The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/29/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: January 29, 2016
Guest: Hank Winchester, Benson Osazee
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That`s “ALL IN” for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, my friend. Hope you have a good
HAYES: I will see you from Des Moines.
MADDOW: Yes, when do you go?
HAYES: I`m going Sunday. And I will see you Sunday evening on the camera
MADDOW: Do you need to borrow any warm clothes?
HAYES: I have warm clothes. Thank you very much.
MADDOW: OK, very good. I`ll see you then, Chris.
All right. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. He`s
foreshadowing something I`m about to explain in detail.
You know, Fridays are supposed to be slow news days. Today was not a slow
We`ve got a big show coming up, including some news that broke tonight and
in fact, it`s still breaking tonight in the state of Flint, Michigan, the
mayor of Flint and the federal point person for the federal lead response
called a last minute, unscheduled press conference to announce some very
disturbing new information from Flint. So, we`re going to have the details
on that ahead and when I say that this news still sort of still breaking
tonight, we`re still trying to get our heads around exactly what has
happened in Flint tonight. But it is bad news and local officials are
sounding the alarm about it.
Also in Lansing, Governor Rick Snyder`s office got strange today in the way
that they are responding to the latest revelations about what they knew and
when they knew it about what went wrong.
Yesterday, we had revelations from the governor`s office that the Snyder
administration had actually shipped purified workers to state workers who
were working in the state office building in Flint even as they were
publicly telling people who live in Flint that it was safe to drink from
Today, the governor was questioned about that and his administration had a
truly bizarre explanation, lack of explanation for what happened there and
what they knew about it. So, we didn`t actually expect to have any news
from Flint today, but both of those stories broke late in the day and we`re
going to have details on those coming up.
What we`re starting tonight with some additional late breaking news in
national politics, one of the big differences between the Democratic and
Republican presidential contest this year is that the Republicans have a
lot more people running for president than the Democrats do, obviously in
their giant field of candidates. Turns out they debate a each other a lot
more than the Democrats do.
Last night was the Republican debating, their final debate before the Iowa
caucuses on Monday. As you know, Donald Trump the presidential front-
runner decided he was going to sit out that last debate before Iowa. He
said when he did his competing event that he sat out last night`s debate,
quote, “out of respect for myself.”
He sat out the debate he said because he does not like one of the FOX News
hosts who was picked as a moderator for that debate. So, out of respect
for himself, he didn`t go. Mr. Trump did do his own simultaneously solo
event last night in Des Moines, a couple miles away from the debate site,
while the other candidates were debating.
If part of the stunt was Mr. Trump banking that last night`s debate would
be boring without him and that people wouldn`t want to watch a Republican
debate unless he was in it, there is at least some quantitative evidence
that he was right about that. Last night`s debate was the second lowest
rated for any Republican debate so far in this year`s race. The only
Republican debate that rated any lower than last night was the one on the
Fox Business Network.
And it matters what outlet that was on because the Fox Business Network
debate may have had the lowest ratings because not that many people
actually get the Fox Business Network on their TV. People just have not
had the option of watching it even if they wanted to. Last night, there
was no excuse like that. It was on the FOX News Channel, which everybody
gets who has cable, but they did not get a very good rating compared with
the rest of the year.
So, now we know, a Republican debate without Donald Trump in it does not
rate well as a television vent. Now we know.
How does it rate with voters? What will the effect of him skipping out on
the last debate before Iowa in terms of the overall course of the race?
Well, “The Des Moines Register” summed up last night`s Republican debate
with this headline, “Rough Night for Ted Cruz.”
Donald Trump skipping out on the debate a lot of people said made him the
de facto winner of the debate because people had to talk about him even
when he wasn`t there. It was also sort of a power move that made everybody
else look weak for going to the debate when he struck out on his own,
saying I don`t need that, I`m going to do my own thing – maybe.
One of the other consequences, though, is that s it made all the focus of
attacks of last night`s debate to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: Senator Cruz, when Senator Rubio proposed
that bill creating path to citizenship, you proposed an amendment. It
would have allowed for legalization but not citizenship, yes, it would.
Press last month on why you supported legalization, you claim that you
didn`t, right, like you just did. I saw that. You argued this was a
poison bill amendment, basically something designed to kill the bill and
not get it through.
That is not, however, how it sounded at the time. Watch.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t want this bill to be
I don`t want immigration reform to fail. I want immigration reform to
That would fix the problem and also allow for those 11 million people here
illegally a legal status with citizenship off the table.
KELLY: Was that all an act? It was pretty convincing.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What is insulting is he`s
the king of saying you`re for amnesty. Everybody`s for amnesty except for
Ted Cruz. But it`s falseness. And that`s an authenticity problem.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the lie that Ted
ease campaign is built on. The truth is, Ted, throughout this campaign,
you`ve been willing the say or do anything in order to get votes. Ted, you
worked for George W. Bush`s campaigns. You helped design George W. Bush`s
– you helped design George W. Bush`s immigration policy.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: Thirteen Republican senators have
endorsed other candidates, none have endorsed you. Does your style
sometimes get in the way of your ability to get things done, sir?
RUBIO: We`re not going to beat hill Clinton with someone who is willing to
say or do anything to win an election.
WALLACE: You have compared Senators Cruz and Rubio to Barack Obama saying
we cannot afford another inexperienced president. Is either of them ready
to be commander in chief?
Governor Bush –
CRUZ: Chris, I was mentioned in that question.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Your name wasn`t mentioned.
WALLACE: I think the question was –
WALLACE: It`s not my question you get a chance to respond to. It`s his
answer. You don`t get 30 seconds to respond with me.
CRUZ: Your question was you have to disagree –
WALLACE: I`d like to go on. Sir, I know you like to argue about the rules
but we`re going to contact the debate.
CRUZ: Chris, I would note the last four questions have been, Rand, please
attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted. Jeb,
please attack Ted.
Let me just say this –
WALLACE: It is a debate, sir.
CRUZ: Well, no, a debate is a policy issue. But I will say this, gosh, if
you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It is a little hard to look presidential while at the same time
complaining about all the people being mean to you. I think he noticed
that affect that he was having in the room when he tried to turn it into
the joke at Donald Trump expense at the end. But that was a hard thing to
After last night`s debate, the Ted Cruz campaign referred to the overall
race for the presidency now as a, quote, “two man race between Senator Cruz
and Mr. Donald Trump.” The Cruz campaign wants people to think of this as
Cruz versus Trump, one man versus one other man. The last two guys
But the Ted Cruz campaign`s advertising decisions today would seem to
indicate otherwise. “New York Times” is reporting that the Ted Cruz
campaign which again says this is a two-man race between Ted Cruz and
Donald Trump, the Ted Cruz campaign is now shifting nearly all their
negative advertising from Donald Trump to Marco Rubio heading into Monday`s
Pay no attention to where we`re spending our money. It`s a two-man race
between the guy that we have to start ignoring in order to fend off the
other guy. It`s one thing to see a headline like this following the
debate. It`s quite another to see a headline like this after the actual
If Ted Cruz is Donald Trump`s biggest threat heading into election night,
he`s not on very firm ground heading into that fight. That`s what the
polls like right now. We now had six straight polls showing Donald Trump
in the lead in Iowa.
Ted Cruz had been on the lead for a while, but at least six straight now
show Donald Trump leading in Iowa.
Then, after Iowa, it`s New Hampshire. And in New Hampshire, it`s every
single poll taken since last summer which shows Donald Trump in the lead in
that state, including the latest poll from Suffolk University in New
Hampshire which shows Mr. Trump`s lead in New Hampshire as a robust 15
So, Donald Trump does look like he`s going to win. He looks like he`s
going to win in the early states. He looks like he`s going to win the
Our own Steve Benen at Maddow Blog compared Mr. Trump`s polling numbers at
this point in the race with all other modern presidential primaries at this
time. He found that there`s never opinion an instance in presidential
campaigns for either party in the modern era in which somebody has been
leading by this much in the polls both nationally and in the early states
without going onto win the nomination.
So, Donald Trump may not win the nomination, but if he doesn`t, it will be
a historic political collapse of a kind we have never seen before in modern
American politics. That said, even with his commanding lead in the polls
in every state including Iowa, if you ask the beltway, the beltway seems to
think that Donald Trump is probably not going to win in Iowa on Monday
night. There`s this skepticism about his lead among beltway pundits,
which, I don`t know, is casting more suspense about Monday that you might
otherwise expect from numbers.
That said, we don`t know what the impact will be of Mr. Trump`s skipping
the last debate in Des Moines right before the Iowa caucuses. If there is
a surprise victory by somebody else in the Iowa caucuses other than Mr.
Trump on Monday night, even though he`s opinion leading in all these polls,
nobody knows how that will affect his polling, nobody knows how that will
affect everybody else`s polling, nobody knows how that will affect the
polity and all the other states.
So, this is a very exciting time if you care about politics. And as much,
here is an important announcement. Sunday night, this Sunday night, this
weekend, the night before the Iowa caucuses, exactly 24 hours before doors
close at caucus sites all across the state of Iowa, 8:00 p.m. on Sunday
night you have to watch MSNBC.
I`m going to be anchoring special Iowa caucus coverage, along with Brian
Williams and our whole MSNBC team, Chris Matthews is going to be anchoring
from Iowa. Brian and I will be here in New York. Chris in Iowa and with a
cast of thousands.
This is a special broadcast of a time we`re not usually on the air, 8:00
p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday night. Your attendance is
And then on caucus day itself, on Monday, our coverage of the Iowa begins
at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time here on MSNBC. We`re going to be on the air, I
think, from 6:00 p.m. until – I don`t know, what, 2:00 in the morning?
We`ll see how it goes.
But again, Brian Williams and I will be anchoring here from Rockefeller
Center in New York City. Chris Matthews will be at the anchor desk in
Iowa. We`re going to have cameras and reporters inside various caucus
sites. We`re going to have the results here. You are going to spend
election season 2016 with us starting Sunday and Monday night.
So, woo-hoo! Sleep now. You`ll need it for later.
We got lots more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: I`d just mentioned that we got some late-breaking news tonight out
of Flint, Michigan, that is not good news in terms of how things are going,
in terms of the recovery from the lead poisoning disaster in Flint,
Michigan. We`ve got that news from officials coming up in just a moment.
But if you want to know what the recovery is going like in Flint from the
people who are living it, we got a chance to ask some of the people who
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MSNBC PRODUCER EMILY DREW: What do you want to see happen in Flint to make
this whole situation right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new pipeline for us to have water flowing from
Detroit where ever we need to be so it`s clean fresh water for our people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The government needs to work together not as a
separate faction here, separate faction there. Just work together for the
common good of the people in Flint.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m afraid for the lasting effects it`s going to have
on my 5-year-old daughter. My 15-year-old daughter had a rash. She went
to the dermatologist. She broke out for three and a half months. We went
through extensive treatment with the dermatologist.
So, this is affecting our day-to-day lives because we don`t know what to
expect. We don`t know the lasting effects of this will be and it`s very
unsettling and very scary. I hope this government will do what it needs to
do in order to correct the situation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want us to have new pipes to get rid of this lead
and after this a new water source.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it would be really nice if the governor could
be hooked up to our system and he stay on the system until ours is
MADDOW: Your monthly bill this month is $110 for your water bill, $109.88?
OSCAR BROWN, FLINT RESIDENT: One hundred nine eighty-eight.
MADDOW: That`s pretty typical?
BROWN: Sometimes it`s a little higher than that. Sometimes I want goes up
to $115, $112.
MADDOW: But this is water that you`re using –
BROWN: That I can`t use that I`m paying for.
MADDOW: You`re using it for flushing your toilet and that`s it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s it.
BROWN: You`re right.
MADDOW: All the other water you`re using in the house is bottled water.
BROWN: Bottled water.
MADDOW: Have you been able to get bottled water for free? Have you been
able to get it like from fire stations or anything? Have you been buying
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kids go – they started giving out water –
BROWN: Giving out a couple weeks ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve been buying our water.
BROWN: All year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 2015 we`ve been buying water.
MADDOW: Since they made the switch, you`ve been buying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve been buying our own water.
Until three weeks ago, they decided to bring in the National Guard, Blue
Cross – Red Cross and start giving waters to people. But one case per
household is what they drop off.
MADDOW: Yes. And you were – for more than a year before that, you`ve
been paying for bottled water yourself in addition to paying your water
bill for the water you can`t use.
MADDOW: One visit from Governor Rick Snyder`s response team in the four
months the governor – since the governor acknowledged that Flint`s water
has been contaminated by lead. One visit. And the state dropped off a
single case of water like it was a free Thanksgiving turkey instead of a
full blown ongoing disaster created by Governor Snyder`s administration
that left people unable to drink the water that is coming from their taps.
One case of water, here you go in all this time.
Late tonight, we got some bombshell news from Flint, late-breaking,
unsettling news about conditions in Flint right now. It`s not clear that
the state responds to this new development is anywhere near sufficient to
the task, even now with the declaration of emergency and all the rest of
it. But that new news is straight ahead.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, we do have some late breaking news out of Flint, Michigan,
tonight. At a hastily called press conference this evening, the mayor of
Flint was joined by federal and state health officials who are all there.
Again, this not been a previously scheduled press conference.
They convened this at the last moment the announce results from the latest
tests of drinking water around the city of Flint. These were tests of
homes in Flint. And the results, which they – apparently, the testing was
They convened to announce tonight that the results of this testing in Flint
homes now is still showing extremely high lead levels in a number of homes
in the city. These are results that just came in. These are not
historical levels of lead. These are levels from three months after Flint
stopped using the Flint River as its water source, three months after new
corrosion controls were put in place that were supposed to start making
Flint`s pipes safe again.
The lead levels at some homes tested are coming in at over 150 parts per
billion. Now, the EPA threshold for mandatory action is 15 parts per
billion. That means homes in Flint are testing at ten times the EPA limit.
The other reason this news is so important is the filters that are being
handed out that all residents are being urged to use on their taps, those
filters are only certified to remove led up to 150 parts per billion.
Filters are rated and certified by an organization called NSF, which
originally stood for National Sanitation Foundation.
And when it comes to filters being distributed in Flint, the NSF says they
are only guaranteed to remove lead up to 150 parts per billion. Above that
level, even if you`re drinking through the filter, there`s no guarantees
that you are safe. And again, a number of these test results from homes in
Flint right now were way above 150 parts per billion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: That`s the highest reading you found?
ENGINEER MARK DURNO, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: I don`t know the
exact number but it was at least 4,000.
REPORTER: And the tests – (INAUDIBLE) those were all collected during
DURNO: Oh, since the last week of December.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Hear that long pause there after the EPA official – the EPA
official is asked what`s the highest level lead you found in testing Flint
homes. He says, at least 4,000 parts per billion.
Again, remember, the EPA threshold for mandatory action is 15 parts per
billion. They are finding levels of 4,000. And this is testing done since
the last week of December.
And, so, tonight, these federal and state officials told Flint residents
standing with the Flint mayor, told Flint residents that even if they have
got a filter, unless they have had their water tested and they know the
lead levels under 150 parts per billion, they are saying pregnant women and
children under the age of six drink any water out of tap even if it has a
filter. Oh, now you tell us.
They also urged all Flint residents to get their water tested and to do
that, they said conveniently, go to one of the five fire stations
distributing lead testing kids and bring that sample collecting thing back
to your house and you get a sample and take it back to the fire house and
wait a few days. Now, there`s a three-day backlog and if levels are high,
someone will call you to arrange further testing.
Governor Snyder put out statement tonight after this very alarming test
results came in, showing that the lead poisoning situation in Flint is
still very bad and it`s not magically healing itself. Governor Snyder put
out a statement that says this, quote, “It is essential that all Flint
residents have the water in their homes tested as soon as possible. Please
make it a priority for your family.”
Please make it a priority for your family or Governor Snyder, you could
make it a priority for your administration instead of asking people to go
to the fire station and pick up a lead testing kit and bring it home and do
the testing at your house and go back to the fire station with your sample
kit and have them test it, and then somebody might call you within three
days, and then they can arrange further testing.
Instead, since you did declare this an emergency, you could go door to door
and take lead sample from ever occupied home in the city. You could. Not
everybody in Flint has easy access to get to the fire station and get this
done and make it a priority for their family the way you want them to.
Just this morning, Governor Rick Snyder said he hoped the water could be
safe to drink in Flint in two to three months. He hopes the treatment they
have added to the water, the corrosion control they`ve added to the water
for the last three months, he said he hopes it`s already mostly recoated
the pipes to keep them from leaching lead. Clearly from this testing
results that we`ve got tonight, we know at least in some parts of Flint,
that is not true.
Today, Governor Snyder was asked again how much his administration knew
about the growing water crisis in Flint over the last 18 months. E-mails
surfaced yesterday showing that a year ago, state workers in Flint got
bottle water shipped to them by the state because of concerns about Flint`s
tap water, even as state officials were assuring Flint residents that the
tap water was safe.
Asked this morning about the clean, safe, purified water they made sure to
give state workers, even as they were telling people who live in Flint that
they should keep drinking from the tap, Governor Snyder said that he had,
quote, “no knowledge of that taking place.”
A Snyder spokesperson told “The Associated Press” today that that fresh,
purified bottle water that they shipped into the state office building in
Flint, that at least conceivably could have been drunk both by employees
and by local residents. The Snyder administration said they didn`t know
whether workers had promoted the water that they had in their offices as
available to other people to drink but as the “A.P.” put it, quote, “No
signs prohibited the public from drinking water from the cooler.”
So, that was the plan, maybe. Maybe Flint residents will find their way
into the state office building in Flint and find their way to the cubicle
farms and find their way to the corner where the purified water has been
provided by the Snyder administration for people who work in that building
but not for anybody who lives in Flint and maybe that`s how Flint residents
will get clean water shipped to them by the state that fouled their water
and turned it poisonous. They can just find it in the office building.
Snyder administration confirmed for us today that the bottle water delivery
to the state office building in Flint, it continues to this day. So, maybe
if you are having trouble getting clean water in Flint, just carry a big
jug down to the state office building and ask if you can fill it up there?
That`s the only water they are shipping regularly into any facility in
Other than the fire station where is you can pick it up if you have a car
or you can catch a ride and pick up your one case that`s allotted to you
every day if you can pick it up yourself.
But, hey, Rick Snyder said he had no idea state workers were getting safe
water so they wouldn`t have to drink the water in Flint. He had no idea.
There`s a lot of things that Governor Rick Snyder claims to have had no
idea about over the last 18 months from the rising levels of lead in Flint
water to the rising level of lead in children`s bodies in Flint, to the
warnings about the high lead from the EPA.
He said he had no idea about any of that. It would be nice if we could
fully investigate what Rick Snyder actually knew and when he knew it. It
would be great if we could see for instance e-mails and documents from him
and his staff in 2013 when this decision was made to use the corrosive
Flint River as Flint`s water source without treating it properly so it
wouldn`t lead poison the town.
We don`t have access to that information. We have asked Governor Snyder to
release those 2013 e-mails. He hasn`t released any of them.
Now, at least though, somebody else is asking, the United States Congress.
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee wrote asking him for all
documents related to the drinking water supply in Flint, including the
decision to switch the Flint`s source of water, and including emails sent
to or receive by or members of your staff.
If Rick Snyder declines to provide this material to this congressional
investigating committee, the Democrats on that committee say they could ask
the Republican leadership to subpoena those documents from Rick Snyder and
the Republicans would have to decide if they want to give him a subpoena or
In asking for these documents, Democrats in Congress are calling a very
interesting question for Governor Snyder, and if he doesn`t answer, then
for Republicans in Congress. Does the public get to see what Governor
Snyder knew? Does the public get to see how this happened?
And meanwhile in Flint, this crisis is not getting better. Attention is
not the same as fixing it. People talking about it national level,
national news coverage doesn`t mean that the lead levels are going down.
With this news tonight of super high lead levels in a number of homes in
Flint, lead levels that far and away exceed the amount of lead that filters
are certified to protect you from, it is yet further information that we
seem like we`re getting every day that this isn`t over.
And maybe this is just how the story goes for a while. Maybe they there
will be really high levels of lead in Flint. If you`re living there and
drinking this water, if you`ve been using a filter to protect your family,
then news that that filter might not work for the amount of lead you have
in your water is going to be very scary news indeed.
Joining us now is Hank Winchester. He`s a reporter with WDIV, which is the
NBC station in Detroit.
Hank, it was good to meet you when I was in Flint this week. Thanks for
joining us tonight. It`s nice to see you.
HANK WINCHESTER, WDIV-TV INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Thank you, Rachel. Great
to see you.
MADDOW: So, it seemed to us here that this announcement tonight was
unplanned. This was not a press conference we planned all day to be
covering. This doesn`t seem like a regularly scheduled thing. Did you
have much warning they would convene this press conference tonight to
announce these new test results?
WINCHESTER: We had about 15 minutes. We got the e-mail notice and we were
in our live truck in downtown Flint and the team from Washington stopped at
the truck, banged on the door and say we want to make sure you know about
the press conference. We packed up and got to city hall rather quickly.
MADDOW: And in terms of what was announced there, basically, what they`re
saying is we`re doing testing now. A number of homes are testing over 150
parts per billion. That`s ten times the EPA standard and above what the
filters are certified to be able to handle.
We`ve been telling everybody to drink filtered water. The consequence of
that is that filters aren`t enough. That if you haven`t had the water
level – the lead levels in your house tested, don`t trust the filter.
Only use bottled water.
That`s new advice to the people of Flint, isn`t it?
WINCHESTER: It is. It`s very concerning, especially in the cases that you
mentioned we heard from the official during the press conference. One home
testing 4,000 parts per billion. Now, remember, after 150, the filter is
So, now, you`re telling the people do not drink the water if you`re
pregnant, if you`re a small child. What I did appreciate today and what
I`m sure appreciate it also, was how quickly the information got to the
people in is not case where e-mails were being exchanged for months and
meetings were taking place in different test results were coming.
These numbers came in late yesterday. They looked at them today. They got
with Dr. Mona, who I know you know well. They got with the mayor and the
team on the ground and they worked to get that information out to the media
and public as quickly as they could.
MADDOW: And at the start of the press conference, Karen Weaver, the mayor
of Flint, comes out and you can tell she`s under the weather. She`s sick
herself and she came out and said one of the things I committed to is
making sure you know everything I know, that people of Flint have access to
all the information that I have access to and that`s why we have hastily
convened this announcement to let you know.
They`ve also I should tell you published online the Excel spread sheet
showing the results of all of those individual tests, including the street
addresses of individual homes and what the lead and copper ratings are for
tests in each of those places.
Hank, one of the things that I saw in Flint and one of the things I`ve been
hearing from people consistently is that a lot of people, even though they
know they should have filters on, a lot of people still don`t or they don`t
fit properly or they don`t necessarily have cartridge inserts to change
them out. The word is out that people ought to be using filtered water.
This will complicate that tonight.
What`s your sense of the compliance rate in terms of people using filters
despite the advice?
WINCHESTER: I think it`s gotten better. But you remember, it was just
about a week ago when we were in Flint reporting the fact that many fire
stations had run out of filters. So, you know, the governor has stepped up
those efforts. More National Guard members on the ground. There are more
But just a few weeks ago, people were making their way the fire stations,
all over the city. And for some people, it`s difficult. They walk to
these fire stations. They take the bus. Some are lucky enough to have a
vehicle. And they would get up there and find out there`s no water and no
So, I think for some people who are dealing with this situation for more
than a year, they figured if I`m not going to get a filter when I go up to
the fire station, what`s the point. The warnings have been put out there.
People understand that it is important, and today, I really think that was
the key moment for the mayor to say, listen, if you`re not using a filter,
please do, but understand we want you to test your water because of these
alarming test results. Everybody has to be on the same page now.
MADDOW: And again, what – I think this is a very important though in
terms of what you were describing about getting down to the logistics of
getting down to the fire station and collecting these things, they are
telling people, even if you got a filter, don`t drink the water through
filter unless you`ve had lead testing in your home. In other to get lead
testing in your home, they are still telling people that means get yourself
down to the fire station. Get lead testing kit from the fire station,
bring it home, get the sample. Bring the sample back to the fire station
and you`ll be contacted in three days.
I mean, asking people to do that logistically instead of sending around
trucks to do lead testing in house after house after house is still a big
logistical ask which is going to mean a lot of houses won`t get tested.
WINCHESTER: It`s true. It`s a big problem. They have been able to get
water from the fire stations out into the neighborhoods because some of
these people are seniors. And again, some people don`t have transportation
to make their way to the fire station.
So, you have to figure out a better plan to make sure we are testing
everybody`s water. When we see numbers like this and understand that there
are some homes where filter is just not going to do anything to help these
people, we have to have a better understanding of what the lead levels are
in every single home in Flint. That has to be done before they can decide
how they will tackle the problem.
MADDOW: Yes, and it has to be done in a door to door way. You can`t be
asking people to asking people to take responsibility for doing – it`s
just – it`s incredible.
Hank Winchester, correspondent for WDIV in Detroit, thanks for your
reporting on this. Hank, it`s nice to see you. Appreciate it.
WINCHESTER: Good to see you too. We look forward to seeing you back in
MADDOW: I have a feeling I`m going to be back sooner than I thought I
would. Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot, Hank.
We`ve got much more on this story and much more. Stay ahead.
MADDOW: So, there`s some news to report about one of stranger and more
unexpected innovations of this year`s presidential cycle, the kids table,
also known as the happy hour debate, also known as the undercard debate.
The kid`s table last night`s Republican debate on the FOX News Channel was
apparently the last one or at least it`s likely to be the last one. The
next Republican debate is a week from tomorrow. It`s being hosted by ABC
And ABC just announced that their debate, the next Republican debate, will
not feature a kids table or rather in announcing their criteria for
candidates qualifying for the next debate, ABC didn`t bother to mention
that they are killing the kid`s table. It was up to reporters to follow up
with the network and confirm that they are not planning on doing one.
So, that means last night`s Jim Gilmore, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Mike
Huckabee fest is going to be the last one. Kid`s table, we hardly knew
It was a weird thing to invent for this year`s presidential political
cycle, but I guess it`s the last one.
There is one other thing to note. Last night because it will be the last
one and because we`re about to have voting in Iowa, it`s hard to imagine
when we`re going to see these guys in any circumstance at all. I mean,
Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum cannot qualify for a main stage debate
anymore to save their lives.
After participating in the kids` table last night, those two guys promptly
headed over to Donald Trump`s special event for veterans. They got in on
Trump event while trying very desperately not to stand behind the Trump
But honestly, that will be probably be the last time any of us will see
them in a political context. On stage with Donald Trump trying not to
appear to next to up with of the Trump campaign logos.
Rick Santorum, king of the kids` table, the only candidate to successfully
qualify for and participate in every single one of the seven kids` table
debates so far, he`s likely going to have the his big primetime public
appearance on stage with Donald Trump or possibly if somebody covers is
concession speech on Monday.
Rest in peace, kids table debate. I`m not sure we`ll miss, but I think
we`re about the see the last of you.
MADDOW: I never liked screwing up. Nobody does. But I am happy to make a
correction when I do screw up. I do have a correction I need to do. It
involves Bernie Sanders and also Hillary Clinton and honestly, if I dig far
enough it probably involves Martin O`Malley, maybe Lincoln Chafee too,
possibly even Jim Webb.
Mea maxima culpa coming up.
MADDOW: Hey, so, quick point of fact. A little correction. I said
earlier in the week that the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns
had released these ads as their closings arguments in Iowa. These two ads
were likely to be the last things the people of Iowa were going to see or
hear from these candidates in terms of ads before Iowans go to vote in
their caucuses on Monday night.
I was wrong. Turns out that neither the Bernie Sanders inspirational ad
nor the Hillary Clinton biographical ads were the final campaigns are
airing in Iowa. I was incorrect on both counts. Instead, the Bernie
Sanders campaign has since launched this totally different ad about what he
describes as the rigged economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: They`re one of the Wall Street banks that triggered the final
meltdown. Goldman Sachs just settled with authorities for their part in
crisis that put seven million of out work and millions out of their homes.
How does Wall Street get away with it? Millions of campaign co
contributions and speaking fees. Our economy works for Wall Street,
because it`s rigged by Wall Street. And that`s the problem. As long as
Washington is bought and paid for, we can`t build an economy that works for
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m Bernie Sanders and
I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, after what I said was his closing argument, after, Senator
Sanders released that campaign ad. Also, after what I said was her closing
argument, the Hillary Clinton campaign launched this new ad in Iowa. It`s
titled “Thank You”.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I really wanted to start with
a thank you. I want you to know how much it`s meant to me as I`ve traveled
across the state to hear about people`s hopes and struggles. I know that
because of that, I will be a better president if I`m elected.
If you go to the caucus on Monday night and stand up for me there, I will
work my heart out to give you and our country the future that we deserve
I`m Hillary Clinton and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, yes, I can say with no confidence at all that those will be
the closing argument ads. That maybe those will be the last ads that
Iowans will see from the two major Democratic candidates before it`s time
the vote, maybe. Actually, probably not.
The point is we won`t know what they`re closing argument is, from either
campaign, until there`s no more arguing, right? Until the voting has
started in Iowa. So, who knows if that`s going to be the last word from
Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton? That`s the latest word for them. And
there`s no need to jump the gun. Time is short now. Caucuses start Monday
MADDOW: If you`re really excited about the Iowa caucuses and you want to
get a chance to see the candidates before the caucuses start. There are a
couple of opportunities to see candidates in various places tomorrow. For
example, at 10:00 a.m., Marco Rubio will be at a Sioux City rally. At
10:15. Ted Cruz will be in Hubbard, Iowa.
At 12:00 Bernie Sanders will be in Manchester, Iowa. Chris Christie at
noon will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In noon also, Ted Cruz will be in
Ames, Iowa. Twelve-forty-five, Hillary Clinton will be in Ames, Iowa.
Fifteen minutes later, Marco Rubio will be in Council Bluffs.
At 1:30, Jeb Bush will be in Clear Lake, Iowa. At 2:00, it will be Bill
Clinton in Iowa Falls. At 2:00 also, Donald Trump will be in Dubuque. At
2:15, Bernie Sanders will be in Charles City, Iowa.
At 3:15, it will be Ted Cruz in Hamlin, Iowa. At 3:30, it will be in
Bernie Sanders in Waverly, Iowa. Hillary – that`s we`re just getting
close to 4:00. Do you want me to keep going?
It`s getting busy. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Here it comes.
Woo-hoo! Friday Night News Dump time!
Kent Jones, who is playing today?
KENT JONES: Tonight`s guest is Benson Osazee from Houston, Texas. He is
an ICU nurse. He has lived in Texas for 18 years. He has three children.
Rachel, please meet Benson Osazee.
MADDOW: Benson, it is very nice to meet you. Thank you for playing.
OSAZEE: It is a great honor to meet you, Dr. Rachel.
MADDOW: Dr. Rachel, I bet you call everybody doctor, but I`ll take it.
MADDOW: As an ICU nurse imagine you will be able to handle the pressure of
this game and more. So, I`m not going to street about its impact on you.
This is it going to be fun.
You probably know the way this works. You`re going to get three questions
about this week`s news. If you get at least two of them right, you will
win this little thing.
JONES: As always, the coveted RACHEL MADDOW SHOW cocktail shaker.
MADDOW: Cocktail shaker, I appreciate that, Kent.
If you need extra credit, which I believe you will, we have something
random for you from our office, Benson, and it`s slightly more random than
usual tonight in is it`s very small.
JONES: It`s very small. This exquisite little bottle of angostura
bitters. I know you`re a big fan.
MADDOW: It`s small enough that you can like, it won`t take up room in your
toiletries bag going through TSA.
JONES: Also, this laminate pass from this week`s Flint town hall. Very
MADDOW: You can pretend like you were on the crew.
JONES: Black and also blue.
MADDOW: Oh, two.
JONES: You have a choice.
MADDOW: OK, we also need to bring in Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. Steve
will determine whether or not you got the right answer. Steve, meet
Benson. Benson, meet Steve.
STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both.
All right. Here we go. First question: this one`s from Monday night`s
show and on Monday night`s show, we reported that New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie was taking heat for campaigning in New Hampshire while New Jersey
was still cooping with some intense post blizzard flooding.
When Governor Christie was confronted with that criticism at a town hall in
New Hampshire, he sarcastically asked his questioner if she wanted to see
him personally handle the clean up in New Jersey.
So, here is your question, Benson. What hypothetical task did Governor
Christie offer to do? A, drive a snowplow. B, mop. C, work the traffic
cones. Or d, personally rebuild a sand dun.
OSAZEE: OK. Let`s see. Not A. Not C. Mop.
MADDOW: Mop. The answer according to Benson is mop.
Steve, did he get that right?
BENEN: Let`s check Monday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do you want me to
do, do you want me to go down there with a mop?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: The correct answer is B and Benson is one for one.
MADDOW: Yay! All right.
Next one is from Tuesday night`s show. Tuesday night, we reported that a
prominent politician and a noted civics dork, and I mean that in a positive
way, Missouri`s Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, she very excited
checked off an item that she said was on her bucket list. What was that
A, she got to drive one of the little subway trains that runs under the
U.S. Capitol. B. she got to bang the gavel to open a session in the U.S.
Senate? C, she got to trade desks with Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
so now she gets the desk that has all the candy in it. Or D, she got jury
OSAZEE: Not A. Not B. Jury duty.
MADDOW: Jury duty. Steve, what`s the right answer there?
BENEN: Let`s check Tuesday`s segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Shortly after 9:00 yesterday morning, Senator McCaskill started
tweeting her experiences and her excitement about being called up for jury
duty in Missouri. It started with this one, yes, just reported for jury
duty. On my bucket list to serve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: The correct answer is D, and Benson is right again.
MADDOW: All right. You`re obviously a ringer. Last question for you,
OSAZEE: Thank you.
MADDOW: Last night`s show we reported on what happened the last time
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tried to do a campaign event
to benefit veterans.
This is something that happened last September in San Diego. The group
that was announced recipient donations from that event was a sort of shady
group that had its nonprofit status revoked by the IRS. Last night, we
reported that that group, Veterans for a Strong America, is no more. They
have dissolved themselves and they have reformed themselves under a
What is the new name for the artist formerly known as Veterans for a Strong
America. Are they now, A, Vets for a Strong America, B, Veterans for a
stronger America, C, Veterinarians for a Strong America, or d, Donald Trump
presents Veterans for a Strong America?
OSAZEE: Not C. Definitely not C. Not D. Between A and B.
Let`s go with B.
MADDOW: B, Veterans for a Stronger America.
Steve, you got the answer for us?
BENEN: Let`s check last night`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: They`re no longer Veterans for a Strong America, they`re now Vets
for a Strong America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Right, the correct answer was A and I`m afraid that Benson is
MADDOW: Although I`m pleased you excluded veterinarians. That was very
Kent, did Benson win the prize?
JONES: He is now the proud owner of this RACHEL MADDOW SHOW cocktail
MADDOW: And we`re awarding him extra credit anyway. You get the Flint
pass and you get the bitters regardless.
OSAZEE: Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Rachel. It`s an honor to meet you.
Thank you for what you`re doing in Flint, Michigan.
Because of you now they have more nurses now in the school districts.
That`s wonderful, Dr. Rachel.
MADDOW: Well, you`re going to upset me now.
OSAZE: God bless you, Dr. Rachel.
MADDOW: God bless you as well. Thank you.
If you want to play, now, I`m up for Flint. Great.
If you want to play, send us an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Who are you,
where are you from and why do you want to play.
Now, though, you have to get back on the chain gang.
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