The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 03/20/12
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SHOW” HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW show starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening.
SCHULTZ: It looks like it`s Mitt in Illinois.
MADDOW: I know. It`s not exactly a ton of suspense about that, but
it`s going to be interesting to look at the exits and the look the regional
results to see where it all came down. It`s going to be interesting over
the course of the night. Thanks, Ed. Appreciate it, man.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
MADDOW: Thanks to you at home again for staying with us for the next
We do have results, of course, from Illinois. Tonight is the Illinois
Republican primary. As Ed just told you, polls closed about an hour ago.
NBC News is declaring is Mitt Romney has won the state of Illinois. Mitt
Romney, the projected winner in that state.
The latest results we`ve got right now are 19 percent in, Mitt Romney
54 percent of the vote, Rick Santorum, 28 percent of the vote, Ron Paul 9
percent of the vote, and Newt Gingrich, 7 percent of the vote, again, only
19 percent in right now. This is enough to project Mr. Romney as the
winner. But we`ll be watching those percentages in the rankings of the
other candidates as the percent of the vote in tonight increases.
And, you know, this is very exciting. This is election night.
Republicans in the great state of Illinois making big consequential
decisions about whether to punch their ballot for Newt Gingrich or Mitt
Romney, or Rick Santorum, or Ron Paul. Theoretically, that is what`s going
on tonight. But, actually, that`s not the way it has worked at all.
Have you seen the ballot? Have you seen what the ballot looks like
that Republicans were using tonight in Illinois? I mean, it`s different in
every county, but this is representative.
Let`s put up the Macon County ballot. If you`re going to vote in
Illinois and you`re voting in Macon County, which is kind of right in the
middle of the state, if you want, say, Mitt Romney to be president, you can
indicate that Mitt Romney is preference for president of the United States
right here on this part of the ballot. But whether or not you do that, it
doesn`t really mean anything. It does not get totaled for any official
I mean, we will tell you tonight what the final results are of how
people filled in that part of their ballot, but that`s – essentially as
important as it is, that`s essentially the end of it. Those results don`t
actually go toward any other purpose.
If you actually want to commit an act of furtherance toward Mitt
Romney getting the nomination for the Republican Party for president, it
does not matter whether or not you vote for Mitt Romney today in Illinois.
I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it`s true. What you have to do if
you want to help Mitt Romney become the Republican`s party nominee for
president, is today in Illinois, you would have had to vote for, in Macon
County, Habeebe Habeebe (ph), and also Jan Miller, and David Newburg.
Also, somebody named James Greshman (ph), a Jimmy John Liautaud (ph), and
Those will be the votes you would have had to cast today if you wanted
to actually contribute to Mitt Romney getting the Republican Party`s
nomination for president. It does not matter who you vote for, for
president, it matters which individual delegates you vote for and who they
Now, let`s say you do like Mitt Romney, but let`s say you hate this
guy Jimmy John Liautaud, or you hate one of these other people, right? You
can`t bring yourself to vote for one of these delegates because you once
had a dispute over the height of a fence that this guy put up near your
child`s ballpark or something, I don`t know.
You have some random personal dispute with one of these delegates.
You do not have to vote for that delegate and you can pick all of the other
people who are listed as the Mitt Romney delegates but not the guy you
don`t like. So, let`s say your other delegate choice is Jim Hendricks,
who`s a lovely person.
This is all hypothetical, right? I don`t know who these people are,
but it says on your ballot that Jim Hendricks is for Newt Gingrich. You
know this guy is a really nice guy, even though you`re not particularly for
Newt Gingrich, that`s OK, you can pick him as a delegate.
If you did that, how would your vote be counted, then? Should that be
seen as a vote most formal Mitt Romney but also a little bit for Newt
Gingrich because you picked a Newt Gingrich delegate in additional to all
your other Mitt Romney votes?
Your expression of what you want to happen in the nomination for
president as rooted through all these other people you have to choose to
day who have some relationship eventually to who might be nominated for
president, it is kind of esoteric thing voting in Illinois today.
Here`s my favorite part, though. Macon County is one of the four
congressional districts in Illinois where your ballot is a little bit
different. There`s a whole swath of Illinois that has a different ballot
in one very important way.
Say you live in Macon County and you`re not a Mitt Romney fan.
Instead, you are a Rick Santorum fan. More than anything, you want Rick
Santorum to be president.
For that reason, it probably felt awesome to you when you went out to
vote in Macon County today. And you made your mark. You punched that
ballot thing that you indicated under the box marked “for president of the
United States,” that your vote for the Republican Party`s presidential
nominee is for Rick Santorum. He`s your guy. You voted for Rick Santorum.
In someplace like Macon County, that means nothing, nothing at all.
You have made yourself feel good by stating your preference, and NBC and
all the other news agencies will eventually report how many people
committed that feeling today. But if you don`t just want to feel like you
want Rick Santorum for president, if you turned out to vote today because
you actually want to help Rick Santorum secure the nomination of the
Republican Party for president, you are out of luck. There was nothing you
could do today in Macon County on your ballot to make it more likely that
Rick Santorum would win the nomination, because even though you can express
that you want him to be your party`s nominee, there are no delegates to
vote for that have Rick Santorum`s name next to them.
And Macon County and other parts of the state – you can see the Macon
County ballot here. Look, three guys there for Romney, and then three
alternates for Romney, three guys for Ron Paul, three alternates for Ron
Paul, there`s three guys for Gingrich and the alternates for Gingrich. But
yet, there`s no Rick Santorum delegates. So, there was no way that your
vote mattered if you were a Santorum supporter in Macon County, Illinois,
And even in some counties where Rick Santorum did get some delegates
on the ballot, he didn`t get enough of them. Take Clark Country over on
the Indiana border, a few counties over from Macon. Everyone has got a full
slate of first tier delegates, but when it comes to the alternates, each
candidate is supposed to have four. Ron Paul only has two, Rick Santorum
only has one.
So, what are you going to do if those are your candidates? If you`re
going to split the delegates around and vote for all sorts of different
candidates, how should the rest of us interpret the importance of what you
do? If you were a Republican voting in Illinois today, you were quite
within your rights to vote, say, for Buddy Roemer for president and then to
vote for one delegate from each of the candidates that had delegates.
You could have voted for Roemer for president, a Romney delegate, a
Paul delegate, a Santorum delegate, a Gingrich delegate, same again with
all the alternate delegates, you could split them up all, you could have
voted that way.
But then when we are trying to figure out who won Illinois, what
Illinois wants, how should a vote like that be considered? As I mentioned
at the top, NBC News has now declared Mitt Romney the projected winner of
Illinois. That means that he has been chosen by people who expressed a
non-binding preference unrelated to delegates, right? In terms of who
ought to win the Republican Party`s nomination from Illinois.
Ultimately what will mostly have been achieved tonight in Illinois is
steeply heightened cynicism about whether the Republican nominating contest
is actually an understandable, transparent election, whether these results
reflect the will of the voters who supposedly make up the membership of the
party. That will be one result tonight, heightened skepticism about that.
The other result is that the Illinois drugstore has probably sold a
lot of antacid today for voters trying to figure out a ballot that looks
like this. If you turned out today thinking, all I want to do is vote for
Ron Paul. Aim and shoot, right? I mean, at this point, with a ballot this
complicated, what are you going to do?
Macon County was one of 26 jurisdictions in Illinois today where the
ballot literally did not fit into the tallying machine. The ballots were
too wide for the scanners in more than two dozen counties, and therefore,
they could not be put through the machines.
Good luck trying to vote on this puppy, right, without any mechanical
assistance, right? Just aim. Do what you will. The Illinois Republican
primary is impenetrable, frankly. And Illinois is one of the good ones.
This was one of the bad ones this week.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: This is what happened in the previous Republican presidential
nominating contest this week. This was the Republican caucus in the great
state of Missouri this past weekend. It kind of makes Illinois look great
today, doesn`t it?
Now, wait, I know what you`re thinking. Missouri? I thought Missouri
voted weeks ago. Sort of.
Missouri state law required Republicans there to hold a primary on
February 7. But because that would earn them a punishment from the
national Republican Party, Missouri Republicans tried to change that date
until later. But they couldn`t get it together to change that state law
despite controlling the entire legislature, so they decided to spend $7
million taxpayer dollars holding that primary as required by state law on
February 7th, even though that primary did not count for anything.
Rick Santorum was very proud to have won that Missouri contest. He
went to the Republican stronghold of St. Charles County. He gave them a
big speech thanking them for that big fake win that meant nothing.
But the real contest, the binding vote, the caucuses in Missouri were
actually this past weekend, and this is what it looked like in that same
St. Charles County.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: Now, St. Charles, Missouri, is just outside of St. Louis.
It`s a Republican stronghold in the state. So much so that this county
actually has more delegates to allocate to the Republican primary process
than any other place in the whole state, but they have so far allocated
none because their process was this. Their process was shut down by police
over the weekend before I guess they thought it was going to turn into a
St. Charles County Republicans called the police and have them shut
down their caucus without voting on any delegates.
One local Republican official told “The St. Louis Dispatch” newspaper,
quote, “I don`t know what`s going to happen because I don`t think this has
Another local Republican simply said, quote, “I think we embarrassed
Now, remember, this is the place that has the most delegates that
there are to give in that entire state. This was the state`s Republican
stronghold. Not only do we not know who gets their delegates, but Missouri
Republicans can`t even figure out how they`re going to figure it out.
They can`t even figure out when they`re going to reschedule this
caucus, or how its delegates are going to be allocated and please stop
asking, thank you very much.
And it wasn`t just St. Charles County where the Republicans unraveled
this weekend. This was the scene in Clay County, Missouri, over on the
other side of the state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The chaos inside the caucus started even before the Pledge
Ron Paul supporters tried to take control by electing their own
chairman and ousting the Clay County GOP leader, Ben Wierzbiki. He
sometimes lost control of the meeting and threatened to have people thrown
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s enough! That`s your last warning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Clay County, Missouri, did, through that process, eventually
pick some delegates. But the chaos among Missouri Republicans is not over
yet. These caucuses, these disastrous caucuses are expected to continue
going on for weeks.
And this is just what it`s like in the Republican contest now. There
have been crazy caucuses in presidential campaigns in the past, but there
has never been this much chaos in state after state after state in modern
times. From the Iowa caucus results being reversed, to Maine Republicans
announcing the results before a whole swath that the state had voted, to
Missouri having the cops break up their caucuses at their own request and
then not voting, this has been an absolute mess.
Remember when you heard that Wyoming had voted back in February, and
they gave Wyoming to Mitt Romney. In that state in Wyoming, they have
still only allocated about half their delegates so far. They`re eking them
out over time.
And today, they decided to take one of the Santorum delegates away and
give them to Mitt Romney instead. Why? Has something changed in Wyoming
to make that happen? I can`t tell you, no idea. I sprain trying to figure
I still don`t understand how Ron Paul won the U.S. Virgin`s Islands
vote. Ron Paul won, he got the most votes. Ron Paul got 29 percent of the
vote in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mitt Romney got 26 percent. But despite
Ron Paul having won the vote in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it was Mitt Romney
who was given seven of the nine delegates there.
So, Illinois tonight. Huge deal? Maybe.
We can tell you at this hour what the latest results are of the non-
binding, non-delegate-related preference impression, which is unconnected
to the actual nominating process in Illinois. And that is that NBC News
projects that Mitt Romney has won the state of Illinois.
At this point, the total number – percentage of the vote in is 27
percent of the vote, Mr. Romney with 52 percent, Rick Santorum, his nearest
competitor, with 30 percent of the vote, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both in
But the closer that you look at this thing, I have to say, on a night
like this, looking at ballots like those, looking at delegate allocation
not only in tonight`s race but all the other races where it is still going
on and still in motion, it does sort of give you a little sympathy for
people in the campaigns who say frankly, if you`re only reading the
headlines here, you don`t have any idea how this race is going. People who
you think have a shot might not and people who you don`t think have a shot
It`s possible that none of us know what`s going on here if delegates
are the real gain. Frankly, I don`t think the Republican Party has any
Coming up, it`s John Harwood of the “New York Times,” and Steve
Schmidt, senior strategist for the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. Also,
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are expected to speak shortly to their
supporters now that Mr. Romney has been projected the winner in Illinois
tonight. We`re going to bring it all to you live.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: We`re looking at a live picture here of Mitt Romney and his
wife Ann Romney speaking to their supporters in Schaumberg, Illinois, which
is west Chicago. Mr. Romney has been projected the winner of tonight`s
Republican primary in the great state of Illinois. The polls closed at
8:00 and it was not yet 9:00, not even an hour before NBC News was able to
project that result tonight.
Usually, as these things go, in terms of election speeches, Mrs.
Romney will do sort of the heavy lifting, in terms of thanking the state-
based volunteers and staff for the campaign, as well as some of the
national staffer. She will go through and name all the names and then Mr.
Romney will step up to the podium and make a prepared speech.
I should also let you know that as Mitt Romney is about to speak to
his supporters, we are also expecting Rick Santorum to be addressing his
supporters tonight, as well. Mr. Santorum obviously not giving a victory
speech, but if past is any prologue, we can expect Mr. Santorum to be
focusing on the next campaign, the next contest that is, which, of course,
is this upcoming Saturday in Louisiana.
Right now, the polling heading into Louisiana actually shows Mr.
Santorum having a good chance there. Mr. Romney has not fared well so far
in Deep South contests, and the next one of those, whether it`s going to be
good news for Mr. Gingrich or even more likely good news for Mr. Santorum
is likely to be Louisiana.
As we`re waiting for Mr. Romney to take the podium right now, we`re
joined briefly by John Harwood. He`s CNBC`s chief Washington
correspondent, and a political writer for the “New York Times.” Also,
Steve Schmidt is with us, senior strategist for Senator John McCain`s
campaign in 2008. He`s now political analyst for MSNBC.
John and Steve, as we wait for Mr. Romney`s remarks, thanks for being
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: You bet.
STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You bet.
MADDOW: Steve, in terms of the candidate`s role on a night like this,
this was look to be a relatively easy and expected win for Mr. Romney. Is
this an opportunity just to make a national address? What should he be
STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: These Tuesday nights are so
important when the candidates, Rachel, have an opportunity to get out
there, to talk to millions of Americans across a multi-network platform, to
deliver their message to set up the race ahead.
So, we`ve seen these candidates have some good nights where they`ve
hit the mark on these speeches and other nights where they`ve been out of
it. So, every Tuesday is a big night. We`ll see how he does tonight.
MADDOW: Steve, thank you. You and John, if you could both stick with
us, I`d love to get your comments on Mr. Romney`s remarks when he`s done.
We`re now joining Mitt Romney live, addressing his supporters in
Schaumburg, Illinois, tonight, having been projected the winner of the
ROMNEY: Thanks, you guys. So many great friends in this room and
across Illinois. What a night. Thank you, Illinois. What a night. Wow.
And, of course, I`d like to congratulate my fellow candidates on a
hard-fought contest here. I`d like to thank in particular the volunteers
and our friends across the state and, frankly, in other states who`ve been
working hard. I appreciate their unwavering support, through good times
And tonight, we thank the people of Illinois for their vote and for
this extraordinary victory. Thank you so much.
And, you know, elections are about choices. And today, hundreds of
thousands of people in Illinois have joined millions of people across the
country to join our cause.
And this movement began on a small farm in New Hampshire on a sunny
June day. We were surrounded by a small group of our friends and some
supporters and family. We shared a conviction that the America we love was
in trouble and adrift without strong leadership.
And three years of Barack Obama have brought us fewer jobs and
shrinking paychecks, but many of us believed we were in danger of losing
something even more than the value of our homes and our 401(k)s. After
years of too many apologies and not enough jobs, historic drops in income
and historic highs in gas prices, a president who doesn`t hesitate to use
all the means necessary to force through Obamacare on the American public,
but leads from behind in the world.
It`s time to say these words, this word: enough. We`ve had enough.
We – we know our future. We know our future`s brighter than these
troubled times. We still believe in America. And we deserve a president
who believes in us. And I believe in the American people.
Now, you know that yesterday I was giving a speech at the University
… not – not very far from here, not far from where Professor Barack
Obama taught law.
It was a speech on economic freedom. And as I was writing the speech,
I thought to my lifetime of experiences. I`ve had a lot of opportunity to
learn about the – the unique genius of America`s free enterprise system.
It started, of course, with my dad. He didn`t graduate from college. And
he would tell me about his dad, who was a contractor. And you know about
construction, up and down years. He – he never quite made it, but he
never gave up and raised great kids.
Later, I helped start companies. And those began with just an idea,
and somehow they made it through the difficult times and were able to
create a good return for investors and thousands of jobs. And those jobs
helped families buy their first homes. Those jobs put kids through school.
Those jobs helped people live better lives, dream a little bigger.
For 25 years, I lived and breathed business and the economy and jobs.
I had successes and failures. But each step of the way, I learned a little
bit more about what it is that makes our American system so powerful. You
can`t learn that teaching constitutional law at University of Chicago, all
You – you can`t even learn that as a community organizer.
The simple truth is that this president doesn`t understand the genius
of America`s economy or the secret of the American economic success story.
The American economy is fueled by freedom.
The history of the world has shown that economic freedom is the only
force that has consistently lifted people out of poverty. It`s the only
principle that has ever been able to sustain prosperity. But over the last
three years, this administration has been engaged in an all-out assault on
Under this president, bureaucrats prevent drilling rigs from going to
work in the gulf. They – they keep coal from being mined. They impede the
reliable supply of natural gas. They even tell farmers what their kids are
able to do on their farms. This administration`s assault on freedom has
kept this so-called recovery from meeting their projections, let alone our
And now, by the way, the president is trying to erase his record with
some new rhetoric. The other day he said this. He said, “We are
inventors. We are builders. We are makers of things. We are Thomas
Edison. We`re the Wright brothers. We`re Bill Gates. We`re still jobs.”
Wait, I missed that. “We are Steve Jobs.”
That`s true. But the problem is: He`s still Barack Obama.
(APPLAUSE) AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
ROMNEY: And, you see, under Barack Obama, those pioneers he mentioned
would have faced a very difficult time trying to innovate and invent and
invest and create and build jobs. You see, under Dodd- Frank, they would
have found it almost impossible to get a loan from their community bank.
ROMNEY: And, of course, the regulators would have shut down the
Wright brothers for dust pollution.
You know – and – and, of course, the government would have banned
Thomas Edison`s light bulb. Oh, by the way, they just did, didn`t they?
Now, you know that the real cost of these misguided policies, these
attacks on economic freedom, this intrusion of the government into our
freedom, the – the cost of that are the ideas that are not pursued and the
dreams that aren`t realized and, therefore, all the little businesses that
don`t get started and the tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of
workers who don`t get hired.
For centuries, the American dream has meant the opportunity to build
something new. Some of America`s greatest success stories are – are
people who started out with nothing but a good idea and a corner in their
garage. But too often today, Americans who want to start a business or
launch a new venture, they don`t see promise and opportunity. They see
government standing in the way. And I`m going to change that. We`re going
to get government out of the way.
You know, we – we once built an Interstate Highway System and the
Hoover Dam. Now we can`t even build a pipeline.
I mean, we – we once led the world in manufacturing and exports,
investment. Today, we lead the world in lawsuits. You know, when we
replace a law professor with a conservative businessman as president,
that`s going to end.
I think – I think you know this. Every great innovation, every
world-changing business breakthrough begins with a dream. And nothing is
more fragile than a dream. The genius of America is that we nurture those
dreams and the dreamers. We honor them. And, yes, we reward them. That`s
part of what`s uniquely brilliant about America. But day by day,
job-killing regulation by job-killing regulation, bureaucrat by bureaucrat,
this president is crushing the dream, and the dreamers and I will make sure
that finally ends.
You know, the – the proof – the proof of the president`s failure is
seeing how tepid this economy – this economic recovery is. I mean, this
administration thinks that the economy`s struggling because the stimulus
wasn`t large enough.
The truth is, the economy is struggling because the government is too
You – you and I know something the president still hasn`t learned.
Even after three years and hundreds of billions of dollars of spending and
borrowing, it is not the government that creates our prosperity. The
prosperity of America is the product of free markets and free people, and
they must be protected and nurtured.
So tonight was a primary, but November is the general – general
election. And we`re going to face a defining decision as a people. Our
choice will not be about party or even personality. This election will be
about principle. Our economic freedom will be on the ballot.
I`m offering a real choice and a new beginning. I`m running for
president because I have the experience and the vision to get us out of
this mess. We know…
Look, we – we know what Barack Obama`s vision is. We`ve been living
it these last three years. My vision is very, very, very different than
what his is. You see, I – I see an America where the prospects for our
children will be better than even those that we`ve enjoyed during our
lives, where the pursuit of success by all of us will unite us, not divide
us, when the government finally understands…
I see a time when we`ll finally have a government that understands
it`s better for more people to pay less in taxes than for a very few to pay
a lot more. And…
And I see an America where the values we pass on to our children are
greater than the debts we leave them.
I see an America where poverty is defeated by opportunity, not enabled
by a government check.
I see an America that is humbled – excuse me – I seen an America
that is humble, but it is never humbled, that leads, but is never led. I
see an America that is so unquestionably strong that no one in the world
would ever think of testing the might of our military.
Today – today, we took an important step towards that America.
Tomorrow, we`ll take another. Each day, we move closer not just to
victory, but to a better America. Join us. Join us. Together, we`re
going to ensure that America`s greatest days are still ahead.
Thanks, you guys. Thank you so much. And God bless the United States
of America. Thank you.
MADDOW: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney addressing his
supporters in Schaumburg, Illinois, tonight having won the Illinois
primary. NBC News projecting Mr. Romney as the winner in Illinois tonight.
We are awaiting remarks from Senator Rick Santorum who looks like
right now in the results we have is running second in Illinois. Mr.
Santorum is not in Illinois. He`s in his homes state of Pennsylvania, in
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It`s actually apparently a very large crowd
turned out to see Mr. Santorum, at least what they were expecting.
We`ve been told that he has already addressed the overflow room at his
venue in Gettysburg, but will be speaking from the podium in the main room
shortly. We`ll bring that to you live as it happens.
Still with us right now, Steve Schmidt, who`s the senior strategist to
the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008 and NBC`s – excuse me – “New York
Times” and CNBC`s John Harwood.
Fellas, thank you for sticking with me.
MADDOW: John, in terms of the response – in terms of the speech
there from Mr. Romney, I`ve not been listening to his stump speech every
day, but I`ve been listening closely enough to sort of follow its evolution
over time. Is this what we should expect from Mr. Romney from hereon out
in terms of putting Bain at the very, very center of what his appeal is for
why he should be president?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: Well, I think so. Bain in the way that Mitt
Romney wants to explain it as part of a step by step education process for
him and what makes the American economy tick.
I do think it was significant, Rachel, he had some new lines in here.
Some great Republican applause line. He made fun of community-organizing,
made fun of law professors, and he had a whole rift about his vision for
the country – plainly a general election speech. I think there`s a reason
for that because I think this win, even though it was expected, is a big
deal because I think tonight we found out that Rick Santorum simply is not
capable of turning over the table in the way he needs to, to stop Mitt
Romney from getting this nomination.
I think this primary race while Mitt Romney doesn`t have anywhere
close to 1,144 delegates, is effectively over tonight because Rick Santorum
was not able to move from his victories in the Deep South to a victory in
the big Midwestern state and breakthrough.
MADDOW: Just brief follow-up on that, John, you fell like if Rick
Santorum even pulls off a large win in Louisiana, that`s not enough to
change Romney momentum at this point?
HARWOOD: There are not enough states in the Deep South for Rick
Santorum to do what he needs to do to deny Mitt Romney the nomination or
win it himself. This is going after Louisiana, to Maryland, to Wisconsin,
to a bunch of states.
Yes, Rick Santorum`s Pennsylvania but also New York and Connecticut,
New Jersey, states in the Northeast. I think we found out tonight that
Rick Santorum just can`t damage Mitt Romney enough to stop him.
MADDOW: Steve Schmidt, let me bring you in on this. Just had a
statement released from the Newt Gingrich campaign – either Mr. Gingrich
nor Ron Paul are going to be giving a speech tonight.
Newt Gingrich`s speech – response begins, “To defeat, Barack Obama,
Republicans can`t nominate a candidate who relies on outspending his
opponents seven to one.”
Both the Santorum campaign and the Gingrich campaign have tried to
make an asset for themselves out of the fact that Mr. Romney has so wildly
outspent his opponents to get victories like this one that we saw in
Do you think that matters tactically, the sort of cost per vote that
these guys are spending?
SCHMIDT: No, I actually think it`s a ridiculous argument, Rachel. In
2008, the John McCain campaign was outspent by $250 million. It`s almost
impossible to win a presidential election when you`re talking about that
type of fundraising disparity.
If Mitt Romney goes onto win the nominee, Republicans will not be
faced with that type of fundraising disparity this time. If Newt Gingrich
who won`t be the nominee, but let`s just that he is, or Rick Santorum
somehow able to come back and do it, they will be faced with that type of
fundraising disparity. It`s a huge strategic problem if you`re on the
Republican side of the aisle and you want to see a Republican president.
MADDOW: Steve Schmidt, John Harwood – thank you, gentlemen. I have
a feel we`re going to be checking back in with you as this night wears on.
We are expecting to hear from Rick Santorum shortly.
We are live here on MSNBC covering the results of the Illinois
primary. NBC has projected that the winner in this race is Mitt Romney.
We`ll be watching for complete results, including some down-ticket
races. But a really interesting as the night wears on.
But right now, Mitt Romney the projected winner. Rick Santorum due to
speak any moment. Stay with us.
MADDOW: In the Illinois Republican primary tonight, NBC has projected
that Mitt Romney is the winner. With 42 percent of the vote in, Mr. Romney
at 49 percent of the vote right now and Mr. Santorum in second place at 33
percent. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both distant third and fourth in
single digits right now. Again, that`s less than half it have vote in but
enough to project Mr. Romney as the winner.
We just heard Mr. Romney speaking to his supporters in Illinois.
Here`s Rick Santorum addressing his supporters in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
This is live.
SANTORUM: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It is great to be back
in Pennsylvania. Thank you for joining us here.
Let me just thank all of you for being here. And I know that they`re
not going to be hearing me, but I – I just feel so bad. We have about
1,000-1,500 people who couldn`t get in here. We`re just overwhelmed by the
response here, and I just want to say: I feel welcomed back home to
Pennsylvania, so thank you very, very much.
It is – it is – first, I just want to congratulate Governor Romney.
I gave him a call a little earlier and congratulated him on winning the
state of Illinois. But I also want to say – I just want to thank all of
the folks in Illinois, all in the – you know, if you look at what –
what`s going to happen tonight, we`re going to win downstate, we`re going
to win central Illinois, we`re going to win western Illinois. We won the
areas that conservatives and Republicans populate, and we`re very happy
about that. We`re happy about the delegates we`re going to get, too.
We wanted to come here tonight back to Pennsylvania, back to a
favorite place of mine in Pennsylvania, the city and the town of
Obviously, it`s – so many memories come to mind when we walk on here
in the town and across the street where Abraham Lincoln finished the
Gettysburg Address at the Wills House. And you think about the great
elections of our past.
And I`ve gone around this country over the past year now and said this
is the most important election in our lifetimes. And, in fact, I think
it`s the most important election since the election of 1860.
The election in 1860 was about whether these united states – which is
what it was mostly referred to prior to the election of 1860 – would
become the United States, whether it would be a union, a country bound
together to build a great and prosperous nation, a – a nation based on a
concept, a concept that we were birthed with, a concept birthed with our
founding document of the Declaration of Independence.
I`ve said throughout the course of this campaign that while other
issues are certainly important – the economy, joblessness, national
security concerns, the family, the issue of life – all of these issues are
important, but the foundational issue in this race, the one that is, in
fact, the cause of the other maladies that we are feeling, whether it`s in
the economy or whether it`s in the budget crisis that we`re dealing with,
all boils down to one word, and that`s what`s at stake in this election,
and it`s right behind me on that banner, and that`s the word “freedom.”
I was pleased to hear before I came out that Governor Romney is now
adopting that theme as his speech tonight.
I am – I am glad we are moving the debate here in the Republican
Party. But I`ve been focused on this, because I`ve actually been out
talking to people across this country, doing over a thousand town hall
meetings. And I know the anxiety and the concerns that people have in this
country about an ever-expanding government, a government that is trying to
dictate how we`re going to live our lives, trying to order us around,
trample our freedoms, whether it`s our economic freedoms or our religious
But in addition to trampling that freedom, in addition to building a
dependency, a dependency on government, as we see government expand and
grow, now almost half the people in this country depend on some form of
federal payment to help them get – make ends meet in America. And after
and if Obamacare is implemented, every single American will depend upon the
federal government for something that is critical, their health and their
SANTORUM: That`s why this election is so important. This is an
election about fundamental and foundational things. This is an election
about not who`s the best person to manage Washington or manage the economy.
We don`t need a manager. We need someone who`s going to pull up government
by the roots and throw it out and do something to liberate the private
sector in America. That`s what we need.
It`s great to have Wall Street experience. I don`t have Wall Street
experience, but I have experience growing up in a small town in western
Pennsylvania, growing up in a steel town, growing up in public housing in
apartments and seeing how men and women of this country scraped and clawed
because they had the opportunity to climb the ladder of success in America.
A lot of those folks out there today feel like nobody in Washington
and no one in this debate is really talking about them. That`s why this is
a wonderful movement as I travel around this country and everywhere I go.
I see people, people in work clothes, folks with children who are maybe not
getting the educational opportunities that they hoped for so they could
climb that ladder of success, people who are looking for someone to voice
their concerns about how this economy is going to turn around for them, not
just for those at the top of the income ladder.
That`s why I`ve talked about a manufacturing plan, an energy plan,
someone who believes that if we create opportunities by, yes, cutting
taxes, but reducing the oppressive regulatory burden that this
administration has put on businesspeople and people who want to drill for
energy, it needs someone who`s got a strong and clear record that can
appeal to voters all across this country and someone who you can trust,
someone that you know when they say they`re going to do something, they`re
not saying it because, well, that happens to be the popular theme of the
moment, but someone who has a long track record of deep convictions,
someone who`s going to go out and stand and fight, because it`s not just
what the pollster tells them to say or what`s on their TelePrompTer. I
don`t happen to have one here tonight.
Because – because they know in their gut from their life experiences,
from living in America, that this is what America needs and America wants.
They want someone who`s not going to go to Washington, D.C., because they
want to be the most powerful person in the world to manage Washington.
They want someone who`s going to take that power and give it back to the
people of this country.
There is one candidate in this race who can go out and make that
contrast with the current occupant of the White House, someone who has a
track record of being for you, being for limited government, being for
solutions that empower people on the biggest issues of the day, whether
it`s Obamacare, Romneycare. They`re interchangeable.
We need someone who understands that the solution to the problem with
almost 1/17th of the economy is not government control over that sector
economy, but your control over that sector of the economy.
We need someone who understands that we need to grow our energy
supplies here in this country. And we need someone you can trust who when
in good times and in bad, when times were tough and people thought, well,
that – all this oil and gas and coal in the ground is all a source of
carbon dioxide, and we can`t take that out of the ground because, well,
there`s a finite supply and it could – it could damage our environment and
cause global warming…
… when the climate – when those who – who – who profess manmade
global warming and climate science convinced many, many Republicans,
including two who are running for president on the Republican ticket, Mitt
Romney and Newt Gingrich.
But there was one who said: I know this isn`t climate science. This
is political science.
And this was another attempt of those who want to take power away from
you and control your access to energy, your utilization, whether it`s in
your car or in your home of energy, because they are better to make these
decisions about how you use energy than you do.
SANTORUM: That`s what they believe. And unfortunately, just like in
health care, Governor Romney and Speaker Gingrich went along with the ride.
And guess what? When the climate changed, they changed their position.
And now they`re all for drilling and they`re all for oil and gas and coal.
I was for it because it was the right thing to do then; I`ll be for it
tomorrow and the next day and the next day. I`m not going to change with
Ladies and gentlemen, I grew up in this great state, and this is the
first day – this is the launch we wanted to come here to Pennsylvania, to
launch our campaign here in Pennsylvania. We`ve got five weeks, five weeks
to a big win and a big delegate sweep in Pennsylvania.
I come as a son of Pennsylvania, someone who grew up in western
Pennsylvania. Everyone knows the story, I hope, of my grandfather, my dad
coming to Pennsylvania to work in those coal mines in Somerset County. I
learned everything, everything about freedom and opportunity and hard work,
and growing up with folks who worked in the mills and the mines in western
And so when I speak and I speak from the heart, in the back of my mind
are the pictures of those men and women who worked and scraped and clawed
so their children and grandchildren could, yes, have a better quality of
life, yes, maybe even go to college and not have to work in tough, manual
labor, but, most importantly, they fought for the things that the people in
this battlefield just down the road fought for.
They fought for big things, things that America`s always stood for,
that Ronald Reagan referred to as that shining city on the hill. It`s
things that I`m fighting for here today, the reason Karen and I decided, in
the face of having seven children ages 20 to 3 – not exactly the best time
to run for president of the United States when you have children 20 to 3…
… but Karen and I felt compelled. We felt compelled, because as
Ronald Reagan said in one of his great speeches, we didn`t want to have to
sit down someday and look at the eyes of our children and our children`s
children and describe to them an America where once men were free.
We don`t want to be that generation that lost the torch of freedom.
That`s why Karen and the kids behind me, all of whom born in Pennsylvania,
all of those folks who understand the – the greatness of our state and the
greatness of the values of this state, all of us understand what was
sacrificed, in the mills and on the battlefields.
And that`s why we must go out and fight this fight. That`s why we
must go out and nominate someone who understands, not because some pollster
tells them, because they know in their gut – just like you do – all
across this country, you know in your gut big things are adrift and at
stake in this election.
So I ask each and every one of you to join us, to saddle up, like
Reagan did in the cowboy movies, to saddle up, take on that responsibility
over the next five weeks. We`re going to head to Louisiana from here.
We`re feeling very, very good about winning Louisiana on Saturday, I might
We`re heading to Louisiana for the rest of the week, and then we`re
going to be back here in Pennsylvania, and we`re going to pick up a whole
boatload of delegates and close this gap and on to victory.
Thank you all very much. God bless you. Thank you.
MADDOW: Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in his home state
in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with his family, addressing his supporters,
having – it looks like coming in second in the Illinois primary tonight,
expressing that he was looking forward to a five-week-long campaign to win
as many delegates and a big win – as many delegates as possible and a big
win in Pennsylvania, saying that he felt confident about the prospects of
winning in Louisiana this upcoming Saturday.
NBC News chief foreign affairs and the host of “ANDREA MITCHELL
REPORTS” here on MSNBC is Andrea Mitchell. She joins us now, along with
Steve Schmidt, the senior strategist for the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008.
Andrea, I just wanted to ask about the interesting contrast we saw
between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum tonight. Mr. Romney campaigning
against Barack Obama and Barack Obama only – Mr. Santorum campaigning not
just against Mitt Romney, but also a little against Newt Gingrich, too,
almost no mention of Barack Obama at all.
I wonder what that says to you about what happens from hereon out.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST: I think it says Rick Santorum is very
much an underdog. He has not proved that he can win decisively outside the
South. Illinois was a long shot for him. He was outspent. He didn`t
organize well enough to have delegates in all of the congressional
districts. As you know, he lost even the chance in four congressional
But if he had been more competitive in Illinois, that really would
have slowed any momentum that Mitt Romney has.
And I think Romney going into this next part of the calendar, with the
exception of Louisiana where he really cannot compete, I don`t think,
against Rick Santorum in the evangelicals supporters that he has there, I
think that now in the Northeast, Mitt Romney has a very good chance not
seal the deal in terms of the delegate count, but certainly to build the
momentum and try to regain that inevitability.
MADDOW: Steve Schmidt, listening to Mr. Santorum tonight attacking
Mitt Romney as a manager who just does what he is told, who has no core,
who believes the climate – at the political climate at the moment tells
him to believe, is he building am effective rebuttal to the Mitt Romney
SCHMIDT: Well, I think one of the things, Rachel, that you heard Rick
Santorum talk about tonight which I think is intended to insulate him from
calls to get out of the race or to accept aside is that he`s looking
forward to the Pennsylvania primary five weeks from now, giving no
indication that he`s planning to get out of the race.
The gloves are off. He`s going to continue to make a tough case.
He`s going to continue to make an ideological case attacking Mitt Romney
from his right. His strategy is to deny Mitt Romney the requisite number
of delegates that he needs to be nominated under the hope that Rick
Santorum in his mind the more conservative of the two can come up with a
strategy at the convention if there`s not enough delegates to nominate.
MADDOW: NBC`s Andrea Mitchell and Steve Schmidt, senior strategists
for the McCain-Palin campaign in `08 – thank you both for your time
tonight. Thank you.
We`re going to be right back.
MADDOW: In the Illinois Republican primary tonight, NBC News projects
that Mitt Romney has won 54 percent of the vote in right now. Mr. Romney
below 50 percent of the total vote with 48 percent, Rick Santorum at 35,
Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both in single digits.
We`ve heard from both Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum tonight. We do not
expect to hear from either Mr. Paul or Mr. Gingrich. Neither of them is
planning on giving a speech.
It`s interesting, though, Mitt Romney putting Bain capital, his
experience at Bain right back at the center of his campaign. Rick Santorum
not apparently working from notes, certainly not working from a
teleprompter, coming right back at Mitt Romney saying that America does not
need a manager in Washington, D.C., “we need someone to pull up government
by the roots and throw it out” – in case the contrast wasn`t clear enough.
NBC`s coverage of the Republican presidential primaries continues now
with Lawrence O`Donnell on “THE LAST WORD”.
Good evening, Mr. O`Donnell.
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