Martin Bashir | June 05, 2012
>> let's get right to our panel now. msnbc political analyst michael eric dyson joins us live from washington, d.c. we're also joined in the studio here in new york by ari of the nation magazine and david corn is still with us. the hardest working man on television live from washington. david --
>> you can't get rid of me.
>> we don't want to. we just heard bill clinton point out how they lacked the decency to rebuke. he remains the most suggestible politician in the country.
>> are you asking me?
>> yes, i am, corn, i am.
>> you know, george romney was a moderate republican who showed a lot of guts in 1964 when he walked out of the republican convention because he disagreed -- he had an honest policy agreement with barry goldwater on civil rights legislation. can anyone imagine even with the use of drugs mitt romney doing anything like that? just taking a stand. probably didn't help george romney politically over the years, but it was a stand -- he showed he was a standup guy. we've seen time and time again when mitt romney panders. someone calls barack obama a traitor in front of him, he doesn't say no, no, no, no. it's not really hard to do this sort of stuff, but i guess he just hasn't found the right moment or opportunity.
>> well, there isn't a medicine for moral courage . ari, politico has a story today about the doubts and misgivings that republicans still have with romney . let me quote. here is a partial list. his stiff public appearance, his ideological inconsistency, his trouble confronting and controlling the donald trumps of the party. his knack for change-worth stabs at connecting. even with a bad economy, this man is struggling to attract the trust of his own party.
>> i looked at the story. i think they had a list there that's familiar. some of those things won't matter, the fact that romney can't really connect in a room, that the longer you watch his speech, the less it makes sense because he's just not very good at it. i don't think that's going to decide this election. on the other hand, they had a couple substantive things on the lis and that you have spotlighted on the show. how you deal with the people around you gives us a preview of the people you want to staff. the most important company around, which is the federal government in our system. so the fact that he not only doesn't confront trump but far from it has traveled around with him, i think we give trump too much attention generally. but when the nominee breaks bread with him this much and doesn't confront the racism, that's a big sign and a big problem.
>> we are waiting for another scintillating speech from the candidate, as you can see. we have pictures there. why do you laugh when i say that, corn? you know he's a scintillating speaker. now, professor dyson , let's take a listen to something else that bill clinton said last night about mitt romney .
>> his plan is to go back to the bush program except on steroids.
>> professor dyson , every day brings a new reminder of how close romney is sticking to that bush team. today he's in dallas on a fund-raiser, right where bush is living. can we expect a nice photo-op at some point when mitt and wosm"w"?
>> he's certainly trying to secure it. i guess he's the roger clemens of the republican party right now. i think that the problem here is that as has been indicated, this is not just simply guilt by association or gild by association with those big bucks , it's the difficulty to stand up and think critically on yourself. you're ratcheting it up way beyond reason. you're looking like a mad man. let's stand up on principle, not on unprincipled assaults upon people that then make me vulnerable. but he can't even do that. and if he can't even do that, we don't think he has the intestinal fortitude that is demanded of the commander in chief because as has been indicated, it's not just the stuff on the paper, some of which is problematic and some of which is rather more fickle, the bottom line is where do you stand in the time of crisis? who are the people you depend upon to give you advice, and how do you argue with competing interests so that you're able to come up with your own plan? that's the inability that mr. romney has shown that's deep and profound and i think his republican base finds it problematic.
>> professor dyson your timing is exquisite. we're watching the republican nominee approaching the stage where he will be about to speak. i wanted to ask you, ari, romney still has a massive problem with latino voters. to your point about the way he's breaking bread with donald trump , that's hardly the best introduction, is it, in terms of minority groups , particularly in a place like texas where there are so many people who draw their origins from, you know, hispanic backgrounds.
>> i think that is a problem for governor romney . i know we could see him on screen right now and whether he's making this pitch today or going around the southwest, these are issues that he's going to have to confront. there's one big interesting thing here, which is the pundits have been wrong. the traditional narrative is you go to your base during the primary and then you move to the center and we all hear that talk. he's not doing that. he continues to be appealing to some of the more divisive members of the party. we'll see how that plays.
>> professor, could it be that a terrible economy, even the worst since the great depression, might not be bad enough for such a weak candidate like mitt romney to win?
>> i'm afraid you're right. it's a brilliant analysis in capsule form and the reality is that barack obama faces invisible resistance that we've already spoken about on this program. issues of race, issues of him being made the other. that's why donald trump 's nefarious chipping away at the integrity of his individual identity has political consequences because he's raising questions not only about barack obama the man, he's raising questions about whether he's fit enough to serve in office. and if you bring together the personal prejudices of the worst of your base along with questions about politics, they have a negative effect net, and i think that in that sense this is why it's very important for the obama campaign to stay on message and to continue to hammer away at the weaknesses of mr. romney because even a weak economy may not be enough to keep mitt romney out because he's not proved that he's capable of addressing something on such a grand scale and to constantly talk about what he's done with bain capital and private equity is quite different than what you can do with the government, but i think they have to stay on that message.
>> professor michael eric dyson , ari melber, and dave corn. coming