PoliticsNation | October 04, 2012
>>> v8... big bird holding a sign will work for food . and big bird on an old time unemployment line. here he is as part of the 47%. and the count assuring big bird romney 's math doesn't add up. and the sesame street gang warning romney you diss big bird , you diss all of us. sure it's childish and funny, but it's serious, too. his big plan to cut the deficit is it fire big bird ? what did big bird ever do to you? tax cuts for big oil ? no problem. trillions for defense, go right ahead. but big bird has to go is this get the bird who teaches our kids out of here? the president responded today.
>> last night governor romney ruled out raising a dime of taxes on anybody ever no matter how much money they make, he ruled out closing the loophole that gives oil companies $4 billion in corporate welfare. and when he was asked what he'd actually do to cut the deficit, and reduce spending, he said he'd eliminate funding for public television. we didn't know that big bird was driving the federal deficit. but that's what we heard last night. the fact is governor romney 's math just doesn't add up.
>> the math doesn't add up? umm. maybe mr. romney needs a little sesame street . joining me now is david corn , washington bureau chief for mother jones , and an msnbc political analyst, and michelle cottle, washington correspondent for " daily beast ." thank you both for joining me. michelle , mitt romney doesn't like to give specifics, but when it comes to big bird , no problem.
>> well, no problem except it was one of the few memorable moments of the debates and everybody jumped on it and you have all of these big bird jokes making the rounds which can get people thinking. so what else is he going to cut? he's been very, very careful not to get into specifics. and let's face it, you know, firing big bird 's not going to close the gaps in the numbers that he's talking about. his budget will call for cuts in lots of other very serious programs and you tonight want people to start thinking about the specifics because while the idea of cutting government always appeals, when you start talking about programs that people like, they start to get really twitchy.
>> that may be why he won't get specific, but i will. mr. corn, let's go to you. the federal subsidy for pbs in 2012 doesn't make up a huge part of this deficit. for example, 2012 , the federal subsidy for pbs was $444 million. if you compare that to romney 's plan for the federal budget , you'll see how miniscule it is. pbs subsidy, $444 million. but if you look at the tax breaks to oil and gas companies that romney defended last night, those add up to $4 billion this year alone. and take a look at mitt romney 's plan for the defense budget . he wants to increase spending by $2 trillion over the next ten years. so, i mean, big bird is a big diversion to what he's really talking about in terms of the deficit.
>> well, i think those of us out here crave specifics from governor romney . and when he's talked about this in the past, he's often thrown big bird under the bus. i don't know what would happen if he threw big bird under the bass. maybe the bus would go off the road. but never the let's, he has this little set piece he does. do you want to know what i'll cut? i'll cut pbs and big bird , the national endowment of humanities and the amtrak subsidy. you add that all up, those are the only specifics we've gotten out of him during this campaign about budget cuts, and you get $2 million mainly because the amtrak subsidy 1.4. so that's what you get, $2 billion when he's talking about a $5 trillion tax break for the wealthy. so we're about 1/10 of 1% of what he wants tos to do here. and the president i think missed his opportunity last night to try to pin him down on this as well as the tax deductions and we talked about that earlier with robert slum. but people have to look at the math.
>> the president came back today because this is really about fairness and priorities.
>> country doesn't succeed when we only see the rich getting richer, with you succeed when the middle class gets bigger. we grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out. we don't believe that anybody's entitled to success in this country but we do believe in something called opportunity. we believe in a country where hard work pays off and where responsibility is rewarded and everybody is getting a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules. that's the country we believe in. here in america, we believe we're all in this together. we understand america's not about what can be done for us, it's about what can be done by us together as one nation and as one people. you understand that.
>> michelle , did romney inadvertently leave an opening for the president by committing himself to some of the things that he really has not represented and really represented the other side, and by saying some things last night the hard right really doesn't agree with?
>> well, it was a different romney everyone's been pointing out. the people i was watching the debate with were screaming at the screen. and i'm not talking about liberal obama supporters. just about the inconsistencieses that romney was talking about. his claiming he would never consider tax cuts for the upper brackets. things like this that i think people are going to smack him for his lack of consistency and everybody's going to be talking about, you know, where did this romney come from p abo.t and it has to make his base a little nervous, although i'm sure he did it with a wink wink. at this point he's done so much to assure them that he's on their team including picking paul ryan that i'm not sure they're that concerned about help anymore. but if obama is smart, he'll take this smack up side the head to get fired up again and go out there and start reminding people, which he should have done last night, about kind of what romney 's been campaigning on for the previous 18 months.
>> let's take what michelle just said, david. ryan . he's got to face joe biden next week. with all of the things that the new minted mitt romney said last night, joe biden who is a very feisty debater brings to ryan . doesn't ryan have a problem in the debate next week agreeing with some of the things that the new mitt romney came with last night?
>> well, you know, we all yearn for good presidentivice presidential debate , but the truth is they really don't matter. if the quaylquayle-benson didn't matter, this won won't.
>> we don't know if they don't matter.
>> sarah palin , people watched it the way you watch a nascar race with a fascination that there may be an accident or a wreck. but with the debate coming up, there is this tension on the ticket, republican ticket, between paul ryan who campaigns and gave the speech remember at the convention, there was archly ideological about creating a new world that the president has described at darwinian and pessimistic and dark. and he gives joe biden a lot of lines of attack on the ryan budget, the medicare plan and all those things. the one thing that ryan has done for the last two years has been very, very, did i say very, very specific about all these things. so he can't do the peer wets the way mitt romney did, but i think what joe biden 's task is going to be is to bo right past ryan and to usewets the way mitt romney did, but i think what joe biden 's task is going to be is to bo right past ryan and to use this occasion to go after the guy he's running with. people don't care that much about ryan , only that he's a stand-in --
>> that's my point, he'll have a hard time defending some of the things mr. romney said last night. guess what, we'll be watching. david and michelle , thanks for your time tonight.
>>> and if you liked those big bird photo, head over to our facebook page. we have them all posted there and the facts of romney 's wrong priorities.
>>> coming up -- disrespect against president obama . a top romney surrogate calls the president of the united states lazy. it's time for leadership.
>>> and a criminal probe launched against republicans committing voter fraud . big story out of florida