tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC July 14, 2012 4:00am-5:00am PDT
agreed to the plan to dig up yasir arafat. when that happens, his bones will be taken apart and taken away and tested for palonium 210. what could possibly go wrong? i hope you have a good weekend, i plan to. "weekends with alex witt" starts now. >> mitt romney on the defensive about the bain game. what's behind the media blitz? >> kennedy arrested, what got her in trouble with the law. the penn state scandal and its effect on college sports and the new report about joe paterno's sweet deal inked as the scandal unfolded. what kind of teacher do you think melissa harris perry is? you might be surprised. good morning we'll get to what's happening out there. we begin with front page politics and mitt romney's
all-out media blitz. the former massachusetts governor giving five separate interviews saying he end d his management with bain capital in 1999, that's after the obama campaign picked up on a "boston globe" report that mr. romney's name was listed on filings as a company officer through 2001. during his interview governor romney responded to a claim by president obama's deputy campaign manager who suggested mr. romney might be guilty of a felony for misrepresenting his position at bain to the sec. >> the president's campaign has been i think outrageous in making the kind of charges they have. i think the kinds of attacks are beneath the dignity and he needs to reign in his campaign and talk about real issues relatinging to our economy. >> i'm going to ask pete alexander all about it. meanwhile, president obama is weighing in, speaking to wjla tv
shortly before interview hit the air waves. >> ultimately mr. rommy is going to have to answer those questions because if he aspires to be president, one of the things you learn, you're ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations. >> also this morning in his weekly address, president obama is calling on congress to pass the middle class tax cut extension for families making less than $250,000 a year. >> under my plan, 98% of american families won't see their income taxes go up at all. the wealthiest few americans will go back to income tax rates they were paying under bill clinton. if you remember, that was when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and millionaires were doing pretty well to boot. >> joining me now, congressional reporter for the "washington post," ed o'keefe and white house correspondent amy parnz. good morning. >> good morning. >> amy, i'll begin with you.
as you know, mr. romney, he rarely sits down for these kind of interviews but did five in a row to talk about this bain controversy. how unprecedented is this for him? >> it's pretty unprecedented actually. i've heard grum bling from my friends at the romney campaign covering him complaining he doesn't do much of these an they want to see more of them. like the old political addage when you have to explain you're losing, he felt like he had to explain. that's what the obama campaign wants him to do, they want to take him off message and anything that they can do to prevent him from talking about the down economy, they'll keep doing. >> a lot of media strategists suggest he do that, get right at this, ed. do you think this is going to help put the issue at rest orphan the flames even more? >> more than likely going to fan the flames for the weekend, maybe into early next week.
you combine the ads that the obama campaign has running now with five television interviews where he essentially had to defend himself. then attempt to pivot back to obama's handling of the economy, yes, i think it will only provide a little more aattention especially because the interviews were given on the network news casts, versus ads only seen by a few thousand in the states. this amplified the situation more than tamped it down. >> speaking of swing states, president obama is in the swing state of virginia today and thinks governor romney will have to answer the questions about bain. does all of this bickering back and forth over bain, does it feed partisans on both sides? it does. >> like ed said, it's not going away any time soon. they are going to keep pressing for him to release his tax returns. they think bain -- pushing on
bain is doing some -- pushing the numbers to help them so they are going to keep doik that. you saw that today, they just released another ad in nine swing states, basically pushing him again on bain and outsourcing. you're going to continue seeing that. it's going to be a prominent storyline. >> what about the latest poll showing the president leading by five points right now. won the state in 2008 by six. how does virginia look this time around? does either campaign have an edge in your mind? >> if you look at the polling it runs between 3 and 8% -- 3 or 8 points ahead for the president. if you consider the fact he did such a good job organizing in that state four years ago and already has quite the operation on the ground in virginia and all of the other swing states, ohio, colorado, places like that, he certainly has an advantage when it comes to boots on the ground and the fact the ads are running and the polling is showing they are having an effect on romney. i think certainly he has the advantage there and however goes the presidential race, observers
believe will go that critical senate seat, the race between the former governor tim cain and george allen. virginia will be a big focus for both campaigns going into november. >> both campaigns are targeting it hard right now. the obama campaign and supporters have spent $12 million on ads there and romney camp has spent $22 million. what are you hearing from inside the white house about how crucial they see virginia as being for the president? >> it's crucial. i mean, he's been there 16 times. today will be the 17th time since last april. and they are going to keep pushing on virginia. he actually talked about the importance of virginia yesterday in front of a crowd. he said, if we can carry virginia we're going to win the country again. i think -- expect to see him in virginia a lot. >> real quickly, i want to pick up on your latest article, about the outrage from congress over the ralph lauren olympics uniforms being manufactured in
china. you look at this and the fact there's a unified voice here, is this the only time we'll see a bipartisanship from congress ahead of the november election? >> when you combine an election year with a bad economy and general distaste for china and some really ugly uniforms, you're going to get bipartisanship on capitol hill. it was pretty phenomenal how quickly it came together and you can add great tv reporting too. you saw great bipartisanship, mostly from democrats, not as many republicans arguing about this. will anything else do it? we'll have too wait and see. i suppose general support tore the olympians, it might carry congress through august. >> i feel bad that the bikers was about that the uniforms were manufactured in china. but everybody has gone a step further and saying they aren't attractive. it's kind of like -- >> i wouldn't wear it. >> i think it's the beret that's setting people off. >> that and the polo logo on the
lapel. >> there's that too. thank you so much. can i ask you quickly, people refer to you as arnie what is that about? we had the biggest wantering back and forth. >> my name is spell ammy, i get lots of people assuming i'm a guy. it is good to see you -- >> that's why i only use two letters. >> just ed. got you, ed o'keefe. >> how much does mitt romney's bain controversy matter to you. you can talk to me on twitter. and i'll read your tweets throughout the day. this morning carry kennedy was arrested for apparently dwi. >> just a few months ago she
spoke publicly on behalf of the kennedy clan on behalf of mary kennedy, now she returns to the public spotlight when she was arrested for allegedly driving while impaired by drugs. 911 callers said a white vehicle was driving erratically when it collided with a tractor-trailer outside new york city. kennedy lexus sustained damage in a flat tire and pulled over. when police found her she appeared to be passed out about the not injured. in a statement to nbc news, a kennedy spokesperson says kerrie kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests which showed no drugs or alcohol whatever in her system. those tests results according to kennedy's attorney were provided by the hospital, but sources familiar with the case tell nbc news blood and urine tests were also sent to a police lab and it could take several days for results to come back to show any
proof of drugs in her system. kennedy was mary kennedy's lifelong best friend and distraut when mary took her own life, her arrest happened one day afs it was made known that her brother, robert f. kennedy jr., dug up the grave and moved it 700 feet from the plot. her attorney tells us she was shaken by the accident but did not sustain injuries. she is due in court on tuesday. >> you bring up all of it, it's been a tough time for the kennedy family. no way around it. thanks very much, veronica dela cruz. george zimmerman is waiting to figure out if he is get ag new judge. they believe the current judge is bias because zimmerman quoted flaunted the system after failing to disclose certain financial information. zimmerman is charged in the death of trayvon martin but claims he acted in self-defense. with two weeks until the olympics authorities in london are calling in 3500 troops amid
a last minute short fall of more than 10,000 security guards. a contractor says it will be unable to deliver those guards as promised. the company says the shortage systems from problems processing plik aenlts through training and other procedures. london is already on alert and keeping the city safe is their top priority. >> this is all preparatory to make teenager cleing it clear t will be secure and they won't get near. >> among the beefed up procedures, are navy ship, surface to air missiles and marine commandos, there are 13 days to go and you can watch them and all of the competition right here on networks of nbc. let's go to weather now, more than 100 homes in houston, texas are under floodwaters this morning. rescue crews pulled more than 50
people to safety after a local creek flooded. bill karins is here with more. >> good morning to you, alex, this weekend this weather pattern, a little unusual around the country. still very warm but not the oppressive heat. yesterday notice highs across the country. many in the 80s and 90s. what has changed though that the jet stream which controls where the air comes from is just going up and down and up and down, kind of like a snake across the united states. this means a slow moving weather pattern. the air isn't able to go west to east across the country quickly. it's forced to go up and down and that means sort of a stagnant weather pattern. and you'll see a similar type day today. we have a lot of moisture that worked through the intermountain west, which is good because of the wildfires, we'll take whatever rain we can get there in utah all through the dakotas, we should have a chance of showers over the next couple of days. maybe in the mid-atlantic,
additional showers and storms, not going to be raining all day or be a washout, from new york city to d.c., chance of showers, including philadelphia. i know you had some last night. the thunderstorm chance pretty good. san antonio to houston and new orleans. and houston has gotten drenched over the last couple of days. still warm in the northwest but slightly cooler around seattle with a slight chance of a shower or storm. and heat returning to phoenix after a break near 100. finally, your last day of your weekend forecast, we should be watching temperatures on the warm side once again, if not getting hot around chicago. next mini heat wave is coming to st. louis and chicago, three days, sunday through tuesday, a chance of getting near triple digits. >> thanks for the heads up on that. talk about a test drive, the new car that comes with a 60 day tryout. and office politics, melissa harris perry on the roles of the haves and have-nots in this election. [ female announcer ] with swiffer wetjet,
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in february of 1999, i left bain capital and all management authority and responsibility for the firm. i had no ongoing activity or involvement in the affairs of bain capital because i went out to run the olympics. >> that was mitt romney speaking to nbc's own peter alexander. we'll be talking with him shortly. all of this happens as the firestorm over romney's time at bain capital continues to rage this morning. the obama camp is questioning when exactly governor romney was in charge and what role he played at bain capital. and romney is addressing the controversy, doing it head on, saying the president's camp is
making outrageous charges. joining me is richard wolffe. good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> uniquely mitt romney all over the air waives yesterday, five television interviews. did he take control of the story? >> his performance was assertive and confident. stylistically it was fine, but the substance of what he said doesn't just leave unanswered questions, it raises new questions really. when he said as you just heard in that clip, he had no responsibility for this company at this time, it's very hard to square that with the official papers he signed. when most people sign official papers in this case for the sec, there are statements of responsibility, when you say you're the ceo, managing director and that's your principal occupation, that implies and states responsibility. so either those papers were meaningless or what he said wasn't really the full story. >> with his business career as the centerpiece of the campaign,
is the bain controversy something that mitt romney's camp and its vetters should have foreseen? >> well, look, this was raised throughout the primaries and been raised in every single contest that mitt romney has had as a political figure. and many of these claims were really litigated in his first run for massachusetts governor. you know, these aren't new things and in fact every time he's come up against these things, his statements have added more confusion because they tried to be more clear. i know that sounds contradictory but when he says he left the company, very clearly, had nothing more to do with it, it doesn't track with other statements, like for instance when he said before i came governor that he would come back to boston from salt lake and he would attend board meetings. he said again yesterday to nbc he had no responsibility or involvement. at other time he said he attended board meetings. which is it?
>> senior members have accused mitt romney as possibly committing a felony by misrepresenting his role. is all of that campaign rhetoric or a legit charge? >> well, first of all, this debate isn't really a side show. i know it may sound like it when we're talking about unemployment. mitt romney's main claim to being able to fix the economy and create more jobs is his time at bain. so this isn't a small thing just as when people were debating what kind of leader john kerry was or foreign policy or national experience he had. it ended up in a strange corner but these are essential questions. when you say elect me for president. when it comes to this situation here, there are critical questions about what jobs record mitt romney really had and that's what this is about. credibility and what claim he can have for being a job creator. >> that is absolutely up for discussion, we have former
pennsylvania governor and president supporter ed rendell will be on later today as well. he said the president's camp has gone too far with the felony talk. do you think there's going to be blow back to that? >> there are a lot more worse things that have been said and will be said. sec documents are not minor pieces of paper. they are official statements and carry legal responsibilities, both to the federal government and to investors. they are statements that have to be trusted by investors. yeah, there are implications if people don't sign documents accurately or what they are saying isn't true. i'm not a legal expert and i think most of these cases end up in civil litigation and very much doubt whether there would be any kind of legal i am my indication here but they are serious statements. for candidates to face these kinds of questions when you're talking about official documents, that's not out of bounds at all. >> may not be a legal analyst but you are our nbc political
analyst. thanks, richard. the new report with the scandal going on behind the scenes. you'll hear outrageous claims there. what to make of the first promising numbers in seven years? we're going to talk about an incredible journey, a 3-month-old kitten surviving a trip across the pacific with no food or water. it's a sweet little girl cat found inside a freight container in compton california, shipped from a boat from shanghai. animal control officers say it has been named by hello in mandarin. she'll be put up for adoption if only the cats could talk. what a story. ♪ ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing.
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economic news, record profit despite one whale of a loss. could it be turning around and 60 day test drive and carmen wo wong you will rich is here to make sense of it all. >> they are looking at profits of $4.4 billion in losses for the big scandal. now folks are looking into was there any fraud perpetrated with the trading valuations how could they sustain so little in losses and have a big profit. the three gentlemen at the top of all of this had the claw back in pay, had to give back pay. drew who resigned is offering to give back her pay of $14 million from last year. >> what about the london whale, the man allegedly behind this all, made these awful trades,
what do we know about him? >> he's one of the three gentlemen taking the clawback in pay. now the investigation with the se kre sec is going deeper. who else is responsible for the extent of the loss and how deep does it go? ? terms of the hot seat, it's jamie dimon. >> what about signs of life in the housing market. first positive numbers in seven years. does it mean things are turning around? >> i would like to see more than one season of good numbers before things turn around. the question is is this the bottom? we have may existing home sales up 10%, that's really big. in terms of inventory, how many homes on the market, that's gone way down from 11, 12 months of inventory to closer to 6. that's almost normal. in terms of construction of new homes, that's up 26% from last may. so the numbers are good. they encouraging, but don't forget we have millions in foreclosures and almost a third
of americans still under water. we have a ways to go. but at least if we know we're hitting bottom, we can claw up. >> what about the details, shoppers can take a new chevy model car on a 60-day test drive? >> you remember this from 2009, they are doing it again. this is you can have this car for 60 days, you don't like it, you can bring it back and get your money back. here's the interesting part that a lot of people will be very into. it's a no hassle deal. that means there's no haggling. you don't have to negotiate on the price of the car. now for some people unlike me, i like to hagle, so i'm not a fan. if you don't like that part of the process, you know that's what uyou're going to get it. you can return it in 60 days if you don't have more than 4,000 miles on the car and it's not damaged. >> interesting. qutsz american idol has lost
another judge. jennifer lopez is leaving the show after two seasons, this came a day after steven tyler announced he's leaving. there's speculation that randy jackson who has been there since the beginning may be leaving as well. why should i try it? my system gets out of sorts but that comes with age, right? just because we're in that over 50... what does that mean? are we done? activia helps regulate your digestive system when eaten daily. these could be our best years yet.
let's go to politics now, the war of words over mitt romney's past at bain capital has reached new heights and now the republican candidate is taking to the air waves to defend the career that president obama's campaign is using against him. spoke with the governor last night and had quite a trip getting down there and talking with him. >> to give you a sense, i've been traveling with the campaign for eight months and this is the second time they invited us to sit down. they told us just five minutes,
clearly it represents the lack of desire to talk in large terms about this, his experience at bain capital and personal finances. during our conversation and series of conversations with news media, mitt romney made it very clear that the president should apologize for what romney called absurd and reckless allegations against him. >> reporter: in a heated campaign that's become increasely nasty with president obama and romney's teams accusing each other of lying. romney said it's the president being dishonest to the american people. >> the president's campaign has been i think outrageous in making the kind of charges they have. i think the kinds of attacks are beneath the dignity of the presidency. the obama campaign is trying to raise new questions about romney's business experience at bain capital, specific clip when he stopped running the firm. romney says he retired in 1999 to turn around the winter
olympics at salt lake city. these documents list him as the chief executive officer in 2000 and 2001. >> i think most americans figure if you're the chairman, ceo and president of a company, that you are responsible for what that company does. >> if you are offially the boss in those years, why are you still responsible for bain capital's activities, including the outsourcing of jobs at that time? >> in february of 1999, i left bain capital and left all management authority and responsibility for the firm. i had no ongoing activity or involvement in the affairs of bain capital. >> if it is the case you left in february of 1999 and some independent fact checkers suggest that that is exactly the case, is it fair then to take credit for jobs created by bain capital after that time? can you have it both ways? >> what i point out is businesses we helped create and start went on to create lots of jobs. if you're responsible for
starting a business, and it grows and adds a lot of jobs in the coming years, then i'm happy to point out my involvement was in helping to get the business started and seeing it grow over the years. >> romney's personal finances have also been in question, despite sharing 23 years of tax returns with senator john mccain's campaign when he was vetted for prpt in 2008. he insists he'll only put out two years. >> i understand the opposition research people at the obama campaign want more information to dig through. i put out as much as we're going to put out. >> he was also tight lipped on a conservative's website report that con leeza rice is a fro front-runner for a possible running mate. >> the obama campaign is clearly not satisfied, putting out a new ad following our interview that will air in nine swing states, beginning in the days ahead, a campaign official with the obama
campaign said these are not answers to all of the questions they were looking for. they insist that they still want the meetings from bain minutes. they want to see more tax returns and think the american people deserve more transparency on this. i think mitt romney tried to make it clear, that's where he's going to draw the line. >> in your interview he's taking credit for the good, the job growth he wants to claim under bain capital, even that which can be attributed after he left in '99 but trying to push the timing issue. >> it's what a lot of people refer to as a double standard. it's for each individual to judge for himself. the gist being if he left in february of 1999 and some companies created before then continue to grow and he takes credit for those jobs, staples is one of them. should he also be responsible for those that ultimately went bankrupt and more significant to that, never a part in any way, shape or form of bain's activities in those three years from 1999 to 2002 that have been in question.
>> peter alexander, many thanks, appreciate it. it's time for the fast five headlines, visa and master card have agreed to pay retailers $6 billion to settle a lawsuit. it alleged card issues conspired to fix fees. as part of the deal, merchants can charge customers a fee for using a credit card. the solar flare could interfere with electronics, gps and even power grids are most vulnerable. the solar storm may generate a display of northern lights this weekend. authorities in los angeles report no signs of foul play in the death of 36-year-old sage stallone, the oldest of sylvester is a lone's children. an autopsy will be performed. of courctomom performed at strip club and also appeared in pornography to make ends meet.
four people were injured and no one was gored over the course of the eight stampedes in spain. the bulls got the better of 38 people who neededed to go to the hospital, that includes four people who were gored. in this week's office politics, i talk with our own melissa harris perry, her teaching style and health care reform and election night 2008 in grant park. i begin by asking about the 99% versus the 1% and the effect the haves and have-nots could have on the presidential election. >> my bet is that it won't be what it comes down to. obviously occupy wall street had an amazing capacity to capture that sense of anxiety about growing america inequality and we heard about the middle class and about tax cuts and about sort of where should we focus, sort of our economic policy making. the problem with the 99-1, is
that we actually don't vote 99-1. right? as much as that might be a relevant kind of economic category, it doesn't capture what american politics is like. we've never been a country focused primary on class based politics. i'm inclined to think more traditional democrat republican southern, northern and race and lingistic groups will be more important than a 99-1. >> the politics of division, would that be a dangerous line to go towards? do you think it would fail? >> i don't think either democrats or republicans end up with a winning political strategy by claiming there's a class war fair. i think americans still have -- despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, very as spirational sense of themselves, they understand the possibility that their kids may do better than they are doing. that's actually counter to the i am per cal evidence which
suggests our kids aren't doing better than we are. >> yeah, well some might argue that the hope and change has not evolve as we would have imagined. is there disappoint to some degree that president obama has not delivered on that? >> you know, i suppose it depends a lot on whom you ask, whether or not there's disappoint. i think for folks who understood hope and change to equal magic, then yes, there's a lot of disappoint. >> there was a lot of magic in grant park. >> it felt like pixie dust and this moment where america is at its very best seemingly. i can remember even really liking john mccain on the night of the election, sort of his speech about, i've lost this election but this is a great moment in american history. you had that sense of patriotism. >> good point. >> but i think for folks maybe more sober about the realities
of the economic crisis we were facing, war on two international fronts, continuing realities of domestic terrorism, that if you look at a circumstance where you have a president finally getting major health care reform legislation after every president prior to him had also worked on it, really since the turn of the century, i think that's an awfully big hope and change. but it is not magic. >> how do you explain his success at doing that when virtually every poll in the country shows majority of people polled at least are against his health care mandate? >> well, part of what i have found fascinating is the growing percentage of people who are supportive of health care reform since the supreme court decision. >> those polls a lot of times folks are against obama care, particularly when it's phrased as obama care or health care reform but like individual pieces, your child being able to
stay on until they are 26 years old or no preexisting conditions denials, that sort of thing, i think there's a great deal of misinformation of what health care reform is. >> how tough of a grader are you? >> i'm actually a very tough grader and it throws students. i'm a very nice professor. >> you're nice and approachable, i'm sure they love listening to you. oh, my god, she's so hard. >> yes, it's base he canally like it's always a love affair in the first four weeks of class then the first paper -- >> first test. >> and i think the other thing is and i have to get comfortable with this, teaching over 15 years, students would come to me and say, but i worked so hard. and they weren't lying, they may have worked -- and some other kid may not have worked hard at all but the productwise just better. it just was. >> she's got high standards, what can we say? more of our conversation when we talk about something surprising
that melissa and mitt romney have in common. you should watch her show in a couple hours, 10:00 eastern on msnbc. the fallout on the penn state scandal, will it bring changes to sports? ♪ ♪ 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.™
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this morning a new report says former coach joe paterno became negotiating a lucrative contract the month before he testified at the grand jury and the school is preparing a formal response to the louis freeh report on the sex abuse scandal. they said we're deeply sorry for the failure to protect these young boys from the pain and anguish they suffered. could this change the future of college sports? joining me now is legal analyst michael mccann. >> good morning, alex. >> give me the way you see it in terms of the effect it will have
on college sports? >> i expecting this going to have a sweeping effect. i think the ncaa will make sure that's the case. this investigation by louis freeh and his associates showed a massive cover up at penn state, the fact a coach was so powerful he was able to help engineer a cover-up of some of the worst crimes imaginable. i really think it's necessary for other schools to take from this and realize that maybe internal investigations periodic chi are a good thing and ensuring that coaches don't become too powerful and people don't become afraid of speaking out against coaches. that was a major part of the story. >> this is something joe paterno's son described it, jay said very often people closest to someone like this are the ones that miss it. we aren't the only ones who missed it. everyone of us wishes we could have caught something about it. >> do you think this mentality
of cover-up, is that going to change because of morality or honorable code or will it change because there was money withdrawn from the university and funding and donations the like? is that what you think will be the incentive here? >> i think that could be part of it. high school students seniors in the fall, are they more or less likely to apply to penn state? i think less likely. there will be real consequences for the school. and i also think it's important that we hold people accountable. the fact the college president was fired and could be criminally charged is a lesson to other college presidents that they better be sure the school is in order and they knew about or had reason to believe the crimes were occurring, and they did nothing for so long. it's really morally outrageous. >> which could result in the ncaa imposing what they call the death penalty should they investigate and decide to take the school, just shut down the athletic program for a year.
do you think that's possible? >> i do think it's possible, alex. articles 2.4 and 10.1 of the ncaa constitution make it very clear that coaches and athletic officials have to be ethical. that clearly wasn't the case here. now some will say, that the ncaa shouldn't involve itself in something like this that is criminal, i would disagree. this was a crime perpetrate the by an assistant coach and some of the crimes took place on penn state's campus in the football team showers. if the scandal had come out before, it would have hurt the football team. i believe the ncaa has the right and probably should do something. >> all right, sports illustrated's michael mccann. thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. up next, new polling from the swing states and the impact advertising is having in those battlegrounds. arbucks refresher- a breakthrough in natural energy. made with real fruit, starbucks refreshers™ are delicious low calorie drinks
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what may be most surprising is what an impact the advertising ads may have in the battleground states, which may decide the election. let's get right to it with a good morning to you, susan. >> hey, good morning, alex. >> how are the president and mitt romney stacking up in these swing states as well as the rest of the country? >> it could hardly be closer in the swing states. 47% for barack obama in our poll, 45% for mitt romney. any closer, and they'd be tied. if you look at the non-swing states, a little bit more of an edge for president obama, 48% to 44%. but we know we should be focused on the dozen swing states because that's where the election is going to be decided. >> absolutely. the interesting angle that you talk about, ads have changed their mind about a candidate, you have 76% supporting the president, 16% supporting mitt romney. what is it about all this that you think has the president seemingly winning the ad war?
>> this was really a surprise to us, alex, to see sup a lopsided result on the effect of the barrage of ads that people in the swing states are hearing. both campaigns thinks this means that there's just a lot -- it's a lot easier to define mitt romney who's not wel nobody to a lot of voters. you can't really define barack obama. so the obama campaign ads and obama has been airing more ads, 30% more ads in the swing states than mitt romney seem to be having an effect as defining him as somebody questioning his record as governor of massachusetts and, of course, this most recent attack on his tenure at bain capital. >> but you make a point that those democrats that are in favor of barack obama are -- they are democrats. they've just kind of come back under the fold. it's not necessarily getting to the independent voter as much, right? >> yes, that's certainly true. the gains that president obama
has had has come disproportionately from democrats who may be a little disillusioned or disappointed in his tenure and the ads have convinced them not to thing about mitt romney as an alternative. it has not had much of an effect on winning republican votes because the republicans are pretty united behind romney. >> the majority of swing state voters are pretty enthusiastic about the election. is there an indication about what or which candidate will benefit most from the enthusiasm? >> we found the republicans have gained a slight edge in enthusiasm. but, you know, it's not so much they're enthusiastic or excited about mitt romney. it is that they're united in opposition to president obama. so it's sort of funny. we see democrats energized because they're for barack obama and we find republicans energized because they're against him. when we ask people in swing states, are you ready for the
campaign to begin or be over, 8% said i'm ready for it to be over. >> wow. it's not over. that's news right there, right? >> what about the veep stakes? we've been hearing about it on a couple of fronts. what are youhearing, susan? >> it now looks -- the signs are that he'll announce his veep candidates at the end of the olympics and the beginning of the republican convention on august 27th. the window do so before the olympics seems to be closing. now, of course, the person who really knows is mitt romney, what he's going do. but when you look at things that people in the campaign are saying and schedules of the campaign are putting out, it looks like we're going to have a more traditional announcement sometime shortly before the republican convention. >> okay. "usa today" susan page, also a pleasure. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> that's a wrap. be sure to join me for a two
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