The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/9/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: November 9, 2016
Guest: Cecile Richards
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friend.
HAYES: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for being with us this hour.
On October 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a freaking, terrifying
speech to the country. It was in prime time TV. It lasted 17 minutes.
And in that speech to the country, he basically warned the people of the
United States that maybe we`re about to have a nuclear war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Our policy has been one of
patience and restraint as befits a peaceful and powerful nation which leads
a worldwide alliance. We have been determined not to be diverted from our
central concerns by mere arrogance and fanatics. But now, further action
is required and it is under way and these actions may only be the
beginning. We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the course of
worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in
our mouth. But neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation at the apex of the
Cuban missile crisis in 1962. He says we are not prematurely or
unnecessarily going to have a nuclear war, but we might have to have a
nuclear war. We won`t shrink from that if it must be faced.
Russia put missiles in Cuba. The U.S. threatened a nuclear war to get
those missiles out of there. The Russians did ultimately get them out of
there without a nuclear war. But we were on the brink, October 22nd, 1962.
Exactly, exactly 25 years after that, on the 25th anniversary of the
closest we have ever been to global nuclear war, the United States Air
Force made an announcement. They announced that something had happened in
Cheyenne, Wyoming, that was a little unusual.
This is an American nuclear missile silo. See that thing on the ground
there that kind of looks like a squished “Star Wars” fighter or something,
kind of that odd-shaped angular thing there? That`s a blast door. It
weighs 90 tons. The silo holding the nuclear missile is underground and
the blast door sits on the ground on top of the opening of the silo, so if
for some reason the missile blows up underground, there is that handy 90-
ton blast door tamping down the explosion and basically holding the whole
Twenty-five years exactly after the Cuban missile crisis, the United States
Air Force announce quietly to the local press in Wyoming that there had
been a bit of trouble, a little bit of trouble with one of these, with one
of these nuclear missiles and with the silo and one of these nuclear
missile silos and with the missile inside it.
The missile inside it was a Minuteman III, which is an intercontinental
ballistic missile topped with three nuclear warheads, and it malfunctioned.
Unprompted without any instruction from anyone that missile started giving
all the indications that it was going through its launch sequence, that it
was going to go off.
The way it was described in the press, it was as if the president had given
the command to launch that nuclear weapon. The missile went through all
its different light changes, indicating that it was in the middle of
launch. They freaking thought it was going to go off. They called a
maintenance team to troubleshoot what was going on, to try to determine a
full-on sprint if this nuclear missile was about to launch itself which is
what it says it was going to do.
And while they were trying to figure that out to try to stop it from
launching itself, they came up with one last ditch last hope off the books
concocted idea for how they were going to try to stop this devastating,
world changing thing from accidentally happening. They parked a car on top
of the missile silo. That big 90-ton blast door, somebody at the Air Force
base found the keys to the heaviest vehicle they had on hand, turned out to
be an armored vehicle, a peacekeeper armored vehicle like this one, and
they drove that puppy over to the missile silo and parked it on top, just
parked it right on top of the blast door just in case.
That was their plan. But it wasn`t even the most amazing part of their
plan. Here`s how they thought it might work. This is a quote from the
“Associated Press” when this happened.
Quote, “According to a spokesman for the Strategic Air Command, there`s a
certain amount of guesswork involved in the procedure of blocking a firing
nuclear missile with a car. The huge door that sits atop a Minuteman is
thrown horizontally off the silo by explosive charges during the launch.
The theory, according to the spokesman, is that the cover is blown aside so
rapidly that a vehicle parked on top of it with the brakes off will be left
basically hanging in thin air like yanking a tablecloth out from under
dishes, and then the vehicle will drop straight down in the hopes of
keeping the launching missile from going anywhere.”
“The A.P.” concludes, “This procedure has never been tested, the spokesman
added.” Yeah, you think?
That was their plan. That was the procedure they invented on the spot.
Malfunctioning nuclear armed missile that is starting to launch itself,
that would include the blast door shooting off sideways with an explosive
charge, with the armored car sitting on top of it with its brakes off and
like a tablecloth being ripped off a table, the armored car would hover
there in the air for a second and then fall on to the nose of the missile
while it was in the process of shooting out of the silo. And maybe that
would stop it. Maybe.
I mean, at that point it`s like worth a shot, right? If all else fails,
why not try that?
Bad stuff happens. Even potential end of the world stuff. Sometimes it
does happen. Sometimes it turns out to be your generation, your workplace,
your country, where you live where it happens. What do you do when you`re
confronted with that?
Well, if history`s any guide, what we do in this country is we improvise,
America. We do what we can. Look around, make a quick inventory of the
resources we`ve got at hand. Somebody figure a way to MacGyver this thing.
We`ve got to do what we can. We always have.
What makes our country our country, not like how are we created, what were
the founding documents and the revolution back in the 1700s and all that –
I don`t mean where did we come from. I mean today. I mean, what today in
our lifetimes, in the way we live now, what about our country today proves
and shows what country we`re in, shows what America is, what`s the evidence
in our daily lives today in our world today of our strength as a republic?
What do we have today in our lives that shows that we are in this
particular country and not just some other western nation that has cable TV
and bad airports and nice grocery stores, right? What makes America now,
what makes us America? I posit that the things in our daily life that we
recognize in our day-to-day normal walking through life world that make us
who we are include the fact that we have a free press in this country.
We don`t have state media, right? We don`t have state censorship on any
sort of broad scale. We have a free and independent press that does what
it wants, says what it wants, asks whatever questions it wants.
We also in this country, we have an independent judiciary. We have courts
that operate as a co-equal branch of government, courts that do not take
direction from political leaders, courts that do have the power to correct
the other branches of government and restrain the other branches of
government when those other branches of government violate the
We also have an excellent and professional military in this country, a
military that is not used against our own people in this country, right?
It`s a rigorously professional force. It`s not a political force.
And it`s not a competing force with our democracy. Our military leadership
unwaveringly answers to the civilian leadership of this country. That
ethos in our military is unbelievably strong.
We also have high expectations for our ability to participate as citizens
in our civic life. This is one of the things that make us who we are.
One of the things about this country that makes us us is you see us showing
up. We will wait in line. We will ask questions. We will run for office.
We will expect to be answered.
We also have an advanced effective civil society. We have well-organized
mature systems of advocacy in this country, of advocating for certain
interests, of organizing to protect the weak, standing up for our rights,
using our freedom of assembly to pursue every type of private and public
I mean, this was just before our show went on the air tonight. This is out
my window at my office. Huge loud protest against Donald Trump being
elected president. This is out my window at my office just a few minutes
Protesters are now in front of Trump Tower. This is part of how you know
you`re in America, right? Freedom of assembly. Freedom of assembly.
Freedom to peacefully protest an election outcome you don`t like, for
example, or any number of other things.
We also accept immigrants from all over the world in this country. We also
have no official religion in this country, to which you must belong or to
which you must feign some kind of allegiance before you can be let into
this country or made whole in terms of your ability to civically
We have no official language in this country. Americans come from all over
We also have no king. One of the things that makes us who we are is that
there is a peaceful transition of power between leaders. I mean, we have
evolved over time into a loosely organized two-party system. But our
would-be leaders more importantly compete through the oldest, biggest,
small D, democratic process on earth and at the end of that process, we as
a country accept that result and power transfers peacefully.
For 240 years we have done that, minus one civil war. But for 240 years,
otherwise, we have done that.
And, yes, it`s the declaration of independence and the Constitution and the
revolution and the Emancipation Proclamation. I mean, those are the things
that made us a free republic. But that is not ancient history. We live
the legacy of that stuff every day.
Every day today, these things we sometimes take for granted, right, a free
press, independent judiciary, freedom of religion, a professional military,
our openness to immigrants, peaceful transition of power, all that in the
way we live now, it`s stuff we only have because of who we are as a
country. And it is stuff we must keep and protect if we are to stay who we
are as a country.
And here`s the thing. The peaceful transition of power part, that part is
right now today working the way it is supposed to. Hillary Clinton`s
concession speech today and the gracious words from President Obama today
wishing the best for the president-elect, that is – that is really, really
part of our heritage. That is foundational to us staying who we are. That
is going the way it is supposed to.
But we also need all the other foundational things about our republic, too.
And honestly, we never before have made the peaceful transition of power to
someone who has such radical and, frankly, negative views of all of those
other unromantic but crucial everyday foundational elements of our civic
life, the things that make us who we are as a country, the things that make
us a free republic – judiciary, military, press, immigrants, civil life,
all of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage.
I`m building a wall. OK? I`m building a wall.
INTERVIEWER: You`ve already said that you know more about ISIS than those
TRUMP: They`d probably be different generals to be honest with you.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think there`s too much protection allowed on the First
TRUMP: Well, in England, they have a system where you can actually sue if
somebody says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they
want and they get away with it.
We take in anybody. Come on in, anybody. Just come on in.
Not anymore. You know, folks, it`s called a two-way street. It is a two-
way street, right? We need a system that serves our needs, not the needs
Remember, under a Trump administration it`s called America first.
I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when
they were in a place like this, they`d be carried out on a stretcher,
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Let me be the 4,000th person in your personal life to tell you
that this is a landmark moment in political history that we`re in right
now. We are having a peaceful transition of power, but we are having a
peaceful transition of power to someone who has said that what he wants to
do with that power is destroy a lot of the other foundational civic things
that make us who we are as a country.
And so what do we do? We MacGyver it, right? We do what we can. We
We act to protect the other aspects, aspects of our life as a nation that
we maybe used to take for granted but now, really, overtly, and presently
and acutely require protection, require us as civilians and citizens to
I mean, our republic is not just our system of democracy. It`s all these
other things that we need, too. So, if you are worried or mad or scared
about what this election did last night, there`s no use raging against the
election for long. Honestly, as a citizen we all have a to-do list, right?
I`m not trying to be inspiring. I`m not trying to be comforting. I`m not
even trying to be polemic here. I mean this in a really practical way.
If you`re a citizen who believes this president-elect will do what he says
he will do, then you do have a to-do list to make as a citizen. What are
you going to do? What are you gong to do in your life to try to protect
what makes us us?
What are you going to join? What are you going to volunteer for? What are
you going to give your money to? What are you going to show up for and
participate in that you haven`t done before that will help your country?
We faced crises before as a country, sometimes they`re malfunctions,
sometimes it`s the brink of nuclear war, most times, it`s somewhere in
between. But we rise to the occasion. We always do. We improvise. We do
what we can. We step up.
There are protests in the streets tonight, big ones. There`s controversy
already over how the president-elect is treating the press on his trip to
the White House tomorrow. There are doomsday plans going into action all
over this country right now in terms of civil rights.
We`ve got all that ahead tonight. It`s a big to-do list. Stay with us,
MADDOW: OK. Day one, here we go.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of people are in the streets tonight
pretty spontaneously and organically protesting the election of Donald
Trump. So few people expected the election of Donald Trump, I can`t say
there`s any evidence that large scale protests were planned in advance.
But now that he`s been elected, this is what has organically sprung up all
over the country. We`re seeing protests at this hour in Seattle, in
Portland, Oregon, in Chicago, in Boston, in Philadelphia, in Tempe,
Arizona, interestingly. There have been considerable protests today in
Nashville, Tennessee, in San Jose, California.
Most of the protests today and into tonight have been peaceful. There are
some exceptions to that. In New York City, which is the site of the
largest protest, protesters have just been pouring up the avenues in New
York City on what apparently appear to be unpermitted marches just
thundering through the avenues in Midtown Manhattan.
Look at the size of that. Traffic just making do around them. People just
came in waves through New York today chanting “not my president”. Where
they`re going here is on the way to Trump Tower, which is where this shot
This is a delicate moment for the country. I mean, this is day one. We do
not yet know how these protests will play out even tonight. We don`t know
how long the protest part goes on, whether the outrage over the results of
this election might morph into some other kind of activism.
We do know this was an election and it`s over. We know how it ended in the
predawn hours. Tonight, we`re seeing how the citizen reaction begins. As
I say, it`s a delicate moment.
Joining us now from just outside Trump Tower is Vaughn Hillyard of NBC
Vaughn, can you just describe? People who are just turning in right now
may not have a sense of the character of this protest, or its size or its
goals? What can you tell us about the basis?
VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sure. First, about an hour and a
half ago is when I actually came across the protests Midtown Manhattan, to
give you an idea down Broadway, heading into Times Square from Columbus
Circle which is up closer to Central Park, there was about 1,000 at the
time. They came down Broadway into Times Square, they took a turn and
Fifth Avenue and actually went to the Midtown Hilton where Trump had his
They came down 57th Street, which is where we are now. And if you`re on
Fifth Avenue, the intersection is now officially shut down. Police have
put up barricades. And we`re actually going to show you, this is Trump
Tower right here. You can see, there`s been people that are climbing the
intersection light poles, waving flags, chanting, yelling that not my
president, having various chants throughout the evening. This is the site.
Trump Tower, this is where Trump actually lives here in Midtown Manhattan.
The 13th Floor is where the Trump campaign headquarters were. Now, there
are transition meetings are, and I know as we speak, actually, there`s
still meetings that were going on, transition meeting with aides that were
going on tonight.
But, really, again, this took on from 1,000 to just shutting down the road.
We try to take a look at here, this is – as we`re getting words tonight,
this is not the only one. You got Chicago, you got Philadelphia, it sounds
like Tempe, Arizona, Portland. This has just turned into something.
Remember, this is Fifth Avenue in Midtown, New York City. I was talking to
a couple who actually took the Amtrak in from Connecticut tonight. They`re
about in their 50s. They skipped their show at Carnegie Hall in order to
join. We have people from NYU and Kings College that have come and walk.
It is sort of different points, sort of organically, word of mouth.
There`s been different organizations involved. Union Square, which is down
14th, down the south side of Manhattan, up Columbus which is where Central
Park is, they`ve kind of conjoined into one. Trump Tower has suddenly –
which we saw yesterday. You`ve got trucks with salt in which the Secret
Service present – because remember this is where the President-elect
Donald Trump actually lives and the intersections around him are
MADDOW: Vaughn, can I ask you one question?
HILLYARD: Yes, yes.
MADDOW: I don`t know if there`s been any counter-protesters or anything
like that, have there been any counter-protesters or confrontations between
protesters and police? Has everything been peaceful?
HILLYARD: Everything has been peaceful. This started seemingly pretty
organically. One thousand people which is not that much for a street of
Manhattan. But there`s been no other, yes, pushback presence again. This
But it has been peaceful. People have been – actually when they stopped,
I think we had some of the video earlier where they stopped at the
intersections and the cars were stopped but nobody has done anything to the
actual vehicles. It`s been relatively – sure, there are expletives that
are involved in this and the emotions are high including saying this is our
tower. Chants you can see, there`s the various signs that are around. But
it`s remained peaceful considering.
MADDOW: All right. NBC`s Vaughn Hillyard, in front of Trump Tower in New
York. Vaughn, do – I mean, keep your eyes open. Let us know as things
change in the street. We`ll go back to you over the course of this hour as
needed. Appreciate it, Vaughn. Thank you.
HILLYARD: Sure thing. Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. Much more ahead tonight as we`re keeping an eye on
those protests in New York. That`s a good aerial shot there, but we`re
also watching protests both under way and now still forming at this hour in
a number of cities, including San Francisco and Seattle on the West Coast
Stay with us.
MADDOW: There`s been a lot of talk today at every level about what kind of
President Donald Trump might conceivably be. We`ve never elected somebody
as old as him to be president. We`ve never elected somebody with no public
service record at all to be president.
We`ve never elected someone in the modern era where we know nothing about
his financial conflicts of interest and/or foreign business entanglements.
We really don`t know. We also have elected him after a primary process and
a general election process in which he didn`t get very specific at all in
terms of what he really believes.
That said, it`s impossible not to speculate what he is going to do as
president. We do have some factual basis for making that speculation,
though. I do think there`s a case to be made that we don`t know what Trump
believes on a lot of issues, particularly ones on which he took contrary
stances over the course of the campaign.
When he said he`s going to do A, and then said he`s going to do not A, it`s
hard to know which ones of those things he believes. But you can take the
record, the on record record of what Donald Trump said he would do as
president during the course of his campaign, you can look at that. You can
build your understanding based on that. At this point, there`s really no
reason not the take him at his word. We have nothing better to go on,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical,
tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.
We are going to have the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.
Immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare.
A constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of
I will be appointing pro-life judges. I am putting pro life justices on
I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The hiring freeze on all federal employees.
I`m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately
renegotiate the terms of that agreement. We`re going to cancel the Paris
climate agreement and stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to
U.N. global warming programs.
Planned Parenthood does very good work but I would defund.
INTERVIEWER: Are you saying that if you become president, you might try to
appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage?
TRUMP: I would strongly consider that, yes.
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims
entering the United States.
When we win, we will suspend the Syrian refugee program.
Cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued
by President Obama.
I would do stop and frisk. I think you have to.
We would have to go and we have to maybe check respectfully the mosques and
we have to check other places. ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money
because they have certain oil camps, right?
I would just bomb those suckers. That`s right. I`d blow up the pipes.
I`d blow up the – I`d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We do not know how President Donald Trump will govern. Those are
some of the things he`s said declaratively that he would do if he were
given the opportunity to govern. He has now been given that opportunity.
Joining us now is the great Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential
historian, who stuck with us until the wee hours of this morning.
Michael, it`s nice to have you here in person.
MICHAEL BESHCLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Thank you. Good to
see you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Let me ask you, first. I think when you put up that live shot
again that we had before. We`ve been keeping an eye on the protests in the
streets. Obviously, elections are sometimes met with outrage, anger and
What do you make of the magnitude and the seemingly sort of organic
unorganized eruption of these protests all over the country tonight?
BESCHLOSS: Well, I think it`s actually the sign of the strength of a
democracy. What you would worry about is if there was an election of a
controversial president in a close balloting in which you did not see
expression from people who felt really strongly.
MADDOW: One of the things that has been – we`ve been sort of absorbing
and trying to contextualize and trying to understand the importance of is
what appears to be the bottom line of this election, which is that Donald
Trump clearly won the Electoral College but Hillary Clinton appears to be
winning the popular vote.
MADDOW: That also happened in 2000 with George W. Bush and Al Gore. It
ended up getting sort of subsume to the larger story of that being resolved
Do you think that ends up being – there have been four or five times in
history where the popular vote has not been won by the person who took
office. Is that potentially a continuing source of controversy or sort of
grist in the mill?
BESCHLOSS: Well, he`s president whether he won the popular vote or not.
That`s our system, as you well know.
But at the same time if you`re talking about an opposition, people are
aware of, you know, was the president elected by an overwhelming landslide
like Roosevelt in `36, or Johnson in `64, or was this someone who had a
much narrower margin especially the electoral vote as George W. Bush did in
MADDOW: One of the things that we also sort of need to focus on now in the
immediate sense and I think that so few people were prepared for Trump to
be the president-elect, we haven`t thought about it in terms that
specifically apply to him.
But do we have strong mores, strong standards, strong traditions for how
the president-elect behaves? How the outgoing president behaving in the
lame duck toward the incoming president?
BESCHLOSS: Yes, I think that`s absolutely right, you know, that you can
begin to see how an incoming president, what respect he has for the system
and the way it`s been done before. For instance in 1968 when Richard Nixon
was elected. Just before the election, we talked about this, Nixon had
privately told the South Vietnamese, don`t go to peace talks with the North
because that might help Johnson get Humphrey elected, Johnson knew this and
was furious and Johnson was looking very carefully at Nixon after he was
elected, when Nixon came to the White House, is this someone that will
behave like a president or is he going to start doing this kind of stuff
MADDOW: He essentially suspected Nixon of almost treason there.
BESCHLOSS: He said treason privately and he almost revealed it to the
public before the election, which probably would have elected Humphrey.
So, anyway, Nixon comes to the White House just as President-elect Trump is
doing tomorrow with President Obama, and Johnson was really watching him
carefully, you know, during this transition is Nixon going to keep trying
to meddle with my peace talks and trying to make him look good. As it
turns out, Nixon was so terrified that Johnson would reveal this treason
that Nixon had committed before the election that he was saying I`ll do
anything. I`ll even fly to Saigon to tell the South Vietnamese to go to
the peace table.
MADDOW: One last thing to ask you about briefly, Michael, there is a
little bit of a controversy already about whether or not there will be
press pool coverage of President Obama and President-elect Trump meeting
tomorrow. There was an awkward statement put out by members of the press
poll, the coverage poll, saying if you`ve been told by the Trump side that
there won`t be pool coverage, that is inaccurate. This is the White House.
We will be covering this event.
Is that – is something like that likely to be just a glitch? At times
like this do logistics get difficult, mistakes get made? Because if they
are putting their hand in the face of the press literally on day one after
the election, that could be a worrisome sign.
BESCHLOSS: Well, they are. If the strength of the democracy and the press
on day one is saying this is the way it`s done, this is the way the other
presidents have done it. If you try to narrow our reach or restrict us in
a certain way, that`s not going to make you look very good at all.
MADDOW: Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian, thank you, my
friend. You`ve been a real rock for us on this show, during this whole
BESCHLOSS: Thank you so much. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more to come tonight, including more
coverage of those ongoing and seemingly protests in many cities across the
country tonight. This first night of Donald Trump as president-0elect of
the United States.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Right now, we are looking at live images of protests that are
emerging, breaking out, in some cases growing significantly around the
country. You don`t need to show me. Just show that full screen footage,
if you can. That`s Oakland, California. That`s very near whether I grew
up in the east bay of the San Francisco Bay Area – a very large crowd in
the streets in Oakland.
Again, as I was saying earlier, not that many people expecting that Donald
Trump would be elected president. There were, as far as we know, not plans
in place to stage major urban protests around the country tonight in
response to Donald Trump being elected, just because people didn`t expect
him to be elected. So, these protests are pretty organic as they are
coming together, planned if at all on very short notice.
That was – this is Seattle, Washington. We have shots of the protests
coming together in Seattle. You see bike cops there on the upper left side
of your screen escorting a small group of protesters. We`ve seen larger
groups of protesters convening at intersections as they make their way
We`ve also had an eye over the course of this night what turned into a
large protest in New York City, Midtown Manhattan. People just thundered
up the avenues. We got an eyewitness view of that right outside my office
on Sixth Avenue, watching thousands of people come up the avenue.
It`s one of those things where you could see people in the street, then you
could see people on the sidewalk recognizing what it was and deciding in
that moment to get off the sidewalk and get into the street. This weird
angle with that kind of art on the corner there, that`s a retail store.
This is outside Trump Tower. This protest is big probably still growing at
this point. We`ll keep an eye out throughout the course of this evening
here on CNBC. That`s Chicago. They`re all over.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Started this past march, the governor`s office in one particular
state starting fielding strange phone messages from female constituents of
that state. I`m going to quote here.
Quote, “I need to get a message to the governor that I`m on day three of my
period. My flow seems abnormally heavy but my cramps are much better.”
Or this one, quote, “Hi, yes, I just got hired on permanently full time
from a contract position.” And then the operator says, “Great, is there
something I can do for you?” And the response is, quote, “I just want the
governor to know that my uterus decided to celebrate by immediately
shedding itself and bleeding out. I thought he would appreciate the update
on how politics is going.”
Before Mike Pence became governor of Indiana, he spent years in Congress
trying to pass amendments defunding Planned Parenthood at the federal
level. He was unsuccessful in doing so. In fact, he never passed any
legislation of any kind for the 12 years he was in Congress.
But by the time he made it to the executive branch in his state, he was
finally able to follow through on the long-nursed ambitions. In 2014,
then-Governor Mike Pence cut state funding for Planned Parenthood. Cut it
by half. That cost the number of clinics in his state to close.
Then this year, he signed into law a bill banning abortions in Indiana
based on your motivation for wanting to have one. The bill also included
TRAP laws to block some doctors from performing abortions. The bill also
took the unprecedented step of requiring the remains of the fetus to be
buried or cremated.
You may reluctantly be allowed to still have an abortion in some
circumstances in Indiana if you can find a way to do it, but the state
government will require you to have a funeral for the remains.
In response to that bizarre new mandate from Mike Pence, women in Indiana,
seeing that their governor took such an interest, started updating him
regularly on the status of their menstrual cycles. That`s why he started
getting those phone calls.
This Indiana law that Pence signed, it has since been blocked from taking
effect, thanks to a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood. But that`s Mike Pence.
That`s Mike Pence`s political career, that`s what he is known for. That`s
been his priority issue his entire time in public life.
And on day one of him being vice president-elect, to a president-elect that
we don`t understand very well at all, we`ve already started to see the
effect that Mike Pence`s governing philosophy, women today encouraged each
other to get the IUD pronto before obtaining birth control, particularly an
IUD might be more difficult if Republicans like Mike Pence follow through
on their promise to gut Obamacare or to ban certain forms of birth control
or to pass new laws restricting abortion at the federal level.
We`re also seeing today, some of the largest women`s health advocacy
organizations in the country, including NARAL and Parenthood, really
bracing for the worst, but insisting that their doors will stay open. The
president of Planned Parenthood put out a statement today in response
specifically to Donald Trump winning the presidency, quote, “We will never
back down or stop fighting for the people that come from communities that
need our continued support in this new reality. Every day, our staff wake
up and open their doors. They`ll do so today, they`ll do so tomorrow and
every day as they have for a hundred years.”
These are meant to be, of course, comforting words on a day when women
across the country are concerned and rightly so. My question though, is
for the people who work in this field of civil rights, for the people who
work on reproductive rights and all the pressures they`ve been under all
these years, is there a doomsday plan for a time like this? For Mike Pence
as vice president, the Republicans in control of the House, the Republicans
in control of the Senate and a conservative majority, potentially a big one
on the Supreme Court?
Joining us now is Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.
Ms. Richards, thank you for being here.
CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Good to see you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Am I – am I right to ask about a doomsday plan? Do you see this
as a doomsday scenario for reproductive rights?
RICHARDS: Look, I – we`ve – Planned Parenthood has been around for a
hundred years, as you said. We`ve been fighting for the right to
reproductive health care for that long. And as we said today, our doors
stay open and they will. And it`s kind of extraordinary, as you said, we
have supporters, thousands of supporters from around the country, took to
social media last night immediately, folks have been dropping off baked
goods at our health centers.
But also, one of the most interesting things has been the number of women
who have called and made appointments for birth control, IUDs, things that
are covered by the Affordable Care Act at no cost because they`re concerned
that Donald Trump will follow through on his pledge to overturn the
Affordable Care Act. So, we`re seeing lots of new patients come into our
MADDOW: Do you think that Roe versus Wade is at risk?
RICHARDS: Absolutely. I mean, I think Roe versus Wade was on the ballot
in this election. Now, I know that Mr. Trump has said that in his
acceptance speech that he said he would govern for all Americans not just
those who voted for him. I hope that includes women, because women
overwhelmingly did not vote for him, particularly women of color.
And if he is going to represent all Americans, this is the right to safe
and legal abortion is a right women have had in this country for more than
40 years. And it is supported by people of all parties. So, it is
important and we`ll be fighting for a justice of the Supreme Court who
supports this right for women.
MADDOW: I don`t think you will get a justice of the Supreme Court who will
support this right for women.
RICHARDS: Well, that`s what we fight for.
RICHARDS: That`s what we fight for every single day.
MADDOW: In terms of battles – winnable battles and what basically how
you`re asking people to absorb this information. I said something at the
top of the show sort of understanding what the sources of civic strength
are in our country that we have a democracy and that`s really important but
we also have other things that are important, independent judiciary,
efficient military and a civil society and all of these things. For people
who want to recommit themselves to the things in this country that they
control that they think are good for the country, people who care a lot
about what you`re saying about reproductive rights, what can people do?
RICHARDS: I think people have to join organizations and join movements
that represent their point of view and their values. Look, I will say, I`m
incredibly heartened even in this very difficult year we`ve had, even
leading to his election for Planned Parenthood. We`ve gained 600,000 new
supporters. We`re now more than 9 million supporters in the U.S., which is
doing the math, 1/2 times the membership of the NRA.
So, that is – putting that movement in action is something we do every
day. We`ll certainly do it for the presidency to fight for folks` rights.
But we do need a robust civil in this country.
And I believe you will see that. I think we`re seeing, obviously, as
you`re seeing on the streets tonight, one of the most encouraging things
that come out of this election is that young people are overwhelmingly
progressive in this country and I think they are and they are taking
action. And, to me, that`s where we`re investing in Planned Parenthood is
a whole new generation of folks who believe in LGBT rights, they believe in
women`s rights and civil rights and voting rights and criminal justice and
immigrant rights. This is a time when people have to get off the sideline,
if they are, and join a movement.
MADDOW: Yes, this is a time to, I think in particularly, to do something
you haven`t done before.
RICHARDS: Absolutely, and that`s what we`re finding. That`s what we`re
MADDOW: Cecile Richards is president of Planned Parenthood – Cecile,
RICHARDS: Good to see you, Rachel. Always. OK.
MADDOW: All right. Lots more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Can we put up that four-way box we were just looking at on the
break there? Thank you very much, control room.
All right. Here is what we`re keeping an eye on. We`re going to go from
the upper left, around clockwise. Upper left, that`s New York. That`s
outside Trump Tower. That has been sort of coming and going over the
course tonight after huge thousands strong crowds ran through Midtown
Manhattan tonight protesting.
Upper right-hand corner, it`s Oakland, California, which has spread out a
little bit, since we have been watching it. It was a dense crowd before.
Now it`s stretching out down long blocks.
Lower right hand corner, you`re seeing some police action with protesters
in Seattle out in the streets. The lower left hand corner, that is
Again, these protests are very fluid and organic. Thee were not long
planned in advance. These seem to have come together on no notice today.
And they`re very fluid situations in all of these cities.
Again, big crowd you`re seeing there in Oakland in the upper right. We`re
keeping an eye on it. We`ll be back.
MADDOW: Hey, do you remember how psyched Democrats were about Nevada
during the whole early voting period this year? How Democrats were like
look at the turnout! Look at the Latino turnout. Look at the Democratic
ground game totally swamping all the Republicans.
Do you remember how psyched Democrats were about Nevada this year? They
were right to be that psyched. In Nevada last night, Democrats won the
presidential race, obviously. Clinton won Nevada 48-46. And in the open
Senate seat being vacated by Harry Reid, Democrats won that seat as well,
putting the first Latina U.S. senator into office, Catherine Cortez Masto.
And Democrats also picked up two House seats in the state of Nevada. Now,
three of the four House seats in Nevada are blue. Oh, and by the way, the
Democrats also won control of both houses of the state legislature in
Nevada last night, including picking up 10 seats in the state assembly.
So, whatever formula Democrats thought they had for 2016, it did work,
specifically in Nevada, which if nothing else is a really nice retirement
present for Harry Reid, maybe.
There is still actually quite a bit of unfinished business from last night.
We have some of that news straight ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Three states in which we don`t have a call in the presidential
race so far. We do not have a presidential call in Arizona or in Michigan
or in New Hampshire. No call for president in any of those yet. In the
state of North Carolina, Trump appears to have won in North Carolina by
about four points. And the Republican senator there, Richard Burr, was
able to keep his seat. But the governor`s race there seems to have gone
Incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory hasn`t conceded. NBC News is
calling it too close to call. But the Democrat in the North Carolina
governor`s race is claiming victory tonight.
Up in New Hampshire, that`s a state where there is still no call on the
presidential race. We got an important result late today in the Senate.
Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan appears to have unseated Republican
Senator Kelly Ayotte. NBC News is calling Hassan the apparent winner of
that seat, and Ayotte has now conceded.
This is an interesting one from the House. Familiar face. The Republican
who made the most of trying to create a sense of scandal around the Obama
administration, California Republican Darrell Issa tonight is sweating out
his race. It`s so close there are enough outstanding mail-in ballots and
provisional ballots to determine the results. So, it`s not been called.
Democrats did manage to turf out New Jersey Republican Scott Garrett. You
might remember him making waves when he said he stopped giving money to the
Republican Party because the party had gone too soft on gays. Scott
Garrett will now be free to try to find a gay-free corner of New Jersey to
retire to because he is going to be replaced in Congress by a Democrat
named Joshua Gottheimer.
In Florida, forever Congressman John Mica lost his seat to Stephanie
Murphy. She`s the first Vietnamese American ever elected to Congress.
Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, he`s going to be headed to Congress
as a Democrat. He beat Republican David Jolly who was going to run for
Marco Rubio`s Senate seat had Marco Rubio not come back from the dead to
take it back himself.
In Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio finally given the boot after
23 years of national showboating on being super anti-immigrant. He is also
the sheriff who said he sent a cold case posse to Hawaii to investigate
President Obama`s birth certificate. He is gone.
Voters in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Maine legalized the
recreational use of marijuana yesterday. Green, that`s nice, you guys.
Arizona, interestingly, voted it down which is interesting.
New safety laws on guns passed in Nevada and Washington state and
California. California is where they passed the background checks for
ammunition bill. Maine also had a gun safety on the ballot but Maine, they
rejected background checks.
One thing that always wins everywhere, and pretty much by a lot is raising
the minimum wage. Voters said yes to that yesterday in Washington,
Arizona, Colorado and Maine. Went four for four on the minimum wage.
And I got one last one for you. Out of a possible 25 seats in the Hawaii
state Senate, it is now totally and completely Democratic. There are 25
seats in the Hawaii Senate. There are 25 Democrats in those 25 seats.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. I swear.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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