Martin Bashir | October 04, 2012
>>> absent from last night's debate were any issues that related particularly to just over half the voting population. that's women . and mr. romney probably thought better than to mention republicans defunding planned parenthood or mandating transvageal ultrasound probes. yet, if you listened closely, women were mentioned at every turn.
>> i was in dayton, ohio, and a woman grabbed my arp and she said, i have been out of work since may. can you help me? yesterday was a rally in denver, and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms. a woman came to me and she said, look, i can't afford insurance for myself or my son.
>> joining us here in new york is my colleague crist yal ball, one of the mosts of "the cycle" and joy reid, managing eder to of thegrio.com. welcome to you both. krystal, both candidates mentioned women but mitt romney suddenly seems to have discovered women . is that the mitt romney you recall?
>> in some ways it is because it's like he can just say, i met a woman or i have a wife, and that's going to make things okay for women , that they're going to now trust him and his policies to be there for them. in terms of actually having a set of policies that make sense for women , we didn't hear anything from that last night from mitt romney on that or president obama because it just wasn't brought up at all. so i think it is in line with his whole campaign strategy of just asserting that he is a certain way and the voting population should just trust him on that.
>> joy, i hate to reference other people's broadcasts because obviously ours is the most important in the universe but --
>> other than "the cycle."
>> but you have actually made the point that romney 's performance was particularly designed for men, and in many ways i have read some things where people have been saying it was like a ceo conversing with a group of staff to wind them up. is that how you felt about it?
>> that's what it sounded like. it sounded like an unpleasant board meeting at which jim lehrer was being set aside and fired summarily in front of the rest of the board. it sounded extremely harsh to my ear, and i did acknowledge that maybe because i am listening from a female point of view, i thought when he was interrupting, goading, really bullying jim lehrer , you know, as bad a moderator as jim lehrer is being said to be today, i thought mitt romney 's attitude toward him was actually a negative thing for him and didn't help him in the big problem he has, which is likability.
>> yeah. it felt to me like mitt romney showed up thinking that his goal was to be the alpha male .
>> and that he needed to assert his dominance over everyone there, and certainly jim lehrer bore the brunt, the president as well. i got the sense that for him it was a dominance thing. it was very aggressive, and i agree with joy, i think a lot of women , particularly women who were already inclined to vote for the president, which as we know many women are, are going to be further turned off by that tone.
>> do you think that he was like that because of the goading that he's had from republicans who feel that he's a bit e feet, that he's not really tough enough, that he hasn't gone out and beaten everybody up?
>> i think it's part of that. if you go back and look at the primary debates, mitt romney was largely the same way. he's a vicious debater. he gets in there and his goal is to shred everyone who is on that stage. i think the only change from the primaries is that he took on the newt gingrich role of including the moderator in the beating he was trying to give.
>> newt's advice.
>> he took newt's advice. i don't think though that his alpha male sort of act necessarily worked on barack obama . i think barack obama is being criticized for not looking at romney when he was talking, for looking down, looking away, but i do think that barack obama 's affect similarly was designed to appeal to a constituency. we were talking about this on the break. his affect probably was more appealing to a female voter. it's a subtle thing but i think it's important.
>> another thing that was mentioned by mitt romney was education. but his true feelings weren't really that clear. they tended to come out during the campaign. watch this.
>> and the key to great schools, great teachers. so i reject the idea that i don't believe in great teachers or more teachers.
>> he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message of wisconsin, the american people did. it's time for us to cut back on government and help the american people .
>> see, he's lying, isn't he? he was lying last night because for months he's been telling us, quoting mckenzie studies which a apparently suggest class size is irrelevant, and there he is saying what are you talking about, mr. president.
>> and supporting the ryan plan which slashes money for teachers.
>> but last night he loves teachers.
>> last night he loves teachers and last night he made the most dramatic and decisive move to the center.
>> why do you call it a move to the center? it was a move to lie.
>> it's a move that's completely dishonest from where he has been in the rest of the campaign, but i think what they realized is he can't run on those positions and win. he can't be the far right guy who hates teachers and firefighters and expect to win an election in this country and republicans staring down the possibility of a loss sort of gave him permission to lie about his position, move to the center, and try to convince people that this is where he's been all the time.
>> and he also says he likes cole. let's take it with a grain of salt.
>> and big bird , but too bad.
>> two intelligent women we're delighted to have on our broadcast.