'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Past transcripts by month
Guests: Bill Nemitz, David Englin, Tammy Baldwin
ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: Rachel, did you play basketball?
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I did.
SCHULTZ: Could you hit the three?
MADDOW: Here is the thing about the three. It`s one thing to make
that shot. It`s another thing to sit there for 10 seconds, calmly looking
around and playing the crowd like they are wrapped around your finger,
until you calmly with one half second left, sink the three. That was just
SCHULTZ: He`s got -- the NBA needs a good story, he`s a great story.
MADDOW: If you do end up going to a Knicks game with your next guest,
and you need a chaperone, I`m just saying.
SCHULTZ: I tell you what it`s a deal, we`re going.
MADDOW: Thanks, man. Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next
Before this year, before this year, 2012, in the modern history of
American politics, there had never before been a presidential nominating
contest that was reversed after the fact, where a state declared candidate
X was the winner of the state and then that state changed their mind.
Before this year, in Iowa, that had never happened before. Now, it
may have happened twice. Hey, Beltway media, over here!
This is not a Ron Paul conspiracy theory. I neither want to end the
Fed, nor discuss the arcane and hypothetical math of delegate allocation.
The Ron Paul candidacy is not what this story is about. I don`t think it`s
about any particular candidate.
But I think that Republicans in the state of Maine may end up having
to withdraw their declaration that Mitt Romney won the state of Maine.
It`s the same way that Republicans had to do in Iowa last month.
Remember what happened in Iowa was that on the night of the caucuses,
we all stayed up until what felt like dawn, waiting for the Iowa Republican
Party to report its results and then at 2:30 Eastern Time, the chairman of
the Iowa Republican Party said there was finally a result.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT STRAWN, IOWA GOP CHAIRMAN: I can report with 1,770 precincts
reporting, Governor Mitt Romney received 30,015 votes, Senator Rick
Santorum received 30,007 votes. Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney,
winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So on caucus night in Iowa, the Iowa Republican Party
chairman says Mitt Romney won by eight votes -- eight votes out of 120,000
cast. There was no provision for a recount in the Iowa caucuses, even with
a result that close. But the Republican Party of Iowa said that was the
result and they said they would certify it and make it official within two
Two weeks later, the Iowa Republican Party said they still didn`t have
an official certified result. And then once they had gone past their own
self-imposed deadline, the state party chairman made a new statement and
said, actually, it turns out Iowa was a tie, or maybe nobody knows who won
Iowa this year.
Then the chairman went on somebody`s radio show and said, OK,
actually, Rick Santorum won. And then the state Republican Party came out
with a new line which was: yes, Rick Santorum won, not Mitt Romney -- like
they had said before -- and not a tie or who knows like they said that
morning, but Rick Santorum the winner.
The result in Iowa were reversed, Rick Santorum won -- more than two
weeks after Iowa Republicans actually voted and were told the opposite
result. It was crazy, right?
What happened in Iowa this year was crazy. That had never before
happened in modern American presidential politics. But the impact of that,
the effect of that screw-up by the Iowa Republican Party on the overall
presidential nominating process, honestly mostly just affected Iowa.
Frankly, it made it seem like maybe Iowa should not be trusted to be
first in the country anymore with all the attention and money that status
brings. It costs the Iowa Republican Party chairman his job. He resigned
in disgrace over the Iowa caucuses` debacle this year.
But in terms of how it affected the race, how it affected who`s going
to get the Republican nomination for president in 2012, it was already sort
of a big deal that Rick Santorum even got that close to Mitt Romney in
Iowa. A week later, after Mitt Romney won New Hampshire, the Romney
campaign did try to make a big deal out of the fact that Romney had now won
Iowa and New Hampshire, which would be unprecedented in Republican politics
-- in fact would still be unprecedented accomplishment because still nobody
has done it. Mitt Romney did not win Iowa.
But had the Iowa result been clear the night of the caucus, had the
Iowa Republican Party not screwed it up, had Rick Santorum been declared
the winner that night, I`m not sure that would have had a huge effect on
the overall race anyway. Iowa Republicans are seen as having kind of a
Mike Huckabee problem, right? Iowa Republicans pick guys like Mike
Huckabee and guys like Rick Santorum, and it has no real effect on the
overall race. It`s Iowa, it`s kind of irrelevant, it`s another case for
Iowa not going first at least on the Republican side.
So, in Iowa, in historical terms, it was amazing that Iowa Republicans
screwed up their caucuses so badly they wrongly reported the results and
then they had to flip them after the fact. Historically, it is amazing.
But in terms of the impact of the race -- not so much.
Now, though, if another state pulls an Iowa, that would have a huge
impact on the narrative of the race. And therefore, it would have a big
impact on who is likely to get the Republican nomination for president.
And I think that`s where we are right now.
Heading in the Maine caucuses this past weekend, Mitt Romney
supposedly the prohibitive front-runner for the nomination, Mitt Romney has
jut lost straight races, and not in places where they just picked Huckabee,
like Iowa -- he lost in Minnesota, which Mitt Romney won in 2008. And not
only did he lose Minnesota this time, he lost every single county in the
state and came in not second but third in the state.
Mitt Romney also in 2008 had cleaned up in Colorado, with 60 percent
of the vote there. He had won Colorado in 2008 hugely. This year, he lost
Mitt Romney was so sure he was going to win Colorado this year he made
sure he was personally in the state of Colorado on the night of the
caucuses. His campaign reserved a big, big room where he could deliver his
Colorado victory speech to his supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: I can tell you this room we talked about this a few moments
ago, was not even half full. It is starting to fill in a little bit, but
guys, I have to tell you, this room is still not completely full. And keep
in mind, we`re in the city of Denver, this is a large metropolitan area.
Outside of the city limits, you have a lot of conservative Republicans.
Mitt Romney is not filling this room tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Mitt Romney not filling this room tonight.
Heading into the Maine caucuses, that was the narrative of the race
for the Republican nomination for president. Mitt Romney losing Missouri,
which didn`t really count because Missouri is really screwed up; losing
Minnesota really badly, which he really should have won; and losing
Colorado, which he not only should have won but where he obviously thought
he was going to win. But were ultimately not only did he not win, he
couldn`t even fill a room.
So this was the narrative heading into Maine, right? What happened to
Mitt Romney? How can he be losing gimme states like this? That was the
narrative of the overall coming of last week.
And the next contest was Maine -- where if you`re Mitt Romney, there
is a real risk that that narrative about you being unexpected loser, that
narrative is not only going to continue. It`s going to get worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And there`s other good
news, too, and it`s an ongoing caucus in over on the East Coast, I think
it`s a state called Maine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Whatever you think about the Ron Paul campaign, and its
tactics and its prospects, its goals, the Ron Paul campaign has resources
and they have taken Maine very seriously.
And the prospect that Mitt Romney might lose in Maine to Ron Paul
would be a devastating next chapter in what was the bad Romney narrative
heading in Maine. The bad Romney narrative that he wasn`t winning places
that he ought to be winning.
Mitt Romney really had to win Maine. The Republican Party in Maine
this weekend said that he did. I don`t think he did. I`m not saying
someone else won. I`m saying that there is no rational and mathematical
basis on which the Maine Republican Party can have concluded that Mitt
Romney won there.
The results there are not complete yet. And the margin of victory for
Mitt Romney is really, really slim. And when you have incomplete results
and a slim margin, that means you`re not supposed to call it until you know
all the results. Ask Iowa.
Here`s a microcosm of the problem. This happened in Waldo County,
Maine. If you want a picture of where we`re talking about, here is great
state of Maine. And here is Waldo County, Maine, right? In Waldo County,
there is a town called Belfast, Maine, as in Northern Ireland, but here in
America -- Belfast, Maine.
Local newspaper there talked to the guy who ran the Republican caucus
in the town of Belfast. He told them he personally called in the town of
Belfast`s caucus results to the state Republican Party. But when he called
the state Republican Party to report how Belfast had voted, the state
Republican Party told him over the phone oh, actually they already have
those numbers. Really? But I`m the guy who`s calling to you report what
the numbers are. You say you already have numbers? What do you have?
Quoting from the local paper, "When the woman on the phone read those
tallies back, the Belfast chairman said they showed Romney winning in
Belfast, which he knew was not the case."
Mitt Romney did not win Belfast. Ron Paul won Belfast. But the state
Republican Party planned to give Belfast to Mitt Romney anyway.
When Belfast complained about that, the Belfast chairman was told by
the state party, quote, "Oh, I`ll be sure those numbers are changed."
So did the final tally from Belfast, Maine, show Ron Paul winning
Belfast which in fact Belfast says, is what happened? No, the numbers did
not say that. Here what is they showed. Zero! As in zero votes cast for
And it`s not like that is what they showed that night at the caucuses,
erroneously but it`s resolved since, now they have the real tally. No,
this is still what it says, according to the state Republican Party.
And it`s not just Belfast -- 17 of the 18 towns that caucused together
in Waldo County turned up blank on the official Maine Republican Party
tallies. The state Republican Party has no explanation of why that is
other than to say it was maybe a clerical error, a clerical error they have
We contacted the Maine Republican Party again today to find out why
almost an entire county had their votes erased with essentially no
explanation of why. We again have heard nothing back from Maine
Washington County up in the northeast part of the state says that they
notified the state Republican Party that they were going to hold their
caucuses a week late because of an expected snow storm. They say they were
told by the state party that would not affect their vote being counted by
the state party. Now, they are being told no matter how they vote this
upcoming weekend, it`s a done deal -- their vote is not going to be counted
no matter what it is.
The town of Waterville, Maine, in Kennebec County, they voted for Ron
Paul over Mitt Romney as well. And yet, they, too, are recorded as a zero
in the Republican Party`s official results from the state. Again, the
margin of victory for Mitt Romney in Maine is only reported to be 194
These anecdotal local precincts screw ups are exactly the kinds of
things that were reported in Iowa after Iowa declared that Mitt Romney was
the winner there. And remember, the Iowa Republican chairman at the time
dismissed all those reports and said, oh, those little typos won`t change
the outcome of Iowa`s vote. Ultimately, the outcome of Iowa`s vote was
affected by those discrepancies and Iowa had to reverse its results and the
Republican Party chairman in Iowa is now out of a job.
So far in Maine, specifically on that issue of Washington County not
having votes counted at all, Maine`s state Republican Party chairman, his
line on that is, it`s, quote, "inconceivable" that Washington County could
have any effect on his declaration that Mitt Romney won the state of Maine.
But it doesn`t look like Mitt Romney won the state of Maine. It
doesn`t look like somebody else won it either at this point. But the idea
that Maine Republicans went and voted and had their votes counted and now,
we have a result -- that is not the case. The results are not in. And
Maine Republicans -- at least some of them -- are mad about it.
We are trying to get one of the Republican county chairmen on the show
tomorrow night for the interview. It`s a little hard to get a camera up
there, but we`re working on it.
In the meantime, after three straight losses heading into Maine,
knowing that another Mitt Romney loss in Maine would have dramatically
affected the narrative of 2012 politics for the whole country right now,
the rest of us looking at this, the rest of us are left to look at this
disaster the Maine Republican Party has pulled off and we`re left to wonder
if this was rigged, if this was just a fiasco? And we`re left to wonder
how long they are going to wait before they actually sort this out.
Joining us now is Bill Nemitz. He`s a columnist for "The Portland
Press Herald" and "The Maine Sunday Telegram." He`s been following Maine
state politics for more than 30 years.
Mr. Nemitz, thank you very much for your time. We`re happy to have
BILL NEMITZ, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: Nice to be here, Rachel.
MADDOW: Can you share your latest reporting in terms of what is going
on in Waldo and Washington Counties and these other places that haven`t had
their votes totaled?
NEMITZ: Sure. Well, to pick up where you left off, the Waldo County
Republicans today voted to ask the state committee to formally censure the
state Republican chairman, a guy by the name of Charlie Webster. They
initially wanted him fire but weren`t able to get consensus on that. So,
now, they are going to the state committee next month on March 10th and ask
that he`d be censured.
In Washington County, they are going ahead and they`re going to have
their caucuses on Saturday, and whether the Republican Party formally
counts them or not, they are resting assured that those of us in this
business will be counting very diligently and see what kind of turnout they
The argument that they don`t matter is based on their turnout from
2008, in which Ron Paul didn`t do that well, actually. I think what they
are failing to take into account this time is the amount of attention
focused on Washington County is unprecedented, and their turnout come
Saturday might eclipse the turnout from the rest of the state this past
MADDOW: It does seem remarkable that since we know that the
proclaimed margin of victory for Mitt Romney is 196 votes. That
essentially a billboard for Washington County. Hey, you need 196 vote
margin for Ron Paul if you want to flip the state.
I mean, that tells -- it gives them a real specific target to aim at
if the Republican Party can be counted on to include those votes or I guess
if the country can be counted on to count those votes when we decide who
won the state of Maine.
NEMITZ: And it was not a lot to do up in Washington County this time
of year. So, this is high entertainment for these people. So, I think
come Saturday, you`re going to see a lot of people trooping down to the
caucuses who have never been there before, which is really what was part of
the problem this past weekend. We had a number of people showing up at
these caucuses, many of them Ron Paul supporters, who were not familiar
with the process, not familiar with the rules, lay over that a state
Republican Party that didn`t do a very good job planning or executing this
thing and that leaves us with the mess we have.
So all eyes will be on Washington County this weekend, and I think
those folks will have an outsized impact, not only on Maine`s ultimate
results but, as you say, on the whole national narrative here.
MADDOW: Well, let`s say that happens, and Washington county does turn
out a ton of people and let`s say they turn out enough people and enough of
a lop-sided result that it does at least they theoretically flip the
overall result for the state. Is it your sense that the Maine Republican
chairman, the state party, would honor that?
I mean, they say they won`t. But do you think they really would say
that doesn`t matter -- we`re sticking with Mitt Romney and we don`t want to
hear anything else about it?
NEMITZ: Well, their position all along has been this -- that this was
essentially a beauty contest, a straw poll. As Charlie Webster put it, a
snapshot in time.
And Maine`s delegate selection process actually is not materially
affected by this. They go to the convention in May, at that state
convention they will choose which delegates go do the national convention.
So, right now, because of all the problems they had, the Republican
Party is trying desperately to kind of sweep this whole thing behind them,
and say essentially it didn`t matter anyway.
As to whether those votes count, that`s something that will be brought
before the state committee on March 10th and it will ultimately be up to
them whether to reopen those totals and plug in all the missing numbers, or
just call it a day and tell everyone they`ll see them in May. It`s very
unclear right now what`s going to happen.
MADDOW: March 10th after Super Tuesday, the race will be essentially
Bill Nemitz, columnist for "The Portland Press Herald" -- this is
fascinating. Thank you for helping us understand it. I really appreciate
NEMITZ: My pleasure, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. Cage match, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah versus
the facts. Spoiler alert: the facts have a seemingly unsure mountable lead
in this contest. But Senator Hatch has not thrown in the towel. That`s
MADDOW: Story about potential vice presidential nominee for the
Republican Party that really should be front page news all over America.
It isn`t front page news yet, but it`s here, next.
MADDOW: The Westminster dog show was this week -- which means that
everybody else got killed in the ratings because CNBC was airing the
Westminster dog show.
And Americans may love, you know, cable news and presidential politics
and all the other things that are on in the evening. But frankly they love
their Pekingese more. Oh, hello, Malachi.
The presidential politics angle of this year`s Westminster dog show
was the "Dogs Against Romney" protest that was held outside the event. The
protesters arguing that Mitt Romney is not fit to be president because he
once strapped his dog to the roof of the family station wagon and then
drove to Canada.
After the dog got sick in its kennel strapped to the roof of the car,
Mr. Romney reportedly pulled into a gas station, hosed the sick dog off,
and then put him back up there for the rest of the drive. And so, dogs
Now, the Obama campaign may be capitalizing on his bad metrics with
dog lovers or regardless of the fate of Seamus Romney, the Irish setter,
just trying to capitalize how much Americans love dogs, for whatever reason
-- if you go to the BarackObama.com campaign Web site right now, there is
almost an alarming amount of dog stuff. The splash page is the Bo Obama "I
bark for Barack" car magnet. You can also get a Bo t-shirt which you can
color yourself with markers.
There`s also the Obama dog sweater. Bo Obama buttons. And Obama
campaign dog bandana, Obama-Biden dog bowl, not to mention the Barack`s
best friend dog leash and Barack`s best friend Obama 2012 dog collar.
Now, again, who knows if all this stuff is in the memory of Seamus
Romney, may he rest in peace. But there`s a lot of it.
If Romney is the eventual Republican nominee for president, and if as
widely speculated, Mr. Romney picks Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell as his
vice presidential nominee, personally it looks to me like the smart money
is on McDonnell as Romney`s choice, after our coverage last night on what
is going on in Virginia abortion politics and our coverage of this law that
Bob McDonnell has said he will sign this, this law involving mandatory
transvaginal ultrasounds in Virginia, a law on the way to his desk now,
after that segment, after that coverage last night -- we got a number of
submissions from RACHEL MADDOW SHOW viewers with potential swag ideas for a
presidential ticket that includes Governor Bob McDonnell.
For example, there`s this one from Allie Davis and Jess Edris (ph).
As you see there, it says Governor Bob McDonnell on the side there, swag
style. The item in question here would be a vaginal ultrasound probe.
Here is another one, same idea, different message, it`s a vaginal
ultrasound probe that reads "This violation courtesy of the Virginia GOP."
After those were e-mailed around, the whole project kind of went
crazy, this one, "If you can read, this your government is too close."
This one is right to the point, "Small government."
And probably the best one specifically for Bob McDonnell`s vice
presidential hopes right along the neck of the vaginal probe there, it
says, "I can see the White House from here."
If Bob McDonnell is on the residential ticket after what he is doing
in Virginia right now, I actually think this swag will get made. It won`t
be made by the Romney and McDonnell campaign but will be made by the
energized electorate, I imagine will be fired up to vote against Bob
The bill in question here is one of the number of anti-abortion
measures the Republican legislature and Governor Bob McDonnell are pursuing
now that they have complete control of Virginia state government. Their
ultrasound bill would force women seeking an abortion in Virginia to under
go a medically unnecessary internal vaginal probe and submit to a waiting
"The Virginian-Pilot" newspaper in editorializing against the measure
explained exactly how it will work and what it will mean for Virginia
women. Quoting "The Pilot," "In order to satisfy the goals of the
legislation -- which includes requirement that a doctor determine the
gestational age of the pregnancy -- a transvaginal ultrasound may be the
only reliable course."
"Under any other circumstances," "The Pilot" continues, "forcing an
unwilling person to submit to a vaginal probing would be a violation beyond
imagining. Requiring a doctor to commit such an act, especially when
medically unnecessary and to submit to an arbitrary waiting period is to
demand an abrogation of medical ethics, if not common decency."
Our next guest proposed an amendment to this legislation in the
Virginia House that would at least ask a woman`s consent before subjecting
her to that medically unnecessary state-ordered vaginal probe. His
amendment by a lot, by a vote of 64-34, almost entirely on party lines.
Given the option to make this new requirement less invasive, given the
option to at least get a woman`s consent before she is vaginally probed by
order of Bob McDonnell state government, given the option to make this
requirement seem a little less like punishment for seeking an abortion,
physical punishment for seeking an abortion, Virginia Republicans chose not
to go there, resoundingly.
Joining us now is Virginia State Delegate David Englin. Mr. Englin
represents Arlington and Alexandria in the Virginia General Assembly.
Delegate Englin, thank you very much for joining us tonight. It`s
nice to have you here.
STATE DEL. DAVID ENGLIN (D), VIRGINIA: Thanks for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: Let me ask you first, if I`ve gotten anything wrong in the
way I explained what the Virginia Republicans have proposed and moved
forward here? I kind of hope that I have gotten some of it wrong.
ENGLIN: Rachel, you have nailed it and explained it in unfortunately
accurate detail. They have passed a law that will require women in -- most
women in the first trimester of a pregnancy, when most abortions occur, to
undergo a vaginal penetration ultrasound in order to exercise their
constitutional right. And not only that, but they are going to have to be
vaginally penetrated based on this law without their consent.
That`s just a horrendous government intrusion. These Republicans, you
know, they talk all the time about limited government and the intrusiveness
of government. It`s just sheer hypocrisy that now they are passing
legislation that will have government literally and physically intrude upon
a woman`s body without her consent.
MADDOW: You sponsored this amendment to at least introduce a written
consent element to this mandatory probe. Were you -- did you think that
would pass? Were you surprised your amendment was voted down?
ENGLIN: Well, I have been at this long enough now to realize that
their anti-voice vehemence is such that nothing surprises. So, I wasn`t
surprise, but I was disappointed because this one was a sincere attempt to
say, look, I`m not an idiot, I know the numbers. I can do the math.
Virginia Republicans have complete control of the general assembly and the
governor`s mansion, I know this bill was going to pass, and it`s going to
get signed into law.
So what I was trying to do was say, if you`re going to institute this
horrendously invasive requirement, at least get the woman`s consent before
you force her to undergo vaginal penetration for an -- medically
So, you know, I was hopeful that enough of my colleagues across the
aisle would believe that a woman should not be violated without her consent
that the amendment might have a chance at passing. I wasn`t surprised that
it didn`t pass but I was disappointed, because I`ve heard from many, many
women throughout Virginia who, you know, Republican women as well, who may
disagree with me on every other political matter but they don`t believe
that they should be physically violated without their consent. And it just
shocks the conscience this will become the law of the land in Virginia.
MADDOW: There`s also this personhood measure on the menu in Virginia
MADDOW: It`s already passed the House by a big majority. How do you
think the electorate is going to respond to this, really -- I mean, I think
it`s fair to call them extreme measures that are at least loosely related
to the anti-abortion politics of the state Republican Party. And how do
you think they would respond if Bob McDonnell gets picked for national
ENGLIN: Well, look, I am hoping that Governor McDonnell will see the
light and realize that, you know, in Virginia, we have a very powerful
governor`s office. The governor in Virginia can put amendments on bills.
In most places, they can just veto bills or sign bills. In Virginia, the
governor can amend bills.
So, I`m hopeful that he will amend the vaginal penetration ultrasound
bill to at least require a woman`s consent before you violate her body.
I`m hopeful that he will amend the personhood bill to protect contraception
-- because the way the bill is drawn right now, it would effectively outlaw
most common forms of contraception.
I think that if he doesn`t do these things, voters in Virginia and
across the country are going to react very badly to this, because this
isn`t about Republicans and Democrats. When you talk with women,
regardless of their partisan politics, they support contraception, they
support the notion that their bodies shouldn`t be violated without their
consent. I mean, these are matters of basic decency.
So I`m hopeful that Governor McDonnell will do the right thing. But I
can tell you, if he doesn`t, I would think that the consequences will be
MADDOW: Virginia State Delegate David Englin -- thank you so much for
joining us. I was looking forward to having the chance to talk to you
about this tonight. If only to make sure that I was awake and this is
really happening. Thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.
ENGLIN: Well, you`re right on, Rachel. And I appreciate you bringing
attention to the issue. I wish more people were talking about it because
MADDOW: Me, too. Thanks, sir. Appreciate it.
Whatever lull you might have sensed in the ongoing political grudge
match in the great state of Wisconsin appears to be over. It is on again.
Embattled Scott Walker of "It`s not about the budget" fame is swinging
back. What that looks like, next.
MADDOW: This week, the Mitt Romney campaign and the PAC that supports
him but he supposedly has no control over, together, they are spending $1.2
million on ads in the great state of Michigan. Ahead of the Michigan
primary, $1.2 million.
For context, do you want to know how much Rick Santorum and his PAC
are spending on ads in Michigan? So, Romney and his PAC, $1.2 million.
Rick Santorum and his PAC -- $42,000. That data reported by "The
Washington Post" today.
Do you want to see what the balance of the spending looks like in a
picture? Ding! Rick Santorum is leading Mitt Romney in Michigan in all
the recent polls. But Mitt Romney is also outspending Rick Santorum in
Why Mitt Romney has to do that, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few weeks ago, the
CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to
bring jobs home.
OBAMA: Today, for the first time in 15 years, Master Lock`s unionized
plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was President Obama at the State of the Union address
Here is President Obama today in Milwaukee at that unionized Master
Lock plant. The president taking a tour of the plant and delivering a
speech in front of a stack of boxes that said "made in the USA".
So, there`s the president hyping an American company that chose to
bring jobs back to the United States, speaking on the floor of the
unionized plant. And he`s there in a state the governor who has made a
name of himself by stripping union rights in that state last year.
In this picture from Wisconsin today, it`s not just the president
who`s running a campaign to stay in office, Governor Scott Walker,
Republican of Wisconsin, is facing being recalled from office before the
end of his first term -- thanks to Wisconsin voters angry with that
stripping of union rights in the state and his big, big cuts to education
and much more.
On the pro-Scott Walker side, there are ads running in Wisconsin now
against recalling the governor. In these ads, the Governor Walker and
groups supporting him frequently describe the governor as having balanced
the state`s budget.
It turns out he did not balance the state`s budget. This is the
headline late last week in the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel," "State faces
$143 million shortfall as tax collections lag."
See, Scott Walker cut taxes and this crazy thing happens when you cut
what has to be paid in taxes.
It turns out what people pay in taxes gets cut! So, under Scott
Walker, tax collections down, $140 million hole in the Wisconsin state
budget. Thus, jeopardizing his main claim for why he shouldn`t be recalled
from office which is that he wants to be able to say he balanced the state
budget -- which he didn`t.
Here is where the magic happens. It`s a robbery told in three
headlines. This is better than surveillance camera footage. Watch this --
watch this burglary. All right?
Headline one, this goes up at "Journal Sentinel" Thursday night --
"State faces $143 million shortfall." That`s headline one.
Headline two, this goes up at "The Associated Press" at 3:00 in the
morning the next morning, on Friday morning. Hey, that mortgage settlement
with the big banks? Wisconsin homeowners are getting 140 million bucks
So, those are the first two, right? A hundred and forty million
dollar hole in Scott Walker`s budget and $140 million coming to the state
for Wisconsin homeowners.
So, what`s the third headline? You guessed it. Walker and his
attorney general say that mortgage settlement that is supposed to go to
Wisconsin families, they`re taking it. They`re taking at least a chunk of
it for their budget hole. Tada!
Wisconsin`s share of that mortgage settlement, is supposed to go to
Wisconsin families, who got foreclosed on illegally by the banks.
The state is being given the banks money so the state can hand it over
to the wronged parties here, to the people, to the homeowners. But Scott
Walker is taking tens of millions of dollars of that for his budget hole
instead -- for the budget hole created by his tax breaks.
We learned today the effort to keep Governor Walker in office also
includes this. It`s a rally apparently scheduled for Friday, remember the
so-called Brooks brothers riot in Florida in 2000 when the Republican Party
bussed and flew in Republican operatives from all over the country to pound
on the doors and windows and make a big, physically intimidating scene at
the site where the Florida presidential recount was underway, remember
Well, this year in Wisconsin, pro-Scott Walker organizers are asking
people to march on the Government Accountability Board in Wisconsin. The
Government Accountability Board where workers are certifying the million
signature petitions that are expected to put the Scott Walker recall on the
ballot. They want to march on that office.
So, yes, the Master Lock in-sourcing American jobs story has national
resonance, but so does the hard, sudden turn for the weird in Wisconsin`s
Joining us now is Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. She`s a Democrat
representing Wisconsin`s second district. She`s also running for the open
U.S. Senate seat in her state this year.
Representative Baldwin, thank you for being with us. I appreciate you
having you here.
REP. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: Thank you for having me, Rachel.
It`s great to join you.
MADDOW: Does Governor Walker have the authority to use that mortgage
settlement money at his discretion? Can he do whatever he wants with it?
BALDWIN: Well, there`s certainly a portion of the settlement funds
that is going through the states. But it is my belief and I`m absolutely
outraged by his statement that he`s going to use this to plug a hole in his
budget, when clearly the purpose of the settlement was to try to start
making people whole again after the fraud and illegal activities that these
five banks have engaged in.
On Monday this week, I was in Milwaukee on a block, a residential
neighborhood devastated by foreclosure. And house after house was
literally boarded up. And you think about the people who perhaps because
they lost jobs, lost homes, but also the people who were victims of fraud,
and illegal actions by these mortgage banks, in the process.
And then you think of the houses that aren`t boarded up, but people
who have lost the value of their homes because they are situated in
neighborhoods that had been devastated by this mortgage banking and
foreclosure crisis. These are the people who deserve to benefit from the
settlement funds. These are the people and neighborhoods that ought to be
-- you can`t make them whole again, but at least taking those steps.
And so, I think Scott Walker ought to be ashamed of using some of
these funds to plug a hole in his budget.
MADDOW: When you go to a neighborhood like that in Milwaukee and talk
to people -- are people aware this is happening that Wisconsin has this
money coming to the state that is supposed to be for homeowners that the
governor is diverting some of it for his own budget problems? Are people
aware that that`s happening in the state? And how do people feel about it?
BALDWIN: Well, a lot of this has just happened in the past few days,
and part of our going to neighborhoods and meeting with community leaders
who have been at the forefront of helping people in this foreclosure crisis
is to get the word out.
And frankly, that`s really what we have to do across Wisconsin and
across the country right now. We need people to understand what the terms
are of this settlement agreement so that they can get the relief that they
are due especially if they have been the victims of the wrongdoings of the
big five banks.
But beyond that, we still think we can influence Scott Walker and our
attorney general in Wisconsin to use these funds for the people harmed --
the people who have been devastated by foreclosures in their neighborhoods.
And that`s just by having people speak out.
If people want to get involved, one way they can by going to my Web
site, TammyBaldwin.com. But beyond that, people need to be informed about
the terms of the settlement, how they can get what is now owed to them
through the terms of the settlement but also speak out to Scott Walker
about his plans for some of these dollars.
MADDOW: Representative Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, second
district, and I should say candidate for United States Senate from
Wisconsin -- thank you very much for joining us tonight. I appreciate you
helping us both understand it and let people know about the settlement and
getting the word out -- thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: It should be noted it was one year ago tonight we first
reported on the big union rights protests in Wisconsin. What happened over
the course of the last year in Wisconsin is almost mind-blowing. You never
would have believed it happened in that state if you asked anybody two
All right. After the show, on "THE LAST WORD," Lawrence O`Donnell has
as his guest Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel who has a very issue
with Mitt Romney.
And here, Orrin Hatch is very, very, very distracted by how much he
hates MSNBC. He is so distracted by his hatred of MSNBC that he apparently
cannot think straight -- at least he can`t do basic math. That`s next.
MADDOW: Remember when the talk show host Rush Limbaugh tried to do
something called "Operation Chaos" in 2008 to try to get Republicans to
influence the Obama versus Clinton primary? The "Operation Chaos" idea is
back, sort of. That`s coming up.
MADDOW: Do you remember the not intended to be a factual statement
thing? That was when Arizona Senator Jon Kyl on the floor of the Senate
said something really quite outrageously not true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: If you want an abortion, you go to Planned
Parenthood and that`s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Not true. Not close to true. It is not well over 90
percent. It`s more like 3 percent.
Called out for telling that lie, Jon Kyl responded with a hall of fame
destined for greatness legendary copout.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what? I just want to give it to you
verbatim here. It says his remark was not intended to be a factual
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Sure it wasn`t true, but it was not intended to be a factual
statement. That`s why it had the numbers in it. Hall of Fame excuse,
Senator Kyl. In fact, that is probably for which Senator Jon Kyl will
always be most famous.
Really, after nearly 18 years in this Senate, could you pick Jon Kyl
out of a lineup of Republican senators? No. Almost no one could. But
everyone remembers the not intended to be a factual statement guy -- which
makes it more amazing that another Republican senator has just made Jon
Kyl`s same very famous mistake.
Here`s Orrin Hatch talking about Planned Parenthood.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: About 90 percent of what they do from
what I understand is abortion.
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: From what with I understand -- that`s the point, Senator, you
Incidentally, that is Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council guy,
who responds to Senator Hatch by saying "Correct" when what Senator Hatch
said is very, very, very much not correct.
Back in reality, again, about 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood
does is abortions and 3 percent is not about 95 percent, unless you just
round up everything the to the nearest 95 and it doesn`t make sense.
We asked Senator Hatch`s office to a response to this. A spokesman e-
mailed us to say that Senator Hatch, quote, "misspoke."
But weirdly then, he also said -- and I`m not kidding. I`m going to
the read it directly here because I want you to know that I`m directly
quoting Senator Hatch`s spokesman. "It doesn`t take standing in front of
the Hoover Dam wearing a construction hat," a construction hat? "It
doesn`t take standing in front of the Hoover Dam wearing a construction hat
to understand that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in
To be clear, we didn`t ask Senator Orrin Hatch for a statement about
me or MSNBC or construction hats. Construction hats, really? But
randomly, Senator Orrin Hatch`s Senate office volunteered this statement
after telling us that Senator Hatch misspoke about Planned Parenthood.
I don`t know what the Hoover Dam outburst was all about from Senator
Hatch, but he is still admitting his huge mathematical lie about Planned
Parenthood was not intended to be a factual statement. So, regardless of
the rest of this, I guess I will take it.
MADDOW: We`re going to close the show with something I just think is
worth keeping an eye on. On last night`s show, I said one thing I thought
worth watching in politics right now was the favorability numbers for Mitt
Romney. Regardless of what`s going on in each state-by-state contest, if
you want to know a snapshot view of how the presidential campaign is
affecting Mr. Romney`s chances as a potential nominee, look at his
favorable and unfavorable numbers nationwide.
Now, there is some sort of curse on our show about graphs recently.
Basically, every single graph we`ve shown on the show recently has been
screwed up technically somehow. But this for the record is Mitt Romney`s
favorable and unfavorable numbers right. The colors are being reversed and
another thing that was screwed in last night`s graph. It also updates to
take account of the latest numbers.
Mitt Romney was not particularly liked during 2011. But in 2012, as
you can see here, the unfavorable number is the dark blue one, going up,
right? Since Republicans started voting in 2012, Mitt Romney`s
unfavorability has skyrocketed and his favorability is down there with
herniated disks and vanilla ice.
Mitt Romney obviously needs to turn that around if he is going to be
the Republican Party`s nominee. But it does raise a really good question
about whether a long, drawn-out primary process maybe bad for Mitt Romney.
I mean, if you look at the way it`s been going, the longer this race goes
on, the less people like Mitt Romney and dramatically so.
And into that equation today, a new variable was introduced. Markos
Moulitsas is the namesake and founder of the influential liberal Web site
"Daily Kos," Markos put out a call today for something he`s calling
Operation Hilarity. "Daily Kos" is calling for liberals to turn out to
vote in open primary and caucus states that are coming up -- in Michigan,
North Dakota, Vermont and Tennessee.
They are calling out on liberals to turn out in those states and vote
for Rick Santorum. Not because liberals want Rick Santorum to be
president, naturally, but because Markos argues it is in liberal`s interest
for the Republican nominating contest to get dragged out as long as
possible. As he titled his argument today, "Let`s keep the Republican
clown show going."
Now, this has some similarity to what Rush Limbaugh asked
conservatives to do in 2008 Democratic Primary between Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton. And you can argue whether that had any effect on that
primary or whether this effort this year from the other side is likely to
have any effect. You can argue whether it`s right or wrong for people who
won`t vote for the other party`s nominee in any circumstance to try to take
a role in deciding who that nominee is.
But, A, you should know that this is happening on the left and, B, if
the Republican race does keep going on and on and on, we should all
understand that time elapsing in the race so far has not had a solitary
(ph) effect on the nation`s opinion of presidential candidate Mitt Romney -
- something to watch. I`m just saying.
That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with
his special guest, Elie Wiesel tonight. Please stay tuned for that.
Have a great night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2012 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
WATCH 'THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW' WEEKDAYS AT 9:00 P.M. ON MSNBC.
MORE FROM RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Add Rachel Maddow Show headlines to your news reader: