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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/21/15

Guests: Katy Tur

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Friday. So, we have been wondering all this time, we`ve been wondering for weeks and months now if anyone was going to be able to catch Bernie. Bernie Sanders expected to be an asterisk in the 2016 presidential race when he started, right? Until he started campaigning and he actually started regularly turning out not just enormous crowds but crowds that were way, way, way bigger than anything any other Democrat and any other Republican could muster on the campaign trail. The first really big one was 10,000 people that turned out in Madison, Wisconsin. You know, people wrote it off, it is Madison, Wisconsin, this must be a Madison specific is phenomenon. They particularly love Bernie Sanders in some strange way there. But then it wasn`t just 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin. It was 11,000 people in Phoenix. It was 15,000 people in Seattle. It was 5,000 in Louisiana. It was 8,000 people in Dallas, on the same day he got another 5,000 people in Houston. Last week, it was completely off the hook. Bernie went to Portland, Oregon, turned out 28,000 people in Portland, Oregon. And then he followed it up with a stop in Los Angeles where he spoke to 26,000 people. And he doesn`t seem to be trying very much to turn out these crowds. I mean, his campaign says at least they don`t spend anything on advertising these events. They don`t even particularly spend on big organizing budgets for these events. They just put out word that Bernie`s coming and tens of thousands of people show up. Or at least thousands of people show up. The latest one was today in Greenville, South Carolina. And most people do not think of South Carolina as, you know, Vermont socialist territory. The Greenville, South Carolina, convention center today, this was the sign at the door. Turn right for South Carolina dental access days and turn left, naturally, for Bernie. This was an event in South Carolina held by a socialist Democratic senator. It was held at 11:00 a.m. on a Friday at the height of the summer. Did I mention it was in South Carolina? His campaign said he turned out close to 3,000 people at this event today which for Bernie Sanders is a slow day. Bernie Sanders giant campaign trail phenomenon is a real thing and it is persisting over time. But we are now entering the stage of the presidential race where Republicans are starting to feel a little size anxiety about the relative crowd size on their side of the aisle. I think tonight is going to make that worse. We saw it earlier this week and earlier today. The Ted Cruz campaign this week, they have put a ton of effort and ton of organizing energy and tried to drive as much attention as possible to a rally that Ted Cruz hosted tonight in Des Moines, Iowa. It`s an anti-gay rally, specifically anti-gay rights rally hosted by Ted Cruz. The campaign has been excited to brag about how they got 2,500 people to RSVP, that they were going to go to the big Ted Cruz anti-gay hootenanny in Des Moines tonight. Also today, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson started to brag about his crowd size. His campaign today releasing a size matters e-mail with the provocative subject line, quote, "Will you pick up the baton of freedom?" Got caught in my spam filter for a while. I wonder why. Ben Carson has been getting big crowds. I mean, not Bernie crowds but big crowds for a Republican this year. Ben Carson now, I think to his campaign`s credit is taking pains to brag about the crowd he`s able to turn out. This is from that email today, quote, "over 5,000 people joined me at events across Iowa, then over 2,000 in Colorado and just the overnight, an astounding 12,000 people packed a convention hall in Phoenix. Incredible." The crowd size estimate of how many people exactly turned out to see Ben Carson that week, at that event in Phoenix, that crowd estimate keeps rising over time. With each passing day, even though the event is long over now. That`s a little weird. But whatever the number was in Phoenix, it is clear that thousands did turn out to see Ben Carson in Phoenix this week. It was a big number, regardless of what specific big number it was. So, we`re at the point in the presidential campaign where everybody is measuring their size now. Not just against Bernie but within and among the Republican candidates. And although Bernie seems destined to be the biggest of them all for the duration of the campaign, at least for the -- well, duration of the campaign thus far, for this phase of the campaign, tonight, it started to look like Bernie`s record, his overall crowd size record for this campaign, started to look like this crowd sizes he`s getting, these huge crowds of almost 30,000 people in L.A. and Portland, Oregon last week, it started to look like Bernie`s record crowds might be getting beat tonight in Alabama. And Alabama is maybe the most interesting part of this, because Alabama is not the place you would expect a candidate like Donald Trump to turn out so many people. But Donald Trump tonight has at least partially filled a good size football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, tonight. His campaign initially said they expected 36,000 people at this event tonight in a stadium that I think holds around 50,000 people. Later this afternoon, Mr. Trump was bragging they expected more like 42,000 people tonight. We do not know the exact number yet, or if the fire marshal will give an official estimate. NBC`s reporter on the scene Katy Tur estimates on the generous side tonight, the crowd is 20,000 to see Donald Trump, which means the expectation game was actually turned upside down for him tonight. With all the bragging about what a big room he needed, what a big arena he needed to fill, raising these expectations over the course of the day about how more and more thousands of people wanted to go see Donald Trump, he ended up tonight talking to a large crowd of people but one that didn`t look like that big in context because the arena that he`s in is so big. If you are in a room that seats 50,000 people, 20,000 doesn`t look like much. If you are in a room that seats 20,000 people, 20,000 people looks like a ton. Because Donald Trump is now such a clear front runner for the Republican nomination, because he`s leading in states across the country and has been leading in the national Republican polls for more than a month, it is probably not surprising he`s the one that will be able to at least approach the Bernie barrier, right? Maybe get close to Bernie Sanders size record crowds, who will be the first to turn out truly large crowd sizes on the presidential campaign on the Republican side. It`s not that surprising that Donald Trump is the one to do it. But admit it, it is a little surprising he`s doing it in Alabama, right? Why is this happening for Donald Trump in Alabama? Here`s the Alabama connection. In 2011, Alabama Republicans did something they had wanted to do for a long time. It was radical, no other state had done anything like it and the affect it had on their state was immediate and it was eerie. It was strange. This is the lead from the "New York Times" that year, from 2011. This was October 3rd, quote, "The vanishing began on Wednesday night. The most frightened families packing up their cars as soon as they heard the news. They left behind mobile homes, sold fully furnished for $1,000 or even less, or they just closed up and in gesture of optimism, left the keys with a neighbor. Two, five, ten years of living here and then gone in a matter of days to Tennessee, to Illinois, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, Mexico, who knows, anywhere but Alabama." It was an overnight disappearance. Thousands of people in Alabama literally fleeing their homes in the middle of the night after Alabama Republicans passed the most anti-immigrant law in the country by a mile. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: Now we go to Alabama where a federal judge has upheld the toughest immigration law in the country, a law that goes so far as to tell elementary schools to investigate their kids. Opponents of this law are promising a fight. NBC`s Kerry Sanders in Birmingham, Alabama, for us tonight. Kerry, good evening. KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS: Good evening, Brian. The state immigration law is now on the books here. But those who will have to enforce it are yet to figure out just how they will do that. Today police in Alabama have new power, teacher the have new responsibilities, to check people`s birth certificates and to enforce what until now was federal immigration law. Thirty-nine-year-old Amanda said she left El Salvador and legally entered the U.S. four years ago. In Alabama, she cleans houses and baby-sits. AMANDA (through translator): I`m afraid that I`ll go to work and I don`t know if I am going to return to my house. KERRY: That`s the goal n part, say Alabama lawmakers to scare undocumented immigrants, like Amanda, so she effectively deports herself. STATE SENATOR SCOTT BEASON (R), ALABAMA: That`s what it is about, trying to get illegal work force to move out and let Alabama plug in to those jobs. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Alabama law was like nothing that had been done before in pod modern politics. It made kids afraid to go to school. Overnight, thousands of Latino kids disappeared from schools, some undocumented, some of them not and just afraid of what would happen if they showed up at an Alabama school while being Latino. It made any sort of contract or agreement entered in to with a person who might be an illegal immigrant itself an illegal act. So, that meant things like hiring somebody to do work. It also meant things like allowing someone to rent an apartment or selling someone something, giving someone a ride in your car. If there was a chance that person was an illegal immigrant, you were risking arrest in Alabama for giving them a lift. Arizona is the state that actually ended up getting more attention for its anti-immigrant papers please law, right? But it was Alabama that was worst law than Arizona`s law. And Alabama was first. They were worse and they were first. And whether or not Alabama Republicans have a national reputation for being the most radical anti-immigrant politicians in the country, Alabama Republicans really are the most radically anti-immigrant politician in the country, and they are not embarrassed about it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: As your congressman, on the House floor, I`ll do anything short of shooting them, anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Mo Brooks, Alabama congressman talking about how sad he is that he will not be able to shoot illegal aliens from the House floor. He will have to stop short of that, house rules. On the Senate floor, Alabama Republicans have been well represented on this issue by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Jeff Sessions, who is chair of the immigration subcommittee in Congress. Jefferson Sessions, if you want to get the flavor of his politics on the subject, consider that he thinks cracking down on just illegal immigrants is a sign of weakness. He thinks that`s for sissies. Jeffrey Sessions III, the senior senator from Alabama, has made it his signature issue to crackdown not just on illegal immigrants but on legal immigrants. He`s not just against illegal immigration. He is against legal immigration. He`s not just against illegal immigrants, he`s against immigrants, full stop. On that immigration committee he runs, his anti-legal immigration was so out there, even Ted Cruz wouldn`t support it and that is saying something. If you want to know why tonight, Donald Trump is turning out thousands of people in Mobile, Alabama, of all places tonight, why the single largest campaign crowd for any Republican candidate on the campaign trail thus far this year, almost a Bernie-size crowd for Donald Trump tonight. If you want to know why they are out to see Donald Trump in Alabama, it is because Donald Trump`s campaign right now is being fuelled, arguably as much by his radical anti-immigrant stance as it is by his celebrity. And when Donald Trump needed someone to write his anti-immigrant plan which he released this past week, the man he asked to write the plan was Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. That`s who wrote Donald Trump`s immigration plan. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FEMALE TV ANCHOR: All right. When I think of two people that I know pretty well, you and Mr. Trump, you couldn`t be more different when it comes to the way you go about things, your personalities. But tell us why you agree with him on the content of this plan that you helped to craft. SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Basically, Shannon, it`s just a mainstream plan to do what politicians have been promising to do for 30 years. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It is not at all a mainstream plan. It is a Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama plan. It is an Alabama Republican plan which until five minutes ago was too radical for the rest of the Republican Party even for the likes of Ted Cruz. But it is now the Donald Trump anti-immigrant plan and the latest can of kerosene that he has thrown on the inferno of his presidential campaign. So, if you want to know why Donald Trump was able to turn out his largest crowd yet, this big crowd in Alabama of all places, why he is down there with his hair and everything in 100 degree Alabama heat and 100 percent humidity, there he is with Jeff Sessions, it`s because Donald Trump got his anti-immigrant politics delivered to him, special delivery from that man in Alabama. And now, he is riding that anti-immigrant wave to its natural home, in a football stadium in Alabama that he`s been able to, I think slightly less than half fill, even though today he bragged he was going to be able to fill it all the way. A show of the crowd tonight. Joining us now is NBC`s Katy Tur, who is in Mobile, Alabama where Donald Trump is making these remarks tonight at this remarkable event. Katy, thanks for joining us. Is it fun? KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: Well, yes. It`s always interesting at the at least when you are going out with Donald Trump. You never know what he`s going to say. The people you speak with have a variety of interesting positions and it`s always surprising to talk to people who contradict each other many of the times. A lot of people come out saying that the worst thing he could do is endorse Obama or to endorse Obama or not endorse but say anything nice about Obama. Then getting people who are a little bit more down the middle saying they want somebody who is different, a businessman, somebody who`s going to bring a different thought process to politics. So far, no lacking for interesting subjects or people or lines in the Donald Trump campaign, of all the campaigns to be on, Rachel, this is one that will get the most interesting action, no doubt. MADDOW: Katy, in terms of the -- the reason there`s so much a tension on this event tonight, one it is weird to see Donald Trump in Alabama. It is like chalk and cheese. You don`t expect them in the same place. But, two, it`s because he made a big deal saying he needed a 50,000 seat venue and to fit in the tens of thousands of people that wanted to turn out. What`s the size of the crowd vis-a-vis the capacity of that venue tonight? TUR: Well, the capacity of this venue is 40,000 people. It`s about half full. And the stadium is saying to me, that there are about 20,000 people here. It`s not quite the crowd that they expected or hoped for. But it`s still a pretty big crowd. I was talking to some of the campaign people a little bit earlier today and they did say that even if half showed up, which about half did, they would consider it to be a very successful event. So far, they believing that it is. It`s the biggest rally so far on the campaign. It didn`t reach Bernie Sanders size but the turnout is good for Donald Trump. He`s going to use it as a rallying cry. He`s going to say it is a great success. And, of course, him being here in Alabama, a little odd. He is a billionaire from Queens, a billionaire from Queens coming to Alabama. And talking to Southerners down here, when you speak to people they will tell you they don`t take it well to Yankees around here, but they say that Donald Trump is one of them because he speaks his mind and tells the truth in a way that Mitt Romney never was. He didn`t win Deep South states, didn`t win Alabama. He wasn`t seen as one of them down here. But Donald Trump despite the fact he has a Queens accent, he speaks very loudly. He`s all about himself when he speaks and a billionaire who buzzed this place in a 757 and lives in a golden tower in Manhattan, they say that he speaks to them and he is more of one of him than many other people in this campaign right now, precisely because he is an outsider -- Rachel. MADDOW: Katy Tur, NBC News correspondent in Mobile tonight -- Katy, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Donald Trump wrapping up his remarks right now in Mobile. Let`s go and listen to him wrap up these events. TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much. (MUSIC) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Donald Trump tonight just wrapping up what was expected today to be the largest single event that any candidate had done thus far in the 2016 race for the presidential nomination. It was not. It was the largest venue reserved by any candidate for any speech in the presidential campaign thus far. Donald Trump reserving this venue tonight with roughly 40,000 seats. I thought it was 50,000-seat stadium. Katy Tur from NBC reporting the capacity there about 40,000. But Donald Trump did not come anywhere near to filling it up. According to our reports on the ground, it was about half full generously speaking. That means that sort of best case scenario, turned out 20,000 people tonight, which means even on the biggest of all Republican events on this huge stage tonight, no Republican, including Donald Trump here tonight in Mobile, Alabama, has been able to get anywhere near the largest crowds turned out by Democratic Vermont independent socialist senator, Bernie Sanders, who turned out crowds of almost 30,000, twice in two days last week. Bernie Sanders still winning the size contest. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, heads up. I think something dramatic might be about to happen in the presidential race. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Everyone has been thinking that former Texas Governor Rick Perry is going to be the first candidate to drop out of the race after FOX News wouldn`t allow him to be in the first primetime debate and he did badly at the non- primetime consolation prize kiddie table debate. After that, apparently, Rick Perry`s fund-raising dried up or nothing because he has stopped paying his staffers, the Rick Perry for president campaign is now a voluntary operation which is not good. Also, Rick Perry is under indictment which is also not good. So, everyone has been thinking in the giant field of Republican candidates, everyone has been thinking if the big field is about to start to shrink, the first evidence of shrinkage will be when Rick Perry`s candidacy comes to an end. He`s campaign who everyone thinks is on death watch. I`m not so sure tonight. I mean, I think Rick Perry`s campaign is on death watch but I think he might not be the first to quit the race. I think a much bigger name than his might quit before Rick Perry does. I think actually that one major Republican candidate for the presidency might quit potentially this weekend. It`s a dramatic story. It`s not getting a lot of national press, but I think it is about to happen and that`s next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It`s called Fancy Farm, which is a weird name, I know. But take my name for word for it. Even though it`s called Fancy Farm, it`s really important in politics. Fancy Farm is a Kentucky politics tradition. It`s one of these things where everybody talks and is expected to get a little raucous, get a little insulting. But everybody is expected to be in good humor. And if you are not good at an event like Fancy Farm in Kentucky, you really can`t play in big-time Kentucky politics. But this is a guy named Adam Edelen. Adam Edelen is a Democratic politician in Kentucky. He already holds statewide office there. And it turns out Adam Edelen isn`t just good in a venue like Fancy Farm, I think - - this is just my opinion -- but I think he is the best Southern Democratic politician I have seen speak at an event like this since, like John Edwards before he became a terrifying creep. Since Ann Richards, since Bill Clinton in his prime. I think this guy is that good. I think he is that caliber. Watch him. Watch this guy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ADAM EDELEN (D), KY AUDITOR OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS: We can do big, important things in Kentucky when we get beyond mindless, empty, cotton candy rhetoric and get about the business of changing people`s lives. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Folks, that`s what is at stake this election. Kicking half a million Kentuckians off the insurance rolls with the stroke of a pen is callous and it is not Christian. Maybe this side of the aisle should put down the books of Ayn Rand and pick up the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. So let`s have it out. Let`s make sure when we look at this battle we`ve got this fall and it is not a dispute between Republicans and Democrats. My friends, this is the difference between the mainstream and the extreme. Values that say, we understand we owe a little something against the law of the jungle. We are the law of the land. Folks, for the next 94 days, stand up and elect John Conway on this outstanding Democratic ticket and reject the politics of cynicism and division. Thank you y`all and God bless you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: His name is Adam Edelen. And he is speaking at Fancy Farm, Kentucky. He looks like he may be on track to take Rand Paul`s Senate seat away from him. The line about the Rand Paul side of the aisle needing to pick up the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, one longtime Kentucky columnist called that the best line he has ever heard of Fancy Farm ever from anyone. So, watch this guy. Watch this guy, Adam Edelen, in Kentucky. Right now, he`s the auditor in the state. But everybody thinks he will be the guy next year who take Rand Paul`s Senate seat away from him and makes that U.S. Senate seat Democratic again. Great candidate, great talent, huge future potential. And so, therefore, obviously he must be stopped. This guy really is only the state auditor now. But Rand Paul sent his top political operative, his campaign manager, his dad`s presidential campaign manager, to go run the Republican candidates race against Adam Edelen. I mean, most senators and presidential candidates don`t care about a state auditor`s race in their home state, but Rand Paul really has to stop this guy, has to try to stop the next bill Clinton seeming guy before he poses a threat of taking Rand Paul`s lunch none the 2016 Senate race. So, in addition to his responsibilities running the Rand Paul for president super PAC, the guy with Rand Paul, the guy in the Ron Paul t- shirt, his name is Jessie Benton. He was dispatched to run the campaign in Kentucky, to go run this campaign against Adam Edelen and bloody him up a bit. He was running that low-level state campaign until Jessie Benton got indicted. And that`s why the headlines in Kentucky state politics were so apocalyptic when those indictments came down. When those three Ron Paul, Rand Paul operatives got indicted earlier this month in that bribery scandal earlier this month. It turns out those guys, those guys who got this federal indictment against them are not just leftovers from the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign. Two with of them ran the Ron Paul super PAC. And one of them in a really high stakes year for Kentucky Republicans, one of them is the key operative in all of Republican politics, in Kentucky, from Rand Paul to Mitch McDonnell to this effort to try to spike the career of the Democrat who Kentucky Republicans are really most afraid of in terms of the way he`s going to move up. Jessie Benton had been dispatched to do that, to try to help Rand Paul. He had to step down from everything, though, to fight these federal charges laid against him. He pled not guilty yesterday in federal court in Iowa. Jessie Benton says he will clear his name. Of course with that big political gun no longer pointing at him, Adam Edelen`s path looks brighter and clearer than ever for this Democratic star to be to run against Rand Paul and try to take away his Senate seat next year. And that brings us to the other big problem for Rand Paul, which is why there is good reason to believe that Rand Paul might reasonably quit the presidential race as early as this weekend. That`s because tomorrow, Rand Paul has to be home in Kentucky trying to persuade two-thirds of the Republican Party in that state, two-thirds of the Republican Party`s executive committee, which is 340 like people. He has to be home Kentucky tomorrow, off the campaign trail, instead trying to pursued his home state, home party to vote to do something that would be a huge favor to him but it would be terrible for Kentucky Republicans. And I don`t think there is any reason to believe he`s going to get that vote. And I might think -- I think that might mean he`s going to have to quit. I`ll explain why next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: If there was a Democratic version of Donald Trump, a sort of brash, zillionaire, in-your-face type of politician who bragged about everything, if there was a Democratic person of that I would put up for nomination Alan Grayson. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this -- die quickly. That`s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson speaking in 2009 telling Americans the Republican health care plan is drop dead and do it fast. Now, Alan Grayson is an unabashed liberal, very much so. He also thrives on getting under your skin. He`s a slightly Donald Trump-esque sense of self. And right now, Alan Grayson is engaged in another political campaign he says you need to watch because it`s going to be huge. It`s going to be huge. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GRAYSON: This is the "it" campaign of 2016. It`s going to be famous. What people see us doing in this race is going to live until the end of time. This is going to be the first race, the first real political race of the 21st century. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: This is race is going to live until the end of time. He doesn`t have the Trump delivery, but he`s got the same sort of, you know? You know what I mean? The race that Alan Grayson is talking about a Senate race shaping up to become one of the wildest races of 2016, the presidential race included. It is a Senate race in Florida that has Alan Grayson running and few big name Democrats on one side and now a whole parade of Republicans on the other side, including potentially the state`s current lieutenant governor, the well-known, former attorney general of Florida, a handful members of Congress, your Uncle Stu and Aunt Sally. It is harder to narrow down to who isn`t running. This race in Florida which we are more than a year out from, it looks like it`s really going to be nuts. The reason this race is happening at all is because the current occupant of the seat is giving it up. He`s giving it up to run for president, because that is Marco Rubio`s Senate seat in Florida and Marco Rubio is stepping down from the Senate in order to run for president. Florida law says you can`t be on the same ballot for two different offices. So, Marco Rubio faced a choice which he wanted to run for and he made the choice to give up his Senate seat in order to run for president. And that does sort of give his presidential ambitions a seriousness boost, because he is willing to give up so much for a presidential run. He`s all in with the apologies to Chris Hayes. He`s flying without a net. The same cannot be said for another candidate who faced the exact same problem that Marco Rubio faced in Florida, because the great state of Kentucky has that same law on the books. In Kentucky, like in Florida, you can`t be on the ballot for two different offices in the same election. Kentucky has its own senator who`s up for re-election in 2016, who`s also running for president. But Rand Paul, rather than doing what Marco Rubio did, and instead of what Marco Rubio did in picking the presidential race, Rand Paul has instead spent years trying to get Kentucky to change its law, so he wouldn`t have to choose between those two offices. And Kentucky voters very much do not want to change that law. The Kentucky legislature overtly decide not to change the law when they were asked really nicely, pretty please, if they would change the law. They said no. And that is now a problem for Rand Paul, a big one, that I think he thought he solved, but he didn`t solve it. And that is the heart of why we might see a major candidate drop out of the race for president as early as this weekend. Seriously, it`s because of what he has to do to get around the Kentucky law that says nobody can run for Senate and president at the same anytime the same election. Kentucky has a primary. They have their primary in May. Rand Paul wants to run for Senate, he wants to run for re- election to his Senate seat in May. But by law he can`t also run for a different conflicting position in that same primary, can`t be on the ballot twice. He can`t also run for president in the same primary where he is running for Senate. So, his clever solution to this was that in addition to that primary that Kentucky is definitely running in May, Rand Paul decided he wants Kentucky to also add a caucus in March. Not for any other races, not for anything else except the Republican presidential nomination. He wants Kentucky to create a whole new thing, a whole new caucus and hold that in addition to the primary they were going to hold any way, and he wants this thing to be held, this special thing to be held just for his convenience, so he doesn`t have to give up his current job in order to run for another one at the same time. It`s easy to see why Rand Paul wants the state of Kentucky to do that for him, but why would they? What`s in it for them? What would Kentucky Republicans get out of doing that? I mean, this is a tough year for Kentucky Republicans anyway. Rand Paul is just making it that much harder for them. I mean, imagine for a second -- imagine for a second that Rand Paul wins the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Ha, I know, right, but imagine. If that happens his name will be on the ballot in the general election as the Republican nominee for Senate -- in Kentucky, you can`t swap in somebody else`s name on the ballot at the last minute. So, in that circumstance, if he were the Republican nominee, it`s possible the only hope Kentucky Republicans would have for holding on to that Senate seat, keeping that Senate seat in Republican hands, it`s possible the only hope to do that would be to maybe mount a write in campaign for somebody. That`s how they would run against this guy? This guy who looks like might be the second coming of Bill Clinton in Kentucky Democratic politics right now? So, Rand Paul does get the Republican nomination for president, ha, I know. But if he does, Kentucky Republicans are really looking down the barrel of losing the U.S. Senate seat they hold and going to that Democrat instead. That`s one scenario. If, on the other hand, Rand Paul does not win the presidential nomination -- he`s not going to win the Republican presidential nomination -- it`s still a problem. Because how much worse are his odds at holding on to he Senate seat if he spends all of the next year trying and failing for running for president in places like Iowa, instead of campaigning in Kentucky to hold on to his Senate seat, with his top politically operatives federally indicted and fighting to stay out of prison, with those operatives in charge of his own fund-raising which is anemic. Kentucky has a law about only running for one race at a time. They have the law for a reason. And in this case, the sound reasoning behind think law is proven by the fact that Kentucky Republican Party interests are not the same as Rand Paul`s interests. And now those two conflicting interests are coming to loggerheads. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN DAVID DYCHE, WDRB.COM CONTRIBUTOR: His presidential campaign is not going well. I think he`s putting the Kentucky Senate seat that he now holds, and also seeking re-election to, at jeopardy with his presidential campaign. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Quote, "Let`s be honest, nobody believes Rand Paul can win the presidential nomination. Paul either should get out of the presidential race right now and focus on winning reelection to the Senate or forsake a Senate bid so Republicans can run a full time candidate focus on retaining that important seat." Here`s another one, reporting on Republican worries that Rand Paul`s efforts to salvage a long shot presidential bid could cost Republicans a must-win Senate seat, this week quotes one member of the Kentucky Republican Party`s executive committee saying, quote, "I do not want to lose a Senate seat." Well, the moment of truth on this is here. It`s tomorrow. Tomorrow morning in Kentucky, Rand Paul needs a two thirds vote from the Kentucky Republican Party from their 340 executive committee members. He needs a two-thirds vote from them that they want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold a whole new separate election in addition to their primary, specifically so Rand Paul can be allowed to get around Kentucky law so he can run for his Senate seat and for president at the same time, which is something that some increasingly outspoken Kentucky Republicans believe is a really bad deal for them, because it could risk their losing that U.S. Senate seat to the Democrats, whether or not Rand Paul wins or loses the Republican nomination for president. Unless Rand Paul gets that two-thirds super majority vote tomorrow which would let him run for Senate seat and president at the same time, which is what he wants to do, unless he gets that vote tomorrow letting him do that, as of tomorrow, he`s going to have to pick which of those two seats he wants to run for because he won`t be able to do both. One or the other, presidential run, which he will almost assuredly lose, or Senate re- election, something which he would have a much better chance at even though it wouldn`t be guaranteed. Which would you pick if you could only pick one? If you had to quit one of those two races, which one would you quit? Because there`s a very good chance that tomorrow, Rand Paul is going to be told he has to quit one or the other. Tick tock, we`ll find out tomorrow. Everyone expected Rick Perry to be the first major candidate to quit the presidential race, but I think Rand Paul may beat him to it tomorrow. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Here`s what you need to know. This is the East Street Bridge. It`s a railway bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts, which is a suburb 45 minutes southwest of Boston. And this particular bridge has a reputation because watch what this bridge does to trucks. Seriously. Watch this. Watch it. It`s a low bridge. It is marked as having low clearance but trucks still, all the time think they can make it. Driving on, minding their own business, not reading the signs and bam, tear the roof off. The East Street Bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts, does this all the time. Last night, the East Street Bridge claimed its latest victim. It was with Cara Donna Food Truck. It looks quite terrifying. But I should tell you nobody was injured and also the bridge wasn`t hungry anymore after the crash. But at this point, people in Westwood, Massachusetts, are so used to this happening that it kind of doesn`t even phase them anymore. I mean, look at this. The cars, they see the roof go flying on the truck that crashes into them. They wait the obligatory couple of seconds and pull a U-ie. Find their usual alternate around the truck eating bridge. Ah, you know what? It happens all the time. I know my way around this. Seriously, it`s like clock work. Every couple of weeks. Last year alone, this particular bridge took out 15 trucks. Whoa. I mean, sometimes, it gives a nice, clean shave like the moving truck. Sometimes the roof stays on but the truck loses the ladders it was carrying on its roof. OK. This truck eating bridge and its crashes are so common the local Westwood Police Department set up a permanent camera to record these crashes and then they upload their favorites on to YouTube. The department`s number one favorite, by the way, is this crash. This is a truck carrying $100,000 worth of lobster. It ended up in an impromptu seafood sale on the side of the road. If you turned off I-95 near New York City today, there`s a chance you might have caught another crash. It did not involve lobsters, but it was spectacular enough to warrant a special report. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This is an NBC News special report. Here`s Harry Smith. HARRY SMITH, NBC NEWS: Good afternoon. It has been a very difficult week and a very difficult today especially on Wall Street today. The Dow Industrial Average down at several points during the day, more than 500 points. It is down 529 right now. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: By the end of trading today, the Dow had closed down more than 530 points. It seems what prompted the dive were fears that the Chinese economy is slowing down. It could bring everybody with it. It was not a good day for your 401(k) if you have one. It was not a good day if you own something like Apple stock. Overall stocks suffered the worst loss in four years. But this was not black Monday, right? This was not -- this was not a catastrophe. If you look at the top largest Dow percentage drops in a day, you will find out what happens today doesn`t even rank. The 1987 crash, for example, saw the Dow plunge 22 percent in one day of trading. Today`s drop was big but it was 3 percent. It was not even close to being in the top 20, let alone the top 10. And yes, it`s still 500 points off the Dow and still a bad thing for the market. It remains to be seen on Monday when the markets happen again and today`s losses and this week`s losses mean maybe we are headed for a rough patch of bigger proportions. But what happened specifically on wall street today, it happens. And it happens pretty reliably, like crashes at the E Street Bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts. Yes, spectacular and sometimes scary, but what happened today is something that has happened before and it will undoubtedly happen again. Be not afraid. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This is a map of the high-speed trains operating across Europe. One of those routes, the one we have marked here, is operated by a company called Thalys. It is recognizable for its red trains and the red train seats. That train operates between Amsterdam and Paris. It is a trip that takes 2 1/2 hours. During one of those high-speed train trips, today, at 5:45 p.m. local time, a 26-year-old man reportedly boarded that train and he was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and a knife. And he started shooting at passengers on the train. He injured three people before he was stopped. You might have heard about this incident happening today. But did you hear how this man was stopped? French authorities say the man was tackled and subdued by two American passengers who were on that train, at least one of whom is a U.S. marine. This guy had an assault rifle he was using to shoot passengers on that train. He also had a knife and these two Americans somehow took him down. We don`t have the identity of these two Americans. We`re told that both of them were injured in doing what they did today. We`re told one of them was severely injured. We do not know the specifics of either of their injuries. The suspect, for his part, he was arrested in the city of Arras, which is about 100 miles north of Paris. French authorities are praising the two American bystanders for stepping in to stop the attack. France`s interior minister says they were, quote, "particularly courageous" and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances. He also said, without their composure we could have been confronted with a terrible incident. This video was taken by an eyewitness shortly after the train stopped. It shows a man carried across the train platform, although the man`s identity is not confirmed by NBC News. That`s what we have got though. Forensic experts today started to comb the train for evidence. Anti- terrorism officials in France are leading the investigation into exactly what happened. The suspect is reportedly a 26-year-old Moroccan man. But officials say it is too soon to say whether they will call it a terrorist attack. But again, this remarkable news today that this attack looks like it was stopped by two American bystanders, including a U.S. Marine jumping in to stop it. Subduing this man with a knife and gun that he was firing and getting injured themselves in the process. We will update you as we learn more. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: In June, Texas Governor Rick Perry made his presidential announcement in a plane hangar in Texas. It was an exciting event. It was also very sweaty and hot. A few days later, Donald Trump was with set to make his own presidential announcement, but he couldn`t help but make fun of Rick Perry for how he screwed up his. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I can tell you, some of the candidates they went in. They didn`t know the air conditioner didn`t work. They sweated like dogs. They didn`t know the room was too big because they didn`t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS? I don`t think it`s going to happen. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The room was too big. How can they defeat ISIS? For days now Donald Trump has been hyping the fact he said he was about to have the biggest campaign rally of the whole presidential candidacy. Ahead of his rally in Mobile, Alabama, tonight, Donald Trump`s campaign told everybody to expect around 36,000 people and then they upped that prediction to 42,000 people. This was supposed to be a huge thing. But then it happened and that`s definitely not a stadium at full capacity. That`s a lot of bleacher. Whatever the final count turns out to be, it will not be near 42,000 or 36,000. Our reporter on the scene says the stadium was about half full. Stadium staffer estimating the crowd at about 20,000. So, who didn`t know the room was too big this time? Donald Trump running for the White House from a glass house. Glass house throwing very beautiful, beautiful stones. They are so great. They`re so beautiful. They are huge. That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again Monday. But now you have to go to prison. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END