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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/16/12

Guests: Dan Rather, David Bullock, David Fagan

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