows him scoring, 8 points better than his all but
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anointed challenger mitt romney. according to third way, the real action in november will be in 12 swing states and will focus there on a group it calls "swing squints." voters who don't have strongly favorable or unfavorable views of either president obama or governor romney. according to third way swing independent make up nearly 40% of all independent voters and 15% of the total u.s. electorate electorate. president obama's campaign can take some comfort that 57% of swing independent supported the president in 2008. the same percentage view him favorably today. when asked who they would vote for if they could right now, 35% of swing independent said they would support the president over 29% from mitt romney. with those undecided, evenly split on which man they would favor. but that doesn't mean the president will gain a majority of their votes in november. most swing independent call themselves moderates, to the right of mr. obama.
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and while they distain congress and criticize congressional gridlock, on the issues, they overwhelmingly preferan a message of economic opportunity and growth to a message that focuses on fighting income inequality. for more on the poll and what it means for the 2012 election, i am joined by lanae erickson, dripty director of the politics program of the septembertrist think tank third way. lanae erickson, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> now it's fascinating about this pole, as opposed to the ordinary, you are going to vote for the president or governor romney, you really drill down on what people are most going to be persuaded by, and you determined it's opportunity, not fairness. first of all, how did you do that? and why is that your conclusion? >> you know, when you ask these swing independent, as you laid out, the cruel group of 40% of independent who are really still in play for this election when you ask them what they're worried about for the future what they are concerned about, what they are angry about, the things that really resonate are
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their concerns for the future, the american economy, our ability to compete in the global marketplace, and the future of the next generation's ability to get good jobs. only eight % said that they were strongly confident that the next generation could get good jobs. so far above things like wall street bail-outs or the wealthiest paying too low a tax rate. those were the things that really concerned them and an opportunity for them worked better to answer those concerns they brought up. >> certainly that 8% number you just alluded to jumped out at me when i read the data. only 8% think somehow the next generation will succeed in getting the jobs that can build a sound future suggests something approaching a deep pessimism about the future but nonetheless, the question i have for you is: why do you frame it as a choice between fairness and opportunity? do the voters believe those two actually stand in opposition to each other? are you creating some sort of false choice that the voters need to pick between here? >> well, you know, i think
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fairness has been a mime that has risen up certainly in the democratic party and on the left and has been really focused on in the past 12 months or, you know, half a year or so. and we have seen it gaining a lot of traction, and people seem to think that it is actually what is -- it is causing obama's rise and in his numbers among independent but we actually think that those numbers are going up largely because independent don't really like mitt romney. they also see the republican party writ large as very extreme when you ask them to put all of the parties on an i'ddeal logical scale. they are an outlier from where they see themselves. the message of fairness may not be what's contributing to that rise in the polls. rather this opportunity message is just kind of a shift. i mean, you know the president has talked about both of these things in his state of the union. he talked about the necessity to
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work hard and that we could all create opportunity and social mobility in this country but he's also talked a lot about fairness as have a lot of others in the democratic party focused really heavily on income inequality. and we think from our poll income inequality and fairness more generally is not what's going to vinwin the voters over. >> you made so many points. let me tank one out that i don't want people to lose. the general notion that the republican party writ large is way off to the right but mitt romney is actually closer to these swing independent eyeideal logically. the president further to the left and the gap between him and most of these voters bigger than the gap between the ordinary voter and mitt romney but nonetheless, they aren't moving to mitt romney because as you point out, they don't much like him yet. he is talking about opportunities, talking about the things they want to hear but they haven't moved to him. does that suggest the president is going to be able to hold on to this base even though he is using a framework a mime as you
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say, a fairness that this group wants to hear about, future and opportunity? >> i think, you know, president obama is actually talking about both of these things but i think we would just recommend that he focus on opportunity going forward. but there was a real tension in the poll, these swing voters are up for grabs because they definitely liked president obama more. i mean among the swing independent, 57% were favorable towards president obama. only in the 30s against, whereas mitt romney was split 41 favorable, 40 unfavorable. and so, you know, they just don't see him as a likeable person in the same way that president obama is. but when they map themselves out on an idealogical scale, they put themselves to the right of scepter. that means even though they put the president and governor romney almost exactly the same distance away from center to the left and the right respectfully they, themselves are slightly closer to romney because they put themselves on the right side of the scale. >> to put this in problem attics
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term the would suggest flat tax structure that mitt romney is talking about more than the sorts of proposals that the buffett rule, for example, president obama is talking about, that would be more
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>> i don't think he wants to be playing defense. i think you are right about that. what i think he wants to do is get his message and his ducks in a row. he knows one thing is for sure. policy and procedurepom is on the run. president obama could lose. how many have lost re-election battles? four, maybe five? mitt romney knows one thing. that is that he really has to make sure. he locks horns with president obama. he is going to have a very vicious campaign p. >> let's hope it's not vicious. these poll numbers, it's fascinating, he suggests increasingly populist tenor of the obama campaign since he gave his speech that had really
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echoes of teddy roosevelt talking about those who have not had the chance to succeed in the and the unfairness or income distribution, is he seeing off the wrong page? singing the wrong song if he wants to get those sentence rift votes in the middle? >> this is the poll that dick morris would have given bill clinton and said we need to triangulate now. but from the rhetoric we are hearing from president obama it doesn't seem like he's got somebody in the white house telling him that. they are actually taking a different tack to focus on wealth inequality that will cuts against this pole. whether they are going to be right and pave out a way through this that's different, we will have to see, but it certainly does raise the question of whether that's the right approach. >> let me ask you the question. do you think these numbers are wrong for some meth doe logical reason or misreading the data there? the president over the past number of months clearly is becoming more populist in his rhetoric, more strident is not a
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word i would like to use because it sounds like an edginess that i don't think has been there but nonetheless, there is an increasing problem of increased income inequality in this nation and yet his popularity xwrov approve rate something 4%. 50 is the magic number. the economy may dip back the wrong way. should they rethink this and talk more the language of opportunity? >> well, just in terms of the approval rating real quick, just to put that in perspective, i think it's a surprise that president obama is doing as well as he is given how dismal the economy has been for the last three years. in terms of the poll numbers, the focus these voters want the focus to be on opportunity and we know that like, you know, the positions, liberal positions okay taxing the wealthy are very popular, so the political consultants for obama may be looking at, you know 70% approval, to raise taxes on the wealthy and not understanding
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that these this little subset of voters that really sways the elections wants this to be about enforcing the rules and creating a competitive american economy for the next generaltiongeneration. >> you just said something that seems to be -- and ford jump in if this is wrong. it seems to be at odds with what i read in the polling data is that that subset of swing voters, likely to determine the outcome in the swing states the swing voters in the swing states, that really, you know, subset that could determine this outcome here, they are not going to be terribly persuaded by the sorts of populist rhetoric that talks about a buffett rule and that talks about how the top 1% has done too well. they want everyone in that and mit romney discussions may be a bit more appealing to them. so, you know, jonathan if you were in the white house, would you be saying, hey guys maybe we have got to rethink this? >> you know, okay. first of all, they have got a lot of strengths going in here because mitt romney's
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favorability ratings have crashed in the last few months because he has had this tough primary. now now, he's got this at vantage as the poll shows in terms of having positions that appeal to those voters and he has got to be able to hammer that and make the focus about president obama's record on the economy because if you can focus voters on how terrible the economy has been and make this a referendum on obama, it's all about setting the subject. >> it absolutely is. i think obama's strategist's are coming to the realizization about opportunity and the way we know they are trying to buy time is re-directing to the ryan budget. look, paul ryan is not running for president. what the obama strategists are saying is it's a trojan horse and mitt romney locked himself to it and saying if we don't make bold changes, the opportunities for you and your family are going to be less and with 4 -- than with four more years of obama. we see the obama folks recognizing the difference. they don't know how to get that balance between opportunity and
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fairness just yet >>. >> it seems to me, jonathan, you reacted to this first. last time we heard this rhetoric it was george bush saying it's going to be created by de deregulation, lower tax brakes and that brought us to cataclysm. why is a boater white house response not one that pushes against that simplistic understanding of what opportunity means and to say opportunity is fairness. why not bring the two together and say, and this goes back to the first quen i asked lanae. is it an either/or choice or does it not emerge from creating fairness and the chance for those who have not been given the education and don't have the infrastructure? isn't that the best white house response? >> i think you are getting pretty deep into the american psyche when you try to parse what the word "opportunity" means to 300 million americans. and it goes into a large, you know, deep cultural transformation on what that is that i don't think a political campaign can change in a couple
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of months. >> all right. roll call john strong and former campaign advisor ford o'connell. i will give you in 10 seconds my view: the public is optimistic and they want opportunity and fairness is part of it. unless you can speak to both of them, then you are not really going to succeed. much more on this in week's ahead. a new poll reveals 80% of black respondents believe race played a role in the trayvon martin shooting shooting. only 35% of whites agreed. what that means about racism in america, coming up next on "viewpoint."
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>> florida state attorney angela corey investigating trayvon martin announced a grand jury will not be convened in the case, taking first degree murder charges off of the table. but corey made clear she has the authority to initiate charges other than first degree murder on her own. the accused gunman george zimmerman could be arrested this week. an instrumental factor in whatever charges could be brought could be realtime released cell phone records indicating that during zimmerman's 4 minute exchange with a 9-1-1 dispatcher that ended end, he answered a call from his grandfather girlfriend at 7:12 and the line remained open 4 fourteen four minutes before sanford police arrived to find him det. sanford officials shet down the police department after a group called the dream defenders gathered to peacefully protest.
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a neo-nazi group,to protect quote white citizens in the event of a race riot. sergeant david morgenstern told the miami times there have been no reports of any such patrols. as discussions of race patrols found out, when asked whether race played a role in marchtin's death, 80% of black respondents said race did play a role while only 35% of whites felt that way. joining me now is corey dade national correspondents for npr digits news. thank you for joining us this evening. >> thanks for having me. >> first, let's begin with the news of the moment, the absence of a grand jury investigation. what does that mean? how is that being interpreted in terms of any insight into the charges being brought. >> angela corey, the special prosecutor in this case made no secret of the fact that she would entertain the idea of deciding whether or not to bring charges on her own without
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bringing this case to the grand jury. i think what this does now is confirm what she has kind of put out there for starters. but now, it puts here? and her investigators on a bit of a time clock to figure out about -- whether or not she will be charged. people i have talked to who are connected with this case fully expect her to bring charges, perhaps as early as this week, against zimmerman. >> you know, i will give you my almost counter intuitive, their first thought was maybe no charges. i think it increases there will be chances. if she wanted a decision that there not be charges she would have wanted a buffer of a grand jury to have heard all of the evidence and then basically been pointed towards a no-charge decision. if she is going to bring the charges, then it's easier for her to do it on her own and structure them as she wants so as needed to over charge or under charge. we have to remain quiet and see hoy this plays out. but it seems to me as a prosecutor, that may be where
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she is heading. tell us if you can what dot phone calls mean? what is the interpretation of the simultaneous call from the girlfriend to trayvon and zimmerman being on the phone with 9-1-1? how do we interpret that? >> i think in talking with people connected with the indicates, with trayvon martin's family, with trayvon martin's attorneys, they look at the e quenc of these phone calls -- sequence p whether we are talking about the phone call he made to his girlfriend before the incidents took place or zimmerman's phone call to police to the dispatcher, they look at this as a timeline that it's going to be really important and really material to the investigation, especially because there is not a whole lot of physical evidence that can be certain from the scene. so this is going to be very material. and certainly trayvon martin's family attorneys are looking to establish a whole host of things coming off of that off of those calls. >> that's sort of the sequence that is going to be critical here. >> am i off base in saying that
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the fact that the a 7:12, assuming the clocks are in alignment, electronics stuff if the girlfriend calls trayvon at 7:12, zimmerman is on the phone until 7:14, zimmerman -- and the call with the girlfriend that line is open until 7:16, not clear that he was talking to her all four minutes. it makes it a bit more difficult, does it not, for trayvon martin to have silked and come up on zimmerman during that phone call? none of that makes sense because none of that is overheard on the 9-1-1 tape. and it would conflict with trayvon martin's being on the phone with his girlfriend. >> you sound exactly like trayvon martin's attorneys. >> that's what they would say. i think that is going to be kind of a material issue that investigators are looking at right now. >> all right. certainly, as you pointed out, this is argument based upon a few data points. switch gears here for a moment. >> okay. >> race and the prism through which people see this case seems to be so dependent upon the color of one's skin.
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how do you understand that? i mean, does this -- has this case sort of brought to bear, brought to light one of the ugly reality did of our nation which is that, try as we might have been trying we still have not overcome the issue of race in criminal justice? >> well, you brought up at the beginning of this segment the poll by newsweek and the daily beast. that shouldn't come as a surprise to many people. it reenforces a poll the pugh research center found 43% of whites felt the case was getting too much news coverage compared with only 16% of blacks who felt the same way. >> uh-huh. >> so when you look at it, it also reinenforces sort of the origin of this story how it went national. it went national as a result of the black press bringing attention to it and a result of african-american journalists, a selected few who work in mainstream news organizations who started reporting on this within a week of trayvon martin's shooting. so it's not really a surprise.
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it's sort of the sensibilities of african americans have dictated sort of the coverage interests between different americans about this. >> and, you know, the clock runs on us unfortunately, but does that to a certain extents also mirror the reality that african americans have a different interaction with law enforcement if you look at the number the african-american teenagers, males in particular who have been stopped and frifblingd by law enforcement as opposed tosked by law enforcement as opposed to white americans? does that play a significant role here in one's intuitive response to a case like this. >> i will take you back to a story, a first person story of my own personal experiences that i wrote writeright after we started kind of covering the trayvon martin case full-bore. it talked about the talk that african-americans give their black teenage males as they come of age. it's a series of guides about how to behave in a society in which you will be looked upon
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with suspicion. you will be looked upon as someone to be feared as someone to be doubted. and it is -- it is a right of passage, that conversation in many black households. so it is also something that a lot of non-african-americans don't really know about. >> yeah. all right, a conversation that inevat this timeably will and should continue over the weeks, months, ahead great, thanks cory dade and thank you for this time this evening. the best of the rest. we will take a look through the view finder. ice breakers.
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so, you guys grew up together. yes, since third grade... what are you lookin' at? not looking at i anything... we're not good enough for you. must be supermodels? what do you model gloves? brad, eat a snickers. why? 'cause you get a little angry when you're hungry. better? [ male announcer ] you're not you when you're hungry™. better. [ male announcer ] snickers satisfies. >> still to come matt taibbi why the jobs act is as bad as i think it is. first, let's look through the view finder. >> going up in michigan, i've always been an enormous fan of the pittsburgh steelers. >> oh.
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>> >> >> i want to be known as the cat neutering president. >> a dream come true. a green jacket on. >> that's what i am talking about. >> the only place that has ever truly felt like home is right here, east st. louis illinois. >> another case of today cheapening the journalistic brand of nbc news which runs that show. >> look at the little boys with the little teeny bloomers. >> ann and i don't get to nearly as many cock fights. >> santorum has vowed to enforce. >> americans, we can't let that happen. >> let's talk about this i saw on druj, i believe now in
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catalina gas is $7 a gallon. but you can't drive there? >> if i had to develop a chronic disease, i hoped it would be adult onset diabetes. >> i hit him as hard as i could. he hit me as hard as he could. he had more things to hit me with. >> the democrats have invented this phony war on women. >> of course, there is that unforgettable opening we all know, oh, so well, hey new york, let's start the show. >> sometimes, you just can't tell fact from fiction. matt taibbi and i tear into the jobs act coming up next. i think its brilliant. >>current tv welcomes two new hosts. news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >>i know this stuff and i love it and i try to bring that to the show. >>and humor and politics with a west coast edge. >>politically direct means no
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bs, cutting through the clutter. >>bill press and stephanie miller, current's new morning news block. weekdays six to noon.
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ask your doctor if spiriva can help. >> last thursday, president obama signed the so-called jobs act. i have called it the return fraud to wall street act. in his roling stone blog matt taibbi points out that not only is the name to jump start our business startups act but that the act will invite a replay of the disastrous tech stock bubble. a man bol be famous for one of the greatest meta fors goldman sacks, a squid wrapped around the face of humanity matt taibbi. >> good to see you eloit. >> your articles are always spectacular. you have a metaphor here you have been so critical of this act. tell us what people on wall street said about this act. >> yeah, i had a friend call me
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up this weekend, basically and he different even say anything when the phone rang. he was laughing histystericallyhysterically. the upshot of it is people can't believe how far they went in breaking down all of the regulations that were enacted after the collapse of the stock bunble in the late '90s. they have go gone so far, it almost boggles the mind. >> a shorter memory has diminished to absolutely nothing. you hear the president and leaders down in washington talking about fairness and enforcement and they pass a law that is effectively repeels half of the meaningful rules that were put in place to prevent another bubble from being inflated. what is their logic? how do they rationalize this? >> it doesn't make sense because the stockmarket was one that wasn't a complete and total disaster and rife with christian corruption. it's one place where americans have an advantage because around
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the world, they know companies on the stockmarket have to conform to some regulations and the numbers are in the ballpark of reality. >> that's out the window. there is no competitive advantage. >> gave us the example of this law saying new companies, with valuations a billion under revenues won't need to have certified public accounting records to validate their claims. why do they think that will help people raise money? >> it doesn't make any sense. the analogy i gave it would be like a announcementsing all baseball rookies would be exempt from steroid testing for the first five years of their career. sure, you are going to get a lot of home rungs for those
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>> an opponent can look at this and say, obama gave a gigantic handout to wall street and made it a return to the fraudulent days of the late '90s possible again. >> i saw a huge tension between the argument he is trying to make and he has been making it quite effectively that he is going to bring back some degree of integrity and transparency to the markets and behind the mask of capital formation more rapidly, we exempt companies from the obligation to tell us the truth about their finance rnldz. how do you square those arguments? >> it rolls back to elements of dodd-frank, roles back sarbanes-oxley, important regulations, some of the work you did obviously after the global settlement.
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all of these things democrats have worked for over the past deck aide and now it goes out the window. it doesn't make sense. >> i have never seen any real evidence that those rules prevent capital formation despite all of the rhetoric. >> right. >> from the other side never seen one piece of evidence that sbstaniates their view. >> the best excuse they have given for why they need to eliminate this independent accounting rule is that it costs too much to hire account ants. you are really going to invest in a company that can't afford to hire an independent accountant? >> right. >> that doesn't make any sense at all. that shows you how starched the law isdishonest the law is t. >> maybe they should have told that to bernie made-off's victims. rolling stone contributing editor editor,matmat. coming up, my view, a tale of two bankers. [ growls ] lucky for me your friends showed up with this awesome bone. hey!
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>> what do you have for us. >> to be in the war room, there is a great movement in the war against alec, the right-wing group that current really has been focusing on. it's been passing all of the anti-worker laws, the voter suppression bills, the stand-your-ground laws, a story we are covering and we are going to bring people the latest. good stuff happening. we will we will be joined by the president of one of the nation's most influential unions about the anti-worker buildings bills being passed and what they are doing to organize workers in other kents tree. we will talk as well about mitt romney the man with core and the man with more money. i can hardly way. the war room is next. thanks, eloit. >> he has no core but he has an even etch-a-sketch. >> it's more insidious than an etch-a-sketch. >> before i let you go one
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quickly, alec d ment any more drop out? >> the gates foundation dropped. >> unbelievable? >> yeah. >> huge story, i cannot wait to watch. that will be on the war room with jennifer. coming up, more "viewpoint" coming up next!
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