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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Date: October 29, 2015
Guest: Marc Caputo, Nicolle Wallace

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

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

HAYES: You bet.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

When Jeb Bush announced in June he was going to be running for
president, he gave -- you may remember, it was a big, joyful, high-energy
speech in Miami in front of a big diverse crowd. He gave part of the
speech in Spanish. He, of course, gave most of the speech in English.

But when he got to the part he was actually announce, saying directly
he would be running for president, he kind of -- he kind of excited
himself. Do you remember? He gave a little hoot. A little hooting noise.

And it was nice. It was like he was legitimately thrilled to be
announcing he was running and to have everybody applaud him for that
announcement. It was exciting in the moment. He was clearly excited. And
he went "hoot", like a little happy owl.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m a candidate for president
of the United States of America.


Whoo. Whoo. Whoo.



Jeb Bush, kind of whoo, crowed out loud, in joyful little noise, at
the exact moment he announced he was running for president.

And as Jeb Bush has continued running for president, his surprising
talent and proclivity for making interesting little noises has been one of
the fun and unpredictable small things about covering him as a candidate.


BUSH: That`ll light up the Twitter.


The Twitter universe. There`s some heads exploding right now. I can
feel it. Like doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.


MADDOW: That was the noise of the Twitter. There was also the noise
of the anger.


BUSH: Politically, we`re going to win when we`re big enough domestic
and big and broad rather than err, just angry all the time. Errr. Errrr.


MADDOW: There`s a lot that hasn`t gone right with the Jeb Bush
campaign. It feels ill-fated or star crossed or mistimed or something,
sort of has even from the beginning. But for all that is wrong with the
campaign the weird little noises thing he does, it does make it kind of fun
to cover him. And he is still doing it. He is still even now unveiling
new unexpected noises.


REPORTER: Speaking of which, you know, the whispering campaign has
already started, Bush is falling is part --

BUSH: Blah, blah, blah, blah.


MADDOW: It was Jeb Bush speaking on Saturday in South Carolina, and
then he tried it again with a slightly different pronunciation.


REPORTER: You know what they`re saying out there.

BUSH: Blah, blah, blah.


MADDOW: Blah, blah.

Whatever you think about whether or not Jeb Bush has any shot of
being the next president of the United States or whether that would be a
good thing or a bad thing, there is one thing he has proven he can do
better than anybody else who was even trying for the job.


BUSH: Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.


Err, errr.

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah.


MADDOW: If Jeb Bush does drop out of the race, admit, it you will
miss the unexpected noises.

I mean, the other campaigns offer a lot of suspense and sometimes
some weirdness, but nobody else leaves you wondering if at some point
they`re going to go boo-da-boo-da-boo in the middle of their sentences and
blah, blah, blah.

That`s part of what it`s meant to cover Jeb Bush. This was Texas
over this past weekend. The strongest hurricane ever recorded in the known
history of hurricanes smacked into the Pacific coast of Mexico this
weekend. And the strength of that hurricane was quickly dissipated by the
inland mountains in Mexico. But it was a really strong storm, and a big

And the remnants of Hurricane Patricia ended up moving north and just
lashing Texas with huge amounts of rain overt course of this weekend. It
led to dangerous flooding in some places. At one point, it derailed a
train on Saturday.

And this weekend, as Jeb Bush kept up his busy schedule of campaign
appearance, that was where we got the blah, blah, blah surprise in South
Carolina, as Jeb Bush kept campaigning this weekend, his family met
together in Texas. They convened what they called a family celebration for
Bush campaign donors in Houston.

It was supposed to happen at the lovely Houston home of former
President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, the former first lady.
And, of course, that would have been really nice and really nostalgic for
everybody but there was all that darn rain, that huge storm that flooded
huge parts of Texas and that forced the whole gathering inside. They ended
up having to share space at a downtown Hilton with a local quilting

Even if it had not rained so hard, though, even if they had not had
to move the whole thing to that dreary hotel ballroom, it seems like
calling it a celebration was really never going to be enough to get Bush
donors this past weekend into a celebratory mood. "The Washington Post" on
Friday ran a bunch of blind quotes from Bush donors that were just
absolutely devastating.

This is how the post put it. Quote, "One Bush fund-raiser who
requested anonymity to speak freely said, it feels very much like a death
spiral, and it breaks my heart. I don`t know anyone who wants to reinvest
now." And by reinvest, that means people who have previously donated to
Jeb Bush don`t want to donate to him again.

Then the donor says this, quote, "I wouldn`t be shocked in 60 days
from now if he wasn`t even in the race."

And again, this isn`t a critic. This is an anonymous observer. This
is a Jeb Bush fund-raiser, somebody who is giving money to the campaign and
trying to get other people to give money to the campaign as well.

So, heading into that donors event this weekend, the Jeb Bush
campaign had just given everybody some bad news. The campaign had
announced a 40 percent reduction in the Jeb Bush campaign payroll. That
includes across-the-board pay cuts for staffing, cutting his headquarter
staff and cutting his spending on travel and on consultants and that
dramatic payroll cut was actually the second one that the Bush campaign has
gone through. So, it`s probably the second pay cut for a lot of Bush
campaign staff and that, of course, has to be profoundly demoralizing for
the Bush campaign staff.

I think in a sort of parallel universe in which things were going
better for Jeb Bush, even headlines like that about those drastic cuts
inside the Bush campaign operation, they could have been spun as something
positive about how thrifty Jeb Bush was being and how lean and mean his
operation was and the agility with which he could manage the hard-won money
that his donors were entrusting to his campaign. But none of that

Instead, the payroll cuts led to questions like -- and headlines like
these: "Can Jeb stop the implosion?" "Jeb Bush expresses despair." In, this rather devastating one in the foreground here, "Bush
family gathers in Texas to rescue Jeb."

It also led to some unkind criticism on the campaign trail as to why
exactly governor Bush was going out of the way to do this event with his
brother and his dad and his mom at this particularly difficult point in his


guy, here`s a guy wants to run our country, and he can`t even run his own
campaign. No, think of it.

And you know what? He`s cutting back big. He`s cutting back 40

So, Bush has no money. He`s cutting. He`s meeting today with mommy
and daddy. And they`re working on their campaign. They`re working.


MADDOW: With 40 percent payroll cut for the whole campaign, with all
of the terrible press, with even their donors telling the press they think
the campaign is over and he`ll be out in 60 days, with that kind of thing
ringing in their ears, yes, the Bush family convened their donors this
weekend, in the middle of that epic storm, for what was either going to be
the start of Jeb Bush for President 2.0, some optimistic relaunch and a
restart and a rethinking of his campaign. It was either going to be that
or it was basically going to be a good-bye party. It was going to be the
beginning of the end.

And that is how they started this week. That was this past weekend.
That was how this week started for what was supposed to be the prohibitive
front-running presidential campaign of 2016. He was supposed to be the
inevitable nominee. That`s how this week started for him.

And then last night happened. Did you watch last night`s debate?
It`s OK if you didn`t. There`s going to be a lot of these things.

This was not the most entertaining one. It was not the most
riveting. But I think a case can be made this was the most politically
important one yet. And even though there was one sharp exchange between
Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush and there was a weird thing about fantasy football
where Jeb Bush gave a sort of human answer and then Chris Christie screamed
about it in a very different tone and people thought that didn`t look for
Jeb -- didn`t look good for Jeb compared to Chris Christie, I have to say I
think I might differ from the rest of the commentariat in believing neither
of those individual exchanges was deadly.

I mean, neither one of them was good but neither one of them was
instant death. Neither one of them was oops, right? Neither one in
isolation explains how politically important last night`s debate was.

The reason last night`s debate was I think the most important moment
in the political campaign yet is because of the uniformity, the ideological
heterogeneity, the breadth and the ubiquity of the consensus that Jeb Bush
had been on life support heading into this debate and last night, that
debate pulled the plug on his life support machine and he`s now politically

I don`t want to just say that as a shot across the bow. I want you
to bear with me now because I want to show you what I mean. I want to show
you this instead of just saying it. I want to show you what this looks
like today in quantity because the quantity matters.

Nothing in politics, particularly in partisan politics, is ever this
agreed to. Nothing is ever this unanimous. But this is unanimous.

Just look, "Time" magazine. How Jeb Bush lost debate., "Yeah, Jeb Bush is probably toast." "The Boston
Globe", "The beginning of the end for Jeb."

Conservative blog RedState, "Dear Jeb Bush, it`s time to take your
campaign out back and shoot it." The syndicated column by the founder of
RedState, "Jeb Bush is not the man for this presidential season.", "Jeb Bush`s stunning televised implosion." BuzzFeed, "Jeb Bush
continues death spiral at GOP debate." "The Chicago Tribune, "GOP debate
helps Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio but leaves Jeb Bush in trouble."

"The Weekly Standard." "Jeb`s dead." "The National Review," "Jeb
finds himself on the ropes." "The Daily Caller," "It`s time for Jeb Bush
to call it quits." "New York Magazine", "The instant and widely
acknowledged death of Bush`s hopes.", "Jeb died on that stage."

"The New Republic," "This might have been Jeb`s Waterloo, the moment
when he lost everything once and for all." Bloomberg News, "Bush`s big
bomb." "It was even worse than it looked, a fundamental test and Bush
failed it badly."

That`s left, right and center. That`s everything.

I mean, in partisan politics when it comes to the subjective
perception of a candidate`s success or failure, it`s always a hung jury,
right? I mean, there`s always somebody who dissents or sees it
differently. You never get across the spectrum universal agreement. But
that is the rare bird that we have discovered today.

And the one thing that didn`t change between yesterday and today, of
course, is that Jeb Bush`s super PAC is still sitting on $100 million. But
money can`t buy you love and it can`t make you a better candidate and it
can`t probably reverse universal public and political opinion.

So, now, there`s this interesting question. Whatever else you think
about how well Jeb Bush has been campaigning and how much the political
press may or may not be just a lot of blah, blah, blah, blah, as the
governor would say, now there is this very interesting question to ask
about what`s going on here, which is this -- how much does the perception
that he is politically dead affect the reality of whether or not he really
is? Is that an insurmountable perception?

Joining us now is Marc Caputo, senior writer for "Politico", who
before that was a long-time "Miami Herald" political writer.

Mr. Caputo, it`s really nice to have you here. Thanks for being

MARC CAPUTO, POLITICO SENIOR WRITER: Thanks. I thought my dad is
here. He`s Mr. Caputo. Please --

MADDOW: Oh, fair enough. You can call me anything you want. I
answer to hey you on a regular occasion.

Let me ask you that question I guess broadly and also specifically
about Jeb Bush. Is perception reality for a candidate like this? Is the
perception he`s dying as good as him being dead?

CAPUTO: Well, he`s certainly getting there. It`s like that scene in
Monty Python`s "holy grail" where the old man says "not dead yet" and
somebody finally clubs him and kills him. I think Jeb Bush is -- he`s
heading in that territory.

There is one group of people who think Jeb Bush still has a lot of
life in him and that`s the few people in the Jeb Bush campaign who are
pretty well-paid to push that message. But otherwise, you`re generally
finding across the board, again, this really rare uniform opinion whether
it`s left, right, or center that he did himself no favors.

And there`s an added bit of drama here that`s just really difficult
for the news media to pass up, which is the fact that he basically handed
the sword to kill himself to his former protege Marco Rubio by deciding to
engage him on an issue that seemed to have relatively little legs or few
legs and then Rubio rope-a-dopes and kind of whacked him in the jaw with it
and after it was done, Bush had very little to say. In the entire debate,
he had less to say in that debate than anyone else in the debate.

MADDOW: It is incredible that time of possession statistic that he
ended up last. I mean, some counts have Rand Paul less than him, but most
of them have Jeb Bush with the least speaking time of all.

CAPUTO: He got cold-cocked. I mean, he got hit kind of so hard he
went back into his corner and then he kind of never came out.

MADDOW: It is a weird strategic decision too, if you think about
what`s been going on with the rest of the field. I mean, there is a very
clear top tier of candidates, right, which is Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
They`ve done great and they don`t attack each other.

I don`t know why in that dynamic you would think as a second-tier
candidate what I`d really try to do is try to knock out the other guy next
to me in the second tier. It seems like a rookie miscalculation.

CAPUTO: Well, yes. And it`s so odd that we start to default to the
idea that this is personal. A lot of people who surround Jeb Bush were
Marco Rubio supporters. And Marco Rubio came up in that milieu in the
Republican Party.

Some of these people backed Charlie Crist in 2010 and said that Marco
Rubio had absolutely no prayer in that Senate race, and what he did is he
proved them wrong. In fact, he chased Charlie Crist out of the Republican
Party and then beat him in the general election.

And then this go-around a lot of those same people, well, almost all
of them are in Jeb Bush world. And they`re saying oh, Jeb is different
than Charlie. And it`s true, Jeb Bush is a different person, different
politician than Charlie Crist. He is a good and solid Republican and his
record shows that.

But the reality is Jeb Bush`s people and Jeb Bush`s messaging in
macro looks exactly like the same sort of denial campaign that Charlie
Crist was waging. And Marco Rubio tap-danced around Charlie Crist. And
again, last night, he did it to Jeb Bush. He basically said to Jeb, we all
know why you`re doing this, you`re desperate.

MADDOW: That`s exactly right.

CAPUTO: He was at least nicer than that because Rubio still wants to
come across as the hopeful positive hopey changey guy and he was effective
at doing that. And when Rubio finished one of his salvos, the crowd
applauded. And there`s that added optical or audio element to the fact
Rubio scored, which is the support of the crowd. And Jeb didn`t have it,
and Marco did. You`re also seeing that now in the polling as well.

MADDOW: It does feel wills nobody rooting for him who`s not paid to
be rooting for him at least in public which can hurt.

Marc Caputo, political writer for "Politico", long-time political
reporter, it`s great to have you here tonight. Thanks for being with us.

CAPUTO: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

MADDOW: I will say one of the interesting things that happened
tonight is that a Jeb Bush strategy book got leaked tonight. "U.S. News &
World Report" tonight published a more than 100-page PowerPoint
presentation that the Jeb Bush folks apparently showed to their donors and
their supporters this weekend at that event in Houston.

It`s hard to believe that that leak was accidental since that was 100
and-some-odd pages of trying to convince the people in that room and now
everybody who reads the Internet that Jeb Bush really can do it.

Convenient leaks. That part of the campaign.

I`ll be right back.


MADDOW: The first Republican debate broke all audience records, 24
million people watched the first debate. Second Republican debate did
almost the same number, 23 million people watched.

Last night`s third Republican debate didn`t do as big a number.
Still a giant broadcast, but expectations were so high after the first two
debates, 24 and 23 million people, that it weirdly seems like news that
last night`s debate had only 14 million people tuning in. I mean,
everybody thought the Republican debates would be blockbuster all this year
for obvious reasons and the Democratic debates would be a comparative
snooze-fest. But last night`s Republican debate actually had a smaller
audience than the Democratic debate did.

And perhaps more importantly, the folks at bad lip reading have
finally finished their own bad lip reading version of that first Democratic
debate in all its absurd glory. Let me just counsel you, friends. Don`t
be offended by this. Just don`t. Just suspend all offense and let this
wash over you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anderson, I`m all disappointed. I spent $5 on a
pinata and I wanted to have that bull and then they bring me this weird
firebird and set it up there. I said, hey, you better give me if or I`ll
shove somebody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, everyone, do you know him?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy, I`m sure you`ll make a friend someday. A
friend that doesn`t treat you like human waste.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy. Shush, jimmy. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On to the next question. Should I get a scooter?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, the white boy thinks it`s scooter time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ride`s going to be scary, you know, Anderson,
because it`s spring and I don`t know where you`re going to be riding.
Mainly to the cleaners.




MADDOW: Bad lip reading. I love you so much.

Still ahead tonight, we have more bad lip reading to come. And some
news now about how the whole debate process might be about to blow up on
the Republican side.

Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman makes dynamite beans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do. Pinto. Pinto. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.



MADDOW: At last night`s Republican debate, in his very first answer,
the first time he had a chance to speak, Senator Rand Paul made a solemn


the Congress the Washington establishment from both parties puts forward a
bill that will explode the deficit. It allows President Obama to borrow
unlimited amounts of money.

I will stand firm. I will spend every ounce of energy to stop it. I
will begin tomorrow to filibuster it. And I ask everyone in America to
call Congress tomorrow and say enough`s enough, no more debt.


MADDOW: Wow. I will spend every ounce of energy to stop this budget
deal starting tomorrow.

Rand Paul pledging he would march back to Washington and filibuster
this budget deal.

One problem: he was actually already too late to filibuster the
budget deal. It was already on its way toward a vote in the Senate. That
vote scheduled to begin about 1:00 in the morning tonight, no matter what
Rand Paul did.

But hey, OK. So, he can`t filibuster the budget deal. But, of
course, he`s running for president. So that doesn`t mean anything was
going to stop him from fake filibustering the deal.

Under the rules, he could in fact speak for hours and hours and hours
even though it wouldn`t be a real filibuster. He could take up all the
time leading up to that 1:00 a.m. vote by refusing to yield the floor. And
so, this afternoon just before 3:00, we got word that Senator Paul would
arise to begin his marathon fake filibuster.


PAUL: We`re in the middle of a filibuster. This filibuster will go
on till about 1:00 in the morning and then we will find out who the true
conservatives in this town are.


MADDOW: Whoo. Let her rip. Rand Paul, not going to take the vote
until 1:00 a.m., we`re in the middle of a fake filibuster, do your thing.
Rand Paul started round 3:00 and his filibuster went for just under 19
minutes it turns out. That was it. 18 minutes and-some-odd seconds. We
don`t know really what happened there. But he had until 1:00 a.m., he took
19 minutes. Not much of a fake filibuster.

Still, though, 19 minutes is more than three times the amount of
talking time he got at last night`s debate. Rand Paul did not manage to
have any memorable moments last night at all in the few minutes that he
got, but despite that I think admittedly lackluster performance and his
abandoned less than half an hour non-filibuster today, there is some real
drama to Rand Paul`s candidacy right now that other candidates really don`t

Marco Rubio may be having trouble getting around to voting as
senator. Jeb Bush tried to hit him last night. His home state paper that
endorsed him hit him for that as well. Today, Harry Reid joined on that
pile-on and said Marco Rubio should quit the Senate because he hates being
senator so much he never votes.

Marco`s Rubio`s got a little trouble being a senator and a
presidential candidate at the same time. Rand Paul is in a whole different
vote, though. Marco Rubio isn`t running for re-election to the Senate.
So, it`s sort of OK to him if you think he`s a terrible senator. He`s not
running to be re-elected to the Senate at the same time he`s running for
president. Rand Paul is.

And that has resulted in there being a norm of pressure on him that
nobody else has to cope with. The fact that him continuing his long shot
presidential campaign is potentially putting in jeopardy something that he
has that the Republican Party desperately wants to keep.

And now, that pressure is getting more intense because in Rand Paul`s
home state, in Kentucky, voters in Kentucky are going to the polls on
Tuesday. They vote next week. They`re having an off-year election this
year in 2015 and the new polls just out in Kentucky make it look like
Democrats could do great in those elections next week.

It looks like the Democratic candidate is on track to win the
governor`s race in Kentucky and importantly there`s one other down-ticket
race, which is the auditor`s race, which is really relevant to Rand Paul.

The reason that down-ticket race is important is basically everyone
thinks this guy, the state auditor, Adam Edelen, is the Democrat who is
likely to beat Rand Paul for his Senate seat next November if he chooses to
challenge rand fall for that Senate seat. Adam Edelen is up for reelection
as auditor this Tuesday. The Rand Paul political machine has been trying
to defeat him by backing his Republican opponent.

But it looks like Adam Edelen is not going to get knocked out. I
mean, the polls could be wrong, anything could happen. But he`s up eight
points just five days before Election Day.

So, Rand Paul. Rand Paul has been under pressure for weeks from the
Republican Party in his home state and nationwide to give up his long shot
White House bid so he can focus on trying to keep his Senate seat. I mean,
if the Democrats do sweep the statewide races in Kentucky on Tuesday, which
seems possible, expect that pressure on Rand Paul to quit the presidential
race to increase exponentially.

I mean, I know the presidential race is much more of an area of
focus, but Republicans really do face the very real prospect of losing the
United States Senate to the Democrats next year. They cannot afford to
lose Rand Paul`s seat. And that is creating some legitimate drama around
what is otherwise a totally flat-lined presidential campaign from Senator


MADDOW: (AUDIO GAP) never go wrong attacking the media. Last night
was a tent revival celebrating and exuberantly practicing that particular


TRUMP: It`s not a very nicely asked question the way you say that.

have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people
don`t trust the media.


This is not a cage match.

litany of discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents and
I`m not going to waste 60 seconds detailing them all.

CRUZ: And, Carl, I`m not finished yet. The contrast with the
Democratic debate where every fawning question from the media was which of
you is more handsome and wise.

RUBIO: Democrats have the ultimate super PAC, it`s called the
mainstream media. It`s actually evidence of the bias that exists in the
American media today.

PAUL: What are the rules on who gets to follow up? How do we decide
who gets to follow up? I`ve seen plenty of other people follow up.

about fantasy football?


Enough on fantasy football. Let people play. Who cares?

RUBIO: So this is another example of the double standard that exists
in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.

TRUMP: Such a nasty -- such a nasty question.

CHRISTIE: John? Do you want me to answer or you want to answer?
Because I`ve got to tell you the truth: even in New Jersey what you`re
doing is called rude.

MODERATOR: Does that not speak to your vetting process or judgment
in any way?

that I don`t know --


CARSON: See? They know.


MADDOW: You yell at the media and the moderators for long enough,
eventually the audience learns to follow along with that.

Stay with us. More ahead.


MADDOW: Behold the bad lip reading version of the Democratic
candidates` debate. This is not the debate from last night. This is the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor O`Malley, during birth how do babies
exit the mother`s body?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait. So the babies come out somehow, but I`ve
just got to think how. It`s a simple question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do babies come out of the mommies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that most come, I would say that there
was a way that they move from the interior to the -- up into the uvula --
can I help you? I don`t like how she stares. It`s super creepy. And I
think I can say where babies came from without you blinking at me. I`m
serious. You need to stop. OK? Have fun in staring class.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a foam finger. You ready?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ah. Secretary Clinton just activated a noun
challenge. Senator Sanders, you have 13 seconds to list ten nouns.
Starting now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Grizzly. Cute squirrel. Bugs. Coffin.
Pig. Smoothie. Ghost. Heavy kid. Come on, Bernie, think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh. Time`s up for Colonel Sanders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, look, I see a dead person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, really? Where?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got your eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You shouldn`t have said that. Golly jeepers.
There`s no doubt about it. I`d like to start with a vacant face. Hmm,
hmm, hmm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anderson, I`ve got more. Bench, match,
performer, poll me. Gremlin, chocolate, cinnamon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie, that game`s over. Remember?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just did this.



MADDOW: I`ll punch ya.

I love it too much and I know you know I love it too much. But just
one more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anderson, I need to say my poem. I went
trespassing in the forest to see if it jumps. The monkey peeped the rhino
and I had to bounce. Old hot dogs are juicy enough to drink. I love these
beans. Destroy the mysteries and then go fight Chewbacca.



MADDOW: Go fight Chewbacca.

The triumph of bad lip reading. America, we wouldn`t be the same
without them. National treasure.

That Democratic debate, I should tell you, actually got a larger
audience than the Republican debate last night. Which ought to be
politically impossible this year given the drama on the Republican side
compared to the calm and friendly little group on the Democratic side. But
last night`s Republican debate actually did have a smaller audience than
the Dems.

And something to keep an eye on for the next Republican debate.
Right now under the somewhat blurry standards that the Fox Business Channel
has announced for how to qualify for that next debate on November 10th,
right now, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is not slated to be allowed
on stage. Right now, under their current polling rules as best as we can
discern them, he is slated to be at the kids` table. John Kasich, I should
say, is also right on the line of not making it. But Chris Christie
doesn`t make it.

That said, maybe that`s all going to change. Because after a whole
night of all the Republican candidates complaining about the media and
yelling at the moderators from CNBC, today, the Republicans apparently
started considering blowing up their whole debate process while it is
already in progress.


CARSON: Debates are supposed to be established to help the people
get to know the candidates and get to know what`s behind them and what
their thinking process is, what their philosophy is. And what it`s turned
into is a gotcha.

That`s silly. And that`s not really helpful for anybody. I`ve asked
my staff to reach out to the other campaigns, to talk about a change in

REPORTER: Have you reached out specifically to Donald Trump or to
his campaign about this, and what changes specifically are you asking for
going forward?

CARSON: Well, we`ll be reaching out to all the campaigns, everybody
that was on that stage. And specific things we`re looking for are first of
all, moderators who are interested in actually getting the facts and not in
gotcha questions.

And we`re looking for an opportunity to actually be able to explain
what your program is, what your philosophy for leadership is. And then be
questioned about it.

REPORTER: So longer answers?

CARSON: Yes. Longer statements and answers to questions.

REPORTER: Dr. Carson, are you trying to tell us that you may not
participate in future debates if the formats are not changed, or is this
something that you`d like to have a conversation about, but you`ll
participate even if the format remains largely as it already has been?

CARSON: Well, we will always have the conversation first. I don`t
see any reason whatever right now to be posturing.


MADDOW: Yes, certainly none of this berating the media and the
moderators could be posturing.

But tonight, just in the past few minutes is reporting,
this has just happened since we`ve been on the air, that the revolt is well
and truly under way. reporting tonight in the 9:00 hour that
Republican presidential campaigns are planning to gather in D.C. on Sunday
night to plot how to alter their party`s debate process. They have not
invited to their meeting anybody from the Republican Party.

Today, many of the campaigns told "Politico" that the RNC has failed
to take their concerns about debates into account, they`ve decided it`s
time to discuss among themselves how the next debate should be structured,
they are no longer going to leave it up to the RNC.

It`s apparently being spearheaded by members of the campaigns of
Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham, piping in from
the kids` table, but they apparently have commitments to attend from not
only those campaigns but the campaigns of Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Mike
Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina and say they`re reaching out to
the evident rest of them too. If you guys need Jim Gilmore`s number I`ve

Joining us is Nicolle Wallace, former adviser to the McCain-Palin
campaign. She also once worked for Jeb Bush.

Nicolle, it`s good to have you here.

really good you showed Hillary Clinton saying pinto beans. Because it got
me over the way you started the show with Jeb Bush.

MADDOW: Pinto, pinto.

WALLACE: Let me be the one to say tonight, and I don`t want to spend
any more time on this, but there`s a long way to go. Anything could

MADDOW: So unless people stop giving you money --

WALLACE: But you asked the right question.


WALLACE: So, we`ll see. And I know you`ll report it out and not
just declare it.

MADDOW: I think it`s an interesting question. The unanimity of the
opinion that he`s dead in the water is -- it sort of creates its own

WALLACE: And what I think is unanimous is he had a bad night. I
think it`s way too early to -- I mean, the Republican race, two front-
runners are Ben Carson and Donald Trump. It really anything can still

MADDOW: He didn`t have a terrible night on the debate stage I think.
I know I defer from other pundits. People thought he totally tanked. I
don`t think any of his bad moments were like a "you`re no Jack Kennedy".

WALLACE: They weren`t fatal from a performance stand point, but they
were fatal in terms of the momentum of his campaign.

MADDOW: That`s right.

WALLACE: He needed a turnaround moment, and he didn`t -- he needed
to make a moment and he didn`t make a moment.

But I worked for him. He`s a guy, he has to get over the part that
the only part of his job he likes is the nerdy wonky policymaking part. He
has to accept that the only way you get to make policy that affects the
country and the world is by sort of stepping up the performance --

MADDOW: Maybe he`d be a better policy adviser than president.

WALLACE: Well, people are going to rule on this. It won`t be
decided by any quacking people on television. He`s got to get in front of
others and improve the performance.

MADDOW: In front of donors too.

WALLACE: Of course.

MADDOW: Let me ask you about this news tonight not from the RNC but
from the campaign --

WALLACE: I keep thinking pinto beans.

MADDOW: Pinto.

Fight Chewbacca.

The campaigns think that the debates are such a disaster that they
need to take over, box out the RNC, tell the RNC we don`t care about your
rules, your sponsored debates, all this stuff, it doesn`t matter if none of
us go along with it, we`re going to stop -- are things so bad in the debate
process that this should be happening?

WALLACE: Here`s my take. The debate was a great moment for the
Republican field because they stood united against --

MADDOW: The terrible media.

WALLACE: Not the terrible -- the moderators stunk. And I know
they`re your colleagues, you might not be able to say, that but that was a
terribly moderated debate.

And I would say you have three debates on the Democratic and
Republican sides were fair. There were good moments, there were bad
moments. But this --

MADDOW: It wasn`t unfair. It was aggressive to the point it made
people uncomfortable.

WALLACE: It was not perceived by any Republican as being a true
fact-finding operation.

MADDOW: Did it seem less wing? I mean, I just thought they didn`t
like it.

WALLACE: The moment of the night came from Ted Cruz who when he
stood up and indicted the litany of questions from all moderators --

MADDOW: OK. Yes. Absolutely. Because attack the media always
works. But wait, wait, wait. What question did he --


MADDOW: No, no.

He said -- he was asked a question about his opinion on the debt
ceiling and what he thought should happen about that in Washington and he
responded by saying, how dare you not ask those questions about the issues?

WALLACE: My only point --

MADDOW: We did just ask you a question about an issue and instead
you`re attacking us. That was just theater.

WALLACE: But it had been building. If you`d watched the debate --

MADDOW: It had been building since the `70s. Come on.

WALLACE: There`s three legs of the Republican rage machine, right?
We`re mad, right?

MADDOW: Right.

WALLACE: And Democrats have some rage issues on their end. But one
leg is feeling that the media is totally stacked against them. One leg is
feeling that the Republican establishment, pundits like myself, we live in
the Acela corridor and we`re clueless about tapping into the country. The
third leg is feeling like government`s too big and Republicans have a

But Republicans animated that one leg, that feeling, that indictment
of the media for being stacked and that unites Republicans and --

MADDOW: It`s always a great debate moment every time they do it.
The question, though, if that`s the animating force right now and they
think they can turn those applause lines into a better idea for the debate,
what are they going to be come up with? They`re all going to be moderate
bid Rush Limbaugh or Hugh Hewitt?

WALLACE: The FOX News debate where --


MADDOW: How were the FOX News moderators treated?

WALLACE: They were bashed. So that`s the whole solution.

MADDOW: Right.

WALLACE: I think if there are specific things they want to change, I
think Lindsey Graham obviously wants to make it out of that -- and he`s a
great debater. Maybe he does -- you know, if they want to go and unite and
try to change the rules of some of the debates, that`s fine. But I would
contend the debates as they are not hurting the field.

MADDOW: I agree.

WALLACE: In some strange ways they`re bring them together.

MADDOW: I agree. That`s why I think they`re going overthrow the RNC
in the four days --

WALLACE: You`ve got a debate. Maybe you`re part the solution.
Congratulations on your debate.

MADDOW: Thank you very much.

And, hey, Republican candidates. If you would like a moderator you
could really beat up on, come on.

Nicolle Wallace, MSNBC political analyst, former senior adviser to
the McCain-Palin campaign -- you have all these titles. Thank you for be
being here as the Republican who I must like fighting with.

WALLACE: As big of a fan of the lip-sync than you, though. I could
watch that all night. Pinto beans. Please play it one more time.

MADDOW: Fight Chewbacca. We`ll be right back.

WALLACE: Pinto beans, my favorite. Love that.


MADDOW: Every year on Halloween, my partner Susan gets the whole
stuff, little white chocolate ghosts and they`re really delicious and
everybody looks forward to it and I`ll wrap them in little package that
says boo on it.

I saved one for Nicolle Wallace because she was going to be here
today and then I ate it.

Nicolle, I`m terribly sorry.


MADDOW: Here`s my replacement present to you. Watch.

WALLACE: Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman makes dynamite beans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do. Pinto. Pinto. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.


MADDOW: I have nothing better to give you. That`s it. There you
have it.

WALLACE: Better that I`m going to see Pinto election day.

MADDOW: Pinto Halloween.

WALLACE: I`m going to make that my ring phone or something.


WALLACE: Bo, I love it. Thank you, pinto beans. We`ll always have
pinto beans.


MADDOW: Here`s a low profile thing to keep an eye on in the news
that may become a very high profile thing in the news. Today, the Defense
Department announced that they have just transferred another prisoner out
of Guantanamo. They sent him back to his home country of Mauritania.

This was a guy who`s been held at Guantanamo for 13 days. Never
charged with a crime. He was actually cleared for release six years ago.
Today, he was transferred him out and home.

With this transfer and the transfer of another prisoner to Morocco
last month, the population at Guantanamo is now down to 113. It`s growing
smaller by the month. President Obama continues to insist he will have
that prison empty by the time he leaves office, by hook or by crook.

Guantanamo as an issue has not yet really popped either in
congressional politics or on the presidential trail. But if these
transfers continue a pace, expect that to change.

We`ll be right back.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there something you don`t see every day.


MADDOW: It wasn`t the marshmallow man reeking havoc across Maryland
and Pennsylvania yesterday. But it was close. It was this military
length, this giant radar equipped air defense system broken loose from its
mooring at the Aberdeen proving ground outside Baltimore and then it
floated away off to Pennsylvania, dragging a cable that was more than a
mile long and smacking that cable into power lines, knocking out power for
30,000 people.

It`s interesting. A local tea party group in Maryland had been
sounding the alarm 4 months about that limp, that giant military spying on
people. Just this week, they`ve given a public talk about that military
blimp being a zombie program. And then day after they gave that talk, look
what happened to you can`t say nobody warned you, America.

But now, on date two of the zombie blimp apocalypse, the story has
gotten more interesting than it was before, if that`s even possible. In
part, it`s more interesting because we still have no idea how or why this

We reached out to the North American Aerospace Command, aka NORAD,
this afternoon, which is now investigating how the blimp got loose in the
first place. NORAD told us there was no indication that something like
this might be about to happen. They said to us that this was an anomaly --

They told us the tether rope off somehow from the mooring station.
It wasn`t the morning itself that failed. The mooring is apparently fine.
But the tether came off it or broke somehow.

Officials say there is no sign of any foul play. The blimp appears
to just have gone rogue somehow, someway. They don`t understand. Either
the tether snapped or it became untethered somehow. We don`t know.

And the ordeal is not over yet. Because even though it came down in
Pennsylvania after that two-state, slow-speed chase yesterday trailed by F-
16 fighter jets come even though it came down in Pennsylvania, it didn`t
come all the way down.

And so, today, continuing the theme of high tech equipment having
very low-tech problems, this morning, the National Guard decided the best
way to bring the blimp all the way down, to deflate it the rest of the way,
to get the last bits of helium out of it so it would fall to the ground
completely, they decided shoot it with guns. They fired 100 shots at this
$235 million limp, which is full of very sensitive and very important
government surveillance/radar stuff.

Then, after shooting it to death, they rolled away part of it. They
rolled away detail and say they will use a helicopter to try to pull the
rest of it out of the blimp and its parts and trail and cable and stuff out
of the trees where it remains stuck today after free-floating those
hundreds of miles.

For the record, I once wrote a book called "Drift: The Unmooring of
American Military Power." I did not mean it literally.

But now, I`m not so sure who has the better power of accidental
prediction. The Harford County, Maryland Tea Party, this week or me three
years ago? But I`m willing to bet that this is not what either of us had
in mind.

That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow.



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