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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  September 16, 2010 2:00am-3:00am EDT

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mission accomplished in afghanistan. i'm keith olbermann, good night, and good luck. and now to discuss joe biden's senate seat with joe biden, rachel maddow. good booking, rachel? the republican nomination for senate from delaware, but i will remember where i was. i was here on msnbc 24 hours ago. and in the wake of that ever lasting gobsmacker, i traveled from our home studios in new york here to washington, d.c. for the rare opportunity to sit down with the man who for a very long time -- a long, long, long time -- held the senate seat that christine o'donnell now wants. tonight my sit-down with vice president joe biden. the vice president had plenty to
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say about the delaware senate race. a pretty bold assessment of the possible repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and some very direct talk for the democratic base. >> one reason i want to be on your show is to tell the progressives out there, you know, get in gear, man. >> having just given away why the vice president would agree to spend a good part of his day with me today. we will get to the rest of what he had to say about christine o'donnell in delaware, the republican party this year, don't ask, don't tell, and how you ought to respond when your political opponents call you everything up to and including a space alien. that is all ahead. but we begin tonight with what continues to be the biggest political story in the country. bar none. last night's unexpected jaw-dropping, out of nowhere choose your superlative election of christine o'donnell. the thing that usually happens the day after a heated primary battle like this one is there is a party-wide call for unity.
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a rally is set where the victor and vanquished lock arms and march toward the general election. in the case of christine o'donnell and delaware, don't bet on the kumbaya thing. today the vanquished nine-term republican congressman mike castle made it clear to everyone who would listen that he will not be endorsing christine o'donnell. not now and i'm guessing not ever. a senior aide to castle telling today "she is a conartist who won by lying about mike castle's positions and about her own life." in the immediate hours after her victory, christine o'donnell has faced some of the heaviest fire from fellow republicans. >> how does she make her living? why did she mislead voters about her college education? how did -- how come it took her nearly two decades to pay her college bills so she could get her college degree? how did she make a living? why did she sue a well-known and well thought of conservative think tank? >> karl, karl --
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>> there are just a lot of nutty things she's saying. >> right around the type that karl rove was describing christine o'donnell as nutty on fox news last night, christine o'donnell was also essentially being disowned by the national republican party itself. the national republican party senatorial committee whose job it is to get republicans elected to the senate, saying last night it had no plans to fund christine o'donnell's campaign going-forward. that decision was then reversed, about 12 hours later. that flip-flop is emblematic of what has been happening with the rest of the republican establishment over these last 24 hours. it has effectively thrown up its hands and decided to grudgingly get in line behind the christine o'donnell candidacy. today, high-profile endorsements by mitt romney, mike pence, john cornyn and bob corker. there is a reason why experienced republican politicos were not getting behind christine o'donnell's candidacy before.
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that was felt very palpably today as yet more stuff became known about her positions and about her political history. for instance, her past stated views on the issue of not gay people, not anything as controversial as that, but women in the military. >> by integrating women into, particularly military institutes, it cripples -- the readiness of our defense. schools like the citadel train young men to confidently lead other young men into a battlefield where one of them will die. and when you have women in that situation, it just creates a whole new set of dynamics which are distracting to training these men to kill or be killed. >> women in the military, you are detrimental to american national security, and you are a
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distraction. also in wars, only one person dies. we also learn more today about christine o'donnell's views on sexual education. particularly her view that condoms do not, in fact, stop the spread of hiv. >> a lot of the money that we're spending goes to things that we know will not prevent aids, but indeed, will continue to spread the disease. when a lot of our money goes to distribute condoms in high schools, when our money goes to distribute material that is literally pornographic. >> as a full-time abstinence campaigner before she started running for office full-time, christine o'donnell has a lot of interesting stated advocacy positions on sex that are just now coming to light. back in 2003, she warned about the dangers of co-ed floors and co-ed bathrooms on college campuses. and if the term coed sounds antiquated is because it is. the idea is it's controversial
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for women and men to be at school together. quoting christine o'donnell, what's next? orgy rooms? coedness is like a radical agenda forced on college students. and then, of course, there's the video that we finally unearthed last night of christine o'donnell's national campaign for self-abstinence. >> we have god given sexual desires. and we need to understand them and preserve them to be used in god's appropriate context. we need to address sexuality with young people. and masturbation is part of sexuality, but it is important to discuss this from a moral point of view. >> masturbation is a selfish act. it's a lustful one, and we are to walk with pure hearts, not adulterous lusting hearts. >> the bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. so you can't masturbate without lust.
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>> that was christine o'donnell's job before getting into politics full-time. she was the president and founder of an organization called the salt. which when it wasn't busy warning kids not to get busy with themselves, it was trying to convince gay people that they can be cured of the gay. this is now the republican nominee for senate in the great state of delaware. this is who republicans now spent the day today lining up behind and sending money to. the thing about christine o'donnell that is so interesting about her as a politico, aside from some of her incredibly interesting views, is that even though she has been portrayed as an out of nowhere political outsider, she's not that much of a political outsider. christine o'donnell is not only this year's republican nominee, she was the last republican nominee for this senate seat, as well. she was the republican nominee who lost to joe biden for the senate seat back in 2008. in fact, christine o'donnell has run for the senate three times over the past five years.
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running for senate has been christine o'donnell's job. she has not had a job other than that. she is a professional republican candidate for office. leading to complaints from republicans and conservatives in delaware that in their words she's a conartist. >> christine o'donnell is no conservative. you see, this is her third senate race in five years. as o'donnell's manager, i found out that she was living on campaign donations. using them for rent and personal expenses. while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt. she wasn't concerned about conservative causes. o'donnell just wanted to make a buck. >> that was a robo call paid for by the delaware republican party. by the republicans. despite the republican party's best efforts to defeat her, christine o'donnell is now their candidate whether they like it or not. and today i had the incredible good fortune to have the opportunity to interview the last person who ran against christine o'donnell in delaware for the united states senate.
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a man who defeated her by approximately 30 points. i sat down with vice president joe biden this afternoon and i asked him straight off about christine o'donnell. mr. vice president, thank you so much for your time. i really appreciate this. >> absolutely. >> the republican nominee for your old senate seat in delaware is not long-time congressman mike castle, but rather christine o'donnell who you have run against in the past. her own party has derided her as unelectable to any office and they, in fact, ran robo calls that called her a fraud. it's a very surprising result. how do you explain that vote in your home state? >> it's hard to explain. first of all, there are -- we're a single congressional district state. we're a small state, only five smaller. 185,000 roughly republicans registered in the state of delaware, closed primary. she got roughly, what 25,000 to 28,000 votes out of 50,000 cast.
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i'm confident that the republican folks out there really thought there was a shot here and they showed up, i think if every republican would have had a vote, mike castle would have won 130 to 50. but the truth is, it's real tough for the republican party. really, it's hung on a shingle, you know. no moderates need apply. and it sort of spawns a, you know, a tone in politics that is not helpful. and we're a moderate state. and we have a really first-rate candidate. this guy is solid. he is honorable, he's incredibly well-educated. he's done a great job running the largest county. they end up with a aaa bond rating. he paid all the bills, lowered the deficit. this is a solid guy. that's the good news for us.
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>> this has been a very fun and easy year to be a pundit because as a pundit you only have to say one of two things. you either say, boy, those democrats sure are lucky the republicans keep picking these unelectable candidates. or you say, those democrats sure are unlucky, they can't compete with all of that enthusiasm on the right. now, you and the administration obviously can affect who republicans choose as their candidates. but what is your role? what do you see as your role in terms of trying to enthuse the democratic base? >> well, first of all, i think the two premises are both incorrect. one is that i wouldn't sell short these candidates. i think that in my state this new republican candidate's going to have an awful lot of money. i think you're going to see it pouring in, these third-party operations that are going to probably spend more money in some states are going to be in there. we're going to take it very, very seriously. it's a big mistake not to take it seriously, number one.
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now, number two, what i'm doing, i've been to over 80 congressional senate and gubernatorial races. and one of the reasons i want to be on your show is to tell the progressives out there, you know, get in gear, man. first of all, there's a great deal at stake. i've been around the center a long time. we fought to regulate tobacco, we fought for hate crime laws, we fought to make sure that kids get insured. we fought for all the things we finally got done in one year, and they're all at risk. if they take over the house and the senate, don't kid yourself. they've made it really clear, pete sessions said -- excuse me, congressman sessions said, when asked what they would do if they took over the house? he said, we'd have the exact same agenda. and look, there's a lot at stake here. and our progressive base, you have -- you should not stay home. you better get energized. because the consequences are serious for the outcome of the things we care most about.
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and i didn't mention half the stuff we've gotten done. look, it's -- i think when barack got -- and look, this is one exceptional public figure. barack obama is -- this guy is amazing. but think about it, i think there was -- he did so well, won so big, i think a lot of people thought, well, man, it's just going to just fall out of the sky. what he brought out of the sky down to earth were really significant, progressive goals that have been met. more to do, more to do. and so i think it's time for our base to say, hey, man, take a look. this opposition is for real. >> why hasn't that happened organically? we're looking at numbers now that suggest that republican turnout in the primaries is outstripping democratic turnout in the primaries. that's the most concrete measure you get of enthusiasm people willing to take time out to go vote. >> it's not happening for two reasons. my grandfather used to say
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people don't focus on the general election until after the world series. it used to be in early october. but truth of the matter is, a lot of people are hurting. a lot of people are angry. a lot of people are worried and frightened. and with good reason. i mean, as much progress being made, there's so much more that has to be done. and so, they don't want to make a choice now. they haven't focused on a choice. what they've focused on is the people in power, their dissatisfaction with not more progress having been made. but here's the deal. remember -- you're too young -- but there used to be a mayor of boston, his name was kevin white. and they asked him in his second run for election, you know, a tough question. he said, look, don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. people haven't wanted to make that choice. they don't want to focus yet. they don't want to -- it's like i don't want to be bothered -- i'm angry. but they're going to now, watch them, starting the beginning of
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october, they're going to focus, and the alternatives are stark. between a democratic-led house and a democratic-led senate and a republican-led house and senate. and i've been saying all along, rachel, i know i've been beat up for saying this. we are going to retain control of the house, we going to retain control of the senate. because when the american people focus on the alternative, it's going to be absolutely clear to them there is no alternative. and i really mean that. i really mean that. i believe that with every fiber of my being. >> when the american people start focusing on the alternative. start focusing on what it would really mean to vote for this slate of republicans this year, the vice president says. they're going to vote for democrats. vice president speaking with me today at the secretary of war suite in the executive office building in case you were wondering what that fancy room is. that confidence that he expressed about democrats keeping control of both the house and the senate today, that confidence was also stated in almost the exact same terms by white house press secretary robert gibbs.
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the white house says democrats are going to hold both houses in this year's elections. they know they need to get democratic voters to actually care about the election and turn out to vote in order to do that. coming up next, the vice president tells me exactly what democrats and the administration are planning on doing to get their voters out. it's a black and white issue, something that the administration's going to go to the mat for. >> absolutely. >> more of my interview ahead.
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still ahead, what's the appropriate response when your political opponents call you a communist? a foreigner, space alien. my interview with vice president joe biden continues. [ male announcer ] an everyday moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use.
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so let's say you are vice president of the united states. you're facing your first midterm elections after you were elected and so you know your party is going to lose seats. beyond that historical inevitability, though, this is also turning out to be a year in which the opposition party's base is really enthused. for the first time since the 1930s, more republicans are turning out to vote in republican primaries than democrats are turning out in democratic primaries. for the first time since the '30s. that said, overall big picture, no one's really turning out to vote. republicans are turning out more people than democrats are turning out. but both parties are down. and if you are a democrat, there's your relatively speaking silver lining. statistically speaking, the conservative movement this year has greatly enthused a very small number of people. so a few democrats can get their turn out and enthusiasm numbers up, they cannot only compete, democrats could even potentially still win. on paper, it works perfectly. but in real life, if you're vice president of the united states
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and a democrat, how do you actually get your voters to turn out? how do you get democratic voters to care about these elections. here's how vice president joe biden sees it. >> at a fundraiser this week, you said this is not your father's republican party. you've used the construction the republican tea party as if those two things are merged. should -- in terms of defining that alternative. in terms of sharpening the differences between the parties. making this not a referendum just on state of the country but choice. as you say. >> yes. >> should the democrats welcome a chance to really engage on big questions of what government is for when we've got so many people dependent on unemployment, so many people dependent on food stamps. all the safety net things people need because of the bad economy right now? and on the right, it's a wholesale assault on the very idea of a safety net, including wanting to get rid of social security. >> the answer is yes. and as you've even said on your show that biden seems to be swinging a lot out there. now, i'm -- i'm ready for this fight.
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and what i do when i go into these districts where these congressmen, republican congressmen vote against this health care, i say, look, the choice is clear. i want republican so-and-so, congressman so and so, explain to the people in his district who lost their job through no fault of their own, because of the financial chicanery of wall street, because of this ponzi scheme they had massacre aiding as a policy. tell them why they should not get unemployment insurance. every district say, oh, no, no, we're not against unemployment insurance. we're not against it. we're not against making sure there's c.o.b.r.a., that they have health care. we're not against it. when you press them, they're not against it. that's why this fight -- i think the probably marquis fight will be on taxes. think about this, here you have mitch mcconnell offering -- talking about the deficit. offering a tax bill that the "washington post" said today if
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it were to be passed, tax cuts for the very wealthy -- if it were to be passed would create a hole in the deficit bigger than the recovery act and the health care bill combined. let me put this in perspective. we want a middle class tax cut. if you're making $50,000 a year and you're a family of four, you get $2,100, that's the difference between being able to have meat a couple of times a week, being able to pay your utility bill, making sure you can keep your kid in -- $2,100 matters. do you know where 50% of the tax cut go for the top bracket and that's $350 billion? to people whose average income is $8.3 million a year. and they're going to get a $350,000 tax break. what are they going to do with that? that they couldn't do already? but yet, somebody a family of four making $100,000, they have
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two kids in school, they get a $4,100 tax break. it matters to them. it matters. i want this fight. i want this fight. >> does that mean that letting the bush tax cuts expire for the richest people in the country while pushing for their extension in middle class tax cut for everybody else, is that a black and white issue? is that -- we haven't heard a veto threat from the president. >> it is a black and white -- >> it's black and white, something the administration's going to go to the mat for. >> absolutely. look. here's the deal. the deal is that if you think about it in sort of black and white terms, it's also points out the hypocrisy of the republicans talking about deficits. remember, these are the guys that put two wars, and the prescription drug bill on a credit card plus a tax cut. the day we walked into office, we inherited a deficit of $1.3 trillion. before we turned the lights on
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in the west wing. we had -- in the previous seven months lost 3,750,000 jobs. and, folks, you know, what we've got to make clear to people is these guys are straightforward. they're not bad -- they're not bad guys, but they really believe what the leader of the republicans campaign committee said. we are going to reinstate the exact same agenda. look, this would be a different fight if they said, you know, the bush policies really dropped us in a hole so deep that it's just this short of a depression. and, you know, we don't like the democrat answers, but we're offering these answers that are different. they're not. they're saying we don't -- i know what they're against, i don't know what they're for yet. that's all different. i mean this literally. what are they for that's different that they have been for the previous --
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>> if i was running against democrats right now. if i was running as a republican politician, i would do everything i could to avoid saying what i'm for. >> exactly right. >> because what you want people to do is focus on what they're dissatisfied with and put all of that on the democrats. >> exactly. >> it comes down to democratic strategy, sharpening the focus on who the republicans are. >> exactly right. >> it seems to me the most interesting thing about republicans right now it is impossible to be a moderate and sustain reelection. so you had a lot of allies in the senate across the aisle, people like dick lugar and chuck hagel. did those bipartisan relationships -- when there were some either moderates or at least people who were friendly across the aisle, did those have an actual benefit to the country? or did that just make it nicer to be a senator? did it improve your working environment? those things are never going to happen again. >> i'm afraid they're not going to happen soon. i hope we're wrong about they're not going to happen again. i think they did have a great deal of benefit to the country. in substantive ways. you know, in terms of our
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willingness for all the stuff that bush did, there was still the willingness of the folks you named to try to cut a different path in american foreign policy. to try to cut a different path on -- on social issues. to try to cut a different path on the extreme positions that are being -- were being pushed even then. but now, they've sort of doubled down with this the moderates gone, it's enabled them to double down. look at that "forbes" magazine article about the president. if you read it, the article reads like science fiction. that here, you know, barack obama -- >> the anti-colonialist. >> the anti-colonialist. a father who was a drunkard is now reincarnated in the white house. it's all being channelled through. and guys like newt gingrich repeating that garbage? this is -- this is kind of what's happened on the republican side.
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i mean, it's gotten to the point where, you know, it's the same old playbook. when you can't compete in ideas, what you do is the same playbook on the conservative playbook. you try to delegitimize the other guy. that's what's going on. the attempt to delegitimize one of the most talented men to enter american politics in three generations. they did the same thing with bill clinton. remember? bill clinton was part of a drug network in drug dealers in arkansas. bill clinton was somehow involved in a murder of some individual. it was all about delegitimizing. >> it worked. it did weaken the clinton presidency, those attacks. >> it did, but it didn't work. it ultimately didn't work. he was elected two terms. and during his term, we created millions of jobs, middle class folks actually saw their incomes go up. you really saw a change in our
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foreign policy, we were respected. i mean, so it didn't work. and it's not going to work this time. but it will work if we're silent. it will work if we're silent. and i know i sometimes get criticized for going out and punching back. well, let me tell you something, i learned a long time ago, you cannot underestimate these guys. you cannot sit back and just take the punch. >> when the punch is insane -- when the punch is the president is secretly foreign or the president is secretly a space alien or whatever -- whatever the flavor of the week is in there, what's the best way to punch back? in story telling, in making effective memorable news stories about this thing. usually the most fun thing to do is talk about the person who has come up with that science-fiction, make them famous for it. that's not the way it works in politics. because to do that, you guys would have to be elevating the smear merchants coming up with these things.
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how do you respond when the questions about the birth certificate or anything else like that? >> well, the way to respond is go and try to focus on the ideas substantive ideas -- the smear merchants are peddling. to point out that this isn't about the accusation they're making. it's about delegitimization. it seems to me, it's a little bit like, again, i've known newt gingrich for years. i am stunned! i really am, i am stunned he bought into this playbook. there is such -- seems like such a desperation on the republican side. to pander to the lowest common denominator that i just -- it is -- and by the way, my wife always says. i say, look, i have great faith in the american people's judgment and she'd look at me and say, would you have as much faith if you lost? but the truth of the matter is,
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i do. the american people will see through this. but what they want to know from us, they want to know from us is we want to fight to keep going. we want to fight for our agenda. we care enough about this to fight back. and the best way to fight back is with the facts. it's that old cliche. harry truman said, give them hell and he yelled back, i'm not going to give them hell, i'm going to tell them the truth and they're going to think it's hell. >> for the record, i don't think any republican candidate for senate or governor this year has yet accused barack obama of being from space. but now we know what the administration's response will be when that inevitably comes up. more from my interview with joe biden including some news from him about the don't ask, don't tell policy. plus, some late-breaking election results from last night's primaries. some very important lady gaga news coming up. please say with us.
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i'm ready for this fight. and what i do when i go into these districts where these congressmen and republican congressmen vote against this health care, i say, look, the choice is clear. i want republican so-and-so, congressman so-and-so explain to the people in his district who lost their job through no fault of their own, because of the financial chicanery of wall street, because of this ponzi scheme they had masquerading as a policy -- >> i had essentially two big political questions for the vice president today.
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what strategy can democrats use in the elections when the economy is so bad? and how can democrats compete with the enthusiasm of voters on the very, very far right? turns out, same answer to both questions. democrats want every american to know what republicans want to do on the economy. that's what the administration is counting on. they are counting on an understanding of what republicans want to do about the economy driving lots of democrats to the polls in fear. >> right now we could decide that every american household would receive a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. once again, leaders across the aisle are saying no. they want to hold these middle class tax cuts hostage until they get an additional tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of americans. we simply can't afford that. >> in other words, you're worried about the deficit or better yet, you're mad about the deficit.
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you're mad about the economy. wait until you see what these guys on the republican side of the aisle want to do to the economy. we heard that argument today from the vice president in my interview with him. we heard it from the president in the rose garden. and to add an exclamation point to the whole thing, the one american who got famous during the financial crisis because americans liked what she had to say about it, how to fix it, and how to make sure wall street never did it again, elizabeth warren is going to take a job in the administration. the job of setting up the consumer protection bureau is going to elizabeth warren. it will have her reporting to the treasury secretary tim geithner and to the president directly. today here in washington, a source familiar with the decision confirming those details to us and confirming that the announcement of elizabeth warren's appointment is due within a week. joining us now from somewhere apparently down the street from here is the washington editor of the nation magazine and msnbc
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contributor chris hayes. >> hi, rachel. it's sad we are in different parts of the same city. >> i can actually see you from here, i just didn't want to be in the same room. it's awkward. kidding. all right, the elizabeth warren appointment was reported back and forth last week, the white house denied it was happening for a while. but now we learned that she is getting the gig, at least some gig on the consumer financial protection bureau. why is this a politically important move? >> well, it's politically important because, a, it's always nice to see someone rewarded for being right for a change. and elizabeth warren is one of those people. the last -- the last kind of prophetic voice who the administration appointed who is don johnson who was appointed to head the olc in the department of justice and incredibly prophetic about the perils, she was left to languish. it's nice to see elizabeth warren who was right about the financial crisis, right as the causes, who has been a prophetic voice about what to do about it and whose policy is now law has been a champion for the political economy that is more
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just and less financialized to see her as part of this administration is gratifying and promising about what this agency's going to look like. >> elizabeth warren is somebody who has that lot of supporters among the already activated -- especially internet-based democratic base. vice president biden spoke as directly as a politician can today about firing up the progressive base. and people who are connected know elizabeth warren and like her, but she's not a household name. in order to connect with people who aren't already connected to politics right now on the progressive side, does the white house have to adopt some of the populous ways elizabeth warren talks about the financial issues in order to make this a political plus for them? >> well, yes, i would like it if they did. and it was interesting recently, there was polling out -- i forget which poll it was. but it showed the financial regulatory reform bill that they passed is the most popular thing this democratic congress has done. and that was -- that was clear
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in the run up the polling was behind it. it was the reason we were able to get some fairly strong language on things like derivatives. the reason we were able to get the consumer protection agency. all of that was because there is a lot of public support for the notion of cracking down on wall street. and i think it would be incredibly smart in these -- in the run up to the election to make elizabeth warren a household name to talk a lot about what she's going to be doing. to talk -- talk about the financial regulatory bill and talk about the people who reformed it, which was down the line, just about every republican. >> could that explain some of the back and forth about what exact job elizabeth warren is going to have. if she was going into a senate confirmable position right now, she'd essentially have to go into the cone of silence that senate nominees have to go into. by going into the sort of advisory position of setting up the agency, she's allowed to be a public figure right from now, isn't she? >> that's exactly right. i think that's totally what it's about. i mean, first of all, it's a practical consideration. this isn't an agency that can exist and run on auto pilot, right?
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you can't put an acting interim director while we wait for elizabeth warren to be confirmed and the republicans fight tooth and nail. i'm sure there's an informal policy that someone a guest on the "maddow" show could not be voted for in cloture. even if you got her confirmed, it would take a while. that's what they do, they run out the clock. and you can't let this new agency languish. so i actually think, i understand from a practical perspective, you need someone to start standing up with this agency. it's really important. the reforms have gone into effect. banks are coming up with all sorts of crazy new ways to game the system. but yes, second of all, she can be a public voice now, a public face. i've talked to nominees, you know, throughout the last two years who are so frustrated because they sit there and they have republicans say completely erroneous things about the record. and they are in what you call the cone of silence. they can't respond back, and it's all very managed and it drives them absolutely bonkers. and i wonder if they could manage to keep elizabeth warren
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in that cone of silence given how outspoken she is. >> both outspoken and incredibly adept at using that bully pulpit on economic issues, which the administration really needs right now. chris hayes, an msnbc contributor and some guy down the hall who i wouldn't let in the room. thanks, chris. >> next time maybe in person it would be wonderful. >> maybe, we'll see. >> if i get lucky. see you, rachel. coming up on "countdown." for years, karl rove cared for and fed the far right edges of the republican party. now they are waging war on him. coming up on this show, guess who thinks the ban on gay people serving in the military is about to go the way of the dodo, lawn darts, and the whole idea of installing the gas tank right next to the back bumper. vice president joe biden told me today that don't ask, don't tell will be ending. he got pretty specific about how that will happen. that's coming up.
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here in d.c., the accepted math for the republican party path to take over the senate includes them holding on to senator judd gregg's seat in new hampshire and senator lisa murkowski's seat in alaska.
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updates on both of those today. in new hampshire, former state attorney general kelly ayotte won by a narrow margin of 1,600 votes. lamontagne conceded the race tonight. contrary to national prevailing wins, ayotte is the establishment gop choice in the granite state. she will face democratic congressman paul hodes in november. meanwhile, senator lisa murkowski lost in her primary in alaska to a tea party guy with a beard named joe miller. murkowski has refused to endorse him so far. after trying and failing to get the libertarian for senate in alaska to give her his line on the ballot, lisa murkowski says she will announce by friday whether to start a write-in campaign to try to keep her old seat. midterms are supposed to be boring. i keep waiting to be bored.
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coming right up, vice
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president joe biden and i talked about repealing don't ask, don't tell today. mr. biden was fairly blunt about it. >> and everybody's looking for the orderly elimination of this law. i would prefer it not be orderly. i prefer it just end. boom, done.
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but that's why that hasn't happened.
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harry reid is considering pursuing republican support for just the middle class tax cuts by allowing republicans at least a chance to hold a full vote on whether to extend all tax cuts. let's turn to msnbc contributor ezra klein.
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