Trump meets with Putin at G20 summit. TRANSCRIPT: 6/28/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Yes, that`s a wonky conversation, but the

question is, there is a certain amount of good communication that gets you

so far.  And there`s a certain amount that, like, you will face backlash. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, 40 to 50 percent of people are not voting in our

elections, right?  At some point, you got to figure out how to get those

people off the couch. 


HAYE:  Right, if you do that, you win.  Good luck with that. 


(INAUDIBLE) and Maya Wiley, thanks for your sharing your thoughts.


That is ALL IN for this evening. 


“THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now. 


Good evening, Rachel.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  That was an excellent

discussion.  I enjoyed that very much. 


HAYES:  Thank you very much.


MADDOW:  Yes, good to be back.  Thanks, my friend.


Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.  I just flew in from Miami

and, boy, are my arms tired.  You knew it was coming. 


Actually, the reason my arms are actually tired is because I landed in time

to watch the end of the U.S. women`s soccer team match where they beat

France.  That amazing game.  There was a lot of hands in the air cheering

and fist pumping and very exciting.  USA, USA, USA. 


Honestly, it has been just super exciting few days.  I can barely tell

whether I am coming or going.  I`m both so excited still and so fried. 

This might be one of those shows where things go wrong.  Just letting you

know right now. 


I will say also, just this week, one of the disorienting things about all

the excitement is I feel like I just had a little space walk out of the

news for a few days because of this two-night Democratic debate eclipsing

everything else. 


I mean, it`s like the country barely noticed, but the president`s campaign

chairman really did just get perp-walked through a courthouse to face his

next set of felony charges.  That`s a remarkable thing to have happen on

the day that Democratic candidates are starting their primary to pick

someone to run against President Trump.  I mean, there is President Trump`s

campaign chairman in handcuffs.  While his deputy campaign chairman also

awaits sentencing and his national security adviser also awaits sentencing

and his personal lawyer is in federal prison for crimes prosecutors said

the president directed him to commit. 


I mean, it`s not being made into a big issue in the campaign, honestly, for

better or for worse, it`s really not.  But what that means is that, you

know, for us citizens, here and now in our time on earth as Americans, we

really do just have images like this on the president`s campaign chairman

in handcuffs, right?  That`s sort of waltzing along the margins of the news

with nobody taking much notice and the president planning to run for



We also got the conservative dominated Supreme Court catching the Trump

administration in the act of trying to jerry-rig the census so it

undercounts Latinos and thereby undercuts Latino voting power.  They tried

it and lied to the courts about why they were doing it and how and the

court stopped them incredibly interesting and dramatic ruling from the

Supreme Court yesterday. 


At the same time almost literally at exactly the same time, we also got the

court giving thumbs up to the states totally rigging congressional

districts to benefit whichever party is in control in that state.  I know

the whole gerrymandering thing sometimes just sounds like another fine

print process thing, but that gerrymandering ruling from the Supreme Court,

it utterly scrambles the playing field for electoral politics for the next

decade and urgently changes what both parties are going to need to

prioritize right now for the next year and for the next election, because

whatever happens in the presidential election in 2020, whatever happens in

the House and the Senate elections in 2020, all of a sudden, thanks to that

ruling yesterday, we now know that the thing you are some day going to care

the most about in terms of what happened politically in 2020 is not

necessarily the presidential race or the Senate or House race.  It`s the

elections for your state legislature, of all things. 


Because whichever party controls state legislatures next year, that party

will – they have been given unfettered power to draw districts in that

state in ways that more or less permanently disenfranchise the other party,

in most cases for a decade at a time until there is another census in 2030. 


I mean, just as an example, Democratic states and Republican states have

drawn partisan gerrymandered maps.  One of the maps that ended up before

the Supreme Court was a map from North Carolina.  North Carolina

Republicans ended up in court in the Supreme Court case because they

devised a plan where if North Carolina voted straight down the middle where

half the votes in the state were cast for Democratic legislators and half

were cast for Republican legislators, it was an even split in the state

vote, that would result in 10 North Carolina seats going to Republicans and

only three going to Democrats.  Even vote, 10-3 outcome. 


That`s how much they rigged the game in North Carolina.  Equal vote from

equal voters in both parties, Republicans get 10 seats, Democrats get 3. 

That was the case the Supreme Court was looking at from North Carolina when

they said this week, yesterday, that`s fine.  We have no in telling you not

to do that. 


So I know that Democrats and Republicans have done this.  They were also

looking at a Democratic-gerrymandered map in Maryland.  But the two parties

have come to different positions on this as an ideological issue. 

Republicans are very, very happy with gerrymandering, and Democrats are

getting to be uncomfortable with it.  Now, thanks to the Supreme Court

ruling, Republicans are free to do that extreme form of gerrymandering or

worse wherever they are in control, wherever they hold the state



And now, the only way Democrats can compete against that is if they do the

same thing in the states they control.  I mean, when I say that the two

parties come to a different place on this, if you look at Democrats` policy

proposals on this right now, and there is a lot of Democratic activists

right now, what you`ll see is Democrats proposing big, good government

disarmament.  Democrats are saying let`s have our districts chosen by

nonpartisan commissions.  Let`s take the parties and self interest and the

partisanship out of it. 


That`s how Democrats have been approaching.  With the Supreme Court ruling

that, is now over or at least that would be unilateral disarmament on the

part of Democrats that ensure permanent control of Congress by the

Republican Party for at least a decade and beyond that for the foreseeable



So, I mean, Democrats had been trying – including a lot of Democrats on

the debate stage and say this shouldn`t be a partisan thing.  The Supreme

Court has now said this is going to be a partisan thing.  Democrats, it`s

your choice whether or not you play, but Republicans have free reign. 

Republicans are perfectly are happy to go with it. 


So, what does this mean?  Whether you are a Republican or Democrat watching

right now, if you know someone who ought to run for something or if you

ought to run for something, the thing you or your friend ought to run for

is the state legislature or state senate in your state.  And you better do

it right now, because whoever is elected in this next election

specifically, whoever is elected in state legislature in 2020, whichever

party gains control of state legislatures in 2020 is going to get to set

district maps for a decade which will decide control of the U.S. House for

a decade and control your state for a decade. 


If you were ever going to run for something or support a campaign running

for state legislature or senate, now is the time.  That Supreme Court

ruling is absolutely huge.  That happened yesterday in the midst of all

this stuff.  And President Trump is meeting with Vladimir Putin again

alone, again at the start of this meeting.  Only Russian state-controlled

media were allowed in and not the American press, because our president is

comfortable with that. 


While meeting President Putin, President Trump started talking about

terrible fake news and ranting against the free press.  President Trump

chose to do that today on the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in

Annapolis, Maryland, where a guy stormed into the newsroom in the “Capital

Gazette” newspaper in Annapolis and shot dead five reporters and editors. 


The president has never stopped denouncing the press as the enemy of the

people and the fake news and on today`s one-year anniversary of the

“Capital Gazette” shooting, he joked with Vladimir Putin about fake news

and the terrible media and how it should be gotten rid of.  He also laughed

with President Putin about Russian meddling in U.S. elections. 


But as Democratic candidates compete now in earnest to try to win the right

to compete against Trump in the general election, one of the things we`re

seeing happen already is that we`re seeing the impact of the debate this

week, the debate last night and the night before, being felt in dollars and

cents.  Maggie Severns and Zach Montellaro at “Politico” today rounded up

some of the very early, basically instant fund-raising consequences of the

debate for some of the Democratic contenders.  The Democratic debate

sparked fund-raising gusher. 


Julian Castro, President Obama`s housing secretary, former mayor of San

Antonio, he had a huge fund-raising response to his performance on night

one.  His campaign says Julian Castro raised triple the amount of money he

had raised on any previous day of his campaign, including his launch day in

the 24 hours after his debate appearance two nights ago. 


New Jersey Senator Cory booker was also a night one contender.  He also

says he had a big fund-raising bump from his night one performance.  His

campaign says yesterday was the third biggest fund-raising day of his

campaign so far. 


Kamala Harris of California had not even made it a full day since her

debate performance last night.  But by 4:00 this afternoon, her campaign

was already touting that not even one full day, they had already raised

more money today than on any day since her very big launch day in Oakland,

California, back in January of this year. 


And I know money isn`t everything.  But there is two ways those candidates

are qualified to get up there these last two nights.  One of them is

polling, but one of them is fund-raising.  And, honestly, they all need

fund-raise their hearts out in any event, because Sunday this weekend is

the end of the fiscal quarter.  They`re all going to have to publicly

release their quarterly fund-raising totals. 


And that`s a practical consideration when other donors and voters even are

looking at the viability of the various candidates, judging their strength,

and whether that candidate can raise sufficient money to really compete is

a serious part of what people look at. 


The candidates also need to fund-raise their hearts out because they all

need to make it into the next debate which has the exact same

qualifications threshold as the debate did this week.  That next debate is

gong to look much the same.  It`s a month from now and it`s going to be 20

candidates again, two nights again, 10 candidates each night again, and

again you will be able to get into that debate only by meeting the same

threshold that you had to meet in order to get into this first one. 


You need a certain number of donors from a minimum of 20 states.  You need

at least 1 percent in the polls, in national polling or in polling in the

four early states.  That was the threshold to make it on to the stage for

this week.  It will be the same threshold for next month. 


But, it doesn`t mean we will see the same 20 people next month.  We know,

for example, that there are two very well-known, totally credible

candidates who didn`t hit the threshold for this debate this week.  Montana

Governor Steve Bullock and Massachusetts congressman, decorated Iraq war

veteran Seth Moulton.  But Bullock and Moulton were excluded from the

debate this week, but they are not giving up their campaigns.  They are

both absolutely in contention to make those thresholds to make it into the

next debate.  The CNN debate a month from now. 


If Moulton and Bullock are going to do it though, they`re going to have to

knock other candidates out.  There is still only going to be 20 podiums. 

So, if they`re going to make it up there, they`re going to have to surpass

two of the people who we saw compete over the last two nights. 


And that I think is an interesting dynamic and a brand new one.  I may tell

you something here that you may not believe this at first.  I`m not sure I

would have believed it in the abstract before it happened. 


But having been there the last two nights in person, I do think this is

true.  I wouldn`t have expected it, but I think it`s true.  However you

think any of the candidates did in this first debate, night one or night

two, whether there was a candidate who blew the roof off or a candidate who

got his or her butt kicked or whether you think that the contrast between

two candidates in particular really shown one up and dinged out the other,

I mean, however you think any of the individual candidates did on the

stage, every single one of them who was on the stage for this debate these

last two nights, every single one of them, I believe, did well for



I mean, every single one of them, even if there was one or two who you

thought got shellacked, I mean, it – every single one of them had at least

one moment on stage from which they can build and raise money and attract

interest and boost their chances of making the next debate, too.  And I

think this is to the detriment of Bullock and Moulton.  I think both

Bullock and Moulton are strong candidates, even though they didn`t make the

first debate.  I think they both have good records and good skills.  You

know, I would put them up on the stage with any of those other guys and I

can imagine them going toe to toe. 


But them not having made the first debate sets them at a disadvantage,

because the first debate itself gave 20 people, gave every person who was

behind the podium on either of those last two nights something pretty

significant to build on.  They all had at least one highlight, replicable

moment.  And I know you don`t believe me, but it`s true.  I will show you. 

I will prove it to you when we come back. 




MADDOW:  It is my contention that every single candidate who made the

debate stage for the Democrats these last two nights did themselves some

degree of good.  And I know that is not the common wisdom.  I know that

some candidates came out on the short end of a confrontation with another

candidate and some candidates had dull spots, or places where they wish

they had done better.  I get it. 


But, every single one of the candidates also had at least, A, good for

them.  B, I think it`s interesting about the debate that was possible when

there was 20 of them over the course of two nights.  That`s the last thing

I would have thought was possible heading into that format.  But, C, I

think it`s also potentially important going forward now because this was

just debate one.  There is like a dozen, right?  And it`s a long primary. 


And they all now need to scramble the next threshold to make it into the

next debate.  That`s another debate where not every candidate is going to

make it.  And they`re going to have to cross that threshold with polling,

right, by appealing to people, and also appealing to enough people who will

tell pollsters that`s who they prefer in the race.  But it`s also – that

they need to attract donors from lots of different places around the

country to get a podium at the next debate, too.  And having a good moment

in that first debate may be basically the most priceless thing you can do

for your campaign at this point. 


But I will prove to you that every single one had a moment.  I am going to

draw – I`m so exhausted, this is going to be a catastrophe, I can tell

you.  But I am going to draw candidates out of a hat in random order

because I`m going to prove that every single one of them has at least

something from the debate that played in the room and I could tell because

I was there, but I also think will play with their existing fans and that

will likely make new people interested in them – every single one of them. 

So, at random. 


Number four.  Mayor Pete Buttigieg.  I numbered them in alphabetical order. 


So, Mayor Buttigieg of Indiana, right?  He is the youngest candidate. 

There had been questions asked this week about whether or not he would even

still attend the debate given the uproar of police shootings in his city,

and the rage and grief and anger in his city.  In the wake of that, some of

the anger directed at him. 


The first question I asked him at the top of the second hour was a question

about that controversy in his hometown.  He answered that with contrition,

that was very striking and I think it`s selfless.  It was an important



But I picked out this moment to show you because I think this was sort of a

lightning bolt from him and this caused heads to snap around and pay

attention to him maybe even from red states.  Watch. 





cloak itself in the language of religion.  Now, our party doesn`t talk

about that as much, largely for a very good reason, which was we are

committed to the separation of church and state, and we stand for people of

any religion and people of no religion.  But we should call out hypocrisy

when we see it.  And for a party that associates itself with Christianity,

to say that it is OK to suggest that God would smile on the division of

families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting

children in cages, has lost all claims to ever use religious language





MADDOW:  Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, not the only

candidate to reference his or her faith last night from the stage, but the

who did so I think to the most effect and with the most rhetorical power,

super striking moment from him. 


Next candidate, I`m picking them at random out of a hat.  Look, it`s a

system.  Marianne Williamson. 


All right.  You have to admit Marianne Williamson is the candidate you were

least likely to know anything about before she appeared on the stage.  If

you never heard her speak before, you were like, what is this interesting

mid-Atlantic accent.  I don`t know – it`s like a total surprise to most

people who are seeing her as the candidate for the first time. 


And her closing statement got the most attention.  But for me, the thing

that I thought more Marianne Williamson totally brought it, there were a

few candidate who is had the best moment on this issue, but when she talked

about the Trump administration taking kids away from her parents.  She was

not the only one who was super eloquent on that issue, but what she said, I

didn`t know her from Adam heading into this debate and it was powerful and

a huge response in the room and worked for her. 





child from their parents` arms, you are kidnapping them.  And if you take a

lot of children and you put them in a detainment center, thus inflicting

chronic trauma upon them, that`s called child abuse.  This is collective

child abuse. 


When this is crime, both of those things are a crime.  If your government

does it, that doesn`t make it less of a crime.  These are state-sponsored

crimes.  What President Trump has done is not only attacked these children,

not only demonized these immigrants, he is attacking a basic principle of

America`s moral core.  We open our hearts to the stranger. 




MADDOW:  Marianne Williamson, obviously not a typical insider candidate,

not an insider candidate.  We`ve got a few outsiders running this year on

the Democratic ticket.  Powerful moment from her on the issue of kids being

taken away from their parents.  You could hear it very well-received in the



All right, another candidate chosen at random.  Vice President Joe Biden. 


Vice President Joe Biden, right, the guy with the most at stake, the far

out front-runner from before he even announced.  Vice President Biden knew

he would take heavy fire all night and he did.  He gave the other

candidates like Kamala Harris and Eric Swalwell really big moments of their

own when they took aim at him.  All the press you have seen all day and

night is how hard of a night he had. 


But watch actual Joe Biden, too.  Don`t just watch the other candidates

throwing bashes at him.  Watch Biden speaking on his own terms.  In doing

so last night, he was exactly who he wants the country to know is running. 


We got all of this press and certainly all of this negative attention in

terms of the way he was on the receiving end of it from the other

candidates, but watch how he presented himself in terms of policy and also

on emotion.  Watch this. 




JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  When my wife and daughter were

killed in an automobile accident, my two boys were badly injured, I

couldn`t imagine what it would be like to not have adequate health care

available immediately.  And then when my son came home from Iraq after a

year, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he`s\ given months to live. 


I can`t fathom what would happen if they said, by the way, the last six

months of your life, you are on your own and we are cutting you off.  You

used up your time.  The fact of the matter is, that the quickest fastest

way to do it is build on Obamacare and build on what we did. 




MADDOW:  Build on what we did.  Less Obama mentions in the debate overall,

but moments like that with Vice President Biden saying we did that. 

President Obama and I did that, let`s build on it.  Nobody else is in a

position to say that in that same way. 


OK.  Out of the hat, who`s next?  Congressman Eric Swalwell, the second

youngest candidate in the race.  He`s a year older than Mayor Pete

Buttigieg.  And he was on the far edge of the stage.  He`s one of those

lecterns in the wings last night, but he just brought this absolute fire to

the stage and as I mentioned, trained it on Vice President Biden.  Watch. 





a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic convention and

said it`s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.  That

candidate was then Senator Joe Biden.  Joe Biden was right when he said it

was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. 

He is still right today. 


If we are going to solve the issues of our nation, pass the torch.  If we

are going to solve climate chaos, pass the torch.  If we`re going to solve

student loan debt, pass the torch.  If we`re going to end gun violence for

families who are fearful to send their kids to school, pass the torch. 




MADDOW:  Congressman Eric Swalwell of California having his moment.  He`s

already made a t-shirt that says “pass the torch”. 


Kudos also to Vice President Biden there when he responded, after Eric

Swalwell said that, he didn`t sort of address the content of it, he`s just

sort of kept going on what he was doing, but for having popped with a big

grin while he was throwing that at him, kudos to both of them. 


Governor John Hickenlooper.  OK.  So, Hickenlooper, one of two guys without

a huge national profile, both from Colorado, both on the same stage last

night, both he and Michael Bennet are up against that.  You are from where

and have what to do with each other? 


Governor Hickenlooper, I will say, gave a great closing statement where he

was like, as governor of Colorado, I have done all the stuff that you guys

are proposing and bragging that you came up with.  It was a great closing

statement, but like Marianne Williamson who also had a good closing

statement, John Hickenlooper I thought had his moment of the night when

talking about kids being taken away from their parents by the Trump

administration.  He`s not a hyperbolic guy, and for him to have put this

emphasis, where he put it in this line, you will hear how it resonates. 






have seen this week just compound the emotional impact that the world is

judging us by.  If you had ever told me in my life that this country would

sanction federal agents to take children from the arms of their parents,

put them in cages, actually put them up for adoption, in Colorado, we call

that kidnapping, I would have told you – I would have told you it was





MADDOW:  Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, again, not a high profile

candidate on the stage.  He didn`t get the most talking time, but when he

landed as he did with that line, he landed and other candidates quoted back

that line of we call it kidnapping. 


Next one.  Secretary Julian Castro.  Very interesting.  Secretary Castro. 


All right.  So, Julian Castro was Obama`s housing secretary, mayor of San

Antonio, widely perceived I think – I don`t think this is controversial to

say to have way overperformed expectations in this debate both because of

his fund-raising and his polling coming into this.  I don`t think people

expected him to be a stand-out candidate on either night, but he definitely



I think part of that was eloquence and his seriousness.  But what I want to

play here is not one of his eloquent sound bytes.  I want to play a clip of

him basically starting a fight and taking out his home state rival. 

Another young Texan, Congressman Beto O`Rourke. 


Secretary Castro is an even keel, very serious, sober guy.  I`m not sure

anyone expected him to bring the fire like he did.  This is part of how he

elevated his profile on the stage.  This is basically him being shot out of

a cannon at the rest of the field and this is why he was such a wow factor

in the debate. 






The very fact that I can say that tonight shows the progress that we have

made in this country.  Like many of you, I know the promise of America.  My

grandmother came here when she was 7 years old as an immigrant from Mexico

and just two generations later, one of her grandsons is serving in the

United States Congress and the other is running for president of the United



If I`m elected president, I will work hard every single day so that you and

your family can get good health care, your child can get a good education

and you can have good job opportunities whether you live in a big city or a

small town.  And on January 20th, 2021, we`ll say “adios” to Donald Trump. 




MADDOW:  OK, I screwed it up.  I cued up the wrong sound byte.  That was

him having his closing statement.  I told you I was tired and something was

going to go wrong.  It was a goods closing statement. 


What he was getting the most attention for up until that moment was picking

a fight with Beto O`Rourke, but I`ll get up for you.  We`ll turn that

around on a commercial break.  I will play one more before we take a break. 


Senator Gillibrand, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.  Senator Gillibrand,

very interesting take on the stage.  Right from the very beginning she was

jumping in.  She was – I mean, everybody had to decide whether they were

going to interrupt.  Senator Gillibrand from the beginning not only

interrupted to get herself time, but to try to get time for other women on

the stage who she felt were being stepped on by the other male candidates

on the stage, which was an interesting dynamic in itself. 


Her fighting for her own air time and at least in one instance fighting for

other women`s air time itself was a statement, but when she did get the

microphone and she did get to comment on the stuff that she wanted to

comment on, she let loose, including with what was the most eloquent moment

of the night on abortion rights. 





trying to over overturn Roe v. Wade right now, and it is mind-boggling that

we are debating this on this stage in 2019 among Democrats whether women

should have access to reproductive rights.  I think we have to stop playing

defense and start playing offense. 


But let me tell you one thing about politics because it goes to the

corruption and the deal making.  When the door is closed and the

negotiations are made, there are conversations about women`s rights and

compromises have been made on our backs.  And so, what we need to know is

imagine this one question.  When we beat President Trump, and Mitch

McConnell walks into the Oval Office, God forbid to do negotiations, what

do you want when that door closes to be sitting behind that desk to fight

for women`s rights?  I have been the fiercest advocates for women`s

reproductive freedom for over a decade. 




MADDOW:  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand not only making that as forcibly as she

did, but also opening herself up to explain down the road who exactly she

was talking about in Democratic politics, who behind closed doors has tried

to trade away women`s reproductive health.  If you know the recent history

of Democratic politics and reproductive health, you can pick out some high

profile names she might be aiming at.  She didn`t them from the stage last

night, but I think she is setting us up to name them soon. 


So, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, I think that was a far-sighted interjection

and also a moment that landed with power on its own.  All right.  I have

the rest of the hat and we`ll be right back. 


Stay with us. 




MADDOW:  OK.  Next one, Congressman Beto O`Rourke. 


At last night`s debate or at two nights ago debate.  What`s today, Friday? 

Congressman O`Rourke has taken a lot of heat in particular because of

confrontation launched by Julian Castro against him and his response to

that.  His center place on the stage, people are wondering is he going to

bring the fire? 


I think Congressman O`Rourke has taken the brunt of the post-debate

coverage almost to the extent that Vice President Biden has, but as with

Vice President Biden, I think it`s worth looking at the way Congressman

O`Rourke performed on his own terms, because, yes, he definitely mixed it

up with other candidates and, yes, you can definitely contrast him with

whoever you want and he was there in the milieu that he was in, but when

standing on his own two feet talking about things on his own terms,

particular on issues that he does not opine on very often like this clip I

pulled right now, there is a reason why he came close to winning a Senate

seat in deep red Texas, right?


This was Beto O`Rourke on the issue of impeachment.  There`s very little

talk over the two nights about the issue of impeachment and related

matters.  Beto O`Rourke on this was eloquent and sort of classic Beto. 





BETO O`ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  One of the most powerful pieces

of art in the U.S. Capitol is the Trumbull painting of General George

Washington resigning his commission to the Continental Congress, at the

height of his power, submitting to the rule of law and the will of the

people.  That has withstood the test of time for the last 243 years. 


If we set another precedent now that a candidate who invited participation

of a foreign power, a president who sought to obstruct the investigation

into the invasion of our democracy, if we allow him to get away with this

with complete impunity, then we will have set a new standard, and that is

that some people because of the position of power and public trust that

they hold are above the law.  And we cannot allow that to stand. 


So, we must begin impeachment now so we have the facts and the truth and we

follow them as far as they go and as high up as they reach, and we save

this democracy.  And if we have not been able to do that in this year or

the year that follows, under my administration, our Department of Justice

will pursue these facts and ensure that there are consequences, there`s

accountability and there`s justice.  It`s the only way we save this





MADDOW:  Beto O`Rourke last night on the issue of impeachment, potential

prosecution of the president after he leaves office if he is not impeached. 


Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.  Michael Bennet, the senator from

Colorado, right, he suffers from as I mentioned being one of two Colorado

Democrats in the race who doesn`t have a preexisting national profile and

he`s one of seven Democratic senators who`s in contention for the

nomination.  And so, you know, he blends in, but then on stage, he opens

his mouth and tells this story of his own family and what Donald Trump has

turned the U.S. border into in the eyes of the world. 


And Senator Bennet just nails it.  Watch this. 





at the border, I see my mom because I know she sees herself, because she

was separated from her parents for years during the Holocaust in Poland. 


And for Donald Trump to be doing what he`s doing to children and their

families at the border, I say this as somebody who wrote the immigration

bill in 2013 that created a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in

this country that had the most progressive Dream Act that has ever been

conceived and 68 votes in the Senate, that had $46 billion of border

security that was sophisticated 21st century border security, not a

medieval wall and the president turned the border of the United States into

a symbol of nativist hostility that the world is looking at when what we

should be represented by is the Statue of Liberty that brought my parents

to this country to begin with.  We need to make a change. 




MADDOW:  To have hit the emotional core at the end while he is being

wrapped and to still hit it and to hear the audience, Senator Michael

Bennet of Colorado. 


All right.  Mayor bill de Blasio of New York, total wild card heading into

this, right?  Not a national figure.  I mean, not a national politician,

certainly a national figure as the leader of the nation`s largest city. 


People thought, well, what`s Bill de Blasio going to want to talk about and

mix it up on?  Is he going to be brush interrupting New Yorker?  Is he

going to bring out on every topic? 


And this was the moment when he brought it – he interjected himself on the

debate on national security and made it personal at the same time.  This

was a brilliant moment for him. 




BILL DE BLASIO (D), PRESIDENTAIL CANDIDATE:  We have learned a painful

lesson as Americans that we have gone to war without congressional

authorization.  Look, this is very personal for me.  I know the cost of

war.  My dad served in the Pacific in World War II in the U.S. army, Battle

of Okinawa, and had half his leg blown off and he came home with scars,

both physical and emotional, and he did not recover.  He spiraled downward

and he ultimately took his own life. 


And that battle didn`t kill him, but that war did.  And, look, even in the

humanitarian crisis and I think we should be ready, Congressman, to

intervene.  God forbid there is genocide, but not without congressional

approval.  Democrats or Republicans both in the Congress have not

challenged presidents and let them get away with running the military

without congressional approval.  We learned a lesson in Vietnam.  We seemed

to have forgotten.  Decisions need to be made by Congress in the name of

the people. 






MADDOW:  Mayor de Blasio of New York interjecting him on a national

security matter saying I have something to add and bringing it to his

family`s personal story. 


Out of the hat – Governor Jay Inslee of Washington.  Everybody knows he

declared himself to be the climate change candidate.  We are asking him

about income inequality and everybody knows he is going to go to climate. 

Everybody is expecting he is going to go to green jobs.  That`s where he`s

going to start with.


He doesn`t start there at all.  And instead, he`s the first person to go to

this topic from the debate stage in a way that wakes the audience up like

they had been in a nap before.  Watch this. 




DEBATE MODERATOR:  How would you address income inequality? 


JAY INSLEE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, I`m a little bit surprise. 

I think plans are great, but I`m a governor.  And we got to realize, the

people who brought us the weekend unions need to bring us a long overdue

raise in America.  I`m proud of standing up for unions.  I have a plan to

reinvigorate collective bargaining so we can increase wages finally. 


I marched with the SEIU folks.  It is not right that the CEO of McDonald`s

makes 2,100 times more than the people slinging hash at McDonald`s. 




MADDOW:  Governor Jay Inslee goes to union rights, when everybody knows

he`s going to go climate, he does immediately thereafter, but interjects

that into the debate, and you can hear the audience picks it up.  Great

moment for Governor Inslee. 


All right.  Back to the hat.  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.  Senator

Booker, you might have seen got the most words of any candidate on the

first night of the debate.  That`s interesting.  Honestly, that`s just

math, though.  It`s moments people remember and stories. 


I picked out a sound byte from Senator Booker.  This is one of a handful of

times he took an issue and like we saw with Mayor de Blasio there, brought

it to his own experience and thereby kind of stopped everybody in their






neighborhood.  I think I`m the only one, I hope I`m the only on this panel

who had seven people shot in their neighborhood just last week.  Someone I

know, Shahad Smith, was killed with an assault rifle at the top of my block

last year. 


For millions of Americans, this is not a policy issue, this is an urgency. 

And for those not directly affected, they are tired living in a country

where their kids go to school to learn about reading, writing and

arithmetic, and how to deal with an active shooter in their school. 


This is something I`m tired of.  I`m tired of hearing people all they have

to offer is thoughts and prayers.  In my faith, people say faith without

works is dead.  So, we will find a way, but the reason we have a problem

right now is we`ve let the corporate gun lobby frame this debate.  It is

time we have bold actions and a bold agenda.  I will get that done as

president of the United States because this is not about policy.  This is





MADDOW:  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, known as a rhetorical magician,

but somebody who brought it with exactly the right calibration there on an

issue.  You see the emotion with it.  You see him making it personal and

you see the audience reacts. 


I mean, I know the audience in the room is not the 20 million people around

the country, but super powerful moment on an issue where a lot of people

had powerful things to say. 


OK, one more and we`re going to take a break.  Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. 

This was a fascinating moment.  She was not directly asked this question. 

She jumped in. 


We asked Tim Ryan a question about Afghanistan.  He had said that the

reason the U.S. was not able it get out of Afghanistan, he mentioned

something along the line that the U.S. had not stayed engaged, I mean,

basically that while we have been there for a long time, we`ve sort of been

ignoring it.  And Congresswoman Gabbard took acute exception to that and

invited herself into that discussion and leveled Congressman Ryan with






tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? 

Well, we just have to be engaged? 


As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable.  We have to

bring our troops home from Afghanistan.  We are in a place in Afghanistan

where we have lost so many lives.  We`ve spent so much money, money that`s

coming out of every one of our pockets, money that should be going into

communities here at home, meeting the needs of the people here at home. 


We are no better off in Afghanistan today than when this war began.  This

is why it`s so important to have a president and commander-in-chief who

knows the cost of war and is ready to do the job on day one.  I am ready to

do that job when I walk into the Oval Office. 




MADDOW:  Tulsi Gabbard – each night, we had an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran

on stage.  When she brought that experience to jump in and respond to

Congressman Ryan`s answer on Afghanistan, as you heard, it brought the

house down. 


OK.  We`ll take a quick break.  We`ll be right back.  Stay with us. 




MADDOW:  My contention is that every single person who was behind the

podium on the last two nights had something to build on in terms of the way

the Democratic primary proceeds from here on out.  They`re all going to try

to make the next debate.  They`re going to make tomorrow`s quarterly fund-

raising deadline. 


Some of did better and some did worse, but I think every single person had

at least one moment that they are going to be able to take to the bank. 

And to prove it, I`ve got all of them in this hat and I`m picking them at

random, I will tell you each one of them had at least one great moment. 


All right.  Andrew Yang.  Wild card, right?  Outsider, nobody knows quite

what to expect from him.  Is he going to mix it up with all the candidates

and all the other issues?  Is he going to stick to his own issues, which

are different than everybody else`s and try to put things on his own terms? 

He chose the latter, including a closing statement that was perfectly

crafted, got to his main stuff, and told you why he is different and why

that`s good and goes to the question of electability. 


Andrew Yang. 




ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I am proof that our democracy

still works.  Democrats and Americans around the country have one question

for the nominee, and that is who can beat Donald Trump in 2020?  That`s the

right question.  The right candidate will be solving the problems that got

Donald Trump elect and have a vision of a trickle up economy that is

already drawing thousands of disaffected Trump voter, conservatives,

independents and libertarians, as well as Democrats and progressives.


I am that candidate.  I can build a much broader coalition to beat Donald

Trump.  It is not left.  It is not right.  It is forward.  And that`s where

I will take the country in 2020. 




MADDOW:  Andrew Yang had less time, less speaking time than the other

candidates on stage.  That was his closing statement though.  Memorable to

the point on his own issues and to the concern of electability.  That was

very good. 


This one requires no introduction.  This one – this one you heard about

this, the moment of the debate, probably the moment of the two nights. 

This is going to be Senator Kamala Harris inviting herself into the

discussion here and addressing her comments to Vice President Biden.  I

will stand back from this one. 





man I know, be he a relative, a friend, or a coworker who was not been the

subject of some of profiling or discrimination.  Growing up, my sister and

I had to deal with the neighbor who told us her parents couldn`t play with

us because we were black. 


I will say also that in this campaign, we`ve also heard and I`m going to

direct this at Vice President Biden.  I do not believe you are a racist. 

And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding

common ground, but I also believe and it`s personal and it was actually

very – it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United

States senator who built their reputations and career on the segregation of

race in this country.  And it was not only that, but you also worked with

them to oppose busing. 


And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the

second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school

every day.  And that little girl was me. 


So I will tell you that on this subject it cannot be an intellectual debate

among Democrats.  We have to take it seriously and act swiftly.  As

attorney general of California, I was proud to put in place a requirement

that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras





MADDOW:  That swivel of Vice President Biden`s head toward Kamala Harris

when she said that little girl was me, that was him and everybody else in

that room looking to see the new front-runner in the Democratic

presidential nomination race, at least in terms of who was on that stage

that night.  Just – I mean, I can`t say more about it than had been said

already, but it was like the weather changed.  Just a stunning moment. 


All right.  Former Congressman John Delaney.  Congressman John Delaney is

campaigning as the most moderate, most centrist, most practical guy on the

stage.  He knows he is going to be come in from the lecterns on the wings. 

He knows he doesn`t have a ton of room to turn to move at the progressive

base crowd, right, who was there to cheer moments like that from Senator

Harris, but he does so basically with perfect pitch. 




JOHN DELANEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We need to get things done. 

That`s why I believe we need to operate in a bipartisan manner.  Listen, I

will sign into law bills that come to the White House that are passed on a

party line basis, absolutely.  But all the big transformative things we

have done in this country`s history have happened when huge majorities of

the American people get behind them, which is why we need real solutions,

not impossible promises. 




MADDOW:  Congressman John Delaney of Maryland.  In terms of him introducing

himself to a candidate and to a field that didn`t necessarily know what to

expect from him as well. 


OK, Senator Bernie Sanders knows he is going to get the inevitable

socialism question handles it where he doesn`t have to come up with a

practice response, right?  He knows what the response, right?  He is

perfectly comfortable in his own skin.  Great moment from Senator Sanders. 




DEBATE MODERATOR:  What is your response to say nominating a socialist

would reelect Donald Trump? 



responses at the polls had us 10 points ahead of Donald Trump because the

American people understand that Trump is a phony, that Trump is a

pathological liar and a racist and that he lied to the American people

during his campaign.  He said he was going to stand up for working



Well, President Trump, you are not standing up for working families when

you try to throw 32 million people off their health care that they have and

83 percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent.  That`s how we

beat Trump.  We expose him for the fraud that he is. 




MADDOW:  Senator Sanders had to know the socialism question was coming. 

Make it a beat Donald Trump question.  That`s his – the way he knew he was

going to handle it and it landed like a nuclear bomb in the room.  It was a

great moment for Senator Sanders.


All right.  Congressman Tim Ryan got the short end of the confrontation

with Tulsi Gabbard for sure.  He has a powerful message on his own, though,

one that that resonated like it was struck with a fork.  This is the

central message of his campaign.  He went right to it. 




TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We have a perception problem with

the Democratic Party.  We are not connecting to the working class people in

the very states that I represent in Ohio, in the Industrial Midwest.  We`ve

lost all connection.  But we have got to change the center of gravity of

the Democratic Party from being coastal and elitist and Ivy League, which

is the perception to somebody from the forgotten communities that have been

left behind for the last 30 years. 


To get those workers back on our side to build electric vehicles and build

solar panels.  But if you want to beat Mitch McConnell, this better be a

working class party if you want to take his rear end out. 




MADDOW:  Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio.  This needs to be a working class



All right.  Two more.  Which one?  Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. 

Senator Klobuchar is another one of these candidate who knows who she is

and never tried to be anybody else and is all about being practical and

getting things done. And in this case, going after Donald Trump. 





went on TV on Fox and said that people`s heads would spin when they see how

much he would bring down pharmaceutical prices.  Instead, 2,500 drugs have

gone up in double-digits since he came into office.  Instead, he gave $100

billion in giveaways to the pharma companies.  For the rest of us, for the

rest of America, that`s what we call all at home, all foam and no beer. 


We got nothing out of it.  And so, my proposal is to do something about

pharma, to take them on, to allow negotiation under Medicare and bring in

less expensive drugs from other companies and pharma thinks they own

Washington.  Well, they don`t own me. 




MADDOW:  Well, they don`t own me.  I have time for one more exactly.  And

it is our last, and it is Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Last one in the hat. 


Senator Warren is in full teacher mode here.  This is one of the moments

where she is talking about something where the right comes in and said this

will be a liability for you.  You`re not going to want to help this later. 

But they don`t account for the fact that she is willing to sell it.  She is

willing to teach the American public why this is her position. 


And here`s her in sort of unleashing the teacher. 





of my life studying why families go broke.  One of the number one reasons

is the cost of health care, medical bills.  And that`s not just for people

who don`t have insurance.  It`s for people who have insurance. 


Look at the business model of an insurance company.  It`s to bring in as

many dollars as they can in premiums and pay out as few dollars as possible

for your health care.  That leaves families with rising premiums, rising

copays, and fighting with insurance companies to try to get the health care

that their doctors say they and their children need.  Medicare for all

solves that problem. 


And I understand, there are a lot of politician who is say oh, it`s just

not possible, we can`t do it and have a lot of political reasons for this. 

What they are really telling you is they just won`t fight for it.  Well,

health care is a basic human right and I will fight for basic human rights. 




MADDOW:  Senator Elizabeth Warren saying, you know, you can say me saying

I`m for Medicare-for-All and that`s a liability for me, let me explain to

you why I`m know, you can say me saying I`m for Medicare-for-All and that`s

a liability for me, let me explain to you why I`m for it and let me bring

the house down while explaining to you while I`m for it.


Anyway, I know this is an unpopular take and everybody wants theirs to be

winners and losers and it`s clear that some people definitely suffered for

their participation.  Every single one of those 20 candidates have

something to bank on and build on for the future and the next debate is

pretty soon, and not all of them are gong to qualify.  They all need to

build on something. 


Anyway, thanks for watching the last two nights.  Thanks for watching

tonight.  See you again on Monday.




Good evening, Lawrence. 







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