The Rachel Maddow Show | January 25, 2013
>>> man named saxby chambliss announced that he is retiring today. as a u.s. senator , he is up for reelection in 2014 , but he is not going to run. he was about to get primaried, challenged from the right from within his own party . he doesn't say this is why he is quitting, but now he is quitting rather than face that challenge. now that he is quitting, who is going to be the republican nominee for that senate seat in 2014 ?
>> they asked me who is the president of ubek-beki-beki stan stan, i'm going to say i don't know. do you know? herman cain has run before. but even though everybody is asking him, he is not going to run for saxby chambliss 's seat. the other names that immediately floated to the top were this guy.
>> all this stuff i was taught about evolution, emberiology, big bang theory , all that is lies straight from the pit of held.
>> congressman paul broun . he is on the house science committee , state from the pit of hell. he also says he does not know if obama is a u.s. citizen . also on the short list for the seat is this guy, congressman phil gingrey , who says todd akin got a bad rap on that whole legitimate rain thing. todd akin was pretty much right about that. and rounding out the short list, remember when the susan g. komen foundation decided to go after planned parenthood and it was a huge disaster for them? the woman whose that idea was is also on the short list. republicans are looking maybe choosing afrom the birther science is alive from the pit of hell, the one who says todd akin was right and the woman who was so upset about abortion she managed to get a cancer charity in trouble. saxby chambliss would have very likely been re-elected again. but instead one of these guys? seriously? this is the exact republican strategic formula that resulted in democratic joe donnelly getting the indiana senate seat that had been held by republican dick lugar for 35 years. it's the same formula that got democrat claire mccaskill to hold on to her seat in missouri when nobody thought she could hold on to it. it's the same formula that got harry reid to hold on to his seat when nobody thought he could hold on the his seat that year. and chris coons in delaware. in is a formula. this is a familiar scenario for a reason. and it is still going on right now in 2013 in the republican party . the last republican presidential nominee did not come to the presidential inauguration this week. mitt romney is the first losing presidential candidate since michael dukakis in 1989 to not go to the inaugural. he did go to the trouble of leaking to the press that he probably wouldn't even watch the inauguration on tv, which is classy. but mr. romney did actually go to washington today to attend a luncheon in his own honor at the washington marriott hotel . there is a certain awkwardness to this trip, right? to come to d.c. not for the inauguration, but for something honoring yourself. that perceived ungraciousness, though, is not just a one-way street there is a certain amount of ungraciousness that honestly is being shown to mr. romney right now by his own party . the republican party this week has been making a big show of publicly deromneyifying themselves, clemensing themselves of all traces of the romney nomination. remember the empty chair that clint eastwood famously ranted at during prime time at the republican convention this year? it's being used as a physical symbol for the republicans of what went wrong with this presidential nomination . the chairman of the party told the press this week that he cheeps that chair in his office. he points it out to reporters as a sign that he is committed to never forget the mistakes of 2012 . a republican strategist telling the " washington post " this week, there is no romney faction or romney wing of the republican party keeping the flame alive. no one tailors their policies because it was what romney supported in the 2012 campaign. no one feels like they need to be loyal to the romney position on any issue. and in the conservative media this week, quote, some republicans believe the rnc ceded too much control of the party 's message to the romney campaign, which was happy to run the show in the confidence that romney would soon be elected president. the result was catastrophic. republicans are even talking about undoing the procedural rules that mr. romney established for the delegate process, and they're putting news of that effort out into the press. the republicans want you to know that they're getting rid of everything romney . they are taking a hot bleach shower. they are making a very public display of expunging all evidence of his candidacy. because he obviously was the problem with the republican party . he must have been. everything else has been awesome. and that's why they're keeping everything else. the other thing that happened in republican politics today is that they reelected reince priebus as chairman of the party . even more amazing, he ran unopposed. it's the guy who was in charge of the republican party is keeping his job, no question about it. nobody even competing with him. and meanwhile, the purification process of killing off, even very conservative republican incumbents in favor of ever more doctrineaire further right challengers who are further outside the mainstream, that is claiming new scalps today. still even in the united states senate , saxby chambliss who got an a-plus rating from the nra and a 100% rating from the national right to life committee , he is being forced out. he is not far right enough. thank goodness former chairman of the rep good sport, mr. steele, good to see you.
>> it's good to see you, rachel .
>> do you think there is really no imprint at all that mitt romney should have left on the republican party ? they're just trying to pretend like he was a bad dream .
>> well, that's just silly. and the fact of the matter is that mitt romney went through a primary process in which delegates and activists around the country voted overwhelmingly for him. and so to now sit back and say well, there may not be a romney wing of the party , but certainly as our nominee, he did -- he did have some stature. he did leave an imprint and an impression. and you can't whitewash that. you can't just say it didn't happen, it didn't exist. and if we ignore it and pretend it never did, then everything else we do will be better. so it's just silly. and it's just typical crap that these guys throw around to put the blame some place else instead of looking at the internal processes that are much more focused on anything other than grassroots, you know, would take care of our vendors, we take care of our consultants. what are they doing on the ground with state party organizations ? there is no reason, rachel , why this party was not prepared after everything that we had done between 2009 to elect chris christie in knowledge, bob mcdonnell of virginia to pick up the house and senate seats around the country, that they didn't have that ground game already in place that they like to vilify before, but got folks elected.
>> well, when try to understand what is going on in the republican party , looking at very broad strokes movements inside the party , i feel like we had bush and cheney. we had the mccain/palin campaign. and that was a primary campaign. that was decided pretty early on. so the party really unified around mccain and palin. then we essentially had the tea party movement. the tea party movement was manifest as a purification process, primarying even very conservative incumbents for people who were further outside the mainstream, further to the right. i thought that ended with the romney era. but it seems like republicans still think that was a good idea.
>> well, actually, rachel , it ended during the first few months of my campaign, of my chairmanship. we sat down with a lot of tea party activists after the skazza/fava race in spring of 2009 . largely a lot of other nomination processes had started, and that effort was under way. so what we tried to do is get in front and say look, let's cooperate, let's work together, because you can't go after our incumbents in states like delaware and colorado and utah and elsewhere where, you know, but for this individual, we would not have this seat. and so we negotiated a peace, if you will for further campaigns and worked cooperatively with tea party activists around the country. that clearly had not happened over the last couple of years. we saw what happened to the ron paul campaign and how he was treated at the national convention . not allowed to speak. his delegates not given a voice on the floor. and now they're trying to make nice with these guys and pretend that that didn't happen. well, the grassroots activists have very long memories. so your words are nice, but your actions say more. and i think that the party has put itself in a very difficult position, and will see itself challenged if we do not get on the ground and work with these organizations and individuals who are very fired up and passionate, but put that energy in a very constructive way to support incumbents that we have, particularly in those tough districts or states that we can barely hold on to, like a georgia. i mean, that seat could come in play, depending who that nominee is. and the party has to give that some great consideration.
>> that substantive critique from you and the different strands of substantive critique about what happened in 2012 and what is wrong inside the party and the structure of the party makes it so remarkable to me that reince priebus was unopposed. i find it astonishing.
>> yeah, me too.
>> michael steele , msnbc analyst, former chairman of the party , thank you for your time tonight. it's great to see you back.
>> all right, rachel .
>>> president obama has made his choice to run the s.e.c. the agency that is supposed to police wall street . there are very few people, like maybe zero people who know more about the nominee or the job of the nominee than our special guest tonight, former new york governor and attorney general elliott spitser is here. yes! stay tuned. impact