msnbc | May 17, 2012
>>> mouth. i'm thomas roberts . reverend jeremiah write. a gop leading super pac funded by the founder of tb ameritrade and the owner of the chicago cubs joe ricketts is now considering this proposal to launch tv ads reigniting the president's ties to the former controversial pastor. the ads and the $10 million campaign would be leading up to the campaign in september. who can argue the president mislead the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls himself a metro sexual black abe lincoln . he said unlike the obama campaign , governor romney is running a campaign based on jobs and the economy and we encourage everyone else do the same. we want to bring in elise ya mendez and rich galen, republican strategist, publisher of mullings.com. i want to hit it out of the park right now with you on this. first question, because nbc's calls this swift bet on steroids. why would this work when it didn't work in '08 and the potential it has to open up to mitt romney and questions about his own religion.
>> keep in mind when john mccain had the opportunity to hang rev raenld wright around obama 's neck senator mccain said several times no, even when he was pushed into trying to condemn his opponent. he refused to do that. it is clear why folks dwhoenlt like obama or joe ricketts would go down this route. quite frankly it's a way to gin up fears against this president among people who already don't like him and already don't like the fact that, quite frankly , there's an african-american in the white house .
>> senator mccain has responded to "the new york times" story. his spokesperson has said senator mccain is proud of the fact he ran in the 2008 campaign and stands by his decision and would make them again if he had to do it all over. this campaign ad is to go out and take president obama in this direction. would that consume the race? forget economy and the job. everything that mitt romney said he's after. would it just make everything all about jeremiah wright and then really the wheels would be off the bus so to speak?
>> no. i mean it wasn't all about jeremiah wright when it was all about jeremiah write. wright. no matter how good the cause there's always somebody who agrees with you that you wish didn't. this is something mittny's campaign doesn't want to deal with. that's the nature of any outside pac , whether it's a super pac under the new rules or the pacs under the oil rules in that not only can't you control them, you're not allowed to control them.
>> do you think mitt romney 's spoer spokesperson enough or does he need to come out.
>> it may not come out. it may not happen. it may be friends of friends talking.
>> let's go ahead and get this statement out there. this is from president obama 's campaign saying this morning's story revealing apolling lengths to what super pacs are willing to to tear down the president and -- it also respects how far the party has drifted in four years since john mccain rejected these very tactics. once again mitt romney reacted tepidly instead of standing up to the very extreme wing of his own party. elise ya, when you hear this, how do you think people would react, those minorities around the country that would support president obama , the base. how do you thing they would react to a kpanl from the right like this going after president obama ?
>> well, i think just the use of the term "lit rat african-american" is going to be enough to remind african-americans what's at stake in this election.
>> that's what bind said. i do think this starts to gin up the democratic face. that's not who the ad is going after. this is talking about swing voters who are not sure whether they want to come out again and vote for obama . this is supposed to promote doubt in their minds, takes away from key issues. overall this is tear fbler our democracy. it doesn't matter who it jins up or stays at home. it takes the focus away from where it's supposed to be an it puts power in the hands of the wealthiest system and it's not how our system was memt to be run.
>> jonathan , i want to ask you about this. this is the first time that race is a factor and what is at stake in the general election . we know there are those in the party who can't accept that he's american. we have mike coffman from colorado asked by our nbc denver affiliate whether the president was born in the u.s. his response was i don't know where he was born. he said, i don't know that. but i do know this, that in his hart he's not an merch.
>> most people in the republican party have moved on and this congressman is one of 535 people on the hill, but i thenk elise ya hits on the right issue. this is a moral issue. you have people out there perpetuating nonsens and lies and falsehoods and no one, up in of the grown-ups within the republican party are willing to come up and say, enough of this, stop this. this isn't right, it isn't good for our democracy. and until someone in the republican leadership and i'm talk about spaerk baner, riens prevince and anyone else steps forward and says we will not tolerate this, this is not the way we should win the white house or talk about the president of the united states , this sort of nonsense will continue.
>> rich, does this show that both sides, as much as everyone wants to talk on the upfront and be nicnicy-nice is people are willing to get down in the mud over what's at stake?
>> sure. democrats too. it's the nature of the politics. that's not new. politics in america, that's always been a rough a-and-tumble sport, a blood sport . it still is. we just have msnbc help make everybody know about it. which is fine. going back to what jonathan said, that's a classic liberal response. even's expected to take.
>> give me break, chris.
>> stop, jonathan . when a democrat goes off a cliff, the rhetorical cliff, democrats typically i say, well, you know, i don't speak for him, or i don't speak for her and they get way with it. i'm not buying it, squlon jjonathan.
>> do you think when we talk about the fact that religion has not come up -- and alicia, i want to ask this of you, do you think both sides run a risky road?
>> i don't understand what the other side is. i don't see democrats attacking romney on his religion. i do see where you see the attacks coming from the democratic side is talking about the record on which romney wants to run. those are things you see romney running away from, not allowing reporters access to romney they had before. they're nervous on the substance of the issues. that's why you see the republicans dredging up these decoys that they're -- it's not republicans. it's one guy in the west.
>> with a ton of money to spend.
>> i'm trying to help you with this. it's one guy that has a lot of money and wants do this. one of the brilliant parts of the american form of politics in democratic is if you do this, you get these kinds of discussions. it's a free and open discussion about how bad an idea it is.
>> it's a discussion we have no republican voice in though.
>> don't try to lay it at the feet of every republican. that needs true and you know it.
>> you just called it a discussion and all the more reason you should have gop leaders coming to the table.
>> don't tell me what gop leaders are supposed to do. that's nonsense.
>> dwlou have a discussion if no one will come to the table.
>> we're at the table.
>> we're smart people .
>> we're not leaders. we don't have elected liters. we're not con zit yhency. we have twitter followers.
>> yes, we do.
>> thank you all of you.