NOW with Alex Wagner | September 21, 2012
>>> president obama is speaking at campaign event in wood bridge, virginia , right now, let's listen in.
>> he loves barack obama and they turned to the little boy and said, well, what does barack obama do? and the little boy says, barack obama , approves this message. so you know it's election season. that's what i do. i approve this message. and that's because in the coming weeks, you've got a very big choice to make. this is not a choice between two candidates or two parties. this is a choice between two different paths for america , two fundamentally different visions of our future. my opponents are big believers in top down economics. don't boo. vote. mr. romney thinks that if we just spend another $5 trillion on tax cuts, the favor the wealthiest 2% of americans, all our problems are going to be solved. jobs and prosperity will rain down from the sky. deficits will magically disappear. we will all live happily ever after. the end. there's only one problem. we tried that scheme during the last decade. it didn't work. top down economics don't work. this country doesn't succeed when only the rich are getting richer. we succeed when folks at the top are doing well, but also when the middle class is doing well and folks who are fighting to get into the middle are doing well. when more people have a chance to get ahead and live up to their god given potential, i don't believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims. who think that they're not interested in taking responsibility for their own lives. i don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today. i see hard working virginians. some of you may be students trying to work your way through college. some of you may be single moms like my mom. putting in overtime to see if you can provide a better life for your kids. some of you may be senior citizens who have been saving your whole life for your retirement. some of you may be veterans who served this country bravely. soldiers who defend our freedom today . nobody believes that anyone's entitled to success in this country. we don't believe that the government should be helping people who refuse to help themselves. but we do believe in something called opportunity. we believe in a country where hard work pays off. where responsibility is rewards, everybody gets a fair shot and everybody doing their fair share and plays by the same rules, that's the country we believe in. that's what i believe in. that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states . sy told you before and i will tell you again the the path i'm offering is not necessarily going to be quick or easy. because the truth is, it's going to take more than few years to solve challenges that built up over decades. but i can tell you this, virginia , this is america . our problems can be solved and our challenges can be met. we've got the best workers in the world, the best business people and entrepreneurs and scientists and researchers in the world, colleges and universities in the world. there's not a country on earth that wouldn't trade places with the united states of america . so the path i'm offering may be harder, but it leads to a better place . i'm offering a practical, five-point plan to create jobs, and grow the middle class . and rebuild the economy on a stronger foundation. so let me break it down in case you guys missed the convention. just in case. or just in case you only saw michele. number one --
>> that was president obama speaking to a riled up crowd in woodbridge, virginia . michael hastings has been on the campaign trail with the president. the president is up by at least five points according to some polls, higher margins and others in virginia , the confederacy he won in 2008 . and early voting starts in the state today.
>> we saw some -- i'm going to say swagger-ific behavior on display at the stump and mention of mr. romney and victims. of course alluding to romney 's infamous 47% video.
>> pretty explicit alution to that video. over the past three weeks the obama campaign has been feeling good post-convention, they survived this libya incident. yesterday was a stumble but i think they've been feeling quite confident and you see it in his demeanor, you see it in the crowds pretty excited out there. and i think that's how it's going to -- i mean i think you know what they don't want -- i saw bob woodward say -- talking about the october surprise and i think that libya moment, there was this sense of oh, my gosh, is this going to be the thing that blows up in our face. now we've moved through, romney keeps having secret videos of him hating poor people coming out.
>> i don't think there's secret videos of him hating poor people .
>> i don't know that they've moved through libya . yesterday you had the white house say for the first time this was a southwest evident terror attack -- self-evident terror attack .
>> a complete walk back from everything susan rice said.
>> with the caveat -- it's not over yet.
>> i don't think we can say --
>> maggie is not done with this yet. i don't think the white house is done with it.
>> if you look at any foreign policy issue during the election, they flare up for a day and everybody forgets them because no one in the end --
>> look, there's a of importance placed on the presidential debates one on foreign policy and i'm sure the romney campaign will have some things to say. maggie to the 47% video, it is becoming clearer by the day just how much this is a gift to the obama campaign .
>> we knew it was bad at the beginning but this looks like something they can ride for weeks if not until the election.
>> it has eaten up the week, the sunday shows. what you saw was most interesting clearly mitt romney 's believes it was harming them because he changed his approach. initial approach was to double down on it and embrace the video to the point about changing messages his campaign tried to disavow the video and debunked because there were two minutes cut off and this part edited strangely and then went out in florida and said i'm for the 100% of america and reiterated that yesterday. that tells you all you need to know about what their tracking was showing internally about how much damage this was doing. i think this is coming at a moment when people are paying attention, i think it did break through, i think that the language was very specific and i think again, it is not -- they are trying to frame it but this is an ideological difference about a governing philosophy and it's true that has been the argument on the stump, one thing to talk about your opponent's policies and another thing to sound like you're insult his supporters.
>> we're saying -- it's not my job to concern myself with half the country, almost verbatim, not my job to concern myself with those people.
>> it fits the kash ka tour.
>> he wasn't wearing a top hat at the time but that might be in the two minutes we haven't seen. john sununu wouldn't hire peggy noonan to run a campaign but maybe team romney should listen to "the wall street journal " columnist, maybe, the latest critique coming up next. we