Hardball | October 04, 2012
>>> night was a tough night for the president, of course, but there's another story to be told about mitt romney 's performance, which relied on fuzzy math . vague policy prescriptions and statements that strained the truth. i'm being nice here. he denied his tax plan would cost $5 trillion. denied it. independent economists say it's the case. "the new york times" editorial today, they got out overnight, says the following, virtually every time mr. romney spoke, he misrepresented the platform on which he and paul ryan are actually running. that's quite a statement. and a new york magazine jonathan challenged romney over his economic plan that seems to rely on some magical numbers and thinking, quote, so romney is a candidate of a 20% cut in tax rates , a new plan to cover people with pre-existing conditions and higher defense spending and he will accomplish it all by eliminating federal funding for pbs. the question is can obama and his team win the post debate debate by highlighting some of this nonsense and romney 's fuzzy language? willy brown is the former mayor of san francisco , former speaker of the house out there. joan walsh is editor at large or salon and the author of "what's the mat we are white people ." i want to get to these points. can you win on the fact having lost perhaps on performance value?
>> it's very, very difficult to get people in the world observing politicians to overcome to the substance. they always go for style. they always are influenced by performances, and i believe mr. obama took a licking last night. the public knows that and now to suggest that the facts support what his position is supposed to be i don't think carries.
>> you know, i got to ask you a personal question about the president. you know, i do look up to him in so many ways. when i'm with him i say to myself and i do this objectively, i list be to him after he's briefed us on something, this guy ought to be president. he has the command of the issues. he has scope. he has relevance. he can talk to you as regular person in common english as well as the wonk talk. he has an iq that is way up there. yet last night he was tongue tied. he let the other guy own the room. what do you think was on his mind before we get on to romney . i know you think a lot about this and care a lot, mayor.
>> i think what happened last night is i think barack obama frankly went to sleep. he had anticipated being perceived as arrogant, being perceived as a genius, being perceived as taking advantage of a lesser, and he decided to back off of all of that. in the process, however, he forgot to continue to think, and at each point where there needed to have been somebody calling to the world's attention the inadequacies in the presentation being made by mr. romney , the inaccuracies therein, he should have done that and it would not have been inconsistent with his being what he is supposed to be, but he didn't do that. he literally became no longer interested in what romney was saying. he stayed with his program, plan, presentation no matter what romney said, and that was a major mistake.
>> it makes you believe in spying and how it's done, joan , because here is a guy that came on television last night with 60 million people roughly watching. convincing us he had crocodile tears , real tears for people on medicare, real people with problems they're worrying about keeping social security when we have him on tape telling people who paid $50,000 a head to find out what he really thinks say, i don't give a damn, i don't give a rat's behind on these 47% who are a bunch of freeloaders and parasites. you know, he said that on the record when he thought nobody was watching and then last night he has case after case of mrs. munchkin i met here and mr. brown i met here and all this. all these cases where he got deeply and emotionally concerned. it's a performance. will they be able to work it over time ? he's got five weeks left.
>> he did have a very good job. i was to say that. he was prepped very well. it reminded me, he's mr. bain capit capital. the most important thing to that man is closing a deal. he will say anything to close a deal. he saw that last night. he was hopped up. he was on some sugar high .
>> i said he's lds. he couldn't be on anything like caffeine. was it m&ms.
>> spaghetti and barbecue. i heard a lot of things about what he ate but it was like a sugar high where you come down the next day and you crash. and i'm going to take a little -- i completely agree with the mayor about the president's job, but in terms of whether you can win a second or a third day news cycle, i think the president is already coming back, and just traveling home today from the debates just every place i saw a tv monitor, somebody was fact checking mitt romney 's lies, and i will call them lies. you're too nice but you let me say what i think.
>> it doesn't work because once you saw lie -- mayor, last night romney said the tax plan wouldn't cost $5 trillion and wouldn't benefit the wealthy people at the expense of the middle class . take a look at him actually saying this.
>> i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut . what i have said is i won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. that's part one. number two, i will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. and number three, i will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle income families. i will lower taxes on middle income families.
>> he's going to get rid of the estate tax , mr. mayor, which aims directly at the top rate. the people who have a quarter million bucks and want to leave it to their kids. it's nor the very rich. he wants to lower the top rate from 35% to 28% for the richest people in the country. he wants to take the corp rate rate from 35% to 25%.
>> clearly at that stage mr. obama should have turned to him and said you are not telling the american people the truth. just as he did today in denver when he said he wasn't telling the truth. he should have looked him in the eye and said mitt romney , you are not telling the american people the truth. and then proceed to walk through as clinton would have done the mathematics to prove it. i don't think romney would have been smart enough to figure out how to get out of that hit, but obama ignored that opportunity and i think that's a mistake. joan , you're correct. he will everywhere he goes, he will save the day and correct what he didn't do last night, but 58 million people will not be able to be contacted in time for him to make that correction.
>> well, joan , last night romney made another surprising state on his health care plan this time. let's take a look at the latest variation on a theme which is i'm not as bad as i am. let's watch it.
>> let's get the governor explain what you would do it obama care is repealed. how would you replace it?
>> actually, it's a lengthy description but number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. number two, young people are able to stay on their family plan.
>> well, there's a lie. keep it simple . i reserve my right to use it once in a wile. his own guy came out and said it's not in there. talking points memo report that romney 's top adviser of aech asketch fame admitted romney 's plan to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions wasn't as cut and dried as romney suggested. noshds he said, with respect to pre-existing conditions what governor romney has said in the past is for those continuous coverage he would continue to make sure -- in other words, if you have coverage you would still have it. but he doesn't guarantee it like the obama plan does it. he doesn't do anything like he pretends to do here.
>> no, he doesn't. now i'm going to be the one jumping on the president. that was another area where he got professorial and he kind of explained it but he didn't say, look, governor romney , the problem is not for people who have continuous coverage. the people is for people who have been dropped and are trying to get back into the job market and are trying to get insurance again. your plan did not do that. he came with the facts but he didn't come with the simple approach of how to hit romney with the facts when we know that this is a lie that he tells over and over and over again.
>> let me defend romney just a little bit.
>> you got to understand that mr. romney believed what he said. this is a man who is unfamiliar with reality, and, therefore, he can stand there with passion and proceed to say what he said and for him it's not a lie. he really believes.
>> but on " 60 minutes " with scott pelley he laid out the fact. we don't let people die in their apartments lige the only people without health care live in parnlts. we get them to the e.r. that's his health care plan. he laid it out for scott. now he's coming off as the guy who cares about the little people . he doesn't. he calls them the 47 percent. he doesn't care about them. thank you, thank you very much mayor brown and thank you, joan .