On MSNBC’s soon-to-be-streaming-only MTP Daily Thursday afternoon, host Chuck Todd fretted to Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin about the failure of Democrats to pass radical pro-abortion legislation in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade. However, unbelievably missing from the softball chat was any mention of the pro-abortion terrorism perpetrated against a pro-life organization in the Senator’s own state.
After lamenting that the extreme pro-abortion bill had predictably failed in the Senate, Todd warned that “voters across the country are expecting action as the threat of the Supreme Court decision looms.” He then eagerly welcomed Baldwin on the program: “I’m joined by Democratic Senator from Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin, and Senator, given the state you come from and the immediate impact the – what Roe would have, I can’t think of a better person to talk to right now.”
He began by whining about Democrats being divided on the legislation, with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin joining Republicans in voting it down: “When you look at the final result, was it better to show the Democrats divided or would it have been better to show the Republicans divided on this issue?”
Baldwin defended the political stunt: “...it shows that we are engaged in this fight and this is only the first step in the fight, given the anticipated opinion of the Supreme Court....every senator is now on record as to whether they would strip away a constitutional right, the first time in history we’ve seen the Court poised to peel back a Constitutional right.”
Todd kept complaining that the GOP wasn’t damaged: “Do you accept the premise, though, that you politically might have been able to show the Republicans as more extreme on this issue....painted them into a deeper corner?”
Baldwin replied by repeatedly smearing her Republican colleagues as “extreme.” She went on to fearmonger about Roe being overturned: “...let me tell you what the law would be in Wisconsin if Roe vs. Wade is overturned. In Wisconsin, we have a law on the books, it was passed in...1849, one year after Wisconsin’s statehood.” Todd helpfully chimed in: “By the way, at a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote in the state of Wisconsin. It might be worth bringing that up.” Baldwin agreed: “Yeah, women were property. They didn’t have independent rights of all sorts, let alone voting.”
“Let me ask you about what can be done in Wisconsin. I mean, it’s the most polarized state in the nation,” Todd worried. That would have been the perfect time to ask about the Madison chapter of pro-life group Wisconsin Family Action being firebombed by pro-abortion extremists. Instead, Todd feared there would not be enough abortion:
...it feels as if that there will be nothing and there’ll be no protection, nothing at all. I mean, is there any sort of plan E, plan F here in the near term? Because you guys are sort of stalemated in the federal level. I mean, it just feels like this is going to be draconian in Wisconsin.
Baldwin responded: “I fear that it will. I really do.” Todd went on to suggest the state pass a pro-abortion “constitutional amendment.”
This was the second day in a row that Baldwin was treated to a softball cable news interview where she didn’t have to answer a single question about pro-abortion attacks or far-left attempts to intimidate Supreme Court justices and their families. On Wednesday, CNN anchor Kate Bolduan strategized with the Democrat lawmaker about how to push the pro-abortion agenda.
Back on Tuesday, Todd’s MSNBC colleague Jose Diaz-Balart steadfastly ignored left-wing violence when talking to Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Here is a full transcript of the May 12 segment:
1:49 PM ET
CHUCK TODD: Democrats knew this bill was not gonna ever get 60 votes, no matter which one they put on the floor. Instead, they’re gonna try to use it as a marker for where lawmakers stand on abortion ahead of the midterms, but voters across the country are expecting action as the threat of the Supreme Court decision looms. So, what do you do now?
I’m joined by Democratic Senator from Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin, and Senator, given the state you come from and the immediate impact the – what Roe would have, I can’t think of a better person to talk to right now.
But first, I want to talk about the decision when, you know, it seems as if we knew yesterday was a messaging bill. And there’s two strategies one can take. When you look at the final result, was it better to show the Democrats divided or would it have been better to show the Republicans divided on this issue?
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN [D-WI]: Well, I would contend that this is a very substantive bill. It was around for a long time prior to this leaked decision. In fact, I teamed up with Senator Blumenthal to introduce it for several previous sessions because we saw all the states acting, introducing bills that would limit access to abortion care. And in some states these passed and in other states they didn’t. But we’ve had this bill for a long time.
In terms of bringing it up at this particular moment. Number one, it shows that we are engaged in this fight and this is only the first step in the fight, given the anticipated opinion of the Supreme Court.
And secondly, as you noted, every senator is now on record as to whether they would strip away a constitutional right, the first time in history we’ve seen the Court poised to peel back a Constitutional right. We’ve always been expanding rights in our nation, never moving backwards.
So everyone is on the record and now we – we organize. So we fight, we educate on the impact this Supreme Court decision will have on women, and men, and then we organize for the elections.
TODD: Do you accept the premise, though, that you politically might have been able to show the Republicans as more extreme on this issue if you put a bill that allowed for some of the limitations that Roe and Casey have allowed for and yet they still wouldn’t support it, right? Do you accept the premise that it would have painted them into a deeper corner?
BALDWIN: You know, I really dispute their characterization of it going beyond Roe vs. Wade. What has happened is the states have limited and limited and restricted and imposed obstacles. These proposals that have come to pass have severely limited a woman’s right to choose. And they won’t stand up against that nor will they stand up against this anticipated Supreme Court case.
And when we want to talk about what’s extreme, you know, denying a teen who’s been raped the access to abortion care, denying a victim of incest abortion care, denying a woman whose life or health has been placed in jeopardy because of, say, an ectopic pregnancy or something like that, the chance to live, that’s extreme.
TODD: Let me ask you about Wisconsin specifically and I can’t help but get you to react to your Senate colleague that also represents the state. This is what he said, according to The Wall Street Journal, “It might be a” – this is Ron Johnson – “‘It might be a little messy for some people but abortion is not going away,’ he said, saying that driving across state lines to Illinois would likely be an option. ‘I just don’t think this is going to be the big political issue everybody thinks it is, because it’s not going to be that big of a change.’”
So if you’re in Wisconsin, just drive into Illinois. Is that a real solution?
BALDWIN: Well, first of all, let me tell you what the law would be in Wisconsin if Roe vs. Wade is overturned. In Wisconsin, we have a law on the books, it was passed in 1894 – er, sorry – 1849, one year after Wisconsin’s statehood. That’s where we’d be – that would be the status of our law in Wisconsin. And I think we can all agree that lots has changed –
TODD: By the way, at a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote in the state of Wisconsin. It might be worth bringing that up.
BALDWIN: Yeah, women were property. They didn’t have independent rights of all sorts, let alone voting. You know, we’ve advanced quite a bit since 1849. And I have to say that the idea that women don’t have the same rights from state to state is ridiculous.
But I would also say to voters that if our current Senator Johnson wants to send women to Illinois, we ought to send him packing this November.
TODD: Let me ask you about what can be done in Wisconsin. I mean, it’s the most polarized state in the nation, and I look at a – I look at this – it feels as if that there will be nothing and there’ll be no protection, nothing at all. I mean, is there any sort of plan E, plan F here in the near term? Because you guys are sort of stalemated in the federal level. I mean, it just feels like this is going to be draconian in Wisconsin.
BALDWIN: I fear that it will. I really do. I will say that while our political situation in Wisconsin is overwhelmingly Republican legislature but a Democratic governor who can and has vetoed anti-choice measures that have gotten through the state legislature, what I will say is our general public, the people of Wisconsin, are quite in tandem with the rest of the nation in terms of views about whether or not Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. A significant majority believe that Roe vs. Wade should remain in tact and a small minority believes that it should be overturned outright.
TODD: Is there any constitutional amendment, you know, the state of Michigan at least can put that on the ballot, I think they have a shot at getting something enshrined in their state constitution. Any path like that? Because, look, your legislature’s gerrymandered in one direction and you have the governor – the Democratic governor there can sort of stalemate things. But is there a third path at all in Wisconsin?
BALDWIN: The legislature has to pass, in two separate sessions, a bill to amend our state constitution and it goes to the voters of the state at the first election thereafter or an election thereafter.
TODD: That’s a long process. Yeah.
BALDWIN: Right. So what I will say is go to the ballot box, everybody who is concerned about this and a whole series of other issues where we have seen Republicans siding, you know, with – well, siding with the idea of repealing a constitutional right, the first time in our nation’s history, and setting, in the United States, tens of millions of women back. We need to vote.
TODD: Senator Tammy Baldwin, Democrat from Wisconsin, I really appreciate you coming on, sharing your perspective with us.