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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, August 21st, 2015

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Date: August 21, 2015

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.

And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Friday.

So, we have been wondering all this time, we`ve been wondering for
weeks and months now if anyone was going to be able to catch Bernie.
Bernie Sanders expected to be an asterisk in the 2016 presidential race
when he started, right? Until he started campaigning and he actually
started regularly turning out not just enormous crowds but crowds that were
way, way, way bigger than anything any other Democrat and any other
Republican could muster on the campaign trail.

The first really big one was 10,000 people that turned out in Madison,
Wisconsin. You know, people wrote it off, it is Madison, Wisconsin, this
must be a Madison specific is phenomenon. They particularly love Bernie
Sanders in some strange way there.

But then it wasn`t just 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin. It was 11,000
people in Phoenix. It was 15,000 people in Seattle. It was 5,000 in
Louisiana. It was 8,000 people in Dallas, on the same day he got another
5,000 people in Houston.

Last week, it was completely off the hook. Bernie went to Portland,
Oregon, turned out 28,000 people in Portland, Oregon. And then he followed
it up with a stop in Los Angeles where he spoke to 26,000 people.

And he doesn`t seem to be trying very much to turn out these crowds.
I mean, his campaign says at least they don`t spend anything on advertising
these events. They don`t even particularly spend on big organizing budgets
for these events. They just put out word that Bernie`s coming and tens of
thousands of people show up. Or at least thousands of people show up.

The latest one was today in Greenville, South Carolina. And most
people do not think of South Carolina as, you know, Vermont socialist
territory. The Greenville, South Carolina, convention center today, this
was the sign at the door. Turn right for South Carolina dental access days
and turn left, naturally, for Bernie.

This was an event in South Carolina held by a socialist Democratic
senator. It was held at 11:00 a.m. on a Friday at the height of the
summer. Did I mention it was in South Carolina?

His campaign said he turned out close to 3,000 people at this event
today which for Bernie Sanders is a slow day.

Bernie Sanders giant campaign trail phenomenon is a real thing and it
is persisting over time.

But we are now entering the stage of the presidential race where
Republicans are starting to feel a little size anxiety about the relative
crowd size on their side of the aisle. I think tonight is going to make
that worse.

We saw it earlier this week and earlier today. The Ted Cruz campaign
this week, they have put a ton of effort and ton of organizing energy and
tried to drive as much attention as possible to a rally that Ted Cruz
hosted tonight in Des Moines, Iowa. It`s an anti-gay rally, specifically
anti-gay rights rally hosted by Ted Cruz. The campaign has been excited to
brag about how they got 2,500 people to RSVP, that they were going to go to
the big Ted Cruz anti-gay hootenanny in Des Moines tonight.

Also today, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson started to brag about his
crowd size. His campaign today releasing a size matters e-mail with the
provocative subject line, quote, "Will you pick up the baton of freedom?"
Got caught in my spam filter for a while. I wonder why.

Ben Carson has been getting big crowds. I mean, not Bernie crowds but
big crowds for a Republican this year. Ben Carson now, I think to his
campaign`s credit is taking pains to brag about the crowd he`s able to turn
out. This is from that email today, quote, "over 5,000 people joined me at
events across Iowa, then over 2,000 in Colorado and just the overnight, an
astounding 12,000 people packed a convention hall in Phoenix. Incredible."

The crowd size estimate of how many people exactly turned out to see
Ben Carson that week, at that event in Phoenix, that crowd estimate keeps
rising over time. With each passing day, even though the event is long
over now. That`s a little weird.

But whatever the number was in Phoenix, it is clear that thousands did
turn out to see Ben Carson in Phoenix this week. It was a big number,
regardless of what specific big number it was.

So, we`re at the point in the presidential campaign where everybody is
measuring their size now. Not just against Bernie but within and among the
Republican candidates. And although Bernie seems destined to be the
biggest of them all for the duration of the campaign, at least for the --
well, duration of the campaign thus far, for this phase of the campaign,
tonight, it started to look like Bernie`s record, his overall crowd size
record for this campaign, started to look like this crowd sizes he`s
getting, these huge crowds of almost 30,000 people in L.A. and Portland,
Oregon last week, it started to look like Bernie`s record crowds might be
getting beat tonight in Alabama.

And Alabama is maybe the most interesting part of this, because
Alabama is not the place you would expect a candidate like Donald Trump to
turn out so many people. But Donald Trump tonight has at least partially
filled a good size football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, tonight. His
campaign initially said they expected 36,000 people at this event tonight
in a stadium that I think holds around 50,000 people.

Later this afternoon, Mr. Trump was bragging they expected more like
42,000 people tonight. We do not know the exact number yet, or if the fire
marshal will give an official estimate. NBC`s reporter on the scene Katy
Tur estimates on the generous side tonight, the crowd is 20,000 to see
Donald Trump, which means the expectation game was actually turned upside
down for him tonight.

With all the bragging about what a big room he needed, what a big
arena he needed to fill, raising these expectations over the course of the
day about how more and more thousands of people wanted to go see Donald
Trump, he ended up tonight talking to a large crowd of people but one that
didn`t look like that big in context because the arena that he`s in is so

If you are in a room that seats 50,000 people, 20,000 doesn`t look
like much. If you are in a room that seats 20,000 people, 20,000 people
looks like a ton.

Because Donald Trump is now such a clear front runner for the
Republican nomination, because he`s leading in states across the country
and has been leading in the national Republican polls for more than a
month, it is probably not surprising he`s the one that will be able to at
least approach the Bernie barrier, right? Maybe get close to Bernie
Sanders size record crowds, who will be the first to turn out truly large
crowd sizes on the presidential campaign on the Republican side. It`s not
that surprising that Donald Trump is the one to do it.

But admit it, it is a little surprising he`s doing it in Alabama,
right? Why is this happening for Donald Trump in Alabama?

Here`s the Alabama connection. In 2011, Alabama Republicans did
something they had wanted to do for a long time. It was radical, no other
state had done anything like it and the affect it had on their state was
immediate and it was eerie. It was strange.

This is the lead from the "New York Times" that year, from 2011. This
was October 3rd, quote, "The vanishing began on Wednesday night. The most
frightened families packing up their cars as soon as they heard the news.
They left behind mobile homes, sold fully furnished for $1,000 or even
less, or they just closed up and in gesture of optimism, left the keys with
a neighbor. Two, five, ten years of living here and then gone in a matter
of days to Tennessee, to Illinois, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, Mexico, who
knows, anywhere but Alabama."

It was an overnight disappearance. Thousands of people in Alabama
literally fleeing their homes in the middle of the night after Alabama
Republicans passed the most anti-immigrant law in the country by a mile.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: Now we go to Alabama where a federal judge
has upheld the toughest immigration law in the country, a law that goes so
far as to tell elementary schools to investigate their kids. Opponents of
this law are promising a fight.

NBC`s Kerry Sanders in Birmingham, Alabama, for us tonight.

Kerry, good evening.

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS: Good evening, Brian.

The state immigration law is now on the books here. But those who
will have to enforce it are yet to figure out just how they will do that.

Today police in Alabama have new power, teacher the have new
responsibilities, to check people`s birth certificates and to enforce what
until now was federal immigration law. Thirty-nine-year-old Amanda said
she left El Salvador and legally entered the U.S. four years ago. In
Alabama, she cleans houses and baby-sits.

AMANDA (through translator): I`m afraid that I`ll go to work and I
don`t know if I am going to return to my house.

KERRY: That`s the goal n part, say Alabama lawmakers to scare
undocumented immigrants, like Amanda, so she effectively deports herself.

STATE SENATOR SCOTT BEASON (R), ALABAMA: That`s what it is about,
trying to get illegal work force to move out and let Alabama plug in to
those jobs.


MADDOW: Alabama law was like nothing that had been done before in pod
modern politics. It made kids afraid to go to school. Overnight,
thousands of Latino kids disappeared from schools, some undocumented, some
of them not and just afraid of what would happen if they showed up at an
Alabama school while being Latino.

It made any sort of contract or agreement entered in to with a person
who might be an illegal immigrant itself an illegal act. So, that meant
things like hiring somebody to do work. It also meant things like allowing
someone to rent an apartment or selling someone something, giving someone a
ride in your car. If there was a chance that person was an illegal
immigrant, you were risking arrest in Alabama for giving them a lift.

Arizona is the state that actually ended up getting more attention for
its anti-immigrant papers please law, right? But it was Alabama that was
worst law than Arizona`s law. And Alabama was first. They were worse and
they were first.

And whether or not Alabama Republicans have a national reputation for
being the most radical anti-immigrant politicians in the country, Alabama
Republicans really are the most radically anti-immigrant politician in the
country, and they are not embarrassed about it.


REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: As your congressman, on the House floor,
I`ll do anything short of shooting them, anything that is lawful, it needs
to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American


MADDOW: Mo Brooks, Alabama congressman talking about how sad he is
that he will not be able to shoot illegal aliens from the House floor. He
will have to stop short of that, house rules.

On the Senate floor, Alabama Republicans have been well represented on
this issue by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Jeff Sessions, who is
chair of the immigration subcommittee in Congress. Jefferson Sessions, if
you want to get the flavor of his politics on the subject, consider that he
thinks cracking down on just illegal immigrants is a sign of weakness. He
thinks that`s for sissies.

Jeffrey Sessions III, the senior senator from Alabama, has made it his
signature issue to crackdown not just on illegal immigrants but on legal
immigrants. He`s not just against illegal immigration. He is against
legal immigration. He`s not just against illegal immigrants, he`s against
immigrants, full stop.

On that immigration committee he runs, his anti-legal immigration was
so out there, even Ted Cruz wouldn`t support it and that is saying

If you want to know why tonight, Donald Trump is turning out thousands
of people in Mobile, Alabama, of all places tonight, why the single largest
campaign crowd for any Republican candidate on the campaign trail thus far
this year, almost a Bernie-size crowd for Donald Trump tonight. If you
want to know why they are out to see Donald Trump in Alabama, it is because
Donald Trump`s campaign right now is being fuelled, arguably as much by his
radical anti-immigrant stance as it is by his celebrity.

And when Donald Trump needed someone to write his anti-immigrant plan
which he released this past week, the man he asked to write the plan was
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. That`s who wrote Donald Trump`s immigration


FEMALE TV ANCHOR: All right. When I think of two people that I know
pretty well, you and Mr. Trump, you couldn`t be more different when it
comes to the way you go about things, your personalities. But tell us why
you agree with him on the content of this plan that you helped to craft.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Basically, Shannon, it`s just a
mainstream plan to do what politicians have been promising to do for 30


MADDOW: It is not at all a mainstream plan. It is a Senator Jeff
Sessions of Alabama plan. It is an Alabama Republican plan which until
five minutes ago was too radical for the rest of the Republican Party even
for the likes of Ted Cruz. But it is now the Donald Trump anti-immigrant
plan and the latest can of kerosene that he has thrown on the inferno of
his presidential campaign.

So, if you want to know why Donald Trump was able to turn out his
largest crowd yet, this big crowd in Alabama of all places, why he is down
there with his hair and everything in 100 degree Alabama heat and 100
percent humidity, there he is with Jeff Sessions, it`s because Donald Trump
got his anti-immigrant politics delivered to him, special delivery from
that man in Alabama.

And now, he is riding that anti-immigrant wave to its natural home, in
a football stadium in Alabama that he`s been able to, I think slightly less
than half fill, even though today he bragged he was going to be able to
fill it all the way. A show of the crowd tonight.

Joining us now is NBC`s Katy Tur, who is in Mobile, Alabama where
Donald Trump is making these remarks tonight at this remarkable event.

Katy, thanks for joining us. Is it fun?

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: Well, yes. It`s always interesting at the at
least when you are going out with Donald Trump. You never know what he`s
going to say.

The people you speak with have a variety of interesting positions and
it`s always surprising to talk to people who contradict each other many of
the times. A lot of people come out saying that the worst thing he could
do is endorse Obama or to endorse Obama or not endorse but say anything
nice about Obama. Then getting people who are a little bit more down the
middle saying they want somebody who is different, a businessman, somebody
who`s going to bring a different thought process to politics.

So far, no lacking for interesting subjects or people or lines in the
Donald Trump campaign, of all the campaigns to be on, Rachel, this is one
that will get the most interesting action, no doubt.

MADDOW: Katy, in terms of the -- the reason there`s so much a tension
on this event tonight, one it is weird to see Donald Trump in Alabama. It
is like chalk and cheese. You don`t expect them in the same place. But,
two, it`s because he made a big deal saying he needed a 50,000 seat venue
and to fit in the tens of thousands of people that wanted to turn out.

What`s the size of the crowd vis-a-vis the capacity of that venue

TUR: Well, the capacity of this venue is 40,000 people. It`s about
half full. And the stadium is saying to me, that there are about 20,000
people here. It`s not quite the crowd that they expected or hoped for.
But it`s still a pretty big crowd.

I was talking to some of the campaign people a little bit earlier
today and they did say that even if half showed up, which about half did,
they would consider it to be a very successful event.

So far, they believing that it is. It`s the biggest rally so far on
the campaign. It didn`t reach Bernie Sanders size but the turnout is good
for Donald Trump. He`s going to use it as a rallying cry. He`s going to
say it is a great success.

And, of course, him being here in Alabama, a little odd. He is a
billionaire from Queens, a billionaire from Queens coming to Alabama.

And talking to Southerners down here, when you speak to people they
will tell you they don`t take it well to Yankees around here, but they say
that Donald Trump is one of them because he speaks his mind and tells the
truth in a way that Mitt Romney never was. He didn`t win Deep South
states, didn`t win Alabama. He wasn`t seen as one of them down here.

But Donald Trump despite the fact he has a Queens accent, he speaks
very loudly. He`s all about himself when he speaks and a billionaire who
buzzed this place in a 757 and lives in a golden tower in Manhattan, they
say that he speaks to them and he is more of one of him than many other
people in this campaign right now, precisely because he is an outsider --

MADDOW: Katy Tur, NBC News correspondent in Mobile tonight -- Katy,
thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Donald Trump wrapping up his remarks right now in Mobile. Let`s go
and listen to him wrap up these events.

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much.



MADDOW: Donald Trump tonight just wrapping up what was expected today
to be the largest single event that any candidate had done thus far in the
2016 race for the presidential nomination. It was not. It was the largest
venue reserved by any candidate for any speech in the presidential campaign
thus far. Donald Trump reserving this venue tonight with roughly 40,000
seats. I thought it was 50,000-seat stadium. Katy Tur from NBC reporting
the capacity there about 40,000.

But Donald Trump did not come anywhere near to filling it up.
According to our reports on the ground, it was about half full generously
speaking. That means that sort of best case scenario, turned out 20,000
people tonight, which means even on the biggest of all Republican events on
this huge stage tonight, no Republican, including Donald Trump here tonight
in Mobile, Alabama, has been able to get anywhere near the largest crowds
turned out by Democratic Vermont independent socialist senator, Bernie
Sanders, who turned out crowds of almost 30,000, twice in two days last
week. Bernie Sanders still winning the size contest.

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: So, heads up. I think something dramatic might be about to
happen in the presidential race. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump.
Everyone has been thinking that former Texas Governor Rick Perry is going
to be the first candidate to drop out of the race after FOX News wouldn`t
allow him to be in the first primetime debate and he did badly at the non-
primetime consolation prize kiddie table debate.

After that, apparently, Rick Perry`s fund-raising dried up or nothing
because he has stopped paying his staffers, the Rick Perry for president
campaign is now a voluntary operation which is not good. Also, Rick Perry
is under indictment which is also not good.

So, everyone has been thinking in the giant field of Republican
candidates, everyone has been thinking if the big field is about to start
to shrink, the first evidence of shrinkage will be when Rick Perry`s
candidacy comes to an end. He`s campaign who everyone thinks is on death

I`m not so sure tonight. I mean, I think Rick Perry`s campaign is on
death watch but I think he might not be the first to quit the race. I
think a much bigger name than his might quit before Rick Perry does. I
think actually that one major Republican candidate for the presidency might
quit potentially this weekend.

It`s a dramatic story. It`s not getting a lot of national press, but
I think it is about to happen and that`s next.

Stay with us.


MADDOW: It`s called Fancy Farm, which is a weird name, I know. But
take my name for word for it. Even though it`s called Fancy Farm, it`s
really important in politics. Fancy Farm is a Kentucky politics tradition.
It`s one of these things where everybody talks and is expected to get a
little raucous, get a little insulting. But everybody is expected to be in
good humor.

And if you are not good at an event like Fancy Farm in Kentucky, you
really can`t play in big-time Kentucky politics.

But this is a guy named Adam Edelen. Adam Edelen is a Democratic
politician in Kentucky. He already holds statewide office there. And it
turns out Adam Edelen isn`t just good in a venue like Fancy Farm, I think -
- this is just my opinion -- but I think he is the best Southern Democratic
politician I have seen speak at an event like this since, like John Edwards
before he became a terrifying creep. Since Ann Richards, since Bill
Clinton in his prime.

I think this guy is that good. I think he is that caliber. Watch
him. Watch this guy.


important things in Kentucky when we get beyond mindless, empty, cotton
candy rhetoric and get about the business of changing people`s lives.


Folks, that`s what is at stake this election. Kicking half a million
Kentuckians off the insurance rolls with the stroke of a pen is callous and
it is not Christian. Maybe this side of the aisle should put down the
books of Ayn Rand and pick up the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

So let`s have it out. Let`s make sure when we look at this battle
we`ve got this fall and it is not a dispute between Republicans and
Democrats. My friends, this is the difference between the mainstream and
the extreme. Values that say, we understand we owe a little something
against the law of the jungle. We are the law of the land.

Folks, for the next 94 days, stand up and elect John Conway on this
outstanding Democratic ticket and reject the politics of cynicism and
division. Thank you y`all and God bless you.


MADDOW: His name is Adam Edelen. And he is speaking at Fancy Farm,
Kentucky. He looks like he may be on track to take Rand Paul`s Senate seat
away from him. The line about the Rand Paul side of the aisle needing to
pick up the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, one longtime Kentucky
columnist called that the best line he has ever heard of Fancy Farm ever
from anyone.

So, watch this guy. Watch this guy, Adam Edelen, in Kentucky.

Right now, he`s the auditor in the state. But everybody thinks he
will be the guy next year who take Rand Paul`s Senate seat away from him
and makes that U.S. Senate seat Democratic again. Great candidate, great
talent, huge future potential. And so, therefore, obviously he must be

This guy really is only the state auditor now. But Rand Paul sent his
top political operative, his campaign manager, his dad`s presidential
campaign manager, to go run the Republican candidates race against Adam
Edelen. I mean, most senators and presidential candidates don`t care about
a state auditor`s race in their home state, but Rand Paul really has to
stop this guy, has to try to stop the next bill Clinton seeming guy before
he poses a threat of taking Rand Paul`s lunch none the 2016 Senate race.

So, in addition to his responsibilities running the Rand Paul for
president super PAC, the guy with Rand Paul, the guy in the Ron Paul t-
shirt, his name is Jessie Benton. He was dispatched to run the campaign in
Kentucky, to go run this campaign against Adam Edelen and bloody him up a
bit. He was running that low-level state campaign until Jessie Benton got
indicted. And that`s why the headlines in Kentucky state politics were so
apocalyptic when those indictments came down. When those three Ron Paul,
Rand Paul operatives got indicted earlier this month in that bribery
scandal earlier this month.

It turns out those guys, those guys who got this federal indictment
against them are not just leftovers from the Ron Paul 2012 presidential
campaign. Two with of them ran the Ron Paul super PAC. And one of them in
a really high stakes year for Kentucky Republicans, one of them is the key
operative in all of Republican politics, in Kentucky, from Rand Paul to
Mitch McDonnell to this effort to try to spike the career of the Democrat
who Kentucky Republicans are really most afraid of in terms of the way he`s
going to move up.

Jessie Benton had been dispatched to do that, to try to help Rand
Paul. He had to step down from everything, though, to fight these federal
charges laid against him. He pled not guilty yesterday in federal court in
Iowa. Jessie Benton says he will clear his name.

Of course with that big political gun no longer pointing at him, Adam
Edelen`s path looks brighter and clearer than ever for this Democratic star
to be to run against Rand Paul and try to take away his Senate seat next

And that brings us to the other big problem for Rand Paul, which is
why there is good reason to believe that Rand Paul might reasonably quit
the presidential race as early as this weekend. That`s because tomorrow,
Rand Paul has to be home in Kentucky trying to persuade two-thirds of the
Republican Party in that state, two-thirds of the Republican Party`s
executive committee, which is 340 like people.

He has to be home Kentucky tomorrow, off the campaign trail, instead
trying to pursued his home state, home party to vote to do something that
would be a huge favor to him but it would be terrible for Kentucky
Republicans. And I don`t think there is any reason to believe he`s going
to get that vote. And I might think -- I think that might mean he`s going
to have to quit. I`ll explain why next.


MADDOW: If there was a Democratic version of Donald Trump, a sort of
brash, zillionaire, in-your-face type of politician who bragged about
everything, if there was a Democratic person of that I would put up for
nomination Alan Grayson.


REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: If you get sick in America, this is
what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the
Republican health care plan is this -- die quickly. That`s right. The
Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.


MADDOW: Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson speaking in 2009 telling
Americans the Republican health care plan is drop dead and do it fast.

Now, Alan Grayson is an unabashed liberal, very much so. He also
thrives on getting under your skin. He`s a slightly Donald Trump-esque
sense of self.

And right now, Alan Grayson is engaged in another political campaign
he says you need to watch because it`s going to be huge. It`s going to be


GRAYSON: This is the "it" campaign of 2016. It`s going to be famous.
What people see us doing in this race is going to live until the end of
time. This is going to be the first race, the first real political race of
the 21st century.


MADDOW: This is race is going to live until the end of time. He
doesn`t have the Trump delivery, but he`s got the same sort of, you know?
You know what I mean?

The race that Alan Grayson is talking about a Senate race shaping up
to become one of the wildest races of 2016, the presidential race included.
It is a Senate race in Florida that has Alan Grayson running and few big
name Democrats on one side and now a whole parade of Republicans on the
other side, including potentially the state`s current lieutenant governor,
the well-known, former attorney general of Florida, a handful members of
Congress, your Uncle Stu and Aunt Sally. It is harder to narrow down to
who isn`t running.

This race in Florida which we are more than a year out from, it looks
like it`s really going to be nuts. The reason this race is happening at
all is because the current occupant of the seat is giving it up. He`s
giving it up to run for president, because that is Marco Rubio`s Senate
seat in Florida and Marco Rubio is stepping down from the Senate in order
to run for president.

Florida law says you can`t be on the same ballot for two different
offices. So, Marco Rubio faced a choice which he wanted to run for and he
made the choice to give up his Senate seat in order to run for president.

And that does sort of give his presidential ambitions a seriousness
boost, because he is willing to give up so much for a presidential run.
He`s all in with the apologies to Chris Hayes. He`s flying without a net.

The same cannot be said for another candidate who faced the exact same
problem that Marco Rubio faced in Florida, because the great state of
Kentucky has that same law on the books.

In Kentucky, like in Florida, you can`t be on the ballot for two
different offices in the same election. Kentucky has its own senator who`s
up for re-election in 2016, who`s also running for president. But Rand
Paul, rather than doing what Marco Rubio did, and instead of what Marco
Rubio did in picking the presidential race, Rand Paul has instead spent
years trying to get Kentucky to change its law, so he wouldn`t have to
choose between those two offices.

And Kentucky voters very much do not want to change that law. The
Kentucky legislature overtly decide not to change the law when they were
asked really nicely, pretty please, if they would change the law. They
said no.

And that is now a problem for Rand Paul, a big one, that I think he
thought he solved, but he didn`t solve it. And that is the heart of why we
might see a major candidate drop out of the race for president as early as
this weekend.

Seriously, it`s because of what he has to do to get around the
Kentucky law that says nobody can run for Senate and president at the same
anytime the same election. Kentucky has a primary. They have their
primary in May. Rand Paul wants to run for Senate, he wants to run for re-
election to his Senate seat in May. But by law he can`t also run for a
different conflicting position in that same primary, can`t be on the ballot
twice. He can`t also run for president in the same primary where he is
running for Senate.

So, his clever solution to this was that in addition to that primary
that Kentucky is definitely running in May, Rand Paul decided he wants
Kentucky to also add a caucus in March. Not for any other races, not for
anything else except the Republican presidential nomination. He wants
Kentucky to create a whole new thing, a whole new caucus and hold that in
addition to the primary they were going to hold any way, and he wants this
thing to be held, this special thing to be held just for his convenience,
so he doesn`t have to give up his current job in order to run for another
one at the same time.

It`s easy to see why Rand Paul wants the state of Kentucky to do that
for him, but why would they? What`s in it for them? What would Kentucky
Republicans get out of doing that?

I mean, this is a tough year for Kentucky Republicans anyway. Rand
Paul is just making it that much harder for them. I mean, imagine for a
second -- imagine for a second that Rand Paul wins the Republican
nomination for president of the United States. Ha, I know, right, but

If that happens his name will be on the ballot in the general election
as the Republican nominee for Senate -- in Kentucky, you can`t swap in
somebody else`s name on the ballot at the last minute. So, in that
circumstance, if he were the Republican nominee, it`s possible the only
hope Kentucky Republicans would have for holding on to that Senate seat,
keeping that Senate seat in Republican hands, it`s possible the only hope
to do that would be to maybe mount a write in campaign for somebody.
That`s how they would run against this guy? This guy who looks like might
be the second coming of Bill Clinton in Kentucky Democratic politics right

So, Rand Paul does get the Republican nomination for president, ha, I
know. But if he does, Kentucky Republicans are really looking down the
barrel of losing the U.S. Senate seat they hold and going to that Democrat
instead. That`s one scenario.

If, on the other hand, Rand Paul does not win the presidential
nomination -- he`s not going to win the Republican presidential nomination
-- it`s still a problem. Because how much worse are his odds at holding on
to he Senate seat if he spends all of the next year trying and failing for
running for president in places like Iowa, instead of campaigning in
Kentucky to hold on to his Senate seat, with his top politically operatives
federally indicted and fighting to stay out of prison, with those
operatives in charge of his own fund-raising which is anemic.

Kentucky has a law about only running for one race at a time. They
have the law for a reason. And in this case, the sound reasoning behind
think law is proven by the fact that Kentucky Republican Party interests
are not the same as Rand Paul`s interests. And now those two conflicting
interests are coming to loggerheads.


JOHN DAVID DYCHE, WDRB.COM CONTRIBUTOR: His presidential campaign is
not going well. I think he`s putting the Kentucky Senate seat that he now
holds, and also seeking re-election to, at jeopardy with his presidential


MADDOW: Quote, "Let`s be honest, nobody believes Rand Paul can win
the presidential nomination. Paul either should get out of the
presidential race right now and focus on winning reelection to the Senate
or forsake a Senate bid so Republicans can run a full time candidate focus
on retaining that important seat."

Here`s another one, reporting on Republican worries that Rand Paul`s
efforts to salvage a long shot presidential bid could cost Republicans a
must-win Senate seat, this week quotes one member of the
Kentucky Republican Party`s executive committee saying, quote, "I do not
want to lose a Senate seat."

Well, the moment of truth on this is here. It`s tomorrow. Tomorrow
morning in Kentucky, Rand Paul needs a two thirds vote from the Kentucky
Republican Party from their 340 executive committee members.

He needs a two-thirds vote from them that they want to spend hundreds
of thousands of dollars to hold a whole new separate election in addition
to their primary, specifically so Rand Paul can be allowed to get around
Kentucky law so he can run for his Senate seat and for president at the
same time, which is something that some increasingly outspoken Kentucky
Republicans believe is a really bad deal for them, because it could risk
their losing that U.S. Senate seat to the Democrats, whether or not Rand
Paul wins or loses the Republican nomination for president.

Unless Rand Paul gets that two-thirds super majority vote tomorrow
which would let him run for Senate seat and president at the same time,
which is what he wants to do, unless he gets that vote tomorrow letting him
do that, as of tomorrow, he`s going to have to pick which of those two
seats he wants to run for because he won`t be able to do both. One or the
other, presidential run, which he will almost assuredly lose, or Senate re-
election, something which he would have a much better chance at even though
it wouldn`t be guaranteed.

Which would you pick if you could only pick one? If you had to quit
one of those two races, which one would you quit? Because there`s a very
good chance that tomorrow, Rand Paul is going to be told he has to quit one
or the other. Tick tock, we`ll find out tomorrow.

Everyone expected Rick Perry to be the first major candidate to quit
the presidential race, but I think Rand Paul may beat him to it tomorrow.
Watch this space.


MADDOW: Here`s what you need to know. This is the East Street
Bridge. It`s a railway bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts, which is a
suburb 45 minutes southwest of Boston.

And this particular bridge has a reputation because watch what this
bridge does to trucks. Seriously. Watch this. Watch it.

It`s a low bridge. It is marked as having low clearance but trucks
still, all the time think they can make it. Driving on, minding their own
business, not reading the signs and bam, tear the roof off.

The East Street Bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts, does this all the
time. Last night, the East Street Bridge claimed its latest victim. It
was with Cara Donna Food Truck. It looks quite terrifying. But I should
tell you nobody was injured and also the bridge wasn`t hungry anymore after
the crash.

But at this point, people in Westwood, Massachusetts, are so used to
this happening that it kind of doesn`t even phase them anymore.

I mean, look at this. The cars, they see the roof go flying on the
truck that crashes into them. They wait the obligatory couple of seconds
and pull a U-ie. Find their usual alternate around the truck eating

Ah, you know what? It happens all the time. I know my way around

Seriously, it`s like clock work. Every couple of weeks. Last year
alone, this particular bridge took out 15 trucks. Whoa. I mean,
sometimes, it gives a nice, clean shave like the moving truck. Sometimes
the roof stays on but the truck loses the ladders it was carrying on its
roof. OK.

This truck eating bridge and its crashes are so common the local
Westwood Police Department set up a permanent camera to record these
crashes and then they upload their favorites on to YouTube. The
department`s number one favorite, by the way, is this crash. This is a
truck carrying $100,000 worth of lobster. It ended up in an impromptu
seafood sale on the side of the road.

If you turned off I-95 near New York City today, there`s a chance you
might have caught another crash. It did not involve lobsters, but it was
spectacular enough to warrant a special report.


ANNOUNCER: This is an NBC News special report. Here`s Harry Smith.

HARRY SMITH, NBC NEWS: Good afternoon. It has been a very difficult
week and a very difficult today especially on Wall Street today. The Dow
Industrial Average down at several points during the day, more than 500
points. It is down 529 right now.


MADDOW: By the end of trading today, the Dow had closed down more
than 530 points. It seems what prompted the dive were fears that the
Chinese economy is slowing down. It could bring everybody with it. It was
not a good day for your 401(k) if you have one. It was not a good day if
you own something like Apple stock. Overall stocks suffered the worst loss
in four years.

But this was not black Monday, right? This was not -- this was not a
catastrophe. If you look at the top largest Dow percentage drops in a day,
you will find out what happens today doesn`t even rank.

The 1987 crash, for example, saw the Dow plunge 22 percent in one day
of trading. Today`s drop was big but it was 3 percent. It was not even
close to being in the top 20, let alone the top 10.

And yes, it`s still 500 points off the Dow and still a bad thing for
the market. It remains to be seen on Monday when the markets happen again
and today`s losses and this week`s losses mean maybe we are headed for a
rough patch of bigger proportions.

But what happened specifically on wall street today, it happens. And
it happens pretty reliably, like crashes at the E Street Bridge in
Westwood, Massachusetts. Yes, spectacular and sometimes scary, but what
happened today is something that has happened before and it will
undoubtedly happen again. Be not afraid.


MADDOW: This is a map of the high-speed trains operating across
Europe. One of those routes, the one we have marked here, is operated by a
company called Thalys. It is recognizable for its red trains and the red
train seats.

That train operates between Amsterdam and Paris. It is a trip that
takes 2 1/2 hours. During one of those high-speed train trips, today, at
5:45 p.m. local time, a 26-year-old man reportedly boarded that train and
he was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and a knife. And he started shooting
at passengers on the train. He injured three people before he was stopped.

You might have heard about this incident happening today. But did you
hear how this man was stopped? French authorities say the man was tackled
and subdued by two American passengers who were on that train, at least one
of whom is a U.S. marine.

This guy had an assault rifle he was using to shoot passengers on that
train. He also had a knife and these two Americans somehow took him down.
We don`t have the identity of these two Americans. We`re told that both of
them were injured in doing what they did today. We`re told one of them was
severely injured. We do not know the specifics of either of their

The suspect, for his part, he was arrested in the city of Arras, which
is about 100 miles north of Paris. French authorities are praising the two
American bystanders for stepping in to stop the attack. France`s interior
minister says they were, quote, "particularly courageous" and showed great
bravery in very difficult circumstances. He also said, without their
composure we could have been confronted with a terrible incident.

This video was taken by an eyewitness shortly after the train stopped.
It shows a man carried across the train platform, although the man`s
identity is not confirmed by NBC News. That`s what we have got though.

Forensic experts today started to comb the train for evidence. Anti-
terrorism officials in France are leading the investigation into exactly
what happened. The suspect is reportedly a 26-year-old Moroccan man. But
officials say it is too soon to say whether they will call it a terrorist

But again, this remarkable news today that this attack looks like it
was stopped by two American bystanders, including a U.S. Marine jumping in
to stop it. Subduing this man with a knife and gun that he was firing and
getting injured themselves in the process.

We will update you as we learn more.

Stay with us.


MADDOW: In June, Texas Governor Rick Perry made his presidential
announcement in a plane hangar in Texas. It was an exciting event. It was
also very sweaty and hot. A few days later, Donald Trump was with set to
make his own presidential announcement, but he couldn`t help but make fun
of Rick Perry for how he screwed up his.


TRUMP: I can tell you, some of the candidates they went in. They
didn`t know the air conditioner didn`t work. They sweated like dogs. They
didn`t know the room was too big because they didn`t have anybody there.
How are they going to beat ISIS? I don`t think it`s going to happen.


MADDOW: The room was too big. How can they defeat ISIS?

For days now Donald Trump has been hyping the fact he said he was
about to have the biggest campaign rally of the whole presidential
candidacy. Ahead of his rally in Mobile, Alabama, tonight, Donald Trump`s
campaign told everybody to expect around 36,000 people and then they upped
that prediction to 42,000 people. This was supposed to be a huge thing.

But then it happened and that`s definitely not a stadium at full
capacity. That`s a lot of bleacher.

Whatever the final count turns out to be, it will not be near 42,000
or 36,000. Our reporter on the scene says the stadium was about half full.
Stadium staffer estimating the crowd at about 20,000. So, who didn`t know
the room was too big this time?

Donald Trump running for the White House from a glass house. Glass
house throwing very beautiful, beautiful stones. They are so great.
They`re so beautiful. They are huge.

That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again Monday. But now you
have to go to prison.


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