Martin Bashir | June 19, 2012
>>> we begin just as the presumed republican nominee prepares to park the romney bus after wrapping up his six-state tour this afternoon in, where else, but michigan. yes, the place where the trees are exactly the right height and it brings to an end five days of glorious pancake flipping, riverboat riding, and the touchtone purchasing of sandwiches wrfsh indeed, embraced in the warm eyes, in his -- romney has been so full of the campaign spirit that he started leaking out the odd truism out there on the trail. this is so much fun. it is fun being here with you. we're doing this together. this is not about me. you're not here because i'm some spectacular speaker. you know better than that. or not here just because the republican party is the answer to all things. you know better than that. . he is getting dangerously close to an honest word there. wait. there's more mosh check out what happened when willard made one of his imprompt your visits to the press corps in the back of air mitt. stoo what's the best piece of advice on those road trips ?
>> don't be yourself. be someone else .
>> just don't be you. imagine what it must be like for mitt to have to leave the world of car elevators, dressage events, his much beloved quiet rooms and intur enter into this.
>> mitt. where do you get your -- is in a where you get them?
>> this is good german food out here. water dropping down from the ceiling. do you see that? it's so hot out here.
>> the rest of you --
>> i guess there's a good deal of -- of fish and so forth even in the wintertime.
>> god is playing a little prank on the press while they're off their bus.
>> i erased your hard drives .
>> i was really -- i had lost it. i was completely defiling.
>> well, it's good thing he is learning to laugh about it. nowadays he has to refer to his personal ballot as his body man. the gross indignity of it all, but he has to hope all the glad handing and the ice cream and the questionable local baked goods are worth it. the latest polls, after all, show president obama leading in, oh, about eight of those crucial swing states . mitt, tell your body man, you're going to need more hand sanitizer . we have a terrific tuesday panel with us, which is already laughing with me here in new york. msnbc contributor joe ann reid, who is the managing editor of -- and msnbc political analyst david corn , washington bureau chief -- the aught o of the best-selling and international brilliant showdown, and ken vogel, chief visit i reporter from the politico newsroom. stop laughing. it appears that mitt romney --
>> i'm not laughing. i'm gafawing.
>> the heat is beginning to affect the building, and, mitt, he says campaign -- he says he is not a scintillating speaker, and republicans don't have all the answers. explain. what is happening?
>> i give him points for honesty. he has been watching your show. finally, the truth is seeping out. the thing is, you know, david axelrod has said this to me and other reporters that a campaign is a giant magnifying glass . it's really hard to hide your true self under the spotlight of doing this again and again and again. particularly when you have a hard schedule like a bus tour and you are going and you have to deal with commoners -- i mean, voters. so you show your -- you show dirch sides of your personality, and i think you see that with mitt. we see he is not really good to talk on his feet. he doesn't engage well with people, and you saw that with the tremendous interview that 34i pal bob schieffer did with him on the weekend where he couldn't answer a simple -- and the only political question on minimum's mind last weekend about whether he would undo or whether he supported obama's move on the dream act . i mean, the fact that he didn't have a thought about it to convey, i mean, this stuff eventually adds up to tell us what he is really all about.
>> do you believe, joy, that chicken noodle soup was a german delicasy, because that was what he said.
>> i think you guys are being really unfair. the gentleman who programmed romney in the 1950s did so before the age of modern computing. therefore, a lot of the modern input just wasn't available to him when the programming took place. i think you are --
>> i think romney has been very busy with his wife's dressage, and there's a lot to do when you are running for president.
>> here's the thing, joy. to david 's point, he can't answer the question on the president's position in relation to the children of illegal immigrants, but could it be because 64% support the move in the new bloomberg poll? i mean, independents are favoring it by more than 2 - 1 .
>> but republicans still oppose it. that's the other piece in that poll. romney 's base is so hard fixed into a position against my sort of immigration reform that if he moves even slilgs off of it, his worry is that he won't get the turnout from his own by as. there won't be the passion there. he always has to balance trying to bring in more i understand pents with trying to keep the passion of his base. imagine how the base would erupt if romney were to suddenly come out with something that they considered to be amnesty.
>> yes, indeed. et president won 67% of the latino vote in 2008 , as you know. the pop laegs is only growing. i mean, what's a mitt romney to do by way of courting a crucial democratic -- demographic, especially in those swing states that we have been looking at. what does he do?
>> it's a tough situation for him. there's no doubt. president obama 's action on the executive order makes it all the tougher. really put him in a box. there's no desirable course for him to take. he is critical of the president on the process issue suggesting that he would like to see a more permanent approach or is dealing with this problem, but when he was pressed, as you mention, as david mentioned by bob schieffer , he couldn't come up with an answer to it, and, in fact, his surrogates in recent days on your airways have been pressed. luke russert did a pretty good job with senator ron johnson yet yesterday morning asking him repeatedly yes or no, do you support this executive order , and he just wouldn't answer it. it just shows how difficult of a situation this is for mitt romney . i'm not really sure there is a whole lot he could do because he did go so far right on this issue and a few other key ones that are really of significance to the republican base. there's not much in the way of returning to the center on them. particularly immigration. some suggest that maybe marco rubio would be a way to appease hispanics, but i'm not sure if that's going to do the trick as much as taking a stand on this particular issue, this executive order of deportation which really highlights the struggles on this issue.
>> david , if mitt romney has a problem with hispanics, he also has a bift a problem with african- americans . we've learned that he will be ae addressing the naacp in houston next month. why?
>> well, some of his best friends are african-american owners of nascar teams . i mean --
>> what is this?
>> well, the naacp for years, for decades had a tradition of republicans and democrats coming to speak and to them, and there were some problems with george w. bush for a number of years not showing up and it got kind of testy. i welcome -- i welcome that speech. i want to see what case mitt romney is going to make when he talks about getting rid of -- cutting the budget so thereby fewer head start positions, fewer he lunch start programs. they're not just african- american programs , but african- americans disproportionately lower income. they benefit them more. i want to see them defend that. listen, i hope he takes questions.
>> that's impossible.
>> what's he going to say?
>> i think doing these kinds of addresses, talking to the naacp , it's not about black voters. i think romney -- you immediate to understand that they're going to get more than 4% or 50 5% if that because the republicans have created a tone in relation to barack obama that is so offensive even to african- americans who are themselves critical of obama. the birthism, even the nastyness has made it a part, and it's really about swing voters again. it's about appealing to white swing voters and suburban voters by saying i'm not so far right. i am going to talk to it is naacp . will he probably say platitudes about education.
>> do you think he will do "who let the dogs out?"
>> i think he should try it. ken, isn't it the truth, though, that what the republicans are really going to do with this election, knowing that there's now so little time to change as joy says, the tone, is they're going to suppress the vote. they're going to bombard hispanic communities with negative advertising . we've got individuals states who have already been motioning towards a vote of suppression. that's how they're going to pull this off if they're able to, isn't it?
>> i don't see a whole lot of movement on voter id or anything like that that is going have an impact that could be implemented between now and the election, but i do see negative ads as a strategy being taken by both sides to suppress the other side's base, and we see it with president obama and the super pacts supporting him, going on the air in colorado, nevada, florida states with big hispanic populations, with spanish language ads that are negative attacks on the other guy, and we're going to continue to see more of that. one quick point on mitt romney sort of loosening up on this bus tour, i actually think that it's something that he has to do, and in certain situations, he is kind of okay when he admits, hey, hey, i'm not the most scintillating speaker. that's not why you are here to see me. it's something charming, endearing about it. it shows us the human side of it. he does have to be careful, though, because in these unscripted situations are where he has been prone to more significant gaffs that are revelatory about who he is.
>> you know, gore is the brainiac. i'm not a brainiac. i'm a regular type of guy. he was able to sort of pull it off with his beer and sports. i own a baseball team . i'm the okay son of a family that people tend to like. mitt romney still is more of the 1% and of that cultural that makes it harder for him to put off. he has to get better because he can't get much worse. i'm just surprised that after campaigning in 2007 and campaigning for the last two, three years now he still isn't more loose and better at it because almost every candidate in any race from security council to president gets better as a candidate.
>> they do generally learn.
>> in the case of george w. bush he was running as sort of his own personality. the problem for romney is he is almost incidental for his campaign. he is running to be brand x republican for people who are really coming out to vote because they don't like barack obama . defining himself is almost not relevant to his situation.