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Transcript: The ReidOut, 3/5/2021

Guest: Meredith Ezinma, Bill Kristol, Carlos Curbelo, Elizabeth Neumann, Susan Del Percio

Summary:

GOP claims to be working class party but opposes COVID relief for

working class. Senate debating $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. GOP opposes

COVID relief bill despite plan`s popularity. Senate considering amendments

to $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. Republicans push back against COVID

relief and restrictions. Senate debates COVID relief after GOP-imposed

delays.

Transcript:

MEREDITH EZINMA RAMSAY, VIOLINIST: I don`t know about it but let`s working

on it.

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE BULWARK: Just throw me (INAUDIBLE) right

ahead.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Keep working at it. And that`s -- and Bill that`s

how you get to Carnegie Hall, it`s the same way, it`s practice. I want to

thank Ezinma and Bill Kristol for rounding out our week in the most lovely

way possible.

That does it for us. I`ll see everyone back Monday 6:00 P.M. Eastern. Have

a lovely Friday and weekend. And don`t go anywhere, THE REIDOUT starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight

with perhaps the greatest magic trick ever in the history of politics, the

myth of the working-class Republican Party. It`s the way the party that

calls itself the grand old party, the party of yachts and country clubs and

billionaires whose primary goal is to pay as close to zero in taxes as

possible so that they don`t have to foot the bill for you or anyone to have

health care or drive on the roads or really anything that only the

government can provide. That party has aggressively branded itself as the

working-class party for years.

And Republicans do that because it works. White working-class Americans

began voting overwhelmingly Republican in large numbers in the 1960s and

`70s, pushed largely in the GOP camp not by their own desire for tax cuts

but by the Democrats moving aggressively on civil rights. But that push,

that glopping (ph) up of white working class voters who for a long time

been Democrats, because Democrats are the party of the new deal and union

and fair wages, Republicans mopping up those voters helped to secure one

Florida man`s presidential victory.

People even laughably referred to the Donald who was born with $317 million

in his golden pockets and who had a golden toilet as a working-class

billionaire, bananas but it worked, which is why his populous con remains

in full effect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): The most significant political change of the last

decade has been that the heart and soul of the Republican Party, we are a

working-class party.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The Republican party grew with the blue-collar

worker. Because it was a forgotten man and woman that Donald Trump listened

to the voice that no one else would listen to. And we`re never going that

people -- those people.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): The president really tried to make the Republican

Party a working-class party.

The president tried to refocus this party on those Americans, on their

concerns, on their needs, on their family`s security, on their jobs, and he

was right to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: So, hear the whistles there, the little dog whistles. These

Republicans are pouring gasoline on conservative Americans` social anxiety,

their social anxiety, which the media was lulled into portraying as

economic anxiety in 2016 as they gear up for 2022.

But, folks, it`s a lie. It`s also a scam, which is why underneath the blue-

collar veneer, you see Ted Cancun Cruz joked about ditching Texans for the

Ritz Carlton in Mexico as millions frozen and without water. It`s why you

see Republicans condemning the idea of a gender-neutral potato rather than

condemn the pandemic`s devastating toll on actual blue-collar workers. It`s

why they are igniting a war against cancel culture and the woke mob and at

a conservative conference the charges up to $15,000 a head to attend.

There`s no working-class union people there.

But while saying little to nothing at that conference about protecting your

mortgage or your health care or your job, but the most clear cut sign of

their staggering hypocrisy is how Republican are standing in the way of a

piece of legislation that will certainly save Americans from financial ruin

and quite possibly even save their lives, and that`s President Biden`s

nearly $2 trillion COVID relief bill, which is currently debated in the

United States Senate.

Now, we`re close to seven hours since the start of the so-called vote-a-

rama, the long, long, long, long, process of debating amendments and

passing the bill in the Senate. The bill includes $1,400 checks and

extended unemployment benefits, which were set to lapse in mid-March.

Yet Republicans, Republicans are opposed, like Senator Ron Johnson, who in

this week`s episode of, well, that was a big waste of the time, for Senate

clerks to read aloud all 628 pages of the bill, in a performative stunt

that delayed proceedings by 11 hours while he left and went on his merry

way.

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who called the bill wildly

expensive even though he has supported the Trump tax plan that involved the

same amount of money. But since it favored the wealthy in corporations,

well that, that was okay.

Today, Democrats seem to set to agree on lowering the measures federal

unemployment benefit to $300 a week with coverage extended September.

President Biden`s original proposal was for $400 a week. And this is what

Senator McConnell has to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This isn`t state unemployment insurance. It`s

borrowing from our kids and grandkids to pay yet an additional cash bonus

for not working.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Joining us is Mehdi Hasan, host of the brand new Mehdi Hasan Show on

MSNBC, which airs on Sunday at 8:00 P.M. Eastern, proof that God listens to

prayers, that he want this for a long time, and Carlos Curbelo, former

Republican Congressman from Florida. It`s true. And Mehdi, I`m going to

start with you.

So, I -- you know, I feel like I have to remind people about how popular

bill is, right, so, you know, polls whatever, but here are two polls.

There`s one in the morning console poll that shows 76 percent of Americans

want this bill. 89 percent of Democrats in this polls, 60 percent of

Republicans want it. You go to the Quinnipiac Poll. The Republican support

drops at 37 percent but it`s 68 percent still in total.

This is like a popular bill and yet you have Republicans who are in

$174,000 in fresh money that they probably don`t spend because they are

multimillionaires, like Mitch McConnell, going you know $300, you greedy

working class people, why do they want that? You don`t need $300, like it

blows my mind. Your thoughts.

MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC HOST: Well, I`m so glad you opened the show with this

topic because it frustrates the hell out of me. It is shtick that the

Republican Party now is the party of workers, the anti-elite party, the

party of the little guy. You played that clip from Ted Cruz on Fox News the

other night. He only claimed that the Republicans were the party of the

workers. He claimed that they were the party against elite. So the party --

Democrats have let down unions.

Do you remember the last time Ted Cruz voted for anything pro labor union?

This is a guy when he ran for president said he wanted to bring in a

national right to work law, which would undermined union across the

country, has never voted for an increase in the minimal wage, won`t vote

for paid parental leave, voted against that, like they talk the talk of

blue collar working class.

By the way, as you pointed out, it`s white working class they are referring

to here, not the working class as a whole, which will be majority/minority

within the decade. But they`re talking about white working-class voters and

they talk and talk. But when it comes to voting for them, you have a COVID

relief bill, they don`t want to vote for increased checks, they don`t want

to vote for increase minimum wage, they don`t want to vote for an increase

in child tax credit. I mean, it`s absurd for them to claim to be a worker`s

party when they have no interest in work.

Then you mentioned Mitch McConnell ran through the tax cuts, the Trump tax

cuts worth the same amount which went to millionaires and billionaires. But

he is a champion of workers. Ted Cruz went to the Ritz Carlton, that well-

known destination for working class people on holiday. I mean, it`s just --

I`m so fed up of the gaslighting in American Politics. Today, American

politics is defined by right-wing gaslighting. Don`t believe your eyes and

ears, believe us.

REID: It`s wild. I mean, Carlos, I know your district very well. It

includes the Key West, some very affluent parts of Miami, it also includes

art of Southern Miami. It`s seesawed between Democrats and Republicans

representing -- I know I think Carlos Gimenez is representing it right now.

But, overall, you kind of live that in Congress, that you have very wealthy

donors I`m sure in Key West who just want tax cuts. They just want their

taxes to be as low as possible. They live in Florida in part because of

that.

And then you have just regular people who I`m sure are not thinking, boy, I

wish I can get a tax cut. They are probably are not even at the tax rate

where they can think about it. But the idea of rich people, of your Key

West types, saying that it is obscene for people to get an extra $300, for

people to get a little $1,400, which is nothing to them but it`s everything

to people who are broke. Don`t you find it just obscene just as a thing?

FMR. REP. CARLOS CURBELO (R-FL): Well, Joy, I know this area, but you know

it too, because this is your old stomping grounds. And I will say, you`re

putting your finger on the identity crisis that the Republican Party is

having. The Republican Party was never a populous party. Donald Trump

introduced some populism because his only goal to get reelected and to be

popular. That`s what he liked.

And the irony is that this is a bill that, if I had to bet, Donald Trump

would sign into law, yet you have senators like Ron Johnson, someone who

worships at the altar Donald Trump clearly, rejecting this bill, when it`s

Donald Trump who attack Republicans for not supporting the $2,000 that now

are (INAUDIBLE) Americans are going to be made whole with this bill.

But you are kind to see how these Republicans are really struggling. They

don`t have Donald Trump telling them what it`s okay to do anymore. So,

they`re kind of rudderless and directionless. And that is what we`re seeing

in response to this American rescue plan. Some of them went into the White

House and wanted to negotiate something. Now they are pulling back. This is

a party that really doesn`t have a policy compass, a lot of Republican they

days who have a moral compass, and that`s why they are having so much

trouble time to figure out what to do.

REID: You know, and, Mehdi, it feels -- exactly, and I feel it`s like an

opposite day every day. The party of small government wants to regulate the

internet so that people can`t tweet mean things about Donald Trump, right?

And they want to make us so that nobody can cancel people off of Twitter.

It`s Twitter. They want to regulate that. But they supposed to be the party

of small government. They`re suddenly physically responsible and say this

is too expensive. Too expensive for whom? Too expensive for very wealthy

taxpayers who literally are like, I don`t want to pay for people`s health

care. I don`t want to pay taxes, right? I mean, everything is the opposite.

So I have to ask you when you look at the fact that Democrats are trying to

negotiate with these people, that they are trying to say, let`s have

bipartisanship, does it drive you as crazy that drives me when they say

bipartisan? Mitt Romney, who`s supposed to be the most heroic Republican

ever because he said two of three words against Donald Trump, is also super

rich and against paying people a minimum wage.

HASAN: Yes.

REID: Like they`re all against it. So, I mean, does it -- I don`t know what

we do on the other side of this if we have so many Democrats who are

saying, but, but, but I want those people to be my friends.

HASAN: Well, the only silver lining is we focus on the Democrats like the

Manchin, Sinemas who behave absurdly in the Senate. But a lot of other

Democrats who basically being radicalized by this GOP, you have Senator

Tina Smith in Minnesota, saying, I was supporter on the filibuster, I no

longer. Amy Klobuchar, comes out and said, I`m not against it, but why?

These are not some radical Democrats. These are centrists who have been

radicalized by GOP intransigents and bad fate and gaslighting.

And, you know, you talk about what they`re up to right now. This is the

party of the worker at a time when American workers are suffering like they

have never suffered before. And yet the only thing you hear Republicans

talk about, switch on Fox News. Well, don`t. But if you do, you will see

Dr. Seuss instead of actual doctors trying to dodge COVID on the frontline,

Mr. Potato Head rather than Mr. Smith, your constituents who lost their

jobs. They don`t care about ordinary people. They care about pointless

culture wars.

And they pretend to care about things like the deficit when you raise

issue. The Republicans caring about the deficit is like the royal family

pretending to care about Meghan Markle. They don`t care, right? It`s

ridiculous. They`re making fun of you when they say that. They don`t care

about the deficit. They don`t care about anything. So, this is the problem,

we have to be clear-eyed about this.

And I think Joe Biden, one thing he`s done very well is, he is -- despite

doing the talk about bipartisanship, which I don`t like, he`s put his eye

on the prize and he said, we`re doing this. We`re doing this bill. I would

love for to you come along for the ride but we`re doing it because we have

to help people. I`m not -- discipline is rare from Democrats. But we`ve had

it from Biden on the importance of this bill.

REID: You are absolutely right on that.

CURBELO: Well, Joy --

REID: Go ahead, Carlos.

CURBELO: Yes, just briefly, and I`ll say this, I am a fan of

bipartisanship, I always try to work with Democrats when I was in Congress.

But it is true that if one party, in this case, Republicans refuse to agree

to anything, then it becomes very difficult to work in a bipartisan manner.

REID: Let me ask you a question real quick. Because a lot of people say

they`re fan of bipartisanship, I`m not sure why, I`m not sure the point of

this is, if a -- an idea is either right for the country or it`s wrong for

the country. And if it`s right for the country, you will come along on it,

and that will make it bipartisan. But this bipartisanship, for

bipartisanship, say, it seems to me, as absolutely pointless, it is not the

point of politics, right?

But for you, as somebody who is in the Republican Party, do you think that

if -- I know you`re in the other body, but if the Senate got rid of the

filibuster, let`s say, because I`ve seen a couple of Democratic senators

say this, you would get bipartisanship. Because if they knew Democrats

could just pass whatever they wanted without their health and only had to

negotiate with Joe Manchin, then the Republicans who wanted something would

have to come to the table. There would be nowhere else to go.

Don`t you think that getting rid of things like the filibuster would

produce the things that you say that like by bipartisanship?

CURBELO: Well, that`s a theory and we`ve never tried it, so I guess we have

to try to see. But I will say this. I agree that bipartisanship is not an

act. It`s a means. And I`ll tell you what it`s a means for, it`s a means

for durable policy. Because if you pass something with 60 votes, it`s far

more likely that that policy will stick, just like if you get something

through Congress, it`s more likely that will stick rather than an executive

order. So, the goal is to pass durable policy, and that is where

bipartisanship is important.

But you`re absolutely right. I mean, bipartisanship in and of itself, is

not an end, right? Getting along is not an end. Getting good results for

the American people, delivering meaningful policy that will improve

people`s quality of life, that is an end. And if bipartisanship can help,

that`s get that is great. But I do understand Democrats controlling both

Houses and the presidency using reconciliation is sometimes the only option

that parties have. And they`re certainly exercising it now.

REID: Well, and, you know, the two things I would say to counter what you

are saying, Carlos, and I know you mean that in good faith, DACA, is an

executive order, and Affordable Care Act, try to get rid of it. Because

here is the thing, Republicans also like to go to the doctor and dentist.

And if you -- look what happened to the then governor of Kentucky when he

was like, I`m going to get rid of what was called Kynext, and people

figured out that that was Obamacare, or that Obamacare was Kynect, and he

tried to get rid of it. He was gone in a heartbeat. It`s political suicide

to get rid of things people like.

The last question I will ask you is about the Democrats, because there is

this issue people have to vote their state, Mehdi. And if you go through

the eight Democrats who voted against the 15-minimum wage, which is also

hugely popular, I get that you have both the Delaware senators voting

against it. So, meaning, for whatever reason, their voting their state.

Both New Hampshire senators voted there together, so that means that you

could argue their voting their state. John Tester has got a Republican on

the other side of him and Manchin, they also have very Republican states.

Kyrsten Sinema is out there on her own, because Mark Kelly, the very

popular astronaut, who is the other senator in Arizona voted the other way.

So, she can`t say I`m voting Arizona politics because, then why didn`t he

vote the way she did. So, I feel like in some cases, there is an

intransigence among Democrats that want to be on the other side. I don`t

know what that is about. Do you? Because she said she`s going to move away.

She said on record before.

HASAN: Yes, 2014, there`s still a tweet up. I shared in today saying raise

the minimum wage, it`s a no-brainer, that was just six, seven years ago.

It`s a great question. I think it`s going to be one of the defining

questions about politics over the next couple of years, what drives these

people. Is it ideology, is it ideology of bipartisanship, not left and

right, as you mentioned earlier?

Do you have these people just come to believe the kind of savvy centrist

world view that says, it`s more important that I stick to some imaginary

bipartisanship than vote in the interest of my constituents, who will

actually punish my party in 2022 midterm when we don`t give them the $15

minimum wage that we promise to give them.

REID: Yes.

HASAN: And I think that is the fundamental (INAUDIBLE), not just the people

in her state see it as popular, but across the country.

So, I mean, our politics are broken out, democracies broken when 70 percent

of the public support a bill and not a single Republican in the House or

Senate support it. That is broken democracy.

REID: I will tell you two things quickly before I let everybody go. Manchin

and Sinema, as annoying as that is, are saying to their party, if you do X,

Y, Z, I`ll vote for the bill. The problem with when negotiating with

Republicans is that they will extract changes and amendments and making the

bill weaker and then still not vote for the bill. There is a problem.

And if people are worshiping bipartisanship, Mehdi, I think you`ll agree

with me, It`s probably us, it`s probably the media who`s made it a thing.

That`s the thing that you want for what reason.

HASAN: Yes.

REID: Mehdi Hasan, thank you very much, Carlos Curbelo, always great to

talk to you, my homie my from the MIA.

Mehdi`s new MSNBC show air Sunday night at 8:00 P.M. Be sure to tune for

that. It`s going to be hot. And up next on THE REIDOUT, the former

president said that he hired only the best people. Well, one of the best

people, a Trump appointee, was just charged with beating a police officer

in the January 6th MAGA insurrection. Perfect.

Plus, if you want to know what the Republican Party is all about these

days, consider Paul Gosar, the Arizona Congressman played hokey last week

so he could attend a white nationalist conference which featured pearls of

wisdom like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): This country wouldn`t exist without white people.

And white people are done being bullied.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Okay, then. Well and yet, not a peep of criticism from any of his

fellow Republican politicians.

And while that makes Paul Gosar a horrible human being, he`s actually not

the absolute worst tonight if you can believe that. The big reveal is

coming up.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: There`s new fallout today from the MAGA insurrection of January 6.

We have now seen the first member of the Trump administration itself to be

charged in connection with the Capitol siege. Politico reports that FBI

tipsters recognized the suspect from a wanted poster identifying him as

Federico Klein, a former Trump campaign worker and State Department aide.

According to the charging documents, body camera footage shows Klein

repeatedly assaulting police officers, including with a stolen riot shield.

Prosecutors also say that, as a State Department employee, Klein possessed

a top-secret security clearance at the time he participated in the

insurrection.

This comes as the former president finds himself on the receiving end of

yet another civil lawsuit, this one filed by Democratic Congressman and

impeachment manager Eric Swalwell. It`s the first suit to also name Trump`s

son, Donald Trump Jr., as well as a member of Congress, Congressman Mo

Brooks, as defendants, along with Rudy Giuliani.

And it`s the second suit to cite the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, following

the claim that the NAACP filed on behalf of Congressman Bennie Thompson

last month.

But it`s not just that the former president may be liable for the -- it`s

not just the former president who may be liable for the violence that day.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren released a review of social media posts from the

147 lawmakers, Republicans, who voted to overturn the election. It

highlights posts like this one from Paul Gosar, who said: "Sedition and

treason for stealing votes is appropriate."

Joining me now is Elizabeth Neumann, former assistant secretary for threat

prevention and security policy at the Department of Homeland Security, and

Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney.

Thank you both for being here.

And, Elizabeth, I will go to you first.

How alarming is it, as somebody who was in the former presidential

administration, to find out that we have at least one security clearance-

holding official, appointed official of the Trump administration, now

indicted for being a part of this Capitol siege?

ELIZABETH NEUMANN, FORMER U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY ASSISTANT SECRETARY: It`s

very concerning, but it`s not surprising.

I`m actually surprised we haven`t seen more. There were quite a number of

people that worked in the administration that -- I found that lacked a lot

of common sense in terms of what is appropriate behavior as government

officials and what is not. And many of them really drink the Kool-Aid.

There are a lot of them that did not and were along for the ride. But a lot

of them really believed what Trump was saying and what he was doing. And,

therefore, if he says the election is stolen, if he says come on January 6,

it`ll be wild, I kind of was expecting to see more of his government

appointees in the crowd and participating in the insurrection.

REID: And we have, Joyce, this lawsuit, this second lawsuit, that names,

not just Donald Trump, but his son, Rudy Giuliani, but also a member of

Congress. This is the first time we have one member of Congress really

suing another member of Congress.

And it is interesting that member of Congress was cited by Ali Alexander

and other members of Congress were as being people who -- and this is the

organizer of the -- quote -- "Stop the Steal Rally," who`s in hiding -- I`m

not sure that he`s been arrested yet -- has actually said: Members of

Congress were working with me on putting this whole thing together.

Are we at the point now where it`s almost dangerous for members of Congress

to be a part of the investigation, because some of them might be targets?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It presents a really interesting potential

conflict of interest question, Joy.

And now we have got investigation three different tracks. We have got

federal criminal cases going forward. We have got congressional

investigation, which maybe will morph into a January 6 commission, and we

have got the suits by both the Mississippi resident -- representative and

now by Representative Swalwell.

And they do something very interesting. Whether or not there will

ultimately be a criminal conspiracy and that sort of formal liability, we

don`t know the answer to yet. But this complaint that we have seen today

lays out a very compelling case for responsibility among Trump, his son,

Representative Mo Brooks, and Rudy Giuliani for inciting the crowd and

unleashing them on the Capitol.

And this ultimately may answer the question of responsibility in a court

setting.

REID: Yes.

I think I said Paul Gosar, but -- right -- I meant Mo Brooks.

Here`s Mo Brooks. Let`s play him.

This is cut two for my producers.

And this is him inciting the crowd at the rally at the Ellipse that took

place just before the Capitol siege. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): I have got a message that I need you to take to your

heart and take back home. And, on the way, stop at the Capitol. We are not

going to let them continue to corrupt our elections and steal from us our

God-given right to control our nation`s destiny.

Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: And, again, Ali Alexander claimed in a video that he had some

organizing assistance from Paul Gosar, from Andy Biggs, and from that

gentleman, Mo Brooks, in organizing the rally.

The Associated Press reports that officers who responded to the mayhem, law

enforcement agents were being -- saw that law enforcement agents were being

pulled into the crowd, trampled, assaulted with scaffolding materials

and/or bear-maced by protesters. Some couldn`t walk or had to be dragged to

safety.

To stay with you just for a moment, Joyce, that sounds to me like the

makings of a lot of problems for people like Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and

Most Brooks, who are all sitting representatives. Does that look like

trouble to you?

VANCE: You know, if their conduct is limited to organizing a rally, that`s

probably First Amendment speech.

The question is whether there will be evidence that goes beyond, that says

that any members of Congress were involved in maybe aiding and abetting

rioters as they approach the Capitol, helping them find locations inside of

the Capitol, encouraging them to move past police lines.

So, as in all cases, it always comes down to the details. That`s why it`s

so important that we have these investigations on a number of different

fronts, so we can get to the truth.

REID: And what concerns you the most? I mean, as you look at this,

Elizabeth, you have -- when you put all these little pieces together, which

we can`t put together ourselves in a narrative, because we just have

pieces, but you have the Pentagon seeming really reticent, and the

secretary of the Army seems really reticent to respond, even hours into the

attack.

You have law enforcement being essentially hobbled in trying to attack, the

National Guard hobbled. And then you have the brother of Michael Flynn,

who`s also a general, on a call in which they seem to be trying to limit

the response.

And his brother is one of the people saying, no, Trump you should use

martial law to stay in power. These pieces, to me, all are very terrifying.

And it says to me that we came really, really, really close to what amounts

to a coup.

Is that too hysterical to think that way?

NEUMANN: I don`t think it is, Joy.

I think that it`s kind of -- I realize that, in a court of law, the

prosecution has to prove their case. And that needs to happen from a

criminal perspective.

But when you are a government employee, when you take that oath, like, it

is -- the burden is on you to explain your actions to the American people,

and explain why you made the decisions that you did. And we really haven`t

heard from those individuals -- you mentioned the secretary of defense,

Michael Flynn`s brother -- to fully understand their side of the story.

But, from what we know right now, there`s really only two answers. Either

you had a situation of a number of new political appointees that had come

into the Department of Defense that were not equipped to do the job, that

didn`t have the credentials.

And transitions take time. So, even if they had had credentials, which they

did not, perhaps they just didn`t know enough about how the department

worked. And, thus, they made some really bad judgment calls.

Now, I think that`s being generous. But until we have all of the facts,

that is a plausible scenario.

But the other scenario is much more concerning, especially as we look

forward and figure out how to make sure this never happens again. The other

scenario, that this was intentional, that there was malfeasance here, that

there was this scenario where they were letting it get out of hand because

they thought that the president wanted them to do that, or perhaps they

really were going for that martial law declaration.

So it`s not really clear to me which one it is.

REID: Yes.

NEUMANN: We need to hear from the people at the Department of Defense that

either made that bad judgment call or perhaps were participating in

something criminal.

REID: We need a commission, a 9/11-style commission with subpoena power.

VANCE: And, Joy, can I just add, the...

REID: Sure.

VANCE: The real question here is, what did they hope to gain by delaying?

Did they think that that extra hour or two would buy them an actual coup?

We have not seen evidence of that yet, but that`s the question that so

needs to be asked here.

What did they really think that they were going to get away with?

REID: Yes, absolutely. Indeed. We need that commission.

Elizabeth Neumann, Joyce Vance, thank you both very much. Have a great

weekend.

Well, today`s absolute worst is next.

And, later, "Who Won The Week?"

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: You would think being singled out as one of the leading peddlers of

the big lie leading to the siege of the U.S. Capitol would make Arizona

Republican Congressman Paul Gosar a shoo-in for tonight`s absolute worst.

But, of course, there`s more.

You might recall Gosar was the keynote speaker at the America First

Political Action Conference last weekend organized by right-wing activists

and Charlottesville white nationalist riot veteran Nick Fuentes, who spewed

all sorts of white supremacist venom like this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK FUENTES, WHITE NATIONALIST ACTIVIST: This country wouldn`t exist

without white people.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

FUENTES: And white people are done being bullied.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Well, the next day, at the CPAC conference, Gosar tried to distance

himself, decrying white racism and telling "The Washington Post" that the

speech to AFPAC was outreach or engagement of sorts to the young people.

I mean, Charlottesville rioters with the tiki torches screaming "Jews will

not replace us," they were young, right? Got to reach out to the youth,

which brings me to another perennial candidate for the absolute worst, the

Republican Party, writ large, because, you see, in the weeks since Gosar

are addressed that white nationalist conference, the Republican Party seems

to just not care.

Even Gosar`s home state paper asked, why are no Republicans condemning

Gosar for cozying up to white nationalists? Politico notes the House GOP so

far has confronted no large-scale blowback from Gosar`s speech or from

other incidents that link a few of its members to far right imagery or

rhetoric.

That`s not surprising, given Republicans generally staying silent on QAnon

Congresswoman Marjie Greene until she became a problem, and, even then,

they mostly voted against stripping her of her committee assignments. So

she`s now free to waste her time on the GOP performance art of defending

Dr. Seuss from getting canceled by his own in-house publishing company,

which they`re now enriching with money, #ownthelibs.

So, maybe the reason why most Republicans aren`t saying anything about

Gosar`s confab with white nationalists is because the Republican Party has

now just mainstreamed white supremacy, as Michael Gerson pointed out in a

column this week, or maybe it`s because Republicans are now just the party

of media and performance art, and white supremacy is just another part of

the act to keep white working-class voters distracted and hopped up and

entertained, while their actual elected officials do literally nothing for

them.

But the Republican Party is surprisingly not the absolute worst either.

That dishonor tonight belongs to FOX News host and possibly tipsy

inappropriate auntie at Thanksgiving Jeanine Pirro, who joined in with

Texas Governor Greg Abbott`s COVID anti-immigrant xenophobia last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS: You listen to me. They have got COVID. They have

got all kinds of diseases. They are being released into the United States.

Now, you`re not going to tell me that a governor is going to shut me down

and not allow me to do my job and let in the illegals because we have got a

heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Oh, Jeanine.

For that fearmongering display of racist demagoguery aimed squarely at

exploiting the paranoia and fears of the loudest part of the Republican

base tonight, Jeanine Pirro, you are the absolute worst.

And after the break, we will talk more about the latest in performative

Republican theater.

Stick with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: The people have spoken, and they seem to agree, and approval of Biden

is what they decree, 70 percent on COVID, even some on the right. Poor

Florida man never reached such a height.

And not back on his throne, as the Q`s had predicted, Florida man is

lashing out and feeling quite afflicted, for COVID, a leader is what Biden

portrays, unlike Trump L`orange, who`s stuck in his ways, raging at those

who don`t bow low enough, firing off letters, since he`s Twitter-rebuffed.

But with their king stuck in his Palm Beach resort, what cause will his

party take up for their sport? Tenth Amendment and taters and Seuss all the

rage. It`s much easier work than offering a living wage.

Joining me now is Dean Obeidallah, host of "The Dean Obeidallah Show" on

SiriusXM and columnist for MSNBC Daily, and Susan Del Percio, Republican

strategist.

I first would like to review of my poem, if you please.

(LAUGHTER)

REID: But let`s first talk -- you don`t have to give me your review.

Dean Obeidallah, we`re in a weird, weird world, my friend...

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, MSNBC DAILY COLUMNIST: Yes.

REID: ... where Biden and Democrats are haggling with each other over like

a super popular policy that`s going to give people a check, and Republicans

are like, Dr. Seuss is being canceled by his own company.

I don`t get it. Do you get it?

OBEIDALLAH: Of course. They have nothing else to talk about.

And look at, what is the GOP policy prescriptions to help Americans? We

have nearly 20 million, except -- on some form of unemployment right now.

You have 750,000 file for unemployment last week. That`s four times the

rate before the Trump recession, millions going to bed hungry, literally.

And the GOP, what is their policy prescription? It`s to talk about Potato

Head. Why anyone is playing with a potato, I don`t even know. And, of

course, dealing with cancel culture, because that`s all they got. I mean,

literally, that -- I challenge people. I challenge on my radio show, call

and tell me, what are the policies the GOP to help Americans?

I`m begging you to tell me. And they have zero. That`s it. Done

REID: Well, I mean, and the policies, Susan, they`re about exclusion.

They`re saying, exclude these brown immigrants, because I don`t want them

in my country. Exclude LGBT people from getting married, because I don`t

like it, even though it wouldn`t affect me personally.

Exclude, exclude. Like, the policies, if they exist, are sort of negative

policy about hurting people who make their base uncomfortable. And it`s

what`s put them in the Republican Party. It`s how they sopped up the

working class. It`s all emotional.

But when you just, even as a Republican, hear really rich people, like

Mitch McConnell, whose wife owns like an entire, like, shipping company,

and who`s seemingly an -- that was unethical in her job, and they`re rich,

and they say something like, well, I don`t want to bankrupt my future

children, I can`t make them have to pay to raise people`s wages.

But they`re rich. It would be like a few pennies for them to pay a little

bit of extra taxes somewhere in the distant future. But people who need 15

-- the minimum wage right now is $7.25 an hour. That is criminal.

Do you understand how this is a policy idea, set of ideas that actually

somehow resonates, if it`s not just about demographic panic?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, it is what you said. It`s an

anti-agenda.

It`s what Dean said. They have nothing else to go with. And let`s just add

into that they are also anti-people voting who won`t vote for them.

REID: Yes.

DEL PERCIO: They want to repress their -- and suppress their votes. So,

they`re very -- I think we will see a lot more of that coming up in the

next couple of weeks and months ahead.

But there is no response for it. They want to pretend -- this is the thing

that kills me. There`s two things, Joy. One, they want to pretend that they

are the party of the working class, OK, and, as you mentioned earlier,

probably just the white working class, but, OK, just the working class,

when they`re against the minimum wage, and they`re against unemployment

benefits.

It makes no sense whatsoever. The other thing is, is that I don`t

understand how they are betting against Joe Biden for the midterm

elections. Midterm elections are a referendum on the president. This

president will have gotten the majority of -- by 2022, the majority of our

country vaccinated, and will be dealing with a very strong economy.

And that`s a -- that`s not a Republican or Democrat thing. That`s just a

fact. That`s the way it`s going to play out. No one disagrees with that.

Why the Republicans are doing this, you got me. The only thing I come up

with time and again is that they are still afraid of Donald Trump, and they

are still afraid of a primary. And you know what? They deserve to lose,

because, if you`re not showing leadership, you don`t belong on the job.

REID: Well, yes. I mean, the sort of numbers that you`re seeing with Biden

are sort of Reagany numbers. Like, they`re really actually quite high.

I think about also, Dean, Mitch McConnell, who fought to be reelected, only

to now start floating retirement. But he can`t just retire like a regular

person would, because this is what Republicans do. It`s like, I need the

state legislature to strip power from the Democratic governor and strip

power from the governor, just because the governor is a Democrat, and give

the power to the Republican legislature, so he could put his handpicked

person in, probably the same state attorney general who essentially let a

bunch of cops off for busting in and shooting a woman in her bed.

They`re like, that guy let them off and tricked the grand jury and lied to

them. That`s the guy he wants to place in power, even the way it -- so,

it`s like, what did you come back then for? Just so that you can choose

your own successor. That`s what that looks like.

OBEIDALLAH: It`s possible.

I think Mitch McConnell is immortal. He will be there forever. He`s never

leaving the Senate. He looked like -- he`s like a vampire. I mean, I don`t

know. I read the reports. Is he really thinking of leaving? I can`t tell.

Is it a game? I`m not sure.

He must sense, though, he does not represent the GOP any longer. The wing

of the GOP that he`s in, that lane, gone. The GOP is Trump`s party. And

look at it. We had 261 Republicans in the House and Senate combined; 17

voted to hold Trump accountable.

Even McConnell didn`t, but he made that speech afterwards. The GOP is not

the party he is part of. So, maybe he really feels like it`s time to move

on. He -- he was partly dabbling in white supremacy. Now you got Paul Gosar

going to white supremacist events.

And there`s no backlash. The GOP is a mix of white supremacy and fascism

and dangerous lies and hypocrisy. It`s a dangerous cocktail. That`s the

GOP. Maybe he`s actually had enough.

REID: I mean, people get really mad when people like you and people like me

say that, but prove us wrong.

If you`re not the party of white supremacy, then why do you keep letting

them in and letting them have a platform, including Donald Trump? It --

there`s you have to explain to us how that is not true.

OBEIDALLAH: Can I say one quick thing?

REID: I have to ask you, Susan. There is the -- yes, sure.

OBEIDALLAH: No, just one quick thing.

As a Muslim, these Republicans demanded every Muslim denounce any bad act

by any Muslim anywhere, because they told us, if we didn`t, we`re

complicit. That`s how they think.

They are now silent in the face of Paul Gosar going to a white national

event. They are silent as people like the Proud Boys and QAnon are building

a paramilitary group. We have to, based on their own track record, assume

they want to support, they are complicit in bigotry, they are complicit in

the budding fascist movement that is replacing the GOP.

I`m not being hyperbolic. We are warning people, this is what we`re seeing.

Study history. Look at The History Channel. It`s scary stuff.

REID: It is very scary.

And, Susan, even, like, something like the -- their sort of best gift in

the last several weeks is the Cuomo sort of swirling mess that`s happening

in New York.

DEL PERCIO: Yes.

REID: But what you hear Republicans saying is, who can we get to take that

job? I mean, it would be great for them to put a Republican in place of

Cuomo, because they could do all kinds of things. They could pardon Donald

Trump. They could let him back in the city.

Like, there are -- the thinking isn`t even about any of these women. It`s

all about what they can get out of it. And, also, they supported Donald

Trump, who has like a couple of dozen allegations that go all the way up to

rape.

So, even if they were to try to feign outrage here, it would be lost on

everyone, because this is who they are when it comes to any respect

whatsoever for women. One of those members called AOC the B-word, and has

never apologized for it.

So, even something like that, they only can use the scandal to try to get

power.

DEL PERCIO: Well, I will make you feel a little bit better tonight. Joy and

Dean.

I guarantee you a Republican will not be elected governor in 2022.

REID: No.

DEL PERCIO: Even if -- no matter what happens, it`s not going to happen.

Why? Because the state demographics don`t allow it. It`s just not going to

happen.

So, there may be a wild primary. And there are certainly Republicans and

Democrats who are coming out against Andrew Cuomo. But, to your point, the

Republicans refused in the state Senate today to vote against removing

Cuomo`s emergency powers, because it didn`t go far enough.

Instead of doing what they actually believed in, which was to take the

right vote, they did a political vote and tried to stand as a bloc, which

gets them nowhere.

But the Republican Party in New York has been in a challenging position for

many, many years.

(LAUGHTER)

DEL PERCIO: The Republican Party nationally...

REID: Yes, because they don`t have voters -- yes.

DEL PERCIO: You`re supposed to be able to...

REID: Well, they don`t have voter suppression rules. They don`t have voter

suppression rules that they can play in New York. They can`t suppress New

York voters. They don`t -- that ship has sailed, so they can`t do anything

about it.

Actually, people get to vote in New York.

(CROSSTALK)

REID: Very quickly.

DEL PERCIO: But, when Republicans won, they won on their ideas.

And that`s what happened in New York. And if we can`t have that

conversation, Republicans don`t deserve to win. It`s that simple.

REID: There you go. There you go.

Dean and Susan are sticking around for "Who Won the Week?"

I cannot wait to hear who they pick. Don`t go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: We made it to Friday, which means it`s time for "Who Won the Week?"

Back with me are Dean Obeidallah and Susan Del Percio.

Cannot wait to hear what you guys say. I`m going to go ladies first.

Susan Del Percio, won the week?

DEL PERCIO: So, in New York City, Joy, space is, like, at a premium.

So, this woman, Samantha Hartsoe, was trying to find this breeze where this

air was coming into her apartment. She lifted up the back of her bathroom

mirror and found an entire empty apartment behind it.

(LAUGHTER)

DEL PERCIO: Now, if that`s not a big -- like, winning a week, I think

that`s like winning the year.

REID: Oh, in New York? Are you kidding me? That`s like...

DEL PERCIO: Yes.

REID: If you find an extra closet, you won the week. So, a whole apartment

in New York City? Are you kidding me? Yes, that`s winning.

All right, Dean, it`s a hard one for you to top. If people know New York

City, you know how hard that is to top. And I know you do.

So, Dean Obeidallah, my friend, who won the week?

OBEIDALLAH: The winner by far, Dr. Seuss, of course Dr. -- first, we got to

hear Joy do a poem about it.

(LAUGHTER)

OBEIDALLAH: Look at the sales. Their sales went through the roof after all

this controversy.

Second, they showed corporate responsibility, saying, hey, these are

certain titles we don`t want to be associated with. And, third, it reminded

Americans that the GOP is the party of projection, because they said, we

wanted to cancel Dr. Seuss.

REID: Yes.

OBEIDALLAH: We are not.

They`re the king and queen of cancel. They wanted to cancel 81 million of

our votes. They`re trying to cancel a COVID relief bill. They`re trying to

cancel early voting days. They are trying to cancel democracy.

And that`s it. Dr. Seuss.

REID: And they own themselves by giving the money to the same people who

canceled the book, owning yourselves.

The real winner, though, of "Who Won the Week?" is Renee Montgomery, Renee

Montgomery, who went to battle against Kelly Loeffler when Kelly Loeffler

was downing Black Lives Matter, former player on the WNBA, now a part owner

of the Atlanta Dream, bought out Kelly Loeffler`s stake.

She won the week.

Dean Obeidallah, Susan Del Percio.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT

Do not miss "THE CROSS CONNECTION" tomorrow morning. Tiffany will be joined

by Dr. Anthony Fauci, tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on MSNBC.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END

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