Martin Bashir | June 26, 2012
>>> we begin with the invisible mitt romney haunting the presidential campaign trail with strange echoes and mysterious vapers, but very little of substance. in this week's supreme court decisions have brought yet another example of mr. romney 's unique able ility to divert and ignore. well into the second day after much of arizona 's immigration law was struck down, governor romney broke his silence this afternoon to deliver the same statement that his spokesman gave more seven minutes on the plane yesterday.
>> the supreme court had to step in because states had to step in. states looking to find a way to solve the problems he didn't address tried to address it in their own ways and now, the supreme court 's looked at it and what we're left with is a bit of a muddle, but what we know is the president failed to lead.
>> bit of a muddle. interesting mitt should use a word that so accurately describes his own policies and strategy, but as wen, this is all part of the mitt maneuver. cast blame, ignore the facts and obscure the truth. he does it every day like his tired line on energy production , for example.
>> we're going to take advantage of our energy resources , coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables. the other day, the president said he's in favor of all of the above and i wondered what he meant because he's made it harder to mine coal.
>> really? what about the fact that coal mining has increased under this president. what about the $3.4 billion to expand and accelerate clean coal technologies? the facts are irrelevant, as are actual plans for governing. after all, mitt would leave you to believe he's got an ambitious agenda ch listen to how he chomped at the bit.
>> if obamacare is not deemed constitutional, then the first three and a half years of this president's term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the american people . if it's not, if it is deemed to stand, then i'll tell you one thing. we're going to have to have a president and i'm that one, that's going to get rid of obamacare. we're going to stop it on day one.
>> yes, there you go. repeal and replace. repeal and replace. that's all we ever here. but replace with what, mr. romney ? never mind. just keep on with the platitudes. that's right. wear them out.
>> this economy runs on freedom . not on government. we have to get government a little smaller and freedom a great deal greater.
>> he is starting to sound like a republican president, isn't he? but as long as you're speaking in slogans, mitt, remember america runs on duncan. get it right. let's get right to our panel. with us from washington, msnbc analyst, eugene robinson , a columnist for the " washington post ." mother jones washington bureau chief, david corn , also an msnbc political analyst and jared bernstein, senior fellow at the center for policy priorities and former adviser to vice president joe biden . eugene , donuts and slogans are fine things. even if mitt romney can only identify one of the two, but how much longer, seriously, can he simply run on platitudes and hollow cliches? how much longer?
>> well, first of all, martin, i'm proud to say this show runs on freedom and you know, i think he intends the go on this way for some time. he comes up with these sound bites that i guess somebody tells him sound good, but what i'm hearing is an increasing impatience among voters, people who write to me or call me who say they're independent minded, but would like to have some idea of what he's talking about. what he would do if elected president.
>> good question. david corn , peggy noonan took romney to task for his pandering speeches. she writes applause line speeches are not right for a time of crisis because they do not allow for a development of a thought, a point of view and insight. people like to listen if you're saying something interesting. now, i can tell you, my staff and i have to watch mitt romney every day. and aside from the fact that we could market his speeches as a cure for insomnia, we're growing desperate for him to say something interesting. don't voters feel the same?
>> first off, congratulations on moving to the cocktail hour. it's a great step up here.
>> thank you very much.
>> i don't know why you insist that mitt romney intervene in political and policy debates in this country just because he's running for president. he's under no obligation to say anything about anything. other than that he likes freedom . it's brought him very far so far. and he's very close to the president. so there is, there's no incentive for him to go out there and say again and again, for instance, i think we should deport everybody who's here illegally. that really won't help him or talk about how he's offered tax cuts for the rich and he doesn't really care about the very poor as he said before. i mean, it can only hurt him. so i think mitt romney is is doing exactly what's right for mitt romney . and peggy noonan just better lay off him.
>> that's a shocking analysis. jared , i have to come to you. i want to play you something the president said in atlanta today. explaining how republicans will pay for a planned additional five trillion dollar tax cut . you're an economist. listen to this.
>> essentially, you, your family, your friends, middle class people all across the country, would end up seeing higher tacks to pay for tax cuts for mr. romney and me. it ain't right.
>> jared , isn't this part of mitt's invisible strategy? promise a big tax cut , but never, ever talk about how he's going to pay for it?
>> right and in this case, he's been actually conspicuously visible because he went out and said that hey, i endorse paul ryan 's budget. i think the bush tax cuts should be extended forever and i'd like to double down and add on $5 trillion over ten years worth of my own. how you going to pay for it? to be discussed later. so, you know, so actually, here is a case where and there's a few other cases. the thing with governor romney is you have to really try to listen to the sub text. so on immigration, what he's talking about, he did this in the primaries. he's very much interested in letting states do what they want. he was for the arizona law before he was, i don't know if he's against it, before it before he was whatever he is now and the same thing when it comes to the budget. you know, he talks a game. because he actually parsed the numbers, it's supply side trickle down deregulation economics all the way across the r board.
>> incredible. eugene , isn't that the same with romney on health care as well? he eliminates the president's plan and replaces it with a question mark . i mean, what's the replacement going to be?
>> well, gee, he had this idea a few years ago about an individual mandate and it went really well in massachusetts.
>> but he doesn't like that anymore.
>> he has the snack, just going back to immigration for one quick second. his reaction is that every state has the right and duty to protect the borders. well, did he read the supreme court decision? the supreme court decision says that's the federal government 's responsibility. not the reasonability of the state. so what the whole decision says. so how could he react, it's as if the reaction is preprogrammed and has nothing to do with the event that proceeded it.
>> david, eugene says the first thing romney says about the arizona decision is i prefer states to have more freedom . that's what the supreme court has said they're not going to have.
>> listen. he says it's all about freedom . i think it's all about liberty and that's the -- that's the debate we need to have in this country. freedom or liberty. okay, mitt? let's get real. it's true. both eugene and jared are krek. if you look at details, voters who see this day in and day out. mitt romney is on record as supporting the very detailed ryan budget, which isn't passed by the house republicans and jared can go through it chapter and verse and tell you what it would mean in terms of people getting thrown off head start, implications for medicaid and taxes and all that and he's there, he's embraced it. at the same time on the campaign trial, he comes up with these whoppers of statements, if obama's elected, the government will control more than half the economy and i believe freedom is the answer. freedom had very little to do with the subprime crisis that triggered the recession. but he's for freedom . who can argue with that?