The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/23/13

Guests:
Chris Hayes
Transcript:


RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: And thanks to you at home for sticking with us
this hour. Happy Friday.

Late last night in Phoenix, Arizona, there was a protest – a long-
planned protest that turned into something else, something unexpected. The
plan was that people were going to chain themselves to a fence or to the
gates on a fence. And that went OK, it went as planned.

They chained themselves to this fence in protest. Four people ended
up getting arrested. There were lots of people on site with signs and
banners supporting people doing this civil disobedience, particularly
supporting the people who got arrested.

So, that happened yesterday in Phoenix. It went as planned, a
successful protest.

But then something else happened. A bus showed up. And a bus started
to pull out of that facility that they had chained themselves to the gates
of. And it was a bus that was loaded up with immigrants, who were being
forcibly deported out of the country.

The protest at the fence, at the gates where the people had chained
themselves to the fence there, that had been a protest for immigration
reform. The protesters were saying, stop splitting up our families, stop
breaking parents and children and brothers and sisters and husbands and
wives apart from each other, when their only crime is wanting to live here
peacefully, together.

One-point-seven million people have been deported under President
Obama alone. These protesters say they want a moratorium on the
deportations, at least for now, while Congress is considering the
immigration reform bill that has already passed the U.S. Senate.

Now, there was a change in tactics for this particular protest
yesterday in Phoenix. You`ve seen protests by the DREAMers, right? Often
wearing caps and gowns. These are young people, people who were brought
here, as kids, by their parents, many of whom have never known any other
country besides this one, but they do not have a way to become legal
residents or citizens here.

Those are the DREAMers, named after the DREAM Act, which was designed
to help them, and that has been blocked in Congress, but which President
Obama found a way to implement in part through executive action.

At this protest in Phoenix yesterday, by a group called United We
Dream, the change in tactics here is that it was not just DREAM Act kids.
They say for the first time, it was also those kids` moms, who came with
them, at great risk to themselves, of course, for the protest at the fence
of this immigration detention facility in Phoenix. Not just the DREAM Act
kids, but their parents.

And when that protest was over and they were still on site and this
bus unexpectedly appeared, they knew that it was a bus full of people who
were being deported. They recognized that, even though they didn`t expect
to see it.

And they apparently decided, spur of the moment, these young people
and their moms, they just decided on the spot that they would put
themselves down in front of it. This had not been the original plan, but
they put themselves down in front of that bus to stop that mass deportation
as a direct action.

You know the Web site, BuzzFeed, which is sort of famous/infamous for
their lists and their photo-heavy slide show-style presentation? Sometimes
the BuzzFeed visual presentation of information is ridiculous. But
sometimes, for stories like this one, it is exactly right.

Look, this is how they set it up. “Immigration activists from the
Arizona DREAM Act Coalition were holding a vigil when a bus filled with
immigrants tried to leave the facility.” “The DREAMers, undocumented
youth, brought to the country as children, and their mothers, ran toward
the bus. It was weird, all of the families and moms, everybody started
running to get in front of the bus, said DREAMer, Erika Andiola, who was at
the vigil.” That`s what she told BuzzFeed.

They surrounded it if they didn`t let it go anywhere. They got on
their knees to pray, the lights from the bus on their faces. There were
people inside the bus, moms got on their knees and started praying. An
immigrant woman inside prayed as she cried. A man inside the bus raised
his arms to show his chains.

Andiola, whose mom was nearly deported earlier this year, she could
not believe what she was seeing. “Seeing us chanting, they started raising
their arms to show us their chains. My mom told me they chained her too,
but I did not think they were such big chains.”

The standoff lasted for hours. They were supposed to leave at 9:00
p.m., but stayed hours longer. Two DREAMers were arrested, but released.
Eventually, the bus slowly retreated back into the facility.

So, in more than just a symbolic way, and in at least a temporarily
successful way, they won. This worked. This intense, unplanned,
prayerful, tearful protest with the young people and the moms and the
people on the bus realizing what was happening, that these people outside
the bus were there for them. The bus turning around at the end of this
hours-long praying impasse, it just could not be more dramatic.

And the pictures and the video end up on BuzzFeed and all these other
places online, that aren`t necessarily where you would go to get news about
this policy issue, because the pictures and the video of what happened here
is just so compelling as human drama, as an emotional appeal. Even if you
had never cared about it be, or never thought about it – even, before you
had reason to see this guy and the moms and what happened last night in
Phoenix.

This protest, these protests, they are very compelling. This protest
movement around the this issue consistently organizes in ways that are just
very emotionally intense and compelling, to even a wide audience that might
not start off sympathetic. The same group who was there in Phoenix last
night, United We Dream, they are also the ones who organized the protest
where the DREAM kids met their parents through the border fence.

The kids could be here in this country illegally, but their parents
could not. U.S. immigration policy being broken, split up those families,
and so they embraced through the fence at Nogales. Nogales, Mexico, on the
parents` side of the border. Nogales, Arizona, on the kids` side.

It was the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who organized the action
where those other kids who had lived here the whole lives, they went to the
border, openly, on purpose, willing to risk being kicked out forever of the
only country they had known their whole lives in order to make the point
that this is their home, in order to protest.

These affecting, dramatic protests are controversial, even among
people who share the protesters` goals. But as a movement, overall, they
have found a way to put a very effective and unpredictable emotional
element into the way they make their case.

You know those cap and gown kids, though, who presented themselves at
the border, openly, at the risk of being barred entry forever to the U.S.,
even though they`d lived here their whole lives, those kids who put it all
on the line in that protest, they did get to come home. And they may have
broken new legal ground, not just for themselves, but for others because
they took that risk to make their case. And that bus last night in Phoenix
turned around.

Getting ready for the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington,
“The New York Times” Web site today posted that paper`s original coverage,
their coverage in the paper from the day that the march happened back in
1963. And, of course, what`s funny about the coverage, looking back on it
now. Funny/creepy/funny/creepy is how obsessed “The Times” was and how
obsessed all of the mainstream media was. How relevant it felt to point
out over and over again how nice the whole thing was. This emphasis is out
of control.

“It was an orderly Washington rally.” “The leaders of march called on
Congress with courtesy.” “Congress responded cordially.” “It was an
occupying army of marchers on Washington, sure, but it was gentle army.”

Again, let`s stress again in another headline, it was an orderly
march. We can`t stress that enough.

“Politeness is the order of the day.” “Even the traffic control
worked smoothly.” “Disorders were at a minimum.” “Only four arrested,
including a Nazi.”

Oh, see, only the Nazis were getting arrested. That was a fine day
for a walk to the National Mall.

It is sometimes easier to see in history than it is up close while
stuff is happening. But tactics matter in politics, right? Strategy
matters. How you make your case makes a big difference in whether you make
your case effectively.

We took the show to North Carolina yesterday, to try to get an up
close view of the impact of this abrupt rollback of voting rights that is
happening in that state, particularly targeting young people and African-
Americans in North Carolina. And, of course, the political strategy behind
rolling back those people`s access to voting is pretty obvious from any
vantage point. We know why people are trying to take away their voting
rights.

But for me, at least, what I think is not so easy to see from far
away, that became crystal clear when we got up close, was the political
strong and sophistication and the raw political fight that`s in the other
side, the side that maybe it was assumed wouldn`t be able to defend
themselves, politically, if they were gone after. And if that`s what the
other side was thinking, that was a miscalculation.

When you look at the DREAMers, when you look at those brave and
creative protesters, constantly surprising everyone, and you look at these
kids being targeted in North Carolina, and some of these other states, as
if they are soft targets, who don`t have any political capital, and who
won`t put up a fight. Who don`t know what they`ve got and so, they won`t
protect it if you take it away from them.

What`s actually clear up close, they know exactly what they`ve got,
and they are not absolutely ready to fight, they are full of such optimism,
such, almost staggering optimism, that they not only have the fight in
them, they know that, but they know that they will win.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LESLIE NORMAN, STUDENT: Even if it`s just me, myself, Leslie Norman
against the state of North Carolina and the U.S. Supreme Court, like in
1979, we`ve already had this conversation. We`ve already had this
conversation in 1979, the Supreme Court said no. Not no long, drawn-out
nothing, no. N-O. You can`t do that.

And so, for North Carolina to sit there and just – you know, can I
bring out a law book for somebody? You know, you might need to brush up,
because this isn`t – this isn`t legal. What you`re doing is clearly
illegal and unconstitutional.

MADDOW: It`s the local county elections board is going to say, by
definition, if you live on campus, you can`t vote here. That`s not local
residency. I don`t know how you – I don`t know how you strategize to get
around that.

CHELSEY CAMPBELL, STUDENT: We don`t know either. And it`s absolutely
ridiculous as if to say the campus isn`t in Elizabeth City. And it`s so
frustrating to be disenfranchised and marginalized by a community, you
know, this is our home, we`re here the majority of the year.

And we impact this economy economically. We have a huge presence
here. So to say we can`t participate in the economic process is
infuriating, you know? So, that is our huge focus, how do we fight this?
How do we combat this? Like what`s the next step?

MADDOW: There are other colleges in Elizabeth City. There`s the
college of Albemarle, and the Mid-Atlantic Christian. At least at Mid-
Atlantic Christian, they are not having this problem, they are not having
their students challenged –

CAMPBELL: Well, look at it from a historic, look at where we are,
town in the South. And this is an SBCU (ph) that was founded in 1891, when
they didn`t want African-Americans to become educated, you know, a
predominantly black college, just to keep it completely real. That might
be where the tension comes from, from a historical perspective.

MONTRAVIAS KING, ECSU STUDENT/CANDIDATE: This is, you know, this is,
this is serious. I`m out here now, I`m a candidate. I`m running for a
political office, and they tried to stop me.

But actually, it just makes me – it just makes me want it more,
because I really believe in the old saying that anything worth having is
worth fighting for. You know, I and realize that at this point, it`s
really bigger than me. So I`ve got to keep fighting.

MADDOW: I mean, if residency challenges are successful against you,
there`s no reason why the exact same residency challenge wouldn`t be
successful against every on-campus student at every college in North
Carolina.

If you lose this case, it`s going to be a big deal. No pressure.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: It really is. Yes.

MADDOW: Do you think you`re going to – any chance you`re going to
lose this case?

KING: I believe we`re going to win. I really do. I`m optimistic
that, you know, my attorneys have been working extremely, extremely hard
and I`m very confident in them, in their capabilities.

And I`m confident in the state board of elections. I really am. I
believe that the state board of elections is going to say, hey, you know,
this is the law. I mean, how can you go around the law?

MADDOW: I can tell that you have the appetite for the fight. I
cannot tell, from talking to you, whether you are just spinning me by
saying that you think you`re going to win. Is that just like, oh, yes, I`m
confident, like – but, really, do you think you`re going to win?

KING: I`m completely – I am absolutely optimistic, sure I`m going to
win.

MADDOW: Everything`s against you. The local board`s against you.
The state board is Republican-controlled.

KING: That`s right.

MADDOW: Appointed by the governor, who just rolled back voting rights
further than any other state in the country, since the Voting Rights Act
was passed in the 1965.

Everything`s stacked against you, and you`re like, oh, I`m going to
win.

KING: Oh, yes. I`m completely sure. I`m completely sure. And not
only do I know that the students are behind me and supporting me, but I
believe that a large number of people in the fourth ward are going to vote
for me. I`m really sure about that.

MADDOW: You are a man of great optimism.

KING: Yes.

MADDOW: I don`t mean to be the little dark cloud in your silver
lining –

KING: OK.

MADDOW: But I think it`s a hard fight, man. I think it`s an
important fight, but I think it`s a hard fight.

KING: It is. That`s right. And most importantly, I think it`s a
worthy fight. I really do. I believe it`s a worthy fight.

MADDOW: I was talking to Montravias on the way down here, and I was
like, this seems really important. You`re like the canary in the coal
mine. If your case goes the wrong way, it gets decided statewide that
you`re not a resident, that only can you not run for office, you can`t
vote. That means that every college student who lives on campus throughout
the state is disenfranchised. You better win.

And he was like, yes, I`m going to win. He`s very confident.

CAMPBELL: Yes.

MADDOW: You guys have that same confidence.

CAMPBELL: Yes, we don`t have a choice. Look at the history of voter
suppression in women and minorities in the past. They are going up
against, you know, burning crosses and fire hoses and dogs and their odds
were not that well at all, but look at where we are, you know?

So we refuse to go back. So if they can fight in the face of
violence, you know, then we can fight now. And we`re going to.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MADDOW: “And we`re going to.” I believe – I believe they are going
to. I believe it a lot more than what I was out there in the field meeting
all of them yesterday.

All right, amazing stuff. We`ve got lots to come tonight. That is
big, fun show ahead. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Look at this. This is from March, 1963. Look at the
headline here. “King says voice of white moderate needed.”

This is a press release announcing a speech by Martin Luther King at
the University of Virginia in 1963. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urges
moderate white Southerners to speak out.

“If the moderates of the white South fail to act now, history will
have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social
transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling
silence of the good people. The voice of the white moderates are stilled
because they fear social, political, and economic reprisals. The Negro
community in the South yearns from brotherhood and respect from his white
fellow Southerners.”

“This hour,” says King, “represents a great opportunity for the white
moderate, if he will only speak the truth, obey the law, and suffer, if
necessary, for what he knows is right.”

This is from March 1963. This was five months before the march on
Washington. Five months before the “I Have a Dream” speech. Voice of the
white moderate needed.

Professor Wesley Harris was the student at the time who brought Dr.
Martin Luther King to the University of Virginia to give that speech in
March 1963. Professor Wesley Harris – Harris – as in Melissa Harris-
Perry, his niece, who joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: I think that we must
face the fact that in reality, you cannot have economic and political
equality without having some form of social equality. I think this is
inevitable. And I don`t think our society will rise to its full maturity
until we come to see that men are made to live together as brothers and
that we can have genuine inter-group, inter-personal living and still be in
the kind of society which we all long to achieve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Whoever the producer was in charge of booking guests on “Meet
the Press” back in 1963, I hope they got a bonus or a gold watch or
something for the job they did for the August 25th show that year, when
just days out from the march on Washington and the legendary “I Have a
Dream” speech, they got Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins from the
NAACP to be the guests that Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Now, this is kind of awesome. This weekend, this upcoming weekend,
either right before or right after the regular edition of “Meet the Press,”
depending on where you live, NBC, this weekend, is going to re-air that
episode from 1963 in its entirety with Dr. Martin Luther King. That is
this Sunday. That is going to be amazing.

Between now and then, whole swaths of MSNBC are already relocating to
Washington, to mark what happened in Washington 50 years ago this week and
also, of course, to mark what is happening there right now – including
Melissa Harris-Perry`s show, which will be coming from Washington tomorrow
morning at 10:00 Eastern.

Joining us now from D.C. is Melissa. She`s host of the “MELISSA
HARRIS-PERRY” show weekend mornings here on MSNBC. She`s also professor of
political science at Tulane.

Melissa, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Yes, and all of your viewers should
DVR that incredible “Meet the Press,” because they`re going to be wanting
to watch “MHP” show live on Sunday.

MADDOW: Well, I was saying about it moves around, for some people
it`s later. It`s very awkward to summarize. You`re right. You`re exactly
right.

Well, tell me why you are there? How you personally are commemorating
it, and what you think is important about it for us now?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, look, we`re here, in part, because while this is
a commemoration, while this is kind of a marking of five decades and as a
marking of five decades, sort of a questioning of where are we now, and
particularly, given, sort of, the language of the dream, you know, how far
along are we in a realization of it, sort of a moment to step and look at
the political and economic and social inequalities that continue to persist
five decades after that march.

But I think we`re here for another reason. I think a commemoration
alone would be an insufficient reason to be covering this. I think, for
me, the key, the thing that makes it newsworthy is that this is not just a
marker of something that happened in the past, but an active part of an
ongoing set of social movements that are occurring and potentially
coalescing right now, around issues of stop and frisk, voting rights,
economic justice, racial injustice, gender inequities, LGBT questions – I
mean, we are once again in a moment of upheaval and this march might be,
just might be, a turning point.

MADDOW: Does that, the way that the march looms so large in history,
the fact that it was a single event in a single focal point in the country,
that it happened on a specific time that we all know exactly what happened
there, even 50 years later, does that loom, in a way, that sometimes
diminishes, makes us feel a diminishment, in terms of anything that can be
pulled off now, in terms of anything that can be done as a protest movement
now?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, yes. And this is part of what`s important to
remember, that the march on Washington was an event. It was not a
movement. A movement does not happen on a day.

MADDOW: Yes.

HARRIS-PERRY: It was – I spoke with my father and with his twin
brother, my uncle. They were 21 years old, here at the march, 50 years
ago.

And as I talked to them, they said, there`s never been another moment
like the moment that was the march on Washington for them. No other moment
where they felt so deeply encased in an African-American community with a
seriousness of purpose and a courage that they say is unlike any other
courage they`ve ever experienced.

And yet, it was only a moment. It`s part of a very long history that
projects back, a Phillip Randolph first planning a march on Washington,
prior to World War II, during the FDR administration, and, of course, a
movement that goes long after the movement of the march on Washington. In
fact, the Civil Rights Act of `64 and the Voting Rights Act of `65, coming
years after the march.

So the march is a moment. But the movement is the longer thing.

And the fact is, I don`t think we could ever get a moment quite like
that again, but we don`t need the moment to be like that. We need the
movement to continue.

MADDOW: And is that the tactical lesson for the people right now, who
are fighting for voting rights, who are fighting on issues like stop and
frisk, who are fighting on some of these others issue who are so linked to
that historical and current movement?

HARRIS-PERRY: Certainly, that is part of it. One of the things, as
I`ve been talking with members of Congress or even members of my family who
were here, is that those folks who were here may have just come. They may
have decided to buy a bus ticket and come.

But people who were part of the movement were engaged in trainings.
They often were trained in their local communities. They went to mass
meetings.

They learned the strategies of non-violent resistance. They knew all
of the elected officials. They understood the personalities of the people
they were working with and against.

That kind of engagement in politics, which takes so much time and
energy and effort and self-sacrifice, I think that`s hard for us in this
sort of contemporary moment, where we really do think of a Twitter feed or
signing a petition or showing up at a march as, itself, self-sufficient.
And I think we do have to be willing to engage in the much harder,
exhausting and often failure, sort of pot-marked road of movement building,
before we get to any place where we see solutions.

MADDOW: Yes, it`s showing what you can do, you have to be able to do
something to be able to show it. You can`t jump right to the – you can`t
jump right to the end.

Melissa Harris-Perry, host of the “MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY” show,
Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, which takes precedence
over anything else that may be on television or in life at that time.
Melissa, thank you so much for being here.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: Appreciate it.

All right. Special note that tomorrow morning, Saturday morning,
MSNBC`s coverage of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington starts
at 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Of course, it continues with Melissa`s show at
10:00, and it`s going to be a big weekend.

If you are not already going to Washington this weekend, it`s going to
be a big weekend to watch it all unfold here on MSNBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: When we allow freedom to ring, when we
let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every
city, we will be able to speed up that day with all of God`s children,
black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,
we`ll be able to join hand and sing in the words of the old Negro
spiritual, free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at
last!

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

LT. GOV. DAVID DEWHURST (R), TEXAS: I would like to find out what I
need to do to get her out of jail, post bond, whatever.

SERGEANT: OK.

DEWHURST: She is the sweetest woman in the world, and I – Sergeant,
you don`t know me, but I am every year the number one pick of all the law
enforcement agencies within Texas.

SERGEANT: All right.

DEWHURST: Their number one pick, all right? And I am a supporter of
you – you don`t know it, but I am a supporter of you and a supporter of
everybody in law enforcement. And I want you to do whatever is the proper
thing.

But this lady did not – I know in my heart, was not involved in
intentionally walking out and stealing $57.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MADDOW: You don`t know me, but I am the number one pick of law
enforcement agencies. That seriously happened. That was Texas`s
Republican Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, on the phone, not doing
anything, obviously, illegal, but throwing his weight around like a Texas
sumo wrestler, trying to wrangle some poor police sergeant in Allen, Texas,
into releasing somebody from jail, a friend who had been jailed on
shoplifting charges.

The lieutenant governor, the number one pick of law enforcement, just
wanted that police sergeant to do the proper thing, which should apparently
be that he should take into account that any friend of Texas` lieutenant
governor must be innocent and, therefore must be released from jail.

And is, do you know who I am, David Dewhurst the most amazing thing in
Texas Republican politics in today`s news? No, of course not. It`s Texas
Republican politics that barely even meddles, let alone wins the gold.

And it is Friday. So for you, there is something even more amazing,
and even more Texas, and even more Republican that is still to come.

We are saving the best for last. Hold on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Behold! Happy Friday.

Congressman Mike Coffman, everybody – a Republican congressman from
the great state of Colorado, who represents a district right outside
Denver. Mike Coffman is the man responsible for what may be the greatest
sound bite we have ever played on this TV show, from a currently serving
politician. I mean, it`s not LBJ ordering pants or anything. That`s still
the king, but LBJ was dead by the time we heard that one.

This guy is in office, still, right now. You remember what this one
was for Mike Coffman? It was last May, Congressman Coffman, home in his
district, attending a private fund-raiser, and he veered into birther-
ville.

He told the people at the fund-raiser, quote, “I don`t know whether
Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don`t know that!
But I do know this! That in his heart, he`s not an American. He`s just not
an American.”

After audio of those comments turned up in the press, the congressman
offered an apology. He said, “I misspoke and I apologize.” “I misspoke
and I apologize.”

After releasing that statement, Congressman Mike Coffman then had the
misfortune of running into a persistent and unflappable local TV
reporter/hero, and thus was born perhaps the greatest serving politician
sound bite ever in the history of MSNBC prime-time, maybe even beyond this
show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: After your comments about the president, do you feel that
voters are owed a better explanation than just I misspoke?

REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: I think that as I stand by my
statement. That I misspoke and I apologize.

REPORTER: OK, and who are you apologizing to?

COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I
apologize.

REPORTER: I apologize – we talk to you all the time. You`re a very
forthcoming guy. Who`s telling you not to talk?

COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I wrote, that you
have, and I misspoke and I apologize.

REPORTER: Was it that you thought it would go over well in Elbert
County where folks are conservative and you`d never say something like that
in the suburbs?

COFFMAN: I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.

REPORTER: Is there anything that I can ask you that you would answer
differently?

COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I
apologize.

REPORTER: Thank you, Congressman.

COFFMAN: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: He does stand by his statement, that he mis – and there has
never been anyone more on message, ever, in the history of messages, in the
history of humankind. Mike Coffman, everybody!

To the extent that he is famous for anything, he is famous for that.

Now, also, though, I think he`s trying to get famous for this.
“Congressman peddles conspiracy theory on climate change: Only radical
environmentalists get government grants.”

Mike Coffman`s voting record on oil and gas and on denying that there
are human contributions to climate change, that`s made him the target of a
new ad campaign being run against climate change denialists in Congress.
Congressman Coffman is one of three House Republicans that is now being
targeted by the League of Conservation Voters in a $2 million ad campaign,
that`s aimed at making climate change denialism something you should be
embarrassed about. Something you have to pay a political price for.

And the reason I think this is notable is, I think, (a), because of
the timing, but also, (b), and I will speak frankly here, the ads do not
suck. Surprisingly, do not take this the wrong way, but for a vaguely
left-leaning cause, this ad that`s being run against Mike Coffman is an
outstandingly, middle of the road, cogent, perfectly framed, well-done ad,
which is not true of most ads on anything, but particularly on this issue.

This one is great. This is really well-done. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AD NARRATOR: Even though scientists agree that climate change worsens
extreme weather, Congressman Coffman is so extreme, he sides with big oil.
When they call, he answers. Coffman takes over $300,000 from the oil and
gas industry.

While big oil denies climate science, Coffman questions whether
climate change is even a problem, protects their profits, and opposes
efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

Tell Congressman Coffman to stop denying climate science and act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: If you do not like political ads, generally, you probably
will not like that one either, but technically speaking, that is perfectly
done. The whole carbon pollution framing there at the end, that you didn`t
even really notice, they didn`t hit you over the head with it, that is
very, very well done. And especially in a non-election year, this is a big
ad buy, $2 million buy.

Who knows what this is going to be mean for Mike Coffman in terms of
whether he is really going to feel this kind of pressure? But what is
running against him, in this ad, is about as good as you can do, on a
pressure ad, on any subject.

That, itself, indicates that the people who are pushing on this issue
are starting to get better at the way that they push. And they are also
starting to get some results.

The big looming policy decision on President Obama`s plate right now
on this issue is whether to approve the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline,
the thousand-mile-long pipeline that will transport toxic oil sands from
Alberta, Canada, all the way across our country down to the Gulf of Mexico.

That pipeline, if it gets the president OK, will bisect the United
States. It will cut a line right through the middle of the country and cut
through some of the nation`s most environmentally sensitive areas,
including the main source of drinking water for much of the Great Plains.

Opponents of the Keystone pipeline have been trying to slow that
process down. And earlier this month, they stated public objections to
what they said was a conflict of interest in the approval process. They
said that the firm hired by the State Department to assess the
environmental impact of the pipeline, the firm that ultimately said, hey,
no environmental problems here, they said that firm actually had a
financial stake in the company that`s building the pipeline.

Groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth argued that that
sort of conflict of interest should call into question the firm`s overall
findings. It should warrant a delay in the approval process.

And today, they sort of got their wish. President Obama had been
expected to make his final decision on Keystone later this year. But,
today, the State Department indicated that an internal review that`s now
underway of that potential conflict of interest could mean that any
decision from the president on Keystone might be delayed until next year,
until 2014.

This is an incremental victory, but, hey, bottom line, they don`t want
this thing to happen, and it looks like they just bought themselves another
year of this thing not happening. And that is a win.

Joining us now is Chris Hayes, host of the excellent “ALL IN WITH
CHRIS HAYES” here on MSNBC.

Chris, it is always a pleasure to have you here. Thank you for
staying late.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: It`s wonderful to be here. I panicked while
you were playing the ad, that was my phone on.

MADDOW: Oh, yes.

HAYES: That iPhone ringing!

MADDOW: That`s right.

HAYES: I know, I was like, whoops.

MADDOW: They`ve got that playing almost subliminally. It does have a
role in the plot of the ad but it makes you stop and look around and pay
attention. And it`s annoying in a way that makes you pay attention. But
that`s – yes, do you agree that it`s well-done?

HAYES: I do agree that it`s well done. And I agree with you the
message has been sharpened and I think you`re right the framing of carbon
pollution, specifically, is a real improvement on what`s come before.

We think about carbon as pollution, because people don`t like
pollution. And it`s very hard to be on the side of pollution. And this is
what it is. It is carbon pollution.

MADDOW: And when you imagine it as carbon pollution and not some
other variant of pollution, you imagine soot, which is not actually what
we`re talking about. But that sticks in people`s minds, which is an
effective –

HAYES: And the thing that does, if you could take the carbon dioxide
in the air and make it a different color, we would have dealt with the
problem by now.

MADDOW: Right.

HAYES: Because it, unlike smog and unlike dirty drinking water and
unlike the fire, Cuyahoga River catching on fire, iconically outside
Cleveland, there is no way to see the problem.

So pollution conjures things as people can see, and I think that`s a
really important thing.

MADDOW: I feel like, you know, being down in North Carolina yesterday
and talking to – talking about that voting rights fight down there and
seeing that voting rights fight being born, essentially, and then thinking
about the 50th anniversary march on Washington this weekend and the actual
anniversary next Wednesday, I`m thinking a lot about political tactics.

HAYES: Totally.

MADDOW: And I feel like you have been very smart about figuring out
what`s politically possible on climate and what`s likely to make change
more possible. What`s your assessment?

HAYES: My assessment is two-fold. One, I think you had a great A-
block at the top of the show about the immigrant rights movement. And I
agree that I am in awe of their discipline and their moral courage.

And I also – the only other movement doing that right now, and
there`s the Moral Mondays in North Carolina, the Dream Defenders in
Florida, are the Keystone XL folks, the 350.org folks who are getting
arrested en masse outside the White House, who have, really – this thing
was going through. This thing was sailing through.

If you read the business journals, if you were inside the trade
journals of the people buying stock based on whether it`s going to happen,
everyone`s like, of course, it`s going to happen, and it goes by and it
goes by, because they have made it a problem. They have made it a problem
for the White House.

MADDOW: What has been their most effective tactic – what has been
their most effective tactic in making the White House not do it? Because
it really is the president`s decision.

HAYES: First of all, they picked a decision where the issue couldn`t
kick it to Capitol Hill. Everything with the climate, he can always say,
totally, rightly, plausibly, and truly that the problem are the maniacs up
on Capitol Hill who denied the problem and are flat earthers like the
congressman who began this program.

They also showed up at the White House, made a big stink, got a lot of
press, that helped. And they also did a very smart grassroots organizing
through all those states that are in that map, including farmers who didn`t
want their aquifers damaged, including a Republican governor in Nebraska
who was against the pipeline, even though he was eventually kind of swayed
to the other side. But they have done a lot of grassroots organizing
through the heartland of this country with very unlikely allays to fight
this thing and they have made it really difficult.

They – now when it happens, it`s going to impose a political cost.
And the White House understands that. In fact, the White House understands
it so well, because one of the first things they did was organize against
the OFA field chapters. When the newly launched OFA started, right, they
started showing up and said, what about Keystone? And OFA panicked.

And in fact, OFA started focusing on climate change and the
president`s Twitter Feed started focusing on climate change right around
that time, because they had to deflect the pressure they were getting every
day with volunteers showing up and saying, what about Keystone?

MADDOW: Because there`s no genius in saying, what about Keystone?
The genius is in figuring out where to apply that pressure. That`s a very
small amount of pressure asking that question, but asking in the right
place can be priceless.

HAYES: Yes.

MADDOW: The big question is when the even more consequential
decisions about limiting carbon, whether or not those tactics hone, I
think, you`re right, through Keystone, can be applied to those -

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: That`s right.

MADDOW: And we`ll talk about that in the future. Chris Hayes, host
of the excellent “ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” here on MSNBC, 8:00 every
weeknight. Chris, thank you very, very much, I owe you a beer.

HAYES: My pleasure.

MADDOW: If you stay 15 more minutes, I`ll –

HAYES: I take you up on that.

MADDOW: All right.

All right. It`s Friday. So, you`re lucky to be here. A sound bite
destined for immortality is coming up.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: By the time I was born, by the spring of 1973, Richard Nixon
could tell he was in trouble. He could tell this whole Watergate thing was
sinking his presidency. So the sinking, foundering President Richard Nixon
started heaving members of his administration overboard.

On April 30th, 1973, he gave his first speech about the Watergate
scandal. And he said in his speech he had accepted the resignation of four
members of his inner circle, including his attorney general. And he went
back to the White House that night and he stopped by the phone and he took
calls all night long from friends who called in to the White House trying
to cheer him up after that big, horrible speech.

This week, the Nixon Library released the last of his secret tapes,
including those calls to the desperate, possibly tipsy President Richard
Nixon on the night of April 30th.

Nixon got calls from Ronald Reagan. He got calls from Henry
Kissinger. He got calls from George H.W. Bush.

He got a call from this guy.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

OPERATOR: Mr. President, Mr. Reverend Billy Graham.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Hello.

REV. BILLY GRAHAM: Mr. President.

NIXON: Yes, hello.

GRAHAM: I think this is your finest hour.

NIXON: That`s nice of you, Billy.

GRAHAM: Really, I wanted to reach through the screen and hug you. I
thought you were just great. And everybody I talked to feels the same way.

NIXON: Well, no, they all continue to slash away. So, what the hell.
Excuse me the hell –

GRAHAM: Well, you know, Ruth, she thinks it is all a communist plot,
left wing – everything else.

NIXON: It is. It is. It is. You know that.

GRAHAM: Other networks, ABC and NBC, everybody –

NIXON: I don`t listen to these darned networks.

GRAHAM: – CBS –

NIXON: What did CBS do? They knock it?

GRAHAM: I felt like slashing their throats. But anyway, God be with
you.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MADDOW: But anyway, I had homicidal feelings about CBS News, but God
be with you. Richard Nixon, God be with us all.

The great thing about today in the news is that is not, still not, the
best lost piece of tape from the dark side of politics that had just turned
up in today`s news. It`s like the best tape day in the history of news.
There is something better. And we just got it. And it is amazing and it
is from Texas. And it really is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: It has been a long week and it is going to be an exciting
weekend. But this will make you happy.

I want to start by blessing “The Texas Tribune.” God bless “The Texas
Tribune”. It`s a smart, nonprofit journalistic venture in Texas.

They have been covering their home state senator, Texas Republican
Senator Ted Cruz like nobody else – as Ted Cruz has been barnstorming
Texas this week, while the senator has been on break. He has been at home
in Texas, rallying support from his base for plans to shut down the
government, who-hoo! To block people from getting the health care reform.
Yes!

But as “The Texas Tribune” reports, more broadly among Texas
Republicans, beyond just the hating health insurance together, beyond that,
there is a bit of more falling in love that is happening right now between
Texas Republicans and their senator, Ted Cruz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m so proud of Ted Cruz. He is shaking them up
in Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has all the things that make up a good
candidate. Not only his strength of character, but the Hollywood look,
too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: The Hollywood look? That man has politics goggles on. Love
is a many splendored thing.

And Texas Republicans are so in love with Ted Cruz, they want him
running for president, America, right now, no matter what. Who cares that
he was born in Canada?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think the whole thing is very silly. The
facts of my birth are straightforward, my mother was a U.S. citizen born in
Delaware. So under U.S. law, I`m an American by birth.

REPORTER: Cruz wants to make sure any questions surrounding his
Canadian birth is a non-issue and has said he plans to renounce his
Canadian citizenship.

CRUZ: And I have grown up in Texas my entire life. I`ve been an
American by birth. And as a U.S. senator, I think it`s only appropriate
that I be only an American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: See the Hollywood look there? Yes. Take it.

But “The Texas Tribune”, God bless them, they not only get Cruz and
his Hollywood look on tape talking with some earnest urgency about how
being born Canadian does mean that he wasn`t born American, too.

He kept saying, oh, this is all so silly. But when he talks about it
he is not treating it as if it is silly. He is super into it.

Not only does “The Texas Tribune” get Senator Ted Cruz on tape about
how he does not want to be a Canadian anymore, they also do something that
is a great public service. “The Tribune” tracked down a Texas Republican
Tea Party activist who maintains that President Obama is not eligible to be
president.

She does not accept that President Obama was born in the United
States. She does not accept his birth certificate. Says she wants to see
the long form. Because she can tell that he is secretly foreign. He was
not born here, he was born in Kenya, and he therefore is not a natural born
American.

That said, that same Tea Party Texas Republican activist, quote,
“would vote for Ted Cruz in a heartbeat” – even though Ted Cruz actually
was born in another country and admits it. But she has no concerns at all
about Ted Cruz`s eligibility to run for president.

How can this be? Allegedly born in a foreign country? That`s a
problem. But admittedly born in a foreign country, that isn`t a problem.

How can this be? Good question. And “The Texas Tribune” asked that
question. And this is the most satisfying thing I have seen all week.
Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, as far as I`m concerned, Canada is not
really foreign soil. Yes, that`s the way I look at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: She is laughing as she says it, like oh, God, this can
actually – this can`t be what I have to believe. Yes, you know what? All
right, I`m going to have to go with it. This is going to have to be what I
believe, I guess.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, as far as I`m concerned, Canada is not
really foreign soil. Yes, that`s the way I look at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Yes, I`m going to go with that. Canada is not foreign
because if Canada is foreign then I make no sense.

So I`m going to go with Canada – I think this may possibly be a
breaking point for the whole birtherism thing. Might be. I would usually
say “watch this space” now. But in this case, I think I have to say –
watch Texas, maybe this is particular to them.

Also, watch your step, because it`s Friday night and that means you
have to go to prison.

Here comes jail, three, two, one.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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