The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 2/8/2016

John Heilemann, Stuart Stevens, David Corn, Stuart Stevens, Tara Mccarthy, Bill Zorn, Karl Zahn

Date: February 8, 2016
Guest: John Heilemann, Stuart Stevens, David Corn, Stuart Stevens, Tara
Mccarthy, Bill Zorn, Karl Zahn

O`Donnell, Rachel Maddow is here tonight to get in her last word about the
voting here in New Hampshire which starts in exactly two hours.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Go(ph), this will notch –

O`DONNELL: Here we go!

MADDOW: Here we go!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump top the polls.

ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: This is sort of our final love fest –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a crazy race on the Republican side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of all people, you`d never expect Ben Carson to fall
asleep at the wheel.

JOHN HEILEMANN, JOURNALIST: The great Marco malfunction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You took a lot of criticism for Saturday night.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: This notion that Barack Obama doesn`t know
what he`s doing is just not true –


CRUZ: He knows exactly –

CHRISTIE: There it is –

CRUZ: What he`s doing –

CHRISTIE: The memorized 25-second speech.

RUBIO: The criticism is from the people that cover politics, not from

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gut instinct, where are you going to finish tomorrow?

JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I don`t know. But I think we`re going
to beat expectations, that`s a low bar though, since, you know, obituaries
were written about a day ago.

TRUMP: Poor Jeb Bush who brings out his mother because he needed help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump, just one word –

BUSH: Loser –



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: This country needs a political

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like socialism to me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democratic socialism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the difference?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huge difference.





O`DONNELL: Holding their leads in New Hampshire in the latest polls,
Bernie Sanders is 16 points ahead of Hillary Clinton at 56 to 40 percent in
University of Massachusetts tracking poll, that`s out today.

On the Republican side, the same poll shows Donald Trump at 34 percent and
in what could be a four-way virtual tie for second place, where all the
action will be tomorrow night.

This was within a margin of error of five points in that poll. Ted Cruz,
Marco Rubio, tied at 13, Jeb Bush, John Kasich at 10.

At his last campaign event before the voting begins in New Hampshire,
Donald Trump said this.


TRUMP: Tomorrow, you have to get out and you have to vote no matter what.
I say it all the time.

If you`re sick, if you`re really like you can`t move, you`re close to
death, your doctor tells you, it`s not working, your wife is disgusted with
you, she said, I`m leaving.

No matter what – she says, darling, I love you, but I`ve fallen in love
with another man. I don`t give a damn, you got to get out to vote.


O`DONNELL: Rachel Maddow, Donald Trump there, imagining every possible
adversity that could come your way before making that trip to the polls,
including your wife deciding your marriage is over.


You must still – you got to get yourself to the polls.

MADDOW: I was just thinking, it`s like the lemony stick it version of
American light(ph).

It`s like imagining the worst possible thing to be following you at all
times, and it`s somehow still being entertaining and being something that
should be motivating.

It`s a very – it`s not very morning in America.


MADDOW: But it is –

O`DONNELL: It is not –

MADDOW: Apparently working.

O`DONNELL: It is not. Steve Kornacki, you`ve been following the details
of these polls. What are you looking for tomorrow night?

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: Yes, we`ll give you a little bit of a taste here of
how different New Hampshire is from Iowa.

Donald Trump not winning in Iowa last week, obviously in better position
here in New Hampshire.

These numbers help explain why the entrance poll in Iowa showed 85 percent
of the Republican voters there last week called themselves very or somewhat

The last time they had a primary up here in New Hampshire, barely half of
the Republican voters here described themselves that way.

Look at this. Nearly 50 percent of New Hampshire Republican voters in 2012
in the primary called themselves moderates.

Look how small that number was in New Hampshire. Another way of looking at
it – evangelicals.

Sixty two percent of the Republican electorate out there in Iowa was

In New Hampshire, it`s one of the most secular states in the country, only
22 percent – have you noticed by the way this week, Donald Trump has been
dropping a lot more profanity into his speeches.

He was with Jerry Falwell right before Iowa, wasn`t swearing then, he`s
been swearing a lot more this week.

Maybe this statistic has something to do with that. And we can also just
show you on the map where this is coming from.

It isn`t the state of New Hampshire obviously, this is the share of the
state-wide vote that comes out of each county.

And what you see right down here, more than half the vote just from these
two counties. You got the two biggest cities right here in Hillsborough.

And what do you have here? You basically have the Boston suburbs, you got
all these bedroom communities right there on the Massachusetts border, more
white collar professional commuter.

They`re more moderate on social issues but they`re very anti-tax. A lot of
people who think they`ve been taxed or priced out of Massachusetts.

That`s the kind of Republican voter we`re talking about here in New
Hampshire, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Steve, thank you very much. Joining us now, Stuart Stevens,
columnist for the “Daily Beast”, and John Heilemann, the “Three Network

Shows on “Showtime”, “Bloomberg” and right here on Msnbc. John, the three
lane theory – Stuart has talked about it, saying that this is something
that people are believing in without evidence –


O`DONNELL: And it`s destroying America. Is there – is there a three lane
situation on the Republican side?

Or is Stuart right to say that Republicans have made a mistake in not going
after Donald Trump because they believe he has his own unsalable lane?


HEILEMANN: I believe that maybe –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I was going to do that –

O`DONNELL: All right –

HEILEMANN: Since that I think the lanes exist and Stuart may still be
right –


HEILEMANN: That Republicans made a mistake by not violating the lanes.


HEILEMANN: I mean, there is clearly –


HEILEMANN: A mainstream establishment set up candidates who are competing
for a certain kind of –


There is another set of more conservative grassroots, populist evangelical
candidates and then there`s Trump.

You know, I ain`t clear what he is, and he`s had a really interestingly
eclectic(ph), ideological spectrum that support him everywhere he`s gone.

It may be true that if there were strong men in the Republican Party,
someone who was – had enough political dexterity and enough ideological
breadth that they could stand up and take Trump down.

So far, everyone in the Republican Party who`s tried to take Trump down has
been swatted away.

And there is a part of the reason why I think Stuart is dreaming when he
hopes that someone will stand up and do that, is that, everyone`s looked at
what`s happened and said, I don`t want to mess with that guy.

He crushes people. Whether it was Jeb Bush for many months, whether it was
for McCain, whether it was Ted Cruz for a little while.

People don`t want to mess with him because he`s just better at playing the
negative politics game than they are.

That said, you know, it may be that at some point, someone is going to have
to do what Stuart wants them to do in order to stop Trump.

O`DONNELL: At some point, Stuart, your point is, why didn`t they do this
months ago?

STEVENS: Well, I have no idea. You know, generally, it`s considered best
detect people when they`re weakest, not strongest.

You know, you don`t like somebody, Czechoslovakia poll and meet them in
Paris, you better stop first.

I think this week Donald Trump was very vulnerable. The guy who said he
was going to be a winner, came into New Hampshire a loser.

And yet, all of these other campaigns seem dedicated to playing for who is
going to be first loser for second and third place.

I find it baffling. I think the key to attacking Donald Trump is not just
in free media bill.

Because he dominates so much of the coverage, you know, if you look at the
statistics that he`s going to outshout.

You have to back it up with paid media as well. And since we know that he
responds to everything, he`s a perfect target hit on several fronts in some
sort of contrast.

And I think ultimately that will happen. I suspect it will happen in South

MADDOW: Well, what is the right message against Donald Trump? Whether
you`re doing it through free media or paid media or some combination.

I feel like a lot of different things have been tried, the one that felt –
I am – as a liberal looking at it.

The one that felt to me that it would be most effective was when they were
essentially painting him as a liberal or someone who supports Democrats,
supports –


MADDOW: Single-payer healthcare, all that stuff. But all that stuff seem
to roll out – can take more –


STEVENS: Well, you know, I think that the way that you attack candidates
is go with their essence.

And the essence of Donald Trump is that he`s a ridiculous candidate for

He doesn`t take running for president seriously. He sort of stumbled into
this. And he`s a lot more Jesse Ventura than not.

And he hasn`t studied. He hasn`t done the things that you would do to
become a serious candidate for president.

He`s doing what he enjoys, having these big rallies and going out there.
He`s not meeting with small business people, he`s not meeting with

He`s not asking people for their vote. He`s not coming up with any
policies, if healthcare policies are not there, people die on the street.

Like there is a pro die on the street, you know, category out there that
some people are for.

So, I think that, you know, somebody needs to stand up there and look him
in the eye and say running for president is a great privilege.

You`re not taking that privilege seriously, you`re a ridiculous candidate
for president, you should not be nominated for the Republican –

MADDOW: I think that`s what Republicans like about him –

O`DONNELL: Think of this comparison on the Democratic side. Bernie
Sanders now getting hit hard by the Clinton side, saying he doesn`t have a
foreign policy advisors.

Who are they? Donald Trump says, I learned my foreign policy by watching
the shows –

MADDOW: The shows –

O`DONNELL: And what Republican exploited that? Which Republican exploited

HEILEMANN: No one did. But again, to go back to Stuart, this argument,
right, Chris Christie on Saturday night executed a magnificent take-down of
Marco Rubio, right?

I asked Stuart earlier today, I said, so Christie clearly has the capacity
to take on Trump, and yet he chose to take on Rubio instead.

I asked him whether he would advised him to do something different. Stuart
says no, actually it makes perfect sense.

Given where Rubio was and the kind of argument Christie wants to make,
that`s the lane theory, and even in that case, Stuart is going to buy into
the lane theory.

Made more sense for Christie to go after someone who is competing for the
same votes as Christie as opposed to Trump.

You know, I get why Christie did what he did, but it`s still – I think
that he kind of makes the point that it`s hard for even the most talented
guy in terms of brawling.

It still is easier to go after someone who is an easier mark for when
you`re competing directly for votes than for this –

MADDOW: That`s going to –

HEILEMANN: Other guy who is kind of so generous –

MADDOW: That implies that no other Republican thinks they can get Trump

HEILEMANN: Which I think –

MADDOW: Bernie makes –

HEILEMANN: But that`s exact – yes –

MADDOW: But no other –

HEILEMANN: Superior –

O`DONNELL: Right –


MADDOW: Republican candidate –

O`DONNELL: Let`s go to this second place –


O`DONNELL: We`ve got a virtual four-way tie on second place in the
Republican, I mean –

MADDOW: Oh, literal tie with the –


O`DONNELL: That`s what we`re –


O`DONNELL: Going to be starring at 24 hours from now –

HEILEMANN: Which is –

O`DONNELL: How the returns are coming in for second place.

MADDOW: I`m so excited.


MADDOW: You know, here is the thing. A second place for John Kasich
basically means that he`s won Powerball on a very good Powerball.

A second place for who else?

O`DONNELL: Jeb Bush changes the –

MADDOW: Jeb Bush –

O`DONNELL: Entire story, and he`s within striking distance of second place
tonight –

MADDOW: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz gets second place, it`s sort of static,
right? We don`t expect that that`s meant anything other than, oh, Trump
voters can actually turn out.

I mean, if Trump doesn`t win again, Trump is toast, right? We can say that
(INAUDIBLE) when he`s –

O`DONNELL: Anybody disagree with that –

MADDOW: Disappointment from the polls –

STEVENS: I`m all for it –

MADDOW: Who is serious than that –

O`DONNELL: But does Trump survive if he doesn`t win New Hampshire? –

HEILEMANN: It would be – it would be a pretty – I think pretty crippling
blow to Trump if he were not to win this primary, given the lead that he
apparently has at this moment.

MADDOW: And if anybody else gets first besides Trump, their stratosphere
in terms of momentum.

If Kasich or Jeb gets second, it`s the same as getting first, it`s as big a
deal. Trump or Rubio or Cruz doing well, it doesn`t do much.

STEVENS: Let me – let me for – I think that it`s just going to quickly
become about who is going to win South Carolina.


STEVENS: And I think that the people of South Carolina really don`t
particularly care who came in second or third.

Ron Paul came in second last time, and Huntsman(ph) came in, he got 17
percent –

MADDOW: Right, that`s –

STEVENS: People would kill for 17 percent in this race.


STEVENS: It didn`t mean anything in South Carolina. I think they`re going
to have their – each of these races are going to be more hermetically
sealed than not.

And I think that your ability to compete in South Carolina is going to be
dependent upon what kind of campaign you wage in South Carolina.

HEILEMANN: But here are two – but here are two other facts, right. The
first is that the margins going to matter, right?

Coming in – if Trump is at 28 and the second place finishes at 24, and
then there`s a ten-point gap between that and –


HEILEMANN: Third place, that`s a different second place than four guys
between 15 and 19, right?

That`s a difference –

MADDOW: People remember the margins –

HEILEMANN: Well, I think –

MADDOW: I mean, in terms of like looking ahead to the next stage.

HEILEMANN: I think it will be a lot harder to make a claim that you have -
- that you were the dominant establishment mainstream player if they`re all
bunched up.

But it`s a model. There might not be winning wing, right? –


HEILEMANN: Whereas as if Chris Christie is down at 4 percent tomorrow
night, it`s going to be hard for Christie to continue to go on with this

MADDOW: Right –

HEILEMANN: Whereas if it`s at 14, he`s going to stand up and say I can
still go –

O`DONNELL: Stuart –

HEILEMANN: Win(ph) South Carolina –

O`DONNELL: What does tomorrow night mean to Republican campaign investors?
You`ve worked with these people, you`ve seen how they react to these
election nights.

STEVENS: Well, you know, because the Super PAC is such a different world.
You know, campaigns never end because people want them to end, they end
because they run out of money.

And now you`re leaning to a couple of donors to keep one campaign alive.
So, if you go back to 2012, you had Gingrich who didn`t win anything, he
won South Carolina.

You had Santorum who won Iowa eventually, but didn`t, you know – took in a
lot, he came back.

So, I think that the ability to stay in and endure pain is at a higher
value now than it`s ever been before.

MADDOW: Although when Scott Walker quit, he had $14 million –

STEVENS: Right –

MADDOW: In his Super PAC account, he didn`t have anything in his campaign

And so having a Super PAC money, he felt like it wasn`t enough to keep him
afloat because he couldn`t direct staff to do anything that he wanted to

I think the Super PAC money ends up –


MADDOW: Being harder, much slipperier in terms of whether or not –


MADDOW: It can actually help somebody –

O`DONNELL: Was it the Scott Walker decision, I want a future in Republican
politics. I don`t want to stay –

MADDOW: I want to be –


O`DONNELL: In this long enough to prove that I don`t have a future in
Republican –

STEVENS: I don`t think Scott Walker was ready to run for president. And -


STEVENS: And to his credit –


STEVENS: To his credit, he realized that when he started to run, and I
think he – I think that was smart.

I mean, because people don`t understand how difficult it is to run for
president and how much more of a step up it is than anything else.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s great –

STEVENS: So he did –

O`DONNELL: The guys – the Republicans –

STEVENS: And that`s to his credit –

O`DONNELL: Who are left –


O`DONNELL: In this race have nothing to lose. Chris Christie has no
future if he doesn`t have a future in this –

STEVENS: Right –

O`DONNELL: Campaign, right? –

STEVENS: Right –

O`DONNELL: I mean, the other people, Jeb Bush has no future if he doesn`t
have a future in this campaign.

HEILEMANN: Well, who knows? I mean, Chris Christie, if he would have
dropped out of this campaign, Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.

He could come back and run again in 2020 against Hillary Clinton as an
incumbent – as the Republican nominee.

I think that the point you made that`s the most important point and it
combines with something Stuart said is, who among these mainstream
conservatives, let`s call them that.

Is able to wage a successful campaign or potentially successful campaign
against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in South Carolina.

The Bush thing matters a huge amount in that respect. Because if you look
at where Kasich is in South Carolina versus where Bush could be –


HEILEMANN: Really different. Kasich is polling about like 2 or 3 percent.
Jeb Bush has a lot of historic, institutional strength in South Carolina.

If Jeb Bush can somehow get some momentum out of the state, he becomes a
real player in South Carolina.

I`m not sure that even John Kasich`s second with 21 percent tomorrow night

O`DONNELL: You agree with that? –

HEILEMANN: I`m not sure he can play in South Carolina at the level of
Trump and Cruz.

STEVENS: I think that the two leaders in South Carolina are going to be
the two winners.

Whoever – it`s going to be Cruz and whoever wins tomorrow night. Because
probably that`s going to be Donald Trump.

So, I think Cruz and Donald Trump are going to go in leaders –


STEVENS: In South Carolina, and it`s going to be up to somebody else to
muscle their way up there and take votes away from them –

HEILEMANN: But you know –

STEVENS: To prove they can win –

HEILEMANN: But you don`t disagree that Jeb Bush is better positioned to do
that than John Kasich would be in South Carolina.

STEVENS: I think Bush has – I don`t disagree with that.

O`DONNELL: All right, you guys keep talking about that during this
commercial break, OK?


Coming up, a serious third party threat just might be emerging from a real
billionaire who is at least ten times richer than Donald Trump.

And later, we will hear from real New Hampshire voters, actual voters.
We`re going to talk to them, find out what they`re going to do tomorrow.


O`DONNELL: The FBI confirmed today that they are investigating Hillary
Clinton`s use of a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State.

That information came from a letter that was revealed in the Freedom of
Information Act case against the State Department over access to documents
from Hillary Clinton`s time as Secretary of State.

Until now, the FBI would neither confirm nor deny that investigation. It
still has not publicly acknowledged this specific focus, scope or these
specific targets of the investigation.

Up next, how that news might affect what happens to Hillary Clinton`s vote
tomorrow here in New Hampshire.



SANDERS: We started off here in New Hampshire about 30-40 points behind,
that`s not the case today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bernie Sanders with a 16-point lead over Hillary

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I have been somewhat concerned
about the tone of his campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s been unfair to her?

been inaccurate.

I think when you`re making a revolution, you can`t be too careful about the

SANDERS: They said it in Iowa, they`re saying it in New Hampshire, enough
is enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s going up in New Hampshire.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s pretty good.



O`DONNELL: The latest University of Massachusetts poll of likely
Democratic voters in New Hampshire primary shows Bernie Sanders at 56
percent, Hillary Clinton at 40 percent.

That`s a long way from one year ago when an Nbc News Marist poll of
Democratic voters in New Hampshire had Hillary Clinton at 69 percent and
Bernie Sanders at 13 percent.


O`DONNELL: We`re back with John Heilemann, Rachel Maddow also joining us
now, David Corn, a Washington Bureau Chief for “Mother Jones” and an Msnbc
political analyst.

David, on this FBI news of the day –


O`DONNELL: Is that already baked into expectations here in New Hampshire?
Does that –

CORN: I don`t think –

O`DONNELL: Affect anything with Hillary?

CORN: I don`t think it broke today, I don`t think it`s going to affect any
decisions here.

But it just shows that there`s this quick sand that you just can`t get out
of. And you know, it doesn`t remind us at this point what the details are.

I hate to say that as a reporter, it`s the headlines, it`s the impressions.
And we`ve seen, you know, this rise in thunder on the right that she`s
going to be indicted.

She`s going to do this, people just trying to cast doubt and then a person
sees a headline or hears a newscast that there`s some investigation.

I mean, it may not be about her use of the server, maybe to who set it up
or what happened with it.

It`s still going to bolster that impression. So, this is just, you know,
going to be part of it.

And it`s – you know, if she loses badly today or tomorrow, and Sanders
keeps up momentum. This is just another drag.

It`s an albatross she can`t shake.

MADDOW: Is it the same albatross or is the albatross grown or multiplied?
It feels like it`s sort of the same one, it`s just getting older.

CORN: No, it`s like she can`t shake it though. And at some point –


CORN: You want to get this behind you. You know, she – it was – it was
a terrible mistake to set up the server this way instead of the e-mail that

And her responses in the first six months have just never really been clear
enough or strong enough.

And now this is just always going to be there. And you know, it`s drip.
We know how much, you know, politicians can be hurt by that.

O`DONNELL: Rachel, I was struck by something she said in the debate that
you and Chuck Todd moderated.

Where she mentioned Henry Kissinger?


O`DONNELL: In a way that surprised me. Let`s listen to this –

MADDOW: Yes, that was a surprise –

O`DONNELL: From the debate.


CLINTON: I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State
Department better than anybody had run it in a long time.

So, I have an idea about what it`s going to take to make our government
work more efficiently.


O`DONNELL: That was in the middle of a very long answer. Then today, I`m
standing in the middle of a Clinton crowd at a Clinton rally, Chelsea
Clinton, great speech, introducing her father to then introduce her mother.

She`s an amazing star on the stage, I have to say. Bill Clinton working in
his introduction of Hillary Clinton then said this about Henry Kissinger.

Let`s listen to it.


CLINTON: Henry Kissinger of all people said she ran the State Department
better and got more out of the personnel at the State Department than any
Secretary of State in decades and it`s true.


O`DONNELL: They cut the applause. We were supposed to let the applause
run, because the most stunning thing about it was there you are in a
Democratic primary audience.

And that is the first time, and possibly the only time a Henry Kissinger
line has gotten –


MADDOW: I can see that –

O`DONNELL: Any Democratic –

CORN: Everybody in that audience – I feel very –


HEILEMANN: Mr. Hinges(ph) is spinning in his grave –


CORN: Like what`s happening here? These guys started – pardon me for
jumping in. But I just –

HEILEMANN: You already –

CORN: They`re political, they`re working for a government who ran against
the Nixon-Kissinger –

HEILEMANN: Nixon-Kissinger war machine –

CORN: Vietnam war.


CORN: And you know, and after that, everything we`ve learned about Henry
Kissinger after that is that he –

HEILEMANN: Wiretapping reporters that he offered –

CORN: OK-ed genocide in Argentina and Indonesia, in East Timor again and
again and again.

And she gets out there before a progressive audience, she says she`s a

She`s fighting for the progressive label and she embraces or accepts the
embrace of a guy who represents everything any progressive doesn`t like
about foreign policy and national security since World War II.

It`s stunning –

MADDOW: What happened in the room there? And you could see it that shot.
It`s all – it`s a community college audience.


MADDOW: I was at the same event –

CORN: Yes –

MADDOW: I was actually having my interview with her thereafter. It`s
community college audience, there`s a lot of young people in that audience.

It`s obviously what they want because they`re doing great with young
voters. And young voters in that realm here, Henry Kissinger and think
famous guy, Republican likes her competence, great.

They don`t think Henry Kissinger –

HEILEMANN: War criminal –

MADDOW: Is anymore –

CORN: Yes –

MADDOW: They don`t think they don`t have the Christopher Hegins(ph) –

CORN: But just think of what motivated you most when you were getting into
politics, whatever it might have been.

And then a couple of decades later, to use that in a political way, you
know, have they changed their views in the Vietnam war and what Henry
Kissinger really did?

I mean, it`s – I`d ask you that the next time you get her on the show –

MADDOW: What she told me in her interview right after that, she said –


MADDOW: You know, I was talking about young voters. She said listen, the
first time I ever came to New Hampshire was to come campaign for Eugene
McCarthy –

CORN: Yes –

MADDOW: Here because I was an anti-war activist and I was campaigning
against the war.

And I understand what it is to be an idealistic young person coming here –
she`s explaining that she identifies with Bernie Sanders voters –

CORN: Yes –

MADDOW: Because she had been that type of idealist person –

CORN: Well, just say the way to reach him.

O`DONNELL: And John, the other story in Clinton world today is a possible
campaign shakeup –


O`DONNELL: Which may be inspired by these new national poll showing Bernie
Sanders and Hillary Clinton in a virtual tie.

HEILEMANN: Look, there`s an – there`s accurately reported an incredible
amount of frustration by both Clintons on the campaign that they are

This race is a number of issues. Back in 2008, one recalls, we see Bill
Clinton in a state of abject frustration, very upset, these lashings out
over the last 48 hours are manifest, I think, as a reflection of him
feeling deja vu.

In 2008, Bill Clinton frustrated for all of 2007, saying, why are we not
attacking this Barack Obama character?

We – he`s a threat, we should kill him off before he does us any real
damage and then she loses Iowa and then he is apoplectic.

Now, we`re in 2000 or eight years later, and Bernie Sanders is the same
character. Not in the heat that he is entirely analogous to Obama.

But for Bill Clintons point of view, it`s – we let this socialists from
Vermont get traction, and he – we didn`t kill him, we could have killed
him three months ago, four months ago, five months ago.

And now, here we are in a tie in Iowa and about to lose New Hampshire.
Again apoplectic, and so the frustration that President Clinton feels and
that his wife, I believe shares about the way their campaign has been run.

He`s going to, I think inevitably manifest itself after New Hampshire in
now, how do we define a shakeup.

In Clinton world because they never fire anybody ever, because although the
Clintons often throw people under the bus.

They`re very conflict diverse. So, no one will be fired, but many new
people will suddenly arrive.

The concentric circles of greater plantonio(ph) will be called upon and we
will see whether it`s you know, either Maggie Williams, James Carville(ph)
or somebody.

People will arrive and they will be layered, so a shakeup will occur, but
it won`t look like a shakeup because no one will get fired.

It will just be a bigger more unwieldy campaign like we saw in 2008.

O`DONNELL: You asked her about this. She denied there would be a shakeup,
but having heard this, does her answer fit that possibility where maybe
totally –


CORN: It`s an expansion, not a shakeup –

O`DONNELL: Totally would –

MADDOW: She said that she would – they would be taking stock –

CORN: Of what works in part, difference here, and we would –

MADDOW: Which leaves – which absolutely –

CORN: Yes!

MADDOW: And we denied the political – said the campaign would be taking
spot –

CORN: Yes, and she said they were moving out of more diverse States, that
we`ll see what worked and what didn`t, we`ll make adjustments.

All adjustments includes, you know, layering.

HEILEMANN: Well, you know, the thing is –

CORN: Layering. I mean, I understand why Bill Clinton may be frustrated.
I think the hardest thing might be to tell a spouse that you`re not doing a
good job.


CORN: Particularly when you`re Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. But the
issue is, it`s not just management –

HEILEMANN: Of course –

CORN: It`s really what`s coming down from the top –

HEILEMANN: Of course –

CORN: It`s the message, Bill Clinton getting out there yesterday and
dumping on the idealistic kids of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

That`s not helping either. You can`t tell Bernie now, because Bernie is
message-driven, the message has taken hold, the only way to beat Bernie is
by being better your own way –



MADDOW: I totally agree. I mean, the thing that has – the thing that has
been true from the very beginning and Bernie Sanders called it from his
first speech.


MADDOW: Which is that he would be underestimated.


MADDOW: There`s a back – the –

CORN: Yes –

MADDOW: When you look at his electoral history, yes, he`s been in public
office a long time.

So maybe that makes him establishment or maybe that makes him a person
who`s been able to win elections for decades including against Democrats.

CORN: As he did in –


MADDOW: He is one of the only Democrats who`s got tons of experience
beating Democrats in order to take office –

O`DONNELL: You were on the plane, and I mean, the plane of the season, you
were on Bernie Sanders, he was on the Sanders plane to New York to do
“Saturday Night Live” –

HEILEMANN: That`s a fact –

O`DONNELL: You captured footage of that on your iPhone for your Showtime
kind of instantaneous documentary you`re doing there.

What was it like being on the plane down to –

HEILEMANN: They are –

O`DONNELL: Show business central?

HEILEMANN: They are getting used to having Secret Service protection which
is always a really –


Difficult, it`s only being a few days, it`s a difficult transition for any
candidate, and Bernie Sanders is an unusually cranky candidate, and so you
know, all candidates go through this.

So there`s that, they were obviously very excited to be going down to doing
it. I raised with them the question of whether it made sense.

Because if you remember in this primary eight years ago, again, to go back
and do history, you know, part of what Obama did wrong here was he flew way
up here and Hillary Clinton was campaigning way down here near the ground.

He was doing big rallies. I asked them, do you think there is concern
about them, like you are going off to New York to do a glamorous kind of

MADDOW: While she is going to flint.

HEILEMANN: And, she is going to Flint, and she is knocking on doors on
Saturday. And, they said, “Look, you know, we understand the risks here,
but we want to take advantage of this. But, we are going to be back. We
are going to be doing a packed schedule when we get back to New Hampshire,
et cetera”. I still think there is a little bit – it might have been just
not quite the right weekend.

O`DONNELL: And, Hillary has done “Saturday Night Live.”


MADDOW: Fair enough.

O`DONNELL: The are tied now.

MADDOW: She was available for a big long interview with me today, and he
was not.

HEILEMANN: There you go. That should have upset it. To go back just one
thing quickly to David, which I think is so true. David Axelrod today
tweeted this thing that said, how on successive campaigns see the same
problem with your campaign, is it maybe not the campaigns problem but your
problem about the Clintons.

MADDOW: I do not think of him as a nasty guy.


MADDOW: That was a really nasty perp.


O`DONNELL: As we turn this conversation continuing during the commercial
break. Rachel Maddow, John Heilemann and David Corn, thank you all for
joining us tonight. I appreciate it. Up next, actual voters. You will
hear –



MADDOW: I got to get my suit on.

ODONNELL: We are going to let them speak.

MADDOW: My shield is here.




O`DONNELL: The last couple of days, including today, we talked to voters
at Bernie Sanders` events and Hillary Clinton events here in New Hampshire.
Here is what they told us.


O`DONNELL: Have you decided who you are going to vote for?

JOHN DYE, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: No, I have not. But I was swayed quite a
bit today.



DON ROUTHIR, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: But, I am just basically undecided. My
heart is with Bernie. My head is with Hillary. And, I am concerned about
who is going to win the republican – who is going to win in November.



DYE: It was about Hillary.

O`DONNELL: You are a Hillary voter.

DYE : I was a Hillary voter. I just do not trust her now. I have lost
trust with her.

O`DONNELL: What changed?

DYE: You know, all the e-mails, all the scandals. She just seems kind of
slick to me. She seems like a wolf in sheep`s clothing.



GABBI HALL, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I probably walked in with like a 60 percent
chance of voting for Hillary. This finally sealed the deal for me going
into tomorrow. I feel like she is invigorated. I feel like I can get
behind everything she says and I feel like she has the experience to really
fill the role of president of the United States, unlike a lot of



O`DONNELL: What made you decide to go with Bernie?

MICHAEL KING, SANDERS SUPPORTER: Well, the 2002 vote, you know. The Iraq
war vote. The Wall Street connections and I think that he has been telling
the truth for 20 years, you know. And, it is not only in my head, but my



O`DONNELL: If on Tuesday, you wake up and you vote for Hillary, what do
you think will have decided that?

ROUTHIR: I really feel a republican congress and a republican president, I
think would be the worst thing for this country. And, I think she might
have a better chance of winning.



JORDAN GROSSMAN, SANDERS SUPPORTER: It is comes down to whether I think
that somebody as Bernie could defeat the republican candidate.



DYE: I want them to have a little more fight about him. I want to see
more of that.


DYE: You know, this is about the country. I want somebody who has some –
not be asleep at the wheel.



O`DONNELL: It is exactly 3:00 on Sunday, by Tuesday you got to get this
figured out.

ROUTHIR: Yes, and I do not know who I am going to do.


O`DONNELL: That last voter was Don Routhir. We will find out tomorrow how
he votes.

Coming up, we will hear from other voters. You are going to be voting
tomorrow. Also, Mike Bloomberg confirms that he is thinking about running
for president.



O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s worst nightmare, a real billionaire is actually
thinking about jumping out of the presidential race depending on what
happens in New Hampshire tomorrow night. Former New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, who is at least ten times richer than Donald Trump.

When I mean at least, he could be 100 times richer. Mike Bloomberg
confirmed today that he is considering a campaign for president. In
obvious reference today, I find the level of discourse and discussion
distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters.

Bloomberg added, “I am listening to what candidates are saying and what the
primary voters appeared to be doing.” “The New York Times” spoke to
Bloomberg aids today, who said, “Bloomberg, intended to make a final call
on the presidential race by early March and planned to take a fresh round
of polling after New Hampshire primaries to gage the viability of a

Back with us, Stuart Stevens columnist from “The Daily Beast.” He was the
chief strategist for Mitt Romney`s last presidential campaign. Stuart,
this is fascinating. And, you know, Donald Trump equates wealth and income
with intelligence. So, Mike Bloomberg is way, way, way smarter than Donald
Trump according to the Trump formula.

know, Lawrence, in moments like this, I look at the mirror and ask myself,
“What is best for the consultants of America?”

O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

STEVENS: And, without a doubt.

O`DONNELL: He can afford you.

STEVENS: Without a doubt, Michael Bloomberg – Right.


STEVENS: – would be fantastic.

O`DONNELL: What do you face at this stage thinking about an independent
run, what are the challenges, ballot access, all of that?

STEVENS: You have to get on the ballot, but that is really a matter of
spending money. And, Michael Bloomberg has proven unlike Donald Trump that
he will spend money.


STEVENS: A lot of money. I think the biggest thing is not become a
protest candidate. You know, protest candidates tend to do well to a
degree that people think that they will not win.

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

STEVENS: And, I think you are going to see that with Trump, I hope. But
Bloomberg would have to convince people that they were not throwing their
vote away to be a credible candidate. I think that he would have to get
into the debate and win debates. And, that is really when this thing will
start to get real.

O`DONNELL: Now, if you are Bloomberg and you are looking at this, if you
look at Bernie Sanders` numbers – let us say, if you look at Bernie
Sanders` numbers ten months ago, they were hopeless compared to Hillary


O`DONNELL: What you saw was campaigning changed minds. You look at Donald
Trump`s numbers, campaigning changed minds in ways you might not like, but
Donald Trump started down in single digits.

STEVENS: No question.

O`DONNELL: And, is now up there in the front of this PAC. If you are Mike
Bloomberg, same thing when he first fought about running for mayor in New
York, he was polling at 10 percent.


O`DONNELL: And, then he poured $60 million in, way more than anybody ever
spent on that state on state wide races and he changed minds.

STEVENS: I think that the question here is what is a rationale.

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

STEVENS: What is it that he would offer people? You know, he is very
ideological. So, in that sense, some republicans say that he would hurt
the democratic candidate more. That is arguable. I think that he would –

O`DONNELL: Who is going to fight the democratic candidate on taxes?

STEVENS: That would be fascinating.


STEVENS: That would be fascinating.

O`DONNELL: There really has to be a rationale. With Bernie Sanders, it is
a continuation of the Democratic Party`s moves on the left. Donald Trump
is clearing the expression of anger. And, I think Donald Trump is to a
certain degree a candidate of hate and he is tapping into that. Bloomberg
would have to – what do I have to offer that is more than money?

O`DONNELL: What about just intelligence? Would Mike Bloomberg be the guy,
who you have been waiting for who could penetrate just the sheer stupidity
of the Trump candidacy?

STEVENS: I think others will do it before it. I think that Bloomberg
would not be intimidated by Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

STEVENS: And, I think, in fact, Trump would tend to be intimidated by him.
It all comes down to being able to layout a rationale for your candidacy
and put it out there and attract people. I – you know, I am skeptical
about this, but it would be fascinating to see you try.

O`DONNELL: What kind of army does he have to assemble and how fast?

STEVENS: Well, he has to get on the ballot, which involves, really they
would go out and buy that. You can buy ballot access –

O`DONNELL: Those companies you actually hire.

STEVENS: Yes. You could do each of these.

O`DONNELL: Get signatures, whatever you need.

STEVENS: And, all of the different legal issues. He then has to sort of
put together organizations in this. Now, Bernie Sanders has an ideological
base he can do that.


STEVENS: You know, it is everybody that wants to keep going.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Right.

STEVENS: Bloomberg„ it is tougher.

O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I
really appreciate, Stuart.

Coming up, more from New Hampshire voters. We are actually going to let
the voters speak. They are going to take Stuart`s chair here on the set,
tell us what they are thinking.



O`DONNELL: The Iowa Democratic Caucus results from last week were the
closest in state history. And, now, they are a teeny bit closer.
According to Des Moines register, Iowa democrats found new errors in five
of 14 precincts from last Monday`s caucuses. Hillary Clinton`s lead over
Bernie Sanders dropped to 100 of a percent from 0.27 percent lead to a 0.25
percent lead.

Coming up, three New Hampshire voters will join us right here on the set to
tell us live just what they are thinking as we get within one hour of the
first votes being cast in the New Hampshire primary.



O`DONNELL: Voting will begin one hour and ten minutes from now here in New
Hampshire in three towns. Dixville Notch has always began voting at
midnight. There are expected to be nine voters in Dixville Notch this
time. Two other New Hampshire towns will also start voting at midnight.
The rest of the state will have to wait until tomorrow morning.

Up next, we are going to have three New Hampshire voters, who will be going
to the polls tomorrow join us and tell us what they are thinking.


O`DONNELL: New Hampshire voters are expecting a record turnout in
tomorrow`s primary. Joining us now, three voters who are going to go to
the polls tomorrow. Tara McCarthy, she is a registered independent. Also
with us Karl Zahn. He is a registered republican and Bill Zorn, also a
registered republican.

Now, we have talked before, so I have some idea of what you are thinking.
Tara, the last time we talked, you were undecided. Carl failed to convince
you to vote for his guy Donald Trump.



far trying to convince you to go for Marco Rubio. You had a debate
Saturday night.


O`DONNELL: Are you still undecided?

MCCARTHY: I think it has nudged me even further in the direction that I
was going.

O`DONNELL: Well, let me ask you.


O`DONNELL: Did you see anything in the debate Saturday Night that pushed
you toward Donald Trump.


O`DONNELL: Because I think we established nothing can push you toward
Donald Trump, right?


MCCARTHY: Yes. Saturday night definitely did not.

O`DONNELL: Yes, OK. How about Marco Rubio, does anything gets you into
Marco Rubio.

MCCARTHY: Well, I think he had a much better time in the second half. I
think he finally hit his stride.

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

MCCARTHY: I think he was flustered on a few things in the beginning, but I
think he will make a great candidate in 2024, maybe.

O`DONNELL: So, he has to wait a while.

MCCARTHY: Yes. I think so.

O`DONNELL: So, where are you now? Your voting is tomorrow morning?
Tomorrow afternoon, are you going to wait till like tomorrow at 7:00 P.M.?

MCCARTHY: When it moves me?


MCCARTHY: No. I think I will get in there early.

O`DONNELL: You are ready to go early?

MCCARTHY: Yes. Sure.

O`DONNELL: And, you will vote for?


O`DONNELL: The Bush surge.



O`DONNELL: It has finally occurred.

ZAHN: I told you.


O`DONNELL: Well, you see there is basically a possible four-way tie at the
moment in the polling for a second place. So, it will be a good vote.
Karl, your reaction to the debate on Saturday. Did Trump finally lose you
on Saturday night?

ZAHN: Yes, I finally decided to vote for Bernie Sanders.

O`DONNELL: Did it changed your mind?


ZAHN: Yes. I do not know if you heard the breaking news, Trump just
bought Dixville Notch.



ZAHN: It is a shakeup.

O`DONNELL: He could do that.

ZAHN: No. I am firmly on board.

O`DONNELL: Bill, it was, everyone is saying it was a rough night for your
candidate Marco Rubio on Saturday night. Did that shake your confidence
in? Did you start shopping for another candidate?


O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

ZORN: No doubt about it. I had an unusual perspective. I saw the second
half of the debate where to Tara`s point, I thought he was doing just fine.
And, it was only after they went to the commentators, that I realized he
struggled so badly.

O`DONNELL: You missed the first hour.

ZORN: Right.

O`DONNELL: Where it was the disaster for him.

ZORN: Then I saw it afterwards –

O`DONNELL: He is lucky.



MCCARTHY: So he has to.

ZORN: Exactly.

O`DONNELL: So, now, you have seen some of the replay of that.

ZORN: Right.

O`DONNELL: Does that make you think, maybe Tara is got something? This
guy is not ready?

ZORN: Right. Well, the part that I am trying to decide is, every once in
a while you will have your ace pitcher who will come out in the first few
innings, and not throw the heat the way he should and get roughed up. And,
that is what I am trying to assess right now is, is he agile and facile
enough, does he have the skill set to come back from really a challenging
first hour.

O`DONNELL: Karl, you have said that you do not agree with everything
Donald Trump says. You think he says some wild things once in a while.
But, on ballots, you are still with the candidacy. Tonight, across the
street at a big rally, he actually – he used some language we cannot use
here on T.V. as an insult to Ted Cruz about his courage and that kind of
thing as he keeps doing it and keeps doing it, is that a cancer on that
candidacy that is eventually going to have an effect?

ZAHN: It did not seem to be tonight. I was over there. We had a full

O`DONNELL: So, you know what we are talking about.

ZAHN: Yes. I was up front. We had a full house. I know exactly what you
are talking about. You know, it is not enough to shake me. Like I said
the other night –

O`DONNELL: No. I know it does not bother you or offend you, but what I am
saying is when you look at a candidate, and you think about that
candidate`s durability through a long presidential campaign with a lot of
various testing methods including –

ZAHN: Understood. Yes.

O`DONNELL: – and so forth, what about that, do you look at that

ZAHN: Yes, I have some trepidation.


ZAHN: And, I think I mentioned the other night, I am hoping he gets a bit
more demure as some of the competition falls away. I am hopeful, whether
or not he has it in him to do that, I am not sure. But, under the energy
that was there tonight, given the context of it, it was a bit tongue in
cheek. It was not a big deal?

O`DONNELL: Tara, you are not surprised at all that Donald Trump would say
things like that?


O`DONNELL: And, you have been kind of out steadily against him all the

MCCARTHY: I am trying to think of when I really sort of dug in my heels
about it. I guess it was pretty early on. I just see him as a bully.

ZAHN: It is OK.


O`DONNELL: No offense Karl. Do not hurt his feelings.

MCCARTHY: I see him as a little bit of a bully. A grandstanding bully,
but that is not leadership to me. I think standing up to that is.

O`DONNELL: Bill, if Marco Rubio is out of this race, do you, where do you
go then? Do you go towards Trump?

ZORN: Well, my concern with Trump is I do not know as I call it where his
magnetic north is. I do not really know what he truly believes, where is
his orientation. And, there are times it will come out and he will say, “I
am the last person to go in and destabilize the Middle East.”

And, in the next answer, he will say, “I am going to take all the oil away
from ISIS.” So, he is inconsistent. I am never quite sure what is coming
out of his mouth. So, he is probably not the person. Probably, I would
head towards Kasich.

O`DONNELL: Karl, one of the things, the so-called Washington Republicans
like about Donald Trump and why they prefer him to Ted Cruz is they do not
believe that Donald Trump believes anything. And, so, if he actually
showed up in Washington, they can walk into a room and negotiate anything
with that guy.


ZAHN: It is telling that that is the one thing they liked about him for
something they actually do not like about him. Yes, I mean, for his
supporters, that is a plus. All the people that do not like him and the
reasons they do not like him and the reasons they done want him are a plus
for the people that support him.

O`DONNELL: Well, what about this feeling that he does not really believe
anything, he used to think this about abortion. But, now, that he is a
republican candidate, he thinks this about abortion. That does not
unsettle anyone? That flexibility?

ZAHN: I do not think the national stance on abortion is going to be what
destroys this country. That is my feeling.

O`DONNELL: Tara, are you the Bush surge. You are representing the surge
here tonight. This could be the big news tomorrow.

MCCARTHY: Well, we will see.


O`DONNELL: Tara McCarthy, Karl Zahn, Bill Zorn, thank you very much for
joining us. I really, really appreciate it.

ZAHN: Thank you.

ZORN: It is our pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>