NOW with Alex Wagner | May 30, 2012
>>> politico is reporting that super pacs and outside groups on the gop side are planning to spend a billion dollars on campaign ads this election season. john, we were talking about your story in new york magazine in the last block. this stood out to me. david plouffe saying it concerns me gravely speaking about money, plouffe said from a political standpoint i'm almost as worried about that as i am about the question of what the economy is going to do over the next three or four months. the money question.
>> look, if you ask those guys what they're worried about the first thing they say is exogenous war in iran.
>> i have a dictionary. you can borrow it.
>> every time i read new york magazine i need the dictionary right next to it.
>> is that like exxon news zones?
>> family show.
>> yes, really.
>> middle of the day .
>> calm down.
>> so they worry about iran and europe, et cetera . the other thing is they all believe they're going to get outspent and outspent not by a little bit but by a reasonably large amount, maybe by 20, 3050%. the republicans are, because they're the democratic super pac has been a dismal failure thus far and it's getting pretty late.
>> usa action. the rez's sanctioned super pac . republicans raising a ton of money. those guys think, you know, it's bad to get out spent when you're running for reelection. it's bad to get out spent when you're an incumbent president. never happens.
>> is it just a wall street related thing? do you think the bankers aren't coming out for obama .
>> the coach brothkoch brothers will spe nd nearly $400 million more than john mccain spent on his entire election.
>> george soros likes the president, not enough i guess.
>> a lot of democrats sat back, looked at the primary and said these goof balls ? how hard can that be. part of the message at that time campaign is trying to send now is to ring the alarm that says no, we're going to be outspent. we need your money.
>> obama needs to hang out more with donald trump . that's the problem.
>> let's not get all weepy for the democrats and their fund-raising lack of fund-raising prowess. obama in the first quarter this year brought in over 360,000 new donors to his campaign. small dollar donations are the new game for the direct campaigns and for the national parties. the super pacs notwithstanding will do their thing.
>> how can you say the super pacs not withstanding when talking about that amount of money?
>> i'm just saying that's going to be part of the equation. the other part is what these campaigns will be able to do with their small dollar donations in conjunction with the national parties as well as was reported by over the last month.
>> soft money in that that it's basically not regulated. the money going into the campaigns and to the party committees specifically as you know, there are limitations how that can be spent. when somebody writes a $10 million check to a super pac , you can spend that on just about anything you want.
>> what the key thing is on election day is not the number of ads you've run. it's your ability to turn out that vote. if you don't have your grassroots and states organized, if you don't have those pieces in place on election day which is what the small donor contributes to, all that free air and billions of advertising do the not get anyone's behind off the couch and to the polls.
>> it helps.
>> one thing mentioned in the story as well, michael steele .
>> the man turning his face away from this television. michael to the back of michael's --
>> i thought he was about to say something.
>> super pacs and outside groups are doing is spending money not only on the presidential races but on the congressional races and really the game this election sony think is really in the congressional races because no matter what happens.
>> 25 seats separates control of the house.
>> if you have a republican controlled house and senate it doesn't matter what president obama wants to do. ike wise if mitt romney is sitting there with congress under his thumb, you can do a whole lot. you now have outside spending groups spending millions of dollars to swing a delicate democrat race.
>> it is a horrible thing that i was at this event in chicago last night. steve schmidt mate the point in almost all these races now, the people who have the least voice in congressional races, senate races and to some extent weirdly not quite true in the presidential race but getting there, the people who have the least amount of voice are the candidates themselves because the outside money is so huge. there is one thing that you have to think about is that the republican super pac advantage is as i said a huge worry for the white house . on the other hand, it's not controlled. and there's a reason why in 2008 president obama told big donors who loved him them and don't necessarily love him as much now not to give to outside groups. they were worried outside groups, who know what they're going to say. when they say stuff, we have 0 own that message. we saw this with the reverend jair my yao proposed ad backfired on the republican side . there are going to be a hundred conversations between now and election day that are going to go exactly like this billionaire with a checkbook who sits in front of a republican consultant and says i have a check i want to write but i want this add to be about the economy. i want something that breaks through and pops. that is catnip for the admakers and dangerous for romney. a bunch of crazy things will get made.
>> by pops i mean vaguely racist and totally incendiary or not. we'll see what the definition of pops is. coming