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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 6/9/2016

Guests: Elizabeth Warren

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: June 9, 2016 Guest: Elizabeth Warren

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. I did in fact make it here by the seat of my pants.

HAYES: You`re literally looking at Flight Tracker.

MADDOW: Yes, it was a little tight. At one point I was trying to think if we could do the interview with Senator Warren by Facetime from Seat 13C.

HAYES: Technology is amazing, you probably could have.

MADDOW: I know.

Chris, would you be willing to talk with me in the hope that I might make some news here with Senator Elizabeth Warren?

HAYES: Happily.

MADDOW: Would you be willing to come back?

HAYES: I will not go anywhere. I keep --

MADDOW: All right. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

We do have Senator Elizabeth Warren here tonight which is why I`m here in Washington, D.C. It`s great to have you with us tonight.

When John McCain wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, the sitting president at that time, George W. Bush, he had an approval rating in the low 30s. By that fall, the president`s approval rating was down to something like 25 percent. President Bush at that time was roughly as beloved as a big oily grease stain on a brand-new shirt.

Even if John McCain and George W. Bush had liked each other, which they didn`t particularly, honestly, nobody wanted an endorsement from President George W. Bush in 2008. But political realities being what they are, you`ve got to do it.

So, they arranged for John McCain once he got the nomination wrapped up, they arranged for him to come to the White House. They put President Bush out on the north portico to wait for him.

And then, do you remember this? John McCain did not appear. President Bush sort of did a little dance at one point, then he did a different little dance. He did kind of a soft shoe tap dance thing. Then, he did that thing where you lean into the wind and you pretend like the wind is holding you up.

He was out there for a long time, it was very awkward. Eventually, they finally did get John McCain out there. President Bush endorsed him. He said at one point, "If he wants my pretty face standing by his side at one of these rallies, I`ll be glad to show up."

Turns out John McCain did not want that. After that initial very awkward presidential endorse in the meantime 2008, George W. Bush never again appeared at a John McCain event that was open to the public. Not one. One awkward afternoon with the president, with the toxic approval rating, was enough. Thank you very much.

Presidential endorsements for their potential successor, they`re tricky. They`re almost always a mixed bag or worse. I mean, George W. Bush was so unpopular. He might have done more for John McCain that year by opposing him.

Bill Clinton wasn`t actually unpopular at the end of his second term but Al Gore decided he didn`t want to campaign with Bill Clinton, apparently because of the Monica Lewinski scandal.

Ronald Reagan was pretty popular during his second term despite the Iran Contra scandal, but still for whatever reason Ronald Reagan could barely bring himself to utter Poppy Bush`s name. He tacked his endorsement of George H.W. Bush, his endorsement of his own vice president onto the end of a random fund-raising speech. Didn`t let anybody know he was going to do it ahead of time, and didn`t both tore say anything nice about Poppy Bush when he did it.

As far back as Eisenhower, when his Vice President Richard Nixon became the Republican nominee, a reporter asked Ike if he could name one idea from his vice president, one thing Richard Nixon had suggested during his time as vice president that Eisenhower had liked, that Eisenhower had said yes to, and this was his answer.


DWIGHT EISENHOWER, FORMER PRESIDENT: If you give me a week I might think of one. I don`t remember.


MADDOW: Nice. Presidential endorsements for their successors, they -- it`s a tough thing. And as recently as a year and a half ago, after the Democrats had that bad midterm election in 2014, this president, President Obama, suggested that maybe he wouldn`t be a help to his successor in this 2016 presidential race either.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They`re probably not going to be looking at me to campaign too much. I think at the end of two years, if they want me to do some selective things, I`ll be happy to do them. But I suspect that folks will be ready to see me go off to the next thing.

You know, I think -- I think the American people, they`re going to want that new car smell. They don`t want to drive something off the lot that doesn`t have as much mileage as me.


MADDOW: President Obama self-deprecating but that is historically how it usually goes. Two years ago, that`s how President Obama thought it would go.

That`s not how it`s going to go after all. The president and the Hillary Clinton campaign released this video with a full-throated, very happy endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president, by President Obama.


OBAMA: I don`t think there`s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.


MADDOW: The president released this endorsement. They have already planned their first joint campaign appearance. They`re going to go to Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Wednesday.

Tonight, in addition to that, we got a rip-roaring reminder that as long as it has been since we`ve had an uncomplicated, enthusiastic, welcome endorsement from a president who`s popular and eager to campaign for his successor, as long as it`s been since we had that, in this particular White House, you also get a twofer. You also get a vice president who is all of those things and then multiply it by infinity in terms of his relish for going after an opponent like Donald Trump.

Vice President Biden tearing into Donald Trump tonight at an American Constitution Society event in Washington, D.C. We will have more on that later.

But in this Democratic Party right now, there is also another force outside of the Obama/Biden White House that frankly has a hell of a megaphone and a hell of an audience and a ton of influence right now. And that person is Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

She now has also made a decision about who to endorse in this year`s presidential election. She waited until President Obama made his call earlier today. Frankly, it was a source of great consternation and agita to a lot of people in the Democratic Party that she didn`t choose between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the primary.

But tonight, she`s here to talk about the choice that she has now made. And I don`t mean here in the larger sense, I mean here specifically on set with me.

Joining us now, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Thank you so much for being here.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you. I`m delighted to be here. I`m glad you made to it Washington.

MADDOW: Yes. Just barely.

WARREN: Thank you.

MADDOW: I am still wearing jeans. I didn`t have time to change all the way.

WARREN: That`s all right.

MADDOW: It`s all right.

So, I understand that you intend to endorse Hillary Clinton tonight? I`d like to hear it.

WARREN: Yes, I`m ready. I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States and to make sure that Donald Trump never gets any place close to the White House.

MADDOW: Why did you not endorse during the primary? What was your thinking during the primary, holding out when so many other Democratic senators, all the women Democratic senators, almost all the men Democratic senators, got on board with Hillary Clinton -- Senator Sanders had Jeff Merkley. You were one of few holdouts who didn`t endorse either one. What was your thinking about that?

WARREN: I thought that the primary was really important. And it was an opportunity for Democrats to get out there and show, this is what it means to be a Democrat. We got out there and pushed those issues forward and we made sure that the American people saw the kind of thinking we have, the kind of energy we have, and what makes us very different from those guys on the other side.

MADDOW: So, you think the primary was -- it was a long primary.

WARREN: I know that.

MADDOW: It was a tough contested primary. Some people worried that that was softening up the eventual Democratic nominee too much for the general.

But you think it was constructive?

WARREN: I do think it`s constructive.

And I also think that what Bernie Sanders did was just powerfully important. He ran -- he ran a campaign from the heart. And he ran a campaign where he took these issues and he really thrust them into the spotlight.

And he also brought -- these are issues near and dear to my heart. And he brought millions of people into the political process. He brought millions of people into the Democratic Party.

And for me, that`s what this is all about. I take my cue on every part of this from Bernie himself and what he said right at the beginning. He said, this campaign, he said, what this is about, what here doing here, is about millions of people across this country, millions of people who work hard every day and just keep getting slammed.

It is not about one candidate. It`s not even about one election. It`s about all of us coming together to help fight to level the playing field, to make sure that everybody gets a fighting chance.

MADDOW: Do you feel like Senator Sanders` supporters, and indeed Senator Sanders himself, who was independent until five minutes before this race, do you feel like they have a home in the Democratic Party right now, for real, or do you think the Democratic Party needs to do more, needs to change more, in order to be a natural home for those folks?

WARREN: The way I see this is that there is a very big and important home here. That I think about what`s at stake in this election. And I think about what happens if the Republicans have the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

Say good-bye to the Affordable Care Act. That means 20 million people who lose their health insurance, just like that.

Say good-bye to Dodd-Frank and all of the financial reforms and efforts to try to rein in Wall Street. Just say good-bye to it. That means we can go where Wall Street gets to call the shots again. We saw how that worked out in 2008.

And say good-bye to a Supreme Court that is truly open and balanced and looking out for the American people. Instead the Republicans just want to capture a right-wing court for another whole generation.

I look at those things and I think about what`s at stake. It`s literally people`s lives. It`s our economy. It is the very fabric of our democracy. For me, that`s the heart of what the Democratic Party stands for. That is what we fight for. That`s why we`re in this fight. That`s why we`ve got to win.

MADDOW: And when you make that case, that is -- that`s a case about worrying about what happens if the Democrats do not win.

A lot of people I think, not just Sanders supporters, but I think a lot of people look at Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and they think, actually, my vote is not needed on the Democratic side this time because Donald Trump is a terrible nominee, he`s not only going to lose, but it`s going to have knock-on effects where the Republicans are going to get wiped out up and down the ballot. Hillary Clinton isn`t liberal enough for me, I`d rather write in Bernie, I`ll vote Green Party. I`ll vote libertarian or something.

What do you say to those folks?

WARREN: Look, the Republicans underestimated and underestimated and underestimated Donald Trump. And look where that got them. They kept saying, no, no, no, that`s not going to happen, we don`t have to worry about that.

Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this country. He is a threat economically to this country. But he is a threat to who we are as a people. There is an ugly side to Donald Trump that we all have to stop and think about what`s going on here.

Look, I`ll pick one example when we talk about him and that is the housing crisis. Remember where Donald Trump was in this? In 2007, before the big explosion in 2008, a lot of people are starting to look around and say, whoa, we`ve got an inflated bubble here, there`s going to be trouble coming.

And Donald Trump said -- was quoted. He was excited for the crash because he knew how to make money off it. He was rooting for an economic crash because it was going to help line his pockets.

What kind of a person does something like that? What kind of a person roots for people to be kicked out of their home? What kind of a person does that?

It`s a person who is an insecure money-grubber who cares about nothing but himself. He doesn`t care who gets hurt, as long as he makes a profit off it. That cannot, cannot be the man who leads the United States of America.

MADDOW: Is there -- do you have a feeling, do you feel like there`s Elizabeth Warren-specific advice coming from where you come from, the issues you care about the people who you have so much influence with because of the way you talk about these issues, is -- do you have a prescription for how the Democratic Party`s primary should wrap up?

Senator Sanders has a rally tonight in D.C. He`s going to compete in the D.C. primary. He says he`s going right through to the convention, we don`t know exactly what that means. But he was talking tonight at this rally, said, you know, when I am president, I`m going to use my executive authority.

I mean, do you have a prescription for how this primary should end?

WARREN: I think that it`s clear now that we need to start thinking about all of this together and we need to think about the difference between us and the difference -- and the Republicans. That`s for me what the heart of this is about.

But, you know, I want to add another part to this because I think it really matters here. And I like our talking back and forth but I want to get this on the table and get it on the table early. Hillary Clinton won. And she won because she`s a fighter, she`s out there, she`s tough.

And I think this is what we need. Look at who she is. For 25 years, she`s been taking the incomings, right? The right wing has thrown everything they possibly can at her.

And what does she do? A lot of people would just hang up their spurs. They`d say, you know, I`ve had enough of this. And she doesn`t. What she`s done is she gets back up and she gets back in the fight.

As a Democrat, one of the things that frustrates me the most is there are a lot of times we just don`t get in the fight. We ask pretty please if we can have things or we make the argument for why it is the best thing to do, and then wait patiently for the other side to agree to come along. We negotiate. We start our opening position by negotiating.

You know, and I get that. I get the reason that you should be willing to negotiate sometimes. But you also ought to be willing to throw a punch.

And there are a lot of things that people say about Hillary Clinton. But nobody says that she doesn`t know how to throw a punch.

MADDOW: As somebody -- I agree with you, both on the perseverance and on the fighter characterization of Hillary Clinton. I think that`s the most important way to understand her political power, her willingness to never give up. We have gone 240 years in this country without a woman ever being nominated for president, let alone elected one.


MADDOW: Her aggression and her stance as a fighter in politics, does that make her more palatable to a country who apparently has a real problem with this concept, or less? Does that make it harder for her?

SANDERS: You know, to me, this isn`t about palatable anymore. This is about what we need to survive. This is about whether or not we are going to have a country that just works for the Donald Trumps of the world, that just works for a handful of the largest corporations of the world, or a country that really is building an economic future for all of us.

And yes, I think having a fighter in the lead, a female fighter in the lead, is exactly what this country needs.

MADDOW: One of the things that people are gaming out right now is the prospect not just of having a female nominee at the top of the Democratic ticket, but possibly having an all-female ticket.


MADDOW: We`re going to talk about that when we come back if you don`t mind.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts having just given her endorsement for the presidential race, Senator Warren endorsing Hillary Clinton tonight.

Much more with her right after this. Stay with us.



WARREN: Donald Trump says, they`ll look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace.

No, Donald. What you are doing is a total disgrace. Race-baiting a judge who spent years defending America from the terror of murderers and drug traffickers, simply because long ago his family came to America from somewhere else? You, Donald Trump, are a total disgrace.



MADDOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren is having a big night. She brought the house down tonight in a speech just lambasting Donald Trump at the American Constitution Society in Washington, D.C. Tonight here on the show, she`s just made her endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race.

We`re back with Senator Elizabeth Warren in just a moment.



WARREN: When first asked, though, about whether he would condemn Trump`s comments about Judge Curiel, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said, well, gee, you know.


Donald Trump is certainly a different kind of candidate, ha ha ha.


And then after days of pressure, McConnell finally said, attacking the judge is stupid and that Trump should, quote, "get on script." What script is that, exactly? And where do you suppose that Donald Trump got the idea that he can personally attack judges regardless of the law whenever they don`t bend to the whims of billionaires and big businesses?

Trump isn`t a different kind of candidate. He`s a Mitch McConnell kind of candidate. Yes.


He is exactly the kind of candidate you`d expect from a Republican Party whose script for several years has been to execute a full-scale assault on the integrity of our courts, blockading judicial appointments so Donald Trump can fill them, smearing and intimidating nominees who do not pledge allegiance to the financial interests of the rich and powerful.

We are not a nation that disqualifies lawyers and judges from public service because of race or religion or gender or because they haven`t spent their entire careers representing the rich and the powerful.

And we will not allow a small, insecure, thin-skinned, wannabe tyrant or his allies in the Senate to destroy the rule of law in the United States of America. We will not. We will not.



MADDOW: Joining us again is Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts. She spent the earlier part of the evening plucking the feathers off Donald Trump, calling him a fraud, a racist bully, a whiner. She also did a decent Mitch McConnell impression, which I`ve never seen before.

Now, Senator Warren is here with us. She`s just endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Senator, thank you again.

WARREN: Thank you.

MADDOW: You enjoy talking about Donald Trump.


MADDOW: Obviously, your criticism of him is heartfelt.

What role do you see for yourself in this -- in this general election contest?

WARREN: Oh, listen, I`m going to do everything I can to help Hillary Clinton get elected and I`m going to do everything I can to make sure that Donald Trump never comes within shouting distance of the White House.

MADDOW: Has Hillary Clinton talked to you about the prospect of being her running mate? Have you been vetted?


MADDOW: Have you -- no. No conversations?


MADDOW: Am I supposed to ask it more broadly? Have her people talked to your people?

WARREN: I don`t think so.

You know, look, I know there`s been a lot of speculation about this. But the truth is, I love the work I do. I can`t tell you how grateful I am to the people of Massachusetts who sent me here to just wade into these fights.

And now, we`re about to enter another big fight. And that is a general election fight that pits a tough woman who is willing to lead against a small, insecure bully who thinks he`s going to get his way by throwing nasty tantrums, by giving people ugly names, by saying racist and other kinds of outrageous things.

And we just can`t let him be the leader of this country. We can line up. We can be part of Hillary Clinton`s effort to be the president of the United States and to help do the things we care about in this country -- to really help build a future.

MADDOW: Because you are -- you`re the person who`s made it so that people like me don`t know whether to call it the Sanders wing of the party or the Warren wing of the party. You are -- as somebody who chose not to run for president yourself despite a lot of people pressuring you to do that, you still wield enormous influence, and a lot of people on the left side of this party look up to you. That`s why your endorsement was so coveted.

I think that`s why Senator Sanders` supporters have been so upset you didn`t endorse him during the primary. They think it would have made a very big difference. And they`re upset with you today and tonight because of this endorsement.

What`s your reaction to that?

WARREN: My reaction is that I thought it was important for the primary to go forward, and not to try to tilt it one way or the other, to try to get or try to end it. That really what I wanted to see is I wanted to see Democrats out there talking about our core set of issues. And let people around this country vote, let -- people have caucuses, let them do it however they`re going to do it.

But the point is to get us engaged and to get us engaged on that set of issues.

Rachel, can we just think about how different did it is today than it was five years ago. We talk today, we have open conversations about the best way to make sure that young people are going to be able to get an affordable education, that, gosh, this matters. And just by the way notice Trump`s view of this.

You know, Trump believes that you just cheat them. You know, that`s what is happening right now, this is Trump University.

We have talked about the best way to put more restrictions on Wall Street, to be able to rein Wall Street in tighter.

And what do the Republicans say? Donald Trump? They say they`re just going to roll back the Dodd-Frank regulations. They want to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I mean, these are huge differences.

Social Security, five years ago, the whole conversation around Social Security -- I remember this -- it was like some people said, the conservatives said, you cut it a lot, right? And the moderates say, oh, you just cut it a little. And those of us who are genuinely progressive are saying, aah, this is terrible.

And now, what`s the conversation about? The conversation is about what`s the best way to make Social Security secure going into the future and to make it work better for those who depend the most on it, for the millions of people for whom Social Security is all that stands between them and poverty. For the 14 million people who count on Social Security, to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.

These are the issues that Democrats brought forward and that happened because we had a primary race, it happened because Bernie Sanders was in there fighting and because Hillary Clinton was in there fighting.

MADDOW: When President Obama recently moved on that issue and started talking for the first time about expanding Social Security, do you attribute that to the primary?

WARREN: Look, you bet, are you kidding?

Because this is what the primary did. It`s not just that two people got up and talked about something. It`s that lots of people then got engaged and talked about it, so that their conversation was not a small conversation, it was a huge conversation. It was a conversation all across this country.

And Barack Obama heard that conversation. He heard the American people.

And I`ll tell you somebody else that`s going to hear it. And that is the Republicans are going to hear it. And it`s going to be that kind of national conversation that`s going to make real change in this country.

We`ve got to put wind in the sails here. We`ve got to make this happen.

But Bernie has given us these issues. He`s given us this moment. He has brought this light to it that we really can push this country in a better direction. We can help level the playing field.

MADDOW: This is sort of an awkward question and I don`t want you to take it in the wrong way. I don`t mean this in kind of a celebrity way, nor do I mean it in a gossip way.


MADDOW: I mean it for people who don`t live in Washington or travel here or know how things work.

WARREN: Uh-huh.

MADDOW: I think there`s a lot of curiosity as to where these conversations happen and how these negotiations happen and how parties move and how policies shift and how tone shifts.

Do you personally talk to Bernie Sanders? Do you personally talk to Hillary Clinton? Do you have personal relationships with these people? Do you have personal relationships with the vice president or the president?

Is it all business, or does some of this get worked out because some people like each other or because some people don`t?

WARREN: So -- yes. Absolutely. And I have talked to people, you know -- I`ve talked to Bernie, I`ve talked to Hillary, I`ve talked to people who work for them.

But do understand about this, Rachel. What gives it power is the power within the idea itself, and the fact that others care about it.

So, when you talk about Social Security, it`s not just enough to say, we`re looking at you, this really matters. It`s the fact that a million Americans think it matters. Oh, wait, it`s 2 million Americans think it matters. No, it`s 4 million Americans. It`s 6 million, wait, it`s 10 million, it`s 50 million Americans who care about this. That`s how we`re going to make change.

Here`s how I look at this. The Republicans had a real advantage over us for a long time. And the principal advantage they have had is they have concentrated money and concentrated power. And, boy, when it`s all concentrated, man, you can organize it, you can use it, you can get out there, you can run those negative ads, you can be effective, you can put money into campaigns.

What do we got on our side? Yes, we got some money, some. People put money in. But the reality is what we`ve got is we`ve got all the votes. We`ve got all the voices.

There are so many more people on our side. And I`m not just talking Democrats here. You talk about those core issues, about Social Security, about college, about raising the minimum wage, about reining in Wall Street.

You look at those core issues and somewhere between 60 percent and 75 percent of all of America, that`s Democrats, Republicans, independents, libertarians, vegetarians. They sign up and say, yes, I`m for that.

So, the question is then, Rachel -- why hasn`t that happened? Why hasn`t it happened?

The answer is because Washington, this place where we are right now. It is the bubble. It`s the bubble that`s created by the money. It is the bubble that is created by the contributions, by the lobbyists, by every part of this tight little circle.

Our only chance to break out of that is that we got to say, against your concentrated money and power, we`re going to put up our voices and our votes and we`re going to be here. We`re going to be here in these elections. And we`re going to make sure that the people who run for office and get elected are the ones who are going to work for the American people. That`s what this is all about.

MADDOW: With that kind of a vision, I have one last question for you. You`ll know what I`m getting at but take my question literally.


MADDOW: And I know you`re not seeking the job and I know you love being a senator. But if you were asked to be Secretary Clinton`s running mate, do you believe you could do it? By that I mean, the most important job of being a vice president is to be ready to be president if God forbid something happened to the commander-in-chief.

I know you don`t want the job. But do you know you would be capable of stepping into that job and doing that job if you were ever called to do it? Because -- and I ask you because Ed Rendell, former DNC chairman, former Pennsylvania governor, said recently that you were no -- not in any way, shape or form ready to be commander-in-chief. I want to know if you think you could be.

WARREN: Yes, I do.

MADDOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts making this endorsement, for the first time tonight, Hillary Clinton for president. Thank you for making that announcement on this show. And thanks for being willing to talk to me about it.

WARREN: You bet.

MADDOW: Thanks. Great to see you.

WARREN: You take care.

MADDOW: Thanks.

She`s my senator too. I`m very lucky.

WARREN: You bet. My constituent.


MADDOW: We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: So you guys -- this was kind of a big day in American politics. Senator Bernie Sanders went to the White House to meet with President Obama one on one for more than an hour. President Obama then endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Then, tonight the person who`s the reason nobody knows whether to call it the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party or the Warren ring of the Democratic Party, tonight, firebrand liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren came to the studio just moments ago tonight to give us her endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.

So, everything`s headed in the same direction, right?

But then also tonight, Senator Sanders has been holding a rally outside RFK Stadium here in Washington, D.C. and while all those other things seem to be going in one direction, it does not sound like Senator Sanders is headed in that same direction.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Congress does not pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship, I will use the executive powers of the presidency to move --



MADDOW: Senator Bernie Sanders tonight in Washington, D.C., in front of a crowd of about 3,000 people, tonight still talking about what a President Sanders will do when he gets to the White House.

It`s a good thing the news gods don`t mind working overtime. Neither do my news friends, Joy Reid and Chris Hayes join us next.

Stay with us.



WARREN: I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States and to make sure that Donald Trump never gets any place close to the White House.

MADDOW: I know you`re not seeking the job but I know you love being a senator. But if you were asked to be Secretary Clinton`s running mate, do you believe you could do it? And by that I mean the most important job of being a vice president is to be ready to be president if God forbid something happened to the commander-in-chief.

I know you don`t want the job, but do you believe you would be capable of stepping into that job and doing that job if you were ever called to do it? Because -- and I ask you because Ed Rendell, former DNC chairman, former Pennsylvania governor, said recently that you were in no -- not in any way, shape or form ready to be commander-in-chief.

I want to know if you think you could be.

WARREN: Yes, I do.


WARREN: And then I just sat there for a second thinking, oh, I think I know what that means.

As you heard just moments ago, exclusively on this show, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has just endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and said a lot else besides.

Joining us are my colleagues, Joy Reid, the host of "A.M. JOY" on weekend mornings, Chris Hayes, host of "ALL IN" who`s in New York, staying late for us tonight.

Chris and Joy, thank you so much both for being here. I really appreciate it.

HAYES: You bet.

CHRIS JOY, "A.M. JOY" HOST: Thank you.

MADDOW: Chris, let me ask you first, watching this from your studio, Hillary Clinton gets Elizabeth Warren`s endorsement. I think we all knew Elizabeth Warren would eventually endorse whoever was going to win the primary. What`s the significance of her doing this endorsement in this way on this day?

HAYES: I think what it does is she is, to use a religious metaphor, sort of a John the Baptist figure here in terms of paving the way for what will I think eventually be a Bernie Sanders endorsement. And I say that because she as uniquely popular figure in the party and a uniquely popular figure in terms of cross-over appeal. I feel like she`s beloved by both Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters. She was the most prominent neutral party aside from the president of the United States, I would say, in this whole thing.

And I think she said, frankly, and I think it`s fairly clear from her record, that on the substance, her politics and world view are closer to Bernie Sanders than they are to Hillary Clinton`s. I don`t think she necessarily hid that in the interview. I think she was pretty up front about that if you listen to the language of the way she describes the mechanisms of governments and how they work or don`t work in this era, they sound like the way Bernie Sanders describes the mechanisms of governance.

So, I think she has this sort of unique credibility to the people who feel that the Bernie Sanders world view, diagnosis, and prescriptions are generally the accurate ones.

MADDOW: And, Joy, on that point, one of the things that`s been interesting to watch from the perspective of the left in this campaign is that a lot of people, particularly Sanders supporters, got mad at Elizabeth Warren. They didn`t decide they didn`t like her but they got mad at Elizabeth Warren because she didn`t endorse Bernie Sanders, because of what Chris is talking about, she`s perceived to be more of a Sanders type in terms of her own political preferences, she didn`t endorse them, they think that would have been a huge help to him in the primary. A lot of people who support Sanders are mad at her for making this endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

How does that factor in all this?

REID: Well, I mean, if you think about it, Elizabeth Warren has a very similar brand to Bernie Sanders. Just from a crass political point of view, there really wasn`t anything in it for her to subordinate her brand to his brand because she brings the same thing to the table.

So, yes, on the margins, could she have helped Bernie Sanders win Massachusetts? Maybe, but then she wouldn`t be in the powerful position she`s in now to be the broker between the two. I think Elizabeth Warren, number one, preserved her brand as her own.

You know, we`re talking a lot right now about this moment for women. Women are standing and accepting apart from men. Well, Elizabeth Warren does what Bernie Sanders does but backwards and in heels to use that metaphor, right, from an old Frank Capra film.

So, I think she`s very smart to have preserved her role as a broker because, look, we learned today, President Obama probably can`t be a real broker between the two of them because he was so kind of obviously behind the scenes for Hillary Clinton. Because Elizabeth Warren, when she says concentrated money and concentrated wealth, that sounds like what Bernie Sanders says when he says the top 1 percent.

She brings a lot of the same things to the table. And to Chris` point, she`ll have a credibility in saying, I will uphold this part of Sanders message and world view within the world of Hillary Clinton.

MADDOW: Chris, when you -- given that, when you look ahead to Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren both working toward the same aim in this general election, whether or not Hillary Clinton picks Senator Warren as her running mate, is that -- are those two different messages running parallel? Or do they multiply each other in any way? How do -- how do Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren interact as people pull them in the same direction?

HAYES: Here`s -- I think -- I think there`s going to be so many parallels -- there`s so many thins to attack about Donald Trump. There`s going to be so many parallel attacks happening at the same time, that I actually don`t think it will require a tremendous amount of coordination.

In some ways I think people will key off each other. And, you know, the Judge Curiel comments are a perfect example. There`s nine different reasons that people fund those objectionable, offensive, and racist, and no one I think had to get on a conference call to talk about why that was the case. And so, I think they`ll be natural lanes.

Here`s one thick I will say about Elizabeth Warren. In her speech she did something I haven`t quite seen anyone do as well as she has, which is to bridge the sort of substantive and the personal. I mean, the challenge when you`re running against Donald Trump is that I think the most effective attack is he is temperamentally unfit, this guy should be nowhere near the nuclear codes.

But what you don`t want to get lost is what your substantive agenda is, particularly in an election where you want to claim a mandate other than, not the lunatic. You need to be able to weave that into a more -- a broader vision about how that connects to what he represents substantively.

That is something I think she has figured out better than anyone in the Democratic Party and I wouldn`t be surprised if we see the Clinton campaign take some cues off her in that respect.

MADDOW: On the question of whether or not Hillary Clinton might pick Elizabeth Warren to be her vice presidential running mate, I`ve gone from zero degrees to 180 on that subject, which as complete U-turn, and I think it`s turning into a 360 I think at this point.

We`ve got some interesting comments on that from Senator Warren tonight. Can you, guys, stick with me to kick that around for a moment?

HAYES: You bet.

MADDOW: All right. Joy Reid and Chris Hayes talking about the potential of a Warren/Clinton ticket in the Democratic Party. That`s next. Stay with us.



WARREN: You know, look, I know there`s been a lot of speculation about this. But the truth is, I love the work I do. I can`t tell you how grateful I am to the people of Massachusetts who sent me here to just wade into these fights.

And now, we`re about to enter another big fight. And that is a general election fight that pits a tough woman who is willing to lead against a small, insecure bully who thinks he`s going to get his way by throwing nasty tantrums, by giving people ugly names, by saying racist and other kinds of outrageous things.

And we just can`t let him be the leader of this country.


MADDOW: Senator Warren throwing a little bit of cold water on the speculation that she might be under consideration as a Hillary Clinton running mate. I asked also specifically if she`d been vetted, if she`d had conversations with Hillary Clinton, or if her people had conversations with Hillary Clinton`s people. She said not that she is aware of.

Joy Reid, I have no reason to disbelief anything the senator says.

REID: Yes.

MADDOW: But do you make of the prospect of her being chosen as Hillary Clinton`s running mate?

REID: Well, first of all, I think it got a lot more likely when Harry Reid sort of the chief strategist for the Democratic Party got on board. I mean, when I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago, he was just not no, he was hell no to the idea of any sitting Democratic senator who came from a state with a Republican governor. But the thing about Massachusetts, the kind of made him rethink it is that Massachusetts, your state, has that rule, having a special election. So, that means you wouldn`t have Governor Charlie Baker get to fill the term of Elizabeth Warren that`s left, they would have 160 days from the day she declares.

So, in theory the way that this could work is, Warren has to file an official declaration, she has to file a letter saying, I will vacate this seat. But what if she didn`t do that until Election Day? What if she did that in November, and what if she didn`t vacate until inauguration day? That would give Charlie Baker maybe 78 days of having a senator in there and they could run someone and we`d be hearing rumblings of perhaps maybe Joseph Kennedy III, the sitting congressman, popular, obviously that Kennedy mantle. So, there are ways it could work.

So, I think on the logistical side, it could work.

And then, look, on the other side, it`s an asymmetrical campaign. Donald Trump is not a typical Republican. You can now start thinking outside of the box. Could you have two women, why not? Why not double down on the opportunity to close that white women voter gap in favor of Republicans every election. Fourteen points in favor of Republicans, with Mitt Romney, seven with McCain, 11 with George W. Bush. If you got that to zero, you temped white women to vote for Democrats, that`s the ball game.

MADDOW: Chris Hayes, would you take a crack at that yourself, handicapping the prospect of her as the running-mate choice?

HAYES: I think I have evolved in the same way. I think Joy`s points about what the spread is like, we are seeing, she is pulling 20 points up with college educated white women right now. And Romney won those by five. So, she`s already got a huge advantage there.

I do think there`s a dynamic of this. I keep joking that it`s like -- you know, the Republicans nominated Bobby Riggs to go up against the first Democratic woman nominee. And there is a kind of lean in to that logic at play here, particularly with the special election.

I also think -- I mean, there is a question about the answer to that second question, the last question, which to me was in some ways the biggest news making part of the interview, because that to me, the subtext was -- I am interested in the job. Like her answer to the last question was like, yes, I am ready to be commander in chief. And what that also means is, yes, I would be the veep, I am interested in keeping that door open.

Answering that question, I think particularly from someone who served as secretary of state as long as Hillary Clinton did, who has been around the White House, who`s been in the Situation Room, who`s watched her husband, who`s watched the president, a world at times appears to be on fire with American forces deployed in multiple countries at the moment, including special operators in Syria, that question of, that kind of day one thing I think might -- that to me, it seems a bigger hurdle to get over from the perspective of Hillary world than the political logic of it.

MADDOW: Hmm. And I mean, I think that yes. I think that to be specific about what Elizabeth Warren said tonight, she said, I am not interested. But when asked specifically to narrow it down, given that you are not interested, could you do the job? She couldn`t have been more clear about that.

HAYES: That`s right.

MADDOW: And I`m not sure that she would have said had Ed Rendell not popped off and said, of course, you can`t do the job. Really, Ed Rendell?

So, he may have done -- he may have done liberal America a great service.


By having said, because I think that is why I got the response from her tonight.

Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, my esteemed colleagues, both working tripling time - - thank you both so much for staying with me tonight. Appreciate it.

REID: Thank you.

HAYES: Enjoyed it. You bet.

MADDOW: Joy Reid hosts "A.M. JOY" weekend mornings.

Chris Hayes hosts "ALL IN" weekend nights. It`s good system.

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: This was a "ready, set, go" kind of day in politics.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump spent the day meeting today with deep- pocketed donors, who could conceivably bankroll his campaign.

In Democratic race, Senator Bernie Sanders begin approaching the starting point for thinking about some day beginning the eventual unwinding of his campaign.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I spoke briefly too Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night. And I congratulated her on her very strong campaign. I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump, and --


MADDOW: Sort of seems perfect that that very important announcement was drowned out by sirens. It sort of seems like the universe does stuff like that on purpose.

Today, President Obama dropped his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. President Obama and Hillary Clinton then announced their first campaign swing together. They`ll be in Wisconsin on Wednesday of next week.

And then Senator Elizabeth Warren, the last undeclared voice in the presidential race, tonight, she declared. She endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on this show. She told us the Clinton campaign has not talked to her about joining the ticket as a potential running mate.

I asked the senator if she would be capable of stepping up to serve as commander-in-chief, if she, in fact, ever had that job, she said unequivocally, yes. She said yes. And she gave us a taste of how hard she intends to go after Donald Trump from now until November 8th.


WARREN: Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this country. He is a threat economically to this country. But he is a threat to who we are as a people. There is an ugly side to Donald Trump that we all have to stop and think about what`s going on here.


MADDOW: Big day in politics today. Now, I am off to figure out how to best mix Gatorade and pure grain alcohol.

I also need to find Chris Hayes to apologize for him -- to him, for saying that his show airs on weekend nights. It airs 8:00 weekdays. I don`t know what I was thinking.

Anyway, sorry Chris.

That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.


Good evening, Lawrence.