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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/04/11

Guests: Steve Schmidt, Richard Trumka, Debra Johnson

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Herman Cain will join Lawrence on "THE LAST WORD" on Thursday. You can have "THE LAST WORD" online at our blog, Watch my new show, "UP WITH CHRIS HAYES" which airs Saturday mornings at 7:00 a.m. Eastern. That is very early. But set your DVRs. And Sundays at 8:00 a.m. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW is up next. Good evening, Rachel. RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Chris, did you choose your name of the show in full knowledge of the fact people didn`t know what it was would say what`s up with Chris Hayes? HAYES: We were hoping for that reaction. Yes. MADDOW: All right. It works. It`s beautiful. Perfectly done. Thank you, Chris. HAYES: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Now that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is back for running for vice president instead of running for president, alongside all the other Republicans who aren`t running for president anymore, like Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels and John Thune and Mike Pence and Bobby Jindal, and I guess Donald Trump. Is Donald Trump considered to be a vice presidential contender? Now that Chris Christie has rejoined the ranks of all the Republicans who are vying with almighty Marco Rubio to be the vice presidential nominee in 2012 instead of the presidential nominee, now that that is settled, the Republican Party has to face up to Mitt Romney`s Peggy Lee problem. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PEGGY LEE, SINGER (singing): Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that`s all there is, my friends, then let`s keep dancing. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: What is it about Mitt Romney`s status as a front-runner exactly that makes the Republican Party cry into their beer? Like a collective Peggy Lee? Why has an entire year now of Republican presidential speculation circled around the apparently central Republican question of who can we nominate who is not Mitt Romney? No one other than the very far right who says that Mitt Romney`s a liberal and the very far religious right which says Mormonism is a cult, nobody other than those people on the fringes will explain overtly why Republicans are so resistant to Mitt Romney being their nominee, why Republicans look at him and say, is this all there is? But I think that evidence of where that resistance comes from is there. It`s evidence that is in the political archives but it is not very deep down in those archives. It`s from the recent past. In the 2008 presidential race, the Democratic Party, of course, had to pick a nominee. That was the great Obama/Clinton saga of 2008. Because nobody was going to run Dick Cheney for president, not even the Republican Party, the Republicans in 2008 had to pick a nominee as well. 2008 was one of those rare years in modern presidential politics where neither party had a nominee in waiting. And so, there was this great weird moment on January 5th, 2008, in New Hampshire when ABC News hosted a debate for both parties. The Republicans got to go first at 7:00 that night. And then around 8:45 that night, the Republicans had to leave the stage in order to let the Democratic candidates start debating. Same moderator. Same stage. Same auditorium. Just a new party. ABC was smart about it. They actually made the two portions of the debate overlap. As you can see here, the Republican candidates having just finished up. They stood on the stage and greeted the Democratic candidates. The Democrats joined them on stage to prepare for the start of their debate. Everybody was chatting and doing the fake politician glad handing, just the locker room thing, everybody talking to each other and making professional nice -- except for this guy who`s not talking to anybody. For a brief but instructive moment, nobody talked to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney smiled and made the right sort of facial expressions, but it was just him alone up there. Mitt Romney came sort of close to winning the nomination in `08. He won 11 states. He spent about $110 million. But the lasting impression Mitt Romney left on that race, the last time he ran for president, had frankly less to do with the threat hat he might actually get the nomination than it had to do with how much his presence unified all of the other Republican candidates -- how much everybody else really frankly disliked him. This is not my analysis. I`m sharing with you the analysis of the time from 2008. Quote, "Within the small circle of contenders, Mr. Romney has become the most disliked." A Republican strategist not affiliated with any of the campaigns that year told "The New York Times," quote, "The glee -- the glee the other candidates go after Romney with is really unique." That strategist adding this as a schoolyard analogy, quote, "John McCain and his friend used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess." Campaign reporters describe, quote, "the almost visceral scorn directed at Mr. Romney by his rivals." That would include a rival campaign advisor, quote, "whose distaste for Romney is vivid." Mike Huckabee`s campaign chairman who went on to become Michele Bachmann`s campaign manager for a while this year, he said in 2008, and I quote, "What I have to do is make sure my anger with a guy like Romney whose teeth I want to knock out doesn`t get in the way of my thought process." And there was "Time" magazine which described Mr. Romney as, quote, "The candidate who seems to be uniting his Republican rivals." And adviser to one rival campaign telling "Time," quote, "The degree to which campaigns personal dislikes for Mitt Romney has played a part in this campaign cannot be underestimated." "Time" magazine also noting, quote, "The other candidates` staffs do seemed to have bonded in their dislike of Romney. The aversion of Romney seems to go beyond mere policy disagreements. It`s also a suspicion of what they see as his hypocrisy and essential phoniness." In that debate where Mitt Romney stood all alone without a friend in the whole world, the debate the next day was headlined as rivals pile on Romney -- everybody attacking Mitt Romney during that debate. Apparently that was not a plan. It just came naturally. Quote, "The campaigns have denied there`s any political collusion going on; they insist -- they insist all of them simply feel the same way about Romney." This was the most important thing about Mitt Romney the last time he ran in 2008. The most important thing about him, the most salient thing, the thing everybody was left with as an impression of Mitt Romney was how remarkable how much all the other Republican candidates really personally hated him. This is from the book "game change" which is the inside story of the 2008 campaign. Not my favorite book, but a useful section here. Quote, "The candidates lined up at the urinals, Giuliani next to McCain, next to Huckabee, the rest all in a row. The debate were soon to start so they were taking care of business and laughing merrily at the one guy who wasn`t there, poking fun at him, mocking him, agreeing about how much they disliked him. Then, Willard Mitt Romney walk into the bathroom and overheard them bringing on a crashing silence." Honestly, it`s like that movie "Heathers." It`s like high school. You want more from this? Quote, "The day before the Republican primary, Mike Huckabee mocked Romney for ordering lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken and peeling off the fried coating and eating it with a knife and fork." This is Republican presidential "Heathers" the way they talk about Mitt Romney. When other Republican campaigns talked about Mitt Romney back in 2008, when they talked to him, talked about him to reporters, way more often than you would think, Romney is just described in articles as him. Like him in italics. Once it was clear that Giuliani was going to drop out of the race, for example, "Time" magazine reported that a Giuliani aide approached one of the McCain campaign senior staffers and said, quote, "Just tell us what you want to do, we`ve got to stop him." A former Fred Thompson staffer reports that e-mails would fly around between the campaigns saying stuff like, and I quote, "No matter what happens with us, we all need to make sure it`s not him." The Thompson staffers saying the campaigns would sometimes plot strategy against Romney together. The quote, "Hey, I saw you hit Mitt on immigration. Have you thought about going after him on this issue?" After winning the Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee reportedly told John McCain as they both looked ahead toward New Hampshire, quote, "Now, it`s your turn to kick his butt. Get him. Get him." So, here`s where we stand right now. Chris Christie`s not getting in the race. Rick Perry is newly tanking in the polls. Perry`s loss has translated into the latest surge to threaten Mitt Romney, this time from Herman Cain. Mr. Cain responded to his surge in the polls by taking a month off the campaign trail, taking a month off to go on a book tour. Michele Bachmann is going through her quarterly purge of staff. Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are not exactly catching fire as candidates. There`s frankly only one unanswered question left about the Republican Party picking its nominee for president this year -- and that is the question of whether or not they are over whatever it was that made them hate him so much in 2008. Now, Mike Huckabee seems to have been the candidate who hated him the most. It was his campaign manager who said he wanted to knock Romney`s teeth out, for example. But Mr. Huckabee bragged this weekend on his FOX News TV show on the accomplishment of having forced him to be civil around Mitt Romney in 2011. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS HOST: You know, a lot of people that are watching this interview because they really were wondering, would you and I be able to sit in the same room and be civil to each other. I mean, it was exactly four years ago when we were kind of going through it. So, I think we`ve proven that people can be civil. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Mike Huckabee not laughing while he said that. Mitt Romney sort of trying to, ha, yes, my -- Mike Huckabee serious as it gets in describing his discipline in remaining civil while being in the same room as him. The only unanswered question in the Republican nominating process right now is whether Republicans, like Mike Huckabee, can choke down whatever it was that made them hate Mitt Romney so much in 2008, or whether they still hate him so much that the prospect of him getting the nomination is actually scary enough to make Republicans give the only person left on the sidelines a second look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: This is a serious decision and I`m engaging serious deliberations. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Joining us now is Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist for the McCain/Palin campaign and former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush. Steve, it is nice to see you again. STEVE SCHMIDT, FORMER MCCAIN/PALIN CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Someday, I`m going to have you here to talk about policy about light rail or instead of Republican presidential contenders. Someday, OK? Have I lost you, Steve? Are you there? SCHMIDT: No, I can hear you. MADDOW: All right. Fair enough. Why did all of the other campaigns in `08 talked so much personal smack about Mitt Romney? SCHMIDT: I think these races, they`re tough, they`re fierce, they`re competitive. There was a lot of bad blood between the Obama campaign and the Clinton campaign while they`re going against each other. When it`s all over, everyone comes together. I think a lot of that stuff is in the past. But, you know, if you look back at the time, Mitt Romney was the first candidate in 2008 that started running negative campaign ads against his -- you know, against his competitors. There were some hard feelings. I think there were some hard feelings on the part of Governor Huckabee. But I think people put that down. I think four years ago is a very long time ago in politics. MADDOW: Did he lose political capital or potential political alliances in doing that in 2008 that might continue to reverberate? I`m just -- I`m trying to understand what might be the Republican dynamics behind people still looking for more candidates who aren`t Mitt Romney to try to displace him as the front-runner. SCHMIDT: Look, I think all that is over, by the way, today with Governor Christie getting out of the race. I think the field is the field we have now. And, you know, I think that the choice is the choice, you know, with the candidates that have been on the stage. But, you know, Senator McCain and Governor Romney, they had a ferocious contest that went through the early part of the winter. But after, you know, Senator McCain became the nominee, there was nothing that Mitt Romney didn`t do, you know, to help John McCain. He was out there. He was raising money. He toured the country. He was one of the campaign`s best surrogates. I think that went a long way even at the time to heal over, you know, any bad feelings. I think that he came out of that race, you know, as someone who had been on the other side of a tough campaign against him. With people feeling pretty good, you know, about Mitt Romney at the end of the campaign. MADDOW: If Chris Christie had entered the race today, that obviously would have been great news for Rick Perry, sort of centrist Republicans would have been splitting votes between Mitt Romney and Chris Christie that would open up a lot of room to move for Rick Perry. Right now, Rick Perry doesn`t seem to really have his footing. Unless he regains it or Herman Cain really surprises, it looks like Mitt Romney has a real straight shot at the nomination. Do you think there is -- is there anything important to know about how the Republican establishment is going to or is not going to coalesce around Mitt Romney? SCHMIDT: I think a couple of things, Rachel. I think you saw Ken Langone, a big Christie supporter coming out today endorsing Mitt Romney. I think you will se a lot of undecided donors, big donors, part of what you would call the Republican establishment will break to Mitt Romney decisively over the next couple days. I think this has been a very tough couple weeks for Rick Perry. It`s not like he`s over or he`s completely out of it. But as we go forward to the next debates, I think you look forward to seeing Michele Bachmann attacking him from the right. You see Rick Santorum attacking him from the right. And, obviously, Herman Cain has risen pretty high in the national polls. I think all of those candidates are going to try to take a piece out of Rick Perry. I think Rick Santorum has every potential to see movement in his numbers in Iowa. So you`re going to see a pretty vigorous contest now about who`s going to be the conservative alternative to Romney and there`s going to be a pile-on in that part of the primary. It will be interesting to watch. MADDOW: In terms of what comes out of that conservative, say, sort of still unanswered fight it be the non-Romney candidate, we`ve also got Tea Party groups and groups like Dick Armey`s FreedomWorks group, that`s sort of corporate-funded, direct action group. They have announced they`ll oppose a Romney nomination by the Republican Party. Does that actually -- does that keep the schism open for too long in order for Romney to actually make the ground he needs to make this year? SCHMIDT: No. Look, I think at the end of the day, it`s a pay for play organization that is good about sending out press releases about itself. I think it`s pretty impotent in terms of being able to do serious injury to, you know, the nominee should, you know, Mitt Romney be the nominee at the end of the day. But, you know, you`re going to see now a really vigorous contest on the right side of the Republican Party between Cain, between Bachmann, between Santorum, between Perry. You know, with all of those candidates trying to grow by taking a piece out of Perry. And, of course, Perry wants to keep his vote share from the trend. It`s been declining. And in order for him to get stable in the race, he`s got to hold off all those conservatives coming at him in the debate. MADDOW: If Palin entered now, could she become the anti-Romney candidate? SCHMIDT: I think if you look at the polling of the Republican Party, I think that she would get in in the race. She would be, I think, in a space somewhere between Bachmann and Gingrich. She doesn`t jump to the top of the field. She`s a third tier candidate. She`s the most famous candidate. I don`t think there`s much market if you believe the polls, up you know, for her candidacy in the race. MADDOW: Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist for the McCain/Palin campaign, former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush -- I man who I commit to making laugh on television sometime in the next point in the next year. Oh, I did it. I win. SCHMIDT: You did it. MADDOW: I`m going to buy myself a drink. Thanks a lot, Steve. I appreciate it. SCHMIDT: Take care, Rachel. MADDOW: All right. Thanks, Steve. We have got a correction to make on tonight`s show. Also, there`s some bad lip reading ahead which is sort of awesome. We`ll be talking about why Colorado is trying to stop soldiers, active duty U.S. soldiers from voting. That`s the outrage story of the night, frankly. That`s all ahead. All of which, of course, will be under the watchful spell of Miss Peggy Lee. (MUSIC) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Breaking election news out of West Virginia tonight and it`s good news for Democrats. Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin has just won the special election for governor of West Virginia. He fended off a fierce challenge from a Republican businessman named Bill Maloney. Mr. Tomblin, now Governor Tomblin, a veteran state lawmaker actually has been the acting governor of the state since Joe Manchin left the seat to go to the U.S. Senate last November. Republicans went after the acting governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, for things like not suing the federal government over President Obama`s health care bill. But, tonight, those tactics appear to have failed, as voters rejected the Republican candidate in favor of their Democratic acting governor, again, Earl Ray Tomblin. The seat will be up again next year for a four-year term. But that race tonight is decided. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Forget what you have heard about Chris Christie. Forget what you`ve heard about the Herman Cain surge. Nationally tied for first as of today with Mitt Romney in the new CBS poll. Forget what you`ve heard about the second coming of Rick Perry. Forget what you`ve heard about Mitt Romney`s inevitability. Forget what you`ve heard of the miracle of Rick Santorum and/or Michele Bachmann and/or Jon Huntsman and/or Buddy Roemer`s candidacies. No matter what you have heard, it`s already clear and settled who Barack Obama will be running against. Barack Obama will be running against Karl Rove. The groups Karl Rove started, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS recently doubled what they say they will raise and spend against Barack Obama this election season. Last time around in the 2010 midterms, they raised and spent $70 million. This time, their goal was going to be $120 million to spend against Obama. But, now, they`ve decided it`s going to be $240 million. So, the Karl Rove group is going to be spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to defeat Barack Obama this next election. Because Karl Rove, himself, is not technically the candidate, although really what does it matter, and because of the Supreme Court`s ruling in Citizens United, Karl Rove`s groups can raise their money in unlimited fashion -- unlimited donations, including unlimited donations directly from businesses. And we are getting our taste now of what that campaign is going to look like. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NARRATOR: He raised our hopes. He seemed to understand. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. NARRATOR: But today, he`s different. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president proposes tax increases. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One and a half trillion dollars. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Hold on, wait a minute. Now, now, this is how the Karl Rove group is running against President Obama. He`s raising taxes. He`s raising taxes. And you`ve got all these pictures of middle class families upset that President Obama is raising their taxes. In this new ad, they pulled this standup from a CNN correspondent who`s named Brianna Keilar and she is saying how the president is raising taxes. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: The president proposes tax increases. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That`s what they pull from Brianna Keilar. You want to hear that statement from Brianna Keilar in context? Want to see what the Karl Rove people had to take apart from her in order to get her saying that damning sounding thing they could show alongside the working class people, so sad about how President Obama is going to raise middle class taxes? Here`s what she actually said in context. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: The headline today is really how the president proposes to pay for his jobs plan and the answer to that is tax increases. The bulk of paying for the $450 billion plan would come from limiting itemized deductions wealthier Americans take. We`re talking about individuals that make $200,000 or more or families that make $250,000 or more. There are also tax increases that you would see effecting hedge fund managers, oil and gas companies, as well as corporate jet owners. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, that damning he wants to raise middle class taxes ad from Karl Rove`s group is cut and pasted like it`s refrigerator poetry out of a CNN correspondent actually explaining that the president wants to pay for his jobs plan by taxing corporate jets, and oil and gas companies, and hedge fund managers and families that make a quarter million dollars a year or more. The Karl Rove folks just say, you know, tax and then show you pictures of middle class families. So, you`re supposed to believe that what Obama is proposing is raising taxes on middle class families. This is genius. Right? I mean, it`s bullpuckey. It is genius bullpuckey, the best money can buy. This is gold-plated campaign bullpuckey. If I were that CNN reporter, I might sue over them using me like that. But you can expect a quarter billion of this gold-plated bullpuckey to be spent against President Obama over the next 13 months. It is 13 months of this that`s ahead of us, 13 months, during which not only does that the country has to wade through another presidential election, but we also have to govern ourselves which this year means trying to keep ourselves out of a second devastating recession. The chairman of the Federal Reserve today telling a joint congressional hearing that the recovery from the last recession is in danger of faltering. In other words, we are in danger of slipping back into another recession right now. Regardless of what happens in the next election, what are we going to do about that? Are we going to do anything to try to avoid that? Are we going to change course in order to avoid barreling into a second recession? You tell me. Here are the two sides that get to decide. On the right, there`s Karl Rove and a handful of billionaires. You know, 92 percent of what American Crossroads raised this year so far came from three people, three billionaires. Karl Rove does not need very many people in order to raise a quarter of a billion dollars against Barack Obama. The Koch brothers are worth $25 billion each. They could spend $5 billion each, $10 billion each, $20 billion each. Whatever. Post-Citizen United, you can make unlimited donations now. So, if you just need a handful of people. There`s a handful of right wing billionaires on one side who can spend an infinite amount of money and on their side, even as the chairman of the Fed pleads with Congress today for an action to save the economy, for them to not cut, to do something for economic growth -- even as that happens, as we scuttle into this new crisis, Republicans in Congress are now saying they will take no action on the jobs bill. So, that`s on the one side. Here`s the other side. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: We`ve got to put America back to work. Three weeks ago, I sent Congress a bill called the American Jobs Act. Some of you might have heard of it. Everything in it is the kind of proposal that`s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past -- everything in it. Everything in it will be paid for. So it won`t add to our deficit. What we say is in addition to spending cuts, if we want to actually close this deficit, instead of just playing politics, then we got to ask the wealthiest Americans, the biggest corporations, to pay their fair share. Warren Buffett`s secretary shouldn`t be paying a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. In the United States of America, a nurse or a teacher, a construction worker, making $50,000 shouldn`t pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million. That`s not fair. It`s not right. It`s got to change. We got a chance to change it. Maybe some people in Congress would rather wait until the election to settle our differences and I promise you -- I will be ready for that election. I will be ready for that debate. (APPLAUSE) OBAMA: I am happy to have a debate before the American people because I believe that the American people understand that we`re in this together. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, it`s a handful of billionaires that the Karl Rove group says they`re going to tap to raise a quarter billion dollars to run against President Obama this election cycle, and congressional Republicans on the one side. It is President Obama and congressional Democrats on the other side, along with the people in the country who say they agree with them. Seventy-three percent of the country saying they agree with the Obama proposal, for example, to not have millionaires be taxed at a lower rate than non-millionaires anymore. Even 66 percent of Republicans saying they agree with that. So, opposite Karl Rove and his billionaires and congressional Republicans, it`s President Obama, it`s congressional Democrats, it`s the country that says they agree with them, and it`s unions. The AFL-CIO is launching their own jobs campaign. Now they are calling it America Wants to Work. As part of it, do you want to know how many bridges are structurally deficient where you live and conveniently right in the same place how many people are out of work? There`s an app for that now at their America Wants to Work Web site. If you want to bug your member of Congress about what needs doing in your state and how we could put people to work doing it, the AFL-CIO is giving people the facts to make that case. Just in case you are not a billionaire but you think you might still have something to add to our national debate over what we`re going to do between now and the next election. Joining us now is Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO. Mr. Trumka, thank you very much for your time tonight. RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO: Rachel, thanks for having me on. MADDOW: So, your new jobs plan includes the kind of goals labor has been long calling for -- big infrastructure investment, energy and education investment, manufacturing investment, aid to state and local governments, home mortgage aid, Wall Street reform. Things you have called for in the past. But this is put together in one package. Is it meant to be different than what the president is proposing? Bigger than what the president is proposing? How does this fit in with what we`re hearing from President Obama? TRUMKA: Well, I think the president made a very, very important step when he introduced the American jobs bill. He switched the debate from deficit hysteria that really doesn`t put anybody back to work, to job creation. And his bill is a very, very, very important first step. He`ll tell you that it`s only a first step. We want to support that bill. We want to put millions of Americans back to work because if you want to cure the economy, if you want to eliminate deficits, Rachel, the best way to do that is put Americans back to work and that`s what that proposal will do. MADDOW: When we talk specifically about investing in infrastructure, about dealing with stuff like decrepit bridges, those have long been non- partisan issues, not even bipartisan, but the kinds of issues partisanship didn`t even get raised in those discussions. Do you feel like we`re actually less likely to make those needed investments in a year like this than we would in previous years because they`re now tarred as a partisan thing? TRUMKA: Well, I think you`re absolutely right. In the past, the Surface Transportation Act, the Clean Water Act, all of those things were done in a bipartisan manner because they`re necessary for the country`s future. See, we`ve gone from having the number four infrastructure in the world to number 17, and we`re dropping because we`re not investing in that infrastructure. It makes us less competitive in creating those -- or fixing that infrastructure will put millions of Americans back to work. I think anybody who votes against putting people back to work between now and election day does so at their own peril because the American people, union and nonunion people alike, are tired of the obstructionism. They`re tired of creating a crisis that denies them a vote. They sent people to Congress to create jobs. They`re not doing that and are going to take it out on people that are obstructionists. MADDOW: The Beltway common wisdom now is this is not going to get done. That`s what the Beltway press is. I know you can count votes as well as anybody in Washington and can predict where things are going. Do you think that this is not going to get passed? Do you agree with the common wisdom? TRUMKA: No, I think we`re going to get a lot of this passed if not all of it passed because the American public are demanding it. Look, we`re putting on a campaign. It`s called America Wants to Work. From October 10th through the 16th, we`re going to have a week of actions around the country in congressional districts in front of senators, saying, bringing together people of all different stripes. They`re going to be small businesspeople, they`re going to be nonunion people, they`re going to be union people, they`ll be construction people. A little bit of everything saying, look, enough of this nonsense. Help us get people back to work. Help us with infrastructure. Help us resurrect manufacturing. Give us some aid to state and local governments so they don`t continue to lay off people. Help us put people back to work or you do so at your own peril. I think it`s going to have a tremendous effect. You see what`s happening on Wall Street right now, on thousands and millions probably of people agree with what the message is. That this economy is working for 99 -- for 1 percent of the people and the rest of us, the other 99 percent are getting left behind in this economy. So those that support the 1 percent I think are going to have a tough time next year explaining to the American public why they didn`t step up to the plate and create jobs. MADDOW: Here in New York, I know there`s a major "Occupy Wall Street" march planned for tomorrow. There`s "Occupy Wall Street" actions, sort of affiliate actions happening all over the country. Boston, L.A., Seattle, Chicago -- lots of smaller cities and towns across the country are doing this. But in New York, people are excited about this planned march for tomorrow, in part, because I know some AFL-CIO member unions are supporting, are planning on participating and planning on supporting what those protesters are doing. Do you know what we should expect in terms of unions support for the "Occupy Wall Street" movement? Whether you think it`s going to become a bigger deal? TRUMKA: Oh, absolutely. I think because -- what they`re doing is saying what all of us believe and what we know. Look, Wall Street created this mess. They destroyed $13 trillion in value. And we have a couple of simple demands for them. One, we want them to invest in America -- big business and Wall Street -- to invest in America and create jobs. They have $2 trillion parked in accounts across the country. They won`t spend it to invest in America. Meanwhile, small businesses can`t get loans because the big banks have $1 trillion parked in the Federal Reserve banks around the country. We want them to stop foreclosures by writing down mortgages. Stop the 14 million foreclosures that are out there, the mortgages that are under water. Put people back to work by creating -- that would create $70 billion worth of demand. MADDOW: Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO -- thank you for joining us tonight, sir. It`s always a real pleasure to have you here. TRUMKA: Thanks, Rachel. Thanks for having me on again. MADDOW: All those millions of dollars trying to persuade people to vote a certain way are useless if the voters cannot get a ballot to express their preferences. Who thinks you should not get a ballot for the next election is coming up on the interview tonight. It`s just an outrageous story. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We have a correction make. And it sort of involves the bad lip reading videos. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone had a grade A loan-fish decorate their home for a Merry Fool`s function. Tuna, eggs, Doritos, cheesecake, tamale. See you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: There`s a new bad lip reading video out today starring Michele Bachmann. And that video has made us realize today that we got something wrong or frankly that I got something wrong on last night`s show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my sister talks to Bigfoot who`s her neighbor. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: RACHEL MADDOW SHOW correction, with assistance from bad lip reading. Coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Here`s how it works normally in Denver. When there`s an election like the one in Colorado next month, the county clerks office mails you a ballot. Get your ballot in the mail, you fill it out, then you either mail it back in or you drop it off in person. But to get your ballot in the first place, it comes in the mail. That is normally how it works in Denver, in a mail ballot election. This year -- not normal. This year in Denver, voting comes with a catch. This year, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler wants to make it harder to vote. Mr. Gessler is a Republican. He was elected last year and he`s decided that this year, he would like to stop Colorado clerks from sending ballots to everyone who used to get one. As secretary of state, Mr. Gessler has pushed a number of measures designed to make it harder to vote or register to vote. In Colorado`s last legislative session, for example, he pushed for a requirement that you would have to show a birth certificate or passport in order to register to vote, because, you know, don`t you always have your birth certificate on you when the nice league of women voters lady outside the supermarket asks if you`d like to register? Don`t you keep that in your pocket or your glove box? That Scott Gessler try failed. But he`s not giving up on trying to make it harder to vote in Colorado. Last week, he wrote to the clerk in Pueblo County, which happens to be a heavily Democratic county, he wrote to the clerk and ordered him not to send out ballots to troops overseas who missed the big 2010 election and have not voted since. He wants them to be considered inactive. Quote, "As my office has previously explained, you do not have the authority to mail ballots to such voters. The clerk of Pueblo County says he believes the law requires him to send ballots to overseas troops in order to help them vote. The clerk told "The Colorado Independent," quote, "You can just imagine, the troops have bigger things on their minds. When they have the ballot in their hand, they`ll vote." But the Pueblo County clerk also says he will comply with this order from the secretary of state. Overseas troops from Pueblo County who haven`t voted just lately, who`ve been kind of busy fighting on our nation`s behalf and didn`t have a chance to respond to the postcard reminders -- thanks to your state`s Republican secretary of state, there will be no ballots sent to you to vote in this next election. The secretary of state raised the same objection in Denver County, but he did it after Denver had already sent their ballots to troops overseas. In Denver`s case, Gessler actually ordered the county not to send ballots to one in five Denver voters -- one in five Denver voters who would usually get a ballot. One in five considered inactive because they had not gone to the polls since last year. Instead of a ballot, they are supposed to get a reminder. Quote, "Send an additional postcard to inactive voters. Such an approach will be more economical than sending mail ballots to all inactive voters." Just for kicks, let`s look at the map of these inactive voters in Denver who the Republican secretary of state now says shouldn`t get ballots mailed to them so they can`t participate in the next election. OK. Here`s where the inactive voters live -- the redder the precinct, the more people who have skipped voting since last year. OK? Now, here`s another map. This one shows Denver by race and ethnicity. The white folks are in green. The orangey strips -- those are the Hispanic neighborhoods. So, here are Denver`s so-called inactive voters, the one the secretary of state says shouldn`t get a ballot sent to them this time. And here are Denver`s Hispanic neighborhoods. Hmm. Denver clerk Debra Johnson looked at the maps and looked at the law and decided to tell the secretary of state she was sending out the ballots regardless of what he said. Quote, "This is a fundamental issue of fairness and keeping voting accessible to as many eligible voters as possible." That`s what the Denver clerk told the secretary of state right before the secretary of state sued that clerk, Debra Johnson, sued her to make voting in his state harder to do. Debra Johnson joins us next for the interview. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Joining us tonight for the interview is Debra Johnson, she`s the Denver County clerk and recorder. Miss Johnson is currently being sued by Colorado secretary of state for planning to mail ballots to every voter in Denver whose address still seems valid regardless of whether they voted in 2010. She wants every voter to get a ballot. Ms. Johnson, thanks very much for your time. It`s nice to have you here. DEBRA JOHNSON, DENVER COUNTRY CLERK: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: I understand this is your first election as Denver County clerk. And here you are getting sued by the state. Are you having fun yet in your new job? JOHNSON: Yes, I`m having a great time. Thank you. MADDOW: I know you set out to mail everyone in Denver a ballot for the November election. The secretary of state ordered you to not send the secretary of state ordered you not to send ballots to voters who missed the November election and haven`t voted since. You have said that sending those voters ballots to is a fundamental issue of fairness. Why do you see I that way? JOHNSON: Well, these people are registered voters. I mean, they are eligible to vote. Why should they have to do an extra step to get their ballots? MADDOW: Do you think it will make these people significantly less likely to vote, or would it make impossible for them to vote if you don`t mail them a ballot? JOHNSON: It doesn`t make it impossible but it isn`t fair. I mean, they have to go through one more step to get their ballot. MADDOW: We asked the secretary of state`s office about this today, asked for his response. And the office`s response is that inactive voters who are not mailed a ballot will have to take some extra steps and they can get a ballot. And so, the fairness issue, they say, is settled by that. Does not that satisfy you? JOHNSON: You know, I mean, again, these people are registered voters. They are eligible to vote. And Denver has sent these ballots out to these inactive failed to vote voters for the last five elections that we`ve conducted. MADDOW: Mr. Gessler`s other argument is he wants to protect against voter fraud. He`s talked about the threat of voter fraud as Colorado`s new secretary of state. In your experience and what you know from voting in Colorado, do voters who have been called inactive but get a ballot are they more likely to be fraudulent in their voting? JOHNSON: We have found that there is -- I mean, I haven`t found any fraudulent in the years that I`ve worked in elections. But also, too, the fraudulent comes in the event the ballot is returned from someone that shouldn`t have voted on that ballot. And there are several safeguards that have been in place so that we can make sure it is the signatures are verified and they are the person that is supposed to vote. MADDOW: Is there any correlation between those types of processes you described and whether or not a person voted in the last election. JOHNSON: No, there`s no distinction between an active or inactive voter. I mean, those ballots are checked the same for all. MADDOW: I know you will be in court for a hearing on Friday. I know you plan to finish mailing out ballots to Denver voters the week after that. If a judge hasn`t ruled by the time you mail them out, will you mail them out, will this delay the process no matter what? JOHNSON: State statute states that I need to mail them by October 14th and right now, I plan on mailing those unless I am stopped by the courts to do. We are ready to go in the event there is no ruling. MADDOW: If the court says you can`t send inactive voter ballots or you need to delay it, do you intend to follow the court order or will you be in standoff at that point? JOHNSON: I think we`ll, you know, probably obey the court order. It will just -- you know, it`s really depend on what actually are the reasoning and what goes in to the hearing. MADDOW: Debra Johnson, clerk and recorder of Denver County, Colorado, currently being sued by the state`s secretary of state -- appreciate your time explaining this to us tonight. We`re going to keep following your story. I`d love if you stay in touch with us please. JOHNSON: Thank you very much, Rachel. MADDOW: Absolutely. Thanks. All right. Singer Hank Williams, Jr., meet Ed Schultz. Ed Schultz, make mincemeat out of Hank Williams, Jr. That is coming up next right after this show. And here, a RACHEL MADDOW SHOW correction coming up, along with some very good, very bad lip reading. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can borrow my CDs, not one every day. You can try my Kwanzaa CDs, they are not yours, and you don`t have to take any of them. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It is coming up right at the end of the show. Our department of corrections now with more bad lip reading, coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Have you seen the bad lip reading videos on YouTube? They are so good. There`s been a bunch of music videos where they make it look like Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black are saying nonsensical words that match their lips but aren`t really what they`re saying. It`s uncanny and awesome. Recently, though, the bad lip reading folks have started doing politicians as well. Statistically speaking, you are likely to have seen the Rick Perry one. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ice cream, that is cheap. Fact. And then I suspended Marcia off of this bridge and took a virgin heifer night riding for a while. We never got a dead spirit. We hated it, though. It`s disgusting. I`m bored by famine. I cannot wait for a medieval cookie, a cinnabun, hot yellow Kool-Aid and save a pretzel for the gas jets. (APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. I wrote that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I wrote that. The bad lip reading folks have done their thing also with President Obama. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been out of brownies, rice, and we miss pork chops in the summer and that`s why beefaroni, garlic, peanut butter, ice cream, purple flowers. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We here are at THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, like most of America, are big fans of the bad lip reading political clips. And so, we are very excited today when the Michele Bachmann one came out. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I whisk like two or three eggs and I changed my Facebook pick to boring seagulls and the police have agreed to find my stooges tape. I hope you don`t come shoot at me, and when I buy stickers for folks in prison, I bring milk, not that (INAUDIBLE) meth. It`s a prison party. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: One part of the Michele Bachmann, that lip-reading video today was like a lightning bolt from God. A reminder today that we actually have to do a correction on tonight`s show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With one cock-eyed bore, I`m going to cure everybody whose nauseous and my sister talks to Bigfoot who`s her neighbor. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Big foot. Right, thank you God. Good reminder. Correction, last night on the show when talking to Jane Mayer, I pointed out everyone should read her piece on Art Pope as the conservative sugar daddy of North Carolina Republican politics if only for the detail that Art Pope left the North Carolina libertarian party and became a Republican because too many libertarian party members kept talking in all seriousness about sasquatch. After noting that detail from Jane`s article, I ad libbed after that, I said sasquatch, like the yeti. I was wrong. Sasquatch is not the yeti. Sasquatch is Bigfoot. Yeti is the abominable snowman, naturally. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister talks to Bigfoot, who`s her neighbor. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Bigfoot -- thank you, Michele Bachmann. Bigfoot equals sasquatch, not the yeti. I`m very sorry. I hereby humbly correct the record. And now it is time for the "THE ED SHOW." THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END