tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current May 31, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
competitive. >> could not agree more. former chairman of the financial crisis inquiry commission phil angelides, who is making a break up the >> i'm jennifer granholm. thanks elliott. and tonight in the "the war room," the 2012 campaign goes old school. now, this is more like it! a turf war breaks out on the campaign trail. team obama reminds voters about mitt's record as governor. and gets the reminder that team romney knows how to play dirty. >> thank you for the bubble. this is a hell of a lot better than what mitt romney brought us ten years ago. >> and mitt has a sucker punch of his own and makes a stop at solyndra. >> it will be a drag 'em through the mud and back room bar brawls tonight in the war room!
♪ >> you can shout down speakers, my friends but it's hard to etch-a-sketch the truth away. >> in the pred will have his people come to my rallies and heckle, we will show him we conservatives have the same battle capacity he does. >> well, that was mitt romney admitting that his brooks brothers brigadiers interrupted a campaign event headlined by president obama's steve strategist david axelrod. he attacked romney's gubernatorial record on the state of massachusetts because it's romney's home turf and romney, meanwhile was in california which many consider to be obama-friendly territory but mitt wasn't just anywhere solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel company selected for a $535 million loan guarantee by the energy department. ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a turf war and here to discuss that and more is
former san francisco mayor and friend of the war room, the honorable willie brown. welcome back. >> thank you. nice to see. >> you after having been through a lot of these wars yourself campaign wars, isn't there just something inside you that enjoys a good old-fashioned political fight? >> for those of us who are in the world of politics, this is it! >> this is it! >> it's the super bowl. we love this. >> this is great! >> absolutely. >> you really want people who are directly opposite of each other vying for the key position and you want a public who is interested enough and excited enough to start participating and making the decisions. and that's what i hope we have. >> so you have axelrod on the steps of the capitol in massachusetts, and then you have romney here. axelrod has got the cat callers, and romney held it secret where he was going until he showed up. >> okay. but that's typical of how the republicans operate. invariably they operate. there's no such thing as total
transparency. there's no such thing as sunshine on what they are doing or when they are doing it. they always do it in a very controlled way and they always do it for a selected audience generated by them. they are not playing to the whole world. they are not playing to all the voters. >> it's very disciplined. >> absolutely. they are playing to a selected group of people they hope will show up on election day and vote for them only. >> don't you think so, that he knew what was going on in boston, and he would have been afraid that the obama people would have hauled out their troops to have made a messaging war right here at solyndra, right? >> very smart move on the part of the romney campaign. and i would suggest you to that everywhere and every time there's anything noticed about the obama campaign, the romney people are going to have a quick response, sometimes even a quality competing response. >> exactly. >> as in this case. >> so here's the third shoe to
drop. he rolls this out at the same time as president bush and president obama are unveiling the bush portrait. thereby muting his ability to get his word out at the right time. >> that hurt him. that, in fact, hurt him. as a matter of fact, i got to assume that somebody did let somebody know that romney might be doing it, because how do you make sure that you've got the entire luminary of a republican establishment in your presence where you are praising them, where you are having quick wonderful, civil exchange with them while your main opponent is out doing something inconsistent with that moment? it's almost like how reagan always played his enemies. he always had himself just above the fray. >> mm-hmm. >> he always had himself looking the best and on this day, with axelrod in boston and
with romney in sill akon silicon valley or somewhere nearby and the white house, the president. look at the president acting like the president and talking to the whole world including the two guys and laughing. and that is more important. >> it was so funny. i just thoroughly enjoyed this morning for all of that and knowing -- and i'm sure you have been in campaigns where you have had people track you right? and go around from place to place with you and in my case, they had a jobs clock that was with me every place i went. and, you know, one place we had a rubber chicken guy following the -- you know, the candidate george bush around. it's part of the campaign. >> all of that is good and great politics. but to have your candidate at all times when little things like that are occurring appear to be above the fray. >> yeah. >> that's even better. and on this day obama is above the fray. >> now, last week -- or
actually a couple of days ago he started actually calling out mitt romney by name, though which some people were saying brings him down into the fight too soon. >> i would not elevate my opponent to my status. >> interesting. >> no. no. no. no. >> my opponent. that guy. >> you notice i have not exactly mentioned his name on this show. because i'm a real obama supporter. >> yeah. >> and i want people to think maybe it's ron paul. >> i think people who watch this show know who it is, but -- i know. but that's the strategy always, is, right, you never mention your opponent. >> in my 40 years of being involved in election campaigns and doing 250 or more races in california, we in the testing process came to the conclusion that your opponent may never be known unless you call attention to his existence. >> yeah. >> i wanted people to really think that i was running
unopposed. i didn't exactly say it, but i never referenced who might be out there talking about taking willie out. >> i love it. now you are a presidential supporter but you had an interesting column this weekend in the "san francisco chronicle." >> yes, my column. >> saying the president had lost his mojo. >> absolutely. >> surprise speakingyou were speaking truth to power. what was that about? >> only your friends -- your real supporters and your friends won't lie to you. >> you might have said willie, could you just pick up the phone and tell me this? >> no, no, it wouldn't work that way. it wouldn't work that way because he would never fully -- i created a dialogue, and believe me, you should see how people are hammering me, real obama supporters. >> tell everybody what you were saying. >> what i said was 2008 obama was a phenom. obama was a rock star. obama was so new and so fresh and so bright and so able that we all were eager just to get a look at him.
and then when he was able to string a sentence together like no other candidate on the public scene, like no other person at that level it was just magnificent. and then we -- when you got the can contrast with sarah palin and john mccain, it was even better. he was right up with the first time the beatles were around. he was up there with every supertar you ever heard of. expectations were much greater than anybody could ever achieve. come now three years later and he's seeking reelection. people are not ordinarily as excited. they are not -- he's no longer a mystery. he's no longer entitled to all of that star quality unless he somehow earns it. what my column was attempting to say to him is exactly that. you are now at the stage where when you walk into a room, you've got to do what bill
clinton does. bill clinton and all the years that he's been on the stage is still a phenom. he's still somebody you really want to grab on to and he grabs on to you. because invariably, he relates to you in a way that makes some sense. he makes it personal. his pronouncements are just as powerful and just as interesting and just as comprehensive, but they seem like he's only talking to you. so far, barack obama's campaign has not been able to do that. only seldom are we getting that out of barack obama. when he was in -- let's say when he was in harlem and he looks out in the audience and he said, oh, i see reverend al, and then he proceeded to break into the national anthem. >> that was a beautiful moment. >> that was an incredible moment. he needs to develop that. i said to someone earlier today that with students all over the country screaming about the cost of education, about
tuition, and what have you, i'm the presidential candidate and i'm trying to motivate the 18 to 25s like i had them in 2008, i would open with their issue. i would open about how i'm concerned because my two daughters, one of them is getting ready to go into high school. who knows what the costs will be. i've got to figure out how to help you out. let me tell you what i will do as the president. that's the kind of presentation that we need to make so he gets that quality back. >> your column was more in the context of fund-raiser, that there was not the same kind of excitement among that crowd. >> no question. and there's not the same kind of excitement. >> does that mean the money will not follow? >> no, no, he will get the money. in terms of raising the money that is not barack obama's problem. he is going to do a billion dollars, easily. he did 750, 7 # 0 780 the first time
around. he has a greater access. >> and wall street money. >> i know he doesn't have the wall street money but what i want him to get back to is the lady that works in the building that i'm in. she cleans the hallways and what have you. >> yes. yes. >> and she blew me away when within about two months of november, when barack obama was elected, she stopped me in halted english and told me how proud she was and she and her family had been sending $25 a month. >> wow! >> to the barack obama campaign. that's star quality that you can't buy and that's what's got to get back. now she hasn't said a word to me about obama this time around. >> yeah. all right. all right. hang on because this is good stuff. we will carry over. don't go away because we've got more stuff to talk about after the break. by the way, we are also going to dive deep into the emerging voter suppression controversy
in florida which i know the mayor is very much closely following. this is "the war room." it's only on current tv. come right back. >>(narrator) gavin newsom, lieutenant governor of california, and former mayor of san francisco is on current tv. >>every night on cable news networks everyone's focusing on what's wrong. i want this show to move past that. i love creative people, and with all the vexing problems we have we need creative thinking. >>(narrator) with interviews with notables from silicon valley, hollywood, and beyond. >>at the end of the day this show's simple. it's about ideas. ideas are the best politics. ideas can bring us together. >>(narrator) the gavin newsom show. friday at 11 eastern/8 pacific. only on current tv. the new slogan should be "we own wall street." that's my view.
rolls because the process that they were using was not cleared under the voting rights act and it violates the national voter registration act. this after republican governor rick scott ordered the florida election commission to clear the rolls of anyone being suspected of not being a citizen. actual cases of voter fraud are negligible .001% yet rightfully registered voters including a 91-year-old world war vo veteran has gotten letters demanding they prove their citizenship or be kicked off the rolls. that was not the only news out of florida today. a federal judge also blocked a controversial law backed by governor scott that kept groups like the league of women voters from registering new voters. the court found that allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter registration drives promotes democracy. here with me again former
san francisco mayor the honorable willie brown. how significant is it mayor that the justice department has stepped in this case? >> it is very, very significant. remember, barack obama won florida last time around. al gore lost florida under similar circumstances. they did a purge just before his -- the secretary of state order by then the governor to purge and they purged and mr. bush won by under 600 votes. but they purged almost 40,000 people. >> who were eligible. >> all of whom were eligible and should have been allowed to vote. they were voting in those areas overwhelmingly for al gore. bush never would have been president. that's not lost on rick scott. rick scott clearly understands that. in the time period since bush was elected to the present day, the justice department has frankly been asleep.
they should have been on florida's case a long time ago. they should be on the case of every other state in which there is an effort to deliberately -- >> well they are starting to do that now. >> they're starting to do it now but they'll be accused of doing it only because it might have some effect on obama. obviously whether it has an affect on obama or not, it should be done there. is no reason whatsoever why we should be trying to convince people you have to super qualify and super prove everything in the world before you vote. >> right. so a lot of these voter suppression laws are passed -- or at least come up through this american legislative exchange council which is that bill mill that's been funded by groups like -- and the koch brothers and others for the purpose of controlling the process so that you control the outcome. and today, there was an interesting piece of news which was that walmart has pulled out of that group, alec, which was a
very significant step because groups like the color of change are saying that those big corporations that take a lot of money from minority communities should not be then funding voter suppression in those very communities that they serve. >> corporate america really should look itself in the eye and not only say walmart, you pull out but all of corporate america should pull out. people like the koch brothers and others using their own enormous wealth can engage in these kind of activities. this is not unusual in america. we have something called the poll tax and other kinds of preliminary steps that kept african-americans in the south from being able to vote. they had what they called double primaries. the justice department eventually eroded all of those things because they were designed to dissuade people from voting. dissuading people from voting in
a democracy is a horrible step and governor rick scott ought to be held accountable. as a matter of fact, the justice department ought to begin to explore whether or not there is a conspiracy among governor scott and some of the other people in florida, including the person he appointed to replace the secretary of state who wouldn't carry out -- >> resign. >> absolutely. he resign and some of his people quit. i maintain that we ought to use every element of the law that we can in order to make sure that no one becomes comfortable trying to discourage people from voting. florida, by the way is not the only state in which this discouragement is going on. there are some states in which they're reducing the amount of time that's available for you to vote. there are some states in which you can't vote on sunday anymore. there are some states in which the early voting activities are not there. there are some states in which same day voter registration can't occur anymore. all of that.
>> all of these things that liberalized the ability to vote have been repealed in many states now that have republican-controlled legislatures. >> we are to be about trying to encourage participation in the process. i really am envious of those countries, emerging democracies that seem to have a greater number of people turning out than anything that we've been able to fashion in america and when you say to the league of women voters you can't register people to vote i mean give me a break! >> this is not america. >> definitely the justice department should be enthusiastic about it and the obama campaign should make it a cornerstone of his presentation and of his surrogate's presentation discussing the right to vote. >> some of the same billionaires who have funded the organizations that have churning out the bills to repeal the ability to access the polls, they -- we learned that those
same g.o.p. funders the billionaires, yesterday, are going to spend another billion dollars on behalf of governor romney. so he had $700 to $800 million that he and the republican national committee were already going to spend and now the super pacs funded by the billionaires are going to say they're going to spend another billion. you talked in the previous segment about the president raising a billion dollars or more. we're going to have romney potentially doubling, fir time in -- first time in american history the challenger will outraise the president. does that concern you? >> that really concerns me because as newt gingrich says, the only reason he isn't the nominee is because big money blew him out. the only reason that rick santorum won in some places, because great big dollars took care of that issue. i don't think however, barack obama is the kind of candidate that you can beat no matter how much you spend against him.
nor do i think his opponent is attractive enough and interesting enough so money will make the difference among the general voters and that's -- you know that's -- >> you have saturation at some point, too. >> do you have saturation too. but in the states in which the decision is really going to be made i don't believe that they're going to be able to spend enough money to achieve that. what i'm more concerned about is not the obama race on the money side. it is the senate and the house. those campaigns don't have the -- in all cases, don't necessarily have the attractive quality candidate, they don't have a national media attention, they don't have the organized group of supporters and grassroots participation. money can destroy them. >> i so love having you on our show. thank you so much mr. mayor for joining us again inside "the war room," delightful always. coming up, if you want to find
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jaw-dropping statistics here in the war room. so between 1993 and 2000 the incomes of the richest 1% grew 58%. and for the rest, it grew just 6.4%. and the top 100th of 1% now make an average of $27 million per household per year but the average income for the bottom 90% is just $31,000 per year. many economists and progressives argue that that's bad for our country and i'm really genuinely interested in my next guest's opinion on the income inequality trend and bain capital and all of that. edward conard is the author of the new book "unintended consequences," former partner of bain capital the private equity firm that mitt romney worked at before entering politics. he comes to us tonight from new york. welcome inside "the war room." >> jennifer, thank you for
having me. >> can i call you edward? >> yeah, you can call me ed. >> all right great. so let me -- as we move into this discussion, i want to cite near statistic. in 2008, the top 1% of income earners controlled 21% of income in the united states. and you say in your book that our society would improve if the number was higher for those wealthier members of society. do you really think or maybe you can explain that income inequality could be good for society. >> sure. i think if you believe the economy hasn't changed at all since the 1950s, you would scratch your head and wonder why is it the top 1% keeps earning a greater and greater share of the income. and it might concern you that they're doing that in ways that are unfair or that they haven't earned or -- but i think the economy has changed significantly from the 1950s. you think about the 1950s we're really capitalizing on the
value of mass marketed material goods like automobiles for example and you needed large companies to build an auto industry and harvest oil worldwide. you have to pave millions of miles of road. you needed to build 250 million cars. that's the era of large scale big businesses, individuals mattered much less, risk taking mattered much less. funding capital investment mattered much more. today, 13 people can create instagram and a billion dollars of value in two years. the commercialization of the internet has opened up a window of extraordinary investment opportunities, the growth rate of the economy today is much more driven by entrepreneurs, by innovation, by risk taking and by the equity that underwrites that risk and if you look at the success of the u.s. relative to europe and japan, europe and japan have been surprisingly unsuccessful at harvesting the opportunities. the u.s. pretty much stands alone in their ability to do it. the question i think ultimately
gets to is do higher payoffs for successful risk taking motivate the risk taking which is driving the u.s. forward that europe and japan have been utterly unable to capitalize on. >> so, in other words, those at the very top have been able to stimulate investment and innovations, right? which is your argument. and in the last 30 years -- in the last 30 years the u.s. economy has doubled in size but the mean wages of workers have risen just barely above the inflation rate. a lot of that has to do, of course with the global shift in those manufacturing jobs that you're talking about. but the money is -- the money that has gone into the economy for the doubling has really been funneled to the top. to folks in the .01%. i think a lot of our viewers would wonder how can you or anybody else in the top .01%, how would you be able to help, for example, a student or a teacher or a police officer by
holding on to that money whether it is in your bank account or in your investments if your investments are invested globally and they're not being invested to create jobs in america necessarily. i'm not saying being rich is a bad thing. i'm asking how you could justify the doubling of the wealth at the very top, your own wealth and how could that help the rest of the country when the investments are occurring globally. >> yes i think really there's two aspects to your question. the first looks at what has happened in the middle class relative to europe and japan. it would be worth going back and talking about that. you give a set of statistics but there is a lot of nuances in that statistics which you haven't brought forward. i think you would be surprised by it. the second that you ended with a second question really which is do the higher payoffs for risk taking in the united states that produce the kind of innovation that we've seen in the united states does that moi it's the risk taking that produces this innovation? i would only say we see it in the united states. we don't see it in europe and
japan. it would seem to me if they were comparable, you could make the argument that maybe they do, maybe they don't. when we stand in stark contrast to europe and japan, it is much harder to make that argument. the question you're asking is the growth beneficial to the working class and the working poor? let's look at some very important statistics. since the mid 1980s, the u.s. has created 40 million jobs on the base of 100 million jobs. that's a 40% increase. europe and japan is about half that rate. 15% to 20%. so one question you might say is we could have potentially had slower employment growth and higher wages for employee or we could have had the reverse which is more employment growth slightly less wages per employee. remember we brought $20 million -- yes? >> i was just going to say you're referencing a comparison with europe and japan of obviously they've had slower -- germany, i would take issue with because they've obviously done better. >> they've grown at 20% and 65%.
>> we may have -- when you say we've grown, a lot of the benefits of that have gone on to the top. but they haven't gone to the middle class because we seen a structural change in our economy with the loss of manufacturing jobs. and the question is if you are just benefitting the investor class and the investor class is investing, yes, but they're investing in a global economy and they're not specifically creating jobs in america, how does that help us? >> i don't agree that's true. we've created 40 million jobs in america across the whole wage spectrum. we've put 20 million immigrant families, we've educated their children and we've provided offshore as well. it is hard to argue any high-wage economy has done more for the middle class and the working poor than the u.s. economy. let's go back and look at the median rates and -- i know the statistics you're quoting really overlook three very important adjustments that have to be made
to those numbers. you have to adjust for household size because if people are divorced and their income is split, the income per family hasn't gone done by half. you have to make that adjustment. the second adjustment you have to make is for things like healthcare or social security that are nontaxed income. you have to add that income back. we have progressive taxes so you have to adjust for tax rates. median income in the united states over the timeframe you are describing grew about 37%. you have to make a second adjustment as well which is we have had a shift in the work force toward immigration, toward immigrants and toward working mothers, both of who on average earn less than the median wage. every time we bring an employee in below the median it pushes another bo the median and drives the median down. when you make that adjustment you see wages have risen 30%. that's not counting the nontaxable benefits. you're using to make the argument -- >> your adjustments are -- your adjustments are based on the fact that we are becoming a
service economy but we're hollowing out the middle class. it is the middle class that have really been crunched here without any investment to create jobs here for those middle class workers. but without getting too bogged down in statistics -- >> i don't think -- >> hang on just one second because you worked at bain capital. everybody wants to know about private equity. i'm wondering us what you worked closely with him, does he share some of your views on the -- on the movement the structure of the income inequality issue. >> i don't speak for mitt and the book covers a lot of ground. there are lots of provoc at this counterintuitive controversial things in the book. the highest level does mitt agree that innovation is what is driving the modern economy forward, sure. i thinkhe agrees with that and it is essential to growth because the manufacturing economy slowed to a crawl in the 1970s and 1980s. we did transition to a more
entrepreneurial service economy but that growth has slowed as well. and it is only the united states who has been able to increase productivity and growth and increase employment as well across the entire spectrum of the wages so you say we're hollowing out the middle class. if you look at the distribution of wages around the median, it is almost as tightly distributed today as it has been in the past. and when you make comparisons of the u.s. to europe and japan what you see is our top 1% our most talented people are way more productive than europe and japan's are but our median incomes are at worse if you use your statistics, pretty much the same as europe and japan, if you adjust the statistics -- >> not my statistics. these are the statistics of economists that have looked at this and i'm not the only one to say there has been the hollowing out of the middle class. i think respected nonpartisan groups have said it across the board. let me jump quickly to the race for president. because everybody knows the key goal of private equity firms is to create returns for investors.
specifically, in deciding what criteria to use in evaluating targets for investment at bain capital, job creation in america, of course, was not listed as a goal right? >> well, i just think that's a -- a silly misnomer. mischaracterization of business. first and foremost, business is working for customers. >> i'm not -- i'm characterizing mitt romney's experience. i'm so sorry to interrupt. just to respond. i'm only character rising it as a relevant piece of experience for the man who's running for president who said his job experience is one as a job creator. that really was not -- wasn't one of the goals in prospect tie issued to get investors to invest in bain capital. >> i think the goal is to make companies stronger and to grow them faster. if you look at what business did over the last 30 years in the united states, we added 40 million jobs. it is true there was cost reduction along the way. there were setbacks, there were failures. compared to the businessmen in europe and japan, we created
twice as much employment as those economies were able to create. >> i'm not talking about business overall though. i'm talking about this private equity firm bain, when mitt romney was in charge he's using that as his experience for running for president is why he would be great in the economy. job creation was just not one of the things that bain was doing to keep afloat. >> i can only say i just don't think that's the right characterization. if you -- a small minority of businesses, bain invested in 350 businesses over the course of its tenure. a small minority of the businesses were unsuccessful. the rest of them grew two and a half times faster than the s&p 500. why? because you have to make businesses stronger and grow them faster if you want to make profits for investors. and what you need to do to make profits for investors really is you have to serve customers more effectively. >> absolutely. can i just ask you one other question. i know my executive producer is telling me we have to go. just a quick response. there is a reuters article today
that said that bain capital was itself sought public incentives state government incentives when taking over troubled businesses. from your perspective, as someone who is hands off about this, isn't that a form of picking winners and losers, that you would go to the government to ask for incentives in the companies that you guys invested in? >> i think that business is extremely competitive. >> you know what? >> any time the government provides any kind of incentive, payoff whatever, no single business can afford to go it on their own. the competitors take those incentives. you have to do what the competitors are doing to remain competitive. so if government has a program that's put in place to help business, whether you agree with the program or not you have to do everything you can to make your company stronger and grow it faster than competitors if you want to be successful in business. >> totally agree. i know governors are doing it
all the time. it is just a very interesting thing when there is a lot of criticism about picking winners and losers. mr. conard, thank you so much for coming inside "the war room." author of "unintended consequences." up next, mitt romney made solyndra the focus of his campaign today and to that i say bring it on! we'll be right back. right? [ laughter ] >> 46 minutes after the hour, right back on the "stephanie miller show." while you're out catching a movie.
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>> this morning, mitt romney visited the solyndra plant in california and attacked the administration's investment in the clean energy economy and in the company. mitt, mitt, mitt. i gotta call out on this one, too. first off, you of all people know better. investing in new technologies is risky. not every investment works out. solyndra is an example of that. but so is the facebook ipo and
countless private and public companies, including, by the way, some that bain capital took over. investors have to make the best decision they can with the information they have at the time. and sometimes the government needs to place bets on technology when private industry won't to jump start them for the good of the nation. nasa the internet the auto industry, some bets pay off and some fail. but if you place no bets you will lose every time. in case you doubt that government should invest in clean energy a certain 2008 republican presidential candidate said that we should "dramatically increase federal spending on projects that hold promise for diversifying our energy supply including, that candidate said bringing clean energy to market through commercialization of large scale
renewables." you recognize those words? mitt? that was you. and mitt, how quickly you also seem to forget that your own record as governor of massachusetts, in that record, you picked winners and losers all the time. you invested millions of taxpayer dollars yes in life sciences and clean technology companies. you remember your massachusetts green energy fund? some of those investments worked. and some didn't. i don't fault you for trying. i did it in michigan and here's a secret, a ton of other governors are doing it, too. republicans, democrats from texas to new york to nevada, all of them trying to create jobs for their citizens and industry for their states. as they should. so mitt quit pretending that you never took the risk to invest public money in start-up technologies. quit pretending it never happened. it is yet another example of
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5 gum. stimulate your senses. on the next gavin newsom show: google's sergey brin and anne wojcicki give gavin a hands on look at google's glasses. >>that's facinating. >> a legal battle over same-sex marriage appears headed for the u.s. supreme court. a unanimous decision by a court of appeals panel today ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny benefits to gay married couples. for context and perspective on what today's decision means we turn to aisha moody mills in washington, an advisor for lgbt policy and racial justice at the center for american progress. so aisha why don't you tell us what was the -- what does the defense of marriage act do in
practical terms and what does this decision mean? >> well, it is great to be with you, governor. thanks for having me. quite simply, the defense of marriage act discriminates against married gay and lesbian couples who are already married by restricting them from receiving the same benefits as any other married couple does under federal law. so there are a lot of economic incentives and obligations that you receive when you're married that are federally-based and when you are a same-sex couple that happens to be married in the handful of states that we have you are denied those rights by the federal government under the defense of marriage act. that's why today's ruling is really critical and a great gain for us who are working to create equality for everybody in america. for the first time, a federal appeals court ruled that the defense of marriage act is in fact unconstitutional. because it is discriminating against the minority group. we don't view that or we
shouldn't be doing that anymore in america. >> so do you think that the supreme court is going to hear this case? >> yeah. it is probably going to go all the way up. when we look back at history and how our moral arc is bending toward justice it actually happened in the supreme court. we do expect that there's going to be an appeal. unfortunately, boehner and republicans in congress are trying to fight tait and nail to keep gay americans from having equality. they'll likely appeal it and the process will continue. >> aren't you concerned about that given the composition of the supreme court? >> you know one of the things that's really interesting about today is that there was a three-panel -- a three-member bench of the appeals court. two of those judges, republican-appointed judges. i think what we're seeing is that equality is not a partisan issue. there are a lot of conservatives who really believe that everyone
in america should be treated equally. that's our founding principle in fact. we'll see which way the supreme court moves when we happen to get there. if we get there soon. but what we saw today was really an interesting precedent. some very well-respected conservative judges found that doma was unconstitutional. >> it is very interesting. obviously there are a couple of cases that could land at the supreme court depending on the timing. let's just jump a step forward. what would the impact be if the supreme court found doma unconstitutional aside from all of the heterosexual marriages being left undefended? >> well, i don't think that heterosexual marriage has ever needed defending. because it has never been under attack by anyone. in fact, i'm married. i'm a lesbian. the fact i got married here in the district of columbia has had nothing to do with any heterosexual marriages. but ultimately it will create
very basic equality. all we're saying here is that everybody in the united states should be treated the same. should have the access to the same institutions. we fought this fight on a racial playing field. we had women who were struggling for parity years ago and now it is gays and lesbians who are being treated differently. what doma will do what will happen when we get rid of doma is that gay and lesbian americans who are married will be treated like every other married couple. >> i'm just curious from your perspective, how big a part has the president's endorsement played in the movement for equality in your opinion? >> i would say that the president coming out in support of marriage equality has really liberated other folks who have also been evolving on the issue. by him making a statement and really allowing us to be a part of his evolution and his grappling between his faith and trying to reconcile his
political beliefs and values, he's given license to everyone else who's on that journey to also find themselves on the side of equality. i think that has been really impactful and we've seen it in all of the polling around the nation in terms of the uptick and support for marriage equality. >> wow, it is incredible arc of history we're witnessing and participating in. thank you so much, aisha moodie mills for coming into the war room and for joining the battle with the good guys. and for you all out there don't miss our next segment because of course, it is brett >> we're not through just yet, mr. vice president. >> they're swimming against the tides. (vo) brought to you by pradaxa. i have the most common type of atrial fibrillation, or afib. it's not caused by a heart valve problem.
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>>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >>it really is incredible. >> this country has a lot of proud traditions and some really really awkward ones like when the sitting president has to unveil the official portrait of the guy whose job he took. it all went down today at the white house this afternoon. so shh. press talking now. brett's talking now.
>> so, george and laura bush went to the white house today for the unveiling of their official portrait. it is an event the obama administration is calling, here's a portraiture. laura bush's photo is absolutely breathtaking. here she is wearing an open neck version of the same tunic that andrew jackson wore 170 years before. what of george's? how could it possibly one up his last portrait where he's sitting on the edge of a couch leaning forward suggestively as if to ask you want to watch? this is exciting. drumroll please. can't afford a drumroll? slide whistle? wow, that's something. there he is in his living room in boringtown, u.s.a. i can't believe they chose this over the other portraits they commissioned. they rejected other ones. here they are, the official
rejected. >> this first one didn't work out because of a miscommunication. they told the artist to draw the person who ran the country between 2001 and 2009 and he came back with this. true but awkward. now the second portrait tips its hat to one of the moments in bush's presidency. his portrait accomplished but much like the mission it is referring to it wasn't. finally, they flirted with the idea of communicating just how bush feels about his legacy to america. well i'm sorry that one didn't work out but this is a handsome portrait! and i'm sure obama will treat it great. for as they say, keep your friends close and keep your enemies hung on a wall in your house. i'm done talking now. >> gotta love that brett. thank you all for joining us here in the war room. we have a terrific show lined up for friday. we'll se