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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  July 6, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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america's heartland today hoping to gain a decisive advantage in a crucial swing state. ohio has 18 electoral votes up for grabs. florida is the only state up for more grabs than that. it's a must win for both presidential candidates. the president continued his recent campaign strategy of targeting messages for audiences. in northern ohio, he delivered an appeal to the picky independent voters. >> i want to work with anybody who believes we've got to invest in our future. i want to work with anybody who thinks we got to get a great education. i want to work with anybody who believes that we've got to make sure that we're building things here in america. i'm not a democrat first. i'm an american first. >> while the president was defending his view of being a fighter for the middle class, he was also fighting the opposition.
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>> i don't think romney's plan to spend trillions of dollars more on tax cuts for people that aren't even asking for them is the right way to grow our economy. especially since they want to pay for it by cutting education spending and cutting job training programs. and raising middle class taxes. and i sure don't agree with his plan to keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. >> the obama campaign hopes it's hard to shake for mitt romney. drew a contrast between his job creation and his own. >> governor romney's experience has been in owning companies that were called pioneers of outsourcing. that's not my phrase. pioneers of outsourcing. my experience has been in saving the american auto industry.
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and as long as i'm president, that's what i'm going to be doing. waking up every single day thinking about how we can create more jobs for your families, for your security, for your community. >> indeed the recovery of the auto industry is important for the people of northern ohio. according to the detroit news, the auto industry is on pace to sell more than 14 million cars and trucks in 2012. that's the best sales year since 2007. mitt romney might want his july 4th vacation to come to an end sooner than later. while he's been relaxing, his campaign narrative was snatched away. a bombshell investigation in "vanity fair" looked into the millions of dollars in his personal fortune in offshore holding accounts to take advantage of tax loopholes. bermuda legal documents show on january 1st, 2003, the day before he was sworn in as governor, his wife's trust acquired 12,000 shares of
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sankatay. the obama campaign is more than willing to echo these. this offshore tax shelter we released. the president and his advisers are happy to remind the americans how mitt romney plays a different game than they do when it comes to taxes. >> what's the effective rate i've been payi? closer to the 15% than anything. because the last ten years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income or rather than earned annual income. >> the romney camp tried to counter the president's push in ohio by sending tim pawlenty and bobby jindal to shadow the obama campaign bus. whether they helped or hurt their candidate is up for a debate. >> one of the basic questions is have you had enough? how's the situation look currently?
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and it's not very good. i think that opens the door for this county look for a different leader in change. and that's in mitt romney. >> does tim pawlenty really want ohio voters to ask if they've had enough? have they had enough of an lower than average unemployment rate? the campaign needs voters to lieve they are worse off today than four years ago, but that might not be the case in ohio. the latest poll of the buckeye state shows president obama with a nine point lead over mitt romney. the president maintains that nine point lead with independent voters who are crucial in a very swingy state like ohio. and the gender gap could not be more in president obama's favor. he has a 15-point lead among women over mitt romney. at a time when mitt romney needs a close race in this vital state, the last thing he wants is more questions about his wealth and the secrecy over whether or not he's paying his fair share. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question.
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does the secrecy surrounding mitt romney's wealth concern you? text a for yes, b for no to 622639 or go to i'll bring you the results later in the show. i'm joined by steve bennett, political contributor and producer for "the rachel maddow show." let me ask you a question straight up. does concern over mitt romney's finances resonate with the voters in ohio? because the message that romney's trying to get through is things are much worse now for you than they were four years ago. what do you think they're thinking there? >> i think mitt romney is a tough case to make. e spshlly with the new revelations. i imagine a lot of hard working class folks in ohio are looking at mitt romney saying i don't know anyone with a swiss bank account. i don't know anyone who stashes their cash in secret bohemian corporations and cayman islands. this is something that makes it
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more difficult for mitt romney to connect with voters, to relate to their concerns. and while it's true that mitt romney is in a position to say the economy is not yet good, it's especially tough to make that sale in ohio where job creation has been strong and unemployment rate has been dropping. it's below the national average. put those things together, and it makes it tough to say romney has a compelling case. >> so do you think today makes a difference for obama? it marks a shift in strategy by president obama should we expect to hear him talk more about his experience versus romneys? i mean, he was pretty clear there. what i've been doing every day is getting up thinking about what helps you and saving the automobile industry as opposed to having this cash on offshore accounts. >> right. exactly. and i think the bain capital controversy in this controversial background that mitt romney has in the private sector has become a weight around his feet that just continues to drag him down. it's very tough for mitt romney to present himself as a job creator when he has this record
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of laying off american workers then getting rich off laying off american workers. in some ways mitt romney's biggest weakness is jobs. and given that jobs is the number one issue on the minds of voters, it makes it that much more difficult to capitalize on amongst voters. >> you commented that ohio is doing better than years ago. also better on the unemployment change. does that change the dynamic of the race in ohio? >> it does. i think with romney -- especially in ohio because it's a swing state and has so many electoral votes. if president obama wins ohio, it's difficult to imagine where he loses the 2012 race. and i think if you look at the overall landscape in ohio, given the fact that obama has rescued the auto industry and saved so many jobs there and the fact the unemployment rate is dropping so quickly in ohio, it creates
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these conditions that all -- when you add them together, it makes it seem obama is well positioned in ohio. in the polls you mentioned earlier, you mentioned quinnipiac. >> what you see is a shot of ohio as we have our conversation. the obama campaign attacks romney for being an outsourcer. who wins the battle in that fight? >> i think it's tough for romney to make -- and i think that when you consider that inombination with the fact that romney has been so -- has been a pioneer i think was the washington post word when it comes to outsourcing jobs and offshoring jobs. that's the kind of thing throughout the midwest and working class voter communities throughout the country, that's the thing that will continue to be a weight on his shoulders dragging him down along with the bain controversy overall.
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>> sure. well, given all the debate going on there, what do you think is the most important issue for ohio voters? >> well, i still think it's jobs. obviously we have immigration and health care as being issues that have been in the news a lot recently. especially given the supreme court rulings. i think when push comes to shove, this economy and the job market is going to be the number one issue, not just in ohio but nationwide. i think that's been the case frankly since the day president obama took office. i think the president has a strong case to make. not only in ohio but nationwide. he could point to the fact they're adding jobs. the stock market was down, now it's up. we were paying money to wall street before now we made sure they paid us back. i think when you combine those factors, i think he has a strong case to make. he's still facing the headwind of a struggling economy. but the question is is the economy getting better? the president can say things are getting better. >> sure.
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steve, even though we've been in there and done that, we thank you so much for joining us here tonight. >> you bet. in me meantime, you all at home need to remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. and share your thoughts on twitter @edshow. we want to know what you think. there are five days remaining that could turn this year's election on its head. tomorrow is one of them. we'll tell you why. next.
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coming up, we'll go live to ohio where president obama is set to address the crowd. later, mitt romney's campaign is in such a disaster that even the right wing media has turned on him. sam stein will explain. and comedian chris rock comes under fire for is a tweet on slavery on the fourth of july. we'll be right back.
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the president is addressing the crowd of supporters live in parma, ohio. this is his third speech in ohio today. let's listen in. >> and marcy keptor is here. and i could not be prouder to have as one of my campaign co-chairs, your former governor, the outstanding ted strickland is here.
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now, i just want to first of all say thank you, guys, for taking your time to come out. i hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of july. we had a little barbecue. in my back yard. it was little. had a few fireworks. some of you know that malia turned 14. yesterday. and she is just an incredible young lady just like sasha is. now, she used to be young enough where -- but she doesn't believe me anymore. and michelle sends her love.
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malia was having a sleepover with some of her friends and michelle thought, you know, you can't just have a house full of girls and no parental supervision. just letting you know. but she says hi. the girls say hi. and bo says hi. now, you may not have noticed, but we're in the middle of campaign season here. and this will be -- one way or another, this will be my last campaign. which gets me to thinking about my first campaign. and, you know, i was a lawyer and i was teaching law. you know, the state senate seat came up, i told michelle, you know, some people had talked to me about running for office. what does she think. she said that's a dumb idea.
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but after i explained to her why i thought it might make sense for me to run, she joined in. we didn't have a budget. we didn't have tv ads. we printed a bunch of stuff that at kinkos. and we had friends that volunteered. we knocked on doors and i'd go to the grocery store and shake hands. we would march in parades. in fact, the fourth of july parade in hyde park in chicago, they had a tradition that folks who were in office or running for office had to dress up. somebody had an outfit for me like a minuteman outfit with, like, a hat. and sort of the cutoff pants.
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and my legs are kind of skinny, so i didn't look very good in them. and then, you know, i won that race and served in the state senate. got the idea of running for the united states senate after serving eight years in the state there. and i decided to go to michelle and ask her what she thought. and she said well, that's a dumb idea. but because i'd had a chance as a state senator and traveled the whole state of illinois which is a lot like ohio. it's a mix of big cities and rural communities and folks from every walk of life. and i started just traveling the state. and i go to state fairs and we'd go to county fairs and we'd stop in little towns and meet folks and go to vfw halls.
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and what i realized during that senate race and what i realized when i first ran for the state senate was the reason i got into politics was because in this country there's this core american idea we celebrated yesterday. and that is if you work hard, you take responsibility for yourself and your family and you don't get discouraged when you hit some setbacks, you can make it if you try. the basic -- the basic american bargain that says it doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from, where you worship, the idea is you don't have to be born into fame or fortune.
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if you're willing to apply yourself and work hard, you can make it. you can follow your dreams. and the reason i got into that first race way back when and the reason i ran for the senate and the reason i ran for president was because that had been available for my family. and my grandparents participated in world war ii. my grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line. and my grandfather was in patton's army. when he came back, he was able to study on the g.i. bill. they were able to buy their first home with some help from the fha. america gave them that opportunity. didn't give them a handout, but gave them that chance. and when my mom, a single mom, was raising two kids and trying to get her education, there were grants and loans available.
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and she could instill a love of learning in me and my sister and we had a chance to get a great education. and you look at michelle's family. you know, her dad was what was called a stationary engineer at a water filtration plant in chicago. blue collar worker. even though he had m.s. he'd have to wake up an hour earlier to get up and get dressed and get to the job. but he never missed a day of work. and michelle's mom, she stayed at home raising the kids and then later became a secretary. they never had a lot, but they had a chance to give their kids this great education. and so my whole life and michelle's whole life was an example of this american dream.
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this idea that if you work hard and you can find a job that pays a living wage, you can afford a home, you won't go bankrupt when you get sick, you can retire with some dignity and respect, you can take a vacation. may not be fancy, you might not be going to some fancy resort, but you can go with your kids and enjoy each other's company and see the amazing sights of this country. and the problem was that you could feel over the last decade how that dream was slipping away for too many people. they were working harder and harder, but it seemed like wages weren't going up, opportunities weren't increasing, costs of health care was going up, cost of college was going up, gas prices going up, groceries going up.
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so that basic bargain felt like it was slipping away from too many people. that's what got me into politics. that's why i ran for the state senate. that's why i entered my first political race. that's why i'm running my last political race. >> that's president obama addressing live in ohio. coming up, the right wing media goes into attack mode and turns its sights on mitt romney's campaign. and ann romney says the obama campaign's strategy is kill her husband. we weigh in on that and much more.
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season on the amazing sleep number bed. final days! sale ends sunday. only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699. welcome back to "ed show." flip-flopping is no longer good enough for mitt romney. so now he's doing back flips. his latest, the health care mandate is a tax after all. to get you up to date, here is the conservative chorus singing it is a tax. >> it is a tax. >> yes, it is a tax. >> i called it what it was. a tax increase. >> it's a tax. >> but here's romney adviser eric fehrnstrom saying no, it's not a tax. >> the mandate is not a tax. >> just for good measure, romney spokesman andrea said it is not a tax. but the romney campaign must have caught a lot of flack from republicans because he felt able to say yes, the mandate is a tax.
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>> so it's a tax. like it or not, it's a tax. >> that was more than enough to set off rupert murdoch's wall street journal which wrote a stinging critique of romney's flip-flopping. quote, perhaps mr. romney is slowly figuring this out. in a july 4th interview he stated himself that the penalty is now a tax after all. but he offered no elaboration. so the campaign looks confused in addition to being politically dumb. the latest mistake is a piece of with the campaign's insular staff and strategy that are slowly squandering an opportunity. here's more on fox news. >> his two senior advisers have a totally different story. >> i know. it was so stupid. what he was doing is he didn't want to be accused of raising taxes in massachusetts. >> wow. so stupid, huh?
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and bill crystal agrees with the wall street journal that the problem was a larger one. quote, what was his economic growth agenda? his deficit reform agenda? his health care reform agenda? his tax reform agenda? his replacement for dodd-frank? no need for any of that. i suppose the romney campaign believes just need to keep on speaking. let's turn to sam stein who put it all in perspective. the romney campaign was at war with itself on the question of whether the mandate is a tax to say the least. tell us, is the war over? >> i guess so. because when the candidate speaks, he speaks for the entire campaign. the problem wasn't just they said their belief it wasn't a tax. it's that they said that governor romney doesn't believe it's a tax. then the governor had to of course do an abrupt interview saying he does think it's a tax. you know, this is all a debate over semantics. if you ask anyone who worked on
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mass care or obama care, the mandate in each respective health care law is basically identical. if it's a tax for one, it's a tax for the other. i think romney realized that early on he would get hit with this accusation if it was a tax for obama, he raised taxes as governor. he wanted to avoid that. the problem is the conservatives wanted to use it other the president. he's stuck in a tough place there. >> the grover norquists were in the back there. here's rick santorum from a few months ago. >> it would be probably the worst candidate for us to nominate to go after barack obama on gas prices and on government takeover or health care. heck, he was the -- he created the blueprint for the government takeover of health care that president obama followed. >> man, this is yogi berra, right? this is coming back to haunt. >> obviously, is there anyone in the country who would be a worse
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candidate to run against obama on health care? mitt romney basically god fathered the whole bill. that was his. he did it with ted kennedy. rick santorum was right then and is right now. there's no one else with the baggage than mitt romney on this issue. he wants to get this swept off the front pages as soon as possible. i don't think the campaign anticipated that there would be conservative blowback to his interview. they probably thought when he went out there that that would settle the matter and it would move on. worried about handling from the get go. they said he looks like a flip-flopper and shouldn't have gone there in the first place. it goes to show he's -- if you get him on script, if you're talking about the economy he's in a good place. if you're talking about anything else, he finds it very difficult to deal with the narrative. >> yeah. the god father, i suppose. he's marlon brando to i suppose barack obama's michael corleon. just don't be fredo.
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i can do things too. romney was asked if his massachusetts health care penalty was also a tax. here's what he said. >> actually the chief justice made it clear that at the state level, states have the power to put in place mandates. they don't need to require them to be called taxes in order for them to be constitutional. and as a result massachusetts mandate was a mandate, was a penalty, was described that way by the legislature and by me. so it stays as it was. >> wow, the semantics, the states rights and all that. is this going to cut it with the american people? >> no. because again it's semantics. and the people who crafted both bills say they're virtually identical. and al exbecker fence tonight
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searched the official massachusetts government home pages from the time mitt romney was governor. on that web page they describe it as a stiff tax penalty. so the word tax there is on the official documentation. the stuff is there to be unearthed. there's plenty of quotes from romney describing it as a tax penalty. this is a debate over semantics. no one is buying any of this. >> sam stein, or should i call you tom. thank you very much. >> i'll take that. >> all right. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour on "the ed show." stay tuned. >> i feel like all he's saying is let's kill this guy. i feel that's not really a good campaign policy. >> ann romney takes a big time shot at the obama campaign. i'll ask the panel if shwent too far. the right wing effort to suppress the vote amongst the poor and minorities is dealt a blow by one of their own. we'll tell you about rick snyder's surprising veto later. and chris rock tweets the
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right wing freaks. and now herman cain is trying to teach us all about slavery. >> i think chris rock said it might be independence day, but the slaves weren't free then. if america had not become independent, slaves might still be slaves.
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offshore assets, swiss bank accounts, car elevators. mitt romney has a image problem. mr. and mrs. romney tackled the issue head on sitting down for an interview in their $8 million summer estate in new hampshire. bless their hearts. and romney wasted no time of accuse canning obama of not playing fair. >> it makes you recognize they are going to do everything they can to destroy mitt. so, you know, they're trying to portray him in a light that is
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completely wrong. early on we heard what their strategy was. it was kill romney. and that was their memo that came out from the campaign. and it's, like, not when i'm next to him, you better not. >> mrs. romney was referring to a 2011 story in which an unnamed democratic strategist said team obama would have to go negative to win. but they haven't personally attacked mitt romney. instead team obama is focusing as his record at bain capital and massachusetts. according to ann romney no. she believes president obama is leading the charge. >> i feel like all he's doing is saying, let's kill this guy. i feel le that's not really a very good campaign policy. >> let's turn to patricia murphy, keli goff, and susan del
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percio. thank you for joining us here tonight. >> thanks. >> so ann romney is an effective surrogate. she's beautiful, she's bright, she's lovable and very sweet woman. do you think she went too far with these comments? >> well, she was simply repeating something that was outlined in a story that didn't say we should go negative, it said they're going to have to kill him. that was the language used. and as a spouse, you do get defensive and stand up for your husband. and there's nothing wrong with that. michelle obama did it in 2008 and she was loved by many people. and she had her own -- you want to deem this as a misstep, so did mrs. obama when she was on the campaign trail. but this is what you expect to see from spouses. you want them to stand up for their husband. you expect it. >> this might be more believable if this was romney's first campaign, not his tenth. we all know she knows what campaigns are like and they're unpleasant. and there's been a lot of attacks against president obama and racially based not from the
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fringe crazy element of the party, elected officials who have been sending around racist rtoons and jokes. we'll see more of that ts election cycle. a lot from romney supporters. i think she's being a little melodramatic. for anyone who thinks this wasn't planned in a room where strategists said she needs to be the attack dog in a likable way, anyone who doesn't know that was a strategy is kind of kidding themselves. >> well -- >> she's increasing her visibility. she's often a much more relatable figure. is there too big a relatable gap here and is she really helping him? >> i think almost every day she's helping him. in this instance she's not helping him. you want the tough person in the room to be mitt romney. you don't want the attack dog, the tough person in the interview giving it back to obama to be ann romney. then here's mitt romney on the other side saying i don't know
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if that's the case. i think the facts don't bear up here when you look at what the romney campaign did to somebody like newt gingrich in florida. carpet bomb that state. >> now, the obama campaign in 2008, nearly 6-1 towards the end blasting mccain. both sides are known for negative campaigns. [ overlapping speakers ] >> but there's a reason they go negative. both sides go negative. this is politics and she knows this. she's had multiple campaigns. and they participate in it. >> going back to the fact this is a strategy, there's a reason it's not a coincidence mitt romney wasn't the one being tough. because polls show that the one rating president obama has in the bag has been unshakable since sworn into office, his likability. eight out of ten voters like him. and the rnc was on the record saying you cannot attack him personally. mitt romney cannot do that. >> they want a fight. they don't want ann romney to be the fighter. they want mitt romney to be the fighter.
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>>et's take a look at ann romney. she was asked about her husband's future running mate obviously as vice president. let's listen to what she said. >> do you think he should nominate a woman? >> we've been looking at that. i'd love that option as well. >> now, what if michelle obama said we when referring to her husband. we know hillary clinton went under fire like this isn't your roll. do you think there's a problem in that possessive pronoun of we. >> i don't think there would be a fire storm controversy around it. >> there was for hillary clinton. >> and giuliani sitting in on cabinet meetings. >> she comes off as a very traditional, political spouse. i don't think she's wading into dangerous territory by saying we. i think it's refreshing. at least someone is talking about a woman being on the republican ticket.
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>> i thought that was the last time for them. >> you think it's much to do about nothing. you think ann romney is actually helping her husband's image. >> absolutely. she's definitely an asset to him. she's doing a good job. she is becoming very relatable to people. they like to see that side of people. one of the things we hear a lot right now is michelle obama, what a great job she's been doing as a first lady and how she's become also a tremendous asset on the campaign trail. so there's something wrong with that. >> i like ann romney, but when it comes to the relatable question, that's relative. you know, between mitt romney her husband who thinks being an equestrian is like a regular thing like bowling. >> i think it results -- >> mitt romney speaks in every day. mostly an asset. >> all right.
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what a lovely trio of brilliant women. thank you so very much. it happenethis week in michigan. a republican governor vetoed a voter i.d. law. but in pennsylvania, hence of thousands of registered voters could be disenfranchised this november. i'll give you the details next.
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up next, michigan governor rick snyder blocks a voter i.d. law, but in pennsylvania and other states voter suppression efforts continue. what effect could it have on the election and in the big finish, right wingers freak out over comments by chris rock on the fourth of july. we'll have the details. don't forget to tweet us your thoughts using the #edshow. we'll be right back. multi-polic. paperless discount... paid in full discount... [yawning] homeowner's discount... safe driver discount...
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unicorn discount. unicorn wearing a sombrero. olé... countless discounts -- now, that's progressive. call or click today.
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earlier this week, republican governor rick snyder went against members of his own party and vetoed a voter i.d. law.
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but all is not lost for the gop. in the past two years, five battle ground states have tightened their voting laws. these laws disproportionately effect the young, the old, and the poor. and in pennsylvania the impact of a new voter i.d. law could be much bigger than republicans had anticipated. barack obama won the state by the largest majority of any candidate since 1972. but pennsylvania republicans have made it clear what their goal is this time around. >> voter i.d. which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> you heard it from the horse's mouth. thanks to the new law, more than 758,000 registered voters in pennsylvania may not meet requirements because of lack of identification. that means 9% of voters in the state could be disenfranchised this november. 18% of registered voters don't have a proper i.d. republicans have always claimed
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these laws help prevent voter fraud. but here's the truth. in the past decade, 649 million votes cast in general elections, there were 47,000 ufo sightings, 441 americans were killed by lightning, and only 13 credible cases of voter fraud. 13. this isn't about voter fraud. this is about voter suppression. tonight in our survey i asked you does the secrecy surrounding mitt romney's wealth concern you. 90% say yes. 7% say no. coming up, chris rock takes a stand on the meaning of fourth of july for african-americans and takes a lot of heat. dr. james peterson joins me next.
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welcome back to "the ed show." chris rock tweeted this about the fourth of july. happy white people's independence day. the slaves weren't free but i'm sure they enjoyed fireworks. here's what michelle malkin had to say about it. >> all the people of color around the world who want to get into this country, i think that's who chris rock needs to talk to. not that we whitewash our history, but yesterday was a day to celebrate the opportunity, the freedom, the uniqueness and exceptionalism of our country. and these people in hollywood refuse to see it even though they're the greatest beneficiaries.
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>> curious case of "our" from miss malkin. in 1852 franklin douglas gave -- at the outset he prassed the founding fathers. they were statesmen pate t yos and heroes. and i will unite with you to honor their memory. but later in the same speech, he addressed the reality of his time. i say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. i am not included within t pale of this anniversary. it only measures the distance between us. the blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. the rich inhern tense of prosperity and independence is shared by you, by me. joining me is dr. james peterson from lehigh university. good to see you. look. didn't douglass strike right at the heart of this? we celebrate america.
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>> this speech is one of the classic speeches in american history. i would encourage viewers to read its to better appreciate thirony rock is getting at in the tweet. this is why we love twitter too. these remarks can be sort of realized about deep issues in this case the irony of black folks celebrating independence day. it's not we don't celebrate it. it's we also have to commemorate the fact our ancestors had to transcend violence and brutality and oppression for years to tap into what's called the american dream. >> perhaps if the sublime of douglass. here's cain on the chris rock tweet. >> i think it was chris rock who made fun of the fact, well, it might be independence day but the slaves weren't free then. look at it this way.
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if america had not become independent, slaves might still be slaves. america's ability to overcome those things that it needed to overcome is one of the greatest attributes of this country. >> doesn't this miss the point? first of all, it isn't when they became free from european that it frees the slaves. help us understand, professor. >> it's idiotic. mr. cain is misunderstanding history. obviously black folk fought in every war this country fought in and were instrumental. but he's mixing apples and oranges near. black folk in this country have a set of experiences that are distinct. and if you look at any measure even right now. incarceration rates, access to health care, access to good education, police brutality, bias in the criminal justice system, death penalty. you'll see racially we still have challenges in this country. what chris rock's tweet does is reveal the irony of the american
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dream for black folk. and i stand by it. i think it was a powerful statement he made. >> let's take a listen to what he's done in his standup act. >> when i talk about slavery, i'm just talking about a period of time where black people had no rights. 1600s to about 1964. >> that is pretty crushing. rock has never shied away from the subject. we shouldn't be expected on this independence day to do it too. what is the down low here? >> also people are live leaving out the most important part. the punchline is slaves experienced fireworks. so he's making an irony about the violence black folks have had in the community. he's sharp and smart and people need to let a comedian be who he is. >> ain't no doubt about that. a lot of insight. thank you so much. that's "the ed show."
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i'm michael eric dyson in for ed shultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. > thank y. in 2008 when the republicans were looking for a candidate to be their presidential nominee to succeed president george w. bush, the guy who was supposed to win in '08, the guy who was the early beltway favorite was fred thompson. fred thompson who was an actor on "law and order" and who is a large man and had a very deep voice and who looks very presidential-ish from a distance on tv. and i've always thought that the fred thompson mania of the 2008 presidential race, the sort of pundit mania over the prospects for fred thompson were largely based on what he looked like and he's a big guy and has this big great voice. in terms of his resume, what he was known for was being an actor on "law and order." he had been a lobiest for decades on washington.
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that usually means you have represented some unpolitically correct clients. in his case some abortion rights clients when he was trying to run as an anti-abortion rights politician. in addition to bb a lobbyist and the guy on tv, he served one and a half terms in the u.s. senate. but honestly his time in the senate was characterized by no real accomplishment of any note. there's no fred thompson legislative achievement that he was trying to run on. but still, he's a big guy, played the district attorn on "law and order." he totally looks like he's in charge. republicans loved the idea of him. this was a poll from before fred thompson got into the race in the summer of 2007. plenty of other republicans were running at this time. the republicans were competing with each other for the nomination. money was being raised and spent. fred thompson was not participanting but he was for a time at the top of the polls.