'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
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Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: August 19, 2015
Guest: Jon Ralston
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: I have no way of knowing whether it is
protected. I mean, that`s the craziest thing, right? I`m using all this
and it`s like, well, I hope the Google engineers are good at their job.
John Herman, Xeni Jardin, thank you very much.
All right. That is ALL IN for this evening. Rachel Maddow starts
now. Good morning, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I admit I was one of those people, hmm,
MADDOW: (INAUDIBLE) said the story. Now you`ve made me feel sort of
more sad and scared about it.
HAYES: Well, it`s what comes next is the question.
MADDOW: Yes, exactly. Well, and this too, you know?
HAYES: In this, too, yes, yes.
MADDOW: Thank you. Well done. Thanks.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
Behold the center of the political universe today. Paisano`s Pizza
in Derry, New Hampshire. Derry, New Hampshire is Southern New Hampshire.
It`s not far from Manchester.
Here`s what`s great about New Hampshire when presidential politics
are really hot. Today, in the same little corner of southern New
Hampshire, if you wanted to physically get yourself between two apparently
plausible front-runners, you would only need about five minutes and all you
would have to do is leave Scott Walker here at this house on Martha Drive
in Derry, New Hampshire.
You need to leave that house and walk to the end of the block. Then
you just turn right at the roundabout right after the Paisano`s Pizza, then
take a quick left at the dairy quick mart and subs to go. Then halfway
down the next block, look, Donald Trump.
Both of them, Scott Walker and Donald Trump, both there in that
little town within a half mile of one another at the same time. And that
is happening tonight simultaneously with Chris Christie appearing at
Exactly. Susan is here in the studio. Exactly. I hear you gasping.
Formerly Molly Starks` Tavern, one of my in-law`s favorite burger places.
Susan`s mom goes there once a week. It`s really very good. It`s about 20
or 25 miles away.
That`s Chris Christie right now. And he is about 18 miles away from
Jeb Bush over in Merrimack, all simultaneously appearing tonight, all in
the same tiny epicenter of this tiny corner of this tiny state, all bunched
together like this on the map. I mean, you look at all the big
presidential campaigns colliding in this one little spot on the map
It`s like another great New England summer tradition. It is like a
political demolition derby. If you live in New England and your town or
your county is about to have its annual fair, if you have a good annual
fair in your town or in your county, you will have a demolition derby.
That`s sort of what`s happening with all these campaigns, all at the same
time all in basically the same place.
Except to stretch the metaphor, tonight in New Hampshire, it is as if
that demolition derby is not just happening on its own, it`s actually being
squashed by a monster truck, because even as all these same candidates were
flopping their same mouths in the same time at the same place tonight, even
as they were doing these public events, with all the national press bunched
together in the same place, because they were all in the same place, even
as all that was happening, the front-runner among them, Donald Trump,
turned into the monster truck who grabbed all the attention and smashed all
the other cars, because even as all those other candidates were starting
their events, Donald Trump decided to make a late announcement that he
would be doing tonight one of his now patented live press availabilities,
where you`re not exactly sure just what will happen except for the fact
that you can count on him to be very insulting, and very blunt terms to at
least one of the people running in the race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Jeb Bush is in the state tonight doing a town hall. Do
you think you`ve gotten under his skin?
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Have I gotten under Jeb Bush`s
skin? I don`t know. I will tell you this. You mentioned the word skin.
He said the other day one of the dumber things I`ve heard ever in politics
when talking about Iraq. That we the United States, he said, have to show
them that we have skin in the game in order to go into Iraq.
For him to say that we have to show them that we have skin in the
game is one of the really dumb statements. I`d say his other dumb
statement is an act of love that they come here for an act of love. And I
would say between Common Core, his act of love on immigration, and skin in
the game with Iraq, that`s the third one that we`ve now added. I don`t see
how he`s electable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Donald Trump speaking tonight in New Hampshire while Jeb
Bush at that moment was doing a public event just a few miles away. Mr.
Trump unveiling his elegant and considered critique that Jeb Bush is
unelectable as president because he is a dummy.
Part of the reason Donald Trump`s press conferences get so much
attention and they get televised live is because he says things like that
about other candidates in the race. But he also showed tonight that while
he is happy to bluntly insult some of the other Republicans who are running
for president, there are others among them he likes, at least for now.
So, it`s kind of the mixed bag. You never know exactly what you`ll
get and who is on his good side and who is on his bad side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: There is a report that you are considering a joint
appearance with Senator Ted Cruz, and you`re in regular with him --
TRUMP: I would not. I have great respect for Ted Cruz and he`s been
very supportive of some of my tough stances. Actually, he`s done well.
And guys like Perry and our senator from South Carolina, Lindsey
Graham who has zero -- how many do you get zero? How do you -- could you
explain it to me? How do you get zero? Does that mean of thousands of
people in the poll, you get none? But he has nothing.
The people that attacked me now, Rand Paul is going down the tubes
and he hit me all of a sudden. I mean, he was doing very poorly. He hit
me. He went down.
One of the great honors is that everybody who attacks me seems to go
down. Ted Cruz and Carson who has been, you know, really terrific.
They`ve been great. A few of the others have been great. Meaning, we all
get along because we should get along.
But some of them attacked me fairly viciously and when they attack,
you have to attack back.
REPORTER: Carly is going up --
REPORTER: Carly is moving up in the polls.
TRUMP: She is a very nice woman. She really is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Weird to say. This I feel like I have to put up a lightning
rod or something like this before I say it. Give me a pencil.
As a factual matter though, in talking about the polling there,
Donald Trump is sort of correct. He is sort of speaking the truth. I
mean, the candidates who have made a big deal out of going after Donald
Trump, trying to get traction that way, they have sunk. Lindsey Graham,
Rick Perry, and Rand Paul, have been the most aggressive on that front.
All of them were doing badly before going after Donald Trump. All of
them are doing worse since then. And conversely, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina,
Ben Carson, they`ve all gone out of their way to be nicer about Donald
Trump and the other candidates and their numbers relatively speaking, are
In Ben Carson`s case, he`s doing a lot better. And correlation is
not causation. I`m not saying these candidates` decisions about how to
handle Donald Trump is what has sealed their fate, but the correlation that
he describes is true. I mean, it pains me to say it, he`s like Trump the
insult comic front-runner. So, it pains me to say what he`s saying is true
but it`s true.
And that I think shows more than anything that Republican voters just
really, really like him. And they like other candidates who say nice
things about him. Donald Trump is the love object of American Republican
voters in states across the country and nationwide, and it is unavoidable
How do we make sense of that? I can`t wait to read the novel. But
it doesn`t make sense in fact, when you talk to Republicans about what they
value. And when you ask who they want for president and you look at their
behavior and reaction to how these candidates are campaigning, it`s Donald
Trump love. That`s all we can see.
Since he has let to the front of the pack, though, Republicans who
have tried to fight him have sunk. And Republicans who have made common
cause with him in one kind or another, they have seen their fortunes rise.
But here is a complication though from sort of outside that calculus,
and it is an interesting one, because there is another thing going on right
now outside of New Hampshire that appears to be a mildly Bernie Sanders
like phenomenon but on the Republican side, because while these guys were
all bumping into each other, in one corner of New Hampshire tonight -- you
actually have to add a few more people to that shot because John Kasich and
Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal were also all in that corner of New
While those seven presidential candidates were in that same tiny
corner of the same area code today, all the way across the country, guess
who just turned out 6,000 people to come see him talk in Arizona? This is
that event and this is not Bernie Sanders. I mean, you could be forgiven
thinking this was Bernie Sanders, because if that room looks familiar,
that`s because it`s the same Phoenix Convention Center where Bernie Sanders
turned out 11,000 people not that long ago. It`s the same room where
Donald Trump turned out large numbers, turned out about 4,000 people not
that long ago.
But Ben Carson was in that same room last night in Phoenix and turned
out 6,000 people in that room. Maybe it`s just that room. Maybe that room
-- maybe that room always has like more than 3,000 people in it milling
around. It`s like it`s the seating area for a nearby food court or
something. So, anybody who comes by, look, you have 3,000 people to start.
Jim Gilmore and Lincoln Chafee should go there and see if they can
get thousands of people, too. You guys, there is this magic room in
But for whatever reason, Ben Carson was there last night. He was
able to turn out 6,000 people. That is a large number of people for
politics right now. And he did that really big event in Phoenix as part of
a proper Republican political stunt. Before that even last night, he made
a big show out of doing a helicopter tour of the border region alongside
this Arizona sheriff you see on the right there.
If that sheriff looks familiar to you as well, because he is the
Arizona sheriff who did this political ad in 2010 with John McCain, in
which they walked right alongside the border and John McCain said he wants
to complete the dang fence. And the sheriff said to John McCain in the
ads, Senator, you`re one of us.
That ended up being an awkward political moment for a couple reasons.
First of all, it was awkward because that is not a border county sheriff.
He`s from a county that doesn`t actually touch the border at all. He is
not even in his jurisdiction when he`s talking about who`s one of us and
The other thing that ends up being awkward about him is that when
he`s own hard line anti-immigrant right wing candidacy got undermined and
ultimately abandoned, because a very handsome young man who said he was
both an undocumented immigrant and that sheriff`s secret boyfriend, he made
public allegations about the sheriff threatening him about keeping their
relationship secret, and then there were all these pictures of the sheriff
and his underpants with him is his undocumented immigrant secret boyfriend.
So, that messed up his own congressional campaign.
But he is still a sheriff. And Ben Carson in Arizona took that same
sheriff on his anti-immigrant stunt helicopter ride to the border. And
then he capped it off with that really big rally in Phoenix last night in
which he said he would not just use drones for surveillance on the border.
He would actually use armed drones. He would use drone strikes, drones
firing missiles to police the American border. What could possibly go
And Ben Carson turning out big numbers doesn`t appear to be a fluke.
He is not turning out Bernie Sanders size crowds but he`s turning out
bigger crowds than almost anybody else, other than Bernie Sanders.
Yesterday, Ben Carson was in Durango, Colorado. He was at the site
of that 3 million gallon toxic spill into the Animas River. That spilled
that was inadvertently caused by EPA workers who were inspecting an old
toxic gold mine site. Ben Carson flew there into the middle of that
disaster and said he would fire all 17,000 people who work at the EPA.
He later said he didn`t mean it. He took that back but still, he
made a splash. And 2,000 people turned out in Durango, Colorado, to come
see him speak.
So, Ben Carson is still seen as sort of a cult figure by the Beltway
press. He`s still not getting a ton of attention from the Beltway press,
but he is surging in the polls. He`s gone up a lot since the first
Republican debate in which he didn`t say all that much of anything, but
Republican voters apparently like what he did say, what they did see there.
He is particularly surging in the early state of Iowa, where Scott
Walker thinks his path to the presidency starts. Scott Walker is planning
on winning Iowa, but Scott Walker is now not only trailing Donald Trump in
Iowa. He`s now also trailing Ben Carson. He`s third in Iowa after Ben
Carson and Donald Trump.
So, if you`re looking for somebody in the Republican field who might
have gas in the tank to take on Donald Trump, someone who might really be
able to compete with him, it sort of feels like Ben Carson might be that
For the time being, though, even as Ben Carson surges and turns out
these big crowds, for the time being, Donald Trump is still on top with all
the candidates still trailing him including literally, trailing him tonight
in New Hampshire.
Right past Paisano`s Pizza and left past the Dairy Quick Mart and
Subs To Go, NBC`s Katy Tur tonight has been right there in the middle of
all of it, in this tiny crowded corner of New Hampshire.
Katy, thanks very much for joining us. It`s good to have you.
KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey. Thanks. I really liked your
intro. I think that, to make it a little fuller, it`s like an all-you-can-
eat buffet out here. And you go down the buffet line, there are vegetables
and chicken. And at the end of it, there is a big chocolate cake. You
can`t help yourself. You want to eat that chocolate cake and you want it
over and over again.
And that`s Donald Trump when he comes to these events. He draws the
voters. He draws the reporters away from the other candidates and gets all
of the attention.
MADDOW: Donald Trump as chocolate cake is such a disturbing idea,
because I`m imagining a cake with that hair cut. It`s very upsetting.
MADDOW: I mean, Katy, one of the things that everybody said,
especially in the beltway press all along, was that, you know, Donald Trump
is going to have national appeal. He`s got all this name recognition and
But a place like New Hampshire where they are not swayed by
celebrity, when they want people to do the work, when they`re used to
candidates who will show up and take questions, everything. That`s a place
where he won`t play. How is he playing on the ground in New Hampshire?
TUR: He is playing pretty well here, and I`m not entirely sure
they`re not swayed by a celebrity. When you talk to people and you ask why
they`re there, they do seem to be very star struck by him.
But there is a good portion of the crowd that wants to hear him talk
about issues. They want to hear him lay out his immigration plan.
Immigration seems to be a big deal for voters up here, and we got a
question from the crowd today -- a man asking when he will lay out more
And kind of amazingly, Donald said that he doesn`t think that people
really want policy plans. He thinks it the press that wants policy plans
because the press are the people that keep asking for it.
But with the voters I have spoken with out here, there are a number
of them say that they would like to see more substance behind him, more
substance, less fight. They`re entertained certainly by all the big talk
and the insults and the fact that he is not a normal politician, but they
do at some point want to hear him lay out what he`s going to do, not just
how great he`s going to be.
MADDOW: So, you`re hearing that from voters. From his perspective,
he says voters are happy to be entertained and only reporters care about
policy. That`s kind of an amazing assertion.
TUR: It is an amazing assertion and it seems like that`s the case.
Now, you have to be flexible, in his words, about when he`s going to
release those policy papers. And he says he will. He`s already released
the immigration one and that was met with some support from the Republican
But a lot of anger from a lot of other people and the Democrats, even
some others in the Republican Party saying that it was just unrealistic,
including Jeb Bush who was as you said, just a few miles away from here.
But it is amazing to think that he thinks at this point that he needs to
get his name out here, get the headlines, suck all the air out of the room,
as we keep saying over and over again. And that`s what he is doing.
It is more about, hear me, here I am, see me, get the headlines, less
about what I`m going to do. Trust me, I`m going to get it done is what he
MADDOW: Right. And tonight specifically, it`s here I am. Let me
get the headlines. Let me get cameras turned toward me, thereby denying
really, in effect, denying any sort of press coverage to any of the other
candidates because everybody wants to hear from him more than from anybody
else. The chocolate cake before dinner problem.
Katy Tur, NBC News correspondent in Derry, New Hampshire, tonight --
Katy, thank you so much.
TUR: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. There`s lots more ahead tonight, including a
dissenting view of Trump-mania from some of his employees.
And at the end of the show tonight, we`ve got a best new thing in the
world which has to do with the Republican presidential politics but in some
ways has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is one of the most
fascinating things I`ve seen in a very long time. Very distracting, very
excellent. That`s coming up. Stay with us.
MADDOW: There is one last small thing to report tonight about this
Donald Trump event in New Hampshire. Very small, tiny.
From the podium tonight, Mr. Trump was very vocally pleased with the
size of the crowd at his event, especially compared to the size of the
crowd at Jeb Bush`s event nearby.
Yes, the symbolism is that naked at this point. But in his bragging
about his big crowd size tonight, Mr. Trump got very specific -- very, very
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Right down the road we have Jeb. Very small crowd. We have
So, this was a town hall. They call it a town hall. I never saw a
town hall with 2,500 people sitting in a theater but we`re going to call it
a town hall, right?
So, Bush had 140, 150 people. We have 2,579 people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Two thousand five hundred and seventy-nine people. Exactly.
Not exactly. Our reporters and our producers in the field went about
this the professional way, and talk to the local fire marshal who makes it,
you know, his or her fire marshal business to know exactly how many people
in the room.
And according to the fire marshal, 890 people in the theater itself,
which is the maximum allowed by the fire code, plus an additional 300
people in the cafeteria overflow room which is nice. It makes not quite
1,200 people all together and those are sort of bragging rights if you want
I mean, we don`t know how many people might have been outside unable
to get in. But when Donald Trump says there were 2,579 people in the
theater, I think we can safely say he was wrong about that.
As to the exact number, we don`t know. And neither does he.
MADDOW: Because we live in strange times, it is my responsibility to
tell that you this was the day in American politics when the national
debate over who ought to be the next president of the United States ended
up also producing a lot of free publicity for one particular chain of
expensive but still tacky hotels.
This clip is a little over a minute long but it is really good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICARDO ACA: My name is Ricardo Aca. I am from Puebla, Mexico. And
I work in the Trump SoHo building.
TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best.
They`re sending people that have lots of problems. They`re bringing drugs.
They`re bringing crime. They`re rapists.
ACA: I`ve worked at the Trump Soho for the past two years. I`m a
busser at the only restaurant in the hotel. This is not what I plan on
doing with my whole life, but I work really hard and I don`t plan on doing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a criminal?
ACA: I am not a criminal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a drug dealer?
ACA: Not a drug dealer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a rapist?
ACA: Definitely not a rapist.
I`m an undocumented immigrant. I was about 14 when I crossed the
border. I came here with my family, my stepfather, and my mom and my
We live in Brooklyn. We have lived here for the last nine, almost
ten years. This is where I went to high school. This is where all my
friends are. It`s home to me.
Other Republicans have criticized Trump`s comments to. But to me,
they all seem to have the same decision on immigration. I mean, he may
have an accent but I`m not stupid.
I know I could lose my job just for talking about Trump. But it
doesn`t bother me to go to work every day under his name.
I don`t think the rest of America feels the same way that he does. I
hope that they don`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That video showing a young New Yorker, 24-year-old Ricardo
Aca, who is also a Mexican immigrant. The video was put out by a lefty
group called New Left Media, that in the past has made news for their
videos criticizing the Tea Party and other right wing causes.
Now, though, with what is essentially this profile of this young
worker at a restaurant of one of Donald Trump`s hotels, they`re essentially
jumping right into the Republican presidential race and Donald Trump`s
ostentatiously anti-immigrant presidential campaign. It turns out that
Ricardo is undocumented but he has a permit to work legally, specifically
because of President Obama`s deferred action program, which is the program
for undocumented immigrants who were brought here as kids.
If Donald Trump were elected president, of course, that young man and
maybe something like 11 million other people in this country, some of them
working legally, some of them not, would, of course, be deported.
In response to this video, Mr. Trump told "The New York Times" today,
quote, "He`s got a legal work permit. I`ve heard he does a good job. We
thought he was an illegal immigrant at first." Now quoting from "The New
York Times", "For now, Mr. Trump said he would not press Mr. Aca`s employer
to punish him. Though he added, I want to check his file."
That was not the only Donald Trump hotel publicity in American
presidential politics today. This is Las Vegas. This is the main strip of
casinos and hotels in downtown Las Vegas, which is both the economic center
and the population center of the great state of Nevada.
And Nevada is really, really important in Democratic presidential
politics specifically because Nevada, when it come the Democrats picking
their presidential nominee, Nevada comes in third. First is the Iowa
caucuses, then it`s the New Hampshire primary. Then the next one for the
Democrats is Nevada. That`s why you`re seeing Democrat candidates like
Bernie Sanders holding another one of his big events last night at the
University of Nevada at Reno.
We talked on the show last night about how people cued up for hours
to see Bernie in Reno last night. It turns out he got something like 4,500
people at that Reno event.
Hillary Clinton yesterday did an event that was not supposed to be a
big mass turnout event. But for her, it was really big. It was a town
hall in North Las Vegas. It turned out 900 people. That`s a big event for
her. She`s not been trying to do giant events. So, 900 people in North
Las Vegas to see Hillary Clinton is a big deal.
But in Nevada right now, in Nevada right now, there is one golden
crafted by the heavens political opportunity that has been bestowed from on
high to the Democratic Party. And, you know, if you go back to the
Democratic caucuses in 2008, that was Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama,
right? Obviously, the most dramatic race we had in a long time.
One of the really dramatic outcomes in that dramatic race was that
everybody thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the Nevada caucuses.
She did in fact win the popular vote in Nevada during the Democratic
primary, but Barack Obama won the Nevada caucuses because of one really
smart strategic thing that he did that year. He got one huge prime mover
in Nevada politics on his side and they made the caucuses happen for him,
both in terms of turning people out to caucus for him but also getting
people going door to door, putting in the leg work, doing the logistical
work, doing the door knocking work, all that stuff that needed to happen
for Obama to win those caucuses in 2008.
And they were really the factor that made all the difference for him
in that important contest, when nobody thought it to go with way that it
did. The factor for him then was the Culinary Workers Union. And the
reason they are so important is because of that Las Vegas Strip, because
almost all the big casino hotels on the strip are union, the vast majority
of them. It`s a really important part of understanding how the Las Vegas
economy works, how the Nevada economy works, and how Nevada politics works.
Almost every single one of those big landmark spots on the strip has
union employees. But Donald Trump`s Las Vegas strip hotel does not. This
is the Trump International.
I`ve always thought the Trump International looks like somebody had
stabbed downtown Las Vegas and left the hilt of the knife hanging out of
the gut. The lovely Trump International Hotel, which sticks up like an
infected sore thumb.
It is not union but the unions really want it to be. There is an
active union organizing effort going on underway at that hotel right now.
The culinary workers are trying to get that hotel unionized. So, we think
about the dynamics here, right?
There`s never been a more golden opportunity for a Democratic
politician when the Republican front-runner is Donald Trump, all the pieces
are there. It`s the hotel owned by the Republican front-runner. It`s a
union right state in a place where unit rights are really important and
really politically potent. And specifically, it`s a union fight against
the Republican front-runner involving the most important stakeholder in all
of Democratic Nevada politics, which is the Culinary Workers Union.
Talk about a fight that is low fruit for any Democratic candidate.
This is your chance to get on the side of the most important stakeholder in
a state, in a fight that is present and ongoing for them right now. It`s
not only perfect for you politically. It`s perfect for you on the issues.
Even the timing is perfect.
And do you know who the Democratic candidate was who saw this low
hanging fruit and was smart enough to be the one to grab it? It was Martin
O`Malley. Yes. Martin O`Malley.
This is him today in Las Vegas, speaking in front of the Trump
International Hotel in 100-degree heat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And Donald Trump as a
presidential candidate, I want to say that all these workers here have a
lot more guts than the candidates running for president of the Republican
nomination. Because they had the courage to stand up to the hate, to the
division, to the sort of rhetoric that actually makes it harder for to us
make our economy grow and work well for all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Play of the day in Democratic politics today goes to Malley
O`Martin -- Martin O`Malley, who otherwise cannot get a headline to save
But this is an example of a Democrat being smart, using Donald
Trump`s front-runner status to us make a smart political move that may help
himself in a substantive way on the Democratic side.
Is there a lesson there in what Martin O`Malley did today for how the
other candidates hour, the Republican candidates, can compete against
Donald Trump too? Because none of them seem to have figured that out yet?
Is there anything that is visible on the ground in this important state of
Nevada, as it`s getting all this attention from all these candidates, is
there something going to the ground there that can shed more light to what
is going on on the national stage?
Hold that thought.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Martin O`Malley today is in Las Vegas and he was staging
an event in Vegas with some of the employees at your hotel, trying to get
them to unionize. Do you have any response for what Martin O`Malley --
TRUMP: Well, I know nothing about him. I think he`s got less than 1
percent on the poll. And did I see my beautiful building on television.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Donald Trump earlier tonight speaking in New Hampshire. But
having to field questions about his business dealings in a beautiful
building he owns in yet another all important political state, the great
state of Nevada.
For more on what`s going on the politics there and what it can tell
us about the rest of this race, I want to bring in the best political
reporter Nevada has ever had, my friend, Jon Ralston, who`s host of
"Ralston Live" on PBS in Nevada. He`s a columnist for "The Reno Gazette
Jon, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.
JON RALSTON, THE RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL: Nice seeing you too, Rachel.
MADDOW: So Donald Trump`s beautiful building in Las Vegas is the
back drop today for Martin O`Malley criticizing him on union rights issue
and his business practices there.
What`s the story of that hotel and the politics around that?
RALSTON: You know, it`s interesting, Rachel. No one knew much about
any kind of labor dispute at the Trump International. It is not right on
the strip. It`s just off the strip.
But the culinary has been fighting with that hotel for a while now.
There has been some complaints with the National Labor Relations Board.
So, you had two very smart things happen. First, the culinary
announce at the beginning of the week that they were going to hold a march
where they would get hundreds of activists. And that`s going to take place
on Friday. That got out and then O`Malley did something very smart as you
mentioned and decided to piggyback on that.
There`s about 500 workers there who want to organize. They say
they`ve been stymied by the business practices at Trump. So you had this
confluence of interests come together with Martin O`Malley who needs
attention, right? No one who knows Martin O`Malley is.
Suddenly, he is standing in front of a building with the most
prominent name in politics now, right? Donald Trump.
So, it was a smart move for O`Malley to express solidarity with those
workers. And as you know, that culinary union is going to be a huge player
in the primary in the caucus, excuse me, here.
MADDOW: Jon, looking at the way the candidates have been paying
attention to Nevada. Obviously with the Nevada caucuses being third for
the Democrats with a history of that incredible fight in 2008 between Obama
and Clinton. The Democrats are paying a lot of attention. Republicans are
paying a lot of attention on Nevada in part because they`re going there to
raise money, in part because they`re going will to lobby people like
Sheldon Adelson and other major donors.
What are you seeing in Nevada in terms of -- I guess, the way these
guys are playing on the ground, compared to how they may be playing in
Nevada, compared to how they maybe playing nationwide, are there lessons
you`re playing that should have us thinking about the race overall?
RALSTON: Well, I think so. I wrote a piece recently saying that
Nevada should be first in the country in terms of the balloting. No one
listens to me, Rachel.
But I guess the bottom line is, we`re a very diverse state, as you
well. We`re much more reflective of the country than Iowa and New
Hampshire. And you talk about the culinary union which is an emblematic
melting pot for this country, 55, 52 percent or so of the 55,000 members
are Latino. It is the Hispanic turnout organization in the state.
And so, you saw three candidates, Sanders, Clinton and O`Malley this
week come and talk to the AFL-CIO and talk about issues they normally
wouldn`t talk about, that the culinary which is playing its cards very
close to the vest this cycle, really want such as repealing the Cadillac
tax on Obamacare. You never would have heard them talk about that.
And so, on the ground, the Hispanic vote here, which is embedded in
the culinary union here is going to be very important in determining who
wins the race. You mentioned the Republicans, they have not just come here
the raise money.
Last weekend, you had a forum sponsored by the new very conservative
attorney general, Adam Laxalt. They understand the importance of Nevada.
That crazy race, some of them may need Nevada as a backstop after Iowa and
So, I think that you see the importance, both to the Republicans and
to the Democrats, and of the Hispanic vote. Here`s a great statistic for
you. For a Republican to win Nevada this time, assuming that projections
are true, that Republican will need to get 45 percent of the Hispanic vote
in Nevada, which is based on all the stuff they`ve been saying lately, all
clamoring onboard the birthright citizenship is a bad thing train, that
could be problematic.
MADDOW: Yes, 45 percent is impossible to imagine at this point,
particularly as long as Donald Trump is the frontrunner and they`re all
aping his anti-immigrant policies in order to try to catch up.
Jon Ralston, host of "Ralston Live" on PBS Nevada, columnist for "The
Reno Gazette Journal", it`s great to see you, Jon. I know it`s election
season when we get to talk on a frequent basis. I`m forward to having back
RALSTON: Always a pleasure, Rachel. Thanks.
MADDOW: All right. Still ahead, a political but very amusing best
new thing in the world. Please stay with us tonight.
MADDOW: What might be the single greatest gift to modern American
politics started as something not about politics at all.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: Chicken for us to no eat. Remember that song?
That was March 2011. That was so new and so weird, they had to tell
us what it was. It had to be captioned. Gang fight. Rebecca Black as
interpreted by a bad lip reader.
Bad lip reading. Since then, bad lip reading has become an important
part of how we can all joyfully misunderstand what has just happened in our
country and there is a really good one tonight. Coming up as best new
thing in the world. It`s very funny. That`s coming up.
But, first, we have more chicken to not eat. So, please stay with
MADDOW: OK. So, they started digging today in the burned out rubble
of the newspaper`s offices in New Rockford, North Dakota. Last night, we
told you about the story. WE told you about the staff of "The New Rockford
Transcript" having to cover the fire that reduced their own newsroom to a
pile of ashes. "The New Rockford Transcript" has been the paper in that
part of North Dakota since the 1800s. That paper has been on operation for
more than 130 years, and the paper`s offices burned to the ground on
That was not enough to stop them. We reported last night that since
the fire on Saturday, the journalists at "The New Rockford Transcript" have
been working on their next edition. They`ve been working in a donated
office down the street.
When we talked to them yesterday, they had not been able to get into
the rubble of their own offices to see whether their archives survived.
Whether the history of New Rockford, North Dakota, going back over 100
years had survived the fire and all the old editions of that paper, 130
years of them, in a vault in the office. Did they survive?
Well, today, they started digging to see what happened to that record
of that part of the state. They literally had to dig in to the rubble to
see if it survived. They sent us the tape of what they found. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. The front door to the vault had a
broken latch. So we were not able to access through the main door. So, we
actually took a sledgehammer and broke out in the concrete blocks of the
As you can see here, this is the vault. And as we come into the
vault, take a look here. There`s the door on the front side. And then to
your left here, you can see that we have all of the bound files intact, and
from what we can see, we have files back as far as 1899. So, over 100
years of the bound files appear to be intact. I`m going to pull out an old
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put these in there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nope. Open up an older one here. This one is
wet. This one is awfully wet.
However, yep, just pull a couple pages up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is 1902.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is "The New Rockford Transcript" from
1902. January 3rd, 1902.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: They made it! The newspaper survived. I mean, maybe not
every single issue. Maybe some of them a little soaked but the history of
little New Rockford, North Dakota, survived that otherwise totally
devastating fire inside that cinder block vault even as the rest of
newspaper burned down around it. And the folks at "The New Rockford
Transcript" there are back to putting out their paper with help from their
friends in town and across North Dakota. And that is not just good news
for little New Rockford and for North Dakota.
At some level, it`s great news for all of us, because our country
needs local newspapers. Every story happens somewhere specific, right?
And this is the story of the survival of this one spunky paper but it is
also the universe reminding us that we all ought to support our own spunky
local papers. Or, you know, your own un-spunky local paper.
Even for everybody who wrote to me last night to say, actually, you
hate your local paper. You know what? You`d probably hate it a lot more
if there were no local paper at all. No local reporters, no one covering
Even if you hate your local paper, subscribe any way. If you really
hate them, you could offer to write for them. Send complaining letters to
the editor. See if they`ll publish them.
Support your local papers. Subscribe. Pay to get behind the pay
wall at the Web site. You will be very sorry to see them go if they ever
have to for any reason. That is all.
MADDOW: Update for you on the story about the first Army Ranger
class that allowed women to compete alongside men. This Ranger class
started with 381 men, 94 of them made it through. The class also for the
first time ever included women. It started with 19 women.
Two of those 19 are about to graduate Ranger School on Friday. This
is huge news for the U.S. military -- women wearing the Rangers insignia
for the first time in history.
Now, we can tell you tonight that those two pioneering women have
been identified. They are Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant
Captain Griest is a military officer from Connecticut. Lieutenant
Haver is an Apache helicopter pilot from Texas. The Army did not want to
identify them individually and by name. But reporters figured out who they
are and now, the women`s families have confirmed it.
And despite how much the world in general and the media in particular
wants to talk to them, Captain Griest and Lieutenant Haver say they are not
doing any individual interviews. Army Ranger school graduation this Friday
is going to have dozens of media outlets from not only around the U.S. but
around the world. Every one of those wants to talk to these two remarkable
women who are the first women to have passed one of the most intense combat
training courses in the world ever, but they`re not going to do it. They
are doing no individual interviews. No hype, no hoopla.
The Army is making the whole ranger class available to the media
tomorrow, but no individual attention for those pioneers at their own
request. They just want to be Army Rangers, please, and that seems right
and also awesome.
MADDOW: One of my favorite things from the 2012 presidential
election with had nothing to do with what the candidates were saying in
that campaign. The thing from that campaign that arguably brought me and
the whole staff of the show more joy than any other sound byte, any other
video in that whole campaign was the work of a group called Bad Lip
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BAD LIP READING)
MITT ROMNEY: You know, the hot tub is cool now, heeheeheehee!
BARACK OBAMA: But they poisoned it.
ROMNEY: I know, right?
ROMNEY: Sing me some harmonies! There`s a small picture in a shop
somewhere! And I know who it is, it`s Mormon Judy and cowpeople...
JIM LEHRER: A little pitchy, but mmmm...
OBAMA: In horrible weather, I just sneeze and I just lose the
puppets. I`m thinking Governor Romney won`t do that, OK? And this has got
me thinking -- I see a purple idiot who speaks German with a big, spunky
Irish Labradoodle puppy.
PAUL RYAN: That is sweet, made out of sugar and hormones. But this
guy is made out of ice.
JOE BIDEN: Oh, yes? What pretty eyes, what pretty eyes.
Now, he is mayor of a bank.
RYAN: No. I will squish your little flipper. I`m so nice.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Damn it, who ordered the bacon crusted rolls?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: People behind bad lip reading are incredible.
But now, the best new thing the world is they have returned to the
politics beat for the 2016 campaign. And please, Dear Lord let this mean
they are going to be on the trail for all of 2016, because tonight, I`m
here to prove the first foray of the coverage for this year`s politics,
their coverage of the first Republican debate is genius. And some of it I
cannot show on TV, but some of it I can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BAD LIP READING)
MEGYN KELLY: Governor Christie, when you were younger, what was your
favorite childhood snack?
CHRIS CHRISTIE: I just wanted regular potatoes. But guess what, so
did other people. I want it the most. So, I`m like --
RAND PAUL: You just froze the baby. You just froze the baby.
CHRISTIE: I`m not --
PAUL: Genital warts -- you touched a genital wart. You can`t touch
CHRIS WALLACE: All right. Guys, guys, hey. All right.
BRET BAIER: Senator Cruz?
TED CRUZ: You shouldn`t say the "S" word.
CRUZ: Well, we could just go out and collect a dead swan and then I
will drink a sorority`s goldfish.
BAIER: Moving on, let`s hear from Dr. Carson.
BEN CARSON: This piece I think it goes like that and this one -- no
this piece goes over here. It is part of the tree.
BAIER: What are you working on?
CARSON: A puzzle. I don`t know how to do this actually.
BAIER: We can move on. You are not missing any play time.
KELLY: Governor Bush?
JEB BUSH: What?
KELLY: How would you get a dead mouse on a crescent roll with some
BUSH: With some steak, I`d fork it. However f a pit bull is lose in
your house, then you find me stiff on the bed because I always throw up.
BAIER: You will have 13 seconds to make a closing statement in the
form of a short song.
And, Governor Christie, you are first.
CHRISTIE: Well, think about the time --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I`m not going to play their slightly profane invented songs
that they bad lip read for all the candidates. But if you are so inclined
and you probably are, if you made this far, you should watch the rest of
this at MaddowBlog.com.
The geniuses at Bad Lip Reading make the world a better place every
time they do this.
Let`s hope this is the first of nine presidential debates they`re
going to do this for.
It is today`s best new thing in the world by a mouse on a crescent
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL."
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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