The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/14/15


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

A special edition of THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, “Tale of the Tape”,
starts now.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: So the cliche is that something is the
best of times and the worst of times. Not here. That`s not this.

What this is, is more just the worst, full stop, alone. This was a
world in which the Bronx really was burning and a serial killer named “Son
of Sam” was stalking the local lover`s lanes and John Travolta was the
height of American cultural aspiration, pouring himself into that white
suit and dreaming o of a brighter disco ball. And President Gerald Ford
turned his back on the bankrupt biggest city in America and he told New
York to drop dead.

It was the decadence and the sticky, sweltering misery and the
palpable fear that was late 1970s New York City.

But there was a singular American titan who emerged from that
disaster, who emerged as the late 1970s turned into the 1980s. And he
emerged from that sewer, from that terrible time, as, basically, the


TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Donald Trump, as I say, is just 33 years old.
He took his father`s rather modest by current standards, real estate empire
in Brooklyn, and expanded it considerably. He now has an apartment for
sale in a new Trump building called the Trump Tower, going up on Fifth
Avenue. There it is.

You can buy this apartment, one floor of it, one whole floor of that
building, that is, $11 million, altogether.

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Well, I like inner cities. I see
the inner cities as being sort of a wave of the future now. I think with
the problems of fuel and the gasoline shortages and everything else and the
transportation, especially in the major cities such as New York and Los
Angeles and Chicago, I see the inner cities as being probably, in terms of
a real estate or in a real estate sense, probably the most viable

BROKAW: Mr. Trump, what`s left in your life? You`re 33 years old.
You`re worth all this money. You said you didn`t say that you want to be
worth $1 billion.

TRUMP: I really don`t. I want to keep interested and be active and
be interested in what I do and that`s all there is to life as far as I`m
concerned. I really – I`m not looking to make tremendous amounts of
money. I`m looking to enjoy my life. And if that happens to go with it,
that`s fabulous.


MADDOW: That`s fabulous. I really don`t want to be worth $1
billion. I just want to enjoy my life.

That was Donald Trump, big bucks tycoon, 33 years old, meeting
national audience in 1980 on the “Today” show.

I cannot tell you what the half-life of humility is or what it ought
to be. But I can tell you that we have also found this amazing tape of
that same guy, that same 33-year-old, who just wanted to enjoy his life.
We have found tape of him sounding much more inflated, just four years
later, at age 37.

So, you haven`t seen this before, but this exists. This is from
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in 1984. Watch this.


NARRATOR: Rome wasn`t built in a day, but it might have been and at
a handsome profit if this man lived there. Donald S. Trump, head of a $1
billion real estate empire.

TRUMP: At an age of 37, I don`t believe anyone`s really ever built
more things than we have in terms of the business that I`m in.

NARRATOR: Even his peers, few that there are, hold him in awe. He
puts deals together like other people play monopoly, even with the decks
stacked in his favor, this is his Trump card. A 68-story office and
apartment complex called Trump Tower, that New York`s Mayor Ed Koch says –

ED KOCH, THEN-NYC`S MAYOR: As Donald Trump`s masterpiece.

NARRATOR: Its opening party was one to end them all. Thousands of
them mingle and let loose to celebrate the ultimate Fifth Avenue luxury


NARRATOR: To relax, this high roller doesn`t just buy a ticket for
the game. He buys the entire team. Yes, the New Jersey Generals football

TRUMP: I would rather spend the ultimate dollar and have the
ultimate place.

NARRATOR: And Donald Trump wants first place.


MADDOW: And Donald Trump wants first place. “Lifestyles of the Rich
and Famous.”

He wants first place, though. And if a few lowly nobodies get hurt
in the process, what does that matter?


REPORTER: Trump has gotten rich by building for the wealthy. His
critics say at the expense of the poor and the middle class.

Trump tried to force the tenants out of this old building on Central
Park South, a prime location, so he could build a new tower in its place.
He even tried to put vagrants into empty apartments in the building.

John Moore heads the tenant group which is fighting Trump.

JOHN MOORE: Donald shouldn`t step on little people and he`s chosen
to do so here.


MADDOW: Before he was 40 years old, Donald Trump was already huge,
huge. And if Donald Trump has the reputation in New York of being
something more than just a rich buffoon, it is because of how he emerged a
as a public figure and when he emerged as a public figure.

I mean, he really did build fancy skyscrapers when no one believed
New York City was worth that kind of risk anymore. He did – he fixed up
the ice rink in Central Park, which had been closed for repairs for years.
He fixed that rink himself on his own dime and then reopened it as Trump
rink. That`s how it worked in Mr. Trump`s New York. Even if he did
something not just for himself, he at least made sure to get his name on

And by the time he rounded the corner on 40 years old, he was
already, in public, fending off the idea that he should run for king of the
world, or president, or whatever.


OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: I know people have talked to you about
whether or not you want to run. Would you ever?

TRUMP: Probably not. But I do get tired of seeing the country
ripped off –

WINFREY: Why would you not?

TRUMP: I just don`t think I really have the inclination to do it. I
love what I`m doing. I really like it.

WINFREY: It also doesn`t pay as well.

TRUMP: No, it doesn`t.

I love the country, but I think you`re going to have probably George
Bush as your next president. He`s an excellent guy, an excellent man, he`s
a friend of mine and I`m here for that reason.

REPORTER: Well, I wasn`t talking about this year, Mr. Trump, but you
have said if you ran for president, you`d win?

TRUMP: I think I would have a very good chance. When I do
something, I win. I like to win.


MADDOW: Of course, I would have a good chance of being president. I
could have a billion dollars, but that`s not.

On his way to wealth and power, Donald Trump insisted he didn`t want
either of those things. He didn`t want the presidency. He didn`t want a
billion dollars. That was the Donald Trump of the 1980s. No to the White
House and no to the billions of dollars in personal net worth, that were
his if he wanted them, but then he didn`t want them.

But then comes 2015, when that same man, that same Donald Trump makes
the case for himself as president of the United States, because of his
billions of dollars.


TRUMP: I`m using my own money. I`m not using the lobbyists. I`m
not using donors. I don`t care. I`m really rich. I have a total net
worth, and now with the increase, it will be well over $10 billion.

I`m not doing that to brag, because you know what, I don`t have to
brag. I don`t have to, believe it or not. I`m doing that to say, that
that`s the kind of thinking our country needs. We need that thinking.


MADDOW: Make me president! Look at my many billions. I`m not
bragging. Just look at them! You have to wonder if the Donald Trump back
then would recognize the Donald Trump now, or vice versa.

Right? That young, big bucks tycoon who said he just wanted to enjoy
his life? Right, he`s now the middle-aged or better icon who`s at the top
of the Republican heap running roughshod over the most experienced field in
a long time, saying and doing things that would send any other candidate
spiraling out of contention.

Donald Trump is at the top of a huge Republican field with governors
who cannot seem to catch up to him and the senators who cannot seem to
catch up to him. Not even the senator who came in second place for the
nomination in 2012.

This is a weird and sprawling Republican field. It`s a weird
collection of people, but they`re all in the same boat, paddling furiously
against the tide of Donald Trump.

But it turns out the tale of the tape on these guys turns up some
really interesting stuff. We`ve been doing an archives project, looking
into the old tape on all the candidates for president this year. And it
turns out the stories of where they came from in the most part are pretty
amazing. I mean, none quite as amazing as Donald Trump, but they`re

And I have to tell you, we do have one other clip of Donald Trump
that involves a laser light show and you must see this before you die.
It`s possible it will change your life. You have never seen it before.
Donald Trump, laser lights, there`s a song. It`s incredible. So we`ve got

But the tale of the tape on all of these guys is totally worth
seeing. We did one of these tale of the tape things already on the
Democrats. This one tonight is on the Republicans.

Honestly, I think it`s better, just because there are a lot of these
guys and a lot of them did the weirdest stuff they`ve ever done on tape, a
long time ago. So buckle up. This is going to be really good. The laser
show Donald Trump, Jeb Bush as you have never seen him, as you have
physically never seen him.

We`ve got lots more still to come. Stay with us.


MADDOW: Everybody knows that one key to a successful workout is
proper stretching beforehand. You got to stretch. You don`t want to pull
something. With that in mind, I hereby present to you possibly the next
president of the United States stretching, doing some pretty thorough wrist

I don`t know what this one is, maybe stretching out the old
collarbone. Giving the Adam`s apple a little stretch, I don`t know. I
don`t know! Now, what`s that? What`s that? What he`s stretching to go
for here is a run.

I have already assume he`s already taken care of the lower body
stretching, but this is pretty solid – I don`t know, maybe he`s going to
run on his hands.

Future presidential candidates stretching. I have to say, that was
not a folder I expected that we would find in the archives, but there it

More where that came from, next.


MADDOW: OK. It was the early 1980s. Ronald Reagan was president.
Big hair everywhere, right? Early `80s.

South Florida had a problem on its hands. I mean, literally, they
had a problem on their hands, because it turns out all of the money in
south Florida, all of the cash, was suddenly turning up with cocaine on it.
Trace amounts of cocaine were being detected on all of the cash in South

It was the booming drug trade in Florida. This was an unexpected and
unwelcome byproduct of that. Check this out. And watch for the cameo


BROKAW: In South Florida, the drug business is so widespread, the
chances are that if you live there, you`re carrying traces of it around in
your wallet or your purse. It`s drug dough. No, that`s not the raw
ingredients for intoxicating brownies, but real money, as Dennis Murphy

DENNIS MURPHY, NBC NEWS REPORTER: It`s finding its way into some of
the most prominent wallets in south Florida. The vice president`s son had

JEB BUSH: I got cocaine on my $20 bill and I can tell you, I don`t
use it.


MADDOW: Hello!

That`s the 1985 iteration of Jeb Bush, son of the vice president at
the time, George H.W. Bush. Jeb`s having to tell “Nightly News” there that
he`s not a cocaine user, but, yes, he, too, has cocaine on his cash. It
was Florida! It was the 1980s. What would you expect?

Jeb Bush at that point was not yet a full-time politician. He was a
local businessman in Miami, but when you`re the son of a man who was a
state representative in Texas and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
and the director of the CIA and an aspiring candidate for president,
politics sort of gets thrust on you whether you like it or not. And that
was the case for Jeb Bush in the 1980s, for a very young and very
inexperienced Jeb Bush in the 1980s.

In 1980, Poppy Bush, having racked up that very impressive resume of
public service, Poppy Bush in 1980 decided to make a run for president.
Now, you`ll remember this is the presidential election that ultimately went
to Ronald Reagan. But in 1980, Reagan was being challenged for the
Republican nomination by George H.W. Bush.

And during that primary campaign went Bush was trying to lock up any
vote that he could find, he dispatched his son, Jeb, to go campaign for him
in Puerto Rico. Jeb Bush spoke Spanish, his wife Columba was Mexican. Jeb
Bush went to Puerto Rico to make the case for his dad. He was 27 years old
at the time. He was in Puerto Rico.

It turns out he was not at all ready for the family business. And
you could tell, physically. Check this out and the cameo here is from the
man`s knees. Watch. Watch this.


TV ANCHOR: The Republicans in Puerto Rico hold a primary election
this Sunday when they will choose 14 delegates to their national
convention. It`s not a large number of delegates. Puerto Ricans can`t
even vote in the November election, but all the Republican candidates,
except Ronald Reagan, have been trying to win friends under the palm trees.
And the son of one of them has been there almost 60 days.

Linda Ellerbee has that story.

LINDA ELLERBEE, NBC NEWS REPORTER: The campaign trail in Puerto Rico
is different.


ELLERBEE: Puerto Rico, not New Hampshire, is the first primary, at
least for Republicans. In Puerto Rico, it`s important to remember that
Democrats and Republicans don`t count as much as local parties do, which
doesn`t stop Democrats and Republicans from spending money and time here.
And in one case, donating a member of the family.



ELLERBEE: This man is the father of this man. He is Jeb Bush, 27
years old, son of George. And he`s been campaigning and living in Puerto
Rico for nearly two months.

The Bush campaign thinks that Jeb is their secret weapon here. He
goes everywhere on the island, talks to everyone. Always in Spanish. And
does those things every politician does.


ELLERBEE: His Spanish is good partly because his wife, Columba, is

What`s it like being the professional son of the candidate down here?

JEB BUSH: It`s not something that I would like to do the rest of my
life, no. I get nervous, at first. It`s just, I`m not a politician.

ELLERBEE: And probably it is scary, because when the crowd hoots and
cheers, as they did that day, the nerves go to the knees, and it must be
comforting to remember you are the candidate`s son, not the candidate. And
if dad loses, nobody will blame Jeb. Except perhaps Jeb.

Linda Ellerbe, NBC News, Puerto Rico.


MADDOW: Linda Ellerbe is such a god. She always has been.

But that tape, Jeb Bush`s knees literally knocking. His knees
shaking, as he stood before that crowd in Puerto Rico. That was February

But all of Jeb`s very nervous campaigning down there did pay off.
Poppy Bush won the Puerto Rico Republican primary that year with 59 percent
of the vote, he won all 14 of Puerto Rico`s delegates.

And coming off his win in the Iowa caucuses that year, Poppy Bush had
real momentum. That presidential campaign, that 1980 campaign for his dad,
that really was Jeb Bush`s first foray into national politics. He traveled
the country with his dad, and as the candidate`s son, that included going
on the occasional run for the cameras, just to show how strong and fit
Poppy Bush was.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH: What do you think, Rabbit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know, about 24.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Yes, 24 or 5. I would like to pace it at about
eight minutes and see how we feel. This is going to be tough. But tell
them our time.

Jebby, this boy might not be up for it.

JEB BUSH: Twenty-two forty-five.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Twenty-two forty-five. Is that our best?

JEB BUSH: That was on firm, on good track.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: We`ve just gotten word from ABC, CBS, and NBC,
plus the local outlets, 11, and said the TV cameraman have to lay aside
their weapons and run. So, thus establishing a rapport with the candidate
which will get a lot of inside information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, how are you?

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Hello. How are you? Look at you. Remember



MADDOW: You remember Jebby, don`t you? You remember Jebby.

Well, Poppy Bush ultimately lost that Republican primary that year to
Ronald Reagan. But Jeb Bush went along for that whole ride. And when
Ronald Reagan eventually tapped Bush Sr. to be his vice president, the
entire bush family was thrust on to the national stage for pretty much the
entire 1980s. And that included not only Jebby, but another one of the
Bush brothers.


REPORTER: George, you and, I think, a couple of your brothers have
been active in one way or another in politics. What`s it like, though –
and your father has some experience at this, too, following in those kinds
of footsteps? I mean, you`re third generation.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, it`s very easy, Jane, because he`s never put
any inordinate amount of pressure on us. He`s never put his expectations
on us and let us be our own type people. But you`re right, being a George
Bush in this day and age has some unusual strengths to it.


MADDOW: You go back and look through the archives, it becomes sort
of clear that Jeb was actually the Bush son who was thought of as having
serious political ambitions. Certainly more so than the brother who went
on to actually become president.


REPORTER: The five of you have a – the reputation of staying out of
the spotlight. Is that by design?

GEORGE W. BUSH: It is for me. I, you know, don`t feel like I`ve got
all that much too important to say on the big national issues. And
therefore, I feel I`ve got to do my job and raise my family.

And, you know, we campaign some. I know I did during the election,
but, a child`s place for the vice president, in my view, is to keep his
mouth shut and make a living. That`s what I`d try to do.


MADDOW: That was George W. Bush during an interview with NBC`s
“Today” show in 1985.

Imagine if he`d stuck with that approach to life. I don`t have much
to say on national issues.

His brother, Jeb, though, here`s the question that Jeb got during
that same interview.


REPORTER: Jeb, you`re GOP county chairman in Florida, right, Dade
County. Are you looking to a career in politics? Is that your future
lies? Long-range ambitions was.

JEB BUSH: If I can get about half the income that you make, then I
can get into politics afterwards. But until I attain that, then I can`t
talk about it.

REPORTER: I would do this for free, are you kidding?


MADDOW: George W. Bush, nothing to say about big national issues,
aisle just worried about raising my family. But, Jeb, you`re looking at a
career in politics, aren`t you?

The 1980s were Jeb Bush`s introduction to national politics. He did,
of course, go on to become Florida`s governor and then he went on to make a
ton of money afterwards, as he alluded to wanting to do in that interview.
But at his start, it was in the 1980s. It was his dad`s run for president
and ultimately his dad`s two terms as vice president that really set up Jeb
Bush`s life, that first set the gears in motion for his own run for
president today.


REPORTER: When you hear the kind of things that were being said
about your dad, do you get hurt, do you get angry, what?

JEB BUSH: Yes, I do. I don`t like it. I got – I`m involved pretty
actively in politics, so I should know better. But it`s hard to sublimate,
you know, your personal convictions – we would all jump on a hand grenade
for our father, if one was there. So, it`s kind of hard for us to sit back
and say, oh, that`s no big deal. It does bother us.



MADDOW: Sometimes I have moments on the show when I look back and I
think, did that really happen? Did I dream that happened?

Por ejemplo, May 2009, which was about four months into the Barack
Obama presidency, Republicans still trying to shake off the residue to have
the George W. Bush administration. But they were already starting to think
about the first midterm, the 2012 elections. They were already thinking
about how they could turn every congressional race in the country into a
race against that evil communist tyrant, Obama, who had been in office for
a few weeks.

When I look back on that time period, I sometimes cannot remember if
this thing actually happened, or whether I just dreamed that it did.
Luckily, we end up recording these shows on tape. So we can check.


DR. RAND PAUL: I think it`s a matter of, somebody`s got to present
the message better to the Republican Party. Maybe it`s slightly different,
but we`ve got to go away from going around and justifying torture as our
main message. And I think we`ve got to come out with a better spokesman
for our party.

MADDOW: Well, speaking of which, Dr. Paul, I understand that you
yourself have some political ambitions. I was hoping that you might talk
about those tonight on the show.

PAUL: Yes, I do. I`m happy tonight to announce on THE RACHEL MADDOW
SHOW that I`m forming an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. Senate.


MADDOW: I did not dream that. That actually happened. Rand Paul`s
political career got its start right here on this very show. He even said
the name of the show as he did it.

That was the first time Rand Paul ran for national office. That`s
the campaign in which he ultimately got the seat that he now holds. He
announced it right here.

You are not dead. You are not dreaming.


PAUL: I`m happy, tonight, to announce on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW that
I`m forming an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. Senate.


MADDOW: That happened! He announced it right here.

Senator Rand Paul may not be happy about that in retrospect, given
how his next interview on the show went, which was our 15-minute
conversation about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which did not end well.
Then, after that, there was also that time that we busted him for
plagiarizing the Wikipedia pages about several B-rate movies. He actually
threatened to quit politics altogether over that plagiarism scandal.

At the beginning, Rand Paul`s national political career really,
really, really was launched on this show. That is a thing that happened.
We used to like talking him and me. We used to really get along. Now, he
won`t come back and talk to me anymore.

And his presidential campaign, so far, at least, has experienced sort
of a failure to thrive. The same cannot, though, be said for the batch of
Republican candidates who Rand Paul was first elected alongside. That
election in 2010, that Republican wave election in 2010 not only gave him
his first seat in government, it catapulted a ton of Republicans into the
national spotlight, including one whose rise has been pretty meteoric, but
whose first moments on the national stage have largely been forgotten,
until now, until we dug it up from the archives and that`s next.

Stay with us.


MADDOW: It`s a weird name, but this is the local newspaper in
Brazoria County, Texas. “The Brazos Port Facts.” Brazoria County is in
southeastern Texas.

And almost 20 years ago, in Brazoria County, that little local
newspaper, “The Brazos Port Facts,” they broke a story about a national
scandal that was happening in their county. It was happening in that are
little corner of Texas.

That newspaper got their hands on a video that showed prisoners, many
of whom who are already injured, prisoners being beaten and abused at a
private prison called the Brazoria County correctional facility.

And the reason that was a national scandal and not just a scandal for
that corner of Texas was that it turns out that lots of other states around
the country at the time were shipping their prisoners to Texas, because
Texas promised to lock them up for cheaper than those prisoners could be
locked up at home.

So, these prisoners were getting the tarnation beaten out of them in
Texas, but it was a national scandal because they were from all over. This
is a “Today” show segment from years ago.

When you watch this, keep an eye out for a certainly Republican
presidential contender from this year, and your hint for who to watch out
for is that the guy who turns up in this case is not one of this year`s
candidates who actually hails from Texas. He`s from somewhere else.


TV ANCHOR: Katie, up until a few weeks ago, Missouri was one of
several states renting jail space in Texas. But then, you may recall a
video surfaced showing some prisoners being abused. Missouri took its
inmates home and it was thought that other states might do the same.

But as NBC`s Jim Cummins reports, that hasn`t happened.

JIM CUMMINS, NBC NEWS REPORTER: First, there was this videotape that
graphically shows sheriff`s deputies and jailers using tear gas, stun guns,
and attack dogs – on Missouri inmates in a Texas jail.

Missouri was one of the 11 states that rent jailed space from Texas
before it pulled its inmates out of here, but the other ten states continue
renting more than 4,000 jail cells from Texas at the rate of $40 a day.

The reason why is simple. Those states don`t have enough jail space
to have their own. Texas has a glut of empty jail cells and needs the
money to pay for them. And sometimes other states actually save money, by
sending their inmates here.

Take Wisconsin, for example. Its prison system is already 50 percent
over capacity, and with the courts cracking down on crime, it`s only going
to get worse.

This facility in Racine opened in 1991 and was overfilled within six

KENNETH MORGAN, WARDEN: We certainly can`t in the short run build
ourselves out of the predicament we`re in. And that`s more inmates than we
have beds.

CUMMINS: So, they send them to Texas, 538 from Wisconsin before the
infamous videotape was released. Since then, they`ve added 90 more.

SCOTT WALKER, WISCONSIN STATE REP.: We don`t have much Texas. If
it`s not Texas, it`s going to have somewhere else.


MADDOW: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, then just a state
representative, explaining that, yes, Missouri might be removing its
prisoners from that terrible prison from which we saw that terrible tape.
But, Wisconsin, we got to send them somewhere. They sent more prisoners,
even after that tape came out. That was Scott Walker, 30 years old, well
before he became nationally famous and a hero on the political right for
ending union rights in his state.

If you`ve never heard of Scott Walker before he became Wisconsin
governor in the 2010 election, chances are the thing you first learned
about him was that something like 100,000 people were protesting against
him in Wisconsin because of that effort to dismantle union rights. It`s
just an incredibly divisive way to begin his governorship.

Even on the day when Scott Walker held the signing ceremony for that
anti-union rights bill, amid the clatter of the news cameras covering him
signing the bill, in the background, you could still hear something else.



REPORTER: Governor, we can hear thousands of people in the halls
screaming, “shame, shame, shame.” We can hear that in your office right
now. Can you respond to that?

WALKER: Sure. I said this every day since I introduced this a month
ago that the protesters are here and around the capitol, at least those
from Wisconsin, increasingly, they`re more and more from other state. But
those from Wisconsin have every right to be here.


MADDOW: Scott Walker is often described politically as being
unflappable. And it`s true. He did not seem the slightest bit flapped by
having tens of thousands of his constituents screaming at him, screaming in
the streets and screaming in the capital about how radically he was
changing their state just months after he took office.

But Scott Walker is a political pro. If he`s nothing else, he`s a
political pro. He has never done anything in his adult life, except for
politics. He lives for this stuff.

I mean, when he was on the “Today” show in that clip at 30 years old,
defending sending Wisconsin`s prisoners to that jail in Texas, even after
they knew that that jail was notorious for abusing its prisoners, when he
gave that interview at 30 years old, Scott Walker had already won three
different elections by that point.

Scott Walker now is still a very young man. He`s 47 years old. He`s
won 12 elections, 12. He`s won every single time he has run for anything,
with the exception of his very first race, which he ran at the ripe old age
of 22 in the year 1990. Every time he has run for anything since 1990, and
he has spent his entire life running for office, every single time since
1990, he has won. Twice he`s won unopposed.

This record of all of these wins in a row includes winning three
statewide elections in Wisconsin, in just the past five years.

I mean, as a point of comparison in terms of the field this year,
compare him with Jeb Bush. The last time Jeb Bush ran for anything or won
anything was an election 13 years ago in 2002. Since 2002, Scott Walker
has run for election six times and he`s won every time.

There is a reason why Scott Walker of Wisconsin is beloved by
conservatives and taken seriously as a top tier candidate for the
Republican nomination this year. He is not a crossover appeal kind of
politician, right? He`s not a conciliator, he`s a divisive guy.

Democrats and liberals and because of that sometimes cannot see what
the right sees in him. But at least some of what the right sees in him is
just pure batting average. He`s 12 for 12 in his last elections. And yes,
they all been in Wisconsin.

But no Republican presidential candidate has won the state of
Wisconsin since 1984, and judging purely by electoral history, if any one
of them has a shot, not just at Wisconsin, but maybe even the whole thing,
just based on his batting average, it`s probably him.


MADDOW: The MSNBC TV network used to look a lot different than it
looks now. Behold. The great Anne Thompson with amazing hair. God, that
was a great time for hair!

The great Anne Thompson and a former MSNBC anchor named Gregg
Jarrett. They`re reporting on a story here back in the year 2000. But
that story from all that time ago, from all those haircuts ago, turns out
to relate directly to the race for president today. What we recovered from
the archives from those guys is next.


MADDOW: Can you name the current Republican presidential candidate
in this picture?

Honestly, it doesn`t jump out at you immediately, right? It`s not
the guy up top with the beautiful mustache. Although I`m telling you the
whole race would change if anyone had a mustache like that in the running
this year.

It`s also not the lady sitting to that guy`s left, our right. No, it
turns out it`s the guy right in the middle of the picture. Who`s that guy?
That is then-Texas State Representative Rick Perry.

And one great oddity of Rick Perry, one great piece of something more
than trivia about Rick Perry and his current Republican presidential
campaign is that when you go back through the archives to find Rick Perry,
you have to remember that for most of his career, Rick Perry was a

There`s Rick Perry, several hair cuts later, but he`s huddled with
his fellow Democrats on the Texas statehouse floor back in 1985. And Rick
Perry wasn`t just flirting with the Democratic Party at this time. This
wasn`t some, you know, brief youthful indiscretion.

No, Rick Perry was a Democrat for 38 years. He campaigned in Texas
for Senator Al Gore when Al Gore was running for president back in 1988.
It was not until Representative Rick Perry started running for statewide
office in Texas that he magically morphed into a Republican. First as
Texas ag commissioner, then as the state`s lieutenant governor, and then
ultimately Rick Perry ascended to become governor of Texas, and he ascended
to that job in an unconventional way.


TV ANCHOR: This is Governor George W. Bush and Laura Bush. He will
be governor no more of the state of Texas in just a moment. This is the
Senate chamber in Austin, Texas. He is about to, with a wave of a pen,
resign. And he is going to shake hands here with Lieutenant Governor
Republican Rick Perry and his wife Anita there. He will become the new
Texas governor.


MADDOW: Rick Perry only got the job of Texas governor because his
predecessor had to leave to go become president. And that`s a very unusual

But it turns out for the big long list of governors who are running
this year for president, it`s not actually even that unusual. Rick Perry
is not the only one of them to have ascended to the job of governor without
actually being directly elected to it.


TV ANCHOR: Arkansas has a new governor this morning, but it took a
little longer than expected to get one. On Monday, Democratic Governor Jim
Guy Tucker said he change his mind and would not resign as promised
following his Whitewater conviction. That`s when the state`s lieutenant
governor promised to impeach him. Finally, Tucker did step down and Mike
Huckabee was sworn in.


MADDOW: Mike Huckabee. Nobody really remembers this about him, but
he only became governor of Arkansas because he threatened to impeach the
sitting governor who had only been in office for a hot minute, but he`d
gotten wrapped up in the strange Clinton era Whitewater scandal.

Becoming governor because the previous guy had to go, that is not a
super common phenomenon in American politics, but that`s how two candidates
this year, that`s how Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry both got their start in
the job that eventually catapulted them to national attention and into
Republican contention.

The governors in the Republican presidential field this year, they`re
kind of an unusual crop. And they`re interesting. Not your typical group,
especially when you dig into the archives to find out where they came from.

Por ejemplo –


JOHN KASICH: I`m not going to go down there with the intent purpose
of being a maverick, but I`m not going down there to let anybody push me
around or tell me what to do. I could care less.


MADDOW: That is a very shaggy-haired John Kasich of Ohio. Josh
Kasich, currently the governor of Ohio. But unlike most of the other
governors in the race this year, his stint as a governor is not actually
what put him on the national radar.

John Kasich lived three or four previous political lives, even before
he became governor of Ohio, before his current run as the brash, no-
nonsense, little ill-tempered governor of Ohio. Before that, he was the
brash, no-nonsense, little ill-tempered congressman from Ohio.

John Kasich served the House for nine terms. And his reputation was
essentially that he was the guy who didn`t give a rip, you know, that he
loved bare knuckle politics. He loved being the guy who aggravated
everybody, who ruffled feathers on both sides of the aisle.


KASICH: I want things to cost they say they`re going to cost and I
want them work the way they say they`re going to work. And if they`re not
going to provide it for us, I`m going to be the ultimate good conservative,
I`m going to – I`m going to scream and shout and ask why.

REPORTER: The Senate will not give final approval to the bill to
keep the government until some time Monday, just hours before a government
shutdown would begin. Leaving Clinton but two options: sign the bill or
shut down the government.

Some Republicans were ready for a showdown.

KASICH: Look, we`re in the movie “High Noon,” OK? We`re sitting in
the saloon, we got a bottle of whiskey and a shot glass. We`re going to
take a shot and, you know what we`re going to do? We`re going to walk out
into the dusty street and we`re going to have a fight about the American

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that the president should now do the
honorable thing and resign.

REPORTER: The chairman of the House Budget Committee, a possible
contender for Mr. Clinton`s job in the year 2000, agrees.

KASICH: There`s no joy in my heart when I say this, but I think the
best thing the president can do for our country is to leave.


MADDOW: Shut down the government. Got in to battles with his own
party over spending. He told the president of the United States to resign
from office over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

John Kasich didn`t care. John Kasich also has a very high opinion of
John Kasich. So much so he decided to run for president from the House in
the year 2000 on the basis of his reputation for brashness. Probably
should have known how that was going to turn out when this was his
presidential campaign debut.


TIM RUSSERT, MEET THE PRESS: Congressman John Kasich, welcome. You
have an announcement.

KASICH: Yes, tomorrow, I`m going to formally announce my exploratory
committee to run for the president of the United States.


MADDOW: If the great Tim Russert can`t pronounce your name, that is
the universe telling you the stars are not aligning for your presidential
campaign that year. Jane, John, Kasich, whatever.

He did join the race in 2000 to basically no effect. He ended up
dropping out of the race five months later to basically no effect.

It turns out they liked him at the FOX News Channel. He followed up
his badly failed run for president in 2000 as a job as a TV host on the FOX
News Channel. He was also a managing director at Lehman Brothers up to the
moment that Lehman Brothers exploded and dragged the rest of the American
financial system down with it.

On the strength of that experience he got himself elected governor of
Ohio. And unlike the other high-profile governors running for president
this year – Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie – John Kasich is popular at
home, very popular. His home is desperately important, swing state Ohio.

So, now, John Kasich is giving it another try, but he`s doing it with
basically the same attitude that he has brought to politics for his whole


KASICH: I`m not going down there to let anyone push me around and
tell me what to do. I could care less.



MADDOW: This is supposed to be the tiger. Although at some point it
could be the heir or lion, hard to tell. This I`m sure is the eye of
whatever it is. But this, my dear friends, this is definitely the eye of
the tiger.

This whole “Tale of the Tape” thing we are doing has led us to
amazing discoveries about the cast of characters running for president this
year. We have been found some amazing old footage but never, ever found
anything on anyone that is better than this eye of the tiger.

Roll tape. Watch.



ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Donald J. Trump.



MADDOW: Donald J. Trump! (INAUDIBLE)

Donald Trump, 1990, making his grand entrance laser light show to
address the employees at his new Atlantic City Casino!


Part of what makes old tape so much fun in politics is that you get
to imagine the people back then, the people in that old tape. You get to
imagine them as holders of high elected office now, right?

Do they carry the same sensibilities forward in to the present?
Would they carry the same sensibilities in to the future, if say they were
elected president of the United States?

So, we get to consider, for example, a State of the Union Address
with laser lights, right? Why not? Mr. Speaker, president of the United

Out of the laser lights is President Trump, you guys, ready to
address the nation. Ready to tell those minor league saps in Congress how
it`s going to be. President Trump.

The Republican field, Republican presidential field this year was
supposed to be led by governors and senators. This was supposed to be the
not Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich clown car like they tried
last time. This was supposed to be the Republicans – what they were
calling their deep bench, their substantive roster. All of these
accomplished candidates, mainstream enough to win with resumes at the top
tier of American politics.

But for much of the summer voters have said by an increasingly wide
summer what they actually want is the eye of the tiger guy. They want the
sweary, comb-over, forget about it business guy who`s never held elected
office and probably for a reason.

Republican voters this year say they want a candidate who agrees with
them. That`s what they tell pollsters. They say a candidate who agrees
with them is way more attractive than a candidate that can win in a general
election. That`s what they say in the polls, at least in the early stages
of this race, the guy that Republican voters think that the guy that agrees
with them is this reality TV show businessman guy, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has been saying he wants the bad guys to suffer since
the dawn of his time on the national stage for going on 30 years now. In
June, he announced his presidential run by calling himself really rich and
by saying that Mexican immigrants are rapists. That`s how he was running,
and so far, to the great frustration of this spare parts, grab bag,
everybody in Republican field, the way Donald Trump is running so far is

Barring some change in course, it may even look like the way he is
running is the way this primary is going to be won, even if come November
2016, that costs Republicans any real shot at winning the White House.

And who knows, maybe president “eye of the tiger” will have
Republican fever dream by the time it is over. Maybe this is a phase.
Maybe the laser lights fade and mainstream takes over and Republican voters
nominate a predictable candidate. We don`t know yet. We cannot know yet.

But as good of the sale of the tape is so far I can`t wait for the
rest of this story to play out. Thank you election gods for being more
interesting in 2016 than we thought you ever would be.

Watch this space.


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