tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current May 16, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
portrait of ben bradlee." thank you for being with us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> join us tomorrow with more on omar hammami. now stay right here to enter the war room with jennifer granholm. for now this is "viewpoint." thanks for watching. thanks, eliot, i'm jennifer grandholm. tonight in "the war room," here we go again. >> we shouldn't fight the debt matter of fact we should welcome it. >> the speaker gives fresh voice to the phrase "washington dysfunction." setting up another session of no. but it's an election year. ♪
>> allowing america to default on its debt would be irresponsible, but it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reduce the debt. >> that is john boehner warning us that he and his republican caucus are bracing for another fight. congress and the president must agree to raise the debt ceiling. sound familiar? our country of course was in a state of suspended an nation, while the boehner led fights.
and it led to the u.s. losing its aaa credit rating for the first time in history. i spoke with chris van hollen, ranking member of the house budget committee and i asked him if this latest move by house republicans is a blatant effort to delegitimize president obama. >> there's no doubt about it if you want to pick one thing that would hurt the economy at this time, it would be to say to the american people that we're going to rerun the movie we ran last summer, which created huge problems in the markets, and really did hurt the economy. and it was all a self inflicted wound. it was a manufactured crisis, and what the speaker is saying now, is he wants to manufacture another crisis.
we have enough troubles right here without manufacturing new problems and what we should be doing is passing this president's jobs bill, which has been sitting up here since last september and they haven't taken any action. >> why then would boehner and his caucus flirt with debt ceiling brinksmanship when it hurt them so badly last summer. >> you have the tea party republicans and the house running the show here. we saw that last summer and we're seeing it again right now. and a lot of these tea party members were serious when they said they were going to be the first to allow the united states to default on its debt. and that's why it is so unbelievable that they are trying to replay that same movie, but that's what the
speaker said. and if you look at the house respect budget that the speaker requires it would require an increase in the budget. >> yeah. >> it violates the rule the spoker put forward the other day, and it shows they have themselves all tied up in knots in a way that will hurt the american economy. >> if you are negotiating with people who came to washington for the purpose of shutting it down, saying you must not compromise, how do you negotiate with radicals? >> this is exactly the problem. and this is what is so important about this upcoming election. you have 98% of the republicans who have signed this pledge saying they refuse to close a
single tax loophole ore eliminate a single tax subsidy whether it's for big oil companies or corporations that use the tax code to benefit themselves to ship jobs over seas, and they won't use one penny of that to reduce the deficit. and they have rejected the balanced approach. >> so we know what the problem is, and we know where the problem is so the only thing that is left if we assume that that is the posture of the republican caucus all the way through the election. is the only solution left post election hopefully when you take back the house? >> well, that's it. and that's is what is at steak. we have 25 seats that we need to pick up in the house. each of those races will be absolutely critical. obviously the race for the white house and making sure we elect president obama is essential. you have mitt romney who
described the house republican budget as quote, wonderful, and said he can't wait to sign that budget. that budget is great for people like mitt romney. right? if you are already pos per rows it's a great path for you. for the rest of the country it is a terrible approach because it will undermine education in science and research, and the medicare guarantee all of that because they want to protect tax breaks for the folks at the very top. >> but on their side they will say that democrats aren't willing to compromise. are democrats willing to put some issues on the table like social security and medicare? >> they passed the budget control act which cut the budget by over a trillion dollars. on top of that, we put forward a
lot of proposals to change the incentive structure within medicare for example to reward doctors based on the value of care they provide, rather than the volume of care. that's one of the things we did. we do reject the republican proposal, which is to essentially give seniors a voucher, so that all of the risks and extra costs and burdens are now dumped on to the seniors under the republican plan. we think there is a better way to do it by modernizing the plan. we spent 18% of our gdp on healthcare, we can make savings without asking seniors to take on all of the risks. >> well, it will be a very interesting assumer and fall. if nothing gets done and there
is only this brinksmanship, most of us are concerned that if we don't take back the house, we are in for armageddon for another four years. >> it will be really tough. but i should point out no matter whether you are a republican democrat, or independent, you should want us to solve this problem. and mitt romney is not going to be in a position to do that, because he is running on a platform that not only says you have to protect the tax breaks for the very wealthy, he double downs on those tax breaks for people like him. that means he is not going to enter a new agreement. so that is going to be a sure path towards i'm afraid not being able to resolve these issues. >> that's maryland representative chris van hollen, ranking member of the house budget committee.
and it brings me to my point. i think we can all agree that america is one big family. we have got many generations, many interests, many goals, many views, but in the past two years, america has become one big dysfunctional family. family dysfunction isn't unusual, but it is rare when it has one of its members storm up to the dinner table with a gun and a bible and threaten to shoot the dog and burn down the house if it doesn't get its way. and yet america has that hostage taker, the republican party. if they can't win, they are going to burn down the house, the yard and the neighborhood with it. well, this is their home and
it's our home too, and if you want to leave home like the facebook guy who renounced his u.s. citizenship to save on attackses, if you want to leave, go forward it. we'll miss you, but our american family has got to move forward, we can and should disagree about where exactly we go but we have got to go to the rational family members, the rational ones. we would so love for you to join us at the dinner table to discuss our destination, but we just do not have time to worry about you shooting the dog or burning down the house. if you are going to share this house, you have got to contribute, make sacrifices for the greater good. you are adults. act like it. throughout history, republicans
have contributed a great deal to our american family a hugely important part of our american family. we need a rational republican party. we want you to tribute to our future. we don't need to agree on everything, but we do need to agree on something and we will not let you hold us hostage with intentionally destructive behavior. we're moving forward with you or without you.
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it's go time. >>every weeknight cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>the guys in the middle class the guys in the lower end got screwed again. >>i think you know which one we're talking about. the overwhelming majority of the country says"tax the rich, don't go to war." >>just wanted to clarify that. ♪ i hope to build a conservative majority in the united states senate to that bipartisanship becomes democrats joining republicans to roll back the size of government. >> that was indiana state
treasurer, richard mourdock. he won a hard-fought primary against six-term senator dick lugar. it was a loss for lugar and bipartisanship. mourdock has said that compromise is not in his vocabulary. his primary win should serve as a wake-up call to all democrats, because it shows the tea party is still a potent threat. his views are so far out of the main stream that mourdock should be easier for democrats to defeat in november. or so our next guest hopes. for that we're going to turn to washington, and donnelly, a four-term democrat from indiana and the mon who'll face off against mourdock in november. congressman donnelly, welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you so much for having
me with you, jennifer. >> do you agree that mourdock will be an easier opponent that lugar. >> senator lugar has been an extrordanaire proponent of partisanship and working together. richard mourdock has spent all of his time talking about how you agree with him or you are not going to be part of the plan. and i have long said that this is like a kid who takes his bat and boll comes to the park and says you either do it my way, or i do home. >> tell us why from a policy perspective you think mourdock is unfit to be the next senator? >> sure. he is a tea party candidate. he questions whether social security is constitutional. he questions whether medicare is constitutional. he doesn't think the people of
our state should be allowed to elect the united states senator. and something near and dear to your hotter that we went through together he is the individual who almost single handedly tried to destroy the american automotive industry. he filed suit against the government and chrysler trying to force the liquidation of the chrysler automotive company. and i fought him tooth and nail as you and so many others said and the even said i never took a pledge to protect every job. well, i did. he spent almost $3 million of indiana taxpayer money hiring a new york law firm to try to force the liquidation of chrysler. >> so he says he is not willing
to compromise on his views. >> right. >> what issues do you think you are willing to compromise on? >> i'm willing to work to move our country forward. i have often said that -- you know, i'm a democrat and proud to be a democrat. but it's not about democrats or republicans. it's about america. fred upton is a republican, but he and i work together all the time on veteran's issues. john sullivan from oklahoma we work on natural gas issues. we work together on job-creation programs in community colleges. so we're willing to talk with anyone to see if we can create a better program to reduce the debt. when our founding fathers created the constitution nobody in that room was able to say it's my way or i'm going home.
>> you are considered a blue dog democrat, which is a dying breed. do you think it is hard to be a moderate in the house of representatives? >> i have not found it to be difficult, because my only goal is how do we make our country stronger? and i remain encouraged that we can create more jobs more opportunity, and at the end of the day, it's about mom and dad sitting at the kitchen table and going will our job be here next month, can we cover the mortgage, educate our kids and retire with dignity. i'm willing to work with anybody to make sure the answer to all of those is hey your job is not only going to be there, it will be more solid and you will get paid for overtime. your kids get a great education and you look up and say not only
can i retire with dignity, but social security is safe, and medicare is safe. >> last week the president came out and supported gay marriage. do you think his stand on social issues will hurt your election chances? >> no, don't. because at the end of the day, the most important social program is for mom or dad to have a good job, and when they do, everything else works within a family, so that is where i have tried to keep my focus. >> do you regret voting for the healthcare plan or for nancy pelosi to be the speaker. will those be used against you?
>> i happen to have a daughter with rheumatoid arthritis. and for her and many others they are able to get health insurance for the first time. so those are all good things and the "new york times" just about three, four weeks ago, there was an article healthcare costs flattening out, and it was about the fact that healthcare costs have been held down and are increasing at the lowest rate at the last couple of decades. that's a good thing, and that keeps more money in people's pockets. >> i'm glad to hear you are not running from that, because i think that is a kitchen table issue. are you getting or do you expect to get a lot of support from national democrats in your battle against mourdock?
>> i'm really just focused on the indiana part and what we have seen is an extrordanaire large ground swell, not only of democrats, but of moderates, and a number of republicans who have looked and said we don't want a tea party representative. so we have been able to put together a coalition of not only democrats, but an awful lot of moderates, and there is a group, republicans for donnelly that are already starting up. >> i predict you will do very well. that is joe donnelly, democratic senate candidate from indiana. thanks for joining us inside "the war room." up next, nancy keenan is the
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and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? ask your doctor if spiriva can help. ?ñ?ñcu you've heard jennifer's views, now let's hear yours. >>the war room needs your help. >>the only online forum with a direct line to jennifer granholm. >>our goal is to bring you behind the scenes with access to stories that you've never seen before. >>politicallydirect.com join the debate now. ♪ another notch was made on the anti-choice belt this week when kansas governor sam brownback signed the dubiously titled "healthcare rights of conscience act."
the law gives pharmacists the right to deny women any drugs that they believe can cause an abortion. this includes completely legal contraception. and birth control. this is the fifth anti-abortion bill that sam brownback has signed since taking office. women have seen their are reproductive rights virtually eliminated. the state has moved to defund planned parenthood, require women to hear a fetal heart beat before getting an abortion. and force doctors warm women that abortion causes breast cancer. a total lye. the kansas attorney general has spent an astounding $630,000 in
taxpayer dollars to defend those bills. these are some seriously misplaced budget priorities. our next guest knows firsthand how important it is for women to stand up and make their heard. nancy keenan is the current president of naral pro choice america. she is joining us from washington, d.c. nancy, welcome back inside "the war room." >> it's great to be with you again. >> thank you. kansas is now the fifth state to restrict women's reproductive rights. how does this not violate the hippocratic oath. >> let's be clear, governor brownback is making good on his pledge that he was going to support some of this extreme legislation, and like you mentioned five bills signed into law this year. this is about a pharmacist being able to deny women access to a
prescription that she and her doctor have decided it was in her health and it's unreasonable the governor has signed this law in effect. >> and states are spending millions of dollars making sure that women can't protect their rights. how are they helping understand. >> there is a battle on two fronts. in washington we see the attack on women obviously the governor of kansas before supported the right to choose. and a governor brownback, who actually is putting politicians
in the middle of these decisions, so we're doing a lot of educating obviously of women across this country, and making sure they understand that elections matter and who they vote for in november whether it's president barack obama, who supports the right to make those personal private decisions, to the courthouse quite honestly in the states. it's critically critically important that we vote. >> what other states nancy, are you most concerned about? >> we have had a lot. like you says florida, arizona, we have seen these anti-choice bills pass -- like almost every day. and then in my home state of montana has a gov for who supports a women's right to choose, that actually vetoes four bills. so elections matter and we have to be as a community and country
that our voices are heard at the ballot box. >> there is a new bill that would criminalize abortions in d.c. after 20 weeks. do you think we can expect another all-male panel deciding what a women should do. >> i'm sure we will. and what do they know about the women's lives that sit here in washington, d.c., and eleanor wants to articulate those women's stories, and they have denied here that opportunity. that's not democracy. >> you are about to announce transition. i'm curious, a study that naral pro-choice america conducted back in 2010 found there was an
intensity gap between pro-life and pro choicers. do you think that pro-choice voters are going to need to be goosed a bit to come out on this issue in 2012? >> i think they have seen the effects of this past election in 2010. and you are right about this mill inial generation. they will be 40% of the voting population by 2020. and there is an intensity gap that we have to close, but this whole fight over contraception these last few weeks has been their moment to say, enough is enough, and they are stepping forward, and their voices will be heard at the ballot box. >> nancy you have described
ourselves as part of the post men passal era. and you are stepping down now. is that why? >> absolutely. let me tell you why. rowe versus wade will be 40 years only. we have built on the -- the stories and work that those of us that have fault this battle but it is time now for young women to be telling their stories, and making sure the vigilance in protecting choice is retained. >> well, we are here in "the war room," and you have been a great general on the battlefield for women's reproductive rights. i'm glad you are going to stay in the fight at least through the election. i certainly appreciate your
service to us. that's nancy keenan is the current president of naral pro choice america. and now to today in myth. today, mitt gave another speech criticizing the debt level under obama. take listen. >> it is high time we have a president who will stop this ending and borrowing inferno. >> his opsession with debt seems a bit disingenuous. first of all, when he ran massachusetts, that state had the highest per capita debt in the entire nation. the debt was reaching 21% of each resident's personal income. second private equity routinely use massive amounts of debt and
borrowing. and third, romney's own economic plan of tax cuts and defense spending is going to add $10 trillion to our national debt. our friends at think progress point out that the debt clock that romney spoke in front of today is going to look like this if romney becomes president, and that is today, and tomorrow in mitt. coming up next mr. right, and madam left square off. duf sundheim and christine pelosie enter the war room. and later, of course brett ehrlich seeks clarification. >> i would totally disagree with mitt romney's positions, if i could even understand what the hell they were. don't go away. ♪
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[ applause ] >> chrysler is the fastest-growing company in the nation. and that matters all over the country, but especially in places like this where over 3,000 of the jobs are automotive related. >> god i love that. that's vice president joe biden on the campaign front in ohio today. this comes as the right is trying its best to shift the focus to the deficit. take a listen to a new ad from karl rove's gps super pac. >> today i'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by by the end of my first term in office. >> he hasn't even come close. we need solutions not promises. tell president obama to cut the
deficit. >> that ad will air tomorrow in ten battleground states. here now for analysis and perspective, is former california republican party chairman, duf sundheim. he is all wound up. and christine pelosie, chair of the democratic party women's caucus. welcome back to you both. behave now. let me start with you, duf, mitt romney gave his st. peter'sberg speech today in front of a dead clock. given what happened last summer are we coming back for more in terms of congress? >> i hope not. the "washington post" pointed out that the republicans were willing to make a deal last year, even one that nancy pelosi agreed to and the president walked away from it. >> don't you think it had a lot more to do with the fact that john boehner would not put the deal through with his tea party
caucus. >> he was never given a chance. >> i suspect you know something about this madam pelosi. >> i know the president went shopping today and bought everybody lunch. the american people know jobs cure deficits. we know when mitt romney saying we have to cut debt and then introduces the plan with even more debt that is just being disenagain disenagainous disenagainous. >> your mom was where the president bought everybody lunch. >> he knows the majority of john boehner's colleagues have signed a pledge that they make more important than the pledge to the constitution. and he knows it is going to take bipartisanship to get around
that. >> isn't it stupid to take a pledge that you will never do something when you have no idea -- >> tell that to the democrats that do it for the labor unions and the environmentalists. >> pledging to never, ever compromise compromise, not even by one penny. isn't that stupid? >> well, i'm not saying that. >> take a listen to this. >> i don't want businessmen not to be able to make profits. it's all about profits. there's a little bit about equity. laying on debt. laying off workers. doing what is good for the top. you can't afford that in the valley, and in the nation. >> so the republicans have been
saying that democrats are anti-business and anti-profit. what the vice president is saying, you should have profit but also equity. what is wrong with that? >> nothing is wrong with it. it's the policies that are wrong. what they are doing is they are knocking what romney did at bane at the same time they are having lunch with the blackstone group that did the same thing. >> doesn't the president have a problem in justifying that christine? >> i think the president has made it very clear what his values are. and he said this is what i'm going to do. i'm fighting for wall street reform, and do you agree to be regulated and have a traffic cop on your block, more power to you. but there's a very big difference between saying to somebody, if you give me money, i'll give you what you want. versus i'm going to help the
consumer here. and those are the stlals will guide my presidency. and yes, if you are in business you should see it as being good business. >> but where he was not a champion for those types of reforms and look what happened this week. >> okay. we have got to talk about that because i completely disagree with you on that. [ laughter ] >> and unfortunately they are telling me we have got to go to a commercial break. stick around, the argument will continue, if we don't have black and blue eyes by the time we get back -- we'll take a look at the veep's role in this campaign and much more right after this.
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communities to the opportunities that inspire them to develop these important skills. how can my car go faster? figure it out. find out more at connectamillionminds.com ♪ >> joe biden's big day. president obama's big challenge in north carolina. a big choice in nebraska. here to sort all of this out, is christine pelosie, and duf sundheim. all right. let me just start with a sound bite from president -- from vice president biden in youngstown today. take a listen. >> my mother believed and my father believed if i wanted to be president of the united states, could be. i would be vice president. my mother and father believed that if my brother or sister
wanted to be a millionaire. they would be a millionaire! my mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams! [ cheers and applause ] >> they don't get it! >> i just love that guy. [ laughter ] >> we get him. we just disagree with him. >> don't you think that joe should be able to grow up and be like president -- i knew his mother by the way. fantastic woman and cuff. >> do you think that he's -- he his release this week after the early outing of the president on the gay marriage issue -- >> so biden. we love uncle joe. not only does the hostage taker want to burn down the house, they want to fire the fire
department. >> you guys love having him out there. we love having him out there. [ laughter ] >> we love joe biden. >> there's a new public policy poll that is coming out of north carolina, and it was taken after the president announced his gay marriage position. and mitt romney is closing the gap. there was a 5-point lift for romney or drop for obama. so -- and other polls actually have romney leading. i'll start with you, christine. does the obama war room get nervous now? >> i think they have been nervous from the start and they should have been. i don't believe a lead for romney in north carolina any more than i believe the obama edge. i think it will be nip and tuck the entire way, and what is going to matter is going to be turnout. >> i think christine is 100%
right. they are going to flow all over the place. but what was interesting is america's reaction to obama's statement, two thirds thought it was political rather than personal f. >> i think they were talking about the political nature of how it came out -- >> you should be doing spin. not a tv show. >> to attack barack obama for his position on marriage equality, the more it is going to look principaled. >> duf i'm sure -- on the republican party, separate the far right. >> right. >> there's a lot of moderate -- for the very few moderate republicans that are left, and the independents, this is actually an opportunity for the president. >> if they had taken that type of approach if they had adopted santorum's position, but i think
romney said look let's get on to the economy. i think what you are seeing is the dramatic increase in the likability of romney. >> i'm not sure about that, and i'm not sure he softened his approach when he went to liberty university right after that. tonight mitt romney is scheduled to speak at a fund raiser at the owner of the company that makes the morning after pill. will there be any backlash? >> no, because it is one of 50, 60 bills that they make.
>> they selected deb fisher to take on former senator bob kerry. >> former nebraska resident. >> but she beat out two better funded and more well-known. what do you think is going on there? >> other than opposites of what happened in indiana she has strong respect on the democratic side. >> both of them are very very strong, though, and both of them had a life other than politics. she passed a gas tax in nebraska. we'll probably be hearing about that again. >> i'm sure we will. that is a race that we will be watching also. thank you, duf sundheim christine pelosie, always a pleasure. love having you guys on. brett ehrlich loving a poorly thought out and confusing analogy as much as the next guy, unless the next guy is mitt romney. it's "the war room," and it's