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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 02/15/12

Guests: Bill Nemitz, David Englin, Tammy Baldwin

ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: Rachel, did you play basketball? RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I did. SCHULTZ: Could you hit the three? MADDOW: Here is the thing about the three. It`s one thing to make that shot. It`s another thing to sit there for 10 seconds, calmly looking around and playing the crowd like they are wrapped around your finger, until you calmly with one half second left, sink the three. That was just astonishing. SCHULTZ: He`s got -- the NBA needs a good story, he`s a great story. MADDOW: If you do end up going to a Knicks game with your next guest, and you need a chaperone, I`m just saying. SCHULTZ: I tell you what it`s a deal, we`re going. MADDOW: Thanks, man. Thanks, Ed. SCHULTZ: You bet. Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Before this year, before this year, 2012, in the modern history of American politics, there had never before been a presidential nominating contest that was reversed after the fact, where a state declared candidate X was the winner of the state and then that state changed their mind. Before this year, in Iowa, that had never happened before. Now, it may have happened twice. Hey, Beltway media, over here! This is not a Ron Paul conspiracy theory. I neither want to end the Fed, nor discuss the arcane and hypothetical math of delegate allocation. The Ron Paul candidacy is not what this story is about. I don`t think it`s about any particular candidate. But I think that Republicans in the state of Maine may end up having to withdraw their declaration that Mitt Romney won the state of Maine. It`s the same way that Republicans had to do in Iowa last month. Remember what happened in Iowa was that on the night of the caucuses, we all stayed up until what felt like dawn, waiting for the Iowa Republican Party to report its results and then at 2:30 Eastern Time, the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party said there was finally a result. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATT STRAWN, IOWA GOP CHAIRMAN: I can report with 1,770 precincts reporting, Governor Mitt Romney received 30,015 votes, Senator Rick Santorum received 30,007 votes. Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney, winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So on caucus night in Iowa, the Iowa Republican Party chairman says Mitt Romney won by eight votes -- eight votes out of 120,000 cast. There was no provision for a recount in the Iowa caucuses, even with a result that close. But the Republican Party of Iowa said that was the result and they said they would certify it and make it official within two weeks. Two weeks later, the Iowa Republican Party said they still didn`t have an official certified result. And then once they had gone past their own self-imposed deadline, the state party chairman made a new statement and said, actually, it turns out Iowa was a tie, or maybe nobody knows who won Iowa this year. Then the chairman went on somebody`s radio show and said, OK, actually, Rick Santorum won. And then the state Republican Party came out with a new line which was: yes, Rick Santorum won, not Mitt Romney -- like they had said before -- and not a tie or who knows like they said that morning, but Rick Santorum the winner. The result in Iowa were reversed, Rick Santorum won -- more than two weeks after Iowa Republicans actually voted and were told the opposite result. It was crazy, right? What happened in Iowa this year was crazy. That had never before happened in modern American presidential politics. But the impact of that, the effect of that screw-up by the Iowa Republican Party on the overall presidential nominating process, honestly mostly just affected Iowa. Frankly, it made it seem like maybe Iowa should not be trusted to be first in the country anymore with all the attention and money that status brings. It costs the Iowa Republican Party chairman his job. He resigned in disgrace over the Iowa caucuses` debacle this year. But in terms of how it affected the race, how it affected who`s going to get the Republican nomination for president in 2012, it was already sort of a big deal that Rick Santorum even got that close to Mitt Romney in Iowa. A week later, after Mitt Romney won New Hampshire, the Romney campaign did try to make a big deal out of the fact that Romney had now won Iowa and New Hampshire, which would be unprecedented in Republican politics -- in fact would still be unprecedented accomplishment because still nobody has done it. Mitt Romney did not win Iowa. But had the Iowa result been clear the night of the caucus, had the Iowa Republican Party not screwed it up, had Rick Santorum been declared the winner that night, I`m not sure that would have had a huge effect on the overall race anyway. Iowa Republicans are seen as having kind of a Mike Huckabee problem, right? Iowa Republicans pick guys like Mike Huckabee and guys like Rick Santorum, and it has no real effect on the overall race. It`s Iowa, it`s kind of irrelevant, it`s another case for Iowa not going first at least on the Republican side. So, in Iowa, in historical terms, it was amazing that Iowa Republicans screwed up their caucuses so badly they wrongly reported the results and then they had to flip them after the fact. Historically, it is amazing. But in terms of the impact of the race -- not so much. Now, though, if another state pulls an Iowa, that would have a huge impact on the narrative of the race. And therefore, it would have a big impact on who is likely to get the Republican nomination for president. And I think that`s where we are right now. Heading in the Maine caucuses this past weekend, Mitt Romney supposedly the prohibitive front-runner for the nomination, Mitt Romney has jut lost straight races, and not in places where they just picked Huckabee, like Iowa -- he lost in Minnesota, which Mitt Romney won in 2008. And not only did he lose Minnesota this time, he lost every single county in the state and came in not second but third in the state. Mitt Romney also in 2008 had cleaned up in Colorado, with 60 percent of the vote there. He had won Colorado in 2008 hugely. This year, he lost Colorado. Mitt Romney was so sure he was going to win Colorado this year he made sure he was personally in the state of Colorado on the night of the caucuses. His campaign reserved a big, big room where he could deliver his Colorado victory speech to his supporters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: I can tell you this room we talked about this a few moments ago, was not even half full. It is starting to fill in a little bit, but guys, I have to tell you, this room is still not completely full. And keep in mind, we`re in the city of Denver, this is a large metropolitan area. Outside of the city limits, you have a lot of conservative Republicans. Mitt Romney is not filling this room tonight. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Mitt Romney not filling this room tonight. Heading into the Maine caucuses, that was the narrative of the race for the Republican nomination for president. Mitt Romney losing Missouri, which didn`t really count because Missouri is really screwed up; losing Minnesota really badly, which he really should have won; and losing Colorado, which he not only should have won but where he obviously thought he was going to win. But were ultimately not only did he not win, he couldn`t even fill a room. So this was the narrative heading into Maine, right? What happened to Mitt Romney? How can he be losing gimme states like this? That was the narrative of the overall coming of last week. And the next contest was Maine -- where if you`re Mitt Romney, there is a real risk that that narrative about you being unexpected loser, that narrative is not only going to continue. It`s going to get worse. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And there`s other good news, too, and it`s an ongoing caucus in over on the East Coast, I think it`s a state called Maine. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Whatever you think about the Ron Paul campaign, and its tactics and its prospects, its goals, the Ron Paul campaign has resources and they have taken Maine very seriously. And the prospect that Mitt Romney might lose in Maine to Ron Paul would be a devastating next chapter in what was the bad Romney narrative heading in Maine. The bad Romney narrative that he wasn`t winning places that he ought to be winning. Mitt Romney really had to win Maine. The Republican Party in Maine this weekend said that he did. I don`t think he did. I`m not saying someone else won. I`m saying that there is no rational and mathematical basis on which the Maine Republican Party can have concluded that Mitt Romney won there. The results there are not complete yet. And the margin of victory for Mitt Romney is really, really slim. And when you have incomplete results and a slim margin, that means you`re not supposed to call it until you know all the results. Ask Iowa. Here`s a microcosm of the problem. This happened in Waldo County, Maine. If you want a picture of where we`re talking about, here is great state of Maine. And here is Waldo County, Maine, right? In Waldo County, there is a town called Belfast, Maine, as in Northern Ireland, but here in America -- Belfast, Maine. Local newspaper there talked to the guy who ran the Republican caucus in the town of Belfast. He told them he personally called in the town of Belfast`s caucus results to the state Republican Party. But when he called the state Republican Party to report how Belfast had voted, the state Republican Party told him over the phone oh, actually they already have those numbers. Really? But I`m the guy who`s calling to you report what the numbers are. You say you already have numbers? What do you have? Quoting from the local paper, "When the woman on the phone read those tallies back, the Belfast chairman said they showed Romney winning in Belfast, which he knew was not the case." Mitt Romney did not win Belfast. Ron Paul won Belfast. But the state Republican Party planned to give Belfast to Mitt Romney anyway. When Belfast complained about that, the Belfast chairman was told by the state party, quote, "Oh, I`ll be sure those numbers are changed." So did the final tally from Belfast, Maine, show Ron Paul winning Belfast which in fact Belfast says, is what happened? No, the numbers did not say that. Here what is they showed. Zero! As in zero votes cast for anybody. And it`s not like that is what they showed that night at the caucuses, erroneously but it`s resolved since, now they have the real tally. No, this is still what it says, according to the state Republican Party. And it`s not just Belfast -- 17 of the 18 towns that caucused together in Waldo County turned up blank on the official Maine Republican Party tallies. The state Republican Party has no explanation of why that is other than to say it was maybe a clerical error, a clerical error they have not corrected. We contacted the Maine Republican Party again today to find out why almost an entire county had their votes erased with essentially no explanation of why. We again have heard nothing back from Maine Republicans. Washington County up in the northeast part of the state says that they notified the state Republican Party that they were going to hold their caucuses a week late because of an expected snow storm. They say they were told by the state party that would not affect their vote being counted by the state party. Now, they are being told no matter how they vote this upcoming weekend, it`s a done deal -- their vote is not going to be counted no matter what it is. The town of Waterville, Maine, in Kennebec County, they voted for Ron Paul over Mitt Romney as well. And yet, they, too, are recorded as a zero in the Republican Party`s official results from the state. Again, the margin of victory for Mitt Romney in Maine is only reported to be 194 votes. These anecdotal local precincts screw ups are exactly the kinds of things that were reported in Iowa after Iowa declared that Mitt Romney was the winner there. And remember, the Iowa Republican chairman at the time dismissed all those reports and said, oh, those little typos won`t change the outcome of Iowa`s vote. Ultimately, the outcome of Iowa`s vote was affected by those discrepancies and Iowa had to reverse its results and the Republican Party chairman in Iowa is now out of a job. So far in Maine, specifically on that issue of Washington County not having votes counted at all, Maine`s state Republican Party chairman, his line on that is, it`s, quote, "inconceivable" that Washington County could have any effect on his declaration that Mitt Romney won the state of Maine. But it doesn`t look like Mitt Romney won the state of Maine. It doesn`t look like somebody else won it either at this point. But the idea that Maine Republicans went and voted and had their votes counted and now, we have a result -- that is not the case. The results are not in. And Maine Republicans -- at least some of them -- are mad about it. We are trying to get one of the Republican county chairmen on the show tomorrow night for the interview. It`s a little hard to get a camera up there, but we`re working on it. In the meantime, after three straight losses heading into Maine, knowing that another Mitt Romney loss in Maine would have dramatically affected the narrative of 2012 politics for the whole country right now, the rest of us looking at this, the rest of us are left to look at this disaster the Maine Republican Party has pulled off and we`re left to wonder if this was rigged, if this was just a fiasco? And we`re left to wonder how long they are going to wait before they actually sort this out. Joining us now is Bill Nemitz. He`s a columnist for "The Portland Press Herald" and "The Maine Sunday Telegram." He`s been following Maine state politics for more than 30 years. Mr. Nemitz, thank you very much for your time. We`re happy to have you here. BILL NEMITZ, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: Nice to be here, Rachel. MADDOW: Can you share your latest reporting in terms of what is going on in Waldo and Washington Counties and these other places that haven`t had their votes totaled? NEMITZ: Sure. Well, to pick up where you left off, the Waldo County Republicans today voted to ask the state committee to formally censure the state Republican chairman, a guy by the name of Charlie Webster. They initially wanted him fire but weren`t able to get consensus on that. So, now, they are going to the state committee next month on March 10th and ask that he`d be censured. In Washington County, they are going ahead and they`re going to have their caucuses on Saturday, and whether the Republican Party formally counts them or not, they are resting assured that those of us in this business will be counting very diligently and see what kind of turnout they get. The argument that they don`t matter is based on their turnout from 2008, in which Ron Paul didn`t do that well, actually. I think what they are failing to take into account this time is the amount of attention focused on Washington County is unprecedented, and their turnout come Saturday might eclipse the turnout from the rest of the state this past weekend. MADDOW: It does seem remarkable that since we know that the proclaimed margin of victory for Mitt Romney is 196 votes. That essentially a billboard for Washington County. Hey, you need 196 vote margin for Ron Paul if you want to flip the state. I mean, that tells -- it gives them a real specific target to aim at if the Republican Party can be counted on to include those votes or I guess if the country can be counted on to count those votes when we decide who won the state of Maine. NEMITZ: And it was not a lot to do up in Washington County this time of year. So, this is high entertainment for these people. So, I think come Saturday, you`re going to see a lot of people trooping down to the caucuses who have never been there before, which is really what was part of the problem this past weekend. We had a number of people showing up at these caucuses, many of them Ron Paul supporters, who were not familiar with the process, not familiar with the rules, lay over that a state Republican Party that didn`t do a very good job planning or executing this thing and that leaves us with the mess we have. So all eyes will be on Washington County this weekend, and I think those folks will have an outsized impact, not only on Maine`s ultimate results but, as you say, on the whole national narrative here. MADDOW: Well, let`s say that happens, and Washington county does turn out a ton of people and let`s say they turn out enough people and enough of a lop-sided result that it does at least they theoretically flip the overall result for the state. Is it your sense that the Maine Republican chairman, the state party, would honor that? I mean, they say they won`t. But do you think they really would say that doesn`t matter -- we`re sticking with Mitt Romney and we don`t want to hear anything else about it? NEMITZ: Well, their position all along has been this -- that this was essentially a beauty contest, a straw poll. As Charlie Webster put it, a snapshot in time. And Maine`s delegate selection process actually is not materially affected by this. They go to the convention in May, at that state convention they will choose which delegates go do the national convention. So, right now, because of all the problems they had, the Republican Party is trying desperately to kind of sweep this whole thing behind them, and say essentially it didn`t matter anyway. As to whether those votes count, that`s something that will be brought before the state committee on March 10th and it will ultimately be up to them whether to reopen those totals and plug in all the missing numbers, or just call it a day and tell everyone they`ll see them in May. It`s very unclear right now what`s going to happen. MADDOW: March 10th after Super Tuesday, the race will be essentially decided. Bill Nemitz, columnist for "The Portland Press Herald" -- this is fascinating. Thank you for helping us understand it. I really appreciate your time. NEMITZ: My pleasure, Rachel. MADDOW: All right. Cage match, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah versus the facts. Spoiler alert: the facts have a seemingly unsure mountable lead in this contest. But Senator Hatch has not thrown in the towel. That`s still ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Story about potential vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party that really should be front page news all over America. It isn`t front page news yet, but it`s here, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The Westminster dog show was this week -- which means that everybody else got killed in the ratings because CNBC was airing the Westminster dog show. And Americans may love, you know, cable news and presidential politics and all the other things that are on in the evening. But frankly they love their Pekingese more. Oh, hello, Malachi. The presidential politics angle of this year`s Westminster dog show was the "Dogs Against Romney" protest that was held outside the event. The protesters arguing that Mitt Romney is not fit to be president because he once strapped his dog to the roof of the family station wagon and then drove to Canada. After the dog got sick in its kennel strapped to the roof of the car, Mr. Romney reportedly pulled into a gas station, hosed the sick dog off, and then put him back up there for the rest of the drive. And so, dogs against Romney. Now, the Obama campaign may be capitalizing on his bad metrics with dog lovers or regardless of the fate of Seamus Romney, the Irish setter, just trying to capitalize how much Americans love dogs, for whatever reason -- if you go to the BarackObama.com campaign Web site right now, there is almost an alarming amount of dog stuff. The splash page is the Bo Obama "I bark for Barack" car magnet. You can also get a Bo t-shirt which you can color yourself with markers. There`s also the Obama dog sweater. Bo Obama buttons. And Obama campaign dog bandana, Obama-Biden dog bowl, not to mention the Barack`s best friend dog leash and Barack`s best friend Obama 2012 dog collar. Now, again, who knows if all this stuff is in the memory of Seamus Romney, may he rest in peace. But there`s a lot of it. If Romney is the eventual Republican nominee for president, and if as widely speculated, Mr. Romney picks Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell as his vice presidential nominee, personally it looks to me like the smart money is on McDonnell as Romney`s choice, after our coverage last night on what is going on in Virginia abortion politics and our coverage of this law that Bob McDonnell has said he will sign this, this law involving mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds in Virginia, a law on the way to his desk now, after that segment, after that coverage last night -- we got a number of submissions from RACHEL MADDOW SHOW viewers with potential swag ideas for a presidential ticket that includes Governor Bob McDonnell. For example, there`s this one from Allie Davis and Jess Edris (ph). As you see there, it says Governor Bob McDonnell on the side there, swag style. The item in question here would be a vaginal ultrasound probe. Here is another one, same idea, different message, it`s a vaginal ultrasound probe that reads "This violation courtesy of the Virginia GOP." After those were e-mailed around, the whole project kind of went crazy, this one, "If you can read, this your government is too close." This one is right to the point, "Small government." And probably the best one specifically for Bob McDonnell`s vice presidential hopes right along the neck of the vaginal probe there, it says, "I can see the White House from here." If Bob McDonnell is on the residential ticket after what he is doing in Virginia right now, I actually think this swag will get made. It won`t be made by the Romney and McDonnell campaign but will be made by the energized electorate, I imagine will be fired up to vote against Bob McDonnell. The bill in question here is one of the number of anti-abortion measures the Republican legislature and Governor Bob McDonnell are pursuing now that they have complete control of Virginia state government. Their ultrasound bill would force women seeking an abortion in Virginia to under go a medically unnecessary internal vaginal probe and submit to a waiting period thereafter. "The Virginian-Pilot" newspaper in editorializing against the measure explained exactly how it will work and what it will mean for Virginia women. Quoting "The Pilot," "In order to satisfy the goals of the legislation -- which includes requirement that a doctor determine the gestational age of the pregnancy -- a transvaginal ultrasound may be the only reliable course." "Under any other circumstances," "The Pilot" continues, "forcing an unwilling person to submit to a vaginal probing would be a violation beyond imagining. Requiring a doctor to commit such an act, especially when medically unnecessary and to submit to an arbitrary waiting period is to demand an abrogation of medical ethics, if not common decency." Our next guest proposed an amendment to this legislation in the Virginia House that would at least ask a woman`s consent before subjecting her to that medically unnecessary state-ordered vaginal probe. His amendment by a lot, by a vote of 64-34, almost entirely on party lines. Given the option to make this new requirement less invasive, given the option to at least get a woman`s consent before she is vaginally probed by order of Bob McDonnell state government, given the option to make this requirement seem a little less like punishment for seeking an abortion, physical punishment for seeking an abortion, Virginia Republicans chose not to go there, resoundingly. Joining us now is Virginia State Delegate David Englin. Mr. Englin represents Arlington and Alexandria in the Virginia General Assembly. Delegate Englin, thank you very much for joining us tonight. It`s nice to have you here. STATE DEL. DAVID ENGLIN (D), VIRGINIA: Thanks for having me, Rachel. MADDOW: Let me ask you first, if I`ve gotten anything wrong in the way I explained what the Virginia Republicans have proposed and moved forward here? I kind of hope that I have gotten some of it wrong. ENGLIN: Rachel, you have nailed it and explained it in unfortunately accurate detail. They have passed a law that will require women in -- most women in the first trimester of a pregnancy, when most abortions occur, to undergo a vaginal penetration ultrasound in order to exercise their constitutional right. And not only that, but they are going to have to be vaginally penetrated based on this law without their consent. That`s just a horrendous government intrusion. These Republicans, you know, they talk all the time about limited government and the intrusiveness of government. It`s just sheer hypocrisy that now they are passing legislation that will have government literally and physically intrude upon a woman`s body without her consent. MADDOW: You sponsored this amendment to at least introduce a written consent element to this mandatory probe. Were you -- did you think that would pass? Were you surprised your amendment was voted down? ENGLIN: Well, I have been at this long enough now to realize that their anti-voice vehemence is such that nothing surprises. So, I wasn`t surprise, but I was disappointed because this one was a sincere attempt to say, look, I`m not an idiot, I know the numbers. I can do the math. Virginia Republicans have complete control of the general assembly and the governor`s mansion, I know this bill was going to pass, and it`s going to get signed into law. So what I was trying to do was say, if you`re going to institute this horrendously invasive requirement, at least get the woman`s consent before you force her to undergo vaginal penetration for an -- medically unnecessary purpose. So, you know, I was hopeful that enough of my colleagues across the aisle would believe that a woman should not be violated without her consent that the amendment might have a chance at passing. I wasn`t surprised that it didn`t pass but I was disappointed, because I`ve heard from many, many women throughout Virginia who, you know, Republican women as well, who may disagree with me on every other political matter but they don`t believe that they should be physically violated without their consent. And it just shocks the conscience this will become the law of the land in Virginia. MADDOW: There`s also this personhood measure on the menu in Virginia this year. ENGLIN: Right. MADDOW: It`s already passed the House by a big majority. How do you think the electorate is going to respond to this, really -- I mean, I think it`s fair to call them extreme measures that are at least loosely related to the anti-abortion politics of the state Republican Party. And how do you think they would respond if Bob McDonnell gets picked for national office? ENGLIN: Well, look, I am hoping that Governor McDonnell will see the light and realize that, you know, in Virginia, we have a very powerful governor`s office. The governor in Virginia can put amendments on bills. In most places, they can just veto bills or sign bills. In Virginia, the governor can amend bills. So, I`m hopeful that he will amend the vaginal penetration ultrasound bill to at least require a woman`s consent before you violate her body. I`m hopeful that he will amend the personhood bill to protect contraception -- because the way the bill is drawn right now, it would effectively outlaw most common forms of contraception. I think that if he doesn`t do these things, voters in Virginia and across the country are going to react very badly to this, because this isn`t about Republicans and Democrats. When you talk with women, regardless of their partisan politics, they support contraception, they support the notion that their bodies shouldn`t be violated without their consent. I mean, these are matters of basic decency. So I`m hopeful that Governor McDonnell will do the right thing. But I can tell you, if he doesn`t, I would think that the consequences will be very bad. MADDOW: Virginia State Delegate David Englin -- thank you so much for joining us. I was looking forward to having the chance to talk to you about this tonight. If only to make sure that I was awake and this is really happening. Thanks for joining us. I appreciate it. ENGLIN: Well, you`re right on, Rachel. And I appreciate you bringing attention to the issue. I wish more people were talking about it because it`s important. MADDOW: Me, too. Thanks, sir. Appreciate it. Whatever lull you might have sensed in the ongoing political grudge match in the great state of Wisconsin appears to be over. It is on again. Embattled Scott Walker of "It`s not about the budget" fame is swinging back. What that looks like, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This week, the Mitt Romney campaign and the PAC that supports him but he supposedly has no control over, together, they are spending $1.2 million on ads in the great state of Michigan. Ahead of the Michigan primary, $1.2 million. For context, do you want to know how much Rick Santorum and his PAC are spending on ads in Michigan? So, Romney and his PAC, $1.2 million. Rick Santorum and his PAC -- $42,000. That data reported by "The Washington Post" today. Do you want to see what the balance of the spending looks like in a picture? Ding! Rick Santorum is leading Mitt Romney in Michigan in all the recent polls. But Mitt Romney is also outspending Rick Santorum in Michigan, 29-to-1. Why Mitt Romney has to do that, coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs home. (APPLAUSE) OBAMA: Today, for the first time in 15 years, Master Lock`s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was President Obama at the State of the Union address last month. Here is President Obama today in Milwaukee at that unionized Master Lock plant. The president taking a tour of the plant and delivering a speech in front of a stack of boxes that said "made in the USA". So, there`s the president hyping an American company that chose to bring jobs back to the United States, speaking on the floor of the unionized plant. And he`s there in a state the governor who has made a name of himself by stripping union rights in that state last year. In this picture from Wisconsin today, it`s not just the president who`s running a campaign to stay in office, Governor Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, is facing being recalled from office before the end of his first term -- thanks to Wisconsin voters angry with that stripping of union rights in the state and his big, big cuts to education and much more. On the pro-Scott Walker side, there are ads running in Wisconsin now against recalling the governor. In these ads, the Governor Walker and groups supporting him frequently describe the governor as having balanced the state`s budget. It turns out he did not balance the state`s budget. This is the headline late last week in the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel," "State faces $143 million shortfall as tax collections lag." See, Scott Walker cut taxes and this crazy thing happens when you cut what has to be paid in taxes. It turns out what people pay in taxes gets cut! So, under Scott Walker, tax collections down, $140 million hole in the Wisconsin state budget. Thus, jeopardizing his main claim for why he shouldn`t be recalled from office which is that he wants to be able to say he balanced the state budget -- which he didn`t. Here is where the magic happens. It`s a robbery told in three headlines. This is better than surveillance camera footage. Watch this -- watch this burglary. All right? Headline one, this goes up at "Journal Sentinel" Thursday night -- "State faces $143 million shortfall." That`s headline one. Headline two, this goes up at "The Associated Press" at 3:00 in the morning the next morning, on Friday morning. Hey, that mortgage settlement with the big banks? Wisconsin homeowners are getting 140 million bucks from that. So, those are the first two, right? A hundred and forty million dollar hole in Scott Walker`s budget and $140 million coming to the state for Wisconsin homeowners. So, what`s the third headline? You guessed it. Walker and his attorney general say that mortgage settlement that is supposed to go to Wisconsin families, they`re taking it. They`re taking at least a chunk of it for their budget hole. Tada! Wisconsin`s share of that mortgage settlement, is supposed to go to Wisconsin families, who got foreclosed on illegally by the banks. The state is being given the banks money so the state can hand it over to the wronged parties here, to the people, to the homeowners. But Scott Walker is taking tens of millions of dollars of that for his budget hole instead -- for the budget hole created by his tax breaks. We learned today the effort to keep Governor Walker in office also includes this. It`s a rally apparently scheduled for Friday, remember the so-called Brooks brothers riot in Florida in 2000 when the Republican Party bussed and flew in Republican operatives from all over the country to pound on the doors and windows and make a big, physically intimidating scene at the site where the Florida presidential recount was underway, remember that? Well, this year in Wisconsin, pro-Scott Walker organizers are asking people to march on the Government Accountability Board in Wisconsin. The Government Accountability Board where workers are certifying the million signature petitions that are expected to put the Scott Walker recall on the ballot. They want to march on that office. So, yes, the Master Lock in-sourcing American jobs story has national resonance, but so does the hard, sudden turn for the weird in Wisconsin`s own politics. Joining us now is Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. She`s a Democrat representing Wisconsin`s second district. She`s also running for the open U.S. Senate seat in her state this year. Representative Baldwin, thank you for being with us. I appreciate you having you here. REP. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: Thank you for having me, Rachel. It`s great to join you. MADDOW: Does Governor Walker have the authority to use that mortgage settlement money at his discretion? Can he do whatever he wants with it? BALDWIN: Well, there`s certainly a portion of the settlement funds that is going through the states. But it is my belief and I`m absolutely outraged by his statement that he`s going to use this to plug a hole in his budget, when clearly the purpose of the settlement was to try to start making people whole again after the fraud and illegal activities that these five banks have engaged in. On Monday this week, I was in Milwaukee on a block, a residential neighborhood devastated by foreclosure. And house after house was literally boarded up. And you think about the people who perhaps because they lost jobs, lost homes, but also the people who were victims of fraud, and illegal actions by these mortgage banks, in the process. And then you think of the houses that aren`t boarded up, but people who have lost the value of their homes because they are situated in neighborhoods that had been devastated by this mortgage banking and foreclosure crisis. These are the people who deserve to benefit from the settlement funds. These are the people and neighborhoods that ought to be -- you can`t make them whole again, but at least taking those steps. And so, I think Scott Walker ought to be ashamed of using some of these funds to plug a hole in his budget. MADDOW: When you go to a neighborhood like that in Milwaukee and talk to people -- are people aware this is happening that Wisconsin has this money coming to the state that is supposed to be for homeowners that the governor is diverting some of it for his own budget problems? Are people aware that that`s happening in the state? And how do people feel about it? BALDWIN: Well, a lot of this has just happened in the past few days, and part of our going to neighborhoods and meeting with community leaders who have been at the forefront of helping people in this foreclosure crisis is to get the word out. And frankly, that`s really what we have to do across Wisconsin and across the country right now. We need people to understand what the terms are of this settlement agreement so that they can get the relief that they are due especially if they have been the victims of the wrongdoings of the big five banks. But beyond that, we still think we can influence Scott Walker and our attorney general in Wisconsin to use these funds for the people harmed -- the people who have been devastated by foreclosures in their neighborhoods. And that`s just by having people speak out. If people want to get involved, one way they can by going to my Web site, TammyBaldwin.com. But beyond that, people need to be informed about the terms of the settlement, how they can get what is now owed to them through the terms of the settlement but also speak out to Scott Walker about his plans for some of these dollars. MADDOW: Representative Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, second district, and I should say candidate for United States Senate from Wisconsin -- thank you very much for joining us tonight. I appreciate you helping us both understand it and let people know about the settlement and getting the word out -- thank you. BALDWIN: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: It should be noted it was one year ago tonight we first reported on the big union rights protests in Wisconsin. What happened over the course of the last year in Wisconsin is almost mind-blowing. You never would have believed it happened in that state if you asked anybody two years ago. All right. After the show, on "THE LAST WORD," Lawrence O`Donnell has as his guest Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel who has a very issue with Mitt Romney. And here, Orrin Hatch is very, very, very distracted by how much he hates MSNBC. He is so distracted by his hatred of MSNBC that he apparently cannot think straight -- at least he can`t do basic math. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Remember when the talk show host Rush Limbaugh tried to do something called "Operation Chaos" in 2008 to try to get Republicans to influence the Obama versus Clinton primary? The "Operation Chaos" idea is back, sort of. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Do you remember the not intended to be a factual statement thing? That was when Arizona Senator Jon Kyl on the floor of the Senate said something really quite outrageously not true. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood and that`s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Not true. Not close to true. It is not well over 90 percent. It`s more like 3 percent. Called out for telling that lie, Jon Kyl responded with a hall of fame destined for greatness legendary copout. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what? I just want to give it to you verbatim here. It says his remark was not intended to be a factual statement. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Sure it wasn`t true, but it was not intended to be a factual statement. That`s why it had the numbers in it. Hall of Fame excuse, Senator Kyl. In fact, that is probably for which Senator Jon Kyl will always be most famous. Really, after nearly 18 years in this Senate, could you pick Jon Kyl out of a lineup of Republican senators? No. Almost no one could. But everyone remembers the not intended to be a factual statement guy -- which makes it more amazing that another Republican senator has just made Jon Kyl`s same very famous mistake. Here`s Orrin Hatch talking about Planned Parenthood. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: About 90 percent of what they do from what I understand is abortion. TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Correct. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: From what with I understand -- that`s the point, Senator, you don`t understand. Incidentally, that is Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council guy, who responds to Senator Hatch by saying "Correct" when what Senator Hatch said is very, very, very much not correct. Back in reality, again, about 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions and 3 percent is not about 95 percent, unless you just round up everything the to the nearest 95 and it doesn`t make sense. We asked Senator Hatch`s office to a response to this. A spokesman e- mailed us to say that Senator Hatch, quote, "misspoke." But weirdly then, he also said -- and I`m not kidding. I`m going to the read it directly here because I want you to know that I`m directly quoting Senator Hatch`s spokesman. "It doesn`t take standing in front of the Hoover Dam wearing a construction hat," a construction hat? "It doesn`t take standing in front of the Hoover Dam wearing a construction hat to understand that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America." To be clear, we didn`t ask Senator Orrin Hatch for a statement about me or MSNBC or construction hats. Construction hats, really? But randomly, Senator Orrin Hatch`s Senate office volunteered this statement after telling us that Senator Hatch misspoke about Planned Parenthood. I don`t know what the Hoover Dam outburst was all about from Senator Hatch, but he is still admitting his huge mathematical lie about Planned Parenthood was not intended to be a factual statement. So, regardless of the rest of this, I guess I will take it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We`re going to close the show with something I just think is worth keeping an eye on. On last night`s show, I said one thing I thought worth watching in politics right now was the favorability numbers for Mitt Romney. Regardless of what`s going on in each state-by-state contest, if you want to know a snapshot view of how the presidential campaign is affecting Mr. Romney`s chances as a potential nominee, look at his favorable and unfavorable numbers nationwide. Now, there is some sort of curse on our show about graphs recently. Basically, every single graph we`ve shown on the show recently has been screwed up technically somehow. But this for the record is Mitt Romney`s favorable and unfavorable numbers right. The colors are being reversed and another thing that was screwed in last night`s graph. It also updates to take account of the latest numbers. Mitt Romney was not particularly liked during 2011. But in 2012, as you can see here, the unfavorable number is the dark blue one, going up, right? Since Republicans started voting in 2012, Mitt Romney`s unfavorability has skyrocketed and his favorability is down there with herniated disks and vanilla ice. Mitt Romney obviously needs to turn that around if he is going to be the Republican Party`s nominee. But it does raise a really good question about whether a long, drawn-out primary process maybe bad for Mitt Romney. I mean, if you look at the way it`s been going, the longer this race goes on, the less people like Mitt Romney and dramatically so. And into that equation today, a new variable was introduced. Markos Moulitsas is the namesake and founder of the influential liberal Web site "Daily Kos," Markos put out a call today for something he`s calling Operation Hilarity. "Daily Kos" is calling for liberals to turn out to vote in open primary and caucus states that are coming up -- in Michigan, North Dakota, Vermont and Tennessee. They are calling out on liberals to turn out in those states and vote for Rick Santorum. Not because liberals want Rick Santorum to be president, naturally, but because Markos argues it is in liberal`s interest for the Republican nominating contest to get dragged out as long as possible. As he titled his argument today, "Let`s keep the Republican clown show going." Now, this has some similarity to what Rush Limbaugh asked conservatives to do in 2008 Democratic Primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And you can argue whether that had any effect on that primary or whether this effort this year from the other side is likely to have any effect. You can argue whether it`s right or wrong for people who won`t vote for the other party`s nominee in any circumstance to try to take a role in deciding who that nominee is. But, A, you should know that this is happening on the left and, B, if the Republican race does keep going on and on and on, we should all understand that time elapsing in the race so far has not had a solitary (ph) effect on the nation`s opinion of presidential candidate Mitt Romney - - something to watch. I`m just saying. That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with his special guest, Elie Wiesel tonight. Please stay tuned for that. Have a great night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END