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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 9, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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quite frankly, millionaires and billionaires aren't a tax cut away from lots of jobs in this economy. let's focus on the middle class. let's pay down some debts and our deficits. >> joining me now is nbc's kristin welker from the white house. we know the president plans to give a series of interviews with stations in battleground states after this statement. he'll also be traveling to iowa tomorrow. but give us a sense of why the timing, why now is this statement coming out? >> well, in part, richard, because it allows the president to pivot away from last friday's disappointing jobs report and back on to tax fairness, something that he sees really as a winning issue. it's also sort of a reminder of the built-in power of being president in an election year. president obama can use his pulpit to talk about tax fairness for middle classes. you said, president obama will be calling and pressing congress to extend the bush-era tax cuts for folks making less than $250,000. republicans on the hill already
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armed with their responses. we've been getting eames this morning essentially saying, look, this is a fight we're willing to have because they are framing this as a tax increase on small businesses. the romney campaign also putting out a statement this morning saying that what the president is calling for amounts to a tax increase on small businesses. they think when you stack up the two arguments about tax fairness or the general state of the economy, they will continue to focus on the state of the economy and say this is not going to help. president obama will use those optics you talked about, speaking in the east room, surrounded by a number of middle class families who the president will argue will benefit from extending these bush-era tax cuts. >> coming out in the last 30 minutes, we got new numbers, the june fund-raising numbers for the president's re-election team as well as for mitt romney. they're not looking good for the president. >> certainly disappointing fund-raising figures for the
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president's re-election team. president obama, according to the re-election team, raised $71 million in june. compare that to the romney team, which raised $106 million. the president's campaign putting out a statement to supporters saying, we did well. this was our largest monthly haul so far. but we still got bought handily. i had spoken to a senior adviser to the obama campaign last week, who said they were prepared for this. they weren't prepared to match -- or they were expecting to not match mitt romney in fund-raising. however, they believe that it the momentum is picking up, so they're expecting to see those figures get a little bit closer together, they think, as they get closer to fall. of course, we'll be monitoring those figures closely. >> four months to go. kristen welker, thank you so much. we'll see the president later this hour, around 11:50 a.m. eastern time, with that statement. we'll have it for you live. stick with us for that. let's bring in our monday power
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panel. aaron mcpike a reporter with real clear, and hoggan gidly with national communications director for santorum campaign. good morning to all of you. richard, straight to the tax cuts and debate about that, but as we were discussing, those new fund-raising numbers. what's your thought on that? >> you know, i think this may be a blessing in disguise for the obama campaign. it's clearly the case that romney's been kind of vacuuming up money sitting on the sidelines during the primaries. good for him. and anybody who thought that somehow or other obama was going to outraise romney in the super pacs over the course of this campaign was diluting themselves. that's a fiction put out by republicans but i don't think people following this believe that. the good news is, this is a message to all the mega donors on the sideline on the democratic side. the hollywood folks and so forth. the message is, look, it's all well and good to think you're above the fray and you don't need to write those big checks. guess what? you do.
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this is a close race. money could make a difference. it's time for you to step up. if you don't believe us, look at these numbers. >> as obama campaign have put out in e-mails as well as other statements, and hoggan to you now on this issue, this was all about the health care opinion that came down from the supreme court? we saw that big bump on the date of the opinion. some $4.6 million. >> i don't know -- a lot will be directly related to the obama care decision. no doubt about that. but, look, he's right, the romney campaign now, the obvious nominee before he accepts it at the convention, will -- had to go out and get some low-hanging fruit. that's what he's been able to do, that's what he's been able to secure and he'll be able to spend that money very well, hopefully coming up in the fall. you know, the super pac issue is a big one in the sense the republicans right now have a huge lead in the super pac funding and they'll be able to use that, too. democrats haven't. obama said they shouldn't take
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that corporate money, obviously, for their convention. they shouldn't deal with super pacs. that's his fault now. it's tough to feel sorry for the democrats when they say they don't have enough super pac money. the rule states you can take that kind of money. they're on the short end of the stick. i with go into wimbledon and says i can use a racket. i can use my hand instead to play the match but i'll get beaten badly if i do that. he's ham strung his own campaign by saying they wouldn't deal with super pacs and now he's flipped on that issue. that's going to be the bigger picture to watch as we move into the fall is this super pac money. >> hoggan planning on playing wimbledon next year. erin, comment on the issue of the fund-raising, but also let's shift to the issue of the bush-era tax cuts at $250,000 area. does this help the president underline the argument he's making about mitt romney's wealth and bain background as well, not being in touch with the middle class. >> let's go back to the fund
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raise fog are a second. throughout 2011 president obama was not in a primary and he was raising tens of millions of dollars each month throughout 2011 and in 2012 so far. mitt romney now as nominee is just beginning to raise all of that money as a general election nominee. so, yes, the obama campaign and the dnc fell $35 million short, which is nothing to shake a fist at, but at the same time, throughout 2011, president obama was raising far more money than mitt romney. you can see that play out in the spending wars because the president's campaign has spent more money and it's making an impact in the battleground states where ads are running right now. president obama is ahead of mitt romney. >> xh we'll get to. comment on the question i posed to you, regarding what we expect to hear in 45 minutes from the president. his push forward for a tax cut, pushing for the bush-era tax cuts under $250,000. >> well, right.
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and this is obviously a fight very good for the president. of course, tax cuts for the middle class is an issue he's been pushing now for more than a year. it's something that voters can see. it's a tangible thing. of course they're going to like that going into the ballot box in november. >> hoggan, mitch mcconnell saying, a one-year extension of all bush-era tax cuts for a one-year period can refocus on the fiscal cliff coming in a year. take a listen to what he said. >> what we ought to be doing is extending current tax rates for another year with a hard requirement to get through comprehensive tax reform. >> this tells us we'll have some sort of extension that will not be permanent. >> probably so. and i think one of the things politically to pay attention to here is the deep division within the republican -- the democratic party on this issue in that the president is taking a different
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for million dollar ceiling instead of $250,000 floor. that's important going into the fall as well. it's a gift for republicans. we can point to obama care as being the largest tax increase in the history of the country, coupled with another tax increase by repealing the bush tax cuts which now in my opinion are obama tax cuts because he was for them a couple years ago. i think this issue is an intense one and directly relates to the economy. the people out there understand health care has an effect on the economy but not like taxes do. it's a simple message republicans can hammer the president with. and i think they can hammer congressional democrats and any congressional races. >> the estimates are, it will cost $150 million with the president's announcement that's going to come out shortly. yet it would generate $850 billion because of the repeal or nonextension of the tax cuts for those over $250,000. >> look, the middle class wars is what we're fighting right now.
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in the sense he can claim victories for the middle class. that's what everyone is clamoring for right now. that makes up a large part of the 10% to 15% undecided voter. it's a victory for the president, no doubt. i think republicans can use it to their van because it's a simple message. first, tax increase on -- that came along with obama care. now the tax increase that comes along with getting rid of these bush tax cuts. and i just think it's a simple message, a winning message and one we can pummel congressional democrats with and president with in the fall. >> the question is whether governor mitt romney can take advantage of that message if that does go forward. to you, richard, according to roll call, john boehner making a comment at a press conference. saying i wasn't elected to play god. the american people probably aren't going to fall in love with mitt romney. i'll tell you this, 95% of the people that show up to vote in november are going to show up in that voting booth and they are
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going to vote for or against barack obama. so, as the president moves forward and tries to pivot off these difficult job numbers on friday, will this new messaging we're expecting to hear in 40 minutes work here, richard? >> it should in several regards. first, as the president said, regarding tax cuts, it's not class warfare. it's math. so, if the taxes are not increased for the very wealthy, they're going to go up for the middle class or the middle class will use -- will lose benefits like the mortgage interest deduction, student loans and so forth. that's one. two, it obviously puts the focus on mitt romney's own personal taxes. why, oh, why would somebody aspiring to be the head of the united states of america put money in a swiss account which is synonymous with secrecy or the cayman islands or bermuda? it will put the focus on that. it puts a focus on the fairness issue because people, you know, when asked the question, who stands up for you, romney or
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obama? the middle class person says, by a large margin, it's obama. and i think this accentuates that. and the fact of the matter is, this is an issue, i think, obama would gladly take to the public, undecided voters or no, because again he's standing for fiscal sanity. basically let the bush tax cuts go on for a year or month is just asking for more trouble from a fiscal standpoint. i think this is a debate they welcome. >> many thanks to our monday power panel. wish we had more minutes. >> thank you. coming up, much more on team romney's cash advantage and the candidate's big weekend fund-raiser in the hamptons. how he's beating the fund-raiser in chief in the money game. internet pickup? service providers are expecting to be flooded with calls today especially if tens of thousands of people woke up this morning with no access to the web. [ man ] ever year, sophia and i use the points we earn with our citi thankyou card
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as we mentioned earlier, mitt romney is on fund-raising fire. he has events today in aspen, colorado, and took in a huge haul over the weekend. he attended a swank fund-raiser in the hamptons yesterday where totals are expected to top almost $4 million. and then just this morning, his campaign announced romney and the rnc, they had raised $106 million just last month. also the numbers just coming in this morning. the obama camp saying they raised $71 million in the same month, june. joining me is nbc's peter alexander. quet might be in the next four months, will we see these numbers sort of even out? >> it's a good question. president obama's team has made it very clear that they need the help from their donors, that he would be the first can dated incumbent to not be able to beat
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his challenger opponent in terms of fund-raising haul right now. the question for republicans, clearly, as you saw the manicured grass at those homes in the hamptons, a series of fund-raisers last night where they raised approaching $4 million. as you noted. the question is, can those individuals giving to romney now, the republican power brokers, business owners, a lot of them have already maxed out their giving. will romney will be able to find the grass roots support going forward? you can only write a total check of $75,000 to the republican party, to the state parties and to mitt romney himself. a lot of the people giving, richard, have already given all the money they're allowed to give before this campaign finishes off in november. >> i want to build often what you mentioned. the optics of the hamp tons. l.a. times reporting saying the common voter doesn't know what's going on. the quote, i don't think the common person is getting it. nobody understands why obama is hurting them. we've got the message but my college kid, the babysitters, the nail ladies, everybody who's got the right to vote, they
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don't understand what's going on. i just think if you're lower income, one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works. they don't understand how the system works. they don't understand the impact. so, peter, when we look at what's happened over the weekend through july 4th, this doesn't do much more romney's image from that perspective, does it? >> w8, the democrats would like to show you more and more images of what we saw last week, which is mitt romney jet skying on the lake with his family at the helm of the family boat, as well as these images of him sort of making a central issue not so much of his wealth but also of these offshore accounts following new reports of a swiss bank account and investments in bermuda and things of that sort. it's the lan waj in this quote is the reason it's an unnamed romney supporter, poor people, as it was put, just don't get it. the romney campaign doesn't like that language. they don't want to turn off
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independents and the voters they need in the swing states. they made it very clear this in their statements today, anticipating president obama's comments on extending the bush tax cuts for the middle class, but not for the healthy, that that is the wrong way in the eyes of the republicans. they made it very clear they believe those job creators are critical and stifle their ability to create jobs is exactly what president obama has done and they fear would continue to do wrong. >> peter alexander with the latest for us. thank you. seven weeks until the gop convention. unofficial deadline for mitt romney to name his running mate. reportedly there's renewed pressure today for governor mitt romney to name his vp choice earlier. nbc news deputy political director mark murray joins us now. why does earlier work better than later for mitt romney? >> earlier works better because he's allowed to dispatch his number two, that vice presidential running mate, to fund raise and use almost as a attack dog surrogate against
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president obama. when you look at what's been going on, mitt romney has had to contend with president obama, vice president biden, first lady michelle obama, and particularly when you look at obama versus biden and romney, it's two-on-one. mitt romney being able to pick a vice presidential running mate fairly early allows him to return the game to two-on-two. importantly, to start raising more money, to be able to dispatch whomever that pick is to be able to raise money for the romney campaign. >> you've been watching this since the beginning of the season. you've got all these potential vp picks. bobby engine dal, out last week, tim pawlenty hit the trail last week, shadowing the president's bus tour, bracketing him. senator mark rubio raising money for romney in boston. we've got rob portman on the trail this week as well. now "the washington post" reporting the pressure is building. who's got the most buzz now? we finish the holiday week.
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is it condoleeza race? >> i don't know if she's on that list. i think the people who have the buzz right now are actually people that don't have a lot of buzz around them, portman and tim pawlenty. those aren't the most exciting picks, but all the conventional wisdom around this romney pick has been he's actually going to not -- he's not going to probably shake things up. if he stands in a very good position of making this a dead even race against president obama in november, look for him to make the safe pick, portman, pawlenty, maybe somebody else. >> but we're getting close. >> we are getting close. >> nbc deputy political director, mark murray. you can keep tabs on the latest on and off the trail with our nbc politics app available online. following some relief, after more than a week of oppressive heat, unfortunately, too late for dozens of people. shocking allegations against casey anthony's father coming
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from her attorney, jose, joining me here in studio to talk about his new book "presumed guilty." today, we stand against the tyranny of single mile credit cards. battle speech right? may i? [ horse neighs ] for too long, people have settled for single miles. with the capital one venture card, you'll earn double miles on every purchase, every day! [ visigoths cheer ] hawaii, here we come. [ alec ] so sign up today for a venture card at and start earning double. [ all ] double miles! [ brays ] what's in your wallet? can you play games on that? not on the runway. no. ♪ i hear you... ♪ rocky mountain high ♪ rocky, rocky mountain high ♪ ♪ all my exes live in texas ♪ ♪ born on the bayou [ female announcer ] the perfect song for everywhere can be downloaded almost anywhere.
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through urban areas all over the world. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. [ all ] shh! [ male announcer ] solutionism. the new optimism. having trouble getting online this morning? you might be one of the thousands computer users who potentially got impacted by what is called malware today. joining us to talk about what this is and how the fbi is involved is cnbc's john fortt. what's happening with this malware? >> the hackers got creative this time. they tricked a bunch of computers into going to addresses, you know, once the user clicked on the wrong kind of ad, clicked them to going to addresses that look like the apple store were, in fact, fake sites selling fake goods. a money-making scheme. the fbi broke this up a long time ago. and kept these servers running that were the misdirection
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servers so people wouldn't lose internet access. criminals kind of tricked the computers. the servers were kept up and running. the fbi shut those down today. turns out a lot of the internet service providers have kept their customers online, even if they had been tricked by this malware. >> how many people are out there that might be at risk here? >> it's not exactly clear. the number had been around 07,000 last week. they revised that down to under 50,000. we're not sure how many of those people come online on a regular basis. of the 50,000 in the u.s., a lot of service providers are keeping them online. >> down from millions it was before, john. the type of attack they're making, going after domain name servers which is at the kor, the heart at 9 way the internet works. >> i was afraid of saying domain name servers but it's kind of like your mailing address for the internet. it's how your computer know what kind of site to go to. the hackers were able to trick computers into going to the wrong address but one that looks
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like the house you were meant to go to to rip people off. >> sorry i said that. jon fortt from cnbc, thank you for clearing it up for us. >> sure. we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> it's been almost one year since casey anthony was acquitted of killing her daughter caylee. her attorney, jose baez joins me to talk about plea deals, allegations and lies. voter i.d. on trial. a panel of federal judges gets to decide if voters should be required to show a government-issued i.d. rick perry makes it official. he is bucking the president's health care law. details on that all right here.
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our current dividend tax rate will expire this year, sending taxes through the roof and hindering economic recovery. the consequences? millions of americans will see their taxes on dividend income spike, slowing investment in u.s. companies and jeopardizing development in energy projects that create american jobs. ask congress to stop a dividend tax hike -- for all of us. skoempking temperatures will rise in texas and arizona today, but for much of the nation, the stifling heat appears to have broken from the midwest to east coast. the heat wave has been blamed for the deaths of 74 people. john yang is in nashville, illinois, with the latest.
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chicago's hit hard by this heat. what's it like today there? >> reporter: rear we're down state but it's 20 degrees cooler than it was two days ago on saturday. west of here in st. louis, they had ten days above 100. chicago had four days in the triple digits. it's the cumulative effect of that heat that really brought on heat-related deaths. 18 in chicago. as you say, 74, at least 74 across the nation. so, this heat wave was not only sort of inconvenience for some people, it really did turn deadly and affect their health, richard. >> you're stanning in the middle of a cornfield. i bet you have some information for us, about how this excessive heat has hurt and affected farmers out there. >> reporter: that's right. down here in nashville, illinois, this corn should be about eight feet high. as you can see, it barely comes
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up to my waist. the last rain that the farmer here said he had last decent rain, was three months ago, april 14th. the government, the agriculture department says the corn crop nationwide is in its worse shape since 1988, the devastating drought that year. and the government also says 56% of the lower 48 states are in drought condition. it is a difficult, tough, tough year for farmers, already prices for corn on the futures market has shot up 35% in the last three weeks alone. it's a price that we'll all be paying long after the heat's gone. >> yeah, corn at the very heart of our agriculture industry here in the united states. thank you so much, john yang with the latest. a look at other stories topping the news now. the taliban claiming responsibility today for a roadside bombing that killed six u.s. soldiers in eastern afghanistan on sunday. two other coalition troops were killed in the south.
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it was all part of a deadly day in afghanistan. 21 afghan civilians and police officers were killed by insurgent attacks as well. much needed rain and forecasts of cooler temps have prompted colorado's governor to lift a statewide ban on fires, including camp fires and charcoal fires. the rain and cooler temperature have also helped bring the major wildfires under control. the most destructive bild fire is now 98% contained. it destroyed almost 350 homes in colorado springs. top singer usher's 11-year-old stepson has been declared brain dead after a jet ski accident. kyle glover was floating on an inner tube on a lake in atlanta, georgia, were struck on the head by a passing jet ski. a female friend was also injured. glover is the son of usher's estranged wife. both are reportedly by his side at the hospital. after winning wimbledon, roger federer now has his sights on earning a gold medal in men's
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single at london olympics. claiming his seventh title wimbledon yesterday, defeating andy murray. he was the first british man to reachth reach the singles in 76 years. almost all of britain was cheering for murray. it was an emotional loss. >> i'm going to try this and it's not going to be easy. everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at wimbledon, how tough it is, but it's not the people watching. they make it so much easier to play. the support has been incredible, so thank you. >> and that support all around the world. with his victory, federer reclaiming the ranking of number one men's player in the world. the battle over the right to vote in texas takes a legal turn
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in federal court. the u.s. district court in d.c. is hearing arguments from lone star state its law prevents voter fraud but civil rights say it will keep minorities and youngsters from voting if they don't present the proper i.d. 24% of african-americans and 16% of latinos don't have valid government i.d. ryan heygood, director of the participation group of naacp legal defense. according to the justice department, more than 600,000 registered voters in texas lack a driver's license or i.d. card provided by the department of public safety, many of whom are hispanic and texas claims this law was not enacted with disenfranchising minorities. so, you have experience arguing this type much case. what do you say in response? >> the reality is that we
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represent -- or organization, naacp legal defense fund represents african-american students who attend texas a&m and texas university who used their own i.d., which was student i.d. now the state of texas won't allow student i.d.s but handgun licenses. there are others in texas have other forms of i.d.s. >> at risk you're saying are those who are youth voters as well as -- by the statistics, that were presented to us -- african-americans and latinos? >> that's right. if you look at the way in which texas photo i.d. would operate, the reality is there are people in the previous elections in 2008 and 2010 turned out in historic numbers to participate in those elections. this time texas is proposing to reduce the number of i.d.s allowed when appearing at the polling place. it's important for your viewers to understand, richard, that what texas' photo i.d. would do
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is protect against a specific type of voter fraud that doesn't exist. one where i, for example, ryan heygood appear at the polling place purporting to be richard lui. that type of voter fraud is exceedingly rare. one is more likely to see a ufo or struck by lightning that that type of in-person voting law. >> texas is being asked to be removed from a list where they have to have review from the justice department when such laws are pushed forward. >> that's right. what texas is asking this three-judge court to do this week during this week-long trial is either to find that the photo i.d. law is not discriminatory or in the alternative, to strike down the mechanism, a prois of the voting rights act, that requires them to get federal approval in the first place. >> republicans are saying now if the result is that certain groups do get removed from the voting logs, that is okay as long as the spirit of the law is not aimed to do that. >> and the reality is that there's a reason why texas is
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covered under this provision of the voting rights act, which is section 5 in the first place. it's photo i.d. measure is a very good example of a recent reason why it should be covered under the voting rights act, as you cited, 25% of african-americans nationwide, 16% of latinos nationwide don't have access to the type of photo i.d. texas is requiring. in texas itself, 600,000 people, 600,000 texans are without the type of photo i. nchts required and that includes 170,000 latinos in that state. >> we have to go. what's it look like? will this be favored for texas or it will be the justice department? >> you know, the united states has mounted a vigorous defense of section 5 and a vigorous campaign against texas' photo i.d. law, so numerous organizations like mine and we think we stand a very good chance of preprevailing showing texas' i.d. law is harmful to minority voters in texas. >> thank you so much for your time this morning. >> thank you.
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hard to believe, but it's been a year since casey anthony captured the headlines after being acquitted of murdering her daughter caylee. since that verdict anthony has been in hiding with very little information known about her until now. her former defense attorney jose baez is telling all in a new book called "presumed guilty: casey anthony the inside story" and jose baez joins me right now. >> thank you for having me. >> so many rumors swirling about who is the father of caylee. incest was even brought up at some point n some cycles. who is the father of caylee? >> currently that person as far as conclusive evidence is unknown. in the book i write about some of the stories that casey told me and ultimately the last thing she ended up telling me is that she had incurred a date rape situation when conceiving caylee. >> also brought up in your book is the issue of alleged sexual
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abuse by her father when she was only 8. george anthony has denied any of that. >> yes, he has. you know, we confronted george anthony when these abuse allegations came up. it was myself and another defense lawyer. and we sat him down and he didn't deny it to us. we found that to be a very telling and interesting conversation with mr. anthony. is there conclusive evidence, you know, it's one of those situations that only the actual parties know. it's one of those things we never know. >> you've been working on the book as well as a behind the scenes documentary on the trial called "defending casey anthony," airing july 15th. i want to play a clip and get a response from you. >> sure. >> and you could clearly see casey was pregnant here. what everyone claimed, including cindy and george, was that they didn't know she was pregnant. and i think this was a great photo to be able to show the dysfunction in the family.
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and how they hid her pregnancy. both cindy and george got up and testified they had no idea she was pregnant when this photo was taken. >> they hid this child, this beautiful child in life. you can best believe that they would hide her death. >> and as a part of it you write in your book that she has imaginary friends. 12 you outlined in the book. how did this factor into the way you dealt with her along the way? >> it took a large toll in trying to gain casey's trust. >> who are the 12 people? >> juliette lewis is a person there that is a roommate of zanny the nanny who casey and cindy waited in the parking lot for an hour and a half over a year and a half before caylee died. >> before the time of her passing. >> year and a half. in this book i detail all of her history and why the lies aren't necessarily indicative of guilt or innocence, mainly because
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they started so much longer before the actual death of caylee. on, it's an interesting tale. there's tons of fascinating stories about casey and about the family. and even throughout the trial with all of the major players. i was the only person that actually started this case from the beginning and to the end that have access to casey, the anthonys, the prosecution and judge. >> we heard a lot from you. jose baez with a 400-page book "presumed innocent," thank you. >> thank you. a live look from the east room of the white house. president obama expected to speak any minute. the president will call on congress to extend some of the so-called bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250, 0 $250,000. but this could put him at odds with members of his own party who say the tax cuts should be extended for couples making up to $1 million. we'll go straight live to the white house, capitol hill, and get reaction from jarod bernstein. go out without my covergirl. are you crazy?
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new this hour, texas governor rick perry saying his state will not participate in the expansion of medicaid or state insurance exchange. here's what perry said just moments ago about that issue. >> we're not going to participate in an exchanges. we're not going to expand medicaid. we're not going to be a part of, again, socializing health care in the state of texas and going in direct conflict with our founding fathers' wishes and freedom for that matter. people need to be free to make those decisions about their health care. >> perry is one of several republican governors bucking the law. he also wrote a letter to health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius saying participation in the plan would threaten texas with financial ruin. just minutes from now we expect president obama to appear in the east room of the white house. live pictures right now. he's expected to call on congress to extend the bush-era tax cuts for one year. but only for those people
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earning less than $250,000 a year. however, republicans have other plans. the president's plan could even put him at odds with some democratic leaders in congress. joining me right now, nbc news, capitol hill court luke russert and nbc news correspondent kristen welker. at the white house, outside of where the president is about to speak shortly, this is all part of what has been a consistent messaging over the weekend in terms of the sunday talk shows, about the focus here on the middle class. >> reporter: absolutely. it's been a part of the president's focus the last year and this has allowed the president to pivot away from last friday's disappointing jobs report to focus on something he sees as a winning issue, which is tax fairness for middle class families. also allows him to draw stark contrast with his republican challenger, mitt romney, who said he doesn't support rolling back tax breaks just for those making less than $250,000. he wants to see them extend it for all americans, the romney campaign today putting out a
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statement this is effectively a tax increase on small businesses. that's something you'll hear members of congress talk about as well. i'll let luke get into dynamic on the hill a little more. president obama is going to make that announcement from the east room. he will be flanked by a number of families he will argue will benefit if congress does, in fact, extend the bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000. and then later on this afternoon, he's going to talk to local reporters from key battleground states. tomorrow he travels to iowa and later in the week he travels to virginia, all along touting this message. >> over to luke as you suggested. can you divide for us or articulate to us the differences with what the president is expected to announce very shortly and what both sides of the aisle in the house may want that is different. >> reporter: it's interesting, richard. there's a few things here. a number of democrats, important ones, including nancy pelosi and chuck schumer have called before for tax cuts to occur for people
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making $1 million or above, moving that threshold up from $250,000 because they believe it's a better political argument. easier for them to say republicans are on the side of wanting not to increase taxes on wealthiest americans. obviously, you see the president bubbling down on the $250,000 number. republicans i've spoken to are happy to have this debate. they've had this debate, they feel, for the last few years. essentially they'll say the president wants to raise taxes on middle class, job creators, keep pounding that message, as well as play clips from when bill clinton said they should extend these tax rates to make the economy whole fort next year. what you'll see for the next year is the house will refute this and then house republicans will move to pass a year-long extension. instead of calling for a permanent extension of the bush tax cuts, they want a year-long extension. that's important. why? one of the things i've heard from gop aides is that this idea the bush tax cuts are going to add trillion it is to deficit have stung because the gop tried to make the debt the issue. by calling for one year, they're going to pivot and say, give us
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one year, the current rate, so economy doesn't hurt and then comprehensive tax reform, we'll close corporate loopholes, raise billions in revenue. that revenue can then go down to paying the debt and make it a more fair, simpler tax system. it's a very interesting way that they'll play it. but they're happy to have this issue of 250k and below. some democrats say this means it's a permanent fix for the middle class. no longer any uncertainty. we'll see how well that sells going forward. >> stand by, luke, as well as kristen. i want to bring in jarod bernstein, former chief economist for joe biden, now an msnbc contributor and fellow on budget and priorities office, and robert train, former communications director for rick santorum's presidential campaign and former senior adviser for bush/cheney campaign. robert, when we look at this $250,000 line with the bush-era tax cuts, does this help the president here as we wait for
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him to come to the microphones very shortly, does it help him in making that argument about congressional republicans obstructing progress, which he has made in the past, and if they should go up against his $250,000 proposal? >> two things. never thought in 2012 we would still be talking about the bush tax cuts but the answer to your question specifically, it does help the president. there's no question about it. folks making $250,000 or less can easily relate to that number than they can relate to the million dollars or less. but that's part of the problem. the part of the problem is that the president is being stepped upon on his own message with people within his own party, meaning senator schumer and minority leader pelosi. if in fact the democrats can't speak with the same set of talking points, what makes you think that the american people are going to be able to understand exactly what the president is trying to advocate here. i think this is a net plus for the republicans. there's no question about it. >> if i can go to you, jared, we just got a statement from the romney camp. i will read part of that to you.
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it says here the president's latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators and small businesses, unlike president obama, governor romney understands the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone. so republicans, including mitt romney here, argue all the bush era tax cuts including those for high income earners should be extended as we have been talking about. >> so here's a number that i haven't heard discussed in the last few minutes talking about this. 2%. that's the number of households, it also happens to be the number of small businesses that are above this $250,000 threshold. when you hear a statement like that, it sounds like it's going to hit the middle class and of course, it's not. now, here's the other thing. those people above that top 2%, they have a lot of income, so if you actually extend the whole thing like republicans and mitt romney want to do, you're sacrificing about $850 billion of deficit savings over the next ten years.
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that's real money and allowing those tax cuts to finally sunset, i agree with robert, the plan was for them to sunset awhile ago, would be smart economics and good fiscal policy. >> yes, but there's another point here. look, jared is right about the 2% but there are a lot of farmers out there, a lot of small businesses out there, that quite frankly make $250,000 or a little more and in reality, that's a lot of money to the average person out there, but in true reality, that's not a lot of money when you're running a small business. >> robert traynham, jared bernstein, luke russert, kristen welker, stand by. waiting for the president to make the announcement on the extension partially of the bush era tax cuts. we'll be right back. rk state. we built the first railway and the first trade route to the west. we built the tallest skyscrapers, the greatest empires. we pushed the country forward. then, some said, we lost our edge.
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live pictures coming out of the white house. we expect to hear president obama to make a call on congress to pass a one-year extension of tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 a year. he's expected to be joined at
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the event by several people at the white house who he says would benefit from that extension. that wraps up things for us this hour. "now with alex wagner" is up next. hello, richard. we will be bringing you the president's remarks live and also, analyzing whether his new push on tax cuts is just politics. and will it help with his campaign's message about fairness? we'll get analysis from our panel and talk with national economic council director jean spurling live from the grounds of the white house. plus governor romney's cash dash. we look at his hamptons and aspen fund-raisers and ask the question, does money make you meaner? we'll talk about the writer of "new york" magazine's cover story about the effects of wealth on the brain. all that and more when "now" begins in a mere 180 seconds. k, but they can be really expensive. so to save money i just found them a possum. dad, i think he's dead.
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