tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 1, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
they're still addicted to it. but as long as you've got the howard behl type characters like glenn beck out there. a lot of republicans are just going to flock to him. however i think peter finch did a better job of playing glenn beck, than glenn beck does. >> on behalf of the friends of howard behl, i don't go there again. i'm going to throw you a curveball because howard fineman has explained this markup of the insurance bill that would result in conceivably in criminal time if you don't buy the mandatory insurance. he said if baucus put it into the chairman's mark up and simply said that this would be handled as lawrence o'donnell suggested, it would be handled in terms of the finding of the irs and the irs does attach criminal penalties when you don't pay. so baucus is now saying that was a mistake, are we buying that. >> i think there's an effort here, sometimes to kill proposals by elevating those
penalties as an issue and that is what's going on. there's no question in my mind that baucus and some of the other democrats, conservative and moderate, and democrats in that committee are on the behest of the insurance industry, and this is one of the things they're up to. >> ironically enough, a poison pill in the middle of an insurance reform effort. craig, as always, thanks. >> that's "countdown" for this the 2,245th day since the previous president declared mission accomplished in iraq. i'm keith ownerman, good night and good luck. what you might call senator john ensign spent way too much time in the hamptons. ladies and gentlemen here is rachel maddow. >> now i'm never going to be able to get that out of my head, but thank you, keith. >> we already had the michelle bachman image from before. >> thanks for the nightmare. thanks, keith, and thank you at
home for staying with us for the next hour, during which i can honestly tell you it is going from big to weird to big to weird again. senator brad is going to visit a foreign country in order to tell that country to resist the united states, then he has that trip canceled against his will at the 11th hour. the national republican congressional committee decides to call me names. and the unexpected resource of some of the bold faced names from the bush era's republican scandal. and they're resurfacing in today's highest possible stakes, republican politics. there is a ton of news going on in the world and it's all coming up this hour, but we begin tonight with some big breaking news, the "new york times," in an article, a long article posted tonight, appears to have blown open the john ensign affair story with new allegations not about senator ensign's sexual misconduct, which we have known about for months since he admitted it, but with very serious allegations of
ethical misconduct an potentially criminal misconduct in the way that senator ensign tried to contain the damage from the affair. now john ensign, you will recall revealed earlier this year that he had carried on an affair with one of his campaign staffers, cynthia hampton. her husband's name is doug hampton. when doug hampton discovered his wife's affair with the senator, he confronted senator ensign. senator ensign promptsed to end the affair, but he didn't. and while he was still carrying on with mrs. hampton, he began looking for ways to get his mistress and his mistress's husband off the campaign. after some figuring with republican party senate campaign committee political director, and a few more calls to friends and contributors, none of whom
presumably new that ensign was -- senator ensign did eventually get doug hampton a job, a job apparently illegally lobbying john ensign's office. what we are now learning from the "new york times," was the extent to which senator ensign leaned on friends to hire hampton. and did favors for those companies that did him favors by hiring that guy. senator ensign directly contacted the secretary of transportation to try to resolve a d.o.t. investigation. another one n.v. energy. ensign contacted the secretary of the interior to get them to move faster on an n.v. energy project. the implications here are potentially criminal because senate ethics rules and federal criminal law prohibit senior senate aides from lobbying the senate for a full year after
leaving their jobs. doug hampton went right from his job in senator ensign's office, to a job lobbying the senate. john ensign not only knew that, if these new allegations are correct, senator ensign essentially got him that illegal job. and according to doug hampton, senator ensign knew what was happening might be illegal. quoting from the times, mr. hampton says he and mr. ensign were aware of the lobbying restriction, but chose to ignore it. federal ethics rules say criminal law have the attempt to influence from making any communication to or appearance with any senator or senate staff member for a year after their leaving their jobs, mr. hampton admitted he had ignored the restrictions. as for violating the one-year ban, he says he did so at mr. ensign's direction. for his part, senator ensign tells the "new york times," i am confident that we fully complied with the relevant laws and rules governing current and past
employees. i have worked on these issues for years long before doug hampton left my office. then there's the issue of another senator, republican senator tom coburn of oklahoma. although he said he had been intimately involved in the resolution of john ensign's extramarital affair, counseling senator ensign about the affair, senator co-burn 15id he would never talk about these discussions. mr. kcoburn said i was counselig him, and that is privileged community i will never reveal to anybody, not to the senate ethics committee, not to a court of law, not to anybody. he has now revealed it to the "new york times," admitting to them that he has personally negotiated a sitting u.s.
senator, personally negotiated a cash settlement between john ensign's lawyer and the lawyer for the husband of the woman that ensign was sleeping with. quoting from the times again, hampton's lawyer gave mr. coburn a figure, just under 8 1/2 million dollars to cover purchase of the hampton's home, lost wages and pain and suffering. mr. coburn dismissed that as ridiculous. mr. hampton came back with a lower number, about $2 million which mr. coburn passed on. mr. ensign flatly rejected that proposal, quote, that's a joke? forget it. mr. coburn recalls mr. ensign saying. this is a sitting u.s. senator. secretly negotiating a settlement for a colleague's elicit affair. as a deacon and a physician or something. mr. coburn who was once tight lipped about the whole situation, now tells the times, quote, john got trapped doing something really stupid and then
made a lot of mistakes afterward. judgment gets impaired by arrogance and that's what's going on here. still left unanswered are questions surrounding payments to the hampton family by senator ensign's parents. a check for $96,000 made out to doug and cindy hampton and two of their three kids. still don't know what happened for a third kid that he had to be left out of it. cindy and doug hanson -- ensen claims that this was just a gift from his parents to the hamptons and two of their three children. whether it was severance or a gift, it could be a criminal matter. ensign is not a staffer -- senators moms and dads. also still unexplored in john ensign's role in getting the son of his mistress a job on a campaign committee. this story has been given a lot
of new life. one of the reporters that broke the news on this story, eric lipton, congratulations on the scoop, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> first of all, i just said a lot about this case and about your reporting so i want to give you a chance to tell me if i have screwed anything up there in that introduction since you have looked into it in such detail. did i get anything wrong. >> just that the senator insists that his interaction with hampton was appropriate and that he never took action at hampton's request, all that actions were taken that were consistent with what hampton asked, the senator makes the distinction that his delivery of those requests were not as a result of what hampton wanted. >> in terms of potential criminal liability and ethics liability here though, it's not so much a question of what senator ensign did at doug hampton's request, isn't it simply a matter that doug hampton was lobbying john ensign at a time when he really was not allowed to be doing so. >> well, clearly, the rules
prohibit one year of lobbying communication with intent to influence and that is the obligation of doug hampton and so, you know, whether or not that's a strict violation of law is up to others to decide. the question for the senator is whether or not he knew of it, he participated in that, you know, perhaps in a proper lobbying and, you know, that then becomes a separate issue. so, you know, the culpability is different for each. >> do you feel that you were able to conclusively document that senator ensign did get doug hampton a job, that was essentially a job lobbying the senate, that he got him a job lobbying the senate in which he called upon to -- right after leaving his senate employ. >> there's no question that the senator made a series of telephone calls, that he spoke with a half a dozen executives in the state of nevada who received these phone calls and each of them recalled what the senator said, i have to say he's
coming back to the state. he's a good guy, would you talk to him. the senator in those conversations does not appear to be explicit that he wanted them to hire doug hampton to be a lobbyist. but that was how most of them interpresented it and in the conversations that they subsequently had with doug hampton and they talked about lobbying and in the two contracts that he ultimately signed both of them were government affairs/lobbying contracts. >> let me ask you about one other contract that has always bothered me about this case. and it is the question of the $96,000 payment and the new york city times has been able to post a copy of that check online and i have never seen it before, and i always wondered who it was going to be made out to, it was made out to doug hampton and cindy hampton and two of their children. the case was made by senator ensign's lawyer, that this was not a severance by any means, it was just a gift from senator ensign's parents to doug and
cindy hamp tonight and two of their three children. it doesn't seem credible. it seems like an impossible case. did you get any further either backstopping from the senator on that or any further explanation of that payment. >> there's -- just basically a disagreement here about what actually occurred. the hamptons both spoke with the senator individually in april of 2008 just before the payment was made. according to their account, the senator made it clear that this was severance, that this was to make up for the lost wages, and that the money was going to be about $100,000 and it was going to come from him and his wife. and then the check arrives, a few days later, and it's written out on this, you know, trust fund account, and then, you know, but all along the hamptons are under the impression that this money essentially came from senator ensign and his wife and, now, the senator's perspective on this is that, according to a statement made by his lawyer that this was a gift, by his parents and, you know, there's two different points of view and
we can't reconcile them at this moment. >> on the question of senator coburn, senator coburn had been very emphatic that he would not go on the record about what what his conversations had been like about the resolution of this affair. he even claimed that his silence on the matter was attributable to his status as a deacon. he then did talk to you on the record about what he and senator ensign discussed. did senator coburn give you any indication about why he had changed his mind about going on the record about this. >> we didn't really get into that and he didn't make what statement to us, i think that he felt that all the others that participated in the story that we had learned enough about the situation, we had spoke with all of the parties involved on the record. we knew exactly what his role was and so he decided then to address questions that we presented to him. >> new york timgs investigative reporter eric lipton, obviously great reporting on this story, congratulations on the scoop and thanks very much for your time,
sir. >> thanks for having me. after all that, you would think that running for eelection, senator john ensign would somewhere tied up the award for conduct unbecoming a u.s. senator 69 did you hear about the u.s. senate who wants to go abroad to tell a foreign country that they should resist the united states? and do you know who kiboshed his trip at the last minute? drama, next. our chefs just add less water from the start. ♪ so many, many reasons ♪ it's so m'm! m'm! good! ♪
a new clear armed iran is so extremely dangerous and an issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes beyond naive today and goes beyond poor judgment. >> such a statement betrays the depth of senator obama's inexperience and reckless judgment. these are very serious deficiencies for an american president topo says. -- to possess. >> and elections have
consequences, don't they? after a year after of bashing -- president obama is now officially followed through on then senator obama's promptses of robust direct diplomacy with countries whose behavior we want to change. today for the first time in nearly 30 years, u.s. and iranian delegates sat down for a face-to-face meeting, the subject was iran's nuclear program. they want to iran to allow inspectors into its uranium enrichment facilities. an agreement that would mean that iran wouldn't have enough uranium to ever make a nuclear weapon, according to diplomats speaking on the record tonight. so direct talks, progress, and the sky at last report has not fallen. an water.
let's say there's a military coup somewhere in the world. in some country in the world the military takes over and ousts the president and our government, the president of the united states is not cool with it. we don't always side against military coups. but in this case, we're really not okay with it. we refuse to recognize the new military government that ousted the president. we revoked the visas of members of this defacto government and it's supporters. we call for the president that was ousted by the military to be returned to office. our government makes it really clear that we do not recognize this coup, we do not recognize the legitimacy of this military
takeover of another country's government. now consider that a united states senator has decided that he's on the side of the coup. he's on the side of this military that's overthrown it's own government and as a matter of fact, as a united states senator, he's going to visit that country and his own country be damned, he's going to encourage the military government that has ousted their government in another country to resist our government, what his own government is trying to do there. what would you call that? is it a word that maybe starts with t and ends with reason? i'm just not sure what to call this. whatever it's called it's what senator jim demint has tried to do. the republican senator bragged via twitter of course that he was headed out to honduras
tomorrow. members of his staff also talked to the "new york times" in today's paper, one of the times one of the defacto government has denounced plans to visit the capitol of honduras on saturday. he said he intended to encourage the military leader of the coup and supporterses to resist, to resist the policies of the government of the united states of america? that's what he's advising a foreign country to do? but at the last minute today, there was a dramatic development, the state department, along with senator john kerry, chairman of the foreign relations committee, on which senator demint serves, on the strengths of his ad -- the state department and john kerry blocked senator demint's trip. senator demint then became furious that the policies of the government he supposedly serves has been this warted.
abc news news now reports and we now have confirmation from the senator's office that the trip is back on, because they have done a run around. mitch mcconnell got the trip authorized through the defense department instead of the state department and now demint is planning on going. once again, joining us now is steve clemens, he's a senior fellow at the american washington foundation. let me ask you about the late breaking part of this. senator mitch mcconnell supposedly getting this trip that had been canceled by the state department reauthorized shhh somehow by the defense department. could you explain how that might work. >> senator mcconnell did a flip-flop and moved the question of this, rather than go to the senator -- where john mccain and also democratic chairman carl levin run that committee and there are agreements on resources, so when a senator
travels abroad, there are resources, planes and whatnot and the agreement mitch mcconnell's own authority that went through the armed services committee and thus i'm pretty sure, though not absolutely sure that senator carl levin gave his assent to this, let the trip go on. what i find interesting in an untold part of the story, that senator luger didn't come to jim dement's defense when senator kerry moved to block this. it's great theater in washington. it reminds me of why this town is so much fun. >> what is demint trying to do here? you heard my introduction, i'm no expert on these things, but it looks like he's going abroad, specifically to not only undermine the unified policy of the united states government, but to encourage foreign leaders to resist the u.s. government, it seems like sort of an outrageous thing for him to be
doing. >> ever since the coup against zelaya, jim demint's been very open about his sympathies, he said that the real democrats are those military and other leaders that basically knocked the incumbent president out of force. the only problem is that not only does the united states government not recognize the new government in honduras, none of its neighbors do either. in fact the ousted president is sleeping in his pajamas on a couch in the brazilian embassy down there, gave a general assembly speech by cell phone. and i think what jim demint is now doing, because the state department has just begun to move the -- and some of the businessmen began to say, maybe they should have zelaya come back and then come through some process of legally getting rid of him, though allowing him back into power. demint went down and his staff said he was going to go down and commiserate with those folks and say, stand strong.
which technically is a violation of the law. there's a law that's not often enforced called the logan act that says you go confer with another government against your own government, they don't say treason but that's what they imply. >> is there a reason that the state department would have blocked him from doing this? i heard that senator kerry was blocking the trip was senator demint was holding up some state department nominations. he didn't say you're acting like a foreign agent, you're violating the logan act and your own government. >> tom shan unanimous is supposed to go to brazil as an ambassador. there's a very good academic in georgetown, which is slated by president obama to be the next assistant secretary. for republicans who have often talked about giving judges votes, they have engaged in blocking those two votes and another committee they blocked president obama's undersecretary for international affairs and
treasury and just not allowing them to proceed. so rather than saying you're a traitor and violating the logan act and engaging in other crimes, you're not allowing this committee to do its job, you're delinquent, senator demintd in not allowing us these two nominations with his ability to veto that, and by going down and using committee resources, committee planes and committee resources to go down to honduras, you're violating your responsibilities to your constituents and to the government of the united states and so we're going to block you, so senator kerry used a different means to block him of course now they co-miss rated with -- >> it's such a perfect illustration of the different ways that republicans and democrats do these things. imagine if this was a democratic senator and the republicans were in power, they would say over you violated protocol.
>> i was with senator mccain over at a thing they were doing at the museum, and mccain was saying we need to get beyond these ridiculous theatrics and people doing different things on each side of the aisle and i saw one of his former senior advisers and i thought what do you think of what senator kerry's doing and he said i really don't like that guy. >> steve clemmons, senior fellow of the washington note which is required reading. thanks very much for joining us, appreciate it. minnesota governor tim pawlenty has got his eyes on the presidency in 2012. his bold new strategy announced today to recapture the white house for his party is to surround himself with people who did some of the dirtiest of the dirty business of the republican party in the era of george w. bush, change you can believe. just a moment. raise health insurance premiums 4 times faster than wages. pay your ceo twenty four million dollars a year.
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today we got the most overt glimgs we have had yet of what it's going to be like to run for the republican nomination for president in the next election. today minnesota governor tim pawlenty became the first republican to put one foot in the race when he formally opened a new political action committee that he's calling freedom first. technically the formation of freedom's first is a way for him to raise money for former fellow republicans across the country. but in real life, it's his i really am running for president for real coming out party. and in the belt way media, the
announcement got glowing coverage. politico.com praised his heavyweight political figures and high level strategists that prove that pawlenty is a credible candidate for president. that's one way to look at it. or you could say that in putting together his team to try to seem like a credible candidate for the republican nomination for president, this little known this team that he's put together reads like the index of the big popup book of george w. bush era republic republican legal effort. a man named terri nelson, his former deputy chief of staff of the men national committee, known for being the guy in charge when the infamous new england phone jamming case went down. on election day 2002, the get
out the vote phone banks for democrats were hit with hundreds of computer generated phone calls, all at once which have blocked those phone banking efforts entirely. it brought their get out the vote operation to a halt. the man ultimately convicted in the phone jamming case was the political director of the republican party in new england. his supervise at the rnc, terry nelson, at the phone jamming criminal trial, terry nelson was on the list of witnesses the government intended to call though ultimately he never intended to testify. terry nelson got into the media consulting business. he started up a firm called cross link strategy group. and media advisor to the swift boat veterans for truth, that john kerry didn't deserve his war medal. in 2006, he did some more work for the republican national committee, which brought him to run ad campaigns against democratic senate candidates.
do you remember the really not subtle race-baiting ads that was run against tennessee democrat harold ford, you can tharng nelson for that. >> the republican national committee is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> harold, call me. >> yeah that, one, ultimately pulled off the air by the republican party and the widespread have vulation it called led to walmart firing terry nellson and his consulting firm because of it. i don't know if he couches a political key operative or a high level strategist, but either way, he does represent a meaningful choice for governor pawlenty. also named is a senior advisor for mr. pawlenty and praised by the media is a person named sarah taylor, taylor was george w. bush's white house political director from 2005 to 2007. why would somebody leave a job
like that in 2007. it's an odd year, it's not the end of a term, it's not keyed to any election, what's going on in 2007? >> sarah taylor stopped being the white house political director, she stopped, she moved on, 2007. hmm. >> did mr. rove or ms. myers intervene in the replacement of mr. cummings with mr. griffin? >> i can't answer that. i don't i have, i'm trying to answer your questions. >> can you not answer because you're privileged or you just don't know. >> i don't -- >> and then you said, i took an oath to the president and i take that oath very seriously. did you mean perhaps you took an oath to the constitution? >> i -- yes. yeah, you're correct, i took an oath to the constitution. >> did you take a second oath to the president? >> i did not. >> so the answer was incorrect?
>> the answer was incorrect. >> thank you. >> what i should have said is that i took an oath, i took that oath seriously, and i believed that taking that oath means that i need to respect and do respect any service to the president. >> no, the oath says that you take an oath to uphold and protect the constitution of the united states. that is your paramount duty. i know the president refers to the government has being his government, it's not. >> senator, i can't remember what i had for breakfast last week. i just don't recall any of those conversations. >> i assume what you had for breakfast last week has not been the subject of this considerable national attention. >> right, 2007. that's why sarah taylor stopped being bush's white house political director in 2007. she was kwilgt caught up in the u.s. attorney scandal and when the senate made her testify, she said she had sworn and oath to the president that she couldn't
remember her breakfast and that she couldn't even remember why it was she was refusing to answer questions about the scandal that ultimately cost the attorney general his job as well as hers, that's why she left that job. which means that tim pawlenty is getting belt way media credit, for picking for his team, and the person who resigned in disgrace from the bush white house during the u.s. attorney scandal. if he picked roberto gonzales to be his lawyer, would he get praised by the gop media for another heavyweight pick? if the republican party searches for meaning in the political minority, as it searches for a path out of the political wilderness, tim keeps getting credit for moderation, for a more centrist republican party than was represented by the bush years and it's aftermath. but it says a heck of a lot more
have as our guest, the owner of one of the best known topless clubs in dallas, texas. the topic of discussion, how she was given an award for stimulating the economy to newt gingrich. don't even think about missing this. but we have a couple of holy mackerel stories in today's news. first up, if there's any liberals watching this show right now, i won't presume there are, but i want you to know that the legacy of jerry falwell is doing something to you right now. the liberty counsel, an organization founded by the late jerry falwell, the same jerry falwell who blamed 9/11 on abortionists, feminists and the gays. the liberty council is calling on people to pray for a liberal. quote, since the landmark 2008 election, there can be no doubt that a very large percentage of our nation's leaders have a liberal mind set. so they have named the program
adopt a liberal. they can request that they pray for specific liberals. like nancy pelosi, they also suggest praying for olympia snowe, the senator from maine who's a republican. they also suggest prayers for michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york city, for the white house science and technology, for rarry reid and in their words, the unknown liberal, that could be you. the question is whether being prayed for should make liberals feel comfort or fear in this case. for the answer to that one, once again, we turn to the best fake presidential administration in help sodic tf history. >> excuse me, cj? >> yeah. >> bill stark, i'm with king speak, the magazine reaches over 15,000 christian evangelicals. i'm sorry mr. first briefing, i
think you did well. >> i can do better. >> i want to tell you that all 600,000 republicans will be praying for you. >> 600,000 evangelicals are praying for me, so we have that going for me. >> what are you talking about. >> it's true, god gave me this calling, 365 people in media. don imus, howard stern, all the late-night guys. this is the -- one, two, three, this is the editorial board of the "new york times," this isn't a good list, they're not praying for me because they like me, it's because i'm doomed to eternal damnation. you're on the list too pal. >> they can all leave. >> thank you "west wing." >> the prayer drives are kind of a passive aggressive way of saying mean things about you and your spiritual constitution. so los angeles liberty council. somewhere in america, someone you don't like is praying for
you too. and finally, china celebrated it's 60 anniversary of the country today sparing no expense. as we mentioned earlier this week, china's state-owned mobile company changed it's cell phone ring back sound, the sound you hear in between dialing and the other person picking, thaw changed it from the traditional ring, to this patriotic ballot. sung by jackie chan, no kidding. but that's not all. no patriotic mass event would be complete without a lot of synchronized marching of thousands of women from an all female militia unit, in miniskirts, go go boots and sub machine-guns. the festivities also included a big macho display of the nation's military power, a procession of weapons systems, missiles and of course warplane
we have one quick programming note for you, i will be a guest this weekend on nbc's "meet the press" hosted by david gregory. so far it's confirmed that the other guests are emt j. deion, mike murphy, the republican consultant, the u.n. ambassador susan rice and definitely, definitely not dick armey who i sat next to the last time i was there. aye it's sunday morning, of course "meet the press," i'll see you there, but first we'll be right back.
what to a topless bar owner have in common, aside from the option, both were solicited to receive an entrepreneur of the year award, both accepted an entrepreneur of the year award after forking out a $5,000 donation to the group that was offering the award. both of them had those entrepreneur of the year award invitation rescinded. who did all of that? newt gingrich, on september 9, his political action committee, gingrich's solution for winning the future, inviting allison vaga to receive her award at a
private dinner for the former speaker of the house. ms. viva said she would use the opportunity to educate mr. gingrich about the realities of the online porn market. a full week before ms. vivas received her award letter, the pin -- asking her to quote attend a very small intimate event that would celebrate her efforts to, quote, zim late the economy. after confirming that she would like to attend and after making the obligatory $5,000 contribution, she was disinvited. newt gingrich's group said it was a mistake and that they had confused her name with an organization in virginia. the problem with the letter is that the letter signed by gingrich, that letter was sent to her texas address and it specifically congratulated her
for, quote, being selected as one of our 2009 entrepreneurs of the year, representing texas. mr. gingrich's group also claims that ms. rizzo's invitation was sent, quote, at the same time as the other mistake, that would be ms. viva's invite, it should be noted that the invitations are dated a full week apart. so newt in the adult entertainment industry willy nilly, taking their money in return for an award that's really, really expensive to accept, but it does buy you a meeting with newt gingrich. and they apparently don't even know enough about the nature of the businesses they are offering these awards to defend themselves credibly when they get embarrassed about what the businesses are that they are giving these awards to. we called mr. gingrich's group for an explanation and they didn't get back to us.
joining me now is the owner of the lodge. thank you for being here. did i summarize that right, getting the entertain. and you said you would like to accept the award and then they took it back? >> pretty much. we got the invitation and the faxsimile of the award that she would get and the gavel she would be getting signed by mr. gingrich and a lovely menu. i tall called to thank them, we're honored to be a part of this. to confirm we were coming they said that's fine. you need to join the organization for the $5,000 annual dues. we did that and we got another nice letter from mr. gingrich
thanking us and we were set. booked our tikts and hotel and couldn't be happier about the whole thing. >> how did it fall apart? o. >> i got a call tuesday morning from a fellow, i guess, in the organization that finds these award winners and potential donors and said there had been a mistake. they were very apologetic, that they had been mixed up another dcg group, which is our corporate name. he didn't mention anything about being a gentleman's club. i didn't mention it to him. we didn't impersonate somebody. we didn't try to fool somebody. they came off us and we happily responded. now they decided there wasn't enough room for two dcg's at this dinner so we were being asked not to come. >> when you first got the communication did you think hmm, i bet he made a mistake here, or did you think they legitimately did want to honor you as an entrepreneur?
>> well, i thought they would be a lot more careful and they did just tell us a week before we were scheduled to be there. >> what i'm worried about here, and the reason we're talking about it on the show is it seems like maybe the american solutions group gives out these awards in kind of a scam. they seem to be giving these awards to groups they don't just know much about. to get the award and be associated with newt gingrich, you have to give $5,000. i imagine you got as much business spam and scam offers as any other business does. does it seem like to you like it might sort of be an uncool deal? >> we knew it was a fundraiser. we thought it would be a wonderful award especially with the gavel signed by newt and a picture with him. >> if he ever would reconsider, would you -- i guess would you
want to try to persuade him take you on again? having the gingrich-signed gavel in the club would be sort of a coup for you guys. >> well, i would. and i think our club has a lot to be proud of. the food is wonderful. it's a great place. we work with nice people. i think if he took a harder look at it. we're a good corporate citizen. we paid $2 million in taxes last year, employ hundreds of people. it was very embarrassing and just hurt our feelings. >> i understand. i can't apologize on behalf of gingrich but i'm sorry he did this to you and your business.
coming up, criticism coming from lindsey graham of all people. next on this show, the same kind of act nichl that the wisconsin tourist federation used to use. for what matters to you. introducing blueprint. blueprint is free and only for chase customers. it lets you choose what purchases you want to pay and those you split... interest...with full pay. you decide how to pay over time. if having a plan matters. chase what matters. eate your own blueprint at chase.com/blueprint. crunch time, wheat thins. you and your tasty whole grain. this can only end one way. (crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain. crunch. have at it.
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