PoliticsNation | March 18, 2013
>>> president obama has made it the centerpiece of his second term agenda. he did it again today. this morning he nominated thomas perez to be the next labor secretary. perez is the head of the civil rights division at the justice department the president also marked women's history month today, but talking about the long fight for equal rights .
>> 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house, demanding one of our most fundamental rights , the right to vote. a century later. its rooms are full of accomplished well who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters . all of you inspire me to make sure that i'm doing everything that i can as president to carry on that progress.
>>> and he keeps that promise. less than two weeks ago the president signed the new violence against women act into law, part of a broad progressive push we have seen in this second term. a kyle senate panel is said to be close to a deal on immigration. unemployment is down to 7.7%, the lowest level in four years. since the gop 's big loss, republicans have spent a lot of times looking backwards, but the president is moving the country ahead. joining me now is victoria defran chez ko soto, and clarence page . thank you both for being here.
>> thank you.
>> thanks, rev. they traditional have a small window to work on the agenda in the second term. how do you think he's moving?
>> to be perfectly honest, i've said for a while it's kind of an ad hoc agenda. he got health care passed and fixed the economy. he has the economy on the right track. the gun issue was not a big deal with him in the beginning. gale marriage was not a big issue, but they have become centerpieces, that's the period he's in at this point. republicans are cooperating to the degree that they appeared to be disorganized enough that he appears to be right on track.
>> you know, on that point, in terms of the economy, victoria , the president talking about the budget last week, he said something that the gop just jumped all over. the president said, and i'm quoting him, we don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt, and the republicans and the right wing went bananas. but then mr. boehner and ryan, of course, agree with him. watch this.
>> we do not have an immediate debt crisis, but we all know that we have one looming.
>> we do not have a debt crisis right now, but we see it coming. we know it's irrefeetably happeningivities they say the president shouldn't have said it, now you have boehner and ryan saying it, about you if both say we don't have an immediate crisis, why do we need immediate cuts to things like head start , victoria ?
>> the other people who agree with president obama are millions and millions of americans who say that the economy is the main issue. second to the economy is the deficit. it goats back to the fundamental issue of moderation. this is the achilles' heel for the republican party . everything is just black and white . whereas most folks, most americans in the middle believe in moderation. whether we do our own taxes or finances, we sit down and figure out, how do we cut a little here, save alternates there, increase revenue? so the problem with the republican party is they're out of step how most of us work on a day-to-day basis. that's something that the president has been so good at reflecting in his bigger vision of deficit reduction and the economy as a bigger issue.
>>> clarence , you still here boehner say no new ref, though the american people are saying new revenue. they're saying we don't have an immediate crisis, but we need immediate cuts. why are we cutting head start and other things immediately if there's no immediate problem. a new republican leaning poll, a republican-leaning poll says just 16% of americans said the deficit and the debt with their top concerns. 38% said it was the economy and jobs. now, my question to you, clarence , americans came about about a 2:1 margin, the gop 's own polls shows this. do they need a wake-up call?
>> i think they're finally getting it. actually they got it in november. you look at how the election came out -- the establishment of reps were shocked that they didn't win. all of their logic said obama is a fall failure, he's got to lose, and he didn't. so they're going through the polls, reince priebus today announcing a big report, and they're finding that lo and behold, america is not as excited about debt and deficit. we all care about paying our bills at home, but the government prince money, sets the flow of money and they've been screaming that the sky is falling for so long, that folks don't see that as being a crisis as much as their personal debt . they're finally coming around and say we have to take about their own pocketbook bread and butters, which is how he got reelected, because he was talking about it.
>> let me go to a associate issue, victoria . in may of last year, i think it was, the president came out in favor of same-sex marriage, and the supreme court takes up the issue next week. a new poll shows that 58% of americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, only 36% say that it shouldn't. now, did the president help crystallize public opinion that was evolving, just like he was, in your opinion, victoria ?
>> i do. and the other part of this is that i think the issue of gale civil rights is one that can be one of his legacy issues, which historians look at what makes for a good legacy for a second-term president, we want to go big. you don't want to spread yourself too thin and want to focus in on a couple things. i think in addition to immigration, gale civil rights is one of these. so the president by pushing forward the agenda, both at the national level and being an vocate for gale rights at the state level, can make his mark not just for the present, but also just for the history of this nation.
>> talk about the history of this nation, clarence , i want to ask you this before we run out of time in this segment.
>> i believe so much of --
>> i wn't exactly putting it that way. tomorrow marks the tenth year since the start of the iraq war . one of president obama 's accomplishments is not discussed a lot. is that he ended the war and brought home the by the end of next year, he's promised that the war in afghanistan will be own. what could be bigger than a president ending two wars?
>> it would be a big are problem, of course, if we didn't end them. it's giving americans a big sigh of relief. there have been complaints on the right about whether we've leave too soon or not, but you don't see a big moment let's stay in afghanistan, let's go back to iraq . that doesn't happen. these wars were a mistake. i'm not gloating. i was saying that we shouldn't go into iraq before we got in, and i was hardly alone. the main thing is how do we get out and avoid this thing in the future. let's hope we learned some lessons.
>> well, you won't, but i will. i say we shouldn't have gone into iraq in the beginning and i'm against further engagement in afghanistan, so i won't be as humble as you. thank you both for your time.
>> thank you.
>>> ahead, sarah palin and karl rove at war, and it is getting very personal.
>>> plus, glenn beck is at it again. what is he saying about this picture that has everyone talking? when did