Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  August 16, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

5:00 pm
mitt romney a kiss. >> we would treat them pretty ugly down in texas. >> lobbing grenades at all sides. >> it took just four days for rick perry's campaign to get nasty. >> immediately, start shooting from the lip. >> he suggested in some way the president might not love america. >> any day now rick perry will ask to see the president's birth certificate. >> i think president obama loves america. >> rick perry sounds just like george bush. >> he's not george bush on steroids. >> rick perry accusing our federal reserve chairman. >> some felt that was a threatening comment. >> well, i might have said it a little bit differently. >> welcome to the nfl. >> even carl rove is worried his party is going too far to the right. >> republicans are going to have to make a choice. it will become a self-defeating message. >> the worst thing you can do in politics is be a hypocrite. >> howard dean is here.
5:01 pm
>> there's a lot of explaining to do, as they say. >> and michele bachmann gets fact checked again. >> let's all say happy birthday to elvis presley today. >> 34th anniversary of his death, not his birthday. >> i forgot my teleprompters today. >> but who's counting? >> he's still alive, alive in our hearts. >> bachmann got a commanding 80% of the votes she paid for. good evening from new york. it took all of three days for smooth customer, political veteran, rick perry to say something odious, not just odious to me or liberals, but thuggish and odious to anyone, even mr. carl rove. we'll show you what rove said about perry in a minute, but first, here's what perry said at a meet and greet session with voters in cedar rapids, iowa, last night when he was asked
5:02 pm
about the federal reserve. >> oh, the federal reserve, i'll take a pass on the federal reserve right at the moment to be real honest with you. i know there's a lot of talk and what have you about them. if this guy prints more money, between now and -- i don't know what you'd do to them in iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in texas. i mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in american history is almost treasonist in my opinion, because all it's going to be doing, all it's going to be doing. we already tried this. all it's going to be doing is devaluing the dollar in your pocket. >> all right. well, there are a lot of ways to unpack that. the first is that this is a
5:03 pm
built of ideological signaling in the farthest reaches of the right wing of the republican party, those who want us to return to the 19th century and gold standard. secondly, an interesting glimpse of what kind of rhetoric rick perry thinks republican voters wants to hear. tim pawlenty left early because he could never connect to the back lash rage that's animating the republican presidential primary. rick perry will not make that mistake. he's practically instructing the crowd to rustle up a lynch mob. the perry campaign could not be more clear he had no regrets when he said this afternoon, "look, i'm just passionate about the issue, and we stand by what we said." a perry spokesman told "the washington post" in a statement the governor was expressing his frustration with the current situation, out of control spending that persists in
5:04 pm
washington. many agree spending more money is not the answer. technical note here, the federal reserve is not involved in spending anything. carl rove sharply criticized rick perry last night on fox news. >> you don't accuse of chairman of the federal reserve of being guilty of treason and suggesting we treat him pretty ugly in texas, you know, that's not, again, a presidential statement. >> now, rove and perry have a little bit of history, and like nearly every member of the bush camp, rove has no love for perry. but you know what, good old carl is still right. joining me now, alex wagner, msnbc analyst and "the huffington post" reporter. how are you? >> good, thanks for having me on. >> let me ask you this, i saw this quote as i was heading home, what a bad, gross thing to say, but i was not quite sure it would blow up.
5:05 pm
are you surprised it blew up today? >> yeah, for two reasons, one, so much blood lust out there, and two i'm really surprised the establishment gop led by folks like carl rove has acted so swiftly in terms of condemnation. that's testament to, a, the field being unsettled and the sense on veteran gop strategists that rick perry might not be ready for primetime. >> the chief dynamic here, which is always the dynamic in primaries, but particularly right now in this early stage in the republican party circa 2011 is the most rabid voters is the one they are pandering to, this fed pandering is super intense for them. here's what rove said about the republican primary. >> you don't want these candidates moving so right in the republican primary that it becomes impossible for them to win the general election because it will become a self-defeating
5:06 pm
message in the primary, people want to win, they don't go to such extremes that they lack a chance to carry a victory off in november. >> what's interesting to me is the whole kind of selling point of the perry candidacy was he could be super zealous and extremist and electable and rove seems to be going right at that. >> yeah, i think suggesting you're going to kneecap the fed chair -- >> people in texas might kneecap him. in texas, treating someone ugly means a massage. little-known fact. continue. >> i won't even go there, chris, you know, taking allen greenspan to the wood shed. the thing is, look, this is monetary policy, you can have gripes about it, but i think the violence of this metaphor at a time -- and fundamentally just, if you look at the clip, it's not like this seems like a season sort of thawed out talking point, this seems an
5:07 pm
off-the-cuff remark, this is a liability of his potentially and there's concern oh, my god, we can't control this guy. especially with people like michele bachmann right at his heels, it's going to be shifting this magnetic poles of the race far, far right. >> i thought it interesting the response, when he said he stood by what he said today, because i think this will be the first test. i talked to a long-time texas democrat yesterday, and he said the thing about perry, when he makes a mistake, he owns it, he embraces it, and this has worked for him throughout his entire texas career and this is the crucible for him in this first test. >> right, your spoken record is going to come back to haunt you on the national stage in a way it does not when you're running for texas governor. there's a piece in the new york times about perry's legacy. i think you have this kind of stuff and then you have this question as to whether, you
5:08 pm
know, he is a legitimate, you know, his job's policies, economic policies in texas were legitimate and there's a cloud of uncertainty that hangs on him. it's not mitigated by the fact he refuses to dial back any of the rhetoric. >> the other interesting thing to me about perry is that everyone talked about him as a second coming of bush, bush but not as smart, people say things like that. >> which is a terrifying prospect in some parts of america. >> what could go wrong when you elect a texas governor, republican texas governor. the interesting thing is, at one level the bush legacy has to deal with is a political liability, if you look at the polling, people remember what george bush did to the country. the other bush baggage he's carrying, it's interesting the entire -- to destroy rick perry out of the gate. that's not nothing. >> no, and again, it's like we
5:09 pm
know there's historic sort of fist of cuffs between the bush and perry camps, the fact that rove is coming out so vocally against him gives credence to the theory they don't want him to be the nominee. ben bernanke was an appointee of george w. bush. >> not only, he was in the white house, worked for the cia in the bush white house. >> he's a conservative guy. the fed is supposed to exist independent of politics, and for perry to say obama has the f.e.d. printing money for federal gain is not only a wild distortion of what happens to our monetary policy is an untruth that gets circulated among the american public and is detrimental to the american civilization. >> there's something that literally like getting up against him and pushing him into a wall to get him to print more money.
5:10 pm
>> getting ugly with him? >> otherwise known as giving him a massage. alex wagner of "the huffington post" and msnbc. thanks a lot. >> thanks, chris. >> joining me now, mike konczal, writes one of my favorite blogs on the internet called rordy bomb. mike, how are you doing? >> pretty well, thanks for having me on, chris. >> mike, i want to talk about the substantiative content of this remark, such as it is, i think for people not attuned to the sort of far-right and the ron paul buggism, the comment comes out of no where. what's he referring to? >> quantitative easing, where the fed prints money and buys financial assets like bonds. the purpose is to increase demand, designed to get people hording cash back into investing and people and jobs and designed
5:11 pm
to prevent the debt burden of bad debt overhang that's really suffocating the economy right now. >> that's what's so insidious about this. so far the fed has done two rounds of printing money and the idea is as a sort of extra aide, way of stimulating the economy, outside the mechanisms of the budget and fiscal economy, why is rick perry opposed to that, what's the ideological tradition in which he opposes that? >> when we see the conservative ideology come out of the fed, there are three approaches to it, people looking at the '70s, looking at inflation, looking at hyperinflation instead of realizing we're in a great depression moment. don't underestimate the cynicism of gop operators, especially going into a presidential election, and then there's this third wave of really right-wing
5:12 pm
conservative, kind of 19th century people who view deflation as a good. people who, like perry, fundamentally think of great society, new deal, social safety net, federal government is fundamentally corrupt and illegitimate institutions. it's possible he stands in the center of this zen diagram. >> in terms of fed policy, there's been a thought about another round of quantitative easing. given the fact it's unlikely, just how important is federal reserve action over the next 18 months in terms of alleviating some of the worst parts of the jobs crisis through which we continue to suffer? >> it's incredibly important, so, you know, people are talking about a double-dip recession, especially the chaos going on in europe and the u.s. housing market, also our economy has this problem of a frog that's in a really -- not enough water to cause it to jump out, job
5:13 pm
numbers are low, we're looking at a lost decade, lost decade and a half, it's really important everything that can be put into motion to create jobs and get the economy going again is working, and secondly, there's really no neutral when it comes to the fed and monetary policy and the fed is going to have to make decisions to either expand and speed up the recovery or contract and slow it down and put more pressure against jobs and investments. if it does that, and it's under intense conservative pressure to do that, it's going to be a bad economy going into the 2012 election. >> i want to reiterate this for people, fed policy can get arcane, but this is basically all there is in the arsenal right now for any kind of recovery, any kind of way of e leaveua -- alleviate the weight, economic help and political help in barack obama, and this is the
5:14 pm
thing conservatives are turning their ire towards. the last time the board meant, if i'm not mistaken, there were three votes on the federal reserve board, can you tell me about that. >> yeah, we had three decenting votes. the statements in general, we're worried about the '70s happening, it's like listening to a beegee's album. they are worried about inflation taking off. >> it was the rick perry, obviously, not with the treating him ugly kind of idea, but the ideological position staked out, was the rick perry position, which is we are not going to let the fed step in to do more to alleviate joblessness. >> right, it's important to remember monetary policy will always be a factor, even if there was an additional stimulus, tax cuts, whatever. if monetary policy tightens, if rick perry gets his vision on
5:15 pm
the fed, it would cancel out that stimulus, it's an incredibly crucial part of the economy going forward and the fact it's under ideological attack is important. >> exactly right, keep our eye on the ball here, folks, mike konczal, thanks so much for joining me tonight, really appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. coming up, it will cost you if you want to ask some republican lawmakers questions at their constituent events. no, really, it will cost you. and the president gets an earful while campaigning as the primary season slogs through day two. the winning horse you could have picked. ♪ that "old flame" you should have called. ♪ that leap of faith you never took. but there's one opportunity that's too good to miss. the lexus golden opportunity sales event, with exceptional values on the lexus is. but only until september 6th.
5:16 pm
see your lexus dealer.
5:17 pm
coming up, former governor howard dean on the 2012 race and the entry of rick perry into the fray. and just what would michele bachmann and bill o'reilly's hypothetical love child look like? brought to you by the magic of the internet. [ oswald ] there's a lot of discussion going on about the development of natural gas,
5:18 pm
whether it can be done safely and responsibly. at exxonmobil we know the answer is yes. when we design any well, the groundwater's protected by multiple layers of steel and cement. most wells are over a mile and a half deep so there's a tremendous amount of protective rock between the fracking operation and the groundwater. natural gas is critical to our future. at exxonmobil we recognize the challenges and how important it is to do this right.
5:19 pm
today is day two of the real republican primary campaign, it's launched in a small rural state with a presidential caucus that weeds out the casual citizen and empowers only those filled with angry conviction. the first contest in iowa, the ames straw poll, filters the section of the most extreme activists inside the republican party until you get down to a guy named al who lives in waterloo and listens to rush limbaugh.
5:20 pm
in this process itself, takes place against a back drop of an unsettling and volatile political department. a dispeptic electorate, invoking the phrase balanced approach at nearly every turn, but the incentives for republican candidates are for more resentment and fury. joining me now is former governor howard dean. governor, how are you? >> i'm great, how are you? >> i'm good. i wanted to get your perspective on the sort of incentives we see in the primary, because there are certain ways in which, i think, this election is similar to 2004. you have an incumbent president, and that incumbent president has made a certain portion of the other side extremely angry. in 2004, there was a horrible
5:21 pm
war we waged and a million other sins of the bush administration, but that anger is also sort of a dangerous tool to wield in terms of how you move from a primary to general election. is that -- was that your experience in 2004? >> yeah, i think -- actually, that's one of the ways that kerry beat me in iowa is that they were able to portray me as somebody who was angry and kind of, you know, i think the voters liked what i had to say, but i think they wanted somebody to win and they thought john kerry would be a better bet to win against president bush, and that was a successful attack on my campaign, and i think this is fascinating, this thing between rove and perry. >> it's delicious. >> well, but the thing is, it's serious business. the bush people don't fool around, as you know, you can say a lot of things about bush's presidency and things about the president, but one thing nobody should say bad about, his
5:22 pm
political team. they know what he's doing, and they are ruthless, and they are going to take perry out. this is not a mistake he's going to get over, and the reason is, he's now -- he came into this race in competition with romney and bachmann, and that's a winning strategy for perry. he is now in competition with bachmann and not with romney. that's a losing strategy for perry, because they are going to split the right with the far right vote, and i think this is great news for mitt romney. >> for me, the crucial dynamic from the white house's perspective is the president has this gap in between his job approval, which is fairly low, versus his personal approval, which is higher. so much about the obama strategy for reelection is reenforcing the things people like about him. here's his response, vintage obama, to governor perry's comments. >> you know, mr. perry just got into the presidential race, and
5:23 pm
i think that everybody who runs for president, probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn't like running for governor, senator, running for congress, and you have to be more careful about what you say, but i'll cut him some slack. he's only been at it a few days now. >> what do you make of the response, it's exactly what infuriates people who want obama to go for the jugular. >> it's the perfect response. i watched the national news networks before i came over, this was a story, and high-up story on both nbc and cbs, i didn't catch abc. this is a bad story for him, and when you're not doing so well on the national networks, the president best step out of the way and let you do the work, that's exactly what he did, very, very smart. >> what do you think about the sort of competition to be the renegade candidate in this? there's been sort of different
5:24 pm
cultures in the republican and democratic primary for a long time. i mean, republicans have tended to nominate the next in line, the bob doles, the george h.w. bush's, and we saw barack obama take the campaign model you pioneered in 2004 and use it very effectively in 2008. do you think we're seeing something new this year in the republican primary in which an insurgent candidate, because of grassroots fundraising, that you helped pioneer in 2004 like michele bachmann, can seize the nomination, or is the establishment still strong enough to beat that back? >> that's a stuff one. on paper, perry looked like he could beat romney when he got into the race. i'm not so sure he can now. i think bachmann is probably a little far out to be able to beat romney. i mean, romney is the establishment candidate, there's no question about that. most people in the republican party, establishment, wall street folks, are going to feel more comfortable with him.
5:25 pm
this is a year the tea party people, who don't have a lot of influence in the national politics, but they do have a lot of influence in the republican primary. they could actually make a nomination. it's really -- i don't know what's going to happen. i think the analysts are saying, and i agree with this, that the top three candidates are right duking it out and everybody else is not going to get a lot of airtime, which is going to be bachmann, perry, and romney. romney is not very popular among people voting in the iowa primary, but anything can happen. i just, you know, i know that president cut perry some slack, and i don't know perry personally, i don't have anything against him, this was not the kind of mistake you want to -- people do make mistakes early in the campaign, just don't like to see them on the evening news four days after they got in, this is much worse for him than people think it is. >> final question, when i watch the sort of pageantry of the straw poll and eating the corn dogs, and all of these things,
5:26 pm
these set pieces we've come to associate with american presidential campaigns, what is the weirdest thing about running for president of the united states? >> oh, there's lots of weird things about it. the iowa fair, which i actually loved, because they have the best pork chops i ever had. >> now you're pandering, governor. >> i am, but they also have fried ice cream, give me a break, who could eat fried ice cream? that was pretty weird. >> former governor howard dean, also head of the dnc, thank you for joining me tonight. coming up, must read for today. what a soldier about to be deployed says how we treat men and women who fight after they come home. and the only candidate in the republican field saying no to wall street money, he'll be my guest coming up. for pain. it has microparticles and enters the bloodstream faster. works twice as fast as before. did you invent this or something?
5:27 pm
dr. eric first, from bayer. wow. [ male announcer ] new bayer advanced aspirin. a living, breathing intelligence that's helping drive the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
5:28 pm
5:29 pm
5:30 pm
♪ these eyes cry every night michele bachmann pretty much ignored last week's provocative "newsweek" cover photo. that image and those eyes have become an internet sensation. behold the bachmann eyes tumbler featuring her stare plastered on celebrities, mup ets, politicians, beauty queens, and others. among my favorites, bill
5:31 pm
o'reilly, rebecca black, michael jackson, mariah carey, of course, lady gaga. doesn't look that different, and jaba the hut. we have a link at our website, they are taking suggestions. you know, maybe we'll see this. still ahead, are republican congressmen charging constituents to talk to them, that's coming up. and the one candidate that refuses to collect pac money.
5:32 pm
5:33 pm
5:34 pm
four days ago i saw a headline in the new york times that made me queazy. it read "money no obstacle as perry joins gop race." that's certainly correct, access to campaign money is not an obstacle for governor perry. in fact, his ability to raise campaign money is one of the primary reasons his candidacy is being taken seriously in the first place. "he is among the top political
5:35 pm
fundraisers in the country with a vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions, and he has the potential to energize republican voters who have shown limited enthusiasm for the candidates in the race." the premise here we've grown accustomed to, it is this, in order to be leader of the free world, a necessary precondition is having lots of rich friends, lots and lots and lots of rich friends, who owe you favors. this was a precondition that tim pawlenty did not quite meet and one of the main reasons he ended his campaign so abruptly. it's a precondition that grassroots fundraiser michele bachmann also lacks and many doubt her campaign can outlast those of mitt romney and rick perry. whoever wins the republican nomination will then face an extremely talented fundraiser in president obama, who has the benefit of wielding the influence that comes with already occupying the white house.
5:36 pm
now, the 2010 citizen's united ruling further amplifies the importance of securing big money, a good thing for a governor who has served over ten years in oil-rich texas. according to the new york times, whatever money his supporters cannot give directly to mr. perry could end up with the half dozen or so superpacs that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support a candidate that have been set up in recent weeks by supporters and former perry aides. this election will be the most moneyed in american history. we are entering into a very strange and daunting new world of a parallel shadowed money system for campaigns. it was, let's remember, the shadow banking system, unregulated, and exempt from disclosure rules, that brought about the financial crisis. i'm convinced this new order of democracy for sale will bring
5:37 pm
about a crisis. joining me now, former governor and current presidential candidate, buddy roemer, whose campaign refuses pac money or individual donations greater than $100. thank you for joining me. the question for you, why have you decided to make campaign finance the center of your campaign? >> i didn't want to be part of a corrupt political system. i think this is a great country, but i think we're in great peril. i think we're in trouble, and one of the reasons i feel that is that big checks decide the issues. it used to be one woman, one vote, one man, one vote. now it's one big check and you have banking reform that doesn't stop, too big to fail. one big check from the insurance companies, and you have health care reform that doesn't require insurance companies to compete with each other. something's wrong with america,
5:38 pm
and what's wrong with it is that 1% or 2% at the top, special interests, control washington, d.c. listen to me, conservatives, listen to me, liberals, the big money talks. you have no say so. >> when you say the word corrupt, i think it's a powerful word, and i've used it myself in describing our system, what do you mean by that word when you mean it in the context of our current fundraising system? >> good question. it's when an idea can't gain ground. it's when an idea can't gain acceptability. it's when money comes before courage, wisdom, teamwork, cooperation, fair play. it's when money decides that a system is bought and sold or, in our case, rented for four years. >> i spend a lot of my time, you
5:39 pm
will be, i'm sure, not shocked to learn around liberals, the kinds of things you're saying -- >> i forgive you, chris. >> that's kind of you, and i'm glad you're on our program, because the kind of things you're saying are the kind of things we write in the magazine and something liberals have been talking about for awhile, and i wonder if there's an appetite for that kind of message in the republican party. >> we don't know. i'm a conservative, and i have fought corruption in louisiana most of my life, so maybe it's because i've been hand-to-hand combat with the corrupt political forces that i feel so deeply about this, but i don't think it's a liberal or conservative issue. we might debate, chris, whether it should be full disclosure that we want or limits on giving. liberals like limits on giving, conservatives like full disclosure, that could be a good debate.
5:40 pm
right now we live in a world where we have neither. we don't have any limits, none whatsoever, and there are no disclosure requirements. the superpacs, rick perry has seven of them. there's no disclosure on anybody who gives money, there's no limit on anybody who gives money, there's no independence. the law requires independence and former chiefs of staff run this. mitt romney has the same thing. obama is the master at it. his top five ambassadors gave a minimum of $500,000 each. that's the ambassador of great britain, ambassador of france, ambassador of switzerland, i could go on and on and on. it's about the money, it ought to be our country, it ought to be about jobs, it ought to be about fair play. those are conservative principles, and i think liberals
5:41 pm
feel the same thing, disclosure or limit, that's what we need to decide. right now we have neither, chris, zero. >> final question for you, obviously, it's difficult -- chicken and egg question, it's difficult to remain traction if you have these limits on yourself, that's why you're not getting invited on fox news debate. how do you cut the knot of that paradox? >> i need people to join me. it's if you let me say it is my website. $100 is my maximum. g.e. could give, $100 maximum. >> anyone can give. >> look, look, we can do this if i have a million people join me, i'm in new hampshire day after day, i can't afford to spend $15,000 to go to iowa, but by god i can be in every county in new hampshire, and we're taking it to the people.
5:42 pm
it's tough when you start with no money and no name i.d., but we are slowly climbing, chris, we are slowly making a difference, and i will not give up. others have fallen off the table, i have balanced books, cash in the books, contributions from 50 states, we're going to give them hell. >> buddy roemer who outlasted rick perry in the presidential field, candidate for the republican presidential nomination. >> by the way, chris, i'm the only guy running who's been a governor and a congressman. i have something to say. >> experience, buddy roemer, thanks so much. coming up, stark truth about what employers are thinking when an afghanistan veteran stands in front of them asking for a job from an afghanistan veteran. and some myth busting on behalf paul ryan. man bites dog after the break. [ male announcer ] you never know when a moment might turn into something more. and when it does men with erectile dysfunction
5:43 pm
can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ [ man ] tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to
5:44 pm
the unemployment rate for veterans of recent wars is at
5:45 pm
more than 12%. ahead, one soldier about to deploy yet again writes of his struggle finding a job. his story's coming up. front of them asking for a job struggle finding a job. i'm robert shapiro. over a million people have discovered how easy it is to use legalzoom for important legal documents. so start your business, protect your family, launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side. it's schwab at your fingertips wherever, whenever you want. one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do.
5:46 pm
check out your portfolio, track the market with live updates. and execute trades anywhere and anytime the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done. open an account today and put schwab mobile to work for you. the possibilities are endless. interesting... save up to 50% this tuesday and wednesday only. be smart. book smart. last night we brought you the latest in what has seemingly become a new annual summer tradition, town hall confrontations. in districts all over the country, lawmakers are facing angry voters, some united into groups, others who are
5:47 pm
unorganized, but those all angry with washington from failing to attend to the urgent jobs crisis in the country. this was made famous, of course, back in 2009. that was the summer when tea party groups made their voices heard loudly, loudly, loudly in town hall meeting after town hall meeting, convinced barack obama's health care bureaucrats would be coming soon to their town to euthanize their loved ones. this summer, tons of progressive voices speaking out. that's what happened to mitt romney the thursday before the ames straw poll. >> we have to make sure the promises we make in social security, medicaid, and medicare are promises we can keep, there are various ways of doing it, one, raise taxes on people. >> corporations! >> corporations are people, my friend. of course, they are. everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. where do you think it goes?
5:48 pm
whose pockets? peoples' pockets. human beings, my friends. >> my friends. and while this summer of our discontent raises on, there's speculation some republicans have found a novel way to keep their angry constituents at arm's length but opting out of free town halls and appearing with tickets to get in. a piece written by politico, paul ryan, a $15 event he's participating in at a local rotary club. the ticket includes food, no fundraising is being done, we checked. pre-register online, and we had a back and forth exchange today with paul ryan's press secretary, and after talking to the event coordinator of the rotary club in question, we're convinced there is some myth
5:49 pm
busting to be done here. it's fair to assume after walk ward -- you may well want more access to the congressman during the summer recess, but frankly, it is not fair to say he's locked inside a fortress, only meeting with voters who slip $15 under the door first. another republican mentioned was from ben quail in arizona. a luncheon where for $35 attendees can question quail and enjoy a catered lunch at the phoenix office of snell and wilmer law firm. i disagree with him a lot. he encapsulates so much that's rotten about our age of aristocratic age of entitlement. that said, quails did organize a
5:50 pm
free jobs fair where those looking for work could meet last week in phoenix. 1,300 people showed, while the arizona republic puts that number closer to 1,000. here's the truth, a group of young republicans were ignoring their out of work constituents completely and sticking only to events with a ticket fee, that would be outrageous, it would also make for excellent cable tv, but that's not what the actual facts of the story add up to, so we're telling it to you straight, sometimes good tv has to take a back seat to the truth. still to come tonight, the unemployment rate isn't good no matter where you look, but for men and women coming back from serving overseas, their job outlook is worse than most. why that is.
5:51 pm
5:52 pm
membership rewards points from american express. they're a social currency. with endless possibilities.
5:53 pm
5:54 pm
don't have to tell you that the unemployment numbers in this country remain at historic levels, 9.1% in july. but the huge headline number is so big it obscures the bigger story hiding beneath it. there are groups of our citizens in this country so disproportionately affected by the down turn, they'd love to see unemployment at only 9.1%. take, for instance, the 15.9%er. teer unemployment rate. then there are cities like modesto, california, where the unemployment rate is a staggering 17.2%. when it comes to those who have fought in the ongoing wars in the past decade, an unemployment
5:55 pm
rate of 12.4% seems particularly unjust. today, one of those veterans wrote a remarkable article for "the new york times" about the unfortunate situation they face about coming home from the frontlines. joining me now, the author, jonathan rabb, spokesman for iraq and afghanistan veterans for america. jonathan, thank you, the piece was really affecting. tell me, you're redeploying, and it was that redeployment or the specter of it that seemed to have cost you your part-time teaching job. >> right, i want to be clear, i was working as a long-term substitute in the city and taken on that long-term sub position as a way to interview as a full-time position for the next year. when i reenlisted, towards the end of my training i received a phone call telling me i had been replaced. while i was still welcome to come in and work, i no longer had my regular position and had been demoted, more or less.
5:56 pm
>> why do you think we are seeing an elevated unemployment rate for veterans of iraq and afghanistan? >> i think it's a complex problem, but a lot of us who served overseas in the combat zone have a hard time communicating what we can do and bring to an organization, whether it be a school or business, and i don't think employers are always necessarily receptive to the types of things we can bring to them and are not always sure how we can benefit them. >> what do you mean by that? is there suspicion about your sort of mental stability or a question of being able to sort of communicate how your experience in these -- what are to many people exotic locales, they are not familiar with, translates to their organization? >> i think it's actually a mixture of both. in the piece i talk about a conversation i had with my father, who is a great man, very supportive of my service, he hires a lot of people, sometimes he hires veterans as well, and i
5:57 pm
talk about how he expresses to me about his difficulty when he hires a veteran and has to give up something for them, whether it's time away for training or their dealing with personal issues. even though someone like him is patriotic and has someone in the military, he has to think about it because it's going to be a bit of a burden on the business, so he's got to approach these problems, you know, in a way, even though he's got a personal connection to it, sometimes he's got to think twice. >> you write in the article, everyone wants to support the troops until they have to share in the hardship and sacrifice, then that bumper sticker or flag pin doesn't mean anything anymore. one of the features of the war we've been fighting over the last ten years is a very small population of people has been doing essentially all of the fighting. we don't have a draft, obviously, and it's all volunteer force and we've had two, three, four deployments. how much is the gap the kind of
5:58 pm
root problem here? >> i mean, that's really troublesome. a lot of us in the military are more aware of it than our civilian counterparts. it's difficult to come home and have a simple conversation with your family and explain to them what you've been training or have been doing. you know, our experiences are very diverse and different and sometimes the only things people see is movies like "the hurt locker," and that's what the war is. in a reality, we have a lot to offer and very, very many diverse experiences and unfortunately people don't want to approach us because they are afraid of offending us or afraid of us ourselves. >> finally, i was surprised -- well, not surprised, but a point in the article in which you're writing, then say you're redeploying to afghanistan. >> that's right. >> that's your choice, my understanding, why did you choose to redeploy? >> that's a complex question. i usually tell people it's
5:59 pm
because girls like the uniform, but in all seriousness, it's kind of hard to explain unless you've actually worn the uniform, unless you've served in the military. films try to capture it and say it's about camaraderie and brotherhood, but that falls short sometimes, i'll leave it as that if that's okay. >> absolutely, jonathan raab, an exceptional writer. what is the name of your blog, jonathan? >> with a bible in my ruk. >> i highly recommend it. thanks for joining me tonight, appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. you can have the last word online at our blog. you can follow my tweet tweettweets @chris tweets @chrislhayes on saturday mornings. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris, can i be a guest on your show