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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Lou Dubose

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thank you, Michael. I really appreciate that.
More than you know. Thank you.

And thanks to you at home as well for joining us this inimitable

Starting two years ago this month, if you had cancer or a chronic
condition of some kind that made it hard for you to get health insurance
because you had a pre-existing condition, starting two years ago this
month, you finally got some help in the United States of America. They set
up these new high risk insurance pools that you could get into at a
reasonable cost even if you had a pre-existing condition. That was new and
that was July a couple years ago.

By September that same year for the first time, it became illegal for
insurance companies in this coverage -- insurance companies in this country
to refuse to cover a child on the basis of that child having a pre-existing
condition. And by September of that same year, September 2010, young
people were allowed to stay on their parents` insurance plans until age 26.
That was also brand new starting two years ago in September.

In September of 2010, it also became illegal for your insurance
company to drop you to cancel your coverage because you have the audacity
to try to use your insurance, because you filed a claim. Starting that
same month, your insurance stopped being able to put a lifetime limit on
you in terms of what they would spend on your health care needs.

So, if you get really sick, your insurance company no longer gets to
say, too bad, we know you paid for this coverage and everything, but we
thing we`ve spent enough on you and your illness already, so die already.
You`re on your own.

Also starting in September 2010, it became a new rule if you were
paying for health insurance in this country, that insurance has to cover
some preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies without
charging you extras. If you have insurance, those life-saving and frankly
money-saving things are covered without you having to pay extra in the
forms of a copayment or deductible.

That all happened in 2010, within months of health reform passing
Congress and being signed into law by President Obama.

Then last year, improvements to Medicare. So seniors would start
getting free preventive health care through Medicare and last year,
insurance companies for the first time were required to spend 80 percent to
85 percent of your money, the money that you pay them in premiums on your
health care instead of on marketing or CEO bonuses or whatever. If they
don`t spend 80 percent to 85 percent of what you pay them in premiums on
health care, they have to refund you. They have to pay you back.

That part of the health reform law took effect last year, which means
right now, this year, millions of people in businesses are starting to get
checks in the mail from their health insurance companies because the
insurance company did not in fact spend enough of their money on their
health care. So people are getting a refund. Insurance companies are
paying out over a billion dollars in refund checks this year because they
didn`t spend enough of what you paid them in premiums on actual health

Starting a few months from now January 1st, there`s also going to be
expanded preventive health care for people on Medicaid and there will be
higher payments to primary care doctors who treat people on Medicaid.

And by the year after that, January 1st, 2014, for the first time, it
will be illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone, not
just kids, but anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. It will also
be illegal for insurance companies to charge women more for health
insurance just because they`re women. And beyond just the lifetime caps on
your coverage, insurance companies will also then not be allowed to set a
yearly cap, a year to year cap on what they`re willing to spend on your
health care.

And that`s the evil Obamacare. Sounds awful, right? Evil health
reform -- doesn`t it sound terrifying like it`s going to reach out and grab
your ankles when you get out of bed in the morning?

That`s what Republicans keep voting to repeal. That`s what Mitt
Romney says he will definitely get rid of starting day one if you vote for
him for president.

But you know, there`s another piece of health reform that goes into
effect tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, August 1st, if you have health
insurance, you will be able to get for free under your insurance a whole
bunch of for preventive care designed to help women. Starting tomorrow,
new and renewed health plans are required to cover without copayments or
deductibles, required to cover a whole host of preventive care for women --
from pap smears to detect cervical cancer, to STD screenings, to other
kinds of cancer screenings, to gestational diabetes testing if you`re
pregnant, to breast feeding supplies if you`re a new mom, to, of course,
the star of this year`s loudest and longest "I can`t believe it`s the 21st
century" controversy, yes, birth control, covered without a copayment and
without a deductible.

And so today, on the eve, literally the eve, it starts tomorrow, on
the eve of this new wave of pre-preventive coverage for American women
that`s starts up under the health reform law, Democrats have been doing a
bit of a victory lap. Democrats today talking up not just the new stuff
that starts tomorrow, but all of the life-saving preventive coverage that
insurance companies are now required to provide for women, thanks to health


SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D), MARYLAND: During the health care debate,
we wanted to do two things. We wanted to be able to save lives and save

One of the most important tools we women have is mammograms. But in
the midst of the health care debate, they wanted to take our mammograms
away from us. Well, hey, not while I`m here.


MADDOW: Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland speaking at a
Democratic press conference about what women frankly are going to be able
to get now thanks to health reform and thanks to the fight that it took
Democrats to get it passed with zero Republican votes.

I also want you to watch this. I don`t think this has been picked up
anywhere else today, at least that I know of. But this is Senator Tom
Harkin of Iowa, also speaking today. I think this was remarkable. This is
him talking about this in really, really personal terms. Watch.


SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA: I lost both my sisters to breast cancer,
my only two sisters, at a fairly young age. When my older sister Marianne
(ph) died and we went to her funeral, her younger sister Silvia (ph) was
there and had no idea that she also had breast cancer. Within two years,
she was dead also. And they left young families.

They lived in rural areas, small tow towns. They didn`t have any
money. They didn`t really have health care coverage. For them to go to
get a check-up would have cost money -- money that they could ill afford at
that time. They had a number of kids.

And as I said, they didn`t have a lot of money. They didn`t have
health care benefits. I often think what would have been different if they
could have had this available to them -- early check-ups, early screenings.
But for both of them, it was way too late by the time they discovered it.

So, this has a personal, poignant meaning to me. And I just hope
that women in this country now will take advantage of this. And will now
go and get those annual screenings and get those checkups.

Early detection -- early detection we know works and millions of
lives can be saved and as Senator Mikulski said, families, families will
not have to lose a parent or a sister because of breast cancer or cervical
cancer, all the others.

So when I hear Republicans say, and they still say they want to
repeal this, and they want to take this away from women -- I stand with
Senator Mikulski. Not as long as we`re here.


MADDOW: Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa speaking today about the kinds of
cancer screenings and preventive care that health insurance companies as of
tomorrow are required to provide to American women at no cost, saying it`s
the kind of care that could have saved his own two sisters lives. That`s
what Democrats are talking about today, about the benefits that women are
getting, starting tomorrow, thanks to health reform. The benefits they are
about to get thanks to the Democratic fight for health reform which
Republicans opposed.

And so, naturally, today on the eve of those new benefits kicking in
for women, Senate Republicans again tried to repeal health reform.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY: I think given the fact that
our friend on the other side are going to focus on that bill this
particular week, it might be a good idea to have a vote on it because I
think it would be appropriate to have a vote on the repeal of Obamacare.


MADDOW: Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell asking today on the
eve of all of the brand new women`s health benefits kicking in, on that
occasion, specifically for that occasion, calling for a vote to repeal the
law that made the benefits possible. The Republicans proposal did not go
over well in the Senate today.


SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I am stunned that on the eve of
the broadest increase in benefits in my lifetime, the Republicans want to
repeal these benefits from women. This is a continuation on their part of
the war on women. And they can get up and stand on their head and deny it
and everything else.

How else can you explain why on the eve of the day that the women are
going to get all of these benefits, they want to now cancel Obamacare? And
stop all this from happening.

MIKULSKI: You know, every senator has to decide what they are going
to do that day, when they wake up in the morning. And for some in this
chamber, they wake up everyday thinking about how they`re going to stop
President Obama. How they`re going to stop his agenda and how they`re
going to do everything they can to stop him from having a second term.

People will come to this floor and they`ll pound their chest and
complain about the president. We want to pound the table and make sure
that women have gotten the health care they need.


MADDOW: Senators Barbara Mikulski and Barbara Boxer.

So, on the Senate side, the Republicans picked the fact that tens of
millions of American women are about to get access to free cancer
screenings tomorrow as the occasion to try to stop that from happening.
That`s how it happened in the Senate today. You saw the reaction from the
Democrats in the Senate.

On the House side, Republicans picked that same occasion, that same
day in Congress today. What do you think? Jobs, jobs, jobs?

No, of course not. They`re voting on yet another new federal anti-
abortion bill today because there isn`t anything else to work on. House
Republicans voted on a new abortion ban, specifically for Washington, D.C.
-- a new ban that breaks new grounds even for these Republicans by making
sure that rape victims and incest victims are not exempted from the new

So, if a rapist impregnates you in the District of Columbia, the
Republicans new law could insure that even you are forced by the government
to complete the pregnancy that is the result of the rape and give birth to
the rapist`s child against your will, if the pregnancy falls within new
narrowly defined parameters. Parameters narrowly defined by House

Two hundred twenty-two cosponsors for the Republicans` "let`s
specifically punish the rape victims and incest victims" new D.C. abortion
bill -- 222.

Because of the way the Republicans brought up their anti-rape victim
and incest victims antiabortion bill today, they needed a two thirds
majority for it to pass. They did not get that two thirds majority and it
did not pass.

But voting on yet another anti-abortion pill is the way the
Republicans in Congress celebrated the fact that women all across America
are going to get new free access to reproductive care and cancer
screenings, and contraception and even breast feeding supplies for new moms
-- thanks to the health reform law passed by the Democrats that the
Republicans are still trying to get rid of.

How is that gender gap looking for the election in November?

Even Republicans in Congress are complaining about how this looks for

Ahead of today`s vote, anonymous Republicans talked to "BuzzFeed`s"
John Stanton about what bad messaging they thought this all was. Quote,
"Leadership told us that the get out of town week messaging was stop the
tax hike. It baffles many of us that they would muddy that messaging by
scheduling an abortion bill vote."

Quote, "Obama raising taxes is supposed to be the message of the week
-- not this."

You know, for a while there, the Republicans actually did have their
messaging under control. Even while they were constantly working on anti-
abortion legislation, they weren`t talking about it. They were at least
talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, and tax cuts.

But now, kablooie, it has blown up. This week, Republicans who are
the ones talking about jobs and tax cuts, are the ones whispering and
complaining anonymously to the press while the Republican leader of the
United States Senate is scheduling a vote to repeal women`s health

And in the House, they actually did hold a floor vote on Congress
forcing rape victims and insist victims to give birth against their will
because Republicans in congress say they should.

Joining us now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois.

Representative Schakowsky, thank you for being here. Nice of you to
take the time.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you so much, Rachel.

MADDOW: Two hundred twenty-two cosponsors on yet another anti-
abortion bill from this crop of House Republicans. Why do you think they
got 222 cosponsors? What does this symbolize for so many of these House

SCHAKOWSKY: They all march in line. The leadership requires them to
do so. You aw some of the Republicans are resigning because if you dare to
buck the leadership, you won`t get the committee that you want, and you
will be punished.

And the good news is that it`s not just the Right to Life people that
are scoring this bill, that are going to rate members on it, but also NARAL
and Planned Parenthood are going to do the same and they`re going to be
hearing from women in their districts.

Now, this applied only to the colony of the District of Columbia
because that`s how they treat the District of Columbia. But the proponents
of the legislation said it was landmark and it was laying the foundation of
what they want to do around the country. Twenty weeks and after that,
there would be no abortion.

But you know, you heard that really poignant story. I heard it as
well, from Tom Harkin. If a woman needs an abortion after 20 weeks,
something has gone very wrong. This is probably a wanted pregnancy, and
either her health is in danger and there`s no exclusion for women`s health
either at all -- a narrow, narrow exclusion for the life of the woman.

So some dire circumstance is at hand that would cause a doctor to
prescribe to order an abortion at that point, but they would take that
away. And they could literally cause the death of a woman or sterilization
or some other horrible health condition that would last the rest of her

MADDOW: We are having these reports, these anonymous behind the
scenes reports to the press of some Republicans, even conservative
Republicans, frustrated that these votes are still happening. That people
who even if they are anti-abortion themselves, they want to focus on
economic issues, but the House can`t seem to stop itself.

In the House, you`re obviously a known combatant on this issue on the
pro-choice side. Do you see signs of frustration even from people who
disagree with you?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know what? I honestly don`t care if they`re
frustrated. Only six Republicans voted against the bill. Whining doesn`t
count in the end.

You know, 222 people voted for. That`s the bill that`s on record.
That`s the bill that will go down in history. And if it were a straight up
and down vote, and not what we call a suspension vote that required a super
majority, that bill will have been passed and sent over to the Senate.

So whine they might, but it`s women that really suffer when they do
that kind of legislation. So, you know, I really am not that concerned
about their feelings until it turns into a real uprising against the
ridiculous war on women that`s being waged. They`re following right along.

MADDOW: We`re 98 days out now from the general election in November.
What do you expect your party, the Democrats, to be able to do over the
next 98 days to press the advantage you have with women voters? Not just
because of these issues but in part because of these issues?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, first of all, we have a great plus. I thank you
very much for talking about what is actually in Obamacare instead of all of
the myths that have been said about the dangers and creating fear about
Obamacare. This is now the time for us, all of us, to be explaining,
especially to women, the wonderful things that are in there for them and
for their families. And then to do the litany of the legislation one after
another that shows the utter disrespect.

I don`t remember a time when there`s been such impunity to speak
about women and women`s bodies and women`s rights and women`s paychecks
like there is right now. I don`t know what has happened to give these
people permission to take out of backrooms onto the House floor these kinds
of conversations.

So I think we need to replay them. We need to retell them. And
every woman who agrees with what I`m saying right now needs to feel herself
responsible to talk to other women about how really dangerous it would be,
dangerous to our health, and our economics for Mitt Romney to win and for
us not to take back the House of Representatives and keep the Senate.

MADDOW: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, thank
you for joining us tonight. I know it`s a busy time in Washington.

All right, tonight`s best new thing in the world is a social event to
which I am retroactively inviting myself. Stay tuned for that. A really
good one tonight.

And coming up next, an abject lesson in what not to do with the moral
high ground once you`ve got it. It involves a little bit of swearing, but
I promise we will be careful and respectful, mom. We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: The biggest, reddest state in the Union as of tonight is
looking even deeper red -- so deep red that it is trending toward purple.
We`re going to give Karl Rove electoral dyspepsia in just a moment. It`s
coming up.


MADDOW: Here`s are question for the Republican Party`s presidential
nominee that I would love to hear an answer to.

Mr. Romney, when you ran for president back in 2008, you personally
contributed more than $42 million, $42 million of your own Romney bucks to
your presidential campaign war chest, $42 million. This time around, you
and your wife Ann have so far contributed $150,000.

Why is that? Why not spend your tens of millions of dollars on your
own campaign this year like you did last time around? What`s the
difference between this time and last time?

Here`s another question for Mitt Romney: Mr. Romney, you announced
earlier this year that the chairman of your energy advisory group is an
Oklahoma oil billionaire named Harold Hamm. A few weeks after that
announcement, Mr. Hamm made a donation of nearly $1 million to your super
PAC. Are those connected?

Aside from Mr. Hamm, who else is advising you on energy policy? Why
haven`t you disclosed any of the other names? Are they also people who
have contributed to your super PAC?

Here is question three: Mr. Romney, you and your wife Ann own a
dressage horse named Rafalca that is competing in the Olympics.

Despite the fact that dressage appears to be a hobby of your
family`s, you classified the horse as a business on your taxes in 2010,
allowing you to take a tax deduction on the horse. Why did you classify
the horse as a business as opposed to just a hobby?

Question four: Mr. Romney, why were you registered to vote in the
unfinished basement of your son`s house in Belmont, Massachusetts? Here`s
a layout of that house. Did you ever really live in your son`s unfinished

OK, Mr. Romney, just one more question. You have explained the
change of heart that you had on the issue of abortion between your U.S.
Senate run in 1994 and today. But in that same Senate run, you also said
that you would be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights were you
elected. Have you also a change of heart on that? If so, what change
caused your change of heart on gay rights or do you think you`re to the
left of the late Ted Kennedy on the issue of gay rights?

I`m asking these questions here in public as a sort of Hail Mary
pass. Obviously, Mitt Romney is never going to take the questions from me,
but I don`t know what the answer is to any of those questions and I think
they`re important questions. And maybe somebody who gets to ask him a
question somewhere will get some answers to them if they get asked.

We could -- you can file them away. We could make flash cards out of
these questions. And in case Mitt Romney returns to you and said, yes,
I`ll answer a question, you could ask them.

It`s a Hail Mary, I recognize that. It is really hard to get answers
of any kind on political questions from Mr. Romney mostly because he almost
never takes questions from the press.

And that fact, Mr. Romney`s chronic press avoidance was actually the
thing that was behind the final horrible gaffe on his horrible gaffe ridden
trip abroad for Mr. Romney this past week. You saw what happened today?


REPORTER: Governor Romney!

REPORTER: Governor Romney, are you concerned about the some of the
mishaps on your trip?

REPORTER: Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the

REPORTER: What about your gaffes?

REPORTER: Governor Romney, do you feel your gaffes have overshadowed
your foreign trip?

RICK GORKA, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: This is a holy site for the Polish
people. Show some respect. Show some respect, Jim

REPORTER: We haven`t had another chance to ask him questions.

GORKA: Kiss my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this a holy site for the Polish
people. Show some respect.


MADDOW: He followed it up by telling another reporter to shove it.
You have to love the press guy saying, show some respect, kiss my -- show
some respect, kiss my -- it`s a holy site, shove it.

That should have been a good moment for the Romney campaign. I mean,
honestly, particularly from the vantage point from which that footage is
shot, it`s hard to feel sympathy for the reporters who are screaming in
that clip. You don`t necessarily come out on their side of it when you see
the tape, right?

You don`t sympathize with those people yelling those rude questions.
But just when you start to feel bad for Mr. Romney, you wish for the rude
reporters to be quiet, then --


REPORTER: We haven`t had another chance to ask him questions.

GORKA: Kiss my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this a holy site for the Polish
people. Show some respect.


MADDOW: You are starting to root against the reporters and then you
get -- kiss my!

If the Romney campaign took the moral high ground there, stuffed a
land mine into it, blew it up, and now it`s the low ground. You took
unsympathetic seeming reporters and turned them into seeming victims of the
boorish swearing guy from the Romney campaign. What are you doing?

And the reporters sort of had a point in terms of what they were
complaining about once they were confronted and stopped shouting their
questions. I mean, they all went along on this foreign trip -- these news
organizations spent their money to have the reporters go there to cover
news. They were all with Romney for all of these days, of these different
things happened over there -- newsworthy things that in fact required in
many cases additional explanation or comment from the candidate and

And yet, what were they there for, in total, over the course of seven
days, three questions from the traveling press corps. Seven days, entire
press corps, three questions. The beat reporters who cover Mr. Romney got
basically zero access to him.

So, why were they there? They were essentially there to describe
photo ops. That was it, could have been one person, could have been an

This sort of thing has a material effect on the Romney campaign.
Frankly, they think this is to their advantage, but I`m not sure it is. It
doesn`t allow them to shape the narrative at all -- to tell the story that
they want to tell.

Frankly, if you tell the reporters to describe your photo ops,
they`re real reporters. They`re not going to do that.

The inability of the Romney campaign to engage with the press takes
away their about to start new news cycles or to shape existing news cycles
based on the candidates` impressively newsworthy quoted words. They don`t
offer those words and so they`re not affecting the news cycle. The news
cycle is about them, not from them.

And so, as our own John Harwood pointed out last night, it may be
after all of the mistakes on the foreign trip, it may be that the biggest
screw-up of this awful blown campaign stunt full of screw-ups is that upon
the candidate returning to the United States after this mess of a trip,
what are they still answering questions about? Mitt Romney`s tax returns.
They were hoping to leave that behind, but it`s not something they have
been able to pivot away from because they will not answer questions about
it and turns out that doesn`t help.

When ABC News did get a formal sit-down interview with Mr. Romney on
Sunday, Mr. Romney`s answer to a question about his tax returns was that he
would go look and see if he had ever paid a tax rate lower than 13.9
percent on his tens of millions of dollars on annual income.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: We know that there was one year when you paid
about a 13.9 percent tax rate. Can we clear this up by asking you a simple
yes or no question? Was there ever any year when you paid lower than the
13.9 percent?

that. I`m happy to go back and look.


MADDOW: I`m happy to go back and look. Now, typically, the way a
campaign, not even a presidential campaign, but any campaign, handles
something like that is when the candidates says I will go back and look,
the campaign then follows up and releases a statement to the news
organization answering that question that the candidate said he would go
back and look at.

But in this case, Mr. Romney said he would answer it and now it
appears his campaign does not have any intention on following through on
what he said.

And so, ABC News gets to keep the story alive about him dodging
questions, even ones he said he would answer about his tax returns. They
get to keep running segments about Mr. Romney refusing to answer questions
about this thing he desperately doesn`t want to be asked about anymore but
that he cannot clear out of the press cycle as long as he`s still evading
the press on it.


REPORTER: ABC News reached out to the campaign today after Romney`s
answer. A spokesperson would only reiterate, "Mitt Romney has paid his
taxes in full compliance with U.S. law and he`s paid 100 percent of what he
has owed."


MADDOW: And now, ABC gets to revisit it every single newscast they
do until he answers the question.

Almost every single week, we send the Romney campaign lists of
questions on one topic or another. More often than not honestly, they
never get back to us at all, even to say no comment.

And so, I get it, listen, you guys obviously are not ever going to
take advice from me on anything, and somebody obviously told you that
running against the press is a way to achieve political advantage
particularly if you`re a Republican. But you know what? If it looks like
you`re running from the press and not just against the press, that
technique you have been advised to follow is an ineffective technique. It
makes you look like you`re afraid.

What it looks like right now is that you are running from the press.
You are afraid to answer real questions from real reporters who have real
jobs covering your real campaign. Not answering is worse for your campaign
than whatever the answers could be -- unless of course the answers
themselves are way worse than anything we can yet imagine.


MADDOW: The best new thing in the world today ended up involving the
whole RACHEL MADDOW SHOW staff -- and something unexpectedly
heartbreakingly awesome from the great state of Idaho. The best new thing
in the world is great tonight. It`s quick, it`s awesome, it`s coming up
right at the end of the show -- after some important news from Texas and
from something totally undercover in Washington today.

That`s all ahead. Stay with us.


MADDOW: In 2009, a congressman from Ohio said something on the House
floor that prompted one of the all-time greatest politics headlines ever in
the "Cleveland Plain Dealer". Quote, "Congressman Steve LaTourette blames
D.C. sucking sounds on politicians` sphincters."

That was the headline in the newspaper and the headline was not a
lie. Here is what prompted the line from Congressman LaTourette.


REP. STEVEN LATOURETTE (R), OHIO: Ross Perot, when he ran for
president in 1992 talked about the giant sucking sound. Well, today,
there`s another giant sucking sound going on in Washington, D.C., and
that`s the tightening of sphincters on both ends of Pennsylvania as people
are having to explain who put into the stimulus bill this provision of law.


MADDOW: See, the headline was not wrong. He did actually blame a
D.C. sucking sound on politicians` sphincters. Congressman Steve

Here`s the thing, though, what ended up having the most impact on
Steve LaTourette`s long-term career prospects as a Republican congressman
from Ohio was not that he criticized politicians sphincters and what sounds
they can make. But rather that when he levied that criticism, he levied it
at politicians of both parties, and even politicians on both ends of
Pennsylvania, in the White House and in the Congress.

Steve LaTourette was not the most partisan or the most conservative
Republican in the world, and if you are not the most partisan and not the
most conservative, it is a difficult thing to be in today`s Republican

And so, Steven LaTourette is leaving Congress. He`s quitting. He`s
stepping down, unexpectedly announcing he will not run again. We first got
news of this yesterday on the same day that another not that partisan, not
that conservative Republican congressman from New York told his home town
paper that his own Republican Party is quote, "rendering ourselves
incapable of governing when all we do is take severe sides."

Congressman Richard Hanna telling "The Post Standard" of Syracuse,
quote, "I have to say I`m frustrated by how much we, I mean, the Republican
Party, are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this
moment in history."

He also called his fellow Republicans essentially just plain mean.
He said, quote, "I would say that the friends I have in the Democratic
Party, I find much more congenial -- a little less anger."

It is not an easy thing to be not the most partisan, not the most
conservative Republican in today`s Republican Party.

Did you see what happened today in Connecticut? Public Policy
Polling released numbers on the Senate race there. This is the race for
Joe Lieberman`s seat. He`s retiring from the Senate.

This is Chris Shays. He is the establishment guy. He was a
Republican congressman for more than 20 years. He`s a very known quantity
in the state, probably, honestly in my assessment, the only Republican who
would have a prayer of getting that Senate seat for the Republicans if they
do have a prayer of it.

And in this new poll, results out today from PPP, look at this, look
at the margin. He`s losing the Republican primary by 48 points. That`s
the margin by which he is behind. He`s behind a professional wrestling
mogul named Linda McMahon, behind her by 48 points.

It is hard to be the Chris Shays guy in this year`s Republican Party.
It`s not like Chris Shays is a liberal. None of these guys is a liberal,
right? They`re all conservative in fact by any reasonable measure.

But they`re not conservative enough because there is room at all to
their right. They`re all subject in one way or another now to the
purification process, this ongoing purge that is still gripping Republican
Party politics. So far, it has killed or cut short the careers of Senator
Dick Lugar of Indiana and Senator Bob Bennett of Utah and Congressman Mike
Castle of Delaware, and Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, and John Bruning
in Nebraska and Trey Grayson in Kentucky and, and, and, and.

And tonight in Texas again, the case of a genuinely conservative
Republican, Rick Perry`s lieutenant governor seen here ostentatiously
holding a Chick-fil-A bag this week to prove how anti-gay he is, Texas
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was wildly favored initially to walk
away with the Republican nomination to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison when
she retires this year from the U.S. Senate, and there was no problem with
Mr. Dewhurst`s conservative bona fides that should have stopped that from
happening -- until a challenger came along to Mr. Dewhurst who said he was
outflanking Dewhurst on the right.

And although one might not think there was any actual room to the
right of Texas` lieutenant governor and indeed there are no policy
differences between these two candidates, in today`s Republican Party
politics, really, all you got to do is call the other guy too liberal, call
him conciliatory, say you`re farther to the right and more confrontational
and then just watch the Republican primary float your way.

That was the state of the Lone Star State heading into tonight`s
Senate Republican primary where the last polls closed 43 minutes ago at
9:00 eastern. Just moments ago, "The Associated Press" called the primary.
They called the race.

"The Associated Press" says in fact the Tea Party favorite has won.
Ted Cruz has won the Republican nomination for Senate in Texas. He was
running against Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst from the right.

Ahead of tonight`s results, an unnamed Republican consultant
describes as nationally known, that consultant told "The Texas Monthly,"
quote, "If Ted Cruz wins the Senate race, Texas will be a purple state in
four years." That`s a Republican saying that about his own party`s

Democrats have been saying Texas is heading purple already, including
President Obama saying it this month in San Antonio.


one of the battleground states although that`s going to be changing soon.



MADDOW: Texas? Texas.

The run-off tonight in Texas followed weeks of campaigning, frankly,
by folks who are not from Texas. Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint and Grover
Norquist`s Club for Growth, all those folks all trying to get Ted Cruz the
nomination. Since the winner of the Republican primary at least for now is
a lock to win the seat in November, Texas Democrats pretty much ignored
their own Senate primary, you kind of have to in the Texas of today.

But the Texas of tomorrow, frankly, Texas Democrats have their eyes
of something much bigger than that one Senate race.

You might remember our current president giving the key note address
for the Democratic National Convention in 2004. That speech was how
America met Barack Obama.

This week, we learned that the man Democrats have picked to give this
year`s keynote address at the DNC is this guy, San Antonio`s mayor, Julian
Castro. Republican strategist Mark McKinnon has said that Mayor Julian
Castro may be America`s first Hispanic president. And in a purple Texas,
maybe he could even carry his own state.

More ahead. Stay with us.


MADDOW: Best new thing, really good one tonight, coming up. Stay
with us.



OBAMA: You`re not considered one of the battleground states although
that`s going to be changing soon.



MADDOW: President Obama speaking in San Antonio this month. We do
have election news tonight in Texas. We have a winner in the Republican
primary for Senate, which frankly, means we probably know who the next U.S.
senator is going to be from the state of Texas.

Tonight, the Tea Party-backed challenger to the establishment
Republican candidate has won the primary. Former Solicitor General Ted
Cruz has beaten Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in Texas. Ted Cruz ran
from the right, calling David Dewhurst a moderate, and that proved to be a
winning strategy for the Republican in the primary again.

Joining us now is Lou Dubose, former editor of "The Texas Observer".

Hi, Lou. It`s good to see you. Thanks for being here tonight.

Thank you.

MADDOW: Was the man who lost here actually a moderate, which he was
accused of being in this race?

DUBOSE: Not even by the standard of Texas politics. He was Rick
Perry`s lieutenant governor, but he was also Rick Perry`s lieutenant.

The power has shifted. That used to be the most powerful office in
the state, but Perry`s been in office so long, by power of appointment, he
has consolidated his power, and David Dewhurst was essentially his fact
totem in the Senate. And Rick Perry`s, you know, man in the Senate -- he
cannot be a moderate.

It`s really remarkable. The sucking sound is coming from the
governor`s mansion two blocks west of here, where they`ve got to be stunned
by this. And clearly he knew it was coming, in the polls, but this is a
remarkable defeat.

I mean, how do you defeat a former CIA officer, Air Force pilot, 14
years elected office in the state, and he`s a genuine conservative who once
advocated executing juveniles?

You know, it`s a sign of the times. It`s, you know, what happened in
Indiana, as you said earlier in the segment. Works best when your opponent
has a record, because there`s always some conciliation in that record, and
that`s what he beat him on, for cooperating with Democrats as lieutenant
governor. It`s stunning.

MADDOW : The way that -- the way, at least, it looks like this was
one is both sort of riding that national coat -- those national coattails
of the phantom Tea Party leaders of the Republican Party, right, where just
by calling somebody a moderate, you essentially establish them as
unelectable in a Republican primary.

But the other thing was money. I mean, there was a ton of outside
money. David Dewhurst is a very rich guy. He`s self-financed and raised a
lot of money. But Ted Cruz had all of this money coming in from outside

Do you think that`s sort of the new normal now? To get rid of normal
Republicans to make room for a new fringe?

DUBOSE: I mean, they defeated a guy who loaned himself $24.5 million
in this race. Dewhurst is immensely wealthy, probably $200 million. He
loaned himself $25 million.

But the money was the usual suspects., the same money that defeated
Richard Lugar. It was the club for growth, 80 percent of his outside
funding came from the Club for Growth. They spent $5.5 million in the
race. And, you know, the Club for Growth, as your viewers know, is an
anti-growth, anti-government, you know, funding operation that has been
doing this across the country. And that they could do it against a
candidate as, you know, the establishment favorite, in a really
conservative state is truly remarkable.

MADDOW: Lou, I quoted an earlier, an anonymous and reportedly
nationally known Republican consultant talking to "Texas Monthly" earlier
this month saying, if Ted Cruz wins, Texas is going to go purple within the
next four years.

We have -- we have heard Democrats and increasingly Republicans
talking about Texas soon becoming a battleground state. Both because of
Republican Party politics and because of the demographics in an
increasingly Latino state. Do you see Texas swinging? Do you see Texas
moving to be a more purple place?

DUBOSE: Only if somebody harnesses those demographics, Rachel. I
mean, the real weakness of the Democratic Party is that there`s no
structure in place that seems to be turning out the votes. Something like
the Oregon bus project, which from the ground up would register voters and
turn people out -- and they`re talking about coming to Texas, by the way.

But, you know, Paul Sadler is -- was a distinguished state
legislator, the Democratic candidate, who -- that race is newsworthy
because it`s not newsworthy. He raised $139,000.

MADDOW: Total.

DUBOSE: $139,000 total.


DUBOSE: And he can`t -- he won`t win in November and the following
election cycle, they won`t raise money because Democratic candidates can`t
raise money. So it`s sort of an electoral death spiral, in which you don`t
raise money, and because you didn`t raise money, you do poorly at the

So, you know, I`ve heard this demographics argument for a long time,
but there are 600,000 unregistered voters in Travis County alone. Register
those voters and get them to the polls, and that`s what`s going to have to

And Hispanic voters are not great voters. They don`t turn out that
well. So that whole demographic needs to really be worked.

MADDOW: Lou Dubose, editor of the "Washington Spectator" and for the
interest of full disclosure, it should be noted, my old buddy. Lou, it`s
great to see you. Thanks for being here.

DUBOSE: Good to be with you, Rachel.

MADDOW: All right. Best new thing in the world includes an all-
hands-on-deck dramatization. It`s really good. Stay tuned, that`s next.



MADDOW: Hi. This is me at my desk. This is a message for Robert
Blurton and Eileen Johnson, who live in West Boise, Idaho. Today the Web
site "BuzzFeed" posted an article that has a picture of you guys under the
headline, 90-year-olds get married, your heart melts.

And since that is exactly the kind of sucker punch emotional sweet
spot headline that none of us here at this show results, naturally, click -
- click, click, click. Clicked through the article, it has pictures of you
guys and links through to an Idaho statesman newspaper story about your
wedding this weekend.

You guys had both lost your spouses years ago, you were both now
living at the Salmon Creek Retirement Community in West Boise, and you met,
and you fell in love. And at the ages of 91 and 92, you decided that you
were going to get married!

OK, so here comes this part of the story. I want you to imagine Bill
Wolff, who`s the executive producer of this show, and he gets to this part
of the story that we`ve all been looking at, right, we get to this part of
the story, and we`re in the middle of our news meeting and we`re talking
about, and Bill goes, wait, and he goes to his BlackBerry and reads this
part of the story off his Blackberry.

BILL WOLFF, TRMS EXEC. PRODUCER: Though Bob and Eileen are in
generally good health, their knees make getting around a little more
difficult. Their hobbies now are simple, holding hands, Eileen said, she
squeezed Bob`s hand. They enjoy watching movies on Turner Classic and
political commentator Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

MADDOW: And the whole news feed goes ahhh! And we all start crying
happy tears and we just want to say, uh, congratulations on your wedding.

CROWD: Congratulations!

MADDOW: Bob and Eileen, former beauty queen, former Navy pilot,
newlyweds in Idaho, who watch this show. You have made a whole bunch of
really, sometimes occasionally cynical kids in New York City very proud and
very happy today. You are the best new thing in the world today.


WOLFF: Now back to work!


MADDOW: That`s really what it`s like here. Best new thing.

That does it for us tonight. Now, it is time for "THE LAST WORD"
with Lawrence O`Donnell."

Eileen and Bob, congratulations.

Have a great night.


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