tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 30, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT
including an exclusive tonight for the interview. the within party has waging war against planned parenthood centers for years now. over the last few months that war has intensified to the point where basically the whole republican party is more unified to try to destroy planned parenthood than they are unified on anything else. all of their anti-planned parenthood propaganda and demagoguery and political hay making of the past few months, this anti-planned parenthood frenzy in republican politics over the last few months has all been building up to what happened today when republicans in congress demanded that the president of planned parenthood testify under oath in congress. they kept her there for five hours. today, this was the big climax of their war on planned parenthood. they dragged cecile richards, president ef planned parenthood before congress today and kept her there for five hours and it did not go well for them.
i think it went fine for planned parenthood, but it went very badly for the republicans who had made this appearance today in congress into such a huge deal. it was kind of a shock. and exclusively we've got cecile richards, president of planned parenthood live here tonight for the interview. so i'm very excited to talk with her about what happened today. you will not see that anywhere else. we've also got interesting news from 2016 politics tonight in terms of whose republican candidacy is most likely to die next. also with the daily show" starting its new run under its new host trevor noah last night, the big cause that the daily show's old host jon stewart is devoting himself to now that he has retired. that political cause turns out as a huge deadline tomorrow. we're going to talk about whether congress is going to reach that deadline tonight. so there's lots to come on tonight's show and i thank you
for being here. but a few months ago, you may remember that we reported on an unexpected geopolitical flash point in a part of the world we tend to think of as a pretty peaceful place. it was this spring. there was a lot of consternation in sweden because of reports that russian submarines had been spotted secretly lurking off the swedish coast. now, russia did not admit that they were doing that, but the submarines were spotted. and as that swedish government tried to decide what to do in response, one activist group. sweden decided to take matters into their own hands. they came up with something they thought would either repel the russian military from the swedish coast, it would make them flee sweden in terror, or if the russians saw this thing and they decided to stay, well, it would inherently be on very friendly terms. very, very friendly terms. this is what they did. >> the swedish peace and
arbitration society wants to discuss a more effective way than violence and aggression to solve conflicts. instead of angry threats. any visitors will now receive a warm welcome. the swedish peace and arbitration society proudly presents, the singing sailor. >> welcome to sweden. gay since 1944. faced with the prospect of russian submarines lurking off their coast, the swedes dropped in this dancing underpants-clad sailor in a neon light box off the coast at the spot where one russian submarine had reportedly been spotted. this dancing gay sailor, his neon light box, the thing also emits morse code. it sends out a code message that says over and over again this way if you are gay, this way if you are gay. the idea of dropping this off the coast was if the russian military is as terrified of gay people as their prime minister
is, vladimir putin, they might see the gay sailor and hear the morse code message and turn their submarine around and flee in terror in which case problem solved. alternatively, if they liked the morse code message and found themselves attracted to the underpants clad shirtless dancing gay sailor, then they would be welcome to stay on those explicitly friendly turns. kind of a make love not war underwater version. that happened this spring. then it hand again kind of. this time in finland. one of the weird geopolitical leftovers from world war ii is that when nazi germany lost the war, german-owned property in some other countries got distributed to the people who won the war. got distributed to the allied powers and in finland, that included a little bit of land on these remote islands. it's not necessarily important i think in a day-to-day way that some land on the islands is
russian owned. sort of interesting local trivia, but when one scandinavian comedy hip-hop group learned that there are little places in this part of finland that are technically controlled by russia, they're owned and administered by the presidency of russia, the comedy hip-hop group decided last month that they would break into that russian-owned property and turn it into a gay bar. specifically they turned it into a gay bar that they say they modeled on the blue oyster which is the super offensive hysterically funny stereotypical gay leather bar from the police academy movies. the boy oyster. one of these scandinavian rappers told the local press we heard that vladimir putin had a plot here. so it's russian land where you cannot propagate homosexuality. therefore we came up and built account blue oyster. if they were trying to get a rise out of russia by putting a pop-up gay bar on putin's land,
it worked. the russian council told the news agency this is pure hooliganism and the russians called the cops and the cops started calling it a crime scene. local cops told reporters the gay bar set up on putin's land in finland was "a bunch of rubbish." but the rappers say they are not afraid of getting busted if this is indeed a crime. and as soon as the police clear away what they did this pop-up plywood version of the blue oyster, they say they're going to go back in and build it more permanently this time and huge. they say "the blue oyster will be the only thing you can see from the moon part from the great wall of china." also, they will never take us alive. vladimir putin especially the experience of having some sort off dispute, some sort of beef with vladimir putin, it seems
like it bridges out the best in people or at least brings out unexpected behavior in people. even showing that about vladimir putin in the world and the weird things he encourages people to do or inspires people to do, even knowing that about putin, i'm still not sure anyone expected this at the u.n. >> that's the japanese prime minister meeting with vladimir putin in new york at the u.n. & general assembly. why so giddy? what's going on there? i mean, meetings with vladimir putin can be weird. when president obama met with putin yesterday, they looked like they were going to rip each other's arms off while they were shaking hands. i get it a meeting with him could be weird. he brings out weird stuff in people. what's going on with shinzo abe here? why is he running up to vladimir putin like he's a pony? he's so giddy to see him. he's very happy. giggling.
turns out what this might be about is kind of like the random pop-up gay bar on that island off the coast of finland. what this might be about is actually world war ii. russia, of course, was on the allied side in world war ii. japan on the axis side with fascist italy and nazi germany. in the closing days of the war in 1945, russian soldiers laid claim to a bunch of remote islands that had been part of japan. now, japan says those islands are still theirs. even now 70 years after the end of world war ii russia says, no, we took them in world war ii. those islands are russian. it has been 70 years, but because of the dispute over those islands, japan and russia are technically still at war. they never formally signed a peace treaty after world war ii. japan calls them one thing and russia calls the islands another thing. these are two big powerful countries to have this lingering for seven decades.
shinzo abe has made it one of the goals of his administration in japan that he would like to end world war ii. he would like to get a japanese peace treaty with russia between 2012 and 2014, shinzo abe and vladimir putin held ten personal meetings to talk about this issue to try to get to a place where world war ii can end. but those meetings stopped once putin and russia started their war in ukraine and took crimea and all the rest of it. they earned themselves international isolation and sanctions from europe and the united states and all important western allies including japan. since that cutoff in these discussions, and japan siding with the west against russia, russia has decided to use all of that time to annoy japan as much as possible over the issue of these little islands. over the past year, russia started building new stuff on these islands that they claim.
vladimir putin sent his prime minister medvedev to personally visit one of those islands in august. the russian military has been flying lots of planes over these islands butting up against japanese air space. it has been driving japan absolutely nuts. japan really, really wants to settle this issue. and now in new york, at the u.n. general assembly, japan and russia meeting again on this subject for the first time in a year and a half. and president putin just agreed that he personally will come to japan himself sometime soon to talk about this issue and hopefully settle it once and for all. and so oh, my god, i'm so happy to see you! this is very exciting. the japanese prime minister cannot contain himself, physically cannot contain himself. you would probably be that excited too if after 70 years the end of world war ii finally seed possible for your country
and you were going to be the guy to do it. the u.n. general assembly in new york this week feels unusually inconsequential. obviously the u.n. general assembly is always a big deal. this week there's a lot of real high profile things going on. president obama had this long personal meeting with vladimir putin yesterday, their first meeting in a long time because of all the preceding controversy. that started with the world's iciest little photo op. president obama had a historic one-on-one meeting with raul castro after reopening diplomatic relations between our two countries. president obama heading up a milt national meeting of heads of state to talk about fighting terrorism specifically fighting isis. the president today saying "like terrorists and tyrants throughout history, isis will eventually lose because it has nothing to offer but suffering and death." president obama also said that the u.s. strategy against isis
now is built on the american experience of fighting against a similar but different group, al qaeda. >> we're pursuing a comprehensive strategy that is informed by our success over many years in crippling the al qaeda core in the tribal regions of afghanistan and pakistan. >> president obama making those remarks this morning at the u.n. at the same time that news was breaking from afghanistan today. which frankly, felt like it sort of intruded on those comments. the last 14 years, the united states military has waged war in afghanistan against the taliban. basically as a way of fighting al qaeda, the u.s. war against the taliban started after 9/11 because of the taliban's role in sheltering al qaeda and giving them the home base they needed basically to be able to plan and orchestrate the 9/11 attacks. 14 years into that war, news broke today that the taliban is back in charge in one of afghanistan's largest cities, in
the city of kunduz which is in northern afghanistan. and apparently it didn't take much of a push for them to get the city. the reporting is it took only about 400 or 500 taliban fighters to overwhelm or at least scare off several thousand afghan security forces or police officers supposes to be defending kunduz especially after the taliban attacked before earlier this year. but now that the taliban has taken over in that city and literally raised their taliban flag over kunduz, they've reportedly blown up banks and looted bank vaults all over kunduz and reportedly opened the doors of the city's largest prison and freed hundreds of prisoners. after all this just happened in what feels like a lightning bolt, afghanistan's number two official who was here in new york standing the u.n. general assembly, he turned around and went home toe help oversee the response to this crisis. the afghan president promised that kunduz would soon be back
under government control because he said a continuer offensive was under way by afghan forces. reporting over the course of today and into tonight seems to indicate that afghan counter offensive to take backing that city is not necessarily coming together, at least not yet. there are now reports at least two u.s. air strikes, american air strikes have been launched in support of whatever that counter offensive effort is. but however much our politics in this country have moved on from ever talking about afghanistan, the afghanistan war is still on. and in one major city in the north of that country, the taliban at least right now is back in charge. and yes, throughout history, sometimes you think wars are over when they really are not. but with 10,000 american troops still stationed in afghanistan, if this war really is back onto the point where the taliban is going to be taking and holding significant territory, how much do we expect american troops to be participating in this fight? if this fight is going the way it looks today, does that mean
that american troops don't get to leave? and how does this affect everything else that we're tied up in with and without our allies around the world as this remarkable pile-up of world leaders copies this week in new york city. joining us nbc news national security producer courtney kube. thanks for staying late to be with us tonight. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> we've heard there were two u.s. air strikes in support of some sort of taliban effort in kunduz. do you have any sense of how big a fight is happening for kunduz in do we know what the air strikes were for. >> we were told late tonight by senior u.s. military officials there are thousands of after gan security forces massing around kunduz about to take on the taliban. there are several thousand taliban there reportedly, as well. these air strikes what we learned was early today there was one that took out a tank that the taliban had stolen from
the afghan security forces and was threatening the coalition that's there. later today there have been several more air strikes late tonight including one that was early wednesday morning afghan time. those are centered around the airport. why the airport? that's where all the many of the afghan security forces retreated to when the taliban started taking kunduz yesterday on monday. in addition to the afghan security forces of course, there are some coalition advisors including american special forces and some german troops. so that's where the coalition air strikes come in. they're there to protect. it's a force protection measure, protect those u.s., protect the germans and afghan security forces holed up in the airport. >> part of what we've been trying to figure out today, there's obviously just under 10,000 americans there. the combat mission ended. the troops are still supposed to be there through had the end of 2016. if the combat mission ended, how did we end up with air strikes. you're saying essentially they're doing the air strikes
under the legal authority presumably of needing to protect the americans who are on the ground and close to the fighting >> exactly. so the u.s. and the coalition that's there has a very narrow mission. i think those are the exact words president obama used when he spoke about this mission, very narrow. they have the ability to conduct counter terror operations against al qaeda specifically and that they're there to train, advise and assist the afghan security forces. they always have the inherent right of self defense. so here in this case, in kunduz, there was a small handful of american special operation forces who were there on a training mission. they were threatened by the taliban so that's how it the american air strikes were able to come in under the mission. they weren't specifically counter terror. they were there to protect the americans and the germans. >> courtney kube, national security producer. i just got more clarity from you on the subject than i've had in reading every written word of
print media coverage of the story today. thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> one thing to watch, if this battle of kunduz ends up being a very big deal, also if the war in afghanistan ends up being a political issue in our country, we've got 10,000 americans serving there, watch to see if we get a partisan line on this issue. for a long time on the issue of afghanistan and some other national security issues it's been a blurry partisan line. the guy most likely to be the next house speaker said this weekend he wants an american ground war in syria. he wants american troops fighting a ground war there. if we're going to get partisan divides on that, these national security things are about to become way more political than they have been in the last few years. we've got a big show tonight. cecile richards here live for an exclusive interview after her huge five-hour day on capitol hill today. lots to come. stay with us.
so the interview tonight is an exclusive with cecile richards, the president of planned parenthood. she testified for five hours today in front of a very hostile republican-led congressional committee. she's here live with us in just a moment. stay with us. my name is lee kaufman. married to morty kaufman. [ lee ] now that i'm getting older some things are harder to do. this is not a safe thing to do. be careful babe. there should be some way to make it easier
[ doorbell rings ] let's open it up and see what's cookin'. oh i like that. look at this it's got a handle on it. i don't have to climb up. this yellow part up here really catches a lot of the dust. did you notice how clean it looks? morty are you listening? morty? [ morty ] i'm listening! i want you to know morty are you listening? morty? htake care of what makes you,e. you. right down to your skin. aveeno® daily moisturizing lotion with 5 vital nutrients for healthier looking skin in just one day. aveeno®. naturally beautiful results® behold, a member of congress winking. at the president of planned parenthood. he does not mean it in a nice welcoming way. it's more of a mean wink. which i don't think we should even call a wink. just call it a mink or something. it's weird, watch. >> i appreciate the way you like to frame the issue that you're the reasonable one and those of
us who have a contrary position are not reasonable. >> i didn't say that. >> that's exactly the last answer you gave. much like your people evolve to a more -- to a more advanced viewpoint. much like that comment was also directed to that. >> those are not the words i said. i said sometimes people change their opinions. >> it's not always what you say. sometimes it's just what you mean. >> republican congressman trey gowdy of south carolina kind of mean winking at cecile richards, the president of planned parenthood at the mammoth five-hour inquisition she underwent in congress today. >> those are not the words i said. i said sometimes people change their peoples. >> sometimes it's just what you mean. >> the state of missouri just announced the results of that state's official investigation into planned parenthood. attorney general of that state found despite republican and anti-abortion activist allegations against planned
parenthood this summer, the attorney general found there is no evidence that planned parenthood in that state did anything illegal. that's missouri. that's today. that investigation in missouri follows a similar investigation of planned parenthood by the state of pennsylvania which also found that the group did nothing wrong. planned parenthood was also investigated by the state of georgia this year. found no wrongdoing. planned parenthood was investigate this had year by the state of indiana. found no wrongdoing. it was investigated this year by massachusetts. found no wrongdoing. same goes in south dakota, found no wrongdoing. in state after state after state they keep investigating planned parenthood and then finding out that despite the vet lurid allegations against the group, the group isn't doing anything wrong. when they did a similar investigation in the state of florida, the state health regulators assigned to do that investigation of planned parenthood also found that planned parenthood had not done any of the horrible things that republicans and anti--ant abortion groups accused them of doing. once they found that plan the
parenthood hadn't done any of these horrible things they were accused of, florida governor rick scott took that result out of the investigator's report and wrote up his own results which were more to his liking. in state after state after state they keep finding despite all the considerable anti-be plan the parenthood activism by republicans right now and these screaming allegations from anti-abortion groups this year, this he keep finding over and over and over again in blue states and red states, this keep finding planned parenthood isn't doing anything wrong. this is the health care provider of choice for millions of american women. the most recent polling on the subject of planned parenthood shows that americans have a higher who opinion of planned parenthood than, well, than any other person or political entity that nbc or the "wall street journal" could think to poll on. look at this from the latest nbc poll that came out this weekend. donald trump was the most disliked, a net 33% net approval rating.
republican party was the second worse off, are 16%, jeb bush was the third worst off, net negative 15% for him you sort of move up the totem pole in terms of negative versus positive feelings. above jeb bush is hillary clinton and above that is the black lives matter moment, above that the democratic party. above that president obama. above that two republican presidential candidates, carly fiorina and ben carson both. above them bernie sanders a whopping plus 12% approval. and right at the top of the heap above even bernie sanders the most liked person or political entity in the country joe biden at the top, the most beloved, the most liked. except for the one last thing in the country viewed even more favorably than old joe biden, which is planned parenthood. planned parenthood the single most possibly viewed political person or political entity in the united states of america
according to the poll. that's not even a new result. those are the new results from this weekend. those were the results last month, too. planned parenthood came at the top of the list in the same poll last month. americans like planned parenthood. millions of women do choose to use them as their first choice health provider. but republicans are in control of congress. so today, one of the three republican-led congressional committees investigating planned parenthood, yes there are three, spent more than five hours grilling planned parenthood and winking at the group's president but not in a nice way. and now in addition to those three republican-red committees that are already investigating planned parenthood, republicans say they are now going to appoint a special select committee to permanently investigate planned parenthood as if planned parenthood is the jfk assassination or 9/11. or benghazi.
which the republicans also made into a special select committee chaired by winker. the fight to ban abortion in this country , the fight to destroy planned parenthood's women's health centers is one that usually follows a set predetermined script. today republicans got planned parenthood president cecile richards in the witness chair for 4 1/2 straight hours. the republicans thought they knew how that would go. turns out they were wrong. republicans got smoked in that hearing room today by cecile richards. and cecile richards is our guest live tonight for the interview. next.
so they had been preparing for there for months. they were very sure of themselves. very sure. and from the beginning the chairman was in a real hurry, an obvious hurry. >> congressman, let me tell you. >> no, we don't have time for a big narrative. >> i'm not going to give you -- you asked me a question. we don't own anything in those countries. >> i have to keep going. >> we've been extremely forth coming with all of our documents. >> let me go to the next one. >> will the chairman yield? >> no, i won't. >> i'm in a hurry here. the republican chairman jason chaffetz was in a big hurry to get to his big finale it turns
out. so he wouldn't really waste time on anything else on the way there because he needed his big finish, his whole opening statement at this hearing today, the whole conduct of the hearing which he ran, this whole inquisition, all leading up to his killer gotcha point. the big wallop, the big finale. so everything else had to be cleared off the table so he could get to the big gotcha moment. and then it just went be horribly wrong. >> i've gone over time. i need to show this last slide. this one i don't understand. >> we provide breast exams to, i can get you the numbers of how many hundreds of thousands of women receive breast exams at plant parenthood last year has nothing to do with -- i don't again, you created this slide. i have no idea what it is. >> well, it's the reduction over the course of years in pink. that's the reduction in the breast exams and the red is the increase in the abortions. that's what's going on in your
organization. >> this is a slide that has never been shown to me before. i'm happy to look at it. absolutely does not reflect what's happening at planned parenthood. >> you're going to deny if we take those numbers out of your report. >> no one has ever provided this before. we've provided you all the information about everything, all the services that planned parenthood provides. you just showed me this. i'm happy to look at it. >> i pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports. >> excuse me, the source of this is actually americans united for life which is an anti-abortion group so i would check your source. >> then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that. we will now recognize mr. cummings for a generous. >> i thought it was eight, mr. chairman. i think it's eight. thank you very much. >> go ahead. just -- i turned off my microphone for a reason. i pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate report.
that slide that congressman jason chaffetz tried to say he pulled directly from the corporate reports really did come from americans united for life. the congressman lifted it wholesale from the americans united for life anti-abortion website. unfortunately, for the congressman he forgot to remove the source printed on the bottom of the slide. before he said this is a planned parenthood document i've lifted from your corporate reports and he put it on display as his gotcha grand finale. on top of that, i don't mean to be like vengeful nerd, but this chart makes no sense. there's no y axis on the chart. how is 268 ,000 supposed abortions equal to 935,000 supposed cancer screenings? there's no y axis. anyway, it's insane. but that's kind of how today went.
i mean, it's one thing to imagine being republican chairman jason chaffetz and just blowing our big moment like that and having nothing to do except get the next number wrong and turn off your own microphone. imagine what it was like to be the witness in that situation, for the president cecile richards sitting through not just that but sitting through four and a half hours of that. and stuff like that all day long today. joining us now for the interview, cecile richards. thanks very much for your time tonight. i know literally it has been a very long day. >> it's good to be here, rachel. >> how do you think today went in terms of its consequences for planned parenthood? republicans and anti-abortion groups thought today would be the day they finished off planned parenthood forever? >> i was really glad the extent there was an opportunity to get a word in edgewise or answer a question, i was thrilled to be able to talk about the incredible work that planned parenthood does around the country and the health care we
provide to 2.7 million people. i do think that point got across. obviously what this whole hearing being generous calling it a hearing, i think the whole purpose of this hearing was to convince themselves that it was okay to deny women the ability to go to the health care provider of their choice because 2.7 million women and men choose planned parenthood and they were trying to say they wanted to take that choice away interest them. >> there is still the prospect of republicans trying to deny all federal funding from going to any planned parenthood facilities whether or not there's a government shutdown to try to achieve that. i know and people who pay attention to the facts here know that planned parenthood does not get money to do abortions. but can you explain to people following this issue whether they're for you or against you, can you explain what federal money does end up with planned parenthood and why. >> we had a long conversation about that in this hearing. i was surprised how little some
of the members knew about this, but of course, because of the hyde amendment which is has been around for decades and is unjustly punished low income women in this country for years, there's the only abortions paid for by federal funds for planned parenthood for a hospital or any other health care provider are when the woman has been a victim of rape, incest or her life is endangered. all the federal dollars or the vast majority of the federal dollars to come to an organization like planned parenthood are reimbursement through medicaid or title ten for family planning, breast exams, pap smears, std testing and treatment. that is actually what is at stake. they are trying to tell folks that participate in those federal programs we're going to tell you who you can and can't go to for preventive health care. >> just to be clear on that and sometimes the washington language is hard to grasp from a non-washington context. you say reimbursement, if you're a low income person and your health care -- if your health insurance is medicaid, you get
medicaid as your insurance because of your income or because of anything else about you when you go to planned parenthood or any other provider, the government ends up paying for your service because they're your insurer. that's all we're talking about here. >> assets exactly right. and in fact, for women who are either participating in title 10 which is not to use another washington term but it's the national family planning program it was signed into law by richard nixon if you might remember. but the national family planning program and medicaid, these are programs that where women can come and get family planning and planned parenthood i believe provides 60% of the services family planning services under these programs. and a lot of the conversation was today was well, we can just shut down planned parenthood and folks will go elsewhere. even the cbo, the congressional budget office has said just last week or the week before that 380,000 women would immediately lose access to health care if in fact the congress shut down the
ability of folks to go to planned parenthood. >> in a context here when it's just you and me and you are allowed to answer, how do you explain planned parenthood's role in fetal tissue research? for people who heard about the accusing videos or seen the videos or seen excerpts of them and want to know what it's about, are how do you explain fetal tissue research how it fits into planned parenthood and what's going on there. >> fetal tissue research has been, there was in 1988, actually began commissioned under reagan, a panel that brought together folks on different sides of the abortion issue to come together with a guidelines on fetal tissue research. it's never been something that planned parenthood has been deeply involved in. right now fewer than 1% of our health centers allow women the opportunity to donate fetal tissue for research. and that research has gone on, i mean it was part of the cure for polio.
there's all kinds of research happening on alzheimers and parkinsons and als. this is not a big area of work for planned parenthood. we really facilitate the desire of our patients. right now in only a handful of health centers to donate fetal tissue. that wasn't even much of the conversation today. most of the conversation today was about members telling me in particular that they didn't believe that abortion should be legal and that they didn't believe planned parenthood should be able to serve people primarily because we provide abortion which is a legal service in america. >> cecile richards president of planned parenthood federation of america. do you mind if i ask you to stick around and i can ask you a couple more questions. >> happy to do it. >> we'll be back. we stop arthritis pain,
so you don't have to stop. tylenol® 8hr arthritis pain has two layers of pain relief. the first is fast. the second lasts all day. we give you your day back. what you do with it is up to you. tylenol®. congressman, let me tell you. >> no, we don't have time for a big narrative. >> i'm not going to give you -- you asked me a question. we don't own anything in those countries. >> okay. we'll keep going. i have to keep going. >> we've been extremely forthcoming with all of our documents. >> let me go to the next one. >> will the gentleman yield.
>> no, i won't. >> when she was talking about being forthcoming about her documents, about planned parenthood documents the specific forthcoming nature of the documents that jason chaffetz was asking about were questions about her salary as president of planned parenthood. joining us again for the interviewing is the president of planned parenthood federation of america, cecile richards. thank you for staying with us. i appreciate it. >> absolutely. >> one of the things that republican members of congress did badger you about today was your salary. democrats on the panel sort of sprung to your defense said that it was sexist of them to go after you for that since they never do the same for male ceos, for example. do you share their take on it? do you think that's what was going on there? >> i don't really know. i mean i do think some of the comments were pretty sexist. i think it was because they didn't have anything else to talk about. i think that was really my feeling about this hearing which is we're talking about a federal program, medicaid.
we serve 2.7 million people at planned parenthood. we take it very seriously. those are folks who come to us voluntarily because they appreciate the health care we provide in many areas of the country. me may be it the only appointment they can get for cancer screenings or birth control. it seemed like they didn't want to talk about any issues relevant to the topic at hand. and frankly, i was a bit dismayed how little the many members of the committee even knew about women's health at all. >> and i mean, that to me was the most, i shouldn't be surprised but it was the most remarkable thing for me watching this unfold over the course of the day that i get the disingenuous nature of the attacks waged against planned parenthood. i know where they're coming from, i know the tactics of the groups and i've seen what they've done in other anti-abortion tactics before they started coming after you in this way. i get it. i also get though that these things have been politically effective right now. there's something coming
together in republican politics and in the sort of radical edge of the consecutive and anti-abortion movement that is making this a politically effective issue for republicans to the extent i don't think they're going to give up on it no matter how many investigations clear you, no matter how many states look into you and say they're doing nothing wrong. in that kind of environment, how do you fight? >> well, i actually -- i do think it may be something that they find is politically effective within their caucus or within the republican primary. but it is absolutely i think a terrible political move in the broader public. and i know you showed earlier the poll from last night nbc/"wall street journal" poll, planned parenthood ranked above everyone that's a major candidate for president of the united states and everyone else. folks love planned parenthood. not because of our brand or because of anything they see on tv. they come to us for health care. one in five women in this country has come to planned parenthood at some point in her lifetime.
most people know somebody who's come to planned parenthood. i think ultimately this is a losing battle. i think what was clear today, rachel and we've talked about this a lot. i think the dividing line here is among a group of people who believe abortion should not be legal anymore in the united states of america. and they are going to do everything in their power to make that come true. we had the 14th vote today in the house of representatives on restricting women's access to health care, restricting women's access safe and legal abortion. there's a lot of other issues going on in our country that people are concerned about and in the world. they are obsessed with ending access to reproductive health care for women in america. >> on the other side of the political spectrum or from anywhere unexpected do you also find in this fight especially because it's so high profile, the sing the most unifying issue among elected republicans, are you finding anywhere from the other side of the spectrum, from the middle, from places surprising you're getting
support you didn't expect? >> it's been incredible. there was an outpouring support today. there was pinkout day all across america. hundreds of events everywhere and we have seen i think the members of congress on the other side of the aisle today came out forcefully for women's health, for women's rights. spoke eloquently about the services that planned parenthood provides of their own experiences with planned parenthood. i feel like this is a galvanizing and certainly has been for our supporters and far beyond. this is a galvanizing issue. people in america do not want to go back to the 1950s when women had no access to family planning, when abortion was not legal. and they, i mean, women are making huge progress in this country and believe me, young people cannot believe that this is the conversation happening in the u.s. house of representatives. >> cecile richards, president of planned parenthood federation of america. long day today. thank you for ending it by talking with us. i really appreciate you being here. >> thanks for having me.
>> whoa! >> gutter ball. interesting news from the very bottom of the republican race for president in 2016 today, we been watching recently as national poll number just circle the drain. for kentucky senator rand paul. on top of that, increasingly dial polling news for the kentucky senator. today we gt some very interesting and unexpected news that one of three super pacs that have been raising money for his presidential bid has shut down. the man who runs the pro rand paul super pac said i wasn't going to raise money to spend on a futile crusade. whatever motivates his campaign, quote, i don't get it. so that's the news from rand paul's presidential campaign today. his poll numbers really are in the gutter. one of his pacs quit him saying they don't understand why he's running anymore. here's the interesting thing. it turns out rand paul has fundraisers scheduled. you are invited to lunch or breakfast for senator rand paul and please bring a several hundred thousand dollar check to help get him re-elected to the senate.
because nothing says i'm in this presidential race like holding a fundraiser for an entirely different office. different elective office. "first look" is up next. >> it's wednesday, september 30th, right now on "first look," new information just in to msnbc as tropical storm joaquin continues to intensify and could turn into a major category 3 hurricane. breaking news overnight. georgia executes its first and only female death row inmate in 70 years. passions. they are running high. protests on both sides of the issue. the head of planned parenthood faced a tough republican congress. >> the outrageous accusations leveled against planned parenthood, based on heavily doctored videos, are offensive and categorically untrue. >> that and a whole lot more on a very busy wednesday. "first look" starts right now.