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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 29, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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a good saturday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. 38 days until election day. four days until the first presidential debate. but these are the numbers that are really bearing down on the gop nominee. these are mitt romney's likability numbers in six key battleground stat states. topping our political headlines, mitt romney going after president obama on foreign policy today. in his weekly podcast, romney said the president is fumbling his response to events in the middle east. >> this week, when president obama was asked about the recent disruption and chaos and violence in the middle east, he said that these were merely bumps in the road. that casual assessment of shocking events reveals that the president really doesn't understand the gravity of the challenges that we face in the
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broader middle east. >> meanwhile, the obama campaign is out with a new ad, it takes aim at romney's experience at bain capital, spotlighting workers who said they lost their jobs because governor romney was more concerned about short-term profits than creating jobs. >> people need to know what mitt romney did to miriam, indiana, in 1994. >> you don't just come in and take everything everybody's got and destroy a business. i mean, that's what they did. >> when you take away all the good-paying jobs such as we had here at gst steel in kansas city, the middle class is going to become extinct. >> neither obama nor romney have public events scheduled for today, but vice president joe biden and paul ryan were both on the trail. the vice president was in florida this morning, ryan is in new hampshire and is traveling to ohio for an event tonight. we will, of course, have more on all of these stories over the next two hours. in case you have not heard, the countdown is on to colorado. even though both campaigns are
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playing the lowered expectations game, you can bet their furiously preparing for the denver debate. joining me now to talk about it, garrett hake, who has been traveling with the romney campaign. garrett, good saturday afternoon to you. what can you tell me about governor romney's debate preparations this weekend? >> well, craig, i can tell you, so far, it hasn't really started at. at the moment, he's over at his oldest son's house in massachusetts. we are expecting governor romney to participate in some more debate prep this weekend. understand senator rob portman from ohio will be here, he'll also be traveling with the governor to denver on monday. they're at the stage now where the expectations game includes not really discussing even when and where they're doing debate prep. the campaign's official line, wherever's preparing for debates, is that he's holding private meetings. they don't want to give the impression that he's doing nothing but studying. >> because, again, if you study for 75 hours for a test, you better make an a-plus, or people begin to say funny things about
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you. it seems like every day or so, we hear from a new republican, who's hitting the romney campaign with some sort of advice. this week, it was newt gingrich offering some advice to romney's messaging strategy, telling him how to disarm president obama. we've heard from peggy noonan a couple of times now. how is the campaign reacting to all of this inside chatter? or are they? >> this is a constant irritation for the campaign. they feel like every donor, every republican who lost in a primary, and frankly, every reporter, thinks they know how to run a better campaign than they do. they wish that they could do our -- or they say they wish they could do our jobs too to give us an idea of the difference. they try to brush these things off. the campaign has its own staffers who help manage, especially the conservative media, reach out to try to keep things like that happy. but they undercut their conservative message when you say things like romney did to ron allen in ohio, they continue to undercut their ability to
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turn the page with conservative commentators. >> i always like getting your perspective on this next question, because you spend more time with governor romney than just about anything, with the exception of folks that he's related to or he pays. you have been with the campaign for a while now. over the past week, have you seen a different candidate romney? have you seen a different campaign? or is it pretty much the status quo? >> they seem, and governor romney in particular, seems to finally be resigned or be aware of the importance of what's going on next week. you look at the campaign schedule, it's become clear, they're not going to be barnstorming the country. they're not going to be treating the undecided voters left in this country as people they can win over on the stump. they know this is going to come down to these debates and advertisements. governor romney came to the back of the plane yesterday. he told the reporters, look, they've got to convince people that their big ideas are the right big ideas. and that's not something you can do at a rally. no matter how big. they need the stage, they need to be up there, elevated,
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standing next to president obama to convince people to change their minds and give governor romney a second look. >> you mentioned the plane yesterday. i understand that the governor was also passing around a whole bunch of beef jerky. did you get some of the jerky, sir? did you get any of the beef jerky? >> i did get the beef jerky. if i've learned one thing, it's never pass up the opportunity to get something to eat. >> garrett hake, traveling with the romney campaign. as always, i appreciate your time. >> my pleasure. an unemployment rate above 8%. more than half the country saying that they're worse off today than they were four years ago, in a new cnbc poll, and a national deficit that will pass the $1 trillion mark tomorrow for the fiscal year for the fourth straight year. conventional wisdom saying that president obama should be losing, but there's a slew of national and swing state polls that show president obama building a small lead against republican rival mitt romney.
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joining me now, tameka simms, and lynn sweet. good afternoon to both of you ladies. >> hello. >> good afternoon. >> let's take a quick look at the polling here. president obama up by five in a fox news poll, six in a bloomberg poll, three in a politico poll, seven points in a "national journal" poll. why do you think that the president is edging out mitt romney in these polls, when the economic recovery has been so slow? >> well, it's a fairly complicated answer, and a lot of it has to do with voter attitudes towards the economy, less so than voter attitudes toward president obama or mitt romney. in many ways, voters have gotten used to the idea of a poor economy, even a lackluster one. and they've kind of gotten used to it. a quarter of the people who said the country was headed in the
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wrong track are still supporting the president. so they've basically gotten used to the economy as the status quo. >> today in his weekly web address, lynn, the president blaming congress for not helping the economy. take a listen. >> last week, mortgage rates were at historic lows. but instead of helping more and more hard-working families take advantage of those rates, congress was away on break. instead of worrying about you, they'd already gone home to worry about their campaigns. >> lynn, is that a strategy that works? i mean, is there something to what he's arguing, regarding low mortgage rates and housing reform? >> well, he's doing, i believe, a preemptive strike in advance of the debate, where the focus is going to be on domestic issues and the economy. now, what he said is true. everyone who can should go out and refinance. and what he also talks about in that address is that congress isn't making it easier. but he's had years to work on
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housing. one of the big miscalculations of the obama presidency is that from the beginning, i don't think he properly appreciated the gravity of the house crisis in the united states, and putting -- fixing that in a way that people could either try to save their homes, refinance, even if their home value is underwater, but they had equity in it. so i'd say this more as preemptive, and since congress is so unpopular, doesn't hurt to blame them. >> and here's the thing with housing, lynn, not to get off on a tangent, but one of the things that's rarely addressed is a lot of the folks who desperately need to refinance their homes, their credit has taken such -- it's been battered so badly during the crisis, they don't qualify for the refi. >> well, and i'll do this quickly. that's my point. if you talk about why people might hone in on this issue and why obama's focusing on this, before the debate, where it is likely a reasonable thing to guess that it might come up, is that he realizes that this is a
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vulnerable area, achilles heel, and now trying to shift the blame ahead of time to congress. i say this is a little bit of setting the stage for obama vulnerability that people can relate to. this isn't like talking about derivatives or hedge funds. >> shirra, when moiitt romney started this campaign, he was selling himself as the turnaround expert. he had an economy in shambles that helped that argument. here's the latest nbc news/washington journal, marist poll. in the battleground states of north carolina, nevada, new hampshire. nevada, we should note, housing crisis at its worst there. unemployment at its worst there, voters are split, though, on who's better at handling the economy. we're starting to see the trend in other swing states as well. why is this? why are voters now saying, well, you know what, despite the last four years, i think the should be could be the guy who can turn this thing around. >> well, mitt romney never
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effectively, at least not yet, was able to articulate a way they could turn the economy around. we still have a couple debates. i still think 38 days before the election or something like that. but mitt romney didn't make that argument. and he didn't make it in those swing states. and that's because mitt romney played defense a lot of the first half of this year. whether it was in the primaries or in may, when the primary was finally over, and the obama campaign really started to hit him hard on his bain record. there hasn't an opening or an effective way for him to articulate a vision to turning the economy around. and it shows in the poll numbers. >> lynn, if governor romney can't hang this economy over the president's neck in the next three or four weeks, is there a chance he can beat him? >> of course there is one big blooper from obama, and the mistake may certainly change the trajectory of the campaign. but garrett made a very good point. i want to quickly build on another reason why obama might have dealt with housing today. he's doing his debate prep in a suburb of las vegas. where is he now that it's hard
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hit? so, again, this is another reason -- a reason he's camped out there, deliberately, so to try to bolster his support in nevada. and again, i think he's just prophylactically building a community around himself, dealing with housing, shifting some blame. >> lynn sweet there with some insugt on why the president might be getting out in front of this housing stuff. and shirra telling us the new normal with regards to the economy has shifted in a big way in this country. saturday afternoon insight, ladies. thank you so much for that. do appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, big-time celebrities getting involved to get you to the voting booth, regardless of political affiliation. first, though, what ann romney says worries her if her husband wins the white house. this is actually pretty startling. we're going to tell you about this in a few moments. and a little bit later, after spending decades here in america, in exile, what libya's president tells nbc's ann curry about what lies ahead. you are watching msnbc. ♪
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just four days to go until the first presidential debate of the 2012 election. there's a lot on the line for both candidates, of course. but for mitt romney, the stakes appear to be huge. "the washington post" reporting, "republican strategists fretting over obama's recent rise said the debates could be the last best chance for romney to deliver a decisive blow. change the narrative, steady his campaign." here to talk about that, a former political director to president george w. bush. also a romney supporter. matt, good afternoon to you, sir. >> great to be with you. >> is this the last best chance for governor romney? true or false? what do you think? >> i guess kind of true. it's a great opportunity. i think it's a big mistake for candidates, especially when they're running for president,
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to put all the marbles in a debate. because really what you want to do in a debate, is first of all, you don't want to be swinging so much for the fences that you make a lot of errors. i worked for president george w. bush, as you said, and in his first debate in 2004, a lot of people felt like he gave a subpar performance. and there's no question that we breathe some life into our opponents, and if president obama, who some have characterized as almost a messianic kind of figure, comes across as someone who does not have a real plan for second term, he could be looking at poll numbers that get even more tight. >> but if governor romney doesn't unveil some sort of grand plan for his first term, that won't move the needle at all either, will it? >> i really do disagree with you. i don't think that this election comes down to all the plans that governor romney has. and actually, i think his economic plan is pretty clear. i think it probably comes down to a group of voters who might have voted for president obama
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the first time, but for whatever reason, they're still undecided. they already know what president obama did his first term. they didn't like it. the question is, is he going to kind of change gears and do something different? be a little more of the type of president who will reach across the aisle. for some reason, he hasn't closed the deal with these voters. that gives governor romney a great opportunity. >> matt, you say the president hasn't closed the deal with voters. he's ahead in nine different polls -- >> but my point, craig, is this. is that if he had all the voters right now, today, that he had in 2008, this thing would be over. but he doesn't. those who are still undecided and many of those polls you cite, even though i could quibble with most of them, many show the president under 50%. there are voters who voted for president the first time, but they're not with him this time around. >> matt, governor romney is down in virginia, down in north carolina, we just talked about new hampshire, he's down in new hampshire. i mean, he's down in states
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where six months ago, you guys thought these would certainly be states that were in the red column. >> well, i mean, here's what i would say to you, is we still have a race to run here. as you're saying, we have debates to go through, and many of these -- look, the indicator i would look at is the president's job approval rating. a couple of days ago, he reached that magic 50% in his job approval rating for only the second time really in the past six months. today i looked at his gallup job approval ratings, they're already back down to 48. this president has trouble sustaining a job approval rating above 50%. as long as he's below 50%, he's in jeopardy. so i'm saying, it's in his hands. he could be in a stronger position, but for whatever reason, people who voted for him last time, there's enough people who voted for him last time who are still waiting for him to close the deal with them and he hasn't done it. >> i want to play something ann romney said this week in nevada about what her biggest concern would be if mitt romney does win this election. take a look. >> i think my biggest concern,
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obviously, would just be for the, for his mental well-being. i have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisivene decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy, in his understanding of what's missing right now in the economy, the pieces that are missing to get this jump-started. so for me, i think it would just be the emotional part of it. >> matt, help us understand this. this is not something we've heard before about governor romney. his mental well-being, his emotional well-being. what does she mean there? well, being the president of the united states, craig, is one lonely job. you have a lot of people working for you, there's a lot of glamour to the job, but at the end of the day, it's very lonely. you have to make some pretty incredible decisions. you know, when i worked for president bush, one of the things that always kind of got to me is those moments when you realize that he started off every morning, and he started awfully early every morning, getting an assessment of what was going on with the war on terror, and all the problems with people who had lost their lives in the skirmishes the day
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before. for every president, republican or democrat, it's a sobering job. it's a job -- >> and that's what she was speaking to there. >> that's what she's speaking to there. i hope you wouldn't try to apply anything else. >> but that was something we came across, and we were like, yeah, we wanted to get you to elaborate on that. thank you for doing that. i want to turn to paul ryan for a quick moment here. this is what the "national review" is reporting this morning. quote, paul ryan has a new mission, reassuring conservative pundits. in the past week, the republican veep has called several conservative commentators, including george will, and in those conversations hz expressed confidence about the republican ticket's chances s schances, fi questions, and asked for frank assessments. what questions could paul ryan might be asked. >> sometimes people on my side are pretty quick to criticize their own. and i think it's a mistake. because really what's happening this presidential campaign is a very vigorous debate, and
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despite some of the numbers you talked about, there are others. it's only logical for a campaign and someone who's as respected as paul ryan to be regularly reaching out to some of the voices in the -- >> really, is that what he's doing? the he just reaching out or are conservative commentators calling him, giving him an earful, giving the campaign an earful. >> craig, they don't need to call him to give an ear full. >> we're a very hope party, a very open movement. people just let it all hang out. and i guess that can look a bit chaotic from the other side, but i'm glad we let our voices out there. and i think paul ryan is someone who listens to those voices and i think it's great he's talking to them and governor romney's doing the same thing. >> matt sclap, former deputy assistant to president bush, thank you so much for coming on the show today, sir. >> thanks for having me, craig. >> still to come, whose ghost hangs over 1600 pennsylvania avenue, so much so that this
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year's candidates are still running against him, and arguably, from him. first, though, "the new york times'" numbers guru. how much mitt romney needs to make up in the polls to catch up with president obama in the time that he has left. that's after the break. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. are you ready ? share everything by turning your smartphone into a mobile hotspot for up to 8 wifi-enabled devices at no extra charge. like the new droid razr m by motorola only $99.99. you know it can be hard to lbreathe, and how that feels.e, copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms
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♪ l-o-v-e ♪ let your voice be heard >> the website there on your screen,, the love campaign, a nonpartisan effort. it says its target audience is the largest group of nonvoters in this country. that's nearly 20 million unmarried women. and now, survey says. our look at the polls making news today. there are a whole lot of them. we just take a few. president obama appears to be holding his lead over mitt romney and all of these polls. a new survey of likely voters in pennsylvania shows president obama with a 7% lead. the morning call, mulenberg college poll shows president obama would receive 49% of the state's vote and mitt romney, 42%. a state poll by suffolk university and nbc 12 in richmond, virginia shows president obama with a slim lead in the commonwealth. the president at 46%, romney at 44%. that's 2% -- that 2% lead there, it is within the poll's margin
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of error we should note. meanwhile, the latest nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll looking i three key states. in new hampshire, president obama leads 51% to governor romney's 44%. and down in north carolina, the race a little closer with president obama at 48% and governor romney 46%. and out west in nevada, obama, 49%, romney, 47%. but while the president holds the overall edge, voters seem less sure as to which candidate would do a better job fixing the economy. in new hampshire, 49% believe that the president would do a better job than mitt romney. 46% believe that mitt romney would do a better job. in north carolina, 47% think that mitt romney's the man to fix the economy, slightly ahead of president obama there who's at 46%. and back out to nevada, 46% think that mitt romney will do a better job, and 47% in nevada
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think the president can better handle the problems in the economy. that's a question of particular interest in nevada, with of course the housing crisis being at its worst there and unemployment also being above the national average. so does mitt romney have time to make up the difference when it comes to the horse race? here's what nate silver, "the new york times" numbers guru and keeper of the famous 538 blog told nbc's david gregory for the press pass. >> you haven't it now, and that was damaging sign. >> you can watch more of david gregory's interview with nate silver at, and of course tomorrow, as is the case every sunday morning, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press" with moderator david gregory. from yankee stadium to the cornfields of iowa. which candidate this seinfeld star has a serious man crush on.
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then a little bit later, the missouri senate candidate who's not scoring any points with his lady like comments this week. first, though, we will take you who the elephant in the room is in this presidential race. someone who both candidates just can't seem to kick. you're watching msnbc on this saturday afternoon. the place for politics. my doctor told me calcium is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. so it can feel like you're using nothing at all. but neosporin® eczema essentials™ is different. its multi-action formula restores visibly healthier skin in 3 days. neosporin® eczema essentials™. in 3 days. every room deserves to look us what our great.te color is?
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2010 to killing a u.s. soldier in afghanistan back in 2002. there are reportedly about 166 detainees still at gitmo. the new term of the supreme court begins monday. among the issues the justices are expected to face are how race is used in college admissions and possibly a challenge to the defense of marriage act as well. and in spain on this saturday, thousands in the streets as things go from bad to worse. new government documents show the country's public debt is expected to reach 90.5% of its gross domestic product next year. one in four spaniards is out of work. libya's new president was among the world leaders in new york this week for the annual u.n. general assembly, but what many people do not know is that after surviving seven assassination attempts, he lived in exile, for two decades, near
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atlanta georgia. the libyan president spoke exclusively to nbc's ann curry about the trouble his country is now facing. >> you've within living in atlanta, for many years. what made you want to leave the comfort and relative safety of staying in this life and jump into the fire, as you have? >> as much a jump into the fire didn't start now, i started in 1980, when i decide to defect from the regime and called for openly, for its downfall and its toppling, and to topple it, and i didn't leave home for good in exile. i left my home with the hope to return it. being liberated now, it's my
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dream and my hope to return to my hope to libya, and to die there and to be buried in libya. but at one time, i was preparing myself to die in exile. >> that's very emotional for you to think about? you thought you might die, never being able to see your country again. >> to see that take place, the tyrant, and to return my country and to have a chance to participate in putting the foundations for a new democratic agreement. this is more than i expected in my life. >> and so you have a dream then. >> yes. yes. >> to see libya become something. >> yes. i'm determined. i'm determined to even sacrifice my life for that, yes. >> you have hope. >> yes. >> i never lost hope.
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never lost hope. never. and i have always been ready to sacrifice my life for my dream of libya. >> that was nbc's ann curry reporting there. she will be part of a special broadcast monday from syria to afghanistan. nbc news will have a series of reports we are calling "at the brink," a hard look at some of the most dangerous conflicts in the world and what's at stake for americans the back here at home. special coverage starting tomorrow on "nbc nightly news." now, to a theme that's starting to bubble up in the political world, the ghost of . g.w. the impact former president bush could be having on this election. he's been virtually invisible on the republican side, not even making an appearance at the republican national convention in tampa. this week, the "national review," a conservative publication, called on mitt romney to stop avoiding the subject and address it head-on. and in a new ebook, "elephant in
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the room: washington in the bush years" this argument is made. "the romney campaign has tried to make the race a referendum on obama. it may turn out, ironically, to be a referendum on bush." with me now, the editor of that ebook, paul glastris. paul, good saturday afternoon to you. >> good to be here. >> what do you mean when you write this race could turn out to be a referendum on president bush? >> well, as you said, president bush has been nowhere in this discussion. he wasn't at the convention. thousands of republican ads have not mentioned him. and yet in the minds of the american public, his legacy is still very, very present. if you look at poll data on who is to blame for this current state of the economy, in poll after poll, a majority or a plurality of voters don't blame obama. they blame george w. bush.
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and he is, in a sense, the elephant in the room. something too embarrassing to mention, but something too overwhelming not to matter. and there's other poll data that kind of suggests that consciously or not, when people are going to the polls, they are thinking about maybe we're going to return to george w. bush if we vote for romney. >> how could the romney campaign, or how can the romney campaign, how can it distance itself from the ghost of g.w.? >> i think if they would have gone in and dealt with immediately and honestly from the beginning, they wouldn't have had a campaign that said, to try to pin the entire four years of the economy on president obama. they would know that average people understand, he came in with a huge burden, a collapsing economy, and they would have -- he would have said, look, the first two years, that was the problem of the president's predecessor. you can't blame him for that. but the last two years, that's obama's. there were ways for him to deal
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with it. but frankly, it was a very, very difficult legacy for, i think any republican, romney or anyone, to have to deal. >> the romney campaign said it wants to make the election about the economy, and initially it really tried to do that. but polls show that now americans, as you mentioned, tend to assign more blame to bush than to obama when it comes to that issue. 68% say bush should get a great deal or moderate amount of blame. 52% say the same thing about obama. did the romney campaign just, did they fail to take this into account, or did they just fail to address it properly? >> i think it's both, actually, right? i think that in the -- among a lot of republicans who supported george bush fervently in the first term and when he was popular, the disasters that befell the country during his term are something that caused a kind of cognitive dissidence, and you just really don't want to deal with it. so i think that there was -- i mean, i don't know, i'm not in the romney campaign, but i just
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have to think that had they factored in this problem in their strategy, in an johnson way, they might have been able to neutralize it. it's very late in the game to do that now. >> over and over, president obama has accused governor romney and congressman ryan of doubling down on president bu bush's policies. take a listen. >> instead of doubling down on the same trickle-down economics that got us in this mess in the first place, we need top keep moving forward. we don't need to double down on the same trickle-down policies that got us into this mess in the first place. the problem with what he's trying to sell is we just tried that in the last decade. it didn't work then. it won't work now. >> is that the message that has been resonating with voters? is that why we've seen those numbers move with regards to who do you trust thoonld the economy? >> i think so. it's very good clip that you picked, because you'll notice, president obama didn't mention the name george w. bush. he didn't even say republicans.
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he talked about the ideas and the policies, because he doesn't want to be targeted with having made excuses for his own performance. but the point gets across. there is a real recent bloomberg poll that showed that the average -- when you asked voters, do you think that obama will bring back clinton's economic policy, 40% say that. and this is with clinton having been at the convention and ads run. when you ask voters, do you think romney will bring back bush's policies, 45% of voters say that. and this is whith bush not mentioned at all. >> it really is strange, you see the democrats, they trot out bill clinton at every opportunity, he is their party's superstar. and meanwhile, the gop, they hide g.w. in the back room like the crazy lost uncle. it's very odd. how long do you think that continues? >> well, you know, it took richard nixon a long time to come out of hiding.
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and i'm not sure that he ever came back and spoke at a convention. >> paul glastris, author of "elephant in the room," thank you so much for your time today. it sounds like a fascinating read. full disclosure here, i have only started it. they keep me pretty busy here, paul. hope to get around to the whole thing. >> hope you enjoy it. >> coming up, what beer you drink has to say about your politics. all of a sudden, the folks here on the floor have all perked up. a little bit later, accusations politics in missouri have become unladylike. this is msnbc. [ male announcer ] let's say you need to take care of legal matters. wouldn't it be nice if there was an easier, less-expensive option than using a traditional lawyer? well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms, with total customer support. legalzoom documents have been accepted in all 50 states, and they're backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts, more events, more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] so george costanzo apparently has a man crush on president obama. that kicks our trail mix. actor jason alexander of "seinfeld" fame campaigning in iowa for the president. he took some time after the
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stump to share his love for barack zplp i'm not ashamed to say i have a little man crush on barack obama. i also have a little man crush on michelle obama. it's an equal opportunity there for everybody. but i think he's an extraordinary man. >> from "seinfeld" to beer now. according to scarborough research, no relation to joe scarborough, we should note here, your beer apparently says a lot about your politics. if you tip back a sam adams when your feet are up, you're likely to vote republican. if you pick up a heineken when you pick your poison, you're more likely to be a democrat. and those whose brew of choice is bud lite apparently don't have any political allegiance. not sure what that says. beer may not be the only way to gauge political allegiance. it may also be possible to tell which jokes you think are funny. allison dagnus, author of "a conservative walks into a bar," says our opinions and biases affect our perception of jokes
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when politics are involved. if you want to test yourself, check out a political litmus test in six jokes. it's on npr's website. now for a little trail dust, what you may have missed from the campaign trail. here's vice president joe biden just a few hours ago at a campaign stop in ft. myers, florida. >> the fourth, fifth, or sixth day, i can't recall, after being in office, we were sitting in the oval office, and larry summers, the chief economic adviser in the economic team came in and said, mr. president, looking at this year's budget, you are going to have a $1 trillion deficit. he said, i haven't done anything yet. i'm serious. they said, no, mr. president, the budget they passed, the budget they passed, in october of last year, guarantees that no matter what you do, you're going to have a $1 trillion debt this year in the budget. a $1 trillion deficit, to be precise. so ladies and gentlemen, these
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guys talk about the national debt. they talk about this, you know -- and what they did generated the slowest growth in private sector jobs since world war ii. it gave us this great recession. and what they haven't told you is, what they've been unwilling to do, to do anything about it. here's the deal, folks. we laid out a $4 trillion debt reduction plan over the next ten years. $4 trillion. we've already passed a trillion of it. ladies and gentlemen, these guys vote against everything. no, no, no, i really mean it. not only do they say they don't like our plan. okay, i get that. you don't like our plan. what's your plan? >> vice president biden there today in florida. still to come, why dthe debate n denver is essentially do or die for mitt romney. we'll talk about that. first, though, the very unladylike game of politics and why that guy seems to be surviving.
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missouri republican congressman todd akin making headlines once again this week. he is now under fire after suggesting that his democratic rival senator claire mccaskill has been more lady like in past campaigns compared to their current contest. here is now senator mccaskill responded on msnbc's "hardball" just last night. >> this is somebody who does make michele bachmann look like a hippie. he is that far on the fringe. >> let's bring back our roll call. lynn sweet, good afternoon to both of you. >> and good afternoon. >> let me start with you. here is the thing. on the outside looking in, you would think that akin would have been dead in the water after his
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first incident. what is happening here? what are we missing about missouri? >> well, missouri is a conservative state, first of all. claire mccaskill only won by a couple of points, a pretty slim margin anyway six years ago. but also the obama campaign, the national campaigns are not playing here at all. which means the senate race is pretty much one of the biggest games in town. when you have that kind of dynamic, interesting things can happen. a couple of reporters were out there this week and noted there were signs of life in the akin campaign. i've talked to a couple of republicans say they have seen internal polls still trailing, but within a couple points of her. >> lynn, about a month ago, it seemed all republicans were running as far away from congressman akin as they could get. looks like this week things are starting to change. the national republican senatorial committee releasing this in part, quote, todd akin is a far more preferable candidate than claire mccaskill. we hope todd akin wins in
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november, and we will continue to monitor this race chosely in the days ahead. we also saw missouri state republicans coming out in support for akin senator jim demint, rick santorum also releasing a statement of support. newt gingrich in missouri campaigning with akin this week. what has changed there for all of these supporters? what are they saying? >> well, what changed is that akin, now it turns out correctly declining to drop out until there is evidence he was dead in the water. and he was on the ground. he knew that there was a potential path to just not drown in his own ill advised comments about women and rape. and that's why it is a listen in politics that if you think you have a chance, don't let others talk you into quitting. i mean there is something to be said about that. and surely the republicans would rather a republican from missouri than claire mccaskill. and this is the time in the campaign when reality sets in,
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and all is forgiven. and if he can demonstrate through polls. >> sure. >> that he is viable, then money will flow. don't expect romney or ryan necessarily to come to his rescue. they've already -- they've got their own campaigns. they can't get connected with him. >> right. >> but other republicans have nothing to lose in helping him out. >> if the republicans start to fully support akin again, does this play into the gender gap politics that we've seen nationally? i mean is this something that could push more women toward president obama and away from mitt romney in november? >> perhaps. what we saw this week already democrats were trying to use this as a wedge issue, the fact that senate republicans are kind of hedging on their statement that they weren't going to support todd akin. they were trying to push that on other candidates running in more liberal areas, for example, scott brown in massachusetts. they are trying to use it to divide the republican party. and somewhat effectively. >> lynn, i want before i let you get out of here, you cover chicago politics very closely.
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came across the article about jesse jackson jr. and we haven't seen him in a while. he has held that seat since 1995. some are saying that as long as congressman jackson has a pulse, he will win that district. it seems kind of surprising for those of us outside chicago. is he a shoo-in at this point? >> let me explain. i've been reporting this for some time. even though no one has seen him in public since june 16th when he checked himself into the emergency room in george washington hospital, he really has nominal opposition. it is a heavily democratic district. he has a war chest of as of june it was $900,000. and while there is an independent out there and a republican nominee, they have raised virtually no money and are not running real campaigns. however, there is a demand for jackson to be seen before election day. >> role kohl's shria toeplitz, lynn sweet, thank you for
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joining us. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. paul ryan in the buckeye state right now. what the critical swing state means for the republican ticket, coming up. then a little bit later, just how close to the brink are we really in the standoff with iran? this is msnbc. [ scratching ] you're not using too much are you, hon? ♪ nope. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less versus the leading value brand. don't worry, there's plenty left for you dad. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra soft?
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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. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking.


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