tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 22, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PDT
richard wolffe, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" joins right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, ed. thanks for joining us this hour. in what ways is mitt romney like an etch a sketch? >> is there a concern that the pressure from santorum and gingrich might force the governor to tax too far to the right that it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election? >> well, i think he hit a reset but the tonight for the fall campaign. everything changes. it's almost like an etch a sketch, you can shake it up and we start all over again. >> this is an etch a sketch. ed has one, i have one. i was always really bad at this. etch a sketch is made by the ohio art company. it's an american company that's been around since 1908. first in archbold, ohio, then in bryan, ohio. when the company was 40-something years old, they were approached by a french engineer. ohio art bought it and renamed
it the etch a sketch, and to the delight to people everywhere in the world who delight in drawing curving lines only bill virtue of great concentration and exceptional hand/eye coordination, an american toy phenomenon was born. in the late 1950s until the year 2000, etch a sketch was manufactured by workers in bryan, ohio. the workers were in a union. they were paid the grand sum of about $9 per hour to make the etch a sketch. that's who made this, until the year 2000 when the etch a sketch company outsourced their work to china. instead of 9 bucks an hour, the chinese workers got paid 24 cents an hour. they had a minimum work with week of 84 hours per week. now, that was bad, even for that part of china. and the workers there went on
strike to try to get the chinese minimum wage and specifically, to try to get more meat, more meat, more protein in their food allotment. they lost on that and the vik organizers got fired. confronted by this "new york times" article with the facts about how their product was being made, the etch a sketch company basically said they felt bad about it, but they felt their hand was forced because of price pressure from their major buyers, including toys "r" us. toys "r" us, for the record, is now owned by bain capital. so? >> bonjour. [ speaking foreign language ] >> so mitt romney, like an etch a sketch, speaks french. mitt romney, like an etch a sketch, also has a documented history of firing american workers and sending their jobs to other companies that have really horrible working conditions. but most importantly, mitt romney, like an etch a sketch, has a history of erasing his old supposed principles when it's convenient and writing new ones
to meet new political needs. which is why this etch a sketch gaffe by his campaign today is one of the most, if not the most significant gaffes of the entire campaign. and which is why mr. romney's rivals, newt gingrich and rick santorum, were both out on the campaign trail today, brandishing made-in-china etch a sketches. and which is why everyone from those republican candidates to the democratic party and democratic super pacs are already all over this thing. >> he said it's like an etch a sketch. he said, you just turn it over and shake it, and then you start all over. >> i was a severely conservative republican governor.
>> you have to stand for something that lasts longer than this. people aren't stupid. >> the mitt romney is an etch a sketch claim, made by his campaign today. the claim that the far -- remember the question he was asked here? it's the claim that the far right positions mr. romney has taken in the primary can easily just be erased and forgotten and replaced with whatever they need to be replaced with for the general election. that is important in this campaign. i'm not a person who jumps on the gaffe of the moment, but i feel like this is sort of a watershed thing. that is exactly the criticism that mr. romney's republican rivals have thrown against him since he has been running for president. and i mean, it's not just this year. they made this same claim in 2008, when he disavowed so many of his previous positions, to run as a 2008 model year conservative. and they have made it this year, as he's disavowed even those 2008 positions to run as a 2012
poll year conservative. jon huntsman made the accusation early on this year, when he called mr. romney a perfectly lubricated weather vane. remember that? the etch a sketch thing today makes exactly the same point, without the awkwardness of a lubricant reference. and with the added bonus that the romney campaign itself admitted it this time. >> he hit a reset button for the fall campaign. everything changes. it's almost like an etch a sketch. you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again. >> is this admission by the romney campaign enough to make mr. romney lose the republican primary to one of these other guys? honestly, probably not. i mean, it is possible. it is possible, never say never, but the smart money still says no. mr. romney has about half the delegates he needs in order to win the nomination. and frankly, and more importantly, he's got the wherewithal to get the the rest of the delegates he needs, mostly because these other three
guys really, obviously do not have the wherewithal to get those delegates for themselves. and because of that, the etch a sketch moment today may be more important as a general election matter than it is in the primary. it may be too late to upend mr. romney's prospects of winning the republican nomination, particularly against the kind of competition he's got. but how can someone with this reputation win the general election? because in the general election, it's not just a question of whether you can making yourself seem marginally more or less conservative than you might really be in order to please the voters of each state one at time, one after the other. in the general election, it is different. in the general election, you don't have to be any one ideological thing in order to win over the country. but you have to not be a liar. here's how else mitt romney is like an etch a sketch. it is not just speaking french, it is not just outsourcing jobs to china, it is not just fudging his conservatism, it's fudging everything, all the time.
and this is hard to talk about in the day-to-day news context, because there are such low expectations for politicians to be truthful, and the word "lie" is underused and overused to the on the where everybody's a little bit touchy about it. to the point that mr. romney lies all the time about all sorts and stuff and doesn't care when he gets caught is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign. it started in his very first speech, his kickoff announcement speech this year, he lied. >> when he took office, the economy was in recession, and he made it worse. >> that's a lie. that is a lie. oh, mr. romney claims, others say the response from -- no. that's a lie. the economy started getting better almost immediately after president obama's recovery act became law. his first policies to deal with the economy, right? but mitt romney still says this all the time. >> he did not cause this
recession, but he made it worse. >> he didn't create the recession, but he made it worse and longer. >> when he took office, the economy was in recession, and he made it worse. >> finally, after mr. romney kept saying this over and over again, an nbc news reporter ask police department romney why he kept saying president obama made the economy worse when president obama in point of fact did not make the economy worse. >> how can you continue to say that things are worse when they really aren't worse? >> i didn't say that things are worse. >> yeah, you did. mr. romney lied about the economic record of the country and when pressed, he lied about his lie. mr. romney also lies easily about himself. here he is, for example, at a recent debate, lying about his professional background and why he quit after one term as massachusetts governor. >> that would be about me. i was trying to help get the state into the best shape as i possibly could. left the world of politics, went back into business. >> "left the world of politics"? that is a lie.
mr. romney did leave the massachusetts governor's office in january 2007, but then literally one month later, he launched his first presidential campaign, in february of 2007. he didn't "leave the world of politics" and go back into business. that's a lie. and moreover, that is an unnecessary, unforced, but apparently very easily told lie for mr. romney. and speaking of mr. romney's one term in massachusetts, here's what he told an ohio audience recently about taking his massachusetts-based health care policy national. >> early on, we were asked, is what you've done in massachusetts something you'd have the entire government do, the federal government do? i've said no, from the very beginning, no. this is designed for our state and our circumstance. >> again, that is a lie. mr. romney said the country should do what he did in massachusetts. here, for example, is an op-ed that he wrote in "usa today." can we zoom in on the headline there? oh, "president obama could learn a thing or two about health care
reform from massachusetts," so says mr. mitt romney. mr. romney has, in fact, argued repeatedly that he supported a national health care plan based on what he did in massachusetts, including, specifically, the individual mandate that he now decries. he may find this politically inconvenient now, but that is the truth, and it's easily accessible by anybody with the google. and he still lies about it, all of the time, over and over again. this is not a normal amount of politician lying. mr. rom lies about himself, he lies about the president, he lies about policy. he lies about everything. it is beyond a normal amount of politician lying. >> while we've got $15 trillion of debt, he's said, look, i'm going to put another $1 trillion of debt for obama care. >> that is mitt romney lying. every congressional estimate shows that the president's health reform law actually cuts the definite by hundreds of billions of dollars. now, you cannot like it for other reasons, but mr. romney
says all the time that health reform adds to the deficit when in on the of fact, it cuts the deficit. mitt romney lies about it, all the time. >> he said he'd cut the deficit in half. he's doubled it. he's doubled it! >> yeah, no. unless mr. romney has forgotten what "double" means, he's lying. when president obama took office, the deficit was about $1.3 trillion. last year it was about $1.29 trillion. this year it's on track to be about $1.1 trillion. you know, if a number is going down, it's not doubling, it's going down. and anybody who says it's doubling is lying. mr. romney, you said president obama cut medicare benefits. that's a lie. you said the administration raised corporate tax rates. that's a lie. you said president obama has not signed any trade deals, which would be news to officials in south korea and colombia and panama, with whom the president has signed trade deals.
you said americans are the only people on earth who put our hand over our heart during the playing of the national anthem. that is not only a lie, it's absurd, and it's weird you would even say it. what do you do with a candidate for president who lice about even the stupid stuff? >> i can't trust him to tell the truth about what he advocates. >> you said of mitt romney, somebody who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when they are president. i have to ask you, are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> you're calling mitt romney a liar? >> well, you seem shocked by it, yes. >> if a man's dishonest to obtain a job, he'll be dishonest on the job. >> it is one thing to look at a candidate's rivals and say, oh, they're calling him a liar. that's one thing we call each other in politics now, but i sort of feel like these guys meant for us to be taking it seriously. for those who follow the 2012 race closely, and perhaps even not so closely, there are two broad narratives surrounding mitt romney. first, he is an out of touch
elitist who got rich by laying off american workers. second, he is a world class flip-flopper who's radically changed his entire political persona several times. in both those cases, he is an etch a sketch guy, right? but the shake everything up and invent your own reality side of him has a more serious implication, he lies all the time, really easily. he says things that are not true one nerving frequency, arguably more than any modern candidate for major office, and there are a lot of creeps among them. some dishonest in national american politics is frankly routine. it's too bad, but it's true. romney-style dishonesty is a sight to behold. it's different. he's bending the curve. no matter what your political stripes, americans deserve better in a campaign this important. there are enormous differences between the two major political parties, and the voters will have a clear choice between the parties' competing visions and policies for 2012. there's no reason that the whole country can't, in this next election, have a great debate about our collective future.
but that only happens when there are candidates representing the parties who respect americans enough to be honest with us. and at least for now, the man who is most likely to win the republican presidential nomination really seems unwilling to do so and untroubled by it. he seems to think he can get away with routine, almost casual dishonesty, in part because the rest of us calling somebody a liar either feels cheap or it feels somehow beneath the level of a presidential campaign. frankly, it ought to be beneath the level of a presidential campaign. but what is more radically inappropriate on a systemic, institutional level for us as americans, is that a man who may well take the oath of office in ten months is choosing to get to that podium on a foundation of utterly unashamed, unprecedented deceit.
we have some breaking news tonight from the world of republicans mandating forced transvaginal ultrasounds. in the great state of idaho, unexpectedly, that state's forced ultrasound bill is in political peril. now, this had been steaming right ahead. it's already passed the state senate. it passed the senate just this week, in fact, on monday, but it was not strictly a party line vote, which is maybe why we should have seen this coming. five republicans defected and voted against the bill, along with all seven of the democrats in the idaho state senate. it was during that final debate in the senate on monday that the republican sponsor of the bill made himself famous when he said, "rape and incest was used with as a reason to oppose this. i would hope that when a one
goes into a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage. was this pregnancy caused by perhaps normal relations in her marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape." saying that on the floor of the idaho state senate made that senator famous on the interwebs. he's the one on the front page of "the huffington post" for much of yesterday. here protesters are outside the statehouse in boise. this was the second big protest against the forced ultrasound bill in the next couple of weeks, in boise. did i mention that? inside the statehouse today, anti-abortion activists were performing ultrasounds on pregnant women before a live audience, under the banner, voices from the womb. the spokesman review newspaper is reporting that the ultrasound bill is either dead or nearly dead. the spokesman review reporting that a committee hearing scheduled for tomorrow on the bill has been canceled. the chair of the committee
telling the paper, "we are still looking for some more information on the bill before we proceed, if we do." unexpected. this move in idaho tonight actually follows a little bit of a pattern that i had not seen coming, but seems to be happening all at once. a pattern of governors on a whole host of different issues on which they were becoming nationally famous backing off from those things. backing off of things that they could have done because of their huge electoral majorities after they faced opposition locally and attention nationally. in new hampshire today, the new hampshire house, in which the republicans have a 189-seat advantage, they have an 189-seat advantage in a 400-seat body, in new hampshire today, they voted by a huge 211-116 margin to not repeal new hampshire's same-sex marriage law. same-sex marriage still legal in new hampshire. and the two-hour debate about repealing marriage equality saw
republicans lead both the anti-gay marriage position and the pro-gay marriage position. talk about a wedge issue. also in new hampshire this week, house republicans having already passed a bill through the statehouse that would force doctors under pain of prison to lie to their patients about cancer. it would force doctors to give their patients information specified by the state legislature that contains an inaccurate claim that having an abortion gives you a higher risk for breast cancer. having already passed that directive to doctors, the legislature realized that maybe they didn't quite understand what they'd passed or, if they did, they maybe weren't sure they meant it. now they have gone back, they passed this thing through the house, they've gone back it and put it through the committee process again to try to change it up after the fact, after they already passed it. yesterday, that committee voted to take out the felony prison time for doctors part of the bill. the concord monitor reporting on the move noted a sense of republican discord on the issue. reporting that after the vote, 10 to 15 of the members, many of
them republicans, saying they will vote against the bill when it reaches the floor. quoting with one republican voting with the majority, "i just as soon see the thing killed." the chattanooga times free press is also reporting today that an anti-abortion bill pending in tennessee is likely to undergo major changes, all apparently at the behest of the legislature's only physician, an anti-abortion republican who nevertheless says he will not support this bill unless, among other things, his fellow legislatures eliminate a provision that would require the state health department to publish online the names of doctors who perform abortions in tennessee. what could possibly go wrong? in arizona, the newly infamous "tell your boss why you're on the pill" legislation is also reportedly being amended by the republican who sponsored it. this is a bill who has already passed the house in the state of arizona, but nevertheless, "the arizona republic" is reporting this week that the sponsor of the bill is pulling it off the
agenda in a senate committee so she can work on some amendments before it goes up to the full senate. also, in utah this week, the republican governor there of that essentially entirely red state, gary herbert, he vetoed a bill that would have essentially banned public schools from teaching about contraception in sex ed. in explaining his decision, governor herbert said, "if hb 363 were to become law, parents would no longer have the option. overwhelming majority is currently choosing for their children. i'm unwilling to conclude that the state knows better than utah's parents as to what is best for their children," he said. with all of this news happening all at once, i think this might officially be a trend. republican lawmakers in the states backing down in the face of opposition locally and in some cases, very, very unwanted attention nationally. joining us now is chris hayes, the host of msnbc's weekend morning show, "up with chris hayes." chris, great to have you here tonight. >> it's awesome to be here. >> have we identified a trend? >> yes. so i think there's an optimistic
interpretation of the set of facts and a pessimistic one. so the optimistic one is the one that i think you're saying. >> which is rare, because i'm always the dark -- >> i know! that is true. but i generally agree with this. this is a position i've taken also, which is basically that liberals are winning the culture war. broadly construed, viewed over the sort of duration, the culture war has inverted. that basically the right made tremendous gains, sort of squeezing every last ounce of juice out of the culture war, until there was none left. and now things have reversed. they've reversed both because the victories the right have won have pushed them more extreme, and also because the culture has changed. particularly that true on gay marriage, right? on gay marriage, i think it's just, you know, we're going to win on gay marriage. we're going to win. it's a question of how long. there will be fights along the way, but the trajectory of that to me is very clear. i think that's the optimistic view and i'm partial to that. the one caveat, i would say, is that i think particularly in the case of abortion rights, one way to interpret what's happening is that the extremists have already
fenced in so much, the only ground that they have to march forward on is on such extreme ground that no one wants to support it. so in the case of mississippi, right, the mississippi personhood amendment, which was sort of the beginning of this trend that went down to defeat last year, there's only one abortion provider in mississippi. it's like, what battles are they left to fight in mississippi. so i think there's a degree to which the culture war victories that have already been secured by the right have forced the right into ever more extreme territory, because they have to keep fighting, that's what they do, and now they're facing backlash. but i don't know sometimes whether that shows the progress of liberals and progressives in beating them back or because they've gone so far off the map because they've won so much. >> i think it shows what the value is of having a conservative movement outside the republican party, that pushes the party into untenable electoral positions. i mean, nobody within the republican party would say, let's push mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds. but the absolutely doctrinaire anti-abortion movement will force republicans to take that
position, knowing that it's too extreme for them, knowing that it may even cost them the vice presidency for bob mcdonnell, it may cost them individual elections, but those casualties will be on your way toward your incrementally moving what seems like the center further and further and further to the right. >> right, and that's the other broad question about this. does this move the center further and further to the right, because it is constant -- and you've made this point before. it's constantly anchoring the discussion in more and more extreme places. or the does the backlash actually invalidate the entire world view that's pushing it? >> that's the most interesting question. >> and i think on the question particularly of women's sovereignty over their own body, women's self-possession of their reproductive abilities and their full sexual embodiment, that, actually, the extremism of the right has provoked a kind of awakening in women who are not formally particularly political on this issue, into being political on it, that will be to the great detriment of republicans. not just in the presidential
election, but in these local state races and state legislature. i think there, there is absolutely, i think, pretty unequivocal gains, politically, from sort of revealing just the fundamentally reactionary nature of the entire world view that brings you these -- >> and it is making the left, broadly defined, certainly people who are concerned about women reproductive issues and sovereignty issues, as you say, bringing their attention to state legislatures in a way that i think only the right was doing before. >> and also, i think there's a degree to which they can't -- it's harder for them to sneak things past now. i think that's a part of programs like this, but just generally the mobilization has shone a light on places where bills were getting passed, and it's much harder to do that in this environment. >> and these legislatures and governors have no idea how to escape it. >> exactly. >> i spent part of the day looking at mississippi governor
phil bryant's facebook page. like, i was stunned into silence for an hour and a half, going through all the comments. the mississippi governor, kansa governor, sam brownback, his facebook page essentially getting shut down, these things they're used to getting away, they have no capacity to deal with. >> no capacity. and we've seen this in the victories that have been accrued from the komen issue onward have come in the midst of a new cycle in which the backlash is overwhelming to the person who's sort of trying to push the issue. >> they can't handle the pushback at all. it's fascinating. chris hayes, host of "up with chris hayes," thank you, my friend. good to see you. at the angry center of the controversy surrounding the killing of an unarmed 17-year-old in florida is a gun law signed by governor jeb bush. we've got details on that, just ahead.
for 40 years, beginning in the late 1960s, the u.s. government paid for people in a place called palamara, spain, to go to the doctor, to go to the doctor in madrid. for 40 years, the american government paid for some palamarians to travel to madrid to get their yearly checkup. why did we do that? because in 1986, the u.s. developed two nuclear bombs on palames, spain. we dropped two nuclear bombs on spain in 1966, and they exploded.
now, they did not explode in the mushroom cloud way, the way that we think of nuclear bombs, hiroshima and nagasaki, but they did result in two dirty bomb explosions, right in the middle of the spanish countryside. why did we do this? and furthermore, what, we dropped nuclear bombs on spain? it was an accident. it happened because a b-52 carrying those bombs crashed into a tanker while it was in the process of a mid-air refueling. we dropped four nuclear bombs and paid for them to go to the doctor for 40 years tlaf. we shipped the radioactive spanish soil to south carolina and just waited until the whole thing went away. and that is so not the only time we have accidentally dropped nuclear bombs around the world. and even here at home. i promise. and if you ever find yourself
having dinner with me, this is the kind of thing i will go on about at length over dessert, which is why not everybody likes to have dinner with me. the accidentally dirty bombing spain story is the kind of thing that i found myself researching and reading about and obsessing over in my time away from doing this show and my radio show before this. it is one of the stories that made me want to write a book. so i did. i wrote a book. it's called "drift." the little green soldier on the cover, this guy, is the same guy who's on the cover. see? writing makes me crazy, so i didn't really want to do this at first, but i realized that there was a story that i was thinking about all the time, that i found myself reading about and researching in my time away from the show. i found myself talking about it with friends, sometimes even giving speeches about it, but it was a story that doesn't really fit into the format of a news show on the tv or on the road. the story i wanted to tell takes more time than it takes broadcasting. so i told it as a book.
the book is coming out on the market now. it's my first book. it is about politics, it is not about right versus left, republican versus democrat politics, it's about the politics of bombers, the politics of using force. how we decide about starting and ending wars, how that has changed over the last 30 or 40 years in a way that i think is a radical departure from the way we used to do it and the way the constitution says we're supposed to do it. it's about how we civilians got really separated from the wars that our country is fighting, so much so that when we ended the iraq war after 8 1/2 years, we civilians barely noticed. it's also about accidentally. dropping nuclear bombs in tomato fields in spain. anyway, i wanted to let you know that my first book is coming out, it's called "drift." you can order it now if you go to maddowblog.com. i have a little book tour going around. whether or not i get to see you when i'm out traveling, promoting this book, i hope if you like the show, you will consider reading.
this is hard for me to say, but aim proud of this. and i'm glad i wrote it and i do -- i would like you to read it, please. and if you do read, with i would like to know what you think. thanks for indulging. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word. you have yet to master the quiet sneeze. you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts. well, muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour 3. zyrtec®. love the air.
yesterday afternoon, in ft. worth, texas, somebody threw a bag filled with six molotov cocktails against the office door of a democratic state senator. senator wendy davis was not at her office at the time of the attack, but two of her staffers were. one of the staffers reportedly jumped over the waste-high flames, ran to the break room, got a fire extinguisher, and put out the blaze. there was some damage to the building, as you can see here, but thankfully, nobody was injured. senator davis was kept on lockdown by law enforcement for four hours at her law office, as a precaution. a suspect in the firebombing fled the scene and was arrested by police in a convenience store parking lot a short while after the incident. police say the man is 40 years old, he's homeless, he had visited the senator's office at least twice before he allegedly threw the half-dozen molotov cocktails. and while there is no indication that this attack was politically motivated, senator wendy davis has been in the national
spotlight plenty in recent weeks because of texas state politics, because of this guy. the man who was once the front-runner in the republican presidential primary before sputtering out in a series of really catastrophic debate performances is, after all, still the governor of the great state of texas. and since governor perry has been back from the presidential campaign trail, he and the republican state legislature in texas have made it much, much, much, much more difficult for low-income women in texas to get health care. this is week two of the shutdown of the texas's women health program for the state. and bending over backwards to prevent any texas women from getting cancer screenings, breast exams or pap smears from planned parenthood, texas effectively cut off hundreds of thousands of texas women from these services altogether. state senator wendy davis, the target of this seemingly random if not plain crazy firebombing yesterday is one of the many texans who has protested the shutdown this month.
they got a bus, the women's health express, you can see that there. they traveled around from rally to rally, making their presence and their opposition clear. at one rally, senator davis talked about being a single teenage mom, having been a single teenage mom, and having had to rely completely on planned parenthood and its subsidized and free health care in an earlier part of her life. >> i, like so many poor women, relied on that as my absolutely only source of health care. >> there's no reason to believe that senator davis' vocal opposition to governor perry's agenda had anything at all to do with the very scary attack on her office yesterday. but since the attack, she has taken care to appear in public, to show she's not afraid, to reaffirm her commitment to being front and center on women's health care in texas, and the other issues in which she has taken a leadership role in the state. >> i will continue to stand very strong for the things that i've been working on and believe in. i know our community believes
in, public education, job creation, and women's health care. >> joining us tonight for the interview is democratic texas state senator, wendy davis. senator davis, thank you for being here tonight. it's nice to meet you. >> thank you. thank you, rachel. nice to meet you as well. >> let me begin by asking you how you and your staff are doing after this attack on your office. i'm glad to know that nobody was injured, but it does sound like it was scary. >> it was. and it really sunk in for us overnight and through the day today. it certainly reminds us how vulnerable we are in the public arena and that we have to take extra care and caution in making sure that we're as safe as we can be. >> with the gabby giffords shooting, that tragic incident, not so far in the distant past, do you think, see, this is a very different incident that you went through, we don't understand the full circumstances surrounding the suspect in this case. it seems like he may have had mental health issues. i know he had previous contact
with some of your staff, but do you feel like there is a heightened risk for people who are public servants, who are politicians, simply because of being known, being seen to speak out on issues that may bother people for any number of reasons, whether or not they're ideologically motivated? >> i think that's definitely the case. and i think it's particularly the case in the climate that we're experiencing, in texas and nationwide as well today. as you know, rachel, it's been a particularly emotionally charged climate. you talked earlier in your segment about how in some ways, that's led to some important awareness and changes in some legislation that was heading down a, what seemed to be a certain path. unfortunately, in texas, legislation has gone down that path, and beyond that path. and people are backing more and more upset about what they feel is out of touch with the issues that they care about. >> what's the impact in texas of
these women's clinics being shut down all over the state? i mean, this isn't a proposal in the state, as you say, this has gone into effect. what's been the effect on texas thus far? >> you know, it came in two stages. in our budget, we had a $27 billion budget shortfall this session. and most of that was addressed through cuts in health and human services and cuts in public education. on the health and human services side, women's health care set aside the women health's program that is mostly federally funded, but on the state-funded side of health care for women, we cut our budget from $111 million to about $37 million. 244,000 women that were once receiving care went down to 60,000 women who could receive care. and then to add insult to injury, this pernicious amendment was put into the health care budget bill that excluded planned parenthood from receiving any women's health program funding. of course, the federal response
to that was that that is against the law. we cannot de-select a particular provider. and as a consequence, we've lost our funding entirely and another 130,000 women. so over 300,000 women in texas as a consequence of the last legislative session have lost their health care. >> that federal conflict over women's health funding with texas, bending over backwards to cut off planned parenthood and ending up losing that federal funding because of it, the texas redistricting law being blocked by the courts, the texas voter i.d. bill, one of the most partisan in the nation, where you can vote with having an i.d. for a gun, but not for having an i.d. with a student. all of these things made into federal cases, being blocked by the courts. i wonder if it sometimes feels to you like texas is sort of seceding. texas is having a lot of fights with the federal government over what it's allowed to do. >> no question. and it's just part of the political narrative that those
in the far right in the state of texas believe is something that there's an appetite to hear. the problem, though, it's really not in keeping with everyday texans. and everyday texans, i think, are growing more and more concerned about this attempt to disavow the sentiments that they hold so dear, respecting women's rights to make their own decisions is only one example of that. but you've cited a couple of others and i think we're going to see, as we've started to see, as these issues have risen in the national agenda, we're going to start to see reactions, especially from women in texas who say, this is not representative of the things that i care about, and i'm going to make a different choice when
i go to the polls and vote in november. >> state senator wendy davis of texas. i've wanted to meet you for a long time. i have followed your career from afar. i'm sorry it took this attack on your office to get you hear, and i'm glad no one was hurt. thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> senator davis, she's a remarkable politician. she was a single mom, teenage mother, got herself through high school, junior college, first in her class at texas christian, went to harvard law school, was on the ft. wayne city council, rookie of the year in the state senate. she filibustered the senate into a special session over funding the schools. she seems to drive governor perry nuts. you look at someone like senator davis in texas and seem to think, maybe texas democrats are not an endangered species. we'll be right back.
the killing of trayvon martin in florida and governor jeb bush's stand your ground gun law, next. in the spring of 2005, cable news networks, this one included, were transfixed by something happening in the state of florida. florida legislature was on the verge of passing into law a bill that in fact gave florida citizens the right to shoot somebody in a public place as long as the person doing the shooting felt his or her life was in danger. florida already had laws on the books that said you could use deadly force in your own home in a case of self-defense. but if you were in a public place you had been required to use all available means to avoid using that kind of force out in public. but this new law that was being debated, spring of 2005, said essentially, don't worry about the avoiding the use of force things out in public. go right ahead. shoot.
no other state had a law like this at the time. florida wanted to be the first. the florida state rep who wrote the bill was republican dennis baxley. in 2005 he took to networks like this one to defend his bill. >> this is going to be a safer state because you're going to have the presumption of law that this state is behind you if you're protecting yourself from deadly attack. this bill will help stop crime in its tracks. >> for proponents of florida's bill this was a matter of allowing people to protect themselves. from another perspective it was essentially an open invitation to shoot first and then claim self-defense later. >> if you have a feeling, if you have a belief that you're threatened, that you can react and react first, then you open up a whole pandora's box here. >> i don't think it'll create blood in the street but some innocent people are going to be hurt. >> some innocent people are going to be hurt. in the face of a fierce and national public debate about florida's bill, the bill passed the florida state senate.
then it passed the florida house. it was signed into law by the governor of florida at the time, jeb bush. jeb bush called the so-called stand your ground law, quote, a good common sense anti-crime issue. now former florida governor jeb bush is in the news today because after months of withholding his endorsement, today he finally came out and officially endorsed mitt romney for president. jeb bush is also in the news today for another reason. he is back in the news for that controversial bill that he signed into law in 2005. what you're looking at right now are pictures from a march tonight in new york city just a few blocks south of here. a march calling for justice for florida teenager trayvon martin. three weeks ago, february 26th, the 17-year-old was walking through his father's florida neighborhood when a local neighborhood watch captain saw him, called police and told them he suspected trayvon martin was up to no good. he followed trayvon martin. he chased him despite the police dispatcher telling him not to. after a series of events currently in dispute the neighborhood watch captain
opened fire on the teenager. he opened fire. that was not in dispute. trayvon martin unarmed but for a bag of candy and and iced tea that he was carrying, was pronounced dead at the scene. jeb bush's 2005 law, the stand your ground law, was cited by florida police as their explanation for why they haven't arrested the shooter in this case. that has led to not only these protests but to a sudden change of heart in florida among legislators there who went along with jeb bush in passing the law in the first place. yesterday in tallahassee a group of florida democrats called for that 2005 law to be reviewed, amended or repealed entirely. florida's controversial and unpopular current republican governor, rick scott, told a group of demonstrators he would support changes with the stand your ground law if something was found to be wrong with it. even the bill's author, dennis baxley said tonight he may seek changes to the law, his own law. when mitt romney accepted the endorsement of jeb bush today he lavished all sorts of praise on mr. bush. mr. romney saying jeb bush is
synonymous with good government and conservative policies that yield results. they do, indeed, yield results. this is why politics are important. because not only you as a governor, but everybody in that jurisdiction that you govern had to live with the results of what you do. until somebody else comes along to change it, right? and you have to live with the results of what you did in governance for the rest of your life. and for the rest of your political career. and sometimes those results of what you did in governance overshadow even what is supposed to be your big presidential endorsement day in the sun.
best new thing in the world today. and it is 100% politics free even though it happened in washington. ready? something happened at the white house today that was so riveting that all of our producers dropped everything they were working on to watch. there happened to be a camera rolling. look! when this female mallard duck went on a walk just outside the white house grounds with her ducklings. mrs. mallard jumps the concrete
barrier and goes inside the fence on to the white house grounds. the babies are too little to follow. the barrier is too high, mom. i can't make it. much to the consternation of the tourists watching the ducklings milling around, all bunched up, they're not sure what to do. the secret service, they're here to help. they set up a ramp. they give the ducklings a makeshift ramp which the ducklings do not use. they scoop up the babies in their tough guy gloved secret service hands. they lift the ducklings through the fence one by one to reunite them with mama and receive many loud cheers from the tourists. and frankly from all of us here at 30 rock and the rachel maddow show offices. once safe on the white house grounds the whole duck family found a nice little sheltered spot under a bush and were all happy together. it has a happy ending. the spectacle of elite law enforcement officers making way for ducklings at 1600