tv The Ed Show MSNBC July 31, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
our own sort of insurance's timeline. and i would actually really recommend folks check out the national women's law center website for a q&a on how to talk to your insurance provider about when you'll get those benefits. >> sandra fluke, thank you very much for joining good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. mitt romney's foreign adventure was such a disaster that in england they were calling him the american borat. now that the trip is over, a romney adviser is calling it a great success. you just can't make this stuff up. this is "the ed show" and as ed would say, let's get to work. >> i realize that there will be some in the fourth estate or whichever estate who are far more interested in finding something to write about that is unrelated to the economy. >> mitt romney complains about the referees after missing a
foreign policy lay-up. the long international nightmare finished with a foul mouth flurry. >> we haven't had another chance to ask him questions. >> this is a holy site. >> david corn will tell us why his disaster overseas will hurt him in november. and another anti-government small business ad backfires in romney'ses face. >> he was trying to say, hey, you didn't build that business on your own. >> we'll show the romney camp's latest attempt to exploit a dishonest talking poin ining po. >> the government helped you build it. that's what ticked me off more than anything. >> the romney campaign's international meltdown reached its odd conclusion when a romney aide told a reporter kiss my bleep, this is a holy site. this occurred when he was walking away from pusetky square after visiting poland's tomb of the unknown soldier. ter shouting at mr. romney, an
aide got involved. >> governor romney! >> governor romney, do you have a statement for the palestinians? >> what about your gaffes? >> governor romney, do you feel your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip? >> it's a holy site of the foreign people. show some respect. show some respect. >> we haven't had a chance to ask him some questions. >> [ bleep ], this is a holy site for the polish people. show some respect. >> it will not be the same. he also reportedly said shove it to a second reporter. he later called two reporters to apologize saying it was inappropriate. the frustration was not limited to romney's aide. the candidate himself said he had been misunderstood and blamed the press. first, the part where he didn't actually say what he really said. >> i'm not speaking about it, did not speak about palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy. that's an interesting topic that perhaps could deserve scholarly analysis, but i actually didn't address that. certainly don't intend to address that during my campaign.
instead, i will point out that the choices a society makes have a profound impact on the economy and the vitality of that society. >> at the heart of that obfuscating answer is the claim ha that he wasn't talking about culture in explaining the economic disparity between israel and the palestinians. but, in truth, romney talked at length about the subject during that jerusalem fund-raiser and he concluded the point by citing the wealth and poverty of nations by dr. david landis. he says, if you could learn anything from the economic history of the world, it's this. culture makes all the difference. culture makes all the difference. and as i come here and i look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, i recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. so when romney says he was not speaking about culture, he is simply not stating the truth. but there's more. romney concluded the press was trying to distract attention from president obama's record. that's right.
he blamed his foreign tour fiasco on the media. >> i realize that there will be some in the fourth estate or whichever estate who are far more interested in finding something to write about that is unrelated to the economy, to geopolitics, to the threat of war, to the reality of conflict in afghanistan today. to a nuclearization of iran. they'll instead try and find anything else to divert from the fact that these last four years have been tough years for our country. >> fourth estate, fifth estate. he couldn't figure out which home he was referring to. the media was not the one doing the diverting. the romney campaign through its missteps was diverting from what was supposed to be the central theme of the trip, that romney could be trusted as an able statesman. and, by the way, criticism of romney came from the so-called friendly media as well.
here's charles krauthammer. >> when romney answered is unbelievable. it's beyond human understanding. it's incomprehensible. i'm out of adjectives. all he has to do is say nothing. >> here's fox's karl rove. >> instead, he got stuck making somehow or another a comment that the brits took as an insult, and he walked it back pretty quickly and walked it back adroitly. but, nonetheless, the damage was done. >> and greta van susteren said there's been no press access to governor romney since we landed in poland. we press are in a holding pattern. i can't help but feel like the the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while polish citizens take pictures of us. the missteps of governor romney and his staff over a three-country tour were not the fault of the press, and the list is plentiful. romney insulted the british. an aide suggested support for an israeli unilateral strike on iran, then walked it back. the romney campaign closed a jerusalem fund-raiser to the
press, then reversed course. romney suggested cultural superiority of israelis over palestinians and then complained the comments were mischaracterized. romney praised the health care system which just happens to be socialized. romney aide loses cool, tells a reporter to kiss my bleep. is mitt romney's campaign right? was mitt romney's foreign trip a great success? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. i'll bring you the results later in the show. joining me now is msnbc political analyst david corn, also the washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine and author of the book "showdown." david, welcome to the show. >> good to be with you, professor. >> mr. corn, three countries, three strikes? >> you know, maybe he got a foul tip in poland.
i don't know. that's about the best he did. i've been on the air the last day or so calling this the moonwalking tour because he had to spend so much time walking back comments. and i spoke this afternoon to a republican strategist who i like. before mitt romney went on the tour, the guy was telling me, listen, this is good for mitt romney, the olympics are going on. not a lot of attention focused on politics here. he'll get some good photo ops, be associated with the olympics. all in all, probably a good thing for him. so i called him up and said, what do you think now? he said, well, if this was a gymnastics floor routine, i would take at least half a point away from him. this was not a net gain for mitt romney. if he's trying to show himself as a competent statesman who can go on the world stage, he didn't do that. he ended up once again whining about the press, and if anybody has any memory in the country, which is a debatable premise, if you compare this trip to barack obama's triumphant trip overseas to berlin and elsewhere four
years ago, mitt romney really looks like he came in a far second. >> yeah, your gymnastic analogy is appropriate. he didn't nail anything but himself in his own coffin. and by the way, the romney camp can't even get the shouted question right. you either ignore it or you act like you can't here like ronald reagan. right? what are your thoughts on that? >> that's been a theme throughout the whole campaign, that mitt romney just doesn't take questions. he won't sit down with david gregory and "meet the press." you know, he's done a lot with fox. and the reporters covering him are going nuts because they spend all the time, follow him around, and he doesn't engage. he's probably engaged less with the media -- i mean, people complain about barack obama and other candidates in the past. but he's engaged far less with the media than any candidate in recent years. i mean, john mccain did a lot more. george w. bush did a lot more. and so you saw frustration explode today, and i think the
reporters -- you know, reporters just want to ask him about what he's saying, in poland he praised the small government. maybe he doesn't know, but in poland they have a universal health care system paid for by the government, and anybody can go to state college or university paid by the government again. so it's not a small government, yet he can say the stuff because he doesn't have to submit to any questioning. >> and he doesn't have any sense of the history. we're not asking him about polish poetry with milos. we're just asking him what the heck is going on right before his nose. perhaps the oddest assertion is governor romney claiming he wasn't talking about culture in the jerusalem fund-raiser when obviously he was. in fact, before that group of wealthy donors at the jerusalem fund-raiser, wasn't romney saying what he meant exactly, that palestinians were inferior, that poor people are poor because they simply aren't doing something right? isn't that what he believes? >> it seems like if he was
pandering to the crowd in front of him and not thinking like a statesman -- if you want to have influence in the middle east, you don't insult the players there. you know, the israeli government or the palestinians. and it showed he wasn't really sensitive to that. but i actually have to tell you also, back in january when it was actually possible to it get close to the governor during the campaign, i asked him about a speech i just heard him give where he said that barack obama wanted to turn america into a european socialist type of country and that those countries have more poverty in them. i asked him, do you really think there's more poverty in europe than there is in the united states? and he looked at me and said, i didn't say that. i said, you just did. you said it five minutes ago in the stump speech. he said, no, i didn't say that. i thought maybe i was going nuts. i had to go back to c-span and play the tape and, indeed, that's exactly what he said. it made me wonder at the time, and this interview today was reminiscent at least for me, made me wonder if he really understands or remembers what
he's saying or if he's just saying what he's told to say and it's all kind of a blur to me. >> yes, it's a miss mistery for. david corn, thanks for helping us understand it tonight. >> my pleasure. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. and share your thoughts on twitter at ed show and on facebook. we want to know what you think. coming up, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell is back to his favorite pastime -- obstructing democrats. but this time women's health care is at stake. stay with us. ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. goes up. goes up. ask me what it's like to get a massage anytime you want. goes down. goes down. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. ergonomics. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. to learn more or to find an authorized retailer near you, visit tempurpedic.com.
coming up -- women's health is being used as a bargaining chip in the republican fight to take down the president. we'll show you today's big showdown in the senate next. later, we're counting down to another vote to cut taxes for the middle class. so why aren't house republicans on board? and are race relations in the u.s. better or worse after an obama presidency? share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter, using the hash tag ed show.
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when republicans act on their plan to make president obama a one-term president, their obstruction knows no bounds. take a look at what happened on the senate floor today and see for yourself. senate majority leader harry reid was praising the health care services for women that will be available without co-pays starting tomorrow under the affordable care act. it includes contraception, preventative cancer screenings and domestic violence counseling, to name a few. >> as a result of this bill we passed, being a woman is no longer a preexisting disability
in america. >> wow, powerful words. after senator reid's remarks, it was back to the business of passing a cyber security bill. or so we thought. >> i think it would be appropriate to have a vote on the repeal of obama care. i would hope to be able to offer that amendment in the pendency of the bill on cyber security which we believe will be open to amendment. >> boy, deja vu all over again. senator reid, as you might imagine, was flabbergasted. >> can you imagine how ridiculous my friend the republican leader's statement is. listen to what he said. we're doing cyber security. we've talked about the dangers of cyber security, if we don't do something about it. and he's now telling me that he wants a vote to repeal all the stuff that i just talked about? i don't think a woman getting contraception has a thing to do with shutting down the power grids in america or the financial services in america or our water systems or our sewer systems.
that's what cyber security is all about. >> in fact, several democrats pointed out how the republican obstruction would directly impact women's health. >> yes, it is a war on women because if they really cared about women and they didn't like obamacare, they would still have a proposal on the floor to keep these fine pieces of the legislation. >> what is with this idea of repeal? do you really want to take away these benefits from women? from children? from men? from families? yeah, i guess you do. >> let's turn to neera tendon. president of the center for american progress. thanks for joining us tonight. >> great to be with you. >> what possible reason do the republicans have for attaching this amendment to a cyber security bill? >> you know, i think actually this was a very instructive debate. i'm so glad you broadcast it because what's been happening is that you see that the republicans, republican senators and republicanin the house,
really, using the legislative process to address just the concerns of their base voters. this will be the 37th, 38th, 380th attempt to overturn the affordable care act. and they know it's not going to go anywhere. they know it's not going to pass. they know the president will veto. it won't even pass the senate. but this is just another attempt to put the important legislative governing aside and do the work of the tea party and the base of the republican party. and i think that's a real shame, and i really applaud senate democrats for demonstrating what's at stake when they do that, what's at issue here. and it's all these important benefits that women will be receiving. 47 million american women will receive presentative benefits because of this bill starting tomorrow. >> sure, extremely important legislation. i want to read a quote from republican congressman richard hannah of new york who spoke to a syracuse newspaper the other day.
quote, i have to say i'm frustrated by how much we, i mean the republican party, are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history. we render ourselves incapable of governing when all we do is take severe sides. and today nine-term republican congressman steve lauturet announced his resignment from congress and blamed the partisanship. >> we're talking about building roads and bridges. we're not talking about democrats and republican initiatives. more than being an embarrassment to the house of representatives, it was indicative to the fact people are more interested in fighting with each other than they are in getting the no-brainers done in government. >> these are republican statesmen, republican congre congressmen, who are assaulting the party or at least its extremes from within. why isn't the republican party any longer able to govern according to its own members? >> you know, i want to make an important point about this because, you know, so many
people in washington and around the country say a pox on both your houses, that both parties do that. but if you look at what happened in the last two years, you saw a republican party that moved far to the right. and congressman law torette, who is no moderate by any means, was talking about was the fact that republicans were opposing a transportation bill. house republicans have supported transportation bills year in, year out, decades in, decade out, but this party is different, and they were going to hold millions of jobs hostage to the idealogical opposition of their base. and that's tiring for everyone and i think we have to recognize that that partisanship has to end. it's not both sides. it's really one side. norm ornstein, an aei fellow, recently wrote a great piece about how it really is the republican party that is the problem in washington. and it's important that people recognize that. >> and co-authored a book. we had both of them on this show.
you've already indicated that the tea party has been deferred in a way and in a certain way is continuing to exert its influence here. do republicans really want to go down the road again of waging war on women's health? >> well, i have to say that one piece of good news is that john boehner last week, i believe, said that they wouldn't take on contraception, that they would recognize that this isn't the bill. they wouldn't put forward bills to eliminate this important benefit. but that's really only after millions of women became energized by a debate in which rush limbaugh said -- you know, attacked a woman, a 30-year-old woman, basically calling her the worst and most malicious names, and i will remind folks that the leader of the republican party, mitt romney, refused to repudiate him. so i think now that women have woken up and realized that issues as basic as contraception
are at stake in the election, republicans are unlikely to take on the fight. and i think that's an important message for this election, that people have to get energized because it's only then that we can push back on what has become a war on women. >> right. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> great to be with you. coming up next, your tax rates are up for a vote in the house of representatives. we'll preview tomorrow's vote with congressman steve israel. and mitt romney's tax problem won't go away. harry reid told him a bain investor said he didn't pay taxes for ten years.
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when democrats and republicans agree on something, it should be pretty easy to get it done. but right now that's not the case. instead of doing what's right for middle class families and small business owners, republicans in congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. >> that was president obama explaining what is at stake for the middle class. republicans claim they are concerned about the middle class. this week they have a golden opportunity to provide stability and eliminate uncertainty for them. house republicans could approve senate legislation passed last week extending the middle class tax cuts, and president obama would be sure to sign it. instead, they are insisting on maintaining tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. under the democratic plan, 98% of americans would continue to
benefit from the current tax cuts. as for the top 2%, those americans would pay a higher rate only on income above $250,000. if congress fails to act, all tax cuts will expire at the beginning of next year. taxes would increase on the wealthy and the middle class. democrats see an opportunity to hammer republicans for siding with millionaires and billionaires. in an online ad, they are targeting republicans in competitive districts. here's a portion of that ad. >> good news. republicans want to cut your taxes. not you. you! and you deserve a break. after all, these things are expensive. so republicans want to give you the millionaire another tax break, all while charging seniors $6,000 more for medicare. this guy? her? they don't need it. they'll just buy groceries and pay the mortgage. but you? you're going places. >> as the president would say, i'm just saying. i'm joined by congressman steve
israel of new york, chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee. welcome, congressman. >> great to be with you. >> sir, how optimistic are you about this week's vote? >> well, i'd be optimistic if we had a democratic majority, which would support tax cuts for the middle class. in this case, i'm pessimistic. here's what you're going to see on the floor of the house of representatives tomorrow, a hostage drama, where the republicans will hold the middle class hostage and hold small businesses hostage to getting their tax cuts unless their millionaire and billionaire special interest friends get theirs. so the message that the republicans will send tomorrow is quite simply this -- if you're a cop, a firefighter, a teacher, even if you're living fairly comfortably, making $150,000, $200,000, you lose your tax cut unless their big million-dollar friends, billion-dollar friends get their tax cut worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. if you're a small business, you
lose your tax cut unless you're exxonmobil and you get yours. it's wrong, against the middle class, and they should be ashamed of themselves for this hostage drama. >> i'm not an economist, but if the wealthy, the truly wealthy, get those big tax cuts, won't it really eliminate the benefit we have from giving tax breaks to those making $250,000 and below? >> well, look, the fact of the matter is, when with the middle class does best, the country does best. and we need an economic strategy based on solutions to expand the middle class, promote new small businesses that will create jobs and hire people. the republican economic principle is simply, give millionaires and billionaires more tax cuts and the economy will be fine. they tried that for eight years in the bush administration. it didn't work. >> it just didn't work. if republicans vote against the senate legislation, what kind of message does that send to the middle class because obviously, they don't feel the love from this congress. >> i think there's an unquenchable thirst by americans throughout the country for two things -- solutions and compromise.
in this case, we have a compromise on a solution. we can tomorrow pass the senate bill which provides a tax cut on the first $250,000 of everyone's income, send it to the president, he will sign it. the middle class will have that security, sustainability, and predictability. we all agree on that. why are the republicans insisting on not even allowing us to vote on that bill but instead say, take it or leave it, millionaires and billionaires or everybody under 2 it $50,000 gets -- $250,000 gets nothing. >> you know, congressman, people have been asking for congress to step up, especially the democrats. are the democrats positioned to go on the offensive on this issue? >> we are going on offense. you saw that ad. we're holding them accountable. what have the republicans proposed so far since they had the majority? if you are a senior on medicare, you lose your medicare and pay $6,000 extra. if you're a millionaire, unless you get your tax cut, nobody gets a tax cut. it's millionaires over medicare. it's billionaires over the
middle class. that's the dividing line. tomorrow is just another front in the war to protect the middle class. we have the high ground, and we're going to hold republicans accountable for their utter lack of priorities in the middle class. pf well, speaking of that, your republican colleague from new york richard hanna called out his own party today for catering to the extreme right. what do you make of his remarks and do you expect his vote on extending middle class tax cuts? >> i don't know how richard is going to vote tomorrow, but i will tell you this. john latourette from ohio, one of the more moderate republicans, said today he's leaving, he's resigning, not even waiting for the next election. richard hanna has been outspoken in saying the republicans are too extreme. you know what my definition of being in trouble? being a moderate republican. people want moderates, they want democrats and republicans who are willing to compromise. democrats have consistently said we will compromise, there are
some things we don't even like, but we understand it's not always about left or right. it's about forward. and the republican, the tea party caucus that is running the republican congress right now, has rejected all compromise, has rejected all moderation, and that's why even some of their own people in the republican caucus like richard hanna, like steve latourettte and others, tim johnson, another moderate republican from illinois, he's leaving congress. they're sick and tired of it. they're more in touch with their constituents than the radical tea party republicans who are so out of tune. >> did the house just become easier for the democrats to take in the next election, then? >> every time the republicans say to the american people it's millionaires over medicare, billionaires over the middle class, we do better. look, frankly, i wish it was different. i wish the republicans would join us in focusing and emphasizing our priorities to expand and support the middle class. they have chosen the wrong policy and the wrong politics, and that's why i'm confident we're going to win the 25 seats we need to take the house and reinvest in the middle class and working families in this country. >> all right, congressman steve
israel. thank you so very much. >> thanks, michael. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour on "the ed show." stay tuned. my view is i have paid all the taxes required by law. >> harry reid's rumor turns into a huffington post headline. he said a bain investor told him romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. a panel will will weigh in next. i'll reopen the dyson-ary and teach republicans the real meaning of independents. and has the election of the first black president been good for race relations in america? dr. james peterson has answers ahead.
due, i don't think i'd be qualified to become president. >> if i don't hustle and exploit you for all i can get you for, i don't deserve to be in the oval office. mitt romney says he doesn't recall if he ever paid less than a 13.9% tax rate. of course, we have to take romney at his word since he has only released two years of tax returns. but now senate majority leader harry reid says he knows why he's keeping the tax returns locked up. reid tells the huffington post about a month ago, a bain capital investor called the office a month ago, he said, harry, he didn't pay any taxes for ten years. wish we had the recording on that. reid shared his disbelief with the huffington post. he didn't pay taxes for ten years? now, do i know that that's true? well, i'm not certain, but obviously he can't release those tax returns. how would it look? reid would not say who the investor was. romney adviser kevin madden is responding to reid's charges. madden tells the huffington
post -- romney has gone above and beyond the disclosure requirements by releasing two years of personal tax returns in addition to the hundreds of pages of personal financial disclosure documents he's provided to the fec and made public. let's bring in kelly goff, democratic strategist keith boigen with the lairn jiets and republican strategy susan del percio. since our middleman is disenabled linguistically for a moment, kelly goff, what are we to make of this speculation from harry reid? is this gossip or something that is slaisalacious and we should into it? >> it's a reminder that the man used to box. it's easy to see the glasses and see this demure guy, but they call him the back room brawler, and that's not for nothing. so he knows how to mix it up, and that's what he was doing politically speaking. and he knew it. that's what made it funnier. he was lethal about causing trouble. i didn't find this revelation
real shocking. the only shocking thing to come out of the taxes for me was if something was revealed if he paid 50% of taxes. i think anyone with half a brain knows there's something in there unflattering like this, perhaps, or he would have released them already, right? >> right. let me ask susan. you preserve your voice just a little longer. how does romney get out of the pickle, so to speak? all of this information is coming out, if they're rumors, could he just put them to bed by releasing the tax forms and showing what he did and did not pay? >> i recognize there is an issue with governor romney's tax returns. they have been calling for it. i happen to think two years is fine, it's what previous nominees have done. if people want to make it an issue, that's one thing. however, what senator reid has done is absolutely absurd, ridiculous, and beyond the pale. you don't quote somebody who you're not willing to give to a reporter. and frankly for the huffington post to report this not even being able to verify it, just to make hay, is absolutely ridiculous. you say, we'll have to take
romney's word on it. i can't take harry reid's word on it. he's not even the one who frankly saw it. >> but mitt romney can seal the deal by saying, here it is, i'll shut everybody's mouth. >> but the fact of what senator reid did today was really beyond the pale. again, you want to hold romney accountable, you want to make an issue? that's fine. he's not showing his releases, you want to call for it, but the political tricks harry reid is playing is even below him. >> let's pull keith boykin in. tell us what you think about all of this romney business and reid's rumor mill and tell us about what romney did when he was abroad. was he a statesman or did he fall short of that? >> first, let me say i disagree with susan. i don't think this is going beyond the pale for harry reid. there's a simple answer -- >> you're right, he is usually pretty low. >> no, no. the republicans are the masters of that. we don't want to go into this discussion. but i think there's a simple answer to that --
release your tax returns. if you release the tax returns, it won't be an issue anymore. we'll know what happened. that's the answer. in terms of keli's comment, i disagree with what she said, too. i don't think it's not shocking that if we find out that mitt romney hasn't paid taxes for ten years and i'm not saying that happened, if that's the case, that is a shocking statement. that's inconceivable for a guy who's createed his whole life calculating to be president of the united states, that he would be stupid enough to do that. that's why i'm not sure that story is even plausible because i don't see he's dumb enough to have done that. >> i don't know. this is a man who has switched his position on almost every major issue on the table, thinking that would get him to the white house and that's an effectist strategy for being president. even according to republicans, this has been the most curious, to put it diplomatically, presidential campaign in a really long time from a major candidate. >> speaking of curious, susan, it's been curiouser and curiouser that the further
romney got into his foreign trip, he got more complicated and difficult. how do you handicap and assess him in terms of his success oversears? >> this was supposed to be a really nice photo op trip. it didn't quite work out for him. >> something happened along the way. >> he did get the most important photo op with the prime minister of israel. so that worked out well for him. and the truth is that this week, the headlines are going to end, begin and end with friday's jobs numbers. >> how did the optics work on his behalf? >> it was a tough week, and it shouldn't have been. so when i handicapped it, just going to what keith had said a little bit earlier, this is a for sure. these are mistakes a candidate should not be making, frankly. >> rager ayles, the head of fox news, once a republican strategist, he famously said in the 1980s, only three things come from a presidential election, mistakes, attacks and pictures. what romney did was give the national media plenty of mistakes, mistake in every country. then you go to poland. you don't make a mistake, but one of your campaign aides goes off on an attack on the press,
this tirade where he uses this unseemly language to talk about this is supposedly a holy place. it's just a reflection of his campaign being out of control. maybe keli is right after all. maybe he is dumb enough to not pay taxes for ten years because he's clearly not smart enough to put together a strong campaign. >> keli, given that, given the fact romney has had all these, you know, he says mischaracterizations, missteps, and these gaffes, but i love this map. i mistakes, attacks, and pictures. they have all been not in his favor. what does he do to come back? give us the comeback plan. don't give us a comeback, i've been there before. give us the ll cool j rescue plan about how to get out of the madness. >> run during a different election. or actually, okay, i'll be nicer and say hope that his opponent makes even worse mistakes. >> exaggerate nonissues like you didn't build that. try to make a mistake out of that. >> this is going to be a referendum on president obama.
i understand that my democratic colleagues want to talk about all the other things. >> it's a choice. >> they are valid points. >> just the things that are happening. >> elections are a choice, not just a referendum. >> the unemployment number is going to matter to people. >> the anglo-saxon remark, i don't think that was an accident because there's an audience -- he has a shrinking audience of people considering voting for them, and some of those are probably racist. >> oh, come on! >> the time has shrunk. keli, keith, and susan, thank you so much. coming up, i'm opening up the dyson-ary to give you the true definition of the word independence. stay tuned. [ female announcer ] with swiffer dusters,
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i do know this -- the federal government doesn't create jobs. the private sector does. >> more government, more spending, more taxes don't create more jobs. >> government doesn't create jobs. it's the private sector that creates jobs. >> welcome back. the go-to play in the gop playbook, americans don't need help from government, they can do everything on their own. so in tonight's dyson-ary, i'll tell you what the word independence really means to republicans. but first, the actual definition. independence, freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others. sounds like a typical republican definition. but you might think differently after i explain. for the past two weeks, romney's campaign has been attacking the president for his you didn't build that remarks that were
taken out of context. they produced a whole slew of ads and live events showcasing real small businesses that quote, did build this without help from the government. but the romney camp should have done their research. it turns out a large amount of businesses used in their ads and events have had some help from uncle sam. sollmann electric company featured in the romney ad received at least $3.9 million in government contracts. gilchrist received at least $800,000 in tax exempt bonds. ad morgan construction company featured in a romney event received at least $150 million in government contracts. prl industries featured in a romney event received over $160,000 in government contracts. and ball office products featured in a romney event received $635,000 in small business administration loans. i could go on and on and on, but you get the point and the picture.
so let's turn to the dyson-ary to find out what independence means to republicans. independence, providing influence, support, and aid to those we republicans see fit. tonight in our survey, i asked you, was mitt romney's foreign trip a great success? trip a great success? 3% say yes. 97% say no. coming up, our segment with t.j. holmes has some conservatives accusing us of making a mountain out of a mole hill when it comes to racial discrimination. are they right? dr. james peterson joins me next. building pass, corporate card, verizon 4g lte phone.
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last night on "the ed show," television host t.j. holmes told us what it was like being pulled over for driving while black. as part of our discussion, we wondered what incidents like this mean for our country that was labeled post-racial by in the media after president obama was elected. >> you talk about a post-racial country. well, we can't have a conversation about race ever, because it happens every single time we go to our corners, we come out, we fight for a round, beat the crap out of each other, and go back to our corners and get ready to fight again and nothing every gets done. >> t.j.'s conclusion is hardly controversial, but conservative website the blaze took us to task, saying we preceded to transform his single experience with an apparently incompetent
police officer into a gigantic parable about the state of race in america. is it a single experience for sure? or is it a small piece of a larger truth? the number of incidents like t.j.'s are not diminishing, but attitudes about racial harmony are. 70% said racial relations would get better the day president obama was elected. a year later, only 41% thought things were better. in 2011, more people thought there was no change versus change for the better. jesse washington of the associated press recently authored a fascinating report on race relations in america. many white americans feel president obama has made race relations worse. here's one quote about the president. he's made them terrible. a lot of people i talk to can't understand why a man who is half white and half black is so anti-white. attitudes like that put pictures like this into context. some people may call this a single experience, not a gigantic parable, but police sergeant jose lozano who is
quoted in jesse washington's report describes it like this. that was ugly. i have never seen anything like that. there's no way that would have ever happened to a white president. i'm joined now by dr. james peterson, director of african studies and associate professor of english at lehigh university. you have seen the background, the backdrop. what have you noticed about race relations in america in the obama presidency. >> well i think, number one, i think that his presidency in some ways exacerbated some of the challenges and the residues of racism in america's past. but i think people need to understand it is possible to make progress like electing p first black president, but also some areas of challenges like the institutional racism that we see in the industrial complex or that we see in the criminal justice system as a whole. all we need is one troy davis to show us how race and bias operate or one trayvon martin to show us that profiling is large, or one march against stop and frisk to reveal the numbers and statistics around race and racism in terms of stop and frisk policies.
there's a lot of issues we have to confront. it doesn't mean we don't have issues in other areas. that we have to be concerned about and deal with directly. >> sure, you have alluded to the density of day that that suggests we have yet to come to the racial nirvanao promise land. so does t.j. holmes has a point when he says it's still impossible to talk about race relations because everyone goes to their corners, digs, swings, fights and goes back to their corners? >> i think t.j. is right that some folk do that. many of us try to have the conversations on an on going way. many of u us understand the value of about a conversation about race and gender and all sorts of issues, but he's right. many people want to take sides and don't want to learn. there's quite a bit of institutional racism for us to fight and confront head on in america. >> there was a lot of noise around the census report than white births no longer make up the majority of births in the united states.
ar attitudes affected by a fear that the white makeup of the country is diminishing? there was a famous female author 30 years ago on the donahue show who made a similar argument with a different context. now here we are saying that the fear of diminishing white returns on the census are leading to some kind of real racial situation here. >> for the small minority of folk who still hold on to race based ideas about judging people and interacting with people, yes, the growth of our latino population, the continued growth of the african-american population, and other populations of color are challenges for them. there's nothing anyone can do about that. this world is getting browner. the point of the matter is we're all in this together and we really should all be on the same tide. there should not be bias and racism in any way in this society. we're way too mature and should be progressed way beyond that. i hope we continue to engage
these things in sophisticated nuanced ways without sort of running to our subject positions and sort of bite back and being negative about it. >> quickly, professor peterson, there doesn't seem to be a consensus whether president obama has made race relations better, worse, or the same. why hasn't more of a consistence emerged? >> it's both. it's significant, there are a small minority who hate the fact that we have a black president. what it has done is it's raised the ire of those vocal folks who are racist in the society, and those of us who are interested or invested in progress don't understand how we can ♪ forward and backward at the same time, but that's exactly what is happening today. >> sharp as a tack, dr. peterson, thank you very much. that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson, the tremendous, eloquent, nevertheless stunning rachel maddow is next. her show comes on, but not without her.