tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 2, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EST
whether he stays in this race or not. hi, everybody. happy friday to you. great to have you with me this morning. i'm thomas roberts. moments from now, president obama will appear with former president bill clinton. the two announcing a new $4 billion initiative to save money and create jobs. employers created 120,000 new jobs in november bringing the unemployment rate down to 8.6%. now, the markets today are having a small reaction as we're seeing the dow jones just up by about 90 points. the s&p up by 12. the nasdaq up by 26. but green arrows across the board. we have all the angles covered for you as we wait for the president to speak. we're going to talk to a cnbc analyst and nbc's mike viqueira who has the details on the announcement from the white house. then we're going to speak with jarrod bernstein. ron, let's start with you.
while there are still over 13 million americans that are out of work today, we have to remind everybody about that, this is the lowest unemployment rate we've seen since march of '09. does this mean if you're looking at this with skepticism that the economy is healing? >> in a certain sense, it is. half of them came from temporary employment and health services, we saw an improvement in certain sectors. the numbers generally speaking are moving in the right direction. >> when we talk about the fact that this is getting us into the end of november into early december, are we seeing this as growth that's going to continue into the new year? a lot of people talk about the fact that maybe this number is just seeing this impact because of seasonal work. >> part of that's true. but absent a complete meltdown
in europe or china, both economies are slowing down rather noticeably, the u.s. looks poised to continue on a steady growth pace. some people think the economy will grow around 3% in the fourth quarter and hover in the range of 2% to 2.5% next year. but there have been a lot of jobs added. when you look at the so-called how do you spell survey, there have been a lot of jobs added on a monthly basis recently. that's pretty good news. i think the economy is on the mend absent any external shocks that could really upset the applecart. >> ron, great to see you. msn nbc's mike viqueira is standing by to talk with us. do we expect the president to address this this morning or is he going to stick to the script of what he's talking about with former president clinton? >> reporter: i think we can definitely expect the president to address those job numbers. good news. you mentioned the fact that we always have to say, there are still 13.3 million people out of work in this country who are
looking for work. but every friday, the first friday of every month, it's been gloom and doom around here for quite some time as the unemployment rate has risen. if it sunk, it's sunk by just .1 point. every month, white house officials try to accentuate the positive. the difference today is they have more positives to accentuate. expect the president to say, we're not out of the woods yet, as they often say, but certainly this is good news. the president is appearing just uptown a few blocks away. this is under the rubric of, we can't wait today. they're filling in some of the details today. $2 billion in private sector commitments to save energy, make older buildings more energy efficient. $2 billion the president is going to sign a directive to make public buildings, federal buildings more efficient. 20% of reduction of energy usage
in these buildings by the year 2020. we can expect president clinton to appear with president obama as well. his role in all this, trying to encourage some of these private businesses to sign on and apparently they have. >> we're seeing this multibillion-dollar commitment. but some people are saying, how are we paying for this? >> reporter: that was the first question out of our mouths yesterday. they say it pays for itself through energy savings. >> mike viqueira, thank you, sir. we turn now to jarrod bernstein. he's the former chief economist and economic policy adviser to vice president joe biden as well as an msnbc contributor. the immediate political impact of today's jobs numbers, what is it going to be? >> i think immediately as we've heard so far, you're going to hear some measure of cautious optimism. i think importantly, if you dig into the numbers, there's a couple of things to feel okay about. the rate of job growth, i like
to average over a few months to get some of the kinks and the noise out of the data. the rate of job growth over the past three months has been about 140,000 jobs per month. with revisions back in september, we actually had a 210,000 month. pretty decent acceleration there. but on the other hand, that's still way too slow to give enough americans the job and earning opportunities they need. and that's, i think, what you're going to hear from the president. the tone is not going to be obviously we're out of the woods, pop the champagne. it's going to be moving in the right direction but slowly. >> that's also the reaction that we're getting from the white house speaker, john boehner, releasing a statement earlier this morning saying, today marks the 34th consecutive month of unemployment above 8%. as you may remember, the obama administration promised unemployment would stay below 8% if its stimulus was enacted, that promise has gone unfulfilled. as we look at that statement, how much is the right to blame in that promise going
unfulfilled? >> that's exactly what i was thinking as you were reading that quote. he kind of owns this problem as well. it's one thing when you're the minority to be casting stones like that. but there's no question that the republicans have consistently blocked measures that the president, the administration, democrats have put forth, to help bring the unemployment rate down. most recently, we've been talking about the payroll tax holiday, unemployment. this decline in unemployment, half of it, as we just heard, was people leaving the labor force. it's not quite as good as you might think at first blush. there needs to be more. the president will say that. i don't think the republicans can really afford to just cast stones and say, look how much they're messing this up. >> the payroll tax cut got shot down. it's up to the gop-controlled house now. what does it mean, reducing the rate to 4.2% this year. that expires december 31st?
>> it means a 2% decline in the paycheck of over 150 million workers, pretty much everyone who's out there earning a paycheck. and what it means to businesses a actually quite important, not from the perspective of the employer's tax liability to themselves but from the perspective of customers coming in the door. the small businesses will tell you, what's hurting us the most is not regulations or taxes, it's lack of foot traffic, lack of customers, lack of orders. the reason we need to make sure this payroll tax cut stuy stays in the system, is to make sure people have a little bit extra money that they can spend and help generate more economic growth. >> jared bernstein, nice to see you this morning. i want to remind everybody, we'll have live coverage of the president's energy announcement. former president bill clinton is expected to speak before the president. stay tuned for those comments coming shortly right here on msnbc. one more campaign stop today and then it could be herman cain's toughest election test of
all. he says he's meeting with his wife today about the future of his campaign after the woman saying that she had a 13-year with cain spoke with nbc's lawrence o'donnell. >> it wasn't a love affair. it was a sexual affair. as hard as that is for me to say and as hard as it is for people to hear it, you know, it pretty much is what it is. i'm surprised that he hasn't -- that he's treating me as if i'm lying about this. that does bother me. >> meantime, cain has put a monday deadline on his decision and he is still out there being combative with reporters. take a look. >> do me a favor. let's not play detective. here's the deal, i am going to prove -- i am going to re-establish my character, okay? >> i'm joined now by john f. harris, editor in chief of politico. herman cain doesn't want people to play detective on this because maybe more alleged friends with benefits are going to come out of the woodwork
here. before we get into what ginger white had to say, take a look at this new poll. cain has taken a nosedive, down from the 23% that he had last month. is this just basically the writing is on the wall for him and to get out of this, he should do so with the dignity he has left? >> thomas, i think herman cain is making a personal calculation right now more than a political calculation. what i mean by that -- and the poll underscores the point -- is it does not look like there is a path for him to remain or return to top-tier status among the republican candidates. politically, he is essentially through is the judgment of many people in the political world and frankly, that's my own judgment. the question is, how does he protect what's left of his personal dignity? he may be making different calculations about that. on the one hand, he might say, look, i'm going to get out of
the race for the sake of my family and for my marriage or he might say, wait a minute, i'm not going to be chased out of this race. he might stay in for another few weeks, another month, see what happens in iowa and then make an exit. but it's a personal calculation more than a political calculation, in my view. >> as you say that, the personal calculation, he's supposed to be talking to his wife today about what the campaign future could be. here's ginger white last night with lawrence o'donnell talking specifically about herman cain's wife. >> i am not a cold-hearted person. i am a mother of two kids. and of course my heart bleeds for this woman. and i am deeply, deeply sorry if i have caused any hurt to her and to his kids, to his family. >> we think about this, we have to remember, there are human beings' feelings involved in all
this, personal lives. it's one thing to be a private businessman. there's no such thing as being a private politician. how can a candidate get past something like this if he were to go home, speak with his family and they say, stick it out? >> you know, i don't really know. i do feel, thomas, it's not really my place to sort of speculate on the cain marriage. i will just observe that he said in the interview with the manchester, new hampshire, union leader yesterday that his wife did did not know he had a relationship. he acknowledged a relationship with ginger white and he was giving her financial support. and that his wife did not know this. that would be kind of a hard thing to take home and say, guess what, dear, that's something i neglected to tell you. i imagine these are some difficult conversations between herman cain and gloria cain. it's what i'm talking about when i say this is a personal calculation rather than a political calculation. >> john f. harris, politico editor in chief, great to see you.
thank you, sir. newt gingrich said, quote, i am the nominee. is he getting too confident too fast? and mitt romney gets a do-over. he tries to recover from one disastrous interview by giving another. an american kidnapped in pakistan and al qaeda claiming responsibility. but first, we'll have live coverage of president obama's appearance with former president bill clinton announcing a $4 billion energy-saving initiative. keep it locked to msnbc. we're back right after this. o. [ gasps ] [ male announcer ] if you're giving an amazing gift, shouldn't it be given in an amazing way? ♪ ♪ the lexus december to remember sales event is here, but only for a limited time. see your lexus dealer for exclusive lease offers on the 2012 es 350 and, as a gift from lexus, we'll make your first month's payment.
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people are going to get sick of it very fast. >> a confident newt gingrich telling abc news he has this whole election thing pretty much in the bag. but mitt romney is saying, not so fast. he responded to the bold comments this morning in a new interview. >> over the last year, there have been a lot of people who have been real high in the polls that are not high in the polls anymore. there's a funny thing in america called an election. you have to get out and campaign, see the people, shake their hands. statements about polls are not going to win polls. >> mitt romney is finding himself in the position of taking on gingrich more and more as the former house speaker goes ahead in the polls and then goes on the attack. jen sachi and joe watkins join us. great to see you both this morning. this back and forth between newt gingrich and mitt romney has been brewing all week. do you think gingrich is right? is he looking more and more like he's the secured gop nominee?
>> well, he is actually. he is getting stronger and stronger. if you look at the recent polling data, not only is he winning with big numbers in iowa. he's doing very, very well in new hampshire, which is a state that mitt romney should dominate and should win. he's also winning in south carolina and winning with big numbers in florida. so he's got a real growing base of support. and newt gingrich is no newcomer to this. he's got a few of the experience that few of the other candidates have as speaker of the house. >> he'd like to say he's not a creature of washington, d.c. but he certainly knows his way around d.c. and how to keep himself alive and kicking. he's been described as being combustible, the bigger his ego gets. this comment yesterday is sparking outrage on the left. take a look. >> really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works.
so they literally have -- they have no habit of showing up on monday. they have no habit of staying all day. they have no habit of, i do this and you give me cash, unless it's illegal. >> whoa. jen, comments like that making conservatives cringe or is this really throwing red meat to the base that he's trying to win the votes like in places of iowa? >> i think this touches on a really important point. newt gingrich has been writing the anti-romney wave. no question they have both been running for president or running for something for years now. but this is important because you couldn't -- anyone in this country would be hard-pressed to name three things either newt gingrich or mitt romney would do for working people, would do for poor people, people who have been suffering as the economy's recovering. >> the one thing they can name is they'll put them back to work. that's the most important thing. >> i would love to hear some -- >> he almost looks like he's got
a monocall on from his perch saying these kids don't know how to get money unless it's gotten illegally. >> he wants to change that. >> that's not a very caring tone, is it? that's not saying, vote for me because i want to help you out. >> anybody that can change it for poor people is somebody that poor people want to support and will change it for america. i work with people in an economically strapped in north philadelphia every single week. and i know a lot of kids who are -- >> so newt's the guy that's going to show up and teach them how to go to work on monday, show them how to make money, being a historian for fannie mae and freddie mac? >> newt is the guy that puts in place the structure to help change that. we need to change it for everybody, whether they're poor white kids or poor black kids. >> you would defend his characterization in that annual
si analogy? you would say they don't know how to work for cash unless it's illegal. >> i pastor a church with poor kids that they don't have an example. i'm changing that working with them every single day. and newt gingrich wants to change it also. yeah, there are a lot of kids sadly that don't have an example of a mom or a dad that goes to work every day. but we can change that. niece what newt is saying and i agree with him. >> jen, where do you stand? >> this isn't the first time we have seen the leading candidates on the republican side show their complete disconnect with the challenges people are facing. take just newt gingrich, whether he was paid millions of dollars to be a historian, i don't know any historian in this country who's paid millions of dollars. whether he's talking about being paid $60,000 for a speech, that's more than average people make in places like iowa and south carolina right down to his comments from yesterday. >> how does making money -- >> people want to know who's fighting for them. they're not demonstrating they
can even connect with the challenges people are facing. >> they want people who have succeeded fighting for them telling them how to succeed. you want somebody who's succeeded telling you what you need to do to succeed -- >> you think he's turning around to pay it forward, joe? you think newt gingrich is turning around to pay it forward? >> absolutely. >> telling the occupy wall street people to take a bath before you go look for a job? what job is he trying to create for the occupy wall streeters, let alone the people that he says don't know how to get up for a job on monday. he says there's a whole generation of kids growing up without an influence of someone that knows how to get up for a job. >> i think he's saying something very uplifting. he's saying to kids right now who don't have an example of a mom or dad who goes to work every day, we want to change it for you going forward. >> what about the kids that aren't doing something illegal to get cash? what about kids that are picking themselves up by their
bootstraps and figuring this stuff out for themselves? how do they get lumped in and categorized like this and this is somebody that's going to be the leader of the free world? >> he is so proud of the kids that are doing well, that are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. but those kids are far too few. we can't let any kid slip through the crack. i agree with him 100% that you have to reach out to everybody. if there's a single kid out there who doesn't have that example and who needs that example, i want somebody as president who's going to help change that for those kids. >> joe, when we look at this new pollster, peter hart conducted a focus group of 12 gop primary voters for the policy center, the positives they say about all this, that romney has the moral character, that he's a strong leader, hooets he's going to roll up his sleeve and he's a role model. minus category, not strong enough, republican in name only,
wishy-was wishy-washy, they associate him with romneycare. is newt gingrich going to play that up in trying to take down romney completely? >> i think mitt romney can overcome some of those challenges. he has a very, very strong moral character. he's been a great leader, not only in massachusetts but in his work with the olympics and his work in the private sector and certainly in his -- with his -- in his family. he's a very, very good guy. and i think that his strength of character and likewise his plans to put americans back to work will make him a continued great candidate on the campaign trail. >> jen, the more that newt rises to the top, does that make it just that much easier for president obama to get reelected? >> i think president obama is going to run against whomever the republicans nominate and whether that's newt gingrich, whether that's mitt romney, whether there's a bachmann surge, that's not determined by him. but he will be running against what they represent and what they're fighting for.
and i think he's looking forward to going back to a debate about the issues as soon as the republicans pick a nominee. >> jen and joe, thanks for joining me today. i appreciate it, my friend. >> thanks so much, thomas. it's great. >> we continue to watch live pictures out of washington, d.c. where president obama is going to be speaking any minute now, joined by president clinton. they are in the background there. we're back right after this. time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. rachel weeks, ceo of schoolhouse was manufacturing here products in sri lanka. she partnered with a do you remember, north carolina, factory mitt's knits. she plans to expand her business locally, committed to creating products made in the usa. [ dog ] i am a rockstar. my coat? solid gold.
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♪ i think about you day and night ♪ ♪ it's only right ♪ to think about the girl you love ♪ ♪ and hold her tight ♪ so happy together [ male announcer ] when life changes, so can your insurances needs. use travelers free guide to better coverage to stay prepared. is your auto and home insurance keeping up with you? contact your local travelers agent, or call 800-my-coverage. welcome back, everybody. just a programming note, you can see that president clinton is on site there. president obama going to be speaking any moment now with the introduction of president clinton to tell everybody about the $4 billion effort to increase the energy efficiency of government and provide sector buildings with proper energy efficiency. they want to apply more than 4
$4 billion to this project. a type of software hidden in tens of millions of smartphones is raising some security issues, privacy concerns. some computer experts say the embedded technology is recording virtually everything a user does with a cell phone, including text messages. and the worst part is, it cannot be disabled. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins us with more on that controversy. pete, obviously a lot of people's ears are going to perk up about this. >> reporter: this started with a youtube video, a young man saying it appeared that the software and cell phones was recording everything somebody does. the company says it's strictly diagnostic. it does not keep or store or transmit the key strokes a user puts into the phone. it's to make sure the phone is working properly.
it's n when it sends a text message, that it's doing so accuracy. the software does not record, store, transmit, e-mail pictures or any of that stuff and that it is entirely benign. it's not spying on the customer. >> we're seeing the president about to start his talk this morning. we'll listen in right now. pete williams, thank you, sir. well, i never got to open for the rolling stones so i'll try to do my best for the president. thank you all for being here and i want to thank all the people involved in the tour that we just received for their commitment to energy efficiency and all the people they put to work. mr. president, i want to thank you and secretary choo and gene sperling, tom donohue, thank you for joining together today for what you are doing.
when the president asked me to work with his jobs council on improving energy efficiency and buildings, i think he did it because the clinton global initiative and my own climate change project have been working on these kinds of things for several years now and i believe as strongly as i can say that this is good business, creates jobs, makes us more energy independent and helps to fight climate change. it's the nearest thing we've got to a free lunch in a tough economy because all of the savings can be paid back within a reasonable amount of time -- i mean all the cost of the construction through lower utility bills. we've been working on that. and the president has an announcement to make about that today. i just want to say how grateful i am to rich trumpkin and to
randy weingartin, the funds and investing their own money, gambling they can get a reasonable return in putting people to work. i appreciate the support that tom has given to this because there are a lot of construction firms that are going to lose really skilled, gifted workers if they can't find something to do because there's not a big demand for new buildings today. and therefore the best opportunity to preserve and rebuild this sector is through greater energy efficiency. i want to thank all the people who have been involved in this. and, mr. president, i just want to say how grateful i am for the meeting we just attended. the president's jobs council and economic team have put together a meeting that we were just at, nearly 50 people were there. he'll tell you what they said
they would do. but i hate to sound like a broken record. we could create an almost unlimited number of jobs out of this even in this lousy economy, even with all this embedded mortgage crisis if we can work out the financing. and i am grateful to be able to support this, to offer the continued effort of our climate change project and the clinton global initiative to help the partners we have that are involved in this and anybody else that wants it. but i'm especially grateful that the president didn't let this fall through the cracks. i haven't been in that job for a long time. and i'm getting older. but i have some memory left. and 1,000 people ask you to do 1 thoux things. and one of the tests of whether things work out or not, since you can't do all 1,000 is where
you can actually set up a process to do things and follow up. and i am full of gratitude and praise, mr. president, for you and your whole team, not just for your commitment to green energy but for your commitment to energy efficiency, which gives you, on buildings like this, averages 7,000 jobs for every billion dollars invested. by far, the greatest bang for the buck of any available investment i know. so thank you, tom. thank you, ricky. and ran ki. and mr., president, thanks for giving mae chance to work on this. thank you. >> well, good morning, everybody. i want to first of all thank randy and tom for their participation and i am thrilled that president clinton has been willing to take this on. as he pointed out, partly thanks to me, he's home alone too
often. and this has been a passion for him for quite some time. so i'm very grateful for his involvement. i thank everybody at transwestern and everybody who participated here for giving us this remarkable tour. there are the equivalent of 250 full-time workers as a consequence of the project that's taking place here. it is a win for the business owners. it is a win for the tenants of this building. it is a win for the construction workers who are participating and for the property manager that's doing such a great job. so this is a great example of what's possible. as president, my most pressing challenge is doing everything i can every single day to get this economy growing faster and create more jobs. this morning, we learned that our economy added another
140,000 private sector jobs in november. the unemployment rate went down. and despite some strong headwinds this year, the american economy has now created in the private sector jobs for the past 21 months na row. niece nearly 3 million new jobs in all. and more than 500,000 over the last four months. so we need to keep that growth going. right now, that means congress needs to extend the payroll tax cut for working americans for another year. congress needs to renew unemployment insurance for americans who are still out there pounding the pavement looking for work. failure to take either of these steps would be a significant blow to our economy. it would take money out of the pocket of americans who are most likely to spend it. and it would harm small businesses that depend on the spending. it would be a bad idea. i think it's worth noting, by the way -- i notice that some
folks on the other side have been quoting president clinton about it's a bad idea to raise taxes during tough economic times. that's precisely why i've sought to extend the payroll tax this year and next year. it doesn't mean that we lock in tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. i don't think president clinton's been on board for that for perpetuity. but just thought that might be worth mentioning. that's why it's so disappointing, last night, by the way, that senate republicans voted to block that payroll tax cut. that effectively would raise taxes on nearly 160 million hard-working americans. because they didn't want to ask a few 100,000 of the wealthiest americans to pay their fair share and get the american
economy growing faster than everybody. i think that's unacceptable. we're going to keep pushing congress to make this happen. v now's not the time to slam on the brakes. it's time to step on the gas. we need to get this done. and i expect it's going to get done before congress leaves. otherwise, congress may not be leaving. and we can all spend christmas here together. now, our longer-term challenge is rebuilding an economy where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded and the middle class and folks who are trying to get into the middle class regain some security, an economy that's built to compete with the rest of the world and an economy that's built to last. that's why we are here today in a place where clearly there is some building going on. president clinton, leaders of business, leaders of labor, we're all here to announce some new steps that are going to
create good jobs rebuilding america. this building is in the middle of a retrofitting project to make it more energy efficient. already this retrofit is saving this building $200,000 a year on its energy bills. and as i mentioned earlier, by the time it's finished, it will have created more than 250 full-time jobs in construction here in this building. consider president clinton's coming down from new york, the fact that the owners of the empire state building did the same thing. they are retrofitting that iconic landmark from top to bottom. it's a big investment but it will pay for itself by saving them $4.4 million a year in energy costs. and it's estimated that all the retrofitting that they're doing will pay for itself in about 4 1/2 years. making our buildings more energy efficient is one of the fastest,
easiest, and cheapest ways to for us to create jobs, save money and cut down on harmful pollution. it is a trifecta, which is why you've got labor and business behind it. it could save our businesses up to $40 billion a year on their energy bills, money better spent growing and hiring new workers. it would boost manufacturing of energy-efficient materials. and when millions of construction workers have found themselves out of work since the housing bubble burst, it will put them back to work doing the work america needs done. so this is an idea whose time has come. that's why in february i announced the better buildings initiative. it's an ambitious plan to improve the energy efficiency of america's commercial buildings 20% by the year 2020. and i asked president clinton and my jobs council to challenge
the private sector as part of the initiative to step up, make these cost-saving investments and prove that it works so that other companies follow their lead. now, i believe that if you're willing to put people to work making your buildings more efficient, america should provide you some incentives to do so. that's something that would require congressional action. and we have asked congress to work with us to move on providing more effective incentives for commercial building owners across the country to move forward on on these energy-efficient steps. but we can't wait for congress to act. and if they won't act, i will. which is why today i'm directing all federal agencies, all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next two years. none of these upgrades will
require taxpayer money to get them going. we're going to use performance-based contracts that use savings on energy and utility bills to pay the contractors that do the work. and it should keep construction workers pretty busy. in fact, this is something that the chamber of commerce has said is critical to private sector job creation. the private sector and community leaders are also stepping up to the plate alongside the federal government. president clinton and the clinton global initiative have been tremendous partners in rallying them to join this effort. so in june at cgi america, we announced initial commitments of $500 million to upgrade 300 million square feet of building space. some of these projects already under way. the good news is today we can announce that we're going even bigger. we've received larger commitments. we now have 60 major companies, universities, labor unions, hospitals, cities and states.
and they are stepping up with nearly $2 billion in financing to upgrade an additional 1.6 billion square feet of commercial and industrial space by our target year of 2020. that's more than 500 empire state buildings. i just had the chance, along with president clinton, to meet with representatives of these 60 institutions that are involved and hear firsthand how they can put americans back to work but also improve their bottom lines. so you've got companies like best buy and walgreens that are going to upgrade store lighting, which is going to save them money. you've got manufacturers like alcoa that are going to make their manufacturing plants more efficient, dramatically reducing their operating costs, which means they can compete more effectively all around the world. you've got property management companies that are upgrading their buildings to make the real estate portfolios more attractive to businesses. one is already upgrading 40,000
units of military housing all across the country, which will give our military families lower utility bills and a higher quality of life. and all of this will create jobs. so over the past decade, we've seen what happens if we don't make investments like these. we've seen what happens when we don't come together for a common purpose. wages flatline, incomes fall, employment stalls and we lose our competitive edge. but we've also seen what happens when we do what's right. when bill clinton was president, we didn't shortchange investment. we didn't say, we're going to cut back on the things that we know are going to help us grow in the future. we didn't make decision that is put the burden on the middle class or the poor. we lived within our means. we invested in our future. we asked everybody to pay their fair share. and you know what happened? the private sector thrived, jobs were created, the middle class
grew, its income grew. millions rose out of poverty. we ran a surplus and we were on track to be able to pay off all of our debt. we're firing on all cylinders. we can be that nation again. that's our goal. we will be that nation again. but we're going to have to fight for it. so there's work to be done. there are workers like these guys who are ready to do it. there are businesses that are ready to step up. we've just got to get organized, get mobilized and move. so i just want to thank everybody who's participating her for stepping up to the plate and showing extraordinary leadership. i am confident that this is going to be one important piece of the puzzle to get the economy moving again. thank you very much, everybody. thank you, guys. >> and the president wrapping up his speech there this morning along connecticut avenue in a building being retrofitted for energy efficiency over the years
that's going to save itself a lot of money. but cost for the president, talking about the $2 billion that he's committing made through this presidential memorandum for -- energy upgrades to federal buildings basically at no cost. these are going to be done through performance-based contractors that are going to end up -- it will pay for itself, the president is saying. putting a lot of construction workers back to work. want to stick in washington, d.c. right now where nbc's luke russert is on the hill for us. explain to all of us as we see what the president is dealing with today, obviously this big bounce with the numbers, 8.6% with the unemployment numbers. talk to us about the possibility coming up, passable plan to extend the payroll tax cuts. >> reporter: thomas, i found that press conference by president obama very interesting because he was trying to tie the good economy numbers that came out today, that 8.6% unemployment rate, the lowest since march of 2009, to measures
he's enacted. he specifically mentioned the payroll tax cut extension and tried to put the burden on republicans in both the house and the senate that needed to be re-enacted. that it was sort of a stimulus and an economic driver. that's the message he was trying to hit home with president clinton behind him. how is that exactly going to happen over the next few weeks? last night, there is a vote in the united states senate, both the democratic plan to do that was voted down, as well as the republican plan to do that was voted down. what was interesting about the republican plan was that 26 republican senators did not even vote for their own party's plan which has a lot of people here on capitol hill believing that a lot of republicans do not see a benefit of extending the payroll tax cut extension. they see it as a temporary fix that doesn't do enough to solve the long-term problem, that it could perhaps hurt social security. you're seeing dissension within the republicans between the leadership and the rank and file.
speaker borne spoke this morning. a lot of house republican members said, wi don't want to extend the payroll tax. i asked speaker boehner would it help the economy? he later on said, actually the payroll tax cut puts more money in people's pockets so it will definitely help out the economy. there's a lot of confusion on the gop side about capitol hill about which way to go forward. the reason that's important, while democrats want to see this passed but if the house won't even pass it, if the rank and file say, we don't support any version of it unless it's tied to something with a lot of spending cuts, you're going to have this usual fight you've seen on capitol hill on something that we thought a few days ago both sides had ultimately agreed on. this fight could go all the way up till christmas. president obama said if congress doesn't get their job done, we're happy to stay here over christmas. >> don't make any plans, luke. you never know. >> reporter: indeed.
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welcome back to msnbc. it's time for the polly side bar. governor rick perry is hoping some self-deprecating humor will win back voters. he joked around with his recent gaffe on the voting age. >> we grew up in that 21 voting age. i was thinking drinking age maybe. >> drinking age. okay. that makes sense. but how about -- >> you got to have an excuse, right? so that's mine and i'm sticking to it. >> governor perry also put on a special one night show for iowa voters with this campaign ad. >> i'm rick perry. what's that line again? i'm rick perry. and i approve of this message. >> herman cain got roasted at a campaign stop by a small group
occupying middle tennessee state university. some protesters were eventually drowned out by the booing telling them to shut up and leave and then they eventually did. and now that newt gingrich is the new republican frontrunner, he has plans in new york city on monday to meet, guess who, the donald, of course. stephen colbert tweeted about the meeting. they'll sit down for a pace to face. hope they got a big room. that's a lot of face. so follow the average week closely and it might sound a little like this. >> hello philly. hello, florida. hello new york. hello colorado. >> hello and the cha-ching of a cash register.
the dollars rolling in with every speech. president obama has already been to 69 fund raisers this year. that's an average of about one every five days. and unless you should think that's the norm of the year before elections, president clinton only attended 23 in the same period back in 1995. president george w. bush, 41. an investigative joiurnalist joins us to talk about the itinerary. should anybody be surprised about the schedule that's been trying to keep? >> no, they shouldn't be surprised at all. the president's fund raising schedule is staggering as blistering as it is, it's a reflection of the campaign arms race that we have today. it's all about raising mother and as much unlimited money as you can. the president and his republican opponents, mitt romney, newt gingrich, they are going all out courting the best if you said raisers in the land.
>> by some accounts, some people would say this has paid off, about $90 million so far. significantly a lot more than he's been able to rake in in the year prior. so how much more money does the gop actually need to raise if we look at the fact this someone like mitt romney is topping the race in six swing states? >> i'm sure the political calculus of where he's fund-raising absolutely comes into play in terms of as you said mitt romney certainly is ahead in these swing states. obviously there's money in new york. the president was just there for threes in one night. he's hitting the most important states as his campaign manager likes to say, 270 in terms of the electoral college, that's the number we need and of course he's getting around the country to get that. >> when we look at it in a historical perspective, a first term president looking to stay
in office, catch as lot of flack about whether governing or cam page. >> it's especially the case after the floodgates were opened to unlimited money coming in there from corporations and individuals. and now it's the reality that fund-raising is so important that so much money is pouring in and if you're the not com peegt out there shake hands and taking checks, that you're not going to have a chance at all. and the president's hectic fund-raising schedule if anything is a reflection of this brave new world that we're living in. >> should americans be worried about that? >> they should absolutely be worried about that. the fact that the latter half of his term is becoming a big
fund-raising chore, that's definitely a problem. it's the system that's really at fault here and the presidented is dealing with it, but of course the public should have a problem with it. >> andy, great to see you today. thanks for your time. that will do it for me today. i'll see you back here on monday at 11:00. have a wonderful weekend. until then, you can follow me on twitter. but don't go any. alex wagner comes your way next. neutrogena® t/gel shampoo defeats dandruff after just one use. t/gel shampoo. it works. neutrogena®. is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain... two pills can last all day. ♪
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