tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 23, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
>> new york city councilwoman laticia james. brian stevens sonstevenson. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. thank you at home for swr n joining us. happy tuesday from washington. here i thought the bob mcdonnell news was going to be the big political scandal news of the day. thanks a lot, anthony weiner. love bob mcdonnell. p.s., please save the next pictures of your genital's publication date from day i resign from office. yours truly, governor bob. wow. really? all in the same afternoon? okay. for the record, today is the day that virginia governor bob mcdonnell finally, finally admitted taking over $140,000 in cash for himself and his family from a virginia businessowner who's now under federal investigation. a company that received in return what virginia newspapers are calling special handling from the governor's office.
after setting up a legal defense fund at the end of last week, after hiring a falanx of high-powered lawyers, after hiring a high-level crisis pr guy, the embattled governor of virginia today for the first time apologized. apologized for making the state a laughing stalk. said he was paying back some of the cash. which he says were loans. that said, the catering bill at his daughter's wedding, $10,000 for the other daughter's wedding, $6,500 rolex watch for the governor, $10,000 suede jacket for the governor's wife. the bergman new york shopping trip and all the rest for the wife, he's keeping all that. some of the cash he says he has now paid back and also for the first time he has said he is sorry. so far, at least, he says he is no resigning. now, if governor mcdonnell performed official actions like, say, setting up meetings with
this company with state officials in exchange for all the cash and loot he took from the company, today's apology is not going to stop a federal grand jury from indicting bob mcdonnell and not stop him from going to federal prison in the charges are proved in court. still while everyone is waiting to hear, i resign, i am stepping down, it is sometimes nice to hear i'm sorry along the way. as i mentioned, though, virginia governor bob mcdonnell sort of got lucky today in the political scandal sweepstakes. bob mcdonnell had the good fortune of dispensing with his "i'm sorry, i'm paying back some of the money but i'm not resigning statement" on the same day, the same afternoon that this happened. >> good afternoon. my name is anthony weiner, democratic candidate for mayor of the city of new york. i have said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. as i've said in the past, these things that i did were wrong and
hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through many challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from congress. while some of the things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what i did was wrong. >> that, of course, is former democratic congressman anthony weiner of new york, during a hastily called press conference just a few hours ago. former congressman responding to a new round of sexually explicit messages and photos that were published online today by a website called, drum roll, please, the dirty. the website is called the dirty. seems like kind of the only appropriate thing going on in this story. anthony weiner is now running to become the next mayor of new york city. he's on the ballot in the democratic mayoral primary that will take place in september. of course, his candidacy has been overshadowed up to this point by the online sexting scandal that famously and fairly recently ended his high-profile career in congress. he resigned from congress in 2011. when anthony weiner decided to
jump into this mayoral race, he indicated that more messages and more naked pictures like the ones we had seen before, more of those pictures and messages existed online. he warned those messages and pictures would likely come out during the course of this race. what he did not mention, though, was that those messages and those naked pictures would come from online no pants exchanges that he was still having after he supposedly came clean and apologized and resigned from congress. anthony weiner's apology tonight was specifically in relation to inappropriate online conversations that he had within the past year. which is a problem for them him the extent his whole redemption tour in the press and his decision to run for office again were premised on the idea, yeah, he had done wrong but he learned his lesson. he was a new man. he had ended that sort of activity upon resigning from congress. mr. weiner resigned from congress in june 2011.
at that point he largely disappeared from public view, but in rare moments when he decided to reappear, he did so essentially to assure people all his problems were behind him. his first big public reappearance came in "people" magazine in july 2012. it was heartwarming. this big, sweet spread with his wife and his newborn son. family man, he's remade in the public image, right? in that interview, anthony weiner told the world, "i really do feel like a very different person. i have enormous regrets about what i put huma through, how i let my constituents down. it's not like i sit all day replaying it in my mind. with a baby, it's easy to put things into perspective." that interview published july 2012. we learned today the reason he didn't have to replay it in his mind is that he was still doing it. that was the same month that he was engaging in this latest online exploit. he was telling the public, i really do feel like a very, very different person, while in private he was continuing with these same activity that caused
him to resign from congress. since anthony weiner has reemerged on the political scene, he has seemed to made a concerted effort to give the appearance this sort of activity ended when he left congress. this is an interview he gave to the local nbc affiliate in new york city this past april. watch. >> a lot of new yorkers who are used to seeing you all over the place on tv every day, when you were a congressman, wondering really first and foremost, where have you been? >> yeah, it's a good question. i haven't been in congress. been spending a lot of time on two big jobs. one is making it up to my wife and, you know, i've got a lot of apologizing to do there, and she's been forgiving, but it hasn't been easy. and the other primary thing, in addition to trying to be a better husband, is being as good a father as i can be. i have a 15 month at home which is a handful. >> you sure those are your two big jobs right now? you sure that's what you're doing? antho
anthony weiner leaving out the other big thing he was up to in that same time period. the other thing he was forced to confront with his wife by his side earlier tonight. >> when was the last -- >> i can't -- i can't say exactly. some time last summer. >> was it after you told "people" magazine -- it took a lot to get to where we are today? >> yes. yes. >> yes. it was after all that. after the redemption narrative said this was all over and i should be given a second chance, i was still doing it. for a long time. that right there is the thing that could be the big problem for anthony weiner going forward. his acknowledgement tonight that what he was saying publicly about his behavior after his supposed fall from grace was still yet more lying. his public statement still did not match what we know he was doing in private. why would anybody ever believe
him ever again? joining us now, melissa russo, political reporter for nbc's new york station, wnbc, at today's press conference. thanks for being with us tonight. i appreciate your time. >> thanks, rachel. thanks for having me. >> by your record of things, how do congressman weiner's public statements about his misbehavior and record of his misbehavior jive? was he dishonest that the original scandal was not of his making? >> the original scandal, of course, he lied about it. he was asked today if he's going to drop out. that's one of major difference is that today he's trying to say, oh, i'm being completely forthcoming. the question is, has he changed? he's saying he has changed, but apparently he didn't change until much later than we thought he had changed. one of the most stunning moments in that news conference today, i thought, rachel, was when anthony weiner sort of corrected the media's misperception of the resignation from congress as
having been the important moment in the public discussion. it was sort of a news flash. apparently it was not an important enough moment for him to stop that x-rated texting behavior, and so in answer to your question, i don't know, it will be important to voters? perhaps. there are a lot of voters in new york city who simply do not care. two out of three of the most recent public opinion polls have put anthony weiner in first place. the front-runner. now, granted it's a very crowded field. he's only getting about 25% of the vote, but that's enough to get him to a runoff. and at this point, in terms of whether or not he's planning to drop out of the race, if those people didn't care before about his behavior, and a lot of people have told pollsters they don't care about anthony weiner's behavior. they thought he was a decent congressman, might be a good fighter for new york city. the question is will they care whether he stopped in 2011 or in 2012? i don't know. >> you know, i have to say, in terms of my personal opinion
about this, i don't see anthony weiner as a sexual morality hypocrite. therefore, i consider his private behavior to be his private behavior. the thing that i always felt like justified him resigning from congress was that he lied about it over and over and over again. looking people right in the eye, including me, personally. >> do you remember when he called reporters names when they were questioning him? >> yeah, he gets up at the news conference and calls the reporter a jackass for questioning him. turns out he lied over and over and over again. very explicit, like, very direct lies and he was very comfortable with that. that seemed to me like the problem. now, the question is whether or not, in your view, this changes the perception not about whether or not his online sexual behavior is of a different magnitude than we thought it was, but whether he is even more of a liar than he seemed like before. whether he's put his lying days behind him or whether he still does. >> i think what he's trying to create the impression of, whether or not it's true, is that this whole period of texting is reflection of a
longer troubled period in his marriage that didn't exactly end on a particular day and did not coincide with the day in which he resigned from congress, obviously. he basically is saying there was a longer, more drawn out period of time during which they went through some extensive therapy. and i think what he's trying to at this point, at least at the news conference today, it seemed like he was trying to create the perception that this is an old story. i've been saying for a long time that there were other texts. he was sort of intentionally vague about it in the past. oh, could there be more texts? absolutely. could more things come out? sure. he's been lowering expectations. so i think what he was trying to say today is that it was not a surprise that these messages surfaced. it was certainly not a surprise to his wife. and i think that's going to be the key thing here was huma abedin's appearance at that news conference. she's known for being a very private person, but the reason to have her there today was for the public to see that this was
not news to her. this was something that they had already discussed before the decision for him to run for mayor was made. >> melissa, one last quick question on this. this could be important, maybe more in terms of his national profile than his run specifically in new york city. but does this in a way pose a risk of turning the press against him? i mean, part of the way he lied the second round of times is that he's doing this sort of redemption tour in the press where he's talking about what a changed man he is and how he's totally focused on his family and all about making apologies while he's still continuing that behavior. the press was really used by anthony weiner in order to convey the second round of lying. does, i mean, in terms of the vibe in the press conference today, does this latest wrinkle, i guess, does this make the -- run the risk of turning the press against him in a way generally constituents wouldn't? >> it's possible. there was a certain amount of credence given to fact his wife stood with him and said, look, i already knew about this.
i knew at the tile. we had been discussing this essentially for months before we decided anthony was going to run for mayor. will people focus on the fact he gave an article a year ago in which he said he felt like a different person and was still sending ining x-rated texts a m later? that will hurt his credibility. in terms of voters, they may feel they don't care about his indiscretions. for anthony weiner, this was never a slam dunk. he's the front-runner. perhaps what his goal was all along was if i can't win, maybe i an at least rehabilitate my image and maybe the last thing that people remember about me won't be that i resigned from congress. perhaps i can come across as a credible candidate that's fighting for the middle class in new york and i think that's what he's trying to achieve, whether or not he wins this race. >> melissa russo, political reporter for wnbc. thanks for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thanks, rachel. >> we have to do a correction
later on in show tonight, but i feel like i have to apologize right now, because i will never, ever forgot having used the word wrinkle in a metaphor while discussing this story, and for that i'm deeply sorry. we'll be right back. hey kevin...still eating chalk for heartburn? yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
here for the interview tonight, the inter -- the interview is what we call it. here for the interview tonight is senator al franken. that's coming up. ...so you say men are superior drivers? yeah? then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. silence. are you in good hands?
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republican governor rick scott, may 2011, first year in office using the power of his office to try to make voting harder in his state. the longer the lines, the fewer people voting, the better republican expect to. it worked like it was supposed to. in november, florida voters waited six, seven, even ten hours in line just to vote. latino and african-american voters, groups who tend to vote democratic, they waited longer than white voters in florida did. it was the stay in line election in november. and even rick scott was embarrassed by what a national point and gasp horror show florida's elections became in november. by january, the governor, himself, was calling for the legislature to put back those early voting days he had taken away. in may, he signed a bill into law that reversed himself. almost two years to the day after he turned his state into a late-night joke, he had to take it all back and undo the damage he had caused. that swift and painful lesson,
the humiliation of rick scott, the disaster by design in florida elections is why today pink flamingos turned up on the statehouse lawn in north carolina. the pink flamingos were a silent protest in hard plastic that was supposed to remind everybody of florida. the flamingos planted on the statehouse lawn as a message to the republic ans in that state, a message to the republicans in the north carolina legislature and north carolina's republican governor, the message was, please do not make our elections look like florida's. in north carolina, which has gone crazy this year, republicans are making one more last-minute grab the silverware drawer and throw it in the air chaos move in the legislature. an old bill to change voter i.d. laws in state had been sitting dormant for about three months, but all of a sudden today the republicans in the legislature brought it back to lifetimes a million. they rewrote the old bill. they stuffed it full of a whole bunch of new stuff that never gets debated and never has
hearings and are ramming this new bill through with basically no debate with just two days left in the legislative session. it would ban you from voting unless you could show i.d. you never had to show before. estimated 300,000 registered legal voters in north carolina will not have the kind of documentation you need in order to vote. more than a third of the people who do not have that documentation are african-american. more than half are registered as democratic party voters. the changes to the bill happened so quickly that some of the first information publicly available about the bill was published on facebook by josh stein. thanks to him and his facebook page, the last-minute changes include putting an end to same-day voter registration which over 100,000 people used in the state in last november's election. they're getting rid of state support for voter registration drives. they're banning local election officials from extending polling times for an hour if, for example, there's really long lines still waiting outside. or there's some other
contingency that that local election place needs to handle on election day. used to be able to extend hours by one hour to allow for local contingen contingencies. they're stopping localities from being able to do that. and, of course, like florida, hence the pink flamingos, they're cutting early voting, lopping off a full week of early voting which north carolinians love. most of the state voted early last next. 78% of north carolinians say they like the state's early voting laws. three-quarters of voters in state say they have used the early voting provisions. republicans don't care. they're getting rid of it now. they're also getting rid of a program in high schools that juniors and seniors register to vote. part of citizens awareness month. north carolina republicans are going so far so fast with this that they want to end the state's totally noncontroversial popular bipartisan program that reaches out to students who are nearing the age of voting to show them how to be model citizens. if this north carolina school
last year, seven kids registered to vote through citizens awareness month. we can't have students registering to vote, can't have that. so citizens awareness month will go away. along with the whole idea of preregistering young people to vote in the state. it all goes away under the bill senate republicans advanced this afternoon. used to be that north carolina republicans had to be at least a little -- changes like this, because north carolina was covered by the voting rights act and needed preclearance from the justice department to stop the state from changing election laws in a way that would have racist implications. now with the voting rights act gutted by the conservative majority on the supreme court, republicans in north carolina feel unbound. so they are advancing this mega bill that is probably the worst voter suppression effort in the country anywhere. if you want to know why dozens of people are getting arrested every week now at the state capitol in north carolina, this is why. it is republicans gone wild in
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this is admittedly a rare thing on this show. i have to acknowledge assistants for tonight's show from the church. specifically from the national presbyterian church in washington, d.c., who has provided us with material support for tonight's show in the form of the thing that is in this bag. we have to do a correction on
the show tonight for which we need this and very specific church-related advice from a really nice laidly named carol ann who works at the church. that's coming up right at the end of the show. i'll show you what's in the bag. i'll correct something we got wrong on yesterday's show and that everybody in the entire american news business got wrong along with us. stay tuned. ♪
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ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. in just about every family, there is a family member who is easily alarmed. and sometimes this can be a healthy thing. sort of healthy dose of caution for your family. but more usually it swings into paranoid and gullible. if you have a family member who falls into that category of easily alarmed, you might want to be particularly careful with that family member over the next couple of weeks. particularly if your member of congress is a republican. because today we learned that republican members of the house are going to go home to their districts over this next break and proclaim that there is an emergency. a health care emergency. and because of this health care emergency that they're going to proclaim, they're going to summon you and your family members to come to a member of congress emergency town hall meeting right away.
heaven forbid your paranoid aunt josie actually gets ahold of this kind of announcement before you get to it so you can hide it from her and save her blood pressure. they're going to do this. here's the planning kit the republican party has sent to the republican members of the house telling them what to do in their districts at the break. convene an emergency health care town hall to engage your constituents on the negative effects of obama care. and how republicans don't like it, and make sure you call it an emergency when you do it. make sure you include seniors when you declare this emergency because, of course, it's particularly fun to scare seniors in the hot months. yeah, so this is what house republicans are planning inning doing with their summer vacation. emergency, we still hate health reform. you know, there is a pilot project that has been run in our country on how to implement health reform. the reform law that everybody calls obama care is essentially the same thing as the romney care health reform that mitt romney signed into law and implemented in massachusetts where i live. very successful. very popular.
very effective. something like 98% of the state of massachusetts has health insurance. highest coverage rate in the nation. and that's the whole point. that's the only way a private insurance-based system works. instead of having a single payer or like a british-style nhs system, the way it works if we keep our private insurance is way it works in massachusetts and way it would work nationwide. fig wrure out a way to get everybody covered by private insurance and the whole system works better and cheaper for everyone. when they rolled out romney care in massachusetts, they made a big statewide effort to get everybody to sign up. >> i've got it. >> we've got it. >> we've got it. >> got what? health insurance. massachusetts residents are now required to have it, and the state's health connector makes it more affordable and easier to get. >> i've got it. >> me, too. >> call or go to our website to compare plans, get information, and choose the right plan for you. get preventative care and medical and financial protection. >> i'm getting it. >> i've used it.
>> we've got it. >> get health insurance now. through the state's health connector. >> and, yes, the ad ends at fenway. massachusetts even got individual red sox players like tim wakefield to do these ads saying, hey, everybody can get health insurance now. you should sign up. the campaign worked and people signed up. and the law has worked the way it was designed. the obama administration tried to do a similar thing on a national level to how they rolled this thing out in massachusetts. last month the obama administration announced they were in talks with the nfl about getting football players to appear in ads to encourage people to get health insurance. to tell people why getting insurance was easier now and would be a good thing to do. essentially the exact same thing that red sox players did in massachusetts when mitt romney was governor and they piloted this whole idea in that state. those talks with the nfl seemed like they were going pretty well. the white house said the nfl was actively and enthusiastically engaged in the discussions. that is until the top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell,
wrote a threatening letter to the commissioner of the nfl. "it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its brand by lending its name to the promotion of obama care." how could you possibly get involved with this legislation that we hate so much? well, the day after that letter was sent by mitch mcconnell to the nfl, the nfl said they would not be participating in promoting people getting health insurance. "we responded to letters with received from members of congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage h this area." senate republicans didn't just target the nfl. they september the same threats to major league baseball, the nfl and a bunch of other dig different sports organizations. republicans torpedoed that effort, to inform americans about policies they can take advantage of now that will benefit them, using sports stars. congratulati congratulations, mitch mcconnell. here in washington this week, entertainers including jennifer hudson and amy poehler and cal
penn met with senior white house advisers about how they might be able to help educate people about getting health insurance. the group at the white house yesterday included producers for oprah winfrey and the singer alicia keys. and also "rachel maddow show" staff love object bon jovi, who is reportedly going to help get the word out about health insurance exchanges. woo-hoo. no matter the haircut, the idea here is to tell people what they get under the law, to tell people that everybody can get health insurance now and that having health insurance is way more accessible and way more worth it now than it was before. another entertainment world figure who was at that white house meeting yesterday was the production president for a website called funny or die. funny or die is a website whose videos sometimes get, oh, say, 80 million views because they are things like this. >> who's that? >> it's my landlord, pearl.
i'm really late on my rent. >> i'm getting out of here, man. she's nasty. >> no, no, no, please. i need you to stay. >> this is going to be ugly. >> hi, pearl. >> where's the rent? >> you don't have to raise your voice. >> you pay now! >> i can give you half. >> i'm tired of this crap. >> look, i -- i thought i was clear in my e-mail that i needed a couple weeks. >> i work too hard. >> can i just get two more weeks? >> i want my money. >> you need to relax. god, you're mean. don't make fun of my crying. >> you'll be evicted. >> i'm not doing so good, pearl. >> i put you on the streets. i'm gonna smack you. >> okay. you know what, you need to relax. >> i want my money! >> why do you need your money so
fast? come on. >> i need to get my drink on. >> you scare me. you're an alcoholic. >> can i have four beers? >> funny or die guy told reuters yesterday that if he, like the nfl, gets a threatening letter from mitch mcconnell saying how funny or die definitely should not help out with obama care, he says he'll frame that letter and put it up in his autopsoffice a proud of it. the white house is reaching out to sell you an get health insurance now more easily and it's a better deal. some of the selling of the law will be the law, itself. over the course of the summer, millions of americans have been receiving check, physical checks in the mail because of obama care, because of a specific requirement in obama care that says whatever your health insurance company is charging you for your health insurance, that company has to spend at least 80% of that on actually providing you, and bonuses for their reos and generic overhead costs that don't result in you
getting health care has to be less than 20% of what you pay for. the 80/20 rule. the punishments for companies who don't meet the 80/20 rule is companies have to pay you the difference, pay it back to you in the norm of a check made out to you and mailed to you. insurance companies who fail to abide by the 80/20 rule have until the 1st of august to give you their money back. 13 million americans qualify to get their checks averaging out to 150 bucks per household. that's because obama care says health insurance companies have spo spend most of your money on actual health insurance. going to your mailbox and finding a check for 150 bucks, sure, it's not the same as somebody screaming health care emergency at you. but it is definitely going to get people's attention. joining us tonight for the interview is senator al franken of minnesota. he championed the 80/20 rule which requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on medical care. senator franken, thank you for
being here. >> thank you for having me, rachel. you explained it very well. >> did i get anything wrong? >> of course not. you'd correct it if you did. >> true. >> tomorrow. no, this is -- before this provision, before health care reform, insurance companies could spend really whatever they wanted on, you said, marketing, administrative costs, profits, and ceo salaries. and what this provision says is that they had to spend 80% on actual health care and not those other things. 85% for large group plans. and you're right, their checks are now in the mail. last year it was about 13 million people benefited from these checks. you may not get the check. it may go to your employer in you're on a employer plan. people with individual plans, they saved in the last two years have saved over $2.7 billion because of this provision.
and what it's doing is we have seen over the last three years the costs of health care has been growing at the slowest rate that it has in 50 years. >> and is that the idea to change the behavior of health insurance companies to make them stop jacking up their prices to pay for stuff? >> it's forcing them to be proficient. if you're not getting a check, yourself, you're benefiting from this. health insurance companies have to be more efficient. actually, i have to say the good actors in this, a lot of minnesota health insurance companies were fine with this because they meet that 85% or 80% ratio. they just do it. and it's either bad actors have had to clean up their act and everyone's gotten more efficient. that's good. remember bending the cost curve? that's what this is doing.
>> well, i feel like a lot of the political machinations around health reform at the republicans calling it an emergency and still threatening a shutdown to try to stop it and everything. a lot of that is about the long delay there has been between passing the law and actually seeing its provisions come into effect. but this went into effect essentially right away. >> this one went in last year. last year was the first year people got their checks. the year before, companies saw what they were doing and actually had to -- last year, for example, aetna in connecticut reduced their premiums by 10% in order to meet this. but, you know, there are other provisions in the law that have kicked in. no longer can children with a pre-existing condition be denied health insurance. and i have met children who are alive today, or at least their parents believe they are, and
that's important because that provision is in now. also we don't have the lifetime cap anymore. so that if you're -- you're not just one diagnosis or one accident away from bankruptcy. i go to a lot of senior centers in minnesota, and seniors, you said that the republicans are going to be reaching out to seniors at these town meetings. seniors really like the fact that under medicare, they're getting free prevenntive treatment. they also like the fact the doughnut hole is closing, and to people who are -- it's going to be closed entirely by 2020. and for people who live on social security, or a little bit more, that can make the difference between having medicine, not having medicine. >> are we in one of these situations where people will have a sense that their health care is getting better or their access to health care is getting better, but they'll still hate the idea of obama care because they see so many bumper stickers saying you should hate this law and it's been so politically branded by the republicans in a
way that's negative? >> you know, i think americans don't want to fight this fight anymore. i think they want to see this implemented, and i think they will like the fact that no one, starting january 1st of 2014, that no one can be denied health insurance and penalized for having a pre-existing condition. you talk about these town halls. in august, i was at the state fair in minnesota in 2009, i guess it was during all that. and a woman came up to me and she must have been in her late 60s, early 70s. she said, you know, at my age, everything is pre-existing. and that's sort of right. i mean, seniors do, you know, if you're on medicare, you're probably taking a number of prescription drugs, and so this is very important to them. we also, one thing that is very important about the affordable care act, is that we've extended
the life of medicare now by nine years. and that was -- remember that $817 billion they kept talking about? that was savings. that was not overpaying insurance companies for medicare advantage plans. and that, and what it's also saving us by not reimbursing hospitals quite as much. that works out for hospitals because hospitals, if there are 30 million more people insured, the hospitals don't have to pay for -- they're not online to pay for those people's care when they two in tgo into the emerge room. that's why this works. >> do you feel struck by the president today turning to people in the entertainment field, comedy specifically to get the word out about this? the word isn't very much about the law. the word is, hey, health insurance is easier to get now. ought to try to go get it and here's why it will be more worth it to you to try to do it. it is a public service announcement sort of thing.
anybody being against people having health insurance is a weird idea. do you think it makes sense for politically the white house to be trying to tap entertainment and comedy figures to try to get that word out? >> sure. i guess so. i think what's important is senators going on shows like yours and saying, talking about, bragging about their provision. >> you know, since i know you from a previous life. >> yes. >> and i've had to fight tooth and nail to ever get to speak to you in any sort of official context, i am grateful that the time i finally get to talk to you is about the 80/20 rule. >> i'm glad this is -- i'm very proud of this. >> yeah. >> this is something that actually kind of came from minnesota law. they didn't have the rebates in it. they had different levels, et cetera. but this is something that i'm very proud to have done as a senator, is take something from minnesota, bring it to the capital, to d.c., and have it become a law that has saved people a lot of money and has brought down the cost of health care. very proud of that. >> senator franken. it's great to see you.
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in 2004, barack obama was a candidate for u.s. senate from illinois. he did not yet have a very wide national following. and then he gave the speech. that speech, at the 2004 democratic national national co which nominated john kerry for president. >> now, even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us. the spinmasters, the negative ad peddlers, who embrace the politics of anything goes. well, i say to them tonight, there is not a liberal america and a conservative america. there is the united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] there is not a black america and a white america, a latino america, an asian america. there's the united states of america. >> on the day of that speech that made barack obama nationally famous, before he actually gave that speech that day, then senate candidate barack obama seemed to have a sense ahead of time that that
speech was going to go over pretty well. writing about it in receipt roh spectacular for the "new yorker" magazine ryan lizza described it like this -- "marty nesbitt remembers obama's utter calm the date he gave his celebrated speech at the '04 national convention in boston which made him an international celebrity and a potential '08 presidential candidate. we were walking down the street late in the afternoon and this crowd was building behind us like it was tiger woods at the masters. barack, man, you're like a rock star, nesbitt said. obama replied, yeah, if you think it's bad today, wait until tomorrow. what do you mean? my speech, mr. obama said. my speech is pretty good." yeah, pretty good, i guess. so that was 2004, about that 2004 speech that changed his life. that ultimately changed all of our lives since it rocketed him on the way to the presidency of our country. now check this out. today if you log on to whitehouse.gov on the front page of the white house website there is a hype video for a speech
that the president is going to deliver tomorrow. a video that has highlights from previous speeches the president has given, a montage of some of the president's greatest hits to sort of get people fired up and ready to go. about this big speech he's going to give tomorrow. it also includes an ask for you to please join the president for the speech he's going to give tomorrow. if you are one of president obama's 34 million followers on twitter, you saw a tweet today telling you that you are going to want to watch this speech tomorrow, with a link to the video. and a post from one of the president's senior advisers urging you to tune in on wednesday, saying "i don't think you'll be disappointed." the president is scheduled to give a big policy speech tomorrow. and of course he's the president. he gives lots of speeches all the time. but he does not tend to say much about them in advance before he gives them. this is not normal. something about this speech tomorrow has the white house and even the president personally really hyping it in advance. >> i'm going to talk about where we need to go from here.
how we need to put behind us the distractions and the phony debates and nonsense that somehow passes for politics these days, and get back to basics. it's going to be the kickoff to what is essentially several months of us trying to get washington and the press to refocus on the economy and the struggles that middle-class families are going to -- going through. now, here's the thing. it'll be a pretty good speech. >> it'll be a pretty good speech. if he does say so himself. last time he said that everybody on planet america learned how to spell the word "obama" all at once. i do not know why the white house and the president are going whole hog trying to get the word out and raise expectations for this speech tomorrow. but they are. whether you believe the hype or not, here's the details.
the speech is at knox college in galesburg, illinois tomorrow. they are calling it a major policy address. they're saying this is not a speech to be missed. it happens at 1:00 p.m. eastern time tomorrow, which just so you know is when andrea mitchell is hosting here on msnbc. i do not know what the hype is all about for this speech, but there is in fact hype. watch this space. [ male announcer ] the mercedes-benz summer event is here. now get the unmistakable thrill... and the incredible rush... of the mercedes-benz you've always wanted. ♪ but you better get here fast... [ girl ] yay, daddy's here. here you go, honey. thank you. [ male announcer ] because a good thing like this... phew! won't last forever. mmm. [ male announcer ] see your authorized dealer for an incredible offer on the exhilarating c250 sport sedan. but hurry, offers end july 31st.
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that's a hot dog you can trust. i save time, money,st, and i avoid frustration. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare, written by people just like you. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i got this right. hear ye. hear ye. i'm keeping this forever. ye old department of corrections shall herewith be presented. i made a royal error on last night's show. it was embarrassing. i regret it. but here's why i made it. you remember this guy? the town cryer. the guy who donned the tea party-looking costume and rang
the bell and shouted out the announcement of the birth of the new royal baby. third in line to the throne. may he be long lived. happy and glorious. well, on our show we identified this man as the official town cryer of london. upon further review we now have the full story. his name is tony appleton. he is a town cryer. but he is a town crier in the village of great badot in the town of rumford and berry st. edmonds. but he is not the official town crier of london which is what i said. london's town crier, the guy who had the gig for 31 years, he died four years ago and as far as we can tell he has not been replaced. told we learned that our friend's well-heard announcement in front of st. mary's hospital yesterday was not performed in any official capacity even though it really looked official. the guy was not asked or summoned by the royal family or anybody from the palace. he just showed up on his own. he said, "i was not invited. i just crashed the party. i got out of my taxi and i stood in front of the steps because i
didn't think i'd be allowed on them. and i did my bit. it was great. it was a great atmosphere. it's like the olympics." wait, how would he know about the atmosphere at the olympics? oh, well, look. here he was ringing in the london olympics. which he also did on his own. mr. appleton also said that he proclaimed prince william and kate's royal wedding in 2011. and in fact, here he is at the royal wedding posing for pictures with the crowds, who probably think he's official, too. we had never heard before of a serial town crying shower upper at stuff who's not invited but everyone's happy when he's there anyway. so when we realized that we got his job title wrong on last night's show, we called him today. and tony appleton by his own personal account on the phone to us today said that when there is some sort of royal function he just likes to turn up. he puts on his regalia and he turns up because he loves the royal family. he says he planned the royal birth announcement for two weeks. he says he planned it like a military operation. he timed his appearance yesterday based on a tip from
someone inside the hospital, he says. he said a royal journalist from the "times of london" helped him fine-tune his announcement so it would be accurate and royal-sounding and all. and according to him, he proceeded unchecked by the security detail. he says they thought he was a "messenger from the palace." tony appleton is charming. he is a town crier. he has the routine down. he is not the official london town crier. i apologize for the error. but it gave me an excuse to do this. that does it for us tonight. "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell starts now. have a great night. today monica lewinsky turned 40 and anthony weiner turned red. again. >> it's tuesday july 23rd. >> it's tuesday july 23rd. >> there was a lot to talk about. ♪