Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: November 5, 2018 Guest: Chris Hayes, Mark Murray, Madison Gesiotto, Marc Morial, Jackie Speier, Howell Raines, Kwame Jackson
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Judges drill for oil more ethically, all the while forcing the Florida College System to prohibit dog racing on high-speed rail? Well, yes or no, Florida. We`re going to have to poll that.
That`s all we have 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. It feels a whole lot simpler.
TODD: Done it. Can`t let go.
MELBER: Tonight, we have a very big show. This is our first-ever election eve on THE BEAT and you`re looking at live pictures of the beginning of our coverage, MSNBC, The Vote, America`s Future. That is a live look at Rockefeller Center and, of course, the historic ice rink out there right now.
Later tomorrow, you`re going to hear, of course, all of your experts in Rachel and Brian project the winners, and then ultimately report the winners. And that special election coverage begins right now and on through election eve tonight at MSNBC. Here on THE BEAT, I can tell you we have some tremendous experts as part of our coverage right here at the election center with me in New York. Plus, Chris Hayes in Texas, Katy Tur in Georgia.
And later, a debate on what Trump has really achieved for the middle class with some special guests on that. We`re going to get to everyone. Let me give you the stakes right now. There are close polls which make predictions especially worthless. Donald Trump is continuing his blitz election. He`s speaking in Indiana this hour. We`re not broadcasting that live but we will update with any news that comes out of it.
Meanwhile, another president out on the trail with a hoarse voice. Listen for it, in Virginia today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People woke up and said oh, "I guess we can`t take this for granted." We have to fight for this. We don`t. You don`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Running out of gas, running out of the voice. And broad national numbers, NBC`s final polls show Dems holding the seven-point edge. That`s down a bit from nine-points last month. Trump approval, meanwhile, underwater, 57 percent disapproving of Trump in a new "CNN" poll. And that could be dragging down Republicans, at least in some parts of the country.
Trump won Florida, for example, but Democrat Andrew Gillum leading his Republican opponent by four points right there right now, in that tight governor`s race. The same margin in the Florida Senate race. Dems also up there with incumbent Bill Nelson. Democrat Claire McCaskill, meanwhile, up three points against the Republican in Missouri where healthcare has been a big issue as we`ve reported.
But here is what many playdown about polls that close. All those leads you just saw are within the margins of error, which means as a matter of math and politics, they`re basically toss-ups. And while some Democrats are projecting confidence, others are urging caution.
I want to show you something from our special coverage this weekend. I caught up with Michael Moore and he said, "Look, if you`re rooting for Democrats, you should not accept any overconfidence from Nancy Pelosi."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: What now I`m saying is we will win. We will win. We own the ground. We`re not yielding one grand of sand.
MICHAEL MOORE, ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING FILMMAKER: Do not pay any attention to this. Do not listen to Nancy Pelosi when she goes on Stephen Colbert and says, "We`ve got a victory here in our site." No, we don`t. You have to take Trump seriously. If you don`t think that they don`t have something up their sleeve or they`re not out there working their tails off, they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: You heard it there. We begin tonight with MSNBC`s Chris Hayes, who has been out getting on the ground in Texas. And Maya Wiley, a friend of the show here in New York.
Chris, let`s do both. What do you see is the national picture tonight? And I know you`ve been traveling but obviously, you`ve been doing your homework. What do you see in what you`re reporting out of Texas?
CHRIS HAYES, HOST, MSNBC: Well, the national picture I think that there`s some evidence I think particularly in House races that there`s been a little bit of late movement towards the Democrats. The upshot polling which has been a remarkable resource for everyone following the race, they`ve been polling in swing district after swing district, shows a little bit of improvement there. Some seats today, "Politico" reporting, moving four more seats in the Democrat`s direction.
So I think Democrats I think cautiously optimistic about the national picture. And Texas is a fascinating story. I mean to think about Texas, it`s a state with about 18 million eligible voters and about 9 million who voted in 2016, and only about 4.5 million who voted in 2014.
There are a lot of non-voters in the State of Texas. It is a reliably low turnout state. Already early voting in the state beating same-day and early voting in 2014 and a lot of people modeling an election that looks like a presidential level election, around 8.5, 9 million votes maybe. That makes it a little more difficult to predict what will happen.
Beto O`Rourke, of course, needs a lot of new votes. He cannot win on the playing field, as it`s been established in the last 24 years in which Democrats have struggled to win a statewide election. But the early numbers I think are giving some cause to think that some of what they`re doing is working. Whether that pulls it out in the end, we`ll see.
MELBER: Maya, a lot of this in key places comes down to the mood. Donald Trump not technically on the ballot, and he stayed away from pretty important at least House districts. Let`s look at the significant change of numbers, which give you also a mood.
When you look at Clinton in `94, you had 62 percent wanting a different direction. Obama 2010, people moving away from him, 63 percent. Trump is near but not quite there in terms of people wanting to get away from this Trump leadership direction.
MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNSEL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Yes, it`s a polarized electorate. It`s essentially what we`re seeing. I think it`s critically important and reinforcing some of what Chris said to say we`ve also had unprecedented enthusiasm for a midterm election. So in terms of turnout, which has always been a problem for Democrats in particular, usually those who turn out in the midterms are much more likely to be Republican voters. So many, many more young people seem to be engaged.
We know that there is a strong base of support that has been very active. We know that because both House, Senate and government primaries and contested primaries, the turnout has been historic and it has been disproportionally Democratic. So those are reasons to have hope about the fact that that percentage, the particular percentage for Democrats, that particular percentage on Trump may not matter.
But I think the other thing we have to factor in is we`ve had since 2010 significant efforts to undermine traditional Democratic voters because they are so easily predicted in terms of who they`ll vote for and that`s black people, that`s Latinos, and that`s a problem.
MELBER: Well, and let me go to Chris on that before we let you go and get back to prepping your own show. What do you think is the message in Texas which is a state that as Maya mentioned, as you mentioned like Georgia, it is both an imperative to educate and get people out voting regardless of those rules, but also can become part of the message itself? How is Beto O`Rourke squaring that with some of the most restrictive voter I.D rules in the country?
HAYES: You know, I think if you`re a campaign, you`re doing everything you can to give people the tools they have to be able to vote, to have lawyers in place on election day particularly to protect that right to vote. Obviously, Texas has been a frontline to the battleground in terms of federal lawsuits, about redistricting and voter I.D. and all of that.
I think the real question in Texas Senate, it`s a model that`s being used I think in Georgia to a large extent and to the extent in Florida is, can you go and run statewide in states that have been very tough terrain for Democrats if you have enough grassroots organizing to essentially mobilize a new strata of voters in that state? Basically, create new votes out of nonvoters.
That is the play that`s happening in all three of these states. Stacy Abrams in Georgia, Andrew Gillum in Florida and Beto O`Rourke in Texas. It`s a lot harder than it looks and it`s also coming up against efforts by the Republican infrastructure in those states to try to keep people from the polls as much as possible.
MELBER: Chris Hayes, thank you for making time for us. We`ll be watching you 8:00 p.m. tonight live from Texas.
I want to bring in as part of our expanding coverage Mark Murray, another one of our ace experts here. And I want to start with you on early vote. This is one of those nights where people are looking at these polls and I mentioned the grain of salt but we actually have data about what we know from early vote. Doesn`t tell us exactly who they`re voting for, but let`s put Georgia on the screen, walk us through that and what else you want us to know starting with Georgia at two million, much higher than last time.
MARK MURRAY, SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR, NBC NEWS: So Ari, what`s important to know about what these early vote numbers are is that you know, we are seeing people turn out in early voting more than we saw in 2014, getting very close to 2016 levels. And part of that has to just do with the convenience of early voting. People who have decided -- people of 10, 12 years ago people who voted on election day now realize, "Oh, I can actually go into an early voting station, get it done, get my shopping in, get to have a dinner with the family and go in just for convenience sake.
Campaigns also want you to vote early, too because they know if there`s X voter who --
MURRAY: -- they bank that person and they can go and try to persuade the other people who haven`t voted yet. So campaigns like to be able to do it. But, Ari, it`s also important to note that these are tea leaves right now because people are voting earlier than ever before, we don`t know who necessarily has the advantage, just because more and more people are voting early.
MELBER: And on that point, we`ve seen Republican registration numbers showing a lot of them are voting in some of these key swing states, but that doesn`t mean this time they`re voting for Republicans.
MURRAY: Well, they`re not voting for -- maybe they might be voting for Democrats but more importantly, let`s look at the unaffiliated or independent voters too. The polling that I`ve actually seen that Democrats are performing very well with Independent voters right now. And if you end up kind of adding the Democratic column with the unaffiliated or with the Democrats, then all the sudden you can see maybe how they`re actually doing.
But the one state where I do think that D versus R is very important is in Nevada. Nevada has almost apples to apples. They have a big machine that goes out on the early voting. I think that that is the one that I`ve been reading more into. The other ones -- so you just kind of have to see how the tea leaves are.
MELBER: Now Mark, because this is part of our special election night coverage, election eve, this is the last episode of THE BEAT until the election. Obviously, we`re focused on the numbers. I`m not going to mix in a lot of music. Just kidding. I want to play Ashanti talking about the early vote from our special coverage.
MURRAY: All right.
MELBER: Let`s take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: In your real life, do you ever tell anybody that even if you`re not always there when they call, you`re always on time? Does that ever work in real situations?
ASHANTI, SINGER: It absolutely does. And let me tell you how it relates to this. I sent in my absentee ballot because I`m not going to be in New York so I`m always on time. Matter of fact, I`m early. I voted.
MELBER: Early. So not always on time has now become a message for early voting. I like that. I didn`t think of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Briefly to both of you, it seems this is something that is penetrating in the mainstream conversation. I mean people are going out and tell folks, not just vote, vote early.
MURRAY: Well, again, it goes back to the point that political operatives do want their people to actually go vote early, allows you to tackle the people who are more persuadable later on. They always -- you know, you`re hearing this from both Democratic and Republican campaigns.
To me, the question though is a lot of these early voters, do you get cannibalized? You know, you have these people who go vote early, are you waiting for who ends up turning out on election day and we just don`t know.
MELBER: Right. And does that mean people are voting at a different time or more people are voting? You`re not always there when we call.
WILEY: I`m always here when you call, Ari, always. The very important thing is that it is critically important for voters who are traditionally - - have a hard time getting to the ballot, whether it`s elderly, low-income people who can`t afford to lose the paycheck.
So I think social science has always said that we will get a lot higher turnout if we make it easier for our citizens to vote by creating early options. More polling places is another one that`s something that`s also happened for instance in Georgia, closing of polling places particularly in black counties. That`s the kind of thing we have to --
MELBER: Right. And we have Marc Morial from the Urban League on that later tonight because it`s such an important story.
My thanks to Maya Wiley, to Mark Murray on the Ashanti Beat. Thanks to both of you.
I want to show you quickly live pictures of Donald Trump. This is his second rally today, this one in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You see it there. A lot of enthusiasm here as we`ve been hearing on all sides.
And on his first rally today in Ohio, Trump put a big emphasis on immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re building the wall. We`re building the wall, don`t worry about it. Yes, we`ve started. We want to do it at one time, although barbed wire looks like it`s going to be very effective too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: So that`s a message. But when you look at the facts and you ask voters immigration, not the biggest issue for many. NBC finds the top issues for most voters right now are still jobs, the economy, change in Washington, and healthcare. Pre-existing condition`s a major issue.
Republicans have often claimed they`re trying to protect them, although they voted to repeal them in Obamacare. And Trump`s tax plan, of course, has put a lot of the wealthiest Americans in the best position. Middle- class taxpayers didn`t see much of a difference. So how much will Trump`s record on the actual domestic issues that voters say matter to them, how much will that matter tomorrow?
Let`s get into it with Jason Johnson, politics editor for "Theroot.com" and Madison Gesiotto, an attorney and a member of the Trump 2020 campaign advisory board. Thanks to both of you for doing this.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITIC EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: Glad to be here.
MADISON GESIOTTO, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN ADVISORY BOARD: Good to be with you, Ari.
MELBER: Madison, briefly, what are the things that middle-class voters have gotten in the last two years that you think would make them go red tomorrow?
GESIOTTO: The one thing that I talk to people across this country about repeatedly when I travel on the campaign trail is the economy. They feel that they`ve been able to quantifiable results have directly impacted their lives as a result of President Trump`s economic policies.
Their wages have increased. Their taxes have decreased. A lot of them have gotten jobs and not just any jobs but good jobs. They`re making more money. They have gotten more money back in with the tax cuts. And I mean they`re really happy about this. This is an identifiable result that they didn`t feel that they saw under President Obama or President Bush.
JOHNSON: Yes, that`s not true. So here`s what happened with the economy. You get credit for dragging us out of the ditch, right? So if you improved the economy, people remember when things are bad, they give you a lot of credit for.
But once the economy has been good for two or three years in a row, Americans are very selfish. We start saying, we built that, we did that, and we don`t really credit politicians with it. There`s no reason for Donald Trump to be at a 40 percent approval rating with an economy this good except for the fact that Americans don`t give him or the Republicans in Congress credit for it. So that`s not really something that`s been helpful.
Even the news last week of the job reports has done nothing. Nothing as far as his approval level and nothing as far as helping Republicans on the generic ballot.
MELBER: One thing that`s interesting, Madison, writ large is that the deficit is now growing under Trump. Although Republicans often ran and saying that was a problem under Obama. I spoke with someone I think you know, sort of a colleague of yours Anthony Scaramucci. And he conceded under questioning that this is a problem and it is somewhat hypocritical. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: They ran saying deficits were a problem under Obama.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: Yes.
MELBER: Now, they`re growing the deficit. Isn`t that wrong?
SCARAMUCCI: That`s wrong but that`s a hypocrisy of the swamp. OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Does it hurt Republicans do you think tomorrow to have what your colleague calls the hypocrisy of the swamp, a rising deficit when they said they were going to do the opposite?
GESIOTTO: I think the rising deficit hurts both parties. People across this country have been sick of Congress to be quite honest. They`re sick of these people that get to Washington, D.C., they promise that they`re there to work for us and they get there and they really don`t work for us. They don`t do what their constituents want a lot of the times and we don`t see the results.
People are supportive of the president, primarily going back to what he said on the economy, and there is direct proof that we are to be thanked for a lot of what`s happened. Part of that coming from regulations, and the unneeded, unnecessary overregulation that we saw. When President Barack Obama left office, there was over 99,000 --
MELBER: I know but the question is about the --
MADISON: -- pages of (CROSSTALK) regulation --
MELBER: The question is about the growing deficit,
MADISON: (INAUDIBLE). But I want to respond to what he said.
MADISON: And again, and I responded to the growing debts which I believe both Republicans and Democrats are to blame. And as an American, I`m not happy about it. I think we need to get it down. We need to stop with the overspending and with what Anthony said, with the swamp in Washington. That`s who is to blame for this. This didn`t all happen under just President Trump or just President Obama. This has been going on for a long time. They`ve been taking our money and they`ve been spending it and overspending --
MELBER: Well, let me get Jason on the facts. I just want to make sure viewers are getting the facts. You`re entitled to your view of that but the deficit growth up to $700 billion here is under Trump and a Republican Congress. That`s the increase since they took over. Jason, go ahead.
JOHNSON: Yes. So and the deficit doesn`t help. It shows the hypocrisy of the Republicans. And Trump was supposed to do something about the swamp. But even most of their economic and tax policies have been helped, the Republican tax plan hasn`t been that beneficial. It hasn`t been something that`s moved the voters.
Look, if you make a good steak, you don`t have to wrap it in bacon, right. So the Republicans passed this tax plan and it doesn`t go anywhere. So then you had Trump two weeks ago saying wait, we`re working on another tax plan to cut taxes by 10 percent. Republican economic policies have not trickled down to a level that have made Americans feel like they want Republicans to continue to run the House. They want someone to check this president.
So look, I mean again, the great economy, I don`t think Trump can receive no credit for it, but Obama gets more of the credit for it, and the Republicans in Congress have not been able to demonstrate that they have a better plan when it comes to the economy, a better plan when it comes to healthcare, and a better plan when it comes to national security. And that`s why they`re probably going to lose tomorrow.
MELBER: We`re about to go because I have so much on the show tonight. But Madison, I want to show you a new statement from Donald Trump who, of course, ran on repealing Obamacare and the protection for pre-existing conditions. Some folks are changing their tune maybe because the election is tomorrow. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We just took out the individual mandate, but anything we do, we will put in pre-existing conditions. So if it gets terminated, we will put pre-existing conditions back in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what if you can`t get that done?
TRUMP: I`ll get it done. I mean that`s part of the deal. I`ll get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I`m curious, Madison, as a Trump supporter, what you think of the fact that he really -- he`s obviously changed his tune going into the midterms. Now he -- and he`s not the only Republican, but he and other Republicans are pretending they`re for protecting pre-existing conditions. Everybody knows, you guys used to brag about it that they want to repeal all of Obamacare, not some of Obamacare.
GESIOTTO: Well, I think the president can want to repeal Obamacare but also protect pre-existing conditions. He understands that the way things are right now is not good for Americans. He understands the fact that the individual mandate under Obamacare has not been good for us. It`s been expensive and people don`t want that.
And so I think we can repeal Obamacare but we can still protect those who have pre-existing conditions and make sure that we come together as Republicans, as Democrats, and as Americans to make sure that we have a better healthcare system moving forward.
MELBER: Jason, final thought?
JOHNSON: Yes, you`ve got to walk it like you talk it. And people hear Republicans talk about repealing the Affordable Care Act for three years now. No one believes they`re going to change their mind and walk that back come election day.
MELBER: Madison, were you expecting Jason to quote amigos?
GESIOTTO: I was.
MELBER: You were? You just -- you could feel the --
JOHNSON: (CROSSTALK) Andre Gillum. He says that all the time.
GESIOTTO: That`s exactly what I was expecting, Ari.
MELBER: You could feel it coming. Look, one thing we don`t often get enough of is people from different perspectives talking in the same conversation, not separate ones, and you guys have both forcefully argued your views here of election eve. People can listen and make up their own minds.
I appreciate both of you, Madison and Jason. Thank you so much.
JOHNSON: Thanks, Ari.
GESIOTTO: Of course. Thanks, Ari.
MELBER: We have a lot more on the show tonight. Fireworks in this Georgia race. The Democratic candidate accusing a Republican opponent of abusing his power and using his official authority to try to keep her from getting elected. A big story.
And we are fact-checking some of the false statements from Trump on the campaign trail. Did you know the rate of his lies are actually increasing?
Later, my exclusive interview with a former "Apprentice" star Kwame Jackson talking about this new reporting that Trump denied him a win on that show because of his race, and Michael Cohen blowing the whistle in a November surprise.
I`m Ari Melber. And you`re watching the special edition of THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: You`re watching a special election edition of THE BEAT.
And tonight, more fireworks in Georgia, one of the top races in the country, where heavyweights like Oprah and two presidents have been campaigning. The latest polls show it`s a tight race or even a tie. And now the Republican candidate, Brian Kemp accused of using his powers as Secretary of State to try to sandbag his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams in the Georgia governor`s race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: It seems like what may have happened here is that Kemp`s office got notified that there were problems, there were evident problems in terms of the security of the Georgia voting system that he oversees. He responded to that notification, essentially by claiming that the Democrats must have been trying to hack into the system, if they found all of those vulnerabilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Reporters are pressing Kemp on this last-minute move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: How does the way it looks though, on the day before the election having you investigate the Democratic party? How does that look?
BRIAN KEMP: Well, you know, I`m not worried about how it looks. I`m doing my job. This is how we would handle any investigation when something like this comes up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s not exactly right. Nothing in Kemp`s job requires using his government post obviously to attack his opponent and a judge ruled he was not doing his job right last week as well when Kemp was ordered to let thousands of voters back on to the rolls that he tried to remove. Abrams, seizing on all of this, is what she argues is a disqualification for the promotion he`s seeking tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: He has failed to do his job. He has failed to protect our information. He`s failed to protect our votes. He`s abusing his power. And he`s not fit to be the next leader of the State of Georgia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: This is an important issue on the eve of the election. And I`m joined by Marc Morial, president, and CEO of the National Urban League. You`ve worked on these issues --
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT & CEO, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE, Thanks for having me.
MELBER: Thanks for being here. You`ve worked on these issues for a long time. What you see in Georgia is nothing new. But does it look even more brazen to you?
MORIAL: It looks brazen, it looks naked, it also looks like an act of political desperation, a last-minute stunt. What makes it so brazen is that it`s being carried out by someone who is a competitor in an election contest, who is using his role as secretary of State and chief elections official, to engage in an active, continued pattern of voter suppression.
Let me tell you the effect it`s having. It is firing up voters. I`ve been all over the country in the last 30 to 60 days. And what I find particularly among younger voters is a sense of outrage that people are taking great effort to try to stop people from voting, to make people -- make it more difficult for people to vote.
So it`s having I think an opposite effect. People do not want to be denied. They`re excited, they`re fired up, and they`re outraged.
MELBER: Take a look here at Georgia voting on a Brian Kemp over the long haul. Because some of these issues are known about only in general. When we get closer to the race and you look at this, 1.5 million voters purged in total, over 200 polling places closed down. I mentioned this is inclusive of other years. But this seems to be a big part of the way he uses his power as secretary of state.
MORIAL: He`s the suppressor in chief. That`s what Brian Kemp is and he`s abusing his power. He should have recused himself a long time ago. He should not even be involved in this. He should have given up the power to make these decisions before he became a candidate for governor of this state.
We are going to have to address this active, outrageous campaign of voter suppression after this election with a new law in the Congress, a new Voting Rights Act --
MELBER: You`re talking about a federal level.
MORIAL: Yes, that protects democracy.
MELBER: To protect it. Stay with me. You`re talking about the policy and the history here. I want to broaden our conversation with reporting from the field as it is election eve. And my friend and colleague Katy Tur have been reporting on these stories from Atlanta.
You can hear what we`ve been discussing. I`ll put the first question to you, Katy. Marc has a theory here that this is going to energize voters. Are you seeing any evidence of that?
KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Well, the voters that I talked to when I was at the Abrams/Obama rally on Friday, they said they were appalled by this. They said what they did was they went out and they voted early, and they double- checked their registration. There are still some though that are really worried about whether their vote is going to count and they`ve got a reason to be worried.
There are 53,000 voter registrations that are on hold in the secretary of state`s office. And I believe you`ve been talking about this, 70 percent of them are African-American. A couple of federal judges have pushed back on this, Ari, and they`ve said, "Hey, listen. You`ve got to make it easier for people to vote. It`s incumbent upon the secretary of state`s office, not upon the voter. You`ve got to make it easier for the voter to correct those discrepancies between the identification, and the registration, or the go to the polling place and show proof of citizenship." So that`s happened but there is a concern on the ground among those who want to go out and cast a vote for Abrams, that somehow their vote will not count.
The opposite is true when you talk to those who are voting for Brian Kemp. When I asked those who showed up at Kemp rallies, are they concerned about voter suppression? Are they concerned about the national perception at the very least of what Georgia is like with these allegations and whether Georgia is a fair place to vote? They brush that off. They either deny the numbers explicitly, say there aren`t 53,000 people on hold. They just don`t believe it outright or they try to turn it back around.
And when I say hey, 70 percent of them are African-Americans, they`ll look at me and they`ll say, "Are you saying African-Americans don`t know how to fill out a form?" Certainly not what I`m saying but they do try to turn it around on reporters.
MELBER: Right. And that`s a little tactic that`s gotten subtraction. I want to ask you since you`re down there as well about the O-factor. Let`s both -- all three of us take a listen to Oprah out there stumping for Abrams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If their efforts to take away your right to vote makes you mad, there`s only one way to make it right. Don`t boo, vote.
OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA EXECUTIVE: For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn`t have the right to vote, and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: People assume that having either of those folks out for a Democrat helps. Are you seeing any indications of that?
TUR: Are you talking to me, Ari?
MELBER: Katy, please, yes.
TUR: I think you are. I`m so sorry. Yes, people are energized by President Obama and they`re energized by Oprah. But they`re the people that were already energized for Stacey Abrams. What those two people are trying to do, what Oprah and Obama are trying to do is get those African- American voters or those low propensity voters here in this state to go out and cast a ballot, to walk in the rain and go to their polling place, to wait in line for as long as they need to in order to cast a vote.
They`re not necessarily talking to those who would show up at a rally. They`re talking to everybody else in this state. And that`s why they`re appealing to the history of voting in this state. They`re appealing to the sacrifices that that their ancestors had to make to get the right to vote. I saw John Lewis onstage on Friday at the Obama-Abrams rally and he said I spilled blood on a bridge in Selma for the right to vote. I`m not asking you to spill blood but I am asking you to go out and vote. Their message has come down to vote, vote, vote, vote, vote.
But if you talk to Abram`s supporters just on the other hand, they`ll say Hollywood money is pouring in and when you -- I`m sorry Kemp`s supporter --
MELBER: To Kemp`s supporters.
TUR: They`ll say Hollywood money is pouring ---
MELBER: Hollywood money.
TUR: Sorry, Hollywood money is pouring into this state. It`s outside money. It`s just like John Ossoff when he was running against Karen Handel and you`ll you saw how that turned out.
MELBER: I`m over time. I want to get Mark one more time --
TUR: That they don`t want San Francisco and New York to come and invade Georgia. I`m done.
MELBER: Just because we`re over time, Marc, your view on which O is the better O to have.
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Double O is better. So we`re encouraging people to go out and vote. Don`t be deterred. Call 1-866-OURVOTE which is our voter protection hotline that the Civil Rights Community is running. But I also think that voters are motivated by the chance to make history in a place like Georgia, in a place like Florida, in a place like Mississippi where Mike Espy is running. And what we`ve got is a new generation of very, very smart, very attractive candidates who are more qualified to be governors or in the case of Mississippi, a U.S. Senate race. So they`re motivated not just by history but also by the chance to make new history.
MELBER: Marc Morial and Katy Tur, two experts who know their way around this race, we`ll be watching tomorrow to thinking about what you said tonight. Thank you so much. Meanwhile, Trump lying more than ever on the campaign trail. We have the numbers and Congresswoman Jackie Speier and the great Howell Raines of the New York Times when we`re back in 30 seconds.
MELBER: Donald Trump is a huge liar. By now most people know that but he doesn`t lie randomly. New data showing Trump is lying far more as the Midterms approach. Here`s the Washington Post`s breakdown of all his lies and misleading claims he told about 200 a month and then it rose in year two but you see it here exploding as the Midterms approach. Up to 800 in September, in October over a thousand lies or misleading claims. That is more than any other month obviously than -- of Trump`s presidency.
Now, take one major domestic law that passed while Trump was president, the tax cuts, they were economists say the eighth largest in history, about 20 percent of the gains went to the top one percent. And they added a trillion dollars in debt over the next decade projected. We were just discussing that in our policy debate. But Trump has been insisting the tax cuts are great and they`re the largest in history which isn`t true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans pass the biggest tax cut and reform in history.
We got tax cuts, biggest tax cuts in the history of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We don`t air those lies here without a clear fact check. Polls show many voters want some kind of check tomorrow on Donald Trump but his supporters stand by him even when -- this is important -- even when they acknowledge he`s not very truthful. Take this brand-new line from Valarie Wunder, a 34-year-old health care worker who spoke to a Times reporter after a recent Trump rally saying "I can`t really say that anything he says is true but I trust him."
I`m joined now by Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier and former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines. That kind of sums it up doesn`t it?
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: It sure does. Most of the Trump supporters just don`t want to be told that they made a mistake. And what we have is the President becoming almost hysterical with the kinds of lies that he is telling, 35 to 45 per rally and it`s all about ginning up that base. And if he talks nice for a few minutes and doesn`t get that adulation, he then flips immediately to get -- bring out the red meat, once again to get that applause.
HOWELL RAINES, FORMER EXECUTIVE EDITOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Ari, the President has done a remarkable thing. He is controlling the state of play of American politics with a popular minority composed mainly of angry white men and the 52 percent of white women who voted for him in 2016 and lies of the glue that hold that minority together. That`s why turnout is so important tomorrow. There`s a disfranchise majority in this country, the 55 percent who don`t approve of Trump. If they don`t turnout tomorrow then these lies and that minority will control the fate of this election.
MELBER: And Trump is really broken that down. I mean, it`s quite common to talk about how he`s normalized bad things and they don`t even get the appropriate they once did. The word lie is something like that. I would imagine it throughout your career, you don`t immediately rush to say that anyone that you disagree with about even a factual matter is a liar. Your paper held back on that for a long time. After your tenure, nowadays, they do they -- do use the L word quite a bit. And Barack Obama who was always looking for at least trying to start with common ground is talking more about lies as well now. Take a listen to Obama on the L word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But what we have not seen at least in my memory is where right now you`ve got politicians, these Republicans are just a blatantly, repeatedly, boldly, shamelessly lied, just making up stuff.
MELBER: How important is that kind of confrontation for people to get the gist of it or are we just entering a decline where everyone`s accusing everyone of lying and it sort of just reduces any punishment for?
RAINES: I think the game board has changed. We`ve had some recreational liars in American politics who stretch things to liven things up. I could name a few but I won`t right now. What we have here is a relentless purposeful liar and it`s the -- tomorrow is a civic report card on whether Donald Trump is going to get -- be able to get away with this pathological tactic or whether those I`m calling the disfranchise majority will rise up and turn this election.
MELBER: Let me push you on that as we say around here, because it doesn`t that go too far and put too much to chance? I mean, if voters reject lies and the Dems win 18 seats but not the House, what you just said could be interpreted as saying well, I guess it`s okay when in fact his approval is underwater as we`ve reported and the Dems may pick up something without winning.
RAINES: Well, I think -- maybe I`m not being clear about what I think. But on the question of the 23 votes, that radioactive number, if Donald Trump is able to hold the Democrats to that -- below that number and they don`t control the House after this election, he will have pulled off with lies as his artillery, one of the greatest barnstorming tricks in American political history.
MELBER: And lying his way to two consecutive elections even without a majority of support. Since we have you here as a Member of Congress, was Nancy Pelosi out over her skis saying they`re definitely going to win. Would you say tonight you`re definitely going to win or how would you put it to those watching?
SPEIER: I would say that if the under 30s and the suburban women come out, we are definitely going to retake the House.
MELBER: That`s your --
SPEIER: But it really requires them to vote. And the numbers are suggesting that they`re voting in remarkable numbers. Over 31 million people have already actually voted. We know that in states like Texas, five times as many people under the age of 30 are registered to vote in this Midterm election so I think we`re going to see something pretty remarkable happen and you`re going to hear the American people speaking up in a manner they haven`t had the opportunity to speak up for in the last two years.
MELBER: Well, you put it that way. We do -- we do a fair amount of talking around here. That`s what we`re known for but we`re going to start listening as soon as people start voting in the morning. We`ll be listening to see if as you say that is the message we get as we listen the American electorate. Congressman -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier and New York Times` Howell Raines, thank you both.
Coming up, Michael Cohen accused his old boss Donald Trump of using racist language repeatedly including while hosting the apprentice. I have live reaction from Kwame Jackson, the Apprentice star that Trump reportedly smeared. That`s next.
MELBER: Welcome back to our special election coverage and many are calling it this Midterms November Surprise. Donald Trump`s own lawyer leaking allegations that Trump makes racist comments behind closed doors. Michael Cohen dropping that bomb in the pivotal final weekend of the campaign. The White House hasn`t denied this story and Cohen got specific alleging Trump said this about Apprentice finalist Kwame Jackson "there`s no way I can let this black expletive win.
Kwame Jackson is here for his first T.V. interview since the story broke. The Harvard Business School grad made it quite far on the premiere season of The Apprentice and Trump fixated on Kwame as a tough competitor in some of his discussions with other contestants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So it comes down to a candidate with a high school diploma who has led well and a Harvard Business School graduate. Nick, you think Kwame is good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not talking --
TRUMP: George, George, let me finish. Do you think Kwame is good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s good. He`s a Harvard guy. He`s very smart.
TRUMP: Do you think he`s good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not at all.
TRUMP: This is pretty tough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it`s hard.
TRUMP: You`re fired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Kwame, thanks for coming on THE BEAT. Other than Michael Cohen`s account, have you ever separately heard the Trump made those kinds of racially charged or racist comments about you?
KWAME JACKSON, FORMER CONTESTANT, THE APPRENTICE: Well, Ari, thank you for having me, number one. It`s an exciting time, it is Midterm Election time, it`s the game that we`ve all been waiting for and so we`re all ready to jump in. And no, I personally never heard that language directly from Trump but what I want to urge people to do number one, is stop playing racial bingo with President Trump.
Stop waiting for him to give you the keywords so that he can get a triple letter score and we can say oh, he`s a racist or some bigot thing has been knowledge that we already knew. Whether it`s the way that he speaks about the NFL players, the way he spoke about mayor Gillum, the way he speaks about Mexican immigrants, the way he speaks about the caravan, it`s like how many times does --
MELBER: And we can -- we can get to that but let me do my fact-finding, part of my job. This is a huge story. I think you and I know if Barack Obama were alleged credibly by a close associate or attorney Friday before the Midterms of making racially charged or racist anti-White statements. I think it would be everywhere all day, all night, all networks forever. And this one like something seems for some to come and go. So on the -- on the allegation here, do you believe Michael Cohen`s account that Trump said this about you are based on your interactions and what you know, you`re not sure whether it`s true.
JACKSON: No, I certainly believe it at this point. I think I said there`s been enough data point that says that you know President Trump is a racist. And I think we should stop playing this racial bingo with him to figure out how many times he has to prove that he is who he is.
MELBER: Yes. Let me play for you -- and I`m afraid now, I`m not sure if I`m -- I don`t want to play bingo but I`m afraid I`m going to play something that some people may not have heard that is part of Donald Trump`s closing argument, a statement he made here at one of his rallies here. This was Tennessee October. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This great state, the State of Tennessee was forged through the sweat and sacrifice of tough pioneer men and women, tough people, good genes you have, good gene. This is the state of Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Do you think that part of Donald Trump`s closing argument in these Midterms has been racist and if so, what should people do about it?
JACKSON: Well, let`s not forget that Tennessee`s also the state of Nathan Bedford Forrest and the state that the Ku Klux Klan was started. So you know, Tennessee has a mixed history and I don`t want to take anything away from that great state but let`s play both ends of that spectrum. In terms of what people should do, people should finally get out and vote their conscience. What they have to realize is stop acting like your vote doesn`t matter, whether it was Georgia whether it`s Florida. Florida was only won by President Trump by one percentage point which totaled about 130,000 of the 20 million people that are in Florida.
So people have to realize that these elections are going to come down to super, super small marginal numbers. Maybe one County, maybe a couple precincts, so we have to get out and vote. Like representative said, we have to vote like we`ve never voted before.
MELBER: Exactly. You mentioned Florida, stay with me because you have of course all the energy in Florida Governor race. Kerry Sanders is down there for us. The contestants you may have heard about Mayor Andrew Gillum and Congressman Ron DeSantis. Polling showing Gillum up now by seven points. Kerry live in Tallahassee, let`s start with that energy including Donald Trump having said this is a choice between an educated man and a Dem who is a quote thief. What are you seeing as all of those type of attacks play out of the ground, Kerry?
KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Ari, clearly race has been a factor in this since the beginning. People just don`t like to talk about it. From the very beginning when Andrew Gilliam got the nod by the Democrats to be the candidate, he was asked about becoming -- the history here -- about becoming the first black governor of the state and he said I am vying to be the governor of the state of Florida. I happen to also be black. He has downplayed this. But from the beginning, the Republican candidate here Ron DeSantis has many people said made that racist dog whistle. At the very beginning he said and told voters in Florida that he didn`t want the voters to monkey this up. Many people heard a double entendre in that. And then as you just mentioned, there was the tweet from Donald Trump. In that tweet Donald Trump saying that --
MELBER: Calling him a thief.
SANDERS: -- saying some words that upset people. I think you have it on the screen there. And then finally we just had Sonny Perdue the Secretary of Agriculture saying to voters here, reportedly saying that this is a cotton-picking important election. Again, words that people heard and when they heard it, they heard a double entendre there.
MELBER: And that`s why we want to check in on the ground. Kerry Sanders will be covering Florida all through tomorrow night, a busy time. Kwame Jackson, thanks for taking your story to THE BEAT. We appreciate it.
JACKSON: Thank you. And get out and vote.
MELBER: There you have it. Now coming up, SNL taking aim at everybody including Democratic blue wave election anxiety. We`re going to show that to you and a bunch more coming up.
MELBER: The polls show Democrats up and Nancy Pelosi has predicted Democrats will win the House tomorrow. After 2016 many are worried about taking anything for granted. So worried that they`re anxious about the lead, a dynamic that SNL captured in this fake mocking ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats are taking back the House. It`s a win we need and a win we`re going to get. I`m sure of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: White women promised to do the right thing this time. They`re not going to let us down, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s still a long road. Kids, go inside! Mommy told you, go inside until Tuesday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until Tuesday?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just go the (BLEEP) inside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: If you`ve ever felt like any of that for any reason maybe you can laugh along, but we don`t know what`s going to happen tomorrow. We stress that. That`s also why the news can matter and why it`s so exciting. So we encourage you to check out MSNBC all-day live coverage from across the country and I will be back reporting as part of our primetime special coverage which starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern anchored tomorrow night by Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow.
MELBER: That does it for me on THE BEAT. Special election coverage starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, but more importantly right now, "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.
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