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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 28, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EST

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children and teach them and use common sense. >> thank you for joining us tonight. we'll do more on the story i don't like what is happening in chicago. that is "the ed show" i'm ed schultz, "the rachel maddow show" start right now. good evening, rachel, i was in columbus, ohio this weekend, yes they like me but they love you. the road report from ohio is you're the one. >> i was in san jose this weekend and i heard i love ed schultz. >> were they wearing buttons? >> were they buttoned properly and sitting up straight and looking at the teacher. thank you, ed. >> you bet. thank you to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. one month before the south carolina primary, a full month before south carolina, mitt romney got what appeared to be great news. that state's republican governor nikki haley threw her support behind mitt romney for
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president. now, nikki haley, seen as a rising star in the republican party closely aligned with the tea party, this was a big coup for mitt romney a stamp of approval from the conservative base of the party, happened in a critical state. he got the nikki haley endorse nent. something weird happened. he got trounced in south carolina. he did not just lose to newt gingrich, he lost by double digits, was not close. mitt romney rebounded, went on to win in florida and nevada, but losing south carolina after getting the endorsement of the republican governor, that turned out to be a sign of things to come. after tim pawlenty dropped out of the race last fall, he also threw support behind mitt romney for the republican nomination. but when minnesota republicans got their chance to vote, they went for rick santorum instead.
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mitt romney not only didn't win minnesota, he didn't even come in second in minnesota. he finished third in minnesota. despite having the endorsement of the state's former governor. in colorado, mitt romney managed to score the high profile endorsement of bill owens, while he won colorado by a huge margin in 2008, he lost it this time around. despite having the republican establishment there on his side. also in missouri, mitt romney managed to snatch up the coveted endorsement of that state's most recent republican governor, former governor matt blunt, missouri republicans took one look at that endorsement and decided to go with rick santorum instead. while the missouri primary deserves a giant asterisk because it doesn't count for anything, the pattern frankly stands. as dave weigel wrote at slate.com, getting the endorsement of a republican governor has been a curse for mitt romney. every time he gets endorsed by a
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state's republican governor or the most recent republican governor of that state he loses. but tomorrow there is a chance for that curse to be broken. tomorrow republicans in michigan and arizona will get their chance to vote in the republican primary and in both those states and in both those state he has again gotten the endorse mens of the state's republican governors. michigan's governor rick snyder endorsed him earlier. in michigan he has erased rick santorum's lead. the republican governor of arizona, jan brewer, she withheld endorsement until the very, very last minute, governor brewer waiting until yesterday, two days before the primary, to announce she, too, is endorsing mr. romney. government brewer's last minute endorsement i hope you won't mind me noting is not exactly a
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profile in courage given so much the state has voted it looks like mitt romney is going to run away with the state of arizona. so governor brewer waited long enough to figure out who was going to win and said i'm with that guy. jan brewer, always brave and classy. if you believe the polls. mitt romney has lead in arizona right now. if you believe the curse, maybe gentleman brew brewer endorsing him might turn it around. having the establishment on your side has not been a good omen in that state's republican politics. the biggest thing that happened in the last year in arizona is the recall of the most powerful republican in the state. now the most powerful republican politician in arizona has not been the governor, the head of the state senate, russ sell pierce, he's no longer in the senate because he was recalled from office by his district voters in november.
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that is after he championed the state p state's anti-i am grant law. he was the first lawmaker ever recalled from office. he was the powerful guy in the state. he wasn't replaced by granola eating sympathizer, he was replace bid a normal republican. his district was disgusted by russell pierce but they are a republican-leaning district. the guy they put in it's slins s an average conservative. after that pretty stunning rebuke from the voters, how did the arizona gop respond? they gave russ sell pierce the number two job in the party state-wide. arizona republicans do not seem to be getting the message even when the message is delivered by their own voters. the establishment message
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tomorrow at the last minute that is arizona republicans should vote for mitt romney so says jan brewer. the politics in michigan are are more fascinating. when you look from outside michigan, at what is going on in the state of michigan right now, there is a huge elephant in the room, right? there is an obvious huge deal. there is the return of the american auto industry, which had been written off as dead, before the obama administration decided to save it. the turn around, the boom in the auto industry is not just a huge deal in michigan it's a huge deal for the country. >> two years after almost going bankrupt, record profits are being announced tonight for an iconic american brand. >> general motors stock up 9% after it polesed the highest profits in history. >> general motors has reclaimed the title of world's largest automaker from toyota.
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>> for dave gray who works the new third shift, it not only means job security but they will get bonus checks of up to $7000. >> that is great, right? the detroit comeback is a huge success story for the whole country. but in a republican primary it is an awkward thing. because the at height of the financial crisis when the auto industry on the brink of death, republican the at the national level argued that detroit should be left to die. and that anybody who wanted to save detroit was a fool because it would never work. >> we can't call eight bail out because that might be too honest a statement to our citizens so we call eight bridge loan, it's a bridge loan to no where. >> this will not make chrysler, general motors, or ford competitive. >> the fact this is doesn't fix the problem. it exacerbates the problem in the long term.
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>> this plan will really in opinion doom them failure. >> you wrote in an op-ed, you said "if general motors, ford and chrysler get the bail out their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the american automobile industry goodbye. it won't go overnight but it's demise will be virtually guaranteed." >> that is right, if you write a check they will go out of business. >> all those republicans were wrong, very, very, very, very, very dramatically wrong. one of the fascinating things about the michigan republican primary tomorrow that is in these days leading up to it, a ton of ads running in michigan, explaining just how wrong mitt romney was. hitting mitt romney for having been the let detroit go bankrupt don't save detroit, let detroit die politician, back in 2008. back when it counted. he wasn't in congress like the other people, he was a free lance commentator urging the country to kill detroit.
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when the decision was being made and it counted, mitt romney was to kill detroit. >> his message was clear. >> let detroit go bankrupt. >> mitt romney. >> my hometown is on the way back. mitt romney said let detroit go bankrupt. i'm grateful our country didn't listen. we need a president who will stand by us all when times are tough. >> for mitt romney to say something like this i'm appalled. >> disgusting. >> it says that he doesn't care. >> in mitt romney's world. >> don't give them money let detroit go bankrupt. >> the companies shouldn't be given money up front. >> he would have turned his back on us in the depths of the recession. >> those are some of the ads running in michigan right now ahead of tomorrow's primary. this is one of those cases where it is about the fine print. if you look at the fine print on all the ads, what is the important thing? none of them are run by mr. romney's rivals. none of them run by republican campaigns, none by super pacs.
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these are all being run in michigan by groups on the democratic side. that is priorities usa on the top left, that is move on, next to it public sector employee union and democratic national committee on the bottom right. these ads are anti-mitt romney ads running michigan. maybe to that ex-tnlt they will benefit rick santorum's chances because they are all against mr. romney. but frank lirks rick santorum can't run ads against mitt romney on this, because rick santorum for killing michigan too. he has and has the same position as mitt romney on this. kill do it, forget detroit, kill off the auto industry, i guess we don't need it. the primary is taking place on the context of this huge michigan rebirth. this boom, this economic success story this, american economic triumph made possible because the government wouldn't let detroit die. because the government stepped in to save the industry.
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and both of these guys wish that never happened. so how have michigan republicans responded to this? how have michigan responded to a field of candidates all on the wrong side of the rebirth? they decided they don't care about it either. most recent nbc news poll found michigan republicans oppose the successful auto industry bail out by a 50 to 42 point margin. in the context of the most, they are going la la la la, not happening. mitt romney's talking about how the trees are the right height and how he loves cars in the abstract. he has friends who own nascar teams, who among us doesn't. rick santorum is saying going to college that only snobs do. also saying he's against the separation of church and state. that kennedy's speech why it's
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okay for america to elect a catholic president. rick santorum is campaigning in michigan by saying that speech made him want to barf. that is the campaign they are waging in michigan right now. that is the message for detroit and all of michigan. but the return of the american auto industry, the best economic turn around since the collapse, the best economic news, the republican campaign in michigan are la la la la la la, pretending that is not happening. lovely weather around here. goch your gosh your trees are perfect. michael moore, academy awarn winning documentary whose family has lived in michigan longer than michigan last been a state. thank you for joining us again. i'm glad could you come back. >> that's correct. thank you for having me again, rachel. since i spoke to you last week, the trees are still at that same height.
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>> eventually they will outgrow their perfect height and michigan will have to address that crisis since that is obviously the source -- >> we'll deal with it when we have to. >> we're on the eve of the michigan primary. how is the two leading candidates in the race are against saving the state's most important industry and unrepentant about it? >> i have come to the conclusion they are in a race with each other to see who can get the least number of votes from the michigan citizenry. i think it's the most bizarre last couple weeks here in the state of michigan. i think romney, this real guy image he's trying to project, you kind of feel sorry for the guy because he just keeps putting his foot in his mouth. i expected him to say by the end of the day he is all for eating
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at mc donald cdonald's, he owns 26 franchises. santorum with his whole religious crusade that he's on, this is so out of touch with where michiganers are at. there is a strong group of christian conservatives, they are rabid, majority of michigan residents don't identified themselves as republicans, so when you take a poll among republicans saying do you support the bail out and 50% or more say no, we don't support the bail out in their own state, they have -- they are kind of like you know like a red sox fan that lives in new york city? they are more rabid than the red sox fans in boston. because they have to be because they are surrounded by all these yankee fans. that is kind of the republicans in michigan.
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so i think that both romney and santorum are going to -- i think tomorrow will continue to see what we have seen in all the other states, less republicans voting than four years ago, but honestly the people have to understand this and please understand this as coming from us michiganers, if romney does not win tomorrow or he wins by a small margin, in other words he's lost, you can't overstate the importance in the state of michigan. the romney name, the romney legacy in michigan, would be like voting against a kennedy in massachusetts. they are well loved in the state, his brother scott is a well-known attorney in suburban detroit, for romney to lose michigan i know they think this, they must think this is the death knell for their campaign. >> when you look at how well mitt romney did in 2008, in
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michigan, won the state, won handily and look at four years later how he is struggling against rick santorum do you think that is driven by national winds or is there anything in michigan specific how mitt romney has fallen in the esteem of republicans there? >> i think it's both but definitely for romney to fall that far in the state of michigan is huge. it's -- he's brought this on himself, it's not just him, let's be fair. san roar torum opposed the bail out. they both were against it but romney has just -- he keeps doubling down. santorum doesn't like to bring it up, romney brings it up any chance he can and says this to all these people who have lost their jobs, we've had unemployment in some of our counties upwards of 20% in the last four years or so, so to say this to these people, i feel the same way about santorum telling people if they want to send
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their kids to college, it is for snobs, for elitists, and the whole blue collar work ethic in america, especially in michigan is that my dad and our parents didn't go do college what they wanted was to send their kids to college. that is why they were working so hard in the factory so kids could have a better life so they could go to college. no blue collar person sees college as a form of snobbery, it's the definition of the american dream. so when santorum calls it snobbery, and who needs college or everyone doesn't need to go to college he's attacking the american dream and just now in that fight with romney tried to see if he can get fewer voters than romney will get tomorrow. >> michael moore, award winning film maker and michigan native son, i share your suspicions what the turn out will be like in michigan. once we find out can i ask to you come back and talk with me,
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do a post-more tem once we know? >> yes, i will. i have to tell you a lot of my democratic friends will vote for santorum in something they are calling operation hilarity. >> thank you for being here. one and only frank rich is here tonight for the interview, very much looking forward to that. and the backlash against the forced trans vaginal ultrasound thing in virginia is becoming kind of an impressive backlash not only in virginia. that story is next. [ elevator ] ugh, great. you may be going up, but those roots are bringing you down! try root touch-up by nice 'n easy. to extend the life of your color. nice 'n easy has 50% more shades, so you can find your seamless match. with root touch-up by nice 'n easy.
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tonight, a lesson on the art of caving. caving in culture war politics. our tour begins in the great date of virginia where republicans have caved on the personhood bill. that they would have used to ban all abortion in virginia and likely hormonal contraception. the forced ultrasound bill after republicans take out the and it has to go in your vagina language, women are still mad it's being seen as a forced medical procedure for political and not medical reasons. that new toned down version is not a shoe-in. the vote on the bill has been delayed another day as of today. a new pac has form of newly energized democratic independent
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and some republican women, most of them former elected officials. they say the new pac is dedicated to defeating anyone who voteds for the ultrasound bill or the so-called personhood bill that would ban all abortion and likely who are mowal contraception, who knows how that will strike out in virginia but this overreach thing on the forced vaginal probe required by the state? this seems to have changed virginia politics. it's turning out to not just be a virginia story, either. happening in other states, for alabama a case study in the collapse of anti-abortion overreach. their version of forced vaginal probe was moving along in the alabama legislature, passed out of senate committee on 4-1 vote, but then cut to yesterday morning. sunday morning. alabama's republican governor is attending a meeting in washington and a report are tracks him down and asks him
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about the bill. asks him about his state's forced vaginal probe ultrasound bill. which is moving right along through the alabama legislature. alabama governor bentley says he knows nothing about the legislation. telling the huffington post "i just read about it this morning" adding he had not studied the legislation and was not prepared to take a position on the bill. get the timing. he hasn't heard about the bill. sunday morning. on sunday night, that same night, according to the montgomery advertiser, the sponsor of the bill in the legislature released a statement backing off. saying he plans to change the bill so women can choose what kind of state-mandated probing they get so it doesn't have to be a vaginal probe. ed a adding he always intended to give women the right to choose, he didn't mean to require vaginal probe ultrasound ts.
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in true fact, he totally meant to require them. he ment that specifically and i know this because the bill spells it out. it spells out the vanl ial probe requirement. literally the world vaginal is in the bill. it required that women before getting an abortion have an ultrasound "using either a vaginal trans ducer or abdominal, whichever would display the fetus more clearly "that what is he proposed. a specific explicit requirement for state mandated vaginal probe ultrasounds since they in the vast majority of cases would show the fetus most clearly. then after the governor gets asked about it by a reporter, suddenly the senator who sponsored said he will change it and hopes nobody minds he's pushing a measure, the state is still telling your doctor what to do and you have no choice.
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we asked governor bentley's office in alabama if they had been in touch with the sponsor of the bill, with the sponsor of the forced vaginal ultrasound bill, if they were in touch about the governor's feelings after he was squd about it by a reporter, turns out yes, yes, they have. the governor's office telling us governor bent lay's office communicated the governor's examination to senator scofield's office. governor bentley supports a requirement for a non-invasive ultrasound to be performed before a pregnancy could be terminated. the forced vaginal probe ultrasound is not just a virginia story. it's also an alabama and pennsylvania story where the legislature is considering an ultrasound bill that because of how specific the requirements are around images and sound, would also pretty much mandate vaginal probes by order of the state. the pennsylvania bill also mandates that the doctor or technician performing the state
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mandated ultrasound position the screen so that it in the woman's sight line during the procedure. it's mandated by law that it be pointed at your face. but hey ladies, according to the law you're not required to view the screen. so, to be clear the state of pennsylvania would in this case by law mandate a vaginal probe ultrasound, and the state of pennsylvania would mandate that the results of the ultrasound be pointed at your face but the state of pennsylvania will stop just shy of using that clockwork orange machine to prop your eyelids open and force you to regard the ultrasound. it should be noted that pennsylvania is the state where over the ten years before 2011 there were 19 votes in total on abortion in the general assembly. ten years, 19 votes. when republicans took control there in 2011, there were 34 votes on abortion in one year. one year alone. i explain tlad sta ed that last week attributed to virginia it's
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actually pennsylvania. arizona had also been going with an aity abortion bill had a new waiting period that bill is in limbo but could still be voted on by the legislature this session. states like virginia and arizona where republicans have control over state government, it is really their choice whether or not to push through legislation like this. democrats are not able to stop them because there aren't democrats in the state in sufficient numbers in the legislature, they can't -- republicans can't be outvoted after the 2010 elections turned the states so red. it will be the republicans alone who have to decide if and how they want to proceed on these measures. republicans looking at the way this sunk the story line of bob mcdonnell as the perfect vice presidential candidate, it raised cain in virginia and everywhere else it's brought up, now that people know to look for
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it, given all, that given the political climate, this overreach has created the question remains not just whether or not republicans will continue full steam ahead with this kind of policy making but whether or not democrats will realize there is an issue for them to campaign on here. that the republicans maybe shouldn't be stopped on these issues, if you have the opposite view of republicans on this issue but maybe there is room for democrats to gain politically here. the democrats closest to the fights, watching republicans not only lose but retreat and deny previous positions on this, have decided that not only democrats but women in general ought to be on the offense on this. do you want to know what the name is of the new virginia pac that just form to go after anybody who votes for personhood or state mandated ultrasound is? they are calling the womens strike force.
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on saturday, fayetteville, north carolina became the second civilian community in the u stites to publicly mark the end of the iraq war and to welcome home eye iraq war veterans. a local non-profit put together a convoy of motorcycles and private cars and drove an eight mile route across town. their way of saying welcome home to the veterans who served in iraq. this is some of what that looked
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like in fayetteville, the head of the local non-profit said that part of the motivation for doing it this way, as a convoy on local highways was that it was just easier to organize something like that, easier for civilians to do this easier than deal with getting the red tape and permits for a downtown parade. next place to celebrate the end of the iraq war and welcome home veterans will likely be oklahoma city where they are planning a combined st. patrick's day parade and welcome home parade on march 17th. then tucson, arizona has a parade for march 31st. followed by richmond, virginia which has a parade scheduled on may 19th, armed forces day, and then rome, georgia has one for june 16th. none in new york city, the ticker tape parade is because the pentagon does not think there should be one in new york specifically, even though they say they support others
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before today we knew newt gingrich's billionaire had given $11 million to the super pac supporting mr. gingrich's candidacy, 11 and 5 million and another 5 million, now apparently more. an anonymous source refusing to say exactly how much more, but mr. gingrich's billionaire is giving more this time. the source tells the post the donation is "substantial and at least on par with the two five-million dollar donations sheldon adelson and family have given previously" giving mr. gingrich at least another $5 million today. that cash infusion will come too late to resuscitate his hopes in time for arizona or michigan tomorrow but he will be alive for super tuesday next week. "the washington post" reporting
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the pac will use tv ads in georgia, oklahoma, ohio and tennessee, with more to come wednesday in mississippi, alabama and kansas. skipping tomorrow's races in arizona and michigan, looking ahead to next week. makes sense to not even try for tomorrow, the polls in michigan and arizona show mr. gingrich getting crushed in both states tomorrow. he didn't much have the option to compete, his billionaire had not hooked him up for money for them. when mr. gingrich is between cash infusions from his billionaire, his campaign prospects shrivel up like an earth worm on a hot sidewalk. money keeps mr. gingrich alive and in the race. and now he has more money. since we know that newt gingrich's billionaire wants newt gingrich or mitt romney to be the nominee but does not want rick santorum to be the nominee, it is probably worth noting mr. gingrich probably has no chance
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of winning the nomination for himself, no matter how long he stays in the race, but his staying in the race probably insures that rick santorum will not beat mitt romney. so, bottom line, one billionaire's decision to throw billionaire pocket change at a spoiler candidate, newt gingrich, decides who get the nomination for press denial. it won't be santorum, it will be romney. must be nice to be a billionaire in the post citizens united world and get to make that decision on your own for the whole country. but newt gingrich isn't the only one with a billionaire. rick santorum has his own, the lady should put an aspirin between his knees. ron ball has his the guy who founlted paypal. mitt romney has many billionaires as you would expect from a man from his financial standing. but what does a billionaire supporting mitt romney get for his money? if you're newt gingrich's billionaire you're the only funder.
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you as one person get to decide mr. gingrich's fate and thereby the whole fate of the race to the extent that it depends on mr. gingrich's continued participation in it. i can see why a guy like sheldon adel would be doing what he's doing. if you're one of the billionaires supporting mitt romney, what do you get for your money? you can be replaced by the other billionaires in the room if you don't step uchlt no one billionaire is important to the romney campaign, why do it? what motivates you? where write a seven-figure check to the mitt romney pac? what do you get? right after new york state passed marriage equality last year, after the length gislature, and governor cuomo signed it in laurks the new york times did a post morten came together, what motivated the governor to do it and push hard, what persuaded the republicans who changed their minds, how the
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pro-game marriage side came together. the rich guy republican donors, conservative donors who met secretly with the staft fers and said they would help him out even though he is a democrat. "within days the wealthy republicans sent back word they were on board each of them cut six figure checks to the lobbying campaign for gay marriage rights." those wealthy republicans who bankrolled the pro-gay marriage fight in new york were three hedge fund zillionaires, three conservative hedge fund zillionaires supporting gay marriage last year in new york state. all three of them now supporting mitt romney for president. >> our conservative values came under attack. less than a year after i took
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office the state's supreme court inexplicably found a right to same sex marriage in the constitution written by john evans. i prohibited out of state couples from coming to our state to get marry and going home. on my watch we fought hard and prevented massachusetts from becoming the las vegas of gay marriage. when impress denlt i will defend the defense of marriage act. i will fight for an amendment to our constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman. >> as frank rich points out in his new piece for new york magazine, mitt romney raising the specter of massachusetts becoming the las vegas of gay marriage was only days after mr. romney accepted an endorsement from donald trump that paragone of traditional marriage while he was in actual las vegas. but how do you explain ardently pro-gay rights conservative zillionai refrn zillionaires,
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then those exact same people bank rolling with even more money the most ardently anti--gay republican presidential campaign in history? turns out there is a good new article about this and that piece written by frank rich for new york magazine not just about the mystery of pro gay rights conservatives, but also about supposedly pro gay rights democrats not behaving prog gay right at all. frank rich joins us here next for the interview, we will be right back.
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new york magazine writer at large frank rich joins us for the interview, next. rish+ stre. active naturals wheat formulas restore strength for up to 90% less breakage in three washes. for strong, healthy hair with life, new aveeno nourish+ strengthen.
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on my watch we fought hard and prevented massachusetts from becoming the las vegas of gay marriage. >> that guy has the support of all the pro-gay rights zillionaires in hedge fund politics. joining us is frank rich the must read, must watch writer at large for "new york magazine" thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you for writing the piece about the complicated politics of gay rights, much more complicated than they appear on the surface. i thought it was great. >> thank you so muchful. >> we hear the power players in republican politics aren't anti-gay at all. a lot of them are pro-gay rights. where doesn't that translate in pressure on mitt romney candidacy to stop being so anti-gay?
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>> a good question. the three hedge fund billionaire billionaires billionaires, one of them has a gay son, why are they supporting a party, a national party and a national candidate still at least for another 24 hours the favorite, mitt romney, when this entire party is essentially pursuing homo phobic rhetoric and policies? no matter what they say in private, they are not bigoted against gay people, charles murray came out for same sex marriage. pundits say i'm sort of with i'm with gay equality and yet the party is really in the stone age, and romney is really rep pre hence i believe, because we we know in the 190's he was pro gay civil right he said as much
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in a race against ted dee the left of teddy kennedy if he made it to the senate. is completely craven. and not only is he making these ridiculous statements about same-sex marriage, wants to bring back doma -- not bring back defend doma. but he also was reported last week, has been courting unsuccessfully maggie gallagher who was head of the national organization for marriage, who made those horrific homophobic ads of lightning striking america if gay people were in partnerships or got married. so it's incredible hypocrisy. and i wonder what someone like paul singer's son said to him. romney can do a lot more damage than is going to happen, would have happened in new york state, if same-sex marriage hadn't passed. >> and i wonder, the thing that surprises me is that you read something like dick cheney lobbying for same-sex marriage. >> quietly. >> quietly in maryland.
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ken mehlman, former chair of the republican party, being integral to that effort in new york state and other states working on same-sex marriage rights. afer, americans for equal rights, the group that has been mobilizing high-profile republicans, really high-profile republicans. not pundits, former elected officials. people high-ranking in the party. >> ted olson. >> all these people you'd think would be able to really swing not just lip service, but power. but then when it comes to the republican nominating contest it's gone off the charts right wing, well to the chart of what george w. bush was campaigning on in terms of being anti-gay. what's the relationship in terms of what republicans do? i don't understand the disconnect. >> there's a complete disconnect and i guess it's just a kind of dispratt, craven relationship to the base of that party. look, we now have a base, the republican party, that is so radical that they can be pandered to by calls for
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elimination of public education for, you know -- we have a major candidate who yet could rin win campaigning, as you've been talking earlier, against college education. and so they're also as we know taking these bizarre stands about women's reproductive rights right s rights rights, about contraception. so this is really a radical, radical party are. but that hypocrisy. someone like ken mehlman is in a long tradition, i hate to say it, of republicans who were closeted homosexuals, in power, actually enabled homophobe ic policies, in some periods really a demonization of gay people, and then as soon as they're away from it, as soon as ken mehlman, who had been head of the republican party under bush when bush had all these homophobic marriage amendments and ballot initiatives, he and karl rove,
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then he comes out and does the right thing, comes out as gay, but also comes out of those policies. but where was he when it really mattered within his own party? in that sense it's like terry dolan, roy kohn, finkelstein, worked for jesse helms, he was in a gay marriage in massachusetts after he stopped working for jesse helms. so there's something -- there's a real sort of pathological disconnect. and they've really got to be called on it and they've got to be called on it by democrats as well as people like us. >> i think that ken mehlman though has sort of -- i think ken mehlman has done the right thing to the extent that you can't do back in time. you can indict what he did in the past, but then once you come out, if you were complicit in politics that were not only hypocritical but you decided were very bad for the country the right thing to do is work to change those politics. he's certainly doing that in his public life.
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>> he's doing things like the proposition 8 fight but what is going on with the republican party? how is it every candidate, every single candidate with the arguable exception of jon huntsman who's long gone, has taken such anti-gay views in terms of policy and rhetoric? how have they remained silent? when you have a gay soldier who's serving in iraq ask a perfectly innocuous, pleasant question through youtube at a republican debate, and no one including the then nine candidates on stage speaks up against it? it's great that ken mehlman is involved with the raising money for afer and to fight proposition 8 and so on. but what about within that party? and i don't mean to single him out. paul singer, these hedge fund guys. all the big bucks people who think of themselves as being enlight right-hand side about social issues. the coke brothers. they sponsor things like the new york city ballet.
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why are they remaining silent, the party that they support, the movements that they support in terms of tea party, is so homophobic. i just don't get it. it's a disconnect but also it's something that actually does damage, not only do gay americans, but to children who have gay parents. you know. anyone who has a friend or a relative who's gay. >> you also single out bill clinton here for having essentially special ethical responsibility to work to undo doma, the defense of marriage act, which was passed during his administration. and that he signed into law. why single -- what effect do you think it would have if bill clinton actively worked against that? he says he's for same-sex marriage but he hasn't been working on these issues, at least as far as we know. >> he hasn't, and he's obviously mortified by embarrassment because doma, which did happen on his watch and with a lot of support from so-called liberal
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democrats in congress, is the reason that even in the states now where same-sex marriage is legal, those couples cannot have social security benefits, veterans benefits, medicaid, medicare, and a thousand other federal benefits. that law does real damage. i think he's too embarrassed to do it. he didn't even mention doma in his thousand-page autobiography. >> frank rich, this is a really good piece. we talked mostly about republicans. i should say the piece is mostly about democratic complicity in this, especially the bill clinton stuff i think is fascinating. thanks again. we'll be right back.
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the possibility that mitt romney might not wind up being the republican presidential nominee on the line tomorrow night in the michigan primary where he and rick santorum are running nearly neck and neck. also tomorrow the arizona primary where mr. romney will try and overcome the "sports illustrated" cover curse of being endorsed by that state's republican governor.

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