The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 6/10/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: June 10, 2016
Guest: Bob Shrum, Barbara Res
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: There`s no chance you were seen with an ax
near that cable? There`s a rumor round here. Didn`t we see Chris Hayes
with a hatchet?
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR, “ALL IN”: I was trying to play it straight.
MADDOW: It`s all right, ax man. I know how these things work. Happy
And thanks to you at home for joining this hour. Today`s news was
dominated by, of course, the day-long funeral for the greatest boxer of
all-time. One of the greatest ever icons of American culture, Muhammad Ali
today was eulogized by former President Bill Clinton and by Billy Crystal
and Bryant Gumbel. There`s not another person on earth that could attract
this guest list this interesting and this diverse to their funeral.
Everybody from Hamid Karzai, former president of Afghanistan, to King
Abdullah of Jordan, to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Valerie Jarrett was there. She read a statement from President Obama.
Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis were not only there. They sat together at the
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, of all people, he was friends with
Muhammad Ali as well. He spoke in Muhammad Ali`s memory today. Just a
remarkable event today.
Over 100,000 people turned out today in Louisville, Kentucky, to line the
funeral procession for Muhammad Ali`s casket, 100,000 people in the
Yesterday was an Islamic prayer service for Ali. Essentially a religious
event. Today, though, was for everybody. And it really was an enormous
It was also in the interfaith event today. At one point the liberal
firebrand rabbi, Michael Lerner, who is also friends with Muhammad Ali, at
one point today in his remarks, he got a standing ovation which is not an
easy thing to get at a funeral. And he got that when he mixed an
interfaith message of religious tolerance with some very current politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL LERNER, RABBI: Americans play an important role of solidarity with
the African-American struggles in this country and that we today stand in
solidarity with Islamic community in this country and all around the world.
We will not tolerate politicians or anyone else putting down Muslims and
blaming Muslims for a few people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: There have actually been speculation that Republican presidential
candidate Donald Trump might come to this funeral today. He`s a person who
once hosted boxing matches at his casinos. He therefore had an
acquaintance with Muhammad Ali.
But Mr. Trump did not show at this funeral today. Instead we got treated
to sight of this rabbi criticizing Donald Trump from the pulpit and getting
a big standing ovation from the funeral, including Hillary Clinton`s
husband, former President Bill Clinton, who himself later gave the main
eulogy for Muhammad Ali.
Instead of going to the Ali funeral today, Donald Trump instead gave
another speech elsewhere in the country. It was another – actually, I got
to say this, I don`t mean it in a mean way, but it was another very stilted
And it would not be a notable thing to mention about most politicians`
speeches that they spoke off a teleprompter. It is notable for Mr. Trump
because he has so roundly and recently criticized other politicians for
using a teleprompter at a speech, as if that is a scandal.
Mr. Trump has been deriding the whole idea of a teleprompter as some sort
of sign of weakness in other politicians. But he is now fairly frequently
using a prompter now.
And the other thing that`s politically salient about that is that he`s not
good at it. He doesn`t really know how to read off a teleprompter. And
today, he stumbled over most of his speech, including the part of the
speech where he was supposed to try to clean up his disastrous recent
criticism of a federal judge as someone who is somehow inherently biased as
a judge because of his race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Freedom of any kind
means no one should be judged by their race or their color and the color of
their skin should not be judged that way. And right now, we have a very
divided nation. We`re going to bring our nation together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Donald Trump is not having an easy time getting through this
racism quagmire he`s gotten himself into this his campaign with this attack
on this federal judge.
Part of the reason he`s having a hard time getting out of it may be because
his rapidly expanding campaign operation apparently doesn`t trust him
anymore to address that subject or many others in any sort of off the cuff
way. But whenever they prepare remarks for him on the subject, that has
its own way of not working because he really can`t handle a teleprompter
speech yet. He not only sounds like he`s reading other people`s words,
like a lot of people do in a teleprompter, he sounds like he`s reading a
bad translation of somebody else`s words. Words written in some other
language and transposed into English minus speaking cues like verbs and
punctuation. He had ad libs, he doesn`t know where to look and he doesn`t
sound like himself.
Donald Trump is due to give his big take-down speech against Hillary
Clinton on Monday in New Hampshire. We don`t know yet whether that will be
a teleprompter speech from him. If it is, then we`re facing the prospect
of Donald Trump giving an entire speech that`s billed only as an insult
fest. But if he reads off a teleprompter, there`s the distinct possibility
an entire speech of insults from Donald Trump might actually just be boring
or it might be hard to follow if his previous teleprompter speeches are
anything to go by.
The medium where he is most confident communicating still seems to be
Twitter. After President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday, Mr.
Trump tweeted, “Obama just endorsed crooked Hillary. He wants four more
years of Obama but nobody else does.”
Hillary Clinton responded on Twitter five minutes later with this
statement. “Delete your account.” And you can tell from the Twitter
metrics on those two tweets how that exchange went over. Donald Trump`s
initial diss, his sort of criticism, was retweeted about 35,000 times.
Hillary Clinton telling him to delete his account in response, that was
retweeted not 35,000 times but more like 435,000 times.
Then, after Elizabeth Warren endorsed Hillary Clinton for president last
night on this show, Mr. Trump responded with another tweet very similar to
his Obama insult from that endorsement earlier in the day. He sent out
this tweet last night insulting Senator Warren, calling her goofy, deriding
her again for her Native American heritage calling her Pocahontas.
This was the tweet from Donald Trump. Elizabeth Warren responded on
Twitter about 20 minutes later. She wrote, quote, “No. Seriously, delete
And again, the metrics are not in his favor here. His initial insults,
tweet for Elizabeth Warren, that got retweeted about 7,000 times. Her
responding to him, no, seriously, delete your account, that was retweeted
more like 27,000 times.
And, you know, throughout the Republican primary, Donald Trump was a
dominant force in social media. But in this particular bout of hand-to-
hand online combat with Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, he lost badly
to each of them, one after another. That`s interesting.
The Clinton campaign confirms to NBC News tonight that Elizabeth Warren is
under consideration for the possible running mate job for Hillary Clinton.
They also say though that the hour-long meeting between Clinton and Warren
at Secretary Clinton`s house in Washington, D.C. this morning, that
meeting they say should not be seen as a vice presidential interview.
Hillary Clinton`s campaign tells Andrea Mitchell tonight that although
Elizabeth Warren is under consideration for the V.P. job, the interview
process for vice presidential contenders has not yet started within the
Clinton campaign. They say they haven`t interviewed anybody about that job
And while we`re talking cold water, remember, Senator Warren last night
told me she is not being vetted for the job of vice president by the
Clinton campaign. At least I think that`s what she told me. Was that
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Has Hillary Clinton talked to you about the prospect of being her
running mate? Have you been –
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Nope.
MADDOW: – vetted? Have you – no, no conversations?
MADDOW: Am I supposed to ask it more broadly? Have her people talked to
WARREN: I don`t think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I don`t think so. Have your people talked to her people?
I mean, I guess theoretically you can never speak for all the people that
might conceivably be your people, so maybe that`s a standard hedge. I
don`t think so. Elizabeth Warren on the show last night, she did not say
that she is interested in the job of vice president.
Last night`s interview, it got a lot of buzz, got a lot of attention in
part, not just for the endorsement of Hillary Clinton put for her also
telling me that she believes she would be capable of doing the job of vice
president. We had an exchange in which I said, obviously the most
important part of being vice president is that God forbid if something
happens to the president, you are ready to step into the job, you are ready
to be president and commander-in-chief if you are called upon to do so.
I asked her if she felt she was capable of doing that job. And she said
yes, she feels she would be capable of doing that job. And that I think
understandably got a lot of attention today. But to be clear, don`t
conflate that with something else. She did not say that vice president is
a job that she is actively seeking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: I know there`s been a lot of speculation about this. But the
truth is, I love the work I do. I can`t tell you how grateful I am to the
people of Massachusetts who sent me here to just wade into these fights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I love the work I do. Elizabeth Warren saying she`s happy being
senator. Happy being senator, she`s not after the vice presidential job.
But you know what? Here`s the thing. Everybody says that, to a one.
Everybody says that. I mean, on the Republican side, there`s Rick Perry
going, pick me, pick me! But it`s not going to be Rick Perry.
The other way everybody handles this is that everybody says, no, no, not
interested, I like my job. I`ve buried myself in transcripts today in
order to verify this. Just for this year – just in terms of vice
presidential prospects this year.
But I think I nailed it down. There may be others. As best I can tell, by
my best count, I think I personally have asked eight different possible
Democratic vice presidential contenders this year, I think I have asked at
least eight different Democrats this year, a direct question about whether
or not they wanted to be considered for the vice presidency. And every
single one of them was nice about it, flattered to be asked, thanks for
asking, blah blah blah.
Not a single one of them said they want it. It`s like they`re programmed
somewhere at potential vice president school. When you get asked potential
vice president question, everybody make sure you all answer the same way so
nobody can get any intel out of you whatsoever.
It`s uncanny. They all say exactly the same thing. I`ve asked eight of
them at least, seriously, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: What role do you see for yourself in this – in this general
WARREN: Listen, I`m going to do everything I can to help Hillary Clinton
MADDOW: Have her people talked to your people?
WARREN: I don`t think so. You know, look, I know there`s been a lot of
speculation about this. But the truth is, I love the work I do.
MADDOW: Are you in the running for vice presidential nominee for the
Democratic Party this year? Would you like to be?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope not. I thought she likes me. That`s not what
interests me. I enjoy being governor.
MADDOW: Last question for you, ma`am. Do you want to be Hillary Clinton`s
vice presidential running mate?
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: I do not. I want to keep campaigning
MADDOW: I have to ask you a question I know you`re going to dodge but I`m
going to ask you because it`s my job so I have to.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: Thanks for telegraphing the pitch.
MADDOW: Here comes the pitch. You can surprise everybody by hitting it.
If Hillary Clinton asks you to be her running mate, would you say yes?
KAINE: You know, Rachel, I really love my job right now. And I only have
one job for the Clinton campaign. And that is just to be on the trail and
help them win.
MADDOW: You have been described as one of the people who Hillary Clinton
may be considering as a potential running mate. I have to ask you if
you`re interested and if you know if you`re being vetted for that job.
REP. XAVIER BECERRA (D), CALIFORNIA: What happens between now and
November, I can only control what I can do. And I will do everything I can
to make sure Hillary Clinton wins.
MADDOW: I know you told “The Toledo Blade” today, quote, “I do not want to
be vice president. I feel lucky to be Ohio`s senator and working for our
state is the only job I want.” Does that mean that if Secretary Clinton
did get the nomination and asked you, that you would say no?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: I would say no. I said – again, I love
MADDOW: Do you want to be vice president? It`s not my job. I don`t have
the ability to offer you the job. But a lot of people are wondering if she
is going to potentially offer you that job. I wonder about your interest
in playing that kind of a role.
JULIAN CASTRO, HUD SECRETARY: You know, I haven`t given it thought because
nobody`s asked. So, actually, I`m focused on my day job and trying to do a
good job there. I`ve said for a long time now that I fully expect to be
back in Texas a year from now. But I`m very happy to support Hillary.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: As you know, it`s always an honor to be
mentioned for these things. She has many good people to pick from and I
really think she`s going to be her decision, but put me aside.
MADDOW: If you start getting vetted for this vice presidential thing,
please send me a text, I won`t tell anybody.
KLOBUCHAR: OK, that`s a deal. I`m sure that will work. Bye.
MADDOW: I`m sure it will too. Bye.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: They all say, no, no, no, no. Not me. Not me, I`m super happy
with my existing job. No, no, put me aside, no, no. Oh, I would
definitely say no, no, not interested, I`m so happy with the work. Got a
They all say exactly the same thing. Does that mean they all want to be
vice president? I mean, I`ve asked eight different people action, at
least, if they want to be Hillary Clinton`s run mate. Every single one of
them says, no, they like their existing job. Apparently that`s the only
thing you`re allowed to say in response to that question.
There are other people who have been mentioned as possible choices for
Secretary Clinton. Some of the names that get said most frequently are
people like former Massachusetts Governor Duvall Patrick, or Homeland
Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, or Labor Secretary Tom Perez, or New Jersey
Senator Corey Booker.
Corey Booker was asked on Twitter if he wanted to be V.P., and he responded
by saying he already is a V.P., if by V.P. you mean vegan person.
You know what? Wondering who a presidential nominee is going to pick to be
their running mate, that is usually a huge waste of time. It`s like this
parlor game that people play all year long when they run out of more
substantive things to speculate pointlessly about.
But even though I firmly believe that vice presidential prospecting is
almost always a dumb conversation, we have now, just today, entered the
season where it`s no longer dumb. We have entered the time of year, once
every four years, when it is no longer a pointless or dumb way to spend
We`re now at the point where this is it. President Obama has given his
endorsement. Democratic primary is ending in a very clear way. And there
are only six weeks between now and the nominating convention. There`s no
reason to think that Hillary Clinton is going to wait until that nominating
convention to name her running mate.
Clinton campaign is saying that these interviews for vice president are not
happening yet, but honestly, this process is happening. And the next big
thing that is going to happen is going to be that we`re going to hear about
either the short list or the pick. This is being decided as we speak.
Now`s the time. It is time to start talking about this.
Somebody who`s been right in the middle of this exact decision, for better
or for worse, joins us next to talk about how the Clinton campaign may be
making this decision that is before them right now.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: There are things that look good when you`re doing them. When the
balloons are falling and the crowd is cheering your name, it looks good, it
feels good, you think, hey, I`m an official presidential nominee! Look at
this handsome person I picked to be my running mate! What could possibly
go wrong? What could possibly?
Well, our next guest has seen at close range what could possibly go wrong,
and the frightening parts about picking a vice presidential running mate.
MADDOW: This was the day after Fourth of July. It was July 5th, 2004,
four months away from the presidential election that year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: There are clues an announcement is in the works. According to
one source, Kerry`s campaign plane is parked in a hangar at Pittsburgh`s
airport receiving a new decal, presumably the new V.P.`s name. In the four
months since Kerry launched his search, speculation has narrowed including
Gephardt, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, and Senator John Edwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The choice was down to three people. Nobody knew who John Kerry
At 6:00 the night before he announced, right before he announced his choice
of who his V.P. would be, John Kerry personally called the airplane decal
company that he worked with to tell them he was going to need a new name
added to his campaign plane. He told the decal company who his vice
presidential choice was so they could make the sticker to put on the plane.
He swore the decal company to secrecy. He didn`t tell his campaign manager
until four hours after he told the decal company.
But then ultimately, with nary a leak, they ended up telling the whole
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: John Edwards` phone rang this morning at 7:30. On the other
end, John Kerry both formalized Edwards` rock star status and answered
Democrats` demands too loud to ignore.
The most tightly held secret in politics today unveiled.
THEN-SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: With your help, the next vice
president of the United States of America will be Senator John Edwards from
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: John Kerry and John Edwards did not win that election in 2004.
But John Edwards would soon go on to star in an absolute scandal. The news
started with “The National Enquirer” reporting on a clandestine affair. By
2010 he was admitting that he had a secret family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: After two years of scandal, deception and betrayal –
JOHN EDWARDS, THEN-U.S. SENATOR: The story`s false.
REPORTER: – that destroyed his political career and wrecked his personal
life, John Edwards this morning is trying to right a wrong. In a written
statement provided exclusively to NBC News, Edwards says, “I am Quinn`s
father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and
support she deserves.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: John Edwards had been up for the second most important job in the
nation, a heartbeat away from the presidency. And he got that job because
one person picked him. Vetted him and picked him. That`s the process.
Presidential candidates get this one enormous power. They get to pick the
vice presidential nominee themselves, on their own personal say-so. A
person who is replacement president, goes through a process of being
elected by one person in order to get that nomination.
And there`s no one process that presidential candidates go through in order
to make that decision about their running mate. Everybody does it
differently. Results sometimes don`t look so great the morning after.
In the 2000 election, Al Gore picked Joe Lieberman. That election was so
close, right? Remember Gore/Lieberman won the popular vote. Joe Lieberman
was really, really, really almost vice president to President Al Gore.
But instead, they didn`t win. And what Joe Lieberman ended up becoming
very quickly was a neo-conservative radical for the duration of the
presidency of George W. Bush. During the presidency that would have been
his time in office, he ended up actually leaving the Democratic Party and
endorsing Republican John McCain for president against Barack Obama.
Joe Lieberman was a hair`s breadth away from being a Democratic vice
president very shortly before he became not just a Democratic pariah but
fell off the right-wing ragged edge of some of the most important issues on
George W. Bush picked a vice president by asking Dick Cheney to find the
right person to be vice president for him. Dick Cheney looked around and
decided the right person was Dick Cheney. He then proceeded after choosing
himself to make himself the most powerful vice president and the most
radical vice president in the history of the country.
I mean, recent history has had some scary and plain weird moments when it
comes to this really important decision that gets to be decided by just one
person. The most remarkable probably in recent years was, of course, John
McCain`s choosing Sarah Palin in 2008. Governor Palin became a huge
political problem for John McCain in that race, and frankly to this day
when she was pretty soon revealed as inexperienced and uninformed and just
plain loopy enough to potentially put the entire country at risk, to at
least send a shiver down the spine of 98 percent of the people in this
That said, I don`t think that anybody would argue that Joe Biden has been
anything but good for the Obama administration. I mean, occasionally, he
blurts out what he really thinks and it makes political drama for other
people. But really, the only real drama around the vice presidency of Joe
Biden was the question of whether or not he was going to run himself to try
to succeed President Obama.
Also, Al Gore ended up being not able to succeed Bill Clinton because he
lost that election in 2000, but Al Gore I think most people would say for
the Bill Clinton presidency was a solid choice and a good vice president.
So, you win some, you Sarah Palin some. But it is amazing that one person
is given the power to make such a big decision. Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it is somewhere between a complete catastrophe and terrible for
the country. It`s a really, really consequential decision.
How do people in the midst of this decision make it? What informs their
decision-making? Is it possible for them to know in the moment whether
they are getting it right?
Joining us now is someone who knows. Bob Shrum. He was a senior advisor
to John Kerry`s presidential campaign, whose running mate, of course, was
John Edwards, and Al Gore`s presidential run, whose running mate was Joe
Bob Shrum, it`s great to have you here. Thank you so much for being here.
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
By the way, Al Gore so you know convened sort of the senior people the
night before he made the decision and asked us all for our opinions. It
was pretty clear where he was headed. But there were a variety of opinions
in the room and he listened to us. Just didn`t do necessarily what
MADDOW: What did you think?
SHRUM: I thought that either John Kerry or John Edwards would have been a
better choice. Edwards was only two years in the Senate so that was tough.
And what happened in the debate as you may recall was that Dick Cheney went
in as the most unpopular person in America in terms of the four people on
the ticket, and he came out as the most popular because Lieberman was
terrible in the debate.
So, I thought if you had someone like John Kerry, was solid, he could do
this, he would be very effective in a debate as we saw in 2004. But you`re
right, it is a fallible process.
MADDOW: And, Bob, that`s part of why I wanted to talk to you about this
tonight, just because it`s not so much about litigating any one choice –
although some of them have been remarkable choices. I find it a remarkable
thing about our democracy that this one very important job is picked in
this one sort of out of a hat kind of way.
We didn`t always do that. It used to be that back in the day, used to be
basically the person who came in second in the presidential contest got the
vice presidential job and they were seen as two different things. We
adjusted that because we felt vice presidents and presidents ought to work
more closely together.
But what`s your assessment just as a citizen of how good a process it is
that we just have the nominee pick?
SHRUM: Well, I don`t see what else you could do.
In 1952, President Eisenhower, General Eisenhower, thought the convention
picked the running mate. And his campaign manager said, no, you have to
pick the running mate. And ended up recommending Richard Nixon which is
how Nixon became vice president, then ultimately president.
After the McGovern/Eagleton campaign in 1972, when Senator Eagleton was on
the ticket, it was revealed and McGovern did not know this he`d been
treated with electroshock therapy for depression, we set up a vetting
process, in both parties. And that vetting process looks at your financial
history, at your public statements over the years, whether you`ve had
And post-Sarah Palin, if you`re picking a governor and not a senator, you
must give them a national security test to make sure they know something
about foreign policy and national security. That`s one side of the vet.
The other side of the vet is a political vet. Does this person help with
the demographic? Does this person help in a state?
The bottom line is, it does have to be someone that you think can actually
do the job if that day comes when he has to take – he or she has to take
over the presidency.
By the way, the problem with John Edwards in 2004 wasn`t the subsequent
scandal. I mean, he was vetted very thoroughly and I don`t think there was
a hint of that. The problem was that we believed too much in the polling.
Because you do a political vet, you do some polling. He seemed to poll, in
fact, he did poll better than Gephardt.
But the truth is Gephardt probably would have won the vice presidential
debate, which Edwards did not. Gephardt would have helped us in Ohio,
which decided the election.
MADDOW: Bob Shrum, long-time Democratic political strategist, thank you
for your time tonight. We`re going to be having a lot of cocktail party
and barbecue conversations this weekend talking about who Hillary Clinton`s
going to pick and the more we can inform it with understanding how the
process really works I think the better. Thanks for being here, Bob.
SHRUM: Thank you.
MADDOW: I gave the teleprompter version of Donald Trump a not great review
at the top of the show. Heartfelt, bad review. But now, we`re about to
check in on a ongoing Donald Trump rally happening tonight in Virginia.
We`ll see how he`s doing.
MADDOW: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is in Richmond,
Virginia. This is interesting. This is the crowd at Richmond`s coliseum,
capacity 12,000. The yawning, cavernous voids in the crowd are due to the
fact that only about 2,000 people showed up for a venue that holds 12,000
That said, the stagecraft is pretty remarkable. They put crowds right in
the sight lines of the cameras, so packed crowds behind Mr. Trump and
around him. But the rest of the room really is quite demonstrably empty.
When Donald Trump first started speaking at this event tonight, I think he
anticipated the news story that might come out of this rally. I think he
anticipated reporters might describe this as Trump speaking to a mostly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wow. Whoa. It`s amazing. Oh,
but I know all about Richmond. You know, we set this up yesterday. We`ve
had one day and look at this – I mean, it`s amazing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We only set this up yesterday! He thanked people for being there
on such short notice! Even though they`ve set it up, there was a crowd
around him in the shot. He knows reporters in the room that will report
there are 10,000 empty seats there.
So, he tries to get ahead of it. Oh, short notice. We just planned this.
Say what you will about Donald Trump, he does have a certain set of PR-
Outside that rally tonight in Richmond, there have been protests. Largely
peaceful so far. The Richmond police have tweeted there have been five
arrests thus far for disorderly conduct. We`ll keep an eye on Richmond for
you throughout the evening.
In just a moment, we`ll speak with somebody who knows a lot more about the
man behind the stagecraft at that event.
Please stay with us.
MADDOW: Nobody knows exactly what terrain the presidential election this
year will be fought on. Before his race-based attacks on a federal judge
recently took the spotlight, before that, it was Donald Trump`s ugly
comments about women that were the focus of the very first anti-Trump ad
released by a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,
blood coming out of her – wherever.
Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely.
You like girls that are 5`1”? They come up to you know where.
If Ivanka wasn`t my daughter perhaps I`d be dating her.
A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.
You can tell them to go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) themselves.
ANNOUNCER: Does Donald Trump really speak for you?
Priorities USA Action is responsible for the content of this advertising.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: There is something sort of perfect about the first major party
presidential nominee who is a woman having that guy as her opponent, right?
That guy of all guys?
But the general election campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
has really just started now. And we don`t know what Donald Trump is going
to be like in a huge stakes, national, coast to coast contest against a
Over the course of his time in public life and his time winning the
Republican primary, we`ve seen the development of this very cartoonish
character who says outrageous things and never really suffers the
consequences for them. But the presidential campaign is a full-body MRI as
they say, right? No cartoon is allowed to get into the presidency.
Donald Trump is not a cartoon. He has lived a real life. He is a real
person who has had real relationships with real people. And as evidence of
his respect for women, Donald Trump has repeatedly talked about hiring
women for top positions in his businesses. Again and again, he`s bragged
on his selection of a woman to oversee the construction of Trump Tower in
That woman`s name is Barbara Res. She worked for Donald Trump over a
period of 18 years. And in an election season that is not known for
nuance, Barbara Res has offered one of the most complex and nuanced views
of Donald Trump that we`ve heard from anybody.
She`s written, quote, “Trump told me when he fired me that I was a killer.
He said men were better than women but a good woman is better than ten men.
Feminists might call this sexism, I don`t.”
Quote, “Trump had several extremely strong women working for him, he would
always hire the person he thought was best without regard to gender. I
know I never got a break like the one I got from Donald.”
And yet, she also says he would, quote, “leer at attractive female
employees and talk about women in terms of their physical attributes.” She
told “The New York Times” he said to her face, quote, “You like your candy.
It was him reminding me that I was overweight,” Ms. Res said.
So, it`s more complicated than a cartoon. She says when he called her
honey bunch at work, it wasn`t demeaning. She says it was a term of
affection. She says they were genuinely close.
And yet she is not supporting him as he runs for president. Republicans
who underestimated Donald Trump in the primary all got beat by Donald
Trump. And he may all but destroy the Republican Party because of it, who
knows. Democrats who underestimate him I think mostly do so by only
believing the crudest caricatures about him, and assuming nobody else will
fill in shading between those cartoon character lines.
What can we learn about what to expect in the months ahead from somebody
who was very close with him for very long, somebody who`s seen his talents
and his flaws up close and worked with him for nearly two decades.
Joining us now is Barbara Res. She`s a former senior vice president and
executive vice president in the Trump organization. She`s also the author
of “All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of
Barbara Res, thank you so much for being here.
BARBARA RES, FORMER EXEC. VP OF TRUMP ORGANIZATION/AUTHOR, “ALL ALONE ON
THE 68TH FLOOR”: My pleasure.
MADDOW: Is my characterization fair, that you have sort of nuanced and
mixed feelings about him?
RES: Absolutely, absolutely.
MADDOW: When you see him – the issue of his relationship with women made
into a political point against him, do you think that`s fair? Do you think
that`s overstating the case? Do you think it`s wrong?
RES: I think it`s fair, because he has put himself out there. The
interviews he did with Howard Stern and some media outlets talking about
women, things that he said what he said about Megyn Kelly, what he said
about Rosie O`Donnell, these are all actual things.
They`re not made up, they`re direct quotes. They have him on record. He
has to be accountable for what he said.
MADDOW: You`ve written this book about breaking the glass ceiling,
proverbial glass ceiling, in construction, and writing about the industry
as a whole being a very, very sexist place.
MADDOW: And even some women like yourself who got through into senior-
level positions weren`t really able to clear away for lots of women to come
in behind you because the industry is so inherently sexist.
RES: That`s correct.
MADDOW: Was he better or worse than the average person working in that
RES: Better. He definitely was better. He gave me a great opportunity
that he and Ivana really liked me and observed me working with the men and
they wanted me for the person in charge of Trump Tower. And that was a
great opportunity for me and it took off.
MADDOW: And you also saw him behaving in a way that you considered
inappropriate towards women in the workplace?
RES: Actually, I have to say that I worked for him over a period of 18
years. Over that period of time, he changed a lot. I mean, when I worked
for him on Trump Tower, we were very, very close. He`d give me advice and
we`d small talk and we`d go to meetings without bodyguards and things like
He was very human and I saw a very human side of him. Although he gave me
– he was very difficult, always very difficult. He always was quick to
praise and was supportive.
When I left him, I left him and I did another project and I came back. And
he had already changed a little bit. And that was when he finished the
casinos and he was becoming a celebrity. And then he wrote his book. And
he became more famous. People knew him in the street. He had bodyguards
all the time.
He started really acting the part of being the big macho guy. And that
followed quickly with his carryings-on with Marla Maples and the divorce,
then him talking about other women. That was all very alien for him. He
was always very respectful for women.
MADDOW: So, you`re saying after his first marriage, after his public
persona changed around that time, that also changed his private behavior
and his professional behavior and the way he talked about women?
RES: Absolutely. Yes. And he was going through very bad financial
problems and I know he had a lot on his mind, so I`m not sure he was
himself at the time. And I thought – I gave him – you know, I said, he`s
not himself. He`d say things that were unusual, very unusual, that I
didn`t expect from him.
And he would talk about how he was carrying on with women so much that he
disregarded his businesses and the people he left in charge were the ones
who sank him and he blamed them. And he blamed the fact that he was with
women all the time.
I was very surprised at this. I owed it to his financial problems and the
problems with the marriage.
MADDOW: After you were quoted in that “New York Times” piece about him
last month, he kind of came after you. He tweeted that you were – used
the word nasty, said that you were nasty. He implied you were out to get
him because he wouldn`t give you another job. What did you make of that
real backlash from him?
RES: I have to say I was amused at first. Then he said some terrible
things that I was surprised at. At a rally in San Jose he said I was
dangerous, he called me a terrible person.
What I did was several years ago, I was looking for a job and I contacted
all my former employers. And that was great. And I spoke to all of them.
And I contacted him through his personal assistant who I happened to know
but I never spoke to him, or anything.
I asked, is there anything in your organization? I`m willing to travel,
I`d be interested in something. And she just said that there`s nothing
now. And that was the end of it, until I wrote my book.
Then I sent my book to him and I tried to get him to promote my book. I
thought he would really like my book. But I ran into him at a funeral.
And he wouldn`t talk to me. He talked to my companion. He denigrated me.
He put my book down. He said, “No one`s going to read it”. I was so
surprised that I wrote him another letter and I said, I`m very shocked at
your reaction to my book. I thought that we were so close. I always
remember how close we were on Trump Tower. And I hope our relationship
isn`t ruined by this.
Because he wrote me a letter for the bar admission, he wrote me a letter
for law school admission. I mean, he was always very supportive of me.
So, that was the last I communicated with him and the last I saw him was
that one day when he was very, very nasty.
MADDOW: Are you going to vote for him in November?
RES: Absolutely not. He`s not good on women`s issues and that`s what`s
important to me.
MADDOW: Barbara Res, former senior vice president in the Trump
organization, the author now of “All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman
Changed the Face of Construction” – thank you for talking to us about
this. And on the one hand I feel like I don`t necessarily need to get to
know him as a person, but it`s really helpful to have somebody else`s
perspective on these things he talks about when he`s running for the
highest office in the land. Thanks for talking to us.
RES: Yes. Thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks. Appreciate it.
All right. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We have some breaking news tonight. Legal news out of Kansas. An
appeals court, a court just one level below the U.S. Supreme Court, tonight
just said that Kansas has to stop its efforts to block tens of thousands of
legal registered Kansas voters from voting in the presidential election.
This has been a strange thing going on in Kansas. Since 2013, Republican-
controlled Kansas has tried to require proof of citizenship, which you
never had to provide before, in order to vote. And that proof of
citizenship law has disenfranchised tens of thousands of Kansas voters.
Primarily voters, naturally, who happen to be young or registered as
something other than Republican.
But tonight, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, at least
temporarily, against that Kansas law, under this decision, close to 20,000
Kansas voters, whose rights were suspended by the state, they`ll be added
back to the rolls.
We don`t know how Kansas intends to respond. The top elections official in
Kansas is the Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach. He`s been
crusading around the country for laws to make voting harder, not just in
Kansas, but everywhere. Kris Kobach now has until Tuesday to comply with
this ruling, or to convince the court to reconsider it. Tick-tock.
MADDOW: Happy Friday! Last night as I ended that crazy show, I said I was
going to go out and find the best way to mix Gatorade and pure grain
alcohol. Yesterday was the kind of day in politics where there`s so much
happening, you might innocently desire a properly chilled concoction to
both keep you going and settle you down all at the same time. That was how
But now, this is Friday. And in the cold light of a new day, I have a
better idea. Wait right there.
MADDOW: The Hillary Clinton for president campaign has started hiring
staffers from the Bernie Sanders for president campaign. As the Democratic
Party primary started winding down, we started hearing about, you know, new
political initiatives being started by former Bernie staffers and
volunteers. Sanders supporters and volunteers running for office
themselves or organizing themselves to support other progressive candidates
And that kind of stuff, Bernie folks doing other Bernie-related things,
that gives you some sense of the ripples that are going to radiate out from
his campaign this year. This unlikely campaign that won over 40 percent of
the vote and won 22 states. It raised well over $250 million.
Arguably, that campaign never ran a single negative ad. And that campaign
did not secure a presidential nomination for Bernie Sanders, but it did
rally millions of people and particularly young progressives, to a cause
and a candidate who the beltway absolutely could not see coming.
And now, the director of student organizing from the Bernie Sanders
campaign, she has just been hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign. And
BuzzFeed reports tonight that a number of other Bernie Sanders organizers,
Sanders staffers, are in talks with the Clinton campaign as well. And this
is a process that is still just starting, but it`s now becoming clear that
one of the other ripples that`s going to radiate out from this remarkable
liberal uprising that was the Bernie Sanders campaign will be that at least
some of its talent, some of its engines, some of the humans who powered
what Bernie Sanders just did, they`re staying in.
Regardless of how the Sanders campaign itself formally winds down, if these
are just the first of many hires of Bernie Sanders staffers into the
Clinton campaign, then the famously self-defeating Democratic Party this
year may have actually found a way to end this primary by building
themselves up instead of tearing themselves down. And we`re getting the
first direct evidence already of how Bernie Sanders brought something to
the table this year, he built something this year, that is definitely going
to keep going in Democratic politics.
And so, a toast to the Bernie Sanders campaign. It`s called the New
England daiquiri. Bernie is from Brooklyn, and this is a recipe from a New
York bartender named Joaquin Cimo (ph). Bernie Sanders also represents
Vermont, and this is one of the handful of Vermont cocktails that uses real
Vermont maple syrup.
It`s a daiquiri variation that uses maple syrup instead of sugar and turns
the lime in a daiquiri into lemon because that`s more delicious in
combination with maple. What you do is you take an ounce of dark rum, in
this case, it`s dark rum from Bermuda called goslings. You take an ounce
of aged rum, aged rum from Jamaica called Appleton.
You do an ounce of each. And then, you do a half ounce each of lemon juice
from an actual lemon. Mm-hmm. And a half ounce of Democratic socialist-
style Vermont maple syrup. And that`s it! It`s very simple. Two kinds of
rum, lemon, and maple. Shake its lights out.
And let this be your offering. Let this be your cue to call your liberal
friend, who you stopped being able to speak to during this primary, because
you disagreed about Clinton and Sanders, whoever you fought with over the
Democratic primary and its politics this year, take a minute to remember
why you were friends in the first place.
Cheers. Have a great weekend.
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