tv The Last Word MSNBC October 12, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PDT
economic challenges, 5 million new jobs a year, or continued deflation, continued decline in investment, consumption and overall economic activity. get the country moving again or stay the course, a course that's headed right now for the second recession of this presidency. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. chris christie jumps into the presidential race and gives nbc an exclusive interview to explain why. >> new jersey governor chris christie picked his horse. >> it's an honor to be joined today by governor chris christie. >> he's a nice man in a clean suit that wants to be president. >> chris christie endorses mitt romney because he's a career politician. >> planned for a good long period of time about what he would do if he was given the honor of being president of the united states. >> spent our life entirely in
politics. >> his experience as an elected official, experience as governor of massachusetts. he's used executive power. >> he's a real hero in republican circles. >> you're not chris christie, you never will be. >> it's not like chris christie had better options. >> classic case of lesser of two evils. >> nomination process. >> you have to start showing governor romney some respect. >> poll shows romney lea >> he's not just going to be the guy that they love. >> how do you think he feels watching you like everybody more than him? >> they're looking for the anti-romney. >> romney is so boring. >> what do you thing this does to rick perry? >> i think rick perry is dead wrong. >> the governor has 6%. >> he can talk about shooting coyotes in the face. >> rick perry an accomplished politician he is had no clue. >> where are your manners? >> mitt romney and i disagree on his government run romney-care. >> with little assist from the former governor of massachusetts, we said that health care should no longer be a privilege in this country.
>> it was michele bachmann then rick perry now it's herman cain. >> herman cain is second. >> herman cain is a terrific guy. >> herman cain strongly supports the bailouts. >> vote for either one of us and you'll be happy. >> if you don't run, chris christie, romney will be the nominee on the loose. one week after announcing he was definitely not running for president, new jersey governor chris christie reveals his pick for the republican nomination. christie placed a safe bet on front-runner mitt romney. after a joint press conference with mitt romney, here's christie explaining his decision in an exclusive interview with nbc. >> he's the best person for the job. it's simply on the merits.
and the fact is that we need to make sure that barack obama is a one-term president for america's future and i've looked at all the republican candidates. i've met with many of them. there's no question in my mind governor romney is the person who gives us the best chance of winning back the white house in november of 2012 and i want to do everything i can to help him. >> did you promise you anything? >> absolutely nothing. >> vice president christie? >> no. >> no? >> he didn't promise me anything. >> would he be on your short list? >> of course he'd be on anyone's short list. he may take himself off the list and say no way he has no interest, but the truth is governor christie is a leading figure in the republic and party and has taken on extreme interests inside his state, has battled them down and is balancing the budget in new jersey without raising taxes and creating the kind of environment that will ultimately create more and more jobs. it's what america needs. >> you can watch more of that interview tomorrow on the "today show." ray sullivan had a simple explanation for why perry lost
the most important endorsement of the year. >> well, that's the way it works in this business sometimes. northeast republicans are sticking together on this case. >> speaking of northeast republicans, the funniest i'm not running announcement of the year came this afternoon on long island. rudy giuliani finally made it official what we've known for four years, he is not running for president. giuliani said, "if it's too late for chris christie, it's too late for me." joining me now, eugene robinson, associate editor and columnist for "washington post" and msnbc political analyst. ed rollins, campaign consultant and former michele bachmann campaign adviser. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> ed, you're a master of republican political analysis. did we just see the first picture of the ticket? the romney/christie -- >> certainly a possibility. this is an important endorsement. it's the first big endorsement
any of these candidates have gotten. there may be a whole group of them that basically fall into line now. i still think it's very much a two-person race and certainly some of the candidates that are debating tonight still have one ticket out. that's iowa. but at the end of the day, these two, perry and the governor are the ones who have the resources and can beyond no matter what happens to them in the early primaries. >> gene robinson, what about sullivan's point about, hey, a northeast republican endorses the northeast republican. how does that play outside of the northeast? >> first, lawrence, let me take the opportunity to announce i also have decided not to run for the republican nomination. >> gene, i was going to tell you, if it's too late for chris christie, i think it's too late for gene robinson. >> and it is. you know, that was an interesting comment. what it highlights to me is that, you know, christie has a national reputation. he doesn't have a national constituency or national organization. and he -- the question of
whether he can appeal to both wings of the party, can he bring along both wings of the party, establishment wing and the tea party wing, i've had my doubts as to how influential he is in the tea party wing. i guess we'll see. >> let's listen to the press conference that they did immediately after the announcements. mark halperin asked them the question about perry's pastor and that controversial introduction last weekend and then the slam on mormonism as a cult. let's listen to what christie and romney had to say about that. >> any campaign that associates itself with that type of conduct is beneath the office of president of the united states in my view. >> i just don't believe that that kind of divisiveness based upon religion has a place in this country. i call upon governor perry to repudiate the sentiment and remarks made by that pastor. >> ed rollins, now it's moved over into the repudiate game that happens under these kinds of situations. the language from christie, he
is saying that if in effect if perry does not disassociate himself from it, he shouldn't be president. he said, any campaign that associates itself with this type of conduct beneath the office of the president of the united states, and here's christie's first campaign appearance in effect for his guy. he's saying the other guy should not be president. >> we know that the governor has an ability to sometimes overstate and sometimes say great sound bites. at the end of the day i think the minister's comments were inappropriate and i said on other shows i think it's a form of bigotry. i can say this. governor christie gets to endorse for himself. he may bring some money people. he may bring some others. he's not bringing the conservative ring of this party. perry is still the conservative candidate until he falters and that's probably a year from now before this thing is over. so at the end of the day here, this is an important endorsement. there may be others, but it's
not something that's a game ender. >> ed, you've studied republican polling on this. do you guys have information from the 2008 polling, you were on the huckabee campaign then, that indicates what the level of resistance to mormonism is among republican evangelical primary voters, iowa and elsewhere? >> it's somewhere below 25%. it's among democrats equally as important. >> does that mean it's around 20%? >> yeah. >> that's a very big drag. >> it's a big number. pew has done a lot of those studies on this. but i think it's also something everybody tells pollsters what they think. i can tell you, this had nothing to do with govnohuckabee who obviously was evangelical leader, what have you. i was in a lot of these churches with his candidacy. there are a lot of people who came up to me and said, you can't let the mormon win. as an irish catholic who's seen prejudice in my lifetime in politics, it bothered me a little bit. i couldn't quite understand it. i know it's real. >> gene robinson, it was a very
real moment in the press conference, the most vivid moment of the press conference. it shows you why you like having a guy like chris christie in your corner. he was very forceful. >> yeah, he was forceful. as ed said, he does tend to overstate sometime, but he will be an effective campaigner for romney if he really goes out on the stump for him and tries to bring him across the line in some important primary states, especially down the road. i agree with ed that what is being set up is a romney/perry race that could go on for a long, long time. perry has tons of money. he's poised for a comeback. he can't go down much further. after the sort of herman cain boomlet runs its course, you're going to have romney versus perry, two wings of the party fighting it out. i just don't know if they can agree and be happy with one or the other. >> all right. let's listen to the thing that christie is going to have to be
repeating time and again. his defense of mitt romney on the massachusetts health care plan. let's hear how christie handled that today. >> any attempt to try to compare what happened to massachusetts and what the president has done to the united states of america with his plan is completely intellectually dishonest. governor romney did not raise one tax in doing what he did to improve the health care system of massachusetts. i'm proud of him for standing up and doing what he believes was right. may not be right for new jersey, may not be right for montana, may not be right for california. those governors will make that decision. do not equate what's happened in obama-care with what governor romney did in massachusetts. >> gene, do you think that settles it for republican voters? >> no, i don't think it settles it at all, lawrence. he had an insurance mandate and that's that. president and his surrogates are going to be out all year long
saying, gee, we based obama-care on romney-care and it's not going to go away. now, i don't know a polling that shows that that has, you know, is destroying the romney candidacy at this point, but it's a drag on him and it's going to continue to be a drag. >> the first two people they're going to quote, one, is the president who often said i based obama-care on romney-care and secondly, our good friend howard dean who repeatedly says that it's very, very similar. i don't think romney has gotten through that yet. i think he has a long, hard battle here on that issue. i think he's a good candidate. he has to defend himself. if he can't, it's not just going to be christie's endorsement that's going to make any difference. >> let's take a look at what the polls are in the first two states they have to go to. iowa, romney is at 23%. herman cain 20%. ron paul 11% rick perry, way, way, way down at 10%. michele bachmann 10%.
ed rollins, when you look at that, romney is in the lead without having made any effort in iowa. rick perry has to win iowa, doesn't he? he's down at half, less than half of romney's support. >> all but romney have to win iowa. all those candidates on that list if they want to continue on. it's sort of like ncaa, you know, final 66 or 64, whatever it is. you can't lose. that's the first -- i'll say this about romney. romney, and obviously i did huckabee last time, it was a very competitive race and very close. romney has a lot of, as you see that thing all split up there, romney, as i was doing bachmann this year, romney actually had more support in the state than she had. he just chose not to participate in the straw poll. if he wanted to go in there and compete, he couldn't get a majority but he could get a plurality that may give him the victory. if i was his strategist, i would run that risk simply because that ends the game from my perspective. >> gene, let's take a quick look at new hampshire where romney has a new lead on the new nbc
poll. mitt romney 44%. herman cain 13%. ron paul tied for second at 13%. rick perry, less than half of what herman cain and ron paul have in new hampshire. he's at 6%. he's down there in jon huntsman territory who's at 5%. if romney -- if these numbers and we're shockingly close now to these votes, if he pulls those two off in a row, that would just about do it, wouldn't it? >> that would be crushing. then we'd of course all be looking at south carolina which has a tradition of picking the eventual nominee and that could be a kind of battle royale. but i think we're poised right now for a perry comeback, though. things seem to be in line for that. if he can't get all those points back in one week or even two weeks, but i think he can climb slowly back into the race and has the money to last.
so he can stick around until it's just the two of them. >> here's what i hear. i hear great disappointment in perry's performances and i hope he will do better and i hear from republicans, and i don't have a horse in this race other than mrs. bachmann, that basically how do we stop romney? so i think there's a long, hard battle and perry is the conservative. romney is the establishment candidate. historically, the establishment candidate has won this process. this could be a year in which it could be different. >> the way you stop romney is nominate him and as ann coulter said in our open, president obama beats him. eugene robinson, ed rollins, thank you both very much. >> now that gene is not running, what do i do with all that opposition research i have to do? gathering it for years. >> file it away for four more years. >> thank you both very much for joining me tonight. coming up, the koch brothers and karl rove work together in 2010 to spend big money to elect republicans but now rove and the koch brothers are feuding. that's coming up. and the president's jobs
and if they don't vote for it today, we're going to stay on it until they vote for something. we're going to keep pushing. >> the president's american jobs act got a majority vote in the united states senate tonight. a majority isn't enough. republicans have succeeded in stopping the bill in its tracks on a procedural vote that required 60 votes to advance the bill. the bill includes a large cut in payroll taxes that would leave more take home pay in workers' pockets, spendable income and make it cheaper for employers to hire new workers. the bill also extends unemployment benefits and provides funding for job training, $50 billion for job creating, shovel-ready building projects. $30 billion for school renovations and $35 billion for the states rehire police, firefighters and teachers. the $447 billion package would all be paid for, all of it paid for by a 5.6% surtax only on
personal incomes over $1 million. a tax that would apply to .1% of the population. joining me now is senator barbara boxer of california. chairwoman of the environment and public works committee. thank you very much for joining me tonight, senator. >> thank you for inviting me, lawrence. >> senator, this is one of those nights in the senate where a majority is not enough and a majority voted for 99% of the people out there but there was enough of a protection vote from republicans on that top .1% of the people not allowing any taxation, anymore taxation on incomes over $1 million. where does the bill go from here? >> let me first just say i have to say this, that it is really a sad situation. when everyone in america, almost everyone says the biggest issue was jobs and all we were asking for is the ability for a
majority of the united states senate to vote to simply take up the obama jobs bill. then we could amend it, we could change it, but all of america, at least they saw what a filibuster is. a filibuster is simply saying we are not going to allow a majority to rule. we're going to force you to get 60 votes. not one republican broke with their leadership. they all voted against the ability to take up this bill. so where do we go from here? the president has said and i think rather graciously, okay, we'll take pieces of this bill and we'll push, try to push those pieces through. whether it's unemployment compensation, hiring teachers, rebuilding our roads and bridges. and we'll pay for it with a millionaires surtax which about almost, i would say, 75% of the people in this country support it. it's just -- it's just such a fair thing to do.
so i am, you know, very discouraged that we couldn't even pick up one or two republicans, but i hope america is watching, lawrence, because they hear the word filibuster, they don't really know what it means. i think you were right when you said if anyone wants to know the difference between the parties it was on display tonight. >> i want to point out what this vote means to you. because it turns out many the 5 states incomes over $1 million are not equally distributed among the states. there are more personal tax returns filed in the state of california with incomes over $1 million than in any other of the 50 states. so you were voting for more of that money to come out of your state than any other state. this is not the simple, easy vote that people think it is for california senators. and there were plenty of senator the voting against this on republican side who have very, very few tax filers in their
state that would ever be subject to this kind of tax. and i just really want to stress for the audience, it's a tax that only hits the second million dollars you make. it doesn't touch the first million dollars you make. it's the most progressive tax proposal i've seen the senate vote on. >> well, let me say this about the people of my state and of course there are exceptions to everything that a person strives to generalize. but i've traveled up and down that state, every nook and cranny, from the poorest to the wealthiest, and everyone seems to agree that people have to pay their fair share and the wealthiest understand completely, they understand what elizabeth warren essentially said when she was all over youtube. what a great candidate, i put a plug in for her. that everybody who's made it in america has made it because this great country stands by you when you're in the working poor, when you're in the middle class. at least that's what we've done in the past. and we provide the police and we provide the national defense and
we provide clean air so you can breathe and get to work. we do a lot of these important things, and most of the people in my state as wealthy as they are, and i don't speak for everyone, i know that, believe that it is time for everyone to pay their fair share. because frankly if we have this huge separation between the very wealthy and everybody else, it doesn't make for a very strong nation. the reason we're so strong is our vibrant middle class. and i think when you look at the faces out on wall street, that's what you see. the vibrant middle class out there. >> senator, our nbc polling indicates that 81% of americans support this tax proposal, a surtax on incomes, only incomes over $1 million. so it absolutely is there. 81% of the country supports it and just something around 51% of the united states senate supports it. is there a possibility of separating out some of the
components of this bill and moving them one at a time or trying to move them one at a time through the congress, like the payroll tax cut? what do the republicans have against a payroll tax cut? have they finally met a tax cut they don't like? >> they seemed to have changed on it simply because the president's for it. because they were in the past for it. now they say this isn't the time to do this. listen, i can't explain them to you. if i could, i would be talking to harry reid, give him advice. but all i can say is they are out of step with 80% of the people on this point. and at some point in time they're going to have to understand that we are supposed to represent the people and we don't represent the people when their number one issue is jobs, when 80% of them say it's fair to go after millionaires and ask them to pay their fair share. they're just simply out of step when bridges are falling down and infrastructure is not keeping pace. everyone knows we have a million
unemployed construction workers. what a moment in time to do the right thing and i would just say that independent economists say it's 1.9 million jobs the republicans walked away from tonight. i hope they -- maybe they won't sleep well tonight. i don't know. >> senator barbara boxer of california. thank you for even thinking about trying to explain the republicans to me tonight. >> okay. >> thanks, senator. >> bye. coming up, it took the president only three weeks to get americans on his side for his jobs plan. why that's bad news for any republican in 2012. that's in the "rewrite." tt >> anti-oupy wall stree comments. and more than 100 protesters are arrested on the streets of boston.
still to come tonight, is karl rove just not that in to the koch brothers? a look why the giant super pacs are now competing with each other instead of cooperating with each other. and is occupy wall street and occupy boston helpful to elizabeth warren's senate campaign in massachusetts? that's next.
protesters and their union supporters participated in what they called a millionaire's march. from their financial district base, to the upper east side homes of some of the city's billionaires. including news corp. ceo rupert murdoch and conservative oil mogul david koch. in boston, 129 protests were arrested overnight and charged with unlawful assembly and trespassing at a newly renovated public park near where protesters have been camped out for nearly two weeks. in washington, capital police arrested six of the over 100 protesters demonstrating in the hart senate office building. a new viral video promoating the occupy wall street features massachusetts senate candidate elizabeth warren. in a 2009 interview with dan rather recounting the economic history washington ignored that led to the protests we see
today. >> about every 15, 20 years, we have another crisis. we call them panics. we have different names for them. for 140 years. the pattern is just unmistakable. then we hit the great depression and coming out of the great depression we put three new regulations in place. glass steagall which divides our community banks from the wall street investment banks. fdic insurance and s.e.c. regulations so you can invest on wall street and they can't cheat you too directly. for 50 years we have no bank failures, no major crises. it works. gets to be the early 1980s. we go with this idea of let's get rid of reguregulation. what happens? late 1980s savings and loan crisis. should have been a warning. late 1990s. should have been a warning. early 2000s. enron should have been a warning. we let it go. where do we end up?
in the biggest crisis since the great depression. >> we're here to inspire a nationwide movement. >> we're here to inspire a nationwide movement. >> joining me now, adam green, whose organization the progressive change campaign committee was at the protests today in new york. also former louisiana governor and current republican presidential candidate buddy roemer who met with the protesters today in new york. thank you both for joining me tonight. buddy, this is your second night in a row on the show. can i call you buddy? >> i'm going to make a conservative out of you. >> i'm from the north. so i have no friends named buddy. this is my -- >> if your real name is charles ellison roemer iii, you call me buddy. >> what did you learn going down on the site? >> i didn't do much talking. i did a lot of listening. maybe i'm not a good politician.
i wanted to see what their feelings were. i found them to be american. i know they've been called un-american. i found them to be very american. i found them to be concerned about their country. i didn't agree with all of their particulars but they ask questions. you know what america needs to do? it needs to ask questions of a system that's broken. and that's what they're doing. i love them there. i remember, i'm an old man, i'm 68, i remember the vietnam protests when i was in college. i remember the civil rights protests on my city streets when i was a young man in the deep south. they changed america. the politicians need to listen to these young people. it could change america. >> the politicians who aren't listening to them apparently are your fellow presidential candidates on the republican side. the presidential candidates all seem to have very strong opinions about this, without having listened to a word they say. >> you know, i don't like that because there are some decent people running, but i didn't see the president there either.
i don't see many democrats running down to listen. i think it's a political problem. not a party problem. i do think that my party, of which i'm proud, could expand its membership and its importance if it listened more, particularly to those who feel left out. america's in trouble, lawrence, and it's not about a party. it's not even about a president. it's about 99% of the people who think they have no say-so in who we are. >> adam, you're down there today. what did you come out of it with? >> it's really inspirational. this is my first time at new york. i've been in d.c. since day one. seeing it grow from 20 people, 50 people, to now hundreds of people sleeping out is indicative to the simmering anger that's out there at corporate money polluting our politics, polluting our democracy and a couple bad corporate actors really tanking our economy. people out there today have signs saying stuff like it's not class warfare until we fight back.
it's that kind of desperation. being kicked out of their homes. people who have lots of college degrees who have no jobs. >> you put money into the elizabeth warren campaign, money you raised online, small donations mostly. and you see elizabeth warren, if anyone is a hero of those people down there, and as this video shows, she seems to be the politician who's out there in a prominent way that has some kind of connective feel for this. >> that's absolutely right. it's not an accident thousands of people went to our website boldprogressives.org and chipped in $400,000 to elizabeth warren's campaign. it's not to our credit. it's to hers. she's one of few people who has an actual record, web the going gets tough of keeping wall street's feet to the fire. really holding them accountable. again, the same forces are at play with occupy wall street, occupy boston, occupy d.c. are
at play with the elizabeth warren campaign. her boomlet of $3 million raised in just a couple weeks is from the fact people are thirsty of someone who speak truth to power and take on wall street and corporate power. >> buddy, politicians make superficial judgments when they look at crowds and say, that's not our group, look at that one and say, they're us. did you get a lot of messages down there today that were anti-republican? that a republican politician would not be able to figure out how to live with or deal with? >> i like the way you phrased the question. let me answer it in two phases. i got a lot of negative comment by the fact i was a republican, but they listened as they listened why i changed party 20 years ago, why i'm a jobs guy, why i'm not a lawyer, i'm not a professional politician. i think america can do better. i got a chance to have that interaction. but i listened. and without exception, every
person there, some with scruffy hair, some not dressed as neat as you are, some that look different from maybe my children who are 25 and 45 years old. every person there listened after they expressed an opinion. they gave me a chance to answer. and as to the comments here about moving this across america, i think it would be very positive. and i think republicans need to listen to what's happening there. they didn't say bring america down. they didn't say i want something from the federal government. they said fair play, buddy, fair play. and buddy, we like the fact that you're not taking pac money. we like that. we like the fact that you're a banker and that you come down to listen to us. we like the fact that your bank is two-thirds of $1 billion. they didn't take any bailout money. we like the fact that you're standing balanced, not
foreclosing on homes, not doing the things a good banker shouldn't do. look, i'm not a wall street banker, but for years they have raised capital as we grew jobs. i don't think they do that anymore, lawrence. i think they have rewritten the tax code. i think they're sending our jobs overseas. you want to change something in america? you limit the gifts or give full this closure with no pacs or super pacs and number two, you stop unfair trade with china and we'll turn this country around and it won't take long. >> adam, i'm a little surprised at the surprise at this movement. a 9.1% unemployment rate. what did people think the country was going to look like? was everyone just going to stay home and be quiet about that and hold their breath and wait for something to happen? >> i'm with you. people shouldn't be surprised. again, there's a certain desperate nature to this. if our political system is broken, if corporate money is polluting it and our economy is
working against these people, often very educated people without jobs, people have to show, you know, their opinions through being more visible and being more vocal inspired by his occupy wall street movement, our organization a couple days ago launched a campaign aimed at bank of america, one of the worst corporate actors. not bad because they're a corporation but they committed fraud to kick people out of their houses. 11,000 people have signed up at our website, bank of america customers in coming weeks will be moving their money away from bank of america. people operating as customers in the free market voting with their dollars. there's a lot more of that corporate accountability to come. >> i think it's the system, adam. i think it's the system. we've let the big checks run the government, lawrence. we need to stop it. we need to listen to the american people and stop it and we don't have to attack big companies. what we need to attack is greed and self-interest and a code that's not fair. where you pay more taxes than the biggest companies in america. it's not right.
>> that's what that protest is about. adam green and my buddy, buddy roemer. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. today the obama campaign released a memo about the president's american jobs act. there is no good news in it for republicans, especially the republican who runs against president obama. that's in tonight's "rewrite." later the koch brothers versus karl rove. why the two biggest fund-raisers for republicans are feuding.
in 2010 the super pacs of the koch brothers and karl rove played a huge role in winning back the house for republicans. in 2012 the two groups cannot agree, they cannot agree on how to spend their conservative cash. that's coming up. still ahead, the president's campaign for the american jobs act shows us how he will campaign for re-election. econd.. with olay challenge that. new regenerist wrinkle revolution...
♪ ain't seen nothing yet time for tonight's "rewrite." in a memo released by the obama campaign today david axelrod points out the more president obama talks about the american jobs act the more voters like it. axelrod points out that in early september a cnn poll showed that 43% supported the american jobs act and 35% were opposed to the bill. axelrod wrote "after three weeks of advocacy by the president, support has grown by nearly 10%
so that 52% support the plan with 36% opposed." axelrod points out the president was particularly persuasive with independents, independents that the president has to win in his re-election campaign. in an early september abc/"washington post" poll, independents trusted the republicans more than the president on jobs. 42% to 37%. but by early october, the president had turned those numbers around. independents now trust the president more than republicans on jobs by a wide margin. 44% to 31%. so after three weeks of campaigning for his jobs bill, the president has earned the support of a majority of voters and won the trust of independents on the jobs issue. that's after just three weeks of campaigning. why? because barack obama, after three hard years in the white
house, is still the best campaigner in american politics today. a pew poll last week shows president obama beating rick perry if the election were held today and tied with mitt romney if the election were held today. the president is tied with the republican front-runner. that's after mitt romney has been campaigning all year. has been winning every republican presidential debate. while the president's job approval is at an all-time low. mitt romney has been attacking the president every day and all he has to show for it is a tie in the polls. and the president hasn't even started campaigning against romney or whoever the republican presidential nominee is going to be. imagine, imagine what's going to happen when the president does start campaigning. in three weeks of campaigning
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spending in the 2010 congressional campaign that won back the house of representatives for republicans. politico now reports that rove and the koch brothers can no longer agree on how to spend their hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2012 election and now find themselves competing where they used to be cooperating. cracks in the relationship began to appear last summer over the debt ceiling debate when the rove team supported speaking john boehner's bill to increase the debt ceiling and the koch brothers' organization pressured conservatives to oppose it. politico's ken vogel write, some koch allies blame what they contend is the rove team's win it all cost mentality for the decay of fiscal conservatism. some in the bush/rove axis accuse the kochs of clinging to free market zealotry even if it backfires on republicans.
a recent expose in bloomberg's "market" magazine revealed koch industries made improper contracts in six countries dating back to 2002 including iran. this has redoubled democrats' public efforts to try to turn the koch brothers' influence against republicans. joining me now is politico's ken vogel. thanks for joining me tonight, ken. >> great to be with you, lawrence. >> ken, what about the taint now on the koch brothers from the bloomberg expose about them being involved in illicit transactions with iran? is there the potential for them becoming people that republicans simply can't be associated with? >> there's definitely that potential, lawrence. what's interesting is the trajectory to this point in recent months, even as the left has really trained their sights on the koch brothers and suggested they were in some ways emblematic of the corrupting influence of corporate money and politics after the 2010 citizens
united decision, even with that, they continue to become more powerful, more influential in conservative politics, attracting more big donors to donor summits where they collected tens of millions of dollars to distribute to favorite conservative causes. however, you have to think that these revelations about dealings with the rant might force some of those donors who started to see them as perhaps the pull in the sort of right pull in conservative politics as opposed to karl rove's more centrist pull that they might start questioning whether these are the right guys to be associating with. >> do super pacs allow the koch brothers to hide in such a way it would be difficult for a democratic opponent of a republican to actually associate that candidate with the brothers? >> it's not so much soup pacs but another vehicle empowered by the 2010 citizens united decision and one the kochs and operatives and donors had been taking advantage of for years
but they used in the wake of president obama's election and in the wake of the citizen the united decision in a much more overtly political way. again, in 2010, they were able this combination of super pacs to coordinate on behalf of republicans. there's an open question as to whether they're going to sit down again or take it in their own direction and back more tea party oriented candidates that could cause trouble for republicans. >> well, they're going to be swimming in money either way. you indicate rove's operation will probably have a couple hundred million dollars. the koch brothers you think are going to have more than a couple hundred million dollars to throw into this. what is the problem for republicans if there's this giant swirl of money going around? why would they care about this tension between rove and the koch brothers? >> the potential problem, lawrence, is the koch brothers instead of backing candidates who are considered the most viable candidates, the most
electable candidates, like those who rove and his allies have thrown their support and money behind, will instead back candidates who are more aligned with them ideologically, on small government and free enterprise conservatism. those who affiliate more with the tea party but who may not be the most electable candidates. in 2010 we saw this play out in a number of races where candidats deemed less reliable, christine o'donnell in delaware beating mike castle. joe miller in alaska beating lisa murkowski. in nevada with sharron angle winning. so that was without the koch brothers throwing in behind these tea party candidates. imagine in the koch brothers spend $200 million on these types of tea party candidates. it would cause problems for rove, rnc and republicans at large. >> ken, i think you're trying to leave democrats cheering for the koch brothers here to get in ther