NOW with Alex Wagner | December 12, 2012
>>> gift from god, and i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen.
>> remember richard murdoch , who lost his bid to become senator of indiana, due in large part to those comments? well, it appears he has some debts to pay off from the campaign. in a fundraising missive to his supporters, murdoch's finance director writes, "never has indiana seen a more modest example of media bias ." presumably, media bias now involves reporting on public statements made by candidates looking to be elected to higher office. meanwhile, candidates continue to make hidlines. days ago, it was revealed senate republicans who publicly pledged to absolve themselves to ties to todd aiken sent the senate hopefully $760,000 in the waning days of the campaign as a last-ditch effort to secure the seat for the gop . responding in a statement, the dscc was quick to throw the challenge flag. "it is not only wrong the nrsc would support funds to todd akin , it was underhanded and dishonest to purposely mislead the public about this issue." they did not respond to our request for comment, john cornyn , who oversaw the loss in two seats, has received a promotion to be mitch mcconnell 's number two. what better way to deal with stinging loss than to double down on the very same strategy. jen, i have to go to you first on this.
>> so much to say.
>> there is a lot to say. i know it's politics bean bag , but this just seems like an incredibly crass move speaking of the funding of todd akin .
>> absolutely. if you take this larger here, the republican party has a huge problem, and it's that they don't think that the war on women , which is an overused term, i will acknowledge, is real or was real. and i will tell you, if you ask moderate women , if you ask independent women , if you ask republican women , many of them will tell you it's real. it's not just about contraception, it's about access to affordable health care , and it's about their belief, as a party, not everyone, but quite a few people, including mitt romney and his team, that simply having a woman on your staff means you're advocating for women and you are in favor of women 's issues. unless they move beyond that, they are going to have a serious, serious gender problem over the next couple of cycles.
>> jane, i'm interested to get your take on this. we look at where the gop has problems, ailments, if you will. hispanics, obama won them by 44 points. he won women by 11 points. he won african-americans by 87 points. he won young voters by 23 points. he won gay and bisexual voters by 54 points. that is a serious problem in terms of demographics for the gop , and yet in these days after the election, i'm having a hard time seeing a substantiative shift in terms of attitudes and policy coming from the right.
>> basically, they have three choices. they can blame the voters, they can blame themselves, or they can blame the press. and so the press is always the first choice. i mean, we're the best scapegoats going, it's always a popular move. some of these blaming the press moves have been sent out to supporters to try to raise money , some of these complaints have been. but i actually think -- i've read that there is a little bit of self analysis going on. for instance, the koch brothers, who i've written about in the past, they have suspended their usual semiannual con fab, because they want to be state-by-state analysis of what went wrong. they are not stupid. they really are trying to figure out where did they go wrong. they spent an incredible amount of money and didn't get what they want, and they are mad. i think there is some analysis going on. i don't know what they'll come up with, but my guess is it will be a little less lame than just blame the press.
>> if you look at the issues like gay marriage in the supreme court , republicans have been pretty silent on that. if you look at immigration --
>> which is evidence of progress, perhaps.
>> jen's exactly right. in a way, they have the same problem on immigration and hispanic voters in particular than they have with women . this idea you put up a couple of women , okay, we fixed our women problem, i'm sure you heard this too in tampa, we don't have a problem with hispanics, we have martinez and marco rubio and somehow this idea you put up the couple of the right faces and it fixes it, we got the policy shift we need to make. that's the bitter self analysis. they know they can no longer, perhaps, bash gay marriage in the way they've say binders full of women or deportation. they have the linguistic side of it, whether or not they've made a real shift in addressing the policy side, i'm not clear of.
>> i feel the focus is on strategy, right? carl rove is now channelling the spirit of howard dean . let's actually take a listen, because it's not often carl rove praises howard dean , so we should let everybody hear that.
>> i hate to say it, but we need to copy what howard dean did, that means make our ground game in all 50 states .
>> the problem is you're going to have to have some kind of proposal in terms of appealing to voters in arizona or in north carolina if you're going to try to change your margins in those states, sam. thus far, i think the recommendations from party elders have been purely strategy. 50-state strategy talking about shrinking the length of the primary calendar, moving the convention up. is that how you set the gop on a course to right itself for 2016 ?
>> probably not. i mean, it's tactical and superficial fixes, obviously. one of the things that worked for howard dean , keep in mind, not that he had two or three staffers in mississippi, because that wasn't going to change the contrast of the races there for the democratic party . it was that he had obama , a candidate who had a message of post partisanship that appealed to a wide swath of the country. that's what expanded the map. if they are going to go about, if the republican party is going to go about talking about how their digital get out the vote operation failed them, moving up the primaries, so on and so forth, they need to have something that's appealing to voters in those democratic states, as opposed to trying to reach them tactically in a different way.
>> that 50-state strategy was predicated on having candidates. it wasn't just grassroots organization.
>> there's a lot of people in the democratic party who still question whether a 50-state strategy was a viable concept, because, again, opening up an office in mississippi is not going to make the democratic party viable there. it's not going to change the course of the party's future there. but having someone with a message that does resinate to mississippiens might.
>> the changing demographics of the country is the biggest factor and what we learned, i think, from the election. it's not the obama team, which i was a part of, got well-deserved credit for the ground game, but the romney team could have had the exact same ground game and wouldn't have won the election. they weren't in touch with the demographics of the country. one of the most interesting issues to katty's point earlier, we should look at immigration reform and how republicans handle immigration reform . do they take a moderate approach, are they willing to compromise? they could really show some headway in some states in the country.
>> on immigration, i think, the person that everybody is looking to in the gop is marco rubio , and i feel we're hoping there's going to be some substantiative comprehensive immigration reform , his statements about we need to take step by step , a piecemeal approach, it's not what the country is ready for takes the wind out of the sails.
>> it's a little like the fiscal cliff negotiations, immigration reform has become like taxes and spending. do you do it step-by-step, which is what the republicans like, because they'd like to show they are tough on security and there isn't a legal path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, or do you do the whole thing all together? if i were carl rove , which isn't something i imagine myself being often, i would knock on the door of olympia snowe and say what are your lessons for us?
>> fun conversation.
>> that would actually be a fun conversation. we hope that carl rove , if you're listening, takes that advice.
>>> coming to the recent data, planned parenthood provides less than 5% of resources to abortion services, but that's not stopping republicans in their quest to defund the organization entirely. we'll head to the lone star state and take a look at the eye of the storm just ahead.