Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: November 2, 2018 Guest: Michael Moore; J.D. Scholten
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: It`s now time for the "Last Word" with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good evening Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I`m still blinded by that thing you just put up in the screen. So that means I`m here tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m.? I am working Saturday night in the Rachel Maddow time slot?
O`DONNELL: Can you leave a little wardrobe behind for me? Because it`s a 9:00 p.m. look. It`s a totally different thing.
MADDOW: I can totally loan you an $11 black blazer and $4 black undershirt.
O`DONNELL: Totally different. And I`m going to have Captain Sully Sullenberger here tomorrow night which is pretty extraordinary. And I`ve got our old friend Michael Moore here tonight sitting right beside me. He can see you but you can`t see him.
MADDOW: Lawrence, you were out sick a few days over the last couple of weeks. You were out sick for a long time. I know that we are about to enter into like this stamina period in our coverage. Do you have a strategy in terms of like keeping your voice and like staying upright? I feel like I need advice in terms of like how we`re all going to power through this next week.
O`DONNELL: Rachel, have I ever looked like a guy with a strategy? Come on.
MADDOW: All right, I`ll just do whatever you do.
MADDOW: All right. Thanks a lot.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Well, Michael Moore is here. He`s actually sitting right beside me. With the magic of television you can`t see him, unless (inaudible) or a two-shot at the moment, which is OK if you`d ask. And Michael Moore is here because he correctly predicted what was going to happen in our last election, and I did not.
And so that is why with four days to go, just four days to go, three campaign days until our next election, three days of campaigning left. Michael Moore will be our first guest here tonight. But first a real present, a person of intelligence, wisdom, compassion, sound judgment and dignity went to Florida and Georgia today to campaign for Democratic candidates for governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The real reason I came down to Miami because this Tuesday might be the most important election of our lifetimes. Politicians will always say that, but this time it`s actually true. The stakes really are that high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The stakes are so high that lifelong Republicans are endorsing Democrats tonight. John Warner is 91 years old. When I worked in the United States Senate for some of Senator Warner`s 30 years as a loyal Republican senator, he was always one of the pleasant, decent people who I used to disagree with most of the time in the senate.
Those people were called Republicans. Our differences were never personal, always just about policy. John Warner was good friends with Senator Mitch McConnell in those days. And tonight, former Republican Senator John Warner is endorsing Democrats in the hope that his former Republican friend, Mitch McConnell, will lose control of the Senate.
John Warner is endorsing Tim Kaine`s re-election in his state of Virginia. He is also endorsing Democrats in-house races in Virginia including former CIA official Abigail Spanberger who is running in Virginia`s 7th congressional district against incumbent Republican Dave Brat.
John Warner says Abigail Spanberger has really impressed him. Senator Warner was the chairman of the Senate Arms Services Committee and was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Senator Warner told NBC News, "it goes beyond politics now. I`m a Republican, I`ll finish a Republican as I cruise through my 91st year. But you`ve got to put the nation`s interest and the state`s interests ahead of politics. I just feel that the Democrats have got superior credentials to what is being offered."
When asked about President Trump today, Senator Warner said, "he has no inner compass at all." President Obama got some Trump supporting hecklers in his audience today. And unlike Donald Trump, President Obama handled the interruptions with grace and patience, no threats. He didn`t say he wished he could punch them in the mouth. He didn`t growl, get them out of here. But he did wonder why they`re so angry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The point is that cutting Medicare and social security and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts for folks like Rick Scott does not sound like fighting for a little guy to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BLEEP).
OBAMA: -- somebody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BLEEP).
OBAMA: You know -- you know, actually, I think -- hold on a second. There`s an interesting observation I want to make. Why is it that -- hold on, hold on, hold on. Why is it -- why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?
It`s an interesting question. I mean, like when I won the presidency at least my side felt pretty good.
You know, I don`t know why -- it tells you something interesting. That even the folks who are in charge are still mad because they`re getting ginned up to be mad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion now, Michael Moore, Academy award winning filmmaker who`s latest film is "Fahrenheit 11/9." You are our returning champion of election predictors. In fact, the only one who got it right on this program the last time.
So, President Obama makes a really interesting point there about Donald Trump and about the Republicans who elected him. He`s saying why are they still mad? They have won. They got the power and why are they still mad?
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I`ve wondered the same thing. I`ve never seen a bigger bunch of sore winners. What more do you want? I mean, you got the White House by losing the election. She got three million more votes, you got the keys to the Oval Office. What are you still so upset about? You know, it is amazing. I thought that Obama speech was incredible today.
O`DONNELL: And it`s all about turnout. And so what they are trying to do is get those people to vote who usually don`t vote in elections like this. It is quite a challenge as New York magazine revealed by interviewing some voters who do not intend to vote. They are registered voters, and these are younger voters.
Aaron is 25 years old, and he lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where one of the most -- I mean it`s hard to say one is more important than the other, but hugely important governor`s race where the Democrats could win the governorship for the first time in as long as I can remember. And it`s not just that would be America`s first African-American Woman.
Listen to what Aaron, age 25 in Atlanta says about voting because I need you to talk to him. (Inaudible) We got to get him -- look, he says -- he says I volunteered for Bernie Sanders. I went to many rallies. I was at the first presidential debate in Las Vegas. And when he folded then immediately went and defended Hillary, a person who`s been campaigning against him for 18 months, that just really killed it for me. I just have no respect for that.
And he is a political science student, OK. His last line is this. He says, "So, would I vote in the future? I don`t know. If somebody came along that was exciting like that, yeah, probably." So, can you talk to voters who don`t think their candidates are exciting? Is there a reason to vote even if you don`t find your candidate exciting?
MOORE: The non-voters are the largest political party in the country. Trump got caught 63 million votes, Hillary got 66 million. Non-voters in the last election over 100 million and usually midterms, over 120 million. They`re the largest political force.
So what I would say to Aaron and other nonvoters, is first of all I understand why a lot of you don`t vote. I understand why you think the system is corrupt. It is. I understand why you think the candidates sometimes just look like a bunch of old party hacks. They are.
I understand why you`re fed up, and especially where I come from in the Midwest, why you`re so upset how the system has failed you. But here`s the good news, and can I just speak to Aaron directly?
O`DONNELL: Please do.
MOORE: Aaron, you have more power than Lawrence or I or anyone else because you belong to the largest political force in the country. All the nonvoters out there, you need to understand you hold the power over this election. You control it. You can show up on Tuesday and stick it to the man in a way nobody`s ever been able to do it because you -- these nonvoters, Lawrence, are going to control this election. Now, just imagine --
O`DONNELL: And Aaron lives in Georgia
MOORE: Yes. And in Georgia --
O`DONNELL: And makes a huge difference.
MOORE: You can make huge history. And look, somebody who is young, we were young once, and they do get upset at how they think things should be a certain way --
O`DONNELL: Aaron`s an idealist.
MOORE: Yes, but then you don`t want to lose those people --
O`DONNELL: You`re right.
MOORE: You don`t want to lose young people and their idealism and you want them to not like what seems to be hypocrisy a d all that. You want them to call that out. You need to have a segment of the population that`s calling out the old people nonstop. That`s the job of young people.
So that`s what Aaron does. But on Tuesday, Aaron can actually make history in Georgia by electing the first black woman to serve as a governor, I believe, anywhere in the United States. And you can let them have it because here`s what Trump is so afraid of. He is so afraid of Tuesday now, I mean he can`t even speak right at the rally, I don`t know if it was today or yesterday where he said I had this big momentum --
O`DONNELL: And he was complaining that a mass murder at a synagogue broke his momentum.
MOORE: And the man with the mail bombs in the white van. Those two broke his momentum and now he`s afraid he`s going to lose. But here`s what happens with a bully and that`s what Trump is. A bully, if you remember back in school, the bully -- the important job for the bully was to make sure everyone else was afraid of him.
And when people stopped being afraid of the bully, the bully lost all his power. And Trump is very afraid that somehow he`s going to lose this power on Tuesday. And so, he`s just going crazy now. The hordes are coming. The brown people from Central America are coming. They`re coming. They`ve got rocks. They`ve got tocks in their hands. They`re going to come here and commit crimes, and rape your women.
The man is out of control right now because he sees the writing on the wall. That doesn`t mean, though that he`s going to lose. Because every time as you`ve pointed out when I sat here two years ago and said every time, you know, you think he`s going to lose, he wins. When you think Kavanaugh isn`t going to make it on the Supreme Court, he`s on the Supreme Court. So you have to really -- everybody, everybody has to take him seriously.
O`DONNELL: Well, Donald Trump is depending on Aaron and voters like that in order to win. He can`t win unless voters make the kinds of decisions that Aaron`s describing. And by the way, the one thing about this article, about these young people not voting that I really appreciate is they talk about the difficulty of registration. Some of them couldn`t register. Some of them missed deadlines and things like that. We make it as difficult as possible for you to vote and so you`ve got to rise to that challenge.
MOORE: So let me say this first to young people watching. And by the way, it`s 10:00 on a Friday night. What are you doing watching a news show?
O`DONNELL: Let`s leave that part out.
MOORE: Get out there and have a life.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to edit that out. It`s live.
MOORE: OK. All right. I`m just saying though if they are watching--
O`DONNELL: They always watch. What else would they do?
MOORE: It`s -- if they have a problem on Tuesday, always say these words, I want a provisional ballot. They have to give you a ballot. If they say you`re not registered there, you`re registered in the wrong precinct or whatever, ask for the provision ballot, and you can vote on Tuesday.
And they are sorted out later if it comes to that. If there has to be -- if it`s a close vote, if there`s a lawsuit. You want to have your "x" on that ballot so ask for the provisional ballot. But I want to say this too about the non-voters. It`s not just young kids like Aaron. It`s also a lot of single moms who`ve got three kids to feed and they want to have two jobs.
And we make it so difficult. Most other western democracies, Election Day is either a holiday or it`s on the weekend or the boss has to give you time off to vote. We don`t have that here. So, a lot of people that end up not voting, it`s simply because they can`t vote. If they`re sick, if they`re disabled, if there`s a whole bunch of reasons, we make a very hard as you said.
O`DONNELL: Listen, I have a very smart lawyer relative in his mid-70s who hasn`t changed his address in I don`t know 40 years who got bumped off the voting rolls in Massachusetts. And then when he discovered it, it was too late to register. So we do everything we can to get in your way as a voter in this country.
O`DONNELL: And it forces the voter to take on a real job.
MOORE: And the reason why it`s made hard is because those in power who are beholden to the rich, to the wealthy who control this country, who buy our politicians in our elections, the last thing that the top 1% want you to do is to show up and have your voice heard. Because there`s so many more of working people and poor people than there are rich people.
So the more that they can make it hard for people to have their voice heard, the more they can continue the status quo. So to upset that status quo, you have to get out there. And I -- most people watching your show are probably going to vote. So what I would say to them is think tonight who are the five people you know, friends or family --
O`DONNELL: And as I remember --
MOORE: -- that are nonvoters. And if any relatives of Aaron are watching this --
O`DONNELL: Twenty-five years old in Atlanta, Aaron.
MOORE: Yes. Every Aaron in Atlanta is a target. But seriously, though, think of the five people you know that don`t vote and make it your mission is to get them to vote. You`re going to take them to vote. You`re going to have a party. You`re going to take lunch off, going to do whatever.
I mean, I`ve been encouraging people to take Election Day off if they can and volunteer to knock on doors, to make phone calls. It`s one day of pay. It`s hard on people to do that, but I can`t think of a more important day to sacrifice for your country than this Tuesday.
And this weekend there`s a website called the last lastweekend.org. Go to that right now -- during the commercial break. Not right now. Don`t take your eyes off the show.
O`DONNELL: They can use the keyboard.
MOORE: Oh, they can do that on..
O`DONNELL: They`re multi-taskers.
MOORE: The lastweekend.org, and it will show you what you can do in your zip code, in your area tomorrow and Sunday. You can be involved. So, there`s many things people can do but you`re right, the nonvoters hold the power.
O`DONNELL: They control the outcome.
MOORE: You own America on Tuesday if you`re a nonvoter. Get out and vote. Get out and vote and show how powerful this is. And can I just say one more thing to them?
O`DONNELL: You know what, let`s do this after the commercial.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, a couple of things. Barack Obama said today this is the most important election of our lifetimes. And what I like about the way he said it is he said, I know politicians always say that. This time it`s really true. I`ve been through a lot of elections in my lifetime. This is the one that`s really true.
This is where we loose the country if it goes the wrong way. So when we come back, we`re going to do that. I also want to talk about the picture of you that was on the van belonging to the man who was accused of sending the pipe bombs around the country. The FBI has talked to you about that picture of you and the way you might be threatened by him and possibly and others. I`d like to hear about that.
And then also later in the hour, if you`re surprised that Donald Trump`s former private lawyer Michael Cohen, revealing racist things that Donald Trump said in private, then you have not been listening to Donald Trump in public.
And we`ll have more of Barack Obama on the campaign trail in Georgia. Joy Reed is in Georgia. She will join us live from Georgia.
O`DONNELL: When the arrest was finally made in the case of the mail bombs sent to Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, George Soros and many other critics of Donald Trump, we saw Michael Moore`s picture on the side of the van of the suspect. The picture showed Michael Moore as if he was being targeted through the scope of a rifle.
It turns out Michael Moore had come closer to the suspect than he realized. The suspect was picked up on Michael Moore`s cameras for Michael`s latest film "Fahrenheit 11/9." There he is. He is in the front row. At the front, the white t-shirt there holding up that sign that had CNN art, right there. There he is.
And Michael Moore is back with us. So, you`re sitting at home possibly watching the coverage of this, possibly the way I was when they made the arrest. You see the van. You see your face on the van. How do you feel?
MOORE: Right. I was -- I was both stunned and the honest truth is honestly I thought, well, at least he used a decent picture. I`m not quite that photogenic.
O`DONNELL: You vain show business people.
MOORE: I don`t usually see a good picture of myself, so. But no, but seriously I was -- on some level --
O`DONNELL: The FBI came to see you about it.
MOORE: Yes, and the fbi came to see me a couple days later and said they had found an abundance of research, their words, in his van on me. Both on his commuter --
O`DONNELL: A lot more than a picture.
MOORE: Yes, materials and things in the van. And they were concerned that there may be in the system still, a package on its way. So they want to take the necessary precautions and me to take them, you know, but listen, I`ve been at this a long time and it`s not really that unusual for me to have to put up with this kind of hate or threats of violence or whatever.
So, you know, it`s the country I live in and that`s the way I`ve had to deal with it. But this week has been a little more, you know, the security here was very kind to me when I came in.
O`DONNELL: Yes. When the FBI talks to you about something like this, they can`t tell you everything they know, right, but they`re trying to be as helpful to you as they can be, and they -- I guess they invite questions from you?
MOORE: Yes, they want to know other possible addresses he might have sent it. But they also said that they decided instead of waiting until the investigation was all completed that they wanted to fill me in as the investigation goes along, not keep me in the dark. And they wanted to -- even though they haven`t officially said he was acting alone, they didn`t want to make any assumptions just in case.
And then one person -- one of them said actually these guys, even when they act alone in this time that we live in, they don`t really act alone because they think they`re part of a larger army in a war against liberals and Democrats or whatever.
O`DONNELL: So this is the weekend where the candidates make their closing statements of their campaigns. What would be your closing statement to American voters?
MOORE: A hundred and 50 years ago today actually my grandfather was born. It`s my grandfather, 1868, three years after the civil war. I know you`re doing the math at home and thinking you look too young, really to have a 150-year-old grandfather. But, you know, we`re Irish. The men in my family always married late and had babies. I`m not going to go into it anymore than that.
He was -- he moved to United States. He want to be a doctor and there were no medical schools in Ontario, which is (inaudible) Canada. So he came to Michigan, went to medical school and wanted so much to be a part of this country and became the leader of the Republican Party in the town where I grew up.
But remember, he was born in 1868 so the idea of being a Republican meant that you were for abolition and you were, you know, against the terrorizing of black people and women should have the vote, it was that kind of Republican. Today, he wouldn`t understand any of this. But I do know that by being a citizen of Michigan, that he -- if he were alive this week, he would want to make sure that the people did the right and the decent thing.
All of his Canadian values in terms of how you treat people and how we want to live in a peaceful world those, you know, he died just before I turned 3. I have only two memories of him. One of them I`m sitting on his lap and he`s playing the Irish fiddle. But he was a kind and generous man.
And there are walls in my grandparent`s house. There is a wallpaper, no paint. It was just book shelves. The walls were all books. The importance of reading and the importance of knowing facts and understanding what`s going on was something that was passed on to his daughter, my mother, and myself and I`m -- today just, I`m grateful actually just to be able to tell that story on your show, that this is his 150th birthday, and that I could honor him by encouraging my fellow Americans to get out and vote on Tuesday.
Take advantage of this. Our democracy is fragile right now. There`s no guarantee that it`ll be here in two years or four years. This is our really -- perhaps could be our last moment to act. Don`t give up that moment. The possibilities are tremendous of what could happen on Tuesday. And just as well the Republicans could hold the House by one seat.
And I don`t want that feeling on Wednesday that we all felt the day after the election in 2016. So, everybody to the polls. So many good candidates on the ballot now. So many women, so many progressive people, so many young people voting. This is the moment to have your voice heard and to elect new people. It`s a great moment. Don`t give it up.
O`DONNELL: And it is Michael Moore`s grandfather`s birthday. Happy birthday to you Grandfather Michael. Thank you very much for joining us.
MOORE: Thank you so much.
O`DONNELL: We really appreciate it.
MOORE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back former president Barack Obama on the campaign trail in Georgia. Joy Reed joins us from Georgia, next.
O`DONNELL: President Obama went to Georgia from Florida today to campaign for Stacey Abrams for governor in Georgia. Both sides know it`s all going to come down to turnout in the Georgia race where it is tied. Here is some of what President Obama told Georgia voters tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I want a leader who stands up for other people`s health care even if they`ve got health care. I want a leader who will stand up for other kids, kids being bullied even if their kids are OK. I want a leader who will stand up for somebody else`s right to worship as they please even if I disagree with how they worship because this is America. And that`s what all of us need to stand up with clarity and with patriotism and with purpose. Those core values that bind us to our fellow citizens no matter who we are because that`s what Americans are supposed to do. That`s what America`s supposed to be. And that`s what Stacey Abrams believes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now from Atlanta Joy Reid, MSNBC`s national correspondent and the host of "A.M. JOY" on weekends here on MSNBC.
Joy, you were at the Obama-Abrams` event. I hear the president losing his voice there. He is campaigning his voice away. It looks like classic Obama out there on the campaign trail.
JOY REID, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, MSNBC: Yes, absolutely. That was at Morehouse College. He had a lot of people from the house there. You had people from Spellman University, people really from all over. And President Obama had campaigned earlier in the day in Florida, obviously for Andrew Gillum and then he, you know, made his way to Morehouse to campaign for Stacey Abrams. He was hoarse. He received a rapturous welcome. People were chanting vote, vote, vote in the crowd. They were very excited to see him.
You know Lawrence, it`s interesting. I listened to the earlier Obama speech in Florida and a little bit of the Trump latest speech in the car, just as I was driving around today, following around the Abrams campaign. And I`ve got to tell you, it`s sort of like visiting two countries. It`s sort of -- it`s hard to believe that both of these two campaigns exist in the same country.
You know, the current president is so focused and so fixated on racial panic, quite honestly, and on fear and on rage. And then you go to these Stacey Abrams` events like the one in Morehouse and an earlier one that I went to in Macon, Georgia, where you had John Lewis. It`s two completely different countries. Obviously, more diverse. The crowds are more diverse.
These Abrams` campaign, she and Sarah Riggs Amico, two women, something that political, you know, the political muck tell you, you can`t do. It`s two women running, one black, one white. It`s this incredible coalition full of women and it`s hopeful. It`s just a different world from what Donald Trump is presenting.
O`DONNELL: And in that different world, the discussion of pre-existing conditions and healthcare policy is just something like we`ve never seen. I mean we just have one side just plain lying about it. Let`s listen to what President Obama said about it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Right at election time, suddenly Republicans are saying they are going to protect your pre-existing conditions when they`ve literally been doing the opposite. That`s some kind of gall. That`s some kind of hootspa. Let`s call it what it is. It`s a lie. They`re lying to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And, Joy, Barack Obama`s not one of those people who easily uses the word lie in situations like that.
REID: Right. And it`s interesting because if you followed and I know you did, Lawrence, on the healthcare debate. Democrats passed it and ran. They ran away from the Affordable Care Act from Obamacare. They tried not to run on it. I remember following around candidates including here in Georgia. There was a Senate candidate in Georgia who didn`t want to even answer questions about whether she would have voted for the Affordable Care Act had she been in the Senate. She, of course, lost.
A lot of -- the base didn`t want to come out for a party that wouldn`t even promote what they`ve done. But now, what I found out just talking to voters today, every single stop that I went to today, every time I talk to voters, the number one issue on their minds is healthcare. The number one thing that they want, the Abrams voters that I spoke to today in Georgia, they want the Medicaid expansion to happen.
And you have two candidates. I mean at least Brian Kemp isn`t pretending. He`s made it pretty clear. He`s not going to expand Medicare. If he becomes the governor, this state will continue to have something like 5, 600,000 people who go uncovered by healthcare because they can`t get Medicaid.
Well, Stacey Abrams has made it clear. She will expand Medicaid. So the two issues that people cared about the most and it was pretty universal were education, trying to improve the education, the public education system here in Georgia and healthcare, healthcare, healthcare.
So, Democrats, they have turned around their 2014 stance and they are running hard on Obamacare. And guess what, people like having healthcare. They`ve discovered that people actually do like being able to go to a doctor without worrying that they`re going to go broke. And that is what people that I talked to today cared about.
And the president is right, the Republicans are doing this incredible thing after saying they want to rip up Obamacare root and branch, some of whom are suing to get rid of Obamacare, all of it, including pre-existing conditions are now pretending, oh no, no, we`re going to protect your healthcare. Well, Brian Kemp is saying something like that but he`s not going to expand Medicaid and that`s what people here want.
O`DONNELL: Joy, please stay with us. We`re going to have more campaign coverage when we come back.
Also, Donald Trump`s former private lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed racist things that Donald Trump has said which should surprise absolutely no one.
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump grew up in the home of a racist father who was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan event in 1927. And then Donald Trump and his racist father were both charged by the United States Justice Department in the 1970s with running a racist real estate company that discriminated against black tenants. And so no one should be surprised that Donald Trump`s close associate, now convicted felon Michael Cohen is now saying that he has heard Donald Trump say racist things in private.
Michael Cohen told Emily Jane Fox of "Vanity Fair" about some of the poisonous things that he heard from Donald Trump. "I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, `That`s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.`" Michael Cohen also recounted Donald Trump saying racist things about black contestants on his TV show, Donald Trump, the politician is the champion of American racist. America`s most famous public racists, including David Duke, have always been full- fledged Trump supporters. David Duke knows a racist when he sees one.
And so the Democratic campaigns around the country this year against Trumpism are also campaigns against racism. Here`s what President Obama had to say in Georgia tonight campaigning for Stacey Abrams to become, not just the first African-American woman governor of Georgia but the first African-American woman governor of any state in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: In the closing weeks of this election, we have seen repeated, constant, incessant, nonstop attempts to divide us. With rhetoric that is designed to make us angry and make us fearful. With images and rhetoric that are designed to exploit our history of racial and ethnic and religious division, to try to pit us against one another, to make us believe that things will be better if it just weren`t for those who don`t look like us. The good news is in four days, Georgia, you can reject that politics. We can come together to shape our country`s course. That`s what Stacey stands for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joy Reid is back with us from Georgia. And Joy, on the day that we discover to no one`s surprise that Donald Trump says racist things in private according to Michael Cohen, there is Barack Obama out there on the campaign trail trying to address this, trying to heal in whatever way he can the racial division that`s out there.
REID: Yes. And I mean again, it is this two -- they are presidents of two different countries. And you saw it earlier today when John Lewis spoke in Macon, Georgia for Stacey Abrams and talking about what he went through just to have the right to vote. Well, Stacey Abrams, Lawrence, tells a story about when she was valedictorian of her high school class, going to the governor`s mansion and being turned away by the guard who was white who said, "You don`t belong here."
And that was her sort of only memory when they`ve gone to the governor`s mansion was having her parents who were both Methodist ministers have to dress down this white guard who was refusing to let a young Stacey Abrams into the governor`s mansion. So I mean, you know, sort of poetic irony that she`s now running to be the governor of this state is sort of perfect. And she`s actually originally from Mississippi which has its own history.
I think we tend to try to consign that history of racism to the very distant past. It isn`t distant at all. And I think what we`re seeing is an election in which Donald Trump is literally closing, making the closing argument to white America. And it is a test for white America. He`s saying racial panic. Those people are coming to take over your country. Those people are invading. Brown people are invading. Brown people don`t belong here. This is our country. And you need to vote for Republicans to keep them out.
And Barack Obama is saying no, no, no, this is a shared country. This is a country where we all can have a piece of it, where we all can share in its benefits. But we all have to take responsibility for its history together. These are such starkly different visions. They are such different presidents that it`s hard to imagine that they were both presidents of the same country.
And I think it is a challenge because Donald Trump isn`t just making that argument to white extremists. He`s hoping to migrate that argument to mainstream white America. Much as Richard Spencer has said, you know, I can migrate this extremist argument to the middle, to get the little discomfort that the average, sort of ordinary, middle of the road white person might feel that sense of discomfort, that there`s something wrong with those people.
Donald Trump wants to exploit that. He`s made it very clear. This is a sort of soft civil war that he`s attempting to launch just for political advantage. And it`s kind of gross, but now we also get some confirmation that it isn`t just tactics. It`s him. It`s what he really thinks.
O`DONNELL: And the campaigning that he`s done to the extent he`s done it directly against Stacey Abrams, Donald Trump`s campaigning has been outright racist. He`s actually said that she isn`t qualified. He just dismissed her as not qualified. She`s far better educated than he is. Yale Law School graduate.
And she talked about her own qualification. She doesn`t even talk about it as qualification, she talks about her own work as city attorney, as a member of the legislature, as a leader in the legislature all the time. She`s going to be a guest on your program tomorrow morning.
REID: She will.
O`DONNELL: I imagine that issue of Donald Trump saying she`s not qualified just might come up there.
REID: Absolutely. We`re going to have Stacey Abrams on tomorrow. We`re going to then travel to Florida to look at the Andrew Gillum campaign. We have also Nancy Pelosi tomorrow. We`re going to talk to a lot of the people who want this new America, new embrace it.
And I think that`s an important distinction for Americans to make. That`s the choice people have. What America do you want? Do you want this America that sort of tries to retrench or do you want to go forward? So it should be an interesting conversation.
O`DONNELL: And I want to -- I have this sound of Stacey Abrams, and again this is not her refuting Donald Trump saying she`s not qualified. This is just the way she talks about her work and her previous work on the campaign trail. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I live these values every day and I have used them to solve real problems. As deputy city attorney, I wrote the strongest ethics legislation of any Georgia City. And when I was the House Minority Leader, I blocked the largest tax increase on working families in Georgia history. It`s the value of responsibility that led me to found an organization to register voters and defend voting rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joy, Donald Trump doesn`t know what he`s running against in Georgia.
REID: He absolutely doesn`t. I have to say political talent is something that you can`t teach. And I have seen in this cycle people like Stacey Abrams, Beto O`Rourke, and Andrew Gillum are political stars. And Stacey spoke in front of that small crowd in the rain in Macon, Georgia today and then went to Morehouse and she has just raw, natural political talent.
I`ve talked to people here black and white who just love her and are devoted to her. I haven`t seen this kind of energy since the Barack Obama campaign, quite frankly. And I think that`s why she has a chance. And by the way, before we go, Lawrence, I`ll tell you when I spoke to white Abrams supporters, you know why they love Stacey Abrams? Two reasons they said, education and healthcare. She`s keeping it on the issues and people care about those issues. They really, really care about them here.
O`DONNELL: And you can hear about those issues from Stacey Abrams on Joy Reid`s show tomorrow morning.
Joy Reid, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
REID: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Iowa Congressman Steve King has been rebuked by Republicans for saying that European Nazis would be Republicans if they were living in the United States.
Steve King`s Democratic opponent J.D. Scholten will be our next guest. Steve King declined our invitation to appear on the program tonight.
O`DONNELL: A mass murder killed 11 Jews in a Synagogue in Pittsburgh because he believes Donald Trump`s rhetoric about an invasion coming to our southern border. Congressman Steve King believes that rhetoric and uses that rhetoric himself. Here is Steve King on the campaign trail in Iowa yesterday when he was asked to specify any policy disagreements, ideological disagreements that he has with the mass murderer who killed those people in Pittsburgh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KALEB VAN FOSSON: This Saturday, there was a shooting at a Synagogue in Pittsburgh that tragically left 11 people dead and the terrorist who did -- committed this crime, he was quoted as saying they bring invaders in that kill our people. I can`t sit back and watch our people get slaughtered. You, Steve King, have been quoted as saying we can`t restore our civilization with other people`s babies. You and the shooter both share an ideology that is --
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: No, don`t you do that. Do not associate me with that shooter. I knew you were an ambusher when you walked in the room --
VAN FOSSON: I`m not an ambusher.
KING: -- but there`s no basis for that and you get no question and you get no answer.
VAN FOSSON: I was about to ask you what distinguishes your ideology --
KING: No, you`re done. We don`t play these games here in Iowa.
VAN FOSSON: I was about to you what distinguishes your ideology --
KING: No, you`re done. You crossed the line. It`s not tolerable to accuse me to be associated with a guy that shot 11 people in Pittsburgh. I am a person who has stood with Israel from the beginning, the length of that nation is the length of my life. And I`ve been with them all along and I will not answer your question and I`ll not listen to another word from you. And this is over if he keeps talking.
VAN FOSSON: If you don`t have white Supremacists views, then why did you travel to Austria and meet with a white supremacist organization?
KING: This is over if you don`t stop talking. I`m leaving if you don`t --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he`s given an answer. I think that his answer --
VAN FOSSON: But do you identify as a white supremacist?
KING: Stop it.
VAN FOSSON: Then why did you meet with a white supremacist organization in Austria?
KING: You`re done. I would ask whoever is guarding this door to lead this man out of the room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And so we have no idea if there are any ideological differences between Steve King and the mass murderer in Pittsburgh, the man asking those questions is Kaleb Van Fosson.
Joining us now is J.D. Scholten. He`s the Democratic candidate running for Iowa`s 4th Congressional District running against Steve King.
Mr. Scholten, in the final, you have three days of campaigning left, in those final three days, what are the closing issues for you?
J.D. SCHOLTEN (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE IOWA`S 4TH DISTRICT: Well, we`re going to continue to get out there to the people. And that`s what we`ve been doing for the last 15 months. There`s 39 counties in this district and I`ve gone to all 39 counties, three different times, and the last time we did a town hall in each county.
And so we`re just going to go back to several areas where we just want to go one last time and just talk about healthcare, talk about an economy that works for all of us, and talk about how frustrated most of the people in this 4th District are with Washington and how special interests dictate our democracy.
O`DONNELL: And the -- Steve King won the seat two years ago, just two years ago with a 23-point winning margin. You`ve closed that gap. Is that as much about Steve King`s performance in office as it is about the issues you`re campaigning on?
SCHOLTEN: Well, I think there`s a lot of things. People have been frustrated with King for several years now but they haven`t had a candidate that they trust. That`s why we got out there to the people so much because we really want to just focus on -- and being accessible if people had questions, be there because I believe in the philosophy that if you get out there, you prove that you`re trustworthy and you prove that you`re going to fight for the people of your district, you`re going to earn votes. And that`s what we`re doing and that`s how we brought this race from 22 points to 10 to 6 and now on Monday to one.
O`DONNELL: And you`re talking to voters who have been voting Republicans. Certainly, a lot of them for most of their lives, they`re accustomed to voting Republican. Do you have a particular pitch to Republican voters about why they`d want to switch parties this time?
SCHOLTEN: Well, there`s not one issue or anything like that. It`s just being -- representing what the district is and talking a lot about agriculture because we`re the second most agriculture producing district in America. And that`s the most frustrating thing is because you have King going off on a tangent about some mayoral race in Canada and some far extreme group in Austria and retweeting Neo-Nazis. But at the same time, he`s not on the Farm Bill Conference Committee fighting for things that the people in this district need.
And that`s the big thing that people are starting to realize and saying, you know what, enough is enough. And before, you would always just hear, "Oh, that`s just Steve King being Steve King like that weird uncle." You don`t hear that anymore. You have people out there who are frustrated and looking for other options.
O`DONNELL: J.D. Scholten, candidate for Congress in Iowa`s 4th Congressional District, thank you very much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
Tonight`s last word is next.
O`DONNELL: After safely landing his jetliner on the Hudson River and saving the lives of all of the passengers in it, Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger says he "Had an obligation to use this bully pulpit for good and as an advocate for the safety of the traveling public, I feel that I now have yet another mission as a defender of democracy." He also says, "For the first 85 percent of my life, I was a registered Republican but I have always voted as an American. And this critical election day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values, not pandering to our basest impulses.
Captain Sully Sullenberger will be my special guest tomorrow night here at 9:00 p.m. In our special live election coverage tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m., Saturday night, 9:00 p.m. right here.
That is tonight`s last word. The "11th Hour With Brian Williams" starts now.
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