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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 9, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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everything's over the dam. it doesn't matter at this point. mike papantonio, lizz winstead. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. rachel maddow, he show starts now. good evening, rachel. good evening, ed. have a great weekend. >> i hope so. you as well. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. happy friday night. this night started with sketchy rumors of a rick perry resurgence, rumors rick perry ought to be taken seriously once again as a republican presidential candidate. rick perry the iowa x-factor was the headline today in the "washington post." the "post" reporting, quote, there's some chatter in republican political circles that perry's ads are finally starting to take hold in the hawk eye state and that his support is beginning to bump upward. "roll call's" political wire asking this morning, quote, is perry moving up in iowa? before themselves noting the sketchy nature of the reports on which their question was based. quote, no polling has picked up
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on that movement yet. everybody's been sort of waiting for the big rick perry comeback. this morning there appeared to be some maybe glimmer that it was finally upon us. the underappreciated thing about pi rick perry's candidacy, he has more money than you'd think looking at his polls. he has lots of money. on paper, rick perry was supposed to be competitive. he looked like a good candidate. again, on paper. so he did raise a lot of money right away. it was only when he started talking that things fell apart. can we actually just keep this -- can we keep this around as a little sound bite? >> oops. >> oops. because rick perry's candidacy turned out to be an oops candidacy, his poll numbers have just fallen off a cliff. he became very unviable very quickly. i mean, look the a this poll numbers over time. since mr. perry's campaign has money, they have not been giving up. the perry campaign appears to be sir p pursuing a strategy of doing paid media and lots of it.
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paying for tv ads to blanket the airwaves in iowa leading up to the iowa caucuses. do some good ads, do some bad ads. hi "brokeback mountain" jacket. do ads, ads, ads all the time. keep yourself in a controlled, scripted environment where you, rick perry, control the message. if the perry campaign could only do that then maybe they would have had a comeback. but they also have their candidate out there not just doing ads, but talking to humans. live. they have him in settings where he is not just reading off a cue cards and that sort of thing has turned out to be a disaster. when he's not reading off a cue card, gov -- >> oops. >> oops, yeah. rick perry has had an unending string of oops, unending string of weird, wrong and strange moments on camera in public where he appears totally confused. it started at the beginning of his campaign as soon as he started talking in public and continued to today. there's new stuff today.
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>> i think americans just don't know sometimes which mitt romney they're dealing with. is it the mitt romney that was on the side of -- against the second amendment before he was for the second amendment? was it before he was before the social programs from the standpoint of he was for standing up for roe v. wade, before he was against roe v. wade. i would do away with the education, the -- >> commerce. >> commerce. and let's see. i can't. the third one. i can't. sorry. oops. this is such a cool state. i mean, come on. live free or die? i mean, you know, you got to love that, right? i come from a state, you know, where they had this little place called the alamo and they declared victory or death. you know, we're kind of into
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those slogans. it's like live free or die, victory or death. bring it. no those of you that will be 21 by november the 12th, i ask for your support and vote. when you see his appointment of two -- from my perspective, inarguably, two activist judges, whether it was -- notomayor -- >> sotomayor? >> sotomayor. >> the last clip came from an interview rick perry did today with the editorial board of "the des moines register." sort of sorry they helped him out when they went to him for help. don't you wonder what he would have come up with after montamayor? mr. perry making up a new last name for supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. mr. perry stated there were eight unelected supreme court
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justices. of course, there are actually nine. so the day in politics opened with rick perry's got a chance. and the day in politics closed with, ah, never mind about rick perry. we're still three weeks out from iowa. anything could happen. rick perry flubbing another one today, more or less solidifies the fact this seems to be a two-man race. mitt romney and newt gingrich. or as i keep saying newt romney and mitt gingrich. if i do that on air tonight, i'm sorry. it's embarrassing. the thing emerging as the biggest hurdle to newt gingrich getting the nomination is the establishment wing of the republican party. today this came out into the open. there are people in the republican establishment willing to voice concerns of mr. gingrich in recent weeks. today the flood gates opened. conservative columnist david brooks at "the new york times," quote, he has every negative character trait conservatives associate with 1960s excess. narcissism, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and
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intemperance. he would severely damage conservatism in the republican party if nominated. former reagan speechwriter, peggy noonan writing in "the wall street journal," quote, those who know him fear or hope he'll be true to form in one respect. he'll continue to lose to his number one longtime foe, newt gingrich. he is is a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin saying, watch this. quote, is he erratic and unreliable as a leader? yes. ego maniacal? true. quote, he's a trouble magnet. a starter of fights that need not be fought. peggy noonan saying today the people who know mr. gingrich are mostly not for him. and she reminds her "wall street journal" readers today mr. gingrich was not just sometimes trouble as a leader in the house, he was also sometimes just plain weird. she reminds us today of his claim in the '90s that women should not serve in combat because women are prone to infections. i had forgotten about that one.
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thank you, peggy noonan, i think. ew. former republican senator alan simpson came out today and said he's against newt gingrich because as speaker mr. gingrich lied to president george h.w. bush's face back in 1990. and quote, i am ready to tell that story around the united states, says mr. simpson. that was all just today. in republicans versus newt gingrich and adds to a laundry list of newt gingrich in the recent days. charles krauthammer writing, quote, gingrich is possessed of an unbounded need of grand display that's led him to unconservative places even he is at a loss to explain. he's untamed by self-discipline. karl rove writing in "the wall street journal" yesterday, quote, when a man of his self-confidence begins to feel on top of the world, bad things often happen. oh, but wait, there's more. >> gingrich is an amazingly
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efficient candidacy and embodies almost everything disagreeable about modern washington. he's the classic rental politician. he denounces the ryan budget as right wing social engineering. he sits down to talk about climate change and cap and trade with nancy pelosi and others. the list goes on. he was -- but, on top of all this, there's the absurd rhetorical grandiosity. >> there's a lot of candidates out there, i'm not inclined to be a supporter of newt gingrich's, having served under him four years and experienced personally his leadership. >> why is that? >> because i found it lacking. oftentimes. i will have difficulty supporting him as president of the united states. >> do you believe gingrich is a faux conservative? >> i believe newt gingrich is a gingrichite. all he cares about is newt gingrich. i don't think newt gingrich cares about conservative principles. newt gingrich cares about newt gingrich. >> these are all establishment republicans, essentially shredding newt gingrich in the
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press this week. that last gentleman you saw there, the former republican governor of new hampshire, john sununu, acting as a romney campaign surrogate. you know, by attacking mr. romney's only viable rival for the nomination right now, all of these guys are effectively acting as surrogates for mitt romney. the rise of newt gingrich is the first real stress test of the romney campaign. you think running against barack obama is going to be easier than running against newt gingrich? the romney campaign decided to handle this first real test is by throwing everything in on their candidate's firm support of paul ryan and the paul ryan kill medicare budget. the romney campaign put out this ad today that makes it look like paul ryan is the guy running for president. they all about brag on mr. ryan's tight abs. their line of attack, while newt gingrich criticized paul ryan in his kill medicare plan, mitt romney stood with him. no, mr. romney, no, you didn't. here's the problem. it would be one thing if you
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were like mitt paul ryan, romney. you doing p 90 x all the time, if you had been in cahoots, standing with him, been with paul ryan along the way. mr. romney, you're the one guy that did not jump in with paul ryan on the republican side. newt gingrich has been more with him than you have. it's true because we covered this for weeks. the republican party and conservative establishment are insisting all of their presidential candidates pledge they, too, want to kill medicare. tim pawlenty, officially announ announcing. mitt romney expected to announce. both have been trying desperately to avoid getting n pinnpin pinned down on the question of whether they, too, would vote to kill medicare. the only candidates to avoid taking a position on this so far are tim pawlenty and mitt romney, trying to sprint as far away from the issue as possible. a spokesperson for mr. romney told us mr. romney is on the same page as paul ryan in terms of reducing the budget. but the spokesperson told us that mr. romney will be
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proposing his own changes regarding medicare. after days of dodging that question, today tim pawlenty took the plunge. i would vote to kill medicare. the only major republican presidential candidate who has not signed on to this joint proverbial suicide pact in the republican party is mitt romney. mitt romney so far managed to avoid signing on to the kill medicare thing. every major republican presidential candidate except for mitt romney so far, every one has pledged they, too, would kill medicare. i'm genuinely puzzled as to why this hasn't received more attention in his campaign for the vice presidency. mitt romney is the only major contender for president on the republican side who has not said if he wants to kill medicare. mitt romney standing alone as the only major candidate who has not committed himself one way or another on the paul ryan kill medicare plan. right. for weeks and weeks romney refused to take a position on the paul ryan budget, as everybody else in his party did. he's making him standing with paul ryan the centerpiece of his
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campaign against newt gingrich. mitt romney's decided to build the next leg of his campaign on a watery foundation. you don't have a leg to stand on here, not to mix my metaphors. mr. romney, you've not been mr. pro paul ryan. if you'd like to discuss the finesse you're trying to put on this, i'd love to talk to you about it on this show. rachel@msn any time. the republican establishment is signing up with mitt romney, more enthusiastically than they have in the race so far, because they're horrified by the prospect of newt gingrich winning the thing. it's a controlled experiment of the great political adage that democrats fall in love, and republicans fall in line. republicans do like to think of themselves as being very anti-authority. as anti-establishment when it comes to politics. they do tend to fall in line behind whoever the republican establishment supports. we did see in the 2010 elections the republican establishment choices in the delaware senate race and race to run against
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harry reid in nevada and the lisa murkowski primary in alaska. all of the places, the choice of the republican establishment was rejected by republican primary voters. maybe the old adage isn't true anymore. maybe republicans will buck the establishment again in their political choice for president this year. or maybe you can't actually run a campaign for president while all of these people with all of this sway in the media and in politics constantly trash you and call you things like a human hand grenade and unstable and someone i don't think i could support as president. this is a test. this is a test of whether republicans really do still like to fall in line and essentially do what the establishment tells them or whether or not there's an anti-establishment insurgency in the republican party that's going to defy what all of the big whigs are warning them about newt gingrich and they're going to pick him anyway. this is a test. it's going to be a really, real he, really fun test. joining us, steve kornacki, at "salon."
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good to see you. thanks for being here. >> sure. >> do republican honchos hold sway? >> in any presidential election in the modern area would have worked, did work. the way i understand this is in the con whatcept of what's happ since january 20th, 2009. barack obama's inaugural launched the tea party movement. the name is eventually took. what the tea party movement represents is two things. one is conventional we've seen before. the other is brand new. the conventional thing, the republican party base reacting with hysteria and resentment toward a democratic president. the second part of it, it's a two-front war. the other is against the republican establishment. the conclusion of the conservative base was for ten years or so before 2008, leaders of the republican party had compromised too much and sold out conservative principles too much and enabled barack obama's rise. so we see a level of suspicion now i think on the right. inward directed suspicion we've
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really never seen before. i think it's created the emergence of a new establishment. soby can look at all these voices we cite now, whether it's allen simpson, peggy noonan, george willard, whatever. rush limbaugh has absolute credibility with the exercised republican base. what did he spend this week doing? spent this week making this a test for his listeners. hey, anybody out there trashing newt gingrich right now, they're not one of us. you don't have to listen to anything you say. if you're part of our tribe, you're going to ignore them. with that going on, there's a new establishment i think. >> it's amazing because newt gingrich was being trashed by rush limbaugh. >> that's right. >> very, very recently. when newt gingrich came out and said the paul ryan plan was right wing social engineering, rush limbaugh flayed him alive on the air and has been no friend of newt gingrich when in this current race for presidential candidate. >> there are a few things. one is, limbaugh and a lot of
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other people are really invested in not having this be mitt romney. they need some vehicle. they need some alternative. they exhausted everybody else. now it's gingrich, now it's three weeks to go. the other thing, the interesting thing with limbaugh, if you look back 10, 15, 20 years. the rise of rush limbaugh as a media force and rise of newt gingrich as a political force had an informal alliance for years in the late '80s and 90s iss. you have the clip from simplen saying he lie to george h.w. bush. newt gingrich leading the rebellion on the right against it and rush limbaugh giving him cover on the airwaves. that's the foundation of their relationship. they had a rough patch earlier this year. it's old times now listening to rush talk about newt. >> when you talk about people in this type of authority position that a limbaugh is in on the right being so desperate -- to avoid mitt romney being the nominee. how is mitt romney handling the
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ascenden ascendency? time is short in terms of iowa. new hampshire happens as soon as iowa is over. how is he dealing with it as a campaign? >> there's everything we saw in terms of questioning gingrich's competence as a leader. flip-flops in the past. the basic knock on romney, too moderate for the conservative base, th base. there's vulnerability, too, for gingrich, that romney doesn't share. that's personal life. the three marriages, the horrible story about the hospital visit. it's all the stuff that's out there. extramarital baggage we haven't seen for a republican candidate or any candidate since nelson rockefeller in 1964. the base of the republican party in iowa, or south carolina, these are people in a lot of ways who still think it's 19 jb 64. the baggage is stiomething mitt romney started to exploit. he had an ad this week, i'm a family man. hint, hint. he had chris christie go out in
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iowa and make the same case. there's vulnerability for iowa for newt gingrich when iowa, 60% of the electorate is fundamentali fundamentalist christians. >> runs on that one opportunity hurt him in the general election. running toward the paul ryan kill medicare plan he was cautious about before seems like a major fumble by mitt romney. this is turning out to be so much more fun than i thought it would be. steve kornacki that "salon." thanks for coming up. appreciate it. it's december. christmas lights are up. there's a chill in the air. just about now republicans in congress should be playing a senseless came of chicken with the economic health and wellbeing of the american people. what time is it? oh, yeah, tis the season. what can be done about this latest bit of political chicanery is next on this show with the one and only chris hayes. for convertibles, press star one. i didn't catch that. to speak to a representative, please say representative now. representative. goodbye! you don't like automated customer service,
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[ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your stuffy nose. [ deep breath ] thank you! that's the cold truth! democrats are in charge of the united states senate. they have a majority in the senate, albeit a slim majority. a majority nonetheless. which is why in the last couple days democrats have been able to pull off votes like this. this is richard cordray, president obama's nominee to run the new agency tasked with protecting you from wall street firms and banks that might be tempted to act dishonorably when it comes to things like your credit card, your mortgage, student loans. the agency is the consumer financial protection agency. yesterday the senate voted on mr. cordray's nomination to lead the agency. he got a clear majority vote, 53-45 in favor of confirming him to run the new agency. democrats get a majority vote
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for richard cordray. and then another big win for democrats in the senate yesterday. this on the payroll tax cut extension. that, too, was a narrow victory for democrats. 50 yeses to 48 nos. so the democrats' payroll tax cut, again, gets a majority vote. woo-hoo for them! another big win for the white house and democrats in the senate. president obama's nominee for the federal appeals court in washington, kaitlyn halligan, the senate votes for her this week, 54-45. like i said, big week of victories for democrats winning all of those majority votes in the senate. richard cordray, 53 votes in favor, 45 against. payroll tax cut extension, 50 votes in favor, 48 against. caitlin halligan, 54 in favor, 45 against. that means none of those things passed. >> the senate voted along party lines against confirming former ohio attorney general richard cordray.
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>> the senate voted down both republican and democratic compromise proposals to exten t the payroll tax break. >> the headline, senate rejects cloture on d.c. circuit nominee caitlin halligan. t the cloture word is important. all these things, that judge nomination, the consumer protection nominations, payroll tax cut extension, they all got majority yes votes in the senate. they still did not pass. because republicans did something that's called a filibuster. so a majority vote doesn't count. it's not enough to pass something. republicans do this on everything. everything over the past few years. every vote of substance. they have taken a rule that used to be for exceptional extreme circumstances only and they are applying it basically to every vote now. effectively changing the constitutional structure of our government so one house of congress doesn't run by majority rule anymore. everything needs a supermajority of 60 votes instead of 51. this is not normal.
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it was not like this before. in 2005, when republicans were in control of the senate, senate democrats were in the minority, democrats back then decided to filibuster some of president bush's judicial nominees. republicans got mad about that. they threatened to get rid of the filibuster, called it the nuclear option. in order to avert the nuclear option, seven democrats and seven republicans formed a gang of 14. the gang of 14 came up with a deal. there would be no more filibustering of judicial nominees except in extreme circumstances but the filibuster would be saved. >> the cots were in place and senators were all ready for an all nighter. they were girding, in fact, for a virtual shutdown until 14 senators who call themselves moderates emerged from a marathon meeting with a deal. it means the president will get his way on some federal judges, but he will lose on others. and it means all eyes will be on the next vacancy on the u.s. supreme court. >> republicans were in charge of the senate then. they made a deal.
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president bush got his nominees confirmed. and the senate kept the filibuster as an option for extreme cases. then democrats took charge. republicans went to the minority. that gang of 14 agreement, yeah, not so much for that. republicans now filibuster everything. literally every single substantive vote in the senate. of the seven republican senators from the gang of 14, 4 of them are still in the senate. four of them are still in office. all four of them voted to filibuster the judge's nomination this week. republicans made that deal to limit filibustering by democrats, but they reneged on the deal when it started to applying to them. and this is why we can't have nice things. joining us now is chris hayes, host of msnbc's "up with chris hayes" and editor at large of "the nation." hello, papa. good to see you. >> thank you. my daughter, ryan, has a huge head after you debuted her on television. >> how is fatherhood treating
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you? >> unbelievable transcendently sublime. it's really incredible. >> i know we have other things to talk about. how's your life different? obviously sleeping and everything. how do you -- are you seeing the world differently? >> i am. i think it's just extremely intense and difficult to articulate, visceral feeling of attachment and affection that is -- it's transformative. >> you seem different. i thought you'd seem different because you'd be, like, beat. you seem -- you actually seem different. i feel like you were looking at your feet before and now you're looking at the horizon. >> yeah, i think that's right. well said. >> not to say -- >> i'm looking at how we can break the filibuster. so she has a better future. like that segue there? >> that was very well done. in fact, i might just leave. you obviously have this in hand. senate republicans, i don't think objected to richard cordray. he's not, like, he's not a fire brand guy. he's a pretty noncontroversial guy. but they admit that. they object to the agency he was
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nominated to lead. it was not about him ever. what happens to the whole idea of consumer financial protection without him and wow important is this filibuster? >> first of all, i thought it was great you just called out the gang of 14. i hadn't thought of that. it's really preposterous that those four people voted against that. that you judicial nominee. on cordray, there's a deeper and profound constitutional question that's more extreme than almost anything we've seen from the republicans which is this. a law was dually passed by both houses. it was passed with a filibuster in place in the senate. it got a supermajority. scott brown voted for it and nudged it across the line. it was signed by the president. it went through the constitutional mechanisms to create a consumer financial protection bureau. our constitution says that's now the law of the land. the republicans are saying we don't like that. we just don't like it. we don't like the outcome. we lost and are not going to confirm anyone. they've written a letter and said, it's not cordray.
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you could elect jesus christ, himself. the dually created law, signed by the president of the united states for constitutional procedu procedures, we do not like. >> not to our liking. >> there's something really, really, really destructive and toxic. >> the filibuster, itself, is destructive and toxic to a majority rule. the whole idea of it is upsetting for the exact reasons. we still have it because we believe in minority rights. we believe that even a single senator ought to have almost, almost inexplicable levels of power to stop stuff. so is the horror of this just that they are -- that a filibuster exists or they're reneging on a deal or is it that this agency needs somebody to run it? what is notable and new about this? >> there's a bunch of things. the consumer financial protection bureau is going to do important stuff. there are books out there promulgating loans right now as we speak and have this conversation. that are as deceptive and terrible as all the loans that got us into this mess.
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that's happening. the actual substantive regulatory responsibilities are important and we need someone to do it. the deeper question to me is, really face a democratic crisis at a certain level when the filibuster becomes normalized. it's hard for the institution to respond and people in the media to respond. what you showed the clips off, james of "the atlantaic" said, the headlines become "rob cordray's voted down." we're in a situation where we have a one-way ratchet. there's nothing pushing back. there's nothing pushing back that says this is abnormal, this is not right, this is a departure from our norms and traditions. and until we come up with some way to break that open, it's only going to close further. right? the question is, how do you get back to majority rule and, you know, we had an opportunity in january. you covered it a lot. i was on the program talking about it. senator udall was pushing it. ultimately it has to hit a
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crisis point when the democratic minority, whoever's in the minority, recognizes the long-term interest of the institution and long term political interest rests on restoring majority rule in the senate. i don't think we're there yet. >> and the abuse of it is more harmful than the prospect of losing it. >> individual cases. that's exactly right. >> chris hayes, host of msnbc "up with chris hayes" 7:00 a.m. an saturday. 8:00 a.m. on sunday. i'm sorry about the long divergence in your personal life. >> you can talk about my daughter. but as his dentist, i know that to do that, he needs to use the brush more dentists use. oral-b. trust the brush more dentists and hygienists use. oral-b. life opens up when you do. ♪ when the things that you need come at just the right speed, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight,
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newt gingrich does not seem all that more tea party-ish than mitt romney as a politician. he's a career politician, a guy with the nancy pelosi global warming ad following him around. mr. insider republican establish ms, decades in washington. there's nothing crusadering or outsidery about him. newt gingrich is getting a ton of tea party support. a gallup poll out last week has him with a 30-point lead over his closest competitor among self-described tea party supporters. a fox news poll out this week shows the same trend. mr. gingrich 29 points ahead of
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the closest competition when it comes to support from self-identified tea party voters. here's an idea why mr. newt gingrich, mr. d.c. insider, might be the new tea party darling. take a look at this. in polling out last week, the folks at public policy polling noted mr. gingrich's strength in florida, for example, quote, points to his appeal to senior citizens. as public policy polling notes in handy chart form, mr. gingrich is polling better with older voters than he is overall in at least five states and nationally. newt gingrich has disproportionate support from old people. and here's an underappreciated thing about the tea party movement. it tends to be made up of old people. we know it's conservative people, right? we know it's not the most racially diverse thing in the world. but in a pronounced way it's also senior. in the new book "the tea party and the remaking of republican conservatism," harvard government and sociology team who studied the tea party
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movement found active participants in the broader circles of tea party supporters come from similar social backgrounds. although not every active tea partyer is a senior citizen, most are middle-aged and beyond. a key social characteristic. older, middle class white people, tea partyers are better cushioned against economic upheaval than younger americans, especially minorities. lots of older middle class people in the tea party. another key conclusion of the new book studying the tea party is the tea partyers for the most part know what medicare and social security are. they're not dumb. they get those are government programs. if you've seen the guy holding the sign that says keep the government hands off your health care, it's probably photo shopped. most tea partyers understand what's going on with federal benef benefits. they're very comfortable with social security and medicare for the most part. they're very comfortable with those things they are getting, as older middle class americans. they're comfortable with anything they are getting. again, they're older middle class folks.
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not by in large poorer people. the things they don't like, the thi things they are against are things young people or poor people are benefiting from. not the stuff they're getting. quote, tea party people know that social security, medicare and veterans programs are government managed, expensive and funded with taxes. it's just they distinguish the programs which they feel recipients have earned from other social benefits which they feel unnecessarily run up expenses or might run up public costs in the future, place a burden on hardworking taxpayers to make placements to free loaders who have not earned public support. a well marked distinction is central to the world view and conception of america. not only do tea party americans think assistance to lower income americans is more expensive and open ended than it is, but angry about health reform, obama-care, and benefits for less privileged americans championed by president obama and legislated by democrats in 2010. the things they don't like, the
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things they're against are things young people get and things poor people get. because they're happy with things that old middle class people get. the benefits you get because you're poor or access because you're young, those are the ones that are suspects in tea party circles. newt gingrich has tons of support among tea party supporters. and among old people. who disproportionately make up the tea party. and what's newt gingrich been doing in his campaign? he's really singularly been waging a campaign against poor people. and specifically against poor people. >> and in very poor neighborhoods you have to literally reestablish the dignity of work. i will tell you personally i believe the kids could mop the floor and clean out the bathroom and get paid for it and it would be okay. they'd be dramatically less expensive than unionized janitors and you'd begin to reestablish the dignity of work. >> newt gingrich has the race
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locked upp on his account of tun poor kids into janitor plan. the open question is whether republicans do fall in line, like we were talking about earlier, or whether we could see conservative voters bucking the republican establishment that has turned all its guns on newt gingrich. the establishment really sort of seems to be against him. his polls are still good. could the people answering the pollsters and going to the caucuses and primaries and voting actually defy the establishment and vote for newt gingrich? or is this movement that gets so much credit, this tea party movement, is it actually going to turn out to just be made of standard issue republican voters who are going to do what the honchos in the republican party say is right for the republican party? joining us for the interview, professor of government and socialology at harvard and vanessa williamson, ph.d. student there. co-authors of "the tea party and the remaking of republican conservatism." it's a thank you both for being
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here. >> let me ask if i got anything dreadfully wrong in summarizing parts of your book. >> you hit the nail right on the head about the views about work. when newt gingrich says the dignity of work, he's hitting just the right chord with many conservatives. and tea partyers. and they make a distinction between benefits for those people and things going -- even like pell grants for college students that go to folks who haven't paid their dues yet. >> because which you can't have done as a young person. >> that's right. >> what is the difference between people who are in the tea party movement? what is the difference between the tea party movement and the conservative base of the republican party that existed before we ever talked about tea parties? >> i think that's a great question. the tea party a very conservative. one of our interviewees
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considerses himself just to the right. they're not always happy with the republican party. they can always vote for a democrat, certainly. that doesn't mean they don't want to push the republican party rightward. that's what we've seen. >> it's easier to push the republican party rightward if their vote is at stake, though. you found there's really no circumstances under which tea partyers would support a third party movement or god forbid a democrat. is that right? >> almost none. we found people were very pragmatic about what it takes to beat democrats or to get rid of barack obama which is the number one goal. and i think mitt romney has been banking on that. he's been assuming that if he can just ride through this turbulent period in the republican primaries, where tea party identified people are the most active and attentive of the republican base, that he'll have them in his camp when he goes against obama. but the newt gingrich upsurge here which is, what, the third
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or fourth non-mitt romney upsurge is throwing a little bit of a monkey wrench into that because even though i don't think anybody could have predicted that gingrich would be a tea party favorite, he does remind a lot of these older white conservatives of the takeover in the 1990s. >> we talked about earlier, the introduction at the top of the discussion, him hitting it on the head of the anxieties motivating tea party activism helps understand the enthusiasm for him as well as the really targeted age-based stuff. i wonder, though, if you have insight into why the tea partyers might have tolerated so many rises of other candidates. is there something repellent to mitt romney? >> they think he's inauthentic.
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i don't think hate is the right word. we interviewed people in the spring of 2011 and asked them late in the interview process, did they have a favorite for the gop nomination? and the one thing they all agreed on is they weren't enthusiastic about romney. that's because they just don't believe he's for real. something which many massachuset massachusetts liberals might agree about. >> newt gingrich has been so many different things. it's hard to see why he seems more real than mitt romney does. newt gingrich has taken pretty much as many contrary positions on major issues as mitt romney has. i imagine the romney campaign is frustrated people think of gingrich as more authentic, given he has a patchwork record. >> a lot of tea partyers, it's a question of tone. that newt going are is hitting the right notes, the right sort of message. and mitt romney just hasn't quite provided that. it's not to say they wouldn't vote for him. they might not be enthusiastic.
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again and again, interviewees told us they need to beat obama. >> and also argue with obama. each of the non-mitt romneys that's risen and fallen has had that style. that, you know, we're going to sock it to the democrats and obama, which romney tries but somehow it just doesn't come across. >> can i ask you about one last factor about the age issue which i found really interesting. having been involved in a lot of different liberal groups over time, as somebody who's roughly to the left of mao, to use your construction, in groups that have mostly older liberals, there's a lot of anxiety about that. groups of older liberals want to get young people involved and worry about that a lot. do tea partyers worry there are not young tea partyers? >> as a younger person, i'd attend the meetings. there was light in the eye that this might be the young person coming to the meeting before they realized i was there to do
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interviews. they don't want young people to attend, but i think they take a pleasure and pride in their own sort of older person's wisdom. they've worked their whole lives and given them perspective they can't imagine young people have. >> they're not expecting or looking for a tide of young people. they don't worry about it the way hippies do. must be very freeing. theda skocpol. i know you came to town to talk to me tonight. i appreciate you being here. thanks, i appreciate it. the best new thing in the world makes its triumphant return to the show tonight. that's coming up. and it is very good news. are up. olay challenges that. with new olay professional prox clear designed to balance oil and moisture levels and help bring breakouts under control for consistently clear skin. [ female announcer ] under eye circles. pile on the products. or challenge all that effort with olay. simply sweep on the total effects dark circle minimizer.
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and when did you know you wanted to sell insurance? i said i wouldn't cry. um... whee! it's flo time. now, that's progressive. call or click today. hes's i former fox news personality, lehman executive and the republican governor of the great state of ohio, john kasich. his approval ratings in ohio have dropped somewhere between rush hour traffic and slush, dirty slush, in your shoe. not only is he down to 38% approval in ohio, last month ohio voted by a 22-point margin to overturn john kasich's signature legislation, stripping union rights in ohio. that got recalled by 22 points, a landslide against john kasich and the highway republicans. all of which must be weighing heavily on governor kasich as
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the 2012 race heats s p up sinc ohio is expected to be as hotly contested a swing state as it ever is. governor kasich and the republicans had a plan for that, too, pass a law to severely l curtail early voting in ohio to make it harder and less convenient to vote in the state of ohio. that, of course, political common wisdom says hurts democrats and helps republicans. now ohio voters have done it again. they are going after kasich's kill early voting law as well. ohio secretary of state confirming today that the more than 300,000 valid signatures submitted to recall john be kasich's republican killing early voting law in ohio are sufficient to put that issue on the ballot for recall in november. that means the law is on hold until it can be voted on, which means early voting is saved in highway for the presidential election next year, and it means that ohios will be voting on whether they want to repeal john kasich's kill early voting law
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on the same day they will be voting for president. and if this next ohio effort to overturn a john kasich law brings out anywhere near the enthusiasm that the last one did, president obama and vice president biden will probably be really psyched to be sharing a ballot with the latest opportunity for ohio voters to tell john kasich what they think of him.
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best new thing in the world today, this is the george washington bridge are, connects new york city to ft. lee, new jersey, the most heavily used vehicular bridge in the world, millions driving over the decks every year. it's a suspension bridge so those two decks of road are hung from suspender cables which in turn are huj from the main cables strung between the two hours. this is what the gw bridge looked like when it was first
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built back in 1931, 80 years ago. that's when with the suspender cables were new. the suspender cables haven't been replaced since. this week the agency that owns that bridge, the port authority of new york and new jersey authorized the first chunk of a more than $1 billion project to clean up the bridge's main cables, the really big ones and to replace the smaller cables, the suspender cables, all 592 of them. the suspender cables alone end to end would be about 9,000 miles long. they're all different lengths. the shortest ones way 1500 pounds, the longest 10,000 poundz. the suspending cables are actually holding this thing up so while they're replacing them, they can't take more than three down at a time. you want to know what all that engineering awesomeness means for this part of the country? it means jobs. this part of the job will create 3600 jobs. because when you work on your infrastructure it mean


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