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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  August 9, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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ago. there's something wrong with a country fighting a war that most of the country has come to pay so little attention to. that's "hardball" for now, thanks for being with us, "the what are the voters in wisconsin telling us tonight about what's going to happen in the presidential election next year? >> finally today, total recall. >> democrats trying to take back control. >> it's recall day in wisconsin. >> six republican state senators are up for recall. >> ed schultz, live from madison. >> the people are responding at an unbelievable rate. >> democrats are angry in wisconsin. >> what today's big recall election in wisconsin tells us. >> players on both sides right now pulling out money in wisconsin. >> money in politics is the root of all political evil. >> pretty darn [ bleep ]? >> washington has lots of suggestions for the president's next move. >> what can the president do?
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>> physically, what do you do? >> really credible changes to the budget. >> more aggressive tone. >> call the four leaders of congress back to washington. >> the best move would be to say -- >> shiny balls. >> pretty darn [ bleep ]? >> the obama campaign thinks mitt romney is weird. >> mitt romney, get the phone. >> they plan an aggressive counter attack. >> assault on mitt romney's personality and also his business background. americans think he's awkward, they mention his love of skinny jeans. >> the other guy looks weird in skinny jeans. >> weird. >> shiny balls. >> weird. >> and "newsweek" cannot knock michele bachmann off message. >> an unflattering "newsweek" cover. >> ah-ha. >> what's the power behind your campaign in. >> i'm an iowan and i was born
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here. >> i can call this napkin a paper towel, but it is a napkin. good evening from washington, we are now just one hour away from polls closing in wisconsin where democrats are trying to take back control of the state senate through a recall election and make history in the process. when republican governor scott walker signed a budget bill in march stripping employees of their bargaining rights, democrats vowed to continue the fight through the recall process, but republicans used the recall process too. petitions were filed to recall six republican senators and three democrats. according to wisconsin law, the elections are held on the tuesday of the sixth week commencing after the date the filing officer files the petition. tonight, six incumbent republicans are fighting t on to their senate d emocrats w
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of those seats, they will regain control of the senate where republicans now hold a 19 to 14 advantage. on august 16th, the last two recall elections will be held. in those elections, two democratic senators are trying to hold their senate seats against a recall election. the first election was decided on july 19 when democrat dave hansen held his senate seat against a recall challenge. prior to this year's nine recall elections in wisconsin, the united states of america has seen only 20 state legislative recall elections in the last 100 years. joining me now from madison, wisconsin, the host of "the ed show," our ambassador to wisconsin, ed schultz, thanks for joining me. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, lawrence.
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i'm having a hard time hearing you, the crowd is just awesome here tonight. the intensity, the anticipation is absolutely riveting here in the badger state. these americans are just maybe an hour or two away to find out if they have been on a successful journey to recall what has been a radical agenda by the governor of this state. and let me give you an example of just how intense everything is, lawrence, in district 14, in portedge, wisconsin, luther olson, hasn't been challenged in 16 years, being charged by fred clark, the democrat, it's a 45-minute wait to vote at this moment. the vote total is greater than that of the governor's race and greater than that of the most recent supreme court case. keep in mind, in this district,
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a democrat has not won in 114 years. this is remarkable political stuff that is unfolding here in the badger state. it is something that the entire country is watching right now. nowhere else have six representative senators been challenged at this level, and the amount of money that's poured into this state, and lawrence, i really do believe this is really the first big test of the influence that the supreme court decision of citizens united is going to have at the state level, and it is a template in many ways for the progressives around this country to put together a model as to how they are going to fight it. i have talked to a number of grassroots workers today that have told us they think the ground game by the progressives to beat back these six republican senators has been highly sophisticated. they have been brilliant on the basics, they have done everything they've had to do, and the turnout today, there was really nothing here to judge
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what kind of turnout we were going to have in wisconsin, because we've never been here on a tuesday in august on the 9th day of the monday making such a mammoth decision, and so this has just everything you want. you know, the corporate tax rates were cut by governor walker, it hasn't created jobs. in fact, the unemployment rate is now higher in wisconsin than when he came into office. the personal tax rates that governor doyle had, they have been rolled back. the attack on labor, attack on the middle class. i mean, this race has everything for ya, and it is amazing to see this all unfold. very intense, and the anticipation is very high as we are just a few hours away from getting, i think, the final results here in wisconsin. >> ed, i want to go back to your reporting on the 14th district, luther olsen, the
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district has been republican for over 100 years, but running unopposed is an indication of our national office of just how solid the 14th district lock has been for republicans until possibly tonight. that wasn't even one of the districts that i had my eye on as a possible swing, so if that thing is running as tight as it's running, that's a very good sign for other districts, isn't it? >> there's no question about it. jon erpenbach, we'll have him on "the ed show" later tonight, we have the ground game, boots opt ground, but we don't have the money they have. this is a battle of two titans going at it in two different ways. obviously, you can't underscore the impact the tea party groups have had here the last five days, and that's why it's so hard to judge what's going to happen in some of these other districts other than the 14th,
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which we were talking about. a lot of it is unpredictable. what does a great turnout mean? does that mean the citizens united money worked, does that mean republicans have awakened to support a governor in the 30 percentile when it comes to approval? this race has everything. it is so futuristic, it is so on the cutting edge, it is transforming how politics is going to be run, i think, in this country. and it is a real message to ohio with senate bill 5 that is now finally on the ballot, where they got far more signatures than they needed. it's a real message to michigan where rick snyder and his radical agenda and some of the things they have passed in that state such as a financial management system to come in and run a municipality if they don't like how it is being run financially. this is a message to the rest of
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the country on what has to happen for the progressives. >> ed, the turnout is -- you've said it's hard to judge what it means, and also in these races, we don't have very much polling in these kinds of local races. in fact, it's very common to have no polling at all, so you're left standing there in the streets of wisconsin trying to get a feel for it, trying to get a guess at it. all were won by president obama, some of them were real squeakers last time for the republicans, some of these incumbent republicans won with -- one of them, alberta darling won with 50.4%, another one won with 50.1% of the vote. so there's definitely with any real anti-incumbent feeling here, getting to three doesn't seem impossible tonight. >> no, it doesn't seem
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impossible, and keep in mind these are pretty much rural districts. this recall tonight does not involve the city in which i'm broadcasting from, madison, wisconsin, it does not involve milwaukee. suburban milwaukee it does involve, but all of these districts are pretty much rural areas, and for the turnout to be what it is, i think, is really something for the archives. it's really interesting the way this has unfolds, and the polling you were talking about, they don't have anything to measure it against, there's polls all over the place. the real sign we have is the intensity of all of this is the turnout that has been strong all day long, and we should point out, in some districts it has been at presidential levels, such as the case with roberta darling, who really is the closest ally to governor scott walker, who was very involved in writing the anti-union legislation. she is being challenged by sandy pasch whoo is up against almost
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$9 million. think about that, these are rural areas in wisconsin. i go back to my roots of fargo, north dakota, and i think of senators -- what would he do if he was facing an avalanche of $8 or $9 million, in a rural area, in a small town? i just find it absolutely -- put on the tv, lawrence, without seeing one bad ad over another, you can't turn on the radio without hearing one bashing ad over the other, it's one of the archives, it's exciting being -- >> ed, the polls close at 9:00 p.m., how quickly will they get the votes counted in these districts? >> that's a great point, there are some election experts here in wisconsin that think this is going to roll in pretty fast,
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that we may have all totals in by 11:00 p.m. eastern time tonight, and so i think we're going to have some conclusions here within the next probably 90 to 120 minutes. i think it's going to roll in pretty fast. there really have been no stories of any kind of real voter problems. down and that was quickly replaced and the county clerk assured everyone all the votes were counted and everyone in line was able --
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coming up, everyone has criticized president obama for not doing enough, but what can he do about the economy? e.j. dionne joins me, and rick santorum compares marriage to paper towels. every day, all around the world, energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas.
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coming up, everyone seems to think that the weak economy is now completely president obama's fault, including people who believe we live in a capitalist society where the free market controls the economy. e.j. dionne joins me next to sort out the confusion. and if mitt romney wins the presidential campaign, the obama campaign is ready for him. that's coming up. [ female announcer ] so you think your kids are getting enough vegetables?
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when president obama began his address to the american people yesterday afternoon, the dow stood at just over 11,000. by the end of the day it had dropped another 200 points, ending the worst single day stock market plunge since the 2008 crash. that prompted this headline on the cover of today's "new york post," "tanks a lot." inside the story read "with stock markets in free fall yesterday, a desperate president obama tried to turn things
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around by delivering a rallying speech but it was so lackluster, it led to a full scale financial massacre." the story failed to mention any substantive effort will have to wait until congress returns from recess, four weeks from today. today, msnbc's andrea mitchell asked the director of the president's economic council why the president does not press congress to return sooner. >> andrea, entitlement reform. >> why not have john boehner come back to washington and have them sit down and pick up where they left off? >> andrea, the issue, and let's be very clear, the issue is not how many times they meet together, the issue is getting a meeting of the minds that we need, bipartisan compromise. we need everyone to stop drawing firm lines in the stand. every budget expert, every independent expert knows it
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requires entitlement reform and tax reform that both contribute to deficit reduction. >> when congress does return, the joint select committee on deficit reduction will begin to negotiate further government savings. today we learned harry reid has opponented his three candidates. patti maury will be joined by john kerry and montana senator max baucus, joining me now, "the washington post" columnist and brookings institute senior fellow, e.j. dionne. thanks for joining me tonight. >> good to be with you. >> there is confusion abroad in the land that we are a staunch capitalist society and the free market guides all until we decide it's all the president's fault and we are in a soviet economy and he's just getting it
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wrong. can you help america with the understanding of what government can do and most interestingly, what can government do now during an august recess when government can't agree on anything? >> well, i think it's a free market economy unless there's a recession and the democrat is president. i mean, i think first of all, the notion of having congress come back, nothing could be worse for obama right now to get caught up in that vortex of dysfunction. his numbers went down in part because everybody hated the whole picture, having them out of town for awhile is a good thing. there are things for obama to do and the striking thing is he's let the republicans move the entire debate to the budget deficit when the plurality or majority of the country says job creation is the problem. and this recent, you know, unpleasantness on the stock market, what's happening in europe tells us growth is the issue. and i think -- i have a long
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list of things he could do, and i think what he needs to do is put them to the republican congress when they get back and say yes, we should do his things about raising unemployment -- renewing unemployment insurance, payroll tax cuts, infrastructure banks, do something about the mortgage problem, add state and local governments. every time we add private sector jobs, we're losing state and local jobs. put it together, put it to the congress, and if they want to vote against it, let them, but he's got to take leadership. leadership is as cliche in politics, but i think he's got to look strong. >> should he be doing this as individual bills or one big package? >> i think he needs a big and substantial package to say i've already said i'm serious about the deficit but we'll never get a handle on deficit if we can't get growth again. the obama -- voters in the senate are not easily categorized, you've move the
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this piece and win them. i think that's what he needs to show at the end of this debt ceiling mess. >> all right, chris matthews has this idea that's kind of wonderfully old-fashioned. wonderful in the sense this sort of thing used to work, which is to simply say okay, i want to do this infrastructure stuff, i want to fix these bridges, repave these roads, and specify the congressional districts in which he wants to get these things done, republican congressional districts, the votes he would need and create that image of the school bus going over the bridge in september, the bridge that might not be safe enough because your member of the house of representatives is refusing to go forward with the kind of building we need. >> i don't think that's a bad idea. i think one of the lessons of the stimulus fight is the republicans were brilliant of playing both ends of it. they said the stimulus was bad and didn't work but all kinds of members of congress took credit
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for every dime of stimulus spending in their districts. this reverses the process and challenges them, are you really going to vote against this stuff now? but i think more generally it's about saying i do have ideas how to get us moving. i inherited this mess, i can't fix the whole thing. you're right, it's a free market economy but we can do more than we're doing now. >> a lot of talk about serious players in the congress don't want to be on the super committee, he's got the chairman of the senate finance committee on there, which, by the way puts the senate finance committee staff on the committee, which is a smart move; but those three senators can speak clearly for the democratic majority in the senate. >> i think it's worth noting no one of the gang of six on that three. baucus' significance is that he can put revenue on the table. if they want to talk about revenue, having him there, kerry is a national figure, he's
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endorsed obama's big deal and peggy is a loyal party person who's not going to go way off from where the majority of the caucus is. >> she's on the budgets committee, john kerry is on the finance committee. these people know the nuts and bolts. what should the democrats do in the house in terms of appointments to this committee? >> i guess i might finesse it and get some sense of what john boehner is doing in the house. if he cares to the tea party and says no one who's even a moderate conservative, then you know where this committee is going and might put some more militant people on there. i think she needs a couple of people who are very strong on the democratic commission like schakowsky or barney frank, maybe steny hoyer, there's always talk about there's a little sort of tension between pelosi and hoyer, put him on
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there. that would be a good symbol and he can rally some of the moderates. >> most of all, let this congress stay away from washington for the month of august. >> i don't think anyone in the country wants to see them come back. >> "the washington post" e.j. dionne, tells us how to get through this month of august. thanks for joining us, e.j. coming up, people who want 100% of the downgrade, why the people of fox news got exactly what they asked for and a look at the obama 2012 campaign strategy on how to stop willard m. romney if he's the nominee. two words, he's weird. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada,
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i got 98% of what i wanted. i'm pretty happy. >> john boehner's 98% now includes the standard & poor's downgrade, and he was not the only person wishing for it. since april when standard & poor's issued its first warning about a possible downgrade, hosts on fox news have openly begged for a downgrade, just as they begged congress not to raise the debt ceiling because they have absolutely no idea what that would mean to the world, but they were sure that not raising the debt ceiling and getting a downgrade would be bad for president obama, and they are always going to come down on the side of what they think is bad for president obama.
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>> let them default. >> really? >> let them go. >> you're a brave guy. >> what's going to happen? armageddon is going to happen. >> we don't deserve a aaa rating. >> don't we deserve, matt welsh, a bond rating lesser than aaa? we don't pay our money back from our wealth, we don't pay our debts from our wealth, we borrow money in order to pay our debts. how can any bond raters give us a good bond rating since that's been the practice since world war ii? >> the united states of america doesn't deserve and ought not deserve a aaa rating and shall lose it shortly. >> absolutely. >> such patriots. they asked for it, they got it. still ahead in this hour, politico reported today the obama campaign has a new strategy, make people think willard romney is weird and socially awkward. like that's going to be hard.
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that's next. and later, republican presidential candidate rick santorum tries to draw a comparison between a napkin and marriage and a paper towel. and it gets like all wicked metaphysical. a lo t of people think fiber can do one thing and one thing only, and those people are what i like to call wrong. take metamucil. sure it helps you keep regular, but it doesn't stop there. metamucil is the only leading fiber supplement with psyllium, which gels to help remove waste and reduce cholesterol. it can multi-multitask. it's so 2012. look at it! it's doing over a million different things right now. metamucil.
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technology when you want it. people when you don't. in the spotlight tonight, today politico reported that president obama's campaign staff is already planning how to go negative on the republican candidate they expect to face in the general election, willard m. romney. obama campaign advisor david axelrod told politico the obama campaign is watching romney's awkward encounters. when he makes jokes about being unemployed or a waitress pinching him on the butt, it does snap your head back and you say what's he talking about?
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the obama campaign also plans to use romney's record as a job eliminator against him by makie ing romney "the very picture of greed in the great recession." politico again quotes, "his is very much the profile we've seen, about making money. that's fine, but often times he made it at the expense of jobs in communities." an anonymous source gave politico its juiciest quote. "unless things change and obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill romney." that statement is attributed to "a prominent democratic strategist aligned with the white house." which narrows it down to a few hundred people. that juicy bit got this response from the romney campaign.
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"it is disgraceful that president obama's campaign has launched his reelection with the stated goal to kill his opponent with an onslaught with negative and personal attacks." joining me now is msnbc contributor jonathan alter, a columnist for "bloomberg view" thanks for joining me tonight, jonathan. >> hi, lawrence. >> is it wise for the obama campaign to be out there talking about the plans for the negative plans for romney? >> i think it's fine to do that is.s you eir base going with know, but this anonymous source who used the word "kill," you know, should be -- i guess you could say he should be banned from commenting about politics, whoever he is, because you don't use the "k" word ever when it
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comes to a presidential candidate or president. having said that, look, they have a game plan they are going to try to do to romney what george w. bush did to john kerry in 2004, and that is to discredit him early and often. >> you know, jonathan, i just want to go back to the citation for that political quote. i want to read it again. here's how that quote is attributed in politico. "a prominent democratic strategist aligned with the white house." as i said in my introduction, that narrows it down to about 300 people. >> a thousand people. >> a thousand, there you go. the other stuff is all david axelrod on the record saying things perfectly sensible and responsive to things he's getting about romney and things he said before, so it actually doesn't read to me as suddenly the obama campaign has come out and decided to turn over its cards about romney.
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this story came to them. >> they have always had two things that they are going to go negative with. one is his years at bain capital, remember when ted kennedy was running against romney in 1994 for the senate from massachusetts, he pulled that out, it was a close race, kennedy won in the 11th hour by going to people who had lost their jobs as a result of decisions made by bain capital, and even though that was many years ago, you can expect to see those same folks in obama ads, and the other thing that's very important that you're going to hear a lot from republicans is that massachusetts was 47th out of 50th in job creation when mitt romney was governor, and before this race is done, if romney's the nominee, every voter will at least have heard that, that statistic, because
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romney's whole campaign is he could be a better economic steward for the united states and if he wasn't a good steward in massachusetts, he's going to have a harder time making that argument. of course, rick perry might be the nominee, so this could all be moot. >> right. jonathan, i think the politico piece raises an important question, which is how does a president run for reelection if the president can't run on his record of accomplishments? >> well, it will partially be on those accomplishments. you will hear the obama campaign talking a lot about the auto bailouts, for instance, they won't call them bailouts, but how they managed against all expectations by making a very tough decision, the president managed to save hundreds of thousands of jobs and help the auto industry recover, so part of the message will be positive and related to their record, but there will be, with 9.1% unemployment, there will be a lot of negativity in the obama
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campaign, and anybody expecting anything else is naive. >> msnbc contributor jonathan alter, thank you very much for joining me tonight, jonathan. >> yeah, thanks a lot, lawrence. when rick santorum talks about marriage, he leaves reality zone pretty quickly, and tonight he gets crazier than ever. that's ahead on the rewrite. and later, how does michele bachmann respond to criticism and controversy on the campaign trail? she wisely doesn't. how bachmann is staying on message. that's coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] you never know when a moment might turn into something more. and when it does men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ [ man ] tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity.
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coming up, what rick santorum doesn't understand about america would fill a week of programs on this show. tonight we'll concentrate on what rick santorum doesn't understand about napkins, paper towels, and marriage. and you may not know who this man is, but he's qualified to participate in fox's
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presidential debate, but they won't let him because he's openly gay. that man and rick santorum, who is not openly gay, are in tonight's rewrite. and why does michele bachmann know how to stay on message when faced with weird magazine covers and other distractions while running for president? who is keeping her on message? . one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do. check out your portfolio, track the market with live updates. and execute trades anywhere and anytime the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done. open an account today and put schwab mobile to work for you.
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time for tonight's rewrite.
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fox news is barring this man from its republican presidential debate this week simply because he is gay. fred karger meets all of fox's requirements for being in the debate, which are the candidate be registered with the federal elections commission as a presidential exploratory committee or presidential campaign. the candidate meets all u.s. constitutional requirements and has garnered at least an average of 1% in five national polls based on most recent polling leading up to the registration day. karger's campaign sites five polls, harris interactive poll, which saw the candidate tied with tim pawlenty at 2%, karger has also placed at 1% in three polls, one of them a fox news poll, and just under 1% in a
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fifth. and to reiterate, fox's own rules call for an average of 1% in five national polls, and the 2% showing in the most recent harris poll gets him there, but fox news knows that fred karger is openly gay and fox news is not about to let an openly gay presidential candidate in a republican debate. but fox news will allow this man in the debate, former fox news contributor rick santorum, who polls 50% lower than fred karger in the harris interactive poll. santorum, of course, is not openly gay, but he is deeply confused about human sexuality and has left many of us concerned for his mental health when he finds himself
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irresistibly drawn into discussions of gay life. here's santorum's latest meanderings on same-sex marriage. >> i can call this napkin a paperer towel, but it is a napkin. why? because it is what it is. right? >> okay, this is the american politician at his worst, right? when a politician is trying to go all kitchen table on you and pretending to know the price of milk or what we do with napkins and paper towels. that's the way they try to sound connected to us, but it always makes them sound completely alien. only a politician could think there's some big difference between a napkin and a paper
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towel. i can't remember the last time i bought napkins, but i buy paper towels all the time, because i use them all the time as paper towels and yes, as napkins. sometimes folded like that, sometimes not. the paper towel is the napkin of choice in my home and always will be. and today at my desk, i used starbuck's napkins to mop up a little mess instead of paper towels, because i didn't have any paper towels. that's the way america really lives, substituting napkins for paper towels at will, whenever it makes sense. someone who has no comprehension of the american relationship to paper towels and napkins has no better chance of becoming president than an openly gay republican.
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let's hear where santorum went with this paper towel thing. >> i can call this napkin a paper towel, but it is a napkin. why? because it is what it is. right? you can call it whatever you want, but it doesn't change the character of what it is. sort of the metaphysics, right? so people come out and say marriage is something else. marriage is the marriage of five people, five and 20, marriage can be between fathers and daughters, any people, any poor people, any kind of relationship and we can call it marriage, but it doesn't make it marriage. why? because there are certain qualities and certain things that attach to the definition of what marriage is. >> santorum clearly has no idea
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that many of the holiest men in the bible had more than one wife, bigamists and polygamists are all over the bible, but santorum is very aware that he's running against two mormons who descended from polygamist marriages, and that's why santorum will continue to try to link same-sex marriage to polygamy, classy guy, rick santorum. rick santorum's political career will be ending soon. he will go to the republican convention next year not as a candidate, but as a fox news contributor again, unless by then he's driven o'reilly and the gang absolutely crazy by insisting that no one at fox news ever use a paper towel as a napkin. a lot of times, things are right underneath our feet,
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and all we need to do is change the way we're thinking about them. a couple decades ago, we didn't even realize just how much natural gas was trapped in rocks thousands of feet below us. technology has made it possible to safely unlock this cleanly burning natural gas. this deposits can provide us with fuel for a hundred years,
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providing energy security and economic growth all across this country. it just takes somebody having the idea, and that's where the discovery comes from.
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the biggest star of the presidential campaign who will never be president continued her state-wide campaign swing across iowa today, trying to rally support ahead of saturday's straw poll in ames, iowa. michele bachmann stuck to her talking points and avoided any mention of the "newsweek" magazine cover that's generated criticism from bachmann supporters because they say the photograph makes her look, and this is their word, crazy. this is all she said publicly when asked about it yesterday. >> you're on the cover this morning of what's left of "newsweek" magazine, have you seen it yet? >> i have not. >> okay, big close-up, sortd of a wild-eyed photo with the
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headline queen of rage. >> well we'll have to take a look at that, won't we? >> michele bachmann is in the process of proving she is no sarah palin. palin would have been all up in the lame stream media's face complaining about out of context photographs. in fact, when this image graced the cover of "newsweek" in 2009, palin slammed the magazine saying, "the out of context "newsweek" approach is sexist and oh so expected by now." bachmann has moved on to offering her trademark, wildly unrealistic ideas of what she would do today if she were president. >> if i were president today, i would call all the members of congress back into washington, d.c. and i'd say this, look, we are going to get this aaa back, and this is what we're going to do. first, we're going to tell the
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markets that there will be no default on the debt, we'll make sure all the interest payments are made. >> joining me now, dana milbank, opinion writer for "the washington post," thanks for joining me. watching that clip, i realized there is no way michele bachmann can scare american more than by beginning a statement with "if i were president today." there's nothing scarier than that. >> no, this is true, and you say she will never be the president. i think 99% likelihood you're correct in that, but she's more plausible -- >> you're a scientist about this, leaving the 1%. that's what i mean by political scientist. >> she's no rick santorum, but she's more plausible than i ever thought she would be and she's hired top-flight campaign people. she's actually listening to them, and they are very deliberately positioning her as sarah palin with gray matter and sarah palin with self control. the discipline is extraordinary. >> what we're seeing is ed
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rollins, who's running the campaign has set her down and said look, here's how it works, you do this, this, and this, and she's following the advice, which is really simple to follow and what makes it so fascinating, her predecessor, sarah palin, who couldn't do any of that. >> first thing fred rollins did was fought with the sarah palin campaign and said she hadn't been serious, but i think it laid out a marker for what michele bachmann is intending to be, and the discipline is extraordinary. you can always hire these guys, raise money and hire these guys, but then they wind up not listening to them, the advisors fight, we remember the hillary clinton campaign. michele bachmann is listening and she may look crazy in a photograph, but this woman is not crazy. >> does she run a risk of becoming jon huntsman here, so careful and so boring? >> i think she'll be just fine. everybody is dogging her about the -- what her husband's clinic
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is doing and she's saying we don't want to talk about the clinic, they created jobs, which is a brilliant answer. maybe they are converting gay people, but it's a small business creating jobs for america. she's on message, taking her base a bit for granted and reaching out to sort of normal voters. >> she's even brushing aside things like same-sex marriage, hot-button items saying we have more important stuff to talk about, i'm running for president. >> right, because she is keeping the big picture out there. the palin route was to wind up the base over and over again part by attacking the media and part by playing the victim. she actually has a pretty good corner on the tea party crowd. she's reaching out beyond that by saying i am a serious candidate. now she may have crazy ideas, but people are seeing a serious candidate. >> now it feels the political media is giving her huge credit
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for not being ridiculous. >> low expectations. >> but doing the most basic thing, you know, like having shoes that match, you know? it's like she's getting credit for that sort of stuff now. >> and mitt romney no matter what is going to be ridiculed by the media, but she comes in with the advantage of low expectations, that's why i think you can't write her off. she has been formidable. >> how does rick perry, those two are fighting for the same votes. >> they are, and polls indicate even without him out there and campaigning, he's slightly ahead of her generally, he has a very solid appeal to the evangelical crowd, but he doesn't quite have the electric appeal she has, she has a way to light up crowds that rick perry may seem a little goofy. >> dana milbank from "the washington post," thanks for joining me tonight. you can have the last word online at our blog,