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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/23/13

Guests: Chris Hayes

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: And thanks to you at home for sticking with us this hour. Happy Friday. Late last night in Phoenix, Arizona, there was a protest -- a long- planned protest that turned into something else, something unexpected. The plan was that people were going to chain themselves to a fence or to the gates on a fence. And that went OK, it went as planned. They chained themselves to this fence in protest. Four people ended up getting arrested. There were lots of people on site with signs and banners supporting people doing this civil disobedience, particularly supporting the people who got arrested. So, that happened yesterday in Phoenix. It went as planned, a successful protest. But then something else happened. A bus showed up. And a bus started to pull out of that facility that they had chained themselves to the gates of. And it was a bus that was loaded up with immigrants, who were being forcibly deported out of the country. The protest at the fence, at the gates where the people had chained themselves to the fence there, that had been a protest for immigration reform. The protesters were saying, stop splitting up our families, stop breaking parents and children and brothers and sisters and husbands and wives apart from each other, when their only crime is wanting to live here peacefully, together. One-point-seven million people have been deported under President Obama alone. These protesters say they want a moratorium on the deportations, at least for now, while Congress is considering the immigration reform bill that has already passed the U.S. Senate. Now, there was a change in tactics for this particular protest yesterday in Phoenix. You`ve seen protests by the DREAMers, right? Often wearing caps and gowns. These are young people, people who were brought here, as kids, by their parents, many of whom have never known any other country besides this one, but they do not have a way to become legal residents or citizens here. Those are the DREAMers, named after the DREAM Act, which was designed to help them, and that has been blocked in Congress, but which President Obama found a way to implement in part through executive action. At this protest in Phoenix yesterday, by a group called United We Dream, the change in tactics here is that it was not just DREAM Act kids. They say for the first time, it was also those kids` moms, who came with them, at great risk to themselves, of course, for the protest at the fence of this immigration detention facility in Phoenix. Not just the DREAM Act kids, but their parents. And when that protest was over and they were still on site and this bus unexpectedly appeared, they knew that it was a bus full of people who were being deported. They recognized that, even though they didn`t expect to see it. And they apparently decided, spur of the moment, these young people and their moms, they just decided on the spot that they would put themselves down in front of it. This had not been the original plan, but they put themselves down in front of that bus to stop that mass deportation as a direct action. You know the Web site, BuzzFeed, which is sort of famous/infamous for their lists and their photo-heavy slide show-style presentation? Sometimes the BuzzFeed visual presentation of information is ridiculous. But sometimes, for stories like this one, it is exactly right. Look, this is how they set it up. "Immigration activists from the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition were holding a vigil when a bus filled with immigrants tried to leave the facility." "The DREAMers, undocumented youth, brought to the country as children, and their mothers, ran toward the bus. It was weird, all of the families and moms, everybody started running to get in front of the bus, said DREAMer, Erika Andiola, who was at the vigil." That`s what she told BuzzFeed. They surrounded it if they didn`t let it go anywhere. They got on their knees to pray, the lights from the bus on their faces. There were people inside the bus, moms got on their knees and started praying. An immigrant woman inside prayed as she cried. A man inside the bus raised his arms to show his chains. Andiola, whose mom was nearly deported earlier this year, she could not believe what she was seeing. "Seeing us chanting, they started raising their arms to show us their chains. My mom told me they chained her too, but I did not think they were such big chains." The standoff lasted for hours. They were supposed to leave at 9:00 p.m., but stayed hours longer. Two DREAMers were arrested, but released. Eventually, the bus slowly retreated back into the facility. So, in more than just a symbolic way, and in at least a temporarily successful way, they won. This worked. This intense, unplanned, prayerful, tearful protest with the young people and the moms and the people on the bus realizing what was happening, that these people outside the bus were there for them. The bus turning around at the end of this hours-long praying impasse, it just could not be more dramatic. And the pictures and the video end up on BuzzFeed and all these other places online, that aren`t necessarily where you would go to get news about this policy issue, because the pictures and the video of what happened here is just so compelling as human drama, as an emotional appeal. Even if you had never cared about it be, or never thought about it -- even, before you had reason to see this guy and the moms and what happened last night in Phoenix. This protest, these protests, they are very compelling. This protest movement around the this issue consistently organizes in ways that are just very emotionally intense and compelling, to even a wide audience that might not start off sympathetic. The same group who was there in Phoenix last night, United We Dream, they are also the ones who organized the protest where the DREAM kids met their parents through the border fence. The kids could be here in this country illegally, but their parents could not. U.S. immigration policy being broken, split up those families, and so they embraced through the fence at Nogales. Nogales, Mexico, on the parents` side of the border. Nogales, Arizona, on the kids` side. It was the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who organized the action where those other kids who had lived here the whole lives, they went to the border, openly, on purpose, willing to risk being kicked out forever of the only country they had known their whole lives in order to make the point that this is their home, in order to protest. These affecting, dramatic protests are controversial, even among people who share the protesters` goals. But as a movement, overall, they have found a way to put a very effective and unpredictable emotional element into the way they make their case. You know those cap and gown kids, though, who presented themselves at the border, openly, at the risk of being barred entry forever to the U.S., even though they`d lived here their whole lives, those kids who put it all on the line in that protest, they did get to come home. And they may have broken new legal ground, not just for themselves, but for others because they took that risk to make their case. And that bus last night in Phoenix turned around. Getting ready for the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, "The New York Times" Web site today posted that paper`s original coverage, their coverage in the paper from the day that the march happened back in 1963. And, of course, what`s funny about the coverage, looking back on it now. Funny/creepy/funny/creepy is how obsessed "The Times" was and how obsessed all of the mainstream media was. How relevant it felt to point out over and over again how nice the whole thing was. This emphasis is out of control. "It was an orderly Washington rally." "The leaders of march called on Congress with courtesy." "Congress responded cordially." "It was an occupying army of marchers on Washington, sure, but it was gentle army." Again, let`s stress again in another headline, it was an orderly march. We can`t stress that enough. "Politeness is the order of the day." "Even the traffic control worked smoothly." "Disorders were at a minimum." "Only four arrested, including a Nazi." Oh, see, only the Nazis were getting arrested. That was a fine day for a walk to the National Mall. It is sometimes easier to see in history than it is up close while stuff is happening. But tactics matter in politics, right? Strategy matters. How you make your case makes a big difference in whether you make your case effectively. We took the show to North Carolina yesterday, to try to get an up close view of the impact of this abrupt rollback of voting rights that is happening in that state, particularly targeting young people and African- Americans in North Carolina. And, of course, the political strategy behind rolling back those people`s access to voting is pretty obvious from any vantage point. We know why people are trying to take away their voting rights. But for me, at least, what I think is not so easy to see from far away, that became crystal clear when we got up close, was the political strong and sophistication and the raw political fight that`s in the other side, the side that maybe it was assumed wouldn`t be able to defend themselves, politically, if they were gone after. And if that`s what the other side was thinking, that was a miscalculation. When you look at the DREAMers, when you look at those brave and creative protesters, constantly surprising everyone, and you look at these kids being targeted in North Carolina, and some of these other states, as if they are soft targets, who don`t have any political capital, and who won`t put up a fight. Who don`t know what they`ve got and so, they won`t protect it if you take it away from them. What`s actually clear up close, they know exactly what they`ve got, and they are not absolutely ready to fight, they are full of such optimism, such, almost staggering optimism, that they not only have the fight in them, they know that, but they know that they will win. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LESLIE NORMAN, STUDENT: Even if it`s just me, myself, Leslie Norman against the state of North Carolina and the U.S. Supreme Court, like in 1979, we`ve already had this conversation. We`ve already had this conversation in 1979, the Supreme Court said no. Not no long, drawn-out nothing, no. N-O. You can`t do that. And so, for North Carolina to sit there and just -- you know, can I bring out a law book for somebody? You know, you might need to brush up, because this isn`t -- this isn`t legal. What you`re doing is clearly illegal and unconstitutional. MADDOW: It`s the local county elections board is going to say, by definition, if you live on campus, you can`t vote here. That`s not local residency. I don`t know how you -- I don`t know how you strategize to get around that. CHELSEY CAMPBELL, STUDENT: We don`t know either. And it`s absolutely ridiculous as if to say the campus isn`t in Elizabeth City. And it`s so frustrating to be disenfranchised and marginalized by a community, you know, this is our home, we`re here the majority of the year. And we impact this economy economically. We have a huge presence here. So to say we can`t participate in the economic process is infuriating, you know? So, that is our huge focus, how do we fight this? How do we combat this? Like what`s the next step? MADDOW: There are other colleges in Elizabeth City. There`s the college of Albemarle, and the Mid-Atlantic Christian. At least at Mid- Atlantic Christian, they are not having this problem, they are not having their students challenged -- CAMPBELL: Well, look at it from a historic, look at where we are, town in the South. And this is an SBCU (ph) that was founded in 1891, when they didn`t want African-Americans to become educated, you know, a predominantly black college, just to keep it completely real. That might be where the tension comes from, from a historical perspective. MONTRAVIAS KING, ECSU STUDENT/CANDIDATE: This is, you know, this is, this is serious. I`m out here now, I`m a candidate. I`m running for a political office, and they tried to stop me. But actually, it just makes me -- it just makes me want it more, because I really believe in the old saying that anything worth having is worth fighting for. You know, I and realize that at this point, it`s really bigger than me. So I`ve got to keep fighting. MADDOW: I mean, if residency challenges are successful against you, there`s no reason why the exact same residency challenge wouldn`t be successful against every on-campus student at every college in North Carolina. If you lose this case, it`s going to be a big deal. No pressure. (LAUGHTER) KING: It really is. Yes. MADDOW: Do you think you`re going to -- any chance you`re going to lose this case? KING: I believe we`re going to win. I really do. I`m optimistic that, you know, my attorneys have been working extremely, extremely hard and I`m very confident in them, in their capabilities. And I`m confident in the state board of elections. I really am. I believe that the state board of elections is going to say, hey, you know, this is the law. I mean, how can you go around the law? MADDOW: I can tell that you have the appetite for the fight. I cannot tell, from talking to you, whether you are just spinning me by saying that you think you`re going to win. Is that just like, oh, yes, I`m confident, like -- but, really, do you think you`re going to win? KING: I`m completely -- I am absolutely optimistic, sure I`m going to win. MADDOW: Everything`s against you. The local board`s against you. The state board is Republican-controlled. KING: That`s right. MADDOW: Appointed by the governor, who just rolled back voting rights further than any other state in the country, since the Voting Rights Act was passed in the 1965. Everything`s stacked against you, and you`re like, oh, I`m going to win. KING: Oh, yes. I`m completely sure. I`m completely sure. And not only do I know that the students are behind me and supporting me, but I believe that a large number of people in the fourth ward are going to vote for me. I`m really sure about that. MADDOW: You are a man of great optimism. KING: Yes. MADDOW: I don`t mean to be the little dark cloud in your silver lining -- KING: OK. MADDOW: But I think it`s a hard fight, man. I think it`s an important fight, but I think it`s a hard fight. KING: It is. That`s right. And most importantly, I think it`s a worthy fight. I really do. I believe it`s a worthy fight. MADDOW: I was talking to Montravias on the way down here, and I was like, this seems really important. You`re like the canary in the coal mine. If your case goes the wrong way, it gets decided statewide that you`re not a resident, that only can you not run for office, you can`t vote. That means that every college student who lives on campus throughout the state is disenfranchised. You better win. And he was like, yes, I`m going to win. He`s very confident. CAMPBELL: Yes. MADDOW: You guys have that same confidence. CAMPBELL: Yes, we don`t have a choice. Look at the history of voter suppression in women and minorities in the past. They are going up against, you know, burning crosses and fire hoses and dogs and their odds were not that well at all, but look at where we are, you know? So we refuse to go back. So if they can fight in the face of violence, you know, then we can fight now. And we`re going to. (END VIDEOTAPE) MADDOW: "And we`re going to." I believe -- I believe they are going to. I believe it a lot more than what I was out there in the field meeting all of them yesterday. All right, amazing stuff. We`ve got lots to come tonight. That is big, fun show ahead. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Look at this. This is from March, 1963. Look at the headline here. "King says voice of white moderate needed." This is a press release announcing a speech by Martin Luther King at the University of Virginia in 1963. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urges moderate white Southerners to speak out. "If the moderates of the white South fail to act now, history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. The voice of the white moderates are stilled because they fear social, political, and economic reprisals. The Negro community in the South yearns from brotherhood and respect from his white fellow Southerners." "This hour," says King, "represents a great opportunity for the white moderate, if he will only speak the truth, obey the law, and suffer, if necessary, for what he knows is right." This is from March 1963. This was five months before the march on Washington. Five months before the "I Have a Dream" speech. Voice of the white moderate needed. Professor Wesley Harris was the student at the time who brought Dr. Martin Luther King to the University of Virginia to give that speech in March 1963. Professor Wesley Harris -- Harris -- as in Melissa Harris- Perry, his niece, who joins us next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: I think that we must face the fact that in reality, you cannot have economic and political equality without having some form of social equality. I think this is inevitable. And I don`t think our society will rise to its full maturity until we come to see that men are made to live together as brothers and that we can have genuine inter-group, inter-personal living and still be in the kind of society which we all long to achieve. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Whoever the producer was in charge of booking guests on "Meet the Press" back in 1963, I hope they got a bonus or a gold watch or something for the job they did for the August 25th show that year, when just days out from the march on Washington and the legendary "I Have a Dream" speech, they got Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins from the NAACP to be the guests that Sunday on "Meet the Press." Now, this is kind of awesome. This weekend, this upcoming weekend, either right before or right after the regular edition of "Meet the Press," depending on where you live, NBC, this weekend, is going to re-air that episode from 1963 in its entirety with Dr. Martin Luther King. That is this Sunday. That is going to be amazing. Between now and then, whole swaths of MSNBC are already relocating to Washington, to mark what happened in Washington 50 years ago this week and also, of course, to mark what is happening there right now -- including Melissa Harris-Perry`s show, which will be coming from Washington tomorrow morning at 10:00 Eastern. Joining us now from D.C. is Melissa. She`s host of the "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" show weekend mornings here on MSNBC. She`s also professor of political science at Tulane. Melissa, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here. MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Yes, and all of your viewers should DVR that incredible "Meet the Press," because they`re going to be wanting to watch "MHP" show live on Sunday. MADDOW: Well, I was saying about it moves around, for some people it`s later. It`s very awkward to summarize. You`re right. You`re exactly right. Well, tell me why you are there? How you personally are commemorating it, and what you think is important about it for us now? HARRIS-PERRY: Well, look, we`re here, in part, because while this is a commemoration, while this is kind of a marking of five decades and as a marking of five decades, sort of a questioning of where are we now, and particularly, given, sort of, the language of the dream, you know, how far along are we in a realization of it, sort of a moment to step and look at the political and economic and social inequalities that continue to persist five decades after that march. But I think we`re here for another reason. I think a commemoration alone would be an insufficient reason to be covering this. I think, for me, the key, the thing that makes it newsworthy is that this is not just a marker of something that happened in the past, but an active part of an ongoing set of social movements that are occurring and potentially coalescing right now, around issues of stop and frisk, voting rights, economic justice, racial injustice, gender inequities, LGBT questions -- I mean, we are once again in a moment of upheaval and this march might be, just might be, a turning point. MADDOW: Does that, the way that the march looms so large in history, the fact that it was a single event in a single focal point in the country, that it happened on a specific time that we all know exactly what happened there, even 50 years later, does that loom, in a way, that sometimes diminishes, makes us feel a diminishment, in terms of anything that can be pulled off now, in terms of anything that can be done as a protest movement now? HARRIS-PERRY: Well, yes. And this is part of what`s important to remember, that the march on Washington was an event. It was not a movement. A movement does not happen on a day. MADDOW: Yes. HARRIS-PERRY: It was -- I spoke with my father and with his twin brother, my uncle. They were 21 years old, here at the march, 50 years ago. And as I talked to them, they said, there`s never been another moment like the moment that was the march on Washington for them. No other moment where they felt so deeply encased in an African-American community with a seriousness of purpose and a courage that they say is unlike any other courage they`ve ever experienced. And yet, it was only a moment. It`s part of a very long history that projects back, a Phillip Randolph first planning a march on Washington, prior to World War II, during the FDR administration, and, of course, a movement that goes long after the movement of the march on Washington. In fact, the Civil Rights Act of `64 and the Voting Rights Act of `65, coming years after the march. So the march is a moment. But the movement is the longer thing. And the fact is, I don`t think we could ever get a moment quite like that again, but we don`t need the moment to be like that. We need the movement to continue. MADDOW: And is that the tactical lesson for the people right now, who are fighting for voting rights, who are fighting on issues like stop and frisk, who are fighting on some of these others issue who are so linked to that historical and current movement? HARRIS-PERRY: Certainly, that is part of it. One of the things, as I`ve been talking with members of Congress or even members of my family who were here, is that those folks who were here may have just come. They may have decided to buy a bus ticket and come. But people who were part of the movement were engaged in trainings. They often were trained in their local communities. They went to mass meetings. They learned the strategies of non-violent resistance. They knew all of the elected officials. They understood the personalities of the people they were working with and against. That kind of engagement in politics, which takes so much time and energy and effort and self-sacrifice, I think that`s hard for us in this sort of contemporary moment, where we really do think of a Twitter feed or signing a petition or showing up at a march as, itself, self-sufficient. And I think we do have to be willing to engage in the much harder, exhausting and often failure, sort of pot-marked road of movement building, before we get to any place where we see solutions. MADDOW: Yes, it`s showing what you can do, you have to be able to do something to be able to show it. You can`t jump right to the -- you can`t jump right to the end. Melissa Harris-Perry, host of the "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" show, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, which takes precedence over anything else that may be on television or in life at that time. Melissa, thank you so much for being here. HARRIS-PERRY: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: Appreciate it. All right. Special note that tomorrow morning, Saturday morning, MSNBC`s coverage of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington starts at 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Of course, it continues with Melissa`s show at 10:00, and it`s going to be a big weekend. If you are not already going to Washington this weekend, it`s going to be a big weekend to watch it all unfold here on MSNBC. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day with all of God`s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, we`ll be able to join hand and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) LT. GOV. DAVID DEWHURST (R), TEXAS: I would like to find out what I need to do to get her out of jail, post bond, whatever. SERGEANT: OK. DEWHURST: She is the sweetest woman in the world, and I -- Sergeant, you don`t know me, but I am every year the number one pick of all the law enforcement agencies within Texas. SERGEANT: All right. DEWHURST: Their number one pick, all right? And I am a supporter of you -- you don`t know it, but I am a supporter of you and a supporter of everybody in law enforcement. And I want you to do whatever is the proper thing. But this lady did not -- I know in my heart, was not involved in intentionally walking out and stealing $57. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: You don`t know me, but I am the number one pick of law enforcement agencies. That seriously happened. That was Texas`s Republican Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, on the phone, not doing anything, obviously, illegal, but throwing his weight around like a Texas sumo wrestler, trying to wrangle some poor police sergeant in Allen, Texas, into releasing somebody from jail, a friend who had been jailed on shoplifting charges. The lieutenant governor, the number one pick of law enforcement, just wanted that police sergeant to do the proper thing, which should apparently be that he should take into account that any friend of Texas` lieutenant governor must be innocent and, therefore must be released from jail. And is, do you know who I am, David Dewhurst the most amazing thing in Texas Republican politics in today`s news? No, of course not. It`s Texas Republican politics that barely even meddles, let alone wins the gold. And it is Friday. So for you, there is something even more amazing, and even more Texas, and even more Republican that is still to come. We are saving the best for last. Hold on. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Behold! Happy Friday. Congressman Mike Coffman, everybody -- a Republican congressman from the great state of Colorado, who represents a district right outside Denver. Mike Coffman is the man responsible for what may be the greatest sound bite we have ever played on this TV show, from a currently serving politician. I mean, it`s not LBJ ordering pants or anything. That`s still the king, but LBJ was dead by the time we heard that one. This guy is in office, still, right now. You remember what this one was for Mike Coffman? It was last May, Congressman Coffman, home in his district, attending a private fund-raiser, and he veered into birther- ville. He told the people at the fund-raiser, quote, "I don`t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don`t know that! But I do know this! That in his heart, he`s not an American. He`s just not an American." After audio of those comments turned up in the press, the congressman offered an apology. He said, "I misspoke and I apologize." "I misspoke and I apologize." After releasing that statement, Congressman Mike Coffman then had the misfortune of running into a persistent and unflappable local TV reporter/hero, and thus was born perhaps the greatest serving politician sound bite ever in the history of MSNBC prime-time, maybe even beyond this show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: After your comments about the president, do you feel that voters are owed a better explanation than just I misspoke? REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: I think that as I stand by my statement. That I misspoke and I apologize. REPORTER: OK, and who are you apologizing to? COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize. REPORTER: I apologize -- we talk to you all the time. You`re a very forthcoming guy. Who`s telling you not to talk? COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I wrote, that you have, and I misspoke and I apologize. REPORTER: Was it that you thought it would go over well in Elbert County where folks are conservative and you`d never say something like that in the suburbs? COFFMAN: I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize. REPORTER: Is there anything that I can ask you that you would answer differently? COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize. REPORTER: Thank you, Congressman. COFFMAN: Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: He does stand by his statement, that he mis -- and there has never been anyone more on message, ever, in the history of messages, in the history of humankind. Mike Coffman, everybody! To the extent that he is famous for anything, he is famous for that. Now, also, though, I think he`s trying to get famous for this. "Congressman peddles conspiracy theory on climate change: Only radical environmentalists get government grants." Mike Coffman`s voting record on oil and gas and on denying that there are human contributions to climate change, that`s made him the target of a new ad campaign being run against climate change denialists in Congress. Congressman Coffman is one of three House Republicans that is now being targeted by the League of Conservation Voters in a $2 million ad campaign, that`s aimed at making climate change denialism something you should be embarrassed about. Something you have to pay a political price for. And the reason I think this is notable is, I think, (a), because of the timing, but also, (b), and I will speak frankly here, the ads do not suck. Surprisingly, do not take this the wrong way, but for a vaguely left-leaning cause, this ad that`s being run against Mike Coffman is an outstandingly, middle of the road, cogent, perfectly framed, well-done ad, which is not true of most ads on anything, but particularly on this issue. This one is great. This is really well-done. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AD NARRATOR: Even though scientists agree that climate change worsens extreme weather, Congressman Coffman is so extreme, he sides with big oil. When they call, he answers. Coffman takes over $300,000 from the oil and gas industry. While big oil denies climate science, Coffman questions whether climate change is even a problem, protects their profits, and opposes efforts to reduce carbon pollution. Tell Congressman Coffman to stop denying climate science and act. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: If you do not like political ads, generally, you probably will not like that one either, but technically speaking, that is perfectly done. The whole carbon pollution framing there at the end, that you didn`t even really notice, they didn`t hit you over the head with it, that is very, very well done. And especially in a non-election year, this is a big ad buy, $2 million buy. Who knows what this is going to be mean for Mike Coffman in terms of whether he is really going to feel this kind of pressure? But what is running against him, in this ad, is about as good as you can do, on a pressure ad, on any subject. That, itself, indicates that the people who are pushing on this issue are starting to get better at the way that they push. And they are also starting to get some results. The big looming policy decision on President Obama`s plate right now on this issue is whether to approve the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline, the thousand-mile-long pipeline that will transport toxic oil sands from Alberta, Canada, all the way across our country down to the Gulf of Mexico. That pipeline, if it gets the president OK, will bisect the United States. It will cut a line right through the middle of the country and cut through some of the nation`s most environmentally sensitive areas, including the main source of drinking water for much of the Great Plains. Opponents of the Keystone pipeline have been trying to slow that process down. And earlier this month, they stated public objections to what they said was a conflict of interest in the approval process. They said that the firm hired by the State Department to assess the environmental impact of the pipeline, the firm that ultimately said, hey, no environmental problems here, they said that firm actually had a financial stake in the company that`s building the pipeline. Groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth argued that that sort of conflict of interest should call into question the firm`s overall findings. It should warrant a delay in the approval process. And today, they sort of got their wish. President Obama had been expected to make his final decision on Keystone later this year. But, today, the State Department indicated that an internal review that`s now underway of that potential conflict of interest could mean that any decision from the president on Keystone might be delayed until next year, until 2014. This is an incremental victory, but, hey, bottom line, they don`t want this thing to happen, and it looks like they just bought themselves another year of this thing not happening. And that is a win. Joining us now is Chris Hayes, host of the excellent "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" here on MSNBC. Chris, it is always a pleasure to have you here. Thank you for staying late. CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: It`s wonderful to be here. I panicked while you were playing the ad, that was my phone on. MADDOW: Oh, yes. HAYES: That iPhone ringing! MADDOW: That`s right. HAYES: I know, I was like, whoops. MADDOW: They`ve got that playing almost subliminally. It does have a role in the plot of the ad but it makes you stop and look around and pay attention. And it`s annoying in a way that makes you pay attention. But that`s -- yes, do you agree that it`s well-done? HAYES: I do agree that it`s well done. And I agree with you the message has been sharpened and I think you`re right the framing of carbon pollution, specifically, is a real improvement on what`s come before. We think about carbon as pollution, because people don`t like pollution. And it`s very hard to be on the side of pollution. And this is what it is. It is carbon pollution. MADDOW: And when you imagine it as carbon pollution and not some other variant of pollution, you imagine soot, which is not actually what we`re talking about. But that sticks in people`s minds, which is an effective -- HAYES: And the thing that does, if you could take the carbon dioxide in the air and make it a different color, we would have dealt with the problem by now. MADDOW: Right. HAYES: Because it, unlike smog and unlike dirty drinking water and unlike the fire, Cuyahoga River catching on fire, iconically outside Cleveland, there is no way to see the problem. So pollution conjures things as people can see, and I think that`s a really important thing. MADDOW: I feel like, you know, being down in North Carolina yesterday and talking to -- talking about that voting rights fight down there and seeing that voting rights fight being born, essentially, and then thinking about the 50th anniversary march on Washington this weekend and the actual anniversary next Wednesday, I`m thinking a lot about political tactics. HAYES: Totally. MADDOW: And I feel like you have been very smart about figuring out what`s politically possible on climate and what`s likely to make change more possible. What`s your assessment? HAYES: My assessment is two-fold. One, I think you had a great A- block at the top of the show about the immigrant rights movement. And I agree that I am in awe of their discipline and their moral courage. And I also -- the only other movement doing that right now, and there`s the Moral Mondays in North Carolina, the Dream Defenders in Florida, are the Keystone XL folks, the folks who are getting arrested en masse outside the White House, who have, really -- this thing was going through. This thing was sailing through. If you read the business journals, if you were inside the trade journals of the people buying stock based on whether it`s going to happen, everyone`s like, of course, it`s going to happen, and it goes by and it goes by, because they have made it a problem. They have made it a problem for the White House. MADDOW: What has been their most effective tactic -- what has been their most effective tactic in making the White House not do it? Because it really is the president`s decision. HAYES: First of all, they picked a decision where the issue couldn`t kick it to Capitol Hill. Everything with the climate, he can always say, totally, rightly, plausibly, and truly that the problem are the maniacs up on Capitol Hill who denied the problem and are flat earthers like the congressman who began this program. They also showed up at the White House, made a big stink, got a lot of press, that helped. And they also did a very smart grassroots organizing through all those states that are in that map, including farmers who didn`t want their aquifers damaged, including a Republican governor in Nebraska who was against the pipeline, even though he was eventually kind of swayed to the other side. But they have done a lot of grassroots organizing through the heartland of this country with very unlikely allays to fight this thing and they have made it really difficult. They -- now when it happens, it`s going to impose a political cost. And the White House understands that. In fact, the White House understands it so well, because one of the first things they did was organize against the OFA field chapters. When the newly launched OFA started, right, they started showing up and said, what about Keystone? And OFA panicked. And in fact, OFA started focusing on climate change and the president`s Twitter Feed started focusing on climate change right around that time, because they had to deflect the pressure they were getting every day with volunteers showing up and saying, what about Keystone? MADDOW: Because there`s no genius in saying, what about Keystone? The genius is in figuring out where to apply that pressure. That`s a very small amount of pressure asking that question, but asking in the right place can be priceless. HAYES: Yes. MADDOW: The big question is when the even more consequential decisions about limiting carbon, whether or not those tactics hone, I think, you`re right, through Keystone, can be applied to those - (CROSSTALK) HAYES: That`s right. MADDOW: And we`ll talk about that in the future. Chris Hayes, host of the excellent "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" here on MSNBC, 8:00 every weeknight. Chris, thank you very, very much, I owe you a beer. HAYES: My pleasure. MADDOW: If you stay 15 more minutes, I`ll -- HAYES: I take you up on that. MADDOW: All right. All right. It`s Friday. So, you`re lucky to be here. A sound bite destined for immortality is coming up. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: By the time I was born, by the spring of 1973, Richard Nixon could tell he was in trouble. He could tell this whole Watergate thing was sinking his presidency. So the sinking, foundering President Richard Nixon started heaving members of his administration overboard. On April 30th, 1973, he gave his first speech about the Watergate scandal. And he said in his speech he had accepted the resignation of four members of his inner circle, including his attorney general. And he went back to the White House that night and he stopped by the phone and he took calls all night long from friends who called in to the White House trying to cheer him up after that big, horrible speech. This week, the Nixon Library released the last of his secret tapes, including those calls to the desperate, possibly tipsy President Richard Nixon on the night of April 30th. Nixon got calls from Ronald Reagan. He got calls from Henry Kissinger. He got calls from George H.W. Bush. He got a call from this guy. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) OPERATOR: Mr. President, Mr. Reverend Billy Graham. RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Hello. REV. BILLY GRAHAM: Mr. President. NIXON: Yes, hello. GRAHAM: I think this is your finest hour. NIXON: That`s nice of you, Billy. GRAHAM: Really, I wanted to reach through the screen and hug you. I thought you were just great. And everybody I talked to feels the same way. NIXON: Well, no, they all continue to slash away. So, what the hell. Excuse me the hell -- GRAHAM: Well, you know, Ruth, she thinks it is all a communist plot, left wing -- everything else. NIXON: It is. It is. It is. You know that. GRAHAM: Other networks, ABC and NBC, everybody -- NIXON: I don`t listen to these darned networks. GRAHAM: -- CBS -- NIXON: What did CBS do? They knock it? GRAHAM: I felt like slashing their throats. But anyway, God be with you. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: But anyway, I had homicidal feelings about CBS News, but God be with you. Richard Nixon, God be with us all. The great thing about today in the news is that is not, still not, the best lost piece of tape from the dark side of politics that had just turned up in today`s news. It`s like the best tape day in the history of news. There is something better. And we just got it. And it is amazing and it is from Texas. And it really is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It has been a long week and it is going to be an exciting weekend. But this will make you happy. I want to start by blessing "The Texas Tribune." God bless "The Texas Tribune". It`s a smart, nonprofit journalistic venture in Texas. They have been covering their home state senator, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz like nobody else -- as Ted Cruz has been barnstorming Texas this week, while the senator has been on break. He has been at home in Texas, rallying support from his base for plans to shut down the government, who-hoo! To block people from getting the health care reform. Yes! But as "The Texas Tribune" reports, more broadly among Texas Republicans, beyond just the hating health insurance together, beyond that, there is a bit of more falling in love that is happening right now between Texas Republicans and their senator, Ted Cruz. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m so proud of Ted Cruz. He is shaking them up in Washington. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has all the things that make up a good candidate. Not only his strength of character, but the Hollywood look, too. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The Hollywood look? That man has politics goggles on. Love is a many splendored thing. And Texas Republicans are so in love with Ted Cruz, they want him running for president, America, right now, no matter what. Who cares that he was born in Canada? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think the whole thing is very silly. The facts of my birth are straightforward, my mother was a U.S. citizen born in Delaware. So under U.S. law, I`m an American by birth. REPORTER: Cruz wants to make sure any questions surrounding his Canadian birth is a non-issue and has said he plans to renounce his Canadian citizenship. CRUZ: And I have grown up in Texas my entire life. I`ve been an American by birth. And as a U.S. senator, I think it`s only appropriate that I be only an American. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: See the Hollywood look there? Yes. Take it. But "The Texas Tribune", God bless them, they not only get Cruz and his Hollywood look on tape talking with some earnest urgency about how being born Canadian does mean that he wasn`t born American, too. He kept saying, oh, this is all so silly. But when he talks about it he is not treating it as if it is silly. He is super into it. Not only does "The Texas Tribune" get Senator Ted Cruz on tape about how he does not want to be a Canadian anymore, they also do something that is a great public service. "The Tribune" tracked down a Texas Republican Tea Party activist who maintains that President Obama is not eligible to be president. She does not accept that President Obama was born in the United States. She does not accept his birth certificate. Says she wants to see the long form. Because she can tell that he is secretly foreign. He was not born here, he was born in Kenya, and he therefore is not a natural born American. That said, that same Tea Party Texas Republican activist, quote, "would vote for Ted Cruz in a heartbeat" -- even though Ted Cruz actually was born in another country and admits it. But she has no concerns at all about Ted Cruz`s eligibility to run for president. How can this be? Allegedly born in a foreign country? That`s a problem. But admittedly born in a foreign country, that isn`t a problem. How can this be? Good question. And "The Texas Tribune" asked that question. And this is the most satisfying thing I have seen all week. Roll it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, as far as I`m concerned, Canada is not really foreign soil. Yes, that`s the way I look at it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: She is laughing as she says it, like oh, God, this can actually -- this can`t be what I have to believe. Yes, you know what? All right, I`m going to have to go with it. This is going to have to be what I believe, I guess. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, as far as I`m concerned, Canada is not really foreign soil. Yes, that`s the way I look at it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Yes, I`m going to go with that. Canada is not foreign because if Canada is foreign then I make no sense. So I`m going to go with Canada -- I think this may possibly be a breaking point for the whole birtherism thing. Might be. I would usually say "watch this space" now. But in this case, I think I have to say -- watch Texas, maybe this is particular to them. Also, watch your step, because it`s Friday night and that means you have to go to prison. Here comes jail, three, two, one. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END