Martin Bashir | September 24, 2012
>> we begin with a hectic day on the campaign trail with the romney /ryan duo launching an aggressive play for battleground states where the republican ticket is slowly and surely losing support. just an hour ago the campaign kicked off its three-day bus tour in ohio with an absentee mr. romney handing over the driving to his deputy, paul ryan . the tour comes as the latest poll in the must-win buckeye state shows romney at a five-point deficit to the president and as the president leads by three points in politico's new national poll with a seven-point edge in the crucial question of likability. wile i'm sure they were disappointed to be deprived of mitt's marvelous magnetism and charisma, he was out west today courting swing state coloradoans and granting the rare privilege of a nonfox news interview with nbc's peter alexander who asked him about that failure to connect.
>> how have you failed to make that connection?
>> i'm very pleased with the fact that we have a campaign that is taking our message to the people across america, and, look, we're going to win. there's no question in my mind. we're going to win.
>> yes, he's good enough, he's smart enough, and people like him, no matter what the polls say. indeed. with nine days to the first debate, romney must be knee-deep in deaf-affirmation getting ready for questions like this one.
>> presidencies are remembered for big ideas , emancipation, social security , man on the moon. what's your big idea ?
>> freedom, hope of the earth, all that. no really though, give him a tough one now, mr. pe taxes?
>> you're asking the american people to hire you as president of the united states . they'd like to hear some specifics.
>> well, i can tell them specifically what my policy looks like. i will not raise tacks on middle income folks. i will not lower the share of tacks paid by high-income individuals, and i will make sure that we bring down rates, we limit deductions and exemptions.
>> what are we talking about, the mortgage deduction, the charitable deduction?
>> the devil is in the details. the angel is in the policy which is creating more jobs.
>> right. freedom, check. angels, check. throw in the towel , mr. president. this guy is going to obviously win. let's get right to our panel. in los angeles msnbc contributor matt miller . in minneapolis anna marie cox, correspondent for "the guardian" and in washington msnbc political analyst karen finney. anna, if i might begin with you, in listening to mitt romney 's responses this weekend and looking at the diagnosticcle and statistical manual of mental illness he appears to be suffering two forms of delusion, grandiose delusion where the individual has an inflated view of himself and also perscutory disorder.
>> he needs a therapist of some kind, that's for sure. i think he might need to integrate his personalities as well. he's definitely shown a split personality between what he says in one place and what he says in another. that's a diagnostic term, to integrate thing. they have disparate data points about who they should be appealing to and what they should be doing and they tend to just think of those things as discrete things.
>> anna marie , you just heard mr. romney say he had a great week last week and he's going to win. why do you laugh?
>> well -- i'm sorry. like, i keep thinking about what the romney campaign staffers must be doing at this point besides updating their resumes. it's a little early in the cycle to be doing that but with tim pawlenty already giving up his job on the romney campaign to go do something else, we're sort of seeing this implosion happening in slow motion . this campaign has been a joy to watch but only because i don't think -- i don't really have a lot invested in him winning or not. i think the campaign is very instructive for people who might run next time.
>> matt, romney has seized on the president's comments on "60 minutes" talking about bumps in the road in middle east policy . take a listen to what he said today in colorado.
>> bumps in the road. we had an ambassador assassinated. these are not bumps in the road. these are human lives. these are developments we do not want to see.
>> matt, white house spokesman jay carney today called it desperate and offensive to suggest the president was referring to ambassador stevens' death as a bump in the road. we watched the entirety of that ceremony. we broadcast it from this show. that was deeply disrespectful, was it not?
>> i think desperate and offensive is a pretty good characterization. look, you know what they're trying to do. in some ways it's a very depressing reflection of where they are, you know, from the republican point of view in the campaign. they're going to try in every news cycle to seize on whatever they can, whatever sound bite and kind of twist it somehow to fit their message. i mean, if obama woke up one day and said, you know, it was a very hot summer in washington, you know, romney would say that's exactly the kind of socialistic desire to remake the environment that americans have rejected, and it's kind of pathetic. it's also predictable. i don't think it will work.
>> but, karen , i have to say to you, i was profoundly moved, people on this broadcast in the control room were actually weeping when they were watching the president and secretary of state for the transfer of those bodies. and mitt romney takes that phrase that the president used and throws it back at him.
>> but also how dare mitt romney , the guy who -- i mean, he's lost all credibility on his criticism of president obama 's foreign policy , particularly with that callous statement that he put out, this from the guy who was so stupid he put out a statement before he actually knew what the facts on the ground were? that's not somebody who has any standing to be critical, and you're right, it was an incredible moving ceremony. it was -- you can see how painful that was both for the president and for the secretary of state, and not to mention i think it was very clear that the president was speaking about our ongoing relationship in the muslim world and the arab world and in the middle east and sort of with the aftermath of the arab spring, and if anything, you know, mitt romney has yet to have much of an answer to what we should do about that other than let's go invade iran and start up another war.
>> yes, indeed. anna marie , while romney is accusing the president of being callous on foreign policy , he, himself, is remarkably cold on the question of health care . when asked about his plan for the uninsured, take a listen to this, anna marie .
>> we do provide care for people who don't have insurance, people -- if someone has a heart attack , they don't sit in their apartment and die. we pick them up in an ambulance and take them to the hospital and give them care and different states have different ways of providing for that care.
>> that's the most expensive way to do it. in the morning room .
>> again, different states have different ways of doing that.
>> anna marie , didn't romney himself blame emergency room costs for the one reason for why he wanted to introduce the individual mandate in massachusetts?
>> that is the primary reason one has an individual mandate and universal care is to prevent people from using the emergency room as their primary care center. costs in the energy room are three, four, five times as much as they would be for a walk-in. people don't often know that. people delay getting care until they have to go to the emergency room . saying that the emergency room is the safety net for people who don't have insurance is saying like the ground is a safety net for people who might fall from a high building. you know, that is the very bottom that you're going to hit no matter what. and you're most likely going to die. really it's amazing.
>> go ahead, karen .
>> for a man who up to this point has attacked president obama on the specifics of obama care, the specific he now is willing to give us is this idea that if you don't have insurance, you could just go to the emergency room ? number one, that assumes you live in a neighborhood where you can get an ambulance to you in time to get to the emergency room if you're having a heart attack , by the way. number two, it is, as anna marie just said, it's exactly the opposite thing he said even in 2007 at one of the gop primary debates where he said that the best thing we need to do is make sure that everybody has access to a doctor. so, i mean, it also shows you i think this response -- it really is very sad and somewhat depressing to see how contorted this man has become to try to fit himself into something that he thinks the gop base will accept, which they're not accepting when he is literally trying to tell the american people that an acceptable solution to the 50 million uninsured is just go to the emergency room .
>> qul done, mitt romney . matt, it seems that romney has no plan for the uninsured, he's dismissed half the nations a irrelevant, and yet rnc chairman reince priebus says they've got specific policy details coming out of their eyeballs, but wouldn't it help if these details were actually coming out of their mouths?
>> sure. i mean, and the health care example, it's back to where you started, martin. it's this notion of kind of psychology and the split personality . romney is the only governor to enact a universal health care plan in the united states . when he did this in massachusetts. the idea, as karen was saying, that they have adopted -- he has adopted this grim, cold, right wing conservative line that the emergency room is fine. that is spoken like a very well-well well-insured person.
>> at least he's consistent, because he said he didn't care about the poor.
>> what you can't square that with what he did when he was governor.
>> what cares about flip-flopping between friends .