updated 3/5/2012 2:00:42 PM ET 2012-03-05T19:00:42

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
March 2, 2012

Guests: David Bullock, Peter Tork

ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed
Schultz.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Ed. Thanks, man.

Thanks to you at home for joining --

SCHULTZ: You bet. Have a great weekend.

MADDOW: You, too.

Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

In our in-house TV feed here at 30 Rock, you can do a quad box, so
that you`re one TV screen is opened up on your computer. But it shows four
TV networks live feeds all at once.

So, while hour show is live, producers will have one screen open on
their computer that`s like the script that`s in the teleprompter and the
visual elements that we`re working on, and research and stuff. And that`s
up in one part of their computer. But on another window on their computer,
they have something that looks like this. We call this the quad box.

And honestly, the reason that we have something like this up, live
during the show is that may be something is going to happen in the world
that is a very, very big story and for some reason here at NBC, we didn`t
know about it, but everybody else is running with it. It`s kind of a
failsafe, we will get a head`s up that there is something else big
happening in the world live at the same time that we`re doing our show if
we missed it for every other reason.

It`s a little bit weird but this is live television and it is part of
what it means to work in live television.

So, we can put up a live one right now. Can we do that? OK. So,
just for a second, this is live, this is what it looks like. Here is me up
here in this box. And then there is what`s happening on some of the other
networks, right? This is how it works.

This feature in our work life gave rise to what totally should have
been THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Christmas card this past year. It is this
screen shot of the quad box on our show, live during our show on October
20th of last year. This was the screen shot.

This is what was happening on FOX News Channel at 9:24 p.m. that day.
This what was happening at CNN at that time. CNBC, as you can tell there,
was in a commercial break.

And THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW -- oh, yes, that was when we went to the
man cave, remember that? That was where we tried to explain the workings
of the lady parts by talking about them in man-friendly metaphors, because
there was something going on in politics that day did not make sense unless
you also understood some specific things about anatomy that don`t always
get well explained.

So, happy Friday. This is a fair warning, the man cave is about to
come back. And, you know, I realize this is not a ratings play, right?
Flipping around the channels, people are not going to flock to this show
because we`re doing freshman year human biology again. I recognize this is
not exactly viewer attractant.

But I feel like in order to be responsible about what`s going on in
the news right now, we are sort of forced to do this, because once again,
the biggest news in American politics is about very important, very
powerful supposedly very smart people in politics not understanding the
basics of human biology. And it`s because once again, the biggest story in
politics, frankly, was broken on MSNBC in the 1:00 p.m. Eastern Hour.

If you make a habit of watching me at 9:00 Eastern, that probably
means you are at work or at school or doing something else at 1:00 p.m.
Eastern. I don`t actually think there`s much overlap in lifestyle alone
between this show and Andrea Mitchell`s show at 1:00 p.m. If you watch at
1:00, you probably can`t watch at 9:00 and vice versa.

But if you are a regular viewer of the show and you are DVR-ing
anything that is on TV during the day even if you`re not home, you should
be DVR-ing the Andrea Mitchell show. Her show, her 1:00 Eastern show on
MSNBC has been breaking news essentially every day. The biggest stories in
politics happen on Andrea Mitchell`s show, more often than they happen any
other single place in the media.

The Komen Foundation defunding Planned Parenthood -- the huge news
story about that, that broke wide open on Andrea Mitchell`s show. That was
the Komen Foundation interview where they tried to justify their defunding
of Planned Parenthood and sparked all that outrage that eventually led to
them reversing course and undefunding Planned Parenthood. That all broke
wide open on Andrea Mitchell`s show.

Also, the Rick Santorum zillionaire guy, Foster Friess, him saying
that women don`t need birth control, they ought to just put an aspirin
between their knees -- where did that happen? That happened On Andrea
Mitchell`s show.

Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, her shock announcement that she is
retiring from the Senate. She could have easily won reelection. Nobody
thought she was going to quit, nobody saw it coming. Nobody had any idea
why she was doing it, her first interview where she explained herself,
Andrea Mitchell show.

I don`t know why it is not more of a national phenomenon, especially
because there`s so much media about media, but Andrea Mitchell`s MSNBC show
at 1:00 Eastern breaks so much news, it is unbelievable. There is nothing
like it in cable. There is almost nothing like it in media, period.

And today, at 1:00 Eastern on MSNBC, on Andrea`s show -- it happened
again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: You were in our green room getting
ready to come on and the White House now tells us we can reveal that you
just got off the phone with President Obama.

SANDRA FLUKE, GEORGETOWN UNIV. LAW STUDENT: Yes, I did.

MITCHELL: The stakes have been raised pretty high. But what did he
say to you?

FLUKE: He -- you know, he encouraged me and supported me and thanked
me for speaking out about the concerns of American women. And what was
really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should
be proud. And that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or
not my family would be proud of me. So, I just appreciated that very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Yet again, today on Andrea Mitchell`s show, the biggest story
in politics broke right here on MSNBC.

The woman speaking with Andrea there, as you probably know, was Sandra
Fluke. She`s a Georgetown University law student. She`s the one who
sparked the "where are the women" controversy in Congress last month.

The Republicans in the House, Darrell Issa`s committee in the House,
called this panel of witnesses to testify on the issue of contraception
being covered by health insurance. When the Democrats realized the
Republicans were not calling any women in their initial panel of witnesses
at a contraception hearing, they asked that Sandra Fluke be called as their
Democratic witness to testify about getting insurance through a Catholic
institution, that would not cover birth control and how it had cost a
friend of hers one of her ovaries.

The friend apparently needed contraception not for birth control
purposes, but for therapeutic purposes. Birth control has -- hormonal
birth control has a lot of therapeutic purposes other than just preventing
getting pregnant.

But because Ms. Fluke`s friend had to navigate around Georgetown
University`s objections to her prescription, it ended up being too late for
her. She suffered serious health consequences. She lost an ovary.

That was going to be Sandra Fluke`s testimony about the importance of
health insurance covering contraception.

The Republican committee chairman, Darrell Issa, said that Sandra
Fluke was not qualified to testify on the issue of contraception coverage
but he said these guys were.

Some Democrats walked out of that hearing that day. House Democrats
under Nancy Pelosi later convened, not technically a hearing because
Democrats are in the minority, so they can`t convene hearings, but the
Democrats convened a forum in which they heard that testimony from Sandra
Fluke -- the testimony that Darrell Issa would not allow, Republicans
wouldn`t allow it at the official hearing, but Democrats took it at their
forum.

Now, the reason the president ended up calling Sandra Fluke today
while she waiting to go on Andrea Mitchell`s show is because conservative
radio host named Rush Limbaugh who`s very influential on the right has been
making the case on his show for the Republicans position against
contraception coverage. And he`s been making that case by personally
attacking Ms. Fluke.

And it`s not like Mr. Limbaugh slipped up and accidentally said
something offensive and maybe he`ll apologize for it because he didn`t mean
it. He has been doing this for three straight days now.

This was day one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: A Georgetown University coed
told Representative Nancy Pelosi`s hearing that the women in her law school
program are having so much sex they are going broke. Apparently, four out
of 10 coeds are having so much sex that it`s hard to make ends meet if they
have to pay for their own contraception, said Sandra Fluke`s research.

Can you imagine if you`re her parents? How proud of Sandra Fluke you
would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by
the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she is having so much sex she
can`t afford her own birth control pills.

What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke who goes before a
congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have
sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a
prosti --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That was day one. The word we cut off was prostitute. He
was calling her a hooker.

That was day one for Mr. Limbaugh. So, it wasn`t like a slip of the
tongue, right?

This was day two.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Ms. Fluke have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you
ever heard of not having sex so often?

Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here`s a deal -- if we are
going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we
want something for it. And I`ll tell you what it. We want to you post the
videos online so we can all watch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Today, Mr. Limbaugh was still going for it. That was day
two. Today, he`s still going for it.

Here is a sampling of what he had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: It`s no different than if somebody knocked on my door, that
I don`t know, and said, you know what? I`m out of money. I can`t afford
birth control pills and I`m supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: OK. So, after those remarks and after Democrats bringing
attention to them by saying they wanted Republicans to denounce these
remarks or at least distance themselves from them, President Obama today
called Sandra Fluke to buoy her against these kinds of attacks, which after
all started because she wanted to testify in a public policy issue in
Congress.

And the president said specifically her parents ought to be proud of
her -- which was she said was a nice thing in particular given the way Mr.
Limbaugh attacked her.

And that was the political news story of the day. The president
weighing in and thereby implicitly putting Republicans on the spot to go
ahead and say whether or not they believe it is attitudes like Mr.
Limbaugh`s about women and about sex and about birth control that are
driving the Republican policy position that he supports, that are driving
the anti-contraception effort that`s going on in Republican Party politics
right now.

And while I think that is legitimately big political news, the
president weighing in here, here`s the thing about the talk radio part of
this. I know a little bit about this from having been a talk radio host
for years, but it doesn`t take any expert knowledge to know how this works.

People like the talk radio host in question, Mr. Limbaugh, are
banking, literally banking -- it`s how they make their money banking, they
are banking on you being offended by what they say. Mr. Limbaugh is trying
to be provocative. He`s trying to be offensive.

He`s trying to outrage you. He`s trying to get you to talk about him
even if you don`t listen to his radio show. He`d really wants to be very,
very famous even if it for being a bad guy.

This is what his radio show is for. This is what he does. He calls
the first lady Michelle Obama uppity.

He calls combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan phony soldiers if
they disagree with him on those wars.

He made fun of Michael J. Fox`s Parkinson`s disease and said that
Michael J. Fox was faking the effects of that disease for effect.

A person does not say stuff like this and act like this accidentally.
You don`t stumble in positions like that, right?

It was because Mr. Limbaugh did not get enough attention for calling
this Georgetown law student a prostitute and a slut that he went back the
next day and tried to get more attention by saying anybody who wants
insurance coverage for contraception ought to be forced to put their sex
tapes online so he can enjoy them.

A person says a thing like that to provoke outrage. And it works.
Outrage is provoked.

Mr. Limbaugh`s remarks have denounced by everybody from the president
of Georgetown University, to the co-chair of the Republican Senate Campaign
Committee, to his own advertisers.

The blog Think Progress has been tracking reaction to Mr. Limbaugh`s
remarks from his advertisers at last count, four companies have decided to
pull their advertising from Mr. Limbaugh`s radio show. Another four had
said they would look into the matter.

Listen, when you shock people for a living, when that`s your business
plan you are playing with fire a little bit. You can go too far, people
lose their shows. There is a reason why Glenn Beck is only on the Internet
now, right?

And so, maybe losing all these advertisers and being this over the top
will be it for Rush Limbaugh. Maybe he`s gone too far and maybe he`ll
apologize -- but probably not. This is what he does for a living. He has
done this for decades.

And here`s what I think might actually be the more important point
here. The specific way in which Rush Limbaugh is being offensive on
purpose to make everybody outraged expose as big under appreciate and sort
of embarrassing fact at the center of all the politics on the issue --
which is that I don`t think he know what`s birth control is.

I mean, try -- I`m going to play one little part of it again. Try to
listen to what he`s saying here, not just for what`s offensive about it,
but listen to the argumentative point he is making. Listen to what he is
trying to convince his listeners up when he says this. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Ms. Fluke have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you
ever heard of not having sex so often? The women in her law school program
are having so much sex they are going broke buying birth control pills.
She is having so much sex she can`t afford her own birth control pills.

Apparently four out of every 10 coeds are having so much sex that it`s
hard to make ends meet if they have to pay for their own contraception.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: If you can put aside the fact that Mr. Limbaugh is being
mean, right? Remember sometimes people are being mean because the fact
that they don`t understand something makes them angry. And it makes them
act belligerently about it.

I think Rush Limbaugh doesn`t know what birth control is. I think he
doesn`t understand what he`s talking about. I don`t think he understands
how contraception works.

I think that Rush Limbaugh thinks you take a birth control pill to
avoid getting pregnant each time you have sex. So, the more times you have
sex, the more birth control pills you need. I mean, we`re talk about birth
control that is prescribed. That`s the whole point here -- prescription
medication. That`s why it would need to be covered by your health
insurance.

But you don`t like get a new IUD every time you`re going to have sex.
You don`t have to go buy an individual birth control pill to cover each
sexual incident which might result in you becoming pregnant. You just take
one pill every day.

It`s a prescription deal, right? You take the birth control pill
every day even if you`re not going to have sex at all that day or even if
you`re going to have sex 1,000 times that day. You just need the one pill
for that day. You don`t need more birth control to keep you not pregnant
for more sex.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: It doesn`t matter how often you have that does not increase
the number of pills you have to take.

And so, Rush Limbaugh is acting like a jerk to make us all mad. And
everybody is mad, as we should be, right?

But importantly, in showing his ignorance, he is helping us get back
to the real problem of this debate, generally. The heart of the issue is
the fact that you`re bad at this, Rush Limbaugh, you don`t understand how
babies are made -- let alone how people can have sex without making a baby.
And you would like the government to take over decision making on these
issues on your say-so and you don`t get it.

You biologically don`t get it. You just don`t understand it. You
were absent that day.

In your radio studio or on Capitol Hill or campaign trial or in the
state legislatures, these guys are saying -- we know best, government
should be making these decisions about women`s health. We`ve got it all
figured out.

And frankly this is not a talk radio problem. This is also Mitt
Romney`s problem on the issue. Mitt Romney told Mike Huckabee he would
support a constitutional amendment that would define a fertilized egg as a
person -- a personhood thing, right?

Even before Mississippi voted that down, Mitt Romney said he would
have supported that at the state level when he was governor of
Massachusetts. Mississippi said no to personhood because the personhood
amendment wouldn`t just ban all abortion, a personhood amendment would
probably ban hormonal contraception as well.

And Romney says he is all for contraception but he would support
personhood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were on Governor Huckabee`s show a few weeks
ago and one of the things that you folks talked about was that you would
support a life begins at conception amendment. Now, that would essentially
mean banning most forms of birth control. Ninety-eight percent of American
women including me, use birth control.

So could you help me understand why you oppose the use of birth
control?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t. I`m sorry. Life
begins at conception. Birth control prevents conception.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: What she`s asking Mitt Romney is the right question and he
has no idea what she is talking about. You can see he looks puzzled and
kind of makes the joke, and looks around -- is there something I`m not
getting here? Yes, there`s something you`re not getting here.

Mitt Romney does not understand how contraception works.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: This is how the birth control pill works. It`s how the IUD
works. It`s how the morning-after pill works.

This is how that ring thing your girlfriend told you about that you
didn`t totally understand, this is how that works. This is how birth
control that is used by the vast majority of American women works. This is
how hormonal birth control works.

This is how the birth control works that Mitt Romney told Mike
Huckabee he would like to make illegal when he said he supports a life
begins at conception constitutional amendment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That`s what we tried to explain with the man cave diagram,
right? Way back in the day.

Mitt Romney doesn`t understand what contraception is and he`s running
for president.

Rush Limbaugh also doesn`t understand what contraception is and he,
right now, is reveling in the nation being so outraged about all the
offensive things he said about it in the last few days.

And President Obama -- he made national news by calling the woman Rush
Limbaugh has been calling a slut and prostitute and attacking on his radio
show. The president making news by calling that woman before she went on
Andrea Mitchell show today, thereby weighing in the dispute.

Now, does President Obama understand are what contraception is and how
it works? I don`t know. I kind of assume that he does.

But the point is that there is a difference between the two parties on
the issue right now, and it may be doesn`t matter if he gets it, because
he`s not and the Democrats aren`t playing doctor on this issue. They are
not saying that the government should be the ones who make the decisions
about contraception and how your lady parts work. You should make that
decision with your doctor. Government doesn`t have a role there.

And so, yes, Rush Limbaugh is a jerk. But more importantly, Rush
Limbaugh is a dummy. And if you want government making decisions on child
birth and abortion and fertility and contraception, you being a dummy is a
way bigger problem than you being a jerk.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Last year, three states governed by newly elected Republican
majorities each got new Republican policies. That set off big weeks of big
protests with big real consequences.

In Ohio, a bill to strip union rights in that state led to a citizens`
recall of the law in November. Ohioans who support union rights and
Democrats delivering a million plus signatures, five times the number they
needed to put the bill up for referendum, and that referendum they easily
won. They easily won.

In Wisconsin, another law stripping union rights in that state
resulted in Wisconsinites deliver more than a million signatures twice what
they needed to put Governor Scott Walker up for recall after he pushed
through that bill. So, Ohio, Wisconsin, the third of those three states
was Michigan.

And Michigan had probably the most radical idea in Republican
governance. Republicans in the state of Michigan revamped the emergency
manager law in the state. So, now, one person can rule unilaterally over
whole towns and school districts. Your vote at the local level doesn`t
count anymore.

At Governor Rick Snyder`s say-so, one overseer can fire the officials,
sell off your town`s property. It can even move to dissolve your town. No
vote, you don`t get a say.

When you add up the places they are using this law or have threatened
to use this law, Public Act 4 in Michigan has been on pace to strip local
voting rights, local democracy for more than half the African Americans who
live in Michigan. The state says it`s for their own good. Democracy must
go.

Now, maybe that is beginning to change. A group of activists is
trying to put Michigan`s bill up for a citizens` recall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the Public Act 4 petition boxes all on a
table lined up, 218,000 plus signatures. Whoo! So excited. Awesome.
This is what democracy looks like.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Organizers gave the 50 boxes of signatures to the Michigan
secretary of state this week. They turned in roughly 60,000 more
signatures than what`s required to get the recall on the ballot.

Some of Michigan`s Democratic members of Congress asked the state to
please insure that these petitions are handled securely so no one can
tamper with them. Michigan`s Republican secretary of state has assured
those members of Congress that she will make sure the petitions are safe.

These are not millions of signatures, these are thousands of
signatures. It`s more than they technically need, but it`s not much more,
and they do have to be certified. And it`s true -- this is what democracy
sometimes looks like -- a hard slog, just you and your friends and your
allies and the hope is what you`ve got is enough.

The people delivering these signatures rode to the state capitol
together from Flint, Michigan, and Detroit, and Benton Harbor and Pontiac,
places who`s defining characteristics are that they are largely poor and/or
largely African-American.

These folk are asking that their votes count as much as anyone else`s
vote counts in Michigan. So, in essence, that is the minority asking the
majority to vote for the minority`s right to have a say.

African-Americans in Michigan have asked this question before. Back
in 1850, 1850, the state held a referendum on equal suffrage to colored
persons. By popular vote, the majority of the state of Michigan said to
the minority no.

Michigan considered the so-called the Negro suffrage issue again in
1867. And again, the answer for Michigan was no.

African-Americans in Detroit finally celebrated in 1870 when the U.S.
Constitution was amended to protect minority voting rights. The
Constitution -- the Constitution to protect a minority`s rights from the
whims of the majority.

But now this week, the counting begins in Michigan on potential recall
of the single most radical policy put in place by any of the Republican
legislatures and governors elected in 2010 -- a recall that if it happens,
will take the form of a majority of the state of Michigan, voting to
reinstate the voting rights of a pretty powerless minority in Michigan.

By definition, rights are not supposed to be put up for a vote. Then
again, they are also not supposed to be taken away in the first place.

Joining us now is someone who was there this week when they dropped
off the petitions, the Reverend David Bullock. Pastor of the greater St.
Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, president of the Highland Park
NAACP, and the president of the Detroit chapter of the Rainbow Push
Coalition.

Reverend Bullock, thank you very much for your time.

REV. DAVID BULLOCK, MICHIGAN RAINBOW PUSH COALITION Rachel, so happy
to be on the show. Thank you so much for having me.

MADDOW: We have seen in Ohio and in Wisconsin, these huge joyous
crowds turning in petitions for their recalls, on controversial Republican
policies in the past couple of years. What happened in Michigan this week
from here at least looks smaller, but no less joyful.

I have to ask you -- as someone who was there, what has it been like
to work on the petition campaign? And what was it like to turn in the
signatures?

BULLOCK: It has been a tremendous journey. It`s a tremendous tug of
war, hard, hard-fought. We had to climb up a steep mountain.

But on Wednesday, we were overjoyed because many didn`t think we would
be able to collect enough signatures to put this referendum on the ballot.
But we were successful and we`re excited about that.

MADDOW: Your campaign has been framed as I described it as well as an
issue of voting rights -- in effect, the minority asking the majority to
give those rights back at the local level in Michigan.

To what extent do you think that race factors in here? Or do you
think this is something that would have happened to cities like it`s
happening to in Michigan regardless of the racial make-up of the cities?

BULLOCK: You know what? We`d like to believe because of the election
of President Barack Obama that we live in a post-racial America. But I
think we have seen thus far with all the racial slurs and the racist jokes,
even the joke that has really came out from a federal judge in Montana,
that we don`t live in a post-racial society.

Public Act 4 has been implemented in a way where over 50 percent of
the African-Americans in Michigan, their vote is null and void -- Benton
Harbor, Flint, Highland Park, coming to Detroit very soon -- Inkster,
Ecorse.

And so, I do believe there is a racial component to the
implementation, but not just race but also class, because African-Americans
and then low income communities. And so, we must stand up and fight not
for the black right to vote, not for the white right to vote, but for the
citizens right to vote.

MADDOW: You know, in the abstract, I feel this is one of those issues
where I mostly just want to yell every sentence. I mostly just want to put
an exclamation point on it because in the abstract, the idea that you would
fix a place that`s got trouble in the United States by taking away voting
rights from that place, by taking away democracy and installing somebody
who can rule in an autocratic way, in the abstract, that robs Americans the
wrong way, and it just feels wrong. We solve our problems through
democratic means. It`s the whole idea of America.

But in Michigan, people have really shown themselves to be willing to
make that trade off. We`ll fix the problems by getting rid of the
democracy.

How do you make the case -- how do you make the argument to people
who`ve been willing to see it happen all of these years?

BULLOCK: Well, this is how we make the case: some say a rising tide
raises all boats. The right to vote is our boat. And so, if you don`t
have a boat, a rising tide drowns you. We must remind both citizens in
Michigan and around the nation that voting is what makes us American.
Democracy is what allows our society to work.

And when you strip communities of their voice and their vote, you
disenfranchise them in the most sacred and fundamental way. We have been
going around the state and we turned in 50 boxes, 226,000 signatures,
24,000 petitions -- and that is a sign and symbol that folks in the state
of Michigan are not going to let go of the rope in this tug of war. We
will not stop until we secure our franchise.

MADDOW: Reverend David Bullock, president of the Detroit chapter of
Rainbow Push Coalition and a guy who is right in the middle of this fight -
- Reverend, thank you so much for your time. I really looked forward to
talking about it and I hope that you`ll keep us posted. I know this fight
continues.

BULLOCK: Thank you so much.

MADDOW: Thank you.

All right. Coming up: an odd personal ad in the campaign this week,
Mitt Romney seeks humans. It`s an odd new match. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: It`s Friday. And on the interview tonight, it`s one of my
pop culture heroes. Spending all those long afternoons in my tween years
staring at MTV it turns out finally paid off.

And I thought they would have sorted it out by now, but yet more
states in the 2012 Republican nominating contest have produced muddled
results that are being challenged I think rightly by the candidates.

The glorious mess of the Republican nominating contest -- that`s
coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Happy Friday.

I have not been much of a TV person as an adult. I now have a TV show
which is odd, but I still don`t watch all that much other TV. And that`s
not because I don`t like TV, it`s because I like TV too much. I find
television overly engrossing.

If a TV is on in a room, I cannot do anything else in that room except
stare at it with my mouth open. I can`t eat a meal in front of a TV
because I`ll forget to eat the food. At a restaurant or a bar, if a TV is
on, somewhere in that room, I will ignore my food, I will ignore drink,
which is something for me. I will ignore my company. I have to watch the
light box. I can`t escape its loving glow.

And I think that problem I have as an adult is in large part because I
grew up watching great TV. I watched the early best days of pro-wrestling,
before it got like it is now. I watched the dawn of MTV, when it was still
music on television and there were VJs. And when it wasn`t just videos and
VJs, it as shows and news that were at least vaguely about music.

I used to watch the 700 Club, back when Pat Robertson was still saying
that he could heal people live on television. I`m sorry -- whenever you
think about Pat Robertson, TV does not get better than that. It`s like
crack. It is totally addicting.

But the best stuff I grew up watching was already old when I watched
it and I`m old. Best stuff I grew up was reruns. "I love Lucy,"
"Gilligan`s Island," "The Brady Bunch" and this show, which I used to watch
obsessively, in reruns, on early MTV.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

MADDOW: That opening credit sequence is so engrained in my audible
and visible memory that I can`t believe there was ever a time I did not
know it. It is foundational to my American culture DNA.

Joining us tonight for the interview is a man who was touring as part
of the Monkees as recently as last summer, a man who e-mailed us at this
show this week, who got in touch, when we all learned the very sad news
that the front man for the Monkees, Davy Jones, have passed away from a
heart attack at the age of 66.

Our guest tonight for the interview is Peter Tork.

And, Mr. Tork, I have to say --

PETER TORK, "THE MONKEES": Mr. Tork --

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW: Nobody called you that?

TORK: That sounds like an old person.

MADDOW: I feel like an old person talking about what I used to watch
growing up. But I used to watch you. I was obsessed with the Monkees.
And I have to say, I`m so happy to meet you and to have you here.

TORK: Same here. You`re a hero to my family and me.

MADDOW: Really?

TORK: Yes. Well, we come from that side of thinking.

MADDOW: The tracks?

TORK: The tracks, yes, we do.

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW: Political tracks.

Well, let me -- is it -- I mean, to hear me explain why I am so
impressed to meet you, is it weird to you that kids in the `80s like me in
part learned what the `60s were like by watching you on MTV?

TORK: I hadn`t thought about it in those terms. It was and nothing
was ever weird about it. Everything was incremental. While this is going
to happen, and then over there, it would be like -- but in the meantime
it`s only a step at a time and then the Monkees came and then they went,
and then we said -- and then it was a reunion, oh, there`s going to be a
reunion. OK, step by step, make the reunion thing happen. Oh, it`s going
to be on MTV, how lucky that is for the tour, that`s going to be great.
But --

MADDOW: So, you got -- you went in to reruns at the same time you
guys were getting reruns which were huge --

TORK: The MTV ones. Yes.

MADDOW: At the same time that you guys were getting back together.

TORK: That`s right. It was just as far as we know, strictly
coincidental, a shot from on high.

MADDOW: The Monkees were sort of formed for television, the
capitalize on the success of the Beatles.

What did you think of the other guys in the band when you got put
together with them? You guys weren`t an organic band that formed on.

TORK: That`s right.

MADDOW: Somebody put you together, what did you think of them?

TORK: What did I think of the guys?

MADDOW: OK.

TORK: Over the long run or first blush?

MADDOW: First blush and then over the long run.

TORK: Didn`t think a thing one way or the other. This is strange, I
guess you asked about something strange, that was strange. You guys are
the Monkees, OK, that was strange.

MADDOW: And then over the long run?

TORK: Then over the long run, well, I have -- I have liked and loved
and respected each of them in different ratios, and I don`t want to go much
further than that, particularly now.

MADDOW: And the reason we are talking is because Davy Jones passed
away. I -- from what I know about your history, you guys at times used to
fight like cats and dogs and at times were very good friends and sometimes
all at the same time.

Did you continue to have sort of a tumultuous relationship like that,
even recently?

TORK: The realest answer that I think of is something like we were
like, you know, a high school championship basketball team. We were there
for a purpose. What happened between us as people was entirely irrelevant
as long as we worked as a team when we were on the floor to carry that
metaphor on.

So, yes, there was some stuff. We -- there are tell-all book out
there that tell most of it and some -- yes, there was some stuff. But, you
know, as I said, I have a lot of affection and respect for all of those
guys in different ratios.

And gosh, it`s really -- one of the things about talking about Davy`s
passing, when -- a lot of people called up, do you have a reaction? Well,
yes, I got reaction. First of all, the British expression gobsmacked, it
was like being hit with a wet fish or something.

And then I was called upon to talk about the best of the man and I was
-- it was really something to be reminded, that day-to-day business of
doing the concert, hi, how are you -- we always had a quick hug and a
little shout-out before each show. And we were able to do whatever we were
doing on stage.

But, yes, things came and went, but we just ignored that, by and
large. We were lucky that way, old pros, you can just ignore it.

MADDOW: Are you -- are you happy when you think about your national
image that you are -- because of reruns, because of the continuing
popularity of the band, it happened so long ago, happened in the `60s, but
you are -- through the continuing popularity of the Monkees -- you`re sort
of in the time capsule in terms of what the Beatlemania era was like in
America.

Do you like that?

TORK: Gray, that kind of stuff. You know, I don`t have an opinion
about it one way or the other. It`s like, compared to what, you know?
There I was and part of me goes very peculiar, part of me says, you know,
my father taught school, and I taught school, this is a job.

MADDOW: Yes.

TORK: And part of me goes, my God, what`s happening? It`s all over
the map, the feelings, sentiment.

MADDOW: Well, you`re reaching out to us on the occasion of this news
this week about Mr. Jones was really kind and I`m really happy to meet you
and I pay a lot of attention to you when I was growing up. I`m really
happy to meet you.

TORK: Thanks. I pay a lot of attention to you.

MADDOW: Thanks, Peter. Thanks a lot.

All right. Peter Tork from the Monkees and from my childhood and from
right now. It`s amazing.

All right. Still ahead, is there is any lose change in your pockets
right now? Under the sofa cushions? Whatever you`ve got, Mitt Romney
wants it. He wants it -- I`m not kidding. The Thurston Howell has designs
on your spare change. That story is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: The Republican presidential nominating contest is chaos.
Today, there are yet more disputes about yet more states results. The
campaign of Rick Santorum is asking the national Republican Party to
investigate the allocation of delegates in Michigan.

Now, as you know, Mitt Romney narrowly beat Mr. Santorum in Michigan
on Tuesday night. The rules the state Republican Party published ahead of
that race seem to indicate results like what happened on Tuesday would
result in an equal number of delegates going to Mitt Romney and Rick
Santorum.

After the results came in, though, the state party said they planned
to give Mitt Romney two more delegates than Mr. Santorum was getting. Why
does he get more? They say it`s a big misunderstanding -- a
misunderstanding that Rick Santorum is now challenging at the national
level.

Tomorrow`s Republican race is in Washington state, where the state
caucuses are being pre-challenged by the Ron Paul campaign. Paul`s camp
says the party is scheming already in Washington`s largest county to deny
Congressman Paul delegates even before the caucuses are done with.

Of all the unpredictable things about the Republican race this year,
the least predictable thing is what an utter confused mess it has been all
across the country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: October 2002, Mitt Romney`s trying to get elected governor of
Massachusetts. It`s 2002. He assembles a group of business leaders in the
state and uses an elaborate PowerPoint presentation to explain to the
business leaders why they should support him for governor.

Now, unbeknownst to Mr. Romney, while he was speaking to the business
leaders, he was also being videotaped by someone who was working for his
Democratic opponents.

Now, these people are usually called trackers now. You find people
openly taping at almost every political event. But back then, filming your
opponent surreptitiously meant crouching down in a seat with a video camera
like you were bootlegging a movie.

This footage, this very shaky footage was just obtained and released
today by ABC News. From the footage, we can tell that during that event in
2002, one of the things Mitt Romney told this group of business leaders was
this. You`re going to hear his voice here. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m a big believer in
getting money where the money is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: I`m a big believer in getting money where the money is.

What Mitt Romney was talking about there is how great he planned to be
at getting money from the federal government for Massachusetts. Now,
that`s politically awkward for him now because he`s been attacking Rick
Santorum as a guy who got way too much federal money for his home state of
Pennsylvania as a senator.

But that basic concept, I like to get money where the money is, it`s
turned out to be kind of a way of life for Mitt Romney. It was true when
he was looking for pork for the Salt Lake Olympics. That was the example
he was using to prove he`d be a good governor. I got a ton of money from
the federal government.

It was the principle that he used when he was running for
Massachusetts. You saw him promising to do that there in his campaign.
Getting money where the money is meant getting money out of the federal
government for Mitt Romney.

Now that he`s running a presidential campaign, getting money where the
money is means he`s been raising all his campaign money from where the
money is, from rich people, right? It`s stark. Of the $60 million-plus
Mitt Romney has raised from the end of January, look, less than 10 percent
of that came from small donors, people who gave $200 or less. Less than 10
percent of his donors gave $200 or less. The other 90 percent of his
donors are big dollar donors.

The Campaign Finance Institute reports that Mitt Romney is relying
more heavily on large dollar donors than any other major presidential
candidate in the last 12 years.

Romney campaign, though, is now trying to change that. For the first
time in this campaign, Mitt Romney is now asking regular human beings for
money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I need your support. I`m asking for you to get out and vote,
and I`m asking for you, by the way, to go on MittRomney.com and pledge your
support in every way possible.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: You`re used to all the other candidates giving their web
addresses all the time, right? Newt.org, right? It`s their way of saying
go to my Web site, click the "donate" button, give me money. All the other
candidates drop their Web site addresses into their speeches all the time.

But this week in Michigan, at that speech you just saw, that was the
first time Mitt Romney ever did this on the campaign trail. And you`ll
notice -- can we play the sound again? The crowd laughs at him when he
does it. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m asking for you, by the way, on mittRomney.com and pledge
your support in every day possible.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: He`s such a kidder. Oh, wait, he`s serious?

But it wasn`t the one mention in the one speech. That was first. But
now, the Romney campaign is actively trying to raise money from regular
human beings now. There`s evidence. The "L.A. Times" reporting today on
two separate small dollar fundraising pitches the Romney campaign launched.

The Romney campaign sent out a fund-raising e-mail, quote, "Donate $3
today to be automatically entered to be Mitt`s special guest for on
election night on Super Tuesday." Three bucks.

They`ve also put out a web video asking for $20 contributions to fight
the, quote, "Obama attack machine."

They`ve got two problems with this strategy. First, Mitt Romney up to
this point has just been raising money from other people who are like Mitt
Romney, right? He`s only been raising money from other rich guys.

And there it is again, right? When he is soliciting money, he`s
basically just talking to wealthy people. And to his credit, he has come
up with a really great pitch to wealthy people which is -- here, look what
I`ll do for you.

A new analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center shows that wealthy
people will make out like bandits under Mitt Romney`s tax plan. Quote,
"The Romney plan would give the top 1 percent of earners an average tax cut
of $150,000. Those making $1 million or more would receive an average tax
cut of a quarter of million dollars." So come, brothers, let us reason
together. Clearly, if you`re a wealthy person, this is the campaign for
you.

So, that`s one problem -- Mitt Romney is going where the money is
because in part he has a message that really works for rich people. It is
harder for him to make the same pitch for the people who are at the bottom
of the economic ladder -- who, in fact, will pay more taxes under Mitt
Romney`s plan.

But here`s the other problem with this. If you`re a working stiff, if
you`re a bottom-of-the-economic ladder kind of person, the kind of person
who might think about making a $3 campaign donation, how do you look at a
guy like Mitt Romney? Man`s got a couple of Cadillacs. Want to make a
$10,000 bet? How do you look at a guy like Mitt Romney and say, yeah, he
needs my $3 more than I need my $3?

In 2008, Mitt Romney ran for president and lost to the guy who lost to
Barack Obama, Mitt Romney put $42 million of his own personal fortune into
his presidential campaign. This year, zero. He`s put in none. He`d like
you to fund his campaign instead.

Even if you like the guy, is that really a compelling pitch?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much money do you have?

ROMNEY: Well, you tell me and I`ll tell you -- no, I`m kidding.
Actually --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not running for president.

ROMNEY: Yes, I understand. It`s between $150 million and $250-some-
odd-million. I think that`s what the estimates are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: And he doesn`t want to spend his money on the campaign. He
wants to spend your money on this campaign. Help a brother out, you got 3
bucks?

That does it for us tonight. Thanks for being with us this week. We
will see you again Monday night.

But, first, three, two, one -- prison.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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