tv The Last Word MSNBC January 16, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
friday night, we put up a picture of all the republican candidates on a segment for 2012, but in that picture we forgot ron paul. i talked about him, but we forgot to put a picture of his head up there with the other candidates' heads. i'm sorry, it was an honest mistake, and in penance, i hope you have enjoyed a little extra time with this the tiny ron paul head throughout tonight's show. we'll be back tomorrow without ron paul's disembodied head. here comes "the last word." good night. first, the biggest newspaper in south carolina endorses jon huntsman. then jon huntsman drops out of the race. then the woman who wrote the editorial endorsing huntsman actually says, it's as if he turned to her, after love making, and said, you know what, i think i'm gay. >> jon huntsman is dropping his presidential bid. >> jon huntsman officially dropped out of the race for
president. >> huntsman calls it quits. >> today, i am suspending my campaign. >> ending a candidacy that was always better in theory than in practice. >> some have described jon huntsman as a media mirage all along. >> he's singing a new tune when it comes to mitt romney. >> i believe that candidate is governor mitt romney. >> he's praising mitt romney as the most electable. >> he's dropping out of the race today and throwing his support to the man he once called unelectable. >> moderates are backing moderates. >> he attacked mitt romney as being out of touch. he said that he was a job killer, not a job creator. >> we are now left with big government conservatives. >> i wore my jeans! look at that! i wore my -- i wore my jeans today! >> we watched huntsman go all nicy-nice. >> i believe it is time for our party to unite. >> jon huntsman says the gop race has degenerated. >> this race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks.
>> personal attacks not worthy of the american people. >> the current toxic form of our political discourse. >> the jon 2012 girls will probably end up on fox news very shortly. >> i think a factor, candidly, is the colbert factor. >> didn't want to be humiliated in south carolina. >> stephen colbert running at the same level or maybe slightly higher than jon huntsman. >> you don't want to finish behind stephen colbert. >> i am not calling anybody a serial killer. >> mitt the ripper. >> mitt the ripper? >> that's powerful stuff. one week after stephen colbert bested him in a south carolina poll, jon huntsman decided it was time to end his run for president. the news broke just after south carolina's largest newspaper, "the state," endorsed huntsman. cindy scopy, the editor, who actually wrote that endorsement, gave a vivid description of what
it felt like to have the candidate she endorsed immediately drop out on the same day the endorsement was published. "it is rather like having gone through a courtship for some period of time and finally making love with a man, for him to suddenly turn around and say, you know what, i think i'm gay." here is jon huntsman in myrtle beach, south carolina, saying, in effect, you know what, i think i'm gay. >> i believe it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat barack obama. despite our differences and the space between us on some of the issues, i believe that candidate is governor mitt romney. >> here are just some examples of some of the differences, some of the space between jon huntsman and mitt romney on some
of the issues. >> i think when you're on too many sides of the issues of the day, when you don't have that core, when there's that element of trust out there, i think that becomes a problem. and i think it makes you unelectable against barack obama. >> we delivered health care reform with a mandate. we raised taxes $750 million worth. so i think it's -- and it was 47th overall in job creation. >> somebody who breaks down businesses, destroys jobs as opposed to creating jobs and opportunity, leveraging shareholders. >> governor romney enjoys firing people. i enjoy creating jobs. >> are you suggesting, governor, that we just take all our troops out next week? >> did you hear what i just said? i said we should draw down from 100,000. we don't need 100,000 troops. >> i don't subscribe to the don trump school or the mitt romney school of international trade. i don't want to find ourselves in a trade war. >> i just think it's most likely that the person who should
represent our party running against president obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in china. >> this nation is divided, david, because of attitudes like that. >> mitt romney has been running away from his pro-gay rights past in massachusetts, so he had no intention of appearing with jon huntsman today when huntsman was doing the political equivalent of saying, you know what, i think i'm gay. instead, romney took his anti-gay message to another audience in myrtle beach. >> this president has tried to pave the path for same-sex marriage to spread across the country. my view is that we should defend the defense of marriage act and that we should have a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. >> at an emergency stop romney meeting at a texas ranch this weekend, after three rounds of voting, christian leaders chose their alternative to mitt romney.
"the washington post" reports that rick santorum cleared the three quarters threshold, receiving 85 votes to gingrich's 29. a national gallup poll conducted after the new hampshire primary shows romney pulling away from the republican field. since early january, romney's support has climbed 13 points to 37%. that puts him 23 points ahead of newt gingrich and rick santorum. ron paul polls fourth with 12%. joining me now, "washington post" opinion writer and msnbc political analyst e.j. dionne, also joining us, former minnesota republican party chairman and former chief of staff to congresswoman michele bachmann, ron kerry. thank you both very much for joining me. e.j., how is the stop-romney movement feeling tonight? >> not great, is the answer to the question. i think that with jon huntsman pulling out, he was getting 4% or 5%, just behind colbert, as you pointed out.
and the general sense is to the extent those people vote, they're more likely to vote for romney than any of these other candidates. i think the problem is that rick santorum, as those evangelicals suggested and conservative christians suggested in endorsing him is probably the guy with the best shot of uniting everybody. but newt gingrich is still running ahead of him in south carolina, at least according to most of the polls i've seen, so there's no incentive for gingrich to get out. there's got to be a gathering together among the conservatives if they're going to have any chance at all of beating romney, and that's just not happening right now. >> all right. here's newt gingrich today, responding to the evangelical leaders endorsing rick santorum. >> south carolinians don't automatically take advice from texas. i think there's marginally very little impact. the fact is senator santorum in the polls i've seen today is
running fourth. people have got to decide. if you vote for senator santorum, in effect, you're voting for governor romney to be the nominee. because he's not going to beat him. and the only way you can stop governor romney is to vote for gingrich. and that's a fact. >> ron kerry, you're a santorum supporter, right? >> yes, i am. i'm a conservative, and i've looked at all the conservatives and the rick santorum is the full-spectrum conservative that i believe can beat barack obama. that was the deciding factor. i want somebody who's consistent in their conservative views. but it's not a matter of just being consistent, you have to be electable. that's where newt gingrich has a real problem. i think it's clear right now, as a conservative, that one of three people will become president and take the oath of office in january 2013. it's going to either be obama, romney, or santorum. that's just a fact. fox news had a poll out today that showed what the state of the american voters are right now. but over a two to one margin, people in america have an unfavorable impression of newt gingrich.
that's almost unheard of in the political spectrum, because conservatives say barack obama is unelectable because he has a 47% unfavorable rating, but gingrich blows obama out of the water. so why would conservatives put all their eggs in a newt gingrich basket at this point in time when he could be toxic to the conservative cause and really hand the election to barack obama? so that's why i'm hoping that conservatives will coalesce around the electable conservative, the full-spectrum conservative, rick santorum. >> ron, what do you make of the reports coming out of that event that the vote was rigged, that some people were told after the second ballot that it's all over, we're not going to do anymore, and they left, and then they had a third ballot, and your guy, santorum, won the third ballot, and there was ballot stuffing. "the washington times," a conservative paper, has this kind of reporting in it about what went on there. what do you make of that? >> well, there's sour grapes in football just as there is in sports and any other kind of contact activity. there were people who were there who described the contest as
being a straight forward, open event that it just came down to that as the people from the different campaigns made the case, it was very clear that while newt gingrich is a fine conservative and rick perry's a fine conservative, rick santorum is the conservative who can reach out to the american people and really build a coalition that's going to take for republicans to be very successful, and the coalition it's going to take to stop moirm mo moirm in the coming days. you'll see them spinning furiously because this could be the death nail of his campaign. it was interesting to see how the moderate wing of the republican party, they get it, they're consolidating now behind mitt romney with jon huntsman stepping out. i hope that newt gingrich and rick perry realize the longer they stay in this race, the more likely it is they're the ones who will give this nomination to mitt romney. and i'm hoping conservatives are smart enough in the coming days to realize that we need to put our majority firepower behind one candidate.
>> let's look at the new ad that the santorum campaign released in its attempt to stop romney. >> obama supported the wall street bailouts. so did romney. obama gave us radical obama care that was based on romney care. obama's a liberal on social issues. romney once bragged he's even more liberal than ted kennedy on social issues. why would we ever vote for someone who's just like obama when we unite around rick santorum and beat obama. >> i'm rick santorum and i approved this message. >> e.j., i can't think of anything easier than writing anti-romney ads for conservative audiences. but romney is still standing and growing. how is this happening? >> i with wish i could imitate that voice in the ad. it's awesome. you know, i think the problem is, they all had to do all of this a lot earlier. and what you had in iowa was a
kind of spontaneous unity among conservatives where they were watching this campaign, that relatively small number of people who vote in the caucuses pay a lot of attention to politics and around the middle of december, they decided that all these other conservatives had been discredited for one reason or another and started rallying to santorum. i think he is the logical guy, the only guy who can probably beat romney. but they really with were very late in doing this. and if you go back to iowa and new hampshire, a lot of these non-romneys spent most of their time attacking each other, trying to emerge as the alternative. and so now when they have finally turned their attention to going after romney's record, because it's really hard to figure out where he stands on a lot of these issues, it's too late. and i think that may be their problem in south carolina. >> e.j., quickly, before we go, you've watched the gingrich ego for a long time.
will the day come when he is able to say, we should unite around rick santorum? >> i think it's possible. the reason -- the only reason i think it's possible is because i think he is still furious at mitt romney for the ads by that super pac against him in iowa. and so if santorum manages to pass him in south carolina, i think that's a real possibility, as hard as it is to believe. >> e.j. dionne of "the washington post" and santorum supporter ron kerry, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> good to be with you. >> thank. coming up, inside the obama white house with the author of a controversial new book entitled "the obamas." and on the holiday that marks his birthday, what would martin luther king jr. think about hour country and our politics? i'll ask goldie taylor and michael eric dyson. and human error is blamed for the cruise ship crash off the italian coast, specifically captain error.
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what would polluter martin luther king jr. think of america in 2012? what would he think of the republican candidate who is quoted him today? what would he think of the economic future of all americans? goldie taylor and eric michael dyson will join me next. and in the rewrite tonight, martin luther king jr. will rewrite martin luther king jr. ♪[music plays]
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want to express my admiration for a man who stood for the principles of equality under the law which is required by our constitution. i think he's a great man and appreciate his service for our country and our constitution. >> that was willard m. romney at the start of his speech at ralph reed's faith and freedom coalition event today in south carolina. in that same speech, he derided president obama's work as a community organizer, the same work martin luther king jr. did. >> i think barack obama deserves some of the credit for the people coming together here. you know, they called him a community organizer. i don't think this was the community he was planning on organizing, but it is working. we're coming together because of that guy. >> in south carolina this morning, newt gingrich spoke at a martin luther king day breakfast where he said this -- >> dr. king would have asked us today not just to look back and
remember, but to look forward. to look to the other people here in this room. to look to the other people who aren't here in this room. to ask ourselves, to what degree can we give to them the same spirit of hope, the same idealism, the same belief in america, the same understanding that salvation comes through faith in god and that together we can, in fact, create a dramatically better future for all americans of every background. >> and then later today, newt gingrich said this about president obama and food stamps. >> i think we can run a campaign in which we represent the paycheck and he represents food stamps. we represent everybody in america who would like to be independent and working. he represents those who want to be dependent, or those politicians who want you to be dependent. >> joining me now are goldie taylor, contributor to the grio, which is part of nbc news, and
msnbc political analyst michael eric dyson, a professor of sociology at georgetown university and the author of two books on martin luther king, including "april 4th, 1968: martin luther king jr.'s death and how it changed america." goldie and michael, i just want you guys to go. goldie, you just heard republicans, you just heard newt gingrich talking about his notions of how martin luther king would see where we are today and what american kids would want -- he would want america kids to be thinking today. what is your reaction to what you've heard? >> it's anguish. you know, it's stunning to me that we could be months upon months until the the republican campaign and never once has one of the candidates mentioned the access to equality, basic education as a building block to prosperity for the least of these in this country. you know, 58 years after brown versus the board of education, schools are still largely separate and unequal. so if dr. king were alive today and walking our american public
schools, that's where the tears and the pain would come from, knowing that our children are crippled from the very start. that, you know, they don't have access to quality health care, they don't have access to meaningful jobs or meaningful housing, and a lot of that is trailed back to education. and i think that is the new frontier of the civil rights movement today. that's where the fight is. >> michael eric dyson -- go ahead, michael. >> yeah, and to piggyback on what goldie brilliantly just deconstruct there had, education as well as the over incarceration of african-american men and women. 2 million and some odd people are in prison, half of them happen to be people of color, there for nonviolent drug offenses. michelle alexander brilliantly explores this in her book, "the new jim crow." but beyond that, which is astonishing to me, these candidates don't even admit that their ancestors stood tooth and nail against every shred of evidence that african-american people were human and secondly, they stood against the very
movement that delivered the very martin luther king jr. that they now find so inspiring when they stood tooth and nail against him to oppose him. so now to try to divide the nation by saying that barack obama is the food stamp president and newt gingrich will be the, you know, the paycheck president is ridiculous. it just smacks of every kind of racial dog whistling going on here, and the insinuation that african-american people are somehow outside of the arc of american privilege and american opportunity because they failed to live up to their own demands and expectations, not because of barriers that are imposed upon them. >> i want to read you both something that you will recall dr. king saying in january of 1968. i want our audience to hear it in today's context where there's so much discussion by republicans of class warfare. "wherever the government provides opportunities and privileges for white people and rich people, they call it subsidies. when they do it for negro and
poor people, they call it welfare. the fact is that everybody in this country lives on welfare. suburbia was built with federally subsidized credit and highways that take our white brothers out to the suburbs were built with federally subsidized money to the tune of 90%. everybody is on welfare in this country. the problem is that we all too often have socialism for the rich and rigged free enterprise capitalism for the poor. that's the problem." people are getting $50,000 tax deductions for their mortgage interest and we do not call that welfare or some kind of federal government housing credit. if dr. king were to say those words again today, republicans would call that class warfare, wouldn't they? >> yeah, they'd call him a socialist. they'd call him a communist. they would and they did. i mean, those people living in the suburbs are getting a $50,000 tax credit for a mortgage credit, but they call
earned income credits that go to poor and working americans welfare. i think that's the deplorable thing here. at the end of the day, you know, i went to school on a g.i. bill. i think your father went to school on the g.i. bill. they called that welfare. so i think that's put in place to help break, you know, the income disparities in this country is called welfare. since 1980, the income divides have exponentially grown. that has increased the number of those who live in the 1%, but also exploded the least of these. those people that live in the under class. but i've got to tell you this. what's happening with this new economic downturn is that the middle class has been drawn into this permanent underclass. people who can't survive, cope, and make it. people who can't pay their own rent, who can't pay their own light bill because of gop policies. so until we turn that back, we'll never see this tide reverse itself and we'll never see families be able to get meaningful jobs and meaningful wages and provide for themselves. americans believe in the spirit
of work. we don't believe in welfare, but we believe in a social safety net that keeps people from slipping into the margins. and i think that's what dr. king stood for. >> michael, what did dr. king encounter when he expanded his message over time from where people sit on the bus, past voting rights, over to this larger issue of economic distribution in this country? >> he was widely demonized. he was castigated by every major newspaper in this country. every major news magazine took away his ph.d from him, didn't any longer refer to him as dr. king. they besmirched his character. they didn't mention the nobel peace prize because he stood against the war in vietnam. they began to link racism. african-american leaders turned against him. whitney young and roy wilkins. whitney young, head of the national urban league, roy williams, head of the naacp. the journalist of color spoke out against him.
but martin luther king jr. stayed on message. he said, look, when you have the '64 and '65 votes rights act and the civil rights bill, those things didn't cost the nation anything. he said, now we've got to deal with the problem of economic inequality. he died, you will remember, in memphis, tennessee, struggling with sanitation workers to raise their wages to speak to the inhumane conditions under which they labored and to force america come to grips with rising tides of inequality. he was planning at the point of his death to come to washington, d.c. as part of the poor people's campaign. and there before occupy wall street came about, he wanted to occupy the empty spaces of d.c. he said, look, you're poor, you're unemployed anyway, come to washington, d.c., let's let the government know in a gesture of aggressive nonviolent that you will no longer tolerate unemployment and failed wages. martin luther king jr. believed education was a constitutional right and a job was a constitutional right and he was widely reviled. but when he died, the sweet
scent of martyrdom swept away all of the contributions. >> michael eric dyson and goldie taylor, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks for having us. coming up, stephen colbert's super pac launches in south carolina and goes straight for mitt romney. jeff garland of "curb your enthusiasm" will join me to talk politics, comedy, and his new book. okay... is this where we're at now, we just eat whatever tastes good? like these sweet honey clusters... actually there's a half a day's worth of fiber in every ... why stop at cereal? bring on the pork chops and the hot fudge. fantastic. are you done sweetie? yea [ male announcer ] fiber beyond recognition. fiber one. hey, i love your cereal there-- it's got that sweet honey taste. but no way it's 80 calories, right? no way. lady, i just drive the truck. right, there's no way right, right? have a nice day. [ male announcer ] 80 delicious calories. fiber one. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like a lot of things, the market has changed, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and your plans probably have too.
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concordia ran aground on the italian coast, the owners of the $450 million cruise ship which carried 4,200 passengers say the cause was human error. one human. the captain. tonight, six people are known dead and 29 more are still missing. among the missing, two americans, a retired couple from minnesota. nbc's michelle kosinski reports from italy. >> reporter: laurenwrence, the rescue efforts have been relentless and dangerous. and now we know according to the company what caused this disaster was human error. the captain's decision to go off-course, bring the ship closer to shore, and now there's desperate home that any of the more than two dozen still missing might yet be found alive. rescuers fighting their way while there's time to find people who might still be trapped deep within the "costa concordia" today battled weather and had to pull back as the
behemoth sifted under water where divers on a good day can barely see. >> it's dark and also we, we are losing the track of our way. >> reporter: among the missing, american retirees jerry and barbara heil from minnesota. their family says they couldn't wait for their dream mediterranean cruise. just yesterday, crews rescued the ship's purser, trapped on board for a day and a half. the ship now lying on a rocky bed more than 100 feet deep, at an angle, in danger of sliding. and a state of emergency declared over worries the half a million gallons of fuel could be leaking. still-emerging video shows how a vacation three hours in devolved into a desperate push to escape. >> people were passing out, people were getting nervous, people were having chest pains. i was having chest pains. i was having anxiety, because i don't know how to swim.
>> infrared video shows people inching down tex posed in the dark. the captain is blamed for making an unauthorized decision to steer off-course, closer to an island. he's also under suspicion of abandoning ship while passengers still scrambled for their lives. and the company said this course change may have all been for show. >> he wanted to show the ship and to nearby this island and so he decided to change the course of the ship. >> reporter: the captain has defended his action, claiming navigational shatters showed a clear route. locals say it's not uncommon for cruise liners to make a display lows to land, sounding horns, delighting tourists. this video of the "concordia" on a previous run shows just that. today, this time, the pictures
shows only disaster on an enormous scale. and you know, lawrence, we have heard repeated scathing accounts by passengers of how the evacuation was handled. but today the company defended its crew, saying that ship rolled quickly, rendering half the lifeboats useless and commended them for helping to get more than 4,000 people off safely in two hours' time. >> michelle kosinski reporting from italy. a controversial book about the first couple has everyone talking about it, including the first lady. the author joins me next. and later, jeff garlin of "curb your enthusiasm" will join me to discuss politics and his book, "curbing it." and he will tell us why he cries when he votes. nyquil: you know i relieve coughs, sneezing, fevers?
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different image was once again delivered today as the obama family honored the legacy of dr. martin luther king jr. this morning by participating at a community service event at the brown campus in washington, d.c. the first family joined volunteers from big brothers, brig sisters and greater d.c. cares to help upgrade the d.c. university's library. they painted quotes from the slain civil rights leader on the wall. while greeting volunteers, president obama stressed the value of public service. >> there's no better way to celebrate dr. king than to do something on behalf of others. what he really said was that all of us can be a drum major for service. all of us can be a drum major for justice. you know, there's nobody who can't surf. nobody who can't help somebody else. >> this is the third year in a row the obamas have marked the mlk holiday by engaging in a
community service project. "the obamas," a new book that chronicles the first family describes how they have navigated the ups and downs of life in the white house and their evolving roles in the public eye. joining me now is the author of "the obamas" and "new york times" correspondent jodi kantor. thanks for joining me tonight, jodi. >> thanks for having me. >> jodi, your book has provoked the famous michelle obama quote of last week, the so-called angry black woman quote. and i just want to run that quote again, to show how she said it and what she was referring to when she said it. let's listen to that quote. >> it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and you know, but that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day barack announced, that i'm some angry black woman.
>> who can write about how i feel? who -- what thirty person can tell me how i feel? or anybody, for that matter. >> so just to be clear, that reference to angry black woman was not to your book, which michelle obama says she has not read and has no intention of reading. the quote did come up in the context of a discussion of your book. she was saying that that image is something people have tried to attach to her for a long time. for example, september 2008, during the presidential campaign, bill o'reilly saying, she looks like an angry woman. she said that people were calling his radio show all the time saying she looks angry. june 2009, to go back a little while, rush limbaugh saying that barack obama is a mad guy, them quoting him. he hung around people who were mad all his life. his wife is angry all the time. that's what she's talking about. is that people have been trying to attach that image to her for a very long time.
would you say that your book adds in some way evidence for the image of michelle obama where the first adjective about her should be "angry"? >> no, the book shows her as a very strong force and a lot like a lot of democrats on the outside in that she really wants the best for her husband's presidency. just to back up a little bit, i've been covering the obamas for five years at "the times." and i set out to write this book to answer a couple of questions i thought voters would be thinking about, as we head into the 2012 race. what is it like when two regular, pretty regular people move into the white house, which is this utterly foreign world? how are the obamas adjusting behind the scenes to white house life? and the white house cooperated with the book. the book was fact checked with the white house. they haven't pushed back on the reporting. a lot of it is on the record. and what the book shows with michelle obama is that she did
have a tough arrival in the white house, because she was a stranger in a strange world. i took a lot of time reporting the details of white house life to show how strange and foreign it could be. but the book actually shows her turnaround in story after story, scene after scene. a lot of which were never told before. a lot of which her aides shared with me. we really see her filling her role as first lady with meaning. >> there seems to be a small pushback from the white house. they're saying, you know, you didn't have access to the president and the first lady, which is not uncommon in books about people like this. for example, bob woodward, i don't think in any of his books about the bush white house, i don't think he ever got access to dick cheney. still, an image of dick cheney emerged from that work, which is cross cut through deferent people who were in meetings with cheney, who gives quotes about which is what cheney said.
it seems to me, it's a normal progress to continue to work on these portraits even when the central subjects, some of them, sometimes, don't give you direct interviews. >> i think that's very true and i think what's also true is that, you know, i have interviewed the president and first lady, and they're very short interviews. and there is so much they can't say in a way that's part of what the book is about. is they come into these incredibly confined roles. so what i found is that aides and friends were able to tell really rich, meaningful stories about the transitions they were going through. you've heard some of the big headlines from the book already. but the book is also about how to carve a place in this universe. how to make a life amid this sort of craziness of the white house. and we learned what happened the first time maria and sasha tried to go trick or treating in washington, it didn't go very well and they had to return to the white house in defeat. we see barack obama's birthday parties. we also see whats to his basketball game as president, which is kind of a measure of
whether or not people can treat you normally as president. there's a moment when michelle obama decides to go to the corcoran gallery of art, this is well into the administration, and she's shocked to discover that the corcoran is only a block away, because she's not even allowed to walk around her own neighborhood. >> jodi, quickly before we go, i think the big challenge of this kind of investigative writing is how do you figure out or how can you ever figure out who is telling you the truth. >> you cross check it and check it like crazy. i mean, you know, that's why -- the big blow-up scene with robert gibbs is a good example, because it was so sensitive that i just needed to go to person after person in the white house, because what he said was really difficult. and i needed to be fair to both him and valerie jarrett to make sure that it was right. >> jodi kantor of "the new york times" and the author of "the obamas," thank you very much for joining us this evening. >> thank you. coming up, dr. king's words have been written in stone and now they have to be rewritten. that's next.
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noticed that martin luther was quoted incorrectly where he said, i was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteous. that struck her wrong for a man who so often symbolized the strength in humanity. when she checked the original source of the quote, she discovered that an important "if" clause had been left out. dr. king didn't think of himself as an attention-seeking drum major, leading a parade, but he knew that some other people did, and so what he actually said was "if you want to say that i was a drum major, say that i was a drum major for justice, say that i was a drum major for peace, i was a drum major for righteous." rachel mantifull interpreted the saying this way, "if you see him as an attention-craver, a puffed-up drum major, if you call him out in the way most people are prone to, at least he
would hope you saw him doing it for the most noble causes." she called on the interior department to undo the mistake. let's get the chisels back out, she said. and now interior secretary ken salazar says the etched in stone misquote will be fixed. secretary salazar said, "this is important because dr. king and his presence on the mall is a forever presence for the united states of america and we have to make sure that we get it right." the drum major quote is from a sermon that the reverend martin luther king jr. gave on february 4th, 1968, at his church in atlanta, the ebenezer baptist church where his parishioners heard sermons like this from him week in and week out for eight years. for eight years his parishioners were hearing the voice that changed america. for eight years, his parishioners were hearing the voice that changed the course of history. in what came to be known as the drum major sermon, dr. king
contemplated his own funeral. he said he didn't want a long funeral and he especially didn't want a long eulogy. two months to the day after he delivered this sermon, the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. was assassinated. >> if any of you are around when i have to meet my day, i don't want a long funeral. and if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. i want you to say that i tried to love and serve humanity. yes. if you want to say that i was a drum major, say that i was a drum major for justice. say that i was a drum major for peace. i was a drum major for righteousness. and all of the other shallow things will not matter. i won't have any money to leave behind.
i won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind, but i just want to leave a committed life behind. and that's all i want to say. if i can help somebody as i pass along, if i can cheer somebody with a song, if i can show somebody he's traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain. if i can do my duty as a christian or if i can bring salvation to a world once wronged, if i can spread the message as the master taught, then my not be in vain. yes, jesus, i want to be on your right or your left side, not for a selfish reason. i want to be on your right or your left side not in times of some political kingdom or ambition, but i just want to be there in love and in justice and
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enthusiasm," but he's also the author of "curbing it," which is now out in paperback edition. with me now, jeff garlin, the author of "curbing it." where in the paperback edition, on page 33, which is as far as i got, because i started to cry. it says, tuesday, november 4th, 2008, election day. my meditation today is about being satisfied with enough. what is enough? today i will not be satisfied unless barack obama becomes president. i leave early in the morning to vote, as i punch in my vote for president, i cry. >> yes. >> is that a typical, you know, day in the voting booth? >> never -- i've never -- and by the way, i wasn't weeping. i wasn't bawling. but -- >> could people tell when you came out of the booth, that that weird guy was crying in there? >> if they looked at me, they would have been able to tell. but no one really looks -- after you're done voting, does someone
look at you? but i was crying, yeah. yeah, definitely. it was very emotional, a very moving day. >> and are you one of the disappointed obama voter who is sits there and says, hey, wait a minute, how comes he has to get congress' approval for these things he wants to do? >> i would say i'm sort of on the fence on my disappointment. i don't -- you know, here's one of the bottom line things. do i really know what's going on in the white house? >> no, you don't. >> do i know what he's dealing with? >> no, you don't. >> do i know the struggles that he has? i don't. would i like for things to be further along? yes. would i like for him to be a bit more arrogant with the house and the senate and go, hey, my way or the highway? sure. but i don't know what's going on. i'm a comedian. i don't know. >> do you admire his discipline in weight control? i think he's wearing the same pants he wore in high school. the guy -- >> well, you would think that with that stress, that he would have had a bowl or two of
pudding. >> right, a twinkie. the occasional bucket of ice cream, just to kind of -- comfort food thing. >> yes, yes, i would have thought. so, yes, it's impressive. >> now, advice. i'm just going to ask you, if you have any advice for future president of the united states, chris christie, governor of new jersey. he has a weight problem, doesn't he? >> you mention that a lot. >> because you're going to play him in the movie. >> i see that on twitter. >> you're going to have to gain weight to play him. >> is he that big? i don't even know. >> he's really big. >> i have no advice for anyone who chooses the path of politics. >> but do you think -- >> let me ask you a question here. when you were in high school, the people that ran for student council, would you want to hang out with them? >> uh, no. >> you're hanging out with them now. you're talking about them now. your whole life is about those people. i prefer to take a nap. >> yeah. >> i vote, though, so i'm not like passive. >> you vote? >> i vote er