tv The Ed Show MSNBC November 15, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
presidential selection of the two most memorable phrases being 9-9-9 and oops. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" tonight from new york. mayor michael bloomberg's sneak attack on occupy wall street has the 99% on fire. the new york city mayor tried to block the media from covering the raid, but bloomberg failed. "the ed show" had a producer on scene and you will see her exclusive video right here. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. first oakland. then portland. st. louis. denver. and now new york. >> the final decision to act was mine, and mine alone. >> breaking news on what may be a coordinated national effort to shut down the 99% movement. tonight, laura flanders on the latest from zuccotti park and van jones on where the 99%
movement goes from here. it's the interview everyone is talking about. >> are you denying that you had any inappropriate sexual contact with any of these underage boys? >> yes, i am. >> tonight, a victim's advocate responds to former penn state coaches jerry sandusky and mike mcquery. newt gingrich's leading nationally and in a four-way tie in iowa. we'll see if hannity can drag him over the finish line. >> and you gave advice to freddie mac and they did not take it? >> that's correct. and herman cain explains his oops moment, with a three-word response. we'll bring it to you. good to have you with us tonight, folks. occupy wall street protesters have returned to lower manhattan this evening. it's been an evenful 24 hours. an early morning raid on the encampment flushed the occupiers out of zuccotti park and the
crackdown may have been part of a national effort. the unexpected raid was accompanied by a media blackout. nobody allowed in. hundreds of uniformed police in riot gear physically removed the occupants of zuccotti park and stopped reporters from getting close to the scene. news helicopters normally flying over the city were prevented from flying in the airspace above the park. this is one of the few shots showing the evacuation as it happened last night. protesters documented the events on their cell phone cameras. several members of the media were arrested. a member of the city council was injured and arrested when he arrived at the scene. now, this morning a manhattan supreme court judge signed a temporary order to allow protesters to return to the park with their tents. the decision then overruled by another supreme court judge saying the city has the right to keep protesters from camping out in the park. this evening, police sources
confirm protesters will be allowed 24/7 access to the park. they can't camp out and they can't bring in equipment, but they are there at this hour. elected officials and labor leaders quickly got behind the 99% on the crackdown. congressman jerry nadler of new york who represents the neighborhood released this statement saying, "the city's actions to shut down occupy wall street last night raise a number of serious civil liberties questions that must be answered." and there's more from labor. afl-cio president richard trumka said "labor organizations stand in solitarity with the protesters." he said the raid was orchestrated by politicians acting on behalf of the 1%. "the occupy wall street movement has been committed to peaceful nonviolent action from its inception and it will keep spreading no matter what elected officials tell police to do." that is a big statement. the elected official in question in this city is mayor michael bloomberg who said the raid was
his decision and his decision alone. >> some argued to allow the protesters to stay in the park indefinitely. others had suggested that we just wait for winter and hope the cold weather drove the protesters away. but inaction was not an option. we could not wait for someone in the park to get killed or to injure another first responder before acting. >> when bloomberg was asked what specific lawless acts prompted the evacuation, he couldn't come up with any. >> there have been a number of everyday small accusations, which are hard to prove when the police can't even get there to see what's really going on. >> small accusations that are hard to prove? new york city is just the latest in a series of protest crackdowns across the country. it's an orchestrated effort. occupy oakland's protest, they were broken up again yesterday. occupy portland in oregon, protests, they were raided the previous day. over the weekend, movements in salt lake city, denver, st.
louis and burlington, vermont, were disbaned by law enforcement. the mayor of oakland appeared to imply the crackdowns are being coordinated nationwide during a radio interview with the bbc. >> i was recently on a conference call of 18 cities across the country who had the same situation where it started as a political movement and the political encampment ended up being an encampment that was no longer in control of the people who started them. >> any attempt to end the movement hasn't slowed down the 99%ers. protesters in new york are already back at the original encampment and they say they'll con to stay there. tents or no tents. >> was this a preemptive strike? >> i assume so. it was really badly calculated. it's only going to galvanize us. >> get your rell phones out. i want to know what you think about this tonight. tonight's question. will the raid on zuccotti park strengthen the 99% movement? text "a" for yes, "b" for no to
62263. our blog is there at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. what's happening down at zuccotti park? joining me now from the location in lower manhattan is nbc news correspondent mara schiavocampo. what's happening down there tonight and what is the mood of the crowd after the raid? >> reporter: ed, right now they're holding a general assembly neating which is something they do every night. you may be able to hear shouts from them discussing issues. this is after a very emotional day. a lot of ups and downs today. after the raid early this morning, people were very upset, frankly angry feeling they had been mistreated and treated unfairly especially when denied access to the park after the temporary court order had been issued saying they should be allowed back in the park and back in with their belongings, their sleeping bags, camping equipment and the like. the city decided to keep them
out all day waiting on a final ruling on that. when the final ruling came down, the crowd was joyous which is counterintuitive because they actually lost in court. i asked somebody about that, i said, why are you so happy about this development now? he said it's because they were being allowed back into the park. what he said to me, we are a movement that thrives on resilience. the fact things didn't go their way wasn't what they focused on. they focused on the fact they are still here. before you came to me, there was a man walking back and forth saying we're still here, we're still here. that's what they're focusing on and trying to determine what their next moves are going to be. >> mayor bloomberg said they'll search people entering the park. are the protesters being searched tonight? >> reporter: i want to show you something if i can. look over my right shoulder. see a group of gentlemen here wearing yellow vests with reflective patches on them. this is a checkpoint to get into the park. they're searching people right now. they have flashlights. it's like when you go into a
nightclub and they shine the flashlight into your bag to make sure you're not bringing anything in you're not supposed to be. the things they're looking for are the things protesters aren't supposed to be bringing into the park. sleeping bags, personal belongings, camping equipment, things that would allow them to set up an encampment in the way they have been for the last two months. >> nbc's mara schiavocampo. one of our producers, arianna jones, was in manhattan last night. tell us about what you saw down there, what was the mood of the crowd, how intense was it? >> when i got down there, i couldn't get within a two-block radius. they already formed a police barricade. they were all in riot gear. they were pushing all the people that weren't still defending the actual park, itself. they were pushing them back basically saying we weren't even allowed on the sidewalks, it was a pedestrian area, you risked being arrested. people were pretty upset. there were people crying. i was actually impressed by how
organized the chaos was. the police presence was pretty heavy. there were hundreds and hundreds of police, but they still managed to get messages out. they would use the people's mike and over the blow horns of the police giving orders to the people, the people themselves were forming, you know, different plans on where to go next. >> you did not identify yourself as a member of the media. >> no, i did not. i had already heard from a few people that had been there that they tried to use their credentials and they were turned away as if they didn't really matter. >> the police made it clear, they were there, going to do some business. >> yeah. the riot gear, alone, made it pretty obvious. they were not standing down. >> and the mood of the people when this was happening, wiere they saying this isn't going to stop us? >> a lot of people claimed to be speaking for the ga, the general assembly. a few of the people said, it's not about the park, that is not what's important, it's the movement, itself. they weren't deterred by the fact the space was gone. obviously as mara said, it's a
rallying cry. people took it as it's another thing to strengthen it. >> were you nervous for your safety? >> yeah, i mean, obviously the crowds were getting a little bit -- it was very tense, obviously, but i wasn't worried in the areas i stayed a little bit further away just to avoid that. there were confrontations going on. >> arianna jones. let's turn to van jones, president and co-founder of rebuildthedream.com. and laura fralanders with us. author of "at the tea party." van jones, do these raids strengthen the movement nationwide? i mean, clearly, with the voice of the mayor on that bbc interview, really spilling the beans that they've been in contact with 18 different cities about how to handle this. what's happening here? >> well, first of all, they're going to coordinate it, they should be coordinating to get jobs for young people, coordinated to try to solve the problem that the occupations are pointing out. not making occupations be the main problem. you mark my words. they are going to regret having
done this. the harder you hit this movement, the harder it bounces back. this movement is going to continue to develop. you're going to see people now occupying banks, in terms of nonviolently protesting the banking system, occupying abandoned schools. >> this will strengthen movement you think? >> it will strengthen the movement. when they try to wipe this out, they're going to spread it around. november 17th, the day after tomorrow, november17th.org, that will be the two-month anniversary. there are 200 protests across the country already planned. those are going to be massive. >> how orchestrated has it been? >> i don't know about orchestrated. it wasn't very effective. the occupy movement has shown with their media they can get the word out. before we move on to what good things this has done for the movement, i think van is absolutely right, there was a new york city councilman taken away from the occupy wall street site in zuccotti park with his
head bleeding early this morning. the use of force from coast to coast is a target of these protests, and it is part of the conversation that is being started here. that is central to this movement. from oakland to new york. that said, van is absolutely right. i mean, there were people at zuccotti park today saying they're wondering if maybe someone's been occupying the mayor's office, because to do this action two days before a national day of -- an international, actually day of action with student protests in spain and germany and france as well as here, is just insane and great for the movement. >> here's mayor bloomberg on the press. let's listen. >> the police department routinely keeps members of the press off to the side when they're in the middle of a police action. it's to prevent situations from getting worse and to protect the members of the press who have the same rights as everybody else. >> van, do you buy that? is this the template for how they're going to handle these crowds? >> i mean, i think it's
despicable and disgusting to have a mayor of a city that's based on free speech and free expression, the whole economy of new york in terms of the creativity. pretending that this is something normal. it is completely abnormal to have zero press access. maybe you limit it a little bit. the helicopters, they're afraid somebody is going to fall out of the helicopter? it's totally ridiculous. >> this is an example of how the protesters have been characterized on fox news. >> they have literally separate tents because of rapes. we had a murder. there's a plan out, i read earlier today, that they're literally now trying, there's bomb threats. >> laura, you worry about the narrative sticking to the protests like that? >> there is no question here that what is being attempted by some in the media and some in the police force is to evict an idea, but it cannot be done. you cannot evict an idea whose time has come and the idea that we need a new conversation in this country about pay to play politics and about an economy
where some are too big to jail, that conversation is off and running and not getting bottled back up. >> van, what do you think about the narrative fox is trying to develop? >> you know, they have to smear this movement because frankly i think 57% of republicans actually agree with everything these people are saying. and they're terrified that their own base is going to start to stand with the rest of the people. 99% of the tea party should be out there protesting as well because they are suffering economically. >> and, of course -- >> they have to lie and smear this movement. >> of course, some members of congress and labor, right with them, so this isn't going to end. i agree with both of you on that. van jones, laura flanders. always a pleasure. remember to answer the question at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on@edshow. jerry sandusky claimed his innocence in an interview with bob costas. tonight we'll play a large portion of the interview and get reaction from an advocate of
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coming up on "the ed show," victims groups are rezospondingo jerry sandusky's interview. we'll play you the tape. newt gingrich makes it a four-way tie in iowa. dave weigel is here on the republican field in disarray. congressman jim mcdermott is going to tell us why his old colleague, speaker of the house gingrich is a joke. lots more to come. ♪ you ooohoohooh... ♪ you are my heart... [ male announcer ] vera wang love. ♪ oh yes you do... the new diamond bridal collection from vera wang. exclusively at zales. dad you are not meeting him looking like that! i look fine. just a little trouble with a bargain brand cooking spray. i told you to use new and improved pam
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thanks for joining us tonight hiere on "the ed show." we're going to play large portions of an interview with alleged child rapist jerry sandusky who was offered up to nbc news' bob costas. today "the new york times" reports up to ten more suspected vib victims have come forward. in last night's interview with bob costas of "rock center," sandusky claimed innocent, but offered a shocking explanation of what happened. >> i say that i am innocent of those charges. >> innocent? completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect? >> well, i could say that, you know, i have done some of those things. i have horsed around with kids. i have showered after workouts.
i have hugged them and i have touched their leg. without intent of sexual contact, but -- so if you look at it that way, there are things that wouldn't, you know, would be accurate. >> are you denying that you had any inappropriate sexual contact with any of these underaged boys? >> yes, i am. >> never touched their genitals, never engaged in oral sex? >> right. >> what about mike mcquery, the grad assistant who in 2002 walked into the shower where he says in specific detail that you were forcibly raping a who appeared to be 10 or 11 years old, that his hands were up against the shower wall and he heard rhythmic slap, slap, slapping sounds and described that as a rape? >> i would say that that's false. >> what would be his motive to
lie? >> you'd have to ask him that. >> what did happen in the shower the night that mike mcquery happened upon you and the young boy? >> okay. we were showering and horsing around, and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as i recall, possibly, like, snapping a towel, horseplay. >> i'm joined by patrick mcdonald tonight, a member of r.a.i.n. mr. mcdonald, good to have you with us. i want your impression of what you just heard in part of that interview. >> it's almost not believable, actually, first, that he would go on and have that conversation. and expect that any rational adult, young adult or certainly adult man or woman, would believe any aspect to it.
at least certainly, i can't -- i can't think of any circumstance whatsoever where an adult male horsing, you know, calling something horseplay in a shower with an underaged child, where that's something that is acceptable and in any place whatsoever. i can't actually fathom why he would talk about it out in the open like that, because none of it is really believable. at least from my perspective. >> is this a pattern that you see in people who are alleged perpetrators? >> well, at least in my experience they don't necessarily think they've done anything wrong. there is certainly part of the problem, is they don't believe that their behavior has been inappropriate. that their behavior has crossed any reasonable boundary. >> did you hear that in that interview just there? >> from my perspective, sure, i mean, it's very matter of fact
that he's in a shower, at least based on what he just said. he's in a shower with a young boy, engaged in horseplay or snapping towels or whichever. he does so unapologetically. he does so almost with a sense of matter of fact, well, of course, this is what i did. isn't this what most reasonable adults would do? >> in this next portion of the interview, sandusky addresses the incident from 1998. let's listen. >> in 1998, a mother confronts you about taking a shower with her son and inappropriately touching him. two detectives eavesdrop on her conversations with you and you admit maybe your private parts touched her son. what happened there? >> i can't exactly recall what was said there. in terms of what i did say was that if he felt that way, then i
was wrong. i didn't say to my recollection that i wish i were dead. i was hopeful that we could reconcile things. >> what comes to mind when you hear that explanation, mr. mcdonald? >> again, the belief that you could reconcile anything with a child, or with a parent, after you have seemingly acknowledged that he's touched your genitals or vice versa, whichever it happens to when, there can be any type of reconciliation or there can be any type of circumstance. >> he said he's not -- >> that would allow that to happen. >> he said in the interview he's not a pedophile. what's your response? >> well, pedophile and childhood sexual abuser, sometimes they're used the same but sometimes they're different. pedophile is typically somebody who they like younger children,
but they don't necessarily act on it, whereas a childhood sexual abuser act on it. sex abuse is not about how you feel about somebody and it's not about sex. childhood sexual abuse or sexual abuse against anybody is about power and control and violence. >> i to play another part of the interview when sandusky is asked about football coach joe paterno. here it is. >> did joe paterno at any time ever speak to you directly about your behavior? >> no. >> never? >> no. >> he never asked you about what you might have done, he never asked you if you needed help, if you needed counseling? >> no, no. >> never expressed disapproval of any kind? >> no. >> that's the part i find absolutely amazing that he coan work with this guy for so many years, be told by his former quash and quarterback and graduate assistant and not go face to face with sandusky.
if that's true, what does it say about paterno? >> it says a lot, which isn't surprising, the fact he didn't take it to the next level. whether he confronted sandusky, he didn't take it to the next step which is completely remove sandusky from an environment with children. it means calling 911 and sitting on the guy until the police get there. >> to you think the university is responsible for a cover-up? >> in my opinion, sure, i do. that's simply because at some level there's a breakdown of communication and there's a breakdown in terms of action. now, certainly not everybody's involved with that, but i don't think that you've seen the last of the people that had some type of idea that either things were going on, or they really suspected that there might be some type of issue. >> patrick mcdonald, i appreciate your time on this summit tonighsubject tonight. thanks so much. mike mcquery claims he did the right thing.
mcquery speaks with cbs news about the case. four republicans are battling it out in iowa before the caucus. iowa's own michele bachmann is not one of them. the race for the hawkeye state is coming up, with analysis. smal l bu sinesses are the smal lifeblood of our communities. on november 26th you can make a huge impact by shopping small on small business saturday. one purchase. one purchase is all it takes. so, pick your favorite local business... and join the movement. i pledge to shop small at big top candy shop.
allegedly sodomized a 10-year-old boy. in an e-mail to a former classmate obtained by the "morning call," mcquery says this. "he did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police." mcquery writes, "he's getting hammered for handling this the way, or what i thought at the time was right." well, but when questioned by a cbs news reporter, mcquery offered only this. >> this process has to play out, and i just don't have anything else to say. >> let's turn to mike papantonio, attorney and host of "ring of fire" radio show. mike, good to have you with us tonight. there's a new chapter, like every day, with this story, another sound bite, another interview, another twist. this is now the second e-mail surfacing from the assistant football coach saying he did try to stop the alleged 2002 rape, but does it really jive with the grand jury report? what do you think?
>> everybody's lawyered up, ed. they're going to see these stories change just like we're seeing right here. lawyers advising him, build the best case you can right now. truth is, there's no way a grand jury meets as long as they do, takes testimony and that part of the testimony is simply left out. we would see those e-mails being mentioned in the grand jury t t testimo testimony. so it's a problem. you know what, he's getting advised to do that and trying to build the best case he can and make himself look as good as he can because he was a pathetic failure when it came to doing the right thing. >> what did you make of jerry sandusky's interview with bob costas? wordsmithing the whole thing. what do you make of it? >> from a legal standpoint, it was a train wreck, ed. what it told us is this. he's given up the idea of trying the case in front of a jury, he's probably going to enter a plea. i say that because of what happened in that interview. most of the time -- first of all, the interview should have never taken place. we would have expected purely -- language that says, look, i
didn't do it, i'm innocent, i did nothing wrong. instead what we saw him do is mix in language that a prosecutor is going to use. he doesn't even have to take the stand, ed. he -- if he goes to trial, this whole interview can be shown as a party admission, where a jury gets to hear things like the fact that he took showers with the boys. that he horsed around in the shower. that he lifted them up, that he hugged him, that he touched their genitals. all of that comes in, and you join it together, ed, with eyewitness testimony, victim testimony, expert shrink testimony, recorded statements and prior similar acts, a long history of prior similar acts. this guy is toast. the real question -- >> and mike, what do you make of his attorney offering him up in the interview? >> i think of ineffecttive assistance of counsel, ed. unless this guy said to his attorney, i want to do this, i'm going to do it even if you advise he against it. the discussion about ineffective assistance of counsel is going
to be out there. the testimony last night really caused him harm. >> here's sandusky's lawyer, joe amendola. >> we expect we're going to have a number of kids. now, how many of those so-called eight kids, we're not sure. we anticipate we're going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say this never happened, this is me, this is the allegation, it never occurred. >> is this attorney trying to intimidate alleged victims who could possibly come forward to testify? how do you view that? >> you know what, ed, i really don't think so. i really think this attorney is so far off base. he doesn't have a plan. that's the only thing you can conclude. look, what he did with that interview, ed, actually could interfere with sentencing. if sandusky says, look, i want to enter a plea of no contest, this judge could say, really, let's take a look at what you've said in that interview, let's look at your prior acts, let's look at all this and what we can conclude is you have no lack of
remorse. you're unwilling to admit what you've done. you're willing to place the blame on witnesses and victims and so every time this lawyer takes him further down that road, i am telling you, it's -- it's textbook ineffective assistance of counsel. unless, unless sandusky has said to this attorney, look, i want to do this, i'm going to do this and he's had that fellow sign off on it. it's the craziest thing i've ever seen because it affects the jury trial and possibility of sentencing. >> mike papantonio. thanks so much. why did freddie mac pay newt gingrich $300,000? the answer is next. congressman jim mcdermott will weigh in. the cain train came to a halt when he was asked about libya, but the pizza man isn't letting anything get in the way of his 9-9-9 plan. [ male announcer ] whether over a cup of maxwell house,
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now to politics. republican flavor of the month newt gingrich really went out on a limb at the cnbc debate last week when he said he never worked as a lobbyist for the government-backed mortgage company, freddie mac. >> your firm was paid $300,000 by freddie mac in 2006. what did you do for that money? >> are you asking me? >> yes. >> i offered them advice on precisely what they didn't do. i have never done any lobbying. every contract that was written during the period when i was out of the office specifically said i would do no lobbying and i offered advice. my advice as a historian when they walked in and said to me, we're making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that's what the government wants us to do. i said to them at the time, this is a bubble. this is insane. >> pretty shifty, isn't it? so newt says he was never paid to be a historian. okay. he was paid to be a historian, not a lobbyist.
never been a lobbyist. well, today, former freddie mac officials told "bloomberg news" gingrich was hired to build bridges with congressional republicans and convince them not to dismantle the housing firm. what's that sound like to you? sounds like lobbying to me. good thing the disgraced former speaker went on fox last night and had his freddie mac lobbying hannetized. >> explain the $300,000 you said you gave to freddie mac, they did not take your advice. you were not a lobbyist for them. >> i've never been a lobbyist for anybody. in fact, my contracts exclude me from lobbies. i refuse to go back to capitol hill as a lobbyist. i offer strategic advice and listen to people who tell me what their concerns are and give them advice on how to solve them. >> joining me, congressman jim mick d mcdermott of washington. for you veterans in congress, this has got to be pretty good
entertainment at this point. >> we've seen the movie before, ed. the way gingrich operates, the first thing he does is attack the press. anybody who's made any accusation. then he dismisses and says, i didn't do anything, there's no way i did that. then he starts to tell a tale as he rewrites history. and that's exactly what he did here. he said, i was not a lobbyist, you're wrong, you guys are attacking me. i was simply a historian there. i was sitting around with them, telling them what was happening, and i gave them no advice. and they paid me $300,000 for it? well, a lot of people would like to be paid $300,000 to sit around and tell stories. that's just nonsense. the whole thing. >> i think the public would like to know, i'd like to know, is gingrich trying to sell republicans on freddie mac back in 2006? >> of course he was. he didn't want them to dismantle it. he didn't want them to have any hearings on it. he didn't want them to examine what was going on there. or the housing bubble.
or all the problems that were ultimately that rolled out. everybody -- there were many people who knew there were problems in the housing industry, but nobody wanted to have a public hearing where somebody might come out and testify in public. then the republicans would have had to do something about it. and gingrich didn't want that to happen. >> i tell you what, politically, he seems to be a cat with nine lives. i mean, one of the most recent polling out there, the ppp poll, gingrich is at 28%. he's ahead of romney and cain in the latest polling. i mean, he seems to be able to dodge things. i mean, his answers are pretty smooth and solid and he speaks with a veteran voice and has experience. he doesn't have the gaffes that the other candidates on the republican side seem to have. what do you make of all of this, the way it's coming down? >> that's only because the public has forgotten. this guy was the most divisive member of the house of
representatives. he split the republicans and democrats, got the republicans in power, was speaker for four years, and then his own people threw him out after the ethics committee fined him $300,000. now, nobody talks about that, but that's the same thing. when he was accused in the ethics committee, he said, you guys are -- you're attacking me, you liberals. it's awful. and i never did it, i never did any of this stuff. then he paid $300,000 to buy his way out of that situation. and lied to the committee. he told them he wouldn't spin the result in the public, in the press, and that's immediately what he went out and did on a telephone call with his entire leadership. so this guy is not very well known because people have forgotten. but in this campaign, if he gets to be the nominee, and i -- i think from obama's point of view he'd be a wonderful one because we could have a hay day with this guy. this is a guy that was carrying
on with a woman while he was accusing bill clinton of all sorts of things. this is -- this is a guy with a long thattered history that people have forgotten. >> congressman john mcdermott. appreciate your time. next in "psycho talk," herman cain keeps digging himself in a deeper and deeper hole when it comes to foreign policy. he thinks 9-9-9 can get him out of everything. we're america's natural gas and here's what we did today:
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tonight, herman cain spent the past 24 hours trying to spin his way out of a disastrous response to a question about whether he agreed with president obama on libya. >> okay. libya. president obama supported the uprising, correct? just wanted to make sure we're talking about the same thing. i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. nope. that's a different one. got all this stuff twirling around in my head. specifically what are you asking me did i agree or not disagree with obama? >> over a minute of searching for an answer. his campaign said that, well, he was just tired. although we're told herman cain's campaign set up the interview with the editorial board. herman cain doesn't think he did anything wrong. he brushed off criticism about libya, the train wreck is what
it's called, calling it silly. >> they asked me a question about libya, and i paused so i could gather my thoughts. you know, it's complimentary when people start document my pauses. >> it's the gathering, you know? here's something else we're documenting. last night herman cain told us about how he really feels about foreign policy. >> mr. cain, do you think the libya comment reinforced you don't have a thorough understanding of foreign policy? >> 9-9-9. >> only a matter of time before 9-9-9 became herman cain's answer to every question. but we've reached it. 9-9-9 isn't even a valid solution to our economic crisis. so responding to a question about foreign policy with 9-9-9 is flat-out silly "psycho talk." republicans have been campaigning against president obama since he took office. they just can't seem to come up with an alternative.
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and finally tonight, we're less than two months away from the iowa caucuses, and the weakness of the republican field, i tell you what, folks, it is on full display. you can't argue with that. it's a four way dead heat tie in iowa with herman cain barely leading. it's only one point ahead of ron paul. ron paul doesn't get much respect in the debates but he sure polls well in rural america. mitt romney and newt gingrich are also nipping at the pizza man's heels. all four are within the margin of error. at this point, 60% of republican iowa caucusgoers still say they could be persuaded to support somebody else. ah-ha. rick perry. republicans have been on a mission to defeat president obama since the first day of office, and they still can't pick anyone to challenge him. they've done all this obstruction, they've had this master plan to stop president obama, but they have never come up with a solid candidate with a
solid track record that doesn't flip all over the place and make goofy comments that would actually come up and give president obama a real run. i know it's going to be tough, but you know what, if they keep going like this, it might be easier for the obama administration than you think. joining me now, dave weigel, msnbc contributor and political reporter for slate.com. what do you make of the events that have taken place as of late? >> well, we all made fun of bill kristol and other republican leaders when they were calling for mitch daniels to save the party or calling for paul ryan to save the party. that was not crazy. they might have seen something coming. this might have been a nostradomous movement. this is a mess. mitt romney is in the eyes of what's left of the republican establishment, certainly in the eyes of republican pollsters, is an electable candidate who, you know, has advantages over obama that most -- the other possible nominees don't have. and he can't convince this --
about 75% of the republican party to take him seriously, especially in iowa. >> you know, dave, you look at the democrats. john edwards spent almost four years in iowa, chris dodd moved there, hillary clinton had awesome name recognition, but it was the ground game of barack obama. and a bunch of youngsters out there working every single county. is newt gingrich, is he working every county? is he going to be able to -- who's got the best ground game in iowa, to your knowledge? >> he's doing better. romney theoretically has something that can be activated. remember, he got 25% last time and has a network there he worked very diligently, very under the radar as we've been chasing other candidates. going riff has staffed up, but the thing about iowa is the person who spent the most time there is rick santorum. he visited 99 counties. people who bought the most ads there are michele bachmann, ron paul, rick perry, rick perry super pac. this is not shows up in the polls. a lot of us are waiting to see
if the people who put the time in there, like santorum, are going to do better or if romney has a support base that's not shows up in all the flash of these candidates who rise for two months then collapse. >> yeah. well, we haven't mentioned rick perry. he's down at 7%. he's got a lot of money. and we should point out that the evangelical christian vote in rural iowa is going to come out in full force. is his 7%, he's down in low numbers, but could that be misleading, with the amount of money that he's got? what do you think? >> not terribly, because remember, the thing that really brought him down more than any mistakes that we've all focused on was his immigration position. this has been an issue in iowa. in 2007 it captivated iowa for a couple of months. the tom tan ccredo insert. george bush being too soft on it. perry is as unthinkable on that issue as anyone else, and there's just -- you've really --
if you talk to conservatives in iowa, there is a big opening for him. they don't see much of a way for him to crawl out of it. the advantage for everyone else, if it's gingrich who's rising on this, you know, he -- there is a very long record. he's kind of tried to preempt this, a long record of newt coalition building you can attack in the same way. we all come back to romney. he's been vetted on this issue before. the other things have been aired in the debates and kind of fallen off. >> you have gingrich surging in the polls in the last ten days to two weeks. you got three marriages there, the christian coalition folks are not going to go along with that. you have mitt romney, the mormon issue there. herman cain is polling but now, of course, this latest gaffe with libya ought to signal to the folks in iowa that he's just not ready for primetime. so is there any way perry could come back? i'll say to you tonight, dave, i
don't think perry's out of the iowa caucus. i really don't. i think it's a goofy state when it comes to how they do this whole thing. he's got a lot of money. he's going to speak their kind of language. and there's been so many mistakes made by others, i'm just not convinced that gingrich is going to be able to continue the surge in iowa. what go you think? >> gingrich's advantage has been we ignored him for six months. media ignored him. there's an idealized picture of newt gingrich. he's a really good debater. one thing that's hobbled perry into and a newer extent, cain, for the jokes republicans like to tell about how barack obama can't talk without a teleprompter, they get worried about putting somebody up there who fumbles the ball across the stage like perry. it doesn't go along with the image of obama they have. gingrich is not going to fade in that respect as fast as these other guys. he's not taken a punch the whole process.