The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 05/05/15

Guests: Zeke Miller, Anthony Foxx

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: All right. That is ALL IN for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now. Good evening, Rachel. RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Nerdly uncomfortable wasn`t a segue to me, was it? HAYES: No, no. Nerdly self-assured and deeply comfortable. MADDOW: Yes, obviously. HAYES: That`s what I`m talking about. MADDOW: Thanks, man. Appreciate it. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. The first time a presidential debates was televised was 1960. That 1960 debate is probably still the most famous American presidential debate of all time, right? Thanks mostly to the fact that Richard Nixon was famously sweaty in that debate and, therefore, a little shifty looking. While John F. Kennedy looked cool, calm and collected under a thin but very important layer of powder foundation. That first debate was filmed in the Chicago studios of CBS, but it was a joint production and it was jointly broadcast by all the TV networks at the time. That was just landmark political moment in our country. That first televised debate -- 70 million Americans watched that debate. It very well may have changed the course of history. But interesting footnote to that night. That night, there was a third candidate who thought that he should be there on the stage with Nixon and Kennedy. And that third candidate pushed very, very hard to get himself on to that stage. Obviously, they ultimately did not let him into that debate. But he did succeed in forcing the TV networks to give him some semblance of equal time. His name was Lar Daly. Lar short for Lawrence. He was a guy from Chicago. He was a perennial candidate who ran basically for everything for 40 straight years, never won a thing. But in 1960, when Kennedy and Nixon got all the free airtime on all the networks with their big televised debate, Lar Daly convinced the FCC that he, too, should get equal, free television time. And they ended up giving it to him on "The Jack Parr Show" on NBC. Lar Daly got to go on "The Jack Parr Show". He wore an Uncle Sam suit. He smoked a cigarette the whole time he was on the show, and he wore a little sandwich board you can see there where you could write to him for more information or to send him campaign donations. Lar Daly was his name. Lar Daly was the first official pain in the butt of American televised presidential debate. From the very first one, there was already a guy who was trying to get on the stage and who was a huge pain for everybody and annoying everyone and making it all very awkward. "The Jack Parr Studio" audience, that night that he got his equal time on NBC, the Jack Parr audience booed Lar Daly. And they heckled him throughout the audience. Jack Parr complained on the air that night to the guy`s face that he felt shocked and ashamed to have to have that man on his program. After he got his time on "The Jack Parr Show" that night, Lar Daly still didn`t give up, too. He told the FCC that they hadn`t given him enough time to be truly equal. He demanded a further 22 minutes of television time during that election, if that election was going to be fair. Lar Daly was his name, perennial county and a real pain in the butt. This year, I check every day at the Federal Election Commission Web site to see who has officially filed the paperwork to run for president for 2016. We`ve posted the link so you can do this yourself, as well. The link is at MaddowBlog.com today. If you want to make this part of your daily news gathering as I do. But you can check every day and there really are new ones every day. And as of this evening, the number of people who have filed official paperwork to run for president of the United States for 2016, the number as of tonight is 305 -- 67 people have filed to run for the Republican nomination, 46 people have filed as Democrats, 84 independents, seven libertarians. There is one person, I thought of Lar Daly, who said he was running for the NBC Party. That doesn`t stand for NBC as in NBC News. Though, it turns out it stands for the "Natural Born Citizen" Party. So, there`s somebody running on the natural born citizen ticket. And God bless the Federal Election Commission. You can click through and you can see everyone is filing papers in addition to their name. So, for example, one of the people running for the Republican Party nomination for president named Ole Savior or -- Ole Savior -- Ole Savior is from Minnesota. Ole Savior filed a handwritten declaration that he or she is running. And this person has clearly -- look at the signature, clearly been practicing the signature to make it just perfect in preparation for signing all the bills into law that they will sign into law as president Ole Savior. I mean, it`s funny but this always happens. A zillion people always file to run for president, whether it`s perennial candidates like Lar Daly or optimistic Ole Savior like this guy from Minnesota. I mean, it`s a little jarring when you go to the FEC Web site to see all of those zillions of people, more than 300 of them, listed alongside the more familiar names that are running but they all get filed alike. I mean, there`s Rand Paul on this list right between Eugene Roselle Hunt Jr. and Wanda Gayle Duckwald. They`re all running. Marco Rubio`s papers are filed right next to Jefferson Woodson Sherman and somebody named Princess Khadijah M. Pres Jacob-Fambro. The name of her presidential campaign committee, I should tell you, is from One Alien to Another Alien, Lil Wayne, Dwayne. That`s her campaign. Princess Khadijah will be running her campaign from San Francisco, naturally. You know, it`s great. It`s a free country. Anybody can run for president. You could run for president. Anybody can run. Every year, just about everybody does, to a certain extent. Several hundred people run. When it comes to actually running an orderly campaign, and doing things like setting up presidential debates, the major parties have always had to deal with this to a certain degree, right? I mean, Princess Khadijah is probably not going to make it into the presidential primary debates this year, no offense intended. The party`s every election cycle is more systemically figure out a ways to make sure that only the candidates who have only conceivable viability actually make the cut and get into the primary debates. In some years, it`s a larger number of conceivably viable candidates than it is in other years. These last couple of cycles, we actually have had a few viable candidates. In 2008, the Democrats thought they would have a pretty good chance as a party of taking the White House after two long difficult terms of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. So, a lot of Democratic contenders, a lot of potentially viable Democratic contenders turned out in 2008. That year, the presidential debate had as many as eight people on stage on the Democratic side, and yes, that included people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but also, you know, Dennis Kucinich, and Chris Dodd. You know, for more than 10 of the debates that year, there was also a guy up there on stage named Mike Gravel. Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska. You might remember him as the guy that did that one amazing campaign ad where he didn`t say anything, he just stared into the camera for a long time and threw a rock into a lake and walked away. That was his whole ad. Mike Gravel, I miss you. That same year in 2008, Republicans also sometimes had 10 people on the stage for their debates. And, yes, it does make for a big crowded debate stage, but there is a reason, right? There`s a small D reason to err on the side of inclusion rather than the side of exclusion. I mean, who is the parties or the TV networks to say who should be allowed onto that stage and who shouldn`t? Here is a cautionary example -- in January 2008, the FOX News Channel hosted a Republican primary debate in New Hampshire. For that New Hampshire debate, FOX News decided to not invite Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Now, this debate was after the Iowa caucuses that year and Ron Paul had just done really well in the Iowa caucuses. He got 10 percent of the vote in Iowa that year. But FOX News still didn`t allow him to be up on that debate stage in New Hampshire just a few days later. And they did invite New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to be part of that debate, even though he got way less of a vote in Iowa a few days previous. He only got about 3 percent of the vote in Iowa. But they invited him. Ron Paul got 10 percent and they didn`t let him in. And that decision by FOX News in January of 2008, that decision by them to exclude Ron Paul from that debate led to this memorable scene in the streets of Milford, New Hampshire, where an angry mob, literally an angry mob of Ron Paul supporters spotted people who they thought were FOX News employees in the street after that debate, and the angry mob literally ran through the streets with their Ron Paul signs, chasing the FOX News people screaming, "FOX News sucks, FOX News sucks." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CROWD: FOX News sucks! FOX News sucks! FOX News sucks! FOX News sucks! (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, cautionary tale, right? I mean, that`s not a scene you want to see if you are the FOX News Channel during the Republican primary. People chasing your employees or people they thought were your employees, they`re at the streets yelling, "FOX News sucks." FOX News four days later, four days after that Milford, New Hampshire debate, hosted the next Republican presidential debate, as well. They clearly learned their lesson from that New Hampshire debate, and the next one four days later in South Carolina, they made sure they included Ron Paul. Fewer angry mobs that way. So it`s important, right, that anyone with any perceived viability gets to be seen in the process, right? Gets into the debate. It`s an important part of running and, yes, sometimes that results in very large debates, right? You don`t want Ole Savior and Princess Khadijah in there, right? And you just -- that`s like you couldn`t get Lar Daly onto the stage in 1960 and his Uncle Sam suit with the cigarette. But if you do have to stretch to nine, 10, 11, 12 candidates up on that stage, so that you can get Mike Gravel and Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich and Alan Keyes, and Jim Gilmore and all these guys in there, basically, the tendency has been to do it, right? That`s how our system works. Err on the side of inclusion. That`s how our system works. Until now. Because this year, there is a real problem if this is going to continue to be our system. The system cannot hold this year. In the last cycle, 2012, the Republican Party thought they had a pretty good chance of making Barack Obama a one-term president. They thought they had a shot to beat him. They did not. Part of that they blame on their candidate, Mitt Romney, and the kind of general election campaign that Mr. Romney ran. But the Republican powers that be also really believes that they had a flawed process in 2012 that led to choosing their nominee and that hurt the Republican Party`s chances overall of beating President Obama no matter who they chose. Specifically, they think they had too many debates in 2012. The Republican primary in 2012 involved almost two dozen debates, 23 debates by most counts. And they started really early. The first major Republican primary debate for the 2012 election was four years ago today. It was May 5th, 2011, they started really, really early and they kept doing them. They did almost two dozen debates and after the Republicans got beat in 2012, part of their self-diagnosis of what went wrong is they had too many of these debates and it just turned the primary process into a salacious reality show that made everybody look small and fringe and divisive and petty. And so, the Republican Party this year decided, I think, not without reason, that they wouldn`t make that same mistake again. So, for the 2016 cycle, the Republicans announced really early on in January that the official Republican Party would have an official Republican Party sanctioned short list of debates. They said any candidates who participated in any debate that wasn`t on that official short list would be punished in the process. Everybody can only do that short list chosen by the party. There would not be too many debates again this time. Democratic Party followed suit. Democratic Party followed there would be six Democratic primary debates in total. That`s down from 26 in 2008. They -- the Democrats today set that same rule where no candidate can do a debate that isn`t on the short list until they want to get punished on their primary campaign. So, now, we know, the parties have stepped in and said we`re not going to have a circus again this year. Democrats are going to do six debates. Republicans are going to do nine debates. And there`s a little bit of an interesting question on the Democratic side as to who`s going to be in the Democratic debates. So far, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the two declared candidates. It`s widely assumed that Martin O`Malley, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee may also get in. Nobody knows if there are others. There`s a little bit of drama there. On the Republican side, though -- Katy bar the door. On the Republican side, they have a problem that calls into question the whole modern system of how we pick presidential nominees, because nobody has any idea how the Republicans are going to choose who they let in their debate stage, who they let on there and who they exclude. And yes, I get it that every year a million people run. There really are more than 300 people running this year. The FEC filings are hilarious. There are always a zillion people technically running. But every year, it`s pretty obvious where the tiers are, right? It`s pretty obvious which candidates are like the Princess Khadijah`s, one alien to another alien people, right, the Ole Saviors, right? And who is conceivably viable in terms of the nomination. Usually, there is a pretty clear line -- FOX News Ron Paul notwithstanding, right, as to who makes the cut. Usually you can tell. This year, how are you going to tell? This year on the Republican side, the conceivably viable list has at least 22 names on it by my latest count. Granted, it`s a subjective count, but I don`t think it`s crazy. If you take the list of people who are not crackpots, not fringe figures, not people who you`ve never heard of, not people who have no business making it into the debates, you`ve still got about 22 people. Just consider this for a second, right? Mike Huckabee, latest who officially joined the race today, Mike Huckabee won Iowa in 2008. He won eight states altogether that year. It was a big surprise to Democrats in particular that he didn`t run in 2012. A lot of very high level Democrats thought Mike Huckabee had a really good chance of winning the Republican nomination in 2012. Mike Huckabee has clearly got at least potential viability as a nominee. Mike Huckabee is officially in as of today. He joins Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. There are now six declared candidates. I know Ben Carson may not be a household name nationwide, but Ben Carson really does have huge support among the Republican conservative base. He raised more than $12 million in support of his campaign before he even got close to declaring, $12 million? Carly Fiorina made a very credible bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010. She is not seen at all as a fringe candidate, even though she`s never technically held public office, she`s making a serious bid. Up on the list with those guys who are declared, there`s the rest of the obvious list, right? Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has been a national figure for decades. He`s making more and more overt noise about the fact that he is going to make a serious run. Ohio Governor John Kasich is starting to sound more and more inclined toward running. He will instantly be taken seriously if only because he`s the serving governor of the great swing state of Ohio. Rick Snyder of Michigan is making similar noises about running now. He will come in at about the same tier as John Kasich, which is a considerable tier to come in at. Mike Pence of Indiana did have a bit of a national setback with his anti-discrimination gay law last month. But he is a long time conservative dark horse prospect for the presidency. He may yet run. He may try to turn that anti-gay discrimination thing to his advantage. I understand because I know you that you laugh at the prospect of a Donald Trump candidacy. But Donald Trump, believe me, is actually hiring campaign staff in multiple early voting presidential states. And Donald Trump polls surprisingly well among likely Republican voters. This year, the role of Tim Pawlenty will be played by former New York Governor George Pataki, in the sense that to the outside world he is a bit of a snooze fest, but Governor Pataki is well-respected and very well- connected in Republican mainstream politics. And he says he may make a run. John Bolton, the angriest ambassador ever, is another one of these Republican candidates who have sort of a Donald Trump-esque laugh factor outside of Republican politics and conservative politics. But laugh at John Bolton at your peril. He has a permanent seat on the air at the FOX News Channel. And he does seem to be running, and seems to have been building support for a candidacy for sometime. He will be taken seriously in many Republican circles, particularly foreign policy circles. Even old Jim Gilmore is back, former governor of Virginia. You will remember as the friendly potted plant on the Republican primary debate stage back in 2008, who`s always there. it looks like Jim Gilmore will be running again. Add to that list, former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich. Pugnacious New York Congressman Peter King, both of whom have been doing the rounds in Iowa and New Hampshire and attending candidate forums and giving speeches. And without trying too hard, you get easily to 22 prospective Republican candidates, none of whom braid their beard hair and call themselves princess or plan to be running in an Uncle Sam suit carrying a cigarette. I mean, that`s 22 non-crack pot names -- 22 names that very easily would have made it onto the debate stage as in previous cycles. Which of them get cut out this year? None of them would have been cut out in 2008 or 2012. Individually -- if you take them individually, you rank them against would who did make it? How are Republicans are going to decide who to cut out this year? Seriously, how are they going to decide? "Time Magazine`s" Zeke Miller reports today that the process is already under way quietly between Republican Party officials and some of the TV networks that are supposed to be airing the nine Republican debates this year. Typically, you use a polling threshold to decide who makes it into the first couple of the debates. But with this many people in the running, honestly right now, nobody even know who to poll on. I mean, should they be polling on Carly Fiorina now? Should they be polling on Donald Trump? Should they be polling on John -- what was that? That was what hilarious. John Kasich, is anybody polling on -- Lindsey Graham? Will they start if Lindsey Graham officially declares he`s running for president, will they poll on him? With this many people in the running, a polling threshold depends on the preferences of the pollsters in terms of who they put on the list. And honestly, the more people they put on the list in any poll, the less likely it is that even substantial candidates will hit any reasonable numeric threshold. I mean, in the NBC poll that came out last night, which is a great poll -- I mean, the answer not sure beat out both Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina among registered Republican voters. Carly Fiorina got 1 percent. Rick Perry got 2 percent. Not sure got 3 percent. Does that mean Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina shouldn`t be allowed into the debates? That seems hard to believe. But today in "Time" magazine, Zeke Miller reports the prospects that in this totally unprecedented situation we`ve got, with more than 20 potential and potentially viable Republican candidates, one metric the party is considering using for who gets on the debates and who doesn`t is money, fund-raising. Ekh! I mean, which maybe is practical politics in terms of who might have a chance of getting into the White House, but it also seems somehow fundamentally wrong that the literal size of your campaign bank account will determine whether or not people are loud to consider you as a candidate for public office. Running for president is a process that has always been very democratic and a little bit nutty. But this year poses a challenge that has never, ever been faced before and I have no idea, absolutely no idea how they are going to solve this very present problem. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So interesting failures in television news. I was just talking about former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and we randomly started showing a picture of Kanye West, which is what hilarious. Sometimes, producing visuals for the TV is hard. I have no idea how that happened. It`s not like there`s going to be Kanye West news later on in the show, and we like got things out -- I don`t even know. Sometimes making visuals for TV is hard, on a normal day, you know, in normal politics. Therefore, pity the poor television producers who are going to have work in the presidential campaign this year who are going to have to show pictures like this, all of the viable presidential candidates and potential presidential candidates on the Republican side, all the folks who have real support or real name recognition or real experience and actually have a shot. I mean, necessary are the serious Republican contenders, 22 in all, enough to have two opposing football teams and definitely enough that at some point, Kanye West is going to be mixed in among them with nobody understanding why. With that many people viably running, who gets to stand up on the stage for the debates? How is the party going to choose? And if that process is under way right now, what are they considering for winnowing process? Joining us now is Zeke Miller, political reporter with "Time" magazine. He`s reporting on this subject. Mr. Miller, it`s really nice to have you on the program tonight. Thanks for being here. ZEKE MILLER, TIME MAGAZINE: Thank you for having me. MADDOW: Am I wrong that Kanye West is running? MILLER: You know, it`s news to me. But, you know, we`re at 22 running. So, 23, why not? (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: What have you been able to suss out about what factors they`re considering for this short-term, difficult problem they`ve got about who gets to be in the debates? MILLER: Well, the obvious one is polling for the top tier, those who are at 5 percent to 13 percent, 14 percent in the Republican vote. That`s your Jeb Bushes, your Scott Walkers, your Marco Rubios, your Rand Pauls, even your Ben Carsons sort of hit that threshold. People like them, people know where they are. People are supporting them. When you have trouble is the 10 candidates or so below 5 percent, basically just in the margin of error, which is usually around 3.1 percent, and, you know, they`re below that -- they`re either at 1 percent or 2 percent or at zero or sort of almost negative in a way. And that`s not how polling works, obviously, but they could statistically be at zero. So, it`s not possible to know what their support is. So, the parties are looking at and these networks are looking at money, so how much money they`ve raised, how many individual donors they have? How many members of Congress have endorsed them or sitting governors or sitting Republicans officeholders? Those are all things that they`re going about. But usually the way these work is that they decide who they want on stage and then they make the rules sort of to fit that, they sort of back build the rules to justify who they want on stage. MADDOW: I want to come back to the money question in a second, because I think that`s important and I think it rubs me the wrong way and I`m not sure why. So I want to come back to the details on that in a second. But on the polling issue, what seems to me to be new this year, there`s always a question of what the polling threshold is in terms of getting into the first couple of debates, before there are any primary results to go on which seems like a better metric, this year, it seems like there is something new because there are so many non-obscure but not top tier candidates, that there`s a question as to who even makes it into the polls, right? I`m not sure we have a good sense of what Carly Fiorina or John Kasich poll numbers or Mike Pence`s poll numbers might be. Mostly because you can`t blame pollsters for keeping more than 20 names off their list. Once you start polling on 20 things, it`s very unlikely that anybody is going to come in above 3 percent or 4 percent. MILLER: Exactly. For pollsters, it`s a matter of, you know, practicality. If you want to put 22 names in a poll, people are going to hang up on you. Most of those polls, polls you and I both respect are usually the ones that are live dialed. That`s -- you know, there`s a human being on one end of the call and your list of names and what`s your favorite ability of Jim Gilmore? Like at a certain point, people are going to hang up and don`t want to give over two hours to a pollster. So, it`s really hard there in terms of that. But then you`re dealing with also just that number of people and the margin of error at 3 percent. They`re all going be clustered together at some point. MADDOW: On the possibility of them using money as a metric, it does feel sort of anti-democratic, with small D, to consider that even though we know money is part of a candidate`s viability, are they talking about campaign donations, or is it donations to super PACs in support of a candidate or, you know, other interest groups that seem to be pushing for that candidate? I mean, measuring money and politics is a pretty inexact science right now. MILLER: Exactly. It`s not entirely clear yet, both sort of the party and the networks are being tight lipped about this process for those exact reasons. They don`t want to reveal too much about that process so that people don`t influence it. But one of the things I`ve been picking up is they`re potentially shying away sort of the bulk dollar amount raised to demonstrating support from individual contributors both nationally and potentially in the early states. You know, you need, you know, X number of dollars raised from Y number of donors across the country. And thereby being you can`t get just one big check from a super PAC donor and say that`s the extra support that brought you into the debate. You need to show that people like on a sustained basis, that you can actually develop a grassroots network. It`s hard to collect a $2,700 check. You can do it, it`s easier. It`s easy to -- it`s relatively easy to collect $2,700 checks, a lot harder to collect a heck of a lot of $100 checks. And that`s sort of the test of viability. If you can`t get those $100 checks, how do you collect the $1,000 checks you need or the $500 checks you need to go up against the rest of the Republican primary field and also Hillary Clinton? MADDOW: That`s right. And who wants to give $100 to any candidate when you know you`re competing for your candidate`s attention, with people who are giving them $100 million, potentially, which is a whole other dynamic, unlike other donors -- (CROSSTALK) MADDOW: Yes, Zeke Miller, political reporter with "Time" magazine, this is a fascinating and really important subject. Thanks for your reporting. Thanks for being here. MILLER: Thank you for having me on. MADDOW: This is -- I do think this is -- it`s a sleeper issue not because people don`t pay attention to the debates, because I think people realize this vetting is going on right now and I could be determinative in terms of who the field of candidates is. It`s a big deal. Lots more ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Today, JetBlue announced that starting in July, they`re going to be doing weekly flights on Friday afternoons, from JFK airport in New York City to Havana, Cuba. Oh, really? It`s the first new flights from New York announced since President Obama earlier this year relaxed our relationship with Cuba after a half century long standoff. So, now, when everybody you know in New York starts mysteriously coming down with the flu on Friday, keep in mind these new Friday afternoon flights to Havana which start up in July. You can blame JetBlue when that starts happening this summer. Today, JetBlue included this photo in their JetBlue daily news, which is the employee newsletter they send out to their crew members everybody by e- mail. As you can see, it shows presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with the JetBlue crew on a flight she took with them today. And Hillary Clinton did not go to Havana on that flight with JetBlue today, but she did go back somewhere today to make a big change from her political past. Big news from Secretary Hillary Clinton tonight. That`s next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: November 15th, 2007, seven Democrats vying for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president and they had a debate in the great state of Nevada. This is one of those debates where the moderator ran part of the debate like he was taking attendance. He went down the line asking every candidate the same yes-or-no question. No explanations, just yes or no. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MODERATOR: Do you support driver`s licenses for illegal immigrants? JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we don`t have -- MODERATOR: In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, doesn`t look like it`s going to happen any time soon, do you support driver`s licenses for illegal immigrants? EDWARDS: No. MODERATOR: Senator Obama? Yes or no? BARACK OBAMA (D), THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. MODERATOR: Senator Clinton? HILLARY CLINTON (D), THEN-2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Senator Obama? Yes. Senator Clinton? No. In fact, the day before that debate, Senator Clinton had issued a statement on that issue. She said, quote, "As president, I will not support driver`s licenses for undocumented people." That was eight years ago. Now times have changed. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton does think that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to get driver`s licenses. And tonight, back in Nevada, she went all in on the immigration issue. Not only embracing that change about driver`s licenses, but going right at the entire Republican field on this issue saying that she supports what President Obama has done already on immigration and if she were president, she would not only fight Republican efforts to roll those policies back, she would keep going. She would extend them a lot, by executive action if necessary. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: We can`t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. Now, this is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistakes, today not a single Republican candidate announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for second class status. I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put DREAMers, including those with us today, at risk of deportation. And, if Congress continues to refuse to act, as president I would do everything possible under the law to go even further. There are more people like many parents of DREAMers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities who deserve a chance to stay and I will fight for them. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I will fight for them. Secretary Clinton back in Nevada tonight, calling out the whole Republican presidential field for none of them supporting a pathway to citizenship for immigrant families. Secretary Clinton showing not only her own evolution on this issue, but how much Republicans have actually slid back on that issue over the past few years. This is starting to get exciting. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, we barely rarely get a cabinet secretary on this show. But that`s what we`ve got tonight for the interview. Seriously. Stay with us. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, on Monday of last week, a week ago yesterday, the Southeast got pounded by severe thunderstorms, pulsing rain, winds up to 70 miles an hour. It`s just a mess. In the midst of that big storm in the Southeast, a local news reporter in Elmwood, Louisiana, captured this incredible scene. The reporter was trying to ride out a storm at a local restaurant. He parked his news van near the entrance of that restaurant and ran inside. But he kept the camera on his dashboard rolling. Look what the camera captured. Keep your eyes on train rolling across the track at the top of the screen. Do you see that? Look at that. The winds from the storm knocked those train cars right off the track, right off that trestle bridge the train was passing over at the time. Amazing. Incredibly, nobody was hurt. That happened last Monday in Louisiana. That was Monday. This is Tuesday in Roswell, New Mexico. Two freight train trains, one carrying sand, the other carrying molasses. The two trains had a head on coalition. Unlike that train that got blown off the bridge in Louisiana the day before, someone did get killed in this coalition in New Mexico. Two crew members and one of the train engines jumped to try to save their lives when they realized the collision was going to happen. One of those two crew members who jumped was killed. That same day, we also got brand new images of a big train accident that happened in North Dakota. This was the view from a train carrying cars full of grain. That was traveling through the town of Castleton, North Dakota, at the time. You can see off in the distance, there is another train approaching, coming in from the opposite direction on an adjacent track. Well, here is the view from that train just before it hit the train it was speeding towards, just before it slammed into a derailed car that had tipped over from the grain train onto the adjacent track. You can see the other train is about to hit that one car that has tipped over and slumped on to the adjacent track. This was the result of that collision. The fireball that lit up the sky over North Dakota, that fire in Castleton, North Dakota, burned for days. The engineer called 911 after the crash happened that he was running away from the burning locomotive. The train had started blowing up. The 911 dispatcher asked the engineer if she needed to call the local fire department. The engineer responded, quote, "You need to call every fire department." In that case, in that Castleton, North Dakota, crash, the reason it was not the same kind of accident as though those other ones is because of what was on board one of those two trains that collided in Castleton. One of those two trains, not the grain train, the other train, was carrying highly flammable crude oil. For more than a year now, as one oil train after another has derailed and blown up across the country, we have been expecting new rules to be announced, to try to prevent more disasters like this, new federal rules telling the oil industry what to do to make these oil trains safer. We`ve been awaiting those new rules for more than a year now, and now, they have finally arrived. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx just announced new rules governing oil trains at a press conference in Washington. What he unveiled is a 395-page order that covers everything from how thick the walls of the tank cars need to be, to how fast these oil trains are allowed to move through communities, to the types of braking systems they trains must have now. It`s a tough, far-reaching, expansive order from the Obama administration about this vexing new problem we have on the rails with all these oil trains now. But the order also does not go nearly as far as many people had hoped. For example, that oil train derailment and explosion in Castleton, North Dakota, involved a decades old car called the DOT 111. We`ve talked a lot on the show about the flimsiness and repeated failures of that specific kind of car. The DOT 111 was also involved in a fiery oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which killed 47 people, wiped out near half the center of that town. Under the new rule, that specific tank car involved in those derailments, which has a repeated record of failure, that specific train car under the new rules can stay on the rails until the beginning of 2018, three more years with those things. This is the tank car model that the oil industry upgraded to. It`s called the CPC-1232. It`s seen here going up in flames and dumping its contents into the James River in Lynchburg, Virginia, after a derailment there last year. That newer tank war was also involved in fiery derailments and explosions in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, and Galena, Illinois, earlier this year. Under the new rule, that specific tank car involved a nose derailment can stay on the rails even longer than the DOT 111. It can stay on the rails until April 2020. Both of those types of cars do eventually have to be retrofitted to meet a new standard, but they can stay on the tracks for years in the meantime. One other things to note, after that oil train disaster in Lynchburg, Virginia, last year, the Transportation Department required that the oil train industry give information to local communities about when large quantity oil trains like that were moving through their area. That requirement led to a whole state of local news articles over the past year about how many oil trains are moving through your particular city or town. Local newspapers were able to inform the public about that, get that information, because states were forced the turn it over through the Freedom of Information Act. The oil industry tried to prevent that information from getting out, but the states had to mostly comply with those records request and, therefore, we got all that local news. Well, now, the new rule says that that information does have to be shared with first responders, but it will no longer be available to the public. The new rule says the information is proprietary to the companies that are shipping the oil, releasing it publicly could pose a security risk. So, now, you`re no longer allowed to know what is shipping through your town and when. There is a lot of good in these new rules. This is the first time the federal government has tried to do anything this big and this permanent to fix this problem. But is this it? Is this all we`re going to get, because this as a potential solution seems a lot smaller than the existing problem. The man whose signature appears right at the bottom of these new rules, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joins us live, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Our nation`s transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx, has just announced the long awaited new federal rules aimed at making oil trains less likely to derail and blow up in a town near you. Joining us now for the interview is our nation`s transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx. Mr. Secretary, thank you for being with us tonight. ANTHONY FOXX, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Glad to be with you, Rachel. MADDOW: So, I know that you saw my introduction a moment ago, and I`m delighted that there are new federal rules. I am worried that they are federal rules that leave what seems like dangerous tanker cars on the rails for three or five more years without much improvement. FOXX: Well, Rachel, the first thing one has to realize is our department doesn`t control whether things move. We control how things move. And one of the challenges we face here is that, you know, you could see more of this stuff moving on your highways if we don`t tighten up our tank car standards. We think this is the right rule for the right time right now, and we`re moving this rule as quickly as we can, prioritizing the least safe tank cars first. Prioritizing the crude oil movements first and making sure that we`re doing everything we can to get these cars in the marketplace as quickly as possible. But we also have to recognize they have to be made and they have to be retrofitted, and we`ve got to make sure we account for the time that it will take to do that. MADDOW: The least safe cars that you are considering there, the oldest standards, the DOT 111, was it within your power, was it under consideration to ban them from carrying crude oil in a shorter term basis? They`re going to be on the rails until 2018. FOXX: Well, to be clear, we are banning them. It`s just that we have to cycle them out of the market. And to also be clear -- you know, if we took them off the marketplace tomorrow, we would see more trucks carrying the same crude oil and that also presents dangers. So, the reality is, we have to -- we have to deal with the fact that this stuff is moving and we have to do everything we can to make it move as safely as possible, and our rule is calibrated to get there faster than many manufacturers think they can get there in terms of retrofitting and producing new tank cars. MADDOW: One of the rule changes or one of the changes under this rule that I didn`t expect was about the information that people can get access to and that local media can get access to about high volume oil trains rolling through their neighborhood. As far as I understand it, the general public is actually going to have less access to that information now under the new rule, than they do already. Why was that change made? FOXX: Well, one of the challenges we faced with the current emergency order that requires reporting a different way is that first responders weren`t getting access to the comprehensive information they need and they weren`t getting that information as directly as they needed to. So, this rule corrects that issue. And, again, while a lot of the information, classified information for security reasons, to the extent that the states and local government`s desire to produce more information to the public, they will have some discretion to do that based on whether the information is classified or not. MADDOW: I want first responders to have all the information they need and more, but I also feel like this is a political issue. I mean, obviously, there`s a lot of politics around the safety of pipelines and this national issue of the approval of the Keystone pipeline. You`ve raised the issue of the safety of this stuff on the roads. We`ve just been talking about the safety of this stuff on the rails. People have a lot of strong feelings about this stuff as the United States has started moving more domestic around in all these surface methods. If the public has less access to this information, that`s going to affect not only what we know and what we might do to keep ourselves safe but the level of public discourse, isn`t it? FOXX: Well, look, our goal is to ensure as much transparency as possible. There are a lot of other equities at play here, including the security of the material that is moving, and some of that actually belongs to some of the other federal agencies in terms of their discretion to classified information. But let me say this -- that to the extent that information does not pose a security risk, of course, the state and local governments will continue to be able to disseminate that information as they choose to. MADDOW: Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Mr. Secretary, I really appreciate you taking time to talk with us. We cover this a lot. Having the chance to talk with you about it is a real privilege. Thank you, sir. FOXX: Thank you. MADDOW: I appreciate it. You know, it`s interesting. I -- looking at what I see as some of the weaknesses of the rule, the oil industry and railroad industry see this new rule as far too draconian and they`ve already announced that they`re going to fight it. And, of course, they have infinite monetary resources to do so. It will be very interesting to see as the administration fights for this rule. You know, with all of its weaknesses, they`re still going to have to fight with it against rich industries who say it`s pushing them too much. There will be a big fight over this in a big, big, moneyed way. All right. Lots more ahead, including a much needed diversion involving where you are allowed to put your mascara. That story is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I love this guy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALEX JONES, INFO WARS: I`ve gone from 279 pounds all the way down to 235 pounds, and the weight is going off even faster. And it wasn`t just that my weight loss accelerated. My muscle mass increased. My stamina, my energy levels exploded. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: God bless Alex Jones and his stamina, and exploding energy levels. And the rest of the people may look at Alex Jones, the conspiracy Internet guy and see just a regular Joe selling his Illuminate-free black helicopter repellent male vitality potion. I want to know if he`s also selling belly hair mascara. Look, before - after. Before -- after. Look at the torso transformation. If body hair mascara is the next survivalist frontier, I want to know if I should hoard it now. But Alex Jones, the kind of Internet conspiracy theories really has been onto to an actually big story this year, globalist big, Texas big. And that story is becoming a very funny national joke right now, but it`s also getting to very touchy and important national politics. And we`re going to have that report for you exclusively here tomorrow night. That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". Good evening, Lawrence. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END