tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current February 3, 2012 2:00am-3:00am PST
welcome to "the war room," i'm jennifer grandholm. and tonight if mitt romney was hoping to dispel his image as a super rich insensitive guy he had a horrible day after announcement he wasn't very concerned about the poor yesterday, he gets endorsed by uber rich donald trump in sin city of all places. we will exam the big problem of income inequality in america. and what is behind the komen foundation's plan to cut assistance to planned parenthood. all of that and much more ahead
in "the war room." come on inside. ♪ >> mitt romney was in nevada today, a state who's economy has been hit as hard as anywhere in the nation. they have this dubious distinction in leading the nation in unemployment and foreclosures with 6% of all homes in the state now in foreclosure. but despite that bleak backdrop romney was in the trump international hotel today in las vegas receiving donald trump's endorsement. >> it's my honor, real honor, and privilege to endorse mitt romney. governor romney go out and get 'em. >> romney of course accepted and then pledged to help struggling nevadians. but the truth is this last october romney said the government should not step in to
help homeowners underwater and the housing market should be aloud to quote, run its course and hit bottom. and on top of that the proposed tax plan would cut taxes at the top and cut social programs at the bottom by extending the bush tax cuts, revealing the estate tax and proposes paying for all of those tax cuts to cuts to so-called domestic problems. in other words the safety net. at the prayer breakfast this morning, the president said the country has a moral obligation to strengthen the safety net. >> it's about the blib i will call to call for the least of these, the poor for those at the margins of our society. to answer the responsibility we're given in proverbs to speak
up for those who could not speak for themselves. >> it was a clear jab at romney who made the comment he wasn't very concerned about the very poor. here is maria who is the senior fellow at the center for american progress, and we're alsoed from new york by charles blow of the "new york times." well to both of you thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> take you. >> let me start with maria because you have got your own political consulting company as well and worked in the clinton house with and if you put on your hat as a political strategist and you are in romney's war room today, really what were they thinking? donald trump endorsing a
multi-millionaire the same day the president is a prayer breakfast, the optics are terrible, aren't they? >> they are, and i have to believe that there is some level of competency and someone thought about it which makes this even more outrageous because if you didn't think about the optics then you definitely shouldn't be a political strategist, and if you did, then you could have put this endorsement -- you schedule endorsements when they make the most sense. >> and in the places that make the most sense. >> exactly. >> it is so bizarre. and charles you have been an incredibly eloquent writer about this inequality. there again the contrast is so
astonishing, and i'm curious from your perspective is this -- in nevada the place with the highest unemployment rate isn't this such a huge disconnect? >> it's an enormous disconnect for the romney campaign not only to fumble what should have been a victory lap, coming out of florida, but also to go and kowtow to done ant trump who is not going to benefit none whatsoever. but as we know no candidate has the fort tuesday to turn down an endorsement so they go and kowtow to donald trump. and that is one of the mystifying parts of the republican apparatus because they all come in new york. we see them come to new york and sit in some mcdonald's or
whether they go and get the photo opwith donald trump who has nothing to do with the base of the republican party, but they feel like he is some sort of king maker, but there is no remaining king maker in the republican party, because if there was a king maker left mitt romney would no longer be the leading nominee in the republican primaries, because all of the people who, you know, kind of -- are the darlings of the tea party have basically abandoned mitt romney and are basically running full steam ahead away from him. and all of the establishment is what is trying to prop him up and mitt romney keeps kind of running away from doing what he should do as an establishment candidate which is keep your mouth closed, say the right things. >> exactly. >> don't put your foot in your
mouth, mitt romney every time you open it. but he keeps doing that with comments like you know, i don't worry about the very poor because they there are safety nets to take care of them. i don't know what country mitt romney lives in but that's not america where people want to stay on the public doll and don't want to do better for themselves, and number 2 where if they stay there out would be enough to take care of them and their families. >> i think mitt romney tried to say the right things in nevada today about foreclosure. i'm going to read the quote he said. this is the quote he said last october. so he has brought back -- today he says he is going to help them but he said don't try to stop the foreclosure process, let it hit bottom. this is after john boehner says
none of these efforts have worked, all it does is delay the clearing of the market which, of course again is this economic darwinism that creates this problem. >> it reflects the degree to which 40 years worth of the market reigned supreme. continues even in the face of what we know which is that a market unregulated, unfettered is the reason we have the prices that we have and that we're still having trouble getting it out of it. because there are plenty of borrowers who have tried to renegotiate with their banks. and their banks invest that that mortgage amount still has to be honored. so they would rather foreclose, have homes abandoned, ruining property values for the rest of
the folks who are desperately trying to hold on to their homes. >> can i ask you about nevada and the unique circumstances particularly with the hispanic community. in 2008 i think president obama got 70% of the hispanic community, but they believe that unemployment is the biggest issue facing them. is he going to have a problem in nevada? >> he has to work for every single vote. there is certainly a lack of enthusiasm that is just not there four years later. but i think they will focus on the things they have done over the last three and a half years to make life better. and one thing he needs to
trumpet more is passage of the healthcare program. when it kicks in in 2014 it will benefit significantly the hispanic community. i think the president will be age to counter -- if romney is the nominee all of the statements are going to be used against, because it shows a candidate that is clearly out of touch with every day people. he says he is worried about the very pour because there is a social safety net, but in the same breath he is saying he is going to cut the social safety nets. >> thank you for coming in. and charles i'm going to ask that you hang out with a minute
no other television show does that. we're keeping it real. i'll pay higher taxes. i look at it this way, i can pay higher taxes and people can have jobs, or i can pay lower taxes and i have my kid's teacher asking me for a loan because she is going to lose her house, which is true. so i'm going to lose the money no matter what. not that i gave the teacher the money, but i'm losing the money. >> the new testament says the poor will always be with us especially if there is a republican in office. in less than 30 years the income
of the wealthiest 1% increased by 275%. while the income of the bottom fifth increased by less than 25%. the result is a widening and disturbing gap between the haves and the have nots. today the 400 richest people the 400 richest people in this country are wealthier than the entire bottom 50% of households in america. you get that 156 million people. unbelievable. one of the main culprits behind this is the u.s. tax code. so how can it be reformed to reverse this trend? and for some basic fairness to return to our society? so to shed light on the issue, let's bring back charles below of the "new york times," and
also welcome david kay johnston of thompson reuters. so glad to have you both back. but let me finish a quick conversation before i get to you david, with charles. are any of the policies that the republican candidates offering policies that would address this inequality gap? >> not in my opinion, because what the republican policies tend to want to do is skew the tax code more in favor of the wealthiest americans in this country, so that you would lower in some cases investment -- taxes on investments. you would lower taxes on business owners so -- and -- and on the other engineer of the spectrum if the taxes did not go up on the lowest earnings they would go
down only modestly so they would receive something less than a hundred dollars a month or a year. so that doesn't rectify the problem in america. what we need to do is to look at how people make their money. and that is different from work. the way -- we have a leading presidential contender in mitt romney who does not have a job. he man does not work and yet he makes $20 million a year and so you have to look at that and say that's real income. how do we make sure that we are taxing his real income at the rate that a person who makes $20,000 a year is being taxed? because they have to actually go out and work. they cook somebody's meals, take care of somebody's grandmother or child for that $20,000 a
year. >> sheldon whitehouse introduced a bill to do that which is codifying the buffet rule. and david kay johnston has done a very thorough analysis of the top corporations in the country. the top multinational corporations in this country -- they cut 2.5 million jobs here and increased 2.9 million jobs overseas. the reason we're seeing a lot of this income disparity is because of hollowing out of the middle class, and what those top companies are spending in taxes in the united states. maybe you can describe a bit of what you learned for the top companies that you studied. >> well if you are not in the top 14,000 companies, jennifer that is companies you have never
heard of you are paying pretty close to the corporate 35% tax rate. those companies or about 5 million of them they pay around 32%. so they are pretty close. but when you get to the top, you get a holy different story. typically they are paying around a 20% actual tax rate. some of them as we know are paying little to nothing. pepco has had a negative tax rate almost every year for the last decade and we now have a number of industries utilities, pipelines and others where taxes have become a profit center for them. and that's how perverse the system has become. enron we learned literally called its tax department a profit center. >> you have corporations that if they were paying a normal amount
would see those dollars invested in the united states, and instead they are investing it somewhere else like in the lobbyists. >> if you are on american company and go oversees you go to a high-tax country, and then you use accounting tricks to move your profits to a low-tax country. that's one of the most important things. many of the profits that companies are reporting overseas were earned in the united states, but taken out of the country in royalty fees or other intellectual fees that were paid to itself in a tax haven. >> so money invested in the united states because of loopholes in the tax system and provisions that benefit those corporations, and on the personal side, you are seeing income inquality grow. you wrote pan excellent column
in october of last year where you documented what the advanced countries were -- how we ranked with respect to income inequality. and if you can describe we were behind some countries that i any many people would be surprised at, right? >> exactly. and what we allow the republican party to do in america is to wharp the numbers and wharp the kinds of businesses that actually operate in this country to make their argument for them so that they can increase the level of income and equality in this country. for instance, if you looked at the number -- the only growth areas in number of new businesses started last year, the only growth area was this small segment called beauty and hair care. you know what that meant? that meant people lost their jobs and started doing other
people's hair in their kitchen. so we allow them to say, well the job creators who make $250,000 a year need us to cut their taxes so they can hire more people because small businesses are the growth industry of america. no actually we need to separate out the small businesses -- the people who are doing somebody else's hair in their kitchen, the people on top of somebody else's roof down the street reroofing their house because that is the only job they know how to do with their hands and skills, and do it today without additional training and investment from other people. those are the job creators. and they are not the multinational corporation who is taking advantage of the idea that we have allowed them to group those small business owners with the enormous enormous businesses that no how
to take advantage of the tax code and get out of paying taxes. >> david -- david just to jump off of that very quickly, if you have a tax code that perpetuates this kind of inequality where the united states falls behind countries like china, and russia, which we are. what is the real effect on our economy? >> when you build up too much income at the top and people can't consume it, you literally destroy capital over time. we don't need -- we don't have any shortage of rich people, and net the republican policy the major problem is the rich doesn't have enough. the problem is the working class doesn't have enough. their jobs have been taken away from them and we need to
recognize that inequality begets more inequality and eventual social unrest if we don't get a handle on it. >> as we are seeing with the occupy movement. david jay johnston and charles blow, thank you for joining us. a decision by the susan g. komen association has angered a whole host of people. and how new laws are depriving citizens of their most fundamental right to participate in our democracy. >> ycry. everronder wha rickk saorum wououldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldldld
>> 97% of those services that help women are going to be hurt. a lot of people won't get those exams and might get breast cancer. it's widely counter productive. anna, thank you for doing this story. we appreciate it. >> when we come back, we're going to celebrate the life of don cornelius. we'll tell you things about him that you might not know, when we return. ou [[vo]]...we're the idea nobody wants to hear.
...until the truth reveals itself. boat-rockers. and above all... and there's only one place you'll find us. weeknights on current tv. ♪ you're back in "the war room," i'm gen-jennifer grandholm . this letter which was addressed to the group's founder calls for that money -- almost $700,000 to be restored.
the letter reads . . . so far the protests haven't had any impact on komen's decision. brinker is denying that decision has anything to do with right-wing pressure to defund planned parenthood. here is nancy brinker responding to the controversy in a video produced by the komen foundation. >> we will never bow to political pressure. we will never turn our backs on women who need us the most. >> sort of interesting, because brinker it should be noted has strong ties to the gop. she raised at least a hundred thousand dollars to president
bush's campaign. and republican connection doesn't end there, because the senior vice president for public policy karen handel ran for office and vowed to defund planned parenthood. we're joined by tricia rose she is a professor of african studies at providence university. welcome. >> it's so good to be here and congratulations on your new show. >> thank you. today we also saw a story that a right-wing organization was trying to pressure pennies from having ellen degeneres as their spokesperson. the concern about susan g. komen
is that a lot of those services go to the women who need it most. >> what is the most disturbing about this is that there has been no clear explanation for what the impriorities are. they basing it on the something of something like an congressional investigation. there's no evidence here claim or specific reason for it. so for her to open that statement with the idea that this is not bowing to political pressure, when no evidence has been made no charges have been filed, no investigation has been concluded and yet hundreds of thousands of breast exams should go undone on the possible speculation of maybe some impriority. so it's really clear it this is a political-motivated project. and political motivated and economically and class
motivated, because while they say we want to serve all women, most poor women, most women of color do not have access to affordable healthcare that allows them to take care of the full range of their reproductive health and rights. it's an appalling political movement. >> there's two very important points that you just made but anyone can start an investigation for anything and if that's how you are going to base your funding decisions, you are stated you are clearly at the whim of people congress who have other motives. >> in fact encourages us to use this idea of launching an investigation for the purpose of creating witch hunts back and forth. >> i was checking komen's facebook page.
it was 14,000 comments and growing this afternoon. some are positive but mostly negative. i'm wondering if you think they can recover from this hit? >> no -- i think this is going to be a nearly fatal blow for a few reasons. number one you have resignations within the organization at the highest levels. and so that coupled with the fact that there are a number of people particularly -- i think it's jane abrams who is tied to very right wing anti-abortion organizations on the board. so you have clear evidence that there is a real political fallout here. and the organization itself had more political than we thought. i hope many many women force the nfl to stop wearing pink during the season. and i think it's important that we find other ways to fund and
support breast cancer research that are non-partisan. >> and hats off to mayor bloomberg and others who have stepped up to give more. michael bloomberg says i'm giving and i am encouraging others to do the same. this comes on top of nearly a million dollars that this is countdown south carolina. forgot the name of the show p.m.
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had to be a white male with property to cast a ballot. we have come a long way since then, right? well yes, and no. in this presidential election voters in more a dozen states will be facing new laws that will make it difficult if not impossible for them to cast a ballot. in 2011, six states along with legislators controlled by the gop made photo indication mandatory to vote. no id no vote. this year another 27 states have proposed new voter id laws. why this legislative frenzy? nicki haley, one of the six no id no vote states said it's all about integrity. >> we're going to make sure we maintain the integrity of our voters, and if you are show a
picture to buy suedfed, you should be able to show an id to vote. >> here with us again is tricia rose, thank you for rejoining us. and then joining us from new york is michael walledman. welcome to "the war room." and welcome back tricia. and let me start with tricia and pick up a conversation a little bit differently. if there are 31 states who require some kind of government id to vote and people like nicki haley and others are saying it is about integrity, is this really about voter integrity. >> it's one of those moments where they make an issue out of
nothing. who said the process had no integrity in the first place in the idea that somehow the system doesn't have integrity that's the beginning of the system. and when you pull that vail back you begin to see what is really motivating the process. >> and that is? >> oh i didn't know if you wanted me to continue. as you pointed out, propertied white males were the only one to be franchised in the first place. it took a very long time to include non-property white males and then white women, black men, white women and then eventually everyone else. so really we should understand all of the laws designed to prevent the voting of poor people and people of color and
women were always languaged in these indirect ways. we think of things like the poll tax in the south as being explicitly about race. it was just a fee or you just had to have literacy and answer a few questions, and it seemed neutral, so it's the same political strategy to democrat the democratic process so those are power and privilege have additional resources and leverage. >> and if there's an additional layer in an election year that it's about which political party ends up reporting. the brandon center released a report last year that show these lays affect about 5 million voters. >> you are right, jennifer that this is a substantial number of voters. it's really quite unprecedented.
while it's true we fought to expand the right to vote over the years, lately it has been in the direction of enhancing d.c.sy. this is the first significant turning back of the clock. at least 5 million voters would have a heard time -- at the very least -- voting under these laws. why do we say that? let's start by looking at the issue of photo id for voting. the issue really is not should people have to be who they say they are, of course they should be. but there are forms -- i don't have a problem with requiring some kind of id. what i have a problem with a requiring id that lots of people don't have and the specific kinds of government issued photo id is just a kind of that a lot of voters don't have.
the best studies puts it at about one and ten eligible voters. >> especially if they don't have a vehicle? >> right. >> if they don't have access to a secretary of state office. fit's difficult to get there, and they don't have transportation then obviously it's difficult to will get. that's obviously impacting minorityies and urban areas, right? >> that's right. if you look at a state of texas minority voters are far more likely to be further away from the office where you could get that paperwork. >> which state -- i mean you had florida that had almost 600,000 people vote by absentee what states are cutting back by no voting by absentee? >> you have got states like
florida, and there are a variety of laws that go even beyond id. states like florida and ohio and one of the things that is really interested in florida and maybe even michigan is an assault on voter registration drives. in florida the state passed a law that makes it impossible for many nonprofit groups to register voters, so the league of women voters shut down itself voter registration operation, and other states are looking to follow that model including reportedly michigan. >> yeah it breaks my heart, believe me. and professor roses you know your college student can be happy with the requirement that they vote where their home state is rather than where they go to college. >> right. when you add up all of these efforts the fact that early voting initiatives are being
reduced, which everyone know favor democratic candidates young people the points that michael made about the distance from voting locations, the fact that african americans are 25% of them don't have photo ids of the type being required. when you start adding all of these things up. they are a rather remarkable effort to reduce the voting potential of those who might vote. these are not mutual in effect or intent. >> we have got to go unfortunately. because great conversation and tremendous guests and working wonderfully to make sure we all have access to vote. only one who thinks an amendment to the constitution may be in order.
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josh welcome to "the war room." >> thanks for having me on the show. >> let's start with the not so doom and gloom stuff, which is in the midwest the president's numbers are actually looking fairly good aren't they? >> yeah and gallop did a survey and the one silver lining in the numbers was president obama was above water. so we're talking about states like michigan wisconsin, minnesota. there was some concern that because of the economy because of the president's numbers with blue collar white voters that he was losing ground there. but we have seen the president, vice president biden in michigan this week that's been a big
reason why his numbers haven't slipped as much in the rust belt -- >> we'll get back to that in just a second josh. let's get to where you poke a pin in my balloon here the bad news describe that. because i think a lot of democrats would be surprised. >> yeah well the conventional wisdom has been the southwest, the states with a lot of hispanic voters the states that president obama did very well in last time those numbers were surprisingly poor and in some cases, president obama's disapproval rating was over 10 points higher than his approval in a state like new mexico. so a lot of the conventional wisdom has been a little bit off because of those states. you look at nevada with the high
level of foreclosures, the high level of unemployment and you are seeing voters taking their anger out on the president right now. >> obviously you are a political reporter, and clearly when it is a referendum you will see people taking it out on the president, but when there is a choice those numbers won't be as relevant as when you have a choice? >> yes. certainly, once you have a republican nominee, it's going to make a difference, but one of the most compelling statistics on why these numbers are really worth paying attention to. president bush in 2004 didn't win a single state where his disapproval was higher than his
approval approval. there is definitely another year to go but they correlate very very strongly. >> exactly. and you can take nothing for granted, obviously. have you seen quickly any evidence that they are adjusting their strategy in light of what they are seeing internally? >> absolutely and this message about fairness the populous tone that you are hearing from the president is a clear telltale sign that they are aggressively competing in these rust belt states. they are hoping to make a clear play in ohio and it's a tough road to ho but it's the midwest that will provide the decision. >> thank you so much for being in "the war room." up next, brett erlich and las
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>>this is outrageous! we've have no choice, we've lost our democracy here. our brett left his studio in los angeles, hopped in his chevy volt, and headed out to his version of las vegas to hang out with the gop. shhh, brett is talking. >> jennifer hey, oh sorry, i'm in vegas. i came here to get away from everything, but i forgot this weekend is the nevada caucuses. this place is crawling with candidates. and they are reaching out any only way you do in this city with a live vegas extravaganza. this bracelet i got from the
headliner. this is a fantastic show. he does this hilarious impression of a conservative. the tickets are a little expensive like 1 or $2 million, and no general seating, something about not caring about the poor people. and the other show is the newt gingrich variety show he is going to be mad angry, furious, or just really pissed off. the reason i saw this show is time-out las vegas said you'll laugh, you'll cry -- oh wait i'm sorry, you'll just cry. and then ron paul in the great
pauldinee. and the last one is the rick santorum show and he like -- he doesn't really do anything. let's just say there were a lot of tickets available for the rick santorum show. he opened for carrot top, what can you say. i'm done talking now, but i'm not done drinking. taxi? [ laughter ] >> a packed show tomorrow night. we'll preview the nevada caucuses and something i'm very excited about, bob king will join us from an arbor, michigan and i'm going to ask him about brings jobs back to michigan. it will be another great show. thank you for joining us tonight here in "the war room." someone is also in our "war room" check us out on line at current.com/thewarroom. make your voice heard. thanks for watching and have a great night.