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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Monday, May 14, 2012

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Keenan

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thanks to you at home for staying with us for
the next hour.

We`ve got Elizabeth Warren on the show coming up in just a moment.

We`ve got the latest on Ron Paul not quite suspending his race for
president but doing something that will kind of look like he`s suspending
his race for president.

We`ve got an exclusive coming up on tonight`s show on the issue of
reproductive rights. There`s a political earthquake that`s about to happen
on that issue today. We`ve got the exclusive coming up tonight on the

That`s all ahead this hour. We`ve got a really big show.

But today in politics -- today in politics weirdly was the day that
President Barack Obama took the baton from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

On January 9th of this year -- that was right after Iowa and right
before New Hampshire -- January 9th of this year, this was the campaign
trail itinerary for the various candidates in the race. Mitt Romney was
campaigning in Nashua, New Hampshire. Newt Gingrich was campaigning in
Dover, New Hampshire. Rick Santorum was in Somersworth, New Hampshire.
Jon Huntsman was in Concord, New Hampshire. Ron Paul was in Hollis, New

And Rick Perry - -Rick Perry was in Greenville, South Carolina? Huh?
Rick Perry decided to skip New Hampshire. Where he didn`t think he would
do very well as a candidate.

And he was right. Rick Perry got less than 1 percent of the vote in
New Hampshire. Specifically, 0.7 percent of the New Hampshire vote.

But while he was ostentatiously not focusing on New Hampshire while
everybody else was up north, Rick Perry was focusing on South Carolina and
he was focusing there on his brand new message that he brought to the
campaign starting that one lonely southern day.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: You go to Gaffney and that little
company down there that Bain Capital shut down, they`re handing out pink
slips in Gaffney, South Carolina, there are people out of work down there
because of what Mitt Romney and Bain Capital did.


MADDOW: Newt Gingrich ultimately gets more credit than Rick Perry
does for having gone after Mitt Romney`s business career and all the
American factories that he closed and all the people he laid off when he
was at Bain. Newt Gingrich gets more credit for that as a political tactic
but Rick Perry really is the one who pioneered it this year and pioneered
it in sometimes gross terms.


PERRY: I will suggest they`re just vultures. They`re vultures that
are sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick.
Then they swoop in. They eat the carcass. They leave with that and they
leave the skeleton.


MADDOW: Just skipping the part about them vomiting the chewed car
vas into the mouths of their young. You hit all the other details there,

But this line -- not this venture capitalist but vulture capitalist
line, this criticism that if Mitt Romney wants to say you should trust him
on job creation because of what he did at Bain, then his record at Bain
which was about the opposite of job creation. It was about firing people
and bankruptcies and businesses closing that nevertheless made him a profit
-- well, if you`re going to say Bain is the reason you ought to be assessed
as experienced enough to be the president, if that`s going to be the part
of your record that you run on, then the whole of that record that you
built up at Bain is going to be what you have to run on.


about the ability of hand full of rich people to manipulate the lives of
thousands of other people and walk off with the money? Or is that, in
fact, a somehow a little bit of a flawed system?

Look, I`m for capitalism. I`m for people who go in to save a
company. I`m for people who take real risk. But if somebody comes in and
take the money out of your company and leaves you bankrupt while they go
off with millions, that`s not traditional capital.

NARRATOR: Mitt Romney became CEO of Bain Capital the day the company
was formed. His mission: to reap massive rewards for himself and his

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney and them guys they don`t care who I

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s for small businesses. No, he didn`t.
He`s not.


MADDOW: The last clip there you saw with the ominous music was from
the anti-Mitt Romney documentary called "King of Bain." Remember that?
Newt Gingrich`s side used "King of Bain" against Mr. Romney like a
political cannon when they were heading into the South Carolina primary.

If you go to right now, it automatically redirects you
to this happy red, white and blue, I love Newt Gingrich super PAC page. If
you go through Google and you go through the cached version of, you can see what was there before, you can find the entire
28-minute documentary called "When Mitt Romney came to town."

Mr. Gingrich is now, of course, a supporter of Mitt Romney. But
before he was a supporter, at the time he was using this line of attack,
frankly, Newt Gingrich was beating Mitt Romney by 13 points in South
Carolina. Now that Mr. Romney`s locked up the nomination, the "you want to
talk about Bain, OK, let`s talk about Bain" baton has been handed off from
Rick Perry and then Newt Gingrich no now President Obama`s campaign.

This new ad for which there is a two-minute version and six-minute
version was released by the Obama re-election campaign today. It
highlights a Kansas City steel factory that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital
shut down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They made as much money off it as they could and
they closed it down, they filed for bankruptcy without any concern for the
families or the communities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked
the life out of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like watching an old friend bleed to
death. It makes me angry. Those guys were all rich. They all have more
money than they`ll ever spend, yet they didn`t have the money to take care
of the very people that made the money for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bain capital walked away with a lot of money that
they made off of this plant. We view Mitt Romney as a job destroyer.


MADDOW: The last time the gory details of how Bain did business was
used to beat Mitt Romney in a general election is when Senator Ted Kennedy
used ads like this one against Mitt Romney in a Massachusetts Senate race
back in 1994. This is a 1994 ad.


NARRATOR: SCM: Mitt Romney`s firm bought the company and fired all
350 workers. Now some former workers talk about Romney`s business

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s cut our wages to put money back into his

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not creating jobs. You`re taking them
away from us to put money in your pocket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just wants to take money out of your pocket
and put it in his.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d like to say to the people of Massachusetts,
if you think it can`t happen to you, think again because we thought it
wouldn`t happen here either.


MADDOW: Mitt Romney lost that Senate race by 17 points.
Substantively, you can see the similarities between the ad President Obama
campaign`s running as of today and what Ted Kennedy did back in 1994.

Right now in 2012, Mr. Romney does not want to run on his record as
Massachusetts governor. He wants to run on Bain. He wants to run on what
he did for America at Bain.

It`s because he has put Bain at the center of his campaign, as really
his sole credential for the presidency, that explains why details about
what he did at Bain can be so devastating to his candidacy. What he
actually did at Bain may be the most devastating things that will be said
about Mr. Romney throughout the entire campaign.

So, if that`s the case, you have to wonder strategically, is
president`s re-election campaign doing this too soon? It is only May,
after all. You would think they would want to save the Bain thing so it
would be ringing through voters` ears 5 1/2 months from now when people are
going to the polls.

Turns out, don`t worry. There`s plenty more where this came from.
One thing the Ted Kennedy campaign used against Mitt Romney back in 2004 --
excuse me, back in 1994, that the Obama campaign has not yet used is the
fact that as Mr. Romney and company shut down the American factories and
made tens of millions of dollars for themselves and put hundreds of
Americans out of work, they also sometimes shut down the factories and put
people out of work and a way that made sure that you, the American
taxpayer, would have to cover the laid off workers` pension costs. Yes.

So Bain and company profited. Taxpayers had to clean up behind them
for all the people they laid off. Private profit, public risk. Does that
sound familiar?

Big action by big business. That is hugely profitable. But when it
goes bad, the people who took those big risks, they who got rich off them,
they didn`t have to pay for them going pad, taxpayers had to pay for them
going bad. That is part of the Romney at Bain story the Obama campaign is
going to roll out later in the campaign.

The taxpayers having to pick up the pensions after Romney and company
ran off with the company`s money? Yes, I think that`s still to come.

But that story -- that story about the public having to clean up
after people in private business got very rich taking a big risk, that
story is also, of course, the exact same story of what caused the financial
collapse in 2008, the great recession. Right? The reason our economy
still sucks even though it`s getting better -- big banks taking huge risks
that they got rich off but when they inevitably went bad, taxpayers had to
come to the rescue. All of the upside is private. All of the potential
downside is public. That`s a very special kind of capitalism, I mean
socialism. I mean capitalism.

Since the Wall Street collapse at the end of the Bush administration
and the bailout of the financial sector, think what you will about that
rescue, whether or not it ought to have happened. Since then, since the
financial sector got rescued by the taxpayer, things have been awesome on
Wall Street ever since.

Corporate profits are at a record high. I mean literally a record
high. The combined earning of the Fortune 500 corporations rose 16 percent
from 2010 to a record high of $825 billion last year. Record high.

Here is what the Dow Jones Industrial Average was when President
Obama took office in January of 2009. Where is it now? Oh, right.

In terms of that whole too big to fail thing? Before the crash you
used to have a bunch of banks like JPMorgan chase and Bear Sterns and
Washington Mutual. After the crash, you now have JPMorgan buying those
other two banks, just eating them up to form even one bigger super bank.

The top five banks in the country are now bigger than they were
before the crash, 13 percent bigger. Financial power is more concentrated
in the hands of a few large financial firms than before the disastrous
collapse. They are bigger institutions when they were when we were all
horrified to learn when they were too big to fail and their failure would
destroy the American economy.

So, since the rescue, since the collapse and the rescue, it`s been
happy days on Wall Street. Right? The Obama years have been good to Wall
Street. They are doing better than they have ever done.

And Wall Street has recognized and rewarded that by fleeing en masse
to support Mitt Romney against Barack Obama. Wall Street has fared very,
very, very, very, very, very well under Barack Obama, but Mitt Romney,
frankly, is offering them too sweet a deal to look away from.

Mitt Romney is offering to not only get rid of any of the new rules
that were put in place after the Wall Street collapse, but to wind the
rules back even further, to make them even more lax than they were before
Wall Street almost destroyed the entire American economy.

The symbol of that on Wall Street is this guy who is the head of the
biggest bank in the country. He was very famously a Barack Obama supporter
back in 2008. He`s so opposed to any new regulations on Wall Street that
he now describes himself as barely a Democrat and he`s been flirting with
supporting Mitt Romney instead of Barack Obama. His name is Jaime Dimon
and his bank is called JPMorgan.

And JPMorgan just had their own mini-meltdown. They had a small
version of what took down the whole economy back in 2008. Now, it doesn`t
look like JPMorgan is going to need a bailout, but what they just did is
the kind of thing that did trigger the system-wide collapse and the need
for a bailout a few years ago.

This guy, this particular banker, this particular bank, has been
arguing since the financial collapse that there don`t need to be any rules.
There don`t need to be any more burdensome rules to stop us banks from
doing stuff. There`s no need for rules. We`re fine. We can take care of
it ourselves.

If is fine if you can take care of if yourself until you can`t take
care of it yourself and then the taxpayers to have to take care of you
because you`re so big the whole American economy is caught up in your big
dumb bets. From the taxpayers` perspective, hey, if we`re going to be the
ones that will have to come to the rescue, then you sort of have to be
constrained from behaving in a way that`s going to constantly require

Wall Street, of course, would still prefer that there be no rules at
all. They get rescued all the time by us no matter what they do. And so
for this election they are supporting Mitt Romney against Barack Obama.

And a tiny little step down the ticket, it means they are throwing
their money hand over fist at one particular United States senator, a
senator from Massachusetts. The man who holds what used to be Ted
Kennedy`s senate seat.

Scott Brown of Massachusetts has taken more money than any other
senator from the securities and investments sector. He has taken more
money than any other senator from the venture capital sector. He`s taken
more money than any other senator from the private equity and investment
firms. He`s taken more money from the hedge fund industry.

Hold on. This guy isn`t even from New York. Nope. But Wall Street
has a guy on the inside. And his name is Scott Brown. He`s running for
office in Massachusetts.

But in the first quarter of this year, the city of which he received
more itemized donations than any other place is New York City, which is not
in Massachusetts. They call him one of Wall Street`s favorite congressmen
for a reason.

Actually they call him that for two reasons. You might remember what
Scott Brown did when they were first writing the Wall Street rules. You
remember his specific contribution? They thought there was going to be $19
billion in implementation costs for the new rules. Hmm. Who should pay
for those $19 billion in implementation costs after the Wall Street
meltdown nearly destroyed the American economy? Who`s going to pay for

Well, those implementation costs were going to be paid for by the
banking sector. Seems like a no brainer. Scott Brown amended the bill so
the banks would not have to pay the costs. You would. Taxpayers would
have to pay them.

So, $19 billion -- I mean, that alone probably worth Wall Streets
investment in U.S. Senator Scott Brown.

But more importantly, Scott Brown is the only thing standing between
Elizabeth Warren and the United States Senate. Elizabeth Warren is the
founder of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. She`s the Democratic
Party`s likely U.S. Senate candidate for Massachusetts against Scott Brown
and she`s making news today by saying that the head of JPMorgan Chase,
Jamie Dimon, should step down from his position on the board of the New
York Fed where his job is to essentially regulate his own bank.

The Senate race in Massachusetts this year, it`s Wall Street`s
favorite senator versus Wall Street`s toughest critic. Elizabeth Warren
joins us next.


MADDOW: Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren
joins us next. Live.



JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CHASE CEO: It`s a stupid thing that we should
never have done, but we`re still going to earn a lot of money this quarter.
It isn`t like the company is jeopardized. We hurt ourselves and our
creditability. Yes. That we have to fully expect and pay the price for


MADDOW: JPMorgan Chase Chairman Jamie Dimon who`s a critic of
increased regulation on Wall Street talking about his company`s massive
multibillion dollar trading loss last week on "Meet the Press" yesterday

The reason I think he`s saying it was a dumb mistake they made, this
thing they did that they don`t understand why they did it, it was just
stupidity, nobody else would have done something this dumb -- the reason I
believe he`s talking about it that way is because he wants his company`s
mini meltdown on Wall Street to seem like a one-time deal, to seem like
something that could never happen again, just a freak accident. Certainly
there don`t need to be precautions from stopping anybody else from doing.
Certainly, there no need to be any rules, stopping Wall Street firms from
taking on that much risk again. They definitely don`t need anymore new

Joining us now is Elizabeth Warren. She`s the Democratic candidate
for United States Senate in Massachusetts, as well as the person who came
up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in

Professor Warren, thanks very much for joining us. It`s nice to see

to see you, too.

MADDOW: Does what just happened at this giant bank mean we should
all be worried that Wall Street is as risky for the country, as out of
control as it was when they crashed the whole economy in 2008?

WARREN: Well, here`s how you have to think about it. They crashed
the economy in 2008. We had to bail them out because otherwise we were
headed for the Stone Age, financially speaking. So, what happened next?

What happened was that the companies that brought the economy to its
knees did not take any responsibility -- all during the question about
financial reform they fought it tooth and nail. They side, no, no, no, we
can`t go there, no matter what. They lost that fight.

But then they just moved to a war and it was to spend in armies of
lobbyists to lobby Congress, to weaken the rules, to go light, to describe
to the regulators that really intended less and less regulation and to two
after the regulators, and they just say to the regulators, you know, you`ve
got to do less, let`s create this little technical part over here, another
loophole over there. Let`s delay implementation.

So in a sense, what`s been going on is that the banks have continued,
these largest financial institutions have continued a kind of business as
usual. They will decide how much risk to take on. They will decide how to
run their business practices.

They will continue to take the profits off the top. And they will
continue to leave the risks out there for the American taxpayer. While
they fight off any regulation off to the side.

So far, it`s worked pretty well for them.

The problem now is that JPMorgan has had to admit that, wow, it
really did take on a whole lot of risk and that it really got bitten by
that risk, but it still wants to hold off any form of regulation. So
here`s -- that`s what it leaves us with.

It leaves us in a situation where what we know for sure is there`s no
regulator who`s really looking over the shoulder of these big financial
institutions. There`s no cop on the beat to say, wait a minute. You can`t
take those kind of risks especially if you plan to leave the American
taxpayer holding the bag.

That`s the world we live in right now. The banks are still in charge
of their own risk practices, and that`s dangerous for all of us.

MADDOW: When you hear the Republican candidate for president, Mr.
Romney, talk about Wall Street, talk about regulation, he says that there`s
already been so much post-financial collapse regulation that it`s choking
off economic growth in this country. It tells exactly the opposite story
to what you`re telling.

He says it`s been an overzealous amount of regulation and cracking
down on the banks to a degree that`s crimping business.

What`s your reaction to that?

WARREN: You know, you really want to say, did he hear what Jamie
Dimon just said?

Jamie Dimon`s own words were that this was stupid, this was sloppy --
so stupid and so sloppy that it wasn`t even picked up by a regulator.
There was no one to say, hey, wait a minute, I want to review your risk
practices. I want to see the kind of risk that this huge financial
institution is taking on, because we`re just about 3 1/2 years past the
time when you took on so much risk that you brought this economy almost to
its knees.

So, the idea that Mitt Romney thinks that the banks are
overregulated, it just -- there is -- it`s an alternative reality. I mean,
it`s just simply not true.

MADDOW: You are -- sorry.

WARREN: The problem right now is there`s not adequate regulation.

MADDOW: You are running against Scott Brown who won his seat in a
special election in Massachusetts. He`s not been there for a full term.
You will likely be the Democratic nominee and will face him in November.

Why is it that he as a senator from Massachusetts has become Wall
Street`s favorite senator? Why is he the top recipient of donations from
the securities industry, from hedge funds, from private equity? What is it
about Scott Brown that is so attractive to the industry and what`s he
giving them for his money?

WARREN: Well, you know, this race will be about whose side you stand
on. Scott Brown went to Washington two years ago when he was elected in
effect holding the deciding vote on Dodd-Frank. And as you described
earlier, he traded that vote for $19 billion in breaks for the biggest Wall
Street financial institutions.

You know, you can put a lot of millions of dollars into someone`s
campaign, and $19 billion is a heck of a rate of return. And since then,
Scott Brown has been out there consistently voting for Wall Street`s
interests. You know, he voted to protect big oil subsidies. He`s voted to
protect those who get paid through stock rather than getting paid through
pay checks through the Buffett Rule.

Scott Brown has been reliable for Wall Street.

You know, you remember at the same time that we were debating the
financial reforms, I was out there on the other side. I didn`t have a
vote, but what I was doing was fighting for a Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau. I was worried about families that were getting hammered on
mortgages, on credit cards, on student loans. I was out there saying, we
need real accountability on Wall Street and arguing for tougher rules in
the financial reforms.

And so, it`s a pretty clear choice. And Wall Street, a lot of Wall
Street, knows which side they want to invest on in this.

MADDOW: Elizabeth Warren, likely Democratic candidate for Senate in
Massachusetts -- thank you very much for your time. It`s nice to have you
here. Thank you.

WARREN: Thank you for having me.

MADDOW: I should note we have invited Senator Brown to come on this
show many, many, many, many, many, many, many times. He`s welcome any time
he wants, but he doesn`t even return the call. Just so you know.

Republicans focusing on rolling back women`s health rights. Couldn`t
be. They`re the jobs, jobs, jobs folks, aren`t they? More on that ahead.


MADDOW: It is rare that the most lurid thing on your local TV
newscast is the story about politics. But if you were watching KFOR, which
is the local NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City this weekend, that rare lurid
political thing came true.


REPORTER: Most of the contention was captured on cell phone video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This woman right here has physically assaulted

REPORTER: The video you are watching is being recorded by a woman
who said she was just hit in the back,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And with a fist to my back.


UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you most certainly did.


MADDOW: I have no idea if she most certainly did, but what all that
was about is just ahead.



going to have a fight over women`s health. Give me a break.


MADDOW: The Republican strategy so far for dealing with that party`s
problem with women, the problem, for example, of the party`s presidential
nominee being on the wrong end of a 12-point gap of women voters in dozen
key swing states, the way Republicans have tried to deal with that problem
is to say it doesn`t exist. They say it was invented by Democrats to try
to make Republicans look bad.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA: Many in mainstream media are trying
to make an issue out of that straw man/straw women, this war on women that
supposedly the GOP is waging and making a big darn deal about that.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: The Democrats said we had a war on
caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about everyone has a
war on caterpillars, then we`d have a problem with caterpillars. The fact
of the matter is it`s fiction.

BOEHNER: This is the latest plank on the war on women entirely
created -- entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The describe Republicans as
anything as extraordinarily pro-women is totally missing the mark.


MADDOW: Republicans are extraordinarily pro-women. It`s marvelous
so says Mitt Romney.

Arizona`s Republican Governor Jan Brewer agrees telling "The
Associated Press" quote, "We are the party of women, particularly here in
Arizona. We like women."

What`s the problem? We like them.

The official Republican line is the war on women idea is a conspiracy
cooked up by the Democrats in the media. Republican officials who secretly
watch this program and will tell me this privately away from camera. You
won`t admit to it publicly. I have something to tell you about this -- if
you`re ready to give up the comfort of your conspiracy theory on this
issue, I`d like to help you understand where this is coming from.

People saying the Republican Party has a war on women, it`s coming
from a real place. It is not made up. Here is what you are doing that
makes it a coffee out the nose laugh line when you say you`re
extraordinarily pro-woman or the party of woman, right? Here`s the stuff
you are doing to earn the war on women title. It`s tonight`s inaugural
edition of where that whole war on women idea came from. We`re going to
name it.

We`re going to start in Jan Brewer`s great home state of Arizona. On
Friday night governor Brewer signed into law a bill to roll back access to
contraception. A new amended version of tell your boss while you`re on the
pill bill.

Last Friday night, Governor Brewer signed into law a plan to defund
Planned Parenthood in Arizona. It targets birth control and care for about
4,000 low income Arizona women. Last month Governor Brewer signed in a
bill deciding when women are allowed to have an abortion in Arizona.

Moving on to Utah, last week in Utah thanks to the Republican
governor, the state of Utah has a three-day waiting period for women who
are seeking an abortion. That`s the longest waiting period in the country.
It`s because women are too dumb to know what an abortion means until they
have been forced to think about it for three days -- oh not to mention all
the time off work.

In Alabama, the Republican-led legislature sent the state`s
Republican governor there to ban coverage for abortion in the new insurance
exchanges. In Oklahoma, that state`s Republican governor signed into law
last week a bill that makes it easier for doctors to be sued but not any
and all doctors. It only makes it easier to sue abortion doctors.

Earlier this month, that same Oklahoma Republican governor signed a
bill putting new restrictions on abortions. New regulations that make it
easier for doctors who describe the abortion pill to be sued.

In Kansas last week, Republicans in the House approved an omnibus
anti-abortion bill. It revamps the state`s tax code to financially punish
women who seek abortions in Kansas. It includes what amounts to a new tax
on abortions.

There`s also some personhood style language in the Kansas bill
suggesting that a fertilized egg is a person in Kansas. There`s also new
restrictions on when you`re allowed to have an abortion and new mandatory,
anti-abortion script and reading materials doctors will be forced to give
to Kansas women, including the factually untrue medically discounted myth
that abortion can cause breast cancer, and as well a measure that makes it
legal for doctors to essentially lie to women about their pregnancies in
order to prevent them from seeking an abortion.

That bill passed the Kansas House last week. Doing all of that and
right now, it appears to be stalled in the state senate. The state`s
Republican Governor Sam Brownback has told reporters, way back in February,
that even though he had not yet read the bill at that time, he`d probably
sign it.

Regardless of what`s in it? He knew he`d sign it before he read it?

While we`re on the subject of Republicans rushing to sign off on any
and every antiabortion bill that wanders anywhere near them, Republicans in
Georgia passed a new ban this year on when Georgia women can get abortions.
It was signed into law by the state`s Republican governor earlier this

Last week, Republicans who supported it in the legislature were asked
by constituents to explain that vote at a neighborhood forum. One
Republican lawmaker said he did have concerns about the bill, but he hoped
that doctors could find a way to make it work. Quote, "Yes, I voted for
it, but I had a lot of questions in my mind about what the implications

So, he didn`t know what the bill would do, but he figured he go ahead
and vote for it anyway. I hope they can work it out.

That`s how indiscriminately Republicans are supporting antiabortion
measures this year. Slap an antiabortion label on it. Apparently this
year`s model of Republican lawmaker will automatically vote for it.

This is what it`s like when Republicans are in charge. Democrats did
not make this up. This is how Republicans are governing this year,
wherever they have power, anywhere in the country.

Republicans are prioritizing using that power to block women from
having choices that they might otherwise have. It is true in the states.
It is also true in Congress.

"Roll Call" highlighting two different federal level Republican
efforts to force new abortion restrictions on Washington, D.C. Because why
not? Isn`t that why America sent this Congress to Washington to work on?
New abortion restrictions for the District of Columbia?

Republican Congressman Steve King has just today introduced a bill to
put new federal restrictions on medication abortions. Among his 47 co-
sponsors are 46 Republicans.

Democrats did not make this stuff up. This is not a liberal plot to
make it sound like Republicans are prioritizing attacking women`s access to
health care and abortion. They really are. I could do a segment like this
pretty much every other day.

Every week, every day, all over the country, denial that you are
actually doing this stuff does not count as a defense of this record.

On the other side of the abortion rights fight, there`s just been a
major, major shakeup. The leader of perhaps the most prominent and focused
abortion rights group in the country has announced she`s stepping down and
for a very surprising reason. That exclusive interview is next.



off when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of American
life, whether it`s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make.



MADDOW: President Obama being very well received today giving the
commencement address at Barnard College in New York.

Politics and policymaking around the issue of women`s health has been
more of a battleground over the last couple years than at any other time
since abortion rights were supposedly guaranteed nationwide in this country
in 1973, amid a record number of new laws restricting abortion rights in
the states.

Look at this. We did not make this up. Look at this. More
restrictions passed last year than from Roe v. Wade. With Republican
lawmakers` unrelenting priority of pushing back women`s reproductive
rights, as attacking access to abortion and even access to contraception
has become essential will presidential level politics on the Republican

The president one of the most vocal and active and focused abortion
rights in the country has announced that after eight years, she`s stepping
down after eight years. She`s NARAL president, Nancy Keenan. She says,
quote, "Roe v. Wade is 40 in January. It`s time for a new leader to come
in and basically be the next person for the next 40 years of protecting
reproductive choice."

Joining us tonight for her first interview since making this
announcement late last night is Nancy Keenan. She`s president of NARAL
Pro-Choice America.

Nancy, thank you for being here.

Thanks for having me, Rachel.

MADDOW: Tell me more about the decision to step down now. You`re
giving people lot of notice. You`re stepping down at the beginning of next
year. Why have you decided to do it and to do it with this message?

KEENAN: Yes. Well, you know, there`s two things a leader can give
an organization. One is the hard work, the dedication, the passion, the
commitment and the heart and soul in doing the job. The second thing is to
know when it`s time for someone else to build on the accomplishments of the
organization and for the next generations to tell their stories of choice
for the next five, 10, 15 years.

And like you said, I`m going to be around for the 2012 election. I
wouldn`t miss that for love nor money to help re-elect Barack Obama and, of
course, build on our pro-choice champions we have in the House and the

MADDOW: In terms of that generational divide, I am the same age as
Roe v. Wade. I was born in April 1973. The decision was January. So,
it`s three months older than me. That means that everybody my age or
younger grew up with abortion rights being technically guaranteed
nationwide in this country.

Do you feel like having somebody of my generation and younger is
going to make a material difference in how this fight is fought?

KEENAN: Well, I think it`s about the future. Look, my generation
was the generation that fought that our daughters and granddaughters would
not have to worry about this. Yet, what we`ve learned over this time is
that you always have to be vigilant.

And so for me, the next generation stepping into this position are
going to tell their own stories -- their own stories about their lives,
their experiences, not looking back at the anniversary of roe being 40, but
looking forward and saying what is it about our generation now that has to
lead, to protect this right?

I think it all came home around the fight on contraception where it
became real. It became real.

Now, for me, and for NARAL Pro-Choice America, it`s just a wonderful
opportunity to connect to the millennial generation, these are that 18 to
30-year-old, who are by 2020 are going to be 40 percent of the voting
population in this country. So, it`s a tipping point of this issue to talk
about the stories of that generation moving forward.

MADDOW: This -- I will be frank with you. I feel like the sunny
side of this is for you to be stepping aside from this position
specifically to make room for younger women leadership in this field I
think is selfless and farsighted and I think is right about the politics in
terms of where your advocacy position is strongest.

On the other hand, this is the greatest assault on abortion right --
we`re in the middle of the greatest abortion rights since Roe v. Wade.
That`s not hyperbole. It`s really numerically evident. You are the most
experienced leader in the country on this issue.

Is it a good time for fresh blood?

KEENAN: I`m telling you they`re now. We have wonderful young leaders
there now. It`s not like waking up now expecting somebody to show up.
There are young women now poised and have been fighting for this issue, but
poised now to take that reign of leadership in a very different capacity.

Again, I want to go back to the stories, Rachel. Because it couldn`t
be me sitting in front of that panel of Congress talking about birth
control and really making the impact that Sandra Fluke did. And so, it is
the face of the future. It is the face of the next generation and the
stories that have to be told about the impact on their lives now -- not on
the lives 40 years ago -- their lives today and the importance of being

MADDOW: Do you think the next year is going to be as successful for
the anti-choice, anti-abortion side as this last year was? Do you think
it`s waning?

I know you`re from Montana. I know there`s a great conservative,
small c conservative libertarian tradition even in Montana Republican
politics. Do you see the Republican side dividing on this at all or
continue these strides?

KEENAN: Well, I think the American public is going to speak. I
don`t care if it`s at the courthouse to the White House level. I think the
American public shares the values of freedom and privacy.

And I think they`ve seen the assault on women this past year and they
have said, enough. That voice is going to be heard at the ballot box, I
think, in November.

And so, whether it`s the importance of having a pro-choice president
in Barack Obama, whether it`s the importance of having leaders in the
House, in the Senate that have stopped some of this insanity that came out
of the House or whether it`s having a governor like we do in Montana who
vetoed this absolutely obnoxious legislation.

That`s the importance of connecting the personal to the political
that we have to vote our values. I have great faith in this next
generation of millennials that they will connect the personal to the

MADDOW: Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America,
through the end of this year. Thank you for joining us tonight. A lot of
people have been very curious about your decision and it`s nice to hear
from you. Thanks.

KEENAN: Thank you.

MADDOW: Appreciate it.

KEENAN: All right. Up next, they had a political convention in
Oklahoma this weekend and a fistfight broke out, or maybe it was that there
was a big fistfight in Oklahoma this weekend and a political convention
broke out. It was kind of hard to tell. We have the videotape, next.


MADDOW: The Oklahoma Republican Party held a convention this weekend
and it was kind of a street fight.


REPORTER: We`re told police had to get involved when a 70-year-old
Mitt Romney supporter punched a Ron Paul supporter in the head after they
disagreed on the vote. Most of the contention was captured on cell phone

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This woman right here has physically assaulted

REPORTER: The video you are watching has been recorded by a woman
who said she was just hit in the back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And with a fist to my back.


UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you most certainly did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I bumped into you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A woman struck me with her fist in the middle
of my spine and said it`s your own damn fault.

REPORTER: This wasn`t the only commotion during the Oklahoma
Republican state convention. This Ron Paul supporter said he was hit in
the head by a 70-year-old Mitt Romney supporter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moved on, got to the important business that
everyone here is here for instead of wasting time on something else. I
really did appreciate how great the police are.


MADDOW: This is not how modern Republicans expect their politics to
go. I mean, the Republican Party is supposed to be orderly. The
Republican Party are supposed to be Gibsons by the pool with pearl onions.
Very reasonable. Very nice. Don`t eat the garnish.

But not this year. Witness Oklahoma where they booed and screamed at
the state`s Republican Governor Mary Fallin when she said at the convention
the party`s single goal was to elect Mitt Romney as president.


GOV. MARY FALLIN (R), OKLAHOMA: Sounds like we have Obama lovers


MADDOW: This is Oklahoma. This is the reddest state in the union in
presidential politics. There are no Obama lovers there. Oklahoma is the
only state in the United States in which Barack Obama lost every single
county to John McCain.

If the Republican governor of this super Republican state cannot
stump for the party`s presumed nominee without getting loudly booed, the
Republican Party is truly having trouble conducting the most basic of its

This weekend it was supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul in
particular lodging complaints about the way the convention was being run,
right up until the lights went out, literally. Watch.


REPORTER: Attendees said there was disagreement throughout the day.
Things came to a halt when the lights turned off and the conference room
walls closed on one group.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart was totally broken when the convention
just was put into shambles. They were turning mikes off and turned the
lights off. They pulled the walls across to prevent delegates from voting.


MADDOW: After the punches and the blackout and the booing and the
walls being closed, the convention results seemed almost irrelevant.

But for the record, Rick Santorum got 14 delegates, Mitt Romney and
Newt Gingrich each got 13, Ron Paul whose supporters made up half the
crowd, Ron Paul, the last non-Mitt Romney candidate still in the race, Ron
Paul got no delegates in Oklahoma.

We watched this year`s supporters made a big splash at convention
after convention around. In Arizona this weekend, the Ron Paul crowd booed
and yelled at Mitt Romney`s son, Josh. Mr. Romney had already won the
Arizona primary by 20 points back in February.

He won the Alaska caucus by three points in march, but in April at
the state Republican convention in Alaska, the crowd Ron Paul, jeered a
U.S. senator who dared to say they should support Mitt Romney. They jeered
the idea of supporting Romney at all then they elected a Ron Paul supporter
as Alaska`s new party chairman.

In Nevada, Mitt Romney won the caucuses which were a mess. He more
than doubled up Ron Paul in the caucuses. At the state convention, Ron
Paul supporters took 22 of the 25 delegates free for the taking.

In Maine, Mitt Romney won a bigger mess than the caucuses in Nevada.
But at the Maine state convention, Ron Paul supporters grabbed most of the
delegates. History will reflect the Maine caucuses were a wreck and at the
convention Maine voted for Ron Paul.

Today Ron Paul announced he`s suspending the part of his campaign
that has to do with going out giving stump speeches in primary states.
Instead, the campaign said he`ll focus on those conventions, winning more
delegates at state conventions. He`ll travel to Minnesota for the
convention there this week. He`s scheduled to speak in Iowa and Washington

His supporters are hoping for the delegate best at the Idaho precinct
committee races tomorrow. We don`t know for sure what Ron Paul hopes his
growing stash of delegates is going to get him at the national convention.
None of the possibilities is nearly as intriguing as watching Mitt Romney
trying to win the hearts of his party faithful. Republicans are not by and
large crashing the doors over Mitt Romney the way they are for Ron Paul.

What happens to all that enthusiasm? What happens to all that
feeling? Now that Ron Paul is dialing back on the speeches and crowds, now
that the headlines say he`s admitting he cannot win, will Ron Paul
Republicans keep up this fight? The campaign saying Dr. Paul is concerned
by supporters shouting people down at the convention all over the country.

Quote, "It concerns him. He wants to convey to everybody and our
staff want to convey we`ll lose more than we gain if we go and we`re
disrespectful. Respect and decorum are very important to Dr. Paul."

Whether or not that stated concern from the candidate means the Ron
Paul delegate strategy at these conventions is going to start to dry up
now, too, or whether the Republican Party at the state level will continue
to be as astonishing as Oklahoma was this weekend because of the Ron Paul
enthusiasm, that remains to be seen.

What`s going to happen to last candidate standing against him Mitt
Romney is still a fascinating question. But, really at this point it`s
beyond standard pundit capacity. It`s a question only the candidate,
himself, can really answer.

Ron Paul, come on. I would still love to talk to you. We used to
talk all the time. I will love to have you. I will not interrupt. We`ll
have a great conversation.

We used to talk all the time. It was fun, right? Help us understand
what you`re doing. Come on. It will be fun.

Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell. Have a
great night.


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