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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 16, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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>> i can hear you unable to contain your glee in the lead into this segment. your giggles were showing. >> you kno in looking back at that interview, that tape that we just played, i'm not convinced that she understands how a brokered convention works. she thought she would give it a try. >> other people have been hinting about this prospect for a long time. i think you're right. i think she was directly saying pick me, pick me. and the collective yawn today from republicans was pretty striking. great segment. thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks for sticking with us. over the course of in next hour, in 1996 the republican nominee for president was of course bob dole. after bob dole lost the presidential race in 1996 to bill clinton, mr. dole became the celebrity spokes model for a drug called viagra. >> courage. something shared by countless americans. those who risk their lives. those who battle serious illness.
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when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer, i was primarily concerned with myself for the cancer but secondly i was concerned about possible post-operative side effects like erectile dysfunction. e.d. it's embarrassing to talk about e.d. but it's important to millions of men and their partners that i decided to talk about it publicly. >> that was high level republican party politics around sex and genitals and reproduction in 1999 courtesy of the 1996 presidential nominee bob dole. 13 years later, here's the book end to that. >> do you have any concerns about some of his comments on social issues on contraception, on women in combat, and whether or not that would hurt his viability in a general election campaign would he be the nominee? >> well, i get such a chuckle when these things come out. this contraceptive thing, my gosh. it's inexpensive.
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back in my days they used bayer aspirin for contraception. the girls put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly. >> excuse me. i'm just trying to catch my breath from that frankly. >> rick santorum's billionaire in an interview today with the great andrea mitchell seems to have barely survived that exchange. more interesting than his insinuation that any woman who doesn't want to get pregnant is a slut is what was said later in the interview when andrea kept pressing him on the issue. >> what about some of santorum's views. don't you think that they are outside the mainstream? isn't contraception accepted practice even among the majority of catholics in country? aren't we going back decades with some of the social issues that he's espoused? >> i didn't realize he said he was against contraceptives.
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has he made that statement? >> yes. nobody told you? he has made that statement a lot actually. >> one of the things i will talk about that no president has talked about before is i think the dangers of contraception in this country and the whole sexual libertine idea many in the christian faith have said well that's okay. i mean, you know contraception is okay. it's not okay. it's not okay because it's a license to do things in the sexual recommend that is counter to how things are supposed to be. i know most presidents don't talk about those things. maybe people don't want us to talk about those things but i think it's important that you are who you are. these are important public policy issues. they have profound impact on the
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health of our society. >> mr. santorum also said in 2006 to an interviewer i'm not a believer in birth control and artificial birth control. again, i think it goes down the line of being able to do whatever you want to do without having the responsibility that comes with that. the clip you saw there of rick santorum talking was from this past year. rick santorum talking to a conservative website about his belief that birth control is wrong and how as a president he'll make that a priority of his presidency even if people don't want to hear him talk about it. the second quote there that i read was from further back. that was actually from this interview that you can see here from august of 2006. august of 2006 was right before rick santorum lost his u.s. senate seat by 18 points in pennsylvania. he was the incumbent. so, yes, rick santorum's billionaire talking with andrea mitchell today, rick santorum has said he is against birth control. he has said that publicly and
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frankly, it's part of the reason a lot of people think he lost by 18 points in pennsylvania back in 2006. that was the last time he was in public office. he's still saying it now when he is asked. a big part of the reason that 2006 interview is in circulation today is because a very conservative blogger at "the washington post" posted that interview today and wrote a column about how unelectable rick santorum is because of his anti-contraception views. for all of that aspirin between the knees stuff out of this guy today, actually kind of feel bad for him. did nobody warn him about rick santorum? if this guy is going to spend millions of dollars to elect rick santorum president, does he not know that this whole contraception thing might be in the way of rick santorum's election? when you look at the polling on this, it's devastating. from cbs/"the new york times" poll out this week when asked about the president's current
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plan for contraception coverage and health insurance making private health plans cover the cost of birth control, 66% of americans support the policy but 68% of moderates do. 64% of independents do. even 50% of republicans do. republicans support the president's policy on birth control even when asked about the pre-revision policy and asked about the original obama administration policy, the one that required religiously affiliated employers like catholic hospitals and catholic universities to offer insurance plans with full contraception coverage even that pre-revision plan, huge majority support that. 61% of americans. among republicans, 41% in favor of the original policy before it changed. the policy of requiring religiously affiliated employers to cover contraception in their health plans. that polling is not only devastating for a politician like rick santorum who is known more for his anti-gay views and
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anti-abortion views and anti-contraception rules than anything else about him. it's also bad for republican presidential candidates all of whom have endorsed personhood legislation that would ban not only abortion in all circumstances but would likely ban hormonal birth control as well which is the kind of birth control that most american women use. it's also devastating for the vice presidential prospects of virginia's governor bob mcdonnell on the way to being handed a personhood bill in his state that rules out protection for hormonal birth control. governor mcdonnell says he'll sign the mandatory vaginal ultrasound bill. it's passed in virginia. the state would order women to have medically unnecessary internal vaginal probe ultrasounds against their doctor's wishes and without their consent. bob mcdonnell says he'll sign it. but the public opinion data on issues like these has so far not
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been daunting not just to the presidential and vice presidential contenders but not been daunting to republicans in congress generally who have decided that this is a great election year issue for them. back in the late '90s and early 2000 after it was announced that viagra would be covered in prescription drug coverage, if we're going to cover viagra, how about we cover birth control too? "l.a. times" had a great piece on this today. viagra approved in 1998. by the year 2000 all over the country they are making moves on contraception coverage laws. the state of iowa for example enacts a mandate that health insurance drug plans in iowa cover contraception. it's the republican legislature in iowa that does this. they overwhelmingly back a
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contraceptive coverage mandate in iowa and there are no exemptions for religious employers of any kind even churches in iowa must cover contraception in their health insurance prescription drug plans, right? so say the republicans in the year 2000. in arizona, same deal. they exempted churches themselves but not church affiliated institutions like universities and hospitals. a republican introduces that in arizona and passes through the legislature and signed into law in arizona by a catholic and republican governor. in new york state, a mandate that insurance plans have to cover birth controls not only passes but gets a bunch of support by republicans in the legislature. new york's republican governor george pataki signs it. by 2005, news made its way to mike huckabee in arkansas. arkansas under mike huckabee passes a law to require health insurance drug policy to cover
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contraception. like in arizona and new york and in the obama administration's original policy this year, churches are exempt but church affiliated hospitals and universities are not exempt. that's what mike huckabee signed into law in his state in 2005. stick a pin in that for mike huckabee for a second. we'll be back to that in just a moment. the year after mike huckabee does it, mitt romney signs the big massachusetts health care overhaul which reaffirmed that health insurance prescription plans must cover birth control. mitt romney signed that. he now calls essentially the same rule from the obama administration an assault on religion. it's his own policy. mike huckabee, former weight loss guru, no longer trying to hawk that, now he's just a fox news personality and he's trying now to set off a national campaign under the heading we are all catholics now basting the obama administration for attacking religious liberty. remember what mike huckabee signed into law in his state when he was governor was the same thing that the obama
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administration proposed that mr. huckabee is now attacking. apparently it's okay if you are a republican. in terms of this kind of rule as federal policy, the same type of regulation that contraception had to be covered in health insurance prescription plans was upheld as part of federal employment law. federal employment law in the year 2000 when the bush administration took office they had the opportunity to roll that requirement back. they decided not to. they didn't even try. why would they? it wasn't a controversial issue. john ashcroft was asked about it in the senate at the time. he said as attorney general he would have no problem with that rule. he would defend it. republicans have not only been happily living with this policy, they've been promoting this policy. they have been signing this policy into law all over the country roughly since viagra since bob dole on that wind swept hallway talking about erectile dysfunction. somebody rang a bell somewhere
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and now it's a republican scandal apparently. even in the face of public polling data that shows this to be suicidal, republicans are running full tilt against contraception. offended by policies they themselves supported demanding that the policies be rolled back and we let all employers deny access to contraception and they are going further now. now they say that we should let employers not just deny access to contraception, we should let employers deny access to anything and we should thereby get rid of health insurance as we know it. that's what the roy blunt legislation would do which republicans are trying to move through the senate now. the roy blunt legislation says an employer could opt out of providing health insurance plans if it was a religious belief or a moral conviction.
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one of the republicans who signed onto support the blunt amendment is a republican freshman senator named scott brown from massachusetts. he's being challenged in his re-election effort by our next guest, elizabeth warren, this november. brown is trying to say he's a moderate which is why people are surprised by this move against contraception. those surprised including the boston globe and boston herald which usually loves everything he does and led to a devastating exchange between senator brown and reporter from the hometown news outlet new england cable news. >> senator brown, in a letter explaining your signing onto missouri senator's amendment you said i support a conscious exemption for catholics and people of faith. you acknowledge that senator blunt's amendment goes further than religious objections, no? >> no, i don't.
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i think it's in line with what senator kennedy and i have fought for and i have a history in the state senate of voting for to allow religious organizations to have and people to have that conscious exemption objection exemption. >> how are you rejecting contention that it goes farther. it would allow an employer to refuse to cover anyone for anything. i read the introduction of this bill today. it doesn't say religious beliefs. it says moral convictions. where is she wrong? it seems that's a loophole you could drive a truck through, no? >> jim, you know as well as i do that's a red herring. bottom line is if that happened in massachusetts, people would be sued and other types of things to create these issues to really take away from the focus. >> except, dude, you're trying to change the law so people can't be sued. right? senator brown's likely opponent this november, creator of consumer financial protection bureau, elizabeth warren
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responded to the position on this by saying in part i don't think this will go over well in massachusetts. elizabeth warren is our guest next. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships, anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $5.15, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. if you took the top down on a crossover? if there were buttons for this? wouldn't it be cool if your car could handle the kids... ♪
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massachusetts senate candidate elizabeth warren is our guest next. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the cookie-cutter retirement advice ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you get at some places. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 they say you have to do this, have that, invest here ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you know what? ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you can't create a retirement plan based on ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 a predetermined script. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 to understand you and your goals...
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ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ...so together we can find real-life answers for your ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 real-life retirement. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 talk to chuck ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 and let's write a script based on your life story. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 >> senator brown, in a letter explaining your signing onto the amendment, you said you support a conscious exemption. you acknowledge that it goes far further than religious exemptions, no?
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>> no, i don't. >> i read the introduction of this bill. it doesn't just say religious beliefs. it says moral convictions. where is she wrong? it seems to me that's a loophole you could drive a truck through, no? >> you know as well as i do that's a red herring. bottom line is if anything like that happened in massachusetts, people would obviously be sued and other types of things to create these issues to really take away from the focus. >> as a state senator in massachusetts, it should be noted that scott brown voted for state level regulations which were exactly the same policy that he is now criticizing the obama administration for and supporting the roy blunt legislation to overturn. joining us now is elizabeth warren, republican scott brown's likely democratic opponent this november and creator of the consumer financial protection bureau. good to see you. >> thanks for having me here. >> jim from new england cable news there was essentially
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characterizing your position on this issue to senator brown. let me ask you in your own words, what you think senate republicans including scott brown are trying to do on this contraception issue right now. >> let's just start with what the statute says. the statute says that in effect any employer or any insurance company can decide that it has a personal moral objection to providing any kind of health care coverage for anyone and therefore they're not going to do it. so if your employer says, you know, i don't like that vaccine thing, i'm just going to have an insurance policy that doesn't cover it for your children or i don't like the fact that having cardiovascular disease because you didn't exercise enough or eat the right foods when you were growing up so i'm just going to exempt all of that from my health insurance policy and i'm going to exempt this and this other thing and what we've got left may be not much but that's just too bad.
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you're out there on your own now. >> do you think that this is not so much a contraception issue as it is an effort to undermine the health insurance system or at least to undermine national health reform? >> just look at the words. they start off with religious and then they add any moral objection by the employer or by the insurance company, which, you know, is pretty broad and then it is for any kind of coverage for any kind of person. so in effect this is a kind of -- the employer designs the health insurance system or the insurance company does it and of course i'm sure there's no employer or health insurance company that would decide they just have a moral objection to covering expensive things or costly things but that's certainly what this is an open invitation for. i mean, really when you read the language, it's just stunning.
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>> there is state level regulation in massachusetts that is essentially the same as the obama administration now holds that contraception must be covered in prescription drug coverage. there's an can exemption for religious affiliated employers. senator brown, as a state senator, voted for that in massachusetts. that's a situation that a lot of critics of the obama administration are in including people like mitt romney and mike huckabee and a lot of people who have supported these things in the past but are suddenly offended by this policy now. what do you make of that turnaround? >> you know, look, this is just a cold political calculation that they can appeal to the employers and the insurance companies who might not want to spend money and at the same time try to stir up some kind of misinformation among people of good faith, religious people, by calling this an attack on religion. you know, i think this is why people really hate politics. this isn't about trying to find
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a solution. president obama found a solution. he found a place where people of conviction were not going to be put in a position of supporting health care coverage that covered something that they had a religious objection to. and at the same time making sure everyone stayed covered including that women stayed covered for basic health care services. there was -- there is a solution on the table. this problem is solved. but if you really frame the problem as we want red meat politics, then that's what the blunt amendment is about and that's what this stirring around and trying to call this an attack on religion and really trying to slip in something like the blunt amendment that says how about a direct attack on what kind of care people may really need. >> i have asked senator brown to come on this show multiple times
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including today. so far he never has. i live and hope. you are close with him in polls in massachusetts now. when you're campaigning, what are massachusetts residents telling you is important to them? are you hearing from people who are concerned that there is a religious liberty infringement here as they might have heard from republicans in washington? what are you hearing are people's concerns around the state? >> i'm all over the state. that's part of the fun of doing this. you get out and you're in salem and lots of different places. people want to talk about economic issues. that's what is principally in front of them. they don't like what washington is doing. this issue has now heated up suddenly around trying to deny women access to basic health care coverage and what i'm suddenly seeing is lots of people are coming for example to our website, elizabethwarren.com and they are saying wait a
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minute i need to pay attention. there's an even bigger threat here. senator brown wants to roll back the clock. he wants to go back to a time when a handful of men decided what kind of access to health care coverage women were going to get. he wants to roll back to a time when it's the employer who gets to pick and choose who is going to have health care coverage and what kind of coverage they're going to have. and folks around here really don't like that. and so there's a lot of activity around this really in the last 48 hours. >> elizabeth warren, democratic senate candidate for massachusetts, thank you so much for your time. it's always a real pleasure to have you here. >> thank you. always good to talk with you. >> thank you. all right. for the record, i have asked senator brown yet again to be a guest on this program.
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so far he has never taken us up on that offer. usually what happens these days when we ask senator brown, we don't get any response at all. this time i am at least hoping that we get told no. instead of just having to infer no from the senator's stony silence. i live in massachusetts. we have stuff to talk about. you're my senator. forget it. i'll never do it. we'll be right back. but my smile wasn't. [ female announcer ] new crest 3d white intensive professional effects whitestrips. it goes below the enamel surface to whiten as well as a five-hundred dollar professional treatment for a transformation that's hard to believe. ♪ wow, that's you? [ female announcer ] new intensive professional effects whitestrips. and try 3d white toothpaste and rinse. from crest. life opens up when you do. i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking.
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>> be afraid. be very afraid. a very bad lighting.
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when you are on television or when you are giving a speech somewhere, you end up looking a little nutty or at least like you are telling ghost stories stay campfire if you are lit from below like from your chin or for you are lit like this say. that's rick santorum speaking in tacoma, washington, earlier this week. looks like he's telling ghost stories because this event was slapped together at the last minute and there was nobody around to think about a detail like will people actually be able to see rick santorum? the chairman of washington's republican party in introducing santorum that night took passive aggressive swipes at how disorganized the santorum campaign is right now. >> thank you for coming out here. this was put together in two days. they called us on friday and said we have an event on monday, can you help us? >> campaigns, most campaigns have people who deal with logistics part of running a national campaign for presidency. they have advance teams which go in advance and make sure that events get run properly and make sure for example that you can
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see the candidate or that there's a place to go in it starts raining. rick santorum's campaign doesn't have that. abc news reporting this week on the degree of shoestringiness of rick santorum's shoestring operation. he has no official headquarters. he has no pollster. he has no advance staff at all. and before monday of this week, three days ago, rick santorum had no press secretary. mr. santorum even jokes about it on the campaign trail. >> we have done this -- i would say we've done this on shoestring but that would be insulting shoestrings. we've done it the old fashioned way. >> if you are rick santorum, this is kind of a point of pride that you are doing this well with this few resources. but if you are mitt romney, this should bother you. look at these numbers. rick santorum is beating mitt romney in every single national poll now.
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in michigan, the next big race where mitt romney grew up, where his dad was governor and where he really, really needs a win, rick santorum in the new poll out today by the detroit news, rick santorum is beating mr. romney in michigan. part of the problem in michigan is that mr. romney undermine his greatest asset in the state with his dad having been both a governor and car company auto executive there and undermine that asset with a famous op-ed that let detroit go bankrupt that if gm, ford and chrysler get bailout from the federal government "you can kiss the american automotive industry good-bye." mr. romney wrote the auto industry's demise would be guaranteed by bailout. now in another op-ed, this one in "the detroit news" mr. romney is trying to sort of defend and sort of walk back the whole let detroit go bankrupt thing. he's now saying that he still thinks it would have been right to let the auto industry in america go bankrupt. he also says that mr. obama saving the industry in the short-term actually made things much worse than they would have been for detroit.
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that was a hard line for mitt romney to be toeing a couple lines ago when he wrote that op-ed. it's a particularly hard line to be toeing today. >> full year general motors made a record profit. $7.6 billion. in 2011 it made its biggest annual profit in gm's history. $7.6 billion. >> business is booming for an industry once on life support. >> most profitable year ever in 2011 making $7.6 billion and that's primarily driven by one huge rebound in sales here in north america. >> life support seems nice. so even though things look bad for mitt romney in michigan, we do know he has a strategy, right, as we discussed on last night's show. for this week in terms of ad spending in michigan,
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outspending rick santorum 29-1 in michigan. santorum side moved that closer to two to one with an announcement that the santorum campaign and the santorum zillionaire super pac would donate millions. so for now until there is yet more money spent there, it is no longer looking like 29-1 in michigan. it's at least for now more like two to one. so if you are mitt romney, what worries you more? what keeps you up at night? what makes you up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat in the dark? the news on the democratic side of 2012 politics today is it was the deadline for president obama to make it on the ballot in pennsylvania. the obama campaign needed 2,000 signatures to get mr. obama on the ballot. they turned in 47,000. is that what wakes you up in the middle of the night if you're mitt romney that you might get
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the nomination and have to run against that? or is what wakes you up the prospect you may not get the nomination because you might lose it to a guy who's lighting his speeches under his chin with a flashlight? [ male announcer ] this is lois. the day starts with arthritis pain... a load of new listings... and two pills. after a morning of walk-ups, it's back to more pain, back to more pills. the evening showings bring more pain and more pills. sealing the deal... when, hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. it can relieve pain all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lois... who chose two aleve and fewer pills
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[ kareem ] i was fascinated by balsa wood airplanes since i was a kid. [ mike ] i always wondered how did an airplane get in the air. at ge aviation, we build jet engines. we lift people up off the ground to 35 thousand feet. these engines are built by hand with very precise assembly techniques. [ mike ] it's gonna fly people around the world. safely and better than it's ever done before. it would be a real treat to hear this monster fire up. [ jaronda ] i think a lot of people, when they look at a jet engine, they see a big hunk of metal. but when i look at it, i see seth, mark, tom, and people like that who work on engines every day. [ tom ] i would love to see this thing fly. [ kareem ] it's a dream, honestly. there it is. oh, wow. that's so cool! yeah, that was awesome! [ cheering ] [ tom ] i wanna see that again.
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♪ >> this is a big story. as of last night at 9:00 p.m. eastern time, it looked to us on this show like the maine republican caucus was in danger of having the results overturned the same way as iowa earlier this year. mitt romney was declared the winner of the iowa caucus in a close race where there was no provision for a recount. then just over two weeks later, the iowa republican party reversed itself and said sorry, actually it was rick santorum who won. similarly in maine this past saturday night, the chairman of the maine republican party came out and declared mitt romney had won the maine caucuses. like in iowa, it was a close margin. fewer than 200 votes between mr. romney and second place finisher ron paul. it's come to light that big parts of the state of maine was not counted in that tally at all.
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after four days of resisting and dismissing questions about why entire towns and counties were left out of the maine vote when they declared that mr. romney had won. the maine republican party announced the result of their caucus are under review. yes, they are. as of right now nobody knows who won maine. mitt romney is in jeopardy of having not just iowa taken out of his supposed win column this year but maine as well. in maine each county is now re-reporting their results to the state. that one eastern maine county we talked about on last night's show, washington county which postponed caucuses last weekend due to an expected snowstorm, the state republican party says results from that county will count. will likely at least count toward the state's total results. they say they recommend that this weekend's caucuses in washington county count, which would be a reversal of the state party's previous position and knowing that ron paul is fewer than 200 votes behind mitt romney statewide according to the state republican party, and
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knowing that there are nearly 7,000 registered republicans in washington county, which is voting this weekend, the ron paul campaign is now organizing its butt off in washington county to turn people out for that caucus on saturday. our guest from "the portland press herald" last night said he expects that washington county may have turnout this weekend that exceeds the entire turnout in the whole rest of the state of maine because now they know the final results may depend just on them. but again the state republican party caved today saying that the overall results of the maine caucus are under review and they would like to include washington county once they finish voting this weekend. there are still three big outstanding problems though. first, the republican party of the state says they would like to include the results from that one county but they are not saying that they definitely will yet. that's still a problem. second, the maine republican party is not planning to conduct this review and announce results until march 10th which is 3 1/2 weeks from now.
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and third, they are still being super dodgy. more than 1,000 towns held their caucuses earlier this month and were recorded as zero in the state party's official tally. today the maine republican party chairman charlie webster indicated those votes have been counted but won't tell what you they are. he says he won't restart the fire by releasing the updated results. you'll keep the results a secret? i don't think that's going to reduce the drama. despite the state chairman saying that to the press today, it appears that the secret updated results are going to be released tomorrow. now it should be noted that this is not the ron paul campaign asking for a recount in maine. the ron paul campaign doesn't really care. they only care about delegates. they even say they won colorado and minnesota because they think they got the most delegates there. doesn't matter what the polls
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said. the ron paul campaign doesn't necessarily care about poll results at all. but you know what? the country cares about this stuff. because this stuff has an effect on the narrative of the race. coming into maine, mitt romney lost three state contests including missouri which was ridiculous and didn't mean anything. but even that one helped shape the narrative that mitt romney was losing, losing and losing again. three in a row to rick santorum. and after losing three in a row to rick santorum, if mitt romney lost the next one in maine to ron paul, that is a national narrative that really is very important for the presidential race. also, had ron paul not been contesting maine hard enough that it was possible he might win the state and had there not been fewer than 200 votes between him and mitt romney, none of this would be happening in maine right now. that said, the ron paul campaign although i think they deserve credit for this being under
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review now, they don't help themselves when they try to make their argument. a senior adviser to mr. paul appeared on this show tuesday night saying that washington county, this county that postponed their votes and will vote this weekend, he said that washington county was won by ron paul in 2008 and he also said that the fact that washington county wasn't apparently going to be counted this year was a conspiracy against ron paul because washington was the only county that mr. paul carried in maine in 2008. facts are that ron paul did not win washington county in 2008. john mccain won the county. he also said that caucuses in washington county were postponed in the first place because that county's romney chairman supporting state didn't want it counted and suspended that caucus for a week. he says the decision to delay washington county's vote until this upcoming weekend had absolutely nothing to do with politics. joining us now is chris gardner. chairman of the republican party
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in washington county, maine. we're happy to have you here. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me on this evening, rachel. >> let me say, congratulations in that it looks like the state republican party is leaning toward counting the results of your caucus this weekend in the state's official results. i imagine you must be happy about that. >> we're pleased. right from the beginning we were hopeful and really believed that once all of the facts and circumstances around this come out we had the utmost faith the party would do the right thing. it took a few days for that process to work itself out. >> when you informed the state party that you and the other republican caucus officials in your area had decided to postpone the caucuses in washington county because you expected that snowstorm, did you get any indication from them that the county might not count at that point? >> well, unfortunately with that conversation there was a little bit of confusion. when we called the state party
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headquarters to make sure that we kept ourselves in line with party rules, we told them that we were going to choose to postpone and again that was a group decision by all of the different caucus callers because in maine we don't caucus by county. we caucus by town. and each and every town had a choice of go and no go and they all chose to postpone on the idea of public safety and when we put that out to the party, they told us of course our numbers wouldn't be included in the national reveal obviously. we wouldn't have had our vote by that part in time. it was not made clear to us that our vote would be left out of the count entirely. once that announcement was made saturday night, we were immediate to bring attention to that and the party was receptive from the beginning to hear us out and i'm glad that it's turning out the way that it is. >> to be clear you thought on saturday night they would saying in like making up a number, 86% of the state has reported and at this point mitt romney is in the lead but these are not
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conclusive results. we haven't had full results from the state. you thought they would say something like that? >> that's what we were anticipating. we knew that our numbers would not be there. we had no idea what the rest of the state's holes were going to be. we weren't anticipating a final call, if you will. certainly there may have been enough precincts in there could have been a projection on behalf of the state but we were surprised to hear the state was calling the total as final. >> it is probably not an exaggeration to say that the eyes of the political world or at least the political country are going to be on washington county, maine, this weekend, which i imagine is boast exciting and nerve-racking. we had a reporter last night say that the turnout will be higher than it usually would be in washington county because the county has been told if you meet a certain threshold, you can flip the results in the state. here's the threshold you need to meet.
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what are you expecting in terms of turnout and are you guys prepared for it? >> well, we certainly understand that with all of the attention that has been surrounding this that we can probably count on seeing numbers that perhaps we haven't seen in the past. trying to make a projection on that right now would probably be foolhardy on our behalf because we won't know until the people show up. we've made all of the allowances that's possible and reasonable for a small county like ours. for what it is for washington county, you're right. for as much of the narrative is that our votes wouldn't count, now with this attention, our votes will count more now than perhaps they ever would have. we're looking forward to a great event. >> mr. gardner, i realize that it was a real pain to get to a camera in order to be on our show tonight. >> understood. >> for which i am very grateful you took the time. my only advice for this weekend is pack granola bars in case you
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are there longer than you think you would be and book an overflow room because you may be swamped. chris gardner, chairman of washington county, maine, republican party. it will be interesting to see how they react to the critical position on whether mitt romney won the state of maine. right after our show on "the last word" lawrence will interview foster friess, the guy who just hours ago told andrea mitchell about the heretofore unknown benefit of aspirin between your knees. and here governor chris christie of new jersey shows off his patented blend of furious and confused. that's next.
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we have some serious breaking news for you tonight. there has been a shooting at the glenn m. anderson federal building in long beach, california, this evening. the "los angeles times" is reporting that two people have been shot, at least one of them
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fatally. "the times" reporting that at least one victim was a federal law enforcement officer, though it's not clear from which agency. this particular federal building houses customs and immigration agents among other federal employees. again, what we know at this hour is one person dead and one other person shot and wounded at a federal building in long beach, california, this evening. we will be updating this story as we're able. we'll be right back. [ female] investing for yourself isn't some optional pursuit. a privilege for the ultra-wealthy. it's a necessity. i find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists. quickly. easily. i use pre-defined screeners and insightful trading ideas to dig deeper. work smarter. not harder. i depend on myself the one person i do trust to take charge of my financial future. [ bell dinging ]
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before last week, six states plus washington, d.c., allowed same-sex couples to be legally married. and last week, washington state
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legalized it too. then today, just hours ago, the new jersey state legislature passed its same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 42 to 33. the new jersey bill already passed the state senate. so it's passed both sides of the legislature. that means the bill is on its way out of the state legislature, going to the governor's desk. chris christie, new jersey's republican governor and potential republican vice presidential nominee. now, there's not much speculation about what chris christie is going to do when the gay marriage bill reaches his desk. he's been saying for weeks now that he will veto it immediately. the governor says he prefers that in new jersey, civil rights like these be put up to a popular vote. >> rather than having stalemate and deadlock on this issue, which is inevitably where it will lead, if they pass the legislation and send it to me, because i will not sign it, it will be vetoed, let's let the people of new jersey decide what's right for the state. let's put the question of
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same-sex marriage on the ballot this fall, in the hands of the people. >> governor christie then went on to explain why he thinks this law passed by the legislature should be vetoed by him and put to a referendum instead. watch. >> the fact of the matter is that i think people would have been happy to have a referendum, you know, on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the south. >> seriously? i mean, yeah, some people would have been happy to put african-american civil rights up for a popular vote in the south, but the people who would have been happy with that were not the people who were sitting in at the lunch counters, if you know what i mean. a few days after making that mind-blowingly bad actor to put minority rights up for a majority vote, which is the antithesis of the whole idea of rights being enshrined unalienably in our constitution. a few days later, governor christie tried to explain himself -- sort of. >> what i said was, juxtaposed against a civil rights movement, where there was not an option
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for them. because the political climate in the south in that period of time would not have permitted a referendum to have any chance of passage. >> governor christie is generally credited with being a smart guy. he never did make any sense of this. maybe what he meant to say was that in the civil rights area, a referendum on black civil rights never would have passed by popular vote, and it was, therefore, right and just and appropriate that those rights had to be guaranteed through the courts and legislative process instead. if that's what he meant to say and it just came out wrong, okay. but whatever chris christie meant to say about civil rights, what he has decided to do today in new jersey is to veto a civil rights bill passed by the legislature and to put it up for a majority vote instead. rights be damned. today is gonna be an important day for us.
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and most importantly, its lobster. it's the tastiest, the sweetest, the freshest. nobody can ever get enough. [ male announcer ] it's lobsterfest at red lobster, the one time of year you can savor 12 exciting lobster entrees like lobster lover's dream or new maine lobster and shrimp trio. [ laura ] hot, right out of the shell. i love lobster. i'm laura mclennan from spruce head, maine, and i sea food differently. as we continue to watch for
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further details on that shooting at the federal building in long beach, california, tonight, we have yet further breaking news this hour of a very different kind. but it is also very bad news. the intrepid and eloquent "new york times" reporter anthony shadid has died today, unexpectedly. he was a correspondent for "the times." he was awarded the pulitzer prize in 2004 for his work on the american invasion of iraq and the subsequent occupation. he won another pulitzer in 2010 for his iraq reporting. anthony shadid had been reporting for "the times" in eastern syria today when he died, unexpectedly, apparently of an asthma attack. he reported brilliantly for "the times" and "the post." he was fluent in arabic. apparently he was carried out of syria today, bodily carried out of is syria and into turkey by "new york times" photographer, tyler hicks, who was reporting with him in syria. other details and the exact location of his passing are not yet known. mr. shadid is survived by his wife and his two children. he was just 43 yea

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