tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 12, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
>>overwhelming majority of the county says: "tax the rich don't go to war." i just wanted to clarify. >> eliot: one audience, two speeches, two totally different responses. mitt romney faced a crowd at the naacp convention in houston that was frigid indeed hostile. while vice president biden faced the same crowd today receiving a hero's welcome and was barely allowed to leave. the loudest of jeers for romney came when he mentioned his desire to get rid of obama care. once he was safely back in the comforts of his own circle of supporters last night, he claimed to take pride in the boos he received, telling the crowd at a fund-raiser in montana and i quote "if they want more stuff from the government, tell them to go vote for the other guy more free stuff. but don't forget nothing is really free." joe biden, on the other hand,
wishes he could have a crowd like this every day. taking the convention stage to rousing applause, the vice president used his speech to discuss the vast differences between romney's vision for the future of the country and the president's vision. proven the audience was evenhanded the vice president got some boos, too but only when they heard he was leaving. joining me now is strategist and author of "the language of trust" is michael maslansky and political reporter joe williams. michael, is it fair to say mitt rom ne's speech wasn't directed at the audience in that convention hall? he was speaking to very different voters than those listening to him. >> i don't know if that's true. if you watch the whole speech, aside from the two two times he was booed for mentioning obama very measured, very thoughtful. very open speech. i think there were benefits to how this played out in the broader community. i think he was actually there to talk to the african-american community. if he could move a little to
make them a little -- feel like he was a little less bad maybe -- motivate them a little less to go out and rally people in favor of obama, that's a win because obama needs the base to come out. if romney isn't the enemy maybe they won't come out as much. >> eliot: joe, as a political consultant, be dispassionate here, if you or anybody had crafted that speech for that audience, don't you think you knew they were going to be -- there were going to be boose and if there were going to be boos, that would be the media outtake the entire country would see? >> if he was going to go there to reach out he either needs to fire his speechwriter or hire a whole new consulting team because the take away, by in large, was that it was a bit condescending, a little insulting. michael is right the bulk part of the speech was fairly measured but nobody's going to remember that part because they're only going to focus on obama care, i can do more for the african-american community. if you want someone who will do more than president obama your
hero your icon, you're looking at him. it was almost calculated to rub people the wrong way. i have no access to the romney inner circle. there was no talk about reaching out, no talk about -- about his father's long legacy. no rope line afterwards. there was barely an effort to try to connect with the audience. >> i think if you look at the totality of the speech. there were two mentions of obama that took about 15 seconds. the rest was about extending a hand to the african-american community, about the philosophy of governing that romney believes in. things that will bring more equal opportunity that will raise up all families, not just african-american families and not just white families. >> we're not talking about that part of it. we're talking about the part where he got booed and it was kind of a polite reception but certainly not anything overwhelming or enthusiastic and recall, george bush gave a very warm speech before the naacp.
so did john mccain in 2008. and in 2004, ken the president of the republican national committee, was very much talking about you give us a chance we'll give you a choice. that was his mantra. we're way far from those days when you have a candidate coming there and not getting that kind of warm reception and not even trying to reach out beyond certain boxes that he had to check to get through the speech. >> eliot: let me also add this. not to pile it on, michael. the language he used about the healthcare reform was edgy and condescending to use joe's word. it was not an explanatory moment when he said let me explain to you why i disagree with you. understand i share your values and here's what i want to do. this is even a bit crasser not a single word about the voter i.d. laws. they have been the talk of the naacp convention. they are the litmus test by which many people are being
measured. voter suppression. nothing about that. that would have been a mechanism by which he could have said let's explain what we're doing. >> we're talking about a candidate accused of pandering. here he comes to an arena and he doesn't pander. >> i beg to differ. talk about -- it is not really pandering if you talk about some issues in a very respectful manner or if you don't go there with sort of an abrasive, hostile intent. pandering is saying something they want to hear. the difference between pandering and what a speech like john mccain or george bush gave is trying to reach common ground. there is a difference between pandering and common ground. common ground means i come from a religion that a lot of people have misunderstood and i know that your issues have been misunderstood. i understand where you're coming from. i would like to make your lives better. we didn't hear a whole lot of that. especially once we got to the obama care part and once we got to -- if you want a president who is going to make things better, you're looking at him.
>> eliot: michael is dying to get in here. >> he made one big mistake. he trusted the media to cover the speech the way he intended. >> eliot: i'm smiling. michael, i'm smiling because nobody has been in politics would ever make that mistake. >> fair enough. that's a big mistake. if you take out those two words the two references to obama, i would disagree with almost everything that joe said. it was respectful, it was inclusive. it was thoughtful. it was reaching out to the african-american people. >> eliot: here's the thing. you said this was an incident where he didn't pander. i would say he was pandering but not to the audience in the hall. he was pandering knowing full well the boos would become the image of the speech. that would play very well among certain demographics, swing voters whom he desperately needs to carry ohio, west virginia, pennsylvania. it is not the politics i would like to see but i think it was pandering. let's pivot for a minute. naacp convention is something we gotta put behind us for a moment. bain capital when was he there? mitt romney playing defense on
that, of course, what he has said. he said publicly if you're playing defense you're losing. then he put up a tv ad that does nothing but play defense and accuses the obama campaign of misrepresenting on this issue of the bain claims. but he's playing defense. he's losing this battle. am i right michael? he won't win this debate about whether he was at bain or not. >> i don't think he's going to win. he should be taking the positive elements of his record as a job creator, as a successful businessman and touting those things. his response trying to paint obama as a liar, it is not a narrative people are going to buy into and fundamentally elections are about narratives. pick the ones that are going to help you. attack the ones that are going to hurt your opponent. this is a place where he's losing on both the positive and negative side. >> eliot: joe your response to that? >> michael has a point to a degree. it will be very, very difficult to run away from this one though because not only is it a defensive maneuver that, in my opinion, he probably had to take because he was getting a lot of
heat from his party insiders. i think one of them called an armchair quarterback, some of the people criticizing the romney campaign for not doing enough to respond. you have to -- you have to respond but you don't necessarily have to say hey everybody, i'm not going to respond to this then do the response. so i think that part of it was a bit of a muddled message. i do think he has to find a way to put the bain capital issue to rest especially the time line either fess up and say i'm proud of my success. we didn't depart exactly as i said we did but we did make some money and did some good things or let the narrative run away from him and have a hard time trying to beat it down or bring it under control. >> eliot: it seems to me mitt romney made consultant, you shouldn't be playing defense then he started playing defense then he put up an ad that was ineffective. he's lost track of what should be his one narrative that might put him in contention in the race which is that he understands the economy. it seems to me he's striking out left, right and center. fire the team, bring in a new
speechwriter. michael, maybe he should hire you. he's not going to win doing what he's doing right now. g.o.p. strategist and author of "the language of trust michael maslansky, joe williams, thank you. thank you both your time tonight. >> my pleasure. >> eliot: imagine barack obama channeling jay-z. the viewfinder is next.
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uh start -- >> good afternoon. >> i've got 99. >> we really are like a family. we are. we have such -- >> no, we're not. >> we don't like you. >> he doesn't like us. >> a family is like a family. you know you're related. we're not related. we can fool around with each other. >> paul krugman is a little hyper. and when this started for me, he said that i would never -- never saw a spending cut i didn't like or some snide little crack. i think he needs to rest. >> jacki started her business, the snuggery a month ago. she charges $60 an hour to snuggle. >> i thought i need to validate my position. i need to have some kind of certification or license but it says i'm a qualified cuddler. >> joe biden v.p. of comedy. >> those walls are awful thin, i wonder how the hell my parents
did it but that's a different story. >> every laugh. >> as barack says, a three letter word, jobs. j-o-b-s, job. >> god rest her soul and although your mom is still -- your mom is still alive. it is your dad that passed. god bless her soul. >> the joe biden v.p. of comedy tour. you'll v.p. your pants laughing. >> eliot: everybody loves joe. a report on penn state and jerry sandusky, not a laughing matter. a nightmare pure and simple. ♪ ♪
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findings of the penn state investigation. the report makes it clear that senior members of the university not only failed to stop sandusky or report him to the police but allowed him continued access to kids in what the report described as "a striking lack of empathy for child abuse victims." the leaders being singled out are graham spanier former senior vice president gary schultz, former athletic director timothy curley and former head football coach joe paterno. after reading 3.5 million e-mails and documents it details knowledge of sandusky's abuse by university officials as far back as 1998. but the abuse was able to continue because of a lack of oversight by the board of directors, a quote culture of reverence for the football program and i quote a decision by spanier schultz paterno and curley to allow sandusky to retire in 1999, not as a
suspected child predator but as a valued member of the penn state football legacy with future visibility at penn state and ways to continue to work with young people through penn state essentially granting him license to bring boys to campus facilities for grooming as targets for his assaults. for more, let's bring in radio talk show host buzz bissinger author of "friday night lights." thank you for your time. this is something you've been writing about focusing on, doing everything you could to get us to understand the enormous magnitude. is this a sports scandal or a scandal about an entire culture that's been betrayed by a failure of leadership? >> well, you know, i think it is both. obviously, it is -- it is a sports scandal, it goes to the insidious culture of football at an institution but i think it also rises now beyond this. i'm trying to think certainly it is the worst scandal that i know of in the history of universities and colleges. i cannot think of anything like this where an institution failed
on so many levels, so willfully and miserably and so dangerously in aiding and abetting what we now know was a sexual animal. >> eliot: you know, it is hard where we're dealing every day with financial scandals and i look for analogs where you have institutions which turn a blind eye, they want to make money. money is the source of greed. here the source -- it was as you say, it was a football game. it was a program that they took pride in. they let kids be abused for fear of disrupting a football program. how twisted bizarre and animalistic and heinous can this be? >> you took the words out of my mouth. we talked earlier. am i shocked by the general findings? absolutely not. i've been writing this for a year in the "daily beast." four top officials of penn state including deceased coach joe paterno failed in every way possible. what sickens me is -- bent overbackwards, not for the kids who were abused but for jerry
sandusky, the retirement package they gave him, the lump sum pension payment they gave him. $168,000 that, kind of payment unprecedented. in school history emeritus status. keys to all of the facilities, his own office in which they forget he has it and the state attorney general of pennsylvania, they later find boxes that contain love letters to some of these kids. dereliction at every level. for me, the point came home with what the janitor said about joe paterno. >> eliot: we were talking. the tension between the janitors who knew what they wanted to do. they were terrified. these are people who had the decency to say what we should do is report this but they knew they would be fired. the entire power structure of the institution was designed to cover up and repress rather than do the decent thing which was take care of the kids. >> decent thing i honestly don't think that what allegedly happened to those kids and they
knew -- the allegations eliot i don't think it ever crossed their minds. i don't think they cared about the kids. they cared about jerry what are we going to do about jerry? what are we going to do about the football program? how are we going to get away with this and cover it up? as i understand it, they may have had a federal responsibility to report it. it is a crime. they did not. we now know from the e-mails that athletic director curley said all right the plan of attack is we are going to inform the pennsylvania department of welfare. he then speaks to joe paterno and all of a sudden, that plan is off the table because he's spoken to joe and it is clear. joe has said well, it is jerry. he's a member of the football family. i've been sick today. i swear to god. i have. i've written about this for 30 years. >> eliot: you know more about the culture of football, how it is permeated. do you think people will pull back and say wait a minute, we've gotta reevaluate?
or is this going to disappear into the night? >> you've been around, i've been around, we all get excited. this is going to change and that is going to change. i felt the board of trustees had a great opportunity today instead of saying we take accountability, they get up and say we are banning football for a year. we have to take the first step in reducing the insidious effect of the football culture at penn state. instead, it was the same old runaround. i'm afraid come september beaver stadium fills up and it is a bitter memory. >> eliot: it has been fascinating to watch when joe paterno was first fired, the students rallied around him. it will be interesting to see what the response is. will the sympathy go to those who deserve it. what will the ncaa do? should they ban penn state, no football for five years? >> i would say no football for five years.
send a message to the university death penalty for two years for recruiting violations and payoffs. let's double or triple that. no football for five years. i think the ncaa has that moral responsibility! >> eliot: today sitting here during the course of the afternoon, we were saying the irony almost doesn't capture the magnitude of it is even penn state, somebody captures a recruiter, give him $400 or someone out to dinner, they're ban and sanctimonious. this is permitted to go on. the hypocrisy of is startling. >> it is incredibly startling the board of trustees, they could have taken the first proactive shot. the way not to tolerate the football culture is for us to take responsibility. it is gone for a year. they don't do it. eliot, you know what the ncaa is like. they run after kids taking illegal dinners. they don't want to get involved. penn state is a cash cow. it makes $15 million of profit for the school and football. and i hate to say this. come september people say boy
that was a bad moment in our history but rah rah i think we're going to beat ohio state. >> eliot: buzz bissinger author of "friday night lights," thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> eliot: the libor bank lending scandal keeps getting bigger and so do the lawsuits, coming up next. if you missed joy behar one week only... >>hey, time flies when you're having fun. >>don't worry because she'll be back. >>where are the lefties besides
>> this court has proven to be the knowing, delighted accomplice in the billionaires' purchase of our nation. >> and you think it doesn't affect you? nice to talk to you. [ applause ] >> when someone stumbles across the show, it usually doesn't end well. >> stephanie: it ended better do. all right. just a truce. all right. 45 minutes -- it was a wash. 45 minutes after the hour. right back on "the stephanie miller show." >> eliot: the view of mitt
romney. he knows he will not win votes in a speech in opposition to healthcare reform and devoid of a single mention of the voter i.d. issue that is central to the naacp focus this year wasn't designed to win over black voters. who was it meant for? well, white voters. specifically, white swing voters in states like pennsylvania and ohio. that's what it sounded like at a fund-raiser in montana following the naacp appearance when romney said and i quote "if they want more stuff from the government, tell them to go vote for the other guy. more free stuff. but don't forget, nothing is really free." romney wants those white voters to believe the black naacp audience wants stuff for free and the campaign wanted the image of romney standing up to the freeloaders. this is deeply offensive and at least -- in at least two ways. first, it is an only thin thy veiled effort to revive the imagery of the welfare queen the false notion that our social
programs are costly because it caters exclusively to the lazy and entitled. this tawdry and offensive argument had discarded. romney seems intent on bringing it back to revive his base. second, the utter hipocracy of him attacking healthcare and pretending he's opposed to giving anything away are from -- for free. the mandate is to eliminate the freeloader problem. as congressman rob andrews expressed yesterday on this show, if your neighbor buys an expensive motorcycle but refuses to buy health insurance needs care and gets it at the emergency room and then we pay for it because he has no insurance, something is wrong. that is why the healthcare act forces him to either get coverage or pay a penalty. no more free riders, nothing for free. in fact, that's why romney himself helped pass the individual mandate in his healthcare bill in massachusetts. and oh, by the way speaking of
freeloaders, mitt romney paid less than a 15% tax rate on his income last year and now we're hearing he hides his money overseas in foreign accounts while folks earning a fraction of his income have to pay double his rate. who was always desperately seeking something for nothing? something for free? who's the welfare queen in this picture? mitt, i have bad news for you. it is you! that's my view.
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rates they say robbed their local governments of millions of desperately needed dollars. meanwhile, the new york fed insists it took prompt action when it was alert and says it has the documents to prove it. document they plan to release tomorrow. joining me now to discuss this is bill cohan author of "money and power" how goldman sachs came to rule the world. thanks for your time as always tonight, bill. >> great to be here, eliot. >> eliot: did the libor stuff shock you? does this one push you over the edge? >> it is hard to know which one really pushes me over the edge. you could hear the despair in buzz bissinger's voice when he was talking about the penn state scandal. i'm so distraught. i cannot believe this continues to happen. this didn't happen before 2007. this has been going on for a decade. you know, you've prosecuted this. spinning laddering. this is just -- it just keeps going on time and time again.
i don't know when is enough. i think there's literally no shame anymore. >> eliot: i think you've hit on the problem. it is a cultural issue and it spans every part of human life and every endeserve no accountability and i think that's the issue we're beginning to confront. this when it comes to libor. which is the interest that dictates all other interest rates. significant mortgage, credit card loan, auto loan, it all comes back to libor. i marvel at the fact we let the bankers set this themselves. >> that's amazing, too. there's a group of 15. same thing eliot. the way they set the prices of the hard to value securities. all of these things are set by pricing coming to a clearinghouse or a central -- a group and they pick the highest and the lowest. >> eliot: 80 plays in the market we have found fraud. >> it is incredible. the fact that they could
manipulate this rate and toast each other with champagne and high-fives and then bob diamond can sit there the former ceo of barclays and wonder why he's losing his job this goes back to the treasury bond scandals in the late '80s with the solomon brothers. of course there has to be this very basic amount of accountability. >> eliot: at least at barclays, the chairman and ceo have been axed. none has happened over here where there should be have been issues. jamie diamond, i don't want to pick on the poor guy. he's on the board of the new york fed that is perhaps implicated in this. morgan chase being investigated for this. will this finally get people to go back to the power on the board is beyond the pale? >> the u.k. has definitely been way, way ahead of the americans in terms of being outraged about this and trying to take real action. you know better than i that there's been no prosecution on either side of the atlantic. nobody is going to stop their bad behavior until there is serious prosecution, throw away the keys on these guys.
the greatest thing we have in this country is our capital markets and these guys are systematically destroying it day after day after day. >> eliot: nobody in his right mind would believe wall street would give an honest answer to a significant position where they can gain the system. nobody is going to buy that anymore. what do you think we'll find out from the new york fed? do you think that they knew about this, turned a blind eye in a moment of crisis? did they try to reform it? i'm curious. >> i have no idea what's going to be in the documents tomorrow. you saw with the bank of england, the number two guy there, i couldn't tell whether he was trying to manipulate the rate with diamond and people or he was trying to defend it. the answer -- a lot of ambiguity in there. we may see the same ambiguity in the documents tomorrow. we better see something eliot because if the new york fed wasn't trying to do something what are they there for? >> eliot: people forget. the new york fed is the most important regulator of wall street. the fed and washington runs monetary policy. the fed in new york city is the most important regulator of the
banks. if they cannot prove beyond any doubt they saw this and did something, i think their reputation, tim geithner is on the hot seat. what should be done with the libor rate? should we take it away from the banks and we're not going to let you set it anymore? >> something like that needs to happen. i don't know whether the market needs -- that's really what is happening. it is the market. the banks are the market. they were tossing out the top five and tossing out the bottom five. that doesn't seem -- people are doing the right thing. that doesn't seem like a rock way to go about it. when you start manipulating, honestly, unless you have a machine do it, human nature has gotten out of control. you see penn state, you see it here. you can't even conceive of these things and yet they're out there doing them. >> eliot: we could go back to mortgages and debt being set on prime. i don't know. this one we have to think through. damages. the story of the day to a certain extent is municipality, suing for damages. i think proving is is going to
be not only complicated but not clear how big they will be. >> there is a subtly the rate may have been lowered as opposed to made higher. i think a bigger scandal i wrote about this in the bloomberg view column is what continues to go on the municipal finance market where bankers and intermediaries buy each other off and manipulate the price of the bonds that the municipalities has to pay. that's a bigger scandal than this libor. >> eliot: and in terms of the damages. >> in terms of the damages and the overpaying going on and the manipulation of the payoffs between the middle men. >> eliot: you're not suggesting there are other scandals we haven't yet focused on. >> just when you think you're safe to go in the water again they do something else. >> eliot: we'll do a quick web extra. people can continue to get the wisdom of bill cohan. author of "money and power" how