tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 23, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT
members in the house and another 100 members in the senate. at any given time one of those duly elected people is in trouble. i don't just mean they're having a hard time getting re-elected trouble. i don't mean they're having a bad news cycle kind of trouble. i mean real trouble trouble like large bundles of cash from bribes you took stashed in the freezer. like soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in a bathroom. like convicted on 11 different counts of ethics. like unexplained $90,000 checks from your parents to your mistress trouble. sometimes members of congress get into trouble. it happens all the time. sometimes depending on the particular type of trouble and the particular member of congress, it can get a lot of national attention, but
sometimes it doesn't get very much attention. frankly, somebody is always in trouble in congress. right now, the man who i guess would be mr. april or maybe mr. may in the calendar for having trouble in congress this year, would be this guy. his name is david rivera. he's a conservative republican freshman congressman from florida. he's been investigated by the fbi, i.r.s. and the miami-dade police corruptions unit, by the miami-dade office all over corruption allegations that he used his position as a state representative for personal financial gain. he misused campaign donations for his own personal use. that he lied repeatedly on financial disclosure forms. so far the only real national attention he's had for his trouble has been about his financial links to senator marco rubio. the two of them owned a house together. a house that's in foreclosure. marco rubio has had his own
trouble for using money for personal expenses. even without the marco rubio thing, regardless of how much attention it's gotten him, his legal troubles are real. that's why he has become the latest astonishing judgment call by this year's republican party. today's scheduled speaker on a conference call organized was florida congressman david rivera putting him up as the party spokesman today. the man that's been under investigation by the fbi, i.r.s. and local law enforcement agencies for public corruption. after many raised eyebrow, national republicans announced that on second thought, he wouldn't be on the call after all. they said they had brand new scheduling difficulties with him. it's just amazing. you do not want to believe a national party in the middle of an election would pick that guy
to represent them to the national press, but they picked that guy. this really is what national republicans and what the mitt romney campaign have been like right now. they keep making eras like this. remember it was the romney campaign that lined up two republicans who voted against the paycheck fairness act as the speakers on call that was supposed to reassure voters about mitt romney's position in favor of fair pay. the national republican party set up a conference call to go after president obama on his american jobs record. that particular call they outsourced to call center in the philippines. please press one for english. the romney campaign set up a call for reporters to rebutt the charge that mitt romney would take us back to the old george bush policy and two of the three surrogates had been george w.
bush policy people. republicans keep making this big laugh out loud errors picking the wrong person to make whatever their political case of the day is. they keep making these errors and they keep not having to pay for them. romney campaign did it again today maybe worse than ever. today they hosted another conference call for reporters. this one with romney surrogate john sununu. the former new hampshire governor. he may be mitt romney's highest profile surrogate anywhere in the country. this republican call that he was scheduled for today was designed to complain about the obama campaign taking on governor romney's time in the private sector. it was designed to get the world off of mitt romney's back when it comes to bain capital. on that call he said i think the bain record is fair game. seriously, he said that. listen, it's on tape.
i think it was on tape. did it just say i and it stopped? the magic of technical difficulties. i think the bain record is fair game. the whole message, the single unifying talking point in politics right now for the party for the romney campaign, the entire deal comes down to do not talk about bain capital. you hate free enterprise and all business if you talk about bain capital cued by the romney campaign to say that to say do not talk about bain capital and he says the opposite. he says go after bain. it's fair game. dig in. he says it to the reporters summoned by the cam bane for the effort to hear what he has to say. we'll hear about that for three days. of course not. the nation will not be hearing about john's journey of off message surrogates. this is exactly the kind of off
message misadventuring that has caused three straight days of heartburn for the obama campaign and for newark, new jersey's mayor cory booker after he criticized both sides of the race for negative campaigning. cory booker made the exact same mistake and he made it on the exact same subject. the only difference is that the republican in this off message duo is a much more prominent guy. they made the same face plant only john's was bigger because his role in this is bigger. if you heard about the gaffe today at all, congratulations. that means you read very obscure blogs because it was nowhere else. there thought to be a merit badge for this. in the sport of politics and trying to win by campaigning, it's not a matter of who makes gaffes and who doesn't or who makes bigger gaffes and who makes smaller ones.
it's matter of who capitalizes on them better when they happen. right now that's very clear. here is the other edge of that sword. the biggest buy for a single ad yet in this political season, bigger than anything you've seen by the koch brother, anything that's run in all the state craziness campaigns this year, bigger than anything from president obama's re-election campaign, bigger than anything you've seen from the romney campaign, bigger than anything is this new ad from karl rove. there was so much money behind this ad. it's a $10 million ad buy. it's going to be playing in so many places that i don't feel guilty giving it free air time because you're going to be seeing it any way no matter how hard you try to get away from it. >> obama started spending like our credit cards have no limit. we've had stimulus and bailouts. obama added almost $16,000 in
debt for every american. how will my kids pay that off when they can't find jobs? now obama wants more spending in taxes. that won't fix things. i had so many hopes. cutting taxes and debt and creating jobs, that's the change we need. tell president obama to cut the job-killing debt and support the new majority agenda at newmajorityagenda.org. >> you can see at the end, at the bottom it says paid for by crossroads grass roots strategy. karl rove and his three billionaires. that's supposed to be the grassroots. it's getting a $10 million roll out. the ad shows the random piece of paper with the word student loan written on it. that's to show you that president obama has somehow been very bad for people who have
student loans. the ad tells you that president open started spending like our credit cards have no limit. the ad says need to cut the debt and then it says in the next sentence, we need to cut the debt. if you agree you're supposed to go to the website and be persuaded to vote for mitt romney. if you agree, you're supposed vote for mitt romney even though on student loans, what's mitt romney's advice. his advice is if you need help paying for college then you should have shopped around for a cheaper school. >> i hope you shopped around and find a school with the lowest possible tuition. >> my best advice is find an institution of higher learning with the best price. shop around. >> even in the latest fight over student loans it was president obama and democrats saying the interest rates should not be allowed to double this summer. republicans in the senate filibustered that.
in terms of student loans, it was president obama who doubled pell grants. it was president obama who cut out the middleman sallie mae so there wasn't random profit in the system that doesn't serve students and put that money toward more student loans. nobody's done more on student loans to make the burden of student loans less than this administration. mitt romney does not believe in federal support for student loans and says find a cheaper school. shop around, you're not going to get any help from me. karl rove's assertion is president obama is making student loans worse. if you're worried about student loans it's because president obama being so bad on the issue. in this ad it's karl rove's assertion that under president obama spending has gone through the roof, unprecedented spending that started under president obama. spending has levelled off under
president obama. spending is not skyrocketing under president obama. it's flattening out under president obama. if you do care about the national deficit, if karl rove's ad is working as he wants it to and you're getting riled up then you should hear the news from the nonpartisan tax policy center. it estimates that the romney budget plan would increase the deficit by several trillion dollars over the next decade. the obama plan would cut the deficit by trillions the over the same period. prepare for $10 million worth of this ad telling you if you're worried about student loans and spending and the deficit you ought to vote against the guy who has been comparatively pretty good on the issues. on the deficit you ought to vote for the guy that will make it worse by trillions and trillions of dollars. you cannot shock anybody by telling them a karl rove ad tells a lie. the issue is that the assertions in this $10 million ad buy are just blatantly at face value shockingly dishonest to anybody
who understands anything about these issues that are in this ad. we're told that republicans have focus group this ad down to the last bristle on the air brush. they are confident that the assertions are false to anybody that knows the fact, they are confident it not be shocking to anyone. they are confident that people do not know what the facts are. are they right? in so, the number one question is why don't more people know the actual facts? how do you run on your record when the other side has crafted a new record for you. a record they would rather run against instead of the record of what you have done. the chief strategist joins us next.
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we gave tax cuts to businesses and homeowners and things began to change. >> that was vice president joe biden this afternoon in new hampshire breaking out one of our all-time favorite graphs. what we used to call the bikini graph. the vice president using that job creation graph in an attempt to use facts as a counter point to the romney's claim that things have gotten worse during the president's term. it's not true, but that's what they are running on. it's nice to have you here. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> the romney campaign is running on the idea that president obama has made the job situation worse, which isn't true. the obama administration is spending at a high rate, which isn't true. you can't really run on those
things if people know they are not true. people don't seem to know that. do you guys have a problem with voter information about the president's real record? >> i think the country's gone through a difficult time and people experienced that. it's gone through a difficult time for a longer period of time than in the last three years. i think they know that too which that graph reflects. we are running advertising now in many states that fee which you are that graph that you just showed and other information about the administration about the auto bailout that mitt romney opposed that saved more than a million jobs and put the auto industry back on its feet and other features that we have done. i think one of the reasons why mr. rove and his super pac on on with such ferocity now is they are concerned about people receiving that information. it's not just the truth about what we've done but the truth about what they would do and what they want to do.
mitt romney, as you referred to has offered plan that's very much like the plan that coral karl rove and others put into place. he wants to cut taxes while raising taxes on 18 million working americans. it's a budget busting plan that the independent analysts would say would add $5 trillion to our deficits. for them to reason ads suggesting that the problem is debt and they're the answer is absurd. that case will be prosecuted over the course of this campaign. you can't hide the impacts of what you're trying to do or who you are or what you're record was a. all of those things are part of this debate. people will make a choice. >> you mentioned karl rove's policy over the last decade. one of the things we learned this week is mitt romney is going to be doing a fund-raiser with former vice president, dick
cheney. he's described him as the kind of vice president he would like to have. i wonder as you are shaping as the obama re-election campaign's narrative about mitt romney, do you think there are important differences between what romney would offer and the george w. bush-dick cheney years offered or is it the same ideas? >> i think clearly it is. i don't think we want to relive it. that's what romney is suggesting. his big economic idea is to go back to the same theory. if we cut taxes for the to and cut wall street to write its own rules then the entire economy will roar and everyone will prosper. we know that's not the case. mitt romney has the foreign policy of the 1980s and the social policy of the 1950s and the economic policy of the 1920s, which we re-visited a decade ago. we want to build a economy
that's durable and people who work hard can have a chance. that's not the policy that mitt romney's offering. >> in terms of your ability to compete with the counter narrative that's being presented not just been the romney campaign but by karl rove super pac and the other super pacs that's pushing similar messages, is the arms race ramping up father than you thought it would. did you expect there to be a $10 million ad at this stage and is your fund raising on pace? >> this is a big concern. it's not a concern for our campaign but moving forward for our democracy. karl rove got a $10 million anonymous donation for this group. one donor wrote a check. our average contribution is about $51 or something like
that. it will take 181,000 of those contributions to match that one anonymous donor. you can multiply that. we expect them to spend as much as a billion dollars in this race. is that a concern for us? yes. we have to redouble our efforts at grassroots fund raising and other kinds of fundraising. a lot of these donors who give to the republican super pacs are doing it as an investment. they can write a $10 million check and if their particular special interest is taking care of, they will get a return on their investment. that's not the way democratic donors have approached policy. it is a difficult situation but it's one that we have to fight our way through. i ultimately believe that at the end of the day that we will have the resources to get our message
across. we'll push to get the resources. we'll have them and i think the truth will out. people take a look at these two candidate, what they've done, who they are, where they want to go, and they'll say what is the best path for me. i think we're going to win that fight. >> i'll tell you the democratic perspective on that is that wisconsin is parallel for what's happening at the national level. two weeks from today they will vote on whether to recall scott walker. on the democratic side there's been grassroots effort. on the scott walker side it's been massive, massive national money particularly from conservatives who have supported him. governor walker, i don't think anybody would have thought he would be this far ahead as he is now. do you see parallels there to the national race and specifically in wisconsin is there more that the democratic
party could be doing to help the recall effort against walker? >> first of all, there was a loophole in the law that allows governor walker there to spend raise and spend unlimited amounts of money until there were nominees. he spent $20 million and much it came from people like the koch brothers who have poured millions of dollars into his campaign and he made good use of that. he's been on television for months. that's obviously given him an advantage. we have committed a million dollars or more of resources our entire organization, there are 60 paid staffers, thousands of volunteers. hundreds of lawyers on the ground to help in this effort we're also going to be sending out an e-mail from the democratic national economy to help raise money for tom barrett, our candidate in wisconsin. there's no doubt that governor walker got a big head start
thanks to a loophole in the law. you're quite right to shine a light on this. there is real concern, i think, not just about this election or our election but about the sort of durability of our democracy if you have a situation where people can write enormous checks and do it anonymously so no one ever knows where the money came from to influence public policies. you can see when you look at the romney policies, why that you would would be attracted to his candidacy. it's not good for the middle class. everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead and everybody plays by the same rules. >> david axelrod. thank you very much for your time. hope you come back soon. >> thank you. like to. this just in. some republicans in congress are
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siemens. answers. we have literally stopped abortion in the state of mississippi. [ applause ] >> the only abortion clinic in the state of mississippi. a bill was drafted that said if you would perform an abortion in the state of mississippi you must be a certified ob/gyn and have admitting privileges to a hospital. it's going to be a challenge. we stopped abortion in the state of mississippi legally without having roe versus wade. we done that. the other side is like, well, the poor pitiful women will go out of state. you have to have more values. you have to start somewhere.
that's what we decided to do. >> you have to have moral values. you have to start somewhere. there was bubba carpenter. a republican bragging about what he considers to be the successful republican effort in mississippi to effectively ban legal abortion in that state. technically abortion is still legal. that's guaranteed by the u.s. constitution but the republican plan in mississippi is you will soon not be able to get a legal abortion anywhere in the state of mississippi and if that leads to women killing themselves with coat hangers, you have to start somewhere. you have to have moral values. barack obama and joe biden beat john mccain and sarah palin badly. this was the percentage vote for the popular vote. popular vote was not close either. part of the republican the democrats were able to get a big overall margin of victory is
that even though republicans did have a female vice presidential nominee, the democrat won among women voters. they won by 13 points. today the new poll is out and shows the democrats are no longer ahead in this election by 13 points like last time. this time they are ahead by 15 points. it's early yet and the election is a long way off. we don't know who the vice presidential nominee will be. that gender gap is real. it's big enough that it's potentially determinative for the election. the republicans know it. the young guns is associated with house majority leader eric cantor. a few weeks ago they unveiled a young guns for gal. they're calling it yg woman up. it's supposed to be like man up
but for woman. the idea here is that the republicans can't be anti-woman because they started this young guns group for ladies so they can work to elect all of these women to congress. the list of candidates the young guns have endorsed is even less female than the house of representatives already is right now. if you don't think there are enough women in congress now, then woman up and we'll make that even worse. today, house republicans are doing the same thing that the young guns did but doing it for the whole republican caucus. they have announced the formation of something called a womens policy committee. that's a committee for women in congress that are interested in policies that affect women's issues. do not be fooled. of course it's not that. it's a committee for house of representatives who are female and who are republican.
house republicans have also shown a light on the fact that of their 242 house republican members only two dozen of them are women. just as republicans seem bewildered that putting sarah palin on the ticket in 2008 did not help them do better with women voters, they still seem baffled by the fact that their problem with women voters isn't necessarily a image problem. it's not about whether they look female enough. it's a policy problem. they may have unveiled something called a women's policy committee but it has nothing to do with policy. they are keeping the same policy. they are keeping the policies that earn the war on women title. they just want to show you some of them are female. it is a guy named bubba who is talking about women may use hangers to give themselves abortion and kills themselves. according to planned parenthood
their collective rating on those member of congress reporting reproductive rights average together is below 6%. every single one of these women who was in congress at the time voted against the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. 22 of these 24 people voted for the republican roll back of the violence against women act. this is where the whole war on women idea came from. this is where that 15-point gender gap came from. it's policy. it isn't just that republicans think that republicans are all men. it isn't that people think president obama is a woman. it's policy. it's policy. it's policy. it's not about the chromosomes of people who are in power. this week 42 catholics filed lawsuit in states to give employers the right to ban women from receiving contraception
through their health insurance. republicans took up that argument with the blunt-rubio amendment and they concluded that had been a mistake. it could have easily passed in the house but after republicans realized the affect of having that debate in the senate, john boehner and the republicans in the house decided they were not interested in bringing it up for a vote. now that all these lawsuits have been filed on the exact same subject, is this issue back? is the contraception issue and the republicans position on it back on the table at a national level? joining us is the co-chair of the caucus. she's a democrat for the great state of colorado. thanks for your time. >> it's great to be back. >> let me ask you to respond to that last question. do you think these lawsuits around access to birth control
for women, do you think that puts the birth control debate back on the table in a national way? >> i don't think the birth control debate has left the national debate. i've been in congress 16 years now. we've been debating birth control, federal employees access to birth control, different state medicaid access to birth control, all kinds of things for the entire 16 years i've been in congress. this lawsuit just shows that the catholic church is tone deaf to the fact that 98% of their female members have used birth control at some point and really that the president's policy does nothing to infringe on religion. i think that birth control is going to be an issue up to the november election. >> on the issue of republican policy, the republicans in the house today unveiled their women's policy committee which doesn't have anything to do with policy.
it does show that there are roughly two dozen republican women in the house caucus. do you think that the formation of a women's group for republican female members of the congress could potentially in the future have an affect on policy or is this just about showing personnel rather than what those personnel like to work on? >> well, you hit the nail on the head. it's 2012. these two dozen republican women, they don't have any different views. they don't support equal pay for equal work. most of them voted against the reauthorization of the violence, the good violence against women act bill, the progressive one last week. in this day and age, do we really need a ladies auxiliary in congress? they are saying we got these gals in here and they will vote for the same anti-women policy that we're putting forward. that's not going to make women in my state or women across the country think that just because there are women in congress
that's going to make the policies that they support any better for women and families. >> we have seen a dynamic in the senate in a small way, but i think it's real when some female members of the senate women republican senators have spoken out on issues affecting women's policy. lisa murkowski voted with the male, went home and changed her mind. she said he regretted her vote and talked openly about why that was wrong and how republicans were screwing that up. i felt like maybe republican women in the senate is going to make a difference. is there any dynamic like that in the house at all? >> there are a few republican women in the house. i've worked closely with them over the years who do believe in birth control. many of the newer members, the newer republican female members in the house, they adhere to the tea party position.
they believe a lot of the same extreme views that the rest of the tea party members in the house believe. that's why you saw, for example, 22 of the 24 of them voting for a very restrictive reauthorization of the violence against women act that would have taken us backwards. there are some in fact house but not enough. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. nice to have you here. >> it's great to be with you. thank you. there was some history made this week that you might not have heard about because it made no headlines. it was history but it didn't make news. that important story is our final story tonight. that's ahead. ♪
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♪ 'cause of you we make a great pair. huh? progressive and the great outdoors! we make a great pair. right, totally. that's what i was thinking. all kinds of vehicles, from progressive.cy discous call or click today. are you guys having any fun yet? okay, good. i wanted you to know even though we don't have a lot of money, we can still throw a pretty good party. >> good news at least for republicans in the great state of minnesota. quite a few state republican parties have been keeping the national party leadership awake
at night with their financial troubles. minnesota has been the brokest state republican party at all. they entered a million dollars in debt. things got so bad for minnesota republicans that they were nearly evicted from their headquarters last month. they owed $96,000 to their landlord. this month they reached some sort of confidential deal with that landlord so they would not get kicked out. the attorney says the deal comes with an or else clause as if the republicans have to make the rent for change or else. money has not been the only headache the minnesota elder have been causing their party. minnesota republicans rejected mitt romney and picked rick santorum instead. mr. romney didn't get second place in the minnesota caucuses. that went to ron paul. mitt romney came in third. that was back in february. now rick santorum is out.
even ron paul says he is no longer competing in the various primaries. now the party is coming together. now the republican party is one for all and one for mitt romney, right? not in minnesota. minnesota republicans had their convention this weekend with 13 delegates at stake. they gave 12 of the 13 to ron paul. they would have given him all 13 except that one ron paul supporter stepped aside so a delegate for michelle bachmann could have that spot. which was nice. the minnesota republican's this weekend, 13 delegates up for grabs, 12 to ron paul, zero to mitt romney. imagine all the conversations are left between the minnesota republican's, between the state and national republican party. we are still going with ron paul here. can you possibly help us out
with some rent money? i did say there is some good news for minnesota republicans here. the state republicans with their $96,000 to do in back rent and their million-dollar debt, the state republican party did find a way to turn the popularity of ron paul into more than just something that gets them in trouble with the guys at national. they turned his career and to visit to their convention to a fund-raiser for the state republican party. lemons into lemonade. if you can't beat them, join them, and good luck. perhaps higher your own. if you are one of the millions of men
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happening. this was president obama in chicago yesterday giving a wide ranging press conference. at the conclusion, the headlines where almost all about domestic politics. they were all about his answer to a question about his republican opponent's business record and whether that record is a proper focus for campaign ads in this election season. frankly, in terms of the momentum, it makes sense that is what got the headlines. the whole reason the president was in chicago in the first place is because he was hosting a nato meeting. a meeting about how america's bonser war ever ends. on the heels of an announcement from the new french president that france will be pulling out of the afghanistan war this year, they reiterated the u.s. commitment to leaving afghanistan too it, but not as quickly as the french. the u.s. plan is to end next year and to leave afghanistan by the year thereafter. still unsaid is exactly how we
will be leaving when we leave. logistically. the major supply route for coalition forces is east through pakistan, but it has been closed since last november. pakistan made some noises about reopening that route to us for a price to speed the end of the war. pakistan's president got himself invited to the nato meeting in the hopes that might seal the deal for opening the routes. that did not seal the deal, and they are still not open. pakistan to the president was in chicago, even though he did not get any official meetings with president obama. he did meet with the president of afghanistan, but not with the president of pakistan. that is what you call a sub, whether or not you operate in diplomatic circles. that was the drama inside the nitto conference. this was the drama outside the nato conference. thousands of protesters protesting the summit. dozens of people were arrested.
this weekend of the afternoon that it opened, veterans of the post 9/11 words marched to the site of the summit. some of them returned to their service medals to nato. it was not hundreds during the vietnam, but it was dozens of iraq and afghanistan veterans. it is a powerful form of protest. >> how. i don't want us to suffer this again, and i do not want our children to suffer this again, so i am giving this back! >> against the backdrop of that protest, against the release of the names of four more americans killed in afghanistan on friday and sunday in the news that another international soldier, statistically likely to be an american, was killed yesterday in the eastern part of afghanistan. amid the news of still fighting in planning for two more years and trying to get out, president
obama at that news conference said something important. i am not sure it got a single headline anywhere in the country. he put the nail in the coffin of the once fashionable doctrine of nation-building, counterinsurgency. it was used was justified stretching this war into a decade-long engagement in the first place. >> one of the things we have learned from the afghanistan experience is for us to stay focused on the counter terrorism issue, to work with the government, to not overextend ourselves, to operate smartly in dealing with these issues. a large footprint that we have in afghanistan over time can be counterproductive. we have done their ten years, and i think, you know, no matter how much good we are doing and how outstanding our troops and civilians and diplomats are
doing on the ground, ten years in a country that is very different, that's a strain. not only on our folks, but also on that country. at a point, it will be very sensitive about its own sovereignty. we can achieve a stable afghanistan that won't be perfect. we can pull back our troops in a responsible way, and we can start rebuilding america and making some of the massive investments we have made in afghanistan hear back home. >> nation-building at home, not for war abroad. not said by a candidate for office, but said by the president explaining what he is doing as president. however long it takes to get home from afghanistan now, that nation-building idea as a justification for keeping a war going on indefinitely, that is over in america.
mitt romney is to be a fund-raiser with dick cheney, trying to reinstall the foreign-policy team. so maybe they will try to bring it back, but it's over. what made our post 9/11 words two of the longest wars in american history is over. it was tried. it has been rejected. it's done. this nitto summit and is proclaimed and to the afghan war did not necessarily make headlines >> let's hear it for joe. >> making money for your investors is not the president's job. >> attacking romney's record at bain capicapital. >> it's fair game to talk about it. >> it's value versus skills. >> fair game. the business values don't fit.