tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC September 23, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PDT
don't do the crime if you can't do the time. let's play "hardball." [ applause ] good evening. i'm chris matthews in los angeles. let me start with difficulties mitt romney has been having in the campaign. who proved that effort to suppress the black vote which bill clinton calls the most blatant he's ever seen. if he and his agent says his party wasn't behind it, he
should say so. who did this attack on poor people and welfare for not having a work requirement? wasn't it mitt romney saying, i'm mitt romney and approve the message. who has backed out the obstructionist number one congress and their priority to terminate the president obama win through the filibuster. he used the dirty tools of the old say, voter suppression, coded racial appeals. if he's having a tough month maybe he earned a few more. howard fineman is here but first new polls in the presidential race. the "hardball" scoreboard. according to a new "national journal" poll he leads romney by seven. 50/43 and has a seven-point nationally. romney, 45 and obama, 52. the new purple strategies poll, in north carolina, president obama has a two-point lead over
mitt romney, 48/46% and look at this, the race is tightening even in deep red arizona. that poll shows romney with a lead over the president by three points and the romney campaign says everyone is safe i'm chris matthews in sunny his wife's plane made a smoke-filed landing in the cabin. let's go to this with howard fineman joining us right now. i want to read to you a classic example of a news dump. he paid an effective rate of 14.1% which which is below the rate we know they pay of taxes and the campaign released a summary for the past 20 years and say he paid an average of $20.2% and never paid less than 13.6%. republican castellano told the politico "at first i thought this was an april fools' joke."
but it didn't april. i can't believe david axelrod will say he mutt it behind him and it will drag his taxes right back into the debate. i can't imagine why they would do this. howard, why would they do? i know they said they'll release the current years and did that showing he pace less than the average guy who says is one of the vic class who only pays payroll taxes and pays less, it turns out. why would they judge us with the judge stennis solution as nixon did, i won't tell you the taxes i paid for but here's a little hint, hint of what i claim i paid. why would he do this? >> chris, i'm tempted to say they've had such a bad run they wanted to get all the bad stuff out there right away. but at the end of the week but as little lex pointed out it won't end the discussion. if you look closely at what mitt romney did in his 2011 taxes as we've done at "the huffington
post" he disallowed enough of the deductions to inch it over to 14% and no more. if we calculated that the white house is worth 200,000 to him because that's what he paid to get it over 14% and then, of course, in tax law he can claim those deductions later on. he forewent $2 million of tax reductions. taxes over the next three years and i bet you anything he does, he'll eventually take that tax reduction. everyone will sit around doing these calculations and brings up the whole -- this in conjunction with the videotape, the 47% of pay no taxes versus this, just doesn't solve any problems force him at all. >> this strikes me the word cute, a good four-letter word for this, very cute to put out only what you promised to put out and not 10 or 12 years and give a sketchy look and have
this trap door where you can grab the money in this year's election returns. >> i think what the romney campaign was trying to do with this friday document dump was replace the smell of decay with -- [ laughter ] >> it's to spend now time digging into mitt romney's tax returns and just the barest minimum of the tax returns to stop the story and the bleeding that's happening over the last to two weeks of terrible news. >> it worked. >> why don't you think giving us information about the tax returns improves the story. >> they know it's a bad news but it's previous that harry reid says he paid less than 14% and made it zero. this doesn't help. i think they've decided because this return shows that he paid some taxes, at least it will take away the talking point that, well, you're one of the
47%, mitt romney. you didn't pay any taxes. >> he paid joy, he paid less than you pay of payroll taxes. >> a bad story line to cover. >> federal income level do pay had they go to work. go ahead. >> chris, it's a little bit like firefighting. if you're out of forest fires you build a backfire. >> we'll get back to that again and again. anyway, today president obama gave a strong rebuke for mitt romney over his 47% comments that got out this week. let's watch the president. >> in 2008, 47% of the country didn't vote for me but on the night of the election i said to all those americans, i need your help and i hear you and i will be your president. the values we believe in don't just belong to businesses.
the 53% or 47%, the rich or the poor, the 1%, the 99%, these are american values. they belong to all of us. >> meanwhile, down in new orleans at an aarp convention paul ryan got booed when he talked about repealing ohm care. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care because it represents the worst of both worlds. >> i have a feeling we'd have a mixed reaction. >> a group of older people. the polls that show that the only age group that supports mitt romney are the 65 and older. that's it. if people under retirement age got to vote he'd get killed so the fact is why is he out there going to war through his vp nominee with older people saying get rid of obama care. why is he stirring this uppy. >> speaking to the wrong audience in going after obama care, chris. i think the attack on obama care
worked to some extent in the 2010 congressional races when they focused on the fact that some tax money would be necessary and that some medicare spending would be cut. remember, that's what they used in 2010. >> right. >> and that worked but the people that worked with were not the seniors. that worked with swing voters and younger voters who are looking at how that was going to play out. so i think to go into the ito of the activists at the aarp with that argument was going to elicit boos. you knew that was going to happen and, again, you ask why would they want to did that kind of thing and get booed at the aarp. it's not like a sister souljah moment from the clinton years. >> speaking of bill clinton, let's watch something from bill clinton. once again he's come in and clarified something murky. this is the whole thing, in 30 some states around the country the legislatures have gone out and tried to restrict the rights
of people to vote, limit the number of hours you can vote early. limit the opportunity to vote different ways and have to show more documentation. clearly a partisan effort. this is still a big concern with him, president obama, especially down in florida and also pennsylvania. let's watch bill get to the heart of this. >> how much will the vote be lessened or reduced by the fact that in florida, except for four counties, the pre-election voting, the advanced voting has been cut down to eight days and doesn't include the sunday before the election, an arrow aimed straight at the african-american buses and pull up before the church starts so they can vote? in my lifetime no one has ever done anything quite this blatant. >> what i understand. why white people don't hear the
whistle here. they don't see -- not just the whistle but the changing of the law and of the goal line for getting ready to vote because they see these people. here's a chance to score the black voter. they have this tradition of voting after church. they don't have private transportation. a nice tradition. very democratic. and then the republicans say, oh, i know how to screw these people. we'll take away that sunday before the election and it's so blatant as bill says, bill clinton. >> no, it's incredible, chris, i mean you look at a state like florida where they literally legislated every single kind of voting except absentee which is the one kind of voting republicans do well at and where you do see fraud. miami -- >> the paper. >> absentee ballots, people are going to nursing homes and turning them in. the fraud you see in florida. not legislated by the
republicans there and ohio with majority democrats getting less time to vote. doing it that blade tantly. i think that the plablatantness this going after latino and african-american voters, americans in 2012 are not for that kind of thing, people don't see any problem with having to show an i.d. i think on that level people don't have a problem with voter i.d. but when you have republican legislators saying, this is going to help mitt romney get elected, i think that hurts them with white swing voters as much as it does to energy them their right to vote. >> coming up, see how they run. one republican after another saying, sure, mitt. we're behind you, way behind you. this is what happens when a presidential campaign begins to take on water. i mean that's what it's taking. few republicans and democrats would like to defeat -- well, few out there that would like to defeat alan
in florida. homer simpson is going to the polls, so don't look now. >> i'm a 40-year-old white guy who didn't go to college and gets all this news from monitors at gas stations. >> in you go. >> anyway, wait till you see when homer gets a look at mitt romney's taxes. the question, what is he hiding in those taxes? this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪
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off nearly half the country a steady stream of republicans have distanced themselves including linda mcmahon of connecticut, george allen craig, linda lingle, tommy thompson, senator scott brown and senator dean heller. what does it say about him? david corn broke the story this week and he is washington bureau chief for the much respected mother jones and robert cost that is a political reporter for "national review." we have this in iowa. ann romney had strong words for conservative critics of her husband's campaign. let's listen to ann romney. >> what do you say to your fellow republicans who are -- >> stop it. this is hard. you want to try it? get in the ring. this is hard. >> who was she talking about, people like peggy noonan today.
noonan wrote "this week i called his campaign incompetent but only because i was being polite. i really meant rolling calamity. a lot of people weighed in. glad you said this, mad you said this. no one i know of defended the campaign or argued you're missing some of its quiet excellence." that 'sarcastic. john sue through knew responded on msnbc today. let's watch. >> i wouldn't hire peggy noonan to run a campaign. i don't ask her to have me write her columns. >> well, there he is. let me get back to david on that. getti ting hav ting sununu out it's like a dog, beware of dog and there's a gate there. he'll say anything in response of romney. let's go through them, dean heller, close race in nevada. tommy thompsonson, george allen craig, neck and neck in
virginia. they are real pros trying to keep alive politically and want some real separation as they say in the nfl from this guy, romney. what's going on? >> well, you know, romney is taking all these hits in the last four weeks from his miserable trip to london and clint eastwood and not mentioning the troops in afghanistan, the disaster with the libyan statement and the video i made public earlier this week and the thing is, if he had a real good overarching strategic plan and message that the conservative republican elites here and members of the senate had any -- could see, could discern, i think people would be more willing to stand by him. but he doesn't have a strong rudder. every day it's like he changes strategy. he's going to be more moderate or red meat to the conservative, be an outsider, insider. obama says black, i'll say white today so the campaign is bouncing around like a ping-pong ball being buffeted by winds. without a strong rudder, you move back and forth.
that's what peggy noonan and everybody else is responding to. we talk about there being no core about mitt romney, there's no strategic core to the campaign. >> ping-pong in the bathroom, you can hear it, bing, bing, bing. against tammy baldwin had this explanation for why he's trailing, that's tommy thompson. blanling romney. watch this. >> the presidential thing is bound to have an impact on every election, you know, whether you're a democrat or republican. if you're a standard-bearer for the presidency that's not doing well it will reflect on the down ballot. >> back to robert costa. you're close to the romney campaign. it seems to me if you have a true believer at the top of the ticket people don't mind associating with that person like ronald reagan. is it because romney as david just said don't seem to be a true believer that people don't want to stick with him.
>> i report on the conservative movement and do not see a mass desertion from mitt romney. are there grumbles, sure. but that list you read out, linda and scott and other, mostly they come from blue states backing away from not romney in particular but -- >> i'm checking you there, nevada, virginia, you think those -- haley barbour from mississippi. le let's watch here. he said, i don't know what the question was, but it is not correct that 47% of americans are on means-tested entitlements. many of those are people retired military. better way to say, you know, i made a mistake. >> he's from mississippi, a real red state but what i'm seeing from the romney campaign, the 47% comments, were they a big problem this week? of course, they were. look at the gallup poll, romney
is still neck and neck with obama. the big picture they see it as a pretty close race. >> thank you robert and david. up next which former republican presidential candidate says he'd have a substantial lead over obama if he were a candidate. to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone's ready with the know how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at devry.edu/knowhow. ♪
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back to "hardball." "the sideshow." first espn, there's buzz in the sports world about john l. smith, the head coach of the university of arkansas. after a dismal start he racked up $25 million in debt. personal debt and recently filed for bankruptcy. so let's go to espn's outside the lines where the panel weighed in on smith's troubles and find a certain prominent political figure to compare him with. >> sitting down with john l.
smith and saying cut out the circus act is impossible. no one in this country with the possible exception of mitt romney has had a worst two weeks than john l. smith. >> andy, how would you characterize the last couple of weeks in john l. smith's tenure? >> absolute circus act. >> romney is the new tackling dummy on espn. anyone else had a worst one? "the washington post" reports smith, the coach is trying to win over critics with his, quote, engaging personality and infectious smile. not qualities they've been tossing around about romney. "simpsons." homer votes for romney. there's more on this online promo. >> man, not another election. why do we have to choose our leaders. isn't that we have the supreme court for. >> you are going to vote you need feeter i.d. it's for the protection of all americans. >> i'm a 40-year-old white guy
who didn't get his college and gets his news from monitors at gas stations. >> in you go. >> barack obama, i already got one wife telling me to eat healthy. mitt romney's horse totally choked at the olympics. he did make obama care. >> medical personality for implant. the government paid his taxes for five years. i've got to tell the press. >> you are thought being outsourced. >> oop. >> remember herman cain, the front-runner in the primaries at one time. his self-confidence doesn't seem to have taken a hit. he talked to reporters about how he would be doing. "cain said he would have been doing better if he was the nominee saying that he'd probably have a substantial lead
on president obama at this point. he said, i have depth to my ideas. instead he's focused on a stint on being a radio host and maybe tv." remember he blasted others that said it was more of a publicity stunt. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being us. coming up next. jj ramberg with "your business." [ female announcer ] think a thick cream is the only way to firm skin? challenge the need for such heavy measures with olay. regenerist micro-sculpting serum for firmer skin in 5 days. pretty heavy lifting
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