Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  May 24, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

10:00 pm
by the way, if you're driving to new york city or you're there already, that ship is docked at pier 90 in new york city. that does it for us tonight, now it time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> if rish limbaugh agrees with the president and newt gingrich is still saying newt gingrich would be a better nominee, mitt, you've got 99 problems and bain is just one. >> as president, i will pursue a very bold policy of change. >> i think what we're really seeing here is general election -- >> the so called three es. >> employment. >> mitt romney promises that his policies would knock down unemployment to 6%. >> 6% and perhaps a little lower. >> to 6% or lower. >> no matter who's elected, i predict unemployment is at 6% in four years.
10:01 pm
>> if it takes advantage of our natural gas and oil and coal. >> it is what he's for. >> education. >> millions of our kids are getting a third world education. >> if you're going to talk about education -- >> this is the civil rights war of our era. >> the election will be decided in a dozen battleground states. the president has a narrow lead in three of them. 48% is enough to put the president ahead of romney, in florida, virginia and ohio. >> the president has been on the attack. >> he's saying, well i 25 years in the private sector. with a special understanding of how our economy works. he's hoping you don't remember the last time we tried it his way.
10:02 pm
>> good evening, i'm martin bashir in for lawrence o'donnell, tonight on the campaign trail, president obama rallied support in iowa where he pressured mitt romney to explain how bain capital prepared him for the presidency. >> he doesn't really talk about what he did in massachusetts. but he does talk about being a business guy. right, he says, this gives him a special understanding of what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. even if he's unable to offer a single new idea about how to do that, no matter how many times he's asked about it, he says he knows how to do it. >> the president then articulated his problem with mitt romney's experience at bain capital. >> there may be value for that kind of experience, but it's not in the white house.
10:03 pm
>> today the president's general election opponent opted for revisionism and extreme rhetoric to muddy the waters around his career at bain capital. it began this morning on the good ship fox news where romney falsely accused the president of being anti-capitalist. >> there's no question but that he's attacking capitalism. frankly the american people understand that it's the economy is tough, it's hard work. and when they're hearing that bain capital was successful 80% of the time. and 5% of its investments went bankrupt. that's a pretty good record. if all the president wants to talk about is the failures, why he's representing -- >> now listen to what the president really thinks of firms like bain capital. here he is again tonight in iowa. >> there's an important creative role for it in the free market. their main goal is to create
10:04 pm
wealth for themselves and their investors. yeah, that's part of the american way, that's fine. >> the president doesn't have a problem with bain capital. what he does have a problem with is mitt romney claiming that being ceo of bain capital makes him a job creator, when he of all people knows full well, that isn't what private equity managers do. an important fact that even rush limbaugh little illustrated no less than twice this week. >> bain capital didn't go into business to create jobs anyway. that's not what private equity does. >> private equity is not there to create jobs. that's not what they do. >> thank you, rush. today the romney campaign announced that their candidate will campaign with newt gingrich supporter newt gingrich and donald trump on tuesday at trump towers in las vegas. today romney received high praise for his former opponent.
10:05 pm
>> did he tell the truth about you? >> no, but he did what he had to do. and i think he might turn out to be a surprisingly good president. but i thought i was a good choice. >> joining me now democratic strategist crystal ball and ari melder and e.j. deion, he's also the author of a new book, "our divided political heart" all three are of course msnbc contributors. the president tonight pressures mitt romney to explain how his experience at bain means that he's a job creator. where does that leave milt romney? >> it's a very tough place and he has struggled throughout this campaign to articulate a narrative about himself, either has a business person, a job creator or -- if you want to see what mitt romney's policies are like, let's revisit the bush
10:06 pm
years, you can also take a look at romney's own time in massachusetts. he ran that state very much in the way that he ran bain capital. he loaded it one a lot of debt and he ended up taking the prestige that he got from that position and moving on and killed a bunch of blue collar jobs in the meantime tame. >> ari, i want you to listen to more of the president's speech. listen to this. >> the challenge we face right now, the challenge we faced for over a decade is that harder work hasn't led to higher incomes. bigger profits haven't led to better jobs. and you can't solve that problem if you can't even see that it's a problem. >> ari, he's right, isn't he? if you can't acknowledge that problem, how can you resolve it? >> that's right and mitt romney has had his own take on this which is sort of challenging the president's credentials on the very nature of what productivity means.
10:07 pm
of course it is true that people in the united states are working more hours for less pay, the 99%/1% distribution models that we have been discussing so much over the past three months play into that. and if you are into fame values and you want people to have time and live a good life. ultimately you want people to make more so that they can also have time at home and time with their family. and if you want to do that, you have labor supported so they can try to bring up the bargaining power in the private market, or you have higher minimum pages which is something that romney has come out against. >> rush limbaugh is now saying that the purpose of bain capital was not to create jobs. is it now time for mitt romney to follow the gop pr spokesperson, rush limbaugh and accept that bain capital was about wealth and not about jobs?
10:08 pm
>> it truly pains me to say this, rush limbaugh is absolutely right. and i think -- i just wanted to say that. but i think that -- >> i can see your pain, by the way. >> i think romney has gotten himself into a box and the obama campaign it's whole effort now is to sort of bang the nails on that box and keep it shut. because at the beginning of the campaign, romney said over and over again, that this business experience would help him deal with jobs, jobs the is issue he wants to be the central to the campaign, but when a and b don't connect, and it's very clear, it's not a dishonest socialist thing to say, rush limbaugh said the truth, that these guys were in it to make money, sometimes they created jobs ancillary to that and sometimes they didn't. the companies were streamlined and people were put out of work. so i think what's interesting is despite all the push back against this, even the corrie booker push back, obama sees
10:09 pm
this as a critical object tiff to drive home this -- and to kind of disable romney from using bain for the rest of the campaign. >> speaking of rush limbaugh, crystal, we now hear that there is this raffle for dinner with mitt romney and donald trump here in new york. now why would mitt romney choose a man like donald trump? >> it's a great question, especially since he felt free to pell ter the president -- and yet he feels free to associate himself with donald trump who rose to political fame by being a birther. i don't know if you want to have that close association because then you open yourself up to criticism whenever donald trump inevitably says something crazy. >> david letterman really nailed it the other night when he said
10:10 pm
that trump gave arsenio hall the big nod on ""celebrity apprentice"" and after that he asked for arsenio hall's birth certificate. the audience understands, the american people understand that donald trump led a race challenging campaign, birtherism is about race challenging. but the letterman jokes aside and the fun aside, my view is, that while mitt romney has been pretty good on any of these issues, he should not be associated with anyone like donald trump when they haven't apologized. >> even worse than that, romney has never had a moment of courage in that area where he could show that he had some character. i mean he had a woman stand up in his town hall and say that
10:11 pm
the president should be tried for treason and he didn't say anything about it. he got a question about rush limbaugh's comments about -- those aren't the words that i would have used. he has failed the character test on this time and again. >> i want you to listen to some more from romney today, listen to this on education. >> here we are in the most prosperous nation on earth, but millions of our kids are getting a third world education and america's minority children suffer the most. this is the civil rights issue of our era. >> e.j., what does a man who went to harvard know about public education and the third world? >> i'm trying to think what harvard has to do with the third world as well. but i think this is a clever issue for romney to use. i don't know if it's going to work. because it's an issue where he
10:12 pm
could show compassion for the needy, saying he cares about education for the poor, even though he wants to make all kinds of cuts in education, but the solutions he wants to push, are solutions very congenial to the right wing, he wants vouchers, he wants more charter schools. so it's a kind of a two-fer for him. george w. bush was somebody who neutralized the education issue in 2000. but in 2000, george w. bush was willing to spend more money on schools, at least rhetorically, romney is not talking that way at all. >> what about the fact, ari, that romney has chosen as a special advisor a man who described one of the teaching unions as a terrorist organization, what do you think of this individual, who's in korea by the way with regard to houston schools has been questioned because of cheating on tests and the number of individuals considered to have been excluded from schools. >> mr. page's policy record, even beyond his rhetoric has
10:13 pm
been as you say controversial because of testing and teaching to the test. i think the romney campaign was talking about what they call expanding choice in education. but there is no federal money in his proposed budget to the extent he's got into any detail for the department of education. what i see here is a bit of the rick perry problem, there's this idea of cutting all the money out of the budget, as it stands there's only 8% of school funding that comes out of the federal budget. if you want to cut that down further, that's fine, but -- >> i think we are waiting for one issue, just one issue where romney is actually willing to break with the right end of the republican party and we're not seeing it on education, and we're certainly not seeing it in the trump case. >> and on education, that is an area where the president has actually taken on his own party
10:14 pm
and although mitt romney has said that he's -- he has had a pretty contentious relationship with the national -- the nea said that they were appalled. 24 has been a tough love relationship and the president has shown some courage here. mitt romney again going back to what would it actually look like if we look at his model of education when he was in massachusetts, he was the bain capital approach to education. of course what you got was higher tuition and lower service because if you're trying to have a profit, that's what you do. but we want more than profit in our education system. >> indeed we do. final question to all of you, sum up for me if you can, what kind of a week has it been for romney, as against the president on bain and the policy of education? >> a lot of people are getting out of school this week, a lot of people are looking at their summer internships and the first
10:15 pm
rule is don't puff your resume, you can ask the ceo of yahoo and you can ask the intern class about it. mitt romney did have in regards to yields and returns which is something that wall street cares about is a perfectly perfect record there. >> and he has $15 million in his own bank account. >> it definitely wasn't bad for the investors and some of his investors were teachers unions, but when you puff, and you puff, and you puff, you destroy yourself. >> e.j.? >> he started the week looking like he had the advantage because all of the attention was on corrie booker. it does seem that the corrie booker incident did not push back the bain issue, which think is a balance and plus for obama. >> if they were going to pull back on challenging mitt romney
10:16 pm
on his record at bain, they would have done it this week and we didn't see that. >> thank you so much for spending your friday night with us. actually it's thursday. coming up, mitt romney calls the american education system as we heard third world, and then he tells teachers class size doesn't matter. that's ahead. and republicans blamed president obama for high gas prices, are they applauding him now that they have gone down and are they aware that presidents have absolutely nothing to do with the price of gas? and sondra fluke joins me to talk about why the gop cannot seem to help itself when it comes to being on the wrong side of women's issues. stay with us. we imagined a vehie that could adapt to changing road conditions. one that continually monitors and corrects for wheel slip. we imagined a vehicle that can increase emergency braking power when you need it most. and we imagined it looking like nothing else on the road today. then...we built it.
10:17 pm
the 2012 glk. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. for exceptional offers today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers.
10:18 pm
mitt romney's bizarre rhetoric drifted into a classroom today where he told teachers class size doesn't matter. and later, republicans in congress seem to protect women's right to sue for fair pay. a political fluke? that's coming up.
10:19 pm
we're a little early for this thing... want to hop in the back and get weird? no. no. ♪ ugh, no! [ sighs ] we can have hotdogs for dinner?! yes. [ male announcer ] it's nice to finally say "yes." new oscar mayer selects. it's yes food. how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
10:20 pm
mitt romney made a visit to a struggling charter school in west philadelphia today. things were going really well, until he brought up class size. >> i came into office and talked to people and said what do we do to improve our schools and a number of folks said, well, we need smaller classroom sizes, that will make the biggest difference, so i gathered information across our state, we had 351 cities and towns, i said let's compare the average size of classroom students with the success of our schools to see if there was a relationship.
10:21 pm
in fact the school district with the smallest classrooms, cambridge, had students performing in the bottom 10%. >> some on the round table took issue with romney's stance. >> in first through third grades, if the class size is under 18, those kids stay ahead of everybody else all the way through the school. >> i can't think of any teacher in the whole time i have been teaching, over 13 years, who would say that they would -- more students would benefit them. >> right, of course. >> and i can't think of a parent that would say i would like my teacher to be in a room with a lot of kids and only one teacher. so i'm kind of wondering where this research comes from. >> so were we, things weren't any better for the republican candidate outside of the school where dozens of protesters gathered, including the mayor of
10:22 pm
philadelphia. >> if you're going to talk about education, it would be nice if you had an education record. i would be nice if you had an education platform. it would be nice if you seemed to know something about education, you can go anywhere you want to go. that's the beauty of the united states of america. but the guy's got no record to run on. >> joining me now, mayor michael nutter of gulf and the vice president of the national education association. why did you choose to go out there today and why are you not happy with mitt romney's illustrious record on education? >> martin, he doesn't have a record and the record that he wants to run on is a pretty bad one. we know that when mitt romney was governor, prince, the students in his state of massachusetts, from fiscal year '03 to '04 had the second largers per pupil cut in the
10:23 pm
united states of the. the fund mbls of what he talked about today,er second greater knows that having fewer students in the class is going to be better for that student, you'll get better attention from your teachers, specialized kind of services that elementary school students need to perform at a high level in a classroom. so i mean, i have no idea what he's talking about. and if you want to come to philadelphia and talk about education, or if you want to talk about issues in a presidential campaign, then your record is going to be examined. president obama actually has a record. i'm strongly supporting him, mitt romney doesn't and i'm not going to allow him or his folks come to our town and try to dupe people into thinking that he actually knows something about education. >> right. lily, mitt romney has appointed rod page as his special advisor on education, this is a man who described your union as, and i'm quoting him, a terrorist
10:24 pm
organization. so how well will teachers get along with a romney administration, do you think? >> i think that says a lot about how governor romney respects or does not respect educators. i'm a sixth grade teacher from utah and i was elected by my colleagues over 3 million members of the national education association for things like improving class size. i had 39 fifth graders one year. and i wasn't complaining because it was too much work for me, i couldn't reach those kids. and i'll tell you who was more upset than i was, their parents and so to have someone who would like to be the next president of the united states, show that there's such a disconnect between what an average mom and dad want for their own student, something like being in a decent class size so that a teacher can give that kid the personal attention that every child needs. we are just appalled.
10:25 pm
>> mayor, the student teacher achievement ratio study has found a 32% reduction in class size from 22 students to 15 increased student achievement by an amount equivalent to about three additional months of schooling. and at least 24 states have mandated or incentivized class size limits in their public schools. what is it that romney doesn't seem to get about class size, or is he using the bain approach, which is basically pile them high and sell them cheap? >> there is a stack of cheap mentality going on here. and it's the kids that are suffering. >> i want to hear the mayor on this as well. >> i don't think your program is long enough to detail what romney doesn't know about education. you brought up the bain approach, this is continued cuts and cuts and more cuts, whether it's in secondary or post
10:26 pm
secondary education systems, laying off teachers, slashing budgets, and not providing students or their parents with the support that they need to ensure that every child gets a high quality education. so clearly he has gotten an f on his first day out on the issue of education, i don't know what he's going to be talking about tomorrow, but this kind of bain approach which is to spend as little money as possible and somehow maximize, i'm not sure what maximization of return you're going to get. the only way you get a good return on education, is to spend strategically, spend well and spend money or our teachers. >> mayor, you're making far too much sense. lily, one of the panelists on that round table today posed a question to mitt romney. take a question to this, if you will.
10:27 pm
>> whenever they talk about providing education for low income kids, they always talk about sending them to a school, somewhere else. >> that's right. >> why can't we have good schools in this neighborhood? >> mitt romney never did answer that question, perhaps because he touts a program simply to move students somewhere else, never addressing the core issue, which is the school itself. >> not only that, but one of his proposals is to take one of our seriously underfunded programs like special education and turn special ed funding into a voucher program for people to be subsidized at a private school. but he also talks about our global competition, countries like finland and singapore, but he never talks about what makes them so great. one of the things they did is they said, which are going to have every public school as good as the best public school. wouldn't that be a great thing to run on? to say the kind of school that
10:28 pm
the governor went to, it was his goal to make sure every child had those facilities those great teachers, those really safe places where they could play and learn and books and computers. that's what no one wants to talk about. you have to have the resources in that school to make that school system work for those kids. they keep wanting these little silver bullet gimmicks, win more test, pay by test scores, labeling kids by test scores, stack them deep, teach them cheap. none of that is going to work for real students. >> thank you both for joining us. close the wage cap, republican -- an update about the vile of ronald reagan's blood being put on the auction block, stay with us.
10:29 pm
when you ch, they fly just a liiiiittle bit higher... [ man ] he hits it! [ morgan ] ...go just a liiiiittle bit further... [ woman ] a perfect 10! [ morgan ] they can even be perfect. and when we come together... to one... [ chuckles ] ...we know what happens. [ crowd cheering ] visa. proud sponsor of the olympic games for 25 years. join our global cheer. your doctor will say get smart about your weight. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. it's so great to see you. you, too! oh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over! actually, honey, i think i did... oh? you did? whoa, ladies, easy. hi. cascade kitchen counselor. we can help avoid this with cascade complete pacs.
10:30 pm
over time, the other premium pac can leave cloudy, hard water deposits, but cascade complete pacs help leave glasses sparkling. shiny! too bad it doesn't work on windows. okay, i'm outta here. more dishwasher brands in north america recommend cascade. right? get. out. exactly! really?! [ mom ] what? shut the front door. right? woop-woop! franklin delano! [ male announcer ] hey! there's oreo creme under that fudge! oreo fudge cremes. indescribably good.
10:31 pm
10:32 pm
an update now to a story we told you on tuesday. the online auction of the laboratory vial said to have tracings of blood of ronald reagan has been cancelled because of complaints from reagan's family. the seller of the vial has decided to donate the vile to the ronald reagan foundation. the auction was scheduled to end tonight.
10:33 pm
before it's suspension, bidding had topped $30,000. coming up, sandra fluke on why protecting a woman's right to fairway is not a republican priority. ezra klein on high gas proos ---and i'll look at why romney is not -- ♪ if loving you is wrong
10:34 pm
♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these
10:35 pm
in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to to learn about a free trial offer.
10:36 pm
we're saying here, on the eve of the 49th anniversary of the equal pay act, we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. >> that was marilyn senator, barbara mckoskie, passionate leading the charge to pass the paycheck fairness act which would combat lower pay for women.
10:37 pm
the fairness act would create incentives for employers to follow the law, ban employers from retaliating employees who ask about the wages of their colleagues. past attempts to pass the bill have failed repeatedly due to a lack of republican support. today senator majority leader harry reid called upon republicans to make the act a bipartisan effort. >> republicans deny they're waging war on women, yet they have launched a series of attacks on women's access to health care this year. now they have an opportunity to back up their excuses with action and we're going to give them that opportunity. >> joining me now the sondra fluke who was prevented from testifying at congressional hearing on contraception coverage earlier this year and joanne reid, an msnbc contributor. joanne, how could anyone in 2012 disagree with fair pay for equal work?
10:38 pm
>> it's really hard to understand it. i have been thinking about this throughout the afternoon. demographically, it makes no sense. republicans are already looking at a huge gender gap, mitt romney in the latest nbc "wall street journal" poll is losing by 15 points. so he's actually doing better if you look at the gender gap and mitt romney is doing so poorly among other demographic works, so making it up among women is the only place he has to go. >> and of course mitt romney wants to defund planned parenthood so that's a good start. back in april you said many young women of my generation believe they live in a post feminist world without unfair sex discreme nation, some republicans say that we don't need the paycheck fairness act because we already have the lily ledbetter act.
10:39 pm
how does that differ from the lily ledbetter act? >> the lily ledbetter act was a great piece of legislation. what happened to lily and what that act prohibited, it made sure women had enough time to file a claim when they experienced paycheck discrimination, so the rule used to be that a woman had to file a game within a certain amount of time after she accepted the rate of pay. unfortunately, lily and most women don't know that they're receiving less pay than their male colleagues until many years later when they discover this, and then it was too late to file a claim. so the lily ledbetter act fixed that problem and allowed women to file a claim within a certain amount of time after finding out about the discrimination. now the paycheck fairness act builds upon that by, for example, allowing men and women
10:40 pm
to talk in their workplace about how much they're getting paid. so that women know that they're being discriminated against and can bring a claim and don't face retaliation from their employer when they have those discussions. >> joanne, i want you to listen to south carolina governor nicky halle on fox news last night. >> the war on women is -- they don't want anybody talking about president obama's record on debt, they don't want anybody talking about president obama's record on spending and how out of control washington is. >> is the war on women an invention and an distraction? >> the thing that's so odd is that it was republicans who brought up subjects like contraception. it's gate for the democrats. the republicans on their own decided to go back to a 1950s version of their party. and if you look at the history of the republican party, in the 1920s, the republicans were the party of women. warren hardy, even herbert hoover won a majority of women, all the way through eisenhower,
10:41 pm
it was literally the feminist movement that -- to being this party that was trying to drag women back to to the 19th century, they are now married to being the virgin of the party that the john birch society wanted them to be. i don't understand it but they're wedded to it. >> according to a new nbc "wall street journal" poll, the president leads among women voters, 53% to 38%. back in april, romney was asked whether he supports the lily ledbetter act. is this the reason romney is so far behind? is there anything that romney and republicans can do to win over women voters like yourself? >> well, i think that there are a lot of different reasons for women to have their particular views on which candidate, but it
10:42 pm
does seem like as senator reid said, there's an opportunity here for republican presidential candidate and for the members of the senate to identify themselves as supporting this legislation and being in favor of women being paid fairly for a fair day's work. i don't see why they would want to support that and i'm sure women will reward them if they do. >> that's right, isn't it? >> i think the one thing you could sort of pull out of this, to make it logical, this is about supporting the employer, which is the prime directive now of the republican party, support the employer no matter what. and the part of this new bill that they don't like, i'm just presuming is the fact that women could bchblt retaliated against in the workplace. anything that gives the employee equal footing with their employer. that's the only logical reason why they would be against this bill because it would help them to be for it. to hear the republicans tell it, mr. obama is a horrible
10:43 pm
president for causing the price of gasoline to go up. using their logic, president obama deserves the credit for falling prices at the pump? no. and later, the search for mitt romney's moral center, why does he have such a hard time taking a definitive stand on questions of values? that will be tonight's last word. i want you to grow big! if you grow for me, you'll get cookies for free. nothing worked. ♪ but we started using miracle-gro garden soil. you just mix it with your backyard soil... and it feeds your plants for up to 3 months. my plants grew bigger... more beautiful... with more flowers and vegetables. guaranteed. everything changed with miracle-gro. for you are these flowers, like soap is for showers. everyone grows with miracle-gro. in here, great food demands a great presentation. so at&t showed corporate caterers
10:44 pm
how to better collaborate by using a mobile solution, in a whole new way. using real-time photo sharing abilities, they can create and maintain high standards, from kitchen to table. this technology allows us to collaborate with our drivers to make a better experience for our customers. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪
10:45 pm
mitt romney is no john mccain, today another failure from the republican nominee to stand up and do the right thing, details ahead. but first, mitt romney blamed the president for high gas prices, but mitt romney used to love high gas prices. esra klein is next, stay with us. that's a big 10-4 kosher. with no fillers, by-products, artificial flavors or colors. hebrew national. the better-than-a-hot dog- hot dog.
10:46 pm
i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
10:47 pm
♪ power surge, let it blow your mind. [ male announcer ] for fruits, veggies and natural green tea energy... new v8 v-fusion plus energy. could've had a v8. they have gotten the doubling of gas prices and perhaps worse is a conscious policy of this administration, maybe the one thing they set out to do and actually accomplished. >> he said he wanted gasoline prices to go up, so he hired a team of people to help him implement that strategy. with his numbers suffering and so he says now he's for lower gasoline prices. i'm glad, i'm not sure we can count on it being a true conversion. >> mitt romney and the republicans would like you to
10:48 pm
believe that the president actually wants higher gas prices. but here is what the president really wants. >> you said before, that will wean the american people off fossil fuels on to renewable fuels, how do you respond to that? >> just from a political perspective, do you think that a president going into a re-election campaign wants gas prices to be higher? does anyone here think that makes any sense? >> then there's this quote, i'm very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay. and who was it that said that? massachusetts governor mitt romney in may of 2006. in the march edition of the new republic, alec mcgillis writes, curiously overlooked though is just what -- governor of
10:49 pm
massachusetts, befitting his profile as a moderate republican who cared about the environment governor romney responded to price spikes by describing them as the natural result of global market pressures and by calling for increases in full efficiency, the same approach that he now derides the president for taking. and why this talk of gas prices now? because on the eve of memorial day weekend, gas prices are down nearly 25 cents. lower than this time last year. that's the equivalent of a $25 billion tax break for drivers. joining me now is ezra klein, "washington post" columnist and msnbc analyst. just so i understand this correctly, romney blames the president for the rise in gas prices, having previously initiated policy that is would actually increase the price of gas, is that right?
10:50 pm
>> that is correct. albeit confusing as is often the case. romney quinn up theled a gas tax that was meant to go to cleanups at gas stations. originally it was just supposed fob for this one fund then it became a general tax that funded other things. but we have a very, very blinker conversation in this country about gas prices in general, and when it is useful for the -- they pretend that gas prices are something that get priced because somewhere in the oval office, the president turns back and forth and that is frankly not the case. gas prices are heavily driven by supply and demand, by china and india, by growing economies, by speculation. day to day, the president doesn't have a whole lot to do with the price of gas at the pump. >> and the policy that i read, that the president has virtually no control over gas prices.
10:51 pm
but mitt romney says the exact opposite. listen to this. >> do you hold president obama responsible? >> absolutely, he has not pursued policies that convince the world that america is going to become energy secure, energy independent. >> just to be clear, ezra, who's right on this? >> i actually don't know how to parse that statement very well. if you pursued policy to make america energy secure and energy independent, here's the reality, oil is a volatile commodity, it is subject to great swings. as long as we are on oil, we are going to see very dramatic swings in the price of oil. the way to make that stop happening, the way we can actually get beyond that is if we get on to renewables. a lot of times mitt romney has edged around this as have other -- are you for cap and trade?
10:52 pm
i mean the idea here is that you would price in the long-term environmental -- of carbon emissions. the market would appropriately price how much fossil fuels are really compromising us. barack obama has supported that, it has not moved in congress after the original passage of waxman markey in house. i don't really know what mitt romney means to do to make us energy secure and energy independent if he doesn't have a plan to get us off oil in the long run. >> if obama -- saying that he was forcing the auto industry to change their products. but again t new republic writes that mitt romney's climate protection plan of 2004 included more car pooling, public transport, tax breaks for hybrid vehicle. again, is this another reason why romney never mentions his period as governor, because it literally contradicts everything that he says during the campaign?
10:53 pm
>> yes, i have this theory that neither campaign ever wants to talk about mitt romney's time as government, for romney it shows that obama is a moderate. and for obama-- >> what romney will not say on the campaign trail leads to a troubling question, why can't mitt romney take a definitive stand on questions of character? stay with us. dude you don't understand, this is my dad's car. look at the car! my dad's gonna kill me dude... [ male announcer ] the security of a 2012 iihs top safety pick. the volkswagen passat. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the 2012 passat for $209 a month. that's the power of german engineering.
10:54 pm
recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. can't remember the last time i took aspirin. i don't think aspirin's for body pain. aspirin is just old school. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 92% of people who tried it said they would buy it again. what's different? it has micro-particles. enters the bloodstream fast and rushes relief to the site of pain. visit today for a special trial offer. ovider is
10:55 pm
but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company by continuing to help you do more and focus on the things that matter to you. like a ramen noodle- every-night budget. she thought allstate car insurance was out of her reach. until she heard about the value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
10:56 pm
♪ for a man whose religion bans alcohol and gambling, the news that mitt romney will be in las vegas next week at a fund-raiser hosted by donald trump has come as something of a
10:57 pm
surprise the romney campaign is also offering one lucky donor the chance to dine with romney and trump here in new york. while these events raise cash, they also raise questions about mitt romney's objective. mitt romney is failing the moral leadership test. instead of rejecting donald trump's birther theories and -- it's easy to contempt the presumptive nominee for keeping such abject company. but the next line of that statement hits harder at the real truth about mr. romney. you will of course remember this john mccain 2008 moment. >> i can't trust obama.
10:58 pm
i have read about him and he's not -- he's a -- he's an arab. he is not -- >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. no, ma'am. he's a decent, family man citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. and that's what this campaign is all about. >> romney failed exactly this kind of test earlier this month at a town hall in cleveland. >> i want to know, i -- yeah, i do agree he should be tried for treason and what you're going to be able to do to restore our constitution in this country. >> well, as i'm sure you do, i happen to believe the constitution was not just brilliant, but probably inspired. >> it was only later when asked directly by a reporter if he believes the president should be tried for treason, romney answered no, of course not. in early march, after rush
10:59 pm
limbaugh called sondra fluke a slut, all mitt romney could answer is a spineless response before quickly changing the subject. >> it's not the language i would have used and i'm focusing on the issues that i think are significant in the country today and that's why i'm here talking about jobs in ohio. >> but these sins of omission are as nothing compared with mitt romney's propensity to tell lies, he lies about obama's -- he lies about his own job creation record as governor of massachusetts and when he worked at bain capital. he lies about his massachusetts health care plan. mitt romney has even lied about not being a career politician, despite running for the senate almost 20 years ago. mitt romney doesn't gamble and he doesn't get drunk, which begs the question, which is the more serious moral failing, what you