The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 1/26/2016

Guests:
Elise Jordan, Stuart Stevens, David Corn, Nate Silver, Wendy Davis, Thom Hartman, Eve Ensler
Transcript:

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: January 26, 2016
Guest: Elise Jordan, Stuart Stevens, David Corn, Nate Silver, Wendy Davis,
Thom Hartman, Eve Ensler


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: For over a year that their water – their water
despite authorities are showing them for over a year that their water was
not safe.

People who spoke out when nobody would listen, and people who today,
despite all the national attention, as far as we can tell at least, they`re
still not getting the help they need.

We have invited Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to attend tomorrow`s event.
As of this evening, he hasn`t said one way or the other – hope springs
eternal.

That`s all tomorrow night, 9:00 right here, we hope you can join us and
possibly your neighbors that will watch party near you.

That does it for us tonight, we`ll see again tomorrow, now it`s time for
THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I think tomorrow night is going to
be the most important hour on this subject so far.

MADDOW: Well, thank you for saying so, I`m very nervous, but I`m really
looking forward to getting out there.

O`DONNELL: I have full faith and confidence in you.

MADDOW: Thanks a lot.

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel –

MADDOW: Thanks –

O`DONNELL: Well, tonight, Donald Trump stopped campaigning against Ted
Cruz so he could campaign against Megyn Kelly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I said bye-bye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean an aggressive move here by skipping a debate
going –

TRUMP: By now –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Against Fox News –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll be there –

TRUMP: They sent out the wise guy press releases.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Making him look like a chicken, saying he`s
afraid to face Megyn Kelly.

TRUMP: Now, let`s see how many people watch –

MATTHEWS: Who is going to watch a debate between Rubio and Ted Cruz? Who
cares?!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wonder how Iowans are going to react.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: It`s been special season when
we pretend to know what a caucus is.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump has picked up the endorsement of Jerry
Falwell Junior.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Evangelicals over the last month moving a
little bit away from Ted Cruz and toward Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: If he can win there, he can win anywhere.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Donald wins Iowa, if he
went on to win New Hampshire as well, there`s a very good chance he could
be unstoppable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The top two Democrats are fighting their own battles.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You campaign in poetry, you
govern in prose.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Experience
is important, but judgment is also important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The latest “Cbs” poll has Bernie Sanders beating
Hillary Clinton by 1 percent in Iowa, though, another poll has Hillary
beating Bernie Sanders with a folding chair.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Fake tough guy presidential candidate Donald Trump is afraid of
a lot of people.

He is so afraid of Muslims who does not want to allow another one to enter
the United States.

And he is afraid of being asked tough questions by reporters covering his
campaign.

So, afraid of that, that he keeps them in a pen and doesn`t allow them to
get anywhere close to him on the campaign trail.

Most of the time he does that. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has
done interviews in every evening prime time hour on “Fox News” and “Cnn”.

But fake tough guy presidential candidate Donald Trump has never done an
interview in prime time on this network.

After the first Republican presidential debate, when “Fox News`” Megyn
Kelly asked Donald Trump an uncomfortable question, Donald Trump lashed out
at Megyn Kelly with all the ferocity of a spoiled 4-year-old boy.

Tonight, Donald Trump`s fear of Megyn Kelly has driven him to a cowardly
decision that Trump supporters surely will, as they always do, see as
bravery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They can`t toy with me like they toy with everybody else. So, let
them have their debate and let`s see how they do with the ratings.

And I told them, I said give money to the wounded warriors, give money to
the veterans, they`re going to make a fortune with the debate.

Now, let`s see how many people watch. We`ll have our own event, we`ll
raise some money for the wounded warriors, we`ll raise money for the vets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump had been publicly toying with not doing that
debate for a few days now.

He said today what finalized his decision were teasing press releases by
“Fox News”, including one today, saying, “we learned from a secret back
channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump
unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president.

A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plans to replace
the cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those
meetings.”

That came after another “Fox News” statement, one of those wise guy
statements as Trump would call it.

That statement said, “sooner or later, Donald Trump even if he is president
is going to have to learn that he doesn`t get to pick the journalists.

We`re very surprised he`s willing to show that much fear about being
questioned by Megyn Kelly.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: When they sent out the wise guy press releases a little while ago,
I was all set to do the debate.

I came here to do the debate. When they sent out the wise guy press
releases a little while ago done by some PR person along with Roger Ailes,
I said bye-bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump began this day campaigning against Megyn Kelly on
“Abc”.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don`t think she`s a good professional, I don`t think she`s
professional at all.

She`s very biased against me. I don`t think she`s a very talented person.
I don`t think she`s a good reporter.

I think they can do a lot better than that. I love doing the debates. You
know, I just do think they should get competent reporters.

They shouldn`t use somebody like her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Tonight on the Mark Levin show, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump`s
biggest challenger in Iowa, challenged Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CRUZ: If Donald is afraid of Megyn Kelly, I would like to invite him on
your show to participate in a one-on-one debate between me and Donald.

We could do it without any moderators whatsoever. I`m happy to go an hour
and a half, mano-a-mano, me and Donald with no moderators any time before
the Iowa caucuses.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now are David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief for
“Mother Jones” and an Msnbc political analyst.

Also with us, Stuart Stevens, columnist for the “Daily Beast” and the
former chief strategist for Mitt Romney`s presidential campaign.

And with us here in New York studio, Elise Jordan; former senior policy
adviser to Senator Rand Paul`s presidential campaign and an Msnbc political
analyst.

Elise, welcome to the dark side. This sounds to me like it could just be
the Trump strategist to actually looking at this and saying, how will the
debate help?

How can it possibly help? It could – what can happen in that debate that
will improve his situation in Iowa?

ELISE JORDAN, FORMER SENIOR POLICY ADVISER TO RAND PAUL: Well, that is
definitely one way to look at it.

But also he did his best performance of the entire debate season was last -
- the last debate when he managed Ted Cruz made Donald Trump seem almost
like a sensitive human being.

It was very odd. So, he actually had shown improvement throughout this
debate process.

Which is why I find it odd that he`s willing to take this big of a gamble
because I think it`s a huge mistake and it could potentially backfire.

Although, when has that happened to Trump?

O`DONNELL: Right –

(CROSSTALK)

Yes, well, actually, every – that`s the – we have a little thing in the
teleprompter that puts that at the end –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right –

O`DONNELL: Of every statement about Trump, this could backfire. Stuart
Stevens, explain it to me, what is Trump up to?

STUART STEVENS, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST & FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR MITT
ROMNEY: Listen, I think the problem with unstable people is they do
unstable things.

I don`t think there`s any master plan here. I don`t think there`s any
grand strategy.

I think it`s deadly what Donald Trump says, they sent out some press
releases from “Fox”, he got annoyed, got his back up and said well, I`m not
going to go to the debate.

You know, it`s just one more indication of what incredibly unsuited
personality this person is to be president of the United States.

I mean, it`s ridiculous. And you know, I fear that he may leave this race
before we`ll know his real thoughts on the nuclear quadrangle.

It`s just – this is – this is Donald Trump. He`s not a serious person
running for a very serious job.

O`DONNELL: We`ve got a written statement from the Trump campaign. And I`m
just going to hold it up to the camera, it`s a full page.

And my guess is that, it might be about close to maybe 320 words, something
like that.

The words the art of the deal are in there and bestselling book, but
nowhere in this thing, nowhere in it does it say why Donald Trump is
pulling out of the debate.

David Corn, the latest twist from Donald Trump.

DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: Well, you know, I think
my friends Stuart and Elise here have the disadvantage of trying to deal
with this as if this is reality, or at least the reality that we`re
accustomed to.

Donald Trump does seem to be unstable, but he is indeed backfire-proof.

Nothing he`s done seems to backfire, it only plays to his crowd, which
seems to be anywhere between 30 percent and 60 percent of the Republican
Party that Stuart Stevens used to work with in terms of the base.

And I think, you know, it may not be that he`s just doing this because he`s
peaked, what`s anyone talking about today?

Will Trump do the debate? I`ll talk like Trump, will Trump do this? And
tomorrow, they`ll be talking about it again.

He may change his mind and say I`m going to do it. So, in these last few
days before the caucus, when every other candidate is trying to get a
narrative out there, people are just talking about Trump.

And you know, and he`s out there saying winners don`t debate. I`m a
winner, I`m a winner, I don`t need to debate.

It`s just the same line he`s been pushing in a different format and sucking
up every little bit of oxygen.

You know, pity Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

O`DONNELL: And in his –

(CROSSTALK)

In his statements today, he specifically insulted Roger Ailes who runs “Fox
News” and that`s something he`s been avoiding doing in his past feuding
with “Fox News”.

Let`s – there`s a report out tonight indicating that Trump may be saying
to “Fox News”, he`s only willing to talk to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of
the whole shebang.

He will not talk to anybody over there about how to solve this problem.
But let`s take a look back at the question, the Megyn Kelly question that
started this whole thing.

Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: You`ve called women you don`t like fat pigs,
dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.

Your Twitter account –

TRUMP: Only Rosie O`Donnell –

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: No, it wasn`t. Your Twitter account –

TRUMP: Thank you –

KELLY: For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O`Donnell.

TRUMP: Yes, I`m sure it was.

KELLY: Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women`s
looks. You once told a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice”, it would be a
pretty picture to see her on her knees.

Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as
president?

And how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton who is likely to be
the Democratic nominee that you are part of the war on women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Elise Jordan, one of the things “Fox News” said in their
statements today, that Trump doesn`t understand that he cannot control the
journalists”.

He has every right to believe that he can. Not one person who has
interviewed him has asked as memorable or tough a question as that since
Megyn Kelly asked that question.

JORDAN: Well, her follow up was clearly – it took even off guard. And
that`s what, this whole strategy that “Fox” is pursuing I think is pretty
brilliant and I think that Trump might have met his match.

But remember, Roger Ailes, his involvement with the Reagan campaigns, with
H.W. Bush in `88 and making him palatable to a more conservative base.

I think that Roger Ailes knows who he is dealing with, and this is – this
could be interesting.

O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens, a big endorsement today for Trump from Jerry
Falwell Junior who runs Liberty University where Ted Cruz made his campaign
announcement.

That`s the biggest evangelical side of the game – endorsement that Trump
got.

Then tonight, on Megyn Kelly`s show – what`s his – Tony Perkins, Tony
Perkins personally endorsed Trump not on behalf of the organizations –
religious organizations he`s involved with.

Which one of those – I mean, Tony Perkins versus Falwell? I think that
Falwell is the bigger one, right?

STEVENS: Well, actually, I would have said Tony Perkins.

O`DONNELL: Well, OK –

STEVENS: You know, I`m not sure endorsements matter much in these things.
I`ve done frighteningly five out of the last six Iowa caucuses –

(LAUGHTER)

And whenever I had a big endorsement lined up, when we went and filmed it,
and we were all excited, it never really seemed to move numbers and
tracking.

You know, the thing that people forget is, you`re talking about a very –
forget the percentage.

You`re talking about a very few number of people here. I mean, the last
time Mitt Romney won and then he lost by 35 votes or something.

The difference between first and third on caucus night, it could be a few
hundred votes.

So, I think that the margins here are what we`re playing at, and I think
that Donald Trump not showing up is going to be seen – forget the Megyn
Kelly thing.

It`s going to be seen as disrespectful to Iowa. And you want to not
disrespect the voters.

Even when John McCain was not really competing in Iowa, and not in 2000,
was only focusing on New Hampshire.

He still went to the Iowa debates. And I think that, that`s just a sign of
respect for the process.

O`DONNELL: David Corn, a quick last word on this.

CORN: Donald Trump`s campaign is not about respect, Stuart –

(LAUGHTER)

I think that – I think the bottom-line, and watching his battle with
“Fox”, I`m just getting the popcorn out, it`s like Godzilla versus Mothra.

And I don`t know who is going to win it, I actually don`t care.

O`DONNELL: Well, maybe it`s up to Rupert Murdoch who wins. David Corn,
Stuart Stevens and Elise Jordan, thank you all for joining me tonight.
Appreciate it –

STEVENS: Sure thing –

O`DONNELL: Coming up, who has the best chance of winning Iowa and who has
the best chance of winning New Hampshire?

And who is the best person to tell us? The triumphant return of Nate Silver
to THE LAST WORD, that`s coming up.

And later, playwright Eve Ensler joins us to talk about her new campaign,
stop hate, dump Trump.

And we have some breaking news from that standoff in Oregon. The reports
of arrests being made there tonight, that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: We have breaking news at this hour tonight from Oregon on that
three and a half week old standoff between anti-government militia and
federal officials.

We`ve just learned that the leader of that group Ammon Bundy is in custody
tonight after an incident where shots were fired.

For more now, we go to Nbc`s Joe Fryer, Joe, what is the latest there?

JOE FRYER, NBC NEWS: Well, Lawrence, the FBI just released a statement,
giving us more details.

It said it decided to begin what it called an enforcement action this
afternoon to try to end this armed occupation that`s been going on for
three and a half weeks, and arrest some of the people involved.

So, there was a situation where they were confronted by authorities and
during the arrest, shots were fired according to authorities.

One person, one of the protesters was killed in that exchange. That
person`s name has not been released yet.

Another was also shot and injured, that person is expected to survive, was
taken to a hospital in town to be treated.

That hospital is under lockdown. Also during this entire incident, six
protesters were taken into custody.

Ammon Bundy; the leader of the group, one of them along with his brother,
Ryan, they are now in federal custody.

And according authorities, they all face federal felony charge. This is
the charge – “conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from
discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or
threats.”

Now, all of this actually happened not at the Wildlife Refuge, but well
north of it, north of the town of Burns on a road where it appears
authorities tried to pull them over and enforce these arrests.

From what we understand, the armed militants were actually heading to a
meeting in the town of John Day Oregon.

That is about 70 miles north of Burns. They were expected to meet with
community members there, to talk about the ongoing occupation.

A number of people were gathered in John Day, waiting for the armed
militants to arrive, but they never did arrive because of what happened
this afternoon around 4:30 p.m. Oregon time.

Again, to recap, one of the protesters is dead, another was injured and six
others, including the leader, Ammon Bundy are now all in custody and will
face federal charges, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And Joe, once again, no information at this point in terms of a
name of the person killed or a name of the person injured?

FRYER: No, authorities at this point don`t want to release that
information because they want to make sure to inform the family and this
happened not that long ago.

There are some rumors circulating online about who it is, but at this
point, we don`t know.

And we really don`t know exactly what happened during the exchange between
authorities and the armed protesters.

But we know that the FBI says that shots were fired during this incident
and that`s what led to the exchange.

O`DONNELL: And any injuries to law enforcement personnel?

FRYER: The FBI has said nothing about that. At this point, the FBI is
only saying, basically, two people were shot, the one who died and the
other who was injured.

O`DONNELL: And Joe, what do we know about any protesters still left at the
– at the Reserve – the Federal Reserve there?

FRYER: That`s a good question, because we know this happened well over 30
miles from the Refuge.

At this point, it`s believed based on some of the reports we were seeing on
social media that there were still certainly some people there.

It`s unclear at this point if authorities moved in there to get those
people out or if they remain at this time.

Again, all of this action happened several miles away from the Refuge, but
it involved some of the key players in this armed occupation who it appears
were heading to a meeting well north of Burns.

O`DONNELL: Joe Fryer, we`ll come back to you if anymore develops there,
Joe, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

FRYER: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Coming up, FiveThirtyEight`s Nate Silver joins us to clear up
all the confusion about all these polls.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: As of this hour, Nate Silver of the “New York Times”
FiveThirtyEight blog predicts that President Obama will win 314 electoral
college votes and Mitt Romney will win 227.

Nate Silver gives President Obama a 91 percent chance of winning re-
election. That was the night before the last presidential election and now
the triumphant return of Nate Silver.

We used Nate Silver`s poll analysis in the last presidential election which
was always correctly pointing to the re-election of President Obama.

Even amidst a flurry of confusing and conflicting polls that indicated
otherwise sometimes.

In the most recent “Cnn” Iowa polls, Senator Bernie Sanders is ahead of
Hillary Clinton by 8 points in the most recent “Fox News” Iowa polls.

Secretary Clinton is ahead of Bernie Sanders by six points. Here to make
sense of all of that, Nate Silver, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of
FiveThirtyEight.com.

Nate, luckily, you`re finally here.

NATE SILVER, STATISTICIAN & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF. FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: Yes, but I`m
not going to be able to deconfuse things as much as I would be during a
general election.

Primary polling is a wild endeavor, especially in Iowa and New Hampshire
where half of voters make up their mind in the last week.

O`DONNELL: And with general election polling, it`s a longer course of
polling activity, it`s over areas that are predictable, you know which ones
to ignore –

SILVER: And there are –

O`DONNELL: Because there aren`t many electoral votes –

SILVER: There are a lot fewer swing voters. I mean –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

SILVER: Almost everyone is a swing voter in the primary, in the sense that
you might have if you`re a Republican, five or six candidates that you
like.

Maybe it comes to your first choice, your Cruz –

O`DONNELL: Right –

SILVER: You know, even in the Democratic race, it`s at least a two-way
race that makes it a little bit less.

But although – but all the third place and fourth place and fifth place
candidates in the GOP get their voters sick with them and looks like this
guy doesn`t have a chance to win.

Did they (INAUDIBLE), so, you know, the big kind of polling one-on-one
conclusion is, you should be nervous about any lead in the primary poll
until people start voting.

But especially in a caucus state and especially in New Hampshire in a race
where you have six or seven viable Republican candidates in that state at
least.

O`DONNELL: And then it`s always worth a reminder that, you know, when
people see someone move five points in a poll, it`s possible that nothing
happened because of the margin of error.

What you`re really looking at is a band, a band of statistical possibility
that tends to be anywhere from six to eight points wide.

SILVER: Yes, that`s the – six or eight or even more points –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

SILVER: Wide potentially –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

SILVER: And you`re right, you know, in a general election, a five points
is a meaningful shift, but these primary polls may only have two or three
or four hundred –

O`DONNELL: Right –

SILVER: People. Also, maybe not the right people. Polls that show lots
of people – caucus show good news for Bernie Sanders and for Donald Trump.

If you have the previous electorate showing up, then Cruz will probably win
and Clinton might win pretty easily if the old traditional caucus
electorate comes out instead.

So no one really agrees on who is going to vote and it makes it doubly hard
versus the general election.

O`DONNELL: All right, so much for the refresher tutorial on how tricky
this is. Let`s get to the actual chances as you see it now.

In Iowa, you see it as Hillary Clinton having a 67 percent chance of
winning, Bernie Sanders having a 33 percent chance of winning.

SILVER: Yes, so she`s about a two to one favorite. We definitely saw a
big closing for Bernie after the first of the year.

One theory is that people talked with their parents at home and the parents
were like, you know what?

I like Bernie, too, we haven`t seen him close from being a few points
behind on average to ahead here.

We haven`t seen him pull ahead – again, the polls are all over the place.
Some polls that showed him ahead by eight, to Clinton ahead by 25 if you
believe that.

But the average shows her a little bit ahead.

O`DONNELL: And New Hampshire looks even more clear to you with Bernie
Sanders – in your analysis, Bernie Sanders having a 90 percent chance of
winning, Hillary Clinton having a 10 percent chance of winning.

And I just want to stress, this doesn`t mean Bernie Sanders is getting 90
percent of the vote, Hillary Clinton getting 10 percent.

SILVER: Right –

O`DONNELL: Means, Bernie Sanders has a 90 percent chance of getting more
votes than –

SILVER: But let me clear one wrinkle in here, which is, this is a simple
version of a forecast, it doesn`t account for what might happen in Iowa.

O`DONNELL: Yes, that can –

SILVER: So, if Bernie –

O`DONNELL: Right –

SILVER: Loses Iowa, then there might be momentum shift, so –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

SILVER: You know, if he didn`t have Iowa in the way, then Bernie would
look terrific for New Hampshire right now.

But, you do, so 90 percent I think is a little bit on the high side.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And in the craziest campaign in history, Donald Trump you
say has a 55 percent chance of winning Iowa, Ted Cruz has a 39 percent
chance.

SILVER: So, it`s a little closer. I mean, it`s not that far from being
50/50.

We wrote a couple of weeks ago when Cruz was ahead that, hey, there`s still
a lot of time to go, it`s a pretty small lead, be careful, don`t get ahead
of yourself on Cruz.

I might say the same thing now if the Trump turnout isn`t strong. There`s
one last debate, Donald Trump might not be there. But remember –

O`DONNELL: Right –

SILVER: That to me, will happen on Thursday –

O`DONNELL: Thursday night –

SILVER: You might not even have time for that debate to be reflected fully
in the polls. Remember, New Hampshire –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

SILVER: In 2008, Clinton had a debate where she did really well. We
didn`t really know the impact of that until after people –

O`DONNELL: That debate will be reflected fully Monday night in the Iowa
caucuses.

SILVER: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And then finally, New Hampshire, you give Donald Trump a 67
percent chance of winning, Ted Cruz, an 11 percent chance of winning New
Hampshire.

SILVER: Yes, the one thing you could say against Trump in New Hampshire is
that, you do have five or six candidates at 10 percent.

And you have one of them break out. The problem is that, no one has been
able to develop momentum yet.

You know, as we were getting ready, there`s a poll that came out, showing -
- 15 percent, you see polls for Kasich and Cruz and Rubio.

No one is doing badly enough to drop out, but no one is doing well enough
yet to really put a dent in Trump`s margin.

O`DONNELL: Nate Silver, that chair has your name on it, any and every
night you want to come back and guide us through this because it`s going to
just keep coming.

SILVER: Cool, thank you –

O`DONNELL: Thanks Nate. Up next, another Hillary versus Bernie debate
without Hillary or Bernie supporters of each candidate will join us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNEL: Time for another Hillary versus Bernie debate without Hillary or
Bernie. Supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will join us in a
moment. At last night`s democratic forum, Hillary Clinton was asked to
respond to one of Bernie Sanders most talked about campaign ads, which
features the Simon & Garfunkel song, “America.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: I am Bernie Sanders and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I think that is great. I think that is fabulous. I loved it.
And, now, look, you cannot paint in poetry, you govern in pros. And, we
need a lot more poetry in this campaign and in our country, so I applaud
that. I love the feeling. I love the energy, but I believe that I am the
better person to be the democratic nominee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Wendy Davis, a former member of the Texas
State Senators Campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Also, joining us is Thom
Hartman, host of the nationwide radio show called, “Thom Hartman” program.
He supports Bernie Sanders for president.

Wendy Davis, the pros of governing is of course legislation and that is
written by congress. So, which of Secretary Clinton`s legislative
proposals do you believe Paul Ryan will bring to a vote in the house of
representatives.

WENDY DAVIS, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, my hope is that he will
bring to a vote the idea that we need to be supporting working families in
this country by working toward paid family leave, joining the rest of the
industrialized countries or in this world in terms of making sure that we
are providing the kind of support for our working families that they need.

O`DONNELL: And, Thom Hartman, people have been talking about how
impractical Bernie Sanders` ideas are because they would not be passed by
congress, unless I am missing something. It is hard for me, sitting here
to think of anything – any major thing that Hillary Clinton or Bernie
Sanders is proposing that would even get a hearing in a republican
controlled house of representatives.

THOM HARTMAN, RADIO HOST AND A BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: I think you are
absolutely right, Lawrence. And, thank you for having me back on. It is
pleasure to be on with Senator Davis. On the other hand, when you look at
wave elections, you know, the FDR`s election, even Lyndon Johnson, arguably
– for that matter Barack Obama`s first election, they tend to sweep into
office the whole lot of people.

So, you know, I think frankly if Bernie Sanders is elected it will be
because millions of people, who have not voted before or only infrequently
vote showed up. And, if that happens Paul Ryan is not going to be speaker
of the house and Bernie will have a democratic house and a democratic
senators even more likely. And, it might be able to get a heck of a lot, A
gooof stuff done.

O`DONNELL: All right. Last night Bernie Sanders was asked in turn to
respond to a Clinton campaign ad. Let us look at that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: She is the one leader who has what it takes
to get every part of the job done.

CLINTON: I am Hillary Clinton and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Is Hillary Clinton simply better prepared for the
job than you, sir? Do not leave, we have another 15 minutes.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND APPLAUDING)

SANDERS: This calls for a standing up response. I voted against the war
in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort
against Wall Street deregulation. See where Hillary Clinton was on this
issue.

I did not have to think hard about opposing the transpacific partnership.
It took Hillary Clinton a long time to come on board that. So, in other
words, yes, I do think I have the background and the judgment to take this
very, very difficult job of being president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Wendy Davis, Senator Sanders says he was right and Hillary
Clinton was wrong or slow on those issues.

DAVIS: You know, I think if you look at what these candidates are talking
about in the campaign and also looking at their records, going back to
Hillary`s statement about campaigning being the poetry and the governing of
this country being the pros. Look at the positions that Hillary has taken
on gun control in this country. That is for pros.

Bernie Sanders statements about that are his poetry, but his pros are the
votes that he has taken in that regard. Five times voting to support the
RNA. Five times voting against background checks in that regard. Two
times voting to provide immunity for gun dealers and for those who are
registered in this country, who are selling weapons. She has shown time
and again that she has what it takes to be the person, who will lead us
forward.

And, I think when you look at her record, the fact that Hillary Clinton has
gotten up day after day after day in some very tough fights and
demonstrated that she is willing to do what it takes to do the best for the
American public and for their families, her record speaks volumes in that
record. And, I think she will stand on her record any day of the week to
demonstrate that she is the person who is best suited to govern from day
one when she enters the white house.

O`DONNELL: Thom Hartman, your response?

HARTMAN: Well, first of all, I think the kind of Nixonian attacks on
Bernie about several out of literally thousands, perhaps ten thousand votes
that he has taken are not going to work. Anybody who has bothered to
familiarize themselves on Bernie`s record even on gun control knows that –
you know, the NRA hates him and pretty much always has.

But setting that aside, getting back to the politics and pros issue, which
Senator Davis brought up and you brought up, Lawrence I think it is a
really important one. Hillary Clinton said we campaign with poetry and we
govern with pros. I would say that, that was the mistake that Barack Obama
made.

He campaigned with poetry and we elected him thinking that we would
continue to get that poetry that he would be out there fighting for us and
speaking for us; instead he kind of went to radio silence and told us all,
“I got this. Everything is cool. Do not worry.” And, not a great deal
happened or at least not all the stuff – not even much of the stuff that
we had hoped for and that had been promised.

So, I think that a president – if you look at John Kennedy, we are going
to put a man on the moon in ten years, people thought he was crazy. If you
look at Franklin Roosevelt, we are going to make the government, the
employer of last resort end this republican great depression.

People thought it was impossible. People who govern with poetry and pros
are the most effective presidents. And, frankly, I do not think that we
have had one since Ronald Reagan. And, he was on the other side, but he
govern with both poetry and pros, that is why he was so popular. That is
why he got so much done.

O`DONNELL: Well, I think if we look at the legislative record, Barack
Obama accomplished more in the presidency than any democratic presidents
since LBJ.

DAVIS: Exactly.

HARTMAN: I do not disagree with that at all.

O`DONNELL: But, let us listen –

HARTMAN: And, he has been a great president.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to what Hillary Clinton said about Barack Obama
in the 2008 presidential campaign. Let us listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: You know, a wonderful former governor of New York used to say
that, in politics you campaign in poetry, but you govern in pros. And, we
need a president who knows how to govern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Wendy Davis, was Hillary Clinton wrong to suggest that Barack
Obama did not and would not know how to govern as president?

DAVIS: Well, clearly Hillary Clinton would be the first person today that
would tell you that our country has dramatically improved under the
presidency and the leadership of President Obama. And, obviously, she is
someone who has stood strongly by his side and was selected as his
secretary of state and did a remarkable job in that role.

And, I think the fact that the two of them see the challenges that face
this country in a very similar way speaks volumes to what she will be able
to achieve as president. She understands that we have to build on the
record of success that he has been able to accomplish, including the
passage of Obama Care and the desire to make that better.

And, she will be equipped because of her fights time and time again on
reproductive rights on making sure that families are able to support
themselves. She is going to be the person best suited for this job.

O`DONNELL: Wendy Davis and Thom Hartman, thank you very much for joining
us for one more debate. Thank you for that.

HARTMAN: Thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, playwright Eve Ensler is leading a new campaign
called, “Dump Trump.” Eve Ensler will join us.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Here is what Chris Christie said in New Hampshire when he was
asked why he was not in New Jersey dealing with the clean up from last
weekend`s snowstorm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There has been one
county that is flooded. I do not know what you expect me to do. Do you
want me to go down there with a mop?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Well, some residents of flooded New Jersey communities did not
like that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: It takes a little bit more than a mop for
this. The devastation is what it is. That is not going to change. It is
going to take more than a mop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: My town is in an uproar over that remarks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, Chris Christie apologized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I got carried away last night at a town hall meeting. It is not
the first time that I have gotten carried away and said something that I
really apologized for. It does not happened often, but it happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Up next. MSNBC`s Joy Reid joins me from Flint, Michigan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: People out there are saying, they want you
investigated, they want you arrested. Is it fair for people to say these
kinds of things?

GOV. RICK SNYDER, (R) MICHIGAN: Well, again, it is gone beyond that,
people want to have me shot. Well, I mean that is true. So, again, that
does not help solve the problem. So, I just have to deal with all that. I
have to live with it. And, I am going to keep my focus on solving the
problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Flint, Michigan water crisis has drawn the attention of the
United Nations. The organizations expert on hazardous substance and waste
told the Associated Press that the U.N. is, quote, “Following the
developments in Flint and looking at it from the human rights lens.”

This evening, at a public meeting in Flint, the NAACP called for an
investigation by the Department of Justice and released a plan to address
the crisis The organization`s president also met with the Governor Snyder.
Joining us now, MSNBC National Correspondent, Joy Reid. What is the
essence of the NAACP`s plan.

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the NAACP, Lawrence, is
calling on more assistance from the state to the children in particular of
Flint during that meeting, which was also attended by the mayor of Flint
Mayor Karen Weaver. The outcome of it was essentially, the governor`s plan
to call on the feds, essentially to come in and do a special expansion of
Medicaid to provide long-term assistance to the children in Flint.

I can tell you, though, Lawrence, we have been talking to people throughout
the day and no one expressed a lot of confidence in the governor. And,
more importantly, they said that they have not gotten anything in the way
of direct assistance or advisement from the state as to what to do with
their kids right now. What they have seen is a lot of national guards man
walking around, handing out bottled water, but there is not a lot of long-
term planning in terms of how do they get the additional nutritional
assistance that is being advised.

The menus that they are being told to serve their kids, where there is not
a grocery store in the city of Flint that they can go and buy the food.
So, they are really essentially at this point counting on the public
schools to help with nutrition and now this potential for a request that
the federal government come in and provide a Medicaid expansion to try to
help the children here and those who had been affected by the lead in the
water.

O`DONNELL: Governor Snyder has said he is sorry. He is apologized. He
was asked today specifically, what he is sorry for. Let us listen to that
answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SNYDER: There are a number of individuals that work for me that made
mistakes in this process that contributed to not seeing the corrosive
controls go in the water that common sense said they should have. And,
when people make mistakes that work for you, you are responsible. And, you
have to do everything to improve it. The other thing is we went through
this, there are other opportunities that I wish I could have done things
faster and better when you look at it in retrospect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, it is an administration that allowed a lot of
mistakes and now people have to wonder how many mistakes will they make in
this process of trying to fix it?

REID: Yes. And, there is a great deal of skepticisms that the governor is
sort of expressing, there were problems made and people should have known
better. Look, people have understood that Lake Huron obviously has this
giant body of water and it is the third largest fresh water body was always
there and available. That is where Detroit gets its water. That is how
Flint was getting its water.

People had been concerned about the Flint River and getting water from
there since the 1960s. The first deal to do so within 63 to go to Detroit.
So, people here are wondering, how it could be possible that anyone would
allow Flint water to be used river water rather than Lake Huron. So, I do
not know that the governor`s words are getting too much of a warm reception
here in Flint that people we have talked to. Lawrence

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, thanks for joining us tonight. Thank you. I
appreciate it.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid will be joining Rachel Maddow tomorrow night when
Rachel hosts a town hall in Flint, Michigan. That is tomorrow night live
at 9:00 P.M. Eastern here on MSNBC. Still ahead, playwright, Eve Ensler,
and 26,000 of her best friends including Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda and
Kerry Washington are trying to dump Trump.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

O`DONNELL: Today, was the filing deadline for senate candidates in
Kentucky. And, democrats now have what they say is a credible opponent for
Senator Rand Paul. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray filed this morning.

Mayor gray is the wealthy chairman of his family`s construction business
and has been elected in Lexington twice. He is openly gay. Seven
democrats have now filed to run in that race. Rand Paul is facing two
republican challengers for the state`s March caucus.

Up next, Eve Ensler, the author of “The Vagina Monologues” joins us to talk
about Donald Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: “Stop hate, dump Trump” is the title of an online petition that
hopes to do exactly that, stop Donald Trump. The petition says, quote, “We
believe Trump is a grave threat to democracy, freedom, human rights,
equality and the welfare of our country and all our people. History has
shown us what happens when people refuse to stand against hate-filled
leaders. We pledge ourselves to speak out in every way possible against
the politics of hate and exclusion he represents.”

So, far more than 26,000 people have signed that petition, including Harry
Belafonte, Mike Farrell, Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Macy Gray, Michael
Moore, Cynthia Nixon, Rosie O`Donnell, Lily Tomlin, Kerry Washington, and
Eve Ensler. Eve Ensler joins us now. She is a Tony Award Playwright and
performer. The author if “The Vagina Monologue.”

She is one of the people who started “Stop hate, dump Trump.” Eve, I am
not surprised. You know, since I saw this, I thought, “Oh, boy, Eve
Ensler, watching Trump standing up there, saying `I, Donald J. Trump` want
to band all Muslims,` and all this horrible, horrible stuff he has been
saying.”

EVE ENSLER, TONY AWARD PLAYWRIGHT: Yes, and I think at the beginning of
this whole Trump reality T.V. show, which has become a presidential race –

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

ENSLER: We all kind of said this is going to go away and suddenly it is
developing steam, a kind of bigoted hateful steam and we are watching it.
About two weeks ago, we all just got together at my house because so many
people were going, “What are we going to do?”

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

ENSLER: We cannot be silent. We cannot – we have seen in history what
happens when people allow for this kind of bigotry, this kind of hate and
to ban all Muslims. I mean what is his plan to change the constitution. I
mean – or to just ignore the constitution or dissolve the constitution.

And, I think what we are also witnessing is not only the misogynous trend,
the hatred of Mexicans, the hatred of immigrants, the hatred of disabled
people. I mean every day, there seems to be a new group except for white
men, who seemed to be only people who had been spared – that could be
coming next, who knows. But, I think one of the things we have also seen
and this is not of course I am speaking to you, but the media.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

ENSLER: Please.

ENSLER: The media has basically somehow either turned it into
entertainment, which has kind of normalized Trump`s extremism and allowed
it to kind of – each day kind of spread the margins of what is acceptable
or there is a kind of cowering in the face of Trump, where people do not
interrogate him or investigate him or ask him hard-hitting questions, that
in any of the time in history, I think there will would be an attempt to do
that.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Well, Eve, here is the deal. T.V., the place that has
those commercials, it is a business and Trump has been good for ratings for
people who get to interview Trump. And, one of the saddest things you see
in these T.V. interviews of Trump is many times are people – the
interviewer at the end of the interview, publicly begging for Trump to give
them another interview.

ENSLER: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: If you go into the interview with somebody like Donald Trump
where your primary objective is to get another interview with Donald Trump,
guess how hard those questions are going to be.

ENSLER: Uh-huh. Well, I was watching Wolf Blitzer the other day on CNN,
interviewing him and it was the day after he had made the comment that his
followers would be willing even to stand behind him if he shot someone on
the 5th Avenue, which I think is a fairly insightful thing to say and a
fairly devastating and frightening thing to say. And, the whole discussion
was it must have been a joke.

Now, in my mind, if you were really doing investigative journalism or hard-
hitting journalism, you would ask him what was he thinking to make a
comment like that in a time for example when we see more gun deaths by
guns, more violence by guns and what kind of followers would you want would
be willing to go along with that?

O`DONNELL: Fareed Zakaria, who does not show on CNN and also there is also
column. When the Muslim ban was announced by Trump, Fareed wrote a
brilliant and beautiful column that ended with this question to the media
and others, “What did you do when Donald Trump proposed religious test in
America?” And, I do not think people have done enough. Eve Ensler –

ENSLER: No. Please join us. StopHateDumpTrump.com. Sign up and be part
of this campaign.

O`DONNELL: Eve Ensler is doing exactly what Fareed Zakaria has suggested.
Thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it. Chris
Hayes is up next.


END

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