Martin Bashir | October 08, 2012
>>> mitt romney and his campaign team may need to stick to their game plan of delusion and deceit in order to win the white house because they have told us that you can't believe the jobs report when it contains good news and they have also determined that the polls they trashed that they then cited, only to trash again, are unfit for public consumption whenever they show that the president is in the lead. joining us now from minneapolis, anna marie cox of "the guardian" and in washington clarence page , a columnist for the chicago tribune . welcome to both of you. pew has just released a new poll that shows romney ahead by four points among likely voters. unlike many of those elsewhere, we actually accept polls. regard ltion of this finding, if bending the truth were a crime, it really did pay, did it not, for mr. romney at the first debate?
>> well, this isn't the first time, if that's the case, and, indeed, shall we say he had kind of a loose relationship with the facts coloring them to favor his own side, and the question is does it matter at this point when we already know that about 95% of the voters have made up their minds and their feelings about the candidates are pretty well baked in. the people watching now are what we call the low information voters. they can't help it, they're busy with other things perhaps, but they're catching up to the campaign now, and they're going by first impressions, and they might not be that familiar with all the context of the figure that is romney is quoting, and this was where president obama could have done a better job of responding on the spot, but i guess he didn't want to appear rude.
>> indeed. okay. i should point out that the gallup tracking poll today does have the president five points ahead, but the pew poll, as i said, has mitt romney ahead by four points. anna marie , speaking of those debates, do you have any doubt that paul ryan is going to go behind the podium thursday and utter exactly the same series of falsehoods that mitt romney did? because let's be honest, these two have been practicing virtually every day for the last two years.
>> that's true. i think paul ryan will probably do what he's been doing for the past two years, which is to present himself as a wonk who is kind of above partisan bickering who just wants to offer solutions, but really his solutions are so based in unreality and based on da seat that if you know what he's talking about, you won't believe him. i do kind of wonder about the people tuning in right now. they're seeing a very different race and different paul ryan and romney than we have been watching for the entire past few months. if you just tuned in now, i think you might think mitt romney was a centrist which he has not been for the past year or so. if you are just tuning in, you might think paul ryan had pretty blue eyes and a set of solutions to aur. i don't know how biden is going to handle this. he's such a straight shooter , but maybe a straight shooter from the hip if i can mix metaphors. i'm not sure if he'll get frustrated, if he'll get angry, if he will just laugh it off, if he will come off as condescending. it will be interesting to see.
>> right. clarence, "the washington post " spoke to republican voters in ohio, one of whom said of paul ryan 's chances against joe biden , and i'm quoting the person, i think ryan is going to eat him alive. another said, he's dynamic, he knows his facts. do you think this is going to be a washout and that mr. ryan is literally going to trounce biden ?
>> i was pretty amused by that story, martin, because we were at a paul ryan rally. these are not exactly neutral observers. i suspect they're part of that 90%, 95% i was talking about before, people who observe conservative media and some of those lines they were given there sounded like they were -- they had been previously announced by conservative talk show hosts, but the fact is that this works to biden 's benefit because it lowers expectations. there are people who only hearing the jay leno punch lines about joe biden who think he is a bumbling idiot, and here is a guy who has had something like four decades in the senate. people who don't have short memories remember how well he stood up with sarah palin at a time when the question was he had to be impressive without looking like he was picking on her. he played it just right, and i think he knows how to play this situation just right, and paul ryan at the same time has to be careful not to get too wonkish here with a lot of numbers and trying to impress everybody with his knowledge.
>> anna marie , fear is also a very important part of the ryan / romney campaign. for instance, here is a sampling of paul ryan from an appearance this afternoon in ohio. take a listen to this, anna marie .
>> you see if you look around the world what we are witnessing is the unraveling of the obama foreign policy . we can't afford these devastating defense cuts that the president is promising. among the things that we're going to do like stop this administration's assault on our religious liberties .
>> so anna marie , i suppose the republican message is abandon all hope ye who vote obama ?
>> it does seem one of the way to look at the election is the hope versus fear which is something they tried to frame the election around, or the obama team tried to frame the election around last year and hope won. they're doing it again this year, the romney team is sort of playing into their hands in terms of making this about fear, fear about your religion being taken away, fear of unrest, fear of -- i guess they haven't quite played the gay marriage card yet, but they are basically saying like things are going to get worse, if you don't vote for us things will get worse, whereas the obama team says we think we can do this. we hope you believe us. please vote with us and we're going to make this better. and i do wonder which is going to work the best. i mean, we see some small upticks in optimism about the country. maybe that's a good thing for obama , but, you know, fear is not necessarily a losing card to play, and definitely they have doubled down on it and here i'm continuing to just go with metaphors as strong as i can. sorry.
>> those are perfect. thank you both.
>>> next, big bird shows us why debates really do matter. stay with us.
>> we think he's probably going to come at me like a cannonball. more pressure because mitt romney put on such a great performance that the bar is pretty high. there's also pressure because joe biden has been doing this for 40 years. [ man ] ring ring ... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may