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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  November 21, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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excuses. the dog ate my debt deal. it's monday november 21st and this is "now." >> unfortunately what we haven't seen in these talks from the other side is any democrat willing to put a proposal on the table that actually solves the problem. >> democrats have made some tough decisions and come to some tough choices that we're willing to put on the line on entitlements, on spending ts, but only if the republicans are willing to come across the line. >> when they're willing to cut a dollar in spending without saying it has to be accompanied by tax increases. >> what jon just said is patently not true. we just cut $917 billion without one dime of new revenue. he knows it. there are less than 12 hours for the super committee to meet their deadline. right now democratic senator john kerry is meeting with
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republican senators jon kyl and rob portman in a last ditch effort to reach a deal. joining me today former rnc chairman, michael steele, melissa harris-perry, a columnist for "the nation" and also an msnbc contributor, former d.c. mayor, adrian fenty is on set with us and meghan mccain, the newest msnbc contributor. welcome, meghan, there will be a commemorative tote bag when you leave today. luke russert always is with us. welcome to the show. >> always a pressure. >> david axlerod is a fan of the phrase kabuki theater as a description for the political maneuverings in washington. is this something we can use to describe what's been happening on the super committee for the last two weeks? was anybody serious about cutting a deal? >> when the whole process started, i spoke to members on
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both sides of the aisle, there was sort of a tempered excitement for the idea of a super committee, mainly because of the ability, if they agreed on anybody to have an up or down vote in the united states senate, the filibuster process has been so difficult to get by in the united states senate without any legislation with this divided government. we saw a few weeks ago that both sides were not anywhere near the same playing field. the last time they met privately, this group, was october 26th that last month. there was a private meeting with all 12 of them in the room together. the real issue was a lack of trust, and, b, they were never able to lock themselves into the room saying we have this deadline in front of us, let's come together because it would be too embarrassing not too. the $1.2 trillion in cuts was almost a good thing for them,
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because they knew if they didn't act nothing catastrophic would occur. that proved to be the issue. neither side wanted to jump in the deep end. there are talks that they came to a possible agreement a few sundays ago, that there was a democratic agreement that went further on entitlement cuts. after the special interests, after the leadership of the super committee, these 12 members were not going to try to do something that's big, bold and balanced because they didn't have the support for it on either side. >> luke, can we call this a failure? is it official? >> i would say if it takes 12 nails to nail a coffin lid shut, we are about 11 nails in now. >> 11. >> i heard of this deal between kyl, portman and kerry. maybe they are trying to save something on its face, maybe they are trying to grab some low-hanging fruit that both sides can agree to. when you think about what this
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committee could have done, an up or down vote, united states senate that was not challenged via filibuster and they missed the opportunity to do sizable debt reduction with that, it's probably safe to say from both sides it was a failure. >> i want to open this up to our panel. where does this leave the american public? in terms of our confidence in congress to get anything done. >> ticked off. they're angry. i don't think you'll see folks lining up to say, gee, i know you guys tried so hard. i know you worked on our behalf for three long months. the last meeting was in october this is ridiculous. these gals and guys on the hill, this process quite frankly began in 2010, where the american people wanted a wholesale change. i look for that momentum to grow when you consider the tea party, the occupy wall street movement, the energy out there now is on the side of the people. a lot of these folks, i think not only did they miss an opportunity to get something done, but they missed an opportunity to keep their jobs.
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>> they will actually lower congress's approval rating. >> which is basically in the basement. what's the subbasement level. >> it's at 13% now. >> can it go to zero at this point. >> let me caution on this question that this will mean a wholesale change. over and over again when congress falls, it doesn't mean people feel bad about their congress person, their representative. so, simultaneously over the past 50 years, with confidence in congress falling, with people having more and more negative views about it, we've seen incumbency advantage strengthened. so the fact is that better than 90% of representatives who run for office are going to be re-elected in the election cycle. >> that's interesting that you say that, because i feel there are definitely implications for 2012 here. >> there are. i was on the road for two and a half months in 2010, all 48 contiguous states.
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you're right to a point, where people would say don't hate my congressman, he's good guy. but you, on the other hand, i'll take care of you. that tide has turned. people are look at their own representatives and going you're not getting the job done. you have seen that response in town hall meetings where it's supposed to be a friendly crowd and it turns out to be not so friendly. whether that changes, to your point, into wholesale change, i don't know. but the elements are there. >> but let's pause. congressional representatives don't just do things to do them. it's been clear that -- >> or do anything. >> or do anything. it's been clear that part of what's happened here is the link between what people want and what they find to be important has very little -- they're quite insulated on the hill from the sense that that will turn into election outcomes. >> you're speaking specifically about, let's say, occupy wall street -- >> occupy wall street, even the tea party, in the sense that, look, if the tea party was about
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a kind of populous impulse -- i don't mean the right element of it, i mean the populous impulse of it. the idea of moving away from the institutions and the elites managing the power. the fact is that the congress and the members -- and representatives in the congress recognize post citizens united in our contemporary context. that as angry as the people may be, that the translation of that anger into election outcomes is much more tenuous than in the past. >> we will get to occupy wall street. i think the tea party has been absorbed into a political infrastructure in a way occupy hasn't yet. the white house released this statement saying avoiding accountability and kicking the can down the road is how washington got into the deficit problem in the first place, so congress needs do its job here and make the tough choices to live within its means that american families make every day. as you know, president obama has been overseas for the last nine days. should he have been in washington to oversee --
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ultimately what has become a failure, 11 of the 12 nails in the coffin. is obama implicated in the failure of the super committee? >> you could second guess his actions, but he comes across as part of the problem here, as this rolls out. you can't escape it. you have democrats and republicans not getting anything done. he's the leader of the democratic party. >> meghan, do you think he pays a price for this? >> and i think he needs to start taking culpable for this. i understand it was the congress and the senate taking blame for this, but -- >> but when he had control of the house and senate, a great deal was being done. they weren't deficit hawks. but the numbers on the productivity of the congress under nancy pelosi in terms of the pure amount of legislative lawmaking work that was going on versus this one is not -- >> the debt creation.
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>> no, no. >> that's your president. that was your president who created that debt. that was your president. >> i got that we accept that -- >> but you haven't accepted that. >> don't sit there and say for the first two years of obama, it was all about bush. i know you like that blame game. in those two years, he accumulated some $2 trillion worth of additional debt. >> well -- >> but that's part of the burden. all i'm talking about is the total burden that the american people see. i'm not trying ing ting t ingi. see how we jump to a defensive position -- >> the divide between the two parties now is as deep as it has been. >> i want to go back to luke, we still have him on the line. he's the expert in all things congress. luke, where was joe biden in all of this? we know he's often dispatched to the hill to sort of get action done behind the scenes.
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what was his role. >> i talked to a few democrats, they said there was some contact from biden to his friends on the super committee, compared to the role he had in the debt limit extension and possible government shutdown in april, it wasn't the same type of role. mainly because from the democratic side and the republican side, they were trying to give this committee some autonomy and leeway. now after the failure, in regards to 2012, you make an important point that the republicans are coalescing around a message that mitt romney started this morning in new hampshire, which the president failed to lead in this example. john boehner sent out an internal memo which said the president should have been involved in this. he was never serious about this. it was because of his failure to get involved that this thing ultimately went down. and saying there is too much of the president's ideas put
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forward on the democrats and super committees, such as the job stimulus thing, which would never make it through the gop. when we talk about what is rising out of the ashes, the republicans will take it upon themselves to put the blame on the president, not so much as the democratic counterparts on the committee. and it will be interesting to see how the candidates coalesce around that on the republican side, and congress saying no, not one of our own, it's the president, he's not involved enough. which the white house has punted this even away today. >> keep your friends close, keep your failing super committee members even closer. we will be back with more on that and romney. and we'll discuss what a failed super committee means for the markets. hi, could you read my list?
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announced failure yet, but the expectation is already moving the markets. the dow is down nearly 300 points. if there's no deal, congress could be in for a cruel, cruel winter. lawmakers will need to vote on four rescue programs by the end of the year costing about $300 billion. analysts say failing to pass those tax breaks could stifle economic growth by 2%. luke russert is joining us from capitol hill. there's still some business left to be done, and business that was supposed to be sort of be handled by the super committee, including this sort of $300 billion fight over jobless benefits and a one-year payroll tax cut. what happens with those items? >> that's a very good question, alex. listen to what gop whip kevin mccarthy's response was to me on
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that question. >> i think you'll see a lot of ideas on the floor when we go back in, the super committee, of taking up those issues, and also when you talk about the doctor fix. whatever comes through the house would have to be paid for. >> that's the key line there, alex. whatever comes through the house would have to be paid for. those programs add $300 billion to the national debt. that is something that a lot of rank and file house republican also have a huge problem with. but these are programs that are very important to the liberal base for president obama as well as to many democrats and economists say to the general ability of individuals to spend money in retail shops. unemployment benefits are not usually held on, they go right to the local grocery store and the gas station. that is money that goes into the economy if that is taken away, you can see a dire economic effect. that's what we've heard from economists. one other thing on top of that, which is quite interesting here, alex, you can see these things that liberals are so passionate
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about coupled with spending cuts or some other program that republicans want, and that's another loss in these negotiations that have gone all the way back to april. >> in that way, friends on set with me, it's sort of a brilliant but a strategy for the republicans insofar as they get to take these important social programs and sort of bargain with them with the white house and with democrats in congress. >> they can, but you have to be careful when you open up that door. because as luke pointed out you are impacting peoples lives directly who should not be sandwiched between the congress and the white house on these matters. yet that's what we see happening here. while i appreciate the strategy that mccarthy lays out there, and what that ultimately means, there's a big downside and risk for the gop if they're not smart about articulating what the spending bills are all about and why the money is being allocated
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the way it is. >> i mean, the other thing to remember here is that part of what's going on here is a tax cut. there's actually tax relief in the context of the payroll tax. allowing that -- there's a certain obscenity that's very, very clear about not rescinding the bush tax cuts for the very wealthy. while allowing an expiration of that payroll tax cut for ordinary working people, for whom it has been probably the only thing that's allowed them to manage to get through our current economic crisis. that in connection with this idea that whatever comes through has to be paid for -- the fact is that americans understand how you make investments using debt, whether it's student loan debt, a loan to purchase a house. this is our clearest most important investment is in the american people, in the creation of jobs, for the purposes of saving our economy, this idea that it has to balance on the
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balance sheet is nuts. >> it's an argument we will see play out in the month of december in time for the holiday season. up next, is the super committee's failure a chance for the occupy movement to send a message? small businesses in austin, texas are thinking local. mason arnold runs greenling which distributes produce from green gate farms and baked goods from that city's little blue stem. they are championing the buy local movement and helping their community. having triplets is such a blessing. not financially. so we switched to the bargain detergent, but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide.
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highly rated term life companies selectquote represents for your best rates. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford. call this number or go to selectquote dot com. selectquote. we shop. you save. that was uc davis this weekend where the fallout continues after campus police apparently pepper sprayed a group of students seated in a nonviolent protest. newt gingrich offered his take on the occupy wall street movement this weekend at a forum for social conservatives in iowa. >> let me take that and for a brief moment describe occupy wall street.
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all of the occupy movement starts with a premise that we all owe them everything. they take over a public park they didn't pay off to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn't pay for, to beg for food from places they don't want to pay for, to obstruct those going to work who pay the tacks to sustain the park and bathrooms so they can say they're the paragons of virtue for which we know everything. that's why you need to reassert something as simple as saying to them like go get a job right after you take a bath. >> get a job after you take a bath. to me this seems like newt gingrich is trying to establish almost that 1960s divide between the crazy reactionary hippies and the rest of the american people. to what degree do you think this is an effective line of argument and to what degree do you think
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it's outdated? >> i think a lot of people are starting to think that's the case about occupy wall street. they are gaining momentum, but they're absolutely gaining people who are saying get to the point. what is your point? what do you want people to do? when do you want it? if you don't have anything to offer, you know, stop causing so much disruption. you saw here in new york city with the mayor saying, please, you won't come bother us any longer. >> to what degree is newt's broad dismissal of the movement as just a bunch of lazy people pilfering bathroom privileges? to what degree is that not good for him or is it fine? >> for him it's a great talking point, saying paragon of virtue, saying they just need to take a bath and get a job. for him it's a great talking point. occupy wall street will not be popular in iowa, with whoever he is campaigning with in and around the republican party. i went down to occupy wall street, they're losing me as well. there are businesses that are closing, rapes are happening. i don't know where they are
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going from here. i need a more distinct message. i understand the difference between the 99% and the 1%, yes, it's a problem in the country, but where do you go from here? you need a leader? >> people are saying now it's time to occupy the majority, time to occupy the agenda. melissa, to what degree do they need to put forward more specific demands. >> i have been critical of certain aspects of the occupy movement from the beginning. but some saying you only deserve equality in this country if you meet certain standards that i will impose about what constitutes good citizenship that means doing this, doing this. it flies in the face -- let's go back to the tea party. the tea party, when it captures that historic moment that is the least respectable thing that one can do in the 18th century is dump the tea in the harbor. they were the dirty colonists.
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>> you are talking about the real -- >> the actual tea party in the 18th century. this is a group of dirty -- >> presumably using anybody's bathrooms. >> part of what happens every time we see the images of police power against occupy, is that they will gain adherence who simply, regardless of what they're doing, find that sort of overreaction by local police to be an anti-american behavior relative to -- with that being said, if the tea party had gone in, disrupted a park, rapes had been done -- if the tea party had done it, there would be a completely different reaction. >> there are rapes on college campuses every single day. >> i think there would be a completely different reaction. >> the tea party did bring guns -- if they destroyed parks, i think the media -- come on, michael, back me up. >> that's the point that gets missed in this whole thing.
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i said about a month and a half ago that the gop should look seriously at the undercurrent that is driving this movement, started in wisconsin. people were concerned about their job rights, you know, as they defined them being taken. that harkened back to what we saw in 2009 and 2010 with the tea party movement, the sense that the government was taking something from me. that has gotten lost in light of everything else that's been happening. yeah, you have police action at what is supposed to be a rally to draw my consciousness to a greater cause. >> right. and to what -- >> that is getting lost. >> we will be back with more about morality after the break. faith and social issues. who is the moral authority among the gop candidates? just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating.
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iowa's social conservatives are a key voting block for republicans in that state's caucus. about 2,000 of them this weekend got to hear six gop candidates talk about faith and social values. we were having a debate about the morality question, and looking at the occupy protests, and whether the moral argument about the violence that happened or hasn't happened is enough to undermine the legitimacy of that movement. i know, melissa, you're passionate about that. to what degree that you think the occupy movement has been painted address amoral? >> my main concern is the idea that something that people disagree with ide, to frame tha political disagreement as a question of morality and ethics, particularly this kind of
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refrain about rape. i think it's really quite obscene. because rape occurs in a variety of social settings. it occurs on college campuses n inner cities. >> look at penn state. >> that's right. penn state is a perfect example of this. so the idea that we should frame sort of what's going on with progressive young people in a social movement as primarily a problem of social and ethical and moral disorder, that, for me, is the problem. i think it's fine to be critical of and disagree with occupy. but i think you have to be honest about the basis on which you are disagreeing with them. >> all i was trying to say is if a tea party shut down a business that had to let go of 21 workers there would be a different reaction from people in the media. that's it. >> what i will suggest is that we are in -- just as we got this deeply polarized american politic political system, we have a deeply polarized media system.
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the idea is -- i think when you say what the media would say, we have to be careful. what would msnbc say about tea parties, and what would fox news say about wall street -- >> there's something important here which is the moral question. we have this idea -- i mentioned iowa and the thanksgiving family forum at the beginning of this segment. there is a discussion about taking the moral high ground, and that that is very much the gop owns that. i wonder to what degree that that even matters for the american public at this point? is not the focus jobs and the economy? >> it's going to matter, i think, for both the substantive reasons but also the authenticity reason. so newt gingrich talking about his past problems is important because he comes across to his critics as a hypocrite. somebody who challenges moral values but doesn't practice what he peaches. he has to explain that as do the
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rest of the candidates as well in that vain, i thought it was an interesting forum. >> that setting then gives him and others, herman cain and santorum, to the extent that they want to address personal failings, that moment of redemption, where you can exposing yourselves. i've always -- certainly as someone who spent several years in a monastery -- i look at my politics and my moral compass a little bit differently, because i understand that for you morality may be defined differently than it would be for me. that should have no bearing on how we execute the political process and making sure your rights are protected, that fundamentally the services you're required to get you receive. that part of it is part of that underlying, you know, take care of the least of these as the viable and in teachings may touch on. to mix them up the way we have over the last few years, i think it gets us to this polarized
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body of politics where people begin to confuse what is a moral question verses a political question. >> was an amazing story in the new yorker which talked about how abortion had bipartisan support, gerald ford, richard nixon, until there was a political calculation made. >> 1990. >> i'm married to a louisiana catholic, so i might agree with your private morality question more than you may expect. the other piece of it is we have to talk about public, structure morality as well as private, personal, individual morality. on this question of shutting down businesses, let's look at the number of government layoffs that republican and gop new governors have effected in the context of this economic downturn. we don't look at those and say those unethical governors. that's economic policy. we need not only a narrative
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about who we are privately but also the ethical and moral standards that ought to apply to how we do business. >> i don't think anyone made that connection in terms of what you were talking about -- >> i think in regards to the family forum, though -- >> i don't think anyone looked at that and said that was immoral to do that the broader political question was how is that perceived and how are distinctions made between a republican oriented group like tea party engaging in that type of behavior versus the rest -- >> but if abortion is a moral issue, so should childhood nutritional programs. >> it gave newt the opportunity to say these are some of my failings. what's interesting is his poll numbers are surging. probably because he is being more honest. >> let's talk about newt. >> i loved it. >> you liked newt's -- >> i do. i'm not a fan of his. there's nothing i love more than a repentant senator, and how he
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talked on his wife and -- >> so you buy the -- >> i don't buy it, but i love it. >> he has a new website that answers every moral failing he may have undergone. there's always a newtian explanation for each one which is classic newt. >> i think you live out your private morality, particularly as a public official, by the policies that you put forth, recognizing that at the end of the day it's not about the party you represent, it's not about what neighborhood you grew up in, but it's about seeking out self empowerment. and in this country, we are all free to achieve that thing called the american dream. to the extent there are roadblocks there are things or individuals that inhibit that, that's when that public response should be, i think, first and foremost. i think a lot of that has gotten confused over the last --
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>> i think what people want is anti-washington. so i think what you see in newt in those statements is someone willing to put their own frailties on display. what people hate about the super committee is that it seems like typical washington. it would have been amazing if perry or kyl yesterday said here's what we did wrong. >> and we failed. instead of pointing fingers. we have so much more to discuss and we will after the break. president obama heads to new hampshire tomorrow to talk jobs, but whose job? his job or jobs for the american people? after the break on "now." hi, could you read my list? it's all crossed out... it's 'cause i got everything on it. boom! thank you! [ male announcer ] black friday's here. deals start thursday 10 pm. but we're open all day and night so you don't have to wait outside. the only place to go on black friday. walmart. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, that means taking a close look at you
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willie geist. >> hello, alex wagner. may i say something about the bullpen? >> you may. >> i feel like the mayor, fenty, was throwing the ball fine, yet you still yanked him out of the game. >> we got to keep it fresh. >> i don't want to question your managing style, i would have given him another inning. >> got to keep it fresh. when you are the mayor of d.c. and come on, we will yank you off for the new host of "way too early". >> it's your show. >> willie, there's a bloomberg poll that came out yesterday or today showing that romney has a significant lead over the president, 50% to 40%. when i heard the president was going to new hampshire to talk about jobs, it rang the campaign bell for me. to what degree do you think the white house is scared right now. >> i don't know if they're scared, but i think mitt romney put so much of his campaign, his life, resources into the state of new hampshire, would expect he would be doing well there. to see the president going into the state tomorrow and talking about this payroll tax on which he and romney have differed,
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romney was asked about it and said it was a band-aid solution. melissa said earlier that the white house loves this issue, because they like it on the policy and the politics. they think it creates jobs and puts money in peoples pockets, but the politics of it is republicans you want to cut taxes, except in this case on the middle class. the white house likes this fight they'll have tomorrow. >> a certain degree i think mitt romney likes the idea that president obama is battling him in new hampshire. >> absolutely he does. he feels, as he has done these debates that most of the time he's ignoring everybody else on the stage and having a conversation with the people and with the president. the fact that the president is coming to new hampshire, you know they'll roll out nice carpet for the president tomorrow on the romney team. it's going to be fun to watch. it will be good political theater. i don't know what the substance is going to look like ultimately because you're still dealing with a congress that can't get its act together, a white house somewhat aloof about all of
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this, and a presidential primary amon republicans that has its moments of dysfunction. >> to put it mildly. >> it's interesting that you call it political theory. in a certain way going to new hampshire feels like we're out of the most theatrical elements and going to the most campaigning part. when we start talking about iowa and new hampshire, we are talking about how someone actually becomes president of the united states. it's fun. i have loved every moment of the herman cain youtubes, and the -- >> melissa, you're wishing him away. >> i never would wish herman cain away. never. but i'm thinking this is the real -- if the people have a ground team in iowa, new hampshire, that's -- >> to that point we will hear that mitt romney will be playing in iowa he is bumping up his campaign presence there. does he need to win iowa? does it matter? he can come in third or fourth? >> i don't know about third or fourth -- >> he can't come in third or fourth, but i don'ts if he wins.
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he has to win new hampshire. we were talking about this morning on "morning joe," it matters to the extent that he raises expectations in iowa. if he comes in and says i'm putting ads up, i'm playing in the state of iowa, it matters if he finishes second or third. >> to your point, willie, he has had folks on the ground in iowa very quietly for the last three, four months. it's not like this is a new venture for his campaign team going in there and doing what they're doing. they have been there, just not made noise about it. >> never underestimate the romney group. i do wonder, because this is now proportional allocation of votes, how that is going -- for the republican field which it has not been up until now, how that drags the process out or abbreviates it? >> in my madness as chairman, a
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lot of people said i was mad, to be chairman and -- >> the madness of king steele. the goal was to create a playing field where everyone could compete, not have this whole thing over by january 31st or february 15th. but to allow others to make their case to the american people and specifically in places like iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. so i think this will extend itself. i don't think -- there's no incentive for anyone -- this is why i kind of look at the pawlenty team and say why did you jump out? none of these other folks have money. they have just as much as you have. >> it's fascinating how far michele bachmann has fallen. she's not even in the top four. >> but still in the race. >> she is going for iowa. >> and there will be social conservatives that divide their votes among your newt gingriches, your rick santorums,
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michele bachmann. up next, what now? what now? what now? we will look at the other stories driving the day. that's next. when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief? try bayer advanced aspirin. it's not the bayer aspirin you know. it's different. first, it's been re-engineered with micro-particles. second, it enters the bloodstream fast, and rushes relief to the site of your tough pain. the best part? it's proven to relieve pain twice as fast as before. bayer advanced aspirin. test how fast it works for you. love it, or get your money back. test how fast it works for you. ♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪
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welcome back, tile for what now. new york officials a 27-year-old man plotting to bomb police and post offices and attacking u.s. troops from returning home. willie, is the nypd the new top cop when it comes to counter terrorists? >> they got lucky once in times square, but there's been numerous occasions like this where they caught a guy in the act. we should say this guy is an amateur. had no connections overseas. literally buying things at 99 cent stores, home depot and putting things together in his
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room. >> i almost think that the amateur nature of it is more of a testament as to how rigorous ray kelly's operation is, the fact he could get this guy and that the feds conceded ground to the new york police. >> as a person from new orleans living in a city what has seen an increase in the murder rate, i pretty much want to bring these guys down and to say using intelligence work well-deployed in this way, in a way that will save livelives -- this had me d a little cheer despite all the things i dislike about the new york police for the new york police department. >> they looked at 9/11 and said the feds won't do it for us, we'll do it ourselves. vice president biden was speaking at a secret conference of democratic donors this morning. how can democrats close the enthusiasm gap for fund-raising
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in 2012? we are sending out the vice president to get donors for the president's re-election race in 2012. >> the president already raised $80 million. i don't think money will be an issue for the president when it gets going come january and february of next year. what i found amusing about the story is the vice president had this secret conversation with all these haiigh donors. i was thinking, gee, if the republicans did that, people would be talking about super packs, the dirty money and all the rich gazillionaries. both parties play this game. they need the cash. the vice president did what the vice president needed to do, sit down with the donors and say i need you to pony up a little here. i don't fault him for that. just be honest about it.
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>> i want to ask you guys, ladies on the panel, first lady michelle obama and dr. jill biden got a mixed reaction, including some loud boos at a nascar race over the weekend. to me this was like, wow, the level of respect -- i don't know if you want to call it the office of the first lady, but the first lady and the vice president's wife is at an all-time low. is this a larger narrative about the obama's administration? >> for as much as i might have even booed president bush, which i never would have, if i would have, i never would have booed first lady bush. there is a way we have seen the first lady office as one that is ceremonial, both michelle obama and jill biden are women of family, of status, accomplishment, intellect. the idea that it would be appropriate to boo them in this context, i have to say was pretty disappointing. i'm a southerner.
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it's not like i think all nascar people are horrible folks, but it was an appalling lack of respect. >> meghan what did you make of it? >> i think it's embarrassing internationally to have us booing the first lady and mrs. biden. there were a lot of people probably drunk. i've been booed publicly and my family have been booed publicly, it's the worst thing. >> and they were honoring military families, so it's strange. >> i want to know who booked that, though. >> right. take her to the nascar -- >> but it would be inappropriate if they didn't. >> i agree with the inappropriateness of it, but looking back at the landscape politically does speak to the question you asked about the political undercurrent out there in the country, that people feel so compelled to respond viscerally that way, at seeing the first lady and the vice
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president's wife. >> it's a strange thing to do to the first lady. >> it comes from a political place. >> it might be coming from political commentators who have been appall being her, whether it's radio talk show hosts or news people sitting at desks like this one. not you. >> i have much respect for her. >> who have said really appalling things about the first lady in ways that i think allow this to happen. >> certainly the part san rhetoric shows little sign of cooling. i have to give a shout-out and thanks to willie geist for coming on. >> gave me a couple good innings there. >> throwing some serious curveballs. i don't know anything about baseball. and also our panel, michael steele, melissa harris-perry, meghan mccain, welcome to the family. >> thank you. >> that does it for us today. we'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern.
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until then follow us on twitt twitter @nowwithalex. coming up on "andrea mitchell reports" senator jim webb will be here to talk about super failure. and we'll cover the fallout from that pepper spray attack at uc davis. new sanctions in iran and deadly clashes in egypt with richard engel. and the gingrich surge, is it for real? join us here in one minute for "andrea mitchell reports." overs and dinner is served. four minutes, around four bucks. campbell's chunky -- it's amazing what soup can do. and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses...
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" super failure. as markets plummet, a handful of senators make a last-ditch effort to bridge the divide. >> now we're down to just trying to get the small 1.2 trillion to avoid sequester. i still believe it's possible to do it, but it requires genuine compromise on


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