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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

October 29, 2014

Guest: Bill Nemitz

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: All right. That is "ALL IN" for this

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you very

And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

Here in our offices at 30 Rockefeller Center, in our office closet,
actually, we have sort of randomly, a really hideous, complete set of
kitchen canisters. Aren`t they lovely? It`s like in the closet that`s
like a normal office closet we`ve got spare umbrellas and jackets that
people forgot about and stuff left here by people that don`t work here any

And then, like, you know, right in the middle of all the jackets,
umbrellas, old props, in the middle of all of it, boom, a full set of
mushroom ornamented baby poop colored made in China ugly kitchen canisters.
They take up a lot of space, but I can`t get rid of them.

We bought these hideous kitchen canisters when a producer on our
staff stumbled upon them while out shopping and realized, photographic
memory, that these were an exact match to one of the best campaign ad props
thus far in the 21st century.

Look. Here they are. See? Over her right shoulder? There they are
in the wild.

These exact same canisters were the folksy kitchen scene backdrop
behind a Republican candidate named Sharron Angle when she clutched a
coffee cup and announced her political comeback.

Sharron Angle and canisters showing that there`s really nothing to be
scared of when it comes to her. Forget all what you think you know about
Sharron Angle. She`s back. She`s folksy this time, drinking coffee.

The mushroom canisters were her comeback and rebranding bid in which
she tried to get back into politics and run for a congressional seat just a
couple of months after she lost the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada
in 2010.

In that Senate race in 2010, Sharron Angle took on the top Democrat
in the U.S. Senate. She ran against Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Now, you`ll remember that the last midterms, 2010, that was a wave
year for Republicans. Taking out the top Democrat in the Senate would have
been a cherry on top for them. They really thought they had a chance of
taking out Harry Reid.

Harry Reid had pretty bad numbers in Nevada. Republican groups,
particularly the Karl Rove groups threw tons and tons of money into the
Sharron Angle side of the race against him in Nevada, but their problem in
the end was that their candidate was Sharron Angle. It wasn`t so much that
Harry Reid won that Senate race in 2010, it was that Sharron Angle lost
that race because Sharron Angle talked like this.


SHARRON ANGLE (R-NV): You know, if this Congress keeps going the way
it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.
They`re saying, my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?


MADDOW: Second Amendment remedies. Second Amendment remedies was a
common and repeated theme for Sharron Angle as a candidate for office. The
idea of Second Amendment remedies was that if conservatives weren`t going
to get what they wanted in this country with the vote, they would use guns
to get it instead. And that isn`t me making any hyperbolic extension of
what she was arguing, that`s really what she was arguing.


ANGLE: I feel that the second amendment is the right to keep and
bear arms for our citizenry. This is not for someone who`s in the
military. This is not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact,
when you read that Constitution and the Founding Fathers, they intended
this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes

MANDERS: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right

ANGLE: Well, it`s to defend ourselves. You know, I`m hoping that
we`re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be
the cure for the Harry Reid problems.


MADDOW: I sure hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid
problem, but if not, we`ll get what we want with our Second Amendment
remedies. We`ll get what we want with our guns and ammunition.

Democrats had no business winning that Senate race in Nevada that
year, but Sharron Angle threatening if they didn`t get the election results
they wanted, they would start shooting in order to get the results that
they wanted. That was enough to spook people who otherwise might have
supported her. It was certainly enough to bewilder the local media who was
just trying to cover her campaign.


REPORTER: She told the assembled media she`d answer four questions,
but refused to answer this question about this statement of hers. "If this
Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking towards the
Second Amendment remedies."

ANGLE: Thank you so much.

REPORTER: What do you mean when you mean Second Amendment remedies?
Second Amendment remedies, anything?

We kept asking into the parking lot but receive no answer.

Why won`t you answer what Second Amendment remedies means?

Nothing at all? It`s a simple reaction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reaction from the Angle campaign was swift.
Her spokesperson called this reporter an idiot, and another term that
cannot be repeated on television.


MADDOW: A lot of things can be repeated on television. So, no,
Sharron Angle did not beat Harry Reid in 2010, and even though the
Republicans won a ton of seats in the House that year, Democrats did keep
their hold on the Senate in the last midterm in 2010 by quite a margin.

Since that huge Republican disappointment in the last midterms in
2010, the way they blew it with the Senate candidates like Sharron Angle,
the Republican Party has been really desperately trying to avoid having
another candidacy like that.

I mean, regardless of how much the conservative media likes that kind
of thing, you can`t have candidates that are threatening to use guns to
mount an armed revolt on the government if they don`t get what they want
from the political system. I mean, I`m sure it sounds awesome when you`re
on the FOX News Channel, again and again and again and again.

It probably also sounds awesome if you`re drunk in a bar and
everybody in there is paying with gold nuggets and you`re all survivalists
or something. Yes! Shoot the government!

But you just can`t run people like that for statewide office when
they are claiming that the way they`re planning on settling their political
beefs with the administration is by shooting people. You can try to do
that, but it`s not going to work. It`s not going to work in a statewide

You ever met Joni Ernst? Joni Ernst is a Republican state senator
who is running for the U.S. Senate in Iowa. She`s running against Democrat
named Bruce Braley.

This is one of those very high profile races right now because it`s
been tight as a tick for months. Now, right before Election Day, though,
Joni Ernst turns out to have a Sharron Angle problem. A piece of tape has
emerged where Joni Ernst, like Sharron Angle before her, is threatening to
turn to armed violence against the government if she doesn`t get what she
wants through the political process.

Now, this was first published by "The Huffington Post". It shows
Joni Ernst addressing the crowd at an NRA event in 2012.


STATE SEN. JONI ERNST (R), IOWA: I have a beautiful little Smith &
Wesson, 9 millimeter and it goes with me virtually everywhere. I do
believe in the right to carry. And I believe in the right to defend myself
and my family, whether it`s from an intruder or whether it`s from a
government should they decide that my rights are no longer important.


MADDOW: I believe in my right to defend myself from the government
with my beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter.

So, this raises a specific question for this now U.S. Senate
candidate, in what situation exactly would you say that it is appropriate
to use your beautiful little Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter to shoot
government officials?

We`ve reached out to the Joni Ernst campaign for comment starting
several days ago, actually. We`ve so far not heard back. But this is not
the first time that Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst has been seen
advocating that conservatives ought to try to get what they want by
mounting some sort of physical confrontation with the government.

Earlier this year, "Talking Points Memo" turned up a survey in which
Joni Ernst said she supports legislation to allow local law enforcement in
Iowa to arrest anybody who tries to implement Obamacare in that state.
This is a survey distributed by the Ron Paul group, Campaign for Liberty.
As you can see here, question five is, will you support legislation to
nullify Obamacare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest
federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care
scheme known as Obamacare?

Joni Ernst answered yes to that question. Yes. Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Arrest federal officials trying to implement this federal law, this federal
scheme, arrest them if they try to do it in Iowa.

So, as I said, we do not have an answer from the Joni Ernst campaign
as to when she believes it would be appropriate to shoot federal officials,
but maybe you can extrapolate. I mean, if this Iowa Senate candidates
advocates arresting federal officials who she watches trying to implement
Obamacare in Iowa, would that also be a circumstance which she believes you
would be allowed to shoot government officials as well? Can you also
arrest them? Or can you shoot them? What if they resist arrest?

It`s kind of an amazing, amazing policy position for somebody who
very well might be going to the U.S. Senate. I mean, if you catch somebody
telling Iowa college students that they can stay on their parents` health
insurance until they`re 26, is that a shooting offense in Joni Ernst`s Iowa
or would that just be an arresting offense? I know it sounds nuts, but
weirdly, it is not a stretch to ask that of Senate candidate Joni Ernst
right now, because based on her public statement, the answer is not clear.

If it`s yes to arresting federal employees trying to implement
Obamacare but no to shooting them, but there are some things for which she
will shoot federal employees, and she advocates other people do, too, well,
what are the circumstances in which she is going to shoot federal
officials? When is it is OK?


ERNST: I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter and it
goes with me virtually everywhere. I do believe in the right to carry.
And I believe in the right to defend myself and my family, whether it`s
from an intruder or whether it`s from a government should they decide that
my rights are no longer important.


MADDOW: The Senate race in Iowa is going down the wire. The latest
NBC/Marist poll but within the margin of error. The latest CBS/"New York
Times" poll shows the two candidates tied. There`s a Quinnipiac poll that
today shows Joni Ernst up by four in Iowa but there`s also a Loras College
poll out today that shows Braley up by 1 over Joni Ernst.

It is down to the wire in the Senate race. And we will see if the
shooting federal officials on our way to freedom comments affect this race
if at all.

But here`s what`s interesting. The Joni Ernst strategy right now in
the last few days before election day is to not answer any local Iowa
questions about it. Joni Ernst in sort of a remarkable late stage move has
decided to snub three of the biggest newspapers in the state of Iowa.

In the last few days, she refused to meet with the editorial boards
from "The Des Moines Register", and the "Cedar Rapids Gazette" and the
"Dubuque Telegraph Herald".

Most candidates sit down with editorial boards like this, right? The
editorial board posts a video of the conversation online. That`s not only
how people get to see the candidate in action, taking questions in a non-
debate setting. It`s also how the papers themselves decide who they`re
going to endorse.

The Democrat in this race, Bruce Braley, who you see here, he has sat
down with those Iowa papers, but Joni Ernst turned them all down. At least
in the case of "The Des Moines Register", she had extensive negotiations
with the paper. She was scheduled to be there to do her interview with the
editorial board on Friday morning, but then at the last minute, she bailed.

Asked whether this has ever happened before, a representative of the
"Des Moines Register" says, quote, "Never, not that I`m aware of."

Spokesperson for the "Cedar Rapids Gazette" says, quote, "I cannot
recall a time that this has happened before." "Dubuque Telegraph Herald,
quote, "I don`t think it has ever happened."

And who knows if it`s a coincidence but all three of those papers
have now endorsed Bruce Braley, the Democrat, over Joni Ernst in that hard-
fought Senate race.

This race in Iowa for a while looked like it was slipping away from
the Democrats, but it has now taken sort of an unexpected turn, as the
Republican candidate in the race has essentially tried to disappear from
the local press and the local reporters.

If we get an answer from Joni Ernst or from the Joni Ernst for Senate
campaign about which federal officials she wants to shoot and under what
circumstances, we will let you know. I would say watch this space, but I
know all your watching right now is these hideous kitchen canisters.

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: Here`s a thing I don`t understand. Something weird happened
in the great state of Maine today.

All right. This morning, six days before the election, 53,000
ballots in Maine have already been sent in to be counted in that state.

This morning, all of a sudden, the independent candidate for governor
in Maine called a surprise press conference. This is the candidate Eliot
Cutler who says he has no chance of winning the race. The Republican Party
has started hyping him in their ads in the hopes that he`ll drain votes
from the Democrat in the race Mike Michaud.

But Eliot Cutler, the independent, no matter how like he is or how
close he`s come to winning in previous races, Eliot Cutler is not going to
win this time in Maine. He`s just going to split the anti-Republican Paul
LePage vote, so Paul LePage gets re-elected. That is clear as day now, six
days before the election in Maine.

So, it seemed like huge news today when independent Eliot Cutler
called a last-minute press conference at his campaign headquarters. The
general assumption was, OK, this is it, he can read the polls like
everybody else, he`s going to do it. He`s going to drop out.

What actually happened, though, is much less clear. The lead in the
"Portland Press Herald" after Eliot Cutler had said what he had to say
today was this, "It`s a good bet that many who watched Eliot Cutler`s press
conference today will be perplexed by his remarks." True that.


fear and negative ads have returned with a vengeance beyond my imagining.
I`m confident and hopeful, but I`m also a realist. I must also acknowledge
the gripping fear that`s driving many voters including many who wish I
would become governor, instead to back one of my opponents, anyone who has
supported me but who now worries that I cannot win and is thereby compelled
by their fears or by their conscience to vote instead for Mr. LePage or Mr.
Michaud should do so.

I ask my supporters to simply vote their consciences. I`m not
standing down. Vote for me. Vote for me. Vote for me. I am a realist
about my chances.


MADDOW: What just happened there? Was that Eliot Cutler dropping
out of the Maine governor`s race? That`s a weird way to drop out. If that
was dropping out what was all the vote for me stuff?

Eliot Cutler`s campaign put out a frequently asked question sheet
after his press conference explaining what he meant. Frequently asked
questions sheet explained that no, he`s not dropping out of the race, but
then what was that about?

I mean, the Cutler campaign called this press conference saying vote
your conscience. They then put out the fact sheet saying that doesn`t mean
don`t vote for Eliot Cutler.

The Democrats put out a statement afterwards saying Cutler tells his
supporters to go ahead and vote for other candidates. A group of prominent
Eliot Cutler supporters followed his press conference this morning with
their own in which they announce they`re now switching their support away
from Eliot Cutler and they`ll now vote for the Democrat Mike Michaud since
Eliot Cutler is out of it now.

But Eliot Cutler went on campaigning this afternoon in Lewiston after
the conference as if he was still running. Then, this afternoon his most
important endorser, Maine independent Senator Angus King, he unendorsed
Eliot Cutler and threw his support to the Democrat Mike Michaud.

And now, President Obama is coming to Portland, Maine, tomorrow, to
support Mike Michaud and all the while half the state thinks that the
independent guy, Eliot Cutler, the spoiler candidate, half the state thinks
he just dropped out so it`s now a two-man race.

It seems that way but technically Eliot Cutler didn`t really drop out
today. It seemed like he was, but then he said that he wasn`t. And people
thought he did. Did he?

In one very clear way, he didn`t get out today. And it turns the out
this is important. Because had Eliot Cutler taken his name out of the
running today formally with the secretary of state`s office in Maine, then
anyone who cast their ballot for him among the 53,000 voters who already
voted in the state, if he formally took his name out of the running today,
then those 50,000 voters would have gotten a chance to pick somebody else
because their candidate was out of the race.

But he didn`t formally take his name out whatever other confusion he
called today. So, 53,000 people who may have voted, if you voted for Eliot
Cutler, you voted for a guy who may or may not be running. He`s staying
in, I guess, sort of.

Maybe he`s -- I don`t know. What`s going on in Maine? I don`t get

Joining us now is Bill Nemitz. He`s a columnist with the "Portland
Press Herald", will hopefully help us understand some of this.

Mr. Nemitz, it`s nice to see you again. Thanks for being here.

BILL NEMITZ, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: You, too, Rachel. How are you?

MADDOW: So, I`m bewildered. I have to ask you.

NEMITZ: Aren`t we all? Aren`t we all?

MADDOW: I feel like I followed all these factual developments today.
I watched the press conference. I saw what Angus King did, I saw the way
the Democrats spun it, I saw the way the Cutler campaign spun it. I can
follow all the facts.

I have no idea what happened, though, today. What happened?

NEMITZ: Well, our heads are still spinning, too, Rachel. We went
down to the press conference, as you said, fully expecting that this was
going to be either a total withdrawal or at least a suspension of the

Those of us who followed Eliot Cutler these past several years know
that he is -- he answers to one person and that`s Eliot Cutler.
Unfortunately, right now, he`s looking more and more like an army of one
and he`s going to stick with this thing.

What`s happening at the same time, however, is people don`t feel that
they need Eliot`s permission to migrate away from him and in most cases
right now toward Mike Michaud. They`re very much voting with their feet.
And it appears right now that if this goes on until Tuesday, Eliot Cutler
is going to become more and more -- almost a caricature of himself by the

Angus King`s withdrawal of his endorsement today really sealed the
deal. That was something that was highly touted by the cutler campaign
early on. Angus made this statement today not by Eliot`s side, of course,
but on an RV trip to places unknown. Nobody`s really seen him much.

So, I would say it`s safe to say that the Cutler campaign is
imploding right now, and that`s happening much to the benefit of Mike

MADDOW: In terms of whether or not he implodes obviously or implodes
technically, I guess. It`s still a metaphor but technically in the sense
that he actually takes his name off the ballot. Would that matter? I
mean, I`m struck by the fact that 53,000 people in Maine have taken the
time to vote and sent in absentee ballots.

If Eliot Cutler did go to the secretary of state and formally take
his name off the ballot, would that have a bigger impact, potentially more
determinative impact than whatever it is that happened today?

NEMITZ: Well, I think everybody agrees this is going to be a very
close race. So, yes, literally every vote counts here. Eliot has long
crusaded against this early absentee voting. He feels it cost him the
election in 2010 when a lot of people who voted for the Democrat Libby
Mitchell later had voter`s remorse, that she plummeted the way she did.

So, it`s kind of ironic, Eliot is an opponent to this. But I think
what we don`t know out of those 53,000 is how many of them heeded Eliot`s
advice throughout this whole campaign to not vote early.

So, my guess is if you had to divide them three ways, at least the
Cutler early voters are probably in the minority among the three

Would it matter? It very well could. I mean, this race was decided
by somewhere around 10,000 votes back in 2010. So, when you get down to
those small numbers, yes, it could have an impact. But as you said, right
now, those people are out of luck as long as he remains a formal candidate
and doesn`t notify the secretary of state that he`s withdrawing, those
people cannot get their ballots back.

MADDOW: Wow. Whatever you think about Paul LePage and his politics
and everything else, he`s a man who had an ancestor in a previous life did
something great that earned him totally, totally chaotic opponents, so he
can win elections that are otherwise unwinnable.

Bill Nemitz, columnist of the "Portland Press Herald" -- this is a
lot of fun. Thanks for helping us understand it.


MADDOW: Appreciate it.

All right. So, the price of gasoline is falling right now, which
means your uncle who watches FOX News all day should be this close to the
boiling point by now about that. It sounds weird because it is, on
purpose. That`s coming up.


MADDOW: The thing over my shoulder says slightly NSFW. NSFW means
"not safe for work." So if you`re watching at work or if you`re watching
in front of someone who you don`t want to see somebody poking out from
under the covers with obvious implications about what he was doing under
the covers, then you do not want to see this next thing that I`m going to
show you. That`s my fair warning, OK? I`ll wait.

OK. All right. Here`s that thing. Here`s what the campaign is like
right now in one of the tightest Senate races in the country in the last
few days before Election Day. This is actually two 15-second ads butted up
against each other. I`ve never quite seen anything like this.


AD NARRATOR: If Cory Gardner gets his way, you better stock up on


MADDOW: NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado has done that. The "stock up on
condoms" part of that ad, is turning out to be a very big part of the
argument right now about what`s going on in Colorado.

Stay with us. We`re going to have to go to the man cave on this one.



LYNN BARTELS, DENVER POST: There`s a lot of art all over the place.
I always laugh that they have cows up because the people who came here and
found gold and silver and became incredibly wealthy hated the cow town,
Denver`s a cow town, now we`re a cow town.

MADDOW: Now we`re art about cow town.

BARTELS: There you go.

MADDOW: I got to say as a pedestrian, though, I feel a little bit
slighted by the orientation of this piece.


MADDOW: Like couldn`t they turn the cow -- I mean, you`re walking
past eye level from this angle. I don`t know. I feel like --

BARTELS: Come in from this way.

MADDOW: That`s the south end of a northbound cow, if you know what I

BARTELS: Well, that`s a campaign ad from 2006.

MADDOW: Is it really?

BARTELS: Bob Beauprez. Standing at the wrong end of the horse and
wearing a black cowboy hat. Metaphors that never work in any election in
any state.

MADDOW: Here`s my question about Bob Beauprez. So, Bob Beauprez,
the last time he ran for governor, didn`t he lose by 17 points?

BARTELS: Seventeen percentage points, and I think it was much
greater because Denver`s election was so flawed that hundreds of people
couldn`t vote. The machines jammed.

MADDOW: Really?

BARTELS: I think he lost by more than 20 percentage points.

MADDOW: So, how did he lose by 17 points, sit out a couple cycles,
come back and then you`re in it?


MADDOW: OK, fellas, time for a trip to the man cave. Pop open a
nonalcoholic beer, smoking is allowed, but only if it`s something really
manly like a giant cigar or perhaps a corn cob pipe. I know, I know I`m
mannish, and that`s not the same thing as actually being a man, but that`s
why I have the oodles and the wood paneling behind me, and the cigars and
pipes, to set you at ease.

All right. So, pop back the recliner, balance the remote on your
belly like an otter (ph), and let`s talk about a thing that`s going on in
this election, guys. A thing that can really only be discussed comfortably
in a man-friendly space.

And this thing is in part about Bob Beauprez. You saw me just
talking to Lynn Bartels about there. He`s running for governor in

But, first, this may be where you need to drink the beer. We need to
behold the egg. OK, we got to go to the man cave to talk about this stuff.

Behold the egg nestled in a little tube. Gentlemen, this is the
other team. This is the lady people.

So, here`s the home team. Here`s you guys, the sperm, which we`re
going to represent here with a paisley pattern also known as Persian

So, balance the remote on your belly. We`re going to go live here.

Behold the -- look, behold the actual sperm represented through the
ages in medical literature as the heroic, brave, unstoppable night,
charging forth, harpooning the egg with its spermy to fertilize the egg and
start the process of the egg and sperm growing into a new human life.

And although we have heroic ideas about sperms, every sperm is
sacred, every one is a bold little knight, it turns out they`re not as
hardy as we like to think they are. So, I don`t mean this as a statement
on guys. I don`t mean this in a way that will make you feel pressured.
It`s not a metaphor. It`s just science.

Sperm are kind of weak. They can be dissuaded from their noble task.
I know it can be sort of emotionally wounding to hear that, but that is
really how it works really.


is no joke. It`s not that easy, you know, to go through all the
biochemical processes for the sperm to get actually up to the egg and
fertilize the egg and for the egg then to get where it needs to be within
the certain time limit. Just messing it up a little bit really disrupts
the whole process.


MADDOW: They`re fragile. I know. It`s news that can be upsetting
to hear, even when you get it from a nice lady doctor named Stephanie Teal.

Dr. Stephanie Teal teaches at the University of Colorado Medical
School. She`s been a real leader in the specific part of family medicine
that`s about helping young women and girls not get knocked up when they
don`t want to get knocked up.

Colorado is actually a national success story for that. And the
Colorado public health effort over the last five days, that state has
really brought down it teen birth rate significantly. And one surprising
thing is the way that they`ve done it is in part with the type of birth
control that used to be marketed basically just to middle aged housewives.
It turns out that it makes a lot of sense for young women as well.


TEAL: You know, it`s funny because traditionally, again, that really
wasn`t the population that we were thinking about with IUDs. It really was
initially marketed as something for married women who have had, you know, a
couple of kids. But again, we`re really trying to turn the paradigm on its
head that, instead of having to do something every single day to stay non-
pregnant, let`s do one thing, make non-pregnant the default state, then
when you want to get pregnant, great, come on in, start your pre-natals,
we`ll take out your IUD or implant and you`re all set to get pregnant.

The fertility rate returns the next month with both the implant and
both the IUDs. So why not make it something that`s really easy to do?

Young people have such complex lives. You know, sometimes I`m at my
mom`s, sometimes I`m at my dad`s, sometimes at my apartment, sometimes at
my boyfriend`s apartment, I have two part-time jobs and I go to school.

Try to take a pill at the same time every day, forget about it.
That`s why we see the failure rate of pills, patch and ring are actually
twice as high for women under 21 as women over 21. It`s not that the
pharmacology is different and somehow the medicine doesn`t work in young
people, it`s that it`s complex to use.

TRMS PRODUCER: The IUD helps them not get pregnant, if you`re young

TEAL: Absolutely. And so, you know, this program where we`ve been
able to give out over 30,000 free IUDs and implants in Colorado, you know,
dropping the pregnancy rate like we`re talking about, it really gives women
the opportunity to have the family they want when they want it. It`s good
for women, it`s good for families.

TRMS PRODUCER: What happens to women`s health in Colorado if the IUD
goes away?

TEAL: If the IUD goes away, then basically women are back to
condoms, pills, patch and ring. The failure rate is higher. The ongoing
cost is high. And women don`t have the opportunity to choose one of the
absolutely most effective, easily reversible, easy to use methods of birth


MADDOW: So, Colorado had this huge public health success, really
reducing the teen birth rate because they`ve been using reversible
contraception including the IUD. But now, the reason it is worth asking if
the IUD is going away in Colorado is because, yes, maybe at the medical
level it`s a winner there, right? Colorado has dropped the teen birth rate
by 40 percent. That`s the medical part of the story.

But at the political level, this very popular, very successful very
tiny form of contraception is a huge issue in this year`s election because
there`s a political effort in Colorado to make it go away in that state.
Colorado voters for the third time this year are going to be voting on
something called Personhood which would ban all abortion and some forms of
contraception. Personhood has lost by 40 points or more the last time it
was on the ballot in Colorado, but they`ve got it on the ballot again.

It`s remarkable to think you can be a viable candidate for statewide
office if you supported something that lost twice in the state by 40
points. Both the Senate race and governor`s race are tied in Colorado, and
in both races, the Republican candidate has supported or sponsored
Personhood legislation. And so, now, with Personhood on the ballot and
Colorado having great success in reducing their teen birth rate, now at
dude-friendly venues like the Colorado governor`s debate, now what the
campaign is about is talking about stuff like the IUD.


in the details but I think it`s an extremely important distinction to draw
and understand to respect both the taxpayers` will and the technology
you`ve referred to. Did I answer your question?

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: We`re talking about implants
and IUDs. I don`t think they fit that --

BEAUPREZ: IUD is an abortifacient, John.


MADDOW: IUD is an abortifacient.

So, that`s the governor`s race in Colorado this year. And, listen,
man, I`m not a scientist, but it is possible to find scientists and to ask
them about these things. And it turns out the whole Bob Beauprez idea that
the IUD should be banned because it is an abortion, because if you`ve got
an IUD in you, you`re a walking abortion clinic having abortions all the
time, turns out Bob Beauprez is not supported by the science in that


TRMS PRODUCER: I want to ask you a question about IUD.

TEAL: Sure.

TRMS PRODUCER: Because obviously IUD is something that people
debate. Some people when they talk about IUDs, opponents of IUDs, in
particular, describe it as almost we`re sort of an ongoing abortion clinic
in your body. Can you help me with that?

TEAL: Yes, that`s just not true. So, the way IUDs work is they
actually stop sperm. So, the copper IUD releases copper ions continually
into the fluid inside the uterus. So when sperm swim up in there, they`re
basically pelted with copper ions which destroy their cell membrane and
don`t let them get up in the fallopian tubes, which is where they`re
heading, to meet the egg.

The way the progestin IUD works, it actually causes the cervix to
make a thick plug of mucus that the sperm can`t get through. And so, both
of them act to prevent fertilization.

TRMS PRODUCER: Why do people continue to argue that the IUD is an
abortifacient or essentially causing an abortion all the time?

TEAL: I don`t know. I think the people arguing about it really are
politicians and they thrive on difference. There`s not really any argument
about it in the medical community.

TRMS PRODUCER: None? Because in the medical community you will find
argument about whether people will or will not end pregnancies or whatever,
but in terms of what an IUD is, that`s settled?

TEAL: Yes, that`s settled.

TRMS PRODUCER: And it`s not an abortion clinic in your body.

TEAL: It`s not an abortion clinic in your body. No.


MADDOW: It turns out birth control is not an abortion clinic in your

But the claim that it is appears on the ballot in multiple ways right
now in the state of Colorado. There`s Bob Beauprez tied for Colorado
governor, saying he`d like to ban abortion in all circumstances and the IUD
is an abortion, too. That`s on the ballot in the sense that he is on the
ballot in Colorado.

And then, there`s the personhood ballot itself which is asking voters
for the third time to ban all abortion and also to ban birth control
because they think that some forms of birth control are abortion, even
though birth control is popular and widely accepted and widely used. You
don`t need a man cave to tell you that. Also, birth control is not

But after all the science fiction that`s been dumped into the
Colorado politics around this issue this year, you might need a doctor to
sort that out.


TEAL: Every so often a patient will become concerned and say to me,
well, you know, I just was wondering the IUD sounds great for me but does
it cause abortion. And I explain to them how it works. And, you know, we
have a discussion around that.

So, I would say one thing that the political debate has done is maybe
confused women a little bit, and I`m glad that my patients at least have
the opportunity to talk to me about it. Obviously, some people still don`t
have a health care provider they can get to answer these questions.


MADDOW: We heard that same kind of thing this week in Colorado from
the people who were working to stop the Personhood amendment from passing
there. They told us that much of their campaign is really about explaining
to people that this whole Personhood thing is designed to ban not just
abortion but also the birth control that helps you from getting pregnant in
the first place.


AMBER GARCIA: Longer conversations and actually help them understand
the dangers of it. They`re pretty appalled and a lot of them get angry and
a lot of them say I wasn`t going to vote before, but I think I`m going to
vote now. Definitely count on my vote.


MADDOW: That`s some of what we heard in Colorado this week, politics
meet science. It`s almost never an even match.

I`ll be right back.


NARRATOR: Normally, fertilization takes place while the egg is in
the tube. Here we can see this fertilization in closer view. After one
spermatozoon enters the egg, none others enter.



MADDOW: State with the highest unemployment in the country is
Georgia. The most indicators in the country, no offense to Mississippi,
but you usually expect Mississippi to define the basement. Not true on
unemployment. Georgia is beating Mississippi by a significant chunk,
actually. Georgia is the worst in the nation.

And the Georgia governor right now is up for reelection. Republican
Governor Nathan Deal is very slightly ahead in his reelection race, but
it`s a close race, being hard fought against a Democrat named Jason Carter.

Governor Nathan Deal has been trying to fend off political attacks
about Georgia having the worst unemployment rate in the nation under his
leadership by denying that the unemployment numbers are real numbers.
Nathan Deal has decided the only reason Georgia`s unemployment numbers
appear to be so terrible is because of a conspiracy in Washington to lie
about those numbers in order to make Nathan Deal look bad.

What? Yes.


GOV. NATHAN DEAL (R), GEORGIA: I don`t know how you come up with
that. Maybe there is some influence here that we don`t know about. When
you say that California is in a better position in terms of unemployment
than the state of Georgia, there`s just something that is just not ringing


MADDOW: It may not ring true to you, sir, but actually Georgia`s
unemployment rate is way worse than California. It`s worse than 49 other
states and the District of Columbia. It`s terrible. Worst in the nation.

But Georgia Governor Nathan Deal trying to fend off the political
cost of those numbers. He`s denying the numbers are real.

That`s a tried and true, strategy, right? We`ve seen this before.
It was roughly this time of year before the last elections in 2012 when
Republicans across the country argued the national unemployment rate was
being made up, too. There were cooking the books in Washington so
President Obama would be re-elected on the basis of low unemployment
numbers that were faked.

At the same time, Republicans also denied polls in the 2012
elections. The polls at this point, ahead of the 2012 election, said Mitt
Romney would lose to President Obama. Denied those polls were true. They
said they were sure they would win.

So, that`s one way to do it, when you are confronted with either
uncomfortable or damaging numbers, especially right in front of the
election. Tried and true method, just deny the numbers are real. That is
option one.

But there is an option two which they`re rolling out on FOX. Right
now, ahead of this year`s election, it is not a Nathan Deal-style denial of
the numbers. Instead what FOX is doing is a fantastical reimaging of what
the real numbers actually mean.

I`m not sure they know what they`re doing is very funny, but it is,
in fact, very funny when you see them do it. If you know somebody who
watches FOX, this is what they`re being told right now is the state of the

That story and the funny tape of it happening live on TV, is next.


MADDOW: Whether or not you are a consumer of conservative media,
there`s a time in life when it`s important to understand what`s happening
in that part of our world like, for example, right now, right before a big
national election.

Conservative media is doing great right now. They basically entirely
locked up the conservative audience, lots of folks watching them. They
have great ratings. Good for them.

And that means realizing what`s going on in the election to a certain
degree mean realizing what the conservative media is telling half the
country. It`s vital to understanding the kinds of decisions the country
might make based on what they are hearing from the people they trust.

So, all that to say, right now in this country, consider the fact
that we are experiencing unusually low gas prices. The average price for a
gallon of gas is now set to drop below 3 bucks a gallon. We`re at a four-
year low when it comes to the price of gas.

And gas prices is one of those things that pundits love to talk about
as something external to an election that should be an indicator of how the
election is going to go. When gas prices are high, the president and his
party tend to get blamed for high gas prices. When gas prices go down,
usually people feel better about the party in power.

Gas prices as a stand-in for political analysis is sort of like, you
know, making stuff up about elections 101. That`s what you learn on the
first day of pundit class.

And Republicans in the conservative media over the course of the
Obama presidency have bent over backwards to blame President Obama anytime
gas prices go up. And to remind anyone, anytime there are high gas prices
that those high gas prices mean that you should vote against the president
and against Democrats.


or blame for what`s happened in this economy. And what`s happened to
gasoline prices under his watch.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: What`s frustrating about the Obama
administration`s policies are, they`ve gone to great lengths to make oil
and gas more expensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gasoline prices are up 91 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gasoline prices nearly doubling since President
Obama took office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was $1.84, $1.84 when President Obama was
inaugurated back in January 2009.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it enough to derail his return to the



MADDOW: Look at these terribly high gas prices. It`s all Obama`s

Republicans in the conservative media have been staying that for
years now, high gas prices equals vote against Obama. So, now, there`s a
problem for that strategy, right? Gas prices hit a four-year low, right
ahead of the election. What to do?

Republicans have been saying forever that President Obama is
responsible for gas prices, right? There`s Mitt Romney saying President
Obama gets the full credit or blame for gas prices.

OK, so credit then? Right? The president is supposed to get credit
for low gas prices now, right? A week before the election?

That`s a problem for the right. But don`t worry, FOX has got it
covered. On the business version of FOX News, look at their headline on
this story about the unusually low gas prices right now.

Look at this. Cheap gas hurts economy. This is in genius. This was
flagged by the website media matters.

FOX has now decided that actually low gas prices are a threat to
America. Is President Obama purposefully tanking the economy with these
unconscionably low gas prices? Hey, we report, you decide.

FOX has now decided that low gas prices are a bad thing, Obama and
his low gas prices hurting the economy. Presto change-o, problem fixed.

The right could have just decided they don`t believe in low gas
prices before the 2012 election. They could have decided the numbers were
cooked, but this is even easier. The low gas prices exist, but now,
they`re bad. Just for the record, just so we understand what we`re dealing
with here.

I should tell you, these are a few of the other segments they did in
the same hour on that FOX show yesterday. Look, GOP win equals market
rally? Hey, we`re just asking.

They also did a segment on Maryland`s Democratic governor, candidate
for governor who`s been slipping in the polls. Could the nine-point swing
in the polls be a result of President Obama`s appearance at a rally? See
that question? Just asking. There were those segments.

And, finally, just a random picture of a shirtless Republican senator
popping his pecks. This was all in one hour in the same show on FOX
yesterday. If you don`t watch FOX on a regular basis, I understand.

But it is important to know this is what half the country is being
told this is the news right now about the election with six days to go. Be
mad about the low gas prices. They`re hurting the economy. You`re

That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow.


Good evening, Lawrence.


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