tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 28, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
pataki. a guy like pataki he could stick around far lot longer than anybody anticipated because we've said this before too, if i'm pete peterson and chris christie is not going to carry my message of cutting entitlement, i'm just going to pay for pataki. >> stick around. thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. the "rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening. thanks, my friend. thanks for joining us at this hour. this is kind of an amazing story. historically speaking one of the things that will always be awkward about the bill clinton impeachment era is that newt gingrich, who was speaker of the house at the time of the clinton impeachment, right, leading the impeachment crusade against president clinton because of president clinton's extramarital affair newt gingrich later had to admit that at that time that he was leading that crusade against president clinton because of the president's affair, he too, newt gingrich he was also himself having an
extramarital affair at that time. one of several as it turns out. that is like the, you know, neon glowing hypocrisy asterisk that will always float over that particular and particularly weird time in american political history. you know what, newt gingrich was not the only one. in 1998 in the middle of the whole clinton impeachment misch goss, there was a midterm election, the '98 midterm, and the president's party, historically speaking always does poorly during midterm elections, and so historically speaking you would normally expect the democratic party to get clobbered in that election. it was the second midterm of president clinton's two terms in office. but this impeachment thing that the republicans had dreamed up over president clinton's extramarital affair however exciting the whole impeachment process it was to them it was basically disgusting to the rest of the country. and the democrats not only
didn't get clobbered in those midterm elections, they did great in those midterm elections. they actually picked up seats in the house, which historically speaking is unheard of. in '98, the democrats did way better than expected. it was in the middle of the impeachment thing and newt gingrich, who had been the speaker of the house leading the house republicans in that election leading the house republicans on the impeachment issue and everything else, newt gingrich in the wake of those midterms stepped down as speaker and ultimately resigned from congress. and so with newt gingrich out under those interesting circumstances, the republicans needed a new speaker to replace him after that terrible midterm election. remember they're still in middle of impeaching president clinton over his extramarital affair. so the republicans decided they would have to pick a new guy, and they did, and that went like this -- it was a total disaster. >> i will vote to impeach the
president of the united states. to the president i would say sir, you have done great damage to this nation over this past year. and while your defenders are contending that further impeachment proceedings would only protract and exacerbate the damage to this country, i'd say that you have the power to terminate that damage and heal the wounds that you have created. you, sir, may resign your post. >> no! no! >> the house will be in order. >> and i can only challenge you in such fashion if i am willing to heed my own words. i was prepared to lead our narrow majority as speaker, and i believe i had it in me to do a fine job.
but i cannot do that job or be the kind of leader that i would like to be under current circumstances. >> they had picked louisiana republican congressman bob livingston to be the new speaker at newt gingrich resigned. but then it turned out that bob livingston, too, had been having extramarital affairs, and so he couldn't be the speaker for them either, not while they were still in the midst of impeaching president clinton for his affairs. and so livingston gets picked as speaker and then immediately has to resign. then what are they going to do? they've got other republicans in leadership. they could have picked one of their wild men at the time. dick armey on the right of your screen there, or tom delay on the left of your screen they were both kind of fire breathers like newt gingrich had been. but after what newt gingrich had brought them to after the bob livingston "i had affairs too"
public relations catastrophe in the middle of what they were trying to do in the middle of the bill clinton impeachment weather all of that going on with all of that turmoil in '98, after losing the midterms middle of the impeachment, recognizing it's a political disaster losing newt gingrich picking bob livingston, losing liv, not wanting tom delay not wanting army weather all of that going on facing the historic defeat in the elections, they decided, republicans decided they needed to play it safe. they needed somebody to calm everything down. they needed somebody with no scandal dragging around behind him, somebody who didn't have enemies under every rock in washington, somebody who wasn't a fire breather and super controversial and like an insurgent or revolutionary, they needed somebody competent and trustworthy seeming, somebody kind of low key and most of all somebody squeaky clean. and they had somebody, luckily, who fit that bill and picked that guy basically from
obscurity and made him the next speaker of the house, next in line to the presidency after the vice president. they found their die.guy. >> newt gingrich was the powerful speaker of the house, then he was gone after the election replaced by bob livingston of louisiana. now he's gone, the result of extramarital affairs. and he will likely be replaced by whom? nbc's gwen ifill. >> reporter: dennis hastert's profile is so low that even after six terms in congress most americans, even many in washington have no idea who he is. but republicans say the former wrestling coach is just who they need to rally their team. >> i didn't really seek this at all. it just kind of happened. we needed to heal the wounds and needed to reach out across the aisle. >> reporter: allies say hastert is a fixer who can talk to democrats and republicans now rocked with internal strife. >> the members wanted someone they know was solid, a man of integrity, no personal problems but also could lead this team
with a very narrow majority. >> j. dennis hastert, better known as denny hastert, became the speaker of the house after the '98 midterms. he served as speaker of the house until the democrats took back the majority in the house in 2006 and nancy pelosi became speaker. that tenure makes denny hastert the longest serving republican house speaker ever. plucked from obscurity to hold that incredibly high-profile job and chosen for the job in part because he was so darn noncontroversial, nonscandalous. as they say, squeaky clean. today denny hastert was indicted by a federal grand jury in what appears to be an elaborate hush-money scheme, maybe a blackmail scheme? john stanton at buzzfeed was first to report this indictment today, and although apparently there had been rumors in washington for a few weeks that denny hastert was maybe in some kind of legal trouble, for most people, the news late today came as a bolt from the blue.
and the indictment is short. it's only seven pages. i print them two pages to a sheet so for me it's even shorter. but it's a dramatic and mysterious indictment. it describes a series of meetings that happened between some unnamed person and denny hastert starting in 2010. in 2010 denny hastert had already left congress. allegedly this person starting in 2010 this person confronted denny hastert about some kind of past misconduct past misconduct by denny hastert against this individual, misconduct that had occurred, quote, years earlier. "during the 2010 meetings and subsequent discussionings, defendant j. dennis hastert agreed to provide individual a with $3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against individual a." now, at no point in this indictment do we learn who
individual a is, we don't know if individual a is a man or a woman. we also don't know what the alleged past misconduct is for which denny hastert allegedly agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money and compensation for whatever it is he supposedly did. what we get in terms of the detail is a point-by-point breakdown of how the cash moved, of how the former speaker went on to make allegedly huge cash payments to this unnamed person in amounts up to $100,000 at a time, $100,000 in cash -- that's a lot of bills. the unraveling of the whole thing appear s to be in the way the former speaker allegedly withdrew this cash from his various bank accounts. large cash transactions of over $10,000 are subject to federal reporting requirements. they're subject to federal scrutiny as a way to try to stop money laundering and other large-scale crimes. that's been the law forever. denny hastert apparently started
out making cash withdrawals of $50,000 at a time and that's above the $10,000 threshold so amounts like that under federal banking law have to be reported. his bank therefore started asking him act those very large withdrawals. after they asked him about it he switched and finally figured out maybe he should be taking out less than ten grand at a time to avoid triggering the reporting requirement. that said specifically structuring your cash withdrawals so they're just under the limit to try to avoid the reporting requirement, that is also a crime, and by 2013 -- again, remember thispparently happened with this unnamed person in 2010 started paying this person shortly thereafter -- by 2013 the fbi were investigating denny hastert. one of the two counts in the indictment said the former speaker lied to the fbi about what he was doing with all that crash he was withdrawing from
his bank considerates hundreds of thousands of dollars, the fbi said he told them when they scad yeah, i kept the cash, that's what i'm doing. that's not true according to federal prosecutors and this grand jury and indictment unsealed today. what the indictment says what he was doing with all that cash was he was paying someone off regularly and regularly scheduled payoffs, paying somebody off to make good on, sort of compensate for and also to cover up something that denny hastert had allegedly done wrong to that person years ago. we don't know what that is. here's two things to consider. this is going to sound like it's really out of left field, but it's a connection to this that seems like we ought to consider given this -- given the opacity of the indictment on this point. do you remember the sabeled a mins case?
she was an fbi translator saying she had been fired when she tried to expose legal and scandalous things she had overheard in her job as an fbi translator. one of the things one of the lower-profile things she alleged in the year 2005 was that she had overheard turkish wiretap targets bragging that they were secretly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to the then speaker of the house denny hastert. that was one of the allegations thaed by her. i do not know what to make of those allegations but those allegations exist from a decade ago. they may now be cast in a new light given this indictment. the second thing to consider is from the indictment itself that's just out today. now, the mystery here is not just did he do it but what did he allegedly do? if the former speaker of the house, denny hastert, was paying hush money to someone to cover up something he had done years earlier, what did he allegedly do and to whom did he allegedly
do it? to that point, the very top line of the indictment is one of the more striking things i have seen in any sort of criminal case like this. and it may be a clue. here bluntly is how the indictment starts. here it is. "one at times material to this indictment colon. a, from approximately 1965 to 1981 defendant john dennis hastert was a high school teacher and coach in new yorkville, illinois." in the next paragraph, "b individual a has been a resident of yorkville, illinois and has known defendant john hastert most of individual a's life." is that of material interest to this indictment because this so-called past misconduct that had occurred years earlier happened in yorkville, illinois before denny hastert was speaker of the house, before denny hastert was member of congress
before denny hastert was a member of politics at all, when he was just teaching high school and coaching high school sports? that is what is hinted at by the start of this indictment. is that when the misconduct happened and by extension to whom it happened? don't know. we really don't. former house speaker denny hastert has been a high-priced washington lobbyist since he retired from congress in 2007. this alleged confrontation with the person who said he was wronged by denny hastert years before happened three years later in 2010. as a lobbyist denny hastert has been sort of as obscured in his post-congress life as he was obscured before he was plucked from that obscurity to become third in line to the president ti and si and one of the most powerful people in the country in the clinton impeachment era in 1998. he started obscure, went pack to obscurity once he left congress, but that obscurity today came to an abrupt end with one of p more surprising turns in american political scandal that i can
remember in a very long time. what happened here? joining us next is somebody who very well may know. you are looking at two airplane fuel gauges. can you spot the difference? no? you can't see that? alright, let's take a look. the one on the right just used 1% less fuel than the one on the left. now, to an airline a 1% difference could save enough fuel to power hundreds of flights around the world. hey, look at that. pyramids. so you see, two things that are exactly the same have never been more different. ge software. get connected. get insights. get optimized.
when this surprise indictment was unsealed today against former republican speaker of the house denny hastert, the "chicago sun-times" remarked in its article about the indictment that denny hastert is believed to be the highest ranking illinois politician ever charged with a crime. and that really sounds like something. but specifically in illinois, that really is something, because illinois is really special in terms of charging its politicians, its high-ranking politicians are with crimes. illinois has sent four of its governors to prison just in the last 50 years. one of illinois's most recent congressmen has just been transferred from prison to a halfway house to serve out the remainder of his sentence jesse jackson jr. aaron shock has resigned from congress and is under federal
investigation himself and depending on how his cases go he may get to scratch his name into the wall of the crowbar hotel along with the others who have preceded him there. illinois is great when it comes to criminal politicians. they are top of the heat. but but denny hastert? former speaker of the house, mr. low key denny hastert? nobody saw this coming. lynn, great to see you. thanks for your time tonight. >> hi rachel. >> i have heard today since the news broke there were some rumors that something might have been swimming around denny hastert in terms of legal trouble. were you surprised today when you heard about this indictment? >> everyone was surprised by the nature of this indictment and the indictment itself with all this mysterious person a, potential blackmail plot going on here. i talked to many of his friends
and acquaintances, stunned and puzzled about what was going on and what could possibly be at issue that would have led him to be in fact be part of what looks like either an extortion or blackmail scheme. but hastert, according to the indictment, was agreeing to go along with it. this is such a sad end. i was in the chamber that day in 1998 you talked about earlier in the show when i saw how quickly he put together the votes to become the speaker. like that he was able to do it. and to have this now at age 73 be the end or however this resolved, i cover a lot of illinois political figures. my joke is and it doesn't sound like a joke tonight, i cover them from announcement to indictment. once again this seems to be the case. >> lynn there is this strange and maybe it's immaterial, but striking, the first line of the
indictment specifically points out from 1965 to 1981 he was a high school teacher and coach in yorkville, illinois. the implication of that and it may be a stretch, we'll find out more at some point, i assume the implication of that is that the past misconduct that he was paying somebody off about might date back to that time. was there ever any sort of a hint of a scandal or shadow from this time in his life? >> no. he was a beloved wrestling coach at the school. i agree with you they could have picked some ere things because he went from being a high school teacher to a being a member of the illinois general assembly. that's not in this document that you and i have. so i think the people -- the lawyers who drafted this did this for a reason because otherwise what material nature is this? if it doesn't have anything to do with someone from there then this indictment does a disservice. the man's already in trouble.
just either say what it is or don't draft these hints on it. i think in due time, because chicago investigative reporters have a great tradition of figuring these things out, i bet we'll know who individual a is. it's only a matter of time. >> excuse me. i apologize. >> bless you. >> thank you. i have been doing television for x number os-year, radio for five years before that. >> you okay? >> that's the first time i've ever sneezed on air in my career. >> i wish i had a tissue for you but i don't have one. >> i feel like it must be an omen about something strange about this story. >> it's where washington is really taken by surprise. >> that's how weird it is. washington bureau chief for the "chicago sun-times." this is a remarkably shocking thing. i mean anytime you're talking about potentially extortion or blackmail and a high-profile politician, it is a shocking criminal indictment. but for it to happen to somebody whose whole major political career was around the fact he
was seen as such a nonscandalous person as somebody who could be counted on to stay out of the headlines in terms of negative implications and things from his personal life it's just a truly shocking turn of event so, much so that i just sneezed. lots more ahead. stay with us. there's a more enjoyable way to get your fiber. try phillips' fiber good gummies plus energy support. it's a new fiber supplement that helps support regularity and includes b vitamins to help convert food to energy. mmmmm, these are good! nice work, phillips! the tasty side of fiber, from phillips'. it's part adrenaline and part adventure. it's part geek and part chic. it's part relaxation and part exhilaration.
it's part sports car and part suv. and the best part? the 2015 gla. it's 100% mercedes-benz. they say after seeing a magician make his assistant disappear mr.clean came up with a product that makes dirt virtually disappear. he called it the magic eraser. it cleans like magic. even baked on dirt disappears right before your eyes. mr.clean's magic eraser. vladimir putin has been in power for a long time now. just a couple years into his tenure an opposition member of parliament was shot to death in moscow under mysterious circumstances. nobody exactly knew what
happened to the guy, nobody was ever prosecuted for the crime, but another opposition member of parliament was quoted by the bbc at the time saying the man's death was a political assassination, politically motivated. eight months late they're other opposition member of parliament who made that claim to the bbc, he mims washimself was the next one to be shot to death under mysterious circumstances on the streets of moscow. following here another opposition member of parliament a liberal journalist at a russian newspaper, he was killed, although this time they didn't shoot him, he died of a mysterious illness that lasted for 16 days before it ultimately killed him. turns out he was poisoned to death. the following year another liberal journal frist the same newspaper. she suffered multiple organ failure after being served poison tea on board a russian airliner. she survived barely but two
years later they got her anyway. she was shot to the entrance of her apartment building in moscow in october of tooungs2006. a few weeks later, a famous case of a kgb officer to who turned into a fierce critic of vladimir putin. he was weeks after anna was shot in moscow. he was in london weeks later. he was poisoned in london with an extremely rare and deadly radioactive isotope called plutonium 210. he turned deadly ill. he wrote a scathing implication of vladimir putin in his murder and three weeks later he was dead. oddly not the only time it happened in the uk. in 2012 a russian finance guy fled russia and turned into a whistle-blower when he uncovered a huge fraud scheme in which top russian officials from the putin government had stolen over $200 million. he was healthy guy, didn't take any med cases, no known health
problems, 44 years old, mysteriously collapsed while jogging in a london suburb. "the guardian" newspaper in london reported last week botanists have now identified in his remains traces of an extremely rare and deadly plant poison, which is lovely in its flower form and if properly processed it can apparently quickly and efficiently kill you. this past friday perhaps the most popular anti-putin russian politician in russia. killed him the old-fashioned way, killshot by someone in a moving car on a street. vladimir putin said he was personally investigate that assassination. the man killed in that assassination, he's on the right, the man on the left in the same a picture is apparently the next one now. the next one up in vladimir putin's russia. his wife and his three kids live here in the u.s. but he lives in moscow where he works for one of the last remaining opposition
ngos that putin hasn't figured out how to shut down yet. he was working at his office on tuesday when he suddenly collapsed and fell unconscious and rushed to hospital. he has not regained conscious consciousness. he is being treated for kidney failure that is a result of acute nonalcoholic intoxication of unknown origin in other words, he also appears to have been poisoned. not like this pattern is subtle. i'm just giving the highlights. i could give you another dozen cases of shootings and poisoning poisonings that all fit the same pattern. at what point does that sort of become the main thing that russia and vut reason known for? when do they think this might be a little heavy handed a little too obvious, maybe they should stop if only for appearances? in the lead-up to russia hosting the winter olympics in sochi last year you might remember that vladimir putin made a big show of freeing some of his krit
critics from prison, including the banned pussy riot and this outspoken billionaire that vladimir putin had kept in jail for ten years. that billionaire fled to switzerland after getting his clemency. from there he's been running an ngo called open russia and that group how apparently has one of its top leaders dying of kidney failure caused by some unknown poison after he collapsed at his desk in moscow on tuesday at the ripe old age of 33. his wife says he has not regained consciousness at all since he initially collapsed. she fears he is going to die in that russian hospital without anybody being allowed to know what happened to him. she's trying to get him moved to a hospital anywhere outside russia, anywhere -- europe, the middle east, the u.s. and maybe this guy from open russia will survive, god willing he will.
if he does not, he will become the latest in what is an incredibly long lists of journalists and activists and critics of vladimir putin who have mysteriously been shot to death or in surprisingly large numbers poisoned to death since vladimir putin took hold of that country by its throat 16 years ago. joining us now is michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia. ambassador, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> so the kremlin is denying any involvement in this apparent poisoning. how -- is it fair to view it in light of the kinds of previous incidents that i just laid out? >> well of course. i mean, to be honest listening to what you've just said even i -- and i know some of these people personally -- have forgotten just how long this list is and, by the way, how few people have gone to jail as a result of these actions. and at the same time in the spirit of not knowing all the
fact facts, we don't know what happened to vladimir. another colleague of mine who i've known for many years, the gentleman now in the hospital. but when you add it up and connect the dots as you just did, it does feel like it is a pattern and it does feel like people can do this and not be held accountable for it. >> because of that pattern -- and again, i take your point that, you know, we don't know all the facts about this no reason to rush to judgment but also no reason to be woefully ig ignorant about the pattern -- does this m.o. of people in russia being killed under mysterious circumstances and nobody ever being held accountable or being named as being responsible for it what sort of effect does it have on vladimir putin's power and on the ability of people to organize opposition to him? >> well for the opposition it has the obvious chilling effect. people in russia are scared. and many of them have left the country. many of them now live in london. many of them live here in the
bay area in palo alto precisely because of fear for their lives. whether they should or not, whether they should be fearful of the kremlin or not, the perception among the opposition is that it's a dangerous place to be an opponent to mr. putin. the second effect though is even a bigger one, and a little more nuanced, which is that the putin regime his media outlets for now two, almost three years, have labeled these people traitors. they've labeled them enemies of the state. they've labeled them pup pelts s pets of the united states and therefore that stirs up crazy people. some of these crazy people by the way, had death threats against me when i was ambassador. and that's just another sign of the times, right? so maybe putin himself, did he order that vladimir should be poisoned? i doubt it but might some people acting allegedly in his behalf or allegedly for the nation-state have taken this
upon themselves to go after and destroy vladimir or mr. nemtsov, who you mentioned earlier, that is also plausible, but ultimately the kremlin should also be held accountable for that haytred they've spun up. >> thank you for your perspective. got lots more ahead, including interesting developments today in the 2016 race and a very smart republican to talk to about it. oh, yes. wow. sweet new subaru, huh mitch? yep. you're selling the mitchmobile!? man, we had a lot of good times in this baby. what's your dad want for it? ..like a hundred and fifty grand, two hundred if they want that tape deck. you're not going to tell your dad about the time my hamster had babies in the backseat, are you?! that's just normal wear and tear, dude. (vo) subaru has the highest resale value of any brand... ...according to kelley blue book ...and mitch. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru.
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it's time for some swag ideas for the friday night. >> okay. >> i'm putting some things down but don't look at these. you have to look at this one first. >> isle make some space. >> ready? >> oh i remember this! herman cain is an art project! this is our thesis we wanted to make. >> yeah. it's from 2011. and it's so timely that we have this now that we're talk about the gop debates. >> that's so great. >> because this was like a lot of the things you played. so it was so funny. >> that's great. i remember having to make this on my exact wingspan too. >> yeah. we have the same wingspan. >> that's great. >> okay. >> so good. >> two random things. i found this game in the closet. no idea why we have that. doesn't ring a bell for anyone. >> i have no idea. >> it's some flashy game.
>> it's brain teaser? >> and we never opened it so -- >> it has batteries. >> yeah. >> eight of them. okay. >> seems like it could be a nice present. and this i think must have come from a publicist. it's a puzzle. i don't know what it's a puzzle of. >> what does it make? we don't know? >> no. they put it together. it looks like a restaurant. i think i see booze. >> yeah. that's a speed core. so that's like -- it could be like a dirty picture and we don't know. >> i did -- i did lay out all the pieces to see -- >> oh no there's a nipple we can't send that one. >> well, it's a mystery, mystery puzzle. >> i like all of these very much. this is going to be difficult. i think we give people the choice of the mystery puzzle or the herman cain arlt prot project. >> that seems like a good idea. >> this one we should keep in case it's somebody's birthday and we forgot to get them something. >> let's hope they don't watch.
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for over 850 miles. my men driven nearly mad from starvation and frostbite. today we make history. >>bienvenidos! welcome to the south pole! if you're dora the explorer, you explore. it's what you do. >>what took you so long? if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. it's what you do. >>you did it, yay! let's try new york governors, $400. >> when he left office after the 1994 election he had served as new york governor longer than any democrat in history.
nathan. >> who is kuocuomo. >> which one? >> mario. >> thank you. >> governors of new york was the category. governors of new york. >> new york governors for $800 please. >> he took new york into the 21st century. elliott? >> who is bloomberg? >> no. who is george pataki. >> who is george pataki? who is george pataki? today he's the man who announced that he's running for president. of the united states! luckily the nomination will not be decided by a game show. we started a few weeks ago with a list of 22 candidates and likely candidates for the republican nomination for president. since then three of these folks have announced that they've decided not to run, so we can poof the three of them. poof! now we're down to 19. as of last night with rick santorum's big announcement,
that means as of last night seven republicans officially announced they were running for president, with george pataki jumping in formally today that makes it eight republicans formally in the race. then there are the folks who haven't necessarily announced yet but they have said that they're going to announce at a specific time in the near future. right now that's lindsey graham due to announce on monday. that's rick perry due to announce a week from today. that's john kasich who we're told will make his decision by june 30th. and as of today we can add one more to the list of republican hopefuls not yet dissuaded from running and will tell us soon congressman peter king telling andrea mitchell today he will announce his decision quote, in the next month, which means he gets a dotted line too. that means our huge field of candidates is not shrinking. and it turns out that makes for amazing polling. a new quinnipiac poll out just today of republican voters nationwide asked about 16 of the republican hopefuls for
president. the winner by a long mile is undecided/don't know. landslide. the runner-up is a tie. a five-way tie between jeb bush scott walker marco rubio, ben carson, and, yes, mike huckabee all coming in at 10%. sadly in this poll george pataki who just announced today and a bunch of other republican would-bes including lindsey graham and rick perry don't even crack the top ten in this brand-new poll and in a field this big that wouldn't necessarily matter. it's kind of a statistical by-product of so many people running, except for the fact that this year being in the top ten of the most recent national polls is the only way you can get a spot on stage at the first republican debate on august 6th. and here's part of the drama around that. rick santorum at the beginning of the 2012 republican presidential primary, he was polling next to nothing.
but in the presidential primary, he made it into the debate he made his case and he went on to become this guy who came in second, the runner-up to mitt romney by the end of it not to mention the guy who won iowa. rick santorum would also be left out of the first debate this year based on at least today's national polling from quinnipiac. for the past week senator santorum has been using that to make the case against the fox news criteria for the first republican debate. he's been arguing instead all of the conceivably viable candidates should get a chance on stage even if they have to do it over the course of different, smaller debates rather than one big one. looking foot ging at the field and looking at the polling in this giant field, honestly i think he makes a good point. why would you reasonably exclude him, especially after his performance in twel, and 2012, and include somebody like, i don't know, any of the other guys in there? if republicans really are trying to figure out who would be the best and most viable candidate
in the general election and that's what their primary process is for, really significantly basing that decision on who makes the top ten in a national poll right now, it makes no strategic sense at all. there are just too many of them for that statistical cut to have make any rational strategic sense. and that said i say that as a liberal. my question is do republicans see it that same way? hold that thought. i take these out... ...to put in dr. scholl's active series insoles. they help reduce wear and tear on my legs, becuase they have triple zone protection. ... and reduce shock by 40%.
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graham. >> rick santorum announced he's running for the republican nomination and although he won iowa and ten other states mr. santorum finds himself at the tail end, the very tail end of recent national polls which means right now under the current selection criteria being used by the party he wouldn't even qualify to appear in the first republican debate of the primary season this year. doesn't that seem weird? joining us now is danny vargas republican strategist, also running for a seat in the virginia house of delegates this year. mr. vargas thanks very much for being with us. i appreciate your time tonight. >> hi rachel. how are you? i love the little graphic thing with the poof. the graphics department did a really good job with that. >> we were worried we didn't want it to look like we were hurting or blowing up or casting aspersions on the people. we wanted to make it like a pleasant cartoon poof. >> that's very gentle. i appreciate it. >> i feel like when i look at the giant republican field and the fact it is not a clown car,
it is a lot of serious candidates, the republican party has a deep bench, they've got a lot of people who have a roughly equivalent chance of getting the nomination, it seems nuts to me that only ten people are going to get into the first debate. do you see it that same way? do you have that same analysis? >> so i've got a bit of a concern. i mean, any process that would leave out rick santorum that would leave out john kasich is a process that's a bit flawed especially when we know that national polls can swing wildly violently, week to week or even day to day. so i think senator santorum has a point. we may have to have a process by which we have a couple different debates on the same day or eve an process that's a much longer debate where everyone has an opportunity to interact with each other. i think the american public deserves the abilities to listen to each of these candidates and see them interact with each other. >> the idea we just have more debate, if you don't want 20
people on a stage, go seven at a time and be more of them, one of the more obvious ways to deal with this. but there was this decision made be one of the most obvious ways to deal with it. but there was a deliberate and rational party made by the republican party this year to limit the number of debates so they don't see the candidates do damage to each other and the way they think they did in 2012. is that concern part of what needs to be balanced here? >> well i think the concern on the part of the party, and i agree with that i agree that we had to reduce and condense the calendar a little bit. but if that means we can do two debates in a single day, whether the voting public gets the opportunity to see in a single day, debate a, debate b, we have all the candidates in there and describing their positions they are able to interact with each other, you have an opportunity for the public to see the debate. >> i have to ask you the awkward question here which is about
this first debate and the fact that this decision, this, i i think, irrational -- not irrational but unfortunate decision that isn't good for all the candidates and it doesn't seem fair to most people this decision was not necessarily made by the republican party. it was made by the host of the debate, which is fox news which is not just a typical media outlet when it comes to its relationship with the republican party. can the party go back to fox and renegotiate this? >> i think both fox news and cnn are discussing ways to be able to have a debate a and a debate b. so i think those processes are being debated and discussed right now. now, what i will say is that the party fortunately has an embarrassment in riches in terms of the number of serious minded really qualified candidates that we're able to field right now. so we do have former governors, we have sitting senators folks that have a serious voice in policy issues. unfortunately, the democrats --
and i have a lot of friends who are democrats, it's unfortunate that they are so limited in the number of candidates that they're putting forth. they don't have a don't or strong bench. there's not a lot of enthusiasm behind hillary clinton. she's probably going to be the nominee, but it would be great to have more of a choice. >> i appreciate your admission at this point, but the democrats don't have any worries about organizing their debates. it's going to be hillary clinton and whoever else is running and we're all going to enjoy it and there's no drama. the republican party is absolutely on a tight rope with what to do with as you say, all of these qualified candidates. so i appreciate the concern. >> what i will tell you, though honestly it will come down to the few candidates -- and it's probably going to be a handful of candidates that can be viable in general elections, that have the gravitas and qualifyications to run and run a president y58 election and raise the $1.5 billion to $2 billion to run.
that number is much smaller than the 19 or 20 in the field right now. >> that's right. and you have to make it on the stage in order to make that case. this is going to be fascinating. danny vargas really appreciate having you here tonight. i hope you will come back. >> my pleasure. >> much more ahead. stay with us 37 .
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100,000 gallons of crude. that leaked oil across 10 square miles of oceans but that still happened 100 miles north of where this gunk washed up today in l.a. there's been tar on the beach in the closer town of oxnard. meanwhile today the cleanup continues on the miles of shore line nearby the pipeline break. and the threat to animales from this spill may not be of. one person told us the birds in the wildlife near where she works, those birds are nesting a few pique feet away from where oil continues to wash in. those birds are called western snowy clovers. they're a threatened species. now she says they're walking around, kwout, with little black feet because their feet is black from oil. i have to say i continue to be amazed by the scale of what's happened here in this santa barbara spill. and the scale of the cleanup that not only has happened already, but that continues to
need to happen. and the contrast between that scale of what happened here and how little attention to it is being paid by the rest of the country, ignoring this disaster and that pristine ek logical system on the santa barbara coast is not going to make it go away. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. there are now eight officials candidates for the republican presidential nomination, but the newest entry will only have a chance if he could find a republican billionaire crazy enough to back him. luckily for that candidate, we've got some pretty crazy billionaires. >> it looks to me like they're going to jail for all the money that they -- no! >> the fifa scandal. >> make responsible -- >> ghee i wonder why people would hold him ultimately responsible. >> t