The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 5/27/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: May 27, 2016
Guest: Michael Medved
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That is “ALL IN” for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW start right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris.
HAYES: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend. Have a good weekend.
Thanks to you at home for joining us at this hour as well. Happy Friday.
Whether or not you get a three-day weekend for Memorial Day. I always
think it`s a good idea to keep an eye on the news on the Friday before any
holiday weekend. Without fail, there is always late-breaking news on the
Friday before a holiday weekend.
Like by late-breaking, breaking after 7:00 p.m. news that somebody has
tried to submarine into a news cycle that a lot of people are not going to
be catching up with until the following Tuesday.
We talk all the time on the show about a Friday Night News Dump. That`s
what we name our game show on Friday nights. The Friday before a holiday
weekend, that`s Friday night news dump on steroids.
And I`m here to tell you we do have some exclusive news of the Friday night
news dump variety to report to you in just a minute. It concerns a big
honking threat against the Democratic Party from somebody who is frankly in
a position to hurt the Democratic Party pretty badly. We`ve got that
coming up exclusively in just a moment.
But the more pressing news of the evening is about presidential debates.
Presidential debates are one of those things that we think have always been
with us, right? You look back at old footage of Kennedy versus Nixon,
right? The old iconic black and white footage, you think, oh, presidential
debates in the general election, they`ve always been with us, they`ve
But that 1960 debate footage is actually a pretty singular thing. We all
remember those debates because that footage is so compelling and because
those debates ended up being so important in that race. It was the sitting
vice president, Richard Nixon, against this unique upstart senator, John F.
The debates, we all know by heart, they went poorly for Nixon. They went
great for Kennedy. That`s part of how JFK put together that win in the
election of 1960. We all remember that from 1960.
What we don`t remember as well is that in the next presidential election,
in 1964, there weren`t any presidential debates that year. They just
didn`t do them. It was LBJ versus Barry Goldwater in 1964. The two of
them did not debate in 1964.
And then in the next presidential election after that, in 1968, there were
no presidential debates that year either. And then in the next
presidential elections in 1972, there were also no presidential debates
And since then, yes, we have had debates in our presidential elections.
But there`s no rule that says you have to. And it`s not that long ago
every election cycle`s hit or miss as to whether or not there might be
debates on TV between the presidential candidates or not.
And tonight, for this 2016 race we`ve got a good, fresh reason to question
whether this year`s presidential election might be one of those years when
we don`t have presidential debates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Donald Trump just said that he would not debate you. He put out
a press release saying that here in California. What do you say to that?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That`s the
first that I heard of it. I heard that he was going to debate me, then I
heard he was not going to debate me, then I heard he was going to debate
me. Now you`re telling me he is not going to debate me.
Well, I hope that he changes his mind again. I mean, Mr. Trump is known to
change his mind many times in a day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Bernie Sanders tonight in California learning from a reporter as
you heard there that Donald Trump has reneged on what he said yesterday
about wanting to debate Bernie Sanders ahead of the California primary next
Tuesday. Nothing has materially changed since Donald Trump said yesterday
he was very eager to debate Senator Sanders.
But for whatever reason Mr. Trump has now concluded, quote, “Now that I am
the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would
debate the second-place finisher from the other party.”
I mean, to be clear, Donald Trump was also the presumptive Republican
nominee yesterday when he came out publicly at a press conference and said
he wanted to debate Bernie Sanders. So, nothing has materially changed.
But his feelings, I guess, have changed. His perception of what`s
appropriate has changed. His state of desire has changed. His decision
has been reversed. Boy, a Donald Trump presidency`s going to be a hoot.
Strategically, both Mr. Trump and Senator Sanders have incentive to try to
pull off this kind of thing, right? This debate, this literally
unprecedented debate of one party`s nominee versus a candidate who is not
going to be the nominee from the other party. Obviously, a head-to-head
matchup between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in a presidential-style
debate, that would make Bernie Sanders look like he was the Democratic
nominee, which would be awesome for Bernie Sanders.
It would also be great for Donald Trump because he`s likely going to be
running in the general election against Hillary Clinton. Him choosing to
elevate Bernie Sanders that way by putting him in a head-to-head
presidential-style debate, that would be a nice way for Mr. Trump to play
in the Democratic primary, to undercut Hillary Clinton who is the
Democratic Party`s likely candidate and his likely opponent in the fall.
So, they both have real incentive to do it. But unless Mr. Trump changes
his mind again, apparently the Trump/Sanders debate, first floated
yesterday, is now off. Sanders campaign put out another statement pleading
with Mr. Trump to change his mind again. But as things stand right this
second, this creative and weird anti-Clinton strategy from the Sanders camp
and the Trump camp, it appears to have gone kersplat.
But that brings us to the exclusive Friday night news dump news which I
promised just a moment ago. Tonight, we have obtained a letter that was
just sent by the lawyers from the Bernie Sanders campaign to the Democratic
National Committee. Now, as you know, the Sanders campaign has basically
gone to war against the Democratic Party recently. Senator Sanders
personally endorsed a candidate who`s running against the chair of the
Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in her home congressional
district in Florida. He`s asked his supporters to donate money to that
challenger`s campaign to try to turf the national party chair out of her
seat in Congress.
That said, even with personal stuff like that going on, the Democratic
Party under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, they have to negotiate with the
Sanders campaign, they have to come to terms with them as the Sanders
campaign stays on in the primary and the party gets ready for its
convention in Philly in July. This past week, the DNC gave the Sanders
campaign a pretty big concession when they agreed that Debbie Wasserman
Schultz wouldn`t appoint all 15 members of the platform committee as the
rules said she could, instead she`d appoint a handful of members and let
the rest be split between Sanders and Clinton according to what share of
the vote each has received in the primary.
So, that was a – that was a big concession from the DNC to the Sanders
campaign this past week. They get big-time representation for writing the
party platform, even though nothing in the party rules says they have to.
But as my partner Susan always says, you give a mouse a cookie, dot dot
That concession has apparently only whetted the Sanders campaign`s appetite
for what they want from the DNC, because now, with this lawyer letter that
we have obtained tonight, the Sanders campaign is lodging a formal
credentials challenge against the chair of the platform committee and the
chair of the rules committee for the Democratic Convention. On the
platform committee, the vice chair is Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy.
On the rules committee, vice chair is former Massachusetts Congressman
The lawyers for the Sanders campaign as of this letter sent to the DNC
tonight, they`re demanding that Governor Malloy and Barney Frank be removed
from their leadership roles at the convention, removed from the rules
committee, removed from the platform committee. The Sanders campaign
lawyers calls the two of them, quote, “self-proclaimed partisans intent on
marginalizing Bernie Sanders campaign supporters.”
The Sanders campaign ends this letter with a threat, that if DNC doesn`t
kick Governor Malloy from Connecticut and Barney Frank out of those
leadership positions, the Sanders campaign will essentially grind the
process of the convention to a halt by using all procedural means at their
disposal to stop those key committees at the convention from getting on to
the business of actually naming the party`s nominee. They will gum up the
works so nothing happens.
Now, they`re not threatening to sue the Democratic Party which is what I
thought this initially was when we first obtained this letter this evening.
What they`re threatening to do is to bring the Democratic Party convention
to a halt unless Barney Frank and Governor Dan Malloy get replaced.
So, the letter`s four pages long. We got this exclusively tonight. We
will post it online on our website. So, you can check it out and read all
the exciting legalese about how the Sanders campaign is now threatening the
Democratic Party and the Democratic convention.
In addition to that threat over the national convention, there`s also some
significant worry tonight in the Democratic Party about this thing that
happened last time a Democratic state party had a convention. The last one
was Nevada. Remember how that went? Yes.
Well, that was the last one. The next one is tomorrow and it`s in Wyoming.
And Bernie Sanders won the Wyoming caucuses long ago. But the delegate
allocation is still under way. That will happen in a final forum at the
Wyoming state Democratic convention tomorrow. And there are apparently
widespread concerns about whether or not there might be a repeat in Wyoming
tomorrow of what happened a couple of weeks ago in that Las Vegas ballroom.
Top Democratic officials in Wyoming say in advance of tomorrow`s
convention, they have been receiving threats from Sanders supporters,
threats by phone, threats by mail, threats on social media. A member of
the DNC from Wyoming tells politico he didn`t take seriously, quote, “a
wave of threatening messages” he received from Sanders supporters but he
was alarmed once somebody posted a photo of him on Facebook along with his
accurate home address.”
Along with what he described as basically instructions that people should
go to the man`s home to find him, to complain in person about Wyoming`s
delegate process somehow being rigged against Bernie Sanders.
The executive director of the Wyoming Democratic Party says that in
addition to the threats she has received, quote, “someone let the air out
of her tires”, as well.
After the last one, after Nevada was such a bad scene, the state Democratic
Party chairs from all over the country called for new rules for how these
state conventions are conducted from here on out. Tomorrow will be the
first test of those new rules. Because of their concern about what
happened in Nevada, their interest in making sure it doesn`t happen again
because of the threats that have already happened toward Democratic
officials in Wyoming, what they`re going to do tomorrow for Wyoming is
they`re going to have high-level people on site from the Sanders campaign
and high-level people on-site from the Clinton campaign, as well as high-
level representation from the DNC.
Nobody in Democratic Party politics wants a repeat tomorrow of what
happened in the last convention in Nevada. But all eyes will be on
Cheyenne, Wyoming, tomorrow to see if that happens, to see if having these
high-level folks on-site makes any sort of difference in how things go.
The other visibly ragged edge of our political process happened today and
tonight in San Diego, California, where Donald Trump held a large rally at
2:00 p.m. local time, 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Big, rowdy protests outside
that rally resulted in at least three arrests. There were some troubling
scenes of violent conflict between protesters and police.
Long after the Trump rally itself wound down, some protesters are still in
the streets in San Diego right now as I speak. We`re going to have a live
reporter joining us from San Diego in just a few minutes. This scene today
in San Diego, this is the second round of protests just this week outside
of Donald Trump events that have gone beyond rowdy and raucous and have
actually gotten a little bit violent.
You know, it`s an amazing moment to be in. It`s amazing how fast fortunes
and worries have changed over the course of this campaign, right? I mean,
look at what I`m reporting tonight. The Democrats are worried about what`s
going to happen in Wyoming tomorrow after a very worrying scene at their
last state convention in Nevada. Everybody`s looking at this scene in San
Diego worrying whether the next anti-Donald Trump protest like the one in
Costa Mesa, like the one in Albuquerque, like this one in San Diego,
everybody`s worried maybe the next anti-Trump protest will be violent or
I mean, for a long while throughout this year of politics, the big worry
about the possibility of violence in this presidential campaign was about
whether Republicans would get violent against each other, right? Whether
pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces could conceivably make a decision about who
that party`s presidential nominee would be without blood running in the
There was a time when the Republican Party was really, really, really
emotionally worked up about the supposedly desperate threat of Donald Trump
to the very idea of what it means to be a Republican. To degree to which
that is now over, the degree that is no longer the concern, the degree to
which they have all gotten over that now is just a thing to behold.
Just on this Friday before this holiday weekend, just take a snapshot of
this, right? I mean, Senator Marco Rubio tweeting in a round-about way
without using Trump`s name that he will vote for Senator Trump. Senator
Rubio telling CNN that he wants to be “helpful” to Donald Trump`s
presidential effort, telling CNN he would be “honored” to help out at the
Trump nominating convention this summer.
Asked specifically if he would speak on Trump`s behalf at the convention if
Mr. Trump asked him to, Rubio said, quote, “yes.”
And I know in general, parties come together after primaries. But this is
really something else. This is a – this is a big distance to have
traveled in a fast amount of time. I mean, it was not long ago Marco Rubio
was saying, yes, he`d be happy to speak. He`d go anywhere and speak to
anyone. He`d do anything to stop Donald Trump at all costs.
(BEGN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I will go anywhere to speak to anyone
before I let a con artist get ahold of the Republican Party.
Let me tell you something. I – I will never quit. I will never stop
until we keep a con man from taking over the party of Reagan and the
He`s a con man. He`s a con man. He`s a con man.
He is wholly unprepared to be president of the United States.
The world has become a very dangerous place. There is a lunatic in North
Korea with nuclear weapons. And some would say a lunatic trying to get
ahold of nuclear weapons in America.
This is the most important government job on the planet. We`re about to
turn over the conservative movement to a person that has no ideas of any
substance on the important issues, the nuclear codes of the United States
to an erratic individual.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Well, that erratic individual, Marco Rubio`s own words, will now
have the honored support of Marco Rubio at the Republican convention this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: If Donald Trump asked you to speak on his behalf,
you would do so?
RUBIO: I`d certainly – yeah. I want to be helpful. I don`t want to be
harmful, because I don`t want Hillary Clinton to be president. If there`s
something I can do to help that from happening and it`s helpful to the
cause, I`d most certainly be honored to be considered for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I`d be honored. Anything I can do to help the erratic con artist
lunatic who should never get ahold of nuclear weapons in America. Anything
I can do. Leadership!
I told you that you should pay attention to the news on the Friday before a
holiday weekend, right? Good stuff happens. If by good stuff you mean
stuff that people are hoping you really, really, really won`t notice.
Lots ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: This is a live shot from the streets of San Diego where thousands
of protesters gathered today outside a Donald Trump event. Fights broke
out after the event between protesters and Trump supporters leaving the
San Diego police are out in force. They have declared this assembly in the
streets to be an unlawful assembly. Police in riot gear as you can see
here have begun breaking up the crowd. They have started making arrests.
We`re going to be joined live by a reporter who`s been at this scene all
day. That`s just ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: OK. You are again looking at live images from San Diego,
California, where police are very obviously out in force. An estimated
6,000 people turned out in San Diego to protest outside a Donald Trump
Now, that Trump event started at 2:00 p.m. local time. It`s after 6:00
p.m. local time now. But you can see here the police, maybe the highway
patrol, I can`t tell exactly from here. But you can see police in pretty
large numbers facing off with and shutting down what remains of that crowd.
Police tonight declared this gathering in the streets of San Diego,
declared it an unlawful assembly, telling protesters to disperse, they`ve
used loud speakers warning that if necessary officers would use chemical
agents and other means to clear the streets. But these are live shots.
The streets are not clear.
Much of the protest today was peaceful but fights definitely broke out in
pretty significant numbers between demonstrators, anti-Trump demonstrators
and Trump supporters, particularly after the event ended when Trump
supporters were starting to leave the convention center.
San Diego police telling the crowd to disperse. We do have reports from
the police department of a handful of arrests. But you can still see the
crowd in the streets here. We`re also getting reports from the ground of
pepper spray being used. Possibly more arrests in progress.
Let`s try to get a handle on what`s happening on the ground now. Joining
us from the scene is NBC News reporter Jacob Rascon.
Jacob, really appreciate you being there for us tonight. I`ve been
following you on Twitter and on the air all day.
What`s going on at the moment?
JACOB RASCON, NBC NEWS REPORTER: At the moment, Rachel, what you`re seeing
are a couple hundred police officers who are pushing the line forward. If
we switch around, we`ll show you the protesters who are left. We probably
have a few dozen just refusing to disperse.
As you said, it started out peacefully and it usually does. We have four,
five groups who organized for days on social media. Of course, they came
out as planned. They marched. They had their signs, their chants, and
But what we see happen in city after city is that when protesters stick
around until the end of the rally, until the supporters go out and they
wait for those supporters and they engage each other, that`s when we see
clashes. That happened in Albuquerque, that happened in Anaheim. And it
In fact, it happened here in a larger scale than we`ve seen in a very long
time. The only thing missing really were the smoke canisters like we saw
I will say that San Diego Police Department was incredibly prepared. They
had the barricades set up. They had huge buffer zones in between the line
of supporters, the big crowd of protesters.
But it all sort of breaks down after the rally is over because again, the
supporters, they go out and they just meet each other. They find a way.
We saw many fistfights. We see many people getting detained, a lot of
pushing and shoving, a lot of throwing.
Just moments before we went live, we had a couple of the officers shooting
– it sounded and it looked like a paint ball gun, but shooting what I
think are pepper balls. Our eyes started to sting a bit. One of them hit
But I`ll leave it there. That`s what`s happening now, what I`ve seen
throughout the day.
MADDOW: Jacob, let me ask you, “A,” is the photographer okay? And have
you seen other people get hurt?
RASCON: He is okay. It hurts, doesn`t it? He`s saying yes. He`s all
right, he`ll be fine.
We have – I saw a couple of protesters who were pepper sprayed by police
trying to wipe it off, for example. I saw one woman, a protester, on the
ground who said that her arm really hurt, she thought it was broken. In
fact, one of the Trump supporters was helping her up. Looked like he knew
what he was doing.
I saw a few punches being thrown. Those who were detained were detained
very forcibly, thrown to the ground, a few officers kneeling on top of
them, making sure they got him. I`m not sure if they were injured or
anybody was injured because of that, but that`s what I saw.
MADDOW: NBC reporter Jacob Rascon, Jacob, you`ve been doing great work
getting the information out and the visuals out by lots of different means
today. Stay safe, buy your camera person a beer on my behalf, and I will
reimburse you the next time I see you. All right. Thanks, man.
Still ahead, that good stuff that people are hoping you won`t notice on a
Friday night before a holiday weekend. Always watch the news on the Friday
night before the holiday weekend.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So here`s my pledge to you. I
will be a commander in chief that will have the back of the military. I
won`t trash talk. I won`t be a divider in chief, agitator in chief. I
won`t be out there blowharding talking a big game without backing it up.
I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter but send a signal that
we`re prepared to act in the national security interests of this country,
to get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world. Please
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Please clap.
Also, never forget.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I was thinking you were going to bring up the tragedy that took
place. I`ll never forget that when I went as governor of the state of
Florida on the tarmac to – for a tribute to the astronauts that died in –
I think it was 2005, wasn`t it? No? Well, the –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: `86?
BUSH: No the other one. 2002. In the 2000s. It was horrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Never forget that. Jeb Bush was supposed to win. Remember?
But then he actually started running and it was fun to watch for a number
of reasons. But it got clear very quickly that he was not going to be the
guy who won.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I`m a candidate for president of the United States of America.
Twitter universe, there`s heads exploding right now. I can feel it. Like
We`re going to win when we`re hopeful, optimistic, big and broad rather
than grrr! Grrrr!
REPORTER: Speaking of which, the whispering campaign has started that Bush
is falling apart, he may not even –
BUSH: Blah, blah, blah.
I wish we could actually have that argument on a debate stage. Instead of
rararar! Rararar. Whoo. (INAUDIBLE) Grr, grre.Blah, blah, blah.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: When it became clear that Jeb Bush was not going to happen, the
next big idea, the next clear favorite if you asked anybody in the beltway,
was a visitor from the Boy Scouts.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HUGH HEWITT: Does the prospect of being commander in chief daunt you?
Because the world that you describe about safety is going to require
commitments of American men and women abroad at some point. How do you
think about that?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: It`s an appropriate question. As a kid,
I was in scouts. One of the things I`m proudest of when I was in scouts is
I earned the rank of eagle. Being an eagle scout is one of the few things
as a kid that you`re not in the past, it`s something you are.
MODERATOR: Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you believe
in it? Do you accept it?
WALKER: For me I`m going to punt on that one as well.
WALKER: That does you –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Not laughing with you, laughing at you. The overseas trip to make
you seem presidential?
What we have just gone through, it ended not with a bang but a whimper, was
a remarkable year-long, weird and strangely weak display. And it is now
After a bit little over a year. I get it, it`s over, they picked their
guy, it`s done as of last night. But even still, it is impossible to
believe that this is the process we had to get through in order for that to
happen. That this is how it happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MODERATOR: Mr. Trump had a couple of interesting things to say about you
and I`d like to get your response to them. He said you don`t belong on the
debate stage on August 6th. He questioned your energy, toughness, and,
quote-unquote, “brain power” that it might require to run a successful
campaign. What would you say to Mr. Trump if he were standing here saying
RICK PERRY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let`s get a pole out there
INTERVIEWER: There`s one passage in your book, where you were talking
about gay marriage. You said, I believe in the traditional definition of
marriage and that no group has the right to the change that. But that may
be your common sense, but there`s a lot of people, in fact a majority of
the country now, whose common sense is different. So, how do you – how do
you walk into this arena and manage that?
BEN CARSON (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you simply have to
recognize that if you change the definition of marriage for one group, what
do you say to the next group that comes along?
INTERVIEWER: What is the next group?
CARSON: Do you say – well, we changed it for this group but that`s it,
we`re not changing it for anybody else. Does that seem fair?
INTERVIEWER: Well, but what other groups are there?
CARSON: You can`t think of any other groups?
INTERVIEWER: No. I mean – men and women?
CARSON: There are more groups, I guarantee.
INTERVIEWER: Like –
CARSON: I think you know that there are more groups. Everybody knows
there are more groups.
INTERVIEWER: Honest to God, I don`t know what you`re talking about.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The next question is how old is Rand Paul?
The answer is or the real answer I guess is 52. But I sometimes feel about
10 to 20 to maybe 30 to 40 to 50 years older after a day of this.
The third question, most popular question from Google, is Rand Paul still
running for president? And I don`t know, I wouldn`t be doing this dumb-ass
live streaming if I weren`t. Yes, I still am running for president. Get
Where`s Rand Paul in the polls? This is not live, we can edit this, right?
RUBIO: The other thing he says, he`s calling me little Marco. And I`ll
admit he`s taller than me, like 6`2”, which is why I don`t understand why
his hands are the size of someone who`s 5`2”. Have you seen his hands?
They`re like this. And you know what they say about men with small hands.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor
of the Senate and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you.
INTERVIEWER: You think they have control over their sexuality?
INTERVIEWER: Do you think being gay is a choice?
INTERVIEWER: Why do you say that?
CARSON: Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison
straight, when they come out they`re gay. So did something happen while
they were in there?
INTERVIEWER: Then he asked for a full-length mirror. I don`t know why
because the podium comes up to here but he wanted a full-length mirror.
Maybe who make sure his pants weren`t wet, I don`t know. Then –
CARSON: Anybody remember throwing rocks at cars when they were young?
Sometimes the police would come. Always in unmarked cars. And they`d be
chasing us across the field.
They would think they had trapped us. There were these tall fences. They
were about ten feet tall. They had no idea how adept we were at getting
over those fences.
I mean, full speed ahead. Never break stride. Leap high into the fence.
Allow the momentum of your feet to swing you over the top. Drop down on
the other side. All in one motion. And laugh at them because they
couldn`t do that. Now, that was back in the days before they would shoot
GRAHAM: The nice guy is Ben Carson. He tried to kill his cousin. And hit
his mother in the head with a hammer. He`s the one we all like. How did I
lose to these guys?
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: This is the race where Ted Cruz fake proclaimed himself to have a
running mate at one point. And then she fell off the stage. This was the
race that was convulsed for half a week by Marco Rubio wearing high-heeled
boots. This is the race that featured the release of an album by one of
the candidates` spouses in the middle of the campaign, “A Very Candy
Christmas” from Candy Carson. This is the race where one candidate gave
out another candidate`s personal cell phone number to an angry crowd and
the candidate who had just been docked like that responded by hitting his
cell phone off a golf tee.
This is a race where not one not two but three candidates went to a rally
with a guy who was calling from that same stage at that same rally for the
execution of all gay people in America. This is the race that started with
the eventual nominee hiring actors to pretend they were his supporters at
his announcement event, paid fake supporters for which they put out a
casting call. This is the race where so many people were running they had
to divide the field into people who got to go to the real debate and people
who were only allowed to go to the also-ran kids` table debate. And even
at the adults` table, they couldn`t manage to get them all onto the stage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MODERATOR: Let`s welcome the candidates for the Republican nomination for
president. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
MODERATOR: Dr. Ben Carson.
MODERATOR: Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
MODERATOR: Businessman Donald Trump.
MODERATOR: Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
MODERATOR: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates.
MODERATOR: And Dr. Ben Carson, please come out on the stage. He`s
standing there as well. Dr. Carson.
MODERATOR: And Donald Trump.
MODERATOR: And lastly, we welcome back to the debate stage Donald Trump.
It`s no noisy in here. Yes, yes, we`re going to introduce Ohio Governor
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It is over now they did all eventually find their way onto the
stage. The big picture, 16 of them who made it onto the stage lost. Last
night the magic number of 1,237 delegates was hit. The nomination was
And as remarkable as it is that it was clinched by Donald Trump, this is
the process by which that happened. This is how the Republican Party this
year became Donald Trump`s to do with it whatever he wishes.
And it is arguably a terrible process. And this year, it was inarguably a
cringe-inducing one. But it produced an outcome that is really serious for
this country and this did officially happen.
As of last night, this race is over. This is how it happened. The
question I think now is, is it reversible? Stay with us.
MADDOW: Usually, his Instagram campaign videos are fairly crude, verging
on nasty at times. Or they`re just him sitting at his desk and scowling
through some kind of argument.
But this one, this new one, it`s pretty good. And I`m not being snarky.
I`m not kidding. I think it`s pretty good. It definitely makes its point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ll leave to it you to
speculate on how this whole race is going to go.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I don`t think it`s
likely that Donald Trump will be the nominee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not going to be the nominee.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: He`s not going to be the nominee, Chuck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, who is not going to be the nominee –
BUSH: Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Donald Trump is not getting to 1,237.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He might get to 1237. Realistically, I wouldn`t bet a
dollar on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He might be leading the Republican ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you don`t believe that but I want to go on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: – needed to clinch the Republican nomination for
TRUMP: I`m so honored.
OBAMA: I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Admit it. Not bad, right? And I`m not sure how good an argument
that is, that bit at the end in terms of predicting what`s going to happen
in November. Ah, people thought he wouldn`t get the nom nation and they
were wrong, people think he won`t win the general and they must be wrong
too, that sure how good an argument that is. But everything that came
before that is very good evidence, and very real evidence of how much the
beltway and most people in politics got wrong about where we have ended up
And that is what I want to talk about with my friend Michael Medved,
conservative commentator, host of “The Michael Medved Radio Show.”
Michael, it`s really nice for you to be here on the Friday of a holiday
weekend, thanks for being with us, tonight.
MICHAEL MEDVED, THE MICHAEL MEDVED RADIO SHOW: My great pleasure. By the
way, good for you for focusing on where the country is right now, rather
than just the game that we`re playing, because it`s not a game.
This is one of those things that – one of the things Mr. Trump has said,
among others, that I find very disturbing is analogizes to the World
Series. He says, I`ve just won the pennant, why change my strategy with
the World Series?
Well, in baseball, you do that. If all of a sudden, you`re facing a new
pitching staff that is all left-handers, you`re going to want to have a lot
more right-handed hitters in your lineup, right?
And the idea that it doesn`t matter to try to unify the country, to try to
appeal to the center, to try to sound and look and act like a responsible
president of the United States? That`s simply wrong. The Republican
primary process that you took apart so amusingly just there, there were a
grand total of fewer than 10 percent of eligible voters who voted in all of
the Republican primaries over the course of the electorate.
We now have to, whoever is going to win this election, has to do much, much
better than that. Unless we end up having a Bernie Sanders candidate and a
Hillary Clinton candidate and some kind of real conservative candidate –
independent conservative – and Mr. Trump. Now, that happens? Have you
considered what that might mean for the country? Because it could happen.
MADDOW: Well, the multiple candidate election, I mean, the libertarians
are having their convention this weekend in Orlando. They`re going to be -
MEDVED: Be still my heart.
MADDOW: Right, exactly.
The one thing about the libertarians though is that, yes, they run somebody
every year and it never matters, David Koch running as their vice
presidential candidate in 1980. But they did have ballot access in all 50
states. To the extent sort of the lifeline here is the idea that this
presidential campaign isn`t going to be the candidate we think it is.
Maybe the libertarians are your lifeline.
MEDVED: Well, who knows. Look, I will say this with William Weld running
for vice president who was a two-term governor of Massachusetts, and Gary
Johnson who was a two-term governor of new Mexico. They were both very
MADDOW: Very popular.
MEDVED: Both Republicans, former Republicans.
Look, I would rule out the idea that they could end up getting significant
votes? No I think they will do much better than libertarians normally do
if there isn`t another conservative candidate, the kind that a lot of
people are still hoping for.
I do want to say one thing, that I think with all of the ridiculing of the
Republican candidates, I think it`s appropriate to recognize some of the
courage and integrity of people like Paul Ryan, like Mitt Romney, like Jeb
Bush, like President George W. Bush, who have not rushed to get on board
the Trump train, because they recognize this really is a matter of the
survival of the Republican Party, and really the survival of our
I am – I do not use the term “Never Trump” because what I would like to
see is Mr. Trump magically perform the way that Cinderella`s pumpkin is
turned into a coach, magically transformed into some kind of viable,
honorable, respectable, reputable candidate who actually would have a
chance of bringing the country together. Instead of the kind of candidate
who brings out riots and divisiveness and negativity and really a sense of
dread in everybody other than his true believers.
MADDOW: Michael Medved, you`ve been – you`re eloquent on everything.
You`ve been eloquent on this. I felt a real – I wanted to have you here
tonight because I`ve been going hammer and tongs about the fact that every
Republican who used to be against Trump, who used to take a principled
stand against Trump, has caved, including apparently Marco Rubio today.
You haven`t. And your eloquence and level-headedness about your principled
states on this issue stands out. Thank you for that, thanks for talking
with us tonight.
MEDVED: Thank you. Look, let us all hope – I hope that Mrs. Clinton, who
will be the Democratic nominee, can stand up, have her Sister Soulja moment
against some of these demonstrators, for instance, who are flying flags and
really helping Donald Trump. And if we`re going to have a viable
alternative to Donald Trump, an alternative that could actually unify the
country and bring people together, I think it would be very, very helpful
and please help communicate this to Mrs. Clinton, that for Secretary
Clinton to try to offer an antidote to anger, a more positive hope and
change message, we can`t allow hope and change to be replaced by mope and
cringe. That`s not going to win.
MADDOW: Michael Medved, I can`t promise to deliver the message but I can
promise to have that said on television.
MEDVED: Thank you.
MADDOW: Michael Medved, it`s great to see you, thanks very much.
We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Whether or not you`ve been focused on politics or not, there has
been some dramatic breaking news tonight, starting late afternoon and into
For example, see that spot there? Yes, this was seen a short time ago
along the Hudson River, which is the river that runs between New York City
and New Jersey, and this is about two miles away from the George Washington
Bridge right off Manhattan. A small plane crashed into the Hudson river
just before sunset tonight in New York.
The FAA says the aircraft was a vintage World War II plane. There`s been
conflicting information tonight in terms of the fate of the pilot. Earlier
this evening, the New Jersey state police said the pilot had been rescued,
that he had sustained only minor injuries which seemed like a miracle given
the crash and that the plane is sunk.
Now, the New York City police say that that New Jersey police statement
from earlier is erroneous, and the New York City police are saying actually
the pilot is unaccounted for. We`ll be trying to get a handle on that very
dramatic situation, seeing the divers going into the Hudson trying to do
rescue and recovery operations there with that vintage World War II plane
crash into the Hudson.
In addition to that, there has been this ongoing situation tonight where
it`s roughly 6,000 protesters turned out outside of Donald Trump campaign
event, and they faced up with police and riot gear and there were fist
fights between the anti-Trump and pro-Trump protesters and supporters.
It`s because of this ongoing situation actually in San Diego tonight that
you are not going to be prison here in MSNBC after this show ends at 10:00
p.m. Eastern. We`re going to have live ongoing coverage tonight on MSNBC
when that and other ongoing stories.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: I told you, you`ve got to watch the news on a Friday before a
holiday weekend, and this next story is a prime example of why. We`ve got
one more story for you tonight. It`s about something that everybody knew
was coming for years. They tried to plan for it. They tried to
accommodate it. They thought they had accommodated for it.
But as of tonight, it`s here. As of tonight, as I speak, it is here. It
has arrived, and it turns out it`s really, really, really going to screw up
an important thing in the Republican Party. They thought they had this
under wraps. They do not. It`s happening now.
That story is next.
MADDOW: Whether or not you are yourself a basketball fan, every basketball
fan you know is very distracted right now. Forgive them.
If you are not yourself a basketball fan, there is still probably one
basketball player who you do know, who you know on sight. That would be
King James, right, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everybody
In this year`s NBA playoffs, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are
one game from advancing to the NBA finals. Here`s why you care about that
even if you don`t care about basketball. If LeBron James and the Cavaliers
win tonight and make it to the finals, the NBA arena in their hometown,
Cleveland`s Quicken Loans Arena, that arena could be hosting NBA games as
late as June 19th.
That matters to you because the other big thing scheduled this summer for
the Cleveland`s Quicken Loans arena is the Republican National Convention.
So, if the Cavs win tonight and make it to the finals, they could be using
the arena to play basketball as late as June 19th. That`s four weeks
before the convention starts.
The reason that matters is that it takes at least six weeks to set up the
arena for the national convention. What`s amazing is this problem did not
come up out of the blue. They knew this might be a problem back in 2014
when they announced Cleveland is the host city.
In fact, their original convention target date was in June. One of the
factors they considered when they ultimately pushed it back to July was
that Cleveland had just signed King James back onto the team. That`s part
of the reason the Republicans pushed their convention back to July.
But if LeBron James and the Cavaliers win tonight and go to the Finals,
that July date will not have been pushed enough. They tried to account for
it. They didn`t.
Donald Trump has said he wants this year`s Republican convention to have
more of a showbiz feel. How about more of a sweaty basketball arena feel?
Watch this space.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again next week.
Now it`s time for continuing live coverage for tonight`s breaking news.
For that we turn to my friend Ari Melber.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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