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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 4, 2013 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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and just like the military, which hasn't collapsed, the country hasn't been attacked. and, you know, the whole military isn't running out. i think the same thing will happen. it will be a short thing. and people will be fine. >> point well taken. mike rogers, thanks for your time tonight. i appreciate it. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening. thanks staying with us for the next half hour. happy super bowl hangover day. lots going on tonight, including our secretary of state and really excessively interesting increasing chaos in the home state of our secretary of state as republicans start to get very, very desperate to find someone to run for his now open u.s. senate seat. also today, the president gives a barn burner in minnesota. he says on the political issue where we are supposedly so politically divided that we can never make progress of any kind, he says on that issue specifically, actually, right now we have a national consensus that we can move on.
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that's all ahead. plus, the political right all at once, all in unison gets very vocally angry with karl rove. poor karl. frank rich from "new york" magazine is here on the show tonight. we've also got the latest conspiracy theory about the terrifying photo shopped secrets of president barack hussein obama. did you know his emotional name is hussein? the conspiracies about the president get even more conspiratorial than they have in years past. we're beginning with a big deal, a story you will not see anywhere else, because it is an nbc news exclusive. nbc's national investigative correspondent michael isikoff has uncovered something that is not classified, but treated as one of the biggest secrets of this administration. it's something the administration has been fighting over with newspapers and with congress and with all different sorts of groups suing them who have been trying to contain what mike isikoff has gotten closer
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than anybody else to naming. and it is happening right in the midst of really big changes happening right now in national security in washington. today in washington, of course, was secretary of state john kerry's first day on the job. he was sworn in on friday after his confirmation hearing and his confirmation vote process that were frankly a breeze. in the end, the senate vote was nearly unanimous. 94-3 to confirm john kerry as secretary of state. john kerry, of course, will be taking over there from outgoing secretary hillary clinton. john kerry joked today that he had big heels to fill as the new secretary of state. president obama's second major nominee to face a confirmation hearing was another national security pick, the former senator chuck hagel. his confirmation hearings for defense secretary were not a breeze. the vote on his nomination has not yet happened. republicans in the senate are now hinting that they might even filibuster chuck hagel's nomination for defense, which of course sounds normal, because,
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you know, it seems like republicans filibuster anything now. but in fact that would not be normal that would be unprecedented if they do it. the reason republicans are even considering doing this unprecedented thing is because they cannot block chuck hagel's nomination by normal means. even though the republicans have persuaded lots of the senators on their own side to oppose his nomination, they are a minority. and they have not persuaded any democrats to oppose him at all, at least none that have come out so far and said they'll vote no. now, there was that strange effort which seems to have been a right-wing effort to make it look like there was a democratic and left-wing opposition to chuck hagel. but honestly, it was ridiculous. and we had to pull out the bullpucky siren. it was this really ham handed fake effort to look like liberals were opposing chuck hagel, but nobody believed them and they stayed anonymous and never came out of the closet and said who they were. so no opposition on the democratic side of the aisle. no opposition on the left, except for the fake thing. and that means that the republicans would have to do something historically
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unprecedentsed and truly radical if they are going to stop chuck hagel's nomination. filibusters a cabinet nominee? unprecedented in modern times. now, they might try it. but it will be a huge deal if they did. a huge enough deal that it might even finally prompt the democrats to change the filibuster rules. so it's not likely. now, if you are looking for a high profile national security obama second term nominee who really might have some interesting opposition, who really might have some opposition from the democratic side, if not even from the left, it's not chuck hagel. obviously, it's not john kerry. the guy you are looking for is the one who is up this week. on thursday of this week, president obama's nominee to head the cia, john brennan, will face the senate intelligence committee for his confirmation hearing as the director of central intelligence. one of the very first thing president obama did you might remember when he first became president at the start of his first term in 2009 was that he dropped the bush administration's torture policy.
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remember, he did that right away. he issued an executive order two davis taking office to doubly, triply extra ban torture in the united states. at the start of that first term, newly elected president obama also wanted to nominate john brennan to be the head of the cia. but he didn't end up putting him forward. john brennan ended up taking his name out of contention for that nomination because of opposition to him being chosen. and the opposition centered on the fact that john brennan had been deputy executive director of the cia during the bush days. during the bad old torturing prisoners days of the george w. bush administration. so you're going to have a brand-new president who bans torture, but then you're going to put a guy who was there for the whole torture regime in charge of the cia? yeah, there was an effort made to make the case that john brennan had been opposed to the torture methods while he had been at the cia, but nothing in his known professional tenure backed that up. at least not enough to save his nomination.
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and john brennan withdrew his name from consideration that year and he did not run the cia during barack obama's first term. instead, he got the world's greatest consolation prize. he became a very close white house adviser to the president. his white house counterterrorism adviser, and he was there at a time when the cia and the united states generally were not known for torturing people. we are not known for torturing people anymore. what we are known for in the obama era is not torturing people, but rather killing them. on the same day that president obama signed that executive order banning torture a couple of days into his first term, he also signed this executive order to close guantanamo. now, of course, four years later, guantanamo is not closed, even though that was an almost first day priority for president obama. he still says he would like to close guantanamo, just as george w. bush said he wanted to close guantanamo. we have congress to thank for the fact that it's still open. congress has blocked the president's options for closing that offshore prison. but notice also that not a single new terrorism suspect,
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not a single new prisoner has been added to guantanamo since president obama has been in office. people have left by a number of different means, but nobody knew has shown up since barack obama was sworn in as president. we have not been shipping people to guantanamo, even though the president has not been able to close it. we have not been shipping terrorism suspects anywhere, really. mostly because we haven't been capturing them mostly. we've been doing something else. since 2002, targeted killings, targeted missile strikes have killed as many as 4700 people, mostly in pakistan. the highest targeted killing not by a drone, but by a navy s.e.a.l. team was of course the killing of osama bin laden in his compound in pakistan. the highest professional drone strike killing was this guy, anwar al awlaki. he was born in new mexico and killed in yemen. but between those very high profile killings, there have been dozens and dozens, ultimately hundreds of drone strikes under president obama,
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most of them mostly unnoticed in the news. tonight monday of president obama's inauguration, the first day president obama outlined this wide ranging liberal agenda for his second term, that same day there was a drone strike in yemen. and that drone strike on inauguration day followed drone strikes in yemen on both days of the weekend that preceded inauguration day. so we had drone strikes on saturday and on sunday and on monday, the monday the president was sworn in. it doesn't really make the news. one of the most unusual things about drone strikes for us as citizens in a country that does this is that for so long our country would not admit that we did them, even when we all knew that we did. that was the case. that did not change officially until april of last year. april 2012. and the person the administration put forth to do that, to admit that policy for the first time publicly was john brennan. >> so let me say it as simply as i can. yes, in full accordance with the law and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the united
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states and to save american lives, the united states government conducts targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft often referred to publicly as drones. and i'm here today because president obama has instructed us to be more open with the american people about these efforts. >> why exactly the obama administration thinks these strikes are legal. they say, let me say as simply as i can, in full accordance with the law, the united states government conducted targeted strikes. in full accordance with the law. we know that they do think it's legal. but they won't say why they think it's legal. the closest we have come to learning about how the obama administration justifies drone strikes is this. in the fall of 2011, "new york times" reporter charlie savidge wrote this story. this is about a week after
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awlaki was killed. the story describes a super secret 50-page memo written by an office within the justice department that effectively serves as the obama's administration's legal justification for why they think it's okay to kill an american citizen without a trial. now "the new york times" did not actually get to see this memo. they did not publish the memo, nor did they quote from it directly. the momentum mow was described to the reporter by anonymous sources. and that's when things got really weird. because after the times reported on the existence of the memo, the times reporter who wrote that story and another times report and the times itself and the aclu and other people tried to get the obama administration to release this memo. well, somebody from the administration who has high enough clearance to read it is willing to talk to a reporter about it. please, can we see it? everybody filed freedom of information requests. none of that worked. the freedom of information requests were denied. a and the government refused to
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even acknowledge that the memo existed. the obama administration and the justice department has refused to acknowledge if it exists. or should i say its existence or lack thereof is classified. but the times did report on its existence back in october 2011. and they filed their lawsuit back in 2011. and members of congress have also asked the obama administration to please release this memo. we know you think it's legal. why do you think it's legal? the closest anybody ever came to getting the attorney general to admit that this memo in fact exists was this very, very awkward moment caught on tape during a routine budget hearing back in march of 2012. >> i still want to see the office of legal counsel memorandum. and i would urge you to keep working on that. i realize it's a matter of some debate within the administration. >> that would be true.
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>> can i say that it would be true that there is debate about the hmmm. just last month, a federal judge named colleen mcmahon ruled on the lawsuit to release this memo. so they had filed a freedom of information request. they said no. they said okay, it's no longer a request. we're suing you, demanding you release this memo, and colleen mcmahon was the judge who received that lawsuit. and she ruled in the government's favor. she ruled that the government could keep it secret. the government could keep secret their secret justification for killing a u.s. citizen without trial. but what was amazing about this trial is the judge was so vocally unhappy about having to issue the ruling. look at what she said. quote, i can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret. quote, the alice in wonderland
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nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me. she added that she was omping in a legal environment that amounted to a veritable catch-22. john brennan faces his confirmation hearing to be the head of the cia on thursday this week. he will face questions from senators on the senate intelligence committee who will presumably ask him about his time in the cia of yore under george w. bush and his time as the face of the drone program under president barack obama. one of the senators who sits on the intelligence committee is going to get a chance to question john brennan is oregon democrat john wyden, who is a bit of a contrarian on the issues. he recently wrote a letter to john brennan asking for answers of his own about targeted killing and why it's justified and how it's justified. the questions themselves are so basic that they are almost more telling than some of the answers they could but probably won't receive. questions like, for example, how much evidence does the president need to determine that a particular american can be
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lawfully killed? also, this is one that sticks with me, does the president have to provide individual americans with the opportunity to surrender before killing them? sand are there any geographic limit tagtss on the intelligence community's authority to use lethal force against americans. including can intelligence agencies kill people under this authority in the united states. could the cia or any other intelligence agency come kill you if the appropriate high-ranking official in the obama administration, say president obama, decided that you were affiliated with al qaeda, and you were a threat, and you might act eminently to endanger their nation. could you then be legally killed as you lay in your bed? we may see on thursday how many of those questions john brennan will answer. but tonight, four days ahead of that hearing, nbc news, michael isikoff has obtained a document that is closer than we have ever
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gotten that supposedly justifies this, the memo that may show the justification for the american government killing american citizens. tonight we have exclusive reporting. joining us is national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. michael, thank you for being here. >> good to be with you, rachel. >> everybody has been looking for this memo. you have not the memo, but a white paper based on the memo. does it tell us anything that we did not know before about how the government justifies targeted killings of americans? >> yes. in short, it does. it provides detail. it fleshes out some of the arguments that have been made publicly, and in ways that in some instances contrast with what has been said publicly. now, to be fair, attorney general holder gave a speech last march where he laid out the administration case for targeted killing of americans. he gave a three-part test if there is an eminent threat of a
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violent attack against americans, if capture is not feasible, and if the attack is carried out, if the strike is carried out in accordance with law of war principles. well, let's take that first one first. eminent threat of violent attack. that's the way holder defined it. when you look at this 16-page memo, which i've obtained, which is a further legal justification, you see that that actually they refer to what they call a broader concept of eminence than direct active intelligence of a plot against the u.s. in fact, it explicitly states that eminence does not mean that the united states has to have clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons or interests is under way. if the u.s. believes that this the target has in the past been
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involved in such violent activities, and the target has not renounced such activities, it can be assumed that they are an eminent threat now, and that that would justify an attack. now, again, remember, we're talking about targeted killings of americans. we're talking about making decisions based on secret intelligence. and we see in this memo that some of the definitions are a bit more elastic and open to interpretation than the administration has publicly let on. >> mike, on the three part, so it has to be eminent risk. and you just described the broader concept of eminence, which is the phrase in there. >> yes. >> and that there can't be a capture that we're killing somebody because they can't be captured. there is also an elaboration on that which it seems to me seems to be quite a wide definition. i'm fascinated by the fact that we don't really capture terrorist suspects in yemen and somali and pakistan and these
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other places where we know drones, american drone strikes have killed people. people get killed there. they don't get captured. the definition for why a capture is impractical always seems to be very, very why. >> exactly. what the memo says is that there are relevant factors that could be considered, including whether they would be an undue risk to u.s. personnel in conducting a capture operation. again, that's a factor that was not stated publicly by attorney general holder. and raises a host of questions. what is an undue risk? who determines what that risk is? and how is this balancing test met? there is always language in there that suggests that if the host government where the target is located is not on board with a capture operation, that could be a reason to conduct a targeted killing as well. i mean, the problem when you go through this memo and by the way, we're posting it all on nbc
9:19 pm tonight, and people can read it for themselves, is that there is a lot of language in there that is as i said before, somewhat elastic, somewhat open to interpretation and can be defined in very different ways by different administrations in the future, by the way. >> michael isikoff. mike's story is now posted at and we'll have the memo up there as well? >> it should be up there now. >> congratulations on the scoop, and appreciate you being here with us. >> sure. lots to come. frank rich is going to be here. stay with us. we'll be right back. i feel so alone. but you're not alone. i knew you'd come. like i could stay away. you know i can't do this without you. you'll never have to. you're always there for me.
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president obama today traveled to minneapolis where he met with victims of gun violence and their families and with local law enforcement. the president then gave a speech in which he explained that he has done what he can do as president about gun violence. for more to happen, he said, congress must act. >> real and lasting change also requires congress to do its part and to do it soon. not to wait. the good news is that we're starting to see a consensus emerge about the action congress needs to take. the vast majority of americans, including a majority of
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gunowners, support requiring criminal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun. so right now democrats and republicans in the senate are working on a bill that would ban anyone from selling a gun to somebody legally prohibited from owning one. senators from both parties have also come together and proposed a bill that would crack down on people who buy guns only to turn them around and sell them to criminals. it's a bill that would keep more guns off the street and out of the hands of people with the intent of doing harm. we shouldn't stop there. we should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a ten-round limit for magazines. and that deserves a vote in congress, because weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools or threatening our law enforcement officers.
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>> the president today urging people to, quote, keep the pressure on your member of congress. also saying that that specifically, the ban on military-style assault weapons and a ten-round limit for magazines, quote, deserves a vote in congress. the president is sort of continuing to work the outside game here. metaphor doesn't seem exactly right, but it's basically the idea to get reform done inside the beltway by leaving the beltway. physically leaving washington, d.c., going out into the states, keeping the country's attention on this story by virtue of the fact that you are the president and you're out in the world talking about it. and thus trying to get grassroots pressure from outside washington to be brought to bear on members of congress. that is the outside game. the president said he was going to play it on this. and he is. now, back in washington, we're beginning to see how the inside game is going to be played. "the wall street journal" reports today that democrats in the senate are working on a bill that includes most of the president's proposals, and it is aimed at hitting the senate floor for a full vote next month in march.
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now, i say most of the president's proposals here, because it does not necessarily mean all of them. the expanded background checks is there. the bill that would come out of committee is likely to include a ban on high capacity magazines as well. but "the wall street journal" is reporting that what will come out of committee will likely not include the ban on assault weapons. the ban on assault weapons that was introduced last month by senator dianne feinstein, and that you heard mentioned again today by the president. now, that's not necessarily a done deal. that's not necessarily final. if that bill reaches the senate, the senate floor without a ban on assault weapons included, it is possible lawmakers could then amend the bill on the senate floor to include the ban. but they also might not. sam stein at "huffington post" reported today that the assault weapons ban might be strategically sacrificed in order for the rest of the president's plan to go through. sam stein reporting that advocates for gun control are not as concerned about the assault weapons ban as they are with some other elements of the president's package. jim kessler of americans for gun
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safety says, quote, if you are going to die at the hands of a criminal with a gun, it's going to be a handgun. and statistically speaking, which is what he means, that might be true. but it's not handguns that people remember from a tragedy like what happened at sandy hook elementary in december. it's assault weapons that now appear so difficult in political terms to crack down on. the other need on this show we heard from connecticut's new senator chris murphy, who represented newtown when he was first elected to congress in the house. he is now a senator and represents the whole state. we called senator murphy's office tonight to get his reaction to this reporting of how gun policy reform might move through the senate. he said, quote, too many people in washington want to eulogize specific pieces of common sense gun reform before the debate has even started. how can we wait for another state to join connecticut on the tragically long list of states devastated by gun violence? there would be more girls and boys alive in newtown today if
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the ban on military-style and magazines had been on the books in december. she does not yet have the votes she needs to pass it, but she is not giving. she has key supporters clueing dick durbin and chuck schumer. and remember, historically speaking, it was dianne feinstein who got the old assault weapons ban passed in 1994, and nobody thought she could have done it then either. on the other side of congress, in the republican-controlled house, the leading voice for gun reform is of course democrat carolyn mccarthy, who lost her husband to gun violence before she entered politics. she tells us, quote, i'm looking forward to seeing what the senate majority puts together, because it's clear that the house majority will only follow from there. so congresswoman mccarthy effectively saying that gun reform starts with the democrats in the senate. that's as ambitious as any of this is ever going to get. whatever the senate democrats do on this issue will set the bar for republicans in the house to
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compromise away from. you're never going to get any better than what you get from senate democrats. you might get significantly worse. in other words, aim high. the story line here is far from complete, but at least the arc of how this is going to happen is starting to get clear. my bad. tell me you have good insurance. yup, i've got... [ voice of dennis ] really? i was afraid you'd have some cut-rate policy. nope, i've got... [ voice of dennis ] the allstate value plan. it's their most affordable car insurance -- and you still get an allstate agent. i too have... [ voice of dennis ] allstate.
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it took until two and a half years into his first term as president. it took until more than halfway through his first term for president obama to put to rest the absolutely nutty electric kool aid acid test right wing fantasy conspiracy theory that he was secretly foreign, therefore secretly not really president of the united states at all. >> we do not have time for this kind of silliness. we got better stuff to do. i've got better stuff to do. we've got big problems to solve. >> it took that act in april 2011, the release of the president's long formed birth certificate to finally quiet the
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wild incoherent questioning of president obama's citizenship. yeah, right. of course, that did not quiet those conspiracy theories on the right. if those things could be disproven by fact, they wouldn't be very satisfying conspiracy theories. seeing the president's birth certificate did not satisfy the republicans, who had demanded to see the birth certificate. i know we said that's what we wanted, but we still don't -- can we do more of this? seeing the birth certificate did however dampen republicans' excitement for that particular conspiracy theory just a little bit. so they've had to come up with a new one. do you want to know what their new one is? that's coming up. that's our last story tonight. hold on. this is so sick! i can't believe your mom let you take her car out.
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course, former massachusetts senator scott brown announced via text message that he would not be running for the seat. that prompted jed lewison and the merry liberal pranksters at daily post to start a campaign to draft mitt romney to run for that seat. quote, with brown out in massachusetts, we must draft mitt romney for u.s. senate. draft mitt. no deferments this time. then much to the surprise and delight of the already delighted folks at daily kos, then came reports that not mitt, but some other romney was seriously considering running. the news came from the boston herald, which claimed to have learned that tagg romney was considering running for seat now that scott brown had opted out. and that was on top of the herald's weekend reporting that they were urging tagg to run for senate. maybe he was just the wrong romney. republicans in massachusetts just itching to get a romney, some romney, any romney back on
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the ballot this year. 23 points. but almost as quickly as the ann or tagg romney excitement had built up, it started to crumble. and by this afternoon, tagg romney announced himself in complete sentences with full actual words that he is not going to run for that seat. and i don't think ann romney is going to run either. and that leaves massachusetts republicans in a tough spot. no scott brown, no unspecified member of the romney family. right now the surest thing that massachusetts republicans have is dr. keith ablow, a fox news expert on psychiatry. he recently cowrote a book with glenn beck. he announced that he will totally run for senate in that special election, as long as massachusetts republicans unify around him and nominate him with no primary. what could possibly go wrong? that seems like a foolproof idea. did i mention he cowrote a book with glenn beck? but it's not just in massachusetts that republicans are having trouble coming up with candidates for the u.s.
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senate. in the great state of iowa, tom harkin has announce head is retiring at the end of this term, which means his seat will be up for grabs in 2014. and the really interesting thing is the polling on this race. when you poll just iowa republicans, just likely republican midterm voters, they want this guy. they want tea party birther guy steve king. steve king polls way ahead of his next closest primary challenger. the more moderate republican congressman tom latham. steve king ahead by 17 points in that republican primary matchup when you look at the polls. of course, when you put steve king up against the likely winner of the democratic primary, and you actually poll the whole state, all likely midterm voters in iowa, steve king, the tea party birther king guy loses to democratic congressman bruce braley. but just counter factual here, let's say the wacky tea party guy, the birther steve king guy didn't run off with the primary, look what happens when you poll statewide among likely voters and ask them to choose between the not steve king guy and the
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democrat, actually, the republican guy wins. in other words, the whole state of iowa would rather have the more moderate republican guy. but if you do not give them that choice in the general election, if republicans decide that what they're offering is just the birther guy, just the wingnut tea party guy and a democrat, iowa is going to pick the democrat. the republican who polls show will lose to steve king in the primary is these right now the republican who might have a shot in the general, which is to say steve king is already poised to be the next sharron angle, richard mourdock of the republican party, which is also to say this is turning out to be kind of a long-standing problem for republicans. all over the country, candidates who can win republican primaries are not the same thing as candidates who can win general elections. those two circles do not overlap. now, this guy, karl rove has decided he is going to try to cure the republican party of this particular disease. the karl rove-backed superpac american crossroads has formed a
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group called conservative victory project designed as a way -- described as a way to fight back against the tea party groups who elevate candidates who ultimately lose their seats to democrats in real general elections. "the new york times" reporting, quote, the group's plans call for hard-edged campaign tactics including tv ads against candidates who they see as unelectable and a drag on the race to the senate. honing in on the upcoming iowa race as an example, quote, we're concerned about steve king's add aikin problem. this is an example of candidate election. all of the things he said are going to be hung around his neck. this new plan to keep the fight the kookier candidates out is not going over well on the right. jim demint's tea party party for one, quote, this is a continuation of the establishment's effort to avoid blame for their horrible performance in the 2012
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elections. now they want to use this new pac to trick donors into giving them more money so they can lose more races. also, the club for growth, remember them? they're pointing to the electorally successful tea party insurgents of the recent past. they're telling politico, quote, they are welcome to support the lights of arlen specter, charlie crist and david dewhurst. we will continue to support the likes of pat toomey, marco rubio and ted cruz. freedom works compares these developments to everything from the "star wars" empire to the dystopia imagined by george orwell. they say the empire is striking back. the empire is striking back. an orwellian named conservative victory project is created with the sole mission of acting activists across the country. these blatant acts of hostility are typical of an entrenched establishment circling the weapons around entrenched incumbents regardless of performance in office. biggest problem with the republican party right now might be that these guys kind of have
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a point. yes, republicans have a very real, very identifiable problem with their primaries turning out candidates that cannot get elected in general elections. this is a pattern. this is a three-election cycle pattern now for the u.s. senate. but karl rove superpac, the same folks who are starting this new conservative victory project, those guys got a whopping 1.92% return on their investment in the last campaign. they spent over $100 million, and almost all of it went to races that they lost. so it's not like they're the geniuses here. remember, they're the geniuses who supported mitt romney and thought he would win, and were shocked that he didn't, to the point of making that nice lady from fox news go down to the decision desk and fight with those statisticians. it was so embarrassing. the question is not only which side is going to win this big intraparty fight, but also what will that mean for the future of the party. which side really has the potential to fix what is right? the great frank rich joins us next. stay with us. ies. well, technically i work for one.
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why should you vote for me? because i do not wear high heels. >> i'm not a witch. >> seamed remedies. why won't you answer whsecond amendment remedies. >> if it's a legitimate rain, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> todd akin, richard mourdock,
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sharron angle, ken buck, a the republicans's recent history of trying to win very winnable recent senate seats, and losing those seats because they picked really fringe ridiculous candidates. those interest type of candidates that karl rove's superpac now says it hopes to prevent from winning republican senate primaries going forward. i want wonder if they can do that. i wonder if they should. joining us now is frank rich, writer at large for "new york" magazine. frank, it is always a pleasure. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> people don't take advice from us when we give it to them, but i think we should give it to them anyway. it's not hard to see merits on both sides of this fight. the right is very upset with karl rove for even suggesting this, let alone pursuing it. and, juvenile, the tea partiers have given us todd akin and sharron angle. at the same time, karl rove's group picked winners 1% of the time or less in the last election. so who has the electoral
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credibility to win this argument? >> in a way, i think it's the party, the tea party side of things. as you showed in that poll, steve king is ahead in iowa because that's actually the base of the party. that's what they want. o and so it's very easy for karl rove to saunter in and say oh, well, we'll stop this. you can't fight something with nothing. he did not back a single winning candidate last year. so what is going to happen? that is the republican party. that's why they win primaries, and the republican party has a more serious problem, which is that's 30% of the country that holds those views, maybe more or less. they can win primaries. they can never win national elections. but what is this republican establishment that rove represents? it's money people. but where are the voters within the republican party. it's not just tea party, it's the real base of the republican party whether they call themselves tea partiers or not. this is what they want. >> i was struck by how unified
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the reaction against rove was on the right. i mean, all of the influential -- all of the right-wing blogs that are influential enough that a liberal like me knows to go read them. >> right. >> all of them unified fla influential enough, all of them disgusted with karl rove. it seems as though this is a very good day for steve king, the guy that the establishment needs to destroy, that is the best vote of confidence steve king has ever had. i am sure if he was never going to run for senate he will now. all the media, particularly the on-line media is unified here. is there a way for them to fight it or do they really just have to surrender? >> i think they have to surrender, i think what rove's game was, he lost a hundred million bucks from his donors, the people who basically support him. and so he wants their money. he said -- and what you showed. he said i'm going to do this by
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running ads, and stuff. well, that is not going to do it. the party is what it is, and so this idea that it is something else is a fantasy and they're going to have to get real about it and face the party they have and change it from within. not by stunts involving spending money on advertising. >> and how does that effort, them trying to change the party from within on both sides? i mean both sides are used to seeing themselves as insurgents. neither one likes to be called the establishment. karl rove says he is always standing up against the liberal media, like he is an activist with a plackard instead of an activist with hundreds of millions. how does that affect them in government coalition, particularly with democrats in stuff they want to do? >> well, they're way far away from that. the classic example is immigration. they know it is an existential
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threat, we have heard the establishment. the karl roves, the john mccains say oh, surely now we'll get behind the gang of 8 and do the immigration reform. they can't get the house contingent to support even that, which is like a knife at the heart of the republican party demographically. so it shows this will be a long battle within the gop that will rage on for quite a while. not least because the biggest donors are not necessarily in tune with the base. some are, like the coke brothers, but others on wall street are not with the base like on immigration, abortion, gay rights. >> taxes only. >> taxes only. >> it will be really interesting to see on guns, thinking about president obama out in minnesota today with all the cops standing behind him. on background checks in
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particular, 92 public support for universal background checks. if republicans can't figure out a way to support something that has 92% to support the republicans and democrat also on that, i think, i don't know what happens next on them. it will be fascinating. >> it will be fun to watch from our point of view. >> okay, you can turn your tv back on, we're leaving. frank rich, thank you. appreciate it. next, president obama skeet-shooting photo that of course is outrageous and fake, and communist and kenyan or something, we'll be right back. for over 75 years people have saved money with...ohhh... ...with geico... ohhh...sorry! director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so.... director's voice: cut it! ...what...what did i say? gecko? i said gecko? aw... for over 75 year...(laughs. but still trying to keep it contained) director's voice: keep it together. i'm good. i'm good. for over 75...(uncontrollable lahtuger). what are you doing there? stop making me laugh.
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numbers, jack welch started it, and then it became a thing on the right. it was made up. >> the economic data that the obamas peddled is just phoney. >> are they playing around the numbers? look it is the bureau of labor statistics, hilda solis works directly for obama. >> are you saying they're cooking the books? you are saying that, aren't you? the president faked the unemployment rate, he made it up. also the president is bulldozing president reagan's childhood home. >> this is one wall that probably shouldn't be torn down. this apartment complex used to be the home of a young ronald reagan, it was denied landmark status and the university of chicago is ready to tear it down. the university, which has close ties to the obamas is also trying to become the site of the
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presidential library. that has drawn strong concerns that they may try to turn the reagan house into a parking lot for an obama library. >> and then president obama will exhume ronald reagan, won't he? sounds terrible, to say that president obama is personally going to bulldoze something related to reagan, even if he isn't? and do you remember wing gate? it is the secret i am a muslim ring, the ring obama has been wearing for more than 30 years has the first part of the islamic declaration of faith. did i say the ring means he is muslim? no, i meant gay. it is a wedding ring, but it is a gay wedding ring, you can see why it would be confused. it is about the whole other theory that thinks he is gay, so the world thinks he is gay-married. others upset about this picture of the president throwing a football. in that corner of the right-wing
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media, president obama was not actually throwing a football in this photo. you see, you can tell because he is looking slightly up there. that is just unexplainable. why would you do such a thing? clearly it is doctored? there is no way in football, you always look to the down or side unless you're a secretly gay-married muslim, bulldozing reagan. now this, according to the right, this is not really the picture of the president shooting a gun. yes, when the new republic asked the president if he ever shot a gun, he said yes, he was skeet-shooting. according to them, this is not really the picture of the president shooting a gun, you see they can tell because the president is shooting with the gun sort of too flat. it is too straight, see, now, he is too straight. then there is the errant smoke where it shouldn't be. also the


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