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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 3/18/2016

Guests: Dough Wead, Stacy Embry

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: March 18, 2016 Guest: Dough Wead, Stacy Embry

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: All right. That is "ALL IN" for this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel. Have a great weekend.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You too, Chris. Thanks, my friend. Appreciate it.

HAYES: You bet.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

Happy Friday, lots going on. Very busy night tonight in presidential politics.

Still at this hour, at this hour, Senator Ted Cruz is in Arizona getting ready to hold what his campaign is calling "an American rally" in Phoenix, Arizona this hour. What makes tonight`s Ted Cruz rally more American than his other rallies is unclear, but he will be joined on stage tonight by other people who are also Americans, including talk show host Glenn Beck and former Texas Governor Rick Perry and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

Earlier today, in Arizona, Senator Cruz toured the Arizona/Mexican border. You see him there wearing sunglasses, showing off that side of his Ted Cruz look. He was talking with the local sheriff there.

That said, even though he is in Arizona for this event this afternoon and this one later tonight, barring an upset, Ted Cruz is really not expecting to win Arizona on Tuesday. His campaign says that he expects to get no delegates from Arizona, which is a winner-take-all contest.

The man who is expected to win all 58 of those Arizona delegates will apparently be on stage momentarily in Utah. Donald Trump is speaking in Utah this hour. Utah also votes at the same time as Arizona. Utah and Arizona both vote on Tuesday.

Utah has a Republican presidential caucus that night. Arizona is a primary. But at tonight`s Donald Trump event in Salt Lake City, people started ling up to get into this thing hours beforehand. Most of the people who lined up for this event hours in advance were there in support of Donald Trump. As of right now, though, about 200 anti-Donald Trump protesters have showed up at this same event. So, we`ll keep an eye on those protests tonight as this Donald Trump event rolls on this hour.

Ohio Governor John Kasich also campaigned in Utah today. John Kasich -- I don`t mean anything by it, but he is generally seen as having next to no chance of winning in Utah. Ted Cruz is actually the favorite in the Utah caucuses, but it`s interesting. The Utah caucuses are not necessarily winner take all.

So, it appears that John Kasich`s strategy in the state of Utah is to try to keep it close there. To try to get at least some delegates out of the state of Utah. If John Kasich can keep Ted Cruz below a 50 percent finish in the state of Utah, then all the other candidates in the race, John Kasich and Ted Cruz -- sorry, John Kasich and Donald Trump, they could each get a share of Utah`s 40 delegates if the first place winner in that state does get 50 percent, though, then it would be winner take all.

Here is a weird thing about Utah`s Republican caucus, though, you think of a caucus as a thing that is slightly more onerous as an act of democracy than a primary, right? Caucus, you have to go and show up at a specific time period while the caucus is going on, which is usually a short of time period than the length of times polls are open for a primary.

You have to physically get yourself to your caucus location, you maybe have to listen to some speeches and interact with some other humans while you`re there. The caucus usually is kind of a heavier lift than a primary. That`s the way sit in most states.

But it`s not necessarily true what`s about to happen in Utah. Utah Republicans this year can caucus online this year. Really? Yes. This is just Republicans, not Democrats.

Republicans in Utah had to register to do this by midnight of last night. But anyone registering to caucus online in Utah, they registered by last night at midnight. Got a secret pin number and apparently using that pin number they`re supposed to be able to caucus from the comfort of their PJs on Tuesday with an iPad propped up in the beer belly.

"The Wall Street Journal" today calls it the biggest such experiment in the United States in years.

Now, Mitt Romney lives in Utah now. I don`t know if he`s going to be voting from his PJs at home or if he`ll go to his caucus site in person or maybe he will vote absentee, I`m not sure. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tweeted that he will be voting in Utah and will specifically be voting for Ted Cruz in the Utah caucus on Tuesday.

He is not endorsing Ted Cruz for president. He said on Facebook that he just wants it to be known that he`s voting for Ted Cruz in order to get an open convention this summer. So, he is voting for him but he`s not endorsing him. Courage.

On the Democratic side, today Bernie Sanders held or is currently holding three events in all three states that will be voting on the Democratic side on Tuesday. Mr. Sanders started off the day by bringing out a 3,000 strong crowd in the reddest of red states, Idaho. He followed that up with a massive rally of over 10,000 people in Salt Lake City, Utah, this afternoon.

Wow. That`s a big outdoor crowd in Salt Lake City for Bernie Sanders. He`s currently getting ready to address another large crowd in Tucson, Arizona. So, it`s been a very busy day on the Bernie Sanders` campaign trail.

Lots of campaign events today and late tonight this Friday night. That said, you may have noticed there`s one presidential candidate I have not mentioned in this rundown and that is -- Hillary Clinton. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not held public event since Tuesday night when she swept Bernie Sanders in five states. Secretary Clinton will not hold another public event until Monday. That`s one, two, three, four, five full days off the trail right in the middle of primary season.

Doesn`t mean there`s anything wrong, though, it just means that the Clinton campaign is pursuing a different strategy. The reason she`s taking all this time away from public events is because she is currently fundraising like a freaking juggernaut. She held two big dollar fundraisers in Georgia and Tennessee yesterday. She held two more in Connecticut and Virginia today.

Hillary Clinton doing this taking basically five days off the campaign trail to do no public events and instead to raise tons of money that tells you a big part of where this contest is headed right now.

What is becoming the dominant obsession in this race, though, particularly on the Republican side, is the prospect that if front-runner Donald Trump doesn`t win by big enough margins in enough states to secured a clear majority of delegates by the time the Republican convention starts in Cleveland this summer, the rest of the Republican Party in some id ration of another they may use that convention process not to ratify the fact that Donald Trump won most of the primaries and caucuses but instead there will be an organized effort through manipulation of the rules and through old fashion organizing and persuasion to basically give the nomination to someone else other than Donald Trump, whether or not it`s one of the other candidates who this year has been running against Donald Trump. Right?

This is not news to you. You know, this is the prospect that everyone is obsessed with right now. Interestingly, Bernie Sanders last night on this show raised the prospect it might happen on the Democratic side as well, not sure anybody believes that yet, but he did raise that prospect. The thing people are really focused is on not just the prospect but the likelihood it will happen on the Republican side.

And I think the reason that people are talking about it so much is in part because it`s an exciting prospect, right? It involves an element of suspense. It`s also novel. It would be something we haven`t seen in American politics in a long, long, long time.

Way back in the day, sure, way, way back in the day before we really had a nationwide system of primaries and caucuses, people expected the political conventions would be where the nominees were picked.

That used to be the way it was. It hasn`t been that way in a very, very long time, certainly not in the last generation. And so, it feels like we`re about to do something that we haven`t seen since the ye oldie days, since back in the day when presidents had beards.

But it turns out it`s not really an accurate perception. And I`m not just talking about 1976 and stuff that happened in the `60s and Reagan versus Ford. I`m not talking about that.

Ever since this national excitement has started building around what`s going to happen at the Republican convention this summer, ever since everyone started talking about how unprecedented that would be and we can`t imagine what that would look like. Ever since then, we have been looking toward to telling this story we`re going to tell in a special report tonight, because while conventions in recent years mostly from the outside look like infomercials, right? They look like slickly produced TV shows designed to showcase all the nice things about whoever the preordained candidate is.

While it looks like that on the surface, there actually has been a huge amount of under-the-radar skullduggery at the conventions. Even in recent years. And I mean, even in really recent years, even the last time we had a convention, it happened in a concerted and dramatic way in 2012 when the Republican Party nominated Mitt Romney.

And again, at the surface, the 2012 Republican convention appeared to be a fairly placid process by which Mitt Romney seamlessly and sort of theatrically became the nominee of the Republican Party and went on to get thumped by Barack Obama in the general.

But just under the placid surface of that convention and the nominating process overall, there really was chaos and controversy and screaming fits and police action and violence, actual violence. And I should mention also what appeared to be cheating and certainly swearing. People were arrested. People were injured.

And it is a credit to the Romney campaign that they were able to keep most of this off the news and out of the major headlines for the nominating process. But that doesn`t mean it didn`t happen. And we`ve got that story next.


MADDOW: Even if you weren`t paying super close attention, even if you didn`t have a dog in the fight and you were just a casual observer of what was going on, there were still some signs, there were still some visible and audible signs that something was up.

I mean, conventions are supposedly these smooth infomercials now, right? If they do everything to smoothly launch the party`s nominee, without any fuss, without any controversy, without any discordant notes, which means they`re really not supposed to sound like this.


JOHN BOEHNER (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Without objection the previous question is ordered. The question is on the adoption of the resolution all those in favor signify by saying aye --


BOEHNER: All those opposed no --


BOEHNER: And the ayes have it. The resolution is adopted. Without objection it is laid on the table.


MADDOW: I`m no expert, I`m not sure it`s totally clear that the ayes had that one and not the nos.

That wasn`t nearly the start of it. That came at the end of a long series of loud, ruckus, occasionally violent signs that something was going on beneath the otherwise placid surface of the nominating Mitt Romney for president ordeal in 2012. I mean, here was another sign, "The Des Moines Register" having to break it to Iowa voters even though the Iowa caucuses that year were supposedly that night won by Mitt Romney and then a few days later they said it was a tie and then actually Rick Santorum won those caucuses, in the end, "Des Moines Register" political columnist Kathie Obradovich, had to tell her readers actually want to know who won, it was Ron Paul. Here was FOX News at the time, "Ron Paul wins 21 of 25 delegates elected in Iowa."

The reason we have primaries and caucuses technically is to win delegates who then themselves vote to pick a nominee at the party`s national convention. The Ron Paul campaign won a lot of delegates in 2012. They did that in Iowa. They did that across the country.

The trick is, they just figured out a way to do that without actually winning the primaries and the caucuses. The Ron Paul campaign in 2012, they ran a whole shadow campaign to get delegates for Ron Paul after the vote in multiple states but before the convention. And that is the same thing that is going on right now in Republican politics again.

This time, it`s not Ron Paul. This time this is the strategy that the rest of the Republican Party is trying to organize against Donald Trump right now. It`s just that Ron Paul is the one who showed them all how to do it. When the Ron Paul campaign did it, it did not end well in a lot of places.

Take a look at what happened in Louisiana, for example. Ron Paul lost the Louisiana primary in 2012. He didn`t just lose Louisiana by a hair. Congressman Ron Paul lost the state of Louisiana by a full head of hair and a beard.

Rick Santorum got 49 percent of the vote in state that year, Mitt Romney came in second with 27 percent, then game Newt Gingrich and then, then came Ron Paul, fourth place, single digits, a measly 6 percent of the vote. Yes, that`s what Jeb Bush used to call a jackpot, but honestly, that`s a terrible showing. In Louisiana that year in 2012, a 6 percent showing in the primary, that was good for precisely zero delegates, or so everyone thought.

Every state party picks its delegates by slightly different means. In Louisiana, in 2012, it turns out they had a primary and then a caucus. It was a caucus that nobody paid attention to except for Mr. 6 percent, Ron Paul. At this low key, hoe hum nobody is paying attention bureaucratic state caucus which followed the primary, Ron Paul supporters maneuvered themselves into the majority and four of the state`s six congressional districts, that means they got themselves 12 delegates for Ron Paul.

I mean, even though everybody who thought the Louisiana contest on TV, thought they saw Ron Paul lose there. They did. Everybody thought he would get no delegates out of Louisiana because of that. But no, turns out actually he got a bunch.

And actually, wait, there was more after the first caucus where they picked up 12 because through the rules of that caucus, which no other campaign really paid attention to, the Paul campaign was then able to select an additional five delegates, which brought their total to 17. So at this point in the process, despite getting fourth place, 6 percent of the vote in Louisiana, getting trounced by both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney and, yes, Newt Gingrich, too, Ron Paul entered the Louisiana state convention with the most delegates of any of the candidates running for president that year. And then that is when things went completely off the rails to the points of arrests and broken bones.

The state convention in Louisiana is where they were supposed to come up with their list of exactly who, exactly which people would represent the state at the big national Republican convention in Tampa that summer. Shortly after that state convention kicked off, a Ron Paul supporter motioned to remove the state party chairman. When that motion was ignored, the man continued to protest and then he was dragged out by security.

It was reported at the time that in that process some of the man`s fingers were broken. There are local news reports of him returning later on with indeed his fingers splinted.

So, the Ron Paul delegates who thought they had rightfully taken over the party through the rules and the magic of showing up and not leaving, they decided at that state convention after that whole fracas that they could stay in the room, but they would turn their chairs around 180 degrees and start holding their own state Republican convention at the other end of the same room where the other Republicans were.

So, the other Republicans are holding what they thought was their state Republican convention, the Ron Paul people are holding what they think is their state convention. They`re all in the same room at the same time at the Shreveport Convention Center. They just faced opposite directions.

And so, one side had their chairman running their convention. The other side of the room elected their own chairman to oversee their convention and maybe it could have gone on like that forever. You know, parallel universes next to each other in the same room but looking opposite directions.

But then, the Ron Paul convention people gave their chairman the microphone. And then security rushed him.


UNIDENTIFEID MALE: Sir, this is the chairman.

RON PAUL SUPPORTER: I am being illegally held.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the chairman!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is handicap. He is handicap. What are you doing!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a chance to walk out.

RON PAUL SUPPORTER: I need a doctor. I need a doctor.


MADDOW: After all that after the broken fingers, the bad hip, the I need a doctor, I need a doctor the Ron Paul campaign at the end of all that actually got their 17 Ron Paul delegates sent to the national convention in Tampa. Even though they won 6 percent of the vote in the state primary and everybody thought they would get zero. But they did this kind of thing all over the country.

Ron Paul also lost the Nevada caucus in 2012 pretty soundly, but never mind that, that`s just the voters. Ron Paul lost with Nevada voters in 2012 but he effectively won the state three months later at the state party convention.

And truthfully, the Nevada Republican Party should have probably seen it coming because when Ron Paul came in 2008, his supporters caused such a ruckus in 2008 in the Nevada that the state shut down the convention that year without picking any delegates at all.

So, this time four years later in 2012, Nevada got warned ahead of time by the RNC. Don`t go causing any trouble, Nevada. When Mitt Romney wins the state again this year, do not try to fiddle with the party rules to give somebody else the delegates. Don`t do it.

They were warned. They did it any way -- of course, they did. Just like they had done four years earlier in Nevada in 2008. Just like they did that year in Louisiana in 2012.

And Nevada in 2012, they also took over the state Republican convention. And again, even though Ron Paul soundly lost the caucus there months earlier, Ron Paul came out of the state convention with 22 out of 25 state delegates. And the Romney people tried to stop them in 2012. The Romney people thought they learned their lesson from four years earlier, right?

The Romney people in 2012 tried to keep up with the skullduggery and the intrigue and the trickery. At the 2012 convention, the Ron Paul campaign had been handing out slates, green pieces of papers with names of Ron Paul people who they wanted elected as delegates.

In response, the Mitt Romney people struck back allegedly by making up fake Ron Paul slates that looked just like the real ones. The Romney campaign allegedly -- look at this, fake. Handed out matching green sheets of paper printed on the same hue, right?

And the Romney ones that were handed out also said, hey, these are the Ron Paul delegate but the names listed there were actually the names of Mitt Romney backers.

Now, whether or not the Romney campaign was behind that dirty trick, it didn`t work. They were amateurs at this stuff compared to the Ron Paul people. The Ron Paul campaign really did go on to take 22 of the 25 delegates.

They were not fooled. They would not be dissuaded or distracted, they stuck it out.

That was nothing compared to Oklahoma. The Oklahoma state convention that year turned into a street fight.


LA`TASHA GIVENS, REPORTER: We`re told police had to get involved when a 70-year-old Mitt Romney supporter punched a Ron Paul supporter in the head after they disagreed on the vote. But most of the contention was captured on cell phone video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This woman right here, has physically assaulted me --

GIVENS: The video you are watching is being recorded by a woman who says she was just hit in the back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With a fist to my back, yes, you most certainly did - -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A woman struck me with her fist in the middle of my spine and said it`s your own damn fault.

GIVENS: This wasn`t the only commotion during the Oklahoma state convention, this Ron Paul supporter says he was hit in the head by a 70- year-old Mitt Romney supporter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got done, moved on and got to the important business that everyone here is here for instead of wasting time on something else. I did appreciate how great the police were.


MADDOW: I did appreciate how great the police were. This is all very polite except for the punching in the head and stuff. Then the crowd at one point preceded to boo and hiss at the state`s sitting Republican Governor Mary Fallin when she said at the convention that the party`s single goal was to elect Mitt Romney as president that year.



GOV. MARY FALLIN (R), OKLAHOMA: Sounds like we have some Obama lovers out there.


MADDOW: Oklahoma, arguably the reddest state in the nation, I assure there were no Obama lovers at that convention.

But the fight between the Ron Paul supporters and the Romney supporters got so bad that someone at one point either the venue or maybe a campaign supporter of one side or the other actually resorted to turning the lights out on everybody. I`m not kidding.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attendees say there was a lot of disagreement throughout the day, but things came to a halt when the lights were turned out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart was totally broken when the convention just was put into shambles. And they were turning mikes off. They turned the lights off. They pulled the walls across to prevent delegates from voting.


MADDOW: OK. So after the punching and the blackout and the booing and the walls being closed, you would both sides would give up like this didn`t work, but you know what, giving up is for amateurs.

The Ron Paul folks did not give up. They decided to convene and hold their own convention, what they said was the real convention in the parking lot outside. The parking lot of the embassy suites hotel.

All right. One more? One more. Just one more. Maine. In the initial 2012 Maine caucus, Mitt Romney just barely beat Ron Paul. There was some controversy.

One of the precinct caucuses was cancelled due to bad weather. The Ron Paul people claimed the weather wasn`t that bad but it was cancelled to disenfranchise Ron Paul supporters. So, there was a little bad blood around the initial caucus anyway. But when it came time to select delegates at the state convention, everybody was already in a huff.

To start off that convention, Ron Paul supporters elected one of their own as the convention chairman. Thereafter, every time a Romney supporter objected to any proceeding of any kind, the new chairman ruled it out of order instantly. And with that kind of guy in charge, no surprise, yes, Mitt Romney may have technically won the state in the caucus when everybody voted, but when they had the convention to give out the delegates, 20 of the state`s 24 delegates went to Ron Paul.

And then at Tampa, at the Republican National Convention after those Ron Paul supporting delegates from Maine had already arrived, the national RNC decided to intervene. They basically threw out half the Ron Paul delegation from Maine and replaced them with Mitt Romney supporters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Proceed with the order of business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s unfair to us. We sat here and objected. He said are there any objections. We objected and, you know, it`s like why even ask the question at that point?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maine got screwed of half their delegates, more than half actually. That`s why their governor is not here today because he said he wouldn`t come down unless their delegates got seated. Half got taken away and replaced by the Republican Party -- the RNC picked.

BOEHNER: Without objection the previous question is ordered. The question is on the adoption of the resolution, all those in favor signify by saying aye --


BOEHNER: All those opposed no --


BOEHNER: In the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. The resolution is adopted. Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Convention is a farce!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We support our soldiers. We appointed seven on or delegation. Two served in Afghanistan and Iraq. How dare they? Shame on them! Shame on them!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was jammed. I was duly elected as a delegate for the state of Maine by 1,000 of my fellow Republicans.

CROWD: Romney, Romney, Romney! Romney, Romney, Romney!


MADDOW: Ron Paul`s Maine delegation stormed out of the Republican convention in protests. Some of them wore clothes pins with lobsters clipped on their noses to show therapy from Maine and disgusted of what happened.

Other delegations threatened to revolt in support of what happens to the delegation from Maine that had been half sent home because the RNC didn`t like who they supported. Texas supported them. Our friends from Nevada supported -- it was a bit of a screaming revolt.

I mean, that said, on primetime TV, it was still an infomercial, right? On the scene, it was real chaos, real anger, real revolt and screaming bloody murder.

For all the talk about the chaos that may happen at this year`s Republican convention, you know what, we have seen this movie before. I mean, maybe we`ve seen the short feature version of it because it was just a minority of folks involved in this Ron Paul scheme in 2012. But even so, even with just a minority of folks from the Ron Paul sliver of the party, what they wrought in 2012, it`s written out of the history of 2012 and it was a mess.

And you know what? It`s all possible this will be a moot point, front- runner Donald Trump will have all the delegates he needs heading into the convention. If that`s the case, it`s possible that the Republican convention will just be an infomercial. This time, it will be a Donald Trump branded info commercial.

But even in an election in 2012, when this kind of thing supposedly wasn`t an issue, just under the surface of what was supposedly so calm in 2012, there was not just chaos and deceit and anger, but also sometimes violence. People were arrested. People were hurt.

This stuff gets woolly really, really fast. And so, I say this and we`re doing this special report in part to say that there is nothing new under the sun. Don`t believe it when people tell you nothing like this has ever happened before.

But that undercard story in 2012 should be a cautionary tale. People take politics really seriously for a reason because it matters. And stuff can get really ugly really fast. Even under much more normal circumstances than we`re looking at this year.

We have seen how bad it gets when it`s really not all that bad. If it is going to be bad this year, brace yourself. Take this stuff seriously.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we`ll win before getting to the convention. But I can tell you if we didn`t and if we`re 20 votes short or if we`re -- if we`re, you know, 100 short. And we`re at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400 because we`re way ahead of everybody, I don`t think you can say that we don`t get it automatically. I think it would be -- I think you`d have riots.


MADDOW: That was Donald Trump speaking earlier this week, worried a lot of people.

Today, though, his highest profiler endorser, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told reporters that they shouldn`t worry about that. He told reporters today, quote, "I don`t think he meant literal riot. I think he meant political riots."

What`s a political riot?

There`s been a lot of violent behavior exhibited at dozens of Donald Trump campaign events over the last few months. We don`t know what he means when he talks about riot. But there has been -- if not riots, there has been serious consternation at previous Republican political events just in the last presidential election cycle.

And somebody who is involved not in the violent side of that at all, but in the political side of it, the political organizing side of it that led to lots and lots and lots of consternation in lots of states and at the 2012 Republican convention joins us next. Stay with us.



DOUG WEAD, RON PAUL 2012 CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Now, it will be run by ten fat men who will sit in a room, I say that joking, but I know all of them and they are overweight. Ten fat men will sit in a room and they`ll pick who the delegates are. So, what you`re doing to your party is you`re emasculating your party. You are destroying the infrastructure of your party.

There`s no sense of ownership. What you want to give people to win is a sense of ownership so they want to go to a precinct, caucus, they want to be part of it because they own it. They get to be voted to the delegate to go to the district convention. At the district convention, you want those people empowered, because to win the election you need people working at the state level like an army.


MADDOW: That`s a guy who sounds like he knows what he`s talking about because that guy knows what he`s talking about. That`s Doug Wead. He was a former senior adviser to the Ron Paul presidential campaign.

He worked on Mr. Paul`s 2012 campaign when it was so remarkably successful at amassing way more delegates than anybody expected, only for to a certain extent, only for the RNC to basically change the rules on the convention floor and basically disenfranchise those folks that worked so hard to get to the convention.

It is a strange side bar story to 2012. It is a story that`s been basically written out of official Republican history, even though it only happened four years ago. It`s starting to feel, though, that it might be really, really important for understanding what the party is about to go through now.

Joining us now, I`m very happy to say is Mr. Doug Wead.

Doug, it`s great to see you again. Thank you so much for being here.

WEAD: Good to see you, too. You`re a brilliant lady, Rachel. I`ve been watching this.


MADDOW: That`s nice for you to say.

WEAD: You figured it out.

MADDOW: What did you guys know at the Ron Paul campaign in 2012 that the rest of the campaigns didn`t? You obviously were on to something that blindsided everybody else?

WEAD: Yes. We knew that the back door was open. You see, the FBI wanting Apple to come up with a back door so they can go through the encryption and get those messages. We saw that the party left the back door open. And there are these delegates and tote boards that go up at "The New York Times" and MSNBC, but those are delegates in theory based on the rules of the GOP party in the given state.

But the actual delegates are human beings like you and me and they may not like Trump or Cruz or Rubio and they may. But they`re individuals. And those are the people that need to be recruited and placed by the campaigns.

MADDOW: It sounds like you feel like the conversations about how this might go this year with all this excitement about a possible open convention, it sounds like, you feel like at least the media convention may be the political pros talking about this generally don`t know what they`re talking about. They`re kind of speaking of a position of either naivete or maybe ignorance in terms of what this will be like?

WEAD: That`s very true. It`s fascinating the story you just showed your viewers, the establishment Republicans are reverse engineering it. They know how close they came to falling prey to our insurgency campaign last time.

And so, now, they see Trump running away with it and they say, wait a second, this guy -- he`s forever changed presidential campaigning. He`s brilliant at branding. He knows how to plan an event, but he, too, has left the back door open just like we did four years ago, and this time, those delegates are ours.

They`re basically Mitt Romney delegates that were recruited four years ago and they`re in place to re-coronate president incumbent Mitt Romney.


Well, however this -- however this goes and however it works, part of the reason I wanted to kind of make a big deal out of the story from 2012 is that -- just the tape is watching the local news coverage of it and the YouTube videos of what happened there, I look, Doug, at those heated fights and the security being called in and the arrests in some cases, even some injuries in a couple of cases and the real anger, the real upset and I see that from 2012, and I worry about what this might be like this summer when I think it`s going to happen on a much, much larger scale, not at an edge of party politics but right in the heart of it.

Do you worry about that?

WEAD: Yes. And it`s -- it hasn`t quite started the way you`re going to see it. For example, you showed Louisiana to your viewers. The Louisiana state convention happened on March 12th. So, it`s already passed.

But Donald Trump -- there`s 47 delegates there. Donald Trump carried 42 percent of the state and I guarantee you, those delegates are not supporters of Donald Trump. Some are Santorum, some are leftover Romney from four years before because Trump has not organized a ground game.

Now, he`s going to now. And he will do in Texas to select some of those actual delegates and California is wide open. So, he`s got a chance to get some of his own people at the convention. That`s where it`s going to get hot and heavy and you`re going to see these fights at the district conventions and county conventions and state conventions as the establishment tries to stop Donald Trump from getting his own people to represent him and the votes that he won in those primaries.

MADDOW: Doug Wead, invaluable incite and perspective. I hope you`ll come back to talk to us again as this unfolds the next few weeks, sir.

WEAD: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you. Doug Wead, former senior advisor to the Ron Paul presidential campaign. I`m telling you, the reporting -- people are going to make their reporting chops this year at those district and state conventions because 2012 is anything to go by, it`s going to be off the hook.

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: Here is something to keep an eye on. In the town of Madison, Indiana, somebody set off a small bomb last week in the middle of the night near city hall and the police station. That`s disturbing enough, a homemade bomb.

One little bomb is one thing. A second little bomb is a bigger story. The first one was last week. Now, there`s been a second explosion in the same town. This time, it was before dawn. It was in the driveway of the home of a local judge.

Now, fortunately, no one was hurt in either incident, but the Madison, Indiana, police chief says they`re taking these bombs seriously. Quote, "Based on the fact that the first one was in our city hall police department parking lot and now we have a judge, a judge`s residence -- yes, we are taking that as a direct threat to our criminal justice system. So we don`t know yet what this is, but it`s a start of a scary story from Madison, Indiana."

We`ll keep you posted.


MADDOW: Now at first glance, it`s merely a pocket knife. On second glance, it`s so much more because this is a pocket knife. It`s a Swiss army knife but it`s made of chocolate. Why that`s important, plus some big news from the campaign trail coming up next. Stay with us.


MADDOW: If you extract all of the relevant personalities and policies that have been discussed in the presidential race, just look at the raw number. One of the big warning signs for the Democrats has been turnout.

We saw this very early on for the Democrats. In the first three races, turnout was down across the board for Democrats. We`ve now had 28 races in total and so now we know those early races were not an aberration.

The pattern of turnout being down for Democrats compared to 2008, it has held this year almost without exception all year long. We saw it again this week in five more states.

And at the same time turnout numbers on the Republican side continue to skyrocket. And that was true also this week. Every Republican contest this week, turnout was up on the Republican side from 2012. In Missouri, it was up almost 300 percent.

So far this primary season, it`s held. Turnout is up for the Republicans and it is down nearly across the board for the Democrats. Now, there is an argument made that in the past, turnout in the primaries doesn`t correlate with turnout on the general election, but any honest Democrat will tell you that they`re worried about this phenomenon. That if you had to choose from a veil of ignorance which position you`d rather be in, just looking at the numbers, it`s clear which one you`d rather be.

And for Democrats specifically, just as a principle in terms of turning out people to vote and the idea of more people voting being better for the Democrats, this pattern isn`t just something from the start of the process, it is holding and it is worrying.


MADDOW: I think I hear it coming. I think it`s coming. I think it`s -- it`s coming. Here it comes!

Yes, there it is. Friday Night News Dump Time!

Kent Jones, who is today`s lucky player?

KENT JONES, TRMS WRITER: Tonight, we have Stacy Embry, of Indianapolis, Indiana. She teaches high school English and theater. She enjoys writing about "Dr. Who" and she has a Shih Tzu named "Molly Marie".

MADDOW: Stacy --

JONES: Rachel, this is Stacy.

MADDOW: It`s really nice to meet you.

STACY EMBRY, INDIANAPOLIS, IN: It`s fantastic to meet you, Rachel.

MADDOW: How old is your Shih Tzu?

EMBRY: My Shih Tzu is four years old and she`s the duchess of wiggle bottom.


MADDOW: Well, the prince of wiggle bottom who lives in my house should maybe meet her.

EMBRY: I think perhaps.

MADDOW: Well, thank you very much for playing tonight, Stacy. It`s really nice to meet you.

You probably know how this goes. It`s pretty simple. You get three questions about this week`s news. If you get at least two of them right, you will win this piece of junk.

KENT: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW cocktail shaker. Accept no substitutes.

MADDOW: Not all guaranteed to not leak. If you get extra credit tonight, we do have some random office swag tonight which I think is better than our usual swag.

KENT: It`s a Swiss army knife -- wait -- made of chocolate.

MADDOW: Yes. I have a friend who just went somewhere far away, but she bought me like the duty-free shop she bought me a chocolate Swiss army knife and I thought it should be for you.

EMBRY: God bless you.

MADDOW: We need to bring in the voice of Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. He will determine whether or not you got the right answer.

Steve, Stacy. Stacy, Steve.

STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both.

MADDOW: Good evening.

EMBRY: Thank you, sir.

MADDOW: All right. First question, during Tuesday night`s election coverage -- already throwing you a curve ball, during Tuesday night`s coverage. We covered Donald Trump for a fourth straight time not giving a victory speech on election night but instead holding an election night press conference.

What was usual about this week`s Donald Trump election night press conference?

Was it A, Mr. Trump told reporters they could take home a bottle of wine, B, Mr. Trump told a reporter he`d like to punch in the face, C, Mr. Trump started crying a little bit when he took a reporter`s question about losing Ohio, or D, Mr. Trump actually took no questions from reporters at his supposed press conference?

EMBRY: Oh, Rachel, I`m really torn between A and B, which probably means I`m wrong completely. I can`t imagine Trump crying, though I`d like to think he does alone at night in his pillow.

I think I`m going to go with B.

MADDOW: With B, I`d like to punch you in the face?

EMBRY: Threatening reporter.

MADDOW: Steve, did Stacy get that right?

BENEN: Let`s check the tape.


MADDOW: This was the fourth time he`s had a night of victories where Donald Trump has followed with a press conference style event. This it is the first one he didn`t take questions from the press.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Yes, all that was missing was the conference.


BENEN: The correct, I`m afraid is D, and Stacy was incorrect.

MADDOW: Don`t worry, it`s going to be OK. I have it on good authority it`s going to be OK.

EMBRY: Thank you.

MADDOW: Second question, this is from Wednesday`s night show. We reported on the fairly wild dynamics playing out with the Republican Party of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It turns out the U.S. Virgin Islands may play an outsize role at the Republican convention this year.

But in our reporting, we spoke to the chairman of the party there and he had some choice things to say about the advice chairman of that same party. Which of the following did the chairman not call his party vice chairman?

A, a convicted felon, B. a moron, C, the anti-Christ, or, D, Nazi sympathizer? Which of those things did he not call his vice chairman?

EMBRY: I believe it was C.

MADDOW: C, the anti-Christ.

Steve, what`s the right answer there?

EMBRY: He did not call him the anti-Christ.

BENEN: Let`s check Wednesday`s show.


MADDOW: The chairman on the other hand, when we contacted him for a quote, he volunteered to us that his advice chairman is and I quote, "a convicted felon, a moron, a compulsive liar", and, quote, "a Nazi sympathizer".


BENEN: Yes, as far as we know, the vice chairman is not the anti-Christ and Stacy is correct.


MADDOW: Although because he didn`t have to call him that, he didn`t have to defend himself so -- all right.

Last question, Stacy. This week, we had the opportunity to poof Marco Rubio off our great big chart of 2016 Republican presidential candidates. Of the 17 candidates who were initially running, Senator Rubio is the 14th one that we have poofed. Who was the first? Who was the first declared Republican presidential candidate to formerly drop out of the race this year?

Was it, A, Scott Walker, B, Rick Perry, C, George Pataki, or D, George Wallace?

EMBRY: It was most definitely Steve Perry.

MADDOW: Steve, you got the answer for us?

BENEN: This is tough one. Let`s check Wednesday`s show.


MADDOW: We started with 17 -- 17 people all got in over the course of last spring and summer. Nobody got out until September 11th when the first one we got to poof was Rick Perry.


BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is Rick Perry.

MADDOW: Stacy, you had an usually difficult array of questions tonight.

Kent, did Stacy win the prize?

JONES: Indeed. A tough night. Tough night of questions.

MADDOW: You get both the chocolate Swiss army knife and the cocktail shaker.

Stacy, it`s really, really nice to meet you. Thank you and please say hello to your princess.

EMBRY: Yes (ph).

MADDOW: Indeed.

All right. If you want to play, just send us an e-mail at All you got to do is tell us who you are, where you`re from and why you want to play the News Dump. We would love to send you castoff stuff and occasionally delicious things people buy for me in airports.

But now, because you have been good this week, you do not have to go to prison. Instead, you get to play "HARDBALL". THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END