Transcribed by Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC
Joining us on tonight’s Power Panel are Michelle Cottle of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, Robert Borosage, Co-Director of Campaign for America’s Future and Contributing Editor of the Nation, and finally, Simon Rosenberg, President and founder of the New Democrat Network.
The question for you tonight: Wall Street, is it really worth it? These are the same bankers that contribute $71 million to the campaign in 2008 and that’s nearly 10 million more than to the Republicans in that election. Remember, Goldman, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan were among the top seven campaign contributors. Does it help or hurt the President’s re-election chances? On the one hand, he needs money. On the other hand, it is not good to go to the voters and say, look, I was trying to help the Wall Street guys.
I don’t think anyone would be surprised if he gets contributions from the Wall Street guys. he deserves them. he bailed out the banks. no one is prosecuted. bonuses are back up to record levels. the president earned their gratitude. he is not as shameless as republicans. they are trying to repeal even the small reforms we have had. but i think the president has a very good chance. you know, these are hedge fund operators. they will hedge their bets. they will put money on both parties. but i’m sure he will do quite well.
>> simon, is that too harsh? or is bob right?
>> that was a good one, bob. i think a year from now, if voters believe that the president is on their side and own the side of struggling communities, he will get a pass on things like this fund-raiser. but if he is seen as being too close to the banks and too close to economic interests, he can it can spell trouble in his reelection.
>> michelle, how do you thread this needle? unfortunately you need a ton of cash. who has it? the waup street bankers. on the other hand, the country hates the wall street bankers. rightfully so, in my opinion. how do you thread that needle?
>> on one hand you’ve got do it. the candidates intend to be a whiney bunch. pe want their hands held. obama calls them names and uses populous rhetoric. even if they like his policies, they don’t like that. so he has to do damage control from time to time. there was talk six months ago about kmarm offensity and probably six monthes before that. this is what he has to do to get things, you know, in line for election time.
>> it should be said in the president’s defense, this is a guy who has said to hedge fund operators, it is not a good thing that you pay a lower tax rate than your chauffeurs. you know, the other party, the republican candidate, thinks those tax rates are just dandy. so president has taken a bite out of these folks. but there’s no question, he saved their skins and i’m certain he can get some money out of them to run for president.
>> real quick, bob. i want to stay with you 07b that. look, you are doing the most criticism here. by the way, i don’t want anyone to be confused, i agree. but what do you do? you say you guys are fat cats and i don’t need your $71 million.
>> no. i assume he’s going to get get money for them. as said, i think he deserves it. what’s the country need in terms of getting finance shackled so the real economy can work again? and what we haven’t had are the investigations and the prosecutions and the accountability that we need to make certain that we don’t go explode a new bubble and drive the economy over the cliff again.
>> that reform agenda has to get pursued no matter where you get your money from in the campaign.
>> look, our system is broken man. look at how terrible — the republicans and democrats both have to go begging wall street for money. gee, i wonder why we’re not tough on wall street. i wonder how that turned up. all right. but we got to move on to the next question. are republicans blind to their own hi pock ray racy?
>> it doesn’t pass the straight-face test from the chair of the party who, none of whose leaders called for senator vitter who actually broke the law, to resign.
>> senator vitter, that’s a five-year-old story. chris lee, how long did he last? about five seconds. senator ensign left within weeks. the fact of the matter is we have big issues here to tackle in this country.
>> michelle, is it a good strategy to counter weiner with vitter? did wren to a descent job to answer that? or there is no answer because i have thor is still in office?
>> there is no office. hypocrisy is a prerec kwi sit for being partisan but both sides need to tiptoe. this pops up on both sides. i think the difference here which is making it complicated for democrats, p is all about the visuals. vitter may have left him some hookers but they did not have those pictures popping up and embarrassing him all over the web. that is making it tough for people to come and let this go.
>> you’re right. there’s new pictures of weiner at the house. jim, i don’t know what this guy was thinking. look, i’ve defended him saying it is his private life bp but it was incredibly stupid. now the president spoke out on nbc news. let’s show you that and get your reaction.
>> obviously what he did was highly inappropriate. i think he’s embarrassed himself. he acknowledged that. he embarrassed his wife and his family. ultimately there will be a decision for him and his constituent. i can tell you, if it was me, i would resign.
>> simon, good answer or no?
>> i think we know how this is going to end. i think the problem for anthony weaner is he doesn’t come off as having a broken faith with his wife but he comes off looking a little crazy here. i think the way that these pictures were done, and pictures of himself sitting on the couch. i don’t really remember anything like this in all the years i’ve been in politics where it seeps to incredibly self-destructive over such a long period of time. i think he’s gone and however we get there at the end of the day we don’t know. but i think we know how the story’s going to end.
>> i think the house gym pictures are taking it another step.
>> i agree with that.
>> he brought it into the house gym. i mean his colleagues are going to be looking at him, going, dude, come on. this is going, i think —
>> i have a theory on this. i think that his problem was that he actually had a descent body. guys with guts, okay, nobody is taking pictures of my gut and sending it to anyone. so i think that was one of the problems. but last thing, bob, what do the democrats do? they are in a bind here, right? do you throw him under the bus? it is a personal matter. on ideology, on principle, i don’t think. but it is a distraction. what do you do?
>> he is already under the bus. he is gone as a national spokesman. whether he stay says up to his own constituents and his own conscious. i would figure out who will run and who will challenge him. i think he’s gone, the question is when. but democrats aren’t going to stand next to him. but whether you know, this is a private matter. or not so private. but whether he resigns or not, whether he resigns or not is up to him. this is really mud pit politics. the thing about the republican chairman, you pretend you’re on the high road. meanwhile you’re wallowing in this stuff. you can’t pretend you’re worried about the great issues facing the country when you are talking about anthony weiner.
>> all right. that’s the power panel for tonight. thank you all for the great discussion.
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