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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 17, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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i wish you could see the students faces, they are bright, capable, they come to us eager to learn, and they are the true faces that are on the front line of this battle. and --. >> they deserve a better fate. i'll visit this school district, i'll visit the school district in the coming days. >> thank you. >> i want to see the students, see the conditions what you're teaching under and know why this money is not going to -- why is it a lawsuit? it's unbelievable. sara ferguson, george walker, thank you for your time, hope to meet you some day when i'm down there. that is the ed show, the rachel maddow show start right now. good evening, rachel. coming to you from wisconsin tonight, i have to tell you i have been summoned to the great dane, i'm on assignment, i have to report the entire story. so i have to go down to the great dane, a local spot and just see if it's really what they are serving is cold. i have to check it out.
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>> ed, i will expect a complete report when you get back here and if it's not complete i will have to go myself and complete your assignment. >> rachel, thank you, good to see you tonight. >> thanks, ed, glad you're there. thanks to you at home for joining us for the next hour. before the financial crisis, before wall street melted down at the end of the bush administration, when elliott spitzer was the crusader of new york, he earned the nickname "the sheriff" remember? the sheriff as in the sheriff of wall street. he earned that nickname because he kept bringing charges, big, public embarrassing announced at a press conference charges against the most powerful firms. merrill lynch, jp morgan chase, goldman sachs. in 2005 he sued an insurance company called aig. remember when america sharpened our pitch forks and outrage to aig to give bonuses to executives for their performance in destroying wall street after they got bailed out by taxpayers to the tunes of billions. remember the scandal? remember aig's role in destroying wall street, remember that aig?
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before they were that aig, before they earned that part of their reputation, elliott spitzer sued the pre-financial meltdown aig. he brought charges in 2005 saying that aig and two other firms were telling customers that they were three separate companies. three separate companies that were competing for your business to give you the best deal when in reality the charges said the three companies were working together. they were colluding, working it out amongst themselves to divvy up the business for mutual gain. fake theg were in competition. the most memorable thing about that case against aig, is that aig at the time was run by this man, hank greenberg. the other two companies that were supposedly according to the customer, totally independent but spitzer said were colluding
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with hank greenberg, the other two companies were run by his sons. three companies, dad, lad and lad in a colluding triangle to rip off america. those were the charges. hank greenberg, the dad of that alleged criminal triangle from aig, hank greenberg got forced out of the company in the ensuing uproar. he's still around. aig's old hank greenberg. want to know what he did today? he hosted a multi thousand dollar a plate fundraiser for the republican governor of wisconsin, scott walker here in new york. a zillionaire hosts republican governor scott walker while simultaneously at home in wisconsin where scott walker is supposed to be working, this was the scene today in wisconsin. today, people who have been organizing to recall republican
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governor scott walker from office walked boxes upon boxes of signed petitions to the offices of the government accountability board in wisconsin. these folks say they can't wait until the next election, they cannot wait, they want governor scott walker out of office now, before his term is up. today, they turned in their petitions to qualify the scott walker recall for the ballot. the minimum signatures they need is half a million. the organizers said they were aiming for 720,000. that would give them a nice cushion in case some were ruled to be invalid. when it came time to turn them in today, they turned in more than a million names. that translates to 3,000 pounds of signatures. and governor walker when signatures opposing you can be measured in tons, you may have a problem. this morning before the
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signatures were turned in, governor walker appeared on a wisconsin radio show explaining that no way were his opponents going to get a million signatures against him. >> the interesting thing, charlie, say they turn in 720,000 -- >> that put scott walker in office in the first place, in 2010. instead, what they got was nearly a quarter of the state of wisconsin's entire voting population. to sign the petition to recall scott walker. oh, but wait, there's more. organizers say they turned in 1.9 million signatures, about a million of those are for the recall of governor scott walker. they also turned in enough signatures to recall four republican state senators, should say four more republican state senatorss, earlier recall effort took two republican senators out of office in wisconsin.
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now they say they are going after four more senators including the state senate president. the bulk of the remaining signatures of those 1.9 million signatures, are not just to recall the four senators and scott walker but also to recall the lieutenant governor. wow. for the impressive show of force that today represents for the anti-walker forces in wisconsin, governor scott walker still seems sure of himself. at least he sounded that way this morning. >> we're going to get a chance to do what's never been done before, have a chance to be elected twice in the same term. >> you know, maybe he will be elected twice in the same term. with guys like hank greenberg and the cook brothers behind him, a billion percent, all the other motivated billionaires he has on his side, john nichols wrote about how 10% of the money that governor scott walker is known to have raised to stop the recall effort against him, 10%
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of that money has come from texas alone. with all that money, governor scott walker can presumably raid infinite money and maybe he will win when the recall election happens, consider the bigger picture of what is going on. 2010 was a huge year for republicans, not just at the federal level but particularly in the states. in 2010, republicans swept in office across the country. state legislatures, and governorships in particular. and then they started governing in the states accordingly. in wisconsin of course that meant an immediate move to strip union rights in the state, even though scott walker had never campaigned saying he would do that. the resulting massive wisconsin protests were the largest in the state's history. they led to the equally massive undertaking to recall the
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governor. a lot of people thought it could not be done, but it looks like it's going to be on the ballot. in ohio the same deal, republicans passed something called senate bill 5 last year to strip union rights in ohio. ohio voters repealed it at the ballot box in november before it could go in effect. they repealed it overwhelmingly by a huge margin. in maine, again, in an overwhelming vote to recall what the republicans did there, mainers got rid of same day registration, got rid of the law precluding same day registration for voting. same day registration for voting is something mainers were doing for four decades. the republicans got rid of it and mainers gave itself back the right of same day voter registration that the republicans elected in 2010 had taken away. also in michigan, perhaps the most radical proposal to emerge from the big red tide of the 2010 election, rick snyder's emergency manager law, giving him unprecedented power to in
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effect overrule local elections, to get rid of local officials to make it not matter who you vote for in your city and town if the state doesn't approve. this is the tape of the protesters marching to rick snyder's home. that law may be recalled by the voters. the people organizing that recall effort for that law in michigan say they now have enough signatures to get the emergency manager law on the ballot for recall in michigan, but they say today they are going to wait and gather even more signatures just to make sure they are absolutely covered. there have only been three recalls of sitting governors in the history of the united states of america. when a million people said today in wisconsin, they would like their republican governor to be next on that very, very, very short american list. the 2010 election was a radical landslide for republicans coast-to-coast. what we are seeing in the states, though, even if the
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beltway media doesn't care, never covers it, i'm here to tell you what we are seeing in the states is that voters in the states governed by republicans cannot wait until the next election to undo what they have done. they want the politicians and their main priorities out and they want them out now. joining us a lawmaker at the center of the recall effort in wisconsin since day one, john erpenbach, nice to see you again, thanks for being here. >> you too, rachel, thank you. >> when all this started with you and your fellow senators, fleeing the state to keep the republicans from stripping union rights in wisconsin, when you and i first met over that whole conflict, did you know it would end like this for scott walker? >> when we talked i thought we would be in chicago for a couple days and go home, work it out, obviously that didn't happen. here we are, less than a year later and we turned in a million signatures to recall the governor almost as many votes as he got when he was first elected in 2010. >> in terms of the magnitude of that, we talk about big numbers a lot in the news, not just about dollars, but often people,
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the million voter threshold is somebody nobody seriously floated before it happened today. can you give us some sense of how big that number is and how unexpected that was? it seems like it's much higher than even the democrats highest target. >> yeah, i was very surprised when mike tate the chair of the party said 720,000 signatures i thought that would be great. then i started hearing 800,000, 900,000, i thought that would be high, but a million is huge. think about it we had 60 days to gather signatures, thousands of volunteers were scattered throughout the state and on average gathered over 16,000 signatures a day. that is huge. that is a big, big number. so it sends a strong message not only to governor scott walker but all the republican governors throughout the nation who are thinking about messing around with collective bargaining rights or cutting funding to education and the list goes on. this is a huge wake up call if
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you're a republican governor right now. >> senator erpenbach, i have to ask you if you are considering running against governor walker. there is no single declared democratic candidate who is the obvious choice to run against governor walker, are you considering running against him in. >> it certainly is something i'm looking at. there is a lot of good people talking about it at well. one of my colleagues tim cullen one of the 14 out of beloit, the former county executive, tom barrett, what we are doing right now is to day is the day to celebrate in an ironic and sad day if you think about it on the state's history. over a million people want to change governors in the state of wisconsin. he has been in office a year and a week. it's celebratory and strange at the same time. it's making sure even though election hasn't been called yet, making sure the signatures are
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certified and move forward from there. >> in terms of your decision whether or not to run, and if you don't run, your decision about who you are going to support, who you want to be the republican -- excuse me the democratic nominee against governor walker, is there a litmus test for you? a specific issue or specific set of issues you feel like are must-dos, must-haves for any democratic candidate to really carry the party line against walker? >> obviously, it has to start with restoring workers rights and collective bargaining in wisconsin. it's larger than that. thousands of volunteers gathering signatures for thousands of different reasons. whether it's taking away from the badger care program or senior care program, over a billion dollars in cuts to the k-12 education system here in wisconsin, which is going to devastate the schools. the voter id law, probably the
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worst law not only this state has ever seen but the worst voter id law in the nation. there is all sort of reasons why over a million people decided to sign recall petitions so there isn't any one thing but this start with collective bargaining, making sure workers rights are restored and making sure wisconsin has a strong middle class. >> the op-eds were striking to see the petitions delivered to the accountability board while governor walker was the subject of a fundraiser hosted by the former head of aig in new york city. remarkable decision by the governor that would happen on the same day, but clearly he does not care. you don't go talk to texas billionaires, you don't let the aig guy host a fundraiser for you the day the petitions are coming out to recall you if you care that you are being seen to be supported by out of state billionaires. what is the plan to deal with the huge tide of money that is expected to support walker all the way through the recall effort?
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can democrats compete with that? >> i think so, but i think we can compete with bay slick -- basically with people power. financially, obviously the democrats will have to be competitive, this is a race for the governor of the state of wisconsin but this race is essentially a nation-wide race, with implications. republican governors are taking note today and looking at the signatures that were turned in against governor walker. we tend to think money will flow in from both sides to support both candidates whoever the democrat ends up being but make no mistake we're looking $100 million race in the end. i think it will be in the super pacs will come in with money from the corporations and so on and so forth, but you can't argue, rachel, a million people signed a petition to recall a governor who has been in office for one year and a week. that says a lot. >> wisconsin democratic state senator john erpenbach, i should note pointedly not closing out the possibility he might be one of the democrats to run against governor walker, senator, great to have you here, thank you for being here tonight, appreciate
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it. >> thanks, rachel. >> remarkable to think when this much money is being spent in politics on the presidential race, not only in the republican primary but what is expected to be spent in the general election, for the presidential race in november, before that election even happens and totally separate but connected by the important substantial means, another $100 million on this gubernatorial race in wisconsin. just incredible. this year has been so unpredictable and so expensive. we will be right back. i've been pushing food around to make it look like i ate it since before i could walk. [ sigh ] if only mom knew about kraft homestyle macaroni & cheese. i'd be pushing creamy, delicious oven-baked mac & cheese into my pie hole. but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.
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heading in saturday's primary in south carolina, mitt romney moved ahead polling now at 35% in the latest rasmussen poll. newt gingrich is the closest challenger at 21. look behind them, ron paul, right there along with rick santorum at 16%. there are two things substantively going on in the ron paul campaign right now. one is their strategy, which campaign staffers have been talking about openly with the press. that is they plan to stay in for the long haul. nobody is expecting ron paul to drop out of the race any time soon, except maybe those who think he's only dropping out because he wants to make a run as a third party candidate. dr. paul's plan is to pick up as many delegates as he can in every state that might award you some delegates even if you don't win. that means south carolina, also nevada and colorado. the plan is to avoid spending
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money in states that are winner take all, where ron paul does not expect to come in first. his plan is a delegates plan, a long-haul plan to marshall resources to stay in the race to get as many delegates as possible and not waste time trying to make some sort of case that doesn't result in delegates. that is the substantive tactical thing going in the campaign. the substantive policy thing is ron paul's race problem is getting worse. now it's worth asking whether ron paul's race problem is starting to feel like the republican primary race problem. last night on martin luther king day in south carolina, the last state to sign a bill to recognize martin luther king as a paid holiday there were five candidates. and there was fox news, very pointedly not asking ron paul about the fact he voted against the holiday recognizing martin luther king's birthday, also not asking him about the fact he would have voted against the civil rights act. the most obvious practical legacy of king's life and activism in electoral politics. ron paul was against it. he still is.
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fox news apparently didn't want to bring that up. on martin luther king day in south carolina. but it's not as if race did not come up at the debate. >> speaker gingrich, you recently said black americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. you also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. can't you see that this is viewed at a minimum as insulting to all americans, but particularly to black americans? >> no. i don't see that. [ [ applause ] >> take one janitor and hire 30 some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, they would be getting money, which is a good thing if you're poor, only the elite despise earning money. >> but governor -- speaker gingrich -- the suggestion that
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you made was about a lack of work ethic. and i got to tell you my e-mail account, my twitter account has been inundated with people of all races who are asking if your comments are are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. you saw some of this reaction during your visit to a black church in south carolina. you saw some of this during your visit to a black church in south carolina where a woman asked you why you referred to president obama as the food stamp president. it sounds as if you're seeking to belittle people. >> well -- first of all, juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by barack obama than any president
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in american history. >> and so that was happy martin luther king day from the republican party in south carolina last night. what followed that exchange is a standing ovation, look. republicans are calling an unprecedented standing ovation in a debate made for a presidential candidate, doubling down on calling the first black president the food stamps president in south carolina. apparently overwhelmingly white crowd that the debate booing a black journalist for asking questions about the food stamp president comment, about a white candidate questioning the work ethic of poor people and black people, and about frankly, the overarching theme the way he talked about people in his campaign. that was last night in south carolina. then at midnight last night, the new republic published excerpts from ron paul's newsletters. they have been around a long time because they weren't
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distributed electronically the process of collecting them and getting them online has meant the excerpts have come out slowly in dribs and drabs, we have seen excerpts, somebody purporting to ron paul, writing under letter head, ron paul said wasn't him passson advice about using an unregistered gun and wiping fingerprints off it if you use the gun to shoot a menacing black youth. the new batch of news letters elised by the new republic includes we don't think a child of 1 should be held as responsible as a man of 23, that is true for most people. black males, age 13, who have joined criminal gangs, are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such. ron paul news letters also advocate forward whites only homeland in south africa, also said that in this country, young black males are trained as children to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy
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as possible. it's one thing to campaign on the issue of racial division as newt gingrich did today, putting out an ad congratulating himself for his race comments last night. it's another thing to have this kind of racist baggage dragging around behind you like ron paul does, as much as he tries to distance himself from the news letters. there is a ton of this baggage stretching over a big part of his life and will keep coming out in dribs and drabs as people will upload it. whatever it means for the national contest of running for president, in south carolina, it does mean one very specific thing. in south carolina, race and party are getting very, very close to each other. african americans make up 25% of the voting population in south carolina, they did in 2008. in the republican primary in south carolina, in 2008, 2% of the vote was cast by african americans. in a state where john mccain's
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margin of victory was nine percentage points overall, his margin of victory among white voters in south carolina was 47 points. we talk a lot about politics and race. but sometimes it feels like politics blurs into race. joining us now is the host of politics nation on msnbc, al sharpton, reverend, nice to see you. >> nice to see you, rachel. >> is south carolina -- does south carolina have a different calculus about race and poll particulars than the rest of the country or is the the same? >> you have problems with race but clearly south carolina which is a state who tonight the state capital still has the confederate flag flying over it, has a real insensitivity to race, the confederate flag is on the official capital grounds. when you look at the fact that the problem of race expressed
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with voter suppression, voter id, a lot of policies, when you look at last night, how they actually cheered this kind of racial demogog's read that newt gingrich came with and booed this black journalist, juan williams, a black conservative, on fox. this wasn't al sharpton, this wasn't a civil rights activist, you get the picture that gingrich and others are playing to an element they believe to be there. >> they know that the -- if the 2008 electorate is anything to go by, they know in the republican primary they are thinking about something, a 2% black vote. they know essentially no black voters that they have to persuade in the republican primary. black people in south carolina by and large are not going to vote in that primary. what they say to lock up as much as they say of the white vote in south carolina in that republican primary, does it travel? does it drag around behind them
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and affect the way they can appeal to voters of all stripes when they go on to other states? >> absolutely. i don't think that the american public at large and particularly the independent voters that they will want to attract in november against president obama wants to identify with this kind of rhetoric, and behavior. when you look at the fact that this is blatant, this is not subtle, this is not an inference, you're talking blatant. newt gingrich says i want black people to stop asking for food stamps. not i want people, which he could clearly say. the majority of people in the country in america getting food stamps are white. he doesn't say i want people to get jobs. i want black people. ron paul's news letters toward black people, very blatant and specific.
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they are labelling that, they are saying that overtly and this is poisonous. what is most disturbing, though, is not one person on that stage said i differ, i think that's wrong, i think that we cannot have a party like this. they all stood there in their silence was consent to this kind of behavior. >> can you imagine the blood curdling screams. can you make if mitt romney stepped in and said that is inappropriate, can you imagine what would have happened in the room? >> they would have been booed and heckled but applauded by most americans that understand we cannot have that kind of behavior in the body politic of this country. and on martin luther king day for them not only not to raise some of the questions that you raised tonight, but to the exact opposite behavior, they started the debate showing the statue of martin luther king, the monument that all of us started our day yesterday in washington, and then they do the most anti-king,
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anti-racial tolerance, anti-bringing american people together debate that i've seen in my lifetime. >> what do you make of the fact that newt gingrich is really counting on you being mad at him about this? when i saw newt gingrich campaigning today, trying to raise money, he cut that exchange with juan williams today, to raise money off it today because he's so proud of it. the only way that ad will be augmented by the gingrich campaign is if they can cut in some liberals being predictably outraged about that. they see that as a badge of honor, something that helps them with the base and they can raise money off of. how do you calculate that? >> that is their calculation. they are thinking they are playing to a real element that is so far right and biased that they will energize them to vote for them. and it should insult white south carolinans because they should
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say what are you saying about us? and it is really cynical, because you remember president obama had secretary of education duncan, newt gingrich not doing education, gingrich has been in these communities with me and secretary duncan. he didn't say that when he was in inner cities with us. he said he wants to speak at the naacp convention, he spoke at the national convention, he didn't mention food stamps one time. he didn't mention having children violating child labor laws and becoming janitors one time. pull the tape when he spoke at my convention two years ago, none of that was said. this is a cynical, manipulation of racial demogog to get votes. >> reverendal sharpton, thank you, sir, great to have you here. >> thank you. >> don't forget catch more of the reverend al on politics nation airs weeknights at 6:00 p.m. eastern. it appears republican presidential front-runner mitt
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romney forgot the value of a dollar or maybe he never knew, either way he does not appear to know now. at least the way that he thinks about dollar is not the way you think about dollars. what that means for the 2012 election coming up next. ♪ like so many great pioneers before me, guided only by a dream. i'm embarking on a journey of epic proportion. i will travel, from sea to shining sea, through amber waves of grain, and i won't stop until i've helped every driver in america save hundreds on car insurance. well i'm out of the parking lot. that's a good start. geico, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent, or more on car insurance.
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two election news items today, both slightly mind blowing. first a appeals court rejected rick perry's appeal today to try to get his name on the virginia ballot.
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an earlier court ruling said only mitt romney and ron paul had met virginia republican rules for getting on the ballot in virginia this year. governor perry and several other candidates appealed the ruling. but today, the appeal failed. so the virginia republican primary ballot for president this year will look like this. mitt romney or ron paul, virginia. those are the choices. that's it. that is one news development today. >> two, is iowa. iowa is turning out to be nuts. i'm mystified by this. iowa republicans as you know held the caucuses two weeks ago, not the state of iowa that holds the caucuses. after the results were close, eight votes between rick santorum and mitt romney at 120,000 cast. the nation marvelled at the fact there was no provision for a recount in that state. the iowa republican party said okay there is no recount provision the unofficial results will be made official, they will
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be certified as official within 14 days of the caucuses. those are the procedures the iowa republican party established and released five days before the caucuses were held. within 14 days, see, says so right there. 14 days from the caucuses is today. so, who won iowa this year? we still don't know. there are still no certified results even today, even though iowa republican party rules say there are supposed to be results today. iowa republicans now say we shouldn't expect any official results about who won iowa two weeks ago until the end of this week. they are describing that as their goal now. so maybe they will meet their goal and maybe they won't. >> editorial comment here for a moment. if you want to run elections this shady in your party, you can do that, right? if you want to accuse everybody else of voter fraud and say how only you can be trusted to insure election integrity, you
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can do that. but you cannot simultaneously be the guys who run elections this shady and crow about election integrity. iowa republicans, you can't be both. [ male announcer ] new vis nature fusion cold & flu syrup. flavored with real honey. powerful cold medicine that leaves out artificial flavors and dyes and instead uses something more natural, honey. new vicks nature fusion cold & flu. ♪
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for the past few months we have been calling mitt romney mr. 22%. that is because no matter what he did, no matter how many opponents self-emulated, he couldn't get past roughly 22% in the polls. it was like an artificial ceiling he couldn't breakthrough no matter what else was going on. tonight there is exciting news for mr. romney. and some sad news for our nickname he's no longer mr. 22%. here what is happened to his numbers recently. over the last month, particularly the last week, been ceiling be gone, no longer stuck down in the low 20s. now all of a sudden the ceiling appears to be gone, he appears to be clearing 30% for the first time. in the larger picture, romney appears to be cruising. if you are the romney campaign, you are excited to see the
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ceiling gone and the poll numbers starting to soar. but at the same time that mr. 22% is being retired, mr. romney gave his campaign a new number to worry about today. if i were the mitt romney campaign i'm not sure if i wouldn't prefer old mr. 22% to the new guy he just brought on the scene. the new guy he brought on the scene is named mr. 15%. >> i the effective rate i have been paying is probably closer to the 15% rate than anything because my last ten years i've -- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income or rather than earned annual income. i got a little bit of income from my book but i gave that all away and then i get speakers fees from time to time not very much. >> mitt romney today explaining that the personal tax rate he pays is probably close to 15%. at the end when he said his speakers fees have earned him not very much money? what counts as not very much money to mitt romney?
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is $374, 000. that is what he earned in speaker fees in one year in 2010. mr. romney describing that amount as "not very much" did you hear what he said right after that? >> i get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much. >> an evil laugh for good measure, perhaps a monacle, wax to twirls your inky mustache? not very much money. the broader issue is not his fortune and what he thinks is funny. the material issue is what mitt romney wants to the country and what he would do as resident. the top tax rate is 5%, that is supposedly the richest people in the country pay. but if you're a mister of the universe financier like mitt romney you don't have to pay what other rich people pay. you get a special mini tax rate, 15%, lower than anything else who earns a paycheck in our
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country. the reason that the financiers mini tax rate is thanks in part to warren buffet. he has attempted to make a national scandal out of the fact that he, the third richest man in the entire world, pays a lower tax rate than his own secretary does. and when president obama came out with a proposal known as the buffet rule to correct that, to get millionaires who earn their money off investments to pay a little more so they are not taxed less than regular working joes, guess who said he would stand in the way of the buffet rule? mr. 15% himself. mitt romney saying that getting billionaires to pay as high a tax rate as say their seconds was the last thing i want to do. welcome not next phase of the campaign, the mitt romney's taxes phase. whereupon the nation learns that mitt romney's plan as president would be for guys like himself to keep paying their special mini tax rate of 15%. while everybody else, your fault
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for not being a master of the universe financier getting coddled by the system. >> joining us is jonathan cohn, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> i hope you will forgive me the evil laugh, i could not resist. i know you're more even handed than that. i don't think anybody begrudges him for being super rich, if he is the republican nominee does the subject of special treatment for rich people in the tax code, special treatment for rich people broadly economically speaking does that move to the center of the campaign? >> i certainly hope it does. and let's be clear why. again, like you said, nobody begrudges him making a lopt of money. he was a successful businessman,
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made a lot of money for investors and deserves to be well-compensated for that. but right now in america we have a tax code that inexplicably lets people like mitt romney get away with paying lower tax rates than secretarys and people and middle class people. here we have mitt romney coming along, not only does he seem to think that is okay, he wants to make thatimbalance worse. he put a tax proposal that would give benefits to the wealthy and depending how you calculate it and implements it you could see some poor people who after this year would see their taxes go up in the romney tax plan. >> mr. romney often gets credit for not being as far to the right as the rest of the republican field. i know you have been digging into his overall economic plan, his overall tax plan. compared to the bush tax cut proposals, compared to other familiar conservative policies, is he deserving of the credit
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for not being that far right? >> i don't think he is. i think for me, the current benchmark for what i would consider a really dangerously radical proposal to downsize the government is the paul ryan budget. what paul ryan proposed that came out of the house budget committee. you may recall there was a lot of controversy over it and there should have been a lot of controversy over it. he was talking about draconian cuts, a lot of them would have gone in medicare, you would have ended up in a situation where you have senior citizens who can't pay medical bills. all sorts of problems like that. not just for the poor but middle class. if you look dollar for dollar and romney proposed a spending cap and look at the number of dollars he wants to take out of the federal budget, he wants to
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take more money out of the budget than paul ryan did. now he hasn't said exactly how he would do it but one way or another, you are going to see huge cuts to programs like medicare, like medicaid, and it's not just the social services we're talking about. basic functions of government here do you like the fda inspecting drugs for safety? the fbi, roads? some combination will get massive cuts, if romney were to become president and get to implement his plan. >> mr. romney in political terms said any criticism of hits time at bain capital and what he sees as criticisms of his own wealth is just a function of envy, that people are jealous of him and anybody using that in political context is fuelling class warfare, is there a flip side what is offering overall in terms of an economic package? is mitt romney offering to make 1% problem worse or does he think he makes income and equality better, whether or not people agree with his plans how to get there? >> look, capitalism, people uses
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this phrase creative destruction, competition and people are going to feel the effects of that. we understand that. it's part of the way the free market works. how you create more wealth. but the question is what do you do about that? that is really what is so troubling about mitt romney. he doesn't seem to appreciate the fact if you will have an economy where people lose their jobs, where they can't pay their bills, someone has to step in and say if you lose your job we'll take care of you, make sure you get unemployment benefits and we will make sure you can't loads health insurance. we'll make sure you have good public services. >> thanks for having me. right after this show on the last word with lawrence o'donnell, the latest on the cruise ship disaster off the coast of italy.
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at least 7,000 websites are doing dark tonight at website, including wikipedia. the pioneering and hugely popular generated online encyclopedia will be among the most visible participants in what looks to be the biggest online protest ever conducted. google is not expected to go dark, but they are expected to put information about the protest, including how you can support its cause on the google.com home screen. other sites like my favorite blog, boingboing.net are going
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dark, as is the very popular readit.com, as is the picture-sharing service twitpic, although twitter itself is expected to stay live. the cause of all the consternation is sopa, the stop online piracy act, and the protect ip act. both laws are designed to crack down on content theft on the online illegal trading of copyrighted material. its opponents including most of the great and good of the internet machine say it will essentially make the internet government controlled. it will allow for the direct blocking of websites said to be trafficking in pirated material and other sites that link to any suspect sites, thus putting every web content provider in the very unweb ethos position of censoring not only what they upload but what they link to and potentially even what they describe. and so, mass internet blackout protest for 24 hours starting at midnight tonight. when the white house this weekend put out a statement saying the obama administration, quote, will not support

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