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Sanders makes appeal TRANSCRIPT: 3/2/20, The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests: Larry Sabato

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Jon Lovett, Sonali Kolhatkar, and Rob Reiner, thanks so much for making time tonight. Appreciate it.

That does it for us live in Los Angeles.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friends. Thanks to everybody there.

Those live shows, they`re so good. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour as well. Happy to have you with us.

At this hour, right this second, we are awaiting former Vice President Joe Biden on stage in Dallas, Texas, for what is likely to be a dramatic event. In the course of a long presidential primary, you might have a handful of moments where the course of the race changes, truly changes, and becomes a different kind of contest from what had been playing out before.

We are having one of those pivotal moments right now tonight. It`s been an incredibly dramatic day. The last time I saw all of you was Saturday night during our coverage of the South Carolina primary. Former Vice President Joe Biden thumped the field in South Carolina, as you know.

The polling average heading into South Carolina showed Joe Biden likely winning South Carolina by about 15 points. Instead he won by double that. He got nearly half the vote in a seven-candidate race. His closest competitor, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, was almost 30 points behind him.

South Carolina was by far the state in the primary thus far where African- Americans wield the most electoral clout. Senator Sanders only polled at 16 percent, 16 percent among African-Americans in South Carolina, but Joe Biden won more than 60 percent of the African-American vote there. And that was -- that in addition to the overall size of his win, which was a very strong signal for Biden`s chances in the many diverse states that are about to come down the primary calendar all at once.

Biden`s victory in South Carolina, it was just a single state, but it was a big enough statement that it immediately transformed the Democratic field. Do not take my word for it, you could see it happen. Billionaire candidate Tom Steyer had banked a lot, literally and figuratively, on South Carolina`s primary. Tom Steyer spent $158 million on TV and radio ads combined nationwide. But never mind it, within three hours of Biden`s big win on Saturday, Mr. Steyer not qualifying to win any delegates in that race, Tom Steyer had quit.

Then last night, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the narrow winner of the Iowa caucuses, the narrow runner-up to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, Pete Buttigieg announced he too is dropping out of the race. This afternoon, we learned that not only was Pete Buttigieg ending his presidential campaign, but he will endorse Joe Biden, which he did just an hour ago among the picnic tables out back at the Chicken Scratch restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that she too is suspending her presidential campaign and that she too will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden. And then, finally, just a little while ago, just within the last hour or so, we learned that Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke will also endorse Vice President Joe Biden tonight. Congressman O`Rourke, of course, ended his own presidential bid back in November before the first votes were cast.

Tonight, after Pete Buttigieg already endorsed Joe Biden, and as Amy Klobuchar heads to Joe Biden`s Dallas rally for a show of unity there, we expect that Congressman O`Rourke will also appear on stage at that rally in Dallas to deliver his support to Vice President Biden.

So like I said, big day, and you go back to the beginning of this. This was a big enough Democratic presidential field there were enough Democrats running from the very beginning that we knew we were going to see a gazillion of them drop out of the race at one time or another. But dropping out is one thing. Dropping out and then endorsing a rival candidate in a still very fluid Democratic contest, that`s another thing altogether.

And dropping out, endorsing another candidate, and then campaigning for that candidate you just endorsed, on stage with him, on the eve of Super Tuesday, which is the biggest day in the entire primary season, I mean, that`s a qualitatively different kind of dropout. That`s a qualitatively different kind of endorsement in terms of its potential and immediate effect on the race.

What we are seeing her in the simplest terms is a real time consolidation of the field. Senator Bernie Sanders is absolutely holding up one tent pole in this race, right, with his strong performance in the primaries thus far, with his very strong polling in many states for tomorrow, with his strong and getting stronger fund-raising record. These candidates getting out and endorsing Joe Biden, they`re trying to help him hold up another tent pole alongside Bernie Sanders here.

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg are still there inside the tent as well. But tonight nobody`s quite sure what to say or what to expect from their candidacies with this sudden winnowing, and with this sudden set of dramatic Biden endorsements.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I`m delighted to endorse and support Joe Biden for president of the United States.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And I do it with great pleasure knowing just how much we need to do not only to win, which is so very important, and when I say win, not just win back the White House, but make sure we bring those vitally important house and Senate and local races with us.

I`m looking for a leader, I`m looking for a president, who will draw out what is best in each of us. And I`m encouraging everybody who is part of my campaign to join me because we have found that leader in vice president, soon to be president, Joe Biden.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I can`t tell you how much I appreciate Pete`s endorsement. I know for Pete`s supporters, from the mayor to many other people who are here, this is also a bittersweet moment, because you supported a man of enormous integrity, a fellow who has as much moral courage as he has physical courage. I really mean that.

There hasn`t been a harsh word between us since we started to compete. And I think that it`s clear to everyone that this is a man who is not only brilliant but is decent.

I am absolutely confident with further exposure to the nation to Pete and all he stands for and all he`ll do and all he can do, that there is no limitation in what this man can get done. I promise you, you`re going to end up over your lifetime seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than you are of me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  In addition to Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden also rolled out a string of other high-profile endorsements today, including the very influential former top Democrat in the United States Senate, former Nevada Senator Harry Reid.

Vice president Biden also got the endorsement today of former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice. Vice President Biden also today got the endorsement of Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, a liberal icon. This could be particularly influential in Elizabeth Warren`s home state of Massachusetts, one of the Super Tuesday states that will be voting tomorrow.

Vice President Biden rolled out a host of other high-profile Democratic endorsements in other Super Tuesday states as well. But as dramatic as this day has been for Vice President Biden`s campaign, polls show unequivocally that it is Senator Sanders leading in the two biggest prizes on offer tomorrow on Super Tuesday, which are California and Texas. Between them, they`ve got 600 plus delegates. To put that in perspective, you only need 1,900 something delegates to win the nomination. 600 of those delegates will be decided tomorrow in just the states of California and Texas, where Senator Sanders is polling in the lead.

Already, over 1.5 million people have voted early in the Democratic primary in California, as well as over 1 million in Texas. Those votes are already in. This dramatic day in the campaign also comes as Senator Sanders continues to draw huge, huge crowds out on the campaign trail. This weekend alone, Senator Sanders drew around 13,000 people in Boston, followed by nearly 5,000 people in Springfield, Virginia, before turning out an estimated combined total of 24,000 people in two rallies in California and San Jose and Los Angeles just yesterday.

Senator Sanders also continues to rake in the cash at a clip far higher than any of his Democratic rivals who have to raise money by doing something other than going to the ATM. So what effect does this dramatic day, what effect will these new endorsements of Joe Biden have, let alone the suddenly smaller field of candidates?

We shall see. I am glad I am not a professional prognosticator, I am glad I am charged with covering these things as they happen, not predicting how they will play out. Because at this point, I don`t know.

I mean, heading into tomorrow, Senator Sanders narrowly leads Vice President Biden in the overall national delegate race. But again, this is a tiny number of delegates that have been decided already compared to the huge number of delegates that will be on offer tomorrow on the biggest day in the primary calendar, and where everything will change once again.

I mean, anybody who tells you they know, they know what`s going to happen tomorrow, is either lying to you or trying to sell you something. This is a very unpredictable, kinetic race right now. It is worth being humble.

I mean, what support Michael Bloomberg will get tomorrow, how much a factor Elizabeth Warren will be, not just in her home state of Massachusetts but California? I mean, these are open and consequential questions at this point, whether Bernie Sanders can start to build up a delegate lead that is insurmountable. And if it is insurmountable, will he be leading -- will he be building toward a majority or just a plurality? If he gets the most delegates but not a majority the race could be decided at the convention.

Can Joe Biden make a significant dent in what`s expected to be a huge delegate haul for Senator Sanders tomorrow? Could we be looking at a dark horse surge from neither Biden nor Sanders but from Bloomberg or Warren tomorrow? I mean, these are all things we don`t know heading into tomorrow.

And, honestly, at this rate, who knows what else might happen before the first of the state polls open at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. At this point, everything feels like it is in motion.

But joining us from outside the rally site in Dallas, Texas, where we are expecting a very eventful evening with Vice President Biden and a cast of thousands, Mike Memoli, NBC News correspondent who`s been following the Biden campaign.

Mike, I`ve been trying to sum up how dramatic this day has been and what these big moments might mean. You`ve been so much closer so it, you`ve known the vice president for so long. Give us your take on how big this is and what it means for the campaign overall.

MIKE MEMOLI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Rachel, you`ve done a great job of setting it up. My perspective is I`ve been covering Joe Biden since the day he announced his campaign in late April of 2019, but also been covering him in each of his last few national campaigns starting in 2007 on the vice presidential ticket. Of course, his almost campaign in 2016 which he ultimately stayed out of, and all the moments in between, political and personal.

And I don`t quite remember a day quite as dramatic, to use your word, as impactful for the Biden team, for the vice president himself, as today in term of political context, of course. This was a campaign that a week ago when we released a poll, and polls are all snapshots in time, and it showed the former vice president within just a single-digit lead over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina, many on the Biden team really wondering how much longer this campaign would last, frankly, if his firewall were to have crumbled in South Carolina, surely that would have erased what rationale there had been for Biden after his weak start in Iowa and New Hampshire.

And certainly, the Clyburn endorsement, Jim Clyburn`s endorsement, was incredibly significant in South Carolina and played a big role in that double-digit victory. But I also think when you look at the kind of reaction across the Democratic Party in the last 24, 48 hours, to Biden`s resounding victory in South Carolina, you can`t overlook the significance of the fear among many Democrats, maybe you want to call them moderate, maybe you want to call them establishment, but they -- elected House members especially, when they saw Bernie Sanders, the seemingly insurmountable path to the nomination, sensing that they needed to get behind somebody, somehow, who could stop that, and Biden, who has not always shown a lot of strength in this campaign for a candidate for whom his biggest strength at the start was his perceived strength, he`s showing it surely at the right time at this moment.

I interviewed him earlier today and just in the brief moments we had to chat one on one before the interview started, I did sense a real calm about him amid this incredible moment for him. And I sensed that it really does feel that this is a moment that he needs to step up to and to honor, in a way. He knows that a lot of Democrats are putting a lot on the line by endorsing him in this way, and there`s still a long way to go.

There`s certainly no guarantees tomorrow in terms of how the results will go and in the weeks ahead. But there is certainly a commitment on the part of the former vice president that we`ve seen today and over the last few days to stick to script, to show the kind of fire that a lot of his supporters felt had been lacking in recent days. And I also think we should not overlook what Craig Melvin referred to as smoke signals from President Obama, why there hadn`t been up to maybe a week ago for his former vice president.

But there are some indications there are some at this point. You see Susan Rice, somebody like her, endorsing, I covered the White House and know how close those two were, that`s something that I feel like is done with the blessing of the former president, with the encouragement of the former president. I asked Biden today whether the former president might have to step up and take a role in uniting the party even before the convention.

And he said that he knows that he will be there to serve in that role, to do that, but ultimately, it is Joe Biden, he said, that I have to be the one to do that as well. And he seems to be willing to do that at this point.

One last point is, I think the other point is, all this momentum is coming so late. You outlined how the early vote in some of these states is so high, 40 percent by one estimate of California in the bank. A lot of people who voted for Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar who are not going to have that reflected.

I think all this momentum in the last 24 hours gives the Biden team ability to say if there are some disappointing results in some of these states tomorrow that there`s still time for him to make up that gap now that the country has a chance to see the momentum building for him now.

MADDOW:  Mike Memoli, NBC News correspondent at that Dallas rally, I know it`s going to be a long night ahead as this story continues to evolve. Thanks fore being with us, Mike. I appreciate it.

MEMOLI:  Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW:  I should tell you that we are going to be -- we`ll take a quick break right now in part because we are trying to watch the timing here. We`ve got Senator Sanders taking the stage, we expect we`re going to have Vice President Biden taking the stage along with some of his new endorsers. We`ll try to get as much of that live on TV as we can.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I know that there are political differences, but I also know that virtually all of Amy`s support and Pete`s support understand that we have got to move toward a government which believes in justice, not greed.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And that our government must be based on principles of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So, to all of Amy and Pete`s millions of supporters, the door is open, come on in!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Our campaign is about two fundamental issues. First, we must and will defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

The American people, no matter what their political views may be, understand we cannot continue to have in office a president who embarrasses us every day. A president who is a pathological liar. A president who is running a corrupt administration. A president who apparently has never read the Constitution of the United States. A president who does not believe in democracy but is trying to move us into an autocratic type of society.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And I say to Donald Trump, you`re going to learn what democracy is about next November, because the American people are going to throw you out of office.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  Vermont`s senator Bernie Sanders speaking to an absolutely ecstatic crowd in St. Paul, Minnesota, tonight. Now, until a moment ago, Senator Sanders appearing anywhere in Minnesota on the night before Super Tuesday would have been basically a shiv to Democratic Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of his competitors for the nomination. That said, Senator Klobuchar is one of the major candidates who dropped out of the race today, not only ending her own bid, but choosing to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden.

We are keeping an eye right now on the simultaneous live rally that is happening in Dallas, Texas, where Senator Klobuchar is, we believe, going to appear with Vice President Biden in Dallas. So, as we are watching both of these events happening simultaneously on Super Tuesday eve, I want to bring into the conversation here somebody who is much smarter about these things than I am, Larry Sabato is the director of University of Virginia Center for Politics, one of the great political forecasters of our time.

I do not envy his job in this circumstance. Dr. Sabato, it`s good to have you here on a night like tonight. Thanks for being here.

LARRY SABATO:  Thank you, Rachel. Appreciate it.

MADDOW:  What do you think will be the impact or how should we see the import of this big day? That the Biden campaign has had today? Major candidates dropping out, both of them endorsing former candidate Beto O`Rourke, also endorsing this coming out of Saturday`s thumping, big, outside the polls win in South Carolina. How do you see this?

LARRY SABATO, UVA CENTER FOR POLITICS DIRECTOR:  It`s very significant. You know, every campaign has pivot moments. Every single campaign I`ve ever observed.

And this -- whatever happens in the end, this will be recorded as one of the pivot moments of the 2020 Democratic race. It`s going to be fascinating because it`s a battle between paid media and free media. Joe Biden hasn`t had much money and he hasn`t advertised much at all in the 14 states that are voting tomorrow, and yet he has dominated the free media, the news media coverage, since Saturday when he had that blowout win in South Carolina.

And these endorsements, it`s almost not just for the people who back Klobuchar and Buttigieg, it`s really for the broader Democratic Party to hear the points they`re making. So, I think this is very significant. It doesn`t guarantee Joe Biden the nomination. It doesn`t guarantee him many wins tomorrow, although I think he will get some, particularly in the South.

But it -- he was given the last rites just, what, ten days ago, ten days, two weeks ago. He was given the last rites. And now, Lazarus is in front of us.

MADDOW:  Do you have a way, a way to either extrapolate from past experience or any other databased way that you can assess the prospects for Mayor Bloomberg? Obviously he hasn`t been on the ballot in any of the four states that have gone thus far. There were as many calls for him to get out of the race and consolidate the field, as many calls targeting him as there were calls targeting Mayor Buttigieg or Senator Klobuchar.

He obviously has come to a different decision, has said that he`s going to stay in through tomorrow because he`s been spending all this money because this is going to be the first place where he competes.

Do you have any way of figuring out how to sort of quantify his likelihood of success and how he ought to have looked at those calls for him to get out before tomorrow`s balloting?

SABATO:  Well, the problem is all the polls that we had, we`ve had a slew of them, before even Sunday, and a few today -- they were all in the field before South Carolina. Now, at that time, Bloomberg was doing reasonably well in some states. He at least was near or a little over the 15 percent threshold that you need to get some delegates statewide or in some congressional districts.

I wonder if that`s still true, because when you have events as dramatic as what we`ve seen in the last several days, somebody who`s outside the system, which Bloomberg is in the Democratic Party, who is being resisted by some of the key constituencies of the Democratic Party, I don`t think all the money in the world could really overcome this. If we suddenly had all the networks turn into Bloomberg TV, I don`t think that would necessarily do it.

These are activists voting. The Democrats who are voting by and large know what they`re doing, they`ve been thinking about this for a long time, they`ve been waiting for a moment that will crystallize what they have to do, the decision they have to make.

Well, they`ve had it and a lot of people are making that decision, it`s going to be muted tomorrow because of all the early votes, some of them very early votes, including undoubtedly hundreds of thousands for candidates that have withdrawn. You see, those -- I understand why early voting is used, Rachel, but the problem is, it`s like writing a review of a play at intermission.

You`re missing a lot of the play. And the second half may change your mind. Sure enough, they`ve missed a loot of the play but their votes are locked in.

MADDOW:  In terms of Senator Elizabeth Warren, we`ve heard rationale articulated by her campaign for her continued canvassing. A few delegates out of Iowa, other than that not a top contender in the states thus far. Her campaign contends that the reason it makes sense for her to stay in, is because she actually does have forward momentum, she does has growing support, including growing financial support, and they calculate, they believe the way that this is going to end, is with the nominee having to be chosen at the convention.

And they believe that Senator Warren staying in until that part, until that point makes sense because they believe she`ll be viable at the end of the day. What do you make of that argument from them?

SABATO:  I don`t think the probability is that`s going to happen. But it`s a live possibility. I mean, look at this campaign. How many completely unpredicted things have already happened?

So you can`t blame anyone who`s invested a couple of years in a campaign and has millions of supporters who have given money and time and effort to that campaign, you can`t blame anybody for staying in if they see a real glimmer of hope. Not just a tiny glimmer but a real glimmer of hope.

So, you know, why not? I don`t think you can force people out. I really -- I think all of us resent it when we see certain individuals in high leadership positions all but buying people out of the race. That`s not really their role.

MADDOW:  Larry Sabato, director of University of Virginia Center for Politics -- Larry Sabato, it`s great to have you here tonight, especially a night like this. It feels like both a huge night on its own and the eve of something even bigger.

It`s great to have you here, sir, thank you.

SABATO:  Thank you so much, Rachel.

MADDOW:  We are keeping one eye on the Bernie Sanders rally that is under way right now in St. Paul, Minnesota. That ends up being particularly interesting because I think that Senator Sanders was there to sort of put his thumb in the eye of Amy Klobuchar in her home state ahead of Minnesota`s Super Tuesday voting tomorrow.

They could not have known when they planned this rally for Senator Sanders in St. Paul tonight that Amy Klobuchar would not be there in her home state tonight because she was not only dropping out of the race today, she was going to fly to Texas to be on stage with Joe Biden endorsing him while he campaigns in Dallas, Texas.

It has been a remarkable day. We are keeping another eye, the upper right side of your screen there shows the podium at the Biden rally, a series of local officials and supporters and important Texas figures in Democratic politics sort of give the run-up to what we`re expecting from Vice President Biden. We do expect Senator Klobuchar there as well. We`re watching to see if former presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke will also be making an appearance there, having announced that he is going to endorse Vice President Biden as well. It feels like everything`s in motion.

Joining us now for some Texas perspective is Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. She`s the assistant dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at University of Texas.

Professor DeFrancesco Sotto, it`s great to have you here. Thanks for making time for us.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Sure thing, Rachel.

MADDOW:  So this momentous event for Joe Biden, it means something, that on the night of -- on the eve of Super Tuesday, with 14 states voting, he`s decided to do this big event in Texas, staking a claim there in Texas. But with this slew of endorsements, including Beto O`Rourke, including Nevada Senator Harry Reid, including Pete Buttigieg, including Amy Klobuchar, does this potentially give him a better shot in Texas?

SOTO:  Things are looking good for Joe Biden, Rachel, but there are a lot of factors out there that they`re still unknowns. Just a minute ago you were talking about the Bloomberg effect. I think this is a really big issue here in Texas given the brand of Democratic politics in Texas. It`s not as progressive as it is in California. So this is an area where a Bloomberg can work well. Also we saw Buttigieg playing moderately well as well.

So when we`re looking at what`s going to happen tomorrow, we need to take into consideration the 17 percent, 18 percent that we`ve been seeing Bloomberg get in these polls. Does that dampen down after we see what happened in South Carolina and the momentum? That`s the question.

The other big issue here in Texas obviously is the Latino vote. It is the fastest-growing demographic here. In terms of the electorate, it`s also growing in 2018. We saw a pretty significant jump in the Latino turnout. But this is kind of a sore spot for Biden because the Latino population here in Texas, as it is nationally, is really going toward Bernie Sanders.

And their second choice, and I have to admit I was surprise when I had saw the data that came out last week in Latino decisions for the Texas poll, the second place goes to Bloomberg. Twenty-three percent of Latinos support Bloomberg. After that we see Biden and trailing off toward Warren.

So I think Biden is going to do well, better than I would have said a week ago. But the Bloomberg factor, Warren is also pretty strong here. What I`ve seen in polling out of Texas is, when you ask Texans what their second choice is after Pete Buttigieg, who has since dropped out of the race, it`s Warren. So we can`t count out Warren and Bloomberg and the Latino factor, all make me a little bit cautious in saying, OK, Biden`s got it, he`s on the straight and narrow here in Texas.

MADDOW:  Who`s been doing good organizing work in Texas? I mean, obviously, looking at the Sanders campaign, you can make an apples and apples comparison for him in 2016 versus him in 2020. One of the places he is most improved as a candidate is in his appeal to Latino voters.

We`re also seeing Sanders with substantial and sustained fund-raising. Nobody can compete with the self-funding billionaires. We know he`s got a big operation nationwide and that he`s had the presence in some ways in a lot of these states for four years. And we`ve seen his numbers get better with Latino voters.

Does that reflect that Sanders is doing a better job just in terms of pure organizing on the ground level at Texas -- in Texas?

SOTO:  Yes, and it`s quantity and quality. So, we have seen a very deep investment in the Latino community by the Sanders campaign across the country and obviously especially here in Texas. But it`s not just getting a bunch of people out here in Texas, it`s the cultural nuance. It`s not just being bilingual and having bilingual flyers up but by cultural flyers and understanding how to reach the Latino community.

Here in Texas, as nationally, Latinos` top concern is not immigration, it`s usually third or fourth. The top concern for Latinos is health care. Health care is Bernie Sanders` strongest issue.

It also so happens that Latinos are the least likely to be insured. And in Texas, we`re the state with the fewest insured folks. So, you put that all together and you see why the Sanders message resonates so well.

That being said, Bloomberg`s operation is really quite incredible. He launched his Latino-targeted outreach in El Paso about a month ago. Since then he has opened 19 field offices and has 180 folks on the ground here in Texas.

So, both Bloomberg and Sanders very, very, very deep on the ground. But the time that the Sanders campaign here has allowed him to really reach I think on a more nuances level to the Latino electorate.

MADDOW:  And meanwhile, the Biden campaign doing everything it can to build on the momentum.

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, assistant dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs in the University of Texas -- Professor, it`s great to have you here, thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

SOTO:  Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW:  All right. We are going to squeeze in a very quick break.

We are expecting Vice President and Senator Klobuchar -- 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN):  -- from beginning and volunteered every way beat the odds, and that got me up here right now on this stage in Dallas.

And the most amazing thing was getting to know so many people across the country. I know the vice president knows this as well. The Vietnam vet who sobbed as he talked about losing his son to mental illness. The rancher who had voted for Donald Trump, but after he saw him give a speech in front of that sacred wall with the CIA stars of those that lost their lives in the line of duty, decided he wasn`t going to do it again.

The immigrant mom, the immigrant mom who told me she worked two jobs all for her kids. And through it all I said to them, and I believe this now standing with the vice president, if you feel tired of the noise and the nonsense in our politics, and if you are tired of the extremes, you have a home with me. And I think you know you have a home with Joe Biden.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So many -- so many people joined us, supported us, as we carried forward with this simple but fundamental message. And that it is time for Americans to join hands instead of pointing fingers.

It is time -- it is time to turn back the division and the hate and the exclusions and the bitterness. And it is time to work together, to lift up those who are left out and to bring people with us instead of shoving them away.

I believe, and it`s the reason I`m up here, that we are never going to out- divide the divider in chief. We must as Americans dream bigger than that. We have to be better than that. Because if we spend the next four months dividing our party and going at each other, we will spend the next four years watching Donald Trump tear apart this country.

We need -- we need, Texans, to unite party and our country, and to do it not just with our words but with our actions. It is up to us, all of us, to put our country back together, to heal this country, and then to build something even greater. I believe we can do this together. And that is why today, I am ending my campaign and endorsing Joe Biden for president.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CHANTING, "LET`S GO JOE!")

OK, I have a few other things to say. Joe Biden has dedicated his life to fighting for people. Not for the rich and the powerful, but for the mom, for the farmer, for the DREAMer, for the builder, for the veteran. He can bring our country together and built that coalition of our fired-up Democratic base, and it is fired up, as well as independents and moderate Republicans, because we do not in our party want to just eke by a victory. We want to win big. And Joe Biden can do that.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

As you know from all the work he has done, that he will not just govern with his head -- he`s got a lot of good ideas -- but he will also govern with his heart. And I know that you know here in this big state of Texas that the heart of this country is bigger than the heart of the guy in the White House.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

It is -- it is time, America, for a president that understands that service is not about self-interest. It is about sacrifice.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

It is time for a president that represents all of America, including people in the middle of this country, at a time when we see people in extremes that are trying to drown out people. And most of all it is time, and this is what I feel so strongly about -- it is time for a president that will bring decency and dignity back to the White House.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CHANTING, "LET`S GO JOE!")

So at one of our debates, our many debates, I told the story --

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  All which of you won.

KLOBUCHAR:  I told the story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the beloved president. And when he died, they put his body on a train that went from Georgia to Washington, D.C. And the story is that people spontaneously stood along those train tracks to show their respect.

And a reporter came upon a guy, regular guy, just had his hat in his hands. And he was sobbing. And the reporter said to him, sir, do you mind me asking, did you know President Roosevelt? And the guy says, no, I didn`t know the president, but he knew me.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

He knew me.

And that is exactly what is missing right now in the White House. We have a president that has no empathy, that cannot put himself in the shoes of the people of this country. Well, guess who can do that?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And that is Joe Biden.

(CHANTING)

So if you -- if you out there are trying to figure out how you stretch your paycheck to pay for your rent or your mortgage or someone in your family is, you know Joe knows you, and he will fight for you.

If you are someone trying to decide how do you pay for the long-term care for your parents or the child care or college for your kids, Joe knows you and he will fight for you. And if you are trying to figure out how am I going to fill that prescription for insulin or some other prescription drugs or fill my refrigerator, Joe knows you, and he will fight for you.

So I cannot think of a better way to end my campaign than joining his. Because -- 

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Because, America, you gave an opportunity to the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, to the daughter of a teacher and a newspaper man. You gave me, Minnesota, the opportunity to be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And America, you gave me this incredible year to be a candidate for president of the United States. It is because you have faith in what we can achieve together. It is because of your undying belief that for all of us, the best is yet to come.

So, before I turn it over to our next president, I want to remind you of something really practical.

Tomorrow -- tomorrow is Super Tuesday. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. And, Texas, you are one big Super Tuesday state.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

But there are 14 Super Tuesday states, including my home state of Minnesota. So what I want all of you to do is vote for Joe. Vote for decency, vote for dignity, vote for a heart for our country. That is what he will bring to the White House.

And with that, I give you the next president of the United States, Joe Biden!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CHANTING, "LET`S GO JOE")

BIDEN:  Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well, hello, Dallas!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

As my mom would say, I apologize for my back.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

But you have my back, and I promise, I`ll have yours.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Folks, Amy, thank you, thank you, thank you. You know, I want to make clear something. I can`t tell you how much Amy`s endorsement, the senator`s endorsement means to me. It`s great to see her family, to see John and her brilliant daughter Abigail who is with her.

And from the moment Amy Klobuchar announced for president in that snowstorm, it wasn`t hard to see she had the grit and determination to do anything she set her mind to. You know -- Amy knows how to get things done. She really does.

That`s why Amy has never lost and she`s not losing now. You`re going to hear a lot from Amy Klobuchar for a long, long time.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

That`s right. She`s one of the most effective senators in the United States senate. Her campaign was all about what we could get done, how to make America better every day in simple straightforward ways. Folks, the story that Amy tells about that person who Franklin Roosevelt, as the train went by, that she talked about, she believes. And that notion that, you know, he didn`t know -- I didn`t know the president, but he knew me.

Well, let me tell you something. It`s everything that Amy`s about -- nobody who`s ever dealt with her doesn`t think that she knows them. And you know what, isn`t that everything that`s missing with this president today?

CROWD:  Yes!

BIDEN:  You know, Amy spoke of something that I`ve made central in my campaign for president as well. To compete and complete the total lack of empathy and decency in this current president, he cannot stay there. He cannot stay. We all know it.

There is no sense of decency, honor, the way he ridicules people, the way he demeans people, the way he talks about and demonizes people who are different.

The fact that he`s so self-absorbed, he doesn`t seem to care about anything, anything else in this country.

Folks, I mean, I knew, I believed he wasn`t going to be a very good president, but I have to admit to you, with Donald Trump I didn`t have any idea just how much it was going to be always about Donald Trump. You know? And it`s having a corrosive impact. It`s having a corrosive impact on our children.

Folks, we are already seeing reports of children in school mimicking the behavior of the president. A large piece in "The Washington Post" talked about the way in which teachers are finding kids are bullying other kids and quoting the president, using the president`s language, singling out immigrants for ridicule and harassment. What in God`s name did we expect? What did we think was going to happen when this behavior became so clear?

When teachers try to deal with this kind of behavior, is it any surprise that the kids would say, well, that`s what the president does.

Apparently, "The Washington Post" article laid out a school and talked about them saying to the teachers, that`s what the president does. You know, our children are listening. It`s having a profound impact, profound impact on our society.

I`ve said many times in this campaign, this nation will be able to overcome four years of Donald Trump. But if this man is re-elected, he will fundamentally alter who we are as a nation for better than a generation to come, and we cannot let that happen.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So, Amy, thank you, thank you for being here tonight. Thank you for your friendship. And thank you for your support.

You know, I want to also thank you for the voice you to supply in this race. Thank you for your endorsement. I`ll truly honored I`m truly honored to have it.

And, folks, I wasn`t joking. Amy won all the debates.

I`m sure glad I wasn`t on stage debating you again, Amy.

Folks, you know, just a few days ago, the press and pundits declared this campaign dead. But South Carolina had something to say about it.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And tomorrow, Texas and Minnesota and the rest of Super Tuesday states. You`re going to have a lot to say about it.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And when you do, we`ll be on our way to defeating Donald Trump in his second term.

And my message to everyone, every person who has been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

We need you. We want you. And there`s a place in this campaign for you. So join us.

Go to JoeBiden.com. Sign up, volunteer, contribute if you can. We need you and we are going to do this.

Look, the decisions the Democratic Party will make all across this country tomorrow and Democratic voters in the next few weeks are going to determine what this party stands for, what we believe, and what we will be able to get done.

If Democrats want a nominee to beat Donald Trump, keep Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House, making sure we take back the United States Senate and the Texas state legislature then join us.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

The Democrats want a nominee who will build on Obamacare, not scrap it. Take on the NRA and the gun manufacturers, protect our children. We`ll stand up for the middle class, not raise their taxes and make promises that can`t be kept. Then join us.

Now, Democrats want a nominee who is a Democrat.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

A lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat. Then join us.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

We can either win big or lose big. That`s a choice.

We need to build a coalition and a legacy of one of the most successful presidents of our lifetime, Barack Obama.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And we`ll do this by bringing the country together. That`s what has united Amy and me all along. The idea we have to unite this country.

Remember how we were both made fun of by our opposition, saying we were going to unite the country, saying it can`t be done. We refuse to accept the notion that there will be a constant war that Republicans are our enemies. They`re our opposition.

Look, folks, this time we have to bring around everybody, every race, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, our economic situation, Democrats, Republicans, independents of every stripe. And that`s why I`m so excited about Amy`s endorsement of our campaign. She shares that view.

And Mayor Pete who endorsed our campaign earlier, I thank him as well.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

You know, we now have over 1,500 endorsements including 36 congressmen, mayors, elected officials joining the campaign in just the last two days. Most Americans don`t want the promise of a revolution. They want results. They want a revival of decency, honor and character.

They want to give all Americans access to real opportunity, to have affordable and available health care for all Americans, an environment that`s clean air and clean water and education system that funds our schools, pays our teachers a decent wage.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Makes community college free indeed for the overwhelming, overwhelming burden of student debt. Folk, we can do this and pay for it.

MADDOW:  We are watching Vice President Joe Biden at a rally in Dallas, Texas. Our coverage of tonight`s live political events continues now as Lawrence O`Donnell takes the helm.

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