tv The Last Word MSNBC July 23, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
today monica lewinsky turned 40 and anthony weiner turned red. again. again. >> it's tuesday july 23rd. >> it's tuesday july 23rd. >> there was a lot to talk about. ♪ >> mitch mcconnell failed in his goals. >> he tried to make love to the fey party and they didn't like it. >> pope francis arrived in brazil to a raucous weome. >> this is not a guy that sticks to the schedule. >> it's not unusual for baseball players to get hit by a stray pitch. but how about this one? >> weiner. again. >> some of these things happened before. some of them happen after. >> he's streaking digitally down the street to us. >> i've been asking new yorkers to also give me another chance. >> why would you want to sext pictures of your naked self around the country? >> this is becoming ridiculous.
>> there is a lot to talk about. who am i kidding? there is exactly one thing to talk about. >> woman has baby. >> oh, my god, oh, my god! >> there is a royal baby. >> all yield to the one true king! ♪ this afternoon new york city mayoral candidate anthony weiner stepped up to the microphones at a campaign stop to once again say a few words about his latest sexting scandal, but this time for the first time in an anthony weiner sexting scandal press conference his wife was by his side. >> whom as you know has been out there with me recently and she had a few words she wanted to say. so my amazing wife, huma abedin.
>> hi. good evening. as many of you who have followed this campaign know, i've spent a good deal out on the campaign trail. at churches and street fairs, parades. but this is the first time i've spoken at a press conference. and you'll have to bear with me because i'm very nervous and i wrote down what i wanted to say. when we faced this publicly two years ago, it was the beginning of a time in our marriage that was very difficult. and it took us a very long time to get through it. anthony's made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from congress and after. but i do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage. we discussed all this before
anthony decided to run for mayor. so really what i want to say is i love him, i have forgiven him, i believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward. >> anthony weiner took a couple of questions today. one zeroing in on when was the last time that he engaged in sex chat online? >> i can't -- i can't say exactly. sometime last summer, i think. >> in his statement anthony weiner insisted that some of the material released today by the website thedirty.com is true and some of it is not true. that material includes what purports to be his online sex chats and a new picture of his pixelated penis. the young woman who says she was
exchanging sex messages with anthony weiner remains anonymous tonight but gave this statement to thedirty.com. "i just want to clarify that although i was 22 and technically an adult i was obviously immature and i acted irresponsibly. i realize my correspondence with mr. weiner was a huge mistake and i am embarrassed by it. but the facts are the facts, and he's running for mayor of nyc so i felt i should get my story out there. i have no reason to lie. i don't want the attention or i wouldn't have kept my anonymity. i didn't get paid for anything. i quite literally have nothing to gain from this. and to be totally clear, i did not sleep with him or receive any funds from him. i've seen comments stating otherwise, and they are all totally false. i think it's important to reiterate the fact that all of this happened with him after his first scandal, so all of his campaign promises about being a changed man are absolute lies."
joining me now, the huffington post's sam stein. msnbc's karen finney and ari melber. and sex therapist and psychiatrist dr. madeline castellanos. ari melber -- >> you're starting with me? >> i'm starting with you. sexting scandals start with ari melber on this program. okay? >> literally. >> i need some expertise here. i want to get to this last line of the woman in this new story. she says that all of his campaign promises about being a changed man are absolute lies. what -- how is this -- what is your sense of how this is going to play in this campaign? >> well, look, she's an anonymous source. we deal with anonymous sources a lot in politics. right? so unlike, say, an anonymous source in the "new york times" we don't have a third party validating quite as much. having said that, as you know
and as the audience knows, he has burned up quite a bit of credibility for people who care about the details of this because he has been previously caught in several lies. i don't think the politics actually will hurt him that much in the long run in new york. and i'll tell you why, lawrence. >> really? >> yes. i'll tell you why. >> tell me why. >> i don't think the average new york democratic primary voter, which is a subset of a subset, learned a lot they didn't already know about him, which is he's got this history. some people think it's pretty weird. some people think the digital sexting nature of it is in some ways less relatable than other types of sexual infidelity, although i've said for a long time i don't think that's how we should judge our politicians. but what's new to them i think more to that is huma coming out and speaking directly on behalf of him. and i think we've seen the possibility of real remorse and real embrace within the family regardless of how complex that family is, has worked well for a lot of other politicians. >> karen finney, if anthony weiner's mayoral campaign is going to be saved tonight, it's going to be saved by his wife,
your friend, huma abedin. >> yeah. that's true. i mean, look, i think there's two pieces to this. as ari was talking about -- >> oh, no, there's a lot of pieces to this. if you go to thedirty.com, there's an awful lot to read on there. >> i know. >> it's amazing material. >> and if you go to twitter, you can see geraldo rivera's, you know -- so these days guys are tweeting everything. anyway, but i think there's the political piece as well as the personal piece. and i think on the political level, yes, this was good for the campaign. it answered the question that everybody was going to ask. right? and that saved them from having another full day of stories about it. on the other hand, i have to say i'm glad for her that she got to say what she wanted to say on her terms because she really hasn't. i mean, she did sort of in the "people" magazine piece, i guess, but -- and i have to say my personal opinion on all this stuff is that it's their business. right? i think what is relevant to the race is the fact that although i'm not that surprised by this news because he said when he announced that there were
like -- that there were other things out there. so we knew it was just a matter of time. and i think it's for the voters of new york to decide are they comfortable with that. are they comfortable that they may not know the whole story. >> sam stein, the attempt here is to suggest that anthony weiner not having fully disclosed every single thing he could possibly disclose about his sexting history prior to becoming candidate for mayor of new york somehow makes him untrustworthy as a political office holder. >> well, first of all, i lack the expertise in the politics of sexting that ari has -- >> that's why i'm going last with you. >> i know. but i think few have that expertise. as for whether or not, you know, he recovers from this or this ruins his credibility, i have to say, ari's right, he's lied about this stuff before. >> what credibility? is what you're saying. >> yeah. and the assumption -- he let everybody assume that the last instance of this is when it was
exposed and he chose to resign from congress. and he let that assumption hang out there for a while knowing full well that wasn't the case. and so you know, i'm trying to -- i'm having trouble finding the rationale for his candidacy at this point as i'm assuming many new yorkers are beyond the fact that he has what a lot of politicians have, which is an incredible sense of self, that he can get over this stuff. >> dr. castellanos, we turn to you for a professional view of what is this sense of self that we're seeing that sam's talking about. clinically, what are we looking at here? >> well, it looks like we're looking at someone who's just really getting off on the power, the attention, the ability to draw somebody in and get that attention. you keep getting these dopamine boosts, and it becomes an activity that you just don't want to stop doing. >> is he getting -- how do you even talk about this on a family show? let me just go -- let me go non-sexual for a moment.
is he getting some kind of extra charge out of the incredibly high risk involved in this? for him. behavior that, by the way, for a single man wouldn't be risky or even all that strange in today's society. >> well, obviously, i don't know him personally. but generally, someone could get a great deal of excitement from this risky behavior and the attention, the ability to get someone's attention knowing that it's taboo, that he shouldn't be doing it. you know, using his position to gain attention. all of those things could be very exciting for him. it would be considered normal, really, for the general public. >> so there's this one new pixelated penis picture which msnbc thinks would ruin america if we showed it to america. but doctor, i'm going to slide it across the table to submit it to you. the thing has been kind of blacked out. but those are an weiner's feet there. i would know those anywhere, i'm sure. no, but here's the thing.
he's upped the ante in that photograph if that really is the equipment and his feet in that photograph because the previous ones it was his underwear and like -- he's gone -- after he gets caught, after he has to resign from the congress he gets into a situation online where he's actually going farther than he went before. >> but that's the nature of the dopamine boost, is you keep pushing the envelope to get the next level of excitement. and that's what keeps them going. it's not that normal that someone would get that emotional excitement. i think the most disconcerting part is it shows a lack of self-control. >> what we were hearing from him and huma today is he was still in the recovery curve, he was still working through all of the issues that put him in this kind of trouble in the first place. it sounded a little bit like yeah, my husband, who went to rehab, had a few drinks. >> well, that's the problem,
that if you know that's a problematic behavior for you you stay away from it. because if you get just a taste of it it's a slippery slope where you're just enticed to keep going back for more. and that's what i said, the lack of self-control is the most disconcerting part. >> just got breaking news, as it were, in terms of new york politics anyway, gang. "the new york times" editorial tomorrow morning is going to say that anthony weiner should get out of this race. a "new york times" editorial in a campaign like this is pretty important. >> that will have an effect because that is an impactful thing for the democratic primary electorate here in new york. as you know, lawrence, sometimes on the lower ballot races they can make or break campaigns. but "the new york times" editorial board has had some kind of sexual puritanism here that i didn't see on display during president clinton's administration. there's something about the sexual politics in this country that really gets people up and gets them confused.
sometimes it's partisan. sometimes it's hypocritical. but they said that eliot spitzer was the kim kardashian of new york politics, he should get out of the race for comptroller because of his sex scandal, which would have left one person in the race, ceasing to be a race. i don't know what's going on over in midtown at "the new york times" office, but they are confused on this one and they've been inconsistent. i think that's glaring. >> could i add -- >> sam stein, aren't you glad that we have an actual shrink here and a professional to answer? because if she wasn't here you were going to get all those questions about the picture. but listen, we're going to take a break -- >> it's torturous. >> we're going to take a break right now. we're going to come back with more on this. we're going to actually go to the story of standing by her man. we're going to have more on this situation and anthony weiner's wife and her choice to support her scandal-plagued husband. and bill o'reilly is in the "rewrite" tonight for joining that clown chorus that says trayvon martin looked suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie. and bill o'reilly said this,
knowing that we have a picture which we're going to show you of course of bill o'reilly himself wearing a hoodie because, being bill o'reilly means you never have to apologize for not making sense. and later, justice scalia predicted that the supreme court striking down of the defense of marriage act would end up making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. and in a "last word" exclusive we'll interview a man whose federal case is the first step in making that prediction actually come true. and you'll hear about the tragic urgency to making his marriage legal in ohio. his husband may only have a few weeks to live. that's coming up. members of the american postal worker's union handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent.
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and in fact bears i think another reading just to remind you of that. you know how much i hate having to read this law. "if any person carnally knows in my manner any brute animal or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth," yes, i said the mouth, "or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a class 6 felony in virginia." ken cuccinelli doesn't just think that is a great law. he also loves virginia's anti-adultery laws. and during his run for attorney general in 2008 he defended the laws in virginia that make extramarital sex a class 4 misdemeanor in virginia. up next, the politics and the psychology of standing by your man when he is in a political -- when he's a political candidate
you know, i'm not sitting here some little woman standing by my man like tammy wynette. i'm sitting here because i love him and i respect him and i honor what he's been through and what we've been through together. and you know, if that's not enough for people, then heck, don't vote for him. >> our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs. it took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy. to get to a place where i could forgive anthony. >> karen finney, there's huma abedin following the hillary
clinton model. and by the way, standing by her man, who has not yet been accused of touching, actually touching anyone other than himself. but hillary clinton established this model for us. we've seen john edwards' wife and others refine it over the years to the point where the latest additions delivered today by huma abedin. >> you know, i have to tell you, i take a little bit of issue with that because again, i hate what anthony did. i don't like what bill clinton did. i don't like what eliot spitzer did. if it was me, i would kick them out. at the same time i really believe if we are -- as a true feminist i believe that it is for every woman to decide for herself what is right for her. that may be in part a political decision. that may be in part a decision
they make as a parent. that may be in part a decision they make notion their own sort of personal capacity to forgive or not. but i really -- it's just like jenny sanford, she decided, you know what, it's not okay with me. so i think it's -- i hate that we put women in this box of standing by your little man when really i'd like to give -- >> wait a minute. no one's putting them in a box. no one's putting them in a box. i think each one of these people are highly mature people who made their own independent decisions and their independent decision was i'm going to stand by this guy -- >> right. >> -- and hillary clinton made it repeatedly because what you just saw was before bill clinton was elected president. >> sure. >> she then made that same decision again. continued to make that decision. and dr. castellanos, i want to go to that decision because karen's right, a lot of people think that that is a strange decision. they think that this decision doesn't compare to anything else, any other way in which a marital partner could falter or disappoint in some way. they seem to think this particular territory of disappointment requires some kind of immediate and complete and final rejection by the spouse, the woman in these cases against the man. >> i don't think you can just
generalize that across the board. everyone has a different definition of what they'll accept in their marriage and what works in their relationship. >> and they get to write their own rules. >> absolutely. and each one has to be weighed on the relationship itself. and everybody has a different definition of what cheating is for them and for the relationship. so you can't just make a general blanket statement. >> ari melber, i want to read to you some of the "new york times" editorial which has just come out telling anthony weiner to get out of this thing. it says at some point the full story of anthony weiner and his sexting relationship habits and sexual relationships will be told. in the meantime the serially evasive mr. weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye away from cameras, off the web, and out of the race for mayor of new york city." it says "mr. weiner says he's staying in the race. to knows who know his arrogance and have grown tired of the tawdry saga he has dragged the city into, this is not surprising." i don't think the "times" said
that about bill clinton when his problems erupted in new hampshire. bill clinton, by the way, who suffered a new york city press conference by gennifer flowers in which she played audiotapes that absolutely proved their real sexual relations they had for years. >> i think that's right, lawrence. and the word that stuck out to me is arrogance. it's arrogant of the media, "the new york times" or any other media to stand up and tell us how to run our democracy. the idea that we would elevate a single qualification of some sort of fidelity or sexual puritanism above everything else, you have people who have running for office who have history of corruption, who have been involved in torturing people, who have all sorts of things that some of us might
have said should get them out of the race. the idea this goes above all others is weird. it reminds me, since you brought up the clinton impeachment, of that amazing opening passage in philip roth's "the human stain" where he talks about the desire to excise the presidential erection away from the national consciousness so that joe lieberman could watch tv with his daughter. right? and philip roth does it better than a lot of us in the punditsphere because what he was getting at is the whole thing is off the rails. you can say that and say this isn't someone you want in your family or as your husband or wife. but the test of whether a candidate should be your lover is not unlike the test of whether you want to have a beer with george w. bush because he's funnier than al gore. it's so irrelevant. and i say that, by the way, just to get on record. i do not support anthony weiner among the new york mayoral candidates. primarily because he never got anything done in the house and he's asking for a promotion after resigning his last job. so i say all of this as a larger critique of our problems in dealing with these issues and not on any weiner support. >> sam stein, for new york voters, which i used to be, who
couldn't care less what anyone has ever done in their sex lives at any time in office or out of office or actually in the office room that they have been elected to, i couldn't care less, are there enough of those voters to defy "the new york times" order to anthony weiner to leave the race? >> maybe. and i would have to echo what ari said here, which is that i don't see a reason why he should be forced to leave the race or asked to leave the race. the ultimate decision is really up to the voters if they find this type of behavior tolerable. i think the "times" would have been better off probably editorializing about how he's not mentally suited for the office he seeks and that voters should consider that because it does seem like he has an issue that he still is dealing with and the potential for it to resurface is a problem. now, whether voters will take that cue and not vote for him is another question. some might be even drawn to the circus. there might be a subsection of voters who find it alluring that this guy's doing what he's doing. but i have to doubt that as hopefully a testament to humanity. but you know, the whole thing is bizarre. it's creepy. but i don't really see it as grounds for demanding that he exit the race. again, this is a product of
democracy if he exits or not. >> i think, sam, you've probably just predicted what round 2 of the "new york times" editorial will be, that it will probably go to some sort of we'd like a little more stability in the character but we're going to see what they do. >> well, it is the biggest city in america, you know. >> we're going to have to wrap it right there. sex therapist and psychologist dr. madeline castellanos. ari melber, karen finney, sam stein. doctor, could you stay on standby for the rest of the week? we don't know what anthony weiner's going to do tomorrow. >> you and ari, doctor. >> and ari's got some questions if you can hang around. there will be plenty of time. >> you got, it lawrence. >> how the overturning of the defense of marriage act can spread marriage equality even to the states that currently ban same-sex marriage. we will have an exclusive interview with the man who brought a breakthrough case and show you the tragic urgency to his demand for marriage equality in a state that bans it. in the spotlight tonight, the other shoe drops. last month when the supreme ...so you say men are superior drivers?
in the spotlight tonight, the other shoe drops. last month when the supreme court ruled that the defense of marriage act was unconstitutional, supreme court justice anton scalia said that the majority was wrong to pretend that their decision would not in effect force states to recognize same-sex marriage where it is currently illegal. scalia's dissent said that the doma opinion would not be confined to the federal
government and that it was "leaving the second, state-law shoe to be dropped later. maybe next term, but i am only guessing." scalia guessed right. yesterday a federal judge in ohio ruled that ohio must recognize the marriage of two men who are residents of ohio but who were married recently in maryland even though ohio has had a ban on same-sex marriage since 2004. federal judge timothy black ruled that ban unconstitutional because the state continues to recognize marriages performed in other states that could not be performed in ohio. the judge wrote, "throughout ohio's history ohio law has been clear. a marriage solemnized outside of ohio is valid in ohio if it is valid where solemnized. thus, for example, under ohio law out-of-state marriages
between first cousins are recognized by ohio, even though ohio law does not authorize marriages between first cousins. likewise, under ohio law out-of-state marriages of minors are recognized by ohio even though ohio law does not authorize marriages of minors." 13 states authorize marriages at ages younger than ohio's minimum marriage age of 16. new hampshire has the lowest defined marriage age in the country at 13. and even though a 13-year-old has to wait three more years to get married in ohio, a 13-year-old married in new hampshire can immediately move to ohio and have that marriage recognized in ohio. first cousins cannot legally marry in ohio, but they can legally marry in south carolina. and then they can move to ohio the next day and have their first cousin marriage recognized in ohio. but ohio was still trying to prevent same-sex marriages
performed in, say, maryland, new york, massachusetts from being recognized in ohio. jim obergefell and john arthur sued because they wanted ohio to recognize them as legal spouses. that recognition was more urgent to them than most because john arthur is suffering from lou gehrig's disease and could die within weeks. the couple desperately wanted john arthur's death certificate, which is likely to be issued this year, to list jim obergefell as his legal husband. the courts will now allow that to happen. jim will join me in a minute. but first a wedding video like you have never seen. jim and john's excellent wedding adventure was captured on camera by the "cincinnati enquirer."
>> we had talked about getting married, and we never, ever felt it would be anything more than symbolic because of the nature of our country. >> in essence, it doesn't matter to us what ohio says at this point because we know that isn't going to change. we still want our government to say you matter, you exist, and your relationship of 20 years, one year, whatever it is, matters as much as anyone else's. >> we're now getting federal recognition, and that's the impetus to make it happen because we're tax-paying citizens of the united states and that federal recognition really helps me feel like a citizen.
>> when we decided we wanted to go to maryland, i asked hospice to start doing some research to see what they could work out, knowing that they know how to deal with patients like john who have medical needs and transporting them. so i asked them to work on finding out what they could, how we could get to maryland. ♪ >> i'm excited. i'm thrilled. i can't believe it's happening. we'll fly to baltimore international airport and park at the private air terminal, and john's aunt paula is going to marry us. >> through the wonders of social media i just -- i posted something on facebook asking my family and friends, hey, any ideas, any connections without prompting multiple messages of people offering to help pay. >> for you from crossroads. >> that's so sweet. thank you, dear. >> and much love from leanne.
>> one last check. make sure i have the all-important marriage license. >> are you forgetting something? >> there it is. >> today is a momentous day. not only in the lives of two of the most loving and special men i have ever known. also in the lives of all who know, love, and respect them. and in the larger sense, for those americans who have waited to be recognized as equal under the law and in matters of the heart. jim, place the ring on john's hand and say after me. with this ring. >> with this ring. >> i thee wed. >> with this ring i thee wed.
>> john, help guide the ring onto jim's hand and repeat after me. >> put it on upside down. >> that's good. >> with this ring i thee wed. >> with this ring i thee wed. >> john montgomery arthur, do you continuing from this day take james robert obergefell to be the love of your life, your eternal partner, your husband? >> i do. >> i now pronounce you husband and husband, forever intertwined partners. may love and good will be with you forever. let us all rejoice. >> i'm overjoyed. i'm very proud to be an american and so openly show my love for the record.
>> joining me now is jim obergefell, who you just saw getting married in that video, and his attorney, al gerhardstein. jim, i know the principle is important and the legal rights you've obtained are important. but talk about what's in your heart and the meaning for you, being able to have this marriage not just obtained in maryland but then recognized in ohio. >> well, it means that john and i are equal to every other couple in our home state. it means ohio recognizes us and acknowledges and respects our marriage. it's huge. it's something we never thought we would see in our lifetime. and it just helps us feel more valid, more valued, and prouder to be ohioans, prouder to be americans.
so it makes us feel better. simply put. >> jim, what i was struck by in watching what turns out to be your wedding video is how much happiness there is, how much happiness you have throughout this experience. and yet you're in a situation that we would all dread. basically seeing a loved one stricken with a disease from which there is no recovery and there's a timetable that you're aware of and yet there's so much smiling and so much love and so much happiness in that video. >> well, from the moment john was diagnosed, we both looked at this as something we know is happening. and unlike a heart attack, a stroke, being hit by a car, you can never plan that. this we know. and it gave us the ability to approach it in a slightly different manner.
at least for the two of us personally. and it allows us to really appreciate the time that we have. and john especially has always been one of those people who sees life as a glass half full. he's always been an incredibly positive person. and he's made me a better person because of that. and he has approached this horrible disease with such incredible grace and a positive attitude that it's hard not to smile around him. and it was a wonderful day. i can't imagine doing anything but smile and look joyful the day we got to get married by his aunt. it was a wonderful day. regardless of his health situation. >> and al, one of the interesting things legally here is that justice scalia in effect predicted in his dissent in the doma decision by the supreme court that this would happen, that it would be -- even though there are states out there like ohio that have laws against
marriage equality, they would not be able to stand up against the principles outlined in the doma decision. >> well, that's correct. because ultimately our case will not establish that you can as a same-sex couple get married in ohio. all it establishes is that if you get married somewhere else where a same-sex marriage is legal it'll be treated the same as opposite-sex marriages from other states. and i think justice scalia foresaw that. he knew that ohio doesn't really look to see if it's first cousins that went off and get married in another state. they just said look, if it's legal somewhere, it's legal here. now they have to do the same thing for same-sex couples. and i think that's great. and i think it's right and just. >> jim obergefell, thank you very much. thank you for sharing your video with us tonight and your story. thank you very much. and attorney al gerhard stine, congratulations on the big win. it means a lot to a lot of
people not just in ohio but elsewhere. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> well, thank you. >> thanks for having us. coming up, the oblivious bill o'reilly is back in the "rewrite" talking about hoodies. for the first time... ever... she let him plan the vacation. "off the beaten path"... he said. "trust me"... he implored. alas, she is beginning to seriously wonder... why she ever doubted... the booking genius. planet earth's number one accomodation site:
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aroused george zimmerman's incorrect suspicions of him. it was indeed trayvon martin's skin color that made him in o'reilly's words "a stranger to zimmerman." and second, clothing sometimes used by street criminals, bill? seriously? at this late date? there's bill o'reilly echoing the inanity first offered on fox news last year by geraldo rivera that hoodies are a clear marker of criminal intent by the wearer of a hoodie. like these punks. i don't think o'reilly wants to stop and frisk them. how many times does o'reilly have to see mark zuckerberg in a hoodie to realize that the hoodie has become a completely culturally, economically neutral article of clothing that tells you virtually nothing about the wearer? except possibly where the wearer
went to school. but any thug can get his hands on a hoodie with any school name on it. and so you can't really assume anything about wearers of hoodies, not even where they go to school. the barnard girls in this picture may not really be barnard girls. but that doesn't mean they're street criminals. hoodies tell you nothing about a person because everyone has a hoodie now. hoodies are about as informative as socks. everyone has them. i have a bunch. one that i like to wear on airplanes. a couple others that i wear on those very rare occasions when i work out. o'reilly says that trayvon martin was "dressed in clothing sometimes used by street criminals." now, i would have had no problem with that line if o'reilly rewrote it to say "and sometimes used by fox news gangstas." ♪
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>> those the newly elected senator barack obama in 2005 speaking at knox college in illinois asking those questions about america's economic future. here was some of his answer then. >> it's been government research and investment that made the railways possible and the internet possible. it's been the creation of a massive middle class through decent wages and benefits and public schools that allowed us all to prosper. >> tomorrow barack obama's going back to knox college as president to once again talk about the future and the future of the american economy. >> on wednesday i'm going to go back to galesburg, illinois. we got any illinoisans here? [ cheers ] we're going back to knox college, which is one of the places where i gave my first -- it's the place where i gave my first big speech after i'd been elected to the u.s. senate. and this is back in 2005.
and i talked at that time about the building blocks that we needed to put into place, the foundation, the cornerstones that we needed to make sure that the american dream is alive and well. >> joining me now, former labor secretary robert reich, now a professor of public policy at the university of california at berkeley. he is the author of "aftershock: the next economy and america's future." professor reich, you just happen to have written a book that is exactly about what the president wants to talk about tomorrow. what would you advise him to say? >> well, clearly, lawrence, he's going to try to pivot away from nsa controversies and the deficits, and he also understands that in the fall it's all going to be about lifting the debt ceiling and back to business as usual in terms of gridlock over the economy. so i think he wants to change the parameters of the economic debate. i have not seen the speech. but i understand that he wants to talk about inequality not in terms of unfairness solely but also in terms of it being bad for everybody in the economy because you need a growing
middle class to have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. >> let's listen to one other preview he gave about tomorrow's speech. what he might say. >> i'm going to talk about where we need to go from here. now we need to put behind us the distractions and the phony debates and nonsense that somehow passes for politics these days, and get back to basics. and you know, it's going to be the kickoff to what is essentially several months of us trying to get washington and the press to refocus on the economy and the struggles that middle-class families are going to -- going through, but also for us to start exploring some big and bold ideas. >> what should those big and bold ideas be?
>> well, lawrence, the president has already put in the hopper a number of ideas with regard to recharging and restarting the economy. obviously, the republicans in congress have nixed everything. i think he might talk about, for example, raising the minimum wage once again. he may also talk about providing tax credits and tax advantages to companies that treat their workers well, that retrain their workers, that actually do their business in the united states. he may come up with a variety of options for how we can reorganize the relationship between management and labor so it's a win-win outcome instead of simply a continuously cantankerous outcome. there are a lot of things that could be and i understand have been discussed with the president, but i think mostly it's a matter of refocusing what the president basically believes. that 2005 speech is very indicative. he came to office not to deal with a bunch of deficit, per se, not to deal with an economic calamity or practically an
economic calamity but to really do something for the broad middle class and everybody aspiring to join the middle class. >> robert reich gets tonight's last word. thank you very much, robert. >> thanks, lawrence. >> up next, "hardball" with chris matthews. weiner strikes again. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. let me start tonight with the latest on the new york mayoral candidate anthony weiner. the latest is that there is a latest. a bit more than an hour ago, weiner admitted his sexting, e-mailing pictures of himself to often to unsuspecting women didn't stop with his forced resignation from congress. let's get straight what we're talking about here.