The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/16/12
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Ed, I watch your show every night and you have
great shows all the time. This last segment you did and your whole show
tonight, just out of the park. Really – you`re covering important stuff
and I`m so happy to be on the same network as you.
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SHOW” HOST: I got this call today from this lady
on the radio and she told me the teachers are working for nothing and I
said what country? She works right here in Pennsylvania. I – I don`t
know. As a product of public education I think this is just absolutely the
abomination of this country to allow something like that to happen.
Rachel, thank you.
MADDOW: I hear you, man. Thank you. Thanks, Ed.
And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.
Today, of course, is the federal holiday honoring the birthday of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. There is news ahead this hour about why today`s
holiday was the occasion for a noisy protest outside the door of one red
state governor today.
Also in one of the states where there is a huge fight over union
rights right now, some Republicans are now taking a side that you would not
expect them to take in the fight. That`s the subject of the interview
Also, there is Ron Paul`s head randomly, right there.
We`ll have news on all those things still to come this hour.
See, I have to look at myself in the monitor, and it`s reversed. It`s
like a mirror image. So, there he is, Ron Paul.
OK. All right. But I have to tell you, first, there has been totally
unexpected and strange news in the 2012 race today. It`s about the meeting
of religious right leaders that took place over the weekend in Texas. You
may recall us talking about this on Friday night`s show because the meeting
got underway Friday night at this ranch outside Houston.
The idea was that religious conservatives who are unhappy with the
apparent coronation of Mitt Romney as the Republican Party nominee, those
leaders put aside their differences and agreed to coalesce around one non-
Mitt Romney candidate, so that somebody would have a chance of beating Mr.
Romney for the Republican nomination.
Now, when news of the meeting was first leaked, the prospect was even
raised that this group of evangelical leaders might even pressure one or
more of the candidates they did not support to get out of the race.
So, the plan was basically to winnow the field, to show consensus, to
throw their collective weight behind somebody and thus to make it possible
for the Republican Party to nominate somebody not named Mitt. That was the
idea behind this big weekend meeting. It has apparently gone wrong.
The first thing that we heard was a big announcement. These group of
religious right leaders, they said had decided to endorse Rick Santorum,
OK. So far, so good. It`s kind of how we expected it to go.
But then, rumblings of discontent. Now, I have to pause here to let
you know some of this reporting is from “The Washington Post.” It comes
from Karen Tumulty, who is a venerable campaign trail reporter with very,
very sources on the right. I would trust her to the end of the earth.
But some of the rest of the reporting comes from “The Washington
Times.” Now, “The Washington Times” is a conservative paper for
conservatives only and “The Washington Times” can get a little batty at
times. It is not a particularly credible news source, except when their
stories are about internal feuds on the right. Then “The Washington Times”
is often dynamite.
Like when Michael Steele was head of the Republican Party and there
was that insurgency inside the party to try to tear him down and get rid of
him, most of the blind quotes and eventually not-so blind quotes that came
from people who are willing to talk about that fight within the Republican
Party, most of those showed up in the pages of “The Washington Times.”
That was the place where that entire saga played out.
So, do you read “The Washington Times” for an authoritative account of
some partisan party line dispute in Congress or some internal deliberation
in the Obama administration? No, no you do not.
Do you read, though, do you read “The Washington Times” for religious
right back-stabbing mayhem over Republican presidential endorsements? Yes,
that is exactly the sort of thing for which you read “The Washington
Listen to this from today`s “Washington Times.” “A civil war is
breaking out among evangelical leaders over allegations of a rigged
election and ballot stuffing at a Saturday gathering of religious and
social conservatives. In back and forth e-mails, Protestant fundamentalist
leaders who attended, most of them backing former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich to be the anti-Romney candidate are accusing Catholic participants
of conniving to rig the vote. They say they were con into leaving after
the second ballot on Saturday. They said pro-Santorum participants then
held the third ballot, which Mr. Santorum won.
My view is that the vote was manipulated, said a prominent social
conservative who asked not to be named. Now, a prominent evangelical
organizer is saying to others confidentially that he has evidence that in
at least one instant, the participant was seen writing Mr. Santorum`s name
on four separate ballots and putting them in the ballot box.
Evangelicals who left after the second ballot are now calling on Bob
Fisher, a leader of the proceedings, to hold a recount.”
A recount of your religious gathering?
So they want to recount, they were conned into leaving before the
final vote was taken, there was ballot box stuffing, there is somehow a
Protestant-Catholic schism, even though both Rick Santorum and Newt
Gingrich are Catholics, at the very least, the Protestants are now accusing
the Catholics of conniving to rig the vote? That`s me quoting “The
Washington Times,” conniving to right the vote.
Remember, the whole idea of holding this meeting in the first place
was to unify religious conservatives, to give one candidate the consensus
stamp of approval of all of these leaders, to smooth over any differences
among these conservatives, to show they can all come together behind one
non-Mitt Romney candidate.
Over at the “Washington Post,” Karen Tumulty has a few of the
disgruntled Gingrich supporters on the record, explaining essentially,
consensus, my foot. No way did they support Rick Santorum, even if they
were at that meeting. And anyone saying else wise is a liar.
One Newt Gingrich supporter Jim Garlow telling the “Washington Post,”
quote, “there was never a consensus. All of the people I know who came
supporting Newt left supporting Newt.”
Former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts saying, quote, “It wasn`t a
consensus and it wasn`t an endorsement.”
Despite all of that, the head of the Family Research Council, Tony
Perkins, came out publicly almost immediately after the meeting and he did
announce that Rick Santorum had secured a, quote, “clear majority of
support” and, of course, then he had to gush. He said, quote, “I will have
to admit that what I did not think was possible, appears to be possible.
There is clearly a unified group here.”
Tony Perkins may feel unified but with Newt Gingrich supporters saying
to the press now that this was rigged by the Catholics, that the ballot
boxes were stuffed and the vote was manipulated, and they`re being Rick
Santorum supporters when they are most assured they are not Rick Santorum
supporters and they want a recount, this supposed unity endorsement
projects neither unity nor all that much of an endorsement.
But if this apparent gift left on the Santorum campaign`s doorstep
appears to be a flaming one that you have to stamp on to put out, it`s not
like the rival Gingrich campaign is doing all that great either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB MCLAIN, GOP FORUM HOST: We are awaiting the arrival of former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich who we are given to understand is 10 minutes
away. I tell you what, while we locate the speaker, who I`m sure is
somewhere nearby, back at the station, we will go ahead and take advantage
of this brief delay in the proceedings to take a brief commercial time-out.
That`s OK, we can wait. We have no place else to go, we`re already
By the way, welcome to Senator Rick Santorum who arrived just a few
minutes ago. Senator, good to see you, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was Friday afternoon in Duncan, South Carolina. Mr.
Gingrich introduced from the podium, but he`s no where to be found. Mr.
Gingrich was running late. Apparently, nobody bothered to tell the emcee
or the crowd before he got introduced, and then he gets the world`s most
awkward absentee standing ovation that he`s not there to receive.
But then it turns out even worse, his rival Rick Santorum was there at
the same event at the time. So, he got to capitalize on all of the Newt-
mentum, where nobody knew where Newt Gingrich was. Just a logistical
The “Associated Press” has now ran a bit of a survey piece on all of
the logistical stuff that the Gingrich campaign keeps screwing up. Names
like leaving J.C. Watts to stall from Mr. Gingrich in front of the crowd
twice in one day. And also to serve as the lookout for the Gingrich
campaign bus, because nobody when Mr. Gingrich was going to arrive.
There was also a church forum over the weekend when the microphones
didn`t work. Phone conferences also going bad.
Quoting from the “Associated Press,” “A call scheduled for Saturday
morning never took place. The dial-in number was invalid. The campaign
set up a new number for Saturday night call with Florida voters. This time
the number worked, but there was nothing but silence on the other end of
the line when the moderator introduced the first two questioners. The
issue was resolved but not before Mr. Gingrich himself raised an important
question, I wonder if we`re having a technical problem.”
Beyond all of his technical problems, including not being on the
ballot in his home state of Virginia, the Gingrich campaign also seems to
have successfully bullied, have been successfully out of their strongest
line of attack against Mitt Romney, which, of course, was Mr. Romney`s
career at Bain Capital. Having essentially withdrawn that line of attack
now, which looks like a display of weakness by Mr. Gingrich and also him
surrendering strategic advantage that he had against Mr. Romney,
withdrawing the Bain attack now means that Mr. Gingrich is now trying to
find another line of attack against Mr. Romney to replace the Bain line.
Today, he tried one out. Today, he told voters in Myrtle Beach, South
Carolina, quote, “Why would you want to nominate the guy who lost to the
guy who lost to Obama?” True. Think about it.
But also think about this – the guy who lost to the guy who lost to
Obama is the guy to whom Newt Gingrich is currently losing, which would
make Newt Gingrich the guy losing to the guy who lost to the guy who lost
So, I don`t know this one has legs. And so, maybe South Carolina is
not that competitive. Maybe the whole nominating contest is mostly over.
All the latest polls out of South Carolina have Mitt Romney on top.
Insider Advantage has him up by 11. PPP has him up by five. Rasmussen has
him up by seven.
But into a race that I starting to feel like a foregone conclusion,
the political calendar has given us a reminder that chaos is always around
the corner. That anything can happen.
The day of the South Carolina Republican primary, this upcoming
Saturday, also happens to be the birthday of Citizens United. Two years
ago, this Saturday is when the Supreme Court announced that infinite money,
essentially anonymously spent, can take over American elections. It`s
So, no matter how poorly everybody is running against Mitt Romney for
the Republican nomination right now, if at some point, some billionaire
wants to put millions or tens of millions or hundreds of millions of
dollars behind some non-Mitt Romney candidate, there is nothing to stop
him. One eccentric billionaire who can spend infinitely doesn`t need to
come to consensus with anybody, doesn`t need to stuff any ballot box,
doesn`t need to persuade anyone. Just open checkbook, swivel wrist and the
game is back on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Super PACs are outspending the candidates
two to one in South Carolina right now. That just means, according to
Citizens United, that there is more speech than there was before. And I
don`t know about you, but I believe in the freedom of speech. Money equals
speech. Therefore, the more money you have, the more you can speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Dan Rather will be joining us next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLBERT: I can`t tell Americans for a Better Tomorrow tomorrow what
to do. It`s not my super PAC, George. It`s the super PAC of – I hope I`m
pronouncing this correctly – Jon Stewart. I believe it`s a soft T.
One of the reasons it was so hard to form this exploratory committee,
George, I had to give away my super PAC, that`s my baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That must have been hard.
COLBERT: You know how hard it is to give away your baby?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That hard.
COLBERT: Now imagine if that baby also had a whole lot of money. How
much harder would it make it to give away your baby? You might get the
baby back, but it may not have the same amount of money when you gave the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Babies notoriously have very, very poorly constructed
Joining us now, the anchor and managing editor of “Dan Rather Reports”
at HDNet. A man who`s covered U.S. election more than 40 years.
Mr. Rather, thank you for being here tonight.
DAN RATHER, HDNET: Always a pleasure, Rachel.
MADDOW: Stephen Colbert`s character is a caricature of a conservative
and his caricatured conservative character, of course, loves Citizens
United, loves his super PAC.
Do you think the way that super PACs are functioning in the Republican
primary this year are changing feelings on the right about Citizens United
and this overall trend about money and politics?
RATHER: The short answer is yes. I think it is changing.
When the decision first came through, I think it was certainly
consensus thinking, practically the unanimous thinking, thinking among
Republicans self-described conservatives this is great. This is a dream
But it turns out the dream has nightmarish hues, and here`s why – the
candidates don`t necessarily control their own campaign, nor does the state
Republican Party, nor does the national Republican Party. Any big money
super billionaire who chooses to do so can pull money into any campaign
state-wide or national campaign – mind you, much of the money is secret
and hidden – the candidate may have one agenda, may see an ad up says I
don`t agree with that. Too bad jack, they have the money.
So, a second way is sitting in the thought of, wait a minute, maybe
this is not such a good idea, including among Republicans and
conservatives. So much so I wouldn`t be surprised to see if not in the
next Congress, very soon, Republicans joining in an effort to say, OK, the
Supreme Court has spoken, this is now the law of the land, we can`t change
it not immediately. But let`s at least see where the money comes from.
Somebody`s name should be attached here.
Keep in mind right now, you can contribute all kind of secret money
and your name may never be known that it`s coming from you.
MADDOW: Do you think, though, that there is enough negative sort of
blow-back against candidates from off message statements that are
nevertheless supposed to be toward their benefit that candidates actually
are more worried about the lack of coordination than they are happy to have
billionaires dumping in unlimited money on their behalf? I mean, I realize
that Newt Gingrich got in a little bit of trouble for the Bain stuff and he
sort of backed off of that.
But I`m not sure that that trouble is more valuable than the hit
against Mitt Romney that that money bought him.
RATHER: Well, I think Newt Gingrich is having second thoughts about
it. But to answer your question – not yet. That is to say I think now
they still want the money, so welcome the money, they have the concerns.
But I do think as we go along from the right side of the political
spectrum, as well as the left, there`s going to be a realization. This is
terrible for America because it fits right into the argument that made
increasingly left, right, by Tea Party people, as well as Occupy Wall
Street people, do we still have a government of the people, by the people
for the people? Or do we have a government that`s for big corporations and
super wealthy people, for them, by them? We`ve reached the point, is
Washington more corrupt than we knew, especially with this money, buying
influence, or set the agenda?
I think this is seeping in all party and to most candidates, by no
means all. But this will be reviewed as we go along this election year.
Make no mistake about it, this year will be close to a $3 billion – $3
billion presidential campaign.
And more and more people left and right are only answering – asking
the question, who gives this big money to whom expecting to get what? And
on Martin Luther King`s birthday, by the way, I want to point out, that
it`s very popular and very easy to praise Dr. King for saying we have
racial inequality. His bigger message was this inequality stretches across
One of the things he got in trouble as he went along and people tend
to forget poor people`s march encampment in Washington was the 1960`s
version of Occupy Wall Street. It does a bit of disservice not to point
out that he was worried about inequality of opportunity that is paid for by
special interest money and entrenched interests.
MADDOW: And what he was supporting, the campaign he was supporting
when he was assassinated was, of course, union rights for public employees,
for sanitation workers in Memphis.
If there was money on tap for particular candidate in a $10 million,
$100 million, imagine $1 billion, which is not out of reach for some of
these very ideological motivated billionaire political donors.
RATHER: Not at all. Some of them are worth $100 billion. So, what`s
MADDOW: Yes. What are they going to feel? Are they going to feel?
If there was money on tap, could that make essentially anyone a
contender, could that – how many political sins does half a billion dollar
donation make up for?
RATHER: Well, it could make anybody a contender. A half billion
dollars, certainly a billion dollars could make almost anybody a contender
if they chose to do so – which raises the specter, I`m not predicting it
will happen, this is the kind of climate in which an independent candidate
you might see one appear, sometime after April, between April and middle of
July, and if that candidate has kind of billion dollar financing, could be
a factor as was Ross Perot in 1992.
MADDOW: Wow. Dan Rather, the host of HDNet`s “Dan Rather Reports,”
also, I should note, you will be covering the Florida primary live from
Tampa on January 31st. Mr. Rather, I`m always so grateful to have you
here. Thank you.
RATHER: Great honor to be with you. Thanks a million.
MADDOW: Good to see you.
RATHER: See you in Florida.
MADDOW: Yes, indeed.
All right. Hey look, it`s Ron Paul`s head right. I`m really bad at
the mirror image thing. That – why Ron Paul`s head is right there will be
Also, why one red state governor had hundreds of protesters at this
house today on the occasion of the Martin Luther King holiday. That`s
MADDOW: I guess there is one under appreciate benefit to living in a
gated community. If you live in a gated community and there is a large
scale protest against you, sometimes if your community is gated well
enough, the closest the protesters can get to you is the gatehouse on the
periphery of your gated neighborhood. Thus, leaving you in relative peace.
I don`t know if that`s why the Michigan Governor Rick Snyder lives in
this particular gated community outside Ann Harbor, Michigan, but he did
reap that protesters can`t get near me benefit today.
Governor Snyder`s administration is currently considering whether or
not to use the remarkable unilateral power that the Republican legislature
voted to give him last year to essentially abolish the local government of
Michigan`s largest city and replace it with someone he puts in charge who
has unilateral authority.
In the year of really ambitious, sometimes radical policy-making in
red states that has followed the very, very Republican 2010 nomination, my
personal nomination for the single most radical thing implemented by any
Republican legislature and governor is what happened in Michigan. It`s
Michigan`s expanded emergency financial manager law. It allows Rick
Snyder, the state`s Republican governor, to essentially, effectively
abolish all local voting rights.
You vote for your city council, you vote for your town mayor, but in
Michigan, it does not matter who you vote for, because the results of your
local election can be overruled if the Snyder administration says so. The
state, the governor, will decide who`s going to run your town, no matter
who you vote for. He will put in who he wants.
The Snyder administration has already taken over these cities around
the great state of Michigan and now, it is considering the largest city in
the state. Now, it`s considering whether to take over Detroit.
As noted a couple months ago by the indispensable Michigan politics
source, Ecleto blog, as reported by us thereafter, and as noted by three
members of Congress, nine state senators and dozens of state
representative, as well as eight Detroit City council members in a letter
they wrote to Governor Snyder recently, if Governor Rick Snyder decides
that in addition to these cities he`s already taken over, he is also going
to overrule local decision making, local elections, and take over Detroit,
and Inkster, which are two cities now being reviewed, approximately 50
percent of all African American citizens in the state would then be living
under the authority of an elected managers.
Think about that for a second.
Congratulations, Michigan. You elected a Republican legislature and
Republican governor last time around. And so now, if you are black and you
live in the state of Michigan, you may soon have only a 50-50 chance of
your vote counting in Michigan toward who represents you in your city or
That letter that was sent to Governor Snyder a few weeks ago expressed
concern about the governor`s expanded emergency management law,
irreversibly undermining voting rights in the state. Those dozens of
Michigan elected officials asked for a meeting with the governor before he
took any further action under this law.
We spoke with the office of the congressman who was the lead author of
the letter today, the office said, to their knowledge, Michigan`s governor
never responded to the letter, let alone agreed to hold the meeting.
Michigan Republicans who support this emergency manager law, of
course, say it has nothing to do with race. They say it`s just about
competence and fiscal responsibility, which somehow cannot be achieved
through the Democratic process. And so, the Democratic process must be
Whether or not the intention behind this law had anything to do with
race, the implications very plainly are racially afflicted in Michigan.
On today`s holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the president
of the state NAACP opined in the “Detroit Free Press,” quote, “In King`s
day, tactics such as poll taxes, intimidation and tests were used to deny
voters their rights. Today, our state government has its own tactic, the
expanded emergency manager law that Lansing is using to dismantle our
democracy. It abolishes our right to elect our own leaders and run our
communities. When our government can do this, we no longer truly have the
right to vote.
The cities and school district under emergency manager rule are
predominantly African American. If emergency managers are appointed for
Inkster and Detroit, about half of Michigan`s black citizens will be
stripped of local representation, reduced to second class citizens.”
This new law existed for less than a year now. There`s been protests
and complaint as long as it existed, including this town hall event earlier
this month at the Detroit church where petitions for a citizen`s repeal of
the emergency manager law were circulated.
But today honoring the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., there was
a march on Governor Rick Snyder`s house. Or rather this was a march on the
very well-guarded gatehouse well outside his house.
Joining us now from Detroit is Reverend David Bullock. He`s the state
director of the Rainbow Push Coalition and a senior pastor at greater St.
Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, Michigan. And he was a
participant in today`s march.
Reverend, thanks very much for joining us. It`s nice to have you
REV. DAVID BULLOCK, ST. MATTHEW BAPTIST CHURCH: Rachel, thank you for
having me today.
MADDOW: I have been following this issue in Michigan for a long while
now. But you have been following it for much closer up. In the way that I
explained that there, did I – did I get anything wrong or leave anything
BULLOCK: Your analysis is so precise. I enjoy your show every time I
get a chance to watch it.
This public act for emergency dictator or manager law in Michigan is
odious and draconian. I cannot believe that Michigan has become the new
Mississippi – liberty is being lynched in Michigan. Democracy is being
Our vote doesn`t count. We cannot take it. We must fight back.
MADDOW: Is it appropriate to march on the governor`s house, to march
at the governor`s residence? Why make it so personal that way, rather than
marching on the state capitol?
BULLOCK: Well, because, Rachel, we must raise our protests so that
the governor understands that the vote is sacred.
Dr. Martin Luther King bled and died, gave his life fighting for
And Public Act 4 is a personal attack on the sacred right that
African-Americans and other Americans have as citizens of this country. He
doesn`t live in the governor`s mansion in Lansing. No one really in
Lansing today, being Dr. King Day.
And we thought that the protest would have a deeper significance if it
would raise our voices in this way in the city of Ann Arbor. The governor
has said that Michigan citizens are in favor of Public Act 4. And so,
2,000 or more black and brown, white and yellow, religious and non-
religious, occupiers, Rainbow/Push, NAACP, many from around the state –
from Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Inkster and Flint, came to let
the governor know that there is a sizeable contingent and a growing number
of citizens in Michigan who are appalled at the way the vote has been made
null and void.
MADDOW: What do you make of the overall argument that in troubled
communities, particularly financially troubled community, places where
local budgets are a difficulty, where services aren`t being provided to the
degree they ought to be, that democracy is the problem, that local control,
local elections for officials is something that needs to be got around so
that things can be done in a technocratically correct way. What do you
make of that argument overall?
BULLOCK: I think that`s a bad argument. There is no connection
between dismantling democracy and fixing a deficit. Democracy allows for
accountability and transparency. If you take democracy off the table, you
have tyranny. There is no accountability.
And we must also add that emergency management does not work. The
Detroit public schools is under emergency management, still has a deficit.
Benton Harbor is under emergency management, bills due being paid late,
still has a deficit. The city of Highland Park was under a weaker form of
emergency management for nine years, still has a deficit.
This – you cannot manage a blood loss. If I were in a car accident
and I was losing blood, you wouldn`t manage how much blood I was losing,
would you stop the bleeding, and you would send a blood transfusion. We
need targeted reinvestment in Michigan.
MADDOW: Reverend David Bullock, Michigan state director of the
Rainbow/Push coalition, senior pastor of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist
Church in Highland Park – sir, it`s a real pleasure to have you here to
walk us through this. Thank you very much.
BULLOCK: Thank you so much.
MADDOW: One group that Republicans did not count on to be very, very
angry with their union-busting policies, was other Republicans – a little
unexpected intra-party push back, just ahead.
MADDOW: Green Bay Packers are not going to the Super Bowl this year.
Also, the Denver Broncos are not going to the Super Bowl. Also, the New
Orleans Saints are not going to the Super Bowl. Also, the Houston Texans
are not going to the Super Bowl. All of that was decided this weekend.
Next weekend, the team from Baltimore is going to travel up to play in
Boston. And the team from New York will be traveling to play in San
Francisco. And those two blue state games between those four blue state
teams will decide who gets to go to the big show, to the Super Bowl, which
will be held this year in Indianapolis. The game date is February 5th,
which is two weeks after the games this weekend that decide who`s going.
While all that is going on, the NFL Players Association is warning the
host for this year`s Super Bowl against what the players described as
ramming through a new law in the state of Indiana before the big game.
Quote, “As NLF players, we know our success on the field comes from working
as a team. Today, even as the city of Indianapolis is exemplifying that
team work in preparing to host the Super Bowl, politicians are looking to
destroy it, trying to ram through so-called right to work legislation.
Right to work is a political ploy designed to destroy basic workers
rights. As Indianapolis prepares to host the Super Bowl, it should be a
time to shine in the national spotlight and highlight the hardworking
families that make Indiana run instead of launching political attacks on
their rights.” So says the NFL Players Union.
But, you know, a funny thing happen on the way to Republican stripping
union rights in Indiana. In a big rush, in advance of the Super Bowl,
where in the nation`s eyes will turn to Indiana to watch the most famous
union workers on earth battle for a national championship – a funny thing
happened on the way to that partisan Republican victory in Indiana. It got
We probably should have seen this coming when a conservative
Republican state senator named Brent Waltz sided with Democrats in voting
against the union stripping bill, in committee, in the state legislature,
saying he did not see it would have any economic benefit to the state.
Then other Republicans like County Councilman Luke Abbott of Newton County
started going on the record criticizing the so called right to work anti-
union rights law. He said it went against the Republican Party`s
Now, a new group called the Lunchpail Republicans has started airing
ads on Indiana television stations, taking on Republican Governor Mitch
Daniels and the Republican House speaker. The ads look like this one.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: We have lost our focus, right to work doesn`t work. It`s
time to regain our party in 2012, you will lose big.
Republicans are good with the campaign music, aren`t they?
Anyway, that was the message from Indiana`s Lunchpail Republicans to
Indiana`s Republican leaders. The day the Lunchpail Republicans PAC
launched, the group`s president described himself as a labor leader, as a
life long Republican, and as a former supporter of Republican Governor
Mitch Daniels. He also said he served on various boards for the Daniels
administration, but he`s fed up now with Indiana Republicans efforts to
strip union rights.
Quote, “A Lunchpail Republican believes in the right to speak freely
and bear arms, supports labor and business and insists that the government
should not interfere with the day -to-day operations of private sector
organizations. We should not have to choose between our party, our union
and our guns.”
They posted this letter from Mitch Daniels back in 2004 when he was
running for governor. It said, quote, “No need exists to enact take right
to work statute in Indiana.”
This may sound surprising to anybody who has watched the huge partisan
fights over union rights in Wisconsin and Ohio and Maine and on and on for
the past year, but supporting union rights, the way Mitch Daniels said he
did in that letter, supporting union rights used to be normal for
Republicans. And it still is for some Republicans.
Indiana`s new Lunchpail Republicans say they plan to fund pro-union
Republican candidates against anti-union Republican incumbents. The group
so new they have not yet had to filed a campaign finance reports. But a
spokesperson tells us they have been getting contributions from all over
the country. He said they already have, quote, “hundreds of thousands of
dollars” to spend on pro-union Republicans in their state on upending what
has become Republican politics as usual.
Tomorrow, the Indiana House will debate stripping union rights. We
expect a vote on the measure later this week.
Joini9ng us tonight for the interview is the chairman of the Lunchpail
Republicans, David Fagan. Mr. Fagan is also the financial secretary of his
union, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.
Mr. Fagan, thank you for being with us tonight.
DAVID FAGAN, LUNCHPAIL REPUBLICANS: Thank you. And it`s a pleasure
to be here.
MADDOW: Can you tell me why you decided to form the Lunchpail
Republicans and what you`re hoping to accomplish?
FAGAN: Well, I was totally shocked when the Republican leadership in
the state of Indiana said this was going to be their 2012 number one
legislative priority. That was very, very disappointing.
When you look around and you see the American Society of Civil
Engineers that rated the infrastructure of the state of Indiana, as
approximately a “D” as I recall, that this was, all of a sudden, their new
number one priority, I couldn`t just believe they would make this their
number one priority.
And then the second part of it, as far as I was concerned, this was
against Republican principles, the fact that the Republican leadership
would tell the private sector what you can do in your organization, would
tell small businesses that you can`t enter into these type of commercial –
these type of agreements with labor relations within your company.
The fact that the Republican Party says that a private organization
under law as they are proposing it would say that you could not receive
services – I mean, sorry, revenue for the services provided by your labor
organization, those are totally anti-Republican philosophy as far as I`m
They`re interfering with the private sector. They`re telling private
companies they can`t do something. And they`re telling private entities
that you can`t collect services from – collect revenue for services
provided. It just goes against the Republican principles as I`ve seen
And it`s not outside of the realm for Republicans to be pro-labor and
pro-business, and I think that is where the Republican Party lost their
focus. They`ve lost the fact that small businesses and working families
throughout this great state are part of their constituent base and they are
turning their back on those groups of constituents.
To me, that`s appalling and that was the reason we sat down and
decided how do we deal with this. And so, we formed Lunchpail Republicans.
And make no doubt about it, we will use this PAC to target those
Republicans who vote for right to work, and turn their backs on small
businesses and working families in this great state of Indiana.
MADDOW: What are you hearing from Republican leaders, Republican
legislators, in your state since you started running these ads, since you
made the announcement that you will be supporting primary challenges to
anti-union Republican incumbents. How is the Republican establishment
reacting to you?
FAGAN: Well, I can say that I`ve heard from numerous state senators,
numerous Republican state representatives. I`ve heard from local
Republican elected officials. I`ve heard from working class blue collar
people in the state of Indiana, who are very much encouraged by Lunchpail
Republicans. And that`s the people that we`re going to represent is the
working class families in the state and small businesses.
I am not, if you would say look at the leadership as the establishment
right now, I have not received any verbal communication from those
leadership at all at this point.
MADDOW: David Fagan, the financial secretary of the International
Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 in Indiana, also chairman of the
newly formed Lunchpail Republicans – sir, I know there`s going to be
voting on this issue this week. We`ve been closely following this in
Indiana. I hope that I can ask you to come back on the show and talk again
as this continues to unfold in your state.
FAGAN: I would look forward to that opportunity and short-term, we
plan on defeating right to work and again if we can`t defeat right to work,
we will defeat those elected officials who supported it. And thank you for
giving me the opportunity to be here this evening.
MADDOW: David Fagan, thank you.
We got a link to Lunchpail Republicans Web site at Maddow Blog today
if you like to learn more about them. Very interesting development in
All right. Right after this show, on “THE LAST WORD,” Lawrence
O`Donnell has as his guest comedian Jeff Garland from “Curb Your
And here, Ron Paul, what`s he been doing there the whole show. I`ll
tell you in a moment.
MADDOW: Pop quiz, ready?
Two candidates dropped out of the presidential race right after the
Ames, Iowa straw poll. Two candidates. Who were they?
OK. One`s easy. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Hi, Gov.
But who is the other one? Who else got out in August after the Iowa
straw poll? You in the back with your hand out. Yes, you?
Congratulations, the correct answer is Thaddeus McCotter. That`s him
on the right with the guitar. A short-lived and little-noticed campaign
for the Republican nomination for president which ended around the same
time that Tim Pawlenty`s campaign did.
Interesting though about Thaddeus McCotter and Tim Pawlenty, they were
the first two candidates to drop out of the race. They both endorsed Mitt
Romney when they dropped out with,
But the next to candidates to get out of the race did not endorse,
neither Herman Cain nor Michele Bachmann, neither of the next two
candidates to get out of the race after Thaddeus McCotter and Tim Pawlenty
made an endorsement of anyone, of any other candidate when they quit.
And so, today, when Jon Huntsman quit, when Jon Huntsman advanced the
inevitable and finally quit his campaign, it wasn`t a foregone conclusion
that he would make an endorsement. And given how Jon Huntsman campaigned
for the presidency, even if you did expect him to make an endorsement today
when he dropped out, there was really no reason to expect that his
endorsement would be for Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUNTSMAN (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can`t be a
perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day.
Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of
Governor Romney enjoys firing people. I enjoy creating jobs.
If we were to talk about his inconsistencies and the changes on
various issues, we`d be here all afternoon.
There is a question about whether you`re running for the White House
or running for the waffle house. I think when you`re on too many sides of
the issues of the day, when you don`t have that core, when there`s that
element of trust out there, I think that becomes a problem. And I think it
makes you unelectable against Barack Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: For all of the shortcomings of the Jon Huntsman for president
campaign, remember, he was the guy who`s own campaign spelled his name
wrong on the press passes for his campaign launch. For all of the very
obvious shortcomings of the Jon Huntsman campaign, and there were many, one
thing that Governor Huntsman`s campaign was really good at was sticking it
to Mitt Romney.
They seemed to grasp early on that the candidate they had to supplant
in terms of voter preferences was Romney and they went after Romney better
than anybody else did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that since Roe v.
Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it.
I`m in favor of having the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
REPORTER: Mitt Romney doggedly refused to take a position.
REPORTER: Romney gave the generic, almost noncommittal answer.
TV ANCHOR: That he might actually damage Republican chances of
winning the Senate.
REPORTER: Intentionally tried to dodge them to kind of protect his
REPORTER: You`re only allowed a certain number of flips before people
begin to doubt your character.
ROMNEY: I`m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was one of Jon Huntsman`s anti-Mitt Romney ads that was
taken down today in a hurry after Governor Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney.
The ghosts of the Huntsman campaign also took down the famous
perfectly lubricated weather vane ad and the back-flipping monkey ad.
But nothing can ever be truly erased on the Internet machine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I`m very much, very much and adamantly opposed to tax
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The head of the Bay State Council of the Blind
said that your name was Fee-Fee. That you just raised fee after fee after
fee. That`s a tax.
HUNTSMAN: You can`t be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the
important issues of the day.
REPORTER: If Republicans didn`t like Mitt Romney`s position on the
so-called union-busting proposal in Ohio, all they had to do was wait one
day before he changed it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: History has shown us over the last few decades in
this 24/7 media world, the flip-flopping candidate cannot get elected.
ROMNEY: I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this
That I have consistently been pro-life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Jon Huntsman campaign took down those ads after Mr.
Huntsman quit his own campaign and endorsed Mitt Romney.
They also dropped their $10,000bet.com Web site, which mocked Mr.
Romney for that $10,000 bet that he tried to make during a debate. They
also took down scaredmittless.com, which mocked Mr. Romney for ducking
questions. Both of those Web sites when you type in their URLs today look
like this now.
They direct to Yahoo.com, because the ghost of the Jon Huntsman
campaign wants us to think that Jon Huntsman believe all of his full-
throated, principled and frankly well put criticism of Mitt Romney as of
yesterday. But as of today, Jon Huntsman thinks, vote for Mitt Romney,
The decision to quit was probably a given at this point in the
Huntsman experiment. The decision to endorse, though, is not a given.
It`s a decision I would love to ask Mr. Huntsman about.
And remember, I still own Hunstman2012.com, which redirects now to the
Huntsman cartoon theme song. We bought this because it was the most common
misspelling of Jon Huntsman`s name. We offered back in June to give this
URL to Mr. Huntsman, but we never heard from him.
I`m here to say now, the offer still stands, Governor, if you would
like Hunstman2012.com, even with your campaign gone kaput. Perhaps now
that your campaign has gone kaput, the Mitt Romney would you would like to
have this URL.
In either case, Mr. Huntsman or Mr. Romney, if either of you would
like Hunstman2012.com, it`s yours, seriously, for free. I would be happy
to give it to the either one of you in person.
If you`re free one weekday in the 9:00 hour, perhaps, I could give –
I`d give it to you here. You know where to find me.
MADDOW: Two things to watch for in tomorrow`s news. First, tomorrow
is the day by which the Iowa Republican Party says they will certify the
results of the Iowa caucuses from two weeks ago. As you know, the
unofficial totals that night could not have been closer. Mitt Romney
appearing to squeak out a win over Rick Santorum by eight votes – not 8
percent, but eight votes. Tomorrow we should find out the official final
tally from the Iowa state Republican Party.
Now, if it turns out that Mr. Santorum actually won, then the record
will still stand, of no Republican non-incumbent candidate ever winning
both Iowa and New Hampshire.
If it turns out that Mr. Romney did win, then he does get to claim
that record. That`s tomorrow.
Also tomorrow, supporters of an effort to recall Wisconsin Republican
Governor Scott Walker say they will turn in enough signatures to get the
recall of the governor on the ballot. Organizers had 60 days to get over
500,000 signature is no recall Walker. They say they`ve got that plus
plenty to spare. We`ll find out how much extra they got tomorrow.
And oh, yes, on this show, on Friday night, we put up a picture of all
the Republican candidates for a segment for 2012. But in that picture, we
forgot Ron Paul.
I talked about him, but we forgot to put a picture of his head up
there with the other candidates` heads. I`m sorry, it was an honest
mistake. And in penance, I hope you have enjoyed a little extra time with
this the tiny Ron Paul head throughout tonight`s show.
We`ll be back tomorrow without Ron Paul`s disembodied head.
Here comes “THE LAST WORD.” Good night.
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