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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 20, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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campaign, it's hard to compete with those optics if you're the guy in the pie shop campaigning against the president. that is the way these things go. everybody who campaigns against an incumbent president has this particular challenge. globally, of course, the context for president obama's speech today was not just the international economic turbulence that hat everybody on edge and which the g-20 leaders make their joint declaration today, but the pressing media was also what is going on in the middle east, the wild rumors on whether or not the ousted dictator of egypt, hosni mubarak, has died. we'll have more on that. also the news and negotiations over another arab world revolution that is still under way. when president obama sat down yesterday for a two-hour meeting with vladimir putin of russia, as often happens at these types of events, there was all this press-based high-end nuanced
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scrutiny and speculation about things like their body language. what it meant that president obama called the former president of russia dimitri, but he didn't call vladimir, vladimir, but he called him mr. putin. they always have that high schooley, gossipy, human interest, soft focus on leaders as if they're celebrities, dating or trying out for the same cheerleading squad. in the case of the meeting with russia, you didn't have to just go to the body language and what they're calling each other. there's something really important and really unsubtle and concrete to watch about what was going on here. syria is the big domino in the whole arab spring that nobody knows whether or not it's going to fall yet, right? it's been 16 months of internal war fair in syria with the strong dictator in charge using military force against his own people rising up against him. syria has almost no friends in the whole world who are left
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still supporting the strong man dictatorship there as had uses force against its own people. it has iran, which is an international rogue state and has no friends of its own, no credibility, and no pull on other countries. they have china which refused to take a stand on anyone else's human rights or violence for fear of anyone taking a stands on theirs. and they also have russia. syria has russia, and unlike iran, russia is sort of thought of as being an international grown-up maybe, a country in the international community of nations, so syria is using force against its own people. you don't have to be subtle and read the body language. there's a not subtle thing at all to watch for this particular meeting when president obama and president putin were sitting down yesterday at the g-20 summit, the big important thing to watch was not their eye contact, whether or not they used each other's first names, rather it was this. this is a russian ship that is reportedly right now full of
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russian made attack helicopters. a ship that was on its way from russia to syria, where again, the government is using military equipment to attack its own people. seriously, russia, now is the time to send attack helicopters. as of yesterday when they appeared to meet at the g-20, that exact ship was sitting 50 miles off the northwest coast of scotland. wondering what to do. wondering whether to continue on to syria. the u.s. has been loudly complaining about this. the u.s. and the whole west did not want this shipment of attack helicopters to go ahead. russia had been planning to do it anyway. president obama and president putin are sitting down in mexico face-to-face in a two-hour meeting. the ship is rounding the united kingdom to come back around the bottom and make its way to the middle east, and what happens? the ship turns back. coincidence with the meeting between president obama and
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president putin and with a british company saying they were pulling the ship's insurance coverage which have been provided by a british company. that russian ship full of attack rel copters on its way to syria is no longer going to syria. it turns back to russia hours after president obama and president putin's one-on-one meeting. also, michigan is shaped pie a hand. >> is this a race? look at this. slow down. >> okay, he's doing good. he's really thorough there. >> kind of the highs and the lows of being president and campaigning to be president, right? i mean, there is a drama of what it means to be president and there are the daily responsibilities of being president and the kind of decision making context it puts you in, and then there's the way you have to compete with that as a guy who is not yet president but is trying to prove you can be. this is not an enviable position for anyone running against an incumbent president. it's part of the virtue of
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incumbency, i guess, but that high/low context is the context he convened this press conference in mexico and in which the press corps tried to bridge the high and low and what it means for the campaign here at home. >> one of mitt romney's economic advisers wrote in a german publication your recommendations to europe and germany in particular reveal ignorance of the cause of the crisis and said they have the same flaws as your own economic policies. i wanted to get your response to that. >> first, with respect to mr. romney's economic adviser, i suggest you go talk to mr. romney about his advisers. i would point out that we have one president at a time and one administration at a time. and i think traditionally, the notion has been that america's
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political differences end at the water's edge. i would also suggest that he may not be familiar with what our suggestions to the germans have been. and i think sometimes back home there's a desire to superimpose whatever idealogical arguments are taking place back home onto a very complicated situation in europe. >> president speaking this evening from mexico. joining us now, steve cornacky, the senior political writer for thanks for being here. >> happy to be here. >> this is one of those days in which we have showcased what it means to be an incumbent running against somebody who by definition is not an incumbent. in terms of the political impact of what's going on in the international context l these pieces moving right now, president obama addressing a bunch of them as the live press conference. is this a power of the presidency verses a challenger
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moment as much as it is an obama versus romney moment? >> this is the best you get out of being a president. the entire romney campaign is premised on the idea that the economy is down, economic anxiety is down, and because obama is the incumbent president, people will want to vote against him because they need somebody to blame, and this is a tough climate, but this is an example where the optics are really favorable to obama and it comes in a week where obama has demonstrated the other powers of the presidency. you think about the immigration issue. that's something the president can do that has a clear and obvious fallout. he can set a policy and do it in a way that accomplished a political imperative and puts the opponent on the offensive. in terms of accomplishing something and being on the world stage like this while the romneys are being pastries,
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that's pretty significant, i think. >> they were doing pastries very, very well. they handled it perfectly. he was excellent with the rolling pin. in terms of the president's argument in response to the question, saying traditionally our differences stop at the water's edge, we have one administration at a time, bristling there, essentially, at the romney campaign having gone to a foreign publication to attack the president on the way he talks to other countries on the eve of the summit, the president calling on the romney campaign as a matter of decency and national interest to not attack him in that way while he's abroad. is that a beltway argument? do you think that has political weight? >> i think it can. and again, a lot of it has to do with the setting. for him to deliver a statement like that in this setting, with all of the flags behind him and surrounded by the world leaders, it can make romney look small. the message you're delivering is i'm the president of the united states. i'm conducting business of the united states here.
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serious issues with consequential figures. this is not the time to be dealing with this. i can come back home, you can call me any name you want. don't be doing it this way when i'm here. and i think the political culture has changed and is changed, it has coarsened, but it's been that tradition. that's not an empty statement he's making about the politics stopping at the water's edge. the romney campaign, we're going to criticize obama for everything, give him credit for nothing, but there have to be some limits. >> and the president, making -- i think it's a beltway argument, i think he's appealing to sort of bipartisanship minded people in the beltway who dominate so much of the beltway press corps to say you ought to be calling out romney for having done that. one further point on the issue of romney versus obama on issues like this, i was really struck today, steve, as soon as the obama press conference was over,
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and he spent a lot of time talking about the dynamic with russia and china towards syria that i talked about the introduction. as soon as the press conference was over, we get a tweet from senator john mccain who is no longer running for president, who is the last republican nominee for president, who has been the tip of the spear in terms of attacking president obama on wanting a u.s. war in syria, wanting the u.s. to get involved militarily in syria including arming the resistance and beyond. what does it do to mitt romney's position as an authority on foreign policy, as somebody who could be commander in chief, to have john mccain, still the guy holding the republican party's banner on this? >> i don't think it does much because romney, the few things he said about foreign policy, the few positions he has articulated, he's going for the i'm going to be as hawkish as possible. he's trying to duck the syria questions. you have mccain being more proactive there.
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but what he said about iran, romney basically saying i want the military option on the table, i don't want anybody holding me back. my israel policy is go to be the opposite of obamas. so the theme is from romney is to strike a hawkish note, and i think what he's trying to go for is this caricature of obama that emerged, jimmy carter ii, the mockery of the international stage. the country is going to be ridiculed. that's the image they wanted to believe in from the beginning. that's the image mccain is promoting, the image romney is promoting. and you talk about the visual impact of this. look at where obama is right now. is anybody laughing at him there? you can take that and contrast it with this and that does make a powerful statement. >> i do think that romney, if romney's implicit message is obama is weak and i'm strong, by letting mccain do all of his talking for him, we shall see.
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i appreciate it. >> very, very much to get to on an unexpectedly busy night in the news. richard engle is going to be joining us live from cairo with important news on a story that has been confusing all day, but richard is right in the middle of it, and there's nobody more qualified to explain what is going on there. >> and steve schmidt is joining us, and massachusetts senator scott brown goes somewhere i didn't think he would go and i think he should stop going to. please stay tuned.
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so, you actually reward people for staying with you? yep. the longer you stay with us, the more you save. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today.
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we've got richard engle coming up live from cairo, and also in the show, i'm going to have to say again tonight, what is massachusetts senator scott brown thinking? the latest cause for pause from perhaps the strangest senator in the united states senate. it's coming up.
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on a day of international drama with president obama in mexico giving his big press conference, meeting with world leaders at the g-20, with syria's last friends on earth being pushed to the edge at that summit, pushed to drop their support for the teetering regime in syria that is well over a year into using military force to crush a revolt by their own people, by a russian ship of attack helicopters bound for the syria government being turned back to russia. on a day full of u.s. politics turning its eyes to the world, not just the world economy, but to what is going on in the world more broadly, on this day, this
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happened, too. this is egypt. this is tahrir square. this is now. tahrir square, of course, the center of the revolt in the country of egypt more than a year ago. the revolt that toppled the three decade long dictatorship of hosni mubarak, he ruled with an iron fist for over 30 years, today, they filled the crowd again to protest against the continued military rule in egypt after the presidential elections there to replace mubarak, with those protests under way, then confused rumors by egyptian state officials and state media and then western media that maybe he has died. or no, that he is somehow clinically dead but not otherwise dead, but then word from mubarak's lawyers that he's neither dead or clinically dead, but he's on a respirate, and unconscious.
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but even a as we try to nail down the details, it is as of yet a chaotic situation in a situation that is in flux in the most populous nation in the middle east. luckily for us, richard engle is live in cairo in the middle of all this. richard has lived in egypt in the past, covered the revolution since last year. he's there now. let me ask you what you can tell us about the swirling rumors about the condition of hosni mubarak. >> it's good to be with you, rachel. he's had a bad day according to the reports. he's had a stroke, he has had a stroke in his heart, had a heart attack. his heart has stopped. he has been dead, he's been in a coma. these are all the different reports that have come out. the most specific one was from the official news agency that said that there were repeated
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attempts to revive him but that his heart had stopped and he was clinically dead or brain dead. we spoke to his lawyer who said that is not true, who maintained he's in critical condition, but he's still alive. we're waiting now for a statement from the egyptian military counsel which we expect is going to say that he's in critical condition, that he is alive, but we don't exactly know that for sure. and confirming he has been moved from the prison infirmary to a military hospital. that's a step when people are taken out of jail and sent to a normal hospital, even a military hospital, when they're nearing death or about to die. >> is this the death of, the death of life of one man at this point with hosni mubarak out of power, with the presidential elections under way, and sort of resolved if not totally resolved in terms of who will be
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replacing him. is this one man's fate or does it have intense symbolic importance and even political importance in this country still trying to grapple with what it's going to be in a post-mubarak era? >> i forgot to give you all of the conspiracy theories. they are that mubarak is perfectly fine, this is all a show in order to get him out of jail and put him with his friends in a military-run facility so he can be whisked out of the country and that the mubarak chapter can be closed while the military takes over the rest of egypt. there is an enormous power struggle right now between the military, which is represented by itself and by shafiq, the military's favored candidate who today by the way, declared he won the presidential elections, lest this weekend, and on the other side, the muslim
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brotherhood which yesterday jumped the gun and said it won the presidential elections which was the same conclusion by numerous counts by egyptian state media, which have also today proved to be quite unreliable. as this power struggle is taking place, both candidates claiming that they won. absolutely no trust between the muslim brotherhood and the military. you see mubarak suddenly whisked out of a prison facility and taking to a military hospital. so his lawyer says he's dying, in critical condition but still alive. and egyptians are trying to figure out what this means in their larger struggle, which has very serious consequences not only for this country but could risk potential violence in the next couple days. >> and richard, you have been so articulate and focused on trying to explain to american audiences the importance of egypt in that part of the world, how important it is that -- what egypt's
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future is how determined it will be for the future and the future of israel. in terms of how this resolves between the two candidates who are both claiming victory here, what do you think the process will be that will decide it? is the going to be people in the streets, is it going to be the military counsel that decides it? how is this going to end? >> well, it's supposed to play out like this. tomorrow, the electoral commission will announce the results of its findings of complaints, and generally, before this whole brouhaha had begun, the expectation is they would dismiss most of the complaints, which have been relatively minor at this stage, and then proceed on thursday, the day after tomorrow here in cairo, i guess everywhere in the world, after tomorrow, they would go and proceed and announce the final results. now that this has become such an
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emotional deadlock, it could be, and this is just speculation, that the electoral commission will decide to slow down this process. that they're going to say, we're going to exam all of the complaints a little more, and we're not going to announce as has been expected on thursday the results, maybe we'll push it back a few days to let some water pass under this bridge and to cool temperatures down. if that doesn't happen and thursday comes around and the electoral commission, which is the plan of now, comes out and says either shafiq or morsi has won and will be the new president, somebody is going to be very upset. one of the camps is going to be claiming fraud, claiming that the electorate was stolen. if shafiq's group wins, the muslim brotherhood and all of the people in the square today who will be very riled up, they are already promising a new revolution, and there could be quite violent clashes and they'll take the clashes up with the army.
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>> richard engle, nbc's chief foreign correspondent live in cairo tonight. as always, richard right in the center of everything and staying up into the middle of the night in order to explain it to us. thank you, i look forward to talking to you about this. >> sounds good. >> still to come, senator scott brown has an unhealthy obsession, which we'll try to shake off like trying to schuck mud off the end of a stick. >> and we have the best new thing in the world today all coming up.
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we do something on the show called the best new thing in the world today, and it turns out when a person has to miss a week of the show because they have laryngitis, there's something ridiculous like that, it turns out a person misses having a brand new thing to look forward to each day. i was gone for a whole week with this stupid voice thing, and now i'm back and we have the best new thing in the world on tonight's show. unqualified, great, apolitical news, something we thought was going to turn out badly, but it turned out great. i'm so looking forward to it. i need a new best thing in the world and we have one. yay! [ jennifer garner ] why can't strong sunscreen feel great? actually it can.
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the great state of nevada is one of the loneliest places in all of america. nevada is a seriously empty state, the kind of place a tumbleweed might roll for a long time before finding so much as a great lost horn sheep to cuddle up to. here's the thing, though, it's all about distribution, about the overall size of the state and the number of people in it. if you spread around equally all of the 2.7 million hearty souls who live in nevada, you would have about 24 people in each square mile, but the people are
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not spread around evenly in nevada. they're bunched up. in huge swaths of the state, there's basically nobody. look at this map. you see all of the dark green? dark green stands for around square mile that has an average population of less than one. if you're going to find people in nevada, you have to avoid the dark green, you have to go to the corner, the southeast corner of the state. roughly 3 of 4 people who live in the state live in that corner county, and even a lot of clark county is empty too, but the county is centered on las vegas where the lights are bright enough to see so you don't have to bumble around in the dark. in terms of acreage, nevada has plenty of it. in terms of people, politics which are associated with people, nevada really mostly just has this one place, it has clark county down in the corner of the state.
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and in terms of a republican party, that little corner of the state, clark county, nevada, has this. a billboard proclaiming the new clark county republican party, where george bush begat mitt romney, question mark, and ronal reagan gave the world the ron paul exclamation point. when this freedom of expression from republicans in the populated part of swing stated nevada made national headlines this month, the clark county republican party decided to try to distance itself from the anti-mitt romney billboard, saying the billboard was not the party's per se, it belongs to a member of the party's executive board. they said they're not even that concerned with federal elections even if they don't like mitt romney much. they presumably include the presidential one this fall that the national republican party is trying to win in part using nevada's electoral votes. the question is whether or not clark county republicans in nevada have been taken over by
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the ron paul movement, the answer is yes. does that matter to national republicans who really sorely, truly would like to elect mitt romney and who would like nevada's help in doing that? you would ask that question about iowa, too. ron paul won the majority of iowa's delegates at the convention. there will be 25 delegates plus super delegates, and of the 25, 21 are ron paul delegates. who won iowa in the republican presidential nominating race in 2012? ron paul won iowa, and ron paul also won iowa going forward beyond this year. in addition to the convention delegates, the new executive director of the iowa republican party is a ron paul guy. deep ties to ron paul. also, the party's new organizational director, the person in charge of iowa republicans' presence in the countries in this election year, also a ron paul guy, a backer of ron paul, and what's going on up there in alaska?
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in april, ron paul backers elected one of their own as the new party chairman in alaska. in may, following month, faced with a full-on ron paul revolution in the making up in alaska, the outgoing chair of the party who had been ousted by the ron paul guy, he urged alaska republicans to boycott the state republican party convention so they could deny ron paul coaches a corm, so they couldn't replace the chairman right now before november so the new ron paul alaska party couldn't send ron paul delegates to the national convention instead. in an effort to avoid that, the outgoing chairman in alaska urged the state's republicans to not show up at their own convention, to go fishing instead. literally, he told them to go fishing instead. >> i would encourage all of you
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>> avoid the state convention, go fishing. that's what the alaska republican chairman told the alaska republican party, and it worked. this month, alaska republicans largely stayed away from their convention so the ron paul revolution never got the corm they needed and in this presidential election year, the neuron paul dominated alaska republican party can't take over early. they couldn't hold this convention they had planned on holding. the ron paul crowd went away mad in alaska, some saying they had spent hundreds of dollars traveling to the event. beyond clark county, nevada, and iowa, and alaska, ron paul won a majority of the delegates for the whole state in the state of nevada and in the state of iowa, and in the state of maine, and in the state of minnesota, and maybe in louisiana. we don't have a final result yet for louisiana.
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so even as mitt romney seeks to consolidate the republican party faithful and steam toward the november election, the ron paul movement has been seizing the republican party apparatus at the state level. as of today, ron paul supporters are not only not falling in line on mitt romney, they are suing in federal court, more than 100 delegates for the republican national convention are suing the republican national committee chairman and the state republican parties, all of them, suing in that court's jurisdiction, and the chair of the parties, suing all of them. the delegates allege that the republican establishment improperly helped romney in his fight to win the nomination. they're asking a judge whether they as delegates will be, quote, free to vote their conscience at the national convention, which i think they mean, will they be free to vote for ron paul? he says he's in no way ready to indorse mitt romney because he
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says more debate is good. now, oddly, the republican national committee has responded to this lawsuit both by saying that it's frivolous and by saying it needs a serious response. which is a weird pair of answers. at this stage of the campaign, even in states that mitt romney didn't win, republicans are supposed to be standing up for the nominee, right? not suing for the right to support somebody else. does the republican party, particularly as a collection of state parties, does the republican party matter? does the institution matter? does it matter if a bunch of the state republican parties are emphatically not for mitt romney and there are instead for ron paul? does the machine that is the republican party make a difference in the presidential election? inside republican party headquarters, we are told tonight that top republican party officials are in fact worried about the way this is playing out and will play out. a top republican official telling us tonight the worries
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are about the ramification for the 2012 elections and also for beyond. joining us now is steve schmidt, republican strategist, notably for the mccain/palin ticket. steve, thank you for taking this on. thanks for being here. >> you bet. good to see you, rachel. >> does the party itself matter? for an election, in terms of having strong state parties to turn out the vote and fund raise for the nominee and deal with publicity and stuff, do the parties matter at the state level or do you get around that with outside groups? >> it's a complicated question, and to a large degree, the outside groups have destabilized some of the chief functions of the parties, on the get out the vote stuff, a lot of this will take place through the third party groups. when you're running a presidential campaign or you're in the midterm elections and you're working from washington, you want to be able to work with functional state parties. the fact that there are dysfunctional and uncooperative
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state parties is nothing new to the people who run both parties, and so this is an issue that the romney campaign and the republican national committee will have to work around. but of course, the party has ruled and the rules are designed as you move into the national convention to make it very, very difficult for insurgent state parties to go in there and cause to lot of mischief and disrupt the flow of the convention. so at the end of the day, it's probably not a big deal, but it's a has tool have to deal with. >> if you were an insurgent in the republican party, if you had a sort of long-term idealogical view the way i think the ron paul folks do, i don't mean that in a critical way, just the way i think they're oriented and you were advising them and could choose between winning a state party chairmanship and winning some sort of platform plank at the national convention, which would you pick? which would have more influence on the direction of the party
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and the goals of your movement? >> i'm not sure that either have a particularly big influence on the direction of the party. so for example, when you have a state chairman who takes over a state party and the state party's dysfunctional, it's no longer relevant to the political goals of electing a majority, whether that's on the republican side or the democratic side, typically you see something that is taking place in california, for example, where you know the republican parties become a small idealogical clubhouse, totally faded to irrelevance where they pass resolutions, denouncing the other factions, and it's a small clubhouse where people are relevant in the sphere of that small clubhouse, but no longer relevant in terms of being able to shape the outcome of an election. to recruit candidates, to raise money, to register voters, and that's the direction these dysfunctional parties will go. and of course, the money will
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flow to places where it's productively put to use, whether that's outside groups or whether that's cooperative county parties, and the people want a presidential campaign, they have to deal with it, work around with it, sometimes there are legal issues involved with it. they get lawyers involved, sometimes suits are filed. at the end of the day, all of this stuff is usually able to be worked around. >> i have to say, i don't disagree. you know this stuff better than i do having worked through it, but i have to say it has to be humbling to political pros that yeah, actually, the party doesn't matter at all. it matter if it works well, but if you don't function at all, other people will get the work done. it's got to be kind of a humbling feeling for the pros in the field. >> capitol goes to where it's welcome. and neither party want to donate money where it's going to be wasted, whether it's not going to have any productive function. so the state parties who become dysfunctional, that get out of
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the business of trying to support the nominee, trying to elect them, they end up starved for funds and there's a new chairman in the next year or two. >> steve, a guy who lives in nevada who is neither a tumbleweed nor a big horned sheep, steve, thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> good to see you. >> massachusetts senator scott brown gets weird again in the exact same way that he got weird before. that's next.
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we have a best new thing in the world tonight, straight ahead.
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something weird is going on with republican senator scott brown of massachusetts, again. >> just in case anybody who is watching across the country, yes, they're both available. no, no. only kidding. only kidding. only kidding, only kidding. areona definitely is not available, but she is. >> stop! >> this is ariana. and this is ayla.
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i can see i'm going to get in trouble when i get home. >> and that was his acceptance speech for winning a u.s. senate seat. when this previously unknown republican scott brown won the special election in january 2010 to fill out the reminder of the seat that husband been head by ted kennedy, they knew that 2010 was going to be a good year for them. they were going to have a good midterm election that fall if a republican like scott brown could win that year in a blue state like massachusetts. scott brown as senator has continued to be a cause celeb for republicans and their donors. he's been a top beneficiary of washington and hedge fund banks and maybe it's because of the national attention, maybe because he has a different kind of spotlight on him, but he has been a really strange u.s. senator. in terms of his political tactics. if that sounds like an oddly personal way for me to characterize the behavior of a public official, it's because i
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mean it that way. i mean it personally. because he apparently means it personally. just a couple of months after he became a u.s. senator, scott brown sent out a national fund-raising letter saying that i was running against him for his senate seat. dear friends, it's only been a couple of months before i've been in office, and before i've even settled into my new job, the political machine in massachusetts is looking for someone to run against me. and you won't believe who they're trying to recruit, liberal msnbc anchor, rachel maddow. i relish being an independent voice in washington. the democratic bosses in massachusetts disagree. they want a rubber stamp who will vote for their plans to expand government, and raise taxes. someone like rachel maddow. i don't think american can afford her liberal politics. rachel maddow has a nightly platform to push her far-left agenda. how about you? i'm grateful you are with me. thanks again for whatever support you can provide me, and i look forward in joining with you in victories down the line. sincerely, scott brown.
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in other words, hello national conservative mailing list. don't you hate rachel maddow on msnbc? she's running against me. send money! now, of course, i've never run for anything and i never will. i was never running against scott brown for anything ever, but he did not care. he just made that up, he raised money off of it, and he never took it back. even after i ran a full-page ad in the boston paper saying he was lying and i was not running against him, he still kept saying it. >> i'm going to continue to fight and do my job and work hard to do just that. and, uh, you know, bring her on. i don't care. >> "bring her on." bring on rachel maddow who is not running against me. i want to say i'm running against her anyway, even if i'm not. so when i say scott brown has been kind of weird as a u.s. senator, that's the kind of thing that i mean. and now he is doing it again. seriously, it is hard not to take this personally. the person who really is running against scott brown for senate is elizabeth warren, the middle
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class economics expert and so-called sheriff of wall street, who founded the consumer financial protection bureau and thereby did not endear herself to the hedge funds and wall street investment banks who have been scott brown's top supporters. elizabeth warren is running against scott brown, but senator brown has been very reluctant to agree to a debate schedule with her. "the boston globe" reporting that the senator and his staff have refused to meet with elizabeth warren or her campaign to discuss debate invitations or dates or terms for debating. this week, though, scott brown says he would agree to a televised debate with elizabeth warren, but he had conditions. and he said if his conditions weren't met, he wouldn't do it. his conditions are, first, that the widow of senator ted kennedy not make an endorsement in the senate race. seriously, that was one of his demands. and two, his second demand, scott brown also demands that msnbc not be the host of the debate.
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msnbc is not the host of the debate. msnbc was never going to be the host of the debate. msnbc never even got asked about hosting the debate. but scott brown demands that msnbc be removed as the host of this debate. and please send him money for him to run against his senate opponent, msnbc tv host rachel maddow. what is going on with senator scott brown? are other senators like this? the anybody else besides us at msnbc having to deal with a sitting u.s. senator constantly making stuff up about their hosts running campaigns against him and saying we're hosting debates that we're not hosting? does this happen to other people? incidentally, the ted kennedy's widow, vicki kennedy, says she's not agreeing to scott brown's demand that she not make an endorsement in the senate race, so that debate is off. but honestly, regardless of that, what is going on with scott brown? what is wrong with scott brown? senator brown, you are welcome to explain yourself here on the
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show any time, particularly because you keep making stuff up about me and this network. you are welcome here any time on this show. you're welcome even just to return one of our calls, ever.
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this is a great best new thing in the world today. this is a high school graduation, typical sight this time of the year. but these young women are graduates of a school set up specifically for girls who are pregnant or who have already had young kids. it's a school that supports its young moms with day care and with parenting classes, along with the traditional fall academic load. it is not an easy school to run, enrollment is never predictable, but at this school, the katherine ferguson academy in detroit, it is very much needed. and that is a fact that the detroit school board recognized when they kept it open when it
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would have been cheaper to shut down katherine ferguson. this time last year, the very existence of this school was in doubt, and an emergency financial manager in charge of the zroit schools decided that katherine ferguson academy was going to be closed. at the time, the young women of the katherine ferguson academy decided they were not having it. they started protesting, including in some cases getting arrested. we started reporting on their plight, on their fight to keep this very ambitious school open. and in june of last year, those girls and their founding principal, they won their fight. they kept katherine ferguson academy's doors open. they won. and them winning that fight last year means that this is possible this year. yesterday, 24 young women suited up in white robes, they put on their mortar boards, got their diplomas handed to them by miss andrews. miss andrews tells us that all of today's graduates, all of the graduates this week have applied for college, including this young woman, ikea dozier. she came to katherine ferguson academy 2 1/2 years ago. she's now the mother of a 2 1/2-year-old son.
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she was the valedictorian of the class of 2012 at katherine ferguson. she's going to be attending the university of detroit on a full scholarship. >> remember that our success is not ours alone. it is tied into our children. by getting our diplomas here today, we are giving our children a better chance at making it in this world. a lot of us are only here today because of our children, so they deserve our very best. i'm not going to sugar coat it. this journey we are all about to embark on will be rough. we will want to quit and to take the easy way out. but we need to promise ourselves today that we won't. we are all too smart, too strong, and too beautiful to quit. >> congratulations, katherine ferguson academy, class of 2012! you would not be here had you not fought for it, and by fighting for it, you won. best new thing in the world today. many happy returns.
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and we're going to begin this morning with the brink of death. egypt's imprisoned former leader hosni mubarak has reportedly been put on life support. a lawyer for him tells nbc news the ousted dictator is still alive after reports of his death spread on tuesday. the 84-year-old has been moved to a military hospital in


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