Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: November 1, 2018 Guest: Ed Rendell; Donna Brazile; Michael Steel; David Cicilline; Al Cardenas
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: We can come together and agree like, is a hot dog a sandwich? Which, of course, it is, obviously. Meat between two pieces of bread. All right.
That`s all for tonight. We`ll be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.
"THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. Good evening, Ari.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck. One quick candy corn item. I never knew I would do this. When I was growing up watching you report the news, watching you do the political segments, but I got to tag you today in a food tweet with a picture of the candy corn that I eat in November just like I eat in every other month, and I tag you, Chuck Todd, as a tribute, not picking a candy corn polarized fight but --
TODD: You`re not adding me is what you`re saying like at me. Let`s go.
MELBER: That feels more like a debate. I just tagged you like, "Hey, buddy. Look at me eating candy corn in November."
TODD: You eat candy corn in November? Well, you just love it, don`t you?
MELBER: I eat it every month and people don`t believe me. And now, I`ve got to tell you, I got a lot of pushback after our discussions at the top of the show.
TODD: I bet you did.
MELBER: Good evening, Chuck.
TODD: And we`ve got something to laugh about in these dark days.
MELBER: Every so often. Thank goodness.
TODD: All right. Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: Thank you.
We are, of course, here on THE BEAT five days out from the midterms. And we have a lot throughout the hour tonight in the Russia probe, new e-mails from "The New York Times" that they got a hold of that show for the first time, private messages between Roger Stone and Steve Bannon about WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. That`s later.
And Donald Trump`s last-minute ugly messaging on immigration, we have a fact check and some of the backlash from fellow Republicans.
And later, Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and Art of the Deal Co-Author Tony Schwartz are here on THE BEAT live tonight.
But I begin with a story for you about a power player who rarely gets involved in electoral politics with an exception today, signaling, at least in her view, the stakes right now. The billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey out campaigning in Georgia for Stacey Abrams who is running to be the country`s first African-American female governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA EXECUTIVE: If you woke just a little bit, you got sense enough to know that everybody is not treated equally. This land was made for you and me. That`s not just a song. That`s the truth. And I will tell you, I will tell you that we are not powerless.
Ah, beautiful. You get a vote. And you get a vote. And you get a vote. And you get a vote.
CROWD: And you get a vote
WINFREY: All right. Spread the word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And you get a vote, and you get a vote, a slightly more hopeful call and response than lock her up. Oprah also was out going door to door surprising voters at their homes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENISE: Oh, my God.
WINFREY: Hi, Denise.
DENISE: Hi, Oprah.
WINFREY: How are you?
DENISE: I`m wonderful. How are you?
WINFREY: Good. Surprise, surprise.
DENISE: Surprise. I am shocked.
WINFREY: Surprise. So I`m canvassing for Stacey Abrams.
DENISE: Yes, yes.
WINFREY: Are you voting for her?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Publishers Clearing House civic edition. The last time Oprah publicly campaigned for any candidate was a long time ago when Barack Obama was running for president for the first time. So that`s the fight in Georgia. Big picture. Also, new signs that Democrats are seeing the wind at their backs. A new "Washington Post" poll shows this edge here in 69 of the most competitive districts, 50 percent of likely voters leaning Democratic, 46 percent backing the GOP candidate.
I begin tonight, our special coverage of these midterms with two people who know politics and have been closer to state Democratic politics than just about anyone because they both run the Democratic party. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, served as Mayor of Philadelphia as well, and Donna Brazile whose new book is "For Colored Girls who have Considered Politics." Welcome to both of you. Perfect guest for tonight.
I will start with party chair number one, Ed Rendell. When you look at this kind of signaling, that there are real pieces of fundamental data that show the Dems breaking out, and a lot of voters who say, "Hmm, I think I heard that right before the 2016 election and it didn`t work out." How do you make sense of that tonight?
ED RENDELL, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: Well, it`s a different election. Donald Trump, no matter how much he wants to be on the ballot, isn`t on the ballot. And those 69 -- I have 70 really hotly contested districts. Democrats are going to win 15, Republicans are going to pretty sure take two of those back. So that will give us a 13-seat edge.
And then out of the remaining 56 or so contested seats, we`ve got to win 10 to get control. Anything over that is a margin. If we win 30 or so, that`s a real tidal wave. So I`m optimistic about it. I`m much more optimistic than I was shortly after the Kavanaugh hearing.
MELBER: And the Kavanaugh hearing obviously did affect enthusiasm on the Democratic side. Donna, take a listen to Oprah, also from today. I mean just fascinating to see her out there. Like mentioned in the lead, we haven`t seen that in over eight years. Here she was talking a little about politics in 2020.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: I`m not here because I`m making some grandstand, because I`m thinking about running myself. I don`t want to run. OK? I`m not trying to test any waters. Don`t want to go in those waters. I`m here today because of Stacey Abrams.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: What was going through your mind watching that very singular path- breaking black woman in American life, Oprah, trying to be supportive here in the closing stretch, closing argument for another black woman who would be a historic first?
DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER DNC CHAIR: Well, first of all, it`s always great to see you, Ari and, of course, my great leader Ed Rendell from the great State of Pennsylvania. Oprah Winfrey transcends politics. She is a phenomenal woman. She`s able to reach people at the heart level.
I think her remarks today were very moving. It was more like a sermon, not a political stump speech. What she`s there in Georgia doing for Stacey Abrams is she`s reminding voters in Georgia of the things that we value as America, that Stacey Abrams is the leader that we need at such a time like this. So I think she did a phenomenal job today, and hopefully, people right down South Florida and up in Tennessee where we have an important senatorial race, and all throughout the country will hear Oprah`s message.
MELBER: Well, Donna, we have so much breaking news these days. I don`t know if you heard this while we were getting ready for our interview here. But there is talk about Donald Trump picking Oprah as his running mate. He said she`s always his first choice. Have you heard about this?
BRAZILE: No. But I`m sure, knowing Oprah, that`s not the ticket she would be on.
MELBER: You know I`m thinking it`s mutual.
BRAZILE: No. And besides, why would she play number two when she can be number one?
MELBER: Well, let me show you what I mean. This was a story that first broke back in 1999 when Donald Trump, as always, would say whatever fitted him in the moment. And we have a little bit of a comparison. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Do you have a vice-presidential candidate in mind?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I really haven`t gotten quite there yet.
KING: Come on, it`s just --
TRUMP: Oprah. I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice.
I`d love Oprah to run. I`d love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness. I know her weakness. Wouldn`t we love to run against Oprah? I would love it. I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRAZILE: His name may be on towers and buildings, but her name, again, is in the hearts of so many Americans who love her. She`s a beloved figure in American politics. he`s a beloved figure in the media. Oprah is a woman who has not only been a compassionate leader, but she`s someone who can bring us together. She`s a healer. And while she may not stir in the political waters, I do believe that she provides so much value in our country as not just a media baroness, but somebody who understands the American heart. That`s what she is.
MELBER: It`s fascinating to see her back out there. I want you both to stay with me. Two democratic party chairs.
I want to turn to bring into the conversation a Republican who may have thoughts about Trump`s last-minute push here on immigration, falsely claiming Democrats would give undocumented immigrants the right to vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Once they arrive, the Democrat party`s vision is to offer them free health care, free welfare, free education, and even the right to vote. You and the hard-working taxpayers of our country will be asked to pick up the entire tab.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I want to bring in Michael Steel, former senior advisor to Jeb Bush and a former aide to House Speaker John Boehner, who joins our Democratic party chairs. Thanks to everyone now.
Let me start there with you, Michael. Is it a sign of weakness that Donald Trump`s closing argument is so reliant on blatant lies that I don`t think you or John Boehner and certainly not Jeb Bush, would agree with?
MICHAEL STEEL, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO JEB BUSH: Well, Donald Trump`s appeal has always rested in large part on falsehoods that he tells. I think what you`re seeing right now is a fired up Democratic party, a base of Democratic party motivated by their hatred of the president, desired to check his power, and an attempt by the president, by any means necessary, to fire up the Republican base, to anger and alarm them to get them to their polling places to counter the energy on the Democratic side.
And I think he may in some measures be successful in that regard. We usually see either a kind of status quo midterm or a midterm where all the energy, all the passion is on one side. Right now, we`re looking at both bases in both parties fired up and ready to go.
RENDELL: My response to that is I think Donald Trump is underestimating the intelligence of even his base. I think some of these things are so blatantly absurd that I think people are beginning to shake their heads. So I don`t think it will work. It shows that they know they`re in trouble. I think the odds, as I lay them out for them holding the House are pretty extreme. And he`s I think working on a strategy to hold the Senate because that`s all he can do.
If you notice the places that he`s going, Ari, there are very few contested congressional elections in those states. It`s mostly senate elections or gubernatorial elections.
MELBER: Does that point that Governor Rendell makes, which is uncontested Michael, does that speak to the fact that Donald Trump plays a character who acts almost out of control when, in fact, he`s clearly taking very strict guidelines from the Republican strategists who say, hey, stay away from most of the key swing purple districts because you don`t help?
STEEL: Right. This is a tale of two midterms. In the Senate, you`ve got Democratic senators trying to run in bright red states where the president is extremely popular. That`s why he`s focusing on those states. That`s why his travel is focused there.
In the House, you`ve got a Republican majority that`s dependent on suburbs. Suburban areas with lots of college-educated women who don`t like the president very much, but may like their member of Congress a great deal. We`ve got a lot of districts like Carlos Curbelo in Florida, the adjacent Miami district, Valdeo (ph) in California where the Republican candidate is running considerably ahead of Donald Trump because he or she has his own connection, his own identity with his constituents in that specific district.
MELBER: So, let`s go, then, to the actual voters, Donna. You`ve run this kind of turnout campaigns and early voting has become a much more significant piece of it. Look here, half a million or so early ballots. One-third of the total came from voters who didn`t vote in those 2014 midterms. That subcategory includes a spike in minority votes. What do you think the early vote tells us in Georgia, Donna?
BRAZILE: It tells us that people are enthusiastic. They like the candidate on the ballot. That they have been contacted by the party, and that they are prepared to vote. Look, five days is a long time and Governor Rendell can tell you this because he trained me as well.
We`ve got to continue to knock on doors. We have states that do not have early vote and I learned that in Pennsylvania. You`ve got to still knock on doors. You`ve got to still put the street teams out there to flood the neighborhoods with radio and advertisements so that they understand how important election day is. We still need to let people know what`s on the ballot, make sure that they get out and vote and protect those who are going out to vote on election day itself.
MELBER: And Michael, do you think Oprah will ultimately help the Democrats in Georgia?
STEEL: I think she absolutely helps. Look, it`s a heartwarming scene. It`s a heartwarming tableau. At the same time, the math for a Democrat running statewide in Georgia is very very hard and I don`t know that Oprah can get their candidate over the top there.
MELBER: Former Governors and State Party Chair Ed Rendell, Donna Brazile and Former Boehner Aide Michael Steele, interesting conversation from both parties here. I appreciate you guys you kicking off our coverage here five days out.
Coming up. Steve Bannon`s secret writings to Roger Stone about key issues in WikiLeaks. They just came out today. We`re going to show you what they mean.
Plus, I have a fact check with Donald Trump`s new Willie Horton style ad attacking immigrants and what is not in it. I should say video. Also, revealing statement from "Fox News" saying the press should only report news the way Trump wants it reported.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AINSLEY EARHARDT, ANCHOR, FOX & FRIENDS: He`s saying if you don`t want to be called the enemy, then get the story right, be accurate, and report the story the way that I want it reported.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Tony Schwartz is here to talk about that and Trump`s mindset in the closing days.
I`m Ari Melber and you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: Breaking news tonight in Bob Mueller`s collusion investigation. There are brand newly revealed e-mails that show how Roger Stone sold himself, not just to the trump campaign in general, but to the Trump campaign Chair Steve Bannon, touting himself as a source of secret information on WikiLeaks. Now, these are new e-mails. They were obtained by "The New York Times" and they come amid reports that Mueller has a trove of information about Stone`s links to Assange and possible advance knowledge of the criminally hacked e-mails that would come out before the election.
After Stone tweeted about Assange in October of 2016, there was a reporter from "Breitbart" who e-mailed him. "Assange, what`s he got? Hope, it`s good." So Stone wrote back, "It is. I`d tell Bannon but he doesn`t call me back." Now, "Breitbart" reporter forwarded those e-mails to Bannon, of course, who used to run "Breitbart". And initially, he seemed to brush them off. Then the next day, Assange held a press conference promising weekly Clinton document dumps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE: We hope to be publishing every week for the next 10 weeks. We have on schedule -- and it`s a very hard schedule, all the U.S. election-related documents to come out before November 8.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: U.S. election documents before the election. Then, according to these brand new released e-mails tonight, Bannon reaches out to Stone to ask about it. "What was that this morning?" Stone replying, "A load, every week going forward."
There`s no evidence that Stone gave Bannon information that Assange hadn`t revealed himself from these e-mails, but this is a sign that Stone was at least touting privately to the people running the Trump campaign that he knew exactly where WikiLeaks was headed. Mueller knows all of this. "The New York Times" reporting that Bannon and two other former Trump officials have detailed to Mueller`s team how Stone presented himself as "a conduit of inside information from WikiLeaks."
Stone now firing back. I want to give you his side of the story tonight. He says this is all about the treachery of Steve Bannon who was a hatchet man, using a hatchet man, Sam Nunberg, viewers may know of him, who is leaking this e-mail exchange, according to Stone. And saying the only thing he`s guilty of was, "Punking Democrats on Twitter" and that, of course, is not illegal, according to Roger Stone.
Let`s get right to it with someone in the set of the action, Congressman David who serves on the Judiciary Committee. Thanks for coming on tonight.
REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: My pleasure. Good to be with you.
MELBER: Let`s start with something that I think viewers and people interested in the story always want to know, why five days out from the midterms are these e-mails coming out? Are they coming from the Bannon`s of the world?
CICILLINE: Look, I don`t think we know where they`re coming from but it`s just the most recent example of a member of the president`s inner circle lying about their actions during the course of the campaign. Roger Stone said just a couple of days ago he had no communications with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks. We now know that that`s a lie, that he was e- mailing Steve Bannon directly about those, and then three days later, of course, the first stolen e-mails are released.
So I think it`s just more evidence as to why we have to protect Robert Mueller`s investigation, be sure that he is allowed to complete his work, and take us to wherever the facts lead us. And we have a number of bills pending in Congress to protect Mr. Mueller and prevent political interference or prevent his firing. Our Republican colleagues won`t move forward on any of them but I think this really underscores the importance of this investigation continuing to its conclusion and then filing a report with Congress so we can take whatever action is appropriate.
MELBER: It appears that Mueller has some very key people, not just those who flipped like Paul Manafort, but also those like Don McGahn who`s the departed White House lawyer, and Steve Bannon who I just mentioned, who are providing all kinds of information. I want to play for you what Steve Bannon admitted to today me under questioning, which is that if Donald Trump was in the loop about the Trump Tower meeting, that would be very concerning because he saw it as treasonous-style behavior. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: What about it made it treasonous in your view?
STEVE BANNON: I just didn`t look. I think for a professional like Paul Manafort, I don`t think you ever have -- you know, forget -- people from other countries, Russians or whatever, come in and try to get opposition research.
MELBER: But if a candidate knows about that in advance, then are they part of treasonous behavior by your standard?
BANNON: I think you have to call them to question. If somebody is actually out there trying to get information from foreign parties, you have to question that, yeah.
MELBER: So if Mueller could prove that about Donald Trump, that would concern you?
BANNON: It would definitely concern me, yes. But the president has been pretty adamant that he didn`t know about it and hasn`t known about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: What does it tell you that people like Steve Bannon in public and presumably as well in private are taking that hard line that basically says if the evidence against Trump is bad, then the chips fall where they may?
CICILLINE: I mean it`s hard to know but it`s hard to imagine that the president didn`t know about the Trump Tower meeting and conversations with his son that happened in Trump Tower. But this is just one more piece of evidence that I think that Mr. Mueller has to review to understand exactly what the Trump campaign did, what the president knew.
And you`re right, there are a lot of witnesses now that are sharing information with him, may be concerned about their own culpability and their own criminal liability. But I think we all have to have confidence that Mr. Mueller and his team are going to get to the bottom of this so long as they are allowed to continue this investigation, and it`s free from political interference. The president has tried in every way to undermine it and to try to prevent it from continuing, and we have to all be very concerned what he`ll do after the midterms.
MELBER: And while I have you, you`re on the Judiciary Committee, without getting into the things you can`t discuss, how do you and your colleagues view this very bizarre story about a conspiracy theory, perhaps sloppily done to try to potentially frame Bob Mueller?
CICILLINE: Well, I think it`s just an example of how desperate the Republicans are getting and how afraid the administration is about what Mr. Mueller is going to find. I mean, here is a man who served his country, who is recognized by Republicans and Democrats alike when he was appointed as a person beyond reproach, of extraordinary integrity who is doing a professional job. And they are actually trying to smear him with a made-up story and trying to pay a woman to do it.
I mean it`s outrageous and I`m disappointed that we`re not hearing more from my Republican colleagues condemning this effort and speaking out on behalf of Mr. Mueller. But I just think it is an example of how fearful they are about what this investigation will find.
MELBER: You make a great final point there, which is whatever the underlying facts, it`s not hard to say that, obviously, any attempt to do any misinformation or framing of a prosecutor in this instance is wrong, and we`ve heard crickets from that side.
David Cicilline, Congressman on the Judiciary Committee, thank you so much for joining tonight.
CICILLINE: My pleasure.
MELBER: In 30 seconds we return with some great guests and an important fact check on Trump`s closing argument.
MELBER: We`re in the midterms homestretch, and tonight both parties hitting their closing arguments. Oprah preaching love and optimism at a Georgia rally for Democrats. Trump releasing a new video stoking fears of immigrant crime, which critics and reporters are decrying as blatantly "Racist". And before we even get into this racial controversy, and we will, first in facts.
The Trump video focuses on a single criminal case that actually looks bad for Republicans. It features an immigrant convicted of murder who got into the country illegally while President Bush was in office. He previously had been deported during the Clinton administration. This new video lies about that history and instead blames Democrats wrongly for allegedly "letting him in". So far, the GOP is not paying any money to actually run this as a "advertisement" to reach voters. In fact, it`s formatted as a 53-second video. It doesn`t really work as a TV ad.
But today, some political reporters basically fell into Trump`s trap. They referred to this as a, "advertisement", it`s not. Now, we`re not going to air the whole thing tonight, but here is a brief part that will give you the gist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIE HORTON, CONVICTED FELON: I don`t (bleep) regret that. The only thing that I (bleep) regret is that I (bleep) killed two. I wish I (bleep) killed more of those (bleep).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The footage taps into Trump`s scare tactic from the very first day he announced his run for office, immigrant crime. We should note as well studies show the general U.S. population in places with fewer undocumented immigrants tend to have higher crime rates than places where there are more undocumented immigrants. If you`re interested in the facts about criminology.
I want to get into this discussion with Al Cardenas, a former senior adviser to Jeb Bush. He also served as chairman of Florida`s Republican party for two terms and was the chairman of the American Conservative Union and a delegate to the Republican national convention for more than 30 years.
Sir, your Republican credentials are clearly in good order. Thanks for joining me tonight.
AL CARDENAS, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO JEB BUSH: My pleasure, Ari. Good to be with you.
MELBER: Good to be with you. Your view of what this advertisement that is actually a video, what this video says?
CARDENAS: Well, the Republicans tried, frankly, a less insulting version in the 1990s in California and look where California is today. We were the -- we had a Republican governor, we had a healthy party in California. And now, of course, it`s Democrat domain. I`m assuming that the results of this video, the results of this kind of effort are going to result in long- term damage to my party, a shrinking of our tent, and divisiveness in America.
It`s just very sad for me as a Hispanic Republican to see this done. But more importantly, it`s worrisome for me as an American to see this segregation in America, this appeal to our lower instincts in hopes to win an election. I mean that`s not --
MELBER: Do you think the video is hateful?
CARDENAS: I do. I do. I think it`s divisive. I think it misconstrues the facts. This fellow committed a heinous crime. He was punished for it, thankfully, and paid his price for having committed a crime. Look, crime statistics are openly available. Hispanics are the least responsible for crime in America but that`s not what it seems like.
And we`ve had few weeks of this, Ari. It`s been piling up. Fifteen hundred families forcefully separated, still 500 some children don`t know where their parents are, vice versa. The idea about reversing the birthrights of people born in this country, aimed primarily at Hispanics, this statement by the president, he`s going to send 15,000 troops to the border to deal with unarmed people, women, children. Come on, the last time there was a caravan, we had a total of 14 arrests. That happened in Miami Beach on a Friday night over a period of one hour. And so --
MELBER: And you`re the -- for viewers again to understand, you chaired the American Conservative Union. I think it`s fair to say that`s the right side, the right wing if you want to use that term, and I don`t mean it pejoratively. The conservative side of the Republican party, it`s bigger than Trump because so many people that you`ve worked with over the years aren`t standing up today to this video.
CARDENAS: Exactly. Well, I hope they will. Listen, it`s a concerted union. We are Bill Buckley`s, William Buckley`s successors. And this was all about we stand for reducing the national debt. We stand for a balanced budget. We stand for things that are good for America, not dividing America or appealing to our lower instincts.
And if you look at a lot of the Ronald Reagan videos, they were uniting the country. He was a true conservative. But the words Ronald Reagan don`t come out of this president`s lips, obviously. And so it`s a bad time.
MELBER: Yes. Al, I want you to stay with me. I want to go back to you. I wanted to hear you first because I think you`re so central to this. Stay with me. I`m going to add to our conversation is two historical scholars, Leah Wright Rigueur, a Professor at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. I want to mention her new book that we`ve been able to talk about on THE BEAT, it`s called Leadership in Turbulent Times and it looks at four different iconic presidents and how they led.
Let`s start there, Doris. You hear Al say this is Donald Trump and a lot of other people going along with it turning not only on American values but on what he considers conservative values.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I mean, what one have hoped a closing argument would have been about uniting the country as a whole rather than dividing it and President Trump had a chance for that. You know, we often talk about October surprises, thing that occur, events that changed the contours of a campaign, two events occurred, the bombing plot, those were real events, and the attack on the Jewish synagogue.
What if he had stood up as an American president and said this has to stop this toxic culture. We all bear responsibility. I want us to really be united. And instead, he will be moved in the other direction. He said at one point, I keep getting this in my head, he said you know, we had momentum and then this bombing stuff happened and we have to regain the momentum and now closing with an ad that is clearly divisive, intended to stoke fear.
And the best moments in history are remembered by presidents who bring us together, Lincoln`s second inaugural, a moment of triumph. Does he suggest triumph? No. He says both sides read the same Bible, both prayed to the same God, and either those prayers could be answered. LBJ going to the Voting Rights and he says this is not just a southern problem, it`s a northern problem. It`s not a white problem, it`s a black problem, it`s an American problem.
MELBER: Well, you just -- you just hit two words that have been forever changed in the modern political lexicon. If I understand you right and I`m ready to learn more from you if I don`t, you`re saying that Lincoln referred to both sides for the notion of common humanity even in a country ripped apart by Civil War whereas Donald Trump used its create a false equivalency to give aid and comfort to people who were rallying around white supremacy.
GOODWIN: And if you want to be remembered by history, I mean we`re going to remember there was a head that was somewhat similar to this ad, the Willie Horton ad against Dukakis which stoked racial tensions even then. It`s considered a stain on President Bush. It`s considered one of the most infamous ads. Is President Bush going to want to be remembered that way? Of course not. He was a decent man.
MELBER: President Trump -- oh, Bush.
GOODWIN: We`re talking about him. And the same thing now with President Trump, to use this ad as his closing argument, you just want him to be president of all the people not just stoke in the fears of the base and I keep hoping and hoping that that moment will occur and so far it hasn`t.
MELBER: And Leah, there`s a political science of this which once you put aside I think the wide ethical condemnation we just heard from two very thoughtful experts, there is another set of weakness here which is that both the actual money they`re spending on a Midterm ads, $6 million doesn`t mention Trump at all. And this video which is kind of a head faking troll also apart from the other problems documented just now doesn`t really mention Donald Trump. I can -- I can point out here some reporting on that. Mr. Trump, it says according to New York Times reports so unpopular with the group of voters that his campaign needs that he`s trying to target at this critical stage in the race the other ads and the other messaging without being in them.
LEAH WRIGHT RIGUEUR, PROFESSOR, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT: Right. So you know, this is not what voters want to hear and in fact, we`re seeing that there are a couple of -- there even a couple of tight races where people have asked Donald Trump to stay away because they think that it may actually hurt them. You know, the politics of fear may do well in rallying certain bases and pulling people out but it doesn`t do well you know, when people care about things like health care, or care about you know the wages in their pocket, or care about you know unity in the face of a crisis in the country.
And you know, I got to say, Ari, you know, I think Beyonce said it best. You know, who runs the world? Girls. And that`s what the country wants us here right now. They want to hear from women. They want to hear messages like the one Oprah Winfrey delivered today in Georgia. They want to hear from people like Stacey Adams who are invested in expanding democracy and the rights for all people in the United States. They don`t want to hear about politics, fear, division and that seems to me Trump`s closing argument which really isn`t great.
AL CARDENAS, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO JEB BUSH: Ari, the one thing that --
MELBER: Let me go to you, Al but you want to throw -- you mentioned Beyonce and Oprah, we have some Oprah sound. I don`t have Beyonce ready. I didn`t know you`re going to go there, Leah. We tried to be prepared.
RIGUEUR: You have to go there. I mean, come on.
MELBER: Al, take a listen to respond to what Leah said and also look at a little bit more of this unusual scene today, Oprah on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: This land was made for you and me. This land was made for you and me. That`s not just a song, that`s the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, you can`t argue with that. Listen, if you -- the true value of this -- of this conversation is the fact that President Trump is named in far more political ads paid by the Democrats than by the Republicans and the reason is very simple. You have 60 close races in the House and Republicans are running in very centrist purple districts and this kind of rhetoric hurts them badly in the House. It`s selfish, its divisive, it`s self-centered. It`s not what`s good for the Republican Party. And in the Senate, you know, I see similar criteria.
I don`t -- you know, the only argument Republicans have to win this election is the fact that the economy is doing well and people are employed, not immigrants at the border, not taking away birthrights, not doing the kind of divisive rhetoric that frankly it`s counterproductive to a successful Election Day.
GOODWIN: I hope he`s right. You know, you never know. There`s a reason why they did this ad. There`s a reason why they did this tweet because maybe they think that it appeals to people, they -- I saw one supporter of the ad saying it will appeal to women who are going to be worried about their family security. But I think the interesting thing is Adlai Stevenson, my old friend Adlai Stevenson, he said, the challenge is not how to win but it`s how to win without proving you`re unworthy of winning. You don`t want your campaign to be doing something that years later people are going to say why was that done.
And Al is right, There is the economy. A lot of people are feeling good about the economy and maybe there`s a lot of citizens who feel that it was good to have tax cut. Some people may feel it was good to have the corporate tax cut and they should be appealing to that group of people. But instead, somehow there`s a feeling that the economy is not going to do it for people in a Midterm Election. But you -- and there`s -- the other side of it is we`re also citizens besides getting special interests from what`s happened in the Republican Party, and I think a lot of people who are Republicans just looking at out right now are feeling that that sense of being a citizen, Trump`s, if I may say that, in a sense of what you`re getting right now from the Republican Party.
And my suspicion is a lot of those people are going to be beginning to feel is this the kind of America we want, this kind of divisiveness, this toxic culture, the sense of everybody being at highly partisan more than ever before, and these negative ads increase that partisanship. If you say something so terrible about the other side, you call them evil, you say they`re racist, etcetera, and either way, then how are you going to be friends when you sit around in the Senate and it`s that perpetual campaigning that I think is keeping up our highly partisanship nature.
MELBER: We got to stop. Fear can trump reason although the emphasis on the prospect of potential crimes thousands of miles away as you put it after a two-week period where the President has tried to change the subject from the actual crimes because they didn`t fit with his "political ideology" is just a striking and to many people a sickening contract.
GOODWIN: He`s creating an event. I mean it`s not a real event, the caravan. The Birther thing that he talked up is unconstitutional, so to this ad pointing up somebody who did something a while ago that wasn`t even in the Republican -- Democratic, it was over a period of time. It`s as if he needs to create event to go ahead of the real events that took place which he could have responded to in a much better way.
MELBER: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Al Cardenas and Leah Wright Rigueur, thanks to each of you for I think a responsible way to deal with some of this stuff today. Coming up, after we fit in a break, the co-author the Art of the Deal says Donald Trump is terrified about Democratic gains in the Midterms. Tony Schwartz live on THE BEAT next.
MELBER: A thing that`s been running through these midterms for days is the idea that Democrats can run as a check on Trump. They promise congressional oversight, investigations, subpoena power. My next guest Tony Schwartz co-author of The Art of the Deal and a friend of THE BEAT says there`s another side to this entire coin, predicting if Democrats fail to win back the House or the Senate, Trump will actually feel more emboldened and as a result moves to expand his power doubling down on the attacks on ObamaCare, climate change regulations, quashing any investigations that are still going including of course the big question about Bob Mueller.
If the opposition party is cleared out for the entire first term, there could be an increasingly dangerous sympathetic right-wing media machine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How frustrating would it be if you`re the President of the United States and every single time you turn on the T.V. on most of the channels, there misconstruing what you say. It has to be frustrating that`s why he`s saying it`s fake news and he`s saying if you don`t want to be called the enemy then get the story right, be accurate and report the stories the way that I want it reported.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Tony is here, he`s also the author of The Way We Work Isn`t Working. Tony, if Republicans do hold the House, you say Trump could actually get even worse than this.
TONY SCHWARTZ, CO-AUTHOR, THE ART OF THE DEAL: Well, I think unequivocally he will get worse. I don`t believe that`s going to happen but I sat at 7:00 in Hillary Clinton`s victory party on election night and still thought that wouldn`t happen so I`m not -- I`m holding my -- I`m holding my certainty. But I don`t think it`s going to happen. But if it does happen, he for sure will be emboldened to move more in the autocratic direction that his deep instinct.
MELBER: His instinct then is fundamentally more reactive than the typical analysis would say because he depicts himself and many people go along that he`s wildly running around doing things. You`re saying that actually there is a Trump 1.0 of the first two years and he might be worried about losing which is we`ve just been covering that, the evidence of that and where they`re putting him, but if they hold the House he`ll say what to himself?
SCHWARTZ: Well, you know what he`ll do. He`ll blame it on Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. He`ll say it wasn`t about him. He`ll deny -- he`ll lie about what actually happened. He`ll do all the things that Trump usually does. That actually isn`t going to serve him very well if that happens because it`s -- there`s no question that we`re going to have a very different climate in this country if he loses, but you know, I think underneath all this, I spent the day at a conference full of Uber capitalists run by the New York Times, the conference run by the New York Times and the last person I listened to his Peter Thiel who`s a very right- wing supporter of Trump`s out in Silicon Valley.
MELBER: Facebook investor.
SCHWARTZ: Facebook investor, member of the board. And you know, I really adorned on me that this is what`s going on underneath all of this, Ari, is the failure of capitalism, the failure of the free market. You know, any - - I said this before to you, but any strength overused becomes a liability. And think about what capitalism is. It`s all about accruing as much as you possibly can for yourself. It`s survival of the fittest. And the very core of capitalism is more bigger, faster is always better. And what we`ve got is a runaway train.
So we`ve got eight people who control as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent, the poorest 50 percent of the world. I mean, how could that not be creating fierce resentment? We understand that resentment but I also think what it`s created is an emptiness in the souls of the people to whom the money has accrued.
MELBER: And -- but -- and doesn`t that also touch on a point that has become so difficult to even say out loud? Because when you talk about economic anxiety and Trump voters, many people hear that as a cover for the uglier things that have animated part of that movement so certainly some of it is not economic. And yet when you look at 2016 where Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump went as far as they went with totally different versions and different records but both seem to tap into the idea that a lot of people in this country were hoping that at both parties, both parties leadership, the traditional Democratic Clinton wing of the party for selling out to the bankers apparently that you got to spend some time with today.
SCHWARTZ: Yes what they`re angry about is that the system does -- has stopped working. It worked and it`s not working for them. And what`s happening now as Trump begins to throw anything he can at the wall in a feeling of desperation because he is one scared son of a gun about this potential loss. He does understand the implications of it and he`s frightened by it. So the reason he`s doing these outrageous things, the reason he`s sending 15,000 troops down to a location where there`s no enemy is because he wants to do anything he can to deflect attention to raise the anger and the area of his base. And what he realizes is that this could turn very, very dark for him.
MELBER: And so he -- and he needs those kinds of conflicts and the real conflicts that he had you know, he should have had his hands full last week protecting the country from real threats and instead he was minimizing them. He puts bomb in quotes while talking up a caravan that`s far away.
SCHWARTZ: Think about this when we talk about Trump, think about the fact that he is the one-tenth of one percent, a guy who inherited $400 million and yet his presidency is a continuing expression of this feeling of emptiness inside that he needs to fill from outside. He wants the love, he wants to do the self-dealing so he has more money and it isn`t working. It doesn`t work. That`s why I started by saying that capitalism has begun to run its course. It doesn`t deliver the goods, not even to the recipients of its -- of its spoils.
MELBER: And that`s why the old saying goes, people are like candy bars, it`s all about what`s inside.
SCHWARTZ: It`s all about what`s inside.
MELBER: It`s not a real saying, though.
SCHWARTZ: I know but it`s true nonetheless.
MELBER: Well, there you go. As part of our state of mind, Tony Schwartz, we always appreciate you coming by. I`m going to fit in a break and show you some of your own reactions, viewers of THE BEATS to something we did a little different last night, A, to the record-breaking 257 women candidates on this show and more Oprah ahead.
MELBER: No matter what happens on Tuesday, history is being made. So last time in THE BEAT, we tried to do something a little different inviting eight first-time women candidates from both parties on the show was unusual and a lot of you who watched responded and we want to share some of that. Sonola Daley from Washington saying she`s proud we highlighted these candidates. Jordan Milan from Atlanta writing this made them feel grateful. Many of the women we interviewed also have the potential to set records.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAALAND (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NEW MEXICO: There`s never been a Native American woman in Congress.
PEARL KIM (R), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, PENNSYLVANIA: There has never been a woman of color elected into Congress in Pennsylvania and in addition to that there`s actually never been a Korean American female elected into Congress in the history of the United States of America.
JAHANA HAYES (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, CONNECTICUT: Connecticut as well has never sent an African-American woman to Congress.
GINA ORTIZ JONES (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, TEXAS: I look forward to being the first out member of Congress from Texas --
KYLE HORTON (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NORTH CAROLINA: There are no women doctors currently in Congress and there`s actually never been a Democratic woman doctor who was a full voting member in the House of Representatives. I think Congress needs a doctor in the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: No women doctors in Congress and yet Congress makes a lot of rules for women and for doctors. We also talked about this Democratic donor gap, $185,000 more dollars on average point a men than women and how do you overcome those obstacles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIAH PHILLIPS (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, TENNESSEE: I am proud to say that I`ve actually outraised the -- my male incumbent this cycle and raised half a million dollars which as a public school teacher is 15 years of salary.
KATIE PORTER (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, CALIFORNIA: I think campaign finance reform is a women`s issue. I think it`s an issue about representation.
SUSAN HUTCHISON (R), SENATE CANDIDATE, WASHINGTON: I walked a picket line for two months to fight for fair pay for women.
HAYES: And I was told you`ll never be seen as viable because you can`t raise the money that it takes. I`m proud to say that in both the primary and the general I`ve raised more than any of the candidates on either side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Those are just some of the choices in both parties on Tuesday that look a little different in history. And as we`re reporting this out I can tell you just this hour the nonpartisan Cook Political Report has upped its prediction for Democrats getting 30 to 40 seats in the House. So a lot going on. We again want to say thank you to all the eight candidates who joined us on THE BEAT and everyone who watched and rode in. And up ahead, a special announcement that includes air horns.
MELBER: One more thing before we go, a special heads up for a very special "FALLBACK FRIDAY" tomorrow. Cue the air horns. Desus and Mero, friends of the show, were heading to show time are doing a takeover of our "FALLBACK FRIDAY" and we want you to let us know who needs to fall back. Here`s one from one of our viewers. Joseph who says I`m guessing the soundtrack on Mueller`s iPod should be the Carnival Album by Wyclef Jean in the track Gone Till November. That`s my "FALLBACK FRIDAY." Thank you, Joseph, for sending that in. You can always find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and you can always give us your fall back nominations there. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END