tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 5, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EDT
for the people it was directed at. >> ta-nehisi coates. read his book "a beautiful struggle" which is a well written memoir. i can address your pros forever. thanks for coming. >> pleasure. >> herman cain will join lawrence on thursday. you can have the last word online at our blog, thelastword.msnbc.com. watch "up with chris hayes" which airs saturday mornings at 7:00 a.m. eastern. that's early. set your dvrs. and sundays at 8:00 a.m. the rachel maddow show is up next. good evening, rachel. >> did you choose your name of the show in full knowledge of the fact people didn't know what it was would say what's up with chris hayes? >> we were hoping for that reaction. yes. >> all right. it works. beautiful. perfectly done. thank you, chris. now that new jersey governor chris christie is back for running for vice president instead of running for president alongside all the other republicans not running for president anymore, like haley barbour and mitch daniels and
john thune and mike pence and is donald trump considered to be a vice presidential contender? now that chris christie rejoined the ranks of all the republicans vying with a almighty marco rubio to be the vice presidential nominee in 2012 instead of the presidential nominee, now that that is settled the republican party has to face up to mitt romney's peggy lee problem. ♪ is that all there is ♪ is that all there is ♪ if that's all there is my friends then let's keep dancing ♪ >> what is it about mitt romney's status as a front-runner exactly that makes the republican party cry into their beer? like a collective peggy lee? why has an entire year now of republican presidential speculation circled around the apparently central republican question of who can we nominate
who is not mitt romney? no one other than the very far right who says that mitt romney's a liberal and the very far religious right which says mormonism is a cult, nobody other than those people on the fringes will explain overtly why republicans are so resistant to mitt romney being their nominee, why republicans look at him and say, is this all there is? i think that evidence of where that resistance comes from is there. it's evidence that is in the political archives but it is not very deep down in those archives. it's from the recent past. in the 2008 presidential race, the democratic party, of course, had to pick a nominee. that was the great obama/clinton saga of 2008. because nobody was going to run dick cheney for president, not even the republican party, the
republicans in 2008 had to pick a nominee as well. 2008 was one of those rare years in modern presidential politics where neither party had a nominee in waiting. so there was this great weird moment on january 5th, 2008, in new hampshire when abc news hosted a debate for both parties. the republicans got to go first at 7:00 that night. then around 8:45 that night the republicans had to leave the stage in order to let the democratic candidates start debating. same moderator. same stage. same auditorium. just a new party. abc was smart about it. they actually made the two portions of the debate overlap. as you can see here, the republican candidates having just finished up, they stood on the stage and greeted the democratic candidates. the democrats joined them on stage to prepare for the start of their debate. everybody was chatting and doing the fake politician glad handing, locker room thing, everybody talking to each other and making professional nice. except for this guy. who's not talking to anybody. for a brief but instructive moment, nobody talked to mitt romney. mitt romney smiled and made the right sort of facial expressions, but it was just him alone up there. mitt romney came sort of close to winning the nomination in '08.
he won 11 states. he spent about $110 million. but the lasting impression mitt romney left on that race, the last time he ran for president, had frankly less to do with the threat hat he might actually get the nomination than it had to do with how much his presence unified all of the other republican candidates. how much everybody else really frankly disliked him. this is not my analysis. i'm sharing with you the analysis of the time from 2008. "within the small circle of contenders mr. romney has become the most disliked. a republican strategist not affiliated with any of the campaigns that year told "the new york times," quote, the glee, the glee the other candidates go after romney with is really unique." that strategist adding this as a schoolyard analogy. "john mccain and his friend used to beat up mit romney at recess."
a campaign adviser, quote, "whose distaste for romney is vivid." mike huckabee's campaign chairman who went on to become michele bachmann's campaign manager for a while this year, he said in 2008, and i quote, "what i have to do is make sure my anger with a guy like romney whose teeth i want to knock out doesn't get in the way of my thought process." there was "time" magazine which described mr. romney as, quote, "the candidate who seems to be uniting his republican rivals. quote, "the degree to which campaigns played a part cannot be underestimated." quote, "the other candidates' staffs have seemed to bonded in their dislike of romney. the aversion of romney seems to go beyond mere policy disagreements. it's also a suspicion of what they see as his hypocrisy and central phoniness." that debate where mitt romney stood all alone without a friend
in the world, the debate the next day was headlined as rivals pile on romney. everybody attacking mitt romney during that debate. apparently that was not a plan. it just came naturally. quote, "the campaigns have denied there's any political collusion going on. they insist -- they insist all of them simply feel the same way about romney." this was the most important thing about mitt romney the last time he ran in 2008. the most important thing about him. the most salient thing. the thing everybody was left with as an impression of mitt romney was how remarkable how much all the other republican candidates really personally hated him. this is from the book "game change" which is the inside story of the 2008 campaign. not my favorite book, but a useful section here. quote, the candidates lined up at the urinals, giuliani next to mccain, next to huckabee, the rest all in a row. the debate were soon to start so they were taking care of business and laughing merrily at the one guy that wasn't there, poking fun at him, agreeing about how much they disliked him. then willard mitt romney walk
into the bathroom and overheard them bringing on a crashing silence. honestly, it's like that movie "heathers." it's like high school. you want more from this? quote, "the day before the republican primary, huckabee mocked romney for ordering lunch at kentucky fried chicken and peeling off the fried coating and eating it with a knife and fork." this is republican presidential "heathers" the way they talk about mitt romney. when other nominees talked about romney in 2008, when they talked to reporters, romney is described in articles as him. like him in italics. once it was clear giuliani was going to drop out of the race, for example, "time" magazine reported a giuliani aide approached one of the mccain campaign senior staffers and said, quote, just tell us what you want to do, we've got to stop him. a former fred thompson staffer reports e-mails would fly around between the campaigns saying stuff like, and i quote, no matter what happens with us, we all need to make sure it's not him.
thompson staffers saying the campaigns would sometimes plot strategy against romney together. the quote, "hey, i saw you hit mitt on immigration. have you thought about going after him on this issue?" after winning the iowa caucuses, mike huckabee reportedly told john mccain as they both looked ahead toward new hampshire, quote, "now it's your turn to kick his butt." get him. get him. so here's where we stand right now. chris christie's not getting in the race. rick perry is newly tanking in the polls. perry's loss translated into the latest surge to threaten mitt romney this time from herman cain. responded to his surge in the polls by taking a month off the campaign trail. taking a month off to go on a book tour. michele bachmann is going through her quarterly purge of staff. rick santorum and jon huntsman with not exactly catching fire as candidates. there's frankly only one unanswered question left about the republican party picking its nominee for president this year.
and that is the question of whether or not they are over whatever it was that made them hate him so much in 2008. now, mike huckabee seems to have been the candidate who hated him the most. it was his campaign manager who said he wanted to knock romney's teeth out, for example. mr. huckabee bragged this weekend on his fox news tv show on the accomplishment of having forced him to be civil around mitt romney in 2011. >> you know, a lot of people that are watching this interview because they really were wondering, would you and i be able to sit in the same room and be civil to each other? it was exactly four years ago when we were kind of going through it. so i think we've proven that people can be civil. >> mike huckabee not laughing while he said that. mitt romney sort of trying to, ha, yes, my -- mike huckabee serious as it gets. in describing his discipline in remaining civil while being in the same room as him. the only unanswered question in
the republican nominating process right now is whether republicans, like mike huckabee, can choke down whatever it was that made them hate mitt romney so much in 2008 or whether they still hate him so much that the prospect of him getting the nomination is actually scary enough to make republicans give the only person left on the sidelines a second look. >> this is a serious decision and i'm engaging serious deliberations. >> joining us now is steve schmidt, senior campaign strategist for the mccain/palin campaign and former deputy assistant to president george w. bush. it's nice to see you again. someday i'm going to have you here to talk about policy about light rail instead of presidential contenders. someday, okay? have i lost you, steve? are you there? okay. how come candidates in '08 talked so much personal smack about mitt romney? >> i think these races, they're tough, they're fierce, they're
competitive. there was a lot of bad blood between the obama campaign and the clinton campaign while they're going against each other. when it's all over, everyone comes together. i think a lot of that stuff is in the past, but, you know, if you look back at the time, mitt romney was the first candidate in 2008 that started running negative campaign ads against his, you know, against his competitors. there were some hard feelings. i think there were some hard feelings on the part of governor huckabee. i think people put that down. i think four years ago is a very long time ago in politics. >> did he lose political capital or potential political alliances in doing that in 2008 that might continue to reverberate? i'm trying to understand what might be the republican dynamics behind people still looking for more candidates who aren't mitt romney to try to displace him as
the front-runner. >> i think all that is over today with governor christie getting out of the race. i think the field is the field we have now. think that the choice is the choice, you know, with the candidates that have been on the stage. you know, senator mccain and governor romney had a ferocious contest that went through the early part of the winter. but after, you know, senator mccain became the nominee, there was nothing that mitt romney didn't do, you know, to help john mccain. he was out there. he was raising money. he toured the country. he was one of the campaign's best surrogates. i think that went a long way even at the time to heal over, you know, any bad feelings. i think that he came out of that race, you know, as someone who had been on the other side of a tough campaign against him. with people feeling pretty good, you know, about mitt romney at the end of the campaign. >> if chris christie had entered the race today, that obviously would have been great news for rick perry. centrist republicans would have been splitting votes between mitt romney and chris christie and would open up a lot of room to move for rick perry. right now rick per we doesn't have his footing. looks like mitt romney has a
real straight shot at the nomination. do you think there is -- is there anything important to know about how the republican establishment is going to or not going to coalesce around mitt romney? >> i think a couple of things, rachel. i think you saw ken langone, a big christie supporter coming out today endorsing mitt romney. i think you will see a lot of undecided donors, big donors, part of what you would call the republican establishment will break to mitt romney decisively over the next couple days. i think this has been a tough couple weeks for rick perry. it's not like he's over or he's completely out of it. as we go forward to the next debates you look forward to seeing michele bachmann attacking him from the right, rick santorum attacking him from the right. obviously herman cain has risen pretty high in the national polls. i think all of those candidates are going to try to take a piece out of rick perry.
i think rick santorum has every potential to see movement in his numbers in iowa. so you're going to see a pretty vigorous contest now about who's going to be the conservative alternative to romney and a pile-on in that part of the primary. it will be interesting to watch. >> in terms of what comes out of that conservative, say, sort of still unanswered fight it be the non-romney candidate, we've also got tea party groups and groups like dick armey's freedom works group that's corporate funded, direct action group. they have announced they'll oppose a romney nomination by the republican party. does that actually, does that keep the schism open for too long in order for romney to actually make the ground he needs to make this year? >> no. look, i think at the end of the day it's a pay for play organization that is good about sending out press releases about itself. i think it's pretty impotent in terms of being able to do serious injury to, you know, the nominee should mitt romney be the nominee at the end of the
day. but, you know, you're going to see now a really vigorous contest on the right side of the republican party between cain, between bachmann, between santorum, between perry. you know, with all of those candidates trying to grow by taking a piece out of perr of course perry wants to keep his vote share. it's been declining. in order for him to get stable in the race he has to hold off the conservatives coming at him in the debate. >> if palin entered now could she become the anti-romney candidate? >> if you look alle g of the republican party, she'd get in in the race and be in a space somewhere between bachmann and gingrich. she doesn't jump to the top of the field. she's a third tier candidate. she's the most famous candidate. i don't think there's much market if you believe the polls, up you know, for her candidacy in the race. >> steve schmidt, senior campaign strategist for the mccain/palin campaign.
former deputy assistant to president george w. bush. i man who i commit to making laugh on television sometime in the next point in the next year. i did it. >> you did it. >> i'm going to buy myself a drink. thanks, steve. i appreciate it. >> thanks, rachel. >> we have a correction to make on tonight's show. there's also bad lip reading ahead which is awesome. we'll be talk about why colorado is trying to stop active duty u.s. soldiers from voting. that's the outrage story of the night. all ahead. which will be under the watchful spell of miss peggy lee. ♪ is that all there is ♪ if that's all there is my friends then let's keep dancing ♪
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democrat earl ray tomblin has just won the special election for governor of west virginia. he fended off a fierce challenge from a republican businessman named bill maloney. mr. tomblin and governor tomblin, veteran state lawmaker has been the acting governor of the state since joe manchin left to go to the u.s. senate last november. republicans went after tomblin for things like not suing the federal government over president obama's health care bill. tonight those tactics appear to have failed as voters rejected the republican candidate in favor of their democratic acting governor, again, earl ray tomblin. the seat will be up again next year for a four-year term. that race tonight is decided.
forget what you have heard about chris christie. forget what you've heard about the herman cain surge. nationally tied for first as of today with mitt romney in the new cbs poll. forget what you've heard about the second coming of rick perry. forget what you've heard about mitt romney's inevitability. forget what you've heard of the miracle of rick santorum and/or michele bachmann and/or jon huntsman candidacies. no matter what you have heard, it's already clear and settled who barack obama will be running against. barack obama will be running against karl rove. the groups karl rove started, american cross roads and cross roads gps recently doubled what they say they will raise and spend against barack obama this season. last time around in the 2010 midterms they raised $70 million. this time their goal was $120 million to spend against obama. now they've decided it's going to be $240 million. so the karl rove group is going to be spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. to defeat barack obama this next election. because karl rove, himself, is
not technically the candidate, although really what does it matter, and because of the supreme court's ruling in citizens united, karl rove's groups can raise their money in unlimited fashion. unlimited donations. including unlimited donations directly from businesses. and we are getting our taste now of what that campaign is going to look like. >> he raised our hopes. he seemed to understand. >> the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession. >> but today he's different. >> the president proposes tax increases. >> $1.5 trillion. >> hold on, wait a minute. now, now, this is how the karl rove group is running against president obama.
he's raising taxes. he's raising taxes. and you've got all these pictures of middle class families upset that president obama is raising their taxes. in this new ad, they pulled this standup from a cnn correspondent who's named brianna keeler saying how the president is raising taxes. watch. >> the president proposes tax increases. >> that's what they pull from brianna keeler. i want to hear the statement in context? want to see what the karl rove people had to take apart from her in order to get her saying that damning sounding thing they could show alongside the working class people, so sad about how president obama is going to raise middle class taxes? here's what she actually said in context. >> the headline today is really how the president proposes to pay for his jobs plan and the answer to that is tax increases. the bulk of paying for the $450 billion plan would come from limiting itemized deductions that wealthier americans take, we're talking about individuals that make $200,000 or more or families that make $250,000 or more. there are also tax increases that you would see effecting hedge fund managers, oil and gas companies, as well as corporate jet owners. >> so that damning he wants to
raise middle class taxes ad from karl rove's group is cut and pasted like it's refrigerator poetry out of a cnn correspondent actually explaining the president wants to pay for his jobs plan by taxing corporate jets. and oil and gas companies. and hedge fund managers and families that make a quarter million dollars a year or more. the karl rove folks just say, you know, tax and then show you pictures of middle class families. so you're supposed to believe that what obama is proposing is raising taxes on middle class families. this is genius. right? i mean, it's bull pucky. it is genius bull pucky, the best money can buy, this is gold plated campaign bull pucky. if i was the cnn reporter i might sue over them using me like that. expect a quarter billion of this golden plated bull pucky used against president obama in the next 13 months. during which not only the country has to wade through
another presidential election but govern ourselves which this year means trying to keep ourselves out of a second devastaing recession. the recovery from the last recession is in danger of faltering. in other words, we are in danger of slipping back into another recession right now. regardless of what happens in the next election, what are we going to do about that? are we going to do anything to try to avoid that? are we going to change course in order to avoid barrelling into a second recession? you tell me. here are the two sides that get to decide. on the right, there's karl rove and a handful of billionaires. you know, 92% of what american cross roads raised this year so far came from three people. three billionaires. karl rove does not need very many people in order to raise a quarter of a billion dollars against barack obama. the koch brothers are worth $25 billion each. they could spend $5 billion each, $10 billion each, $20 billion each. whatever. you need a handful of people, right wing billionaires on one
side who can spend an infinite amount of money and on their side, as the chairman of the fed pleads with congress today for an action to save the economy, for them to not cut, to do something for economic growth. as this happens, as we scuttle into this new crisis, republicans in congress are saying they will take no action on the jobs bill. that's on the one side. here's the other side. >> we've got to put america back to work. three weeks ago i sent congress a bill called the american jobs act. some of you might have heard of it. everything in it is the kind of proposal that's been supported by democrats and republicans in the past. everything in it. everything in it will be paid for. so it won't add to our deficit. what we say is in addition to spending cuts, if we want to actually close this deficit
instead of just playing politics, then we have to ask the wealthiest americans, the biggest corporations to pay their fair share. warren buffett's secretary shouldn't be paying a higher tax rate than warren buffett. in the united states of america, a nurse or a teacher, a construction worker, making $50,000 shouldn't pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million. that's not fair. it's not right. it's got to change. we have a chance to change it. maybe some people in congress would rather wait until the election to settle our differences and i promise you i will be ready for that election. i will be ready for that debate. i am happy to have a debate before the american people because i believe that the american people understand that we're in this together. >> so it's a handful of billionaires that the karl rove group says they're going to tap
to raise a quarter billion dollars to run against president obama this election cycle. and congressional republicans on the one side. it is president obama and congressional democrats on the other side along with the people in the country who say they agree with them. 73% of the country saying they agree with the obama proposal, for example, to not have millionaires be taxed at a lower rate than nonmillionaires anymore. even 66% of republicans saying they agree with that. so opposite karl rove and his billionaires and congressional republicans, it's president obama, congressional democrats, it's the country that says they agree with them and it's unions. the afl-cio is launching their own jobs campaign. now they are calling it america wants to work. as part of it, do you want to know how many bridges are structurally deficient where you live and conveniently right in the same place how many people are out of work? there's an app for that now. at their america wants to work website. if you want to bug your member of congress about what needs doing in your state and how we could put people to work doing it, the afl-cio is giving people the facts to make that case. just in case you are not a billionaire but you think you
might still have something to add to our national debate over what we're going to do between now and the next election. joining us now is richard trumka, president of afl-cio. mr. trumka, thank you very much for your time tonight. >> rachel, thanks for having me on. >> your new jobs plan includes the kind of goals labor has been long calling for. big infrastructure investment, energy and education investment. manufacturing investment. aid to state and local governments. home mortgage aid. wall street reform. things you have called for in the past. but this is put together in one package. is it meant to be different than what the president is proposing? bigger than what the president is proposing? how does this fit in with what we're hearing from president obama? >> i think the president made a very, very important step when he introduced the american jobs bill. he switched the debate from deficit hysteria that really doesn't put anybody back to work, to job creation. and his bill is a very, very,
very important first step. he'll tell you it's only a first step. we want to support that bill. we want to put millions of americans back to work. if you want to cure the economy, if you want to eliminate deficits, rachel, the best way to do that is put americans back to work and that's what that proposal will do. >> when we talk specifically about investing in infrastructure, about dealing with stuff like decrepit bridges, those have long been nonpartisan issues. not even bipartisan. they're the kinds of issues partisanship didn't even get raised in those discussions. do you feel like we're actually less likely to make those needed investments in a year like this than we would in previous years because they're now a partisan thing? >> well, i think you're absolutely right. in the past, the surface transportation act, the clean water act, all those things were
done in a bipartisan manner because they're necessary for the country's future. see, we've gone from having the number four infrastructure in the world to number 17 and we're dropping because we're not investing in that infrastructure. it makes us less competitive in creating those -- or fixing that infrastructure will put millions of americans back to work. i think anybody who votes against putting people back to work between now and election day does so at their own peril. the american people, union and nonunion people alike, are tired of the obstructionism. they're tired of creating a crisis that deies them a vote. they sent people to congress to create jobs. they're not doing that and are going to take it out on people that are obstructionists. >> the beltway common wisdom now is this is not going to get done. that's what the beltway press is. i know you can count votes as well as anybody in washington and can predict where things are going. do you think this is not going to get passed? do you agree with the common wisdom?
>> no, i think we're going to get a lot of this passed if not all of it passed. the american public are demanding it. we're putting on a campaign, called america wants to work. from october 10th through the 16th we're going to have a week of actions around the country in congressional districts in front of senators, saying, bringing together people of all different stripes. small businesspeople. nonunion people. union people. construction people. a little bit of everything saying, look, enough of this nonsense. help us get people back to work. help us with infrastructure. help us resurrect manufacturing. give us some aid to state and local governments so they don't continue to lay off people. help us put people back to work or you do so at your own peril. i think it's going to have a tremendous effect. you see what's happening on wall street right now, on thousands and millions probably of people
agree with what the message is. that this economy is working for 99 -- for 1% of the people and the rest of us, the other 99% are getting left behind in this economy. so those that support the 1% i think are going to have a tough time next year explaining to the american public why they didn't step up to the plate and create jobs. >> here in new york, i know there's a major occupy wall street march planned for tomorrow. there's occupy wall street actions, sort of affiliate actions happening all over the country. boston, l.a., seattle, chicago. lots of smaller cities and towns across the country are doing this. in new york, people are excited about the planned march for tomorrow. i know some afl-cio unions are supporting, planning on participating and planning on supporting what the protesters are doing. do you know what we should expect in terms of unions support for the occupy wall street movement? whether you think it's going to become a bigger deal? >> oh, absolutely. i think because -- what they're doing is saying what all of us believe and what we know. look, wall street created this mess. they destroyed $13 trillion in value.
and we have a couple of simple demands for them. one, we want them to invest in america. big business and wall street. to invest in america and create jobs. they have $2 trillion parked in accounts across the country. they won't spend it to invest in america. meanwhile, small businesses can't get loans because the big banks have $1 trillion parked in the federal reserve banks around the country. we want them to stop foreclosures by writing down mortgages. stop the 14 million foreclosures that are out there. the mortgages that are under water. put people back to work by creating -- that would create $70 billion worth of demand. >> richard trumka, president of the afl-cio. thank you for joining us tonight, sir. it's always a real pleasure to have you here. >> thanks, rachel, for having me on again. >> all the millions of dollars trying to persuade people to vote a certain way are useless if the voters can't get a ballot to express their preferences. who thinks you should not get a ballot for the next election is coming up on the interview tonight. just an outrageous story.
we have a correction to make. it involves the bad lip reading videos. >> someone had a loan fish decorate their home for a function. >> tuna, eggs, doritos, cheesecake, tamale. see you. >> there's a new bad lip reading video out today starring michele bachmann. and that video has made us realize today that we got
something wrong or frankly that i got something wrong on last night's show. >> and my sister talks to big foot who's her neighbor. >> rachel maddow show correction, with assistance from bad lip reading. coming up. [ ma le announcer ] indulge all you want. now there's no need to hold back. new revolutionary scope dualblast obliterates strong food odors leaving your breath minty fresh. hey. [ male announcer ] so there's no trace of evidence... new scope dualblast.
here's how it works normally in denver. when there's an election like the one in colorado next month, the county clerks office mails you a ballot. get your ballot in the mail, you fill it out then either mail it back in or drop it off in person. but to get your ballot in the first place is comes in the mail. that is normally how it works. in denver. in a mail ballot election. this year not normal. this year in denver voting comes with a catch. this year colorado secretary of state scott gessler wants to make it harder to vote. mr. gessler is a republican. he was elected last year and decided this year he would like to stop colorado clerks from sending ballots to everyone who
used to get one. as secretary of state mr. gessler pushed a number of measures designed to make it harder to vote or register to vote. in colorado's last legislative session he pushed for a requirement you'd have to show a birth certificate or passport in order to register to vote. you know, don't you always have your birth certificate on you when the nice league of women voters lady outside the supermarket asks if you'd like to register? don't you keep that in your pocket or glove box? that try failed. he's not giving up on trying to make it harder to vote in colorado. last week he wrote to the clerk in pueblo county which happens to be a heavily democratic county. he wrote to the clerk and ordered him not to send out ballots to troops overseas who missed the big 2010 election and have not voted since. he wants them to be considered enactive. quote, as my office has previously explained, you do not have the authority to mail ballots to such voters. the clerk of pueblo county believes the law requires him to send ballots to overseas troops in order to help them vote. he told "the colorado independent," "the troops have larger things on their minds. when they have the ballot in their hand, they'll vote." the county clerk says he will comply with this order from the secretary of state. overseas troops who haven't voted lately, busy fighting on
our nation's behalf and didn't have a chance to respond to the postcard reminders. thanks to your state's republican secretary of state, there will be no ballots sent to you to vote in this next election. the secretary of state raised the same objection in denver county but did it after denver had already sent their ballots to troops overseas. in denver's case, gessler ordered the county not to send ballots to one in five denver voters who would usually get a ballot. one in five considered enactive because they had not gone to the polls since last year. instead of a ballot, day are supposed to get a reminder. quote, send an additional postcard to enactive voters. such an approach will be more economical than sending mail ballots to all enactive voters. let's look at the map of these enactive voters in denver who the republican secretary of state now says shouldn't get ballots mailed to them so they can't participate in the next election. here's where the enactive voters live.
the redder the precinct, the more people who have skipped voting since last year. okay? now, here's another map. this one shows denver by race and ethnicity. the white folks are in green. the orangy strips are the hispanic neighborhoods. here are denver's so-called enactive voters, the up the secretary of state says shouldn't get a ballot sent to them this time. here are denver's hispanic neighborhoods. hmm. denver clerk deborah johnson looked at the maps and looked at the law and decided to tell the secretary of state she was sending out the ballots regardless of what he said. quote, this is a fundamental issue of fairness and keeping voting accessible to as many eligible voters as possible. that's what the denver clerk told the secretary of state right before the secretary of state sued that clerk. deborah johnson. sued her to make voting in his state harder to do. deborah johnson joins us next for the interview. ♪
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joining us tonight for the interview is deborah johnson, she's the denver county clerk and recorder. miss johnson is currently being sued by colorado secretary of state for planning to mail ballots to every voter in denver whose address still seems valid regardless of whether they vote in to 2010. she wants every voter to get a ballot. thanks for your time. >> thank you, rachel.
>> i understand this is your first election as denver county court and you're getting sued by the state. are you having fun in your new job? >> yes, i'm having a great time, thank you. >> i know you set out to mail everyone in denver a ballot for the november election. the secretary of state ordered you to not send ballots to voters who missed the november election and haven't voted since. you have said that sending those voters ballots, too, is a fundamental issue of fairness. why do you see it that way? >> well, these people are registered voters. they are eligible to vote. why should they do an extra step to get their ballots. >> do you think it will make these people less likely to vote or impossible to vote if you don't mail them a ballot? >> it doesn't make it impossible but it isn't fair. they have to go through one more step to get their ballot. >> we asked the secretary of state's office about this today, asked for his response. the office's response is that inactive voters who are not mailed a ballot will have to take some extra steps and they can get a ballot. so they say the fairness issue is settled by that. does not that satisfy you? >> again, these people are registered voters, eligible to
vote and denver has sent these ballots out to these inactive failed to vote voters for the last five elections that we've conducted. >> mr. gessler's other argument is he wants to protect against voter fraud. he talked about the threat of voter fraud as colorado's new secretary of state. in your experience and what you know from voting in colorado, do voters who have been called inactive but get a ballot are they more likely to be fraudulent in their voting? >> we have found that there is -- i haven't found any fraudulent in the years that i've worked in elections. but also, too, the fraudulent comes in the event the ballot is returned from someone that shouldn't have voted on that ballot. there are several safeguards that have been in place so we can make sure it is the signatures are verified and they are the person that is supposed to vote. >> is there any correlation
between those types of processes you described and whether or not a person voted in the next election. >> there's no distinction between an active or inactive voter. they are checked the same for all. >> i know you will be in court for a hearing on friday. i know you plan to finish mailing out ball lot -- ballots. if the judge hasn't ruled by the time you mail them out, will you mail them out. >> according to the statute, i need to mail them by october 4th, and right now i plan to mail them unless i am stopped by the courts to do. that we are ready to go in the event there is no ruling. >> if the court says you can't send inactive ballots or you need to delay it do you intend to follow the court order or will you be in standoff at that
point? >> i think we will obey the court order. it will really depend on what actually are the reasonings and what goes in to the hearing. >> debra johnson, clerk and recorder of denver county, colorado, currently being sued by the state's secretary of state. appreciate your time explaining this to us tonight. we will follow your story. i'd love if you stay in touch with us please. >> thank you very much, rachel. >> absolutely. thanks. singer hank williams junior, meet ed shultz. ed shultz make mincemeat out of hank williams junior. that is coming up after the show. and a rachel maddow correction along with very good, very bad lip reading. >> you can borrow my cds, not every every day. you can try my kwanzaa cds, they are not yours, you don't have to take any of them. >> it is at the end of the show.
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have you seen the bad lip reading videos on you tube? they are so good. music videos where it makes it look like justin bieber and rebecca black are saying nonsensical words that match their lips. it is uncanny and awesome and recently they have done politicians as well. statistically speaking you are likely to have seen the rick perry one. >> ice cream, that is cheap. fact. and then i suspended marcia off of this bridge and took a virgin heifer night riding for a while. we never got a dead spirit. we hated it, though. it's disgusting. i'm bored by famine.
i cannot wait for a medieval cookie, a sin bonn, hot yellow kool-aid and save a pretzel for the gas jets. [ applause ] thank you. >> i wrote that. >> i wrote that. >> the bad lip reading folks have done their thing also with president obama. >> we have been out of brownies, rice, and we miss pork chops in the summer and that's why beef-a-roni, garlic, peanut butter, purple flowers. >> we here are big fans of the bad lip reading political clips. we are excited today when the michele bachmann one came out. >> i whisk like two or three eggs and i changed my facebook pick to boring seagulls and the police agreed to find my stooges tape. i hope you don't come shoot at me. and when i buy folks for prison, i bring -- not meth.
it is a prison party. >> it was like a lightning bolt from god. a reminder we have to do a correction on tonight's show. >> with one cock-eyed bore, i'm going to cure everybody whose nauseous and my sister talks to big foot who's her neighbor. >> big foot. right, thank you god. good reminder. correction, last night on the show when talking to jane mayer i pointed out everyone should read her piece on art pope as the sugar daddy of republican politics if only for the reason that art pope the north carolina libertarian party and became a republican because too many libertarian party members kept talking in all seriousness about sasquatch. after noting that detail from jane's article, i ad libbed after that, i said sasquatch, like the yeti. i was wrong.