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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  June 1, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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penalties. we'll have all the details there. plus, george w. bush returns to the white house. >> when you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask, what would george do? >> president obama and bush 43 do a little schtick in the east room later in the show. first to the news. here at 30 rock in new york city. the obama campaign's attack on mitt romney's business record ran into a road block. bill clinton. president clinton praised romney's background at the investment firm bain capital. >> i think it will affect some people who relate well to businessmen. and i think he had a good business career. the -- there's a lot of
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controversy about that, but if you go in and try to save a failing company and you and i have friends here who invest in companies, you can invest in a company, run up the debt, loot it, sell off the assets and force all the people to lose their retirement and fire them. or you can go into a company, have cutbacks, try to make it more productive with the purpose of saving it. and when you try, like anything else you try, you don't always succeed. not every movie you made was a smash hit. >> that's for sure. >> i don't think that we ought to get into a position where we say this is bad work. this is good work. no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office and, you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold. >> that's bill clinton on cnn last night. his comments come nearly two weeks after newark, new jersey,
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mayor corey booker undercut the president's message by saying on "meet the press" the attacks on bain capital were, quote, nauseating. the obama team, meanwhile, expanding its assault from romney's business record to his time as massachusetts governor. on the steps of the massachusetts statehouse yesterday, obama adviser david axelrod argued that romney's experience in the governor's mansion does not bode well for presidency. >> it's not a prescription for leadership as we saw in massachusetts. he tried to bring those same principles to massachusetts and the middle class suffered this state lagged far beyond the rest of the country in job creation. incomes declined. that is what happens when you try and translate those values and those principles into the governance of a state or a country. >> and you might have heard it in the background. axelrod's remarks drowned out by a number of romney supporters there in massachusetts who were chanting throughout the event. later in the day, mr. romney
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came to the defense of the hecklers. >> most of the events i go to or many of the events i go to there are large groups of if you will, obama supporters there heckling me. and at some point you say, you know what? sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. if they're going to be heckling us, we're not going to sit back and play by very different rules. if the president is going to have his people coming to my rallies and heckling, we'll show them that we conservatives have the same kind of capacity he does. >> man, i haven't heard that in a long time. sauce for the goose. like the obama campaign, romney's campaign also engaging in a little political stagecraft making a surprise stop at the solar panel firm solyndra. romney used the visit to showcase what he describes as an example of president obama's failed economic policies. solyndra, of course, selected by the obama administration for a $500 million loan guarantee. later, though, filing for bankruptcy. >> this building, this $500
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million taxpayer investment represents a serious conflict of interest on the part of the president and his team. it's also a symbol of how the president thinks about free enterprise. free enterprise to the president means taking money from the taxpayers and giving it freely to his friends. >> today, president obama will speak about the economy at a manufacturing plant in minnesota before he heads to a campaign event in chicago. mitt romney, meanwhile, will be fund-raising in california. and nbc news has learned the justice department is unlikely to refile charges against former senator john edwards. the two-time presidential candidate whose criminal trial ended yesterday without a conviction. after nine days of deliberation, a north carolina jury found edwards not guilty of one of six counts of campaign finance corruption with the jurors deadlocked on the other counts. the judge declared a mistrial. edwards was accused of using money from wealthy donors to
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hide his pregnant mistress rielle hunter during his 2008 presidential run. in an address on the courthouse steps, edwards insisted that while he may have been a bad husband, he did not break the law by trying to cover that up. >> i want to make sure that everyone hears from me and from my voice that while i do not believe i did anything illegal or ever thought i was doing anything illegal, i did an awful, awful lot that was wrong. and there is no one else responsible for my sins. none of the people who came to court and testified are responsible. nobody working for the government is responsible. i am responsible. and if i want to find the person who should be held accountable for my sins, honestly, i don't have to go any further than the mirror. >> edwards could have faced up to three decades in prison and a
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$1.5 million fine if convicted of all the charges. s a said, though, he was convicted of none. for more we turn to nbc chief legal correspondent savannah guthrie joining us by phone. good morning. >> good morning, willie. i'm up every morning watching you. >> well, you have to be contractually for your job. >> well, that's true. >> don't pretend you are doing me any favors. >> frankly, we haven't covered this trial gaffele to gavel every day on the show. boil down what was at stake. what was the central question? >> the question was whether these donations as the prosecution alleged from two rich donors, to john edwards campaign in 2007th in 2028 exceeded the federal limit and should have been reported to the federal election committee. these were not campaign contributions. these were monies that personal friends gave to john edwards. the money was used in part to cover up that affair with his mistress, rielle hunter and her
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later pregnancy. needless to say, this was a stretch of the campaign finance laws and a prosecution that has never been brought before. i mean, the facts alone are quite unusual. i don't have to tell you. but also a lot of veterans of this kind of area of the law were saying, this really was an expansive view of the campaign finance laws. >> were you surprised by the not guilty verdict on one count yesterday, or by the mistrial on the other five yesterday? were you and other legal experts surprised by what you heard? >> not really. first of all, this is a jury that was out deliberating for nine days. the longer deliberations go on, the more you recognize they are probably having a fight back there and can't come to a resolution. so the fact there's a hung jury and a mistrial is not altogether surprising. and this was a very complicated and confusing case. they were given jury instructions that were very thick, that were ambiguous, hard to figure out. and that's a lawyer reading them. so i think there were a lot of complicated issues.
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it's not surprising. one of the key issues was, would john edwards really have known this was against the law? this money that was used to cover up an affair would be considered a campaign contribution? the prosecution had a high bar. hay had to show he knew it was a violation of the campaign finance laws and he broke those laws on purpose. and that was a pretty high bar for them to have to meet. >> quickly, before i let you go, have we heard the end of this case? what does mistrial mean on those five other counts? >> the prosecution in theory has a right to bring those charges again. not the one he was acquitted on. but as a practical matter, it's unclear that they will. they had a crack at this case. not clear the evidence gets any better the witnesses get any stronger or the laws become any more favorable. the justice department will be looking hard at this case and may decide, we took our best crack at this, but time to let it go. >> the great savannah guthrie up early with us. thanks for calling in. the defense of marriage act may be heading to the supreme court now after it was ruled
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unconstitutional by an appeals panel in boston known as doma, the 1996 law signed by president clinton defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. in a unanimous decision yesterday, the circuit court said that deprives gay couples equal rights and privileges. last year, president obama ordered the justice department to stop defending the constitutionality of that law. today's "new york times" is offering new details about the escalation of what intelligence officials call america's first sustained use of cyberweapons. according to the report, president obama secretly ordered sophisticated attacks against iran's nuclear facilities shortly after taking office. the sabstauj program was first developed under the bush administration with the help of israel. in a series of cyberattacks, computer worms infected iran's uranium centrifuges, temporarily knocking 20% of them offline. but the worm code-named olympic games escaped iran's nuclear
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plant reportedly causing president obama to question whether the classified program should be shut down. u.s. officials decided to press on delaying iran's nuclear program up to two years. "the new york times" reports the administration has, quote, onlily recently acknowledged developing cyberweapons and has never admitted using them. it's a good read at new york by david sanger this morning. still ahead, the san antonio spurs lose for the first time in almost two months. we've got us a series out west. highlights of the thunder coming alive at home. and lil wayne's twitter tantrum about the game. that's ahead in sports. plus, the annual tradition where middle schoolers appear on national television to spell words you and i have never even heard of. we have a winner at the scripps national spelling bee. we'll try your luck on the final word and get a check on weather when "way too early" comes right back.
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tonight, general motors has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. it's going to take more government money. it's going to be awhile before they make any money. though the president is assuring us they'll soon be back on their own feet. [ male announcer ] what's in your energy drink? ♪
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challenge that. olay smooth finish facial hair removal duo. first a gentle balm then the removal cream. effective together with less irritation and as gentle as a feather. olay hair removal duo. welcome back to "way too early." it's 5:45 on a friday morning. let's get a check of weather from todd santos. good morning. >> good morning. happy friday. >> happy friday. >> happy friday to everyone out there. we want to let folks know especially around the white house, a few areas there in central portions of the i-95 corridor could see potent thunderstorm activity by later
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on this afternoon. initially you see showers through eastern virginia, light rain at this point. heavier showers through central portions of lower michigan. as that whole system progresses eastward we'll have a disturbance they may get some of these storms going. also areas through southern new jersey. a little clear skies to to start off the day. new york may get showers by later on this evening. did want to also mention noaa's storm prediction center put out a light warning primarily for hail and damaging winds in some of the stronger thunderstorms across the mid-atlantic today. also an isolated threat for tornadoes. did want to mention this area from charleston to erie, pennsylvania, out towards d.c. make sure you have a way to get your warnings. not out of the question to get a tornado to spin up today. today is also the one year anniversary of the springfield, massachusetts, ef-3 tornado. only a year past that one. here through central florida, showers and storms today. maybe plan accordingly as far as tee times, assuming most folks in florida are playing golf today. there's a look at temperatures
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as you head out the door in new york city. later this afternoon, beautiful numbers but keep in mind that severe storm threat. >> todd santos, thanks for all your help this week. >> sure thing. down two games to none in the western conference finals, the thunder faced a must win game three at home. oklahoma city against the spurs team that had not lost a single game since april 11th. kevin durant with a huge dunk over tim duncan. he led the thunder with 22 points. thunder in the midst of a huge second quarter when westbrook lobs it up. shot or pass? you make the call. doesn't matter. two points either way. perkins with the dunk. gives the thunder a 15-point lead. they outscored the spurs in the second quarter. durant kicks it out to sevulo sevulosia. five players in double digits. james harden hits westbrook with the alley-oop. thunder go on to win, 102-82 in
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a romp ending the spurs' 20-game winning streak. the thunder can even the series at home tomorrow night. the eastern conference finals move to boston tonight where the celtics try to avoid falling into a 3- hole against the heat. the north carolina city did win up its first win. the franchise may have found itself in a feud with lil wayne. after gailing to get a ticket last night, he rapper tweeted, was going to go to the thunder game tonight but was denied by the team to be in their arena. wow. shaking my head. go spurs. a spokesperson said weezy did request tickets but because he insisted in sitting in the sold out front row the team could not accommodate him on such short notice. said team spokesman, we'd love to have him at a game but like anyone else, he needs a ticket. at the french open, american john isner and paul-henri
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matthmat mathiue played the second longest match ever. isner won the longest match in grand slam history two years ago when he outlofted mahut at wimbledon. 11 hours and 5 minutes. remember that? a couple of weers ago. this time he found himself on the losing end when the match concluded after 76 games. it's 107 fewer than he played in that epic at wimbledon. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," bill clinton goes all corey booker, defending in an interview mitt romney's work at bain capital and suggesting the obama campaign ought to just leave it alone. talk about that with our "morning joe" crew. when we come back, we'll huddle around the water cooler to watch george w. bush return to the white house for the hanging of his portrait. but mostly to do a little comedy routine with president obama. "way too early" coming right back.
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top of the show, we showed you the clip of president bill clinton becoming the latest surrogate for president obama to question the wisdom of the campaign's attack for his time at bain capital.
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tell your friends then senator obama took in nearly 3.5 million bucks in 2008 from private equity firms for his campaign. that's according to data from watchdog group open secrets. and that is twice as much as john mccain's campaign raised in that same campaign from private equity. so far this year, mitt romney has outraised obama $1.7 million to $396,000 for the president. let's huddle up around the water cooler to watch the dramatic conclusion of the scripps national spelling bee. a 14-year-old steps to the podium under espn's hot lights with the country watching and nails the final word. >> guetapens. g-u-e-t-a-p-e-n-s. guetapens. >> got it. got it. that's 14-year-old snigdh
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snigdha nandipati. she wins the 85th annual scripps. the word means ambush or trap, as you probably know. but it did not trip up the new spelling champion. the eighth grader studied ten hours a day in preparation for her big moment. her winnings include 30 grand in cash and $2500 savings bond and a $5,000 scholarship. the runner-up was eliminated on the word schwarmerei which means excessive enthusiasm. got to look that one up. former president george w. bush and president obama demonstrated there's nothing quite like bipartisan comedy. at the ceremony to celebrate the new white house portraits of george w. bush and laura bush, the former first lady, the 43rd president and the current potus exchanging schtick about 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> i will always remember the
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gathering you held for all the former living presidents before i took office. plus you left me a really good tv sport s package. >> i am pleased my portrait brings an interesting symmetry to the white house collection. it now starts and ends with a george w. when the british burned the white house, as fred mentioned, in 1814, dolly madison, famously saved this portrait of the first george w. now, michelle, if anything happen happens, there's your man. i'm also pleased, mr. president, that when you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait
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and ask, what would george do? it is my privilege to introduce the greatest first lady ever -- sorry, mom. >> it was really gracious of you to invite us back to the white house to hang a few family pictures. and i'm sure you know nothing makes a house a home like having portraits of its former occupants staring down at you from the walls. >> you have to watch that. it was like dean martin's roast in the east room. still ahead -- why are you awake. schwarmerei. your tweets and texts just moments away. [ female announcer ] the next generation of investing technology
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and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. t there. tomato soup from campbell's. - one serving of cheese is the size of four dice. one serving of cereal, a baseball. and one serving of fruit, a tennis ball. - you know, both parties agree. our kids can be healthier... the more you know. we asked you what you are doing up at this hour on the first day of june. what do you have? >> a rick on twitter, up early to start prepping my grandma's famous goose sauce. >> nice call back to the mitt romney quote. he pulled it out of 1953. what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander out on the
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campaign trail. >> brook in ohio. i'm watching for what may be the last time because i'm retiring as a school librarian and don't intend to get up this early for a long time. >> i look forward to that day 35 years from now. sounds like you had great career. congratulations on that. sleep in forever. one tweet for you. i take great offense to this one. from anthony mcneal, he writes, next time willie takes a day off, have savannah fill off. much easier on the eyes than willie. she was on the phone, dude. you didn't even see her. oh, ok. we had a photograph of her. she eyes, she's smarter and more talented. i'm trying to hide that, though. "morning joe" starts right now. it could be the end of the big gulp. new york city mayor michael bloomberg wants to ban the sale of all sugary drink larger than 16


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