tv Disrupt With Karen Finney MSNBC October 5, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
[ ding! ] losing your chex mix too easily? time to deploy the boring-potato chip decoy bag. then no one will want to steal the deliciousness. [ male announcer ] with a variety of tastes and textures, only chex mix is a bag of interesting. thanks for disrupting your saturday afternoon. i'm karen finney. the house continues to vote but unfortunately not on anything that will actually reopen the government. >> we can vote to open the government today. >> this is about the happiest i've seen members in a listening time. >> i was at white house the other night. >> we are happy to negotiate on anything. >> i'm all wired up here. >> we are happy to talk about the health care law. we're happy to talk about the budget. >> you get "the wall street journal" out and it says we don't care how long this lasts because we're winning. >> well, i know we don't want to
be here but we'll win this i think. >> this isn't some damn game. >> it is only the democrats that talk about wanting to shut down the government. >> what [ bleep ]? >> what are you afraid of, mr. boehner? >> it's me. >> am i exasperated? absolutely i am because this is unnecessary. >> the house is done with thecr another sandy. >> this isn't some damn game. >> this is my job. ♪ if you've been followed the madness in washington, d.c. this week, you know it's day five of the shutdown with less than two weeks to the debt limit. now, according to the gop fox news ted cruz mythology, this is not about their refusal to accept that they lost the 2012 election. no, no, no. they say it's all about president obama's unwillingness
to negotiate over settled law and his refusal time and again to accommodate republicans. now, earlier this week, mitch mcconnell and rand paul reviewed the gop talking points in a little hot mike moment. >> i don't think they poll tested. we won't negotiate. it is awful to say that over and over again. >> i do, too. i just came back from the two-hour meeting with them. and that was -- that was basically the same view, privately, as it was publicly. >> if we keep saying we wanted to defund it and now willing to compromise on this, i think they can't -- i think -- i know we don't want to be here but we'll win this. >> this is a good attempt to spin it into the gop's favor but that's all it is. it's spin. remember, not only did the president say from day one that he was willing to work with everyone and anyone and incorporate republican ideas, he also brokered a deal with the gop over the bush tax cuts in
2010. not to mention the last fiscal cliff deal that it was speaker boehner that walked away from. president obama said it again this morning. in case you missed it, guys. in an interview with the associated press. >> we are happy to negotiate on anything. we are happy to talk about the health care law. we're happy to talk about the budget. we're happy to talk about deficit reduction. >> i can negotiate. i can make sure that my party is willing to compromise. >> i'm happy to have a conversation about deficit reduction. >> i am very open to compromise. >> we should negotiate an agreement as quickly as possible. >> i am happy to negotiate with them on a whole host of issues. >> i am ready, i am eager to work with democrats and republicans to reform the tax code. >> i'll end up having to compromise on things. >> i'm willing to compromise in the past and i am willing to compromise going forward. >> i'm ready and eager to work with anyone willing to proceed in the spirit of goodwill. >> that sounds like compromise
to me but as long as the gop runs in circles trying to figure out its end game, we're stuck with piecemeal spending bills and no actual way forward. but you know, at this point, i think americans just want congress to cut it out and put the government back to work. here's the question we'll try to answer. who can disrupt the dysfunction and get us back on track? joining me now from capitol hill, republican congressman reed ribble and congressman emanuel cleaver. thank you both for joining me. >> good to be with you. >> thank you. >> it's my understanding, we have seen this sort of series piecemeal bills being introduced and passed, some dealing just today, for example, with back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed and part of the strategy of the piecemeal bills is really designed to put democrats in a position of being the party of no rather than actually trying to solve the larger problem. what's your reaction to that?
>> well, i think they're selectively deciding when they're the party of no and when they're not. they decided altogether 430 and whatever that voted this morning, fully compensated coming back to work and hours after that decision was made secretary hagel decided to bring furloughed civilian workers back, nearly 300,000 went back to work today just we worked in that fashion. i heard the comments earlier about these piecemeal bills but in reality that's how ever appropriations process is done. vote on them individually and then send it along its way. and now all of a sudden we try to do it an appropriations process this way, there's resistance. >> so congressman cleaver, here's the question that i had. i mean, we are talking about a continuing resolution. not even a budget. the house passed a budget.
the senate passed a budget. we can't do conference committee on that and now it feels more like in this approach of sort of some would call it picking winners and losers and seems divisive saying that children trying to go to nih are somehow more important to us than children who might be kicked off of head start if we don't fund that program. isn't the point of, you know, again, having a comprehensive budget we don't pick the winners and losers and this is the budget and the job and what we're supposed to be doing? >> yeah. look. the reality is that it can take us probably 15 minutes to fund the entire government of the united states. continuing resolution has been sent to us by the senate. it's really simple. and i think that people are getting angry all over the country with this rabid partisanship. the state of confusion is so
high here in washington that statehood ought to be considered. we are i think in a really ugly and dark place because everybody knows that if cr is put on the table, it is going to be approved and if we do it one by one by one it may -- we may be here to 2058 until there's a full budget approved and talking about 6 weeks, just a 6-week continuing resolution. >> right. congressman, you have been part of a bipartisan group trying to figure out is there a way to, you know, come up with something that can get us out of this mess. can you talk a little about where you think that process stands at this point? >> well, i think the -- where this is going to end up is seeing a convergence of the cr with the debt limit coming up in 12 days. and we're probably going to put together a package that's a bit larger to fund the government at least as emanuel said until the
end of the year and deal with sequestration before that hits in january and i think they come together. the speaker has been very willing to listen to those ideas. i've had a number of conversations with him about various ideas, for example, maybe actually addressing a big problem we have with the entitlements or social security. everybody knows the path forward for social security. it's a $9.6 trillion unfunded obligation. pull a few levers today, we don't have to pull them hard and fix it for today's seniors and future seniors like my grandchildren and the thing that is are converging into the conversation. i view it as a positive sign that it takes a few more days. >> congressman, i want to talk about -- i know you wrote something this week about social security and, you know, democrats. we have talked before about the idea of chain cpi as a new formula and the concern is -- i think we have a full screen on that. the concern is time and again if you move to change cpi you
decrease benefits for people receiving social security and it's been such a contentious issue, it strikes me, congressman cleaver, trying to bring an end to this sort of back and forth and this bitt bitterness over an issue we know is so charged and has been so difficult is not the way to go. >> it's not way to go. and the problem here is that if we continue to pick little things to putt in this whole package, we're going to end up just further alienating each other. i'll never vote for the chain cpi, to myself and my children and my children's children. social security hasn't played any role at all in the deficit or in the debt. none. not zero, zilch. and so, what we have got to do is come together. quit throwing things are or i'm going to introduce a resolution that i want to get a baseball diamond built down the street from my house and if we don't build it, i'm not voting for anything else. i take the government down. >> karen, i think if you look at
chain cpi in a vacuum and by the way the president of the united states put it in the budget, if you look at in it a vacuum, you can say you're putting it on the back of one generation of americans. my letter to my colleagues and what i wrote in my op-ed this week had nothing to do with doing that in a vacuum. but social security is a program that every single american participates in, under severe stress and 2016 ssdi that fund goes insolvent. 2031 the main fund goes insolvent and pulling the levers a little bit but all americans share in this sacrifice the program could be saved and secured for a very, very long time. >> congressman, i guess the question or concern that myself and a lot of people would have is, of course, we shouldn't talk about in it a vacuum but where we started this conversation, talking about not talking about the budget in a vacuum, a piecemeal way. >> that's the appropriations
process. >> it's the budget process. talking about something like the social security, by the way, the president has already come quite a long way in terms of compromising and making compromises when it comes to entitlement programs an i think the concern that people is that, you know, we're talking about something that is a matter of settled law. people like yourself i think, you know, my question to you would be, would you be willing to just vote on this clean cr? we know there are enough democrats and i believe republicans that could get done today. so why not do that and then we can go back and look at some of these other issues you are putting on the table? >> part of the problem talking about if we go down that route and quite frankly voting on clean crs all along. after the last one fell apart and didn't defund obama care, didn't delay the implementation but just restored fairness to the individuals coming under the mandate that the president did
with the corporations. that's not an overly large ask. that's not an overly large ask but the point i'm making here, karen, had the real problem we have here is the fact that the appropriations process is broken. we sent over a va full appropriations bill passed with 192 democrats on june 4th. and the senate hasn't even taken it up. we are in this kabuki dance because the process is broken, not because of the moment. >> congressman, don't you see? the process is broken and seems like it's even further broken by, you know, being held stranglehold by a small member group in your caucus who say we want what we want and until we get what we want despite the fact that obama care is settled law, millions of people have already entered into the program, you know, you want to take that away and somehow that's going to fix a broken budget process? that's where the disconnect is, right? congressman cleaver, you can have the final word on that.
>> here's the issue. and i think reid and i -- good news is he's trying to get things done but the problem here is that continuing resolution is simple. we approve it. i mean, why negotiate on something like the continuing resolution? you get the government running. it's really simple. >> right. it should be. and good luck to both of you, gentlemen. you're both working hard on this. thanks to the congressmen. coming up, it goes beyond park closures. the shutdown's real impact on the every day lives of americans. a personal story and that's coming up next. these are real folk that is are being impacted. you know? i've got staff here who, you know, may be expecting their first child and right now they're not sure about whether or not they can meet expenses. ♪
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i'm one of the few people. this doesn't impact me mentally. we've had 17 governmentgovernor. i'm not afraid of a couple of weeks. >> it is not the end of the -- the state of arkansas can help out. localities help out. churches help out. i believe that no one will starve in arkansas because of the shutdown. >> that's what i call compass n compassionate conservatism. real americans are feeling a real impact from the shutdown. just take a listen. >> i'm a single homeowner so i have my mortgage and i'm in the
community where i pay hoa and the bills coming in. >> just because the paycheck stopped doesn't mean the bills stopped. >> this could be the miracle drug. this could be the one that saved me that i was going to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle. >> that is just a very small sampling how the tea party's temper tantrum is having a real effect. one of those individuals is with us in virginia and we wanted to start with you. thank you for joining us. i wanted to start this conversation with you because there's so much rhetoric about the fact this is not having a big impact on people and i know with your business not only did the first round of sequester cuts have an impact on your business and now this whole, you know, silliness is having an additional impact. tell us about your business and what is going on. >> sure. we are management consultants in the washington, d.c. area. we provide human capital and business process free
engineering services to clients and most is the federal government and so these decisions, these budget decisions impact us daily because they are pretty much how we supply the jobs through the company. so when sequester first hit, we had a loss of about ten positions. so i had to ultimately terminate those folks and we were just starting to pull it back together, just starting to get the company back on the right track and looking at winning some things and then this shutdown. >> well then just as a final question to you, you know, ironically, one of the talking points we hear from the republicans is that the affordable care act is a job killer and that's why we have to repeal it. >> you know, the affordable care act is only a job killer for those employers who want it to be and decided and made that choice that it's going to be a job killer. i very much understand the logic and that if you have a very happy, healthy work force they're going to be more productive and going to work harder for your company. it's amazing to me that others
don't understand that. and you make a conscious choice to fund health care and we've always had health care available for every single employee in my company, as well. because it's something i value as an employer and it is amazing to me how many employers don't value this. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. i want to talk more about the impact of the shutdown and the politics. joining me now is opinion writer for "the washington post" dana mill bank and sasha bromski author of "the american way of poverty." thanks to you for joining me. >> hi, karen. >> i want to start with you, dana, because part of what i think we're talking about in the conversation is sort of bigger question, when's the role of government in people's thoughts and what i thought we resolved in the 2012 election. you know, there was a mitt romney guy and there was this whole thing. i mean -- >> i remember something about this. >> something. but it really feels like, i
mean, this conversation about priorities it's the -- what's the role of government? i think we have got -- we have a full screen of a gallup poll. granted, kind of mixed. but i think part of what people are discovering through this process is that government touches their lives in more ways than they may have realized. >> yeah. and i think that hannity and kristol are outliers here. some are spoiling for this. they know it's painful and particularly painful if you're the one being -- the kid with cancer's being turned away at the nhi or if your kid's not getting that slot in head start or if you're not getting the nutritional assistance. but it affects everybody. when you knock 800,000 people out of work. well, yeah, they work in the public sector and buy things in the private sector and brings things down for everybody, whether you're a democrat or a
republican. we're all going to suffer the economic conditions quenssequen >> this week particularly in the rhetoric we have seen the infamous scene at the world war ii monument. but just in general, feeding into this rhetoric about federal workers and sort of demonizing the federal government, demon e demonizing federal workers and i have sound of senator reid talking about this earlier today. >> these are ordinary americans who haven't been treated very well during last several years by the republicans anyway. no pay raises. they treat federal employees like they're a lower class of worker than other people. >> i mean, you know, dana, so much of the rhetoric this week has been and so much of the rhetoric over the last several years is demonizing federal workers. the average salary on the hill
is $30,000. not a lot of money in washington, d.c. >> yeah. when you think about federal worker, they -- the republicans would like to make it sort of a faceless bureaucrat but they're the scientists at nih who are finding the next cure, centers for disease control tracking epidemics around the world. they're the capitol police who were protecting that building and putting their lives at risk this week. >> that's right. >> and not getting paid for it. so democrats and republicans in the house stood to applaud them for that effort. it would be better to pay them the wages promised. >> sasha, i know you've been writing about poverty in america in particular and something you wrote i think earlier this week specifically an food stamps and in s.n.a.p. on the forefront of the budget conversation we have been having and you wrote nose who believe food stamp spending is too high sometimes argue if the government spends less on the program people would simply work harder so they could buy their own food or else they would get food from food
pantries or other charities. that's not true in many cases. i wanted to read that because, i mean, you heard some of the gop sort of rhetoric, oh, it is not that bad and charities fill in the banks but it goes into this larger sort of makers and takers and sort of a real lack of understanding of who the working poor in this country really are. >> it does. i think it also feeds off of what dana was saying about the faceless brats trying to reduce the conversation to. if you speak in abstractions, federal bureaucrats, whether the unemployed or the long-term poor, the working poor, it is easier to demonize them and say their problems are their own fault. if you put a face on it, if you say that working poor, that's mary vasquez, a woman i interviewed in texas at 67 and working in walmart. someone bankrupt with a health bill isn't an abstraction but a young lady i met in albuquerque who has tens of thousands of
bills for a burst appendicts. it's much, much harder to understand and to follow this gop rhetoric that cuts just don't hurt and don't matter. obvious they matter and affecting real people on the daily basis. >> and now 40 billion in cuts. what kind of impact do you see that? >> 47 million americans on food stamps and not because they want to be but because they have lost their jobs or many of them have jobs and paid too little to pay all their bills. on food stamps because otherwise the kids would be hungry. take $40 billion out of that program and several million of those 40 million especially able-bodied adults will be hungry and i have spoken to people around the country saying talking about tightening the belts, we lit rayly going down to one or two meals a day. dozens of people in that situation. if you take money out of food stamps, you make that situation
that much worse and make real hunger that much more of a likelihood in america. >> you make it that much harder for people to go to work and do the things they're supposed to do. >> go to work and school. a hungry child going to school is a disaster. that kid is thinking about their stomach and not the work in school. at every level if you take money out of programs like food stamps, you hit the most vulnerable americans and where it hurts most and a dishonorable thing to do. >> i went back and looked at the preamble of the constitution and truck me that the conversation having does not seem consistent with what this country is supposed to be. we the people of the united states to form a more perfect union established justice, tranquility, provide for the common defense, and on and on. those seem like pretty basic things and seems like, i don't know, funding government or making sure kids can eat falls underneath all of that stuff. >> well, we have -- we have a representative democracy and
people recommending the people that are causing this shutdown, well, they're not necessarily feeling the same kind of pain that others are. they're not getting pressure to end this shutdown at home. they think they're answering to the people and just answering to the small slice of the electorate. they're behaving rationally in a very irrational system. >> more of them i think need to meet the people that sasha was talking about. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> later, despite the best efforts, the gop lost the battle on the affordable care act and we'll debunk some of their disaster talk. follow us online at facebook and tweet us. let us know how you think the government shutdown can come to a close. >> what plan do you support, obama care or the afford care act? >> affordable care act. >> why? over obama care? >> i don't like obama care and nothing that has to be forced for everybody to buy. it's just not good. >> do you think obama care is
socialist? >> yes, i do. >> do you think the affordable care act is socialist? >> no. >> do you believe in obama care to eventually lead to gun prohibition? >> yes. >> do you know that obama care and the affordable care act are the same thing? >> no, they're not. when you have diabetes like i do, getting the right nutrition isn't always easy. first, i want a way to help minimize my blood sugar spikes. then, a way to support heart health. ♪ and let's not forget immune support. ♪ but now i have new glucerna advance with three benefits in one. including carbsteady ultra to help minimize blood sugar spikes. it's the best from glucerna. [ male announcer ] new glucerna advance. from the brand doctors recommend most. advancing nutrition for diabetes. that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you.
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we've been hearing a lot about tropical storm karen in the last few days but now it looks like it won't be as disruptive as some feared. sorry. we had to go for the joke, guys. the storm is expected to make landfall tonight or tomorrow morning. thankfully, despite the government shutdown, president obama directed the administration to ensure that federal resources, fema workers, if needed, will be available. next, the gop's biggest fear could be coming true. it's working. that's what's coming up. need a spoon, dear?
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one a day men's 50+. each day the wait times are reduced. each day more and more people are signing up and the product will save you money. people will save hundreds of dollars in some cases thousands of dollars as a consequence of being able to get health insurance that is priced for them. and gives them the choices that they need. >> that's how president obama described the rollout with the interview with the associated press in the gop's alternate reality this is what the start of the affordable care act's exchanges look like. >> obama care is not ready for prime time. >> all we have seen is a disaster of the rollout of the president's plan. >> it was nothing but glitches, especially in the early hours. >> glitches left millions unable to access the website. >> a dysfunctional website is least of that law's problems. >> seeing a loss of full-time
jobs, higher health care premiums for many working americans. >> there was a disclose of social security numbers. >> the implementation is a complete mess. >> registering is like buying a ticket for the hindenburg. >> disaster. catastrophe. to the contrary here in the real world we saw evidence that republicans great's fear is coming true. obama care might actually be working and americans might be getting health care. since tuesday, the federal site received 8.6 million unique visitors. call center with more than 400,000 calls. and they've had more than 225,000 requests for online chats. there were definitely growing pains with websites moving slowly and people having trouble getting through. part of the federal site is being closed overnight for maintenance this weekend but as "the washington post" reported the problems arose because of high demand, overwhelming the system and not because of obama
care glitches. so today, we want to disrupt the right wing narrative more and people on the ground outside the beltway actually dealing with the affordable care act and the rollout. with me now from virginia, dropped from her insurance because of a preexisting condition and from arkansas state representative frederick love. thank you both for joini ining >> thank you. >> thank you. >> tell us about your story because i know you had gone through a period of not having health insurance and consequences and then able to access affordable care. >> absolutely. yes. i had health insurance when i was first ill at 18. had a significant illness that uncovered a preexisting condition. when i graduated college and went off, started work corporately and then started a business, i was no longer on corporate plan and i ended up finding an insurance company that i thought would cover me because that's what they sold
me. >> right. >> when i got sick after a few months and the hospital and had some complications, i later found out they were not covering me. not only not going to cover me but drop me altogether. and it was the most devastating experience that i have had. fought for two years to try to get them to pay the bills. it amounted to like $50,000 and i did not make headway. >> this is -- you thought you had coverage. just to remind people, right? >> absolutely. >> you thought this should have been covered. >> i mean, what i found out was once i got sick, once i came out of the hospital, they wanted the know more about my history and wanted to do some investigating and research and i thought, well wow, wouldn't you have done that when you sold me the coverage? that was not the case. >> representative love, that's an ongoing problem in the health care system for a very long time. this issue of preexisting conditions and one of the top things that the affordable care act is trying to address. tell us a little bit about
what's happening in your state. >> well, karen, here's what's happening in arkansas. first of all, we do not have the votes to expand the medicaid and so, therefore, we began working with odd deals and what we came up with is what we call a private option. private option is basically taking federal funds and purchasing private insurance, private insurance for individuals that actually would not be able to afford insurance if we didn't step in and so the affordable care act here in arkansas is working. >> yeah. as i understand it, when you say you didn't have the votes, it was because you have a republican-controlled legislature essentially and a democratic governor. so this was kind of a hybrid model created? >> yes. yes, correct. we did -- we just experienced that the republicans did take the house and the senate and so, therefore, we did have to compromise. compromise is not a dirty word here. >> how about that? and people are getting health
care in arkansas because you were willing to compromise. >> that is correct. not only are people getting health care but added 250,000 new persons and in a state where health care, there's about 700,000 people that don't have health insurance in arkansas. we expanded to 250,000 more additional people. >> aqualyn, you had gone through the experience. people had this problem coming to a preexisting condition. but as i understand it, now you have signed up for health care through the affordable care act and are having a different experience. >> i'm having a fabulous experience. let's say it that we. >> you want to say that again for folks at fox news? >> i'm having a fabulous experience. okay. let me tell you what the experience is. part of the aca is -- something called preexisting condition insurance plan.
pcip. that was actually developed to carry people like me through this year, up until 2014 because the president and all who support health for america want to make sure that we actually had a means of actually being covered. >> right. >> so pcip covered me since actually april 1st when i got on board and qualified. april 1st, qualified. in may i had a heart attack. i know you might not know about it. a month and a half ago i was in heart failure. i was certified heart failure. >> oh my goodness. >> and because i had pcip, because i had the insurance to not drop me because of anything, i have been able to recover, go to cardiac rehab, get all the follow-up i need. the insurance company called me after i left the hospital for a good month making sure that i was on track. >> wow. >> it's been amazing and the cost of this coverage which is very similar to the cobra coverage i had an option to buy
is about a third so the pcip coverage is about a third the cost of what the cobra coverage would have been. >> so basically, what i'm hearing is it was working, compromise works when republicans and democrats come together. people actually get coverage and actually you could be paying less not more. that's what i'm hearing. aqualyn and representative, thank you for joining us. aqualyn, so glad that you are in good health. >> thank you. >> thank you, karen. all right. coming up, the kind of letter that we wish every grandfather would send. that's ahead in your fyi. the president wins an election that was largely seen as a referendum on obama care. at what point do you stop this little silly game? >> first of all, i don't think governor romney made obama care a key part of his presidential campaign. >> what campaign were you
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find new tools and ideas for work, money, health and fun at aarp.org/possibilities. a couple of news items you may have missed. pennsylvania, governor corbett responded to a question about how a member of his legal team characterized same-sex marriage of a union between 12-year-old children. well, governor had his own analogy. take a listen. >> i think a much better analogy is brother and sister, don't you? >> no. i don't, governor. nor does anyone else in their right mind. he put out a video apology saying that he never meant to be insensitive. you know, we think that the governor should take a lesson from this inspiring lesson a grandfather wrote to his daughter after kicking his
grandson out for being gay. the only intelligent thing i heard you say is you didn't raise your son to be gay. so while we're in the business of disowning our children, i think i'll take this moment to say, good-bye to you. i now have a fabulous -- as the gay put it -- grandson to raise and i don't have time for a heartless b-word of a daughter. if you find your heart, give us a call. dad. you go, grandpa. finally, the supremes head back to court tuesday and hearing what some call the next citizens uni united, the case bringing up big spending super-pac and some might say brought us the current government shutdown but i digress. it's case of an alabama republican versus the fnc. he wants to get rid of the law that is limit the total amount of an individual to contribute to multiple candidates and
committees in a given election cycle. rilg now that cop is $123,000200. double a family of four's median income. he told "usa today" this summer, quote, i'd like to have more individuals have influence. and that's this week's fyi. coming up next, meet the new pope, nothing like the old pope and american catholics are loving it. that's ahead. that spirit, that sense of love and unity seems to manifest itself in not just what he says but also what he says, and for any religious leader, that's something that that's a quality i admire and i would argue for any leader period that's a quality that i admire. if yand you're talking toevere rheuyour rheumatologistike me,
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this week pope francis shook things up calling for the roman catholic church to rid itself of all vanity, arrogance and pride and focus on service to the poorest in our society. he said this is a good occasion to invite the church to strip itself of worldliness, something he describes as a danger to everyone in the church. speaking in the same room where st. francis is said to disrobe, he urged the church to return to spiritual basics. we would become pastry shop christians like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real christians, he said. the pope is disrupting the status quo from day one. in a recent interview with "america," the pope ruffled feathers on everything from h o homosexuhom homosexuality to abortion and contraception saying the church is perhaps preoccupied with social issues and not focused on displaying love and mercy and
begs the question, how would his holiness view the crisis here in washington? an entire group of lawmakers holding a country hostage with one united goal of denying health care to the poor, the sick and the disabled. we're thinking that maybe congress could learn a thing or two from the pope. joining me now to talk about our pope is father james martin. thank you so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> one of the thing that is struck me, there was a poll that came out this week with american catholics and he's popular. he's got good numbers, you know, i think there are a lot of politicians to will have to have that kind of number. 89%. and what strikes me about this, father, you know, there was a lot of frustration with the catholic church. i know i myself as a catholic when we were going through some of the sexual abuse scandal and the feeling that the institution was acting to protect itself rather than to protect the faithful and feels like the pope's message is, no, it has to
be about the people. >> yeah. it is about the people, love, mercy and compassion. and, you know, he is doing things to kind of change the institution as you painted out. he's called for us to be less worldly. he himself drives his own little car. the 1984 renault and he niece a little two-room suite and putting his money where his mouth is. >> particularly in this issue of the social issues and sort of saying let's refocus on other areas of our mission which i think a lot of american catholics saying that for quite sometime, particularly in the context of the budget talks that we have been having, do you think that's going to help bring americans, american catholics back to the church? >> yes. and it already is and it's not anecdotal. i was at a parish out on long island and a man came up to me afterwards and i said, repeat that so i can quote this to people. 40 years i've been away from the church, father, and i'm back because of francis. number of people told me that.
people are attracted by his charisma and simple presentation of the gospel. >> i wanted to show poll numbers actually on gay marriage and abortion because it seems this pope is actually seems to be more tolerant than many in this country. essentially, for gay marriage support, 60%, 31% oppose. for abortion, 52% say should be legal in all or most cases. 42% should be illegal in all or most cases and the idea being we have the social issues to have disagreements and the fundamental mission focused on the poor and particularly at a time in this country seeing, you know, such great wealth at the top and such great economic disparity, it feels like a message that should be resonating perhaps in the halls of congress. >> right. well the pope's not saying that gay marriage and abortion isn't unimportant. he's saying that some church leaders may have spent too much time focusing on the things to
the detriment of love, mercy, compassion. we need to look at the other things maybe more. >> it feels like he's sort of -- my sort of interpretation is to say there's a place for you in the catholic church and disagree on this and agree on the other issues and as particularly as i mentioned congress this week, you know, with the piecemeal approach to the budget and the s.n.a.p. cuts and sequester cuts and sort of all the impacts of this week on hard working americans, again, it strikes me that there's a message or a lesson that could be taken particularly because a lot of people in politics tend to consider themselves christians. that there's a message to be heeded in terms of this idea of focusing attention. >> the pope would never and the church is not supposed to take sides politically and the pope wouldn't say bad democrats or bad republicans but we should have as a church says a prempbt
shl option for the poor. making decisions, how does it affect the poor and the least of our brothers and sisters coming from jesus and for those christian politicians, the answer's in the gospels. >> thank you. thank you for joining us. we'll see you become here tomorrow afternoon. maybe you'vd what they're saying about the nissan altima. ♪ and we have to admit, that it's all true. but don't just take their word for it, check it out for yourself. the award-winning nissan altima. nissan. innovation that excites. now get a $179 per month lease on a 2013 nissan altima. ♪
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