The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 2/11/2016

Jonathan Alter, David Frum, McKay Coppins, Joy Reid, James Moore, Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Alter

Date: February 11, 2016
Guest: Jonathan Alter, David Frum, McKay Coppins, Joy Reid, James Moore,
Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Alter

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: South Carolina and I would have to figure out -
- I`m looking for their Mark Sanford, maybe a three-way time South

And I would have to figure out how to support Donald Trump or maybe the
voters in your party really want him to be their presidential nominee,
we`re going to find out soon.

Very exciting time to be covering politics. That does it for us tonight,
we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for Lawrence O`Donnell`s
special look at “THE YEAR OF THE OUTSIDERS”.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: I`m Lawrence O`Donnell, welcome to a
special edition of THE LAST WORD.

We are at a place in this historic presidential campaign that none of us
saw it coming.

When this presidential campaign started last year, no one predicted that
Donald Trump would be the Republican frontrunner or that Bernie Sanders
would present a serious challenge to what appeared to be Hillary Clinton`s
lock on the Democratic presidential nomination.

But then, none of us knew that 2016 was going to be the year of the
outsiders. How is this for outsider.

The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has changed his
party affiliation at least five times.

From Republican to independent party to Democrat, then back to Republican
then independent then back to Republican.

He`s made campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans, and he has
never run for elected office before.

And how is this for an outsider. The landslide winner of the Democratic
Party`s New Hampshire primary is a career politician who has lived outside
the two-party system for more than 30 years.

He was elected mayor of the biggest city in Vermont as an independent. He
was elected to the House of Representatives as an independent.

Then elected to the United States Senate as an independent. And through it
all, Bernie Sanders has been a self proclaimed socialist, probably the
single most harmful label an American politician can have.

It`s right down there at the bottom of a list of categories in a Gallup
poll. In that poll, more people say they would vote for an atheist or a
Muslim than would vote for a socialist for president.

And many more people in that poll say they would vote for a gay candidate
for president than the number of people who would vote for a socialist
candidate for president.

Nothing says outsider in American politics more strongly than the word at
the bottom of that poll, socialist.

Bernie Sanders is still not a registered Democrat because voter
registration in Vermont does not include a declaration of party

Msnbc`s Kasie Hunt has been covering the Sanders campaign as it moves
across the country.

And for this special edition of THE LAST WORD, Kasie asked Bernie Sanders
what it`s like to be the outsider in the Democratic presidential race.


in the Democratic Party.

What`s it like to run as an independent in a party that you don`t have to
join because you`re in Vermont and you don`t have party registration.

But –

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Well, I made a decision nine months ago
to run for the Democratic nomination to be president of the United States,
and that`s what I am doing.

So, we are functioning strongly within the Democratic Party right now.
It`s no secret that I`m no longer serving independent in the history of the
United States Congress.

And I think that makes my candidacy even stronger. I`ll tell you why?
Because this country is divided in three ways.

You got Republicans here, Democrats here and a whole lot of independents in
the middle.

And what all of the polls and the election results are showing is that we
are taking a lion share of those independents along with many Democrats.

That in my view is a combination for victory. I think we bring together
those constituencies we`re going to win this election.

HUNT: There`s a lot of anti-establishment on both sides of the ideological

SANDERS: Right –

HUNT: What do you think is driving that? These people coming in thousands
to see you, to see Donald Trump, seemingly very angry with the system –

SANDERS: Here is the secret you don`t tell anybody. The media has missed
the secret. Middle class in this country is the superior. And I know
that`s not something on TV every night. That`s the reality.

People in many cases are working longer hours for low wages, they`re
worried about the future for their kids, they have seen what the greed and
recklessness and the legal behavior of Wall Street has done.

They can`t afford their prescription drugs, they can`t afford healthcare,
they`re worried about retirement.

I know not necessarily a major media concern. That is what the American
people are worried about.

And when you talk about those issues, you`re going to mind – people say,
yes, that`s right. That`s right.

It`s time maybe we stood up to the billionaire class and pray that the
economy work for all of us.

HUNT: What do you think you have in common with Donald Trump? I`ve been to
Donald Trump rallies, talking to people, you say hey, who else in the
presidential race are you considering supporting and they say Bernie

SANDERS: Well, I think, you know, a lot of the people who are supporting
me are angry at the status quo.

And I think Trump supporters are angry at the status quo as well. I think
the solutions that we have are very different solutions.

My solution is not to call Mexicans rapists and criminals. It is not to
say that Muslims should be banned from this country.

My solution and my broad idea is to put together a coalition of all of our
people to stand up to the big money interest and create a government that
works for all of us.

HUNT: But he does say that you – Donald Trump does say that he has the
same policy as you on trade for example.

SANDERS: That may be an area we do have. I mean, I don`t know exactly
what his policies are, but I voted against NAFTA, I voted against CAFTA.

I voted against criminal trade relations with China, and I`m hoping to lead
the opposition against the Trans Pacific Partnership.

I think our trade policies were written by corporate America to benefit
corporate America.

The result has been since 2001, we have lost some 60,000 factories in

HUNT: You have said on the campaign trail that you hear some conservatives
come up to you and say, hey, I`m frustrated with the system.

I`m frustrated with what`s going on. What do you say to conservatives
about why you might be the candidate for them?

SANDERS: Look, because you know what? You don`t have to vote for a
candidate because you agree with him a 100 percent of the time.

Eighty percent of the time, it`s pretty good as well. So, if conservatives
come up to me and they say, well, I disagree with you on your belief in gay
marriage for example.

Or your belief on a women`s right to choose, but you`re right on the trade
issue or you`re absolutely right that the Citizens United Supreme Court
decision is a disaster.

Billionaires should not be able to buy elections. And I appreciate that
you don`t have a Super PAC, that`s enough.

So, I think what we have to understand in politics, not everybody does.
Nobody agrees a 100 percent of the time with everybody else.

So, I would hope that people who agree with me, 75 percent, 80 percent of
the time would feel comfortable coming into our ranks.

HUNT: Donald Trump says he`s not asking people for money to run his
campaign. You are relying on the small donations, you have no Super PAC.

My question for you is, if you do ultimately succeed, either one of you,
how do you actually change that system.

There have been so many attempts to change it and they`ve all failed.

SANDERS: Well, there haven`t been so many, and I think what is happening
now, it is becoming clearer and clearer as we see in this election with the
power of Super PACs with small numbers of billionaire Americans putting in
the lion`s share of campaign contributions.

The American people are profoundly disgusted, and Kasie, that is across the
board. That is conservative to progressive.

People do not think democracy is billionaires buying elections. The way
you change the system ultimately of course is overturning Citizens United,
that`s the goal.

And I have said from day one, no nominee of mine to the Supreme Court will
get that position unless he or she is prepared to say publicly they will
vote to overturn citizens challenge(ph).

There are incremental steps that you can take, starting tomorrow in terms
of disclosure which can significantly weaken the impact of Citizens United.

HUNT: You say that you want to create a political revolution that you
would be able to get things done as president of the United States.

As somebody who has covered Congress for a long time, you`ve been in
Congress for a long time.

Do you expect that you could walk into that office and have Congress change


HUNT: I mean, a lot of these proposals you`re –


HUNT: Pushing forward would never –


HUNT: Pass the Congress –

SANDERS: No, they can`t. It`s never what I`ve said. It`s not that my
personality is better than Barack Obama`s.

Or that Mitch McConnell will work more easily with me than with Obama, it`s
never what I said.

What I have said is if we rally the American people to demand that Congress
do what the American people want them to do.

Overwhelmingly, the American people want to raise the minimum wage,
Congress does not. Then their job is to rally the American people to tell
Congress to do what the American people want.

Pay equity for women – overwhelmingly, the question is there is a huge gap
right now between Congress and the American people.

What presidential leadership is about is closing that gap.

HUNT: And you don`t think President Obama has successfully closed that

SANDERS: No, I don`t. I mean, I think he`s made the effort, but I think
what we need – when I talk about a political revolution is bringing
millions and millions of people into the political process in a way that
does not exist right now.

It`s tough stuff, but I think you`re already seeing in this campaign the
kinds of turnouts that we`re seeing.

The kind of voter turnout that took place in New Hampshire, good turnout we
had in Iowa.

HUNT: President Obama drove record turnout in 2008.

SANDERS: He did, he really did, absolutely, that`s correct.

HUNT: But that at the same time led to –

SANDERS: This is –

HUNT: Gridlock.

SANDERS: But I am being what I say is, you have heard in every speech.
Bernie Sanders and nobody – no president can do it alone.

We need a revitalization of American democracy in a way that we have not
seen. We need the people to be standing up and fighting for their rights
in a way that does not exist now.

HUNT: If you do not ultimately win this Democratic nomination, you
obviously have already made a big statement, a big impact, and you have
thousands of particularly young supporters with a lot of energy.

What would you do with that energy at the convention for example if you
were not the nominee?

SANDERS: It`s a hypothetical I don`t accept. We`re running to win this
thing and I think we got a good shot at it.

HUNT: Would you in the event you don`t win encourage these young
supporters to bring that energy to bear for Hillary Clinton?

SANDERS: What I will do in this campaign – again, we are running to win
and I think we have a good chance to win this.

And my goal from day one has been to revitalize American democracy to get
working people and young people involved in the political process, so that
we can address some of the major crisis that we face as a nation.

HUNT: Thank you very much for your time senator, really appreciate it.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Kasie Hunt; Msnbc political correspondent, also
with us, Jonathan Alter; an Msnbc political analyst and columnist for the
“Daily Beast”.

Kasie, it`s fascinating, he is I think the first presidential candidate who
has relentlessly and repeatedly said I can`t do it alone.

He makes it very clear he`s not running for king that you have to get what
he calls a revolution so that the house of Representatives and the Senate
will go along with his agenda.

That also seems to me to mean you would have to create basically elect
virtually an entire new house of Representatives in almost an entirely new

And he doesn`t seem to want to specify that. Maybe because that makes it
sound like too impossible a dream.

HUNT: I tried to push him on that a little bit there, Lawrence, and you`re
right. He didn`t seem to really have an explanation for how the makeup of
this Congress would change.

I think fundamentally, the premise of Bernie Sanders candidacy is that we
don`t have to accept things as they are.

That`s what he is arguing to the American people versus Hillary Clinton who
is somebody who`s worked inside the establishment for a long time.

Who is saying, hey, I know how to do this and I`m going to give you a
specific plan to get things done.

And it seems to me voters are responding to the difference in the very
fundamental premise of these two campaigns.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, one of the great lost facts of modern American
politics is the collapse of the parties.

Because we`ve lived in a two-party system for so long, we always talk about
Democrats and Republicans and it has been lost I think to the public that
those are minority parties.

We now have only 29 percent of voters saying that they are Democrats, we
only have 26 percent saying they`re Republicans.

Bernie Sanders represents the great big group called independents, 44

There`s actually more people who identify politically in the basic way that
Bernie Sanders does than Democrats or Republicans.

JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
So that 44 percent, they`re not all left independent.

O`DONNELL: Right, sure –

ALTER: A lot of them –


ALTER: Are right independents. So, everyday is independents day in
America now, but the strange thing is that many independents, self-
described independents are actually either very conservative or very

And the fact that they call themselves independents doesn`t by itself tell
you anything about where they are politically except that they want to
stick it to the man.

You know, and that they`re anti-establishment. And that`s pretty much the
only coloration that all independents nowadays have in common.

O`DONNELL: Kasie, Bernie Sanders, I think seems to know something about
socialism that most politicians don`t.

There was that 2009 cover story of “Newsweek” that was entitled we`re all
socialists now and that simply described how much socialism has come into
the American government, starting in 1935 with Social Security expanding to
Medicare right through the Affordable Care Act.

And the other quality it seems to me, and so Bernie Sanders I think
understands that people like what they`re getting out of the socialistic
side of the government.

And it also strikes me that using that word and being brave enough to use
that word is one of his markers of authenticity.

It`s one of the things that makes young people think, well, this guy is not
trying to, you know, trick me about anything, he`s willing to admit he`s a

HUNT: I think the perception would be that most modern presidential
campaigns, if all of a sudden you`re moving from that independent senator
to Vermont, trying to get into the Oval office, you would look at this,
your consultants would tell you, hey, you know, maybe you shouldn`t use
that label anymore.

Maybe –


O`DONNELL: Right –

HUNT: You should pick a different set of words and you`re right, Bernie
Sanders hasn`t done that.

And I do think it`s something that`s resonating. Now, of course, he calls
himself a Democratic socialist, which of course very different tradition
than what some people have raised the specter of which Claire McCaskill has
talked about.

Republicans using hammer and sickle imagery against Bernie Sanders. What
Sanders believes in is quite different from – in many ways the Soviet
Union, USSR.

It`s more of what we see on display in Europe. Republicans of course
talking about that in a negative way as well, but still two different

O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, thank you very much for that interview, really
appreciate it, thanks for joining us tonight.

HUNT: Thanks Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the outsider in the lead for the Republican
presidential nomination, and later where the outsiders agree and where they



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They look at me as an outsider
and they look at me as somebody that`s had great success and that can turn
the country around.


O`DONNELL: We`re back with more of our look at the year of the outsiders.
American politics has never seen anything quite like the Donald Trump for
president show.


TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best.
They`re bringing drugs, they`re bringing crime, they`re rapists.


TRUMP: He`s not a war hero –

LUNTZ: He`s a war hero.

TRUMP: He is a war hero –

LUNTZ: Five and a half years –


TRUMP: He`s a war hero because –

LUNTZ: Yes –

TRUMP: He was captured.

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

TRUMP: You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming
out of her – wherever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump said the following about you. “Look at
that face, would anyone vote for that, can you imagine that, the face of
our next president.”

TRUMP: She got schlonged, she lost, I mean, she lost. If Ivanka weren`t
my daughter, perhaps I`d be dating her.


You got to see this guy, oh, I don`t know what I said. Two Corinthians,
right? 2 Corinthians – throw them out, throw them out into the cold, don`t
give them their coats.

How stupid are the people of Iowa? Where I could stand in the middle of 5th
Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn`t lose any voters.

Thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming

For a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
I`d bring back a hell of a lot worse than they would have brought in.

She said he`s a – that`s terrible.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, McKay Coppins, senior political writer for
“BuzzFeed News” and the author of “The Wilderness”.

Also with us, David Frum, senior editor for “The Atlantic”. I want to read
to you both something that Nick Kristof wrote today in the “New York

He said, “so today, the leading candidate for president in the party of
Lincoln is an ill-informed, inexperienced, bigoted, sexist, xenophobe and
he is not a conservative at heart, just a pandering opportunist.

Donald Trump is the consequence of irresponsible politicking by Republican
leaders. The culmination of decades of cultivating unrealistic
expectations within the politics of resentment.”

David Frum, what`s your reaction to that?

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Well, it`s true, but backwards
and inside out.


FRUM: Nicholas Kristof is suggesting that Donald Trump is somehow the
logical culmination of things that Republicans have said.

You just look at – trace it back and you will – and he`s just saying what
others have said, only more so.

But that`s not why he is so successful. If that were the case, Rush
Limbaugh would be running for president.

What is distinctive about Donald Trump is the extent to which he has
departed from things that Republicans have said.

Because in addition to all the inflammatory things he`s said, he also said,
there has to be universal healthcare guarantee.

He`s also said you can`t touch Medicare, he`s also said we have to defend
Social Security.

And I think that is as essential to his success as the genuinely
inflammatory and provocative things he has also said, which have also being

But he is not the logical heir to the Republican Party. He is busting up a
policy cartel that has prevented Republicans from addressing real concerns.

O`DONNELL: And McKay Coppins, it seems to me that nowhere is the point
that David just made more telling than in his – anything he says about the
Iraq war.

He seems to have completely crushed Cheneyism in Republican politics. When
is the last time we heard a peep out of Dick Cheney defending the decisions
that led to the Iraq war?

Donald Trump just criticizes that every day, does it through the candidacy
of Jeb Bush, attacking his brother as president, and no other Republican
has ever done that.

The thing about Donald Trump`s brand of populism is that he has the gift or
advantage of not being tethered to traditional conservatism or

He as you noted, I think earlier, has, you know, switched party affiliation
several times over the course of his career and because of that, he never
felt obliged earlier on to defend, you know, the Iraq war.

In fact, he is somebody who gets his greatest joy out of attacking the
decisions made by prominent politicians and the Bushs were certainly among

And so he can point back to those things that – those times that he took
on Bush or the president or whatever, and say look, this is why I`m telling
you the truth.

This is why you can believe me. Of course, he`s switched his position
several times on several issues, but people who like Donald Trump just
choose to pay attention to the things about him that they like and they can
forgive him for the others.

That is the huge advantage that he has in this cycle.

O`DONNELL: When I saw Sarah Palin endorse Donald Trump, I wondered, could
there be a Trump candidacy if the Palin candidacy had not come first.

Let`s look back eight years to Sarah Palin for vice president.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I
was curious what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you
were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world –

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I read most of them again with a
great appreciation for the press, for the media.


PALIN: I mean –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Specifically? I`m curious that you –

PALIN: All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all
these years.


O`DONNELL: David, we`ve never had a more ignorant nominee for vice
president in the television age certainly.

But that is an echo which she said of Donald Trump`s answer that he gets
his foreign policy by watching the shows as he put it.

Republicans became defenders of ignorance in the case of Sarah Palin`s
candidacy and here they are again with Donald Trump.

FRUM: Well, true. But also remember that the reason that Sarah Palin was
chosen was in 2008, she was the most popular governor in America.

And the reason she was the most popular governor in America, she was
presiding over this giant oil bonanza in Alaska.

How has she responded to that? Not in a traditional Republican way. She
had in effect raised taxes on oil companies, and they had a technically not
exactly a tax.

What they called a severance fee, but she had raised taxes on oil companies
and she used those higher taxes to distribute cash to the residents of

And surprisingly, they liked it. But it is – it was her very different
kind of policy from that which you had seen in more orthodox Republicans.

She was successful because she was unorthodox and then she became a
national figure and run into the limitations that you discern.

O`DONNELL: David Frum and McKay Coppins, thank you both for joining us,
really appreciate it.

COPPINS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, what the outsiders say they are angry about, that`s


TRUMP: I am very angry, because I hate what is happening to our country.
I am angry. I am very angry.


you know. And, the American people are angry. There is anger and I share
that anger.


O`DONNEL: We are back now with more on the year of the outsiders. Joining
us now MSNBC National Correspondent, Joy Reid. Also with us, James Moore,
the co-author of “Bush`s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush

Joy, any discussion of motivation for supporters of these candidacies on
the Trump side, I believe always begins with this very important poll, 66
percent of Trump supporters believe that President Obama is Muslim, 60
percent of them believe that President Obama is not a citizen of the United
States, therefore an illegitimate president. And, surely, their anger
includes anger about both of those things that are completely false.

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Lawrence, I think
one of the things that is definitely true when you look at sort of the
profile of Trump`s supporters is that number one, they are by and large
white working close voters, who have a lot of sort of predispositions in
terms of what they want in social policy and what they want in economic
policy that make them very hard to pinpoint as strictly conservative on
things like fiscal conservatisms. But, they are very, very much steep in
sort of talk radio lure. That is who talk radio, which is these A.M
stations around the country really targets.

And, so, yes, they believe a lot of weird fictitious things about the
president. They have just a real deep dislike and distrust for him and
quite frankly for foreigners, for immigrants, for Muslims. And, so, that
is a part of their profile.

O`DONNELL: And, Joy, what do you see as the motivators that you are
picking up on the support for Bernie Sanders for his outsider run?

REID: What is interesting is that there is a convergence right with Trump
supporters in that. Bernie Sanders is also appealing to white working
class voters, that these are white working class voters, who are more on
the democratic sort of trending toward the liberal side. So, they will be
more union household, et cetera.

But, there are also voters with needs. That is what they actually have in
common in that then-diagram with Trump supporters. And, they do not trust
institutions. In this case, they do not trust the democratic institution.
They no longer trust that they can get ahead based on believing in
institutional power.

And, then you also have a convergence with African-Americans, with non-
white younger voters. I am needing a lot of younger voters. And, I am
talking about younger voters under 30. I am talking under 50. People who
feel that they need more. They are now steeped in a country where they
have seen activism make a difference. They want to see activism in the
While House.

They want to see big, big change. And, they expect it. And, so, I think
that is what you got is that combination of white working class voters, who
are more on the liberal side and also nonwhite younger voters who are
hungry for big change.

PINSKY: Tom Turnipseed, who was George Wallace`s 1968 Presidential
Campaign Manager appeared on this program. He talked about the
similarities he sees between George Wallace`s campaign then and Donald
Trump`s campaign now. Let us listen to that.


CAMPAIGN: Well, they both use – there not the first ones that ever did
it, the politics of fear. And, so, they are a lot alike in that. You had
to play on fear, you know, fear of this group or that group. They are
going to get you and so forth. You know, motivate people to vote.


PINSKY: James Moore, your analysis of the anger we hear resonating in
supporters of the Bernie Sanders campaign and supporters of Donald Trump

JAMES MOORE, CO-AUTHOR OF, BUSH`S BRAIN”: Well, I am kind of angry too,
Lawrence. And, frankly, it is because so much of what all of the
presidential candidates are saying is factious nonsense. Because if
someone did not know anything about this country and they came here and
they followed around the presidential candidates, they would think we have
entered the last days of Rome and that America is on fire and is burning.

So, the candidates are in a sense partly responsible for bringing up a lot
of this anger. But, the other part of this is, I think Americans have
consistently fell for this business of vote for me, I will not raise your
taxes, your services will not go away. And, what ultimately happens is
distrust accrues.

People no longer believe the vote counts. They no longer believe a
candidate regardless of what they say, and we end up with this ugly
construct of one side yelling at the other. No compromise happens and
nothing gets done to make America better. I think that is where this all
comes from.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, there is an overlap on policy between Bernie Sanders
and Donald Trump and we actually have played a loop on this show, where
they each saying the same thing. Trump is usually a less articulate
version of Bernie, but they agree on international trade. They do not want
the newest trade deal that president Obama wants, for example, they agree
in that area.

And, is that the kind of thing that you expect them to be trying to
distinguish themselves on down the road? I mean if trade is really your
thing, if stopping TPP is your thing, how would you choose between dump an
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? And, do they need to figure out a way to
distinguish their candidacies from each other on that?

REID: Yes. I know, it is really fascinating, because I actually have met
these voters who are torn between Trump and Sanders. I met them in Iowa.
I met them in New Hampshire. And, what they have in common is one word,
fairness; the sense that the system is not fair.

And, trade is a big part of that, particularly for the working class
voters, who said “Look, we are not getting ahead. The rich are getting
ahead. Wall street got away with the great recession and robbing the bank,
robbing the, you know, the piggy bank, and none of them went to jail, but I
cannot get ahead.

So, yes, trade is a big issue where you do see that then-diagram overlap,
distrust of authority is an issue where it over lapses. But, I think the
trade issue is a huge one as well as the bailout of Wall Street. That
seems to be a commonality between Trump supporters and Sanders supporters.

And, a third one would be a real support for social programs. These are
voters where needs. So, they want there to be a social security. They
want there to be a Medicare. They do not want to privatize any of this.

So, they do not converge on the right-hand side or on the Trump side with
conservatives, who do want to do privatization and things like that. They
do not want that at all. They have needs. They want government, they just
do not trust it.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid and James Moore, thank you both for joining us
tonight. Appreciate it.

MOORE: Thanks.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders also agree on a big
issue and that might be another reason some voters could support either one
of them. That is next.



O`DONNELL: We are back with more on “The Year of the Outsiders.” And, one
of the things that the outsiders have in common, they are not financing
their campaigns the way the insiders are.


TRUMP: I am turning down millions and millions of dollars. I do not want
it, because what happens is when you give millions of dollars, I do not say
the word own in some cases that is a correct word, but I do not say the
word. But, certainly, you have a lot of power over the person if he wins
or she wins the election.



TRUMP: So, I am not taking all of this blood money.



TRUMP: So, I will not be influenced by the lobbies and, you know, et
cetera, et cetera. But, I do not know – I was talking to Scott about this
before, I do not know that it is appreciated really by the voters.



SANDERS: We do not represent the interests of the billionaire class, Wall
Street or corporate America. We do not want their money. I do not have a
Super PAC and I do not want a Super PAC. Our campaign`s financial support
comes from more than 1 million Americans, who have made more than 3.7
million individual contributions. And, do you know what that average
contribution was? $27.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Lawrence Lessig, Professor at Harvard Law
School, a former democratic candidate for president and a campaign finance
reform advocate. Prof. Lessig, thanks for joining us. Your brief campaign
was all about campaign finance reform and trying to get this ugly money out
of politics. It is fascinating to see that the outsiders this year have
done it. They have done it on their own.

And, the really important thing is that they are talking about the kind of
need to change this system to make it, so people have a reason to believe
in government again. This is the deep frustration that I think both sides
are tapping, that people do not believe the government cares about the
people, they believe they care about the funders of campaigns.

O`DONNELL: Now, Donald Trump likes to say he is self-financing, but in
fact, a good half of his campaign money so far has come from donations. He
has raised over $6 million on his website. He is not actively going out
there and running fundraisers, but he absolutely does accept the money.

And, professor, there is a fascinating situation with Donald Trump. He is
in terms of government an utter ignoramus. He demonstrates that every day.
In current law, a billionaire, who is self-aware enough to know that he or
she does not know enough about government to be a good president is not
allowed to take the money they would spend on a self-financed presidential
campaign and spend it on someone, who they think is worthy. If they found
some political science professor and in fact they thought that would be a
great candidate for president, you cannot take that money and give it to
that candidate.

PROF. LESSIG: Well, you cannot give it to that candidate. You could set
up a Super PAC to support that candidate, you are right. But, the really
important thing to recognize is, though, Donald Trump has identified the
problem and rallied millions to the fact that we have a serious, serious
problem, his only solution is that we elect billionaires.


PROF. LESSIG: And, of course, that is what we fought a revolution about
that we would not have a government just of the very rich, that we would
have a government that was representative of everybody.

O`DONNELL: Now, Bernie Sanders says that he will not nominate any Supreme
Court Justice, who does not specifically say that when on the court, he
will vote that justice, he or she will vote to overturn citizens united.
Do you think that kind of litmus test for a Supreme Court Justice is

PROF. LESSIG: Well, I do not favor litmus tests, but I think the more
important thing is to recognize that even if we overturn citizens united,
it is not as if the day before citizens united was decided, America had a
beautiful democracy. Everything was humming along perfectly, right?

We know that it is going to take much more than just fixing the mistakes
the Supreme Court has made. And, so, what is really important both for
Trump and Sanders, I think, is to begin to talk to the American people
about the kind of changes that would really make a difference.

And, there are changes that, in fact, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
have endorsed; small dollar public funding systems like a government by the
people act, which would change the way congressional candidates raise their
funds. And, that is the place we need real change to happen.

O`DONNELL: Larence Lessig, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I
really appreciate it.

LESSIG: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, being an outsider is nothing new to Bernie Sanders or
Donald Trump.




TRUMP: The republicans are just too crazy right. I mean just what is
going on is just nuts. And, I am seeing the democrats as far too and they
are so liberal it is just too liberal for me.


O`DONNELL: Welcome back to our special edition of the “Last Word” on the
year of the outsiders. In 1999, Donald Trump told Tim Russer that Donald
Trump was considering leaving the Republican Party to run for president on
the third-party ticket and some of the things that Donald Trump said back
then sound a lot like Donald Trump today.


TRUMP: I am certainly controversial, but I also am a great businessman. I
would make the greatest treaties and this country had seen a long time.
The country would not be ripping a saw like what they are doing. When you
look at what Japan has been doing to us for so many years and decades.



TRUMP: On ABC, I am their star and on Newsweek, they put me on their cover
last week. And, you know, I saw some poll where, I guess – polls are very
interesting. I could put out a poll, would you vote for the brilliant
entrepreneur Donald Trump?

And, everyone is going to say yes, or I could put out a poll, would you
vote for this terrible human being named, Donald Trump? And, they are
going to say, no. So, polls are sort of – the Gallup poll recently came
out and said I am the number one candidate of any independent.


O`DONNELL: And, much of what you hear Bernie Sanders say today, he has
been saying for decades.


SANDERS: Mr. Speaker, there are only two nations in the entire
industrialized world, South Africa and the United States that do not in one
form or another have a national health care system, which finally says that
all citizens are entitled to their health care needs with virtually no out
of pocket expense.

Mr. Speaker, it is sometime that this body stood up to the insurance
companies, the drug companies, the AMA and say that health care is a right
of all people and that we must move forward to a national health care
system just as the rest of the civilized world has.


O`DONNELL: Coming up, what the history of outsiders in presidential
campaigning tells us about this year of the outsiders.




PRES. BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: No. We are not doing that. Not only
because of constitution, but because more importantly Michelle would kill



O`DONNELL: We are back with more of our look at the year of the outsiders.
What you hear Donald Trump saying about how he is financing his campaign is
actually something we first heard from the first bored billionaire to run
for president. Ross Perot in 1992.


spending my money on this campaign. The two parties are spending your
money, taxpayer money. I put my wallet on the table for you and your
children. Over $60 million at least will go into this campaign to lead the
American dream to you and your children to get this country straightened
out, because if anybody owes it to you, I do. I have lived the American
dream. I like that your children to be able to live it too.


O`DONNELL: Ross Perot, running as an independent outsider surged to first
place in the polls ahead of incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush
and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton. In the end, Bill Clinton won the
presidency with 43 percent of the vote. Thanks to a three-way split of the
vote created by Ross Perot.

Jonathan Alter is back with us. Jonathan, the Perot campaign has a couple
of models here on policy. He talked an awful lot about he was opposed to
NAFTA. He did not want to see it go through, just like Donald Trump says
now. And, also that I am the billionaire, I can pay for my own campaign.

candidates have done well over the years because people feel they cannot be
bought. And, also, Perot would sometimes say things that were politically
incorrect, that is also appealing to lot of people who feel they have been
constrained from saying what they really feel by, you know, new manors in

But, there are couple of other comparisons. He reminds a little bit of Pat
Buchannan, who won the New Hampshire primary in 1996, but did not do so
well later on, because he ran out of money, which is not a problem for
Donald Trump, if he is not too much of a cheapskate, which he might be, by
the way.

O`DONNELL: Uh-huh.

ALTER: But, you know, Buchannan was sounding some of these same themes on

O`DONNELL: The anti-trade thing.

ALTER: A trade thing, very, very big.

O`DONNELL: That we heard from Bernie Sanders. We get from Donald Trump.

ALTER: Right.

O`DONNELL: And, you heard from Ross Perto.

ALTER: Yes. And, then also I think there are some notes from George
Wallace who ran in 1968, 1972 before he was shot and, then again, in 1976.
And, he was finally sidelined by another outsider Jimmy Carter, who went on
to be president.

But it is important to remember that, really, we have no history in this
country of any populist president, except one, Andrew Jackson. And, you
know, you have to go back an awfully long way to find the last time this
country actually elected a populist president.

O`DONNELL: So, in the modern age, the outsider of the kind we are talking
about might get a nomination, but will not get all the way.

ALTER: That is the history. I mean these rules are always made to be
broken, but even getting the nomination has been pretty hard.

O`DONNELL: We then get into this tricky question of what is an outsider
and what is an underdog. Was Barack Obama an outsider or was he simply an

ALTER: He was not really an outsider. He was just a very inexperienced
U.S. Senator. He actually got more endorsements from other senators than
Hillary Clinton got in 2008. So, there are a lot of people including Ted
Kennedy, Harry Reid insiders in the Democratic Party, who wanted Obama for
president at a pretty early point.

Ronald Reagan was a little bit of an outsider. He ran as an outsider. He
had not served in Washington, but he was an insider compared to Trump,
because he had been governor for eight years, but he also had that sort of
show business appeal like, “I am not really coming from politics, I am
coming from a different field.”

And, then there have been generals, who have been outsiders who you are
never quite sure what party they were in like Dwight Eisenhower. It was
not clear until 1952 whether he was a democrat or a republican. And, you
have seen some other people who have not held elective office before whose
party affiliation was a little unclear. Herbert Hoover would be an example
for that.

But, usually we elect people who have at least some experience, so this
idea of being a total outsider like Donald Trump is really very new.
Bernie Sanders is in a more familiar place, which is being an insurgent,
very left wing candidate inside the Democratic Party.

O`DONNEL: He never lived – but McGovern, lifelong democrat within the

ALTER: Right. Right. That is a big difference.

O`DONNELL: What made him different was simply the degree of his


O`DONNELL: But he worked in a classical way within the party.


O`DONNELL: Bernie Sanders lived outside of this party his whole political

ALTER: So, he is more like Ralph Nader.


ALTER: I am sure Ralph Nader is kicking himself now. “Why did not I ran
on the Democratic Primaries?” He might have done better than as an

O`DONNELL: We will have to leave it there. Jonathan Alter gets the “Last
Word” on the outsiders. Stay with MSNBC for continuing coverage of this
historic presidential campaign.



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.>