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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 9, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EST

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much. that is "the ed show" i'm ed schultz, the "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, thank you, thank you for staying with us for the next hour. last night in the midst of rick santorum winning the minnesota caucuses and the colorado caucuses and the missouri fake thing that didn't count for anything, there was an odd, hereto fore unexplained moment. this is rick santorum walking on the stage to his victory party, as you can see, there is a small group of people who are also going to be standing behind him as he speaks. now what you are about to see is rick santorum turning to those people, that smaller group of people up on the podium with him, and he shakes their hands one by one. let's play the tape. hugging his wife, karen, and then he shakes that guy's hand,
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and then he shakes that guy has hand. shakes that guy's hand. gives that guy a thumb's up. he awkwardly passes over the guy in the green tie, keeps going down the line, did you see that? watch it again. can we play it again? watch, guy until blue gets a handshake, guy next to him gets a handshake, thumb's up after the handshake, not you, dude in the green tie, totally passed over. what about the green tie guy? that guy, who rick santorum woulds on s on not touch, as he hes everybody else, that guy would be rick santorum's billionaire benefactor, that is a man named foster freeze. a month ago when jon huntsman was in the race, talked about three billionaires who would drag out the race. three candidate cost stay in the
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race because they had billionaires who could fund them. for jon huntsman his dad, for newt gingrich the casino guy, sheldon adelson. for rick santorum, foster freeze, the green tie guy. in rick santorum's moment of triumph, there was foster freeze, in the green tie. not being touched by rick santorum. you can imagine one of his accountants telling him don't be photographed shaking the hand of your billionaire, you and your pac aren't supposed to coordinate. maybe a handshake is coordinating, don't touch him in public. last time rick santorum had a good night in this campaign, the last night he won a state was iowa. and once again, in iowa, who is that? rick santorum giving the speech, who is behind him? there is his billionaire. we went through the tape from mr. santorum's victory speech in iowa, inch by inch, frame by
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frame and he may have touched his billionaire at that event. watch this, this is right after mr. santorum finishes his speech. his billionaire slides over to kind of congratulate him, and then the two of them appear to engage in about 10 seconds of conversation, not definitive from the tape mr. santorum is touching his billionaire but appears to be a handshake type of situation. this is the citizens united world we are living in. you don't need campaign donors anymore, you need a donor. rick santorum has one. in iowa the campaign proper for which he needs campaign donors, it spent $22,000 in iowa on ads. $22,000. how much did his billionaire spend on him? $537,000. in iowa. that is how much the rick
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santorum pac spent. i think we are capable of putting this on a graph, can we try? here we go. this is rick santorum's total campaign spending on ads in iowa compared to what the pac spent, the pac supported by his billionaire. i believe this is to scale, if it is not to scale, i quit this job. i hope you will enjoy the new two hour long "the ed show" or whatever they put on. i think that is to scale. but this is what billionaires can do for you now. you need one, one person you do not need to attract anybody else's money. that is good for rick santorum, because he cannot seem to attract anybody else's money. after his big wins last night, rick santorum went on the cable news morning shows to brag about how thanks to his big night last night, he had raised --. >> one million dollars. >> no, actually, that small sum from the austin powers movie, that would be four times what rick santorum was bragging this morning that he had raised.
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>> i think last night we raised a quarter million dollars online. we're doing really well. >> that's great. a quarter million dollars you did not have before but in the con debt of your presidential campaign, a quarter million dollars, after winning three states? that is nothing. buzzfeed posted a graph as an explainr of the problem with rick santorum's candidacy. look at this. at first glance you're thinking what does this mean, this tells me nothing, a blue line. actually, look carefully, this is two different lines. the wiggley blue line is mitt romney fundraising over time. the peaks on the romney graph for a single day are like 2.5 million, up above 1.5 million another day. that blue line is the romney line. there is another line on the graph. that red line at the bottom is not just the x axis at zero in the graph, that is rick santorum's fundraising, over an
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eight month period. see how it looks like zero? rick santorum as the headline says, couldn't ever raise any money. but again, this year you don't need donors, you only need one. rick santorum has got one, green tie guy. this is the brave new world in which this presidential race is happening, anybody can play. any junior leaguer can compete in the major league you need one guy in a green tie that won't touch new public, even if your last contest you lost your senate seat by 18 points when you were an incumbent like rick santorum did, this year if you have one billionaire who smiles at you on stage, one guy who loves you that is all you need, you're top tier. money isn't everything, it helps if your main opponents have favorable/unfavorable ratings that are this bad. that one on the left is mitt romney. the one on the right there is the good thing we made them tiny.
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the one on the right is newt gingrich. both of them if you get out the microscope you can tell are upside down. the red numbers -- red lines being unfavorable, gray lines being favorable. you would like your favorable numbers to be higher than your unfavorable numbers in both of these cases they are not. so it helps to be running against guys who the electorate dislikes as much as they dislike mitt romney and newt gingrich. even in today's anyone with a billionaire can play atmosphere, evidence went newt gingrich and mitt romney so dramatically disliked by the electorate, still last night's results are stunning. less stubbing in terms of how far up rick santorum has come, anything could happen there, but mostly stunning for how far down mitt has fallen. last time around in colorado in 2008, mitt romney won in a landslide. he got 60% of the vote in 2008. this time around, he dropped 25 points. he got less than 35% of the vote, and he lost the state.
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the total vote count is worse. he got roughly 42,000 votes in 2008, last night the number dropped by almost half. in minnesota same deal, mitt romney had 41% of the vote and won the state in 2008. last night, he got, look, look, less than 17%, a drop of 24 points. the total vote count is worse. he had about 26,000 votes last time, this time, 8,000. now missouri's primary was non-binding. but mitt romney lost there as well to rick santorum. like those other states, mr. romney got a smaller percente of the vote in missouri than he did the last time around and fewer votes overall. that said i think it's not worth reading in the missouri numbers because it's not binding, there will be another contest in missouri next month that will count so we'll count it then. mitt romney if you look at last night technically did lose three contests. if you discount missouri, just looking at what happened in minnesota alone, is an almost inexplicable disaster. can we put the minnesota slate back up? look at the numbers. 24 point drop for mitt romney from 2008 to this year.
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which is 17% of the vote, mitt romney did not win a single county in the entire state of minnesota. this is a state he won the last time around. and it probably appropriate for me to mention at this point that mitt romney didn't even come in second in minnesota. mitt romney won it last time. but he came in third this time. rick santorum won, ron paul came in second. mitt romney couldn't beat ron paul in minnesota. if dell grates are awarded in a way that follows the results, rick santorum will get every single one of minnesota's 37 delegates. mitt romney will zero. rick santorum gets them all. mitt romney won this state in 2008. did the entire republican population of minnesota move out of state to be replaced by all new republicans in the last four years? what happened? was there some sort of mass exodus missed by the national media?
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there is no way this makes sense on its own. i need a minnesota republican to explain to make sense of this for me. i hear we have one. joining us tonight from his home state of minnesota is the state's former governor, former presidential candidate and outspoken supporter of his former rival, mitt romney and man who cringes when i call him my welcome guest, tim pawlenty, thank you for being here. >> now i know why my campaign didn't work, i didn't have the guy with the tie or woman with the tie. the light bulb has gone on. i appreciate the the austin powers clip. can you remember the name of the hairless cat or dog that was austin powers pet in the movie? >> no. >> it was mrs. bigglesworth. >> you needed a mrs. bigglesworth. you dropped out of the race in
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august you said you were dropping out because for the simple fact you were out of money. were you not there at the cocktail party where billionaires attached themselves? how come you didn't get one? >> could have been a mrs. or mr. bigglesworth. that would have helped. we won't relive all that, we had a chance couldn't get it done. one of the reasons we ran out of money. look, the thing that you mentioned about last night in minnesota the turnout dropped by 20,000 or more votes, 60,000 in '08, 40,000 last night. mitt put his resources in other states. discounted the missouri result because it was non-binding, so was the minnesota result. each years in cycles you have to put them in context. in '08, mitt was the conservative alternative to john mccain. in this campaign, particularly in minnesota ron paul had a big contingent, more attracted to the libertarian party, rick santorum campaigned here. it doesn't change delegate
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count, there is one candidate in the race who has the campaign, message and vision to go the distance and that is mitt romney. >> i'm reluctant for anybody to compare this year's missouri results to any previous missouri results because of the big difference there this year, i do feel like in 2008 and 2012 in minnesota it sort of apples and apples, it was a caucus then, too, not technically binding, like it was this time, why do you think some fewer minnesota people turned up? >> rachel, three million or so registered voters in my state, 40,000 showed up, a 5000 vote swing this way or that way changes the outcome, basically. i think you have a caucus system where the people who attend the caucuses in my state and many others, tend to gravitate toward who they perceive to be the most conservative candidate. and they perceived for last night that to be rick santorum or ron paul and certainly mitt
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romney is a conservative by any reasonable definition but as rick santorum's record gets more fully reintroduced to republican and conservative voters and mitt and he have a full fledge campaign, not where mitt didn't campaign in a state you will see the romney campaign regains momentum and continue. i don't think that will be an issue. >> do you worry about turnout being down overall, turnout was down in minnesota, turn out was way down in the other states, discounting m discounting in missouri, it was down everywhere but south carolina where newt gingrich was. are you worried about that? >> i don't worry about it too much i think when the campaign gets in high gear and main objective is to try our best to defeat barack obama and get limb out of office, republicans and conservatives will be energized and mobilized. it's something to keep an eye on but not too worried at this early stage. >> in terms of the big picture here, the 30,000 foot view, mitt
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romney just lost your state to rick santorum and to ron paul. you dropped out of the race in august after you lost the ames straw poll to michele bachmann and ron paul. i don't mean to cast aspersions, they seem like junior leaguers compared to you and mitt romney. why are they beating guys like you in the midwest this year? >> well, actually, michele bachmann beat me in the straw poll, i came ahead of rick. it is early on and people get acquainted for the first week or month where they have a surge, it's a lot of media hype, a lot of hype but then of course the media and opponents go through the record and introduce or reintroduce candidates. one has been able to stay at or near the top of the heap and that is mitt romney. he personally is a sturdy person, someone who can endure not only a campaign but be president.
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the gaunltlet of running and be president you have to be on your a game or nearly so every day all day. with all due respect to the other candidates, mitt romney has that kind of sturdiness. i believe the others do. his record, it isn't perfect, rachel, none of them are perfect, i'm not perfect. there is no perfect conservative but mitt romney is a conservative by any definition, to suggest rick santorum is the perfect conservative isn't accurate. his record doesn't support that. when you go through the ear marks and pork barrel spend and votes to raise the debt ceil, he has his clunkers, too. i think you will see migrate or stay with mitt romney. >> you think the future stable establish stable stablizes -- what i would be worried if i was working with the mitt romney campaign the more people hear -- >> god help us all, rachel. >> i could help, really, i
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swear. >> i'm sure you could. >> give me a chance. i would worry the more people hear about mitt romney they are not flocking to him. he's not building his base of support when people hear about him. they are turning to him when they hear bad things about the other guys, that seems like a cynical and shakey path forward for trying to lock up the presidency. >> well, i think what you have is first of all his results in states, many of the states have been extraordinary. new hampshire result was terrific across all demographic groups and republican and beyond sh the florida result in terms of how he did with various groups in florida was terrific, nevada the same. obviously didn't do as well in south carolina, minnesota and a few others, when john mccain was trying to put together the states to win the nomination he lost 19 states. and anybody who studied this closely knew a week or two weeks ago when they saw the mitt and his campaign wasn't putting the time and attention and resources in minnesota and missouri that
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santorum or paul was going to do well, they left florida early, then to go campaign in those states, mitt stayed in florida put his money and time and energy in florida. you look at contests in minnesota and missouri, mitt didn't campaign very robustly, financially or personally because he had to dedicate resources elsewhere. it's understandable. you look at michigan, arizona, maine, states where the campaigns in full force, you will see a very different result. and people are turning to or turning back to mitt romney after they get to see the alternatives, not just because negatives on the others, mitt romney has a great record. he cut taxes, cut spending, reduced unemployment, reduced employment when he was governor, turned around olympics, he was an effective governor, a good guy, not involved in scandals and bad behavior, he's equipped to be president. tim pawlenty of minnesota singing the praises of mitt romney better than anyone else on this network as far as i can
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tell. you have to talk to me after michigan and maine especially if he doesn't do well. >> i'm the only one singing his praises on your network. >> anybody else who wants to, i would have him, man. thank you. >> good night ms. bigglesworth. the one and only chris hayes and the piece of tape from rick santorum's past that dudes think is good news but i think it is bad news for him, all ahead.
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one more thing about foster freeze, rick santorum's billionaire, described as rick santorum's billionaire. mr. freeze is troubling those. he says the billionaire designation popped out of no where in the media many weeks back. when people dubbed me billionaire my wife asked if i was squirrelling money away. i'm not there yet, hope i make
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it some day. in other words, foster freeze wants you to know he's a multi-millionaire, does not want to be thought of as a billionaire. maybe rick santorum can be cleared to start touching him in public.
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if you count missouri which you shouldn't, rick santorum has won more states than anybody else in the race for the republican nomination for president. he has won four, mitt romney has three, newt has one. if you don't count missouri, they will vote next month, when it will count, then mr. santorum
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and mr. romney are tied with three each. mitt romney has all the money in the world, tim pawlenty, that doesn't seem to be buying him love including in minnesota. right now the main dynamic in the race is mitt romney is losing states everybody expects him to winning, and rick santorum is winning states people don't think he has a chance in. it's not impossible rick santorum could end up being the republican nominee for president. here is rick santorum speaking about one of the issues which he has staked his political career, speaking in october. >> one of the things i will talk about that no president has talked about before is i think the dangers of contraception in this country and the whole sexual liber tine idea, many said contraception's okay. it's not okay. >> it's not okay. that is rick santorum explaining how if elected he would use power of the presidency against birth control in america. in 1965 the supreme court ruled that states could not ban birg control, in a state called griswold versus connecticut he said states should have the ability to ban birth control.
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abortion should be criminalized in all instances. homosexual is equivalent to man on dog. he would bring don't ask don't tell back. all the people out of the closet in the military and shove them back in the closet, forget what you heard. rick santorum's national reputation is being the extreme social conservative, man on dog guy, i think is part of the reason pennsylvania voters turfed him out of the senate by a huge margin in 2006 the last time he ran for office. his obsession with government getting its way in the most private parts of your private life didn't jibe with an electorate prioritizing on the war in iraq and the economy. being the man on dog guy didn't make sense in 2006. this cycle, until now, rick santorum had the opposite problem. everybody is a man on dog guy. rick santorum doesn't stand out as furthest right.
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he hasn't seem unique, there isn't anything to discontinuing witch him. ultimately if republicans pick rick santorum for their nominee they will have picked a guy who wants to use the power of the presidency to crack down on contraception. >> many in the christian faith said that is okay, contraception is okay. it's not okay. >> it's not okay. ppp this week, asked voter what's they thought about the republican candidates competing for rick santorum social issue conservatives by attacking the obama administration that health insurance plans must cover contraception. it is a mitt romney joint and ppp asked specifically about mr. romney's pledge to eliminate the birth control health insurance benefit. does that make you more likely or less likely to vote for him? asked of all voters, voters split against mitt romney on that issue, by 17 points.
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they are less likely to vote for mitt romney because of his opposition to what the obama administration is doing to cover contraceptions, less likely, 40% less likely, 23% more likely. when you ask just catholic voters, the split is worse. all voters split on that question against romney by 17%, catholic voters split against him on 18%. people are less likely to vote for somebody who is against the obama administration's position that health should cover contraception. it's by a lot. taken away from mitt romney specifically, ask generically about republicans in congress who want to do away with birth control health insurance benefit, do you support or oppose them on the issue, the answer is oppose them. look at that. 58 to 33. a 25 point margin. the old boys club that dictates beltway common wisdom has never been more unified at waging their fingers at the obama administration what a misstep it is to have health insurance cover contraception. to do what 28 states already do in a variety of ways to give
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exemptions for churches but say that anybody else who provides health insurance has to cover contraception as a basic part of health care. the old boys club that dick dates common wisdom has never shown more ignorance for the fact they are an old boys club and not everybody is an old boy. >> my colleagues decide they will take this issue on in the face of overwhelming support for this policy by the american people, i say we're ready. >> this is a fight to protect it rights of millions of americans who do use contra tiffs. >> this is the 21st century. wake up. look at your calendar. it's the 21st century. and women ought to be respected and women ought to be trusted, and their families ought to be trust and respected. >> i'm dumb-founded in the year 2012 we still are fighting about birth control.
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we stand here ready to oppose any attacks that are being launched against women's rights and women's health. >> i'm not afraid of a fight. i welcome it. >> chris hayes joins us next.
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one of the things i will talk about that no president has talked about before is that i think the dangers of contraception in this country and the whole sexual libertine idea, many of the christian
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faith said well that's okay i mean you knowontraception's okay, it's not okay. >> listen to president santorum. joining us is chris hayes, host of "up with chris hayes". >> thanks for having me. the beltway media din would have you believe what we heard is a great campaign asset. only the left, an obscure form of political protest from the 60s. >> libertines. >> care about issues and serious people in washington care about the catholic church and exemption from any health insurance related mandates. are they right? >> they are not and i would say this is one of those times when sometimes polling feels like it's obfiscates and polls can be mutually exclusive, this is one
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of those instances people were having a discussion and then you're completely wrong. we went out and polled it and yes, the beltway media is totally wrong. i have to say i was a little persuaded by it. i think partly because i was raised catholic and i know there is a tendency among catholics to get this back-up defensiveness when the church is under attack even if they themselves day in and day are frustrated as hell about the church, i thought it's an open question, it could have been a politically misstep, now we have data that shows it isn't, that is important because i'm hoping it sort of provide as course correction for people talking about this. >> in terms of data on this, depaul university is the largest catholic university in the country, depaul does in fact already provide contraception coverage in their employee health plans. the idea that catholic
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institutions, major catholic institutions will be forced to do something they are not already doing and they are very opposed to, is disproven by the empirical evidence, what does that tell us about the politics here? >> first of all the bishops are looking to pick a fight, i think is actually what part of this is about. second of all, like everything about the affordable care act, the myth and reality don't match up, everything about from the very inception of this tortured process that we have gone through, watching this piece of legislation first be crafted and then be implemented and the rules promulgated to guide how it's implemented, there were warnings that made it sound like colossal impression of tyranny, the jackboot coming down on the neck of the poor american. it's proven to be the actual facts of the matter are that it's a very gentle piece of reform, that it --. >> for which there is lots of
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precedent. >> and the reason it was structured in the crazy way it was, was because they did not want to do anything that there was not precedent for. so to me it's in keeping with all the hysteria going back to death pan ales elpanels, when in fact it's small c conservative. it preserves the system we have, and there are tons of states that already implement exactly the directive that is now being hailed as some sort of unprecedented tyranny. >> with the example of depaul, for example, and with what you said looks like the bishops are picking a fight, this is not a substantive issue, with 28 states already having mandates like this, given the political polling out there that says that people actually are very, very interested in having contraception covered by health insurance, how does the beltway media narrative entirely captured by the other side?
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>> i think part of it is an age thing. the generation that sort of came of age in the 1960's, had seared in their brains the famous line about the democratic operative talking about george mcgovern, amnesty, asset and abortion, the left was going to shoot itself in the foot by pursuing cultural issue, that wedge issues always beat the left. you break the country in half and the right gets a bigger half in the words of richard nixon, it's no longer the case. the polling on all these issues showed the wedge works in the other direction. right? and it's very hard for everybody who came of age during an entire 20 year period in which that wasn't the case, right? in which a lot of these were controversial, were unpopular, were minority positions to understand the tide has actually turned. that these are majority positions, there is this sense that this is risky, this is avant guard and it's not. >> majority of voters are women
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and more than 90% of women use birth control. >> john mccain lost by 13 points, this is not something republicans can afford. >> chris hayes, thank you very much, this is off hours for you, thank you. chris hayes weekend is "up with chris hayes" must-see viewing. that is what you're supposed to say. >> must-see. >> saturday morning, 7:00 to 9:00 here on msnbc. getting permission to throw a parade for iraq war veterans, in new york means going through channels. one of those channels is assistant secretary of defense douglas wilson who joins us for the interview, straight ahead. [ male announcer ] what if an entire car insurance company
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was thought up and built and run to save people money? what if that company was born online, with tools and apps to make people feel like geniuses? and what if that company was now backed by the stability and reliability of allstate? well, what if that company was esurance and this wasn't just a bunch of hypothetical questions? could be cool-ish. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. four years ago last night, mitt romney quit. he dropped out of the race for the republican nomination for president. now, conservative world is giving him a happy anniversary present. that is coming up.
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world war ii ended in europe when the nazis surrendered. the commander was dwight david eisenhower. when he came home in june, new
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york city threw a ticker tape parade to mark the end of the war in europe. on that day in june, when eisenhower felt the adulation of new york and the nation at that parade, troops were still at war. the nazis sure rear denied in may, the parade in the canyon of heros did not mean every american who had been in harm's way was safe at home. that parade was held because we were a country that had gone to war, fighting the nazis was done, that was worth throwing a heck of a lot of paper out the windows for. june 10th, 1991 parade the mark the end of the gulf war, when it ended saddam hussein was still in power and thousands of americans still deployed to the region, particularly u.s. air force personnel, enforcing no-fly zones to contain saddam. after the parade to mark the end of the war, we were a country
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that had gone to war, worth throwing a whole lot of paper out windows to mark the end of the war, even with troops still over there. so far, since the eight-and-a-half eye iraq war ended at the new year, the only city to say welcome home to the troops who fought there was a grass roots thing in st. louis, started by a couple of guys who thought it ought to be done. st. louis jumped on board and went great, 100,000 people, many many very grateful veterans and frankly, not a dry eye in the house. it was what you might call cathartic. st. louis, yes, but new york, no. even though two new york city counselors have been pushing for it for weeks, the powerful speaker of the city council is for it. she explained it last night much the largest association of veterans, iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, headquartered in new york city are for it too. so far the answer is no for new york, i think that might be because of a miscommunication. new york mayor mike bloomberg
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has not said he's against the idea of a parade, he likes the idea but the pentagon told him not to do it. a statement from the mayor's office saying we sought the pentagon's guidance since they are the real experts and there is a question about whether a parade puts troops still in the field at risk. that struck some people including me as strange. after all, the parades to mark other wars had happened with troops still in the field somewhere. nobody thought those troops, parades put anybody at risk. after all, the st. louis parade went out without a hitch with national news coverage and only risk anybody suffered was tear duct exhaustion and sore cheeks from smiling. the white house announced they would be holding a gala white house dinner to welcome home iraq veterans at the end of the month. why would a celebration like that not put troops at risk but a parade would? the pentagon really told mayor bloomberg's office a parade in new york to mark the end of the iraq war would put troops at
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risk? really. turns out no. in an interview with, a spokesman for the chairman of the joint chiefs clarified, telling bryant jordan, "a national level parade in new york city to honor iraq veterans would not harm our efforts in afghanistan." so it's all been a big misunderstanding, ala three's company with jack and chrisy, and jack's gay, no he's not. the mayor's office thought the pentagon was saying don't do the parade will put troops at risk, but the pentagon says it was not saying that at all. now that is cleared up, can we have a parade? no. no, apparently we still can't. the rest of the quote from that same spokesman after he said it wouldn't harm our efforts in afghanistan but we feel it would be in appropriate at this time given ongoing deployment and combat operations there, meaning afghanistan.
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same arguments being made by assistant secretary of defense, he was on npr yesterday. >> the iraq vets who now fighting on the battlefield in afghanistan and the feeling was that the appropriate time to have a national new york-style ticker tape parade was the time when combat troops were back home. >> to be clear, the iraq war is over. the idea is to hold a parade to mark the end of that specific war. not to mark the end of war altogether. military officer a decorated combat veteran of iraq and afghanistan wrote to me today on the subject to say this. if they are waiting until combat ops are over in afghanistan, who is to say this won't be another conflict somewhere else at that time that would preclude a celebration then? who is to say something won't happen in of a gap afghanistan to delay our exit. let's thanks vets now they are trying to be sensitive but seeing big parades and celebrations would be good for morale of our troops.
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if i was deployed right now and i saw a huge parade for veterans, i'd say how cool to see how much the american people support us. he writes and concludes, we should have a parade to thank iraq vets now, and afghanistan when those ops are over. >> joining us for the interview from washington d.c. the man from the pentagon who disagrees, making the pentagon's case on this matter, assistant secretary of defense, douglas wilson, thank you for being here. i appreciate the chance to talk with you about this. >> thank you for having me, i appreciate it. >> i think new york would go ahead with the parade to mark the end of the iraq war if the pentagon were saying no, don't do it. what is the harm? why are you stopping this from happening? >> rachel, i think we do need to have a conversation in this country about how to properly honor and welcome home those who served on the battlefield but i think we're having the wrong conversation. we're having a conversation about a major ticker tape parade in new york whether the giants, the new york giants deserve it and those who served in iraq do
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not, a very specious argument. >> i didn't say anything about the giants. >> i want to make the point that in terms of the new york ticker tape parade, those who were winding down the war in afghanistan are military leaders and troops who are fighting there, made clear last fall that they thought it was not the time to have such a major national parade because there were still individuals on the battlefield in afghanistan, many of them. as you know, our troops are rotating, a lot of those fighting in afghanistan are themselves iraq vets. instead, i think we need to be having a conversation about how we honor the troops in a lasting way in this country. you read a second ago a quote from an iraq vet who did want a parade. on a facebook page today there was another iraq vet who wrote a statement saying parades are ridiculous suicide rates of
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military and veterans community exceeds combat casualties. he said i don't want a parade, i just want this country and i want the department of defense and veterans administration to treat us like we are more than a burden. in our nation after after what we have done. that is the point. the pentagon does not oppose parades. our military leadership does not oppose parades. what happened in st. louis was a template. that was a parade that grew up containously and allowed that community not to just attract hundreds of thousands of people to shed tear and have their tear ducts dry but to understand who these men and women are who have served our country and to ask the questions, when, where and how can we help them? well, the answer is to win is always, and the answer to where is everywhere, and the answer to how is all kinds of simple, direct things that can be done daily.
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let me give you some examples. if you are an employer, reach out and offer a vet a job, and not just offer a job, help the vet to be able to succeed in the job. if you are a teacher or a school administrator, understand that kids of military parents who are deployed have issues and problems and are dealing with things that may show up in their behavior and how they want to interact with teachers and peers. have a better understanding of how to deal with them. if you are a parent of a school-aged kid, make sure that kid understands that his pierce and counterparts who are our sons and daughters of military families are looking for normalcy and be able to engage. if you are dealing with wounded warriors don't just say thanks for your service, ask how it happened. get beyond the barrier of awkwardness and understand they want to have a relationship with you and to be involved in the
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community. so, in terms of the new york city parade, mayor bloomberg said on this network i guess on sunday to "meet the press," as soon as it is appropriate to have this parade he was respecting the request of military leaders and that's who's made the request. the military leadership, all of the joint chiefs of staff and the heads of services not to not have a parade but to wait until combat troops come home. that's the question and he said when they do, we're going to have the biggest backup parade you have ever seen and we can't wait to be part of that. >> all of the things you just list listed, people aren't saying shouldn't be done for veterans. this isn't an either or case. the parade in st. louis was a dry run for how it would be for the country. i don't think that anyone would say any harm came out of that. frankly new york city including the top leadership supports doing this.
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the pentagon is saying no and that's the barrier to doing it. it would otherwise happen. i guess my question is what is the case for listening to the top brass at the pentagon and not though the largest organization of iraq war veterans? don't civilians van interest in doing this, too. we should be a dhaunt went to war. not a country that watched its military to go to war. >> let me reinforce your last point. that is right. there is a great disconnect between the 99% and the 1% that served. it is not to find in terms of the parade but how we reaching out and bringing our men and women back in our communities and making sure they can succeed in them. this is not an issue, rachel, of the top brass saying no to new york. >> it is. that's what mayor bloomberg said. he said i would love to do it but the top brass at the pentagon has told me not to.
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if the top brass at the pentagon had not said it we would have already had a parade by now. >> i think this is instead the senior military leadership including those who served in iraq and others at lower levels, who were part of the discussion on how best to honor and celebrate the troops made the request. they are making a request that the white house is honoring. they are making a request that mayor bloomberg and others are honoring. i have to tell you the program you quoted me from yesterday on npr was a call in program. there were three vets who called in. i guess they weren't part of the e-mail or twitter campaign about the parade. because all of them said, we understand why it's best to wait. we understand that we would like to have oured by buddies back and more than anything we'd like this country to know when we come back here, it's not that we want a show. we want to be treated like part
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of the community. we want jobs. we want veterans off the streets. that's what our nation ought to be focusing on. >> none of those things are preclude by a parade, sir. i have to say, i realize that you have got -- you have a story to tell about what you want, but the question remains what harm would be caused by doing this? nobody else in the country sees any harm that would be done by doing this other than the pentagon. to the pentagon telling the largest group of iraq veterans this the country that they are wrong and the brass is right is stopping this from happening for the country and the country needs it as a civilian institution as much as the military may or may not need it according to their feelings. i realize we are disagreeing but i believe you are being remarkably tone deaf and it is hurting the sglunt i respectfully disagree. the kinds of things we saw in st. louis are the kinds of things we love to see around the country. all the military is asking is for a major national symbol like
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a new york ticker tape parade like you showed in your introduction, for that, they are asking that our combat troops be able to return from the battlefield as a request they are making. >> the iraq war is over, sir. we could do it when the afghanistan war is over, too and i think we would all agree there wouldn't be harm caused by two parades rather than one. this is something i just killed a commercial break and i'm in huge trouble but i have to say good night. thank you for being here as well. assistant secretary of defense, douglas wilson. we'll be right back.
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this isn't an easy decision. i hate to lose. >> four years ago this week, mitt romney quit the race for the republican nomination for president at the conservative political action conference. this week, cpac is back and this year it stars curt cameron, chuck worldry of love connection