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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  January 25, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

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giffords as she officially resigns to focus on her full recovery from the shooting that nearly took her life. breaking new details about the navy s.e.a.l. team six rescue of an american woman held hostage by somali pirates. we'll give you a live report from nbc's jim miklaszewski who tracked down the story after president obama's verbal thumbs up to leon panetta at last night's state of the union. >> we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. >> speaking of the state of the union, a changed president obama throws down the gauntlet with congress and takes the fight to mitt romney ov. hi, everybody, great to have you with me today. i'm thomas roberts. a lot to talk about this morning especially the news that is developing right now. the emotional farewell to
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arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords as she formally submits her retirement. her dear friend and colleague, congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, house minority leader eric cantor, all giving emotional tributes on the house floor just moments ago. take a look. >> i am so proud of my friend, and it will always be one of the great treasures of my life to have met gabby giffords and to have served with her. >> for the past six years, congresswoman gabby giffords has served arizona's eighth district with dedication and dignity. i want to recognize her accomplishments here and thank her staff in their exceptional service, dedication, and, yes, courage during these difficult times. >> house speaker john boehner also in tears as giffords gave her resignation letter and later walked off the house floor. nbc's kelly o'donnell joins us
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live to talk more about this. kelly, really an emotional moment for people to gather and to watch this. certainly people knew this was coming, as the congresswoman announced she would be submitting her papers, her resignation papers so to speak, but it really is a touching moment for everybody to watch this morning. >> reporter: it has been, and earlier today there were many other tributes where members went to the floor and talked about their experiences serving alongside gabby giffords. she submitted her letter, which is really also a very poignant tribute to her constituents. she acknowledges those who were injured and killed at that event in january of last year, so giffords herself has always been very aware that there are many families who have suffered and been touched greatly by what occurred, and she was certainly lifted by colleagues in their tributes and their help. she's had a chance to reconnect with many of them today. there have been quite verbal and emotional moments that members of congress don't often let
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themselves do in public. they certainly did for gabrielle giffords. many of them can relate so personally to the fact that what occurred for her in many ways could have been any one of them. the staff member who was killed, gabe zimmerman, another staff member injured, they can relate so closely because of their staff members and to lose constituents on a day like that. so they on every level connect with this, and many had hoped she would be able to serve and finish her term and really respect the difficult decision to submit her letter of resignation effective at the end of the day and to allow for someone else to fill her seat. that will all unfold separately when there will be a special election and so forth. today is really about giffords, her service, and her staff. many members acknowledge how hard they have worked in her absence. it's been a remarkable, remarkable show of emotion and respect for a colleague and for all that she, her staff, the other families, and the country has been through over this last year. >> certainly well-liked an admired personally and
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professionally. kelly o'donnell, thanks for joining me. leon, good job tonight. good job tonight. >> there you have it. did you notice that amazing unscripted moment during last night's state of the union address? the president giving props to his defense chief for launching a daring hostage rescue operation in somalia. for one of the rescued hostages, an american woman, it happened just in time. >> the president authorized yesterday because the special operations forces said this was the time. jessica's health was beginning to decline. she's a young woman in her 30s, we wanted to act, and they did. >> nbc's chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski broke this story overnight and joins us now. explain what we know about how all of this went down and explain to all of us how you really got tipped off to investigate this. >> reporter: well, essentially it was based on the off script as you pointed out comments from
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president obama to secretary of defense leon panetta. good job tonight, and, of course, a reporter instinctively asked, well, what was that job that was so good? and it took several hours to track it down, but we eventually did figure it out. but following up on what the vice president said, u.s. military and dod officials are saying that jessica buchanan, the american woman who was rescued by that s.e.a.l. team and rangers were apparently involved in this operation, had some kind of pre-existing medical condition that, in fact, her health was deteriorating and they called it life-threatening. so they had to act quickly. the president gave the order on monday, and on wednesday they pulled off that operation, thomas. >> and is this the same team that worked on taking out osama bin laden? what's the story there? >> reporter: you know, there are an awful lot of s.e.a.l. teams out there, so it's impossible to tell, and, quite frankly, you know, nobody is going to tell us that. >> all right. but good news for jessica
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buchanan and her family for sure. jimklaszewskimiklaszewski. >> last night's state of the union -- joining us this morning is senator barbara boxer. i want to talk to you about the state of the union last night, i just want to get your reaction to what all of us just witnessed on the house floor with congresswoman gabby giffords and the unified presence that came together, everybody there, to support her. not only is this a woman who everyone has sympathy for what she's gone through in her personal life, but she's someone who is highly respected for her public life. >> well, it's a very, very touching moment. i watched every second of it. i served ten years in the house before i went to the senate, and i could tell you that last night at the state of the union when gabby came in, just the change in the whole feeling. i was sitting as it turned out on the republican side, just all
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of us as one feeling so strongly for her recovery and for her spirit and for her courage. and i think that as i watched it today and i saw everyone there, you know, united, together, infused with love and hope and a great spirit, i thought if we could just -- i wanted to thank gabby and say, thank you for sharing your recovery with us. she didn't have to do that, and what she did is she's lifted all of us, and if we can take just an ounce of that spirit and bring it into, you know, our hearing rooms and our markups and our floor debates and come together and meet each other halfway, wow, it would be something. >> senator, obviously gabby giffords puts a face on personal tragedy in this country, one of the likes we haven't seen before, at least in recent memory, but you make a great example of this. if we can see that unification coming together, why can't we get that on other things knowing
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that this country needs to recover. there are many americans in peril economically. last night the president described how broken things are in washington. >> i bet most americans are thinking the same thing right about now, nothing will get done in washington this year or next year or maybe even the year after that because washington is broken. >> senator, are the divides in congress so deep right now for any real progress to be made in this election year? is it just a lame duck for everybody? >> i think that if we are listening to the american people, if we are focused on, you know, how they regard us, they don't regard us well. we're at the bottom of the barrel here because we're not listening to each other, we're not working together. well, let me be specific, i happen to be the chairman of a committee that's responsible for the new highway bill, and my ranking member, jim inhofe and i
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are as far away from each other as you can get in terms of philosophy, but i can tell you we are working hand in glove on this bill and we are, you know, more than halfway there. it's 1.8 million jobs saved, up to 1 million new jobs created. we can do this, and in my committee we all came together. so there is hope. and i think when the president focused on what happens in the military when you're out on a dangerous mission such as this rescue mission we just learned about, of course, the incredible mission that resulted in the killing of bin laden, what we see is the teamwork. what we see is people watching each other's back as the president said. we got to work together. it's not about us. it's about the american people, and we can do so much. what i really liked about the president's speech last night is that everyone expected him to say, you know, forget it, guys, i'm walking away. he reached out again with one hand. with the other he said, look, we
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can't wait. if you guys can't get it together, i'm going to do everything i can, and i felt he had a certain optimism and eloquent optimism that contrasted to the -- i think the pessimism that you're hearing from the republican candidates for president. >> senator barbara boxer, senator, nice to have you on with me this morning. i appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. coming up, president obama takes on mitt romney in his address, but not by name. we're going look at some of the veiled messages shortly. right now tens of thousands of egyptians are rallying to mark the first anniversary of last year's uprising that removed long-time ruler, hosni mubarak, from power. islamists and their liberal rivals are gathering on opposite sides of tahrir square. the ousted president is on trial charged with complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters. we're going to be back with much more right after this. would.
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welcome back, everybody. the state of the union and president barack obama's opening shots in his battle for re-election. he didn't mention the presumptive republican nominee once, but he didn't need to. the president made it clear in no uncertain terms if mitt romney is ready to run, obama is ready to roll. in an hour and five minutes, he took on romney's riches and made a swipe at his time at bain capital. take a listen. >> we don't begrudge financial success in this country. it's not because they envy the rich. a family trying to make ends meet. that's not right. americans know that's not right. >> joining our discussion this morning msnbc political analyst richard wulff and wiendy schillr from brown university. richard, i want to start with you. within hours of romney releasing his tacks, the president took on
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allegations of class warfare head on calling for a buffett rule. take a listen to this. >> now, you can call this class warfare all you want, but asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes. most americans would call that common sense. >> so the secretary he was referring to, warren buffett's secretary, was sit with the first lady. a "new york times"/cbs poll shows a strong partisan split when it comes to the wealthy and taxes. how perfect was the timing of that spech speech, especially coming on the heels of mitt romney releasing his tax returns? >> you showed a republican/democratic split. independent voters who often decide these things just because they're in the middle there and they're the sort of swing bloc, they side with democrats on this issue, and the broader strategy here is that mitt romney humanizes this debate.
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he doesn't just oppose the policy, but he obviously benefits from keeping this specific area of taxes low for people who are in his tax bracket, and the problem for mitt romney is i know they've tried to humanize him on many different things, but they're still tripping up over this question of what tax rate he should pay. just yesterday his campaign adviser suggested that maybe the loophole that people like him, venture capital, hedge fund people, can benefit from, maybe that loophole should go and then the campaign dial it back. there's some confusion on their side but there's a human element that mitt romney who opposes these taxes going up for the super wealthy just happens to be super wealthy himself. >> wendy, mitt romney has drawn these strong business lines between himself and the president touting his experience in the private sector. however, last night the president taking time to respond. take a listen to this. >> we bet on american i thingen
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and tonight the american auto industry is back. >> will the bailout of the auto industry be enough to convince people, the american voters, that he really is a successful ceo in chief? >> well, i think that he's successful in selling himself as someone who has to run a much, much larger corporation, if you will, than bain capital. you're the president of the united states, the leader of the free world. i think what he was trying to do was get away from the negatives of what people think has happened other the last three years and show he's done what he's done has work sod far. so i think he's trying to say there's a difference in scope between running a company and running an entire nation with a very myriad of industries and different economic layers. and i think this is the power of the incumbency. you can go positive with your message while putting your opponent on the wrong side of that issue, and i think romney is on the wrong side of taxes right now. he's not only in the strong income strata, but the wrong side of it. obama didn't have to go negative
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at all, which is a luxury newt gingrich and ron paul don't have. this is the power of being the incumbent. >> yesterday morning at this time we had romney's prebuttal to the president's state of the union. this is the official republican rebuttal from governor mitch daniels. take a listen to this. >> he seems to sincerely believe we can build a middle class out of government jobs paid for with borrowed dollars. in fact, it works the other way. a government as big and bossy as this one is maintained on the backs of the middle class and those who hope to join it. >> so when we talk about this, richard, let's start with you, are the best republicans in the field right now because the governor is getting some good accolades for his rebuttal? >> yeah, look, there's a very low bar of expectations on these response speeches. he did very well. he offered some reasonable points in his speech where he said, for instance, deductions for the super wealthy should maybe go. that's not a position shared by the republican candidates.
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look, he's out of the field. i think it's too late for other people to come in, but what you just heard was also a caricature of what the president said. he wasn't saying let's create government jobs. he was saying let's create middle class private sector jobs. the broader thing mitch daniel is capturing is this notion that the economy has got worse under president obama, that's not borne out by the facts. >> wendy, i want to talk about these new poll numbers we have out from florida showing that the sunshine state is clouding over for mitt romney, potentially losing some political steam there. quinnipiac has romney barely ahead of newt gingrich in the latest state poll. republicans polled after the south carolina primary put the former house speaker now up by six points. here is romney's rebuttal to the president's argument that america is coming back. >> mr. president, things aren't going so swimmingly. in fact, things are pretty tough for americans across this country. the detachment between reality and what he says is so
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extraordinary, i was just shaking my head as i watched the tv last night. >> so, wendy, how is he looking today as this potential nominee? >> i think he still looks like a guy who can't quite get his message straight and i think that nobody ever likes to vote for somebody who is a downer. i mean, look, ask al gore. his nomination acceptance speech was a downer in 2000. don't be a downer. how do you say things will get better while telling everybody, reminding them that things are worse. nobody really wants to hear that. gingrich doesn't do that. he criticizes policy but always retains optimism. i think that's what distinguishing gingrich from romney right now. >> thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. president obama taking his state of the union message out on the road today to iowa and arizona. a new potential battleground state. and a final farewell to joe paterno. thousands visiting the famed football college coach before being laid to rest today. we'll be right back. total access - to everything.
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president obama has a packed itinerary today taking his re-election show on the road after highlighting some key battleground states in his state of the union. msnbc's richard lui is here with me now to break it all down. >> good morning. you know, the president laid out the swing states he hoped to win on the road back to the white house in 2012. >> what's happening in detroit can happen in other industries. it can happen in cleveland and pittsburgh and raleigh. >> there you go. he laid it out. the big three comeback is the way he started. part of two rust belt states seeing an unemployment comeback, michigan and ohio, dropping more than a full percentage point, 9.3%. pennsylvania losing here means losing the base and losing independence as well. unemployment sitting below the national average. that's at 8.1%. you can see making it over the hump there. north carolina, that is the first state that was won by a democrat since jimmy carter when obama won in 2008.
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10% unemployment there. that weighs heavy. now, the president wants these four states i just described in the win column again come 2012. they hold nearly 30% of the electoral votes to retake the white house. here is more of the president on jobs. >> a few weeks ago the ceo of masterline told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. today for the first time in 15 years, master lock's unionized plant in milwaukee is running at full capacity. >> now, americans see what's at risk, almost 3 million jobs were cut just the last decade. well, almost the same amount were added overseas by multinational companies, some 2.4 million you see right now. that drum beating very heavily in wisconsin. it's the only state with six straight months of job losses. a conquering hero has allen there. governor scott walker led collective bargaining changes. now he faces a recall. will this backlash spill over to
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the republican congressional wisconsin candidates and nationally for the white house to this november? democrats hope a tough 2010 was an investment for a strong 2012. the president is covering three more key states today. iowa and arizona before landing in nevada this evening. lots ahead. >> richard, thanks so much. i appreciate it. as we're talking about why is the president traveling to arizona today, that state has voted for a democrat for president only twice since 1948, but the obama campaign says they could have won the fiercely red state back in '08 if republican nominee john mccain wasn't arizona's senior senator. and with the state's controversial immigration law possibly putting hispanic voters in the democrats' corner, team obama is now emphasizing a commitment to immigration reform. >> i believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. that's why my administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. that's why there are fewer
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illegal crossings than when i took office. the opponents of action are out of excuses. we should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. >> and i'm joined now by phoenix mayor greg stanton. just to remind everybody, arizona voted democratically in 1996 for bill clinton, back in 1948 for harry truman. so why would president obama think that in arizona in 2012 he could actually win? >> well, i think he's coming here today, the day after the state of the union, for a couple things. number one to highlight a great company that's doing a lot of insourcing, investing in the united states of america. i think as the obama campaign is looking at expanding the map, arizona is one of the states they're looking at. i think for a variety of reasons. but i think our growing latino population. in my race for mayor the latino vote increased three times. if we could replicate that at
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the state level, i think they've got a good chance of winning here. so i think they are kicking the tires on whether to do a significant investment in arizona. obviously, as mayor of phoenix, i sure hope they do. >> mayor stanton, obviously the immigration law is something of controversy. hispanics make up almost 20% of the voting age population in arizona. so how large of a factor do you expect them to play given the backlash over what i said about the immigration law? >> well, i think we have a growing latino population. that population is very young. as they get older, as people tend to do, you participate more in the electoral process. there's a variety of reasons why demographically this state is going to look better and better for the obama campaign. but the president working with congress and giffords has invested $600 million in boots on the ground and resources and equipment for protecting the border, and he's demanding, rightfully so, comprehensive immigration reform. we should no longer pass divisive state level laws. arizona did it, i think it's
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hurt our economy. i think you see other states do that, it's hurting their economies. we need to get this right at the federal level and being tough on the border and supporting comprehensive immigration reform are very consistent with each other. i know sometimes the other side tries to play those as opposites of each other, but you can do both and do it well. >> finlly, you just mentioned congresswoman giffords, and she officially left the house as we just watched in the last hour. an emotional farewell given to her. what do you think her legacy is going to be as she's remembered for the hard work, the dedication she's given to the state of arizona but now she's going to be fully committed to her recovery. >> first and foremost, we hope and pray gabby comes back and comes back strong, but this chapter of her public service is coming to an end. she was america's darling. she was arizona's darling first. we love her in this state. her brand of politics, reaching across the aisle, doing everything in a bipartisan way,
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fighting for solar and sustainability programs, fighting to protect our border and get increased border security, she has a legacy of getting things done, doing it with a sense of humor, doing it with just a wonderful touch. everyone that came in contact with her just falls in love with her. her leaving the united states congress is a big loss for everyone. this tragedy that happened in tucson has affected so many people and obviously has changed the way we hofl hopefully view public discourse and how we behave moving forward. we hope she recovers and can come back and come back strong. we need her style of leadership nationally. >> she's certainly demonstrated a devotion to perseverance and we will probably see her back. thank you. i appreciate it. a key word in the president's state of the union, america or american. it was repeated dozens of times. we'll have the reason behind it. plus the sun is shining brightly on newt gingrich in the
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sunshine state. how he plans to keep the momentum on his side until florida votes. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition? ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit
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that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. newt gingrich riding full tilt into florida on the wave of a surge with big crowds at his back. the former speaker continues to take verbal swipes at everything from mitt romney's tax returns to president obama's state of the union speech. >> what you saw the president do is lay down a campaign speech which is how he's going to run this year. he's going to run as a left wing populist on class warfare and he's going to try to find a way to say that big government is a better solution than free markets. i think that will be a real dividing line over which the american people will make a gigantic decision in november. >> gingrich supporters are putting their money where his mouth is. and a new $6 million super pac ad. let's get the latest on the tact that newt is taking in the sunshine state. nbc's ron mott joins me now. explain what's on the deck for the former speaker today.
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>> reporter: hey there, thomas. good day to you. he just wrapped up a latin american policy speech at florida international university where he talked about his plans for immigration reform. in addition to talking about border security, he mostly focused on the questions about what to do with those 11 million or so people in america who are undocumented. he attacked mitt romney's plan and says that somehow we've all got to meet a middle ground there. as you mentioned, the pro-gingrich super pac going on with a big ad here in florida. we have six days to go to the election. that latino vote could loom large next tuesday as well as in the general election in the fall. later this afternoon he's going up to the space coast to talk about the future for nasa and other space-related programs and how that industry impacts florida, especially the economy in central florida on the atlantic coast. so a busy day for the speaker. he's going to be buoyed he hopes from these ads by the super pac to keep him matching fire with fire with the romney campaign. >> ron, thank you, sir.
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appreciate it. so using the word america or american 88 times, president obama made u.s. men and women in uniform also a major centerpiece of his state of the union address using the takedown of bin laden also as an example for washington, d.c. take a look. >> at a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. they're not consumed with personal ambition. they don't obsess over their differences. they focus on the mission at hand. they work together. imagine what we could ak lish if we followed their example. >> imagine. let's bring in msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director karen finney and boris epstein, political opinion columnist for u.s. is this the fighting president obama that democrats hope to see
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or wanted to see? was this basically the red meat his base was looking for heading into an election year? >> i think what was most important, thomas, was it wasn't necessarily it was red meat, but this was the president standing very firm, being very clear about not only here is my blueprint going forward, but also reminding members of congress they still have a lot of work to do right now in terms of the payroll tax. there's some important things coming up very quickly, and so what i think democrats really appreciate, and i hope all americans really appreciated, was him saying, look, i want to work with you. i'm going to reach back out again, but if you're not going to work with me, i still am going to try to get things done because the american people need me to do that and that's my job. and i think that's what people really appreciated. >> so boris, by bringing up the killing of bin laden in such a way, by talking about what he's done in iran, did he essentially skru undercut the type of criticism he can expect from someone like romney who says the president's foreign policies have basically
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been a disaster? >> there was the success with bin laden. with iran there's not success yet. china disagrees with the united states and so does russia. there's not the unanimous consent worldwide the president was speaking of and iran is still doling nuclear weapons. all over the middle east, the united states is less popular now than it was a year ago, two years ago, or three years ago. so those are things that mitt romney can capitalize on going forward. but most importantly will not be those issues. it will be the economy, and that's what mitt romney will focus on. that's the winning argument for republicans. obama has not gotten it done, republicans will. >> i want to play some of the president's closing argument talking about the navy s.e.a.l.s who captured osama bin laden. take a listen. >> one of my proudest possessions is the flag that the s.e.a.l. team took with them on the mission to get bin laden. some may be democrats. some may be republicans. but that doesn't matter. just like it didn't matter that day in the situation room.
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when i sat next to bob gates, a man who was george bush's defense secretary, and hillary clinton, a woman who ran against me for president. this nation is great because we built it together. >> so we do know that a s.e.a.l. team was involved. i was talking to mick earlier this hour. we don't have confirmation whether it was the same unit, s.e.a.l. team sick, involved with bin laden, but they rescued this american woman from somali pirates. you wrote about this emotional conviction you wanted to see from the president. is this that emotional conviction? >> absolutely. the other thing i really appreciated from the president, i mean, his attackers say criticize him as being not pro-american enough. but here the president said, we are america. we are coming back. don't let people tell you otherwise. and that i think was something we all needed to hear. and that story at the end, what was so beautiful about that is it is the quintessential story of america, that we can come from all different backgrounds and come together and be one country. it is what the president talked
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about when he first came on the political spotlight, if you will, when he said there is no red america or blue america, there is the united states of america. >> i'm sorry, karen is right in saying we should all be one america but it's tough for this president to go out and have this message when at the same time he's engaging in class warfare. >> it's not class warfare. >> let me finish. >> let me finish. you're wrong about the jobs. >> going with 1% versus 99% argument. it's tough to say we should all be one. >> you don't think that everybody should have to do their fair -- i think what the president was saying, frankly, and i thought it was very patriotic for him to say to corporations, ask what you can do to create jobs right here in america. that was very kennediesqkennedy. he was saying we're all in this together. >> that's incorrect. he's saying people who pay over $1 million should pay more than others. now, more, is that percentage, you put out that 30% and then the buffett tax or buffett rule is a stupid thing to keep talking about. >> you think warren buffett's
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secretary should pay more taxes than warren buffett? >> that does not represent the country. he doesn't represent the millionaires. he's a multibillionaire. >> you think people like mitt romney should pay 13.9% tax while the rest of us pay in the 30s, 30% to 35%? >> mitt romney should pay the amount of taxes proscribed under the tax code. >> -- and we are more respected in the middle east than ever. >> boris, should the tax code be amended then so other people pay more? >> we need a simpler, flatter tax code. no question about it. eliminate some of the loopholes. make it simple and flatter but don't talk about 1% versus 99% if you want to be a united country. >> karen hunter -- karen finney, excuse me. boris epstein. i was thinking because the way boris was talking i was thinking karen hunter was here. thanks so much. just a programming note, coming up at the top of the hour, alex wagner will talk with richard cordray head of the consumer
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protection bureau. that's coming up with alex wagn wagner. developing news out of texas where rainstorms have led to street flooding. at least three tornadoes have touched do unin houston toppling trees and damaging cars but 30 flights at dallas-ft. worth airport have been canceled. in san antonio more than a dozen roads have been closed so far. there have been no reports of injuries. also here is a look at some other stories topping the news for you right now. hundreds of mourners are in state college, pennsylvania, this morning to pay their final respects to ledge endary penn state football coach joe paterno. the hall of famer died sunday just two months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. a private funeral will be held coming up this afternoon. and did you hear that actress demi moore is seeking professional help for exhaustion after being rushed to an l.a. hospital on monday night? a rep for moore cites stresses in her life as the cause. you mi recall she split from husband ashton kutcher in
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november after allegations he was unfaithful in their marriage. equality was a major theme in the president's state of the uniaddress and not just about income. another big issue was on display but in a more subtle way. plus, he might be the commander in chief but maybe not comedian in chief. the president's joke gone sour. that's coming up in our side bar. yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside. c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t.
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[ female announcer ] nature valley granola bars, rich dark chocolate, toasted oats. perfect combinations of nature's delicious ingredients, from nature valley. ♪ nature valley granola bars, nature at its most delicious. >> reporter: a new study reveal that is leprosy in humans is still a problem and may be linked to an unusual source, armadillos. traditionally passed only from saliva from an infected human, the new england journal of medicine cites several reports
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of people being infected after coming in contact with armadillos. doctors advise against handling, eating, or buying souvenirs made from armadillos. nobody cried over spilled milk but they weren't belly laughing over it either. time now for the polly side bar. you can say his joke went a wee bit sour. now, if you missed it last night, here it is. >> i have ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don't make sense. we've already announced over 500 reforms. we got rid of one rule from 40 years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year proving that they could contain a spill because milk was somehow classified as an oil. with a rule like that i guess it was crying over spilled milk. >> so it may not have played
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well live but apparently it was a twitter sensation. the word spilled milk was tweeted more than 14,000 times in 60 seconds. innovation steve jobs was a close second followed by education and college tuition. energy and institutional reform round out the top five. the vice president was also a top twitter conversation piece last night. jokes were flying about what he was thinking about during the hour-plus long speech. one guy started a drinking game, take a chug every time mr. biden wipes his nose. at "vanity fair," caught him chewing gum and at the fix spotted him possibly checking his blackberry. so you will never guess who was live tweeting for the state of the union. did you think about it? chad ochocinco with the super bowl bound new england patriots, he said that the president was awesome. the question, how he could memorize such a long speech. and he noticed that the guy over his shoulder didn't seem very happy, wasn't smiling or clapping with joy so he decided
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to send a tweet to the house speaker. quote, just read some of your tweets and you seem pretty angry, kind sir. i can see you on tv but you're not smiling. hope you're okay. speaker boehner hasn't replied just yet. so a stunning moments a the first lady, michelle obama attends her husband's state of the union address wearing an electric blue dress by los angeles designer barbarat afang. the first lady is an inspiring national figure and not just for her fashion sense, of course. my next guest is a featured columnist at the and an award winning author. let's welcome sofia nelson. nice to have you with me this morning. >> how are you? >> i'm great. despite her being a woman in a position of power, african-american women say the first lady's racial gender identity really aren't essential to the connection that they feel with her. is it because they see her as this role model or is it because
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she feels like someone from familiar to all of us? >> well, i think if you're asking how african-american women feel about her, it is very marked by generational differences. my mom, who is a baby boomer, looks at a michelle obama as a daughter figure, someone she's proud of. women my age who are because s want to be affirmed, fabulous, happy, she is a smart woman, she is a career girl. she does it all and she keeps those great arms to boot. so she is considered a rock star by those of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s. we look at her in a different light. she is the reality of who we all want to be, she lets us know that we can have it all. >> it's obvious that she crosses racial divide. what does it show how black women are viewed in this day and
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age? you are referring to the washington post study where where they said she was positively viewed across both race lines. i'm disturbed that people are shocked that a black woman is intelligent. it's the negative images that we see in these pop culture, that is the norm of what we see, so mrs. obama, even though she is on television every day, americans are still adjusting to that. intelligence is a word that probably comes to mind because it not one that we to not often associate with black women sadly. >> thank you so much. >> thank you.
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>> we are back with more after this. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ when bp made a commitment togethto the gulf,future. we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years.
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thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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when you put on that uniform, it doesn't matter if you are black or white, asian, lati latino, native american, conservative, liberal, rich, poor, gay, straight. when you are marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you or the mission fails. >> in his first state of the union address since the repeal of don't and don't tell, the president making direct reference to the strength and integrity of our military. much of the speech focused on economic equality but limited the gay community to those
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comments. two gay women were present in the audience. 43-year-old ginger wallace, you may know that she made news in december when her fiance participated in the pinning on ceremony, a pro motion. both governors are trying pass marriage quality bills this year. george gregoure confident that she can get it passed. there was no mention of the defense of marriage act, no mention of the employment nondiscrimination act by the president. as a friend said, leadership is forcing people to rise up to be their very best and executing what you need them to do. how do you think the president did last night.
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weigh in at my twitter page. it was great to have you with me today, that will do it for me. "now" with alex wagner is next, live from our nation's capitol, she would talk with alex cordray. harvard student james hershfel wanted to transfer paper invitations to the digital realm, he and his sister pulled their savings and started their business.
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