Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: February 10, 2016 Guests: Ben Jealous, Jaime Harrison
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
MADDOW: It was a good time in New Hampshire with you last night, Chris. But I hear you on the seriousness of it --
HAYES: It`s hard to juggle both those thoughts because there`s some level of the sort of dynamism and enthralling spectacle of this and there`s that core at the center of it. So --
MADDOW: Part of the reason it`s exciting is because it`s so important.
MADDOW: Both things matter a lot. Thank you for doing that. Thanks, man.
Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
Nine years ago today, a United States senator named Barack Obama launched what at the time seemed like a promising, an interesting but ultimately pretty improbable run for the presidency of the United States -- nine years ago today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What for weeks has been a foregone conclusion today became fact. In a place steeped in history, Barack Obama joined the race for president.
On a frigid morning, Senator Barack Obama fired up a crowd of thousands.
BARACK OBAMA, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America.
REPORTER: At the statehouse where Abraham Lincoln called on a divided nation to unite, Obama pledged to bridge a political divide, offering himself as part of a new generation that can build a more hopeful America.
OBAMA: Let`s be the generation that makes future generations proud of what we did here.
REPORTER: Facing a field of political veterans, he played his newcomer status as an asset.
OBAMA: I know that I haven`t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I`ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.
REPORTER: Early polls show him third, trailing both Senator Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Aw. Remember John Edwards? That was after John Edwards had run as John Kerry`s vice presidential running mate but before we learned about his secret second family.
Yes, in 2008, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were thought to be the two titans, the two big figures in the Democratic race. But this upstart Barack Obama, this first-term senator, he not only beat John Edwards that year, he went on to get John Edwards` endorsement on his way to winning the Democratic nomination and ultimately to winning the presidency. That whole journey of Barack Obama started nine years ago today.
And as president, President Obama went back to Springfield today -- to Springfield, Illinois, to mark the occasion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Nine years to the day that I first announced for this office, I still believe in that politics of hope. And for all the challenges of a rapidly changing world, and for all the imperfections of our democracy, the capacity to reach across our differences and choose that kind of politics, not a cynical politics, not a politics of fear, but that kind of politics, sustained over the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime, that`s something that remains entirely up to us.
Thank you, Illinois. God bless you. God bless America. It`s good to see all of you. I miss you guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: "I miss you guys."
President Obama speaking to the Illinois legislature today -- a place where he used to work, among his former colleagues.
And when you look at the symbolism and the occasion that President Obama marked today, it`s fascinating because nine years ago today, from that Illinois statehouse, he did launch his bid for the presidency. That was nine years ago today.
Eight years ago today, so exactly one year into Barack Obama running for president, eight years ago today, Hillary Clinton fired her campaign manager in the hopes of giving her presidential campaign a boost, changing her strategy somehow, changing the course of that race against Barack Obama so that she might somehow turn it around and win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Confronted by Obama`s financial and political advantage in February, and facing critical showdowns in March, Hillary Clinton replaced her campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle with longtime confidant Maggie Williams. Some Clinton advisors blame Solis Doyle for losing Iowa, and spending so much money there, Obama was able to vastly outspend Clinton on Super Tuesday.
OBAMA: Our time as come.
REPORTER: But after loaning her own campaign $5 million, Clinton said Sunday online contributions are now adding up.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So many people responded, they went to my website, HillaryClinton.com, that we have raised since Tuesday $10 million.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The more things change, the more politicians have to make sure their website is spelled out completely including the dotcom part any time they get quoted on the news. Ah, some things always stay.
Today, nine years on from when Barack Obama started his presidential campaign and eight years on from when Hillary Clinton fired her campaign manager and changed course so drastically to try to beat him in that campaign, today, again, the Clinton campaign finds itself gutting it out through another very difficult race.
This time, it`s Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who is proving to be her strong, if slightly improbable opponent. And once again, even though Secretary Clinton was expected to have an unassailable financial advantage in this fight for the Democratic nomination, once again her opponent is proving to be really, really good, like record-setting really good at raising money.
Last night after Senator Sanders scored his massive win in New Hampshire, his 22-point victory, the largest margin of victory in any New Hampshire primary in, like, half a century, last night, overnight, through the morning, through today, the Sanders campaign has been taking a shock and awe approach to displaying the fund-raising response they got to their victory last night in New Hampshire.
At one point last night, the Sanders campaign uploaded his gif, this little online video clip which they said showed the pace at which donations were flooding into their website as senator Sanders declared victory in New Hampshire. By midnight last night, they said they had raised more than $2.5 million. By this evening, less than 24 hours after the polls closed in New Hampshire and Senator Sanders was declared the winner, they said they raised more than $5.5 million.
And I know big numbers just sound like big numbers to a certain extent, we don`t have, for example, a declared fund-raising number from the Clinton campaign since New Hampshire to compare these Bernie Sanders numbers to. But if you do want context here for what these big numbers mean, in January, it was a freaking shock to the Democratic establishment when the Sanders campaign announced that it raised $20 million in total in the month of January.
And in absolute terms, that`s obviously a big number. In relative terms, it was even more impressive because $20 million was $5 million more than what Hillary Clinton`s campaign raised in the month of January. So, head to head, in January, those two campaigns, Hillary Clinton raised $15 million, Bernie Sanders shocked everybody by raising $20 million. And then in 24 hours, we just got word that he raised another more than $5 million.
So, the technical term when you`re talking about raising money like Bernie Sanders is raising money right now, the technical term is hand over fist. If you prefer a different metaphor, you can imagine, perhaps, a fire hose of money being blasted at Bernie Sanders right now by his supporters around the country.
Now, that said, in the bigger picture, Hillary Clinton is still doing better when it comes to money. These are the latest numbers from "The New York Times" in terms of what the campaigns have for cash on hand. Regardless of the rate at which each of them has been raising money up until now, regardless of the rate at which each of them has been spending money up until now, the snapshot of this moment in time, is that this is how much money they`ve each got to work with. Bernie Sanders has $28 million in the bank. Hillary Clinton`s campaign has $38 million in the bank. Plus, she`s got another $36 million in super PAC money that`s being spent on her behalf.
So, you add all that up, that is a sizable cash advantage for Secretary Clinton. That is part of why she`s still seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination even though they tied in Iowa and he won big in New Hampshire.
Honestly, though, if you look at the difference in that money, if Bernie Sanders has many more days in which he raises $6 million in 24 hours, that Clinton advantage will start to disappear. And if Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton end up being, you know, on par in terms of fund-raising, and the money they`ve got to spend on this campaign, if they end up being equal, or he ends up surpassing her, that will be yet another way in which the 2016 Democratic presidential primary is starting to look like the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. Because back in 2008, Barack Obama may have been brand new to the national political stage when he started his campaign in Springfield, Illinois, nine years ago today, but from the very beginning he was a prolific fund-raiser who kept face with and ultimately surpassed what Hillary Clinton raised and spent that year in their incredibly long knock down/drag-out contest which went on for months and months and months and months, almost the whole way to the Democratic nominating convention.
And that brings us to our next trip down memory lane which is delegates. Oh. Delegate -- what? Delegates.
I remember in 2008 not being able to believe that delegate math was going to be relevant for understanding who would really get the nomination. But from the very start of that epic battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008, there were signs that was going to be a competitive enough race that every delegate was going to matter and we were all going to have to learn how to do that delegate math.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Despite the fact that people look at the percentage vote that shows Hillary Clinton with a big win coming out of Nevada, the Obama campaign says actually if you do the math, he ended up with more delegates there. Now, if you look at it that way, that means there was to real knockout there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was "NBC Nightly News" right after the Nevada Democratic caucuses in 2008. It`s Iowa, and then it`s New Hampshire, and then it`s Nevada for the Democrats. And in 2008, Barack Obama won Iowa, Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire, and then they went to Nevada for the Nevada caucuses, and Hillary Clinton won Nevada except the way the delegate math worked out, it was close enough that even though she won the popular vote at the Nevada caucuses, Barack Obama is the one who ended up with more delegates.
And those kinds of calculations, those kinds of conversations, learning the algebra of delegates versus votes, that ended up becoming critical all the way through the Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama race in 2008, both because that was a super close race but also because Hillary Clinton had locked up a huge proportion of the delegates that are required to pick a nominee for the Democratic Party`s presidential campaign. She locked up a huge proportion of those delegates because she had the superdelegates.
About 30 percent of all the delegates you need to become the Democratic Party`s presidential nominee come from people who aren`t picked in an individual primary, individual caucus, in any individual state. They`re just elected officials and VIPs who commit to one candidate or another, 30 percent of what you need. So, every state has delegates they award in a primary or caucus but every state has superdelegates, sort of VIP delegates.
And I really enjoyed forgetting that after the Democratic race in 2008. Boy, was that boring to learn and hard to keep in your head.
But now, apparently, we`ve got to learn all that math again. Because I am here to break it to you tonight that despite headlines like these, all over the country and indeed around the world today -- despite all the headlines you have seen proclaiming got just that Bernie Sanders won in New Hampshire last night, but that Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton we a historic margin in New Hampshire. Despite that news, technically it was a tie. They tied last night in New Hampshire.
In terms of progress toward nominating the Democratic Party`s presidential candidate, New Hampshire has 32 delegates. Two of them have yet to be awarded. So 30 of them we can say what they`re going to be. We`ll get back to those other two in a second.
But of the 30 delegates that can be assigned based on the outcome of last night`s New Hampshire primary, in which, again, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by 22 freaking points. But if you look at the delegate allocation after last night`s New Hampshire primary, it`s a tie. Bernie Sanders gets 15 delegates and Hillary Clinton gets 15 delegates. What?
It`s kind of incredible. There are 32 delegates all together, as I said from New Hampshire. 24 of them are awarded based on the vote in last night`s primary. So, because he won by a big margin, Bernie Sanders got the lion`s share of those. He got 15. Secretary Clinton got nine.
But that leaves another eight delegates in the state. They`re superdelegates. Two haven`t committed, haven`t said who they`re going to support. Those are the two delegates that are still outstanding in New Hampshire. The other six delegates that are superdelegates, they`re all people, every single one of them who are committed to Hillary Clinton.
So, he won six more delegates because of the proportion of the vote he got last night, but she won six more delegates because she had the superdelegates. So, ginormous, historic, very energizing win for Bernie Sanders that among other things put a jet engine on the back of his already very impressive fund-raising machine, but in the end, it was a tie. Everybody, freak out!
The delegate issue and the superdelegate issue was a huge controversy in the Democratic party in that fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008. It may yet be again between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and if that race -- if that makes this race feel even more unpredictable to you than it has already felt, well, don`t worry, there`s more to add to that feeling because today we also got news that Jim Webb might be getting back in the race.
Remember him? Jim Webb ran in the Democratic race for a hot minute alongside Linc Chafee. Jim Webb and Governor Lincoln Chafee got out a long time before Governor Martin O`Malley get out of the race.
I have to tell you that Jim Webb had basically zero impact on the Democratic race for the short time that he was in it, but tonight, his spokesperson says that Jim Webb will be holding a press conference tomorrow at the World Affairs Council in Dallas to announce something.
Jim Webb ever since he dropped out basically has been hinting that he might get back into the presidential race, not as a Democrat, but as an independent. And maybe that will have no impact on the race, but in a year like this, do you really want to predict that?
And when it comes to not predicting things, also add to your chaos stew the fact that the next race in this Democratic contest, it`s not South Carolina, which is where the Republicans are going, because they got a primary in South Carolina next. No, the Democrats are going to Nevada and in Nevada, they`ve got a caucus.
And partly because it is a caucus and partly because Nevada has not been an early state for very long and partly because nobody quite understands how the Nevada caucuses work, there is basically zero polling about what`s going to happen in Nevada and who`s going to win those caucuses.
I`ve been trying to consult with experts in the polling field today to ask if in this race, in this year of all years, couldn`t we finally expect some polling in the state of Nevada? Basically the answer is no, because every polling firm knows or at least suspects that they cannot accurately poll what`s going to happen in Nevada. They can`t poll a good sample. They can`t predict who`s going to go to the caucuses and they can`t predict what`s going to happen once people are inside of them.
So, no polling firm wants to screw up their average by proclaiming some kind of prediction about how the race is going to go in Nevada when they know on the facts it`s absolutely 100 percent not predictable. So, we`re heading into Nevada the next Democratic contest, there will basically be no polls ahead of that contest.
And if you want just one more wildcard, consider African-American Democratic voters. After Nevada, Democratic contenders will go next to South Carolina, which has a Democratic electorate that is 55 percent African-American. After South Carolina, Democrats will head into the March 1st states, the big Super Tuesday contests. A number of those states have a similarly heavily African-American demographic in terms of who`s going to turn out and vote in the Democratic contest.
Nationally, Hillary Clinton is viewed as having a huge to the point of prohibitive advantage with minority Democratic voters of all kinds and particularly African-Americans. The last national polling on this was done between Iowa and New Hampshire. It showed Secretary Clinton with a lead of 74 points over Bernie Sanders among African-American Democrats -- a 74- point margin between them in terms of African-American Democratic support.
So, you`d think that would make the next few races predictable. But wildcard here is that Senator Sanders is working triple time to try to close that gap. He has announced a number of endorsements from prominent African-American leaders and elected officials in recent days.
And in terms of the optics, with the spotlight shining on him today, as bright as it has ever shown, today, he left New Hampshire as the triumphant victor in the vote if not the delegates in the New Hampshire primary. He was -- he`s never had as much attention as he has had today. This massive win in New Hampshire.
Where was the first place that Senator Sanders went? He didn`t go to Nevada. He didn`t go to South Carolina. He didn`t go to the next states about to vote. No, the first place he went was to Uptown Manhattan, Harlem, to sit town at Sylvia`s Restaurant with National Action Network director and MSNBC host and my pal, Al Sharpton.
And if that scene looks a little familiar to you, it`s because eight years ago at the same restaurant, at the same table, when Al Sharpton was not as healthy and trim as he is now, at the exact same table at the exact same restaurant in the 2008 race, it was Al Sharpton and then-candidate Barack Obama. Today the candidate, same table, same Al Sharpton, Bernie Sanders.
And, yes, Hillary Clinton has run a presidential race before. In some ways, it`s starting to feel like Hillary Clinton has won this presidential race before. The question now is whether she knows how to make it end differently than it did the last time.
This is a very exciting time.
MADDOW: One of the biggest surprises today about what happened in New Hampshire last night is that in the delegate count. It was apparently a tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, despite his huge historic margin of victory last night. You can blame superdelegates for that.
The other big surprise about what happened in New Hampshire last night was the thing that everybody used to explain why Bernie Sanders won that race and won so big last night. It turns out not to be true. Perhaps the most popular perception of what happened last night and how Bernie Sanders won is not born out by the facts at all.
And that counterintuitive story is coming up. Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today. Or forgive me, he suspended it. Like it might start back up at any moment.
One of the things that was unusual about the start of Governor Christie`s presidential bid was that as soon as he declared he was running, the first thing he did was go to Maine, which is not an early voting state. Not usually seen as a first stop on anybody`s presidential campaign trail, particularly if they`re not from Maine.
But in Chris Christie`s case, he had a really specific reason to go. That`s because in Maine, he picked up his first endorsement from a statewide office holder in the United States. He got the endorsement of Paul LePage, governor of the state of Maine.
And on the one hand, it`s not unexpected that a Republican governor who was up for re-election in 2014 like Paul LePage would endorse Governor Christie. Governor Christie was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association at that time. He was in charge of getting Republican governors elected and re-elected, so Paul LePage owed Chris Christie one.
On the other hand, though, Paul LePage is Paul LePage. So, if he does endorse you for president, this is what your presidential campaign is getting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Number one, I got a bill into the legislature right now to take the traffickers, now, the traffickers, these aren`t people that take drugs. These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these types of guys that come from Connecticut, New York. They come up here. They sell their heroin then go back home. Incidentally, half the time, they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: After saying that, Governor Paul LePage responded to the ensuing uproar first by claiming he had not been talking about race at all when he said "half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave." The governor said, quote, "The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant." That was first.
Then, he decided to blame the media for reporting what he had said. Then he sort of started to apologize for ultimately not apologizing, because as he pointed out, Maine is very white. So why apologize?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEPAGE: I was going impromptu and my brain didn`t catch up to my mouth. Instead of saying Maine women, I said white women. If you go -- and I`m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine, you will see that we`re essentially 95 percent white. If you want to make it racist, go right ahead, do whatever you want. I didn`t say anything about black.
REPORTER: Didn`t you say, D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty? Arent` those --
LEPAGE: Yes. What are they, black? I don`t know who they are. I just read the names. I don`t see them because I don`t read your newspapers.
I get a report and they`re saying his street name, D-Money, street name, Smoothie. I don`t know where they`re from. I know where they`re from. I don`t know if they`re white, black, Asian. I don`t know.
It wasn`t intended to be race. It was intended to be Maine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Maine Governor Paul LePage insisting when he talked about drug dealers named D-Money and Smoothie and Shifty coming to Maine impregnating white girls, he was not talking about race at all. He said specifically, I didn`t say anything about black.
That answer held as the governor`s on the record explanation for those comments for about four weeks until now. Now, the governor has decided to concede what he really meant. He was asked on local radio station WVOM about getting more drug enforcement agents working in Maine and here`s how the governor responded.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LEPAGE: We got a few more drug agents but what did I have to do? I had to go screaming at the top of my lungs about black dealers coming in and doing the things that they`re doing to our state. This is what it takes with this 127th. It takes outrageous comments and outrageous comments to get them off the dime.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: Outrageous will take, but notice he said screaming at the top of my lungs about black dealers coming in and doing the things they`re doing to our state.
Perhaps he meant blackjack dealers. I don`t know. Blah dealers. A la Rick Santorum.
We`re still saying this wasn`t about race when you said they were impregnating white girls?
So, the man who Governor Paul LePage endorsed for president, Chris Christie, is out of the presidential race as of today. He`s no longer saddled with a presidential endorser like Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage.
Now, we have to wonder who else in the Republican field might get Governor Paul LePage`s coveted endorsement and what they will do with it when it comes. And that`s a little snapshot of the state of the discussion of race and racism in the United States within the Republican presidential field and I present that just for context.
In the Democratic presidential field, as the two Democratic candidates are about to leave states where the electorate was 91 percent and 93 percent white respectively, they`re headed into much more diverse states. The Democratic candidates now are fighting tooth and nail not only to try to appeal to minority voters and specifically to African-American Democratic voters, they are fighting very specifically for the endorsement of leaders within the black community.
One of those leaders who chose to plight his troth with Bernie Sanders is the former president of the NAACP, Ben Jealous. He`s the youngest ever leader of that organization. Today in Harlem when Bernie Sanders was there having breakfast with the Reverend Al Sharpton, at a nearby table, there was Ben Jealous having breakfast with Senator Sanders` very nice wife, Jane.
Ben Jealous joins us now.
Ben, thank you very much for being here.
BEN JEALOUS, FORMER NAACP PRESIDENT: Absolutely. Good to see you.
MADDOW: How was breakfast?
JEALOUS: It was great. I'd forgotten about Paul. He's such a nightmare.
MADDOW: Didn't he once say the NAACP in Maine, or did he mean NAACP nationally should kiss his --
JEALOUS: I think he meant nationally. I think he meant nationally.
He reminds you that historically, in like the 1920s, Maine was second only to Georgia for the concentration of the Ku Klux Klan. The funny thing is they were trying to actually keep -- not so funny, tragic, but in his case, ironic -- keep Catholics out.
MADDOW: French Canadians.
JEALOUS: There are only two groups that we know of that still exist that were fighting the Klan on behalf of French Catholics and like him, it's the Knights of Columbus and the NAACP of Maine.
MADDOW: Wow. That's an amazing history.
JEALOUS: I would like for him to say thank you before he steps down.
MADDOW: Well, before he steps down is sort of question there.
MADDOW: Given -- you are a smart guy, and I say that with some pride, because we went to school together. We've known each other a long time. I know you look at things in a big picture, historical, historically inflected way.
But you look at things like that, look at the swath of American history and where we are as a country, do you feel like in the Democratic presidential race right now, you`re kind of spoiled for choice? Was it a difficult decision?
JEALOUS: It was not hard at all.
MADDOW: You feel like there`s such a clear distinction, you feel like Bernie Sanders would be good and Hillary Clinton would be bad?
JEALOUS: Here`s the thing. If Liz Warren was running, it would be much easier because we could get a real progressive and we could get our first woman president and both those things are big deals.
But the reality is that for me, as somebody who grew up in the first generation in the mass incarceration era, there`s nothing more important than actually getting things shifted so we stop spending so much money on prison and we start spending it on education so our kids when they`re 18, they don`t have to choose essentially, you know, one of three roles in our society. You can go to prison, you can go to college and be deeply in debt, or you can do neither but still not get the college degree because you can`t afford it.
MADDOW: I feel like when I hear Hillary Clinton talk about why she`s running, and what she would do as president, she`s making that same pitch now. I feel like her policy take on these issues right now is pretty similar to Senator Sanders`.
JEALOUS: And then you remember 2008 when there were seven Democrats on stage, and they were asked specifically about if we get rid of the disparity between crack and powder, which had sent so many black women to prison, disproportionately black women to prison, would you support applying it retroactively. These women can get out, and take care of their families, reunite, get their kids, get their kids out of foster care. Everybody said yes except for her. She said no.
And then you look this year, you have three Democrats on stage. One of them, Martin O'Malley abolished the death penalty state. One of them, Bernie Sanders, opposes it.
Now, mind you, things have shifted since 2008. Six governors, five plus Martin, had led their states in abolishing the death penalty and Hillary Clinton says, yes, I support the death penalty.
And so the concern is that on these issues, yes, she can get pushed to the left. As she started off this race, she was in support of for-profit prisons. Now she says she`s against it. She took money from their lobby. Now she says she won`t.
But the concern is, one, she can flip-flop, she can move. And two, she really sets her edge based on where the Republican Party is at the moment. Now, the Republican Party generally supports retroactivity. She does, too. But they`re still for the death penalty, and so is she.
MADDOW: Because you`re so drilled down on criminal justice issues --
JEALOUS: Sure, just as a distinction.
MDDOW: But Bernie Sanders on his website until recently bragged about the fact he was a supporter of the crime bill in the `90s.
MADDOW: And so, it`s not like he`s been an unwavering champions on this issue alone. He also shifted on this issue from the same position she was in.
JEALOUS: Well, again, shift from the `90s, I mean, you have to recall --
MADDOW: And was still campaigning on it recently.
JEALOUS: But let`s be really clear, you have to recall that in the 1990s, most CBC members supported the 100 times disparity. Most CBC members voted for it. Everybody sort of lost their mind, there was so much urban violence, right?
And, I mean, not everybody, but lots of folks now who would like us to forget that they were for those bills.
2008. We`re talking about retroactivity. 2016, she supports the death penalty. I don`t want to -- you know, look, I`m willing to say let`s not hold any of her husband`s bills against her. We're talking about her own actions. And I`m also talking about her own words.
I mean, this is a woman who starts off, you know, starts off a supporter of Barry Goldwater, you say fine, that`s her parents. Then she`s a lawyer for the Black Panther Party.
MADDOW: She was in college, right. I mean --
JEALOUS: And Bernie in college was going to jail with the Congress of Racial Equality, all right?
MADDOW: All right. OK. It`s fair enough, but --
JEALOUS: But hold on, but then you get to the `80s, she`s chairing the children`s defense fund. But in the `90s, she`s pushing the superpredator theory.
The superpredator theory was, there were some children that were so sociopathic that by age 6 months they were beyond redemption. It`s not just a violation of psychology, it`s a violation of theology.
It was never used to explain the actions of, like, young white men in Columbine and those sorts of strategies. It was almost always used to explain the actions of young urban black men.
And so, it`s that ability, how can you go from being at the side of Marian Wright Edelman to pushing the superpredator theory? I can`t explain it. It confounds me.
And, with -- I think for me as a movement person, it comes down to the trio that Martin Luther King referred to as the giant triplets of evil -- racism, militarism, and greed. And when you go by that standard, what you see is Bernie Sanders has been very consistent in fighting racism. He`s been very consistent in fighting stupid wars, whether it was, you know, Vietnam or it was Iraq. And he`s been very consistent in fighting greed.
When you take those with Hillary, it gets confusing. It just gets confusing.
MADDOW: At the end of this, when there is a nominee, if it`s Bernie Sanders obviously you`re going to get what you want in terms of this endorsement. If it`s Hillary Clinton, do you feel like this campaign will have pushed her to the kinds of policy positions that would make you comfortable with her as the Democratic Party nominee or would you abstain at that point?
JEALOUS: Look, you know, I`m somebody who supported Obama early on. Independent expenditure effort to try to help him win the early primary states because I wanted to see the black electorate fully engage, asking tough questions, getting competed for, not getting taken for granted.
And I find it offensive, quite frankly, when you see so many Hillary surrogates sort of implying they could take the black vote for granted. Our vote is precious to us. Only question in your family is, was it your mother or grandmother who fought for it?
And so, for them to say we`re going to take it for granted when just as a country, forget about race for a second, we have the most indebted college students we`ve ever seen, we have the most incarcerated people on the planet. We have old people who are wondering what is the purpose of Social Security, because they`re starving even though they`re getting it, they're getting $12,000 a year. There`s no way to live on that.
We have parents who work, you know, 60 hours a week and still can`t quite feed the kids and we have record numbers of school kids, backpacks packed for them to go home so they don`t starve on the weekend.
And then you have people saying, oh, we as a party, we can`t elect our idealists. We can`t elect the ones who really want to change things so we actually open up opportunity.
The Republicans can do that. But if we`re going to negotiate with them, we`re not going to, you know, the sort of establishment says -- well, why don`t we send in somebody who will appease and be willing to compromise quickly? That`s one theory.
My theory, trained as an organizer in Harlem at age 17, is game recognizes game. You send your idealists, we`ll send our idealists, and a compromise will be a real compromise.
MADDOW: Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP, endorsed Bernie Sanders to great calamity in the Democratic establishment when it happened. The game is on right now on these issues that you`re fighting for right now.
Thank you for being here to talk about it, my friend.
JEALOUS: Good to see you.
MADDOW: Great to see you.
We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Thanks to last night`s results in New Hampshire, we`re finally getting to do tonight something we thought we would be doing six months ago. We waited and we waited very impatiently.
Finally, the poof is due. That`s next. Stay with us.
MADDOW: When Bernie Sanders is pressed on his electability, when he is asked how as a socialist independent senator from Vermont he could be a viable Democratic presidential nominee who could give the Republican Party a real race in the general election, when he`s asked about that, as he often is, Senator Sanders tends to make one pretty solid argument over and over and over again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here`s why I think I will be if nominated the strongest candidate. Democrats win when there is a large voter turnout, when people are excited, when working people, middle class people, and young people are prepared to engage in the political process. Republicans win when people are demoralized and you have a small voter turnout.
You need a large voter turnout. Republicans win with small voter turnouts. I think I am the candidate to bring about that large voter turnout.
I think and I believe that the way Democrats win elections is when there`s a large voter turnout. Republicans win elections when the voter turnout is low.
Our campaign is the campaign that is generating excitement and energy that will result in a high voter turnout. Republicans win when voter turnout is low. Democrats win when voter turnout is high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Senator Sanders argues that he is viable for the nomination and for the general election because he will drive voter turnout up. And he will not just drive it up, he will drive it way up.
He will bring out all these people who have never voted before and will be astronomical turnout numbers and that will change everything about what is possible. It`s an argument he made, again, last night after winning New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: And tonight with what appears to be a record-breaking voter turnout --
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Because of a huge voter turnout, and I say huge, we won because we harnessed the energy and the excitement that the Democratic Party will need to succeed in November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Senator Sanders last night citing a record-breaking voter turnout in the New Hampshire primary. But not actually in the way that he meant it. And I got to tell you, everybody is getting this wrong today. It turns out to be really important in terms of what`s likely to happen next, and that full story is ahead. Stay with us. Lots to come tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Because of a huge voter turnout, and I say huge, we won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: When Senator Sanders talked about record-breaking voter turnout last night, that was true, but only if you`re talking about the Republican side. In 2012, 248,000 people voted in the New Hampshire Republican primary. That was a record in that state.
This year, that record was blown out of the water. More than 280,000 people voted in the Republican primary this time around. Record-breaking turnout on the Republican side.
But on the Democratic side, turnout was actually down this year -- 40,000 fewer people voted in this year`s New Hampshire primary than did in 2008 on the Democratic side -- 40,000 less.
And it was the same story in Iowa last week. Voter turnout was a record for the Republicans in Iowa, but on the Democratic side, it was down. Iowa voter turnout on the Democratic side was down from 2008.
Even though in Iowa, for example, voters under 30 backed Senator Sanders by a 70-point margin, that was a huge part of how he won in Iowa, and that was a huge takeaway from Iowa, he won young voters by so much, but the total percentage of young voters in the Iowa electorate was actually down in Iowa this year from when Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
So, everybody keeps saying record-breaking turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire and that is true for the Republicans and it has not been true yet for the Democrats in either case.
And so, here is why the upcoming primary in South Carolina matters so much. If Senator Sanders could not drive record voter turnout in a state like New Hampshire where there`s a very large share of liberal voters and a demographic profile in that state that very much matches his most enthusiastic voters, how will he fair and therefore how will Democrats broadly in a more conservative state like South Carolina?
If Senator Sanders wants to build a broad coalition like Barack Obama did in 2008, one that drives people to the polls and powers them to a general election victory, can Senator Sanders appeal in a more racially diverse state like South Carolina?
On the flip side, the positive side for Senator Sanders, will his newfound momentum, the worldwide attention he`s getting for his surprise success thus far in the Democrat primary, will that even the gap in South Carolina? Could that potentially drive this political revolution that he talks about, including starting to actually increase voter turn out? Could Bernie Sanders actually win South Carolina? Could he make the idea of a Bernie Sanders nomination a real prospect?
Nevada is caucuses. Nevada has no polling heading into the caucuses. Nevada is a bit of a black box in terms of what happens next. South Carolina could hold a lot of answers.
Joining us now is Jamie Harrison. He`s the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party.
Jamie, thanks so much for being on with us tonight.
JAMIE HARRISON, SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: Of course. It`s great seeing you, Rachel.
MADDOW: So, when I last saw you in South Carolina you told me that you were pretty sure that Bernie Sanders was trying as hard as he could in South Carolina, but you felt like particularly with how far behind he was starting with the African-American electorate in South Carolina, he didn`t have much of a chance of closing the gap that black Democratic voters in South Carolina just didn`t know enough about him.
Has that changed over the last couple of months?
HARRISON: Well, Rachel, I can say that Senator Sanders has put together a very good and strong grass roots operation in the state. They are attracting young people.
The challenge still remains, South Carolina is going to be a very tough nut for him to crack. It`s not impossible but it`s going to be very tough and you can look at the numbers from 2008 to get a glimpse of what his challenge really is.
MADDOW: In terms of what moves voters in South Carolina, we`ve received word today that the Congressional Black Caucus PAC is going to endorse Hillary Clinton. We also are hearing some noises that James Clyburn, the esteemed congressional dean of South Carolina Democrats may also be moving towards an endorsement for Secretary Clinton, even though he said he would stay neutral before the primary.
Are either of those things likely to make an impact?
HARRISON: Well, I`m not sure about Congressman Clyburn`s endorsement. If he does endorse, I can tell you, Congressman Clyburn probably is one of the only Democrats here that really has a machine in terms of getting voters to the polls.
As it relates to the Congressional Black Caucus, I think that will have some influence, particularly if members of the caucus come to South Carolina, blanket the state and talk to voters.
You know, the key demographic for us in South Carolina, Rachel, and when you look at the 2008 results, 61 percent of the voters in the Democratic primary were women and 55 percent of those voters in that Democratic primary were African-American. And so, you put those two statistics together, it tells you who are the most important demographic for both Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders is African-American women.
And so -- and, particularly those of middle age, my mom`s generation.
HARRISON: If they can really get those folks involved and talk to them about the issues that are important to them, that is -- that is going to be the determinative of who wins South Carolina, whether it`s Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
MADDOW: Chairman Harrison, Jamie Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party -- I`d love to talk to you again in the next couples of days especially as you get a sense of how excitement there is, who -- how many people might turn out, I`d love to keep having you back right up until the primary, sir. Thank you.
HARRISON: I`d love it.
MADDOW: Great. Let`s do it. Agreed. I`ll hold to you it.
All right. We`ll be right back. Lots more to come. Stay with us.
MADDOW: This was our initial list of who might run for the Republican nomination this year. It had 22 people on it, which was overwhelming. And then, a few of them said they wouldn`t run. So, then, we got down to 17. Everybody assumed that would winnow down quickly.
But that`s not how it went. We had to wait until September for the first one out, Rick Perry. In September, he got out September 11th. Ten days later, it was Scott Walker out.
Since then, it`s been really slow. We had to wait another 58 days before Bobby Jindal dropped out. And then it took another month until Lindsey Graham drop out, and then finally, George Pataki got out at the end of December.
It seems like nobody really wants to leave until some actual votes started coming in. Now since Iowa, bing, bing, bing, we`re finally saying good-bye to some people at the pace we expected six months ago.
Since Iowa, we`ve lost Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and Rand Paul. And then around midday today, we lost Carly Fiorina. Late this afternoon, we lost Chris Christie.
Governor Christie was not on track to make it into the upcoming Republican debate this year, which might have made a difference. Carly Fiorina also not slated to make it into that debate, which might have made a difference, but regardless. They`re both out today.
And so, to them, we say adios to you and you. We`ve been waiting a long time. Let`s now do it. Let`s poof Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie off the list of candidates. Ready?
Carly Fiorina, three, two, one, poof. And Chris Christie, three, two, one, poof.
And this remains the Republican slate of candidates for this party`s presidential nomination this year. The guy on the bottom, that`s my boyfriend, Jim Gilmore. He got ten times as many votes in New Hampshire as he got in Iowa. I`m just saying.
That does it for us tonight. Thanks very much for being with us.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END