The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 5/27/2016

Michael Medved


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 

always happened.  

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 

that year.  

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.  


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?  


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.  


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 

Barney Frank.  

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.  


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 

conservative movement.  

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.  


MADDOW:  Well, that erratic individual, Marco Rubio`s own words, will now 

have the honored support of Marco Rubio at the Republican convention this 



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. 


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 

campaign stop.  

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 

mostly peaceful.  

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 

happened here.  

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 

in Albuquerque.  

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 

our photographer.  

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.



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 



MADDOW:  Please clap.  

Also, never forget.  


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 – 



BUSH:  No the other one.  2002.  In the 2000s.  It was horrible.  


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.  


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.  

Rararar!  Rararar!


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.  


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 – 

MODERATOR:  Really?  


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 

just ended.  

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.  


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 





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?  


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.  


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 

over it.  

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?  

CARSON:  Absolutely.  

INTERVIEWER:  Do you think being gay is a choice?  

CARSON:  Absolutely.  

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?  


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.  


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 

John Kasich.  



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 

officially clinched.  

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.  



speculate on how this whole race is going to go.  


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.  


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.  


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 

good governors.  

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 

constitutional system.  

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 

this evening.  

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 

knows him.  

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.  




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