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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  September 27, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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to win. that is not going to happen. more on that in a moment. both candidate were on the stump in virginia. another swing state today. a rally in virginia beach the president called on americans to come together and re-claim common values of hard work, personal responsibility and look after neighbors. >> obama: if we re-claim those values now if we rally around a new economic patriotism together, we can rebuild this economy together. we will grow the middle class together. we will move forward together. >> eliot: not surprisingly, the same themes play a prominent role in a two-minute long ad the obama campaign is playing in seven swing states including ohio and virginia. >> obama: it's time for a new economic patriotism. rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class. compare my plan to governor romney's and decide for yourself. >> eliot: to help voters make the decision, the obama campaign
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also put out another ad today putting pictures of real people over mitt romney's notorious comments to wealthy donors about americans who don't pay income tax. >> 47% of the people -- who are dependent on government. who believe they're victims. who believe government has responsibility to care for them. who believe they're entitled to healthcare and food, to housing, to you name it. >> eliot: while mitt romney and his super pac allies have raised more money than the president and his allies, the margin is surprisingly small. according to the "washington post," the president has raised $779 million just $5 million less than the republicans. the democrats have spent more, $612 million. there is help on the way for the campaign. democratic super pacs have large donations. politico is also reporting today that financier joe is giving a million dollars to priorities
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u.s.a. action, a super pac supporting the obama campaign. federal lecture laws give the white house an advantage in the spending wars. "the washington post" reports while the president's campaign controls most of his funds, much of romney's cash is actually being held by a g.o.p. committees and other interest groups because candidates enjoyed discounted rates for tv ads the post says, the white house was paying just $125 to run one ad in ohio compared to $900 charged to a pro romney super pac for the same slot. romney insists he's going to win in november and made his pitch to a crowd in springfield virginia today. >> romney: food prices are up, electricity prices are up. these are tough times for the american people. and the answer to help the american people is to get small business growing again. hiring people again raising wages again. i know how it. >> eliot: if you believe that mother jones which put out the
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now infamous romney donors video wants you to see this video making a pitch for bain capital in 1985. >> bain capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in start-up companies and on-going companies then to take an active hand in managing them and hopefully five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit. >> eliot: learning to harvest profits from companies is not the same as knowing how to create jobs and if that's not enough to motivate democrats to go out and work for the president, the jewish council for research and education has released a four-minute ad featuring actor samuel l. jackson that might do the trick. >> schools, the environment unions, fair pay. we're all on our own if romney has his way. he's against safety nets. if you fall, tough luck! so i strongly suggest that you wake the [ bleep ] up. >> eliot: not sure what the beep was. for more on the presidential campaign, let's go to alina and
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mother jones staff reporter andy crowell. alina, let's start with you. am i overstating the case when i say ohio is done? a 10-point margin at this point i've gone through a couple of campaigns. i don't see how you move 10%. tell me i'm wrong. make it fun. >> hi, thanks, eliot. well, i'm very much on the money side of things and on the kind of monitoring of donation side of things. i can tell you that there are plenty of ad spaces left in ohio. from the standpoint of reaching the voters in ohio, romney and his team still have an opportunity actually today i spoke to a number of station managers over in cleveland and columbus and they say that if you've got money and if you want to run your ads we still have space left for you. so he still can put a lot of his -- lots of cash that you were just talking about to work the
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people to believe his message and to actually go out and vote. >> eliot: here's the problem. you can buy the space. you gotta have something to say. i've been watching this guy mumble and stumble and trip over himself now for going on a year. he doesn't have a message. andy, tell me i'm wrong. what is he going to say to folks in ohio now or over the next 40 some odd days that are left that is going to somehow change their minds? >> well, he's going to hit the president on china which he's done before and say the president is allowing china to steal american jobs and to undercut manufacturing here. he's going to say the president has not gotten us out of an economic calamity eight years in the making in his four years in office and he's going to say to the president as we heard earlier, gas prices have gone up. the economy is not moving as fast even though as we learn today, its net job growth under
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president obama's first term in office, you'll hear all kinds of stuff that romney has already said. what you're not going to hear is rabbit out of their hat you won't hear anything that diffuses these 47% comments calling 47% of americans victims, people who rely on the government, can't take care of themselves. you're not going to hear ads that diffuse the image of romney as a private equity man who is about harvesting companies and who is about putting profits over people. that is the message that has really resonated in ohio with the obama super pac and the obama campaign itself and really we have not seen anything in this entire campaign to suggest that romney has a good, solid answer to that. >> i have to add though that a couple of days ago in the recent romney campaign has taken a new tack. as you were mentioning, the obama campaign has put out this kind of direct talk to the voter type of action d that basically has the president talking to
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those folks who would presumably turn out to vote for him. so did the romney campaign. they did come out with a long ad where it is literally mitt romney sitting in front of the camera talk directly to voters. yes, repeating a lot of the messages that he's said on the stump but doing it personally, i suppose in a way to try to appeal to the folks on a much more personal level to try to draw that personality, to add the personality understanding that people often say that they don't have about mitt romney and they've pooled in all of the swing states, including ohio, they've pulled all of the ads that were content ads so the message on healthcare and several ads on coal where they were arguing that obama's policies have really damaged the coal industry and instead, in all of the swing states this week, all voters will see from the romney campaign is that personal ad where it is romney talking to them trying to talk to them why he's the right guy
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on november 6th. >> eliot: alina, that makes the point that the fundamental image of romney has metastasized. it is a negative ad based on been a private equity guy who did not invest in humanity. he invested in the balance sheet that negative perception is what they're battling as opposed to giving us specifics about an economic plan. in ohio, he has a republican governor saying things are getting better. governor kasich was saying my economy is getting better because kasich wants to promote himself. he doesn't care so much about mitt romney. the key to this is manufacturing, the auto industry, the fact that the president bailed out the auto industry. mitt romney was against it. andy tell me where does that leave mitt romney to thread the neatel in -- needle in ohio to pick up the necessary electoral votes. >> alina makes a great point in seeing the shift from the issues to ads that focus just on romney as a person. the problem is that you know,
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and frank luntz the g.o.p. messaging guru, folks who brought us you know, government -- that obama care is a government takeover, you know, frank luntz said during the are still trying to personalize your candidate, you're still trying to get voters to believe that your candidate is a good human being, at the time of the convention, you've got a problem. and yet we're seeing it this week as alina points out. the campaign is putting a did, s out there, they're trying to humanize mitt romney. if you are 40 days away from the election and you're still humanizing your candidate you've got a problem. that's especially relevant in a state like ohio, a lot of middle class, working class voters, a state like virginia, a lot of white, working class voters. they've got a problem on their hands here. >> eliot: alina, you said and you've been following the money in this campaign. huge gobs of money being spent. i'm going to suggest something that's a little counterintuitive. i don't think the money matters
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as much as we think it does. with all of the money the republicans have spent, they were unable to shake the 47% video or the attack about mitt romney and his taxes or the imagery of bain capital. all of the money in the world can't change certain objective sees. am i wrong about this? are people going to say maybe money isn't so outcome determinative. >> we do have examples, throwing a bunch of several million dollars into massive ad buys does lead to outcomes to remember newt gingrich in south carolina but i think in the end, there is sort of a point, tipping point where the amounts of money you spend on an ad campaign don't make up for say people not interested in coming to vote because they're disenchanted. they don't agree with anything or are unhappy generally. in the same way the ads don't make up for the time you could be spending, shaking hands and trying to humanize yourself. personally with them. so i think you -- the message
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comes first and then like you were saying earlier depends on what you have to say. you can be sitting on -- i don't know, billions and billions of dollars but if with people -- >> eliot: it won't matter. look, there is a declining marginal value to the last ad once they've seen it ten times. the 11th doesn't matter that much. the more important the job, such as president, the less important the ads are. when you're talking about jobs where people don't know the candidates don't, know what the job is about, the first ad matters because that's the only data point they'll have. when it comes to voting for the president, we know so much because of the media coverage that the money, at the end of the day becomes more important. andy debates, it is, in my view, the last hail mary moment for mitt romney. if you were going to give him advice, what would you say going in that would permit him to change the direction of his sinking vessel? >> he has to address in someú memorable way, in some clear
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concise, memorable way you know these videos that have come out that are dogging him. and he's just gotta address head on, you know, all of the images of him as being sort of a cold-hearted capitalist and someone who cannot relate to the coal miner in southeastern know, the guy who works as a car mechanic in southern virginia. the 47% videos, the revelations about bain capital his tax returns, you know, using special tax vehicles as bloomberg reported to say $55 million in taxes. these are things dogging him contributing to this issue of this image of him as sort of a 1 percenter and he has to find a way to answer to that. i'm sure president obama will be bringing them up in the debates bringing up the issues and romney will have the chance to. the question is does he have something good and meaningful to say in response to them? >> eliot: the answer is no, he can't, he won't.
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game is over. reuters campaign finance reporter alina and mother jones staff reporter andy kroll thanks for coming on the program tonight. >> thank you. >> eliot: even members of the tea party are trying to get some distance from the tea >>and now to my point. that is a whole bunch of bunk! the powerful my steal an democracy. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety.
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ridiculously agile tight turning, fun to drive 2013 smart. ♪ ♪ >> eliotot: along with news that president obama is a net job creator, there are more jobs in the economy than when he took office, there is this interesting fact. he's presided over a turnaround in the creation of manufacturing jobs and that's our number of the day. more than 500,000 that's how many jobs we've added to the manufacturing sector since january of 2010. he all remember manufacturers the only ones who actually make stuff like cars in detroit machinery in alabama and electronics in maryland. but ten years ago we seem to write off this entire sector. it went into freefall after january 2001 and shedd four and a half million jobs by the end of the bush administration in january of 2009.
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but for more than two years now it is steadily, quietly gone up to the tune of half a million new jobs. it goes to prove that we can save the manufacturing sector and we should, making things is better than pushing paper back and forth. so to remanufacture the political phrase of the moment, we really (vo) what is said here could decide the election. current tv presents coverage of the presidential debate. with unrivaled analysis and commentary. >> you're going to hear that used as a major talking point. (vo) the only network with real-time reaction straight from the campaigns and from viewers like you. >>now that's politically direct. enttv
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e financial crisis has written a new book, bull by the horns saving main street from wall street and wall street from itself. she was inside the room when the major bailout decisions were being made and she was one of the few pushing for real accountability for wall street and real protection of homeowners. in the book, and last night on the show, she told an amazing vignette when the infamous tarp funds were being discussed with the ceos of the major banks all called to washington for the critical meeting with the treasury secretary and the financial world was literally
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teetering on the brink of disaster, the first question asked by the ceo of merrill lynch, john bain was not about how the system could be saved the economy preserved the integrity of the banks upheld. no he asked if his compensation was going to be cut. this is the guy who spent over a million dollars putting new carpets in his office paid for by shareholders and then taxpayers. today, i participated in a radio broadcast for bbc and npr again on the topic of the financial crisis. on the panel was bethany mclean, a great author and one of our favorite guests. she made a really important point. that flawed compensation structures that gave bankers proverse incentives to take great risk at the expense of others was at the root of the crisis but she pointed out we, as a society, did not and do not object to high pay when people perform. it's when they're compensated with huge paychecks and bonuses
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even when they fail and then are compensated again and again that we are troubled. she's exactly right. we do not object to derek jeter's big paycheck or warren buffett's. they earned them. the vignette trouble us because he did such harm and yet continued to feel so entitled. no sense of remorse or recognition. it is stewardship and led to the troubles and that maybe there should be consequences. he and others on wall street personified the world of heads i win tails you lose, or put another way socializing risk while privatizing gain. have we learned any lessons? we can discuss the intricacies of wall street compensation more over time but the critical point is this, we doesn't resent success, we applaud it. we don't begrudge others, the well-earned fruits of their labor yet we resent an attitude of entitlement without obligation. for too many of us, we're seeing that attitude too pervasive on
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wall street. that's my v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v
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admitted that that look, we were able to keep a lot of the folks because of the stimulus. >> bill: absolutely. again, do you great work, judd. thank you. all of your colleagues at think progress. we'll see you again next
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>> eliot: one issue has cast a dark shadow over this week's u.n. general assembly, the threat of a nucuclear-armed iran. on tuesday president obama assured the international community this was not an option. >> obama: make no mistake a nuclear-armed iran is not a challenge that can be contained. the united states will do what we must to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> eliot: obama's words displayed a not so thinly veiled threat they did not clearly define a point of no return. beyond which diplomacy was no longer an option. this is something that prime minister benjamin netanyahu has been pushing the administration to establish. he took his case to the u.n. floor today quite literally. >> a red line should be drawn right here.
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before -- before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. before iran gets to a point where it's a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing in uranium to make a nuclear weapon. >> eliot: joining us now is joe cirincione president of the ploughshares fund, a member of secretary of state hillary clinton's international security advisory board. thanks for coming in tonight. >> my pleasure. >> eliot: i've never seen somebody use charts like that at the u.n. but explain to us what he was saying and what those different thresholds mean and then whether he's right. >> the prime minister has a point. iran is making low enriched uranium. they're enriching it to a certain level. you can take that and put it back in the centrifuges and after a few weeks or months, turn it into high weapons grade uranium for a bomb. that's one level. they're also making medium enriched uranium which is about
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20% enriched. they can put that back in the centrifuges, turn it into bomb grade. it takes a little less time so he wants us to draw a line at a certain level that they make say a couple of hundred pounds of that medium enriched uranium. that's going too far. >> eliot: the red line, everyone uses the phrase of the red line to stop iran from getting a bomb is defined by the quantity of the volume of enriched uranium they have. >> right. so they have thousands of pounds of this low enriched uranium. they're nuclear capable now. they could put it back in the centrifuges and make a bomb. they have a couple of hundred pounds of the medium-enriched uranium. he's signaling that out that somehow that's threatening but here is the point. iran has given no intention that they intend to do this. our intelligence officials say iran is not yet made the decision to make a bomb. the prime minister presents it as if this is a forgone
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conclusion. this is where they're going. that's why we have to stop it. this is why the president of the united states does not want to draw that line. we don't think they're going to cross that. and if they do, we'll see them doing it. we'll see them changing the centrifuges. we'll see them enriching to bonds grade. >> eliot: the quality of our intelligence because we're trying to discern motive on their part. do they intend to actually take what is some volume of enriched uranium, threshold we don't precisely know and go to the next step and of course that's why all of the centrifuges and the effort to close them down. we're trying to presume and infer from their behavior what their intent is. >> we also see what they're doing. so the reason that prime minister netanyahu has these precise quantities and is making this precise prediction is because there are u.n. inspectors at the facilities, measuring what goes in, measuring what goes out. if they were to take that uranium out of those facilities, we would see them doing it.
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if they were to reconfigure the centrifuges because you have to be real careful when you start making weapons grade because something can go wrong, we would see that happening. >> eliot: that then is one of the hard questions. how much confidence do we have in the quality of our own intelligence with respect to what iran is doing? >> iran has a record of trying to deceive us and we have a record of catching them as they deceive us. they tried to hide the facility. we discovered it. they tried to hide the secret facility at cohn, we discovered it. iran is probably the most watched country on earth. our intelligence, israeli intelligence, inside intelligence. >> eliot: to play devil's advocate, we don't know where we have failed to catch them. >> that's right. >> eliot: netanyahu's card in his back pocket is he's claiming to have intelligence that is certainly not accessible to the general public. >> that gets -- we are pretty good -- we have pretty good intelligence. but this gets you to the next level. does his solution work? would a military strike solve the problem? and so far most senior national
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intelligence officials in the united states and former officials say no. the cure would be worse than the problem. it would make the situation worse. it would start a third war in the middle east. the consequences could be catastrophic for the region, for the global economy and it might actually accelerate the iranian program, not stop it. >> eliot: does that mean we have passed the point of no return because we've made a decision that the military action will not succeed and therefore if they would make the decision they want the bomb, what do we do? >> you better be darn sure these guys are making a bomb before you go to the military solution. you don't do it on a hunch or sketchy intelligence. you know, you have to be sure that they are going and that, therefore, it is worth starting a third regional war that would make iraq and afghanistan look like a warm-up act. >> eliot: other than military action, sanctions are the primary vehicle we're using primary mechanism to stop them. are the sanctions imposing a sufficient price upon iran's
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economy so that they are actually willing to comply? >> they're crushing the iranian economy. these are the strongest sanctions enacted on any country ever. their currency has fallen by 40% in the last few months. they are losing billions of dollars in oil sales they're unable to sell the oil they're producing. the question isn't is there enough pressure. the question is what's the deal? what's that pressure leading to? we backed them into a corner. now we have to find a door they can walk through, help them save face. that will probably take until november after the elections when they know that they've got the -- the guy they're dealing with -- november of this year. both sides are waiting for the november elections before they make a move. >> eliot: in other words just as with the russians, basically we're in a political -- international diplomacy frozen zone. >> that's why the prime minister is pushing. maximize his political leverage in this election. >> eliot: is he overplaying his hand? >> he's overplayed his hand.
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alienated his closest allies. >> eliot: we'll continue this some other night. joe cirincione, thank you for coming in. this is not going away as an issue. that is "viewpoint" for tonight. have a great evening. see you tomorrow. >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm and you are in "the war room." so 40 days to the election and this just in... your vote really matters! >> 'twas september in iowa, early voting began. the lines they were long. folks of each creed and kind, the determined of mind. it comes down to this, a choice of these two. the voters of iowa, they know what to do. mitt romney has about his big tents but he should worry about these voters, these voters, these 47%.
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