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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  February 3, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EST

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service, iraq veterans are having to ask for it. mayors of new york and boston, mr. president, the ball is in your court. that does it for us tonight. see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. in breaking fake billionaire news today, donald trump in a sudden flash of humility finally admits he is not smart enough, brave enough or rich enough to run for president but he thinks mitt romney is. >> donald trump is playing lady luck in the silver state. >> donald! what the [ bleep ] are you doing? >> donald trump is going to be traveling to las vegas to endorse mitt romney. >> it's my honor, real honor and privilege to endorse mitt romney. >> donald! what the [ bleep ] are you doing?
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>> all media invited, which i'm pretty sure is just on the trump letterhead. >> i've gone almost this entire election cycle without having to mention donald trump. >> it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. >> will his endorsement help anyone? >> there are some things you can't imagine happening in your life. >> one is real, one is not. who knows? >> why take the endorsement now? >> donald! what the [ bleep ] are you doing? >> mitt romney has a problem with people's perception that he doesn't connect with middle class voter. >> he doesn't need a mass millionaire property mogul. >> they both like firing people and they've both made millions doing it. >> corporations are people, my friend. i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. i'm not concerned about the poor. >> how are these comments specifically going to play out in las vegas? >> all of these are unforced errors on his part. >> he can't get his words right.
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he's painted as wildly out of touch. they're irresponsible. >> if you don't run, chris christie, romney will be the nominee and we'll lose. america's biggest loser, donald trump, did a promotional appearance today for his tv series in which he pretends to fire people for your entertainment. joining him on the stage in a las vegas casino was a real rich guy who is famous for saying that he, too, likes to fire people. >> it's my honor, real honor and privilege to endorse mitt romney. i've gotten -- [ applause ] and by the way, this is a great couple. you look at this couple. mitt is tough. he's smart. he's sharp.
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he's not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love. so, governor romney, go out and get 'em. you can do it. >> thank you, thank you. there are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. being in donald trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight. i'm so honored and pleased to have his endorsement. >> the romneys were the only couple on the stage because donald apparently couldn't convince his third wife to make time to appear at the endorsement today. so there was mitt romney with his first wife. every single word that donald trump says publicly, every word, is designed to get attention to him so that he can pump up the ratings of his tv show because unlike mitt romney, donald trump still has to work for a living. and he so desperately needs the couple of million dollars that he makes on tv that he must spend his life promoting his
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show. and in show business, any mention of your name is good promotion. consistency doesn't matter. >> mitt romney is a basically small business guy, if you really think about it. he was a hedge fund. he was a fund guy. he walked away with some money from a very good company that he didn't create. he worked there. he didn't create. >> did create companies, though? >> well, but -- look, he'd buy companies, close companies and get rid of the jobs. the thing about romney, i wasn't in love with the job he did in massachusetts. he wasn't popular. he was a one-term governor. didn't have high approval ratings. i don't like that. i'd like a guy running for president to be the most popular guy you can have. the romneycare situation wasn't a good situation. romney has been missing in action. he hasn't done a damn thing. >> as recently as last week, he was still lying about the possibility that he would
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actually run for president. >> maybe i should listen, what does that mean? >> a lot of people want me to run. i'm getting it all the time. you saw the poll that came out recently where it said i was the number one independent candidate. i am concerned if i run as an independent, that i'll take a lot of votes away from the republicans and obama will walk in. that does concern me a lot. >> that is now greta's submission segment for best actress in a primetime cable news show, keeping a straight face while donald was talking about running for president, last week, last week, is something no other woman in cable news could do. but there's a guy who could do it -- >> you said yesterday on your twitter account that ivanka, your daughter, would want you to run for president. >> she actually said on her
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account -- i have a daughter that loves me, a beautiful daughter and a wonderful daughter and one of the nicest people i've ever met. >> whoa, whoa, whoa, that's the best you can say about your daughter? she is one of the nicest people you've ever met? all right. what did he say after that? >> but are you still thinking about it? there is a movement to get an independent opening on all 50 states. >> as you saw, they did a poll recently, a month ago. and i was the number one choice in the poll to run as an independent. i was very impressed by that. but the truth is, until "the apprentice" ends in mid may, i'm not allowed to do anything because of some unfair laws having to do with equal time. so if you're in a show -- >> wow, look at that. sean is really doing a great job of keeping a straight face. look at that. that is fantastic.
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now, he has to know that trump is lying to him. he knows this is a trump lie that he's been told before. he's listening to it again. there's no way sean hannity can have a primetime show on fox news and be so stupid as to believe a word of what trump is saying. there is nothing in any law that prevents trump from telling sean hannity on the spot, right there, that he is going to run for president. that would have absolutely no effect on his tv series. it could proceed as it's scheduled to go on. but, of course, as i've always told you, there has never been a possibility, not a shred of possibility, that donald trump would run for president. donald trump is actually much more self-aware than he appears to be. he knows -- he knows that he's not smart enough to run for president. he knows he doesn't have the courage to run for president. and it doesn't take a great deal
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of courage. but he knows he doesn't have that much. and most importantly, he knows he cannot afford to run for president. he simply isn't rich enough. he doesn't have a billion dollars that it would take to blow on a trump presidential campaign in which he knows he would lose. and finally today, today finally, he in effect admitted to all of that by endorsing a rich robotic candidate who can afford to run for president and who never changed his message in any way to get donald trump's endorsement. but was willing to appear in a vegas casino to get that endorsement even though mitt romney's religion is opposed to gambling. joining me now is john ralston, jonathan capehart and john heilemann.
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great to have you all here. i have to go to vegas right now. john, you got a chance to talk to the man of the hour in just that hour, donald trump, who we can hope we don't hear from again about presidential politics. why did he say he had decided -- what was his line today about deciding to endorse romney? >> well, i didn't talk to donald trump. you'll be proud of me, lawrence. i actually boycotted that press conference. but i did talk to romney right before he went over to that press conference -- >> you know what, john. next time, i'm going to actually read my notes about here. it says right here that you talked to mitt romney today, which is more important. romney must have had some struggle on deciding whether or not he should set foot in a kos casino and accept this guy's endorsement. >> when i asked him, how could you walk over after this
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interview -- how can you walk over to trump's building and endorse a guy who during his brief run for president pushed the noxious notion that the president wasn't born here? i brought up some of the same quotes you did. and he said, i want endorsements from all kinds of people. i've gotten endorsements from chris christie and bay buchanan. imagine how they feel about being mentioned in the same breath as donald trump. >> bay buchanan is a giant in our culture compared to trump. john heilemann, there's a theory that part of the press confusion earlier today about who was he going to endorse was that trump was actually negotiating with both campaigns and forced the romney campaign if they were going to get their endorsement to take it today, that trump needed to do this endorsement today because on the face of it, this is terrible timing for the romney campaign.
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>> yes, to have an endorsement from someone who's famous on television for saying "you're fired" after the day when mitt romney committed another verbal faux pas about not caring about poor people. circumstantially, it suggests very strongly that they had no choice but to do it today or not get it. and they are still, even -- particularly after yesterday, but even after the victory in florida, there's still a defensiveness in the romney campaign around what might happen. they would say they're being vigilant. that they don't want to see a rallying of the conservative grassroots tea party forces around newt gingrich over the course of february. they don't want to see donald trump, sarah palin, joining herman cain on newt gingrich's side and giving any kind of momentum to him whatsoever. they took this endorsement in a defensive way. they didn't want gingrich to have it. even though they were downsized to taking it, they took it.
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>> jonathan, you are our ambassador to trump world here at "the last word." you have talked to the man once or twice. what struck me today was how quick it was. we pretty much showed the whole thing. the romney campaign allowed donald to come out and say very few words. romney comes out, maybe says a little bit more than donald. and they run out of there, no questions, no nothing. the entire thing was something like four minutes and ten seconds. that's the entire great event in las vegas today. clearly the romney campaign must have had the feeling, all right, we'll take it but let's make it as small a thing as we can possibly make of this. >> right. well, contrast this four minutes and however many seconds that this thing in las vegas -- how long that took and the meeting that they had in september, when i met with donald trump in september, it was the day after mitt romney met with him. there were no cameras. there were no pictures, no video
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as there was with sarah palin when she visited, with herman cain when he visited, with rick perry when he visited. it was all about, let's do this as stealthily as possibly, talk with him, get him off my back -- i'm speaking as if i'm mitt romney. but today, he's out there with the cameras rolling standing there with donald trump. i do think it was a defensive measure on the romney campaign's part. but what we're witnessing here is a candidate who is still casting about for validation and acceptance from a base that even in the florida primary that he won is still saying they don't think he's conservative enough and they want -- they're hoping that someone else will step forth who they could vote for. >> john rolston, going off what jonathan just said, when you think back about their meeting in new york and the way they did it today, you really get the feeling that mitt romney knows very well that he's getting his
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hand very dirty when he shakes hands with donald trump. >> well, lawrence, the person to look at on that stage is not donald trump and not mitt romney, but look at the expression on anne romney's face. she looks like she's come down with some terrible affliction. he can barely keep a straight face. she looks pained to be there. and your description is very apt. they all but ran out of there, wouldn't take questions at all. whether it's a defensive move or a desperate move to try not to get the tea partiers going for gingrich or some other place, it still is a demonstration of mitt romney's character to some extent that he's willing to sink to the level of donald trump to do that. >> john heilemann, you got a sense from romney -- and i appreciate this from him -- that he was trying to say to us, look, i didn't do anything to get this endorsement. and that is, in policy terms, absolutely true. when trump in his lying past
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about this has been saying, oh, these candidates aren't right and i'm waiting for the candidate to show me that he's right on the issues, no one's been more consistent on this issue than mitt romney. what he's saying now is what he said six weeks ago, six months ago. nothing changed that allows trump to justify an endorsement today based on, oh, finally, a candidate has come my way into the trump view of the universe. >> right. and i will tell you that if the romney campaign has allowed donald trump to get a primetime speaking slot at the republican -- i will eat my hat if that's true. to go back to the comparative point, to compare the way he talked to trump the first time and now this time, think about the way in which romney rolled out the chris christie endorsement. up in new hampshire before the debate at dartmouth, flying chris christie in, having a press conference, it was one of the longest media events romney did all fall. they paraded chris christie with pride. the beaming looks on the face of the candidate and the
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candidate's wife. this couldn't have been more different from an endorsement you were greatly receiving. it's like you're holding a stinky sock six inches away from you. >> fox news is the only place he could continue to try to spin the fantasy, even as recently as last week, in primetime, by the way. but where does your friend, your buddy, donald trump go from here? >> i don't know. if mitt romney has anything to say about it, it won't be anywhere near him. i don't know where he goes. as he will tell anyone "celebrity apprentice" starts in a couple of weeks. he can't do anything until may. by then, maybe everyone will have forgotten about him. maybe he will have forgotten about the presidential race and won't want to get involved with
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it anyway. but how much more is mitt romney going to do to try to convince the conservative base to trust him and to convince them that he's one of them? remember, lawrence, when you and i were about to do your show in december, it was announced that christine o'donnell had endorsed mitt romney and mitt romney accepted that saying, she's a conservative leader. that was desperation. >> the three johns, thank you very much for joining me tonight. coming up, we still know less about mitt romney than we know about donald trump and everyone else who actually is running for president. frank rich thinks the secrecy that surrounds romney's religion tells us a lot about romney and he'll be here to explain that. and next, possibly because of the romney campaign's discomfort with religion, president obama has been talking about religion a lot lately, including today at today's national prayer breakfast.
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eugene robinson and melissa harris-perry will join me on that one. and more on the battle between planned parenthood and the susan g. komen foundation. and the story behind this quote and why i can't stand it, when politicians think they have to deny they are liberals.
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you know, expressions come and go. you never know when they'll start. but it's always clear when an expression has become old fashioned or out of date or just time to stop using it. this is something you call "death of an expression." >> newt gingrich in the house!
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at a time when we have enormous deficits, it's hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone alone. and i think to myself, if i'm willing to give something up as somebody who's been extraordinarily blessed and give up some of the tax breaks that i
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enjoy, i actually think that's going to make economic sense. but for me as a christian, it also coincides with jesus' teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required. >> that was president obama's reelection campaign counterpoint to this -- >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the very heart of america. >> the president whom a quarter of americans still believe is a muslim, according to a 2010 poll, told the national prayer breakfast audience today, he prays every morning. he also provide add religious justification for his administration's efforts to regulate the financial and health insurance industries.
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>> i do so because i genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody. but i also do it because i know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years. and i believe in god's command to love thy neighbor as thyself. >> joining me now, eugene robinson and melissa harris perry. thank you both for joining us. the title of your show is "melissa harris perry". >> it is. >> you titled it -- >> i did not. but i call it mini me. >> i, of course, take every word out of a politician's mouth and sometimes people forget for some
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reason that barack obama's a politician -- every word out of a politician's mouth while in a campaign to be political. >> sure. >> and, sure, he's at the prayer breakfast. but he knows romney has just said this thing the day before. but he also is framing things in a very strong religious frame because he's comfortable doing it, he's comfortable talking about his religion, and he may now in the face of running against a mormon be eager, more eager to talk about his religion. >> look, it may be hard to remember now after all the years of the kind of -- he's a secret muslim narrative. but in 2004 when he did his "there is no red america, there is no blue america" one of the things that liberals got excited about was the fact that this might finally be a democratic candidate who could actively and effectively talk about faith. it was really sort of the jeremiah wright moment that undermined his ability to do that effectively in 2008.
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but he didn't need to because he was running against john mccain who wasn't going to sort of make faith talk a central part of what he was up to. in this campaign, because the republican party is consistently claiming that the economic problems that we are facing, the fiscal problems we are facing are somehow related to the so-called moral issues of marriage equality, women's reproductive rights, the president needs to switch who we say when he says a moral issue. the issue is the tax code. >> gene robinson, i want to make this poll fact part of our discussion here when we talk about this politically. a gallup poll conducted in june asked americans, if your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be a mormon, would you vote for that person? 22% on the basis of that question simply said no.
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so there is a serious problem in that poll for any mormon candidate. and if the obama campaign is aware of that number, as we know they are, it would seem to me that they would have a political calculation based on that number to want to go strongly in this religious direction but also, also this point that melissa's making, the guy is good at it and we started to see in 2004 -- i mean, i felt in 2004 the first time i heard him speak at that convention, wow, the democrats have an electable, serious candidate who can preach. and i mean preach in the most positive possible sense. >> yeah, i've wondered actually, lawrence, why even despite the jeremiah wright incident, the president hasn't done more of that preaching, even during the times when he was being accused of being a closet muslim because, yes, he does it very well. and i'm sure they're aware of that poll number.
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i'm sure they're aware of some exit poll findings in south carolina, too. as i recall voters for whom religion was very important went to newt gingrich by an even larger margin than other voters did. you can't draw too many conclusions from that. but for some people and maybe a substantial number of people, i think romney's mormonism could be an issue. >> melissa, leaving mormonism aside, there's another crass political calculation about this, which is that, look, this is how to talk -- this is a better way to talk to conservatives. it's a better way to talk to people who are less likely to hear your message. but i think you would also make the case that if this really is the foundational -- in the foundational principles of the way he thinks about this, he should talk about this. >> sure. i think that one of the biggest challenges the president faces isn't -- it will be the
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republican question around faith. but it's this strain of what i would call a kind of prosperity theology that has infused much of american conceptions of god. it goes like this, you know god loves you when you're wealthy because god will reward you with a cute spouse and a nice house and a good car. this is pervasive. so part of what president obama is doing here is this interesting little theological project, people who say, actually, when we look at the sort of biblical references, that the historical jesus was actually more interested in those with the fewest resources, those who were most shunned by society, those who were most on the bottom. the claim here isn't class wavrl with warfare with a religious bent. it says, if you love your neighbor as god has asked you to do, you will share your wealth. >> we'll be putting more of the president's preaching on our
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website today. thank you both for joining me tonight. frank rich believes the key to unlocking the mystery of mitt romney is his religion. and the romney campaign makes one promise -- to attack anyone who goes there. let's see what happens to frank rich after tonight's show. and later, we'll have the latest on the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation's decision to de-fund planned parenthood. the resignations are starting to pile up at the komen foundation. and new york mayor mikz bloomberg is making a personal $250,000 donation to planned parenthood. and in for for the "the ite," i will try to define the word liberal. it's nice to be ♪ ♪ ♪ it's nice to see you...
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frank rich will join me next to discuss how mitt romney's secretive ways are preventing him from connecting with voters. and new york city mayor michael bloomberg is now giving $250,000 to planned parenthood to make up for the susan g. komen's foundation decision to stop funding planned parenthood breast exams. and in "the rewrite," the word liberal. something i wrote about liberals a few years ago is suddenly getting a lot of traction online. i'll explain why i wrote it and why when some people use that
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we don't know who mitt romney is for the simple reason that he never reveals who he is. he is incredibly secretive about almost everything that makes him tick. he has been in hiding throughout his stints in both the private and public sectors while his career-long refusal to release his tax returns was damaging in itself, it resonated even more so as a proxy for all the other secrets he has kept and still keeps. every word i just said was written by my next guest who has been studying the secrets of mitt romney. his latest piece is called "who in god's name is mitt romney?" writer at large for "new york" magazine, frank rich. i want you to talk about the words from your piece. you wrote, romney is even less forthcoming about his religion
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than he is about his tax returns. in romneyland, mormonism is the religion that dare not speak its name which leaves him unable to talk about the very subject he seems to care about most, a lifelong source of spiritual familial and intellectual sustenance sustenance. if a candidate cannot talk to you or can't find a way to talk to you about the thing he cares about the most, whether that's baseball or whatever it is, you're never going to feel that connection that everyone's saying they're not feeling. >> right. people talk about how he doesn't connect and it's often blamed on his performance skills, that he's stiff, that he's bad with english and makes all these gaffe that is we can't get enough of. but i think the real reason why people connect has nothing to do with personality. his religion, his faith is a huge part of his life, which is great. there's nothing wrong with that. he's been a lay official in the mormon church.
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he has given a ton of money to it, which is very generous. but the fact is that he doesn't want to talk about it because he reads polls and he shies away from it. so you feel even subconsciously that something is missing with him. so he gives the same stump speech over and over again and talks about his career in business which has been challenged now. >> it's fascinating because every mormon i know and have met is actually very easygoing and open. we had a wonderful dean of admissions of our college who was a mormon, in fact, back when we were applying 1,000 years ago. but when you see that poll that we talked about in the last segment with 20% of americans saying, i won't vote f you tell me it's a mormon. in politics, you see a number like that and you would get scared by that and you'd go, i want to hide that. >> but since everyone knows he's
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a mormon, it's ridiculous on its face. and one of the reasons the number is so high is not about the faith itself, is there hasn't been much talk about it. partially because of this reticence reticence, it's a mystery. and even religion that has mystery can freak people out. >> well, it is a deliberately secretive religion. you're not allowed in their religious buildings, if you aren't part -- anyone can walk into st. patrick's cathedral anytime they want. you make this point in your piece which was actually found in that e-book the politico team wrote about the campaign saying the romney campaign strategy about this issue is, quote, someone takes a shot at the governor's faith, we put a scarlet letter on them, r.b., religious bigot. the question is, what is a shot?
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that's what gets interesting. for example, in here, you talk about -- you reveal a detail that i did not know, which was that when mitt romney got married in the mormon church, his wife's family, ann's family was not allowed in the church because they are not mormons. that is very much outside the experience of all of the rest of us who have been to interfaith marriages all over the place. >> right. to say that is not to take a shot at -- >> it's not. but one wonders, is that what they mean? what's wrong with frank rich for writing that? >> i think if you mention the subject at all, you're taking a shot. look at the mormon church's role in civic life. that's what matters. not its theology. it was very involved in the proposition 8 campaign against same-sex marriage in california. it's played a role in the treatment of women -- civil rights, equal rights for women and for black people.
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those things have to be issued. i'm jewish, have to be dealt with. if a jewish candidate was running and had a public aspect to his career working for aipac or something like that, you'd ask how that intercepted with the civic life and the politics of america. >> you mention in the piece that the mormon church during his lifetime countenanced or enforced the mormon church's discriminatory treatment of blacks and women, practices it only started to end in earnest well after romney had entered adulthood. it was ten years after martin luther king was killed, 1978, mitt romney's 32 years old. and only then does the mormon church finally say, yes, black men are now and only now, ten years after martin luther king's death, allowed to enter our priesthood. if we had a candidate today who was in a club that ten years after martin luther king's death
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was still banning black men, black women, that would be a major issue. >> right, whether it's a country club or a religion, that's a major issue. since he was very active in the church and was an adult, he wasn't a child, what was he saying then, what was his position? did he fight for civil rights within his church? those are legitimate questions -- >> is it fair to say to mitt romney when you were 30 years old, how did it feel to know that martin luther king, jr., would have been banned from the priesthood in your church? how did that feel? >> exactly. and what did you say about it at the time? you weren't 8 years old. you were a grown-up. >> frank rich of "new york" magazine, thank you very much for being here tonight. >> thank you. nbc's andrea mitchell will join me to discuss her interview today with the founder and ceo of the susan g. komen foundation. that's coming up later. and next in "the rewrite," i will attempt to rewrite what some conservatives think the
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i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. my inspiration for quitting were my sons. they were my little cheering squad. [ laughs ]
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[ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. after his loss last night, he let loose on the state of florida, too. >> newt gingrich here saying, thanks for nothing! you're dead to me, florida, dead, you got that? you orange juice drinking, social security collecting swamp people. and by the way, your state looks like a penis. that's right. you live in a snake-infested swamp. i'm newt gingrich. capital one's new cash rewards card
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at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa. in tonight's "rewrite," the word "liberal." i have no idea who combined this msnbc publicity photo of me, the one where i look embalmed. but it's been flying around facebook. we've been getting a lot of questions about it here at "the last word." so an explanation is due. i have, for decades now, been enraged -- i have to try to hide my rage here -- just been enraged by republican use of the word "liberal" as an epitaph and democrats' fear of the word liberal.
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when michael dukakis ran for president, he was afraid to call himself a liberal. i wrote the live debate episode of the nbc series "the west wing" in 2005 and i finally got the chance to hear a fictional democrat say what i think they should all say when the word liberal is thrown at them. they should take it as an opportunity to rewrite who the word liberal has become in our politics. >> now, an unthinking liberal will describe the airline bankruptcies as the evil capitalists screwing the -- >> i didn't say that, senator. >> i know you like to use that word liberal as if it were a crime.
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>> i shouldn't have used that word. i know democrats think liberal is a bad word, so bad you had to change it. what do you call yourselves now? progressives. >> it's true, republicans have tried to turn liberal into a bad work. liberals ended slavery in this country. >> a republican president ended slavery. >> yes, a liberal republican. what happened to them? they got run out of your party. what did liberals do that was so offensive to the republican party, senator? i'll tell you. liberals got women the right to vote. liberals got african-americans the right to vote. liberals created social security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. liberals ended segregation. liberals passed the civil rights act, the voting rights act. liberals created medicare. liberals passed the clean air
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act and the clean water act. conservatives opposed every one of those programs, every one. so when you try to hurl that word "liberal" at my feet as if it were something dirty, something to run away from, something that i should be ashamed of, it won't work, senator, because i will pick up that label and i will wear it as a imagine of honor. [ applause ] the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at
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many of the grants we were doing with planned parenthood do not meet new standards of criteria for how we can measure our results and effectiveness in communities. our issue is grant excellence. they do passthrough grants with their screening grants. they send people to other facilities. we want to do more direct service grants. >> that was susan g. komen
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foundation founder nancy brinker trying to explain her company's break with planned parenthood today. andrea mitchell joins e us now. thanks for joining me, andrea. >> my pleasure. >> your interview this afternoon was a painful interview to watch on so many levels. i did not feel satisfied with what i was hearing as explanations for this break. you know this organization well, andrea. you've been a friend and supporter of the organization for a long time. how does it feel for you tonight to be in the middle of this break between these partners? >> i think it's difficult for a lot of women and men because susan g. komen for years, since 1982, when it was founded by nancy brinker in her sister's name, has been nonpartisan. nancy brinker comes from the republican background in dallas. but basically she has made such an effort to reach out and to include democrats.
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i've run in this race with joe lieberman and al gore and joe biden and his wife, have been significant supporters for susan g. komen. david rubinstein was the chair of the gala in which i presented an award posthumously to betty ford. it's very painful. 26 senators, most of them democrat, 26 united states senators calling for susan g. komen to reverse this decision. two of them, patty murray and robert boxer on our show, directly to her. and she is not backing down. they say that the reason is because, as you just showed, they have changed their procedures for grants. but the bottom line is, it's only planned parenthood. out of 2,000 grantees being targeted this way. the suspicion among critics is this relates directly to the hiring of this woman from georgia who ran on an
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anti-planned parenthood, anti-abortion platform for governor and has been very outspoken on this. >> the resignations now are coming in at the komen foundation. >> yes. >> molly williams resigned of this decision was made. she was in charge of helping dispense those funds throughout the country. today, debra anthony, the executive director of the l.a. branch of the komen foundation, resigning. i could see how painful it was for you today, andrea, doing this interview. and watching senator boxer afterwards and her outrage over what's happening here, which does seem purely political. i didn't get any kind of confidence at all in the defensive answers about this not being a political move. >> well, we don't know all the details yet. but certainly they don't seem to stack up. and that's what's so troubling. all seven of the affiliates of the susan g. komen in california
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have protested about this. planned parenthood is getting a lot of money that's being contributed -- we now mike bloomberg, the mayor of new york, has offered to contribute a dollar matching grants up to $250,000 to planned parenthood. he is a past very large donor to planned parenthood and susan g. komen. planned parenthood does offer breast cancer screening to the least fortunate women, the women who don't have access to real medical care. they are a target for a lot of -- particularly on the house side, house republican action, because of abortion activities which are separate. and they are, i think, pretty shocked by this. cecile richards spoke out against it today on alex wagner's show. i don't think we've heard the last of this. but it's interesting to see mike bloomberg and other people in both political parties coming to the defense of planned