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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 12/06/11

Guests: Sherrod Brown, Jay Chambers

ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Ed. That was remarkable. Thank you for doing that interview, man. That was amazing. SCHULTZ: Thank you. MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us. In 2004, a man named Barack Obama was nowhere near running for president of the United States. He was a state senator from Illinois who was just running for a U.S. Senate seat. But way back then, in July 2004, people across the country started talking about Barack Obama as a potential future presidential candidate. And it was because of this speech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, THEN-ILLINOIS STATE SENATOR: There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There`s the United States of America. The pundits -- the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states. Red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I`ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states and we don`t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states, and, yes, we`ve got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who oppose the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people. All of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes. All of us defending the United States of America. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Barack Obama speaking at the 2004 Democratic National Convention which nominated John Kerry, who lost to George W. Bush. Now, more than seven years later, with the Republican Party locked in its own alternately hilarious and intense race for a presidential candidate to run against him, today, I think for the first time, now-President Obama spoke in a way that brought back that 2004 speech, that United States of America speech that made the Democratic political world sit up and take his measure, when he was still just a state senator from Illinois. To go back to 2004 today, President Obama went back even further. He went 101 years back to 1910 when Republican Teddy Roosevelt gave his famously progressive New Nationalism speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. Osawatomie, Kansas, is the same city where President Obama spoke today, giving, frankly, what was a barn burner of a populist speech that if this is going to be the template for his re-election effort, this is once again going to make the Democratic political world sit up and take notice. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: This is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and for all of those who are fighting to get into the middle class, because what`s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that`s happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple. We are better off when everybody`s left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules. I am here to say they are wrong. (APPLAUSE) OBAMA: And in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came here to Osawatomie, and he laid out his vision for what he called a New Nationalism. "Our country," he said, "means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy, of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him." (APPLAUSE) OBAMA: Now, for this, Roosevelt was called a radical. He was called a socialist, even a communist. But today we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what he fought for in his last campaign. An eight-hour workday and a minimum wage for women, insurance for the unemployed and for the elderly, and those with disabilities, political reform and a progressive income tax. I`m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we`re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren`t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren`t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They`re American values. And we have to reclaim them. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The president today harking back to that 2004 awesome God in the blue states, one United States of America speech which put him on the national map for the first time in that summer convention speech when John Kerry was being nominated. President Obama in giving the speech today and probably providing a preview of what his campaign is going to be like is sort of calling a Republican bluff in some ways. The guy he is giving a shout-out to here is Teddy Roosevelt, of course, a Republican. Newt Gingrich, the current Republican front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination likes to call himself a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. And as President Obama pointed out today, Teddy Roosevelt`s agenda would be derided as communist in the current political climate, even if no one would be demanding to see his birth certificate. When Teddy Roosevelt went to Kansas in 1910, he went there to say that just as the special interests of cotton and slavery have threatened the nation`s integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. He said we must drive the special interests out of politics. Roosevelt said in that speech that day that the Constitution does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being. He said laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes. Corporate expenditures, he said, corporate expenditures for political purposes have supplied one of the principle sources of corruption in our political affairs. In 1910, Teddy Roosevelt was making essentially an anti-Citizens United speech. I mean, this is a speech, he called for an income tax, he called for an estate tax, an inheritance tax, he called for an investigation into the financial system to stop financial panics. And Teddy Roosevelt was actually called a socialist for saying all of that. If our political institutions were perfect, he said, they would absolutely prevent the political domination of money in any part of our affairs. Of course, they called him a communist for that. Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican president, gave that speech in 1910, about a year after leaving the White House. President Obama reiterated those populist themes today. There`s no tape of Roosevelt`s Kansas speech. Give me a break, it was 1910. But if you want to imagine Teddy Roosevelt giving that speech today, if you want to imagine what it would sound like to hear it today, you might want to imagine it being given with the aid of a people`s mike. Joining us here in Washington is Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of the great state of Ohio. Senator Brown, thank you for being here tonight. SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: You bet, Rachel. Thank you. MADDOW: Today`s speech had a pretty overtly populist message from President Obama. Do you feel like that is the right note to be sounding in today`s politics? And in today`s economy? BROWN: Yes, it`s the right note for a couple reasons. First of all, this view from many in the mainstream media that populism is about a bunch of people with pitchforks storming the castle has it wrong. I mean, clearly what populism is, is fighting for workers, fighting for fair trade, fighting for jobs, taking on special interests. When Wall Street does what it does. When insurance companies or drug companies do what they do. And that`s exactly why -- that`s why his tone was exactly right. But to me, it`s more interesting, not so much this is the beginning of his campaign and the impact it has on campaigns. My interest is the impact it has on the Congress to finally move away from special interests and do what we ought to do on infrastructure, on jobs, generally on the payroll tax, on protecting Medicare. All the things that we should be doing. I`m hoping the president`s clarion call gets us going in the right direction. Forget about the campaign for a while. Get this country back on track. MADDOW: One of the things he specifically called out today was the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. We associate that with Elizabeth Warren who is now running for Senate in Massachusetts, likely against Scott Brown and who is famous for having championed that idea. But she is not the nominee to run that agency. Richard Cordray is the nominee. And President Obama specifically called for him to be approved by the Senate today. Senate Republicans say they will block him, not just because of specific objections to him, but because they don`t like the whole idea of the agency. What do you think is going to happen with that? BROWN: I know Richard Cordray well. He was attorney general in my state in Ohio. He was chosen to be the top, number two person by Elizabeth Warren. He`s qualified, Republicans and Democrats business, and all kinds of people in Ohio, including some banks, community banks, are supporting him. All kinds of people in Ohio. This is the first time in American history -- I asked the Senate a story, this question, Rachel. It`s the first time in American history that a nominee has been blocked by a political party because they don`t like the agency. It`s got nothing to do with Rich Cordray. It`s got everything to do with they don`t think there should be a strong consumer protection agency with teeth, because they know a lot of the gaming, whether it`s credit cards or whether it`s the Volcker Rule or whether it`s a whole host of other things, the gaming of the system will stop with the strong consumer protection voice with real teeth and real authority in that office can operate. MADDOW: Do you think there`s prospect of that budging? The president putting pressure on it in a big high-profile speech like this today. It seems to me there might be room for movement. BROWN: So far, one Republican supporting him. I`m hopeful we`ll get another seven or eight tomorrow. The vote will be tomorrow or Thursday. We`ll be battling for him. It`s just -- I mean, it`s amazing to me that after going through all this -- what the president just said in the speech in Kansas, he talked about collective amnesia, far too many people in congress have that are tied to special interest. This collective amnesia of we forget what happened and one of the reasons it happened is because there wasn`t a consumer watchdog on the beach. And now, we`ll have a consumer watchdog if we confirm Richard Cordray for this position. MADDOW: In terms of the things that the president is calling for, the other things that go along with his jobs agenda and with his populist message and populist politics he`s articulating now, we`re still looking on -- looking at the payroll tax extension. We`re looking at the extension of unemployment benefits. What do you think is going to happen on both of those issues? BROWN: Well, I don`t know. I think -- I`ve called on the majority leaders, as others have. We should stay into Christmas, on Christmas, through Christmas, in order to make sure that we finish -- we get our job done in extending unemployment benefits. Seventy thousand people in Ohio will lose their benefits January 1st; many more than that in the course of the year. That`s just my state, the seventh largest state in the country. Hundreds of thousands will lose their benefits. The payroll tax is worth $1,400 to the average family in Ohio and across the country. And if we take that payroll tax cut away, it`s going to mean, one, a declining -- it will hurt the economy, undoubtedly. Mark Zandi, the top economist for John McCain`s economy in `08, Barclay`s, others have said it, it will mean hundreds of thousands of jobs -- of jobs lost if we don`t do that, because it will put money in middle class people`s pockets who will spend it and will create demand for products, causing companies to hire more people because there`s more demand for the products. It`s simple capitalism. And the special interests people in the Senate, in the House have just neglected that economics lesson. MADDOW: Jon Kyl says that he will only see that it gets extended if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans get extended, too. BROWN: In the end, this is not hard to analyze, as you know. In the end, it always comes back to protecting the wealthiest 1 percent of people in this country. And I know you`re going to have somebody on about later about Occupy Boston or Occupy D.C. And, you know, whatever people think about that, it`s clear that far too many people in the Senate in the end want to protect the 1 percent, as if that`s what made the country prosperous. I mean, the 1 percent does better when the 99 percent do well. And from Teddy Roosevelt, through Franklin Roosevelt, through Barack Obama we know that. MADDOW: Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thanks for coming in. It`s nice to see you in person. Thank you, sir. BROWN: Thank you. MADDOW: Thanks. All right. Next, we celebrate a very special anniversary for a man named Newt Gingrich. We will be celebrating this anniversary, whether Mr. Gingrich wants us to or not. That`s the thing about the public record. It`s recorded, publicly. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown appears to be heading into a hotly contested race for re-election. Today, Senator Brown got occupied. His constituent who came to Washington joins us tonight for the interview. Please stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: There are certain dates if your lives, and all of our lives, that just start to stick out to you, your birthday, your anniversary, maybe the birth of a child. When somebody mentions the date in passing, even if it`s in a completely different context, a little part of your brain perks up, oh, I know that date, right? For the new front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, the date December 6th, today`s date, it`s one of those dates, it`s a landmark day in Newt Gingrich`s life. And this year, this year, 2011, this December 6th has been a really great day for him. A new national poll released today by Gallup shows Mr. Gingrich 15 points ahead of his nearest rival, Mitt Romney, 15 points. But, of course, it`s the state polls that matter the most right now. Good news for Mr. Gingrich there as well. A new poll out of South Carolina today which holds one of the nation`s first primaries shows Mr. Gingrich out to a 16-point South Carolina lead. In Iowa, even more good news for Mr. Gingrich. In Iowa, he now holds a 15-point lead over Mitt Romney and Ron Paul who are tied for second place. The Iowa caucus is exactly four weeks from today. And Newt Gingrich is leading by 15 points. December 6th, 2011, turning out to be an awesome day to be Newt Gingrich. But if you happen to be within shouting distance of Mr. Gingrich today and you mentioned today`s date, December 6th, you may see his brain perk up a little bit. You may see him thinking, I know that date and not in an "oh that`s somebody`s birthday kind of way." On this date 16 years ago, the House Select Committee on Ethics voted to initiate a preliminary inquiry into the allegations concerning Representative Newt Gingrich and the misuse of tax exempt organizations. December 6th was the start of Newt Gingrich`s collapse in political life in 1995. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) TOM BROKAW, TV ANCHOR: The commander of the Republican revolution, Speaker Newt Gingrich, faces some new ethics problems with Democrats and some Republicans now calling for an independent investigation. The speaker`s style and fund-raising activities are big targets for his enemies. Here`s NBC`s Lisa Myers. LISA MYERS, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The House Ethics Committee is poised to do what it tried hard to resist, appoint an independent investigator to look into the speaker`s conduct. The scope may be limited to one issue. Did Gingrich improperly fund and use a televised college course for political purposes? Some Republicans worry more about another charge. Last week, the Federal Election Commission alleged that in 1990, Gingrich`s political organization known as GOPAC illegally helped his congressional campaign. NEWT GINGRICH (R), THEN-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It is phony. I got to make it clear: the word phony should get across to you. (END VIDEO CLIPS) MADDOW: When people talk about Newt Gingrich`s ethically dubious past as a problem for his political future, this is part of when what they`re talking about. The ethics investigation into Mr. Gingrich`s activities, into his alleged misuse of political contributions ultimately ended like this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BROKAW: Good evening. Newt Gingrich who came to power after all preaching a higher standard in American politics, a man who brought down another speaker on ethics accusations, tonight, he has on his own record the judgment of his peers, Democrat and Republican alike. By an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violations. They charged him a very large financial penalty and they raised -- several of them raised serious questions about his future effectiveness. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Newt Gingrich was the first speaker in the 208-year-history of the House to be reprimanded for ethical wrongdoing, for bringing dishonor to the House of Representatives. He was slapped with a $300,000 fine by the House. And this wasn`t a partisan vote. I mean, you heard Tom Brokaw say there by an overwhelming vote. The House voted 395 to 28 against Newt Gingrich, 196 Republicans voted against him. So when Mr. Gingrich talks now about those ethics violations back then, having been part of some partisan witch hunt, what you need to say back to him is, hey, 395-28. Wasn`t that the vote? You don`t get a vote of that margin against you by just alienating members of the other party. You have to really -- what`s the opposite of charm, members of your own party as well. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Last week, John Boehner, a Gingrich lieutenant, told the speaker that many members were unhappy with him. REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: I know that he had been through two weeks of pain, knowing that he may have let the team down. THEN-REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: I think he makes his job more difficult because he does push things to the edge and then he does have a blind spot. REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: The Republican revolution is not about Newt Gingrich. It`s about the ideas that we advance in our last election. REPORTER: One Republican, Mark Sanford, who voted to re-elect Gingrich speaker two weeks ago, has changed his mind. If you knew then what you know today, would you have voted to elect Newt Gingrich speaker? THEN-REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: No, I wouldn`t have. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It`s great footage, right? A lot of the guys still familiar faces. The Republican disgust for Newt Gingrich as speaker was such, when he was at the height of his powers, there was an attempted coup against him after other Republicans in the House. After the ethics charges and his party turning against him, when he finally resigned in 1998, he denounced his own party as being filled with, quote, "cannibals." As Republicans now start to try to get to know Newt Gingrich all over again, it`s kind of amazing how recently it was that the country knew him so very well. By the time of that ethics investigation 16 years ago today, Newt Gingrich was the most famous politician in the country who was not named Bill Clinton. And he not only had low approval ratings, a "Time" poll back then, December of 1996, said that a whopping 9 percent of Americans wanted him to be president, 9 percent. The time at which he was most known by the American people was not only a time at which he was greatly disliked. He was also the stuff of nightmares, almost literally. In the same "Time" magazine poll which I said was 1996, it was actually 1995, I`m sorry. The same "Time" magazine poll, 1995, 49 percent of Americans chose the adjective "scary" to describe their feelings about Newt Gingrich. That actual word, scary. But now, he`s back. Tomorrow night, there is a $1,000 a head fund- raiser for Gingrich in Washington hosted by some K Street lobbyists, hosted specifically in fact by one lobbyist named Robert Livingston. He`s the guy who succeeded Gingrich as speaker-elect and then he too was forced to resign over a sex scandal a few weeks later. But now, I guess, he`s a successful lobbyist. Bob Livingston`s House seat in Louisiana incidentally went on to a guy named David Vitter. David Vitter, the hooker guy, got Bob Livingston`s seat after his sex scandal who got Newt Gingrich`s speakership after his ethics scandal. And now, hooker guy scandal -- hooker scandal guy is a senator and the other sex scandal guy is raising money for the ethics scandal guy who is running for president. Who says you can`t survive scandal in this town? And do rather well with it. Joining us now is "Washington Post" columnist E.J., who`s also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an MSNBC contributor. E.J., it`s good to see you. Thank you for being here. E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you. I`m still drawing those lines among all those people. MADDOW: Livingston, like Gingrich goes. Livingston steps in. Livingston has to step down. Livingston`s seat goes to David Vitter. And now, you look at where all the guys are now, and I think, why do I bother talking about scandals? This stuff rolls off these guys. They just get reincarnated. DIONNE: It`s true. There`s a lot of forgiveness here. There are a lot of people with personal relations. I know that Livingston`s friendly with people I like. And so, therefore, you get to know him in another context and say, that was so long ago. And, but, you know, I think what`s really interesting about Newt is I got to know Newt back in 1986. And Newt when he`s not in power, when he doesn`t have a lot of power, is a really interesting guy. You`d love to talk to him. I talked to somebody who was quite close to him once. He said when Newt gets power, somebody gives his head a helium injection and he starts attacking people. Another Republican I talked to said, you know, he had a file cabinet in his office. Four files were Newt`s ideas. One file was Newt`s good ideas. This is from Republicans who actually kind of like Newt, say about him. And I think the problem he has, there are lots of people who love to sit down and chat with him about stuff, and argue with him about stuff. But what they worry about is, does he have a presidential temperament? And they really worry that his tendency to attack other people -- the tendency to attack I think is hurting him in these scandals because when you use such large attack words against other people and then get involved in stuff where you are under the microscope, people are less forgiving toward you than if you`d been a little more restrained in those other attacks. I think those attacks still live with a lot of people in this town. MADDOW: There is this sense that his -- that he operates with a lot of centripetal force. That something might falling off of him at any moment and it`s an unpredictable person. And that can make him sort of an exciting person to watch. And as you say, an interesting person out of power. But I wonder what you think about the sort of emerging evidence on the left that the left, both Democrats and people who are just progressives, are really psyched by the prospect of a Newt Gingrich candidacy. That a guy who left office as probably the best known politician in the country who wasn`t the president, himself, 9 percent of the country wanted him to be president, 49 percent of the country thought he was scary. I think the left thinks that he would be an imminently beatable candidate. What`s your assessment of that? DIONNE: Well, I must say, whenever the left -- whenever progressives start saying that, I start worrying because I remember what they said about Ronald Reagan. He`s the guy who`s easy to beat. But I think Newt is not Ronald Reagan. And I do think that the words "president" and "Gingrich" don`t naturally go together with a lot of people. Again, another conservative I spoke to this week, said he asked a friend, are you going to vote for Gingrich? And the friend sort of didn`t compute -- said, you mean for president? And this was a conservative who ought to be voting for Newt. And I think it`s that sense that he doesn`t have the kind of discipline that you want in a president. And I think what`s interesting about Romney`s moment is, you know, he`s not going to persuade conservatives that Newt isn`t a conservative. Even though, in fact, he is an old Rockefeller Republican in his youth who had some ideas like the insurance mandate that aren`t now regarded as conservative. But he is such a movement guy to conservatives. I think that`s why you`re seeing all those numbers go up, is all the conservatives who couldn`t get to Romney, said, all right, he`s the movement conservative. What you`re going to see Romney do probably through a lot of people in Washington is to say, this guy just is not someone you want to be president. MADDOW: Is Romney campaigning better because of Gingrich`s surge in the polls? DIONNE: I`m not sure he`s campaigning better, but he`s campaigning more intensely. MADDOW: Harder. DIONNE: He is finally going on "Meet the Press." You know, my reading of the Romney side, they never expected it to be them and Newt. I think some of them, the smart ones I know are concerned because it is getting very, very close. Romney seems very reluctant to go after Gingrich. But that`s why I think you`re going to see a lot more talk about the ethics stuff, a lot more talk about his temperament, and you`re going to see a lot of his former colleagues who are actually worried about him as a nominee start speaking out. MADDOW: Cue the newsreel footage of John Boehner, 1995. DIONNE: Yes. MADDOW: "Washington Post" columnist, MSNBC contributor, E.J. Dionne - - DIONNE: What a joy to be with you. MADDOW: -- it`s always good to see you in person. DIONNE: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. There is the feeling of outrage and then there is doing something with your feeling of outrage. Coming up on this show, one of Senator Scott Brown`s constituents joins us to talk about his experience occupying Senator Brown`s office today. Stay tuned for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: There`s a bunch of sayings we pretty much wear out in the newsroom at THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW. One of them is, anyone up for Turkish food? The other one is, Rachel, we`re seven minutes heavy, please stop writing. That one. But the one that applies to the world outside our cubicles that we really, really overuse is the phrase elections have consequences. Almost every day, it just comes up at one point or another in talking about what`s going on in the world and what might be on the show. Elections have consequences. And, boy, do they. The combination platter of events around the world involving the Obama administration`s Department of State, just today, is the best elections consequences demonstration we`ve had in a really, really long time. I`m not sure anybody is covering this on cable right now. But the details are just jaw dropping. That`s ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOBBY HULL: I have until February 17th, and my plan is to stay here. We plan to fight. We don`t plan on doing it just for myself. We plan on doing it for anybody else who`s in foreclosure who wants the help. I lost my health. I went through the stimulus programs. I tried negotiating with the banks. And nothing seemed to work. I can gather all my neighbors, friends and community that are willing to stand up with me and we`re going to fight. They`d like to know how committed you guys are to this. (CHEERS) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was Bobby Hull of Minneapolis talking with Ed Schultz earlier tonight here on MSNBC. Mr. Hulls, a Vietnam veteran who`s facing foreclosure and eviction, as you just heard, is protesting his foreclosure and eviction by staying put, by refusing to evicted. And today, as you saw there, he has a lot of support. There were anti-foreclosure protests planned today in more than two dozen cities across the country. Here`s what that looked like in Chicago today, where the protesters served as the welcoming committee for a family moving illegally into a foreclosed homes. Also in Chicago, members of the Chicago anti-eviction campaign and the group Occupy the Hood Chicago organized volunteers and donated materials and rehabilitated a foreclosed vacant home in order to house three homeless families there. In Portland, Oregon, Debby Austin (ph) told supporters gathered on her lawn how after illness and bankruptcy she and her husband were pushed into foreclosure. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ours is not just a house in some community in some city. This is home. It`s our home. We have ties here. I`m sorry. My kids went to school here and I volunteered at those schools. We help our neighbors and they help us. We belong here and we`re not leaving. CROWD: Yes. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: In Southgate, Michigan, supporters heard from another family that suffered illness and is now facing the prospect of losing their home. In New York today, hundreds of protesters marched through Brooklyn neighborhood to protest foreclosures there. They marched to a vacant home which was then reoccupied by a family that needed a place to live. These anti-foreclosure protesters in Atlanta as you can see are not outside a home. They are outside the Fulton County courthouse. And that`s not because anybody is trying to foreclose on the courthouse or evict the bailiff or the D.A. or anything. It`s because this is where decisions are being made about peoples foreclosed on homes. This is where an auction on foreclosed homes was being held and these folks were being very, very loud on the courthouse steps in order to disrupt the auction. They did quiet down for a message from the civil rights leader, Dr. Joseph Lowery, who`s there to support their effort and rally their cause. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. JOSEPH LOWERY, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: We want an end to foreclosed mortgages. We want an end to evictions. We want an end to poverty. We`re calling upon the banks to do their part, just as this country came to the rescue of the banks. We`re asking now the banks to come to the rescue of God`s children. No more foreclosures. CROWD: No more foreclosures. LOWERY: No more evictions. CROWD: No more evictions. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: As is fitting for what is now a totally decentralized dispersed locally autonomous movement, thousands of 99 percenters have also convened here in Washington, D.C. The plan is to be here all week. Tomorrow, they will be on K Street which, of course, is the nest of the lobbying industry. Yesterday, they set up an occupy-style people`s camp on the National Mall at 14th Street and Constitution. Today, they were at congressional offices, protesting members of Congress, in particular, those who oppose the president`s jobs plan and things like extending unemployment benefits. They physically went to members of Congress` office and they sat there and refused to leave until the lawmaker in question would meet with them. In most of the cases, the meeting did not happen. For a big chunk of the day, protesters could be seen in and around the offices of dozens of mostly Republican members of Congress today. Staging the sit-in protests and demanding to be heard. Joining us tonight now for "The Interview," is Jay Chambers, who is third generation iron worker from the Boston area. He`s a proud member of Iron Workers Union local 70. He spent much of the day today camped out in Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown`s office hoping to get a chance to talk to the senator. Jay, thank you for being here. It`s nice to meet you. JAY CHAMBERS, "TAKE BACK THE CAPITOL" PROTESTOR: Thank you. MADDOW: Did you get to talk to Senator Brown? CHAMBERS: Of course not. MADDOW: Why did you decide to come to Washington today? CHAMBERS: It`s poignant. It`s where part of the problem lies in our country. Or a lot of the problem lies. And we had the opportunity. We were invited to come down with the coalition that was coming down. And as an Occupy Boston member, I had to jump on the opportunity. MADDOW: When you hear Occupy -- the Occupy movement get talked about between politicians now and sort of the big political discussion, do you feel like politicians and people commenting on it get it or do you feel like it`s being misrepresented? CHAMBERS: It`s a little bit of both. Sometimes it`s misrepresented. And sometimes -- there are politicians out there that do get it, that, you know, that understand where we`re coming from. And agree with our message. Not always our methods, but with our message. And, you know, so there`s been some positive outpouring from, you know, some politicians, but others, you know, try to disparage us and discredit us as best they can. MADDOW: What would you have asked senator brown today if you had been able to meet him face to face? CHAMBERS: The first question would have been, where`s the jobs? He campaigned on his independent platform about job creation, with the brown jacket and pickup truck. You know, the prop comic. And he came into Washington and everything he`s voted has been anti- worker, anti-jobs. So where are the jobs that he promised? And I didn`t vote for him, personally, but he does represent me in the Senate, and I just had one question to ask him, maybe would have taken 30 seconds, and he just couldn`t provide that time today. MADDOW: You`re a third generation iron worker. I realize we are taking you away from the Bruins game right now for which I`m grateful. A lifelong Boston resident. What`s the working scene like right now? What`s the iron working scene around Boston? Is there any work to be had? CHAMBERS: It`s minimal. Very minimal. In the past few years, the membership has either been unemployed or underemployed. You know, I can`t do what my grandfather did. I can`t, you know, work my job, buy a house, raise a family and send the kids off to college. The American Dream`s not attainable in this economic environment. So, it`s been, you know, frustrating to say the least. MADDOW: Are you planning on doing any of the protesting, going to be here all week in Washington? What are your plans? CHAMBERS: Absolutely. K Street tomorrow. What I`m going to do, my question will be to the lobbyists, especially the biggest contributors to Scott Brown from Wall Street, will be, how do I get the senator`s attention? How much money would it cost me to get his attention? You know, and hopefully, you know, I mean, it`s just a protest and it`s to make a statement, to make a point and drive the point home. Scott Brown takes home a lot of money from Wall Street and, you know, so they`re some of his biggest contributors. And he represents them. And it`s -- after today, it`s really, we`ve materialized it. We`ve seen that he wants to ignore 100 people that are his constituents sitting in his office. We waited there from 10:00 this morning until 6:00 at night. MADDOW: Well, I`ll just say this. Senator Brown, if you are watching, I know you occasionally do, if you just missed the chance to talk to your constituents today, including Jay Chambers, member of the Iron Workers Union local 7 in Boston, if just you missed the chance and want to get in touch with the folks, if you contact us, we will hook you up. I think the conversation could be fruitful. Jay Chambers, thanks for speaking up and thanks for joining us tonight. It`s nice to meet you. CHAMBERS: Thank you. MADDOW: Thanks a lot. CHAMBERS: Thanks. MADDOW: All right. Right after this show on "THE LAST WORD," why did Mitt Romney spend nearly $100,000 in state funds to replace the computers in his office when he left as Massachusetts governor? Lawrence O`Donnell has news on that. And later on this show, a major day in Obama administration foreign policy, including a landmark moment for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Big, big deals all over the world. Stay tuned for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Quick note. I said something wrong earlier this hour. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency nominee is not Robert Cordray, it`s Richard Cordray. I apologize for that. I was thinking Rob Corddry, the guy from "The Daily Show." Totally screwed that up. Senator Brown mentioned Mitt Romney was going to appear this weekend on "Meet the Press." He`s actually going to be appearing on "FOX News Sunday," still the most amazing thing about that is that Mitt Romney has not been on a Sunday show since March, since last March, but he`s finally going to be on a Sunday show this weekend. All right. In further news, this is Jerome Randolph Babbitt, 65 years old. He was pulled over for drunk driving last Saturday night in Fairfax, Virginia. According to police, Mr. Babbitt was not involved in a crash but he was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road. This kind of thing is on this news hour tonight because you may know Mr. Babbitt better as Randy Babbitt, head of the Federal Aviation Administration. He requested administrative leave yesterday, two days after the DUI arrest, the same day he informed White House officials that he had been arrested. Today, Mr. Babbitt resigned as head of the FAA. His statement read in part, quote, "I`m unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, seven days a week by my colleagues at the FAA." Mr. Babbitt, the country`s most senior air safety official, served at his post since June of 2009. He leaves nearly three full years before the end of his term, We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: When it comes to giving people nicknames on this show, my record is decidedly mixed. Almost two years ago, we tried to rename the filibuster the Tarantino because it kills bills. That never went anywhere. I started calling Chris Hayes Lamb Chop one night. I honestly don`t remember why but look how normal they both are. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, he is Mr. Baldly Beardy Guy for obvious reasons. Mitt Romney is Mr. 22 Percent because Romney is pretty much almost always pulling at 22 percent, no matter who the anti-Mitt of the moment is in the Republican field. Robert Ford, the American ambassador to the nation of Syria, and this is the one I`m most proud of. Robert Ford on this show, he is the Ambadassador. Why is that? Well, in July, in the midst of another eruption of violence in Syria, when the government was cracking down hard on protesters in the town of Hama, Robert Ford went to Hama. He drove right along side the crowds of protesters demanding Syria`s authoritarian government step down. And the protesters greeted him with rose petals and olive branches. Not the metaphor but actual olive branches. This is not what diplomacy usually looks like. This is now what ambassadors usually do. But this is what ambadassador do. A few months later, after being attacked by pro-government forces, the ambadassador had to leave Syria and come back to the United States for consultations. Things just got too dangerous there. And they are still dangerous. The United Nations estimates that 4,000 people have been killed in Syria just since March. Then just today, a human rights group reported that 34 bodies were found dumped in a town square in western Syria. But also in Syria today, the ambadassador, Robert Ford, is back in Syria as of this evening. This does not indicate a softening of support for Syria`s rebels by the Obama administration. The ambadassador`s boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with exiled Syrian opposition leader when she was in Geneva today. America may not have a lot of levers to pull when it comes to diplomacy with Syria. But the Obama administration seems to be pulling all of them with all of its weight all at once. Hillary Clinton was in Geneva today for a gathering of the U.N.`s human rights body. And she gave a remarkable speech there. She gave a historic address. This morning, the Obama administration issued an executive order saying that diplomacy and foreign aid should be considered, alongside the issue of how other countries deal with the rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered. Now, we have never done anything like this before in our history, saying that issue of rights and protection for that group of people should be considered alongside foreign aid. Secretary Clinton`s speech on the issue similarly was the first of its kind. I`ve never heard anything of its kind before. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights. It is a violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. To the leaders of those countries where people are jailed, beaten or executed for being gay, I ask you to consider this -- leadership by definition means being out in front of your people when it is called for. It means standing up for the dignity of all your citizens and persuading your people to do the same. To LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this, wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated, and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America. And have you millions of friends among the American people. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We have posted this whole remarkable speech at our Web site at MaddowBlog today. If you want to see the whole thing, I got to tell you, I highly, highly, highly recommend it. At the end of the speech in Geneva, Secretary Clinton received a standing ovation -- a long, long standing ovation. Also on Secretary Clinton`s plate today, alongside that, a little matter of Russia erupting in the largest ever anti-Putin protests, after elections that the U.S. government described as rigged. Also, there was a huge attack today in Afghanistan, coordinated bombings killing more than 60 Shiite Muslims -- worst attack on Shiites in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban a decade ago. Also, the president of the most dangerous, most anti-American nation on earth, Pakistan, has up and mysteriously bugged out. He is apparently in Dubai all of a sudden getting some sort of medical treatment. Pakistan is a kind of place where a president leaving the country sometimes means the president never comes back. So, this might, and people are speculating tonight, and Josh Rogan at the Cable, at, is reporting tonight that there`s speculation this may in fact be a coup. It might not be, but it is worth staying tuned to. And also, in the same week, Iran also apparently has one of our drones. A CIA drone that we accidentally dropped out of sky on the Iranian side of that country`s border with Afghanistan. The Iranian military has the drone. And so, I guess let the reverse engineering begin. The latest U.S. move toward Iran was to open a virtual embassy there, an embassy online, since we do not have a real embassy there in person. Our friends, the Brits, do have one there in person, which in last few days, unfortunately, looked like this. So how psyched are you that your job title is not secretary of state right now? This is just a day in the life of international diplomacy at this point. In a world like this, this year, the Republican Party has decided it`s a good idea to pick a president of the United States to deal with all this stuff by having a candidate debate moderated by a man named Donald Trump. That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell." THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END