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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/10/15

Guests: Chris Murphy, John Stanton

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right 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 was a really, really big news day. We`ve got a big show coming up this hour. In fact, lots of news that we`ve been covering all day is still going on tonight and still fairly unresolved. Fasten your seat belts. Plans may change. But within less than the last hour, two big stories have broken in politics news, all since 8:00 p.m. this evening. First news that broke is that CNN has just announced the roster of who they`re going to allow into the second Republican presidential debate and who they are not letting in to that event. Who they`re putting in a separate event apart from the people who CNN says are the real candidates. So, this is the list at 6:00 p.m. in this debate Wednesday night. This is who`s going to be at the kids table. The kids table event will be Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham. So, that`s one, two, three, four, five of them, at the kids table. Not allowed in the real debate for some reason. That will go from 6:00 p.m. Eastern, next Wednesday night, 6:00 p.m. until 7:45. And then, for some reason, CNN will stop that event, and they`ll just do something else for 15 minutes or so, and then at 8:00 p.m., they`ll start a whole new event, at which they will let these nice people on to the stage. That will be Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina Mike Huckabee - - again, no particular order here -- Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Chris Christie. So, this, overall -- this is the lineup just announced this hour by CNN for the next Republican debate. It happens on Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Now, in the first Republican debate last month, this is going to be the second one. CNN will be second. In the first Republican debate last month, for some reason, the host of that debate, the FOX News Channel, decided that even though there were 17 candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination, they, the FOX News Channel, would only allow the magic number of ten of those candidates to appear in their debate. And the other seven candidates would be a shunted into this other event. I believe that was a fairly ridiculous decision and they taped the kids table debate in an empty arena. They kept showing in all of the camera angles how empty the arena was. This was a really big insult to those candidates. That was the first debate. FOX News did that. But now that we have the second debate, CNN for whatever reason, they`ve decided to stick to that format, that FOX News invented. That magic number of ten candidates, led into the real debate and everybody else forced to do some other thing. Except in CNN`s case, after they had said that`s the way they`d do it, they later decided after the fact that their magic number would not be ten, it would 11. CNN after the fact, after they`d said how they would do their debate, they later changed their rules so they would count the polls differently than they previously said they would. They used the polls to determine eligibility for their debate. But when they changed the way they were counting the polls, that had the effect of ranking Carly Fiorina as the tenth-ranked candidate in the polls instead of the 11th ranked candidate. Under the old rules, she would not have gotten into the real debate. She would have been at the kids` table. They decided to change their rules in order to let her in. And the new polling calculation for the way they count polls after they made this change, their new polling calculation actually puts Chris Christie in 11th place. Chris Christie the 11th-ranked candidate in the race. So, I mean, by rights, the whole idea was we want ten in the debate. By rights, the same rule change that let Carly Fiorina into the debate should have pushed Chris Christie out of the debate. Since now under the new rules, he`s no longer a top ten candidate, he`s number 11. But, seeing that as the eventual outcome of this new rule change that they made, CNN just decided they would fudge it a little more and let Chris Christie in the real debate, too. It`ll be 11 people instead of 10. We always intended for it to be 11. It`s amazing. It`s amazing. It`s amazing. I mean, it`s one thing for FOX to kind of fudge this because you think, oh, FOX is a Republican organization, they have someone who they want to win and they`ll run things in a way that allows that person favorable treatment. For CNN to do this, it`s just -- I mean, it`s worse than catches catch can -- I won`t say really what I think it is. I find it amazing this is the way that any major political party is picking their presidential candidate this year. It`s a total mess. But we`ve got the lineup as of this hour -- 11 Republicans on stage, next Wednesday night for debate number two, and then these candidates, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, they will be forced into a separate event, which by rights should have Chris Christie stuck there, too, but CNN decided to do him a favor for whatever reason. Amazing, because that`s how we pick presidents. So that`s the one thing that`s broken in the last hour. It`s amazing. > The other thing broken in the last hour, concerns Vice President Biden. Vice President Biden in New York City today. Did an event with Andrew Cuomo, mostly about the minimum wage. He also did an event, very interesting event about the testing of backlogged rape kits with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other top law enforcement officials. He did a bunch of appearances, different appearances today in New York City, but then, honestly, the highest profile one was that Vice President Biden tonight taped an appearance for the new late show at CBS starring Stephen Colbert. The third ever episode of the new Stephen Colbert "Late Show". The vice president`s interview with Stephen Colbert was originally set to be embargoed until the show airs tonight after 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. But it was really interesting thing on the news desk today. They`d told us that the vice president talked about whether or not he was going to run for president, but the -- the remarks, the remarks were supposedly embargoed and we were not allowed to say what he said. But, then, the White House cleared us, cleared after we`d been told there was an embargo. Then, the White House cleared us to tell you what the vice president said, even before we were allowed to see the tape of what the exchange looked like. So, I mean, Lord knows how these calculations work, right? Maybe they figured, you know, once news organizations saw the transcript, they figured it would get out anyway. There`s no point in trying to stop it. I don`t know, I`m speculating here. I think the reason that they may have said it`s OK to break the embargo on what happened on the Colbert show and the taping tonight, I think the reason they said it`s okay to break it right now is because what the vice president said on Stephen Colbert`s show at this taping tonight is truly newsworthy. And so, they made a newsworthiness decision about putting it out. Again, his remarks are about whether or not he`s running for president. And I think what`s important about this is that Vice President Biden has never come this close, before, to just saying what he`s going to do. Again, we cannot show you the tape of this yet, we don`t have the tape of this yet, they haven`t release that, they`ve just released this verbatim comment to us. But what this is, is we`re told, is an exact verbate of what the vice president just said across town in Manhattan to Stephen Colbert at this taping. Here it goes, Stephen Colbert: "I want to talk about the elephant in the room, which in this case is a donkey. Anything you`d like to tell us right now about your plans?" Vice President Biden replies, "Yes. I think you should run for president again and I`ll be your vice president." To which Stephen Colbert says, "Well, you said this weekend that you don`t know if you`re emotionally prepared to run for president." Vice President Biden then said this. I`m quoting from the verbatim -- what we`re told is a verbatim transcript, but again, I have to tell you, I have not seen this tape. So I could not double check this transcript. We`re just told this is what he said. Quote, "Look, I don`t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president, and number two, they can look folks out there in the eye and say, `I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this.` And I`d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. It`s uh -- I`m being completely honest. So, nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they`re willing to give it 110 percent of who they are. And I am -- as I said, I`m optimistic, I`m positive about where we`re going. But I find myself, you understand it, sometimes it just overwhelms you. And I can`t, I went out to -- I went out to Denver and I landed in a military base and I met a whole group of military families, which is not unusual, it was a rope line about 100 yards from the aircraft. And about 2/3 in uniform and family members and I was thanking them. I really meant it. One percent is fighting for the 99 percent of the rest of us. And I was talking about them being the backbone and sinew of this country and all of a sudden it`s going great and a guy in the back yells, `Major Beau Biden, Bronze Star, sir, served with him in Iraq.` And all of a sudden, I lost it. How could you? That`s not -- I shouldn`t be saying this, but you can`t do that." And, again, I think the implication is he`s saying you can`t be that emotional and be president. You can`t have that kind of reaction and be president. I don`t know. We`ll know more when we can see how he says it. But right now, we just have that verbatim. Vice President Biden tonight on the "Late Show" with Stephen Colbert. We`ve been given the okay to break the embargo on those remarks. You know, Vice President Biden is not saying whether he has decided whether or not he`s going to run. But the reason this is newsworthy, and I think the reason it`s been lifted is because in these remarks, he is being more explicit than he ever has been about why he wouldn`t run if he doesn`t run. Vice President Biden obviously a very beloved figure in the Democratic Party, particularly, even in a lot of the Republican Party, honestly, if you listen to his, especially his former colleagues in the Senate. He`s particularly beloved right now because of the empathy and sympathy people have over the loss of his son Beau who died this summer of brain cancer. And Vice President Biden talks about his son at every public appearance that he makes now. It may yet be that Vice President Biden decides to run for president. But he hasn`t put in place any of the infrastructure to do it. He has not started a campaign, obviously. He has not said that he will start a campaign. He is talking ever more openly about what all the reasons are he might not start a campaign. The first Democratic debate is in a month. If you want my opinion, it is starting to feel like the media is leaning way in on a question of Vice President Biden`s potential run, mostly because the media is desperate to tell another story about Hillary Clinton fighting a close fought fight. And so, Vice President Biden is a great vehicle for telling that story. Vice President Biden, though, may not run and it`s starting to feel increasingly like he won`t. We have to wait for him to tell us. Our speculation means nothing. He`ll eventually say. The thing is, though, there is no reason to make up more than there is about the prospect of a Vice President Biden candidacy in order to tell the story of Hillary Clinton being in a close fought fight, because Hillary Clinton already is in a real life, not imaginary, close-fought fight with Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders has polled ahead of Secretary Hillary Clinton in three state polls in New Hampshire now. And today for the first time he polled, just barely, just barely ahead of her in Iowa. I mean just barely, it`s one point well within the margin of error, but he`s ahead. The new Quinnipiac poll in Iowa puts Senator Sanders one point ahead of Hillary Clinton in the Buckeye. And maybe this means Bernie Sanders is now beating Hillary Clinton in Iowa, it might mean that. But the note of caution here and interpreting this is that so far, it is just one poll. Senator Sanders is up by one over Hillary Clinton in this one Iowa poll. In the last three Iowa polls, she was beating him by 11 points, by 28 points, by 7 points in Iowa. What I mean to say is that the next Democratic poll out of Iowa just became really, really important. Because that will be the one that will show if this poll released today is a fluke or if something really has changed in Iowa. The tables really have turned in Iowa on the Democratic side. So, this one poll shows something potentially very interesting. But right now, this is like jazz, right? It`s -- what`s not important is the note that just played is not important. What`s important here is the note that gets played next. Then you`ll know if the musical composition makes sense. On the Republican side today, the music was less jazz. It was more hard core or something. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is not a serious candidate. He`s a narcissist. He`s an egomaniac. The only thing he believes in is himself. The reality is, is that I want to say what everyone is thinking about Donald Trump but afraid to say. Everybody knows this is true. This isn`t -- the idea of the Donald Trump act is great, the reality of Donald Trump, however, is absurd. He`s non-serious. He`s a carnival act. Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He believes in nothing other than himself. Look, he`s not a liberal, not a moderate, not a conservative. He`s not a Democrat, he`s not a Republican, he`s not an independent. Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He`s not for anything. He`s not against anything. Issues don`t mean anything to him. Policies, ideals are not important to him. He`s for Donald. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Bobby Jindal today making, if not impassioned, then at least well-considered remarks today at the National Press Club. But he gave those remarks to a room of basically no one. One reporter snapping a photo of Bobby Jindal speaking to a very small, but still half empty room of people there to hear him today at the National Press Club. But, you know what, FOX News carried that speech, and maybe that counts for something. Who knows, maybe this line of attack going after Donald Trump full-time. Maybe that will work for him. Something better work for him soon or it`s probably curtains. In the new national CNN poll on the Republican side, Bobby Jindal polling at 1 percent. He`s pretty much at zero percent or 1 percent in every poll now. Bobby Jindal not being allowed into the next Republican debate by CNN. So who knows? If you were him, maybe you`d try attacking Donald Trump and see if that would work. At the top of the Republican polls right now, including this new national CNN poll that`s out today, it is still Donald Trump and Ben Carson up top. Today, Mr. Trump in this new poll, he`s out, not only out ahead of Ben Carson and the rest of the field, he`s out ahead of them by more than he has ever been ahead in the polls. He`s at 32 percent nationally in this new CNN poll, which is the highest number he`s ever had. Ben Carson, though, is the only other candidate in the new CNN national Republican poll who`s in double digits. And Donald Trump today spent most of the day trying to start a fight with Ben Carson over abortion and religion and a few other things. Ben Carson went along with it for most of the day today. But then he said he would stop going along with it. They sort of had a mini fight today and Ben Carson said, I`m not doing this anymore. My estimation is that Donald Trump would not stop that fight. But we`ll see. Now that Ben Carson`s trying to extricate himself from it. But the new Ben Carson fight he`s picked is on top of another fight brewing between Donald Trump and another candidate who is doing increasingly well, Carly Fiorina. "Rolling Stone" article out yesterday quotes Donald Trump as saying, quote, "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that being the face of our next president? I mean, she`s a woman, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?" Donald Trump sort of tried to take back those comments today or skew them differently. Saying he was referring not to her actual face even though he kept saying the word face. He says today that what he was referring to was her persona. He was just calling her persona her face. So, Donald Trump tried to take back those comments. Not before Hillary Clinton had a chance to say her own piece on the matter. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And, of course, we hear from candidates on the other side about turning back the clock on women`s rights. And there`s one candidate who seems to delight in insulting women every chance he gets. I have to say, if he emerges, I would love to debate him. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I`ve got to admit. Probably everyone in the country would love to see a Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump debate, except for the fact that what that would mean is that Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump was the Republican nominee. And it would have to mean that we`ve gotten that far toward the general election and he`s who they picked and that might happen and -- we should just have intraparty debates now. Less stakes, more fun. Hillary Clinton today calling out Donald Trump for his recent remarks on women, specifically his recent remarks on Carly Fiorina. Hillary Clinton, even with those poll numbers out in Iowa today showing her and Bernie Sanders within one point of each other. And Bernie Sanders, in fact, on top, even in that Quinnipiac Iowa poll today, you know, it`s interesting, she still got a big gender gap in her favor. She`s still doing great with Iowa women. Bernie Sanders wins with Iowa men, she wins with Iowa women. And it`s not a close split in either case. If Hillary Clinton sees women, not just in Iowa but nationwide as her path to victory, well, she went to the one place on television today in which you can reach more women at one time than anywhere else. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: If I look at all the other candidates -- CLINTON: Right. DEGENERES: -- someone who is for rights across the board: equal rights for women, equal rights for every ethnicity, equal rights for everyone, it is the only person I can look at is you. CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you, Ellen. (APPLAUSE) CLINTON: Well, you know -- first of all, look, I think it`s just a reality that we`re held to a higher different double standard. And it gets a little old, to be honest, but you just forge ahead. Don`t let all these wonderful beautiful young women who are here, don`t get discouraged. Don`t give in, don`t give up. Don`t quit -- (APPLAUSE) DEGENERES: Yes. CLINTON: -- on yourself, on your dreams, on your future. And I actually think, you know, look, I`m not asking people to vote for me because I`m a woman, but I think if you vote for somebody on the merits, one of my merits is I`m a woman. And I think that makes a big difference in today`s world. DEGENERES: Yes. But -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: There has been a lot of news today, on the campaign trail. Including a lot of it breaks late in the day. Seems it`s happening with the last days of summer. Who knows what will come next. But we`ve got more ahead today with big news not just out of politics, but out of Washington. Lots more ahead tonight. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One note on the anti-Donald Trump speech that Bobby Jindal gave today in Washington. Although it was basically an empty room that he spoke to, that anti-Donald Trump speech did get covered live on FOX News, which really wants for something in Republican politics. And that coverage decision today came at a great cost to another candidate who`s way, way down in the single digits of the polls, but who at that moment was trying to relaunch his campaign by giving his new campaign stump speech containing his new remarkable, unprecedented campaign promise. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You want somebody who is going to wreak havoc, you need somebody with real solutions, that we have laid out today and -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I promise to wreak havoc was the repeated tag line in Scott Walker`s campaigning today. He was a little overshadowed by Bobby Jindal at 1 percent taking shots at Donald Trump. But, hey, there has never before been an American presidential candidate who ran on the platform, he would wreak havoc if elected. And so, Scott Walker may yet breakthrough. Listen up, FOX. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Tomorrow is September 11th. Tomorrow marks 14 years exactly since the al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001. On the occasion of 14 years since 9/11, this year`s 9/11, both al Qaeda and their mutant offspring ISIS have put out new additions of their terrible terrorist magazines. Al Qaeda`s magazine is called "Inspire". There are now 14 issues of "Inspire," including this new one. And at various times, U.S. authorities have believed that "Inspire" was put together by American members of al Qaeda, working with al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula. I don`t know if that`s still true, but the current issue of "Inspire" looks pretty much like every other one they have put out so far, at least to my untrained eye. Now, the magazine of ISIS on the other hand is called "Dabiq" and "Dabiq" put out its 11th issue yesterday. At the same time al Qaeda put out its new magazine. They`re competing on jihadi newsstands everywhere. Honestly, they`re basically the same, both of them contain big pictorial spreads on the 9/11 attacks showing the attacks, praising the 9/11 attacks as a great success. The al Qaeda magazine, this time, calls for the assassination of a list of rich, politically active Americans and, weirdly, American economists they say they want lone wolf attacks that will have an outsized economic effect on the United States. So, they`re encouraging their followers to kill this list of rich people and people who aren`t necessarily themselves rich, but who explain the economy? Well, or work on economic issues? This is the second time al Qaeda has put out hit lists on economists and famous rich Americans. In the ISIS magazine, they`ve got another pictorial spread bragging about their destruction of a 2,000-year-old temple recently in the Syrian city of Palmyra. And it`s interesting, as the west and increasingly the whole world has been riveted and heartbroken by these pictures of terrified Syrian families, you know, men and women and children doing anything they can to get out of Syria and find shelter somehow in the West, in the ISIS magazine that just came out, "Dabiq" magazine, ISIS also runs some of the same heartbreaking photos that have been running in Western newspapers, showing these refugees in dire straits or in some cases being killed on this very dangerous journey that they`re making on their way out of Syria. But, of course, because they are ISIS and they`re controlling big parts of Syria, and that`s part of the reason they`re leaving Syria. The message that ISIS wants to convey with these pictures is the complete opposite of what everybody else in the world understands to be the importance of those pictures. ISIS is running those photos they say as a message to Syrians that they shouldn`t leave. In the ISIS magazine, they`re showing the pictures of these poor refugee families and kids under the headline, the danger of abandoning Dara Islam, the danger of abandoning the lands of Islam. This is ISIS telling the poor Syrian people, you know, don`t leave these areas that we`re controlling. It`s so dangerous for you to try to leave. You should stay here! We`re ISIS! We`ll take great care of you. And, you know, of course, they`re making that case alongside the pictures of the mass executions they`re carrying out in the territory that they control and the pre-pubescent children that they`re turning into suicide bombers and child soldiers. Yes, stay with us, what are you so afraid of? It`s dangerous for you to leave. But, there is one thing about this that is nice. And I say that not in a sarcastic way, I mean it, it`s nice. And what is nice is that alongside the al Qaeda magazine that just came out this week, the leader of al Qaeda, the guy who became number one in command after bin Laden was killed, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri just put out an audio recording this week again, on the occasion of 9/11. It`s the first recording he`s done in a while. And it turns, for all the similarities we see between ISIS and al Qaeda and their propaganda, what they`re selling and what they`re trying to inspire people to do and what they are, indeed, accomplishing whenever they get their way. For all the similarities we see between al Qaeda and ISIS, it turns out, they kind of hate each other, which is nice. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda, says in this new audiotape, I quote, "My dear brothers, I want to emphasis an important point. We don`t recognize the caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This caliphate was forcibly established contrary to Islamic law and the Muslim people are not obligated to it. We don`t recognize Baghdadi, the head of ISIS as the head of the caliphate." Oh. He does go on to say, basically, yeah, I do hate these guys, but they`re better than nothing, and if you have no better choice, it`s better to fight with them than not fight at all. But he is giving the order to al Qaeda`s followers. He`s making it known that al Qaeda is not down with ISIS, the head of ISIS is a pretender, he has this pretend caliphate and isn`t really no such thing and nobody should treat him that way. He doesn`t deserve this respect he says he wants. That`s nice. And that`s the sort of insult that, as far as we can tell, will absolutely infuriate the guy who`s the head of ISIS, who thinks he`s the king of the world. I mean, literally, he thinks he`s the kind of the world. So -- on this somber occasion, which is the eve of the 9/11 anniversary this year, takes some small measure of comfort in the fact that al Qaeda and ISIS are at each other`s throats. Good luck to both of you. If what you guys are going to try to do now is kill each other, I earnestly, earnestly wish you both the greatest success. But, of course, the disaster in Syria and in the parts of Iraq that are controlled by ISIS, that disaster is not just among these competing odious fighters. The disaster in Syria is among all of these millions of human beings who are not fighters but who are just people who live there. And who now because of the fighting have nowhere to live. And so, today, September 10th, we`ve got these remarkable twin happenings in Washington, and these two things that basically happened at the exact same time in Washington. It was amazing confluence of two stories. First, the White House got this huge victory today on one of the biggest American diplomatic achievements in years. And incredibly heavy political lift, most people thought it could not be done, most people it couldn`t be negotiated in the first place, and if it did get negotiated by some miracle, there was no chance it would survive in Washington. But it survived today, as of today, it is done, Senate Democrats today blocked the rejections to the nuclear deal. And therefore, it`s over. Nothing blocking the Iran deal will ever get to the president`s desk. There will be more nonsense toing and froing about this in the House, but it`s official, the objections can`t pass. And so, today as of early this afternoon, you know, cue the banner headlines. Senate Democrats clear the way for the Iran deal, Senate blocks Republican measure against the Iran deal, Senate rejects attempt to derail Iran deal in victory for Obama. And as those headlines started to break across the country, the White House put out a pretty dramatic statement about this from the president, and he said, "This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, for the safety and security of the world. For nearly two years, we negotiated from a position of strength to reach an agreement that meets our core objectives. Since we`ve concluded this negotiations, we`ve had the most consequential national security debate since the decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago. Over the last several weeks, the more members studied the details of this deal, the more they came out in support. Today, I`m heartened that so many senators judged the deal on its merits and gratified by the strong support of lawmakers and citizens alike." So, that happened today. One of the most important diplomatic achievements in this country in a generation or more, one of the most important achievements of any kind of the Obama presidency, signed, sealed and delivered today, on that incredibly controversial Middle East issue. And then, basically, simultaneously comes news from the White House, the announcement from the White House today that two doors down from Iran, the United States will start opening our doors significantly wider to the refugee families who are running for their lives from the hell that is year five of Syria`s endless civil war. What the White House announced today was a significant increase. Fiscal year ends this month, so as of the end of this fiscal year, this month, the United States will have taken in about 1,500 Syrian refugees over the course of this past year, where the White House announced today next year they want to go from 1,500 to 10,000 refugees from Syria. That`s a significant increase from what we were doing before. But in context, it`s not that much. Since this current crisis started with all of these refugee families, risking their lives by the thousands to try to get themselves to somewhere safe, just look at the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has said 120,000 Catholic parishes all over Europe should each take in at least one refugee family. So, just the Catholic Church as an institution, they`re saying they`ll take in 120,000 families. The whole United States as a country is only talking about taking in 10,000 individuals. The country of Germany, since this latest crisis started, they`ve pledged to take in 500,000 refugees per year. In context, just in terms of the overall population, half million people may sound like a lot, but proportionally, half million people brought in this refugees would represent 0.62 percent of Germany`s population. If we were being welcoming on the same scale as our ally German, if we were also welcoming in 0.62 percent of our population, that would mean that we were offering to take in roughly 2 million people into our country. Not 10,000. But 2 million, just to keep pace with what Germany has offered to do. So, we do not know what`s going to happen to the White House`s proposal now that they`ve made it. Ordinarily this coming up in the heat of a presidential election would make something like this seem to be an impossible domestic political lift. But on the day that the Iran deal got saved and the Republican-led U.S. Congress, domestic politics feel a little harder to predict than they usually do, especially on thorny and morally complicated issues like this. And honestly, in the middle of this presidential campaign, there are definitely candidates out there who are saying it would be a terrible thing to welcome these refugee families. But a lot of the candidates on both sides of the aisle aren`t saying this would be a good thing to do. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The United States must lead in assisting those who have been uprooted by conflict, especially by millions of Syrian refugees now beseeching the world to help them. As Pope Francis has reminded us, this is an international problem that demands an international response. And the United States must help lead that response. That`s who we are and that`s what we do. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hate the concept of it, but on the humanitarian basis, with what`s happening, you have to. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`ve always been a country that`s been willing to accept people who have been displaced. And I would be open to that. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should take our fair share. We are good people. I don`t think the average American has any idea of what it`s like to live in the Mideast right now. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: White House announcing a big change today -- a big change today on the issue of number of Syrian refugees that will be allowed into this country. You would think in a presidential election year, that that would be the hottest possible political topic. But on the Republican side, at least, they are split on this issue and Democrats are absolutely with the White House on this issue. This is a live one. I don`t know how this one will go. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The White House hit two huge foreign policy milestones today. They celebrated basically the end of the opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal in Washington. Democratic senators held together and stopped the opposition bill in its tracks today in the Senate. No bill to stop that deal will ever make it to President Obama`s desk. That became a done deal today. Basically, simultaneous to that, the White House also announced today that the United States will up the number of Syrian refugees our country accepts from about 1,500 this year to what the White House says is a goal of 10,000 next year. Joining us now is a Democratic U.S. senator who is calling on the United States to take not 10,000 refugees, but tens of thousands of these refugees who were caught up in this current crisis. He, in fact, is just back from the largest Syrian refugee camp anywhere, which is in Jordan. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut joins us now. Senator, thanks very much for being with us. SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, thanks for having me. MADDOW: Can you tell me about what you saw on your trip abroad and how it affected how you feel on this issue? MURPHY: Well, we spent a morning in the biggest Syrian refugee camp, 80,000 people, more than half of those are children. A handful of them are in school. But most of them aren`t because they`re out on the streets working for pennies in order to help feed their families. The girls that are there often are sold into marriage by the time they`re 12 or 13 in order to make a little bit of money for their family and other kids we saw were digging trenches where feces and sewage run through the middle of the camp, 250 are leaving every single day because they`re going back to Syria, because they`ve been sitting in this camp for two to three years with absolutely no hope. And they`re willing to basically put their lives back at risk inside Syria rather than face that reality for the next 2 to 3 years. And they`re all looking to the United States for help. And we`ve got to deliver it to them. MADDOW: Well, had a couple of complicated mixed and contrary feelings when I heard this news today from the White House. First of all, 1,500 to 10,000 is numerically a large increase in terms of what the United States is planning on taking in. Proportionally, 10,000 is very small compared to what we`re seeing from other similar countries and big strong economies. I also had feelings about the refugee process, which in terms of the way it`s designed in the United States, it takes a long time. It takes a year and a half or two years on average for anybody to clear the refugee process. That just seems like it`s too slow a fix. It`s too slow a lifeline to throw these folks. How do you feel about those conflicting feelings? MURPHY: Well, so the number`s clearly too low. But it`s all the administration can do with the money they have. This is expensive to do the vetting, especially the vetting necessary to make sure we`re bringing people here safely. But compare that to what we`ve done in the past. During Vietnam, we brought 190,000 Vietnamese here. During the Balkans conflict, we brought 180,000 people from that sector of the world. So, this isn`t living up to historic standards. It does take long. But we need to make sure we get this right. And frankly, for the people in those camps, if they know there`s a chance they`re going to be able to get out of that region and be able to lead some sort of normal life here in the United States, that will give them the hope that will stop them from bringing their children back into zones that put their whole families at risk inside Syria. So, the hope that comes with a number that`s not 10,000, or more like 40,000, or 50,000 or 60,000 would be a game-changer in and of itself inside these camps. MADDOW: The White House took great pains to say that when it comes to giving money, not just opening the door, but giving money to help support refugees in the places they already are. And refugee camps particularly in places like Jordan, which is obviously a very close U.S. ally, that nobody`s doing more than the United States. Do you feel like in addition to trying to take in more people ourselves that the money we`re spending to try to support the refugee process is being well spent? Do you think we should be spending more of it? MURPHY: Well, I think we should be spending more money on bringing refugees here. I propose today that we should, you know, effectively be taking all of this money we`re throwing down the drain and training rebels who are refusing to fight once they go into Syria and use that money on bringing more refugees. But we also have a World Food Program that has run out of money inside places like Jordan. We aren`t feeding millions of refugees -- millions of refugees that live outside of these camps because we`re not putting in money. Now, we blame it on our partners and say that, well, the U.S. is the most generous donor. But the reality is when we create a military objective, we allocate every single dollar that we need in order to pursue it. But when we go after humanitarian cause, the United States says we`ll put in our share and we kind of blame everybody else for not doing theirs. It`s just this double standard of foreign policy that we have in which we fully fund our military activities and then we shortchange our humanitarian activities. It comes in a huge human cost in the region and ultimately a cost to our credibility. MADDOW: Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut -- thanks for telling us about your position on this but also sharing with us that experience from when you were just over there. Thanks for being here tonight. MURPHY: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: Appreciate it. Senator Murphy is a young senator, represents Connecticut, obviously, and he`s -- hasn`t been in the Senate very long, but he`s casting a really deep shadow, a long shadow and deep shadow in terms of being aggressive and thoughtful voice on the Democratic side on national security and foreign policy issues, in a way I hear about in a complimentary way from lots of Republicans who don`t agree with him but appreciate how serious he`s taking the issue and how much space he`s taking up on this issue in Democratic politics. So, anyway, I like him. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK. It`s been two whole years. Isn`t it time we shut down the government again? Why not? Remember how fun that was? Everybody keeps saying right now that we are definitely headed toward another government shutdown by the end of this month. But there`s one thing about the last government shutdown we had two years ago that might mean our chances of avoiding a new one are better than they look on the surface. I feel very optimistic. I think the lights might be staying on. Nobody in the beltway agrees with me, but I`ve got a reason. And that story`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Ready for another government shutdown? You might not have to be. After the 16-day shutdown two years ago, the Republican leadership in Congress swore they would not let it happen again. But that is the talk in the Beltway again. Republicans are going to shut the government down again, this time over Planned Parenthood funding. Government shutdown number two, the Planned Parenthood sequel on the way. That`s the Beltway forecast today and has been for a few weeks now. Except consider the possibility one possible reason why a government shutdown may not happen. I propose that the reason is Ted Cruz wants to be the guy to lead the next government shutdown. He`s the guy really trying to make it happen. Ted Cruz, of course, led the charge to a shutdown in 2013, in a pointless quest that never had a chance of defunding Obamacare. For two weeks, national parks closed, and government offices all closed, and memorials closed, hundreds of thousands of workers were furloughed the economy lost billions of dollars and Obamacare was unaffected, which everybody saw coming. The only tangible result of Ted Cruz`s shutdown efforts two years ago is everyone was annoyed by Ted Cruz, including his fellow Republicans. I mean, these are the kinds of headlines he has earned over the last two with years. I think the likes these. But still, Cruz alienated in the Senate than ever, the most hated man in the Senate. How unpopular is Ted Cruz right now? Republicans hate Ted Cruz so much, he`s going to need a food taster. On Capitol Hill, not only is Ted Cruz roundly disliked, it`s viewed as somebody who`s not worth following any further. Watch what happened this morning when John Boehner got asked about him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Speaker Boehner, I was at the rally yesterday about the Iran deal. There were people with signs that said, Boehner, McConnell, repugnant traitors. You had Ted Cruz calling you out. Donald Trump said you are not doing enough, as did Sarah Palin. What do you make of the Republican candidates like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Scott Walker running against you and Mitch McConnell? REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of presidential candidates out there are saying a lot of things. If I start to comment on what they were saying I would spend all of my time doing that. I am focused on doing my job here and I`m focusing on the priorities of the American people. REPORTER: Does Cruz`s criticism bother you particularly? BOEHNER: No. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: No, I have hobbies, I have a life. Am I worried about what Ted Cruz -- no. House Speaker John Boehner barely containing, or not containing at all his total disdain and disregard for Ted Cruz. But now, Senator Cruz is at it again leading another charge to shut down the government, this time over Planned Parenthood. He has invited House conservatives to a meeting where they can hash out his new strategy for the government shutdown. And the whole thing is getting a ton of attention in the Beltway media, the idea the government may turn off the lights because Ted Cruz wants to lead a government shut down to not defund Planned Parenthood. Maybe the beltway press is right. Maybe this will happen because Ted Cruz wants it to happen. But, remember, birth control is very popular, and Ted Cruz is not. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Everybody says we`re on the way to the second government shutdown in two with years, but I think the fact that Senator Cruz is trying to lead the charge to that means there`s a pretty good chance it won`t happen. Here to tell me I`m wrong is my friend John Stanton, D.C. bureau chief for "BuzzFeed". John, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here. JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: It`s good to be here. MADDOW: Am I wrong? Do the lights go out at the end of the month? STANTON: I don`t know yet. I mean, I think there`s a good chance of it going out. I think that, you know, I think -- Cruz has got a lot more people that don`t like him in the building these days, most of them I think frankly. There are a lot of them that get behind him still. You know, he`s been pretty good about not trying to stir up this level of trouble since the last shutdown. So, he`s not lost a fight of significance. The other thing about Planned Parenthood in the House, Republican districts a lot of them don`t have Planned Parenthoods in them because they have been outlawed or pushed out or they live in states where they don`t have them anymore. And so, for them, this is an issue they don`t feel they can lose a lot on. And so, I think it increases the likelihood of it. I mean, government shutdowns, nobody likes it. Leadership is doing everything it can to convince people that Ted Cruz is wrong. That shutting down the government does not help Republicans. So, I don`t know. We`ll see. MADDOW: At this point, I want to book you to come back regularly throughout the course of this month to tell me each day how the odds of this are increasing or decreasing depending on the amount of Ted Cruz`s involvement. Do you agree to do that? STANTON: I will definitely do that, sure. MADDOW: OK. John Stanton will become my Cruz-o-meter. John Stanton, D.C. bureau chief for "BuzzFeed News" -- thanks, John. Appreciate it. We`ll be right back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Recapping the two big headlines which broke moments before we got on the air tonight. First, CNN releasing its lineup for the second presidential debate on Wednesday, and what appears to be a giant favor to Chris Christie they are letting 11 on the stage for the main debate instead of ten. Also, Vice President Biden going into detail tonight on Stephen Colbert`s late night show about how he is deciding whether or not he`s going to run for president. It`s a busy night. Lots of late-breaking news. 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