The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/15/15
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks for staying with us for the next hour.
Even for things that we are pretty good at, even for things that we
are paid to do, all of us have our limits, right? Part of being an adult
is recognizing the outer boundaries of what we are capable of as people.
So my job, for instance, is understanding and explaining the news.
And in order to do that job, I do a lot of exposition in terms of just the
raw, factual explanation of what`s going to in the world and in the news.
I also do some analysis, a little analysis thrown in to explain about
what`s important about going on in the news or at least what makes it
I don`t think I`m the best at my job. There are people in this
building, for example, who are better than me at every aspect of my job. I
think I`m OK. Mostly, I`m really glad this is my job because I love doing
it. I work hard to get better all the time.
But I have come to realize that there are limits. There are some
things I can`t explain or at least that I can`t analyze in any meaningful
sense because there is something that plainly is appealing about these
things or that seems important about these things, but I just can`t grasp
it. I know it means something to other people. I can see it in their
faces. But I can`t get it. I can`t empathize.
And there aren`t a ton of these things but there a few of them that
come in a recurring way in politics, things that obviously really resonate
with other people that honestly I figured out, I just don`t get.
One of them is term limits. People love the idea of term limits.
Term limits is a guaranteed applause line. No matter who suggests term
limits in any political speech in party, right?
I think term limits are a terrible idea for legislators because
legislators are supposed to write laws. That is a complicated fraught high
degree difficulty work. If legislators get termed out in a couple of
years, before they figure out how to do a good job writing laws, then you
know what`s gong to happen? The people who are going to write laws will be
the staffers and the lobbyists and everybody else who is not elected and
not subjected to term limits. The actual legislators will not actually do
anything while in office if they`re not allowed to stick around long enough
to figure out how to make the system work.
People love term limits. All sorts of different people and all
different points of the political spectrum love term limits. I don`t get
it at all.
Same thing for nepotism, like voting for somebody or feeling loyal to
somebody as a politician, because you liked a family member of theirs as a
politician. You know, their mom is a politician or their dad is a
politician. This extends to when somebody dies in office. A lot of people
believe at moments like that, that the natural inheritor of that rest of
that person`s term should be their child or their spouse, which makes being
an elected official, that elected official job title something you hand
down like dishes, right? Or Aunt Trudy`s antique cigarette holder. It
says in the family.
We don`t have a house of lords in this country for a reason. People
don`t inherit titles in this country. I do not get the family dynasty
thing in politics among Republicans or Democrats, or anybody. But
obviously, lots of other people do get it. Particularly on Bush v. Clinton
day in the news today, right?
Obviously this has some resonance. But I don`t feel it. I don`t get
it. I also don`t get a lot of sleep.
Purpose built political clothing. It`s fine for presidents to wear
cowboy boots, for example. I think it`s weird for presidents to wear boots
that are designed to remind them that they are president with the
presidential seal on them.
Why do presidents need those jackets whenever they go on Air Force
One? Those jackets that tell them they are president while they are on
that airplane. I mean, would they otherwise forget? They don`t have to
wear a little uniform any other time when they`re president. Why do they
have to wear the special purpose-built political clothing while they`re on
that plane? It`s very strange.
So, things large and small. There are things that are beyond the
outer limits of my capacity as somebody who has this job, somebody who
explains the news and does political analysis. And I get that.
The most limiting of these today is my complete inability to
understand this. This is a person called Donald Trump. I don`t mean like
I can`t understand him when he speaks. I can understand the things he
says. The thing I don`t understand is how he is a political figure or what
kind of political figure he is, or what sort of political juice he`s got
because he`s got some. I just can`t figure it out. I can`t get there.
Today, Jeb Bush became the 11th person to announce he was formally
running for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.
We`ll talk more about that a little later on this hour.
But tomorrow, Donald Trump is going to be the 12th person to announce
he`s running for the Republican presidential nomination. It`s interesting.
There`s some resistance to accepting that as the next thing that`s going to
happen in political news. I think there`s resistance to accepting that
he`s about to announce, for the most part, because Mr. Trump in the past
has said or strongly hinted that he would run for a high political office
and he`s never actually followed through and done it.
In 1999 and 2000, he said he wanted to run for president not as a
Republican or as a Democrat, but on the reform party ticket. He then ended
up going on the “Today” show to announce he would not do that, because he
looked into it and turns out he figured out that the reform party was a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: I have made my decision. I am not going
to be running. The party is, as you know, self-destructing. Jesse has
left and that`s a problem. So I will not be running.
INTERVIEWER: Not running for the nomination of the reform party or
not considering any run for the presidency this time around?
TRUMP: Not considering a run.
INTERVIEWER: Nothing could change your mind with that?
TRUMP: No, no, totally not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Jesse Ventura left the party and so, obviously, that was it.
So, Donald Trump decided after playing with the idea of running for a
long time, he decided in 2000 to not run.
Then in 2012, in the last presidential election cycle, he spent
months implying he was going to run. He started giving speeches and doing
interviews about his theory that President Obama was secretly foreign.
That President Obama had a fake birth certificate and that actually meant
that President Obama wasn`t really president at all because he wasn`t
It was a very weird way to fake run for president, but Mr. Trump got
tons of traction – months and months and months of press coverage for that
in 2012. You remember when Mitt Romney and Ann Romney had to go do their
Donald Trump event? You remember that, right? I mean, ultimately, Donald
Trump did not run for president in 2012 either.
Then, in 2014, he said he was going to run for governor of New York.
At the last minute, he decided he wouldn`t run for governor of New York
after all. Now, apparently, we are on the eve of him announcing whether or
not he is going to run for president this time in 2016 as a Republican.
And here, we get to the limits of my abilities as a person who has a
job like this, because it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and,
therefore, don`t see the appeal because I don`t share the affection for him
that his supporters have. It`s nothing like that. It`s not qualitative at
I do not recognize – what`s going on here is that I don`t recognize,
I cannot see that what he is doing is something that might conceivably to
anyone have any political appeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: I want to make the country great again. This country is a
I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS, and it would be decisive
and quick and very, very – it`d be very beautiful.
I do know what to do and I would know how to bring ISIS to the table
or beyond that, defeat ISIS very quickly, and I`m not going to tell you
what it is tonight. You know, one of the problems that we have –
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: Why won`t you tell me?
TRUMP: I`ll tell you what? Because I don`t want to, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, why don`t you tell?
TRUMP: I`ll explain, I`ll explain.
VAN SUTEREN: We need all the help we can get. We need a dialogue in
this, a new dialogue.
TRUMP: If I win, I don`t want the enemy to know what I`m doing. I
don`t want the enemy to know what I`m doing. Unfortunately, I will
probably have to tell at some point, but there is a method of defeating
them quickly and effectively and having total victory.
So, all I can tell you is that it is a foolproof way of winning. And
I`m not talking about what some people would say. But it is a foolproof
way of winning the war with ISIS. And it will be absolutely 100 percent
they`ll let a minimum come to the table and actually they`ll be defeated
very quickly. Very, very quickly.
After watching Bush make a total ass of himself, Rubio makes an ass
out of himself.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: I can`t see that kind of public persona, as being something
that lays the foundation for a viable presidential run. But I also
recognize that Mr. Trump does very well in the polling among Republican
voters. There`s one new poll out today which he does lousy, comes in at 2
percent. But usually, and most of the national polls this year, he does
pretty great. I mean, he is certainly on track to be included in the
national debates, even as like the guy who came in second to Mitt Romney
last time around and the governor of Ohio and the former governor of Texas
– people who would seem to have a much more straightforward shot at the
nomination, are coming in fairly consistently after him in the polling.
He`s also this time around hired staff. One of the reasons that Rick
Santorum`s bid seems more like a long shot that you`d imagine after he did
so well in 2012 is in part because Donald Trump hired away the key Santorum
staffers who helped Rick Santorum win Iowa in 2012. They`re all Donald
Trump staffers now.
One of the staffers sent out this e-mail today inviting Republicans
to a Donald Trump event right after he gives his announcement tomorrow.
He`s going to be making his announcement at the Trump Tower in New York
City. Then he`ll fly immediately to Iowa, whereupon Iowa Republicans have
been invited to come meet Donald Trump in Des Moines for a rally they are
calling, “Make Ameria Great”.
And all over Ameria to the extent that anyone is thinking about him,
I think the political question about him is whether or not he is really
running or whether he`s going to opt out at the last minute like he has in
all those previous nominations. That`s kind of the discussion about him.
Frankly, I think he is going to run. I think he is also very easily
going to make the debate cut, when a lot of serving Republican governors of
major states are not going to make that cut.
But at a very base and a very present level, I just don`t understand
this. I don`t know how this works politically. I don`t know how to
analyze this phenomenon because part of me does not believe it is real. It
is real. Republican voters believe it is real, but I do not get it. I do
not understand it.
But joining us next is someone who tends to understand things when I
do not. Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, Donald Trump is going to announce tomorrow that he is
running for president of the United States.
And Jeb announced today, Jeb, please don`t use his last name. And
Hillary Clinton announced this weekend and started running these last few
days not in the way that anybody expected her to.
We don`t have many days like this in politics. But we savor them
when they happen. We have a special surprise guest coming up next here
specifically for amazing political days like this. That`s next.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, TV HOST: What`s this thing with Trump and you? It`s like
me and Letterman. What`s he got against you? I don`t get it.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This all dates back to
when we were growing up together in Kenya.
OBAMA: We –
LENO: Got to give you that one. Got to give you that one.
OBAMA: And we had constant run-ins on the soccer field.
OBAMA: You know, he wasn`t very good. You know?
LENO: Have you –
OBAMA: When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over.
LENO: No, no. Have you met him? I know you`re – you`ve been in
the same room. I saw you at the correspondents – have you met him?
OBAMA: I haven`t actually.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: President Obama speaking in 2012 apparently never met real
estate developer Donald Trump when Mr. Trump spent months railing at
President Obama to release his real birth certificate.
But now, Mr. Trump is apparently launching a campaign to not just
meet but to actually become president of the United States and Republican
voters apparently don`t mind the idea too terribly much.
And I do not understand to think about that. I do not understand how
to think about it. I do not understand what it means. I don`t even
understand whether or not this is politics.
Joining us now is someone who I would like to help me, the host of
“HARDBALL,” Chris Matthews.
Chris, my friend, thank you so much for being here.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, “HARDBALL” HOST: So I`m the grand brazier (ph) when
it comes to explaining Trumpy.
MADDOW: I just feel like I don`t honestly know if this is just a
celebrity/reality TV thing that I don`t get. Is this real politics? He
kind of polls well.
MATTHEWS: Well, he`s kind of a comic book figure. I mean, if you
imagine a Superman or better yet a Batman comic episode, he would be a
downtown developer, walking around with his trench coat, good looking wife,
lots of money, a flash. He`s a showoff.
He is the kind of guy, a sort of Sinatra of land development, where
the average working guy doesn`t have much money, says, this is how I`d
behave if I were rich. I`d have big buildings named after me. I`d have a
beautiful wife, I may have several wives. I would show off and talk about
running for president even, I make fun of other people. I would be kind of
a wise guy a showoff. I can`t do better than that.
And that is what he is. I think that is the appeal, just that.
MADDOW: When he was making noise about running in 2012, I`m sure you
remember this, we were all part of it to some degree or not, you know? The
tons and tons of attention, not just on cable but from all the networks and
tons of print media attention, everybody talking about the possibility of
him running and the way he was attacking President Obama. This time, not
Nobody – I mean, I know Jeb today kind of stepped on him a little
bit because he is going to announce tomorrow. But not as much noise about
him this time.
MATTHEWS: Well, unlike Charlie Brown in “Peanuts,” you and I finally
realize Lucy is going to drop the football. She is not going to hold it
for us. I mean, how many seasons do we have to go through when Charlie
Brown would realize too late he was on his butt because Lucy dropped the
ball and wouldn`t hold it for him when he went to kick.
And after all this time, I think we all – as you pointed out, we`ve
gotten tired of the game because there is never a chance to kick the
football. Well, I guess this time, he is going to run.
On the issue of the birth certificate, I think that`s where the
malice comes in. I think as a business guy, he deals with a lot of land
developers who are very right wing, very hawkish on the Middle East
especially, very hawkish. And I bet every time he walks into a business
meeting with one of those fellows, they congratulate him for accusing Obama
of being a foreigner, some sort of usurper, a Kenyan, some absurd claim.
They seem to like it because it is malicious and it does play to
racism. I`m not saying, you know, Donald Trump is a racist but he is
playing to the rabble out there that love the fact that some rich,
successful guy underwrites their claim that Obama shouldn`t be president by
some tribal illegitimacy. I think it`s all very business-like and
malicious. I do think that, that part of him.
MADDOW: Chris, there is a little bit of zero sum aspect to the
Republican field this year that there isn`t – that there hasn`t been in
other years in part because of these high stakes first televised debate.
FOX has said they`re only going to put ten of these guys on at once. By –
at least if it happened anytime soon, by my count, Trump would definitely
be on the stage and that would mean someone else who might be seen as a
more serious candidate, a John Kasich, or even a Rick Perry, or a Rick
Santorum, isn`t going to be there because Trump is.
If that holds through the fall and he does actually both declare that
he is running and go through the motions and make it into the debates, how
does it affect the whole Republican field?
MATTHEWS: Well, it`s like an Agatha Christie play. It is like ten
little Indians. And I think if he gets in there, he won`t just get in
there and push out or crowd out someone.
He will be the show, because he will attack whoever the front runner
is. If it`s Walker – Scott Walker, he`ll knock his head off. He`ll do
the same to Marco Rubio or even to Bush, if he makes a comeback.
His whole game the first night out will be to knock out the
frontrunner and get in the lead. He won`t be in the jump. He will be the
top of the story and that will make the Republican Party look like a clown
car because he`s in it. It`s going to happen.
It`s going to hurt the Republicans more than – you seem dismayed by
the man`s media power. He`s got it. People pay big money to live in one
of his towers. They`re paved with gold. You know, they`re – they`re
But people do go for it, as they went for Sinatra. Sinatra had
talent. This guy is a particular kind of talent. It`s called PR. He
knows how to build himself up and it`s all part of this comic book image
that people are taken with.
They don`t hate Donald Trump. People don`t. They find him
MADDOW: I got to say, I don`t – for me, it`s not dismayed. It is
actual confusion that I just can`t see it. What I`m worried about is that
I`m being taken for a ride. That this is something about a TV show that I
don`t want to watch, you know?
MATTHEWS: He has taken us four times for a ride. I went through the
numbers. He ran in `88, 2000, `04 and `12. Every time he said he`s going
to run until the last minute, then he drops the football. And I think this
time, as you pointed out earlier, he`s going to have to run. This time he
has to run.
The question is, will he actually file? You know, he put out some
numbers today, he`s worth $8 billion or $9 billion. My question is, when
he puts that under oath in his formal filings, I`ll believe it, when he
swears to that under the law. And that means he is actually running.
But we don`t know he is going to do that. If he does I will be
impressed he is risking exposure to the kind of body frisk that goes on for
any candidate. It`s going to be serious business because the press, even
though they like the story, they like him on the way up, they`re going to
like him on the way down.
Look how the press has gone after Christie. Christie has always been
good copy, and good or bad, whether a story is good or bad, Governor
Christie is always good copy and so is Donald Trump. And that`s the risk
he`s taking when he goes and puts his head into that noose and says, “I am
candidate for president of the United States.” That changes the rules of
coverage. You`re no longer covered as a colorful American comic figure.
You`re covered with scrutiny and sometimes the really toughness of
politics. That could be tough for him.
MADDOW: Chris Matthews –
MATTHEWS: He may really well regret doing this. I don`t know. He
may well regret it.
MADDOW: Or he may have it all gamed out. We`ll find out for sure
tomorrow whether he`s running.
But, I got to say, Chris, I didn`t expect to be covering presidential
politics this early, this intensely this early in the year, but it`s
amazing, and I`m so looking for covering it with you whole year.
MATTHEWS: Can I give you a prediction?
MATTHEWS: It still looks like Hillary`s the next president.
MADDOW: You think so?
MATTHEWS: It looks like it.
MADDOW: We`ll keep talking about it all year.
MATTHEWS: I don`t think it`s bold at all.
MADDOW: Chris, thank you for being here. Appreciate it, man.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC`s “HARDBALL”, which of course
is weeknights on this network at 7:00. But you already knew that.
We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: You know, sometimes in the summer they have free ice cream
cone day or free donut day. This has been free crazy politics day. You
don`t have to stand in a long line to get it.
Stay right there. We got more ahead.
MADDOW: There was this one moment today where he was a little owly.
Yes, owl-ish I guess is the way you say that. I didn`t expect the little
owl noise. It was really great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, here`s what it comes down
to. Our country`s on a very bad course. And the question is, what are we
going to do about it? The question for me – the question for me is, what
am I going to do about it?
And I`ve decided, I`m a candidate for president of the United States
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I did not see that coming. This is not an embarrassing
thing that Jeb Bush did. This is not like Howard Dean with a scream in
Iowa. This is not Jeb`s brother doing that, you`ve got to put food on your
This is not bad. This is not something he has to live down. I don`t
mean it that way. It was just unexpected. It was a very unexpected thing.
We made a little loop of it today. I`ve been watching it all day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Woo! Woo! Woo!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He`s got a little touch of the owl. Woo! And I say that as
an owl fan. Woo!
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, brother of George W. Bush, son
of George H.W. Bush, today officially became the 11th major Republican
candidate to declare a run for the presidency in 2016, 11. There was one
nice candid moment in his speech where he referenced that fact, where he
referenced the fact that there are a gazillion people running.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Campaigns aren`t easy and they`re not supposed to be. And I
know that there are a lot of good people running for president, quite a
few, in fact. And not one of us deserves the job by right of resume,
party, seniority, family or family narrative. It`s nobody`s turn. It`s
everybody`s test. And it`s wide open, exactly as the contest for president
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Amen. You know, the wide open nature of this race for the nomination
on Republican side, in particular, is honestly, very, very exciting this
year. But the size of the field is creating all sorts of challenges for
the individual candidates. And for the party as a whole trying to figure
out how to deal with this big, unwieldy giant group of people, none of whom
has particularly strong advantage over the others.
There is a new Monmouth University national poll that came out today.
The headline they put on their own poll is “no top tier”. The director of
the poll says, quote, “You`d be hard-pressed to look at the results and
identify an emerging top tier in the Republican field, let alone a so-
Honestly, though, even in this poll there is a strong frontrunner.
None of the candidates placed higher than 11 percent among Republican
voters nationwide. And nobody is more than a point ahead of anybody else.
But honestly, undecided kicks everybody`s butt. Undecided is clearly
winning the Republican race for president right now, 20 percent of
respondents, way ahead of anybody else.
And undecided is getting stronger and stronger over time. Two months
ago in this same poll, undecided only got 14 percent. Now, undecided gets
20 percent. I think undecided is going to win.
In the meantime, the Republican Party has to decide who they`re going
to allow to compete for the nomination by, for example, competing in the
nationally televised debates.
John McCain is the latest voice in the Republican Party to say that
the FOX News Channel is going to have to drop their plan to only allow the
top 10 candidates of national polling into the first debate. He tells
“Time” magazine now, quote, “I think if you had these rules in `07, I might
never have been the nominee of the party in 2008. I think it basically
shuts out those who aren`t well known. It also diminishes the importance
of a state like New Hampshire, or people who come out of nowhere through
their performance in the state and be successful.”
It is hard to believe that the FOX News Channel and the Republican
Party are going to be able to continue with this plan to only allow the top
ten candidates who effectively compete for the nomination, especially when
really there is no clear front runner other than undecided, and there is no
top tier of serious candidates who have a materially better chance at the
nomination than everybody else does.
But Jeb Bush today became the 11th Republican to formally join the
race. And in a bipartisan way, it is remarkable now that just over the
last 72 hours, we have had the official rollout of two of the three major
candidate who is are running for president this year who represent big
family political dynasties. I mean, there is Rand Paul as well, who
inherits basically intact the whole infrastructure and machinery of his
dad`s multiple protest campaigns for president.
There is Jeb Bush, who formally rolled out his campaign today. If he
were successful and actually won the general election and became president,
that would make the Bush family of Kennebunkport the only family in
American history to have ever supplied the country with three presidents.
But it was an interesting choice today for Jeb Bush that neither his
brother, the former president, nor his father, the former president, were
actually there on hand in Miami for Jeb`s announcement. He didn`t mention
either by name. He didn`t talk about either of their presidencies, except
obliquely, the only reference he made to them in his announcement today was
when he described himself as a guy who met his first president on the day
he was born and his second president on the day he was brought home from
But that was it. That little joke, that was it. No further
discussion of his brother`s time as president or his dad as time as
And I mean, maybe it`s easy to make too much of that, but at same
time, he also rolled out what`s going to be his official campaign logo.
It`s actually an old logo from the time he ran for governor in Florida in
1994. That was a campaign he lost. So you might think the logo might have
bad juju or something, but he`s using that logo again for his campaign this
time around. One obvious advantage of this gently used recycled campaign
logo is that it does not include his last name.
If you want to find the Jeb Bush for campaign online, also please, no
last name, it`s just Jeb2016.com. Jeb who? Jeb, wink, wink, let`s not
talk about it. Jeb2016.com, don`t say Bush.
If you forget and actually time in jebbushforpresident.com,
jebbushforpresident.com, you will soon find that is the Web site that is
owned by this adorable gay bear couple. Remember these guys? C.J. and
We had them on the show a few months ago when we realized they were
owners of jebbushforpresident.com. They have held on to
jebbushforpresident.com all this time. It`s a great website. It`s lovely.
It`s about their family and their dogs and how much they love driving
around in their RV, and how much they love each other, and they want their
Web site jebbushforpresident.com to be an open forum for discussing the
issue of gay rights.
So, jebbushforpresident.com is the cute bear gay couple. If you want
the actual Jeb Bush for president campaign, you have to drop the Bush when
you`re looking for the web site. Do not type his last name.
That – the word “Bush” is not part of his campaign for president.
It`s just a first name. It`s like Cher. Or it`s like The Rock. Or Bjork.
Or Coolio. Fabio, Twiggy, Seal, Liberace, Jeb. Right? It`s just one
You know, and it`s interesting. Hillary Clinton could have chosen to
do that as well. The name of that super PAC was ready for Hillary, right?
They didn`t have to say, Hillary, who? Her campaign logo is just an “H”
with the arrow thing.
She, too, could have been campaigning for president as if she dropped
from the sky or maybe hatched one day under a shady elm, right? I mean,
independent of any surname, independent of any political history that would
be implied by that surname. She totally could just be running as Hillary
but she`s running in the complete opposite direction.
In strike stark contrast from Jeb Bush, she is not running away from
the previous presidency of somehow with her last name, nor is she running
away from the president who she just served as secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, President
Roosevelt`s four freedoms are a testament to our nation`s unmatched
aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His
legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed. One is the
man I served as secretary of state, Barack Obama.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And another is my husband, Bill Clinton.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Two Democrats guided by – oh, that will make him so happy. They
were and are two Democrats guided by the fundamental American belief that
real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Hillary Clinton at her big campaign launch rally on Saturday
in New York City. Right at the top of her speech, referencing not only
President Obama but her husband`s presidency as well.
At the end of her speech, President Clinton joined Mrs. Clinton on
stage. There was no hiding his light under a bushel, right?
And that was not just something she put on for the campaign launch.
She`s been consistent and really aggressive on this, in every appearance
she has made since the launch on Saturday morning. And hold o because this
is where it gets really good.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CLINTON: I said in my speech yesterday that both the two Democratic
presidents of the last 35 years, one Barack Obama and the other my husband
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Showed that it is possible to do better. They both inherited the
problems from their Republican predecessors.
And they had to dig us out of holes. But the facts speak for
But it`s not like I`m saying, you know, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
are not going to influence how I see the world. I am a Democrat. I
believe that our country was stronger, more inclusive, produced more jobs
with more rising incomes with two Democratic presidents who both inherited
the problems of their Republican predecessors.
REPORTER: So, Jeb Bush is running today. He is going to announce.
He`s trying to say his last name doesn`t matter. Any piece of advice for
him on that?
CLINTON: I have to say that is a very tempting question to answer,
but I won`t.
I would say this, I`m going to let the Republicans decide who their
nominee ends up being. I`m running on my record, on my positions, but I`m
very proud that I have experience alongside my husband in the White House
and serving as secretary of state for President Obama, that I think will
really be helpful as I both campaign for and serve as president.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: When Al Gore ran as incumbent vice president to succeed Bill
Clinton in 2000, he famously ran away from Clinton presidency, from Bill
Clinton personally, but also from the achievements of the Bill Clinton
presidency that the country felt good about at the time. Hillary Clinton
is not making that same mistake.
She`s also not running away from the presidency of Barack Obama which
was really an open question about her presidential campaign. Nobody knew
how she would position herself in relation to President Obama. Now we
know. She`s making it very clear, no distance. And that is striking on
its own terms.
But if she ends up running against Jeb Bush, it will be freaking
amazing. Maybe it`s just a coincidence that Jeb Bush forgot to invite his
brother and his dad to his campaign announcement today. And he forgot to
include his last name in his logo. And he forgot to include his last name
on his Web site.
And it`s hard to make out any obvious reference to the fact that he
would be the third member of his own nuclear family to be president of the
United States if he were elected. But that is apparently how he is going
to run, first names only. For Hillary Clinton, it is 100 percent the
opposite of that.
Joining us now from Concord, New Hampshire, is Andrea Mitchell, host
of “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS” here on MSNBC.
Andrea, I know it has been an endless day for you. Thank you so much
for being here.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST, “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS”: My pleasure.
It has been a fascinating day in politics just watching these two
MADDOW: Seeing Hillary Clinton running, talking about her husband`s
presidency, talking about her husband as “my husband”, talking about the
Clinton presidency and the Obama presidency as two essentially twin
experiences with Democratic leadership, which she wants to build on, on the
same day that Jeb Bush is running as if his last name is not Bush, not in
the logo, not in the campaign Web site, not in his announcement today.
Is this a contrast that we expected from Secretary Clinton?
MITCHELL: I`m not sure that we really understood how she was going
to straddle this or deal with it.
And she`s embraced it. She`s embracing Obama. She`s certainly
embracing her husband. She`s not running away from his legacy, from his
value system. She is talking about both of these Democratic predecessors -
- one whom she`s married, the other whom she served.
And she is distinguishing herself, though, from policies without
being explicit, she certainly is not discussing the economy the way Bill
Clinton of the Democratic leadership coalition in 1992 spoke about the
economy, or in 1996 when he went for welfare reform.
There were a number of policies that she would not necessarily have
supported, did not support inside the White House. Welfare reform is
clearly one of them that was very controversial, the head of the Clinton
Foundation, with others in the cabinet, and presumably the first lady as
But she is now moving to the left because the country has moved to
the left. And because she`s under pressure from those who are in love with
Elizabeth Warren, from those flocking to Bernie Sanders, and he`s getting a
lot of support from millennials, from others who find him to be very
authentic and very principled, and she`s trying to adjust to that.
And she`s certainly moved away from President Obama on trade. And
that, of course, is a hot topic and was noticed, you can believe me, in the
That said she has no apologies for them, not for their values, not
from what they represent. I think it`s very artfully done and so far I
think it could work for her.
MADDOW: Andrea, on that point about trade, obviously, Bernie Sanders
had been just one of the people probably to the left of her in the
Democratic Party who had been pushing her to give an answer on that. She
had been avoiding giving an answer to that.
She finally came out and said, I`m with Nancy Pelosi on this
effectively. And Nancy Pelosi on Friday voted against the trade bill after
keeping her cards very close to the vest and heading into that vote. That
happened today. Or discussion of that at least happened today.
In this press availability, she took questions for about 20 minutes
with the press. It`s been a real flashpoint, a real point of criticism,
that she hasn`t been available to reporters. Is it your sense that that`s
going to change now?
MITCHELL: And I think it is. I think how often she does it is
another issue, but the fact that she spent 20 minutes talking to us. We
knew this was going to take place. There were lots of signals. That it
was very orderly. There were no shouted questions. I think it served her
She`s so good and adept at handling press questions, aside from, you
know, instance like that U.N. experience, talking about the e-mails and at
some points during her book tour. But she`s clearly thought these answers
through. I think her answer about her wealth, when I asked her about Mitt
Romney`s criticism, there was sort of a laughter, you know, Mitt Romney is
criticizing me about my wealth?
His point was that she`s going to get beaten up the way I was beaten
up, said he, because her earnings, her speech earnings, are so vast – you
know, multiples of what other people make per hour. How can she be a
populist? And what she said was, look, American people don`t begrudge
other people`s success. They just don`t want to see people who are so
successful because they lived the American dream and others have helped
them and then they pull up the ladder behind them and say they built their
own log cabin. And I think that that`s an interesting answer.
MADDOW: Andrea Mitchell, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent and
host of “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS”, weekdays at noon on MSNBC, Andrea
reporting tonight from New Hampshire – really appreciate you being here.
MITCHELL: Good to be with you. Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: We`ve got much more still to come tonight. Please stay with
MADDOW: OK. Somewhere between point A and point B on this map,
there`s a piece of prized cargo that`s in the middle of a very high-profile
journey. Point A, as you can see, is the city of Bellingham, Washington,
just north of Seattle. Point B is Dutch Harbor in Alaska.
And somewhere in between A and B right now is a ship called the
Arctic Challenger. It`s operated by Shell Oil. It`s departed Bellingham.
It`s set to arrive any day now as Shell prepares to start drilling the
Alaska is getting ready for it to arrive, and so is the coast guard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Sitting in Alaska are two 25-foot Coast Guard response
boats. They arrived at the end of May. The Coast Guard will use them to
patrol waters and enforce the safety zone around Shell`s fleet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the potential for protest activity, we as
the Coast Guard are going to ensure that all mariners are maintaining
safety on the water, as small vessels can try to impede upon large vessels`
movement and vice versa, because a very dangerous situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, the Coast Guard is going to be stationing vessels around
the Arctic Challenger to keep protesters away. They`re already planning
that. They`ve pre-positioned already. The ship hasn`t even arrived yet
and they`ve already geared up for potential protester trouble. Frankly,
there`s probably good reason for them to be concerned.
Last month as that specific ship was sitting in port in Washington
state, waiting to go to Alaska, it was boarded by protesters who attached
themselves to its anchor chain and they just hung there for days before
being removed bit Coast Guard. This past Friday, another one of Shell`s
ship got boarded. Protesters attached themselves to the ship`s anchor
chain, and stayed there for seven hours before being hauled down by the
Coast Guard. Both of those happened in Bellingham, just up the coast from
This was the scene in Seattle earlier today. This is the Polar
Pioneer, that giant yellow thing there. One of Shell`s rigs that is
supposed to do the drilling in the Arctic. It`s unimaginably huge. That
drilling rig left the port of Seattle this morning on its way to Alaska.
But on its way out of port, it was met with a blockade of kayakers,
about 50 of them, who physically put their teeny, teeny, teeny boats and
them selves in the direct path of that gigantic rig as it started its
journey to the arctic. Fourteen of those activists from Greenpeace were
taken into custody today, including a Seattle City councilman.
In some cases, those activists were pulled out of their kayaks by the
Coast Guard when they were taken into custody. They`ve all since been
But that scene in Seattle was sort of a repeat of this protest when a
giant flotilla of kayakers swarmed around that same Shell drilling rig
while it arrived in Seattle, as the Coast Guard try to fend them off. So,
yes. The thing got into Washington amid a big flotilla of protesters, it
got out of Washington, barely, amid a big flotilla of more protesters.
And now that the first Shell vessel from their drilling fleet is
about to arrive in Alaska, the coast guard is getting ready for what they
expect to be a fight. And they have prepositioned their resources.
Although, word to the wise here. If there is a fight, it`s hard to
expect exactly how the protesters might wage it because they have been
This is the Seattle Space Needle, that iconic tower that looks a
little disconcertingly like a syringe. It`s also an event space. It has
banquets halls inside that you can rent out.
In 2012, the Space Needle was the site of a big launch party for a
Shell Oil Arctic drilling rig called the Kulluk. The Kulluk was about to
set sail to go try to test drill in Arctic and it was big party inside the
Space Needle to say farewell to the Kulluk. Everything seemed like it was
going fine, until this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to pour a ceremonial glass here and
would like to be joined by our special guest. The widow of the late great
designer of the rig, Mrs. Enid Appleby. We would like you to have the
first glass poured from the little Kulluk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, put your glass right over here, Enid, and
we`ll fill you up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness. Turn it
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop, stop, stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Who is responsible for this disaster? The answer to that
question turned out to be activist grouped call the Yes Men. In 2012 they
set up a whole fake launch party at the Seattle Space needle. They posed
as Shell Oil officials, invited local business leaders to attend the launch
and then they unleashed an oil spill from their miniature Shell drilling
The nice older lady who got sprayed by the fake oil was also an
activist. She was in on it. It was a stunt essentially to call attention
to Shell`s drilling activities in the arctic and it did get all sorts of
press when they did it.
And now that Shell is back out there to try drilling again, the Yes
Men are back at it, too. This was just a few days ago here in New York
City. The Yes Men posing as Shell Oil employees again. They took to the
streets of New York City to offer passersby free snow-cones.
The big chunk of ice they offered they said was from the last chunk
of ice from the last polar ice. Free snow-cones from the last polar ice
ever. Free snow cones, come slurp the Arctic with Shell.
Shell`s now waiting on the last few permits to start their drilling
in the arctic. Honestly, it seems clear, they`re never going to be able to
do this in peace. It`s going to be a long, hot summer.
MADDOW: Honestly, I did not expect to be covering the 2016
presidential race at such a breakneck pace already this time of year,
right? But today, we got the formal announcement from Jeb Bush that he is
running as Jeb, first name only. Jeb Doe, you can call him.
You also have Hillary Clinton stepping out as not just a proud
Democrat, but a proud Clinton and a proud Obama secretary of state.
Tomorrow, we`re going to get Donald Trump`s announcement that he`s
running as president, which is amazing just on the face of it.
And in the middle of that, we`re waiting on several huge rulings from
the U.S. Supreme Court that could have a big effect on not just the
presidential race but also the country at large. Usually, we only get
rulings on Mondays. They`re now saying we`re going to start getting them
now on Thursdays as well.
So, this is going to be a great week for nice. I mean, it already is
a great week for news and it`s only Monday.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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