Melissa Harris-Perry | July 08, 2012
>>> this morning, my question. with a record number of women running, who is going to make sure that they win those races? plus, the jedi mind trick of the gop. much to learn you still have. and pulled over by the word police and trying to talk my way out of a ticket. but, first, a prae to the battleground state voters, please pay attention . the rest of us are counting on you.
>>> good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry before we begin, we want to congratulate congressman barney frank and jim ready who got married last night. governor patrick duval officiated and asked if they promised to love each other on sickness and in health, on msnbc and fox, as long as they both shall live. congressman frank the first sitting member of congress to enter into a same-sex marriage. but now onto our top political story. when most of us think of the map of our country, we picture this. 48 states , all smooshed together with two more hovering in the pacific. but if you're one of the two americans currently running to be president of all the states on that map, right now, you're not really thinking much about the vast majority of them, because only four months out from election date, your version of the u.s. map looks a lot like this. this is a map of the battleground states in the presidential election and if you didn't see your state highlighted on that map, hate to break it to you, because your vote is not going to matter much in determining the outcome of the election. the candidates already know by election day , you will be a sure bet and you'll give up your electoral votes in the election they can already predict if you're a state in yellow, congratulations of course. you're the girl everyone wants to take to prom. instead of of a fancy limo, your guy showing up in a big old bus with a taylor made campaign message, just for you. that's how president obama spent thursday and friday of this week, road tripping across the rust belt to convince the perennial purple states of ohio and pennsylvania to wear a blue dress to the big dance come november. he's singing a song he wrote just for you, goes a little something like this.
>> when some were saying let's let detroit go bankrupt, i said let's bet on the american worker. let's stop giving tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, let's give them to companies that are investing right here in the united states of america .
>> music to the ears of the white working class voter who's comprised more than half of the electorate in states like ohio and whose approval can be given to anyone who rent the the spot at 1600 pennsylvania avenue for four years. mitt romney , hoping he would like to tiebreak that election in his own direction, made advances on battleground territory last month and hopped on board. that's right, a bus, for a five-state tour through smalltown usa, putting aside the new fangled high tech approaches by wreak of reaching out to voters with the original social media . the telephone and even moran shent, face-t ancient, face-to-face conversations. workers spent on the day working the phones and going door to door . neither barack obama or mitt romney is a cheap date. they have blitz the air waves with more than $20 million in political ads in ohio al lone. pay attention , battleground states , these guys are pulling out all the stops, just for you. so this is where i play the uncle ben to your spider-man and remind you with great power comes great responsibility. like it or not, you are the chosen ones. and the choosers. you are picking the president for the rest of us. so that means you don't have the luxury of political apathy . we, those of us who live in the all too predictable ballot box behavior states, counting on you to get it right. first of all, don't be fooled by the optics that are meant to signal the candidates understand the lives of so-called ordinary people . you know, like buss with folksy tour names. rich guys pretending they ride the bus is not a signal that they understand your lives. neither is rolling up their cleaves or leaving their neck ties at home or eating pancakes or drinking a beer. you know how politicians show you they can relate to your lives? creating policies that make your lives better. pay attention to what they say to you, not just what they are showing you. and numbers like these, totally unacceptable from a pew poll showed 45% of americans are completely clueless about the supreme court 's landmark decision on affordable care act . listen, if it's your vote that determines whether or not the rest of us get health care , swing states , i need to you do a little better and finally, please, don't let the constant reminders that are you in a battleground state fool you into believing that you are in an actual battle. leave the fighting and delination of differences to the two men vying to be the last man standing at the capital steps on inauguration day . whatever the name and colors in your neighborhood may say, you and the person next door to you are more alike than are you different. we are all in in boat together, and are you our captain, so show us what democracy in action really looks like, and if you need an example, try turning to one of our most famous fictional small town americans , sheriff andy taylor , whose creator, andy griffith , we lost this past week. in a recent recall for the "all," shawnee hilton relaid her father's take on america's finest. i never looked at andy as being too good for the others. i looked at him being a stabilizer, a good soul who wanted to elevate those around him. in this election it will be all of you good souls to lift up all of the rest of us. joining me now, barbara lee of california. former pennsylvania governor and political analyst ed rendell . anthea butler of the university of pennsylvania and msnbc contributor, ari melber. thank you to everyone for being here.
>> thank you.
>> we've got two pennsylvania swing staters here. you all are living in the battleground. i just made a claim that i need the battleground folks to take that job seriously. do they? when you look at voters in pennsylvania , do you feel like folks are aware of how important their vote is and taking it seriously?
>> yes, i do. a lot of them are worried, because some of them won't be able to vote because of the change in the voter i.d. laws, and i believe a recent survey in philadelphia that may mean 44% of african- americans , that is very troubling this is part of the base that would want to come out for president obama , so i think in pennsylvania , we take it very seriously. he was already in pittsburgh the past couple of days, and i think we'll see a lot of the president and we'll probably see a lot of mitt romney as well trying to pull those votes, although i would think maybe the places that mitt romney will go will be very different than the places that president obama will go.
>> governor, walk me through pennsylvania a little bit. a map of pennsylvania , i want to look at it a little bit. actually, i'm sorry. i don't have a map of pennsylvania . you know pennsylvania in your head. walk me through it a bit. what are the parts of the state that are likely to get the most attention from these candidates?
>> before i do that, i want to emphasize what you just said. a recent study by the secretary of state showed 9. 2% of our electorate doesn't have our photo i.d. that's shocking. we're doing all we can to get those people photo i.d. we're doing all i can, but the law is brutal. this is going to insure mitt romney becomes president, which reveals the motivation behind this. it's terrible.
>> not about voter fraud , but about changing the outcome.
>> never voter fraud as my eight years as governor and we had two very contentious presidential elections . pennsylvania comes down to two parts of the state. two battlegrounds if you talk about battleground, one, the philadelphia suburbs, where democrats have been winning the last five presidential elections . we used to lose the philadelphia area big. win philadelphia bigger, but the philadelphia suburbs was the key battleground. in the last five elections, democrats have made inroads, and the last three, we carried philadelphia suburbs. they used to be heavy republican registration. still republican overall, not nearly as heavy. the old mitt romney would have been a great candidate in the philadelphia suburbs.
>> governor mitt romney , massachusetts.
>> has he gone so far to the right, that he lost a chance to get mod rails republicans and independents in the philly suburbs. go to the 12 southwestern pennsylvania county, traditionally democrat. white working class . when president obama carried to pennsylvania by 11 points, he lost 11 of those 12 counties. now, he's got to do better there, because his margin in the philadelphia suburbs are going down. he's got the ammunition, infrastructure, manufacturing, auto bailout. things th s that should be music to the ears of voters.
>> we talked about optics and information. here are the items that ought to be music to the ears. when you think about the actual strategy here, it let me show you something or is it let me tell you something.
>> i think u.s. a lot of telling, and i think you saw that in some of the first sort of documentary style videos that the campaign put out. remember what it was like. look at the trend lines , yes, we're stuck right now at 8.2% unemployment. but it was a lot higher, and we did do these bailouts that worked, even if you heard otherwise. and you had up on the screen, the pew poll shows that 45% of the country doesn't know what happened and what is one of the biggest supreme court cases literally since the new deal. so, yes.
>> just --
>> we can pause and not speak, because it leaves you speechless. what does that mean? it means somewhere along the lined meta is breaking down, i would argue certain social ways information is shared is breaking down. the most interesting part of the pew poll is the next number which is out of just the universe of people who know correctly what the supreme court did, a majority now supports the decision. part of that is getting the information out to the universe.
>> congressman, i want to bring you in as soon as we come back from the break. the other piece is the pressing of the flesh, the old-fashioned phone banking, and it feels no one knows better, that kind of thing, than people who are members of congress how important that is, so we'll talk more about that, and also the fact that the battle lines divide in some interesting ways when you throw race, ethnicity, language, into the equation, later, how come running for office is still so hard for women and next hour, the gop playing jedi mind tricks on all of us? don't