The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/13/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Ron Insana and Raj Patel. Ron Insana does not
agree with that last point.
HAYES: Let the record reflect.
Thank you, gentlemen, both.
That is ALL IN for this evening. The “RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: How did you only lose four nuggets to the
HAYES: Well, I yanked (ph) it back because it disappeared and then I was,
like, no, no, I wanted it on the set for a second and they came back a
MADDOW: It was almost impossible for me to not abandon my illustrious
make-up job and run into your set and take one. So anyway, thank you.
HAYES: Man, that`s old. OK.
MADDOW: That would have been bad. Sorry. Yes. Yes, that. You know
what, I don`t feel like I need one.
HAYES: You don`t.
MADDOW: You cured me. Thanks, man.
HAYES: That is so gross. Good night.
Thanks to you at home as well for joining us this hour. Happy Tuesday.
All right. Three days after 9/11, on September 14th, 2001, Congress voted
on an authorization to use military force against those responsible for the
9/11 attacks. Again, it was just three days after 9/11 happened.
The vote in the Senate on that resolution was 98 to zero. The vote in the
House on that resolution was 420 to one. Those one number of Congress who
dissent it, and she was brave enough to not just vote no quietly, when
everybody else voted yes, she also was brave enough to stand on the floor
of the House and give a speech explaining why she was voting that way when
nobody else was.
She rose. She is a strong person and a very clear speaker, and has been
throughout her career. But when she stood up to give that speech, that
day, three days after 9/11, her voice shook with emotion and with
recognition of the seriousness of what she was about to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TOM LANTOS (D), CALIFORNIA: The gentlewoman from California is
recognized for a minute and a half.
REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. And I want to thank Ranking
Member and my friend for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, members, I rise today really with a very heavy heart. One
that is filled with sorrow for the families and the loved ones who were
killed and injured this week. Only the most foolish and the most callused
would not understand the grief that has really gripped our people and
millions across the world.
This unspeakable act on the United States, it`s really forced me, however,
to rely on my moral compass, my conscience, and my God, for directions.
September 11th changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet I
am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of
international terrorism against the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, three days after 9/11.
Through the emotion in her voice there, she was the one single vote in
Congress, in either House of Congress, against using military force as our
response to 9/11. She said she didn`t believe that war would be the way to
stop terrorist attacks. She was the only one.
Today, six days after terrorist attacks hit the nation of France, today
this happened in the French Parliament. They were holding a moment of
silence for the victims of last week`s attacks. And then about 30 seconds
into the moments of silent, you`ll see in the footage here, it`s
interesting. You see members of parliament all turned their heads to the
side as they start listening. As first one member of parliaments starts
singing and then they all join in.
They`re singing the French national anthem. The last time this happened,
the last time the parliament of France spontaneously started singing the
national anthem was 1918 when they announced the armistice that ended World
War I. That is the last time that happened in France before it happened
And after that remarkable patriotic moment today in the French Parliament,
they took a vote. They took a vote on military force against ISIS. On re-
upping their country`s authorization to use military force to fight against
ISIS, specifically in Iraq. And what happened in that vote today was
shades of Barbara Lee.
The vote to reauthorize French bombing raids against ISIS today was 488 in
favor and one opposed. The one member of parliament who voted no said he
voted no because he didn`t think that bombing in the Middle East would
reduce the likelihood of more terrorist attacks at home. He said what
happened these past weeks – this past week showed that France could not
protect itself at home and that`s what France should focus on. He was the
one against 488 to one was that vote today.
Well, that happened in the French Parliament today. Online today, the
terrorist group ISIS released a video that appears to show a young boy.
He`s maybe 9 or 10 years old. It appears to show that kid executing two
men. The video was about seven minutes long, seven and a half minutes.
It`s in Russian language. The men who appeared to be killed in the video,
it appears that they are shot in the head by this young kid wielding a
The kid is sort of tapped on the shoulder and urged to go ahead with the
apparent execution by the adult bearded ISIS guy who you see in this freeze
frame here. The two victims in the video appear to be Russian-speaking
men. They`re accused to be – being Russian spies. This appears to be –
the kid who shows up in this ISIS video that was released today, he appears
to be the same kid who appears multiple times in a very high production
values ISIS video that ISIS – that they released in November.
In that video the kid says that he was from Kazakhstan. He does a pretty
extensive interview about his enthusiasm for ISIS. He shows up his riffle
skills and he explains that he looks forward to killing the infidels as he
This is not the first time that ISIS has showcased kids in their
propaganda. It is part of how they aim to terrorize. I mean, obviously
part of it is this idea that they will be a multigenerational threat, all
these kids grow up to be liked, but part of the threat is also that they`re
so fervent, right? That they have no qualms about using kids as fighters.
That their moral sense doesn`t prevent them from using kids this way.
And then, you know, they are not alone. Boko Haram in Nigeria is said to
have used a girl as a suicide bomber this weekend who is possibly as young
as 10. Docker.com this week ran an assortment of ISIS photos of kids that
have been posted online and on ISIS social media accounts.
The use of kids in their propaganda and indeed, at least they want to be
seen in their fighting. And this is part of how they want to be viewed,
it`s part of why they want to be feared. Up to and including this video
today that at least purported to show a child being used as a gunman, being
used as an executioner of two men.
Today in Chicago, though, one mother of an American teenager, a mother of a
19-year-old boy who tried to leave the United States reportedly to go fight
with ISIS. Today Zarine Khan, this Illinois mother, made a public plea to
ISIS, made a public plea to ISIS, to the leader of ISIS, to Abu Bakr al-
Baghdadi, to please stop targeting kids as ISIS recruits.
Zarine Khan`s son was 19 years old when he was arrested in Chicago`s O`Hare
Airport in October. He was reportedly attempting to fly to Istanbul, and
then allegedly on to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic states. He left
behind the long letter explaining to his parents why he wanted to join
ISIS, why he was leaving the United States. He`s also accused of having
recruited his own 17-year-old sister and his own 16-year-old brother to go
with him, to go join the Islamic State.
Federal authorities caught him at O`Hare, they charged him with attempting
to provide a material support to a terrorist group. Today in Federal Court
in Chicago that 19-year-old plead not guilty to those federal charges.
His parents, his mother, specifically then made this public plea condemning
specifically the terrorist attacks in France this past week, but then also
pleading with ISIS, pleading with the leader of ISIS, calling him by name,
pleading that ISIS should stop at trying to attract young people and
children into their ranks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZARINE KHAN, MOTHER OF TEEN IN ISLAMIC STATE: We condemn this violence in
the strongest possible terms. We condemn the brutal tactics of ISIS and
groups like it. And we condemn the brainwashing and recruiting of children
through the use of social media and the Internet.
And we have a message for ISIS, Mr. Baghdadi and his fellow social media
recruiters, leave our children alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: “Leave our children alone,” she says. But her son, both of her
sons, and her daughter are alleged to have tried to leave this country to
go fight with ISIS in Syria or Iraq. Even though the eldest son got caught
and none of them ever made it there.
Whether or not it`s working, the fight against ISIS is in part a military
fight that`s being waged both in Iraq and Syria. France today voted
overwhelmingly to re-up its own authorization for the French component of
the military fight against ISIS in the Middle East.
For our part, the United States government has never bothered to even
debate this issue, let alone vote on it.
President Obama met with top Democrats and top Republicans from both Houses
of Congress today. The White House gave a written readout; they call it
readout to the press afterwards, describing what happened at that meeting.
The White House readout said that one of the things the leadership talked
about – talking about with President Obama was the prospect of a debate,
and maybe even a vote about whether to authorize the U.S. military fight
against ISIS, in Iraq and Syria.
But apparently, there is no rush and no immediate expectation of any
action. Let alone even a debate.
For all of the chest pounding and concern and expressions of outrage and
sympathy about ISIS, and what they have done about what just happened in
France, why is that there is no real inclination in Washington to debate
what our country is doing to fight against ISIS? I mean, we do have a
policy for fighting ISIS. Literally fighting them using the U.S. military.
It`s a policy that is on autopilot and that has been on autopilot for five
months while our elected officials have said nothing about it and they
apparently have no urgent plans to do so.
It`s remarkable in context, right? I mean, maybe nobody in Congress cares.
Maybe, maybe benefit of the doubt here, maybe they think that the U.S.
military bombing campaign against ISIS has nothing to do with ISIS` ability
to carry out or inspire terrorist attacks around the world. Maybe they
believe that. But if that`s the case, then still we`re back to the rather
important question of why we`re doing it then.
The vote on that issue in France today, after singing the national anthem
in parliament for the first time in 100 years, that vote in France today
was again shades of Barbara Lee, right? It was one vote against and 488
votes in favor. The vote on this same issue so far in Washington is zero
to zero to zero. So far our politicians do not even care enough to ask the
question. Even with everything else they want to talk about happen to do
with ISIS and terrorism and all the rest.
Joining us now is Karen DeYoung, senior international security
correspondent and associate editor at the “Washington Post.”
Miss DeYoung, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate your time
KAREN DEYOUNG, “WASHINGTON POST” SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
CORRESPONDENT: My pleasure.
MADDOW: So we got this readout tonight following the president`s meeting
with congressional leaders. They continue to say that an authorization for
the military, use of military force against ISIS targets will be discussed
perhaps in coming weeks.
Do we have any meet on the bones in terms of how that`s going to proceed or
at what phase?
DEYOUNG: Well, I think you have to go back to where this discussion
started. A year and a half ago, the president gave a speech and said –
before the war against ISIS started. And said that he felt that this 2001
authorization that you spoke about, which is specifically against al Qaeda,
and has been used to target not only al Qaeda but what the administration
has called associated groups which are groups in Yemen and Somalia, in
President Obama said this is outdated. We have decimated the leadership of
al Qaeda, and yet there are new groups rising up. And so we need a
different authorization to match the new threats that we have.
And so he said, I`m ready to work with Congress to do this. And then he
said it again kind of in the middle of last year, he said again, we really
need to work on this, and then said it again when he announced the
airstrikes on Iraq and on Syria. Congress says they`ve been waiting for
the president so send over some language on this. The president says he`s
waiting for Congress to propose something on it.
I think that on both sides they see it as a bit of a trap. The
administration believes that if they propose something, it will be used by
Republicans who like to attack whatever the president proposes in order to
attack his policy in some way. Those in Congress who want a new resolution
are divided over what they wanted to say. There was actually a small
debate in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in December.
MADDOW: Yes. In the lame-duck period. That`s right. Yes.
DEYOUNG: Right. Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Menendez from New Jersey.
There are people who have tried to push a resolution and they actually
wrote up a couple of them and they had a debate and they got John Kerry to
come and testify. He didn`t particularly like the resolution that they
were proposing. Number one, because it said, the president was prohibited
from putting any boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS in Syria or
Obviously, the president himself who said he doesn`t want any boots on the
ground. And then he`s not going to send them. But John Kerry said, don`t
tie our hands. It said that – they eventually passed a resolution. It
said that it would expire after three years. Well, the administration is
not too happy about that.
But look at the way it passed. It passed with all Democratic votes and no
Republican votes. And the reason the Republicans said they didn`t vote for
it was with one exception, they thought it was too narrowing. They wanted
the president to have more power. The one exception was Senator Rand Paul
who said that he thought it was too broad. He wanted the president to have
less power because he said just as the administration has used the al Qaeda
resolution to go far field in the world that by saying the president can
fight ISIS wherever he finds it. That would allow the president to go into
all different kinds of places that we can`t even foresee right now.
So I think what happened today is it came up and both sides again said yes,
we really want to get this done. But it`s a sort of Alphonse-Gaston
routine. Nobody wants to be the first one to actually propose any wording
that could be debated.
MADDOW: Karen, you`re so experienced and so well-sourced on national
security issues and having seen these things play out in different context
over time, if you had to take a guess as to whether or not the Congress is
going to vote on that, and when it would happen, when do – when would you
guess it would happen given those constraints that you just described?
DEYOUNG: I think – I think it probably will happen. You know, the
administration, while it has said it wants to get rid of the resolutions it
has, it says that they are enough to give it the power to do what it`s
doing now. So it really – you know the president has been a little
schizophrenic about this, he said, “Well, I don`t really need a new
authorization, but it would be nice to have a new authorization.
DEYOUNG: And so I think eventually they will come up with one. I think
this bill that the Senate voted, the White House will quietly make it clear
what parts of it, it doesn`t like. Interestingly enough, it`s probably the
Republicans that are going to give him the most support on it because
they`re the ones who`ve been most talkish and want to kind of expand the
authorities for this, and of course they`re in the majority now.
MADDOW: Karen DeYoung, senior national security correspondent and
associate editor at the “Washington Post.” It`s a real honor to have you
here, Karen, thanks very much for being here.
MADDOW: I have to say, you know, people talk sometimes, particularly on
the left, and I`ve been guilty of this myself, to talking about Washington
being a post policy place. Washington being a place where essentially
there is pure politics, freed from any friction of actually having any real
consequence in the world.
The one place where you can see that more clear than anything in the world
is the amount of words, the contrast between the number of words and the
number of political allegations made around issues like terrorism and the
absolute lack of any substantive interest in passing any policy or even
debating any policy, that has any meaningful effect in what we do about it.
It`s says if Washington has nothing to do with the world at large in terms
of how America acts on this issue that they supposedly care so much about.
If it – it happens in the next six months I`ll be surprised.
Stay with us. We`ll be back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of
restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say,
“Let`s step back for a moment. Let`s just pause just for a minute, and
think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not
spiral out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the matter with him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike Pearson, what`s wrong? Is that a tie-dye shirt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. That`s just like an act for the
ISAAC-DAVY ARONSON, TRMS PRODUCER: I don`t even want to see the photo. I
just want to imagine it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: There is some strange breaking news to report tonight about the
top Republican in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner, and a threat that
was allegedly made against his life. As I said this is a strange story and
it`s one that is still developing. But there is a man in custody tonight,
there is a grand jury indictment in this case that has just been filed and
the story starts right here.
This is the Weatherington Golf and Country Club in Westchester, Ohio, just
outside of Cincinnati. This is the country club that John Boehner is a
member of back home in Ohio. Several days ago, federal prosecutors
indicted a former bartender at this country club in Ohio. They indicted
him for threatening to kill John Boehner.
According to the criminal complaint filed by the FBI, this past October,
the bartender called 911, he gave the 911 dispatcher his first name, Mike,
and he told the dispatcher to tell his father that he was sorry. Then he
hung up. Police unsurprisingly checked it out. When police arrived at his
home, he told them that he`d just been fired from his job at the
aforementioned country club.
He also told police that he was going to kill House Speaker John Boehner
because Mr. Boehner, he said, had been mean to him at the country club and
was somehow responsible for the man being fired. For context of those
remarks, though, consider also that the man told police that John Boehner
is the devil. That specifically John Boehner is also responsible for
Ebola. Police say he also told them that he, himself, is Jesus Christ.
Now the suspect in this case has been hospitalized for a psychotic episode
in the past. That apparently was not enough to keep him from obtaining at
least two guns. The man told police after that 911 call that he was in
possession of a loaded Berretta 38 handgun and that he was going to shoot
John Boehner with that handgun. A police search warrant of the suspect`s
house ultimately did turn up a 38 Berretta handgun as well as a bunch of
different kinds of ammunition.
An ammunition magazines for an SKS assault rifle, three boxes of different
types of ammunition, as well as a bunch of loose rounds of ammunition and a
speed loader, presumably for the assault rifle`s magazine, although I don`t
know that for sure.
They later visited the man`s mother in Hebron, Kentucky. She says she took
her son`s assault rifle out of his house while he was away because she was
worried about his state of mind.
Thank God for his mom, if not the law.
When they did find the handgun that the man still did have in his house,
the one he said he was going to use to kill John Boehner, the handgun was
apparently stored alongside a notebook, containing the words “John Boehner”
and “Ebola” as well two envelopes that contained lists of members of the
Now after the man told police that he – after the man called 911, he told
them that he called police in the first place because he believed that evil
people were going to come chop him up. He said he was trying to expose the
devil, AKA John Boehner. The man then volunteered to be taken to a local
hospital for psychiatric evaluation once more.
As I said this is a strange case. And it seems like this is a guy who`s
got mental problems. But the man did have longstanding and repeated access
to John Boehner at that country club where he worked and where John Boehner
was a member and apparently a frequent attendee.
When the man first called police, the FBI affidavit that we`ve seen today
says that the man complained in his initial interaction with police that
because he had just been fired from the country club, he, quote, “did not
have time to put something in John Boehner`s drink.” He was a bartender at
Apparently, investigators interviewed John Boehner back in October about
the case. He stated that he did know the bartender from the country club,
but he said he`d never recall any negative interactions with the bartender.
A spokesperson for the House Speaker says tonight that the speaker is aware
of the situation. He thanks investigators for their efforts in the case.
But again the very strange breaking news tonight from the FBI is that an
Ohio man has now been charged with threatening to murder a U.S. official
specifically the top Republican in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner.
That grand jury indictment against the man apparently filed tonight.
We`ll bring you more on the story if and when we learn more. But important
bottom line here is that the man in question is in custody right now.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: A quick but important update today, potentially a life-changing
update on the case of former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia.
As you know, he was sentenced last week, two years in federal prison, after
being convicted on multiple counts of public corruption while in office.
An important part of the sentencing faze in that case was that Governor
McDonnell ask the court to let him stay out of prison, out on bail, while
he appealed his conviction.
Well, today, the federal judge in his case said no, request denied, which
means that absent some kind of future reversal of this decision, former
Governor Bob McDonnell will start serving his time in prison very, very
soon. He`s due to start his prison sentence in prison February 9th.
MADDOW: On December 13th, 2000, after a grueling month of counts and
recounts, and lawsuits and hanging chads and near-riots, Al Gore conceded
his presidential race against George W. Bush. And, of course, it`s always
hard to lose a big election, let alone a presidential election.
But Al Gore`s loss in those circumstances was extra bad, right? I mean, he
got a half million more votes in the country. Ultimately, it seemed like
he did win even in Florida, but the Supreme Court inserted itself into the
case, and then everybody wanted to tell al gore how he could have waged a
better campaign and how he lost it because of a fault of his own. It`s
just a tough time for him you can imagine.
And after the Supreme Court weighed in to basically pick not Al Gore to be
president, after all that happened, Al Gore finished off his last few weeks
as Bill Clinton`s vice president, and then you might remember, he kind of
disappeared from public view for awhile. By the following summer, he had
gone up to Europe for a couple months. Kicking back, learning to relax
some, and famously he grew a burly beard.
And that beard, the Al Gore beard basically in our modern fake political
science was the ultimate confirmation that Al Gore was done with politics.
And we just don`t have national political leaders in his country with
considerable facial hair anymore, not since William Howard Taft had we had
a beardy president. And William Howard Taft`s beard is not what we
remember him for.
So, the Al Gore beard in all its triton glory, that became the ultimate
symbol not just that Al Gore had lost, and lost big, but that he was done.
Al Gore was clearly done with politics because he could not run for
anything now, not with all of that stuff on his face. The dashed
presidential aspirations beard has made a few appearances in American
politics since then.
Famously, there was also Bill Richardson. Bill Richardson ran for the 2008
Democratic nomination for president. After disappointing primary results
in his decision to drop out, Bill Richardson too grew the telltale beard.
He could let loose now that the campaigning was over.
Also that year, Republican Fred Thompson got into the presidential race,
people expected him to run away with the nomination. But I think he did
too, but ultimately he didn`t do very well. And as soon as he dropped off,
bam, beard. Perfect look for cable news commentating and memoir-writing,
it`s just not a very presidential look.
Then, just last week, 2012 vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, arrived on
the first day of the new Congress, and he told America all we needed to
know about whether or not he was running for president when he turned up on
the first day of school with a sort of adorable hipster length junior
beard. That was last week in Washington.
Yesterday, when Paul Ryan formally announced that he would sit out the 2016
presidential race, it was basically redundant. The beard had already been
all the announcement that anyone needed.
But one multiply failed presidential candidate, who has survived all of
those “I`m not running again” beards, one multiply failed presidential
candidate who has never himself grown a beard at least that we know of is
Mitt Romney. It seemed like he was making it very clear at least after his
last loss in 2012 that he would never run again, he never did the beard
thing. Maybe now we should know that that was important.
It seemed like he was not going to run. He was asked by “The New York
Times” in January 2013 if he would consider running again after failing to
get the nomination once in 2008, and failing in the general election in
2012, Mitt Romney responded to “The New York Times”, and I quote, “Oh, no,
no, no. No, no, no, no. No, no, no.” If you`re counting, that`s no 11
times, with no other words between the no no nos.
And, you know, it`s not that strange of a decision for him to have made. I
mean, historically, presidential candidates who have lost the general
election, they rarely run again. And when they do, they basically never
win. The last time somebody who lost a general election and run for
president again was 1984. George McGovern had been the 1972 Democratic
nominee. He didn`t even come close to getting his parties nomination when
he ran again in `84.
The last time someone who lost a general election went on to actually win
the presidency it was Richard Nixon in 1968. The only other time that has
ever happened in all of U.S. history other than Nixon was Glover Cleveland
in 1892. That`s it.
Nixon and Grover Cleveland, two times in all of American history. Mitt
Romney would be trying to be the third one in history if he ran again.
So, it doesn`t seem like he was going to run again. Beyond all of that,
Mitt Romney and his family were quite overt about the fact that they didn`t
want to run another campaign. Again, not to belabor the point, but quoting
again from “The New York Times, “Oh, no, no, no. No, no no, no. No, no,
no.” That seemed very clear.
And then here was Mitt Romney`s wife, Ann Romney, amount before the 2012
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that you feel that your husband is going to
ANN ROMNEY: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he does, because there is a chance he might not,
is that the end of politics for you and your husband?
ROMNEY: Absolutely, he will not run again, nor will I, or do anything like
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He will not run for anything again, if he losses.
In the documentary that was called “Mitt” that came out last year about the
last campaign, one of the themes that runs through all the behind the
scenes footage of the Romney family during the campaign was their deep
ambivalence about dad running for president, right? And their really
expressed determination that he should never do it again.
In that film, in “Mitt” on election night, when it became clear that Mr.
Romney had, in fact, lost the election, the Romney could not have been more
clear that they were done and they would never do this again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN ROMNEY: It`s finished.
CRAIG ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S SON: Can you be gracious, and still say what
MITT ROMNEY: I hope so.
CRAIG ROMNEY: I don`t – what`s – I don`t know the story, obviously you
don`t want to look like a jerk, but he is in the race because he is
passionate about what he believes in. Why not say this is what I believe.
CAMPAIGN AIDE: No one thinks he just spent two years because he doesn`t
believe in it.
And there`s tomorrow, and there`s the next day, and there`s –
CRAIG ROMNEY: For what?
CAMPAIGN AIDE: To go out and make the case. I mean –
CRAIG ROMNEY: He`s not going to run for anything.
MITT ROMNEY: That`s for sure.
CAMPAIGN AIDE: – to make a case for the country.
MITT ROMNEY: How do I make a case? Where? My time on the stage is over,
guys. I`m happy for the time I had there, but my time is over.
MITT ROMNEY: To do what?
ANN ROMNEY: We`re done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We`re done. My time on the stage is over. I`m happy for the time
I had there, but my time is over.
It turns out maybe not. It`s now being reported by multiple sources that
he has changed his mind. He reportedly is telling people in multiple
states, people who worked at multiple levels on his previous campaign, that
he is going to run again, 2016, seriously.
I would not have believed it, but apparently it`s happening.
Joining us now is Greg Whiteley. He`s a writer and director of the
documentary film “Mitt”.
Mr. Whiteley, thank you very much for joining us. It`s nice to have you
GREG WHITELEY, DIRECTOR, “MITT”: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: Given what you shot, are you surprised by the news that he is
really apparently going to run again?
WHITELEY: Yes. I have been knee deep finishing a movie, editing a
completely different documentary, and I haven`t been watching the news, and
in the last two days, I just start receiving texts after texts and e-mails,
and I`m shocked. I – in watching kind of what he went through, I was
really surprised they ran the second time.
And to be fair, I`m still not sold that he has decided to run the third
time, I don`t believe it.
MADDOW: We saw – we`ve seen the film, played a clip from the film from
that very difficult moment around writing the concession speech and
realizing that he lost the election, from your perspective, and all of the
time that you spent, can you describe what at least seemed the hardest for
him and his family about him running? Why they had such deep ambivalence
about his running that second campaign in 2012?
WHITELEY: Well, I don`t think there should be any surprise there is
ambivalence on anyone`s part when trying to run for president. The
gauntlet that we put people through when they go through that process is so
intense and severe, and it takes a toll on the family that I think having
second thoughts, or misgivings, or ambivalence would be natural. I think
you`d be crazy not to have it.
So, if you`re asking me to pick a particular moment in which people would
second guess it, I don`t know, I – when I imagine, and Mitt was very
gracious with me and allowing me to film him and his life. When you view
his life outside of politics, it is a great life. He`s got a beautiful
family, an amazing wife. He`s got – you know, he`s got the means to
really enjoy himself.
So, why he would choose to do this, I would imagine you wouldn`t do it,
unless there was – there was something tugging you. And I think most
people they talk to that didn`t have the perspective that I had, they, when
they – most of them I think are going to attribute this or any of his past
runs on personal ambition.
And I know it sounds crazy, but I don`t think he is wired that way. I
don`t think that`s the reason why he does these things.
MADDOW: Greg Whiteley, writer and director of the documentary film “Mitt”,
got such an incredible amount of access to Mr. Romney and his family during
that campaign – I agree with you that I think it`s worth being a little
skeptical about whether or not he`s really going to run. I think there`s a
lot of reasons to say you`re going to run, even if you`re not going to, but
the latest reporting is both convincing and bewildering.
Thanks very much for helping us understand your take on it. Thanks for
WHITELEY: Thank you.
All right. Why it`s always smart to obey the one rule in politics about
what you can`t say no matter how tempting it is. There`s only one rule in
American politics about the thing you can say. There`s one. Why it`s
important to abide by it, coming up.
MADDOW: Every so often, there is something in the news that is a thing.
No comment needed. No explanation needed, you should just know that this
is a thing. This happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUBTITLE: And now, here`s a thing:
Last night during the pre-game festivities for college football`s national
championship, something was missing.
SUBTITLE: O HI! O!
And that is a thing that happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Where is the O? That is the thing that happened.
More to come. Stay with us.
MADDOW: On a map of train lines, the subway lines in Washington, D.C., the
lines are all labeled by color, red, yellow, blue and so on, six in all in
the metro system in D.C.
Among the busiest station in the whole system is the station that`s called
L`Enfant Plaza. L`Enfant Plaza is down the street from the National Mall.
It`s on the way to the Pentagon and the airport and ultimately out to the
Virginia suburbs. If you want to head out that way, you just jumped on the
yellow line train out of L`Enfant Plaza. And that`s what dozens of metro
riders did yesterday afternoon just before rush hour, around 3:30 p.m.
Moments after the train pulled out of the station at L`Enfant Plaza, the
cars on the train jerked to a halt inside the tunnel and then this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a doctor in the house?
Shut the door. Let me see the train`s door number. Let me see the number.
Let me see the number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a medic!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make a hole. Make a hole. Make a hole!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: For about 40 minutes yesterday afternoon, passengers were stuck on
that train inside the tunnel as both the tunnel and the train itself filled
with smoke. Some passengers fell unconscious. One person apparently had a
Up to about 40 minutes, fire and rescue teams finally reached the train and
tunnel. They led passengers on foot through the smoky tunnel and back out
into L`Enfant Plaza, the station.
I should tell you that one passenger who was stuck on the train yesterday
died. Her name is Carol Glover (ph). She worked as a federal contractor.
The exact cause of her death is still unknown. Eighty-four more people
were hospitalized after this incident, including one D.C. firefighter.
In the plenary report, the National Transportation Safety Board already
said that the source of the smoke was not a fire, but rather some sort of
electrical malfunction. They say electricity basically arced from the
high-voltage rail that powers the trains. The cause the tunnel to fill up
The NTSB investigator last night said the cause of that arcing is still
Today, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, where that yellow line train was
headed, Senator Warren wrote a letter to the general manager, the D.C.
Metro Transit Authority, requesting a full briefing on the response plan
for incidents like this. He said, quote, “Passengers and witnesses
reported a chaotic situation with little evidence of metro employees
operating under established protocols or implementing training procedures
that should have been self-evident from preparation made for this type of
As of this morning`s rush hour commute, the smoke had cleared. The metro
system mostly back up and running, but after this very scary incident in
the nation`s capital, questions remain as to exactly what happened and how
to be sure it`s not – it`s not going to happen again and how to be sure
that D.C. is prepared in case something like this does happening again,
does happen again?
Joining us now is _. She was a passenger on that D.C. metro train when it
started to fill with smoke. She took some of that video we showed you
earlier of the chaotic scene on the train. She`s a public relations
consultant in D.C.
Ms. Adjoa Adofo, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate your
ADJOA ADOFO, TRAPPED IN D.C. METRO: Thanks for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: I understand, my producers tell me that you went to the doctor
earlier this evening basically to get checked up after what you went
through. How are you doing?
ADOFO: Well, I just got out of urgent care about a couple hours ago. I
wasn`t feeling too great this morning when I woke up. Shortness of breath,
pains in my chest, nausea, headache and feeling light-headed.
I thought I definitely needed to get checked out. So, they did a bunch of
tests, X-rays and, you know, made sure to give me a full workup.
MADDOW: In terms of what it was like how you and your fellow passengers
cope, the thing that seems so scary for those of us looking at the footage
that you shot and the descriptions we`ve read, apart of what`s scary
obviously is the incident, in part of what`s scary is how long it took for
rescuers to get there. Did you guys have any clear indication of what you
should do or what had happened or how you would be getting out of there?
ADOFO: Absolutely not.
Credit to the train operator, I think he tried his best to keep us calm and
just keep talking to us every five minutes. But you could tell that he
didn`t have a lot of information to share. We really didn`t know if there
was a fire, if there was not a fire, where the smoke was coming from, if we
were going to be rescued, if the train was going to move us out of there,
how we were going to escape.
We were told to stay still and not try to open the doors. There was a bit
of a debate whether or not that was the proper thing to do, because the
smoke kept on coming in and coming in. And, you know, your survival
instincts kick in and you wonder should I just try to break what didn`t
seem to be established protocol and just open the door and escape or do I
lay here and hope that someone comes or something happens to save us.
And as your mind is racing and you`re wondering what to do and you`re
losing breath, you know, the smoke is just everywhere and it`s pitch black
and you see people passing out, you just don`t know what to do and you
don`t know at that point if you`re going to make it.
MADDOW: With the footage that you shot and what we`ve heard, it`s
heartening the way the passengers tried to help each other and keep each
other calm and help – and try to give each other direction in this moment.
The fact that you had to resort to that though is really scary.
Thanks, Adjoa Adofo, for helping us understand what you went through. I`m
sorry you went through it and I hope everything works out OK for you.
Thanks for helping us understand.
ADOFO: Thank you. And prayers to the family of the woman who passed.
MADDOW: Absolutely. Thanks for being with us.
All right. Lots more still to come. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Texas Congressman Randy Weber is the Republican who took over Ron
Paul`s congressional seat after Ron Paul retired from Congress.
And Congressman Weber`s been busy distinguishing himself since he got the
job. Last year, for example, when President Obama announced to Congress
his executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, Randy
Weber live-tweeted his experience. Quote, “On floor of house, waiting on
`Kommandant in chef`,” Kommandant with a K, in chef. “The socialistic
dictator who`s been feeding the U.S. a line, or is it a-lying?”
This is a congressman. This guy doesn`t live in the YouTube comments.
And now, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France, Congressman Randy
Weber decided to work his magic once again on the Twitter machine. This is
from him on Monday night. Quote, “Even Adolf Hitler thought it more
important than Obama to get to Paris, for all the wrong reasons. Obama
couldn`t do it for right reasons.”
Kind of has everything, right? Hitler, misspelling Hitler`s first name.
The president, of course, a parenthetical. It has everything.
For what I hope are obvious reasons, Congressman Weber has now offered up
an apology for this today. He wrote in his apology statement, quote, “It
was not my intention to compare the president to Adolf Hitler”. Though
it`s hard to see what else he might have intended by comparing the
president to Hitler.
Congressman Weber then continued, “I now realize that the use of Hitler
invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the authorities of
the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate.”
He now realizes that, as in he now realizes that, as in before today,
Tuesday, that had never occurred to him. Also he never meant to compare
the president and Hitler in the tweet that consisted almost entirely of him
comparing the president and Hitler. He has since deleted the tweet.
We reached out Congressman Weber`s office for further clarification today
and to test him on how to spell Adolf. If we hear anything back, we`ll let
But now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL.”
Good evening, Lawrence.
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