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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 28, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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submission that is waiting for a determination by the department of justice. >> sure. >> i think we can expect the decision sometime in the next few weeks and i hope that that can be -- i hope that can be struck down as well. >> okay. katie o'connor, caroline heldman, thanks for joining us tonight. i appreciate it. i hope it's the tip of the iceberg for theç justice department. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. i'll have rick santorum with me tomorrow night on tape. i'll be in iowa tomorrow. "the rachel maddow show" begins right now. >> green, ed. tell senator santorum i said hello when you see him. >> i'll do that. i watched you last night. you're waiting for the santorum wave. it might be coming on to shore. >> it's so disturbing. thank you, ed. i appreciate it. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. we have legitimate breaking news to report right now out of iowa. with six days to go until the iowa caucuses there has been a
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rather dramatic development just moments ago tonight in the republican race for president. what you're looking at right there is a campaign event that is under way right now in des moines. it's a campaign event for republican congressman ron paul of texas who you see speak there. the two latest polls out of iowa show congressman paul in first place in the ppp poll and second place in the cnn poll. more on that in a moment. the breaking news tonight is ron paul appears to have scored a bit of a coup in his effort to win iowa. shortly before dr. paul took the stage there, in des moines tonight, an iowa republican state senator who's named kent sorensen was introduced to the ron paul supporting crowd. up until tonight mr. sorensen had been serving as an iowa state co-chair for the michele bachmann campaign. the reason he was being introduced at a ron paul roll was to announce he's switching sides. >> tonight's been tough for me. i've been serving as michele bachmann's state chair over the
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lastç year. and while michele has fought tremendously for my conservative values, i believe we're at a turning point in this campaign. i believe we have an opportunity to elect a conservative, somebody who holds our values dear. i want to tell you guys i'm going to do everything the next few days to help in iowa and beyond and we're going to take ron paul all the way to the white house in 2012. >> the co-chair of michele bachmann's iowa campaign tonight jumping ship and saying he is supporting ron paul. shortly after making that announcement, the ron paul campaign did put out a press release saying that man you just saw speaking there, state senator kent sorensen, resigned from the bachmann campaign effective immediately. it should be noted mr. sorensen was in attendance at a michele bachmann campaign event earlier today in iowa. he apparently woke up today as a michele bachmann co-chair but going to bed tonight as a
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supporter of the campaign of ron paul. big news tonight out of iowa. big news certainly for the ron paul campaign. this is one of msnbc contributor ezra klein's graphs of the year of 2011. he did graphs of the year to give you a snap shot of where things are in american politics and the american economy. this is one of them. he said it helps explain what the year has been like. this is a graph of the standings for the republican nominating process among iowa residents polled over the course of this year. this is the iowa republican polling this year. when you look at that graph, what does that graph say to you? any one thing? yes, that graph says one thing. it says chaos. and ifç not chaos, at least constant motion. even before this dramatic news about the michele bachmann campaign co-chair jumping ship to ron paul tonight, this was already proving to be the really, really fun part of the political year.
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stuff is just a mess in republican politics right now. there are a million things going on. behold, first we now have the first post-christmas iowa polling. so if you want a snap shot of what the race is like in iowa since the holiday this weekend, these are the first numbers we've got on that. as you can see here, the ron paul surge in iowa appears to be holding steady or even getting better. this is the poll out from public policy polling. they're putting ron paul as the front-runner in iowa. holding a four-point lead over mitt romney. this is the second straight ppp poll in iowa that's put ron paul in the lead. also of note from this poll, look at newt gingrich. newt gingrich has fallen to 13% in this poll. which puts him in third place. over the last 3 1/2 weeks in this poll, newt gingrich has gone 27% in iowa on december 5th, from 27% to 13% now. that is a 14-point drop in 3 weeks. here's another headline out of this poll, though. look who comes in last place in the ppp poll. former louisiana governor buddy
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roemer. there in last place. that is actually a good thing for buddy roemer relatively speaking because ppp never even asked about buddy roemer before this poll. last week, ppp sent out this tweet. it said, quote, buddy roemer just called and personally asked to be included in our polls and was very nice about it. so we'll do that for the duration. buddy roemer asked nicelyç and wa-la, now ppp is polling on buddy roemer along with the other candidates. officially now he's in last place. 2%. moving on up. contrast that with another bottom of the barrel candidate making news tonight. the former republican governor of new mexico, gary johnson. gary johnson actually gave up on the republican nominating process altogether today. mr. johnson in santa fe this afternoon announcing that he is leaving the republican race. and he's had it better than buddy roemer. gary johnson at least got into a coupuouple republican debates sr this year.
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he said today his deep disappointment with the process thusar is leading him to dump the republican party and instead run for the libertarian party's presidential nomination instead. in terms of dissatisfaction, though, with the available options in the republican primary so far, there was also this news today about sarah palin, governor palin once said on an alaska radio show that it would take a lot. it would take a huge, natural disaster, in fact, to get her to jump into the race for president. remember this? >> are you sure that we're not going to hear tomorrow that sarah palin decided, you know what, i'm going to run for president of the united states? >> you know, that would take an earthquake the size of the '64 great quake in, you know, the personal life and local political life to change that up. so i don't anticipate it. >> all right. if, in fact, there's a 10.3 earthquake somewhere on the globe today, you have to promise me you'll call this show first and tell us you've decided to run for president. >> i will. it's kind of morbid thinking, but yeah, 10.3.
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that's the marker. >> all çright. very good. >> 10.3, for the record, is significantly bigger than the great quake in alaska in 1964. those comments were enough to inspire a group of iowa sarah palin lovers to form themselves into a group called sarah palin's iowa earthquake. in other words, they would like to be the earthquake that causes her to get into the race. today we learned that they have started running this radio ad in iowa. >> are you unhappy with the current gop field? let me tell you something. you are not alone. join thousands of iowans as we vote rogue. it's the caucus for sarah palin on january 3rd. let iowa and the entire country know we want real leadership and real reform in d.c. so come on, iowa, vote rogue on january 3rd. paid for and authorized by sarah palin's iowa earthquake who is responsible for the content of this ad. not authorized by sarah palin. sarah pac. any candidate or candidate's
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committee. >> vote rogue on january 3rd, disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer, kiss cladisclaimer. we called palin's office and asked if it's a good idea for iowans to vote rogue and campaign for her on tuesday. we've had no response from her office. hope springs eternal. we got a second round of polling out of iowa today from cnn and "time" magazine. like the ppp poll i just described, this date to did come out today. in some cases, these were iowa voters being polled before the christmas holiday. it's being released on the same day. in some cases, these questions were asked earlier than the ppp poll. while the ppp poll had ron paul first and mitt romney second, this one has the top two reversed. mitt romney in first and ron paul inç second with 25% and 2 of the vote respectively. that interestingly reflects a five-point gain for each of them since the last time this cnn/"time" poll was done. where are they getting the five points each from? well, again, look at newt
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gingrich. mr. gingrich's support falling from 33% to 14% in this poll in less than a month. hey, i guess negative advertising works. when you lose 19 points in less than a month, there's plenty of your former supporters to spread around. so not only do ron paul and mitt romney get a five-point bump each in this latest poll, courtsy of newt gingrich's failure, but also the littlest bubble gets some help. that would be rick santorum rocketing up to third place in iowa. mr. santorum going from 5% to 16% in less than a month. again, some caution is warranted here. first of all, this is rick santorum. most famous for being ungoogleable for something he once said about having sex with dogs and for losing his own senate seat in a landslide. caution is warranted here. caution also warranted because as i mentioned the other poll out today, taken more recently, the ppp poll. look at rick santorum's numbers
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in the other poll, they show no movement whatsoever in rick santorum's numbers. so caution. if you are rick santorum, this kind of surge in one poll at this late stage in the political calendar, has got to be very excited. what better timing for the emergence of the rick santorum super pac? it's called the red, white and blue fund. today they launched this ç pro-rick santorum ad in iowa. apparently they're spending a quarter of a million dollars on it. for the other top tier candidates in iowa is a drop in the bucket. for rick santorum, that's a huge deal. i would say next things to watch on rick santorum are probably whether or not any other candidates take him seriously enough to go negative on him. and also whether or not fox news gets onboard with mr. santorum. they have postally ignored him thus far. but i think those two factors we've seen make a big difference in the dushrability of other
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candidates' non-mitt romney. the two factors will be worth watching. what do i know? i've been dismissing rick santorum all along. all right. one candidate who is not getting any headlines out of the polling from iowa today, not only not getting any headlines but not getting sub headlines out of the new polling from iowa today is rick perry who comes in fifth in both the ppp and the cnn polls that are out today. of note in the rick perry campaign right now is a new rick perry stump speech. "the des moines register" reporting today the perry campaign revamped his stump speech in what they're billing as his closing argument to iowa voters. the new vamped speech "the register" observed, quote, ends with a religious flourish, from the biblical book of isaiah. this would be said religious pick perry flourish. >> when the lord asked the prophet isaiah, he said whom should i send and who will go for us? isaiah said, fear not, send me.
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this is yourç country. taking her back is your call. join me in this mission. echo the words of isaiah. here am i. send me. >> rick perry now very focused obviously on closing the deal with religious conservatives in iowa. another sign i think of rick perry banking hard for the evangelical social conservative vote, his announcement at a campaign event in iowa last night sort of striking announcement he's changed his mind on abortion. he said, seeing mike huckabee's dvd about abortion has caused him to change his stance on the issue. even though rick perry is very, very antiabortion, he is for criminalizing it. mr. perry used to believe the government shouldn't force rape victims or victims of incest to bear the child of their rapist or of their incestuous attacker. now, though, after seeing mike
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puck huckabee's movie, perry -- he even teared up a little bit when he was explaining it. the new rick perry after seeing mike huckabee's movie is for no exceptions for rape or incest in his desire to criminalize abortion. one note on the abortion thing, the question to him was also whether he believed it should be legal to have an abortion not just in cases of rape or incest but also if that would be the only way to save the life of the woman who is pregnant. he did not answer about that. he only answered about rape and incest. so given that he's gone through a transformation on this thanks to watching mike huckabee's dvd, we called the perry campaignç today to ask whether mike huckabee's dvd also made hirick perry change his mind, change her mind about giving birth, even if it would kill her. no word on whether rick perry
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will continue watching movies on abortion and wheth abortion. in an interesting and risky gambit from the perry campaign, governor perry decided to weigh in on one issue that up until now had not been fodder in this presidential race. >> it really disturbs me that nearly after nine years of war in iraq that this president wouldn't welcome home our many heroes are a simple parade in their honor. >> we've been talking about this issue for the last few days on this show. i guess i should not be surprised to see this turning up as a partisan issue in a presidential campaign. but i am surprised. and rick perry does seem really desperate right now. i am a person who leans toward the idea that there ought to be a parade to mark the end of the iraq war. but i recognize that it's complicated. and everybody should note that this is by no means an uncontroversial position among iraq and afghanistan veterans. and current service members. a lot of whom feel it would be inappropriate to have an end of
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the iraq war parade while the afghanistan war is still raging. this is a sensitive and complicated issue. rick perry has put himself out on a limb on this. he's decided to make it a partisan issue. to make it something over which he will attack president obama as if not holding a parade means barack obama doesn't support the troops. and rick perry will get to bring that home to texas with him to keep him warm aéç night as soon as this is all over for him. which should be in about six days. do you want to talk about the truly growing caution to the wind in the ration rigce right . how about this today from ron paul? "talking points memo" today interviewing a pastor, the ron paul iowa campaign recently touted as a paul supporter. the supporter's name, robert fazier of the dominion church. turns out reverend cazer, praising his enlightening statements and support for ron paul. this guy also believes
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homosexuality in the united states should not just be outlawed but the punishment for being gay should be execution in the united states of america. how is that for small government? the ron paul campaign so far refusing to comment on tpm's reporting on this. so far, at least as far as we can tell, the ron paul campaign making no efforts to distance themselves from their kill the gays supporte erer who they've touting. if there's a big picture story to tell about iowa a week out, it's a story of constant motion, desperation and chaos. yay. the bottom line today is probably ultimately the same bottom line you would have had a year ago today. for all of the ups and downs and headlines and gaffes and scandals, -- mitt romney, in fact, telling a republican audience last night, i think i'm going to get the nomination if we do our job right. again, the breaking news in iowa
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this hour, the stateç co-chairf the michele bachmann campaign just up and jumped ship and endorsed ron paul. live and in the flesh at an event tonight in des moines. we'll be back with nate silver in just a moment to find out what that might mean. we'll be right back.
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metamucil uses super hard working psyllium fiber, which gels to remove unsexy waste and reduce cholesterol. taking psyllium fiber won't make you a model but you should feel a little more super. metamucil. down with cholesterol. again, tonight's breaking news out of iowa, the state co-chair of the michele bachmann for president campaign has tonight turned up at a ron paul event in iowa and announced he is jumping ship. he is leaving the michele bachmann campaign of which he is
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state co-chair and throwing in with ron paul instead. joining us now is "new york times" spreadsheet psychic and founder of the political calculous blog, nate silver. thanks for being here. >> yeah, thanks, rachel. >> i realize this is breaking news and it is spectacularly nonquantitative. if there was going to be a benefit to ron paul from he who formally supported michele bachmann, what would we look at to discern that? >> the polls are going to change on a daily basis from here on out. one thing we learned, the newest poll really is usually the best. people are still making up their minds, about 6% of voters will decide in the last week essentially. looking for any movement at all. i think this is more bad news for michele bachmann than it is fo good news for paul. bachmann, perry and santorum are competing for the same group of voters and all were at 10%.
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each time the candidate is not viable, that the ship is not sailing the right direction, could lead voters to abandon that ship and jump on to santorum's campaign or perry's campaign instead. >> is there any evidence of any consolidation of we've been calling non-romney voters, toward any of the other campaigns? >> you can make the argument for santorum based on one of the polls today, based on the fact he got this tentative endorsement from the family leader, the evangelical group last week. that he has a lot of staff in iowa. the press seems to have decided it's turn to have a surge. the media is really important in dictating momentum in the primaries. it seems like right now, hey, you know, it's the story -- it's a slow news week so people are boarding up to cover rick santorum's campaign. he does have some support in the numbers. in the cnn poll he's up to 16% which is not that far out of first place. >> in terms of the significance of the polling at this point and
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trying to understand not what's going to happen in iowa but the importance of iowa, though. you're saying it's more important to watch movement in the polls than in is to watch any one poll? >> what's weird, you want to look at momentum, right? you want to look at who going to perform well relative to expectations. in 1984, gary hart finished second place with 17%. walter mondale had 50%. hart got the momentum somehow because he was only supposed to get 9% instead. seems a big failure for mondale. candidates really have to watch how they manage expectations. you have voters behaving tactically. if rick santorum looks like he can wins a lot of people think of himç favorably in iowa. if he's not viable, they might vote for a gingrich, perry or bau bachmann instead. voters are smarter than a lot of campaigns give them credit for, where they want to make sure their vote counts. the calculation can change day-to-day and be effected by the polls. >> the point you made there is
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so key to understanding the viability of ron paul. because if the republican establishment including all of the other candidates never see ron paul as viable, they will never go negative on ron paul. if they never go negative on ron paul, voters who are not part of the establishment, because they're just voters, may never see the downside of ron paul that the establishment assumes everybody knows. and he may be able to hang in there longer than people expect. >> ron paul could hang in there until the convention. i do think he most likely has a cap on his support, though. if you want to get past the 20% of true libertarians or true believers in ron paul, whatever you want to call it, he has a lot of positions not within the republican mainstream. he's basically not really a republican. he's probably more a republican than a democrat. his positions are different and unorthod unorthodoxed. >> voters have to know that. if none of the other candidates put out nasty attack ads against ron paul pointing that stuff up, it's up to fox news. >> the romney people can throw a few of the romney pacs i guess can throw a few elbows.
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if rick perry recovers, he loves to throw punches. if ron paul wins iowa, you'll see more negativity. if he wins new hampshire, you'll see -- >> complete chaos. >> complete chaos and complete panic. romney is smart enough to know maybe ron paul winning iowa prevents a candidate like gingrich who might be more viable,ç that might be good fo mitt romney. it's not good for mitt romney if he were to lose new hampshire under any circumstance at all. you could have a huntsman rebound or have someone come back in south carolina and make the race more complicated. mitt will go negative on paul as soon as he needs to. >> and as soon as he figures out how to. what you were saying about south carolina there is what we're going to talk about next. i feel like horizons are already turning to south carolina because of the chaos here. this is a great deal of fun to cover. thank you. >> thank you, rachel. >> nate silver. when you call up cabinet
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agencies in south carolina, the person picking up the phone say it's a great day in south carolina. they do that because the tea party backed governor of south carolina mandates they say that. no matter what kind of day it is in south carolina. just a moment, why that is proving to be a really annoying decision not just for anybody calling the state of south carolina, but also for the governor whose bright idea that was. o pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
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occupy the iowa caucuses. you knew it was coming. nobody had any idea how much it would freak out the iowa
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on tuesday, someone will win in iowa.
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if it's mitt romney who everybody said could never do that because he's not conservative enough, that women be a big deal. unless you're one of the people for whom the earth shook in 2008 when mike huckabee won in iowa. nu polling from cnn and "time" magazine showing romney ahead in the race that will follow iowa, way ahead in the new hampshire primary that takes place a week after iowa on january 10th. quote, romney who owns a house in new hampshire earned 44% followed by mr. paul with 17%. if it's one of this year's huckabees who wins, a ron paul, a rickç perry, a michele bachmann, a rick santorum. if one of this year's huckabees wins iowa and mitt romney wins new hampshire, everything will have gone according to plan. we'll be no closer to knowing who the republican nominee for president will be. the first race will be an open question politically, will be on
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the saturday january 21st contest in south carolina. >> you have to win south carolina. everyone who's won south carolina has been the nominee. every single one. >> iowa and new hampshire are fascinating to watch, but south carolina might really be the race to watch in terms of how things are going to go in this nominating process. mr. gingrich there describing south carolina as a must win. he's previously described it as his firewall. south carolina is the kind of place where mitt romney is not expected to be able to win. just as he's not necessarily expected to be able to win in iowa. it should be noted mitt romney's locked up an endorsement from south carolina's republican governor, nikki haley. >> governor, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. it's a pleasure to be with you. it's a great day in south carolina. >> joining us now, the governor of the great state of south carolina, nikki haley. good morning, governor. >> good morning, it's a great day in south carolina. >> the republican governor of the fine state with us right now. governor nikki haley. governor, good to see you.
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do you have any horses in this race? >> hi, neil. first of all, it's a great day in south carolina. >> noticing a pattern? it is not just a personal crusade that the governor is on there. she actually makes people in south carolina say that. by her order. seriously. >> whenever someone calls your department, we needç to say, "it's a great day in south carolina, how can i help you?" every person. not just the main line. every single person that is called. "it's a great day in south carolina. how can i help you?" >> by order of the governor. today two south carolina legislators filed legislation saying, oh, please top it. saying that nobody should be forced to answer the phone with governor's mandating cheery greeting, quote, unless is really is a great day in south carolina. this has a trigger. no state agency can force its employees to answer its phone with it's a great day in south carolina as long as state unemployment is 5% or higher.
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it would also outlaw the greeting as long as all south carolinians do not have health insurance. and it's not just the great day thing that is sticking in the craw of some south carolinians. a recent winthrop poll shows governor haley's approval rating dropping by double digits. governor haley facing a scandal over e-mails, an independent panel supposed to be studying how to implement the law in south carolina. e-mails unearthed by "the charleston post and courier" showed the governor dictating what the supposedly independent health panel would find. when "the post and courier" tried to get access to the governor's e-mail that were public records, the governor's office refused to turn them over. governor haley's problems are not necessarily the biggest problems for republicans in south carolina. last friday the federal department ofç justice shot do
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what south carolina republicans have been working on this year, the new republican-backed voter i.d. law. an i.d. law that would require voters to show documentation in order to vote that they've never before had to show and thousands of south carolina residents do not have. the justice department saying the law would target minority and lower income voters. the day before the justice department struck that south carolina law down, a judge rejected key provisions of something else south carolina republicans have been working on all year. the republican backed immigration law. blocking the most contentious part of the law that requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of any suspect they believe may be in the country illegally. the judge banning provisions that make it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant. the fate of the republican nominating process in its early stages they hang on republicans in south carolina. it's really not looking like a great day in south carolina now for that state's republicans. it's not looking good when it
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comes to running the actual south carolina primary, itself. earlier this month stephen colbert, yes, stephen colbert offered to pay for a chunk of the south carolina republican primary because, quote, the south carolina republicans and local officials were at odds over who would pay for the election. colbert says he reached out to the party to offer to subsidize the cost through his colbert super pac and was told it would cost $400,000. the state republicans rejected stephen colbert's offer. now the taxpayers will have to pay the bill instead. ultimately the south carolina supreme court decided the state's counties will have to footç the bill for the cost of the election. so south carolina can't even figure out how to pay for its republican primary. it's thinking about sticking the bill with the taxpayers and it's having to turn down a comedian born in the state who says he'd like to help out. so i say, again, is it really, really a great day in south carolina for all of the nation's attention to be about to turn
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there on the state's republicans? joining us now, somebody who's been writing extensively about this. brian hicks, a columnist for "the charleston south carolina post and courier." mr. hicks, thanks for joining us tonight. >> it's good to see you, rachel. >> let me ask you first if i got anything wrong in the description of what's going on in south carolina politics. you watch it from a much closer vantage point. >> it's a great day in south carolina if you're a political columnist. but i don't -- >> let me just ask you, if as a political columnist if you could tell me if this is sort of unique in south carolina politics right now or if it is always this great. >> well, every year it's abundantly clearer that these are the descendants of the people who started the civil war, but they're really raising the bar this year. it's, thezgí[fvnceiyéoñi2lwnacy charts. >> when mitt romney announced
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his endorsement by south carolina's governor, nikki haley, the first thing that made me think was, oh, i bet newt gingrich is annoyed by that. newt gingrich described south carolina as his must-win state. the second thing i wondered is whether or not an endorsement by governor haley goes very farç with the republican electorate in south carolina. what do you think the effect of that endorsement will be? >> i don't think it has a very big effect at all, rachel. in fact, the only thing i really think it's going to do it alienate her from the tea party a little more than she already is. >> why is she alienated from the tea party now? >> they've, well, she ran an transparency. that was her only issue. and she's not been very transparent and the tea party has been calling her out on that and so cozying up to mitt romney who's no friend of the tea party is not going to help her very much. >> in terms of the overall sort of state of the party, south carolina knows that it's going to be important in the national
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race by virtue of the earliness of its primary contest this year on january 21st. but in the sort of immediate aftermath of the mark sanford scandal, with governor haley proving to have problems as you're describing even with the people who you think would be most closely alied with her, with the logistical problems they're having over who's going to pay for the primary, the thing they're having with stephen colbert, the other scandals going on with their main legislation being overturned by the federal government and federal judges. should the rest of the country understand south carolina republicans as having organizational difficulties that will effect this nominating contest? >> that's a very nice way to put it. yeah. it's a little bit of chaos down here right now. the party's really split into two pieces. there is the mainstream republican party and then there isç the tea party that's sort
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the tail wagging the dog here. the republican part is livid. they can't stand the tea party people, but they're scared to death of them. so they're going out and doing all this crazy stuff that they're asked to do and gritting their teeth. and it's really -- it's really a train wreck. >> brian hicks, columnist for "the charleston south carolina post and courier." i've been enjoying reading you on south carolina politics for a long time. i'm happy to talk to you tonight, sir. thanks a lot. >> thank you very much. just ahead, newt gingrich's fix for the economy, a glorious policy he likes to talk about as if it's theoretical but we have tried for a very long time and it worked very, very poorly. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
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i just don't threaten obama electorally, i threaten him intellectually and threaten their model of how the world works with the reagan supply side model. they're very fundamental fights. >> that's newt gingrich on the bus today in iowa speaking with nbc's chuck todd, describing himself as an intellectual, mortal threat to president obama. as for the part about being a mortal threat, the new cnn/"time" magazine poll number out of iowa today showsç the formally front running mr. gingrich dragging around in rick
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santorum land in iowa which santorum surely is delighted with but i'm sure newt gingrich isn't. take the other part of what mr. gingrich was saying on the bus, not the typically grandiose thing about the mortal threat, but the reagan supply side model and how that's a fundamental political fight to have in the country. there he may be on to something. a few months after taking office in 1981 in the middle of a tremendous recession, president reagan announced his plan for s saving the economy. his plan was tax cuts. big tax cuts. even for the highest income brackets. be brave, he told america. let wealthy people getting even wealthier pull the country back to prosperity. the year ronald reagan was elected, the wealthiest 1% of americans earned $110,000 a year. by 11 1990, good times for the rich. wages for the top 1% rising by 80%. let's check on the others, shall
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we? these are the average wages at the bottom of the economic ladder. the same decade, not so much, flat as an iowa corn field. whopping 3% rise in wages which might as well be nothing. the already wealthy get an 80% rise in wages. everything else gets squat. another way to look at it, family income growth, trickle down economics. family incomes up 73%. woo, deck the halls with lots of money. everybody else, hope grandma sends skqáhing nice because your family income is going nowhere. the poorest americans actually slid back by more than 4% under reagan-style economics. supply side trickle down reaganomics is not a theory. we tried it. this is what it did. this is also what newt gingrich would like more credit for. >> '78 i run as a supply side candidate. reagan at that point is not a supply side candidate.
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>> newt gingrich saying in essence i got there first. this chart should have my name on it. i'll be the mort l threat on here. today in iowa, 100 or so people from occupy the caucuses turned up to occupy mitt romney's campaign headquarters in des moines. they said mr. romney should release tax returns which he's thus far refused to do. these images come from "the des moines register" which has done a great job covering this story like it matters and it does. occupiers said he should give back campaign contributions he's received from corporations including from executives like banks at wells fargo. seven occupiers were arrested at romney hq today. others were arrested at the bank, at wells fargo. protesters, a lot from iowa, a lot from elsewhere. one of them was from a town talltall called ten sleep, wyoming, which is the middle of the middle of nowhere. occupy the caucuses has been in the works for months now.
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yesterday they held their first protest deciding where to go today. the fight of the election, maybe that is the fight of it is,ç nt the 1% but the 99% are determined to have their say in that fight, too. joining us now is ed fallon, a former iowa state legislator and a small scale chicken farmer, one of the occupiers who on the streets in des moines today. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> good to be here, rachel. >> i don't mean to be casting aspersion on the size of your chickens or your chicken farming. a lot of people are looking at the occupy caucuses and wondering is that people just going from zuccotti park to iowa or are there iowans doing this too? how would you describe who has been protesting? >> 95% of us are iowans. we also bathe regularly.
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it's really rank and file people who have jobs or who have lost jobs and looking for them making time in their busy days to camp out, to organize, to protest, to try to move this country back in the right direction. >> i'll wa's republican party sounded today a little freaked out by the 99% movement, by the occupation. they said they will tabulate the results of the caucuses in a secret location this year because of their concerns about security. should the iowa republican party be afraid enough to be doing that? what's your reaction to their decision? >> the iowa republican party tends to like secrecy, period. we've seen that in the govern bransted administration this time around. no, we've made it clear time after time that we are not disrupting the iowa caucuses. i've been going to iowa caucuses since 1988. i love the iowa caucuses. i'm going to keep doing itç an go to it this year. most of us involved in the
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movement will probably be going. again, no matter how many times we say we're not disrupting the actual caucus and don't want to get in the way of people's right to vote, the head of the republican party and the voices on the oo right are going to continue to try to ma line us to make us look like a threat to people's right to vote. not true. >> how do you think iowans should expect to see the 99% movement unfold over the course of this week? what should they expect to see you doing in the upcoming days and on caucus day? >> the people's caucus last night was a great kickoff, our way of saying we're tired of seeing the average person go last. we're going to jump ahead of the iowa caucus. florida usually does that to us. but we jumped ahead. we had the people's caucus. we had our resolutions introduced and broke into preference groups. about 30% wanted to occupy obama's headquarters. this is not just an anti-republican movement. about 60% wanted to occupy a
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republican candidate's headquarters and 10% were undecided. today was the first day where that occupation began, focusing on mitt romney. tomorrow, i think obama, since he was fairly popular at our people's caucus will probably be a target of the movement. it's hard to say where it will i rñ obviously, you have run fo office. you've served in the state legislature as a democrat. with no democratic caucuses, nothing democratic contests this year and the focus really on the different republican candidates, in the discussions that you're having with people, and in the i guess the interactionsç that yor direct action is sparking, do you feel like there is overlap, at least room for discussion between the occupy movement and the republican party? itsideals and its policies? >> i think there's plenty of room for discussion on both sides of the aisle. people are pretty dissatisfied with obama, even people like me who worked hard for him.
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i think a lot of iowans will be voting uncommitted. it's won the caucus three times in the past. that won't be unprecedented. i think on the republican side, there are people who are going to go uncommitted there as well but there are certainly people interested in ron paul because of his stand on the wars, afghanistan and wars that might be breaking out elsewhere. and also his opposition to the patriot act and to the recently passed detention provisions in the national defense authorization act. there are people who find fred cargill's message of quality for gay and lesbian americans empowering. he's a republican activist running as well on that side. i think what some people liked what gary johnson had to say about immigration reform. some people were pleased with what huntsman said about climate change. overall, there is grave dissatisfaction with the field of candidates across the spectrum. and i think that's why this movement is so important that
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it's not -- i mean, to me, voting is very important. we also have to have a protest movement in order to let it be known that people are really, really fed up, are sick and tired. again, one thing we're trying to do in iowa is connectç the dot between the corrupt political culture and corporate culture and the line of money that flows between the two. we saw that today moving from romney's head quarters to wells fargo. >> ed fallon former iowa state legislate tore, current occupy the caucuses activist. i keep thinking i'm saying kaw carobia. >> that would be a little far for us. we'd miss our -- >> at this point it doesn't seem that unprecedented the way these things are spreading. go ahead. >> i would miss my chickens. >> fair enough. with the delay and everything. >> don't send me there. >> thank you very much for helping us explain this to our viewers tonight and good luck over the next few days. really appreciate it.
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>> thank you. right after the show on the last word, lawrence o'donnell introduces you to the comedy stylings of former pennsylvania senator arlen specter. turns out he's a raumpbly late night comic. that's coming up. when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief? try bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream fast and rushes relief to the site of your tough pain. it's proven to relieve pain twice as fast as before. bayer advanced aspirin. what's going on? we ordered a gift online and we really need to do something with it... i'm just not sure what... what is it? oh just return it. returning gifts is easier than ever with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. plus i can pick it up for free. perfect because we have to get that outta this house. c'mon, it's not that... gahh, oh yeah that's gotta go...
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resolve to give to the american red cross, and you'll provide hope, help and compassion -- every day. give something that means something. donate at today. a couple of updates on the breaking news out of iowa. the story of the co-chair for michele bachmann switching sides tonight and endorsing ron paul. here he is tonight explaining his decision. >> we watched the last few weeks as the republican establishment has come against ron paul. and i believe that he came to my side in my senate race. i had a tough senate and house race before that. both himself and his team has come to my aid. i believe it's my duty to come to his aid as well and help put him over the top.