Melissa Harris-Perry | November 17, 2012
>>> welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. christmas came about two months early this year. a skinny black san tan claus made his list, checked them twice and flew all across the land, sprinkling gifts among all the black, latino, young voters who showed them their appreciation. that is the bedtime mitt romney is telling himself on those sleepless nights when he lies awake still trying to make sense of why he's not the president. the former governor got caught on tape again. speaking to a group of wealthy like-minded people again. telling us what he really thinks about the half of the country whose votes he couldn't win again.
>> what the president, president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinaire financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote.
>> romney 's story was actually the second chapter in the tale republicans have been spinning to explain the election. the first came earlier in the week when romney 's former running mate paul ryan placed the blame on democrats in urban areas .
>> the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout especially in urban areas which definitely gave president obama the big margin to win this race.
>> never mind the fact that he and mitt romney can also count largely rural states among those they lost. because we all know who ryan was really talking about when he mentioned those urban areas . mitt romney clarified that on his conference call the very next day. now, of course, romney was only resurrecting an old narrative he introduced on that other recording. the story of the makers and the takers where he is the champion of the hard working majority and the rest, the 47% are looking to president obama to give them an unearned handout. you see, that's something about bedtime stories and fairy tales . they're full of lovely lies, lies we tell ourselves to try and understand the harsh reality . for mitt romney and republicans that reality is this, it's not them. it's you. instead of asking themselves yls obama won such a diverse group of voters, republicans might need to ask themselves a different question. why did they lose them? i'm happy to help with the answers. they lost them because the people of color who voted for president obama did not like being treated like something less than what they are, american citizens. they lost them because actively working to deny the vote to some of those citizens is a great way to make sure those citizens deny their vote to you. and they lost because the obama campaign ran like a well-oiled machine meticulously seeking out potential new voters getting them registers and getting them out to vote. they lost because while they were busy telling themselves about mitt meant tum, they weren't paying attention to the math. facility bob mcdonald 's recent comments are any indication, the numbers still don't add up to much. at the recent meeting of the republican governors association , mcdonald said this.
>> they have i think two women in minorities. we have seven. the point is the people coming into the republican -- well, sometimes. the people that are coming in and are now the leaders in our party at the governor's ranks reflect a much more diverse group than the democrat governors today.
>> so hearing mcdonnell's statement i'm reminds of the words of zorral neil hursston when she said all my skin folk ain't my kin folk. in other words, the republican party can try to woo women and voters of color with all the bobby jindals, nikki haley 's and kelly ayottes they want and nobody will be fooled because it's the policies, not the people that show how much you care. with me at the table is new york congressman gregory meeks , a democratic member of the financial services committee , daniel garza of the libre initiative, jelani cobb from the university of connecticut and michael skoal nick, i'm sorry, suddenly your name looked like something i could not pronounce, the political director to hip-hop pioneer russell simmons and the copresident of global grind.com. because i butchered your name, i'm going to go to you first on this.
>> my pleasure.
>> look, it does feel to me like probably the most appalling or almost sort of ugly part of the gifts narrative is that many of these communitiesen turned out for the president also have the highest unemployment rates. you know, we're experiencing some of the worst aspects of the recession. this isn't about gifts. this is about something else.
>> what the republicans don't understand, what mitt romney certainly does not understand is that our generation has waited for this moment. we have fought tooth and nail over the course of our lifetime for this moment to have a more compassionate america , more generous america and more tolerant america . we waited in line with older black people , with women, with lgbt community till the president gave his victory speech. there was folks in florida still online at 1:30 in the morning when he was giving his victory speech to vote. so all this nonsense about how young people , people of color , you know voted for the president because he was giving them gifts, this is the moment we've waited for. to have a president who represents us, who speaks to us and who fight for us.
>> it's an interesting point here because you know, one of the things that allows the president to have not only an electoral college victory but a popular vote victory is that folks in plays like new york and louisiana and so-called safe red and blue states nonetheless showed up to vote for the president even though at the presidential level their vote didn't count in the same way. yet, it makes a big difference if he wins with a popular mandate and an electoral college win.
>> you're absolutely right in your opening remarks, people are not going to be denied the right to vote. people are not going to be denied -- when you start talking about voter suppression and all going on, people said we're going to show we're going to stand and vote. we're not going to let people take away our rights. it is about issues. people are spectacular the. whether you're poor, some people think that poor people are not smart people , they're very smart and understand there is --
>> they understand their interests and who represents them best. for them, it's really not a matter of party too much. the other party does not represent their interests. does not articulate anything that will benefit them. so why should they vote for them? they're voting for the individual and it was clear. you had mitt romney on the one end to talked about who he cared about, and the 47%, that was for sure. and then you had barack obama talking about fairness and moving forward and who do you think they're going to vote for. they know their interests this election was one of the most important elections in their lives and they wanted to make sure their vote counted no matter what state they were from.
>> there was an increase in some of these groups. there are some things that were said by republicans over the course of the week that are not completely wrong. i mean,ing if urban is not just a code word , if it is actually descriptive, that's not completely wrong. urban areas , african-americans, latinos but also workers.
>> high skrengss of folks.
>> purpled out the state. but the notion that bobby jindal , suzanne nan martinez, nikki haley , marco rubio , sandoval, that sort of group of people, you guys do have a pretty diverse bench but can you turn that kind of face diversity into instinct that is a meaningful coalition?
>> i think they are flexing their cultural capital . these folks who are diverse within the republican party . and i think what -- i think what folks fundamentally want to know is my life going to be better if i choose you. and i think the sentiment that they have is, well, they're going to look at them san say are you going to give me access and look out for my interests and my community. if you say words that lack understanding, that is going to turn them off. i think that is what the faces of diversity like you were saying are sort of flexing back on and saying yes, we do look like you and yes, we do feel you.
>> this is the worst kind of diversity though. it's like show up so we can count you.
>> anyone who can tell you the number of catholic friends they have is saying right then, i think of you as a catholic, not as a friend. anybody else is going to say we're going to keep count. i thought the republicans were against quotas. so all of a sudden, the numbers.
>> binders full of women.
>> 7 or so. i wasn't sure how the numbers added up. i want to show how the numbers added up. double counted or not. but nevertheless, this is the worst kind of diversity.
>> in the sense that it feels like it is diversity. what i hear from both of you is this sense of like empowerment.
>> i think that there are issues. if you look back on the first time there are certain issues especially for young people that meant a lot to us that got accomplished. immigration reform movement. executive order of the president on the part of the d.r.e.a.m. act was important for us.
>> baby dpreem.
>> health care reform was important us. we got a shot. we want real immigration reform . we want education reform . we want a real climate change policy. if mitt romney was in office on january 21st , we won't have a shot. now we've got do the working.
>> cut out the middle man for student loans which were saved. young people a whole lot of money, making sure you keep the interest rates low so they don't have to pay more money so they can get the education they need to grow their future. making sure we're investing in stem programs so they know they the opportunities for them will be there in the future so that they can live as well if not better than their parents. those are the kinds of positions that the president took. that's speaking to their interest, their future supposed to what romney was talking about. these young people said we know what is in our interests. we also know that it took eight years to get us in the problems we were in and that this president did not cause those problems.
>> i want to be a little bit careful because i feel like we've overstated the idea that like white folks are over because i mean, if we look at the senate, for example, it is still the vast majority confident cbc, the cbc is mostly from pretty safe districts in the sense of racially safe districts because it is still so hard to be elected as a person of color in a broad district.
>> i think one of the things we're talking about here is backing up to romney 's statement the implications of it is that the president would be doing exactly what elected officials are supposed to do.
>> governing toward your constituency.
>> you vote for people for particular reasons. the kind of great philosophical axiom of don't hate the player, hate the game, the idea that when someone votes they have particular things, how do these things line up with the candidate's platform and if this person is elected how can i expecting that to impact my life. that is basic pluralistic democracy right there.
>> and mitt romney is a hater. up next, i see black people everywhere. even in maine. i'm going to explain when we come back. if