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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/26/15

Guests: Dan Rather, Frank Rich

MARIA HINOJOSA, JOURNALIST: Which means that things backfire on you. You know what, without Latino voters, this could back fire on Donald Trump. CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: Maria Hinojosa and Josh Barro, thank you. 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. Hey, big news -- today, the formal FEC paperwork was filed for Elizabeth Warren to run for president of the United States, Elizabeth Ann Warren of Massachusetts for president of the United States. That filing put in today with the FEC. It`s true. Look, this is the official paperwork. It was just posted on the FEC website today. And it was not posted there by Elizabeth Warren herself. So, even though it may look like she is running for president, there is no indication that she is running for president. The double take fake Elizabeth Warren running for president FEC filing today was posted alongside some new fake Joe Biden is running for president FEC filings today. There are also new running for president filings today at the FEC from Mr. Spiky Porcupine Jr. Spiky R. Porcupine. Frosty Chicken will be running as an independent. Remo mini Schnauzer cutest dog ever is running in the DOG party. All caps, D-O-G. Forrest Gump is running as a Democrat. Bill Clinton is running. I don`t think it is that Bill Clinton. Marshawn Lynch is running for the peace and freedom party, which is nice. I`m not sure if this is a Mr. or a Mrs., but there is a person named Cranky Pants who has filed with the FEC to run for president. Mister Wookas is also running. First name Mister. Last name Wookas. And also, Elizabeth Warren and another Joe Biden. The poor FEC. This is a daily thing now with all these jokes and fake filing to run for president. But the FEC has to respond to all of them just in case the Remo Mini Schnauzer will make a run for it. The FEC by law has to process all paperwork for all presidential candidates. They also have to process the paperwork when people create political action committees, when they create PACs and super PACs. And just like with candidates, whether or not the PAC is a serious thing or not, the FEC has to make sure you follow the letter of the law. So for both candidates and PACs, you should know that the letter of the law says you can`t include a candidate`s name in the formal name of the committee that you were registering with the FEC. You can`t have the name of the candidate in the name of the committee. Because of that, a political action committee called the Stop Chris Christie PAC, they just got themselves a stern letter from the FEC telling them they`re going to have to change their name because the name of the candidate Chris Christie is right there in the name of their PAC. Upon receiving that FEC letter complaining about their name, we`ve now learned the Stop Chris Christie PAC instead decided they would just shut themselves down. They would cease operations. And so, if you are New Jersey governor and presidential candidate Chris Christie, you would think that would be good news, right? If you were a person named Chris Christie and there`s a political action group called Stop Chris Christie, that PAC going away should be a good thing. Except in this case, it`s maybe not, because the Stop Chris Christie PAC wrote back explaining why exactly they were shutting themselves down. And their explanation to the FEC is that they are shutting themselves down because Chris Christie is not worth trying to stop anymore, because Chris Christie is stopped. He is no longer going as a presidential candidate. This is from their letter to the FEC, quote, "Our decision to cease and desist as a PAC is not due to your letter, but it`s instead based on recent polling, and the miserable candidate in question, Chris Christie. Our committee believes that Mr. Christie has already performed the service of stopping his campaign without our aid, even if not by the letter of the lawful. Therefore, we intend to stop the Stop Chris Christie PAC within the next 30 days." The Stop Chris Christie PAC was founded by right wing activists who believe that Chris Christie is insufficiently conservative, and he should therefore not win the Republican nomination. That group has now announced that they are going out of business because they believe there is no risk of Chris Christie ever winning the Republican nomination for president. And they are right. At least with the polling, they are right. That Chris Christie`s polling right now is truly terrible. Chris Christie, of course, is basically moved to New Hampshire. He is staking his entire campaign on what he wants to be a strong showing in New Hampshire. Right now, he is polling in ninth place in New Hampshire with only 4 percent of the vote. That is his best showing anywhere, anywhere in the country. In South Carolina, he is at 12th place, polling at 2 percent. In Florida and Ohio, he is in 12th place, polling at 1 percent. In Pennsylvania, he is polling at 2 percent which sounds awesome for him. That still puts him in 12th place. Chris Christie is just dead in the water. Weirdly though, he might still make the stage for the second Republican debate. Even though he is polling at 12th place in early starts and swing states all around the country, even though his national polling average is somewhere around 3 percent right now, which not only puts him outside the top ten. It puts him like at just barely half the support that somebody like Carly Fiorina is getting. Even though Chris Christie is totally tanking, CNN has set the criteria for whose going to be allowed into the second Republican presidential debate and their criteria apparently will still consider Chris Christie to be a top ten candidate, even though right now he clearly is not. The criteria will also exclude from the debate, apparently, a candidate like Carly Fiorina who is handily beating Chris Christie all over the country right now. It`s weird. And you know what? CNN does not have to do it this way. CNN, you don`t have to do it this way. This formatic (ph) trick where they`re using where ten candidates are allowed into the debate and the other candidates have to do something else and separate, that`s a whole new idea. That is something that has never been done before in major party presidential debating. FOX News did it for the first time this year, for the first Republican debate, and it was an embarrassment and it was a huge distraction on lots of different levels. FOX was the first to ever do it that way. CNN does not have to make that same mistake. It is not like that`s standard operating procedure and we`ve always done it like this. FOX News did an experiment and that failed. Now CNN is going to do the same thing? I mean, CNN could put all the candidates on stage at once or if that`s too many podiums, they could randomly assign the candidates to two different groups that they did want to have two different debates. You know, just show them both in prime time. It`s doable. There`s lots of ways around this mess, but apparently CNN is still planning on going ahead with this bad new kids table format, which is very upsetting obviously to candidates like Carly Fiorina, who are really going to be hurt the worse by CNN`s decision. But all of the candidates should have some level of concern about this, because this really is -- this isn`t hyperbole -- this is really media outlet deciding who is allowed to compete for the Republican nomination and who is not. And that is obviously bad for some candidates. I think it is bad for the Republican Party as a whole. It`s certainly bad for the small d democratic process. Honestly, ultimately, I think it`s really bad for the press. Politicians love to blame the press for their own troubles, right? They love to fight with the press to make themselves look tough. Politicians and candidates love to attack the press and denigrate the press and encourage cynicism about the press and disrespect for the press by claiming that the press is somehow rigging the game -- somehow rigging things against these noble politicians. Because politicians are already making that case, the press should not go out of their way to help politicians make case by actually rigging the game. I mean, doing what CNN is doing, it makes it too easy for candidates and politicians and presidents to wage these fights against the press that they really want to wage any way. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I`ve never heard such outrageous, vicious, distorted reporting in 27 years of public life. I`m not blaming anybody for that. But when people are pounded night after night, with that kind of frantic, hysterical reporting, it naturally shakes their confidence. ROBERT PIERPOINT, CBS: Mr. President, you`ve that lambasted the television networks pretty well. Could I ask you? At the risk of reopening an obvious wound, you`ve said after you put on a lot of heat, that you don`t blame anyone. I find that a little puzzling. What is it about you and the television coverage that has so aroused your anger? NIXON: Don`t get impression that you`ve roused my anger. PIERPOINT: I`m afraid, sir, that I have that impression. NIXON: One can only be angry with those he respects. REPORTER: Mr. President -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Richard Nixon, October 1973. That was the press conference he held right after the Saturday night massacre. Nixon had just fired the special prosecutor on Watergate. He told the attorney general to fire the guy. The attorney general said no and resigned in protest. Then, the deputy attorney general, he told him to fire the guy, the deputy attorney general said no and resigned in protest. Then, he told the solicitor general to fire the guy and that solicitor general said, sure, happy to, boss. That guy incidentally was Robert Bork who Ronald Reagan later nominated to the Supreme Court as a thank you present for his behavior in the Saturday night massacre. Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy and other Democrats in the Senate put a stop to that to Robert Bork getting on to the Supreme Court. But in the midst of all that skullduggery, and those darkest days of Watergate, in the middle of that just incredible drama, who the prison decided to shoot at was the press -- a tried and true tactic. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIXON: Let me say, too, I didn`t want to leave an impression with my good friend from CBS over here that I don`t respect the reporters. What I was simply saying was this, that when a commentator takes a bit of news and then with knowledge of what the facts are, distorts it, viciously, I have no respect for that individual. DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS: Dan Rather with CBS News. Mr. President, are you running for something? (APPLAUSE) RATHER: No, sir, Mr. President, are you? Mr. President, Mr. President, I believe -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: 1974. President Nixon trying to make sport of CBS reporter Dan Rather. Dan Rather giving it right back to him. Richard Nixon was not running for anything at that time except his political life. Less than six after that exchange, Richard Nixon was gone. He had to resign the presidency. Presidents and candidates fighting with the press is as old as presidents and candidates and the press. That is why we need a First Amendment, because government officials so often so badly want to throttle us. Politically though, fighting with the press, blaming the press, making a spectacle out of hating the press, politically, it is usually a good political tactic. Usually, it works. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Many in the Pentagon feel you`ve left the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff out to dry. Could you comment? BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ve got to give you credit, Major, for how you craft those questions. The notion that I am content, as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails -- Major, that`s nonsense. And you should know better. I`ve met with the families of some of those folks. Nobody is content. JOHN KING, CNN: She said that you came to her in 1999 at a time when you were having an affair. She said you asked her to be in an open marriage. Would you like to take time respond to that? NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. But I will. I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. (CHEERS) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And that is how Newt Gingrich for a while, four years ago, became a front running candidate for the Republican nomination. It was after that debate in which he got the biggest cheers of any candidate in any subject on any debate that whole year when he jumped all over the press. Usually plays great. But this year, I`m not sure it does. Not at least the way it is happening this year. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: Mr. Trump, I have a question about immigration. Your immigration plan -- DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, who`s next? Please? RAMOS: Mr. Trump, I have a question. TRUMP: Excuse me. Sit down. You weren`t called. Sit down. Sit down. Go ahead. RAMOS: No, no, Mr. Trump. I`m an immigrant, a citizen. Sir, I have the right to ask a question. TRUMP: No, you don`t. You haven`t been called. RAMOS: I have, I have the right to ask a question. TRUMP: Go back to Univision. Go ahead. Go ahead. RAMOS: This is the question: You cannot deport 11 million, Mr. Trump. You cannot deport 11 million people. You cannot build a 1,900 mile wall. You cannot deny citizenship to children in this country. (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Sit down, please. You weren`t called. RAMOS: Those ideas. I`m a reporter and I have -- don`t touch me, sir. Don`t touch me, sir. TRUMP: Go RAMOS: I have the right to ask questions. I have the right to ask a question. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, if you`re in order. RAMOS: I have the right to request ask a question. TRUMP: Yes, go ahead. Hi, Jeff. Yes. REPORTER: Roger Ailes says you need to apologize -- MATT LAUER, CBS NEWS: So this confrontation last night, Jorge Ramos has been an outspoken critic of your immigration policy. Do feuds like this, Donald, work for you? Do you think this helps you with your supporters? TRUMP: Well, I don`t know. Obviously, I have very big support because I`m leading in every poll by double digits. And, you know, there is a movement going on. There`s a whole silent majority thing happening and it is very impressive to see. I will tell you, he was totally out of line last night. I was asking and being asked a question from another reporter. I would have gotten to him very quickly. And he stood up and started ranting and raving like a madman, and frankly, he was out of line. And most people, most reports said I handled it very well. He was totally out of line. REPORTER: Do you think it matters how FOX News covers you? TRUMP: I don`t know, look. I have a lot of respect for Roger. We`ll see. I mean, you know, maybe, maybe not. I really don`t know. Look, I think they cover me terribly. FOX News, I think they cover me terribly and I`m winning by double digits on every poll. So, I don`t know, maybe it matters. Maybe it doesn`t. I don`t think I get good treatment from FOX. They certainly cover me a lot. REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) TRUMP: Well, I`m being covered by everybody. REPORTER: -- influence how you`re doing in polls? TRUMP: I don`t know. I don`t think so. I think they give me very bad treatment. I think FOX treats me terribly. LAUER: You have said, Donald, when people treat me unfairly, I don`t let them forget me. That leads me to Megyn Kelly. We all know what happened after the debate. You thought she was unfair in your questioning to you. And then, 19 days later, she comes back from vacation on Monday and it seemed like in an unprovoked attack you went after her, questioning her appearance, her performance and then retweeting a very unflattering comment about her that called her a bimbo. Why have you let Megyn Kelly get so far under your skin? TRUMP: Well, I haven`t. I mean, you tweet a few tweets, or retweets in this case. That`s not getting under your skin. I personally am not a fan. I don`t think she does a good job. I don`t think she is a very good professional and I think the show is better without her. That`s up to them and they can do whatever they want. I respect Roger Ailes. He can do whatever he wants. I don`t care. LAUER: It starts to sound a little bit, and take this in the right way, like you`re a guy with a school yard crush. When we were in elementary school and junior high school, you know, guys often say the meanest things about the girls they like the most. TRUMP: Trust me, Matt, there is no crush, that I can tell you. And as far as I was concerned, during the debate, she asked me questions that were totally inappropriate. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Presidents and politicians of all stripes and candidates, they`ve always made hay out of attacking the press, always. I mean, just ask Dan Rather, right? But with the balkanized press that we`ve got now, is that still a good idea politically? Does it still play? And not insubstantially, is it bad for the country? Does it hurt the free press for politicians to put a target on the free press? Ask Dan rather. Seriously, ask Dan rather. Let`s. He`s here next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RATHER: Take your hands off me. Unless you intend to arrest me, don`t push me. Don`t push me. Take your hands off me unless you intend to arrest me. Wait a minute. As you can see -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what`s going on. These are security people, apparently, around Dan. Obviously getting rough. RATHER: We got finally pushed out of way. This is the kind of thing going on outside the hall. This is the first time we`ve had it inside the hall. I`m sorry to be out of breath but somebody belted me in the stomach doing that. What happened is a Georgia delegate, at least he had a Georgia delegate sign on, is being hauled out of hall. We tried to talk to him to see why, who he was and what the situation was. And at that instant, the security people, as you can see, put me on the deck. I didn`t do very well. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And that is not exactly the same thing as what happened to Jorge Ramos. The Univision anchor yesterday in his confrontation with Donald Trump, but it did really make me want to ask Dan Rather how he felt about the presidential this year and how they are taking aim at the press, if not actually literally punching them in the stomach like it`s 1968. Joining us now for the interview is legendary network news anchor, now the host to AXS TV`s "The Big Interview", Dan, it`s great to see you. Thank you for being here. RATHER: Thank you very much for having me, Rachel. MADDOW: Did you really get socked right in the gut in the middle of your live interview that day? RATHER: I did. They were trying to escort a delegate out of the hall. They were so determine to keep strict discipline at the convention. And that is historic. Why are they taking this man out of hall, this security people? So I sought to find out from him. And the security people didn`t want that. And I kept pressing. Not too aggressively but we might argue about that. And so, they took me out, hit me in the solar plexus with a very good short hard punch. MADDOW: Wow. It is a constant, if not constant, always there somewhere lurking -- this idea that there is political hey to be made from pursuing the press as a target. Is the political calculation about that any different now when politicians attack press? As the press has changed over the years, is the sort of risk-benefit calculation about attacking the president, has that changed too? RATHER: You know, I don`t think it has. Example A, most recent example was the Trump news conference with Jorge Ramos, that I think -- this is old page from the political playbook. Attack the press and you`re going to get a certain segment of the population that really likes that. So, I`d say to answer your question is no, nothing has changed in that regard. MADDOW: I think the Republican candidates are banking on being able to win the nomination without any Latino voters at all, the way they`re campaigning. But could Donald Trump, or could any of these candidates win the Republican nomination while also being at war with the FOX News Channel specifically? Never really had anything like the FOX News Channel in a previous era in history. Are they -- it seems to me, that I believe there can`t be a nominee without FOX`s support. RATHER: I tend to agree with that. However, Trump is raising that question anew. Now, having said that, and keeping in mind that reporters such as ourselves get paid not to be cynical, never cynical, but to be skeptical. I`m a little suspicious, without very much info, a little suspicious of this battle between Trump and FOX. What we do know is that Trump is really smart as he said when he started the run, don`t underestimate him. And Roger Ailes, whether you agree with his politics or not, another smart guy. Whether they`ve gotten together and planned this out or not, it works to their mutual benefit right now. FOX can argue, listen, we don`t give sweetheart deals over the Republican candidate and Trump can say, I tell you I`m independent. When I say I`m independent, I`m really independent, because look at even FOX. In answer to your question, I do think that someone could get nominated without FOX`s support. But I don`t think they`ll have to. I think as the race narrows down, it will come clear what FOX wants. Basically, and I don`t think Roger Ailes is any apology for this, or he need to have one, he wants a Republican president. But Trump has changed the dimension. He`s running an historical line with Huey Long from Louisiana during the 1930s, who in fiction was immortalized by the great Robert Penn Warren novel -- MADDOW: My favorite book of all time. RATHER: Huey Long runs through, Strom Thurmond, Barry Goldwater -- Goldwater was a different personality than Trump. But people tend to forget that the 1960 Republican convention, Goldwater was considered an outlier, sort of you will a pre-Trump Trump. But by 1964, he got the nomination and laid the foundation for what was to become Reagan years. And also, I think Trump is in line with George Wallace. Again, people tend to forget George Wallace ran in 1968, tried to run again in 1972. MADDOW: Segregationist. RATHER: Same thing. And in that line I would put Ross Perot. I`m not equating Perot with Trump but Perot was a businessman. His basic message was, I`m a businessman. I know how to run the country and how to give you straight talk. And this, Trump is in that line. But now in the second decade of the 21st century, with so much coverage, so many channels, Trump is just, he is taking the field by storm. The rest of the candidates, the rest of the candidates were sort of like, I don`t know, bird dogs in the dock blind. They are restless. They don`t know what to do. And Trump dominates right now, and I`ll say it again as I have before, I wouldn`t underestimate. He is beginning to say to myself, you know what? I think I might be able to win this thing. MADDOW: Right. RATHER: And that change the dimension for himself. MADDOW: And him taking all the coverage must feel like a disaster to all the other candidates. On the other hand, it is early yet. Him taking all the coverage means they can make their mistakes without anybody noticing right now and get better at doing -- RATHER: That is a good point. You notice he attacks Jeb Bush more than any other candidate, because he thinks Jeb Bush has the staying power. Now, Jeb Bush`s campaign looks like something where the wheels are off and the axle is dragging. He doesn`t look very good, but he`s playing the long game and Trump knows it. MADDOW: That`s right. Dan Rather, host of AXS TV`s the big interview and just a real honor to have you here every time you`re here, sir. Thank you for being here. RATHER: Thank you very much, Rachel. MADDOW: I`m still mad a that person who punched you, even though I wasn`t born. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This is Kimberly McBroom. Kimberly McBroom is one of the news anchors on a local TV station in Roanoke, Virginia, called WDBJ. Last winter, Kimberly McBroom`s father died suddenly. He had a heart attack. When that tragedy struck her family, one of the very first people to show up at her house with condolences and food and a shoulder to cry on was one of her colleagues from WDBJ, a young reporter at that station named Alison Parker. They were that kind of close as friends, right? First one there after your dad dies, close. And early this morning when Alison Parker was shot and killed, as she was reporting a story live on the air at WDBJ, it was her friend Kimberly McBroom who was in the anchor chair back at the station, watching, shocked, live, trying to understand what she just saw. What had just happened to a friend. I`ll tell you, we are not going to show anything graphic here. We do not need to broadcast murder, especially one that the murderer wanted to be broadcast. But this was the live interview that Alison Parker was doing when she was shot and killed this morning. And because it was a live shot, her dear friend and colleague who was anchoring this morning`s broadcast from the studio, and everybody else watching the newscast at home, everybody saw the crime as it happened. Confused and stunned and fearing the worst and not understanding. Alison Parker, 24 years old when she was killed today. Her cameraman Adam Ward was also killed. He was 27 years old. He`d just gotten engaged. He was planning his wedding to another employee at WDBJ. A third victim of the shooting today was the woman who`s being interviewed on the air. Her name is Vicki Gardner. She is a local official with the Chamber of Commerce. She has survived. She`s gone through surgery today. She is expected to recover from her injuries. We now know that the gunman was a former employee at that news station. It`s clear he was intent on having his motives for the shooting not only known but discussed publicly. It is clear that he was intent on carrying out this attack in a way that made it as made for TV as possible. He not only committed the murder on live television, he also filmed the attack himself and posted the resulting video on Facebook. We will not be showing any of that here tonight. I don`t want him to help him do what he wanted to do. This terrible story was the national news story today, understandably for all the obvious reasons. It is also the national news story that that local used in station WDBJ had to cover while being at the center of it. They have had to first report the news here and then grieve publicly, all in real-time, all on live television. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TV ANCHOR: We are following breaking news this morning out of Franklin County, news that has affected our WDBJ 7 family very deeply. Our WDBJ 7 morning crew was live this morning at Smith Mountain Lake when shots were fired at 6:45. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kim, it is my very, very sad duty to report that we have determined through the help of the police and you were on employees that Alison and Adam died this morning shortly after 6:45 when the shots rang out. JEAN JADHON, WDBJ EVENING ANCHOR: The gunman, state police, the suspected gunman, the Virginia state police caught up with on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County, a former employee who was let go two years ago whose legal name is Vester Flanigan, 41 years old. This is the scene in Interstate 66, in Fauquier County near mile marker 17 where Virginia state police apparently close in on his rental car. TV ANCHOR: We realize we cover stories of people being shot all the time. And so, now, we realize first hand what so many of you have sadly gone through, that when it is someone you know and someone you love. JEFF MARKS, WDBJ7 GENERAL MANAGER: All day people have been teary. They`ve been hugging and they`ve been doing their job as journalists. And somebody said, how can you reconcile all of that? And I said, well, you can`t. It`s just, you have to deal with it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Just a horrible tragedy today in Virginia. And the people closest to it, the people caught in the middle, continue to do their jobs in reporting it even as it happened to them, to their own colleagues. Local journalism is always necessary. Some days, it is also heroic. WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, today. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: When presidential candidates act out racist caricatures live on stage in front of an audience, it`s nice to have someone to talk to about what the world is coming to, that that`s what the presidential race is like this year, but also what happened to the guy who just did that live and on tape. Luckily, we`ve got smart guy Frank Rich here tonight. That`s next, along with the aforementioned tape. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: In the 2008 election, Barack Obama and Joe Biden beats John McCain and Sarah Palin by a lot. They beat them by almost 200 electoral votes. In the popular vote they beat them by more than 7 points, which is a lot. But among certain demographic groups, the margin was much, much bigger than that. Everybody knows that African-Americans and women and young people supported Obama and Biden over McCain and Palin in 2008 by big numbers. But look at the numbers also among Asian-Americans. Obama beat McCain by 7 points nationally overall, but he beat McCain among Asian- Americans, not by 7 points but by 27 points. Not he got 27 percent of the Asian vote. No, a 27-point spread between Obama and McCain among Asian voters. Four years later, when it was Obama versus Mitt Romney, it was even a bigger margin, total wipeout. Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney among Asian- American voters by 47 points. Obama, 73, Mitt Romney, 26. Just brutal. And with a history like that from the last two presidential elections, we can only speculate on how the Asian-American vote is going to go in this next election, particularly if the current prohibitive front- runner for the nomination actually ends up becoming the Republican nominee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I mean, you know, negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China. When these people walk in the room, they don`t say hello, how is the weather? It is so beautiful? How are the Yankees doing? Oh they`re doing wonderful, great. They say, "We want deal". (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We want -- it`s nice the way he opens his eyes really wide when he says that, right, and does the crazy monster hands. We want deal - - says Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. You can see that clip online today all over the place under headlines like this. Trump impersonates Asian negotiators. That happened last night in Dubuque, Iowa, that Mr. Trump`s rally in Dubuque. That was the rally immediately after his contentious press conference where he told the most recognizable Latino reporter in the nation that he should go back to Univision, and then his security grabbed Jorge Ramos and forced him out of the room. Last night when we reported that had just happened to Jorge Ramos, I said at the time as we were reporting it that we were showing that you footage but we didn`t know what happened to Mr. Ramos once he had been forced out of that room. We now do know some of that, because Mr. Ramos` network posted this short exchange, this 15-second exchange which apparently happened just outside the room where Mr. Trump was speaking to those reporters and from which Mr. Ramos got thrown out by security. One of the Mr. Trump`s supporters apparently followed Jorge Ramos out of the room and then this happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP SUPPORTER: You were very rude. It`s not about you. Get out of my country. Get out. This is not about you. RAMOS: I`m a U.S. citizen, too. TRUMP SUPPORTER: Whatever. No, Univision? No. It`s not about you. RAMOS: It`s not about you. It`s about the United States. TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, it is. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Get out of my country, he says to the U.S. citizen. Gallup this week posted this new polling data on Latino voters nationwide, their preferences, their perceptions on the various republicans candidates for president. As you can see up top, the Republican who does best among Latino voters among all the Republican candidates, Jeb Bush. But even, Jeb Bush doesn`t do all that well. This is mostly bad news for the Republican presidential field in terms of how Latino voters feel about them. But the worst news for the Republican Party among Latino voters is that this, oh, is the approval rating for their presidential front-runner. That line there on the bottom, that`s the guy who`s leading the pack of Republican candidates for president by a mile. He is so wildly detested by Latino voters that he basically requires to put a new sheet of payment on the left side of the piece of paper so you can see how far that axis actually goes. So, you can capture minus 51 percent approval rating. But he is their front-runner by a lot. And that is the sort of thing that makes the Republican establishment freak out that Donald Trump is their front-runner, not just because they don`t want people to imagine his face when they imagine the party, because with him as the party standard bearer, I mean, this is how the party is going to fare, not just in the presidential race, but all up and down the Republican ticket, with the fastest growing demographic group in the country. I mean, that minus 51 there, that is the sort of polling data that makes the Republican establishment really sure that they need somebody like Jeb Bush to be their frontrunner instead of somebody like Donald Trump. For his part, Jeb Bush seems to be focused on making himself not only increasingly offensive to Latino voters, he is going out of his way to see if he can upset Asian-Americans as well. This is how Jeb Bush answered the question this week about his recent decision to start using the phrase "anchor babies", to describe kids born in the U.S. to immigrant parents. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Do you worry that using the term "anchor babies" could affect your ability to win the Hispanic vote? JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As I said in Spanish, my back ground, my life, the fact that I am immersed in the immigrant experience, this is ludicrous for the Clinton campaign and others to suggest that somehow I`m using a derogatory term. What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there`s organized efforts, and frankly it is more related to Asian people. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Oh, Asian anchor babies is what he meant, which he is happy to explain in Spanish. After the 2012 presidential race which the Republicans thought they would win, the main do not do this again lesson that the Republican Party told itself that they needed to learn from that race, was to not alienate Latino voters. To find some way to stop top tier Republican politicians from talking about Latinos in ways that offended Latinos. I mean, picking fluent in Spanish Jeb Bush who is married to a Mexican-American, who is the father of Hispanic children, right, picking Jeb Bush was supposed to give the Republican Party not only an instant frontrunner named Bush, it was also supposed to solve their constantly offending the Latinos problem. That was the idea. But now, instead, they`ve got Donald Trump as the party`s front-runner and Jeb Bush duking it out with him on a daily basis over the relative racial merits of various different types of anchor babies. And whether or not Republicans this year can worsen their standing with Asian-Americans, that`s a question we didn`t even know would be on deck, right? But can Republicans worsen their standings with Asian- Americans this year? I mean, historically speaking, they`re already on track to lose them somewhere in the vicinity of 20, 30, 40, 50 point points. Can I hear 60 points? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Behold, the latest racist caricature from the race from the Republican nomination for president of the United States. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I mean, you know, negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China. When these people walk in the room, they don`t say, oh, hello. How`s the weather it`s so beautiful outside. Is it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh, they are doing wonderful, great. They say, "We want deal." (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Donald Trump, Republican presidential front runner. And the Republicans thought offending Latinos was going to be their problem again this year. Joining us now is Frank Rich, "New York Magazine" writer-at-large. Mr. Rich, it is nice to see you. Thanks for being here. FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Nice to see you. MADDOW: I didn`t see this coming. RICH: It`s amazing. I thought this had been retired with Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast at Tiffany`s." Remember him doing that still notorious Asian impersonation. I feel kind of -- as a Jew I feel left out. I`m waiting for him to do a Jewish mother joke or whatever he`s going to do that`s going to offend somebody. MADDOW: Well, the question -- I mean, at this point, the question is not whether he will do that, obviously, he will. The question is whether it will play in Dubuque, right? Whether it will help him, as opposed to offending people, right? Offending people used to mean you hurt your chances. Offending people now seems to redound to his benefit. The more people get upset with him the more, it helps him. It is especially a troll candidacy. RICH: Yes. MADDOW: So, how does that end? RICH: Well, it ends I guess with the Republican Party trying to figure out a way to make him go away. Clearly, they are completely impotent and as you showed, people like Jeb Bush was supposed to be the sober more centrist candidate are falling in to trap and filing on about Asians, Hispanics and everything else. So, they have a real, real problem. I don`t think he is going away and it`s helping him. One thing we have to remember is, his opponents are not profiles of courage. It wasn`t that long ago before Trump got into the race after the massacre in Charleston, it took a long weekend, at least for the Republican presidential candidates to come out against the Confederate flag. MADDOW: Right. RICH: And hence come against slavery. So, they`re not -- the only ones standing up to him are Lindsey Graham, who Trump points out have no standing in the polls. They are scared of him. MADDOW: And come to think of it, Bobby Jindal is now fighting efforts to take down Confederate memorials in New Orleans, which will be the way his candidacy comes back. You know, Dan Rather was here earlier. RICH: Right. MADDOW: One of the things we were talking about is FOX News and Donald Trump fighting. Dan raised the prospect that it`s kind of like a wrestling heel, scripted fight that it is not a real fight and it`s supposed to make them look better with people who they most care about looking good for. Do -- what do you make about how the conservative media is functioning in the race right now? RICH: You know, I feel that Trump has hit in to something that`s beyond FOX. People forget that there`s a whole conservative media out there to the right of FOX and has a huge following in the base Republican Party. The radio host Mark Lemon has a number one "New York Times" bestseller in the country right now. That is sort of off the radar of people like us, and I think it is very much on Ailes` radar and I think he has backed down to Trump. I think he knows there`s that sort of take back America, Sarah Palin, Levin, Michael Savage back in the day, that group that is a threat to FOX as well as the Republican Party. MADDOW: See, that`s very interesting because when -- so there was this fight at the debate where Mr. Trump felt he wasn`t well-treated and he said some offensive things about one of the FOX News hosts and there was a fight between Donald Trump and FOX News about that. They supposedly came to some sort of truce and agreement. There was never an apology from Mr. Trump for any of that. He was sort of welcomed back in the fold and nothing was said about that. Now that started up again. But you are suggesting that part of the fight may not just be performing for the country. It might be about dragging FOX further to the right -- RICH: Yes. MADDOW: -- making them more like the media that`s critical of them for being too liberal. RICH: Because that`s -- look, that`s Laura Ingraham, that`s the people who are, Ann Coulter, who are standing up for Trump. We forget, that`s on the right flank -- as conservatives, we think FOX News is not the most conservative force in the base of the Republican Party. So, Ailes has his own back to watch with, not just Trump. MADDOW: Amazing. This is such a weird world. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: We`re worried about Roger Ailes` right flank. So weird. Frank Rich, "New York Magazine" writer at large, you are a very smart man. Thank you for being here. RICH: Thanks for having me. MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: What is the purpose of the march? JOHN LEWIS: We are marching today to dramatize to the nation, to dramatize to the world, hundreds of thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here, in the Blight area (ph), deny the right to vote. We intend to march to Montgomery to present same grievance to Governor George C. Wallace. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Young John Lewis, now Congressman Lewis, describing to a reporter why those marchers were there in 1965, what they were trying to achieve with their march from Selma to Montgomery. One of those marchers was Amelia Boynton. This is her a couple of months before that march in Montgomery trying to register to vote, being hauled off by the collar by a county sheriff named Jim Clark. Amelia Boynton was one of the organizers of the Selma march. She was a little older than those young whippersnappers like John Lewis. But she helped lead that march in Selma in March 1965 that ended up being called Bloody Sunday. The footage from that day, Amelia Boynton, that`s her in the white raincoat being trampled. She was seriously injured that day when police attacked the bridge. She was beaten senseless that day. She was left unconscious on the ground, but she lived -- she lived to tell the tale. This spring, on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, she was back at the bridge with President Obama, side by side, hand in hand. She was her in the wheelchair there day when police attacked the bridge. When the great Amelia Boynton died today and the White House released a statement praising her quiet heroism. She died today at the age of 104. She was at the White House when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, something that may have never happened without her. Amelia Boynton Robinson was already 54 years old when she helped organize the Selma march, in which she almost lost her life. She was 104 years old today when she passed. Gone today, a hard life well-lived. That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time 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