The Cycle | August 17, 2012
>>> we're throwing comic relief into the cycle today. sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh about the state of presidential politics . if not you might cry.
>> from political sharks to the real things . we'll take you inside the discovery channel 's wildly popular event and meet a shark attack survivor who is doing the last thing anyone would expect him to do.
>> mitt romney 's got mail. the obama team ups the ante in the candidate's tax returns . will mitt deliver?
>> mitt romney is a mormon as are millions of other americans but what do we know about it and what should we know?
>> plus i'll introduce you to a 93-year-old woman fighting for her right to vote. it is friday, august 17 , and you're "in the cycle."
>>> we've come to the end of a long, long week in presidential politics . what a week it's been. in case you need or want a refresher here is a look.
>> the white house confirms that vice president joe biden will stay on the ticket and now we know why. hillary turned down an offer?
>> the ryan plan and the president's affordable care act both trim medicare by more than $700 billion a point of contention surely to be debated from now until november.
>> the new face on the campaign trail the president's team calls her a secret weapon . michelle obama .
>> aides set up a white board between two flags so he could talk about the fine points of health care . but somehow it all got off track.
>> the president's team promised it would not criticize romney for not releasing more.
>> did not take long. president obama 's first medicare ad. it's here.
>> sift through all that. we need a laugh. let's bring in a political comedian chris rock believes you should know like a hot rapper releasing his protegee, this new show called "totally biased" airs thursday nights at 11:00 on fx. take a look.
>> mitt romney . that's going to be hard on a lot of americans. it's going to be a mormon versus a black guy. for most of america that's like alien versus predator . you understand?
>> how are you? congrats on the new show.
>> thank you very much. glad to be here.
>> paul ryan is the new guy in the race. finally there were four. what do you make of paul ryan ?
>> i mean, it seems like mitt romney has some self-esteem issues because he basically bought a younger, more republican version of himself.
>> an interesting theory that you busted out in the show last night when you talked to rachel maddow about how the more handsome guy usually wins but it seems like kind of two handsome guys going this time so who is going to win this year based on your theory?
>> you know, mitt romney may be handsome but barack obama is sexy. we all know that. that is not even -- not worried about that at all.
>> speaking of number twos we had another slip of the tongue this week from my favorite gaffe master, vice president joe biden . let's watch that.
>> we rescued the automobile industry , saving a million jobs. and 200,000 new, good paying jobs. once again general motors the largest automobile maker in the world. folks, where is a bridge we can't lead the world in the 20th century in making the automobile? i haven't seen it written anywhere. the 20th century in making automobiles? i have not seen it written anywhere.
>> let me be first to welcome vice president joe biden into the 21st century and remind him what state he was in, virginia not north carolina as he said. what do you make of this?
>> we just had the olympics and joe biden is a classic example of a gymnast who does a great routine and can't do the dismount. he's always not sticking the landing. like yeah. that's great. good -- oh, no.
>> oh, no.
>> let's talk about a place where these gaffes might some day end up in political advertising , the nbc political unit reported this week that for the first time advertising expenditures just on the presidential race are passing half a billion dollars. let's give you a peek of what that money is paying for.
>> i know what it takes to create jobs.
>> remember we've heard it all before .
>> i know how jobs are created.
>> romney economics. it didn't work then and it won't work now. under obama 's plan you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. they just send you your welfare check.
>> as governor, mitt romney did cut taxes on millionaires like himself but he raised taxes and fees on everyone else.
>> president obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion forcing religious institutions to go against their faith.
>> so what do you think? is that the best that $500 million can buy?
>> if you're going to spend all that money at least make good tv.
>> how much do they spend on mad men and sopranos? those shows are way better.
>> all right. so out of the whole week everything that happened, i had a particular moment that i really enjoyed which was mitt romney at the white board explaining the very simple difference between his plan on medicare and the president's plan. let's take a look at that.
>> on the president's plan this goes bankrupt. the medicare trustees have notified the president that the plan will go bankrupt medicare part a in approximately 12 years. under the plan that i proposed it is solvent.
>> bankrupt versus solvent. what is not to like about that, right?
>> he is just writing words on a thing. that's not proving anything. you know? i don't understand what he thinks is going on though it does make it easier for him to flip flop since he can just erase stuff.
>> very true. i just like the way under the president's plan he's like oh, he is going to slash and burn . everything is getting cut. then it is going to go bankrupt. under my plan nothing changes. everybody gets exactly what they were getting before. it is solvent. magical. of course we should vote for him.
>> if he is going to write stuff on a white board write how i can pay only 13% in taxes.
>> i like that.
>> that's what i'm interested in.
>> comedians have a lot of fodder to work with in any election year. do you like making fun of republicans or democrats more? who has the best stuff?
>> you know, certainly from the left but i think being a politician is automatically a comical position.
>> court sequesters.
>> do you have a preference for who will provide more comic fodder between obama and romney ? i've written way more about obama than i ever wrote about george w. bush . if the world becomes peaceful and harmony reigns and i'm out of a job i can always work at starbucks.
>> an interesting observation. i think i hear the opposite from comedians which is that obama is a tough politician to work with because there aren't these identifiable sort of easy-to-mock characteristics and traits. the guy sort of plays it so cool all the time. you're saying you haven't had that experience?
>> yes. i agree there are a lot of bad comedians out there.
>> not as good as you are.
>> to steve's point i hear a lot of comedians saying romney will be easer to make fun of and mimic so they are rooting for him.
>> well yeah. i think that is again not to indict my whole industry but here i go.
>> i think that's just laziness. it is easy to make fun of someone who is clearly making fun of themselves. i think the better comedy like chris rock does if i can drop a name is if you are a comedian you can make fun of whatever is out there.
>> you have to say you must have been cheering for like rick perry or newt gingrich or herman cain out of the republican primary .
>> there was real gold but even herman cain became sad after a while. you know what? let's let this guy go.
>> should just play them in their entirety. they were amazing.
>> you don't need me if you got them.
>> write themselves.
>> michele bachmann is the gift that keeps on giving.
>> yes. thank you.
>> joe biden is.
>> i agree.
>> do you think, i always wonder this. at the correspondents' dinner when they hire a great comedian to give the big roast/speech is this something that every comedian aspires to do one day just skewer politics and, you know, the current white house in front of the current president?
>> oh, no. i hope i never get that job. i'd rather talk about them when they are not in the room. steve colbert did a great job, the best job of anybody ever.
>> he was amazing.
>> congrats on the show and good luck with it.
>> thank you very much for having me.
>> all right.
>>> on yesterday's show a discussion about the presidential race and i used a word to make a point. in retrospect i mud idiosyncrasy the discussion by using the "n" word. could have made my point without that word. shouldn't have used it and for that i'm sorry. we'll be right