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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 10, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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have something to hide. and hiding is not an attribute and certain sly not part of being proud. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. > defining romney before he defines himself. let's play "hardball." good evening. tonight, richie rich for president? if there's one big take away from president obama's big tax announcement is that he's trying to frame mitt romney as richie rich. the tax cut proposal itself is likely to go nowhere, but throw in romney's tax cuts for the wealthy, his homes, cadillacs, corporations or people comment and you can see the strategy. romney is for the rich, obama
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defends the middle class. whether it works may determine who wins in november. also, dirty, angry money. lost in the news about republican fund-raiser is how much it might affect house and senate races. karl rove's has just dumped a million dollars and maybe much more to unsecito owe's sherrod brown, which would likely give the republicans the senate. sherrod brown joins us tonight. plus, we've got new poll numbers out from key swing states that he's going to win in november. happened when the mayor of one city wanted to raise taxes an the city council said no. the mayor busted city workers and other public employees to minimum wage. we will ask the mayor how he fends that one. did you ever want to rewrite history? dozens of members of congress are doing just that, editing out embarrassing moments from their wikipedia pages. wikipedia is pushing back. we begin with the attempt to paint mitt romney as being for
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the rich. howard fineman is the editorial director of the huffington post media group. michael steele was chairman of the republican party. both a msnbc political analysts. gentlemen, want to show you something that vice president biden, he spoke to one of the largest latino political organizations today. what he had to say. take a look. >> when his father was a candidate important president in 1968, his pear released 12 years of tax returns because he said, and i quote, one year could be a fluke. perhaps done for show, end of quote. that was his father. his son has released only one year of his tax returns. making alive the old adage, like father, like son. he wants you to show your paper, but he won't show us his. >> and of course yesterday, the
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president also hit romney. he told the local new hampshire station that romney should be more open about his finances. >> is it your belief that it's unpatriotic for someone to have a swiss bank account? >> you know, i think what's important if you are running for president is that the american people know who you are, what you've done and that you're an open book and you know, that's been true of every presidential candidate back to mr. romney's father. >> and finally today at a town hall in colorado, mitt romney was asked about the attacks coming from the democrats. >> i'm not going to apologize for success at home and for america abroad. i went out and began a business and the business turned out to be far more successful than i would have imagined. we were able to create jobs in our own little business and some of the jobs were able to create jobs as well. >> how does this all play? it occurs to me that americans do not resent wealth at the ballot box.
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if they did, jfk would not have been elected, michael bloomberg would not have been elected. what's the net net? >> the narrative and that is one that you see the obama team trying carve very carefully about mitt romney and that is he's out of touch. disconnected from real people every day folks. that he's out of touch. the pushback by the romney people has got to be one where romney gets in there and clearly defines his wealth and the context of the american dream. aspirations. you can do better tomorrow than today. that's the central battle being drawn between these two campaigns. one, both around definitions of romney. interestingly enough, the obama team are trying to define obama as well, but with less success so far because the president's record while mixed on the economy and other things, he's got more places to pivot to where romney's central argument has been i have created the jobs, i have done the business
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of business, give me the chance to show you what i can do and that's a tougher sell where you are -- trying to battle the idea that you are just for the rich guy. >> are there perils here? it could get depicted as class warfare. >> i think there are. if the president and his allies end up looking like they resent wealthy people and they're going after them just for the fact that they're rich. i think that could hurt the president with some independent voters in swing state, but i can assure you with talking with some people advising the president's campaign and democrats on the hill, they're perfectly willing to take that risk right now because they think that they have mitt romney if not on the run, at least at a slow trot. they don't think that mitt romney is going to be able to get from today until november 6th without showing more of his tax returns. they think there's got to be
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some things in those tax returns that candidate romney doesn't want revealed. and if they can keep the press interested in the story and that's a big part of this, then they think the pressure will build. >> well, democrats -- >> and i think that's a big challenge for them. >> let me show you both what joe tripy had to say. he said it's the cumulative effect of these attacks and told politico on a zero to ten scale, you get a bunch of twos and threes but when you combine a swiss bank account and a guy who wants to extend tax breaks on the wealthy, you get a seven. it's not this issue by itself, it's the combination. michael steele, i think that's the direction in which you were headed. >> absolutely. death by a thousand cuts. i could take you out with one blow, but then i create sympathy with how i came after you. we saw that in the republican primary that there was a backlash to such heavy enemies, but this effort, death by a thousand cuts, you've got a
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brick here, a cut there, a slice there. it's the slow bleed and that creates the overall impression of where people instead of feeling sorry for you, then if you're not responding, there must be something true about it and that's why you're seeing the pushback by a lot of conservatives, especially the establishment types as well, for the romney to push back against this narrative about bain to avoid the stem the flow of blood if you will. from all those cuts being accumulated. >> let me ask you this question. if you were still running the rnc, would you be calling somebody and saying bring forth the tax returns? is that one of the ways you think the bleeding gets stemmed? >> i think it's one of the ways where you say look, if there's nothing there, there's no there there, don't create a there. put out as much information as you can. even if you don't release 12 years of tax returns, at least three, four, five.
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you begin that drip back the other way. and it helps to off set some of the noise and the bleeding if you will, from the cuts that you're getting. >> howard fineman on the issue of the tax runs, congress debbie wasserman schultz -- continued democratic attack today on mitt romney calling on him to release more years of the returns. here is what she had to say. >> that's the problem. we don't know. because mitt romney has only released one year of tax returns and an sometime of another year. mitt romney needs to come clean and release multiple years of his tax returns so we can see why he invested in a bermuda corporation and transferred it to his wife's name, the day before he became governor of massachusetts. so we can see why he is invested in swiss bank accounts and accounts in the cayman islands. most folks i know, they make their investments in a bank in america. they keep -- most american businessmen invest here and if you're running for president, certainly you should be your commitment. >> and yesterday, haley barbour was asked about mitt romney's tax returns. here is what he had to say. >> yes or no, tax returns,
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should he return -- release the tax returns? >> i would, but should it be an issue in the campaign? i don't think it amounts to diddly. >> finally, a different take from jason chaffits. he was asked on cnn whether off romney should release more years of his returns and he said this. >> i think he has released a tax returns. >> more of them. >> shouldn't -- >> no, i don't. >> why not? why shouldn't the american people see those? >> he's been very successful. he released everything that he is required to release including paying more than 16% of his income to charitable giving. i think it is the diversionary tactic. most people don't care about this. governor romney has been very successful. get over it. it is a reality. >> do most people care about this issue? >> well, i don't think they care about this specific issue obsessively, but as you said and what michael said, if you put the secrecy of most of his
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financial transactions next to concerns about outsourcing and offshoring that the democrats have been poking around at next to their efforts of trying to paint mitt romney into a corner on defending tax cuts for the wealthiest americans and if you sort of put the aura of secrecy around the whole thing, then i think you raise questions about what mitt romney's up to, exactly what his agenda is and what his agenda would be for the presidency if he got it. and that can put and has put mitt romney on the defensive. the president would rather raise questions about what mitt romney's real intentions are should he be president. than discuss the current xhiksz economic conditions. aside from the thousand cuts, we have not spent any time in this segment for example talking about the rather bleak state of the american economy. that's what the obama campaign
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wants. last few days succeeded. >> quick final comment from michael. people might say if this is such an effective mayortive why are we deadlocked at 47-47? >> that's a very interesting question. the reality of it is people right now at a point where they're looking at these guys and trying to assess whether they can continue with what they know with obama or take the chance with the business man who has a proven tax record. track record. that's the crux of the narrative. howard make the final and most important point. it boils down to this economy and solutions on the economy will be determined in terms of the outcome. >> thank you. coming up, dirty, angry money. karl rove just dumped a million dollars into ohio to unseat sherrod brown and give republicans control of the senate. senator brown joins us next. tourism season in years.
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with four months before election, we've got new poll numbers. let's check the scoreboard. according to a new "washington post" abc news poll, the race is tied 47-47. a new reuters poll has obama up six, 49-43. we'll have new poll numbers from some key battleground states later in the program. we'll be right back. [ birds chirping ]
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when it comes to dirty, angry money, there are few senators that had it thrown at them as consistently as sherrod brown. according to the huffington post, outside conservative groups gave more money to defeat senator brown than any other in
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the year. conservative groups have spent $10.5 million to date. that's more than four times the amount spent by outside liberal groups. the money is mainly coming from social welfare groups which do not have to disclose donors. one major player is crossroads gps. it was founded by karl rove. the group has spent $2.5 million on ads targeting brown. they have a new million dollar campaign launching today. why has he become such a target? we'll ask hill. him. senator brown joins us now. senator, why you? >> well, i think why me is because i've been a strong progressive voice. i assume it's oil companies spending money in ohio. bass my opposition for tax breaks important the oil industry. i assume it's wall street banks. i want to end my legislation too big to fail to end too big to fail. i assume it's the companies that want to outsource american jobs and want to benefit from that wrought sourcing because of my chinese currency jobs bill. i don't know for sure but i
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think that's what makes you a target in this business. >> let's underscore the point you have to qualify this by saying i assume, i assume, i assume because there is no disclosure that's required. at least at this stage. >> yeah, this is what's, it's bad enough that billionaires and huge corporations that have already too much power in our government in congress, in the executive branch far too often, that they already have that power and then they can spend money without disclosure and that's the importance of this whole citizens movement. if you go to and sign our petition, more than 150,000 people that have already signed up this will take a citizens movement to take our democracy back because this money -- partly the supreme court decision, partly the loopholes were already there when exxon and the big drug companies and wall street banks can have this kind of influence with the electorate, not just with congress. that's why the citizen's movement is so important. as i said earlier,, sign our petition. it will help us fight back.
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it is one we have to win. >> here's what they're doing with the money. this is an ad crossroads is using. let's watch. >> it's time to play who's the biggest supporter of the obama agenda in ohio? it's sherrod brown. brought back to obama's agenda backed a whopping 95% o f the time. he voted for budget busting obamacare. added $700 billion to the deficit. obama's $453 billion tax increase. even supported cap and trade which could have cost ohio over 1 100,000 jobs. tell sherrod brown stop spending and cut the debt. >> senator, why are liberal groups being outflanked in this regard? not keeping pace with these expenditures? >> well, i think groups that are more progressive don't have this resources. keep in mind that when the oil industry spends that kind of money, when their side wins they get tax breaks and weaker environmental laws and get anti-labor legislation. there's real incentive for the individual billionaires to get their taxes cut, so they invest,
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really is an investment to them. they get billions in benefits. they get billions in tax breaks. >> mitt labor offset this? i ask the question because "the wall street journal" reported today that organized labor groups send a lot more on politics than previous estimates would have you believe. about four times more. according to the journal -- previous estimates focused on file wings the federal election official which is chronicle contributions made directly to federal candidates and union spending in support of candidates for congress and the white house. unions spend far more money on a wider range of political activity including supporting state and local candidates and deploying what's wrong been seen it is a union's most political weapon, persuadinging members to vote as unions want them to. the result is labor could be a stronger counterweight than commonly realized to super pacs today raise millions from wealthy donors in many cases to support republican candidates and causes.
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truth to that. could labor be your savings grace? saving grace of democrats -- >> i'm a subscriber of the "wall street journal." i picked it up in mi driveway today. keep in mind, they said more money from labor than they thought. it's not more from money from the billionaires combined. labor can only compete a dollar for every five or ten when you have the koch brothers and adelson and exxon and these big companies that outsource them. they are worth tens and tens and tens of billions. labor can't do anything like that. labor's very good at talking to your members and when you talk about voting away labor once, it is elected labor union leaders who are setting the agenda for lab labor. just like people vote for political figures. so labor can't compete at this level. labor will help try to fight
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back against some of this. you know, you're looking at a bunch of people paying union dues of maybe $100 or $150 a month. couple hundred dollars. it's not that much. it's not even a comparison. "the wall street journal," a pretty conservative newspaper, factually they are generally good. conservative newspaper. of course, puts that on the front page. it was well-written and well-resear well-researched. there was some bias in the direction making that look like they could compete on an evening playing field. >> thank you. we appreciate. >> it my pleasure. >> we're now joined by chrystia freeland. a lot of attention recently including here on "hardball" the last couple of nights, talking about the fund-raising of the presidential campaigns and how the obama campaign is being outfundraised in the last couple of missouris by the forces for governor romney. i think opportunity told story until now is how this might impact congress am.
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senatorial and house races likely just went through with senator brown. your thoughts? >> yeah. i think you are absolutely right. i think the story that we're seeing is that the right, the republicans have more money. i think senator brown put it very well. if you look at the economic map of america today, it's the billionaires, it's the people at the top who are winning and have the resources and the 99% and their organized representatives like labor unions are not doing so well in the economy today. so the people are the resources thanks to the supreme court decision, realized they have an unlimited ability to pour that money into politics. we focus on the presidential race because it is a single very important race. but i think what we're seeing is, in a way, a million dollars, $5 million, to get more bang for your buck if you spend it in a single senator race and that's what they are doing. >> it's conceivable that supporters of the president could wake up wednesday morning
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having achieved their goal of garnering his re-election and be shocked that the senate has changed hands. because of that which we are describing. the latest quinnipiac poll from late june has brown ahead of his opponent by 16 points. politico wrote this. there isn't a senate candidate in the country that earn ad more consistent line lousy headlines since josh mandell. he continues to defy political gravity and inching increasingly closer to democratic senator brown in polls despite repeated stumbles. clo the clout of a campaign investigation and so what gives? the era of outside spending where even a candidate can stay in the game p they are sustained firepower trained against his opponent. to which i would add and -- the constituents, the voters, wouldn't know where has this money even come from at the time they go out and cast their
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ballots. >> i think that's exactly right. what you are see sing the raising money but being able to focus it in laser-like way on a local race. and if you want to look at it from an investing perspective at some of those billionaire republican donors like to do, in a way, you're political investment, you get more leverage for it if you focus on a local race. i think we will see a lot of that. >> thanks for your commentary. ever wonder what mitt romney talks about when he is forced to make small talk? remember, you can follow know on twitter if you can spell smerconish. ask me what it's like when my tempur-pedic moves.
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stage before he gives a speech? how about when he's casually chatting with others from the political scene jimmy fallon did some guessing. >> hi, welcome, good to see you. happy you're here. you can let go of my hand now. please. you can let go of my hand. and this is my friend, chris. good to see you. what's with the handshakes? sorry about that, chris. you guys want to play mini golf after this? is there a putt putt? >> there is one downstairs. >> last time, i got three holes in one, the that how you say that, holes in ones? >> bye guys. how are you? >> real moments to watch is when the real general election debates get under way. during the initial handshake on stage. in one pre-debate greet prosecuting four years ago, we didn't have to do much guessing. hey, can i call you joe? >> hey, can i call you joe? >> yeah, you can call me joe. >> the can i call you joe moment. it's tough to forget. next, when president obama sat down with a local las vegas reporter yesterday, the topic
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turned to baseball. that's potentially dangerous territory for obama. just weeks ago, he was booed by a crowd of red sox fans after he mocked the sox for trading kevin youkilis to his team, the hometown chicago white sox. let's see how he fared this time around. >> if i were to loan you this to display at the white house, would you come to the right side -- >> let me just say this will never go up in the white house, but i am going to give you a chance to go ahead and promote your team right now. congratulations. we were talking about one of the biggest stars right now in washington is bryce harper, who comes out of nevada -- >> las vegas. >> i know that folks are really proud of him. he's doing great. my second favorite team now after the chicago white sox. >> playing it safe. bryce harper is an outfielder with the nationals and is on tonight's national league all-star team. next, barney frank got married to his partner this past weekend.
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he met him at a political fund-raiser in 2005. turns out that nancy pelosi made her mark on the dance floor in and the "baltimore-sun" got ahold of some video. cue the music. ♪ "the new york times" reported she was dancing late into the evening. the occasion makes barney frank the first member of congress to be in a same-sex marriage. finally, can whether or not you're a smart phone user predict who you'll vote for? in the upcoming election. not quite. but there's a divide. let's go to the numbers. of a android and iphone users, 49% say they planned to support president obama. 39% for mitt romney. 31% for mitt romney. a political ad is come tog a smart phone near you, the campaigns might take note. up next, when the mayor wanted to raise taxes and the city council said no, the mayor played hardball and now, city workers, including police
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>> here's what's happening. death toll from the extreme heat that gripped the u.s. risen to 96. 35,000 people are still without power in west virginia. eva evarausing was found in dead in her home. the handling of the soon does can i sex abuse scandal is set to be released thursday. now back to "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." outrage in a pennsylvania city tonight as scranton mayor slashed his salary and that of other employees to minimum wage. $7.25 an hour. because the city lacked the funds to pay them full wages. though he's pledged to pay back what's due to them, last friday's paychecks went out to police, firefighters and other city employees at slashed rates while the mayor and city council battle how to fund the deficit. mayor dougherty wants to raise property taxes while the council refuses. today, an attorney for three unions vowed to fight the mayor. he is with me live tonight along with state senator john blake, who represents scranton and the surrounding area. i read that scranton had just $5,000 in its coffers last week. how did this happen? >> because of the budget shortfall. set by our council,
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we have a $16 million shortfall. as anything es, as the mayor, i i have to provide for health care, no the gas and diesel for our trucks and for our landfills. i have to take care of the whole city. our employees are great employees. they do an outstanding job and i have to make sure we take care of the whole city. we will get through this. right now there is a shortfall. we have to keep working towards it and working together as a community and we'll get through this. >> folks outside of scranton and pennsylvania should know this is a battle among members of the same party. this is not a partisan battle. these are democrats, right? the council is democratic and you're a democratic mayor? >> exactly. absolutely. it is really -- i sent a budget down to -- raise tax best $130 a household. that would have solved our problem. the council looked at at it a different way. banks said if you want to borrow, you need to have a plan. they have been unwilling to come up with the plan. we have to work together to get through it. our job as leaders is to solve
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the problem and provide for the citizens of the city and protect assets. threw it. >> and let me make clear, your intention so pay the money back, these folks took home $7.25 an hour last provide and your desire long term is they will be compensated fully. >> absolutely. we have -- unions gone to court to make sure they would be paid in full and honor the court decision. i don't want to be in this position. i love my city. we made great strides over the last 11 years. we are doing extremely well in every other facet. in this area we have to keep working hard to get through this. i know if we work hard with city council, we'll get through this. >> let me ask what the impact is on the moral of those city workers and what toll might this take? in terms of the way in which scranton is perceived by outsiders. >> well, michael, this is obviously an affront to great people. nobody wants to be in this position. to make this decision. i don't envy the mirror council with the decisions they are
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facing. the crisis is a short-term fiscal crisis and the ability to solve that short-term crisis is within local governing body. we at the sate level are concerned with how outsiders see the state and my most important see our most important city. we have a very proud legacy. as i said, this is just a short-term crisis. nobody wants to raise taxes unless necessary for public safety. nobody wants to be facing the fiscal constraint, but many of our cities are facing this. problem p.m. even in your own city of brotherly love years ago was not too long ago it was facing fiscal distress. it takes a while to work your way out of this. we have 27 cities that have been designated fiscally distressed and there seems to be no exit from it because of the underlying structural problems. states should be a better partner to make sure we don't face this kind of process. crisis. >> mayor, did someone say you're committing political suicide when you're paying the workers and yourself $7.25 an hour. how does this play for you going forward?
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>> i love my city and i've been elected three times as mayor, but i've always told the people the truth up front. we have to be able to pay for our bills and that's what we have to do here. we have to step up and this -- if we have to raise taxes, this isn't the first time i have raised tax necessary my career. i've done it before and been re-elected. you have to tell people, here's our costs, here's how we get through it because we need the confidence of the banking community. we have to be in it together. if you want services, you have to pay for them. when i became mayor, there were 500 employees. today, there are 400. we reduced our costs. sometimes you have to increase revenues. that's what we have to do now. and i want to bring people together to make that happen. but you know, sometimes, you have to make tough decisions. i'm not afraid to do it, but in this case, we have the stand together. this isn't about politics. this is about the city i love. the city where my children were raised and where i grew up and
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our city is doing extremely well. >> senator blake, what's the vibe if i were there on the street? with the two of you now if we were to walk down the street, what are folks that live in scranton and not directly tied to this, what do they say? >> there's a sense of frustration. it's no different than when they look at washington and see political gridlock. they'll look at the city and say why can't you just get in a room and work it out. these are complex issue. her going to take a commitment of leadership. we in pennsylvania pride ourselves on local control. local control means local responsibility. so in reality i think what the people of scranton want is a solution that serves the public interest and that is achievable in the short-term, then we can get to work on the longer term structural problems that prevail upon our cities like the city of scranton. people are -- i think they are a little frustrated. they want to see some action. >> we hope you get it fixed. thank you, mayor and pennsylvania state senator, john blake. up next, dozens of members of congress are rewriting history by editing out embarrassing chapters from their
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wikipedia pages. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪ i want to go ♪ i want to win [ breathes deeply ] ♪ this is where the dream begins ♪ ♪ i want to grow ♪ i want to try ♪ i can almost touch the sky [ male announcer ] even the planet has an olympic dream. dow is proud to support that dream by helping provide greener, more sustainable solutions from the olympic village to the stadium. solutionism. the new optimism.™ ♪ this dream
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♪ power surge, let it blow your mind. [ male announcer ] for fruits, veggies and natural green tea energy... new v8 v-fusion plus energy. could've had a v8. we promised you new poll numbers. key battleground states. let's go back to the scoreboard. starting in virginia where a new poll shows president obama with an eight-point lead over mitt romney. 50-42. there are few ways for romney to win if he doesn't -- next, north carolina in a closer race.
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swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. focus lolo, focust sanya let's do this i am from baltimore south carolina... bloomington, california... austin, texas... we are all here to represent the country we love this is for everyone back home it's go time. across america, we're all committed to team usa. we're back. remember when alan west said this? >> i believe it was about 70, 80, members of the communist
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party. >> it looks like something his office rather you forgot. a new report in buzz feed shows members of the house of representatives and that your offices have been scrubbing unflattering quotes from their wikipedia pages. although wikipedia added the communist line back in. andrew kosinski is the reporter from buzz feed that broke the story. he joins me now with msnbc contributor and author of my father at 100, ron reagan. andrew, how do we know that the members of congress are the ones making the alterations? >> basically, all members of congress share the ip address which for people that don't know is kind of a number that shows where your computer is located and all the members of the house of representatives share the same number. i searched this ip address and found that maybe there were 6,000 edits over the past few
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years and maybe 50 of them had been removing unflattering information. certain members of congress. >> the presume sings that in the example we just offered, somebody in allen west's office would have been the one to remove the communist line because you know the ip address that was utilized was in that building. >> right. >> and who else would care but allen west or his staff? >> exactly. some members of congress, like miller, for instance, she removed she had been admonished by the house ethics committee. we looked and we saw that oh, there had been seven, eight edits to wikipedia, all about candace miller, adding information, deleting information, we came to the conclusion that who else would be adding this? why would west's office be editing -- >> colorado caufman came under fire in may.
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>> i don't know whether barack obama was born in the united states or not. i don't know that. but i do know this. that in his heart, he's not an american. he's just not an american. >> and let's watch what happened when a local reporter caught up with him. >> after your comments about the president, do you feel voters are owed a better explanation? than just i misspoke? >> i think that -- as i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> who were you apologizing to? >> i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> you're a very forthcoming guy. who's telling you not to talk? >> i stand by my statement and i misspoke and i apologize. >> is there anything i can ask you that you'll answer differently? >> i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> if i go to his wikipedia page, what do i find? >> you would have found that incident had been deleted maybe a couple of days after it happened.
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some other wikipedia editors may have gone and put it back in. it is apparent a lot of these offices are very self-aware of what their candidates' worst gaffes are and are trying to take them out. >> i finally understand why my sons are not permitted to quote or cite wikipedia in their school papers. >> indeed, anybody looking to wikipedia for history needs to know that's not the real history. i know we are all shocked. just shocked to hear politicians are behaving this burnishing their images and deleting embarrassing episodes, but i think we could make a distinction here between congressman -- if i read the buzz feed piece correctly, that some of these congressmen appear to be adding biographical details. sometimes at great lends and no doubt all the good stuff how they scored touchdowns in high school and passed this and that legislation.
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the difference between that and deleing facts, the reality of your career, alan west and you know, some of these other people, the irony for alan west, he was accusing people of being communist. somebody needs to acquaint him communist. someone needs to acquaint him with the term stalin esque. pleasing around with your wikipedia page is nothing comparing to global warming is a massive hoax, or obama's mandate to buy health insurance is the largest tax increase ever in america. if you can say those things, editing your wikipedia is small. >> this is like the wikipedia version of defriending. harry reid's office had his section about jack abramoff and
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his firm deleted. >> they could have been pa paraphrased better, but i have to disagree with the point that adding information isn't as bad because the way i look at it is that if you're reading what's supposed to be a nonpartisan or nonbiased article on pepsi, coca-cola, fox news, nbc, you wouldn't want something to have been written by the pr people or that organization. now, maybe some of the people were adding what committees they were on or how they voted on a certain issue. i don't see an issue with that, but i feel like when they add large sects of biographical information, these should be monitored more closely. >> shouldn't it be is it true, and if it's true, it should be there? >> it's a good standard, but i also think that, yeah, it should be looked at a little more closely. >> rob, let me show you one more.
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as part of politico's get to know your congressman series, they asked, what in the world does the congressional sportsmen's caucus do, and harper said we hunt liberal tree-hugging democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition. scrubbed from wikipedia, right? >> scrubs. >> another example of what we're talking about. >> another example of a congressman saying something that is really stupid and you don't want that out there in public because who says things like that? particularly if you're running for office. so of course, you scrub it out of your wikipedia page. but again, this is -- i would be interested if andrew knew if in terms of party, things broke down one way or another in terms of adding biographical detail versus removing facts from your resume. >> what's the short answer to that? what difference if any disyou discern between rs and ds involved in this? >> we found, we didn't publish
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the senate list, we only did the house of representatives list first. it was really odd. the house list, we found that it was mostly republicans who were doing it. there were maybe ten or so democrats, but with senate, i was finding it was actually democrats, not republicans, who were editing. senate democrats were editing, house, the republicans were editing. >> i take it there's. more to come in this regard? >> definitely. >> thank you for an interesting segment. i can't wait to talk to my kids' teachers and say now i understand. >> when we return, allow me to finish with a new assault on the right to privacy. if you have a cell phone, you need to hear this. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪
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let me finish tonight with this. yesterday, the "new york times" reported that the u.s. of cell phone tracking data by law enforcement is skyrocketing. the situation raises interesting privacy questions. in response to a request from congressman edward marquise. they responded to 1.3 million demands for subscriber information. they were seeking text messages, caller locations, and other
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information in the course of investigations. the requests came from law enforcement on a local, state, and federal level. the law, it's still struggling to catch up with this area of cell phone surveillance. the issue is how to balance law enforcement needs with privacy concerns. as the times pointed out, under federal law, the carriers said they generally required a search warrant, a court order, or formal subpoena to release information about a subscriber, but in cases that law enforcement officials deem an marriage, a less formal request is often enough. morover, rapid technological changes in cell phones have blurred the lines on what is legally required to get data, particularly the use of gps systems to yiefr the location of phones. in a world where virtually everyone walks around with a cell phone, the ability to track users has become an invaluable tool for police. the question is whether privacy rights of mobile customers are being kafguarded. the carriers record that
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sometimes what was described as an emergency wasn't the case, and what about the gps technology? six months ago in a unanimous decision, the supreme court ruled police violated the constitution when they attached a gps tracker to a suspected drug trafficker's car without a search warrant. that would seem to underscore the need for a warrant before a cell phone is tracked. we want law enforcement to continue to solve kidnappings, respond to shootings and cases of missing people, but congress needs to insure there are legal protections in place for customers' privacy and that the mobile industry is in compliance before surrendering such information. one final thought, it comes from steve from the midwest who posted this comment to the times coverage of the cell phone privacy matter. he wrote, the only private communications that exists in the u.s. postal service. nobody will read your letters and you can say anything you like without some