Skip to main content

tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  September 18, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

9:00 pm
time runs out. we have a hard out in tv land at 9:00. we'll continue this. fascinating issue. is tolerance part of the islamic faith as we would hope it would about more. nathan lean, author of islamophobia. thank you for your time ton
9:01 pm
9:02 pm
9:03 pm
9:04 pm
9:05 pm
9:06 pm
9:07 pm
9:08 pm
9:09 pm
9:10 pm
country. later, when it comes peek behind the curtain, there's no more compelling real estate than the u.s. supreme court and nobody has a better knack for it than jeffrey toobin. it is tuesday
9:11 pm
9:12 pm
>> jennifer: you're back inside "the war room." i'm jennifer granholm. so mitt romney's 47% remarks are certainly not the first or the last time that a presidential candidate has stepped in it. remember this infamous quote from 2004. democratic nominee senator then john kerry of massachusetts? >> i actually did vote for the
9:13 pm
$87 billion before i voted against it. >> jennifer: kerry was discussing, of course, his decision not to support a supplemental bill that would fund the u.s. troops. now republicans pounced on that statement calling kerry a flip-flopper. remember that ad about him on the windsurf. then a label like that, of course would argue helped him to lose to president george w. bush. but the point is that once the dye has been cast, an impression has solidified. once a story about a candidate takes hold, it is a really tough narrative to get it back. so how does a war room react when the negative impression, when the narrative starts to stick and when anything a candidate said is then viewed through that prism. tonight in "the war room," we actually have the perfect person to answer that question. ted devine is a democratic strategist. he was a senior adviser to
9:14 pm
senator john kerry's presidential campaign and he's coming to us tonight from washington, d.c. tad, so great to have you inside "the war room." >> thank you, governor, good to be with you. >> jennifer: great. now twice doubled down on his remarks that many have said make him look like an out-of-touch, rich guy. do you think, as a strategist, that doubling down on that thing? would you have suggested that if you were on his team? >> no. i think it is a loser. i think governor romney has made a big mistake. and right now in this campaign, it's very ironic. i see happening exactly what happened in 1994, i worked for senator kennedy in his race against romney. in that race, the paid media the way we tried to define mitt romney in our paid media and the free media came together very, very powerfully. we made some ads about striking workers in indiana and those workers actually came to
9:15 pm
massachusetts and tried for a week to meet with mitt romney. he refused to meet with him. you would watch the news at night. in boston. you see the striking workers. then in the middle of the news, the ads would come on of the workers who romney had laid off. that's what's happening right now. the free media is verifying and certifying the story that the obama campaign has told for months now that mitt romney is a guy who doesn't care about people. who likes to lay them off. who doesn't really share their end it very quickly, you're going to be taken down by it. >> jennifer: his own words continue to reinforce that very impression. but he's got this book called no apologies so it seems as though he has said or his team has said you cannot walk anything back or else you will look weak. but in fact, the narrative about him being a rich guy is worse than him looking weak for having
9:16 pm
recognized he's made a mistake. >> yeah, i think governor, i think they made a terrible mistake after they secured the nomination of the republican party. they had a chance, then, to reposition themselves. like bill clinton did, for example, in 1992. at the center of the political mainstream in america. but instead of doing that and instead of spending the spring and summer introducing mitt romney in terms of his values, laying out a framework substant live framework for a new future for the country under his leadership, they chose instead to run five welfare ads and to attack and attack and attack. i think they're paying a terrible price for that. they had a great biographical film of romney and instead of playing the biographical film on the final night, they let clint eastwood speak to an open chair. these are mistakes they made and i think they're paying a real price for them. >> jennifer: something else that has come out today is a part of this video now that has been made fully available is a
9:17 pm
portion where romney's talking about palestinians. take a listen to this. >> and i look at the palestinians not wanting to fix it for political purposes. committed to the destruction and elimination of israel. those are issues that i say there's just no way. and so what you do is you say you move things along the best way you can. >> jennifer: now this line that the palestinians are not committed to the peace process they're committed to the destruction of israel. could it actually, do you think one, help romney with conservative jewish voters maybe in florida or is it too damaging? >> i think it is very damaging. front of an audience, he wants to tell them what they want to hear. when he went to israel, for example, he attacked and insulted the palestinian people on their culture. you know, he did it repeatedly on his foreign trip. so i think this is not something that's going to gain him
9:18 pm
political support in a meaningful way. instead, the center of american politics suburban string voters, people will decide this election in places like the philadelphia suburbs or the orlando suburbs or important areas, even the midwest and all through ohio and columbus. these people will be turned off by a guy who looks like he refuses to tell the truth to people and only says what his audience wants to hear. >> jennifer: yeah and we're on this -- this subject of gaffes, of course on a campaign trail. some might have said that obama did the same thing when he was running for president. take a listen to -- be reminded about that sound byte. >> >> jennifer: so now as a lesson in political strategy, that remark was a mistake to make. but it didn't knock him out of the race. why? >> well because i think he dealt with it. number one. he went out and he talked about issues, what then-senator obama said during that speech, i guess
9:19 pm
in san francisco around the time of the pennsylvania primary was followed immediately by remarks where he said listen, that's why we need to go and campaign in these communities. that's why we need to reach out and talk to people. it is exact opposite of what mitt romney said in florida whereas i'm writing half of the country off. so i think you know, obama's approach to this was to first of all say listen, that's not what i meant. here's what i meant and here's what i want to do. i want to reach out to people part of this cause which is precisely the opposite of what governor romney has said and what he's apparently wants to do in the course of his campaign. >> jennifer: so we've talked about a few of these mistakes in the spectrum of campaign mistakes. the one that mitt romney said -- or that was released yesterday about the 47%, where would you stack that? is that something that he can recover from? >> well, i think -- we'll have to see how -- what happens in
9:20 pm
the days ahead. if this story persists and continues to undermine mitt romney i think it is really going to hurt him badly. and it could put him in a position where, as he gets into the first debate, it is a do or die moment. so i think it is a serious mistake. i don't know whether it is going to be the mistake that defines the election yet. there's a lot of campaigning left made. this is a really big setback for governor romney because he's proved a case against himself that the obama campaign has been making for months. be one of those moments that is a defining moment in this campaign in the wrong direction for him. that's democratic strategist tad devine. thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." up next, the be afraid, mitch. be very afraid. there are more people mooching off the government than you might realize. we'll have that story and it is only you'll only find in "the war room" on current tv. you disgust me. prove it.
9:21 pm
enough is enough. d-con baits are specially formulated to kill in one feeding. guaranteed. d-con. get out.
9:22 pm
9:23 pm
>> jennifer: the 47% of americans who don't pay federal income tax are all part of the 100% of us who benefit from government. yet you may not think you're subsidized by government but honey, you are. you may not think your tax dollars are being redistributed for the greater good but honey they are. i know it's hard to hear but mitt romney would consider you a moocher. and you know what? he's one himself! 100% of us are proud moochers! think about it. from the minute your alarm clock goes off government plugged into, connected to the electricity grid and the government makes sure that the government subsidized electricity gets into your home. thank you very much. taxpayers. that police car, that passed you on your way to work, personal safety for you. thanks to the government. and if you're fortunate enough
9:24 pm
to own a home, well odds are that the mortgage interest is a tax deduction. that's a government subsidy. so is the deduction for your property taxes. a nice dinner of safe e. coli-free turkey? thank you government! government inspected that so are you safe when you eat it. how does that safe, clean, water get there? we all paid for it, friends through the fees and the taxpayer-backed bonds from municipal water projects and then we all benefit from the government subsidies that keep the rates in check. there are a million examples of ones schools and roads and parks and ones like these. so mitt romney was right in a way. there is a large percentage of the country that is subsidized by government. only his number was just too low. it is really not 47%. it is 100%. he just doesn't want his voters
9:25 pm
to think of themselves that way. and joining me inside "the war room" for ain sight on the 100% is journalist michael grunwald, the author of the new new deal, the hidden story of change in the obama era. he's also "time" magazine's senior national correspondent and haase the author of this week's cover story one nation subsidized under god. how big government underwrites your life. so glad you're inside "the war room." thank you for helping to illustrate this important issue. >> thank you for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. i was interested you had sent out a tweet. you wrote i get a mortgage deduction, child care deduction benefits tax-deferred 3401k business expenses up the with a zoo. -- up the wazoo. it is perfectly timed for your article and what romney had said, i'm sure you didn't plan it that way on purpose but do you think it will actually bring
9:26 pm
to light the fact that government is omnipresent in people's lives in ways they don't realize? >> i don't know. people are aware that you know, our police and our trash pickup is sort of government subsidized. we have public roads and bridges. i don't think people think of tax expenditures which there are 1.3 trillion of them every year. >> jennifer: let's be clear. tax credits that the government pays to people because of their circumstances. >> exactly. higher your income tax rate, the bigger the benefit that you get. so you know, mitt romney's tax expenditures, he enjoys them a lot more than i do. i don't know if people understand that. i don't know if people federal expenditures go to social security medicare, medicaid and the pentagon, things that presumably people like. most of our fighting when we talk about big government is that 12% of nondefense spending, discretionary spending which
9:27 pm
is -- that all -- the fbi and you know, the crazy center for genetics and npr -- >> jennifer: a lot of people don't like that stuff. >> right. >> jennifer: but they do like their mortgage deduction. they do like the child care tax credit. >> exactly. that's the vast majority. >> jennifer: isn't that redistributing wealth? >> it is funny. i did write this article partly because i want to the debunk this idea that just some of us are takers because in fact, we're all takers, right? i mooch. you mooch. mitt romney mooches. we're all moochers. everybody that works is a maker too. that's one thing that's really been disingenuous about pays income taxes. everybody pays through income taxes. >> jennifer: including mitt romney. he doesn't have earned income. he's got capital gains. >> exactly. a lot of people in the financial sector get -- special tax exemptions for carried interest.
9:28 pm
of course, we don't know whether mitt romney does. >> jennifer: he won't release his tax returns. it is such a fascinating discussion. people do not realize. in fact, the largest percentage of people who benefit from many of these exemptions are people in the reddest of states. >> that's right. people who are well off in the reddest of states. i was in florida which -- a red state is now a swing state but again, i live in subsidized housing, right because of my mortgage deduction. i have a subsidized nanny. i have subsidized savings and subsidized healthcare. you don't think about that every day. i don't think of myself and my wife as moochers. deductions. we don't think of ourselves as living on the government -- >> jennifer: one of the things that got people so upset about this comment is that the broad brush that he cast painting
9:29 pm
people as victims. as though people claim a victim status. don't you think that's the thing that was one of the most offensive things? >> this idea that people are freeloaders. but in a way, you could see how not the way he phrased it. you can see how this idea of picking on the 47% is sort of politically clever, right? because we're all very proud of our making but we're blind to our taking. so people here oh, there is this 47% that doesn't pay taxes. that's not me. i pay taxes. he must be talking about some other freeloaders when in fact, it is this obscure semantic distinction about who pays income taxes as opposed to taxes on their income. you can see how it is very divisive thing. in fact, republicans, i the new new deal where, in fact, republicans were fighting the tax cuts for the working poor that were in the stimulus. because they don't consider those tax cuts. they consider that welfare. that was some of the first big
9:30 pm
fight between president obama and eric cantor was that was when obama said -- >> jennifer: not really tax cuts but when it comes to tax cuts for business -- >> exactly. hey, look, because i'm an author in my spare time, i'm a small businessman. i got to learn a little bit about how you can use the tax code for things that are business expenses. they're legitimate. i.r.s. leave me alone. i'm very conservative but it is -- >> jennifer: you're writing off a portion of your house. >> exactly. it is another way that people with money who put a lot of these things -- i would save money anyway, i would have a nanny anyway, i would have healthcare but the government encourages me to do more of it. >> jennifer: it is a fascinating discussion. a really great discussion in a black and white world and very, it's being politicized like that. thank you so much for a great article and great book. appreciate having you.
9:31 pm
[ indiscernible ] side "the war room." michael grunwald. up next, few people know more about the inner workings of the united states supreme court than jeffrey toobin. he will join us next to talk about the battle over obama care voter i.d. laws and much more. that's next. you don't want to miss it.
9:32 pm
health matters to all of us. that's why lysol has started a mission for health. with new mom programs, lysol healthy habits initiatives in schools and disaster relief efforts. when you use lysol at home, you'll know you're a part of something bigger. for healthy tips and more, visit
9:33 pm
[ nervous ] i hope no one recognizes us... think these disguises will... no. [ male announcer ] salty. sweet.
9:34 pm
>> freedom is under assault here. i mean they're taking away american's freedom on one of the most important decisions that americans make. >> pragmatic effect is the decision is there will be a black cloud over any prospect of economic recovery in the united states. >> jennifer: whatever. based on their level of vitriol you would think that rick perry and michele bachmann had just learned the u.s. was on the road to armageddon. actually, they were reacting to the decision by the supreme court to uphold president obama's affordable care act probably does signal the end of time. let us be honest.
9:35 pm
chief justice roberts to the disappointment of many conservatives sided with his liberal peers is actually no lefty. and if mitt romney is elected president and gets several supreme court picks justice roberts, chief justice will preside over the most conservative court in our nation's history. and joining us from new york to discuss the intersection of presidential politics and the supreme court is jeffrey toobin, the author of the "the oath, the obama white house and the supreme court." jeffrey toobin, so glad to have you inside "the war room." >> great to talk to you governor. >> jennifer: you and your great books on the series of the court. will you go down in history as the documenter of all of the good gossip behind the pillars up there. before we talk about your book, i would love to get your reaction to breaking news today. that pennsylvania's highest court told a lower court judge to he finds voters can't get easy
9:36 pm
access to i.d. cards or he think voters will be disenfranchised. >> i read the decision. i'm familiar with it. >> jennifer: do you think that will begin to be the end of that pennsylvania voter i.d. case? >> oh, i do. i think it is doomed. the instructions that the pennsylvania supreme court gave to the lower court really makes it almost impossible, i think for -- for that trial court to that pennsylvania has enough protections in place that would allow the vote to proceed under the new procedures. i think this really -- i think there's really sort of an untold story of the 2012 elections which began with all these states, many of them swing states, where the new legislatures, the new republican legislatures, the new governors, passed these laws restricting the franchise and virtually all of them have been overturned by the courts. there has been an enormously successful pushback by the obama
9:37 pm
campaign, by the justice department, by public interest groups and you see that most of these laws have been cut back, if not overturned altogether. >> jennifer: it is a great day in america! >> it really is. >> jennifer: it is fantastic. >> that's a good thing. >> jennifer: it is a really great thing. you have brought our viewers the best news all week! well maybe not the best news all week. >> some other competing good news for your viewers. >> jennifer: but this is really great. really great. thank you for that. so let's get back to your book and to the behind the scenes stuff. i'm wondering from your experience jeffrey, what are the cases that are on the supreme court's docket that progressives should be most worried about how the court will rule in the next year or so? what do you think is coming up? >> two of them, maybe three. certainly next year, they are going to look at the future of
9:38 pm
affirmative action. the crowning achievement of justice sandra day o'connor's career was the 2000 case out of your state of michigan, the grudder case that said that universities may use race in admissions to graduate school. there is a case that directly challenges the grudder case based on what i've seen, it's very likely that the supreme court will overturn grudder and prohibit any sort of affirmative action in admissions. that's one. the other is the future of the voting rights act. section five of the voting rights act says that certain states, most of them in the south, have to get any changes in their voting system precleared by the justice department. that's one of the reasons why governor scott attempts to restrict voting failed because the justice department challenged it. that is being -- that is very much at risk. and the third is the whole range
9:39 pm
of issues marriage. the defensive marriage act possibly proposition 8 there i think justice anthony kennedy who has usually been siding with the conservatives in recent years may side with the liberals. and i think the defensive marriage act is in a lot of trouble. >> jennifer: that's very interesting. well one of the things that comes out of your book clearly is that chief justice roberts you know may have tossed one to the liberals in this case but that sort of essentially frees him up to be more conservative on all of these other cases. so from your perspective, what is the long-term impact on the supreme court if romney wins? because he will have no doubt some appointments coming up. >> well, i'm not sure about the premise of your question. >> jennifer: really? >> we never know who's going to leave. you know, the rule about supreme court's departures is those who
9:40 pm
know don't know and those who tell don't know. ruth bader ginsburg is 79 years old. she until she's 82 at least which is how old her hero served. she's the oldest. justice scalia and justice kennedy are both 76. justice breyer is 75. they may or may not leave. you know, these justices are very aware of which president is in office when they leave. justice ginsburg is not going to leave under president romney if she can help it. scalia and kennedy aren't going to leave under president obama. now, they're starting to get to the age where it's not always your choice about when you leave but justice john paul stevens served until he was 90. we just don't know when these people are going to leave. >> jennifer: okay so you're not going to make any predictions for me about who's going to leave? >> after my record in predicting the outcome of the healthcare case, i'm going to stick to
9:41 pm
predicting the past rather than the future. >> jennifer: i think you're going to run for office. [ laughter ] >> talk about unelectable and unconfirmable, that's me. justice ginsburg is the most likely candidate. if obama wins, i think she will leave. perhaps somewhere in the middle of his second term. if romney wins, i think it is much less clear who will leave but no democrat will leave if they can help it. under romney. you never know. if they can help it. >> jennifer: okay. so you write in your book that several of the supreme court justices that have been picture by republican presidents like sandra day o'connor left the court disillusioned with the republican party. >> you know, my book is really a story that you know, you talk about all the time which is the evolution of the republican party. think about the last three justices to leave the court. sandra day o'connor, david suiter, john paul stevens, all republicans and republican
9:42 pm
appointees who left completely alienated from their party because their moderate republican party no longer representatives, the senate or the united states supreme court. now, justice -- chief justice roberts, samuel alito justice thomas justice scalia, they represent the modern republican party and that is dramatically different. you know, moderate republicans really dominated the united states supreme court for many years. powell, stewart, they're all gone and they haven't been replaced. >> jennifer: it is such a shame for democracy, it is such a shame. i appreciate you coming inside "the war room." jeffrey, good luck with your book. jeffrey toobin author of "the oath the obama white house and the supreme court." and up next, mitt romney is like the guy who turns on the faucet and then stares into the garden hose for a second too long. we're going to see how his latest battle against his own instincts is playing out on the campaign front. that's next and you will find it
9:43 pm
only here in "the war room." [ train whistle blows ] [ ball hitting paddle ] [ orbit girl ] don't let food hang around. yeah! [ orbit trumpet ] clean it up with orbit! [ orbit glint ] fabulous! for a good clean feeling. try new orbit micro packs.
9:44 pm
9:45 pm
9:46 pm
jennifer speaks truth to power. >>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. make your voice heard. >> jennifer: so on the campaign front president obama's allies are taking advantage of the furor over mitt romney's now infamous 47% remark. the priorities u.s.a. action super pac released this new tv ad focusing on taxes. >> mitt romney's budget plan will hurt the middle class. raising taxes on the average family by up to $2,000. while giving a tax break of $250,000 to multi-millionaires. doesn't mitt romney understand? we can't rebuild america by tearing down the middle class.
9:47 pm
>> jennifer: that ad is airing in the swing states of colorado, florida, wisconsin and iowa. and in new hampshire paul ryan did not forget to leave masses out of his stump speech. >> this is what mitt and i are talking about when we're worried about more and more people becoming net feddent upon the government than upon themselves. because by promoting more dependency, by not having jobs and economic growth, people miss their potential. >> jennifer: vice president biden was in iowa today. he didn't mention the 47% issue in his speech. and the president and mitt romney have been out fund-raising today although romney did have a brief appointment on neil cavuto as we heard. joining me now inside "the war room" for insight on the strategy behind today's events is democratic strategist donnie fowler who is national field direct forker al gore's campaign
9:48 pm
and has worked on every other one since then. he has his own firm called dog patch strategies. welcome back inside "the war room." >> good to be here. >> jennifer: i want you to listen to what the republicans have been rolling redistribution and then there's romney's response to that. take a listen to both. >> i think the trick is figuring out how do we manage systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because i actually believe in redistribution. at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. >> romney: frankly, we have two very different views about america. the president's view is one of a larger government. there is a date that just came out today where the president saying he likes redistribution. i disagree. i think a society based upon a government-centered nation where government plays a large and larger role, redistributes money, that's the wrong course for america. >> jennifer: okay, donnie, go.
9:49 pm
>> redistribution of fairness is what the president wants. we're based on a country that says if you play by the rules and do the right thing, you'll have the same opportunities as anybody else. when you're talking about redistributing fairness, you're talking about opportunity for everybody. >> jennifer: here's the irony is when you talk about redistribution, the 47% these are the states in red here that are not just red states but that are states that get the biggest benefit of government redistribution. these are poorer states and they get the most largesse. >> they send more money to the federal government than the federal government sends it to them. but they say they hate the federal government. >> jennifer: they don't know. the question is how do democrats turn this narrative around to say to these folks look, government is here to help? >> i think president obama and the democrats are doing this.
9:50 pm
the republicans talk in these big terms as the others are dependent on the government but the democrats say if you like student loans, if you think social security should be protected and if medicare helps seniors pay for their medical costs then that's what we favor. that's what they oppose and what they want to cut back on. >> jennifer: the question is these are obviously republican florida battleground state. >> jennifer: and new mexico. >> most of them are republican. >> jennifer: the deep south here, republican states. your state. how do we get these voters to vote in their interest and not against their interests? >> you're saying how do we get them to vote in their interest. what i think you're asking is how do you get them to vote in their economic interests? this is a debate and a problem. it is not always about economic interest. sometimes it is their values. sometimes it is issues like gun control or patriotism or religion. the most predictive way to know whether someone is going to vote
9:51 pm
republican is how many times a week they go to church. it doesn't have anything to do with economics. democrats have become more comfortable in talking about values issues and talking about what we're looking for as a country. that's how we talk. it is not always about economics. you know that. >> jennifer: for sure. are you kidding? don't talk about taking people's guns away. the values -- my lifestyle. you want to change the way i live my lifestyle. >> jennifer: romney says this thing about the 47%. a number of senate candidates start to flee. so here is what scott brown out of massachusetts told "the hill" newspaper. he says that's not the way i view the world. as someone who grew up in tough circumstances, i know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. how worried should republican candidates be about this? >> i hope they're very worried because they're running like rats from a sinking ship right now. >> >> jennifer: just sayin'. >> this is an awful time to be
9:52 pm
inside the romney campaign because not only are republicans outside -- republican senator in massachusetts scott brown but you're starting to see the infighting and the blame game from within the campaign. that's when you know things are not healthy and they're not feeling very good. it does not mean that romney is going to lose or that obama is going to win but i'll tell you, this is not a fun time to be in a campaign when going this bad. >> jennifer: very quickly. romney has said he's going to be now inviting the media into his fund-raisers. good idea or bad? >> this is flailing. the campaign doesn't really know what to do. they're making mistakes and they correct them by making more mistakes sometimes. they lost their moorings. >> jennifer: thank you for coming inside "the war room. donnie fowler. brett ehrlich uncovers the super secret tapes that mitt romney does not want you to see. there's more. >> coming up, i have the full story on how mitt romney's $50,000 a plate dinner ate him
9:53 pm
for it's go time. it's go time. it's go time. go time. you know what time it is. go time. it's go time. it's go time. what time is it rob? here comes the young turks go time! it's go time. oh is it? then it's go. go. go. go. go. go. go. go time. anybody? anybody? what time is it? oh, right. go time! only on current tv. [ beads rattling ] [ male announcer ] spearmint that tingles as you chew. stimulate your senses. 5 gum. now in micro pack.
9:54 pm
9:55 pm
9:56 pm
9:57 pm
9:58 pm
9:59 pm