tv Politics Nation MSNBC February 27, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
the live coverage of the michigan and arizona primaries. coverage begins at 8:00 eastern here right after "hardball." "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead -- watch what they do, not what they say. republicans claim this election would be all about the economy, but instead they are trying to refight the culture wars. rick santorum has spent the last few days attacking a core american idea, the separation of church and state. >> i don't believe in an america with a separation of church and state is absolute. to say that people of faith have no role in the public square. you bet that makes you throw up. >> the separation of church and state makes him want to throw up? how extreme can you get? today santorum tried to clarify those remarks. >> i'm for separation of church and state. the state has no business telling what the church to do. >> but this just isn't about
keeping the state out of the church. it's also about keeping the church out of the state. president john f. kennedy understood this. >> the constitution is very clear in the separation of church and state. and i have been very clear and precise in my commitments to that constitution. >> president ronald reagan understood this, too. >> there is no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. church and state are and must remain separate. >> the founding fathers understood it, too. in 1802, thomas jefferson wrote that the first amendment was, quote, building a wall of separation between church and state. and rick santorum seems to be questioning this? this weekend, he also made headlines with another attack on a core american value. the dream of a better future for
our children. he's actually criticizing the president for wanting more people to go to college. >> president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. well, i understand why he wants you to go to college. he wants to remake you in his image. >> a snob? really, mr. santorum? 94% of all parents hope and expect their kids will go to college some day. are they snobs, too? this isn't snobbery. it's the american dream. president obama made that point today. >> we can't allow hire education to be a luxury in this country. it's an economic imperative that every family in america has to be able to afford. and, frankly, i don't think any of this should be a partisan issue. all of us should be about giving
every american who wants a chance to succeed that chance. >> joining me now, congresswoman jan schakowsky, democrat from illinois. also joining me, clarence page, a pulitzer prize-winning columnist for the "chicago tribune." thanks to both of you for being here. >> thank you. >> now let me start with you, congresswoman. separating church and state has worked for the past 200 years. why is it such an issue in the gop primary now? >> well, i don't know what rick santorum is thinking about because clearly he is out of the mainstream. he is hypocrital and he's also just plain wrong when it comes to his facts when he talks about college, for example. but, you know if he wants to talk about religion, al, let's talk about the values in every major religion in the world. things like love thy neighbor and feed the hungry because he's
also taken off after food stamps. aren't these the kinds of things that ought to embody a religious person's view of the role of our society? so i'm just completely confused. besides that, let me -- we just heard from president obama. but let me quote senator rick santorum in 2006 saying, quote, he was committed to ensuring every pennsylvanian has access to higher education. that was just a few years ago. >> let me -- and i want to get to this education thing because it really bothers me. but clarence, let me ask you a question. you recently wrote that you thought the economy was going to be what this election was about. so did i. now we're arguing culture wars. and it's not just rick santorum. let's be clear. both romney and newt gingrich has talked about the secular left and this war of religion. let me let you listen to this.
>> the forces of the secular left believe passionately and deeply and with, frankly, a religious fervor in their world view. their version of truth is to have a totally neutral government that has no meaning. >> fortunately, perhaps because of the people the president hangs around with and their agenda, a secular agenda, they have fought against religion. >> clarence, how did we get from job creation, expanding economic opportunities, dealing with the bad economy to where we're arguing about religion, secularism? i mean, what is this all about? >> i'll try to be short. it's been a long road here, but it started with the contraception issue which popped up, you know, about two, three weeks ago and would have blown over except the republican candidates picked up on it, along with these other culture war issues. and i think they are playing to their base, reverend, pure and
simple. coming from chicago, i look at things through a vote counting lens. look where rick santorum's votes have come from in his iowa victory and others. look at where newt gingrich's votes came from in georgia where, in spite of his three marriages, his biggest turnout came in the heavily christian conservative districts and the republicans, of course, have a lot of christian conservatives in their base. they are active. they turn out to vote. and i think rick santorum in particular here in recent days, has gone all out for that constituency, even as he contradicts, as the congresswoman schakowsky mentioned, contradicts his own past platforms in so far as college education is concerned. it's a rather cynical appeal to anti-intellectualism. a pitch to take cheap shots at president obama. calling him a snob and making him out like -- well, he went to college. he thinks blue collar people aren't worth anything.
he's deliberately misquoting president obama. he knows he's misquoting him and he's going ahead and doing it. and he doubled down on sunday with george stephanopoulos over these same points. i think it's a rather crass appeal to votes. and, believe me, it's upsetting moderate republicans because they see him and gingrich in particular pushing the party farther to the right and making it harder to win in november. >> the politics of this is also questionable. i mean, what are they looking at? when you are looking at the american people, i agree that clarence page is right. they may be playing to a narrow base in the republican party that brings them through some caucuses or primaries. but look at what the american people are focused on. the culture wars is the wrong message. 56% of people say the economy is overwhelmingly the most important issue in this election. 15% say the deficit. 14%, health care. 5% immigration. 3% abortion.
if they are talking about running in the general election, what they are talking about is not the concern of the overwhelming majority of american people that they would have to convince if they want to really try to have a shot at unseating this president. >> this is a severe miscalculation politically on the part of rick santorum and the other republican candidates that want to focus on culture. but even within that, for example, santorum's attack and newt gingrich, too, on food stamps, for example, 78% of americans think that we should either spend more or at least the same on food stamps and only 12% think less. the american people believe that we should feed the poor. when it comes to what he says about college, he's just wrong. the study that he cites actually shows that students that go to college are more inclined to be more religious rather than
people who don't attend college. it's exactly the opposite of what he said. not to mention the hypocritical statements he's made. so he's just wrong on every front. and i think that it is such a losing strategy on their part to appeal to a very, very narrow base. women, i mean, i don't understand how they expect to get votes from women when there's an overwhelming opposition to their war on women and every respect including contraception where 100% almost of women use contraception in their lives. >> clarence, not only do people that go to college tend to maybe even be more religious. they earn more money. when we look at the fact the unemployment rate of those with no college diploma is 13.1%. those with a bachelors degree, 4.2%. when you look at the fact that many people wanted eed to drea
their children what they didn't have. my mother dropped out of school when she was in secondary school. she was so proud when i went to college. i didn't finish but i was proud to send my daughters. that's not a question of snobbery. that's a question of advancing. and here we are preaching to kids don't bully. don't treat those that are learned and trying to be something like they are nerds. he's sending the exact opposite message saying to those that are potentially bullies, they're snobs. i mean, this is the wrong message, clarence. >> right. that's what really touches me here, reverend. because i feel like, well, you know, this is reverse snobbery. it's saying that the nobel blue collar is better than the college folks. obama didn't say that. and i don't know anybody that really believes that. but it's kind of a victim narrative that some conservatives play when they are being rather cynical. i think that's what we're seeing here. santorum has touched on a real problem which is the deindustrialization of america.
i worked in the steel mill in the summers to earn tuition to go to college in the winter. and kids now coming from my hometown can't do that. the jobs aren't there. the jobs have moved overseas. the tuition is ten times higher than it was back when i was in college. the american dream now, we are falling down behind industrial countries of western europe as far as upward mobility goes. and santorum needs to address that directly, like he did when he was running back for the senate instead of playing -- >> you're absolutely right. janet schakowsky, always a pleasure to have you. clarence page, thank you for joining me tonight as well. time now for reverend al's mystery solved. >> thank you, mr. announcer. it is indeed time for reverend al's mystery solved. the case tonight, mitt romney's obsession with the trees in michigan. here it is one more time.
>> i was born and raised here. i love this state. it seems right here. trees are the right height. i like seeing the lakes. the great lakes, but also all the little inland lakes that dot the parts of michigan. >> the trees are the right height. i don't even know what that means. but i thought maybe i had heard it before. fortunately, the folks at buzz feed solved the puzzle. it has to do with ernest hemingway. listen to these lines from one of hemingway's short stories set in michigan. the trunks of the trees went straight up or slanted toward each other. the trunks were straight and brown without branches. leaving in the sun this bare space they had once covered with shadow. coincidence? i think not. i think this case is finally closed. >> this has been reverend al's
mystery solved. ahead -- willard romney's pit stop in daytona is a complete wreck. he tried to connect with the nascar fans but wait until you hear what he said. plus, the economy is getting stronger and so is president obama's approval. and this ugly campaign continues to crush the republican brand. right, billy? >> a dark night and american psycho. you'll get to choose one on super tuesday. >> and scott walker is complaining about his recall again today. but it's one more step closer to reality. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc.
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[ male announcer ] for the road ahead, the all-new subaru impreza. ♪ experience love that lasts. welcome back to "politics nation." we're one day away from what could be armageddon for the gop. the pressure is mounting on willard romney in his home state of michigan. just one day before the primary, it's a dead heat. in two polls out today, romney leads santorum by two points.
but both are within the margin of error. since 1972, no presidential hopeful has lost their home state primary. a loss tomorrow would put the gop establishment in a tailspin. but willard's finding ways to make it harder on himself. over the weekend, he went to daytona to mix with the regular folks trying to connect with nascar fans. here's what he had to say when asked if he was a fan himself. >> not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but i have some great friends that are nascar team owners. >> friends who are nascar team owners. instead of relating to average joe, he's talking about his millionaire buddies who own the teams. meanwhile, the president is connecting with people, fighting for fairness. but no matter how hard he tries, willard just can't shake that 1% image. just ask his wife. >> maybe i should just do all
the talking and let him just stand here and watch me. i've also -- i've also decided no more debates. if we're going to do another debate, he's going to sit in the audience and watch me, and that will be it. >> probably a smart move. must be nice, willard, having friends who own nascar teams and drivers driving around in your numerous cadillacs. but let's see if it will hurt you in your home state. joining me now from lansing, michigan is bill bellinger, editor and publisher of inside michigan politics and erin mcpike. erin is, of course, a national political reporter for real clear politics. great to have both of you with us. i've got to ask you both. how does a guy who spent his adult life running for president make so many mistakes? let me start with you, bill. >> well, he's making a gaffe a
day right now. it wasn't that way so much earlier on. i think the problem for him right now is these gaffes are feeding into an overall impression he's leaving with the voters tomorrow in michigan that he is an overwhelm league wealthy guy who simply cannot relate or connect with the common man or the common voter. and for everybody who thinks that the republicans are a party of country club rich elitists, they're not. >> well, let me ask you this, bill. let's take a look at where romney stands in michigan. he's doing well in southern -- southeastern michigan, around detroit, oakland county, wayne county, macomb county. in 2008, that's where 35% of the republican vote in michigan came from. rick santorum is doing well in the southwest by grand rapids, kent, ottawa counties. and in the upper peninsula, those two areas accounted for
40% of the republican vote in 2008. so that leaves the rest of the state, a huge area, for them to fight over in the next 24 hours. how do you see this ending? can willard win that chunk of michigan in the next day? >> he can win it, but it's going to be a cliffhanger, reverend. i think it's going to be a real nail biter right to the finish. and i would not be shocked if santorum didn't pull off a shocking upset. >> now erin, when you hear that, and you look at the fact that there is some strange campaigning going on in michigan, there's a robo call out that is calling on democrats in michigan to vote tomorrow. and at the end it says paid for by rick santorum. listen to this. >> on tuesday, join democrats who are going to send a loud message to massachusetts mitt romney by voting for rick santorum for president. this call is supported by
hard-working democratic men and women and paid for by rick santorum for president. >> now this is a little duplicitous, erin, wouldn't you say? >> it is, but there's always cross-party mischief making in some of these states. so the democrats desperately want rick santorum to win michigan so it elongates this primary, gives mitt romney a harder go of things going into super tuesday and beyond. it doesn't often work, but because this primary is so tight if they can get just a small percentage of democrats to come out and support rick santorum, who knows. all of the republicans i'm talking to have been saying they think mitt romney might be able to eke out a victory but they're not sure and maybe rick santorum can come back after some of the gaffes mitt romney has had this weekend. but it's going to be a nail biter. it just might work. >> bill, you got one of these calls, i'm sure, and it kind of
surprised you. >> yeah, it did, really. it sounds like it's coming from solidarity house or the uaw or maybe the obama election committee. and you have to wait until the very end to hear that tag line that you just played and that is, this ad paid for by the rick santorum for president committee. so it's disingenuous. it's hypocritical because he has exactly the same position, opposing the auto bailout as mitt romney, but, look, whatever it takes to get a victory tomorrow, that's what he's trying for and he's pulling out all the stops. >> we certainly the man that's so self-righteous and pious wouldn't do anything. i'm sure he'll be on tonight denouncing this kind of duplicity. but let me say this while, bill, one of romney's chief supporters have said he'd be in real trouble if he doesn't win michigan. and that it could cause some -- it could upset the whole process.
let me let you hear what governor chris christie had to say about a potential loss for willard in michigan. >> is there a possibility if governor romney were to lose michigan for a contested election? contested convention? sure. that's a possibility. >> he also had a high-ranking senator speaking on the condition of anonymity saying that if romney loses michigan, it's over. quote, if romney cannot win michigan, we need a new candidate. he'd be too damaged. if he can't even win in michigan, where his family is from, where he grew up. wouldn't that be the consensus that if he loses michigan, it's game over for him being taken seriously? >> i don't think it would be the consensus. it wouldn't be unanimous. but he would be very badly damaged and especially if he does not do well on super tuesday on march 6th, yes. he could be out, sidelined or
the party leaders or the superpacs or whoever the powers that be might be. reince priebus can say, look. there's got to be somebody new. we've got to get in this race. or there's jeb bush, chris christie, mitch daniels, whoever, because it's too dangerous for us as a party to go forward with rick santorum or newt gingrich as our nominee. they are too deeply flawed. too divisive. and they would get creamed by barack obama in november. >> bill ballenger and erin mcpike. thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, reverend al. ahead -- wisconsin governor scott walker was up early this morning to complain about the recall. but it's full steam ahead. big news out of wisconsin tonight. and the economy is getting stronger and so is the president's approval. stay with us. ♪
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big news out of wisconsin today. the recall against governor walker is another step closer to reality. walker won't challenge any of the names on the recall petitions. this means the recall process will move forward without any bogus complaints about the signatures. more than a million people signed petitions to put walker on the ballot. now the state just has to finish reviewing the signatures before they set a date for the
election. but walker's sticking to the same old talking points. here he was on this network this morning. >> it's a huge distraction, not just for me, for the legislature. it's $9 million of taxpayers money just to run this. think about the number of kids we could help. think about the number of seniors we could help with $9 million that we didn't have to waste on this frivolous recall election. >> really, governor? this recall is a distraction? you know all the distractions your last campaign was all about distracting? distracting voters from your real goal of attacking public employees. but that wasn't all walker had to say. >> after a year of being attacked by out of state special interests, the tens of millions of dollars that were poured in, the fact that we're ahead any of of the democrats in the race, i think bodes well. >> governor is almost funny that you would whine about out of state money.
61% of the money you've raised during the recall has come from out of state. $1 million came from just four people. and let's not forget one with name in walker's corner. billionaire david koch who said, quote, we're helping walker as we should. we spent a lot of money in wisconsin, and we're going to spend more. last time i checked, david koch doesn't live in wisconsin, governor. did you really think you could distract us from out of state money that's bankrolling your campaign? nice try, governor. but we got you. nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your stuffy nose. [ deep breath ] thank you! that's the cold truth!
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welcome back to the show. while the republican presidential candidates are busy fighting each other and refighting the culture wars, president obama has stayed focused on jobs. and american people are taking note. a new politico poll shows 53% of americans approve of his job performance. that's up 9% since november. in the same poll, the president is leading mitt romney 53% to
43%. a ten-point spread. and he leads rick santorum by 11 points, 53% to 42%. a lot can happen before november, but right now it's clear. the republican candidates do not have a credible answer to this. >> over the last two years, american businesses have created 3.7 million new jobs. manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s. the auto industry is back. our recovery is gaining speed, and the economy is getting stronger. and we've got to do everything we can to make sure that we sustain this progress. >> joining me now is ted strickland, former ohio governor and co-chair of president obama's re-election campaign. and joe madison, host of "mornings with madison" on sirius xm radio. thanks to both of you for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you, reverend al. >> thank you. >> governor, let me start with
you. the unemployment rate in ohio is still 8.1%. do voters there want to talk about birth control or the separation of church and state? >> they want to talk about jobs and opportunity. they want to talk about their kids' education. they want to talk about being able to own a home and pay their mortgage. they want to support their churches and their communities. and the people of ohio are common sense folk. you know, we don't like extremes. we don't like radical ideas. and to talk about contraception when so many people are facing so many challenges is just almost beyond belief. reverend al, i don't know how the republican party could have assembled four candidates that are less qualified to lead this country than the candidates that have been left standing. paul, gingrich, santorum and
romney. i mean, surely the republican party could have given this country a greater choice than they've given us. >> yeah, and you would think so, joe, because when you look at these polls that governor strickland is referring to, politico/george washington university poll shows president obama lead with independent voters. independent voters. president obama, 49%. mitt romney, 27%. nbc news map shows former toss-up states in november are now leaning democrat. and then in ohio, a poll of ohio voters, and you grew up in dayton, ohio. has president obama at 46%. mitt romney at 44%. so politically, it's clear that all of these culture wars and other issues they are raising, the voters are not in any way gravitating toward that message. >> i grew up in dayton, ohio. and when i was in school, you
could graduate. you could work at inland. work at delco. work at national. cash register, dayton tire and rubber. those jobs are not there. and people on the west side of dayton and around that area, they are suffering. they are trying to survive. and so here they are looking for jobs and opportunities and you are calling the president a snob because he's trying to encourage people to have an opportunity to go to college. the governor is right. i think what's happening is people are very pragmatic. and right now the main issue is jobs. and the sad thing is you have not heard one solution from any of the four. i made a point this morning on my show, and i can't -- you're a reverend, so you'll have to forgive me. if these four guys were wine, they'd be boons farm. this is the bottom of the barrel, and the republicans, you know, governor, growing up in
ohio, we used to know republicans that we worked with and that we were relatively proud of. >> the governor doesn't know anything about boons farm, though. >> let me ask you this, governor. when -- on joe madison's point, maureen dowd said in "the new york times" that -- and this is her criticism of the republican field -- that they are tripping over one another trying to be the most radical, unreasonable and insane candidate they can be. republicans are getting queasy at the gruesome sight of their party eating itself alive, savaging the brand in ways that will long resonate. i mean, that's a blistering attack. >> well, i think the republican party needs to return to its roots. i have republican friends who are appalled at what these candidates are saying and what they are proposing. they are embarrassed. we're talking about contraception?
>> right. >> that is almost -- it's so unreasonable that it's almost difficult to believe. it's like a caricature. a "saturday night live" skit. you watch these guys and, quite frankly, my republican friends are embarrassed by them. and mitt romney at one time i thought, well, at least he's an adult. he'll be a strong candidate if he's the nominee. and he has become -- i don't know. sometimes i feel sorry for him. he is so trying to connect with people that he comes across sometimes as almost silly. and then there's santorum and he is so far out, so radical. and he's, you know, to call the president a snob simply because he wants our kids to be able to go to college? of course not every kid needs to go to college. we have trade schools. we need -- we need to get beyond the name calling and we need to get serious about governing this country. and that's what the president is
doing. >> but the president said he wanted every young person to have an opportunity. >> opportunity. that's what -- >> that's what he really said. but the other thing is i think what the republicans haven't recognized with this contraception is that they've awakened the younger women. that's really -- these are people who said, wait a minute. we've lived with this all our lives, and now -- >> they don't know any other way. >> they don't know any other way, in terms of it being available to them. >> some younger men have been awakened as well because they may not want to be fathers. >> that's right. >> this has always been something that was in their lives as being possible, whether they use it or not is another story. governor strickland, joe madison, thank you both for your time. >> thank you, reverend al. still ahead -- a hollywood heavyweight is using his star power to fight for justice. my exclusive interview with tyler perry. and walking in the footsteps of heroes. news about our march to protect the right to vote from those who
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. president obama hosted the national governors association dinner last night. but a few governors were missing. including arizona governor jan brewer. so why did you miss it, governor? >> i would not disrespect the president of the united states. i have other commitments and i'm going to be at the white house
on monday morning. i said that, you know, this event was a social thing. >> she would not disrespect the president of the united states. of course she wouldn't. she would never do anything like that. i mean, it's the office of the president. no way would you ever think of crossing that line to be disrespectful of though office of president. this is all just a big understanding. governor brewer, you sure you want to debate this one? with alka seltzer plus. it's specially formulated to speed relief to every inch of you. liquidate your flu symptoms with alka seltzer plus.
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but as terrance's family asks more questions, the officer's story started to unravel. terrance's mother learned also disturbing facts about the officer's past. three months earlier, police reports say another man, felipe santos had also disappeared after being driven away in officer calcon's patrol car. the officer told investigators he left santos at a nearby convenience store as well. after an internal investigation, the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing in the santos disappearance. the case was recently featured on "investigation discovery's disappeared." >> three months after terrance went missing, police issued the deputy another polygraph. >> he was found to be totally deceptive. >> the polygraph results begged the question, did steve calkins
see him again after dropping him off at the circle k. why isn't he coming clean? he insists his interaction with terrance and felipe ended at the circle k and that he had nothing to do with either man going missing. >> joining me now is actor, entertainer and activist tyler perry. tyler, thanks so much for being here. >> listen. i wish it was under different circumstances, but i had to be here. >> how did you hear about this story and what made you get involved? >> i was just watching. i never watch television. i was watching this story on investigation discovery, and i was blown away because this -- the last person to see him alive is this deputy steve calkin. as i'm watching the show. as the story goes on there was another man who disappeared, felipe santos who disappeared a few months before terrance did. last person to see him alive is this same sheriff. a lot of conflicting stories. i'm just trying to help this
mother find some justice. >> now this same officer had been involved in two missing cases. >> yes. >> let me bring in terrance's mother. marcia williams joins us from florida. thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> when did you realize your son was missing? >> his friend, his roommate was trying to find him, and he couldn't. and once i didn't hear from him, i knew that something was not right. it was just wrong. >> when they played the tape between the policeman and the dispatcher, let me play for our listeners around the country, our viewers to listen and see what's being said here.
>> now this officer said he didn't know what they were talking about at first. but the dispatcher and he discussed this cadillac and also clearly there was some engagement. >> yeah, he told his mother because she was relentless in calling trying to find out where her child was because she thought he was arrested. there were people at the funeral home who told her he was arrested. she kept calling the police. they finally called him at home and said do you remember this, the cadillac? there's audiotape of him saying, i don't know what you're talking about. then they find this audiotape of him talking to the dispatcher. >> now ms. williams, felipe santos disappeared three months before terrance. same officer involved. you had no way of knowing that when you started pursuing what happened to terrance. i mean, why has there not been
outrage about this? why have we not seen since 2004 people in florida and others rallying? >> i can't understand it. i just can't. i'm looking for answers. i just can't understand it. >> you are looking for answers. did you ever talk to the officer? did you ever speak with calkins? >> i left -- i had a detective in the beginning. he said that he would put terrance's picture in deputy calkins' mailbox. i said please have him to contact me because i want to know what happened. never. never contacted at all. >> how did you feel when tyler perry, the biggest star in hollywood now, according to all records, contacted you out of nowhere and decided he wanted to help bring this case to the national spotlight? >> i just looked at it and accepted it as an angel that god
had sent my way. and i cannot thank him enough. >> tyler, you've already gone on national radio. you are doing this show. and you have encouraged all of us saying, look, this is not what i do, but it touched my heart that this would happen and this lady deserves some justice. why is it so personal? >> we all should be outraged. this is the kind of stuff that would happen in the '60s and earlier where black people would just disappear and be disregarded. there's somebody who knows something. and the problem with it, and i've spoken to people about it in trying to help her get national attention and what i'm being told by a lot of mainstream media is he's not sympathetic because of his history of he has children with different women or he spent some time in prison so he's not sympathetic. but i believe that that is what is, in my opinion, that this deputy was thinking. that nobody would care. but this is -- he has children that miss him. this is his mother. she misses and loves him. felipe santos had family. he's from mexico and an
immigrant. i think it's just unfair. i just want to see justice be done and be served here. we've got to do something to help her. >> now when do people have to qualify to have justice? it doesn't matter what his background is. you don't have the right -- >> in america. >> and i think mrs. williams, i told tyler perry when he called us on it that we're coming down there. we're going to help tyler perry put a spotlight on this because your son represents a lot of people that have been marginalized. people assume nobody cares about. and we can't have a country that people are only matter base on their pedigree or their criminal record or their family lifestyle. human beings matter. >> not in this america. you're right. >> tyler is not going to stand by himself. it's embarrassing. he has to wake the ministers up to do our job. we're coming to naples with tyler perry in march and we're
going to try to put a lot of spotlight on this. >> thank you. thank you. >> tyler, marcia, we're going to rally and we're going to keep this out there on the show. thank you for your time tonight to both of you. thank you, tyler. >> god bless. >> thank you. god bless you. >> the collier county sheriff's office fired deputy calkins in october 2004 citing untruthful statements and conduct unbecoming an officer in the terrance williams case. today, we spoke with the detective kevin o'neil who told us calkins remains a person of interest. he also said he continues to track down any new tips in the missing person cases of terrance williams and felipe santos. we're back with the fight against voter suppression. that's next.
suppression. today, the virginia legislature passed a voter i.d. bill making it the 31st state to have a voter i.d. law on the books. without a state-issued i.d., you can't vote. i call that a poll tax. in omaha, nebraska, they are closing 166 polling stations. the state is shutting sites in one of its poorest districts which also happens to be a majority black and latino community. the republican appointed election commissioner says it will save taxpayer money. he says it will take five minutes to drive to another polling station, but that doesn't help the nearly 20% of those in northern omaha who are residents who don't have a car. republicans across the country are pushing these laws without any proof of fraud. in fact, i asked florida's representative dennis baxley about it right here on this show.
>> absolutely. >> how are you giving an improved way of voting when there was nothing wrong? you secured -- >> because we have -- >> there was no fraud. >> we have accountability. we're not going to wait for fraud. >> wait for fraud. this is why we won't stop fighting back. 47 years after the 1965 voting rights march, we are facing new roadblocks to the voting booth. i'll be in alabama next week where we'll retrace the route of the historic march from selma to montgomery. we're marching to make sure our voting rights are protected now and for the next generation. it is not enough to memorialize and extoll martin luther king and goodman cheney and viola and then allow what they gave their lives for to die. we must recommit whatever your party affiliation, whatever you believe, we all must have the