tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC August 25, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT
hello, everyone. it is high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to weekends with al alex witness. new details and video of the empire state shooter. tropical storm isaac's new path. big apple court victory. mitt romney's new distractions. prince harry photo fallout. we have details on those stories throughout this hour. but first -- new information this hour on tropical storm isaac. the national hurricane center says it could become a category 2 hurricane, stronger than originally expected. this as long as it is closing on cuba. today eastern cuba closes
beaches, airports, even evacuating some tourists. the storm did turn deadly in haiti, in fact, killing a woman and two children. heavy rains triggered mud slides and floods. those downpours are expected to continue because it's hundreds of miles wide. tampa is on high alert. the cancellation of gop events could happen. let's go to bill karins who has more for us. bill, we were just talking about the picture getting worse for florida, right? it's getting worse? >> for florida and especially the northern gulf coast states. we only have about one or two days left to prepare for the storm. it's as weak as it will be until it rains itself out somewhere in mississippi or georgia. the mountains at haiti did their job, weakened the storm significantly. of course that was at the cost of probably a tremendous amount of rain and life threatening weather going on right now in the country of haiti. the storm itself is located on the western tip of cuba.
winds still estimated at 60 miles an hour, they may come down lower to 50 or so. the pressure's been rising to near land it has weakened. the trouble is it will head back over water heading somewhere for south florida and the keys. here's the forecast from the national hurricane center. the next major update will come 5:00 p.m. east coast. if you live anywhere in the southeast, you need to pay attention. even the carolinas could be significantly impacted eventually by this storm. the really thing that catches your eye is they bring it up to a category 2 had hurricane. we still have that cone of uncertainty, all the way through the panhandle of florida. doesn't look at this point like we're going to see a direct landfall into tampa for the convention, but at least we'll see strong tropical storm force
gusts. the one green line, throw that out. we had a lot of questions if that data into the computer was corrects or not. from the pink line toward the cluster toward the northern portions of panama city, that's why the hurricane center is pinpointing that location for an eventual landfall. one of the big issues, alex, we have to deal with what intensity. how devastating it will be. this storm, it makes landfall on tuesday, 48 hours later it's only moved very little inland into areas of mississippi or georgia. we are talking about the potential for a really significant flood event. the brighter color shows you the rain, that's sunday, monday with a lot of rain over tampa. then we go into tuesday it moves inland over the gulf. as we go into wednesday, that rain is still sitting there over northern portions of georgia, mississippi and into the carolinas. that's a blocking high pressure to the north. this is a textbook case with the potential for major flooding through the southeast. alex, this area has been in a
horrendous drought, especially through georgia. they don't want or need a foot of rain. we're talking about historic flooding. >> i've got to tell you something, they must be listening to you because governor scott in florida has declared a state of emergency, which means the state of emergency operations center is operating at a level one with. that is full activation. they don't want to toy with a potential category 2 hurricane. >> no. they've been doing this it seems like a trend over the last five, six years. it gives them more assets to play with. i'm sure you'll see the governors probably from mississippi to alabama to georgia doing the exact thing in the next 24 to 48 hours. >> bill, we'll check with you again. meantime, as republicans keep an eye on tampa and isaac, the gop presidential ticket is making its way through ohio. mitt romney and paul ryan rallied a crowd near columbus as they make their way to the gop convention starting monday in
tampa. mr. romney took the opportunity to criticize president obama. >> you know, this time we have more than just the words. we have the record and we understand the big gap there is between what he promises and what he hopes, what he actually delivers, and that's why this november the people of ohio are going to make sure we get a republican in the white house and take back america! >> of course ohio is crucial to the romney campaign because four decades it has sided with the winner of the presidential contest. nbc's ron mott is in ohio with more. hello, ron. what's the latest from there? >> reporter: hey there, alex. good day to you. these folks braved some intense heat here on a saturday morning to listen to mr. romney and governor ryan. they'll be back in ohio over the next nine or ten weeks because it's crucial, at the top of the list of battle groundz states they want to take away from
president obama in the fall. for the most part, a standard romney/ryan speech. a couple of things of note in the speech, there's been a lot of reporting about the gender gap in this race. our latest polling has president obama up about ten points along the lines of women. that's an important constituency that governor romney acknowledged today. didn't have specifics but talked about the fact that women are going to start more businesses than men and so he wants to be able to have a president who helps them realize their dreams of being businesspeople. he also acknowledged a small but vocal group of protestors who were just off the cameras trying their hardest to bleed into the audio. at one point he noticed and said, you can probably hear the greek chorus off in the distance four more years. he asked the crowd if they wanted four more years. they gave him a raucous no. >> your governor is on the right
track. he's doing here in ohio the exact things that have to be done to get small businesses to grow and thrive and big businesses to expand and hire more people. this is about more jobs and more take-home pay. it not about rhetoric. it's getting the jobs the american people need, and we will will do just that. >> reporter: now, this was the last joint appearance by governor romney and paul ryan before they go down to tampa. they're going off to a fund-raiser in new hampshire tomorrow. obviously they want to raise some cash. they're getting close to be able to tap into the general election fund so we may see an explosion of ads in battleground states. paul ryan actually has a send-off rally in his hometown of janesville, then heading to the nasty weather and big convention in tampa. >> oh, good. an explosion of ads, she says sheepi sheepishly. thank you, ron. meanwhile, a brand-new poll shows president obama and mitt
romney neck and neck. republican congressman todd akin is saying once again he is staying in the missouri senate race. the congressman made that announcement friday. >> apparently there's some people who are having trouble understanding our message. i'd like to be clear on that today, that we're going to be here through the november election and we're going to be here to win. >> now, vice president biden is postponing his planned trip to tampa, florida, an obama campaign official says the vp is putting off monday trip so all local law enforcement and officials can focus on isaac. a new attack ad is inspired by a hit tv show from the past. ♪ they knew that they had found
their leader ♪ ♪ that's the way they all became the romney bunch ♪ ♪ the romney bunch >> well, the new spot is called "the romney bunch," part of the campaign to counter messaging from the gop convention in tampa. of course you know the show it came from, right? investigators are searching for clues into why a laid offoff worker snapped allegedly killing his ex-colleague outside the empire state building. today tourists return to the landmark saying the shooting was frightening but would not keep them away. nbc's michelle franzen is live on the scene today, presenting a different picture than yesterday morning. good day to you. >> reporter: good afternoon. alex, certainly it has been a busy morning here once again as tourists as you mentioned are showing up here in front of the empire state building where a lot of them line up to go up to the observatory. that's exactly on the street behind me where that deadly shootout took place. and in the moments beforehand,
another deadly scene took place a half block away. and that is when police say the suspected shooter jeffrey johnson returned to his former workplace where he had been laid off over a year ago to confront a co-worker he held a grudge against. >> let's go! >> reporter: chaos and shock in the moments after gunshots rang out near the famous empire state building captured in photographs and video taken by witnesses. >> i just got shot. they're going to rush me to the hospital. >> reporter: survivors caught in the cross fire when police shot and killed lone gunman jeffrey johnson. new surveillance video released by nypd shows johnson calmly walking up busy fifth avenue. when with police approach him, he pums out a gun and they open fire, sending crowds of pedestrians and tourists running for cover. >> midtown south charlie sector, unconfirmed 10 shots fired.
>> reporter: minutes earlier, police say the 58-year-old who was laid off a year ago as a designer at an apparel business sought out a former company executive a block away, pushed him to the ground and shot him. >> johnson produced the pistol and fired at close range, striking his 41-year-old victim in the head. >> reporter: the victim, stephen urcolino, a construction worker alerted anti-terror officers designed to patrol the empire state building. when it was over, nine pedestrians sustained minor gunshot wounds. police say some may have been injured by stray police bullets. colleagues say the two had an ongoing feud a fact experts say investigators will be looking into. >> they're very frustrated. they're hurt. it's easy to look back on the situation and say, this is smn somebody else's fault i'm in this situation and i want to do something about it. >> reporter: as for the gun the police say the suspect used, they say he had purchased that
gun legally when he lived in florida back in the 1990s. however, alex, they say that that gun was not legally registered here in new york. >> michelle franzen outside the empire state building, thank you. west coast headlines are next with a story about one country that is plowing billions into the u.s. economy at a record pace. also, the man with the most unique job in the white house, the first of his kind in fact. i'll talk with him about documenting the obama presidency in realtime right here on "weekends wi "weekends with alex witt." this is the plan that revolves around you. introducing share everything. unlimited talk. unlimited text. tap into a single pool of shareable data and add up to 10 different devices, including smartphones and tablets. the first plan of its kind. share everything. only from verizon.
a federal jury decided friday that samsung ripped off the technology used by apple to kriet the iphone and ipad. "the los angeles times" has a story entitled china eagerly buying up u.s. assets, how chinese companies are making huge bids for american aviation, energy and entertainment busine business. china is facing a charge economic slowdown at home. in oregon, a local couple's attempts to care for a cemetery. they've been told to stop mowing and planting flowers because their efforts violate historical regulations. those regulations require the city to keep the pioneer cemetery as close to its 19th century character as possible. that's interesting. well, politics now in a new associated press/gfk poll today shows the presidential race is in a dead heat. the president led by three in
june. joining me now for more, eleanor clift and david drucker associate politics editor for "roll call." david, i understand you've already made your way to tampa. you trying to beat out the storm and being ahead of time? >> i'm in tampa. it's beautiful. if tropical storms are always preceded by beautiful weather, i know we're having a vacation next. >> hope it stays that way. with a good day to both of you, eleanor, i want to ask you about mitt romney's comment about his birth certificate, a reference to the birther controversy. how did mr. romney's handlers react to all of this? did they wish he had just not gone there? >> well, at first it seems like an innocent joke and i imagine it was not scripted for governor romney, that he just couldn't resist. any time that he spends talking about cultural issues is time wasted from his perspective because he wants this election to be about the economy and the
president's failure to restore the economy to full health. so this was yet another diversion and so i'm sure mitt romney's handlers are not happy with it and probably governor romney isn't all that happy with himself, i would think, wished he hadn't gone there. >> yeah. david, what do you think the fallout is? is there more than a one day, couple day weekend story, or does it show that mitt romney is prone to gaffes? >> i think it was a twitter news cycle story. i don't think it will matter tooch. i don't think it was a gaffe. the problem would be if he were to somehow shift to talking about the birth certificate issue and make it some sort of issue on the campaign. i think it was a one-off. i think we're going to have a convention, a democratic convention, four presidential debates, jobs numbers. nobody will remember this. it's not going to matter. i think we need to remember that for the vast majority of voters in the states that matter, they're not focused on the day-to-day things like we are. so i don't think's really an issue. don't forget last night in an
interview mitt romney said, i think the president was born in the u.s. it was just a joke. so i think it's case closed. >> he's also said that leading up to, during his candidacy he said that for the most part. anyway, as we move on to overall this week, not a really great one for the gop leading up to the convention especially with the todd akin's legitimate rape comment. how much does that detract from the republican convention's message? >> i think that is a serious issue for the romney/ryan ticker. in this media clutter, congressman akin's words really broke through. just about everybody knows he said something really bizarre about women and rape. and he's really not that different from the rest of his party, and he worked with congressman ryan on the language that would redefine rape as forceable rape, sort of distinguishing between rape that is legitimate to get an abortion
and rape where somehow the woman wants it and should not be allowed to have an abortion. it's all about restricting access to abortion, and so he's really not off the reservation. the republican party is in accord with this and now this's going to be focus on the human life amendment that's part of the republican platform which governor romney really doesn't agree with. so it sets up this cultural tension in tampa. not good for the partygoers. >> david, what about ann romney's speech having been moved from monday night when the networks were not televising things to tuesday night? how critical will is her speech, and is it all about trying to sway the female voter where mitt romney is behind? >> well, i think that's a part of it. i think if you've watched this campaign from the beginning, ann romney makes perhaps the best case for her husband of any of the campaign surrogates and, you know, having followed campaigns for president and for governor, there's nothing -- there's no
replacement for the wife, for the spouse, but most of the time these major campaigns have men at the top of the ticket. there's no replacement for the wife who vouches for her husband. and in mitt romney's case, somebody who's seen as very competent and smart but not always the most likeable, caring person in the world from the outside, she has the ability to tell voters, to tell women, that you can trust mitt romney to care about you and he's a good guy. i think that's why they made sure her speech would be covered by the networks in prime-time. >> eleanor, how much do you think ann romney can sway the female vote in. >> you know, it's nice she loves her husband and she comes across in a very positive way. clearly she's an asset, but i don't see her turning a lot of votes. i've listened in on some focus groups around the country with walmart moms and it's amazing how little they know about her. they barely know her name. so this has got to be a major introduction for ann romney to break through. she'd like to break through as
clearly as todd akin did this last week, and she's positive but i don't see her making much of an impact. >> how about the impact of the conventions from both of you. i want your perspective. usually you get some sort of bounce. to you, david, first, how much do you expect will be the bounce at the end of the week? >> i don't know if we're going to have a huge bounce, particularly because this rolls into the democratic convention and a lot of attention will will shift there. but i do say this about both conventions -- this is when voters really start to tune in. you are going to get a wide audience and a lot of news coverage. i look at this more for the campaigns as building the foundations for the final 10, 11 weeks of the campaign. so it's not necessarily about the bounce, but it's about strengthening the foundations of the theme and the strength of the campaign going forward. and that's where they do, in fact, matter. and i think that they do sway public opinion to a degree that, without them, without the big show and the big speeches, you'd have people wondering who these people were with.
so i think they're important both for governor romney and the president. >> as long as eleanor, people are watching. we're at the end of summer. people getting in last holidays, the business of starting school again. how much of a concern is that for you? >> paul ryan gave mitt romney a two-point bounce, which is really minimal, and i don't think they're going to get much more out of the convention. comparisons will be made -- sarah palin looked pretty good coming out of the convention. now, that didn't endure so i just think that in today's media environment this all is so fast-paced and i agree that i think decisions are going to be made around the debates. i mean, that's what's really important. >> yes, we have a bunch of those coming up. eleanor, david, thank you. as we get closer to the rnc and dnc conventions, hash tag 2012 is the place to be. head to twitter and hughes hash tag msnbc 2012.
more photo frenzy over prince harry's trip to las vegas. the prince is expected to meet with his father, prince charles, for a hart to heart this weekend. two more party girls are trying to sell will their story for a seven-figure sum. a full-page ad was taken out in "usa today" criticizing those who exploited harry by selling pictures of him naked. tech watch now. i guess we'll get to that after a break because how do you put tech watch after harry, right? let's just stay with the prince. [ male announcer ] the perfect photo... [ man ] nice!
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company has imposed an all-vacation blackout to expect the onslaught of business. stay tuned to that. it's time for standouts and successes. first and foremost, it is today's list of noteworthy number ones. republicans gather in tampa next week, the city's first big political convention ever. for hosting help, tampa could have turned to chicago, the second city is the host with the most in political conventions beginning in 1860 when abraham lincoln won the republican nomination. chicago has been home to 25 conventions, 14 republican, 11 democratic, one progressive as well, which is 2 1/2 times more than baltimore's ten conventions, philadelphia has held the third most with nine. one week in abu dhabi, all expenses paid. >> i've always been fascinated but the middle east, desert moons, sha harrah zod, magic kparpts. >> "money" magazine says the best place to be in america if
you're single and rich, newton, massachusetts, why 31% of the population is single and hoboken new jersey, brookline, massachusetts, then california completing the top five. aha, that's right, dorothy, there's no place like home. 73 years ago today, "the wizard of oz" first hit the big screen. it didn't become a classic until it hit television small screen in 1956. and it remains a classic after all these years. "over the rainbow" tops the record's industry list of the top songs of the 20th century. and those are your number ones here on "weekends with alex w t witt." play it away, christian. ♪ somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue ♪ ♪ and the dreams let you dare
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welcome back, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." tropical storm isaac is close to cuba. it will likely gain strength after it passes the island. we're going right now to nbc meteorologist bill karins for the forecast. >> alex of, the next 24 hours will determine everything for the united states and what we deal with alex. the storm has weakened significantly in the last 12 hours. the mountains of haiti have done their job and really torn the inner core of this storm apart. they got hit pretty hard down there and it's still raining but the center of the storm is enl hard to locate, right between cuba and haiti right now, on the eastern extreme tip of cuba. so the storm is relatively weak now. it's all about potential. it has about 72 hours over very warm water with favorable upper-level winds to try to intensify. that's why we have to assume this storm is going to get its act together and maybe in a big way by the time we get to tuesday. hurricane warnings for that reason have been issued for the
keys, tropical storm warning issues all the way up to palm bay, florida, even the east coast of florida expecting wind and brisk conditions, large waves, eventually probably see tropical storm warnings issued for the tampa area. the reason we're so concerned about the potential for the concern is how warm the water is. the water temperature is 87 degrees. if you get 80-degree water, we can get a storm intensify. this is high-octane. this is it steroids for hurricanes. that's why we don't want this storm taking this predicted path but it's going to. that's why the hurricane center think it will will get its act together, has a chance of becoming a hurricane tomorrow night as it touches the keys. possibly becoming category 2 before landfall on tuesday up near the gulf. kind of pinpointed on the cone of uncertainty. it still goes all the way from just east of tallahassee all the way back through the coastline of mississippi. this is the target area, alex, and we'll probably see the cone
narrowing in the days ahead. you have about 36 hours to prepare before the weather starts going downhill. >> thanks, bill. in today's strategy talk, looking for that convention bounce. the rnc convention kicks off monday, couldn't come any sooner for the gop which started this week with congressman todd akin's legitimate rape remarks and finished it with an unfortunate birther joke by governor romney. governor dean, unfortunately we had technical issues so you're just on the phone. we will miss seeing you. >> thank you. >> first, wesley, before we get into the todd akin situation i want to disclose that you are an internet cultant for the congressman's senate campaign. so with that, let's take a look at the poll. congressman akin has lost 14 points nearly overnight.
so the question has to be asked, why run? why keep this in the national spot slight lite? >> listen, you look at the polls and you see claire mccaskill's favorable still haven't climbed. people in missouri know she supported obama care, bigger spending. people still don't like claire mccaskill and todd akin can still take missouri for the republicans and help take back the united states senate. >> governor, that same poll also was looking at the presidential race in missouri and mitt romney still has a significant lead over the president. some democrats really thought this scandal could put that state into play. but if you look at the new nbc, battleground state map only has missouri leaning republican. so was that wishful thinking? >> no. i think the akin -- the problem with the akin remark is akin is not an outlier in the republican party. paul ryan, romney's running mate, voted for the same stuff akin voted for, which is rape with no -- outlawing abortion with no exceptions for rape and
incest. this is not exactly a pro-woman party. it shows by the ticket and i think this is a problem for the republicans everywhere, not just missouri. >> wesley, what about this week overall? mitt romney would have liked to win going into the convention. he comes out grens the congressman early but then yesterday there was the birther comment. he says it was an attempt at humor but it didn't come off as humorous. did he not see the backlash coming? >> listen,s first off, mitt romn romney, he likes to joke around. i was watching a special on nbc where his sons say, listen, my dad jokes around and sometimes those jokes don't come across the way they need to. i think it was a very human moment like it was for todd akin. i'll go back to what governor dean said. i think trying to label our party anti-woman because of one comment is insane. look, governor dean's entire presidential campaign was ruined because of one moment. that's like saying the dean screen crazy moment was indicative of the entire democratic party. he lost the presidency because he looked insane.
that didn't mean the entire democratic party was insane because of one moment. >> oh, you know, i've got to tell you -- >> that's ridiculous. >> i'm a little uncomfortable, governor. you can have a word with wesley. >> i think that's silly. i lost the democratic nomination because i came in third in iowa and i was supposed to come in first. it's not very nice to george bush your president to say i would have kicked his butt as well. we don't know that. leaving that aside, the fact of the matter is todd akin is not an outlier. boehner's bill which ryan voted for and all the republicans in the house, virtually all the republicans in the house, voted for is exactly what akin said. >> yeah. but you know there's a big difference in -- >> there's no exception for rape, no exception for incest. this is a party that does not value women. that's just a fact. >> and you're a party that doesn't value life. >> they voted that way again and again and again and it's in the republican party platform. so i think this just makes this a party a very hard sell for women. >> so wesley, would they have
preferred the rnc in general and republicans, not to have the whole akin controversy, not necessarily because you can say one man made a very ignorant statement, the guy obviously didn't pass basic biological science class. but what it does is it opens up an issue where this is a policy issue for the republicans. i mean, do they wish they hadn't gone there, this whole controversy with akin hadn't opened that up? >> of course. i mean, there's no denying that point. but to try to say one man's comments makes the entire party ant itty-woman is absolutely ridiculous. this is governor dean saying this a party that hates women. that means you're a party that hates life. that's an absolutely ridiculous statement. it's below what i would expect from a smart man like governor dean. >> unfortunately it's not the only example. you voted against equal pay for women. the republican party has consistently voted -- there's actually a fair number of people in the republican party that
don't like title 9. again and again and again we see thi these attacks on women's rights. this is a party more comfortable in the '50s, 1850s and not 1950s. >> as you can tell from the bow tie and seer sucker i'm from south carolina. we just elected an indian woman minority which shows you don't know what you're talking about, governor. >> i'm afraid i do and i'm afraid most people in this country, especially women, know what i'm talking about. that's why president obama is so far ahead with women and why your candidate just collapsed in missouri. >> guys, i want to look at the conventions and try to get this on a very civilized discussion here because wesley, the associated press has this new poll which finds 23% of registered voters are still undecided. do you think the republican convention can be used to try and draw in those voters, or is it going to just be to drum up the base? >> no. i mean, exactly what i just said about governor nikki haley.
she has a prime-time speaking spot. you've seen in the negotiations trying to move ann romney around this week because women absolutely love ann romney. our party is xlus inclusive. here in south carolina we just elected tim scott, an african-american in the south carolina congressional district one. will this is an ainclusive party and we'll use the convention to let people know that. >> we're not arguing whether the republicans are inclusive. you have members of all groups, nikki haley and tim scott, very, very conservative. they don't represent their constituencies. my guess is tim scott probably gets, i don't know -- what percentage of the african-american vote did john mccain get last time? what did george bush get? just to have a few figure heads. you guys always do this. if you look at the floor of the convention it's a sea of white. only at the podium do you see people of different genders or colors. i was on the floor in the minnesota convention. it's stunning how different our parties are. our party represents everybody. you may have spl nice splashes of color in elected office but
you don't represent anybody who is a minority or women. >> i'm sorry, you can go ahead and respond wesley. >> the reason is because we've got smart people like howard dean going on tv saying those people hate black people, they hate women. that's absolutely pitiful and bad for our country for howard dean to say that. >> i don't think he said those people hate black people and hate women. >> that's exactly what he said. >> you don't represent them and don't respect them. >> that's a big difference than "you hate those people." i gotcha. >> gentlemen, thank you. wesley donahue and howard dean, thank you so much. from there to something completely different, we'll go to the best of office politics from bravo's andy cohen to melissa harris-perry. but first we talk about calling the election. >> i cannot call this election for either person yet. like i have to say it feels like an absolute tossup to me. >> it's going to be a very close
race. extremely close. it will be probably like 2000 level close. >> like 4:00 in the morning for all of us election night. >> definitely. i think. i could be wrong. barring some huge change that could knock it in either direction. >> if we get to september and that number of nations in recession goes up, then i think that may well affect the american economy. and when that starts to happen, the electorate simply blames the president. >> i was at cbs news for ten years. it was great. i learned so much and i think it informed everything i'm doing now, weirdly in edit rooms and telling stories. >> here's something you're really good at on your show, and that is speaking your mind even if it stirs up controversy. why do you do that? what propels you to do that? >> well, i feel like it was the mission statement i was given when i came to the show. my conversations with phil griffin was that part of what
they were looking to do was to provide an opportunity for opinion and analysis voices on the week's news. >> it's also a pretty huge deal what you're doing with nbclatino.com. >> we put a lot of time and energy building a party that would be reflective of the hispan hispanic-american history. what we see is latinos are part of the fabric of america. >> the things that i've learned doing this show, it's been like a post-graduate degree in political history. >> how tough are you with your students? >> i am actually a very tough grader, and i think it throws students. because i'm a very nice professor. >> yes, you're nice, approachable. i'm sure they love listening to you, oh, my god, she's so hard! >> yes. >> i did a 5k in new york for the susan g. komen foundation, which i've run every year, and i did 19 minutes 43 seconds, which for an old man -- that as when i was 45. it's not too bad. i actually had tore my hamstring
so i had a big strapping on it. >> i try to dress up for the show, when i'm in my casual life, new orleans, professorial dress is more casual. >> you've been described as a hipster by your colleagues. seriously, you have. but how much do you think a lot of that has to do with those glasses you wear? >> the strange thing about becoming a quasi public figure is you watch a conception of yourself emerge that doesn't necessarily feel recognizable or feels sort of alien to you. i think of myself as someone who grew up in the bronx and likes to play pickup basketball. and i think there's -- yes, i 30's an image because of the glasses of this sort of nerdy hipster character. >> i have an hdtv problem. i think to myself, what is it about this show that i love? what is it that makes me feel at the end of it, like, wow, that was a good way to spend 30 minute fz my life. >> andy cohen's paying bills at
his office. what don't you do at this desk? >> well, i don't clean it. that's what i don't do. >> okay. cheers, i had to get in the mood. will thanks so much for doing this. >> cheers. thanks. >> this is the perfect thing to do, drink first thing in the morning with andy cohen. >> we could probably just have a conversation here about food and latinos are very passionate about it. >> you know my favorite i guess mexican/latino food is? it's a drink called a margarita. >> oh, that's a good one. easy to make, too. >> i think i'm getting a reputation. i'm always talking about it. my parents must be proud. new signs that housing is making a comeback. that's coming up in the next hour. is it done?
[ john ] no. ♪ were you just... no. are you supposed to be driving that in here? no! yo! teresa here? ♪ no. so is it okay if i stay out just a little bit longer? so...okay... so no. did mom say we could eat all that? [ john ] yes. [ male announcer ] in a world filled with "no," it's nice to finally say "yes." the new line of oscar mayer selects. the tastes you love and no artificial preservatives. it's yes food. now to must see/must avoid. we have new at the box office, premium rush, a thriller set on the streets of new york city. a bike messenger's last delivery of the day turns out to be anything but an ordinary errand. >> hey, that envelope you picked
up, i've got to have it back. >> who are you? >> i'm not your problem. >> once it goes in the bag, it stays in the bag. >> let's talk about this, e correspondent alicia korlz with us. good day. >> good day, alex. >> must see, must avoid? >> must see. it's action packed, so much fun. you have to go in, relax, good popcorn movie. nonstop action. joseph gordon levitt is such a good actor. the title is fitting. >> i'm glad his name is really coming out there. >> it is! >> you recognize who he is and what he's been in. that's good. another one is about a young couple setting off on a road trip, they get hounded by a cast of quirky characters on the way. "hit and run". >> this is a must see. dax shepard wrote this, co-directed it, kristen bell is his real-life fiancee. tom arnold is in it, bradley cooper. you can sit back and laugh. >> how about this, two recent
college fwrads share a house with an evil spirit, it's called "apparition". >> ashley green is in it, the hot actress of the moment, but this a must avoid. is the house haunted? is it the people? it november moves very slowly. don't see this one. >> thanks for the advice as always. >> no problem. stories from the white house's first official individual okvideographe videographer. you'll learn howhe he got the zwrob and what he saw, next. that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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presidency. how did you get this gig? i'm guessing there wasn't an ad listing the opening. >> no. there wasn't a posting on craigslist. i had a good friend working at cnn who had been pulled on as the video director. she thought i might be good at it and knew i was prying to get into politics. normally for a fiction filmmaker this is a hard world will to get into. >> how about access? what kind of access did you have? >> at the white house i almost had unfettered access. i could go where i wanted to go other than the residence where they were living. that's not to say i would just put anything out. any photograph, any piece of video would go through the communications department at the white house before it was released. >> what about interesting moments that wu you were told not to film or keep off the record? anything come to mind on that? >> there are two very specific instances and i think they both tell a lot about what my job was like, which is not why the president was doing something strange but we wanted somebody
talking to the president in a more realistic way. during the bp oil spill, he was speaking to a group of officials from louisiana and he said, in conclusion i'd like to say -- usually a good cue you'll get great footage. but robert gibbs gave me a motion to put it down. it wasn't something i had seen before. not because of what the president was going to say but because of these other elected officials, you want to make sure they feel flee to say what they want to say. >> how about favorite moments you did capture. >> i have a lot of favorite moments i did capture. one time i was just coming up to see the easter egg roll setup. i was going to get i think fergie singing the national anthem. when i came into the blue room i saw the president and sasha obama giving the easter bunny the works, giving this large stuffed bunny that was actually contained brian moss teller, one of the white house staff. you never know what's going to
be around the corner and just being at the white house, it's all very surreal. >> yeah. obviously the white house had a long standing official havie iin official still photographer. you're the first videographer. what does that tell you about modern politics or this president? >> i think it says a lot about this president. audio removes all doubt of what you're seeing. the fact that not only the president but his senior smart powerful people saying it's okay for me to do this, they believe he's 100% himself on and off camera. >> what were your interactions with the president? >> you know, i'm not -- i'm often described as a fly on the wall and i'm afraid i often fail at that. i'm a chatter box, like to comment on things, i'm loud. i would say i worked in like a work buddy than a document aryan in situations. i would be part of the action as much as i was someone filming
it. >> you've got the book. what about the footage? what happens to that? >> thanks to the misdeeds of one president nixon, all things done in service of the president are kept forever. so presidential records act includes my footage. so every mistake, every blooper, every missed cue, every bad focus shot, it's there for everybody to look like. >> thank you very much. good luck. >> thank you so much. this was fun. the shocking claim from gary johnston's campaign. should mitt romney be concerned? after a break. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
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killing a woman and two children there. the heavy rain that triggered mud slides to continue, meanwhile, the eastern part of the island along with airports and tourist resorts are shut down. residents near tampa, florida, are filling sandbags ahead of the storm. and the governor just declared a statewide emergency. tampa, home of the gop convention, will experience tropical storm-force winds which are likely to affect the republican events. right now, let's go to cuba, on the northeast coast is where weather channel's mike seidel is positioned for us. mike, doesn't look so bad yet, but i'm sure that's not the whole story. >> reporter: it's not too bad here. we're about two hours off to the east of havana, on the far western end of the island. we're pretty far from the center which is about ready for may have just made landfall, we'll check with bill karins in a minute. we've got heavy rain moving across the eastern provinces.
we're concerned about localized flooding where they had more rain this summer and their reservoirs are fuller, up above 80%. there have been some evacuations, alex. those southeast provinces, flood-prone areas, not a lot of people overall but the army is on stand by to evacuate tens of thousands. that's what they do, they don't mess around here because most people, in fact, only 5% of cubans have vehicles, cars or trucks, so the only way to get out is bust them out and put them up and feed them. that's what they do. they don't expect that this time around. but the storm tomorrow will head off the coast and come across the florida straits and about 90 to 100 miles in that direction sits the florida keys. the forecast is for it to ramp up to a minimal hurricane. as it intensifies, the wind will come howling back in here. it's not too windy, and we're pretty far from the storm. these winds could gust 50 to 60 miles an hour, maybe even higher, depending on how quickly
it intensifies. we'll have beach erosion and so it goes. one airport, santiago airport, they've canceled, suspended all flights for the time being. alex, back to you. >> mike, with regard to where people live in cuba, do you have a majority of the population congregating around the beaches and the edges of the island? and if so, how worried are you about flooding? >> reporter: well, we're not too concerned about coastal flooding because the storm is going to move away pretty quickly. not going -- yeah, there will be some surge there, the real threat is inland heavy rainfalls 4 to 8 inches maybe as much as a foot in some spots. the hardest hit area will not havana. they'll be well to the east and south of havana so havana should
come through pretty well. there will be pretty good waves hitting the seawall. by the way, i want to let you know what they've done here at the resorts, they've taken off pirated espn off the cable in the hotels and replaced it, get this, with pirated weather channel. that's what i say. >> wow! you are ranking today. good jobl, mike seidel. thank you very much. appreciate that. let's go from mike live in cuba right now in studio to nbc meteorologist bill karins who has another forecast picture for us. >> alex, this storm right now is all about potential. don't expect to be wowed looking at reporters on the beaches. the rest of today or even tomorrow morning. this is about the potential of the storm. once it gets into portions of the eastern gulf of mexico, what it's going to do. the mountains of haiti have significantly torn this storm apart as we've gone throughout pretty much the last 12 hours, especially the last 6. it's still raining very hard, especially the south coast of haiti where the bright red clouds are. those are thunderstorms.
notice the sternt of the storm there's no thunderstorms at all. do expect the storms to be significantly weaker with a new advisory coming out shortly. the last advisory, this one as we went through 11:00, still had 60-mile-per-hour winds, probably dropping down to 50 or 45-mile-per-hour winds. again, it's all about potential. once the storm gets off of cuba, it's going to have a lot of warm water to deal with over the next 72 hours. if it does take the expected path, it's over the warm waters of the keys and florida straits, then over very, very warm water from key west to north florida and the upper level winds are favorable for development, really nothing tells us why it wouldn't strengthen at that time. that's why the next 24 hours are critical. if it stays weak, all the much of better than the folks in the northern gulf. it will still intensify but maybe it will go from a tropical storm to a category 1. if it becomes a hurricane earlier than expected before sunday afternoon or evening, then we really have to watch out in the northern gulf because it's going to intensify the next 24 hours are the key to how intense it will be by the time
it makes it up to the northern gulf. notice the cone of uncertainty involves tampa and outside of new orleans. we have a margin of error there. our computer models have centered in somewhere around panama city/pensacola in the northern florida gulf. some of our lines have moved a little west so if you're in coastal mississippi, alabama, definitely mobile bay, gulf port, biloxi, even new orleans. i think new orleans will be okay, but keep an eye on the storm. we don't want anything fishy to happen. the other thing we really have to watch, if you live in alabama, georgia, south carolina, north carolina, possibly even areas of mississippi, this storm stalls out wednesday into thursday. we're talking about the potential for significant rains. the rain is showed here on the map, the brighter colors. we bring that up into the gulf during landfall tuesday, it sits over you right into wednesday. it looks like maybe even thursday to the north, that's a big blocking high. that rain will not be able to push up into the ohio valley and the northeast.
our computers are estimating as many as 10 to 20 inches of rain just east or whenever the storm lands. if 20 inches of rain falls over you, i don't care where you are, we're talking about historic flooding. >> very good point. thank you so much, bill. for all of you who want to monitor isaac's path and check the changing forecasts, go to weather.com. today in the battleground state of ohio republican presidential candidate mitt romney rallied supporters as he gets ready for the gop convention next week. romney and paul ryan were greeted by a large crowd who applauded their attacks on president obama. >> your governor is on the right track. you see, he's doing here in ohio the exact things that have to be done to get small businesses to grow and thrive and big businesses to expand and hire more people. this is about more jobs and more take-home pay. it's not about rhetoric. it's getting the job the american people need. and we will do just that. >> mr. romney said that president obama still doesn't
have any idea how to fix the tough economy he inherited. nbc's ron mott is in powell, ohio, with more on this front. hello, ron. what's the latest? >> reporter: hey there, alex. these folks stood under pretty hot sun this morning to get a peek at and listen to congressman ryan and governor romney today. they hammered away at president obama, like to talk bt national unemployment rate being over 8% for 42 months. mitt romney at one point in the speech said, i can almost tell you what the president is going to say in charlotte when he goes to the dnc convention.platitude. pokes aren't going to be fooled by this. mitt romney says the president's policies have failed. the crowd got the standard stump speech when he talks about his five-point plan beginning with energy independence and so on and 0 forth, talked about business, his business experience as well. but he also acknowledged really that there is a challenge he's facing with women and support among women. the latest nbc news polling has the president up about ten points on governor romney with
respect to women. so today he threw out, if you will, an offer to women voters around the country that he wants to help them, especially those inclined to be entrepreneurs, get their businesses off the ground. he says women will start more businesses than men this year and into the future. so he wants them to be able to realize those dreams but he also acknowledged, which i haven't seen very often, some hecklers off camera. you could barely hear them. he acknowledged them and here's how he tried to shut them down. >> do you want four more years of high unemployment? do you want four more years of declining wages? >> no! >> do you want four more years of home values in the basement? >> no! >> do you want four more years of the big banks getting bigger, the small banks getting smaller? >> no! >> do you want four more years of barack obama? >> no! >> neither do i. >> neither do i, he says. off they go to new hampshire, tomorrow is a fund-raiser, then they will split and write their
speeches for the biggest week of their political careers, both paul ryan and mitt romney. paul ryan has a big send-off in his hometown of jeansville on monday. we'll be there for that and the nasty weather awaits us in tampa. >> a lot ahead. thanks, ron. up next, president obama with some tough words for the gop on medicare. plus, the libertarian candidate says he could steal five swing states from the mitt romney camp. we'll talk with gary johnson ahead. apple wins a big billion-dollar legal fight with samsung. what will it mean to you consumers? we'll take a look here on "weekends with alex witt." are you supposed to be driving that in here? no! yo! teresa here? ♪ no. so is it okay if i stay out just a little bit longer?
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more front page politics now at the quarter hour. president obama attacking the paul ryan medicare plan in his weekly address today. >> instead of being guaranteed medicare, seniors would get a voucher to buy insurance. but it wouldn't keep up with costs. as a result, one plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get right now. and it would effectively end medicare as we know it. >> with more than two months to go before americans head to the poll a new associated press/gfk race shows the race couldn't get closer. president obama leading 47% to 46%. the republican national convention has announced a change. ann romney will now speak tuesday night. she was scheduled to speak monday, but the 3 major networks won't be covering prime-time. joining me molly ball and msnbc contributor and editor for the
grio.com perry bacon jr. good to stee you. >> hi, alex. >> i'll begin with you, did mitt romney's handlers just cringe when mr. romney made the birth certificate comment while campaigning in michigan yesterday? >> yeah. i know a lot of republicans cringed when they heard that. you know, there was a little bit of speculation about, oh, did he do this intentionally or was this written into his speech as sort of a play for the white working class vote there in michigan? i really don't think so. i think it was a mistake, and i think that a lot of people heard it that way, including people in his own party. the convention is a chance for romney to turn the page definitively from the primary and look to the general election and start appealing to the independent voters. the way to do that is not by tying yourself to sort of the crazies on the fringe who believe things that aren't true like the conspiracy theories about obama's birth certificate. if it was a joke, it wasn't a very funny one. so i think from that standpoint it wasn't something he intended
to do. >> okay. perry, looking at numbers, a new report shows that household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, down 4.8% to $50,964. in fact, for the first time, perry, since at least world war ii, middle class families finished the first decade of the 21st century poorer and with lower incomes than they had ten years earlier. so let aels talk about how each camp has reacted to the reports of this this week and who do you think can seize on this more to their advantage? >> i'm sure you'll hear mitt romney talk about this, his argument is the president isn't doing well the economy. but the big challenge is, i don't see this as a poll issue except whoever is the president has to deal with middle class wages are stagnated, the middle class is not doing well, corporate profits are up but a lot of people are having problem finding jobs. it's less of a political issue and more of a substantive issue they'll be pressed on in the debates and they'll be pressed on if they're elected they'll
have to deal with. they haven't really explained how they'll deal with it in office yet. >> molly, i want to talk bt ground game. there was an article in "the washington post" that says, in ohio, another close state, the democratic state party employs nearly 300 people more than the republican national committee in washington, almost four times as many as the ohio gop. in fact, democratic campaign workers outnumber republicans nearly three to one nationally. molly, what does this mean? how does this ground game advantage translate into actual votes in. >> well, the general rule of thumb among political cultants is your field operation can get you a point or two. it can't make a state competitive that isn't competitive. it can't turn a red into blue or vice versa, but it can put you over the top in a state that's essentially tied. that is certainly the hope. this has been the m.o. of the obama campaign since the beginning, to build this grass roots network i think on a philosophical basis democrats feel like this represents the kind of organization that they
stand for, something that's sort of community based and grass roots. it's also cheaper than tv ads for the most part to pay organizers. so this is something that the democrats have generally been stronger at than the republicans. but when the republicans are spending -- have a billion dollars in outside group tv ads that could be completely washed away. so there's this ground game verse air war tension in every campaign. >> what about the protesters this week in ohio, perry. they are angry because there's no early voting opportunities on the weekends before the election in november. president obama you'll remember won ohio in 2008 in part because of the heavy african-american turnout the weekend before election day. is this a calculated effort on rgs to counteract the president's ground advantage in ohio? >> it seems that it is, but the people from the obama campaign i talk to are not year overly worried about what's happening in ohio but also a bunch of voting laws across the country seeming to target democratic
voters. the officials with obama are dealing with them aggressively. also important to note is 93,000 people voted in that weekend before the election in 2008, but 5 million people voted in ohio last time. so the obama folks are not only adapt to this but only a fraction of the voters who will vote in the election in ohio in november. >> hey, molly, the latest poll in florida showing the president with a slight lead of about three points and the gop convention kicks off there of course monday. will that help mitt romney with floridians? how much of a bounce do you expect in. >> the republicans are certainly hoping so, just as the democrats had political motivations picking north carolina for their convention. there actually is political science research on this, and it shows that where you put your convention doesn't tend to have an effect, although the evidence is kind of anecdotal there. but of course the republicans want to make an impression on the state of flor. they have senator marco rubio introducing mitt romney when he
gives his big send-off convention speech on thursday night, and that's, you know, a political figure who's very popular in florida. so democrats are hoping that the convention is such a freak show that it actually alienates the state of florida. i think florida will be close no matter what. >> of course perry the democratic national convention in charlotte, are they hoping that will help the president capture that state like he did in '08? >> they do. they want to use the convention as an organizing tool and fire up voters who maybe were involved in the campaign in '08 but not involved this time so far. obama won north carolina by 14,000 votes, which is less than half a percent. >> pretty close. >> any kind of organizing they can get will be very helpful there. >> perry, molly, good to see you. thank you. coming up next, new buzz over a british tabloid show-and-tell pics of the naked party boy prince. you'll see why more pictures may be hitting the papers within hours. this is "weekends with alex
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well, the world was reminded this week in graphic detail that one of england's beloved princes is definitely not married. party pics of prince harry's wild vegas vacation has created quite a buzz. as the fallout continues, there are indications more unflattering pics could be on the way. duncan, good day. we have the prince back on your side of the pond today. any new developments? >> good day to you, too, alex. it's a strange period where everybody is wondering, is that it? have all the pictures that were taken been seen, story over? or is there worse to come. you can bet that's what the palace is hoping for. last night we spoke with max clifford, one of britain's most powerful publicists. he told us he was called separately by two american girls who both claimed to be at the party with prince harry in vegas and said they wanted to sell
pictures. he told them no, go to the tabloids directly, if you want to. following on from that, a british newspaper today claimed that a las vegas party girl is close to signing a deal for more photographs and possibly cell phone video. some estimates say there were around 15 girls in harry's vip suite. that's a lot of people with a lot of phones and cameras. now, alex, sunday is traditionally the day in britain when the tabloids splash their big exclusives so we're waiting to see if there is one of their infamous kiss and tells. but the newspapers have been quite wary as we saw last week when the newspapers initially didn't actually print the pictures. >> yeah. we're going to brace ourselves for tomorrow. by the way, those ladies in las vegas sound like a bunch of class acts. not. duncan, thank you so much. an historic court win for apple tops our three big money headlines, number one, the big winner, two, housing comeback finally, and, three, made in
china. with another good day to you, we saw you earlier today, but we want to talk about the apple lawsuit. actually, apple won this one over samsung. what happened here and what does it all mean for consumers? >> that's right. they won. analysts are saying this is one of the biggest lawsuits in the effort against global intellectual property. so basically, alex, what happened is that nine jury members deliberated for about 2 1/2 days. they looked over about 108 pages worth of jury instructions. they looked at all of the different devices and they came back with a ruling and said that samsung had to pay apple $1 billion for that copyright infringement and intellectual property infringement. what that means now is, for the consumer, samsung is saying this is a sad day for consumers and they're going to actually appeal that ruling. >> okay. let's get to housing.
indicating it's making a comeback? >> right. a bunch of numbers came out last week. new home sales were up 3.6% and economists forecasted that number would be about a 365,000-unit rate increase over last month. instead it went up to 372,000 compared to july of last year. now, new home sales were up 25.3% compared to the month of january. and existing home sales prices were up 2.5%. now, prices of homes fell from $224,200 from the same time last year. >> let's talk about china. has that country just made too much stuff? they seem to be overstocked. >> overstock is the operative word there. there is actually a glut in product. a lot of these stores now are seeing this product just covering the floors. people aren't buying enough and the manufacturers are just manufacturing too much. economists are worried that if people aren't going to buy that
much and they keep manufacturing too much, this is actually going to trigger a slowdown. if klein na slows down, that might trigger an economic slowdown for europe and the united states. given what's happening in europe with the you're row crisis, there's an election pentding here in the united states, economists that i spoke to said this could be their worst nightmare if slowdown happens if china. >> oh, boy. thank you very much, appreciate it. tropical storm isaac may be getting stronger and bigger than first expect. we'll take a look after a break. [ female announcer ] with swiffer wetjet,
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those storms that is a nervous of wreck for forecasters and all florida residents, especially in the northern gulf and into areas of mississippi, alabama. i haven't even completely ruled out our friends there in louisiana, although i'd like to. let's show you the forecast path. it's just one of those storms that is it trying to snake its way around the land areas. it's hard to miss florida if you look at it. extends pretty far down to the south in the gulf. but this storm has its target to try to move through the florida straits. in other words, it's already been a rainy, miserable day in south florida. not a lot of time to do your preparations, most people indoors. the rain is going to get worse through the day tomorrow. the question is, what will the strength of the storm be? the hurricane center has it as a category 1 storm crossing the keys. there's a chance it could only be a tropical storm. it's weak right now, down along the coastline of cuba. if it happens to track over cuba instead of off cuba, for key west and key east, the tropical
storm is no big deal. as the storm goiz into the gulf, the question is how organized it will be. the waters very warm, conditions favorable. hurricane center now thinks it has a chance of getting up to a category 2 hurricane somewhere safely off tampa, areas around panama city, but that's if it gets its act together. that's athe question mark. we'll be waiting to see what it looks like tomorrow morning when we get our first visible pictures in. that's when it's supposed to really intensify, during the early morning hours tomorrow. then of course whatever materializes with this storm, then heads up into the southeast. it looks like it will be epic rainfall producer as we go throughout the middle of the week. i know obviously we're the place for politics, we have our eyes on tampa, the republican convention. it looks like the worst of the wench there will be during the day monday, improving weather tuesday. but they'll probably have tropical storm warnings up on monday and i bet they'll tell people to stay off the roads. >> rain, flooding, wind, do you think there's a chance events will be canceled relative to the rnc event? >> if there are tropical storm
warnings expected for monday, school probably canceled, along with the public businesses and public works. probably telling people to stay off the roads. i think it would be almost rude to the city to do the event while they're telling everyone to stay home. i bet monday will be in jeopardy. should be just fine tuesday, wednesday, thursday. >> thanks for the heads-up. tourists are returning to the empire state building today where a laid-off worker apparently snapped, killing his ex-colleague and this chilling surveillance will video shows the confrontation with police. there he is in the circle. he aims at the officers, police then open fire, killing the man as well as injuring nine bystanders with bullets. the shooting sent tourists and locals running from the legendary landmark in a busy part of manhattan. michelle franzen is on the scene where things are returning to normal. good day, michelle. >> reporter: alex, that's right. tourists are back here in front of the empire state building where many of them line up to go up to the observatory.
this is exactly the scene here yesterday where that shootout took place and just a half block away another deadly scene. that's where police say that suspect jeffrey johnson had returned to his former workplace where he was laid off over a year ago to confront a former colleague that he had a grudge against. now, we want to show you some video surveillance that was released by the new york police department in the moments after he shot that colleague, he continued on to fifth avenue and when he was approached by police officers he pulled a gun out of his bag, and that's when police opened fire. that's also when this chaotic scene started playing out, as tourists and pedestrians in this crowded area started running for cover. in all, nine innocent bystanders were grazed or injured with minor injuries from bullet wounds. some of those police say may have been from police officers' stray bullets. investigators as they move forward with this investigation are trying to figure out, look into the suspected shooter's
background. we do know that the gun that police say he used was purchased back in the 1990s when he lived in florida. it was purchased legally, but police say it was not registered legal willie here in new york. >> thanks so much. a new claim from the presidential campaign trail says mitt romney will lose five swing states thanks to his competitor but that competitor is not president obama. gary johnson is the libertarian presidential candidate and his party says the latest polls show north colorado. you. on. labeled too. if you wanted to play the spoiler role and you always said
choice. impact had. dumb. 8$8.5 responsibility it is the responsibility of comes to the vote. seem to going medicare! borrow and print money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar that we spend. so what's the difference voting democrat/republican? we seem to be in a state of perpetual war, we seem to be in longer.
>> you've heard the comparisons, i'm sure, to ralph nader back in 2000. everyone focused on florida. but in new hampshire he took over 20,000 votes which, had they gone to al gore, he would have received the four electoral votes he needed to win. this is how close these things can be. them. iran. want turnaround, you're not going to win the election. so are your campaign goals
address issues. that perhaps addressing the more experience than these two guys combined and i'm saying no to government and government spending. having arguably vetoed more legislation than the other 49 governors in the country combined. >> let me ask this another way. you are a former republican. would you prefer to see a reelection obama? issues
paul-fest. same liberties. growing police state in this country. elect a democrat, elect a republican? i'm going to argue the police grow. argue that closer if not ruin. "abortion." gop platform on that came into question when they spoke out against congressman todd akin's comment on legitimate rape and abortion. do you think that is going to status over it? issue. choose.
take a step forward... and chase what matters. it's time for the big three. it today's topics, middle class disappearing, convention bounce and best week/worst week. morris reid, erin mcpike and susan del percio all joining me. thanks so much to all three of you. >> thanks. >> erin, i'll begin with you. two new reports out this week on the disappearing middle class. who can seize upon this? who does this information help the most? >> well, the truth is that they can both seize upon it. it should help mitt romney more because, of course, president obama is the incumbent and mitt romney has been making the argument that economic conditions have worsened under president obama. but president obama is also making the case that mitt romney doesn't understand the middle class as much and that his policies help out the rich more than the middle class.
>> okay. susan, if you look at these numbers, despite them, the president is leading in the latest associated press/gfk poll, slightly today, doesn't mitt romney have a tougher sell to the middle class than the president? haven't republicans have a tougher sell? >> i agree with erin. the fact that president obama going in as the incumbent and you want change, you would expect the challenger to do slightly better. but the fact is that for the last two weeks we've been talking about medicare and todd akin and none of this is really helping romney with his message. >> so morris, to that end, how does the president sell his economic message with the middle class continuing to disappear under his watch? >> well, you know, definitions vary in middle class. if you're in new york city where you are, million-dollar families think they're middle class. in florida where my nephews there, folks who make $100,000 think they're middle class. the president really has to speak to a message that resonates across the economic
spectrum. i think if he points out some of the things he's been very good at and some of the thing places there have been challenges, he needs to own up to the challenge evenings but he needs to point to things that can resonate across the board. for example, cutting the corporateboard. for example, cutting the corporate tax rate will help middle class families. also, letting companies bring their incomes that they're keeping offshore home is a way that he can see that he's working across the line ask helping the middle class on something everybody can agree with. so he needs to pinpoint those things that poechl eople in new city relate to as well as jacksonville, florida. >> what does romney need to do next week? >> he needs to hit that acceptance speech out of the ballpark, but we're so narrowly divided, we see we've gone from a 10% independent vote that's up
for grabs to maybe 3 to 5%. i think people are pretty much beside it. i think the person who will come out with the biggest convention bump is ann romney. this is really her introduction and i think she's going to do great. >> morris, if you're consulting the mitt romney folks, would you tell mitt romney to put in his acceptance speech -- what are the topics you would tell him to put in. >> i think mitt romney is obsessed with the fact that he's been successful. we live in a country where we want everyone to be successful. i want my nephews to be successful. it's interesting the narrative. he don't want to talk much about his upbringing or his religion. i think having the president fight for that is important. i believe if i was advising him, i would tell him let your guard down a bit, i know you're not
comfortable with it but you really need to start communicating with people better. >> erin, what have you heard about the content of his speech? anything from the romney advisers? >> mitt romney just said on the radio show just last night that his convention speech is in the early stages of being written. he's only got five days to go, he better hurry up on that, but his advisers want to see him get more personal and connect with people on a more personal level, talk about his life, his faith, his family, and of course a positive vision, what he would do for the country. >> okay. well, coming up, the big three is going to name the best and the worst of the week. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." stay with us. [ male announcer ] this is rudy.
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>> i think she had the best week. i think the worst week has been the gun control advocacies and advocates. i think we need to do something about it. >> erin, your take? >> worst most certainly todd akin and his run for that senate seat against clair mccaskill. the best, i'd say, is vice president biden. biden came out in support of him this week and if i talk of him being ditched from the republican ticket. he has to ride the storm out with the rest of us. >> susan, how about your pick? >> the worst, i agree with erin, is akin. he shouldn't even be in office anymore for those kind of statements. the best, clair mccaskill. she comes out ahead, but i will give reid an honorable mention because it looks like they'll hold onto his senate seat.