The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 09/01/15

David Ermold, David Moore, Dan Savage, Jonathan Capehart

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us tonight, we will see you
again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD, Alex Wagner in for
Lawrence tonight, good evening Alex.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, that was the most awesome deep, dive,
pardon the pun on Gefilte fish ever.

MADDOW: There is more out of my desk if you need some later.

WAGNER: Thank you my friend.

MADDOW: Cheers, indeed.

WAGNER: Thank you. A government official who took an oath to follow the
law is still refusing a federal court order to issue marriage licenses
because of her personal beliefs.

A couple being denied their rights is here for a LAST WORD exclusive and we
will get reaction from Dan Savage.


KIM DAVIS, KENTUCKY COUNTY CLERK: We are not issuing license today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a big fight playing out in the state of Kentucky.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where a county clerk is defying a federal judge`s
order that she must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not issuing –

DAVIS: Go ahead –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marriage licenses today?

DAVIS: Because I`m not –



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose authority?


DAVIS: Under God`s authority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Says she has religious objections to the same-sex
marriages and therefore cannot issue the licenses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standing defiant months after the Supreme Court
legalized gay marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kim Davis has become a hero to opponents.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love Jesus, how about you?!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God does not belong in the county courts.


Everyone in this office should be ashamed of themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lawyers for the couples want Davis to be held in
contempt of court. She`s out of remedies legally on trying to get out of
the requirement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re not leaving until we have a license.





WAGNER: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been called to a federal hearing
this Thursday after continuing her refusal to issue marriage licenses to
same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs.

A short time ago, Davis` lawyer Mat Staver appeared on “HARDBALL” saying
the county clerk should have her faith accommodated no matter the cost.


MAT STAVER, LAWYER: The issue was that from the time that she began,
marriage has always been one thing and it`s been between a man and a woman.

Two months ago, that changed. And so the job duties has changed. The fact
of the matter is that she has her right to have her faith accommodated, her
convictions accommodated.

And they don`t have a right to have Kim Davis give her the wedding. There
is – the Supreme Court has never said that your right requires someone to
actually participate in your particular conviction or your belief or your


WAGNER: Kim Davis should have started issuing marriage licenses in her
Kentucky County this morning after the U.S. Supreme Court last night
rejected Davis appeal to her case, to hear her case.

Instead Kim Davis defied the court, alleging she was acting under God`s
authority to deny gay and lesbian couples this right.

Gay couples including David Ermold and David Moore, who have already been
rejected by Davis and her office twice before.


DAVIS: I`m not being disrespectful to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You absolutely are –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You absolutely. You`re already treating us like
second-class citizens is –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you`re doing. And –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Telling us that we don`t deserve the same rights that
you do, that you have –

DAVIS: I`m saying –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you`ve enjoyed your entire life. Would you do
this to an interracial couple?

DAVIS: And a man and a woman, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times have you been married, Kim?

DAVIS: I just want you all to know that we are not issuing marriage
licenses –


DAVIS: Today pending –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What appeal is that?

DAVIS: Pending the appeal in the sixth –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is being denied –

DAVIS: Circuit, this appeal say –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What appeal in the sixth circuit –

DAVIS: Been denied.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Injunction is the order that you`re supposed to issue
marriage licenses –

DAVIS: And we`re not issuing licenses –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Supreme Court denied your stay.

DAVIS: We are not issuing marriage licenses today. I –


DAVIS: I would ask you all to –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not –

DAVIS: Go ahead –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Issuing marriage licenses today?

DAVIS: Because I`m not.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose authority?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose authority? –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you married?

DAVIS: Under God`s authority –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are selling –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think God will tell you –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To do this. Did God tell you –


To treat us –



DAVIS: I have asked you all to leave. You are (INAUDIBLE) –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can call the police –


If you want us to leave. You can call the police. I pay your salary.


I pay your salary. I pay you to discriminate against me right now. That`s
what I`m paying for. That`s what I`m paying for. I`m paying for this
memory with my partner that I love, that I`ve been with for 17 years.

What`s the longest you`ve been with someone that you`ve been married to


DAVIS: I`m asking you to leave –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not leaving.

DAVIS: OK, you all –


Push back away, you`re all –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t help that the press are here, no –

DAVIS: Just push back –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not leaving –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not leaving –

DAVIS: Away from the counter –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without a license.


WAGNER: Joining us now for their only live national TV interview today are
David Ermold and David Moore. One of the Kentucky couples denied a marriage
license by County Clerk Kim Davis.

Mr. Ermold, let me just start with this idea of God`s authority. When Kim
Davis said that to you this morning, what was your thought?

just listening to that exchange right now is getting me a little upset to
be honest with you.

I – last night, when the ruling came down from the Supreme Court, we were
– I was very excited, I was happy.

I thought we were going to be getting a marriage license today and then
when we came in with that exchange everything just fell apart.

It`s devastating to me. I don`t have the words to be quite honest with you
to express how disappointing it is.

WAGNER: Mr. Moore, I want to play a little bit more of the interview that
Kim Davis` lawyer had tonight on “HARDBALL”.

And I want to talk to you a little bit about the language that he uses to
describe his defense of Kim Davis refusing to give you that marriage
license. Let`s take a listen.


STAVER: Our client needs to be accommodated in her conviction. It`s a
conviction that we`ve accommodated through many years.

We have accommodations of all different stripes and levels with public
officials, we have private individuals, that`s what the essence of America
has been about; to accommodate and protect religious freedom.

Not to coerce and trample someone`s conscience rights. Kim Davis just
simply wants to be treated with the same dignity and respect that anybody
else who has a conscience conviction is treated with.


WAGNER: Mr. Moore, Kim Davis, according to her lawyer just simply wants to
be treated with the same dignity and respect that anybody else who has a
conscience conviction is treated with. How does that make you feel?

that what Kim Davis wants is to be a martyr.

I think that it makes me feel terrible that we would accommodate someone so
that they can discriminate against a minority group or, you know, a
specific group of people.

I feel like that`s what they`re asking for, is an accommodation to

WAGNER: Do you find – Mr. Ermold, the language which is some of the same
language that those pushing for marriage equality would use. The notions
of fairness and freedom.

That those are being sort of turned against you in that moment? Do you
worry about –

ERMOLD: Yes, they –

WAGNER: The sort of –

ERMOLD: They –

WAGNER: Go ahead.

ERMOLD: I`m sorry, yes, that we`ve heard that quite a bit in – from a lot
of people in a lot of interviews is, is I don`t really see this as a fight
between the first amendment rights and I guess 14th amendment rights.

Our first amendment rights are being violated here as well, right? So, I
don`t really buy into that argument so much. Also, there`s a difference
between the county clerk in the official capacity and Kim Davis as a

As a person she is free to believe and worship as she chooses. As a county
clerk, when you walk through those doors and you take on that role, you
have a responsibility to the people of your county.

And I don`t know that the first amendment plays a role. In fact, Bunning -
- Judge Bunning made that point in his last ruling.

WAGNER: Yes, Mr. Moore, Kim Davis in a statement released today insists
that this has nothing to do with a gay – it is not a gay or a lesbian

She said it is a heaven or hell decision, this has never been a gay or
lesbian issue, it is about marriage and God`s word. When you talk to her,
and you`ve talked to her a number of times at this point.

Did you get the sense that this is not a gay or lesbian issue and that
truly it is only a religious issue for her?

MOORE: I don`t think it`s just a religious issue. I think – here`s the
thing. She still has the right to practice her religious beliefs. No one
has taken away any of her rights.

We can all still believe what we want to believe. The only thing that`s
happened is our rights, you know, as gay couple have been slightly
expanded, so now we can enjoy marriage equality.

That`s what`s happened. It`s not – no one has taken away anyone`s
religious freedom. Kim Davis can believe whatever she wants, but it
shouldn`t affect how she does her job and how she serves the people in her

WAGNER: Mr. Ermold, do you intend on going back until you get that
marriage license from Kim Davis?

ERMOLD: I don`t – I don`t know that I could handle another rejection, to
be honest with you. It seems to be getting worse and it`s escalating over

After the rejection today, I spoke with our lawyers on the phone and I
don`t see a need to go back. The next time that we go back, I really want
it to be that we`re getting our marriage license.

I was so disappointed today. I thought that we were going to walk out of
there and we were going to be holding that license high up in the air and
we`re going to say we`re getting married and that is not what occurred

And it`s just overwhelming. It`s overwhelming.

WAGNER: Well, the Supreme Court has dictated that you should be able to
get that license and we hope it is yours in speedy fashion. David Ermold
and David Moore, thanks for your time.

ERMOLD: Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

WAGNER: Up next, Dan Savage will join me on the politics of the new fights
over religious liberty and the Bush-Trump feud has become a messy triangle
featuring the Clintons.



WALKER: Oh, yes –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to build a wall north of the border? It
bothers you –

WALKER: Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They
raised some very legitimate concerns including some law enforcement folks
that brought that up to me in one of our town hall meetings about a week
and a half ago.

So, that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.


WAGNER: Scott Walker, damage control continues today after the Canadian
Defense Minister chided Walker for saying that a wall on the Canadian
border is a legitimate issue.

Walker spokesman said people were just putting words in Walker`s mouth.
Today, Governor Walker told “Fox News” he never said what he had said.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I mean, this is just a joke in terms of
how people react to things. I`ve said for some time we need to secure the
southern border.

I`ve talked about the infrastructure, the personnel and the technology
needed there, I`ve talked about enforcing the laws. People should go back
and actually watch what I said on Sunday.

I didn`t say that at all, because I`ve never talked about a wall to the
north and certainly not now –


WALKER: That`s just what happens when things get run amok.


WAGNER: Up next, Dan Savage will react to the clerk in Kentucky who said
she is following God`s law instead of the Supreme Court.




CROWD: We know Jesus, yes, we do, we love Jesus, how about you?!



CROWD: I will survive for as long as I know how to love, I know how to
stay alive, I`ve got all my love to give, I`ve got all my love to give,
I`ll survive. I will survive.


WAGNER: Those were some of the demonstrators outside the Rowan County
courthouse today, both supporters and opponents of County Clerk Kim Davis
and her refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Here is what Senator Rand Paul told “Boston Herald Radio”.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I do object to the state putting its
imprimatur to the specialness of marriage on something that`s different in
what most people have defined as marriage for most of history.

So one way is just getting the state out completely. And I think that`s
what we`re headed towards actually.

Whether or not people who still work for the state can do it without the
legislature changing it, is something I`m going to leave up to the courts
exactly how to do it.

But I think people who do stand up and are making a stand to say that they
believe in something is an important part of the American way.


WAGNER: Shortly thereafter, David Axelrod asked the question many of us
are wondering, “how quickly will Kentucky`s clerk defiance of scotus on
same-sex marriage become a contentious issue in the GOP presidential race?”

Joining us now is Dan Savage, a columnist and host of the Savage Lovecast.
Dan, it seems like it`s an issue officially as of this moment.

And I guess I wonder, what is your reaction to Rand Paul`s contention that
I guess I`ll leave it up to the courts to decide what in fact, it looks
like the courts have pretty much decided on this one.

this is a settled issue.

And it`s important to point out that Kim Davis – as John Korbino(ph) wrote
today in the “Detroit Free Press”, and I think he said it best.

Is being asked to administer the law which is her job. She is now being
asked to perform a sacrament.

She`s tasked with ascertaining that the people in front of her, the couple
standing in front of her have a legal right to get married and to provide
them with that license.

She is not a minister. She actually thinks she works for God there in the
county courthouse when she actually works for Caesar. And someone needs to
acquaint her of that fact.

WAGNER: Dan, I want to play a little bit of sound from our interview
moments ago with Mr. Moore and Ermold and what they contend about Kim Davis
and her role in all of this. Let`s take a listen.

She effectively states and I`ll read the verdict: “I think that what Kim
Davis wants is to be a martyr. I think that it makes me feel terrible that
we would accommodate someone so that they can discriminate against a
minority group or a specific group of people.”

So, if Kim Davis wants to be a martyr, it looks like there are plenty of
people who are ready to follow her and in fact, she is backed by a group,
the Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, her lawyer is part of this group that has
funding and is ready to take this cause to the highest levels.

SAVAGE: The Liberty Counsel is ready and willing to exploit Kim Davis. I
actually think Kim Davis does wish to be a martyr.

We`ve seen with some other people who have attacked same-sex couples during
the whole debate over same-sex marriage or as was the case with the pizza
parlor that said that they would refuse to cater a same-sex wedding.

And no one had asked them to actually cater a same-sex wedding with their
pizza. They wound up raising a million dollars on a Go-Fund Me page for
that couple – for those people who run that pizza parlor.

And I think Kim Davis is waiting to cash in. I predicted from the
beginning that she would defy the court orders, defy the Supreme Court, she
would ultimately be held in contempt of court, lose her job, perhaps go to
prison for a short amount of time.

And then she will have written for her ghost written books, she will go on
the right-wing lecture circuit and she`ll never have to do an honest day`s
work ever again in her life.

This is about someone hypocritically cashing in. And she is a hypocrite.
She said today and I`m going to read it, so I want to make sure I get it

“I never imagined a day like this would come where I would be asked to
violate a central teaching of scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding

This is a woman who has been divorced three times and married four times.
And I`m going to read this, too.

“She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband,
they were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second husband.

She`s now unto her fourth husband.” Jesus Christ Himself in scripture
condemns divorce, calls it adultery and forbids it. Jesus Christ Himself
in scripture says not one word about same-sex marriage.

WAGNER: And yet, Dan, so while this may end up being a lucrative position
for Davis and some of her accolades to take, this also becomes a very
serious problem for the national field of Republican candidates who are
looking to get to the highest office of the land, right?

I mean, effectively at this moment, Kim Davis is becoming a litmus test for
the candidates. I do want to play what Lindsey Graham said when he was
asked about her and what she should do. This is what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your opinion on what she ought to do here,

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: As a public official, comply with
the law or resign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And no middle ground, right? The rule of law is the
rule of law.

GRAHAM: The rule of law is the rule of law. There are so – we are a rule
of law nation and I appreciate her conviction, I support traditional
marriage but she`s accepted the job where she has to apply the law to

And that`s her – that`s her choice.


WAGNER: OK, Dan, so there`s Lindsey Graham, sort of making the cleanest
exit from this controversy, but one gets the sense that there will be a lot
of turning into pretzels among this field on how to deal with the Kim Davis

SAVAGE: And those of us who have been in the same-sex marriage fight for a
long time, we get the sense that, you know, the reality now is, that this
is an issue that divides the Republican Party.

For a long time, it was an issue that divided the Democratic Party and
split the Democratic base and it`s delicious to see how the worm has turned
and how this divides the Democrats.

I would – the only I would add to what Lindsey Graham said and I agree
with him almost completely. Is that you can support traditional marriage
and support same-sex marriage, too.

It`s not an either or consideration. I support opposite sex traditional
marriages for straight people who wish to marry. You can support those

I support the marriage of my father, I support the marriages of my siblings
who are straight without having to forbid or attack the marriages entered
into by same-sex couples.

WAGNER: And indeed for a Republican Party that has staked a lot of claim
on this president being acting unconstitutional and circumventing rule of
law, here is someone circumventing rule of law, right?

SAVAGE: Absolutely. And where – are we going to live in a society where
we`re going to empower people to break the law, to disobey the law, to walk
off their jobs when they`re public servants, elected officials.

People charged with a public trust. When somebody did – violates their
religious beliefs – is it just something that Christians want to see
Muslims doing or Jews doing.

Do you want to have to call the grocery store if you want to go buy some
bacon and make sure that everybody working that day is willing to handle
pork products which not everyone is for religious reasons.

Do you want cab drivers refuse to pick up single unaccompanied women
because it violates their religious believes?

We live in a pluralistic, multicultural, multi-faith, multidenominational
with (INAUDIBLE) society and it would be utter chaos if everyone was
empowered to cite God`s authority to violate the law or break the law.

WAGNER: God`s authority being a very special thing to each person –

SAVAGE: And a very – and a very subjective thing.

WAGNER: Indeed. Dan, stay with us, we`re going to take a quick break, but
when we come back, Jeb Bush attacks Donald Trump for being nice to the
Clintons and it backfires almost completely.

And Chris Christie threatens to unleash his nuclear temper if the next
debate does not go his way.


WAGNER: After a relentless barrage of insults from GOP frontrunner Donald
Trump, the Bush campaign believes it has finally found the political
kryptonite that will take down the Donald.

It is not the fact that he has slandered Mexicans as rapists or impugned
the service record of Senator John McCain nor is it Trump`s ludicrous claim
that he will build a wall on the border that Mexico will pay for and that
he will round up and deport 11 million people?

In the mind of the Bush campaign, Trump`s fatal flaw is being friendly with
Hillary Clinton. Here is the new attack video the Jeb Bush campaign
released today showing the Donald as a huge fan of his fellow New Yorker.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would you like representing the United States in a
deal with Iran, with this regime here?

TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: Well, I think Hillary would do a good job.
Hillary Clinton, I think is a terrific woman.

I mean, I`m a little bias because I`ve known her for years.

Yes, I know her very well, she`s very talented and she – I live in New
York, she lives in New York and I`ve known her and her husband for years
and I really like them both a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you identify more as a Democrat or a Republican?

TRUMP: Will you be shocked if I said that in many cases I probably
identify more as a Democrat –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then why are you a Republican?

TRUMP: I have no idea. I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my
life, OK, so you know, my views are a little bit different than if I lived
in Iowa.


WAGNER: The Trump campaign returned the volley and quickly hit back at
Bush for his relationship with the Clintons.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: We recognize the commitment of someone
who has devoted her life to public service. I want to say thank you to
both Secretary Clinton and to President Clinton.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that make Hillary Clinton to the Bush



WAGNER: Tonight, the Clinton campaign weighed in tweeting to Jeb Bush and
Donald Trump, “no need to fight, guys, you both agree that Hillary was a
great Secretary of State. We get it.”

Joining us now, Jonathon Capehart, opinion writer for “The Washington
Post”, Anne Gearan, political correspondent for “The Washington Post” who
covers the Clinton campaign.

Former Republican Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia and Dan Savage is still
with us. Jonathan Capehart, nothing better than cheesy background music
and old clips of Donald Trump.

But unfriending Hillary Clinton seems to be the strategy du jour, is this
actually effective?

wrote a piece earlier today, saying that in this war between Donald Trump
and Jeb Bush, Donald Trump is winning.

Here`s a guy who is totally meandering stream of consciousness on the
stump, but in the confines of the 15 seconds that you were allotted on
Instagram, he is to the point – and before that, wow, one you just showed,
the one using Jeb Bush`s own mother to kneecap Jeb Bush`s candidacy.

And then the other one that`s out that I can`t remember –


WAGNER: There are so many Trump –

CAPEHART: There`re so many –

WAGNER: Videos, Jonathan, that –

CAPEHART: But you know, that Jeb Bush ad, if this were 2012, would have
been a really terrific ad.

Because it really gets to, you know, what the hell is Donald Trump doing
running as a Republican for the presidential nomination when he`s got this
big Democratic background?

You could have taken three 15-second chunks from the Jeb Bush video and
dropped them every other day to smack back at Donald Trump as hard as he is
smacking at Jeb Bush, and yet that didn`t – that didn`t work.

WAGNER: And Congressman Davis, let me ask you – I mean, Donald Trump was
asked at the debate about his relationship to Hillary Clinton.

Why she was at his wedding? And this was his response, let`s play this out.


TRUMP: With Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my
wedding. You know why? She had no choice because I gave – I gave to her
foundation that frankly that foundation is supposed to do good.


WAGNER: Congressman Davis, he was applauded when he gave that response. I
mean Trump trumped himself into that one. And, I wonder if that was not
just the answer – people – was that a – did it become a settled issue at
that point for Trump?

FMR. REP. TOM DAVIS, (R) VIRGINIA: Well, I do not think so, because with
Trump you have so many contradictions throughout his political career and
he really has not been attacked yet. I think the problem for Bush is this
in a multicandidate field when two go after each other, it tends to bring
both down.

They have a long, long time before this race really galvanizes in Iowa in
January. And, I think at this point he is marginalizing himself by being
the hit man on Trump. He is unlikely to pick up most of Trump`s votes if
they go somewhere else.

WAGNER: Yes, and to that and the Clinton campaign tweet, you can actually
almost see – almost seethe smirk written in to the language. They must be
loving this.

Oh, absolutely. I mean they are having a ball watching the republicans
attack one another other over who likes her better. What better position
for them to be in.

But, it is also I think interesting to consider that in the case of Hillary
Clinton, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, we are talking about people who have
been in the public eye for so long that they have complicated histories
with one another, with any number of other people, with themselves.

I mean they – Each of them has changed positions over time. Each of them
has, you know, looked more conservative or more liberal, depending on how
you want to look at it. Over time, they have been public figures for a
very long time. When you have a long record, you have a lot to work with
if you are in opposition.

WAGNER: Dan, today Jeb Bush was in Florida and weighed in on Trump`s
history as a Clinton supporter. And, I want to play a little bit of what
the candidate said.


JEB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we put out was simply a simple
statement in his own words. I mean his own words he supports democrats.
While I was campaigning for republicans in this state and all across the
country, conservative minded candidates.

He was supporting Hillary Clinton and thinks Hillary Clinton would be a
good negotiator as it relates to dealing with Iran. I mean this is not a
guy who is a conservative. And, using his own words is not a
mischaracterization. That came out of his mouth.


WAGNER: OK. Dan, was not part of Jeb Bush`s appeal supposed to be the
fact that he can work across the aisle that he was maybe a little bit more
moderate than the rest of the field, because here he is attacking Trump
for talking to and participating in conversation with democrats.

DAN SAVAGE, THE SAVAGE LOVECAST: That was supposed to be part of his
appeal. Also, something we have heard from republicans over the years is
they have always welcomed and celebrated a turn coat democrat, somebody who
walked away from the democratic party and reregistered as a republican and
run as republican.

They have always welcomed those kinds of turn coats into the fold. What I
think is really interesting about the whole race is how detached from usual
political gravity or even reality the republican base seems to be.

Take Ben Carson, who attacked Planned Parenthood because of those baloney,
bogus video who attacked them for making fetal tissue available to
researchers, which they are allowed to do by law. They broke no law. They
did nothing wrong.

Ben Carson attacks them. Attacks the use of fetal tissue in scientific
research. Then it comes out that he, himself, had used fetal tissue in
scientific research years ago and his poll numbers promptly double. I am
worried about the republican base. It is some sort of Vendo Rumspringa
(ph) detached from reality, their own political reality, their own
professed political believes.

WAGNER: Always good to get Rumspringa in there, Dan. But, Jonathan, Dan
brings really important point about the amnesia. I mean Jeb Bush is
launching attacks against Trump based on his history with the Clintons.
The Bush family goes way back with the Clintons. I mean –

And, even in recent history, 2013, Jeb Bush was awarding Hillary Clinton
the liberty medal. That was 2013. In 2013, both Jeb Bush and Hillary
Clinton probably knew they were going to be in contest with each other for
the presidency.

in 2013 there was still that moment when you have those two people who
shared a stage at a time when democrats and republicans On Capitol Hill
were going at each other vowing to never work with each other to actually
govern this country. And, so, seeing the two of them together potential
nominees of the respective parties was sort of a visual, maybe something
will come of this that is good for the country.

WAGNER: Right. Right.


SAVAGE: I believe that happened when Jeb Bush was not yet seriously
considering running for president; that, that 2013 moment happened when he
thought that, that would be consequence freer for him.

CAPEHART: But, there were still people who were hoping and looking and
thinking that maybe, maybe he will run. But, still –

WAGNER: It is certainly an ambition he harbored for a very long time.

CAPEHART: Well, right. Right. Remember, Jeb Bush was supposed to be the
Bush to become president, not W. But, he lost that race in Florida when he
ran the first time.

WAGNER: Right.

CAPEHART: But, republican –

DAVIS: Look. I think the problem with civility in politics is now a
loser, unfortunately.


DAVIS: This is a country where you can yell at the state of the union you
lie and make a million dollars on-line the next week and you pay no price
for it. This is the world we live in today, unfortunately.

WAGNER: And, it seems like the best sort of move for the Clinton campaign
at this point is a bear hug for both candidate on the part of Hillary
Clinton to actually make her own Instagram videos talking about her deep
and long storied happy history at Trump`s weddings and hanging out with the

GEARAN: Well, I mean – certainly, that would be the most fun and they are
clearly having fun with it in this moment but that is not going to go over
hugely well with the democratic base, which she does have to continue to

SAVAGE: Yes, that move would be good for Bernie Sanders.


GEARAN: Right. Bernie Sanders poll numbers might –

WAGNER: I just mean socially, not in terms of policy.

GEARAN: Well, you know, and she is very well socialized, right? I mean
She can clearly have a good time.

SAVAGE: Sounds like we are talking about a kinder Gartner. She is very
well socialized.


WAGNER: Tom Davis, I want to ask you a question, because as we spend all
this oxygen talking about Jeb Bush and Donald Trump attacking each other, I
mean there are candidates like John Kasich, who is pulling out as one of
the few republicans who might actually be able to beat Hillary Clinton.

Polling shows in head to head match ups that she could lose to John Kasich
if he ran by two points. Is there a chance for someone to take this
opportunity and wedge themselves in there as a viable alternative?

DAVIS: Well, I think – Look, this is a marathon. This is not a Sprint.
We are covering the very beginning of the race. And, I think sometimes the
candidates that hang back, not alienating large groups, building their base
will emerge later on. I think we are looking at the order today. It will
be nothing like ends up in Iowa or New Hampshire on primary night in my

WAGNER: It is anybody`s guess. Dan Savage, always god to see you. Thank
you for your time.

Coming up, Chris Christie threatens to go nuclear at the next debate.



JIMMY FALLON, HOST OF “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: In the last debate, I was
waiting for you to talk.



FALLON: But, it took a while, right?

CHRISTIE: Well, there was one point where I went 20 questions in a row
without being asked a question. Stay tuned on September 16th.


CHRISTIE: We may be changing tactics. You know, if I get to like 15
questions in a row – count them at home. If you go 15 in a row, “Oh-oh,
he is going to go nuclear now.”


FALLON: That is what I am talking about. All right.


WAGNER: That was governor Chris Christie on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy
Fallon” giving us a preview of what we can expect from him at the next
republican presidential debate. But, we do not have to wait until
September 16th to see Chris Christie go nuclear. We already know what that
looks like.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE PRESS: On Monday, are you going to be addressing the

CHRISTIE: Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic. On topic. Next



CHRISTIE: So, listen, you want to have a conversation later, I am happy to
have it, buddy. But, until that time, sit down and shut up.



CHRISTIE: And, let me tell you something, after you graduate from law
school you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom your rear end is going
to get thrown in jail, idiot.



CHRISTIE: That is why the union has no credibility, stupid statements like



WAGNER: But, who exactly will be in on that debate? Today CNN expanded
its criteria for the next republican debate, which means that Carly
Fiorina, who is solidly in the top ten in the latest CNN Poll. She will be
moving from the kids` table to the main stage.

We are back with our panel. Jonathan Capehart, all I know is for one split
second I thought, “Wait a second, does that mean Chris Christie is not
going to be on the main stage?” It looks, Jonathan, as if he will, which
is great news for anybody who enjoys this vintage Chris Christie tapes.

CAPEHART: Right. And, who hopes that, that vintage Chris Christie shows
up. He should have been there during the first debate, because he is
probably the only person on that stage, who could take Donald Trump down a
peg or two. I mean we have been used to – remember, Chris Christie was
the original tell it like it is candidate.

WAGNER: Right. Yes.

CAPEHART: Who also has the benefit of being a sitting governor in a Blue
State. And, Donald Trump is just Mr. Razzmatazz who has that wonderful
building up there on 5th avenue who has taken this presidential field by
storm by talking a lot of smack about a lot of people. And, every time he
insults somebody, he rises in the polls. So, Chris Christie should just be
himself and go after the guy.

WAGNER: But, at the same time, Tom, does the prospect of Chris Christie
taking on Donald Trump scares me. I mean I worry about the pyrotechnics in
that room.

DAVIS: It would be high entertainment. It would give him oxygen. You
have to separate yourself from the pact when you have ten people on the

WAGNER: So, you think it is a good idea for Chris Christie – I mean
because there is some conventional wisdom that says, step away from the
vehicle, let Trump be Trump. Do not engage. But you it is actually a good
thing for Chris Christie.

DAVIS: Well, look, you have the establishment wing of the party, and you
have a number of people vying for primacy there. This was thought to be
Jeb`s Bush`s territory, right now, not so much. You know, for Christie to
be viable he got to claim that and going after Trump is probably a good
tactic for him. And, I think it is great television.

WAGNER: That is for sure. And, what is interesting here also is the fact
that rules seem to have been tailored in some way to get Carly Fiorina on
the stage. I mean she has seen a surge of support after her debate
performance. What did you make of this latest announcement?

GEARAN: Well, I mean I think it certainly good for Carly Fiorina. It is
probably good for the republican brand in general to have a woman, who did
as well as she did at the kids` table the first time out be up there. You
know, it definitely looks better for them. She has earned it. She has
done really, really well.

She has been smart. She was a good debater. And, you know, she is really
picked her spots and done well. I do not know what that does for Chris
Christie`s strategy, frankly, if he wants to suck some additional oxygen
and throw some insults around.

He got to – she will dilute that a little bit, I think, as would – you
know, certainly, the sheer number of people up there means he is going to
get less air time to do that, but that is clearly his strategy. And, you
know, he, like several of my colleagues here have said tonight, he can do
that in a way that Donald Trump has kind of stolen the thunder, but he can
do the same thing.

WAGNER: So, now, it is up to Chris Christie to get in to a fight with
Megyn Kelly, although she is not going to be in this debate. I am just
saying he has to be a little bit careful.

CAPEHART: He has to be careful because he is a politician. All
politicians have that little trip switch that tells them be careful in a
way that –

WAGNER: Christie does not often listen.

CAPEHAR: He does not often listen to it, but I mean his trip switch is a
little more calibrated than say Mr. Trump`s trip switch. And, if I could
say something about Carly Fiorina.

I think the reason why she is rising in the polls is discipline. I went to
a Christian Science Monitor Breakfast with her that she did with reporters
in Washington. I think it was about April or May. She was tough, focused,
had an answer for every good question and zinger question coming her way.

She was talked over. She talked back. She gave as good as she got. The
Carly Fiorina, who showed up at the kids stable debate early last month was
the Carly Fiorina I saw several months ago.

And, so, anyone who thinks that just because CNN has changed the rules and
let one of the kids from the kids` table come to the big debate and think
that they are going to get one over on her or that she is not up to par,
she deserved to be in that debate the first go around and those guys better
watch out.

WAGNER: Right.

DAVIS: Jonathon, generally, discipline is a very good thing in politics,
and I think it has helped Carly Fiorina. Donald Trump is the opposite.


WAGNER: Right.

DAVIS: He is very undisciplined. He is very spontaneous. And, at least,
today, he seems to be getting away with it. Now, how long this lasts, I
think is anybody`s guess.

WAGNER: Carly Fiorina maybe the only republican that advances from the
kid`s table to the proverbial adult`s table. Jonathan Capehart, Tom Davis
and Anne Gearan, thank you all.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Alex.

WAGNER: Coming up, if he does not love it, Donald Trump probably thinks it
is a disaster.



WAGNER: FEMA better step up under President Donald Trump because according
to Trump there are a lot of disasters out there.


TRUMP: We have a disaster.



TRUMP: The southern border is a disaster.



TRUMP: Hillary is a disaster.



TRUMP: Jeb Bush wants common core. It is a disaster.



TRUMP: Common core has to be ended. It is a disaster. It is a disaster.



TRUMP: Justice Roberts is a disaster.



TRUMP: Obama Care is a disaster.



TRUMP: Obama Care has been a disaster.



TRUMP: Unless you get hit by a truck you cannot even use it. So, Obama
Care is a disaster.



TRUMP: It is a total disaster. It is a catastrophe.



TRUMP: Rand Paul, you have to understand is a disaster in the polls. He
is a disaster on military.



TRUMP: Walker, whose state by the way is a disaster, but I will not say



TRUMP: The schools are disaster. The hospitals and education is a



TRUMP: Our airports are disaster. It is killing us.



TRUMP: This trade pact is a disaster.



TRUMP: The trade deal was a disaster.


TRUMP: What a disaster, the veterans administration is.



TRUMP: The VA is a disaster.



TRUMP: Iraq was a disaster.



TRUMP: Yemen was a total victory and then like three months later, it was
like a disaster.



TRUMP: Our enemies are a disaster.



TRUMP: And, the Iran deal is a disaster.



TRUMP: Total disaster.



TRUMP: The Iran deal is a disaster.



TRUMP: It is a disaster.



TRUMP: It is a disaster.



TRUMP: Disaster. A disaster.



TRUMP: 24 is like the magic number that is a disaster.



TRUMP: And, I have always heard and it is a disaster.



TRUMP: That was a disaster.



TRUMP: Although, I do not know, that whole thing is such a disaster.


WAGNER: Coming up, the CEO who takes only two weeks for maternity leave
and she is having twins.



WAGNER: In August, Netflix changed its policy to allow mothers and fathers
to take unlimited leave – paid unlimited leave during their baby`s first
year. But as Larry Wilmore pointed out on the nightly show, that policy
did not apply to all Netflix employees.


excited about the new parental leave policy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Hell, no. I work in this DVD shipping
center. Parental leave is only for salary streaming employees.


WILMORE: Well, look, guys, maybe this is just the first step. I mean I am
sure the next step is you getting the same benefits, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: No. The next step is me figuring out how to
become a CEO and then figure it out how to have a baby.




WAGNER: Then again being the chief executive does not necessarily fix that
problem. When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth in September of 2012, she
returned to the office just two weeks later.

Now, she is pregnant again with twins and this morning she announced on her
Tumblr account, “I plan to approach the pregnancy and delivery as I did
with my son three years ago, taking limited time away and working

Joining me now is a Brigid Schulte, Reporter for the “Washington Post” and
author of “Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time.” So,
Brigid, one would think that the fact that Marissa Mayer makes $42 million
a year has something to do with her level of comfort around child care in
these first few months.

well be. I think what is really important in all of this discussion is why
do we have parental leave? And, there is a lot of great research that
shows it is important. It is not just a nice to have, but women need time
to physically recover.

Babies need time with mothers for really healthy growth and families need
time together to bond. So, it is not just a nice thing. It is really an
important thing for a good start in life. And, you are right, with child
care, she has a lot of options with money, and lots of people do not. But,
the other thing that is really important is not a lot of people have paid
parental leave in the United States.

WAGNER: Yes. To that end, Marissa Mayer, $42 million in cash and stock,
the average unmarried single mother makes $31,044 a year. The average
married mother makes $39,936 numbers considerably lower than a $42 million

But to your very important point about family leave being important, it is
also rare. In the U.S., one in four women return to work two weeks after
giving birth in part because only 13 percent of American workers are given
paid family leave.

That is according to the BLS in 2012. Why is it that the United States is
down there with New Guinea and Surinam as one of the only countries in the
world that does not have mandated paid maternity leave?

SCHULTE: I think that is a really important point. And, I think a lot of
people do not really understand that. In the United States, we have one
family friendly policy if you will and that gives families 12 weeks of
unpaid parental leave. But, that only applies to about 40 percent of the
work place.

The majority of companies out there, the vast majority offer no paid
parental leave, which is why it is really important that companies show
leadership because we have no national policy. Why? That is a really good
question? It has not even been part of the national debate until very,
very recently.

And, you really do not hear the presidential candidates talking about it a
lot. So, why is a really important question? I think it is one that we
really do need to start asking yourselves. But, the other thing that is
really important to look at is the boss is who sets the tone for the
culture of the work place.

WAGNER: Right.

SCHULTRE: And, so, if the boss is not going to take a parental leave, you
can pretty much bet that the people down the line are not going to feel
very comfortable about taking much leave either.

WAGNER: Wait, so, in effect, Marissa Mayer has set the clock back in a lot
of ways on this issue?

SCHULTE: You could certainly argue that. And, I think one of the big
issues that we are really not focusing on is our American culture of
overwork. You know, why are we not even looking at why we work these long

Work hours have been increasing for everybody, particularly in salaried
fields since the 1980s. We think that the best workers have to work, you
know, 50, 70, 80, 90 hours a week and that is a lot of what keeps people at
work and having us not look at realistic policies.

WAGNER: For us Brigid, this work day is over. Brigid Schulte gets
tonight`s last word. Thanks for your time. Chris Hayes is coming up next.


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