tv The Last Word MSNBC August 6, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
to wait to cheer with everybody else. i totally get, that totally would have been me. so do all of the amazing scientists and engineers at the jet propulsion lab, you have done something wonderful and we salute you. the whole country salutes you. but to the early celebrator, you are the mitt romney's defenders must be getting tired of defending his refusal to release his tax returns, because now they're attacking harry reid. >> let him prove that he has paid taxes. >> attacks against senate majority leader harry reid. >> the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. >> i'm not going to respond to a dirty liar. >> i think he's lying. >> do you think harry reid's a dirty liar? >> i just said it. >> i think he's making things up. >> i just said it. >> you think the leader of the
senate is lying? >> i really do. >> i think republican have kind of misplayed this. >> i'll triple down on my comments. sfl he wasn't doing this ringside in vegas in a boxing match. >> let them call names. >> i know that governor romney could clear this up in ten seconds. >> brilliant politics. >> i give you nothing on that. >> claim that mitt romney is withholding his tax returns. well, that's not a claim. he is. >> i would have put out five or six years. >> a huge amount of income, paying a tiny amount of tax. rchlt i 85 i. >> i give you nothing on that. >> i'm glad i wasn't holding my breath. >> when the preacher can't preach to his own choir, it's time to get a new preacher. >> we knew it. you must have been. who else would you have for? >> have a nice day. >> i'm alex wagner, in for lawrence o'donnell. mitt romney thinks he's found his battle cry. after trying it out on sean hannity's radio show on
thursday, romney brought it on to the national stage during a media availability day on friday in las vegas. >> harry reid really has to put up or shut, all right. so harry, who are your sources? let's have harry explain who that is. >> mitt romney claims harry reid has to put up or shut up, regarding his source on romney's undisclosed tax returns, after reid launched attacks that romney says are patently false, though he patently refuses to offer any proof. >> let me also say categorically, i have paid taxes every year, and a lot of taxes. a lot of taxes. so harry is simply wrong. that's why i'm so anxious for him to give us the names of the people who have put this forward. i wouldn't be at all surprised to hear the names are people from the white house or the obama campaign, or who knows where they're coming from. >> after saying harry reid is wrong, romney counters what he claims is a specious and baseless attack on him by speciously and baselessly claiming the white house is
behind it. when asked about that today, white house press secretary jay carney basically said, well, put up or shut up. >> you all probably know senator reid well, and, you know, he speaks for himself. there's a question for governor romney, right? he, as recently as last week, i think on abc, said that he would be happy to check if he paid a lower effective tax rate in previous years than the 13.9% that he paid in the year related to the tax return that he did release. >> romney has yet to satisfactorily answer that question or this one. >> instead of just going back and forth with harry reid, why not just release the tax returns and just put the issue to bed? >> well, actually, you can go on our website and you can see my financial disclosure statements going back to 2002. you also can see the tax returns that i've put out for 2010.
and those are, i think hundreds of pages of documents. you'll get -- i've already received an estimate for the most recent year, 2011. as soon as that's completed, we're waiting for information to come in from partnerships to be able to complete that. as soon as that's completed, we'll put one more year up there, the most recent year. and i've already learned from harry reid's action and others that the people on the other side of the aisle will try to go through anything we give them to distort it, to turn it into something that it does not say, and to try to make political fodder out of it. and i'm following the precedent set by the last presidential candidate of our party, john mccain, putting out two years' of income tax returns, and putting out our financial disclosure statements, those are required by law, of course. but go on the website. you'll be surprised to see the amazing amount of data that's associated with our campaign's disclosure. >> in a surprise to exactly no one, republican national committee chairman reince priebus is riding into battle with romney, and throwing around the word "liar."
>> as far as harry reid is concerned, listen, i know you might want to go down that road. i'm not going to respond to a dirty liar. >> you're saying you're not going to respond, but you just called him a dirty liar. you stand by that? you think harry reid's a dirty liar? >> i just said. >> i'll triple down on my comments from yesterday. he's a dirty liar and we're moving on. we're moving on to defeating this president and saving this country. >> but republican campaign veterans are finding it harder to defend, including former reagan campaign manager, ed rollins. >> i would have put out five or six years. i would not put out 20 years, and i obviously wouldn't respond to anything that harry reid states. >> i think at this point in time, it's going to dog him all the way. and he needs to get it behind him. he's paid a lot of money in taxes, he's made a lot of money. >> wait a minute, do you think he should release more taxes? >> i think he should release more taxes. >> really? >> absolutely. two years is not enough, obviously. >> and "the wall street journal" editorial board. "mr. romney's problem is that he can only disprove the charge by
releasing his tax returns, which he says he will not do for years other than 2010 and 2011. these columns argued in january when other republican presidential candidates raised the tax issue, that mr. romney should have released his tax returns long ago to put the matter to rest. this is one of the ways in which the gop candidate has made his challenge harder than it should be." that's the problem for mitt romney. romney and his campaign continue to chase this rabbit down the hole by demanding full disclosure from harry reid as to his source on mitt romney's undisclosed tax returns. but even "the wall street journal" admits that the problem is not, in fact, reid's attack on romney's returns, but mitt romney's tax returns themselves. it's 92 days until the presidential election. and what the romney campaign doesn't seem to get with is that it's "put up or shut up" line is that when we're talking about an attack on romney's undisclosed tax returns, we're actually still talking about the fact that mitt romney hasn't shown us
his tax returns. joining me now are jon rolston, political analyst for the "las vegas sun," and karen finney, former dnc communications director and an msnbc contributor. great to see you both. jon, you are our resident harry reid expert here. and i want to ask you, does it surprise anybody that harry reid is taking a tough tact on this and not backing down? >> well, he'll never back down, alex. and i think it's just humorous to hear mitt romney say he thinks the obama white house put him up to it. there's almost no chance of that, for a couple of reasons. harry reid loves getting all the flack himds -- himself, so obama doesn't have to take it. he has nothing to lose, nothing to risk. he is saying what a lot of democrats would love to be saying, but don't have the carefree attitude that reid does, because he's not up again until 2016, if he's even going to run. what's he risking? there's no risk. but also, alex, let's be clear here. at some point, harry reid doesn't want to become too much of the focus and the criticism
of his tactics become more salient than what you were just talking about, which is, in my opinion, the obvious point that mitt romney should release more tax returns. harry reid might want to be the focus, but he doesn't want to become too much of the focus because of his tactics. >> karen, i want to turn to you. on abc's "this week," reince priebus says he thinks this is a political loser for president obama. let's take a listen to that. >> sure. >> it's hard to believe that the president of 2008, when he campaigned, and said he was going to bring america together, that he would trot out harry reid and try to divide this country and spread this division and hatred. it's ridiculous, it's wrong, it's untrue. and it's just going to hurt the president. >> karen, "it's just going to hurt the president." true or false? >> absolutely not. and reince priebus knows it. and i mean, this is why you saw republicans kind of jump out of their skin yesterday. they know they're in a catch-22.
they have taken the bait on this issue. and they know they kind of had to. because if you don't, then you let the charge stand and you're not defending it. but the same number of republicans who are trying to defend it are also very uncomfortable, as you showed in the intro, with the fact that romney hasn't released his taxes and they're getting a little tired of having to defend that, because most of them think he should just go ahead and do it. so part of what reince is gristling about here is that he knows he's trapped between a rock and a hard place, in a bad situation. it's not going to end up hurting the president. and i agree with jon to some degree, you don't want this to go too far in terms of harry reid being the focus, but the focus really is about the tax returns. and if romney had been more forthcoming on any other issue in this campaign, at any other point in this campaign, he might have a little bit more credibility. but it comes down to, so do you believe harry reid or do you believe mitt romney? >> jon, the other thing this does, i mean, this fits into -- beautifully into the white house
or the obama campaign's narrative around fairness, tax policy, things that they want to keep kind of in the ether, on the front burner. it doesn't talk about the economy, which is of course where republicans want to go. white house press secretary jay carney got a few questions about the harry reid claim and pivoted back to policy. this is what he said today. >> the reason why this is an issue at a policy level is because the president believes very strongly and can -- and this is central to the debate in this country, that we need to have greater tax fairness. and that we need to make sure that we're passing laws that protect the middle class. and that we're not passing laws that give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires who have already enjoyed substantial tax breaks in the past. >> i mean, john, effectively, harry reid gave the white house a beautiful policy gift, wrapped up with a nice, big, red ribbon, did he not? >> yeah, they wanted to change
the subject from the economy to talk about mitt romney's tax returns, and harry reid, i think, allowed him to do that. but i think he went a little bit too far in how he did it. on the other hand, i think reince priebus took exactly the wrong tact by calling him a dirty liar. that shows their frustration. he doesn't know if harry reid is lying. listen, reid may have made this up out of whole cloth, he may not have. but the point is, nobody knows except people who have seen mitt romney's tax returns whether harry reid is actually lying or not. so they're taking exactly the wrong tact. instead of just criticizing reid for using this unsubstantiated allegation. calling him a liar is just the wrong approach. >> but, again, we are still talking about this tax -- the tax issue, which leads to the fairness issue, and karen, we have in sound from the president in a fund-raiser tonight, a new line about robin hood and romney hood and basically stealing from the poor to give to the rich. let's hear that sound. >> he'd asked the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax
cut to people making more than $3 million a year. [ audience boos ] it's like robin hood in reverse. [ laughter ] it's romney hood. they have tried to sell us this the trickle-down tax cut fairy dust before. and guess what? it does not work. >> trickle-down tax cut fairy dust. karen finney, how about that? >> hey, last week i also called it snake oil. how about that? >> what else can you sell the american public? >> but here's the thing. you know, part of the problem for team romney is, this isn't -- this is working. the polls have shown, in a number of different polls with, a majority of americans, and in some cases, including republicans, think that romney should release more tax records. that's one piece. on the other piece, the reason i actually wish harry reid hadn't said this last week, it takes us from talking about the tax policy center's analysis, which is what president obama was referring to, you had democrats last week with the best contrast
ever. there they were fighting for a middle class tax cut at the same time that the republican nominee for president was pushing a plan that, you know, a nonbiased source has said would essentially give an $87,000, you know, tax break for the wealthiest millionaires and would increase the taxes, up to about $2,000, people, you know, making under that. so, you know, he called it romney hood or robin hood in reverse, but that's really part of what we should be talking about. is what mitt romney's ideas and policies would do to this country. >> how long is it before we see the obama campaign graphic with mitt romney's fifth house in sherwood forest? i don't know. john ralston and karen finney, thank you both. >> thanks, alex. coming up, the next big chance for team romney to change the subject from romney's tax returns will be his announcement of a running mate. and romney has invited some of the top contenders to ride along on his four-state bus tour, but they won't have much time to talk, because the candidate won't actually be taking the bus. that's next. and the conservative lament
over romney's refusal to take a stand on just about any issue has now moved on to chick-fil-a. and republicans are now accusing the president of trying to suppress the vote of united states veterans. that's all coming up. ♪ ♪ three, six, nine ♪ the goose drank wine ♪ the monkey chew tobacco on the streetcar line ♪ ♪ ♪ clap, pat, clap your hand ♪ pat it on your partner's hand ♪ ♪ right hand ♪ clap, pat, clap your hand ♪ cross it with your left arm ♪ pat your partner's left palm ♪ clap, pat, clap your hand, pat your partner's right palm ♪ [ male announcer ] it's back. the volkswagen beetle. that's the power of german engineering. [ male announcer ] it's back. the volkswagen beetle. bored with then lead a double life! with blast flipstick from covergirl. creamy color on one end, shimmery color on the othe so you can flip ur look from demure, to daring. blast flipstick from covergirl.
the obama campaign says republicans are using a lie to put a wedge between the president and veterans. former democratic congressman and iraq war veteran, patrick murphy will join me on set. and when mitt romney's bus tour begins this weekend, the candidate is bringing along some potential vp picks. but nobody is actually traveling by bus. that's next. [ kimi ] atti and i had always called oregon home. until i got a job in the big apple.
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>> that was mitt romney, dealing with a question he does not want to answer in typical romney fashion. so when will mitt romney pick his vice presidential nominee? here's what we know about romney's schedule this week. on tuesday, romney holds a campaign event in illinois. on wednesday, he holds an event in iowa. on thursday morning, romney attends a fund-raiser in new york city. jump ahead to saturday when mitt romney will launch a bus tour in virginia, where he will be joined by virginia governor, vp contender, and transvaginal ultrasound enthusiast, bob mcdonnell. on sunday, the romney bus tour heads to north carolina. on monday, romney is in florida, home of senator and vp contender, marco rubio. in florida, the romney bus will
make a very curious u-turn and head over 700 miles north to ohio, where romney will be joined by senator and vp contender, rob portman. and, no, mitt romney will not sit on the bus for those 700-plus miles. like his last multi-state bus tour, romney will fly from state to state, then step off his comfy jet and on to his campaign bus, which for some reason team romney will serve as a better backdrop than mitt's chartered yet. -- jet. romney's lack of campaign events scheduled for thursday and friday has at least one conservative pundit predicting romney's vp announcement will come this week. >> weird, i think, to do this four-day tour through four swing states, big bus tour, a lot of excitement, without having picked the vp and with that sort of hanging over him and dwarfing whatever message he wants to get out. so i now believe the pick will be made thursday afternoon or friday. let the guy go on the morning shows on friday, dominate the news through the weekend, very exciting bus tour.
>> as for who romney will nominate for vice president, we can safely eliminate a few possibilities today after the republican party announced some of the headline speakers for the convention later this month. the list of speakers includes south carolina governor nikki haley, new mexico governor suzanna martinez, and condoleezza rice. their inclusion on that list likely indicates that romney will not nominate them for vice president. not announced as convention speakers, vp contenders marco rubio, paul ryan, chris christie, tim pawlenty, rob portman, bobby jindal, kelly ayotte, and bob mcdonnell. joining me now, jim rutenberg and national political correspondent for "the new york times," and maggie haberman, intrepid senior political writer for politico. tell us the answers, read the tea leaves. you know that this media speculation over the veep stakes is going to continue until an actual vp is announced by the romney campaign. but, maggie, let's sort of look into the bus tour, right?
is there a reason that mitt romney is going from florida to ohio? if you were actually doing this logically, you might want to start in ohio. what do you think about the speculation that it all ends with fireworks and a rob portman announcement? >> i think maybe and maybe not. i think they are interested in keeping as much speculation going as possible. and they know that doing the bus tour this way does that. the thing that is very important to remember about the romney campaign right now is they are losing a series of news cycles, one after the other after the other. and dan balz had a very sobering piece in "the washington post" yesterday about how mitt romney has not been ahead in many of these swing state polls, most of them, obama has maintained a slight lead. slight but still a lead. so i think they are doing anything they can to try to win as many headlines as they can. they need to switch the narrative. they know the vp pick is their best chance for doing that. so i think this is all about just sort of fulminating interest than anything. >> i think in that same dan balz piece, he mentions the president has been ahead almost twice as much as mitt romney has. but, jim, the question is, can
rob portman or any of these picks, the feasible picks, really change the narrative for mitt romney? i mean, how much mileage can you get out of a vp announcement? >> it depends. let's remember governor sarah palin. so you can definitely change narratives. >> that is true. >> i don't know. the one things about this race, as we cover it, we notice that we're focused on the story of the day. and then see the polls come out and it's about the economy. and it doesn't move. however, there's no disputing that this does set a new tone for the romney campaign. it gives them something new to talk about. >> and they need something new to talk about. i have to ask you, because you are experts in this field, who are your picks? we had bill kristol out there, saying, i would really like to see someone who's going to excite the party. whether that's a chris christie or marco rubio, but what is the likelihood that those guys are actually on the short list? >> i think they're on the short list. i think the likelihood they get picked is a different issue. i do think they're under consideration, but i think it's likeliest that mitt romney goes with a tim pawlenty or rob
portman. i think those are the safe picks, those are the comfort picks. i think he has likes this idea of governor versus governor, and governor, i've heard this a bunch too, senator portman come -- comes out of d.c., worked in the bush administration. you would spend a lot of time talking about that and so forth. there are definite downsides to pawlenty. he ran a campaign that is going to get focused on again if he gets picked, but he's very good with evangelicals, governor romney is very comfortable with them. so i think you can point to all of those things. and he would play well with working class voters. i think it is very unlikely that you would see paul ryan picked. i know a lot of people want him. i think marco rubio is in the hunt. i still think he is less likely. and i think what you are then going to see, and i think what people like bill kristol are setting the stage for is an outcry when people like that are ultimately not picked. it will be interesting to see, who gets on board. >> and that's the point. it's sort of a bound-to-disappoint situation. this is bobby jindal talking about paul ryan. let's listen to what he said. >> i think there are a lot of good choices. i'm not trying to pick one out
of all of them, but as an example, i think picking someone like a paul ryan would send a very powerful message that this administration is serious about tackling medicare reform, entitlement reform, shrinking the size of government, and doing so in a courageous way. >> it's like everyone on the short list is pointing to someone else who may or may not be on the short list. but maggie, if he does end up going with someone who is, let's say, not as much firework and gloss as a chris christie or poby jindal or a paul ryan, what does that do for conservatives? do they then express their disappointment? there is already so much disappointment around mitt romney. >> i don't know. you've got to wonder, when an announcement gets made, everything changes, right? so they want, they want, they want. there's going to have to be a rallying effect. so we'll see. the interesting thing here is, every time we think something's going to happen, and i'm with maggie, and reporting wise, it's pawlenty, portman, these are the names, they surprise us. so maybe there's a name we haven't thought about it. i doubt it, but it's possible. >> arnold schwarzenegger? who else could be put into the
kitty at this point? >> someone at this table. >> yeah, me. not me! let's talk about timing a little bit. the olympics are ending on sunday. do you guys think -- the general wisdom says this is going to happen well before the conventions. does it happen this week? next week? i know this is tea leaf reading and an obnoxious media device, but i have to ask anyone. -- anyway. >> has anyone checked the dressage schedule? >> rafalca has not done well, not a good week for rafalca, but that's probably a good thing for mitt romney. >> i think miss romney is due back tomorrow or thursday morning. i think any time after that could be when it happens. i think they hoped to delay it as long as possible. i don't think they'll be able to delay it much past this week. >> maggie haberman says any minute now. hold on to your seats. >> i'm going to venture any day. >> thank you, jim, for that bold assessment. jim and maggie, thanks, as always. >> thanks. coming up, mitt romney, master of the vague response and
not just about policy, about everything. including chick-fil-a. and next, when levi johnston thinks your behavior is disgusting, you know things must be pretty disgusting. levi's latest battle with the palin clan is coming up next. h'. gotta start the day off right. wardrobe. cute. then new activia breakfast blend. a great way to help start the day. mmm... creamy lowfat yogurt with grains in yummy breakfast flavors, like apple cinnamon. its hearty, with twice the protein of regular lowfat yogurt and helps regulate your digestive system. our morning routines are important, aren't they? new activia breakfast blend.
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>> what did you just say? >> i don't like you. >> don't laugh! >> i can't believe you just said that. i'm doing a terrible job disciplining tripp. i know he's going to continue to push the boundaries. >> citing the reality show "life's a tripp" as proof of bad parenting, bristol palin's ex-fiance is planning to seek full custody of their son, tripp. that according to a new tmz report. johnston says he's, quote, disgusted by his son's language and behavior on the reality show. he also tells tmz, tripp, quote, deserves a better family, and i love my son more than anything and i will do whatever it takes to make sure he is raised the right way. according to the report, levi johnston has picked up the necessary paperwork for full custody and plans to file it as soon as possible. tmz says calls to bristol palin were not returned.
coming up, mitt romney goes to the grocery store and fills his cart up with totally stilted behavior. also, soda. jonathan capehart and ana marie cox join me to talk about the unbearable weirdness of being romney, next. and team romney spent the weekend lying. we'll get into details regarding president obama's real record with the military. that's coming up. choose to do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology. we believe in the power of people when technology works for you. to dream. to create. to work. if you're going to do something. make it matter. well another great thing about all this walking i've been doing is
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♪ in the spotlight tonight, mitt romney is still making a habit of taking as few solid positions as possible. leaving answers to questions about how he would actually govern if elected open to rampant speculation. emboldened by several tea party victories, the latest being senate candidate ted cruz in texas, tea party leaders are poised to have their way with romney. no one said it better than amanda shell, a spokeswoman for the tea party group, freedomworks. last week, she told abc news, "these newly elected tea party candidates are going to force romney to the right. that is our entire mission." true to form, today romney's campaign released a new texas-themed web ad, again lying about president obama's so-called "you didn't build
that" comment. along with the ad, team romney released a pro-business quote from senate candidate ted cruz. romney also stumped over the weekend for tea party candidate richard mourdock in evansville, indiana. but again, everything around romney remains vague. politico reports, "romney stuck mostly to generic praises of the candidate. mourdock, during his fight for the nomination in his own race criticized his primary opponent, outgoing senator dick lugar, for being too bipartisan and moderate." romney can't even git near a chick-fil-a without the right wing fetishizing the thought of him heating a hot, steaming chicken sandwich. on thursday, "weekly standard" editor bill kristol pleaded with romney to take a side, or perhaps a bite. "mitt munching on a chick-fil-a sandwich, the right thing to do and politically smart too. and tasty. is it too much to hope for?"
with romney still neither yay or nay on chick-fil-a, kristol was forced to update his post saying, "didn't happen." even the simplest of things with romney forces the question, who is this guy? today, romney with a full press pool in tow, went shopping. first up, hardware. upon exiting the store, romney fielded this hard-hitting question. >> governor, what'd you buy? >> hardware stuff. >> "uh, hardware stuff." >> "uh, hardware stuff." as romney got out of his suv, you could clearly see a list in his hand that he took with him inside the hardware store. so he could have answered that question simply by looking at his own list. but also when asked that question, romney had a bucket in his hand, with his newly purchased items in if -- in it.
he could have at least told us that he had bought a bucket. joining me now are ana marie cox, political correspondent "the guardian u.s.," and jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post" and of course an msnbc contributor. ana, mitt's grocery list. mitt's grocery list. and jonathan, prepare a response, because i'm going to ask you about this too. what was on it? caffeine-free diet coke, wild cherry diet pepsi, native sweet corn, bottled water, and my favorite, greek yogurt. is greek yogurt the arugula of this election cycle? >> i don't know. greek yogurt is pretty, you know, mass market now. john stamos does ads for it. so when you have full house buying, maybe it's not the high end retail thing you thought it might be. but i'm surprised he didn't buy bionutrient gruel. >> or batteries. >> all this stuff he's saying, his generic responses, i used to think of him as an android, now i think of him now as a kindle, just smooth and featureless.
>> jonathan, which is better? an android or a kindle? and why can't mitt romney tell us anything about anything? >> i'm sorry, i have the image in my head of mitt romney as a ken doll. it's just too much. as we've always known, mitt romney doesn't do this part of presidential politics very well. he's not very comfortable in his own skin. and it goes back to what we've talked about over and over and over again. he's not comfortable in his own skin, because he's not comfortable talking about who he s who he really is. i think joe scarborough put it very brilliantly last week on "morning joe," when he said, mitt romney has three problems, and they all begin with "m." money, massachusetts -- money, massachusetts, and mormon. those three things. >> what about mitt?! >> we thought you could add that.
>> all three of these things make up mitt romney, who he is, to his core. and he won't talk about them. so you get situations where phil rucker, my colleague from "the washington post" asking him, governor, what did you get, and he just looks and says, "uh, hardware stuff." >> yeah, hardware stuff. now, we're laughing about buckets and greek yogurt, because those are funny things. >> together, especially. >> together, greek yogurt and hardware. but there's a very real question here, which is how mitt romney will legislate if he's actually elected president. and let's go back to the tea party element here. let's remember that mitt romney's new buddy, richard mourdock, has shown a wild distaste for bipartisanship. this is what he said about compromise. >> i certainly think that bipartisanship ought to consist of democrats coming to the republican point of view. bipartisanship means they have to come our way. >> and ana, we're talking about a very emboldened sort of fringe elements of the republican party. nobody's been able to chasten
them thus far. and i think there's a real question among voters, independent and otherwise, how beholden to the tea party is mitt romney going to be? >> i don't know how comforting it is to think that once they get in office, these tea party people are faced with the problems of actually governing, but there is a problem with romney, that if you are featureless and blank, you let other people define you, and they can impress their opinions upon you. and if he really is as directionless as he appears to be, where else is he going to get his direction from, than from the people who are the most vocal? i suspect that he actually has opinions, but we don't know for sure, do we? i mean, like, i think there's a person in there, who has opinions and beliefs. but he hasn't given any sign as to who that is. >> jonathan, it is also -- i mean, it's uncomfortable, seeming, for mitt romney to do a dance with richard mourdock, given his gubernatorial record, which of course he never wants to talk about, which was all about compromise and being a moderate republican. >> mm-hmm, right.
you know, this also goes back to mitt romney's other problem is, he's still trying to convince the base of his party that he's one of them. he's still trying to convince conservatives, who view him with great suspicion, that he, if elected, will carry out their dreams, hopes, and wishes. and they don't trust him. and he's not going to say anything or even do anything that would fuel those suspicions. >> ana, i want to -- you know, as we talk about mitt romney being held hostage to various elements in the republican party, the daily beast reports about sheldon adelson, who's always good for a chat. because, you know sheldon adelson, a major contributor to mitt romney's election effort, is pressing republican nominee to come out for the release of israeli spy jonathan pollard, a major republican donor and associates of adelson and romney
tell "the daily beast," romney has rejected the request so far, telling adelson he would have to review the relevant intelligence material accessible to him, as president before granting pollard clemency. this is perhaps what we call the chickens coming home to roost or the vague threat of a horse head being left in his bed if he doesn't do something about this. sheldon adelson has given mitt romney $10 million. >> isn't just intelligence stuff going to be enough for romney here? he's held hostage by a lot of people. he owes a lot of people favors. again, his unwillingness to put himself out there and take any political risk speaks poorly for him as a governor, i don't mean as the governor of massachusetts, but as someone who wants to push ideas forward. he seems to have no ideas of his own. the idea that he's resisted adelson so far, i mean, the devil gets to play the fiddle for as long as he can. he's only going to be able to resist him until he gets into office and has to do something. and we don't know what that will be. >> and jonathan, isn't it sort of humiliating to be, i won't say bullied, but pummeled around by sheldon adelson? >> yes, especially when you're dependent on his deep pockets to
help make up the fund-raising gap between you and the president. if it weren't for sheldon adelson and a bunch of other independent folks, these 527s, throwing money to help him, he'd be at a disadvantage. but i want to say something about mitt romney's supposed response to the jonathan pollard ask from sheldon adelson. i actually was quite relieved to read that mitt romney did a nice little rafalca-like dodge around sheldon adelson's request. to say, well, i'll have to look at the intelligence and we'll see. if mitt romney becomes president, i think there'll be some more buffers and layers between mitt romney and sheldon adelson, so i'm not too worried about that. >> jonathan capehart, you officially coined my favorite phrase of the evening, "a rafalca-like dodge." i hope to hear that many times, and i think i will, in the course of this election season. ana marie cox and jonathan capehart, thank you both for
joining me. >> thanks. coming up, what the shooting in a wisconsin sikh temple really says about the country and what we should be hearing about it from our leaders. plus, mitt romney's gross manipulation of the facts, episode 1 million. this time it's about president obama and his record with veterans. we will tell you what the president is actually doing when it comes to those who serve in the military. that's next. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day
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obama wants to restore early voting rights for all ohioans, a right that nearly a third of them took advantage of in the last presidential election. but in case mitt romney forgot, here's the president's real record on military concerns. president obama repealed don't ask, don't tell and ended the war in iraq. unemployment among veterans is currently at its lowest point since before president obama took office. and let us not forget the first lady, who's made helping military families one of her top priorities. today, president obama continued that tradition and signed into law the honoring america's veterans act, which among many things, helps the families affected by the contaminated water at camp lejeune. the law also bans protests two hours before and after funerals for service members, a direct hit on the fringe westboro baptist church. >> graves of our veterans are hallowed ground, and obviously we all defend our constitution and the first amendment and free
speech, but we also believe that when men and women die in the service of their country and are laid to rest, it should be done with the utmost honor and respect. >> joining me now, iraq war veteran and former pennsylvania congressman, patrick murphy. patrick, great to see you. >> thanks for having me on, alex. >> congressman, you told reporters today that romney lives in a bizarre-o world. what's the actual truth behind this lawsuit in ohio? >> it's really amazing, alex. they have no shame on the other side. here you have a coordinated effort to suppress millions of americans' right to vote, including in ohio, my home state of pennsylvania, florida, et cetera. they're doing that and then they have the gall, the romney campaign has the gall to say, look, president obama is trying to suppress military votes. he's doing nothing but trying to get everyone to vote, including the 913,000 veterans in ohio. >> the other thing that john
sosa points out is that the law in ohio only covers those actively serving in the military, which means the law would restrict voting for 900,000 veterans. the irony there is so thick, you could probably slice it. >> you're talking about national guard members, rivists and veterans. those who served in iraq, korea, world war ii. i mean, it's really remarkable that mitt romney is trying to suppress over 900,000 veterans' votes in ohio. here in pennsylvania, alex, by the way, if you're a veteran from the iraq or afghanistan war, you come back and get a government-issued identification card from the v.a., that is not enough to prove your citizenship, to prove the right to vote in pennsylvania. that's how restrictive it is now, because the republicans took over in our state capital. >> patrick, you know, i would assume that the sort of logic here among the romney campaign is that the active military service members are going to be
more likely to vote for mitt romney. i mean, from your perspective, from your point of view, who is more likely to win the military vote this year? >> i really believe that they're going to rally behind the commander in chief, barack obama. for several reasons, alex. first being, he took out the person who murdered over 3,000 americans on 9/11. that was bin laden. number two, he's been the best champion for veterans, the new gi bill. the largest increase in veterans' benefits. making sure our veterans are hired when they come back home. and third, barack and michelle obama, basically they understand the sacrifices that military families make, and how the level of stress is. i mean, you look at right now, every day an active duty soldier commits suicide. every 80 minutes, a veteran in america commits suicide. there's so much more that we need to do. barack and michelle obama will make sure that we take care of these heroes when they come home. mitt romney doesn't even have a plan for veterans. >> patrick murphy, thank you,
sir, for your time. >> thank you, alex. coming up next, what symbol do you have to wear to prove you are an american? [ gnome ] enjoying your holiday? ooo no. the hotel lost our reservation. nonsense! you book at travelocity, your reservation's guaranteed. well, i did not book with travelocity, okay?!? [ female announcer ] get the travelocity guarantee any way you book, including our new app. you'll never roam alone. it once stomped a stain with such force, the results could be felt around the world. [ explosion ]
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if you were in new york city in the weeks after september 11th, you remember the sudden and conspicuous appearance of american flag decals on taxi cab windows and food carts, many of which were driven and owned by muslim and hindu merchants. the stickers were described as a sort of insurance policy, proof that these were patriots and not terrorists intent on plotting the next national tragedy. these were simply people living peacefully in the united states. but in that climate, it was better to put the sticker in the window or hang a flag on the dashboard. september 11th gave harbor to something that has long plagued our society, a deep, sinking suspicion of "the other." in this case, the other was islam. for all of his gross miscalculation in the months
following the attacks, it was president george w. bush who immediately understood this and who spoke directly to muslims throughout the world in the days after, saying we respect your faith, its teachings are good and peaceful. the enemy of america is not our many muslim friends. but in the intervening years, bush's words have been forgotten. the fear around islam and the mideast has become further engrained, the paranoia, more insidious. when president obama has been called a secret muslim, the charge is no longer criticized for its inherent bigotry -- so what if he is, in fact, muslim -- it's challenged as a matter of truth. of course he's not muslim. yesterday, an army vet and a member of a racist skinhead is -- skin headband is ads of opening fire on a sikh temple in wisconsin, killing six and wounding four. while we don't yet have details on what motivated him, many,
including the new york-based sikh coalition, say practitioners of the indian religion are often confused with muslims because of their trational -- traditional beards and turbans. since 2001, the coalition says it has received more than 700 requests from sikhs needing assistance with hate crimes, discrimination, and bullying. last night, hours after the rampage in oak creek, a mosque in joplin, missouri, that had been earlier targeted by an arsonist burned to the ground. said the head of the mosque, this is the month of ramadan. we just take this as a test from god. according to the southern poverty law center, the number of hate groups in the u.s. has increased by 69% since 2000. census data shows that milwaukee, wisconsin, just 12 miles north of oak creek, was the most segregated city in america last year. to this dubious distinction, its mayor, tom barrett, explained, "i think there are still some people who don't want to live with people who have different skin colors than theirs."
what these statistics and stories show us is a volatile mix of bigotry, fear, and hate. while president obama said today that he was, quote, heartbroken by the events in oak creek, and mitt romney has pulled campaign ads and canceled all local events until further notice, perhaps a better description might be -- a better prescription might be a forceful reminder from our leaders about who we are and what we value. namely, that targeted violence and destruction are not tests for the faithful, but proof of a society that is sick and in need of healing. that the story of america is precisely the story of people of different skin colors living together. that there is no law that says you must prove your patriotism or defend your innocence with a bumper sticker or a flag decal. and that you can wear i turban or yam aka or skull cap or a hijab and be protected under our laws and the fact that you are