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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  October 10, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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soundly with 7.8%. it may not be time for a got it made attitude like we had before the first debate but it's a very good time for some sound, solid professional confidence, that by taking the right steps now going full bored with what you have to sell, you will win this thing. and that's "hardball" for now. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, a question of character. the issue of abortion is a wrenching personal one for most americans. it deals with issues that are fundamental and profound. both in terms of personal feelings and public policy. but we now have a candidate for the highest office in the land. mitt romney, for whom the whole question of abortion seems negotiable. it's just another bargaining
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chip, a moveable position that changes whenever is politically convenient. here's the latest from an interview from an iowa newspaper. >> do you intend to pursue any legislation specifically regarding abortion? >> there's no legislation with regard to abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda. >> a new romney promise. no new abortion laws. is mitt to reassure women that he's really not going after their rights? the national review was told, quote, governor romney would, of course, support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life. this is the second time this year the campaign corrected their candidate on abortion. back in august, romney said abortion should be legal in several situations, including when the health of the mother is in danger. >> now, i'm in favor of abortion
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being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother. >> but then his campaign walked it back, saying, quote, he doesn't support an exception to protect the health of a pregnant woman. in all this that we're seeing, is it making your head spin? well, it should. because all year mitt romney has been clearly, severely anti-choice. >> do i believe the supreme court should overturn roe v. wade? >> now romney is contradicting that because with weeks to go he badly needs the women vote. he's down 22 points in ohio, a must-win state for him. so romney decided he must run
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from his party's extreme view on abortion and there's so much to run from. gop legislatures enacted 92 restrictions last year. in this year, 45 states have introduced 472 measures restricting a woman's right to choose. no wonder romney's trying to change his views. he's showing once again he will say anything to win this election, even if it's on an issue that most people consider a serious issue, a fundamental morality and principle. joining me now is joan walsh, editor at large for and an msnbc political analyst and erin carmone, a reporter for thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks. >> you know, joan, this is breath taking even for romney. >> it really is. you know, i have a tiny bit of
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sympathy for his campaign, reverend al, now, because they are people who follow around the parade with the pooper scooper. every time he says something like that -- i feel like i've gotten into a rhythm now. he's said something controversial. wait one, two, three. somebody is going to give a statement to the national review. he didn't mean that either. whether it's the pre-existing thing or choice. the amount of legislation coming down the pike, and also what romney knows about that legislation because he framed it in a wriggle room way. even with all of those outs, he's still lying. he knows he's losing with women. >> that's the point. it's like he'll do anything to close the deal. it's like he's still in the venture capital business, close the deal, say anything. and erin, the president is calling him on this. let me show you what we just got
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in, what the president said in an interview today. >> he thinks that it is appropriate for politicians to inject themselves in those decisions. governor romneys has made it very clear that if a bill comes to his desk that overturns rroe versus wade, that he will overturn that. >> president obama is calling him on what he said, he would sign a bill to overturn roe versus wade. he says he would put people on the court that would lean towards that. the facts are the facts, erin. >> absolutely. romneys was lying when he said he wasn't awar of that on his agenda. so -- and he chose a running mate in which he said he was going to own the 38 bills that paul ryan co-sponsored in the
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house to limit reproduction rights including access to birth control. so that's absolutely false and the president is absolutely right to point out to the supreme court, we are absolutely one vote away from overturning roe v. wade. we are one vote away from the safe and legal abortion access in this country. >> it's frightening to see how close we can go and the next president may decide one or two of those seats. joan, let me get back to this issue. the thing -- and i started with this -- is the almost shameless shifting by romney. because if you look in the 1990s and early 2000s, he was pro choice. let me show you some evidence of that. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. >> i will preserve and protect a
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woman's right to choose. >> so when asked, i make an unequivocal answer, yes. >> now, in fairness to mitt, he said he saw the light after that. he he changed his position. he grew. fine, but now he's going back. what are we seeing here? i'm a minister. i'm used to converts but do they go back and forth? >> they don't usually go back and forth. they change upsides and stay there. i don't think he has any convictions. the late kennedy called him and used to say he was pro choice because he had a young relative die of a botched illegal abortion. he talked about why this is a personal issue to him. he doesn't talk about her, he doesn't talk about that, and he swings like what is often a very difficult and private issue for women and their families. >> irin, one thing that is not
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fluctuating is this 2012 gop party platform, which is the most anti-woman that i've seen. no aborrowintions in case of ra incest. they support a human life amendment that gives protection to fetuses and would ban many form of birth control. they support mandatory ultrasound. that fetuses can feel pain before they are viable. this is the platform of his party that they did not denounce. >> i think that the anti-choice movement has basically been accepting some incremental changes but right now especially because romney has swung so much, they demanded a loyalty pledge for him and i don't think someone that has changed their positions so many times is going to be able to stand up to the extremists in their party. paul ryan said our positions are the same, bob mcdon nel all of
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them saying that he's a pro-life president. he gets so used to saying what he thinks people want to hear. >> and mcdonald is the governor in virginia who is going to do the ultrasound. you have ryan who co-sponsorsed with akin and he's now beginning to get mainstream republican support despite the despicable thing that he said in his case against mccaskill. until that race, mccaskill has come out and put an ad out that really shows who akin is and then i want to talk about the akin aspect of the romney. >> right. >> let me show you this ad. >> i'm a republican and a pro life mother and a rape survivor. in the hospital i was offered emergency contraception because of my personal beliefs, i declined. here's what else i believe. no woman should be denied that
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choice. >> now that's an effective ad. when you look at the fact that ryan and akin are two of a kind, paul ryan, the vice presidential candidate chosen by mitt romney and todd akin co-sponsored a bill called, the no taxpayer funded abortion toll tha would limit what would be considered rape, that funds could only be used for forceable rape, which has been the controversy around akin. >> right. and paul ryan co-sponsored it. >> co-sponsored it. >> co-sponsored it. not just supported it. and this is what is so incredible, that now the anti-choice people are so -- they smell victory and they are letting romney get away with this flip-flopping. so instead of calling him on the carpet and saying, what do you mean? we all know what he meant because we know he's going to be a pro life president. >> they think that he's going to win. once he's in, i think that they
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think they can have a claim on him. that is historically where they've gotten their absolute victories. >> scary. joan walsh and irin carmon, thank you for your time tonight. coming up, no more mr. nice guy. president obama is getting revved up for the next debate and says he's learned from the last one. >> governor romney had a good night. i had a bad night. >> how bad? >> well, it's not the first time i've had a bad night. if you have a bad game, you just move on. you look forward to the next one and it makes you that much more determined. plus, shifty business. now the romney folks are lying about lying. we have the tape to prove them wrong. and putting profits over people, romney's got a big china problem. and it's already hurting him in ohio. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ]
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governor romney was in ohio today again talking jobs, trying to connect with the middle class but he has a big problem. here's the secret he's trying to hide. take a look at this. the economy is getting better.
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the jobless rate in ohio is falling. now down to 7.2%. so mr. economy has become mr. scare tactics. >> we are the most innovative and productive people in the world but we will not allow them to keep taking our jobs on an unfair basis. >> stop taking our jobs. yes. he's vowing to stop what president obama couldn't. it's time to crack down. it's time to get tough. it's time to stop the madness. >> china has cheated. i will stop them from stealing american jobs. we have to crack down on cheaters like china. when someone cheats like china, we have to crack down on it. >> cheating and stealing.
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okay, america. are you ready for the brick wall of reality romney ran into today? an amazing report reveals romney has invested in the companies that he's promising to crack down on. one of them ships 500 jobs to china. how is that for a crackdown? how is that for getting tough? the outsourcer in chief is still cashing in. the gop has lost control of this jobs debate and this won't help the case. joining me now is nia-malika henderson, reporter for "the washington post," and ryan grimm, the bureau chief for t"te washington post". ryan, let me start with you. how do you see this playing out in ohio? >> you know, it depends on how
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joe biden and barack obama handle it in the coming debates, i think he, because as many stories as you want, until it's presented to people on their televisions and put right in their face, it's hard to grasp it unless it's in their neighborhood. bain capital owns a company closing at the end of this year and shipping all of the jobs, about 170 jobs over to china. the workers there have been pleading with romney to use his influence over the company to stop this. instead, he has given all kinds of answers. first he said he didn't know anything about it and then that it's a business decision he can't get involved in. he's made at least a million
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dollars that we know of. >> that's only one deal. but nia-malika, the "new york times" got its hands on a confidential prospectus for a bain funded romney invested in, it touts the fact that the manufacturing wages are 85% lower than american wages and it says china is a good investment because it will soon surpass the u.s. as the world's largest economy. this is the sales pitch. nia? >> and you've seen the obama campaign try to get at that the bain-china ads. whether or not they want to get in the weeds on this in front of 60, 70 mill people, how many people will tune in for this debate is hard to tell and romney has been an outsourcer of
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a china deal with regard to his book, "no apology." i think it's easily understood among people in the midwest who for years have dealt with the issue of outsourcing, particularly to china. that's why you see the gaps among mitt romney and barack obama. that is a gap that is closing. you first saw mitt romney out on the campaign trail today with chris christie trying to come across as a regular guy. i do think that this argument that bain capital and his record there and that he supported outsourcing. >> you're there in ohio, a state that was impacted with the auto bailout and the others. on the ground, how is this affecting him with ohioans,
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because he needs ohio to win. >> one in ten jobs is connected to the auto industry in ohio and in the midwest, many more jobs. that's why you see these gaps. it's down to 4%. it had been as high as 8% beforehand. when you talk to democrats and folks on the ground in ohio, there is a sense that the economy is getting better. it's about 8.6% in january 2009, had rocketed up to 10.6%. it's 7.2% now. i think obama is trying to run on that trend and you have romney, of course, trying to really say that these turnarounds in terms of the economy were due to republican economic policies put in place by kasich, a difficult argument to make but so far he's been able to close this gap that we saw that had been up to 8%, according to some polls. >> and is causing problems, ryan, even the republican senate
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candidate in ohio against share rod brown sherrod brown and then he refused to say whether he supported the auto bailout. let me let you listen to this exchange. >> the government stepping in to bailout chrysler and gm? >> i think it depends on who you ask. >> it was, do we save chrysler and gm, what do you do? >> again, this is a false choice. >> so you would -- >> it needs to be done under the umbrella of the free enterprise system. >> as we sit here today, was that a good vote or a bad vote? >> i personally would have had trouble with stripping these hardworking -- >> that's mandel running against sherrod brown. it's almost painful to see him
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trying to duck around answers, ryan. >> his entire campaign has been difficult to watch. it's been completely disastrous. the republican expected to pick this seat up. instead, he's getting beat pretty handedly. it's hard for him to grapple with the fact that this intervention with the auto industry actually helped and that's what is helping the president there. i do think that voters do generally understand that it's businessmen like mitt romney who are the kinds of people who led this offshoring over the last 20 to 30 years when private equity buys the factory in your neighborhood, that's when you gulf. that's not like, oh, great. bain capital just bought the factory in our town. i think we're going to be okay. that's when people really start worrying. and so it's not hard for people to go from -- oh, he opposed this bailout and he has all of these investments in china.
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yes, that's related to the decline in manufacturing here in the last 20, 30 years. it's not hard for them to connect those doubts. >> thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, rev. still ahead, this is a new one. the romney campaign now not telling the truth about not telling the truth. i'm laughing but it hurts. but, first, republicans are back to their old tricks. playing politics with a national tragedy. that's next. sweetie, you have to scrub it first.
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welcome back. republicans on capitol hill have turned the deadly attacks of the american consulate in libya into a political stunt. today republican congressman darrell issa opened a hearing to review security issues surrounding those attacks. but the committee's top democrat made clear what this phony investigation is all about. >> and we are pursing this investigation on a, quote, bipartisan basis, that has simply not been the case. the chairman has withheld documents that were provided to the committee which is in violation of the house rules. >> violating the rules to score some cheap political points
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against the obama administration. look, they've got a big problem on the issue. since 2011, they cut nearly half a billion dollars from embassy security. secretary state clinton warned last year how devastating those cuts could be. >> the scope of the proposed house cuts is massive. the truth is, that cuts of that level will be detrimental to america's national security. >> it's a mess for republicans. but mitt romney isn't makinging it any better. for the past two days he's been sharing this story on the trail. as part of an effort to make himself seem more compassionate. >> i've met some wonderful people.
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one was a former navy s.e.a.l. he was killed in benghazi a couple of weeks ago. >> today they demanded that mitt romney stop. she told a boston tv station, quote, i don't trust romney. he should make my son's death part of his political agenda. it's wrong to use these brave, young men who wanted freedom for all to degrade obama. this afternoon the romney campaign announced they wouldn't use that story on the campaign trail again i think the american people feel the same way.
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>> the other side said he lied his way through the debate. >> lied about what? this is something that he's been saying all along. this is something that he believes. it's sort of like someone that is in the sandbox that lost the game and they are going to kick sand in their face and say, you liar. >> the president is like a child kicking stand? now that's bad but this is really what struck me. >> lied about what? this is something that he's been saying all along. this is what he believes. >> something he's been saying all along? so that means he's been saying this about taxes. >> i will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. i know that you and your running mate keep saying that and it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people but it's not the case. >> it's not the case. the answer was on the up and up, right? >> there were so many misrepresentations, it's going to take me a while. number one, i said that we're going to cut taxes on everyone
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by 20%, including the top 1%. >> huh? well, that's odd. but the tax issue was probably a fluke. let's try his answer on regulation. >> regulation is essential. you can't have a free market work without regulation. >> it's essential. so essential that he's actually said this. >> this president has enacted job killing regulations. i'll eliminate them. >> regulation is so essential that it must be eliminated. but don't worry, he was playing it straight on coverage for pre-existing conditions. >> actually, it's a lengthy description but, number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. >> it's a lengthy descriptn. but the bottom line is pre-existing conditions are covered, right? >> people with pre-existing conditions, as long as they have been insured before, they are going to be able to have
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insurance. >> what if they were never insured. >> if they are 45 years old and show up i want insurance because i have a heart disease, we can't play the game like that. >> the governor is right about one thing, you can't play the game like that. you can't change who you are when you are running for president. joining me now is democratic strategist tad devine, a senior adviser for the kerry and gore campaigns. and ana marie cox. thank you both for joining us. >> thank you, reverend. >> good to be here. >> ted, you have advised a lot of politicians. how do you go after romney who seems allergic to the truth? >> well, you have to be relentlr relentless. you have to relentlessly go after it.
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you have to make sure that the public knows. romney told lies to america in front of 70 million people and then his aides went out on the floor and said he didn't mean that stuff. you have to make sure that he's called to the mat. i'm sure that the vice president will do that as well. >> ana marie, former president bill clinton was in las vegas and he hit the trail saying that governor romney's debate makeover impressed him in so many words. take a look. >> i had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did. i mean, i thought -- i thought, wow, here's old moderate mitt. where you been, boy? i miss you all these last few years. >> i mean, president clinton -- it was funny but it was straight
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to the point. >> it was. although if anyone knows what an image makeover looks like, it's probably president clinton. on the other hand t. would take a lot to impress him. mitt did win on that account. when we talk about him having won that debate, it is on appearances. it's on his ability to taylor himself rather perfectly for the audience that was watching and i think his campaign knew it would be a very different audience watching him for the last four years. as we've been saying, i was actually thinking and we heard that ann romney quote saying, this is what he's said all along. i can't think of a single thing that mitt romney has been saying, quote, all along, that he's still saying now, besides maybe his name. you know -- i mean, there's been no consistency whatsoever in his platform or what he tells people. i'm curious as to what she is
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referring to. >> ana marie, that hasn't even been consistent because willard. tad picking up on that point, let me show you for people who think i just went to the top of this. let me show you some more of the makeover of mr. romney. let me show you a real genius of makeover. >> the key to great schools, great teacher. i reject the idea that i don't believe in good teachers. >> he says we need more teachers and policemen. did he not get the message in wisconsin? the american people did, it's time to cut back on government. >> i will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income americans. >> so the top rate would go from 35 to 28. >> what we did in massachusetts is a model for the nation. >> so you're saying on camera and other places that at times you thought it would be a model for the nation.
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>> you're wrong, brett. >> no. >> the tape out there -- continue to read the tape. >> i mean, just blatant things. he says the exact opposite. but, tad, the politics is what i'm trying to get out of you. is it bad politics to aggressively go after him and show the man is just outright lying, going back and forward, is it the wrong political move? why are they just nailing him with this stuff? >> it's a right thing to do. if the proof is presented to them vividly, they are going to go after it. mitt romney got away with it and then ran from his own policies. he thinks he can get away with it in this campaign. i think what has to be done to the obama campaign, the press as well, this guy has to be made accountable for his own record and his own position on issues. i went on his website and he
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needs to be held accountable for his policies, his record, his statements. i think if he is, voters are going to get disgusted because the one thing they hate more than anything else is a phony. >> now, can biden bring that shot home and hit the bull's eye? >> i think he can. i think if there's one thing that some of us really love about joe biden is he is really plain spoken. he can deliver the hard truths to paul ryan and i think in some ways it is going to be perfectly set up for biden to do this kind of delivery. paul ryan, bless his heart, has a harder time lying than mitt romney does. he actually believes in what he has to say which is a fault in some politicians but hopefully he will be able to talk about the issues if he accurately
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reflects the issues that he and mitt romney can agree on. at least up until recently i think that could be a win for democrats. >> doesn't that really put ryan in a bind, tad, where he has to try and defend the top of his ticket but at the same time protect his own future if, in fact, he's not elected vice president? >> yeah, i think it's very difficult for congressman ryan. he's going to have to lie about two sets of records, not just one. the truth is that the ryan plan, the proposal was being attacked before it was picked. after it was picked, romney affirmed that he would go along with it which includes turning medicare into a voucher program, cuts in education, cuts across the board. if ryan is going to run away from that, i think he's going to have a hard time. joe biden understands these policies. i think he's going to confront ryan with the truth of his
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policies, with the truth of romney record. that's what not just the democratic party is looking for but the nation is looking for. >> thank you both for your time this evening. >> thank you. coming up, about that debate, president obama says he just had a bad night. more on what the president is saying and what he's planning for round two. don't miss it. and affirmative action heads to the supreme court. and i was inside as the drama played out. stay with us. you know, i was once used for small jobs. yeah, and i took on all the bigger, tougher ones. but now that mr. clean's got this new select-a-size magic eraser, i mean, he can take on any size job. look how easily he gets things cleaned. it's enough to make you cry. you, specifically. not me. i'm just happy we don't go near rex's mobile home as often. because it's hard to clean or because you're scared of an itty-bitty doggy? [ dog barks ] aah! oh! [ clears throat ] yeah, that was a sneeze. i think i sprayed myself. [ male announcer ] new mr. clean select-a-size magic eraser.
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welcome back. the presidential race is tied. a new gallup poll today shows it's exactly even, with president obama and mitt romney tied at 48%. just minutes ago the president talked about the first debate. >> governor romney had a good night. i had a bad night. >> how bad? >> well, it's not the first time i've had a bad night but i think what's important is that the fundamentals of what this race is about hasn't changed. governor romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his
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positions are. if you have a bad game, you move on to the next one and it makes you that much more determined. the difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high. >> we knew this race would be close. the question is, how will we respond? joining me now is dick, chairman of the south carolina democratic party, and tan den, president of the americans for progress. thank you both for being here. >> thank you. >> nira, today you cautioned obama supporters to stop freaking out. so where do you see things now moving forward? >> you know, i actually think that if you look at the numbers, even on gallup, the president took a hit to his numbers from the debate performance, no question about it, but it does seem like he's coming back. you said the president was five points up among registered
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voters today. that was up from yesterday. so i think the race is coming back to a predebate level. and what really doesn't make sense is for democrats to believe that this race is somehow over when we have four weeks and three debates left. >> dick, when you look at the president and how he's assessing things, let me show you what he said in an interview just released. watch this. >> no doubt that he made a good sales pitch. the problem is the product is not going to work. >> is it possible you handed him the election that night? >> no. >> you're going to win? >> yes. >> he says he's going to win. what do you say, dick? >> well, you know, i met barack obama in 2007 when he came to south carolina and campaigned with him and if you remember he
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got his brains beat out in new hampshire and came to south carolina after a tremendous defeat. i'm seeing now what i'm seeing now. a revitalized campaign. he didn't like getting spanked in new hampshire or in the debate last night. he's beginning to call it aggressively as all of us want him to do and i think he's going to win this race and i think he's going to win it by margins much more than the pundits think. >> he was on a morning show this morning and this is what he said he learned during the first debate. listen. >> the debate, i think, it's fair to say i was just too polite because it's hard to just keep on saying what you're saying isn't true. it gets repetitive. but the good news is, that's just the first one. i think it's fair to say we will see a little more activity at
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the next one. >> a little more activity than the next one. >> i think what the president said today this morning is going to be helpful to a lot of democrats. people want to hear him say just straight out he intends to win. he's going to fight this thing he's going to hold governor romney accountable for the changed positions. you have to deal with the smile. you have to say it -- you have to say you -- you can't be overly aggressive. but this president needs to hold governor romney aaccountable to the fact, that he held positions far to the right rkt where he needed to win the conservative primary and a month before the election he's changed his position to get their vote. that's a stance of hypocrisy that will smell to the american people. he has a great opportunity to do that. there's a lot of factual material out there. and he has to deliver the pump
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and i think that he shows that he will. >> i've also ln traveling around. some people claim it's bigger things at stake. former president clinton yesterday said the election boils down to fairness. take a look. >> the choice is, we are all in this together and you're on your own. the choice is believing that we are better off because of too much inequality, people left behind. it's a severe constraint on economic growth for everybody else. so it's trickle down economics. >> there are big issues at stake here, dick. there are a lot of things that people rundsing out there that we're talking about the
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direction of the country and just fairness for its citizens. >> al, absolutely. and one of the things that my wife and i noticed is where mitt romney goes and we read about the big bird issue. he looked at jim lehrer, with a smile, a smirk on his face and says, oh, and i'm going to fire you, too, jim. to me it demonstrated this guy has no soul. he will say whatever and he enjoys firing people. he said, i like firing people. >> he did say that. >> and he looked jim lehrer right in the eye and say, do you really want that guy to make a decision about medicare or health care generally? he will say whatever it takes to get there and it's clear that barack obama is going to give him a good spanking at the next one. >> neera, i think it's going to
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to come down to what connects with what policies are happening in today interests and feels the need for those policy to be in place to really bring them back from the worst economic hit we've taken since the despregs. >> yeah. and i think you said that the president made that point sort of subtly on this evening bruise cast. what he's saying is, he's going to win because the steaks are so high. this is not about anyone's performance. it's about what they are going to -- you know, on a debate stage or at an event, it's really about what they are going to do aspell, what your plans are and where you stand. and i think the challenge for mitt romney is really honestly we have no idea where -- what his stances are and what le do as president because he changes them all the time. >> that's right.
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>> neera and thank you for your time tonight. affirmative action at the supreme court. i was there as part of the how it played out. it was remarkable. that's next. wait for it... wait for it... [ dog ] you know, i just don't think i should have to wait for it! who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, we won't make you wait for it.
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the biggest challenge of the affirmative action is now in the hands of the supreme court. allowing colleges to use race is one of several factors in admissions. so is diversity a goal we should have in society? is diversity something we should strive for in our institution and schools? i was inside the court for the arguments today. we have established debt that was presented to the court today
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that diversity is the best thing for america for all races. there are no victims when you have racial diversity. there are only victims when you stop racial diversity. >> the stakes are high. the court could set new limits on affirmative action or it could end the practice altogether. since 2003, the university of texas has become more diverse and the question at hand is, is that 2% diversity increase enough? when do we know when we have achieved diversity? that was the key question between two heavyweights on the court who went back and forth on this question and justice sotomayor refused to back down before justice ka scalia. i sat there fascinated as he


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