The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 5/2/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: May 2, 2016
Guest: William Bogert
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks my friend.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
It`s called an automated dialing announcing device. Did I get that right?
Yes, automated dialing announcing device. When you get a phone call, pick
up the phone and the voice you hear when you answer the phone is something
that is not emanating from a live person, it`s a recording or like a robot
voice or something. That means – congratulations, you have been contacted
by an automatic dialing announcing device.
In 1988, the great state of Indiana banned that. The idea was sort of a
consumer protection thing. The law was aimed mostly at easing people`s
annoyance with telemarketers, people calling in the middle of dinner trying
sell you a timeshare somewhere.
But when Indiana passed what is arguably the nation`s toughest law banning
these specific kinds of unsolicited phone calls from machines, the ban
didn`t narrowly target telemarketers. It also put the kibosh on political
campaigns calling to ask for your vote or to ask for a donation or more
likely, in the case of robocalls, political campaigns calling to say though
unprintably nasty about some opposing candidate in some election somewhere.
So, the law, it went after telemarketers and went after political
campaigns. The same law also had probably an unforeseen but devastating
effect on the ability of anybody to conduct public polling in Indiana. I
mean, it`s not illegal to poll in Indiana. You can still do polls, but you
have to have a live person dial each individual number and speak one on
2001 any human who answers the phone. And that form of live human to human
polling, it`s fun. If you`re lonely, it can be nice to have a live person
call you and interrupt your dinner and give you somebody to chat with.
But live human to human polling can be about 10 times as expensive as
polling that is done by machine, where no, you don`t get to chat with the
potential new friend who just called you, instead you just, you know, press
1 for John Kasich, press 2 for Jim Gilmore, press 999 for Herman Cain.
Indiana has the strictest law in this nation banning the press 1 to give
your answer kind of polling, banning any kind of robocall including
robocalls for political polling. Indiana takes this law seriously, not a
vestige you can look up and that`s a quirk of the law they don`t enforce.
They take it super seriously.
On March 21st this year, the attorney general sent out this threatening
letter warning political campaigns they should not do any calls in Indiana
that would violate Indiana state law, that means no automated calls
promoting a candidate, no automated calls slugging off a candidate, no
automated calls raising money, no automated calls asking people how they`re
going to vote. And when I say this letter from the state attorney general
was threatening, I`m not kidding.
Look at this from a letter. Quote, “Although automated calls are legal in
some states, Indiana has chosen to adopt one of the strictest phone privacy
laws possible. If your campaign gives the OK to blast out robocalls to
Hoosiers, you are disregarding our state law and my office will take swift
action to bring you before court. The attorney general also then notes
that if you break this law, you could face a $5,000 penalty for each call.
And so, because of Indiana`s peculiar and singular hostility to the
automated dialing announcing devices among us, that`s the reason why
honestly we have no idea what`s going to happen tomorrow in Indiana. I
mean, since Indiana has become so crucial in the presidential nominating
contest in both part parties, we have at the last minute had a few polling
companies jump in and do surveys in Indiana and decided, a few polling
companies that decided to shell out the big bucks to hire live callers to
call humans in Indiana instead of those illegal but cheap robocalls. The
don`t have many of those polls, no longer trend data term showing trends in
the state or who has had the momentum over the course of the campaign or
who`s been moving up or down.
In fact, as recently as two weeks ago, zero polling had been done on the
presidential race in either party.
Now, because Indiana has become so critical in these last couple of weeks,
there has been some late rush but not a lot. And I think mostly that is
because of Indiana`s super intense anti-robocall law with its $5,000 per
call penalty. Indiana is also difficult to poll because it`s sort of an
unattractive target for pollsters for other more naturally occurring
Pollsters also don`t like to target Indiana because there`s a real risk
they will get Indiana wrong. For presidential polling in particular, there
are two things about Indiana that make it hard to do good polling there,
even if you are willing to shell out big bucks to hire live humans to do
your polling, you still have a couple problems.
The first one is that Indiana voters don`t register by political party.
You just register to vote in Indiana. You don`t register as a Democrat or
a Republican or an independent. That makes it hard to target the kind of
voters you want to get your simple built around.
The second problem is, it`s been a dog`s age, particularly on the
Republican side since there was a genuinely contested important
presidential primary in that state at a time in the overwhelm primary
process when lots of people were paying attention and were very motivated
And so, those two factor, a lack of party specific registration
information, the lack of any modern equivalent for the kind of primaries
that Indiana`s about to have tomorrow, those things coupled with the fact
that there isn`t much polling in Indiana at all because it is so expensive,
all those things together make it hard to develop good reliable
statistically sound models that help you pick a good representative simple
of voters that will accurately predict how the whole state is going to vote
on election day tomorrow.
So, in the process of picking the next president of the United States,
Indiana turns out to be really important this year and if that were not
exciting enough because of all this we`re super specific stuff of Indiana,
this particular state comes with an extra dose of suspense. It`s a black
box. Nobody knows what`s going to happen.
Still though, from the little bit of last minute polling that we do have,
and more importantly from the behavior of the candidates right now, some
things are starting to become clear in this race. I`m going to talk about
the Democratic side right now. I`m going to talk about the Republican side
in a moment.
On the Democratic side, one of the things you`re going to notice on our
coverage of the Indiana primary tomorrow night, special coverage starting
6:00 p.m. Eastern, see you there. One of the things you will notice in our
coverage tomorrow, is that even though Indiana is the only state voting
tomorrow, Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner, will not be in Indiana
tomorrow. Instead, she will be in Ohio. Didn`t Ohio already vote?
Usually when candidates choose not to be in the state that`s holding an
election that night, as the election results come in, if the candidate
isn`t there, it`s usually because they`ve gone to the next state down the
calendar, right, the next state that`s due to vote in a couple days or week
down the calendar, it kind of signals that they`re looking ahead and moving
on. Usually, it means they expect to lose whatever state is voting that
night, but they expect to do well in the next one and they want everybody
to focus on that.
But Hillary Clinton is very much breaking that pattern tomorrow. She`s
going to be in Ohio tomorrow. Ohio already held its Democratic primary way
back on March 15th.
So, think about that strategically. This tells you a little something
about what`s going on with the Hillary Clinton for president campaign right
now and their strategy. They`re no longer basically bothering with what is
happening in the Democratic primary, whatever competition happens to be
happening in any particular day.
I mean, Hillary Clinton is going to be in Ohio team. She`s busy trying to
compete already in general election swing states like Ohio. The Clinton
campaign didn`t run any TV ads in Indiana in advance of this primary. In
fact, they`re not running TV ads in any of the remaining Democratic primary
states at all.
Today, Secretary Clinton did not campaign in Indiana. I think largely this
is to signal they believe they are moving onto the general election part of
the campaign. The Clinton campaign is basically campaigning as if she`s
the de facto nominee already.
But part of it may also be that the Clinton campaign doesn`t expect to do
well tomorrow in Indiana. The Clinton campaign has been privately
downplaying expectations in Indiana to reporters today. What polling there
is in the state shows Secretary Clinton to have a small lead over Bernie
Sanders, but what try are telling reporters today and tonight they are
downplaying their chances of winning in that state.
And as I said, Hillary Clinton is not running any ads, she wasn`t
campaigning there today and she won`t be there tomorrow. In contrast,
Senator Bernie Sanders held three rallies in Indiana just today, including
one tonight with nearly 8,000 people at it. His campaign has run hundreds
of thousands of dollars of ads in Indiana already. They are very clearly
going all out in that state trying to win. He may yet win in Indiana
But no one is quite sure what that means for the end game now with the
Sanders campaign. Senator Sanders held a remarkable press conference in
Washington, D.C. yesterday to mark the one year anniversary of the launch
of his presidential campaign. Rather than being a nostalgic look back at
the past year, though, Senator Sanders used the occasion to talk about the
way he sees the Democratic primary ending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me be
very clear: It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the
majority of convention delegates by June 14th, that is the last day that a
primary will be held. With pledged delegates alone. In other words, once
more, it is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the
majority of convention delegates by June 14th with pledged delegates alone.
She will need superdelegates to take her over the top at the convention in
Philadelphia. In other words, the convention will be a contested contest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The convention will be contested.
Now, this is not the first time that Senator Sanders has made this
argument. He told me here on this show way back on March 17th that he
expected to see the Democratic nomination decided not in the primary
process but on the convention floor in Philadelphia.
But although he has been raising this claim for a while now, the
implications of that strategy are getting more and more stark. This far
down the calendar, when you look at where the numbers are in the Democratic
race right now, Philip Bump at “The Washington Post” had a really helpful
comparison to help I think for understanding what`s going on in the race
right now compared to the last contested Democratic primary in 2008. And I
think it points out the real radicalism of what Senator Sanders is
proposing for how this campaign is going to end.
Here`s the comparison. In 2008, at the end of the Democratic primary
process, Barack Obama was ahead of Hillary Clinton among pledged delegates
by about 4 percent, about a 4 percent lead in pledged delegates.
Now, Barack Obama in 2008 did not clench the Democratic nomination ahead of
the convention that year, at least not in the sense that Bernie Sanders is
defining clenching the nomination. Barack Obama in 2008 did not have
enough pledged delegates to win the nomination without the superdelegates.
And that`s not surprising – 15 percent of the delegates in the Democratic
Party are superdelegates. Nobody can clench and win the nomination ahead
of the convention based on pledged delegates alone with no help from
superdelegates unless it`s just a huge overwhelming landslide win.
Barack Obama got nowhere near that kind of win in 2008. But under Bernie
Sanders` logic from this year, 2008 would have also been a contested
convention, right? He didn`t clench the nomination, would need the
superdelegates at the convention to put him over, he didn`t have enough
pledged delegates to do it need the superdelegates to put him over and
means a contested convention under Senator Sanders` logic this year, the
reason it wasn`t a contested convention in 2008 is that Hillary Clinton did
not contest it.
Even though she actually had a lead in the popular vote over then-Senator
Obama, even though Barack Obama had only beat her in pledged delegates by 4
percent, even though he was nowhere near the delegate count needed to
clench the nomination without counting superdelegates, at the end of the
primary contest, Hillary Clinton made it clear that Barack Obama had won
fair and square, she endorsed him, she dropped out of the race, she went to
the floor of the convention in Denver not to fight for the nomination
herself but to personally nominate him for president. It wasn`t a
That`s what Barack Obama did in the last Democratic race, with a 4 percent
lead in pledged delegates. Right now, Hillary Clinton has an 11 percent
lead in pledged delegates. And so, no, an 11 percent lead in pledged
delegates, that is not a big enough Democratic landslide that she`s on
track to clench the nomination with pledged delegates alone not counting
any superdelegates but she is way out ahead by every measure. She is way,
way further ahead of senator Sanders than Barack Obama was ahead of her in
And Senator Sanders promised yesterday that he is nevertheless going to
contest that nomination, basically saying he won`t concede, he won`t drop
out of that race, he won`t endorse her and at that convention, he will
fight to – he will still be fighting to get the nomination by trying to
flip the superdelegates to him at the Democratic convention in July in
Philadelphia. And the Sanders campaign is increasingly insistent on this
There had been a little confusion on the top tier of the Sanders campaign.
We heard different things from different top folks from the Sanders
campaign. But now, the candidate himself made it clear in increasingly
insistent terms that what they`re going to do is fight to win that
nomination at the convention in Philadelphia in July, no matter how far
ahead Hillary Clinton is. And they are increasingly insistent about it,
but it is honestly fantastical, which is not the same thing as fantastic.
And so, 10 more states will vote on the Democratic side, including Indiana
tomorrow and we will see what happens when the numbers come in. But
barring a wholesale shift in the race, like an earth shattering shift in
the race, Secretary Clinton`s lead, by any fair measure, I think, should be
seen as insurmountable at this point.
Please send your hate mail to Rachel@MSNBC.com. Your accusations and swear
words do hurt my feelings, but they also make me stronger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, as y`all know, we`re
here on the Hickory basketball court. And Bruce who travels with me,
Bruce, I want to ask you something. Do you have a tape measure with you?
Tell me something, how tall is that basketball rim?
BRUCE: Ten feet.
CRUZ: Ten feet! You know, the amazing thing is that basketball ring here
in Indiana is the same height as New York City and every other place in
this country. And there is nothing that Hoosiers cannot do.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ted had a tough week. He
went to Indiana, Hoosier country, stood on a basketball court and called
the hoop a basketball ring.
What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But, sure,
I`m the foreign one.
CRUZ: Listen, Donald Trump has accused every one in this race of being a
liar. Donald cannot tell the truth in one minute.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll find out tomorrow, Indiana don`t want you.
CRUZ: Sir, you are entitled to have your – I tell you what –
CRUZ: Sir, America is a better country –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without you.
CRUZ: Thank you for those kind sentiments. Let me point out I have
treated you respectfully the entire time. And a question everyone here
should ask –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you Canadian?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Ted Cruz having a tough time with some Donald Trump supporters
today who are just not having it. The direct quote there was, “Indiana
don`t want you.”
We were talking just a moment ago about the thinness of the polling in
Indiana for a variety of reasons and we know a little bit about what that
means on the Democratic side of the race and expectations there. The polls
are also thin on the Republican side. For what it`s worth, the prediction
markets have been very specific about Indiana in the sense they`re
absolutely collapsing for Ted Cruz.
On the eve of this Indiana primary, which he described as pivotal and
crucial for his campaign, Bloomberg Politics has been tracking Ted Cruz`s
fall in various betting and prediction markets. One of the betting in
prediction market is called Predict Wise. They had a pretty good track
record this year. They correctly predicted the winner in 66 out of 77
individual contests this year, in which they`ve made predictions in the
But look how their prediction for Ted Cruz in Indiana has fallen over time?
On April 7th, they said Ted Cruz had a 64 percent chance of winning
Indiana. Then, a little bit – a couple weeks later, the New York primary
April 19th, Ted Cruz`s chances of winning Indiana fell below 50 percent to
47 percent. As of this weekend, Ted Cruz`s chance of winning Indiana had
fallen to 9 percent.
Granted, these are prediction markets, right? But you take data where you
can find it.
In the Gallup data tracking poll of how Republicans view their various
candidates, this past weekend marked the first time that anybody on the
Republican side surpassed Donald Trump in terms of how unfavorably they are
viewed by Republican voters.
Congratulations, Senator Cruz, you`ve now passed Donald Trump in a poll.
People now like you less than anybody else in the Republican race. This
comes at a time when Ted Cruz is pulling out all the stops to try to win
Indiana. He has done all his tricks.
If he was hoping for a bounce in the polls from his big stump announcement
of Carly Fiorina as his fake would-be running mate, that bounce if it
existed at all is what`s commonly called a dead cat bounce, which is not a
nice thing to say about either Carly Fiorina or a dead cat.
Incidentally, when Carly Fiorina fell down off the stage today as she was
introducing the Cruz family, the Cruz campaign was quick to say she was
fine, she was totally uninjured but, of course, the metaphor will live
The other big stunt Ted Cruz pulled to try to win Indiana was to negotiate
a big public deal with John Kasich, to basically clear Kasich out of
Indiana so Cruz and Trump could have a one-on-one, man-to-man contest
there. That was supposed to give Ted Cruz and unbeatable chance, right?
Of beating Donald Trump, head to head, man-to-man in Indiana.
Well, NBC/”Wall Street Journal”/Marist, they did a poll in Indiana asking
voters what they thought of that deal between Cruz and Kasich, 58 percent
of Indiana voters said they disproved of that deal and they really care
about it. More than one in five Indiana voters say that deal was major
factor how they made their choice who to vote for.
And that is just one poll. That`s just one piece of data about the tough
time that Ted Cruz is having, ahead of what is for him a must win contest
in Indiana, a contest if he does not win it, a lot of people will start
wondering when he is going to get out of the race.
But I got to tell you, that NBC/”Wall Street Journal”/Marist poll, saying
that Hoosiers don`t like that deal he made with John Kasich, that polling
data, take it for what it is, but that polling data was obtained
painstakingly by live human beings phoning other live human beings in
Indiana to find out what`s going to happen tomorrow. No robots, just
In terms of really finding out what`s going to happen tomorrow, our special
primary coverage of the Indiana primary is going to start tomorrow night at
6:00 p.m. Eastern. That`s when the first polls close in Indiana and at
that point, we`ll know for sure.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Arizona Republicans held their state convention this weekend and
the night before the convention, Donald Trump`s Arizona state chairman got
himself thrown out of a hotel in downtown Mesa, Arizona. He and a few
other people were tossed out of the hotel after they, quote, “heatedly
argued in the lobby over which name should appear at a delegate slate at
the Arizona Republican convention.” Quote, “It was very loud argument with
According to a hotel source, quote, “Drinks were flung off a lobby table
near the elevators.”
That same gentleman, Donald Trump`s Arizona chair, was also caught on video
shouting at his own Donald Trump staffers for something having to do with
the campaign`s delegate operation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF DEWIT, TRUMP ARIZONA CHAIR: Call me, I was up all night, I didn`t
sleep. Call me, I told you to call me. You put names on there you don`t
even know who they are?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You put names on there you don`t even know who they are?
That was this weekend.
The Trump delegate game is still a hot mess. It seems like it`s a hot mess
everywhere, but Arizona seems like it was particularly hot and particularly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Brewer is an example of someone on our slate
who is neither a delegate nor an alternate, even though our button was
selected more than any other. And again, I believe this isn`t the only
example of this.
JAN BREWER (D), FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: My name didn`t show up on the
REPORTER: How do you explain this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s called fraud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Arizona`s former governor, Jan Brewer, a Donald Trump supporter,
saying technical glitches prevented her from being picked as a delegate.
Not only did Jan Brewer not get picked as a delegate this weekend she lost
a coin toss that would have made her the first alternate delegate. She
picked tails. It was heads. She picked tails.
Thanks to azcentral.com for the video of her reaction on scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BREWER: I`m very disappointed. I think it was improperly ran. I was a
chief election officer and when there`s a glitch, you stop the process and
you fix the problem and you start over. It`s wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It`s wrong.
For the record, the leaders of the Arizona Republican Party say their
convention was run properly, even if the outcome was not what Donald Trump
and his supporters wanted. Ted Cruz once again cleaned up and electing
with his supporters as delegates in Arizona, even though Donald Trump won
easily with the voters. We have seen this happened in a lot of places now.
Arizona this weekend, before that in Louisiana, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Georgia, this weekend, Arizona.
Also Virginia this weekend, Ted Cruz won 10 of the 13 delegates up for
grabs at that state`s convention. Remember when Trump won Virginia?
The Trump campaign keeps saying they`re going to get better at state
conventions and they hire delegate gurus. It`s pretty clear they`re not
getting better at this. Maybe the whole primary fight on the Republican
side depends on how well this hot mess of a delegate game gets played out
in this terrifying conference rooms and state conventions all over the
place. But maybe not.
Part of the way the Trump campaign has explained away how bad they are at
these delegate fights in the state is that they basically think these
delegate fights in the state won`t matter. They think Donald Trump will
win the nomination outright just by winning enough state primaries and
caucuses, so all this madness who the delegates support in their heart of
heart, it will end up being beside the point. They think enough of the
delegates will be formally bound to vote for Donald Trump at the outset of
the convention that there`s not going to be any horse trading and dealing
at the convention after the first ballot.
Is he right? And how much does it depend on the results in Indiana
Joining us now is Mark Murray, senior political editor for NBC News.
Mark, it`s really nice of you to be here.
MARK MURRAY, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Thank you for having me,
MADDOW: The Trump campaign is bad at the delegate thing. They say it
doesn`t matter because they`re going to win outright. They`re going to get
What`s your professional view on how right they are?
MURRAY: I`d rather be the Trump campaign than Cruz at this delegate
selection. There`s no doubt, as you pointed out, Ted Cruz has dominated
the delegate selection from places all the way from Wyoming, to Colorado,
now, Arizona, a state that Donald Trump won decisively.
But where they did, where the Trump campaign did do well was unbound
delegates in Pennsylvania. And that was so essential to their math. The
one place they needed to do it right, they did in Pennsylvania. And when
you end up looking at the math right now, a victory by Donald Trump in
Indiana either by 1 percentage point or 15 percentage points makes his path
to 1,237, that majority you need to wrap up the convention for Donald
Trump, makes it into almost a layup in basketball terms.
MURRAY: Yes. It really puts him on a glide path towards hitting that
number on the first ballot.
And, Rachel, it`s not only the math. It`s also the will of these
delegates. A lot of news organizations have called these delegates who are
Cruz people and now, they`re starting to get squishy and warming up to
Donald Trump, and say, well, you know what, maybe we need to reflect the
will of the voters.
This is what happens when you run off six consecutive wins as Donald Trump
has done and tomorrow might be seven.
MADDOW: Although those delegates to the extent their preference matters,
they may be in a Trump mood today and they maybe in a Cruz mood in July, a
lot of things could happen between now and then.
But you`re saying in terms of just lining up the map, that the margin in
Indiana tomorrow doesn`t matter that much?
MURRAY: Well, the margin actually makes it a difference between a layup
and a slam-dunk for Donald Trump to 1,237.
MURRAY: Here is how the math works. If Donald Trump, if our poll is
correct, NBC News/”Wall Street Journal”/Marist poll that had Trump up 15
points, he ends up getting all 57 delegates that way. You win every
congressional district, it`s winner-take-all statewide, and also in
If it`s a one or two point race, you will see Ted Cruz and Donald Trump
dividing up the delegates. The lion`s share goes to the statewide winner,
but they essentially give-and-take some of the 57 delegates. But what is
important to realize about Donald Trump is that the math that I`ve done and
everyone else has done, Donald Trump could get shut out at a flat zero in
Indiana and still have a path to 1,237.
But that layup or slam dunk turns into a 25.3 foot shot that he needs to be
able to make, where he has to run the table in California. He has to do
very well in West Virginia. He has to make sure he doesn`t lose in any
other delegate fights and delegate selection process. So, but – Indiana,
a great night for Donald Trump, he really doesn`t have to worry about what
happened in Arizona and other places. But every delegate does matter, they
just end up mattering a little bit less if he runs the table tomorrow
MADDOW: And if he does win in Indiana, he doesn`t need to win in
California in order to clinch? It will be great, but he doesn`t need it.
MURRAY: Well, he needs to win delegates in California. The math, you have
172 delegates on the final day of voting on the Republican side. It just
depends how many he has to win.
My calculations when I run things looking at the current polling, I think -
- I project him getting 120 out of 172 delegates. That is a really good
But at the same time, the way the race has gone over the last two or three
days, he could end up getting 150 or 160 out of 172. But all – but if he
ends up getting – if he gets shut out in Indiana, it means he has to
maximize that California haul, the West Virginia haul and winner take all
in New Jersey, every little contest matters.
But if we get to tomorrow night he wins them all I think the Republican
race looks a lot like the Democratic contest, where it`s almost a zombie
race, yes, someone is running but the math makes it all insurmountable, as
you pointed out in your previous segment.
MADDOW: No wonder Ted Cruz looks like he`s seen a ghost. I think he has.
Mark Murray, senior political editor for NBC News – fascinating. And you
just stated that much more clearly than everybody else has.
Thank you, Mark. Appreciate it.
MURRAY: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more ground to cover tonight. Lots of
news, lots of stories, and we`ve got a very, very special first guest for
the interview, somebody who`s there live on set, who you will not believe I
was able to book but I got him and he`s here next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: 1964 was a really good year for advertising, at least it was an
ambitious year for advertising.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD ANNOUNCER: This is modern man, a true contemporary. He`s man with
imagination and drive. He`s a man with a Galaxy 500 XL –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Bonus points for the music and the hat regardless of what you
think of the car.
But the same year that brought us that amazing Galaxy 500 also brought us
one of the strangest and most ambitious and most riveting political ads of
all time. It was called confessions of a Republican. There`s a lot of
renewed interest in it because of this year`s Republican presidential race
and now it turns out, there is new news about it here next.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRY GOLDWATER (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Extremism in the
defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation and the pursuit of justice is no
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: In 1964, the Republican Party ran Barry Goldwater as their
presidential candidate and they got shellacked.
But in that general election race between Barry Goldwater and LBJ, it`s
interesting there were no televised debates between them that year.
Instead, the TV hallmark of that election was the advent of some of the
most ambitious, conceptually aggressive political TV ads of all time.
We, of course, saw a little girl counting daisy petals as a nuclear
explosion went off. We watched the Eastern Seaboard being sawed off and
falling into the sea.
My favorite ad from that incredible election was one we played previously
on the show and the response we got when we played this ad was deafening,
overwhelming. The ad doesn`t have anything stunning going on visually.
It`s just a man talking to the camera, shot in one take, straightforward.
It`s about four minutes long, incredibly long for a political ad, but it is
absolutely mesmerizing, and, yes, it resonates a lot, not just about 1964
but about right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUBTITLE: Confessions of a Republican.
BILL BOGERT, REPUBLICAN: I don`t know just why they wanted to call this a
confession; I certainly don`t feel guilty about being a Republican. I`ve
always been a Republican.
My father is, his father was, the whole family is a Republican family. I
voted for Dwight Eisenhower the first time I ever voted; I voted for Nixon
the last time.
But when we come to Senator Goldwater, now it seems to me, we`re up against
a very different kind of a man. This man scares me.
Now maybe I`m wrong. A friend of mine just said to me, “Listen, just
because a man sounds a little irresponsible during a campaign doesn`t mean
he`s going to act irresponsibly.”
You know that theory, that the White House makes the man. I don`t buy
that. You know what I think makes a president – I mean, aside from his
judgment, his experience – are the men behind him, his advisors, the
And so many men with strange ideas are working for Goldwater. You hear a
lot about what these guys are against – they seem to be against just about
everything – but what are they for?
The hardest thing for me about this whole campaign is to sort out one
Goldwater statement from another. A reporter will go to Senator Goldwater
and he`ll say, “Senator, on such and such a day, you said, and I quote,
`blah blah blah` whatever it is, end quote.” And then Goldwater says,
“Well, I wouldn`t put it that way.”
I can`t follow that. Was he serious when he did put it that way? Is he
serious when he says I wouldn`t put it that way? I just don`t get it. A
president ought to mean what he says.
President Johnson, Johnson at least is talking about facts. He says,
“Look, we`ve got the tax cut bill and because of that, you get to carry
home X number of dollars more every payday. We`ve got the nuclear test ban
and because of that, there is X percent less radioactivity in the food.”
But – but Goldwater, often, you can`t – I can`t figure out just what
Goldwater means by the things he says. I read now where he says, “A wave -
- a craven fear of death is sweeping across America.”
What is that supposed to mean? If he means that people don`t want to fight
a nuclear war, he`s right. I don`t. When I read some of these things that
Goldwater says about total victory, I get a little worried, you know?
I wish I was as sure that Goldwater is as against war as I am that he`s
against some of these other things. I wish I could believe that he has the
imagination to be able to just shut his eyes and picture what this country
would look like after a nuclear war.
Sometimes, I wish I`d been at that convention in San Francisco. I mean, I
wish I`d been a delegate, I really do. I would have fought, you know?
I wouldn`t have worried so much about party unity because if you unite
behind a man you don`t believe in, it`s a lie. I tell you, those people
who got control of that convention: Who are they?
I mean, when the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come
out in favor of the candidate of my party – either they`re not Republicans
or I`m not.
I`ve thought about just not voting at this election, just staying home –
but you can`t do that, because that`s saying you don`t care who wins, and I
do care. I think my party made a bad mistake in San Francisco, and I`m
going to have to vote against that mistake on the 3rd of November.
AD ANNOUNCER: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are
too high for you to stay home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: One of the most compelling political ads of all time.
Don`t you want to know what that guy would think of this year`s Republican
race? He`s here! Seriously, that actual guy, I swear.
Stay right there. He`s here next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOGERT: I`ve thought about just not voting at this election, just staying
home – but you can`t do that, because that`s saying you don`t care who
wins, and I do care. I think my party made a bad mistake in San Francisco,
and I`m going to have to vote against that mistake on the 3rd of November.
AD ANNOUNCER: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are
too high for you to stay home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Joining us now for the interview, I`m very happy to say, the star
of that ad, the actor who really was a Republican and really was in crisis
over Barry Goldwater`s nomination, Bill Bogert.
Mr. Bogert, thank you so much for being here.
BILL BOGERT, “CONFESSIONS OF A REPUBLICAN” ACTOR: Thank you so much for
MADDOW: You look like the same guy. You still have amazing hair.
MADDOW: You`ve held onto your good looks. Are you still working as an
BOGERT: But sometimes.
MADDOW: When you got hired for that job, were you a Republican and –
MADDOW: – were those thoughts – how close was that script to your actual
BOGERT: Identical. Yes. Because when they hired me to begin with, they
were going to use my name. They were going to put William Bogert on the
screen. And I said, well, if you hire me as an actor, I`ll say whatever
the hell you want me to say. But if you`re using my name, then it`s got to
be stuff that I believe.
And they were frightened by that. So, they went off in a corner and they
came back and said OK, let`s try. So, we did and there was one thing that
I wanted changed and I don`t remember what it was. But they did make the
MADDOW: So, they respected that you wanted to be true to your words there?
MADDOW: What kind of – has this ad followed you through your career? No,
BOGERT: No, you`re the first one.
And since you, I don`t know how to use a computer. I`m not a 21st century
person, but it`s on the Internet and it`s gotten over 20 million hits.
BOGERT: I`ve gotten calls from friends all over the country.
MADDOW: Wow. I mean, just watching it now, I was watching you watch it in
the studio as I was playing it. Do you feel like it is a historical piece
or do you feel like it resonates with the Republican Party race or anything
in politics right now?
BOGERT: I`m sorry to say I think it does. Because I look at the
Republican contenders and I say to myself, this is the cream of the crop?
You`ve got to be kidding me.
MADDOW: Do you have any of the same – I mean, a lot of people have
expressed, not just disagreement with Donald Trump, but the kind of worry
that you said talked about with gold water in `64, that he would be a
fundamentally different kind of person to put that close to the Oval
Office, not that he`s somebody you would want to vote against but have fear
for the country.
MADDOW: Do you have any of those –
BOGERT: I definitely do, because here, as you know, he`s never held any
important job other than the head of Trump Industries, he`s never been an
executive, either professionally or politically or militarily. Nothing.
He has no background whatsoever.
And the ignorance which is demonstrated in so many areas is to me,
MADDOW: In that election where that ad was run by the Johnson forces, I
went back and looked at a lot of other Republican criticism of the
Goldwater choice at that time. I was struck by Mitt Romney`s father,
George Romney, who was the governor, a very influential governor at the
MADDOW: He basically said the Republican Party would be committing suicide
if they nominated Goldwater. Goldwater did go on to get beaten in the
general election, but the Republican Party didn`t, you know, self immolate,
didn`t destroy itself, it didn`t become I think a fundamentally different
Does that give you any sort of hope that even if they do pick Trump, it
will be all right?
BOGERT: I guess so. I don`t know. I don`t think I told you this before
but as I said in the commercial, brought up Republican – I`m still in fact
a registered Republican, but the last one I voted for was John Lindsey when
he ran for mayor and then he changed bodies.
And there is no way that I can visualize myself voting for any of the
Republicans this year. And it is my hope that the Republican Party will,
in a sense, regress, and become the Republican Party that I grew up with,
the party of Jacob Javits and John Lindsey and to somewhat less degree,
Nelson Rockefeller. Those guys I was totally in favor of. These people,
they make me very nervous.
MADDOW: William Bogert, I`m very happy that we found you. And I`m very
happy that you wanted to come in and talk about this. And you`re as
compelling making this case today here with me as you were in` 64 making
BOGERT: That`s enormously kind of you.
MADDOW: I`m really happy to have you here. Thank you, sir. Thanks.
All right. We`ll be right back. We got him.
MADDOW: So, our special coverage is going to start tomorrow night at 6:00
p.m. Eastern because that`s when these very first polls close in Indiana.
But before that, the frontrunner on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton,
is going to sit down tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Andrea
Mitchell on her show, which is “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS” at Noon Eastern
here on MSNBC. You have to put that in your calendar and be there for that
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Update on a story we brought you a few days ago from Maine, where
Maine`s Republican Governor Paul LePage recently vetoed a bill that would
expand access to Narcan, which is the overdose reversal drug that saved
thousands of lives. It basically keeps people over dosing alive until they
can get to a hospital.
Governor LePage vetoed that. He said Narcan, quote, “does not truly save
lives. It merely extends them until the next overdose.”
So, according to Governor LePage, why bother saving your life, even if we
can? Why bother? Not worth it.
Well, the update on the story is that the legislature has now overridden
that veto. Governor LePage said no. Maine lawmakers overwhelmingly said
yes to give people access to Narcan to save lives, even though Paul LePage
doesn`t want to.
I know Paul LePage has been kind a king of the class clown of governors.
But clearly, Maine lawmakers saw this one as life and death.
That does it for us tonight. Again, a really special thank you to our
interview guest tonight, Bill Bogert.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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