tv The Last Word MSNBC May 21, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
really fit to be tied. as far as where my heart is right now, i am very upset that i am being used this way. and it's -- while i thought today i was going to be quiet, i have been pushed so far that you will hear a lot from me and to the extent that president obama and his campaign want to hear from me. >> stay tuned. more to surely come. now sit time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. >> the president has said it. the game is on. >> my view of private equity? it is set up to maximize profits. >> the obama campaign is launching a new attack on mitt romn romney's career. >> it is central to the debate. >> this issue is not a distraction. >> i am not about to sit here and indict private secty. >> along comes corey booker. supposedly a surrogate for
president obama. >> corey booker slammed the campaign's attack. >> they are furious. >> is he an ineffective sewer gat? >> this is nauseating. >> nauseating. >> in this particular instance he was just wrong. >> i got this. i got this. >> booker decided to take to youtube to clarify. >> a hostage video. >> it is reason tobl examine that record. >> that is the definition of a hostage video. >> when you're president, your job is not just to maximize profits. >> your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. >> the issue is not private equity, it's mitt romney. >> i standby what i said, whatever it was. i'm not concerned about the very poor.
we have a safety net there. whatever it wasser. >> whatever it was. >> $10,000 bucks? >> i standby what i said, whatever it was. >> good evening. today the president's reelection campaign made its strongest case yet against mitt romney's argument that his experience as chief executive shows that he can create jobs as president of the united states and the argument was presented by their top campaigner, the president himself. >> my view of private equity is that it is set up to maximize profits. that's not always going to be good for communities or businesses and more. when you are president, your job
is not simply to maximize profits. if your main argument was that i made a lot of money for investors, you are missing what this job is about. the reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, governor romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. if the main basis for him suggesting he can do a better job is his track record, then both the up sides and the downsides are worth examining. >> the president made those
remarks in response to a reporter's question on what corey booker said on sunday's "meet the press". >> i'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. they have done a lot to support businesses to grow businesses. >> the president, it seems, does not share the discomfort. >> this is not a distraction. this is what this campaign is going to be about. is what is a strategy for us to move this country forward in a way where everybody can succeed. that means i have got to think about those workers in that video just as much as i am thinking about folks who have been much more successful.
>> washington post pn writer and msnbc political analyst and co-author of the real romney and staff writer for the boston globe magazine. good evening to all of you. can you give us some insight into how the white house must have been taken aback by corey e booker's comments. he proceeded to lose his mind? >> oh, yes. i am sure that the phones started ringing about the second the cameras were turned off. you could see that from the twitter response and clearly they didn't think that was sufficient so that is why we saw the you tube video. they wanted new video out there so there were pictures and sound of him trying to reframe this conversation. what i have heard is that the most upsetting just in the fact that he went way off the reservation was trying to equate
this idea, the false ekwif lancy of bringing up jermemiah wright and talking about private equity and or mitt romney's record during the 15 years that he ran bain capital. >> mitt romney has try toddy vert attention away from bain capital, suggesting this is a personal character attack. isn't it essential that we scrutinize romney's career given that it was a whole host of individuals. that brought the global economy to its knees just three years ago.
>> we have to look at how he did that and look at what private equity does that might be attributed to job creation and what it does to get in its way. how much of it is efficiency. just to go back to corey booker, one of the things about the chat shows is that people often reveal something about themselves when they don't necessarily intend to. the interview that he so wants to get rid of this that soon he will be volunteering to do the voice-over on a 30 second obama ad. that is how much he seems to want to run away with it.
>> if mitt romney wants us to focus on something other than his career, why won't he point to his career as a public servant. >> he will talk more about his career in massachusetts you don't really utter the word massachusetts if you can help it at all in a republican primary. and let's remember his biggest achievement as everybody knows was health care. it was hugely controversial. so i do think you will see him talk a little bit more about that now. look they made the decision this year that he was going be mr. economy. he was going to to run on his business background. and for all the attacks and all the stuff we are hearing from the obama campaign, you can't deny that he has some economic influencecy. you can argue about his role.
he certainly has some experience in all of that. >> the president came out and forcefully asserted that it's mitt romney who has introduced bain capital as his sole claim to fame. he can't talk about being governor because he lost jobs. he won't talk about his personal narrative because he was a child of a rich and powerful father. isn't the real problem here that romney doesn't have anything else to offer the voters aside from bain capital? >> well, i think that's exactly right. look as you say, it was mitt romney himself who put this forward as judge me by my 15 years and remember that when he talks about this he also levees a personal attack on president obama. he says if he had ever worked in business, he would understand how it works.
they should have recognized that it was an easy hit. see what the impact was. they should have had a better answer. you should be prepared for the fact that your opponent will tell that full story. >> interesting when you ran for governor. didn't have the same effect. he had run the olympics, been in the news and we we are seeing it resurface again tochl karen's point it's a big question in my mind how well prepared they are. >> i wonder if i could play you
something that rush limbaugh said today as he sought to defend bain capitol against the attacks with regard to the kansas city steel mill. >> bain capital is private equity. they went in and did what they did. by the way, they elongated the life of this company by eight years and they took a risk with their own money and therefore if they gain, fine. if they lose it's their problem. here is obama out ripping it. because somebody lost him.
>> what kind of capitalism do they want to have in our country. in a lot of the deals, bain came in, sought some money out of the company. the company went bust and people still made a lot of money and those are the kinds of cases that the obama campaign will want to talk about and the romney campaign won't. >> thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> coming up, with friends like booker, who needs enemies. he just explained his comments to rachel maddow, that's next. and one man who was at the forefront of america's civil rights movement. joins me to talk about. >> and physical abuse of gays and lesbians. with the spark miles card from capital one,
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>> corey booker is nothing more than a passing reference. chose -- but to compliment his other performance in his other job. >> i think booker is an outstanding mayor. he is doing great work in newark and helping to turn that city around. i think it's important to recognize that this issue is not a quote distraction. >> but the tone towards booker from the obama campaign was equal parts compliment and condemnation. david axelrod delivered that message this afternoon. >> i love corey booker. he's a great mayor. i would hope he was my next door neighbor. i agree with what he said later. i think this is a legitimate area for discussion. in this particular instance he was just wrong.
>> reaction from the romney campaign was swift and predictable. >> have you had enough of president obama's attacks on free enterprise? his own key supporters have. democrat corey booker. >> i have to say from a personal level, i'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. >> the republican party has launched an online petition. i stand wit to stay on their feet, signatures also pledge to stand up for america, stand up for job creators. >> anybody who watched the entire meet the press saw that not only was i defending obama's positions but i talked about super pac money and my outrage and really my frustration was about the cynical negative campaigning.
that slogan had me and my entire staff really fit to be tied. >> joining me is crystal bull along with senior political writer. i have to start with you. is mayor booker's repen dense enough? >> i don't think so. here is why. he gave such comfort to the other side with his words and there is no taking that back. a sincere apology where he accepted some personal responsibility and didn't try to misdirect to gay marriage and whatever else he tried to talk about, that would have been enough to start his rehabilitati rehabilitation. but he tried to pivot rather than actually addressing it and saying that i didn't speak correctly. i didn't mean that. here is the other thing. in democratic circles, looker
has had a halo. he could do no wrong. and people will never look at him quite the same way. now he has become just another politician. and that is how people will view this interview. >> people asked if he was told by the campaign if he had to campaign his remarks. >> the barack obama team in the white house and their political team have been good to me for many, many years. they have never pressured me to do anything. i certainly did talk with tam pain officials. but they didn't force me to do anything. >> you know this man from a long period of reporting. you laugh about it. it was obviously somewhat painful. was this an example of corey booker's ambition bleeding through his self-control? >> absolutely. but i also think it's ambition that has worked out very well for him. the truth about corey booker was
that he was basically lived in two worlds to the united states and in the hall of fame he is developed nationally. all of these things. in the world of politics, he is. >> whether it was bain specifically or the investor class. i found this early. i have been covering him for ten years. in 2002 when he first ran for mayor, i was there and i thought this guy is the feature. this guy is really impressive and in a lot of ways he is. but the thing you find after a while is his biggest fans, the people that swear by him do not live in the city of newark. i think this -- >> that's interesting. >> this illustrates that tension now. >> he ran two years ago.
he ran geps a guy who is now in jail. it was a nominal trivial campaign. he got less than 60% of the vote. despite having all the national celebrity. he is not beloved in new yorkark. he is beloved among wealthy do nors. >> he is now a beloved figure for fox news. here is a comment by eric bowling earlier today. listen to this. >> it feels like the democrats are starting to get splintered. they believe in pro growth, pro business are from the far left saying don't bother with them. recei let's just do more distribution of people's money. >> can you translate that? >> that is not a possible task. i'm sure it made sense in his head but obviously that's not what is going on here. going back to how critical this
economic model we are goipg to have as a country. i don't see how you can look at the landscape and think that talking about mitt romney's record is not relevant. i don't understand how you cannot see that and be in touch with the real problems in this country. going back to what steve said, you know, now that you have this new frame for corey booker, seeing that ambition, seeing that self-serving nature, it calls into question all sorts of actions in the past. he has got 1.1 million followers. he does not have to handle that on twitter. way for people to feel like he is out there. >> i hate to place upon you of the burden of being our resident psychiatrist. there was almost the sense that he was overcome with delirium on the thought that he was actually on "meet the press."
>> there were two things you saw at work. one is cultivating the elite donor base. but it is also his stick to stake out what he sees as the third way position. >> it is at the heart of his rise in politics this is a guy whose ambition to go statewide and probably nationally and it was at the heart of that plan. he is used to talking to the people. the world that he is most comfortable in. >> equating jermemiah rigwright attacks with questions about the sebt ral element that mitt
politically nigh knievel. >> maybe he is. thank you so much for joining us tonight. coming up, another state looks to suppress votes with voter i.d. laws. congressman john lewis shut down an attempt to -- and next, one year after a tornado destroyed the town of joplin, missouri. >> as i look out at this class, and across the city, what's clear is that you're the source of inspiration today. to me, to this state, to this country.
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so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know. >> that's the power of community. that's the power of shared effort and memory. some of the memories are forged when everything around us seems broken. even though i expect that some of you ultimately will end up leaving joplin, i'm confident that joplin will never leave
you. the people that went through this with you, the people you once thought of as neighbors, acquaintances, classmates, the people in this auditorium now, they're your family now. they're your family. >> that was just part of the commencement speech one year after a devastate skpk deadly tornadoer to through that missouri town. >> as president obama stressed economic growth, mitt romney comes up with his own priorities, making him sound more like a man running for president in 1984. mitt romney's time warp is coming up. yet another sfat is messing with
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>> the presidential election is just six months away but don't get too excited about voting. several states have decided this is a good moment to start revising their voting laws. new restrictions that opponents call voter suppression efforts that they believe will have a significant impact upon minorities and the poor. on the federal level, paul bruin has introduced an amendment to the historic 1965 civil rights angt that would cut funding to section five which prevents racial discrimination.
>> it is hard and difficult and almost up believable that any member, but especially a member from the state of georgia will come and offer such amendment. just think, before the voting rights act of 1965, it was almost impossible for many people in the state of georgia, in alabama, in texas, to register to vote and participate in the democratic process. it's shameful that you would come here tonight that you must not use one penny, one cent, one dime, one dollar to carry out the mandate of section five of the voting rights act. we should be opened up to political process and let all of the citizens come in and
participate. free the mind. colleagues of mine. i speak out against this amendment. >> i apologize to my dear friend from georgia if he has gotten angry with this amendment. with amendment. >> joining me now is one of the last living leaders of the civil rights movement, author of the new book, across that bridge. it's a great honor to have you with us this evening. you wrote that the voting rights act is under attack. why would so many elected officials want to inhibit the process of voting if not intentionally to undermine those who might consider voting for the current president? >> thank you so much for having me on tonight. that is a systematic effort on
the part of so many elected officials and so many states stay elected officials to deny and keep people from participating in the democratic process. based on lean and persistent to fight the struggle to get the vote. people die. >> so i have t sir, why aside from the fact that they don't want people to vote for the current president? >> people trying to keep other people from trying to get elected. they're not just minority. they're seniors, young people, students, they're trying to stale this election before it even take place. >> you support voter -- the voter empowerment act. what would that actually do in
practice? >> that act would restate the fact that the vote is precious, almost sacred. that sit the most powerful non-violent instrument that we have in a democratic society. must make it simple and convenient for all of our citizens to be able to participate in the democratic process. >> you say in this book that i'm quoting you, even i who has looked down the barrel of a gun with only my faith to defend me would say that there is a unique hostility in these times that almost seems worse to me than what we experienced in the 1960s. today it seems there is no more ral basis for anything we do as a society. explain what you mean. that's a profound and shocking statement if you really believe that. >> i do believe that.
something is wrong in our land and i don't know why. i don't know whether it's because of what we drink or what we eat the air we breathe. i don't know it's part of our make up, part of our dna. it's just meanness, to get somebody. we keep hearing over and over again. we want to take our country back. that the president is not one of us. that is -- it's not the america that i want to live in. that's not our america. we need to be bringing people together. and think with faith and hope and love, non-violence, reconciliation that we can move to that sense of community that we are one family and one house. and we must learn to live together as dr. king said or we will perish as fools. >> to that point and i repeat the quote.
today it seems there is no moral basis for anything that we do as a society. does this not also apply to the republican budget bill that passed two weeks ago in the house? that would cut child care and related assistance for four million children? that would cut meals on wheels? cut transportation and res pit care for a million disabled americans? if all we are are people involved in a social darwin experiment and if it's only the survival of the fittest that counts, what's the point of having any commitment to anybody else? >> there is the sense, i truly believe, when you read the republican budget and analyze that budget, that each and every person for him or herself. you have a group of people really who do not believe in government. you have a group of people who love the world.
love the world but they do not like people. we do not share the same values. that's where there must be a revolution of ideas. humanize the government, humanize business. >> the president tonight as you just heard was speaking to the class of 2012 in joplin. he said here in joplin you have also learned that we have the power to grow from experiences. we can define our own lives not by what happens to us but by how we respond. how can you communicate that message to the broader society when you have a republican party that votes through a budget bill like that that appears to discard the disabled and the poor and the elderly and the infirmed as if they are frankly irrelevant? >> i think it's important for all of us to continue to
organize the unaccordinged, to mobilize those that need to be mobilized and teach people to find ways to get in the way. i think to some degree we have been too quiet. my generation, we didn't have a website. we never heard of the internet. we used our bodies to follow the teaching of gaun di and others to bring about a non-violence revolution. a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. we put our bodies on the line. and another generation or young people and people not so young must be able to get out there and willing to push and pull and say we going to make this better. >> congressman, thank you for your service to this country and the way that you have led. author of the book across that bridge. life lessons and a vision for change. thank you for joining me. >> thank you very much. >> coming up in the competition
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three different churches in north carolina have not distinguished themselves by the public statements of their senior pastors about the issue of marriage equality. >> for 300 years we had laws that would prosecute that lifestyle. we are not smarter in the last few years than we have been in 300 years. >> what is stopping them from refr refining marriage is between a person and a beast. we're not far from that. >> can i make it any clearer? dads? the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. >> just when you didn't think it could get worse, this pastor decided his congregation in north carolina also needed a good dose of hell fire and hatred. >> i figured out a way to get rid of all the lesbians and
queers but i couldn't get it past the congress. build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 mile long. put all the lesbians in there. fly over and drop some food. do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out. feed them and you know what? in a few years they will die out. do you know why? they can't reproduce. if a man ever has a young one, praise god, it will be the first one. all of these -- you just as well amen. i'm going to preach the hell out of all of them. i tell you right now somebody said who you going vote for? i ain't going to vote for a baby killer or a homosexual lover.
you said did you mean to say that? you better believe i did! >> we wanted to know if he stands by those remarks so we repeatedly called the providence road baptist church today. there was no answer. good evening. >> good evening. how are you? >> i am well. we must be careful not to judge or mock those who hold duffering views on this issue. but what possible justification is there for this kind of relentless and defensive treatment of others? >> there is no justification of it. none at all. there is even no place in scripture that says anything like this. i think what is happening is we are starting to see what their true christianianty is like. i think about frederick douglas when he talked about what slave
holding christianianty was like this is the christianianty of the 21st sentry in america. it is okay to vilify anyone who you think is not like you. and that's just wrong. >> given that jesus turned almost every social convention of his time from treating the outcast with respect, to forgiving a prostitute, does this pastor really believe that the jesus of scripture would provide a fenced enclosure for lesbians? and why are congregations so do sil when they should surely be challenging this kind of preaching? >> you are absolutely correct. of course they should be challenging it. but in some of these congregations, the pastors hold a tremendous amount of sway. these people don't pick up scripture for themselves. they rely on the pastor to tell them what to think and believe on sundays. jesus didn't say anything like this.
it always strikes me that this jesus that they claim to love so much would never treat anyone like this he would not fence anyone in. he would not drop food down on someone like this. it is heinous, i have to say. >> what do you say to those thee low gins who are not hateful of homosexuality but believe that there are biblical reasons for why they cannot accept same sex relationships or gay marriage? >> i would say we need to sit down and look at scriptures together. just as much as they say there is not a biblical justification for it, people on the other side can make the justification from scripture. the problem about this is they are inflating two issues. one is a civil right and the other is what is their religious right and everybody interprets scripture a different way. so i think what we have to do is stop allowing people to come on
tv and quote scriptures all the time and say that's it, god settles it. if they don't know the different between inner rant, literal and infallible means, they shouldn't be talking about it. >> is it your view that we need to consider culture at the same time that we consider the absolutes of scripture. >> what i think is more important is that there are laws of the land. what really was interesting to me about what happened with president obama saying that he was for same sex marriage is that all of these pastors immediately went bezerk. we have inflated what civil rights say. we are not a country that is run by the bible. we are run by our constitution. what the problem is these people have con flated the two. >> anthea, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> still to come tonight, bain
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>> to say that russia is this country's number one political foe is indicative of how mitt romney is really made for the last century and not this one. mitt romney writes i will not allow entitlement spending to swallow the defense budget as happened in europe and now president obama is now allowing here. this is a remarkable statement. not only does he cast dispersions of nato he is also completely out of touch. >> as all the leaders today here agreed, growth and jobs must be a top priority. a stable growing european economy is in everybody's best interest, including america's. >> while romney talks up military spending, the rest of
the world is trying to work on economic growth. romney tries to relitigate a conflict with reissue, the rest of the world tries to move forward. most of it has been written by advisors to a previous president. >> i'm not trying to return to reagan bush. >> no one has made it more difficult to follow than the candidate himself. >> while most of us have left the last century, mitt romney is still stuck there. >> i used to watch laurel and hardy, the three stooges. i watched the honeymooners. >> i think he compared that to pearl harbor? it's more like