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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  September 2, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

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>> "inside washington" is brought to you in part by the american federation of government employees -- proud to make america work. for more information, visit >> production assistance was provided by all britain communication and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and political news. >> mr. chairman and delegates, i accept your nomination for president of the united states. >> this week, the grand old party makes it official. >> join mitt romney and me. let's give this effort everything we have. >> a look at the supporting cast.
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>> this man will not let us down. >> tonight, i say enough. hope and change has become divided and conquered. >> when somebody does not do their job, we've got to let them go. >> where does this party go from here? >> over the long haul, republicans need to be more respectful of voters' rights. >> the 2012 republican national convention in tampa serve up no surprises except perhaps for clint eastwood's rambling performance in the key 10:00 hour thursday night, but conventions rarely do surprises anymore. this was mitt romney's major opportunity to sell himself to the american people. >> in america, we celebrate success. we do not apologize for success. >> what america needs is jobs. lots of jobs.
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>> there is something wrong with the kind of job he has done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him. >> you were in tampa. did mitt romney make the sale? >> i think he did a good job in introducing himself to the american people. most people had not seen him and paul ryan. we did nothing but see him and paul ryan. 28 million households watching probably. he also did a good job in selling the new theme. the new theme is not barack obama, european socialists. the new theme is disappointment. we were all happy four years ago with his message of hope and change, but there is no hope. there was no change. now we have to move on. whether they believe it or not in the hearts, it is a pretty good team. >> mitch mcconnell almost right
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out of the box after the election saying our guy is going to defeat this guy. i think they did well. it is a new introduction. this is the moment people will finally start to tune in. labor day weekend. it is the conventions. this is the real deal for the next two months, and i think they did not do anything wacko. all the fringe stuff is completely suppressed. >> except for clint eastwood. >> they had a problem occasionally with factual things, but other than that, they did well. >> i think romney succeeded in convincing the convention that he was one of them. he did present to the american people a state that has some lives, but also came to this convention with from the
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beginning, the romney story of we wanted this president to succeed is a lie. they wanted him to fail from day one, and they set out to do just that. what was breathtaking was paul ryan's performance. chilling, as a matter of fact, in his brazenness to resort to falsehoods. >> one quick question -- do you agree that when most people left they were sold on mitt romney? >> i think they feel that mitt romney can win. he got the nomination by being the most delectable, and then he seemed to turn hard right by picking paul ryan. now he has gone back to being sort of a kindly father figure who can lead america out of its problems. >> in the latest "washington post"/abc news poll, he has a 56% on favorability rating. other polls show that americans like barack obama a lot more
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than mitt romney. how does he overcome that deficit? >> in my lifetime, the american voters have always chosen the candidate that they preferred personally. it is not an accident. the failures of president have been essentially failures of personal qualities, of character here the only exception when they chose a candidate whom they like less to the president was 1968 in richard nixon. >> what is holding mitt romney back is the fact that he is not that well liked, but that is something that you can at least in principle change. that is why we had the ann romney speech, which i think help at the beginning. that is why i think the election is in his hands and out of obama's. >> did romney start to climb the likability mountain? >> i think so.
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lots of people did testimonials who were very persuasive. ann romney certainly made a big difference. he is not exciting, but i did not think he was threatening, either. there is nothing to really overtly dislike, and he did the best he could, and the question is -- is it enough? >> there is a sense of liking obama and really wanting him to succeed -- did you hear anything there that would move your toward mitt romney? >> the best thing i did hear was his very convincing statement about his understanding about how the economy works and how business works. it is clear that he has a good sense of how to make this country move. what does not work for him, though, is time. he does not hold up over time.
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bain capital will be back in front of us. income tax returns will be back in front of us. the question is -- what is this individual really about at his court? how did he make his money? what did he do with his money? all those questions are so germane. >> no question about that, but he says he will put america back to work. how will he do that? >> he says if we remove the restrictions from business and the overtaxes, this will unleash prosperity that will filter down to all americans. all boats will rise together on this rising tide of prosperity. democrats say we have tried that and it does not work. one point about his personality -- what mitt romney lacks is a compelling story. john mccain had a compelling story. barack obama has a compelling story. mitt romney's story of growing up in a life of privilege, going
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to prep school where he cut off another kid's hair -- you know, starting a business that became a successful business, that is the story. if we can find enough rouge -- >> john mccain had a war story. >> mitt romney was a rich kid with a lot of connections. >> mitt romney clearly has trouble talking about himself. not about his success in business, but himself, the personal stuff. so, as we said, bring out mrs. romney and friends. >> storybook marriage? not at all. what mitt romney and i have is a real marriage. [applause] >> as we say endlessly, mitt romney seems to be uncomfortable talking about himself in public. he will talk numbers all day long. talk about the salt lake city
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olympics, but he has a hard time getting people to look at the man inside the biography. in any other profession, that would be an attractive trade, but in modern politics, it is deemed a failure. what did ann romney tell you about her husband that you did not already know? >> that he is image. we know all this. they told us by all this. question is -- do you believe it? >> what mark was saying was he is a nice guy, kind back, but did not hear any anecdotes. >> some of the people from the church testified about how he helped them. that is the kind of thing we need, i guess, more of. >> we did not see that in the 10:00 hour. >> no, we did not. >> he is a private guy running for a public position. he does not want to talk about his life. he does not want to talk about his income taxes or his swiss
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bank accounts. you know, americans want to know everything. they want to feel they have a real human being up there, not just the anti-obama. >> what did paul ryan tell you about mitt romney, or did he just tell you about all lion? >> we heard a lot about paul ryan because he told us a lot about paul ryan. chris kristi told us a lot about himself. -- chris christie. ryan just seems disingenuous. you get that impression he is playing a role, and he has been playing this role since the time he was a kid. >> if charles was here, he would give you a real one. i did bump into him and mark in florida, as you know. my question was -- how enthusiastic are these delegates about the head of the ticket?
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>> i think what is really interesting is how at the convention, they have managed to bring together a party with evangelical and the kind of moderates that romney would have represented. i think they have done a good job except for a few of the ron paul-ites. it is a convention that is united by its opposition and open hostility to barack obama. they were going to support whoever was the nominee. mitt romney may have -- may not have been their first choice, but they are falling behind him. i thought chris christie lighted up the place. >> real leaders do not follow polls. real leaders change polls. >> talk about the keynote
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address. >> it was very tough. it was slightly off message, and it could have been titled "chris christie in 2016." it was not so much a keynote as a man announcing his own path to the presidency. i do not think it fit in very well with the message of either the nominee or the vice- presidential nominee. it was chris christie making his national debut, and he did well. >> he mentioned romney's name seven times and his own 37. and it was a long time before he mentioned romney's name. he is the keynote speaker. he is supposed to get the energy up for this nominee. >> you do get the sense that christie and rubio were talking
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more about themselves. >> let's keep the keynote address in perspective. remember the great address andrew cuomo gave on behalf of mondale? look what happened to mondale. look at the great speech given in 1956 and what happened to at least even sen. the great speech given by ronald reagan on behalf of barry goldberg. look what happened to him. keynote speeches are not positive. >> can i ask a question? why would romney risk his reputation by a speech that -- why would ryan missed his reputation, a speech that was full of energy, why would he risk all that by putting it into things that were overly false? >> it is just a guess -- he is learning what it is to be a
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vice-presidential candidate. they are going to sell their point of view. they are going to sell that barack obama took $700 billion out of welfare -- medicare. if the candidate does not want to say it, the vice-presidents has to say it. m at the vice-presidential candidate is usually the type person, but you have to have some kernel of truth. blatant lies being told. >> a word on the republican party on minorities. >> if you look at the speaker, you have the strongest bench any party has ever had. romney is sort of the old guy. you've got marco rubio. you've got these governors. chris christie giving the keynote address. this guy from texas who designed
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the primary. niki haley of south carolina. you have governors and a few young senators, all in their 40's, representing the future of the party, although ideologically, they are more conservative. they are more reagan-ite, so you have historically a return but a new generation emerging. in which romney in many ways is the anomaly. >> the republican party today is 89% white. they are increasingly white in a nation that is decreasing the white. they elect short when ronald reagan was elected with 86% white. 74% white when john mccann lost and it may be 72% white in 2012. the parti's inability to reach with any message to latinos is a serious problem for the republican party going forward. >> charles says marc poser response to that is the classic
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liberal response in which he breaks the party down into ethnic personages -- mark's response. at the beginning of the broadcast, recall we prayed a -- played a brief clip of jeb bush who said republicans need to be more respective of voters they are trying to attract. do you think that means more respectful of hispanics? >> i do not see a way to avoid that conclusion. what do you do when you have a governor like brewer of arizona who supports those measures. the party platform is so strong on anti-immigration, which could be interpreted as anti-hispanic. does not matter what face they put up on the screen at the convention. the fact is republicans on the ground are very anti- immigration, meaning anti-
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hispanic. they have just written off african-americans. >> there were african-americans on the podium. >> that always have african- americans on the podium. praying before or after. the entertainer value has always been there. >> and anne archer davis, who is a switch party. i think both parties like to put these slippers on, but i find some sort of attractive when they get up there, both sides. i used to see at least some minorities on the floor. every time they went to the floor, it was extraordinarily white. go to any restaurant in fairfax county and it would not look like that.
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>> in the year 2000, republicans were told that unless they could reach out to minorities, especially hispanics, that they were doomed as a national party. no democrat since lyndon johnson has won the white vote. the have all won the presidency on the minority vote. it is doable. this may be the last election if romney wins one solely on the white vote. >> you heard a lot of people saying you are trying to divide america, and a lot of people holding up signs about women. >> one of the things going viral across the country is what happened to the woman saying this is how we feed animals --
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the woman assaulted by two members of the party saying, cassette and this is how we feed animals." that would never happen at a democratic convention. because democrats are better, but because they just would not do that kind of thing. -- not because democrats are better but because they just would not do that kind of thing. >> another issue democrats talked about is these photo identification laws in texas. >> it is not just taxes. democrats used -- democrats see photo id laws as a voter suppression. what if you do not have a car or a birth certificate or paying to get it. >> you cannot get on an airplane without one? >> lots of people do not get on airplanes. they do not have a photo
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identification because they do not drive. they tend to be poor minority people. >> they require you to purchase the identification. that sounds like nothing to a lot of people, but if you are poor, the fact that you will have to purchase something as well, that is the poll tax. >> these laws have been upheld in other places and by the supreme court. what makes texas different is some of these are covered by the voting rights act, and you cannot change voting laws in this covered areas without getting clearance from the federal courts or the justice department because they are deemed to be suspect. these cases are going to the supreme court. it is a conservative court that has been hostile to john roberts, -- that have been hostile -- for example, john
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roberts was hostile. i think these laws will not survive until next year. >> the democratic party has to fight these things in court and hopefully when the supreme court, but it also simultaneously has to get id's into the hands of seniors, minorities, and young people who do not have them because the american people fundamentally believe there is nothing wrong with having to prove you are who you are. >> that anticipates my next question. if you want their votes, get out there and get them id's. >> there is nothing wrong with that. that is absolutely true, but you cannot unfairly applied the law and put in a poll tax. the party has to realize that most of the american people think it is reasonable to have an id. great. get these people an id. >> there were instances in texas
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where an individual would have to travel 200 miles to get the document. >> let me go back to something we talked about earlier. you talked about paul ryan's alleged lies in his speech. what specifically are you talking about? >> we can start with the general motors plant. he suggested that president barack obama had pledged to keep it open, but it closed, and it is all this fall when in fact the plant closed because president -- before president obama even got into office. >> it is not even officially close. it is on standby. >> it is empty, and he said that. >> there were things in that speech this sort of screamed -- why did he put them there? why did he say barack obama got this commission to do this big
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report on how to balance the budget and then did nothing with it? part of the reason that nothing happened with simpson-bowles was barack obama and the other part was paul ryan. he voted against it. he was on the commission, and his influence major it did not go to the floor of the congress to get actually voted on. >> he said we're going to have to fight the big lie. whether paul ryan is telling a lie or the truth, he is sticking with it. he will not change his tune on these issues. >> let's wrap up the convention. >> now's the moment when we can stand up and say, "i'm an american. i make my destiny. we deserve better. my children deserve better. i family deserves better. my country deserves better." >> looking ahead to this party in 2016, who will we see in leadership positions? >> i agree with charles. i think faces like christie,
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haley, some of the governor's, some of the young senators -- i think we will see a whole new group of people. >> if this ticket loses, and that is what we're talking about, the party will go farther right. they say that they nominated a guy who is sort of muddle the in the middle to get moderates. forget about moderates. >> even if they win, these guys will still be allowed. >> there is still michele bachmann. there is still new to gingrich. -- newt gingrich. they're still rand paul. there is a body of far-right conservatives who say they have experience. >> we should not write off romney. if elected, i think he will make a very tough executive. if it is possible to use a party
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at all -- to move a party at all to the center, he will try to do that. >> finally, could we not have had just one humorous anecdote about mitt romney? >> there were no anecdotes. she said he is a funny guy. how many times did you hear that richard nixon is funny? >> tell me what is funnier than putting a dog on the roof of a car and driving to your vacation. >> i hope the humane society heard that one. >> you heard it here. >> one of the few unforced errors. >> going a good mark and charles the last word. we will see you next week -- going to give mark and charles the last word. we will see you next week.
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>> for a transcript of this broadcast, log onto >> "inside washington" is brought to you in part by the american federation of government employees -- proud to make america work. for more information forafge and membership, a,fge.o
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