The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 2/12/2016

Guests:
Judy Lalinsky
Transcript:

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: February 12, 2016
Guest: Judy Lalinsky

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

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Good evening, Chris. Happy weekend, my friend. You
deserve the time off.

HAYES: Thank you very much.

MADDOW: Appreciate it.

Thanks to you at home as well for joining us this hour. We have a big show
tonight. Happy Friday.

The next contest in the Democratic race for president is in Nevada. It
looks like something might be about to happen in Nevada that has not
happened anywhere else in the race so far. It is potentially really big,
really important news for Bernie Sanders in particular. We`ve got that
story exclusively here ahead tonight.

The contest on the Republican side, the next contest in the Republican
side, of course, is not in Nevada. It`s in South Carolina. A new poll out
today from the “Augusta Chronicle” has Donald Trump with a giant 17-point
lead in state of South Carolina. Then bunched relatively close together
behind the front-runner are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

Hey, Jeb Bush polling in double digits. That must feel nice and weird for
Jeb Bush given how he`s been doing overall in the race thus far. But the
Bush family does have a special knack for winning in South Carolina. Both
Jeb Bush`s father and his older brother have won the South Carolina
Republican presidential primary twice.

One of those campaigns, George W. Bush`s knock down, drag out slime fest
with John McCain in South Carolina in 2000, that is one of the most
memorable presidential races ever.

That year, remember John McCain had pulled off a huge win in New Hampshire
in the New Hampshire primary. He was favored to win in South Carolina.
South Carolina has always been known as the state with an incredibly robust
and politically active veterans population. John McCain is not just a
veteran. He`s a legit war hero.

McCain was absolutely favored in South Carolina particularly after what he
did in New Hampshire that year. But then the George W. Bush campaign came
to town in South Carolina and they activated dad`s old networks in the
state and decided that year they were going to take basically a whole
different approach to winning over South Carolina Republican voters.

Part of what the George W. Bush campaign did that year was some stuff that
actually was pretty controversial even at the time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED FRANCIS, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Evangelist Bob Jones founded the school
73 years ago for whites only. Today, many say his grandson, Bob Jones III,
runs it as if it were still 1927, with only one policy change. Other races
are now welcomed at its campus but no interracial dating or marriage is
permitted and no homosexuals.

In what many see as the epitome of religious intolerance, the school
leaders have described Catholics as a member of a cult, and the pope a
dangerous leader.

It was here against this backdrop that George W. Bush came in search of
votes after he lost the New Hampshire primary.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I`d have gone to Bob Jones University but I
told them and look them straight in the face and said, you guys better get
into modern times and do away with this disgraceful policy of yours banning
interracial dating and your attacks on the pope and the Catholics. It`s
disgraceful what you`ve done there. That`s I would have said at Bob Jones
university.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: George W. Bush in that legendary 2000 South Carolina primary
against John McCain. George W. Bush went to Bob Jones University and gave
a speech there while the school still had an active policy of banning
interracial dating and calling Catholics members of a cult.

And it wasn`t like they were hiding these under a bushel, right? I mean,
the Bob Jones University lost the federal tax exempt status more than a
decade earlier in part because they were overtly racial discriminatory.
Not to mention all the stuff about the pope being the antichrist.

And with all of that George W. Bush went any way. It now seems newly
important to remember that the way George W. Bush defended himself against
criticism, the way he tried to protect himself from the torrent of
criticism he got for going to this racist, anti-Catholic institution and
saying nothing about those matters while he was there, the way he dealt
with the criticism is he held up his brother Jeb and his wife as human
shields against that criticism.

Watch. This clip is from “Meet the Press” at the time. This is just
stunning. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM RUSSERT, MEET THE PRESS: Let me show you what Mr. Jones current
thinking is. This is just as disturbing.

We believe that the Lord God created races with distinctions and that races
are meant to be separate from another. We basically accept that there are
three races, Caucasians, Negroes and Orientals. Caucasians can`t date
Orientals. Orientals can`t date Caucasians, and neither of them can date
Negroes.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Well, I disagree with that. That was
also said in 1983, if you notice on that –

RUSSERT: It`s still the policy.

BUSH: It`s not a good policy. And when I go to speak to voters, I don`t
necessarily have to embrace the policies of the university. I don`t
embrace it.

RUSSERT: You`re giving affirmation.

BUSH: I`m not giving affirmation. I`m giving affirmation, quite the
contrary. I`m giving affirmation to somebody who`s going to unite our
country. I said let`s march together toward a better tomorrow.

How can I go into a university like that and subscribe to those views when
my little brother, the great governor of Florida, married a girl from
Mexico in my own family.

MODERATOR: Why didn`t you speak against bigotry at Bob Jones?

BUSH: I was asked a question do I support the policy of no interracial
dating. I said of course not. Of course not. My little brother, Jeb, the
governor of Florida, married a girl named Columba from Mexico.

KATIE COURIC: Bob Jones University is opposed to interracial marriage
because it breaks down the barriers God has established. When Jesus Christ
returns to the earth, he will establish world unity. But until then, a
divided earth seems to be his plan.

Throughout your campaign, you said I`m a uniter and not a divider. Do you
condone that thinking? And if not, why go there?

BUSH: What I don`t accept – I don`t accept that particular policy of Bob
Jones University. After all, my brother, the governor of Florida, married
a fabulous woman from Mexico.

I`m not anti-anything. I don`t like being accused of being a bigot. No
one wants to be called a bigot. I`ve got a Catholic in my family, my
brother Jeb and my sister-in-law Columba.

REPORTER: Those allegations step from a speech you gave in Bob Jones
University in South Carolina. You say you don`t regret having spoken
there. Do you regret not having, during the speech spoken out against
their supposedly segregationist and anti-Catholic policies?

BUSH: Listen, when I went there, I got off an airplane and went in there
and gave my speech.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Looking back on that, looking back at how huge the fire storm was
over George W. Bush going to Bob Jones University at that time. Looking
back at him waving Jeb and waving Jeb`s wife in the air to take fire on
that basically so he wouldn`t have to, looking back on that, it`s kind of
amazing that he pulled off a win that year in South Carolina, but he did.

Now, apparently, everybody`s over any concerns about Bob Jones University.
And all the Republicans speak there all the time, including today, Jeb Bush
himself speaking at Bob Jones University, along with Dr. Ben Carson and
Senator Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The Republican frontrunner in South
Carolina, Donald Trump, did not speak at this event today. He instead sent
a surrogate, which ended up being a little awkward both because the crowd
didn`t like Mr. Trump and they introduced his surrogate guy using the wrong
name.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Now, please welcome to the stage, Dr. Mike Burns, surrogate for
Donald Trump.

PASTOR MARK BURNS: Hello, South Carolina. Those who don`t know me, my
name is Pastor Mark Burns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: He was introduced as Mike Burns. His name is Mark Burns. But he
was there on behalf of Donald Trump, which again at Bob Jones University
just didn`t really go over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: Donald Trump is a man who has the same values as you and I do.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Profane!

BURNS: Donald Trump is pro-faith.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Profane!

BURNS: He`s pro-faith. He is pro-faith. He is pro-faith.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Profane!

BURNS: He is pro-faith.

And let me tell you one other thing, I`m grateful you said that, that
Donald Trump is profane and that`s what you`re saying. Donald Trump is
profane, but guess what? Donald Trump and I don`t know about you, but I
don`t trust man that doesn`t have mistakes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: So, it didn`t go great for the Donald Trump approach to the Bob
Jones University today. It did go great for Ted Cruz who was greeted very
warmly and for some reason Ted Cruz was given about 20 minutes longer to
speak than all the other candidates.

Ever since the all but collapse of the Ben Carson campaign, Senator Ted
Cruz has been trying to conquer the market, corner the market on voters who
are religious conservatives in the Republican electorate.

And there`s a lot of those voters in Iowa. There`s some of those voters in
New Hampshire, but not very many. There`s a ton in South Carolina.

And as the campaign has shifted to South Carolina, you see the candidates
doing this to one degree or another but you see the Ted Cruz campaign in
particularly shifting to a more overtly religious message. And sometimes
that makes more sense than others.

For example, today, the former FOX News host Glenn Beck today in South
Carolina, he brought himself to tears in an introduction he did for Senator
Ted Cruz. He brought himself to tears while begging South Carolinians to
support Ted Cruz. In so doing, he claimed both his own powers as a modern
day prophet, and he asserted that God has sent Ted Cruz to run for
president this year. He brought himself to tears.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: I`m here not as somebody to endorse Ted
Cruz, even though I have. I`m not here as a guy you listen to on the
radio. I`m here as a citizen, as a fellow citizen, and I am begging you,
please do not dismiss the peril that we are in. Do not dismiss.

Fall to your knees and pray to God to reveal to you what the hour is. Ask
the Dear Lord, our Dear Lord, to show you who the man is that has the
integrity, who has the connection, who will fall to his knees at the
resolute desk.

I was mocked and ridiculed. I`m telling you right now, this is your last
call, America. This is your last call. This is your last call, America.
Stand. Stand for the man I believe was raised for this hour, Ted Cruz.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: And then Ted Cruz walked out.

Ted Cruz, more than any other candidate, still in the race and maybe more
than anybody else who tried to run this year. Ted Cruz is running as a
religious conservative specifically. He`s running an overtly religious
campaign for president.

And anybody can choose to do that. But it has led this year to a few
little adventures in the Ted Cruz campaign with the issue of religious
tolerance or religious intolerance depending on your world view. You might
remember a few months ago when Senator Cruz participated in an Iowa event
with a pastor who used that same event to argue anyone found to be a
homosexual in this country should be executed for that sin.

This was not just like something the pastor had been known to say in the
past in other venues. That`s what he said at the event where he
interviewed Ted Cruz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR: Yes, Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death penalty for homosexuals.
Yes, Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 32, Apostle Paul does say that homosexuals
are worthy of death. His words and not mine! And I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Jesus Christ.

And I am not ashamed of the truth of the word of God, and I am willing to
go to jail for standing on the truth of the word of God.

And I know I`ve taken the counsel. Many have told me this weekend, you be
careful. You choose your words carefully. We have presidentials coming
down to this conference this weekend. I understand that.

But I am not ashamed of the truth of the word of God. And I`m willing to
go to jail for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: And then he welcomed Ted Cruz on to the stage.

We asked Senator Ted Cruz several times after that event whether he thought
it was appropriate to do an event with that pastor, to do an event with
someone who at that same event was calling for the mass execution of gay
people in America. The Ted Cruz campaign never distanced themselves from
that pastor. They never apologized for attending.

They even later bragged to the conservative media about how they avoided
answering our questions about that kill the gays event, and never said
anything bad about the pastor.

Last month, somewhat similar controversy came up again when Ted Cruz
started bragging about and campaigning on the endorsement that he got from
this nice fellow.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MIKE BICKLE: Let me tell you, these 20, less than 20 million Jews
worldwide, the Lord says, “I`m going to give all 20 million of them the
chance to respond to the fisherman. I give them grace. And I give them
grace.” He says, “And if they don`t respond to grace, I`m going to raise
up the hunters”. And the most famous hunter in recent history is man named
Adolf Hitler.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MADDOW: So, the reason that Adolf Hitler sent six million Jewish people is
because God sent him to do that. He`s doing the Lord`s work.

That pastor endorsed Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, on his website, put out a
statement welcoming that endorsement, praising the pastor. That
understandably freaked out some Jewish groups in the country, including the
Anti-Defamation League and the National Jewish Democratic Council.

They at least got a response from the Ted Cruz campaign about Cruz
welcoming and praising and claiming credit for this endorsement that he got
from the God sent Hitler pastor. But, again, Ted Cruz is not backing down.
Not distancing himself from the guy. Sticking with the endorsement and
sticking with Hitler was God`s Jew hunter message.

The response from Senator Cruz`s campaign said, in part, quote, “no one has
a better record than Senator Cruz when it comes to standing with Israel.”

So, Ted Cruz, because his campaign is built this way, he`s been kind of
pushing it on this issue in terms of how much outrage his campaign can
generate without them finally having to change course at some point. And
after having been through all that, the Ted Cruz campaign has a new test,
and it`s because of this. This is anti-Semitic graphic about gun control.

As you can see, it`s this close-up unflattering head shots of 12 different
Jewish-Americans. Some of them are public officials, some of them are
people who are active in the gun reform movement and commented on the
issue. They are labeled within Israeli flag to mark them as Jews.

And just in case that`s too subtle, some of them have little captions on
them like here`s the late Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.
Underneath his name and then the Israel flag, it says hopefully, gave
Russian Jew immigrant your tax money.

Or in upper left hand corner, that is former New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg who may himself run for president this year, underneath the
Israeli flag over his face, he oddly is captioned as 9/11 Israeli agent.
Not exactly sure what that means.

But up in the upper left hand corner of his – or at the top of his little
inset there, you see by his name. That sort of makes it clear what`s going
on. They call him Jew York City mayor, Mikey Bloomberg. Jew York City,
really?

So, this graphic, this anti-Semitic graphic, who`s really behind gun
control? This was posted online by a board member of the NRA, a board
member whose name is Ted Nugent. And Mr. Nugent likes being as offensive
as possible, right? He`s the one who called President Obama a sub-human
mongrel.

He also recently said that both Hillary Clinton and President Obama should
be hanged. Should be killed by hanging. Something having to do with
Benghazi.

Mr. Nugent is a professional provocateur and everybody expects that from
Mr. Nugent. But the anti-Semitic, Jew York City, Israeli flags things
seemed to have rubbed a lot of Mr. Nugent`s supporters in the gun rights
movement the wrong way.

Online, this week, in defending himself against criticism, he`s not made
things easier for himself. He`s somewhat inexplicably called himself a war
hero. Look, Ted Nugent, “I am a war hero.”

As far as anybody knows, Ted Nugent never served in any war. Look, he says
“I`m war hero. Fallujah `04.”

Mr. Nugent did not fight in the Iraq war. And, by the way, most war heroes
don`t call themselves war heroes.

But he`s also posted this. Jews for control are Nazis in disguise.
Plummet on, punks. Meanwhile, I adjust my yamika at my barmitzva playing
my kosher guitar. Eat me.

Now, so far, apparently, the NRA is fine with this. They gave a statement
to “The Washington Post” that`s fairly anodyne saying, no individual NRA
board member speaks for the NRA.

OK. So, the NRA apparently has no problem with Ted Nugent and his anti-
Semitic Jews are coming for your guns thing.

But what about the presidential race?

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

LARS LARSON: Hey, tell me this: do you have a presidential favorite yet?

TED NUGENT: You know, yes, I do.

LARSON: You going to say?

NUGENT: Ted Cruz. I think he would make a wonderful president.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MADDOW: Nobody is responsible for their own endorsers. Nobody can be held
accountable for the thoughts and actions of people who like them. You
can`t control who likes you.

If you`re Senator Cruz, and you put this up on your website, proudly
embracing that endorsement from Ted Nugent, showing off, campaigning, even
tonight, on the fact that you are the choice for president of Ted Nugent,
then you do kind of own this.

Just like you own the guy who said that God sent Hitler to kill all the
Jews because you campaigned on his endorsement too.

Just like you own it when the guy says every gay person in America should
be executed, because you attended his event. You shared stage with him.
You did not have to do that.

There`s always some level of controversy around issues like this,
particularly around the time of the South Carolina primary. But honestly,
this year, Ted Cruz is shooting the moon on this stuff. I don`t know how
long it`s going to be before the beltway actually notices this pattern and
realizes it might be a real issue for him.

He won`t answer our questions about it. Maybe somebody else can get him
too. We`ll see.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Into every beautiful relationship, a little rain must fall. The
presidential candidate with whom I have the most affectionate relationship,
and I have his phone number and he has mine. He has now decided to break
my heart.

That story, maybe with a little violin music, I don`t know, that story is
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: We`ve been waiting a long time. Let`s now do it, let`s poof Carly
Fiorina and Chris Christie off our list of candidates. Ready? Carly
Fiorina, three, two, one, poof. And Chris Christie, three, two, one, poof.

And this remains the Republican slate of candidates for this party`s
presidential nomination this year. The guy on the bottom, that`s my
boyfriend, Jim Gilmore. He just got ten times as many votes in New
Hampshire as he got in Iowa. I`m just saying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: On Wednesday night`s show, it seemed like things were looking up
for my boyfriend Jim Gilmore. After getting 12 votes in Iowa and 133 votes
in New Hampshire, I think we all thought that Gil-mentum had finally
arrived. Unfortunately for me and him, that was wrong.

As of this afternoon, Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia, the only
veteran in the Republican race, he has officially suspended his
presidential campaign. And so, it is with real sadness that I do this.

Jim Gilmore, it has been a pleasure reporting your campaign. You seemed
like a thoroughly decent and earnest man. I wish you all the best in
whatever you do next.

But now, three, two, one, poof.

Just six Republican candidates left.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Overwhelmingly, the
American people want to raise the minimum wage. Congress does not. Then,
the job is to rally the American people to tell Congress to do what the
American people want, pay equity for women, overwhelmingly. The question
is there`s a huge gap between Congress and the American people. What
presidential leadership is about is closing that gap.

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And you don`t think President
Obama has successfully closed that gap?

SANDERS: No, I don`t. I mean, I think he`s made the effort, but I think
what we need, when I talk about a political revolution is bringing millions
and millions of people into the political process in way that does not
exist right now. It`s tough, but I think you`re seeing in this campaign
the kind of turnouts that we`re seeing, the kind of voter turn out that
took place yesterday in New Hampshire. The good turn out we had in Iowa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That basic theory of the case my have flaw. It`s possible it
might work some time soon. But so far at least, this theory which drives
the Senator Bernie Sanders campaign, the most basic argument for him on how
he can win and accomplish his agenda if he was elected president, so far,
it`s not bearing out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: The reason I think I can help the entire Democratic Party at the
head of the ticket is we have got to increase voter turnout. I think I can
do that. I think that`s what our campaign is about.

Here is why I think I will be the strongest candidate, if nominated the
strongest candidate. Democrats when there is large voter turnout.

Our campaign is the campaign that is generating excitement and energy that
will result in a high voter turnout.

Democrats win elections when large numbers of people come out and vote.
That`s what Obama did in 2008.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That is what Obama did in 2008. And Senator Sanders has nothing
but praise for President Obama over the way he inspired massive Democratic
voter turnout in 2008.

Beyond just following that as model though, Senator Sanders is suggesting
even more millions of Americans need to be drawn in off the sidelines and
inspired to participate in the Democratic process, so not only will a
Democrat win again but he or she will have a massive mandate from the
voters and such massive support from the American people for his or her
agenda, that it will create a de facto political revolution, as he puts it
– a political revolution that will make possible the enactment of things
like free college education for all and single-payer healthcare and the
other proposals around which Senator Sanders is building his campaign.
That`s the theory of the case.

Senator Sanders will not only win, he will create a new political climate
essentially with a huge numbers of people he will bring into the political
process. That`s the theory of the case.

Here`s the reality so far: in 2008, in the Iowa caucuses there was a huge
record turnout. A record number of Democrats turned out to vote in 2008:
240,000 Democrats in Iowa. This year in Iowa, it was 172,000.

In New Hampshire in 2008, again, huge numbers. A record set on a
Democratic side: 288,000 people turned out on the Democratic side in New
Hampshire. That year 2008, it was 288,000. This year, it was 247,000.

And these numbers for Democrat turnout this year, they are not bad numbers.
They`re not record breaking numbers. They are distinctly lower than the
last competitive Democratic contest in 2008.

That is a particularly cold splash of water when you consider that the
Republicans in both Iowa and New Hampshire this year, they have had record
turnout while the Democrats have not.

So, that`s not good for Democrats broadly looking ahead to the general
election. That`s not good particularly for Senator Sanders who has not
just been claiming that he can generate record voter turnout, he`s put the
claim at the very center of why and how he`s running for president. Why he
can win and how he would govern if he were elected.

If it`s not true, if the record turnout isn`t coming, then the Sanders
campaign is going to need a whole new theory of the case, which is a bummer
if you`re a Bernie Sanders supporter.

But here`s your lifeline, because the next race is in Nevada. Nevada has
had this early caucus for three presidential elections now. It`s fairly
recent contest. The first one they did was in `08. The second was in
2012. This is the third one.

Most of the reason a state likes to go early in the election years is
because they want their state to get national attention. For the
politicians and the political parties in the state, the really great thing
about having an early contest with tons of national attention to it is that
hopefully in a good year, being an early state primary or early state
caucus, that`s going to cause a lot of people in your state to get excited
and to register to vote because they want to participate in this very
exciting election that will be so consequential for the presidential
contest.

And that has worked. That has happened every year that Nevada has had its
caucuses.

Here`s what happened in first one before the `08 Nevada caucuses, which was
the first year that Nevada was an early state. They did get a huge big
jump in new voter registration, particularly from Democrats. They got a
big spike also in new voter registration for Republicans. They even got a
big spike in new voter registrations for people who didn`t sign up with
either party but still registered. That was `08.

Then, for the 2012 race, these numbers on the right. Numbers looked
different in 2012. All right. Not as great for the Democrats. It wasn`t
very exciting. It was just President Obama running for re-election.

It was a little better than in `08 for the Republicans, though. Lots of
new nonpartisan independent registrations in 2012. So, that`s the last two
times, `08 and 2012.

Now, check this out. Check out the new voter registration numbers in
Nevada, ahead of this year`s Nevada caucuses, ready?

Boing. Where did all those people come from. Look at that. Republicans
like doubled their voter registration numbers from their last really good
year in 2012.

The Democrats did too. I mean, the Democrats thought they had this massive
year in 2008. Look at how high their numbers are this year.

And the non-partisan numbers, those are off the charts too. I have no idea
what explains this, what caused it. But that is a huge number of new voter
registrations in Nevada and the biggest number of new voter registrations
in Nevada is for Democratic voters.

So, so far in Iowa and New Hampshire the Democratic voters turn out numbers
have been fine, they`ve been good. They have not been great. That is a
particular bummer for the Bernie Sanders campaign because of the way the
Bernie Sanders campaign has explained how they will win. That`s been the
case so far.

But looking ahead to Nevada, that might be about to change. And that could
be huge, if you know what I mean.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: So, we`re heading into Iowa and New Hampshire. The closer we got
to those contests, there were more and more polls every day, right?

Heading into the Democratic caucuses in Nevada, though, that`s not going to
happen. The consensus view is that there`s basically not going to be any
significant amount of polling in Nevada ahead of the Democratic caucuses
there. Established polling firms think they can`t get a statistically
sound sample of the electorate in Nevada that in any meaningful way will
predict who will turn out and go to the caucuses.

Nevada has only been doing the caucuses for three presidential elections
now and polling firms are not eager to get in there and screw up. So,
there just aren`t going to be a lot of polls, or maybe any polls – which
is why everybody got very excited today when word broke that there was a
new poll in the Democratic presidential race in Nevada. And there was the
result, those were headline-worthy as well. Bernie Sanders tied with
Hillary Clinton in Nevada at 45 percent. Wow. Tied. That`s big news,
maybe.

Here are some things you should probably know about this poll that nobody
was expecting. The outfit that commissioned this poll is a very, very
conservative website called “The Washington Free Beacon”. If you go to
their online store for a little flavor here, you can buy, for example,
“Washington Free Beacon” tactical vests. You can also buy a walker that
says “I stole this from Hillary”. That`s nice. You can buy t-shirts that
have pictures of George W. Bush on them that say, quote, “greatest living
president, fantastic painter.”

That`s who paid for the poll. And the group who did the poll, it`s a group
called Target Point, they are a Republican company. This is their client
page on their website. Bush-Cheney, RNC, the Republican Governors
Association, Mitt Romney. Also, Target Point has no real track record on
public polling.

One thing you look to see if a new poll to see if it`s legit, one thing you
look at is their methodology. You check look it their methodology and
their track record has been born out over the years.

For Target Point, there`s no numbers over the years. There`s no public
polling trail to follow. There`s just this poll. Just the one.

Isn`t it kind of weird, if you think about it, that it`s only a Democratic
poll? It`s a conservative website hiring a Republican company to poll the
Democratic race, just the Democratic, not the Republican race that will
happen many the same state three days later. Weird, right?

So, we called the polling company to ask them when we should expect their
Nevada polling results from the Republican field, because surely they must
have done that, too. They told us we could expect those results the 15 of
nebruary. They said they won`t release the results because they didn`t
conduct any Republican polling.

And they said they didn`t conduct any Republican polling because their
client, “The Washington Free Beacon” with the website with the selling the
tactical vests and the Hillary Clinton walkers, and the W. tees, “The Free
Beacon”, they told us, did not request a Republican poll. They didn`t want
it. They only wanted Democratic numbers, which is interesting.

So, why on earth would a far right conservative website have a Republican
firm poll Nevada`s Democrats in a race that`s seen as impossible to poll?
They couldn`t possibly be trying to influence that race, could they? Or
trying to influence perceptions of that race? I don`t.

But that`s what I`m going to ask Nevada`s best political reporter, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was an extraordinary day
with an absolutely wonderful outcome. I`m so grateful to the people of
Nevada who participated and made sure their voices were heard.

REPORTER: Despite the fact, if you look at the percentage point, they
chose Hillary Clinton with a big win, the Obama campaign said that
actually, if you do the math, he ended up with more delegates there. Now,
if you look at it that way, that means there was no real knockout here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Hillary Clinton in 2008 celebrating on caucus day in Nevada only
to run up against the boring but harsh reality of the delegate math that
day.

Joining us now is the dean of the Nevada political press pool, a man who`s
been covering Nevada politics for more than a quarter century, Jon Ralston.
He`s the host of “Ralston Live”, which airs statewide on PBS and he
recently signed on as an MSNBC political analyst.

And I will tell you, Jon, when we got an e-mail from our boss telling us
that in our newsroom at THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, an audible cheer went up
throughout my staff and everyone was so excited to see it. So, we`re super
glad you`re with us for this season, Jon.

JON RALSTON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I really appreciate that, Rachel.
Thank you.

MADDOW: Part of the reason we`re super happy to have you is because you
seem to understand things about Nevada that are otherwise completely
confounding. One of them, that doesn`t make sense, is that you apparently
can`t poll in Nevada.

Why do we expect no significant amount of polling before these Democratic
caucuses?

RALSTON: Well, I think one of the reason, maybe the main reason, what you
alluded to when you introduced the segment is we haven`t been doing this
that long, right? There`s no real sense of the caucus electorate the way
there is in Iowa where you have Ann Selzer who`ve been doing this for years
and really knows who`s going to go in caucus. And New Hampshire is a
primary.

We haven`t been doing it that long. You look at the turnout, Rachel, it`s
very difficult to poll when you know the turnout is going to be low. It`s
been really incredibly low on the Republican side. It was only 8 percent
or so last time.

Even though they had a record turnout in that caucus you just referred to
where Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama but lost in the delegates, it was a
record turnout for a caucus here, about 120,000 people. That`s still only
about 27 percent in the turnout. So, it`s difficult to know that.

Let`s add the other wild card. Same day registration makes it very, very
difficult. It was quarter of the turnout in 2008. And so, nobody really
knows who those voters are going to be because they`re not voters yet.

MADDOW: Jon, one of the things that you have noted in Nevada leading into
the caucuses this year is there seems to be a big number of new voter
registrations in the state, particularly, among Democrats but actually a
lot among undeclared voters and among Republican voters. What do those new
voter registration numbers mean to you?

RALSTON: You know, it`s very interesting. Let`s get to the last thing
that you said first. The rise in independence and non-partisan in this
state has been going on for some time now. It`s now about a fifth of the
electorate.

If you add in some of the others, you really see that the major parties
really only have about three quarters or so of the electorate. What`s
interesting about those numbers to me and you outlined them correctly, that
Democrats did well, but so did the Republicans.

The Democratic machine, the Harry Reid machine in this state has been
formidable for some time. What`s been going on now and you and I have
talked about this before, is the state Republican Party here is an absolute
disaster. They wouldn`t know how to register voters if you gave them the
forms and told them where to go. But there`s been outside organizations
including one called Engage Nevada that was started by a former Republican
national – he`s a current Republican National Committee political director
Chris Caro, former executive director here.

Now, they are registered as non-partisan organization, Rachel, but they`ve
been registering a lot of Republican voters and they managed to keep pace
with the Democrats. So, the margin in this state is very worrisome for the
Democrats, which is why they very are happy to have this same day
registration. They registered 30,000 voters in 2008. We`ll see how well
they do.

The Republicans made a big mistake in my opinion, from their point of view.
They do not have same day registration for their caucus.

MADDOW: Jon, I remember covering the Sharron Angle, Harry Reid Senate race
with you. That was another one of those races where the Republican Party
was such a mess. They had external groups come in and say we don`t need a
party. We`ll do the organizing as a third party group. That was kind of
the theory behind the Sharron Angle run and it was a disaster.

A year when every other Republican won, Harry Reid took care of her. Is
there any risk of that same dynamic happening with this engaged Nevada
taking over for where the Republican Party ought to be working?

RALSTON: Well, the difference is Sharron Angle is a once in a lifetime
gift to the Democrats. You`re never going to see a candidate that bad.

By the way, not to get you excited, she`s talking about running for the
U.S. Senate again this cycle. So, she may be back.

But the anointed candidate on the Republican side is no Sharron Angle. His
name is Joe Hick. He`s a congressman from the third district and he`s
running against a former attorney general who would be the first Latina
ever elected to the U.S. Senate. That race is really going to be a barn
burner.

I do think the Republicans, not the party, but the Republicans themselves,
Brian Sandoval, the governor`s machine and especially this outside group
engage Nevada, have showed they can do pretty well in voter registration.
Something they didn`t do that well in 2010 when Angle lost to Reid.

MADDOW: Jon Ralston, host of “Ralston Live”, which aired statewide on PBS,
now an MSNBC political analyst – thank the gods – Jon, congratulations on
that. We`re super happy to have you. And have a good weekend. Thanks, my
friend.

RALSTON: Thanks so much, Rachel.

MADDOW: This is one of those days where today`s news makes it possible to
predict tomorrow`s news and possibly even tomorrow`s scandals. That`s
next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Today, the state of Michigan released over 21,000 pages of e-mails
related to the Flint water crisis. That`s what that 21,000 pages looks
like. Right now, tons of reporters in Michigan and elsewhere, including in
this building, are going through the documents. So if there`s anything to
expect for the weekend it`s news stories about the Flint water crisis this
weekend.

The other thing to look ahead to on the Flint story is that Governor Rick
Snyder has finally agreed to testify in Congress. We still don`t have
details on when that`s going to be, but the agreement has apparently been
made. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will testify in Washington on Flint.
So, for those reasons and more there`s going to be a lot of Flint news in
coming days.

Watch this space.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Behold it`s coming, faster than you think.

Yay! Friday Night News Dump time.

Nick Tuths, who is tonight`s lucky player?

NICK TUTHS, TRMS PRODUCER: Tonight`s player is Judy Lalinsky from Green
Lane, Pennsylvania. She`s a music teacher for a parent child program.
She`s a singer/songwriter, got two kids, three grandkids.

Rachel, meet Judy.

MADDOW: Judy Lalinsky, it`s very nice to meet you.

JUDY LALINSKY, GREEN LANE, PA: Hi, Rachel. It`s great to meet you.

MADDOW: You are a singer, songwriter and a music teacher and a parent and
a grandparent.

LALINSKY: And a wife and a runner. I do a lot of things.

MADDOW: How do you have time to be doing this right now?

LALINSKY: It`s that important to me, Rachel.

MADDOW: All right.

LALINSKY: I love you.

MADDOW: I love you back. I love you already.

Well, I`m sure you know how this works. You`re going do get three
questions about this week`s news and if you get at least two of them right,
you will win this piece of junk.

Nick, please show it off.

TUTHS: This is the Rachel Maddow drink mixer.

MADDOW: Teeny, teeny, tiny cocktail shaker.

For a bonus prize for you we have something we brought back from our time
on the road in New Hampshire this week. This is better than a usual gift.
Nick, what is this special swag tonight?

(LAUGHTER)

LALINSKY: Fabulous.

MADDOW: It is the old school New Hampshire license plate with the old man
in the mountain and old – you go it. So I know. Extra, extra excitement
there. Incentive really.

We also need to bring in Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. Steve will
determine whether or not you got the right answer.

Steve, meet Judy. Judy, meet Steve.

STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both.

MADDOW: Good evening.

LALINSKY: Hi, Steve.

MADDOW: All right. Question one. Are you ready?

LALINSKY: Yes.

MADDOW: Question one, this is from Monday`s show. We reported on a great
New Hampshire primary tradition involving a newspaper that`s called the
“Conway Daily Sun”.

When presidential candidates are seeking the endorsement of the “Conway
Daily Sun”, what is the weird thing they all traditionally do at the
newspaper`s office? Is it, A, they climb up on the roof of the newspaper
office and scream “Live Free or Die” at the top of their lungs? B, do they
do a round of shots with the newspaper`s publisher? C, do they took a
sharpie and write their name on the refrigerator in the staff break room.
Or D, do they pose for pictures with the “Conway Daily Sun`s” office dog
who was named Henry?

LALINSKY: OK, A sounds great, but I think I`m going go with C.

MADDOW: C, they take a sharpie and write their name on a fridge in the
break room.

Steve?

BENEN: Let`s check Monday`s show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Interesting New Hampshire tradition. Candidates sign the fridge
in the staff break room at the local paper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is C and Judy is one for one.

MADDOW: Spectacular. Let`s go to question two. Wednesday`s show, we
reported that one former 2016 presidential candidate who had already quit
the race might now be getting back into the race. That`s what we reported
on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, it turned out his big announcement was a
resounding never mind.

Which candidate decided this week to not reenter the presidential race
after all? Was it A, Michael Bloomberg, B, Bobby Jindal, C, Scott Walker,
or D, Jim Webb?

LALINSKY: Ooh, man. I think it`s D.

MADDOW: Steve?

BENEN: Let`s check Wednesday`s show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER SEN. JIM WEBB (D), VIRGINIA: We are not able to put together the
kind of funding that would allow us to get on the ballots in this period of
time and run a campaign that could look at the presidency. So, we`re not
going to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is Jim Webb and Judy is it two for two.

MADDOW: All right, Judy, I can tell you a ringer, but here`s the last
question. This is slightly harder than the other two.

This is last night`s show. We reported that Marco Rubio is spinning his
fifth place finish in New Hampshire in a very optimistic way.

How did Marco Rubio describe his New Hampshire fifth place finish this
week? A, did he say he tied with Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz? B, did he say he
was in a three-way split decision for third place? C, did he say he came
in first place among the bottom six candidates? Or D, did he say he could
have won if he wanted to, but he didn`t really try?

LALINSKY: It`s between A and B. I think I`m going go with A.

MADDOW: Steve?

BENEN: I love this one. Let`s check last night`s show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we have to have
some perspective here. You know, Governor Bush spent a lot of money in New
Hampshire and finished basically tied with me and Ted Cruz.

MADDOW: Senator Rubio Jeb Bush did not tie you and Ted Cruz in New
Hampshire. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush came in third and fourth in New
Hampshire. They both beat you. You came in fifth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENEN: Yes, Marco Rubio pulled a Joe Lieberman and Judy is correct.

MADDOW: The reason it`s a trick is that Joe Lieberman said he was in a
three-way split decision for third place when he came in fifth.

But, Judy, you were not fooled. You were not fooled. You know all of
this.

Nick, did Judy win the prizes?

TUTHS: Three way tie for all prizes.

MADOW: Including the “old faht” license plates. I hope that does not
offend anyone in your family.

Judy, it was –

LALINSKY: We`re all old farts here.

MADDOW: At least in spirit. No, fart is FEC approved. Don`t worry.

Judy, it was great to meet you. Please say hi to your whole family. It`s
really nice to meet you.

LALINSKY: I will. Thank you. Thanks a lot.

MADDOW: Thanks.

If you want to play the news dump it`s easy send us an e-mail,
rachel@MSNBC.com.

But now you have to go do the crowbar hotel.

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

Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>