Martin Bashir | November 06, 2012
>> few choice moments there from an epic campaign. let's go to nbc's kristin welker on the scene in chicago. kristin , it's been quite a ride. we saw the president getting teared up last night in iowa. apparently he's been playing some basketball. will it be a slam dunk tonight do you think?
>> reporter: well, the obama campaign certainly thinks it will be. they say they are feeling confident about their chances, martin in large part because they say their get out the vote strategy is in place, it's superior to the republican get out the vote strategy. that's what democrats are saying. they like what they have seen so far in terms of early voting , but president obama trying to squeeze the last minutes out of this election day . he stopped by one of his campaign headquarters and urged supporters to get out and vote. really stressed the importance of turnout. that is what this election will be determined by after all. he also is granting a number of interviews to local stations really targeting key battleground states telling one local station in milwaukee that he believes he does, in fact, have the votes to win. vice president biden was in ohio today. that is really the cornerstone of the president's midwest firewall. they know they need to hold onto ohio if they want to hold onto the presidency.
>> kristin , romney is making last-minute stops today in ohio and pennsylvania . any nerves about that from the obama camp, from the president's camp?
>> reporter: well, one top obama adviser called mitt romney 's last push into pennsylvania fantasy. so that is what they are saying to reporters. however --
>> that doesn't sound too worriying, does it, fantasy?
>> reporter: on the other hand, they sent former president clinton to pennsylvania and vice president biden was in ohio today so they make the point they're not taking any of these states for granted.
>> kristin welker there reporting from where else but with the president. thank you so much. let's get right to our panel. with me at democracy plaza is msnbc political analyst karen finney and salon's joan walsh , author of "what's the matter with white people ?" a question she can answer later in the broadcast. karen --
>> or tomorrow morning .
>> karen , in britain the three "c"s are the church of england , the conservative part, and cricket. but today the three cs are cleveland --
>> and let's hope it's not the fourth "c," chads.
>> it comes down to this state.
>> it comes down to ohio , part of why you saw the president there with bruce springsteen . so, yeah, it will. i think the turnout is what we're looking for and to see where the turnout is, how the lines are moving, making sure -- that's where we've deployed the most resources in terms of lawyers and others to make sure that things move smoothly.
>> 2,200 lawyers in the state alone. joan , mitt romney 's tour of lies has not finished because ed gillespie appeared on the "today" program this morning and he continues to claim that the jeep lie is an accurate advert. they have continued this lying throughout the campaign. if the president wins, does that mean that it's a victory for the truth?
>> yeah, i think that's exactly what it means, martin. and i think it will be a victory for the truth. the only thing that bothers me about today is i think those of us who are democrats, and i am, would be having a much calmer day if it wasn't for our concerns about voter suppression . the only way that they win if they win is going to be because we've had voters standing in line for seven or eight hours in florida. we've had the secretary of state of ohio making last-minute decisions that are very questionable. you know, i heard our colleague andrea mitchell today call these lines to vote a poll tax and that's what we should all be talking about. if it was not for their efforts to suppress our vote, we would be sipping tea and talking about cricket today, but these things concern me and i think we're going to have a conversation after, i hope, the president is re-elected about how to guarantee people equal protection of their voting rights .
>> it is absolutely staggering. joining us now is professor michael eric dyson who is in chicago. professor dyson, messrs. romney and ryan suggest re-electing the president will threaten the judeo-christian foundations of america , as you know, but isn't the truth that if we don't re-elect this president, then 50 million people will lose their health care , 23 million americans will lose the only assistance they have, and when they repeal dodd/frank, wall street just down the road from here will go back to the criminal and fraudulent practices of the past. that's the real apocalypse, isn't it?
>> that is the real apocalypse and as an ordained christian minister for the last 30 years, i can tell you if what mitt romney and paul ryan represent are the judeo-christians, i have just now converted to islam. the reality is in america that we are part of a tradition that ought to be concerned about the least, the lost, the lonely, those who are vulnerable. are jesus said visit those who are in prison, deal with the widow, talk to those who are poor heal the lepers. it seems president obama has carried out an agenda of social justice entrenched in.
>> you d.
>> you dayow christian reason. this suggesting he's not part of the jesus movement so against the idea of openness. jesus said heap stones of fire, coals of fire upon their head by forgiving and loving them. i think we should do this after we win the election and return to mitt romney and paul ryan and ask where is your jesus now? on the side of those who are victorious and powerful.
>> how can you follow that?
>> here is how i'm going to follow that. it was paul ryan 's budget as a catholic that the bishops said was immoral. for them to use that against president obama just shows you the despicable level to which they have been willing to go in this campaign. you know, chris matthews made an important point earlier today, if you notice on the democratic side, no one, but no one, has used mormonism as any kind of weapon against mitt romney . it has not been an issue in this campaign. the other side cannot say that.
>> that's true. joan , this panel's resident expert on white people , you have written this magnificent book.
>> that's what happens.
>> what are you expecting from the paler shade of americans because i read your piece today, and it kind of left me quite depressed.
>> well, i think we can't generalize about the white vote, martin. the optimistic thing i will say is young white voters are supporting the president and it's very regionable. the south is lost to him and that's tragic but let's put that aside for a moment. assuming the president wins ohio , he will win because of the support of working class whites and a majority support from working class white women . there are places where he has white support and there are places where he doesn't. you know, ron brown stestein does a lot of great write being this. he cited a poll among white people who are afraid of racial change, they're giving their votes -- two-thirds of their votes to romney . among white people who welcome it, they're going 3 to 2 for president obama . there is an element of fear. there's absolutely an element of racism. but i think he's going to hold the line on the white vote. i don't think mitt romney is going to have -- be going away with 60%, 65% like he needs to 37.
>> to your point, professor, do you think romney and ryan have encouraged what joan has just explained and explains in her piece today?
>> absolutely right. i think the reality is this, that they have exacerbated racial tension . they have not spoken directly to it. to john mccain 's credit four years ago when people tried to make barack obama appear to be un-american or really other than human, he stopped that. he spoke directly to it and said, no, this is not true. he was across the aisle. he's a deeply and firmly committed republican, and yet he said this is not what represents america at its best. i cannot say the same thing for governor ryan and -- governor romney and congressman ryan . they have not in any way decisively put an end to this dialogue that would suggest that because barack obama believes differently than they do ideologically or politically, somehow he's outside the pale of their christian belief. the real religion in america is not mormonism versus evangelical christianity , it's about whiteness. what joan walsh is talking about here is that whiteness is a signifier of political identity. it's not a pigment reality. it's not about the epidermis fetish of white supremacy . white people themselves are victims of white superiority first because it's not true and secondly because mitt romney has already said what he believes about 47% of white people .
>> that's absolutely true.
>> he's made you -- you are a symbolic black person so get in with us. you might as well cast your fate with us.
>> very quickly, karen .
>> let's hope a broad coalition of americans re-elect president obama so then it's something we can all forget about. that is unity.
>> joan walsh , karen finney, michael