tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 14, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PDT
i just want to say first to the people of alabama, you made a great difference tonight, thank you very, very much for your support. we'll compete everywhere. the time is now for conservatives to pull together. the time is now to make sure, to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election and the best chance to win this
election is to nominate conservative to go up against barack obama and take him on every issue. >> now as good a night as this was for rick santorum, it has been that bad a night for newt gingrich. newt gingrich, essentially staked his entire campaign at this point on a southern strategy and he talked about it openly. this was all -- the whole idea for him staying in the race, the whole justification was his ability to get the vote in southern states. he lost in alabama and he's trailing rick santorum by more than 30,000 votes. and he lost to risk nz mississippi. he's not losing to mitt romney and mitt romney's money which have been mr. gingrich's excuse so far when he lost. he's losing to rick santorum. so the next big question is, when is newt gingrich going to get out?
if mr. gingrich, his major funder in the race moves to keep him in the race, is that purely a move to help mitt romney at this point? to keep the conservative vote split so that rick santorum cannot cleanly beat mr. romney and mr. romney will win by hook or by crook? mr. gingrich addressed his supporters in alabama within the last hour and reiterated that he's not getting out and he's taking his campaign all the way to the rip convention in tampa. of course, they all say that before they get out. time will tell. this may also be an appropriate time to take a step back and kwon seed one of mr. gingrich's points which is that, everybody has been wrong so far about the race to pick a republican nominee for president. the media, self included, has been wrong about who would show strength and who would be viable. but it's not just the media. it's insiders who have been really, really, really wrong about this race in guy say real insider.
>> we're going to win this thing with all our passion and strength. >> that was mitt romney in marion, iowa, before the iowa caucuses predicting that he would win iowa. mr. romney, of course, lost iowa to rick santorum. now, this was mitt romney's campaign saying in a web ad that south carolina would pick a president in the south carolina republican primary. south carolina actually picked newt gingrich. who may or may not be a president one day but despite what mr. romney's campaign said, south carolina sure did not pick mitt romney. and here was mitt romney yesterday in mobile, alabama, predicting who was going to win the alabama republican primary today. >> thank you for your generosity and your warm reception and your hospitality and for your votes. we're going to win tomorrow and we need your help. >> mitt romney saying yesterday he would win alabama today. mr. romney did not win alabama today. rick santorum did. which is the kind of thing that
might not be as bad a blow to the the romney campaign if mr. romney didn't keep predicting out loud he would win these things he cannot win. the website "buzz" mitt romney always thinks he's going to win. will romney did not win in alabama or mississippi. both stateses being called by nbc news for rick santorum. in both cases at this hour, mitt romney is not even just losing to rick santorum. in both of these states, mitt romney is running third. joining us now at great peril to hid e and eugene robinson, and our political analyst. thanks for staying up and being with me. i appreciate it. >> happy to do it. >> john, you said earlier a bad night for newt gingrich in alabama or mississippi might render him a nonfactor in the race after tonight, fine he didn't formally drop out. no that it looks like he came in
second in both states, does that still seem true and what are you looking at to figure out if that's happening? >> what other conservative leaders say over the next couple of days. i heard earlier in a television interview, a spokesman or deputy campaign manager for gingrich being asked about, is he dropping out? and the answer was -- well, mr. gingrich said he's going to tampa. it didn't sound like the campaign was all in that scenario. so we'll see. the speak has had the conflicts in the past with campaign aides. but i talked to sheldon addleson, you mentioned the super pac donor. i talked to one of his friends and said i think sheldon has written his least check. after last night if that judgment was accurate it's likely to be more accurate now that rick santorum has won. this is bad night for gingrich. goods night for santorum but because it's bad for gingrich it's bad for mitt romney because
it's likely to extend this season even if hit mitt romney ends up as a nominee. >> these were not must-win states but it's the -- he was soft-pedaling his chances of winning in the deep south. how do you think this goes over with republican party leaders who are already concerned about his appeal to conservative and evangelical voter. are mississippi and alabama a writeoff? or is there disappointment in terms of his viability for this? >> there has to be disappointment, rachel. front runners aren't supposed to finish third. you can loose to primary but in the final analysis, he finished
third in both states. and so, i think the republican establishment figures have that same sort of unease that they've had all along about romney as the eventual nominee. look, the republican candidate is going to carry alabama and mississippi. that's not the issue. but there is something of an issue in that it's the heartland of the republican party. and once again, he's been told, you know, we're just not that into you. >> nbc news political director chuck todd is pointing out tonight that despite finishing third place, mr. romney could ultimately win the night in terms of delegates. if he sweeps hawaii and he
sweeps american samoa tonight. is it possible looking at the delegate problem with which the mitt romney campaign is now saying over and over again it's delegates, delegates, delegates, not wins, wins, wins, does he have a big delegate problem? >> he has a big delegate problem. he may not be get to 144 given the way they're allocated and the size of his lead. i understand why mitt romney campaign is making a math argument but there's a political argument santorum can make as he gets closer to a one-on-one match with mitt romney. if he goes to illinois and finds newt gingrich a shrinking force in the race and is able to beat romney in illinois that would be a big blow to romney even if the math continues to work in his favor. there's two potential math challenges. one is santorum's chance to get to 144 and it's very difficult, probably impossible, for newt gingrich and clearly impossible for ron paul, but it's not
necessarily impossible to deny mitt romney the possibility of get 1144. i still think mitt romney is the likely nominee but he's going to have to sweat and work and expend anniversary and financial resources on this process in a way that he hadn't been anticipating and he hoped he could have avoided if he got one or both staids states tonight. >> let me ask both of you about what's been a side bar story in this campaign, ron paul did not campaign in alabama or mississippi. he spent money trying to improve his chances in hawaii. the ron paul folks are operating in a very different way than the rest of the candidates are operating but you hear them using the same language the romney campaign is using. it's all about delegates and they think they'll have a delegate strategy that will result in them having more results. do either of you believe their contention? do either of you believe that ron paul might be secretly more
vienl than they looks? >> viable as a candidate? he's not viable as a candidate. he can do well in caucus states because he has that kind of organization and he's focused on those states. and so he can go into convention with some influence and some delegates. and get his ideas forward which is, after all, really what this campaign is about but he's not a viable nominee, no. >> john, do you see anything, any truth in their assertion that once all is revealed, ron paul will secretly be doing very well? >> i see no truth to that assertion. and i think the situation is as gene says, he'll go to the convention. he'll have some delegates. it just won't be have many and he'll have some influence. he has some right now as the leading exponent and champion of
the libertarian wing of the up party but we know he has views on foreign policy, and that's the reason he's not winning anywhere. >> pulitzer prize winning "washington post" eugene robinson and jooin harwood, thank you both for your time. given the hour appreciate it. and big news today that had nothing to do with the political contest. all that coming up. first, one more thing about these republican primaries. in the state of alabama, while it's the republican presidential primary, getting the lion's share of attention from alabama, that's not the only game in town. there's been interesting down-ticket races in alabama reflecting some national trends and a ten-tirm republican congressman mr. baucus. subject of the congressional
investigation over insider trading. the allegations have been dogging him for months including in his home state. tonight he was challenged for his seat by a republican state senator named scott beason who gained national attention for sponsoring the toughest immigration law in alabama. in that congressional district, baucus coming in more than 30 points ahead of his challenge her congressional district 6. in alabama's 1st congressional district, another primary challenger joe bonner. he faced a change there from a far right tea party challenger who was in local businessman but again, joe bonner from tonight's results with 67% of the vote in looks to be holden on to his seat. the other seat we're watching here in alabama was on the alabama supreme court. you may remember the name roy moore.
alabama judge roy moore got himself nationally famous in 2003 when as a state supreme court justice he refused an order by a judge to remove a tenneco handmentless monument from the grounds of the courthouse. he was removed by a state judicial ethic's panel after that incident but tonight he's trying to unseat the current supreme court justice, chuck may lobe. look. results. chuck malone, 25% and roy moore, 51%. he's made himself a national conservative political celebrity during the time he was turfed out of office. fascinating races tonight, even if you adore the issue of whether or not it's newt gingrich's last night in the race for presidency. stay with us.
is to nominate a to go up against barack obama who can take him on every issue. if louisiana, missouri, illinois and, yes, puerto rico, which we are heading to tonight, i might add, and we're going to spend two days campaigning in puerto rico. because we want to make sure that everybody knows, we're campaigning everywhere there are delegates because we're going to win this nomination before that convention. >> before that convention! we're going to win the nomination, rick santorum delivering the victory speech from lafayette, louisiana and at that point in that speech he knew he had won alabama but he did not know he had won mississippi but he was declaring
his intention to compete everywhere. he was hinting at hopes that mr. gingrich will step aside when he called for conservatives to pull together. >> i congratulate rick santorum on a great campaign. he has won a victory in boat states and worked very hard to achieve it. i know how much he put into the campaign, he and his entire family over the last year and i congratulate him on a positive evening and result. i point out because in the proportion at representation we'll leave alabama and mississippi with a substantial number of delegates increasing our total going toward tampa and we're very grateful to you because you made that outcome possible. and with your help we're going to take a much bigger delegation than we have yesterday.
thank you very much for that. i emphasized going to tampa because one of the things tonight proved is that the elite media's effort to convince the nation that mitt romney is inevitable just collapsed. the fact is -- the fact is that in both states, the conservative campaign candidates got nearly 70% of the vote. and if you're the frontrunner, and you keep coming in third, you're not much of a frontrunner. >> newt gingrich speaking from birmingham, alabama, not announcing an end to his presidential come main but rather sadly stretching to make the point if you combined his numbers with the guy who actually did win, if you think
about it that way, he did great tonight. if rick santorum and him are thought of him as being won together, that's now how it works. this is steve, the senior writer with salon.com. this is very important and msnbc political analyst. congratulations. >> thank you. >> happy to do it. >> yeah. >> mr. gingrich wants you to believe that he and rick santorum hand in hand, really beat mitt romney in these states tonight. it doesn't work that way. everybody is wondering if newt gingrich is getting out even though he says he's not. what makes the difference as to whether or not that happens? >> the immediate yes is the next big test in this is illinois but before that, louisiana, you have another southern state. the thing to look for gingrich is this. we've seen in tennessee and oklahoma tonight and mississippi and alabama, he's losing, not winning, but he's competitive and you have a split between santorum and gingrich.
if that dynamic holds in louisiana, if it survives and endures past santorum having the night he had gingrich may say, there's a permanence to my support increase certain pockets of this country and i think he would then think ahad a to the scenario where you get to june, the process ends. maybe romney is 100 delegates short of 144. gingrich is thinking, i'd love to be sitting on a pile of 250 and not be an inactive candidate. if he gets 35% in louisiana, he'll go ahead. if he melts down and gets 10, 12, something like that and it becomes sort of organically a santorum/romney race then he might see an assessment. >> for people who aren't counting the delegates -- it looks like it might not be mitt romney. there's to way to explain without talking about those numbers and that level of detail
how conceivably newt gingrich might have a shot at this. the idea for him to say, he won georgia and south carolina and so, if he can win all the states in the south the republicans might feel a need to go with somebody. not being able to win familiar bam and mississippi, no narrative other than other people might collapsend i might be left holding something of value. that's the entire momentum plan, right? >> this is the story of newt gingrich's career. his own delusions and his own wins and you thought maybe last summer when his campaign looked like the biggest joke in campaign history. i imagined that man took as the fundamental to use his term, lesson from that experience, never listen to anybody who's telling you what to do with your campaign because he turned
around and he won south carolina and georgia. so i think he's been playing with house money since then and to him, he can still have some measure of relevance, even if he can't be the nominee. if romney is short, he's relevant. >> playing with house money is term. sheldon addleson, it will zillion air. horizon true he was slapped way big, multilawsuit from gaming interests which might make him feel different about his spared millions. a big legal entanglement for sheldon addleson that's brand new and join marwood reporting that a close friend of sheldon addle son's told him addleson may have written the last check. >> mr. gingrich emphasizing he
has more funders. he doesn't just have one. >> there really isn't anybody of that caliber out there and certainly after a result like that known is going to emerge. but the calculation for addleson, i'm curious about this. he's sort of made it clear in what he sort of let leak out. beyond that, he does not want santorum. he wants romney. what's the dynamic here. this is what we've been talking about. i remember polls at the beginning of 2011 where you add up whether it was trump or huckaby or palin. we added up the conservative evangelical vote. if they can get around one candidate maybe that would doom romney. here we're seeing for the first time and illinois will be the test, the opportunity here for conservatives to get together. rick santorum to have one clear shot at romney in illinois.
welcome back to our continuing coverage of a crazy exciting night in politics. alabama and mississippi voting today for the republican primary. the polls were slithering around like snakes in the rain. and in mississippi, nbc called that race, also, for sfwhiert santorum. rick santorum takes the prize in these two neighboring deep south states tonight. o'and perhaps just as importantly, he takes two potential wins away from newt gingrich. mitt romney may be the purported national frontrunner and in political terms mr. santorum is, frankly, making bigger gains against mr. gingrich than he is against mr. romney, mr. santorum is chipping away at the great personal barrier for him that is newt gingrich.
these were must did she win states for gingrich even to mr. gingrich is claiming tonight he'll stay in the race despite losing in both places. when we come back, the latest news about the barriers republicans are building for american voters at the ballot box wherever they can and they played out in an interesting way in mississippi. that's next.
voters in mississippi went to the polls for the first big election since that state decided to make it much harder to vote. in november, mississippi approved new limits on the right to cast an ordinary ballot on election day. that right should extend only to people who can present an approved photo id at the poll. many thousands of people in mississippi do not have an approved photo id like that. maybe a quarter of all mississippi african americans. for instance. they make voter harder amendment was favored in white districts in mississippi passed by a wide margin. the timing on this is interesting, the timing in fact is critical to understand the politics here. when voters went to the polls in mississippi today, nobody asked today's voters for a photo id. between november, when they
changed the law and today, the mississippi legislature has not passed the rules that would allow the new id requirement to take effect. state lawmakers have not implemented the new voting restrictions in time to effect today's voting. they seem to be in no hurry to get the voting restrictions passed in time for today's republican presidential primary. you don't have the final numbers yet but early polling from nbc showed that 97% of the turnout for mississippi's republican republican primary was white. the state is 40% african american, but nearly every voter today was white. so there is no need to make it harder to vote for today's election. no rush. here is the deadline mississippi republicans say matters. they want the voting rules
tightened up in their state in time for the general election, the one for president in november, the republican secretary of state in mississippi saying he hopes the new rules will be ready by then "if we haven't got it by september, we're not going to have it." even if mississippi lawmakers to get around to passing the new rules, the state needs permission from the federal government to make voting harder in that great state. mississippi is one of several states where elections come under special strut knee a legacy from the jim crow days when african americans were not allowed to vote in mississippi or pay a special poll tax in order to exercise that right. that legacy is the same reason the justice department has also now said that they will not pre-clear a new law in texas that blocks people from voting unless they show documentation you never had to show before. the justice department said the state's data showed that $600,000 to 800,000 people would be blocked from voting by the new law. a recent steady found people who do have the new id you have to show to vote in texas, nearly one in five of those legal voters might be blocked from voting, too, because their address on their voter
registration didn't match the address on their id. that would mean potentially millions of people would be blocked from voting in texas. but in terms of who does and who don't have this new documentation texas wants you to show in order to vote, texas data shows hispanic texans were much more likely than non-hispanics to not have the new id. supposedly free id for voting would in fact cost a minimum of $22 in order to purchase the documentation to get said id. so that would be a $22 poll tax to vote in texas for some people. texas republicans considered making the whole process of getting the id free and that would get rid of the poll tax problem. texas republicans considered making it free and then they deliberately decided not to. they deliberately said no. so then the justice department considered all of that and the justice department said no to texas, no, texas we don't approve of your new law, now on hold pending a court challenge by rick perry's administration. just before christmas the
justice department turned back a law to make voting harder in south carolina. saying the law placed an unfair burden on minority voters there. south carolina's governor under nikki haley is looking to get their law approved. the lawsuit comes with an estimated cost of at least $1 million in legal fees, billable to the south carolina taxpayer. it's tempting to think of it as southern thing but it's a republican thing. south carolina, alabama, mississippi are some of the dominated states that passed laws to make voting harder since the last election. another state is wisconsin. but judges in the state courts there have put that voting restriction bill on hold as well. on thursday, the bill was temporarily blocked bay madison judge after he heard testimony that more than 200,000 wisconsin residents who are otherwise legally qualified to vote could not under the restrictions of
the new law. yesterday that temporary injunction against the law was replaced by a permanent one after another madison judge reviewed the law. scott walker's administration is appealing and they are raising money off of the issue. but it all puts in doubt whether wisconsin's new make it harder to vote law will be in effect for november. in wisconsin the november election will be one of those elections that features not just a presidential race but also an issue of major state-wide importance. likely, the recall of governor scott walker himself. this was the scene this weekend, crowds gathering at the state capitol to mark the anniversary of scott walker signing union stripping legislation a year ago. tens of thousands of people turning out in madison. union stripping bill a decision that turned the state inside out with rage and led to the recall plans for the governor. joining us is reverend al sharpton, last week you led a
march from selma, alabama to the state capital in montgomery, restoring the marchs from 1965. thank you for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> you came off the road in alabama, voting tonight in their primary, do you think that the challenge to voting rights in alabama, in mississippi, even in is places like wisconsin, is it 1965 all over again or do you think this is a different kind of story now? >> i think it the same spirit of '65. i think that we've gone from poll tax to now photo id, like we've gone from jim crow to james crow, jr., esquire, more polished, more sophisticated but the results are the same. if you have an impact disproportionate on poor people, working class people, students who don't have this kind of
photo id, seniors, and minorities, it's designed to stiffle a vote. that what is dr. king and others fought in '65 where they outright wouldn't let people vote. here you're putting an impediment there but you know what the results will be. it's fixing a problem that doesn't exist. there is no massive voter fraud. there was 000.3% according to the bush administration of fraud they found. why are we changing the law when there is no reason to change id? why not use the same id, we're not against id, the same id we used when reagan ran or clinton or both bushes, why all of a sudden now do we need it? if you really feared fraud, why didn't you fear today? during the republican primaries, you offered it in the general election because you're only target trying to make it difficult for certain people to vote.
>> looking at the justice department's letter to texas about blocking the texas law, couple things in there were fascinating. first of all pointed out texas offered no evidence at all, they were asked to provide it, offered no evidence of any voter imperson inflation fraud, which is the only kind of fraud that would be stopped by this. they also noted that texas did not even submit information on what proportion of african americans or asian americans in texas didn't have the kind of id you now need to vote. they submitted it for hispanics, didn't submit for it african americans, they didn't document what might be the racial disparity there. what do you think is going on there? >> the documentation would have bolstered the questions that those of us have raised from the civil rights and labor community and the justice department has come and said there is no documentation it is a dispro to argue against the fact that it's a disproportionate impact against these groups being able to vote. here we are all over the world fighting for democracy, trying to limit those that participate in the democratic process at home. it a glaring contradiction and violates voter rights. we intend to fight.
>> the texas case, texas almost made it easy, you can argue id isn't about race, even though it has a disproportionate racial impact you can make that same argument about the poll tax. texas decided the voter id that would count includes your license to carry a gun, but not your student id. >> but your gun id. in georgia you can use from certain state universities, not from certain historic black colleges. i mean they have not been very subtle about it i think our job was to make it public and the justice department's job is right, they have to pre-clear where there is a disproportionate impact on are no -- minority voters. it's ironic we would celebrate dr. king and then undermine what he was for.
on days like this it's easy for other news to get crowded out because of the politics. just so you know what else is going on in the world in the meantime -- today, "the new york times" they published what might happen in the wake of the shooting rampage tomorrow, mostly at the hands of a lone u.s. army staff sergeant.
the u.s. has apologized and while u.s. veterans and their supporters are doing everything they can to stop the public here from conplating the insane actions of one soldier broadly. gachb officials got shot when they showed up at the site of the accident to investigate. the historic which is whether or not this incident gives the obama administration greater sense of urgency for its long, slow, plan to end the war. "the new york times" suggests different opinions in the administration but talk going on, nonetheless, about the pace of withdrawal. these talks started before this weekend's massacre but are not worth blind sourced items on the front page and the right-hand
column of "the new york times." now that that massacre has happened. also -- meanwhile -- after the united states, the country what has the most troops fighting in afghanistan is britain. david kameron arrived in washington today for his first i have at this time. the prime minister and president obama are expected to talk about troop levels in afghanistan. >> this is worth remembering why we're in afghanistan. we're there to train the afghan army and police so that that country is able to look after its own security. and also on the agenda for this big trip of the british prime minister besides talking about the future of the war, basketball, apparently.
president obama and prime minister kameron attended mississippi site versus western kentucky. prime minister kameron is in the united states during a very bad public relation's period for himself and hills government. the problem with afghanistan and also, a scandal that doesn't get much play here but over there it's the biggest news in the world or the biggest news of the world. this is rebekah brooks, an executive for hugh weather murdoch news international and editor of two of his newspapers. ms. brooks and her husband were arrested stayed in the long-running mellow drama. here's why it is awkward for the prime minister. the prime minister and husband of mrs. brooks have been friends for 30 years. he and ms. brooks' husband went tote to the same boarding school and this been friends ever since. one of the weirder elements of
this is the revelation that ms. brooks had borrow aid retired police horse from the metropolitan police, who schiff is alleged to have bribed as part of a sandal. she reportedly returned the police horse in bad condition. the prime minister was forced to admit heavy sited with the brooks eeps and he hood ridden the exact horse in question. this all follows another round of a arrests in the scandal including a former prime minister. the labor party is calling for the phone hacking scandal inquire riff to look into the prime minister friendship with rebekah brooks and her husband. all of this happens now with her big visit to the united states comes at an awkward time. mr. prime minister what's your bracket looking like? would you rather talk about that? two great american conditions colliding. the tradition?
the bar. this is a bar not so dissimilar to this one, all the way around the world. an american samoa combining with america's great tradition of the caucuses. tonight in american samoa, way, way out there, about 50 republicans total are expected to carcass in a bar called "the toah bar and grill." they'll collect six delegates to send. the six picked will join three local republican officials at the convention. the fine people of american samoa are u.s. citizens but they can't vote. my prediction? even with the booze, my guess is american samoa does a better job koungt up their results than certain american states in the
it's now early wednesday morning and we can say it's been yet, another incredibly interesting 2012 election night and morning. nbc news declaring rick santorum the projected winner in my opinion. senator is an tomorrow being declared the projected winner in alabama making it a two-state deep south sweep for rick santorum tonight. that means that zero wins in the deep south for newt gingrich tonight. and last we looked, mitt romney was in third in both races.
in alabama, congressman. in alabama, congressman. bonner who has represented his bonner who has represented his seat for five terms is likely to represent for a sixth. he won the republican primary in alabama's first congressional district fending off a right wing primary challenger since no democrats qualified to oppose him things look good for him in the congressional elerks. and the chairman of the house financial committee pased a primary challenge. he looks to be leading comfortably in his republican race. and this, another result from alabama. amazing, judge roy moore, the alabama state judge that lost his job because he refused to remove a ten commandments monument from the grounds of the state court house, the ten commandments judge it looks like voters in alabama could be sending him back to the bench. back to the alabama state supreme court. and also under way, the hawaii caucuses and american samoa republican caucus, i kid you not, is held in a bar, if you couldn'toa