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Interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

By Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow Show - September 26, 2012

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOWSeptember 26, 2012

Guest: Nancy Pelosi

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: And thanks to you at home staying with us for the next hour.

We`ve got Nancy Pelosi here tonight live for the interview. Very excited about that.

If this was the image of the week, across the country, for last week, the surreptitiously filmed Mitt Romney addressing wealthy Republican donors in Florida and telling them how no good and horrible half the country was, if that was the image of the week last week, then this would surely have to qualify as the image of the week this week.

Touchdown? No touchdown? Touchdown? Oh, no! Right?

The big NFL referees scandal thing. The Green Bay Packers getting totally robbed of a win on Monday night football. That image from this week has crossed over now from being just a sports story to being an America story. It`s now even an American politics story.

Yesterday, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, who of course is most famous for stripping union rights in his state, Scott Walker actually came out in favor of bringing back the union refs to the NFL. See, when it`s about something that doesn`t matter much like education, screw the unions. But when it`s something important like football -- well, look for the union label, America.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have all seen fit to weigh in on this one football game from Monday, on the referees issue. All three men saying that the Green Bay Packers deserve to win that game. The Packers got robbed.

So even as the Packers` agony crossed over into national politics this week, I still have to say that it remains true that the single west political Green Bay Packers moment in history, the best moment of all time in the overlap that exists between the Green Bay Packers and politics is still this moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOMMY THOMPSON (R), FORMER WISCONSIN GOVERNOR: There are 30 teams, but only one Packer organization, and that is the greatest football organization ever in America`s history. There are only 187 days before training camp. And 360 days before we go back to Miami!

Whereas the Packers are America`s real team, and we`ll always be winners in the hearts and minds of the people of Wisconsin, therefore I, Tommy Thompson, governor of the great state of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim January 27th, 1998, all over Wisconsin, Green Bay Packer Day in honor of all of you, the fans! Congratulations. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Tommy Thompson, from the great state of Wiscons -- declaring Packers Day. He was the governor of Wiscons back in the `90s. He after that went on, of course, to be in the George W. Bush administration. And since then, he keeps running for office. He ran for president for a hot second back in 2008, trying to convince people he was the other guy named Thompson who was not named Fred.

Now he is the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in Wisconsin. Tommy Thompson right now is losing that race. The last five polls out of Wisconsin all show Tommy Thompson losing, including one poll out today that shows him losing by 12 points.

And that was before the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" today posts this video of Tommy Thompson this summer telling a Tea Party group what his plans are for Medicare and also for Medicaid. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)

THOMPSON: Change Medicare and Medicaid like I did welfare, and who better than me, that`s already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Who better than me, to do away with Medicare? We`re going to have to wait until the next round of polling in Wisconsin to see how the tape of Tommy Thompson saying he wants to get rid of Medicare affects his numbers, in a state that as of today appears to be inclined against him already by 12 points.

What do you think the next round`s going to look like?

Mr. Thompson`s Democratic opponent incidentally in this Senate race is named Tammy Baldwin. One snapshot of politics right now in this country is, of course, how the presidential race is going. But the race to control the United States Senate most days is a more amazing story, or a more amazing amalgamation of stories.

I mean, yes, today, Tommy Thompson is on tape saying, who better than him to get rid of Medicare! But something like that can`t even win the shocking election tape of the week award, not when it`s up against other competitors from this week, like this tape.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

MADDOW: This is the tape we aired here last night of five staffers for Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, as well as other Republican Party operatives, chanting fake Native American war whoops and doing tomahawk chops, to mock Native Americans. The ABC affiliate in Boston identified the Scott Brown staffers here as his deputy chief of staff, his constituent services counsel, his state director for Massachusetts, and his special assistant. Also, there is a Massachusetts state Republican Party guy here, who works in conjunction with the Brown campaign.

Scott Brown came out shortly after he heard about this tape yesterday to say that he did not condone the behavior of his staffers here. But you know, this is not exactly an isolated incident. I mean, Senator Brown right now is basing his re-election campaign for the Senate on the issue of Elizabeth Warren`s ethnicity and what he thinks it really is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color, and as you can see, she`s not. That being said, she checked the box and she had an opportunity, actually, to make a decision throughout her career, when she apply to Penn and Harvard, she checked the box claiming she was a Native American. And you know, clearly she`s not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Clearly. "Clearly she`s not." That was how he opened up his first debate against Elizabeth Warren. The very first ad that Scott Brown aired after that first debate was not an ad addressing any specific issues in the country or in the Senate race, but rather an ad attacking Elizabeth Warren on the basis of race.

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