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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 5/19/22

Guests: Jackie Alemany, Greg Bluestein, Eugene Daniels, Neal Katyal, Matthew Dowd, Juanita Tolliver


The Jan. 6th committee has questions for Rep. Loudermilk after learning he led a Capitol tour one day before the insurrection. Meantime, all eyes are looking ahead to Tuesday`s primaries in Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia as votes are still being counted in this week`s primaries. Plus, Oklahoma passes the nation`s most restrictive abortion ban. And a new documentary pulls back the curtain on legendary comedian George Carlin.



DAMON HEWITT, LAWYERS` COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW: I said earlier that democracy is a promise. Democracy is also a choice. We have a choice when it comes to election administration. We can either strengthen democracy and make it easier to vote and administer elections, or we can make it harder. As policymakers you can make a choice, a choice in favor of democracy.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Attorney Damon Hewitt gets tonight`s "LAST WORD." THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the new questions from the January 6 investigation, including whether a sitting member of Congress led a tour at the Capitol just one day before the insurrection.

Plus, the next key primary now just days away, another Trump endorsement facing another test, with some in the GOP fuming over his picks.

And then the comedy of George Carlin, possibly more relevant today than ever before. My interview with Judd Apatow and Kelly Carlin on her father`s legacy, as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Thursday night.

Good evening. Once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. 173 days until the midterm elections. Tonight, the January 6 committee wants to talk to another Republican congressman. The panel has asked Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk to come in for an interview about a capitol tour that it says took place on January 5, the day before the riot. The Capitol was closed at the time because of the pandemic.

In a letter to the Congressman the committee writes this, based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee`s possession, we believe you`ll have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5. The Committee adds it has evidence directly contradicting claims from Republicans who insisted that security video showed no tours before the attack.

Allegations about those tours were made just days after the riot by Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. Here`s what she said way back then.


REP. MIKIE SHERRILL: I also intend to see that those members of Congress who embedded him those members of Congress who had groups coming through the capitol that I saw on January 5, and reconnaissance for the next day. There`s members of Congress that incited this violent crowd. Those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy. I`m going to say that they`re held accountable and if necessary, ensure that they don`t serve in Congress.


RUHLE: Late today, Congressman Loudermilk responded to the committee he said he brought constituents into a House office building on the fifth, but added they never entered the Capitol. He also asked her Capitol Police to release security tapes of that day. He had comes just as Axios reports former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr is in talks to cooperate with the January 6 panel. And POLITICO says House investigators have obtained official White House photographs, including some from that very day.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump will face his next big primary test in Georgia on Tuesday. He`s back and former Senator David Perdue, who`s running to unseat current Governor Brian Kemp. Purdue is trailing big time in the polls. And NBC News reports Trump seems to have given up on supporting him.

Tonight, Perdue was asked about this new poll that showed him down about 30 points. And here`s what he said.


DAVID PERDUE (R) GEORGIA CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: We`re going to win Tuesday back here and empty. We`re not doing 30 points.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t win, is that an indictment on your focus on the 2020 election in the former press?

PERDUE: I don`t think so at all.


RUHLE: With that, let`s bring in our experts. A trio of MSNBC contributors. Eugene Daniels, White House correspondent for Politico. Jackie Alemany, Congressional investigations reporter for The Washington Post, and Greg Bluestein, political reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He is also the author of "Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power."

Madame Alemany, to you first, how big of a development is this committee`s request to meet with Loudermilk?

JACKIE ALEMANY, THE WASHINGTON POST CONGRESSIONAL LINVESTIGATIONS REPORTER: It certainly is a big development. And I think that the revelations that Chairman Thompson and Liz Cheney outlined in their request calling in Barry Loudermilk today, certainly raise some eyebrows. First of all, why would House GOP lawmakers wait until this long to I think acknowledge that they were giving tours after previously saying that, you know, they had gone through all of the footage and that nothing had raised any alarms.

And then also now the question is what does the panel know exactly. Obviously, they`ve cited that they have this evidence. There`s a number of ways that investigators who have proven to be very savvy throughout the course of this investigation could have obtained it and what does it go exactly.


Loudermilk claimed in his statement today that it was just a family and that that family didn`t then breach the Capitol. But all of those claims are still not fact checked. We don`t know the full extent of what exactly the committee has.

But we do know that if they did go out on a limb here to make a request to a sitting member of Congress, they obviously have some evidence that that essentially points to what is the central argument they`re trying to make and are giving this Congressman the opportunity to respond to what they found.

RUHLE: Greg, Congressman Loudermilk is not someone many people know much about who is he? How close is he to the former president?

GREG BLUESTEIN, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION POLITICAL REPORTER : Yes, you know, of all the members of the Georgia Republican delegation that we at AJC were scrutinizing for their role in the January 6 riot. Congressman Loudermilk was not high on the list at all. He challenged the counting of electoral ballots for Joe Biden on January 6, but he`s kept a lower profile than his colleagues like say, Marjorie Taylor Greene or Jody Hice.

He`s in a safely Republican district. He`s a former state lawmaker. He lives out in Atlanta`s northern exurbs. So he doesn`t really face any true, either primary challenge or challenge in the November election. But this is going to bring a lot more attention to a lawmaker who doesn`t mind staying out of the spotlight.

RUHLE: Eugene, we`re getting ready for the Committee`s public hearings with Congress already so divided and so dug in, what are the big revelations that we`re expecting to get? How are they going to impact Congress?

EUGENE DANIELS, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, at this point, we`re hearing that the committee wants to hear from all of these other members of Congress that already set the pipe, right, to peening the leader of Republicans in the House that sets up a huge fight, it sets up a precedent, first of all, and that`s what Republicans have already promised lots of investigations if they were to win November.

And so that`s about what we know is that they`re going to continue to split apart, it`s hard to imagine that things can get worse on Capitol Hill with how members of Congress see each other on both sides, especially Democrats, who see Republicans as anti-democratic at this point, right? And see them as not participating in this investigation as making that even worse, right.

And we talk about Loudermilk. And folks wanting to know, why did you tell us that you whether it was a family or not gay people towards on the fifth as Mikie Sherrill was talking about there. All of these things are probably going to come out because this committee has a huge task in front of them, and that -- they have spent months and months investigating and trying to keep leaks out our reporters, Jackie has been very good about getting what they can out of that come -- out of that committee.

But at the same time, the Republicans have spent a year and change whitewashing what happened that day. And so that`s what the American people have been told. And so this committee, their job now was to make the American people pay attention and hear the truth of what happened that day.

RUHLE: They`ve also spent months and months interviewing hundreds and hundreds of people. And they`re only getting to Bill Barr now. He`s a huge name. Why now Jackie?

ALEMANY: Yes, Stephanie, actually a source told us just this week that the committee was going after a few big fish to wrap up this phase of the investigation before they head to public hearings. That`s possible for a number of reasons.

But the -- primarily because the committee might have wanted to collect enough investigation evidence throughout the course of their investigation so that when they would bring in certain people they had already sort of a road map of we knew you did this on this day. Please respond to this. They`ve taken a very prosecutorial approach throughout the years long investigation. They`ve gotten -- they`ve gleaned a ton of evidence from low level staffers, people who have really been able to fill in a lot of the gaps that people like White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows and those who were closest to the former president and have bigger names than these lesser known staffers have.

The other reason is potentially that these negotiations unfortunately, just take some time. We`re not quite sure how long Bill Barr is attorney has been negotiating with the committee about the terms of his interview, but it`s certainly an important one, especially as the committee has been trying -- saying repeatedly that they are really trying to paint this full picture of the President`s mindset on January 6, to determine if this was in fact a dereliction of duty and whether or not he really worked to defraud the American people.

And Bill Barr is going to be essential to that as he knew Trump pretty well worked with him throughout the course of the administration, and also quit because the former president kept insisting that he had won falsely insisting that he had won the 2020 election. Joe Biden had and was furious When Bill Barr refused to say the same that was in December.


RUHLE: Eugene people get really pumped up when they hear that some of these Trump folks could potentially talk to the committee. But that doesn`t mean Barr is going to any -- to give any good information. The only time we`ve seen him share noteworthy info is when he`s trying to sell a book for himself.

DANIELS: That`s true. You know what, one of the things that Democrats have been yearning for, right, is for four or five, six years at this point is like how do they take Donald Trump down. I`m talking about Democrats out in the world, right voters, Democratic voters, not here on Capitol Hill, though there are many of them that fit that bill as well.

But what Jackie is saying is so true. At this point, if they`re saying that in, you know, in a month, we`re going to start seeing these primetime hearings, that means that a lot of the things that they wanted to know, they probably know, and so if they even bring Bill Barr in. It is probably unlikely he`s going to tell them something that they haven`t already heard of, as they`ve done these hundreds of different interviews after they`ve looked at all of these, you know, thousands and thousands of documents, and emails and conversations that they`ve had over the last few months.

And so, we should caution people who are getting so excited about this committee hearing that all of a sudden a bunch of people are going to go to jail, that is unlikely to happen. Congress doesn`t have the ability to throw people in jail, right? That is going to depend on what the DOJ does with some of the information they`re told.

There`s possibly set in -- possibly some information sharing being negotiated between the committee and between the DOJ. And so that`s what people should be focusing on what is the DOJ going to do and these committees. The committee hearings are going to be about what`s the story? What does the minute to minute they`re trying to reconstruct every single second of what President Trump was doing that day, who he was talking to and like you said, getting into his mind of how he was acting. And on January 6.

RUHLE: Greg, let`s jump on down to your state of Georgia, the big primary taking place on Tuesday. NBC reports, the following Republican unease is growing ahead of the next big contest on the calendar Georgia. In no other state has Trump`s heavy hand so divided the party. Explain this to us what`s at stake?

BLUESTEIN: Yes, I think that`s 100 percent accurate. Donald Trump has made Georgia maybe the biggest test of his influence this entire election campaign season. He`s issued 10 endorsements here, and only a few of them are shoo-ins (ph) only a few of them are incumbents who are set to win.

Some appear headed toward the fee that includes former Senator David Perdue, as we mentioned, is going after his challenging Governor Brian Kemp, others are facing uphill battles against entrenched incumbents or they`re in wide open races, that polling just doesn`t really show any sort of front runner in some of these contests.

Georgia could end up amounting to a significant blow to Donald Trump`s efforts to remake the Republican Party in his image.

RUHLE: Then what is Trump going to do in the state of Georgia? When and if Kemp advances? He hates his guts?

BLUESTEIN: Yes, it`s not like he`s going to next Wednesday and suddenly start saying that he you know, I can`t wrong all this. Yes, exactly. And so it`s going to be a struggle for Brian Kemp to continue to navigate that because Donald Trump himself has even said he`d rather see Stacey Abrams as governor than Brian Kemp. That was at a rally in Georgia past September.

So it`s going to continue to complicate the Republican Party. But look, Brian kept wins as big as the polls show. He`s winning. And that`s not a foregone conclusion. But if he does, he`ll be able to say he has a mandate from Republican voters here in Georgia.

RUBLE: I cannot imagine Donald Trump out there canvassing for Stacey Abrams, but you never know. Eugene, you`ve been reporting on how concerned Democrats have been about the midterms. Talk to us about the position they`re in right now because a lot has changed even in the last week.

DANIELS: Yes, absolutely. They have been for weeks and weeks getting really antsy about what`s going to happen in November, right as the primary season has been heating up. You see New York there -- in New York as the districts are being redrawn and pitting congressman against congresswoman, on the same side, incumbents against incumbents.

So they`re getting antsy, and most importantly, what they`re getting antsy about is that they don`t feel like they have enough to sell to the American people. I was talking to a Democrat today, who was saying that it`s not just that the policies haven`t passed, right. It`s not just that build back better hasn`t happened.

It is also that they haven`t figured out a message and a consistent message, right? You see President Biden go out on the road a lot more nowadays. That was something that Cedric Richmond who is now a former senior adviser to President Biden was telling me that they wanted to do they have to tell their story.

President Biden has gone out and has been doing that, but it`s not breaking through. It has been up it`s been over a year of allowing Republicans to kind of figure out what the narrative of November was going to be.


And so now Democrats are running an uphill battle. And so they`re looking around and they`re saying we can`t just tell voters that we did the ARP, that it was infrastructure, because voters are very much in what have you done for me lately, Mo Janet Jackson. They`re asking what is going on right at this moment. And they`re not seeing a lot of action.

And despite the fact that it`s a 50-50 Senate, it`s a House that is, you know, there`s a very tight majority there. Voters don`t care about that. What they see is that you have a president who`s a Democrat, you have a house that is run by Democrats and the Senate that`s run by Democrats. They don`t care about the filibuster. And Democrats haven`t been able to break through all of that.

RUHLE: Well, then Joe Biden could get up and channel Janet Jackson and saying to voters, it`s all for you. Because what are Republicans doing voting against trying to help solve anything around the baby formula shortage, voting against trying to do anything to help with the price of gas out there?

So while Republicans keep pointing the finger? Why don`t Democrats turn around and say to Republicans, what have you done?

DANIELS: That`s exactly right. I mean, Jen Psaki when she was press secretary was saying this little bit what -- all they`re doing is complaining. Well, when you`re in the minority, it`s much easier to do that. You don`t have to prove that you`re going to do anything policy wise, right. You can sit around and throw stones that is going to change. Republicans get in charge. What are you doing then?

But what matters is how voters are feeling. And they don`t feel that President Biden and Democrats are doing anything despite the fact that that`s not true. There`s a lot of legislation that has been passed. Not all very fancy, not all of it getting a lot of attention, but an infrastructure build that was bipartisan, figuring out COVID and all of that the roll up that happened there. They`re doing things voters just aren`t hearing and seeing it enough.

And I will say President Biden has kind of changed his tone a little a little bit, less of the unity Biden and more talking about like ultra MAGA Republicans attacking Republicans in a way that folks had been wanting to see. That`s going to continue. I`m told by sources in the White House whether that changes voter`s minds, OK, you -- you`re telling me you`re fighting for me, I`m seeing you go out there and say that does is that something that changes the voter`s minds, that`s what they`re betting on.

RUHLE: He may consider discussing prescription drug prices or looking over at Ukraine. Remember, former President Trump wanted to leave NATO. Imagine where that would leave all of us now given the situation in Ukraine. The United States and its NATO allies have been working in tandem. And now we`ve got more countries that are looking to join the team.

Eugene Daniels, Jackie Alemany, and Greg Bluestein, thank you so much.

Coming up, a deep red state advances the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. Neal Katyal is here to explain how it goes even further than the Texas law that it`s modeled after. And later, we had to another key primary. Our friend Matt Dowd will break down why he thinks Trump`s unfavorable rating may be just as important as Joe Biden`s. The 11th Hour just getting underway on a very important Thursday night.



RUHLE: Tonight the state of Oklahoma is just a governor signature away from having the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. The state legislature passed a measure today that bans nearly all abortions from the moment of fertilization. If signed into law, the ban goes into effect immediately. And Republican governor Kevin Stitt has already said he wants Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country.

As the New York Times points out, quote, the bill allows private individuals to sue abortion providers and anyone who aids or bets an abortion.

So let`s discuss and bring in our dear friend Neal Katyal, Department of Justice veteran and former acting Solicitor General during the Obama administration. He has argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Neal, help us out. This is serious. This law goes even further than the one in Texas. And that`s what it was modeled after, because so can you walk us through it?

NEAL KATYAL, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR: Yes, so this kind of law and more is what the Justice Alito draft opinion that was leaked a couple of weeks ago, if that becomes the law, this is what`s going to happen in states like Oklahoma, and more.

So Alito law is about a Mississippi law restricting abortion to 15 weeks. But the reasoning in that draft opinion that he wrote, permits this Oklahoma law, which Steph, as you say, is easily the most restrictive law in the country. It`s basically a flat ban on abortion, coupled with a Texas style vigilante provision.

So if you`re anyone, if you`re in Oklahoma, you can sue someone and get $10,000, you get a bounty, if you can say, hey, that person is helping facilitate an abortion. And you know, I don`t know where that ends, teachers who help a student, a gas station that fills up the gas to their car, perhaps even librarians, and it might even apply to someone who gives money to someone in Oklahoma to travel across state lines, say to California to try and get an abortion there.

RUHLE: So Roe versus Wade has not yet been overturned. Let`s say the governor signs it tomorrow, then what?

KATYAL: So we`re in this weird holding pattern where we`ve seen this draft opinion, it`s not the law of the land yet. If it becomes the law of the land, then the Oklahoma law could be tried someone could try and challenge it in a court but it`s probably not going anywhere because the Alito opinion draft is so radical, so radical Steph, and saying all these kinds of laws are OK. Even a nationwide ban on abortion. Should the Republicans take the House and Senate would be permissible it looks like under the Alito draft opinion.

And you know, Steph, this is not about protecting life which is what Oklahoma`s saying.


It`s obviously about a war against women. I mean, this is from a state Oklahoma that ranks 44th in education, 41st And women in poverty, 42nd in general child well-being and stuff like that. And, you know, forget about children. If you just want to talk about infants, you know, 200 Republicans today voting against the bill to use the baby formula shortage. You know, it`s just -- this is -- it`s not what they`re saying that`s about.

RUHLE: Democrats, Neal Katyal just gave you your campaign messaging, write it down, post it up somewhere.

I also want to ask you about this new news we learned about the January 6,investigation. Axios reporting that Bill Barr is in talks to cooperate with the committee. What kind of case could the former AG helped make against Trump and his allies? And I realize this is hypothetical because we`ve seen no evidence that he`s looking to help anyone but himself currently, and formerly Trump.

KATYAL: Yes, no, I mean, that is the Bill Barr and oh, I mean, I`m glad to see him cooperating, unlike most other members of the Trump administration who scurry like rats when they hear the words testimony under oath.

So, you know, and this is the guy who evidently said, according to his, I think his own book that he called it BS when all this a big lie this election stuff that Trump was trying to, you know, push back in December after he lost the election.

But this is also a guy, Steph, who`s just known for disassembling for, you know, he`s Clinton asking his ability to say what is. You know, his characterization of the Mueller report was so bad if one of my students wrote that is what is her law exam, I wouldn`t give it a passing grade.

And so, you know, could he shed some light as Jackie Alemany was saying a moment ago, and color as to Trump`s state of mind? Absolutely he could but this is a guy who`s never really shown any inclination to actually tell the truth. He`s always playing word games in his evasive.

RULE: Goodie, sure, most likely not. You think the committee is going to hear from this Congressman Loudermilk?

KATYAL: I think Loudermilk will probably take the Fifth Amendment. I mean, this guy has pants looked like they`re on fire. And as a lawyer as fire lawyer advising him, I never want a client to take the stand if you can`t trust that client. And a guy like this has zero credibility. I mean, lying about an election and who won it is bad enough, but lying about whether you give tours.

I mean, that`s just boneheaded. I mean, you know, of course it was going to be found out. This guy went and complained and filed an ethics complaint against the Democrats saying, oh, there`s no evidence I gave a tour. Well, sure, looks like there is now.

RUHLE: Well, Mr. Katyal, I don`t know what`s going on with your pants right now. But I can tell you, you are on fire this evening. Neal Katyal, thank you for joining. Always good to see you.

When we come back, Republicans, they blame the government and as the Biden administration for more help to fight the baby formula shortage. So why have almost all of them voted against the plan to do just that, when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




CHARLIE SYKES, THE BULWARK EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Not only is involvement in what we regard as a seditious insurrection, not a negative in Republican primaries, in many cases, it`s seen as a plus. And Donald Trump and many Republican voters apparently insist on that as a litmus test.


RUHLE: But as we mentioned, that litmus test is said to be fueling concern within the GOP that the more radical primary candidates will end up hurting the party come November. Some of that tension between electability and pleasing the base was on full display in Tuesday`s Pennsylvania primaries.

POLITICO reporting quote, by backing both Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano, Trump managed to upset nearly everybody rank-and-file Republican voters who disliked the celebrity doctor, as well as state GOP insiders worried that their gubernatorial nominee cannot win in November.

So let`s discuss. Back with us tonight, Juanita Tolliver, a veteran political strategist to progressive candidates and causes and MSNBC political contributor Matthew Dowd, also former George W. Bush strategist and founder of Country Over Party.

Mr. Dowd, I don`t really get this, we keep hearing Oh, my gosh, Republicans are really worried that these candidates that have radical views are moving forward. When was the last time you saw a moderate, reasonable Republican get celebrated or even any respect within the party or from Donald Trump?

MATTHEW DOWD, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: They haven`t is over the past five years. They`ve either jumped off the ship voluntarily, or they`ve been kicked out, or they`re been tried to kick out. Look what`s happened to Liz Cheney. Liz Cheney`s numbers in the Republican primary voters are matched Joe Biden`s numbers and the Republican primary voters.

So, you know, people like Kinzinger decide not to run all of these folks. And so there`s no room left in this. And I think it`s very important for us to sort of stop with this sort of dynamic of Trump versus non-Trump, parts of the party. The party has become, it`s moved past Donald Trump. As if Donald Trump gave electricity to Frankenstein.

The monster woke up and the monster now is running way past Donald Trump and going down the road and it`s on its own and that`s the Republican primary, that`s the Republican base today it has -- it tangentially related to Donald Trump but it is completely a monster of its own now, and I don`t think anyone in Washington or any Republican leader can control it. And that`s what I think Republicans are most worried about.


RUHLE: OK, but here`s the thing, Juanita, we said the same thing about Donald Trump in 2016. He`s too far out there. Democrats had been on let`s run against him. He`s got no shot of winning. And then he did. The Democrats need to be careful what they wish for with these extreme candidates.

JUANITA TOLLIVER, PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I think so because we know what these extreme candidates they`re going to deliver on their promises. When you see the clip of Mastriano laughing about 20 Electoral College votes on election night, he means it. We know based on what he did as a state legislator and trying to throw out votes and replacing electors that he will follow through on that.

And while I agree with Matt that these extremists are going beyond Trump, they`re still inspired by Trump and still moving, just like Trump with the same playbook. And so while they`re going to go to the nth degree, he`s happy about that. That`s not a bad thing in his eye. And that`s why he`s going to keep endorsing folks like them.

But as much as that political piece went into the (INAUDIBLE) of county chairs and GOP officials in Pennsylvania, I don`t think it`s going to be enough for them to turn away from these candidates. They`re going to still turn out for them. They`re going to still vote for them, even though Democrats will do some efforts to offer them an on ramp -- off ramp from the Republican Party. I feel like they`re going to stay with the Republican Party, and they`re just going to go along for the ride, because it`s all comes down to power and control for them.

RUHLE: Matt, historically speaking, midterms should be about the President and the party in power. That`s Joe Biden, you say come November, it`s going to be as important Donald Trump`s unfavorability as Biden`s, why?

DOWD: Well, it`s an interesting dynamic that`s happening. And this has never happened before, which is if you look at the polling today, there`s a divergence now that has developed in among voters and the divergence is people that dislike Joe Biden, but are voting democratic. And so the poll, a poll that came out today, had Joe Biden underwater by 16 points, but Democrats winning the generic ballot by five.

And I think what`s happening is as unpopular as Joe Biden is it to a degree by two times, Donald Trump is unpopular, and I think the Democrats in my view, and this would be my recommendation should completely brand all the Republicans as this -- the people that are a danger to democracy, danger to our rights, danger to our freedoms, they care nothing about you. This is -- they`ve gone off completely on their own. They`re a 20 percent of the country or 30 percent of country that wants to run your life, and whatever way they deem is the right way.

And I think if Democrats run that campaign, they`re going to overcome this normal midterm problem, because right now, the voters I would be concentrating on are the people that dislike both Donald Trump and dislike Joe Biden, and those voters today are very, very available to the Democratic Party.

RUHLE: Well, how about Democrats point the finger at Republicans as the party that doesn`t want to help babies, Juanita, for days for the last week. Republicans have been railing against Biden for not doing enough to address the baby formula shortage. Yet today, 192 of those very same Republicans voted against a bill aimed at helping the shortage. I don`t get it. Are they just trying to help Democrats come up with campaign slogans?

TOLLIVER: I think it`s all rooted in the fact that Republicans don`t care about anyone. They just want to blame Democrats for as much struggling as people are experiencing. So, any effort they can take to perpetuate that struggle to perpetuate this scarcity of formula. They`re going to take.

You`re right, Stephanie, they rushed to any microphone and any camera they can get in front of to blame Biden and Democrats. And then when the time came for solution, when the time came to send resources to address this crisis, when the time came to make those votes, they did nothing. They voted no, they voted against it, because they want to see parents struggling. They want to see babies without what they need. They want to see everyone in this country in an uncomfortable position. Also, they can play the blame game because that`s their only political move at this point.

But the reality is Democrats are delivering. I need to hear on top of the message that Matt just laid out about the threat of Republicans how Democrats are meeting people`s needs in real times celebrate every single wins, celebrate when we see baby formula back on shelf and say that you did it and you did it alone. Because you know, just like with the American Rescue Plan, Republicans will vote no, but then try to take credit when the results start happening.

RUHLE: OK, but then if Democrats are doing the work, which clearly they are, Matt, do they need to do a heck of a lot better messaging that running that victory lap and telling America what they did?


DOWD: They absolutely do. Democrats are really bad at coming down and defining a message and being and being completely disciplined on it, discipline from Biden down to a state rep candidate. They all need to be saying in broad strokes the same thing. And campaigns are always about values. They`re always about fundamental values. And you have to discuss every single policy as associated with a fundamental value.

Republicans are way better at that and have been better at that. And Democrats, if they`re going to save our country and they`re going to save our democracy, they dang well better get better at being disciplined and sticking to one or two messages and driving it home.

RUHLE: They dang well might need to call you, Mr. Dowd. Juanita Tolliver, Matthew Dowd, thank you both so much.

Coming up. His unique and often scathing take on politics hits harder than ever. 14 years after his death. We`ll George Carlin`s daughter Kelly and director Judd Apatow as we preview HBOs new documentary "George Carlin`s American Dream" when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




PATTON OSWALT, COMEDIAN: It`s like he detransformed into who he actually was. And that`s that great moment that every comedian wants to get to, you know, took me a long time to get to it where the person that you are offstage is who you are onstage.


RUHLE: Look at that New Yorker. For 50 years, George Carlin was one of this nation`s leading comedians. He died in 2008. But clips from his performances are now going viral. His comments as relevant today, as they were when he first said them.

Carlin once said he liked to find where we draw the line, then take his audience over it and make them glad they joined him. He was at heart and entertainer but he also wanted to make us think. The two part documentary "George Carlin`s American Dream" debuts tomorrow night on HBO.

I sat down with Carlin`s daughter Kelly and the documentaries co-director Judd Apatow and began by asking them what calling means to comedy today.


JUDD APATOW, CO-DIRECTOR "GEORGE CARLIN`S AMERICAN DREAM: Well, I think you know, he`s on our Mount Rushmore. He was a critical thinker. He like to break things down. I think he distrusted power, and was looking out for the BS everywhere. And then so many comedians learn how to do comedy from listening to his albums and watching him.

GEORGE CARLIN, COMEDIAN: That`s the whole meaning of life isn`t trying to find a place for your stuff. That`s all your houses. Your house is just a place for your stuff. If you didn`t have so much goddamn stuff, you wouldn`t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. That`s all your houses. It`s a pile of stuff with a cover on it.

RUHLE: He had nine lives. He had ups, he had downs. But his fan base only grew and his art changed. Is it because he was always living his truth?

KELLY CARLIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER "GEORGE CARLIN`S AMERICAN DREAM": Yes, absolutely. You know, as the culture changes, he was an observer. That was his thing. He was a news junkie. News was on 24/7. He was watching the culture, watching what was going on. What`s the conversation? What are we being pushed up against? What`s -- What are we pushing up against?

And so he followed that. And I think people who don`t evolve throughout their career as an artist or a comedian, they`re stuck in what works. Oh, this works. This is great. I`m just going to do this forever. And then they do but their audience gets older and older and dwindles with them.

In my dad`s audience, he always had everyone from nine-year olds to 90-year olds, so he had this cross generational thing going on right away. And he was always the guy who was saying something on stage, that you would sit there and go, Oh, wow. I`ve never even thought of it that way before or even thought of that thing. So he was always pulling us forward in some way as thinkers.

RUHLE: Then over time, as his comedy grew darker and it did. Was he trying to be funny? Or was it more of a social commentary, even a call to action?

APATOW: I think it is in his contract he would structured where he would, you know, do silly routines. And a lot of times, he would land on a big rant, and some of them are less funny. But they`re kind of exciting to watch, because he`s really laying out his philosophy.

CARLIN: Was so self-important. So self-important, everybody`s going to save something now, save the tree, save to bees, save will whale, save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all save the planet. What? People kidding me. Save the planet. We don`t even know how to take care of ourselves yet.

K. CARLIN: I think the darkness came from the fact that we weren`t ready to hear it. He was seeing it. He saw where this road was going of America. He saw the greed. He knows where it ends up. And he had to share that. And he always tried to make it funny in some way. But we as the audience were like, I don`t know if I`m ready to hear this yet. And that`s where the darkness came.

RUHLE: But wasn`t that part of his comedy where he said people don`t want the truth. They don`t want reality.

APATOW: Yes. Well, I think I look at his material. And, you know, he said, we know when you scratch a cynic, you find a disappointed idealist that I think he looked at America and the world is a place where we`ve been given this incredible opportunity to take care of this beautiful world and that people were very short sighted. And you know, he has a great routine he talks about the Earth is so gorgeous but we decided to build malls and just walk around in them.


He just saw this is ridiculous and hurtful to the planet and each other.


RUHLE: Then how jarring was it to put this project together? And when you think about all these issues he was warning us about. And now we`re real time living some pretty terrible consequences. What was that like for you to watch that, and process that with where we are?

APATOW: Well, I think that`s why he`s popular now. Because when these videos go around of his bits. There aren`t videos of other comedians. It`s not like a lot of George Carlin videos going around. And for other people, it`s just him.

I mean, he has the defining bit about abortion, about money and politics, about the environment, about education. And it`s pretty wild that people said, he`s so dark, and now you look at it and you go, maybe it wasn`t dark enough.

CARLIN: There`s a reason education sucks. It`s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It`s never going to get any better. Don`t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don`t want that.

I`m talking about the real owners now. The real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice, you doubt.

APATOW: He said, you know, you only have the rights that they want you to think you have. And now people are losing their rights. And he also said, We elected these people, it`s our fault. It`s all our fault. We are uneducated, we`re not involved, and we`re not making the change.

RUHLE: That is what you want people to take away from this film is that George Carlin wasn`t on anybody`s team. He wasn`t on the right. He wasn`t on the left. He was just on the individuals.

APATOW: Well, the movie ends, it goes to black and then you hear what he would say at the end of his show. And he would he would always say, Take care of yourself, take care of each other. And I think that was the point of all of it.

CARLIN: He was a man who cared for those around him. And that`s what was breaking his heart so much was that we stopped. Or maybe we were never able to in this country to really care for everybody equally. And I think that`s all he ever wanted was for everyone to have a shot to be seen as a human being who deserves every shot that everyone else gets.


RUHLE: Amen to that. Many thanks to Kelly Carlin and Judd Apatow. The new documentary "George Carlin`s American Dream" premieres tomorrow night on HBO. And after that, you can come right back here to MSNBC at 10:00 p.m. Eastern to check out "Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets" the story of Reddit traders who tried to take down Wall Street. I promise it`s amazing. I got to work on this documentary. You`ll love it.

But next, something we do not hear nearly enough about Ukrainian refugees and a happy story with a little help from some American strangers when THE 11TH HOUR continues.



RUHLE: If you know anything about me or this show, you know I would definitely have time for this last thing before we go tonight, strangers helping strangers. You know we like to take the advice of the wise Fred Rogers around here. And in troubled times, look for the helpers. While our own Julia Ainsley has the story of one American couple going the extra mile to help Ukrainian refugees.


JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tampa couple Roya and Tony Tyson weren`t used to a noisy house.

(on camera): Had you ever done anything like this before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never. We are two professionals, no children.

AINSLEY (voice-over): Then last month, the couple welcomed Ukrainian refugees, Yulia (ph), husband Sergi (ph), and son`s 11-year-old Max and three-year-old Mark into their house, turning the quiet home of two and to a full house of six.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were seeing all these people that were just fleeing. So we researched a church that were matching the host families with the refugees who said You know, we have room for two or three can they say we have a family of four. And we said all righty then.

AINSLEY: Yulia`s (ph) family fled Ukraine when Russian bombing started and enter the U.S. by way of Mexico. Inside the Tyson`s home, they finally found rest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My son when the war started had nightmares. And now he`s able to sleep again.

AINSLEY: Then the Tyson`s lives became even fuller, Yulia (ph) told her host about the plight of her friend Marcia, and her husband and three children. The Tampa community rallied and Matia`s (ph) family was taken in by a couple a 10 minute drive away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): As soon as I got down on the escalator in the airport, and I saw all of my friends with Ukrainian flags and American flags. It made me feel safe.

AINSLEY: Social worker Susan Morgan is helping Yulia (ph) and Matia (ph) navigate pages and pages of applications for asylum.

SUSAN MORGAN, SOCIAL WORKER: It is a big responsibility and you do feel the weight of it when you don`t have just one person`s life but a whole family and multiple families.

AINSLEY: That responsibility typically falls to refugee resettlement agencies funded by the U.S. government. But that assistance hasn`t been provided so far to Ukrainians. Unlike other recent refugees to the US, including the thousands of Afghan refugees last fall, Ukrainian refugees and host families are responsible for navigating everything from work visas to medical care to housing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome home guys.

AINSLEY: The immediate goal is getting families on their feet after six weeks with a Tyson`s, Yulia (ph) and her family managed to find an apartment of their own and then fordable housing unit. They live a short drive from the Tyson`s one time strangers they now call family.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have someone now that I will have in my life forever.


RUHLE: Strangers becoming family. What is better than that? Nothing. I thank my colleague Julia Ainsley for sharing that really important story.

And on that note, I wish you all a very good night. From all of our colleagues across the networks and NBC News, thanks for staying up late. I`ll see you next week.