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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  May 16, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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brinkmanship politics. he just wants everyone to act in a quote adult like fashion. it is wednesday may 16th, and this is "now." joining me today, political commentator alicia menendez, nbc news political analyst, former governor ed rendell, former republican governor of new york, george pataki, and msnbc political analyst and former rnc chair the notorious michael steele. >> very notorious. >> right now, president obama is sitting down for lunch with congressional leadership from both sides of the aisle. john boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid and mitch mcconnell all arrived at the white house in the last 30 minutes. on the menu are hogies is stuffed with cooperation and compromise. the question is, will anyone take a bite in the speaker boehner a day after suggesting
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he would once again hold the u.s. credit rating hostage in exchange for new spending cuts said this morning he just wants everybody to get along. >> what i'm trying to do is encourage people on both sides of the aisle on both sides of the capital and on both ends of pennsylvania avenue to be honest with the american people and to be honest with ourselves to begin to tackle this problem in an adult life manner. >> governor pataki, i go to you first on this. >> thank you. i guess. i'm not sure. >> i think you'll thank me in the end. during last season's debt debacle, were the republicans acting in adult like fashion? >>, of course, they were. if you read inside what happened, leader boehner and president obama actually had some private meetings where they came very close to having an agreement on a larger solution, not just to deal with the debt crisis but to take some serious steps to reduce the deficit. and what happened is when president obama's staffers went into the pelosi house caucus,
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they got hooted out of the place because they were talking about entitlement reform. i'm all for bipartisanship but it takes both sides. the senate is the house that for three years has not even passed a budget. how do you negotiate when the other side stonewalls you? >> so you don't think that what has been termed a wild house republican caucus has anything to do with the fact that a deal on the debt was not made? >> when you are in power, you are held accountable whether or not you're the one who ultimately is responsible, but i had a lot of experience dealing with a split legislature, and what you do is you laid out your position, one house would lay theres and you would sit down and try to work it out. how do you do that when we have a president whose budget was voted down 98-0 in the senate and when you have a senate that for three years has not passed a budget? how do you negotiate and create bipartisanship. >> i'm wearing purple, not red
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or blue today. i would say how do you have bipartisanship when you have a senate republican leader who said at the beginning of the president's term our job is to make him a one-term president and now we have republicans not only unrunning for office but in office and said bipartisanship equals democrats coming to our side of the aisle. let's let governor rendell weigh in in terms of cooperation, bipartisanship, is it on the menu? >> i think a lot of things that governor pa tack kill said are not necessarily wrong, alex. but i also think he's holding the republican caucus blameless and they weren't blameless. they acted childishly and said it's our way or the highway just as much. speaker boehner couldn't get the deal he made with the president, couldn't sell it to his own caucus. and the governor is sort of glossing over that. but here's what i think we ought to do. here's what i think we ought to do. this is important. i think as the debt issue
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continues to be an issue in the campaign and as we're getting close to the other one, if i were president obama i would say gentlemen, ladies, you're right. we've got to settle this. it takes presidential leadership. i'm proposing that we do a version of simpson-bowles. let's spend the next two weeks together, no press. and lets hammer out something and my guys are going to give an entitlements but you guys are going to give on revenue because everyone knows we can't do it by cuts alone and by revenue alone. >> you're right. i think that that's the reality and actually a little bit of a conundrum for the house leadership team if the president does put simpson-bowles on the table, which would be a wonderful thing since it was you know his team to put it together in the first place and creating this commission that he ignored for a year. we'll set that aside. if he comes to the table now, it's better late than never. number two, to the governor's point about you know, the members in the house and you know, those folks were elected.
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>> this governor or this governor? >> as a former lieutenant governor, i'm sitting here a little bit. >> alicia was a former, never mind. >> my point is that, you know, you talk about the house members. they came to the table with a clear mandate from people who elected them in 2010 to control the spending. that was their first charge. so their first point of attack was on the spending side of it. to the governor -- to governor pataki's point about how this whole thing gets played out, the reality we're faced with is there are some tools that can be pulled still out of that toolbox for both the republicans and the president to work with. the question is too to your point governor rendell, whether or not the presidential leadership to take on simpson-bowles and say this is the starting point. >> michael, real quickly. it's great politics for the president, too. it takes the debt issue away. it makes him look like a leader. it's exactly what he should do for political reasons and for the good of the country. >> ed, i wish you were sitting
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next to the president. he should have done this a year ago. if he does it today, i think the american people, republicans and democrats will say this is exactly the type of solution we need. >> absolutely. >> i'm not going to hold my breath. >> i'm not either. >> it was his commission. when they came out with the report, he basically threw it in the garbage, thanked them and walked away. >> as we all pile on the president for not leading on simpson-bowles, it bears mentioning the republicans and mitt romney has made a big deal of the prairie fire of debt, the fire and brimstone, the hell fires that await us if we don't tackle the mounting debt. at the same time, when you talk about the big contributors to our debt and deficit, the bush tax cuts are pretty far up there. it is an anathema to the republican party that we would tackle something that would -- the top 5% have -- that is but tax cuts to the top 5% have contributed the numbers are moving as we speak 1 trillion 94
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billion 211 million. >> the stimulus package alone costs almost as much as the bush tax cuts. >> borrowed and we're paying interest on, governor. >> you always neglect to tell the people that $370 billion of it were tax cuts. >> alicea a former governor of awesome and a current governor of awesome. >> i'm a formerly new jersey girls state governor. does that count? >> i went to boys state notice new york and i lost. >> there you go. >> not a title to be swept under the rug. when we talk about the rhetoric around fiscal matters romney has ratcheted it up in recent days. i want to play sound from yesterday. >> it's high time that we have a president who stop the spending and borrowing inferno and i
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will. a prayer ril fire of debt is sweeping across iowa and across the nation. and every day that we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and the children we love. this debt is america's nightmare mortgage. >> so some strong words there, the a.p. did a fact check of romney's statements yesterday today and says romney would have to slash domestic programs by more than 20%, far more than the 5% in immediate cuts he proposed. it is nearly unthinkable that congress wos approve the evisceration of basic federal functions such as food inspection, air traffic control, board offer control, fbi, grants to local governments, housing and heating aid for the poor, food aid for pregnant women, national parks and much more. >> isn't it wonderful we have an unbiased neutral press that reports things like -- >> alicea. >> without emasculating is every program. >> this argument carries more weight if he's willing to tick through the items he's willing
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to cut. just like we've been talking about president obama upping his leadership, it would be a big step for romney to say maybe we do need to put taxes on the table if there really is this sweeping inferno of debt, let's also talk how we raise the revenue side. that would be true leadership, not something we've come to expect from mitt romney. >> understand that the romney economic plan would contribute significantly to the debt because further taxes. he not only wants to keep the bush tax cuts in place, he wants to cut it more which adds to the debts. >> but so does simpson-bowles. they lowered the top marginal rate down to 24%, the opposite of what president obama is proposing. >> we're agreed on that. don't let romney get off the hook. he's not a simple son boles man. >> he has been very supportive of the ryan plan which does deal with the deficit, which was passed and we can agree or not agree with it, but in fact, it does answer --? >> you're right, governor
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pataki. >> what is he going to do. >> there are many questions we can have about the ryan plan. it would uninsure up to 57 million americans. >> not 56 million 9999. >> the ryan plan makes clear the priority is not on the poor or to help the poor and the working class. >> that is such a wonderful talking point but it is so painfully not true. >> we will talk more about with why it's painfully untrue after the break. coming up, we will discuss the fbi launching an investigation, a congressional panel discussing the jpmorgan's $2 billion trading blunder and what of financial regulation? we'll look at all of that and rebut anything michael steele says next on "now." [ male announcer ] the inspiring story
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we are again hearing from some of our colleagues that we need a law which will essentially prevent a business from losing money or taking risk. and no law can do that. >> we cannot afford business as usual because it brings down the economy with these institutions when they become so large that they have an impact across not only the american economy but the economy of the world. >> financial regulations are taking center stage at a house hearing that was scheduled before jpmorgan chase disclosed last week it had racked up $2 billion if had trading losses. the hearing comes as the fbi
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confirms it's launched a preliminary criminal investigation into what is caused the massive mistake. governor rendell, i go to you first. are we going to see any kind of regulatory reform vis-a-vis the financial sector? >> yeah, i think dodd-frank will be implemented even if governor romney were to win the presidency, the democrats in the senate will always have at least 40 votes and won't let it be rolled back. the key is to find out which regulations can be implemented quickly and which can be implemented with common sense. and look, it is a balance. i think the governor and michael off camera we talked about this. there is a balance. you don't want to take risk totally out of the equation because that's how businesses grow when they take prudent risks but we want those ricks to be prudent particularly when they're using other people's money. that's the key. >> governor respectfully, we want those risks to be prudent especially when they're using other people's money. what about our government?
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spending is trillions more than it has and it's our money. now it's not even our money. they're borrowing it from china. >> two wrongs don't make a right. >> that's right. but you're saying that those government officialses are bankrupting our country have more intelligence and ability to oversee international financial institutions -- >> wait, wait. >> let me give one. >> what would do you? >> i'd do one simple thing. fire jamie dimon, make -- fire jamie dimon, make barney frank head of jpmorgan chase. he knows how to run a bank and more about global finance than the best banker in the world. >> all right. >> >> this could be called governor versus governor instead of now with alex." >> we're talking about paul volcker. he knows more about what's necessary for financial institutions than respectfully anybody here. he thinks there needs to be stricter regulations. >> and i would say, governor, we talk about the trouble that we're in. i think that wall street
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certainly has some blood on its hands. >> of course it does. >> the overwhelming pushback michael steele, about you know from the financial services sector on any kind of regulation has seemed to me quite breathless. >> the financial sectors react to overregulating them the way the government reacts when something happens in a negative way in the financial markets. that's what we're seeing here. again, the government after the fact decides to overreact and wants to have all these investigations. okay, fine. we'll do that. we want to the investigate a $2 billion loss within a company that the ceo comes out straight out front and says i paid a mistake. we shouldn't have done this and has taken on the blame versus the $1.6 billion loss from mf global where corzine goes, i don't know where the money is. i have no idea. i know nothing. >> that's a very good point. when we talk about how jamie dimon has handled this, it has been masterful. he's learned from the past
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mistakes of others. he came forward and said we made a mistake. it was a huge blunder. it's a huge problem. i'm at fault which in many ways left him -- he had his meeting yesterday with shareholders and basically got off. >> then he finds a woman to throw herself under the bus and become the sacrificial lamb. >> a woman was making $14 million a year. she was really working in the coal mine. i feel really bad for her. >> this is not an indictment. >> loses billion after making 14 million a year. >> to say he handle this had exactly as it should be handled from a pr standpoint but so what if there are no consequences? >> what's the criminality here? this is the problem i have with a lot of folks in washington especially. coming in and demagogue criminal behavior on the behalf transactions and business dealings that on its face without the appropriate digging down i guess, you just can't make that assertion.
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>> i would sailed two things. one, in terms of the criminal question, we have had, again, the biggest financial meltdown since the great depression. nobody's got o gone to jail for it. >> what should they go to jail for. >> to alicia's point, the bigger issue, michael steele, the problem is too big to fail. before the meltdown, the five largest banks in the u.s. controlled $6.1 trillion in assets. after, which is to say now, they control 8.5 trillion. >> then lock them up because they shouldn't have made that money. then lock them up. where's the criminal behavior here? >> it's not criminal. but there are consequences. >> take that aside. the point you just made before, where is the criminal behavior? you said we had this great financial meltdown. >> it's not about criminalizing it. >> you said no one's gone to jail. >> where that becomes relevant is that you have this populace rage against wall street independent republicans. >> what do you want them to go to jail for. >> we're talking about the fact that what she's trying to say is
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there have been no level of consequence for these people and the populace rage dictates that's how angry they are. >> the consequence is criminal sanctions meaning going to jail or is it something else? >> michael, you all know -- you won't know that the till there's an investigation. in the keating five, people went to jail because they defrauded the people they should have been protecting. >> why hasn't this administration conducted this investigation? >> there are on going investigations. >> the fbi is launching an investigation. >> but we're actually talking about two different points. one is having to deal with the past which is to say perhaps criminal charges should be brought against some folks. the second is the present which is these banks are still too big to fail, bigger than ever. when you have something like a $2 billion loss, it's not a big deal for jpmorgan. but the repercussions are quite serious for steak holders and shareholders. it's harder and harder to go to break during this show.
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it's good. after the break, former president bill clinton offers president obama and former governor romney friendly advice. we will discuss it next. can't ah nutrition you can see. great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. i'm eating what i know is better nutrition. mmmm. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] virtual wallet can help you be that person who's good with money. see what's free to spend. move money with a slide. save with a shake. feel good about your decisions.
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the president i think should talk more about the medicare savings he has proposed and the defense cuts he has proposed. we ought to be talking about this stuff. >> that was former president bill clinton at a financial summit in washington yesterday offering some sage advice for president obama. he also had some thoughts for former governor mitt romney. >> i feel a lot of sympathy for him because the whole primary was about trying to find somebody that was a true conservative. they're going to vote for him anyway, those people. >> clinton's comments came a few hours before romney wondered
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allowed if there is a personal beef between the president and the clintons. alicia, bill clinton still america's president, right? who else could go out there and offer some words of advice to both sides as he campaigns for president obama's re-election? and maybe team romney is actually listening to him. what do you make of clinton and his advice, but also the suggestion that there is a personal beef between team obama and team clinton. >> this is what bill clinton doing what he does best, freesty freestyling. when he listen to what he said about president obama, i don't think there's any criticism. he's saying take credit for the things you have done to speak to republicans' concerns. this is something the intermediates resuscitates whenever they're bored. the stupid media. >> alicia and i agree on something. >> the idea of talking about the budgets, he thinks it should be front gronk you guys would seem to agree. >> absolutely. >> it is the single greatest threat to our country going forward.
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it's trillions of unfunded debt. it's annual trillion dollar plus deficits. there has never been a country that has hit 100% of gdp in debt that hasn't seen its growth diminished for generations. one of the things that set us apart is all of us improving our standard of living because of a growing economy. that is threatens by these deficits and by government spending. >> speaking of setting the country back and former presidents, it is worth noting that george w. bush as the elevator doors were closing on him yesterday said i'm for mitt romney. a really interesting dynamic there. governor rendell, george bush whose name shall not be mentioned by the current republican front runner. >> i don't read much into that. that's president bush. he's like that. a loosey-goosey guy. he likes to play practical jokes. >> was that a practical joke? >> a little bit. >> he was having fun. he was having fun. and look, can president bush be
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helpful to romney in certain places? absolutely. in certain places absolutely. >> do you think that's true, michael steele. >> what, that he can be helpful. >> absolutely he can be. i think he has a number of points that he cos help romney make out there on the campaign trail, which will benefit him. absolutely. >> the only problem is that president bush, as you know, was the architect he and hank paulson of the financial bailout and the architect of the automobile bailout. he said he would have done the automobile bailout had he remained in office. those are sticking points. >> the architect of our despair according to some folks perhaps in the white house. anyway, you are looking live at youngstown, ohio where vice president biden is expected to address jobs and the economy. then again, when you're joe biden, expected has a very different meaning. >> he's going to be unleashed. >> as the governor says, he will be unleashed. we'll discuss that next on "now." ahh, now that's a clean mouth. i wish i could keep it this way.
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there's no muzzling an attack dog. these are a live look at vice president joe biden on the trail today at a factory in youngstown, ohio, he's expected to continue the white house's criticism of romney's bain record according to vice president's prepared remarks. he's expected to say this about romney's work in the private sector. romney made sure the guys on top got to play by a separate set of rules. he ran massive debts and the middle class lost. and folks, he thinks this experience will help our economy? where i come from, past is prologue. so what do you think he'll do as president? governor rendell, joe biden has certainly landed himself in the middle of it in the course of the last few weeks but he is still i think to ladies and gentlemen degree an effective emissary for the white house. do you agree? >> yeah, he is. first of all, most importantly joe's been a very good vice president. would that the president and the powers that be had listened to
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him on afghanistan i think we'd be in a whole lot better shape there. he's been an sev vice president. does joe occasionally say something he shouldn't say, sure. but he's not your classic vice president. alicia and i were talking about it. your classic vice president thinks what would the white house want me to say to that. joe answers from his heart. and you can't change joe biden. that's the way he's been and it's part of his charm and part of his effectiveness. is he a good attack dog if the sense he knows how to play "hardball" politics, yes, he is. sometimes there's an advantage to have that vice president be the one doing it so the presidential candidate or the incumbent president can stay a little bit above the fray. i think joe's doing by and large what they want. i'm not sure he didn't jump the gun. >> do you make anything of the rumors there might be a shake-up in the vp slot on the obama ticket? >> not a chance. >> sign of weakness, alicia? >> no, not even that. he needs joe biden. you look at their five paths to
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victory. there are many states where joe biden plays way better than barack obama. they recognize that and need him on the ticket. hillary clinton doesn't want to do it. every piece of in theirtive is askew. >> speaking of the veepstakes gentlemen on my right, on my left but is taken right, chris christie, out with a new ad today featuring himself and sorry, not an ad. an ad to be vice president. a new video featuring him and cory booker. let's play a little bit of sound from that. >> i'm not a number two guy. i'm not a background singer. mitt, sir, with all due respect, i know you need a big -- >> excuse me, mayor. i got this. >> christie. >> governor pataki, is there an unwritten rule in becoming vice president that you never ala fight club, you never talk about wanting to become vice president? >> absolutely. politicians who are successful
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by the nature of the profession are ambitious. you never say i am really ambitious to be number two. what mayor booker was saying there is absolutely right. i have not met a local councilman who thought he was a backup singer. so to say yeah i'd love to be number two is like saying i want to be the backup quarterback in the nfl. you don't do it. that's not to say that most of them if asked wouldn't be champing at the bit to take it. >> who do you see leading the pack? pataki, could he be on the ticket? >> no. i'm not a backup singer. >> you're not. you're a lead singer. >> i can't even carry a tune. that he would turn my mic off. i honestly think governor romney should look beyond the names talked about and i think governor martinez of new mexico is doing a tremendous job as governor. governor fortune know. >> she's ralphway to mexico at this point.
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that's the problem. i think most of them are shrinking away from it either because they want a 2016 bid for themselves or because they realize the ticket is not going to win with romney. >> i don't think that's the case at all. if you look at the national polling which doesn't really tell you a whole lot at this time of the year, governor romney generally is beating president obama. >> we know it's going to be a close race. >> but to go ba can to the martinez question, speaking on immigration, ca suzanne martinez said self-deport? i have no doubt hispanics have been alienated during the campaign. there's an unit for romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why. we talk about team romney being controlled on message, unity, they look for spokespeople and surrogates on message. this would seem to -- i don't know this disqualifies susana martinez. >> i campaigned for her quite a
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bit in 2010. she is a wonderful, wonderful candidate. she's been a good governor and what i love about her is her honesty. she reflects the people around her and she's connected to real people. she's reflecting back and asking that question, what the heck does that mean what a lot of folks in her community are saying. for those like a more staid approach to politics, that doesn't necessarily work. i know that firsthand as a chairman who oftentimes was told stay in the box. where is the box? i didn't even bother. >> what box? >> that's a little bit of susanah. she is a very, very well respected political player, but also she's been very good at recognizing the connection the party needs to have to people, no the to that i sa romney people don't appreciate that, they do. to your point, i think they're going to be looking for someone who makes this run between august and november less
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controversial about personalities and you know whether the personality is bigger than the governor's or smaller than the governor's. and more on the issues and they're going to want someone who will compliment romney's argument about the economy. >> politico dubbed that the incredibly boring white guy pick. >> sometimes incredibly boring white guys win. >> i think a lot of the time. >> in this type of scenario, after you know, the exuberance and excitement of a barack obama yes we can and all of that motion to wear where now the slow and steady -- >> it would reinforce the romney narrative of mr. fix it. we'll bring everybody's attention to grover norquist. he would be hard pressed to do better than add bobby jindal, one of 138 governors committed to not raising taxes to his ticket. governor rendell? >> that would be excellent.
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i would favor governor jindal for their ticket. >> he's your man for this ticket? >> absolutely. >> i think governor jindal is an excellent governor. governor romney will select his candidate. >> how is that for -- >> i just did a thing for political arena on jindal. would be an out of the park pick. >> wow, there's broad jindal support here at this table. >> out of the park. it would definitely be out of the park. one thing about the job of vice president, you know, i would take it. unabashedly take it. let me tell you why. >> you just told me you wouldn't. >> i would be a terrible choice because who would want someone as free in spirit as me. let me tell you why i would take it. nine-week campaign, that's it. nine weeks. you don't have to run for three years like do you for president. >> then you have the job. >> listen. you don't have to raise money. you do not have to raise money. nine-week campaign. you don't have to raise money and it's good for your heart. you don't have a lot of stress. it's a great job, one of the best jobs in america.
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you get a wonderful house in georgetown. >> with a big telescope. >> massachusetts avenue. all fair points. >> let's be honest, it's a great job. >> it's a great gig if you can get it. coming up, president obama will posthumously award the medal of honor to a vietnam hero this afternoon. military correspondent david wood joins the panel next. for three hours a week, i'm a coach. but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids. but my coach had hit that pitch before. turning data into useful answers. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. throughout our entire lives.
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ow! [ male announcer ] to get the flights you want, sign up for a venture card at what's in your wallet? uh, it's ok. i've played a pilot before. today training depends on technology. and when it takes a battery, there are athletes everywhere who trust duracell. they rely on copper to go for the gold. duracell. trusted everywhere. obama will award the nation's highest military honor to a soldier killed during vietnam. the street nam war. the fechbt serves is an a reminder of the sacrifices of war particularly as 90,000 troops continue to fight in afghanistan. and veterans begin adapting to civilian life back home after more than a decade at war. joining the panel now is david wood, pulitzer prize winning senior military correspondent with the "huffington post" and
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james wright, author of those who have born the battle" a history of america's wars and those who fought them. thank you so much for joining the panel. james, in the book you write fewer americans than ever before during wartime know someone in the military or in war zones. knowing someone who is there is crisply focuses the mind on the distant conflict. the stats were staggering. in world war ii 12% of the population was in the military. now less than 1% are in the military. >> that's right. they're not a representative 1%. they will do not represent a cross section of the countries. they come more common little from small towns. they come more from the south and the west than they do from the northeast. they tend not to have a college educations. there is a concern we went to the all volunteer force that many of them would be minorities and poor. that's not been the case. it has not been proportional of minority anderson poor. part of that is just the
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standards, the expectation of health standards and of having a college education. so i'm sorry, a high school education. >> but this is something we decided as a nation back in the '70s. we don't want to keep responsibility for going to war. we want somebody else to do that for us. that was the whole idea behind the all volunteer force. we want to hire people to go to war for us so we don't have to. that's what we've done. we've bought ourselves really the best military in the world i think. but it means the rest of us are really disconnected from those who do go. >> that's exactly it. right now, there's a gulf, we were talking during the break about the fact that celebrities and you make this point in your book, jim, that clark gable, jimmy stewart, glenn miller, joe dimaggio, ted williams, joe louis, these guys all served. the notion that anybody in public life would go to war is am anathema to the country at this point.
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>> david, there is not a national focus on veterans, veterans fairs, health. you know, the sacrifices that they have made. do you sense that you know, as the president and the first lady have made more of a push to bring veterans' issues to the forefront that has changed attitudes at all? >> i don't think it's changed attitudes. americans are very proud of their military. they want to quol them home. they want to honor them. people don't know how. there's such a gulf of experience between veterans who are coming home with three, four, five combat tours and the rest of us who you know, we never go to those places. and we don't share those really searing experiences. i see this in airports all the time. here comes a gi in his combat fatigues and somebody goes up and says, usually an older person and says thank you for your service and welcome home. the guy says thank you very much. there's sort of this awkward
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pause like nobody know what's to say. i've even had marines say to me don't thank me talking about civilians. you don't know what i do. don't thank me. so there's you know, it's going to be a big job for this country and for us civilians in the next few years to figure out how to welcome these folks home, how to get over that awkward gap and ask them, can i ask you about your experience, how are you? >> and yeah, acknowledging that they've served, thanking them that they've served. the idea we are a nation at war governor pa at that time kick is not acknowledged in any sort of routine fashion. >> i think that's right. david, i have to agree with you. we need to do a better job of welcoming our troops home. i have to take issue with something you said earlier. earlier said we have hired others to fight our war. i have seen been on many bases. there are hundreds of thousands of americans who are in uniform because of their patriotism. not because they've been hired. including both of my sons.
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and we are very proud of them. they're not doing it for a check. >> no, they're not. interestingly and a big difference from the draft army, these are professionals and they think of themselves as professionals and they're proud of what they do. you know, there was a time a few years ago when people were saying, oh, gosh, war is now three, four years old. the army's going to crack. the marines are going to crack and they didn't. it's because they are professionals, they think of themselves as professionals. they're trained as professionals. they're proud of what they do. >> i'm not sure that's entirely true. this is the first war where the national guard has been a huge factor. a lot of people who enlist into the guard never viewed themselves as professional soldiers. >> that's true. >> i think it's an interesting concept. the guard almost except for the air national guard never went to war in foreign conflicts. the guard's been a backbone of what we've done here. i have an idea how we welcome them home. give them a job. let's make sure that will every person who put his rear end on the line for us has a job.
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>> jim in the book you write in terms of the nations sacrificing or the sense of national sacrificing that we should be supporting these folks during a time of war, in a september 1942 fireside chat fdr said battles are not won by soldiers or sailors who think first of their own safety and wars no the won by people concerned primarily with their own comfort, convenience and their own pocketbooks. >> george washington said during the american revolution that the -- one of the costs of living in a free society is that all of the citizens should be prepared to share their personal treasure and their own persons by serving in war. these are the first wars in american history we've not had a tax to help pay for the war. we've had a tax cut. it's quite remarkable. i wrote to several members of congress a year ago, all of whom i know on a first name basis. they didn't even respond to me. i just think it's most americans would be willing to help to pay
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for this war as anathema as taxes are today. the kids fighting the war will pick up and pay the debt for the war, the debt that helped to sustain them. we've gone through this before during the korean war, when president truman said we need a is your tax to help pay for the war. same rayburn said let's not have the these kids go home and pay for it. republican leaders such as senator taft and richard nixon said absolutely. if we're going to go to war, we all have to pay for it now. who has ever said ha in the last several years. >> shared sacrifices. >> alex, you're absolutely right. you know i'm not a president bush barber. i think he's a terrific guy but he missed an opportunity right after 9/11 when he knew we were going to war, he should have looked in the camera and said mr. and mrs. american, i know i promised you a tax cut. i'm going to ask the congress to repeal it while we're at war.
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when the war's over, if i'm still here, i hope to implement it again. i don't think one american would have bitched. not one. >> james wright, thank you for shashing with us. the book is "those who have bourn the battle." you also governor george pataki who has to go. thank you for joining us. a pleasure and honor to have you. >> coming up, president obama and mitt romney may share a common enemy. we'll explain next in what. [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals,
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but that label can lead to prejudice and discrimination, and we don't want to go there. so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know. welcome back it time for what now. if you're heading to an obama fund-raiser, there's a chance you'll have to check your cell phones at the door, part of what
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the team obama re-elect campaign says is common practice. but michael steele, an article in politico today by maggie haberman and glenn thrush saying that romney and obama share a very common and pronounced distaste for the media and that 2012 is shaping up to be an especially sour cycle. what do you make of that? >> i find it somewhat amusing. obama may share distaste for the media but he sure knows how to milk them. that's for sure. i don't know what he's so upset about. checking the cell phones at the door is probably they don't want the okay, we're going to put this on youtube moment but the reality of it is, you know, this is fictitious hate with the press come on on obama's part? really? after "the washington post," what they dollars last week on this little story. >> about mitt romney in his high school days. >> 17 years old.
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there's probably more concern how the press is going to look at this race from his side than it is from the obama side. >> when have we ever cared whether the people we're covering like us or not. better if we don't. there's a natural adversarial relationship that goes on that spurs us to good reporting. if they're going to ban cell phones at events, we'll figure out some other way to do it. >> that's totally passive aggressive. right now you have mitt romney on the trail today. his staffers really not allowing reporters to ask him questions about bain capital. that's a much more awkward full frontal position to be in than just quietly taking people's -- >> governor rendell, the white house would prefer to control the message. it's very clear through -- i wouldn't say the press briefings at this point never make news. they want the focus to be what they want the focus to be. >> sure, every president, every governor, every mayor wants to do that. it can't be done. you can have the adversarial
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relationship, but i think you can have a relationship based on mutual respect, as well. >> that's what we have at this show. >> absolutely. >> an adversarial relationship based on mutual respect. thank you, governor. >> we do. >> we do. it is great. thanks again to alicia, governor rendell, governor pataki, chairman steele and, of course, journalist david wood. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. when i'm joined by richard wolffe, david corn and daily so co-creator david winstead. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. good afternoon to you. >> a lot of mutual respect. back and forth. thanks, alex. coming up, what does the president's own spiritual adviser think about his decision to commit to gay marriage? we'll talk to the reverend joel hunter about what he told the president. plus, why did the defense rest without even calling john edwards or the mother of his child to the stands? and joe biden speaking to the democratic faithful in perhaps the most important state of all,
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ohio. all that next and chuck todd right here, "andrea mitchell reports." early for this thing... want to hop in the back and get weird? no. family vacation... vegas. ♪ no. no. give it a big yank! really? yeah! [ knock on window ] no! no. ♪ ugh, no! [ sighs ] we can have hotdogs for dinner?! yes. [ male announcer ] in a world filled with "no," it's nice to finally say "yes." new oscar mayer selects hotdogs. made with 100% beef and no artificial preservatives. it's yes food. do you really think brushing is enough to keep it clean? while brushing misses germs in 75% of your mouth, listerine cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine... power to your mouth.
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