Georgia Governor Kemp signs new voting restrictions bill into law. Biden takes questions at first news conference. President Biden vows executive action on gun reforms if Congress fails to act.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT with breaking news out of Georgia. Just moments ago, the Republican governor signed sweeping new voter restrictions into law. Passed along party lines in the Republican-led state legislature, the measure curtails early voting in runoff elections, limits ballot drop boxes and requires documentation to vote by mail. Voter suppression efforts came up at President Biden`s first press conference earlier today and elicited his most passionate response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: What I`m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It`s sick. It`s sick. Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote? Deciding that you`re going to end voting at 5:00 when working people are just getting off work?
The Republican voters I know find these despicable, Republican voters.
This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. I mean, this is gigantic what they`re trying to do. And it cannot be sustained.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Biden committed to do everything in his power to ensure equal access to the ballot box. He also called for the reform of the Senate filibuster, which has been used by Mitch McConnell to kill Democratic legislation since the Obama/Biden years. Biden says the system has been abused and he warned Republicans that he could back efforts to gut the filibuster, agreeing that it is a relic of the old Jim Crow south.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We`re going to get a lot done. And if we have to, if there`s complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we`ll have to go beyond what I`m talking about.
REPORTER: Regarding the filibuster, at John Lewis` funeral, President Barack Obama said he believed the filibuster was a relic of the Jim Crow era. Do you agree?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Biden opened the news conference with the announcement that he set a new goal in the fight against the pandemic, doubling the goal to 200 million vaccinations before the end of his first 100 days having already met the initial mark.
But when it comes to immigration, he dismissed the knee-jerk criticism from Republicans who are standing in the way of a solution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Have you had any talks with Senate Republicans who are threatening this administration with not considering the immigration legislation that was passed in the House until the situation at the border has been resolved?
BIDEN: No, because I know they have to posture for a while. They have to sort of get it out of their system.
But I`m ready to work with any Republican who wants to help solve the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is Adrienne Elrod, a former Senior Aide to the Biden/Harris and Hilary Clinton campaigns, Jason Johnson, Professor of Journalism and Politics at Morgan State University, and David Plouffe, former Obama Campaign Manager.
I`ll go right down the center of my screen here to Jason Johnson on this breaking news that we`re now seeing out of Georgia. You`ve covered Georgia for a very long time. You know the players here involved. Brian Kemp tonight tried to make an excuse and say that people who are accusing people like him of being Jim Crow characters are wrong. But this bill seems very much aimed at two things in my view, number one, in making it much harder for black and brown folks particularly in Fulton County to vote, and also may be getting Brian Kemp re-elected against Stacey Abrams. Your thoughts.
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Brian Kemp knows he`s in trouble next year. Brian Kemp knows that his state is trending against his retrograde (ph) idiotic policies and Brian Kemp is a feckless coward, he always has been.
And no matter what he does -- this is the trick with Trumpism, right, Joy? He thinks that bypassing this bill, somehow that`s going to protect him next year. No, it won`t. He`s going to get primaried anyway. The Republicans will going to kick him out of office because they know if Brian Kemp goes head-to-head with Stacy Abrams, he`s going to lose next year. So, this is absolutely pointless as for his saving his job.
In the grander scheme of things, it`s offensive, it`s racist, it`s pointless, it`s non-productive. And that`s why people like LaTosha Brown, and Black Voters Matter and the new Georgia project and everyone else is organizing down there to put pressure on Coca-Cola, Delta and everybody else, because these laws aren`t just foolish.
These laws aren`t just racist, but they are destructive to a functional democracy. They`re taking power out of the hands of local-elected officials. They`re making it more difficult for people to even go to drop boxes. So there is no value to this.
And I think this is just the opening salvo. I think there`s going to be a long extended battle in this state and, ultimately, I think they`re going to lose because the demographics of Georgia and the financial incentives in Georgia make keeping laws like this on the books dangerous for everybody involved.
REID: Yes, absolutely. Two words, Tyler Perry. There`s a whole industry down there. They`ve got a new Hollywood in the south in Georgia. Georgia ain`t the same Georgia that it was before.
David Plouffe, I have to go to you, next, because you have actually had the experience of electing a black man named Barack Hussein Obama to the White House, which is not an easy feat to do in the United States of America. You know, it strikes me that the idea that the way that you beat a growing demographic that is diverse is by attempting to do open suppression of that demographic and anyone else who isn`t white. Because it seems to me that these bills are also motivational to the very people that they really don`t want to vote in Georgia.
And I don`t understand the politics of it from Kemp`s point of view because I agree with Jason, he`s already an anathema because he isn`t Trumpy enough for the Republicans. And why he thinks this isn`t going to not further bury him, I don`t understand, but can you understand this as politics?
DAVID PLOUFFE, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I can`t. Well, Joy, it`s political malpractice in the long term for the Republicans but they don`t think beyond their nose. So they just want to advantage themselves in `22 and `24. But I think, you know, we saw in 2008 after Barack Obama`s first election a whole bunch of legislation that was passed out in the states to make it harder to vote and register. We did try that to use that as motivation.
But what`s happening in Georgia, this is a death sentence for democracy if we see laws like this across the country, you know, making it harder to register, getting rid of drop boxes, early votes. But, Joy, they are taking power away from election officials and giving it to the state legislature. They`re also talking about that in Arizona, which means that they don`t like the result of the election, they will overturn it.
So if the Senate does not pass the For the People Act, we should turn the lights off on this democracy. I mean this seriously. This is the end -- this is the beginning of the end. There will be lawsuits and there will be a lot of pressure like Jason talked about in Georgia. We need it all. But the Senate has to act or we are going down the tubes quickly in this country.
REID: Well, exactly. And, Adrienne, I think the thing that is the most shocking is that these Republicans pretend that they oppose what happened on January 6th when supporters of Donald Trump laid siege upon the capitol. But now they`re quickly trying to enact the very kinds of things these people were demanding.
You know, as David just said they are trying to enact in the state of Georgia as well as Arizona laws that would allow Republican legislatures to simply overturn elections, to do what Donald Trump demanded of those officials. He`s now being investigated for trying to do this illegally in Georgia. They want to make it legal, that simply the legislature can say, you know, we didn`t like the way those Fulton County people voted, to hell with those black voters and brown voters and AAPI voters. We`re just going to put the person we want in as president, period. That is what they`re trying to do. Your thoughts.
ADRIENNE ELROD, DECRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, that`s exactly right, Joy. And you know, they -- they fear the fact that Democrats are so organized. They fear the fact that Democrats -- I will never forget, Joy, those long lines of black voters in Georgia when early votes started who wait in line 10, 11, 12 hours with this look on their face of determination. We`re not going to let these suppression tactics stop us. We`re not going to let, you know what happened to Stacey Abrams happen to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, anybody else from the ticket here in Georgia. We`re not going to allow that to happen.
So I agree with Jason, where I do think this is going to backfire. But to the point Plouffe made, this a systematic effort that Republicans are making across the country. We`re seeing this in Georgia. We`re seeing this in Arizona. Any state that has a Republican-held legislature, we`re going to start seeing this happen everywhere.
So make no mistake, we`ve got to get organized. The Senate simply has to pass H.R.1, that is just the bottom line, because our democracy is at stake and the Republicans are not going to stop until they try to get their way on this.
REID: David, let me go back to you for just a moment, because Donald -- I mean Joe Biden did call it sick. He talked about the fact this is Jim Crow sort of legislation, but we have some Democrats who seem to sort of relish the old Jim Crow days the way the Senate used to operate. I`m thinking of people like Joe Manchin, who is clinging to the filibuster like a binky and saying he`ll never let it go no matter what. So I wonder if having a law like this passed in the state like Georgia, which as you said, it`s more than just trying to disenfranchise votes.
So messing with absentee, that messes with Republicans. Republicans in election (INAUDIBLE) worked on, they have more absentee more than anybody else. So you`re messing with them. But if you`re then saying we can also just erase the results of election and just install Donald Trump if he runs again in 2024, that is anti-Democratic. Do you think that winds up moving somebody like Manchin or is he pretty much going to dig in on the Dixiecrat line here?
PLOUFFE: Well, now that it`s real -- by the way, Georgia obviously was the most important state in the 2020 election, presidential and senate.
PLOUFFE: You`re going to see this pass in other states.
So the Republicans are being quite loud about their intentions here. So I think it should create the permission structure for a Joe Manchin, for a Kyrsten Sinema, even if it`s a limited modification of the filibuster, to allow them to find a way to say, yes. Because at the end of the day, we`re going to get on the other side of the pandemic, the economy will rebound, we`re probably even be able to tackle immigration. But if we basically hand elections over to politicians instead of the voters, again, the lights are out on America.
So I think that, in a way, the Republicans are being so brazen here, it is giving the permission structure hopefully to the couple of reluctant Senate Democrats because this isn`t about Senate niceties. This isn`t about different policy positions. This is literally about the survival of our democracy and the Georgia bill goes so far that it is, but it`s going to become the model. And I think you`re going to see other states embrace it. It`s the furthest point that Republicans can go.
Yes, it should give Manchin and Sinema to say I didn`t want to do this, but it`s clear that the Republicans are intent on suppression, it`s clear that the Republican are intent on taking control away from voters and elections officials so I`m left no option but to do this. So we`re all looking, whether we should or not, and it`s frustrating that it comes down to that, Joy, but I do think the permission structure should be there now for these reluctant Democratic senators.
REID: Or to make D.C. a state and make Joe Manchin less relevant. Just for our audience, so you understand, this is NBC`s reporting, this bill that Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia has just signed, would dramatically limit early voting required for runoff elections, like the two in January. So it would limit the exact kind of election that elected Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock. It will require mail-in voters to have their driver`s license numbers or documentation to verify their identity instead of signature verification. They would limit drop boxes. And you can guess where they`re going to limit them, Jason. It would allow the state to take over local elections, basically meaning that you couldn`t have another close election like what you saw there because the state, Brian Kemp, could simply take it over and put in the result he wanted.
Kemp can finalize the bill just over an hour after it cleared the general assembly leaving no doubt about its fate. The state the legislation passed along party lines, 34-20, meaning local elections count here, 100-75 in the house. The Georgia bill, according to CNN, underwent major changes going from a narrow two-page bill into a sweeping omnibus package to the brink of becoming law. It is sweeping, Jason.
And I guess the question to you, then, is how do you get to 51 votes in the Democratic side of the Senate with people like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema in place?
JOHNSON: So, Joy, last night, I was talking to some of my contacts in Georgia and they have all said this is going to take federal legislation. There`s no amount of lawsuits. There`s nothing to Vanita Gupta, there`s nothing that the DOJ could do that would be enough because Trump has stacked the court so much. So this is going to come down to house bill 1, it`s going to come out in the house bill 4.
And I have said all along, think about this. It`s like the five (INAUDIBLE), like nobody is coming here for you, Otis. Nobody cared about Joe Manchin three years ago. This is the most popular he`s ever been in his entire career. It`s the most popular he will ever be. He is going to milk this as long as he can, until they darn near change it to the John Lewis/Joe Manchin bill. But when that happens, when everybody is prostrate in front of him and begging him, he will allow some change to the filibuster. He`ll get all the attention. He`ll be rallied around like a hero and then he will be absolutely irrelevant. And that`s what he also realizes. The moment that he allows any change in the filibuster, his power is weakened.
But I think the significance of this bill, the fact that it could affect even him at one point. Because if this same sort of policy were to be moved through in West Virginia, maybe somebody comes and challenges him, I think he will eventually change his mind. Not because it`s the right thing to do, not because he cares about democracy but because it will satisfy his ego, which is ultimately a driving force unfortunately for all too many members of Congress.
REID: Not somebody, Jim Justice, the richest man in West Virginia, who was on the right side of the $15 of an hour when Manchin was on the wrong side of it. When Jim Justice decides that he`s going to run against with his billion dollars against Joe Manchin, and this bill could just put Jim Justice in whatever the voters of West Virginia say, Joe Manchin might get religion.
Adrienne Elrod, I`ll leave you with the final question. Because what has to happen now, it seems to me, that Joe Biden I think made some pretty clear and strong statements about his support for voting rights and his opposition for what we just saw happen in Georgia. What can he do, you know, to sort of move the process along? Everyone has said where they stand on things like the filibuster. D.C. statehood could also be a factor. What do you think pragmatically he should be doing tonight? What calls should he be making?
ELROD: Well, I mean, I think first of all, he should be calling Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and making sure that they are supporting the H.R.1. This should not be a Democrat versus Republican issue, right? This is simply about the voting rights of all Americans, the most fundamental right that we have in America. You know, look, if he can find some Republican support, great. Joe Biden spent a long time in the Senate, so he knows the Senate very well.
But I think when it comes to the filibuster, he made it very clear today that he is open to options. He is open to at least some sort of reform on the filibuster. And the bottom line is this, Joy, he`s got to get his agenda passed. He knows that. And at some point, he is going to do whatever it takes to make that happen because he`s got such a finite amount of time to make it happen so I`m confident that he`s going to get to the place where he needs to be so we can get some of those legislation passed.
REID: Joe Biden has a chance to be LBJ, he`s going to have to act like LBJ real quick because he has a very interesting caucus that he has to deal with. Adrienne Elrod, Jason Johnson, David Plouffe, thank you all very much.
And up next on THE REIDOUT, much more on President Biden`s first news conference including how he pushed back against Republican misinformation on immigration.
Plus, the latest on the breaking news from Georgia, as a series of anti- Democratic bills become law designed to suppress the vote because Republicans think that, killing democracy altogether, is the only way that they can win.
And there is Senator Mike Lee, the same Mike Lee who believes that protecting voting rights for black people is the work of the devil. He`s now saying that taking deadly assault weapons off the streets is racist.
And while it`s precious and adorable that Mike Lee is claiming to be concerned about racism, he is actually not tonight`s absolute worst, believe it or not. That dubious honor goes to one of his colleagues who is saying even more bananarama things about guns.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: The empathy that won Joe Biden the White House was on full display today when addressing a key point that`s often missing in the immigration debate.
And that is the reason why migrants are coming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s not like somebody at a sitting hand-hewn table in Guatemala -- I mean, in -- in somewhere in Mexico or in Guadalupe, saying: I got a great idea. Let`s sell everything we have. Give it to a coyote. Have them take our kids across the border and into a desert where they don`t speak the language. Won`t that be fun? Let`s go.
That`s not how it happens. People don`t want to leave.
When my great-grandfather got on a coffin ship in the Irish Sea, expectation was, was he going to live long enough on that ship to get to the United States of America? But they left because of what the Brits had been doing. They were in real, real trouble. They didn`t want to leave.
But they had no choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: President Biden was also unwavering in his policy regarding unaccompanied children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The idea that I`m going to say -- which I would never do -- if an unaccompanied child ends up at the border, we`re just going to let him starve to death and stay on the other side -- no previous administration did that either, except Trump. I`m not going to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is Congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York and Paola Ramos, VICE News host and MSNBC contributor.
Congressman Espaillat, I want to start with you, because you have actually been to the facility that our own reporter went to yesterday, our NBC News reporter went to yesterday.
Can you just talk us through what`s really happening there? Because I feel like the conversation gets very simplistic when it comes to these migrants, and we`re not really fully understanding both the pull and the push that are putting people in that position.
REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): That`s right, Joy. I think the conversation is more complex than meets the eye.
So, in this facility at Carrizo Springs, Texas, you have basically adolescents, kids from 13-to-17-year-old boys, 700 and plus of them. There, you have a facility with medical services, mental health services, classroom work. You have, in addition to that, COVID testing, and a host of services.
We went to see their sleeping quarters, their mess hall, pretty good, pretty good shape. But it`s never good to have 700 young people anywhere. So, we must transition quicker to bring them to their family members. We must make sure that they are connected with their loved ones as quickly as possible. And it`s as simple as that.
But it requires resources. And the reality is that the Trump administration did not prepare HNS -- HHS or the Office of Refugee Resettlement for any of this, including also the Border Patrol facilities.
They`re not prepared at all for any of this, not for COVID and not for this. So, we`re doing the best we can. We have got to do better. And I do believe the same thing the president laid out today, that it`s really the root causes of this issue that are so relevant, a drought for seven years, two hurricanes that hit Guatemala and Honduras, a recent eruption, volcano eruption, in Guatemala, violence that propels a young man that is being recruited by a gang or threatened by gang to leave to the border.
So, these are the issues that we must address to ensure that we really address this issue once and for all.
REID: You know, and, Paola, today, there was sort of an obsession among the -- sort of the questioners about, like, is Biden`s sort of decency as a human being just inspiring people to be like, I`m going to walk 1,000 miles to come to -- I feel like that is part of the simplistic nature of the question, because he got repeated questions about whether his kindness is the sole compulsion for people coming over.
Let me just play a little bit of part of the press conference today.
This is cut two for my producers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Well, look, I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I`m the nice guy.
The truth of the matter is, nothing has changed.
Does anybody suggest that there was a 31 percent increase under Trump because he was a nice guy and he was doing good things at the border? That`s not the reason they`re coming.
The reason they`re coming is that it`s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert, number one. Number two, they`re coming because of the circumstances in- country, in-country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Can you talk a little bit about it? Because I know that you have been in Central America in the Triangle area doing some reporting.
What are people telling you, migrants that you have talked to, about why they`re coming?
PAOLA RAMOS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Of course, I think we all have to understand that there is nothing stronger than desperation, right?
Desperation has always been there. Desperation defies any sort of deterrence. It defies policies. It defies walls. Desperation was there during Trump, right? This surge started with Trump, not with President Biden.
And so I was recently in El Darien. This is a jungle that is in the Colombia-Panama border. And, as we are speaking, Joy, there are migrants that are crossing this jungle, migrants coming from Cuba, from Haiti, from all over Africa, from the Middle East. Again, we typically think about this as a Central American issue. We typically focus on the U.S.-Mexico border, but migrants are coming from all over the world.
And in this jungle, they are fleeing all sorts of violence, gang violence, snakes, scorpions, jaguars, just to reach the United States, right, just to come to this country. And so I think what President Biden sort of asked everyone to do is, if you`re a father, and if you`re a mother, and you have children, what do you do?
And I think the biggest contrast that we saw today is that President Biden is someone that, if a child comes knocking on your door, he opens it. President Trump never did that.
RAMOS: And so that, I think, is the clearest contrast we could possibly see.
REID: Let me play -- let`s play a little bit of that.
This is part of your package that`s going to be airing on Showtime. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAMOS: And I would say that there`s at least 100 people here. There are children from the ages of 5 to literally 3 months old.
And you can sense a true anxiety, particularly among the women that are trying to ensure that their children are safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Congressman, have you talked with President Biden directly about this? Because that looks incredibly dangerous, incredibly perilous.
And is there a plan to go in, in terms of where this migration is starting, and to do more on that end, not just when people get to the border?
ESPAILLAT: These people are right now on the ground in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador region, where the migration, most of it is coming from those countries.
However, the reporter is right. I have seen Cubans, Haitians, Dominicans from my own home country that come through the border. No one wants to leave their homeland. No one wants to leave their family. But you will flee violence. You will flee hunger.
There`s a food security issue in Central America that nobody seems to talk about that`s horrible. So, a mom will come with her children, yes. A mom will take that dangerous trip several 1,000 miles to get to the United States border.
And so we must address it. He knows that there are people there from the Biden administration right now trying to get to the bottom of this and trying to get to the root of the problem.
ESPAILLAT: We have a proposal of resources that we should be deploying to the region immediately.
REID: Yes, absolutely.
And as President Biden made the point today, many, many of the Irish endured coffin ships to do the exact same thing, which is how people like Joe Biden`s folks got here.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Paola Ramos.
Paola`s piece featuring migrants trekking through El Darien camp airs this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Showtime. You don`t want to miss it. Please tune into that.
And still ahead: more on the new draconian voting restrictions that just became law, law of the land in Georgia tonight.
We will be right back.
REID: More now on tonight`s breaking news.
Georgia`s governor signed a 95-page bill that heavily restricts voting rights, in the wake of President Biden and two Democratic senators winning the state. Just some of the many restrictions in the bill include a limit on early voting for run-off elections from three weeks to as little as one week, as well as a reduction of the hours for early voting.
The bill also requires mail voters to have a copy -- include a copy of their driver`s license or documentation to verify their identity and restrict the location for drop boxes, only allowing them inside election offices and early voting locations, which entirely goes against the whole purpose of having a drop box at all.
And one of the most shocking details of the bill includes a prohibition people bringing food and water to voters who are waiting on line.
Republicans pushed the bill through without a single Democratic vote. Of course, Kemp, Brian Kemp, pushed back on the narrative that the bill restrict access, amazingly claiming that the bill actually expands voting access, and defending himself against the claim that voting restrictions are inherently racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): According to them, if you support voter I.D. for absentee ballots, you`re a racist. According to them, if you believe in protecting the security and sanctity of the ballot box, you`re a -- quote - - "Jim Crow in a suit and tie."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
LaTosha, I know you have been at a couple of protests today. I just want to get your reaction to Brian Kemp sneaking off and signing the bill. Let me show our viewers here. A Democratic representative named state Representative Park Cannon tried to get in where Kemp was signing the bill and was actually arrested as Kemp signed this bill in secret.
Your thoughts on all of that?
LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER: They are out of control.
All that Representative Cannon was doing is going in, attempting to go in while he signed the bill. She`s a representative. She was duly elected in the state. They are absolutely out of control. They have lost their minds.
What we`re seeing happen in the state of Georgia is so egregious around voting rights. What we`re seeing is, we`re seeing the resurgence of those that think that they`re going to bring Jim Crow back. And they`re not.
And so what you`re seeing, even with this bill, to make it illegal and criminalize groups like ours that provide water and snacks for people who are standing in line for three, four, five, six, even 11 hours, it is a shame. We are -- we should be ashamed. We should hang our head tonight to say that this is a democracy.
REID: You know, it`s hard for me to understand the -- making it illegal to provide food and snacks for people standing in line.
What is the explanation for that? Is the idea here that they want people to be hungry and thirsty and be so abused physically that they get out of line? Is that the goal here?
I don`t get it.
BROWN: The explanation is, anything that could deter black voters.
This was not -- what we saw in these bills that happened, this was in response to the historic black turnout that happened this last election cycle. Instead of really addressing the issue to prevent people from standing in lines for hours, instead of expanding access, bringing more machines online, strengthening the process, they`re doing absolutely the opposite, everything in their power to actually deter voters from participating in the process.
Brian Kemp has been voter suppression in chief. He sits in his office right now because he cheated and suppressed the vote in 2018. But just as we came out in greater force in 2020, we`re going to do that again. And we`re going to remember this at the polls, because it`s not over yet.
REID: Let me read Stacey Abrams` statement.
She put out a statement saying: "Georgia Republicans` shameful efforts to suppress the vote and seize electoral power through SB-202 demonstrate how critical the fight is -- for voting rights remains. Every business, political and civic leader must stand up and make their opposition to these desperate anti-democratic laws clear. As the FBI continue to round up seditionists who spilled blood to defend a lie about our elections, Republican state leaders willfully undermine democracy by giving themselves authority to overturn results they do not like.
"Now more than ever, Americans must demand federal action to protect voting rights, as we continue to fight against these blatantly unconstitutional efforts that are nothing less than Jim Crow."
She`s referring in part of this, LaTosha, to a part of the bill that would essentially allow the state legislature to overturn elections. They want to allow the Republican legislature, if they don`t like the results of the next presidential election, to simply hand the election to the person they prefer.
I was cat the Tyler Perry studio opening. And one of the other people who was there in Atlanta was the governor, Brian Kemp, who stood around there as if he was some sort of an ally to the film community and to the African- American community.
You have started a campaign to pressure businesses, corporations, companies that are based in Georgia to get on the right side of history regarding these kinds of laws.
REID: Do you believe that a boycott of Georgia is in order, now that Brian Kemp has signed this law?
BROWN: I absolutely do.
I think that all things are -- should be considered on the table. The bottom line is that, 56 years ago, there were black people in this country from my native city of Selma that died, right, for the right to go.
It`s one thing to say that you have policy differences and for people to see different aspects of policy. But the fundamental access to the ballot, that is a right that is guaranteed us.
And so what we`re seeing, Republicans not only be racist, but be anti- democratic. And there are companies, that all of these companies that were looking at the Metro Atlanta Chamber that came down with a watered-down, very disrespectful, I think, statement today, that represent companies like Delta and Home Depot -- Delta Air Lines, Home Depot and Coca-Cola, like they said they make these statements around racial equity.
This should be low-hanging fruit. This is a clear issue that is targeted at black voters to marginalize our vote and really be able to weaken democracy.
And so are -- we have launched a campaign just this evening right before I came on the air. There`s a coalition of folks that are at the airport that are protesting Delta Air Lines right now, saying you are a homegrown organization, a business that we serve. You have more black workers than any other airline. How dare you not stand with us to make sure that we fight and protect voting rights in the state of Georgia?
REID: Yes, I mean, dollars are also a powerful tool.
And the film industry in Georgia, let`s just be clear, it is the new Hollywood.
REID: It is a multibillion-dollar industry, where film and TV is being done there.
And the people who live there and are resident there are -- it`s being made harder for them to actually vote to change the government in Georgia.
The Brennan Center has locked out -- has counted 253 proposed voting restrictions in 43 states that are similar to what Brian Kemp did. This is now on a national scale, LaTosha.
What can be done? Because you have some recalcitrance in the United States Senate, people like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. What can be done? Because this is not going to stop at Georgia. This is going to be everywhere Republicans have legislative control.
BROWN: This is a national movement.
This is really a question around democracy. This is a question around, are we going to go backwards or are we going to move forward. That Georgia show up for America.
We expect that America will stand and show us for us as well and all voters in this country. So we need to immediately pass HR-1 and HR-4. We need stronger federal legislation that is going to put teeth back in the Voter Rights Act. We need to expand so these states that are passing these draconian laws are going to be held accountable and we`re also going to go to the court system.
You know, it is a shame that we`re in the space we`re in right now. If we`re talking about America as a democracy, then we have to make it be so.
REID: Let`s just be clear for everybody who`s watching this right now. What Republicans are saying is they`re going to make it torture for you to vote in line by having fewer machines, beat-up machines at places in urban centers, places where black folks live, suburbs where black people live, make it impossible or torture for you to vote in line. And then they`re going to make it impossible for you to vote by mail. They`re going to lock off every way that you can vote.
Even if you survive all of those restrictions and you finally get your vote in, then they`re going to say ways out, we`re just not going to count what you did because we don`t like who you voted for because we`re going to give it to the other guy. This is the end of democracy in America. This is the South -- the South Africa strategy. This is minority rule.
This is saying we will rule over the objections of the majority of the American people. This is the most serious thing that we`ve seen happen since the January 6th siege. It`s another kind of siege. It is absolutely bizarre and I will say it`s un-American. It`s old school American. It`s Jim Crow American.
LaTosha Brown --
REID: No doubt about that. LaTosha Brown, thank you for being in this fight. We will stay with us as long as they want to stay with it.
Up next, a U.S. congresswoman displays her absolute ignorance on the border and guns with a truly bizarre and offensive tweet and earns her place as -- I mean, Brian Kemp might beat her tonight but at least until Brian Kemp signed this, she was our absolute worst.
Stay with us.
REID: Roughly two hours after police responded to a mass shooting at Boulder`s King Soopers supermarket, Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert sent out an email.
Now, it`s natural to think that she might have sent out a message of comfort to some of her broken Colorado constituents. But, no, no. It was a fund-raising email.
In it, she warned that radical liberals would take guns away from law abiding Americans. She vowed to fight this new attack on our sacred rights with everything I have.
You see Boebert is a proud gun enthusiast. How can we forget this little Skype backdrop that she conveniently ditched this week. Heck, she loves gun so match, she named her restaurant shooters.
She also likes to remind people over and over and over again that the reason she and her employees carry guns at Shooters is because a man was beaten to death right outside her restaurant.
But here`s the thing. That origin story of hers is mostly fiction. According to "The Washington Post", the guy died of a drug overdose. But who needs facts?
Boebert went on Newsmax to defend the precious by invoking deadly body parts and household tools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): The common theme in Colorado with all of these tragedies that we see is defenseless victims. A law didn`t protect them. They needed a way to physically protect themselves.
In America, we see more deaths by hand, feet, even hammers. And, you know, are we going to start legislating that away? Are we going to be like other countries who even ban knives? If hammers are the cause of more deaths than firearms, then maybe we need to start having background checks on hammers. I mean, look out, Black & Decker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Yeah. So, for the record, firearms accounted for more than 10,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2019, hands, feet and fists, 600. Blunt objects like hammers, 397.
Also I`m pretty sure hammers are not efficient killing machines like assault weapons that can mow down a dozen people in just minutes.
Boebert`s hammer performance in a fundraising email, her lazy relationship with the truth makes her pretty awful. But you know what makes her the absolute worst? This tweet, where she says background checks for guns are a nonstarter. She follows up with this little gem, allow me to read for you.
We should start discussing universal background checks for the thousands of people pouring across the borders. Watch out quickly background checks will become racist to Democrats.
Okay, now, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, just come on over here and sit down. Just sit down. Now, I know thinking is hard, I know. But maybe you should have had your congressional staff Google that for you before you tweeted it to your followers. Because here`s the thing, here`s the thing, Lauren.
Immigrants already do undergo background checks. A congresswoman should know that. According to our border protection authority, the CBP, after apprehension, asylum seekers undergo screening that includes national security, terrorist and intelligence vetting. The FBI also does a name check and fingerprint check.
Now, I could keep going but I won`t. Bottom line, Lauren, now that you know that universal background checks are already happening for immigrants, does that mean that you`ll now endorse background checks for gun purchasers? Hmm? Because that`s what your own logic suggests.
Well, I`m guessing not. And she`s also the absolute worst.
Stay tuned after the break to hear from a Colorado politician who, unlike Lauren Boebert, isn`t just into the performance art of politics, he`s actually serious about his job.
REID: As calls for new gun reforms have increased after Monday`s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, Lauren Boebert isn`t the only gun-loving extremist in the House sedition caucus spreading lies about House passed gun reform legislation to expand background checks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): Really, it`s to create a gun register. Then, as Joe Biden said, he wants to outlaw our AR-15s. Then they`re going to come for our guns. That`s why I went on the House floor and said, in normal America, when we say come and take it, we damn well mean it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Why do they all have the same haircut? What is exactly normal America, Madison?
Earlier this week, President Biden demanded that the Senate take up two House-passed pieces of legislation on background checks, and signaled he could take some executive actions in the meantime.
Today, Colorado Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse, who represents Boulder, sent a letter to President Biden, urging just that, an executive action banning semiautomatic rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines imported from abroad.
And last night, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet issued an impassioned plea to his colleagues as he honored the ten people killed in Monday`s strategy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): The wound will heal but the scar will always be there. My daughter`s generation will always bear the burden of a national government that did nothing to protect them. The Senate needs to act. There`s nobody else to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The suspect appeared in court today. He faces ten charges of murder and is being held without bond. Today, Boulder police noted the handcuffs used when he was taken to custody on Monday were those of slain Police Officer Eric Talley.
Senator Bennet`s plea for the Senate to act is easier said than done, since West Virginian conservative Democratic senator, here we go again, Joe Manchin, is once again flexing his diva act. He is opposed to the House background checks bill that the president and the leader of his party, by the way, supports.
For his part at the White House news conference when President Biden was asked if he had decided on plans moving forward on gun control or gun reform, really, he said it was a matter of timing.
Biden spoke with Boulder`s mayor yesterday to offer his condolences to the community and the families of those lost.
And with me now is Mayor Sam Weaver of Boulder, Colorado.
And, Mayor Weaver, thanks so much for being here.
I first like to ask you and first of all, condolences to the community on the loss of those ten souls.
You talked with the president. What did he say to you?
MAYOR SAM WEAVER (D), BOULDER, COLORADO: Well, he started with condolences and sympathy, Joy, as you might expect. His thoughts were, first and foremost, with the victims of this tragic massacre, which is what it really was.
And then we talked for a while about what could be done as far as gun law reform goes. And some of the points that he raised or he had some powers through executive authority that he talked about what was still left over from the Trump administration that he needed to fix.
And he talked about assault weapons ban, how he had been part of passing one in 1994. Unfortunately, it had a ten-year sunset. And he regretted both that it had a sunset and that it was not renewed.
So, I asked him if he could push for congressional action to get an assault weapons ban reinstated.
REID: You know, I say it all the time, I grew up in Denver, Colorado. Colorado when I grew up was a very gunny state. Lots of people hunted. Lots of neighbors had guns. We never saw them.
But it`s becoming a weird state in the sense that, you know, high capacity magazines, the number of mass shootings, more mass shootings on average in Denver than any other city of its size in the country, and just the number of mass shootings from Columbine on.
But Colorado also had pretty decent laws. I mean, there was a strong assault weapons ban there before a judge overturned it.
What do you think that Denver, Colorado, even Boulder, CU, Colorado University is there, it`s a great state. What do you want to see the federal government do to help you to make, you know, Boulder, to make Colorado safer?
WEAVER: I want to see universal background checks. So, I want to see mental health registries that are linked up with approval of weapons purchases. I want to see misdemeanors that are violent be a bar to being able to purchase weapons. I want to see an assault weapons ban like we had in Boulder until it was overturn at the state and the federal level.
So, the actions are clear we need to take. It is people like Lauren Boebert who stand in the way of us being able to do anything sensible.
Most of Colorado does not agree with someone like Lauren Boebert. They agree with Joe Neguse. They agree with Senator Bennet and Senator Hickenlooper.
REID: Yeah, honestly, I find it shocking that she got elected in a usually fairly sensible state like Colorado. She put out a statement lying about President Biden`s press conference today, claiming that he said, clearly, he`s coming for our guns. It`s just mater of time, blah, blah, blah.
Biden was asked if he made a decision on executive actions, like going after ghost guns and giving money to cities and states that are battling gun reform. He said it`s a matter of timing, all of the above.
But, you know, people like her who do the sort of gun fetishism, right? They sort of treat guns as a fetish, as something you need to display, something you need to show everybody you`ve got them and put them behind you so you can be like I got guns and I`m going to talk about guns.
That culturally is sort of a fake Wild West, right? The Wild West was very regulated in terms of guns.
Do you worry that sort of theater acts like Lauren Boebert are making matters worse for people with mental health issues like this person is going to apparently claim in his defense, this shooter?
WEAVER: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, guns is a fashion accessory of just stupid. There`s no point to it, right? Because it`s telling people that something, which is very dangerous to a lot of human beings, is something that you should carry around and display and show off.
I own weapons. You know, I hunt. And to me nothing that you show off, they`re tools that you use for the thing that they`re designed for and assault weapons are designed for one thing. That is hurting people and killing them.
And so, most people aren`t fit to use weapons like that, and we should keep them out of most people`s hands.
REID: Yeah, I mean all the bad ass people I know have guns don`t show their guns because that`s why they`re bad ass, right? They don`t have to be like I got guns, look at all these guns. That`s a sign of weakness and poor showmanship.
Lastly, there is potential action legislatively. Do you want to see the filibuster go away if that`s what it would take to pass real gun reform? Federally?
WEAVER: I think the filibuster -- the filibuster is a relic, and it should go away. You know, it was not intended to be that way by the people who wrote the Constitution, and it is -- you know, if you have to stand up there and hold your ground and talk, then great. Have a filibuster. But if you can just do it procedurally, it`s terrible.
REID: Yeah, absolutely. You said it very well, sir.
Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver, thank you so much for being here. Condolences again to community there in Boulder.
That is tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.