Up   |  October 07, 2012

Income inequality, climate change missing in debate

Where was the topic of climate change in the presidential debate? Or income inequality? The Up w/ Chris Hayes panelists share what they wished had been addressed during the first presidential debate.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> hello from new york. i'm chris hayes . i have peter welch from vermont , john a columbia university professor and rebecca of salon.com. we were talking wednesday night's debate. what wasn't in the debate? after the debate was done, i thought that was an in-depth look at three issues, budget and tax policy , medicare and the affordable care act and a little bit about dodd frank. those are the issue that is are central to the beltway of reporting about the economy. very little about jobs and jobs creation except how regulation kills it and small business references. there was a panel plea of domestic policy issue that is are incredibly important that were not talked about. there's only one more debate that includes domestic policy . we have thursday night's vice president debate. we are talking about what was not in there that we would like to see. we talked contraception. i talked gun control and the medical marijuana ballot initiative that is in colorado that's polling with majority support. as someone in congress, are there issues you are tracking or working on or thinking about that weren't touched on wednesday night and aren't getting talked about in the campaign that is focused on just about two or three issues?

>> income and equality. that's the big one for the country. the challenge we have is this country is having a declining middle class . there's all kinds of reasons. we can talk as though there's a magic bullet but income and equality is rising. the wealth that's been created has gone to the top 1%. people know it. they are insecure and anxious about whether their kids are going to make it. parents thought they had retirement security with the equity in their home. the average kid in vermont graduates with $30,000 in debt. what are the structural issues that are going to get us on track where we have an expanding middle class ? they did not talk about that at all. it use back and forth on taxes.

>> gun control . you know, you have economic disparagy leds to crime. you are a woman and can you afford to have a child or not. you and your domestic partner trying to get health care . all of it plays into that. that's the part that is, i think, glaring to all of us.

>> i was surprised that student loans weren't talked about. it's another area obama and the administration had something positive to say. they had a weird conversation about schools where mitt romney said i like great schools.

>> great teachers.

>> yeah. i would add to that. that's very important. labels matter. i'm not sure if there's an official name but you are talking the general problem, the mismatch between what passes as a basic education and a middle class existence. it's a huge problem. maybe 30 or 40 years ago, it was a euphemism. now it's a problem. the television show , "breaking bad."

>> no one talked about "breaking bad."

>> then they could have talked about the "jeffersons." we have a group of people going to high school and coming out unemployab unemployable. it's a huge problem for the nation. it's no longer anything local. i would like that talked about. it's about education and job preparation. community college is huge and barack obama said a little something about it. it was easy to miss it. i missed that in this debate. anthropologists would have been shocked it was so much about taxes. taxes are interesting but there's more.

>> the tax debate has gotten very, very focused on very small in certain ways. the tax debate isn't embedded in the broader issue. the prospects of the middle class , income and equality. the other thing that did not come up and i think will not come up in any of the debates and it will destroy me that it doesn't. the single biggest most important issue for the next generation which is the client. it's absence from this campaign, it's a really frustrating maddening, depressing fact about where american poll sicks is in terms of confronting what will be, in my opinion and the opinion of a lot of people, scientists that study the matter, the single biggest issue. here is mitt romney in october, 2011 flirting with climate denialism.

>> my view is we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. and the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to reduce co2 emissions is not the right course for us.

>> i want to hear someone play that tape for him. i want to hear the candidates have it out over what are you going to do? do you, mitt romney , accept the science that the planet is warming. if it is, what are you going to do about it?

>> why can't the debate be pointed in that way?

>> that gets to the format. my colleague, rachel, said she thought the debate format died. the debate format is going to be different in the vice presidential debate and the next presidential debate which is a town hall . hey, let them go out it.

>> a different moderator might have left us with different feelings if somebody reigned it in and said you are not answering the question. who knows.

>> i think it would have happened a lot. certainly, if a moderator said here is the question you need to answer and phrase it in a different way and arched his eyebrows and waited. what happens with debate team , there's no reason it couldn't have been that hard as in "hardball." it's not what happened.

>> you are right about climate change . it's a huge issue and it's about the energy policy and the question of whether we are going to be in denial about it is threatening to the planet. it takes a certain amount of confidence we have to project to say this is a problem and in taking it on, through efficiency, through clean technology , we can create jobs, wealth and make a better planet. there's an economic opportunity here. vermont has been, we believe in it. we believe in efficiency and alternative energy . my wife is a total energy nerd.

>> lack of carbon footprint here.

>> i think the doubly depressing thing is not just not mentioning climate and carbon, the rhetoric around energy.

>> energy projects have failed. it's a lie. half of what you funded are businesses. that, i was distressed that nobody responded.

>> we are going to fact check that one. that was the most agregregious lie. it's totally, completely absolutely 100% -- we'll do a fact check on the numbers in a second.

>> i was going to say that, in this format, there was time to actually get to some meat of an issue, you bring it up in this debate. as we go down the line, you have three minutes and it becomes boom, you are out. it becomes that.

>> what struck me, it was very beltway centric in the fact that the long term fiscal health of the country is the central issue for the people that work in washington think tanks that are staffing politicians that exist in the washington media environment. it's not the number one issue for american --

>> real quick, i'm sorry. i watched the debate with 400 people in the room, comedy fans, regular folks, they paid $8 to watch the show, who are the 47%. we came off that tape, a week of it. those people really felt like why wasn't that addressed? they talked about it. we had a discussion. that is us. that is the biggest thing, half of the nation was disregarded by romney and that doesn't come up? wow?

>> that was probably the most striking thing from the moderator, the president, mitt romney himself. he might have brought it up. he was on handy the night after it. i hope we see whoever is -- that the people who are moderating the next debates think okay, we have that territory. it's been covered. there's a lot of stuff out there that we need to get the candidates on the record on. it's the opportunity that you never have when you are covering a campaign. i would love to have every candidate and on the record of a variety of issues. peter welsh from vermont , lizz thank you for joining us this morning.

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