tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 24, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
>> there's a lot of bells that have been rung that cannot be unrung. this is dynamic and unchartered territory. thank you so much. the rachel maddow show starts now. good evening, steve. thanks for that. thanks to you for joining us at home tonight. rachel has the night off. in her honor, i'm going to kick things off with the trip back in time to the year 1912, 104 years ago. 1912 was the state of wisconsin held its first republican presidential primary. 104 years ago on this april 3rd is the anniversary of that. the state republican voters in 1912 could have chosen the man already president, republican william howard taft. they would have picked teddy
roosevelt. wisconsin voters didn't go with one of those two options. they went with this guy, robert laf lafoliet known as fighting bob. this was back in the days when it wasn't unusual for a republican to be a lot more liberal than a democrat. there were few as liberal has fighting bob lafoliet. he won 73% of the vote in the wisconsin primary. they chose him three times in republican presidential primaries. although he never did come anywhere near winning the republican presidential nomination. wisconsin voters sent him to the u.s. senate for 20 years. they also sent his son to the senate for another 20 years. he wasn't just a beloved figure inside wisconsin. in his final presidential run in the year 1924, that year he ran as the candidate of the progressive party, a third party nationally.
that year he won 17% of the national vote. that's one of best showings ever recorded by a third party in the national presidential election. bob was the original progressive. he was a fighter for the new deal. he have fighting for new deal policies decades before there was a new deal. social security and end to child labor. he imposed american imperilism. if you're a fan of those principle, the ones he fought for, you have the voters of the state of wisconsin to thank for that. they are the ones who kept electing him. of course, you also have the voters of wisconsin to thank for what came later after fighting bob died in office in 1925.
it was his son who was elected to succeed him. his son held the seat for the next 20 years. largely carrying on his father's progressive policies. that's when things changed. it was then in the 1940s he was defeated in a primary for the u.s. senate. the man who wisconsin republicans chose over him, the man who wisconsin republicans boo booted him out of office sent to the u.s. senate twice. that was joseph mccarthy. tail gunner show. that's wisconsin for you. they're very independent minded folks up there. to this day wisconsin is a battleground that's state in the middle politically. that's what the results in wisconsin say. democrats carry in presidential elections. some of those margins have been razor thin like in the year 2000 and 2004. republicans have won six of the last eight governors races in wisconsin. looks like a moderate state. it looks like a state teetering
dwe between the republicans and democrats. it's not really a moderate state. wisconsin is a state of unusually stark polar opposites. this is state where the democrats brag of a proudly and deeply progressive tradition. it's wisconsin democrats who ended up embracing the fighting bob lafoliet tradition. it's wisconsin democrat who is have given us russ finegold. these are fierce champions of liberalism on the national stage. these are wisconsin democrats, but it's also wisconsin that's a state with some of the most rock ribbed conservatives this america. these are the conservatives. all those years ago. these are the conservatives who have claimed primacy. this is the wisconsin republican party that has lately produced two of the top national conservative and top national
republican leaders. paul ryan, the speaker of the house and governor scott walker. the survivor of a recall and also failed presidential candidate this year. wisconsin is state that gave us the greatest progressive legislature and gave the seat to the most infamous conservative demagogue. a few years ago elected to that seat the first openly gay senator in u.s. history. also it's a state that voted three times for the current governor in wisconsin.
that's where madison is. that's the heart of liberalism. sanders drew nearly 10,000 people to that rally. that was last summer. that was before this thing got kicked off. in terms of sanders path to the nomination, the possible path, it's a long shot now, if he's going to pull it off, needs to win wisconsin. he needs to win it big. the latest poll in wisconsin shows hillary clinton ahead of him by six points. it's a close race. sanders needs to be winning big. he's down six now. it's a slim margin. doesn't spell doom but doesn't suggest he has the overwhelming lead he's going to need. he's beginning to need to pull off a michigan style upset and then some if he's going to get don road to upsetting hillary and winning the nomination. then, there's the main event on
the republican side. in that event wisconsin might seem like it's the kind of place where john kasich should have a shot. remember what we said about the politics. there are close elections there but close elections are not a sign of moderation. they are a sign of stark, polar opposites battling each other out for every inch. in that same poll it show, look at this, ted cruz is in the lead in the republican race in wisconsin with john kasich way behind at 19% in third place. ted cruz is only a point ahead there. you can pretty much call it a tie right now in wisconsin. a tie between ted cruz and donald trump. over the next ten days or so the various factions of the stop trump movement are making clear
they will be pouring all of their efforts into wisconsin, into beating donald trump in that state. house speaker and wisconsinite paul ryan gave a speech in which he decried the state of american politics. it was seen as a shot at donald trump who announced he's going to be going to paul ryan's hometown of jamesville, wisconsin and holding a rally there. that's donald trump's reply to paul ryan. scott walker has been talking up the idea of a contested convention. the idea that trump won't get the 1237 magic number and the doors to anybody's nomination would be flung wide open in cleveland and he and paul ryan are being pressured to endorse someone in the fight against trump. the club for growth that has endorsed ted cruz has made a two
million in wisconsin. he called trump a coward for attacking his wife on twitter. if trump does beat back the attacks, if he does endure all those negative ads and goes onto win wisconsin, the state where his rivals have these perceived openings where the establishment forces are putting all their energy into stopping him and if he can with stand that, this is why the victory would be important for him. it would prove he can win anywhere and everywhere. he can win under any condition, at least this terms of what's thrown against him. it will be hard to stop him anywhere else before or maybe even at that convention in cleveland this summer. those are the stakes in wisconsin. joining me now is michigan journal sentinel reporter.
you are at the center of the political universe. the effort to stop donald trump in wisconsin. how likely is it to succeed? >> i think there are a will the of establishment republicans here who are hoping and praying that wisconsin will be the force that will stop donald trump. we're seeing massive ad buys and a lot of calls for scott walker to endorse ted cruz and throw his support behind him. i think people are seeing wisconsin, not to make too many star wars references but the last hope of stopping trump. there's a will the of money going into it. >> what are the indications we're getting from the governor about what scott walker will do here? >> we asked governor walker does a visit to milwaukee a couple of
days ago what his plans were. he's not committed to making an endorsement but he hinted. he said it would not be before easter and he would be focused on the holiday and look at next week. he said it was down to two of the three. my co-worker asked him is that kasich and cruz and he said yes. he's had a long history of not backing donald trump and when he got out of race in september, he said he was trying to clear the field to allow a positive alternative to trump to rise. >> i think they were about 15 candidates back then. one would be this is the conservative governor, conservative voters will say that's our guy. we will follow his lead or does that feed into trump's message that the establishment scared of me and out to get me?
>> i think it would be both. the governor has had some lower approval ratings lately. a lot of people did not like his presidential run. he's dropped in the polls here. i think among independents and liberals and some conservatives he's not as popular as he used to be. there's a base of support who love governor walker, devoted to governor walker p i think they will listen to his message. i'm sure trump will say this is the establishment trying to stop me. don't let somebody tell you who to vote for. >> there's a competitive democratic race there. bernie sanders. his biggest win to date has been in michigan. a lot of people look at wisconsin saying this should be sanders country. there's the poll that has him down six points. what's his process for pulling out a victory there? >> he had a massive rally last year. he will be back in a few days.
i would be very surprised if the folks supporting hillary. this isn't a winner take all state. this is a winner take most state. hillary might take the votes. i think it will be close on both sides. >> all right. thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks for having me. if at home you're asking yourself, steve is here, where's the big board? fear not. the big board is right over there. we're going to dust it off and bring it out for the next segment. ♪
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they are not required to vote for the candidate who won their state. they are free to vote for whoever they want to vote for on the first ballot at the convention. if trump falls short of 1237 he can make up that difference by luring some of these unbound delegates to his side. all of this will be determined by how well he performs in those 17 remaining states. that starts with wisconsin on april 5th. how could trump get to 1237? let me show you. let's take a look at the big board. right now this is a rough number. donald trump right now is at 755 delegates. it's give or take a few. we'll say 755. the target number is 1237. let's play this out and see what it could take. these are the state s that are left. the first thing i could say is there's three states here. we'll take off the board. nebras nebraska, south dakota, montana. theeds fit the profile of place
where is ted cruz is doing well. we'll say for the purposes of this, cruz wins the states. let's look at the other places where trump could get the number. let's start in wisconsin. it's a close race we just talked about it. say trump pulls it out. probably about 30 delegates for trump. that would move him to 785. the action will shift then after wisconsin to the northeast. the northeast is trump's secret weapon over the next few months. there are more than 300 delegates in these states and these states are really good trump states. it starts with new york, his home state. new jersey, a winner take all state. west virginia fits the profile. he walks away with 280 delega s delegates. he's sitting at 1035. in may there's a primary in indiana. could be another close state. 30 more delegates.
now we're at 1065. let's go out to the pacific coast. three states where he could do well. there's a poll in california ha has him up ten points over ted cruz. he could take 150 delegates. now he's at 1215 if i'm doing that right. 1237 is the number. we've taken these three off the board. there's one state left. it's new mexico. if he won the whole thing, every delegate there, that would be tough. he would be at 1239. he could get a lot and could get very, very close to 1237. these are rough numbers. he could do better up here than we think. that would put him over. what are the stop trump people hoping for. they are hoping they beat him in wisconsin and indiana. deny him the number out of northeast. there's a lot of wiggle room on both sides. what you see there's a path for
donald trump to get to 1237 or get close. stomping trump could be helped by a little cooperation and coordination of the campaigns. that doesn't look like it's about to happen. cruz is calling kasich a spoiler. he says he has zero chance of winning. while he wants kasich to stay out of wisconsin, kasich's top advisor said ted cruz should stay out of pennsylvania, new york and new england add john kasich has the best opportunity to slow down and defeat donald trump there. this after kasich said his rival doesn't have a prayer in the northeast. >> i think the calendar, we're going to do fine here. i'm not going to predict we'll win here. when we get to pennsylvania, we get to new jersey, connecticut, rhode island. i mean, i'm not out here to stop donald trump but i can tell you the reality of it because i
don't believe that senator cruz can come to the east and win. >> that is john kasich. joining us washington post national political reporter robert costa. thanks for taking a a few minutes. let me start with a strategic question for the stop trump movement. there's two conflicting theories. on the one hand you have cruz and some of these establishment types saying cruz needs the one-on-one. you have the kasich folks saying we need the divide and conquer. are they going to come to any agreement. >> there are two emerging strategies. one is what senator cruz is focusing on is to pick up delegates. these are events that happen after the primary and the caucuses and where the state party convenes to decide who goes to the convention and what the roles will be for these
delegates. cruz has been picking up in states like louisiana, delegates to be on the rules committee which will be helpful for him. the rules committee will have a lot of influence. >> it seems to me there's a technical question here. there's more of a practical political question. let me ask you how these things get bounced. say trump gets out of primary season short of 1237. the number likely on the board is like 1210. she's 27 shy. he's well ahead of ted cruz. he's got a lot more votes when you add up everything. if he's in that situation, i know technically republicans, if they have, if they manipulate the conventions, could they got
away with stopping somebody in that position? >> it would be very difficult. the party leadership understands that. they are really counting on cruz. that's why some are rallying to his side to pick up some momentum. wisconsin is the target. if cruz doesn't get electricity around his candidacy in early april, it will be hard to see how he sustains himself in april. >> the rallying cry we hear from the people that want to stop trump is never trump. if you're on twitter that's the hashtag they are using all the time. is there going to be pressure that builds over next few week, months that says why are we directing? why are we as republicans directing the fire at trump who is likely to be the nominee and not at hillary clinton and saying never hillary? >> it's the looming question in republican politics. you saw in trump's world wind day, he is picking up some
support on capitol hill and getting more organized in the convention. he has ben carson's former campaign manager. in the state es who are ready to be delegates. the belief is if trump does get over 1200 or close to it, they will argue the election is stolen. that will keep most of the party base on their side. >> all right. thanks for the time. >> thank you. there is mump more ahead here tonight including what happens to the republican stop trump movement if they can't stop trump? stay with us. constipated?
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we have a brief update to a story that rachel covered last night about the insane number of hours voters spent waiting in line. it's the biggest county in arizona. the maricopa county recorder decided to cut the number of polling locations in that county by two-thirds. it seems like this played out across the county, folks waiting for hours. those were the lucky ones. some couldn't make it as far as the line. traffic was backed so much that
people weren't able to make it in time for the 7:00 p.m. close time. one of the people that cast her ballot is a woman named kimberly yee. she waited in line for five and a half hours to vote on tuesday at her polling location before casting her ballot at 12:20 in the morning on wednesday. now the county recorder has taken spojresponsibility for th chaos. he's promised to increase the number of polling locations. the senator said that promise is just not enough. she's proposing legislation that would require both maricopa and pima. they account for the vast majority of the state legislation. it would make the counties operate a minimum number of polling locations from now on. she says we want to make voting easy and accessible.
yesterday a situation did the exact opposite. meanwhile, the mayor of phoenix is calling on the feds to get involved. he is angry that county election officials allowed this to happen in his city. the mayor asked her to launch a full investigation into the series of events that led to tuesday's chaos. if the investigation does take place, it's unclear what the consequences would be for officials involved in making that decision. arizona with its 43% non-white and hispanic population used to be required to clear any changes to voting procedures with the federal government. that was before the supreme court gutted that provision of the voting rights act back in 2013 allowing local officials to do things like reduce the number of polling stations without any kind of approvapproval. it's unclear what will happen next. in the wake of that chaos it's
here clear that officials are aware that scenes like that are not acceptable. ♪ i love to take pictures that engage people. and to connect us with the wonderment of nature. the detail on this surface book is amazing. with the tiger image, the saliva coming off and you got this turning. that's why i need this kind of resolution and computing power. being able to use a pen like this. on the screen directly with the image. it just gives me a different relationship to it. and i can't do that on my mac. this is brilliant for me. ♪
our political discourse, both the kind we see on tv, and the kind we experience among each other, it did not used to be this bad. it does not have to be this way. we think of politics in terms of this vote or this election. it can be so much more than that. politics can be a battle of ideas, not battle of insults. >> that was speaker of the house, paul ryan, yesterday lamenting the state of politics. it was hard not to conclude his comments were aimed at his own party and the candidate leading the presidential field. donald trump with a 68% unfavorable rating among all voters. that's larger than any other candidate from either party. it's larger than the number for the u.s. congress. that came with in a 61% unfavorable score. the ted cruz campaign is seizing
on this very idea arguing that trump would be a disaster for the republican party in the general election. the way this campaign has gone, it's hard to say anything can't or won't happen. maybe trump could turn the numbers around and reinvent himself in the fall. it's sounding like republican leaders aren't willing to wait around to find out. with the party fighting to keep the slim majority in the u.s. senate, that's where they will be defending 24 of the 34 seats up for grabs, the washington post reports that many republican leaders and the koch brothers are mobilizing do protect races from the ill effects of a donald trump father or mother nation. here to tell us how they will do that is mata gold. you are writing that they are
trying to insulate themselves from the effects of donald trump's candidacy. what does that mean? >> we're seeing a scramble to try to create a defense barrier around congressional republicans. this is taking the form after an early spring tv barrage where we're seeing playing out in states like ohio. we're going to see that in the weeks to come. as these groups really try to create a profile for these incumbent republicans that will help separate them from trump if he's if nominee. >> how direct, how literal would that separation be. are you talking about candidates running ads on behalf of candidates or saying i reject trump or subtler than that? >> much more subtle. that would be dangerous path to
walk especially now before a nominee is selected. the strategy is to localize the races. we saw one of the groups affiliated with the cross roads going to new hampshire this week. emphasize the bipartisan work she's done on the heroin crisis in the state. there's an attempt to drive home that these republicans are your senator, your congress member. they are working on issues in your community and really give them an identity separate from that of the republican party in the hopes that will help protect them in trump is leading the ticket. >> we've heard about the koch brother funding so much sort of support of republicans, but you're writing here that they would be sitting out if donald trump is the nominee. i wonder how that would affect him given he's spent so little money and gotten to the to of the pack. >> he's a wild card when it comes to independent spending.
he's made it a point of pride to position himself against wealthy funders including the koch brothers. he mocked the candidates ta wha went to their gatherings. i'm sure he would seize on this for his independent. there's no question it does involve heavy persuasion advertising. in addition, they have a huge amount of ground troops now. they have built up huge organization across the country. those are people that have identified voters and prepared to mobilize voters if engaged. >> all right. thanks for your time. >> my pleasure. much more ahead. stay with us. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier for your staff to send appointment reminders to your customers... ...and share promotions on social media? you know it! now i'm seeing dollar signs.
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gillette. the best a man can get. a long and bitter debate tame to an end when the senate voted to reject his nomination. he became the 28th nominee in history to be denied confirmation to the supreme court. john has more on today's vote. >> senators voting in the negative. adams, boccus, biden. >> senator hatch of utah called it a debacle. a process so politically charged that all senators but one felt called upon to denounce their votes in advance. >> that was 1987, 29 years ago. republicans were so upset when democrats defeated the
nomination of robert bork to the supreme court. they coined words for the whole thing. you had republican senator hatch calling the rejection a deborkle. it was to put it mildly a controversial choice. he had staunchly conservative views from everything from abortion to civil rights. what is perhaps most interesting about the nomination is it marked something of a turning point in the supreme court con for nati confirmation process. joe biden was asked about the process of bork being nominated. biden pointed out what was more or less tradition. he said a qualified nominee should get confirmed even if they disagree with it. this was months before bork was
nominated. biden fold the philadelphia inquirer, say the administration sends up bork and after our investigation he looks a lot like justin antonin scalia. i'd have to vote for him. if they tear me apart, that's the medicine i'll have to take. by the following fall biden was leading the fight against bork. it's a moment that republicans point to as the start of the road to where we are today when ever nomination to the supreme court becomes an intense partisan battle. in truth the origins of this moment are more complicated than that. it is fair to say that actions by both parties have shaped where things stand with many republicans refusing to hold a con ffirmation hearing. the right is quick to point to a
1992 speech given by biden. he told his colleagues to consider not holding confirmation hearings. by 2000, the supreme court became politicized because of a ruling on the bush-gore election. the court ruled to end the recount handing the presidency to george w. bush. they decried the fact that the five justices were all republican nominees. by 2005, senate republicans we are threatening to use the nuclear options. that would have allowed them to push through any nominees they can get a simple majority vote for without any support from democrats. senator barack obama and 23 democrats attempted to block a vote on aletto's confirmation.
they failed. during the obama presidency the goal post s have been pushed further. there's the big one playing out right now. last week the president nominated moderate appeals judge garland for the supreme court and the republican leadership is refusing to consider holding hearings. many republicans are refusing to even meet with him. today vice president joe biden addressed this stalemate. he pushed back on the republicans who are invoking his comments. >> nobody is suggesting individual senators have to vote yes in any particular presidential nominee. voting no is always an option and it is their option. saying nothing, see nothing,
reading nothing, hearing nothing and deciding in advance simply to turn your back before the president even names a nominee is not an option the constitution leaves open. it's a plain abdication of the senate solemn constitutional duty. it's an abdication that's never occurred before in our history. >> the question now is given the history of rain ran kor on both sides how does anyone get confirmed in the court especially in this election year? joining me is senator amy. she is a member of the senate judiciary committee hearing. thanks for taking a few minutes. let me ask you this.
there are two ways of looking at this. let me ask about the bigger picture. we can stipulate what republicans are doing now, refiezing to hold hearings and refusing to meet with this unpr but let me ask you the bigger picture. do you look at this and say there are things that your party has done over the last generation with court nominat n nominations over the last generation that have step-by-step helped to erode the norms of how these things are handled? >> there's no doubt there's been partisanship on both sides, but there's a major difference here. joe biden gave a beautiful speech today and he was saying you no he what the biden rule is, the biden rule is that when he was in charge every nominee got a hearing. eight court nominees got hearings. every nominee got an up or down vote. that is what has happened since 1916 when we started having
hearings. so this is a complete break from precedent, one that was recognized by all people, jerry mur rain from kansas the republican senator, but he said i've got do my job and there should be a hearing. that's what he said. so i think you're starting to see republicans coming out and realizing we now have three calling for a hearing, over ten agreeing to meet with ihim, tha this is wrong. >> it is what you're saying is true, it is a complete break from history, but what i'm asking here is every step along the way that's gotten us to this moment, a lot of these steps featured breaks from history. we mentioned the filibuster in 2006 when democrats and including then senator barack obama tried to stop there being
a vote a supreme court justice. not because they didn't think he was qualified, but because they didn't agree with him. doesn't something like that contribute to a moment like this? >> you can go back in history and show all kinds of moments, but i'm in the now and the now is we have a 4-4 supreme court. we have eight people when we're supposed to have nine. we have cases that are very important that are coming before that are court and we have a situation where it could be 400 days the way they're talking before that is filled and we have never seen anything like that. not since we've had hearings. you have to go back to the civil war when a seat was left open for this long. so, yes, there's been ranker on both sides, but when you look at the facts of leaving the seat open, about having hearings, we have never seen anything like this before and that's why you're starting to see people say that there should be a hearing. >> let me ask you quickly, you
met with judge garland. do you sense he thinks he's going to get a hearing this year? >> i think he does. you wouldn't subject yourself to all the scrutiny if you didn't think you had a chance of getting this job. this is a man that oversaw the oklahoma city bombing and unibomber. he had the votes of people like john mccain and senator coats of indiana. they have supported him in the past and they have said very good things about him, including senator hatch challenging people to come to the floor and say anything negative about this fine public servant. he deserves a hearing. the fact that the president put up such an example area juryist is part have factor that these people are saying at least i have to meet with him, maybe he
should have a hearing and this is the kind of thing we predicted would happen and should happen if you look at the law and history of this country. he deserves this hearing. >> all right. thanks for the time. >> thank you. ittas gre it was great to be on. >> remembering a comic genius, that's next. ♪ can't afford to let heartburn get in the way?
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that's why the orcas in our care will be the last generation at seaworld. there will be no more breeding. we're also phasing out orca theatrical shows. they'll continue to receive the highest standard of care available anywhere. and guests can come to see them simply being their majestic selves. inspiring the next generation of people to love them as you do. one of the things i've noticed is that i'm starting more and more sentences with the words i can remember back when. there's that new show with the o.j. simpson trial and my first thought is i can remember when that verdict was announced. i'll think about to where i was, what i was saying and thinking and feeling, not what i was feeling about the event itself, but what i was feeling about
life itself back in that moment in my life and then i'll count the years in my head and i'll realize how long it's been and i get scared by the passage of time and then i snap back to the moment. i had one of those moments today, but i really wish i hadn't because i can remember back when i saw it's the garry shandling show for the first time. most people probably think of the garry shandling show. they thought his fake late night show was better than the realize ones, but i'm talking about his other show. it's the one that came first, the garry shandling show. it was on showtime and fox. it was garry shandling playing himself in a sitcome. there was a catch. his character nknew he was in living in a sitcom.
he was amazed by the world around him as all of us were watching it. the joke extended to the theme song where the lyrics explained we were listening to the theme song to the garry shandling song. >> i want to tell you what's going on in my life, but first i have to go to the bathroom. you can watch the opening credits and i should be right back. ♪ >> the show was stupid, but it was stupid in an intentional and brilliant way, in a way that paved the way for so many shows to come. i can remember back when i first watched it, when i liked to laugh but i didn't know what funny was. at first i didn't get the show
at all, but i kept watching and slowlily it started to click and what did it for me was a character named lennord. he was one of the bar regulars on cheers, but he kept showing up at garry's door, not because he had something to say or do, but because he wanted to be on tv. he was playing a character who knew there was a tv show going on around him and he wanted to be on camera. i remember suddenly getting it when i watched that scene. getting the joke of the show, getting how the dumbest thinking be the smartest thing. he died today. no one saw it coming. a lot of people made me laugh through the years, but he made