'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: August 25, 2015
Guest: Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan Allen, Zeke Miller, Brittany Packnett,
Deray McKesson, Steve Clemens
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Jim Webb, Martin O`Malley, Bernie Sanders --
today about the National Democratic Party meeting which is happening this
All five declared Democratic candidates set to address that meeting on
Friday, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, Martin O`Malley, Bernie Sanders and
Hillary Clinton, all speaking Friday.
Vice President Biden declined an invitation to address the meeting, that
was the word as of yesterday, but today, they scheduled a call tomorrow
afternoon for the Vice President and DNC members on the subject of the Iran
Two committee members who`ve received the invitation said they couldn`t
remember a conference call with Mr. Biden on a foreign policy issue before.
So, this could be an effort to raise his profile with top members of the
Democratic Party right before they`re about to hear from all the other
I`ve been a skeptic from the very beginning that Joe Biden is going to run,
but something really is going on here and it cannot remain a mystery for
too much longer.
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.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I`ve been the opposite of a
skeptic on Joe Biden running all along, but I have never been able to
figure out how he does it.
How he gets into this but they`re getting close.
MADDOW: You know, and not some sort of hail Mary move about the way he
gets in, might be the way to scramble everything.
O`DONNELL: It might be the way.
MADDOW: We`ll see it --
O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel --
MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence, thanks.
O`DONNELL: Well, Donald Trump continues to find new and unpredictable ways
to harm the Republican Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER,
TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: This was the Summer of Trump. How good is
that for my ego?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Betting Donald Trump needs attention.
TRUMP: When people treat me unfairly, I don`t let them forget it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He started tweeting against Megyn Kelly totally
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did --
TRUMP: Takes two seconds. You do a couple of tweets --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even retweeted a comment where somebody once again
called her a bimbo.
TRUMP: I retweet, you know, I retweet for a reason.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Fox" chief Roger Ailes demanding Trump apologize.
TRUMP: She should probably apologize to me, but I just don`t care. "Fox"
treats me terribly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not just "Fox News" that`s the target of Donald
Trump`s attacks --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite a show he had that fight with the guy from
TRUMP: He started screaming and I would -- I didn`t escort him out --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So Ramos was eventually let back into the room and
did have a pretty pretentious exchange --
TRUMP: How much am I suing "Univision" for right now? You know, you are
part of the lawsuit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go back to "Univision", it`s like telling somebody to
go back to Mexico.
TRUMP: People are shocked at how smart I am, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He kind of likes these combative exchanges.
TRUMP: If you lose, like what does it all matter?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Well, it was a typical day for the Donald Trump campaign.
Donald Trump began the day in a renewed feud with "Fox News" presidential
debate moderator Megyn Kelly and he ended the day by having "Univision`s"
Jorge Ramos thrown out of his press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: Mr. Trump, I have one question about immigration,
your immigration plan --
TRUMP: OK, who`s next? Yes, please.
RAMOS: Mr. Trump, I have one question --
TRUMP: Excuse me, sit down, you weren`t called. Sit down!
RAMOS: No, I`m not --
TRUMP: Sit down --
RAMOS: No, I`m a --
TRUMP: Sit down!
RAMOS: An immigrant --
TRUMP: Go ahead --
RAMOS: And I think I have the right to ask a question --
TRUMP: No, you don`t, you haven`t been called.
RAMOS: I have -- I have a right to ask a question --
TRUMP: Go back to "Univision" --
RAMOS: No, this the question --
TRUMP: Go ahead --
RAMOS: You cannot deport 11 million --
TRUMP: Go ahead --
RAMOS: Mr. Trump --
TRUMP: Go ahead.
RAMOS: You cannot deport 11 million people. You cannot build a 1900 --
TRUMP: Go ahead --
RAMOS: Mile wall. You cannot deny citizenship to children in this country
TRUMP: Sit down, please.
RAMOS: Those ideas --
TRUMP: You weren`t called.
RAMOS: I`m a reporter and I have -- don`t touch me, sir, don`t touch me,
TRUMP: Go --
RAMOS: You cannot touch me. I have the right to ask a question --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, an order --
RAMOS: I have the right to ask a question --
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. Trump --
TRUMP: Hi chief, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger Ailes says if you would apologize to Megyn --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Kasie Hunt, Msnbc political correspondent who
was at that press conference. Kasie, what was it like in the room as he
was -- as Jorge Ramos was being escorted out?
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lawrence, it was
definitely a tense moment.
And I think the sense was that, you know, this is a journalist who is the
anchor of one of the largest, if not often the largest Spanish language
broadcast every night.
He`s well known in the Hispanic and Latino communities in the U.S., he`s
somebody who has interviewed the President and asked him tough questions,
And so he -- to have him escorted out caused a bit of an awkward moment,
although I will say the press conference then continued to go on.
There were a couple of follow-up questions about Ramos and then ultimately
Trump said, well, if he comes back, I`d be glad to take his questions and
about half way through the press conference, Ramos came back in, sat down
in the front row and eventually did take the back and forth with Trump.
Did get a chance to ask his question. Actually, an interesting mea culpa
in some ways from Donald Trump who very rarely, as you know, backs down
O`DONNELL: Yes, it was -- it was interesting that -- as Jorge was being
escorted out, that next person who got called on just went on with whatever
his planned question was about "Fox News", completely ignoring what had
There was some actually, I think disgraceful moments for some reporters in
there who ignored what happened. But you and others asked Trump directly
about what he had just done with Jorge Ramos.
What`s -- well, I think we have your question ready to go, let`s listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: President Obama has taken some tough questions from Jorge Ramos, is
there a reason why you won`t?
TRUMP: Because he was out of order. I would take his question in two
seconds, but he stood up and started screaming.
HUNT: Would you -- would you let him back in now?
TRUMP: I told you already, if he wanted to come back in I`d love to have
him come, but you can`t just stand up and scream. I was saying to somebody
else too -- is that correct?
I was saying yes, and this guy stands up and starts screaming. He`s
obviously a very emotional person. OK, so I have no problem with it.
I don`t know him, I have no idea, but I would certainly love to have
questions from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Kasie, as we were watching it, it seemed -- and correct me
if we`re -- if we`re not getting the full picture.
But it seems like Trump signaled to whoever that was to basically approach
Jorge Ramos and shut him down or get him out of there.
HUNT: It did seem since he said, go back to "Univision", and his first
response that he knew that Ramos was somebody from "Univision".
But one caveat I will add, Lawrence, is that, Trump has been calling on
reporters in his press conferences, he had not called on Ramos, he was
trying to call on others.
To a certain extent, that protocols often followed, but other times it just
isn`t and as you know, you`ve been in many of press conference like this.
It simply is a question of shouting louder than the next person and to be
thrown out simply for doing that is a pretty remarkable thing.
O`DONNELL: And he was up there -- Trump was up there on stage alone with
no one to tell him what to do next.
And it was his own choice to, as you say, offer an olive branch and say,
OK, you know, it`d be perfectly OK to allow him back in.
Which that word eventually got to the Trump bodyguards and Jorge Ramos was
allowed back in. Let`s now take a look at how it went when Jorge Ramos got
his second chance with Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Go ahead.
RAMOS: I want to ask you about the Latino vote. You say that you`re going
to win the Latino vote --
TRUMP: I think so, because I`m going to bring jobs back.
RAMOS: Well, the truth is, I`ve seen the polls, the "Univision" polls says
75 percent of Latinos --
TRUMP: How much am I suing "Univision" for right now?
RAMOS: That`s --
TRUMP: No, do you know the number? No, tell me --
RAMOS: The question that --
TRUMP: Tell me, do you know the number? And you know, you`re part of the
lawsuit. How much am I suing "Univision" for?
RAMOS: But the question is, Mr. Trump --
TRUMP: Wait --
RAMOS: I`m a reporter --
TRUMP: Five hundred million --
RAMOS: I`m a reporter --
TRUMP: OK, good --
RAMOS: And this is the first time --
TRUMP: And they`re very concerned about it, I have to tell you.
I`m very good at this thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, a few people who are not being sued by Donald
Trump yet, Zeke Miller, political reporter for "Time", Jonathan Allen,
chief political correspondent for Vox and Maria Teresa Kumar, president of
Voto Latino and host of "CHANGING AMERICA" on shift by Msnbc.
Maria Teresa, I want to get your reaction to what happened to Jorge Ramos
in that press conference.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Lawrence, I have to say that
the American public and the journalists, the press should be outraged.
Because basically what happened is that in our country where there is free
press, an American journalist was escorted out because a candidate did not
like what he was being asked.
That`s unacceptable. That`s really not presidential, it`s actually going
against our creed that we have and the understanding that we have between
journalists and the free press.
And the fact that people keep saying, oh, he was told to go back to
"Univision", it was a wink-guess to go back to Mexico.
More importantly, fundamentally, it`s recognition that Americans in the
mainstream market don`t understand the majority of Latinos are Americans.
Sixty percent of the 54 million Americans are the Latinos born here in the
United States -- are born in the United States. This is not -- they didn`t
come here yesterday.
And the fact that there`s no more outrage and people are not up in arms --
sure, first, they come for the Latino reporter, but who`s next? That`s
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Allen, Jorge Ramos in his two chances with Donald
Trump made a lot of policy points.
But one thing that they got hung up on there was the whole polling
question, how Donald Trump is polling in the Latino community.
And Jorge Ramos` numbers are overwhelmingly negative for Donald Trump. And
certainly by inference down the road for the Republican Party going into
this general election for the presidency.
JONATHAN ALLEN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, VOX.COM: Yes, so Trump
today then spread there over a negative 51 in terms of Donald Trump`s
favorability with Latinos. I would have thought it would have been bigger.
Maybe, that negative will be 80 or 90 percent, which means he`s actually
resonating with some small set of Hispanic voters. But it is a problem for
the Republican Party, it`s a huge problem.
This is a part of the Republican base that they -- Republican leadership in
Washington has been trying to suppress that Donald Trump has now activated.
Meaning, the folks who are native as opposed to anti-immigrant and that`s a
huge problem going forward in the general election in which Latinos maybe
motivated to vote for a Democrat if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee
or even influential in the Republican nomination process.
O`DONNELL: Zeke Miller, is it time for the Trump press corps to have a
meeting and decide how they`re going to handle the next time a reporter
gets kicked out of a Trump press conference?
ZEKE MILLER, POLITICAL REPORTER, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, I mean, unlike the
White House, you know, there`s no formal campaign correspondents
association, it`s usually just the folks who are on the ground. You`re
dealing with local reporters as much as you`re dealing with the national
It`s a lot hard to be organized, that said, I think, you know, it`s
commendable what you saw in the room from the reporters like Kasie, like
the other reporters who said -- who questioned Donald Trump why he expelled
Ramos from the room.
That was his personal bodyguard removing Jorge Ramos from the room. He
knew who that was, and then when he later said, you know, I don`t know who
that security is, that was his personal bodyguard who we all see on the
trail every day when we see Donald Trump.
But you know, that`s, you know, with the kind of thing that -- get from
reporters when they all stand up for each other, and that`s -- you know,
that`s how we should be, you know, standing up for ourselves, you know,
O`DONNELL: All right, I want to complete this drama with Jorge Ramos where
Donald Trump at the end changes the tone of it completely and tries to
reach out in a friendly way and indicate to Jorge Ramos that they will have
some kind of friendly interaction in the future.
Let`s listen to how it ended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Did you see it?
RAMOS: (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: Wait, did you see it? OK, he`s an honest guy, now I like him, OK --
RAMOS: Mr. Trump, what do you think? --
TRUMP: You and I will talk, we`ll have plenty -- we`re going to be talking
a lot over the years.
RAMOS: (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: We will. We will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Kasie Hunt, that`s the Donald Trump who just doesn`t want
to leave a room without everyone liking him. He just couldn`t leave the
Jorge Ramos situation where it was.
HUNT: It`s also the Donald Trump, Lawrence, who likes to be in the thick
of all of this. I mean, if you listen just to the names of -- you know, I
listened to his speech after this press conference who we`ve been talking
The number of media figures names that he dropped over the course of his
speech, Roger Ailes, Lorne Michaels at "SNL", I mean, the list went on and
He is somebody who is extremely focused on how the New York especially, but
also now the political media cover him, interact with him.
He wants to be somebody who is seen as a player, who is seen as making a
difference of being involved. And to a certain extent, that requires
He does have relationships. He has personal private conversations with a
lot of top media news figures and I think that, that`s something that, you
know, plays a huge role in how he`s covered, discussed and treated.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa, he mentioned no one in that speech more than
Ann Coulter who was in the audience and Ann Coulter has been really great
at picking losing Republican presidential candidates.
KUMAR: I hope her streak continues. But I think that what he basically
left himself open to is to have a sit-down with Jorge Ramos, and believe
me, if that happens, everybody will be watching that interview.
O`DONNELL: All right, everyone stay with us, we`re going to take a quick
break here, coming up, we`ll look at Donald Trump`s policies.
He actually did discuss some policies tonight and one, a very surprising
liberal take on a major policy. And Republican presidential candidate Ben
Carson decides to discuss the Black Lives Matter Movement.
He has some advice for them. Two Black Lives Matter activists will join us
to discuss the presidential campaign and what they`re hoping to achieve
with the candidates.
And fresh from vacation, President Obama is ready to take on what he called
O`DONNELL: Rick Perry`s struggling campaign has started to put some
staffers back on the payroll but not fast enough for Sam Clovis who was
Rick Perry`s Iowa chairman.
Sam Clovis joined the Trump campaign today where he is apparently
guaranteed a paycheck. Up next, Donald Trump`s fantasy policies and his
liberal policy announcing his speech tonight in Iowa.
O`DONNELL: Iowa Republicans have finally found a new tax that they seem to
just love. Tonight in Iowa, Donald Trump got a huge cheer from a
Republican crowd for proposing a new tax and it`s a big tax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So, I would say to the head of Ford, sorry, I`m not going to
approve -- you either pay a tax with every car and every truck and every
part that comes across that southern border, you`re going to pay a 35
percent tax, OK?
That`s what`s going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That is a tariff, of course, not a tax, but it functions the
same way, so taxes are good enough term for it.
After that, Donald Trump extended that fantasy as he always does to explain
why no one will ever actually have to pay the Trump tax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So what happens is they`re going to say, no, and they`re going to
have people call me. But these are people that they -- I didn`t take any
money, I didn`t take anything, I don`t want their money.
So, they`re going to have people call me and I`m going to say, get out of
here, and if I know them, they`ll be friends of mine maybe, I`ll say I`m
And I would say -- let`s say this whole process starts at 12:00 noon, I
would say by 4:00 in the afternoon, the head of Ford will call me and say
Mr. President we`ve decided to build in the United States.
That will happen, OK? That will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, when I hear him tell this story, he did the same
thing in his announcement speech for the campaign.
I have strong doubts that Donald Trump has any idea that the President
doesn`t have those powers, that tariffs and taxation are entirely up to the
But I`m fairly certain that most of the people clapping when they hear that
don`t have any idea that the President does not have those powers.
MILLER: Well, you know --
HUNT: Lawrence, I`m not -- I`m sorry --
MILLER: All right --
O`DONNELL: Kasie, what`s your -- what`s your sense of the audience? Is it
just one of those things where -- hey, it`s really great that he said that,
let`s clap, or do they actually have no idea that that is not within
HUNT: I mean, look, I think he is delivering applause lines. I think
that, you know, the magic of Donald Trump`s candidacy for a lot of these
people doesn`t necessarily have to do with exactly what Donald Trump is
actually going to do when he gets to Washington.
I think it`s the opposite. I think it`s in many ways his disregard for a
process that a lot of people are frankly disgusted with.
You know, so, I mean, I would say that a lot of the people that I talked to
after this, many of them told me that they were here simply to see it.
I talked to a couple of Democrats who were here, who wanted their "Time
Magazine" cover signed. You know, this was not necessarily a crowd full of
rabid Trump supporters, but at the same time, it`s a fun, entertaining
atmosphere and his speech is so rambling.
I mean, I was keeping track of some of his -- just his likes and dislikes,
I mean, forget his policy proposals. I think on the like list, you have
Saudi Arabia and Elton John.
I think on the other list, you have Orioles and I think yourself, I`m not
sure he is the biggest fan of yours personally.
But I mean, I think that the whole thing for this audience was the idea
that it`s a coherent set of things that Donald Trump is going to do in
Washington is just off the mark, frankly.
O`DONNELL: Yes, the Elton John part, I thought was the hardest one to
follow. I couldn`t tell whether he was in favor of Elton John or opposed
to Elton John.
But Jonathan Allen --
HUNT: He said he did like Elton John --
O`DONNELL: Yes, but it`s all about that, you know, when you stay on the
stage too long, you do too many encores and I think he was saying Elton
John did too many encores one night, I don`t know.
Jonathan Allen, I do feel funny --
ALLEN: Fair enough --
O`DONNELL: I do feel funny taking anything Donald Trump says and putting
it through an actual policy analysis.
Like the crazy 35 percent tax on cars that come across the border. The
idea that anyone in that audience wants to pay 35 percent more for a Ford
coming across the border.
And so -- but it gets applause. This crazy and impossible idea gets
applause and pumps up poll numbers.
ALLEN: Well, two ways to look at it, Lawrence. One is the reality check
that you just offered and with all due respect to the Senate Finance
Committee, your (INAUDIBLE), it`s in the House of Representatives that has
to pass tax legislation.
John Boehner, speaker of the house is going to put together a new tariff on
automobiles coming back into the United States.
But from a broader perspective of what he`s trying to communicate, an idea
about deterring companies from moving operations overseas, from building
things outside of the United States and then bringing them back in.
I think that`s a message that resonates with a certain part of the American
electorate that crosses party lines. I think basically, your sort of
populous protectionist brand of both conservatives and some on the left.
O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to this very big, liberal ramble that
Donald Trump went on about campaign finance reform.
Donald Trump has now become the principal advocate for a very liberal style
campaign finance reform. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t want to be controlled. Last week -- you`ve heard me say
this, I turned down $5 million by a big lobbyist, not a bad person, you
know, tough guy, not a bad person.
But when he gives me five, he is not doing that because he thinks I have
beautiful hair. In fact, how about -- I`ll just take a vote. How about if
I take all this money and promise, I swear to you that I won`t do anything
for these people, what about that? No?
That`s what I thought. I feel so stupid, but you know what? That`s the way
it has to be. Because I think one of the things they like about me is --
they`re not going to -- nobody is going to buy me. Nobody`s going to buy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Zeke Miller, he is certainly making an argument against the way
campaigns are financed.
MILLER: Absolutely, first of all, he couldn`t accept that $5 million check
O`DONNELL: Right --
MILLER: Even if he wanted to --
O`DONNELL: And by the way, would be a crime, yes --
MILLER: That would be a crime and then let himself --
O`DONNELL: He doesn`t know that either and his audience doesn`t know that.
MILLER: But you know, the broader point he makes, that reliably gets him
the best applause of any event he does, I mean there`s a certain amount of
truth to it.
Does anybody really think that Donald Trump can be bought? How many -- you
know, millions of dollars, tens of million dollars of business do we know
Already saying, you know, what he thinks or what he thinks his supporters
want to hear thus far in the campaign. So, there`s a certain amount of
truth that he`s sort of the living embodiment of that.
At the same time, you know, it puts him at odds with Republican Party
orthodoxy, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is, you
know, made, you know, opposing all campaign finance regulations; the sort
of core candidate of his political career.
And you know, it sort of sets Donald Trump -- you know, sort of one lines
of where the moderates are on -- even worse where a lot of Democrats are in
a -- if you`re getting the speech now posted in his united world and you
can`t get -- you can`t get rid of all money, at least disclose it all.
Full transparency, rabid transparency. He`s a lot -- he sounds a lot more
like David Axelrod sounds now that, you know, where Mitch McConnell or Jeb
Bush sound right now.
O`DONNELL: We just got this in from the National Association of Hispanic
Journalists, they have just issued a statement and condemning Donald Trump
for what happened at the press conference tonight.
The statement says, "the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
condemns presidential candidate Donald Trump for allowing "Univision"
journalist Jorge Ramos to be ejected from the news conference for simply
And Maria Teresa Kumar, I began this by saying, Donald Trump has yet again
hurt the Republican Party. This is the kind of thing that resonates beyond
just Donald Trump and has an effect in the party.
KUMAR: So, that`s actually right. And I think that, that along the heels
the fact that the RNC chairman basically said that he supported Donald
The he`s actually a net positive for the Republican Party. It`s almost
like Reince Priebus completely forgot the autopsy that they did last year
right after Mitt Romney lost so horrifically.
And is basically going back to the extreme right. And the fact that the
National Association of Hispanic Journalists came out, they`re flagging a
The fact that Jorge Ramos; an American journalist was pulled out of a press
conference for asking a question that the candidate did not like, that`s a
big deal, Lawrence.
And the fact that we should actually start drilling down saying, is this
the type of free press that we want?
Where we`re actually only going to pick and choose the individual on which
questions we`re going to address for the person that is seeking the highest
office in our country?
That again, that is a big deal. And I think that unfortunately for the
Republican Party, if they don`t come out, the leadership doesn`t come out
and condemn the fact that Trump is basically on this tirade against --
saying -- he says immigrants when now he`s against American Latinos.
They`re not going to win the White House and perhaps they don`t want to.
O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, the dynamic though that we`ve seen play out is that
Republican candidates have learned to be afraid of joining any
condemnations of Donald Trump because they get a backlash against
themselves when they do that, within the party.
HUNT: That`s true, Lawrence. I think also you`ve seen the people that
have tried to do it frankly stumble.
I mean, look at what Jeb Bush has gone through over the course of the last
two days as he`s -- you know, tried to be the person who has taken on
Trump, who has, you know, played that particular role in the party.
Instead, he is talking about terms like "anchor babies", he made a remark
about Asian people that drew pretty negative reaction.
And in some ways, it`s putting him right into the place that he once
accused Mitt Romney of screwing up.
I mean, he was somebody who criticized Romney for running to the right and
ultimately losing in the general election to President Obama.
And while on the one hand, he made this point a little bit testily today
out in Colorado, saying there`s no way people can challenge me on
I`m somebody, who, you know, is married to a Mexican American, I`m somebody
who speaks Spanish at home. That is a contrast with the actual words that
have been coming out of his mouth as he`s tried to take on Trump.
KUMAR: But I think that -- but to Kasie`s point, I think that the
fundamental problem in the Republican Party and to some extent, to the
Democratic party is that, they don`t understand that the second largest
group of Americans is Latinos.
And I think that that`s the challenge that they actually have. So, until
they actually understand that if you are going to go to the White House --
we`re not talking about immigrants.
The majority of Latinos are upset with the tone of immigration because they
take it more personally, more importantly, they know that they`re talking
about them and their -- and their families.
The only way that they can actually get to the White House is for the
Republicans to change their tone.
O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both for joining
us tonight, really appreciate it. Coming up, the Biden for president talk
And Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter, that`s next.
O`DONNELL: Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson wrote an Op-Ed in
a "USA Today" about the Black Lives Matter Movement in which he agrees with
the Black Lives Matter Movement, that there is a problem with police use of
deadly force against African-Americans.
Ben Carson wrote, "The protesters are right that racial policing issues
exist. And, some rotten policemen took actions that killed innocent
people. Those actions were inexcusable and they should be prosecuted to
deter such acts in the future."
Ben Carson believes the Black Lives Matter agenda should widen to include
improvements in education in African-American communities as well as
fighting drug addiction and stereotypical images in music, television and
Ben Carson suggests that Black Lives Matter should be delivering messages
to the political parties, to his own party he said, "We need to go over to
the Republican Party. We need to tell them, they have ignored us for too
long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate
and find a different way."
And, to democrats, Ben Carson writes, "Let us tell them, we do not want to
be fed, clothed and housed. We want honor and dignity. We do not want a
plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods. We want an end to
excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses
where we choose to live."
Joining us now is Brittany Packnett and Deray McKesson, Black Lives Matter
activists and co-creators of the Campaign Zero Initiative, which unveil the
10-step policy to stop police violence. Brittany is also a member of
President Obama`s task force on 21st century policing. Brittany, I want to
get your reaction to Ben Carson`s entrance in to this discussion.
BRITTANY PACKNETT, CITIZEN ZERO INITIATIVE: Well, I am certainly glad to
see a GOP candidate actually discussing Black Lives Matter, given that on
our Campaign Zero website, our tracker is showing that most candidates on
that site are not discussing it at all and it is certainly an essential
I think what was frustrating, though, was that he failed to acknowledge the
existence of systemic racism and oppression. And, this movement has
consistently acknowledged the fact that police violence is a branch of a
tree rooted in exactly that, in systemic racism and oppression.
And, so, to not address the root cause of why we are all here, it makes it
very difficult for his instructions to be taken thoroughly. You know, I
also am frustrated that his language seemed to suggest that addressing
police violence is not both urgent and not something we can do as we
address those other things.
So, you know, certainly glad that he is in the conversation. But there
were roots of the conversation that were unaddressed and there is a lot to
be desired in that conversation.
O`DONNELL: Well, Ben Carson does seems to be way ahead of Donald Trump on
this. Let us listen to what the republican front runner had to say about
this on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE INTERVIEWER: What about the Black Lives Matter
Movement? I mean, what is your take on that?
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN FRONTRUNNER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I know
nothing about it. I am seeing lots of bad stuff about it right now
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Deray, that is a typical Trump answer in two sentences, two
different things. One is, I know nothing about it, and then the next
sentence, he knows bad things about it.
DERAY MCKESSON, CAMPAIGN ZERO INITIATIVE: Yes, you know, the Republican
Party, most of the candidates, including Carson, right? Who refuses to
acknowledge race, they want race to only be these issues of immigration and
not actually talk about any other issues of racial justice that impact
What we saw with Carson, is that Carson did this interesting thing where he
says that because he was successful, racism essentially does not exist.
And, what we know to be true is that like exceptionalism is not justice.
And, like Brittany said he wholly ignores any sort of systemic racism.
And, what we have seen from Trump time and time again is this deep
insensitivity to any issue that does not speak directly to his own
experience or that is not bashing people, who he deems to be illegally in
America. So, I am hopeful that the GOP will understand the broadness of
the issues of race to include black people and a host of other issues that
are beyond immigration.
O`DONNELL: Now, I want to get to your ten-point program, Brittany, that
you and Deray have come up with. And, I think we have a full screen we can
put up to show people, exactly, what you are proposing.
The ten elements to go through them quickly, end-broken windows, policing
community, two community oversight, limit use of force, independently
investigate and prosecute, community representation, body cams for police,
better training, ending for-profit policing, demilitarization and fair
police union contracts.
I want to get to two items on there that might seem a little obscure to
some viewers. Talk about ending for-profit policing and the union --
police union contracts and how they are a factor in this issue.
PACKNETT: Well, evidence from Ferguson over the last year has really shown
America that for-profit policing is a deeply problematic issue in many of
our communities, especially communities that suffer from income gaps.
And, so, essentially, we see traffic ticketing and court fees and fines
being leveraged to provide revenue to municipalities of any size, but
especially small municipalities like the ones that exist here in St. Louis
County. And, where that leads to a problem is it actually turns a lot of
these municipalities and their criminal justice systems in to debtors`
And, so, people get caught in endless loops of debt and owing money for
very minor violations, if at all. And, what we know is that, that
continues to perpetuate violence on our communities. And, so, we need to
free people economically from these systems that continue to oppress them,
as well as free our bodies for our dignity.
I can absolutely pass it to the -- to talk about police union contracts, as
well but essentially we need to ensure police union contracts remove
barriers to justice for members of the community.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And, Deray, talk about that. The police union contracts,
all of the post-police shooting incident procedures that we see and that
the public gets confused by, why does not the police officer talk to the
superiors and all of that stuff? Most of that stuff is negotiated in to
union contracts, is not it?
MCKESSON: Yes. And, the police union contracts are something that are
often hidden when people think about of what the reform looks like. And,
they especially guarantee that people will not be held accountable.
So, in the lot of cities, what you see is that officers` files are purged.
Their personnel files are purged after a year or two years with having any
sort of discipline in them. You also see that officers cannot immediately
talk to investigators, that there is some wait period. And, it is based on
some sort of pseudoscience that says that people need two sleep cycles
before they can recount an experience.
You see this baked in to contracts, right? Really deeply embedded. You
see places like L.A. where the police union protections are baked in to the
charter of the city itself. And, we wanted to bring light to those things,
because what we see is that they guarantee that people will simply not be
And, they offer protections, at least even in interrogations you see there
are some cities that even say that officers get breaks, right? That they
can only be interrogated in one- hour chunks then they get an hour break,
that they get frequent breaks for bathroom, meals, rest or that they get
paid when they get investigated.
But, they can only be interrogated during the work day and if they are
interrogated otherwise and they get paid for that. So, we wanted to bring
light to that and make sure that they are fair and equitable that will lead
O`DONNELL: You know, I got to say, I have been studying this problem for
decades now and I have seen lists like this come out especially in
different communities after big incidents like has happened in Ferguson.
And, there is always four or five of these things on here but I have never
seen this full ten. This is the most complete and comprehensive that I
have seen. We are out of time for tonight. But, Brittany and Deray, I
hope you can come back and talk about this some more. Thanks very much for
joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
Coming up, what President Obama, actually, said -- what he really said
about those crazies in Washington?
O`DONNELL: American exceptionalism takes on a new meaning in a new study
that finds mass shootings are, quote, "An Exceptionally American Problem."
A professor at the University of Alabama looked at the data for 171
countries from 1966 to 2012.
The study found that the United States had by far the most public mass
shootings with 90 during the 46-year period. That is five times as many as
the next country on the list, the Philippines with 18.
Rounding up the top five were Russia with 15, Yemen with 11, and France
with 10. In other words, although the U.S. accounts for less than 5
percent of the world`s population, we accounted for 31 percent of mass
shootings between 1966 and 2012.
Up next, President Obama talks about what he calls "The Crazies" in
O`DONNELL: President Obama is obviously back from vacation. And, last
night at a last Las Vegas fund-raiser with Harry Reid, President Obama said
this about the challenges they are facing.
"Harry and I drove over here together and were doing little reminiscing and
then figuring out how we are going to `deal with the crazies` in terms of
managing some problems. And then we talked about riding off into the
There is no recording of those remarks. It was just a reporter who is
present taking notes. There was some controversy today about whether the
president was calling opponents of the Iran deal "Crazies," but in fact the
president did not mention the Iran deal in those comments until about t10
minutes after his reference to "The Crazies".
Today the Iran deal picked up its 29th supporter, Washington Senator Patty
Murray issued a statement saying, "I will be voting to support the
agreement to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. I will vote
against the resolution of disapproval and if needed, I will vote against
overriding President Obama`s veto.
Five more senators are needed to sustain a potential veto when congress
votes on the deal next month. Joining us now, Steve Clemens, Washington
Editor-at-Large for the Atlantic and an MSNBC contributor, and we are back
with Zeke Miller and Jonathon Allen. Steve Clemens, five more votes needed
to lock in this Iran deal.
STEVE CLEMENS, WASHINGTON EDITOR-AT-LARGE FOR THE ATLANTIC AND AND MSNBC
CONTRIBUTOR: He is slowly, you know, marking notches in the effort to
really secure for himself probably one of the most important foreign policy
objectives he had. This will be defining for his administration for a very
long period of time. And, the senators are coming through.
They have only got two democrats that have come out strongly opposed. And,
Barack Obama Looks like he is going to make this one win. And, when he
refers to crazy, I have no doubt that he was talking about people like,
Senator Cotton and others who have been giving him some trouble on this.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Zeke Miller, it is fascinating in the age of Trump that
there could be any upset in Washington by someone using a term like
"Crazies" to refer to their opponents on anything.
But, Scott Walker tweeted this today, "Obama calls opponents of Iran deal,
`Crazies` because it is crazy to oppose giving the regime calling for our
downfall a path to a nuclear bomb." Presidential candidates will obviously
try to make the most of that.
MILLER: Well, absolutely, you are going to see, you know, the whole range
of them make hay out of that comment. It was certainly not necessarily the
right comment for the president to make right now as he is trying to
martial democrats or republicans on board. Maybe, he will keep democrats -
- rally democrats around the party flag, so to speak.
But, he is certainly not, you know, extend out branch to republicans. The
interesting thing, though, you mentioned Donald Trump is that Donald trump
and Scott Walker have vastly different positions on the Iran nuclear deal.
Scott Walker saying repeatedly, "Help tear it up on day one" and Donald
Trump saying, you know, "I was in business." That is not how contracts or
how deals work. You are seeing that the whole republican field divide that
way. And, it is a kind of interesting contrast that we are seeing.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Allen, "The Crazies" reference for me was just one of
those little moments of truth. When I was in Washington, and the door was
closed, I have to say that the leaders, including the president, I heard
them talk about "The Crazies." There were many fewer of them.
Each party at that point only had, what I felt, were about two or three
crazies in the senate anyway. But, it is always the first thing they talk
about. How are we going to deal with them?
ALLEN: Yes, the days of sanity in the senate, I guess.
O`DONNELL: Right, when Jesse Helms was your big and only problem.
ALLEN: Right. Look, I think the president obviously feels like he has to
deal with a lot of people who are not, in his view dealing with facts and
realities. I did not take his comments to be directly about the Iran deal.
I think there are a lot of things in which he thinks he is dealing with
crazy folks in the Republican Party and then sometimes in his own
Democratic Party, obviously upset with them over some of the things they
did on his trade agenda not too long ago. But, it sounds like he was on
vacation and maybe a little off message.
O`DONNELL: Steve Clemens. Well, also, there is one of those things where,
you know, you turn off the cameras. He knows it is not being recorded the
way everything else he says is, but they do have the print reporters there
taking notes. Steve Clemens, your prospects at this point for the Iran
deal going forward?
CLEMENS: I think that right now, there is a better than even chance that
they will not get 60 votes against it. They might, but it is looking right
now like momentum is on the side of the White House, and they are moving
this thing along.
Harry Reid, today -- Tom Cotton came out and made an amazing statement,
basically, land blasting Harry Reid in advance for attempting to filibuster
the deal. That is a very interesting bit of news that many of us on the
outside looking in had not realized we are at that point yet. So, it is
looking like the president is going to win, no matter how this goes.
O`DONNELL: All right, we are going to take a quick break here. When we
come back, the democratic campaign for president, very good polling news
for Hillary Clinton today. That is next.
O`DONNELL: Joe Biden has scheduled a big meeting that may be a campaign
meeting. And, Hillary Clinton has some good polls in Iowa. That is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that is what everybody
is pretty interested to find out, is what decision the vice president is
going to make?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: As Vice President Joe Biden considers the 2016 presidential
campaign, the "Washington Post" reports today, "Personal issues stand as
the biggest unresolved obstacle with Biden trying to gauge whether his
family is emotionally prepared for a grueling campaign while still grieving
the recent death of his son Beau" according to people familiar with his
The "Washington Post" report follows the report last night that President
Obama gave Joe Biden his blessing to run in 2016. A new Suffolk University
poll of democratic voters in Iowa released today shows Hillary Clinton
leads with 54 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders with 20 percent and Joe
Biden in third with 11 percent.
We are back with our panel on additional element in that poll, Zeke Miller,
is not so great for Hillary Clinton in Iowa. The question of, do you think
Hillary Clinton`s use of e-mail will hurt her or not hurt her in a general
And, this is in Iowa where they support her, very big number supports her.
52 percent say that it will hurt her in a general election. 36 percent say
it will not hurt her and 4 percent say, not sure. So, there is a poll that
at first blush is really positive for Hillary Clinton but contains that
MILLER: Yes. I mean absolutely. Even if you ask Hillary Clinton and the
people in her orbit right now, she has said that she admits she -- she took
the private email server. She set that up at its convenience, and it is
certainly not very convenient for her right now.
Even her -- will admit, it is not the story line they wanted right now. It
is having an effect on her poll numbers. At least, temporarily, they think
it will come back. Republicans think this is something that they can use
for months and do next year and a half ahead really to just hammer her on
and drive her untrustworthiness rating, and that will stop voters from
voting for her.
Certainly, you know, now this is going to be a story line for her through
the end of the year as these monthly e-mail releases come out. And, you
know, she testified on Capitol Hill in October. Her rates keep getting
brought up. So, this is going to -- you know, I certainly a story line for
the rest of the year and will likely stick around through at least an early
part of next year, maybe even all the way through the general election, one
way or the other.
O`DONNELL: Yes. You cannot read the "Washington Post" report today about
how the family is thinking about it without referring back to Maureen
Dowd`s column where she had the scene of Vice President Biden at Beau
Biden, what turned out to be his deathbed, where Beau Biden was surging his
father to run for president. And, Steve Clemens, it seems like that is the
most important voice in the family.
CLEMENS: Well, I happen to know the family and every Biden voice around
Joe Biden is important. Beau Biden, of course, and what he said on his
deathbed vital, but not the only part of this. I can say that the Biden
family, as far as I know, has just looked at adversity and challenges.
And, just -- they are all like let us get up and go and run over them. So,
I think what we heard from Beau Biden is some part of every person in the
Biden family and it is very hard for me to imagine that anyone in the
family is trying to put brakes on Joe Biden`s aspirations.
O`DONNELL: And, Jonathan Allen, there is a report of a meeting being
scheduled after Labor Day, senior party players, and a bunch of Biden
loyalists getting together. What could they possibly be talking about?
ALLEN: I think a presidential run, Lawrence. I think it is safe to say
that Joe Biden wants to run for president. He has been running for
president for at least the last 28 years off and on. And, I think that
there are some advisers who are close to him that are worried about what
that might mean for his legacy, about the possibility of losing.
And, so, I think there is some push and pull within Biden`s world. But I
do not think anybody should be under any mistaken impression that Joe Biden
does not want to be the president of the United States.
O`DONNELL: And, Steve Clemens, you know, I think you certainly know the
Biden family a lot better than I do, but having been around Joe Biden for
years, it is hard for me to imagine him not taking this final chance.
CLEMENS: This is a guy who is one of the -- as Chuck Todd, many of us who
have known him said the most natural politician in Washington, D.C. And,
when you reach to him -- He has run many other times. When you are at that
level, you are at the cabinet. You are talking to the president every day,
you are moving.
This is someone who cannot help but run. He is designed to run. And, so,
that is where I think this will go.
O`DONNELL: Yes, I just cannot imagine what else he would do with that
energy. Steve Clemens, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Allen, thank you all for
joining me tonight.
Chris Hayes is up next.
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2015 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
MORE FROM MSNBC
Add msnbc headlines to your news reader: