tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 25, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
have nowhere else to go to get the care that they need. to say that there's not a problem in texas or in this country is just a mistake. >> nicole, thank you for joining us tonight. keep up the great work. we end this broadcast tonight not knowing where mitt romney stands on health care. that's the hitch. i'm ed shultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. this is the logo of the china offshore oil corporation. it's kind of cool right? i like to call this cnooc. as you can tell, the logo is kind of a pick to graph ex-planing what they do. it's supposed to be an oil derrick and the c is the platform that it's sitting on.
the whole thing is in blue water because they are an offshore oil company. this chinese company is a huge company. it's almost entirely owned by the chinese government. in 2005, they tried to take over an oil company based in california. so big chinese, state-run company trying to take over a california company. this is the chinese government, a big business deal like that actually does have national security implications for us as a country. that's the kind of international business deal that's subject to review by something called the committee on foreign investments in the united states. a big committee that reviews this stuff. the treasury secretary heads it up. when that committee was reviewing this deal with, congress went absolutely nuts over it. in the end, that deal did not go through. that was in 2005. china was not allowed to come in and buy that company.
now they are trying good. they are in the process of trying to buy a canadian oil company. but again, the committee on foreign investments in the u.s. has some jurisdiction here because the canadian company does a lot of business in our gulf of mexico. this is a chinese government-owned giant oil company trying to buy american oil infrastructure. think the deal is going to go through this time? it's a $15 billion oil deal. you think it's going to go through? it didn't in 2005. how about this new version? since the last time the united states said no, cnooc is famous for going into business with iran. they are in the process of developing a huge iranian natural gas field. i know it's china and china doesn't follow the same rules as everybody else, but why would they get into bed with the rogue state that is iran? apparently they did it specifically to annoy us as
described in the financial times today. the chinese government told cnooc to go ahead with their deal immediately after the u.s. agreed to sell arms to tehran. so we agreed. fine we'll have our company hook iran up. how do you like us now? the chairman of this oil corporation has started talking about that company's deep water oil drilling rights they bought up all over the world. he started talking about the rights as mobile national territory. it's also described as a strategic weapon. that's how they talk about themselves. so if you believe them, china is sort of essentially weaponizing its industry. that's the way they talk about it. and they are doing business with iran, in a giant one-fingered salute to the rest of the civilized world. and they would still like
permission to buy this firm that has a lot of interest in the united states. is that going to be okay with the united states? it's probably not going to be okay with the united states. who knows. everybody would understand that this is not going to be okay. given this company and their history and their intention here's. the only people who would not understand that not going through, the only people not understanding that being kiboshed are the people invested in cnooc, people invested in this company that calls itself a weapon. one of the investors in cnooc happens to be running for president of the united states. guess who it is? if you guessed gary johnson, no. it's not virgil goode. it would be mitt romney. he's an investor in this chinese-owned oil company.
or at least he was. his tax returns just released on friday showed seven months after it was reported this company was doing this huge deal with iran, nobody is supposed to be doing energy deals with iran, it was not a secret, seven months after mitt romney invested in that company doing business with iran. and then he invested some more with then. then went back a third time and invested more. then it was roughly this time last year when he was well on his way of securing the republican nomination for president of the united states that mr. romney finally sold those shares. he sold his shares the day before he appeared at this republican debate in iowa. i don't know if he thought he would get asked about them or not. now all of this it notes that he's not necessarily personally making the call on these investments. his money is kept in a blind trust. that said the idea you don't have to answer for investments made through a blind trust has been debunked on american
politics. i thought this guy's argument was the most convincing on that. >> the blind trust is an age-old rouge to say you can tell the blind trust what it can and can't do. >> those rules include go ahead and invest my mitt romney bucks in the chinese oil company that calls itself a weapon and does business with iran just to spite us. while you're running for president, do that. you know, the election has already started. almost half the states in the country, people can get access to a ballot and vote by mail if they want to. you can do in-person early voting in idaho, south dakota and vermont. that also starts on thursday of this week in wyoming and iowa. and what that means, beyond just the convenience of voting early in those state, what it means for the campaign is every day is potentially decisive.
if you're talking about who is going to win in iowa, without early voting, we would be looking at the latest poll and saying in this latest poll obama is up by 7 in iowa. i wonder if he'll hold on to that lead until election day. but now you look at the polling in iowa and say obama is up by 7 in iowa and people are voting in iowa as of this week. with early voting, every day from now until november 6th is election day. that not only saps some of the value out of the debates, which start next week, it also undercuts the potential potency of october surprise. in the associated press write up of this early voting phenomenon this year, the write up, they quote a professor who is an expert on election statistics. if you have the game changer,
you've got to do that soon. if you wait until the weekend prior to the election to release your stink bomb, you've lost coloradans, and he's right. that's one of the battleground states where most ballots are expected to be cast early. by election day, colorado will already be mostly decided. so if you're losing today, at this point in the campaign, hurry up and fix it. mitt romney's campaign adviser said back in march, remember, the etch a sketch thing. once the general election starts, that's essentially an opportunity to relaunch the whole campaign. remember that? >> i think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. everything changes. it's almost like an etch a sketch and we shake it up and start all over again. >> it turns out the reset button is not a one-time deal for the romney campaign. as they try to catch up really late in the game now. i think they think of the reset button as you're bad at a nintendo game and you keep hitting reset until you get it right. for the romney folks, the reset button is like a video game.
it's like it's always there. that appears to be the romney campaign's philosophy. look at just the past month. we are going to be treated to romney 2.0. this was the reinvention where they were going to humanize him. remember that? eight days later, it was romney retooled. they were going to be make him patriotic. nine days after that, we got the romney reboot. that's when they said forget the humanizing thing and the god thing. we're going to get specific. that's our new thing. we're going to be specific. that reboot was alternatively called not just a reboot but a reset and then today it got called a reboot again. romney planned full slate in latest reboot. that was the headline of "the wall street journal." romney campaign to change
message. romney campaign is saying, no. forget the earlier incarnations. we're changing our message again. what's the new message? if it was 2.0, i think we're now at romney 5.0 now. the new 5.0 campaign message since the last day of august, the new message they decided to launch after showing the tax returns which showed he did not care he was investing in a company doing business with iran, he wanted to make money. he didn't care about the iran thing. what's the new message after they released that information? the new message is, he's getting tough on china. the new strategy will involve a renewed focus on china. the line is that barack obama won't stand up to china, but mitt romney will. at least we know he can go to the shareholders' meetings. or he could have as late as last year.
the obama campaign is hitting mitt romney for not releasing tax returns from before 2010. other than that a summary of what he might have paid as his bottom line. but the fact that he hasn't released before 2010, we have these two returns, that just makes it all the more amazing that the stuff that is in his returns is so recent. right? i mean the stuff we know about, including investing in the chinese oil firm doing business with iran, this is stuff he was doing while he knew he was running for president again. the guy who says, you can always tell your blind trust what to do. you can always tell them what they can and can't do. one of the things he conveyed it was okay to do in mitt romney's name with mitt romney's money was to invest in a chinese oil company in 2011 and now mitt romney wants to launch himself as the guy tough on china? apparently. and specifically, he wants to be the tough on china guy while he's in ohio.
mr. romney is launching this romney 5.0, i'm tough on china thing with a bus tour. a bus tour that his vice presidential nominee started today and he will start tomorrow in the great swing state of ohio, where the last six head to head polls show president obama winning that state. ohio is a perennial battleground. ad spending alone does not seem to be moving voters this year. the other key race is the senate race where $18 million in outside money has been dumped into the republican effort to defeat senator sherrod brown. it's unprecedented spending for ohio and unprecedented to have an incumbent outspent by this much money. but in ohio, the money does not seem to be working in that race. at least not the way it's supposed to. a new poll shows senator sherrod
brown now leading his republican challenger by 7 points. despite being outspent hand over first. joining us is the senator from ohio sherrod brown. he's the lead sponsor of legislation addressing the china currency issue, a bill that, surprise, is currently stalled in congress. the romney campaign is hitting the reset button again. they are resetting by going to ohio and talking about china. why are they picking ohio? >> they are picking ohio because we lost between 2000 and 2010 the nation lost millions of manufacturing jobs. many were in ohio. what they are not talking about is how we have gained 500,000 manufacturing jobs back across the country. a number of them in ohio. it's about the automobile rescue. it's about reenforcing a steel mill. there are new steel mills
because of the jobs by the administration and those of us that pushed the international trade commission steel jobs in cleveland, tire jobs in finley, aluminum jobs in heath. it's because of the recovery act. it's because of of the automobile rescue. mitt romney could help us by writing a letter to speaker boehner and tell him to pass the legislation. we passed the trade bill level the playing field jobs bill overwhelmingly bipartisanly in the senate. we're asking the house to move on it. romney could call john boehner and say schedule this bill for a vote. >> on trade and manufacturing and china specifically, i thought that this campaign would be fought on totally different ground on that subject. in his book and his previous sort of punditry, romney was
arguing for not getting tough with china. was arguing against efforts by the previous administration and the obama administration to confront china on trade issues. now he's saying, this is a door mat. i'm the one who will be tough. >> that was romney 2.0. that's clear that's the case. one of the specific cases that romney criticized the president on was the tire dumping case, which has resulted in jobs in cooper tire and finley, ohio. mitt romney just senses an opportunity here. there's no real -- there's been no real interest in his career in standing up to china. the president is doing the right thing. i urged him to be a bit more aggressive. he needs to move more aggressive on currency. this legislation would matter. there's no question. the president recently came to ohio to announce an auto parts trade action.
we went from a billion-dollar trade deficit to $10 billion over the last ten years. that's a lot of job loss and a lot of jobs we could start to regain with with we enforce the rules that china clearly is cheating. they subsidize capital and energy and land and water. they don't play fair on currency. we stand up to them, it means good jobs and it will create a middle class in ohio. >> in your own campaign in ohio, as i mentioned in the introduction, you've raised money for your own campaign. your opponent has raised not sis similar amounts. the big difference is outside money that's coming in on his behalf. you're being outspent 4 to 1 when you look at the numbers. why are these groups from outside your state so interested in seeing you lose, a, and b, why do it in ohio when there's a premium on ad dollars because
the presidential campaign is spending money? >> their money may be unlimited. and they are going after me because it's dark money. we don't know for sure who it is. we think it's the oil industry because of my efforts to take on the oil companies and the subsidies they get. we think it's chinese interests that outsource. we think it's wall street because of my legislation to break up the six largest banks. it's not surprising this money is being put in. the amount is more than any other place in the country. but that's what they are doing this year. and i expected it, in some measure, and we're fighting back. >> you say grass root, you mean door to door? >> it means door to door. we have organizers on the ground. the obama campaign is well
organized in ohio. it will make a difference. people have come to my website, signed up to help us. those efforts nationally and in ohio have mattered and we expect to win this election being outspent 3 or 4 to 1. we expect to win even though we're being outspent. talking about the middle class, talking about what we have done with health care, and i feel optimistic about it because our message is strong and our organization is good. >> a man staring down the face of $18 million against him feeling optimistic, you are a silver lining in a dark cloud. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> i should mention, senator brown's opponent is named josh mandel. since he gave you the address, i also have to tell you mr. mandel's.
massachusetts senator scott brown is stuck on a subject about his opponent in a way that has been making me crazy. i'm going to try to figure it out tonight because all i've been doing in covering it for the last few weeks now has been screaming at the wall. tonight i will try to put words to my feelings. that's ahead.
campaign, it is hard to know when it happens. when words captured on video in front of an audience are going to stick. when footage is going to be a turning point in the election. it's going to be a defining thing that everybody remembers about that candidate. it's not always easy to tell when it happens, but something always sticks. today we got this bit of mitt romney talking about the emergency landing last week of a plane that at the time was carrying his wife, ann romney. >> i appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. i don't think she knows how worried some of us were. when you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go exactly. and you can't find any oxygen from outside the care craft because the windows don't open. it's a real problem. >> it's a real problem that the
windows don't roll down on airplanes? is it also a problem that guns don't shoot backwards through the barrel this way? why don't the windows roll down? i don't think he was joking because he couldn't possibly be joking about his wife being in a plane crash. so did he -- has he never seen gold finger? >> right? maybe mr. romney was joking when he said it was a real problem he couldn't get the windows to roll down in airplanes when he was joking about scary involving his wife. you wouldn't think a guy would joke about. maybe he meant only planes flying at low altitudes?
we don't know. regardless of what he meant and how strange that moment was on the campaign trail this weekend, frankly the roll down the windows moment is unlikely to rock the presidential campaign. it's unlikely to stick the way mr. romney's remarks did on the issue of the 47% of the country he considers to be victims and dependent on the government. tonight there's new news on that it tape. exclusively here. specifically, new tape. it's coming up at the end of the show. stay with us. leave the windows where they are in the meantime.
ready for the snapshot? here's a look at where the campaign is today in the swing states. in the polls out today, president obama is up by 4 in north carolina, obama up by 5 in florida, obama up by 8 in president obama. obama up by 12 in wisconsin, obama up by 6 in colorado, obama up by 7 in nevada, obama up by 4 in iowa. that's what the campaign is looking like today. polls out today in the states where the campaign most matters at this point. these are the freshest polls. now here is the opposite of the swing states. these are the states where polling is still being done. in some cases, recently. even though the margins are hilarious. like oklahoma where as of last
month, mitt romney was up by 29 points. or texas where he was up by 15 points a couple weeks ago or georgia where he was up by 2 it 12 points last week. or utah where polling done over the summer found, surprise, mitt romney ahead by 42 points. the same is true on the other side as well. in california, president obama is leading by 24. he's up by 17 in washington state, he's up in new york by 28 points. the president is also winning mitt romney's home state of massachusetts by 28 points. so these states are obviously something of an after thought for the presidential race. you can raise money there, but campaigning there, it turns out they are important in this year's campaign. these huge presidential margins show you which way the state leans. but lord help the down party guys. lord help the opposite politician who survives in these states. not only facing that hostility
in their state, but on the same ballot as the presidential race where had his or her party is going to lose that ticket by 20 or 30 or 40 points. the republican poster child for that problem in this election is senator scott brown of massachusetts. now scott brown is a very good campaigner. interestingly, i have spoken with republican professionals from all different points on the ideological number line in terms of how conservative they are as republicans and they all describe scott brown as one of the most talented republican campaigners they have ever seen, ever. until this month, he had been running mostly ahead in the massachusetts polls against his democratic challenge elizabeth warren. now he's slipping behind. in four of the five most recent polls in the senate race, elizabeth warren is now beating scott brown. we got their first debate last week. and scott brown decided what he
was going to make that debate about, what he was going to bring up unprompted repeatedly, what he's decided to make his campaign mostly about now is his judgment on elizabeth warren's racial heritage, her family heritage, her race. >> professor warren claimed that she was a native american, a person of color. as you can see, she's not. that being said, she checked the box and she had an opportunity, actually, to make a decision throughout her career when she applied to penn and harvard. >> she tried to make the heritage part of the campaign before. remember back in may? got a lot of national press. he started with a line of attack that he should be the authority on the family tree. he gets tons of national attention. but his argument, scott brown running against elizabeth warren's native american
heritage did not play with voters in massachusetts. a poll taken in the thick of the controversy back in may found that 69% of likely voters thought that it warren's heritage was not a significant story and the polls did not much move one way or the other and the whole thing sort of fizzled out. but now he's behind in the polls. now that he's behind, this is what scott brown wants his campaign to be about now. it was not just the debate on thursday night where he brought up warren's heritage unprompted. he unveiled his new ad today and you guessed t the text of claiming the native american heritage. this is the new scott brown for senate campaign. that's what it is about. >> she checked the box claiming she was a native american. and clearly, she's not. >> clearly, look at her. this is an amazing thing for scott brown to be pinning a u.s.
senate election on. first of all, he's declaring himself the authority on warren's heritage based on how white she looks to him. brown is confident just asserting that warren is not native american. he can tell. can you smell it? but there's another thing going on here. the reason that scott brown wants to make the campaign about who is the authentically white person. >> i don't know and neither do the viewers know whether in fact she got ahead as a result of that checking of the box. >> oh, getting ahead. right. resenting affirmative action. that never gets old with white voters. remember mitt romney joking to his donors about how much easier he'd have it if only he were mexican? >> was the governor of michigan was the head of a car company but he was born in mexico. and had he been born of mexican parents, i'd have a better shot of winning this. >> joking to a room full of rich
people how easy the latinos have it. am i right? at its essence, it's a slightly-more subtle version used in the jesse holmes ad. the campaign ad against harvey gant. a white republican senator running against a black democratic challenger in 1980. it was called the hands ad. it shows ads rumpling up a rejection letter because of handouts to black people. this always comes out differently in different campaigns. it depends on how comfortable the candidate is and how comfortable their state it might be with overt racial claims. but it's a political art that survives the generations. it's the art of stoking and working class white voters if you can. a sense that something is being taken away from them by minorities. in this case, maybe it's warren
herself passing herself off. ems is color fading, but wen mom for documentation when she talked about our native american heritage. what kid would? but i knew my -- my parents to elope. i never asked for and never got any benefit because of my heritage. the people who hired me have all said they didn't even know about it. i'm elizabeth warren and i approve this message. scott brown can attack my family, but i'm going to keep fighting for yours. >> stay with us.
mom more documentation when she talked about our native american heritage. what kid would? but my father didn't like she was part cherokee so my parents had to elope. i'm elizabeth warren and i approve this message. scott brown can continue attacking my family, but i'm going to keep fighting for yours. >> as weird as it is to see a senate candidate explaining their ethnic background, how weird is it because of the attacks on her in this campaign are about her race? i don't understand why this is a national scandal. i find it to be astonishing it's not more upsetting to more people. joining us to help me get smarter about this story is the host of msnbc melissa perry. i feel relieved seeing you alone.
i know you'll help me get smarter habit this. >> i'm happy to do it. >> when scott brown points to warren's appearance essentially saying she looks too white to have any native american heritage, he seems to be saying he can judge her heritage based on her looks. where does this come from and what does it mean? >> there are two really important issues that are certainly at play here in massachusetts, but much more broadly. the first is about race and what race is. a lot of times when we say we need a national conversation on race, what we think we need is a race about relations and whether white folks tolerate other people. but i think that what we need in part is a conversation about what race is. race is a social construct, not a biological reality. so, you know, when we think about blackness, which is the one most can put their finger on, most americans think they can tell a black person when
they see one based on hair texture. but in fact, there's no clear distinct line that makes one black or outside of black or inside of identity or out of it. it's not our blood that makes us those things. it's our social constructs. so whether or not those laws would influence you. if you had one drop of black blood, you would be jim crowed. and indigenous people, there are federal laws based on how far you have to trace back your ancestry to be able to call one's self-part of an indigenous community. and the second thing, this is part of a political angst where everybody is going to have to show their papers. what's black today may not be black tomorrow.
i live in new orleans where there's a whole community of people who are color who don't fit in the normal racial hierarchy of the u.s. but if you show your papers, the president of the united states has to demonstrate he's american. if you're going to show up to vote, you're going to to have to prove precisely who you are and show multiple forms of i.d. obviously, as you've been talking about, the paper please laws around immigration and those who are going to be profiled racially based on how they look about whether or not they have a legal status or undocumented status. all of this is part of a growing anxiety about who we are as a people >> the way that scott brown is using -- the way that he's problematizing race is to make the argument that elizabeth warren might have used her heritage to get ahead through affirmative action. what's he getting at and how connected that is to other
claims about essentially stoking resentment on this issue? >> it's quirky. to the extent that should be the claim, it should be people of color would people irritation about it. the idea that someone who is socially constructed by most people who look at her as white. and this idea that, wait a minute, to the extent it's about redressing historic wrongs, it should be black communities and indigenous peoples who would say, wait a minute, we don't want someone who appears to have the visual image of whiteness to take advantage of things that were meant to redress historic wrongs. it's a weird claim because it's like she's so white you should be mad she claims she's brown? the problem is that he's talking about faculty hiring at elite universities and as much as he mocks her with this professor title, if he knew something about it, he would know that
hiring at these kind of universities doesn't happen on a paper and pencil application. everyone does visits and they get to know you and talk with you and look you in your face. so if race is some neat, biological bok, he need not worry because american universities have already figured out how to bring you to campus and decide whether or not you're, you know, really a person of color or not. >> in the precise way that scott brown can divine it because he's a human dousing rod. look at her. it's amazing to me. melissa harris-perry, thank you so much for joining us tonight. i appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. still ahead, a new development on the hidden camera romney fundraiser tape that turned this campaign upside down. that's coming up. [ thunder crashes ]
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milestone, we have elected a president in this country 56 times before this year. but this year, congratulations, america, with 43 days still yet to go before election day, we have broken the all-time american record. the record for political giving for a single contest. the old record for one person spending on a single election has been broken this year by the vegas casino zillionaire.
but he broke it by a factor of three. he tripled it and there's still more than 40 days left. because sheldon adelson's donations, he is now officially the biggest campaign bankroller of all time. $70 million from him alone and counting. but you know what? at least he's putting his name out there. although he's the guy spending the most money, he's not the only one. the other thing that's new to the campaign this year is the major fundraisers on one side are secret. s would influence you in this country, if you had one eb slaved parent, you could be enslaved. if you had 1/16 or one drop of black blood, you would be jim crowed.
to reveal itsbundlers. the law does not mitt romney or any other candidate to reveal their bundlers. but all modern presidential candidates in both parties have revealed those names. before mitt romney. he will not do it. last tuesday mr. romney held a fund raiser in orange count california and after that he flew to another fund raiser in salt like city. as he got on his plane to fly from california toia ta, he was greeted by six people. the campaign gave reporters the names of these finance greeters. look at this. this is what they said their names were. stephanie b., brian f, bernicef., erink., amy m., ron m. why is this information be kept secret? this is mitt romney's top energy adviser.
you see the name there, harold hamm. mr. hamm gave just under a million bucks. are all of his advisers the ones who gave him the million bucks to get the gig. again, here we don't know. not only will mitt romney not disclose who most of his big donors are. he will not disclose who his energy advisers are. harold hamm doesn't mind having his name out there. okay. but then that's it. no other names. mr. hamm chairs a group that advises mr. romney on energy. we asked the romney campaign this summer to else is on the group. they told us they would not be releasing those names. they told us they would keep us posted if and when they do. we know how much sheldon adelson is giving.
but all we know for sure is that he has beaten the previous record for previous elections. we don't know if he holds the current record. think about it. does sheldon adelson have competition? if someone else was spending even more man than sheldon adelson to win the election this, how would we know?
of two obama campaign web videos. all reporting on this video has been different than everybody else's. we were part of the story how this came into the public eye in the first place. late last month a piece of the video was posted to a youtube account that was made to look like it was mine, even though it wasn't. this is a little bit of a geeky, technical issue but it's also connected to the video's impact. the quality of the video directly affects the ability to authenticate it, report on it, all the reasons and the ways that it functions in politics. check this out. after the fake maddow account was removed, the same person posted other clips from the secret romney tape to another account. one of the reasons we could not authenticate it back in august, because the quality was so poor you couldn't tell. but then when mother jones
published clips, they published it with a focus specific shadow on mitt romney's face. in a second release they removed that blurring of everything around mr. romney. so from its earlier incarnations as the quality and resolution of the video evolved, each of the changes affect the video's potential utility as source material. now as this video and these comments become a central defining element of mitt romney's campaign, there has been yet further evolution of the tape. we have obtained the audio enhancement of the video. the words themselves have not been altered. but the words are much more clear. so when the video was anonymously posted in august,
there was the initial. >> there are victims who believe -- >> that's what was posted online in august when no one knew what it was. here is what it looked like last week. this is the middle video. who believe the government has responsibility to care for them. >> that was the "mother jones" version posted last month. now here's what it looks and sounds like now with the new enhanced audio. the one on the ride. >> believe that they are victims, who believe the government has responsibility to carry for them. >> more and more from the tape continues to be released and clarified, eventually at this rate, somebody is going to produce a hologram of mitt romney calling half the country victims, in your living room.