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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  December 8, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST

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still though at least we are trying to. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow from back home in new york city. now it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. rick perry is now in the fifth day of his brain freeze on whether to enter the trump debate. in the republican bonfire of the vanities, does newt's flame burn the very brightest? >> democrats and republicans telling us that they underestimated newt gingrich. >> strategist of both parties say he could upset mitt romney to become the republican nominee. >> is gingrich for real? >> this is a weird race in a lot of different ways. >> remember that newt gingrich was pushed out by his own party. a man many months ago who was left for dead after there were headlines of a staff mutiny during his trip to greece and his credit at tiffanys. >> he is erratic, unpredictable
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it would be a much tougher, nastier race than a romney race. >> he is the flavor of the week. >> newt gingrich said yes immediately, he is not afraid of anything. i think if you are afraid to debate with donald trump, people are going to say so you want me to believe you can debate barack obama but you are afraid to show up with donald trump? >> gingrich is going to it because he has never seen a camera he didn't want to go talk to. >> i almost called him newt romney, i guessite deal candidate. >> is romney tough or just desperate? >> he needs to go hard on gingrich and there has been some word that the romney camp is prepared to do that. >> i hope so oops, i did say that out loud? >> donald trump giving a slight dig took mitt romney. >> if you are down in the polls, respectfully he is down in the polls, i would think you would want to be on a debate like this it is very well covered. >> who is watching it to see how much of a train wreck it is going to be? >> i assume the apprentice. >> certain lay lot of press. >> yes it s. >> never seen anything like t.
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>> i know you are embarrassed by all that press. >> forget donald trump, he is history rolled in forget him, smothered in a yesterday sauce. tonight, donald trump is desperately trying to convince republican candidates to show up for his debate. yesterday, mitt romney went out of the debate and apologized to trump personally. he completely wimped out. he lied about having scheduling conflicts. that was after ron paul and jon huntsman immediately refused to participate in the debate, as soon as it was announced last week. ron paul and john huntsman were the only two republican candidates who could instantly see their way to doing the right thing, making the only presidential choice they could
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make under the circumstances. they simply refused to demean the office of the presidency that they are seeking by participating in a debate moderated by a buffoon. today, rick perry was still trying to figure out whether romney's scheduling lie would work for him. >> have you made a decision amount donald trump debate? >> i haven't. we are right in the middle of a very, very important bus tour when that was mapped and this bus tour has been on the books for a pretty -- >> bus tour is in iowa? >> right, it is. >> 'cause his debate is in iowa? >> i don't want to tell people that i promise i'm going to be in their up to doing than event with them, hey, sorry, i got go run in and do -- the preparation and what have you. so -- >> and even the camera-hungry michele bachmann might conclude that the trump debate is beneath her dignity.
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>> so far, i think newt gingrich is the only one who has accepted the invitation for that. >> will you? >> we are still in the process of looking at it. one concern was he said he is already leaning toward a candidate so, you know, there's questions objectivity, but i have great respect for him. >> with only two candidates committed to attend, today on fox, trump downplayed the trump role in the trump debate. >> now you left to senator santorum and former speaker gingrich, what are you going to do if it's just those two? >> well, we will see. look, this is a news max debate. news smacks a powerful organization, good organization and they asked me to do and i said i would do it. >> throughout the day on twitter, trump tried desperately to convince perry and bachmann to ignore trump debate detractors like karl rove and participate in his debate. why is the gop establishment so threat ened by the news max ion tv debate, otherwise known as the trump debate?
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more debate is always better. the architect karl rove is directly responsible for losing both house and barack obama becoming president. ignore him. happy to have grover norquist endorsement of the news max ion tv debate, otherwise known as the trump debate that i am moderating. that tweet linked to this statement by norquist, whose americans for tax reform group will now co-sponsor the debate. i am assured that donald trump will be a fair-minded moderator, and joined by serious journalist. this contrasts with several debates that have already occurred which have been moderated by hostile members of the left-wing media. i strongly urge all gop candidates to attend this debate. and, oh, yeah, trump is also upset that president obama hasn't called him to ask for
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advice. >> i've never met -- i mean, here's the thing, me or others, would you almost think, hey, call up the guy, you could see he is getting a little angry with the way you are running the country, call up trump. i have a big voice. call up trump, invite him to the white house, get him on your side, get him -- you know, people listen to me and people listen to others, you get some of these -- no calls, not that it matters. >> hey, donald, this is as close to the president as you're ever gonna get. >> obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. for example, seriously, just recently, in an episode of celebrity apprentice, at the steak house, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from omaha steaks and there was a lot of blame to go around but you, mr. trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of
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leadership and so, ultimately, you didn't blame lil john or meatloaf. and these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. [ cheers and applause ] >> >> joining me now, "washington post" editorial writer, msnbc political analyst and the last word trump correspondent jonathan capehart, senior trump correspondent. also, politics writer for salon, steve kornacki. thank you both for joining us. all right, senior trump correspondent. by the way, any excuse to roll the white house correspondents dinner tape. >> right. >> trump gave it to us, a completely legitimate run of the tape. >> right. >> saying why isn't the president calling up me, donald trump, for advice on how to run this country? >> well, trump in that clip is quickly becoming sort of the tavis smiley of the right, you know, being angry with the
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president, maybe not because do -- trump is angry with the president because of his policies but tavis smiley is angry with the president because the president won't take his call, won't meet with him you won't do anything that he asks him to do in that clip you showed when i talk to and interviewed trump in september/october, he talked extensively what his mood and testimony american was at that time, how he sat so stone-faced because he thought he shouldn't react, that that would be -- wouldn't be proper but meanwhile, hey, the whole thing was about me. the entire president's speech was about me and i had to remind him you mr. trump, actually you it was just a piece of it. >> steve kornacki, donald trump, has anything worse happened to the republican party? >> you know, when you think about it, he really did kind of set the tone for this year, for sort of the craziness we have seen in the republican race. i think utterly fake campaign on his part but he was included in the polls, he was the first guy of the big surge to sort of show how far you could push the
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envelope and how far ahead of mitt romney could you get by doing that and this is sort of the ultimate culmination of it, where the debate set for, what six, seven days before the iowa caucuses and now almost maybe becoming a litmus test for these candidates of their loyalty to the conservative tribe. if you are loyal to the tribe, you are going to go to the donald's debate your seeing ronnie squirm and rick perry squirm. >> newt was the first to jump into this debate with both feet. let's see how he justified that on fox news last night. >> have you thought through what this might be like? aprentice" presidency. i think if you are afraid to debate with donald trump, people are gonna say so you want me to believe you can debate barack obama but you're afraid to show up with donald trump? and i think it strikes me, it is kind of a very weak position, i don't know why people would do that. >> is there any liability to gingrich now for being in this
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debate? when it first emerged it seemed to me like, okay, now they are going to have a crazy trump debate, now it is looking like a risky thing, even for gingrich to do. >> i don't know, he is so far ahead in iowa, which is only a few days away, i think as steve pointed out, which says to me, when i was first told about this debate and how close it was to iowa, i thought who was the crazy person who came up with this -- with this timing? who is actually going to show up? and when i was having this conversation with this source, no candidate had actually accepted the invitation. i think because newt gingrich is so far ahead, he can afford to show up because his ground game probably suspect as extensive as say mitt romney seas on the ground even though mitt romney hasn't done any campaigning in iowa, feet sort of air time, feet press that newt gingrich get buys showing one donald trump, a proven media getter, i think would make it worth it for
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him. >> steve, the trump people seeming -- i don't know what he has for handlers but someone told him to calm down because today, cavuto on fox asked him about john huntsman and people who rejected the debate, he is very polite, he has shifted from condemning them and calling them names and doing the classic donald trump reaction to anyone who crosses him and now he is actually saying polite and nice things but jim lehrer. he is trying to sound like jim lehrer reacting to someone dropping out of his debate now. >> i think the someone that got to him, my guess would be called his ego. because i think in my sense of this thing is also become a test of donald trump's ego so close to iowa, he originally billed this i think as sort of the final definitive test for all these candidates right before the leadoff caucus. so, what does it say about donald trump who will tell anybody how he is the most important guy in republican politics, the most important guy
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in the media, he has got the voice that requires the president to call him what does it say about him and his influence if he can put a debate like this together, put invitations out and the best he can do is newt gingrich and rick santorum? i think part of him maybe understands at this point you are not necessarily going to browbeat mitt romney to coming but if you can -- if you can act polite, you know, polite enough and there's pressure exerted from some other sources, maybe you get these guys to show and then you can go out and tell everybody it is the biggest debate ever because i organized it i think that is his end game here. >> if i could just jump in here. news max approached donald trump to moderate this debate. we can call it the donald trump debate because he is the marquee person involved in this debate, but in those tweets that you showed, what we are seeing donald trump making it -- putting some distance between his name and his reputation and the people who actually put this together, the newsmax staff ion tv debate. >> what he does with some of these condominium sales he gets involved in.
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well, my name's on it but -- >> you manage t. >> not my building. not my building. jonathan cape hart, senior trump correspondent and steve karen thank you both for joining me tonight. >> us that, lawrence. coming up, president obama's senior adviser, david plouffe, joins me, we will talk about the veto threat the president issued today and how happy the democrats are going to be if the president get run against newt gingrich. and then, i have got a personal story for you, you may have heard that alec baldwin had a bit of a problem getting home from los angeles yesterday. well, i sat beside alec baldwin on his flight to los angeles on friday. and i'll tell you what that was like. 0 let's talk about fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there are atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and the most dreaded fees of all, hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, you won't pay fees on top of fees.
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it's time for pros and cons. here you go.
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>> oh this will be good. tonight, we will be taking a look at the pros and cons of christmas specials. pro, ebenezer scrooge got haunted by the ghost of christmas pass. con, herman cain got haunted by the ghost of mistress past. true. again. reality. pro, seeing santa's big white beard. con, seeing santa without the beard. >> hey, newt gingrich. i'm newt gingrich. how can you get back pain relief that lasts up to 16 hours? with thermacare heatwraps. thermacare works differently. it's the only wrap with patented heat cells that penetrate deep to relax, soothe, and unlock tight muscles for up to 16 hours of relief. that's 8 hours while you wear it, plus an additional 8 hours of relief after you take it off. can your patch, wrap, cream or rub say that? so if you've got pain...
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if the payroll tax cut attached to a whole bump of extraneous issues not related to making sure the american people's taxes don't go up on january 1st then it is not something i'm gonna accept and i don't expect to have to veto it because i expect they are going to have enough sense over on capitol hill -- >> president obama had tough talk for republicans on capitol hill today at a brief news conference with canadian prime minister stephen harper. earlier tonight at the white house, i talked about the president's battle with congressional republicans and the re-election campaign with the president's senior adviser, david plouffe. david, thanks for joining me tonight. >> good to be with you, lawrence. >> you can tell it is christmas season in washington balls the president is explaining to congress exactly what he will do is if they try to jam anything by him at the last minute before leaving down. he issued veto threat today about the payroll tax cut, wants
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a clean bill what are the chances of getting that? >> well, i think congress has to do this, otherwise taxes are going to group next year on 160 million americans, $1,000 apiece. and in this economy, i don't know anybody that can afford that. so congress needs to do their work here, complete the budget work, most importantly, make sure those tax cuts continue, they are critical to the average american who needs $1,000. it is also for our economy. we need that to continue to recover and to grow. >> now you you have come up with a tax cut that republicans don't like this is the first tax cut that has ever come their way that they don't like. what is it about your tax cut that they don't like? >> sadly, it is probably because the president is proposing it. >> could be. might have something to do with it. >> no other reason. the trust a lot of republicans have voted for this in the paths, supported it, as recently as two years ago, at the end of 2010. so this is the right thing to do. again, almost every economist out there, democratic or republican, says you have to have this tax cut to help with consumption in the economy next year.
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second to the average person to have $1,000 taken out of their paycheck makes no sense at all. what we are trying to do is make sure it is pay in order a responsible way, asking the very wealthiest to do a little bit more. >> the president said he is going to give up as much of his holiday trip, i don't want to use the word vacation, because no president takes vacation. not the one before, not the one before him you can not the one that before him. i know how it works, the family trip before the holidays, he is going to put that off until congress gets this done. is there any way of getting john boehner to make the same pledge, he is not going to leave town before this gets done? >> you would hope so congress is supposed to leave in about nine days. that is plenty of time to get done this business to assure the american people their taxes aren't going to get up to extend employment -- benefits the unemploymented and get a budget work done. it is not acceptable for the congress to wave by as they leave for a month and raise tags on all the middle class workers in america that is not going to
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happen on his watch. >> all those attack ads that chicago has been working won mitt romney's name in them, can you switch out gingrich or those records are different enough it will have to be a whole new strategy with this republican front-runner? >> our folk discuss improving the economy, helping the middle class. what is clear no matter who runs against us, from what i've been able to see they are offering the same economic philosophy we know didn't work, the president talked about a in a speech yesterday in kansas. huge tax cuts for the wealthy, not starving things like investments in education, research and technology, refusing to do the things to grow the economy, basically if we let wall street write its own rules after the financial collapse we went through make it easier for polluters to pollute, insurance companies to discriminate against sick patients, somehow that is the anticipate to our economic recovery. it makes no sense at all, historically has not made sense, that is what the president talked about yesterday, that is the admission of the administration, not just recovering from the recession, but to build a stronger economy that gets more people into the middle class, makes the people
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in the middle class secure, gives everybody a fair shake, everybody does their fair share, everybody has a fair shot this is a make or break moment for the middle class what happened this president is going to be focused on, how do we strengthen the middle class in the coming years? >> nor in order for the president to continue doing that job, he has to keep this job. as you look at this republican field developing, there has been a lot of -- you can use the word excite a republican campaign. i mean, i think it's been a lot of craziness, but it is really an easy one to watch and it is getting a lot of attention. does the owe? what re-election campaign worry about diverting attention from the incumbent, this field is getting an awful lot of atenning? >> we are going to keep our eyes focused on what we need to help middle class grow this economy in the coming months. obviously, we are going to have an opponent at some point you colleagues in chicago and the campaign are getting ready for that moment. again, whoever comes out, whoever we are running against, newt gingrich, mitt romney, rick perry, they are offering the same discredited economic ideas
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are it is economic and tax policies for the very, very wealthy at the expense of the middle class, let wall street write its own rules, things like education, investments in college, research and development, rebuilding this country, they are as you havering all the wrong prescriptions and not like 2008 was 20 years ago it just happened. people are still living you with the aftermath of t so, we will have an opponent, we will be ready for that opponent. this is a big argument the country is going to have too decide about the direction we take economically the president believes we need to make every decision based on one principle, how does this help the middle class and how does it help more people get in the middle class? >> in politics, you make your own luck by doing your homework, by being ready for what's going to happen, but do you not make your own opponent. isn't newt gingrich the single luckiest thing that has ever happened? you have been with obama through the presidency from the very beginning. has there been a luckier thing than the surge of newt gingrich in the polls and the possibility you can the actual possibility of president obama being on a
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debate stage with newt gingrich as the nominee? >> well, it has been an interesting race, i wish i could just enjoy it as a casual observed, because we haven't seen one like this in a long time, my guess is it has many twists i and turns left, four short weeks from iowa. here is what we believe, no matter who our opponent is they start the race with 47, 48% of the vote guaranteed, any will give us a tough race, any candidate in this economy that divided country, we will have a tough election and we are not handicapping who is going to win it and who is going to be the toughest opponent and who is going do better in this state or that state you can the president is folk count his job, cutting taxes for the middle class, continuing to do smart noirpgs this economy, winding down the iraq war this month, some important things this country, core commitments to the american people. >> are you going to be able to find the time in the president's schedule for the seven three-hour lincoln douglas debates with newt gingrich starting some time in july, i believe? >> yeah well, we are --
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listen -- >> he has put the challenge out there you are going to runaway from that one? >> there will be a time to navigate all that we will have presidential debates and it is a healthy debate. listen what's interesting about that, lawrence, what the president talked about in kansas yesterday what he wants to do strengthen education, invest in research and technology and infrastructure do that in the fiscally responsible way so we continue to put cut spending in a smart way, get rid of programs we don't need to fund those that we do, ask more of the wealthy, an economic policy center on the middle class this is something most republicans in american support. you know this is where the mainstream of america is. and so this debate is going to be one where whoever the republican nominee is and you see a lot of the congressional republicans here subscribing to that same philosophies even a majority of their party doesn't believe n. >> david, thank you very much for joining me to you can't suppress that gingrich smile, all smiling you in the white house today, all about gingrich. >> is the holiday, lawrence. >> the holidays and the greatest gift could you imagine in politics, newt gingrich. david, thanks again. i really appreciate it. coming up, why the
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requirement for particular kinds of photo i.d.s at the polls is a serious threat to voting rights across america and in the rewrite tonight, a psychiatric study of what ails one of the republican front-runners for the presidential nomination. and next, you've probably heard about how alec baldwin got back to new york from los angeles yesterday. i will tell you what it was like sitting beside him when he was flying to los angeles on friday. i will just say it was a long flight. when you're a sports photographer, things can get out of control pretty quickly. so i like control in the rest of my life... especially my finances. that's why i have slate, with blueprint. i can make a plan to pay off big stuff faster... or avoid interest on everyday things. that saves me money. with slate from chase, i'm always in control.
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in our for what it's worth segment tonight, me and alec baldwin. i was not there at los angeles airport yesterday when he had a problem on an airplane and he had to leave that plane at the request of the airline and get on the very next plane that that very same airline was running out of los angeles so i'm not sure how much of a problem he could have possibly caused if that very same airline booked him on the very next plane. but i did sit beside him on the flight from new york to los angeles, the flight that brought him to los angeles on friday. and it was, as i said, a long flight because it is always a long flight. but i can tell you that i have never, never seen a more polite person on an airplane than alec baldwin. i don't really know him, i have
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said hello to him a couple times here and there before that flight. that was the first time i ever sat with him in any experience like that. he was polite to a fault. he embarrassed me with his politeness. he certainly was more polite than i was, which, of course is a low bar, as some people already know. so, what could possibly have happened yesterday? i do not know. it bears absolutely no resemblance to the pleasure i saw. all of the staff on the plane having when he was on the plane on friday and the pleasure it was for know sit beside him. he was going out there, as he does frequently, almost every weekend, to be with his daughter. he talked to his daughter and the importance of getting out there as often as he has to from new york and that's what i can tell you. for what it's worth. up next, a rising star in the democratic party, my exclusive interview with california attorney general camel la harris as she tries to
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take on big banks and some of their abusive foreclosure practices. later, the republican plan to block democratic voters, prevent them from getting into voting booths in next year's election. ♪ it' s nice to be here ♪ ♪ it's nice to see you in my bed ♪ ♪ ♪ there are diamonds in her eyes ♪ ♪ and they sparkle in the night ♪ [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ when the moment comes alive [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store.
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go to to learn about a free trial offer. i have lived in my home for 13 years and through predatory lending, i have gone through a foreclosure. to date, that foreclosure is actually being looked at because it was actually illegal. i was inspired and encouraged to start -- start to stand up for myself when i saw this woman over in oakland actually break back into her home. >> that was a san francisco homeowner telling her story in a new chapter of the occupy protests, the occupy our homes movement. yesterday was a national day of action that saw protesters reoccupying foreclosed homes in
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new york, georgia, illinois, florida, minneapolis, oregon, washington and california. and now, there is big news in the legal fight against wrongful foreclosures and to hold banks accountable for their wrongdoing. the attorneys general of nevada and california that ranked -- the states that you rank number one and number two for percentage of homes in foreclosure announced that they have teamed up to launch a wide-ranging joint investigation to help homeowners who have been harmed by misconduct and fraud in the mortgage industry. joining me now is california attorney general kamala harris. >> good to be with you, lawrence. >> this comes after -- you were all in a 50-state negotiation with all 50 state attorneys general and the big five banks. but you and your nevada
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colleague have decided to pull out and go your own way because the 50-state approach wasn't working. why wasn't that working? >> well, i pulled california out in september and essentially, it became very clear to me that it was not -- the discussion there did not represent a fair deal for california. as you mentioned, california has expeer yepped an incredible hardship. we have been alternating with nevada between number one and number two with the cities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. the great attorney general of nevada, katherine mastow, has been looking at this issue for quite some time and most recently and yesterday, in fact, we announced a joint investigation agreement where we are joining forces around our targeted investigation and so we have each independently been doing this work and we are collaborating and sharing intelligence, sharing witnesses and documents and the subpoena power that we each have to focus
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on the need for accountability and consequence for wrongdoing and also to make sure that we are doing a full and fair investigation so that we can be sure that when and if there is ever a discussion or we come to a point of reaching a settlement, it will be fair and it will be proportionate to the harm that each of our states experienced. >> and the harm that your straits experienced have included the practices by the leaders moved these mortgagers out to things they didn't know they were getting into. then the component people in trouble on their mortgages are falling prey too all sorts of scheme he is being offered them with the notion that these schemes will help them get out of trouble with their mortgages. >> right. so earlier this year, i created a mortgage fraud strike force in
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california and it is actually team of 40 lawyers from my consumer, corporate and criminal fraud divisions. and we have been looking at everything from the onlial in nation issue and what happened during that phase of the mortgage process and false claims that may have been associated with the only nation of those loans and then right through thor is vision part, up until the securitization and the story that you just showed a clip from was a town hall that i held in san francisco and the woman, denise, is someone who described something that i'm hearing up and down the state of california. and katherine mastow will tell you she is hearing across nevada, the homeowner in the process of foreclosure and borrow money from friends and family to try to keep the home through the process of modifying their lope, modification process and so we call this dual track. so you see countless numbers of homeowners making every good attempt to stay in their home and to pay with a modified rate there is no communication between these two tracks and so
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you hear stories like denise or other people who will tell you that they are in the process of sending documents would the servicing banks. they don't get responses, they get conflicting information. all of a sudden, someone knocks on their door and tells them their home has been sold. this is not -- imlet you finish but i will just make an obvious point, this is not what our system should be designed to do. our system should be designed to give these people who are in most desperate strength, give them dignity in the process and the information so if they have the ability and deet tire is try to keep their homes we give them an opportunity to do that. >> kamala, i think if we were talking about mortgage fraud juan attorney general ten years ago or possibly even five years ago what we would be talking about is fraud perpetrated by borrowers are in overstating their incomes or just putting you stuff on the application that just isn't true in order to get mortgages that they couldn't handle. >> right. >> but mortgage fraud now
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involves these other components that we are talking about. at this stage of your investigation on this subject, could you give us a sense of how much of each one of these components fed the disaster that we are in now? i mean, how much of it would you assign, if you could, to frauds perpetrated by borrowers on their applications versus the institutional fraud that was going on? >> you're absolutely right, lawrence. five years ago, i was actually the d.a. of san francisco and did a lot of this work as district attorney, which was, at that time, looking at predatory practices, so, it was the subprime loan situation, where they were -- these inflated estimates of the value of home he is. everyone could apply for a loan and it was an awful situation because they were extreme examples of predatory practices. that included, for example, offering a lot of seniors in particular, reverse mortgages.
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and so we were investigating fraud from that perspective. fast forward to now, we are looking at scam artists, predators who are trying to help people foreclose their home, charging them money when they are doing nothing help them. >> california attorney general kamala harris, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. .cog up, fascinating video from a psychiatric session years ago when one of the republican front-runners for the presidency perfectly self-diagnosed his own severe mental illness. that's in the rewrite. and later, the voter i.d. movement sweeping the country is being called the biggest threat to voter rights since the jim crow laws. we will show you one woman's struggle to meet the new requirements in south carolina so she can vote. the droid razr by motorola. the first droid that becomes self-aware. it remembers what you do and does it faster.
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now, i can say that because donald is a friend, tremendous guy. he is great. we have the world's number one-rated friendship. having said that, he's a joke. he is a child. he's toddler wearing man pants. look at this yutz. looks like a gin-soaked raisin fell into a nuclear reactor. all right? you want to play kingmaker, donald? okay, that's my turf. i get things done. the point is, forget donald trump. he is history rolled in forget him, smothered in a yesterday sauce. that is why as of this moment, i am officially announcing my own republican debate, stephen colbert's south carolina serious, classy republican debate. i am doing this. my doctor told me calcium
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in tonights "rewrite," we have a guest lecturer, william m. romney, on the subject he knows better than anyone, political flip-flopping, he opened up about it in a very confessional lay bill that 2004 at a little-noticed breakfast at the iowa delegation at the republican national convention. he was there to cheer on president george w. bush's re-election over massachusetts senator and vietnam war hero john kerry. romney who avoided military service by hanging out in france
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while john kerry was in vietnam made the rounds at the convention, getting to know the different delegations, preparing for his own future presidential campaigns and specializing in like about john kerry. the slimiest liar of that campaign, dick cheney who like romney, never found the courage to serve in the military, never mind fight in vietnam, falsely labeled john qurei flip-flopper around mitt romney took his place in cheney's chorus. romney pretended to know more about john kerry because kerry's from massachusetts. here's a sampling of the massachusetts governor's stand-up at the iowa delegation breakfast. >> now, there's one export that says some people would like to send from our state to yours. his name is john kerry. and you've got -- yeah. yeah. keep him. keep him right where he is, right? you've got to know a good deal about him. it is interesting. in -- in politics, it is pretty
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much standard operating procedure that when you're running for office, you look at your opponent's record, you find some place where he or she has changed position and you say they are a flip-flop and that's pretty standard thing, but in this case you this guy really is. i have tried to think why it is that he has changed so often, why he finds it so difficult to come down on one side of an issue, instead, sort of floats between both issues and both sides of things. >> okay. this is where it gets really good. especially if you are a shrink watching this. psychiatrists have a term for what you're about to see, they call it projection and denial. and yes, i speed dialed one of the many shrinks in my phone to get that term, projection and denial. what it means is the patient projects his condition onto other people while denying he has it himself. in this case, the greatest flip-flopper in the history of american politics is projecting his ailment onto john kerry
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while in full denial that this is his own problem. watch it now as a psychiatrist works as romney's explanation of what it feels like to be mitt romney at a microphone, speaking to a political audience. just close your eyes and imagine romney on a psychiatrist's couch, telling you all this. >> and i think the problem, for those who look at john kerry, for those that don't understand how he can be so vacillating, it stems from the fact that he is very conflicted, that he is drawn in two different directions and very powerfully. if he is with an audience, he gets to -- he wants to identify with and satisfy that audience and will say what he thinks they want to hear so he is trying to be on both sides. and as a result, he ends up not sounding like he can take a position one way or the other. >> you know, after work, when
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shrinks are kicking back with a fine glass of wipe and shooting the breeze, they refer to romney's kind of projection with the more casual and more descriptive saying, if you spot it, you've got it. romney did say something to his iowa delegation audience that morning that i think we can all agree on, something that we can only hope all american voters can agree on. >> you know, we laugh and joke about that kind of inconsistency and vassilation, yet as we look at the times that we face it is really not a joking matter, when we think about the importance of leadership in our nation today. when we think of how broad the attacks are that america is enduring, we recognize how deep and strong a leader we must choose to lead the free world. ♪ you, you ain't alone ♪ and just let me be [ male announcer ] this is your moment.
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as we approach the first primaries in the 2012 elections, civil rights groups are increasing youly worried over the number of states requiring photo i.d.s to vote. the new laws either request or demand picture i.d. before allowing stlirts constitutional right to the ballot box. nearly all of those laws were sponsored by republican lawmakers. proponents stay is about ending voter fraud. nbc news correspondent mara she yaf vo campo on assignment for went to one of those states, south carolina, and found a woman who has worked for 30 years helping register voters who were of the elderly people of color. she sees something far more insidious behind the photo i.d. requirement. >> after researching and working
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with several people who came to me out of the clear blue out of the clear blue, i didn't know these individuals that came to me, after working with them and looking at actual numbers and statistics, i realized, without question, that this issue is primarily targeted at african-americans. at at the elderly. at the indigent. but primarily, african-americans. those individuals who would, in all likelihood, vote for barack obama and the democratic party come 2012. >> joining me now, nbc's mara ski yaf vo campo from the gee grooe, part of nbc news. voter denied, starting tomorrow night at the mara what is the evidence that these efforts are targeted at obama voters? >> lawrence, you know, we don't know whether they are targeted at obama voters but the evidence is certainly that those are the
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groups going to be impacted most heavily. these are laws that are requiring government-issued photo id to vote and we know that the groups that are most -- least likely to have a government-issued photo i.d. are african-americans, are the elderly and are young people and those are the groups that you have traditionally supported democratic candidates around certainly came out in large numbers for president obama. when it comes to african-americans, you know, nationally, about 12% of eligible voters did not have the kind of i.d. that's required, but african-americans that number is 25%. which knee people over 65 are much less likely to have a driver's license and the when it comes to young people, people in college, they are much more transient so they are less likely to have an i.d. that has an address on it that reflect the address that they are currently living in. so all indications at this point are that the groups that are going to be most heavily affected are those that traditionally would turn out for a democratic candidate. >> what kind of i.d.s are these laws requiring of people, for example, who don't have drivers licenses? what do they need to show instead?
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>> in the strictest cases, they have to be government-issued photo i.d.s, things like a military i.d., a passport, a driver's license, the kind of i.d. that would you get at a dmv, if you were not a driver but just needed an i.d. but you know, do you see some curious things. for example, in texas, you can use a gun permit i.d. but you cannot use a student i.d., even if it is issued from a state university. so there are some cases where there's some questions about why laws were drafted the way that they are. in other states where they have less strict laws about this thing, these things, you can provide other forms of identification, things like a social security card or a bill, utility bill that kind of thing, but the ones that the people who were opposed to these laws most concerned about are the ones that ask for very specific, very strict forms of i.d. a lot of people when i'm talking to them about this story say what is the big deal, why don't you just go to the dmv and get an i.d., many states, they say they will give them away for freeze, you don't have to pay anything, but what people are
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finding it is not that easy, before you can go to the dm. >> have you need a birth certificate, if you are a woman who has been married, you need your marriage license if your name has changed, you have been divorced, you need divorce paperwork. people are finding before they can even set foot in the dmv, they have to do a lot of work to gather this paperwork and spend a lot of money and a big point of contention to opponents of this you are asking people to shell out money for the right to volt which is a new poll tax, something completely against their constitutional right r. >> thank you very much for joining me tonight, mara. >> thanks, lawrence. and a last word on alec baldwin. if he was causing a problem by using his cell phone while the plane was at the gate in los angeles, how is it that i and you and we all found out about it on twitter by someone else sitting close to alec baldwin who tweeted about it as it was


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