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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 29, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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[ male announcer ] jetta tdi clean diesel. the turbo that gets 42 miles per gallon. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ hello, everyone, it is high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west and welcome to "weekends with alex witt." deadly midwest storm -- london olympics security preparation -- a nonstop volcano. a key jobs number, will and kate one year later. we're going to bring you the stories throughout this hour. but first, we're front page politics for you, the general election battle in full force on this sunday talk show circuit today. the senior strategist for both the obama and romney campaigns squared off on the economy. >> any time you take from someone by virtue of taxation, there's an erosion of freedom. any time you impose excessive regulation, there's an erosion of freedom. any time you impose a government
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mandate, there's an erosion of freedom. when you have in an government-centered economy like president obama has put forward is fewer jobs, stagnant incomes, higher prices for gas and electricity. >> i think sometimes you listen to the romney campaign and they think a lot of people in this country are stupid, david, their message is you didn't clean up our mess fast enough. we've had 11 consecutive months of positive economic growth. 25 consecutive months of positive private-sector job growth. >> the battle also played out last night, but on the comedy circuit. not much was off-limits for president obama at annual white house correspondents' dinner. including a few jabs at republican rival, mitt romney. >> we also both have degrees from harvard. i have one, he has two. what a snob. a comment that rick santorum played on the campaign trail
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before dropping out. we'll have a live report in five minutes from now. joining me in the d.c. studio, political reporter for the "washington post," felicia samez and political editor for thegrio. felicia, let's talk about mittmy nova scotia senior strategist who says any more taxes, regulations and government mandates and the like, that's an erosion of freedom. is this message going to resonate with the vote sners. >> it's an argument that house republicans have been making on the hill and it's one that mitt romney is going to continue making this year. it's aimed at independents, those people looking at the election as a referendum on past three years of president obama's leadership and saying they've put forward the national health care overhaul. how are they going to respond to the case that democrats are making now that really things are getting better and they think that it's an argument that the white house will be hard-pressed to counter in the
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next couple of months. >> you heard robert gibbs talking about this. how does the president's camp respond to the romney camp and the accusations that they didn't do the economy-fixing fast enough? >> the president is going to be talking a lot about they've done all they can and they're trying to blame the recession on president bush. people are not going to buy it any more. obama kind of owns the economy now. i think that's how voters are seeing it. the economy is improving. that's the thing they're going to keep arguing is more job growth, more job growth. the problem of course is that's got to actually happen. and the economy is moving up and down a lot in terms of job growth. the economy is moving up and down. sometimes bad, sometimes good. >> you think it will stand to benefit the president, even if the increase is just incremental. as long as it ticks upward? >> as long as unemployment keeps going down. 8.2, if it keeps ticking down, as long as the president can say things are improving, as opposed to the absolute number being as good as people would like it to be. >> right. i want to take a listen to you
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to one of romney's senior advisers, aaron fernstrom said. >> this is not an election that's going to be decided on issues like dogs or likeability. this is going to be decided on the economy. >> so are they underplaying the likeability vote here? do you think that's what they're doing? do you think that's perhaps a weakness? >> absolutely. when you look at polling numbers, president obama is favorability rating is quite high. he's in the mid 50s. and mitt romney's is down in the mid 30s. so it definitely makes sense numberswise, that the romney campaign would want to downplay the coolness factor and the likeability factor. you saw him this past week trying to take his campaign to president obama's home turf and going to some college campuses, trying to make a play for these young voters that obama won overwhelmingly a couple of years ago. that's a tough sell for mitt
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romney. because as we all stau, the students at that event were not overwhelmingly enthusiastically responding to mitt romney the same way they would to president obama at an event. they've got to try to improve those numbers for romney when it comes to favorability. but at the same time not try too hard to turn him into somebody that he's really not. i think that's something they're still trying to work out. >> they have talked about putting mitt romney on the lake late-night talk show circuit again. they want to do that. you know, they did react to obama slow-jamming the news with jimmy fallon. we thought it was funny. let's take a listen to what was said by senior adviser. >> the governor has done late-night before. he's poked fun at himself. i remember he did a top ten on david letterman. you won't see the governor slow jamming. >> here's another thing they say, there's a possibility that he would appear on "saturday
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night live." how much does he have to consider the risk of comedic failure, if you will, or not playing out right. >> i think if you read the top ten lists of letterman, you're in a tight "snl" skit, there's not much risk involved. you're just reading. >> he did well. >> the challenge might be if he did an interview on jay leno, romney tends to off the cuff say things that make him sound a little out of touch. versus obama is very smooth in those more casual kind of moments, it's not necessarily voters are going to vote based on those things, they want to vote for somebody they like and romney and an romney have to do a better job of not showing how rich they are. they struggle with explaining that. >> it's interesting when you put the romneys versus the obamas. the obamas are absolutely rock stars. how much, felicia, do you think it's going to be an advantage to put ann romney out there. she's quite a popular person, but just not well known. >> i think she sort of faces as perry mentioned, the same problem as mitt romney does. when she is speaking off the cuff, there's a propensity to say things that might not
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resonate to your average voter. she spoke in connecticut on monday. >> driving two cadillacs? >> yes. and romney himself has had the same problem. when he was delivering a speech to students in ohio on friday. he mentioned one of the things he thinks they should do, talking about the student loan fight, is borrow money from their parents. he made it clear if they can, they should do that. so he was careful, but it could come across to voters and young people, some things that doesn't exactly -- >> unrelatable. >> fit in with their circumstances. i do think that ann romney is an incredible asset for the romney campaign. you're seeing her step up her role and giving speeches on her own. i think that can only help with the campaign. >> felicia and perry, good to see you guys. thank you. well the washington press corps and a few notable celebrities should be just about rolling out of bed after last night's white house correspondents' dinner. host jimmy kimmel and nothing and no one was off-limits. joining me is nbc news white
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house correspondent mike viquiera. a very good day to you, mike. just -- >> just roll out of bed? >> yeah, huh, look at you. here in washington, huh? coming on the air at noon. nice work if you can get it. >> all right. so tell us about the whole big event. >> well you were there so i mean you say one part politics, one part power. you know, you add a dash of glitz and glamour. throw in perhaps liberal amounts of wine sitting out on the table and you get the sometimes odd, but always entertaining evening the white house correspondents' dinner. >> it's great to be here this evening in the vast magnificent hilton ball room. or what mitt romney would call, a little fixer-upper. >> it promises to be a tough campaign. but before the battle officially begins, president obama got in a few light-hearted shots against mitt romney. we also both have degrees from harvard. i have one. he has two.
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what a snob. [ laughter ] >> it's been said that washington is hollywood for ugly people. but for just one night every year, those two worlds collide. >> they say washington gets really excited for this big night. >> reporter: they call it the nerd prom, the annual white house correspondents' dinner. over the years it's morphed from another dreary d.c. event, where reporters and politicos laid down their arms to share a few laughs, to a major schmooze fest. three-day gala of glamour and glitz, capped off by the dinner itself. >> four years ago i was locked in a brutal primary battle with hillary clinton. four years later, she won't stop drunk-texting me from cartagena. >> the president's bully pulpit becomes a stand-up routine. >> i had a lot more material prepared, but i have to get the secret service home in time for their new curfew.
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>> last night no one was spared. >> mr. president, remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow? thats with hilarious. it's great to see the gingrichs here tonight, i guess that means the check cleared. >> but even with all the silline silliness, politics and the coming campaign weren't far out of mind. >> can we show the ad? real quick? >> we need to join mitt romney in sending a message this november. i'm an american and doggone it, i ride outside. >> and a good time was had by all. did you have a good time, alex. by the way, it's hollywood for ugly people here in washington, except when you're in town, my friend. >> aw, mike viquiera, back at you. painting the president as the celebrity and mitt romney as the straight man. can the gop win with this plan?
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meantime, one man is dead, 100 others are recovering from their injuries after a storm knock down a tent just steps from busch stadium. the strong winds picked up the tent and carried it on to train tracks, hundreds were inside the tent just outside a st. louis bar. nbc's katy tur is live outside the scene. did they have any warnings that winds like this were heading their way? >> reporter: they didn't have any warning that winds like that would take the tent out. many were going into the tent, going into the bar. right after the cardinals game to escape the heavy rain, there was hail. they were looking for shelter. but all of a sudden, a 50-mile-per-hour wind gust hit the tent and sent it flying into the air. outside killroy's sports bar near busch stadium in st. louis -- panic after deadly winds ripped through an outdoor party tent packed with fans, celebrating a cardinals win saturday afternoon. >> everything you can imagine that wasn't nailed down was
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airborne. >> reporter: paramedics rushed a dozen victims to the hospital with five reported in serious or critical condition. authorities say 100 others were treated at the scene for various injuries. >> the injuries were mainly cuts, bruises. and twisted ankles and maybe a broken arm. >> reporter: the bar's owner says customers tried to save the one man who died. during a storm of hail, lightning and rain. >> it's my customers. they all became paramedics. >> reporter: the force of the winds blew the tent and everything that was in it, on to a nearby railroad bridge. >> we don't like this type of building, if you will, this gives us nightmares. and as you can see, it caused one. >> reporter: authorities say with the storm warnings posted that day. the damage and injuries could have been so much worse. >> these are temporary structures. they're certainly not designed in any stretch of the imagination to handle a severe
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weather event like this. >> as of now, there are still three people in serious condition, two in critical and one man has died. as to how that man died, there are conflicting reports, the owner of the bar said the paramedics working on him, they think he was struck by lightning. although officials can't confirm that at this time. alex? >> some terrible scene. thank you very much. nbc's katy tur. the rodney king verdict and outrage that followed in los angeles. what's changed and what hasn't 20 years later? also from the baby boomers to gen x to the millenniumals, the next new name. ♪ [ henry ] well there's nothing like being on the top of the podium i think about it almost just about every day
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now to some claims, in a new book if a former high-level c.i.a. operative. it focuses on the u.s. fight on terror. the book comes a year after the killing of osama bin laden, and claims harsh interrogation methods like waterboarding disrupted at least ten large-scale terror plots. the book's author, jose rodriguez, talks for the first time on cbs's "60 minutes" tonight. here's what he said about khalid sheikh mohammed. >> i think the cumulative effect of waterboarding and sleep deprivation and everything else that was done, eventually got to them. >> well joining me to discuss this and al qaeda one year after the death of bin laden, nbc news terror analyst coughlin. we have jose rodriguez.
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the head of the c.i.a.'s clandestine service, saying waterboarding, sleep deprivation, nudity, all of that worked on even the toughest terrorist, khalid sheikh mohammed. do you buy that? >> he's entitled to his opinion. he has experience in regard. i think it's unfortunately ignoring a very important piece of supplementary information. which is that we use these same techniques against another al qaeda operative, olibbi and this individual told us that saddam hussein was involved with 9/11 and it led us to invade a country mistakenly and led us to spend millions and billions of dollars, and american lives were lost. if you look at the math, that's not very good. i think we have to ask is this reliable in a consistent way. and i'm not sure it is. this is setting aside you will the other considerations that we have. there are a lot of our neighbors and allies that are not very happy with us using these
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techniques to begin with. >> the fact that mr. rodriguez says that look, we've had at least ten incidents of people giving up good information. it suggest it is does work in some circumstances, can you at all define what those circumstances would be? is it just the individual on whom these technique are being performed? >> the problem is, we have no idea. you've just heard the ten intanss where it worked. how many instances did it not work. how many instances did we get information that was incorrect, unreliable, mistaken. think that's the calculation we need to be making. how many times did this fail, versus how many times did it succeed? if it succeeded less times than it failed, i'm sorry, the math just isn't there. that's the problem with the calculus that nobody has been doing. a zubaydah gave us all sorts of information about terrorist plots, nom of which came to fruition.
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none of which appeared to have actually been taking place. quiet is, is the math really there? jose rodriguez is entitled to his opinion, but i'm not sure that the math is there. >> so here we are, a year after the death of osama bin laden. where is al qaeda? i mean the head of the anniversary, u.s. officials said al qaeda is incapable of another large strike, what's your read on that? >> al qaeda is definitely capable of another large strike. the question is in what time period and what way. we've been looking in the last ten years as al qaeda central. al qaeda central wing in afghanistan and pakistan. this is setting aside the fact that al qaeda has become decentralized. there are now al qaeda branchs in yemen, iraq, north africa. each of these branches has the capability of launching their own operations, not just locally, but internationally. targeting the united states homeland. we saw it with al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. which made two major efforts at striking the u.s. domestic homeland just within the past three years.
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i think that's really where the biggest threat is now. the biggest threat from al qaeda comes from home-grown extremists who are motivated by what al qaeda said. and of course, al qaeda affiliate groups. >> evan, the chatter that's out there, just ahead of the one-year anniversary of osama bin laden's death. it shows there's still desire. >> there's definitely a desire. but there's also been a desire for the last year to avenge the death of bin laden and there hasn't been any major successful terrorist attack, knock on wood. given that, you have to assume that al qaeda is suffering. they are having problems, if they could arrange the death of their founder and leader, they certainly would have. i think we have to take that into account what we try to assess what is the state of al qaeda right now? do they pose a major ongoing threat in the future? >> evan coughlin, i'm sure we'll pose that question to you again. president obama and the youth vote. can lightning strike twice this
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november? strategy talk is next. and later it's being called nerd prom. more highlights from a big night in washington. >> four years ago i was locked in a brutal primary battle with hillary clinton. four years later, she won't drunk texting me from cartagena. do you eve r wish you could make some things just disappear? ♪ [ ping! ] [ ping! ping! ]
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i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us.
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20 years ago, a court verdict over an unforgettable incident of police brutality triggered a firestorm in los angeles after cops were acquitted in the beating of an unarmed african-american man named rodney king. city erupted in violence, dozens dead, neighborhoods in ruin. how have things changed since then? a a reporter for "u.s.a. today," marisol thank you so much for being here. i'm glad you're here, as i was
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saying, i lived in leaning, i have vivid memories of being in my parents' home and having ash raining down. it was a profound memory. when you talk about los angeles and the powder keg it became that day. how have things changed? >> demographically, the neighborhoods have changed. middle class african-americans have moved out and in the span of last 20 years, you have an increase of hispanics, folks from mexico and central america moving in. so the neighborhood today is actually more predominantly hispanic. >> okay. to what do you attribute that? >> well probably just immigration in general. we've had big influxes of big influx of hispanics all over the country and so i think that what happened there was, was an example of what we've seen. >> what you would expect. >> nationwide. >> absolutely. >> how do you think this incident shaped the national perception of law enforcement? and what sort of improvement or progress have we seen since then? >> there's been a lot of changes in the last 20 years.
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i don't know that the rodney king incident led to it exclusively. because police were on the path of community policing. they were already on the path of making some changes. but i think this called more attention to it. so what we see now is definitely more attention to community policing. and more different kinds of tools that they're using. so you don't see them using baton any more like they did during the rodney king beatings and you see more videos on police cars. >> what do we know about rodney king? >> today he is unemployed. but he is touring the country. talking about a new memoir that he's published. and he says that he's at peace with himself. he says that it's taken 20 years. he doesn't wake up angry any more. he's also engaged to be married. >> that's nice. that's good. >> duly he's engaged to be married to a woman who had been a juror in his civil trial.
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>> really? that's an interesting thing. >> they reconnected about two years ago. apparently. >> and do you think he still stands as some sort of a, a beacon, if you will? is he someone that people think of, when they think of rodney king and there's this whole incident that comes around. what a burden for him. you think he will forever be remembered and memorialized with that name, rodney king? >> i think the incident certainly stands for a lot of people as a symbol of unfairness, questions of justice in the court system. you can see with cases that are happening today. and definitely i think the case will always be linked to issues related to police brutality. questions of justice and the court system for a lot of people. >> thank you very much, from "u.s.a. today" marisol bao. now number two, the london olympic security preparation.
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out of 50 in job creation. his experience is -- in downsizing and outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies and walking away with a lot of money for himself. >> and turning now to strategy talk for a closer look at the candidates' battle plans i'm joined by republican strategist, phil muster, the president of new frontier strategy and democratic strategist, morris reed, managing director of bgr group. phil, i want to have you listen to something that the romney adviser said yesterday about president obama's appearance on jimmy fallon, slow jamming. >> i think light night is a great place to reach people who aren't usually tuned in to politics. and the governor likes to have a laugh just like anybody else. i do think there was something a little bit off-key about the president slow-jamming and appearing to make light of the fact that students are struggling.
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>> so all this combined with the new president obama as celebrity ad, this paints the romney camp, strategy as being the serious guy versus the cool guy. is this something that you think romney can win with? >> well these are serious times. i mean celebrity has not worked in a lot of ways. so the points that ed made on the lead-in to this clip are relevant points, we can continue to choose kind of anemic economic growth. drifting towards the waterfall that is the big debt problem in this country, leading if behind on foreign policy. the question is, is celebrity going to create jobs? and if the question in this election revolves around that, then mitt romney will win quite clearly. it's not a winning message for the obama campaign. >> on the common-sense level, don't you think most people think the president is probably doing work most of the time when he's at 1600 pennsylvania avenue? >> i'm not sure that we're talking about you know, time on the job.
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the job of president is all-consuming and all en-encompassing and those of us who have worked in administrations know that. so i'm not sure that's going to be the central point of what governor romney's message is. it's who has got the better vision to get the economy moving and creating jobs in the short-term. and to eric's point, is coming out and trying to attack mitt romney on student loan lone issues and flipping to late-night tv to make fun of the same issue, does that do justice to the office of the presidency and the seriousness of the times we're facing in terms of this issue. >> salient discussion there. we see the coolness and that is something that worked very well for president obama back in 2008. but can lightning strike twice, morris? >> i don't think it was the coolness fact that are got him elected. it was the message. and it's clear that you don't have a message again. if you're worried about celebrity in a time like now, listen, president is just cooler than mitt romney, it's nothing he's got to do with it. he started out digging in the
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ditch. he's got a hole to get us out of. he's doing the right thing. but as you know, the american economy is like the "titanic," you turn the ship slowly. we're going in the right direction, with manufacturing, all the things that are moving in the right directions. republicans need to get off of this, you know, we create jobs, jobs are good jobs. whether creating a job in government or creating a job in a plist sector, we're creating jobs in this economy. >> look, if, phil, if morris is right, let's say the obama camp is cool camp and romney camp not necessarily cool camp. okay, fine, you just cede the youth vote and go after the middle aged and older vote in. >> no, because we're getting too tactical by trying to dissect the electorate. you have to focus on a message that connects with the american people. object litigating the case against the president, which is important, it's still the economy. you know, mr. president. and we're not stupid. that's a petty potent and clear line of argument. because if you believe the 2.2% growth and shrinking gdp.
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the potential for a double dip and the debt challenges left unmet, there's a good prescription for the future, vote for barack obama. but if you want to unleash the power of the free enterprise system, tackle the debt and entitlement issues, repeal obama care, vote for mitt romney. >> we started out at 9,000 and now we're almost at 13,000 on the dow. we're unleashing the private sectors. people like you are making good money from the stock market through this president. so -- i'm not finished yet. the fact of the matter is that you guys have been saying we're going to have a double dip since we've come in, that hasn't happened. this president has made jobs, the forefront of his economic plan. major he shouldn't have focused on health care, but jobs have been his central focus. and you guys can't beat this president on the jobs. >> his central focus this week was trying to play whack-a-mole on student loans which the romney campaign endorsed and on the anniversary of bin laden's
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death politicizing the issue by laying out the charge that mitt romney wouldn't have issued the order to execute the order to execute bin laden. if you can explain to me the rationale of this campaign, which is all over the place like a water hose, let's hear it. >> the campaign has started for you guys in earnest. the campaign has not started for the president of the united states. >> the president has done more fundsing to date than any other president in history. >> this president will let you know when it's time for him to start campaigning. you guys have been campaigning it has not been very good. he's going to be focused on the understand. we understand that the economy is the central focus. you guys want to continue 20 do the same old things, you got grand cayman accounts. you're the guy that's going to fight for the middle class? >> that's a lot what i think you're going to hear, if this election is about grand cayman accounts and dogs and little things, it's going to be a very negative big mess. i think it's going to be a big-choice election. america has a big choice to make. to the degree that it is on the
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economy and jobs, the romney campaign has got a clear and aggressive plan. the president does not. his kickoff, he's kicking off his campaign once again this week. so let's see what he unfurls. but. >> i assure you -- >> romney -- >> i assure you it will be the jobs and the economy. >> not about women. >> are you guys done? >> by the way -- phil is a very good friend of mine. >> i'm thinking you need to have some coffee and work it out. morris reed and phil muster. good to see you. for more analysis, head to taking a look at the week on wall street, all eyes will be focusing on the monthly jobs report for april. some saying it could dip into the minus column the we'll get the latest numbers on auto sales, they're expected to rise. we're going to see general motors earnings, they're expected to fall. and on monday, weather permitting, one world trade
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center will become the tallest building in new york city as well as the western hemisphere. let's go to the start right now. google's meteoric rise on the stock market. here's nbc's tom brokaw, eight years ago today. >> coming soon to wall street. the name google. the valued internet search engine company filed plans today for an initial public offering that's getting big buzz. and is expected to draw big bucks. even though it's still several months away. google is taking an unconventional approach to its ipo. using a public auction to set the price of its shares. >> well, when google finally did go public on august 19th, 2004, it sold for $85 a share. an estimated 1,000 employees became instant millionaires on paper. last friday google closed at almost $615 a share. let's get to today's list of number ones. first, the search for the most fashionable city in america. it has nothing to do with the number of runway models.
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based on shopping at high-end designer merchants. the leader of the upscale pack. is irvine, california. new york is second, los angeles third, oh, and buffalo, yeah, dead last there. travelers take note -- cheap wants you to know that boston's the city with the most expensive hotels. okay. the average price for a double? $194. new york is about $20 cheaper to rank second and in third place, philadelphia. where you're going to pay about $150. looking for the best frequent flyer program? american airlines won that distinction in an annual industry awards event. >> hi, guys. the game is what you want, a game is what you're going to get. we come to play! >> at the weekend box office, "think like a man" leads the way for a second week. expected to rake in a modest $17.5 million. topping billboard's digital chart, it's maroon 5's "pay phone" with an animated music
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video and those are your number ones on "weekends with alex witt." 6r [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually all your important legal matters in just minutes. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business... protect your family... and launch your dreams. at, we put the law on your side. time out. sweet. [ female announcer ] with charmin ultra soft, you can get that cushiony feeling
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. a bit more today on the new rules that secret service agents will be operating under when they travel. the rules include chaperones, curfews, ethics classes and limits on alcohol drinking. joining me live is andrew connell, former secret service agents and author of "secret service agents guideposts and security." were the rules necessary? aren't they kind of common sense? >> i think for the overwhelming number of agents, they're not necessa necessary. they do their work every day around the world and the u.s., protection, investigations. and they live by a standard of excellence and professionalism. for them, it's not necessarily. it may be necessary in the sense that the media, the government, the congress are really all over these allegations.
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so you've got to respond. you respond with an investigation, which is what the secret service has done. and you respond by coming out with enhanced guidelines for the agents to follow. i think it lets american people to know that the secret service is taking this seriously. >> in your experience, because of this sort of drip of news that we're hearing, it's not flattering about the secret service and the allegations of other levels of misconduct. did anybody that you know ever get dismissed or you know, forced into retirement or reprimanded as has been the case in the wake of colombia, for misconduct of this kind? >> no, i don't know of anybody that's had that issue during their career with the secret service. these people are human beings. people make mistakes, poor judgment. that happens in the white house. it happens in governors' offices. it happens in congress. it happens here in the secret service, too. but i think what you need to remember is the overwhelming
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number of agents around the world do a great job every day. mistakes are made. but i don't know of anything like this that's coming up in the past, these types of allegations. >> here's the deal, you guys are sort of the cream of the crop when it comes to strength, professionalism. security. it's the ultimate. how much do you think this is tarnished, not only the image of the secret service, but the agents themselves, are they walking around with them with a dark cloud over them, thinking wow, this sucks? >> no, i think again generally speaking, the agents, they do their job, they're being approached now with jokes about what's going on down there. >> like the president's remark last night. >> let me just tell you, the president closed the night saying i had more material i could have brot forth to the white house correspondents' dipper, but i have to get home because the secret service has to meet their curfew. >> it is serious. it is serious business, security is serious when the president travels. the secret service takes it
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seriously. these agents are not happy to hear about these allegations. again, the overwhelming number of these agents, they do their job every day. the american people know that they do their job every day. professionally and through standard of excellence. so it's tough. but we'll get past it. >> okay. you have no qualms about that? you think we're going to be back to top dog, soon? >> i think the secret service has been back to top dog, it never ends. this is what they do every day is too serious for them to dwell on the allegations. respond to it? yes, minimize it? yes, but move on. >> andy o'connell, thank you very much for your time. if you find your newspaper's coverage on washington a bit lacking perhaps it was because the press corps was at the white house correspondents' dinner. the president took jabs at newt gingrich, mitt romney and more. >> i had a lot more material prepared, but i had to get the secret service home in time for their new curfew.
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>> joining me now is amy our columnist for the "washington post." i should tell you our former secret service agent is sitting here on set. >> is he laughing? >> well, yeah, i think he thought the president did a it better than i did. so how do you grade the president's performance last night? >> i would give him a solid b-plus, a-minus. this it was a pretty good delivery. it was not the best, but you got to leave room for the tops. his routine last year was so electric, just because of the tension with donald trump in the room. and it's hard to top that. but it was pretty good. >> i thought it was pretty good, too. how about this, we'll listen to a clip from host jimmy kimmel. here it is. >> rick santorum is out. i guess it just wasn't rick's year. rick's year is 1954. you know it's one thing to oppose gay marriage. it's another altogether to do it in a sweater vest.
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>> what did you think of jimmy's hosting job? >> you know, he had some very good lines. that really broke up the room. the consensus later was that he maybe went on a little too long, actually and didn't exactly save his best material for last. but you know, people walked away with some pretty good jokes. he took some jabs at lindsay lohan and kim kardashian, who were there in the room, not far away from him. it was a pretty good routine. >> yeah. i have to say i was sitting with my msnbc colleagues, martin bashir and tamryn hall. we almost felt badly for him because he was following the president. is there anything to that? do you want a hot lead-in or do you want to sort of pick up the crescendo? how does that work? >> this is the issue year after year for the comedians. the president is a hard act to follow. part of it is framing, part of it is context, we're always
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going to laugh a little bit harder at whoever the president is because you don't expect the president to be that funny. the -- and in recent years, the president, whether it's obama or bush, had had some very good writers helping them out on these things, of course. so you know, it's not unusual for there to be a little bit of a let-down in the room after the president goes off stage and the professional comedian comes on. >> how about the after-parties? which one was the hottest last night? >> it's all a matter of taste. there's the "vanity fai fair"-bloomberg party, which has become so exclusive, no one can get in. i didn't see even a lot of high-ranking washington faces there. as many show business people as we had at the dinner, a lot of them couldn't get in. the "vanity fair" party was the george clooneys, the paul rudds, the elisabeth banks'. the msnbc party, i don't want to sound like i'm kissing up the hosts, msnbc put on a pretty
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good party. it was a very lively dance floor. i was not there to see it, somebody told me that ed schultz was doing the moonwalk. if there's any corroborating evidence, i want to know about it. >> we're not going to show that tape. but aimy, thank you very much. it was a lot of fun. now we're going to go to number three on our first five web stories, mexico's nonstop volcano. why do they ask me to say the name of this. anyway, this volcano is still sending up plumes of gas and fire. but with a bit less vigor after a week of dramatic activity. the mountain has been erupting at a low level since january, 2005. pull on those gardening gloves. and let's see how colorful an afternoon can be. with certified advice to help us expand our palette... ...and prices that give us more spring per dollar... ...we can mix the right soil with the right ideas.
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now number five on the first five web stories, today marks the first wedding anniversary of prince william and kate middleton, unlike their wedding
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last year, the duke and duchess of cambridge plan to spend the day in private. next week you may hear a new term used to describe the latest generation of americans. unlike x or y, there's no alphabet group involved here. they're being called the plurals. and sherylen hartwell, executive director of a generational strategy program is here to tell us more. glad you're here, because as i ask you my first question, i want to have everyone look on screen. we'll break down the different generation names. talk to me about the plurals. why that term? >> absolutely. well it really comes down to how different they are. and the society that they're growing up in. number one biggest difference for plurals versus millennials is how ethnically diverse they are they will be america's last generation dove a caucasian majority. 54% of this generation is
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caucasian. you compare it to baby boomers where it's 72%. in 17 years this group will actually themselves become pluralistic due to immigration and so forth. in 17 years, they won't even have a caucasian majority. >> okay. so i know that you have said you consider yourself generation y, gen y. what positives or advantages do the plurals generation have over yours? what are the negatives or disadvantages? >> well, i would say one of the biggest distinctions, i think the the way they go about it, whether or not it will being an advantage or disadvantage will be the way they've been parented. we've known, we've celebrated, we've made fun of the boomer, helicopter parenting over us millennials and how they've been so involved in our lives and with the plurals, their parents are gxors, who are very different than boomers. millennials have had such a group focus and a focus on group
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orientation and working together and teams what we see in the parenting styles between boomers and xors is is a much more individual focus. we're starting to see that take root in these plurals, who are kids under the age of 15 right now. they're starting to show more of an emphasis on things like, independence and creativity. and you know -- >> adaptability. >> exactly. >> i think that's going to be a big part of what their social responsibility will be throughout their entire lives. because as we talk about their ethnic composition, they're the last one with the caucasian majority. but the entire country will become pluristic in the year 2042 and they'll have to help manage that transition. >> the plurals, get ready, you're going to hear a lot of it, sherylen hartwell, thank you for joining us from san francisco. office politics with mark h
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halperin, right here on weekends with alex witt.
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good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt kogs coming to you from washington, d.c. we'll get to what's happening right now. president obama and mitt romney's campaigns trotted out two of their senior advisers on nbc's "meet the press," where the economy and the alleged use of osama bin laden's death for political points led that discussion. joining me is nbc news white house correspondent, mike viquiera with another good day to you. i want to take a listen to something ed gillespie from the romney campaign said about the president's use of bin laden. here it is. >> this is one of the reasons that president obama has become one most divisive presidents in american history. he took a unifying event, an event that governor rom dpli congratulated him and the military and the intelligence
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analysts in our government in for completing the mission of killing osama bin laden. and he's managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan, political attack that former defense secretary, frank car lucci for president reagan called sad, john mccain called shameful. i think most americans will see it as a sign of a desperate campaign. >> how much has the white house been touting the bin laden victory? >> let's put it in context, part of it springs from a speech last thursday. a campaign speech that vice president biden gave up in manhattan, he said the bumper sticker for this coming campaign would be bin laden is dead, general motors isn't. there was a web ad released in the week by the campaign that featured bill clinton talking about the raid, talking about how courageous president obama was in pushing that button, and making that call. bill clinton saying he took the harder path. there was a lot of risk
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involved, a lot of downside risk not only for the troops involved, but politically as well and there are interviews being done by administration officials around the anniversary, it comes wednesday, may 2nd. leon panetta gave an interview talking about his time at the c.i.a. during the raid, as he coordinated the attack. reported back to the situation room. and president obama gave an interview to nbc news from the situation room, it was taped it's going to air next week, with brian williams on rock center. and there was some criticism about that as well. of the obama administration. and so that's the context for it. jay carney, the press secretary and other officials say it's all fair game. this is part of the record of president obama on foreign policy. you bet we're going to be talking about it. >> okay. look, president obama's campaign senior adviser, robert gibbs did some hitting back on mitt romney's economic plan. let's take a listen to that. >> we know this about mitt romney. he's not a job creator. when he was governor of massachusetts, they were 47th out of 50 in job creation.
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his experience is, in downsizing and outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies and walking away with a lot of money for himself. his economic ideas are the failed economic ideas that we tried for eight years. tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. and letting wall street go back to writing the rules all over again. that's the policies that got us into this mess. >> so your thought, your reaction to that? >> again, you know, we can talk about the demographics, the war on women. we can talk about the osama bin laden raid and the politics about that. the economy is going to be issue number one and it's got to improve for the president's prospects for re-election to improve. both sides have agreed this is going to be a duff fight. the economy is expected to improve. will the trend be strong enough? will employment be low enough for the president's prospects to get him over the top, to get the 270 electoral votes come november. >> many thanks for that joining me, we further this discussion with real clear politics
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reporter, erin pike and deputy political he hadder for the "washington post," ann corn. you heard robert gibbs attacking mitt romney on the economy. will this attack stick? >> obviously the romney campaign is going after the president on the economy, so it's the only thing they have to do. so whether it sticks or not, i don't know. but they have to try something. they can't continue to move the fight to foreign policy. they have to fight back on the economy. >> you look at the romney campaign, ann, they continue attacking the president on the economy not moving quickly enough. how does the president's camp respond to those charges? >> it's tricky, because they say they want the economy to continue improving. they don't say that it's all been fixed. and certainly every time there's new jobs report, they use the same line. but their response is to look at what romney would do if he were elected. and to look at the previous administration. look at the past republican administration and look at the paul ryan budget. expect to hear these three words
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together for the duration of this campaign. and their goal is to draw a contra contrast, no the to say that they've been perfect, but what mitt romney would do would leave more people in hardship and further the inequality. they're talking about a system that is rigged, unequal, that seems to be what's resonating the most for them. >> we're here in d.c., because of what, the white house correspondents' dinner. so let's talk about this with you, erin. the president did a great performance, kept the jokes oncoming. we're going it play a clip, here's one. >> my fellow americans, we gather during an historic anniversary. last year at this time, in fact on this very weekend, we finally delivered justice to one of the world's most notorious individuals. [ applause ] >> you had to get there, it took a second, because had you to get
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the punch line. what did you think of the president's performance. >> i thought he was a lot funnier than jimmy kimmel. did he a great job, he must have better writers. >> who writes those? does he have to bring in comedic writers? >> i think it's all inside stuff. >> apparently everybody submits, people in the president's orbit, white house staffers, people on the outside, submit their one-liners and they go through and see which ones are the funniest. >> i thought the funniest line of jokes with the president was about the dog stuff. because the republican national committee last week was making fun of the president because from his first book, he talked about how he ate dog meat in indonesia. so the republicans made hay about that all last week and the president got down to that level and was joking about that. i thought that was hysterical. >> what an honor to have your one-liner jokes. they're great, because they're all so inside and timely and they're so perfectly woven together. that's amazing. >> his delivery was pretty good, you have to admit. he can sing, he can deliver
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jokes. he -- >> i think he has a second act. >> yeah or a plan b. >> and he, at the very beginning he was introducing himself again. and he said, and as you all know i was born in hawaii and the facial expression with the wink was actually perfect. the timing was right on. >> it was very, very amusing. real quick before i go, since i've got you and your brain trust here. with mitt romney's trim tripp to new hampshire tomorrow, some people look at her as being a vp pick. what do you think the likelihood is of that? >> i think she has to kind of be in the round of speculation because he does need a woman and she is very good and very solid. and you know -- >> you think he does need a woman? >> he needs to have a woman who he vets. he has to have a woman in the -- i don't think it's likely that she will be picked. however, i have heard more speculation that if we do see a romney administration, she will be in the running for a supreme
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court justice, actually. which i think was an interesting thing to hear. >> do you think the romney camp would pick a woman? or do you think that doesn't play in here. >> i don't know that they'd be opposed to picking a woman. i think they're not going to be big risk takers after what happened four years ago and there aren't that many vetted republican women who have been through the wringer a few times who i think would be obvious choices and not present a risk. >> i hear they are vetting incredibly thoroughly. the romney camp, they've been on it for months. >> wouldn't you be? four years ago, taught the lesson that you don't want to be googling your prospects at the last minute. >> good point. thank you, we'll see you again later. developing news out of northwest pakistan, crews trying to search for more victims in a u.s. drone attack. the missile strikes killed at least six suspected militants at their training facility. resultant fire in hovering drones are keeping rescuers from reaching the site. the first american drone attack in pakistan after the country
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demanded a complete halt and it will likely strain already-tense relations. high-level talks between the u.s. and china are being thrown off balance between an international custody dispute. it concern as leading human rights activist who escaped hout arrest in china and is now reportedly at large in beijing. nbc's kirr simmons is joining us live with more. >> the last we heard about chen guan guangcheng. do we know where he is now? >> the think about him is he's going to get a lot of interest from many in the states. this is a human rights campaigner who is opposed to forced sterilizations and forced abortions in china. he's been under house arrest in china since 2010. what apparently he did was scale the walls of his compound. then drive for hundreds of miles at speed, chased to beijing and
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got himself into the u.s. embassy. and that, according to reports, and it's just reports, is where he is now. so we have hillary clinton's diplomatic visit to china coming this week. with this human rights campaigner. in the u.s. embassy and the chinese saying could you hand him back, please? >> and keir, how much is the story widely circulated and how much might it cause complications with hillary clinton's arrival there? >> in terms of the chinese, here's where it counts, because the political leadership in china is really divided. and this may well help the hard-liners to say, hold on a second, look, we can't work so well with the west because look, what happens -- for the u.s. clearly inks r things are much more complicated with china than they used to be back in tiananmen square. they're much more commercial relations. so hillary clinton has to walk a very difficult line. because after all washington has
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the nate has passed a bipartisan bill that would allow the u.s. postal service to end saturday mail. the measure is part of a plan to turn around the struggling service which lost $3 billion last quarter. it hopes to cut costs by $20 billion in the next three years. but don't stop checking your mail box yet. the house has its own republican-sponsored bill and that differs significantly from the senate's.
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anyone surprised by that? we're going to be joined with details now by emily stevenson from "reuters." good day to you, emily, thanks for being here. here's the question about the senate bill that just passed. how would it change the postal service overall? >> well you mentioned saturday mailth and that i think is one of the things that people are most curious about. the bill would allow the postal service to end saturday mail after two years. and basically the reason for that is the postal service says they don't have enough mail. they're not delivering enough mail to justify it. >> online and other processes. >> you can pay bills online. send birthday cards online. that's one of the main things. the bill also puts some restrictions in place to protect rural post offices, a lot of people who live in these rural communities are concerned about losing their post offices. it gives the postal service $11 billion that the postal service has sort of overpaid into a federal retirement account. and gives them that money and lets them use that to offer
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incentives for workers to retire. because their workforce is big. >> paying into the retirement fund is a lot of where the money is going and where a lot of the problem is financially with the postal service now. and with regard to the house and what they would propose, how does it differ? >> the biggest difference between the house and senate bill, the house bill creates these oversight groups. one would take basically take over when the postal service is in default to the federal government. if they fail to make a payment. the group would come in and figure out where to cut costs and there's another bill that the group would figure out how to close post offices. it takes it out of the personal hands. sort of the way the military handles base closures. it's sort of the same idea. >> so, project your thoughts on the likelihood of this bill getting to the president's desk. >> right. great question. always hard to tell, i think you've seen a lot of interest from both parties and both
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houses. in trying to get something done on postal reform. but as you mentioned, the bills are significantly different. one thing i think is interesting to note, is that the sort of breakdown in congress is not so much democrat-republican on this bill. it's sort of rural lawmakers, rural states versus urban. because the you rely on your post office is different. if you live in rural north carolina like my grandparents versus in washington or new york. >> how about just the simple, you know, approach of raising the price of a stamp? i mean can that save the post office, and save saturdays potentially? >> i haven't done the math. i can't tell you. but i can tell you that businesses are concerned about stamp prices going up. if you send mail in bulk. then you can understand if the price goes up, you have to factor that into your costs and you might move online more. there are arguments that raising
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the price of stamps would help and there are arguments it would drive more people out of mail. >> we'll see how it plays out. emily stevenson from "reuters," appreciate it. today mark a year of wedded bliss for the duke and duchess of cambridge, but are wills and kate happy. and later, the big three weighs in at the white house correspondents' dinner, laugh-in. funny or not. >> because you lot so much weight, we thought you were the guy who won the boston marathon. this is how you know the country is in bad shape. our president is starving. north korea is sending him food aid.
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> okay. an inauspicious beginning. today marks year since the royal wedding of the duke and duchess of cambridge and the couple says they plan to spend the day in private. quite the contrast from last year when the entire world tuned in to see them exchange their vows. imo gene weber is here with more. thanks for joining us. the big draw for the wedding was, let's face it, it was kate middleton, now the duchess kate. prior to the wedding it seemed like everyone in the royal family loved her. including the queen and nobody wanted a do-over. how about now? >> they still absolutely adore her. palace insiders say that the queen has never been so welcoming, or so fond of someone coming into the royal family as she is of kate.
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kate has been accompanying the queen on various big diamond jubilee vacations, the an verse of 60 years on the thrown. the queen loves her, prince charles loves her. she's doing unbelievably well with the royal family and more importantly, she's doing very well with the people of the united kingdom. tough times in the uk at the moment. double-dip recession going on. but at the same time, prince william and kate have done very well about keeping it royal and keeping it real at the same time. so yes, she wears designer clothes, but she's busy shopping on main street as well. and she's uflly liked. >> you talk about her being loved by the people. as was her late mother-in-law, princess diana of course. there seems to be a difference between the two of them. it's as if will and kate's marriage is based in reality as opposed to what we all thought was the fairy tale for princess diana and prince charles. are they just distinctly
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different in their approaches to marriage. >> william in his engagement interview said he had learned the lessons of the past. his relationship with kate has opposite to charles and diana's. charles and diana met 13 times before they became engaged. william and kate obviously dated for ten years. they knew each other, they had lived with each other. kate had had an opportunity to back out if she wanted to. she's obviously a lot older than diana was. she's had time to prepare. she's also been very much looked after since she got married to william. by palace insiders, by william himself. she's been allowed to be a flexi time royal, spent quite a lot of time in wales, being mrs. wales, is a she's had a very different time if diana. who was thrust into the spotlight immediately and diana was pregnant. william was born 11 months after his parents' marriage. kate and william have waited and the smart money is they'll have
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a baby next year. >> do you think they get at all annoyed by all the talk and speculation and people begging for the pitter patter of baby royal feet? >> i think it's got to be hard. but on some levels it's very much expected. the royal wife's first big duty is to produce an heir and a spare. kate marrying into the royal family we think has generated about $1.6 billion to the british economy over the past year for retail and tourism. so they know how important they are to the country and they just, they do put up with it. >> yeah and they will be the ambassadors for the london olympic games which will be a lot of fun. thanks for a chat, good to see you. in today's office politics, msnbc's senior political analyst mark halperin talks about why he won't unclutter his office until next year. hit 'em, with roundup extended control. one application kills weeds, and stops new ones
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the more you know. what's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit
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bull? a pit bull is delicious. >> oh yeah. it appeared nothing was off limits for president obama at last night's white house correspondents' dinner. even man's best friend that leads us to sunday's big three. today's topics, d.c. love fest. uncool versus cool. and politics of terror. we're going to bring in the big three panel, democratic strategist and msnbc contributor crystal ball, deputy political editor and robert tra were everyone everyone. >> getting with you on this not that i'm talking with you about being uncool. i'm just saying the cool versus uncool. mitt romney's senior adviser, responded to president obama's appearance on jimmy fallon. let's take a listen to the slow-jamming routine. here we go.
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>> the governor has done late-night before. he's poked fun at himself. i remember he did a top ten on david letterman. we'll probably do it again. but you won't see the governor slow-jamming. >> so, first of all, ha do you think about that. slamming the slow jamming shall we say. but also the fact that they say he may appear on snl. these are on, in areas where you have to really make sure you're going to be on your game. if it falls flat, ouch. >> you need to be yourself. and mitt romney is pretty much a square peg. i think even he would admit that. so the challenge is for romney oakes folks to make sure he's likable, approachable and has a sense of humor. but not embarrassing him. if he goes on "saturday night live," i think the advisers to romney need to say, governor, be yourself, don't force it. >> you have do give him props for what he did on david letterman. >> you have to take a listen of what mitt romney's advisers said. >> this is not an election that's going to be decided on
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issues like dogs, or likeability, there's going to be decided on the economy. >> so is the romney camp downplaying the likeability factor? >> if you look at the numbers for president obama, there's a big divide. >> well clearly they are and the big divide is a lot bigger than what i think anyone would have expected. romney's likeability numbers are double digits where president obama's are. thy ink in part because obama has done a good job of being likable and they've done a lot to make him seem more accessible. we've had obama in some accessible settings. some of it is just romney after the primary having been removed from normal people settings and comments about his wealth that even he has made that made him seem even more distant. although people do care about their own pocketbooks more than whether they want to have a beer with any particular candidate. that's the likeability quality, still, in all the recent elections we've had, the more likable person has won.
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>> and unfavorable numbers are very hard to overcome. even if you are right on the substance as they believe he is. >> crystal, presuming that likeability translates -- coolness translates to likeability, do you think the obama camp should be worried about being too cool? >> not really. i think it's funny. the republican attacks, are kind of interesting because as ann is pointing out. the slam was that he was too aloof. he's profess orrial. he was too elite. now that you're seeing these very enthusiastic, college crowds, suddenly they're going back to he's too cool, he's a celebrity. which the celebrity attack was pretty successful in the 2008 election. so they're trying to grab back on to that. but really, they're trying to undermine one of his strengths, if the question in the election is who is more likable. i don't think it's a question who going to end up winning. >> okay. >> let's just remind ourselves, president obama won in 2008 on the backs of young voters,
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individuals under the age of 30. so the coolness factor obviously translates to votes, let's also keep in mind that the president lost the quote-unquote angry white male, white men without a college education, without a high school diploma, by double digits, the question is where does that voting bloc go and romney folks are trying to pick it up. >> let's switch topics to talk about the politics of terror as senator john mccain, he released a strongly-worded statement about the obama camp's ad where it talks about touting the president's foreign policy successes. here's a bit, that's what he was saying, senator john mccain, let's look at the ad. >> he took the harder and the more honorable path. and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result. >> yeah. we're going to put up john mccain's response there one more time and folks can read it for themselves. with you, crystal, do you think that the president is using the
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death of osama bin laden for political gain, and is there something wrong with that if he is? >> no, i wouldn't put it that way at all. do you remember this ad that hillary clinton ran last time around. where it was the phone rings at 3:00 a.m. who do you want answering the phone? >> sure. >> and this is proof positive, 100% that the president has answered the phone call, made the right decision under pressure and had success. so i don't think that there's anything wrong with talking about that. and frankly, for john mccain, to argue otherwise is a bit hypocritical. part of his major selling point in his campaign, and i think that that is valid, was his history as a war hero and what he went through and the sacrifices he made for his country. that service, i don't think talking about those things, i don't think that there's anything wrong with that. >> what do you think, robert, with regard to all of this? >> it's always, the president and his administration are skating on thin ice with this. the reason why is because you never want to politicize something so horrific as a 9/11
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and the connection to that. i think president bush in his re-election in 2004 was very cognizant of that. i think this president needs to be cognizant of that going through the re-election. having said that, this happened under his watch. the killing of osama bin laden. so he should quote-unquote take credit for that, for lack of a better term. but in the context of keeping us safe, he has every right as our president and commander-in-chief to remind us of that. but i don't think he has the right to politicize that. >> i would say that president bush and rudy giuliani certainly, certainly used 9/11 a lot in their campaign. it's not without precedent to talk about these tough times. >> your reaction? >> i mean is it fair? i would think it might be fair for the president to raise what mitt romney himself talked about in the last campaign and whether he himself would have used drone strikes in pakistan, whether he would have gone after as he put it, one person, just a big witch hunt for one person. i think that romney would have to expect that his words are going to come perhaps back to haunt him. and that the obama campaign would use that. i think 2004 is actually a good memory for us to have.
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president bush didn't run on 9/11 explicitly. but he had the war on terror front and center in that campaign. >> you guys sit tight and we'll talk about the white house correspondents' dinner. coming up right now in this week's office politics, we talk with mark halperin, "time" magazine's editor at large, also the co-author of the best-selling book, "game change." he explains why he is not cleaning his office until next january. but first i asked him why mitt romney doesn't come across as a great campaigner. >> i'm one of the few people in the country besides his close friends and co-workers who have seen this in him. he's a much more engaging personality off-camera. >> you hear that one-on-one he is a rock star. >> even in small groups, he's great. but part of the challenge of being president, not just getting elected president, but being president, is being able to communicate to lots of people, mostly through television. the warmth of your personality,
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your sense of humor. >> is it fair that i'm even asking you this question, then, saying he's not a good campaign centre. >> it's not our fault, it's his fault. and those around him. he's going to have to figure out a way to do it. i don't think it's unfair to say that the mitt romney that most people see is not as comfortable and charismatic as the president. also has kind of an an akronistic 1950s vocabulary and sensibility that some people find maybe geekly endearing. but you know, he's no match for the president as a public presenter. i think he'll have to get better to win. like i said, i've seen it, not very often because i've not had that many opportunities to spend that kind of time with him. i've seen it and it's worlds away from what most people think of him and much more compelling and attractive. and you know, i've talked to the people who have known him a lot longer than i have. about this topic regularly and
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the conversation always ends the same way. which is an agreement that if everybody in the country could see him the way the people who know him best, his family and close friends and co-workers, he would have a much better chance of winning the election. >> if the economy continues to improve. slowly shows the sign. does mitt romney have a chance of winning in your mind, realistically? >> i think he has a chance no matter what. no matter the state of the economy. because the president has been in office a long time. even if the economy is getting better. i think governor romney will be able to raise questions about are these the right policies going forward. we'll have to see what happens with obama care and the supreme court. i think that will be a big deal. look, i say all the time, the president is the favorite for re-election. no matter what the state of the economy, i will say that until election day. he's a well-funded, talented, likable incumbent who has got a lot of experience on the job and has had some successes he can
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point to. whatever the state of the economy, he could lose as far as i'm concerned, with the parameters of what's feasible. whatever the state of the economy, he could win, he coulds although, either way. i don't think that is as controlling numerically or as a single issue as some others do. are we going it talk about why my office looks like this? >> why does your office look like this, mark halperin? >> because i have had throughout my career, the unfortunate experience of -- the bureaucracy -- wants me to move offices like right in the heat of the presidential campaign. it happens all the time. the bureaucracy just says, you have to move like we're all moving to a different floor. and so -- this is best i could do to get it in semi working order. but it's going to look like this until probably someone takes the oath of office in january of 2013. because it doesn't make sense to me to stop what i'm doing and unpack. >> you really operate in a neat office, usually? >> yes. >> does this make you crazy? >> totally makes me crazy.
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it would take me like a day to do this and i don't want to spend a day. i could, but i would rather do my expenses, something fun like that. or do some reporting or go out there. >> or do office politics. >> there you go. >> walk across the street. i thought about turning office politics, because there's a lot of people here. i've looked at you as a skilled video journalist, you have hands that could help me unpack. >> that's a wrap. we're done with "office politics." next week's "office politics" i'm talking with war reporter and author, sebastian junger, you may know him as the author of the book "the perfect storm." in a moment, a surprising survey of arizona voters about their stance on immigration. the capital one cash rewards card
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the firestorm seems to be cooling over arizona's controversial law cracking down on illegal immigration two years after sb 1007 was signed into law, a new poll shows 60% of voters support the law. but at the same time, 73% support the dream act proposal, which would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are college students or members of the military. joining me now is jorge cafineita, latin america policy analyst for msnbc. let's look at all of this. with the majority of the arizona voters supporting sb 1070, but they also support the dream act. how do you explain that? >> well, first of all people's feelings on immigration in general in the united states are very contradictory, they want to have both sides of the issue very on and it's not always possible. americans are very tolerant of immigration, for supportive of immigration on the one hand and they don't like many of the
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consequences of immigration on the other hand. the case in arizona, maybe one of the issues is that the law, sb 1070 has driven a lot of undocumented or illegal mexican immigrants in particularly, out of the state. and that always tends to sort of bring down pressures and make people a little bit more relaxed. it's not the best way of solving this issue but it does have a certain effectiveness. >> yeah. >> there are some numbers that show some pretty tremendous changes under way. this he is are new numbers from the pew hispanic center, that show from 2005 to 2010, almost 1.4 million people came from mexico to the u.s. and almost the same number went from the u.s. back to mexico. pew says the largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the u.s. has come to a standstill jorge. so you get those number there is, is illegal immigration as much of a problem as it used to be? is it now almost overstated for political reasons? >> a lot of this has to do with the 2009 recession. so part of those numbers are
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probably affected by that one very bad year, when perhaps some people, some mexicans in the u.s. without papers, went back to mexico. what's been happening at the same time. it's interesting, alex. legal immigration for mexico to the united states has increased very strongly over the past three or four years. 2010 may have seen the greatest number of legal immigrants coming from mexico to the united states, since the 1950s. perhaps as many as 700,000 people. between people acquiring permanent resident status. the nafta visas, investor visas. >> do you think that is because of increased opportunity and availability of these visa programs? or of the increasing border patrol and the effect of that? >> i think it's a little bit of both. in other words, it's becoming more expensive and more
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dangerous to cross mexico or through mexico, come to the united states illegally. because of the drug cartels, because of border patrol enforcement. all sorts of things, and at the same time, there are more legal avenues, because there are more visas issued by the u.s. government without making such a big fuss about it. and in many ways, immigration reform on legal entries has already begun to take place. so jorge, we are approaching a year now since osama bin laden was killed. and some of the other concerns was whether terrorists can travel through mexico to make their way here into the u.s. is that something mexican officials are paying close attention to and are they working with u.s. officials on this? i think they have, i think ever since 9/11 there's been incredibly close cooperation between the mexican government and first the bush administration and now the obama administration. to insure that none of that happens. and in fact, it's been more than ten years now.
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there hasn't been a single incident, not even the suspicion of any kind of terrorist threat, entering the united states through mexico. i think it meeks a lot about the cooperation between between the governments which will go forward, i'm sure, because it's in everybody's interest for this to continue. >> the former foreign minister of mexico, jorge castaneda, welcome to the family. >> great to be here. >> up next, the big three's take of the chuckles at the white house correspondents dinner. aspirin is just old school.
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i'm not going to attack any of the republican candidates. take mitt romney. [ laughter ] >> he and i actually have a lot in common. we both think of our wives as our better halves and polls show to an alarmingly insulting extent the american people agree.
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[ laughter ] >> well, president obama poking fun at last night's white house correspondents dinner. that's our third topic in today's big three. let's bring back the panel. you know, you guys, this is always fun. krystal, what did you think of the president's performance? >> his timing is incredible. my favorite is when he delivers the line, waits and then he chuckles at it. he does it well. my favorite was when he was talking about how jimmy kimmel's show is the man show. in d.c. we call it a meeting on contraception. >> what do you think, robert? >> i give him an a. his timing is impeccable. he likes to laugh at himself which shows me he's comfortable with himself. my favorite line was i have to go, the secret service has a new curfew. i thought it was funny.
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>> i talked with you about this, but have you thought about the top moments last night? >> i have to give president obama and the white house team credit for the video. they made a fake ad that you saw about what the dog ads might be this season. poking fun at both sides and the closing shot was a picture of a campaign on air force one with mitt romney in front and a dog in a crate on top. they took a ridiculous moment to make it funny for us. >> i wonder if people will talk about our table and how loud we were laughing. i wonder if we went above by bringing in too much rock and roll. we were laughing so hard. >> everybody needs to have fun. >> it was great fun. how about the must reads? what's your must read. >> in the washin p great piece out on al qaeda today that i recommend for people who remember where we were a year
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ago. they are not as demolished as people thought. it's a good read. >> we were talking about how this night a year ago the president, calm, cool and collected. we didn't know it was happening and we were shocked. >> incredible. >> it brought it back. how about yours? >> the washington post, norm ornstein and thomas mann have a piece about how far to the right and how extreme the republican position has been and how they have been behind a lot of the gridlock in the impossibility of getting things accomplished in congress. they make an interesting point about the media saying balanced coverage of extremism creates a distorted narrative. >> robert? >> front page of the new york times, a story about apple making billions of dollars and pay no taxes on it. the reason is there is a huge corporate tax loophole the apple is headquartered in cuperdino and they are in the kcayman islands and other places.
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>> cinderella will be heading back to new york. that's a wrap of the sunday edition. up next, "meet the press." have a great day. see you from new york next see you from new york next weeken [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
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