The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/09/12
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thank you, Ed. I`ll see you tomorrow night,
man. I`m so looking forward to it.
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SHOW” HOST: You be. It`s going to be a good one.
MADDOW: All right.
Thanks to you at home as well for staying with us for the next hour.
Today, Todd Palin endorsed Newt Gingrich for president. That`s pretty
much game over. You want to keep talking football instead? I kind of want
But in the unlikely event that the former potential first dude`s
endorsement does not settle the Republican nominating race, something
important is due to begin three hours from right now. Three hours from
right now, two tiny towns in New Hampshire will be the first to start
voting in that state`s primary. They will be voting just after midnight
Dixville Notch, up there toward the top of New Hampshire, and Hart`s
Location right there in the middle of the state, they go first. They vote
right as soon as they can, right after midnight. And if past is any
prologue, there will be fewer than 40 registered voters from these two
So, once they vote, it is pretty easy and pretty quick to count who
they have voted for. And look who they picked last time. In 2008,
Dixville Notch and Hart`s Location, both picked Barack Obama in the
Democratic primary. In the Republican primary, they both picked John
McCain. And in the general election, they both picked Barack Obama for
president. So right, right and right.
What does that mean for their voting this year? It means absolutely
nothing. But they did pick the winners last time around.
The overall goal of the Republican part in choosing its nominee this
year is obviously to defeat President Obama in the general election. But
the controlling dynamic within that process for much of the last year has
been Republicans` desire to find somebody other than Mitt Romney to do
that. Mr. Romney has had everything going for him in the race. He has
been the prohibitive favorite since before the race even began.
And while he leads basically everywhere, including New Hampshire, Mr.
Romney`s ascendance to the probable nomination has been marked by a solid
year of Republicans trying to put their finger on what it is they dislike
about him so much – trying to find a viable alternative to Mr. Romney
among any of the other candidates in the race, trying to get other people
to join the race when they couldn`t find a credible anti-Romney among those
who were declared.
Now, the way that dynamic played out on a micro level in Iowa, the one
place where we have voted thus far is that Republican voters in Iowa went
through all of these alternatives to Mitt Romney, and saw them knocked down
until one guy was left.
Rick Santorum benefited from three things in Iowa. Number one, that
overall desire in the Republican electorate for non-Mitt Romney candidate.
Number two, being a candidate who is seen as a long shot that nobody
bothered taking him serious enough to criticize him, let alone vetting him
before the voting started. That helped Mr. Santorum.
But the third thing that was really important to his unexpectedly good
showing in Iowa was shoe leather – shoe leather, spending essentially
every waking hour in the state of Iowa. For Rick Santorum, that success
has not carried over, really, from Iowa into New Hampshire. I mean, he did
get a little boost in the polls in New Hampshire after so doing well in
Iowa, but the boost was not enough to turn him into a serious front runner
or anything in New Hampshire or anything close to that.
Think about that formula, though, that made Rick Santorum a contender
in Iowa, the desire for non-Romney candidate, the fact that he had not been
taken seriously enough to get attacked there, and the fact that he burned
out shoe leather throughout the state.
Think about that formula. Who is now using that exact same formula in
New Hampshire? Hello, Jon Huntsman.
When you look at the latest polling out of New Hampshire, Mitt Romney
is still way out ahead but his support has been dropping in the last week.
And support for Jon Huntsman has begun to tick up.
Now, nobody thinks that Mitt Romney is going to lose New Hampshire.
Mitt Romney, barring a political miracle, will win New Hampshire and win it
by a lot. But Jon Huntsman appears to be in a position to be like Rick
Santorum, the unexpectedly strong second place finisher there.
This is the first time that Mr. Huntsman has had any sort of momentum
like this. You may remember that Mr. Huntsman had sort of a buzz worthy
launch. But as soon as he stepped into the race, he also stepped on 1,000
different rakes. I mean, his own campaign spelled his name wrong on launch
day. Reporters following the campaign were mistakenly directed to a plane
headed to a plane that was heading for Saudi Arabia. Remember? And then
there were those weird dirt bike ads that nobody understood.
All of those things hurt Jon Huntsman right when the most people were
looking at him, right at the apex of his national attention. And in the
debates, the debates which have been widely watched and very entertaining,
Jon Huntsman seemed to go out of his way to be the least entertaining guy
If you remember Jon Huntsman at all from any of the early debates,
this is how you remember him. This look.
What are these guys doing here and somebody please tell me I`m
sleeping this can`t possibly be my life.
In a crazy, entertaining debate environment, Jon Huntsman had this
look on his face. Jon Huntsman went out of his way to be neither
entertaining nor crazy.
Also, and I know this is petty but has to be said, Jon Huntsman has
had lame campaign signs in New Hampshire. He`s got at least three
different ones in the Granite State. This one where it sort of looks like
the Halliburton logo. I know that`s the Halliburton logo on one side of
your screen, that Jon Huntsman/Halliburton on the other one. But at least
that one sort of looks tough. Usually this is on a big black background
with a big red H. So, it sort of looks manly, or something at least.
The campaign sign that you see the most for Mr. Huntsman all over New
Hampshire is a red one, all the other candidates have sort of various blue
signs. They look like different times of blue blazers. Jon Huntsman has
one in a nice red wine color.
Jon Huntsman has another sign with his campaign Web site on it,
I follow Mr. Huntsman`s campaign really closely and when I saw a
Jon2012.com sign, I didn`t know that was for him. Let alone that it was a
campaign sign. I thought it was a ad for a sale at a discount clothing
retailer I`ve never heard of that only existed in specific parts of New
This is not good. And the signs are kind of a sign. I mean, up until
very recently, Jon Huntsman has not been a bad candidate in theory, but he
has been a candidate with a bad campaign. And that may turn out to be a
blessing for him because Jon Huntsman`s bad campaign thus far has meant
that he has been so off the radar nobody has bothered to attack him.
And now, at the exact right moment, if not a little too late, New
Hampshire voters are taking notice of him and they are taking notice of him
at a time that nobody has bothered to trash him.
It should also be noted that in the last few days, Jon Huntsman has
suddenly started running a much better campaign, certainly a much more
aggressive campaign. Last week on this show we reported on the existence
of this crazy racist cockamamie ad attacking Jon Huntsman that was not from
any other candidates` campaign, but it looked like it was from supporters
of Ron Paul.
The ad called Mr. Huntsman the Manchurian candidate. It criticized
him for knowing how to speak Chinese. It casts really gross aspersions on
him for adopting daughters from China and India, essentially calling him
foreign or anti-American for doing that. It was gross – it was in fact so
gross, it almost seemed funny before it`s not funny and it`s gross again.
It`s also important to note that that campaign – that ad, excuse me,
was not from the Ron Paul campaign. It is out there, though and it did
appear to be from a Ron Paul supporter.
And now, not only Jon Huntsman himself but the Huntsman campaign and
Mr. Huntsman`s wife have been everywhere criticizing that ad. Governor
Huntsman wife calling it, quote, “absolutely disgusting” and using the
attack as an opportunity to tell their family story, including the adoption
of those daughters.
When I saw Jon Huntsman speak on Friday when I was up in New
Hampshire, he ended his discussion with a long personal discussion how much
that ad bothered him and how much he loved his daughters and how he and his
wife came to adopt them. It was very, very affecting. It was the most
emotional and connecting thing that he did in that whole campaign
Here`s the thing, though – this is kind of amazing. The Ron Paul
campaign says it commissioned a study, an audit, I guess, of where this
anti-Jon Huntsman ad came from, and who has been circulating it. The Ron
Paul campaign says it has looked into where this campaign ad came from and
who is circulating it and they think it`s Jon Huntsman. Seriously.
Here`s the quote from story about this. “After researching the
available evidence, we believe it is likely that the video came from a
source within or closely tied to the Huntsman campaign.” The study they
commissioned says the Huntsman campaign Web site Jon12.com, linked to the
video a day before it was picked up on Facebook, on Gawker, on RedState and
So, is the Jon Huntsman campaign so nails that they would use this
disgusting ad against their own candidate both for the attention and give
him the moral high ground? Give him a very, very, very moral high ground
way to talk about his own family background? Could they have created this
horrible ad themselves?
That is what the Ron Paul campaign appears to be suggesting. The
Huntsman campaign absolutely denies that.
But in the history of campaigns, weirder things have happened. Things
this outrageous do happen in campaigns. They happen when campaigns are
brutally aggressively, tactically ruthless.
It should also be noted that the Huntsman campaign has also turned
around another attack against Governor Huntsman, this one from Mitt Romney
and the debate on Saturday night – they turned that attack around into
probably Jon Huntsman single most effective moment in the entire campaign,
certainly his single most effective pitch for himself as the anti-Mitt
First, here is the attack from Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m sorry, Governor, you
were the last two years implementing the policies of this administration in
China. The rest of us on the stage were doing our best to get Republicans
elected across the country and stop the policies of this president from
being put forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Mr. Romney attacking Jon Huntsman there for serving as
America`s ambassador to China under President Obama. That was on Saturday
This was Jon Huntsman`s response on Sunday morning. I could just play
it to you straight from the debate, but instead so you can see how he`s
using it, I will play it set to music, because that is how the Huntsman
campaign is using it in their latest ad, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This nation is divided,
David, because of attitudes like that.
HUNTSMAN: First of all, with respect to Governor Romney, there were a
lot of people tuning in this morning and I`m sure they are terribly
confused after watching all of this political spin up here. I was
criticized last night by Governor Romney for putting my country first, and
I just want to remind the people here in New Hampshire and throughout the
United States that I think –
HUNTSMAN: He criticized me, while he was out raising money, for
serving my country in China – yes, under a Democrat, like my two sons are
doing in the United States Navy. They`re not asking who – what
affiliation the president is.
I want to be very clear with the people in New Hampshire and this
country. I will always put my country first, I think that`s important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Jon Huntsman not only shutting down the biggest criticism of
him that Republicans have, that he served under President Obama, but also
turning that against Mitt Romney in particular. And, it should be noted,
implicitly pointing out in a way that no other candidate yet has, that Mitt
Romney who got a deferment to be a missionary in France during the Vietnam
War, also has five sons, five able-bodied sons who are constantly with him
on the campaign trail, but none of whom have served in the military –
unlike, say, Jon Huntsman`s sons, who are serving in the Navy.
Jon Huntsman does not overtly make that case but it is there, and they
have just made an ad out of it. So who knew?
After Jon Huntsman`s sort of disastrous launch, Mr. Romney is running
a capital C campaign that is super aggressive. He has turned super
aggressive in the last few minutes, essentially, before the New Hampshire
He has the endorsement of the “Boston Globe”, which is a strong reach
and highly populated southern New Hampshire. He also has the endorsement
the “Concord Monitor,” which is probably the most influential newspaper
inside New Hampshire.
So, is it too late? Maybe it`s too late.
But after months of not making a ripple, this is what the crowds look
like right now when Jon Huntsman turns up at an event in New Hampshire.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: Joining us right now to tell me that I`ve got this all wrong
and Jon Huntsman is going nowhere is Karen Tumulty. She`s the national
political correspondent from “The Washington Post,” who was in Manchester
Karen, thank you for being with us.
KAREN TUMULTY, WASHINGTON POST: Thank you for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: Tell me how wrong I am. Tell me how Huntsman is still
puttering along and appearances of an upswing are just – are not true.
TUMULTY: Well, at this point, you know, there is still such a margin.
And it was pretty clear for instance in Iowa that Rick Santorum was poised
to completely close the gap just a couple days before.
But I had a really interesting conversation today with a very
prominent Republican here in New Hampshire and he was saying one of the
problems with Huntsman`s whole message, for instance “I served my country,”
is that he never closes the circle. He never explains why he left the
Obama administration, what it was that he saw from inside that
administration that really convinced him that he could do things better
than Barack Obama is.
And I think that the appetite right now among Republican voters is for
somebody who will take the fight to Barack Obama. And that is what I think
probably Jon Huntsman has not conveyed and has yet to convey.
MADDOW: Is the fight within the – within the Republican electorate
turning to Obama already or are people looking for somebody to distinguish
themselves as an anti-Romney candidate at this point?
TUMULTY: You know, they are looking – there is almost a desperate
feeling among some parts of the Republican base, for instance social
conservatives, to find somebody other than Romney. But until one or two of
these guys gets out of the race, they are finding it almost impossible to
consolidate enough people to slow Romney down, much less beat him.
MADDOW: In terms of the different types of opposition to Mitt Romney,
talking there about social conservatives. Clearly, that`s not the ground
on which Jon Huntsman is trying to appeal. It`s also not the ground on
which Ron Paul is trying to appeal. But Ron Paul and Huntsman seem to be
at the top among non-Romney candidates in New Hampshire.
Are Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman essentially competing for the same group
of people? Or are Ron Paul supporters unreachable by any other candidate?
TUMULTY: You know, I think Ron Paul supporters are just so unique.
And if you think about Jon Huntsman has a very strong foreign policy
message, it is about as far away – it`s all about engagement, specifically
smartly engaging the Chinese, that is as far away as you can get almost
from Ron Paul`s message. So, I really don`t see a lot of overlap there.
One thing that I think could help Huntsman or some other non-Romney
candidate is just the number of verbal gaffes that we have seen out of Mitt
Romney in the last couple days, you know whether it`s the pink slips or
saying how much he enjoys firing people.
I do think there is the potential here at least that some Republicans
could look at this and say, oh my goodness, is this, you know, another
Massachusetts politician keep sticking his foot in his mouth.
MADDOW: Why do you think Rick Santorum didn`t get more of a bump in
New Hampshire out of his performance in Iowa? I will say seeing him out on
the campaign trial, a little bit myself, I felt New Hampshire voters, even
if they were just didn`t like him very much, maybe this specific audiences
that I was looking at. But I wonder what your perception is of why
Santorum hasn`t gone further with his Iowa performance.
TUMULTY: Well, you know, it`s interesting because the Friday before
the Iowa caucuses, I did an interview with Santorum, and I asked him, I
said, you know, a lot of people think you`re kind of nuts to be going to
New Hampshire that you should just pick it up and go right to South
Carolina where you have a social conservative message that`s really going
to resonate with the base. But he was insisting he could come up here, and
people would relate to him as a Northeastern kid who grew up in a steel
And I think that, you know, he`s talking about income inequality in a
state that has been hit pretty hard. It just, though – it just isn`t
clicking. And again, I think there`s going to be a lot of rethinking of
that decision to come here rather than doing what Rick Perry did and just
head straight for South Carolina.
MADDOW: Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for “The
Washington Post” – Karen, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate
having you here.
TUMULTY: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Hey, speaking of Rick Santorum, after we finished our show on
Friday night, we did our show live from where Karen is sitting right now up
in Manchester, on Friday night, after the show ended, I finally did get to
meet Rick Santorum face-to-face. I spent the day chasing around both Rick
Santorum and Jon Huntsman, didn`t speak to either of them.
But after the show, I did meet Rick Santorum I got to talk to him and
we got him on tape, and that`s next.
MADDOW: I spent Friday running around New Hampshire trying to get
Republican presidential candidates to talk to me. I ran after Jon Huntsman
in Concord. Elan Riley (ph), a producer on our show, did get a question to
Governor Huntsman in even though the campaign told me there was no chance
for me to talk to him.
Then we drove an hour down to Dublin, New Hampshire, so I could stand
in the overflow room at a Rick Santorum event and get a really clear
picture of how I was getting nowhere near the this supposed Rick Santorum
So, I went one for two talking to candidates that day. I did speak
with Buddy Roemer that night live on the show. But then after we finished
the show, after we wrapped up at 10:00 Eastern, we did the show live,
finished at 10:00. Right at the end of the show, somebody told me that
Rick Santorum was in the hotel where we were staying right at that very
moment, right then, right above where I was sitting, in fact.
On the mezzanine level of our hotel, we found Rick Santorum. He was a
special guest on WBZ 1030, which is a big powerful news radio station out
of Boston. The show was hosted by Dan Ray. He`s a great host. He was
really running the rodeo there, fielding the calls, keeping people on
I think once Senator Santorum realized that we were there, he wanted
to keep taking calls on WBZ all night. But sooner or later, you have to
stop at least for the ads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: On the contraception issue, do you think the country would be
better off if there was less contraception? You talked today about what
people – the liberty that people should do what they ought to do, not what
they want to do.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I talked about the
Brookings Institute study that said that, it`s 2009 study, said if you do
three things, you`re almost guaranteed not to be in poverty. And those
three things are number one work, right? It makes sense, work. Number
two, graduate from high school. Number three, if you`re a man, get
married, if you`re a woman, get married, don`t have a child before you`re
married, get married and don`t have a child before you`re married.
If you don`t do one of those three things, the poverty rate is 74
percent. And the chance of being a $50,000 more income is 4 percent. So I
would just make the suggestion that things that would cause the likelihood
of any of those three things not to happen would probably not be beneficial
to you from the standpoint of living a life where you can pursue and have
economic success. And, of course, engaging in sexual activity, even with
contraception, there is a good chance or there is a chance, not a good
chance, a chance to become pregnant.
MADDOW: So, if contraception was more effective, you wouldn`t have an
opinion? I`m sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I got – the commercial break was running out.
But, Rick Santorum saved by the bell there. That was during a
commercial break which, of course, ends and then they you go back live on
the radio. That was it. That was my time with Rick Santorum.
Asked whether the country would be better off with less contraception
use, Mr. Santorum as you saw sort of ran out the clock talking about things
other than contraception use.
Fortunately, though, we do know what Rick Santorum thinks about
contraception because he`s on the record on the matter. Back when nobody
took him all that seriously, in terms of his presidential prospects, Rick
Santorum made his position on contraception, very, very clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTORUM: One of the things I will talk about that no president has
talked about before, I think the dangers of contraception in this country.
The whole sexual liberty idea, many in the Christian faith said, well,
that`s OK. I mean, you know, contraception is OK.
It`s not OK. It`s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is
counter to what how things are supposed to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: President Santorum`s America, birth control is a sexual
libertine idea. It was counter to the way that things are supposed to be.
At ABC`s debate on Saturday, the moderators tried to sort of nail the
contraception issue down for this year`s various frontrunners. That effort
was mostly derailed by Mitt Romney purporting not to understand the
George Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Romney whether states can ban birth
control, whether they ought to be able to make birth control illegal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Do you believe that states have that
right or not?
ROMNEY: George, I don`t know whether the state has a right to ban
contraception, no state wants to. I mean, the idea of you putting forward
things that states might want to do, that no state wants to do, and asking
me whether they can do it or not is kind of a silly thing, I think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: What is this birth control business of which of you speak,
silly thing. Silly. And so on.
Mitt Romney, like Rick Santorum, went on like that for a long time,
sort of running out the clock rather than talking about his views on birth
Fortunately, though, we also know Mitt Romney`s position on this,
because back in October, he was asked about a constitutional amendment like
the one Mike Huckabee was pushing in Mississippi, the so-called personhood
amendment, which everybody agrees could make hormonal birth control like
the pill illegal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS: Would you have supported the constitutional
amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Absolutely. Mitt Romney says he`s absolutely for an
amendment like the personhood amendment that Mississippi voters said no to
this year. He`s absolutely for an amendment that surprise, could have the
effect of outlawing the country`s most popular forms of birth control.
I know Rick Santorum wants to be the number one anti-Romney candidate,
but there is not much policy difference between Rick Santorum and Mitt
Romney on whether or not a state can infringe your right to have birth
control. It is remarkable that a candidate as radical as Rick Santorum on
issues like this can be considered a top tier candidate.
And it is even more remarkable that Mitt Romney, the overwhelming
front-runner, also can have – take any public position of opposing birth
control, the most popular kind of birth control.
But what`s most remarkable, what`s most remarkable about this year`s
Republican presidential field, this thing of opposing popular forms of
birth control is the majority position among the entire field of
candidates. Five of this year`s Republican hopefuls have signed a
personhood pledge from a group called Personhood USA.
Of the candidates who are still in the race, Rick Santorum, Newt
Gingrich, Rick Perry, they have all signed on. Plus, there`s Mitt Romney
saying he absolutely supports the idea. Even Ron Paul – libertarian Ron
Paul who says birth control should be legal, even Ron Paul signed the
personhood pledge, that could make the most common birth control illegal in
Birth control has been legal in this country in every state of the
union for almost half a century since the Supreme Court said that states
had no right to ban it. Half a century, your right to birth control has
been the law of the land.
And now comes the current Republican presidential field. It`s 2012.
Joining us now is Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood
Federation of America.
Ms. Richards, thanks for being here.
CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA: Good to
see you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Has there been a major party primary in modern American
history where being against contraception is the position of anybody other
than a fringe candidate?
RICHARDS: Never seen this. It`s absolutely incredibly. It used to
be the Republican primary, you know, the whole question was whether you
wanted to overturn Roe or not. But now, that`s not good enough. Everyone
is for actually ending access to birth control.
And I`m glad you mentioned – you know, Mitt Romney himself wrote his
own “USA Today” editorial saying he would end the National Family Planning
program that now serves 5 million women in America.
MADDOW: So, whether or not you have a right to it, you won`t be able
to get it because that`s the means by which women get contraception.
RICHARDS: Absolutely. And I think, you know, I know you showed a
clip there, the Saturday night debate, when asked – when Governor Romney
was asked about his position on the right to privacy, which is the whole
reason why married couple got the right to birth control, he said he didn`t
believe in the right to privacy. And if you look at the kind of Supreme
Court express that he`s going to, you know, put into judges now that agree
with Scalia, Thomas, we`ll be looking at actually for the first time,
absolutely entertaining the idea of making birth control illegal in
MADDOW: Rick Santorum has been very open in the past, as you saw in
that – I mean, in the past, in October –
MADDOW: – about his feeling that birth control is wrong, that it is
– that it makes for the wrong kind of society, and that he also believes
that states have the right to ban it. He`s now – now that he`s being
taken more seriously as a candidate saying he doesn`t think states should
ban it. Mitt Romney having said he would support a personhood amendment
which would allow a state like Mississippi to ban abortion – Mitt Romney
says that he also doesn`t think that states should do that.
What do you make of the candidates parsing the sort of could and
should of this issue?
RICHARDS: I just I think you can`t trust them. In fact, it`s
interesting because you look at Mitt Romney in particular, it wasn`t that
long ago, he was actually asking for Planned Parenthood`s endorsement when
he was running in Massachusetts, when he was politically expedient for him.
He supported Roe. He supported birth control.
Now, he`s saying he wants to overturn Roe. He wants to eliminate the
family planning program. He now has actually pledged to defund Planned
Parenthood. I think he has completely wishy-washy, and this is the kind of
thing where women can`t trust him, what he says about these issues.
MADDOW: I think we got. Can we put up on the screen? Do we have the
PDF of the Planned Parenthood questionnaire that Mitt Romney filled out in
So, in 1992 – this is 1992, right, when he was running for senate?
RICHARDS: No, no, it was 2002.
RICHARDS: Less than 10 years ago.
MADDOW: Less than 10 years ago, he is running in Massachusetts,
filling out the Planned Parenthood questionnaire, seeking support
essentially from the pro-choice community.
RICHARDS: An endorsement from Planned Parenthood.
MADDOW: Does the distance he has traveled over these past 10 years,
is that a Mitt Romney distance or is that a Republican Party normal
distance? Does this represent the distance that the Republican Party has
traveled on the choice issue, or is this just about him taking both sides
of every important policy?
RICHARDS: Well, only Mitt Romney can tell you why he seems to be on
every different side of this issue. But I do know that women can`t trust
what he says. Now, I do think to your point in the beginning, we are
seeing a Republican primary that is absolutely a race to the bottom for
women, where they are trying to outdo themselves on who would be the worst
president for women.
MADDOW: Michele Bachmann was the only Republican presidential
candidate this year who is female. She doesn`t have progressive policies
on any of these issues. Is it a loss for women that she dropped out of the
race, because Republicans aren`t considering a female candidate or does
that not matter because they have anti-woman policies in their view?
RICHARDS: Well, I mean, I think we should have more women running for
office overall. But obviously, we didn`t agree with Michele Bachmann on
any positions. That said, I wish there were more women running. I mean, I
think what is going to be interesting is when we look, Rachel, in November,
the majority of voters are going to be women.
RICHARDS: And they`re going to be paying attention to how candidates
stand on women`s health issues. And I was in New Hampshire as well,
Republican women who support Planned Parenthood are very, very disturbed
about the extreme nature of the Republican primary and wondering where
they`re going to go.
MADDOW: I will say it was striking to see campaign signs on corners
all over New Hampshire and every once in a while to see Planned Parenthood
signs, women are watching signs in there among the candidate signs. It`s
MADDOW: You`re behind that, well done.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of
America – thank you for coming.
RICHARDS: It`s great to see you again. Great to see you.
All right. There is a class struggle going on for the future of the
Republican Party. On the one hand, people making six figures a year. On
the other hand, people making eight figures a year. That`s just ahead.
MADDOW: The day after the Iowa caucuses last week, President Obama
announced that he was recess appointing Richard Cordray to run the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau, making that appointment over the vehement
opposition of congressional Republicans. Today on the eve of the New
Hampshire primary, the president announced he is replacing his White House
chief of staff, Bill Daley, heading home to Chicago after about a year on
the job to be replaced by Jack Lew. Jack Lew is currently the budget
director for the administration. Mr. Lew was also budget director for
President Clinton, and he served as number two official at the U.S. State
Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
We do not know if the timing here is designed to insure that this
announcement is overshadowed by other political news, but the timing here
does in fact insure this announcement is overshadowed by other political
One thing to note here, though, even as the White House has taken a
much more confrontational tone with congressional Republicans these past
few months, Jack Lew, now the new White House chief of staff, Jack Lew has
one very prominent congressional Republican fan. In the midst of the debt
ceiling debacle last summer, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said this,
quote, “No one was more prepared and more in tune with the numbers than
Jack Lew. He was always very polite and respectful in this tone and
someone I can tell is very committed to his principles.”
Eric Cantor likes President Obama`s new White House chief of staff.
Sound the alarms, civility may have just accidentally broken out in
Washington. Surely, that will be fixed some time soon.
MADDOW: This is George Romney. He was Mitt Romney`s father. He ran
for the Republican nomination for president in 1968.
He was the governor of the state of Michigan. He was the head of the
American Motor Corporation, a major car manufacturer.
Mitt Romney was born George Romney`s son. So, in order to understand
Mitt Romney`s upbringing and his start in life and who he was, when he got
a deferment from serving in Vietnam so he can go and be a missionary in
France when he went to Harvard, where he simultaneously got law and
business degrees, he went in high dollar corporate finance. For context,
understand that Mitt Romney was the guy whose dad was governor and who had
ran for president and who ran a big auto company.
Mr. Romney, the younger, is himself now estimated to be worth a
quarter billion dollars. We know he has set aside $100 million trust fund
for his five sons. And we know he continues to be paid a share of the
profits from Bain Capital.
So, that`s not only where he made his zillions, it`s where he
continues to rake zillions in from every year. So, Mitt Romney,
zillionaire, son of zillionaire, father to zillionaires, and he`s a man who
may have trained himself to put on jeans for the purpose of campaigning for
But he has not trained himself to recognize that his life as a
zillionaire and the son of zillionaire and father to zillionaires is not
the way most people have lived their lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m just saying you
were for individual mandates, my friend.
ROMNEY: You know what, you raised that before, Rick. And –
PERRY: It was true then. It`s true now.
ROMNEY: Rick, I`ll tell you what – 10,000 bucks, $10,000 bet?
PERRY: I`m not in the betting business.
PERRY: I happened to see my dad run for governor when he was 54 years
old. He had good advice to me. He said, Mitt, never get involved in
politics if you have to win election to pay a mortgage. If you find
yourself in a position when you can serve, you ought to have a
responsibility to do so.
It was the private sector we were pulling ourselves up by our boot
We could raise taxes on people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corporations.
ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes – of
course, they are. Everything that corporations earned also goes to people.
Where do you think it goes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes in their pockets.
ROMNEY: whose pockets? Whose pockets? People`s pockets. OK, human
beings, my friends.
I know these are tough times. They are tough times in America. I
know what it`s like to worry whether you`re going to get fired. There were
a couple times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.
I should tell my story, I`m also unemployed.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Mitt Romney, common man. A “Time” magazine reporter noting
over the weekend how strange it was to be in the room when Mr. Romney was
asked a benign question by a little kid about why he wanted to be running
for president. In order to explain how much he cared about the future of
this country, Mr. Romney started a riff how difficult it has been for him
to decide who to leave his fortune to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I remember I sat down with an attorney, I said if I have a
will I want to make sure and pass along my – whatever I have to my sons.
And she said, well, what do you want to give to your grandchildren? I
didn`t have any grandchildren then. I said, well, nothing, I`ll just give
to it my boys, and they`ll give it to their children
She said, you`ll change your mind. I said I don`t think so. Well,
now, I have grandchildren. I saw this lady lawyer of mine and I saw her on
the street I said, by the way, I don`t want to give anything to my boys, I
want to give it all to my grandchildren.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The heart warming story about keeping his fortune and all the
wacky run-ins with the lady lawyer.
Mr. Romney told that story at a campaign event on Wednesday. But the
one moment on the campaign trail that the campaign is sort of preparing to
never live down, the one that spawned a tag line they probably will never
live down came at an appearance today in Nassau, New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I like being able to fire people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: For context here, is that he was talking about wanting to
fire people who provide service to him. Specifically liked the idea of
being able to fire who provide health insurance to him.
But because of how Mitt Romney made his zillions, “I like being able
to fire people” will live on forever regardless of the context, coming to a
bumper sticker near you. Pretty much all of the Republican candidates for
president are millionaires. So, just being a rich guy is a distinction
without a difference for this field.
All the criticism of Mitt Romney on this score is rather an oblique
way of getting at the larger critique of Mitt Romney and I think people
generally assume this would be a left wing critique but it`s not really
left wing at all.
It instead is populist. It is about whether or not fat cats in this
economy are predatory, whether they are standing on the necks of regular
people to enhance their own wealth and status. That is often a left wing
critique, but it`s mostly a populist one. It`s not necessarily left wing
and it is not always left wing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
HUNTSMAN: Governor Romney enjoys firing people. I enjoy creating
PERRY: I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips,
whether he`s going to have enough to hand out, because of his company, Bain
Capital, with all the jobs that they killed. I`m sure he was worried he
was going to run out of pink slips.
NARRATOR: A group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney more
ruthless than Wall Street. For tens of thousands of Americans, the
suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You certainly have to say
that Bain at times engaged in behavior where they looted a company leaving
behind 1,700 unemployed people.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Mitt Romney may have spent the last month on the campaign
trail complaining about other people saying mean things about him, but Newt
Gingrich has never been more in his element, has never seemed to be
enjoying himself more than when he has been destroying Mitt Romney over
this stuff for this past week or so.
A casino billionaire, according to “Forbes,” the eighth richest person
in the country, has reportedly just made the largest donation known to have
been made to any PAC in this election so far.
A $5 million lump sum donated to a pro-Newt Gingrich PAC, which by all
accounts seems intent on using the money to air material not just from this
ad that you saw, but this ad is actually a trailer for a much longer ad,
the when Mitt Romney came to town idea, it`s actually a 30-minute anti-Mitt
Romney corporate raider attack.
Remember in the 2004 election, the swift boat veterans` ads aired by a
pro-George W. Bush group, the made to look like news story ads, a pro-
Gingrich group has one of those on Mitt Romney, super long, 30-minute
attack ad masquerading as a documentary, specifically targeting Mitt Romney
as a soulless corporate raider who pillaged regular Americans lives to make
Joining us now, the guy who literally wrote the book on greedy
bastards, Dylan Ratigan, host of “THE DYLAN RATIGAN SHOW” here on MSNBC and
author of the new book, “Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate
Communists, Banksters and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry.”
Mr. Ratigan, thank you for joining us.
DYLAN RATIGAN, MSNBC HOST: Oh, you just horrified everybody. I mean,
the way you tell a story, Rachel, I mean, by the end of that thing, you`re
But, I mean, listen, OK? I mean, you offer this critique, can I
critique your critique? Would you mind?
MADDOW: Sure, please.
RATIGAN: I would be very rare that I would do this. But for having
written the book, obviously, and being so flattered to be in your company,
I wouldn`t want to be inappropriate. But I think that there are two
commentaries I would offer on your commentary.
One, I think you can afford to be more brutal as to the destructive
nature of the financing apparatus that not only Mitt Romney, but a
tremendous percentage, including Newt Gingrich who took millions of dollars
from Fannie Mae, including, by the way, participants by a large number in
the Democratic Party as well who are attached to this system, and that
system which we`re seeing protested, whether through the occupation or
whether through the Tea Party is precisely the system you were just
And I think a lot of the frustration is not hard to figure out why
Mitt Romney is the extractionist, right? I mean, my dream come true,
extraction, what are you talking about? I`m like, Mitt Romney, study him.
RATIGAN: But I think that we do ourselves a disservice when we play
too much to the heroes and villains, because the destruction of Mitt Romney
or the ascendancy of Mitt Romney won`t save you and me.
MADDOW: But that`s the substantive question, is whether or not this -
- obviously, all the attacks on Mitt Romney are motivated by one thing,
which is people not wanting him to get the nomination.
RATIGAN: That`s right.
MADDOW: But are those attacks because they are about his time at Bain
attention moment for the country to learn about extraction?
RATIGAN: Yes, they are.
MADDOW: That`s what I`m interested.
RATIGAN: And that is what`s happening.
RATIGAN: The brilliance of the monologue that you just did on prime
time and on national television is an explanation as to the difference in a
RATIGAN: One business model that seeks to collaborate, Rachel and
Dylan want to sell cups, hey, I got an idea for cup design, hey, Rachel, do
you have 5 bucks, OK, great, let`s go sell some cups. Will they buy the
cups? I become a famous cup maker, you make a couple bucks, that`s
The other thing is Rachel says, hey, Dylan has got a cup, I think I
can borrow somebody else`s money from Dylan`s retirement and borrow Dylan`s
retirement money to buy his cup from him and then sell his cup to somebody
else cheap so that you get a lot of money and I`m left with no cup. And
that may sound that is what we`re about, if you were to talk to a 3-year-
old, or you talk to a 5-year-old, what`s the system? How do the grownups
make decisions in America?
What you have to tell them is, we don`t differentiate between whether
Rachel and Dylan decide to collaborate to make something. Or whether
Rachel or Dylan are able to exploit one another through some particular
breech of visibility, integrity or choice where I just withhold some
information from you or whatever it might be. Or there`s all these things
that we all do in our personal relationships and in our systematic
relationships as a country and we`re paying a price for honoring money over
And we`ve lost the nobility of actually making decisions as adults
with each other in observing dysfunction with compassion, right? My
problem is judgment. I`ve been out there for three years, just yelling and
screaming about all these problems. And it`s wrong.
It`s hurt me. I mean, I joke about it. But I gained weight, I
started smoking. It`s not health to become angry about what`s in this
book, and somebody who wrote it originally angry, you know?
MADDOW: But are we become –
RATIGAN: It`s compassion.
MADDOW: – more precise and more accurate about what free enterprise
is? We`re getting better.
RATIGAN: Oh, yes, it`s amazing. It is so – the revelation of
discreet data and the ability to identify discreet data and then adapt to
it which we saw first with crime fighting in New York. Where is the crime?
Put a punch of cops there and will go and do that.
And that was celebrated in this country. William Bratton and all the
improvements and New York`s police department and all this, at least
certainly in its relative, proportional behavior.
In this book, we talk about Dr. Brenner in Camden, New Jersey. The
most interesting place to do health care research in this country right now
is in the poorest cities because nobody cares. And so you have Dr. Brenner
in Camden, New Jersey, who`s realized, hang on a second, what percentage of
all the health care costs in Camden, New Jersey, are being created by what
percentage of the people?
And what he finds is that 1 percent of the people in Camden, New
Jersey, account for 30 percent of the health care spending mostly because
they`re not taking their diabetes medicine and not going for a walk around
the block. So he sets up a preventative team, hits those people, they
reduce their costs by 50 percent and the overall health care costs in
And it`s that intelligent discreet decision making on how, not how
much that is determinative to our future as a people and as a country. And
it`s a decision we have to make to seize nobility once again, not through
the grandiose aspirations of mythology but through the realistic assessment
of our own best interests.
MADDOW: Dylan Ratigan, the book is “Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop
Corporate Communists, Banksters and Other Vampires from Sucking America
Dry” – thank you for coming in.
RATIGAN: Thank you. I`m sorry to carry on so much, but I thought it
was a privilege to get to talk you to you.
MADDOW: Dylan, the reason –
RATIGAN: I want to smoke a cigarette now. I feel so good, I`m like -
MADDOW: Carrying on is (INAUDIBLE). America counts on you to carry
RATIGAN: All right. I wore this scarf for you, you know? I only
wear it after 9:00 at night. So, it`s only second time it`s ever been out
of the closet.
MADDOW: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW now with more smoking, 100 percent
RATIGAN: Yes, light them up.
MADDOW: Dylan`s show is “THE DYLAN RATIGAN SHOW,” weekdays at 4:00
Eastern, right here on MSNBC.
We will be right back.
MADDOW: Tomorrow is, of course, the Republican primary in New
Hampshire. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, though, is not in New Hampshire
today. Governor Perry is in South Carolina, even though the South Carolina
primary is not for another two weeks.
And with Rick Perry ostentatiously now ignoring New Hampshire, you
want to know who`s beating Rick Perry in the polls in New Hampshire right
now? Buddy Roemer is. Buddy Roemer surging ahead of Rick Perry in New
You may remember we had Buddy Roemer on this show on Friday night. He
said at the time, he had a major campaign announcement planned for
Saturday. Buddy Roemer`s major campaign announcement on Saturday was that
he is staying in the race.
And now in this latest Suffolk University poll in New Hampshire, Rick
Perry has 1 percent. Buddy Roemer has a whopping 2 percent. And in this
PPP poll taken over the weekend, it shows Buddy Roemer with a commanding
lead over Rick Perry, 3 percent to 1 percent.
Mr. Roemer`s campaign manager making sure that everybody noticed his
candidate`s rise in fortune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS SIERRA, BUDDY ROEMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What I would be happy
is coming ahead of Rick Perry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Now, 1 percent, 2 percent, 3 percent, these are not giant
numbers. These numbers do not mean that Buddy Roemer is the next
frontrunner in New Hampshire or anywhere. That has made Mr. Roemer feel he
has to answer his critics who are asking why he is still in the race.
But if Buddy Roemer polling at 2 percent or 3 percent is enough to lap
Rick Perry in New Hampshire, forget what Buddy Roemer has to answer to.
When does Rick Perry have to answering why he`s still in the race?
We will be back tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Six p.m. Eastern
is when our special coverage of the New Hampshire primary starts. We`ll be
live all night, until we drop from exhaustion or somebody wins, which ever
But now it is time for “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O`Donnell.
Lawrence is in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight.
Good evening, Lawrence. Very exciting to have you up there.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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.>