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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 2, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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kelly, he called expanded access to birth control the equivalent of the pearl harbor attack and the 9/11 attack. the last round of congressional republican ranting against access to birth control this past spring, you may recall, was devastating to republican poll numbers among women voters including for their standard bearer mr. romney. but republicans in the house have decided anyway they are going for it again. so that was yesterday. yesterday was expanded access to birth control is pearl harbor and 9/11 messaging and politics day. today's big messaging and politics move by republicans in congress who aren't working on real policy was english only. a hearing today on a bill to establish an official language of the united states. english only. thus barring from helping someone in their native language unless their native language is
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english. there is 0% chance this will become law. but the republicans decided to hold this public hearing on it anyway. as a matter of urgency before leaving town. sure the post office is imploding and it's their fault and we haven't done a farm bill, but we got to get to this important messaging here. this important english only thing. and presumably that means they like the politics in this. they like the messaging in this. the latest latino decisions poll shows president obama beating governor mitt romney by 48 points among latino voters. 48 points. that's the margin. the de facto leader of the republican party is not just less popular with latino voters, he's in are you kidding me territory. the republicans have been trying hard to fix this problem. for example, they announced a latino outreach team called juntos con romney.
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they put out a video of one of mr. romney's sons, i think it's craig, speaking spanish. [ speaking spanish ] >> it is craig. hola, craig romney. maybe that will work. maybe that's what most latino voters care about. maybe the republicans in congress will make sure to hold hearings on english only. one of the first rules of political competition is that when your opponent is setting themselves proverbially on fire, you should not provide water. when somebody's messing up, just get out of the way. the democrats today could have got out of the way. i guess put out press releases about the fact the republicans were shooting themselves in the foot like this. look how the republicans are capitalizing on the pr they got for electing ted cruz as their republican senate nominee from
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texas. an english only hearing in the house of representatives. attention latino voters. democrats could have let it all happen and the damage is done, right? but the democrats today decided they could not let well enough alone. they could not hold themselves back. the democrats in the house today decided to make this more than just a political victory for their side that they could watch and smile at. they decided that they were going to make it fun. >> i now yield to distinguished ranking member mr. connors for his statement. [ speaking spanish ] >> congressman john conyers of georgia, obviously not a native
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spanish speaker and equally obviously having a great deal of fun at the republicans' speak english only hearing today. which again will result in no new policy. it is simply a message from the republican party to the nation's latino voters about what they think of you. oh and also jobs, jobs, jobs. joining us now is columnist from the washington post and msnbc contributor and my friend eugene robinson. it's great to see you tonight. buenos tardes. >> knowing you speak fluent spanish made this more fun today. is there a secret genius at work here? they didn't have to do this. why did they do this? >> this is not secret double reverse psychology at work here. this is just dumb. i mean, look at those numbers in the polls. 70 to 22. that is worse than the drubbing
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that john mccain took from barack obama among latino voters. which in and of itself was historic. it was two to one. this is worse. and what republicans are on the verge of doing is not only blowing the vote of the nation's biggest and fastest growing minority for this election, but perhaps for a generation. this is serious long-term implications for the party. >> we have seen romney pursue the latino vote in a way that seems hapless and counterproductive. his policies are in terms of how far to the right they are even of the republican field. he's the one who went after rick perry of texas as being too compassionate on the issue of immigration. so we seen mitt romney sort of screw this up. but it seems more interesting and more puzzling to me that john boehner would let this
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happen in the house of representatives. the house of representatives is essentially a dictatorship under the speaker. the speaker gets to decide what happens. why would the republican congressional leadership let this happen on a day they could have had anything happen? >> well, this is not the first time that john boehner has had to go along with things in the house that he personally might not have thought were such a great idea. but, look. he has a majority, but there's this huge very right wing block that is going to create problems for him. and frankly he's got eric cantor looking over his shoulder. ready to assume the gavel if boehner faulters. to keep his position. and he's a smartpolitician, so i'm sure he realizes this was not a great move. >> okay. on the last point there, being smart and realizing this was dumb but letting it happen
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anyway. i have an operating hypothesis for this congress. i don't mean it in a mean way. i think john boehner is really bad at his job. i think he can't control a group over whom he essentially has total control. is he actually so worried about a revolt from eric cantor or from somebody els that he has to be forced into making these decisions that he's taking? i think he's just bad at this. >> well, you can look at it either way. i mean, i frankly think he has to be worried about a revolt. i think he has to be worried about appearing to be on the wrong side of the fence on what are seen as bedrock conservative, conservative issues. that's what the base seems to respond to. that's what the base seems to want. and all the republicans that i talk to in washington are always loing over their shoulders at that republican base. the red base and not wanting to
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do anything that offends them. so i do think that's a real factor in boehner's decisions about whether or not he -- a more adroit politician would find a way to knock yourself in the head a few weeks before the election. that's possible too. but i do think the fear of the base is important to boehner. >> we have been talking a lot recently on the show about the democrats assertion and the republicans assertion that texas ultimately becomes a purple state, a swing state, because of the growing latino demographic there and the latino vote. i think that may happen in texas in the long run. in the shorter run, though, for this election with the latino vote situation desperately awful for mitt romney and getting worse thanks to republicans, are there states you're watching for this election where latino voters may make a difference? >> virginia. the latino population in virginia has been increasing
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rapidly. it's significantly bigger now than it was four years ago. virginia's the ultimate purple state. it could be the state where on election day you find both mitt romney and barack obama looking for that last vote. and so the latino vote could potentially be not just influential but decisive in a state like virginia. certainly in a state like nevada, another swing state where there's a huge latino vote that's going to make a big difference. and right now you'd have to say it's going to go to president obama. >> eugene robinson thanks for joining us tonight. i appreciate it. >> mucho gusto. >> i should mention, a quick correction. congressman john conyers i said was from the state of georgia. i don't know why i said that. i wrote it myself and corrected it back in the edit after somebody fact checked me. so he is from michigan. my error.
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i'm sorry. all right. what do the bp oil spill and mitt romney time at bain capital have in common? something brand new. that story is coming up. [ kate ] many women may not be properly absorbing the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] what's a good second career if your first had involved tragically mismanaging a foreign koun industry? thanks to the second career of paul bremer, this is not a theoretical question. you might remember him in iraq at the start of the u.s. occupation of iraq in 2003 and 2004. he was the administrator of the
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coalition provisional authority. the transitional government that we set up in iraq after we invaded. among other things, paul bremer saw the dissolving of the iraqi army and the prisoner abuse scandal. but now bremer has moved on to something new. water color. yes, painting. mostly landscapes. the folks at foreign policy took time out for a where are they now piece in which they highlight some of his latest works. there's one that's even a nude. this one is called nude with matise colors he painted in 2009. paul bremer making abstract nude water color paintings is actually kind of great, if you think about it. in the sense that way too many people with horrific foreign policy experience fail upwards, right? they keep getting foreign policy jobs. but not paul bremer. had did not fail upward. he is not doing american foreign policy anymore. he is quietly painting
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landscapes and the occasional tasteful nude. yea. that's more yea than we can say for the other guy most closely associated with the coalition provisional authority experience in iraq. the spokesman for the u.s. in iraq after the invasion, dan senore. the guy telling reporters everything is fine here. that guy is not painting landscapes in vermont. he is now serving as mitt romney's top foreign policy adviser. and of course the romney campaign is not dumb. they knew that would be a liability to have their most visible foreign policy guy be one of the most visible foreign policy guys from the iraq war. but you make a calculation, right? you make a calculation in politics against the spokesman for iraq thin. on the other side of the ledger about hiring dan senore, maybe they like his ideas. it was one of his ideas that palestinians have an inferior
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culture to israelis. which is why they're more poor. it is that idea romney expounded on a trip this week. to lots of fanfare. lending ideas like that to mr. romney, the campaign saw as enough of an asset to outweigh his iraq war baggage. i would maybe not have made that call, but that apparently is the kind of calculation the romney campaign made. you have to make a calculation. what do you gain and what do you lose? similarly there's what they made against the latest attack against the obama white house. the romney campaign is accusing president obama's campaign manager now of improperly using a personal e-mail address for white house business. this is a new attack they have not made before. on the plus side of this attack is that this is definitely not about mitt romney's tax returns. it's not about anybody's tax returns. thap is a plus for the romney
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campaign in deciding whether or not to use this. always going on offense. that's good. they're trying to turn the page. and it's about mr. obama's campaign manager who's an anonymous guy who doesn't get attacked. maybe they think that will rattle him and thereby rattle and hurt the campaign. those must be things the romney campaign is thinking they stand to gain from launching this attack. those are all pluses. on the minus side, bringing up the idea of hiding your e-mails if you're the romney campaign does run the risk of reminding people he's the guy whose top aides bought their government hard drives at the end of his term as governor of massachusetts leaving the e-mails wiped from a government server. they took the hard drives with them when they left the governorship. that's a story that really hasn't been in the news all that much. it is a known thing about mr. romney. he admits that they did it to avoid letting politically damaging information out into the public sphere. it's a liability for them and
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nobody has made much hay about it until now. but now his campaign has people talking and thinking about proper e-mail use because of this attack they launched on the obama campaign this morning. again, it's a calculation. that's the risk. the calculation that the campaign has to make. you bring up the issue of hiding away government e-mails, maybe that's a good attack for you. it does risk people remembering your record in office which is a liability. choices weighing the pros and the cons. these calculations. campaigns make these every day. about attacks, about political movements of the candidate, about personnel. here's a new one. the romney campaign we learned today has hired a lobbyist. a new person who has not yet been involved in the campaign, to help them craft a political response on the attacks to what is supposed to be mitt romney's greatest asset. his time in the private sector. they thought that was going to be the basis on which mr. romney was running for the presidency.
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they wanted to run on his being in business. but if you look at the poll numbers right now on how people view mr. romney in terms of his business experience, it is not looking like his great ens strength. new swing state polling out this week, the polls quote, found that more voters say mr. romney's experience was too focused on making profits at bain capital rather than the kind of experience that would help create jobs. so now the campaign has hired a new lobbyist to help them out on this subject. which they thought was going to be great for them and is turning into a liability rather than an asset. again, even hiring this lobbyist, every campaign move is a calculation. when they were drafting what must have been their pros and cons list about what to make this higher. they knew it would get attention. there was surely a lot of things in the don't do this column. a lot of things in the con column. the woman they have hired her name is michelle davis. she is something from the george w. bush administration. and that is always problematic. you do not want to remind
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america of the george w. bush administration or brag on how many people you are bringing over from that administration to what you're promising for the future. she was also in the exact wrong part of the bush administration during the exact wrong time period in terms of the politics. michele davis was the right hand woman to the treasury secretary while the economy was falling off a cliff at the end of the bush administration and when they came up with t.a.r.p., the big bailout. in the bush administration she was part architect and spin doctor for selling the bailout. selling t.a.r.p. so much so that in the movie about the bailout, the too big to fail movie, a famous actor portrays her. cynthia nixon plays her. neat. that's a liability. that's a problem. from the transition from the bush administration to the obama administration, michele davis is on record saying she was pleased with the new choice for treasury secretary to succeed hank paulson. she was pleased barack obama
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picked timothy geithner. mitt romney of course attacks tim geithner all the time. this new person he hired was into him in a on the record way. and there is this problem. >> well, i think you know that fannie mae and freddie mac were a big part of the housing crisis we have in the nation. speaker gingrich was hired by freddie mac to promote them to influence other people throughout washington, encouraging them not to dismantle these entities. i think that was an enormous mistake. instead we should have had a whistle blower, not a horn tooter. >> a horn tooter. step off. during the republican primary, when newt gingrich was just destroying mitt romney on the issue of bain capital on his business sector career, mitt romney joiner to that was newt gingrich was a lobbyist for freddie mac. mitt romney would like to blame
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freddie mac and fannie mae for the financial collapse. this person he has just hired to help him out with messaging on his business career was a lobbyist for fannie mae. so the campaign has to make a calculation about whether or not to hire this person. and all of these things on the don't hire her side, all of these things on the not pro but con side, these are frankly just such flaming political bags of poop on the doorstep. there must be something really great on the other side of the ledger. there must be something great about this hire that outweighs all those things that are downsides. well, the other salient thing in her background that she's more well known than having cynthia nixon portray her about being a lobbyist for the thing about destroying the economy, the thing she's more famous for is this. she was in charge of trying to make bp look good in the wake of the bp oil spill. that's how mitt romney just hired to make his bain record look better.
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remember when the guy who was the head of bp did that really ornate apology? it was like a japanese style apology that that was going to ab solve him. but everybody still hated him and they had to fire him anyway. that pr move apparently was hers. michele davis was at brunswick group when bp hired them to salvage their image in the wake of them causing the worst environmental disaster in the history of the united states. now, the trade press in the pr industry at the time was scathing about how big this job was but how not great it was being done. if ever there was a pr agency, look at this, tasked with putting lipstick on the metaphorical pig. given that bp's crisis
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communications is disastrous. it leading newscasts and brunswick has been painted as the villain. it's not different to michele davis, that's who mitt romney just hired. a lead on the bp crisis. before joining the agency she worked at the department of the treasury and before that worked in the white house on foreign policy during the latter stages of the iraq war. when she sat down to do an interview with advertising aides from bp during the sixth week of the oil spill, when asked how many people do you have on the ground. meaning bp? her answer was i'm not going to get into that. when asked how hard is it to get a client in a situation like this to take your advice? her answer was no comment. advertising age actually did a poll of people in the ad agency at the time of the oil spill saying would you take this job?
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if bp wanted you to shine up their image while the gulf of mexico was hemorrhaging their oil, would you take the job? 48% said for ethical reasons they would not take that job. but michele davis, that's who took it. and that's who mitt romney has h hired. some of them have ethical constraints on what jobs they would take. but some don't. this firm was also hired by the gap in 2007 to clean things up for them after it was discovered that gap clothing was using 10-year-old slaves in india. >> the pictures could not be more embarrassing. kids as young as ten in a sweat shop in india. the photos got immediate response from gap's president.
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>> i am grateful that this investigative reporter found this. because we can do something about it. >> good answer. when the gap needed some good answers when they wanted to clean up, not necessarily that problem, but the image problem created by their child slave labor problem, they hired this pr company called brunswick group. they also got the call when bp befouled the gulf coast with the spill. brunswick was who bp called not to clean up the problem of the oil but the image problem created by the oil. now mitt romney has hired the lead person from brunswick who was in charge so they can apply those same cleanup skills to his career at bain capital. why is this okay? i mean, it's not even why is this okay for mitt romney to do this. maybe the most important part for mitt romney here is he sees his career at bain capital not as an asset but akin to the bp
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oil spill. that's romney. but more broadly, why is it okay to team up with, to bring out the corporate clean up my image disaster mercenary memory hole diggers and bring them into our politics? why is it okay for politicians to pull that most morally repellant indefensible thing out of culture and put it into the arena of public service? when did the crisis management industry which is what they call themselves, when did these people -- when did they prove themselves? a way in terms of their worth and contributions to us as a society that they get to do crossover duty at the highest levels of our democracy? it is not just about romney or a party thing. there are politicos at the same firm from which he hired to clean up the bain report. when hillary clinton was running for president in 2008, her top
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strategist was a guy who split his responsibilities between her campaign, between the top role he played in her campaign and running a pr firm which perhaps more than any firm epitomizes this open sewer that runs through american corporate culture. it's not just mitt romney. it's not just republicans. but it is as disgusting now as i have been saying for years now that it ever has been. >> who's burston marstelor? when they were killed in baghdad, they called them. when there was a nuclear meltdown at three mile island, they called burston marstelo. romanian dictator, burston martelor. the military that overthrew the government of argentina in 1976,
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they dialed them. the government of nigeria accused of genocide, burston martelor. silicone breast implants, burston marstelor. do you remember auk qua dots? beads with something converted to date rape drug when they put the beads in nar mouths and ended up in comas? even the aqua dots people called burston marstelor. when evil needs public relations, evil has them on speed dial. that's why it was creepy when she had mark penn. >> now following this great bipartisan disgusting tradition,
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mitt romney does not hire them. he hires the person who was hired to make bp look better after this. in order to try to make him look better after bain. it's disgusting. for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you. but, with the capital one venture card... you can fly any airline, any flight, any time. double miles you can actually use. what's in your wallet? alec jr? it was a gift. do you have any idea where you're going ? wherever the wind takes me. this is so off course. nature can surprise you sometimes...
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the most dramatic video of an election day, not necessarily of an election fight but an election day, people voting, was probably the record of what happened in ohio in 2004. you may remember this. nine hour lines to vote. and voting machine
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irregularities. and did i mention nine hour lines? it was the kind of election that jimmy carter supervises except it was here. ohio has never been seen as more critical to a presidential election than this one in 2012. guess what's going on in ohio now? that's next. [ donovan ] i hit a wall.
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for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. when george w. bush ran for president the first time in 2000, he won the swing state of ohio very narrowly. he beat al gore in ohio by 165,000 votes. and ohio is big and that is a slim margin. ralph nader had more than 100,000 votes in ohio that year. that was a razor thin margin. then 2004 president bush won in ohio. by a slimmer margin. by only 118,000 votes. it had been uncomfortably close for republicans in ohio in 2000. even more in 2004. part of what makes ohio such a swing state is in terms of the way people vote, it's a microcosm of what you find in the rest of the countr people in the less populated areas vote republican.
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more concentrated parts of ohio tend to vote democratic. and for people who lived in the more populated parts of ohio in 2004, it was profoundly difficult to vote. voters across urban ohio found in their polling places did not have enough machines and waited so long to vote. long enough that people with kids at home or go to work just gave up. people who could wait waited in line in the rain, in the early morning, all through the day, at night, in the dark. they waited for hours. for two hours, three hours, four hours. a lot of people in ohio that year waited even longer than that. >> i waited, i voted. that's all that matters. >> at kenyon college, this was not your ordinary all nighter. >> i'm willing to wait as long as it takes to vote. >> hours after the polls were scheduled to close, hundreds of students professors and neighbors were still stuck in
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line. some here for more than ten hours. >> i'm not going to leave. i'm going to make sure that every vote counts. >> why the wait? for 1300 voters here, only two ballot booths. >> people were voting 40 per hour. >> to the extent an election is about making it possible for people to vote. it was a landmark failure. the extraordinary heard around the world failure that leads to front page hearings in congress and led to this hearing tuck buy on the internet in book form. it's called preserving democracy, what we want wrong in ohio. it cited numerous election irregularitie irregularities. waiting to challenge voters right to cast a ballot once people made it through those miserable lines. this congressional report called for election reform in ohio. do you remember this from 2005? do you remember us wanting to make elections better?
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do you remember wanting to make voting easier? congress telling ohio it had to make voting easier, remember that? a few years later in 2010 ohio went bright red in the election in the midterms. ohio republicans took over the state house to go with the senate. they elected a new republican governor john kasich. and ohio republicans reaction was to make the lines longer. to get rid of the last three days of early voting. now instead of being able to walk to the clerk's office and vote early up to the election, now unless you are uniformed military or overseas, now you have to get in line with everybody else. once you're in line just pray they have enough machines and you don't spend your entire day waiting to exercise your right as a citizen. told by congress that ohio needs to make voting easier. the state moved overtly to make voting harder. ohio republicans closed the window down on early voting
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which had been expanded at 2004. they expanded early voting in ohio in time for the 2008 election which went a lot smoother and a democrat named barack obama won the state in ohio. the loss of those three days of early voting for the next election is only one of the ways they tried to make it harder to vote. they added a requirement to show i.d. you ner needed to show before to vote in ohio and many residents don't have. they tried not only to shorten by three days but to cut it in half. to repeal that poll workers give you correct information about where to vote. so you vote at the right precinct table. they tried to repeal that. ohio's election system was already broken. once republicans gained control, they set about making it worse. the cincinnati inquirer which is not a left wing rag just published a big multi-part investigation into the problem of voting in ohio. their investigation is headlined will ohio count your vote.
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the enquirer found that voting, america's most precious right and the foundation for all others, is a fragile exercise for many ohioans. the problems in ohio's election process quote, call into question both whether every ohioan's vote will be counted november 6th and whether the state always pivotal in races can ensure a timely, accurate, and lawsuit free count. ohio i love you, but your elections are a mess. your election officials cannot come close to guaranteeing that everybody whon't wants to vote casts a ballot. and your government is making it harder. the early voting republicans tried to cut in half, nearly a third of all ohio voters used early voting in 2008 when the democrats won the white house. during the specific three days of early voting that republicans now have mansion managed to get last time 100,000 ohio votes came in over those three days.
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as of last month, the obama re-election campaign is suing the state of ohio over these new rules that cut off the last three days of early voting. who knows. maybe they will win. but if they don't, voting in ohio this year is set to get that much harder. more ahead. stay with us. ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] [ "human" by the human league playing ]
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humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ [music plays]
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♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays]
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after a court order
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affecting two ohio counties, election officials tried to speed up the line by offering paper ballots. many here refused. after hours in line, they feared their vote wouldn't count. >> that was what happened in ohio when people tried to vote in the 2004 presidential election. huge lines, up to ten hour lines and not enough machines and waiting all day and the offer of paper ballots. that's what it was like if you lived in some well-populated areas of ohio in 2004. expanding early voting in ohio after that disastrous election, after 2004, actually made for a much smoother election in 2008. which incidentally was won by a democrat. for this next election, a response from ohio's republican governor and legislature has been to try to make the lines longer. they have cut three days off the early voting for 2012. it's the time frame when a hundred thousand people cast
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ballots in the last election. joining us now is michael walden who tracks voting state by state. also a speech writer for president clinton in the late 1990s. >> great to be here. >> the obama re-election campaign is suing ohio officials for cutting back early voting in that state. do you think that's likely to seed? >> all these lawsuits that's hand to hand combat. between now and november, there's a decent chance, but these cases are tough. the laws are not clear. there's not an obvious way to bring a case like that. but what they're basically saying is first of all the republicans tried to cut back dramatically in early voting. the voters went and signed enough petition signatures that that was going to be on the ballot and the legislature repealed its own handy work. >> so it wouldn't turn out against them presumably? >> people might notice their rights were being taken away. but they did leave this period right before the election.
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that's the time when african-american and minority voters are especially likely to vote early. so what the obama campaign is saying in the suit they filed two weeks ago is, look. it's an inconsistency between cutting that off and the military voters. i'm sure it's not something they're comfortable making because military voters should be able to vote as easily as possible. but it's a microcosm. ohio didn't get all the attention, but in a lot of ways it's florida without the palm trees when it comes to voting. >> uh-huh. one of the reasons i wanted to have you back tonight to talk about this is because i feel like i understand a lot and we've been covering a lot what these different governors are doing to make voting harder the the states. i understand a lot less about what is being done to stop them or to try to preserve voting rights. as far as i understand it, that ohio lawsuit by the obama campaign is the first campaign lawsuit at least of the election so far. but we are seeing some other legal battles. there's been these hearings in pennsylvania this week. >> that's right.
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the big wave of laws that cut back on voting in 2011 has really hit a wall of legal and judicial resistance in 2012. >> saying that this violates these various laws violate the voting rights act or violate the first amendment or other federal law. the really high stakes one right now is in pennsylvania. pennsylvania just passed a very, very strict voter i.d. law. and it's really as you know it's a law saying you've got to have an in effect driver's license. which one out of ten pennsylvanians don't have. there's a suit brought by the aclu and project to voting rights groups. it's gone very well for the plaintiffs. the first day of the trial, the state of pennsylvania signed a stipulation where they said we have no evidence of any voter fraud in the state of pennsylvania. that's a bad first day of the case. you know, for them.
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then they had their officials on the stand and forgot what the law said. then of course there actually were real live very sympathetic voters who would be blocked from voting. i think it's under the state constitution, not under the federal constitution. we think there'll be a ruling in the next couple of weeks, perhaps. and we're very hopeful. >> michael waldman, i'd like to have you back soon to talk about poll watchers and people being at the polls to intimidate people to talk about that. would you come back to talk about that? >> of course. it's the next wave around the corner for voters. >> thank you. we'll be right back. hey america, even though
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it is a sport that requires agility and flexibility and endurance. it's the sport of avoiding one very specific olympic sport. mitt romney, take it away. >> when is the event and for those of us who don't follow the sport, what happens? are there rounds of competition? is there just one chance? what happens? >> i have to tell you, this is ann's sport, i'm not even sure which day the sport goes on. >> my son gave me a box and said if you wear this mom will pay more attention to you? it was a horse mask. >> people are saying this is elitist, not a sport that americans are familiar with. but it is originating in sort of cavalry history. our country does have that. any comment to what it means to have your horse there and ann and your own familiarity with the sport? >> it's actually ann's passion,
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not so much mine, to tell you the truth. when i get a chance to ride a horse, it's western and it's on the trail. >> you're not going to actually see this horse compete, he said. this is a big deal having a horse in the olympics? no interest to be there? mitt romney's response. it's ann's horse. she's the horse guy. the whole thing is so awkward. but the effort here is for the candidate to distance himself from this hobby that his family as pursued with a lot of commitment. you even have the fox news reporter trying to help, suggesting dressage had this long and honorable tradition in cavalry. but the answer is still, i'm not even going to watch, i don't know when it's happening, i don't like it, it's my wife who likes it. not me. his awkwardness in trying to be linked to the horse ballet sport of dresage in which he has apparently been invested to the point of eight horses including this one in the olympics. that awkwardness honestly essentially is a matter of style, of spin. the more substantive point here
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is that this is actually mr. romney's personal business. not personal business as in it's his personal business. but literally a business that he and his wife own as a business interest. we know this from the one and only complete year of tax returns mr. romney has released. you see there? that highlighted line is the romney's ultimate failed attempt at a $77,000 writeoff in 2010 for the care and feeding of that horse, rafalka that competed in the olympics that mr. romney says he's not going to watch and doesn't care about. mr. romney ascribes to his personal business interests, the horse's upkeep as a business loss. the matter of what is in mr. romney's tax returns and what he says in his tax returns turned into a white hot political fight today. we have found some tape in the archives that may take this fight in a whole new direction as of tomorrow. we have got that tape that i think nobody has seen in at least a decade and we've got that story as our lead tomorrow night. we've gotta incredible tape for you tomorrow night. please be here. same bat time, same bat channel.
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now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. fair warning, i'm going to use the f-word tonight. is the big secret in mitt romney's tax returns a felony? >> i would like to talk to you for a moment about dollars and cents. >> some people call you the elite. i call you my base. >> we had big tax cuts in 2001, 2003. >> now i want to lay out for you specifically what i'm going to do. it's five things. all right? five things. >> mr. romney is asking you to pay more so that people like him get tax cuts. >> i'm not going to raise taxes on the american people. >> he's shifting the burden on to middle class taxpayers. >> hold on. it gets worse. >> you get a little red arrow. i've got a green arrow. >> millionaires, however, would receive an $87,000 tax cut. how's that for early morning prompter reading. >> oh, my goodness.
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>> is that what you want for americans? >> sorry, guys. i've got nothing for you. >> he is a wall street rich guy who will not show shiz tax return returns. >> mitt romney tries desperately to say he's an every man. >> if you're running for the president of the united states, you should release your tax returns. >> romney is hanging fire on this thing. >> sorry, guys. i have nothing for you. >> mitt romney has gone above and beyond what the law requires. >> folks, i would be laughing if it wasn't so scary. maybe the joke is really on us. >> romney should pick a chick-fil-a sandwich as a running mate, it's becoming so popular in the republican party. >> sorry, guys. i have nothing for you. >> chick-fil-a looks a lot bett better to me at this hour than rob portman does. mitt romney who is as far as we know, the only presidential candidate in history to have foreign bank accounts is now


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