Martin Bashir | June 12, 2012
>> we begin with some strange claims on the campaign trail and mitt romney hasn't hit the road yet for his five-day bus tour. already, there are signs the fumes may be getting to him. it started with romney 's favorite friends at "fox & friends" and in a brutally combative interview -- not. romney offered his latest defense. his own claims that he would like to see smaller government and fewer public workers.
>> well, that's a very strange accusation, of course. teachers and firemen are police officers are hired at the local level. obviously that is absurd.
>> that's completely absurd, is it? why did he say this with such vitriol on friday?
>> he says we need more firefighters and more teachers. did he not get the message of wisconsin?
>> is our head wobbly yet? romney may not want to go on slashed payrolls for teachers and cops. asked about it today, romney said, quote, sorry, i'm not going to talk about that. no, of course he isn't. he would like to throw out the word absurd again, though. how about aiming it at the president's campaign slogan in an inspired nonsequiter when asked about the nation's wealth.
>> that is why the american people are having such a hard time . the idea of selecting a campaign slogan , "forward" is absurd. the president needs to go out and talk to people. not just do fund-raisers.
>> romney said hours before heading off to a fund-raiser, yes, indeed, mitt of the people is really feeling your pain or at least he is reading about it. a report shows that the recent economic crisis left the american family in 2010 with no more wealth than the early 2000s . down to just over $77,000 in 2010 . the housing crash, of course, accounted for 3/4 of that loss. what was it that mitt romney said about those facing foreclosure process?
>> don't stop the foreclosures. put the renters in them and turn around and let it come back up.
>> sorry, homeowners. they will happily take your rent. let's bring in your panel now. in washington, richard wolfe and david corn . then we have jonathan altar. richard , does mitt romney believe we are all imbeciles? the report suggesting that 92% of jobs lost were held by women. one report was closer to 56%. that 40% is mostly the value of people's homes.
>> yes, i recall at one point he pretended he was in the middle class as well. it is true. he really did. you can fool all of the people some of the time. actually a little bit perplexed here by what romney has done. he is clueless or playing clueless on tv. his position here as someone who knows about the private sector , his position on the recent swings we have seen. the boom and the bust, leads you to one conclusion. we have been through the three bubbles. internet bubble and housing bubble and economy bubble. it has taken the middle class to a point they have not been to a long time. to suggest that is down to the last two or three years or to suggest that any president could change it around in two or three years is something that has gone on for two decades is -- well that is absurd.
>> yes, indeed. thank you for that. david, despite that, we heard him say in his own words let foreclosures hit bottom. find them and flip them. no worries for those left out in the cold.
>> i just have to salute mitt romney . he is always looking for a good deal. you know, whether it was at bain or a side light to his current profession which is presidential candidate. this is a guy -- earlier when you played the interim music, you should play "should i stay or should i go" by the clash.
>> we have used that song.
>> he will say whatever is situational. he wanted to look tough on homeowners. he was decrying. they have come up with problems to try to put a floor on foreclosures. then he said to blow through that. now he is decrying the wealth. might have arrested a slight bit. he is a politician. he is doing it more than most. i give him extra points .
>> do you agree?
>> i just find his hamhandedness so striking. a smart politician would know how to take a position on foreclosures that did not seem heartless. to go after fat and lazy state bure bureaucrats in wisconsin. a smart politician would be able to do that without going after firefighters and teachers and police officers . they like the ones who protect them. they don't necessarily like their pensions, but that is a distinction they can keep in their minds. mitt romney can't. it is hurting him politically.
>> yeah. richard , romney is also out today citing healthcare reform somehow making the president out of touch. take a listen.
>> just yesterday, the president said something else that shows just how much out of touch he is. he said he didn't understand that obama care was hurting small business . obama care. i mentioned already is the poster child for a piece of policy that has made it harder for businesses to hire people.
>> now, as you know, richard , his favorite study is from the chamber of commerce . the poster child for the lobby of business.
>> he is the poster child for the obama care. in an alternative universe or in romney 's memoirs, he will lament the one piece of his campaign and the one thing where he could say i did take something from my business career and implement it is health care in massachusetts . the one thing he has to twist himself around. the president modelled his plan on it and everyone has to hate what the president did on health care . that is where republicans are right now. mitt romney is unsuited to this point in time. he should be talking about his record in a positive way. instead, he has to resort to this idiocy.
>> david, how does romney get away with that claim when a senior from moody's is saying, the arguments that obama care is scaring people from hiring and romney 's policies would push us into deeper recession. he shamelessly quotes it.
>> martin, are you bringing up facts in the conversation?
>> i apologize.
>> i hate to say this because it sounds hyperpartisan and glib. romney and his crediticisms of the president are not fact. you could have good policy debates, but he goes for the cheap shots that make him look bad. when he goes out there and he attacks teachers, firefighters and cops, i think there is an explanation for this. in his world, you don't need cops because you have your private security . you don't need teachers because you go to private school . you don't need firefighters because you have sprinklers in your homes. his needs don't match those of many americans.
>> do you agree with that?
>> the prism with which romney sees the world is through the millionaire's stance.
>> i actually reject that. we had very wealth y presidents in the past. they also went to private school and had private security . that's the point. it is not about how much money you have, it's about the lens you use to look at the world. that is not necessarily the product of your experience. that goes to questions of character and breadth of judgment and other things that are relevant for the next president. on the health care point. it is important to remember that romney is where, unfortunately, where the american people are. the polls are bad for obama on obama care. partly because there have been so many lies told in the last few years. when he goes after, you know, this question and says that small business is not hiring because obama care. although it is not true, it sounds right to voters. it sounds intuitively true. he will probably score some points with it.
>> jonathan alter and david corn