tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 13, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
is $5.7 billion. that gives you a sense of the size of the losses. i got to tell you we told you so. they're not done yet. i bet it's higher. what i need you to do is have an awesome weekend. see you monday. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening, i'm eliot spitzer, and this "viewpoint." mitt romney is struggling as the tide of critics question his claims to have left his private equity firm bain capital in 1999 despite records to suggest that he did active work as late as 2003. at issue whether romney bears responsibility for bain's outsourcing of american jobs and shuttering of american companies in that period. romney insists he's not. and that his business background makes him the best choice for president. this morning president obama led a fresh assault on that claim.
>> obama: if you're a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund your job is to make money. it's not to create jobs. it's not even to create a successful business. it's to make sure that you're maximizing returns for your investor. but that does not necessarily make you qualified to think about the economy as a whole because as president my job is to think about the workers. my job is to think about communities where jobs have been outsourced. >> eliot: and former president clinton piled on telling nbc news that romney's business record is fair game. >> he has put it at the forefront. he said, i'd be a better president because i know how to create jobs because that's what i did. >> new york congresswoman louise slaughter is offering an amendment to fight the outsourcing of american jobs and the expert of strategic minerals to iran and china.
she will be our guest later on this program. meanwhile, the weeks of attacks on romney record may be working for the white house. the latest pew research center poll shows 50% of registered voters favor president obama and 43% for romney. romney did pick up an endorsement last night, former president dick cheney. for more on the outsourcing issue and a great friend, congress wokecongresswoman louise slaughter thank you for joining us. >> it is a pleasure. >> eliot: tell us what your amendment would do, and why it's so important. >> well, democrats have been trying for some time to stop the outsourcing of jobs. the second thing we want to do is reinforce the sanctions and help our ally israel by making it tougher for iran. we believe the sanctions are working.
and we simply need more. third, we want to say the corporations are not more important than people in the united states, and will not be ever again. i want to say one thing about the mining loss. i'm not sure that people understand that. the law that we operate under today was written in 1882 and signed by ulysses grant. we stopped a consortium including iran, we from uranium from the grand canyon. it's a scandal in itself, and it needs to be changed. iran is a threat to our best ally. we need to do what we can to keep those sanctions going. by all accounts, nicholas kristof, the people of iran
would very much like to be friends of america. they hold us in high esteem and friendship. i think it's a shame that our government keeps them from being part of the world. >> eliot: his articles have been spectacular. he has been on the show when he had just come back to iran. i helped to write a book about the 1872 mining law. you're right, it's not only from it's very date its antiquated, but it's bad policy. >> it's terrible. why would we want to sell uranium. we shouldn't sell it to anybody. >> eliot: and giving away the minerals to people who never paid for them. it's a worst give away in any context. >> exactly. >> eliot: i want to come back to the outsourcing issue. mitt romney being in my view properly attacked for the outsourcing that bain did, how do we stop that. to some extent are these not laws of economics? are these things that we can force companies not to send jobs overseas. >> let's talk about the trade
bill for just a second because i've been against those ever since i got into congress including the one we passed this term. i have never seen a trade agreement that the united states made with another company that advantaged the american manufacturers. in many cases they were sent overseas as a matter of fact you you know we've never been able to deal with that law that pays people to outsource. that is an annoyance beyond believebelief as many things in washington are today. i've got a trade bill that will finally advantage manufacturers in america saying we can change the conditions of the trade bill. it was not the tariffs as the unseen barriers, the cars, the steering wheel was not big enough. we sold 8,000 cars in japan. that should tell us a lot. we sold 8,000 cars in every town in america of japanese origin.
we really have been pretty stupid about policies as far as i'm concerned. >> louise, i could not agree with you more. and you put your finger on the very issue that we need to talk about. i hate to admit it, but this has been a bipartisan error. president clinton signed-- >> all of them, yes yes. >> eliot: but there have been two pieces--two pillars of our economic strategy that has been fundamentally wrong. one was deregulation of wall street. and the other was trade bills that were oblivious to our manufacturing about a base. >> paid no attention. >> eliot: can we get the president to change on this? >> i don't know. i'm certainly trying because of this bill i've got. but this goes all the way back--nafta did absolutely nothing for us. i watched towns like mine and cities around us be boarded us for things where people used to work. it was a stupid thing for us to
do. we were the top manufacturing in the world and we had a lot of things going for us. but what we did was give away our seed corn. nobody does that, but we did that. the idea of trade--i would really like to talk to you about that some time, what we would like to be doing about that. but what we have to do is pay attention to enforce trade agreements. that can't be done by the person who negotiates the trade agreement, which is what we do now. it needs to be in a whole new department of the country. but what we have done is make it possible for the congress itself to stop the trade agreement until it is traitenned out. that's what we need. >> eliot: many people may be confused. i've been a friend of yours for many years. >> i confuse people. >> eliot: no, no you're from the rochester buffalo portion of up state new york. that used to be the manufacturer. you've got that southern charm and the northern efficiency as
we used to joke. but louise you understand what is happening that hallowed out our economy. i hope you continue to hammer on this. >> i sure will. >> eliot: will you come back next week and we'll talk about the trade issues because you have your finger on it. >> i will come back. i'm so involved in this. i eat and sleep this bill so we can for once advantage the manufacture america. >> eliot: congresswoman louise slaughter, thank you for your time. >> i'm very grateful for your time. >> eliot: i hope you come back. >> i sure will. >> eliot: let's go to strategy and american director of the values institute. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> mitt romney trying to crawl out of this assault of out outsourcing when he was at bain. i know you're on the democratic side of the aisle, but can he
come out of the issue. >> he came out of the primary very much undefined. the reason why the bain ads are taking hold because all these other issues are coming out. we've got a person with $30 million in offshore accounts. we've got someone who is completely out of touch and wealthy beyond means. people don't begrudge his success, but how he gained it. >> eliot: yes, it's death by a thousand cuts. there is no affirmative argument explaining what he believes, what his economic policy is, giving us the values, the statuteture, the for with all and ford taught of fortitude for being president. i don't see how he pushes back because time is getting short. >> he has put this forward as his essential reason for being president. i think these thousand cuts are
undermining that argument. it's going to be a referendum on the president. where is the unemployment number what is happening with jobs and so forth. but the other argument that other people are trying to factor in, can this other guy do something for the economy, and it doesn't seem like ex-translate these policies. >> eliot: i rarely look at poll numbers this early, especially with all these cross tabs and technical jargons that people use, but the only argument that mitt romney had was i understand the business and the economy and jobs. people are buying into the notion that all he did was make highly leveraged offshore adjustment. that's not the way we want to outsource our jobs. >> when you look at colorado, virginia, florida, we're seeing
huge swings in states that will be important to us. i think the attacks are fair. we're following a blueprint that newt gringrich and sheldon adelson put together, so we know it works. it's real. this is going to be the deciding factor. >> eliot: it seems to me that the white house--i don't know if they view it this way or if the way the policies have been rolled out. but they've had two separate prongs. one has been affirmative affront to the base, immigration and same-sex marriage and those things have have solidified the base. and then there were some who were put off by the lack of leadership in the white house and now they're getting it right. then on the other side of the ledger they're going right to the argument that mitt romney would make, saying hey, we can take you on your turf, and it seems to be working. >> one thing that the administration is doing very well is focusing on the gender
gap. mentions about defunding planned parenthooded contraceptions, all energizing the women on the base. >> eliot: it seems as though on the issue, the issue of choice continues to be one where the nation is pretty well evenly divided. i've been wrong. i thought a couple of years ago as time went by that would swing clearly in the favor of the pro-choice. in a way, mitt romney would be the head of the cabinet of old grumpy men. >> he looks the part. >> eliot: he looks more madmen, and john mccain, he was a genuine war hero. mitt romney not so much. we went off to paris or france when he could have been in the service. but if he's "mad men"," then john mccain is old grumpy men. >> i go back to 2008. what was interesting about
barack obama is that he was an open vessel. people projected a lot of things onto him. even on the left we feel a little gypped by. but mitt romney is this open vessel that we're projecting a lot of nastiness into and a retro feeling. he's not moving us forward and that is really key. >> eliot: you're right, "mad men," and he may be looking at the popular tv show saying i could be elected on that, but that memory would be all wrong certainly when it comes to minority issues, the naacp convention. it was a brilliant stroke where he'll appeal, as many people have been saying, the white vote will look at the african-american and say we're tired of this or not. but we'll have to finish this next week. alexis mcgill johnson democratic strategist and executive director of the american values institute. the president looks back. more "viewpoint" coming up.
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>> the ricky martin look-alike yeah. >> going in another direction. the direction away from his father. >> eliot: if knowledge is power, then texas officials are making pregnant women powerless. that brings us to our number of the day. 39.38. that's the section in the proposed new rules for the texas department of health and human services. it says that doctors cannot even tell their patients about abortions. caregivers can lose state funds if they mention that abortion is an option, or if they say where one can be performed. a woman cannot talk about to her own physician about a perfectly legal medical procedure.
this policy mandates less knowledge and less medical help, and interferes with the relationship between a doctor and patient in a grotesque way. simply put it endangerers the well-being of the mother. texas often likes to keep government out of the way of business. well, what goes on in a doctor's office is personal business, and government needs to get out. >>it's the place where democracy is supposed to be the great equalizer, where your vote is worth just as much as donald trump's. we must save the country. it starts with you. v it's go time! >>every weeknight cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>the guys in the middle-class the guys at the lower-end got
screwed again! i think you know which one we're talking about. >>overwhelming majority of the county says: "tax the rich don't go to war." i just wanted to clarify. >> eliot: in 2008 barack obama ran on a platform of reform. the mantra was hope and change. the emotional content of his second presidential campaign is very different. in a reflective moment with charlie rose on cbs the president looked back on his first term and had this to say. >> obama: the mistake of my first couple of years was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right.
and that's important. but the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the american people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times. >> eliot: let's bring in craig crawford political blogger at craig crawford.com and author of "the politics of life" and former new york city public advocate and author of more books than i have read, now host of the syndicated radio show "both side now with huffington and matalin" mark green. thank you both of you. has he been off on the narrative narrative.
>> managerially people thought he was a state senate for a couple of years. he ran a very tight ship. the country has not fallen on his watch but he has fallen to frame a simple but large vision people could relate to. he's trying to do that now betting on america let's win the future. that's not quite it. but his emphasis now which is the economy is middle out not trickle down, forward not backyard, is trying to get at a positive government, not the anti-government view of the conservatives. >> eliot: craig, dubai this distinction? and more importantly do you begin to see that he gets traction on a narrative that would not only catapult him to a second term but frame the issues for a second term. >> once they settle on the middle chance defense and then bane capital and tax cuts, they seem to be lurching toward a
theme. but still lacking a theme, and this president has talked about this before. he's still trying to learn the lesson. he talked about it on 60 minutes when the democrats were hammered in the 2010 midterm election. he was saying the same thing. i'm not telling a story. he said, i'm doing such a great job in policy that i forget to tell people about it. just like when the applicant is asked for his faults. i work too hard and i care too much. >> eliot: that's what i was thinking when i saw this clip. it's the self indulgent critique that you give of yourself. but i think the reason why he's having trouble getting traction is because the middle class is still getting killed. it may not be his fault. he may be doing everything that can be done, but as long as median family income is sagging that won't be plausible.
>> he's not the first politician to think well of itself, but two points. >> that's part of the nature of being a politician. you feel under appreciated. >> eliot: i felt that way. >> that's true. i've never been president but obviously presidents too at a different level. first, he has a long list of things he's actually gotten done. not just the big stuff on dodd frank, bin-laden but credit card reform, tobacco regulation. that's not on anybody's top ten list. liberals and a democrats have a problem. they don't go through life's list. look at professor heights books. it's about narrative, your tribe, it's about intuitive approaches. second-- >> er. >> eliot: i'm going to cut you off. craig, i'm going to cut mark off. that's one of those critiques that you give of democrats.
we're too deep and too thoughtful. it may be true, you're my buddy. >> he had a better narrative. >> there are also not enough narrators in this administration. >> that's true. >> i thought, all these people are anonymous. hillary clinton is the only person that anybody has heard of, and she can't get out and campaign on politics because of her position. there is just no counterpart, an army of people out there to make his case for him. and the problem for that for president, the president has to do his own bleeding when there is not people out there to bleed for him. >> eliot: let me give you another possible reason there has been tension. the language he uses is protecting the middle class, but the reality of dodd frank and the reality of his relationship with wall street did not match that rhetoric for a significant peter of time. the foundation of those constituencies who should have
rallied to him to provide the support weren't there until quite recently. >> i think that's right. constituencies were ahead of him. they have been saying for a long time what is the split in the conversation of his personality. now being president of the harvard law review to succeeding in the senate, he's a black/white president figuratively and literally and that worked for the first two years, then the debt ceiling fiasco. and then he began adopting rhetoric and then he climbed with the thesis that government has to play a role in the economic future. >> eliot: has the evolution not been so i was policy, now i finally learned a lesson. it anti-going to happen. they're a brick wall. i need to pound my message.
>> that's what happened to his supporters in 2008 campaign. they thought they were going to get a fighter who would come this washington and clean it up. i think he used to call it, it would not be textbook administration in washington. i don't think they got that. when you go back to his campaign, i see a distinct between glamour and charisma. he had glamour in that campaign when people project their own desires on something they see whereas charisma is persuading people to share your vision to do certain things that everyone agrees on and shares that. and i think that's where he hasn't made that transition from glamour to charisma to galvanize people around his ideas. that's what he's reaching for but the presidency is a learning curve. >> eliot: that's a fascinating distinction. i have to think about that over the weekend. i think you're on to something.
but let me ask you, bill clinton had not so much glamour but charisma. i think craig is hitting something important here. that charisma is what pulled the public through him through thick and thin. is this important? >> this charisma thing, we know it when we see it, john kennedy barack obama bill clinton. they had a vision, a metaphor, a story. now reagan was simple police tick, and it may have fit the typetime because of the time, government evil, and thank you very much. it worked for his base. obama does not quite have it yet. simply, he is emotionally remote and brilliant guy. so is john kennedy. >> we got to break here. we'll continue this. i'll give you another interpretation, the vision of a presidency is often imposed after the fact. we will take the pieces two years from now and five years
from now and say this was what the vision was. it's not always clear because we live in the small micro political and economic decisions but later on we can see whether it was there. you never let me finish. >> johnson said he did that for kennedy before the assassination. he imputed the rationale of civil rights. >> eliot: thank you both for your time tonight. >> good to be here. >> eliot: how to to catch a kangaroo that every is wondering about. the viewfinder next. oh! "x" marks the spot she'll never sit. but i bought a dress! a toast... ...to the capital one venture card. fly any airline, any flight, anytime. double miles you can actually use. what a coincidence? what's in your wallet? [ all screaming ] watch the elbows ladies.
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[ explosion ] ♪ boehner baby ♪ everything makes him cry ♪♪ >> eliot: we have not seen john boehner cry recently. i'm sure we will when his repeal obama-care is not passed by the senate. politicaller donors, why don't they say who they are. that's next. mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now.
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that would require organizations like super pacs, labor unions and corporations spending over $10,000 in an election cycle to report the identities of their deep-pocketed donors under the federal election commission within 24 hours. under current law hundreds of millions of dollars have been funded from anonymous donors, basically anyone who has a lot of money who wants to throw it around. a vote on the bill that is expected to be a quixotic exercise, with republicans opposing it. minority leader mitch mcconnell highlighted his own opposition to the act sounding the free speech alarm bells. >> what this calls for is addition closure of all contributions to all grassroots groups which is far more dangerous than it's opponents are willing to admit. this is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to expose it's critics to harassment and intimidation.
joining me is senator sheldon whitehouse. thank you for coming on the show. your bill is the most likely answer to citizens united. tell us what it does, and then procedurally, when are we going to get this passed? >> the bill does something very very simple. it requires any personal organization that contributes over $10,000 towards a campaign expenditure, a purchase of tv, for instance, to report within 24 hours that they did it. so that instead of this onslaught of secret campaign money that is pouring in through 501 c 4s and through super pacs we actually have an idea of who is behind all this spending. as you know, that's important because people don't spend this kind of money without a motive. and if their motive is so bad that they want to keep it secret all the more reason why
we should sign light into those corners. >> eliot: the famous statement is that sunshine is the best disinfectant. what we need to do is let the sunshine in so we know who is spending this money. citizens united said folks have a right to spend money. but they do not have a right to spend it in secret. your bill does what is important, which is to say we now know who is spending these torrents of money. what do you think the political reality is? when will this come to a vote? how have you tailored the bill to get the votes you need on the senate floor? >> it will come to a vote on monday afternoon and depending on how that turns out we may give it another try the following day if we can get a motion to reconsider going. we're working very hard to give a ground swell of public support. when you look at what happened, there was a time when disclosure of these campaign contributions
was a matter of principle. when it was a matter of principle we had enormous republican support for it. then game citizens united. it was no longer a matter of principle but practical politics. because so much of the secret money has been poured into the republican party coffers, they are in a 180 being for disclosure. but i think with public pressure and the fact that so many of meese republicans have consistently, loudly and clearly supported disclosure in the past we got a chance again with strong citizen participation to move them off the kind of position of convenience that they're in now and back to the position of principle that they had always held. >> eliot: how many republican votes do you need to get closure on this, 60 being the magic number in the senate. i gather you need least seven republican votes, and do you think you can actually get them? >> yes, we would need seven and
it's too early to tell whether we'll get them or not. it will depend on whether one or two republicans will break ranks, and that will open up the gates for others to move behind them and what the response is from the american public. if you care about this? if you think that secret money has no place in our democracy. if you suspect the motives behind it, and you feel we have the right to know what these motives are, which you can only know by knowing who gave the money, let your voice be heard. get out there and get involved on the groups supporting it. sign up on websites, and call your congressman and senator and let them know that this is something that you care about. this is important for democracy. >> eliot: you make such a critical point. the republican party has always maintained publicly that it believes in disclosure. that it believes two things. people should be able to make their views known.
and they also believe in disclosure. how do they articulate any opposition to this bill now? what is their stated public posture that would permit anybody to vote against it? >> theythey articulate it very awkwardly is how they articulate it. the best they can come up with is that the koch brothers or exxon mobile or this gambleing mogul from macao sheldon adelson, they have to be out there as folks spending this big money, they might be intimidated by people who decide they're not going to buy their product any longer speak unkindly about them in the public arena things like that. that's kind of a preposterous argument because it's always been understood that the price of free speech, and the price of
liberty is robust debate. you don't get to hide behind anonymity because you think someone is going to hurt your feelings. it's particularly important with these huge expenditures of special interests that are keeping their identity secret and hiding their motives. this is not public spirited. this is being done to accomplish political goals, win political battles and achieve political influence. it's particularly important that we know who it is, and who is behind it because the achievement of those motives and the goal of that influence is something that will effect the rest of us. >> eliot: you mention the issue of intimidation, it made me smile just because of the motion that exxon mobile and koch brothers are going to be subjected to intimidation. i think we have this backwards because we have certain thresholds. >> that blogging is going to terrify exxon mobile, please.
>> eliot: the absurdity of that argument is based on you win based on principles. this is just crass politics. very quickly, is there a bill that is the analog to your bill, and if so, does it have any hope of being to the floor or will johnboehner just bottle it up somewhere. >> yes there is an analog, although it's not an exact match. if they were to match we could work out any differences in conference very, very quickly. but as you pointed out the big personal interests that have these motives that they don't want anybody to know about and they're therefore pouring money into the elections tend to be supporting the republicans. it's hard for boehner to cut off the secret money that is
benefiting his people. it will take something needing to be passed in the senate, and that will put pressure on them. public pressure will make a difference. in the small confines of washington where public pressure rules so extensively. if the public doesn't speak out we have no chance. >> eliot: senator sheldon whitehouse of rhode island. thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you and thank you for letting us reach out to the public who will ultimately decide this question. >> eliot: let's hope so, and hope that it seek. >> the changes we need on wall street. stick around. bringing people together. that's the only way we're going to solve the world's great vexing problems. >>(narrator) the gavin newsom show tonight at 11 eastern/8 pacific on current tv.
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in "the war room" with jennifer granholm, bain is the word on every's lips, including mitt romney. 's are jennifer will get the reaction from former congressman jd hayworth. she'll sit down with the hidden world of girls. that's coming up after "viewpoint" at the top of the hour. >> 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? think again. ttv