Martin Bashir | May 08, 2012
>> moon, too. we begin with the president challenging his opponents in congress to take action on job creation and mortgage relief and pushing constructive efforts to help americans in hard times . today, he gave congress a five-point to do list including a veterans job call and clean energy tax credits . and at a time when critics say they are a do-nothing congress , the president was more than happy to say they are standing in the way of economic recovery.
>> i know this is an election year. but it is not an excuse for inaction. just saying no to ideas that we know will help our economy is not an option. there is too much at stake. we've all got to pull in the same direct.
>> the president's pitch come on a day with two positive economic headlines. first up, the u.s. government recording a budget surplus of $58 billion in april. breaking a string of deficits that began in 2008 . posting 3.7 million job openings in march. the highest number in more than three years. but even with such glad tidings for mitt romney , there is still not nearly enough big business exploitation in our economy. as he laid out his vision today in michigan.
>> government will be the partner, not the master. and government will be small enough for businesses to grow fast enough. fast enough to exploit global opportunities.
>> indeed. lose the department of education , lose the energy department , the department of interior . corporations can regulate the environment on their own. we saw how well that worked in the past. yes, romney spelled out his vision much more clearly in that paragraph than he ever has before. and interesting that he gave his remarks a half mile from a gm plant in lansing, michigan. thanks to one of our twitter followers for that. because when he is not playing up with corporations, the governor is busy taking credit for certain government efforts like the bailout that saved the auto industry .
>> i pushed the idea of the bankruptcy and finally when that was done and help was given, the company got back on their feet so i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.
>> what? the auto rescue was his idea now? i didn't get that. because back a couple years ago, mr. romney said to cnn, what was it? bailout of enterprises that are in trouble, that's not the right sident bush started with the auto industry . i thought it was a mistake. well, we know that there is one company that continues to get free publicity for mitt romney every day. the makers of etch a sketch. let's bring in our panel now. and the author of the new book, showdown. here in new york, the contributor, correspondent for the nation and politico white house reporter from the offices in arlington, virginia. david , help me. i'm confused. the president can't spike the football on killing osama bin laden . yet mitt romney can give himself credit for the auto bailout which he opposed. now, help me.
>> martin, just imagine this. if mitt romney can save an entire industry by writing one op ed for the new york time, imagine what he could do with a president with executive orders ? it is stunning. he is super mitt. he saved the auto industry by writing an op ed that was titled, let detroit go bankrupt. forget president. he should be emperor.
>> or of course the almighty god . the dnc has had fun with the hash tag entitled things mitt takes credit for. it is the auto bailout. in florida he will be claiming he helped build disney world . invented the cuban sandwich .
>> and killed the bar before he was only 3. basically, this is him trying to do the flip, the republican flip where you take an opponent's strength and turn it into a weakness. in this case i think he has gone one flip too far.
>> it's not a flip. it is a shameless act of theft. it is burglary! it is stealing! it's a felony!
>> i was trying to give him a bit of credit here. his op ed reminded me of the famous vietnam phrase, you had to destroy the village in order to save it. his plan was to destroy the village so it could come back stronger. it has come back stronger. therefore it worked. it is simple lodging you by republican circles.
>> sorry, david . you wanted to butt in quickly?
>> it is circthe circus.
>> republicans are attacking the president fortune his to do list for congress . calling it a distraction from his economic record. i thought it is focusing on his economic record. i'm beginning to be very confused by this.
>> they want you to be confused. the downer punch to what the president outlined. a veterans job program, working on the front of mortgages. you're disus from all the things you can't done. well, congress isn't over am i feel this is one of those rebuttals that shows you how cynical washington is. not that the president needs a reminder but the notion, the very idea that you would legislate any of this is dead on arrival in washington because they don't actually believe that this congress would just set up in a two-year term should actually do its job for two years straight.
>> when the president said you've got six months. let's use those six months. the congress simply ignores that will.
>> david corn is a bigger washington insider than me. you can see that on the screen.
>> those are fighting words.
>> i think david and i would agree, if not on what i just that, down in washington people don't look at this as a time to govern at all. they literally feel governing is over and we'll wait no matter what happens in the country, we'll wait for this election.
>> you had an example of that today. you have an example of that today with the student loan vote where there was a lot of grappling over the side issues and not necessarily focusing on how to get to the end point which is to keep interest rates stable lest they go up in july on a vulnerable population with the kids looking for work and saddled with this debt. and the republicans and democrats can't seem to get it together. particularly with the object stib answer of republicans not even allowing this to come up for a full vote.
>> you must be telepathic. we're about to go to a piece of sound. the president addressed this very issue today. listen to this.
>> one other thing they've got to do. before they do anything else, congress needs to keep student loans rates from doubling for students who are here and all across the country.
>> so david , just this afternoon, democrats student lobe bill failed to pass. are we looking at another showdown as you write about in your book? is that what is going to happen?
>> it failed foos because as joe noted, republican obstinance. given that the house is controlled by republicans and the republicans are using the filibuster in the senate. there is not a lot of opportunity to do anything the way there was in the first two years. even during the lame duck session . so it has been a lot of posturing. to give the president some credit, he would like to sit down and he would be happy to compromise that dreaded word for republicans on many of these fronts. i think we'll keep seeing a fight over the student loan bill. like the pay roll tax cut bill which they eventually caved organization it is not good politics. the president is happy to go to schools in virginia, north carolina , and other swing states and have this fight over and over again in the next few months.
>> to agree with this student loan issue but it is how we pay for it.
>> how we pay for it and it is this hostage taking that we've seen. the notion that we should every time we want to do anything as a government. reopen the broader 30 or 50-year budgetary question of how we deal with long term deficits and entitlement programs . i think the republicans , they have been rhetorically effective in getting a lot of people including a lot of the media to think this is a reasonable beginning point. when i worked in the senate, it was a while ago. in 2002 i don't remember every time we said we have to find money for students that we had to then reopen a big deficit discussion will.
>> and joe , you were going to point up, i guess, the point about democrats which they've been saying they're not prepared to allow health care provision in the president's reform, moneys to be taken out for preventive health so students can have lower interest rates .
>> that's part of the issue as well. if you extrapolate a little bit more, this fits into the broader narrative that the republicans are trying to write about responsibility for women's health care . and the fact of women's reproductive health is an expendable issue. in one way it was a loss for students. it was a loss for democrats. in another way, it gives the president two very clear points. the first is the do nothing congress just did that. they did nothing. and the second is that the republicans did nothing by trying to raid the fund for women's preventive health care which is something we've seen time and time again during the gop presidential nomination race.
>> and you're seeing the same fight going on with reconciliation bill when they were going to take money away from food stamps and other low income programs to get rid of those automatic defense cuts that they agreed to last year. so it is the same, joe is right. this is a big narrative forming. i think to the president's