The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/11/2016



Date: October 11, 2016





Good evening, Rachel.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  I owe you one, as I frequently do.  Thank you,

my friend.


HAYES:  Oh, no.  Those all will come out in the wash.


MADDOW:  Thanks, dear. 


In the fall of 2007, in November 2007, the gods of fate and chance and

gambling in Las Vegas decided that it was time for the Frontier Casino to

come down.  Because it was Las Vegas, though, and because Americans love to

see stuff blow up, when they decided to take down that Frontier Casino,

they decided to do it right.  It slated for demolition, but they built

basically a fireworks display, kind of like flares onto the front of the



So, instead of just saying, four, three, two, one out loud before they

demolished it, they had the lights count down, four, three, two, one and

then lit up on the front of the building, they had a big TNT plunger.  You

didn`t just hear them announce they were going to blow it up, you could see

it acted out on lights in the front of the building as they were destroying

the building. 


Just in case the explosion alone was not entertaining enough for you, they

put extra explosions on the thing they were exploding. 


Two, one – and then comes the TNT.  Yeah, this is like the most American

explosion in the history of America.  This is like meat with meat sauce. 

But that is how they took down the Frontier Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, in

November 2007. 


Americans like to see things blow up.  Sometimes it goes great, sometimes

an incredible over the top spectacle like that.  Sometimes it goes poorly. 

Like when they blew up the Kingdome in Seattle and they forgot to account

for all the dust that would cover all the people and then the dust covered

up the downtown for hours.  It doesn`t always go great. 


But when they blow things up on purpose in this country, it almost never

goes the way it went today in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, with this

bridge.  This is Broadway Bridge over the Arkansas River.  It`s a bridge

that is old.  It`s being replaced.  Yay for infrastructure. 


But today was a day when they actually needed to get rid of this old second

of the bridge in order to make room to bring in its replacement.  And

blowing up the old bridge over the Arkansas River, that kind of thing is

exciting to watch, right?  People took time off from work to go watch this

happen today at 10:00 local time in Little Rock.


Local TV stations have been hyping this for days.  Not just, you know,

amateurs and explosion watchers but local TV shows and everybody had their

cameras set up.  Tons of reporters on the scene to record the big moment

when they`re going to blow up the bridge and fall into the Arkansas River. 


And again, you know, things sometimes do go wrong when we blow stuff up on

purpose in this country.  But things almost never go wrong precisely like





REPORTER:  We just heard the first horn which we were told that would be

about five minutes out from the implosion, the excitement is building here

in anticipation, Marcy, of this part of the bridge coming down.  Back to



TV ANCHOR:  And to continue checking in with Shannon because she`s

obviously got that best vantage point.  I don`t know about the folks in the

doubletree, Shannon.  Your view looks pretty good.


If you`re just now joining us, we are waiting for the implosion of the

Broadway Bridge set to happen – well, it was supposed to happen about

10:00, but these things take a little time.  We`re at 10:02 now.  We`re

going to stick with it to see if – wow. 


So, apparently that sound, that horn was actually a two-minute alert that

Shannon heard there. 




MADDOW:  So what`s wrong with this picture, right?  You can tell from the

anchor`s discussion like one of the things that happened was it went off

when nobody was expecting it to go off.  Was that the fine-minute warning? 

Oh, there it is, right? 


So, part of what went wrong was there was no three, two, one.  Nobody knew

it was going to blow up.  But we kept the shot up because something else

has gone wrong here, right?  The bridge has not come down. 


I mean, we got the explosions.  You still see the smoke there on the water. 

We were expecting the bridge to be blown up on the water but the bridge is

still standing. 


We`ve got it from another vantage point.  This is actually a better angle. 

I`ll warn you it`s coming, right?  I`ll tell you what you hear here is the

explosion and then the sound cuts off on the camera because of the big loud

boom.  But watch it from this angle. 


Ready?  Ready?  Three, two, one.  That`s where the sound cuts out.  See,

it`s still going.  It`s still going.  Big explosion.  See all that junk fly

off the bridge and into the poor Arkansas River.  The birds sort of take

off.  See, here are the birds, right?  Then they`re like, ooh, fly over the

other direction. 


But the bridge is still there after the explosion.  This was the Arkansas

Highway Department that was in charge of imploding this bridge today.  They

were very excited to blow up this bridge today. 


This is their Twitter feed today ahead of the 10:00 a.m., you know,

detonation time.  Pulaski County, Broadway Bridge will be imploded at 10:00

a.m. with this guy from the department pressing the button.  Here`s the

last look.


And then they tried to blow it up at 10:00 a.m. and that guy presumably

pushed the button, but it didn`t blow up. 


This is the following tweet from them.  Look, well, that didn`t go quite as

well as planned. 




So, in the local press today in Arkansas, that`s interesting, cool enough

to have a planned bridge implosion, the coverage of the local story. 

What`s weird is when you have to cover a failed bridge implosion, but

that`s what they had to cover today in Arkansas.


Look at this, “Update, Broadway Bridge still stands after explosion

attempt.”  Quote, “Upon the detonation of the explosives, the bridge did

not fall.  Officials are in the process of inspecting the bridge in search

of a new way to bring it down.  Those working on the bridge warn that it is

very dangerous and unsteady at this point and it could fall at any time. 

More details to come.”


So, Little Rock, Arkansas, just had this weird thing happen today.  This

little bridge that they tried their darnedest to blow up and they did

explode it but it didn`t collapse.  And that just was this weird thing

after the detonation time, right, because after they were supposed to blow

it up and they tried, it was still standing there.  So, all day today in

Little Rock, there was this uncollapsed partially exploded bridge still

standing there unsafe, weak, threatening to fall any minute, not fit to

bear any human weight, but all day today still there. 


So, how is the Republican Party doing in today`s news?  Today at, which is the conservative website that used to be run by the

man who is now running Donald Trump`s campaign, today they started running

this pop-up ad in support of Donald Trump`s campaign.  You see the ad there

in that sort of inset, right? 


It`s got the Trump logo on the top.  “It`s us against the world.”  Weirdly,

though, there`s no us in the photo.  Look who is in the photo.  It`s a

photo of Donald Trump looking at himself in the mirror.  That`s the us. 


Donald Trump has spent the last 24 hours going hammer and tongs against the

party that made him their presidential nominee this year. 


This is from Trump today, “Disloyal Republicans are far more difficult than

crooked Hillary.  They come at you from all sides.  They don`t know how to

win.  I will teach them.”


He also went after the Republican Party`s presidential nominee from 2008,

calling him on Twitter today, quote, “the very foul-mouthed Senator John



He also went after the highest ranking Republican elected official in the

country, House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling Paul Ryan today, quote, “our very

weak and ineffective leader Paul Ryan.”


And whether or not Donald Trump is happily or unhappily transfixed by his

own face in the mirror, he does appear to be losing the election clearly

and badly right now, as he turns on his own party.  “The New York Times”

number crunchers, they update every day based on new polling numbers. 


Today, their “New York Times” projections is that Hillary Clinton has an 88

percent chance of winning the presidential election.  Donald Trump`s

chances by their count are down to 12 percent. 


At, it`s almost that bad for Trump.  FiveThirtyEight is

giving Hillary Clinton an 83.5 percent chance of winning the election, and

Donald Trump a 16.5 percent chance of winning. 


Down ticket a little bit, the projections for who`s going to win the

Senate, those tend to be much tighter projections but the people who are

making electoral forecasts in terms of who`s going to control the Senate

next year, they are now saying that Senate control once again is leaning

towards going to the Democrats as well.  Of course, the Holy Grail for the

Democrats would not just be winning the White House and winning control of

the Senate, the Holy Grail, the almost unattainable dream for Democrats

this year would be regaining control of the House as well and turfing out

Paul Ryan, putting Nancy Pelosi back in charge. 


The generic ballot where people were asked generically without names if

they`d like to vote for a Republican candidate for Congress or Democrat,

that generic ballot right now is trending quite strongly toward the

Democrats.  We also keep reading reports that secret internal polling from

both parties now shows House races to start to trend toward the Democrats. 

That`s reportedly some of what drove Paul Ryan yesterday to announce that

he would no longer defend his party`s presidential nominee, no longer

defend Donald Trump.  Instead he would just focus only on trying to keep

Republican control of the House. 


Now, that`s internal secret polling.  There`s no way for us to check that. 

But we do have multiple reports from multiple sources in both parties

saying that they are looking at numbers in the House and Republicans should

be worried. 


And maybe that`s true.  I mean, control of the House is really an almost

unattainable thing that Democrats could almost wish for.  They would need

to flip 30 seats in the House from Republican to Democrat in order to get

control of that chamber.  We reported just a few weeks ago that the

Democrats` best case scenario is they`d only take half that number of

seats, even if everything went their way.


As recently as a few weeks ago, Democrats weren`t even dreaming of being

able to take over the House.  They were dreaming of getting halfway there. 

It is still exceedingly unlikely that they could ever take over the House

unless there was a huge landslide on November 8th. 


We`re talking, you know, a double digit win for Hillary Clinton, and knock

on effects down ballot, all across the country, as Democrats turn out to

vote and Republicans don`t or as voters of every stripe decide to vote for

Democrats instead of Republicans out of revulsion for the Republican Party

having nominated Donald Trump and most of their candidates sticking by him. 


It`s hard to imagine the Democrats would be even in a position to dream

about taking the House let alone hope to be taking back the House, let

alone plan to be taking back the House.  But all of a sudden, today, a lot

of things fell in place that point in that direction all at once.  Not

least of them is the fact that the Republican Party`s own presidential

nominee is now campaigning against House Republicans and hoping they lose

their elections. 


When Republicans started peeling off from supporting Donald Trump this

weekend after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, Donald Trump

started openly rooting for them to lose their elections this year.  This

was him Sunday morning, 10:00 a.m., “So many self-righteous hypocrites,”

meaning people abandoning him in his own party.  “Watch their poll numbers

and their elections go down.”


This is not Trump tweeting against Democrats.  That`s him tweeting against

Republicans, right?  He`s egging his supporters on to get excited about

Republicans losing their elections this year.  That is what this has turned

into in the home stretch, right?  Us against the world and by us, he means

himself and the vision of himself he sees in the mirror. 


I mean, Donald Trump still does have an us.  He still has a running mate,

Mike Pence.  Donald Trump says he chose Mike Pence to be his running mate

specifically for the purposes of party unity.  Mike Pence is supposed to be

the bridge between Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  He`s supposed to

be the part of the Trump campaign that makes normal Republicans feel

comfortable with Donald Trump being their nominee. 


But I`m here to tell you tonight that there is something weird going on

with Mike Pence in the Trump campaign and it`s not about the earlier rumors

that he was going to jump off the ticket or anything like that.  This is

something different, and I believe we`re the first to report this and this

is foundational as to whether the Republican Party and the Trump campaign

are even pulling in the same direction anymore. 


Now, I believe we`re the first to connect these dots, but follow me here. 

I think there`s something odd going on with Mike Pence.  You might have

seen something in the political press over the last couple of days over the

fact that Pence had a fund-raiser scheduled in Nebraska.  He was supposed

to do a fundraiser today in Nebraska with Nebraska`s Republican Governor

Pete Ricketts. 


That Mike Pence fundraiser in Nebraska was canceled.  That itself isn`t a

big deal.  You know, campaign events get canceled, fund-raisers get moved. 

But check out why it was canceled.


It was canceled for, quote, “a lack of interest in the donor community in

Nebraska for the Trump/pence fund-raiser.”


Now, the Nebraska governor is Pete Ricketts.  The Ricketts family are a

billionaire Republican family.  They have their own super PAC supporting

the Trump/Pence ticket, but apparently, even they couldn`t rustle up enough

donors to make it worth Mike Pence`s while to come to Nebraska for a fund-



So, that Mike Pence Nebraska fundraiser canceled for a lack of interest. 

We`re the first in the national news to now report that that Nebraska fund-

raiser is not the only one canceled this week for a lack of interest.  Mike

Pence was also supposed to do a fund-raiser in New Jersey, heavily

Republican part of the state, Ocean County, New Jersey.  Word got out over

this past weekend that that New Jersey Mike Pence fund-raiser was being

canceled.  And a lot of people assumed because of the timing that Pence had

canceled that event in New Jersey because of fallout from the Donald Trump

“Access Hollywood” tape that came out on Friday. 


But look at the local coverage.  Ocean County politics was among the first

to report that that fund-raiser was canceled and Gavin Rousey (ph), the

editor of Ocean County Politics, he tells us it wasn`t the “Access

Hollywood” tape that resulted in the Mike Pence fund-raiser getting

canceled.  He tells us, in fact, that fundraiser got canceled a day or two

before the tape came out.  And the reason that fund-raiser in New Jersey

got canceled, according to multiple Republican sources who were involved in

planning it is because they couldn`t get anybody to show up.  Again, a lack

of interest in attending that fund-raiser with Mike Pence. 


So, Pence is supposed to be the bridge from Donald Trump to normal

Republicans, right?  To the rest of the Republican Party.  What we`re

seeing now in Nebraska and New Jersey, two very disparate parts of the

country, two very disparate types of people in the Republican Party, right,

what we`re seeing is that Mike Pence can`t even do fund-raisers for the

Trump campaign right now because there aren`t enough normal Republicans

left who are willing to come to those events.  Not enough Republicans will

show up in person at an event with Mike Pence to give him money.  Not

enough to make it worth his while to show up. 


And so, could it be a landslide, right?  Could it be an implosion of the

Republican party big enough to bring the whole thing down, to make the

unthinkable thinkable?  To turn Washington blue instead of just the White



The headline tonight in “The Washington Post” is Trump declares war on GOP,

says the shackles have been taken off.  Today, midday, in fact, Trump did

send out this tweet.  “It`s so nice that the shackles have been taken off

me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”


I don`t know who he felt was shackling him.  But what he mostly appears to

be fighting now that the shackles are off is the party that nominated him

for president.  He`s rooting for their demise. 


As the Republican Party consumes itself with this war within, A,

fascinating to watch.  But B, it`s an incredible opportunity for the

Democratic Party, right? 


And they`re pouncing.  They appear to be doing everything they can to take

advantage.  Which is unlike Democrats.  They usually don`t rise to those



But all over the country, Democrats are going for in House races trying to

tie every Republican candidate for Congress to Donald Trump. 




AD NARRATOR:  Mike Gallagher says we have to support Donald Trump. 



DELETED) but I couldn`t get there.  And she was married.  When you`re a

star, you can do anything.  You grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)


AD NARRATOR:  He didn`t pay income taxes for 18 years. 


TRUMP:  That makes me smart. 


AD NARRATOR:  And mocked disabled reporter. 


TRUMP:  I don`t know what I said.  I don`t remember. 


AD NARRATOR:  Mike Gallagher says we have to support Donald Trump. 


No, we don`t.  We don`t have to support Mike Gallagher either. 




MADDOW:  That`s a House race in Wisconsin where a Democrat named Tom Nelson

is running against a Republican called Mike Gallagher.  And the Democratic

Party says ads like that will run against congressional Republican

candidates all over the country.  They`re going to tie every Republican

candidate in the country to Trump. 


I mean, at this point at the top of the ticket, usually each candidate

would be talking to their own voters, trying to get out the vote, trying to

mobilize their own party`s base at this point in the race.  On the Trump

side of things, that`s definitely not happening.  He`s openly rooting

against the fortunes of his own party on the Republican side. 


On the Democratic side, at the top of the ticket this year, Hillary Clinton

is going all out not only for her own base.  She`s also now going all out

for base Republican voters. 




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are Mormons for Hillary, join your fends and

family and vote. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  On November 8, please vote early by mail. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Or at your polling location on November 8. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It is not uncommon for autistic kids to flap their

hands.  And so, when I saw that, that was completely disqualifying.  I`m a

Republican, but this election is so much bigger than party. 


My son Max can`t live in Trump world.  So I`m crossing party lines and

voting for Hillary. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I fought for my country in Kosovo and Iraq.  And I`ve

been a Republican all my life.  I`m voting for Hillary Clinton. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I became active in the Republican Party to elect

Ronald Reagan.  I thought I would be able to support whoever the Republican

candidate was.  I always have.  I`m going to vote for Hillary Clinton. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I voted Republican then and I have ever since.  I`m

putting party aside and voting for Hillary Clinton. 




MADDOW:  The Clinton campaign in the last few days debuting multiple ads

targeting Mormon voters, targeting Republican voters, targeting lifelong

Republicans, including Republican activists who now say they`re voting for

Clinton.  But Democrats aren`t just going for their own base in the closing

argument here, they`re going for the Republican base as well because they

see them as available. 


And, you know, even though this is starting to feel like a very one-sided

fight, there`s still a Trump campaign.  Mike Pence apparently cannot fill a

room for a fund-raiser, but he did do an event where he had to fend off the

audience saying they`re going to launch a revolution.  That was an awkward



The Trump campaign launched a new television ad today that showed Hillary

Clinton coughing and falling down, saying she doesn`t have the strength to

protect you. 


The conspiracy theory Info Wars website is reportedly now paying bounties

to people who can get into political events and get themselves on TV to

yell that Bill Clinton is a rapist. 


So, the Trump campaign still does exist.  It is still plugging away. 

They`re doing their thing.  That`s how they`re doing their thing now. 


In this metaphor, the bridge is technically still standing, this Republican

Party, this bridge between the Donald Trump campaign and the Republican

Party.  There have been concerted efforts to blow it up but Donald Trump is

still the Republican Party`s nominee, Paul Ryan`s House Republicans still

do have a house majority.  It would take a historic landslide to take that

away from them.  


The bridge in this metaphor still stands.  But the explosions have been

detonated.  We saw them live on TV.  The Republican Party`s presidential

nominee really has declared war on his own party.  And nobody knows exactly

what`s going to happen next in the election, but for what it`s worth in

Arkansas today, they set off those explosions that were supposed to bring

down that Broadway Bridge this morning at 10:00 a.m., that thing wavered,

it shook all day, they yanked at it on ropes, they tried to pull it down

with barges, that thing stood there perilously for five hours with nobody

knowing what to do there and everybody staying away because it was unsafe. 


But ultimately, 3:00 this afternoon, inevitably, the darn thing finally

went down. 


Woo-hoo.  Finally. 


We`ll be right back. 




MADDOW:  I mentioned a moment ago this news that I think we`ve unearthed

tonight about Mike Pence apparently having to cancel two fund-raisers over

the space of just a few days, in both cases because of a lack of interest. 

A remarkable stage in the campaign where apparently four weeks out from

Election Day, the Republican vice presidential nominee cannot fill a room

to hold a fund-raiser for his campaign.  It has happened in two states now

in a matter of days. 


I also just mentioned that Mike Pence had a bit of a hard time tonight in

Iowa with a supporter vocally threatening revolution.  We had reports of

that earlier tonight.  Now we`ve got the tape. 




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  My name is Rhonda. 




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m on social media every day all day nonstop. 


PENCE:  So am I.  I mean not me. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Pushing Trump.  And one of the biggest things that I

can tell you is a lot of us are scared of is voter fraud. 


We are – there`s a lot of us that are out here saying that we go to vote,

we`re going to wear red.  Our lives depend on this election.  Our kids`

futures depend on this election.  And I will tell you just for me, and I

don`t want this to happen, but I will tell you for me personally, if

Hillary Clinton gets in, I myself, I`m ready for a revolution because we

can`t have her in. 


PENCE:  Yes, don`t say that. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No, I`m just saying.  Am I not speaking people here? 

Am I not saying the truth, guys?  Come on. 




MADDOW:  Mike Pence today in Iowa, oh, don`t say that.  Oh, don`t say that. 


Robert Costa from “The Washington Post” joins us next.




MADDOW:  This will down in history as the only time in the lead-up to any

presidential election when this could be the lead in “The Washington Post”

tonight, “Republican Party presidential nominee declares war on the

Republican Party.”


Joining us now is Robert Costa.  He`s a “Washington Post” national

political reporter.  This front page report that he co-wrote appears in

“The Post” tomorrow morning. 


Robert, it`s great to have you with us.  Thanks for being here.


ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST:  Great to be with you, Rachel. 


MADDOW:  Is war overstating it?  Is this a continuation of the same

friction that there has been between the party and this nominee over time

or are we in a new phase? 


COSTA:  Well, there are no actual weapons involved, but I don`t know what

to call it except political war.  It`s an unprecedented moment in

Republican history, to have a party that so long has been about discipline,

about the next in line, about staying in line, now you have a candidate

running against the speaker of the house. 


MADDOW:  When you say that he`s sort of running against him, I`m definitely

seeing that in the language of his tweets, for lack of a better way to put



COSTA:  It`s more than that. 


MADDOW:  He`s hoping for Republicans who don`t support him to fall in the

polls, to lose their elections.  He`s calling Paul Ryan an ineffective



Is he, in fact, maneuvering to try to cost the Republicans as many seats as

possible in November? 


COSTA:  I`ve done extensive reporting on this today.  He leaves Trump Tower

and he goes to the airport in New York, he starts tweeting multiple times

about Speaker Ryan. 


He flies to Texas.  He has a fundraiser in San Antonio and Dallas.  He

talks to the donors behind the scenes about Ryan.  One told me tonight,

Rachel, that he just couldn`t stop ripping on Paul Ryan.  He taped an

interview with another network, rips on Paul Ryan as one person who watched

it said, and then tonight in Florida, more on Paul Ryan. 


This is head-on directly against the congressional Republican majorities. 

This is how the GOP is trying to hold on to its grip on power, just behind

me at the Capitol.


MADDOW:  If he creates enough anti-Ryan sentiment among his supporters, and

there are a lot of them, there are millions who voted for him in the

Republican primary, if push comes to shove with the Republican Party and

Reince Priebus and other Republican Party leaders have to make a decision

about Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, who do they side with? 


COSTA:  Well, Priebus is close to Trump and he`s close to Ryan.  He`s

clearly not going against Ryan at all, but he`s with Trump.  It`s striking

that Priebus is with Trump on the road.  He`s with Trump in debate prep. 


The Republican National Committee, to the chagrin of some of its members

and to the positive of other, they`re with Trump.  But the consequences of

what the party is doing right now, not only the civil war but the way it`s

all navigating this has deep consequences whether Trump wins or not because

now, Ryan`s political capital is being diminished by the presidential



You have members in Congress openly very much up in arms against their own

speaker.  This is a civil war that does not end in 27 days. 


MADDOW:  Robert Costa, “Washington Post” national political reporter, right

at the heart of this story – Robert, thank you.  It`s good to have you



COSTA:  Thank you.


MADDOW:  All right.  Much more ahead tonight.  Please stay with us.




MADDOW:  The Chevy Corvair was kind of weird.  It was weird on purpose. 

They gave it aggressively sleek lines.  They put the engine in the back. 

They said you`d get more power, better traction, better ride all in a

better-looking car and you could put the groceries in the front because the

trunk was in the front, with the engine in the back. 


It was weird enough, though, that it took a little convincing to sell it

when it first came out. 




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Here on the challenging Lime Rock, Connecticut Raceway,

the 1960 Corvair was really put through its paces.  Made to prove itself. 

And it did.  It proved its stability and then some. 


Talk about stamina and reliability.  Just look at this.  Using the stream

for its highway, the Corvair actually plowed along like this for over 20

miles and not once did its reliable turbo air engine falter. 


Just to see how it would stand up, they tried to make the Corvair roll

over.  It wouldn`t.  They locked the wheels so it had to roll over. 


The Corvair took the punishment and asked for more. 




MADDOW:  Yes.  Not really.  That isn`t really how it worked in the real



The Corvair was beautiful.  It was hot.  But remember that rollover?  Right

away the Corvair became known for catastrophic wrecks.  For deadly

rollovers, for fatal spinouts. 


And in 1965, it was first introduced in 1960, 1965 up popped an eloquent

young activist who says those rollovers, those fatal wrecks, they weren`t a

surprise.  The company that made that car knew it would be a death trap

because the way it was designed, and they sold it like that anyway.  He

wrote a book about it called “Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers

of the American Automobile.”  He called the Corvair a one-car accident. 


And it worked.  GM halted the production of the Corvair four years later. 

In addition to ending the Chevy Corvair, that activist, Ralph Nader, he

brought us life savers like seat belts and head rests and Freedom of

Information Laws and recalls for unsafe products like, say, exploding

Samsung cell phones which were finally killed off by their manufacturer

this week, Corvair style.


Ralph Nader went on for decades campaigning for consumer safety and for

integrity and openness in government and then he decided that he wants to

campaign for himself for president in the election year 2000.  Liberals

knock on the nominee that year, Al Gore, was he was boring, he wasn`t all

that different from George W. Bush, but liberal Ralph Nader, he sure was

different.  He ran on a green party ticket.  He grew crowds, he was a

crusading hero especially with young voters.


And Ralph did get plenty of protest votes all over the country that year,

97,000 of those votes came in Florida.  And in Florida that year, Al Gore

lost to George Bush in the official but contested tally by less than a

thousand votes.  It was that close. 


You can`t say definitively that Ralph Nader`s quixotic run for president in

2000 is why Al Gore lost.  You can`t say that definitively.  But you know

what, they help.  And now, the name Ralph Nader and the ghost of what might

have been in the presidential election in the year 2000, they`re back for

this election. 


Today in this bunkers land election we`re in now, we got the news that Al

Gore himself is back as well.  And that story is coming up.  


Stay with us.






TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR:  Monroe, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that

the Democrats held up as an example of the prosperity of the last eight

years.  President Clinton met with Vice President Gore to hand off the

party leadership and finally, the political spotlight with one more



BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT:  He is the right person to be the

first president of the 21st century – Al Gore. 


AL GORE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT:  Bill Clinton worked hard to get this

economy right.  And I`m pledging to you here today I am not going to let

the other side wreck it and take it away from us.  We`re going to keep the

prosperity going. 


BROKAW:  And to celebrate this moment in his political life on his way out

of Michigan, Bill Clinton stopped for lunch at one of his old favorite

haunts, McDonald`s.  He ordered the crispy chicken and an extra large order

of fries. 




MADDOW:  That clip.  Tom Brokaw intoning extra large order of fries. 


There was always time for crispy chicken and fries.  Even if there was not

much time for Bill Clinton in the Al Gore campaign for president in the

year 2000. 


Al Gore was worried that the Monica Lewinsky scandal had done President

Clinton too much damage with swing state voters so he decided to basically

ban the sitting president from campaigning in the battleground states that

year and also from doing any network TV interviews whatsoever in the final

stretch of the campaign. 


We all know what happened in that campaign, Al Gore lost the closest

presidential election in U.S. history ultimately decided by 500-odd-some

voters in Florida and the way those votes were counted. 


Incidentally in Florida, a Green Party candidate Ralph Nader polled almost

100,000 votes that year. 




GORE:  Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court`s

decision, I accept it.  I accept the finality of this outcome which will be

ratified next Monday in the Electoral College.  Tonight for the sake of our

unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. 




MADDOW:  Al Gore`s concession speech in 2000.  Since then we`ve not seen a

lot of him at Democratic Party politics.  He did speak at President Obama`s

convention in 2008, and he campaigned for President Obama that year.  But

he didn`t attend the 2012 convention in Charlotte and he also skipped

Hillary Clinton`s convention this year, he said he had obligations in



That came after Al Gore basically sat out this year`s Democratic contest

entirely.  He did finally endorse Hillary Clinton in a series of three

tweets on the opening day of her convention.  No rush. 


Al Gore basically beamed himself out of Democratic politics after what

happened to him in 2000.  The last time he had a chance to campaign with a

Clinton in 2000, he jumped away from that chance not toward it.  Now today,

today he`s back. 




GORE:  My first message, the climate crisis is and must be regarded as a

top national priority and a top global priority.  Here`s my second message:

your vote really, really, really counts a lot. 




You can consider me as an exhibit A of that group. 


If you think your vote does not matter, take it from me, your vote can make

all of the difference in this election. 




MADDOW:  Former Vice President Al Gore with Hillary Clinton today,

naturally in Florida.  Not to underscore the point too much, but in

Florida.  At a time when the Clinton campaign looks like it may, may be

sewing things up in this election, why is today the day they brought Al

Gore back?  And what`s he been doing anyway? 


Joining us is the great and good E.J. Dionne, “Washington Post” columnist,

senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a great all-around person. 


E.J., it`s lovely to see you.  Thank you for being here.


E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST:  It`s great to be with you, Rachel.  Thanks

so much. 


MADDOW:  Let me ask you if you know what Al Gore has been up to all of

these years?  We did see him briefly in 2008, but I feel like other than

his climate activism, which I`m a little bit aware of, I don`t know what

he`s been doing. 


DIONNE:  He`s been making some money on the side, of course, but the

climate stuff, he`s been pushing for political reform.  He`s written a lot

of books.  But I think that the climate activism has been at the center of

his life.


And if you ask the question, why was he campaigning today for Hillary

Clinton, it`s because Donald Trump is completely wrong on that issue.  And

so, even though he and Hillary Clinton have had tensions going back to the

time in the White House when she was often a more influential voice not

surprisingly perhaps than he was and he tangled again when she ran for the

Senate and he was worried that`s going to take money away from my campaign. 

Despite all tensions, there was no doubt about who he was going to campaign

for eventually. 


MADDOW:  Should we be reading more into the reference he made today about

your vote counts.  Take me as exhibit A.  I mean, I use the Ralph Nader

story, a little bit of it, in order to set this up because, A, they`re in

Florida and, B, I`m wondering if this means that the Clinton campaign is

worried about the Green Party candidate or the Libertarian Party candidate

taking some votes in places like Florida? 


DIONNE:  Oh, I think they are.  I think when you look at the pattern of

support for most of the green votes, if they come from either of them, come

from Clinton and the libertarian vote, the early votes in are probably

Republican, but as Gary Johnson has added votes, he`s taken more away from



And you know, there`s been controversy did Nader cost Gore the election?  I

think the evidence is pretty clear.  Even a political science study

designed to debunk the Nader effect found that Nader voters are about 3-2

for Al Gore.  So that would have tipped the result in Florida that the

Supreme Court had ratified. 


And so, I think Gore`s message is very pointed, which is, you know, third

parties have played a noble role in our history, socialist, farmer, labor

rights, libertarians.  But you have to decide if it really doesn`t matter

to you if Al Gore – if Donald Trump gets elected president in order to

cast that third party vote.  If you really care about whether Clinton or

Trump prevails, you can`t vote third party.  And I think that`s what Al

Gore was down there saying because if this race gets closer, those votes

could count. 


MADDOW:  Both saying it and embodying it. 


DIONNE:  You bet. 


MADDOW:  Which is a powerful way to get a message across. 


E.J. Dionne, “Washington Post” columnist, senior fellow at Brookings –

E.J., it is great to see you.  It`s been too long since you`ve been here. 

It`s nice to have you back.


DIONNE:  It`s good to be back.  Thank you.


MADDOW:  All right.  We`ll be back.  Stay with us.






ALEX JONES, INFO WARS:  They should listen.  She`s a freakin` demon, and

she stinks and so does Obama, like what, sulfur.  They smell like hell. 




MADDOW:  Fizzy, fizzy sulfur-phobic edge of the far right conspiratorial

American id has been trying to get somewhere with these tee shirts since

July, since the Republican National Convention this year.  It turns out he

may just have needed a little more investment by the Republican candidate. 


The truly weird, almost literally stinking story is next.




MADDOW:  So, this is disgusting.  But, here`s a little decoder ring, a

little de-disgusto ring for a new phenomenon that you may have noticed at

recent Democratic rallies.  We first saw it in Las Vegas Thursday night. 

Tim Kaine was interrupted by a protester who was wearing a shirt that said

“rape” on it.  And the guy yelled out “Bill Clinton is a rapist.”


That first happened Thursday night.  Then, we saw it happen multiple times

at multiple Clinton events today, including one where the featured speaker

was President Obama and one where the featured speaker was Bill Clinton





PROTESTER:  Here`s the problem!  Bill Clinton is a rapist!








Ah-oh, somebody`s yelling at me again.


There`s a guy on the radio who apparently Trump`s on his show frequently. 

He said me and Hillary are demons, said we smell like sulfur.  Ain`t that





MADDOW:  There`s a guy on the radio. 


The guy on the radio is Alex Jones who runs the Info Wars conspiracy theory

website and Internet radio show, and in fact, he does call President Obama

and Hillary Clinton demons.  He says they smell like sulfur, he says he has

it on good authority that they are in fact literally possessed by demons. 




JONES:  He is an abject demon from hell that as soon as she gets into power

they`re go being to take over the planet.  I`m sure of that, and people

around her saying, she`s so dark now and so evil and so possessed that they

are having nightmares, they`re freakin` out. 


Folks, let me just tell you something – if the media wants to go with

this, that`s fine.  There are dozens of videos and photos of President

Obama having flies on him indoors at all times a year, and he`ll be next to

a hundred people and no one has flies on.


Hillary, reportedly, I mean – I was told they think she`s demon possessed. 

I`m just going to go ahead and say it, OK? 




MADDOW:  All right.  Ready to connect the dots? 


The guy who says he has it on good authority that President Obama and

Hillary Clinton are literally demons, he`s the reason we`re getting the

people screaming “rape”, at all the Clinton events because he and his

conspiracy theory demon possession website, they are now in support of the

Trump campaign, they`re now offering $1,000 bounty to anyone who can get a

Bill Clinton rape shirt on TV for 5 seconds, and a $5,000 bounty for

anybody who can being heard on TV saying “Bill Clinton is a rapist” while

wearing the shirt.  It`s a way to sell shirts. 


So, these protests breaking out in Democratic rallies, they are not

organic, right?  They are highly coordinated with a monetary incentive by

Donald Trump`s number one Internet radio conservative Internet conspiracy

theory supporter, the guy who also says President Obama is a demon, because

the flies tell him so.  


So, there you have it.  Ta-da.  Dots connected.  Nausea induced. 


We`ll be right back.




MADDOW:  OK.  Donald Trump currently holding a campaign event in Panama

City, Florida.  He just had some very interesting advice for his supporters

there.  This is a thing that just happened. 




DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We`re doing something that`s

incredible.  It`s a movement.  But, if we don`t win, all it is, is a little

asterisk in history.  There`s never been anything like this.  So, go and

register, make sure you get out and vote, November 28. 




MADDOW:  November 28, get out and vote, 20 days after the election is over,

make your voice heard, or it will be an asterisk.  That does it for us



We will see you again tomorrow.  Now, it`s time – it made Jackie laugh –

now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O`Donnell. 


Good evening, Lawrence.









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