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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/20/15

Guests: Steve Kornacki

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now. Good evening, Rachel. RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend. HAYES: You bet. MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. This is the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," and all the rest of it, right? The founding document of our country, when you look at it, though, just as a physical object, type graphically, it`s a little strange, right? It`s a hand-written document. Obviously, it`s an 18th century document. The lines all slope a little bit throughout the long body of the declaration. The calligraphy is sort of -- you know, it`s very obviously handwritten. Up top, you have very big letters, in Congress, July 4th, 1776, and also in very big letters, "The Unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America." I don`t know how they made "of the 13 united" very, very small. It`s a sort of weird thing about top line of the top line of the Declaration of Independence. And down at the bottom where you get all the signers, right? I think it`s 56 Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence. Down at the bottom, there`s only really one of them that you can read from a distance, at least. And that`s just because he signed his name so much bigger than everybody else. And that is John Hancock, right? That`s how we get John Hancock as a synonym for signature. Put your John Hancock on there, because John Hancock`s name is like this big when everybody else`s is like this. So when they say, you know, we need your John Hancock here at the bottom -- when I was a little kid, I thought that was a dirty joke of some kind. For the longest time, because I realized it was actually just a reference to his name. It`s a reference to the fact that John Hancock signed his name huge at the bottom of the declaration. I mean, signing your name really big, right, on a public document, that is one sort of narrowly focused, narrowly targeted way to make sure you have your name remembered, right? To make sure you`re the one who sticks out. Well, former President George W. Bush has apparently taken that lesson to heart. I mean, if he`s not going to be remembered for anything else, maybe it will be for the fact that this is apparently how he signs his letters now. We didn`t blow up the signature on this. And it`s not like the leatherhead doesn`t have his name in big enough letters at the top, right? But look at that. George Bush has turned to graffiti in his post-presidency years. George W. Bush now signing thing with a can of spray paint. This letter signed with great enthusiasm by former President George W. Bush. George W. Bush! It went out today as a fund-raising appeal for the presidential campaign of his brother, Jeb. And that, in itself, is not an embarrassing thing. Unless, of course, you`re the brother who launched your presidential campaign by telling everybody that they should think of you as a stand-alone candidate, unrelated to your family. Yes, sure, maybe you had a father and a brother who were also presidents, quite recently, but that`s totally irrelevant to your own run for the presidency, because you are your own man. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As you might know, I`ve also been fortunate to have a father and a brother who helped shape America`s foreign policy from the oval office. I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs. I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make. But I`m my own man. And my views are shaped by my own thinking, in my own experiences. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was how Jeb Bush basically told us he was going to run his campaign for the presidency. I mean, right before he had his dad start fund-raising and doing events for him and then he had his mom start fund- raising and doing events for him. Then he had his brother start fund- raising and doing events for him. Right before all of that, he did the, "I am my own man" speech. And now today, Jeb Bush, I am my own man, his campaign for president announced that in October, the whole Bush family will be hosting a $50,000- a-person donors` conference for the Jeb Bush for president campaign, hosted by his dad and his brother and his mom. This one`s going to be held in Texas, where his brother lives. Unlike the last one of these they did, which was held literally at his mom and dad`s house. But remember, I am my own man. I mean, all of these things about how he is running a Bush family campaign for the presidency, it sort of would be fine, right? It would be exactly how everybody expected Jeb Bush to make a run for the presidency. It would all be fine, except for the fact that he went out of his way to get all those headlines. Saying, I`m not going to run that way, I`m my own way. I`m not running as the third Bush for president. Pay no attention to my father and my brother. I`m running on my own terms. None of the way he is running for president would look bad in terms of the way he`s using his family, had he not started everything off by saying, I`m not going to use my own family. Had me not started everything off with the "I`m my own man" joke. Just a bad, unforced political error, right? And that was even before he formally got into the race. That was his signal that he was getting in. I`m getting in and getting in as my own man. It was a foreign policy speech that he said that. He was saying in context, my foreign policy will have nothing to do with my father`s foreign policy or my brother`s foreign policy. And then he immediately, that day, followed that up with the press release, announcing that he was bringing onboard 21 foreign policy advisers to his campaign, 19 of those 21, had worked for either his brother or his dad or both. So, it`s just this really unforced political error that Jeb Bush made right off the bat. And then, the first big political stunt he launched was his effort to be seen as a tech-savvy, wired, Silicon Valley kind of e- candidate. First, he hired the cofounder of to be his chief technology officer. Then he had to fire the kid one day later when it emerged that nobody on the Jeb Bush campaign had apparently read that kid`s twitter field, which was all about his ranking of the different kinds of sluts in the world. Then, Jeb Bush released hundreds of thousands of e-mails from his time as Florida governor. He made a big splash out of this. I`m releasing all of these e-mails. I`m being super transparent. I`m letting you know how tech savvy I am. Apparently, nobody read those e-mails either before the Jeb Bush for president campaign pulled that particular trigger. And that document dump, which, again, nobody asked the campaign for. They did this on purpose, on their own terms, it was their own bright idea. That document dumped ended up posting online thousands of people`s personal information. That these people had clearly never ended to become public. With that first campaign stunt that he did, Jeb Bush posted online totally unredacted information, including people`s real e-mail addresses, real full names, real contact information, real physical addresses, in some cases, real and sensitive medical information, people`s real Social Security numbers. Jeb Bush just uploaded all of it! Put it all out there! Did I mention I`m the tech-savvy guy? And it was around that time that we noticed that if you typed into your web browser, what popped up was this really quite adorable website of a super cute gay couple from Oregon. Their names are C.J. and Charlie. They`re bears. They call themselves tech bears. They`re both engineers. And they own Because tech-savvy Silicon Valley-wise Jeb Bush never bothered to buy, C.J. and Charlie have bought it instead and they have turned it into a really friendly discussion page about gay rights. I mean, Jeb Bush must have known he was going to maybe run for president since, when? High school. Junior high. Did they tell him in the womb? I mean -- but it never occurred to him to maybe grab that website, and that sort of thing, that sort of oversight, that sort of screw-up. That sort of failure to cover even the basics started off becoming evident very, very early in the Jeb Bush for president campaign. It even started before the campaign properly started. But now, it is becoming a really salient issue in American national politics. It started to bubble up in political discussions about the presidential campaign a few weeks ago. But now, I really do think it`s becoming an urgent matter of concern. The way it came up a few weeks ago is when Jeb Bush volunteered -- again, this was totally unforced -- he just volunteered as an aside, when he was asked about Planned Parenthood, he just volunteered something that will follow him all the way to the end of his political career, no matter where that political career ends. He just brought this up, apropos of nothing, when no one was asking. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: The argument against is this is, well, women`s health issues are going to be -- you`re attacking -- it`s a war on women and you`re attacking women`s health issues. You could take dollar for dollar, although I`m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women`s health issues. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I`m not sure -- that was a couple of weeks ago. Jeb Bush volunteering, as an aside, apropos of annoying. Eh, why do we need all this money for women`s health? Yuck. Whether or not you agree with him on that, that`s the sort of thing that`s obviously going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. Like, maybe, 53 percent or so of American voters who are women, all of whom have health of some kind. Why do we need all this money for the women`s health? More to the point, though, just as a matter of political practice, Jeb Bush didn`t have to bring that up. Nobody was asking him about that. That was just another unforced political error. At "The Weekly Standard," a conservative writer named John McCormack responded to that mistake by saying, quote, "Isn`t one benefit of an establishment candidate supposed to be that he`s not going to make gaffes like this?" Jeb Bush, after he made that gaffe, did put out a written statement, trying to take it back. Taking back what he said about women`s health. He said he misspoke about that. In response to that, Craig Robinson, a longtime Republican operative in Iowa, told, quote, "Every time Jeb Bush has stuck his foot in his mouth, it`s been a cleanup on Aisle 3 moment. I think it shows a real lack of message discipline with Bush. We`ve seen more errors out of Jeb Bush this campaign than most of the other candidates." Which is true. We used to do something on this show called the John Boehner is bad at his job hypothesis. It was when the Republicans took over control of Congress in 2010, but it felt like they just couldn`t even get the basic stuff done to run Congress, because their leadership couldn`t figure out basic stuff, like how to stop their own side from fighting in public or how to just keep the lights on, keep the government running, when they weren`t trying to shut it down. And we called that the John Boehner is bad at his job hypothesis. The Republican presidential campaign has now, unexpectedly, but I think, unavoidably, given birth to the Jeb Bush is bad at his job hypothesis. And nobody would have expected this, from a guy who`s the third presidential candidate from the same nuclear family that includes two other presidents. But Jeb Bush really is, unexpectedly, bad at running for president. And I say that with no malice. I say that as an observer of his political skills. And I think it`s becoming increasingly important, for an increasingly wide circle of people. Today, his latest bowl of confusion happened on the issue of immigration. Republicans following Donald Trump`s lead this year, they have decided that people born in the United States should not be citizens anymore, which is really quite a radical position. But Donald Trump put that out there this year as his immigration position. And a great majority of all the other Republican candidates have fallen right in line behind him on that. Jeb Bush has tried to maintain a little bit of distance from that radical position, but he is also, while sort of inexpertly and bumbling way, in a bumbling way, stumbled through the policy part of it, he`s also stumbled into using some super offensive language borrowed from Donald Trump to talk about this issue, and then he purported to not understanding that that was the language he was using, then he defended using the language, and then he rejected the using the language, and then asked the reporters to give him some better language to use, and then he actually didn`t have any idea what to say next. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) BUSH: There ought to be greater enforcement. That`s -- that`s legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don`t have these, you know, anchor babies, as they`re described, coming into the country. REPORTER: Governor -- BUSH: Yes? REPORTER: Do you think the term "anchor baby" is offensive? BUSH: No. No. If there`s another term that I can come up, I`m happy to hear it. REPORTER: Governor, do you regret using the term "anchor baby" yesterday on the radio? BUSH: No, I didn`t. (CROSSTALK) BUSH: I don`t, I don`t regret it. Do you have a better term? REPORTER: I`m not -- I`m asking you. BUSH: You give me a better term, and I`ll use it. REPORTER: Governor, governor -- BUSH: Don`t yell at me behind my ear, though. REPORTER: Sorry about that. (CROSSTALK) REPORTER: The language "anchor baby," is that not bombastic? BUSH: No, give me another word. REPORTER: Undocumented immigrants in the U.S.. BUSH: That`s not another word. That`s like a seven -- here`s the deal, what I said was, it`s commonly referred to that. That`s what I said. I didn`t use it as my own language. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: "Didn`t use it as my own language." He does not have his own language to use to describe what he was talking about. He would maybe like to borrow some from a reporter, and he does not like what the reporter had suggested, and so he`s not using the reporter`s language, or that other language that he used, but that he does not use, because it`s not his own language, because he did not use it. Does anybody have any words I can borrow? He`s Jeb Bush and he`s running for president. And he`s his own man. Jeb Bush said, before he decided to run, that one of the factors he would consider in deciding whether or not he would run for president is whether he could do it joyfully. He said if he could not run joyfully, he would not do it. He does not seem to be running joyfully. He does not seem to be having a good time. Part of the reason, I think, it hasn`t seemed fun for him is because he has had a really hard time. He could not answer the world`s most expected questions about whether or not he would have also invaded Iraq like his brother did. He said he would have, then he said he misheard the question, then he said it was an offensive thing for him to answer that question, then he said he wouldn`t answer the question, then he said, no, he wouldn`t have invaded Iraq. It took him four days to unwind that one. At one point after that, he say he would phase out Medicare, get rid of Medicare. Then he said he misspoke about that. Took that back. He went on "Face the Nation" one morning and got the retirement age wrong. At the beginning of July, he said, in order to make his economic plan work, quote, "Americans are going to have to work longer hours," which I think is what he meant, he never quite took it back, but boy did that sound out come wrong. Jeb Bush, whether you lake him as a potential president or not, he has not turned out very good at the art of running for president. I mean, to the extent that really the only fun and unexpectedly awesome thing from the campaign trail from him running is that he makes funny noises a lot. I mean, that`s turned out to be -- I thought it was going to be an amusing side bar about him. Turns out, that is his strong suit. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: That`ll light up the Twitter -- the Twitter universe. There`s some heads exploding right now. It`s -- I can feel it. Like. Rather than, you know, urg, you know, just angry all the full-time. You know, urg. I`m a candidate for president of the United States of America. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) BUSH: Whoo! Whoo. Urg. Urg. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Other than making awesome noises at unexpected intervals, I hereby propose the hypothesis that Jeb Bush is bad at his job, if his job is now running for president. Part of it, to be fair, no one is doing that great a job at running for president, except for Donald Trump, who is very clearly winning and winning by a lot. One of the people Donald Trump is happiest to talk smack about while he`s winning is Jeb Bush. What`s wrong with Jeb Bush is like Donald Trump`s favorite topic. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not a big fan of Jeb Bush. The last thing we need is another Bush. OK? Believe me. The last thing we need is another Bush. If you people go with Bush, you`re going to lose. Jeb Bush is a low-energy person. For him, to get things done is hard. He`s very low energy. And the poll just came out. And I`m tied with Jeb Bush. And I said, oh, that`s too bad. How could I be tied with this guy? He`s terrible. He`s terrible. I don`t see him as a factor, and I know it`s the Bush name, which got us into lots of -- I mean, you know, in all fairness, not the greatest. But Jeb Bush, I don`t get it. So when they said, Mr. Trump, you`re in first place. Oh, that`s good. You`re tied with Jeb Bush. I said, that`s not good. How could I be tied with this guy? You know, right down the road -- thank you. Right down the road, we have Jeb. Very small crowd. You know what`s happening to Jeb`s crowd, as you know, right down the street? They`re sleeping! They`re sleeping now. (END VIDEO CLIPS) MADDOW: Donald Trump likes insulting a lot of the other candidates. He appears to like insulting Jeb Bush the most. He`s also just dogging Jeb Bush in a way that appears to be driving Jeb Bush a little nuts. The Jeb Bush campaign had already announced this big event they wanted to do in Merrimack, New Hampshire, last night. They had already announced that Merrimack event when Donald Trump apparently looked at that and decided that he, too, would be in New Hampshire for his first town hall on that same night, at that same time, less than 20 miles away from the Jeb Bush event. Jeb Bush ended up turning out around 150 people at his little sleepover. Mr. Trump, simultaneously, less than 20 miles away, filled a room with more than 800 capacity, plus hundreds of people in the overflow. And then he got up at the podium and spent the whole time talking about what a terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible person Jeb Bush is. There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person. There is reason to believe that Jeb Bush is a terrible candidate for president. And that is important, because even though Donald Trump is clearly winning right now in the race for the Republican nomination for president, everybody in the establishment, everybody in the Beltway still thinks that Jeb Bush is the most likely guy to ultimately win the nomination. And that`s partly because of Bush family name recognition. It`s partly because he has locked up so much establishment support already. Mostly it`s because of his fund-raising, fully half of which comes from legacy donors, who had previously supported his dad or his brother or both. Hiss fund-raising still outpacing everybody on the Republican side by a mile, except for Donald Trump who doesn`t fundraise, because he says he doesn`t need to. Realizing that Jeb Bush is bad at campaigning, he`s bad -- really bad at campaigning for president, realizing that, it`s like realizing that you just -- you got pretty good grades, pretty good SATs, maybe you`re like, you know, you were jayvee a couple of years in a couple of sports, but varsity a couple of years. It`s like realizing you`re so far on the bubble in terms of top-tier schools and you just applied to all the Ivy League schools. And then one safe school, and now you`ve realize d that you`re not going to get into your safe school. Is that hypothesis about Jeb Bush fair? And is there another safe school on this Republican list? In the unlikely event that they don`t actually nominate Donald Trump to be their presidential nominee. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: You don`t have to look at the camera yet. It`s like it`s just sneaking up on us. STEVE KORNACKI, UP: I`ll just ignore it. MADDOW: Pretend it`s not there. Steve Kornacki is here. He`s right here, in just a minute. Hold on. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: I just think when people get this narrative, whatever the new term narrative, they`re going to find that I`m going to be the guy that they`re going to vote for. And it`s a long haul, man. Whoa, whoa, whoa! (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Whoa! Whoa! You people are so close. Inappropriately loud. Some of you are behind me. Jeb Bush gearing up for the long haul against front-runner Donald Trump. If he can make it through without throttling any of these terrible reporters who are very close to him. In an uncomfortable way. I did not expect him to be like this. Joining us now is the great Steve Kornacki, host of "UP" on MSNBC, on the weekends. Steve, it`s great to have you here today. KORNACKI: Great to be here. MADDOW: I hereby offer the hypothesis that Jeb Bush is bad at his job and his job right now is running for president. Do you think that is fair? KORNACKI: I think I would qualify it a little bit. I think I would say, what I wonder about is, is Jeb Bush a bad candidate for this moment in politics, and this moment in the Republican Party? Because I think if you look at, there are past elections where Jeb Bush himself, or a candidate like Jeb Bush, would be doing sort of -- would have the same approach to the campaign, and we would be saying, wow, they`ve got it mastered, what a well-oiled machine. But I think we`re in a moment new where the Republican Party, in the past they`ve been angry at the Democrats and the Democratic president. It is just as angry now at its own leaders, at its own establishment. At all the sort of brand name players in the Republican Party. So when I`m seeing Donald Trump surge to the top of the polls, that`s obviously a huge story. But look below Trump in the polls. Who`s number two right now? It`s Ben Carson. MADDOW: Right. KORNACKI: It`s a neurosurgeon who`s never done anything in politics until about two years ago. It`s Carly Fiorina, who five years ago couldn`t even come close to winning a Senate race in California. Before that, Hewlett-Packard, no other political experience. She`s surging in the polls right now. So, I think there`s something broader going on in the Republican Party, where there`s this anger. There`s in frustration. There`s this absolute aversion to anything that reeks of the establishment, and Jeb Bush, that`s what he reeks of. MADDOW: Well, yes, I think that`s true. If we`re going to describe his reek, I would say that`s what it is. But I can`t imagine a year in which anybody would be seen as a good candidate when they, oops, accidentally say "anchor babies", and then say they don`t know what it meant and it wasn`t their real language. And they, oops, accidentally say, we shouldn`t have funding for women`s health, and then say, oh, I misspoke. And they shouldn`t have their mom and dad and brother do all their fund-raising for them after they did a big campaign launch essentially saying, pay no attention to my family. I feel like there`s a lot of unforced stuff about Jeb Bush, which makes him not just sort of a story of what`s going on with the field, what`s going on with the Republican voters` mind, I just feel like he`s terrible. KORNACKI: Well, here`s why I say, a different year, it would be a different story. Think about the examples you just gave. A lot of those examples are the product of the climate of 2015 and 2016. This anchor baby thing is this challenge he finds himself facing, which is he wants to run the general election campaign. He wants -- you know, he wants to, you know, he says he wants to be willing to lose the primary to win the general. And, yet, Donald Trump has completely hijacked the terms of the debate. So, on immigration, an issue where Jeb Bush wanted to position himself more in the center, he is now awkwardly trying to occupy some of the ground that Donald Trump is on -- MADDOW: Including using that language. KORNACKI: But look what happens. When he moves in that direction, everybody immediately says, oh, my God, you said that, and he acts like a politician in that situation, tries to qualify it, tries to parse his language. Meanwhile, a guy like Donald Trump will say it and will own it. And to the Republican base, it becomes a test of authenticity. Donald Trump says it and means it. Jeb Bush says it and it`s mealy mouthed. And then Trump lays it on thick. When Trump says those things about Jeb Bush, I can see those Republican heads nods. It is a diagnosis that resonates with the base. And I think back to 2000 when George W. Bush ran. That was the one really it all comes to me is 1994, 20 years ago. Jeb Bush and George W. Bush both running for governor for the first time. Jeb in Florida -- (CROSSTALK) MADDOW: -- at the same time. KORNACKI: In a month before that election, Jeb was supposed to win and George W. was supposed to lose. And if that hadn`t happened, if it hadn`t been for the upset in Florida, Jeb`s the guy who goes in 2000. And the climate in 2000 was Jeb`s climate. MADDOW: Right. KORNACKI: Instead George W. got it. Now he`s got to answer for George W.`s presidency. He`s got to be against Donald Trump in 2016 and talking about immigration. That`s what I mean about the year he`s running in is making a lot of these -- MADDOW: I think the year in which he`s running, I think you`re right, that changes the stakes of the way he fails. I am just surprised to see him -- I think he`d be failing in any year, because I think he`s a bad candidate. Maybe he was a good candidate when he ran -- last ran for office a dozen years ago -- KORNACKI: Yes. MADDOW: -- in Florida. Maybe he`s just rusty. Maybe he`ll shake it off. And maybe by the time people stop pay attention to Donald Trump, he`ll be great at it. KORNACKI: One quick thing I would say, about weaknesses in candidates, I look at George W. Bush as a communicator now, compare him to Jeb, and my estimation of George W. as a communicator has gone up a little bit. I`ll say that. MADDOW: Yes, absolutely. I agree. There, a nice thing said about George W. Bush on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW. Steve Kornacki, host of "UP" weekend mornings at 8:00 Eastern here on MSNBC, it`s always great to see you, my friend. KORNACKI: You, too. MADDOW: There`s lots more ahead tonight, including how should you respond when a famously obnoxious politician says, "If you ask me to leave, I will leave." Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK, so I`m on "The Tonight Show" tonight. The actual "Tonight Show." Jimmy Fallon and I made drinks and I tried to persuade him that there is something genius going on in politics right now, although nobody sees it as genius. Now, I think we have persuaded "The Tonight Show" to allow us to play a clip, so we can show that to you in just a moment. I think we got permission to show the clip. In which case, it is coming right up and it`s really good. So, hopefully, that`s coming up in just a second. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: There are a lot of different types of machine guns. This is one machine gun that gets used now in active duty in the U.S. military. It`s called a SAW, stands for squad automatic weapon. One thing to know about the squad automatic weapon is that it`s really freaking heavy. The reason I know it`s heavy is because I have fired one. I know that seems very unlikely, but it`s true. I was terrible at it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: What is this larger weapon that we`re going to shot? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the M249 SAW, currently in service with the U.S. military. MADDOW: M249, OK. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: M249 SAW. SAW stands for squad automatic weapon. It does the job very well. Real heavy, a lot of support. It will -- fairly easy to shoot. MADDOW: This is something that infantrymen are using now? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it`s part of every fire team. MADDOW: OK. And what caliber bullets does it shoot? UNIDENTIFEID MALE: The 556 rounds linked together, just like this. MADDOW: OK, so it`s automatic. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma`am. MADDOW: Can we see how badly I did on this one? Can we pull that target in? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. MADDOW: See, on this one, I wasn`t aiming here. If I was aiming there, I would hit rigiht there. I was actually aiming right there. I should have nailed him, I was going for the outer forearm. What I did in Las Vegas. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The SAW machine gun is something I fired after somebody was kind enough to lift it up and put it into place for me and I hunched over it like a hobbit and squeezed the trigger. That is not the kind of gun I would just be able to carry it around. I would certainly not with able to carry it around for a 12-mile march. But U.S. soldiers do. Soldiers carry that SAW, they carry that 20-pound gun plus all that heavy ammo on top of all their other gear and equipment. And that specific detail about the SAW machine gun, the weight of that thing may be helpful context for understanding this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 2ND LT. ZACHARY HAGNER, U.S. ARMY RANGER: I carry the SAW for about three days. And I was like, OK, I need somebody to take this for me. I and went to every single person just in the line, no order, and they`re like, no, I`m really tired, too, I`m broken, and as soon as I went to Ranger Griest, she was like, she wanted it from me. She basically took it away from me. So, of nine guys were like, I`m too broken, I`m too tired. She just as broken and tired took it from me, like, almost excitement. I thought she was crazy for that. Maybe she was just motivated. That`s how she is. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That`s how she is. Second Lieutenant Zachary Hagner, talking about his fellow U.S. Army Ranger, Captain Kristen Griest, the one soldier in his unit who volunteered to carry that machine gun when everyone else was too broken or too tired to do so. She, along with First Lieutenant Shaye Haver had just become the first women to make it through the ranger school, to make it through the toughest test in the U.S. Army and thereby earned the coveted Ranger insignia. They`re going to receive their ranger tabs at a ceremony tomorrow morning in Fort Benning, Georgia, alongside the 94 men who completed this course with them. These are the first two women ever, this is the first year they even let women try for it, and these two are graduating. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STAFF SGT. MICHAEL CALDERONE, U.S. ARMY RANGER: What was going through my mind, at least, you know, you`re way too tired and way too hungry to really honestly care. But I know, I mean, it`s in the back of our minds, obviously, we`re aware what`s going on, but at the end of the day, everyone was a ranger. It didn`t matter. You know, everyone was a ranger. It`s the same throughout, as long as the team pulled through and accomplished the mission. REPORTER: There`s a lot of scrutiny, I`m sure you`re aware, that there`s a lot of questions about whether standards were lowered. We already heard -- we already heard at some length from the leadership here that that`s not the case. But do you feel like, in any way, that has diminished your accomplishment or, you know, get frustrated when you`ve kind of caught, probably, at least in the last day or two, some of that conversation? And I guess this really goes for men and women. SPC. CHRISTOPHER CARVALHO, U.S. ARMY RANGER: Mind if I take that question? REPORTER: Sure. CARVALHO: So, as far as I`m concerned, I know my first experience with the women in ranger school was during rap week, and one in particular event that stood out in my mind would be the 12-mile rock march, which we had about maybe 50 pounds plus whatever weight we carried in water on our backs. And the women, these two women, at least, finished well ahead of some of the males -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beat me. CARVALHO: Well ahead -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beat me. CARVALHO: And well ahead of 60 other men that didn`t even complete the rock march. That`s what validated it for me. Hey, these women are for real, they`re here to stay, they`re carrying the same weight that we are and doing the same stuff that we are. And that was what really solidified it for me. REPORTER: I`m wondering if any of you, before the training, perhaps were skeptical about whether this was going to work out and if your minds were changed. Any -- does that apply to anyone there? 2ND LT. MICHAEL JANOWSKI, U.S. ARMY RANGER: So, I was pretty skeptical. I went to school with Shaye and I knew she was a physical stud, but I was skeptical of whether or not I could handle it. I was fortunate enough -- this was my third time in ranger school, I`d been dropped twice before. I was skeptical if they could handle it physically. Now, we got to mountains, and there was one night we were doing a long walk. I was at 320 gunners and I had a lot of weight on me and I was struggling. I stopped and I asked halfway point, hey, can anyone help take some of this weight. I got a lot of deer in the headlights look, a lot of people were like, I can`t take anymore weight. Shaye was the only one to volunteer to take that weight. She took the weight off of me and carried it the last half of me, literally saved me. I probably wouldn`t be sitting here right now if it weren`t for Shaye. So, from that point, no more skepticism. I knew she was going to make it right through. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Joining us now is MSNBC military analyst, combat veteran, recipient of the Medal of Honor, Colonel Jack Jacobs. Colonel Jack, thank you for being here. COL. JACK JACOBS, MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST: Well, good to be here, Rachel. MADDOW: I was with you today when we saw that press conference started. And I was interested in the Army`s decision to put those two pioneering women rangers out there, alongside all the other men who they`re graduating with, to let both them and the men tell the story about what happened here. What do you make about the Army`s strategy here for how they have made this decision and rolled this out? JACOBS: Well, I think it`s kind of interesting. The original assumption would be that if they wanted to test women out to see if they could be in combat units, they would stick them in combat units in the States, where they`re in garrison. If they`re out in the woods, they have rucksacks and so on and firing blanks and doing war games and small unit tactics and so on. And then maybe, much later on, they would decide whether or not they were going to send women to the toughest school in the United States Army had. They didn`t do that. They did it exactly the opposite way. They sent women to the toughest school first. And the result of that is, of course, is that it`s difficult to engender any kind of support for people who say, women can`t take it. It`s going to be sometime probably before women -- MADDOW: Just because -- anybody saying women can`t take it, statistically speaking, none of those people are going to be people who could do what these women just did at the Ranger School. JACOBS: It`s true. Stick them in a regular unit, but don`t send them to Ranger School, people would say, OK, they`re in a unit, but they can`t go to Ranger School. But if they go to Ranger School and complete it, and 40 to 60 percent of the men don`t complete it, then you`re way down the road to putting women in combat units and I think that`s the objective. MADDOW: In terms of the applicability here -- I mean, obviously, the army has not yet made a decision that the Ranger Regiment, Special Forces Ranger Regiment would be open to these women. At least one of the women said she would be interested if it were available to her. There is now talk from the Navy that they`re thinking about allowing women to go through bud school and trying to become Navy SEALs. Are there going to be different processes in the different branches, do you think we know what`s going to happen? Do you think there`s any suspense here to what the bottom line? JACOBS: I think there`s no suspense about what ultimately the bottom line will be. I think the path may be a little bit different, but I think the end result is going to be pretty much the same. There will be women in combat units. And I think the root to them, and the Marines, in the Army, and in -- among the SEALs, is going to be different -- there`ll be different lengths, but I think the end result is going to be pretty much the same. I think -- and I`ll tell you something else. If you take a look at the way combat has been in the last war, when we decided that we did not want to put women in combat units, because we didn`t want women to be in combat units and get killed and wounded, and instead put them in trucks and drove trucks down unsecured roads, where they got killed and wounded, you see exactly where the military establishment is going. I think women are going to eventually be in combat units. It`s just a question of changing the culture. MADDOW: Colonel Jack Jacobs, MSNBC military analyst, really appreciate your time. JACOBS: My pleasure. MADDOW: To have you here. Thank you. All right. Ahead, I share some quality sofa time with an old friend on the TV machine. Lots more still to come. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Congratulations. We have achieved a new record. Collectively, we humans have done something brand-new we`ve never done before. All right. So, we humans, as a species, we have been keeping detailed temperature records since 1880. You`ve probably heard that nine of the ten hottest months ever recorded on earth were all recorded within the last ten years. The single hottest year on record is last year. This year is already on track to beat last year and set a new record, because January to July, this year, was hotter than any other January to July that has ever been recorded on earth. And here is where the big congratulations come in, because this past month, July 2015, July itself, turns out to be the single hottest month ever recorded on planet earth. Tada. In the history of keeping records of earth`s average temperatures, no month has ever been hotter than this past month. We did it. But, remember, global warming is a hoax, easily disproven by the fact that it still sometimes snows in the winter. So pay no attention to the Armageddon lurking in the data. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Programming note, I will be a guest on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. I`m excited for you to see it and we did successfully persuade them to give us a clip from the interview in which I think I convinced Jimmy something genius concerning politics. I`m not sure, I`m not sure, but I least tried very hard. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: If he decides not, he`s sort of threatening to run as an independent, right? If he decides not to -- JIMMY FALLON, TONIGHT SHOW: But he didn`t like that, in the debate, he`s like that was kind of tricky question. He is like, would anyone here raise their hand if they would even, you know, think of running on a different party and he was like, eh. MADDOW: Me, this guy. FALLON: That was gutsy. That`s why people like. It`s like you don`t know what he is going to do. It is honesty. MADDOW: It`s actually genius. I don`t think he`s a dumb guy. I don`t think that he`s playing a dumb game. What he is doing is genius. If he was going to say at that debate, no, no, I`ll never run as an independent, I will only run as a Republican he loses leverage and then he just one of the Republicans. But if he says, no, you guys be nice or I will jump in an as independent, thereby guaranteeing Hillary Clinton will be the next president. What does that mean? That means if he doesn`t do that, the Republicans owe him forever. And if he does do that, Hillary Clinton becomes president and she owes him forever. Nice. So, right now, he will never have more power than right now, because either way this goes, as he runs as an independent or doesn`t half of the political infrastructure is going to owe him the rest of their lives. That is the art of the deal. FALLON: The art of the deal. MADDOW: The art of the deal. It`s perfect. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was fun. I`m on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon tonight, 11:35 eastern on NBC. I will be wearing these shoes but not these pants. More ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Cape Elizabeth is a nice town in southern Maine outside of Portland. Cape Elizabeth leans blue. They voted against Republican Paul LePage for governor in 2010. He won any way. They voted against Governor LePage last year when he won a second term. Paul LePage has never been a Cape Elizabeth kind of governor, not when he was trying to roll back child labor laws or when he said the IRS was the Gestapo or when he told the NAACP to kiss his butt or any other stuff he did. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: The one thing that I heard is if you take plastic ball and put it in the microwave and heat it up it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. And so, being worse case is some women may have a beard and we don`t want that. REPORTER: What do you like to do? LEPAGE: I want to find the Press Herald building and blow it up. TV ANCHOR: We are about to put on the screen what the governor said. Some viewers may find it distasteful may want to hit the mute button and turn away for the next seconds or so. The governor told the reporters, "Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he`s the first to give it to in the people without providing Vaseline." When he was asked if he realized some may find it offensive, he`s reported to have said, "Good, it ought to, because I have been taking it for two years." (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Governor Paul LePage of Maine, nice guy. Last month, Governor LePage sat down and wrote a letter to a retired librarian in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. We know that Governor LePage sent this retired librarian a letter because her son posted it on Facebook. So, we know that retired librarian Louise Sullivan wrote to the governor to ask him to step down, to save the state time and money and to save himself time and embarrassment because he`s facing potential impeachment proceedings now in May. We also know that Governor LePage wrote back to that librarian personally. Here`s his response, "Louise, I bet you would like to see me resign. You live in the south." Louise, retired librarian doesn`t live like in Alabama or something, she lives in Maine, she lives in southern Maine, but apparently is enough of a sin to get a mad letter written full of handwritten exclamation points and bad grammar written to you from Maine`s governor. "I bet you would like to see me resign. PS, not going to happen, exclamation point." This has been a tough summer for Governor LePage. The Maine legislature has started to talk about impeaching him after he threatened to cut off funding for a school that hired one of his political enemies. The Maine legislature is considering whether he abused the authority of his office and in so doing, one result of that investigation is that he could be impeached. Given that, a friendly local radio station asked the governor whether he is concerned about his legal troubles, and this is where it gets amazing because listen to his response. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) HOST: Governor, I know the answer to this question before I ask it but I have to. You worried about an impeachment proceeding? LEPAGE: You know, if the people of Maine want me, I`ll do the job. If they don`t want me, just ask me to leave. You don`t have to impeach me. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: You don`t have to impeach me. Just ask me to leave. Tell me more, Governor. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) LEPAGE: If the people of Maine want me, I`ll do the job. If they don`t want me, just ask me to leave. You don`t have to impeach me. HOST: Well, there was a woman that wrote you a note and asked you to resign. LEPAGE: Well, there`s 1.3 million people. So far, I`ve only got four people write me and want me to resign. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: Maine Governor Paul LePage is saying if enough people ask him to resign he will resign. He said they don`t need to impeach. He will quit if enough people ask him to. Well, that one retired librarian in Cape Elizabeth apparently started the ball rolling. The governor says three others have asked in writing to, but he says only if he gets enough but will he step down. Now, apparently, Maine is starting to take him up on it. This is in "The Bangor Daily News". It is going national. Paul Schlein of Arrowsic, Maine, says he has not only written himself to Governor LePage asking him to please resign for the good of the state. He says he`s also written letters to the editor in a dozen newspapers encouraging people to send Governor LePage a note asking him to please leave office. After all, the governor says that`s all you would take. Yesterday, Mr. Schlein says he got his first answer from the governor`s office. He got this response, "Our office appreciates hearing from you and will take your suggestions under advisement. Have a nice day." Maybe Governor Paul LePage`s office is taking the suggestion to leave under advisement right now. For the record, the governor has never explained whether he was serious about his offer to resign if he got enough letters asking him to. He also hasn`t said how many would have to resign in order for them to do it. He also hasn`t said how many Mainers so far have taken him up on his office now that he said that`s what it would take. We asked his office about those things today. When we hear back, we will let you know but I suggest you don`t wait up. That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END