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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/27/12

Guests: Katherine Eban, Elizabeth Warren

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: That`s great to hear you`re going to have Nancy Pelosi on tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a huge day, one of those days we live for in this business. ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: No doubt. MADDOW: Yes. Thanks, man. I`ll see you tomorrow. SCHULTZ: Thank you. MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Thirteen hours from right this second, we will be reading the most eagerly anticipated Supreme Court decision since the conservative majority of the court decided to make George W. Bush the president more than a decade ago. At 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court in its sort of baroque ceremonial ostentatious way are going to do three things all at once: they`re going to post the health reform ruling online. They`re going to hand the document to court reporters that contains the ruling. And inside the court, they will reportedly read excerpts of their ruling from the bench. All those happen all at once at 10:00 a.m. Now, there`s not going to be any cameras in the courtroom, but all of those things will happen at the same time at 10:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning. And that makes today one of those eve of days in American politics. On the eve of this big decision, you can sort of tell by what Republicans and Democrats were doing in getting ready for the decision tomorrow. You could sort of tell at least in reading the political body language that Democrats pretty much think they`re going to lose tomorrow and Republicans pretty much think they`re going to win. At least that`s what it seemed like today when congressional Democrats held an event at the Capitol this morning that was essentially their prebuttal of the court`s decision to remember. Democrats have also begun fund-raising off the court`s as yet to be announced ruling. The Democratic House Campaign Committee started asking for donations today to fight for universal health care in the event that the court strikes down the health reform law tomorrow. So, that was on the Democratic side. On the Republican side, well, the Republicans sort of picked their team captains today for who will be speaking for congressional Democrats in response to the ruling tomorrow. Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Congressman Tom Price will be inside the Supreme Court tomorrow to hear the ruling, which is not the kind of thing I`m sure you plan for if you think you`re getting bad news. They will then exit the court and leave the immediately response for them afterwards. Republican House Speaker John Boehner had previously said there will be no spiking of the ball if it goes the Republicans` way. We will see how restrained they can be if that is the case. At the executive level, the White House went out of its way to say where the president will be when the decision comes down tomorrow morning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: You might not be able to answer this, but do you know where the president will be when he finds out about the decision tomorrow? I know Jeremy had to find out like everyone else does. JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He`ll be in the room in my office. (LAUGHTER) CARNEY: We`ll all await the decision and learn of it at the same time you do. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Whether or not Jay Carney was kidding, at least maybe President Obama is going to be watching the ruling come down on TV in his press secretary`s office. Now, as for the Mitt Romney campaign, they are doing a $50,000 a plate fund-raiser with Donald Trump tomorrow. Seriously. It`s another one of those win a dinner with Donald and Mitt events. They scheduled that for health reform ruling day. Donald Trump announced in a tweet yesterday, quote, "looking forward to the dine with Mitt and Donald this Thursday," Thursday as in tomorrow. The Romney campaign for their part is not confirming or denying that this event is happening even though Donald Trump says it is. Quote, "Romney spokesman Rick Gorka told the `Associated Press` there would be no meeting with Donald Trump this week, but the spokesman refused to say whether Mr. Romney and Mr. Trump would appear together at the Manhattan fundraiser. So, whether the Romney campaign expects that health reform is going to be upheld or it`s going to be struck down and millions of Americans are going to lose their health insurance, either way, it`s strange to think they thought it would be good messaging to put Mitt Romney with Donald Trump that day, with the birther guy again. We will see if Mr. Romney follows through with this planned event tomorrow. But also tomorrow, and I think it`s not coincidental that it`s happening tomorrow -- also tomorrow is the day the Republican controlled House is going to hold a contempt of Congress vote against Eric Holder. A contempt vote that is based on the conservative conspiracy theory at the Obama Justice Department conspired to secretly foment gun violence in Mexico so you would feel bad about gun violence so you wouldn`t feel bad when they got on with their plan to abolish the Second Amendment and take away everybody`s guns. This is the conspiracy theory that has motivated the whole Republican Fast and Furious attack on Eric Holder. The vote tomorrow is as far as this thing is ever going to go. There`s not going to be a contempt of Congress vote that goes against Eric Holder in the Senate, and when the House recommendation contempt of Congress gets forwarded along so the attorney general can be prosecuted, it will be this Justice Department that will decide whether or not to proceed with something like that. So, those things aren`t going to happen. This is it. The apex of the whole Fast and Furious thing, the last thing that is going to happen on this politically is tomorrow. And Republicans have scheduled that vote for the day everybody knows is going to be Supreme Court health reform ruling day. They could have scheduled -- excuse me, I`m going to do that again. Hold on. Excuse me. Speaking of conspiracy theories, I`m going to have to cough for about five minutes. We have to go to break. It`s a conspiracy, I`m sure. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Is there any evident that Fast and Furious was essentially to promote a longer gun control initiative? What`s the evidence? REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I never indicated that was the case. So, I don`t know whether that`s the case because we don`t have the documents. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: John Boehner did not have to schedule the Fast and Furious vote tomorrow on health reform day. He did not have to schedule this vote to happen on the day it was going to be totally buried by other news. But if like John Boehner apparently, you do not believe in the conspiracy theory that the whole Fast and Furious thing is a secret plot to get rid of the second amendment and take away everyone`s guns, there`s not much to this scandal. If John Boehner does not believe in that conspiracy theory, perhaps it`s not a coincidence he has scheduled the vote on this conspiracy theory scandal to happen on a day where it will be overshadowed by a much bigger story. The conspiracy theory behind Fast and Furious is also getting pushed back in other quarters on the right as well. Today, the "National Review" -- which is a hardcore conservative, fairly influential publication on the right, ran a scathing takedown of the Republicans` Fast and Furious obsession and the conspiracy theory on which it is based. Quote, "The theory that Fast and Furious was devised to promote gun control goes far beyond the evidence and it does not withstand scrutiny. Chairman Darrell Issa should be ashamed to have dabbled on it and should fully retract his comments supporting the conspiracy theory, unless has a considerable amount of evidence that he has not shared with the public." So even as the speaker of the House is not buying it, even as the right is getting shy about House Republicans going so far with this cockamamie idea, frankly, the gun lobby believes it and maybe that`s all they need. The NRA believes the conspiracy theory. Of course, they do. The gun lobby wakes up in the morning and yells they`re coming fur our guns before they open their eyes to see what room they are in and whether they`re still naked, and it gun lobby being so into this as a conspiracy theory is part of why the vote is going to be so overwhelming against Eric Holder in the House tomorrow. The NRA does a little report card on every election in the country to say whether or not the candidates are pro-gun to their satisfaction or not, and the NRA has decided that this vote against Eric Holder tomorrow on this conspiracy theory is key to how you get rated by the NRA for re-election this year. And that is pretty obviously why even a handful of Democrats today said they would plan to go along with the Republicans on this vote. They can`t afford have a bad rating from the NRA. And make no mistake. The NRA rating on this vote is about the conspiracy theory. That is what they think Fast and Furious is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: An attempt to blame the Second Amendment, blame American gun owners, and get more gun legislation here in the United States. I mean, that sounds more like a South American dictatorship than it does what we expect from our Department of Justice in the United States of America. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: There`s this sort of cognitive dissonance in the mainstream media reporting on this because I think Republicans realize their conspiracy theory about Fast and Furious sounds crazy in mixed company. And so, as they have tried to mainstream this thing, they have tried to make it sound like at least some of element of this would-be scandal is not about the conspiracy theory at all. They have tried to create a mainstream impression what this could be about is also the federal government allowing inappropriate gun sales to go through and that itself is scandalous. It`s about the government not seizing enough guns from people who are trying to buy guns in this country. If that were really the scandal here, you really think the NRA would be all for it? You really think the NRA would be saying, oh, yes, this is really important to us, that the federal government crack down and block more gun sales. We insist you vote on that. That would be insane. This whole scandal and this whole vote tomorrow is about the conspiracy theory that President Obama purposely wanted there be gun violence so he could steal your guns. And to the extent that anybody in the mainstream media politics fell for this latest spin that there was something other than that motivating all of this, today, that all fell apart, too. The effort to mainstream this story involved sidelining the conspiracy theory and you still have to admit it was egregious and offensive and stupid for the ATF to be letting these gun sales go ahead. Why would they purposely allow 2,000 guns to be purchased illegally and trafficked into Mexico when they could have stopped them? Why did they stand idly by and watch this illegal guns move when they could have stepped in? Even if you don`t believe the conspiracy theory, at least you can see how wrong that is. That was the non-conspiracy theory part of this would-be scandal. But today, "Fortune" magazine blew that out of the water. Investigative reporter Katherine Eban, who is going to be joining us in just a moment, she reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents. She interviewed 39 people, including seven law enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case and she decimated that very basic part of the Fast and Furious case, the part about ATF agents supposedly, knowingly allowing illegal guns to be trafficked into Mexico when they could have stopped them. She says, quote, "Quite simply, there`s a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that straw purchasers under surveillance by the AFT repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Darrell Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell `Fortune" that ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be trafficked, jus the opposite. They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws which stymied them at every turn." So, the strategy was not, let`s allow these guns to flow freely into Mexico. It was the opposite. It was: let`s monitor these gun sales, let`s arrest these people buying all of these guns. But as ATF discovered, there wasn`t anything they could do because the purchase of the guns in Arizona was seen by prosecutors as legal. As Ms. Eban reports, quote, "Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they`re 18 years or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits and buyers are allowed to resell the guns." All a buyer in Arizona has to do is certified that he`s buying all of the guns for himself. Certify it. But here`s the thing, look at this, a buyer who certified the guns were for himself then handed them off to somebody else minutes later, had not necessarily lied and was free to change his mind. So in other words, you can walk into an Arizona gun shop, buy 100 guns, tell the gun shop you`re buying them for yourself, then walk into the parking lot and start handing them over to other people. You haven`t broken the law, even though you certified they were all for you, you just changed your mind between the store and parking lot. You can do that. The gun laws in Arizona made it next impossible for the ATF to make any arrests or stop the flow the guns. They weren`t allowing these gun sales to go through. They were essentially powerless to stop them. And even when they tried, they were held back. From the piece, "Their greatest difficulty by far was convincing prosecutors that they had significant proof to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers. By June 2010, the agents had sent the office a list of 31 suspects they wanted to arrest, with 46 pages outlining their illegal acts. For the next seven months, prosecutors did not indict a single suspect. None of the ATF agents doubted the Fast and Furious guns were being purchased to commit crimes in Mexico, but that was nearly impossible to prove to prosecutor`s satisfaction and agents could not seize guns or arrest suspects after being directed not to do so by a prosecutor." So, because of what our gun laws are and how they are enforced in this country, the ATF wasn`t letting the guns walk. They were frustrated observers being blocked from prosecutors from stopping these gun sales that they thought were nuts. That`s what happened, according to this rather devastating piece of new reporter from "Fortune." But this vote is going to happen tomorrow in the House, and John Boehner has buried it on health reform ruling day. The Republican and NRA case for that vote against Eric Holder today relies on a conspiracy theory cooked up frankly by the militia blogger who told people to break the windows of Democratic Party offices after health care reform passed in the first place. And the rest of the explanation for why they are pursuing this Fast and Furious vote tomorrow, the part not link to the conspiracy theory, seems to have just fallen all the way apart. If you want to experience in your home an appropriate metaphor for just what happened to the story in politics, what you should do is this: go to your kitchen, take your silverware drawer out of the cabinet, hold it over your head and turn it upside down and shake it. That sharp, clattering disaster in your kitchen is an appropriate metaphor for what has just become of the Fast and Furious scandal in the House of Representatives. Joining us now is Katherine Eban. She`s "Forbes" magazine contributor, and she`s author of the article "The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal." Ms. Eban, thank you very much for being here. I`m sure you`ve been very much in demand today. KATHERINE EBAN, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: Thank you for having me. It`s a pleasure. MADDOW: You know a lot more about this than I do. I have been covering it for a few days. You`ve done a ton of reporting on this. Can you tell me what I got wrong in my description there if I miss anything up? EBAN: The only thing you got wrong is I`m contributor for "Fortune", not "Forbes". MADDOW: Did I say "Forbes"? EBAN: And everything you said was absolutely accurate. MADDOW: That`s a very humiliating thing to have gotten wrong. I hereby quit, I`m sorry. EBAN: Please don`t. MADDOW: So, did agents intentionally walk guns across the border? You tell the story of one instance, one gun, or a handful of guns in that one instance being walked, but that was not part of the Fast and Furious program. EBAN: No, and let`s set that aside for a moment. In the Fast and Furious case which was one investigation into a group of straw purchasers, there was no operational tactic by ATF to walk guns. What there was, was a protracted struggle to arrest kids, not even old enough to buy beer, who were obviously straw purchasers, and there was a continual struggle with prosecutors because as they interpreted the laws, the sales were legal, the transfers were legal, and the agents did not have grounds to make seizures or arrests. MADDOW: You write about sort of incredible anecdotal stories about the straw purchasers -- a guy who`s on food stamps. So, obviously, a low- income person, a person low income enough to be on food stamps, nevertheless, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on weaponry, a young unemployed person spending five figures on a 50 caliber sniper rifle on a tripod. Is it illegal to be a straw purchaser, and if it is, why didn`t they get arrested? It seems pretty clear. EBAN: That`s a great question. It`s illegal to be a straw purchasers, but how do you make that case? Prosecutors made it almost impossible to make those arrests and to seize those guns. They were continually determining in their analysis of the law that the sales and the transfers were legal. ATF did not agree. There is copious evidence that ATF agents demanded we want to seize these guns. We want to make these arrests, but prosecutors blocked them. Now, we`re a nation of laws. ATF agents can under decide that they`re going to make arrests or seize guns without prosecutors` OK. So, if they have asked and prosecutors have answered and the answer is no, that`s it. MADDOW: Is this a prosecutor scandal? Were the prosecutors` decisions in these cases wild departures from the law? Were they making prosecutorial discretion decisions that were wildly incompatible with what had previously bun done or are the gun laws really, really lax? EBAN: That`s a really hard question to answer and I spend a lot of time and energy in my reporting trying to determine just that. You know, there is enormous differences in prosecution styles and prosecutorial interpretation of laws in each jurisdiction. Now, Dave Vogt (ph), the group`s supervisor of Phoenix group seven in his frustration and despair was actually writing in prosecutors in other jurisdictions. I mean, they were going as far as New York to see if they could find prosecutors who would take tease cases. And that was described in some congressional testimony by an ATF agent named Pete Forsele (ph). So, it`s very hard to say. You know, I think what you have is a perfect storm of incredibly weak laws in Arizona, prosecutors who did not seem particularly eager to enforce the law, and an absolute river of iron onslaught of guns being purchased and pouring across the border. I mean, just to put this in perspective. In Arizona where you have 853 licensed firearms dealer in Maricopa County, here`s what passes for best business practices. There`s a firearms dealer who has a note on his door which says one AK-47 per customer per day. Those are the limits that are set by responsible gun dealers. Otherwise, it`s perfectly acceptable for an 18-year-old kid to go into a store, put down cash, and buy 50 AK- 47s. MADDOW: To the -- bottom line here in terms of the way the mainstream media is going to cover this tomorrow. The way that this is short-handed by every reputable journalistic association in the country is a woebegone program in which agents knowingly let illegal guns walk. According to your reporting, that fundamental, basic description of this program and therefore this scandal is untrue and people should instead describe it how? EBAN: People need to describe this as a very tough effort to crack down on straw purchasers and seize guns that they were unable to do for an array of reasons. And guns therefore went across the border and reached criminals. MADDOW: Katherine Eban, "Fortune" magazine reporter, investigative reporter, who really did just blow this out of the water today, the day before this vote in the House -- thank you for being for being here. I`m sorry for screwing up your introduction and for having a coughing fit which you have to sit through. It`s really unwelcoming and I won`t do it again. EBAN: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. Tonight for the interview, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is here. And best new thing in the world today has been plucked from the infinite vastness of the Internet machine to be dually trumpeted. We did a good thing, it ended up. We didn`t really mean to but it ended up being a good deed. And that`s the best new thing in the world today. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Well, last we checked in on Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, we had just stubbed his tongue while trying to convince a radio interviewer he`s working on a lot of serious and important matters all the time. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Each and every day I have been in a U.S. senator, I have been either discussing issues, leading on issues, in secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders, talking, voting, working on issues every single day. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: Secret meetings with kings and queens. That seems weird. I mean, it didn`t make him look like a bad guy. Just made him seem sort of in over his head like someone who isn`t really sure about what he`s doing, trying to sound the way he thinks people who are sure of what they`re doing sound when they`re talking about things they`re sure of. Anyway, Scott Brown`s communications team was quick to apply a soothing ointment to that unfortunate flare up. They emailed Greg Sargent at "The Washington Post" a clarification. The clarification was this, quote, "Senator Brown was speaking generally about private meetings he has had with foreign and domestic leaders." OK. So, private meetings, not secret meetings. So, not secret meetings with kings and queens but private meetings with kings and queens? Who are those kings and queens he`s meeting with? Later on that same day, another missive from the senator`s office had to find its ways to the "Washington Post". The second clarification read, quote, "He misspoke when he said kings and queens." Some days I bet being a spokes person is a really bad job. All right. So no secret meeting, no kings and queens. Massachusetts Democrats did not let this go, and it turns out that it`s not just pure partisan pleasure they`re taking in mocking Senator Brown for this one wrong thing he misspoke about this one time. I mean, they`re definitely taking partisan pleasure here, you can tell, because they have set their ad to "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. But they`re also making a factual point that was frankly missed by everybody else including me who reported on the whackadoo kings and queens thing. The thing they`re bringing to the fore here is that Scott Brown didn`t just say the kings and queens thing that one time when his office said he misspoke. Scott Brown says this all the time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (MUSIC) BROWN: Kings and queens. The world leaders and business leaders, kings and queens. The kings and queens. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So he didn`t just misspeak and say the kings and queens thing once. He says it a lot. What`s that about? I would love to ask him. I would love to interview Senator Brown and ask him about the kings and the queens and the lot of other stuff. But the senator does not share my desire for us to speak together. Senator Brown`s opponent in this year`s big election is Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. And while where wait for the call that I fear will never come from the senator himself, the woman who could be in that senate seat as of next year, Elizabeth Warren, will be joining us for the interview, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This was a debate held in this year`s Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire, two days before they voted in their primary this year. The debate was sponsored by the "Manchester Union Leader" newspaper. Now, a few weeks before this debate, in January, that same newspaper hosting the debate endorsed one of these candidates in the race. They endorsed Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination. So, technically, while they were sponsoring this debate, they had a horse in the race. They had endorsed one of the candidates. Nobody much cared because that`s kind of a normal thing about debates. Here`s a debate a couple months ago in the Austin, Texas, mayor`s race, sponsored by the "Austin American Statesman" newspaper, which endorsed the older guy on the right there, the current mayor, the guy you just saw a second ago, him. This was a debate held in the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race between Ted Kennedy and a guy you might have heard of named Mitt Romney. That debate was sponsored by the "Boston Globe" and the "Boston Herald". The "Boston Globe" endorsed Ted Kennedy that year. The "Boston Herald" endorsed Mitt Romney that year. The organizations that sponsor debates sometimes also endorse one of the candidates in those debates. It happens all the time, at every level of debating. This year in Massachusetts, U.S. Senator Scott Brown is running for re-election against Elizabeth Warren. Before Scott Brown, the seat in the Senate he currently holds now was held for decades by Ted Kennedy, by Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Asked to participate in a debate sponsored by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Scott Brown decided there`s a new rule for debates. He said he would not participate in that Kennedy Institute debate if anybody associated with the Kennedy Institute was going to make an endorsement in the race. Now, he didn`t just mean somebody who was going to be moderating the debate and asking the questions or anything like that. What Republican Senator Scott Brown insisted on rather was that the widow of Ted Kennedy personally be banned from making an endorsement in the Senate race because she has an association with her late husband`s institute. To be clear, there was never any indication that Vicki Kennedy was going to be participating in the debate in any way or asking the questions or anything like that. Just because she`s associated with the institute named for her late husband, Scott Brown said he forbid her from making any endorsement in the election before the debate, after the debate, ever -- all the way through to the election. Scott Brown`s condition for accepting that debate was a personal endorsement ban on the late Ted Kennedy`s wife. If you didn`t get that, he said that debate just wouldn`t be fair. When Ted Kennedy`s widow, Vicki Kennedy, responded the way you think somebody would respond to something like that, Scott Brown said he would not participate in the debate, but he said he would like to do a debate on a conservative talk radio show in Boston hosted by a man who said he is a personal friend of Scott Brown and his wife. So that`s where Scott Brown is tonight. He`s having a debate on a conservative talk radio show in Boston hosted by his friend. And he`s having that debate alone. Joining us here now, without Scott Brown, is his opponent, Elizabeth Warren. She was scheduled for this interview a long time ago before it was clear he would be debating himself alone tonight. So the timing of all this, Scott Brown on his friend`s radio show, and Elizabeth Warren here now, this frankly is all just a fun coincidence. Blessed be the news gods. Elizabeth Warren, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I appreciate it. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CANDIDATE: Thanks. It`s good to be here. MADDOW: Has your campaign been able to sit down with Senator Brown`s campaign and hammer out terms for debates? Normally, this stuff does not all happen in public. It`s just kind of worked out, out of the spotlight. WARREN: You know, look, I don`t get how this would have worked out, but after I got the nomination three weeks ago, for the Democratic nomination to run for the Senate, the next Monday morning, we sent an e- mail to Scott Brown`s office and said, gosh, we`ve got a lot of invitations for debates, we figure you`ve got a lot of invitations, let`s sit down, let`s sort them out, let`s talk them through, and let`s figure out how many debates we can do, where they`ll be. Let`s be sure we get diversity all around the state. And they said, no. I really mean this, they called me back and said, no. I said, what do you mean, no? They said no, they won`t talk about it. They won`t even talk about the debates. So then Scott Brown`s campaign manager started accepting some debates like this one you just mentioned, and refusing others, and so the whole thing has been three weeks of kind of this public thing over debates, including the business around the Kennedy Institute. And including now two regional debates, one in Worcester and one in New Bedford down on the south, that would involve important issues and he`s said, no, not doing them. So, that`s where we are. We`ve got four television debates which I think is good, but it took a lot of effort to get them there, and I really genuinely wish we had more because there are a lot of issues we should be talking about. I genuinely wish we were going to be in central Mass in and southern Mass, and I think it`s a mistake not to do that, but I think it`s hard to debate alone. So there we are. MADDOW: Right. Well, Scott Brown attempted it tonight on his friend`s radio show. And we listened in on the interview, and one of the things he said, he made some news, do we have the sound? We have the sound of this. He was asked about the vote -- due to happen tomorrow in the House about Attorney General Eric Holder. He called for Eric Holder`s resignation. Listen. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) BROWN: Attorney General Holder, you can`t effectively serve the president anymore. And for the best interest of the country, I feel he should step down and resign. And it`s really -- he`s lost the confidence of the American people. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: This is the first time I believe that Scott Brown has called for the attorney general to resign. What`s your response to that and what`s your take on that same issue? WARREN: You know, just one more politician. I mean, this is really all about politics and playing this game in Washington. And the Republicans think they`ve got something here, and he`s just seeing if he can turn up the temperature on it. I think this is why people get disgusted by politics. I think this is why people say, I don`t want anything to do with it. You know, I go around the commonwealth here in Massachusetts and I meet with people, big groups of people, I`ll ask, how many people in here are another out of work or have someone in your family, someone you love, care about, who is out of work. Someone you know. Hands go up all over the room. There were three jobs bills last fall, three jobs bills that would have supported jobs here in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Scott Brown voted against all three of them. We should be talking about that. We should be talking about why that happens. Not playing political games. We should be talking about how kids are going to pay for college education. We should talk about accountability on Wall Street, and whether or not JPMorgan and the kind of practices it still engages in put our economy at risk. There`s really serious stuff on the table. And that`s what it is we should be talking about. MADDOW: Right now, in Massachusetts, home sales are up. They`re up for five straight months now. They`re up 35 percent over this time last year. Is Massachusetts into a solid recovery? And what is the most urgent federal policy matter that would help Massachusetts further? WARREN: Well, home sales are up, but foreclosures are also up. There are a lot of people who are under water on their mortgages here in Massachusetts. We had 47,000 people who have lost their homes since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. I look at it this way. Massachusetts is recovering better than much of the rest of the country. And that`s partly because we have made a lot of investments in our people here in Massachusetts, and trying to keep our in infrastructure going so businesses can flourish, and trying to help our kids get educated. But we can`t do this alone. The country is in trouble and Massachusetts still has a lot of work to do on the jobs front, on the education front, on the infrastructure front. There`s a lot we have to do here. MADDOW: In terms of national politics right now and the way that your candidacy has captured the imagination of a lot of progressives around the country, liberals have been excited about your candidacy, about the way you have talked about some economic issues, fairness on the tax code and things like that. One of the things that everybody in the country on their seats about is what the Supreme Court is going to do tomorrow. It seems from reading the political body language like the Republicans think the Supreme Court is going to strike down health care reform and Democrats seem to be worried that is going to happen. Do you have a prediction, and how do you think the country should greet the potential striking down of health reform? What should we do next if that`s what the Supreme Court does tomorrow? WARREN: No, I don`t have a prediction. I don`t know what they`ll do tomorrow. I have my own view that based on the legal precedence, it`s clear that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. But whether or not five justices in the Supreme Court will decide that that`s the case, I don`t know. You know, I want to use this -- we`re going to have to see what happens on Affordable Care before we figure out what the right thing to do is by way of response. But we need to use this moment to reflect on the importance of the Supreme Court and who sits on the Supreme Court. You know, it`s not so long ago that we had the Citizens United and saw just this week see it reinforced that the same five justices are saying, hey, corporate interests can just take the electoral process by the throat and squeeze as hard as they want. You know, the Supreme Court is wading into really deep waters and they`re doing it in ways that are -- I think that worries all, and it`s a reminder that who sits in the United States Senate to review those nominations to vote on those nominations, really does matter. And so I think this is -- it will be about the Affordable Care Act tomorrow, but it will also be about the Supreme Court tomorrow. MADDOW: Elizabeth Warren, there Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts -- thank you for being with us tonight and good luck working out the debate schedule with your opponent. I really appreciate your time. WARREN: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. Scott Brown, anytime. is my e-mail address. I`d be happy to -- and you`re welcome here anytime. All right, everybody. Raise your right hand, repeat after me, I, state your name, pledge allegiance to Mitt Romney. You can do it with me now asking or with a Republican official demanding it. That story is next. I, state your name -- (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We have a best new thing in the world coming up right at the end of the show. It is very good news. It`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: In November, most of the smart money says President Obama should win the great state of New Mexico with relative ease. Polls show the president leading Mitt Romney in New Mexico by double digits. But eight years ago, in 2004, when George W. Bush was running for re- election, New Mexico was a battle ground. As part of the Republican effort of 2004 to win that swing state, then Vice President Dick Cheney scheduled a big speech in Albuquerque just a few months before Election Day. The point was to encourage them to come out and hear their president`s message. But if you wanted to be able to hear Dick Cheney that day, you had to jump through one strange hoop. In order to get a ticket to attend that Dick Cheney event, you first had to sign a loyalty oath -- an oath of loyalty not to the United States of America, but to George W. Bush. The oath read, "I, full name, do hereby endorse George W. Bush for re- election of the United States." The grammatically challenged form warned anyone who signed the pledge they were consenting to use and release your name by Bush/Cheney as an endorsing of President Bush. So, what if you didn`t want to sign it? What if you just wanted to hear what your vice president said? Too bad. No loyalty oath, no ticket. A couple months later in 2004 at a Republican event in Florida, a party official asked everybody in attendance to stand, raise their right hands, and recite a pledge of allegiance to George W. Bush, not to the country, but to that one person. In this loyalty oath, voters were told to say, "I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States." What do you think would happen if Democrats asked voters to stand, raise their right hands, and literally pledge allegiance to Barack Obama? But even after the Bush/Cheney team left office, loyalty oaths to specific Republican politicians have kept popping up with kind of surprising frequency. I know it sounds strange, but it`s true. Just three months ago, in April, the Kansas Republican Party told every Republican in the legislature to sign a loyalty oath to their legislature`s Republican leadership. Then, two weeks later, at the national level, members of the Republican National Committee were invited to a private meeting with Mitt Romney in Arizona, this was before he secured the nomination, but in order to attend that meeting, RNC members were told they had to sign an oath pledging their loyalty to Mitt Romney, in writing. This is not just pledging that you do to -- to say that you really support your party. Both parties occasionally try to get people to swear to that, in terms of participating in open primaries and stuff like that. But what the Republicans have grown really comfortable with is rather pledging an oath to a particular Republican politician by name. I pledge allegiance to Mitt Romney. Perhaps the most striking one of these was reported a few days ago in Massachusetts, where the state Republican Party has frankly seemed a little flummoxed about what to do with all the Ron Paul supporters who took over their Massachusetts delegation to the National Republican Convention. I mean, yes, Massachusetts may be Mitt Romney`s home state, but the Ron Paul folks took that delegation over, just as easily as they took it over in Minnesota and Nevada and Iowa and all the other places they have done that this year. The Ron Paul takeover in Massachusetts kind of ruined Republican Party plans. I mean, they were really excited to have one of their own as the party`s presidential nominee. The state`s Republican leaders in Massachusetts wanted to send, as their delegation, this big group of big shots and candidates and former elected officials, on to Tampa, cheering on the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. But those plans went all pear shaped when it came time to actually choose the Massachusetts delegates. Because it was the Ron Paul disciples that actually showed up and did the work and got the votes and won the slots. So what`s the Massachusetts` Republican Party to do? How can they replace these Ron Paul revolution no-good-nicks with real Republicans? Two words: loyalty oaths. For the first time ever, they distributed affidavits demands that they swear under penalty of perjury that they would support Mitt Romney`s presidential nomination. Take that, Ron Paul supporters! Sure enough, the tactic worked. Some of these delegates were so horrified at what the state party was asking them to do that they said no. And that was how the state Republican Party cut some of the Ron Paul folks out of the state delegation, by using a pledge of allegiance to Mitt Romney. According to the "Boston Globe," an affidavit is never mentioned in the party`s rules for selecting delegates and has never been required of delegates in the past. But no time like the present, right? Yes, so you young people who decided to get engaged in public affairs for the first time, you may have gone through the legitimate process and worked hard and got the votes and earned a slot on your state`s delegation convention, but you weren`t what the party had in mind. So loyalty oath. Pledge allegiance to the dear leader or get out of the way for those who will. It`s inspiring, right? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Best new thing in the world today. All right. Something that was wrong has been made right. Two years ago, we went to Louisiana so we could cover the Deepwater Horizon oil catastrophe. While we were there, I noticed that the Web site for the city of New Orleans, if you went by the web address was Come on! Anyone can see that New Orleans is the city of yes. Yes, we can find our way back from a hurricane. And yes, we will recover from BP`s oil spill, too. And, yes, sugar, we don`t care where you`re from, you must have a Sazerac once in your life. Sit down, read the label, put your show up until you are not afraid to dance, and then get up and dance and have a good time. Dancing in the street, allowed and encouraged. New Orleans is not the city of no. New Orleans is the city of yes. Now, by way of disclaimer, I should tell you that our show motto is that we try to increase the amount of useful information in the world. We are not out being activists, trying to fix everything in the world. We are just trying to explain the world. But because this whole show has an unnatural love for the city of New Orleans, we decided that the "city of no" thing is a totally inappropriate web address for such a wonderful city. This thing, we decided, this thing, we could actually fix. So we bought the domain name,, and offered it to the city of New Orleans free for the taking, as a way of thanking them for their hospitality for our shoots down there and also as a way of fixing this problem that they had online. We bought the address "city of yes" and we redirected to it their lousy web address at "city of no". It was the best we could do. Well, a few months ago, New Orleans got a new website with a new address,, so city of no, no more. So it looks great. It really does,, really cool, much better. But we still had the matter of New Orleans properly being the "city of yes", and of us holding the web address for "city of yes" for New Orleans for all this time. But now I can tell you, the New Orleans city web manager Eric Agburn (ph) got in touch with us. Eric heard about us having "city of yes" and he asked if the city could please have it. They could bring it home to the rightful `city of yes". And the answer, of course, is -- yes, yes, you can, you can have it. Beloved city of New Orleans, you know own, as you should. It is our gift. For the record, just to be safe, I should also tell you that we also still have We still have, suggested by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. And we have set both of those to redirect to the city`s Web site. And also, all right, there`s one more, we also bought in case there`s ever needed in New Orleans. New Orleans, if you want any of those, just holler, we are at you your service and we`ve got your back online. But honestly, just having New Orleans officially become the "city of yes", which it has always been in the world and now is online, honestly -- best new thing in the world today, and having been part of it, even bester. All right. That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow night. Tomorrow is going to be a huge day in news. You`re going want to be on MSNBC pretty much all day tomorrow. Supreme Court ruling expected at 10:00 a.m. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell. Have a great night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END