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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  September 22, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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welcome to "weekends with alex." democrats unhappy with romney's latest release. an odd story of a tiger mauling at the bronx zoo. flipping first houses now iphones. the space shuttle endeavors's final performance and honey wants what? we'll get you the details on those stories throughout this hour. but first. we go straight to the front page of politics.
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a lot going on already today. new attacks just the past hour from paul ryan to the obama campaign. while speaking to a group of voters in miami, the republican vice-presidential candidate slammed president obama for his remarks about changing washington from the outside. >> president obama admitted that he can't change washington from the inside. why do we send presidents to the white house in the first place? i mean, we send presidents to change and fix the mess in washington. and if this president has admitted that he can't change washington, then you know what? we need to change presidents! >> new questions today about mitt romney's taxes. the republican presidential nominee released his 2011 tax returns on friday, providing a summary of his two decades returns prior to 2010. a government shutdown has been avoided with the senate finalizing a stop fan budget
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measure before adjourning after midnight. the house adjourned. this is the earliest time before an election to adjourn in some 50 years. no progress was made on preventing the so-called fiscal cliff, and no farm bill. members won't return until after the november elections. and here's what president obama had to say about it in his weekly address. >> when they skipped town, members of congress left a whole bunch of proposals sitting on the table. actions that would create jobs, boost our economy and strengthen middle class security. these ideas have been around for months. the american people want to see them passed. but apparently some members of congress are more worried about their jobs and their paychecks this campaign season than they are about yours. >> and the president is traveling to the battle ground state of wisconsin today, his first campaign trip there this year. he's going to visit the democratic stronghold of milwaukee for two campaign events. and nbc's mike viqueir arc.
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>> reporter: the president actually lead in the polls there. let's get to that in a moment. you can hear perhaps behind me the chopper, marine one arriving on south lawn of the white house where any minute now or within the hour the president will be on to wisconsin. wheels up from andrews air force base out to milwaukee. he's got a couple of events there, including a large outdoor rally later this evening. it is a battle ground state. you're absolutely right, thomas. paul ryan obviously giving the republican ticket a boost there. he's from jansville just south of milwaukee, wisconsin. and even given that, president obama has not spent a lot of time there. he's not spent a lot of money there, either. i believe this is his first trip to wisconsin this campaign season. even given all of that, the latest poll from nbc news, the "wall street journal" and marist has the president up five. he's up 50 to 45 against mitt romney and paul ryan in wisconsin. the 50% marks sort of a magical number there. they say that is the threshold
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by which the president will show restrength. it had been tighter in previous polls. now the president again opening up a little gap there, thomas. >> mike viqueira, thanks so much. new today republican presidential candidate mitt romney is attending fund-raising events in hopes of regaining the lead in the campaign cash category. he's in nevada today, colorado tomorrow. next week mr. romney starts a three-day bus tour of ohio. taking center stage, more questions from last night's document dump. the release of his 2011 income tax return. nbc's peter alexander is in san francisco traveling with governor romney, peter, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. the romney campaign insists that by putting these tax returns out on a friday what's often referred to as a friday document dump this was not politically motivated even though it was done when fewer eyeballs would see it. they say it was done in the words of one adviser because the documents why ready. nonetheless we're getting our first look at the 2011 tax returns. opponents of the rom is in are
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still trying to pounce on the details of this. the numbers show they paid roughly $2 million in federal taxes, mitt and ann romney did in 2011 on total income of nearly $14 million for a total tax rate of roughly 14.1%, compare that to about 13.9% that the romneys paid in 2010 to give you a sense the average middle class family pays roughly 13%. average middle class family making between roughly 50 and $75,000 a year. the romney campaign all week has tried to reset, to go after the president. most recently attacking him for failing to deliver on his promise of change. and today while the president head to wisconsin to try to fortify his support there, mitt romney will largely be raising money. he's trailing in the polls and now increasingly trailing on the money fronts as well. one other important note to share with you is that ann romney had a little mid-air scare yesterday as she was flying out to meet her husband later today in los angeles. had to make an emergency landing
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in the private plane she was traveling in in denver because the cabin filled with smoke. believed to be an electrical fire. the good news is that everybody on board was safe. that's the latest from here. now back to you. >> peter, thanks so much. the inside-outside debate is about to change washington. and now we are hearing very different words from governor romney. from back in 2007. that's coming up in the strategy talk coming your way at the bottom of the hour. new today for you, senators joe leeb erman now accusing the iranian government of being behind this week's cyber attacks on bank of america and jpmorgan, in a new interview with c-span the senator said "i don't believe that these were just hackers. i think this was done by iran and their quints force which is its own cyber developing attack capacity." nbc news reported on thursday that iran was behind the attack. royaltiers now also reporting these attacks have been ongoing since late last year. jim finkel has been covering this story for reuters. jim explain how damaging these
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attacks are and what they could do to the average banking consumer here in the states. >> sure, thomas. first of all we need to say that we don't really know what kind of damage the iranian hackers have inflicted on the banks. all we know because it's classified and because the banks aren't talk about it, all we really know we're starting to get a little bit of information. we know of course when the web sites go down and senator lieberman attributes that to the iranian hackers. we know that that's related. so the banks that were involved in this were citi, jp morgan and bank of america. those are extremely well-protected banks. and probably they're going to be able to come back really quickly when there's an attack like this. the concern is more what might happen with smaller banks that don't have the same kind cyber security protections. >> according to your report iran has beefed up its cyber
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capabilities after its nuclear program was damaged in 2010 by a virus presumed to be inflicted by the u.s. was this them just retaliating back to the u.s., hitting regular americans in the pocket books and setting that terrorism type of fear that our banks are going to be compromised because of the types of attacks that america has presumably done to their nuclear capabilities? >> sure. it's retaliation and it's also them realizing that they need these kind of capabilities to protect themselves. so they've beefed up their cyber defenses as well as their offenses. but it's not just about scaring people. again it's not clear. we're unable to get complete information about what sort of capabilities the iranians have. but there's no reason to assume that they don't have capabilities that could actually inflict damage to banks and other parts of the
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infrastructure. >> why do you think that we're just learning about this now? i know you've been reporting about this. but we've had the ideas or the inference that this has been going on or about to come for a very long time. >> sure. so why are the leaks coming out now? i think there's a couple of reasons. one is obviously what's going on between israel and iran over the nuclear program. next week is the u.n. general assembly. and i think we read that iran is claiming that the u.s. has barred 20 iranian officials from traveling to the u.s. for that. so there's a lot of things going on. and one of the things we heard was that this most recent round of attacks was to send a message to the u.s. related to what's happening at the general assembly next week. >> so if they are doing this now, what happens if tensions escalate between israel and iran into some type of attack and all-out war, so to speak?
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do they have the capability to really go lights out literally? >> i don't know about lights out literally. i think that might be a stretch. but again, my understanding is they have more capability than slowing web sites or making it difficult for people to log in. one of the fears is that they were launching these attacks as a distraction. and the way it would work is like this. they've already gotten into the banks and they have some kind f malware there and moving around to steal things, to change data, to even plant weapons that could cause damage down the road. so that's one theory. it's unclear if that's true. but that's the concern. >> jim, thanks for joining us. appreciate it. >> sure. so we can officially now tell you to say goodbye to summer. we give you a live look at a very beautiful and clear day here in new york city. it is the first day of fall. nbc meteorologist dylan dryer is
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in studio to tell us what we can expect across the country. dylan, nice for us but chilly for other parts, right? >> oh, yes. we started off at 21 degrees this morning in the dakotas. it officially started at 10:49 eastern standard time. it is here 2012 fall. in minneapolis 50 degrees, 46 degrees in chicago. it is hot down through florida typically for this time of year temperatures around 80 in atlanta and 83 or so in atlanta and miami. we are going to see temperatures today warm into the the 90s across the gulf coast states. tropical moisture moving in producing thunderstorms and downpours. we also have a heavier line of rain and thunderstorms moving into southern michigan right now stretching into northern ohio. and that line of showers and storms as it moves into the eastern great lakes with the sunshine that we'll eventually see in the northeast is going to trigger stronger storms potentially for this afternoon and into this evening as well. that is something we'll keep an
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eye out for in the east. elsewhere we are looking at sunny and dry conditions still back through the northern plains. we also have fire danger weather through the northern rockies. still because it is so dry and we could even see record high temperatures out that way. then as we go into sunday we are still going to see some warmer temperatures especially down flew florida. but in the northeast highs should top out in the 70s as we go through the first weekend of fall. >> dylan, good to have you on board. i don't think i've gotten to say that so far. i see you've gotten the hazing memo of working seven days a week? that's what we do around here. great to have you on board. we'll have headlines coming your way next with scientists being giddy about a gadget as they track sharks. first homes now phones. why some people are flipping their iphone 5s. my name is adam frucci and i'm the editor of
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headlines making news on the west coast. in the "san francisco chronicle" below the fold is an article titled "tracking great whites from a safe distance." about how scientists are excited about tracking the annual migration of great white sharks as it hits full swing along the pacific coast. researchers have a new robotic device that can identify and follow the movements of sharks equipped with acoustic monitoring devices. pretty cool, right? the oregonian in portland has a story on a street car without desire, no apologies to tennessee williams offered for this. the city's loop trolley began service today. the cost 148 million bucks. skeptics predict the extension
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will be little more than a glorified shuttle for bar hoppers and conventioneers. the mitt romney releasing his tax returns from 2011 late yesterday. joining me is perry bacon junior and editor of citizen jane politics patricia murphy as well a contributor for "newsweek" and the daily beast. patricia, does mitt romney releasing the 2011 tax returns settle the issue for him or open pandora's box? considering he gave the full 2011 release he gave the summary for the last 20 years. >> well, it definitely does not settle the issue. in fact i think it really raises more questions. this is going to raise questions for the people who want to be asking these questions in the first place. democrats obviously pounced on this. and they are going again through the details of these tax returns. but the really strange part was this 20-year summary of the rom
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taks /* /- -- the romney's taxes. this year's tax returns something very unusual the rom niece paid more than they needed to. they could have paid a 10% rate. instead they paid a 14% rate. it reminds us the only tax returns they've gotten from the romneys are the ones they released when he knew he was running for president. it doesn't settle the issue at all but raises more questions. >> doesn't it strike you as odd, though? because over the summer as well in an interview with abc mitt romney said if i overpaid my taxes i wouldn't be qualified to be president. now the tax return's come out and he's overpaid. he didn't deduct all the charitable donations. they only took 2.2 million off for the tax returns in charitable donations. >> he could have paid almost 2 million more in taxes. just a huge contradictions with what he said previously to that
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abc news reporter. again it's just another inconsistency in the story line. and this really is a story line that had sort of tapered off. i think most democratic strategists thought the romneys weren't going to go back to this anytime soon. just kind of pops it back up. it's going to give it a lot more legs for democrats in particular to be talking about. >> so many people saying it was the worst week ever. probably the best time for them to do it on a friday night before the weekend. perry as we count down now 11 days from the first debate october 3rd, is it strategically smart for them to get this out of the way now? under two weeks now. but the romney camp needs these debates tonight only story where their candidate can really shine. >> yeah, thomas, romney had promised to release his return by the end of the campaign. to me this was the smartest thing they've done in three weeks after they've sort of blundered every way possible. releasing the returns this weekend on a friday in the afternoon, people are thinking about going to the to the mall about the weekend. smart time to do it.
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two more days. after that you get through this two or three days of tax returns then people start focusing on the debates. i think it's a smart time for the romney campaign to take this approach. >> i want to show everybody out there yesterday we had the aarp convention going on in new orleans. the president gave a video presentation and paul ryan came in i want to show everybody. take a listen to paul ryan and the reaction that he got about medicare at that convention. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care. [ audience boos ] >> because it represents the worst of both worlds. i had a feeling there would be mixed reaction so let me get into it. it weakens medicare for today's seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation. >> all right. so he's reading the crowd there, patricia. does he get credit one for going or is it worse that the booing highlights the opposition that their ticket has for the medicare plan? >> yeah. very few people in that audience
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gave paul ryan credit for showing up. that was one of many times that he got booed. and really the boos came when he was talking about president obama. he was talking down president obama's health care reforms and talking up the republicans' own changes to medicare. this is an audience, this is not a group of people who are not very, very familiar with what paul ryan has proposed in the past in terms of turning medicare into at least a semivoucher program. and so i think for the romney campaign it makes you wonder why they're going after these events that take them off the message of the economy and jobs i think that republican strategists want to hear about jobs and the economy message again and again. not only are we raising the medicare issue, also raising the fact that he got booed in front of aarp. i think it probably wasn't a great -- really no need for him to go in front of this audience. they knew that was the response they were going to get. >> patricia brings up the topic bringing back the issue of jobs
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and the economy next week. romney and ryan will be on a three-day bus trip, cleveland to toledo to dayton. this is the all-important state of ohio where they feel they've got the opportunity to make up some lost ground there. is this their best and one of their last chances to do so? >> i don't think the bus tour is the last opportunity. i really think if you look closely the only thing that changes is the debates. romney's been campaigning in a bunch of states throughout the election cycle. ohio. obama was ahead by four points in may. he was ahead by four points in june. still ahead by about four points. >> from a retail politics standpoint, romney got a lot of grief for taking the last five days off to just go on fundraising visits. >> sorry, thomas. yes. but the retail stuff for romney, he's not great at that. this now helps him. if you look at the states he's done retail stops he hasn't moved numbers there. the debates are the only thing-polls show people have an
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unfavorable view of romney. most people are not going to be going to events in ohio. it's really going to be these national moments like the videos they see, debates they can see people think of him as more of a sunny, friendly person than they think of them now. >> patricia, do you think we're waiting down the clock and the people tuning in the political watchers who want to pay attention that the debates are really the big ticket when they start? >> yeah. the debates are absolutely going to be crucial. i tend to think, though, republicans in particular members of congress want to see mitt romney out on the stump more. they want to see him engaging with voters. they at least want those visuals. if there's any state he has to be in it is ohio. i agree with terry. i don't think that just going to ohio and opening yourself up to potential gaffes that can always happen when you have unscripted events. i do think it's at least answering the critics within the republican party who want to see mitt romney doing more. so at least he's doing that and he's doing it in a state he has to win. to that extent i think it's a
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smart move. >> one thing they're worried about, patricia, certainly people on the hill, senate, congressional republicans not just riding mitt romney's coat tails. but when you're on those coat tails they come with a top hat. that top hat's not so good-looking to people. >> i guess it depends on who's looking at it. still is a close election. sometimes doesn't feel like it when you get into the state by state polls it is a close election. republicans they believe many republicans believe mitt romney could be a good candidate. he has not hit his stride. they're waiting for him to hit his stride. they know that obama is vulnerable. they want to see romney take obama down. >> all right. patricia perry, thanks so much. i appreciate it. we now move to the number three on our list of top stories trending this hour. iphone flipping. the "new york post" is reporting that many of the people who waited in those long lines in manhattan yesterday are flipping their iphone 5s and making a little profit out of it. the paper says some people are reselling these phones for anywhere from 1200 to 900 bucks. another report says the phones can fetch as much as $3700 in
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at the half hour the candidates are on the road this weekend. president obama is expected to land in milwaukee in just a few hours while mitt romney is fundraising in california. the running mates are out on the trail, too. vice-president joe biden holding a grassroots event in new hampshire and paul ryan held a rally in miami, florida this morning. joining me now is a democratic strategist and former national communications director for john edwards's 2008 presidential campaign and spokesman for newt gingrich and president of foundry roads strategies. mitt romney jumped on president obama's comment on thursday that you can't change washington from the inside. let's take a listen to his response. >> he said he can't change washington from the inside! he can only change it from the outside! we're going to give him that chance in november. he's going outside! [ cheers ]
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>> now here's the tough part. we remind everybody what mitt romney said during the last campaign in '07. >> i don't think you change washington from the inside. i think you change it from the outside. >> rick, how tough is this when romney jumps onto something and their campaign kind of shoots first, aims later, and then the obama opposition research, they put out a video that shows mitt romney saying the exact same things. does that negate what mitt romney is saying? >> well, yes. it's nice to know what you said in the past before you say what you're going to say. because this is exactly what can happen. but i think the point that mitt romney is trying to make is the president remember based his whole campaign back in 2008 on yes, we can yes, we can. it turns out no, he couldn't. >> chris, do you agree with that? do you think that the whole campaign is basically shooting itself in the foot with the
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president having said that you change pretty outside not the inside? >> i mean, this is a bizarre angle of attack for the romney campaign. one, it's one of those kind of obscure debates discussions about what a candidate said or didn't say that doesn't really impact any voter. and so the romney campaign seems to have this problem where they fixate on supposed gaffes that aren't gaffes. the president to acknowledge the reality that changing washington is extremely difficult especially when you have a republican-controlled congress or i should say house that is unwilling to negotiate or make any type of reasonable deals and you have a significant number of republican senators who are unwilling to compromise or make deals, that is a political reality. all that being said, there is not a sick single voter out there in any swing state that's going to base their vote on this type of issue. they're going to base it on the economy, the differences in policies. and that is where i think the
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fundamental problem the romney campaign has. it tells you something they're unwilling to talk about their policy vision. their policies in general. they're more focused on these type of issues or gaffes, whatever you want to call it. i don't see it as a gaffe. i see it as talking about reality. >> rick, mitt romney has been off the campaign trail most of the week holding private fundraisers to pull in more campaign cash. with only 45 days in this election, do you think he should be more focused on the retail politics? we have been talk about the fact he's going to be spending three days in ohio on this bus tour with paul ryan. but shouldn't he be out there a little bit more? is that the biggest critique from the right that he's not knot glad handing enough? >> well, look, it's a large country. he has no possibility of meeting a significant number of voters to change their minds. so he's got to spend his money on television. but i would just simply ask what did the president mean when he said -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> he's not going to change their mind? >> no. i'm saying that money is certainly a factor and he's got to raise money.
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i think he's been out there plenty and will continue to do that. but i really don't know what the president meant by saying he couldn't change washington from the inside. he's about as inside as they get. by the way, we can go back and look at the senate. i can say the same thing. we passed 36 job bills in the house. the senate stepped on every one of them. didn't bring it to the floor, didn't vote on them. you can say on the one hand the republicans aren't compromising. you can say on the other hand the democrats aren't compromising. so i think this election is going to determine where the country wants to go. does the country want to stay with gridlock unemployment, economic policies failed, back to the failed policies that don't lead to job growth or move forward with the republican house and senate including majority in the senate, majority in the house and a president so we can move forward with job policies. i think the american people have said this change is not the change we wanted. it didn't work. he couldn't. and mitt romney will. >> rick when we talk about the fact that mitch mcconnell, miracle bachmann, people on the right have come out to say and
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aggressively say they want to make president obama a one-term president and they'll do everything to stand in his way, and i know there's a lot of finger pointing that goes back and forth. but how can they not be held accountable for those statements? because the road blocks, the fact that most of the country has a disapproving view of congress, i mean, that comes from something. and that's the fact that there is nothing getting done on the hill. >> look, i think there's a lot to get done. i worked for newt gingrich for 12 years. he in 1994 with the republican majority in the house and senate and bill clinton with a democrat as president passed a balanced budget four years in a row. they paid off $450 billion worth of spending. that can be done again but it requires leadership in the house and senate and president. this president has not reached out to the congress. he does not reach across the aisle. he does not work. he does not compromise. it is up to him to show a path forward. and all the policies that he says about a path forward have to do with redistribution of wealth, punishing success,
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taxing people more money and not less. >> let's ask you because you bring up newt gingrich. do you think he'd be doing better right now if he were the guy, the republican candidate than mitt romney? >> i think the voters already spoke about that. and mitt romney is the candidate so we're going to move forward with mitt romney. >> chris, let me get you on the record here talking about the taxes. talking about what rick's saying, punishing success with mitt romney overpaying his taxes. not being asked by uncle sam to pay that much. what do you make of it for 2011? 14.1% when he could be a lot lower? >> well, i don't want to be cynical. but i'm going to be cynical that he -- let's say massage his taxes to make sure he did that. i mean, the problem with the taxes for governor romney goes to the heart of what the problem is with his campaign. and that is, when you believe, for example, that the wealthiest few need to pay less in taxes, that they should pay less than what average middle class americans pay, you have a
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fundamental problem. and so when rick and other republicans talk about congress, they talk about democrats not willing to compromise, they talk about the president not willing to compromise, well, here's the compromise. you have to agree to everything republicans want and that is what a compromise is. so if you agree for example there shouldn't be a penny of additional revenue, a penny of additional taxes for those who can afford to pay a little bit more to address the fundamental problems the country faces fiscally and otherwise, then yes, you're going to get a deal. but if you agree that there needs to be some kind of serious solution you're not going to get a deal. >> but how can you compromise if everyone on the right has signed grover norquist's tax pledge they'll never raise more tax. >> that i think is the fundamental problem the republicans have. instead of trying to actually focus on what's best for the country they focus too much on what's best for grover norquist. >> rick how do people compromise if they've signed on to grover norquist?
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>> we don't want more revenue going to the government. we talk about oh, nobody pace their fair share. not enough money going to the government. for goodness sakes we've raised the dead ceiling $6.9 trillion in the last six years. when is it ever going to be enough? why don't we learn how to cut government? why don't we learn how to devote power back to the states, learn how to make government and obama care bill remember that? that was supposed to be [ overlapping speakers ] >> tell the american people how you do that if republicans are unwilling to cut defense spending which is the most significant chunk of the federal budget? how do you do it? >> no, it's not. entitlements are the most significant part. >> chris, rick, guys got to go. thanks so much. i want to invite everybody to watch "meet the press" tomorrow. among david gregory's guests, republican senator of new hampshire and democratic governor of massachusetts. alex has traveled to an elementary school in california where they've implemented an intensive dual-language program
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using small classes and new technology. take a look. >> anna and cesar are mexican immigrants who moved to southern california seeking an a better life, to provide their children with better communities. while the parents have limited english skills, you'll hear 12-year-old and 9-year-old and 7-year-old children speaking proficiently ning rush and spanish. all three have studied in an early bilingual education programs taught at the gettys school. >> when i wake up i talk spanish. but when i get to school i talk english and spanish. but i talk more spanish. and when i go play i talk english with my friends. >> cesar is in second grade and wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. >> i see a part of myself because i'm learning a lot of things. >> middle schooler melissa understands why being bilingual
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can be helpful when she's an adult. >> if you're like working at disneyland and you're trying -- well, most people might speak english but for people who don't understand you might be able to help them. and then they might be able to go. so that means more jobs for us. >> after california voters overwhelmingly passed the english for children proposition 227 in 1998, the number of bilingual education classrooms began to dwindle. much to the dismay of many multiethnic communities. >> when i arrived at geddes in 2007, the program was being phased out along with a lot of schools in our district. and these teachers came to me as their new principal. and they actually called me during the summer and said what are you going to do about this? we can't lose this program. >> parents and teachers at geddes elementary school decided to draw on resources within their community with nearly everyone required to participate. >> the same accountability that i have for the students and the teachers i have for the parents. and they know that. i have a monthly coffee with
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castro. when they come in and have coffee with me. and then we have classroom walk throughs with our parents. we opened up the classrooms and the parents we posed a question for them. what evidence do you see the students are learning at our school? and they became like a lens for us. >> state-wide testing is another way to measure whether the dual language program works. according to the california department of education, state-wide last year, 56% of california's english-only second graders tested proficient on standardized tests in english. 66% making the grade in math. on the same tests, second graders in geddes elementary school bilingual education classes scored 57% proficiency in english, 73% in math. that's higher than both subjects in the english only students. >> explain that because we have known for a long time that the best way to educate people is to begin where they are, to build on the knowledge that they already have.
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>> anna lepa says the dual language program teaches more than how to communicate in english and spanish. it helps their children better understand their heritage. >> it really means a lot. because like mexican they have to know all of the country we have so they can be identified with the two cultures mexicans and this culture, too. so it's very important for me to know where we come from. >> we build on that. we build on their past experiences as immigrants. we build on the music and the art. and we integrate that into our curriculum. our motto for our dual language program is "he who speaks two languages is worth two people." >> the great insider look there from alex witt. you can find more information at
9:46 am studies on how you can bring this into your own community. now number five on our first five web stories. honey wants what? all right. you know this little girl. 7-year-old alana thompson star of "here comes honey boo boo." she wants 10,000 bucks per episode in the second season of her hit freshman series. the hollywood reporter says thompson and her family currently get $4,000 an episode. last month that show beat all four nights of the republican national convention in a key demographic. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great.
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the tiger somehow spared his life. the man in a new york hospital listed in critical condition. well, we bring you back now to this week's must see or must avoid films. this being the first day of fall and all, first up for film about baseball and romance. joining me now is senior editor at "in touch weekly." kim this is a movie that stars clint eastwood. it's called "trouble with the curve". it also has amy adams in it and justin timberlake. your opinion must see or must avoid? >> i'm going say a must-see. it's not the best baseball movie you'll ever see. it's not the best clint eastwood movie you'll ever see. but it's actually good. it's kind of an old-fashioned movie. clint eastwood plays a baseball scout aging, having trouble with his sight. his estranged daughter amy adams comes along with him to help him out. again, it's old-fashioned but it's likable. clint eastwood does it very well when he plays that kind of cranky but secretly lovable guy. again you might be distracted by thinking about how many empty
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chairs there are in the theater he. so if you're one of those people you probably won't enjoy the film. but clint eastwood may not give political speeches well or you may or may not agree with that but he is a great actor so you'll probably like this. >> "end of watch" stars jake gyllenhaal. what are they saying about this? >> this one definitely a must-see. this is a great film as you mentioned jake gyllenhaal and michael pena pay two police officers at the lapd. relationship between them is probably one of the great reasons to see this movie. they have such great chemistry. it also has kind of an interesting take. they used some of that sound footage in the movie. it's not all sound footage where it's like shot on a kre phone camera or video camera but they use elements of it so it does a great job of showing what they're going through in the cop car, behind the scenes, as they're chasing. and these two police officers being chased by drug cartel. >> as i said, first day of fall so scary movies coming out. this thriller "house at the end of the street" good or bad? >> i'm going to say must avoid,
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except must see if you like jennifer lawrence. it would normally just be kind of a conventional horror flick. but jennifer lawrence of course from "hunger games" fame is great in it. it doesn't have any great twists. a few plot twists but nothing outstanding. so must avoid. but if you want to see a horror flick go see it for jennifer lawrence. she's great in it. >> kim, thanks so much. now to our number four on our list of top five stories trending this hour. the final curtain for the shuttle endeavor. it arrived friday touching down on the back of a boeing 747 that was piggybacking it. it's being held at a temporary home at a hangar in la international airport. in october it's going to begin its two-day journey to a retirement home at the california space center. redeem for your vacations, with chase sapphire preferred. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain.
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controversy and confusion over what's cooking about chill filet restaurants and whether they still will fund political and social activism against gays and less beans. they reportedly changed
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policies. but a tweet sent from the wind shape ride for the family. this is a fundraiser for an organization that helps lobby against marriage equality. joining me now is jen crisper. jen it's good to have you here much earlier this beak we did a lot of reporting about chick-fil-a conceding that an alder man in chicago was against their policies for marriage equality rights and the funding they were doing so he was kind of giving them a hard time for coming into the city of chicago. again i said that they had concessions about why they were going to be going into chicago. so people reported that chick-fil-a had balked on the fact they were going to send money to anti-gay organizations. but is this true or not true? >> you know, look. i think it's not true. in life there's what we say and there's what we do. and as a mother of three boys i'm always saying to them, actions speak much louder than words. and at this point, what we're getting from chick-fil-a and
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from dan caffey is more double speak. we get a statement from them originally in the week about what their intent of the company is. i think we can put that up real fast to talk about what it is to not support political or social agendas. then the ceo is quoted on mike huckabee's web site that wanted chick-fil-a date to get people out there to throw money on chick-fil-a's way about their policies against gays and lesbians and marriage equality. he says "there continues to be erroneous implication, in the media that chick-fil-a changed our practices and priorities in order to to obtain permission for a new restaurant in chicago. that is incorrect. we remain true to who we are and who we have been." for people out there who may have seen the original reporting, people boycotting of supporting chick-fil-a knowing their dollars would then be funneled to marriage equality efforts to thwart them, is this them raising a red flag saying
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we didn't want to go stamp out the reports that we'd made concessions because they didn't say well this isn't completely not true until mike huckabee got involved. >> yeah, look. i think first of all the statements that they've made frankly are a reiteration of the statements they've had all along. and they have in their actions funded incredibly anti-gay groups like exodus international, like this family group that national organization for marriage participates in their annual conference. so i think what we're seeing is more of the same. and in this case i guess it's a good thing that dan kathy is really chatty kathy because he continues to reiterate their position. [ overlapping speakers ] >> is it a problem for the people of chicago? obviously they have a right to spend their money any way they want to. i'm sure there are people in this country that appreciate their honesty about what they're talking about so in that way the consumer can make the right choices about how they want to spend their money at chick-fil-a
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franchises around the country. but is there confusion certainly in chicago where people may think that there were concessions made? >> yeah. look. i think there is confusion around what they are saying and what they are doing. our view is that they are in no different a spot than they were before. they continue to have no protections for their gay and lesbian employees. they have a zero rating on the hrc corporate equality index. dan kathy is tweeting out pictures from being at these events that are clearly targeted towards raising money for anti-gay efforts. and the truth is in this country he can do that as ceo. . and the american consumer will ultimately make the decision about whether they want to support those efforts and continue to expand their waist lines while emptying their wall et cetera or whether they want to vote with their dollars and spend their hard-earned money somewhere else. >> jane, thanks for your time. appreciate it to help us clear that up. so straight ahead, early voting for certain people like
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it is just past 1:00 in the east and just past 10:00 out west. we get straight to what is happening for you. a war of words brewing between the president and republicans. they're battling over unfinished business left by congress. the senate adjourned after midnight and house adjourned yesterday. the earliest before an election in over 50 years. our nbc's mike viqueira live at the white house for us to fill us in on what we're seeing from there. reaction i know the president just left a short time ago for wisconsin, correct? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. just about wheels up. in wisconsin he'll have rallies later. let's look at the congressional report card. the congress on the attendance. let's look at their attendance record. earliest re-election departure since 1960. citizenship, partisanship probably the worst since the 19th century. performance, their production has been so low that's about
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half the average of most congresses. there's no wonder, thomas, their approval right now stands at 13%. that is pretty much an all-time low. the good news in all this, congress isn't going to run out of money. they managed to extend spending for the next six months, kicking the can down the road. something they've done a lot lately. there won't be any government shutdown this year. but the president took the opportunity of his weekly media address to really hit republicans hard. here's what he had to say. >> right now if congress had done the right thing we would be on our way to having a veterans jobs corps. we would have a farm bill to help farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters like the drought we had this summer. thousands of responsible homeowners could be saving an extra $3,000 a year on their mortgages by refinancing at historically low rates. they would have given 98% of americans and 97% of small business owners a guarantee that your tax won't go up next year by a single dime. >> thomas, let's be fair. republicans run the house, democrats run the senate and
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there's a democrat that occupy this is building behind me. jeff sessions had the reply. he's the top republican on the budget committee in the senate. >> they balanced their family budgets only to find out that the united states senate on the democratic control will not even bring a budget plan to the senate floor. people should know that the republican-led house, on the other hand, met its obligations. most significantly it passed a budget to rescue america from a debt crisis. >> this is an election year. you hear a lot of hyperbole. you can't find one sane economist that doesn't say if they don't do something about that fiscal cliff, the raising of the tax rates, cutting of government spending it will not lead to something close to an economic catastrophe not only here in washington and in the united states but worldwide. here's another bit of good news. they're going to come back after the elections, after november 6 in a lame duck session and try to do something about that. thomas? >> michael, we talk about this
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continuing resolution so it gets us into march of 2013. there's a potential it could go six months beyond that, correct? >> well, sure. i mean, they always like to give a new congress a couple of months to get onto their feet. they're not in for most of january. the new congress is usually sworn in january 3rd. there's another thought down the road are going to kick this fiscal cliff, extend that a little bit further onto the horizon as well because they won't be able to come to a geemt these monumental issues about the tax code, spending, defense cuts about payroll tax and income taxes in a lame duck session where there's going to be 100 members of the house of representatives who are either retired and waiting to punch their ticket or have lost their seats. that would be irresponsible by some measure to have the congress tackle something of that magnitude in a lame duck. thomas? >> mike, thank you, appreciate it. with 45 days to go until this election and paul ryan is making a stopped to in the battle ground state of florida trying to shift the message back to the economy. >> the president said if he could just borrow about $831
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billion and spend it in washington, give it to a bunch of businesses that are friends and a bunch of government programs that unemployment would never get above 8%. it's been above 8% for 43 months. >> meanwhile mitt romney has released his 2011 tax returns. but that's fuelling even more questions and some new criticism from democrats today. for 2011 the romneys paid an effective tax rate of 14.1% on an income of about $13.7 million. now mitt and ann romney also donate about $4 million to charity. the romney camp also says that the former governor paid an annual average tax rate of about 20.2% between 1990 and 2009. they released that information in a 20-year summary of tax information. meanwhile half the country is already able to vote. and that's thanks to early voting taking place. nbc's michelle franzen, as we look across country we talk about certain americans that have the opportunity to vote in
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these states certain once today. >> 12 states started early in absentee voting today. in addition to 13 states that already allow their residents to cast ballots early. that means 25, half of out of the 50 states, are now giving their residents the opportunities to vote right now. and by the end of the month residents in 30 states will be voting. to put this into perspective, one professor at george mason university who studies voter behavior says more than one in three voters is expected to vote early in 2012 in some form, either in person, by mail or by absentee ballot. and that amounts to more than 46 million people. and early voting appears to be catching on with more and more voters opting to take advantage of this in recent elections. it reached an all-time high in 2008 when an estimated 30% voted early for president. that was up significantly from just four years before when a little more than 20% cast ballots ahead of election day in
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2004. early voting laws in many states have also changed in the past four years and not without controversy. in the key battle ground state of florida where half the voters cast ballots early in 2008, residents there still don't know when early voting will begin. and the number of days for early in-person voting has been reduced from 14 to 8. and voting on the sunday before the election has been eliminated. that has voting rights advocates crying foul. >> we know that over 50% of the ballots cast by african-americans in the state of florida were cast during early voting. but here we have florida making it harder to vote. instead we need to have voting that is free, fair and accessible. >> and the judge who presided at a hearing this week to overturn the florida law has yet to issue a ruling. thomas. >> michelle franzen, thanks so much. for more on the impact of early voting let's talk now with clear politics reporter and congressional reporter for the
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"washington post." aaron as we talk about these americans in 25 of 50 states voting early, how is this going to impact the race? does one candidate stand to benefit more from early and absentee voting than the other? >> it should help president obama. the reason for that is president obama's team is far more robust in many of these swing states because they've been building it up now for the past four or five years. the other thing is that president obama is up a little bit over mitt romney right now. and so if we're going on the current polls, it would stand to reason that president obama should do a little bit better with those early voters. >> and this is really interesting because the "washington post" is saying it's possible that 40% of all voters would cast their ballots early in this race. and other contests as well. but the early votes are expected to make up the majority of the ballots that are cast in these battle ground states, the all important states like florida, north carolina, colorado, nevada. how does that change the electoral strategy for both the camps, obama and romney. >> it explains first of all why both campaigns have spent so much time in those states in the
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last few weeks. if you're sitting in some other state wondering why president obama, mitt romney, paul ryan and joe biden keep going to new hampshire and north carolina and wisconsin and florida, now you no. it's because voting has begun. it's another reason why perhaps both conventions were held in those states because of course voters were going to be able to look at them and turn around a few weeks later and go to the polls or at least turn in their ballot. it is a very interesting thing. erin is correct. because president obama dealt with this four years ago he does have a bit of an advantage because his team has done this before. but the romney campaign counters and says look we're making very good use of facebook, of other digital tools to get in front of the faces of those who have the option to vote early. we believe we're going to be able to stay on par with the president. >> erin, as we take a step back for a moment i want to talk about the romney campaign right now, the bigger picture. because trying to make it a referendum on president obama's presidency, it hasn't worked so far. and pundits and people out there on the right have been critiquing mitt romney's
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campaign on not being able to cast a leadership vision, a larger vision for the country. so do we have enough time to figure out the big picture between now and election day? >> we might. but i think it will look very different going into the debates. mitt romney has not been on the campaign trail nearly as much as people would like to see him on the right. because he's been spending so much time doing debate prep. 48 hours this week he did five debates. in those two days. this is what they think could possibly turn it around if he turns in some very good debate performances against president obama. >> isn't that the hail mary in all this? because everybody is waiting to go see what the debates are going to show. >> it is. but you know, thomas, it's funny. i rarely use sports annal just when talking about politics. but sometime in july it was as if we started the second half of the basketball game. and mitt romney started a couple points down in the last couple of months president obama has been going on a scoring run against mitt romney. and we're now about five minutes left. where what needs to happen is that mitt romney needs to go on
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a scoring run against president obama if he hopes to win. and on top of that hit like a half court shot at the buzzer. so it's possible but it takes a lot of effort. >> but more in sports, aren't these unforced errors by romney? i mean, the president and their campaign they're able to capitalize on some really bad remarks, some gaffes, some trigger-happy firing from the campaign whereas the president said that they shoot first and aim later. >> you're right. so it looks like that maybe mitt romney got into some foul trouble on top of that. maybe that's the more accurate read of that. >> msnbc just turned into espn. before i let you go, gop senators running in this election across this country, some are distancing themselves from mitt romney because of that 47% remark that was secretly recorded in florida. have others within the party been critical of this campaign? has anything like this in recent memory truly happened to someone on the right? >> no.
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we normally see this distancing from the president among democrats. but to see republicans this week say at least that they wouldn't have conveyed their concerns about this issue like mitt romney did. but we did see at least three senate candidates for senators, a few house members, a few governors say the republican candidate did not express himself very well and that they understand his frustrations that so much of the country is dependent on government assistance, but they said he should have expressed that -- he has since -- that he wants to be president for everyone. i think you have now seen the beginnings of what could be, depending on how the romney campaign goes in the coming weeks, some fraying within the party and some concern they need to focus perhaps more on congressional races on state houses than the republican presidential candidate. >> all right we're going to book you guys back talk about the washington nationals and the orioles. i hope you two prepare for that as we get into more sports. still ahead, the surprising turn of events in libya providing new hope for the u.s.
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surprising twist in libya today on the attack at the u.s. consulate that led to the death of the u.s. ambassador there and three other americans. a crowd attacked the base of an islamic militia in benghazi in support of the u.s., they were angry about the murder of the four americans. in fact the protesters drove the militia out of the city. joining me now is general jack jacobs, it's good to have you here. as we talk about these protesters driving out this militia group and we can see the anger that they are now organizing as a country against these people that killed our four americans, this militia was a militia that we were
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originally these militia were working with the ouster of gadhafi, correct? >> yes, revolutions are really messy things. it was more than just a protest. as you said they drove these guys out. and the crowds actually burned down several headquarters of several different militant groups. ostensibly these were spontaneous reactions to the death of ambassador stephens. we have to remember that there's a contest for dominance in this area of libya. one way to get rid of the guys who are opposed to you, make your life a little bit difficult if they gain a foothold is to drive them out. that's exactly what they did. >> the investigation still continues into exactly what happened that night. but the white house is coming out saying this is a terrorist attack. >> definitely preplanned. it had all the tactical earmarks of a preplanned and actually rehearsed attack using weapons
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like mortars on the consulate, plus small arms automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades in exactly the way you would use it if you had a preplanned attack. >> this is happening in libya. then we have the protests that have been happening throughout egypt and in pakistan. and then the ones we saw springing up in israel and other areas because of the film that was made in america that was taking shots at the prophet muhammad that the state department hillary clinton had to come out to say we in no way support this type of rhetoric being levelled towards the religion and the profit muhammad. but the protest that happened in pakistan, they happened on a day that authorities, the government there, said this was a national holiday. they were trying to calm the protests, correct? >> yeah. it had exactly the reverse effect. and it's exactly what you would expect to happen. the worst time in the world to have a holiday and to call it in
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honor of prophet muhammad is on a friday. you're going to come out of the -- they're going to be plenty of imams coming out of prayers having told the congregations that the film was bad, the united states is bad, and no matter what the united states says we're bad. of course we're going to have riots like this. worst possible thing for the government of pakistan to do. >> kerl jack jacobs, great to see you, sir. coming up in a moment some new key indicators that the economy is heading for some better days. we explain that and a lot more, watching" weekends with alex witt." energy bill down to size? or get the yard ready for cool weather? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot.
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welcome back. we turn now to our big three
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money headlines. has the economy bottomed out? the iphone five frenzy. and then just in time for the first day of fall, the hot holiday gifts. joining me now retail and economy analyst. let's dive right in the economy and talking about the fact are we on the way back up? have we seen the worst? because the trends are starting to change? >> well, economists aren't popping their champagne bottle as of yet. but there are some data, statistics that came out from the census data on thursday that said we might be heading towards this recovery a little bit, although albeit fragile. >> that's the key word, though, fragile. >> it's a fragile recovery. so what's happening now is that adults between the ages of 25 to 34 are now moving across the country trying to get new jobs, maybe going back to school. so those adults once living with mom and dad, the number is back down to 5.6 million. i know that sounds like a lot but that's 13.6%, that's down from 14.2% last year. so there's a little bit of change there. also unemployment's coming down.
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for 2011 we saw unemployment go from 9.6% to 8.9%. now, granted, the data from 2012 hasn't been in yet. we know that unemployment is at 8.1%. but that's also coming down, too. one side to this also is that home -- people that are buying new homes, that has declined for the fifth straight year. lowest it's been in ten years. so there's still data out there saying that like i said the economy is at this fragile recovery. >> so baby stepping along. >> operative word. >> apple, though, their private economy not doing so bad. iphone 5 beating expectation. how so? >> they're expecting iphone 5s to sell about 8 million units just this weekend alone. now, the reason why is that the private economy of apple is because iphones has this very high margin. it counts for almost half of the revenues for apple. just to give you an idea, apple's expected to pump about $3.2 billion into the u.s.
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economy for the fourth quarter alone. and that's to put it in perspective, that's almost the economy of fiji. >> that's pretty good for them. not bad at all. and everybody out there that wants to get their iphone 5 now in time for the holiday season. talk about the holiday toys for the kids, not just the iphone 5 but now the real toys, right? >> right. weird that i'm going to get everyone a "new york times" subscription for a holiday. just kidding. the toys list came out for 2012 includes the wii u. one collector dolls. the 6-year-olds in your life, they love one direction. hot wheels and also furbee. you remember that from 1998? >> i do. >> and also teenage mutant ninja turtles. having almost a retro throwback to this holiday season. >> i don't think one direction was even out when furbee was out. >> get on on e-bay probably make
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money on that. tug-of-war in base states for votes and could have a ripple effect from sea to shining sea. back after this. oh no, not a migraine now. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour 3. [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] zyrtec®. love the air. join zyrtec® rewards. save up to $7 on zyrtec® products.
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♪ don't worry. we haven't forgotten, you still like things to push. [ engine revs ] the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. we go back to politics. today mitt romney is on the road in california fundraising. but that's not what's headlining newspaperers out west. what is, the release of his 2011 income taxes. that release happened late yesterday with governor romney on the west coast. nbc's peter alexander is traveling with the campaign joins me now by phone. so peter, how is the romney camp holding up with the headlines, reaction so far to those 2011 tax releases? >> reporter: i think the biggest priority for the romney campaign is what we will experience as we head into tomorrow and monday. their effort to focus on
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president obama, continuing to attack him as a president frankly who has failed in his effort and his promise to promote hope and change. they're going to try to change the subject in their effort in putting these taxes out late on a friday when fewer people were paying attention was that this would sort of disappear as it were into what has been a series of bad weeks for the campaign that began of course with the criticism over mitt romney's comments about the attacks on the u.s. embassies and consulates in egypt and libya as well as recent poll numbers showing the campaign as trailing and then of course the hidden camera videotape that was released, the 47% remarks that have been used against romney for the last several days. there was no mention of any of the top things the campaign has faced in recent days when we were with the candidate in las vegas, that's something that he's going to try to put behind him in hopes by doing this late in the week this will end any potential for nasty headlines closer to the election. >> we know they're going to be campaigning mitt romney with
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paul ryan for the beginning of next week in ohio. >> reporter: well romney is actually fundraising today. he had an event last night in the san francisco bay area, silicon valley, the town of hillsborough. he heads today leaving shortly from now to san diego then he will end his day in los angeles trying to raise money as well. there has been concern among some supporters of the romney campaign that he's not spending enough time in critical battle ground states. one of those states is the state of colorado where we will travel with the candidate tomorrow, thomas. he has an event in the denver area, another event the next morning in pueblo, colorado, that had to be rescheduled. tomorrow's stop in colorado is his first stop in that state in seven weeks. and that's the state that the campaign has really put a lot of effort or has intended to put a lot of effort into, said would be a critical battle ground, one they thought they could win. there's concern he hasn't been there enough and that he's spent too much money raising money and not enough time campaign. but as the campaign
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acknowledges, you have to find a balance. hoping to accomplish that. >> peter alexander traveling with the romney campaign. peter, thanks. now we move onto congress. as it stands today it will not deal with the nation's deficit for at least the next month and a half. congress recessed friday amidst talk the ought mat budget cuts could be pushed into next year. that would give congress more time to come up with a deficit-cutting deal. until then the deficit clock continues to push away. earlier i had a chance to speak with the chair of the house budget committee. take a listen. >> i think it's pretty disgraceful, thomas, that we adjourned. i think it's the earliest preelection adjournment since 1960. with all of these important issues still to be resolved by the end of the year. >> members of congress won't return to washington until after the november election. now wall street may be bracing for the worst of it if lawmakers cannot avoid going over that fiscal cliff. new research from citi says if the automatic spending cuts take effect we could see an investor selloff by as much as some 20%.
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that could mean the dow would lose roughly about 2,000 points. the massachusetts senate race is one of the most hotly contested races in the country. there is speculation about how this race could tip the balance of power in the senate. elizabeth warren is vying for senator scott brown's seat. and now new polls are out. a university of massachusetts boston herald poll gives senator brown the lead giving it to him by six points. but at suffolk university news poll finds elizabeth warren in the lead by four points. joining us with the real insight on this is frank phillips, state house bureau chief for the "boston globe." two opposing polls here. how close is this race? we know we've seen the first example of their first debate, the first of four, i believe. >> these polls are bouncing back and forth. we don't know -- it is a very tight race. it has been from the beginning. there was some hand wringing among the democrats a month ago
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that she was falling behind. their ads were terrible. she got a good bounce out of the convention, a very good bounce. and she's -- there were four polls in the last -- five poll notice last week. and four of those she was ahead. and i think that was a good part democrats were coming home, feeling good about democrats, democratic candidates. and elizabeth warren benefitted from that greatly. >> well as we talk about that, frank, a lot of people look at this race they say massachusetts, that's such a blue state and this is ted kennedy's old seat. how is elizabeth warren not running away with all of this. what is keeping senator brown afloat? >> well, massachusetts is not as blue as people like to think it is. we've had more republican governors in the last 20 years than we've had democratic governors. massachusetts is very discerning in its politics. on federal elections we're much more democratic, much more liberal. brown got in in sort of an aberration. that was a special election that
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was suddenly a sudden passion about health care, the debate over health care became a national election. and he won with just barely won. and it was not a real reflection, i don't think, it it had been a general election it would have been a lot tougher for him. and he's gotten in. as you'll see he's running away from romney, he's running away from the republicans as much as he can and calling himself an independent, brags about voting for democratic job bills, things like that. >> well, one thing, though, because the first chances that we've had to hear the two of of them go head-to-head was on thursday night in what some of the papers were calling this aggressive debate. i want to show everybody a few clips. take a look. >> she's obsessed with raising taxes. i'm not going to raise taxes. i'm going to protect the pocket books and wallets of everybody his upping. if you want someone who's going to spend your tax dollars give it to professor warren. she'll spend them. >> this is about whose side you
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stand on. he's made it clear. he stands for subsidies for the oil companies, breaks for the billionaires, he stands for the top folks getting special deals. i'm out there for working families and small businesses. >> frank was there a clear winner? >> i don't know if there was a clear winner. a lot of analysts have given it to warren on that. it depends what they were trying to do, each of the candidates. he certainly i think he took a big risk here. he was a little aggressive needling her, at times pretty chippy going after her on personal issues. if his tactic was to sort of go to those consecutive democrats that he needs to win this election, then maybe that was a good tactic. but he's going to have a problem doing it when he does that he's going to have a problem with the independent women who are the soccer moms, who i think were turned off by that needling, going after the american indian -- aggressive way. she was a lot more pressured and
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got him into positions where he had to defend himself on. so that's why some analysts are really giving her a little edge on the debates. >> more debates from both of them to come. we shall see how they do. frank, thanks so much. nbc's greg melvin in the studio with a look at what's coming up at the top of the hour. >> we've got a lot on our plate today the next three hours including a paul ryan campaign rally in orlando. we will bring that to you live. also, what if al gore had won in 2000? where would the country be today? jeff greenfield has a fascinating new book asking just that question. he will join me. and of course, all of the latest political news as it happens. 2:00 to 5:00 eastern right here on msnbc. thomas? >> craig, we'll see you then. thanks so much. and we can all agree it's been quite a rough week for mitt romney. but can he rebound in upcoming debates? he's been prepping like nobody's business. the big three is going to talk about that next. and believe it or not, homer
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simpson. if you care he's already voted. but he almost didn't get to. >> if you're going to vote we'll need some voter i.d. >> but i've lived here all my life. >> stopping all americans from voting is for the protection of all americans. >> but i'm a 40-year-old white guy who didn't go to college and gets all his news from monitors at gas stations. >> in you go. >> all right. so who did homer vote for? that's coming up next on "weekends with alex witt." my name is adam frucci and i'm the editor of
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for five years. i've got to tell the press! >> you are now being outsourced. >> homer simpson there sent packing to work at a sweat shop in china. and as homer sees it, at least he's got a steady job. okay. it's time for the big three in today's topics, a number of big numbers, 5, 47 and 50. and best week work week we bring in my big three panel for today. democratic strategist and republican strategist and also the former campaign manager for mike huckabee. the burning question number one on the scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst, how bad has this week been for mitt romney? and is it all going to blow over once the debates start? >> yeah. i give this about a 6 or a 7 in terms of a bad week for mitt romney. the problem isn't necessarily just his 47% comment alone. the problem is it comes on top of pretty much a lackluster convention or less energized convention than the dnc, his
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foreign policy faux-pas last week. it's really more of a pile on issue for mitt romney than anything. >> spiking of that pile on, chip we hear a lot of wailing, teeth na gnashing on this week from republicans. what would you do to turn it around so people like peggying into enwriting scathing articles would turn it around. >> we didn't have the greatest week the last week. but the good news is we're 45 days from the election and not five days. he's got a lot of time to right the ships. i think it's back to the basics. grinding it out in the battle ground states. going county by county with the states that matter and get him across the finish line in november. >> morris, do you think the president regrets that remark about not being able to fix the country from inside washington? i mean, isn't he pitching to remain inside washington for four more years? >> well, i think that you have to put it into context. what he's saying he regrets he wasn't able to have people in
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washington that he can work with. it takes two to tango in this town. republicans and democrats. i think he was saying he regrets he wasn't able to work with these guys. but he made it very clear if he's re-elected he's going to go around those guys he can't work with. he was being very frank and direct if republicans won't work with him he will go around him. >> let's take a look at the topic number two here with the big numbers first as we look at this, the 47% of americans that do not pay taxes as pointed out by mitt romney to a group of big money donors down in florida. is this going to hurt mitt romney come election day with people beyond that 47% or is that damage just very limited? >> i think it's fairly limited. like i said earlier, this is on top of several bad weeks for mitt romney. a lot of the people who are really angered by the 47% comment say mitt was right would probably not vote for mitt romney anyway. he has made this a base election in the past. this is still a fight for really how many people in each party can't candidates turn out of
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their own. >> so chip another big number is 5. that's the number of days according to the ap that mitt romney did not have a public campaign event and was basically fundraising. so as you say he needs to get out there, he needs to get back into retail politics. is he taking these big swipes off the campaign trail that hurt him in the long run? >> i think some of those days, too, he did a lot of debate prep over the last couple of days. he knows the debates will be a big issue for him coming up. noah spent 40 days in an ark. if he can they can spent 40 days in a bus. the turnout is going to matter. if this is going to be a base election energize the base. best way to do that show up in your neighborhoods. >> tell you one thing, chip, american people aren't going to show up like noah's ark like these guys have on the bus with them. they're going to be running for the high heels and voting for democrats with mitt romney and paul ryan. >> that's not what we saw in
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2010 after barack obama had both the houses of congress and united states senate passed obama care and things like that the american people ran to the republicans because they knew they could right that ship. i think that's what we got a chance to do in november. >> lindsey graham said encouraging romney to engage in more retail politics saying what i think romney needs to do is go into virginia and run for sheriff. this is not rocket science. is mitt romney not comfortable with the retail politics of things? he's more comfortable in the white gloves back rooms of country clubs? >> look, i don't think it's any big question his strongest suit is not to give a big speech behind the podium in front of 10,000 people. but he's pretty good one-on-one. i've seen him do it. he's good in the small groups. he doesn't come across on tv but he's very engaging. i think the very best way to do it is what lindsay said. let's run for sheriff. all politics is local. get into the counties that matter and really shake those hands. on these close elections turnout's going to be the one that matters. in a race that's a 2 or 3-point margin will make a difference. >> let's look at the number 50.
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the president in some of the latest swing state polling is showing coming in at 50% over mitt romney. look at colorado, iowa, wisconsin. so if you're in the romney camp, does that concern you or do you think that there's still wiggle room here? because president obama he's off to wisconsin today. the obama campaign doesn't seem like they're taking anything for granted. >> well, i like lindsey graham's idea of having a run for sheriff somewhere in virginia. that sounds great. i think the american people would be better off if he wasn't elected president. but listen there's a lot of campaigning to do. democrats shouldn't take anything for granted. the president needs to double down on those states that are going to be critical like those seven states that are going to be the swing states, ohio, colorado, those places. that's really where he needs to spend his time and effort. stop worrying about polls, stop looking at polls because they don't matter. it's about connecting to voters right now and turning up the volume on your turnout. >> chip, do republicans wish that maybe there was another candidate that was at the front right now? >> we don't even talk about that. mitt romney is our nom knee.
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paul ryan is our nominee. we're excited about the ticket. we've got some work to do but we've got 45 days to do it. >> i think the answer is yes, chip. >> number two for everyone. not number one for anyone. >> he won the nomination. look there's no question we went through a tough primary. democrats went through a tough primary four years ago, too. they rallied around barack obama. democrats do that, republicans . no question we went through a tough primary. democrats went through a tough primary four years before and rallied around barack obama. democrats and republicans do that. we will support him. >> do you think someone like mike huckabee, you worked for him. >> thomas, that's not fair. you know where my heart is. obviously, i'm crazy about mike huckab huckabee. mitt romney beat us four years ago. we support him in this nomination. he has the full support of the party. the convention showed that. everybody came together and we're energized as a base even though i do believe this is a choice election based on barack obama as president. the energy is there in the key
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states. that's what we've got. we've got to plug into the energy and take us to the finish line. >> why don't we give chip something he can rally around. mike huckabee and mitt romney on television together. you can be their executive producer. >> they've been on tv together and have good chemistry. >> when it comes to mitt romney, the narrative of this being a referendum on president obama is not working for him. doesn't he need to cast a bigger leadership calling people to rise up. >> i think there two part. three numbers matter. unemployment at 8.4% and the price of gas four bucks affects everybody's daily life and the president said they need to judge him and mitt romney can give them a better choice. >> 47% of the people already know what he thinks about them. >> then we will fight over the
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6%. >> stick around, coming up next, the big three sizes up the best and worst weeks. i have a feeling where this is going to go. let's see if we can get one past the defense. hut! go! here it comes! right on the numbers! boom! get it! spin! oh, nice hands! chest bump. ugh! good job, man. nice! okay, halftime. now, this is my favorite play. oh! i'm wide open. oh, fumble. fumble. don't want to fumble any of these. [ male announcer ] share what you love, with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes. it's up... and it's good! good?! they're grrreat!
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we are back. time for this week's best and worst. i will start with ladies first, best and worst. >> my best goes to marco rubio who was really a royal romney foot soldier this week. that's not always easy when the ship doesn't have smooth sailing. he stuck by him and had a priceless twitter ramp at american airlines last night and i thought that was rather good. >> worst? >> my worst was congress because they left town and they didn't get anything done and not very good. >> lights are off. >> my colleague stole my thunder on the congress thing, these guys don't work and go on vacation, a job we can all rally around. i started to look outside america at other elections and looked at italy, a 37-year-old upstart running an obama-style election in italy. looks like this guy has a chance to be the next barack obama.
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i bring it full circle because you don't hear any running a mitt romney style election to get anywhere in the world. i think the mayor will do a good job and barack obama will get re-elected as well. >> one of the most beautiful cities in the world. >> chip, best and worst? >> i will put my friend on the democrat side as a leaner in this election, not sure where he is at. i thought the biggest winner of the week no question was the american people not because it's fall weather and we have cooler times and football season in full swing, the american people are the big winner because congress has gone home and can't get in any more trouble the next six weeks. the biggest loser being a tennessee fan i have to say the florida gators are the biggest loser. since they put a whipping on us, i have to change it and the people are the biggest loser because congress went home. >> you can't have -- >> chip, come on. >> what they didn't do -- >> this is a -- >> the day ebated on polar bear
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and didn't do anything and left a budget on the table the senate hasn't passed in three years. >> that's not fair. the senate is still in session. the republican house left town. the democrat senate is still in town. >> what did they talk about? polar bears? >> what i got out of this, all four of us are the best and the worst. >> that will wrap up "weekends with alex." and i'm thomas roberts and see you back here on monday at 11:00 a.m. have a great day. the answer ? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. show the yard who's boss with this echo blower for just $159.
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