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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  September 4, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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thanks for being with us. i will be back with one hour with rachel maddow for complete coverage of the democratic national committee in charlotte. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead -- a record to run on. the democratic convention is officially under way in charlotte, north carolina. this week, democrats will be talking about who they are and what they stand for. unlike republicans who last week tried to hide their right-wing policies from the american people. tonight democrats will showcase key parties of their base. women, hispanics, and african-americans, and young people. first lady michelle obama will be front and center tonight. and as will san antonio mayor
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castro. who gives the big keynote address, democrats are proud of that your policies. and what they believe in will be demonstrated on stage. last week, republicans tried to hide what they were really about. just look at this. 55 prime time speeches, not a single one, not one, included the words tea party. all those unpopular extreme republicans, gop decided to keep them out of the public eye. guess that tea was little too strong for swing voters around the country. let's remember the most conservative platform in history. you know, that one that didn't represent their nominee. >> this is the platform of the republican part. it is not the platform of mitt romney. >> yeah. he's just the head of the party. but this week is different.
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forget the caricature of the president and his policies. at his convention, democrats will set the record straight. >> they spend a lot of time talking about me but didn't spend a lot of time talking about you. basically they said first of all, everything is bad. and it is obama's fault. and governor romney knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy. the only problem was he kept it secret. >> governor romney kept details of his plans to kill med care secret. but today, in his last speech before he accepts the democratic nomination on thursday, president obama put his plans on the table. >> the other side may not have been eager to talk about their
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ideas. on thursday might i'm going to look forward to sharing mine with you. on thursday night, i will offer what i believe is a better path forward. you can choose their path, tax cuts to folks that already made it, or you can choose my plan. i want to keep taxes low for every american who is out there still trying to make it. governor romney's promised that he would overturn obama care on his first day in office. maybe we should call his plan romney doesn't care. but i do care. and this law is here to stay. we are not going to refight the battles we have already fought over the last four years. we are not going backwards. we are moving forward. that's why i'm running for re-election. >> that's what this election is about.
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moving forward. bunt only one party is offering a path to do that. joining me now in charlotte is steve kornacki, co-host of "the cycle" on msnbc. jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. first, thanks to both of you for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> steve, let me start with you. this is a very close election. what do the democrats need to do in charlotte tonight and this week? >> you know, the word i keep coming back to is context. you know, what obama is up against, what democrats are up against. powerful tendency of swing voters when the economy, when economic anxiety is high, unemployment is stalled at a really high level. there's just this sort of tendency to want to take it out on the incouple went and that really is -- i look to that republican convention last week and to me that was sort of -- the overriding theme. especially of romney's acceptance speech. it was a very generic acceptance
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speech. we talk about how there weren't that many details in there. i that's intentional and by design. romney strategy here, you know, is not -- say as little as possible that is going to offend the average swing voter's sensibilities and alarm the average swing voters, stay you a way from inflaming passions needlessly. and so the challenge for democrats this week is to really present context important the average swing voter. >> how do they energize? >> steve, how do they energize? how do they get their base going? what do they have to do, not just lay out policy, not talking policy walk. what will get the voters riled up to say we got to come out and re-elect this president? >> i think it is -- i think -- look at the platform. i know people don't always, you know, read through the details on platforms. if you look at the democratic plat form and republican platform, there is a real just basic philosophical contrast there. you know, between where the democrats want on go important this country and where the
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republicans want to go. look at whether it is on immigration, democrats calling for comprehend severe you immigration reform. abortions saying they are unequivocally supportive of abortion rights. gay marriage for the first time ever you had major national political party that's endorsing gay marriage. on taxes, talking about, you know, they want to end for people with $250,000 or above, bush era tax rates. you know -- >> they should be pushing -- should push the contrast and what they believe and the republicans believe. let me go to you, jonathan capehart. jonathan, the president and in an interview today talked about how he's been depicted by the gop. well, let me show you the quote. "usa today," he says the republicans have spent a lot of time creating a fictional barack obama who is supposedly taking the work out of welfare reform and doesn't think small businesses are -- their own businesses. does the president and the democratic party this week have to show the american people who
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the real barack obama is? is there a problem that he's been mischaracterized successfully by the republicans? >> well, the problem important the president has been that you have a republican party that's been calling the president a failure. without telling the american people that they are complicit in the failure saying the president has been. so i think what the president needs to do is to remind the american people where we were when he was inaugurated on january 20, 2009. to talk about where we are right now which is -- a heck afterlet better than we were four years ago and then most importantly, talking about where he wants to take the country from january 20, 2013, to the end of what he hopes will be a second term. i think the president has a very good story to tell. doesn't have to be terribly defensive. you know, in an interview he said when he was asked to give himself a grade on the economy, he said that he deserved an incomplete. i think he's being realistic
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because he can't say that he's done everything he needs to do to get the economy going. he is recognizinging the fact that there is still a lot more work to be done and that if the american people give him four more years he will actually be able to do it. >> the noise in the background -- i went on ts show, between went with you to your hometown of newark. that's the mayor speaking in the background. >> raising the roof here. >> let me go back to steve. on the trail yesterday, congressman ryan, the vice presidential nominee, accused president obama of having no record. listen. >> let me quote president obama four years ago. if you don't have a record to run on, then you -- paint your opponent as someone people should run from. ladies and gentlemen, that is exactly what barack obama is doing today. you see, the president has no record to run on.
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>> has no record to run on. well, let's go through that a minimum. you might not agree now with the policies and you might not agree with the record but he has one. it includes he passed the affordable care act which was 100 years in the making. he rescued the economy from collapse. most sweeping wall street reform since the great depression. and he killed bin laden. rescued the auto industry, signed the led better fair pay act and ended the war in iraq, reformed the stun loan system. no record, steve? >> well, i mean, what ryan is trying to sell there is rationalization. i mean, that -- line in the speech really is -- designed to trigger an emotion in poem. designed to take the swing voters who i am talking about -- administration with a lot of accomplishments. the congress in 2009, 2010 was as accomplished or more accomplished than any congress since the great society days. they can be aware of that at
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some level. but the calculation there from romney, ryan people, is they -- ultimately want to vote obama out because of where the economy is and how economic anxiety is. they are looking for something they can tell themselves it will make it okay to vote him out. what paul ryan is offering there. again, i'm not sure that will be enough to win the election on but it is a -- testament to the power of how -- bad economy can hurt a president that that sort of strategy has the -- tie right now heading into this convention. >> now, jonathan, the president slammed romney specifically for his failure to address the war in afghanistan in his speech last week. >> this november you get to decide the future of the war in afghanistan. by the end of this month, i will have brought home 33,000 troops.
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i have said we will end this war in 2014. governor romney last week didn't have a word to say about afghanistan. >> not only was it afghanistan that romney didn't address, not a single word about social security, welfare, medicaid, financial reform, romney care, and in addition afghanistan, he also didn't address iraq. there was a lot missing from mr. romney's speech. >> this has been the problem for governor romney's campaign meeting all the way up to the convention. no specifics in any of the policies that he would want to pursue as president of the united states. when you are president you can't afford to leave things off the table. to not talk about afghanistan, not talk about iraq, to not talk about medicare, to not talk about social security, it is to basically ask you the american people to vote for you, literally as a blank slate. in the case of governor romney,
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a blank etch-a-sketch. the problems facing the country are so big -- the american people -- i think the consideration that they will come to is should we take a chance on someone who is a blank slate. compared to the guy that's in office now. >> i will have to leave it there. thank for your time tonight. be sure to catch steve on "the cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. coming up, there he goes again. the marathon man. paul ryan running to new lengths to strength the truth. >> what they are trying to suggest is that i said obama was responsible. that's not what i was saying. read the speech. >> read the speech? sir, we all watched the speech. it is not getting better with age. plus, the first lady's on the first night. how mrs. obama will try to expand the president's advantage
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among women voters. big voting news. ohio's republican elections boss is refusing to implement a judge's order to expand early voting. it is amazing. and we have to fight it. you are watching a special edition of "politics nation" on msnbc. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪
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have you joined us on facebook yet? the "politics nation" conversation is going all day long. today our fans had a lot to say about the great women set to speak at the dnc tonight. it is a big night. i for one will be watching it with my 10-year-old daughter. folks also were rave being the
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new planned parenthood scene in charlotte. with their yes, we plan slogan. melody calls it genius. saying, quote, it speaks to the heart of family planning and a woman's ability to plan her life. pat had a simple reaction. woman power rocks. we've got a lot more on the democratic pitch to women next. we wouldn't hear what you think, too. head over to facebook and search "politics nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.
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we are back on "politics nation." you are looking at live pictures of the floor of the democratic convention in charlotte, north carolina. tonight the president is looking forward to hearing a fan favorite speak on that stage. >> whatever i say here today, it is going to be at best a distant second to the speech you will hear tonight from the star of the obama family, michelle obama. >> the first lady speaks after 10:00 p.m. eastern time. part of a night that democrats hope will be a strong pitch to women voters. we will see key speeches from women like cecil rie richards a lilly ledbetter.
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the most recent poll shows president obama leading romney from women by 16 points. >> when it comes to a woman's right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. i believe women should be in charge of their own health care decisions. we are not going backwards. we are going forwards. in november you can say that in this century, women should be trusted to make their own health care choices. >> and tonight we will see women making that appeal to women on the biggest stage in democratic politics. joining me now is senator barbara boxer, democrat from california. senator, it is nice to see you. thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> i am so excited to be here and to be on your show. >> well, senator, what do democrats have to do on the issue of women in the
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convention? >> we have to tell the truth. we have to tell the country that president obama has stood by our side. he's fighting for our right to choose. he is fighting for our right to earn equal pay for equal work. he's there for us. i think that appeals to women and men. men depend on women. you know, when you look at our families today. we find men and women both working, both sharing responsibilities in the home. so i think when we see his favorite woman, michelle, tonight, i think she will speak to the heart of every american p. male, female. >> many people around the country, particularly women, were outraged by the statement of todd cane and the republican candidate for senate in missouri. president obama made it part of his pitch to women. listen to this. >> frankly, the comments by mr. akin, i think, confirmed why
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womyou shouldn't leave it to politicians to make these decisions. this is an example where you have a clear choice between the parties. >> the fact that akin having said legitimate rape or suggesting there was a legitimate rape and ill legitimate rape, he is still the republican nominee, is this something the democrats ought to keep reminding voters around the country? >> without a doubt. it is much more than todd akin. todd akin didn't step down. i think the reason he didn't is he looked around and saw his partner, his most reliable partner, paul ryan, his friend, who was with him on redefining rape get the nod for vice president. so i think akin thought why should i take the fall when my partner, who is working to criminalize a woman's right to choose, is the vice presidential
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nominee. it is way deeper than todd akin. it is about ryan ask romney who chose ryan who said he admitted that this is where he has been his whole life. >> you are right because ryan and akin literally sponsored bills, including one bill that really redefined rape. when you are talking about partners, you are not even suggesting something social, they will co-sponsors of legislation on women's rights. >> yes. so goes akin. so goes ryan. and that's a fact. they wanted to criminalize certain forms of birth control. and they wanted to put women and doctors in jail. these people are so far to the right, you know, i have had the honor of serving in the congress for a long time. when i started out so many years ago, these issues were nonpartisan. republicans and the democrats worked together protecting a woman's right to choose. fighting for equal pay for equal
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work. it is all different now. this is not the same republican party and they have moved so far to the right that they are really extreme and democrats are mainstream. i think that the country is going to see that as they watch this convention unfold. >> senator boxer, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> still ahead, paul ryan is claiming he didn't say what he said. really? let's look at the tape. but first, a top republican in ohio is refusing to owe pay a judge's order on early voting. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is rudy.
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we are back with big voting news. today in the key battleground state of ohio, republicans are defying a federal court order to restore early voting for all voters. the case is heading for appeals court. but time is short. early voting begins in ohio on october 2. that's the same day florida voters begin to cast their early ballots. that state's republican governor is also resisting a core order, ruling to expand early voting
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days in five counties. the stakes are high. the last four years, early voting has really caught on. and it is now allowed in 32 states plus the district of columbia. in fact, voters in north carolina start casting ballots this thursday. just a few hours before president obama's acceptance speech at the convention. but now republicans are intent on rolling back the cot and it is easy to see why. in 2008, 54% of florida's african-american voters cast their ballots before election day. twice as many as white voters. obama won the state by two points. republicans want to avoid a repeat of 2012. with the election now just 63 days away, gop officials are working overtime to limit access to the polls. we must con to fight them.
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we are back on "politics nation." with a live look at the floor of the democratic national committee in charlotte, north carolina. first lady michelle obama will be in the spotlight on that stage. president obama will be joining her and fellow democrats in charlotte tomorrow. but 910 miles up the road, governor romney is holed up in a beautiful new england town with his good buddy, ohio senator bob portman. there's mr. romney's caravan. this morning driving down cemetery road to get to his retreat. seriously. he had to drive down cemetery road in a beautiful quaint west windsor, vermont, population,
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1,099. no crowds, no campaign. no press. they are just kicking back and practicing for next month's debates. mr. portman is playing the role of president obama. this is unheard of in any presidential campaign. four years ago president obama and joe biden launched a four-state bus tour after their convention. george w. bush and john mccain toured the mud west after their convention. and bill clinton and al gore went on a thousand-mile bus tour after their convention. but paul ryan is not hiding out in vermont. he's making the tv rounds. he hit all the morning shows today trying to back pedal from his rnc speech, when he blamed president obama for shutting down a general motors plant in his hometown that was really shut down under president bush. >> the point i was make being gm is the president said he lead an
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effort to get back to work. that didn't happen. what they are trying to suggest is that i said that barack obama was responsible for a plant shutdown in jamesville. that's not what i was saying. read the speech. what i was saying is the president ought to be held to account for his broken promises. >> read the speech. we can do that. we also have this little thing called videotape. roll it. >> right there at that plant, candidate obama said i believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years. that's what he said in 2008. well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. it is locked up and empty to this day. >> you wonder if they sent the wrong guy to the farm this week. joining me now is alicia menendez.
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richard wolffe, msnbc political analyst and author of "revival the struggle for survival inside of the obama white house." thank you both for being here tonight. >> thank you. >> richard, we will get to mr. romney hiding out in vermont but first, how is paul ryan trying to spin this gm story? >> you know, it doesn't pass the smell test and laugh test here. i mean, i -- i think it is sad. here is a guy that by all reports is -- a smart guy. he comes up with big budget proposals. and -- it is just desperate. you know. who is he trying to fool? he's not criticizing the policy. he's just criticizing the broken promises. it is like complaining about your birthday cake because there's wax dripped on it, you know. gm is the world's number one automaker. it would be bankrupt and gone and all suppliers' jobs with them. complain being one plant and saying oh, well, you know, i was just talking about the promises, not credible and what's he trying to sell? it doesn't make any sense.
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>> is this a pattern that's turning into a problem because, you know, here he -- first misspoke about other things. he even -- lied about the marathon saying he ran under three hours and he changed that. we have seen a pattern that could become a real problem for mr. raem's ticket. >> it is a pattern and particularly disappointing because when they -- first were, you know, talk being ryan, everyone was so excited because he's actually able to -- thought he was actually able to capture the nuance of policy. it turns out that he is not. you know, we hear him talking about the plants. we hear him talking about medicare, awful robo calls out meant to scare senior citizens into believing barack obama is making drastic cuts. >> wait a minute. let me -- let me stop threw. i-want people to hear this robo call you are talking about. let me play this robo call that she just referred to. >> obama is raiding $716 billion
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medicare changing the program forever. ra romney will restore the program. >> that would scare seniors to death if it was true. >> it absolutely would. that's what it is meant to do. listen, these cuts are not cuts to beneficiaries. they are cuts to the plan and more disingenuous, romney and ryan both support these types of cuts in that your own plans. so to suggest that this is simply an obama policy when in reality it is a very agreed upon policy. you take that even further and look at the romney/ryan plans and the fact that they essentially turn medicare into voucher system that's a much more radical reimagination of the system than anything that barack obama has suggested. >> no doubt about it. richard, not only do we have the robo calls and other things i mentioned, ryan was out making false claims today about companies that have declared
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bankruptcy under the president. listen to this. >> in 1980, 331,000 total bankruptcies. last year, $1.4 million. when it comes to jobs, president obama makes jimmy carter years look like good old days. >> now, the truth is that ryan's calculations are bankruptcy, 29 his claim, 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy last year, the truth is it was 47,806 businesses that filed. quite a way off. >> i guess that's why it takes him three decades to balance his budget. such great numbers guy. you know. the truth is that if you want to campaign for president or vice president, in his case, you go to actually talk about the issues of people understanding that. there is a real reason why the world economy is still
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struggling. it is not struggling like it was in 2008, 2009. but it is still struggling around the world. if this ticket, republican ticket, has a real plan to get the world economy going, let's hear it. but you have to deal with that -- our friends in wall street and corporate friends who are sitting on piles of cash. let's talk about how we get that moving but -- faking statistics is not the way to do it. >> when you look at "new york" magazine in an article tiltded quote since when did paul ryan become a writer, ryan's reputation has suffered a massive swift erosion. now mainstream pundits are defending ryan with versions of the well, all politicians fib defense. given that this constituency was once portraying ryan as unusually honest, this represents a huge retreat for his political brand. can the president and the vice president use this as a
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character issue? we are not here just playing gotcha, once your start seeing this pattern, does this become a character issue for ryan in the campaign? >> i think they can use it. they got nominal traction out of it. but i think what's more important, more dangerous the fact there are a lot of americans who saw that speech and took it at face value. just believed it and now it is -- unfortunately for the president, incumbent upon him in house own speech to really go after those troops to talk about what he has been able to do in the last four years to set the record straight. because most people aren't watching this bickering back and forth about whether or not these are truths, whether they are lying, whether it is a lack of nuance. they heard and it walked away and believed it and now it is up to the president to really clear the air. >> richard, romney senior adviser said to "the wall street journal" that romney has taken a few days -- off for debate prep because, quote the most
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important development in the remaining ten weeks of the campaign will be the debate. an experience that is elevating for the challenger. one, i guess reaching out and touching voters and campaigning and answering questions and letting people see and feel you is not as important one night of televised debate. two, doesn't that raise expectations if he doesn't come in and do a great job? >> the debates are important, no question about it. there is another important event, the release of his tax returns, most recent tax returns. they decided to put that in the middle of this period, too. why do you need debate prep now? normally there is some time for debate prep later on. candidates will squeeze it in at the end of the days. it does suggests that he hasn't passed the presidential test yet or really worried about debating. barack obama as a candidate, managed to squeeze it in around other campaigns. do you not miss this moment when you reach the public for the first time, you have to seize on it and capitalize on it.
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this candidate doesn't think he's trying to do that. >> thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> eight years ago, i had the honor of speaking at the democratic national convention. coming up, my thoughts on how speakers can seize the moment to make their voices heard. you are watching "politics nation." as we get ready for a big convention night here on msnbc. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪
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we are back. a time of rest. relax and recharge. that's right. it is time for the "politics nation" summer break. yes, it is still summer in my book. let's start in polling. and a tradition that's gotten more than a few few tails wagging. this annual parade for the dogs is the hit of the town. and check this out. there is the hot dog dog. sombrero-wearing dog. somebody call the white house. i wonder if the first family has a halloween costume like this for bo. now to a 7-year-old cup stacker. austin nabor set the record. lightning fast. maybe he has a future in politics. with that hand speed, he can fly
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through. we end tonight with an unlikely call from president obama. >> this is barack. listen, i need to know if you are onboard. okay. good. because i'm counting on you. everybody is. >> that sounded intense. >> the president. >> sweet. >> whoa. look at that. president obama called harold from the movies. maybe we will see harold go to the dnc in the theaters this fall. that's today's summer break.
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corporate money and the other side. president obama talked about it all today. >> you will see more ads, more negative ads, more insults and distractions and baloney than you have ever seen. and -- it will be supported by $10 million checks from wealthy donors that like things just the way they are. and they are counting on you maybe not to vote for raem but they are counting on you to feel discouraged. >> outside of republican groups have already put millions behind negative ads and plan to spend even more. karl rove's group american crossroads and crossroads gps, plans to spend $300 million and billionaire koch brothers plan to spend $400 million through the various groups. to counter all this big money,
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president obama is placing his bets on people like you. supporters on the ground, "the new york times" says, quote the obama campaign has made an investment likely to reach hundreds of millions of dollars. a gamble really in his ground game. he's banking on his ability to outorganize mitt romney in the states that will decide the outcome. but the $2 billion question is will the president's organization be enough to counter all that money. joining me now is lee sanders, president of the american federation of state county and municipal employees, nation's largest union of public employees. thanks for being here tonight, lee. >> good evening, al. >> lee, can a grassroots movement stand up to big money that's being pumped into this campaign from the other side? >> no question about it. i think that it can. and we are going to be putting boots on the ground and absolutely the entire labor
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movement, partners in the communities, religious organizations, students, seniors, we are going to have boots on the ground and 40,000 activists in the last election, al, in 2008. we are going to have 80,000 people participating by knocking on doors and making those phone calls and handing out leaflets. the afl-cio will have 400,000 people doing the same thing. not only knocking on doors of labor union members but mocking on doors in our communities, nonunion members. we are going to get out the vote and do it strong. >> you have got the big money. have you the voter suppression and many of us in the civil rights community are concerned about a nonpartisan way. how does that raise a threat that you didn't face in 2008 when you are approaching this from a partisan or nonpartisan way? >> well, have you the attack on voter rights. and we have a program in place as you well know and we are going to be working with you and other organizations to make sure that people understand what they
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have to do to vote. have you these voter i.d. laws and simply are trying to steal our voices. steal the right porous to vote in this election. we aren't going to let it happen. i have to tell you, we have to mobilize and educate and we have got to organize our communities like never before. this is a very, very important election. i know folks heard us say this before. this can very well be the most important election in our lifetime. look at what the republicans were saying last week in tampa. they were talking about getting rid of labor rights. civil rights. human rights. women's rights. we cannot let that happen. the 99% in this country are going to battle back and they are going to say enough is enough. we are frustrated and angry and we are going to get our votes out. >> as we look around the country, certain the president is going on a partisan side of this. president's campaign has set up these field offices in colorado, 55 field officers to romney's 13 in florida.
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77 obama's to 46 by romney. and iowa, 62 to 13 by romney. and north carolina where you are, 49 to romney's 19. ohio, 75 to romney's 35. it seems that they are opening up these field offices to do a real ground campaign while the romney campaign seems to be doing air strike through media buy. >> make no mistake about it, we would not be able to compete with the amount of dollars, amount of money that the republicans and their friends are going to put into this race. i'm telling you, we are going to reach out and touch. reach out and touch our coalition partners. we are going to knock on those doors in every single community, especially the battleground states. i will tell you this. i will match up our ground campaign any day to the amount of money the republicans are going to spend. >> the money is not bad either because the obama campaign has already topped 2008 support,
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$3.1 million donors today. 3 million donors in 2008. and so -- they are raising more money in the obama campaign. it is just that they are being outraised by the big money with the citizens united decision, something that was not a factor in 2008. >> well, labor's emphasis and partners emphasis will be on getting out to vote. putting those boots on the ground and supporting what president obama is doing on the ground himself. and if we do everything we can do, we are going to be victorious in november. >> do you sense that people -- you are there in charlotte. i will be there later this week. do people there have a sense of urgency? do they realize what's at stake here? >> i think they do. i think you feel the level of excitement. people are -- heard what was said at that republican convention. they are listening to what mitt romney and paul ryan are saying. that republican convention was everything about lies. it was nothing about solving the issues that confront the 99% of
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americans who are trying to play by the rules. every single day. put bread on the table, provide educational opportunities for their kids. democratic pear, president obama, has a track record of doing that. past four years have been successful. we have a long way to go. we can't change course now. we are going to move forward. >> lee sanders, thank you for your time tonight. good talking to you, al. >> i spoke at the democratic convention eight years ago. up next, my thoughts on how speakers can seize their moment. you are watching a special edition of "politics nation." here on msnbc. [ male announcer ] what if you had thermal night-vision goggles,
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from msnbc's special coverage of the democratic convention in charlotte. this week, you will hear from democrats across the nation presenting their visions for the country. eight years ago, i ran for president. and was honored to speak at the
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convention. i remember on my way to the platform i told the chairman of the dnc that year terry mcauliffe, i was going to speak longer than the time given and i wasn't going to follow the script. i talked about the need to protect our right to vote. a right that's even more under siege now than it was then. >> mr. president, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. our vote was soaked in the blood of goodman, cheney, soaked in the blood of poor little girls in birmingham. this vote is sacred to us! this vote can't be bargained away! this vote can't be given away!
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mr. president,ing in all due respect, mr. president, read my lips. our vote is not for sale! >> on that national stage, i tried to speak for those whose voices are all too often silenced in our polite debates. >> as i ran for president, i hope that one child could come out of the ghetto like i did, can look at me walk across the stage with governors and senators and no, they didn't have to be a drug dealer. they didn't have to be a hoodlum. then didn't have to be a gangster. they could stand up from a broken home on welfare and they can run for president of the united states. >> we'll see who connects in their speeches. what i learned, if you speak from your heart, even people who don't agree with you will listen. and respect


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