The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 6/24/2016
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: June 24, 2016
Guest: Jared Bernstein, Catherine Rampell, Laura Haim, David Smith
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Now it`s time for a special edition of “The Last Word”
with Ari Melber sitting in for Lawrence tonight. Hello, Ari?
ARI MELBER, HOST OF “THE LAST WORD”: Hi, Rachel. And I think we know from
the oral argument they were very skeptical of that conviction of Bob
McDonnell. It will be interesting to watch on Monday.
MADDOW: Yes. And I imagine Bob McDonnell is going to be there. If you
talk to him, tell him I`d love an interview.
MELBER: I will pass that on. Have a very good weekend. Nice to see you.
MADDOW: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
MELBER: As you know by you, 17.5 million voters in Great Britain have
triggered a financial meltdown in global market, lost $2 trillion in value.
That`s more than the entire gross domestic of Canada, $2 trillion today.
And tonight, we have the latest on where this chaos goes, how it started,
and what Britain`s unexpected disruption means for the US.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m shocked that we actually have voted to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The market`s taken a dive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My vote, I didn`t think was going to matter too much
because I thought we were just going to remain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are actually regretting it today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Dow Jones dropping over 600 points.
ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRPERSON: This is the worst
period I recall since I`ve been in public service.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, yeah, quite worried.
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM: I do not think it would
be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t care who it is as long as we have a Brexit
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s about the right of the people of this country to
settle their own destiny.
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: We would prefer a different outcome. The
special relationship that exists between our two nations, that will endure.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the pound goes down, more
people are coming to Turnberry frankly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe today .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: . he`s not running for president. He`s selling
TRUMP: You should try to get to see the suites because they are the most
beautiful suites you`ll ever see.
BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will do everything I can to
defeat Donald Trump.
TRUMP: One, two, three. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Good evening to you. I`m Ari Melber filling in for Lawrence
O`Donnell. It`s a special Friday edition of “The Last Word” to make sense
of a story that matters more than most. People in politics and the press
use the word historic a lot, a historic election, a historic victory. But
today, the world woke up to a decision that lives up to that designation, a
development that ends a chapter of history that began 43 years ago when
Britain joined the E.U. That chapter is over. The European Union lost its
second largest economy and greatest political power.
The movement called leave won a 52 to 48 votes, stunning experts who had
expected a more anticlimactic outcome. Over 17 million Brits voted to
leave, 16 million voted to remain. British Prime Minister David Cameron,
who opposed Brexit and backed the plan, putting it to a vote, he resigned
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this
direction. I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship
over the coming weeks and months. But I do not think it would be right for
me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next
MELBER: Cameron tried and failed to strike a middle ground before the
vote. He`d used domestic opposition to the E.U. to push for reforms, like
rolling back benefits for migrants as some sort of compromise instead of
this Brexit. One of the leaders of the pro-leave movement, Nigel Farage,
head of the right-wing U.K. Independence Party celebrated the vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIGEL FARAGE, INDEPENDENT PARTY LEADER: Ladies and gentlemen, dare to
dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom. We have
fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant
banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies,
corruption and deceit. Let June the 23rd go down in our history as our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The repercussions have begun. The British pound hosted its
largest one-day fall ever. Global stock markets lost $2.1 trillion today
in America. In America, I should say, the markets tanked on their own $830
billion. The Dow down 610 points. S&P, you see there, 76 points down,
NASDAQ, over 200 points down. President Obama, an opponent of today`s
decision, did strike a respectful note today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Yesterday`s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that
are raised by globalization. But while the U.K.`s relationship with the
E.U. will change, one thing that will not change is the special
relationship that exists between our two nations. That will endure. The
E.U. will remain one of our indispensable partners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That is certainly true, but the question is what kind of
partnership will be left in Europe, a continent that has paid dearly in
lives and in treasure for past rivalries and world wars, politicians now in
France, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands already calling for their own
referendums on membership in the EU.
We begin tonight fittingly with NBC News Keir Simmons, reporting this story
in London. Why did this happen and why did it surprise so many so-called,
KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it surprised people
because, there is just such a division within this country. Never has the
United Kingdom fell less united. And, Ari, if you want a symbol of that,
then you only have to look at the world-famous British newspapers
Here you have “The Sun,” which campaigned in favor of an exit. Its
headline, “So Long, Farewell, I`ll be the same. Adieu”. The “Daily Mail,”
which is well campaigned in favor of an exit, “Take a Bow, Britain,” it
says. It was the day the quiet people of Britain rose up against an
arrogant, out of touch political class. But then you have “The Daily
Mirror,” which campaigned to stay in Europe, and its headline, “So what the
hell happens now.” And just take a look at one more here. The “Financial
Times”, Britain breaks with Europe, but the headline which you may not be
able to see, which I think is telling, says Cameron quits, sterling
plunges, a roar of rage.
What happened here, Ari, effectively, is that millions of people who feel
disenfranchised, who feel like London, the capital, has nothing to do with
them, who feel like decisions were being made in Brussels, in Europe that
did not connect with them said, we are fed up with this, we don`t want this
The issue, though, Ari, and why the financial markets around the world have
reacted so badly is that what we now have is a very long process that could
be very, very bitter. Effectively, it is a divorce. And if you like,
what`s happened today is that one partner has got the courage to say to the
other one, I just can`t live with you anymore. But now, as anyone`s who`ve
been through a divorce knows what that can be like knows now there will be
the arguments over what to do with the children, what to do with the house,
what to do with the money, it can get very, very bitter. That is what
Europe faces, writ large.
And in a sense, what you`ve been seeing is two sides already, politically.
One side saying, we really need to get tough with Great Britain, in France,
for example, saying we really need to make sure that other E.U. countries
don`t get, as you were mentioning, the idea that they should do .
MELBER: Right, there is .
SIMMONS: . to the other side say, right, that there`s a danger that the
E.U. will fall apart. The other side, including the leader of Germany, the
Pope himself, saying, no, we need to really negotiate and be careful
otherwise the damage that will be done to the European economy there, for
the world economy, including the American economy, will be profound and
MELBER: Right. Stay with me, Keir. I want to bring in David Smith,
Washington correspondent at “The Guardian,” and Laura Hain, White House
Correspondent for France`s Canal Plus. You hear that reference. I want to
play a little bit from Nigel Farage a little more because there is what is
being done and there is who is doing it, the idea that some of the anti-EU
forces excelled with the argument that this was all about bad things being
done by foreigners, including not just the idea of migrants, but in the
west. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FARAGE: Threatening people too much actually insults their intelligence
and the lesson from the Obama visit is even more fascinating. And a lot of
people in Britain said, how dare the American President come here and tell
us what to do. And it backfired. And I think we got an Obama Brexit
bounce, because people do not want foreign leaders telling them how to
think and how to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Is that right?
LAURA HAIM, CORRESPONDENT, FRANCE`S CANAL PLUS: Yeah, this would be about
populist movement. It`s interesting in this story, and it`s tragic. We
spoke with a lot of people who voted against Britain staying in Europe, and
they told us, we don`t want what`s happening in Europe. We are
exceptional. We want to do something different. And we want to sort of
send a message to the rest of the world that we don`t want technocrats. We
want to take care of us. So that`s really interesting because it`s the
same one use all over the world in different parts of the world, again,
global populist message.
MELBER: And David, on that point, it works twofold if the experts are the
problem and the experts can`t be believed, then the arguments marshaled
about the economic damage, I think some of which in the short-term is
evidenced today, aren`t going to always be believed by the populist.
DAVID SMITH, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE GUARDIAN: That`s right. One of
the politicians, Michael Gove, really pushing the leave campaign, actually
said at one point people are seek of experts. So, by definition, whatever
facts and figures were produced, people rubbished because there was this
strong anti-establishment sentiment. It`s worth remembering not only the
government, but the main opposition party, and most opposition parties all
supported remaining within the E.U.
And the people decided otherwise. And I think it was a coming together
factors. This is what we`ve talked about. There was the surge of
immigration in Europe because of the crisis in Syria and elsewhere. So
immigration was a very hot issue and as President Obama mentioned, also,
deep underlying causes to do with global trade and globalization.
MELBER: And so, Keir, how can we read some of those trends or
interpretations into the constituencies that voted? Because we have a
pretty simple breakdown on U.K. vote to remain, Scotland, Northern Ireland,
London, to leave, Wales and England. Leaving carried the day. What do you
know about those areas and what that tells us?
KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS-LONDON: What it tells us is – back to the point I
made at the beginning which is how divided the U.K. is. London voted 2 to
1. Scotland voted 2 to 1 to stay in Europe.
And there are even people talking about London becoming its own city-state.
That is far fetched, obviously. But it isn`t far fetched in relation to
Scotland. And just think about that, if the Scotts do really push to
remove themselves from Britain, there`s a whole constitutional issue there.
The British are going to be taken up. We`re just trying to deal with
unraveling of that constitutional issue, just trying to fight that battle
in Northern Ireland. As you know, there is a long history of sectarian
troubles, as a result of questions on whether Northern Ireland is part of
the United Kingdom, or whether it should be part of the island of Ireland.
So, a real Pandora`s Box, and you want to think about that, the U.K. is the
country that is going to need to be at the table, renegotiating deals with
Europe, negotiating new deals with Europe. What most you said, Britain
should leave the European Union says was that Britain can go in best foot
forward and get great deals around the world. The issue is, whether that`s
true or not. Whether in principle, that`s true.
And the issue is, how is Britain going to do that with a prime minister and
he said he`s leaving in three months, with its constituent parts saying
they want to leave Britain.
It is a very, very difficult picture. Again, that is why the markets are
saying, at the very least, the uncertainty that this now holds out is
MELBER: Right. And Laura – I mean, the markets often try to price in
future events. This doesn`t seem totally priced in, because it wasn`t
fully expected to happen. And what could be priced in next is other
countries. Here`s Le Pen in France, known as a very divisive figure,
talking about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARINE LE PEN, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL FRONT (through translation): For
all the patriots, for all those who freedom, this day is one of joy. It is
not Europe has died, it`s the European Union which is shaking and it is a
rebirth of the nations, and they need to build between them a new European
project that, of cooperation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: A rebirth of nations, but from that right-wing perspective, that`s
a rebirth that is designed and called for to be ethnically nationalist and
a closed door to migration.
HAIM: Yes. Marine Le Pen is running for the French presidential
elections. She`s in the polls at 30 percent. She`s an extremely important
figure in the French political life and she`s calling at this moment (ph)
for a Franxit (ph).
What does this mean? She`s asking people to do the same thing that the
English people just did. So it`s very worried. In terms of fact, on
Tuesday you`re going to have a European Summit.
Francois Hollande, the French President, he`s going to try to be the peace
negotiator in Europe. And he wants to try to quiet down things, there`s a
lot (ph) again of uncertainty, and a lot of people all over Europe are
extremely worried about the beginning of a recession.
MELBER: And so, David, what do we look for that in those remaining
countries? Should people be worried about other important countries
leaving? And then what is the E.U. at that point?
SMITH: Yeah, it`s a very unpredictable, unstable time. If you look at
countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, maybe Greece, they`re, you know,
this gives a lot of encouragements for those who would push for a
referendum of their own, possibility to break away from the E.U.
I don`t think the E.U. itself is in – is under existential threat, but it
is an unraveling and just talking to people today in Washington, from the
U.S. perspective that does seem fear that this alliance, which was born out
of the ashes of the Second World War is guaranteed peace and stability on
the continent for all these decades. And, you know, has taken its biggest
blow and that has implications economically and even in terms of security
in the military as well.
MELBER: And Laura, a lot of American political commentary immediately
looked at this through the U.S. lens and whether there`s an echo here and
some of what Trump and other anti-immigrant sentiment is in the United
States. Do you think that makes sense, or is that a misfire from an
internationalist perspective, because this is more about Europe than the
HAIM: So from an international perspective, it completely makes sense.
People in Europe are extremely worried with what`s happening globally. And
this is what they didn`t want to have to deal with.
They have a lot of terrorist attacks this year. It`s very uncertain
climate, in terms of the economic situation in France, in different other
countries. So they really want to know what`s happening.
I just want to tell you something, because people think that that`s it.
England is going to be out tomorrow. It`s a very long process.
HAIM: And it`s a very technical one. It`s going to take months before
it`s going to happen. They have to rewrite in Belgium (ph) the new
regulations. They have – it`s part of a treaty which was done, which is
called the Treaty of Lisbon, and now in the defense of Article 50, and it`s
going to require a lot of technicity, a lot of sittings, a lot of
discussions, and that`s the hope of some European leaders. That it`s going
to take time and during this time, maybe there`s hope to rebuild a new
MELBER: Laura Haim, thank you very much. David Smith, thank you for
joining us. And Keir Simmons will be back with us in the hour for more
reporting. Thank you.
Coming up, Donald Trump`s visit to Scotland didn`t do much to make him look
presidential. And a new poll out tonight should spark a lot of talk inside
the Trump campaign war room. It`s not good news.
We`re going to tell you how some American votes are feeling and looking.
Squeezed by the economy are angry voters going to take lessons from the
U.K.`s exit from the E.U? That`s all ahead.
MELBER: Back here at home, President Obama speaking at a fund-raiser for
Governor Jay Inslee in Seattle, Washington. We`re going to monitor that
tonight and bring you anything that comes out of it.
MELBER: Britain`s decision to leave the E.U. is echoing right here in the
U.S. in two big ways. Economically, it`s costing Americans billions of
dollars, as we reported at the top of the hour.
Politically, the presidential candidates are outlining their responses and
both the Trump and Clinton campaign are fund-raising off this news. But it
was Donald Trump who was closest to the vote, literally, as he made a
business trip to Scotland to reopen his golf course in Turnberry today.
Many were eager to hear how Trump would tackle the news unfolding right
there in the region, but he began his news conference in a truly bizarre
fashion, even by the standards of a Trump news conference, which is really
Now, again, the continent is on fire. He is at the fire. And his first
appearance there, instead of addressing the fire, he talked about his golf
course. Really? Here`s NBC`s Katy Tur.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATY TUR: As the UK`s Brexit votes had markets plunging overseas and at
home, Donald Trump was touring his Scottish golf course and promoting his
DONALD TRUMP: Inside the lighthouse right now is incredible suites.
TUR: Turning to the global chaos unfolding around him, Trump saw
opportunity while the world worried, both financially .
TRUMP: Look, if the pound goes down, they`re going to do more business.
You know, when the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry,
TUR: .and politically.
TRUMP: I really do see a parallel between what`s happening in the United
States and what`s happening here. People want to see borders. They don`t
necessarily want people pouring into their country.
TUR: The fight to leave the E.U. is similar to presumptive GOP nominee`s
play book, appealing the voters on trade, immigration, and a sense of
RYAN WILLIAMS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think that`s something you can
point to in this campaign and say, look, there`s support for what I`m
doing, not just in America, but across the world.
TUR: Though this was not a campaign event to Trump in Turnberry to promote
his brand, he didn`t exactly stumble on the world stage.
Are you traveling with any of your foreign policy advisers? Are you
huddling with them to find out what the best way for you to react is?
TRUMP: Well I`ve been in touch with them, but there`s nothing to talk
about. You know, I`ve been saying that I would prefer what happened. I
thought this would be a good thing. I think it will turn out to be a good
TUR: The Hillary Clinton team quick to use it all as political fodder.
TRUMP: More people are coming to Turnberry.
TUR: Clinton`s campaign was caught off guard by her own populist uprising
in the primary against Bernie Sanders. Now some Democrats are nervous what
happened in Britain could be a harbinger of a stronger than expected
populist zeal in the U.S. that propelled Sanders and Trump.
Ironic that Trump would praise Brexit here in Scotland, one of the few
places that voted overwhelmingly to stay in the E.U. and while there are
similarities, it should be noted that the U.K.`s electorate is
significantly less diverse than the U.S. Ari?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Thanks Katy Tur for that report. And joining us now, Rick Tyler,
MSNBC Political Analyst, Former Spokesman for the Cruz campaign, and David
Corn from Mother Jones and also an MSNBC Analyst.
David, I don`t want to belabor the point, but when you ask a presidential
candidate whether something`s good, you usually mean at a minimum for the
U.S., maybe for the world when both things a possible. He literally took
the questions today as, is it good for his business?
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, though, it used to be the
saying, what`s good for G.M. is what`s good for America. Here, it means,
what`s good for Trump. I mean, look what happen after Orlando, his first
tweet was, “Hey, people are congratulating me. I got it right.” That`s
what this meant.
And then this week, you know, today, this bizarre press conference where
he`s talking about the lighthouse and the suites. There`s nothing to talk
about with foreign policy advisers and don`t worry about me. I`ll be fine
if the pound goes down, if the markets tumble. Don`t worry. I know how to
I can just imagine if he becomes president, you know, coming out one day
and the Dow`s gone down 13 percent. But let me reassure the American
public, I made a killing. It`s narcissism of the highest order. Rick,
defend this guy.
MELBER: Go ahead, Rick.
RICK TYLER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I would love to defend him, but
I think it was a big missed opportunity. It was another sign that Donald
Trump hasn`t quite put his campaign together. He should have had advisers
on that plane. He should had a statement for whichever way it went.
Remember, going into the night, it was going to go the other way. And
that`s, in fact, that`s the market had very large gains. I think over –
almost 200 points in the last couple of days, because everybody thought
that the U.K. was going to stay in the E.U. and then of course, they took
all those gains back today when it reversed itself. But, no, he really had
an opportunity to explain why he thought it was a good thing that the U.K.
was leaving the E.U. He had a perfect opportunity to do it and he really
didn`t articulate it all that well.
CORN: But, you know, Ari, if I can jump in because I`m just so excited
about this. I mean, the thing is, he was asked about Brexit a few weeks
ago and he really didn`t seem to know what it was. He hadn`t thought about
it. He hadn`t really supported it. He jumped on it because it won at the
end of the day.
And, in fact, that Mother Jones today, we went back and looked and found a
piece he wrote three years ago, in which he was talking about the need for
greater economic cohesion in Europe. Actually, you know, taking the
opposite position that he took did not today.
I know you`re shocked by that, but he didn`t care about Brexit, until he
smelled a political opportunity.
MELBER: Yeah – I mean, look, Rick, at a certain level the candidate who`s
the nominee of your party at this point has a category error. In other
words, he`s literally on the business trip. He is .
MELBER: . literally talking about the business, and when he`s asked about
policy and international decisions, which affect people, including
everyone`s 401Ks and retire accounts and what we`re going to do as a
country in the U.S., he blows it. I mean, he really blows it not with
whether you agree or disagree, but he doesn`t categorically get the
question and then it`s not about the self-interest of his personal fortune.
I`ll throw one poll at you. It is early, but this is not where your party
would want to be in terms of 46 percent now for Clinton in Reuters` new
poll, 33 percent for Trump. Does this give any of your colleagues a second
thoughts going into the convention?
TYLER: Well likely, look, I`ve said over and over again that if Donald
Trump continues to trail Hillary Clinton by double digits, it`s – I think
a lot of people pause because, you know, this was a perfect opportunity.
And by the way, look – and this is a warning. This whole leave in the
E.U. and nobody predicted it, or very few people predicted it and the
people said, no, we`ve had enough of micromanagement from Brussels and
regulation and taxation. And I think there was a lot of overreaction
Look – yes, we lost a lot of value in the market, but that`s not real
value. That value can come back. Markets don`t like uncertainty. And
we`ll have a new certainty at some point and then the markets will come
I think overall, it will be better for the United Kingdom. I think it`s
going to be better and then they`ll do very well. But, you know, again,
you know, Donald Trump had a – just good job explaining that today and
again, it was a missed – and again, it was a missed opportunity.
MELBER: David, on the politics of that, we`re going to go more into the
international policy throughout the hour which is on the U.S. politics of
MELBER: Does it help Hillary Clinton to simply look competent, like she
understands what`s happening, while Donald Trump doesn`t seem to understand
he`s running position, running policy rather than being CEO?
CORN: I thought the add that the Clinton campaign put out today sort of
strategic derision, made her look solid and made him look kind of foolish
and almost irrelevant, which no one wants to be. And so, I think, again
and again, I think the same thing happened after the Orlando tragedy that
she comes out, she looks steady, she talks of what this is about, not about
CORN: And, you know, and how many times is he going to miss this
opportunity, as Rick puts it, because actually, he`s not interested in much
beyond Donald Trump.
MELBER: Right. Well, the only question I didn`t get around to asking,
David Corn, is whether this international crisis is good for Mother Jones`
magazine at a business level.
CORN: I was going to ask the same question.
MELBER: If we had more time, I`d get to that. David Corn and Rick Tyler .
CORN: That would count.
MELBER: .have a good Friday night. I appreciate it. Up next .
CORN: Great article, David.
MELBER: . the economic anger that did motivate some voters in the U.K.
Also, obviously, motivating people here in the U.S., and that means people
who most support Trump, but also Bernie Sanders. Stay with us.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hours after the stunning Brexit vote result,
experts around the world were left with the question of why a majority of
British voters chose to leave the E.U. Voters seem to have been divided
along the lines of income inequality. London, the richest region in the
U.K., voted to remain by nearly 20 points. But many less-educated working
class regions that have felt all the effects of wage stagnation, they voted
Now, Alan Greenspan is of course, the former chair of the Federal Reserve
and he`s known to be respected on Wall Street while criticized by more
progressive economic experts. But his diagnosis today of the problem
overlaps with the progressive concern from occupy to the Bernie Sanders
campaign. When real incomes are down, people aren`t benefiting from the
so-called benefits of an economic system and then the entire system can
lose legitimacy. Now, he calls it a political problem for the E.U. and may
be an existential one. Here he is on CNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN GREENSPAN, FEDERAL RESERVE FORMER CHAIR: I think this is just the tip
of the iceberg. And the reason I say that is that this problem that`s
causing the British problem is far more widespread. Fundamentally, what we
are looking at is a massive slowing in the rate of real incomes across the
whole European spectrum. Real incomes are not going anywhere. And that is
creating a serious political problem, which is not easy to resolve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We are joined by Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center for
Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist at economic policy
adviser to Vice President Biden. He`s an MSNBC contributor. Keir Simmons,
also back with us. Jared, starting with you, one response here is for at
least to lecture people who voted to leave on why this isn`t in their
interests. Another response is to look at their interests and how
underserved they have been or feel they have been with this economic
inequality and real income decline.
JARED BERNSTEIN, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR BUDGET: Yes. And I think the
latter is a very smart place to be. I agree with the analysis that says
that that`s certainly a big part of their motivation. By the way, there`s
a strong anti-immigrant sentiment in the leave vote that we shouldn`t leave
behind, as well. And in fact, you can see that very much in our election,
of course. And there you have a situation of lots of people who have been
left behind, for whom all of this economic growth and market dynamics that
we talk about, it`s been kind of a spectator sport for them.
They hear about it on T.V., maybe they read about it in the newspaper.
They certainly haven`t seen it in their paychecks. And in our election,
you`ve got a candidate, and in the Brexit, you`ve got candidates saying the
reason this is happening is because of that immigrant over there, or in the
case of the European Union, because of some of their really non-
representative, non-democratic practices. I thought that was legit. When,
in fact, a lot of what`s going on is about the bargaining power of workers,
the erosion of the minimum wage, high unemployment rates, the lack of
unionization. A lot of things progressives have been working on for a long
MELBER: Yeah, so Keir, at the risk of trying to apply wisdom from the
rapper 50 Cent to Brexit, which is difficult, he was once asked how does
the recession affect his community, and he said, the recession? It`s
always a recession here. We are living through this the whole time. And
so, speak to the people in the outskirts and the other places, outside of
london, who have felt, for a long time, underserved, or to Jared`s point,
do you think that is kind of trying to make it sound better, and this was a
lot more about racial, nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiment?
KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think this is a mixture of class,
of culture, of economics. I think one point to make is to think about
Britain and the economy of Britain and how the financial sector, the big
banks dominate that economy. There are many other sectors, too, of course.
But think about the fact that London represents that. Those big banks are
based in London. I think there is still a lot of anger, a lot of fury
even, about what happened going back to 2007.
What happened when there was the financial meltdown, a perception that huge
amounts of money were spent on keeping the banks afloat, and people looking
and saying, “Well hold on a second, what happened, because that money
doesn`t seem to have reached me?” And then, as I mentioned, the cultural
side, the reality is, and, you know, within my own family, when this is all
happening, I think first about my children, and what future this is for my
But also within my family, my own dad, who doesn`t live in London will also
say to me, you know, you Londoners, you`re like this, you`re like that.
There`s a real divide culturally, and that is the kind of split that causes
the kind of resentment that has – people going to the ballot box and kind
of voting, if you like, with their heart rather than their head. And we`re
seeing this now with people talking about regretting their vote already.
MELBER: You say regret. So Keir, that goes to the question. Do those
people who voted that way believe that their fortunes will be improved?
SIMMONS: Well, I think people do believe that their fortunes will be
improved, because the campaign said that. A lot of money is sent to
Europe, and that is true. Britain is a net contributor to the European
Union. The campaign to say we should leave the European Union said, well,
we can get that money back. The issue, of course though is this was one
vote. There is now two years, maybe some people will say even 10 years to
So never mind the principle of whether you think it`s good for Britain to
be inside the E.U. or not. The question is, with all of that wrangling and
potential conflict, what happens to the British economy, to the European
economy while that`s taking place? While those negotiations are taking
MELBER: And Jared, I mentioned that Bernie Sanders` economic critique.
Here he was reacting today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think what this vote is
about is an indication that the global economy is not working for
everybody, you know? It`s not working in the United States for everybody,
and it`s not working in the U.K. for everybody. When you see, you know,
investors going to China and shutting down factories in this country and
laying off over a period of many years, millions of people, people are
saying, “You know, global economy maybe great for some people but not for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The negotiated version of that statement would be, hey, Wall
Street or any Wall Street in any country should take this more seriously,
so you don`t get this level of backlash.
BERNSTEIN: Yeah, and I think that Bernie Sanders there is making a very
germane point. And it`s one that`s been very live in our own election
campaign, not just for him, but actually from him, Donald Trump, and from
You know, for years, whether you`re a Democrat or a Republican, your answer
to globalization, to communities that have been hurt by it, to workers that
have been hurt by it, and not just hurt by it yesterday, but hurt by it for
many years running has always been more globalization. Here`s yet another
trade pac. And yes, the last one didn`t work well but this one is going to
be great for you. And if you don`t believe that, then you just don`t
understand global macroeconomics.
Well, I think that the – one of the positive attributes, in at least our
campaign, I think, leave is more complicated in the Brexit, but in our own
campaign, is that that falsehood has really been evaluated. The problem is
where do you go with it? Do you blame immigration? Do you blame the
others? Do you blame the European Union? You know, if you`re Donald
Trump, do you blame the Muslims and the Mexicans?
And in fact, you know, I think what Bernie has been trying to do and
Hillary as well, has been to suggest that globalization is here to stay.
We`re not putting that toothpaste back in the tube, but it has to be
managed. The E.U. very much bungled the management of globalization, of
immigration of fiscal policy and we see the result. We can`t do that
MELBER: Right, and folks, obviously, in the U.K. felt there was another
option after they have been told so often, this is the only way, take it,
suck it up, although it`s complicated.
Jared Bernstein and Keir Simmons, thank you very much. Now coming up,
Bernie Sanders saying he will vote for Hillary Clinton.
MELBER: NBC News has just learned the death toll has now risen to 23
people in major flooding in West Virginia. Now this is a storm that dumped
nine inches of rain in a short period of time in a burst on Thursday night.
The National Weather Service calling it one in a thousand-year event.
Now West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin saying search and rescue
efforts is still a priority because people are trapped in flooded homes and
cars. We will keep an eye on that story.
And coming up, Bernie Sanders explains that he will vote for Hillary
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton in
SANDERS: Yes. Yeah, I think the issue right here is I`m going to do
everything I can to defeat Donald Trump. I think Trump, in so many ways,
will be a disaster for this country, if he would be elected president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Bernie Sanders there today on “Morning Joe.” He`s not conceding
the Democratic nomination to Clinton, however. Here is what he said
precisely about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I want to fight to make sure that we have the best platform that
we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can. And that we
transform – the goal of our campaign was to transform this nation. We
talked – you know, we are in discussions, frankly, with the Clinton camp
and it would be of no great shock to you that what we want from them is to
be very, very strong on a number of issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Joining me now is Catherine Rampell, a senior columnist for “The
Washington Post.” Obviously, there`s a lot going on in the world, if
anyone`s had their T.V. or their newspaper out or internet fired up.
So, what might have been a key time for Bernie Sanders to really apply this
pressure doesn`t feel as big. It seems to me, politically, the leverage he
has is, a big list of people who have supported him, who have donated a lot
of money. And rather than leveraging that and getting with the nominee, he
seems to be playing out what is a slow-motion concession. Is that good
politics in your view for the issues he wants to push?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: It certainly
doesn`t seem to be that way. But I also don`t think he has a lot of
bargaining power at this point. I think that`s why he`s essentially
capitulating without calling it as such. That he realizes that he doesn`t
have the votes, he doesn`t have the delegates.
There were – there was a lot of commentary in the last couple of months
about whether the Bernie or bust crowd would, you know, stay in that camp.
And the poll data suggests that they have softened their views on Hillary
Clinton, and that, you know, they`re not so attached to their candidate.
MELBER: Right. The policy news is he has pushed the platform, that does
matter. You can tract where parties are, but they`ve lost this vote on
trying to have a more critical trade plank just this week.
RAMPELL: I don`t really understand this emphasis on the platform. It`s
not binding, It doesn`t seem like voters really care all of that much
about the policies that are in it, there`s nothing to necessarily keep
Hillary Clinton or really any other candidate to the wars of the platform.
It seems like tilting it windmills, into some extent but I guess this is
really the only area he has.
MELBER: Well, the other things is, briefly, the other has done is he
started raising money for more liberal democrats to run in Congress which
matters but that would evolve in playing a big role to with Democratic
Party which is relatively new to do.
RAMPELL: It seems like that something he shouldn`t have been doing a long
time ago. If he really wanted to filament this political revolution, it
was very strange strategy to issue, to usher it in from kind of a top-down
position, you know, basically from the presidency down, which is what he
was pursuing. I don`t entirely understand why he hadn`t earlier in the
campaign been recruiting, stumping for, endorsing, raising money for, you
know, down-ballot candidates who were in his mold, in that sort of very
progressive mold, and doing more for them now, do more for them then,
It seems like a little bit of little, too little too late at this point. I
guess this is really the only direction he has to go in.
RAMPELL: But, yes, this is what he should have been doing all along.
MELBER: Right, it`s a direction if he`s less focused on the White House.
There are examples, Howard Dean`s group turned into democracy for America
and did a lot of grassroots stuff. Catherine Rampell, thank you very much.
Coming up, a little bit more of what President Obama just said tonight in
MELBER: President Obama just talked about the stakes in the 2016 election,
while speaking at a fund-raiser out in Seattle, Washington. We`re going to
play that for you, next.
MELBER: Mentioned this earlier tonight, now we have it for you. President
Obama was speaking just moments ago at a big fund-raiser in Seattle,
Washington, and he ended by speaking directly about what he views as the
stakes of this election. Let`s play that for the first time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: That`s the choice you face
this November, between dividing ourselves up, looking for scapegoats,
ignoring the evidence, or realizing that we are all stronger together. You
know, if we turn against each other, whether it`s divisions of race or
religion, we`re not going to build on the progress we`ve started. If we
get cynical and just vote our fears or we don`t vote at all, we won`t build
on the progress we`ve started.
America has been a story of progress, but has not gone in a straight line.
There have been times where we`ve gone forward and there have been times
where we`ve gone backwards. And what`s made the difference each and every
time is citizens, voting, and caring, and committing to our better selves.
Coming together around our common values and our faith and hard work and
our faith in each other and the belief in opportunity for everybody and
assuming the best in each other, not the worst. Because whatever our
differences, we all love this country and we all care fiercely about our
children`s futures. And we don`t have time for charlatans and we don`t
have time for hatred, and we don`t have time for bigotry. And we don`t
have time for flimflam. And we don`t have the luxury of just popping off
and saying whatever comes to the top of our heads. Don`t have time for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: President Obama speaking moments ago. Back with me is Catherine
You look at that, he said stronger together. That`s Hillary`s slogan, but
on a day like today after Brexit, where a lot of Europeans are saying
they`d be stronger apart.
RAMPELL: Yes. I think that was not an accident. So much of what we`re
seeing right now around the world is about breaking apart, separatism,
nationalism, disunity of some kind. We`re seeing it not just in the U.K.,
we`re seeing it in other than European countries, we`re seeing it in East
Asia, we`re seeing it all over the place. And, you know, it`s no
coincidence that he`s bringing this up today. It`s also, I think, no
coincidence that he happened to knit in Hillary`s new slogan as well.
He`s trying to remind people of the role that he played in 2008, in
knitting together this country, and passing the torch on to the next
MELBER: And he`s doing that at a time, after a week where the Supreme
Court basically left in place the blockage of his attempt to deal with the
immigration problem. But Donald Trump seems to be making more traction
with that, at least among the hard-right base. The question is, with a new
poll out tonight showing him down ten points, whether that`s going to work,
that message against what they call stronger together is going to work in a
general election at all.
RAMPELL: It`s very hard to say. I think President Obama cares about his
legacy and he sees his legacy as being best protected by not having what
could potentially be a very destructive president in the white house and
having, instead, a successor who basically represents a continuation of
many of his own policies. Whether this particular speech will do the trick,
whether the shock of the global panic from financial sell-off today, from
the Brexit we`ll do the trick, will scare Americans into saying, “You know,
maybe having a vote that`s entirely based on giving the middle finger to
the establishment is not such a great idea, maybe that has consequences,
we`ll see. I don`t know.
MELBER: All right. That partying too hard at elections can lead to a very
long hangover. Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post, thank you.
This wraps up our broadcast this hour. It has been quite a week of news
and developments. Thank you for spending time with us. Keep it locked
right here on MSNBC because Chris Hayes is up next.
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