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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  July 26, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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williams interviewing romney in london asked if london looked ready for the games. here's what he said. >> you know, it's hard to know how well it will turn out. there are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that, obviously, is not something which is encouraging, because in th games, there are three parts that make games successful. number one, of course, are the athletes, that's overwhelmly what the game is about, number two is the volunteers. but number three are the people of the country. do they come together and celebrate the olympic moment and that's something we only find out once the games actually begin. >> in other words, mr. romney managed to insult the british on their own turf about an event they have been planning for seven years. bear in mind, mitt romney's european tour was designed to position him as the president in waiting. the wise and graceful statesman, and his appearance in london was supposed to remind people of how
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he supposedly saved the salt lake city winter olympics in america. the british were unimpressed. here's the british prime minister david cam ron. >> we are holding an olympic games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. of course, it's easier if you hold an olympic games in the middle of nowhere. >> the middle of nowhere. romney tried to put things right, particularly since mr. cameron had gone out of his way to host the presidential candidate. romney began his long and winding walk back. >> i also applaud the work of the organizing committee in bringing the olympic experience right into the heart of london. >> but that was not nearly enough for the british press, so romney added this. >> we talked about the great progress that has been made in organizing the games. my experience as an olympic organizer is that there are always a few very small things that end up going not quite
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right in the first day or so. those get ironed out, then when the games themselves begin and the athletes take over, all the mistakes that the organizing committee, and i made a few, all of those are overwhelmed by the many things that the athletes carry out that capture the spirit of the games. >> still not quite there. romney tried out this non-apology apology this wa >> i'm very delighted with the prospects of a highly successful olympic games. what i've seen shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization, and expect the games to be highly successful. >> prime minister cameron then decided to throw mr. romney a bone. >> what mitt romney said to me is that he thought it looked extremely well organized. the venues look good, the country is well prepared. he ran a successful olympic games in his own country, and i think he's very much looking forward to going to see some of the events here, so i felt a vote of confidence from what he said.
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>> that was hardly the end of it. take a look at what london's mayor had to say in front of thousands in hyde park. >> i hear there's a guy called mitt romney who wants to know whether we're ready. he wants to know whether we're ready. are we ready? are we ready? yes, we are! the venues are ready. the stadium is ready. the aquatics centre is ready, the security is ready, the police are ready, the transport system is ready, and our team athletes are ready, aren't they? >> sound pretty ready to me. the times blared the headline "pm delivers olympic putdown to romney." from the guardian "romney's blunder" and frequent tweets. another verdict from one romney meeting, apparently devoid of charm, warmth, humor, or
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sincerity. worse than sarah palin, total car crash. romney blunders again by revealing he's had supposedly top-secret briefing by mi-6 boss. do we have a new "w" on our hands? let's not forget that mitt romney got plenty of government aid to bailout the salt lake city olympics. by all means, let's remember the commemorative olympic pins from salt lake city. there they are. they were made in china, according to bbc news, and yes, the one in the middle is mitt romney, which if you think about it, looks a bit like this guy. the egotistical dude from "beauty and the beast." see the likeness? that's awfully nice. and one more thing, mitt romney's wife has made it to the olympics with her horse, but mitt romney is so intent on not sounding like a rich guy, he
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said this about his wife's olympic event. >> i have to tell ya, this is ann's sport. i'm not even sure which day the sport goes on. she will get the chance to see it. i will not be watching the event. i hope her horse does well, but just the honor of being here and representing our country and seeing the other olympians is something which i'm sure the people that are associated with this are looking forward to. >> maybe he's getting another briefing from mi 6. get your cell phone out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, did mitt romney fail his first international audition? a for yes, b for no or go to our blog at i'll bring you the results later in the show. joining me now, political commentator martin lewis, also a contributor to the huffington post. welcome, my friend. >> hello. >> look, just how big of a mess has mitt romney gotten himself into? >> well, it's a big pile of
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mitt, frankly. it's really difficult, because i have to say, for the first time in his life practically, on one level, mitt romney might actually be correct. the british organization of the olympics has not been that great and it's conceivable there will be some big blunders. however, it is not the job of an american politician to come to britain and say that. that's our job to criticize ourselves. we don't need an american. it would be as though a british socialist politician would go to america and say america's economic woes were as a result of all the vulture capitalists such as mitt romney and his cronys at bain capital that caused the problems in america. that's not a job for british socialists to say. that's a job for american socialists like newt gingrich and rick santorum. so that's not the right thing to be done. >> surely. and we've certainly been trumpeting that line here on the show. here's, yet, more from mitt romney as he tried to walk back his comments. >> i don't know of any olympics that's been able to be run
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without any mistakes whatsoever, but they are small, and i was encouraged, for instance, to see that something that could have represented a real challenge, which was immigration and customs officers on duty, that is something which was resolved and people are all pulling together. >> brother martin, did his repeated attempts to correct himself do any good at all? >> oh, no, no. he dug bigger and bigger holes. i love the one where he talked to brian williams about the concern about the private security firm that had been hired and problems there. hello, it used to be security done by federal workers, good union workers, but now it's outsourced. does this ring a bell? this was what bain capital's philosophy is, and mitt romney's is. if you go to the acme night watchman company of mumbai, maybe security won't be as good as good national workers. he's speculating about a problem that would be mirroring his own
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policy. another example of that is the fact that he said that he didn't think the british public might be supportive and the british public might not get behind the olympic games. well, i got news for mitt romney, the british public has been clinically depressed for the last two years because it has a government practicing the very economic policies that mitt romney's advocating. big tax cuts for the wealthy and a big cut down on social services to help the poor and underprivileged, so no wonder the british public are a little bit depressed at the moment. >> i'll follow your advice and not chime in on that criticism, you said it well enough. prime minister cameron seemed to go out of his way to be hospitable, but romney didn't do much for the special relationship, did he? >> certainly not. look, it's not very hard. it's not rocket science to actually be -- to create a good relationship between an american president and a british prime minister. i mean, george bush just put out
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some doggy treats and had tony blair acting like a french poodle. it's not hard to do. so to alienate your allies is not really good sense. furthermore, he not only alienated david cameron, but l alienated what could be the next prime minister by not even remembering his name. at one point in a press conference, he said mr. -- mr. -- mr. leader. this would be like if ed millerbantom said mr. candidate. how hard is it to remember the word millerband? the first part is milly, like the millions mitt romney has in the cayman islands. >> if he had been listening to lil wayne, milly, milly, milly. why wouldn't he watch his wife's olympic event? doesn't that seem odd he discounted the fact he'd be watching? >> well, he's going to have
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problems to answer with ann romney. i do wish to defend him on one point. it's been said he should not have divulged the fact he met the head of mi6. in fairness to him, he met judy dench, who plays "m" in the james bond films, and he got a little confused. >> what about the fundraiser he's having with people behind the libor scandal, what's he over there doing? >> well, it's very important for him to try and raise money from americans, rich americans, in london and britain, so he's going out and doing that, but he's put his foot in his mouth yet again, because it's been revealed some of the comments he's made about britain, he called it a second-tier nation, he said it produced nothing that anyone wants. hello, shakespeare, dickens, the
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beatles. tea. you know tea, mitt romney. the drink you're not supposed to have because it stimulates the brain, the heart of thinking worry about. >> the thousand natural shocks that fleshes air to. martin lewis, thanks so much for your time tonight. >> my great pleasure. thank you. >> remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen and share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and on facebook. i want to know what you think. coming up, his book is called no apology, yet mitt romney spent a good part of today apologizing. evan mcmorris-santoro of talking points ways in. we'll be right back. then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education
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coming up, what does mitt romney's series of gaffes in london mean for him back here in the u.s.? i'll ask evan mcmorris-santoro of talking points memo. an adviser says romney doesn't understand the anglo saxson of this country. now both campaigns are responding. later, bill o'reilly revives
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if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy? mitt romney has turned on the charm during his visit to britain by questioning the country's ability to host the olympic games. >> with a message he wanted to get out from this trip has been obscured. >> if he's here to make friends, he's got a funny way of showing it. >> oh, my goodness. i am even sorry for mitt romney. his trip to europe was designed to showcase his statesmanship,
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his ability to command respect on the international stage, and then mitt romney opened his mouth. i guess i really ain't that sorry. first, he insulted the british on their own turf, then publicly acknowledged meeting with the international arm of the british secret service, something romney was supposed to keep to himself. romney also managed to snub the american press corps and was publicly mocked by the mayor of london in front of tens of thousands of people. the gaffe has prompted one conservative at home to compare him to mr. bean. and while one adviser says the presidential candidate intends to fully honor the relationship between the u.s. and uk, you'd never guess that by reading romney's book. "england is just a small island. its roads and houses are small. with few exceptions, it doesn't make things the rest of the world wants to buy, and if it hadn't been connected to the
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continent by water, it would have been lost to hitler's ambitions." wow. joining me now, evan mcmorris-santoro. evan, his book is called "no apology," yet he spent much of today apologizing, then apologizing, then apologizing, so how bad is it? >> well, that depends on who you ask. i think that one thing is clear, though, mitt romney in england was able to find gaffes where no one thought gaffes were possible. this trip out to england, you know, it's supposed to be a chance for romney to show off his ability, his past of running the olympics, which was a great part of his resume, if you ask him, and great part of his biography if you ask him and his supporters, and also going to england, it's a big american ally, a strong american ally, it's a place for him to show off his ability to talk to world leaders. obviously, run by conservatives who are more in line with him. those are some of the people that were calling him out today, boris johnson that you showed
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and david cameron specifically, but in terms of the effects back here, the main effect so far today is that he's been able to, by gaffing the way he has and sort of stumbling around the way he did in england, he was able to give democrats a way in to attack him, and attack him they did of the foreign policy experts said, you know, if he can't handle talking about the olympics, how can he handle talking to china, and just over in the car, i heard harry reid told the huffington post romney is in real trouble and he's embarrassing himself. it shows he's listening to his staff too much and not listening to himself. just kind of attacking him over and over for this being a gaffe. >> well, look, it's not just the left or the liberals who are getting on his gaffe-filled performance over in the uk. even conservatives are in disbelief over romney's olympic flubb. here's charles crowdhummer. >> what romney answered is
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unbelievable, it's beyond human understanding, it's incomprehensible, i'm out of adjectives. all the man has to do is say nothing. >> he's exhausted the adjectival descriptions. how does the romney team spin that? >> well, today what they did was they had bobby gindel and mcdonald, two governors, two big romney surrogates and potential vice presidential choices. they had a press conference call today, and they were asked, you know, what does this mean, what's happening? and their basic answer was, it doesn't matter. the american people don't care about foreign press. they don't care what people say and, you know, the concerns of the united states are what's more important and the foreign stuff doesn't matter. what's interesting about that, of course, is kind of undermines the entire reason for romney to go overseas. you mention that his trip was a lot about bolstering himself up, but another part of his trip and a key part of his trip was also
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showing where republicans and romney specifically has said that obama has failed in foreign policy, and they definitely think that the way the foreign press and foreign leaders look at the united states are important. but they come back after some bad headlines for their guy, no, no, no, none of this is important, doesn't matter, it's the economy, domestic issues that are important. >> how convenient, and if the foreign press ain't so important, why do they give out the golden globes each year? is this a sneak peek at how romney would handle foreign affairs? >> like i said, i think that's up to experts to determine at this point. i think if you asked those democrats that were on that conference call today, wesley clarke was one of them, chris murphy, who is one of the first iraq war veterans to serve in the congress, democrat in congress, he definitely said it was. he said, look, this is predictable. this is what romney is going to be like. if he can't handle the olympics,
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he can't handle china, he can't handle iran. he can't handle these big events. you had crowdhammer saying what he said and reid said the same thing, harry reid said the same thing, this is a pretty easy thing for a politician to do, just sort of praise the olympics and move on. >> got to be pretty smart to mess that up. evan mcmorris-santoro, thank you so much. >> thanks. next, a romney adviser says president obama can't fully understand the special relationship between the united states and britain because he can't appreciate the shared anglo-saxon heritage. hear the implications there? keith boykin joins me. and our panel weigh in on mitt's rainy london day. stay tuned. those surprising little things she does
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it's like a sauna in here. helping you save, even if it's not with us -- now, that's progressive! call or click today. no mas pantalones! mitt romney's european vacation is not off to a good start, chevy chase like. and the republican candidate isn't the only one to stick his foot in his mouth. president obama can't fully comprehend the special relationship between the u.s. and the uk because mr. obama can't appreciate the shared anglo-saxon heritage. the adviser praised mr. romney's grasp of -- we are part of an anglo-saxon heritage and he feels that the special relationship is special. the white house didn't fully appreciate the shared history we
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have. romney press secretary says the comments don't represent romney's beliefs. the obama campaign said it won't characterize the comment as a form of racial bading. here's what romney himself had to say. >> so i'm not sure who this person is, but i can tell you we have a very special relationship between the united states and great britain. it goes back to our very beginnings, cultural and historical, but i also believe that the president understands that, so i don't agree with whoever that adviser might be. >> yet the anglo-saxon comments seem to be a pattern for team romney. earlier this week, he tried to paint the president as other. >> this is a ideology that says, hey, we're all the same here. it's a very strange and in some respects foreign to the american experience type of philosophy, so his whole philosophy is an upsidedown philosophy that does not comport with the american experience. >> you know, a lot of us understand things differently,
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as author edward mcclellan points out, president obama's mother is of english decedent. president obama enjoys healthy approval ratings, how would a romney white house handle uk policy? according to "the telegraph," the advisers could not give detailed examples when it comes to the europe debt crisis, one adviser even conceded i'm not sure what our policy response is. joined now by keith boykin, democratic strategist and cnbc contributor. thanks for coming on to the show. >> thanks, michael. >> david axelrod called them beneath a presidential campaign. i mean, look, we've seen all of this. you're good at parsing the implications of these comments and the nuances and the suggestions, the hints and the allegations. you're a lawyer. what are we to make of these comments?
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>> you know, i'm not quite sure whether this was an intentional statement or not, but i do think it's characteristic of a problem you have with mitt romney's campaign. a, does we have control over the people who are around him? b, what type of values does he actually believe in, what is his core? i think that's the issue here. there's been talks about mitt romney's flip-flops and mistakes in england this year, or this week, but the real issues, does he believe what he's saying? he doesn't even have an economic policy to articulate, so when you have all these confusing different statements out there, how do you expect your advisers to respond to that? clearly, there's a racial undertone people will pick up when they hear those words, whether or not they are intended, that's something he has to take responsibility for. i don't think he's done that. >> yeah, you know, my late pastor who came up with the term "the audacity of hope" also says a mosquito doesn't have to
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intend harm to you. even if his intentions are not such of a racial nature but the consequence, of course, are do you buy romney's walk back, because he doesn't appear to be conscience of what you just said. >> i don't know if i can buy the walk back. i don't know what he believes. again, you can't walk something back if you're not willing to express what your values are. what is it he's walking back in the first place? this adviser, he kind of denied there was an adviser, then he kind of said, well, he doesn't know who that person is, so we don't really know what he's saying on this. but why isn't mitt romney going to lead some sort of internal investigation to find out why people were saying this? and i don't know that mitt romney has, again, this kind of conviction about any of his beliefs on foreign policy issues or even on domestic policy issues to be able to effectively communicate what he stands for. that, to me, michael, is the
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real problem. it's not just this one statement. it's the larger context of who mitt romney is and what he represents. >> do you think it puts the obama campaign in a very difficult situation because they don't want to be looked at as trying to complain about racial animosi animosity, i don't blame them, but at the same time, the racial consequences here are pretty apparent to the rest of us, so what do you make of thebama campaign? they say it's not race baiting, but don't you see the racial sub text and doesn't the rest of america see that? >> they don't have to say that, everyone else can see it. you and i can see it, aassume. they were smart, joe biden makes a statement about it, david axelrod makes a statement about this. the president doesn't have to say a word. anybody that has a understanding about american history can clearly see what's going on here, so all they have to do is put those words out there, let people interpret that as they will and force the romney
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campaign to explain or defend what they are doing. this has been a horrible week for mitt romney to go overseas to try to showcase his knowledge of foreign policy, his knowledge -- his ability to be a command they are chief or his ability to create relationships with other nations. if this is what he's giving us, i don't understand how he expects the american people to buy into that. he has to convince people he has something realistic we'll be willing to accept. >> maybe play down the anglo-saxon heritage and play up the afro-saxon heritage. thank you so much. >> thank you. still to come, president obama has been apologizing for america, but after mitt's bad day in england, he might need his own apology tour. our panel weighs in next. later, bill o'reilly's weak argument about the good old days. find out why he thinks we were better off in the '60s and why he thinks you are a serious slacker. stay with us. [ humming ]
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this president, in his first days in office, began going around the world apologizing for america. he went around the world apologizing for america. the president apologized for america. apologized. apologized. remember, he went around the middle east and apologized for america. >> i know you are, but what am i? welcome back. mitt romney's been traveling around the country for the past year falsely claiming president obama has been apologizing for america, but romney might need to go on an apology tour of his own after insulting london's olympic preparations. >> you know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out. there are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials. that, obviously, is not something which is encouraging, because in the games, there are three parts that make games successful. number one, of course, are the athletes. that's what overwhelmingly the
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games are about. number two are the volunteers. they'll have great volunteers here, but number three are the people of the country. do they come together and celebrate the olympic moment? and that's something which we only find out once the games actually begin. >> for more, let's bring in msnbc contributor jimmy williams, ilyse hogue, and political comedian john fugelsang. who's co-headlining "sexy liberal comedy tour" this saturday night at the pantagious theater in hollywood. i wanted to get that right. john, if you are visiting a foreign country, is it a good idea to insult them? >> generally, no. i haven't read a lot of etiquette books, but i don't think it's a good idea. he did succeed in making prince philip look like lil wayne, but i'm scared he's going to go to israel and say the whaling wall is mishuga. he's saying president obama has apologized for america, now america has to apologize for
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mitt romney. >> romney's campaign was hoping it would spark warm and fuzzy memories of his time running the salt lake games in 2002. i don't know, jimmy, is that idea done for him? >> you would think having run the olympics, he would know a little bit better. listen, i have read etiquette books. the uk has, what, 63 million people. for the first time in mitt romney's life, he's managed to do something bad in the etiquette book. he's ticked off 63 million white people. that's not good for them to do, especially when visiting them a and dealing with leadership. this is not a good way of dealing with his overseas trip. i'm terrified what he's going to do when he hits israel and more terrified of when he hits poland. >> be careful of the whaling wall. mitt romney said he met with mi6, the international arm of
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the british secret service. romney was supposed to keep quiet about this. ilyse, does that sound like a presidential move just outing yourself? >> you know, what i think we've learned about mitt romney today is at least he's an equal opportunity offender, right? he can clearly offend the guy in the nascar park wearing their, you know, walmart hoods, but he can also offend leaders of state and secret security. look, michael, i think this is a real problem for the guy. he's got three things going for him, right? massachusetts governor, which he can't talk about because it goes to obama care. he's got bain, which is the bane of his existence. the olympics were supposed to be his safety school, his easy one. first thing out of the gates, he screwed it up. what's he got to fall back on? >> yeah, he ain't getting no gold medal here, is he, jimmy? how bad is it? could it be the worst day of romney's campaign? >> no, no, no, no, no. that would be like the weather outside here in new york, which
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would be like a down pour. what we are seeing with mitt romney is a steady trickle of gaffe after gaffe after gaffe, which is also known as flip-flop after flip-flop after flip-flop. i hope he's not meeting the queen or prince philip. advice, don't touch the queen unless she extends her hand. >> i want to interject for a second and say mitt mooitd didn't build these gaffes on his own. they all helped him create these gaps. >> from birth, these things came from birth. he's had a number of years to develop these with his family, friends, teachers, and colleagues. >> besides his political deformations. john, what impact do you think this will have here at home? >> i don't think it will have that much, and especially because he's going to meet with the barclays criminals who rib ripped us off with the libor scandal. i hope the kardashians visit. i'm like anglo-saxon, please.
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i don't think it's going to play that much, but it is, certainly, another link in the chain of mitt gaffes and eventually there will be enough embarrassed republicans it might make a difference. >> let me ask this question, mitt romney went out of his way to, i think, dis his wife. i guess she's got a horse, a horse of a different color, horse of a different character. it was pretty bad he was trying to feign a lack of investment. is that a concern he's not a part of his wife having a tremendous accomplishment of making it to the olympics? ilyse, why don't you answer that. >> i think his wife has stood by him and he should stand by her, but i think it's a bigger problem for him. he does not know with the fact he comes off as so completely out of touch for most common american experience and he's bumbling and bumbling. like john says, he has a team
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supposed to help him deal with this. >> what if mitt had chosen to go to africa? if he's messing up with the angelos, what is he going to go to the african folk, what about the broader world or foreign policy, which is more foreign than the uk, which is very simple. >> let me say this about governor romney, if he does go to africa. he has the same advisers that president bush had, especially in the foreign policy realm. i hope they have learned at this point that africa is not a country. it is, indeed, a continent, made up of lots of countries. if that's the case, he should probably just go see one or two of them so he doesn't get it wrong. >> we have to end it right there. john fugelsang, i know you have something great to say. we'll postpone it for your next appearance. jimmy williams, john fugelsang, ilyse hogue. thank you very much. coming up, the twitter verse was not happy with our criticism of mitt romney last night.
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coming up, the twitter verse was a buzz after comments made on this show about the president. next, i'll have a response to the critics. and don't forget to head to our facebook page and like "the ed show." connect with fans, get updates on the show, share your thoughts. "the ed show" on facebook is the nerve center of everything we do online. if you don't like us, you have no one to blame but yourself. we'll be right back. ! there it ! where ? where ? it's getting away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it. any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is.
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welcome back. last night when i was discussing president obama's speech before the national urban league with karen finney, particularly as we addressed some gentle criticism of the president by black observers, the black twitter verse went straight bananas. folk for calling me a hater for broaching the subject at all. mind you, it wasn't even my viewpoint, but the very act of
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me asking a commentator a legitimate question seemed to have some of the president's other supporters into a frenzy, because yep, i'm one of his biggest boosters. make no mistake, i'm riding hard on the obama bandwagon. i've been on that journey a lot longer than the black willy come latelies that voted against obama when he ran for congress and spurned him when he asked for their votes for the presidency because they were beholden to hillary and bill clinton. back then, most black folk were stumped i was supporting a unknown senator they referred to as barack obama, so please, don't lecture me. don't get me wrong. don't get it twisted. i understand the hypersensitivity black folk display when it comes to obama. there is real hate out there, unprincipled right wing politicians who call him every horrible name besides a child of god. rude journalists who interrupt his press conferences, hateful want to bes and presidential
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campaigns that try to portray him as the ultimate other. that's hate. but what is not hate is an honest difference of opinion that is framed in respectful fashion. the president not only doesn't have a problem with that, he encourages it. how do i know? because i've been in his presence too many times when he's invited that criticism. he is humble enough to understand that sometimes constructive criticism can lead to deeper insight and better policy, and trust me when i tell you he can give as good as he gets. a couple of years ago when he and i were in the oval office talking, he told me point blank after listening to me expound on an issue that he had to pass legislation with opponents who didn't listen to michael eric dyson. i ain't mad. i understand his belief and respect his position, and if someone respectfully disagrees with him, he ain't mad either. hear me, black folk, save your exasperation and indignation for the president's real haters. i ain't one of them. how do i know?
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he told me so the other day in d.c. when he hugged me and thanked me for my love and support. when you get at that level, holler back at me. tonight in our survey, i asked you did mitt romney fail his first international audition? 98% say yes. 2% say no. coming up, bill o'reilly says americans are weak because we help the poor. the bizarre criticism about welfare and your work ethic when we come back.
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competition and the desire to succeed in the marketplace have made america great, but that ethic is being eroded by a culture of where's mine? >> in the big finish tonight, it's the right wing's weak argument. tuesday night, fox news's bill o'reilly spouted some interesting statistics about welfare. he waxed po wettic about life in 1962 and boasted only 62% of americans were on welfare. since his data shows it was actually closer to 12%, but o'reilly's families lived modestly, had fun, and appreciated what they had. he said america was stronger back then. repeatedly claiming president obama is weakening america or worse. >> instead, he's making us an entitlement society where people think they are entitled to what other people have. >> he's systemically destroying the work ethic. how? by the narcotic of government dependency.
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>> we've gotten to be a society where we don't encourage the work ethic. we explain why dependency's just fine. >> we're creating this sense of economic dependence, which, to me, is a form of modern 21st century slavery. >> we call this a zombie lie, because it keeps coming back to life. we've found versions dating back to the 1800s, but o'reilly's not wrong that more people have enrolled in government asis tans since the '60s. that's wrong. it's closer to 19%. according to the latest census. here's the real lie, the system doesn't make people dependent. enrollment goes up during recessions when people need it. enrollment goes back down after the recession, and what they don't tell you is 65% of recipients take assistance for only a few months or a year. i know, i was on assistance. what they don't tell you is that there's at least one working adult in 48% of households with children on food stamps.
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only 13% don't have jobs. in a time of national economic crisis, when so many people are struggling to find a job, the republicans are calling the country weak. americans dependent and repeatedly criticizing millions for their work ethic. let's bring in jonathan alter, msnbc political analyst and columnist for "bloomberg view." let's get to the point, jonathan, does welfare make americans dependent? >> first of all, we don't have welfare anymore. we got rid of welfare in 1996 with welfare reform. up to that point, there was an argument that was a pretty persuasive one that aid to families with dependent children, afdc did create some dependency, but then we moved under the clinton administration to a welfare to work program, and now what our system does is it rewards work with the earned income tax credit, which you get if you work. and it helps the working poor come up to a reasonable standard of living, because this economy is no longer providing a middle
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class standard of living without some help. so the idea that these are deadbeats getting money fm the government and sitting on the couch, it's not factually true. >> absolutely, and remember that peter edelman, a noted liberal, left the clinton administration because he had arguments, so we know there were arguments about what the clinton administration was going to do by severing the ties with the aid to families with dependent children. but here's the point. the point you made so powerfully is the fact that there has not been a dependence established in the last several years, but there's been an escalation of numbers of people on the rows because there's been downgrade in the economy. >> what they are talking about is food stamps. we really shouldn't call it welfare. it's, you know, basically food stamps. because the economy, even if you're working, if you're not making enough to feed a family, and so democrats and republicans, by the way, bob
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dole was one of the biggest backers of the foot stamp program. they were the ones who got this through just to give people a little bit of a break, a little bit of help, so that's what's surging right now, and on the other dependency issues, what they are talking about, and looking back to 1962, that was before medicare and medicaid. if you got sick and didn't have money, you died. if you were old, you were poor. now, we fixed some of those things. is o'reilly saying that's a bad thing we've done as a country? >> of course, it's ludicrous. >> of course, none of it has to do with barack obama. >> this is what i want to ask you, we have about a minute left. look, all of these programs the republicans are espousing to make people need to go get food stamps and other forms of help, they deny the people or denigrate the people who have to have support because of their policies. >> what they don't like is obama care, so you could argue that is, in some ways, a new entitlement.
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>> that hasn't led to the rows being swollen. >> is this a notion, what, if you get sick, that's your fault that you're weak of character because, you know, you're in a culture of dependency, because you want to have some insurance if you get sick? what they are trying to do is create another argument, which i think has a racial dimension to it, because when ronald reagan talked about welfare queens, that had a racial dimension. they are trying to tag obama with this notion of he's the welfare president, the food stamp president, and it's got to end at the polls this november. >> there it is, jonathan alter, thank you very much. that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. ezra klein is filling in for rachel tonig. always good to see you, ezra. >> good to see you too, michael. thank you very much. thank you for you at home sticking around for the next hour. rachel has the night off tonight. let's be honest here, july 26,
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2012 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day to be mitt romney. even if you consider yourself the staunchest mitt romney supporter out there, i think you have to admit today didn't go exactly according to plan. the kickoff of romney's overseas trip has been a disaster. here's a lead paragraph tonight, "mitt romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive." it's been a bad day for mitt romney, a bad day that all began with this seemingly innocuous comment he made to our own brian williams last night. >> in the short time you've been here in london, do they look ready to your experienced eye? >> it's hard to know how well it will turn out. there were a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the
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supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials. that, obviously, is not something which is encouraging. >> wrong answer. i mean, not wrong exactly, i think he's probably right in the substance, legitimate concerns raised about security, organization, all of that, but wrong answer when the purpose of your trip is to make the people holding the olympics like you. that comment from mitt romney on his maiden voyage overseas set off a bet of a feeding frenzy in the uk, and leading the charge was a man that mr. romney was there to charm in the first place, british prime minister david cameron. >> we are holding an olympic games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. of course, it's easier if you hold an olympic games in the middle of nowhere. >> in the middle of nowhere. i think the term you're looking for there is oh, snap. mitt romney's comments stirred up such anger in london, he was forced to publicly walk back