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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 9, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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homework mostly and the one that focused on their medical care, the one that made sure they grew up in richard with all the cultural sophistication out there. happy mother's day to all of you out there, especially to the queen. and that's hardball. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts now. good evening from the sweet auburn spring fest in atlanta, georgia. i'm chris hayes. and we are very lucky to be live here in atlanta, a key battleground in the fight to raise the minimum wage. a place where hundreds of fast food workers have gone on strike over the past 12 months to fight for $15 an hour. where congressman john lewis marched with workers, one of the dozens of cities across the country where people are putting
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pressure on elected officials to raise minimum wage to living wage or something close to it. today there was an important turning point in that fight. mitt romney who said there was probably not a need to raise minimum wage now says it should go up. >> i, for instance, as you know, part company with many conservatives on the issue of minimum wage. i think we ought to raise it. frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay. >> romney isn't the only one embracing wage hike. fred de luca, founder of subway, the biggest fast food chain, said he was not concerned about hike in minimum wage. over the years i have seen so many of these wage increases. i think it is normal. it won't have a negative impact. that's what i tell my workers. the former nominee for president and ceo of the largest fast food chain came out in support of
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raising minimum wage. republicans in congress simply aren't listening and seemingly do not care. last week, senate republicans filibustered a bill to raise minimum wage. this week they're spending their time doing what? putting together a brand new benghazi select committee. today, speaker john boehner tweed out. no word on minimum wage vote. while republicans may be out of touch with the american people who overwhelmingly in poll after poll support minimum wage, they do still have powerful allies on their side, like the koch backed americans for prosperity. they plan to spend $125 million to convince the american people that they are in fact wrong on minimum wage. part of an americans for prosperity strategy memo published in politico reads we consistently see that americans in general are concerned that free market policy and its advocates benefit the rich and powerful more than the most vulnerable society. we must correct this
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misconception. joining me from california, former publisher of american conservative and chairman of higher wages alliance. ron, we have spoken before. you have been waging a lonely class traitorless campaign to get people to support increase in minimum wage. you're apparently doing a good job. >> well, it is getting much less lonely every day. when you have the republican presidential nominee of the last election endorsing a hike in minimum wage, we're talking about the mainstream of the republican party. >> what was interesting to me about the romney conference this morning, he supported minimum wage early in that campaign cycle, was forced to back off it, perhaps not surprisingly incident primary fight, now seems to be coming back. i wonder if that's a leading or lagging indicator of public opinion? >> he is not just alone out there. remember, we have bill o'reilly, the biggest conservative on fox news that endorsed minimum wage. a lot of the main publications,
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writers, economic writers in the daily caller and national review have endorsed a big hike in minimum wage. it's basically the thoughtful conservatives, the thoughtful republicans, the people who believe businesses should pay their own workers rather than forcing the taxpayers to pick up the difference by social welfare subsidies. >> so then how do you account for the gap between what seems to be moving in the right direction among opinion leaders and parts of the republican establishment, among republican thought leaders and conservatives and the republican elected leaders in washington who filibustered a vote on it, wouldn't even vote, allow a vote on it just a week ago. >> well, we have got to remember that lobbyists, business lobbyists that support those industries that are shoving the burden to the taxpayer, they're very influential in the halls of the legislature, and they're the people many of the congressmen speak to. they put on the fund-raisers, and businesses would rather not
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pay their own employees, they would rather have the taxpayer do it, and that's wrong. it is not conservative and it is bad for america. >> i thought it was interesting romney said we are for more jobs and higher wages. you heard for a long time there are certain conservatives that say we don't even think there should be any minimum wage. we think any minimum wage is not about free market principles, about where the labor market sets the wage. it is strange you don't see people articulate that, even though i suspect there's a big amount of republicans that actually believe that in private. >> well, a lot of the republican ideology of the last 20 or 30 years has been captured by what might be called extreme free market libertarians. people believe there should be no regulations, no minimum wage, no standards in our society, and the result of that has been the tremendous impof rischment of
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workers in the last 20 and 30 years. i am a conservative, but there's a difference between somebody that looks at things in a pragmatic, logical way, and somebody who is such an idea log that he believes all government regulations and requirements should be abolished, and that really is a problem in the republican party. >> and that was the part of that afp memo leaked today that made me sit up and take notice, an awareness even on the part of afp, backed by the koch brothers, that what they're selling people on is not going over very well. >> exactly. it is the dog food that dogs just won't eat. and again, we're not talking only about workers suffering because of lower minimum wage, we're talking about the taxpayers suffering. taxpayers right now are spending $250 billion a year on social welfare programs for the working poor. people who work but can't afford to survive and pay for their own families.
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if we raise minimum wage, if we force businesses to pay reasonable wage to the workers, the taxpayers would save tens of billions of dollars. and maybe that's part of what's motivating romney since he pays a lot of taxes himself. >> not according to harry reid. ron unz, thanks for your time. joining me in atlanta, msnbc contributor goldie taylor. >> nice to be here. >> this fight has been hot. we had amazing footage of john lewis coming out when the fast food workers struck. it is the kind of issue that in deep red states, even in states with the sort of conservative center of public opinion, you see over 50% polling. >> you can never, ever blame the republicans or claim the republicans are going to be in line with what real people think. they have gone so far on this
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structuralized hyperbolic libertarianism, they believe no regulation is good regulation when what they ought to say is good regulation, regulation that protects the rights of workers and families, allowing businesses to flourish and grow in this country is a good and noble thing to have. >> even from a political standpoint, given how popular minimum page increase is, given that democrats think it is in their interest politically, given the fact the president is campaigning on it in members of senate campaigns, they could vote to take it off the table. >> they're not talking to us. they're talk to go a small cast of primary voters who you couldn't get to believe otherwise that raising minimum wage in their minds would kill jobs. they're convinced of that, they're playing to that. that's what they aim to bring out in the primaries. >> were you surprised by romney's comments? >> i was not, on the one hand.
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structurally he does understand raising minimum wage does, in fact, increase productivity, i want to go to work. i want to educate my family. i want to take time off with my kids. so that great work environment, that great compensation package does a lot for me and my family, in turn i want to do a lot for my employer. he understands it on that level. but it is ironic, he did more than anyone else to ship jobs overseas. there were firms his firm shut down and sent overseas. on one hand i am not surprised, on the other hand, i find it hypocritical. >> do you think as we move from rhyme reseason as we are in now to general election season because of the politics of this so strong for democrats and progressives and the left, do you think you'll see change in republican nominees when they become nominees? >> if you can get rand paul to say voter id is offensive, you may get -- you could -- what
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happens after primaries is people indeed begin to pivot, but nail their foot to the floor on this so hard that it is difficult to see they could reach over and get that -- >> plus i think in the house at least the strategy there is literally do nothing and hope no one notices. >> absolutely. >> i don't think they're going to hold another vote the rest of the term. >> what they intend to do is flood the dam with benghazi and the irs so-called scandal, intend to flood it with false talking points on the affordable care act. they intend to flood every dam and get to election day without us articulating the things that impact people's lives daily. >> if one thing could come out of the mid terms, which is basically that the line of resistance on minimum wage breaks. >> that's exactly what we're looking for. we're looking for blue collar
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workers, white, black, hispanic. across this country, blue and red districts. >> in the state of georgia -- >> we have an opportunity here in georgia to change the tide right here. we have got strong candidates ready for senate and governor. we have a great shot. but it is up to us to turn up and turn out. >> goldie taylor, great to see you. >> same to you. all right, so what was the president doing at walmart today? that story next. we are live from the sweet auburn spring fest in atlanta, georgia. [ cheers and applause ] honestly, the off-season isn't really off for me. i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game.
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we are in georgia now, in part because of msnbc's drawing hope campaign, and in part
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because of our new series, we are calling all in america. all spring and summer we are hitting the road to find stories around the country on the ground and eliminate some of the biggest conflicts in american politics. we want you, our reviewers, to help us out. send story ideas, tweet us at #allinamerica or post to our facebook page. with a subject line, all in america. catch other reporting i have done recently on years of living dangerously. you can watch that show for free as showtime's free preview weekend. we will be back from atlanta, georgia. we've never sold a hous. (agent) i'll walk you guys through every step. there are a lot of buyers for a house like yours. (husband) that's good to know. to truck guys, the truck is everything.
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want to thank the folks at walmart. i know this looks like a typical walmart, but it is different. a few years ago you decided to put solar panels on the roof of the store. you replaced some traditional light bulbs with leds. you made refrigerator cases more efficient. >> president obama at a walmart in northern california today, not only talking about the store's record on clean energy but on the construction jobs those upgrades create. the reaction to the president's appearance was immediate. walmart is one of the nation's largest and worst employers, low wages, unreliable hours, few benefits, discrimination against women and anti-union, said robert reich in a facebook posting. white house officials underscored the purpose of the visit saying walmart will commit
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to double the on site energy efficient products. as much as i love solar, it was strange on the day mitt romney endorsed minimum wage to see the president at one of america's biggest low wage anti-union employers. like watching two of the second year priorities in an ugly wrestling match before our eyes. joining me, dorian warren. this was a little head scratcher. >> i am shaking my head, chris. it is strange and full of contradictions. in addition to all of the issues that secretary rice laid out, it is the largest low wage employer of the country, it drives down wages, discriminates against women, all those issues. he is absolutely right. why the president would go there is baffling. but even on its own terms in terms of the environmental role that walmart plays, it is just one green washer of the year by a prominent environmental
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organization. even on the terms of what walmart promises to do around the environment, it is a head scratcher. >> but isn't there an argument for some kind of tactical alliances, right? you can't conduct yourself politically if you'll only allow yourself with people you agree with on everything. so you see this all the time, right? you see ted kennedy back in the day would get together with a republican he despised on a million issues to co-sponsor something. why isn't this good politics or good policy if picking a narrow, specific enough thing to highlight. >> the last time i checked, the president isn't running for re-election. choosing walmart over say one of the other retailers that uses 100% renewables in the stores, thinking of whole foods, staples, kohl's, walmart is at 4%. you're rewarding a company that's one of the worst actors when it comes to the environment. by the way, the context here is almost ten years ago in 2005, walmart made all these promises
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about what it was going to do to green the business model and failed on almost every indicator based on its own data. according to walmart's own data, it increased the carbon foot print since 2005 by 14%. even on its own terms, it fails all of the tests that the president is seeking in terms of his environmental goals. it fails on every single test. >> you know, this is briefly an issue in the primary between barack obama and hillary clinton. hillary clinton lived in arkansas when she was first lady of arkansas, sat on the board of walmart, and bill clinton defended her service saying it was the right thing for her to do. obama campaign responded by saying if they want to defend her service to one of the least environmentally friendly, least labor union friendly companies in the country, they're welcome to do that. >> again, i understand the politics of this, and you know, the president said some things in previous campaigns that was supportive of workers, that attacked hillary for her
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connections with walmart. then you can't step into a store and reward a company that failed on its own environmental goals and speak about income and equality all week, and go into the premise of the nation's largest private employer, which is the leading exploiter of workers in terms of low wages. it just makes no sense. >> and you made this point about other comparative businesses and renewables. what we talked about at the top of the show, if the idea is to go out and find businesses that are doing good things in the environmental field or paying higher wages or maybe not paying higher wages but supportive higher minimum wage, all those businesses exist. i don't think walmart is any of those. >> walmart isn't in the top five of any of those categories. why create controversy and back lash, why guarantee a protest of workers when the president is visiting that store. this could have been all avoided by a smarter choice, both on the
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politics and policy. if you wanted to go to whole foods or other competitors that made progress on environmental issues, that would have been the smarter choice. i understand the carrot of trying to encourage walmart to do better, but that hasn't worked in the past in terms of changing walmart's behavior, i doubt it is going to work this time. why create the controversy over this in the first place. >> dorian warren from columbia university, thanks so much. >> thanks, chris. up next, the nra takes on our very own inners. live from sweet auburn fest from atlanta, georgia. we're moving our company to new york state.
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we are live from atlanta, georgia. we have been trying to get anyone from the national rifle association to come on the show and talk about smart guns, specifically explain the nra's opposition to a technology that could save lives. so far we have received radio silence, absolutely nothing. they won't talk to us but they will talk about us. on their weird propaganda news channel, they were having a conversation about the kidnapping of young women by boko haram in nigeria. it was a strange rift on who would be going to rescue the girls. >> there is evil in the world
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and someone has to stop it. who do they always call, us. we are the ones willing and capable to do it. and we are the good guys. >> absolutely. i would go one step further and say when they ask the u.s. for help, we don't send pajama boy to do the job, katie. probably not a lot of people who know and use the hash tag inners going over to nigeria to rescue hopefully those girls. there are a lot of guys who look like they just came from the nra annual meeting frankly who will be going over there and trying to rescue those girls. >> i am pretty sure there are some actually pretty tough folks in there, but that's beside the point. here they are passively aggressively talking smack about us, when they won't actually come and talk with us on this show. they're so tough, they're going to strap on some guns, fly into nigeria and take on the most
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offering protection that simple credit score monitoring can't. get lifelock protection and live life free. showing your driver's license to have an honest election i think is not unreasonable, and i think that's the main thing republicans have been for. >> one year after defending voter id laws at howard university, no less, rand paul seems to have come around, after meeting with the coalition of african-american pastors in memphis this morning, senator paul told "the new york times" the gop needs to layoff voter id. it is offending people. and while that is great and he is to be commended, here is what's actually happening in more than 30 states, including right here in georgia. we are joining you live from
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georgia. voting is open for the may 20 primary. to cast your ballot or any ballot in georgia, you have to show a government issued photo identification, thanks to one of the strictest voter id laws in the country. joining me in atlanta, former president and ceo of the naacp. >> hey, good to see you. good to be here at sweet auburn. >> first of all, rand paul. what's your reaction to that? >> i think rand paul is finally coming back to his own values. people of his strain of republican politics typically oppose voter id for a very long time. the cato institute, that brand of libertarian, they're supposed to not like it. there was the koch brother money and tea party, and they got a little confused, but i think this is actually him talking. we are seeing an experiment across the nation in which the voter registration legislation is going to show up in a lot of
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cases more than ever in 2014. what are you expecting? >> that we have to organize like never before to overcome it. we have a play book, it comes from 50 years ago from freedom summer. there's a formula for overcoming voter suppression. it is a massive wave of voter registration and pushing people out to vote. that's the only way to do it. the thing is that we tend to think of ourselves as two time losers in some way. we had a reconstruction, but ended badly. had a new south, that ended badly. but we just out of segregation and slavery, we have power. we can sign folks up to vote and turn the tables. >> you have a situation now, a lot of people look at the dynamics in georgia, 30, 33% african-american. >> yes. >> there's another significant demographic, latinos, asians, fastest growing percentage. >> yes. >> influx of african americans
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coming back from the north to the south, and you look at the math, and it looks like it is pretty doable, in the foreseeable future, for the state to go blue. >> yes. >> but then you look at the statehouse and it is one of the reddest states in the nation. >> well, look, redistricting that statehouse will lag beyond the trends for about six more years. the only question is whether this state goes blue this year, in two years, or in ten years. the math is there now. we have 600,000 unregistered black votes in this state now. we have 230,000 unregistered brown folks and asian folks. if we could sign up 90% of them and only half turned out, the politics of the state would change radically. you could see a democratic governor here in 2018, you could see a democratic senator this year. >> right. >> but we have to organize.
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our job as organizers is make the future come faster. we can make it come faster, but we have to work on it. >> jason connor is saying what am i, chopped liver? >> he needs to organize. that's what i would say. >> you also have seen the conversation about voter id tends to be about race very much because of legacy of voter suppression is so heavily racialized. when you talk about that math, it is morally devious but also makes practical sense to try to make sure those folks don't come in off the sidewalks, right? >> that's right. >> they have every incentive to do this. >> we have been here before. you said there's an experiment being run, it is a bad experiment being rerun. right after the civil war our country saw extreme conservatives try to suppress the black vote, all right? and try to push immigrants of color out of this country. chinese exclusion act, similar to what we are seeing. the difference now is that the
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number is are intensely in our favor. the conservatives figured out that we will control the future. what they're trying to do is hold it off as long as possible. we need to internalize that we have the power to flip this state and this region now if we want it. >> right. >> there can be a lot of harm done in the gap between the present and future, right? one of the things we have seen about southern politics in the obama era, you have seen back lash politics, reactionary politics, voter id laws. there's a lot of harm done across the region on a whole variety of issues, even if that is out in the future or locked up somewhere in hundreds of thousands of people -- >> the yankees are used to things being dimmer, dial it up, dial it down. politics in the south is either on or it is off. dark and desperate or all of a sudden you break through. you can look at the moral monday
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movement not just here but in raleigh. 2006, 2007, 2008 in raleigh, we were passing the racial justice act. folks on the ground like r reverend barber were reforming. then you have 2010 and the switch is off again. frankly, the democratic party looked south, they say things haven't changed enough. why should we invest. if you invest, things will change. >> you can feel that activation switch. thank you, ben. all right. up next, georgia doesn't have a single statewide democratic office holder, one of the most conservative state governments in history, but there's a movement stirring to change it. live from suite auburn fest in atlanta, georgia. i am totally blind.
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we are live in atlanta. i am asking folks, what's the number one issue you think about for mid terms 2014? >> getting more democrats in office. >> getting more democrats in office. what have you got here. what are you worried about, thinking about? >> thinking about the voting rights act. last year the supreme court basically demolished the voting rights act. i think it needs to be restored and needs to make sure it includes all 50 states. we have seen ohio and all of the other states up north that weren't included being dishonest. >> i like that. nationalize the voting rights act. what are you worried about in georgia? >> i want guns out of our churches. this is the bible belt. we don't need guns, we need god on sunday. >> and expansion of medicaid. >> medicaid expansion. everybody on medicaid expansion? what else? what else? what are you worried about here in georgia. >> minimum wage. minimum wage. yes. >> do you have a state minimum wage in georgia higher than
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federal minimum wage? >> no. >> it is lower. >> you are at the federal minimum. so federal raise makes a big difference down here. >> absolutely. >> anyone else for the mid term? >> chris, i am ready for hillary in 2016. >> jumping to mid terms. we will be back soon. passenger: road trip buddy. let's put some music on. woman: welcome to learning spanish in the car.
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we are live from the sweet auburn spring fest in atlanta. when georgia governor nathan deal signed the safe haven law, it was the most comprehensive gun legislation in state history. critics call it the guns everywhere law, since the law that goes into effect july 1st
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let's residents with concealed permits take their guns almost everywhere from bars to churches, even school zones. now georgians are pushing back. church leaders advise them to leave firearms at home. a new poll out today shows ordinary citizens don't like the law much either. 59% giving it a thumb's down. despite the fact that 50% of voters said they believe owning a gun protects people. this happened courtesy of the republican legislature and republican governor who came to power in 2010 during the high tide of the tea party. everything from refusal to expand medicaid to drug testing food stamp recipients to cutting unemployment benefits. the question is are any of them going to face consequences in this year's election for what is looking more and more -- joining me, reverend raf eel. >> welcome to atlanta. >> wonderful to be here.
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you are giving us tremendous hospitality at the ebenezer baptist church, historical church of the king family. >> glad to do it. >> that's where you are pastor at this moment? >> fifth pastor of a church founded in 1886. so when we come, we stay a little while. >> so talk to me about overreach because there's a hope, i think northern liberals watch what's happening in a state like georgia or liberals outside the state of georgia, you watch this raft of legislation and want there to be some breaking point. you're wishing and hoping there's overreach. but i don't want to be wrong and be wishful thinking. is there back lash happening for real in the state? >> i think the passing of the gun law is indicative of a problem in american politics in this moment. the sense that there's a disconnect between where the people are and this kind of extreme legislation that's being passed. i mean, you could make the distinction between north and south, but i am not so sure about that. most georgians as the poll
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points outdo not support this law. the problem is we have the best politicians that money can buy. too many of our elected officials are owned by the gun lobby. georgia citizens did not want this law. and i can tell you as a pastor when we pastors say it is now time to pass the peace, we mean peace, not piece. >> the moral monday movement has encompassed a wide range of issues, congregating folks in protest against the governor, but the biggest thing you focused on is medicaid expansion. what's going on with that. >> we have been focused on this issue. it is unfortunate the governor decided not to expand medicaid in georgia. there are some 600,000 georgians in the gap. many of these people are working people. these are the people who clean
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office buildings at night, sit with other sick people, but don't have health care so they can't receive care themselves. we were lobbying for the governor to expand medicaid. he decided not to expand medicaid, and there's a bit of tragic irony, as pastor of the ebenezer baptist church. i am reminded dr. king said of all injustices, inquality in health care is the most shocking and most inhumane. our governor, nathan deal, on the very day he signed hb 990, denying expansion of medicaid, shifting authority away from himself to the legislature to ensure in his mind that this won't happen, minutes earlier to great fanfare he signed legislation authorizing a monument on the state capital in honor of martin luther king junior. dr. king deserves the monument, but i am clear and anyone that studied dr. king is clear, he
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would choose medicaid over a monument. he died to build a better world. and our message to the governor now and our message to our elected officials come november and may 20th is that you cannot remember dr. king and dismember his social vision at the same time. you cannot restrict health care and expand access to guns and celebrate dr. king. it is a deep contradiction, a moral contradiction, it is not the difference between left and right, it is the difference between right and wrong, and we intend to stand up and send that message. >> i want to highlight something you just said about how it went down with medicaid because i think it is fascinating. not only did the governor block medicaid and block billions of dollars in federal money and block health access, he signed
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away his power to make the decision. what is that about? explain that. >> when have you seen an elected officials sign away their power. it is a cynical political maneuver. he is feeling pressure from his base. clearly it is a big part of the gop mid term strategy is to run against obamacare. obamacare which has for some become a kind of a cuss word, if you will, because if you ask some of the same people who are opposed to obamacare, if you ask them individually about the actual content of the law, they say i like this, i like this, i like this, but i don't like obamacare. the republicans have done a great job of muddying the waters on this issue. but i think the tide is turning. people are signing up for the affordable care act, as people are seeing the benefits of having their children stay on their plan until age 26. here in the state of georgia, even those that do not support obamacare support medicaid expansion. and the governor made this
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maneuver, i think it is a tragic mistake. >> we will see how it plays out in the mid terms. thank you so much. >> great to be here with you. thank you. up next, common theme running through the republican primary here in georgia and in mid term elections across the country. live from sweet auburn spring fest in atlanta, georgia.
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i think it is a lie about common core, it was state led and voluntary. >> it is insidious. we are not dealing with flesh and bone. we are not dealing with that. we are dealing with evil. >> across the country, conservatives are rising up against something they call obama core, known to everyone else as the common core. mainstream republicans are railing against the standards, while fringe elements of the right wing pedal conspiracies of an end to our education system as we know it. >> this is a takeover, two plus two is five, teach five-year-olds to be transgender. if they can get away with that, they can do anything. that's what this is. >> we brought you the story of the right wing war on common core. we are joining you live from the
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sweet auburn spring fest in atlanta. less than two weeks to go, the establishment candidates are fighting for an edge in the republican primary race for senate. two candidates are ahead. business man david perdue and jack kingston. they're trying to outtea party each other, and the weapon of choice is not obamacare but obama core. atlanta journal constitution says mailers paid for by friends of jack kingston are showing up depicting perdue alongside obama dressed in graduation gowns. son of sonny perdue who helped launch common core educational standards in the state of georgia. perdue's position is more nuance than the mailer suggests. he told marietta daily journal in february the original intent, i agree with that, it is where it gets into details and leads of how it is going to be administered, that's how i have a problem with it.
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if that was enough to run "the ed show" attacking common core, he brought it full circle, saying obamacare for education. joining me, georgia house minority leader stacy abrams and state representative alicia thomas morgan. thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me. >> so what is it. you both worked on the common core in the state legislature. what's your feeling. you're a supporter of it. >> absolutely. how could you not support high standards for all kids across this country, particularly at the state level. we have been lying to kids long enough. it is critical we have high standards, high expectations for them, period. >> did you anticipate that you would see it become this kind of right wing back lash issue? >> absolutely. when you talk about something that the obama administration supports, in this state, it is red meat, we are pavilion
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loafian dogs when it comes to saying no. >> it was the obama common core. >> it was done by sonny perdue, david perdue's cousin, one of the architects of common core. it was lovely and wonderful when he was part of it. the minute president obama embraced it, it became evil. >> there is a lot of perdue common implementation, there's criticism from the left, activists, teachers, parents and all sorts of people, there's a lot of push back on common core not just from the right but from the left, saying it is privatization of education, that this is being written by people that only want to further private education. what's your response? >> my response is common core is important. it is true we have to make sure it is implemented properly and we have to work with educators and parents to make it work. in georgia we have had tremendous effort to fight common core and able to defeat that effort. >> did that effort to fight it mostly come from the right? >> absolutely, mostly tea party
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folks. but here is a coalition for the first time brings together georgia chamber of commerce, naacp, every education group you can imagine, parents and advocates. >> that was a fight you won in this state. >> we absolutely won. >> interesting. the politics are bleak if you just look at the numbers. i don't want to depress you, but there's 180 members of the statehouse, about 120 are republican. >> 119. >> one independent, the rest are democrats. looking at one-third, two third kind of situation. what's it like working in the statehouse where you're in that much of the minority? >> i think part of the important piece is as alicia said, we fought back and despite being in the minority, we have been able to maneuver pulling together interesting coalitions. this time we had the army standing with naacp, standing with democrats. when it was on fair tax issue -- >> so democrats helped put together the coalition that passed the common core in this state? >> that fought off an attempt.
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>> fought off the attempt to opt out. >> they go further and further to the right. democrats become the moderate middle, even though we are on the left, we become the center for the state. what we have been able to do is pull together coalitions to hold the center on critical issues, including common core. >> the racial politics in the south at this moment are intensely polarized on party lines. you see fewer and fewer white democrats. my understanding of the caucus, there's about 20 white members of the democratic caucus, the republican caucus is overwhelmingly white. so you have, you know, in rash terms, you have a black party and white party, or can look like that from the outside. how do you overcome that? >> by working together and finding values that we agree on. i will tell you our leader has done a great job across the aisle. we have to stop fighting all the time. >> how can you not fight when they're saying we don't want 600,000 to have health care. >> you fight when you need to.
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we fought hard to attempt to expand medicaid. there's no question about that. again, whether it is common core or other issues, when you can work together you do. and when you cannot work together, you fight really hard. >> are white democrats a species going extinct. >> absolutely not. >> convince me not. if you look at the numbers, the last 50 of them behind me, we will put them in a case, you look at the numbers and the trajectory, particularly at the elected level, it is a vanishing species, i don't mean citizens, i mean elected leaders. it has been a vanishing species. >> some of the reason was architecture of republicans during redistricting, they targeted white women to eliminate them from general assembly because we were starting to grow more white democrats. white women and men moving us from racial politics and to value politics, we were starting to win. they spent a lot of time redistricting.
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>> going after white democrats. >> because there is something to be gained from making those two distinctions on top of each other, in a state like georgia. >> the attempt was to resegregate our politics. the goal of our party the is to not allow it to happen. not only reenergize white democrats but add asian and latino. as long as it is a racial issue, they win. when it is a value issue, we win. >> stacy abrams and democratic state representative, alicia thomas morgan. nice to have you here. thank you very much. all right. and that is all in for this evening. live from sweet auburn spring fest in atlanta, georgia. atlanta, you're a great town. you watching at home should come down. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris, well done! i love barely being able to hear
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you over the deafening screams of your admirers. awesome. so good. i have set envy. thank you for being with us. happy friday. we have a big show tonight, one which involves a little monty python and a tiny, tiny bit of mitt romney. i'm sorry. but here we go. if you had the power of time travel and you could go anywhere and be anyone at any time in history, i would recommend against you deciding to be a woman in salem, massachusetts in roughly 1692 because from 1692 to 1693 in salem, massachusetts, salem, massachusetts went completely nuts. that community went into a panic over the fear of witchcraft. they put more than 200 people on trial, the salem witch trials, for being witches. a significant proportion of people they put on trial ended up getting drowned or burned at the stake