The Rachel Maddow Show Weekdays at 9PM

Rachel Maddow StoriesRSS

select from:

E.g., 6/3/2016
E.g., 6/3/2016
Cruz has upper hand on Trump in delegate game

Cruz has upper hand on Trump in delegate game

03/28/16 09:18PM

Kyle Cheney, Politico "campaign pro" reporter, talks with Rachel Maddow about the advantage Ted Cruz has over Donald Trump in working within state-level Republican Parties to establish delegates who are loyal to him should he need them in a contested conv watch

Trump mobilizes lawyers in delegate fight

Trump mobilizes lawyers in delegate fight

03/28/16 09:09PM

Rachel Maddow reports on the shadow primary within the Republican primary to secure as many loyal and double-agent delegates as possible to serve in the event of a contested convention. Donald Trump is apparently compensating for his lack of preparedness on this front with legal threats. watch

Sanders campaign rewrites history of losses

Sanders campaign rewrites history of Super Tuesday losses

03/28/16 09:00PM

Rachel Maddow reviews reporting done in advance of Super Tuesday on how the Sanders campaign was increasing spending and staffing for those primary contests, facts that now undercut the campaign's explanation that they weren't really trying in those states they lost to Hillary Clinton. watch

Monday's Mini-Report, 3.28.16

03/28/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* Capitol Hill shooting: "Police locked down the US Capitol complex on Monday after a police officer was shot, NBC News has learned. 'Shooter has been caught,' the Capitol's sergeant at arms reported. 'One police officer shot, but not seriously.'"
 
* A devastating attack in Pakistan: "A suicide bomber set off a powerful blast close to a children's swing set in a public park on Sunday evening in the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least 69 people and wounding around 300, rescue workers and officials said."
 
* The investigation in Brussels continues: "Belgium on Monday released the sole suspect prosecutors had arrested directly in relation to the Brussels terror attacks."
 
* Um, can we talk a little more about this? "As a dragnet aimed at Islamic State operatives spiraled across Brussels and into at least five European countries on Friday, the authorities were also focusing on a narrower but increasingly alarming threat: the vulnerability of Belgium's nuclear installations."
 
* The whole idea of man-made earthquakes is still something I find extraordinary: "On Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey published for the first time an earthquake hazard map covering both natural and 'induced' quakes.... Some 7 million people live in places vulnerable to these induced tremors, the USGS concluded."
 
* A done deal in California: "A deal to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 was reached Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators, making the nation's largest state the first to lift base earnings to that level and propelling a campaign to lift the pay floor nationally."
 
* If only Donald Trump had some understanding of his own rhetoric: "Trade deficits are not inherently good or bad; they can be either, depending on circumstances. The trade deficit is not a scorecard."
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, speaks during a campaign rally at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., on Feb. 21, 2016. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg/Getty)

Bernie Sanders' campaign offers awkward take on state of the race

03/28/16 04:23PM

Presidential campaigns are long, exhausting exercises for the candidates and their teams, and the fatigue invariably leads otherwise competent people to slip up. It happens in every race, in both parties, whether things are going well or going poorly.
 
A few weeks ago, for example, Tad Devine, the top strategist in Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and an experienced consultant, mentioned in passing the idea of Hillary Clinton adding the Vermont senator to the ticket as her running mate. Asked if Sanders would consider such an offer, Devine replied, "I'm sure, of course." Soon after, Devine realized that this made it sound as if the independent lawmaker wasn't really running to win, so he walked it all back. Staffers everywhere had a "there but for the grace of God go I" moment.
 
The strategist obviously just made a mistake, said something he didn't really mean, and reversed course quickly. Today, however, I think Devine slipped up again in a way he'll soon regret. Mother Jones reported:
"[Hillary Clinton's] grasp now on the nomination is almost entirely on the basis of victories where Bernie Sanders did not compete," said senior strategist Tad Devine. "Where we compete with Clinton, where this competition is real, we have a very good chance of beating her in every place that we compete with her."
 
Devine named eight states where he said the Sanders campaign did not compete with a big presence on the ground or much on-air advertising: Texas, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and Arkansas.
According to a report from Business Insider, Devine added, "Essentially, 97% of her delegate lead today comes from those eight states where we did not compete."
 
No matter which candidate you like or dislike, I think it's fair to say Team Sanders has generally run a strong campaign, exceeding everyone's expectations, and positioning the senator as one of the nation's most prominent progressive voices for many years to come. Sanders isn't the first presidential candidate to run on a bold, unapologetic liberal platform, but he is arguably the first in recent memory to do in such a way as to position himself as a leader of a genuine movement.
 
But whether or not you're impressed with what Sanders has put forward, his campaign's latest pitch is an unfortunate mess.

Rising tide lifts Obama, but not Republican Congress

03/28/16 01:00PM

Over the weekend, President Obama's approval rating in Gallup's tracking poll reached 53%, which is the strongest support he's seen in three years. As it turns out, this is no outlier -- Obama's approval rating has reached three-year highs in the latest Bloomberg Politics and CNN polls, too.
 
There are plenty of explanations for the upswing making the rounds, but the circumstances got me thinking about whether there's a rising tide. Perhaps Americans are just feeling a little better, in general, about low unemployment, low gas prices, the growing number of Americans who finally have access to affordable medical care, and the lack of perilous drama in D.C. lately (no shutdowns or debt-ceiling hostage crises).
 
If the public's mood is improving, maybe it's not just Obama's approval rating on the rise? Perhaps Congress is looking less awful as well? Unfortunately for the Republican majority, that doesn't appear to be the case.
 
The CNN poll is helpful on this front. It shows Obama's approval rating inching higher to 51%, but it also shows Congress' approval rating dropping six points to just 15%. To drive home the point, I put together the above chart.
 
It's a safe bet these aren't the kind of results Republicans are looking for right now. GOP leaders on Capitol Hill, in control of both the House and Senate, continue to make the case that Obama is a dreadful leader and a failed president who should follow Congress' lead on issues that matter. Evidently, that message isn't resonating with the public.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal leaves after a press conference, Nov. 5, 2014, in Atlanta. (Photo by Branden Camp/AP)

Georgia's GOP governor vetoes 'religious liberty' bill

03/28/16 12:30PM

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) had a decision to make. His allies in the Republican-led Georgia legislature recently passed a "religious liberty" bill intended to curtail LGBT rights in the state, and the measure was backed by Deal's social-conservative friends. At the same time, however, business leaders throughout Georgia balked and pressured the governor to veto the legislation.
 
Which ally would Deal disappoint? The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported this morning on the governor's decision.
Gov. Nathan Deal said he will veto the "religious liberty" bill that triggered a wave of criticism from gay rights groups and business leaders and presented him with one of the most consequential challenges he's faced since his election to Georgia's top office.
 
The measure "doesn't reflect the character of our state or the character of its people," the governor said Monday in prepared remarks. He said state legislators should leave freedom of religion and freedom of speech to the U.S. Constitution.
In the same remarks, the governor urged his fellow Republicans to take a deep breath and "recognize that the world is changing around us."
 
Deal was re-elected to a second term in 2014, is prevented by term limits from seeking a third, and has said he has no interest in running for any other office. I mention this because, while the religious right is furious this morning, these far-right activists won't be able to impose any kind of electoral punishments on Georgia's GOP governor.

Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.28.16

03/28/16 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
 
* Just when it seemed we were finally done with primary debates, Bernie Sanders now wants another showdown with Hillary Clinton. Since the start of their race, the two presidential hopefuls have already participated in 8 debates and 10 forums.
 
* On CNN yesterday, Sanders again suggested he might try to persuade Democratic superdelegates to override the pledged delegates elected through primaries and caucuses. "When they begin to look at the reality, and that is that we in poll after poll are beating Donald Trump by much larger margins ... a lot of these superdelegates may rethink their position with Hillary Clinton," the senator said.
 
* On ABC yesterday, Donald Trump continued to keep the candidates' spouses in the spotlight. Referring to Heidi Cruz, Ted Cruz's wife, Trump said, "There are things about Heidi that I don't want to talk about, but I'm not going to talk about them. I mean, you know, you can look, but I wouldn't talk about them."
 
* After the Cruz campaign apparently outmaneuvered Team Trump on delegate selection in Louisiana, Trump called the process "unfair" and said there's a "lawsuit coming."

* Fun little fact: this is the first week since the Iowa caucuses that there are no nominating contests for either party. For campaign watchers feeling a little weary, that's the good news. The bad news is there are still more than two months to go -- and we're technically still closer to the beginning (Iowa was nine weeks ago) than the end (the D.C. Democratic primary is 11 weeks from tomorrow).

* Last summer, Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) faced pressure to resign over a campaign-finance scandal. He refused to step down. There was widespread speculation that the New Hampshire Republican would fail in a primary this year, but late last week, one of Guinta's top GOP rivals quit the race.
 
* Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), facing an uphill climb in his re-election bid in Illinois, seems to be basing much of his campaign on hostility towards Syrian refugees.
Voting booths await voters in Red Oak, Iowa, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, ahead of the Iowa primary elections.

One state surprises on automatic voter registration

03/28/16 11:20AM

When it comes to registering to vote in the United States, the burden has traditionally been on the individual -- as regular readers know, if you're eligible to vote, it's up to you to take the proactive steps needed to register. A growing number of progressives are eager to flip the model, however, creating a system of automatic voter registration.
 
The idea is exactly what it sounds like: states would automatically register eligible voters, shifting the burden away from the individual. Those who want to withdraw from the system can do so voluntarily without penalty, but otherwise, Americans would be added to the voters rolls automatically. A year ago this month, Oregon became the first state to adopt this policy, and California followed soon after.
 
Which state would be next? Vermont looked like a strong contender, and a few weeks ago, its state House passed automatic registration by a vote of 137 to 0. But the Associated Press reported on an unexpected state poised to join the club before Vermont.
A push to automatically sign up voters that began with new laws in Oregon and California will soon likely hit a third, notably less liberal state -- West Virginia.
 
The proposed change has taken a less-than-conventional route to the governor's desk.
 
After condemning a Republican voter-ID bill as the "voter suppression act," Democrats offered an amendment to include automatic registration when people get driver's licenses or IDs. The Republican-led Legislature accepted it without much resistance.
And that's the unexpected part. While Republicans tend to be reflexively hostile towards any proposal to make voting easier and voting access wider, in West Virginia, GOP leaders, like Republicans in Vermont's state House, were more than happy to go along on this.
 
West Virginia state Senate President Bill Cole (R) actually said automatic registration can be "a great benefit to our citizens and will encourage more people to go to the polls."
 
That's true, but it's not the position most Republicans generally take.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in Charlotte, North Carolina November 6, 2012. (Photo by Chris Keane/Reuters)

New lawsuit challenges NC's controversial discrimination law

03/28/16 10:41AM

It seemed pretty straightforward when the city of Charlotte, N.C., approved an anti-discrimination ordinance prohibiting discrimination against LGBT Americans. But the response has been anything but simple.
 
As Rachel noted on the show on Friday, North Carolina's Republican-led legislature was so outraged by the expansion of civil rights that it held a special, emergency session last week to pass something called H.B. 2, which, among other things, scrapped the policy approved by local Charlotte officials. Gov. Pat McCrory (R), as expected, signed the bill into law last week.
 
As of this morning, the fight is now headed to federal court. WRAL had this report out of Raleigh:
Gay-rights groups and others who say they'll be wronged by North Carolina's new law preventing Charlotte and other local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules are wasting little time trying to stop it in court.
 
The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina scheduled a Monday news conference in Raleigh to announce federal litigation challenging the law, approved last week by the legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
"By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution," the lawsuit argues.
 
BuzzFeed added that the complaint makes the case that the law "violates people's equal protection, privacy, and liberty rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and their civil rights under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972."
 
It's worth emphasizing that the controversial North Carolina law goes beyond anti-LGBT discrimination and the abandonment of local control. TPM had a report that pointed to an additional wrinkle:
Florida Gov. Scott Visits Opening Of Advanced Pharma Facility- 09/25/13

Florida's Rick Scott signs drastic anti-abortion measure into law

03/28/16 10:00AM

It was the kind of bill that made Florida the subject of national ridicule once again: the Republican-led state legislature passed a measure intended to cut funding to reproductive health clinics, and in the process, the state would direct women to dentists and optometrists for reproductive care.
 
But the bill, signed into law late last week by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), is even more drastic than it appeared at first blush. The Orlando Sentinel reported over the weekend:
The law, which takes effect July 1, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, requires annual licensure inspections for clinics and bans the purchase, sell or transfer of fetal remains. The law upgrades the failure to properly dispose of fetal tissue from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.
These provisions, of course, come on top of the bill's principal purpose: denying public resources to women's health clinics that provide abortion services. Taxpayer funding of abortion was already illegal, but the new Florida law takes a step further, blocking money for preventive medical care at the same facilities in which privately funded abortions occur.
 
Planned Parenthood, the intended target of the Republican offensive, noted that as a result of the new law, thousands of low-income women in Florida will no longer have access to contraception, tests for sexually transmitted infections, and cancer screenings. That, of course, is why the bill's sponsors provided a list of medical facilities that will pick up the slack -- a list that included dentists, optometrists, and health clinics in elementary schools.
The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen as the sun sets on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Kansas Republican faces fierce far-right backlash

03/28/16 09:20AM

A variety of far-right activist groups are furious with one of their ostensible allies, and they're eager to make their feelings known. The target of conservatives' ire is Sen. Jerry Moran (R) of Kansas -- who last week said Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland should receive a confirmation hearing before being rejected.
Adam Brandon, head of the conservative activist group FreedomWorks, said Mr. Moran's support for a vote on Judge Garland "is a perfect example as to why conservative activists have no faith in their elected officials."
 
"They send a signal that Republicans will sell out their principles when it becomes politically convenient to do so," he said.
The Topeka Capital-Journal in Moran's home state of Kansas reported that the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal group, announced late last week, "We are in the process of putting the finishing touches on a robust, multi-faceted TV, digital, and grassroots campaign designed to remind Senator Moran that he represents the people of Kansas and neither President Obama nor the Democratic Party."
 
The same article noted that the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund is considering an election-year plan in which far-right activists would urge Milton Wolf, who ran an unsuccessful Senate primary campaign in 2014, to take on Moran this year. Wolf hasn't ruled it out, saying the other day, "Jerry Moran is living proof that Washington career politicians lie to voters and are bad at their jobs."
 
For good measure, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, called Moran's remarks "outrageous," "crazy," and "politically stupid."
 
Given all of this, one might think Moran had endorsed Garland's nomination, or perhaps defended the judge's qualifications. But that's not what happened. Moran actually took the opposite position. The right is livid with a conservative senator who wants to defeat a judicial nominee the right opposes.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a rally in Florence, S.C. (Photo by John Bazemore/AP)

Trump's newest dubious boast: 'I do know my subject'

03/28/16 08:40AM

Last week, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump had a fairly long conversation with the Washington Post, which tried to explore his views on foreign policy in detail. The discussion made it abundantly clear that the GOP candidate simply has no idea what he's talking about. It's not just that Trump's arguments are wrong; it's also that he seems lost when it comes to basic details.
 
On Friday afternoon, it was the New York Times' turn. Alas, it appears efforts to teach Trump about international affairs aren't going well.
In criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, he expressed particular outrage at how the roughly $150 billion released to Iran (by his estimate; the number is in dispute) was being spent. "Did you notice they're buying from everybody but the United States?" he said.
 
Told that sanctions under United States law still bar most American companies from doing business with Iran, he said: "So, how stupid is that? We give them the money and we now say, 'Go buy Airbus instead of Boeing,' right?"
 
But Mr. Trump, who has been pushed to demonstrate a basic command of international affairs, insisted that voters should not doubt his foreign policy fluency. "I do know my subject," he said.
It's quite clear, of course, that he doesn't know his subject. The full transcript has been posted online, and honestly, it's hard to even know which parts to highlight -- because so much of the interview is incoherent. Andrea Mitchell noted on "Meet the Press" yesterday that Trump "is completely uneducated about any part of the world." The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg added on "Face the Nation" that it's "remarkable to imagine that someone who shows so little interest in understanding why the world is organized the way it is organized is this close to the presidency of the world's only superpower."
 
Trump noted, for example, that countries with "nuclear capability" represent the "biggest problem the world has." Soon after, however, the candidate argued that the United States has to "talk about" allowing Japan and South Korea to have a nuclear arsenal of their own. He also referred to his fear of "nuclear global warming," whatever that is.
 
Asked about U.S. policy towards China, Trump added this gem: "Would I go to war? Look, let me just tell you. There's a question I wouldn't want to answer. Because I don't want to say I won't or I will.... That's the problem with our country. A politician would say, 'Oh I would never go to war,' or they'd say, 'Oh I would go to war.' I don't want to say what I'd do because, again, we need unpredictability."
 
In other words, just take a guess, American voters, before casting a ballot about about the possible intentions of the country's next Commander in Chief. Trump won't tell you before the election, but don't worry, he promises to be "unpredictable" -- in a "winning" way.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives for a rally at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., March 25, 2016. (Photo by Steve Dykes/AP)

Following Bernie Sanders' latest landslides, what's next?

03/28/16 08:00AM

A couple of weeks ago, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, laid out his short-term expectations for the Democratic presidential race, which now appears rather prescient. As Mook saw it, Bernie Sanders would win the next five caucus states with relative ease -- Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and the state of Washington -- while coming within striking distance in Arizona.
 
After Clinton's bigger-than-expected win in Arizona, one of Mook's predictions looked a little off, but the rest of the assessment was quite sound. Last week, Sanders cruised to easy wins in Idaho and Utah, and over the weekend, the independent senator did it again.
Bernie Sanders swept all three Democratic caucuses on Saturday, with decisive victories over front-runner Hillary Clinton in Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii, according to NBC News analysis.
 
Speaking to a rapturous crowd in Madison, Wisconsin, after his victory in Alaska, Sanders declared his campaign was making "significant inroads" into Clinton's big delegate lead.
Sanders was supposed to do well in Saturday's caucuses, but let's be clear: he did extremely well, winning by margins ranging from 40 to 70 points. As for "significant inroads," the final numbers are still coming together, but it looks like Sanders will end up with a net gain of 60 to 70 pledged delegates.
 
By most measures, Saturday was Sanders' single best day of the entire presidential race: three lopsided landslides, which, when combined, gave the Vermonter his biggest net delegate gain of 2016.
 
That's the good news for Sanders and his supporters. The bad news is, well, just about everything else.

Pages

About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.

MaddowBlog_Appendix_logo

#Maddow

Latest Book