tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 6, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
america. that's the last word tonight. watch the last word videos on our site and like us on facebook. join me at noon eastern time monday through friday. on august 13, my show will be back on the air after the olympics. "hard ball" is up next. get nasty. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this war over mitt romney's tax return. quote, when you're in a hole, stop digging. well the republican candidate keeps breaking that rule. he refuses to show his tax return, offering no reason except personal attitude. he allows his critics to question what he's hiding. harry reid said someone told him romney is sitting on ten years of tax returns in which he paid
no taxes whatever. now, there's a good reason to keep a secret if it's true. i love the politics of this. you got the senator majority leading jumping in on obama's side. that's the first and best news of this kind for the obama side. he's a full fledged ally in the field now for the president. the kind of confederate, political confederate obama needs in this fight. he could use more of them and may get them now that the action's under way. showing up on the other side is reince priebus calling senator reid a liar on national television. lindsey graham is also calling joining that chore us, calling him a liar. so we have a fight here about mitt romney's tax returns that's escalated to a nasty scene. all about one issue. is the man hiding something? maybe a lot of things. and it's only begun. let's hear from the game changers and what they think about it. mark halperin writes for time. both are seasoned analysts for msnbc. mark, i want to show you right now. let's begin where we left off friday night.
har reed cited an extremely credible source who told him that mitt romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. if reid's goal was to keep the issue alive, he succeeded big time. first, romney told reid to quote, put up or shut up. then yesterday rnc chairman reince priebus came out swinging in romney's defense. let's listen. >> 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 who hasn't filed a single page of tax returns himself. complains about people with money but lives in the ritz carlton here down the street. if that's on the agenda, i'm not going to go there. this is just a made-up issue. the fact we spent any time talking about it it's ridiculous. >> you say you're not going to respond, but you just called him a dirty liar. you're going to stand by that? you think he's a dirty liar? >> i just said it. >> there you go.
lindsey graham as i said also attacked reid on cnn yesterday morning. let's watch him in action. >> i actually like harry, but what he did on the floor of the senate is out of bounds. i think he's lying about his statement knowing something about romney. so this is what's wrong -- >> that's pretty stiff. you think the leader of the senate is lying? >> i really do. i think he's created an issue here. i think he's making things up. at a time when the country is just about to fall apart. >> the country's just about to fall apart. there's a news announcement. i didn't know that was coming. in response to priebus and graham, reid staff told politico last night they're a bunch of cowards and they're avoiding the issue. they're a bunch of henchmen for romney and reading off the same talking points. they couldn't hold a candle to harry reid. what harry reid said was the fact of what he was told. to turn it around, all these childish rants this weekend about calling him a liar and all that, it just shows you how scared they are that harry reid was telling the truth.
that's a good staff guy there. the kind of guy i was trying to be for years. you're standing up for the boss sticking it to the other side and making points. such as how can you call a guy a liar if he says i talked to someone who i assume has great credibility on their part and they told me this. if you made up you talked to somebody, that's one thing. what do they mean he's a liar about this? >> whatever their meaning is, they're behaving in such a destructive way it trumps everything. there's a debate whether mitt romney should have to release more than one year. and the additional year he's going to release of his returns. the democrats have the better of that argument on the politics and substance. then there's another thing which is what reid is doing. which even some democrats will tell you privately using the senate floor this way is out of bounds and something that most senate leaders wouldn't do. those are trumped by the fact that republicans have so badly
mishandled this. not just the ones you've showed, but mitt romney saying, put up or shut up. they're turning this into a ten-day story. getting more attention than the economy including the jobs numbers friday. this is one of the biggest debates they've made. it's going to chew up time on this fight because they're punching at harry reid who's got no business drawing them in and he totally has. as a matter of pure politics. my hat's off to him. it trumps everything else here. >> it's pure politics, i think you're right. let me go to john on this. what's your view about the whole shebang right now. people are going to forget what it's about. later we're going to talk about who hates who. this got a lot of heat in the campaign early on. >> look, i mean it's a lot of name calling. nothing americans love more than name-calling among our elected officials and party representatives. i think to some number of voters, they're going to look at this and see this as another outcropping of the partisan food fight. but i think mark is correct on two levels.
i think republicans are right to be privately -- not publicly because that's a different matter. it becomes a political issue -- privately to be outraged by what reid has done. they trying to say he's made this entire story up or he's simply wrong and they're believing mitt romney when he said he's never had a year when he's paid no taxes. now that reid used the senate floor in this way, it's kind of outrageous to make an unsubs -- unsubstantiated claim. but every day not talking about the obama economy from the romney point of view is a lost day. this is five or six days they're lost days. the way the republicans are handling it, it could be another two or three. >> i think the only fair thing -- let me just tell you. it isn't just politics. i don't forget and forgive anything in politics. this person he's saying his source he has says ten years the republican candidate for president hasn't paid taxes.
it's a hell of a charge. the basis he could have to put it out is given his situation, his position. he must be getting it from a source that would have access to the taxes. that would know it. a coinvestor, a partner, somebody close in. otherwise that person wouldn't know what they were talking about. and he shouldn't be quoting him. >> what's ludicrous about that, the reason romney doesn't want to release tax returns is he's extraordinarily private about his tax returns. there's only a handful of people who know them. the notion someone who knows what's in the returns is telling senator reid seems farfetched. but i'll say one thing. i meant to say in my first answer. not only as john said are they winning by moving it away from the discussion of the economy, they're moving it to the central theme of mitt romney is weird and secretive and doesn't play by the rules as a rich guy. this is so good. whatever discussions there were between the obama campaign and harry reid in the white house,
whether there were discussions or not, anyone involved in planning this, could not possibly imagine that this would have succeeded already the way it has. and again, i don't see it stopping. now we can have the guessing game. >> it's so great. it's begun a whole chapter here. you guys have to write the book. i'm thinking everybody's not tethered down by the republican party who isn't hoping for a job whether it's the vatican, i don't know what newt's up to, i don't know what pawlenty wants, but they all want a job. everybody knows they're not going to get a job is saying opposite of them. here's ed rollins. he said this about romney. to put an end to his misery by doing one simple thing. let's watch what he recommends. >> i would have put out five or six years. i would not put out 20 years and 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, wait. do you think he should release more taxes? >> i think he should release more taxes.
>> perfectly done there by a real pro. a towel snap at harry reid to show you're still a republican then bring it downtown. you've got to release five or six years. there's a precise number. not ten. maybe you haven't paid for ten years but show us five or six where you haven't paid it. i'm just teasing. but it's classic. >> i would bet a million dollars that ed rollins is shaking his head, not at the fact romney hasn't released five or six years now, but that they didn't take care of this a long time ago. why didn't they do this in 2011? why didn't they clean the taxes up when he was running for president again back at the end of 2008/2009. all those questions are good questions. i don't know and i don't think anyone literally knows or conceivably could know what the actual political balance here is though. only mitt romney and a few people around him know what's in those tax returns. as bad as it's been for him so far and as bad it could get for him, it could be there's
something worse in the tax returns than all the income he's taking now. we have to only make an educated guess. we know it could get bad for him. it has been bad for him. but unless you know what's in the tax returns, you can't actually criticize his political judgment here. there could be something so horrific that he's right that keeping them out of the public by just hunkering down and taking heat is the smart play. we just don't know. >> remember how he handled that stupid situation in london where he couldn't handle not saying something critical of the london olympics in comparison to his olympics. he is fundamentally a business guy. and a business guy is not going to give away millions and millions of dollars so it'll look good later on if he's elected president. anyway, hearing these republicans accuse reid of lying, reminded me that you never say your opponent is a liar. once you say it, the conversation's over. you're not a gentleman anymore. it ends things for you. it sounds worse on the lips of the person who says it than for the target. here's a classic example. i like bob dole, we all do, but this didn't help. here he is when tom brokaw asked
if he had a message for his rival back in '88 during the primary in new hampshire he had just lost. if he had anything to say to his noble rival. here's what he said. >> senator bob dole who is standing by in his headquarters. anything you'd like to say to him. >> i wish him well and meet him in the south. >> and senator dole, anything you'd like to say to the vice president? >> yeah. stop lying about my record. [ laughter ] >> hey, mark. the look on that guy, it was bob dole in his most demonic. when you call -- i think he was finished after doing that, myself. >> you're right, chris. it's a word you don't want to use lightly. the hilarious thing is they're not even using it about someone they're running against. they're using it against harry reid. who most americans don't care about. even if they destroy harry reid and reid more than anyone else in politics could not care less what they're calling him. he's laughing all the way to the bank. the only other thing as funny as calling reid a liar which is useless to them is you have
david axelrod and carney and robert gibbs, saying this whole thing would end if mitt romney would just put out his returns. >> last question very briefly now. he gave a speech for a group that does business with iran. is that an issue or not? >> zero issue whatsoever to any average voter. there's no voter in the world who could care less. >> thank you very much for that summation. thank you mark halperin and john hileman. coming up, a new book says president barack obama has developed a disdain for mitt romney. why? because he doesn't stand for anything, according to the author. and that drives obama crazy. it's not just business anymore. it's getting personal. also exclusive new details about the man accused in yesterday's shooting rampage at the sikh temple in wisconsin. wade michael page had ties to a white supremacist movement. and we'll hear from someone who's been tracking him for years in that regard.
and the beat goes on in ohio when they try to give all voters the same expanded voting opportunities as members of the military. republicans saw an opening. they've called it an effort to keep receives men and women from voting. not really. let me finish tonight with a campaign driven by a word, liar, that one candidate hates the other. this is "hardball," the place for politics. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help
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welcome back to "hardball." who says politics isn't personal? according to a fascinating new account, president obama has developed a genuine disdain for his republican rival mitt romney. that's what glen thrush reveals in a new book on the campaign. excerpts released over the weekend. quote, one factor made the 2012 grind bearable and at times even fun for obama. he began campaign preparations feeling neutral about romney but like the former governor's gop opponents in 2008 and 2012, he quickly developed a genuine disdain for the man and that stoked obama's competitive fire. got his head in the game which came as a release to obama aides who had seen his interest flag.
when he didn't feel motivated to crush the opposition. there seems to be one similar thought for those who face off to romney. they come to dislike him. it seems obama has joined the group. edstor in chief of national memo.com. and michael crowley, love that name, is washington bufio chief for "time" magazine. don't you love mary crowley on downtown abbey. this doesn't surprise me. i remember somebody saying about kennedy, rocky likes you. he says don't worry once we fight each other, he won't anymore. so hating your opponent are using modern words like disdain, what's this about? how do you read this that he's into it now? >> well, i think it's not surprising that he dislikes mitt romney. because as the introhas said, all the opponents have come to dislike him. imagine what the primary opponents think of mitt romney. imagine what john mccain thought of mitt romney. >> that's why he picked sarah palin. baize he wouldn't pick romney for his running mate.
>> you look at obama's other running mates, hillary clinton a lot of people like her. people in the senate came to like her, even republicans. john mccain, i don't know anybody who doesn't like john mccain who knows him at all except possibly people he's yelled at. in general he's a likable guy. and mitt romney doesn't seem to get that feeling. >> how about the word respect? because you can respect john mccain even when he's hosing you because you know he's got a standing to do it. he's served his country well and been in office so long. what has romney done? >> right. and i think from obama's point of view, he hasn't really paid -- actually not just obama a lot of past rivals. he didn't really pay his dues. he bought his way into politics quickly. he's a guy who's changed positions. he's not from the perspective of the obama campaign a man of principle. i think barack obama might respect paul ryan as a guy who stands on a certain set of principles that obama disagrees with. i think they see romney as a guy who is just a chameleon. >> i think that's it.
i think chameleon. and his willingness to say absolutely anything to get elected. glen wrote this about the feelings compared to some of his previous opponents. when he talked about romney, aides picked up a level of anger he never had for clinton or mccain or sarah palin. there was a baseline of respect for john mccain. the president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero, said a longtime obama adviser. so you're right, that backs it up. but this romney thing, i have noticed it in these primaries. these guys of whatever caliber who are opposed to him come out of those debates with him really hating him. >> angry. >> because he does something that they think breaks the rules. it's something about saying anything that works, not having any convictions. a lot of them are loosy goosy but he seems to have none. he's switched on every single issue. >> you said what has he done? whatever he's done he's running away from. and that causes a loss of respect. he doesn't want to talk about when he was governor of massachusetts.
that angers his base. he couldn't sell that in the primary. he can't sell it to the republicans. it's as if he never was governor of massachusetts. that i also think causes disdain. >> and he hits hard. he puts a lot of money behind his hits. in 2008 he threw big negative advertising campaigns against his rivals particularly in iowa. sea he -- he savaged mike huckabee. ed rollins said he wanted to knock romney's teeth in. there is a column with the disdain. charlie black says he doesn't play by the same rules as everybody else. big negative ad campaigns. and there were a couple other quotes to that effect. to be sure president obama has run negative ads. but the obama campaign think the hits like the you didn't build that were unfair and misleading. expensive negative advertising campaigns that romney rivals think are not fair. >> he questions the president's patriotism, saying, is he really
an american? and doesn't attack the tea party. he tolerates all that stuff, all those attacks on obama. then they cry when obama says something about bain. >> here's an excerpt from the book. is romney a governor of massachusetts or a conservative republican who buys into the tea party? it's hard to tell. here was romney last week in a suburb of denver, painting a picture much himself as a bipartisan, post-political figure. keep an eye on this. watch what he says here and then i'll show you what he says hours later. here he is. >> we've got to have someone that goes to washington that buries the hatchet and says they're good democrats and republicans that care about america. let's work together to get the american people working. >> that's in the suburbs of denver who want somebody in the middle. who are not madly left or right, looking for somebody in the middle. just two days later, the same guy shows up campaigning for one of the worst tea party candidates in the history.
murdouk. there was no talk of bipartisanship at all. instead he echoed the tea party message federal spending was the problem and he praised the would be senator. as a man washington needs. a guy who says i'm not making deals or compromises or anything. here he is doing his whip saw. >> we've got to get this guy elected in the u.s. senate, you know that? he has proven as the treasurer that he knows how to bans books. he's also proven as a campaigner he can take his message to the people of indiana. they'll support him. this is a man who i want to see in washington to make sure we cannot just talk about changing things but have the votes to get things changed. will you help me elect this guy? >> so what is that message mourdock took to the people of indiana? take a look atd him earlier this summer talking to our own chuck todd. >> bipartisanship ought to consist of democrats coming to the republican point of view.
we entered this campaign, wanting to be a voice and hoping to give more of a national voice to the idea that the republicans and more specifically conservatives would be in the mablg ort of the united states senate and the house and hopefully we have a republican in the white house. if we do that, they have to come our way. to me the highlight of politics is to inflict my opinion on someone else or in front of a camera to win them over to my point of view. >> he reminds me of a guy with a shot gun in a shack have waiting for the government to come. and he wants to go to washington. and make the government work better. >> the other note to drop here is the guy he beat richard lugar wrote as his farewell document a moving statement about how bipartisanship is dying in washington. we need to work together. >> who's mitt romney? the guy who has the disdain of the democratic party, the president of the united states, the candidate now recognized to have disdain for a guy for the same reason all the republicans do. politicians of conviction don't
like those without. >> that's a fact. and it's what teddy kennedy said about him. he's multiple choice mitt. he's whatever you need him to be that day. and that does not engender respect. >> and what does the voter make of this? of a guy that's despised because he has no convictions. do people hope he's not as wacky as he talks? not going to stick to dealing with the right? what do they want? >> they want a man with conviction on the right or pretends to be on the right and sneaks down the middle afterwards? >> what voters say they want is cooperation in washington. people ask me all this time. they say is romney going to govern from the middle? i say frankly you don't know which way they will go. it depends on what the congress looks like and how hard he gets pulled. >> in the house they think he's going to rubber stamp the extremist. >> i think he stays put. i go by what he says. i think he's signed so many papers with so many right wingers like norquist, he's reading their stuff. not even thinking anymore.
back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. first off, mitt romney might have been going for some average joe appeal in new hampshire today. curious what romney picked up at a local hardware store? good luck finding out from his response upon exiting the store bucket of goods in hand. >> governor, what'd you buy? >> hardware stuff. going to the grocery store now. >> hardware stuff. from the hardware store. what are the odds? the candidate didn't divulge more after going to a grocery store. what did he buy there?
one word, according to him, groceries. you think they were asking for his tax returns. next hillary clinton is in the midst of an 11-day african tour. during a stop in mal lawy she was presented with some tretional garb by a local official. here's how she reacted. [ singing ] ♪ >> that's a real african song. i love the sound. seems one paper went too far in recounting the presence of bees as clinton boarded her plane to leave malawi. saying the bees winged across the airport. people could be seen running away to keep cover as the secretary of state swiftly boarded the plane to avoid stings. they denied panic over a small contingent of bees. well, finally, let the celebration begin. a nasa mission control team sat
with bated breath this morning as they waited over the rover curiosity touching down on mars. the final phase was called the seven minutes of terror because of all the new never before used technology. cureotity's cost, $2.6 billion. distance traveled, 352 million miles. mission control's reaction when it landed safely, priceless. >> confirmed. we're safe on mars. we're safe. [ cheers and applause ]
the rich. he dubbed it romney hood. residents were told to stay indoors while a fire at a refinery sent black smoke into the air. and jared laugh ner is expected to plead guilty in tucson, arizona. now wol send you back to hard ball. balding male with glasses may have gone inside with a gun and there were shots fired. >> subject down! we have one officer shot. >> can you get any further description if there's an additional shooter. one subject is down. they took a shot at 845. >> welcome back to "hardball." the shooter there described in
that frightening 911 call left six people killed. at a sikh temple in wisconsin yesterday. the gunman was killed himself in a shootout. the civil rights organization monitors hate groups and had the suspected shooter on its radar. the splc described page this way. a member of two racist skin head bands, end apathy and define hate. and was a frustrated neo-nazi. and they report in the year 2000 page attempted to purchase goods from the neo-nazi alliance. then america's most important hate group. brian levetz from cal state. and joining me on the phone is pete seemy who is at the university of nebraska. simi knew the shooter whom he met while doing research in the hate rocks scene. there is actually such a scene in southern california. so i want to get to that in a minute. brian, give us a sense of this.
there's a lot in the atmosphere here. i don't want to draw straight lines between comments with people about infiltration in the united states and muslim brotherhood and this stuff. i don't know how much these killers pay attention to the news. what's your sense of the connection between atmospherics and individual criminal action? >> great question. first thing with these kinds of folks, they've already opted out of the mainstream to a large degree. so their hatred is there. they're also in a subculture that glorifies violence. he was one of the more quiet types in the established hate rock music scene. kind of like the adult contemporary version of these hate rockers. that being said, for most of these guys i would say islamic phobic rhetoric would have no effect. for this guy, he did read the current affair journals and things like that. so i think if anything it wouldn't catapult him toward the violent extremism but certainly validate it. that's the problem. the extremism is going from the mainstream to the x-stream.
and from the x-stream stot mainstream. >> so when people like this -- we're talking in very general terms -- people who have real hatred in their hearts when they hear other people voice that it gives some intellectual, clinical support for them saying, yeah, yeah, that's what i think and this big shot agrees with me. >> yes. and for most hate offenders, that's actually true. it's the least true for what we would call mission hate offenders. but this offender in particular did, he's a dear friend of mine. he actually read what was going on in current affairs and was very insensitive about 9/11 and used derogatory terms about jews and blacks. >> thank you for joining me pete seemy. tell us what you know about this guy who was killed yesterday in the act of terrorism really against his own country. >> thanks for having me. i met wade page in about 2001 and spent quite a bit of time with him off and on between 2001
and 2003 doing interviews and actually staying with him at the home where he lived. he was a relatively quiet guy, but pretty friendly. a lot of the folks i spent time with would be hesitant to talk with me at first. whereas he was pretty willing to talk with me and pretty friendly. >> who'd he hate? who'd he hate? who'd he hate? who got under his skins. >> jews. jewish people, blacks, and especially as brian mentioned after 9/11 the issue of muslims became something he was very angry about. >> sikhs aren't muslim, are they? >> no. exactly. but that distinction is not necessarily one that folks are necessarily going to make. and in fact, after 9/11, we saw this mistake made. and there were victims of hate
crimes that were mistaken as muslims. there's definitely a -- i don't know if that is the case with page. but there's a precedent for that mistake to be made. >> what drives people here? economic insecurity? sense of too much change? what drives -- i'm asking a fundamental question. i'll go back to brian on this. what drives this kind of i'm going to kill these people hatred? not disturbed by change, a lot of people are disturbed by any change. i understand that completely. if a neighborhood changes, it's like why is this happening but going out and killing people, what's that about? brian. >> yeah. look, i had a fascinating conversation with pete about this. he fits very much what we see with these kinds of folks. they're not insane. they're not delusional. they might be depressive and part of a subculture that amplifies and directs their festering anger. for someone like page, he was someone who had problems with alcohol. he had dead end relationships.
he had an itin rant work history and could not re-enlist in the army. for people with these personal setbacks, career setbacks, and frustrations that fester, there's stereotypes to address where the aggression goes. and when you're in a subculture like the hate rock subculture, which he was a very meaningful part of. not only in two racist bands, he played as a session player in others. he went as far as germany where thousands of people would watch him play. >> wait a minute. what are the lyrics like? the hate groups. i don't know anything about hate rock. what are their lyrics like. are they specific to different ethnic groups? >> oh, yeah. coon shooting boogie. look, he was at fort bragg. there were two soldiers who murdered a black couple in 1995. wade michael page said that kind of stuff was justified. and burnmeinster who committed the double homicide, he listened to hate rock, got drunk before
he went out and killed those people. drinking and hate rock is a large part of this sliver of sub culture. it amps people up and directs where the violence goes. you have groups called aggravated assault, boot boys, definite hate, screwdriver. rohoa for racial holy war. so the name of the groups and the music itself describe people who are alienated and angry and directs them to be warriors for their race against anyone who's different that they regard as enemies or traitors. >> tell me about what you first heard the news out of wisconsin? that name across the air waves, what was your reaction? >> to be honest, i didn't realize the shooter was wade page until three or four hours ago. i saw his picture on the website and at first i thought that looks a lot like wade. then i took a closer look and i realized it was him. i felt sick to my stomach. >> put it together. the guy you knew back then and the guy who did this. how does that coincide?
>> as angry as he was and hateful as he was, you still don't necessarily see something like this happening. so it's a shock. like i said, he actually came off as being relatively friendly. he was easy to talk to. he was seemingly open. he -- this was unexpected. you know, this is not anything that i saw happening with this particular individual. >> let's dispel any doubt here. we're in complete agreement when we see these hesitant reports saying possible hate monger. this guy was a neo-nazi and in the core of the hate rock world which is here in southern california and is on the advisory board of our center. this guy was an unrepentant neo-nazi. he might have been quiet and shy, had problems in relationships. but the subculture he was in was one that glorified violence against minorities and actually directed where that goes.
and i'm going to have an exclusive interview with pete tomorrow in the "huffington post." >> we'll learn more about this tomorrow. thank you, gentlemen. couldn't be more timely with this disturbing news. thank you for joining us tonight. up next, voting rights. another big american issue right now and the rights and wrongs of the democrats in ohio for example wanting to extend the same voting opportunities to the members of the civilian people out there as the military people are getting. they're getting attacked by republicans for being, quote, anti-military. this is getting rough and dishonest. ohio, everybody should get to vote. we'll be right there in a minute.
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well, the republican party has released a partial list of speakers in this month's convention in tampa. it is this month, later this month. there may be a clue who romney's not picking. here's the list. rice, haley, martinez, huckabee, florida governor rick scott, john mccain, ohio gofr john kasich. race, haley, martinez and even huckabee have been talked about at least as possible runningimates for romney. today's news may mean they're officially off the list. probably a good bet. we'll be back. [ malencer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing,
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welcome back to "hardball." today's the 47th anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act. do you believe it? yet still the fight goes on in ohio. republican sponsored law mandates that early in-person voting for the full three days before election day is no more. you can't vote monday, saturday, sunday anymore except those in the military. the obama campaign fought a lawsuit to restore all in-person voting for all those days. the suit does not seek to take away anything from the military simply to give it to everybody. mitt romney has characterized this effort as an affront to
members of the military. another cheap shot, totally dishonest. he said president obama's lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state's early voting period is an outrage. nearly sputtering david axelrod pushed back sunday. let's listen to david. >> you don't think that members of the military who are serving this country deserve special consideration to vote? >> i absolutely do. and the way you stated it and the way governor romney has stated is it -- is completely false and misleading. what the lawsuit calls for is not to deprive the military of the right to vote on the final weekend of the campaign. of course they should have that right. what that suit is about is whether the rest of ohio should have the same right. i think it's shameful that governor romney would hide behind our servicemen and women. >> fox news and the truth are two different animals.
martin luther king jr is the president for nan violent social change. also joining us, co-director. you start, martin. 47 years of the most important act. >> it is. my dad often said a voteless people say powerless people. one of the most important steps to take is the short step to the ballot box. as we approach the election, it's important to figure out how to create the climate for all people to vote. in this context, it seems like one set of voters -- >> let's talk about the weekend. the patterns of the black church goers, people go to church on sunday. how does that work out where saturday, sunday, and monday being taken away, it hurts the black community especially? >> i think it hurts all the communities. the reality is, anyone who has to work every day, which is most of us, it hurts. the reality is, we should look
at having voting on saturday for everyone. why are we voting on tuesday, in fact? just because it's tradition. >> tell me about this. you tell me about this. the black community people often vote on sunday. >> the cut backs hit the african american communlt. if florida and ohio, you had a program where the churches would cara van to the polling places to vote in unity. a community thing to do. now we see the roll backs in early voting. why are we making it harder to vote? we're doing it for partisan gain. it's all about -- look at pennsylvania. when we look at the voter i.d. law that was passed in pennsylvania, the smoking gun evidence of that trial was the fact that the gop in pennsylvania said, yes, this is about mitt romney winning. >> i'm scared for our country if we have a close election and ohio or pennsylvania is the decisive state and we find out afterwards it was because of
this mickey mousing, this game they're playing. what are we going to do? what happened if they say pennsylvania had this screwy new law that said blacks couldn't vote basically? >> that's right. i don't want to be in a 2000 situation. been there, done that. we need to be in a place where we're celebrating the 47th anniversary of the voting rights act. we should be increasing turn-out, increasing participation. but instead for partisan gain, there are those that want to cut back on dem democracy and we all lose in the end. >> are we going to have a big turn-out in the black community? >> we certainly can. that's why i'm involved. not just for the black community. for all the communities. my dad and others gave their lives so we'd have the right to vote. so as we approach the election day, i think more people will get excited. more people are going to have the potential for turn-out. >> i think parents and everybody it's not just your vote.
everybody watching this show, i know votes. we wouldn't watch this show if weren't a voter, why would you do it? but you got to tell your kids, brothers and sisters, get out and vote. you got to encourage the people who are less interested than you are. it's the people who are not as passionate, have to get them out there. right? >> that's right. we all have to participate and we have to fight back against these laws. we've had some victories and we'll keep fighting. >> when is the pennsylvania decision? >> the court decision we're hoping in the next week or two weeks. the state, we found out, the state cannot implement this law. they can't get i.d.s in the hands of voters. >> thank you very much. nice to see you. and thanks so much for coming. when we return, finish with the lies and hatred in this fight for the white house. it's getting hot out there. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ uh-huh... uh-huh... uh-huh... ♪
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let me finish tonight with this. this campaign getting hot. republican national chairman calleding the senate democratic leader a liar. and being backed up. now word that the president hates the republican candidate for president. here we are the heated words that come late in the race are already out there. there are people who say they don't like this kind of politics, the same people who don't like negative advertising.
but another group wants to see them fight it out, fight for it. they don't think it should be a show on public television. they think it out to be strong opinions, passion about who they're voting for, who should be running the country, about what the country stands for. i don't like to see twun politician call another one a liar. how do you respond to someone who says you're not a man of your word? often times it hurts the other person far more. this thing about a candidate hating the other guy gets to me. let me throw in a but here. have you noticed the republicans have gone up against romney, tend to have a negative attitude towards the guy. mccain didn't like him. huckabee didn't like him. santorum didn't either. the only people getting chummy with him are the folks looking for his patronage, pawlenty and newt who can get on anything he wants. he just wants to be in the loop. temperatures rising, anger in the