tv The Last Word MSNBC February 14, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
you are leaving. politifact, you are a disaster. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. i didn't expect to end the valentine's day show on that note, but oh, my god! have a great night. republicans sent president obama a big life-sized valentine today -- rick santorum. >> what the hell, america? i leave you alone for one minute. >> santorum surges. >> santorum is really surging. >> rick santorum may no longer be a long shot. >> he's in the statistical tie with mitt romney, three new national polls out today. >> i expect you to go a little crazy. >> a lot of stars have risen and fallen. rick santorum's just the most recent. >> rick santorum, unlike newt gingrich, also has a very consistent history with the cultural conservatives.
>> i believe that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so. i would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. and there are people who were gay and aren't anymore. >> a new poll of michigan gop primary voters also has the former senator from pennsylvania leading in the state where romney grew up and where his father was governor. >> if rick santorum beats mitt romney in michigan, we're looking at a wholly different race. >> now he's going to get the full force of the mitt romney attacks. >> desperate people do desperate things. >> the romney campaign better be careful. if you go negative and it backfires on you, it's over. >> a defeat there would not just be embarrassing, it would be a, quote, mortal blow to romney's campaign. >> rick santorum is real and romney ain't. >> who are you willing to stake the future of this country on winning? that is mitt romney. mitt romney. mitt romney. mitt romney. mitt romney. if you don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee and we'll lose. >> america, what the hell?
>> how did rick santorum actually vote? santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times and for billions in wasteful projects, including the bridge to nowhere. in a single session, santorum co-sponsored 51 bills to increase spending and zero to cut spending. santorum even voted to raise his own pay and joined hillary clinton to let convicted felons vote. rick santorum, big spender, washington insider. restore our future is responsible for the content of this message. >> the romney campaign is now desperate to stop santorum, because rick santorum is making an argument to republican voters that romney cannot possibly answer. >> obama care to me is the best possible grounds on which to focus this election. it is the signature accomplishment of barack obama. it is the biggest example of government overreach and
involvement into your life. it is the best example of an explosion of government and the best example of crushing the business community in this country. and so who is the best candidate to go up against barack obama on this signature issue of the day? thank you. you folks catch on a little quicker than most the audiences i've been in front of. >> yes, mitt romney is the most hollow and cynical front-runner either party has ever seen. his willingness to simply lie about his political past, his past positions, and say absolutely anything that conservatives want to hear today is an amnesiac style of campaigning that has no parallel. yes, there have been candidates who have changed maybe one or two of their past positions while running for president, but we have never seen a candidate
who has changed on nearly all, all of the issues that are important to his party's base. but rick santorum is a weak candidate too. very weak. and we'll talk more about those weaknesses later. and he's a very easy target for the obama campaign. so what explains santorum's recent surge after republican voters in most states ignored him for so long? a majority of republican voters and the obama campaign feel the same way about mitt romney. they want anyone but romney to be the republican nominee. so is it possible that president obama brilliantly played his hand in governing and campaigning at the same time, when he allowed last week to be temporarily consumed in a political controversy over contraception coverage in health care plans. a controversy that the president ended on a date and time of his choosing after it helped push
santorum ahead of romney in the polls. andrew sullivan brilliantly dissected the contraception controversy in "newsweek" and said this tonight on "hardball." >> it is going to empower rick santorum to win and do well in the south, which is going to, long-term, be a fantastic advantage for obama. so what this did, i think, accidentally, and i called it an improvised bait and switch, is that he gave rick santorum the gift that could win him the nomination of the republican party, which will be a catastrophe for the republican party. >> joining me now is "washington post" political columnist dana milbank and salon.com dave kornacki. we shall now entertain what should be called sullivan proposition here on "the last word." steve, you go ahead. first of all, there's the question of could it possibly have been intentional, that the president took us into this contraception debate for a week
and only a week, and then ended it precisely on timing convenient to him on terms convenient to him? >> i think the key word that andrew sullivan said in that clip is accidentally. but i think this is extremely fortuitous. you talk about the power of timing. and yet the timing right now for a lot of things is really fortuitous for the white house. this is sort of the lowest moment mitt romney has had as a candidate. if you still think mitt romney's likely to be the nominee. and it's coinciding with really the best period of barack obama's presidency in terms of the economic news. some of the most recent polling data is kind of staggering when you think about it. romney's standing with independent voters in the past month or two has crashed about 10 or 15 points. he's now trailing by the same margin that santorum is in head-to-head trial heats with obama, and obama's rate is close to the or over 50% in most polls. and i kind of think we've seen this before. it was 16 years ago when bob dole started out and everyone
said, bill clinton can't possibly get re-elected because of what happened in 1994. and when that republican process ended in '96, dole was a very wounded nominee and he never recovered. >> dana milbank, to the sullivan proposition. the possibility of it being deliberate seems extremely unlikely, and i try to get through a year of programming without using sports analogies, and i come very close to it, but i'm going to use this football one, the super bowl being our most recent big event. and that is, it seems like wanted was the quarterback got thrown for a loss on a play and then it was, you know, third down and 40 yards or something, and he had to throw the bomb, and he did, for a touchdown. i mean, it's like, it's one of those things where, okay, you've got a problem now that has developed. what matters when you have a problem in politics or governing is, what are you going to do now? and it seemed to many observers, and i'm one of them, that by friday, the play that the obama
administration ran on friday, which i think was guided by policy, conscience, and all sorts of noble intent, was also brilliant politically and put them in a better place on the field than where they were had they chosen that position at the outset. >> lawrence, i think it was more accurately a fumble and the president's side picked it up and ran it into the end zone. >> all right, i'll go with that. i'll go with that. >> but you score the same way, it doesn't really matter how pretty it looked in the end. you know, look, whatever the purpose behind it, to be having, you know, set aside the initial conflict with the catholic bishops, to be having a debate in this election year about contraception, which is, you know, pretty much a settled issue in this country, and to have now santorum at least for the moment in the lead, a man who would turn back 50 years of jurisprudence and allow a state to ban contraception, it puts
the president in a fundamentally different position right now. and of course, they'd like nothing more than to see santorum continue on, which seems terribly unlikely. the main thing you're seeing from this field now is the longer this goes on, satisfaction's actually decreasing in the cnn poll today, only 9% said they were satisfied with the republican candidates, down from 18% in the fall. >> what rick santorum has done is turned the contraception issue into highlighting the health care, and what he will call a similarity between obama care and romney care. that seems to be what he's been successful at. and now going into michigan, we have a robo call poll yesterday showing santorum leading romney among primary voters in michigan, where republicans will vote on february 28th. this is supposed to be one of romney's many home states. romney, 24%. ron paul, 12%.
gingrich down to irrelevance now at 11%. steve kornacki, it seems to me that santorum has been definite as a way to, okay, everybody, remember health care, remember what mitt romney did, and then making the case that health care should be the republican's number one issue going into the general election, which i think is a faulty case. but for what he's trying to achieve now, it just seems perfect. >> well, there are five or six or maybe five or six dozen reasons to doubt that rick santorum can actually go and run away with the republican nomination right now. >> those are quickly money, organization, personnel. >> how many endorsements? he won three states last week, how many endorsements did he come out with? but there's one big reason to expect this might be different. and it showed in that clip you played earlier. he has basic competence as a candidate that none of romney's challengers to date have shown. he knows exactly where romney's weak spots are with the conservative base. and you played that negative ad
that romney ran, but basically santorum has a sound record on the issues that matter most to conservatives today. he's been consistent on those issues. doesn't have the kind of baggage newt gingrich has. and he knows, you think of that debate where gingrich just completely melted down, that florida debate against romney, santorum knows how to go toe to toe with romney in these debates. he can take that message, take it against him. confidence may be all it takes to beat mitt romney. >> dana milbank, my starting off prediction last year was that mitt romney could not get the nomination because of the health care bill in massachusetts that he signed into law, which is just something his party cannot stomach. i've been surprised that they've been able to stomach it as much as they have, going this far. but is that the key? has santorum found the thing that he needs to stay concentrated on with republican voters, primary voters, anyway, to get himself to the nomination? >> right, lawrence. and that's the important
qualification that this general election is going to be fought on the economy. that's baked in the cake now regardless of what either side would like to turn it to. and for the moment, at least, it looks to be going in president obama's direction. but it's different case in the republican primary, where there is that sort of outsized antipathy towards the president and obama care in particular. so he is right to be directing it in that direction. i think that's why you see, you know, mitt romney hasn't really fallen in overall support. he's about 28% now, maybe he gets into the low 30s. he hasn't budged at all. it's just these other guys coming up and falling down and another guy pops up again, and he just can't seem to get above that ceiling. >> and rick santorum seems to have really gone after the romney electability argument. there's a "new york times" poll out that shows that santorum basically has exactly the same electability against president obama. you have president obama beating santorum 49 to 41.
and you have president obama beating mitt romney 48 to 42. steve kornacki, that's statistically identical. so if romney loses the electability argument, as we saw him lose it in south carolina, with south carolina primary voters, they said they thought newt gingrich had a better electability posture than romney did. if he's losing it nationally, which is what that "new york times" poll is, what is left of the romney campaign. >> and that's what's so interesting to me about santorum's rise. because i suspect for the last year, santorum has made a lot of sense on paper to conservatives, but what's holding him back is the perception that he's a loser. but now that he's got this one-on-one race, basically, and people are giving him a fair look, i think that whole 2006 issue goes away, and for the first time, you're really seeing people, conservatives look at this and say, yeah, why not. >> dana milbank, what is the case that mitt romney makes now
when he's going to money people. he's had a very easy case to make to the money people all along here. look, i'm inevitable. i'm electable, nobody else is. i'm conservative enough. with this "new york times" poll, what's mitt romney's next phone call for money, what's the argument in it? >> well, a very clear argument. and that is they have to mow this santorum guy down in michigan and in arizona. that same "new york times" poll shows this to be highly fluid. 60% of the people say they may change their minds. so this could change on a dime if romney can win those two states in two weeks. so that's the case he has to make, and it's going to be all about money and the super pac mowing down santorum. and then we're, you know, right back where we were a week ago. >> and president obama will happily sit by and watch them both mow down each other. dana milbank and steve kornacki, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. up next, if rick santorum is the nominee and if he could
really make contraception the major issue in the presidential campaign, he would be on his way to losing all 50 states. we're going to dig deep into the strange things that rick santorum has said and still believes, and how that stuff would sink him in a campaign against president obama. and later, the republican politician who last week explained why her vote for marriage equality was about love and not sex, joins me for an exclusive interview with her daughter, who she hopes to see legally marry. and in the rewrite tonight, ann coulter's tortured relationship with mitt romney. ♪ we were skipping stones and letting go ♪
as long as abortion is legal, at least according to the supreme court, legal in this country, we will never have rest, because that law does not comport with god's law. i am for a federal marriage amendment. i am for reinstating don't ask, don't tell. rights come to us from god. >> got it. so in the american system of government, you're saying we should all be free to live by christian law. i think that -- [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are choosing advil®. here's one story. pain doesn't have much of a place in my life. i checked the schedule and it's not on it. [ laughs ] you never know when advil® is needed. well most people only know one side of my life. they see me on stage and they think that that is who i am. there's many layers to everybody everywhere. singer, songwriter, philanthropist, father,
life's a juggling act. when i have to get through the pain, i know where to go. [ male announcer ] take action. take advil®. i have to be a tree in the school play. good. you like trees. well, i like climbing them, but i've never been one. good point. ( captain ) this is your captain speaking. annie gets to be the princess. oh... but she has to kiss a boy. and he's dressed up like a big green frog ! ewww. ( announcer ) fly without putting your life on pause. be yourself nonstop. american airlines. he was a constitutional law professor. we don't know what his grades were, but we do know he says he's a constitutional law professor. i mean, they want to see every report of me from, you know, you name it.
they want every bit of information from me, but we just can't seem to get that information from the president. there's no double standard, i'm not suggesting that. >> that's the new republican front-runner taking aim today at president obama, offering a prelude to what an obama versus santorum campaign might sound like. joining me now is jonathan sheik from "new york" magazine. jonathan, that's weird-sounding stuff. he's doing a trump echo there. i don't know what he's trying to get at there. but i want to go to the gender gap with santorum. in his failed re-election bid in 2006 where he lost by a huge margin, he only got 39% of the women vote. and i want to play now some video of what santorum actually thinks about contraception and this might help explain that gender gap. let's listen to this. >> many in the christian faith have said, well, that's okay. you know, contraception's okay. it's not okay.
it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to what -- how things are supposed to be. they're supposed to be within marriage. they're supposed to be for purposes that, yes, conjugal, but also procreative, and that's the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. >> now, jonathan, that is actually rick santorum talking about contraception, not in 1951. you notice, that's color imagery. so it was actually in 2011, a few months ago, in october! saying that sex is supposed to be only procreative and contraception is not okay. >> i think he's running for president of iran. >> there you go. where can he go with this? >> he could get the republican nomination. that's a good start. >> yeah. and it goes right along with a chain of extremist positions that he has, and the
contraception one has been kept pretty quiet. it won't be kept quiet anymore, thanks to last week. abortion. he is an absolutist on abortion. he opposes abortion, even in cases of rape. let's listen to how this might sound if it comes out on a presidential debate stage. >> i believe and i think you know, the right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, but nevertheless, gift, in a very broken way, but gift of human life, and accept what god is giving to you. as you know, we have to in lots of different aspects of our life, we have horrible things happen to us. i can't think of anything more horrible, but nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation. >> how do you equate -- >> so, jonathan, using "rape" and "gift" in the same sentence as a politician. >> well, it's certainly bad.
he would be a bad, bad nominee. but the thing to keep in mind that mitt romney i think would also be a pretty bad nominee. mitt romney's unpopular as well. and i think this notion that santorum would be a dramatically worse nominee, far easier to beat for obama, is a little bit overstated. he plays to a deferent constituency. and he has different weaknesses than romney. and i think maybe his weaknesses are a little more obvious to people who are liberals, for people who are upscale. romney has real weaknesses with downscale blue-collar voters. he's really become this stereotypical rich guy, the guy who fires you, the guy who stashes his money in the cayman islands. and santorum's weaknesses has hurt him more with upscale voters, but santorum does play the blue-collar populist card a little bit more effectively than romney does. so i think, you know, he might do a little bit better in a place like ohio, a place like pennsylvania.
not that i think he would do well at all, but you have to keep in mind, they both have real weaknesses. >> yes, jonathan, i agree with you. i have believed all along that the republican campaign is a campaign for the prize of losing to president obama in the re-election campaign. and i used to hold very, i think, strongly to the conventional wisdom, once the field was clear, that anyone but romney was the safe way to go for the obama campaign. i think you make a very good point. it is no longer clear to me. the negatives have piled up so much on romney, and the negatives on santorum, we already knew about. we haven't really discovered much in that territory during this campaign. now i don't think it's a very easy thing to weigh which one of these candidacies has more negatives in it. >> that's right. on the other hand, romney's really taken a pounding from obama and obama's allies and santorum hasn't. so if santorum becomes the nominee, he'll get all kinds of negative flak that he's escaped so far, and a lot of people
aren't aware of these negatives. so his negatives will go up too. right now he's about 20 points more favorable than romney, and i think that gap will shrink or even disappear. but still, you know, romney's not popular. so, you know, when you want to have a standard to judge how unelectable is santorum, you need to have a pretty -- you need to have a fair basis, and romney's not doing so well right now. >> jonathan chait, thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thanks. coming up, republicans in congress will not let the contraception issue go away, which poses absolutely no threat to contraception and gives voters their 266th reason to vote for president obama. and a last word exclusive with the republican politician who made a very personal case for marriage equality. well, dad's in the doghouse again.
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let me start with a quick public service announcement for all the gentleman out there. today is valentine's day. do not forget. i speak from experience here. it is important that you remember this and go big. that's my advice. >> president obama did not forget. he took the first lady out for dinner in alexandria, virginia, tonight, and the president posted this personal tweet on his official twitter page. oh, i don't want to read the
president's valentine tweet to his wife. but i guess i have to for our listeners on sirius xm radio. here it goes. "hey @michelleobama -- happy valentine's day -- bo." that is very uncomfortable. reading the president's tweet to his wife. his valentine to his wife. but debbie wasserman schultz is going to join me next to help me get over it. we're going to talk about the republican contraception crusade. and ann coulter is in the rewrite tonight, rewriting her tortured relationship with mitt romney. and later, the republican politician who made a mother's argument for marriage equality. people with a machine.
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for fastidious librarian emily skinner, each day was fueled by thorough preparation for events to come. well somewhere along the way, emily went right on living. but you see, with the help of her raymond james financial advisor, she had planned for every eventuality. ...which meant she continued to have the means to live on... ...even at the ripe old age of 187. life well planned. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. the fact that the white house thinks this is about contraception is the whole problem. this is about freedom of religion. it's right there in the first amendment. you can't miss it. in this country, the government doesn't get to tell you or your organization what your are religious views are.
>> and so with 266 days to go before the presidential election, the republicans in congress have come up with the 266th reason to vote for president obama in november -- birth control. it wasn't on anyone's list until last week when the republicans thought they'd found the perfect wedge issue, but then president obama masterfully sidestepped their attack with a definite and minor adjustment to the new regulation mandating birth control coverage in health insurance policies. >> under the rule, women will still have access to free preventative care, that includes contraceptive services, no matter where they work. so that core principle remains. but if a woman's employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the
insurance company, not the hospital, not the charity, will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care, free of charge. without copays and without hassles. >> but that wasn't good enough for republicans. republican senator roy blunt of missouri says he wants to legislate a wide-open exemption to the contraception mandate that will allow anyone, any individual or any employer to leave contraception out of a health insurance policy based on that person or employer's, quote, religious beliefs or moral conviction. majority leader harry reid believes that senator blunt's proposal has no chance of passing and can only hurt the republicans politically. and so he said today, he would allow a vote on it. and later this week, house oversight and government reform committee chairman darrell issa will hold a hearing entitle "lines crossed, separation of church and state."
has the obama administration trampled on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience? joining me now, debbie wasserman schultz. you will pardon me for having a straight face while reading the most ludicrous title for a hearing in the house of representatives. >> they're pretty good at crazy titles for hearings. what's unbelievable, lawrence, about this entire issue is that instead of focusing on helping the president and congressional democrats get the economy turned around and create jobs and putting our nose to the grindstone and sitting around the table, locking ourselves in a room and not leaving until we can hammer out a way to do that, and do it together, and really, you know, continue to jump-start the economy the way president obama's been able to move us
forward, we are actually debating contraception. contraception, in which 99% of women in america have used at some point in their life, and the republicans want to debate not just religious liberty. they want to debate allowing all employers who might have an objection to deny that coverage that president obama has said should be available under the affordable care act, without a copay, and without a deducteductible. i mean, that's just unbelievable. but i guess i shouldn't be surprised, because the republicans have no jobs plan. they've not brought a single jobs bill to the floor of the house of representatives, nor have they proposed it in the senate since the republicans took over the majority in the house. so they need the distraction. >> well, senator blunt is not one of the better law writers in washington. his exemption is so absurdly broad that it would allow anyone to deny any kind of coverage, anything.
it doesn't have to be contraception. it could be any form of coverage, because it in some way conflicts with your conscience. it doesn't have to conflict with the teaching of any known religion. you can just have something in your conscience that says, you know, i don't think we should cover ambulance services or such things. >> well, this is a not-to-veiled way of the republican's insidious attempt to continue to try to undermine the affordable care act. return to the days when insurance companies could drop you or deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions. make it so that we don't have everyone in america entitled to affordable access to quality health care. and so, they are going to do everything they can to try to return us to the days where insurance companies made those decisions, rather than doctors with their patients. but, again, the -- what's important to note here is that the republicans want to make this about the religious liberty. president obama believed that
this was an important balance between religious liberty and making sure that women have access to affordable family planning. lawrence, it's $700 a year, approximately, to pay for birth control. that is real money. whether it's depo or the patch or the pill, that's real money. and making sure that women don't have to choose between who they work for and keeping their job and being able to afford to plan their families was very important balance, while allowing religious employers to be able to make sure that they could not be forced to pay for that kind of contraception coverage that they object to, but insurance companies would still make it available so that women, no matter who they work for, will have affordable access to contraception. >> now, getting lucky in politics is when your opponents create their own problems. that's what we're seeing on this contraception thing. there's no way that the contraception laws in this country are ever, ever going to be rolled back in any way. it's not going to happen.
>> well, they shouldn't be. >> but you may get lucky enough to have republicans to continue to try to do it. but now that we have seen republicans come to their senses and cave completely today on an extension of the payroll tax cut, doesn't that indicate that there are some people somewhere in those republican offices who are finally starting to think a little bit straight about what the politics of these issues are? >> well, there was apparently a deal reached just a little while ago on the payroll tax cut extension as well as unemployment benefits. and at least there are some republicans that apparently have come to their senses and realized that we hopefully should not sacrifice the well-being of americans and making sure that we can provide that bridge between their loss of a job and their next employer, and then make sure that we're not taking $1,000 out of the paychecks out of the average middle class family by not extending the payroll tax cut. that's what republicans have
refused to do. some of them have seemed to come to their senses. i hope this is a sign of things to come. but so far, the adage that if people show you who they are, you should believe them holds true here. whether it's contraception or their continued stubborn refusal to work with the president on really moving this economy forward and trying to make sure that everyone in america has an opportunity to be successful. >> well, i don't know what to believe about contraception with mitch mcconnell. he had three children with his first wife, zero children with his second wife. i have a feeling he has a kind of warmer relationship to contraception than he's letting on to in his public statements. >> but the point is that everybody should have an opportunity to make those personal choices themselves and plan their families the way they want them to be, not the way the government or any employer tells them it should have to be. >> dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz, i think the republicans are making your job a little too easy this week. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. great to be with you. coming up, in the rewrite,
ann coulter was for mitt romney before she was against mitt romney, but now she's for mitt romney again. ann and mitt's tortured relationship. and later, a mother and daughter will join me. the mother is a republican legislator who voted for marriage equality. her daughter helped her see why she should cast that vote.
you know who was singing at the grammys last night? if you saw it, i don't need to tell you, here he is singing last night at the grammy's. ♪ what is the language? is it a folk song? that mitt romney loves valentine's day. today he sent a dozen long-stemmed red roses to his money. yes, to his money.
♪ they hatin' ♪ patrolling and tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ ♪ tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ ♪ tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ ♪ tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ [ mom ] hi, there. why do we always have to take your mom's car? [ male announcer ] the security of a tiguan, one of nine volkswagen models named a 2012 iihs top safety pick. ♪ tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ -on ann coulter is once again rewriting ann coulter on the subject of mitt romney. every time ann coulter talks about mitt romney at the annual conservative political action conference, she has something new to say and it's something in direct contradiction to the last thing she said. let's look at ann and mitt through the years.
here's ann coulter at cpac the first time mitt romney was running for president in 2007. >> what i think of governor romney's candidacy for presidency. i think he's probably our best candidate. >> "probably our best candidate." here is ann coulter at cpac last year when mitt romney was gearing up for his second presidential run. >> i may as well tell you what my prediction is. i think -- well, i'll put it in a nutshell. if we don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee and we'll lose. >> and just a year after that, here is ann coulter at cpac on friday. >> you can't call him dumb, you can't call him crazy. you can call him square. and that seems to be what a lot
of right-wingers don't like about him. keep asking, what is it? well, i don't know, he's kind of a ken doll, he's sort of stiff. i think we've had enough of hip. hip has nearly wrecked the country. let's try square for a while. >> and so the new coulter standard for endorsing a republican candidate for president is, if you can't call him dumb, and you can't call him crazy, he gets the coulter vote. ann, you were right the second time. >> i may as well tell you what my prediction is. i think, uh, well, i'll put it in a nutshell, if we don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee and will lose. you know when i grow up, i'm going to own my own restaurant. i want to be a volunteer firefighter. when i grow up, i want to write a novel.
i want to go on a road trip. when i grow up, i'm going to go there. i want to fix up old houses. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. i want to fall in love again. [ female announcer ] discover what's next in your life. get this free travel bag when you join at aarp.org/jointoday. without the stuff that we make here, you wouldn't be able to walk in your house and flip on your lights. [ brad ] at ge we build turbines that power the world. they go into power plants which take some form of energy, harness it, and turn it into more efficient electricity. [ ron ] when i was a kid i wanted to work with my hands, that was my thing. i really enjoy building turbines. it's nice to know that what you're building is gonna do something for the world. when people think of ge, they typically don't think about beer. a lot of people may not realize that the power needed to keep their budweiser cold and even to make their beer comes from turbines made right here. wait, so you guys make the beer? no, we make the power that makes the beer.
i am so proud of our young people, including my two wonderful daughters. michelle, don't do that. including my two wonderful daughters, who tell us that marriage equality is the civil rights issue of their time, and who pollsters say they are helping my generation to catch up. thank you to that younger generation and my two daughters. >> that was washington state governor chris gregoire yesterday, thanking her two daughters before she signed in a marriage equality bill, making washington the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriages. joining us now is another who voted for that bill and was also
represented by her daughter, representative maureen walsh
and we're also joined by her daughter, shauna walsh. i want to thank you both for joining us tonight. and maureen, i want to show our audience some of what you had to say when you announced how you were going to vote. >> i too don't want to wag my finger about which way wrr going to vote on this. it's certainly an issue of conscience to me, and certainly one that i have been weighing very heavily for the last few weeks. you know, i was married for 23 years to the love of my life and he died 6 years ago and, you know, i'm a lonely old widow right now. i'm 51 years old, looking for a boyfriend, not having much luck with that. and yet, when i think of my husband and i think of all the wonderful years we had and the wonderful fringe benefit of
having three beautiful children, i don't
miss the sex, you know? and to me, that's kind of what this boils down to. is i don't miss that, i mean, i certainly miss it, but i don't -- it's not -- it is certainly not the aspect of that relationship, that incredible bond that i had with that human being that i really, really genuinely wish i still had. and so i just, i think to myself, how could i deny anyone the right to have that incredible bond with another individual in life? to me, it seems almost cruel. my daughter came out of the closet a couple of years ago, and you know what, i thought i was just going to agonize about that. nothing's different.
she's still a fabulous human being and she's met a person that she loves very much and some day, by god, i want to throw a wedding for that kid. and i hope that's exactly what i can do. i hope she will not feel like a second class citizen, involved in something called a domestic partnership, which frankly sounds like a merry maids franchise to me. thank you, mr. speaker. that's all i want to say. >> shauna, just watching you watch your mother deliver that speech, what was it like to have your mother stand up and tell that story? >> it was incredible. i think that it's an experience that i wish that more children could have. i've always been proud of my mother. she's been through a lot and she's handled it all with a lot of grace and a lot more grace than many people would, i think.
and you know, i didn't start being proud of my mom when she delivered the speech, but it certainly was a proud day for me. i watched the entire debate, and i really loved a lot of comments, on both sides of the aisle. and i'm just -- i was speechless. i really was. >> maureen, in a legislator's life, there's a lot of compromises you make. every once in a while, there's one for the memoirs. this looks like one of those for you. >> well, apparently so. i just am absolutely overwhelmed by the responses that i've gotten, frankly, from around the world, after this thing went viral. i didn't even really know what viral went and wondered if i needed antibiotics for that, but it has been overwhelming and very touching and i am just -- the heartfelt responses that i've gotten from people, again, all over the world, it has been
incredible. and i really appreciate people sharing their stories with me. >> maureen, you got to stand up families and children and so it does not come as a surprise that i might, in fact, interject my personal experiences with my family into a speech on the floor. but, goodness knows i had no idea it would resonate with so many people around the world like this. and i love my kids, and my kids are my real strength. and i just am so proud of them. after i lost my husband, he was 51 and i was a widow at 45.
that was a difficult thing. and my kids urged me to continue to run for the legislature, which has also become a family of mine. this is my 20th legislative session. and i am just -- i love my kids and they've inspired me greatly. >> shauna, what surprised you most about what you heard your mother say that day? >> well, i knew she loved me, as my mom, but i had no idea that she thought i was such a fabulous human being. but i think i was most surprised by her just emotion, her raw energy that she shared with everybody, so openly. i was very impressed by that. >> hey, shauna, you know how long it takes to conclude that you're a fabulous human being? i just did it in four minutes. >> how long? >> i just did it in four minutes.