The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/12/11

Guests:
Wayne Slater
Transcript:

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thank you very much, my friend. Have a good
weekend.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You, too.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next
hour.

We are beginning our show today actually with a special debate issue
of “Debunktion Junction.” Can we make the train thing go? Can we do
that?

I love the little train thing. Thank you very much.

All right. “Debunktion Junction,” what`s my function?

First up, Herman Cain – Herman Cain was asked about his assertion
American communities have the right to ban mosques if they want to. Herman
Cain responded by denying he had ever said that. Here`s how it went.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: You said that communities have the right to
ban Muslims from building mosques, before you later apologized.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The first point you raised
saying communities have the right to ban mosques – no, that`s not exactly
what I said. Unfortunately, the people who helped you put that together
have misquoted me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: I have misquoted, and you don`t come up with your own
questions, obviously. I never said communities have the right to ban.

Is that true or false? Herman Cain said communities have the right to
ban mosques – is that true or false?

That is true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: The people in the community know best, and happen to side with
the people in the community.

WALLACE: So, you`re saying, any community, if they want to ban a
mosque?

CAIN: Yes, they have the right to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Yes. Herman Cain did go on to apologize for having said that
later, but there is saying it clear as day. He said it to Chris Wallace,
in fact, the same guy to who`s face he denied it last night, that
communities have the right to ban mosques, which, of course, they don`t.
Denying he said it doesn`t deny the truth of what he said it.

All right. Next up – Jon Huntsman. Jon Huntsman, Republican
presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, asserted last night that the Obama
administration has no high-level contact with China. Mr. Huntsman made the
point in the context of China allegedly hacking into U.S. computers.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not only have government
institutions been hacked into, but private individuals have been hacked
into. It`s gone beyond the pale. Listen, this is – this is also part of
a dialogue that has taken place with the Chinese. We need a strategic
dialogue at the highest levels between the United States and China. That
is not happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That is an empirical insertion from Jon Huntsman there. And
that`s the sort of thing you would think he would know about. It is the
sort of thing that can be checked.

So, is it true or false that, as Jon Huntsman says, the Obama
administration is not talking to China at the highest levels?

That is false.

As Josh Rogin at “Foreign Policy” noted today, quote, “As Obama`s
former ambassador to China, Huntsman surely must know that there have
already been two rounds of the U.S.-China strategic economic dialogue,
which is initiated in 2009 led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. In fact, Jon Huntsman himself
participated in the dialogue in Beijing in May 2010 and wrote a blog post
about it where Clinton and Geithner, quote, `both told me the dialogue was
a broad success. I couldn`t agree more.”

Not only has this strategic dialogue that Jon huntsman says isn`t
happening, not only has the dialogue been ongoing, but Jon Huntsman himself
has been part of the dialogue and has said it`s going great. So, his
assertion there is false.

Sticking with foreign policy for a moment – true or false, this right
here is a word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Afghanistanis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Afghanistanis is a word – is that true or is that false?

I`m sorry, Rick Santorum, it is false. Here it is in context, in case
this helps.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979.
Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform in
Iraq and Afghanistan than the Iraqis and the Afghanistans have –
Afghanistanis have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: He first says than the Afghanistans have, then corrects
himself and says than the Afghanistanis have.

Afghanistanis is not a word. Afghanistanis being outgunned by Iran in
their own fake country is also frankly dubious, but we will have more on
Rick Santorum in just a moment.

First, though, true or false, this is a person.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM PAWLENTY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: General Mullen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: True or false – General Mullen is a known and relevant
person in U.S. politics and policy? That is false.

There may be a General Mullen somewhere, but I don`t think it`s who
Tim Pawlenty meant when he invoked this person in this context.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAWLENTY: I was there last summer with Governor Perry, by the way,
and met with General Petraeus, he thought it would take about two years
from last summer to have an orderly and successful wind down of our mission
in Afghanistan, at least in terms of significant troop withdrawal.
President Obama has accelerated that faster than either General Mullen or
General Petraeus recommended.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: What he means there I think is not General Mullen, but
Admiral Mullen, as in Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs.

Admiral Mullen is a Navy admiral, not an Army general.

Next up, Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
accused fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty last night of Republican heresy on
the environment. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Governor, when
you were governor in Minnesota, you implemented cap and trade in our state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Michele Bachmann said Tim Pawlenty implemented cap and trade
in Minnesota. Is that true or is that false?

False. Tim Pawlenty did, in a previous political life, endorse the
idea of cap and trade. Back in 2007 when he was governor, he signed a bill
into law that would require a task force to recommend how the state could
adopt a cap and trade system, but he did not put a cap and trade system in
place in Minnesota. That, Michele Bachmann, is false.

Next up, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman was singled out by the FOX
News moderators last night as the only moderate among all of the candidates
on a whole host of issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: You supported a stimulus package in 2009, in fact, you said
the Obama stimulus package was not big enough. As governor, you signed on
to a regional cap and trade market. You endorse civil unions for same-sex
couples, and you served as President Obama`s ambassador to China.

Some people have suggested that maybe you`re running for president in
the wrong party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: No other candidate got confronted in that way by the FOX News
people last night. Is it true or is it false that Jon Huntsman is the only
candidate who on the specific issue of gay rights voiced support for gay
rights in last night`s debate when he defended his record on civil unions?

Jon Huntsman was the lone pro-gay rights voice of all the Republican
candidates on stage last night. Is that true or is that false?

False. From an unlikely source, actually, there was an unsolicited
pro-gay rights testimony in the Republican debate last night from a man
named Santorum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: I don`t apologize for the Iranian people being free for a
long time, and now, they are under a mullah-cracy that tramples the rights
of women, tramples of gays, tramples the rights of people all throughout
their society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: To be clear, Rick Santorum has not changed his position on
whether or not he supports gay rights in America, but he did plant himself
last night firmly on the side of gay rights in Iran. So, that statement
exists in the world now. I don`t know what else to say about it.

Next up, true or false, on the debate stage in Ames, Iowa, all of the
Republican candidates running for president last night – is that true or
is that false?

False, when you see somebody like Newt Gingrich on the stage, you may
be tempted to conclude this is a completist view of everybody who could –
you could conceivably think was running for president this year – but no,
there were a number of real live declared Republican candidates for
president who were not invited to participate in the debate last night.

Long-shot candidate Fred Karger says said he watched the action on TV
at Old Main, an, Ames, Iowa, restaurant and pub. He also blogged his
responses to the debate questions on “The Huffington Post” Web site.

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, who was renting a one-bedroom
apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire, while announcing his campaign.
Buddy Roemer said he planned to watch from either his campaign headquarters
or his apartment and he said he would make himself available at the
debate`s conclusion.

He said, quote, “It`s kind of a non-event for me.” It`s true,
actually.

A spokesperson for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson said that
Gary Johnson would talk about the debate afterwards on FOX Business
Channel.

Representatives of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who will officially join
the race tomorrow, his representatives told NBC News that he had meetings
scheduled for last night but that he may, quote, “Catch up with the
highlights afterwards.”

Also, earlier this week, “The Houston Chronicle” run an article
covering 13 other Texans, who are not Rick Perry who are all technically
running for president. They have all filed the paperwork to run. Aside
from Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was, of course, on stage last night,
the other dozen Texas presidential candidates were not in attendance.

So, yes, there were lots and lots of other Republican presidential
candidates who were not on stage last night.

This one – this one has to be in its own category because it`s a
little bit strange. It`s sort of on the same topic, but different.

Here it goes. True or false: Republican congressman/presidential
candidate Thaddeus McCotter was not at the debate in Iowa last night. Is
that true, or is that false?

False. Thaddeus McCotter was actually at debate last night. Even
though Mr. McCotter was not invited to participate in the actual debate, he
turned up in the so-called spin room afterwards.

According to “The Daily Beast,” “Michigan Congressman Thaddeus
McCotter was not allowed into the Republican debate but somehow wrangled a
media pass and showed up to give his take on the proceedings.”

Speaking of media passes, true or false, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW was
represented last night backstage at the Republican debate. Is that true or
false?

False, but I could understand why you might think otherwise, even
though you might recognize NBC News producer Anthony Terrell from THE
RACHEL MADDOW SHOW in times past and even though you might have seen him in
the post-debate spin room. There he is last night.

Anthony Terrell does not work at THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW anymore.
Anthony has left the friendly confines of this show and our silly hijinks
for the much more sober journalistic duty of covering the presidential
campaign as an embed on the campaign for NBC News.

So, even though it looks like we were there in the spin room and
everybody knows Anthony, that wasn`t us anymore.

All right. Turning to economic policy. We all know the Republicans
are driving some hard bargains on tax hikes these days, right? Even for
the richest people in the country. Even for corporations, which is, if you
ask some Republicans, actually are people. They just – they just really
don`t like the taxes, they are feeling absolutist about it.

Back in March, Republicans released a report on reducing the deficit
and growing the economy, and a successful plan for reducing the deficit,
they said, was one that would made up of 85 percent spending cuts and only
15 percent tax increases. That`s all they are willing to give in the way
of tax hikes, 15 percent.

So true or false, at last night`s debate, you saw that same hard lined
Republican approach to spending cuts versus tax hikes, like the one that we
saw outlined by House Republicans earlier this year. Is that true or is
that false?

False. The Republicans vying for the 2012 presidential nomination,
turns out, have a much, much more hard-lined approach to spending versus
tax cuts.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETT BAIER, MODERATOR: Say you had a deal, a real spending cuts
deal, 10-to-1, as Byron said, spending cuts to tax increases, Speaker,
you`re already shaking your head. But who on this stage would walk away
from that deal? Would you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about
not raising taxes you`d walk away on the 10 to 1 deal?

OK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Just making sure everybody at home and everyone here knows
they all raised their hands. They are saying they feel so strongly about
not raising taxes, that a 10 to 1 deal, they would walk away from.
Confirming that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: The Republican hard-lined position in March was that 85-15
would be the appropriate ratio for spending cuts to tax increases. Now,
not even a 10 to 1 deal could get the attention of a single Republican
presidential candidate. Taxes, smaxes.

Finally, back to Rick Santorum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: If I told you in the trail on Iowa, you`d see me in your
hometown, but you probably wouldn`t see much of me on television. So, it`s
holding true tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand you have the next question. You have
the next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: While plaintive and sort of adorable, that was also an
empirical claim from Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum said he and some of us
over here on his side of the stage, here`s the stage, all right. OK. Rick
Santorum is actually standing next to Herman Cain. See? They`re over.
There`s everybody else.

But Rick Santorum said, “Some people over here,” in other words, “me
and Herman Cain, are not getting to talk enough.”

This is quantitatively testable. We took rough word counts from the
debate transcripts, and by that point in the debate, the point which Rick
Santorum raised his hand and said, “Hey, hey, pick me, pick me, I haven`t
been able to talk” – Rick Santorum had uttered roughly 250 words in the
debate. Herman Cain, standing right next to him had gotten in roughly 528
words.

Now, the average number of words per candidate at that point in the
debate was 678 words.

So, I am no official Republican debate referee or anything, but I`m
going to go with – true on this one.

And after Rick Santorum complained that people on his side of the
stage weren`t getting to talk enough, did it get any better?

Let`s consult our rough transcript word count. All right. Post-
complaining about it, Rick Santorum uttered approximately 1,809. Herman
Cain, after that point, spoke roughly 846 words. The average word count of
all candidates on stage after Rick Santorum`s complaint was about 1,327
words.

So, we can also say that it is true that complaining pays. If you
over there on that side of the stage have not gotten a chance to say a lot,
and be charmingly cranky about it and new opportunities to speak will
suddenly present themselves and you will equal out with the other
candidates.

“Debunktion Junction,” what`s my function, I cannot wait for the next
debate. Choo-choo!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: The single most important thing to know about what is going
on in American politics today, the day after the Republican debate in Iowa,
the day before the Ames, Iowa, single most important thing to know is that
a person who was not at that debate last night and who is not in that straw
poll tomorrow is nevertheless dominating all Republican presidential
candidate news today.

Mark Murray, NBC News deputy political director tweeted last night
from the debate. Quote, “In spin room, there are more reporters around
Americans for Rick Perry`s Bob Schuman than around the Romney surrogates.”

“The Guardian” newspaper reporting, quote, “Although Rick Perry was
not in the debate, Mr. Schuman in the spin room under a placard,
`Americans for Rick Perry,” attracted as much media attention as
representatives of other candidates and even some candidates themselves.”

Dave Weigel from Slate.com wrote, quote, “There were more candidates
pointed at Americans for Rick Perry`s representatives than they were at,
for example, Representative Thaddeus McCotter, Republican from Michigan,
even though Mr. McCotter is actually a presidential candidate.”

And to be fair, another candidate getting more attention than Thad
McCotter, is not big a deal, but Dave Weigel is writing about here is
candidate Rick Perry getting more attention than candidate Thaddeus
McCotter, this is candidate Thaddeus McCotter getting overshadowed by a man
you have never heard of who was associated with a PAC that is associated
with Rick Perry.

Joining us now on the eve of Rick Perry`s presidential announcement is
Wayne Slater, senior political writer for “The Dallas Morning News.” He`s
co-author of “Bush`s Brain.”

Wayne, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.

WAYNE SLATER, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Great to be here.

MADDOW: In terms of news conference and, I think, presence, Rick
Perry is dominating the Republican presidential field right now before he
is even in it.

Do you think that represents a lack on the other candidates or do you
think that Mr. Rick Perry is already campaigning really well just in the
way he is getting into the race?

SLATER: Well, strategically, he`s done a great job, basically,
stepping all over the Iowa straw poll and forcing all my colleagues in the
media to share in their attention not only to the Republicans who were
actually in the field, but to Perry, as you said, who`s not.

But this isn`t just about Perry`s sort of strategic genius and getting
the story, this is a reflection of the Republican field. Rick Perry told a
friend about two months ago, three months ago, one of his best friends,
“This field is very weak. I can beat these guys.” And that was part of
the motivation for him to get in.

So, if the field had one or two Republican candidates that you had a
sizable enthusiastic force among the Republican base, then this wouldn`t be
happening. The Republican base doesn`t like this field. It`s lackluster.
They are looking for something new.

MADDOW: Wayne, a lot of people from outside Texas looking at Rick
Perry as a potential candidate, they make a big deal about the fact that
the George W. Bush network in Texas supposedly doesn`t like Rick Perry. Is
that true and do you think it matters?


SLATER: It is true. The network is not happy about Rick Perry. We
saw evidence of that with virtually all the Bushes were supporting Perry`s
Republican opponent last year, Kay Bailey Hutchison, in the primary, and I
think where it could really be a problem for Perry is if, in fact, the
money guys, the big campaign contributors in the Republican establishment
who were very much a part of Bush`s success when he ran and ran for
reelection, if they don`t climb on board the Rick Perry campaign, it could
be a problem.

Perry knows that and has made a real effort, especially in the last
few weeks, meeting privately and at dinner with some of the big money
forces on Wall Street to California, Los Angeles.

So, if he`s successful there, then this sort of tension between the
Perry side and the Bush side won`t mean that much.

MADDOW: I know that, as you say there, he has been trying to build a
national network of fundraisers, which, of course, he`ll need. I mean, you
can count on Texas billionaires to a certain extent, but entirely for a
presidential campaign. Do you think he`s been successful at courting folks
nationally? I think of Karl Rove as being the guy who has to really unlock
a lot of doors for national fundraising effort by a Republican candidate –
and I, as far as I understand it, there`s no love lost between Karl Rove
and Rick Perry.

SLATER: That`s correct. Karl Rove is not going to be opening any
doors for Rick Perry in terms of fundraisers. That tension exists. And
so, what Rick Perry is going to have to do is go around Karl Rove in the
effort.

I think one things that we need to find out, has Perry been
successfully. We`re going to look at his actually campaign reports in the
months ahead – does he have a number of bundlers? The big money
contributors who were Bushes, who were with Bush, that will be evidence
that Perry has made inroads there.

Bush, significantly, I think that what`s going to happen is, because
of this relationship, the strain between the Perry and the Bush forces is
that Perry will send the word to starve Karl Rove`s super PACs, the
Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads PAC and to give money, big money,
unlimited donations, to those super PACs that are going to be aligned with
– and supportive of Rick Perry.

If that happens, then Karl Rove, who for years had dominated Rick
Perry and his allies in Texas, now will find himself on the short end of a
very long stick.

MADDOW: Wow. Wayne Slater, senior political writer from “The Dallas
Morning News” – I got to say, Wayne, happy Perry eve. I feel like we`re
going to be seeing a lot more of each other in weeks and months to come now
that he`s getting in. Thanks a lot.

SLATER: Thank you.

MADDOW: We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Despite what you may have heard, this is not a crusading
activist kind of TV show. Our unofficial motto is we are trying to
increase the amount of information in the world. In other words, we`re
trying to explain the world, not save it.

But one exception, though, we are trying to save the world from bad
drinks. Great violence has been done to one particular drink that got
really popular in the last few years. As a result of getting really
popular, what many people think of as this particular drink is not that
particular drink. It`s Friday. There`s a lot of news still to get to, and
we will get to it tonight.

But we are also going to save the world from bad Mojitos.

Please stay with me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We just heard
from Standard & Poor`s, when they dropped – when they dropped our credit
rating, what they said is we don`t have an ability to repay our debt.
That`s what the final word was from them. I was proved right in my
position. We should not have raised the debt ceiling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Whatever you may think of the decision Standard & Poor`s made
to downgrade our nation`s credit rating, one thing that is clear about it
is why they did it.

This is not something you have to speculate on. This is not something
we have to wonder about. This is not something we need Michele Bachmann to
interpret for us.

These guys overtly, publicly explained why they did it. Quoting from
S&P`s press release about the downgrade, “The political brinksmanship of
recent months highlights what we see as America`s governance and policy
making becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable. The
statutory debt ceiling and threat of default have become political
bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.”

The following day, in case that wasn`t clear enough, a top official
from S&P did an interview, in which he spelt it out more starkly, telling
“The Wall Street Journal” that S&P`s conclusion to downgrade was pretty
much motivated by all of the debate about raising of the debt ceiling. It
involves a level of brinkmanship greater than what we had expected.

In case that`s still not clear enough, today, S&P tripled down. A
senior director from the firm telling “Politico,” one of the reasons for
the downgrade was that certain politicos, quote, “expressed skepticism of
the serious consequences of a credit default.”

S&P executive saying, quote, “That a country even has such voices,
albeit a minority, is something notable. This kind of rhetoric is not
common among AAA sovereigns.”

We do not have to speculate it. It`s not a mystery. It`s not that –
oh, there`s a lot of blame to go around here. The credit rating of the
United States was lowered because of these guys talking this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: If a bondholder misses a payment for a
day or two or three or four, what is more important that you`re putting the
government in a materially better position to be able to pay their bonds
later on.

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: There`s no question that
sometime in august that some government contracts, some payments for things
that the government`s doing could be delayed. Standard & Poor`s could call
that a technical default.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

MADDOW: Standard & Poor`s says that kind of talk is why we got our
national credit rating downgraded. S&P is not being shy about this. They
want everybody know this.

Will that change Republicans` behavior, and does it strengthen
Democrats` hand?

Joining us now is Jeff Liszt. He`s partner in the Democratic polling
firm Anzalone Research.

Jeff, thanks very much for coming in. It`s nice to see you.

JEFF LISZT, ANZALONE LISZT RESEARCH: Thanks for having me.

MADDOW: The reason I wanted to talk about you with about this, is
that I feel like this is something we need pollsters to understand.
Republican politicians believe that intransigence, even to a dangerous
extent, is what Republican voters want. The White House and Democrats
think that what voters in general want is conciliation and compromise – a
willingness to be reasonable and work things out.

Are those two perceptions accurate?

LISZT: I think they are accurate. I think that if you look at the
country as a whole, you`re going to get a misleading idea of what
Republicans` behavior is going to be like in Congress.

I had a hard time understanding what was going on in the debt ceiling
debate as long I was looking at polls that showed that only 20 percent of
Americans supported the Republican approach and wanted to balance the
budget only by cutting spending.

But the truth is, that you got that a combination in Republican caucus
of extreme members who were elected on Tea Party craziness who either don`t
know or don`t understand the consequences of their actions – but also
members who watched their moderate colleagues lose in primaries in 2010.
Remember, it`s very fresh in their minds.

You know, they watched Castle lose in Delaware, and Lowden in Nevada.
And they know that it`s a minority of a minority that`s going to vote them
out in their primaries. So, you can`t look at the polling among the
general public and predict the behavior of the Republicans in the House,
which I think is unfortunate.

But, that said, I think a lot of moderate voters who helped put the
Republicans in power in 2010 didn`t expect this, didn`t want this, and are
going to punish them for it in 2012.

MADDOW: On the Democratic side, I think anecdotally, you see
Democratic-leaning pundits and columnists and bloggers really encouraging a
more confrontational, more fighting posture from the White House and from
Democrats generally. Is that just sort of punditocracy, elite opinion? Or
do you see that reflected among Democratic voters and liberal voters more
broadly?

LISZT: And I think that is affected in the polls. And I think that
what the public wants is for Washington to work and for Washington to get
results. The public understands that Obama is trying to work with the
Republicans and they are not trying to work with him. I think voters in
general, also, want the president to take a little bit harder line against
Congress.

MADDOW: Yes. Jeff Liszt, pollster for Democratic Anzalone Liszt –
this is the thing I need you to answer, and you really helped me understand
it. Thanks. Appreciate it.

LISZT: Thanks for having me.

MADDOW: Nine out of 10 economists surveyed found that the severe
stock market fluctuations this week can only be rectified by a cocktail
moment. Don`t worry. It`s mere moments away. Remain calm.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Iowa caucuses are first in the nation. Those are not
happening tomorrow. What`s happening tomorrow is the thing that happens
before Iowa`s first in the nation caucuses. Tomorrow is the Ames, Iowa,
straw poll.

And MSNBC is going to be having coverage of the Ames, Iowa, straw poll
all day tomorrow beginning at 7:00 a.m. Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell
will be hosting special Saturday editions of their shows beginning at 4:00
p.m. tomorrow.

We hope you`ll check it out. It is kind of a circus, but it is always
a super entertaining circus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: In March 1995, the new Republican majority in Congress that
year was poised for a big victory. They were on the cusp of passing one of
those balanced budget amendments you hear so much about. That`s a bill to
amend the U.S. Constitution so Republicans could essentially starve
government down to a size small enough that it could be drowned in a
proverbial bathtub.

They did not get the balanced budget to the Constitution back in 1995.
They didn`t get it because of one vote, because of one Republican vote,
because of one of their own guys.

The balanced budget bill was one Republican vote shy in 1995. It was
one Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon short of passage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. SEN. BOB DOLE (R), KANSAS: There`s still time to repent.
There`s still time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: There`s still time, says Bob Dole. But Republican Senator
Mark Hatfield of Oregon back in 1995, he did not repent his position on the
balanced budget amendment. He voted against it. So, the Republican`s
plans on that failed because of one of their own votes.

And Senator Hatfield`s colleagues were not happy about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I think it exhibited an awful lot of
arrogance for him to reject the feelings of his own constituency, own
legislative leaders, his colleagues in the Senate and his leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: By then, Republican Senator Mark Hatfield was in his fifth
term as a senator from Oregon. But the Republicans were just about ready
to drum him out of the party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. SEN. MARK HATFIELD (R), OREGON: I have strong principles, and I
am willing to stand by them and not yield to political pressure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Former Senator Mark Hatfield was also a two-term Republican
governor of Oregon. Mark Hatfield died this past weekend. He was 89 years
old. The first of two memorial services set for Senator Hatfield is set
for tomorrow in Oregon.

Before he infuriated Trent Lott and Bob Dole, and the rest of his
party with that vote against the balanced budget amendment in 1995, Mark
Hatfield had spent a life time in politics taking stands that sometimes
meshed with the interests and the orthodoxy of his own party. But
sometimes really flagrantly did not. Mark Hatfield was even willing to
change his mind on issues over time as the facts evolved or as his thinking
did. He had an open mind as a politician.

In 1965, then-Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield became the first
Republican to speak out against the Vietnam War. He said at the time, “I
cannot support the president on what he has done so far,” citing the deaths
of noncombatant men, women, and children, he said, “The American bombing
campaign in Vietnam merits the general condemnation of mankind.”

In 1982, Mark Hatfield teamed up with the Senate`s designated super
liberal Democrat, Ted Kennedy, on an effort aimed at freezing the nuclear
arms race.

In 1991, Senator Mark Hatfield was one of only two senate Republicans
to vote against authorizing the Gulf War.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HATFIELD: Let`s not be conned into thinking war will be quick, easy,
and clean. Maybe it will be over in a matter of hours or a matter of days
or a matter of weeks at the outside. Even if it is, at what cost? At what
cost in human lives?

We are told that the loss of life would be minimal. Minimal compared
to what? The loss of life in war, no matter how short it might be, would
not be minimal when compared to the alternative.

Even in the best case scenario, the loss of life would be unacceptable
to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: In the Navy in World War II, Mark Hatfield had fought at Iwo
Jima and at Okinawa. He was one of the first Americans to arrive at
Hiroshima, to see the devastation after the nuclear bomb blast there.

Mark Hatfield was against war. He was deeply religious. He did what
he thought was right for the country and although he did not go out of his
way to aggravate his party for aggravation`s sake, he did not shrink from
aggravating them either.

I`m a liberal and I disagreed with a lot of Mark Hatfield`s record, a
lot of the positions that he took over the course of his career. He was a
Republican.

But he was not a doctrinaire or anything. And what is worth
remembering about Mark Hatfield`s legacy at a time like this is that even
if Mark Hatfields don`t come along very often in Republican politics, they
do come along.

Mark Hatfield moments happen. It is possible. It is possible even in
today`s Republican Party.

No matter what you hear from the beltway press about how remarkable
this Tea Party phenomenon is in Republican politics right now, this is not
a new thing. What gets shorthanded now is the current incarnation of the
thing the Republican Party has been dealing with for nearly two generations
– it`s the conservative movement, conservative base voters and base
interest parties.

And because it exerts great influence over the party, Republicans have
purges every so often – purges for ideological purity, to try to assuage
the conservatives among them and the conservative movement. It is a
cyclical thing. It`s what happens in Republican politics, particularly
when Republicans are mostly out of power. So, they don`t have
responsibility for governing.

Republicans at times like that like to occupy themselves with litmus
tests and pledges and getting everybody in the party absolutely totally in
line with the conservative opinion on whatever and throwing out anybody who
dissents.

But let the example on the career of Mark Hatfield be a reminder, that
it is possible that there are brave Republicans who buck what their party
says they have to do. They buck that insistence from the party when they
think that insistence isn`t right. It`s not good for the country.

That sort of independence can happen. It can happen even now, it can
happen in 2011. it can happen when all the Republican presidential
candidates say they would reject 10 times as many spending cuts as tax
hikes just to avoid that tax hike. It can happen even when Republican
fanaticism on that issue almost force us to default on our national debt
and did get the nation`s credit rating downgraded for the first time in
U.S. history.

Even in this Republican Party, even this year, random acts of Mark
Hatfield-ness can still happen. Even in the era of the Tea Party purge, an
individual Republican once in awhile will set aside party purity and stand
in what they believe in, just because they believe in it, just because they
think it`s right.

Take, for example, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Earlier this
year, he nominated a Muslim attorney to be a superior court judge in New
Jersey. That nomination gave rise to the predictable uber right wing crazy
talk nonsense about Sharia law taking over New Jersey.

And here`s what Chris Christie had to say to all of that last week
before the judge`s swearing in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Sharia law has nothing to do
with this at all. It`s crazy. It`s crazy. The guy is an American citizen
who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the state of New Jersey,
swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the Constitution of the
state of New Jersey, and the Constitution of the United States of America,
and has never been accused of doing anything but honorably and zealously
acquitting the oath he took when he became a lawyer to license to practice
in this state.

So, this Sharia law business is crap. It`s just crazy. And I`m tired
of dealing with the crazies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Not only does Chris Christie not pander to Islamophobia at a
time when his political party, they really are still holding congressional
hearings on how America`s Muslims are so radical. Chris Christie said
about that fear-mongering and I quote Chris Christie, “This is crap!” And
moreover, he says he`s tired of dealing with the crazies.

Then there`s Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, who
declared that shutting down the Federal Aviation Administration was maybe
not the most responsible way to deal with political negotiations. She was
reportedly the only congressional Republican who was serious about working
out a deal to fund the FAA, to get furloughed employees back to work and
allow the agency to start up again after a nearly two-week shutdown.

She was not afraid to say why she disagreed with her Republican
colleagues who were willing to just let the FAA stay shut down. She said,
quote, “I am a fiscal conservative and I`m trying to make the cuts that are
necessary, trying to do the things that are right. But I have to question
those who are saying we are going to not be in favor of essential air
service, which as a total budget of about $200 million, but we are going to
waste $1 billion to not let a bill go through that keeps the aviation trust
fund and FAA going. That does not add up.”

Kay Bailey Hutchison, unafraid to do the math and to say – to say
when her own party`s fanatical decision on the FAA doesn`t make sense to
her. She said I am not going to play this. It makes no sense.

Then there`s Mitt Romney. Yes, actually, Mitt Romney, who despite the
Republican Party`s current orthodoxy that global warming is a made up hoax
conspiracy theory, Mitt Romney went on the record earlier this year in
defiance of that orthodoxy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe the world is
getting warmer. I can`t prove that. But I believe that the world is
getting warmer. And number two, I believe the humans contribute to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Sort of hard to believe that that counts as an act of
Republican courage, to believe in science. But, frankly, in this
Republican Party, that does count as an act of political courage and it
should be seen that way.

Then there`s Jon Huntsman, taking to the left of President Obama on
Afghanistan, also saying alone, among the presidential candidates, that is
it right to have raised the debt ceiling and not defaulted on our national
debt. Jon Huntsman is the only candidate who took that position, which
says something about Republican politics now and all the other candidates.

But Jon Huntsman didn`t go along with everyone else on that. He went
his own way. He said what he believed.

None of this is to say that any of these politicians is not craven in
some other way, or wrong or cowardly in some other way. I`m not saying
that these guys are paragons of courage and virtue in their entire careers.
But in a sea of bad news and really radical, political trending on the
right, that sometimes makes you feel like there`s no hope for something
constructive or civic minded coming from half of the political
establishment, coming from the Republican side right now.

It is worth noting that there can be Mark Hatfield moments – even in
today`s Republican Party, even among today`s most ambitious Republican
politicians, even in this environment, sometimes you see a little Mark
Hatfield in an unexpected spot.

Every once in a while, a little green shoot of political courage pukes
out of the soil – for the country`s sake, when that happens, we ought to
water it and hope it grows.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Happy Friday.

My Aunt Joan (ph) is a nun. She lives in Canada, which is where my
mom is from. And, right now, my dear Aunt Joan is visiting my parents.
She`s staying with them in California for a couple of weeks.

I went to really great lengths today to try to come up with some
justification for doing this Mojito cocktail moment we`re about to do on
the show. I mean, Cubans are finally going to be allowed to sell their
homes for the first time.

That`s vaguely related news, right, of Diana Nyad trying to swim from
Cuba to Florida but sadly not making it. Maybe this drink could be for
her.

Mint season, it`s August 12th.

None of these really count as an excuse.

So, excuse, schmexcuse, there is no real justification for doing this.
But it is Friday. It has been a long week. The weather is gorgeous.

And, frankly, if you want me to level with you, I want to teach my mom
and dad how to make Aunt Joan a real Mojito while she is visiting
California, because you know what? It`s cold in Canada and it`s nice here.
And nuns deserve good drinks.

So, for no other reason than to liberate us all from the spreading
tyranny of bad Mojitos and to show you how to make one, here goes. OK,
ready? It`s not like there`s only one way to make Mojito, but this is my
way and it works.

All right. A sturdy glass, fresh lime, an actual lime, cut it in half
and then cut the half in quarters. Drop all four quarters of that into the
glass.

You want about six leaves of mint. If you can get it from the garden,
spectacular. If you can get it from the bodega, so much nicer. About that
much. You don`t need a ton.

Here`s the thing that`s going to freak you out. Sugar. It`s an
important part of this. Three teaspoons of sugar, which is a tablespoon of
sugar.

Oh, my gosh, that`s so much sugar, that`s so bad for you. Yes,
Mojitos are not a health food, OK? It`s a ton of sugar. It`s true. I
don`t even like sugar that much, but it`s supposed to be delicious.

And then you muddle and you muddle it a lot. You`re not just like
trying to bruise the mint to release the aromatic. You`re actually juicing
the lime. You`ve got to get all of the lime out of there.

And you are squishing the mint leaves while you`re doing it and
dissolving the sugar but, really, you`re trying to get the lime juice out
of there.

OK. And now, here`s the part that I want you not to quibble with,
even though I can already tell that you want to. Crushed ice. Either get
crushed ice or crush some with a thing like this.

And if you can`t get crushed ice, at least get cracked ice. And –
oh, come on. Come on. There we go.

And the reason you need to do that is you actually need to get a lot
of water out of the ice in order to make the drink, that comes out of your
ice from the crushed ice is what puts the water in the drink which is
actually part of the drink. Nobody is going to make a dry Mojito. That`s
not how it works.

Here`s the secret part. We`re almost done. You want to have a bar
spoon ready because you`re going to need to do some stirring after you add
the rum.

Now, two ounces of white rum is what you want. If all you can find is
bad white rum that tastes like hairspray, don`t use that. You can use aged
rum instead. This happens to be good white rum. That`s awesome. Two
ounces.

OK. And now, it`s almost a Mojito. I know you`re thinking, wait,
what about the thing with the soda gun, when the bartender puts the bright
green mix and the whole thing turns fluorescent and I get the crazy straw?

That`s not actually what you need to do there. Stir it up. And this
is nice, soft ice and puts a lot of water into the drink. And even though
we haven`t added any water, it`s starting to look – look, it`s starting to
look like a full drink. Then all you do is you add way less seltzer than
you think you need. Just a splash.

If somebody pours you a three-quarters of a glass of soda or something
and then splashes in some lime juice and mint, that`s not a Mojito.

This is a Mojito, garnish here. Nuns love garnish, lots and lots of
garnish. Then you take a straw and a pair of scissors. Nuns love this,
too. It`s very fizzy. Cut your straw on half, you put the straw ends down
and then you make Mojito happiness for all of the nuns in your life.

This is not the gospel of Mojito. There are different ways to make
this drink. But none of them involve a mix, or anything pre-flavored, or
colored. Mojitos are so popular that anything tall and green is being
called a Mojito, but it is a real drink and it is a good drink and it is
worth making properly.

Mom and dad, call me if you need me to repeat any of that. But I
think that is what you should make Aunt Joan from me on this beautiful
Friday night in August. There`s no excuse.

Have a great weekend.




THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>