tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC August 9, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
fake him so there will be extra impact from the surprise of the fact they did pick him. i suppose that's possible, or maybe they're not really going to pick him. maybe mr. rubio does have a lot of personal financial issues that would put that much more of a spotlight on the fact that mitt romney will not release his tax returns. so that could be it. it could also be that when mr. rubio was being thought of as a vice presidential prospect, he kept saying things like this on tv. >> you're a strong supporter of mitt romney's. we heard the republican nominee speak just a short time ago. as a guy who supported an individual mandate in massachusetts -- isn't that an issue for him? >> but what a big difference. he supported it on a state level, which meant if you didn't like it in massachusetts, you would move to another state. >> to hear marco rubio tell it, the good thing about mitt romney's record as governor of massachusetts is the things he did to massachusetts you could escape them by moving to another state. the good thing about romney's last turn as a political leader is you could run away from him. you could flee for your life to a place where mitt romney was not in charge. so yeah, marco rubio is not
going to be mitt romney's vice presidential nominee. you never know, but yeah, no. however, on that same subject of health reform, the romney campaign today tried a whole new angle on that same subject that frankly made marco rubio look good in comparison. the main romney spokes person was on fox news. she was asked about the anti-romney ad that was put out by a pro obama super pac. >> when mitt romney and bain closed the plant, i lost my health care and my family lost their health care, and a short time after that, my wife became ill. i don't know how long she was sick. and i think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew that we couldn't afford the insurance. and then one day, she became ill and i took her up to the jackson county hospital. and admitted her for pneumonia. that's when they fount the cancer. by then, it was stage four.
there was nothing they could do for her. and she passed away in 22 days. i do not think mitt romney realizes what he's done to anyone. and furthermore, i do not think mitt romney is concerned. >> asked to respond to that rather devastating ad this morning when she was on fox news, here was what the romney campaign's chief spokesperson had to say. >> to that point, you know, if people had been in massachusetts under governor romney's health care plan, they would have had health care. >> yes. right, that is true, but they were not in massachusetts, and so tragic outcome. if only something like massachusetts health reform was in place for the whole country, right? with its individual mandate and government subsidies and everybody having insurance. it would be awesome if there was health reform for the whole country instead of just in massachusetts, right? so implicitly, the message is do that.
re-elect president obama, everybody. do not vote for the guy who would repeal national health reform and leave it only in massachusetts. re-elect president obama. four more years. do not vote for mitt romney says the romney campaign chief spokesperson. if there's one thing the mitt romney for president campaign should be good at talking about by now, it is this issue, right? this is an issue they really should not be screwing up. i mean, they're trying to run against health reform when their candidate is the health reform governor. sensitive subject. they know they have to be sensitive to it. they know they have to be super attentive to this whenever it comes up. everybody drop everything else and make sure you get this right when you get a question about this issue. but this morning when andrea saul was busy totally and completely failing to get this right on fox news channel, much of the rest of the romney campaign was not paying attention. they were preoccupied with
something else. andrea saul was telling fox news how awesome massachusetts health reform would be for the whole country at approximately 10:35 this morning. at 10:33 this morning, the romney campaign was launching something that is equally difficult to get your head around in terms of its strategic value. the romney campaign trying desperately to get traction on something other than why mitt romney has not released his tax returns. today, at 10:33 a.m., that meant adding to their new attacks about welfare a starring role on the campaign conference call for newt gingrich. rolling him out to make the welfare attack today. newt gingrich, of course, having distinguished himself on the campaign trail on the primary for having remarkable sensitivity and political success when he talks to poverty and the concerns of poor families. >> you're totally poor. you're in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. i tried for years to have a very simple model. most of these schools ought to
get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor, and pay local students to take care of the school. >> they would be dramatically less expensive than unionized janitors, and you begin to re-establish the dignity of work, and in very poor neighborhoods, you have to literally re-establish the dignity of work. >> the master janitor ought to do the dangerous hard work, but i will tell you personally, i believe the kids could mop the floor and clean out the bathroom and get paid for it and it would be okay. >> the kids are incredibly cheap for this kind of work. and you see, poor people don't know about work. not like newt gingrich does. which is why poor kids should be janitors at schools working under master janitors. newt gingrich was also the one who said on the campaign trail that president obama is the food stamps president. he once offered to go to the naacp and, quote, talk about why
the african-american community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. and here is what happened when he was asked about that rather plainly racist rhetoric at a republican debate back in january. watch the response. >> 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 your schools. can you see that this is viewed as a minimum as insulting to all americans, but particularly to black americans? >> no. i don't see that. you could 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 elites despise earning money. >> but governor -- speaker gingrich, the suggestion 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 not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. we saw some of this reaction during your visit to a black church in south carolina. we saw some of this in your visit to a black church in south carolina where a woman asked you why you refer 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 in american history. >> i'm glad that ended with a wide shot there because that's it. that, what you saw in the room there, was what the mitt romney is after. and maybe it's the policy stuff, maybe it's the specific message, maybe mitt romney is going to roll out master janitors. maybe it's not, but it's definitely the enthusiasm, right? the crowd reaction that you heard to that whole exchange. juan williams getting booed for even suggesting that maybe calling the first african-american president the food stamps president might possibly have racial connotations and newt gingrich getting thunderous applause for doubling down and calling juan williams juan in his patronizing way. that's what the romney campaign wants to get its hands on right now. the crowd reaction, the crowd just lapping that up. >> in recent days, we have learned that four different women have accused you of inappropriate behavior. here, we're focusing on character and judgment.
you have been a ceo. >> yes. >> you know the share holders are reluctant to hire a ceo where there are character issues. why should the american people hire a president if they feel there are character issues? >> the american people deserve better than someone being tried in a court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations. >> if i were president, i would be willing to use water boarding. i think it was very effective. it gained information for our country. >> how many people here would use heroin if it were legal? i don't want to use heroin, so i need the laws. >> you take half those janitors, you could give lots of poor kids a work experience in the cafeteria, in the school
library, in the front office, and a lot of different things. i'll stand by the idea, young people ought to learn to work. middle class kids do it routinely. we should give poor kids the same chance to pursue happiness. finally, on -- >> don't go on to something else. we want to keep applauding the last point. we'll take your time. the republican debates were the best show on television for months. whether or not you agreed with these folks and the folks in the room plainly did, if the republican debates had been a reality tv show, which is kind of what they seemed like a lot of the time, they would have already been signed up for 20 more seasons at this point. the people on that show would have their children doing spin-offs already. they got excited for the republican debates and that part of the primaries. it showed in the numbers. millions of people tuned in for all 20 episodes of the republican debate show. if it had been a series, they would have been the most popular show on cable after pro football games. they would have ranked strongly among the biggest network sitcoms. one of the rare saturday debates held a few weeks ahead of the
iowa caucuses was the most watched program on the country on that saturday night. a november cnbc debate became cnbc's highest rated broadcast other than olympics coverage since the verdict in the o.j. simpson trial. it was exciting, it was riveting, and a lot of the time, it was ridiculous and those things are not unconnected, but exciting, and exciting is the point. you had to sympathize with mitt romney in the primary process because here he was, the favorite, trying to be a serious candidate taken seriously as a serious president, but he had to make that case from a stage where he stood alongside this transfixing cartoon cast of some surreal caricature of what used to maybe be the republican party if somebody were writing it up in fiction from a not particularly sympathetic perspective. now that he has the nomination, he has a problem, which is yeah, he has the nomination, but audiences who were tuning in for
the cartoon reality show are not tuning in for the mitt romney serious candidate straight man act. the romney campaign apparently now feels like it needs to chase the interest and enthusiasm and the almost rabid investment by the republican debate audiences in the fate of the campaign. they need to chase the enthusiasm that nobody has seen on the republican side since the primaries ended. the "new york times" reporting last week from iowa on the general lack of excitement in republican voters now that mitt romney is the nominee, saying, quote, the grassroots element that animated the caucuses, ron paul supporters and tea party members are not fully behind his candidacy in a battle that will be determined partly on who turns out his party's base. so now we see mitt romney and the republican party as an institution doing what they can to chase after that lost enthusiasm from the republican primary season. they are bringing newt gingrich back, on official campaign conference calls to bang the drum about welfare and the food stamps president.
they're bringing rick santorum back as a speaker at the republican convention, we learned this week. the romney campaign is even bringing back the first front runner of the republican contest this year. >> so donald, the republican convention is coming up. are you going, that's the first question? secondly, if you are, do you intend to be speaking to the audience? >> they want me to go and i'm going to be in sarasota the night before where i'm being honored by the republican party in florida as the statesman of the year. and that will be very interesting, and i look forward to that. and i probably will be going, but they do want me to go, yes. >> how about speak? have you been asked to speak? >> i would rather not say that, but they do want me to do something major at the convention. >> something major, now you have certainly teased us. what is the very major? can you give us a hint? >> i'm not allowed to say, but it's something very, very major. >> donald trump reporting he has been tapped to do something very, very major.
at the republican national convention at the end of this month. should we also look forward to hearing some time soon about the very, very major roll that she'll play at the rnc. he's exciting. primetime speech? that's the kind of enthusiasm mr. romney is looking for in bringing the primaries back in time for the convention. of course, he's also looking for ways to turn the conversation of the country away from the fact he will not release his tax returns and it turns out this donald trump person is not only very exciting, he has a great idea on the tax returns thing. >> what governor romney should do in my opinion, and he's a very different person and he's got a different attitude, and i understand that, is say i will give my tax returns if you open up your records. because as you know president obama spent over $4 million trying to hide so many different things from his past. whether it's college applications, college records, passport records, and you know,
nobody brings this up. nobody says, open up your passport records, open up your college applications. open up your college records. let's see your life, and nobody brings this up. i think they should place the shoe on the other foot, and i think you would probably not hear any more talk, frankly, about the tax returns. which are 100% according to oil. >> i thought that the birth issue had been put to rest with you, to your satisfaction. most americans, it is, people are satisfied. >> i disagree with that. i don't think people are satisfied at all. >> that's the way to handle the tax returns thing. and that's the way to excite the republican base. bring on the birthers. make it somehow about passport applications or college something. something. if mitt romney starts demanding to see president obama's birth certificate, his real kenyon one, not the fake hawaiian one he's been pedaling around, maybe people will stop talking about mitt romney not releasing his tax returns.
something has to work, something has to work. what can we possibly do to make that work? joining us now is pulitzer prize winner columnist from the washington post, eugene robinson. it's great to see you. thanks for being here. >> it's great to be here, rachel. >> birther donald trump attending the republican convention, being asked to do something very, very major. good idea, gene, do you think? >> i think it's a very, very major bad idea. you know, just, hey, who am i, right? so bring it on, but look, you know, people tuned in to the republican primary freak show, to the reality series, but they didn't vote for newt gingrich except in south carolina. they didn't vote for herman cain. they didn't vote for michele bachmann. so what is the purpose of bringing newt back and certainly what is the purpose of bringing
donald trump on to the stage except as some sort of court jester. this isn't supposed to be a shakespearean play, but romney is getting a little odd here. >> i mean, when i went back and looked at the debate tape today, i was struck by those debate audiences, obviously republican voters turning out for the 20 republican debates. and every audience, one after the other, just absolutely into it. there's nobody out there holding an applause sign. they were just rabidly into what was going on in terms of the combat between the candidates, and it's true that the largest applause was devoted to these candidates attacking the media and attacking president obama. it wasn't so much about them attacking each other. doesn't it make sense that mr. romney would be trying to tap into that enthusiasm again? we haven't seen it since. >> it's one thing to tap into the enthusiasm in the primary campaign. after all, it's true that mitt romney was not exactly the best at throwing those chunks of red meat out to the audience. the other candidates were better at it.
but in the end, he won the nomination. now, if he wants to become president, he's going to have to attract some independent voters. he can't win with the republican base alone. and independent voters have to be scratching their heads. newt gingrich is one of the most unpopular politicians in the country, and donald trump is the host of a reality show. and that's that. i mean, that doesn't get you those suburban voters around philadelphia that he really needs if he wants to be president. >> i think that the important -- the importance or parenthetical notation is you can't win with the republican base alone. you need to add to that base independent voters. i think what we're seeing here in terms of the planning around the rnc and we'll have to see who the vp pick is, but it seems they're a little insecure about whether or not they have locked up the republican base. i'm sure they don't expect the republican base to vote for president obama, but i i'm not
sure they think they have them locked up to vote for mr. romney. is there something he could do that might help him ck up the base more than he has? >> at this point, i think not. at this point, frankly, i think he has to figure that if he doesn't have the republican base now, he's not going to be president. so you could pretty much assume that the base is riled up enough to vote against president obama, that they're going to come out and do that in not just respectable numbers but probably large numbers, but it's that mass of independents in the middle, and it's kind of, i hate to be with the conventional wisdom, but it's true. those are the people who swing back and forth and they're the weight of the electorate. if you don't get them, you don't get to move into the white house. you don't. >> eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc contributor. thank you for your time.
>> it was a major, major pleasure. >> gene is right about needing to lock up independent voters, right? that totally makes sense, gene, but i have to say, as we go to break here, i'm going to throw this out here to the universe and let myself get pummeled by the boom rang effect. if he does not lock up the republican base, it doesn't matter that he won't get the independents, either. i see his only path out of the dilemma he's in right now is picking liz cheney. and i'll let that laugh be our response. >> that's just a prayer from journalism, right? on behalf of journalists. >> yes, it is. pick liz, come on, do it. tap... pinch... and zoom... in your car. introducing the all-new cadillac xts with cue. ♪
don't worry. we haven't forgotten, you still like things to push. [ engine revs ] the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. [ female announcer ] weak, damaged hair needs new aveeno nourish+ strengthen. active naturals wheat formulas restore strength for up to 90% less breakage in three washes. for strong, healthy hair with life, new aveeno nourish+ strengthen.
it's not easy to win a write-in campaign for u.s. congress. only a handful of people in american history have done it. but this was a very good try. ♪ nothing fancy write in nancy ♪ that's cassis nancy cassis >> it's nothing fancy, write in nancy. it's catchy, right? look on the screen. i love that jaunty little repeal obama care with the big smile. but on the jingles in the world, all the happy conservative tag lines about repealing health reform were not enough to get her elected in the 11th district in michigan last night. the 11t district, i think, is the wealthiest district in the state. it's getting redistricted to
make it even more republican than it already is. because nancy cassis was not able to get people to nothing fancy write in nancy, republicans are probably going to lose that seat in congress. because by virtue of a whole bunch of screw-ups on the republican side, the republicans not only lost their incumbent congressman, thaddeus mccotter, they went in with this guy, the shirtless reindeer herder and perennial candidate as the only republican with his name on the ballot. and the write-in campaign against him, nothing fancy write in nancy, lost, so this guy is the gop candidate. he once starred in a homemade 9/11 truther movie as a doctor treating a george b. bush who was paralyzed after a stroke while the president's nurses refused to change his diapers because 9/11 was an inside job.
in the movie, the republican party's congressional nominee in michigan is the guy in the lab coat playing the head physician, and then this happens to his patient. >> 3,000 people is a small price to pay for a second pearl harbor. >> you piece of [ bleep ] stupid president. you thought you were more powerful than god. you blew up those towers and killed thousands. including my father. now you lie in your own poop and stay there for days. >> she throws the diapers away. ladies and gentlemen, the republican party's accidental nominee for congress. in the really, really, really republican 11th district of michigan. the national journal wrote up last night's primary elections overall as democrats running the table.
it's in part because republicans picked guys like kerry to be their nominees last night. but it's also because the democrats got exactly the candidate they wanted to run against missouri democratic senator claire mccaskill. the guy the democrats hand-picked to be her competition in missouri is not exactly a reindeer herder 9/11 truther guy like the guy in michigan, but he is this guy. >> at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for god. >> todd akin, he says if you're liberal, obviously, you hate god. he also said federal support for student loans is a stage three cancer of socialism. if you're senator claire mccaskill running for re-election in missouri, you know you're going to have a tough re-election race. missouri has been getting redder and redder since she won there in 2006. but if you're claire mccaskill, your job of getting re-elected in this tough race you're going
to have this fall gets a little easier if your opponent is a guy like todd akin. at least that's what the claire mccaskill re-election campaign thinks. and we know that think that because claire mccaskill used her own campaign money during the republican primary, remember, she's a democrat, but she used her own campaign's money during the republican primary to run ads in that primary calling todd akin a true conservative and a crusader against bigger government. calling him the most conservative congressman in missouri and describing his pro-family agenda. claire mccaskill nakedly campaigning for republicans to pick this guy. todd akin, to run against her i november. and a democratic super pac got in on the action, too. they got into the republican primary and ran negative ads against everybody except todd akin. democrats got a reindeer herder 9/11 truther to be the republican on the ballot in michigan.
and in missouri, they tricked the republican primary's voters into picking the weakest, weirdest republican candidate possible to be claire mccaskill's competition in the fall. these republicans who won last night in michigan and missouri, i'm sure they were happy with last night's election results because they won. they can't be nearly as happy, though, as the democrats who get the treat of running against them in november.
been built and is set to open this fall in allen, texas. it's up on the edge of the dallas/ft. worth area heading up to oklahoma. this new stadium in allen, texas, has 18,000 seats, it has a 45-foot high hd video scoreboard, a state of the art weight room, a press room, it has private box seating. it costs $60 million to build. friday night lights was one of my all-time favorite tv shows. i mourned the fact that it is over, but i'm here to tell you that friday night lights was not joking about its subject matter. this new stadium, $60 million with a giant scoreboard and box seats, it's for high school football. $60 million stadium. but texas is not alone in being absolutely nuts about their teen-aged athletes. and one other place in america doing that in a way that will make you very, very happy is the best new thing in the world today. it's great. coming up right at the end of the show. great, stay with us. it's time to get going.
to get your feet moving to the beat. it's time to start gellin' with dr. scholl's and feel the energy from your feet up. thanks to the energizing support and cushioning of dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles, you'll want to get up and go. the state of ohio has 88 counties. this right here is a county map of ohio. you can pause your tv if you wish and count them all up.
but i promise you, ohio has 88 counties. and each one of the 88 counties in ohio has its own board of elections. the board of elections in your county is the thing that runs your local elections, where you can vote and when you vote. they report the election results to the state. they do all that stuff. because they deal with something as sensitive and important as voting, the county election boards in ohio are equally divided in partisan terms. each board has two democrats and two republicans. in 2004, the state of ohio of course became the poster child for election day chaos and long lines to vote. one of the things these county election boards are considering right now is how exactly ohio counties this year are going to handle the issue of early voting. early voting for this year's presidential election. right now in traditionally republican counties like warren county, ohio, for example, which went overwhelmingly for john mccain in 2008, and republican counties like that in ohio, the elections boards have by and large been voting to expand their hours for early voting.
they want to be open at night, on weekends, make it as easy as possible in these republican counties to cast your ballot. the republicans on the election boards in these republican leaning counties have been voting in favor of expanding early voting hours. and the democrats on these county boards, well, democrats are always essentially in favor of expanded voting rights, so they have agreed with the republican counter parts. so the republican counties across ohio, all these unanimous votes to expand early voting hours. republicans say, let's do it. democrats say let's do it. that's what's happening in the republican counties. they will be voting there on nights and weekends for early voting hooray. in democrat counties, they say they want to do the same thing, expand early voting hours, have it available on nights and weekend. they want to make it as easy as possible for people to vote. but in those democratic
counties. it's not unanimous. the republicans on the election boards in those counties have been voting no. this is happening across the state. even though republicans in the republican counties have been saying yes to early voting, when they're voting in the democratic counties, they have been saying no. it's ending up being a tie on the elections boards in the democratic counties. what do you do if you have a tie on your election board in the great state of ohio? the secretary of state comes in and breaks the tie. ohio has a republican secretary of state and he has been stepping in in all of the democratic counties where there's a tie and he's siding with the republicans there, saying actually, i'm with the republicans. we're not going to expand early voting specifically in these democratic counties. so the results in the republican counties, there's no reason for the secretary of state to weigh in. there's no dispute. it's unanimous. democrats are good with more early voting there. in the democratic counties, there is a dispute because republicans are objecting and the secretary of state is siding with them and they're blocking
more early voting. we're going to have no early voting on nights and weekends in democratic counties in ohio, but we will have nights and weekends in the republican counties. tomorrow morning, the republican secretary of state in ohio says he's going to make a big announcement regarding the election, and who knows what the announcement is going to bow. i have heard nor leaks. unless it's a wild change in course for ohio republicans, the right to vote is bracing itself. especially given what happened in michigan. that's ahead. michael moore joins us.
in michigan last night, we got a little preview of how it works in an election when you're trying to use policy, action by the state to dissuade people from voting or create enough confusion that it makes it hard to vote. during yesterday's primary elections in michigan, voters were presented with a box asking if they were a u.s. citizen. you have to be a citizen to register to vote in the first place. michigan republicans, specifically ruth johnson, wanted this citizenship thing placed on the box on the ballot application as well. michigan's republican governor had actually vetoed the citizenship box thing when it was proposed as legislation, saying it would be too confusing
for voters, but the secretary of state decided she would put it up there anyway. and guess what, it ended up being really, really confusing for voters. a number of legal registered voters reported being turned away after they refused to answer the question they knew should not have been there in the first place. it caused so much confusion that by midday, the secretary of state had to send out a clarification notice to local elections officials telling them not to enforce the citizenship thing she had insisted be put on the ballot. she told poll workers to read voters a statement telling people it's illegal to vote without being a citizen. at that point, the confusion had been sewed. here is how it was summed up. secretary of state ruth johnson managed to erect an illegal barrier to balloting at polling places throughout michigan. that's how voter intimidation works. you create laws that are unclear and unnecessary and enforce them randomly and unevenly.
democracy at work in the state of michigan. michael moore is joining us here now for the interview. an oscar-winning filmmaker and proud michigander. >> thanks, rachel. i voted here in michigan yesterday. >> did you get asked if you were a u.s. citizen? did you have to deal with that thing on the ballot application? >> yes. >> what happened? >> the first thing they asked me for was my driver's license to prove i was who i said i was. i said, i disagree with this. why do we have to even show -- have an id? can you tell me how many instances of voter fraud there's been in this country in the last say 100 years? and of course, there hasn't been any. there's no need for this id law. so the clerk who was handing me the form to fill out, she says to me, well, what do you like, michael? you don't seem to like anything. i was like, well, no, i like
kittens and butterflies and the color orange. but anyway, she got a little flustered and gave me my thing, my slip of paper. i went over to get the ballot from the ballot guy, and he said, you didn't mark the citizenship box. and he had heard the commotion, the ruckus that i had just gone through. he said, you don't really want to mark this, do you? i said, no, i don't. he said, that's okay. here's the ballot. so i went and voted. >> you know, we have been talking about michigan democracy broadly in the news. we have been talking about it a lot over the past year. what happened yesterday in michigan with this weird voter citizenship check box thing that was not mandatory but there anyway and confused a lot of people and resulted in some people being turned away from the polls, it's linked to the broader issue of voter suppression happening in a lot of states. there's also this think about michigan right now. i mean, the challenges of
democracy in michigan. the other thing happening in your home state is the state tried to reappoint the emergency managers even though the law has been suspended because it's going to be on the ballot for repeal in november. do you think the process of governing through voting is sort of falling apart in michigan? >> well, here's what i think has happened. michigan is traditionally a democratic state. it's the home of the modern day labor movement. lots of union workers. and for some reason, the democrats didn't just run the candidates that could win. and you've got to imagine if you're a republican in michigan, you're in a very small group of people who have to, you know, have meetings in basements somewhere. i don't know where they meet. but it's very rare you run into a republican in most places. i think that the few republicans that actually have decided to stick it out in michigan are of a different breed.
and that's where you see all this craziness going on. but, um, i mean, i'm really happy that the supreme court of michigan and today, the voter board, said that this question is going to be on the ballot about the emergency managers that have taken over these cities. i think as you had pointed out on my shows about the type size wasn't the right size, so, you know, when we got enough petitions to put this on the ballot, they didn't print it in the right type size. but last week, the supreme court decided that both the trees and the type size are the right height now in michigan. so we're going to be able to vote on it in november. >> governor snyder and the republicans have been really already lobbying the state, trying to say we need this emergency manager law in place. people should vote to uphold it when it's on the ballot in november. as we've talked about, it essentially removes people's voting rights in michigan. your town gets taken over at the state's discretion, and whoever you voted for at the local level gets overruled unilaterally.
do you see which way this is going to go on the ballot in november? do you think michigan's going to vote for this thing? >> well, first of all, let's be clear. your city is only taken over by an emergency manager if it's majority african-american, all right? this doesn't really happen in the white cities and towns. it happens in detroit and flint and pontiac and even small towns that are mostly african-american, like benton harbor. what's going to happen? i think it's going to get repealed. i think that the majority of michiganders are fed up with this. this law has been suspended already because of the election, and yet now they've gone back and said, well, now that the snyder law has been suspended, so we're going to go back and put the old law in place. the old law was repealed when the snyder law was passed. so as far as i'm concerned, they're still operating with these emergency managers, and i think some people tomorrow or the next day will go to court to try to stop this. but, look, i think this is going
to go okay. look, this is romney's home state and amongst older people, there's a sentiment for romney, so there will be a large, i think, turnout for him here in michigan. i don't think he'll win. i mean, we know -- we know more about the surface of mars right now than we know do mitt romney's tax returns, so i don't think -- i think that the people of the state are going to end up doing the right thing, but it has been very crazy here. and i and other michiganders are very happy that you've been covering this and pointing this out. and that the reindeer farmer, first of all, i've never seen any reindeer in michigan. let me just get this straight. i know we're up pretty far north, but i just -- we rarely get santa here. we're lucky if we get santa. the keebler cookie elves are around all the time, but santa, it's been rough in michigan for the last 20 years. but that's going to be a very interesting state race, rachel. because running against the shirtless reindeer farmer, on the democratic side, will be a man by the name of dr. saeed
taj, so i'm just waiting to see what the republican national committee is going to do with that one. >> michael moore, oscar-winning filmmaker, michigan voter, and incidentally, a u.s. citizen, michael, thank you very much. i really appreciate it, man. thanks. all right, best new thing in the world today involves michael moore's hometown of flint, michigan. best new thing, coming up. you tell us what you want to pay, and we give you a range of coverages to choose from. who is she? that's flobot. she's this new robot
best new thing in the world today. this year is the first year for women's boxing in the olympics. and 17-year-old claressa shields of flint, michigan, is our first hope for a gold medal. her semifinals match this morning against this poor woman from kazakhstan was astonishing. shields was so dominant in this match. but the fact that this high
school student that boxes in betty boop socks and does so at the olympic games is not the best new thing in the world today. this is. [ cheering ] >> the best new thing in the world today is how psyched the city of flint, michigan, is for their hometown hero. this teenage girl, right? flint has supported her all the way. she started boxing locally at the local athletic center when she was 11. the people of flint have held fund-raisers to help defray her expenses that the olympic committee couldn't cover. she says, that's kind of what drives me. having people know i'm going to win. and when people see me around the city, now they're yelling, champ, champ. stuff like that is what i think about when i'm training and getting tired. thinking about all of that makes me push through and go harder. and claressa shields is paying back that support to flint, inspiring other kids, other girls in flint, michigan, to get into the ring. enrollment in boxing programs there is up.
this cheering sections gathered in a bar in downtown flint this morning to watch her go. and because she won in that race, the party continues tomorrow when she boxes for gold. flint's mayor tweeting today, to meet back at the bar at noon. wear your red, white, and blue. claressa's high school is also putting out the word, come watch the match tomorrow with them in the high school auditorium. they'll be wearing their team claressa t-shirts. so london, london, london, but tomorrow, flint, michigan, the place to be. and that's the best new thing in the world. thing in the world." "first look" is up next. summer sizzler. scientists a july was the hottest month ever recorded in the lower 48 states. big trouble in texas. grammy-winning country singer randy travis is arrested after a
bizarre run-in with police. and fast fingers. one teen's mad texting skills pay off for the second year in a row. good morning, everyone, i'm lynn berry. those stories and more are straight ahead. this is "first look" on msnbc. and we are going to begin this morning with a new normal. that is how one climate scientist is describing this summer's excruciating heat wave. now, yesterday the government made it official, saying july was the hottest month in the continental u.s. since recordkeeping began. even hotter than the infamous dust bowl summer of 1936. now, new six-month and one-year heat records were also set. nbc's chris clackum has those details. >> reporter: scientists say july was the hottest month ever in the lower 48 because for much of
the country, it was also the driest month ever. >> temperatures are warmer. it dries the soil worsening the drought, and the drought, in turn, increases the temperatures. >> reporter: triple-digit heat was commonplace in even more places. contributing to the drought that's become the largest natural disaster ever, covering 63% of the contiguous u.s., draining rivers and lakes nationwide. >> we're losing about a foot a day. we really did not expect that we would be out of business the end of july this year. >> reporter: they say it was the heat more so than the drought that fueled wildfires that consumed 2 million acres in july. while agriculture continues to suffer the most, analysts expect the smallest corn crop in years. >> we've had droughts before, but really not this much heat. >> reporter: brice's crop in virginia started out promising but looks like this now. >> the heat came at a time when the