NOW with Alex Wagner | November 05, 2012
>>> super pac priorities usa action has seen once reluctant democratic mega donors turn on the spigot to ensure their candidate does not get blown out of the water. outraised two to one by its counter part priority usa made its money count defining the gop as a greedy corporate raider who would shut down factories and fire middle class workers in his endless drive for greater profits. the super pac has begun reairing some of its effective summer ads as part of a $30 million fall campaign. in a recent memo priorities head bill burton wrote, quote, from now until election day we will make sure that voters understand that mitt romney 's promise to apply his business experience to washington would mean policies that benefit the very wealthiest like himself at the expense of middle class families. the super pac 's closing argument is clear and emblazoned on the screen in its ads if mitt romney wins the middle class loses. joining the package now is the man himself, the head of pro obama super pac priorities usa action, the money penny to the obama campaign , mr. bill burton. sort of weird to read a quote from you to you.
>> it's a little strange.
>> those ads in the summer a lot of folks thought were harsh, perhaps too harsh, perhaps playing low ball from a campaign, from a candidate that has sort of been above that kind of fisticuffs. and yet, you guys are reairing them. they've clearly worked for team obama , $30 million ad buy as i mentioned. the summer strategy seems to have been the right one. do you have any regrets about it?
>> >> no. for starters.
>> it's working.
>> exactly. no asymmetrics a nonpartisan firm that graded all the ads on their effectiveness today said one of our ads was the most effective ad of the cycle based on focus groups they've done on the different ads over the course of this election. you know, what we were doing with these ads was, more than just telling the story of what mitt romney did at bain, it was a story about a guy who always stood up for his partners and himself making sure he made plenty of money but when it came to the promises at middle class , he broke them time after time , people lost their jobs, lost their benefits and if people look at what kind of president mitt romney would be, this talks about what's in his character? who would he be standing up for knew the oval office ?
>> those ads were tough. the one that staged, the one that bill is talking about, where workers basically say they were forced to build their own coffins, you know, in advance of around a firing. that strategy go hard, go early, mitt romney was preoccupied with the primary races and the elusive plutocrat image seems to be something he cannot shake.
>> i will say at that point in the campaign he could have responded more and i think it was an error that john kerry made as well, to let somebody go in there and define you early and some ways, you know, obama is taking a page from the bush playbook and doing that.
>> why didn't -- to the point, were you surprised they didn't try to counter that -- those -- that had messaging?
>> one of the biggest surprises of this election to had me. mitt romney knew this was coming, no matter what people would talk about his business record and never had a positive story to tell about it the entire election. now, you think that maybe the super pacs could have supported him but the problem is that, you know, mitt romney 's campaign was saying, well we've got this plan, we're going to have workers from staples and sports authority and talk about the good side of it but it never materialized. no effort on their side to say, this is a good thing for mitt romney and in turn what was his greatest asset into a huge liability.
>> i think that's true. the failure i think of romney on his own business record , is linked to his failure on the larger theme of the economy and inability to link what he understands ability the economy as a business person and what he thinks is good for the country and economy. could never make those two work together at all. in his overall message on the economy was very muddled and basically came down to trust me i know about creating jobs. and i think that was -- ultimately that -- in the last debate i mean it was really laid bare. very thin, unpersuasive --
>> that kind of insular thinking, trust me because i know better, it's hue britsic politics predicated on my knowledge, my experience, you then concede to me the legitimate authority to make these decisions and we don't have to engage in this messy process called democracy.
>> that's been his point of view, his strategy on every issue which is to say trust me on the women's rights stuff, abortion stuff.
>> we got this.
>> trust me on the business experience. bill, i mean one thing that -- when you first started appearing on this program, the beginning of your stellar career.
>> the beginning of this program really.
>> at the beginning of this program.
>> there was a lot of self-flange lating, i wish i didn't exist, i wish super pacs didn't exist. look at the amount of money spent in this campaign cycle. the top five conservative groups outside the campaigns, $416 million the top five liberal groups spending outside of the campaign, $183 million. obviously a great dirt. not a balanced scale if you will.
>> the question is, is there going to be reform broadly speaking? the fact that this -- these campaigns are awash in cash, spending $1 billion each, is there hope you will -- that your position will one day not exist?
>> yes. no, i still hope that super pacs don't exist. that's the democratic position, where the president comes to this. and on the republican side , you have to wonder if sheldon adelson and these guys that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to seems like no affect whatsoever will continue to fund the outside efforts.
>> it's not that we want you to disappear. we want you to come back in a different capacity.
>> and pay some basketball players more money.
>> thank you to michael, bill, hugo and rana. i will see you back here at democracy plaza tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m . pacific when joined by chris mathews , governor ed rendell , new york city deputy mayor howard wolfson , richard wolffe , karen finney and the new yorker's hendrik hertzberg . find us at a little place called facebook.com/now with alex. " andrea mitchell reports" is next and her guests include majority leader eric cantor and gloria steinnam. what a duo there. stay with msnbc for more from democracy plaza. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! oh...there you