tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 4, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT
next. >> hello. happy midnight. and thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. it is just a few seconds past midnight here on the east coast right now. and there is good news and bad news for mitt romney tonight out of the great state of wisconsin. the good news, of course, is the biggest news. nbc news now projecting that mitt romney, the former governor of massachusetts, has won the wisconsin primary. the biggest prize of this entire election night. at this hour with 93 prosecut% vote reported in wisconsin, romney with 42% of the vote, santorum with 38% of the vote, ron paul and newt gingrich running a distant third and fourth behind them. so that's the good news for mr. romney. that win for mr. romney in wisconsin tonight puts him one step closer to securing the republican presidential nomination. it escalates the calls for his rivals to drop out of the race. it solidifies his image as the presumptive republican president ideal nominee.
it's all good for him. the bad news for mr. romney is that he might be going to jail. i don't think he will, but theoretically, i mean, mitt romney campaigning in wisconsin today appears to have broken the law. i'm not kidding. what you're looking at right now is a mitt romney campaign event this morning in waukesha, wisconsin. he is at a sub shop with paul ryan called cousins subs. they are not taking money. they are handing out free submarine sandwiches to wisconsin voters dug an event that was billed by the romney campaign as an election-day lunch. what you are looking at there is against the law. see mr. romney? watch. against the law. that's illegal. right there. when you hand the submarine sandwich to the person and don't take the money, that's illegal. and he kept doing it. this is the cousins sub event. it was purely around the whole
idea of illegal sub handing. in the state of wisconsin, it is against the law to, quote, offer, give, lend or promise to give or lend anything of value in order to induce an elector to vote or to refrain from voting. anything of value includes any amount of money or any object, the value of which exceeds $1. those ham and cheese subs that mitt romney was handing out to voters today in wisconsin to encourage them to go vote, they go for a minimum of $3.49 a pop. which is more than $1, which makes it illegal for him to be handing them out. wisconsin's accountability board indicated to our nbc affiliate in milwaukee today that the law, in fact, may have been broken in this case. and if you think this sounds ridiculous, you should know that there is precedent for this sort of thing being pursued as a legal matter in wisconsin. last year prosecutors in wisconsin looked into a barbecue-for-votes scandal in
which chicken and ribs were given out in exchange for voters filling out absentee ballots. mitt romney has won the wisconsin primary tonight but apparently not before breaking state law in the process. obviously nobody expects romney is going to be prosecuted for subgate. that kind of unforced error, though, is kind of what wigs s wisconsin has been like for him. there is an oorg gumt that wisconsin should have been a gimme, all gain and no pain. their really competition left in the race at this point is rick santorum who has been campaigning in wisconsin by saying things like, at the university of california, they don't teach american history anymore. he's been saying things like, in holland, there's mass murder by the state of elderly people. and elderly people are all fleeing the netherlands to get away from the killer dutch government who kills them every time they go to the hospital. it is not fashionable to admit this about the rick santorum
campaign, but mr. santorum never corrects this kind of crazy stuff when he gets it wrong. and listening to him wing his way through campaigning for president is more like listening to right-wing conspiracy podcasts in the dark corners of the internet than it is like listening to a candidate in the mainstream presidency. even with the mr. i read it in the blog comments as his competition, mitt romney can't seem to get out of his own way. it ought to be easy when the guy you're running against is rick santorum. but it has not been easy. before he seemed to break the law today, mr. romney also distinguished himself on the campaign trail in wisconsin when he offered up unprompted what he called his own humorous family connection to the state of wisconsin. this was his humorous story. >> i have a few connections with the state of wisconsin. one of the most humorous is to my father. you may remember that my father, george roil, was president of an
automobile company called american motors. they had a factory in michigan, and they had a factory in kenos kenosha, wisconsin, and another one in milwaukee, wisconsin. and as the president of the company, he decided to close the factory in michigan and move all the production to wisconsin. now, later he decided to run for governor of michigan. and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him. for his campaign. and i recall at one parade where he was going down the streets, he was led by a band. and they had a high school bachbd that was leading each of the candidates. and his band did not know how to play the michigan fight song. it only knew how to play the wisconsin fight song. so every time they would start playing "on wisconsin, on wisconsin," my dad, political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop because they didn't want people in michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to
wisconsin. >> somebody said, can you tell us the music anecdote about shutting down an american factory and how that created political problems? nobody asked him for that. this is what he volunteered as his family to wisconsin. the funniest story he could think of to tell the people of wisconsin was the time his dad shut down a factory and fired all the workers and then trying to avoid voters being mad about it. thank you, wisconsin, for bringing that out of him. but aside from apparently breaking the law with the ham and cheese hoagies, aside from giving us further insight into exactly what thursen howell finds hilarious, the thing that may haunt mitt romney most about the time in wisconsin is this. mr. romney's constant traveling companion in the state over the last week, the man who has been by his side every step of the way, the joe lieberman to his john mccain has been republican
congressman paul ryan of wisconsin known nationally as the kill medicare guy. the author of the tax cuts for rich people and kill medicare republican budget. mitt romney and paul ryan have been attached at the hip in wisconsin this week, to the point where at mitt romney's victory party in milwaukee tonight, governor romney was introduced by paul ryan. it wasn't a great introduction, but it did lead to this great moment once mr. romney finally took the stage. >> congressman ryan, he's a great leader, wonderful speaker, but he's not going to take ann's place, i've got to tell you that. >> why would you think i know? i have no idea what that's about. but it was amazing, right? but all of those images of mitt romney and paul ryan together this week, including in the matching outfits, and including tonight with you're not going to replace ann quip, those might ultimately be the biggest and most consequential thing that happened this week on the republican side of 2012 politics. as mitt romney was campaigning in wisconsin today, the man
whose presidency he would like to end, president obama, spent the day today wrapping a metaphorical bow around mr. romney and mr. ryan together. mr. obama spoke to newspaper editors from across the country at the annual meeting of the associated press today in washington, d.c., and he let loose on the paul ryan budget and on mitt romney's embrace of it. listen. >> this congressional republican budget is something different altogether. it is a trojan horse. disguised as deficit reduction plans. it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. it is thinly veiled social darwinism. it is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who's willing to work for it. by gutting the things we need to grow an economy that's built to last. education and training, research
and development. our infrastructure. it is a prescription for decline. this is now the party's governing platform. this is what they're running on. one of my potential opponents, governor romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. he said that he's very supportive of this new budget. and he even called it marvelous. which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget. that's a word you don't often hear generally. >> marvelous. the president today calling the paul ryan budget radical, calling it thinly veiled social darwinism. and listen to how the president portrayed his own budget priorities in contrast. remember, he's speaking to a
roomful of newspaper editors here. >> as all of you are doing your reporting, i think it's important to remember that the positions i'm taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions. what's changed is the center of the republican party. >> what's changed is the center of the republican party. in other words, the republican party has moved way to the right. and where i am, he's saying, where i am is what used to be considered the center. >> cap and trade was originally proposed by conservatives and republicans as a market-based solution to solving
environmental problems. the first president to talk about cap and trade was george h.w. bush. now you've got the other party essentially saying, we shouldn't even be thinking about environmental protection. let's gut the epa. health care, which is in the news right now. there is a reason why there's a little bit of confusion in the republican primary about health care and the individual mandate since it originated as a conservative idea to preserve the private marketplace and health care while still assuring that everybody got coverage ins. now suddenly this is some socialist overreach. >> the president today tacking the republican party down like he was a butterfly collector.
and they're condemning their own policies as radical or even socialist. their own policies just because president obama has now embraced those ideas. that is not just the president criticizing republicans. that sounds like he's trying to peel off republican voters who think of themselves as reasonable and consistent on policy from a republican party that no longer is either of those things. joining us now is political writer for salon.com and an msnbc contributor. thanks for staying up late. nice to see you again. >> sure, happy to do it. >> president obama hasn't mentioned mitt romney by name very much in this campaign so far, but he did that today in talking about romney and the paul ryan budget. should we expect that the democrats are going to try to turn mitt romney and paul ryan hand in hand into essentially a damning loop in the campaign? >> yeah. i think there's a lot of discussion right now because of his prominence about whether paul ryan might actually end up being mitt romney's running mate. >> chuck todd raised that on the
air earlier tonight. >> in a way it doesn't matter because the obama campaign and the democrats are going to make him in the same way you can remember when clinton ran for re-election, dole/kemp was the ticket. but in clinton's mouth, it was dole/gingrich. it was all about the republican congress going after medicare and the social safety net. and bill clinton positioning himself as sort of the last line of defense for voters who back then were in the middle and wanted the basic priorities of the republicans in terms of balancing the budget. but wanted to do it in a humane way and thought that the republican congress was going too far. and i see a lot of that basic strategy in what obama and the democrats are doing where it's again saying we want to get to the balanced budget, we want to grow the economy, too. but what the republicans are prescribing goes right after the social net of this coucountry. it's far too extreme. >> there is a broader strategic issue about why house republicans did this. they're under no illusion that senate controlled by democrats
is going to take up the paul ryan plan and vote on it, it's going to become law. them putting out this budget essentially giving democrats a target to shoot at like this, i mean, they saw the way that democrats were able to use the first paul ryan budget. and the kill medicare moniker for that which stuck. and all of the other ways in which they were able to sort of use that to not just caricature republicans but to criticize them for their priorities which they have put down in black and white. the paul ryan plan doesn't reduce the deficit. it takes this huge, huge hit at programs for the poor, and it turns medicare into coupons. so why would you put all of that out there in an election year, knowing that the democrats could then shoot at it? >> i think there are a few things going on now in terms of the incentives that motivate republicans. one, this is the most conservative -- just if you were to map this on paper -- this is the most conservative congress, the most conservative republican conference in the house that's ever been in house, the one put in last year. a lot of these republicans just simply think ideologically this is the right thing. they're for it. a lot of them are also
insulated. they're not going to have to worry about it. then there are pragmatic i think people deep inside are pragmatic republicans who are left in washington and sort of in the national party. but they learned a very important lesson from the 2010 midterms when you had sharron angle, christine o'donnell. you had all of these people, tea-party-backed challengers establishment candidates who won, some of them were fringe candidates who never before in modern political history would have been winning in primaries. they all started winning in 2010. i think the lesson these pragmatic people in the republican party took from that is, you have to toe the line in the tea party, you have to toe the line in the obama era. it may hurt you in the general election, but you won't get to the general election if you get taken out in the primary. >> see, that is the idea that you could look at ken buck, sharron angle, joe miller, christine o'donnell and all these people and decide that the idea is to not lose to those people in the primary. when all of those people got killed in the general election, that's what gets you into sort
of a constant purification ideological death spiral. >> i think it's the story of mitt romney's primary campaign because on issue after issue, anything that is a litmus test, he is taking the conservative position on that. terrible position for the general election, but he's felt he had to do it. >> and the president today criticizing republicans for condemning their own past positions as socialist just because he has now embraced those positions. i said at the end there what i think that is. and i put that to stephanie cutter earlier tonight as the deputy campaign manager for the obama re-elect saying is this the president sort of stopping short of criticizing republicans? he named six republican presidents in this speech today in positive ways. but instead saying, you know what? i'm not against republican politics. in fact, i like a lot of republican ideas. but this is not your father's republican party, if you are a pragmatic policy-minded republican, you should abandon your party and i'm more your
guy. this is billed as a partisan speech. i saw this as a conservative speech trying to appeal to pragmatic centrists. >> you can look at the number obama versus romney. romney's been ahead in the past. but when you start to look more closely, you see the republican party's image really since january 2011, since the results of the tea party revolution in 2010 took office and the republican congress came to power, the republican party's image has plummeted. and the approval rating, the favorable rating of the republican party right now stands in the mid-30s. and for historical perspective, it really hasn't been that low since the impeachment of bill clinton in '98, and it wasn't that low before that sichbs watergate in the '70s. that's what the republican party has reduced itself to right now. so it makes sense for obama to say that. >> trying to peel off people who aren't diehard republicans in a more casual way. >> exactly. >> we saw him do this a little bit in 2008.
salon.com senior writer, msnbc contributor and night owl, thank you for being here. congratulations to the baylor women's basketball team for winning the national championship tonight. a perfect season for baylor. perfect season. wow! another basketball lover clinched an important title tonight. very underreported story in 2012 politics. we will have that next.
americans. god bless this great country. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thanks, you guys. thanks for the victory in wisconsin and maryland and district of columbia. thanks, you guys. thank you! >> mitt romney tonight in his infinite awkwardness saying, thanks, you guys, so his supporters in milwaukee, wisconsin, after winning the presidential primary in wisconsin. he also won in maryland and in washington, d.c. none of those wins particularly surprising for the former massachusetts governor as he builds both delegates and momentum toward what pretty much all political observers admit now is his likely nomination as the republican candidate for president. but tonight might have been the clincher for the other side of the aisle in what is surely the least suspensive story line in this entire not-very-suspenseful presidential campaign. it appears that president obama may have tonight clinched the
number of delegates he needs to secure the democratic party's nomination for president. cnn has apparently been tracking the delegates on the democratic side this year. and they report that tonight with his unopposed primary wins in d.c. and maryland, the president locked up the nomination of the democratic party. now, nbc's political department has not bothered tracking democratic delegates since nobody is running against the president. but cnn apparently had spare manpower and decided to spend it on this. for the record, it should also be noted that the obama campaign says cnn is projecting this too early. the obama campaign says that they don't believe they have the nomination clinched just yet. but honestly, if you are on the edge of your seat about this, it mostly means that you should get a bigger seat. also tonight, the return of something i did not believe was true. after the ohio primary about a month ago, "the philadelphia weekly" ran this story about a freakishly strange pro-rick santorum robo call that was sent
out in ohio in advance of the voting there. now, i love me some "philadelphia weekly," i always have, but i have to admit, i was skeptical this actually happened. it seemed too weird, too impossible. but then today in wisconsin, a robo call that matched the exact same script from the ohio thing was sent out again. this is not from the santorum campaign proper. it is from someone calling themselves jews and christians together. and i guess now i believe somebody really called people in ohio with this since they definitely called people in wisconsin with it, too. listen, i think this is amazing. >> when you vote tomorrow, please vote for social sanity and rick santorum, not for homosexuality and mitt romney. >> rick santorum is the only candidate who can be trusted to uphold traditional marriage, a straight military, and the rights of american children to have both a mother and a father. >> a straight military. again, that robo call by an outside group, not by anybody's campaign, reportedly went out in wisconsin for this primary just
as it went out to people in ohio in advance of that primary. can we play kind of the running mate part of it again? listen. >> please vote for social sanity and rick santorum, not for homosexuality and mitt romney. >> rick santorum lost both the states where this robo call was sent out, but how many people who got this call now think that rick santorum has a running mate named social sanity and mitt romney is running for president along with a vice presidential nominee named homosexuality? seriously, that's what it makes it sound like. we should poll on that. also tonight, not much of a peep from anyone still in the campaign who is not named rick santorum or social sanity or mitt romney or homosexuality. dr. ron paul of texas did not turn up in any of the states where he lost tonight. instead, dr. paul campaigned in california at cal state-chico. california does not hold its primary until june, but that's where ron paul was giving a speech before this large crowd of students. no speech tonight to concede the states he lost. he's just in california for some
reason. now, newt gingrich tonight did not do anything as inexplicable as turning up to campaign in a state that doesn't vote for two more months. no, newt gingrich tonight decided not to campaign at all. no speech, no events for newt gingrich tonight, but he wants you to think he is still running. mr. gingrich putting out a written statement tonight saying, quote, the washington establishment wants to declare this race over. but i am committed to carrying the banner of bold conservative colors all the way to tampa! to ensure the republican party never abandons the timeless conservative principles of ronald reagan. to be clear, mr. gingrich is carrying that banner right now on his couch. he is not much campaigning anymore. he doesn't really seem to be trying to win states. he just says he's going to turn up in tampa for the convention to collect the nomination that he's resting up for now. but he wants it to seem like he is not quitting. mr. gingrich's campaign released a new schedule pointing out that gingrich has four events planned over the next two days, delaware
and north carolina. he has four events planned. his wife has five events planned including a dvd screening and one reading from her new children's book for which a campaign staffer has to dress up as the main character so as to help sell the books. for some candidates, running for president may be a racket, but even fake running for president can be tiring sometimes. so i guess it's best to spread the work around.
mitt romney again has made a clean sweep of tonight's republican primaries with wins in maryland, in washington, d.c., and in the great state of wisconsin. now, you will recall, emphasis on the word "recall," that today's vote is not the only election to be held in the state of wisconsin this year. and the recall of that state's republican governor, which is
scheduled for nine weeks from tonight, is not only the most dominant political story in that state, it is also the most relevant context for understanding what just happened today in wisconsin in the presidential primary and what it means going forward. we'll have more on that plus more results when we come back.
wisconsin mass judge wisconsin has a new state sport. it's called voting. in february, wisconsinites went to the polls and voted for nonpartisan local officials, in this case judges. today, of course, wisconsinites statewide went to the polls again for the presidential primary and also to finish electing county judges. next month wisconsinites will go to the polls again to vote in primaries for the recall of governor scott walker plus any necessary primaries for the recall of the state's lieutenant governor and for four republican state senators. then in june, wisconsinites will go to the polls again to vote on the actual recall. so if the governor and the lieutenant governor and those senate seats. and nthen in august, that time they'll be voting in a primary for senate and congressional
races. and then finally in november, wisconsin voters will get to go to the polls again for the sixth time this year when they go on the same day that the rest of america all votes together in the general election. if you love voting, if you love the ballots and you love the flyers and ads and robo calls and little old ladies that work at the polls, if you love voting very much, and i do not blame you if you do, you may want to consider moving to wisconsin just so you can vote as much as must be humanly possible. wisconsin has so much voting going on these days that state politics, particularly recall politics, really truly drown out the two national republicans who campaigned there this week. who knew? rick who? you say you're running for president of something? sorry, we're busy. we have other politics we are more focused on. if you ask wisconsinites whether they have been closely following the presidential primary or the recall of governor scott walker in their state, look at the
results. it's barely even close. over half the likely voters in the state say they are paying more attention to the recall of the governor than they are paying attention to the republican presidential primary. that's not supposed to happen this way, right? the recall of a republican governor overshadows, it says here, the republican presidential primary. or that it shoves the republican primary to the back burner as it says here. or that it leaves the republican base more focused on scott walker possibly losing his job than on choosing a nominee to compete for the white house. as it says here. but it has happened that way. in wisconsin. voters there are riveted by the scott walker deal because the scott walker deal is a rodeo. it is actually exciting. he would be only the third governor in united states history to make voters so unhappy that they went back to the polls and fired him before his term was up. republicans, over time, had been inching toward possibly winning
the state of wisconsin in a presidential election. at this point in the state, though, even if that were true, even if that were happening, i'm not sure wisconsin would even notice, let alone care. joining us now is dan vice, political writer for "the milwaukee journal-sentinel." when last we spoke we were interrupted by mitt romney giving his victory speech. i thank you for sticking around and coming back. >> that's fine, thanks. >> you have been covering the republican primary as well as covering the recall on the ground. you talked earlier about the fact that the walker recall has sort of put the republican primary in the shade. we can see that a little bit in the polling results and in the sort of worried we that some conservative news outlets have been reporting on it. how do you see it? how does that manifest? >> the interesting thing is, scott walker did not endorse any candidate before the election. just about every other prominent republican here, you know, reince priebus, paul ryan, jim
sensenbrenner, they all came out behind romney. it's clear that romney endorsed scott walker while he was here. and he thinks that that was a winning strategy, and it was a winning strategy for him. and the interesting thing is, now the walker people are going to try to build on the success that romney has. you know, these two elections are connected throughout. if walker doesn't win in june, it's going to be very, very hard for romney to win the state against barack obama. so as i said -- >> why do you see it that way, dan? what would be the effect of the recall election going against walker on romney's chances? >> i think so much time and effort's been spent on the recall election, since november, we've been inundated with ads nonstop by the walker team club for growth, americans for prosperity. the opponents of scott walker in the recall election have just
started going up in the last few weeks. so i think it's going to be -- it would be demoralizing to republicans if they end up losing the recall election. because there's been so much effort on trying to make sure this doesn't stop. and that's the reason that the race is the primary race in everybody's mind. and this recent election didn't change that. i personally received dozens and dozens of robo calls from the candidates, and almost every one of them had to do with scott walker and the election. they were, vote for me because i'm supportive of scott walker and his reforms. vote for me. i'm supportive of right to work and santorum was not on a couple of occasions in the past. so, i mean, it's -- that's such an important thing, it's hard for people outside wisconsin to understand just how important the race is here. >> the wisconsin recall, of course, is going to be decided at the state level, but in terms of not just interest but also
money, also endorsements, sort of pouring into the state from candidates on both sides of that, i wonder from the perspective of somebody who's been reporting on this in wisconsin, you've been writing a lot about out-of-state support for the democrats, in particular, why do you think the rest of the country cares so much about this wisconsin issue? why do you think it's become such a lightning-rod issue that everybody in the country is willing to talk about? >> i think at first it was the collective bargaining issue. but i think -- i think all of the attention that it got created a sense that this was, you know, a national issue. and then you have scott walker go on tv just recently saying this would be the battle of waterloo for the public employee unions. and if they lose here, that, you know, everything changes for them. and i think -- i don't think it's a battle of waterloo for them, but i do think that the race is very important. and you'll see other states
attack public employee unions. you know, if they, in fact, would lose this race. you're right about the outside groups. there are a number of outside groups on both sides that will be playing a major race -- a major factor in this race. and, in fact, the candidates themselves are probably going to have very little to do with how they're defined in this race. in the primary for the democratic side, some of the candidates are asking that this could be a positive race. but i don't see that happening. the outside interest groups doing independent expenditures are going to go after each of the candidates. and in particular, the current front-runner, the milwaukee mayor, tom baer. he's going to be attacked and probably attacked pretty viciously over the next few weeks. >> it is hard, i think, by virtue of what a recall election is to expect that could be a positive race. i mean, even in normal general election candidates, it's hard to run positive races.
but in the context of a recall, i think that might be too much to hope for. but it's going to be fascinating to watch, and we're all going to keep watching it. dan bias, author of the blog on politics for "the milwaukee journal sentinel," which is absolutely mandatory reading for all of us here in new york. thanks very much for being with us. i appreciate it. >> sure. thanks for inviting me. there's other wisconsin news. some scary and infuriating news, actually, this week involving two separate planned parenthood clinics in wisconsin. i've got the details on that coming up.
there are two big political stories in wisconsin today, right? one is today's republican presidential primary, which has been won by mitt romney. the other, of course, is the recall election for republican governor scott walker, which is scheduled for june along with recall elections for his republican lieutenant governor and for a handful of republican state senators. but beyond those two big overarching political stories in wisconsin, there's something else going on in a very different type of wisconsin politics right now that i think is worth keeping an eye on. police in a place called grand chute, wisconsin, which is near appleton, say somebody placed a homemade explosive device on an outside windowsill of the local planned parenthood clinic on sunday night. a small fire broke out when the device exploded, but it had
burned itself out by the time fire crews arrived. now, the fbi is reportedly helping local authorities with this investigation. since the clinic was closed at the time, nobody was in the building when the device exploded. planned parenthood of wisconsin says there was minimal damage to an exam room, and they say the clinic has already been reopened. today local police say they arrested a suspect in this bombing. grand chute police saying today that the arrest was actually made last night, but no charges have been filed. meanwhile, at the federal courthouse in madison, wisconsin, a grand jury has handed down felony indictments against a man accused of having traveled from his home in marshfield, wisconsin, to madison with the intent of killing doctors at madison's planned parenthood clinic. the man's name is ralph lang. he was arrested in may nearly a year ago after he accidentally discharged a gun in his motel room. the bullet passed through the front door of his room, and then it crossed the hall and went
through the front door of another room in the hotel he was staying in. according to the federal complaint filed against him, when police arrived and asked him why he had a gun, mr. lang told them that the next day he planned to go to the madison planned parenthood clinic with his gun, quote, to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies. he said he was planning on going to the planned parenthood the next morning when it opened and that he was going to find out who the doctor was and shoot him in the head. when asked if his plan was only to shoot the doctor, he said he wished he could, quote, line them all up in a row, get a machine gun and mow them all down. mr. lang told authorities he thought know in the planned parenthood building should be executed. those were ralph lang's beliefs and his plans. plans that were interrupted when he was loading his gun and it accidentally went off, thus introducing the room across the hall to one of ralph lang's bullets. in addition to the federal charges that came down a few days ago against mr. lang, he was already facing state charges
of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. the spector of violence and intimidation being used against abortion providers in wisconsin in part because of the timing of the sunday night planned parenthood bombing just before the presidential primary there, it has made extremism in the anti-abortion movement a small part of the context of wisconsin's republican presidential contest. for his part, rick santorum released a statement condemning sunday's planned parenthood bombing, but he paired that statement, condemning the violence, with his own continued political attacks on planned parenthood. the statement said, quote, while we can and should work to defund planned parenthood and push back against government mandates that force americans and religious institutions to violate their faith, violence against our fellow citizens has no place in freedom-loving america. so rick santorum using the opportunity of the bombing of a planned parenthood clinic to
invey what he is against planned parenthood. and that is what you call classy with a "k." that being the reason scott walker is poised to become the first wisconsin governor to be recalled from office ever. but even though the focus has been on the union rights issue, rolling back access to abortion has also been a major priority for wisconsin republicans under scott walker. wisconsin republicans were on the cutting edge of the defund planned parenthood trend. they passed a budget eliminating state and federal funding for planned parenthood clinics last summer. at the moment, a bill putting new restrictions on how nonsurgical abortions can be administered in the state, forcing doctors to conduct state-mandated counseling of women seeking abortions. that bill is awaiting the governor's signature now. the wisconsin medical society, the state's largest medical association, has asked governor walker to veto that bill saying it would infringe on the
physician/patient relationship. the medical association says they're also concerned that doctors who fail to follow the bill exactly could face felony charges. they could go to prison. the legislature also passed a bill panning private insurance plans that are part of health insurance exchanges from covering abortion. they also passed a bill removing -- a bill that remove information on contraception and abstinence as the only way to prevent pregnancy and stds was also moved in the state. there was also a personhood bill introduced in the wisconsin legislature this session, an effort to amend the state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person. thereby banning abortion and likely hormonal birth control as well. scott walker, the embattled republican governor, has not indicated yet whether he will sign the anti-abortion bill, the anti-sex ed bill that have already passed through the legislature on the strength of
republican majorities. but it should be known that scott walker is a man with solid and longstanding credentials in anti-abortion politics. it's how he started in politics. he led an anti-abortion group when he was in college at marquette university. he's against all abortion in all cases including in the cases of rape and incest. if you become impregnated by virtue of rape or by virtue of incest, scott walker believes the government should force you to bear the child that is the result of that pregnancy. scott walker was endorsed in his run for governor by a radical group called pro-life wisconsin. it's a group that opposes not only all abortions without exception, but they also oppose all forms of contraception as well. in their endorsement of then-candidate scott walker, the organization said, pro-life wisconsin victory fund supports candidates for public office who demonstrate a commitment to protect each and every innocent
human life in all circumstances and at all stages of development. to be 100% pro-life, is to know that a human life begins at fertilization and that there may never be a legal exception. the republican fight against union rights in wisconsin has drawn all the focus over the last year. but there is another republican fight being waged in wisconsin right now. the fight against access to abortion and birth control. and the next stage of that battle is now in the hands of governor scott walker, a man who is two months away from an historic recall election that could remove him from office before the end of his first term.
voting began in iowa, governor romney has had the type of night after which republican voters should kind of be expected to rally around the nominee, right? i mean, that's the conventional wisdom. there's even a saying about that. democratic voters fall in love. republican voters fall in line. so is now the time that we can expect republican voters to start falling in line behind mitt romney? maybe? look at this. this is from the exit polls that nbc news conducted in wisconsin tonight. i think this is really interesting. if mitt romney is the eventual nominee of your party, will you, republican primary voter in wisconsin, be satisfied with that result, or will you be dissatisfied with that result? these are the overall numbers for people who voted in the wisconsin primary. 66% say they'd be satisfied. 32% say they would be dissatisfied if mitt romney wins the nomination eventually. that is for voters overall today. but when you break it down by
candidate, of course, the least surprising thing here is that people who voted for mitt romney would be satisfied if he goes on to win the republican nomination, presumably that's part of why they voted for him in the first place. but if you look at the others, among rick santorum's supporters today, look at that. significant -- both rick santorum supporters and ron paul supporters that were both surveyed in the exit polls today, both of them significantly more dissatisfied with a mitt romney nomination than a -- than would be satisfied. for rick santorum voters today, 51% say they would be dissatisfied if mitt romney is the eventually nominee. 46% say they'd be satisfied. with ron paul voters, it's almost 2-1 this. ron paul voters, 63% of them saying they will be dissatisfied if mitt romney gets this nomination. you know, mitt romney may very well win this nomination. it looks like he will win this nomination. but how is mitt romney going to get all of those dissatisfied republicans to turn out and vote
for him? remember, this is an exit poll. this isn't just a poll. this is talking to people who have gone out and made the trek, right, who have shown the effort to go out and vote in what is a sort of nonconsequential almost foretold primary today in wisconsin. people who are interested enough in politics, interested enough in republican politics that they went out and pulled the lever today. and those people are going out and pulling that lever even though they would not be happy with the idea of mitt romney as the nominee. when mitt romney gets this nomination, what case can he make to those voters? that he hasn't already been able to make to them? what can he tell them that has not persuaded them already? or does he just have to count on them falling in line? it's going to be fascinating to watch. stay tuned. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have great night. after two quickly calle