tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current April 19, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
ublicans that are too nice. and another one, at least mitt romney doesn't eat dog. god, republicans are just too nice to president obama. and classy going after a six or seven year old. all right. "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer is next. ♪ [ theme music ] ♪ good evening i'm eliot spitzer, this is "viewpoint." it was fun four months for democrats, and especially president barack obama. watching the gop debates was a lot like having a front row seat at the roman coliseum with a bunch of mismatched glad aidtors taking their whacks at the only possible survivor mitt romulous. that was last week, now the president finds himself in a
dead heat with romney and hoping for a white house welcome next year like the one he gave this year's college football champions earlier today. >> it is my pleasure to welcome the alabama crimson tide back to the white house. [ cheers and applause ] >> and congratulate them on winning their 14th national championship, their second in three years. >> what does the president have to do to regain his mojo, turn the race in his direction and win his second championship in four years? former governor romney tries to boost his chances with the vice presidential pick that would satisfy tea party conservatives without driving off the independent voters. at the top, george w. bushes national security advisor, condoleezza rice.
rick santorum came in second. florida senator marco rubio, and chris lavoie chris at third. with me now, current tv correspondent david shuster; correspondent david shuster; democratic strategist, bet columnist and former clinton white house aide, keith former mccain-palin communications aide boris epstine. all right. thank you all for being here. david let me start with you. i am not the only one who thinks in the past couple of days this race has taken a fundamental turn. the polls have shocked everybody. if you were advising the president what would you say he should do to change the dynamics? certainly the press is saying something is amiss. >> he is being advised by his campaign right now just to be patient. they are showing him the state-by-state polls.
yes, the national numbers are of great concern, but it is very early. they are saying hold off, let's wait it is only dangerous if you start to get down by six or eight moint points. >> yes, but you go from a yawning lead among women of 19 and now you're in a dead heat and the margins are low single digits in those swing states there has got to be a little bit of anxiety in the white house and he must be having an extra cup of coffee and placing 2:00 am calls saying david what have you done for me. you, my david give him one piece of advice. >> at a certain point if this election does become a referendum this will be a very tough election for president obama. but that's why you are starting to hear him make these comments about mitt romney being privileged. you are already starting to see that pivot. barack obama is caring about
campaigning right now, and that distinction will help him. >> boris, before the show i said we were going to give you a hard time. but i'm going to agree with you on something. david, the president has been saying that for the past six months. clearly it is not working. so boris what is your response? what are you saying to your candidate that will get him from dead even to actually being able to win. >> stay the course. that's what i'm saying to our candidate. stay the course look at where you are now compared to two or three weeks ago. this president is completely falling apart -- >> come on. >> what have you had? you had the russia fiasco -- just give me a couple of more months -- >> how about with microphones -- >> cannot control iran or our
allies. >> boris you have right it had been a bad couple of weeks for the president. your guy is only still dead even. keith you must acknowledge president obama has been driving home the buffet rule and somehow he seems to be slipping despite all of that. >> i think i'm the only one here who doesn't believe everything in the polls. the polls show over the course of the last three days that maybe obama isn't doing as well as he used to. but when the poll numbers were really bad for obama, he is never going to win because of the gas prices. it will go up and down between now and november. the idea that anybody is going to be able to determine what is going to happen in november doesn't make sense. the president is doing really well -- >> he is upside down in -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> one at a time. [overlapping speakers]
>> i would rather be in president obama position -- >> guys let me ask you this question. back to you keith. the president has been talking fairness and pave mitt romney as a privileged out of touch individual, and succeeded in driving mitt romney's negatives up pretty high, but that hasn't correlated with his own approval ratings breaking 50 or the public being comfortable with him as the economic leader. so what is the economic answer? >> the only answer is for the unemployment rate to come down and jobs to continue to grow. in that number has to continue and we have a higher number of jobs than last month. but obama's biggest enemy is not mitt romney. it's the unemployment rate that can beat obama. >> okay. boris what is mitt romney's answer to the unemployment
issue. i don't think the public is going to warm to his comments. they may not like where barack obama is taking us but they are not going to buy his warn tired prescription. >> his best option is what is my strength? it's turn around -- >> can i stop you for one second. the only thing i have seen him turn around is his own views. [ laughter ] >> exactly. >> but can this president make it a referendum on himself or not. in 1992 during that election in february, president george hw bush had a 76% approval rating -- >> here is the problem. the problem is that yes when you ask people about president obama maybe his approval rating is below 50%, but at a certain point people are going to ask here is mitt romney here is president obama which do you
choose. and the obama administrate shun hasn't even begun to define mitt romney -- >> mitt romney has had a lot of incoupling missiles. he has takes a lot of unfavorable hit. but that hasn't translated to favorable rating for the president. >> as long as people are seeing it as a choice between mitt romney whoa is so clearly defined, republicans will run and hide. as long as it is a choice between mitt romney and the president and not the president and his record -- >> you can seen the poll numbers. can doe lisa rise, but where would you recommending he move? sarah palin? [ laughter ] >> we all all of us probably agree that mccain lost was not
parra palin it was congress. >> that's true. >> i would look strongly at marco rubio. hispanic, and florida carries -- hispanics are very popular in that state. >> marco rubio is just as young and unestablished as they said barack obama was in 2008. if you want to pick that up then you are doing the same thing that john mccain did with sarah palin. >> what is his position on immigration -- >> let me ask you a question though, david. the mechanics of this race. if mitt romney picks rubio maybe it solidifies florida, but does that help him in ohio? so does -- what do you think does rubio help him in ohio?
>> it helps to the extend that rubio -- if rubio cares about working class americans and cares about jobs it doesn't mater what his background is it's how he can talk about his issues. >> you look so desperate in pandering to mix marco rubio. >> who would you pick? >> probably condy rice. [ overlapping speakers ] >> it is going to come across as pandering -- >> pandering works. [ laughter ] >> you are right about that -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> hold any water. >> it is going to look like the same thing with sarah palin. >> okay -- joe biden, right? >> republicans have proven that
the vice presidential pick doesn't matter. you just said sarah palin did not cost mccain the election -- >> vice president matters for 48 hour, and then usually dissipated. deeper question whether mitt romney can bring together the coalition. he has apparently begun to bring in the conservative vote the evangelical vote can he get that vote. how does the navigate and thread the needle? >> he has already done it. he won the nomination in 2010. >> he is already partway there, and he keeps going on message. >> mitt romney didn't win a single state in the primary season where the majority of
voters were evangelicals. and that indicates how little enthusiasm there is -- >> he lost all of those states got the nomination and that base does seem to be moving towards him. >> without a choice. >> it was more like he was stitching on both sides. and that's what romney has done in issue after issue. >> let me switch gears for a minute. because i think one of the more interesting fassetts is one has presumed that there is a general consensus that the conservative leadership has been with mitt romney. there is now a growing sense of bishops pushing back against what the paul ryan stands for, and i want to quote from the u.s. conference of catholic bishops, a very powerful group, saying:
>> are we beginning to see a more fractured catholic leadership that might say that mitt romney and the paul ryan view of government isn't where we the religious folks are? >> the way the ryan budget helps president obama is you have non-partisan organizations saying if you adopt the ryan budget 15 to 30 million americans will lose their health insurance. if you adevelopmented the ryan budget you have $4.6 trillion in revenue that is lost. and yet, ryan said it is budget neutral. how? he won't say. serious people who looked at the ryan bucket say this is the most fraudulent -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> one at a time. but the serious number that vote may only be about 2% of the voters. [ laughter ] >> explain how he balances the
budget? >> by going as barack obama has done which is taken our deaf sirt and getting it to 14 or 15 -- >> guys let me ask you one question, which loopholes -- tax loopholes will he close so he can recroup trillions of -- >> obama or mitt romney? >> either one. >> i'll take mitt romney. >> okay. >> and mitt's answer -- >> it should be -- >> what is it? >> he can't tell you, because mitt romney hasn't said. >> give him a shot. >> what it should be and it is at this point in time is to close as many tax loopholes as will not hurt -- >> name one! >> [ overlapping speakers ] >> i haven't heard romney say that. >> what about the buffet rule rates -- >> give boris his due.
that is true. it's a legitimate critique of the buffet rule -- >> 3% of the deficit. >> this has just gone farther than anybody in the ramny campaign has gone -- you have gone way off -- [overlapping speakers] >> he gets the last word. >> i don't even know where to begin -- >> i said a word. >> it's going off the curve, and romney has to figure out to move it in the right direction, and he hasn't done that. current tv correspondent david shuster; "daily caller" contributor and former mccain-palin communications aide boris epstine. you got a lot of titles. thanks so much for your time tonight. coming up, it's a bird it's a plane, no, it's a drone, and the
majority of americans are okay with that. current tv. this former two term governor is [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪ ♪
we're about to refute a notion many people take for granted. today's number of the day, 2.6%. that's the percentage of people applying for welfare in florida who failed the mandatory drug test. of 4,086 tested so far only 108 have tested positive. okay. include the 40 people who refuse to take the test the number jumps all the way to 3.6%. the amazing thing for all of the chatter about people on welfare wasting public money on drugs, the federal government estimates over 8% of floridians age 12 and
overuse illegal drugs. that's three times as many. every now and then, the real data refutes a common view and presumption about folks on welfare that they sit around abusing drugs. i wonder if you wouldn't get a higher positive test result if you tested the florida legislatures who voted for mandatory testing of welfare applicants. >>thanks mom. it's perfect. if i can't be at home, at least i can have a taste of it. >>hershey's air delight milk chocolate, a lighter, airier meltier hershey's happiness.
vaccinations save lives. >>we are very committed to the safety of our products. >>but are mandatory shots doing more harm than good? >>i see children injured every day. >>the controversy has gone viral. >>how many are being sacrificed? >>see "the greater good" on current tv sunday at 4/3c. >>and while you watch, join the live chat at current.com/greatergood. >>our system is not working. >>there are always some risks. >>i don't think it's that back and white. the science is not there. >>only on current tv. has waging a war become too easy. a cia officer can sit in a room in virginia and by the turn of a joy stick and push of a button take out individuals without decoration of war without no specific presidential director even when the intended target is an american citizen. welcome to war by drones. and yet today the cia asked to
be allowed to expand its drone program. even when it doesn't know the background of those being killed. joining me now, rolling stone contributing editor and buzzfeed correspondent michael hastings who's article "the rise of the killer drones: how america goes to war in secret." and remarkably it's president obama, the peace candidate it as it were from '08 who has expanded the use of drones dramatically. explain what has hand. >> first the noble prize winning president has been the one to sort of use the drone program in a way that not even george w. bush did. first there is no political cost to it. you don't have boots on the ground, and it seems like a low-cost way to get our foreign policy business done.
>> this is almost the an ta septic way to wage war. you play your video games, and you take out though enemy. anti-septic for us. it totally detachs the human cost of war from the act of waging war. and the president has not gone to congress to ask for approval. >> remarkably president obama is relying upon what legal authority for these strikes? >> there are secret -- this is sort of prime absurdity of the entire thing. it's a secret program. they have not made specific public justification for what -- for why they are doing this, or what legal authority allows them to. there is a secret memo that justifies the killing of american citizens in certain instances, but that has not been made public. >> and yet, he is also relying
upon the congressional resolution passed one week after 9/11. >> right. that under -- this falls under the war on terror all of the powers given to the president as the war on terror. and they say all of these enemies that we didn't even have when the authorization was passed have been added -- >> pakistan -- >> somalia. and we have the surveillance flights over iran. we have done drones in libya -- >> so what check is there on presidential authority, the president's power to say i want the drone for the cia to go to the president and say we wan the drone to take out an american citizen who we suspect of terrorist activity in a foreign
country. >> the president doesn't sign off on ever drone strike but in the case of an american citizen chances are that will be kicked up to the president. but for the vast majority it has done in a bureaucratic fashion in the cia. there are 30 people add each month, and then that gets rubber -- the cia gets approved by a cia lawyer, and then they are allowed to take these shots at -- >> and just so it is clear there's no judicial intervention? >> this is the key, especially with american citizens. >> how many of these drone strikes have there been? >> hundreds. hundreds. i think four times more in the first three years of the presidency than president bush had in eight years.
>> because the technology has improved. >> right. and the casualty count a veriries wildly. the pakistanis say some 3,000 militants have been killed but there has been about 135 people under the age of 18. >> and the public supports this? >> the u.s. public? >> yes. >> oh exactly. and i would point out -- if george w. bush was doing this [ inaudible ] would be sending me emails every day saying how horrible it was. >> the hypocrisy you are alluding to has been remarked upon by not surprisingly supporters of president bush. >> right even within the cia, the head cia lawyer who was involved in the interrogation
and the torture scandals as come out in a strange way as the moral conscious. he said who would have thought you get into more trouble torturing someone than killing them. >> that is the water boarding. time runs short. what is the legal basis for killing a u.s. citizen overseas by means of a drone when there is no third-party who looks at the evidence? >> the legal basis is that the president has authority granted to him by congress and there is intelligence that shows that this individual is supporting terrorist attacks or essentially is a traitor. but we don't know -- there's no judicial review, or public review -- and as we know we get intelligence wrong pretty regularly. >> your article in rolling stone everybody should read it. it is fascinating it goes back
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spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? ask your doctor if spiriva can help. attack and needs help. right-wing bloggers to the recue. but first mitt romney insults a local bakery, craig ferguson has tv anchors figured out. and george stephanopoulos is very hard to say. when it doesn't fit anywhere else we put it in the view finer. >> welcome back to good morning america with robin roberts and george steph -- [ speaking spanish. ] >> i'm not sure about these cookies. they don't look like you made
them. did you make those cookies. you didn't did you? no. no. they came from the local -- >> bakery. >> 7/11 brakery or whatever. >> the perfect ticket romney romney shadow 2012. [ applause ] >> and the best part is, it will change positions every time he does. all of the television presenters talk the same way. they start talking like this. they are talking and talking, then they finish the sentences like this. obama dog recipes that included beagles with cream cheese and chicken poodle soup. >> george stephanopoulos -- george stephanopoulos -- george stephanopoulos [ laughter ] >> a huge sticker on my building to say that this is a smoke-free environment.
[ buzzer sounds ] [overlapping speakers] is a communist. >> i'm just talking about the -- >> tammy bald win is a communist. >> you can call it whatever you want. >> if there is a problem, then president obama is the problem for failing to utilize his tools that he has. this is just about leave [ inaudible ] and saying something else is the problem. >> i'm a liberal i want there to be lots of places for people to be a liberal on tv. i want current to do well. >> i love that last statement from rachel. we'll run that every night. thank you, rachel, we all want current to do well. alec is asking for help. coming up next. i know this stuff and i love it and i try to bring that to the show.
is the rise of social media in defining political social lines the most important trend of our times from forcing rush apologize to making the susan g. koman foundation reverse course to the most recent movement. the common theme has been the grassroots power of the net to create effective campaigns with very real and immediate for rolling stone whose most recent piece documented a string of progressive internet champaign successes, and mother jones reporter andy kroll. thank you so much for joining us. tim let me begin with you, is the social media beginning to define our political agenda.
are they able to set more what we are talking about than the main stream media. >> i think so. we have been watching this circus unfold on the sidelines. all of a sudden congress reversed course. the susan g. koman foundation had this golden reputation and just found itself getting eaten apart for days and days. and then walked back this terrible decision they made. you have seeing these corporations and mcdonalds and others being associated with alec. >> right. >> and other states. you know just people are aware of this occupy movement and brought it to the fore and
these corporations are terrified of having their brand and reputation really dismantled so they are taking quick and pre-emptive action to get out of the line of fire. >> i think one aspect is the social media waves seem to come out of nowhere. the major corporations have become quite attuned to recognizing if an article in on the front page of the "new york times" you know ahead of time because the reporters call. but in the social media it builds in a way that seems to be below the radar screen. >> yeah, it builds with huge groups of people and around something as simple as a hashtag, hashtag komen, or hashtag alec exposed. with sopa there was serious
social media power behind that. and i think it's a new kind of power, and momentum that some of the more traditional corporations and traditional companies, you know, they may have twitter accounts and be on there, but they certainly don't really have their fingers of the pulse on where these online social media movements come from. >> alec for instance was blind sided and the companies that were supporting alec did not see this coming. this was sort of an organic growth that came out of nowhere, but tim and andy as you point out, alec is now trying to respond. what is the response to these waves of these social movements? >> well, in the case of alec they have -- in part they have strayed from their core mission which has long been producing legislation that republicans would adopt whole hog, and largely this is economic legislation, but in recent years they have expanded to include a
right-wing social agenda on guns and abortion and voter id laws and other things. companies that might have been on board are suddenly finding themselves exposed to nasty social pollties. and part of this too is the 2010 elections saw a huge influx of the republican legislatures across the country so some of this stuff that happened below the radar is more transparent, because it's happening everywhere. >> uh-huh >> so they responded by saying okay we're going to jettison our social policy and stick with our core economic stuff, and of course i think some other group is starting to pick up the social agenda and reforming on the side. >> sure. >> andy it strikes me that one of the aspects of social movements that we are now seeing major us in organization
would run one front page story about an issue and it would then dissipate. whereas what happens with these waves of social activism it is continues to ripple out, they coalesce and become bigger and bigger waves. is that part of this phenomenon as well? >> yeah, i think you have to look at the landscape now, it's not dominated by major news media, it is much more fragmented and scattered. and i think what we really saw was so much -- especially on the pregnantive side of the spectrum, so many organizations banded together and said alec is something we need to zero in on it's a connect the dot story, and so we are going to put a lot
of effort into this. we're going to expose alec and drag the members, the slate fors and corporations into the light and make a major out of this. so you had big coalitions both in the media and they made this their cause, and they turned it into a hot issue that the moment it gets out there on twitter and facebook, people go nuts for this stuff. it's really incredible. >> it is fascinating to watch. tim let me come back to you. is there anything that you can learn from the issues that do not succeed in generating this type of movement. the keystone pipeline didn't seem to generate the same sort of wave of public opposition even though the president at least temporarily delayed it, there isn't seem to be the public outcry. >> yeah, i think -- you may have missed -- there was a no kxl
hashtag that was quite important, but that seemed to be more by traditional civil disobedience people going to jail and tweeting about that. rather than zeroing in on -- and i think the problem here too can keystone there is no readily identifiable brand that has an image to preserve. and that's why the susan g. koman stuff was so effective. the brand of that organization is in tattered now because of this social media pir raw that tank. and that's what every corporation is now living in fear of. >> the companies that have a public image that they need care entities like that are
more susceptible to the public pressure. >> right. >> but clearly, what we have seen over the past couple of months is the emergence here in the united states as a organizing phenomenon. certainly something that has you pointed out is rivalling the main stream media. all right. mother jones reporter andy kroll, tim dickinson, thanks so much for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> new economic numbers all pointing to one thing, the economy is still on shaky ground, but we are on the right path. my view coming up.
we have a great pollster who released the poll today, the leader seems to be president obama he is six points ahead. we'll talk with the man who did the poll. very exciting. we'll have our host our cohost liberally talking stephanie miller. >> excellent. mitt romney has become the stalker. i think the secret service is going to get after him and say you can't do this. >> it's an amazing strategy and we all know that it happens -- >> absolutely. >> we'll talk about it. >> all right. more "viewpoint" coming up next. have a great show, jennifer. >> thank you. >>that partnership in order to invest in our country is critical. >>driven to find the truth. >>how did romney get his groove back? >>fearless, independent and above all, politically direct.
as i understand it in radio they can't see you, so this is big for me. >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's new morning news block. >>it's completely inappropriate for television. >>sharp tongue, quick wit and about all, politically direct. >>politically direct to me means no bs, the real thing, cutting through the clutter. my show is the most important show in the world. ♪ up neck holing the bush administration accountable for what our guest calls criminal misdeeds, but first here is my view. a trio of economic data points
drilled markets down today. the number of first-time jobless claims jumped to 386,000, suggesting the job market is still far weaker than we had hoped. the federal reserve bank index of activities in the manufacturing sector dropped 33% from march to april, and the number of sales of previously owned homes fell for the second straight month, all of which tell us what we probably already knew, we are far from oured of the woods on the economic front when it comes to solving this crisis, but the choice we make as we november into november could be more stark. we have the approach of paul krugman and barack obama we need spending as a stimulus to kick start the economy. yet worries about the deficit wait until the economic engine is geared up. on the other side are those preaching awes tearty. starve the government, say they
and the economy will bounce back. the amazing thing is that we have had a huge experiment going on in the world over the past couple of years. we have tried the stip louse approach here, and it has generated 2.2 million new jobs and a growth rate of somewhere between 2 and 3%. let's face it growth is still anemic but at least it's real. the austerity approach has been tried in europe where they have imposed rigorous cutting all across europe and the result is staggering. the euro zone's unemployment rate is over 10%, and there is negative growth meaning continued recession. so if we look at the data from the experiment we know what has worked, stimulus the irony is it is the republicans who want this-to-become more like europe.
all multivitamins give me the basics. they claim to be complete. only centrum goes beyond. providing more than just the essential nutrients, so i'm at my best. centrum. always your most complete. president bush and vice president cheney has criminal defendants that's how elizabeth holtzman thinks we should see them. she is no slouch on matters like this. she is the former brooklyn district attorney former congress woman and sat on the committee that investigated the water-gate investigation. first of all what crimes, be specific. >> well, i'm not going to say they committed crimes on the
face of it appears crimes have been committed and therefore an investigation is mandatory and required. what are the potential crimes here? first section 321 of the federal criminal code which makes it a crime to defraud -- conspire to defraud the united states of america, and that relates to certain fraudulent statements made to the congress in connection with the iraq war. the second federal crime also a felony has to do with violating the federal law on wiretapping. i voted for that law. it's a law that grew out of watergate, and congress said you -- president you can't wiretap without going and getting a court order. and if you don't do that it's a crime. so that's crime number two on the face of it. >> let's stick with those two for a moment. with respect to the first intentionally misleading
congress. you believe there is sufficient evidence to warrant a full-fledged criminal investigation that they intentionally mislead congress. >> if you look at what we focus on, in order to start the war, the president -- congress gave the president the authority to initiate a war against people who planned, authorized or were involved in the attacks of 9/11. i'm paraphrasing. >> right. >> and the president couldn't start the war without telling congress that he determined that this had in fact happened. okay. he sent a statement to congress saying that i have determined that this war is necessary to go after those who initiated aided, abetted, schemed with those who attacked on 9/11. but that wasn't true. saadam hussein had nothing to do
with that. >> you think there's sufficient evidence that he knew this was not the case when he made that representation. >> on the surface it appears that way. now, i don't have access to all of the information, but it's enough to warrant an invest days by. you were attorney general, i was a prosecutor. there is enough to warrant investigation. >> let me raise another area, how about the issue of torture. >> yes that is the third. you stopped me. >> all right. >> the third there is a federal statute, it is a federal crime to torture someone aboard. the president in the united states in his book and on television has said that he authorized the enhanced interrogation techniques as well as water boarding of several of
the detainees. >> on who's watch has there not been an invest days by. you are saying that eric holder as attorney general is advocating his responsibility in not launching these investigations. am i understanding this properly in >> there should have been an investigation during the bush administration. but no president is ever going to investigate himself. that's is given. >> eric holder and the president who supported eric holer's statement that we are going to look forward not back. eric holder basically closed the door on the issue of using enhanced interrogation torture. do you think that was a violation of his duty as the attorney general then?
>> what i'm saying is that we can't ever say in the united states, whether we're talking about people who engaged in bank fraud, and lead to the mortgage crisis, or the president of the united states we can't ever say someone is too important so they can be above the law. we can't say that. right now, yes, eric holder -- yes eric holder has a responsibility. if i ever said in brooklyn i'm going to look forward and not backward, i would have been out on my ear. >> we have 20 seconds, very quickly. is that approach of looking forward not backward something that issen demmic to eric holder's office? >> i don't know about that. that's why we may need to have a new special
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