John Hickenlooper announces senate run. TRANSCRIPT: 8/22/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And wish me luck because I am going to do something I am not good at here.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Oh, OK.
O`DONNELL: I am going to be interview one of my heroes. I`m not good at
hiding my awe in those situations. So it`s going to be what it`s going to
be. We`ll see where it goes.
MADDOW: Well, do you need like tips? Like you feel like, you know, you`re
O`DONNELL: Well, what`s it like when that happens to you?
MADDOW: I leave my body entirely.
MADDOW: I imagine that I`m somebody else talking to somebody who doesn`t
mean that much to me at all and nothing you say could have any affect on
me. I am horrible at it. That`s what I try. It doesn`t work.
O`DONNELL: Well, I have never detected that. Everything you describe has
never actually happened on screen. It`s only happened in your head. And
so, maybe we over-worry these things.
MADDOW: Maybe we do. Well, I wish you luck anyway, and break a leg and
all those things. You are going to be fine. Just leave your body.
O`DONNELL: OK. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, some of the guests who appear on this program might be on
their way to the history books, especially the presidential candidates.
There is probably a future president in that group, and a future vice
president. But tonight, we`ll be joined by someone who is already in our
history books. She`s in the one history book that I wrote about the 1968
presidential campaign and many other history books.
She campaigned for Bobby Kennedy that year and was on the stage when he
gave his victory speech in the California primary election in what turned
out to be the last night of his life. President Obama gave her the Medal
of Freedom. To say it`s an honor to have Dolores Huerta stepped out of the
history books and joined us here tonight does not begin to convey how feel
about being able to have her on the show. I`m simply in awe of Dolores
Huerta, have been for decades. I have met her a couple of times at events
And she makes that awe temporarily disappear because she is a person with
real warmth, real wit, real kindness. She instantly feels like an old
friend. Bobby Kennedy thanked Dolores Huerta that night in Los Angeles in
what turned out to be his final speech.
Many people have thanked her before and since then for her help. People in
Fresno, California, are thanking her this week for her help. Dolores
Huerta went to Fresno this week in what is the latest chapter in her
lifetime pursuit of justice and she got arrested in Fresno at age 89.
Dolores will join us at the end of this hour to tell us why she got
arrested in Fresno this week and in that discussion, I hope we learn
something about what it takes to be truly committed to social progress,
truly committed to a cause.
Most of us limit our commitment to social progress to voting and some of us
just give up when our candidate loses. Dolores Huerta saw her candidate in
1968 get shot and killed right before her eyes, and she did not give up.
We have much to learn from Dolores Huerta. America has much to learn from
Dolores Huerta. And we will hear from her at the end of this hour in
tonight`s last word.
Alan Bennett`s brilliant play “The Madness of George III” had its premier
in London in 1992, 200 years after the rein of England`s truly mad king.
It will not take 200 years for the madness of Donald Trump to be written.
Probably more than 200 of those plays will be written in the next 200
years, and the Trump playwrights will have an easier time of it than Alan
Bennett had because they will have the video and the tweets of all of the
madness. The tweets saying Trump is king of Israel, the second coming of
god, the video of Trump talking about wanting to buy Greenland, the video
of Trump talking about himself as the chosen one. The video of Trump
saying he fell into in love with the murderous North Korean dictator.
The Trump and Kim Jong-un love affair will be set to music in some versions
of the madness of Donald Trump. In others it will be played with the
deadly darkness of Shakespeare`s Richard the III. And if we are lucky,
future audiences watching all of the plays about the madness of Donald
Trump will be watching them the way I watched the madness of George III in
1992. They will be watching something that feels like it happened a long
time ago in a crazy moment in history that could never come again.
If we`re lucky, when future audiences are looking back at it, the madness
of Donald Trump will look like a four-year explosion in our politics and
culture that came and went within the space of two presidential elections
and all of the polling that has come out this week strongly supports the
possibility that the Trump presidency will crash into democracy on the next
election night and this time lose. Donald Trump has an approval rating
tonight, which if it holds, makes it impossible for him to be re-elected.
“The Associated Press” shows 62 percent disapprove of Donald Trump`s job
appearance with 36 percent approving. There is a worse number in a
Monmouth poll, only 39 percent of voters support Donald Trump`s re-
election, 57 percent say it`s time for someone new. That could not be more
Those numbers have to change dramatically and quickly for Donald Trump to
have a reasonable chance to win the next election. And there is nothing on
the political horizon that likely to improve those numbers. Donald Trump
ran for president claiming he would revive manufacturing in America when
manufacturing was already doing reasonably well.
Today, “The Washington Post” reports that thanks to Donald Trump`s trade
war, that he is losing. The U.S. manufacturing purchases index fell to
49.9 in August from 50.4 in July. That is the first time that that
particular closely watched indicator has fallen below 50 since the first
year of the Obama presidency.
American automobile manufacturers have overruled Donald Trump`s misguided
softening of emission standards for their fleets and have made a deal with
the state of California for stricter regulation than the Trump
administration wants nationally. The state of California is, of course,
the largest and most important automobile market in the world, and so no
auto manufacturers are going to build a car that cannot be sold in
California. Something Donald Trump did not realize about automobile
manufacturing until he learned it the hard way.
The Trump tariffs are becoming increasing expensive consumers and could
cost Americans $1,000 a year per person. The Trump budget deficit is now
$1 trillion a year and going up. Donald Trump talked about the national
debt and the deficit almost every day of his presidential campaign. Now
that he has increased the national debt by trillions of dollars, he no
longer says a word about it. That`s one piece of ammunition he won`t have
in his re-election campaign.
And then there`s Donald Trump`s historic status as the fourth president in
history to face the possible of real impeachment proceedings in the House
of Representatives. And today, three more members of the House of
Representatives came up in support of impeachment.
Illinois Democrat Brad Schneider issued a written statement saying, after
months of relentless stonewalling by the Trump administration, I believe it
is necessary to evaluate the various congressional investigations of the
president into a formal impeachment inquiry as the only way to ensure the
American people have a comprehensive understanding of the facts uncovered
by special counsel Robert Mueller`s investigation and hold the president
accountable for his actions. The special counsel made clear that then-
candidate Trump and the Trump campaign eagerly welcomed interference in our
The special counsel also lays out that President Trump subsequently acted
on numerous occasions to block and obstruct the investing into what
occurred. I previously believed that Congress` oversight and investigative
efforts through hearings, subpoenas and lawsuits were the appropriate
vehicle to uncover the truth. Regrettably, it is clear the administration
has little regard for the Constitution and is unwilling to provide any
information to Congress and is seeking o play out the clock.
The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened and those
who are responsible must be held accountable. An impeachment inquiry is
the only way to do so and I support opening one immediately.
Massachusetts Democrat Bill Keating announced his view of impeachment this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BILL KEATING (D-MA): The Mueller report reveals several instances of
obstruction of justice, certainly enough to move forward with an
impeachment investigation. Indeed, if that vote were today, I`d support
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: California Democrat Mark Takano said this about impeachment.
(BERGN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK TAKANO (D-CA): Special Counsel Mueller unequivocally concluded
that Russia interfered in our elections in 2016 and that President Trump`s
campaign welcomed the help. And the president committed various acts that
amount to obstruction of justice during this investigation in order to
prevent it from moving forward. Contrary to what President Trump, Attorney
General Barr and the Trump administration claim, the president was not
exonerated of any crimes by special counsel Mueller. In fact, in his
report, the special counsel laid out his findings for Congress to use as a
roadmap to hold the president accountable for obstructing justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, Rick Wilson, a Republican
strategist and a contributor to the “Daily Beast”. He`s the author of
“Everything Trump Touches Dies”. Also with us, Renee Graham, an associate
editor and opinion columnist for “The Boston Globe.”
Renee, I want to begin with where the president stands tonight on the eve
of his departure tomorrow night for a G7 summit, with the world wondering
about the mental health of the president of the United States.
RENEE GRAHAM, ASSOCIATE EDITOR & OPINION COLUMNIST, BOSTON GLOBE: You
know, I have to tell you, Lawrence, I can`t help but think if the president
were a building, for the sake of public safety, he would be torn down. You
know, what we`ve witnessed these last few days, and these last days have
felt like a month, you know, from these sort of delusions of grandeur, of
comparing himself to gods, to insulting Jewish voters with this anti-
Semitic trope, you know, there`s just no limit.
But to add to that, the one ace in the hole that Trump has always had, the
economy, and the fact that the economy is in trouble, I think it`s really -
- I think that`s really weighing on him. I think part of it is he looking
for any distraction he can find to take people`s attention away from what
is happening with the economy.
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as
he heads off to the G7?
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think that Donald Trump has
had a week in which he is proving that this isn`t a 87 dimensional chess
game. This isn`t some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion.
This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental
disconnects, and who has aphasias, and who has moments where he doesn`t
remember who and where he is.
And where the things he says that he thinks sound self-aggrandizing instead
just sound like he is absolutely, you know, nuts, and absolutely on the
edge of some sort of collapse that will be a shocker to people in our
politics that the master negotiator, president big brain, all this stuff,
you know, is not a stable genius, but is something quite the opposite.
O`DONNELL: Well, let`s bring in a professional opinion on this. Dr. Lance
Dodes was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He first
appeared on this program 30 days into the Trump presidency with another
psychiatrist to discuss the mental health of Donald Trump, which to them
was already an apparent serious issue for the United States and those
psychiatrists at that time decided they would embrace the principle of the
duty to warn and go public with their analysis of the president.
Dr. Dodes was on this program last night after this week of observing the
president. Let`s listen to what he said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANCE DODES, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: I want to make clear that there are
a lot of grandiose people. There are a lot of people who are narcissistic.
Donald Trump goes way beyond that. There is a fundamental way in which –
there is something fundamentally different about him from normal people.
There is – it`s a psychotic-like state. The more you press him, the more
you see how disorganized and empty he is. The more he flies into a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And, Renee, one of the things that it is striking about that is
the language is so simple about him being empty and his disorganized rage,
and everything that the doctor says is something that anyone can observe in
Donald Trump on a daily basis.
GRAHAM: You know, I`m not going to diagnosis Donald Trump. I`m not going
to say he is having a mental breakdown or any of those sorts of things.
What we are seeing, however, is a man who is not used to pressure. You
know, I don`t get the sense that Donald Trump has really had to deal with a
lot of stresses in his life. Now he`s got to deal with gun reform, which
he has shown no stomach for. He is dealing with what`s happening, the
situation he created with Greenland, which didn`t have to happen in first
You know, he is creating all these situations on top of some very real
issues he should be dealing with. And Donald Trump was never – he is a
man who doesn`t react well when he is desperate. And he is desperate.
You know, it was great before he was president and he could be on TV and
could be funny and all that. These are real issues at play now. And so
we`ve gone from having a barely functional presidency to a full-blown
O`DONNELL: Rick –
GRAHAM: And I think that`s where we are right now.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And, Rick, it seems to me that this story, this analysis
of Donald Trump definitely connects to the impeachment story because when a
new Democrat every day and today three come out and say I am in favor of an
impeachment inquiry, it`s very hard, even for Republicans to say, what?
How could you possibly be in favor of that impeachment inquiry about this
WILSON: You know, Lawrence, the only easy day for Donald Trump is
yesterday. They always get worse. He always causes more trouble than he
has to. He always piles one thing on to another of this large case that he
is making against himself and that`s being made against him by others
across the spectrum.
He is morally and mentally unfit. He is a man who continues to do things
that do nothing to advance the interests of the United States or protect
the rights of the American people. These things are adding up.
I think Renee is right. There is a pressure building on him and he feels
the economic pressure coming from underneath, the political pressure, the
fear of exposure of his taxes and business records, the fear of
impeachment. All of these things have ground up slowly and made a man who
is already kind of a delicate little flower who is kind of a guy who lived
in a tower his whole life, never done a hard day`s work, never taken a
punch in his life, and he is this spoiled little brat who is now in the
White House and he is feeling this pressure growing on him by the minute
and he hates it.
He really – he is lashing out. Of course, because he is so – look, the
honest truth is Donald Trump is not a super bright man, but he is very
feral kind of player. He recognizes risks when they are approaching him.
He feels risk approaching from all directions right now.
That`s why he is lashing out at everyone and everything and that`s why
these cognitive deficits that are so in our face are the time are coming to
the fore. That pressure on every president has reached the point to where
it`s breaking him.
O`DONNELL: Rene, to the question of impeachment, one – any real advisor
of Donald Trump would say as soon as there are rumblings of impeachment, as
soon as the independent counsel – special prosecutor investigation him,
that he should behave as presidential as possible, behave in a way that at
least his behavior would be something that people could respect, that
people could, you know, could see something presidential in. But he has no
idea how to do that.
And so, when even as impeachment, the impeachment number gets higher and
higher in the House of Representatives, his behavior just gets wilder and
GRAHAM: He has no capacity to behave like an adult, let alone
presidential. You know, it`s not going to happen. Anyone who is in the
White House who might have been able to keep him on a short leash is gone.
And even those people failed at it.
So who has the president`s ear now? Stephen Miller. That`s what Donald
Trump is getting. So there is really no chance anything is going to
O`DONNELL: Yes. And Stephen Miller does not have any ideas about what to
do about any shakiness in the economy right now.
WILSON: No. And this idea that Donald Trump had that he is going to
browbeat the Fed into doing what he wants or unilaterally change the tax
code, you know, I`m sorry. I know that constitution is an inconvenience
from time to time, but all these things that are fantasy based in his mind.
And the people who are left around him, Renee is exactly right, they are
the Steven Millers, the ones that are the boot liquors, they`re the one
that say, you know, your fart smell like honey suckle.
He`s – they`re the ones who absolutely will never say no to this man. He
loves that no matter how bad it is for the country or for his
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson and Renee Graham, TThank you both very much.
Really appreciate you being here.
WILSON: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And when we come back, U.S. allies are now just as concerned about
President Trump`s mental health, as the psychiatrists who are publicly
diagnosing him here in the United States. “New York Times” foreign affairs
columnist Tom Friedman will join us.
O`DONNELL: There is a very deep crisis of democracy. Those are the words
of French President Emmanuel Macron. He is hosting this week`s meeting of
the G7 in France, a group Donald Trump is hoping to make the G8 again by
restoring Russia`s membership. Russia was expelled after invading Ukraine.
Yesterday, Donald Trump blamed Vladimir Putin`s invasion of Ukraine and
annexation of Crimea on, who else? President Barack Obama.
Donald Trump presumably blames Hitler`s invasion of France on President
Roosevelt. But no reporter has asked him about that one yet.
G7 style summits have been occurring since 1975, and every summit has ended
with a joint agreed upon statement issued by all the countries involved.
As the host of this weekend`s G7 summit, President Macron has decided to
abandon that policy because of what he calls, quote, a very deep crisis of
To consider the dimensions of that crisis, we are joined now by Thomas
Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for “The New
York Times” and author of the bestselling book, “Thank You For Being Late.”
Tom Friedman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really
And on the eve of a summit like this, we want to hear from you. What is
your reaction to this first time in history declaring ahead of time, there
is no sense even trying to form an agreed-upon joint statement?
TOM FRIEDMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it`s
sad, Lawrence, because the Atlantic alliance, the G7, which is not exactly
part of the Atlantic alliance, but the Atlantic alliance has been so
critical for sharing American values and building global institutions that
are in our interest since World War II. And I`m a big believer that these
institutions really matter. The world is the way it is because they exist.
And if we can`t agree on a simple statement like, hey, we should be working
against climate change at a time when, you know, the polar ice caps are
melting, and we are seeing terrible forest fires that are blotting out
major cities in Brazil, that`s really unfortunate. But that`s the Trump
O`DONNELL: And President Macron didn`t go into detail about the deep
crisis of democracy, presumably because everyone knows what he is talking
about. Those are – seems to me, everyone – he believes everyone just
knows those are words that mean Donald Trump?
FRIEDMAN: You know, Lawrence, I don`t mind having Putin back in the G7,
make it the G8 again if he were to actually take steps to reverse his
violent seizure of Crimea. I think it`s better to have him in rather than
But the question Trump wants – in to do what? In to fight climate change
more effectively? In to reach agreement on non-interference in different
For what purpose does he want him in? And Trump never says.
O`DONNELL: What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see
Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him, especially this
weekend when it comes at the end of a week in which they`ve heard him call
himself the king of Israel? They have heard him say he is the chosen one.
They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the
FRIEDMAN: Well, I think there is a general consensus that you are dealing
with an America that they have never had before, an America that really
doesn`t want to lead, an America that looks at something like the European
Union as if it`s a Benetton Store in a Trump Hotel that`s not paying enough
rent. And I think this is tragic.
It`s my feeling, Lawrence, that both Russia`s Putin and China`s Xi will be
voting for Trump in 2020 for this reason, because they know as long as
Trump is president of the United States, we will be an internal turmoil and
chaos and America will have a leader who will never be able to build a
global coalition against Russia and China. Have no doubt about it. Both
Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020.
O`DONNELL: So, Tom, even China, even facing the Trump tariffs, they would
rather deal with the Trump tariffs because they see the whole regime, the
whole governing regime of Donald Trump as weakening America?
FRIEDMAN: Right, as a time when China is focused on building A.I. and
quantum computing. They want an America that basically can never build a
coalition around them, and that basically also can`t build a high-speed
rail between New York and Washington, D.C., you know? It`s rather – it`s
rather sad, but I think that`s what they want. They know Democrats are
anti-trade, too, so there will be no bargain even.
O`DONNELL: And the G7, they are just holding their breath for 18 months
hoping that election night changes everything in America?
FRIEDMAN: Yes. I think that basically they understand that this America,
they hope it`s an aberration and they hope it`s only a four-year diversion
from an America that believes that these global institutions like the G7
are more important than ever at a time when we faced a whole set of global
issues that require global governance like managing all these global
technology platforms now or combating climate change. All these issues
that require global governance, but there is no global government, all
there is are institutions like the G7, like the E.U., like the G20, like
the Atlantic Alliance.
And when they don`t work for four years at a critical moment in history, we
will suffer in the long run.
O`DONNELL: What would you imagine it would mean to the G7, to NATO, to the
United Nations if a new president is sworn in in the next Inauguration Day?
What would it mean to their next meetings after that?
FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, it`s really hard to know. Obviously, they`d
rather have a more traditional president like a George W. Bush or a Barack
But the fact is, look, this is part of a larger dilemma we have. I think
we are going into a world where just as average as over for every worker,
average is over for every country now. It`s going to be a real struggle
going forward to produce inclusive growth in all of these countries, and it
can only be done through global collaboration.
All of us smarter than one of us, and I think the need for global
collaboration going forward is going to be more intense than ever. So,
having an America that is ready to play in that game again will be
essential for all these countries.
O`DONNELL: Tom Friedman, thank you very much for joining us again tonight.
Really appreciate it.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Mitch McConnell seems to be terrified that Democrats
are going to win control of the United States senate, so terrified that he
has gone so far as to warn the Democrats not to get rid of the filibuster
when they do take control of the United States Senate.
O`DONNELL: It was at this hour last Wednesday night that drama suddenly
broke out on the show when we first brought you the news that Former
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was dropping out of the Democratic
Presidential primary campaign.
The dramatic part being that it seemed very likely that his next step would
be what Senate Democrats were hoping he would do, run for United States
Senate in Colorado in a campaign to unseat the current Republican Senator
Cory Gardner. That step became official today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HICKENLOOPER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF COLORADO: I`ve always said Washington
was a lousy place for a guy like me who wants to get things done, but this
is no time to walk away from the table. I know changing Washington is hard,
but I want to give it a shot. I`m John Hickenlooper, candidate for United
States Senate. I approve this message and I hope you`ll join me in this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And he is ahead already. A new poll shows John Hickenlooper
leading incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner 53 percent to 40 percent.
If the Democrats pick up Colorado, they will only need two more wins to
take control of the United States Senate and knock Mitch McConnell out of
the majority leader`s job.
Charlie Cook of the invaluable Cook Political Report is out with new
analysis this week on the upcoming Presidential election and it all boils
down to this. A lot can and will happen over the next 15 months, and things
can certainly change.
But at this point this looks to be an uphill climb for the President`s re-
election. Charlie Cook has the numbers that explain how steep that climb is
and Charlie Cook will join us next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HICKENLOOPER: I don`t think Cory Gardner understands that the games he is
playing with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are hurting the people of
Colorado. We ought to be working together to move this country forward and
stop the political nonsense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Charlie Cook Editor and Publisher of
The Cook Political Report and Columnist for “The National Journal” Charlie
thank you very much for joining us tonight. I want to start with your
President Presidential analysis.
And you are talking about it`s an uphill climb for Donald Trump in re-
election. What are the most important numbers that viewers should be
looking at in Presidential polling now?
CHARLIE COOK, NATIONAL JOURNAL COULUMNIST: If you look at it, when was the
last time you saw a national, a credible national poll that President Trump
was ahead of Joe Biden? Name one. I can`t even remember one. They are tied,
tied with Biden in Florida and behind inner every other swing state.
Think about that. Now, of course Biden may not win the nomination. Somebody
else might. The thing is, Biden is the clear leader right now and he has
got a lead in every national poll, oftentimes double digits, and double
digits in many of the swing states.
So this looks really pretty tough for the President when you look at his
core is about 35 percent is going to vote with him no matter what. 45
percent is going to vote against him no matter what. And that 20 percent in
the middle, he is not even talking to them.
O`DONNELL: And what about the numbers we are seeing that where people are
saying definitely? The question of I definitely will not vote for Donald
Trump? That`s one of the stronger indicators in polling because people tend
not to use that world definitely very lightly.
COOK: Exactly. You see somewhere between 32 percent and 35 percent or 36
percent that just say definitely they will not do it and then maybe there
another three, four, five that are sort of leaning that general direction.
But these are tough, tough, tough numbers. And this is with an economy that
has been pretty good, but now it looks like it`s slowing down. I don`t
think there will be a recession between now and November of next year. The
thing is very little question the economy is going to be slowing down.
What will that do to those swing voters, that 20 percent or so in the
middle that`s malleable the ones that are going to determine pretty much
the outcome of this election?
O`DONNELL: I just want to throw up the NBC poll on the question of
definitely, combines definitely and probably. Definitely/probably vote for
Trump is 40 percent. Definitely/probably vote for the Democrat is 52
percent and, Charlie, for an incumbent that strikes me as a very
COOK: Oh, absolutely. No question about it. Now, the thing is could there
be another split decision election where the popular vote goes one way and
the Electoral College goes the other? Sure, that could happen. But rather
than a two-point gap, even if it`s a three or four-point gap, you know, at
some point these are really hard numbers in terms of the Electoral College.
So against someone other than Hillary Clinton, this - I mean, I think that
probably that a lot more to do in 2016 than anything else.
O`DONNELL: Charlie, the United States Senate where Mitch McConnell is out
there writing an op-ed in “The New York Times” talking about the glories of
the filibuster and why the Democrats should absolutely not get rid of the
filibuster, which is something they can only do if they have control of the
United States Senate, which I guess seems to be on Mitch McConnell`s mind
COOK: Well, yes. But remember in his piece in “The New York Times” this
morning McConnell had warned Democrats, you will - on the Senate floor, you
will regret the day that you get rid of the 60-vote requirement for
nominations. Guess what? They did. They do regret that.
And that`s what makes the Senate - the Senate, as opposed to the House of
Representatives, and that you are supposed to get more broadly acceptable
nominations. So the thing is, I think Harry Reid and Democrats made a huge
mistake back, what, six years ago when they lowered the bar for below the
Supreme Court level, and I think McConnell is putting them on notice. This
is one time where - I think they probably should have listened to him the
O`DONNELL: I think every Democrat in the Senate would tell you McConnell it
himself if the Democrats didn`t do it when they did it. What do you make of
the Hickenlooper news? What does that do to Colorado?
COOK: Colorado was already going to be one of the top two Senate targets
for Democrats. They were going to be going after Martha McSally in Arizona
and Cory Gardner in Colorado. Both of those were going to be top-tier races
no matter what.
I think it certainly helps Democrats to have Hickenlooper rather than a
lesser known candidate. Those were going to be top targets anyway.
Gardner`s numbers were already fairly soft, even against less known
candidates than John Hickenlooper.
O`DONNELL: And the Arizona most recent poll, Democrat Mark Kelly running
ahead of Martha McSally. For the Democrats, pretty much all of the polls
I`m looking at for the Senate have good news for the Democrats.
COOK: Yes, although we haven`t seen a lot of numbers out of Alabama. As you
pointed out, Democrats need a three-seat net gain to get up to 50/50 with
the new Vice President breaking the tie if they win the White House, but
what about Alabama? Doug Jones.
There is a pretty good chance that Democrats are going to lose that. So
what that means is that Democrats need to win four seats, gross four seats
to net three. So let`s say they get Arizona. Let`s say they get Colorado.
I`m sitting in Portland, Maine, where they are going after Susan Collins.
That`s probably the third target.
But after that, particularly if they lose Alabama, that means they`ve got
to pick up one someplace else is it going to be David Perdue in Georgia or
Tom Tillis in North Carolina or Joanie Earnest in Iowa? They have to come
up with one in some place, particularly if they`re going to lose Alabama,
which is a pretty good chance of that happening.
O`DONNELL: What about Montana and what about the possibility of Bullock
dropping out of the Presidential race as Hickenlooper did following that
pattern into the Senate race in Montana?
COOK: Bullock case is one where he says, look, I`m an executive. I`m not a
legislator. This is one case where I actually believe him, where this is a
guy that really doesn`t want to join a debating society. Over the past -
I`ve been in Washington since 1972 and around the Hill since 1973. The most
unhappy people in the U.S. Senate are the Former Governors because they`ve
had real power before and now they are in a debating society.
O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We
really appreciate it.
COOK: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: Here is Bobby Kennedy in 1968 celebrating the greatest victory
of his political career in Los Angeles at the Ambassador hotel on the night
that he won the California Democratic Presidential Primary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOBBY KENNEDY, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I want to thank Cesar
Chavez, who was here a little earlier.
KENNEDY: And Corona, who also worked with him and all of those Mexican-
Americans who were such a supporters of mine and Dolores Huerta, who is an
old friend of mine who has worked with the union to thank her and tell her
how much I appreciate her coming tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Minutes later an assassin shot and killed Bobby Kennedy as he
was leaving the hotel ballroom. No one in that room that night has done
more to advance the kind of social progress and social justice that Bobby
Kennedy was talking about in his Presidential campaign than Dolores Huerta,
who is now 89 years old, and still added.
It all began when she was 25 years old and she helped to create a community
service organization in her hometown of Stockton California. In 1960 she
cofounded the Agriculture Workers Association. And in 1962 she cofounded
with Caesar Chavez the National Farm Workers Association.
She was the first recipient in 1998 of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for
human rights from President Bill Clinton. Four elementary schools and one
middle school in California are named after Dolores Huerta so is one
elementary school in Texas and a high school in Colorado. President Barack
Obama gave Dolores Huerta the Medal of Honor in 2012.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: When Caesar Chavez said
Dolores Huerta down at his kitchen table and told her they should start a
union she thought he was joking. She was a single mother of seven children
so she obviously didn`t have a lot of free time.
But Dolores said then an elementary school teacher and remembered seeing
children come to school hungry and without shoes so in the end she agreed.
And workers everywhere are glad that she did. Without any negotiating
experience Dolores helped lead a worldwide great boycott that forced
growers to agree to some of the country`s first Farm Worker Contracts.
And ever since she`s fought to give more people a seat at the table. Don`t
wait to be invited, she says. Step in there. And on a personal note that
Dolores was very gracious when I told her I`d stolen her slogan, she said,
yes, we can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dolores Huerta has never lost faith in the power of
community organizing and through the Dolores Huerta Foundation she
continues to train and mentor new activists to walk the streets through
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Dolores Huerta got arrested on Tuesday in Fresno California
after this break she will tell us why.
O`DONNELL: The always busy Dolores Huerta just left an event in San
Francisco at City Hall where she was introducing Nancy Pelosi and making
her way out of that event took so long with so many people trying to talk
to her, that we are going to be able to reach her only in the car on the
way to the TV studio where she was going to join us.
We`re going to reach Dolores by phone in that car. And joining us now is
Dolores Huerta, the Cofounder of the United Farm Workers and Founder of The
Dolores Huerta Foundation. Dolores, thank you for joining us tonight by
phone, and we`ll get you on camera next time.
DOLORES HUERTA, AMERICAN LABOR LEADER: Thank you very much, Lawrence. It is
so wonderful to see you.
O`DONNELL: It`s great to hear your voice. Tell us, the audience, why you
got arrested once again this week, this time in Fresno?
HUERTA: Well, I was there with home care workers who are not getting a
living wage. They have been trying for three years to get a contract with
the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and in their last negotiations they
offered them a 10 cent raise.
And they do such hard work caring for people that are disabled, taking care
of people that are seniors. They have to cook for them they have to bathe
them they have to be with them 24/7. And to think that the Board of
Supervisors would not even give them any kind of living wage.
They were only asking for a $1 an hour increase and it that range is these
supervisors will makeover $100,000 a year in their salaries would not give
these home care workers any of kind of a wage.
They`ve been negotiating for three years and could not get a contract. So
the workers decided to get arrested, and initially I was not going to get
arrested but one of the Deputy Sheriffs grabbed one of the leaders of that
union - I know he was a young man, grabbed him by the neck and started
And I just got so outraged and so angry not only that the way that these
home care workers were treated but the way that they were physically
assaulting the leader of the union. So when it came time to get arrested, I
said I`m going to also get arrested with them.
And it`s a shame that workers have to go through these lengths to get their
voices heard, to make people do the right thing. And, you know, by taking
care of people in their homes, these home care workers are actually saving
the County over $55,000 a year, but they`re not respected.
So many of these home care workers you know they`re people of color, ex-
farm workers, people that need to be respected. You know, and I think
Lawrence and I know you are there, you always been there but the working
people of our country need to be respected, they need to be getting paid a
living wage and we`ve got to embrace the inequity we have in term of income
wages in our country.
O`DONNELL: Dolores, we only have about a minute left and I just want to get
from you to our viewers how you deal with the frustration? How you deal
with the discouragement when things don`t go your way and how you`ve just
been able to keep it at it despite discouragement and setbacks along the
HUERTA: We know that everything that`s happening in our country right now,
that we`ve all got to move to action, we`ve all got to become activists,
we`ve all got to stand up and get involved because we can`t make our
country any better unless we are the ones to do it nobody`s going to do it
O`DONNELL: But everyone thinks that, and then when they suffer a few
setbacks in activism or their candidate loses, it`s very easy for people to
get discouraged. What do you say to them?
HUERTA: Well, we can`t afford to get discouraged. As Caesar Chavez used to
say the only time that we lose is when we quit and that is what Caesar
Slogan is about it`s about individual commitment to action and by the
collective commitment to action. And we know that if we keep on working and
this problem - as they said, they can cut all the flowers but they can`t
hold back the spring. And we are the spring, we are the gardeners that have
to sow the seeds of justice and they will bloom, they will flourish and we
O`DONNELL: Dolores Huerta, gets tonight`s last word. Dolores, thank you
very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
HUERTA: Thank you very much.
O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian
Williams starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. 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 ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the