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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  February 16, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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november, remember where the most votes lie with that rather large majority group that you left out of that first group of witnesses today on the issue they know best. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead -- new polls show president obama is surging and willard romney is stuck with the same old talking points. >> if we have a president and leaders who will tell the truth and who will live with integrity and who understand the economy having lived in the economy, that america will overcome the challenges we have. >> he is saying if we had a good leader america would overcome challenges. he's right. and we're starting to overcome one of the biggest ones. the economy. isn't that right, mr. president?
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>> we're still recovering from one of the worst economic crises in three generations. and i'm not going to lie to you guys. you know it. we've still got a long way to go before everyone who wants a job can find it. that doesn't mean there's nothing we can do to create new jobs and restore middle class security here in america. there is always something we can do. >> we learned today that the number of people piling for unemployment is at the lowest point in four years. this chart shows you unemployment claims since 2007. you can see where the stimulus started in 2009 and there's where we are as of today. right back down. and in housing, construction of 10,000 new homes started last month. that's up 1.5% since december. the economy is getting better.
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no doubt. it's a slow process. but people are taking notice. in a moment, we'll show you a bunch of new polls from fox. fox. showing the president is winning ten key states. one big reason for the change. take a look at this. those red lines from october through january show independents fully behind romney. but the blue lines from this week show a major shift with independents flocking to the president. it's a measure of how things have changed. romney's message of fixing the economy has hit a road block. reality. how can willard run as mr. fix-it if the economy is already getting fixed? joining me now, dana milbank, political columnist for "the washington post." and coming to us from cnbc, michael steele, msnbc analyst and former rnc chairman.
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thank you both for being here tonight. >> good to be with you, rev. >> let me start with you, dana. dana, i'll ask the question again. how can mitt romney run as mr. fix-it if the economy is already getting fixed? >> well, the problem, reverend al, is it's starting to look like a morning in america election at least from this vantage point. and the republican candidates find themselves waking up on the bathroom floor with a terrible headache because they were celebrating the prospect of running against a president presiding over a very weak economy. that seems with very little time to spare, seems to have turned the corner here. and if that -- if it keeps up with these numbers that we're seeing basically on a daily basis now, the entire playbook for the republicans has to be thrown out the window and they have to find a different way to run. >> now michael, before you respond, let's look at some fox news polling numbers. fox news now. if you look at the rust belt
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tier, this is major states, key states around the country, you -- and the rust belt tier, iowa, ohio, pennsylvania and wisconsin, where 54 electoral votes are up for grabs. president obama is at 42%. mitt romney 41%. in the rocky mountain tier, colorado, nevada, new mexico, 29 electoral votes up for grabs, president obama, 47%, mitt romney 40%. the dixie tier, the dixie belt tier, again now, fox news, all three of these are fox news, michael. florida, north carolina, virginia. 55 electoral votes up. president obama, 51%. mitt romney, 37%. so it appears that even by fox news pollings of three tiers of their choosing, key ten states president obama is beating willard mitt romney. >> right. and i am just amused and amazed
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that i'm sure you were citing those same fox polls a few months ago that showed the reverse fortune for the president at that time. >> now the point is not saying that the polls are accurate or not. the point -- no, no, i want to -- then you can answer. >> i'm not talking about accuracy. i'm just talking just about what -- >> even they're not arguing that willard romney is the -- >> there's no argument to make. it's a number in the month of february when the republicans don't even have a nominee selected yet. pop the champagne corks and start celebrating. but there's a whole lot of time left. the romney campaign in particular, but the gop on a larger scale, has to look at this narrative a little bit differently than they did six weeks ago or six months ago. but there are still components and elements that need to be addressed. you still have a significant underemployed population here that needs to be addressed in some fashion. people who just gave up working that if they get back into that job search, that will have an
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impact on the numbers. we don't know which way yet. there's a whole lot of game here but i agree the president is in a very good position here and this should be more than a clarion call for the gop to get off its duff, focus on a solid economic message to take it through the spring, summer and fall to get ready to do battle with this president over this economy. >> you know, dana, when you look at the fact that the economy is beginning to look like it's moving in the right direction, have a long way to go. and i show these numbers because i want to show that even they are admitting that they're going to have to come up with some kind of message. and i wanted to show that whether one agrees with the accuracy of polls or not, it gives you some kind of challenge when people that lean their way say this. and it also annoys michael, and i like to annoy michael. but aside from that -- >> don't make me separate you two. >> the economy -- look at the facts. unemployment news from january was fantastic for the president.
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january unemployment rate, 8.3%. the lowest its been in three years. there's no way you can spin that's not good news. and the economy added 243,000 jobs. america's optimistic about the economy per a new pew poll. 54% say the economy is already recovering. tothhe election. that does not mean that things could not turn around. but meaning that if they were going to run on a bad economy as of right now, that won't work. and also dana, they will have to come with alternative economic plans that show they have a better plan. so a lot of the underserved that michael raised and that i'm very concerned about, what is their plan? what is their message? they've not come up with that. they are too busy doing negative ads against each other, dana. >> they haven't actually coming up with what that plan is yet. rick santorum seems to think that americans really want to hear about efforts to limit
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birth control right now, and, you know, mitt romney may not be very concerned about the very poor. they're going to have to figure out something here. if the economy is going gangbusters by november it doesn't really matter what the republicans do because the incumbent will be re-elected, regardless of what party the incumbent is in when you get into that kind of position. so a lot of this is out of their hands anyway. but what they need to do, the republicans is pivot to something else. look. there's many long-term structural problems with entitlements, with the federal debt. the question is do they want to -- do they want to engage this battle of we need to cut medicare, yet we also want to cut taxes in the long term, cut government spending. it's a battle the president would like to have. it's not clear that that's a winning message. but the options are fairly limited if these economic trends continue. >> now michael, in all fairness, how do they run? if you were laying out the strategy if you were still chairman and a lot of people felt you should be, but we will
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talk about that another time. >> we all agree. >> what would be your strategy? >> that's probably why he's not chairman because we all agree. >> thanks, fellas. >> what would be your strategy for how do you run against an economy that is recovering? >> and you know what? i know this is going to seem like an extra nail in the coffin that romney was talking about with the poor, but i have always said, i think one of the strongest arguments, and it's a jack kemp argument, that the party should be taking in this type of economy, even with this upswing, is the poor. talk about how we create wealth from the bottom up. how we empower people who are caught between the crosshairs. and you know this, reverend. you've been out here over the last few years especially talking about the educational component. how that has a drag on your ability to get jobs and how there's a drag on your ability to move up in a job when you don't have that educational opportunity. that is the twin pillar, i think, that the party, given its
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historic position on these issues, can go out into communities across this country and neighborhoods that don't look like typical republicans and have a conversation, a difficult one, about how we transform the economy from the bottom up, including the poor. where we show direct concern for them because they are the future of this country. you just can't say, well, there's a safety net. there's got to be more than a safety net for people in poverty. it's got to be opportunity. i think that's a very powerful message that we just have not taken to the streets yet. >> dana, i think that that last statement should be a clip for the obama re-election campaign because he's right. you've got see more than a safety net for the poor. you have to talk about how you're going to lift the poor. i think he's right and you can't be not only perceived as not having a plan for the poor, dana. you can't be perceived as having disdain or at least insensitivity to the plight of the poor. >> they used to call this
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compassionate conservatism. it's not clear that that's enough to get republican presidential candidate across the finish line. it almost certainly is not, but what we've been hearing over and over again, i was at the conservative political action conference gathering last week. over and over again they are saying you can't just say you don't want to be obama. you've got to come up with a positive, affirmative message and a plan here right now. that's what this party needs to do as soon as they get a standard bearer. but they've got to do it quickly. >> we've gone from compassionate conservativism to severe conservatism. >> reverend, always good to be with you. coming up -- outrage over a gop hearing on birth control and women's health dominated by men. democratic lawmakers are asking where are the women? plus, mitt romney thinks he can win michigan by attacking unions and the auto bailout.
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good luck with that one, willard. and give it up for the underdog. if jeremy lin can make it, so can you. lessons from basketball's newest star. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery?
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big news today for the fight for marriage equality. the new jersey assembly voted in favor of gay marriage and a gay marriage bill, 42-33. they got one more vote than they needed to pass the measure. now it heads to governor chris christie who promised to veto it. >> rather than having stalemate and deadlock on this issue, which is inevitably prosecute wr it will lead if they pass this measure and send it to me because i will not sign it. it will be vetoed. let's let the people of new jersey decide what's right for the state. let's put the question of same-sex marriage on the ballot this fall in the hands of the people. >> christie would prefer to pass the buck on a civil rights issue by putting it to referendum. now the majority of new jersey residents do support gay marriage. and the numbers are on the rise. but it would still be a close and unnecessary fight.
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even with christie's game playing, the momentum on this issue is heading in the right direction. maryland's house of delegates may vote for the issue tomorrow. supporters say two republicans will vote for it. and just on monday, washington's governor signed the gay marriage law making washington the seventh state to let same-sex couples get married. this fight isn't over, but it's going in the right way. governor christie, are you listening? still ahead -- mitt romney's bizarre plan to win michigan. he's bashing unions and bashing the bailout. wait until you hear this one. stay with us. ♪
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we're back talking about mitt romney who seems to be stuck in reverse in michigan. the newest poll shows romney trailing rick santorum there by 4%. 34% to 30%. but romney has apparently come up with a unique strategy for winning this blue collar rust belt state. attack unions and attack president obama's decision to save detroit. >> i call it crony capitalism. and that's the path that he's taking. hes paying them back in every way he knows how. one way, of course, was giving general motors and chrysler to
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the uaw. i've taken on union bosses before. i'm happy to take them on again. >> not smart, willard. even santorum can hit you on that one. >> governor romney supported the bailout of wall street and decided not to support the bailout of detroit. >> you know, things just aren't going willard's way. he gets behind the will for an ad that is supposed to show how much he loves the american car. but it turns out that car wasn't made in america at all. it was made in canada. and in the same ad, romney talks about going to the detroit auto show. >> i grew up in michigan. it was exciting to be here. i remember going to the detroit auto show with my dad. it was a big deal. >> the problem is, the photo he shows in that ad wasn't the detroit auto show. think progress says it was actually the worlds fair in new york city. this week, romney writes an op
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ed saying, quote, things would be better without the bailout. and just two days later, general motors announces record profits of $7.6 billion. and finally, romney gets a big endorsement from michigan's republican governor who just happens to disagree with him on the bailout. >> did the bailout save the detroit auto industry? >> well, the bailout actually was something that really worked. if you look at the results of the companies. >> romney's mess in michigan highlights how out of step he is on the issues. you either think government can help save jobs, provide health care and regulate the banks or you don't. >> my view is, repeal dodd/frank. >> we're going to get rid of obama care. >> my view with regards to the bailout, whether it was by president bush or by president obama it was the wrong way to go.
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>> joining me now is congressman gary peters, democrat from michigan. and with me once again, jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. thanks to both of you for joining me. >> thanks, rev. >> great to be with you. >> congressman, romney thinks of himself as a son of detroit. how do michigan voters think of him? >> well, i tell you, he talks about his michigan roots and growing up in michigan, but when michigan needed leadership, when we were on the rocks as a result of what happened on wall street and the debacle there with greed run wild there wasn't any credit, the auto industry was in serious trouble, mitt romney wasn't there. in fact, he said that detroit should go bankrupt. so in our time of need, he wasn't there. and it's very clear that if mitt romney was governor at that time, we would not have a manufacturing sector in this country. the auto industry would have been in big trouble. gm and chrysler wouldn't be around today, and as you know, and as you mentioned in your opening, it's been an incredible
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success story. president obama took great risk. >> the gm numbers that just were posted, i mean, huge numbers they've never reported before. how does the fact that gm now has record profits, $7.6 billion, the largest number in the highest number in the history of the company. how does this play against the guy saying that the bailout shouldn't have been done. he wouldn't have done the bailout. he would have done it another way, managed bankruptcy or something. >> it doesn't play well. particularly when you have got profit sharing bonuses going to workers all over michigan as a result of that turn around. workers of michigan stepped up to the plate. the men and women of the uaw made significant sacrifices because they believe in american companies and they believed in the auto industry. and it's been a great success. and now michigan is reaping the rewards. and they are back hiring. and the auto companies are now
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posted strong increases in sales. they are building some of the best products anywhere in the world. the best automobiles in the world. and at the same time increasing market share. by any measure, this has been a great success and we owe president obama for making a very difficult decision, but making the right decision for american workers. >> jonathan capehart, there's also the attack, as you heard, by willard romney on unions. 16.5% workers in the state of michigan belong to unions. 34% voters say union members are in their household. i mean, is it wise politically? clearly, i don't agree with them in terms of policy, but is it even wise politically to come in with this anti-union i've stood up and i fought unions before kind of rhetoric if you are trying to appeal to michigan voters? >> sure, well, remember, he's trying to appeal to republican primary michigan voters.
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and this might be in the short term a good thing for mitt romney because it might get them to vote for him. the problem comes in when if you buy this notion, which is fading by the day, that he is the inevitable republican nominee and who will go up against president obama in the fall and be on the ballot in november, it plays against him just because those numbers you just read. the number of people who have a union member in their household. it may not play well on the general election stage because as the congressman mentioned, there's profit sharing in the $7.6 billion profit that gm is reporting. checks of $7,000 per hourly worker. that's a lot of money for a lot of people who have suffered and endured a lot of hardship for more than ten years. >> now when we look at the polling on working class whites in michigan, congressman,
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santorum over romney, 36% to 23% among working class whites. so he's having a problem, willard is, connecting to white working class in this state. a state that he is going to be crucial if he loses this state. it's going to be perceived he's in real trouble. >> absolutely. i don't know much about republican primary politics, but i think it would be disastrous for him to lose, particularly when he talks about michigan being his home state. the reason he's losing workers is the fact that he has been on the wrong side of the issues. it's very clear. he did not stand up for the american auto industry. the auto industry is absolutely critical to us in michigan. those are good paying manufacturing jobs. and now that he has turned anti-union, he is not going to get support with an awful lot of independent voters in the state of michigan as well. unions and the uaw and other unions in our state really help to make the middle class in
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america and what mitt romney is doing is declaring war on the middle class by some of the statements he's making in michigan right now. >> congressman gary peters, jonathan capehart, thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks. ahead -- republicans hold a hearing on birth control and women's health. totally dominated by men. it's an outrageous new development in the fight over contraception. that's next. [ male announcer ] the draw of the past is a powerful thing. but we couldn't simply repeat history. we had to create it. introducing the 2013 lexus gs,
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[ laura ] i'll eat it any way i can. [ doug ] we're the mclennan family from spruce head, maine, and we sea food differently. today we saw fireworks on the hill as republican lawmakers tried to hammer the president over his birth control mandate. republican congressman daryl issa led a contentious hearing on the president's compromise and religious freedom. the hearing's title was a good tip-off that it wouldn't be a fair conversation. "lines crossed. separation of church and state. has the obama administration trampled on freedom of religion
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and freedom of conscience? republicaned stacked a totally one-sided deck of witnesses, calling conservatives opposed to the compromise and democrats pitched a fit. >> the chairman is promoting a conspiracy theory that the federal government is conducting a war against religion. he has stacked the hearing with witnesses who agree with his position. >> today's hearing is a sham. >> we were denied on this side of the aisle any witness who might have a differing point of view. >> would the gentleman yield? >> no, sir, i will not. >> where are the women? >> imagine they are having a panel on women's health and they don't have any women on the panel. >> it's a massive injustice by trying to pretend that the views of millions of women across this country are meaningless. >> in fact, there were some women there but only two out of the 11 witnesses. they kicked the hearing off with five clergymen all conservative
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and all in lockstep in their opposition to the president's compromise. the second panel, more of the same, although at least they threw in a couple of women into that one. planned parenthood noticed the gender imbalance and made a striking comparison in a retweet during the hearing. quote, inspired by darryl iss, i'm holding a panel of rights of mice inviting nine cats to speak. nine cats and two mice who agree with them? apparently that's fair and balanced in darryl issa's world. joining me is carolyn maloney, one of the democratic lawmakers at the hearing and terry o'neill, president of the national organization of women. thanks to both of you for being here. >> thank you reverend sharpton. >> congresswoman, let me start with you. republicans seem to be unwilling to talk about this issue from a woman's perceptive.
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isn't that really dangerous? >> i think it's very dangerous. women are 52% of the population. yet the tens of millions of women whose health care, their access to insurance for their health care was not represented on the first panel. and their point of view was not put out there. and i feel that it was terribly wrong. and what we were talking about is women's access to reproductive health care, to preventive health care and family planning, which is important for their health and for the spacing of their children. it's also their right. it was a hearing about women's rights and yet they were putting forward only their point of view which was opposed to the very balanced proposal that president obama and his administration put forward that women would have access to insurance and the religious people who objected would not have to pay for it or have direct contact with the insurance companies. that's a very, very fair
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statement. and it's balanced and it's fair. but that hearing was not fair. >> terry it seems that they have a problem when they are talking or dealing with women's issues having women there. look when president george bush -- george w. bush signed the partial birth abortion ban in 2003. he was flanked by six men, including then speaker hastert and senator hatch and senator santorum. so it seems like they just have this problem with having women discuss or even be around some very important decision that have to do with women. >> they denied our witness who was a young female law student. she was there listening to the hearing. they would not allow her on the panel to speak for the young women of america. >> terry? >> that's exactly right. and nothing could be in my mind more offensive than a panel of
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men and darryl issa announcing that this young woman did not have the qualifications or the, i think he said the credentials to talk about the importance of birth control. you know, frankly, the men on that panel didn't have the anatomy to be able to talk to women about birth control. but more importantly than that, and my organization has consistently taken the position that no employer, and we include churches, as well as religiously affiliated organizations like hospitals and organizations, we think no employer should be exempt from the rule that birth control is fundamental to a woman's health. if a religious woman decides she doesn't want to take birth control because it's against her religious conscience, she doesn't have to take the birth control. and to see witness after witness after witness proclaiming that they have some kind of fundamental first amendment right to impose their religious views on their employees is
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offensive. it's a violation of the woman's own first amendment right to religious freedom. it's a violation of the woman's private right under griswold versus connecticut and a violation of the woman's right not to be discriminated against in the workplace. so no one is saying that institutions, religious institutions, don't have first amendment rights. they do. they don't have the right to enlist the government's help in forcing their religious beliefs on unwilling women in their -- whether it's their employees or students or what have you. >> no religion should have that right. if you think you were offended there. let me show the congresswoman something that happened earlier today on this station on andrea mitchell's show. a supporter of ron -- of rick santorum had a very -- well, let me show it to you. >> people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. i think it says something about our culture. we maybe need a massive therapy session so we can just concentrate on what the real
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issues are. this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it's such inexpensive. back in my days they used bare aspirin. >> this is not just a backer. this is a big money backer. the name is friess of rick santorum talking about back in his days they put bayer aspirin between women's knees. i'm sure that you may want to respond in language that's not suitable to the public airways, but can you imagine the arrogance of saying that? even in jest. >> i tell you, it's insensitive. it's wrong. it shows how they disrespect women. they disrespect our rights. and that their real agenda is to turn us back to 1967 before the griswold decision where the long reach of government goes into the bedroom and denies women the right to contraceptives. this is outrageous. it's wrong. it's against the rights of a
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woman's decision to make decisions about her own body. and i respect every religion. i respect their right to have their values and their beliefs. but i do not respect their belief that they can impose their religious beliefs on others who work for publicly financed institutions, hospitals and universities. and this is just plain wrong. in the president's balanced approach, the insurance companies are totally separate. and in the hearing, i pointed this out, and they responded that they still opposed -- were opposed to it because of their tax dollars. but, reverend, you know in a pluralistic society, when many of us are opposed to the war in afghanistan, our tax dollars are supporting it. i'm opposed to capital punishment, but our tax dollars in some cases are supporting it. so when you live in a pluralistic society you make room for everybody's religion,
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everybody's viewpoints. >> it's important to note that people agree with you. look at these polls. independents support the compromise the president has raised on contraception. catholics support it, 67% to 25%. republicans support it. 50% to 44%. the american people support what you are saying, congresswoman. they support what you are saying. terry, i'm a minister, but i want to live in a democracy, not a theocracy because it may be someone with a different theology in charge. a threat to anybody is a threat to everybody if you force people to go by your beliefs. congresswoman maloney, terry o'neill, thank you both for your time this evening. >> thank you reverend sharpton. thank you for your strong voice. thank you so much. women appreciate it. >> thank you. up next -- we'll talk about a nasty new element creeping into the debate over social issues. it's an important story you
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won't want to miss. plus -- the underdog becomes the superstar. jeremy lin is teaching us both on and off the court.
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today the battle against voter suppression gained several powerful allies.
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georgia congressman john lewis and 11 other members of congress announced today they will support and join the march against the new anti-voting laws next month. from march 4th through the 9th, we'll retrace the route of the historic 1965 voting rights march from selma to montgomery, alabama. congressman lewis led that first march almost 47 years ago. he nearly died when people in riot gear attacked the marchers with clubs and teargas on what was called bloody sunday. today he still is standing up for equal rights. >> we must continue to stand and stand together. we are one people. we are one family. we are one house. we all live in american house. >> the 1965 march brought international attention to the struggle for civil rights and led to the 1965 voting rights act that some states are now fighting against. we are marching now to make sure
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[ female announcer ] try aleve d for strong all day sinus and headache relief. we talked a few minutes ago about the fight in congress over contraception. but from capitol hill to the campaign trail to the right wing media, the war is raging against women's rights and it's getting ugly. check out what they are saying on fox. >> the left is making this about availability to the poor. it's more about getting rid of the poor. >> it's what? >> it's more about getting rid of the poor. >> he said it. >> did you really just say that? >> it's not a bad point. >> i've said it before. >> i don't -- >> population control? >> the difference between the left and the right. the right want the foor get rich. the left want the poor not to exist. >> the left is trying to get rid of the poor. seriously? but what's even more jarring is how the right has injected race into all of this. take this exchange i had with a
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former gingrich aide just last month. >> 98% of african-americans vote democrat. okay? and what have they gotten for it? poor schools, poor neighborhoods, crime-ridden neighborhoods, destruction of the family and the democrats want to abort their babies. so, you know, i -- that's their position. i'm not going to defend that. >> democrats want to abort black babies? that's shocking. but not surprising given what we've seen over the years. in chicago, pro-life activists put up billboards that showed the face of president obama and read, quote, every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted. bill boards in other cities said, black children are an endangered species. and in congress, republicans are working on a bill that supposedly wants to ban abortions based on gender or race. but it's spearheaded by a republican trent franks of arizona. and his views on race seem
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questionable to say the least. >> far more of the african-american community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of savely. and i think what does it take to get us to wake up? >> i think rhetoric like this is a wake-up call for all of us. joining me now is melissa harris-perry, soon to be host of msnbc "melissa harris-perry." she's also professor of political sciences at tulane. thanks for joining me. what is rhetoric like this really all about? >> well, you know, i've been trying to figure this out. i try to take very seriously the pro-life position and not just write it off as politics and say, okay, for some people there's a real ethical, moral question here and take that seriously. so when i first saw these billboards starting to pop up in the u.s. south, in communities that were predominantly black i said, okay. maybe this really is the attempt, a problematic one, on the part of people to reduce
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abortions. but here's when i started to figure out it wasn't. when it shows up, for example in soho. if you have a -- >> soho downtown new york. i was part of those that protested that. chicago, as i said. this is not the deep south now. it's black communities all over the country. >> that's right. and soho is a lot of things but it's not really where you would go find a bunch of african-american women if you wanted to have a conversation with them. so it says to me that that -- those billboards appear because they are politicized. what they are trying to do here is a political angle where you see this kind of political questions around contraception, political questions around abortion and now you inject race into it to make it hyperhot and turn it on so that they feel like they can get this space for claiming the democrats are against the groups that they are actually for. >> and i might add for people around the country, soho is not a predominantly black community. may be 5% black.
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it's playing more politics. and let me put a graphic up so we can straighten out one other misnomer. they try and say that many of these abortion clinics or places you can get abortion are in the black community predominantly. that is not true. herman cain was wrong when he said that the abortion providers are somehow inantly located in a black community. we checked it out and research says only 9% are located in predominantly african-american communities. so that's not even true. >> and remember, part of what hand on th happens on this issue of abortion, those who have good insurance from well-paying jobs, wealthier women and often white women who have these relationships can go and have a d & c. it never gets called an abortion. they can have them without anybody knowing anything about it. and so the only group that gets sort of the data gets collected
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or the only group where we can penalize them or shame them are poor women and women of color. look. this -- these billboards and this discourse suggests that women of color do not make their own decisions about their fertility. >> and let me say this. it's not just the billboards and that. what is really bothering me is how they are playing this race card. >> right. >> on a broader level. whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, why are we playing with race and all of that? rick santorum, let me show you why this bothers me. rick santorum who is right now the candidate in the republican party with some momentum. he said last year in an interview, let me show you what he said. >> the question is, and this is what barack obama didn't want to answer is that human life, a person under the constitution? and barack obama says no. well, if that person's human life is not a person, then, i find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, now we are
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going to decide who are people and who are not people. >> i find it remarkable for a black man, race, herman cain came back. let me show you what he said. >> you said that it was not planned parenthood. it was really planned genocide because you said planned parenthood was trying to put all these centers into the black communities because they wanted to kill black babies before they were born. you still stand by that? >> i still stand by that. 75% of those facilities were built in the black community and margaret sanger's own words. she didn't use the word genocide but talked about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born. >> so my concern, melissa is here you have santorum that acts like the president's blackness gives him some obligation to agree with their position. herman cain saying inaccurately that most of these centers of
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planned parenthood or other providers in the black community, not only is that not true, but only 3% of what planned parenthood does is abortions. what is this playing the race card with the pro-life movement? >> he's twisting the history there. there is a eugenics movement in this country that did attempt to keep black women from procreating. that is certainly true. what he's done in twisting this history is let's be really clear. what black women want and need is what all women want and need. and that is access to safe and affordable reproductive choices. and that means the choice to have children. the choice not to. and more important than anything else, to prevent unintended pregnancies. >> melissa harris-perry, thanks for joining me this evening. we wish you the best on the debut of your new show. it premieres this saturday at 10:00 a.m. right here on msnbc. up next, jeremy lin's inspiring rise to the top.
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linsanity is alive and well and the legend continues to grow from nba basketball to the whole country. jeremy lin had a career high of 13 assists last night and led the new york knicks to their seventh straight win. now everyone wants a connection to lin. nike is making a sneaker for him. he's reportedly been invited to the nba slam dunk contest. and there's a claim into the u.s. trade mark office for the patent linsanity. "forbes" magazine calls him the one-man global economic stimulus package. estimating he'll make the knicks $20 million this season.
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and you know you've made it when david letterman weighs in. lin was asked on a radio show today if he ever dreamed this big. >> i didn't think it was going to happen like this. not the way it happened and how fast it happened. but still enjoying it and thankful for it. >> do you at all, like when you're lying in bed at night pinch yourself and realize this is real? this is really happening? >> i've had a couple of those moments but the games come pretty fast so at the same time you just got to get ready for the next one. >> everyone loves a story of an underdog. i wrote about jeremy lin at the huffington post today. about never discounting the underdog. some people believe life is a lottery, that if you are born into the correct circumstances, you will excel. i view life as an opportunity. you are not responsible of where and how you enter life. you are responsible what you do with it. don't let others count you out. be in charge of your o


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