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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/12/15

Guests: Jake Sherman, Marq Claxton

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Hi, Chris. Thanks to you and thank you for joining us this hour. Rachel has the night off. We begin tonight with -- sweat. Yes, sweat. I mean, it has played a bigger role in our political life than you might think. Famously, it played a big role in America`s first televised presidential debate when Richard Nixon`s pale perspiring face may have cost him the election against the telegenic JFK. And this year, sweat has made something of a political comeback. Donald Trump seems to be a little obsessed with it, specifically how much of it his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination produce. It was in the very first moments of his campaign launch speech that Mr. Trump mocked Rick Perry for how sweaty he was at his campaign kickoff, claiming his inability to control his perspiration would make him bad at fighting ISIS. After last month`s debate, the Donald claimed Marco Rubio was the sweatiest, quote, "young guy he`d ever seen." Then, he sent the Florida senator a care passenger of Trump-branded water bottles and towels. And that`s just on the Republican side. This weekend in an interview on the podcast "Another Round", it was Hillary Clinton`s turn to answer some questions on the sweat subject. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) HEBEN: In preparation for this interview, I watched a lot of your interviews and I noticed you never sweat like physically. (LAUGHTER) TRACY: We are the sweatiest humans on the planet. HEBEN: I`ve done a little bit of press and I get so hot, TV lights, stage lights. TRACY: I`m sweating right now, I`m sitting still. HEBEN: Like what is your deodorant situation? HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, you`ve only done a little bit. When you`ve done as much as I have -- HEBEN: But like, what is your secret? CLINTON: My secret is you do it so often -- you didn`t see me 40 years ago when I did my first ones. HEBEN: I don`t mean like sweat because you`re nervous. I just mean physically hot. It`s hot. TRACY: Lights are very, very hot. HEBEN: I`m genuinely curious what your deodorant is. CLINTON: I just turned off the thermostat. I don`t know. HEBEN: Do you have a spray situation? Is that a liquid? I am not joking. I`m sweating right now, guys. CLINTON: Solid. Solid block. I like the solid. Solid block is much better. HEBEN: OK. I got to work on the solid. TRACY: OK, this is an odd question that I lobbied for a lot because it`s one of my favorite questions to ask people. If you don`t have an answer, that`s fine. But I will be a little sad. HEBEN: OK, Tracy. TRACY: What`s the weirdest thing about you? CLINTON: The weirdest thing about me is that I don`t sweat. HEBEN: Yes! Best argument for Hillary as a robot, zero sweat. CLINTON: You guys are the first to realize that I`m really not even a human being. I was constructed in a garage in Palo Alto a very long time ago. HEBEN: This explains a lot. CLINTON: People think that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, they created -- HEBEN: They don`t even know. CLINTON: Oh, no. I mean, a man whose name shall remain nameless created me in his garage. (END AUDIO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Election 2016. So, when Hillary Clinton takes the stage in Las Vegas tomorrow night at the very first Democratic presidential primary debate, that`s one thing she won`t have to worry about. Sweat. But if you listen to the pundits, she may have to be worried about everything else. Just as in her previous campaigns for office, Hillary Clinton is getting every piece of advice you can imagine. Don`t be too stiff, don`t be too folksy, don`t be too lefty, don`t be too centrist, mush, don`t be too weak, but don`t attack a 74-year-old socialist from Vermont who everyone in the base basically likes. How she engages with Bernie Sanders will obviously be one of the main things to watch tomorrow night. We know from the 2008 face-offs with then- Senator Obama that Hillary Clinton is a debater who can really land a punch when she wants to. But even though Senator Sanders is her main rival few people expect her to go on the attack. Senator Sanders has, of course, been drawing massive crowds. Just this weekend, he spoke to 9,000 supporters in Colorado and 13,000 in Arizona. Those are medium-sized crowds for him. He leads in recent polls in New Hampshire and he raised almost as much money last quarter as the Clinton campaign. But Hillary Clinton is still far and away the front-runner. In the latest national poll out yesterday, Bernie Sanders is Clinton`s closest rival with Joe Biden in third. Though to be fair he`s not yet declared. Everybody else is 2 percent or less. But Clinton still leads Sanders by almost 20 points. Now, take Joe Biden out of the equation and she leads by almost 25 points. In the early voting states beyond New Hampshire the story is the same. In new polls out today Hillary Clinton captures 50 percent of the Democratic vote in Nevada with Sanders and Biden splitting the rest. And in South Carolina, she beats Bernie Sanders by over 30 points and Biden scores a rare second-place ranking. Bernie Sanders is doing better than anyone expected, but in the context of tomorrow`s debate he has nowhere to go but up. Whereas at least according to the conventional wisdom, Hillary Clinton can only be hurt by her debate performance. When your numbers are good, any change is likely to be bad. So we`re expecting Hillary to aim for that goldilocks zone -- don`t disappoint supporters, don`t repel any potential voters, just keep things rolling. Now, the idea that Clinton only has something to lose in a primary debate is the basis for her opponent`s demands that there be more debates. They all agree there should be more than the currently scheduled six. And Martin O`Malley has practically made the push for more debates his campaign platform, charging that the Democratic National Committee is limiting debates specifically to help Clinton. Even Secretary Clinton herself has said she`s open to more debates. But DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been adamant about only having six. Congresswoman Schultz was nearly shouted down at a convention in New Hampshire last month by Democratic primary members chanting "we want debates." And now, demands are coming for from high in the DNC`s own ranks. Congresswoman and DNC vice chair, Tulsi Gabbard, was on this network one week ago, calling for more Democratic debates. She now says the next day, she was disinvited from tomorrow night`s debate. Now, a person close to the committee told "The New York Times" that wasn`t true. "She was not uninvited. The DNC team wanted this first debate to have all the focus on the candidates and Gabbard`s people were told that if they couldn`t commit to that, since Tulsi was trying to publicly divide the DNC leadership last week, then they should consider not coming." You see, it`s not that I`m disinviting you to my party, I just think you should consider not coming. So, as that passive-aggressive battle continues, for now, there are only going to be six debates. And so, the candidates who are not Hillary Clinton are obviously hoping to break through in some way. Maybe Bernie Sanders will come out swinging to try to knock Hillary Clinton off her game a bit. "The Washington Post" is suggesting that Jim Webb could be the wildcard who really shakes up the debate. Jim Webb? The guy who has such a low profile a magazine actually did an investigation into whether he was really running for president. Maybe he`s just been hunkering down and preparing for his big debate moment. But of all the things Hillary Clinton has to worry about, the biggest unknown is Vice President Joe Biden. CNN is actually touting the fact that they have a podium ready for the vice president if he decides to jump into the race at the last minute tomorrow afternoon. And honestly, it must be driving Clinton crazy that Biden gets to eat into her poll numbers and media attention while not even actually running. But if Biden weren`t a potential rival, he might actually have some good advice for Clinton. Because seven years ago, Biden was in a similar position to hers when he went up against Sarah Palin in the vice presidential debate in 2008. Look, it was a foregone conclusion he was going to win. Whatever your feelings about Governor Palin, no one expected her to do well in a national debate against a gifted speaker like Biden, someone who`d been known to be able to cut down opponents on a debate stage. So, Biden`s challenge was how to manage expectations and how to get through the debate and win without seeming like a bully or an elitist. He had nothing to gain in the debate, but he came off as obnoxious or condescending he could do great damage. Well, Biden pulled it off. And now, it`s Hillary Clinton`s turn. Her rivals are doubtless going to land some punches tomorrow night. Most of them have nothing to lose. So, what is she going to do? Joining us now is MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt live from Las Vegas. Kasie, great to have you with us tonight. KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to be with you, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: All right. So Hillary Clinton has reportedly been going through really heavy debate prep in the past few days. Bernie Sanders claims to be taking a laid-back approach. How do you think that factors into the debate tomorrow night? HUNT: Well, look, I think it fundamentally underscores the differences between these two people as politicians. You think about Bernie Sanders` long history in the Senate. He`s somebody who has really held the same policy platform for many years. For a long time, it didn`t work. He ran several times for local office and lost. When he finally won, it stuck. He stayed. And he`s very comfortable going back to those core messages he`s been talking about all these life. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has been someone who`s been a studier her whole life. If you look at, you know, how she was back when she was a student, at Wellesley. This is something that comes very naturally to her. And it was something that was on display quite a bit even in the debates in 2008. We focused to a certain degree on some of the mistakes she may have made, but she really delivered a series of strong performances on policy issues. So, she`s in many ways going back to that. It`s a way for her to be on ground that`s really comfortable for her. And I think those two styles are going to come into play tomorrow on the debate stage. HARRIS-PERRY: Let me ask you, though, about that Clinton style in the context of a 2016 campaign. So, again, obviously, this is the first time we will have seen the Democrats together on stage, but the Republicans have set a bit of a tone in this particular primary season for the theatrics. And it does not sound like Hillary Clinton will be bringing theatrics. HUNT: Even CNN has come out and said we don`t think the ratings are going to be as high for the Democratic debate as they were for the Republicans. What`s been going on on the debate stages on the Republican side is pretty unprecedented. And this is going to be something that I think focuses in a different direction. And while we`ve looked at the way these candidates might jostle up against each other, we`ve heard from people inside Bernie Sanders` camp that this is going to focus on policy, if there`s contrast from him they`re going to be focused on where his policy differs from where Hillary Clinton has done over the years. And I think you`ve started to see that over the course of the past couple of days with him emphasizing he voted against the Iraq war originally. That`s obviously a pretty central contrast. If you look at issues like the TPP, like the Keystone pipeline, those are the kind of things we`re going to see between the two of them. I do think one question mark on fireworks is Martin O`Malley. He`s somebody to watch in this regard. He has been trailing in the polls. He`s down around the same kind of areas where Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb are. Even as somebody who was a popular governor of a blue state in Maryland, he`s really struggled to break out. And so, I think the question that -- and what I`ve been hearing from people here on the ground is they`ve thought about how he might enter into this is if you remember back in 2012, Tim Pawlenty threatened to take the stage against Mitt Romney, who was a strong front-runner, and he previewed an attack ahead of time and then he failed to deliver on the debate stage, and it really helped end his candidacy. And I think that`s what we`re going to look for tomorrow from Martin O`Malley. Is he going to actually come out swinging, land a punch or two on Hillary Clinton in a way that makes him look bigger, like a stronger candidate, like somebody who might break out, or are you going to see him step back and fade even further into the background? HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. This question of being on a stage with folks who are polling as poorly as Mr. O`Malley or Mr. Webb, it really does set up a circumstance where those folks have really nothing to lose and it does feel like here we are in Vegas where the fights happen and the theatrics happen, that they may be the ones that can draw that attention. HUNT: It`s possible. I think you were talking a little bit earlier about how Hillary does -- Hillary Clinton, excuse me, does have quite a bit potentially to lose, and the reality is that`s just the set of expectation that`s go along with being a front-runner. Especially a front-runner that is so dominant as she has been despite the stumbles that she`s made, despite the problems, whether it`s Benghazi, whether it`s the e-mails. She`s simply in a position of strength. And if she makes a mistake, she`s going to contribute to that sense that there are problems going on in her campaign. And as we`re waiting for Joe Biden to make a decision, that`s simply going to add fuel to that fire. Whereas for all of the other candidates who are going to be on the stage, they still are taking an opportunity to introduce themselves to the American people. In many cases, it`s going to be one of the biggest audiences they`ve ever spoken to. So, it`s hard to go down from where they are. And I think, you know, for Clinton, the stakes are extraordinarily high and the people around her know it very well. HARRIS-PERRY: Just a one-word answer. You think VP Biden is going to come and take that empty podium? HUNT: That is not for me to say, Melissa. I will report. The rest of you can decide -- HARRIS-PERRY: Can conjecture. HUNT: Those that I have spoken to here I think are pretty convinced, the Democrats, that several of them were on the same plane I flew out with this morning, they`re in the halls at the Wynn, and they I think are leaning toward him getting in at this point. HARRIS-PERRY: MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt live tonight from Las Vegas -- thanks for your time tonight. HUNT: Thanks, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: There`s a lot more ahead tonight, including America`s next speaker of the House, Dick Cheney! No, really, somebody`s suggesting Dick Cheney. These are desperate times among Republicans in Washington. And that`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Remember when Eric Holder tried to step down as attorney general, but even as he resigned he promised he would stay on until the Senate confirmed his replacement? I mean, after all, how long could that take? But then, Republicans stalled by creating false barriers predicated on entirely unrelated legislation and refused to hold a vote on Loretta Lynch for five months after her nomination, which meant that not only did she face one of the longest waits to become attorney general ever, not only was she stuck waiting around, but Eric Holder was stuck too. Holder could not quit his job when he wanted to. Republicans professed to hate him. But because of that epic delay by Republicans, Eric Holder could not leave. So, inside the Justice Department among members of his staff these became the new must-have item, "Free Eric Holder" wrist bands. Free Eric Holder became a rallying cry for the man who couldn`t quit the job he no longer wanted. And who aim to say, but maybe it`s time to order another batch for this guy, John Boehner. Seemed really zip-a-dee-doo-dah happity when he quit his job as house speaker, but now he can`t leave because of the utter dysfunction of his Republican Party. Now, Boehner wants to leave but he can`t find a Republican to replace him. Is it time for a "Free John Boehner" wrist band? Now that President Obama is saying nice things about him, maybe the White House could have them printed up. Free John Boehner, y`all. Pick a new house speaker. Let him go. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: It`s hardly news that the congressional Republicans are having a bad week. But you know it is really bad when President Obama seems nostalgic about his years with Speaker John Boehner. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE KROFT, CBS: Are you going to miss John Boehner? BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John Boehner and I disagreed on just about everything. But the one thing I`ll say about John Boehner is he did care about the institution. He recognized that nobody gets 100 percent in our democracy. I won`t say that he and I were ideal partners. But he and I could talk and we could get some things done. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: He and I could talk. We could get some things done, says the president on "60 Minutes" yesterday. OK, maybe they could talk to each other. But there was actually a fair bit of evidence that they could not get some things done. John Boehner took control, and I use that term loosely, of the House in 2011. And as speaker, he has had the dubious distinction of presiding over the least productive Congresses in modern history. The 112th Congress passed 286 bills. The 113th got a little more done with 296 bills. But the combined productivity of the 112th and 113th Congress is the lowest back- to-back of any congresses on record, which is 581 bills passed. Compare that to the 110th and 111th Congresses under Nancy Pelosi, where she ushered through 843. John Boehner`s tenure included a 16-day government shutdown and a few more near shutdowns, a debt ceiling crisis. And as speaker, he`s never really had any bill-signing ceremonies he could actually take pride in. John Boehner took his very first flight on Air Force One just this past summer, when the president went to Charleston, South Carolina, to attend the funeral service for the nine victims of the shooting at the AME Church. That was his very first time flying with his president, just this past summer. And if there is one thing that President Obama and John Boehner do agree on, it`s a shared love of golf. And during their years together, they went golfing a total of one time, in 2011. After that it became clear they couldn`t go again. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If I go down to see President Obama, the right begins to wonder what I`m up to. The left begins to wonder what the president`s up to. You know, the president`s suggested, hey, you think it`s too much trouble if we play golf again? And I have to look at him and say yes. Because it just -- everybody gets -- INTERVIEWER: Bent out of shape. BOEHNER: Bent out of shape, worried about what we`re up to. Well, we really want to do is play golf. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: They`re trying to play golf and people are getting bent out of shape. No, they are the reason, these people getting bent out of shape, they`re the reason John Boehner decided to quit his job. They`re the reason Kevin McCarthy decided to pull out of the speaker race. They`re the reason the race for speaker is in a state of utter chaos right now. They are 40-some members of Congress who want to make sure that whoever is speaker never golfs or works with President Obama. They`re called the Freedom Caucus, and their membership is unknown. But we do know about them is that there isn`t any public list of the members but that vaguely 4/5 of the Freedom Caucus was elected after President Obama took office on an anti-Obama, anti-Obama Tea Party wave. The third were elected in the Tea Party heyday of 2010 and now they`re causing the current leadership crisis in the party. Now, there are 435 members of the House, 247 are Republicans. To become speaker, somebody`s going to need 218 votes. Right now, 40-some members are blocking any speaker from getting elected. And that is why we have a slew of people being floated as possible speakers. As of Friday we had 20-some candidates. Now we can add Texas Congressman Bill Flores to that group and Texas Congressman Michael McCaul. And I have one more to add from Texas, Congressman Pete Sessions. That makes five total from Texas. We also got Utah Congressman Rob Bishop`s name being floated over the weekend and Congressman Mike Pompeo from Kansas increasing our number of potential speakers to 25. That isn`t including the non-congressional candidates like Newt Gingrich, who said he would do it. And the junior senator from the great state of Arkansas, Tom Cotton, excuse me, telling "Politico" today that he would like to see former Vice President Dick Cheney as the speaker, which would be kind of amazing. But there really is only one candidate that`s being taken seriously, and that is Congressman Paul Ryan, who does not seem to really want the job. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney reportedly lobbied him to run this weekend, though it hasn`t seemed to have made much of an impact, other than maybe influencing Ryan`s Halloween costume choice. Paul Ryan now saying he will be going as Mitt Romney for Halloween. Truth is it`s unclear if Paul Ryan`s actually going to get in. His spokesman preemptively tweeted that nothing has changed regarding the congressman and not to anticipate any news this week. And so, we`re at a bit of a standstill. I`m sure we will get more candidates to add to our ginormous chart here. But for the moment, we`re in limbo and it`s unclear exactly what happens next and when the Republicans will actually get just one, one speaker. Joining me now is Jake Sherman, senior congressional reporter for "Politico". Thanks for being here. JAKE SHERMAN, POLITICO: Thanks for having me. HARRIS-PERRY: OK. So, when you hear the president talking about all that he and Speaker Boehner were able to get done, is he just -- is he trolling the Republicans? Is he stirring the pot because he knows that`s precisely what they don`t want, is a speaker who will work with him? SHERMAN: I think what he was trying to say is he could at least have an honest conversation with Boehner, and that`s what people say about Boehner and that`s what people say they`re going to miss about him in that position, is that he was able to talk about what he could and could not do in an honest way. And that`s refreshing because there`s a lot of people who overpromise in Washington. So, John Boehner knew his limitations, knew the limitations of his power, which were -- you know, everybody knows they`re on display a lot on Capitol Hill and I think the president appreciated that. HARRIS-PERRY: So, Paul Ryan actually seems to share some of those attributes, somebody who`s a bit of a straight shooter, someone who can have these conversations even if there`s a great deal of disagreement, and there are now some Freedom Caucus members suggesting they could get behind Ryan. Will that help to change the congressman`s mind? SHERMAN: That`s unclear. I mean, there`s really almost nobody that`s been able to get to Ryan to get a real answer out of him, and you showed his spokesman`s tweet that we shouldn`t expect any news this week. I think if I were a gambling man at this point I think Ryan, he`s looking at it and the calls might become too overwhelming. But in conversations with people that talked to Ryan that I`ve spoken to, I think he wants to be the consensus candidate. He doesn`t want to fight. He doesn`t want to take heat. He wants to be the guy that everyone wants. And he`s close to that. I mean, this is someone, you talk about 218 votes. He would get very close to that if not over that. I mean, he is a very popular figure. Now, there are some people on the right that are beginning to say he`s a squish, he`s a RINO, he`s not a really conservative. You can say what you want about Paul Ryan, but he`s a pretty big conservative in a well-known conservative, someone whose conservative credentials are kind of unimpeachable. HARRIS-PERRY: So, Jake, I`m a feminist, so I fundamentally believe that -- SHERMAN: Me too. HARRIS-PERRY: Right? So I fundamentally believe that no means no. But I do have to wonder if Congressman Ryan is playing a little here, if there is a kind of theater to this so that in fact he becomes a consensus candidate because everything seems to be falling apart and that actually allows him to do kind of a power play in walking into the speaker role. SHERMAN: I think you kind of -- you might be over-reading it a bit. He really does not want to be speaker. He has resisted several requests over the years to join House Republican leadership. He hates it. He doesn`t like the fund-raising. He wants to go home to Janesville. The people I talked to who know his life back there, he`s really going to his kids` soccer games and stuff like that. This isn`t an act. If he were speaker, his job would kind of blow up. It would be all consuming and overwhelming. And for somebody with young kids, it`s difficult. I mean, Boehner is in his 60s. He has two grown children. And so, he`s able to go out on the weekends and raise money and travel all around the country. Ryan does not want to do that. Now, whether he could -- he`s wooed by these calls from pundits and from lawmakers and from Mitt Romney and friends and family, that`s to be seen. My guess is yes, but I`ve been all over the place on this on the last couple of days. HARRIS-PERRY: All right. So, Jake, the question for me, then, is in three months, in six months, in twelve months when we`re at the presidential election, will this have been just kind of a news cycle blip or is this really a meaningful disintegration of how we`ve understood how the Republican Party operates in the U.S. House of Representatives? SHERMAN: This is a true boil over. I mean, I`ve been covering this House Republican conference since 2009, when the Republicans were in the minority. This is truly kind of the moment -- we`ve seen a bunch of these moments, the government shutdown which you mentioned earlier, the near debt default. This is kind of the culmination of all of those things. This is the really come to Jesus moment, if you will, of the House Republican conference. And they`re going to have to figure out together where they want to go because they are paralyzed and unable to govern at this point. And I think a lot of people that I`m speaking to, members of Congress, think that Ryan really could be the transformational leader that the party needs at this point, somebody who`s not wanted the job but who`s being called to it, somebody who has the policy credentials the party`s seeking. I think he wants people to follow him because they believe in him as a leader. And I think a lot of people are coming around to that. So, I think this is more than just a blip in the cycle. This is a kind of existential moment for the House Republican conference. And I think if Ryan takes it, this party kind of might go in a new direction. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, it`s fascinating to watch. And my sense is, I get the young children and the family thing. I also know when people are called to public service, it could be very hard not to answer that call. Jake Sherman, senior congressional reporter for "Politico" -- thanks for your time tonight. SHERMAN: Thanks. HARRIS-PERRY: Still ahead tonight, Dr. Ben Carson speaks. And you know how that goes. The gory Carsonian details are coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: OK. Let`s say by some chance you are called upon to christen some enormous new marvel of military hardware. Keep in mind the struggle of First Lady Bess Truman, seen here demonstrating the ceremonial champagne smashing is nowhere near as easy as you might think. Come on! Break, stupid bottle. Our current first lady, Michelle Obama, faced the same daunting challenge this weekend, and we shall see if she learned any lessons from Bess Truman, coming up. Swing from the shoulder, Bess. Come on, now. Follow through. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Nearly one year ago, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by a police officer in Cleveland after a 911 caller reported someone waving a gun in a local park. We now know that Rice did not have a gun. What he had was a realistic- looking pellet gun. But within seconds of officers arriving on the scene, Tamir Rice had been shot and killed. It`s been nearly a year since 12-year-old Tamir died, but the officers involved have faced no charges. Prosecutors say they`re continuing to investigate. And over the weekend, they released two outside reports. Both of those reports found that the shooting was justifiable. Yes. Two outside experts, both from law enforcement backgrounds, both commissioned by the prosecutor, write that it was reasonable to shoot Tamir Rice just seconds after pulling up to the park where he was playing. These reviews are not a legal finding. A grand jury may still bring indictments. But it has been nearly a year. A 12-year-old is dead. And yesterday, we woke to the news that there are experts who believe his killing was justified. For me, for many living in communities of color, these realities, a dead child, no indictment, and report findings about possible justifiable killing cause trauma. The video of his death plays again and again, and we`re reminded that it is quite possible that no one will ever be held accountable. And yet, empathy for this community trauma seemed absent in a meeting last week between dozens of city leaders, top law enforcement officials, and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in D.C. They were discussing the recent rise in violent crime across the country. And they were discussing the so-called Ferguson effect -- the theory that an uptick in violence in the months following police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, resulted from protests against police misconduct and that police as a result backed off and then used less aggressive policing, which has emboldened criminals. Here`s the problem with the so-called Ferguson effect. This report from the Sentencing Project details the lack of credible and conclusive evidence about the Ferguson effect. This chart shows that homicides and violent crimes had already begun to increase before Michael Brown was killed in August of 2014 and homicide rates had begun climbing in June and violent crimes started escalating in May. Richard Rosenfeld, a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, wrote this brief and found that events in Ferguson were not responsible for the rise in homicide in St. Louis. And today, this report from St. Louis shows that crime there is on the decline. Crime declined from July to August and also declined again in September. But in that three-hour meeting last week between top law enforcement officials, politicians and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, another theory emerged, sort of a first cousin to the Ferguson effect. According to the second theory, as "The Washington Post" put it, quote, "Officers in American cities have pulled back and have stopped policing as aggressively as they used to, fearing that they could be the next person in uniform featured on a career-ending viral video." "The Post" says New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, whose officers were seen on camera putting Eric Gardner in a chokehold, called it`s YouTube effect. A former top police official in Boston suggested it has led to a reduction in proactive policing. So, while American families buried their beloveds, who have died at the hands of police, who have largely not been held accountable for those deaths, we learned that the country`s top law enforcement is discussing their fear of YouTube. This last week in Texas, a black city council member was tasered by officers outside his home, and one witness says he was kneeling and had his hands at his side. The incident, which was captured on cell phone video, happened in the same small town where a police officer arrested Sandra Bland this summer -- in the video now seen by millions of people. And now, officials say that one of the officers involved in this latest tasering was also involved in the arrest of Sandra Bland. She later died in custody. And the footage from her arrest were shown continually in media outlets around the country. So, whatever the fear of officers in Prairie View, Texas, might have been, whatever fear they had about the YouTube effect, does not seem to have stopped them from tasering that city council member last week. So, it is pretty clear to me that the fears that fuel the Black Lives Matter protests, those protests are fueled by fears that unarmed civilians will encounter undeserved violence at the hands of police. But given that at least one officer who has already been caught on tape seems undeterred from aggressive policing, just what is it that officers are afraid of? I`ll ask a retired police officer next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: If you believe in the Ferguson effect, then you believe that the protests over police killings of Michael Brown and protests like them over other police killings in other cities have led police to back off from doing their jobs and that that has led to a rise in crime. That theory is known as the Ferguson effect, and along with it the related YouTube effect has been the talk of police officers and politicians for months now. But is the Ferguson effect real? Do officers hold back from their duties because they fear ending up on YouTube? Or is something else at work? Joining me now is Marquez Claxton, who is director of Black Law Enforcement Alliance, and he is also a former New York City police officer. Thanks for being here, Marq. MARQ CLAXTON, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Thanks, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: So, I think there are many reasonable things for police officers to be afraid of in their work. That makes perfect sense to me. But I`m not quite sure what to do with |I`m afraid that I might be seen doing my work". I mean, it`s a democracy. We should be able to see the police doing their work, right? CLAXTON: Yes, you would think so. It really is an absurdity. And even the theory about this Ferguson effect and how police officers, the documentation -- video documentation of police officers engaged in all types of behavior would have a direct impact on a police officer`s willingness to actually work, it is really offensive and it speaks poorly to the profession itself. I mean, the nature of police work is pro-activity, and it is not contingent upon whether or not you accept or believe in reform or change or adaptations that people may demand. It is a requirement based in what you swore to uphold and protect. HARRIS-PERRY: So, Marq, this is one of the challenges I feel we always have when we`re having this conversation, because we don`t have an opportunity usually to talk to men and women who are policing at this time, right? You usually can`t talk to folks until they`re retired. And so, I wonder, given that these are top brass officials, given that these are politicians, if they`re actually saying things about front line officers that just aren`t true, in other words, the front line officers are still out there doing their jobs and this is just kind of a way of almost blaming them for the rise in crime in these cities. CLAXTON: It`s really a crazy situation. Many of those individuals who will come out with these theories about the Ferguson effect, and I`m talking about legislators and other supposedly -- you know, government officials and other supposedly responsible individuals are really attempting to continue this thing about lionizing police officers, about venerating police officers, and in essence and for all practical purposes granting police officers diplomatic immunity. And so, they behave in such a way that is blind to the realities, and that`s why there`s some pushback when you talk about YouTube or these cell cam -- these videos that come out of the cameras or other evidence itself because it really shatters their attempts to lionize law enforcement. And to go a little further than that, that would be a huge mistake if this trend towards lionizing or venerating law enforcement continues because police officers are public servants paid by the public dollar. They are not victims. They are volunteers who get paid and they should be held to a certain standard. It is the profession that has taken a tremendous hit when you have individuals who will not recognize what is wrong with the profession itself. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, and I have to say the other thing that`s surprising to me is this language of career-ending YouTube videos when much of what, for example, the Black Lives Matter movement is about is actually the non- indictment. If you think about, for example, in New York. Those big protests did not occur immediately after Mr. Garner`s death. They occurred after the grand jury did not indict. It`s been a year and still no indictment in the death of Tamir Rice. I think it seems odd to think that officers are the ones sort of fearing the end of their career. CLAXTON: Well, you know, police officers, law enforcement community, police officers in particular become very defensive when they`re questioned or God forbid criticized. And the reaction, the natural reaction is to invoke what I mentioned earlier, and that`s like as if they have diplomatic immunity. Like because we assume this dangerous position, we took this job, we took this oath, we wanted this career, and it`s dangerous, then we should be allowed to do all manner of things and not be criticized or questioned about it. It just -- like I said, it doesn`t bode well for the profession, and it really indicates a clear lowering of professional standards across the nation. And many of these incidents have also exposed that there is no professional -- national professional standard for police agencies, what they do in Cleveland or what they do in California or New York could be vastly different and the response oftentimes is vastly different. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, a little bit of a dust-up about whether or not the Department of Justice should in fact enforce collection of this use of force data. What do you say? Should it have to be collected by the -- CLAXTON: Absolutely. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. All right. CLAXTON: Absolutely. You can`t fix it if you can`t chart it. So they should definitely collect the data. HARRIS-PERRY: Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. Thank you for your time tonight. Always a pleasure to talk to you. CLAXTON: Thanks, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: And still ahead tonight, the strange but true intersection of Republican presidential politics and the guy who plays Pornstache on "Orange is the New Black." I swear to you those two worlds collided today, and we have the tape to prove it. And that is just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JUDD HIRSCH: Giving your kids even one chore a helps them build a real sense of responsibility. And that`s something they can carry with them the rest of their lives, unlike garbage. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Well, thanks, Judd Hirsch. Everyone remembers NBC`s classic `90s PSAs. Well, with all deference to the genius of that campaign, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW has borrowed the idea. And now, I`m borrowing it from Rachel. When a story becomes a cliff-hanger and you finally learn the rest, you know more now. Right, right, right, right. Oh, hey, Nick. OK. So, anyway, last week Rachel did a preview of First Lady Obama`s event this weekend where she was set to christen the USS Illinois, our Navy`s newest, most technologically advanced newest sub. In doing, so she reminded us things don`t always go as planned for the first lady in this situation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: Poor Bess Truman. Turns out the bottle is supposed to be scored, kind of scratched with some cuts before christening to allow for a clean break. And maybe they forgot to do that for Bess Truman which is what happened there. Honestly, even if they forget to scratch up the bottle for Michelle Obama, if there were ever a first lady who could handle it, right, if there were any first lady who were ever ready for a recalcitrant battle and its planned meeting with a giant nuclear powered submarine, I think it`s probably the one we have now. Honestly, I think I feel bad for the bottle. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: And that was where Rachel left the story. But now, we know how it turned out. On Saturday, where the stage was set for a showdown in Connecticut between the first lady, a bottle of bubbly, and a nuclear submarine, I`ll let the video tell you the rest. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: In the name of the United States, I christen Illinois. May God bless her and all who sail on her. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (HORN) (CHEERS & APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: If there were any doubt, now, after two, let`s call them warm-upswings, the first lady was able to bless that boat. Look at that form. Boom! We don`t know whether the bottle was prepped and scored properly for Mrs. Obama but it did not make a difference. She powered through it anyway. And no wonder, I mean, we saw her training and now we know what she was training to. Probably a brand new Spotify playlist that she put together in honor of International Day of the Girl. Let me tell you, it has nothing but certified bangers. Beyonce`s "Run the World," "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys, "Respect" by Aretha, and FLOTUS even has "No Scrubs" on there. I`m done. So not only did she bash that bottle on the submarine, but she also dropped a girl power Spotify playlist this weekend. And, thus, you know more now. Thanks, Nick. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: So if you happen to be flipping through the channels earlier today, you may have noticed there was a big political convention taking place in New Hampshire, so big that eight candidates from both parties decided to be part of it -- including some big names like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. And if you did happen to be matching, you may have noticed vaguely familiar faces in the crowd. Once in a while someone familiar would pop upholding a microphone for the questioners in the audience. People like this guy, and while he may look like your mailman, he`s not. He played one on TV. Yes, that`s Newman from "Seinfeld". Jerry Seinfeld`s biggest nemesis was working the crowd in today`s political forum in New Hampshire. This next guy might be a little bit harder to identify because right now he looks decidedly less pervy than in "The Orange is the New Black". Believe it or not, that is Pornstache, the prisoner officer warming up the crowd just a few minutes before New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Here`s another -- if you get this one there`s a chance you`re watching too much PBS. That is Richard Kind, he was in "Spin City" and "Mad About You", and it seems like everyone on the staff knows him best for the best character in "A Bug`s Life." So, that was the scene in New Hampshire politics today, a room full of people that you can`t quite put your finger on. And it bring this up because you may experience the same thing during tomorrow`s Democratic presidential debate. Yes, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders will be there. You might also know this guy, Governor O`Malley. But some other candidates are about recognizable, probably less so than the guy from "Bug`s Life." And the only saving grace is there are only five of those to keep track of in the Democratic debate. On the Republican side, that`s another story altogether. There`s still 15 candidates. Either the voters don`t want them or they don`t want them. Here`s the latest CBS News Republican presidential poll. As you can see, Donald Trump is still in the lead with 27 percent. Dr. Ben Carson still pulling in second with 21 percent of the vote. Take a look at the rest. None of the other candidates polled in double digits, not a single one. Bobby Jindal and George Pataki are polling as asterisks. That means they`ve got less than 0.5 percent of the vote. Sit down to actually do the math, and that means one or maybe two people would actually pick Bob Jindal or Pataki to be president, one or two people. Senator Lindsey Graham and Jim Gilmore would kill for those numbers. They did not even register on this latest CBS News poll. They get whatever is less than an asterisk. They get a dash. What is also interesting is if you look at this latest data, who has the highest favorability in the field? Dr. Ben Carson is in second place in the race but he has the highest favorability of any of the candidates at 62 percent, remarkably high actually, even though he says things like this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not just stand there and let them shoot me. I would say, high, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can`t get us all. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you mean when you said, I would not just stand there? CARSON: I want to plant in people`s minds what to do in a situation like this, because unfortunately this is probably not going to be the last time this happens. The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not just hyperbole to use Nazi analogies. CARSON: It`s not hyperbole at all. (END VIDEO CLIPS) HARRIS-PERRY: There`s something disturbing about that but I have to say the most troubling part is the fact that Dr. Carson is not only a top tier candidate, he is also viewed in a deeply favorable light. America, I`m going to need us to do a little better. And that does it for us tonight. Rachel will be back 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