tv The Ed Show MSNBC July 27, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
candidate, and his act has been met with a collective groan. it happened when nbc news's brian 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 the games there are three parts that make games successful. number one, of course, are the athletes, that's what overwhelmingly what the games are about. number two is the volunteers. they will 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 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 he supposedly saved the salt lake city winter olympics in america. suffice it to say the british were unimpressed. here's the 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. >> the middle of nowhere. romney reportedly tried to put things right in his meeting with the prime minister, particularly since mr. cameron had gone out of his way to host the presidential candidate. later, outside of 10 downing street romney began his long and winding walk bach. >> 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 right in the first day or so. those get ironed out. and then when the games themselves begin and the athletes take over all the mistakes of 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 way. >> 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. >> 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? [ cheers and applause ] are we ready? [ cheers and applause ] yes, we are! the venues are ready. the stadium is ready. the aquatics centre is ready. the velodrome is ready. the security is ready. the police are ready. the transport system is ready. and our athletes are ready, aren't they? >> sound pretty ready to me. the "times" blared the headline "p.m. delivers olympic putdown to romney." from the "guardian," "mitt romney's olympic blunder." and the daily mail, "cameron
hits at mitt." and frequent tweets. another verdict from one romney meeting, apparently devoid of charm, warmth, humor, or 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 incessantly complains about president obama apologizing for america, which president obama has never done. let's not forget that mitt romney got plenty of government aid to bail out the salt lake city olympics. he even registered as a lobbyist to soak the government for as much as he could. and 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 said this about his wife's olympic event. >> i have to tell you, 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 phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, did mitt romney fail his first international audition? text a for yes, text b for no to 622639. or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. i'll bring you the results later in the show. joining me now is political commentator and satirist 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 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 that 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 that america's economic woes were as a result of all the vulture capitalists such as mitt romney and his cronies 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 ever been able to be run without any mistakes whatsoever, but they're 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 there were problems there. hello? it used to be security was 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. yeah, you know, if you go to the acme night watchman company from mumbai, maybe your security won't be as good as having good national federal workers.
so he's complaining, speculating about a problem that would be mirroring his own policy. another example of that is the fact that he said that he didn't think the british public might be supportive and that 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. it's been big tax cuts for the wealthy and a big cutdown 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. other than that one well-placed jab. 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 some doggy treats and he had tony blair acting like a french poodle. i mean, it's not hard to do. so to alienate your allies is not really good sense. furthermore, he not only alienated david cameron, but he alienated the leader of the british labour party, who could be the next prime minister, david miliband birks n, by not remembering his name. he turned around in a press conference at one point and said mister -- mister -- mister leader. this would be like if ed millerbantom said mr. candidate. how hard is it to remember the word miliband? the first part is milli, like the millions mitt romney has in the cayman islands. >> if he had been listening to lil wayne, a milly, a milly, a milly.
why wouldn't he watch his wife's olympic event? doesn't that seem odd to you that he went out of his way to discount the fact that he'd be watching and say he wouldn't? >> well, he's going to have problems to answer with ann romney. but 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. which is a very secretive organization. in fairness to him, what he actually did was he meet judi dench, who plays m in the james bond films, and he got a little confused. >> what about the fundraiser he's having with the people behind the libor scandal? isn't this interesting? and the barclays and so on. 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 just been revealed some of the comments he's made in the last couple of years about britain. he called it a second-tier
nation. he said it had produced nothing that anyone wants. hello. shakespeare, dickens, the beatles. tea. you know tea, mitt romney. the drink that you're not allowed to have because it stimulates the brain. you know, something that the hard of thinking worry about. >> ah. the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir 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" weighs in. we'll be right back.
heritage of this country. now both campaigns are responding. we'll have the details. and later, bill o'reilly revives the lie about welfare programs and an entitlement society. jonathan alter will join me to take down bill's weak argument. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using the hashtag edshow. we'll be right back. wç
mitt romney has turned on the charm during his visit to britain by questioning the country's ability to host the olympic games. >> the message that 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, 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 he publicly acknowledged meeting with the head of mi-6, 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 he was publicly mocked by the mayor of london in front of tens of thousands of people. the gaffe field trip has prompted one conservative here at home to compare him to mr. bean. and while one of romney's advisers claims the presidential candidate intends to fully honor the special relationship between the u.s. and the uk, you'd never guess that by reading romney's book, "no apology." "england is just a small island," he wrote. "its roads and houses are small, with few exceptions it doesn't make things that the rest of the world wants to buy. and if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to hitler's ambitions."
wow. joining me now is evan mcmorris-santoro. reporter for talking points memo. 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 a great part of his biography if you ask him and his supporters, and also going to england, you know, it's a big american ally, a strong american ally, it's a place for him to go and, you know, show off his ability to talk to world leaders. you know, obviously, it's run by conservatives that are more in line with him. those are some of the people that were calling him out today.
boris johnson that you showed and david cameron specifically. but in terms of the effects back here, the main effect so far today has been that he was 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. foreign policy experts said, you know, if he can't handle talking about the olympics, how can he handle talking to china? and just on the way over here in the car i saw harry reid told the huffington post that, you know, 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. and just sort of -- 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 krauthammer. >> what romney answered is
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 of charles krauthammer. how does the romney team spin that? >> well, today what they did was they had bobby jindal and bob mcdonald, two governors, jindal from louisiana, mcdonald from virginia, two big romney surrogates and potential vice presidential choices. they had a press conference called 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 it kind of undermines the entire reason for romney to go overseas. you mentioned 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 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 and they say no, no, no, none of this is important, doesn't matter, it's the economy still, domestic issues that are important. pay no attention to the trip. >> how convenient. and if the foreign press ain't so important, why do they give out the golden globes every year? is this a sneak peek at how romney would handle foreign affairs? >> well, you know, like i said, think that that is -- 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, he can't handle china, he can't
handle iran. he can't handle these big events. you know, this is a pretty easy -- i mean, you had krauthammer on saying what he said and reid said the same thing. harry reid said the same thing. this is generally a pretty easy idea. a pretty easy thing for a congress -- for a politician to do, is just sort of praise the olympics and move on. >> yeah. you've got to be pretty smart to mess that up. evan mcmorris-santoro, thank you so very 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 will join me to discuss those comments. and our panel will weigh in on mitt's rainy london day. stay tuned.
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. a romney adviser tells the british newspaper "the telegraph" that president obama can't fully comprehend the special relationship between the u.s. and 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 have.
romney press secretary andrea saul says the comments don't represent mitt romney's beliefs. the obama campaign says it won't characterize the comment as a form of racial baiting. here's what romney himself had to say. >> so i'm not sure who this person is, but i can tell you we that 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 part of a pattern for team romney. earlier this week the presidential hopeful tried to paint the president as other. >> this is an ideology which 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 upside down philosophy that does not comport with the american
experience. >> you know, a lot of us understand things differently, as author edward mcclellan points out, president obama's mother is of english descent. making the president more anglo-saxon than ronald reagan, who was of irish descent. considering the president enjoys healthy approval ratings when it comes to foreign affairs, 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." um joined now by keith boykin, democratic strategist and cnbc contributor. thanks for coming on to the show. >> thanks, michael. >> keith, david axelrod called the quotes stunningly offensive on twitter. vice president biden says, "this assertion is 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? >> 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 he have control over the people who are around him? b, what type of values does he actually believe in? what is his core? and i think that's really the issue here. there's been a lot of talk about mitt romney's flip-flops, mitt romney making mistakes in england this year or this week. but the real issue is does he believe in what he's saying? does he even have a foreign policy to articulate? he doesn't even have an economic policy to articulate. so when you have all these different confusing, different statements that you're leaving out there, how do you expect your advisers to respond to that? clearly there is a racial undertone that people will pick up when they hear those words. whether or not they're intended. that's something he's going 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 said to me that look, a mosquito
doesn't have to intend harm to you. it just wants blood. but it can give you malaria. intentionality does not embrace consequence. so even if his intentions are not such of a racial nature but the consequence, of course, do you buy romney's walk-back? because he doesn't appear to be conscious of what you just said. >> i don't know if i can buy the walk back. only because 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. so what is it that he's walking back in the first place? this adviser, who he kind of denied -- the adviser said he kind of denied there was an adviser. and then he kind of said he doesn't know who that person is. so we don't really know what he's saying on this. but why isn't he rooting this out? 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 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 animus here because they don't want to be seen in that way and 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 the obama campaign? they're in a difficult situation. they say it's not race baiting, but don't you see the racial subtext and doesn't the rest of america see that? >> they don't have to say that, everyone else can see it. and you and i can see it, i assume. they were smart. joe biden makes a statement about it. david axelrod makes a statement about it. the president doesn't have to say a word. because anybody who has any understanding of american history, and you have a better understanding of that than almost anybody. anybody who has an understanding of that can clearly see what's going on here. so all you have to do is put those words out there, let people interpret that as they will, and force the romney
campaign to explain or defend what they're doing. you know, this has been a horrible week for mitt romney to go overseas to try to showcase his knowledge of foreign policy, his knowledge of his ability to be a commander in 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's got to do a better job in order to convince people that he has something realistic that we should be willing to accept. >> yeah. maybe he better play down that anglo-saxon heritage and play up that afro-saxon hert thaj he needs to tap into with president obama. keith boykin, thank you so very much. >> thank you, michael. still to come on "the ed show," mitt romney says president o'bama's been apologizing to america. but after mitt's bad day nengd 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. for you, life's about her.
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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
games are about. number two are the volunteers. and 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, the nation magazine columnist ilyse hogue, and political comedian john fugelsang. who's co-headlining stephanie miller's sexy liberal comedy tour this saturday night at the -- what is that? >> pantages theater. >> pantages theater in hollywood. 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, michael, but i don't think it's a great idea. he did succeed in making prince philip look like lil wayne. but i'm really scared he's going to go over to israel next week and say the wailing wall is meshugennah. mitt romney's been going around for a year lying about the president and saying he's apologized for america.
now america has to apologize for mitt romney. >> oy vey. romney's campaign was hoping his appearance at the opening ceremony friday 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. and i can tell you that the uk has, what, 63 million people of which i think 92% are white. so for the first time in mitt romney's life he has managed to do something very bad in the etiquette book. he has ticked off 63 million white people. that is not a smart thing for someone to do, especially when he's in their country visiting them and meeting with their leadership. this is not a very good way for him to begin his overseas trip. i am a little bitterified what he's going to do when he hits israel and i'm even more terrified what happens when he hits poland. >> yeah. be careful at that wailing wall, sir. mitt publicly said he met with the head of mi-6, the
international arm of 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, i think what we've learned about mitt romney today is at least he's an equal opportunity offender, right? he can clearly offend the guys 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? he's got 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. and he's on the run from. but the olympics were supposed to be his safety school. it was supposed to be 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? so 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
would be like a downpour. 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. that would be somewhat devastating. he probably might give her a bear hug or something. which by the way, just to give you some advice, mitt romney, don't touch the queen unless she extends her hand. it's just not a good thing to do. >> jimmy, i want to interject for a second, jimmy, and point out that mitt romney didn't build these gaffes on his own. okay? he had a staff. he had advisers. and they all helped him create these gaffes. he didn't do it by himself. >> from birth, these things came from birth. he's had a number of years to develop these with his family, friends, teachers, and colleagues. >> well, besides these congenital 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 ripped us off with the libor scandal. i hope the kardashians will go visit to the american media will cover that. that's exactly who he's going to go visit.
i'm like anglo-saxon, please. 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. look, i guess she's got a horse. i don't know. it's a horse of a different color. it's a horse of a different character. i'm not concerned. i mean, i'm making this up. but it was really pretty bad that he was trying to feign a lack of investment. was that a good move to suggest that he's not even concerned about his wife having a tremendous accomplishment of making it to the olympics? ilyse, why don't you answer that? >> well k look, i think his wife has stood by him and he should stand by her. and most women are going to feel that way. but i think it's a bigger problem for him. that he does not know how to deal with the fact that he comes off as so completely out of touch from most common american experience and he's bumbling and bumbling. and it's just like john says. he's got a team that's supposed
to help him deal with this and they're flailing all over the place. >> i want to ask you a question. 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? and you don't have to answer that. what about the broader world of foreign policy which is more foreign than the uk, which is pretty 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 field and realm. if he does that, i hope that they have learned at this point after a number of years that africa is not a country. it is indeed a continent. that it is made up of lots of countries. if that's the case, then he should probably just go see one or two of them so he doesn't get it wrong. >> we've got 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 so very much. coming up, the twitterverse was not happy with our viewers' gentle criticism of president obama last night.
coming up, the twitterverse was abuzz 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 living, breathing 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. come in the water! somebody didn't book with travelocity, with 24/7 customer support to help move them to the pool daddy promised! look at me, i'm swimming! somebody, get her a pony! [ female announcer ] the travelocity guarantee. from the price to the room to the trip you'll never roam alone. [ male announcer ] it seems like every company
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 twitterverse, the blitterverse? 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
me asking a commentator a legitimate question seemed to send some of the president's other supporters into an irrational 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 who voted overwhelmingly against obama when he ran for congress and who italianly 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 that i was supporting a relatively unknown junior senator they referred to as barrack obama. don't lecture me on a man i've supported for 20 years. 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 with belligerent retorts. hateful wannabes who try to
trump his legitimate citizenship. and presidential campaigns who 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-e ain't mad either. hear me, black folk, save your exasperation and your indignation for the president's real haters. i ain't one of them. how do i know? because he told me so at the
olympic warm-up game the other day in d.c., when he hugged me and thanked me for my love and support. when you get it at that level, holla 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. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping.
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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 poetic about life in 1962 and wrongly boasted that only 6% of americans were on welfare. census data shows it was actually closer to 12%. but o'reilly said families lived modestly, had fun, and appreciated what they had. he says america was stronger back then. o'reilly's just one of a crowd of republicans including mitt romney who repeatedly claim 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 is systematically destroying the work ethic. how? by the narcotic of government dependency. >> 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 found versions of this same rhetoric about dependency date back to the 1800s. but o'reilly's not wrong that more people have enrolled in government assistance since the '60s. he claims 35% of households are now on federal aid. that's wrong. it's closer to 19%. according to the latest census. and 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. only 13% don't have jobs.
at a time of national economic chris, when so many people are struggling to find a job, 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 me get right to the point, jonathan. does welfare make americans dependent? >> well, 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-class standard of living without some help. so the idea that these are deadbeats who are getting money from the government and sitting on the couch, it's not factually true. >> absolutely. and you 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 to poor people by severing the ties with aid to families to dependent children. but here's the point. the point you made so powerfully is the fact there has not been a dependence established in the last several years but there's been an escalation of numbers of people on the rolls because there's been an economic downturn in the economy and a lot of non-black and latino people are on twelfare. >> 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, you're not making enough to feed a family. and so democrats and
republicans -- by the way, bob dole was one of the biggest backers of the food 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're talking about, and looking back to 1962, that was before medicare and medicaid. if you got sick and you didn't have money, you died. >> let me ask you this. >> 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 anything to do with barack obama because he hasn't put in new entitlement programs -- >> this is what i want to ask you. we've got 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, then they deny the people or at least denigrate the people who have to have support because of their policies. i mean, there's a relationship there they don't want to deal with. >> what they don't like is obama care, right? so you could argue that is in some ways a new entitlement, that people republican titled to health insurance.
>> that hasn't led to the rolls being swollen. >> is this somehow some notion that 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? so what they're trying to do is just 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're trying to tag obama with this notion that 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 so very much. that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. ezra klein is filling in for rachel tonight. always good to see you, ezra. >> good to see you too, michael. thank you very much. and thank you to you at home for stick around for the next hour. rachel has the night off tonight. let's just be honest here. today, july 26th, 2012, was a
terrible, tonight. let's be honest here, july 26, 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 mitt romney's overseas trip has kind of been a disaster. here's a lead paragraph tonight, in "the telegraph" newspaper -- "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 about the london olympics that he made to our very own brian williams last night. >> in the short time you've been here in london, do they look ready to your experienced eye? >> you know, it's hard to know just 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 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. there have been legitimate concerns raised about security, the 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 holy snap. mitt romney's comments stirred up such anger in london today that he was forced to p
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