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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  July 18, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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worth knowing about the latest right-wing conspiracy claptrap going on over there to make fun of it. because if you haven't been monitoring the quite fantastical stories that conservatives tell each other about the forces araid against them in the word, you have no idea where this stuff is coming from when they actually try to make public policy out of it. and if i were rush limbaugh, i'd probably try to pretend i never said this batman thing ever, but you did. and no time machine can erase that tape. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." thanks for being with us. mitt romney has decided that he can't win by campaigning against president obama's record in the white house, so now romney wants to campaign against barack obama's record in high school. >> remember when romney used to talk about the president as a nice guy? >> i think he's a nice person, i just don't think we can afford him any longer. >> well, not anymore. >> he tries to divide america. >> his course is extraordinarily
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foreign. >> the romney campaign is escalating their attacks against president obama. >> they're now going personal and defamatory. >> the only way he can win is by fighting. >> you can't sit in the corner and, you know, pull your blanky over your head and suck your thumb. >> seriously, what's wrong with his campaign? >> he is still taking a pounding. >> the grand old wagon circle is beginning to fall apart. >> the pressure on mitt romney to release more of his tax returns is intensifying. >> governor romney does not want to release his tax returns. >> i think people in my party just say, look, this is a nonissue. >> bill kristol, george will. >> haley barbour. >> olympia snowe. >> high-profile republicans who are saying romney should release his taxes. >> this is setting up romney for a death by a thousand political cuts. >> he's creating his own problem. >> why hasn't he just released them? >> just release them. >> what's in them? what's keeping him from releasing them? >> why are we talking about this? >> because he's not running on any issues. he's running on, gee, obama
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sucks and aye mai've made a bun money in business. >> romney doesn't have a lot of friends. >> if you don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee and we'll lose. i said last night that yesterday was the worst day of the general election campaign for mitt romney. it was so bad that last night, conservative opinion leader charles krauthammer said this. >> if the election were held tomorrow, tomorrow, who would win? >> obama. >> well, as bad as yesterday was for mitt romney, today was a bit worse. more republicans are now calling on romney for him to release his tax returns and the "washington examiner" conservative columnist byron york said this. "at least at the moment, the vaunted romney death star, the machine that flattened his
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republican opponents, just isn't working." buzz feed reports that the now-panicked romney campaign, "is now prepared to go to eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two romney advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. very little will be off-limits, from the president's youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced chicago politicians." the romney campaign apparently doesn't seem to realize that voters actually reached an understanding judgment of barack obama's youthful drug use after he revealed it himself in his book, "dreams from my father." the democratic national committee added to the pressure on romney's tax returns today with this ad. the dancing horse in the ad is,
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of course, owned by mitt romney, and as reported here, previously, is listed on romney's tax returns as a $77,000 tax deduction. >> governor, will you release your income tax record? >> if that's been the tradition, and i'm not opposed to doing that, time will tell, but i anticipate that most likely i'm going to get asked to do that around the april time period, and i'll keep that open. >> why do you have a swiss bank account? and what do you say to american people who asked about that? >> the money that i have is managed by a blind trust. i don't manage the money that i have. >> today, the romney campaign released this spanish language ad. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> so there's team romney thinking they can pick up latino voters by sending craig romney out to say, my grandfather, george, was born in mexico. why don't they tell the rest of the heartwarming story of the romneys in mexico, that george was born in mexico because his grandfather hated ed d the ultra-conservative marriage laws of the united states, which allowed him to legally be married to only one wife at a time. and so he fled to the much more liberal land of mexico, and its much more liberal view of marriage, which allowed miles romney to keep his five wives. and so the romney family will
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always be grateful for mexico allowing mitt romney's great-grandfather to define marriage in a far more liberal way than the american way, and save him from being an american marriage criminal. the one defender mitt romney has on his tax returns is the man who has almost as much money as mitt. >> the obama people don't want romney's tax returns released so they can find out if they're aboveboard. it doesn't matter what they say. they're going to be mischaracterized and used to hurt romney. romney's right to hang in tough on this. >> joy reid, it's down to rush. that's what romney has as a defender on tax trends, the guy who has made maybe a couple hundred million dollars himself. >> indeed. and the ad that you showed before with mitt romney's son, it kind of reminded me of like my tenth grade spanish class,
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when we had to do the recitation. it really was just that authentic. you know, the problem that mitt romney has is that he doesn't seem to understand sort of ironclad rule of re-elect politics. a re-elect is a referendum on the immediate past performance of the president, the last three years. but it's also a referendum on the character, history, and profile of the opponent. his history matters, because the voters have to decide, do we want to replace this guy we know, who we've already grandfathered in the information we knew about him. like you said, he already wrote about drug use. he grandfathered that in, we made a decision, he was elected. but the voters want to know, should they replace him with mitt romney? it's mitt romney's past and mitt romney's character that voters need to analyze and scrutinize, but he's refusing to explain what it is that he's done in his life that makes him qualified to be president of the united states, other than just being mitt romney. >> jonathan, is it only a candidate who doesn't drink and
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doesn't take caffeine, who could possibly think that the american voter will be outraged that a candidate smoked some weed in high school? >> i mean, really? i mean, come on! if you're going to go at the president's -- literally, youthful indiscretions, then you have serious problems. and if the romney campaign thinks that talking about, you know, teenage drug use is going to change the conversation from the present-day problem that mitt romney has about his adult years' money making and his, you know, his job as governor, then they must be smoking something. i mean, mitt romney's problem is this. he is flying in the face of a tradition set by his own father. and that is, candidates for president releasing their tax returns. george romney in 1967 -- >> he's running against his own father. >> george romney was the first person running for president to release his actual tax returns. not put out a press release
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saying, here's how much money i made and here's where it came from. and he didn't just release one or two years, the way that mitt romney has released, he released 12 years, to make it clear, so that people could know where -- >> well, he said one year would prove nothing, two years would prove nothing. >> "one year could be a fluke," is the word. mitt romney clearly must have something in those tax returns that he doesn't want anyone to see. >> it's at that point where you have to conclude -- >> right. >> this is so politically damaging, the call is release tax returns, do 12 of them like your father, at least, he won't do it, he won't do it, he won't do it. the damage keeps happening. you get to a point here where you have to begin to logically conclude that he has concluded, there's more political damage for me in the tax returns than in not releasing them. >> and the other piece of this is the fact that it's not like he's never given his tax returns to anyone. >> right. >> he gave 23 years' worth of tax returns to john mccain in 2008, when he was being vetted
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for vice president. so those tax returns are done. they are in a box somewhere. just transfer them from mccain '08 to, you know, the american people. >> it's amazing, because -- >> i've heard speculation from at least one guy who has tax returns similar to romney's, and a work history similar tro romney's, suggesting that one of the problems for romney might simply be he's actually a billionaire. it's way more than this $250 million, he's got a billion, and he made a judgment that billion isn't going to sound good and that's the thing that he's protecting, as well as all sorts of other possibilities. >> he didn't pay any taxes at all. >> but the thing is, he could have done this in the spring when his audience would have been a republican primary audience. there were so many opportunities for them to do the very simple political thing, which is, it's campaigns 101, get it out yourself. as you're saying, there must be something in it they feel is so indefensible that they couldn't defend it. is it that he paid no taxes in one year, which is what everyone's speculating about. the problem for romney is the
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media isn't going to stop talking about this. >> right. >> the obama campaign isn't going to stop talking about this. no one's going to stop talking about it until he releases it. >> and there's a report indicating that romney would not have run if he thought he had to release his returns, which says romney was advised by the stupidest people in the history of american politics, who said to him, oh, go ahead, run. you know, probably political consultant who is stand to make millions of dollars on this campaign, said, oh, yeah, sure, run, you won't have to release your returns. >> no, that must have been crazy. remember, mike bloomberg, mayor of new york city, was contemplating, came very close to running for president. and i guarantee you, as mayor, he had to disclose his wealth, where it came from, and you better believe that if he were to jump into the race as president back in 2008, that he would have handed over his tax returns. the idea that mitt romney thinks he can run for president of the united states and not do this most basic of sort of good
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governance, sunshine, transparency actions that was a tradition started by his own father, the idea that he thinks that he can get away with not continuing the tradition -- >> and run on bain. and saying, but elect me because -- >> and we left that part out. that's why we're all talking about this. he was using bain as sort of the foundation for his candidacy, and now that we're asking, okay, show, let's see, now he doesn't want to talk about it. >> and by the way, the other thing that a billionaire like mike bloomberg would reveal as a candidate is here's how much i've given to charity and to various institutions that are not my church. that are, you know, things that have nothing to do with me, over the years. hundreds of millions of dollars that the bloomberg foundation continues to give out today. we're not hearing any of that from romney. he's never come out and say, oh, by the way, all of this money of mine, here are all the charitable things i've done with it. why isn't he telling us that? >> the only person i've heard talk about that was senator kay bailey hutchison yesterday on
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with chris jansing, where she said, he's a big philanthropist, he's given so much to charities -- >> exactly. >> even the koch brothers. >> joy reid and jonathan capehart, hang around. we'll come back and talk about george zimmerman's interview tonight. also, coming up, john mccain can only take so much crazy in congress. > and mike huckabee brought way, way too much crazy this week to the republican party and john mccain wants to stop it. that's ahead. and as i said, george zimmerman did an interview with sean hannity tonight, just an hour ago. we're going to be back with more analysis of that interview, coming up. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations.
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sean hannity just did an interview with george zimmerman in which zimmerman said he wouldn't change a thing about the night he killed trayvon martin. we'll have more on that interview, coming up. and in the "rewrite" tonight, i'll reveal the democratic strategy that can
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the old john mccain was back today in the united states senate. the mccain who some democrats used to like. the mccain who wouldn't go along with every crazy idea his party came up, the old john mccain took to the senate floor to attack the bat crap crazy as ever michele bachmann for accusing a state department aide
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of being a secret agent for the muslim brotherhood. the target of bachmann's madness is huma abedin, who leaders around the world recognize as always being at secretary clinton's side and became even more recognizable here when she was being chased by cameras during coverage of the twitter scandal involving her husband, former congressman, anthony weiner. and now i give you a moment of the old john mccain. >> these allegations about huma abedin and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated american, and a loyal public servant. >> today michele bachmann's former campaign chief of staff, chief ed rollins, called congresswoman bachmann's allegations against huma abedin
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outrageous and unsubstantiated, adding, "having worked for congressman bachmann's campaign for president, i am fully aware that she sometimes have difficulty with her facts with with, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late senator joe mccarthy level. the republican party is going to become irrelevant if we become the party of intolerance and hate. mrs. bachmann, you know better, shame on you, michele." so guys, the obvious question is, how much does this help bachmann's possibilities of being named mitt romney's vice president? mark thompson? >> well, i hadn't thought about it that way. it could help. but i think -- >> she's actually not on our big board of possibilities, but after today, you know, this could do it. >> well, i think what bat girl does is, she helps appeal to this lowest common denominator. they're doing the dog whistling, they're trying to do anything
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that could be considered xenophobic, to appeal to a reactionary base. and frankly, that's what mitt romney, up to a certain point, we thought he was being held hostage to. it seems he's bought completely into that, and michele bachmann continues to maintain that type of argument, that type of discussion, unfortunately. >> and ari melber, this raises a problem for the republican convention. who can you allow on that stage? there's already problems with -- and normally, people who ran in the primaries and lost, they get positions to speak, and there was only one woman in that field. you'd kind of want to give her a position. but she's out of her mind, so you can't let her get up on the stage. let's listen to newt gingrich today talking about the possibilities of sarah palin speaking at this convention. >> should sarah palin be given a speaking role at the convention? apparently she has not been invited to the convention and it looks like some people are trying to keep her from speaking. what do you think? >> no, she -- governor palin
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absolutely should have a speaking slot. she motivates and arouses an entire base, and i think she absolutely should have a speaking slot. >> you're going to be speaking, right, newt? >> well, that's up to the romney people. i'm glad to do it if they want me to. i would strongly support governor palin being given a chance to speak to the country and i think she'd be very effective. >> you're going to be speaking, right, newt? well, uh, i don't know, they might think i'm too crazy too. it's a tough convention to get the speakers lined up. >> it is, and kind of the hangover of the clown car of the republican parties. newt gingrich said there that she thinks he arouses the republican base, i'll leave newt gingrich and his word choice alone to himself. i think the problem is he's wrong, actually, on the facts. about 40% of republicans says there's no chance they would vote for palin when polled on that question just last year by pew. so there is a grassroots concern ability her. but to the larger point you're putting in context, lawrence, there isn't a real reckoning from the guy at the top, mitt
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romney. he missed his opportunity at the naacp convention. i didn't expect him to change his policies of, you know, a 1% tilted tax plan, but i thought he might have taken that opportunity to at least call out the fringe of the fringe. and if you don't do it, if you don't have that the leadership, it continues and bubbles up. and it is not only anti-muslim in this case and bigoted, but traffics in a type of racism that's been very unfortunate throughout this campaign season. >> so far, there's only two republicans they're sure of will speak at the convention. mitt romney and chris christie. they want chris christie to do the keynote. but let's look at some video that indicates there could be problems with christie. >> you know, first off, it's none of your business. if what you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time i talk, well, then, i have no interest in answering your question. your rear end's going to get thrown in jail, idiot. did i say on topic? are you stupid? thank you all very much and i'm sorry for the idiot over there. you know, you should really see me when i'm pissed.
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>> okay, mark, he's going to have a teleprompter at the convention. it's not going to be like that where it's a wide-open situation where he might call someone an idiot. so he'll be safe at the convention, right? >> he'll need it. and unfortunately, even with that, he's somebody whom is considered to be well-spoken and pretty placid. but we see, that's not exactly the case. what's incredible about all of this, i think, is john mccain, as you said, looking like his old self, looking credible, looking honorable, and laooking like a statesman. just 24 hours after he said mitt romney's taxes weren't the issue, sarah palin was the better candidate. so for him to say that, and now look even more credible today -- >> introducing john mccain, to say once again at the convention that sarah palin's a better candidate than mitt romney. whoa! >> yeah, it's incredible, and his credibility today adds to that. this is really going to be an interesting convention. if i was the rnc, i'd do it on pay per view, because they could raise a lot of money that way.
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even if ron paul shows up and stages a big fight, it's going to be very exciting and peculiar. >> ari melber and mark thompson, thank both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. sean hannity did just an interview with george zimmerman in which zimmerman actually said he would not change a thing about the night he killed trayvon martin. we'll have more on that interview, coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] this is our beach. ♪ this is our pool. ♪ our fireworks. ♪ and our slip and slide. you have your idea of summer fun, and we have ours. now during the summer event get an exceptionally engineered mercedes-benz for an exceptional price. but hurry, this offer ends july 31st. for an exceptional price. those surprising little still make you take notice. there are a million reasons why. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready
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i just went to wish my great
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grandfather a happy birthday and a great journey in life. >> that's the great grandson of nelson mandela who celebrated his 94th birthday today quietly with family. south africa celebrated with him. thousands took part in volunteer projects and schoolchildren sang happy birthday to him. coming up, why grover norquist should be afraid, very, very afraid, if the democrats choose a very simple strategy that could crush him. i'll the tell you exactly how the democrats can win the tax fight. that's in the "rewrite." and next, george zimmerman just told sean hannity that he would not change a thing about the night he killed trayvon martin. we'll have more on sean hannity's zimmerman interview, coming up next.
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hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪ the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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news, sean hannity, zimmerman gave an account what he says happened the night he shot and killed 17-year-old trayvon martin. >> there was one report, or police report, that actually said you didn't know after you fired, you didn't think -- you thought you missed? >> i didn't think i hit him, yes. >> when did you know that trayvon had died? >> probably about an hour after i got to the police station. >> george zimmerman apologized to trayvon martin's parents, but as for that night, zimmerman says, he would not do anything differently. and we don't have the video for that. here's what he said. hannity said, do you regret getting out of the car to follow trayvon that night? zimmerman, no, sir, no. hannity, do you regret that? you had a gun that night? zimmerman, no, sir. hannity, do you feel you wouldn't be here for this
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interview if you didn't had that gun -- >> zimmerman, i -- >> hannity do you feel you would not be here. >> zimmerman, i feel it was all god's plan. hannity, do you feel there's anything you might do in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit. zimmerman, no, sir. >> it wasn't so much an interview as it was sean hannity walking zimmerman through a recitation of mark o'mara's version of his story. there was even a point where hannity was doing about twice as much talking as zimmerman. he would say, so, you did this, and then zimmerman would say, yes, sir. and when zimmerman tried to explain what happened and would leave out something that we've heard in previous zimmerman testimony, or, you know, plooefs testimony from the police reports, hannity would supply the missing word. it was very strange. so i think for the defense, the strange thing about it is number one, the prosecution is now going to go through this tape lacking for inconsistencies
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between the story he told tonight on sean hannity's program and the stories he's told before. it's a strange thing to expose your client to. but in the press release that came out before this interview, mark o'mara made it clear that one of his purposes in doing this interview was to get the phrasing goi fund-raising going again. this is their audience, this is zimmerman's sort of base and he's gone there in part to shore up the fund-raising. >> jonathan, what struck you about it? >> what struck me about it, and you read this "no regrets." >> it was god's plan for trayvon martin to be dead. >> so he says, "i have no redprregre regrets," and then later on he says, i want to apologize to the family. then when hannity goes after spike lee and one of our colleagues here for rushing to judgment and everything, what do you -- do you think spike lee owes you an apology, and he
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says, yes wi says, yes, if i did something wrong, i would apologize. you notice, all over the place? >> right. and what was also strange about it that he re-tells the part of the story that i always thought was the strangest. first of all, he said he didn't think he'd even shot trayvon martin, but you have multiple witnesses, including the first person to speak to george zimmerman afterward, who he reportedly said to the person, i've just shot someone. >> i've just shot someone. >> but here he says, he's not even sure he had shot him. but now he didn't know he had died. that he didn't know anything until an hour later. that was sort of strange, but then he retells this part of th pulls the trigger, trayvon sits back from having been bashing him and says, you got me. or you go it. and he says, well, i interpreted that to mean, you've got the gun and i didn't and i'm not going to fight anymore. and then when trayvon slumped over, sean hannity asked him, did you ever check to see if he had been badly hurt, and he said, no.
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>> but even if you don't get into any of the account of here's what happened, you know, in a certain sequence, hannity asked a question that i actually think is a very good yes, for which there is only one logical answer. hannity said to him, do you feel you wouldn't be here for this interview if you didn't have that gun? meaning, you wouldn't be in trouble. you wouldn't be charged with this homicide if you didn't have that gun. and zimmerman says, no. you know, he says he thinks he, in effect, he would still be here if he didn't have the gun. no, he wouldn't. this we can improve beyond -- it's impossible to suggest otherwise. if zimmerman did not have that gun, this would not have happened. both of them would be alive today. >> right. >> and would zimmerman have even gone and confronted trayvon at close quarters without a gun? i don't think so. i don't think he would have gone near him. but if he did, no one would have died. >> you know, in detective
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adviso serrino's report, where he's asking that george zimmerman be brought in and arrested on manslaughter charges, he has towards the end of this two-page request, this whole thing could have been avoided if zimmerman had stayed in his car or if he had confronted trayvon martin, at least identified himself as neighborhood watch, or a concerned resident. and he didn't do either. >> you know, hannity didn't chase him down on that question, but that question basically frames that and says, you know, look, obviously, if you didn't have the gun, none of this would have happened. you wouldn't be here. it couldn't be more obvious. >> there's even a sort of more problematic interpretation you could have of that same question and answer. if sean hannity meant, you wouldn't be here if you didn't have the gun, that undermines his stand your ground claim. the answer to that should be yes, if i didn't have the gun, i would not be here. but if you were saying, no, i'd still be here, that's
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problematic. and the other sort of odd thing, is when sean hannity asks him if he could have just put himself in the mind-set of trayvon martin and think, maybe trayvon martin was running away from him, he said, no, that's not problem, he was skipping away, he wasn't running away. what does that mean? >> we will find out when they go to trial. jonathan capehart and joy reid, thank you both very much. coming up, the long, national nightmare of grover norquist's mind control of congress is about to be over. that's in the "rewrite." ♪ the one and only, cheerios
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there it is ! there it is ! where ? where ? it's getting away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it. any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is. grover norquist is in big trouble, and he knows it. he knows there is a strategy available to democrats to win this tax battle outright and completely destroy grover's grip on republican votes on taxes. and that's going to be next in the "rewrite." also tonight, zack walls is here to talk about the boy
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scouts of america once again banning any gay membership and any gay troupe leaders. that's coming up.
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in tonight's "rewrite," the worst thing that could ever happen to grover norquist. there is a way for the democrats to "rewrite" their legislative strategy that would ruin grover's life's work and free every republican in congress from the dictatorial rule of grover.
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the new democratic strategy that will completely destroy grover's power is simply these three words -- off the cliff. congressional democrats should all get buttons made saying "off the cliff." like, say, this one! put bumper stickers on their cars saying, "off the cliff!" so that when republicans see the democratic cars in the house and senate garages they'll start to think, hey, may be the democrat t s are finally serious this time. now, i know it sounds crazy to go off a cliff, it sounds reckless, it sounds down wright reckless to have a republican strategy that just says, let's go off a cliff. that was the tea party strategy in the house on the debt ceiling. they were willing to go off the cliff by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, but the cliff i'm talking about is deferent. this time, the only response
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thing to do is go off the cliff. a fiscal cliff was written into law last year in the bill that raised the debt ceiling. it says that if congress and the president do not agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by new year's eve, then budget cuts amounting to $1.2 trillion will go into effect on january 1st and half of those cuts will be in defense spending. here's what the cliff looks like. here it is for non-defense spending, on january 1st. it goes down $600 billion. no one in either party wants to see this happen, because this includes education spending, infrastructure spending, everything except medicare, medicaid, and social security. and even tea party members of congress have some spending in there that they want to protect.
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congress has never seen spending cuts like this before, a big crude cut, where congress can't control exactly what is going to be cut where and by how much. and here is what the defense spending cliff looks like on january 1st. some democrats might be okay with us going off this cliff on defense spending. i, for one, would have no problem with it. but no republican wants to see us go off the cliff on defense spending. congressional republicans are already in a bit of a panic about the defense spending cliff, and that's why they had dick cheney come up to see them yesterday. dick cheney was there, not as a former vice president, giving them presidential campaign advice. he was there as a former defense secretary, telling them how disastrous it would be in his view for us to go off this cliff of defense spending and what they would need to desperately
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try to do immediately to protect in defense spending if we do go off that cliff. but there's something else at the edge of the new year's eve cliff that republicans fear even more than the defense spending cu. and this is the good news. the great news about the fiscal cliff. and it is the worst thing that could ever happen to grover norquist. and that is the complete and final expiration of all the bush tax cuts. there has always been an expiration date on the bush tax cuts and on new year's eve, it will finally arrive, and if democrats just have the courage to hold hands and jump off that cliff together, every income tax rate will go up on january 1st. not just the top rate, but the bottom rates and the middle
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rates. all of the tax rates go up, straight up, on january 1st. now, the democrats don't want to see that happen either. they only want to see the top tax rates go up. but the republicans are never going to allow them to pass a bill increasing top tax rates. never. the republicans have proven that they mean that. democrats now have the chance to prove that they are just as unyielding as grover norquist is, and the only way that democrats can do that is by going off the cliff and letting all the tax rates go right up on january 1st, every one of them. because, then, the tax bill that the democrats will introduce, reintroduce, the democrats' bill then that they'll be trying to pass, it's now a tax increase, they're trying to pass it now and it's a tax increase, because what it does is, it raises, this year, the top income tax
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brackets. next year on january 1st, if all the brackets have gone up, that very same bill introduced with the very same rates suddenly becomes a tax cut. a tax cut on all of the brackets, except the top brackets. and so then the vote they will be asking republicans to cast in the house and the senate, after we go off the cliff in january, will not be a vote to simply increase the top tax rate. it will be a vote to decrease all, all of the other tax rates, right back to where they are now, and according to their pledge to grover norquist, all republicans must vote for the democratic tax bill then, because it is a tax cut and for most brackets, and a tax increase -- it's not a tax increase at all for the top bracket. the grover norquist pledge will require them to vote for the democratic tax bill in january.
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a couple of democrats in the senate started whispering this to me a few weeks ago, that they believe that the only way to win this fight with the republicans was to first, on new year's eve, go off the cliff. and now some republicans in the secretly reasonable senate republicans, a small handful of them in the senate, have secretly let it be known across the aisle that they are hoping that we go off the cliff on new year's eve, because then they cannot only vote for the president's tax policy in january, they can vote for it without breaking their pledge to grover norquist. in fact, it will keep their pledge to grover norquist. as i said, if we go off the cliff in january, the pledge to grover will require, require all republicans to vote for the president's tax bill, because it will then be a cut of most income tax brackets.
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the treasury department is right now making plans for what will happen on the tax withholding tae tables on your first paycheck in january after we go off the cliff and all the income tax rates go up. the strategists at the white house and the treasury and the democratic leadership in congress believe that if we go off the cliff, they will then the be able to pass the democratic bill that cuts all of the tax rate backseat to whes by are now, except those top tax rates and they'll be able to do that in a matter of days. the tax writing committee in the senate knows how to do this virtually instantaneously so nothing, nothing can give the democrats more power over tax policy than going off the cliff. you might see a few more bucks withheld from your january paycheck, maybe your first paycheck, but when congress then quickly passes a bill restoring your old tax rate, that january
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tax money will be refunded to you. congressional democrats are going to need courage to do this, because it's a bold strategy and boldness isn't exactly their style. and so tonight, the last word, off the cliff campaign begins. call, e-mail, tweet your members of congress and tell them you want them to go off the cliff and you're ready to hold hands and go off the cliff with them, even if it means a few more bucks withheld from your january paycheck, because this time, doing the thing that sounds crazy, that sounds reckless, going off the cliff is the only way to restore sanity and fairness in taxation, and it's the only way to end the dictatorial rule of grover norquist. look at those toys. insurance must be expensive.
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mr. romney, you say you're a moderate on social issues. one who will defend abortion rights, equal rights for women, for blacks, and for gays. in fact, you say you will do more to promote gay rights than senator kennedy. you also sit on the national executive board of the boy scouts of america, which has an exclusionary policy banning gay members. do you support that policy? and if not, have you ever done anything as a board member to oppose it? >> i believe that the boy scouts of america does a wonderful service for this company. i support the right of the boy scouts of america to decide what it wants to do on that issue. i feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the boy scouts, regardless of their sexual orientation. >> that's mitt romney pandering to massachusetts voters in a
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1994 debate with senator edward kennedy. mitt romney did not change the scout's policy banning gay members and gay and lesbian parents from leadership roles when he was on the boy scouts' national executive board. and so yesterday, a secret scout committee decided unanimously to keep it, saying the policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the organization, and we understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society. that didn't accommodate jennifer terrell, an ohio mom who was removed from her position as a scout master in april because she is gay. today, she delivered 300,000 petitions to the boy scouts headquarters in irvine, texas, asking to be reinstated and was denied. >> it's not okay. it's just not.
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and my big concern was the kids in my pack would think i abandoned them. i'm here, i'm not going anywhere. i'm staying until i'm included. >> the policy also ended scouting for eric jones, an eagle scout. he was told to pack up and leave the scout camp where he was working this summer in st. joseph, missouri, after he told the camp's director that he is gay. in 2000, the supreme court ruled 5-4 that the boy scouts is a private organization and can deny membership to gays. joining me now is zach wahls, founder of scouts for equality, and author of "my two moms." zach, tell us about scouts for equality. >> scouts for equality is a group that i started in the wake of a petition delivery in june, similar to the one that jennifer delivered today down in texas. and it was a group that i felt was necessary to act as a public face of scouts, who also oppose this policy, as the eagle scout
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and the son of a lesbian couple, it's pretty clear where i stand on this issue. >> and, you know, i don't have any experience with boy scout, and i really wasn't sure how big a phenomenon it is. there's 2.7 million boy scouts, which is a very substantial percentage, actually, of the boys of that age. and according to the information that different organizations that supply, that the members come from, mormon church organizations, more boy scouts come from mormon church organizations than any other place. does that -- do you think that has some effect on this kind of policy? >> oh, absolutely. the mormon church, if i remember correctly, is responsible for 13% of all membership of youth units across the country, so we're talking about a very significant portion of their membership that has a very specific set of beliefs when it
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comes to this issue. and i believe that's one of the reasons why the bsa has been to hesitant to change this policy. they fear in a very real way of losing that membership. it's one of the reasons why yesterday, the boy scouts went ahead and reaffirmed this policy. there have been a number of things kind of working against this policy over the last few months, and i think that there are a number of things that are finally coming into focus. one of them was that on monday, the bsa learned that the vice president of their board, the ceo of at&t, randle stevenson, went on the record expressing his support for ending this policy. so at the point that the vice president of their board, and this man will be the president in just two years, is plublicly going on the record, it's pretty clear this is not going to stand for much longer. >> zach, the catholic church organization supplies the third largest group of boy scouts, and so there is a very heavy religious influence in the boy scouts, isn't there, in your experience?