Martin Bashir | March 29, 2012
>>> at this moment, house republicans are playing their favorite parlor game. charades. many are gathered on the house floor pretending the paul ryan budget has a chance of passing the budget. the wisconsin republican's plan has obvious flaws. for instance, austerity and tax cuts balanced on the backs of the elderly. yet he is still regarded as some as very much the golden boy .
>> paul ryan will of course be one of those that people across the country look at and say, hey, that guy could be vice president or president if the need arose.
>> wait a minute. mitt, did you just tell conservatives that their golden boy could be president if the need arose? that must be another you one of those my dad and i like to fire people stories. good afternoon, sir. you're the ranking member of the house financial services committee . i would like your opinion, if i may, on paul ryan and the tireless praise that republicans like mitt romney like to bestow upon him and his budget.
>> well, it affects his sharing of the values. by the way, one of the thing that he is getting praise for, i think he might not have wanted this so explicit. the " wall street journal ," the tutor in chief of the republicans the day before yesterday in an editorial praised him because in his budget, he rejects any cuts in the military including those that had been called for in the budget agreement and said instead, it has to come out of medicare and medicaid . a central part of the debate is as the " wall street journal " wrote, good for paul ryan . he is protecting the defense department against any further cuts and he is instead going to get those cuts from entitlements from medicare and medicaid . secondly, he of course is determined to keep the taxing of the wealthiest people far above what we would need to reduce the deficit in a realistic way so as a result, medicare and medicaid get cut. every program we have to protect the quality of life in america. to clean the rivers. to build highways. to put police officers on the street. any of those things, to provide help to the cities to deal with basic services. those all get cut. so it is not surprising. the mitt romney of 15 years ago would not have been in agreement with paul ryan but with mitt romney , he moves with the party. the party moves farther to the right and he is with them.
>> i've been having some problems understanding precisely who mitt romney actually is. a few months ago you help us define one newt gingrich with the following comment. here's the clip.
>> you talked about the l word with newt. let's be clear, there are two l words, lobbyist and liar.
>> if newt beginning is a lobbyist and a liar, are you able to offer a similarly straightforward assessment of mr. romney?
>> yes. mitt romney is a man who appears on the base i of a long effort to be a politician. he claims he doesn't want to be a politician. that's mostly because he's generally been unsuccessful in his efforts to be an elected official. mitt romney is a man totally devoid of any commitment to any principle except his own advancement. there is literally not a public policy which he has not advocated one side on one time and one side on the other. i've never seen a major political figure so absolutely unburdened by any commitment to any principle what so ever.
>> so he has no convictions what so ever. the only conviction he has is his own personal advancement and presumably, personal success.
>> he believes that he should be the leader. he has since 1994 been running for president. he told people in '94, he would be better on gay rights than senator kennedy. a couple months ago he spoke on a very demeaning fashion about the marriage of two people of the same sex who love each other. he has reversed his position on the environment. on the questions of whether or not we should ban abortion. on health care , very clearly. usually when a politician shifts position to a certain group, they don't mind. people are very tolerant of people who flip toward them. but mitt romney has been so obvious in his absolute lack of principle that even the people who he temporarily says i agree with you, are not reassured because they understand when the wind blows, there he will go again. there's also in mitt romney and people don't fully intend -- there is a meanness at his core. you know, he ran ads. i never thought i would feel some sympathy for newt gingrich but mitt romney with enormous amounts of money at his beck and call from people who want him to treat them right and protect their riches has run the most relentlessly savage campaign against anybody who dared get in his way. he ran an abusive personal campaign against senator kennedy. he ran a demeaning personal campaign against a first rate woman who ran against him, shannon o'brian. when he wanted to be governor, he undercut the then republican governor, dana swift. he has a record of being very abusive toward women politicians if he has to be. with all this planned image of his, you will not find a more devoted partitioner of the most vicious aspect of position than mitt romney .
>> he is a man without any convictions but he has more positions than i guess a porn star. we know that mitt romney enjoys an enormous amount of wealth. does this explain yes keep saying things that indicate such a lack of compassion for ordinary americans. he said he likes firing people. he doesn't care about the poor. now he makes a joke about his father laying off 4,300 workers when he moved a business.
>> no. that's unfair to other very wealthy people. we have a lot of people with great wealth in american politics . franklin convenient, senator ken, my own senator, john kerry . there are a number of people. wealth does not explain callousness. you can be very wealthy. warren buffett certainly is. bill gates , and have some compassion. in mitt romney 's case, he simply has decided to go with whatever will advance him. and we are at a point in american history when the right wing has taken over the republican party to a degree that no ideologically farout group has ever run in the american party . they want to substantially increase. they want to go further in afghanistan and invade syria, do all these other things. cut taxes and reduce the deficit. the only way you do that is by cutting social security , medicare and every program that tries to enhance the quality of life at home.
>> congressman barney frank , you have given us an excellent description of mitt romney and help us understand the paul ryan budget. for that we are grateful. thank you.