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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 14, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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mistake they made in 2008. stay tuned. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. our special election coverage continues with rachel maddow. "the rachel maddow show." rhing, good evening. good evening, ed. thank you for that. thank you at home for staying with us the next hour. it's now midnight on the east coast and the polls have now just opened in the hawaii republican presidential caucus. woo-hoo. aloha hawaii republicans. while we await hawaii's results, the big story of the night is the deep south. in alabama and mississippi, former republican senator rick santorum of pennsylvania is the projected winner tonight of the alabama republican primary right now, how much percent of the vote do we have in there? sorry. 99% of the vote in there. rick santorum projected to win alabama with 35% of the vote. mississippi, rick santorum has been declared the winner tonight in the mississippi republican primary as well in terms of a vote that's in mississippi, 99%
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of the mississippi vote in. rick santorum projected to win with 33% of the vote. this has most of all, i think this is important to say, because i don't think it's the way it's being headlined right now, but this is most of all a bad night for newt gingrich. let's be honest. it has been a great night for rick santorum, but it's mostly been a bad night for newt gingrich. and as a courtesy to the winner tonight, i want you to hear first tonight from rick santorum, because he did win, addressing his supporters in lafayette, louisiana. this us just a short time ago. >> we did it again. i just want to say, first, to the people of alabama, you made a great difference tonight. thank you very, very much for your support. we will compete everywhere. the time is now for conservatives to pull together. the time is now to make sure, to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election and the best chance to win this
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election is to nominate a conservative to go up against barack obama who can take him on on every issue. >> now, as good a night as this was for rick santorum, it has been that bad a night for newt gingrich. newt gingrich essentially staked his entire campaign at this point on a southern strategy. and he talked about it openly. this was all the -- the whole idea for him staying in the race, the whole justification was his ability to rack up delegates in southern states. that strategy has collapsed tonight. newt gingrich has lost in alabama. he's trailing rick santorum by more than 30,000 votes there. and he's also lost to rick santorum in mississippi. now, he's not losing to mitt romney and all mitt romney's money which has been mr. gingri gingrich's excuse so far when he lost. he's losing to santorum, the next big question in the race as much as he doesn't want it to be, is when is newt gingrich
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going is get out? if newt gingrich's billionaire, the funder in the case, moves to keep him in the race, is that a move to help mitt romney, to keep the conservative vote split so rick santorum cannot cleanly beat mr. romney and mr. romney will win by hook or by crook? mr. gingrich addressed his supporters in alabama within the next hour. he reiterated he's not getting out but is taking his campaign all the way to the republican convention in tampa. of course, they all say that before they get out. time will tell whether or not mr. gingrich means it. now, this may also be an appropriate time to take a step back and concede one of mr. gingrich's points tonight, which is that everybody's been wrong so far about the race to pick a republican nominee for president. i mean, the media, self included, really has been wrong all along about who was going to show strength and who was going to be viable. it's not just the media. it's also some of the insiders who have been really, really, really wrong about this race. for example, this guy's a real insider. >> we're going to win this thing with all of our passion and
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strength. >> that was mitt romney in marion, iowa, before the iowa caucuses, predicting that he would win iowa. mr. romney, of course, lost iowa to rick santorum. now, this was mitt romney's campaign saying in a web ad that south carolina would pick a president in the south carolina republican primary. south carolina actually picked newt gingrich who may or may not be a president one day, but despite what mr. romney's campaign said, south carolina sure did not pick mitt romney. and here was mitt romney yesterday in mobile, alabama, predicting who was going to win the alabama republican primary today. >> your generosity, for your warm reception, for your hospitality and for your votes. we're going to win tomorrow. we need your help. >> mitt romney saying yesterday that he would win alabama today. mr. romney did not win alabama today. rick santorum did. which is the kind of thing that might not be as bad a blow to the romney campaign if mr.
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romney didn't keep predicting out loud that he would win these things he can't win. the website, buzzfeed, generalizing from the unearned declaration of confidence, quote, mitt romney always thinks he's going to win. mr. romney did not win tonight in alabama. he did not win tonight in mississippi. both those states being called by nbc news for rick santorum. in both cases at this hour, mitt romney is not even just losing to rick santorum, in both these states mitt romney is running third. joining us now at great pearl to his circadian rhythm. also eugene robinson with "washington post" and also is an msnbc political analyst. thank you for staying up and being here. i appreciate it. >> happy to do it. >> good to be here. >> john, you said earlier tonight a bad night for newt gingrich in alabama and/or mississippi might render him a nonfactor in the race after tonight. even if he didn't formally drop out. now that it looks like he's come in second in both of those
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states, does it still seem -- does that still seem true to you? what are you going to look at to figure out if that's happening? >> i'm going to look at what other conservative leaders say over the next couple days. i heard earlier in a television interview a spokesman or deputy campaign manager for gingrich being asked about if he's going to drop out? the answer was, well, mr. gingrich says he's going all the way to tampa. it didn't sound like the campaign, itself, was all in on that scenario. so we'll see. the speaker has had his conflicts in the past with campaign aides, but i think -- i talked to one of sheldon adelson, the super pac donors for newt gingrich, talked to one of his friends last night who said, i think sheldon has written his last check. after tonight, if that judgment was roughly accurate, i think it's likely to be more accurate now that rick santorum won two. you have to say, this is a bad night for gingrich, good night for santorum. because it's bad for gingrich, it's also bad for mit romney.
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it's likely to extend and make more painful the rest of the primary season even if mitt romney ends up as the nominee. >> these may not have been must-win states, far from it for mr. romney. it's the effect whether or not it wiggles newt gingrich out of the race whether de facto or in effect. that would be what would make it so difficult for him. i see that. gene, mitt romney was soft peddling his chances of winning in the deep south. what -- what do you think about how this goes over with republican party leaders? who are already concerned about his appeal to conservative and evangelical voters? i mean, are mississippi and alabama a write-off for mitt romney, he was never going to win them so it doesn't matter, or is there disappointment in terms of his viability? >> there has to be disappointment, rachel. front-runners, eventual nominees really aren't supposed to finish third. lose close primaries. he called it, you know, something of an away game for him to compete in the deep south. he talked about cheesy grits
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inelegantly, but in a final analysis, he finished third in both states. and so i think the republican establishment figures have that same sort of unease that they've had all along about romney as the eventual nominee. look, the republican candidate is going to carry alabama and mississippi. that's not the issue. but there is something of an issue in that it's the heartland of the republican party and once again he has been told, we're just not that into you. >> nbc news political director chuck todd is pointing out tonight that despite finishing third place, mr. romney could ultimately win the night in terms of delegates if he sweeps hawaii and he sweeps american samoa tonight. is it possible, john, looking at the delegate problem which the
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mitt romney campaign is now saying over and over again it's delegates, delegates, delegates, not wins, wins, wins, does rick santorum have a delegate problem and can he fix it? >> he has a big delegate problem. he may not be able to get to 1,144 given the way delegates are allocated in the process and the size of mitt romney's lead right now. i understand why mitt romney's campaign is making a math argument. there's also a political psychology argument that santorum can make as he gets closer to a potential one-on-one match with mitt romney, and if he, for example, goes up to illinois and finds newt gingrich a shrinking force in the race and is able somehow to beat mitt romney in illinois, that would be a big blow to romney even if the math continues working in his favor. there are two potential math challenges. one is santorum's chance to get to 1,144, and it's very difficult, probably impossible for newt gingrich and clearly impossible for ron paul, but it's not necessarily impossible to deny mitt romney the possibility of getting 1,144.
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i still think that's the likely outcome. i still think mitt romney is the likely nominee. he's going to have to sweat and work and expend energy and financial resources on this process in a way that he hadn't been anticipating and he hoped he could have avoided if he got one or both states tonight. >> let me ask both of you about what's been sort of a sidebar story in this campaign, which is the fourth place finisher in both of these states, ron paul. he did not campaign in alabama or in mississippi. didn't spend any money there trying to win these states. he did spend some money trying to improve his chances in hawaii. the ron paul folks are operating in a very different way than the rest of the candidates are operating but you hear him using some of the same language the romney campaign is using, that it's all about delegates. they think they have a delegate strategy that will result in them having results that make ron paul a lot more relevant than he looks on nights like this. looking at standings like this. do either of you believe their contention? do either of you believe ron
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paul actually might secretly be more viable than he looks? let me ask you. >> viable? >> yeah. >> viable as a candidate? he's not viable as a candidate, but look, he can do well in caucus states because he has that kind of organization and he's focused on those states. and so he can go into the convention with some influence and some delegates. and get his ideas forward which is, after all, really what this campaign is about. he's not a viable nominee, no. >> john, do you see anything, any truth in their assertion that once all is revealed ron paul will secretly be doing very well? >> i see no truth to that assertion, and i think the situation is, as gene says, he will go to the convention, he will have some delegates, it just won't be very many. and he'll have some influence. he has some right now as the leading exponent and champion of the libertarian wing of the republican party, but we also know that he's got views on
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foreign policy that are totally an thetical to most of the republican base. that's the reason he's not winning anywhere. >> pulitzer prize winner "washington post" columnist eugene robinson. john harwood, correspondent. thank you both extra for your time tonight given the hour. appreciate it tonight, guys, thanks. >> you bet. there's a lot more to say about tonight's results from alabama and mississippi, and, yes, there was big news today that had nothing to do with the republican presidential contest. that's coming up. one more thing about the republican primaries. specifically tonight in the state of alabama. while it's the republican presidential primary getting the lion's share of attention out of alabama tonight, that's not the only game in town. there's been some really interesting down-ticket races in alabama, reflecting some national trends and national celebrity. in alabama's sixth congressional ticket, a ten-term incumbent republican congressman named spencer bachus found himself in a political fight tonight. mr. bachus is the subject of a congressional investigation over
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insider trading allegations. he's denying any wrongdoing, but those allegations have been dogging him for months now including in his home state. tonight he was challenged for his seat by a republican state senator named scott beason who gained national attention for sponsoring the toughest immigration law in the country in alabama. in that congressional district, spencer bachus coming in more than 30 points ahead of her challenger in congressional district six. over in alabama's first congressional district, another primary challenger for incumbent republican congressman jo bonner. he faced a challenge there from a far right tea party challenger who was a local businessman, but, again, jo bonner from tonight's results with 67% of the vote in, looks to be handily holding on to his seat in alabama's first congressional ticket. the other seat we're watching in alabama was on the alabama supreme court. you may remember the name roy moore. alabama judge roy moore got himself nationally famous back in 2003 when as a state supreme
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court justice he refused to order by a federal judge to remove a ten commandments monument from the grounds of the state courthouse. moore was removed from office by a panel during that incident. tonight he's been trying to win back his seat trying to unseat the current supreme court justice, chuck malone. look at the results. chuck malone, 25%. roy moore, 51%. that's with three-quarters of the vote in in alabama. roy moore has made himself a national conservative political celebrity in his time since he was turfed out of office. this looks like his path back in. some fascinating races tonight. even if you ignore the issue of whether or not it's newt gingrich's last night in the race for the presidency. stay with us.
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lots more news from mississippi, alabama, courtside seats in dayton, ohio, and american samoa. stay tuned.
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welcome back to a big news night in the republican primary. rick santorum sweeping two deep south primaries tonight. nbc news projecting mr. santorum is the winner tonight in alabama. nbc news also projecting mr. santorum as the winner in mississippi tonight. rick santorum was not in either of those states tonight. he was in louisiana, delighting in his big wins tonight before his supporters. watch. >> we will compete everywhere. the time is now for conservatives to pull together. the time is now to make sure, to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election and the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against
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barack obama who can take him on on every issue. [ cheers and applause ] if louisiana, missouri, illinois, and, yes, puerto rico, which we are heading to tonight, i might add, and we're going to spend two days campaigning in puerto rico because we want to make sure that everybody knows we're campaigning everywhere there are tledelegates because we're going to win this nomination before that convention. >> before that convention we're going to win the nomination. rick santorum delivering a victory speech tonight from lafayette, louisiana. at that point, in that speech, he knew he'd won alabama. he did not know he had also won mississippi. he was tdeclaring his intention to compete everywhere there are
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delegates up for grabs in this race. also, perhaps, hinting at hopes that mr. gingrich will step aside in the race when we called for conservatives to pull together. newt gingrich for his part congratulated mr. santorum tonight, trashed mitt romney in his speech. mr. gingrich did not announce any plans to step aside. listen. >> i congratulate rick santorum on a great campaign. he's won a victory in both states and worked very hard to achieve. it i know how much he's put into this campaign, he and his entire family over the last year. and i congratulate him on a positive evening and positive result. because this is proportional representation, we're going to leave alabama and mississippi with a substantial number of delegates, increasing our total going toward tampa. we're very grateful to you because you made that outcome possible. and with your help, we're going to take a much bigger delegation than we had yesterday. so thank you very much for that.
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i emphasize going to tampa because one of the things tonight proved is that the elite media's effort to convince the nation that mitt romney is inevitable just collapsed. the fact is -- [ applause ] the fact is in both states, the conservative candidates got nearly 7 70% of the vote, and i you're the front-runner, if you're the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you're not much of a front-runner. >> newt gingrich speaking tonight from birmingham, alabama, very much not announcing an end to his presidential campaign and making a good point there about mitt romney come in third but also rather sadly stretching to make the point that if you combined his numbers with the guy who actually did win, he sort of, if you think about it that way, did
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great tonight, right? if rick santorum and him can be thought of as having won together? it's not how it works. joining us now is steve kornacki, senior writer with, and this is very important, an msnbc political analyst. it's the first time i have said that. congratulations. >> thank you. happy to do it. yeah. >> mr. gingrich wants you to believe that he and rick santorum hand in hand really beat mitt romney in these states tonight. it doesn't work that way. everybody is wondering if newt gingrich is getting out of the race though he says he's not. what makes the difference as to whether or not that happens? >> i think the immediate question is the next test, the next big test is going to be illinois. before that comes louisiana. you have another southern state. the thing to look for for gingrich is this. we've seen in the last couple, in tennessee and oklahoma, tonight in mississippi and alabama, he's losing, he's not winning, but he's still very competitive in the states. you have basically a split between santorum and gingrich with santorum beating him out by a few points. if that dynamic holds in louisiana, in other words, if it
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survives and endures past santorum having the night he's had, i think gingrich may look at this and say there's sort of a permanence pockets of the cou and look ahead to the scenario, you get to june, the process ends, maybe romney is 100 delegates short of 1,144. gingrich is then probably thinking i'd love to be sitting on a pile of 250 and not be an inactive candidate, not have dropped out at that point. if he gets 25%, 30% in louisiana next week, i think he's going to go ahead with that scenario. >> it's crazy. >> if he melts down here, i think that's possible, and gets 10, 12, something like that and this becomes organically a santorum/romney race, we might see a reassessment. >> for people not just counting delegates, people watching to see the overall momentum in the race, who's winning, is it going to be mitt romney? no, it looks like if might not be mitt romney. there's no way to explain without talking about those numbers in that level of detail
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how conceivably newt gingrich might ever have an actual shot at this. >> oh, right. >> the idea to be able to say, listen, he won georgia and won south carolina so if he can win all the states in the south, the republicans might be able to believe they had to go with somebody who's going to excite their base. not being able to win alabama and mississippi, there is no narrative to explain the gingrich win other than other people might collapse and i might be left holding something of value. >> right. >> that's the anti-momentum plan. >> this is the story of newt gingrich's career. there's his own sort of dilutions, there's his odilution delusions. when this looked like a joke in history -- >> when the whole staff quit together. >> everybody said, why aren't you getting out of this race? i imagine that man took as a fundamental to use his term, lesson from that experience, never listened to anybody who's telling you what to do with your campaign. he did turn around and did win south carolina and georgia at the end of that. he's sort of been play with house money since then and to him, you know, he can still have some measure of relevance even
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if he and be the nominee. if romney is short and gingrich is sitting on a couple hundred delegates, he is relevant. that might be enough for him. >> and playing with house money is the operative term here because, of course, his major funder is sheldon adelson, the casino zillion their. couple things going on with sheldon adelson. i have no idea if this is relevant, but it's true mr. adelson was slapped with a multi, multi, multi, multi bill multimillion lawsuit today from gaming interests in macau which may make him feel difference about his spare millions. a big legal entanglement for sheldon adelson is brand new. john harwood reporting a close friend of sheldon adelson told him yesterday that adelson may have written his last check. mr. gingrich earn sizing tonight he has lots of funders, he doesn't just have one. does he need to make a case there are other people who care about him that isn't just the one guy in nevada? >> that's the problem. there isn't anybody of that caliber out there. certainly after a result like that, nobody's going to emerge. >> right. >> the calculation for adelson, i'm really curious about this,
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because he sort of made it clear in what he sort of let leak out there that, you know, gingrich is his friend, he'd like to have gingrich. beyond that, he does not want santor santorum, he wants romney. this is what we've been talking about since the beginning of the race. i can remember polls in the start of 2011 where you'd start adding up whether it was trump or huckabee or palin. we'd add up the conservative tea party evangelical vote and look at romney and say, wow, if they could ever coalesce around one candidate, maybe that would do mitt romney. they've never been able to do that. here we're seeing for the first time, illinois will be the test of this i think, the opportunity for conservatives to coalesce around one alternative, rick santorum, to have one clear shot at romney in illinois. i wonder in adelson looks at that and says, maybe i don't want my guy in the sideline. >> sure, i don't want to call to question in exactly this way. it's fascinating. steve kornacki, senior writer with and msnbc political analyst.
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yay. we're all very excited about. steve, thank you. >> sure. not a lot of talk among alabama and mississippi republicans tonight about voter fraud in these primaries. that's funny because voter fraud has been freaking republicans out nationwide and in alabama and mississippi for more than a year. which is funny because basically voter fraud never happens. reverend al sharpton joins us later for the latest news in keeping the vote down this fall. stick around for that. that's coming up.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of a crazy exciting night in american politics. the great states of alabama and mississippi voting today for their republican primary. going in, the polls were slithering around like snakes in the rain. this was anybody's race in alabama and in mississippi. it is not anybody's race now. nbc news has called the contest in alabama for former pennsylvania senator rick santorum. and in mississippi, nbc has called that race also for senator santorum. rick santorum takes the prize in these two neighboring deep south states tonight, and perhaps just as importantly, he takes two potential wins away from newt gingrich. yes, mitt romney may be the purported national front-runner, and in political terms mr. santorum is, frankly, making bigger gains against mr. gingrich than he is against mr. romney. mr. santorum is at least chipping away at the great personal barrier for him that is newt ggingrich.
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these were must-win states for gingrich though he's claiming he'll stay in the race despite losing in both places. when we get back, the latest news about the barriers republicans are building for american voters wherever they can. they played out in an interesting way in mississippi today. that's next.
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voters in mississippi today went to the polls for the first big election since the state decided to make it much harder to vote. in november mississippi approved new limits on the right to cast an ordinary ballot on election day. that particular right they decided should now extend only to people who can present an approved photo i.d. at the poll. many thousands of people in mississippi do not have an approved photo i.d. like that. maybe a quarter of all mississippi african-americans, for instance. they make voting harder amendment was heavily favored in majority white districts in mississippi and passed by a wide margin. the timing on this is really interesting. the timing on this, in fact, is critical to understanding the politics here. when voters went to the polls in mississippi today, nobody asked today's voters for a photo i.d. between november when they changed the law and today the
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mississippi legislature has not passed the rules that would allow this new i.d. requirement to take effect. state lawmakers have not implemented the new voting restriction in times to effect today's voting. they seem to be in no hurry to get the voting restrictions passed in time for today's republican presidential primary. we do not have the final numbers yet, but early exit polling today from nbc showed that 97% of the turnout for mississippi's republican primary was white. the state is almost 40% african-american, but nearly every voter today was white. so there's no need to make it harder to vote for today's election. no rush. here is the deadline mississippi republicans say matters. they want the voting rules tightened up in their state in time for the general election, the one for president in november, the republican secretary of state in mississippi saying he hopes the new rules will be ready by then and, quote, if we haven't got it by september, we're not going to have it.
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even if mississippi lawmakers get around to passing the new rules, the state needs permission from the federal government to make voting harder in that great state. mississippi is one of several states where elections come under special scrutiny by the federal justice department. that's a legacy from the jim crow days when african-americans were not allowed to vote in mississippi or had to pay a special prohibitive poll tax in order to exercise that right. that legacy is the same reason the justice department has also now said they will not preclear a new law in texas that blocks people from voting unless they show documentation you never had to show before. the justice department said the state's, texas' own data, showed that 600,000 to 800,000 people would be blocked from voting by texas' new law. a recent steady found people who do have the new i.d. you have to show to vote in texas, nearly one in five of those legal voters might be blocked from voting, too, because their address on their voter registration didn't match their
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address on their i.d. that would mean potentially millions of people would be blocked from voting in texas. but in terms of who does and who don't have this new documentation texas wants you to show in order to vote, texas shows that hispanic texans were much more likely than non-hispanic texans to not have the new i.d. a supposedly free i.d. for votes would in fact cost a minimum of 22 bucks in order to purchase the documentation to get said i.d., a $22 poll tax to vote in texas for some people. texas republicans considered making the whole process of getting the i.d. free and get rid of the poll tax problem. texas republicans considered making it free and then they deliberately decided not to. they deliberately said no. so then the justice department considered all of that and the justice department said no to texas, no, texas, we do not approve of your new law, now it's on hold pending a court challenge by rick perry's administration. just before christmas the justice department turned back a law to make voting harder in
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south carolina. saying the law placed an unfair burden on minority voters there. south carolina's government under governor nikki haley is suing to get its law approved anyway. the south carolina lawsuit comes with an estimated cost of at least $1 million in legal fees billable to the south carolina taxpayer. given the string of these, it's tempting to think of it as southern thing but it's a republican thing. south carolina and texas and mississippi, and alabama, too, for that matter, are some of the republican-dominated states that passed laws to make voting harder since the last election. another state where republicans did the same thing is wisconsin. but judges in the state courts there have put that voting restriction bill on hold as well. on thursday, the bill was temporarily blocked by a madison judge after he heard testimony that more than 200,000 wisconsin residents who are otherwise legally qualified to vote could not vote under the restrictions of the new law.
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yesterday that temporary injunction against the law was replaced by a permanent one after another madison judge reviewed the law. scott walker's administration is appealing and they are raising money off of the issue. but it all puts in doubt whether wisconsin's new make it harder to vote law will be in effect for november. in wisconsin the november election will be one of those elections that features not just a presidential race but also an issue of major statewide importance. likely, the recall of governor the scott walker, himself. this was the scene this weekend, crowds gathering at the state capitol to mark the anniversary of scott walker signing union stripping legislation a year ago. tens of thousands of people turning out in madison. union stripping bill a decision that turned the state inside out with rage and led to the recall plans for the governor. joining us is reverend al sharpton, host of "politics nation" on msnbc, and founder of the national action network. last week the rernd led a march
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from selma, alabama, to the state capital in montgomery restoring the historic marches of 1965. thank you for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> you came off the road in alabama, voting tonight in their primary, obviously. to you think the challenge to voting rights in alabama, in mississippi, even in places like wisconsin, is it 1965 all over again? or do you think that this is a different kind of story now? >> i think it the same spirit of '65. i think that we've gone from poll tax to now photo i.d., like we've gone from jim crow to james crow jr. esquire. it's more polished, more sophisticated, but the results are the same. if you have an impact disproportionate on poor people, working class people, students who don't have this kind of photo i.d., seniors, and minorities, it's designed to stifle a vote. well, that's what dr. king and others fought in '65, they were
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outright wouldn't let people vote. here you're putting an impediment there but you know what the results will be. and it's fixing a problem that doesn't exist. there is no massive voter fraud. there was 000.3% according to the bush administration of fraud they found. why are we changing the law when there is no reason to change i.d.? i mean, why not use the same i.d.? we're not against i.d. the same i.d. we use when reagan ran or clinton ran or both bushes ran. why all of a sudden now do we need it? if you really feared fraud, why didn't you fear today during the republican primaries? you only feared it in the general election because you're only targeting trying to make it difficult for certain people to vote. >> looking at the justice department's letter to texas about blocking the texas law, couple things in there were fascinating. first of all, they pointed out texas offered no evidence at all. they were asked to provide it. offered no evidence of any voter
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impersonation fraud which is any kind of fraud that would be supposedly stopped by this. they also noted, though, that texas did not even submit information on what proportion of african-americans or asian-americans didn't have the kind of i.d. they'd need to vote. they submitted it for hispanics, didn't submit it for african-americans, they didn't document what might be the racial disparity there. what do you think is going on there? >> the documentation would have bolstered the questions that those of us have raised from the civil rights and labor community and the justice department has come and said there is no documentation here to argue against the fact that it is a disproportionate impact against these groups of being able to vote. and here we are all over the world fighting for democracy, but we're trying to limit those that are participating in the democratic process at home. it a glaring contradiction and in our feelings, it violates
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voter rights and we intend to fight. >> the texas case, texas almost maid made it too easy. you can argue, it isn't about race. even though it has a disproportionate racial impact you can make that same argument about the poll tax. texas did this nice thing where they decided the voter i.d. that would count includes your license to carry a gun but not your student i.d. >> not a student i. d. but your gun i.d. in georgia you can use from certain state universities, not from certain historic black colleges. i mean, they have not been very subtle about it i think our job was to make it public and the justice department's job is right, they have to pre-clear where there is a disproportionate impact on are minority voters. it is ironic to me and insulting that we would, as a nation, celebrate dr. king and then undermine what dr. king is being celebrated for. one of them is voter rights.
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>> reverend al sharpton, host of "politics nation" on this very network. reverend al, i have to say not only do i enjoy your show very much, which you know, but seeing your recent success. you've been banging in ratings lately. congratulations. >> thank you. i'm told to be like you. >> that's backwards. all right. you can watch "politics nation" on msnbc weeknight on 6:00 p.m., and you should. it's good and it's good for you.
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lots and lots and lots and lots of other stuff happened in the news today out the republican presidential nominating contest. i know, weird, right? some of that stuff and some more from tonight's results all ahead.
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on days like this, election nights like this, it's easy for all the other news in the news world to be crowded out by what's going on in politics. frankly, given what's going on in alabama, mississippi -- and in mississippi tonight, being riveted by electoral politics is totally forgivable in america right now. especially on a night like this. but just so you know what else is going on in the world, in the meantime, today "the new york times" published the perhaps inevitable blind-sourced story about what might change in terms of the war in aftghanistan in te wake of this week's shooting rampage that killed 16 civilians, allegedly, at the hands of a lone u.s. army staff sergeant. the u.s. has apologized for the
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incident objectly. while u.s. veterans and their supporters are doing everything they can to stop the public here from conflating the insane alleged actions of one soldiers with veterans broadly, well, afghan government officials got shot at today when they showed up at the site of the massacre in southern afghanistan to investigate there. the historic overarching question is whether or not this incident gives the obama administration a greater sense of urgency for its low -- excuse me, it's long, slow plan to draw down and end the afghanistan war. "the new york times'" report on this suggests differences of opinion within the administration. talks going on, nonetheless, about the pace of withdrawal from afghanistan. these are talks that started before this weekend's massacre but that are now worth blind-sourced items on the front page in the right hand column of "the new york times." now that that massacre has happened. also, meanwhile, after the united states, the country that
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has the most troops fighting in afghanistan is britain. a country where public opinion has swung very much against that war. david cameron, the conservative british prime minister, arrived in washington today for his first official visit here. over the next three days, the prime minister and president obama are expected to talk about troop levels in afghanistan. >> we must do everything we can do make sure it doesn't derail the good work american and british and other forces are doing in afghanistan. it is worth remembering why we're in afghanistan. we're there to train up the afghan army and police so the country is able to look after its own security. >> also on the agenda for this big trip for the british prime minister besides talking about the future of the car, basketball apparently. president obama and prime minister cameron attended an ncaa tournament game tonight in dayton, ohio. it was mississippi valley state versus western kentucky. prime minister cameron is in the united states during a very bad
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public relations period for himself and his government. there's obviously the consternation over afghanistan. there's also a scandal that doesn't get much play here. over there, it's the biggest news in the world. or i should say it's the biggest news of the world. this is rebekah brooks, she was an executive for rupert murdoch's news international as well as a former editor "news of the world" and "the sun." miss brooks and her husband were arrested today in a long running melodrama that's a phone hacking scandal concerning the papers. it's awkward for david cameron. the prime minister and husband of ms. brooks have been friends for 30 years. he and miss brooks' husband went to the same boarding school. they've been friends for decades. ever since. one of the weirder elements of this scandal in britain was the revelation that ms. brooks had borrowed a retired police horse from the metropolitan police. metropolitan police who she's, of course, alleged to have bribed as part of the scandal.
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ms. brooks reportedly returned the police horse in poor condition. prime minister david cameron was recently forced to admit he visited with the brooks and, in fact, had ridden the exact horse in question. the horse's name is rasa if you care about that. this follows another round of arrests in the scandal that included a former spokesman for the prime minister, also a "news of the world" executive. the opposition in britain is calling for the inquiry to look into the prime minister's friendship with rebekah brooks and rebekah brooks' husband. this happening now. the first visit to the united states comes at an awkward time. hey, mr. prime minister, what's your bracket looking like? would you rather talk about that? two great american traditions colliding today. the caucus where americans physically gather and vote with their feet for who they want to represent in the party in the presidential election, that's one tradition. the other great tradition, the bar. not this bar specifically.
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this is an i-stock photo. a far not so dissimilar to this one all the way around the world in american samoa combining with america's great tradition of the caucuses. tonight, in american samoa, which is way, way out there, about 50 republicans total are expected to caucus in a bar that's called the toa bar and grill. they'll be selecting six delegates to send to the republican national convention. six delegates picked at tonight's caucus will join three local republican officials, so-called super-delegates at the convention. the fine people of american samoa are u.s. citizens but they cannot vote, themselves, in the presidential election. my prediction? even with the booze, given that they're holding the caucus in a bar, my guess is american samoa does a better job counting up their results tonight than certain american states in the lower 48 who waited days to announce a winner and in one instance had to reverse themselves after initially announcing a winner. i'm guessing even with the booze they're going to do a better job counting their votes.
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we shall see.
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it was, past tense, was, tuesday night. here on the east coast, it is now early wednesday morning. and we can now say it has been yet another incredibly interesting 2012 election night and morning. nbc news declaring rick santorum the projected winner tonight in mississippi. senator santorum also being declared the projected winner in alabama. making it a two-state deep-south sweep for rick santorum tonight. that means zero wins in the deep south for newt gingrich tonight. and last we looked mitt romney was in third in both races. also in alabama, congress nan jo bonner, who represented his seat for five terms is likely to represent it for a sixth. he's won the republican primary in alabama's first congressional district in the southwest part
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of the state, fending off a right wing primary challenger tonight. since no democrats qualify to oppose him in november, things look really good for him in the general election. in alabama sixth's congressional district, the chairman of the house financial services committee spencer bachus was also facing a primary challenge tonight in the republican primary. he looks to be leading comfortably in his republican race. and this, another result from alabama, this is simply amazing. judge roy moore, do you remember roy moore? the alabama state judge who lost his job because he refused to remove a ten commandments monument from the grounds of the state courthouse in 2003? judge ray moore, the ten commandments judge, tonight it looks like voters in alabama could be sending him back to the bench, back to the alabama state supreme court. meanwhile, also under way at this hour, the hawaii caucuses. and american samoa's republican caucus, which i kid you not, is being held in a bar. as if you couldn't love american samoa any more than you ever do. msnbc's coverage


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