Martin Bashir | November 05, 2012
>>> both candidates are out in force today this final day before americans hit the polls. mitt romney wrapping up a speech in virginia with his wife ann. and the president with jay-z and bruce springsteen as he warm-up is expected to speak from columbus, ohio, at any moment. although the election is almost upon us , you'd be thinking it has already passed because there are already now voting problems in florida . early voters were forced to wait up to seven hours. when election officials decided to open doors on sunday to accommodate voters discouraged by the long lines, democrats had to file a lawsuit after the republican mayor ordered them closed. joining me now from washington is karen finney a former dnc director, msnbc political analyst. and here with me is the great eugene robinson . welcome to both of you. gene, these long lines in florida are there because rick scott decided to cut the early voting days almost in half. 2.5 million people have voted early. yet we're expected to believe this has got nothing to do with politics. what is this man doing?
>> well, there are two american traditions here at work. one is vote k problems in florida . this is something we like to do. and the second is republicans trying to restrict the franchise. if you can narrow the electorate and keep those democratic people , the system and throughout this election cycle we're seeing more of it.
>> eugene, you use a voice that sounds accepting. this is appalling.
>> i don't mean to. it is appalling. we've seen it before.
>> people died in 1965 for the right to vote and now they're being prevented from doing so.
>> exactly. exactly.
>> karen , in ohio the big story is the states provisional ballot . the republican in charge of elections there has issued an order which appears to be contrary to state law that could throw out a lot of provisional ballots . is this what it's come to?
>> pretty much. their goal was since we can't expand our electorate let's see how much we can constrict the democratic electorates. it's disgusting what's going on. you and i have talked about this, martin. in addition to all these shenanigans at the polls, with the ballots themselves, there are people who will have their clipboards and will go up to people and try to challenge them. and if you're a senior citizen and you don't know that you have a right to say to that person i don't have to show you my i.d., i mean, that's the kind of intimidation that we're going to be seeing. it's going to be messy. we're already seeing it. we know tomorrow is going to be messy. i am so encouraged by the people standing in line for up to eight and nine hours to vote. it shouldn't be that way in america, but god bless those folks willing to do it.
>> absolutely. gene, fox and friends mr. brian kylmeade had a slip of the tongue today.
>> republican or democrat, the best thing you could do is have a presence there. to show -- maybe intimidate people to play it straight, correct?
>> well intimidation --
>> not just that. just go i'm watching.
>> intimidation. there it was.
>> yes. intimidation is actually against the law, but yeah.
>> why do republicans feel the need and conservative commentators feel the need to describe the process of voting in such confrontational terms? it's not a boxing fight.
>> they don't believe some people should have this right to have the right to vote.
>> they still don't.
>> they believe the vote should -- is essentially for those who will vote the correct way. and for them not for -- i include myself, us. and that attitude dies hard. but the thing that's encouraging to me about this year is that those of us who want to expand the franchise are prepared. we saw this coming. we have been dealing with it a lot of the more restrictive laws.
>> you've written about it extensively. warned the public about this.
>> and a lot of the restrictive laws have been block eed by the courts in many states which is a good thing.
>> karen , let me read you something lindsey graham told politico about potential mitt romney loss. and i'm quoting him. if i hear anybody say it was because romney wasn't conservative enough, i'm going to go nuts. we're not losing 95% of african-americans and 2/3 of hispanics and voters under 30 because we're not being hard ass enough. karen , your view of that?
>> that's exactly right. and i predict that if president obama is re-elected on wednesday, we are going to see a freakout by the right wing as they realize there simply aren't enough white people in this country to win a presidential election as we've been telling them for a long time now. yeah. lindsey graham actually gets this. the message that the republican party should be taking from this is not to how do we move farther to the right but how do you come up with a conservative agenda that actually is inclusive of more of the american people . consistently, i mean, that's a lot of the dog whistle politics we've heard in the last couple days. trying to appeal to a shrinking base. it doesn't work in a country like the united states anymore.
>> whatever happens tomorrow, smart republicans realize this. they realize this year they have essentially tried to capture a bigger part of a shrinking electorate. a shrinking white male electorate. and they hope to win that way. they realize they can't possibly win national elections that way going forward. they're going to have to expand the party or they go the way of the wind.
>> very quickly, karen .
>> one other things i think the republicans may realize in the aftermath is all these voter suppression tactics have had the opposite effect. people have been more mobilized --
>> hang on. let's wait for the results of the election. i'm happy to accept what you say. karen finney and eugene robinson . stay with us.