tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC September 3, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
donald trump pledges allegiance to the republican party and other candidates kentucky county clerk who believes the supreme court of the united states has no power over her. >> stunning news out of the federal courthouse in ashland, kentucky. >> the kentucky clerk who defied the supreme court now in custody. >> he had no choice but to find her in contempt. >> it has divided republican candidates running for president. >> i think it is absurd for putting someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty. >> those of us have to administer the law to every american as the law is written. >> the supreme court is not the supreme branch and not the supreme being. >> i have signed the pledge. >> reporter: he pledges allegiance to the gop. >> and the conservative
principles for which it stands. >> this is not binding. nothing about this is binding. i see no circumstances under which i would tear up that pledge. >> has been an enjoyable off season. >> a federal judge has thrown out tom brady's four-game suspension. >> great feeling all around. new england right now. >> knew he didn't do anything. congratulations, tom. >> tom brady is a good friend of mine. i joust spoke to him a little while ago. he's so thrilled. ♪ here's what the front runner for the republican presidential nomination had to say today about the most important political and governing story of the day. >> i don't know enough about it to comment on it. was she jailed. i really don't know much about it. >> that was after federal judge david bunning, who was appointed to the court by george w. bush found kentucky county clerk kim davis in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
judge bunning sent kim davis directly to jail from the courtroom. kentucky's junior senator rand paul said this. >> i think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty. even those on the other side of the issue, those who want to support a new definition for marriage i think it sets their movement back because it is seen as the federal government will come in with bully force and here, even with police power and incarcerate people who disagree or still believe in the traditional notion of marriage. >> republican presidential candidate mike huckabee tweeted kim davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of christianity in this country. we must defend religious liberty. republican presidential candidate ted cruz said i stand with kim davis unequivocally. i stand with every american that the obama administration is trying to force to choose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court decision.
republican presidential candidate lindsey graham said this on msnbc. >> this supreme court case is binding on her actions as a public official in kentucky. i sympathize with her religious believes. she's a public official and those of us in public life have to issue the law as the law is written to every american. >> hillary clinton tweeted marriage equality is the law of the land. officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law. end of story. joining us is dan savage, host of "the savage lovecast," eugene robinson, msnbc contributor, matt lewis, senior contributor for "the daily caller." it seems lindsey graham is the only candidate that got it right today. >> it does seem that way. the judge that jailed kim davis earlier today is now under protection. has bodyguards i've heard. i read on-line.
the rhetoric that mike huckabee is throwing around and others on the republican side is dangerous. as the kind of rhetoric donald trump is throwing around has been dangerous. people have been assaulted. people are not thrown in to jail from personal beliefs. this is a contempt of court case. that's it, period, the end. it's all going according to plan, if i may go on for another second. they knew they had no case. kim davis and her terrible hack, bigoted lawyers knew where it would go and it would go here and she would lose in the end. that's always been the plan. it is about raising money, about kim davis profiting for from her bigotry and hypocrisy and using grandstanding to rake in thousands of dollars of donations to continue to pay their president and staffers.
>> eugene robinson, one of the things the judge said about doing a fine sending her to jail is he felt a fine app might not inhibit her at all. there might be enough financial resources for her in the kind of support that dan is talking about to just pay a fine. >> there would have been, i'm sure. i think dan is right on this. the only reason she would have taken this this far is because they knew she would be held in contempt of court and knew that she would have to go to jail. it just has to have been planned out. there's no legal ground stand to on here. she's a public official. she has to enforce the law equally. that's her duty. it has nothing to do with anything she privately believes. it's her job. she doesn't have to be clerk of
that county. she can do something elsewhere she doesn't have to sign gay marriage certificates if she doesn't want to. but if she's going to do that job she has to do it for everybody. >> matt lewis, a little statistical perspective here, this is not the first u.s. supreme court decision that has been defied in various jurisdictions around the country. we have exactly three counties in the united states that are trying to defy this. that's three out of 3,143 counties. so this is almost, not quite, 1,000th of 1% where this resistance occurs. the good news is look at how much compliance there actually is out there. that means every single county in mississippi, every county in alabama, every county in state s where you may expect resistance to pop up. >> that's a good point.
you put it in perspective. the vast majority of conservative s and elected officials who are conservatives believe in the rule of law. i'll be honest, i personally don't think that a cake baker should be compelled to violate their rights of conscience. i'm very worried that someday pastors and preachers may be forced, compelled to conduct gay marriages against their rights of conscience. >> i have to jump in. >> no, no. let me finish. that's a different story than somebody who's elected and bound to follow the constitution. look, if this lady doesn't like doing her job, i think she ought to resign. that's her option. she can't unilaterally decide not to follow the law. >> i agree with you there if i may jump in. it is a different story that preachers will be thrown in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. that is demagoguery and bs. in this country preachers routinely refuse to perform marriages between heterosexual couples when they don't approve of religious differences.
it is complete crap frankly. could be a future where preachers are thrown in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages when it has never happened. >> we could get in to this. i'm sure that lawrence doesn't want to get in to that debate but -- >> well. >> you will lose that debate. >> do you want to have that debate. i will let it up to lawrence. >> let's see if we have more room. i want to get a few more things in here about kentucky. do feel free to take this where you want to. i want to mention casey davis who's one of the resistant clerks in kentucky. he was on this program last night. we spoke to him today about is he willing to go to jail over this. he said yes, it's apparent that's where we're with at right now with all of this, exercising your first amendment right is
now a jailable offense. i want to listen to what casey davis said on this program last night. this is the thinking that is guiding these clerks right now. let's listen to this. >> it's simply a deeply held religious belief that i have that i don't believe that i can put my name on a marriage license, a sake marriage license and be able to sleep with that. the law of nature supersedes anything that man puts on paper. this lifestyle is against the law of nature. i believe that one day, one day, that we will all understand just how against god's law that it is as well. >> gene robinson, the judge tried to explain today to kim davis that he has deeply held religious believes but they cannot be used in performing his legal opinions on the bench.
>> indeed they cannot. it is fine to believe whatever you want to believe. if you are a public official and that's your job, you either do your job or resign. it is cut and dry. no legal basis to stand on here. maybe he could go to jail, too. >> dan, back to that point that you were working with on there with matt. the huckabee position, not that it is necessarily one of the controlling positions up there in the public mind but the huckabee position is this is not just a slippery slope. it's a cliff and the next thing is forcing churches and forcing ministers to perform same sex weddings and all sorts of invasions like that. >> not going to happen. period, the end. i think a better example for conservatives like huckabee would be how would you feel if a
quaker county clerk because of a religious belief, a passivist refused to issue gun licenses to anyone in the county because the clerk, privately, personally, religiously didn't believe anyone in the county should have access to a gun, shouldn't exercise their second amendment rights at all. and huckabee, god, gun, grits and gravy, would be the fastest out of the gate to order and suggest the clerk should resign their position. this is demagoguery and flimflam and right-wing christians like huckabee demanding special rights and carve outs for them to exercise their religious beliefs over other american and cite them as a trump card when denying other rights to their private beliefs and their rights including the right to wed. it is complete theocratic garbage, frankly. >> to go back to the clerk's legal beliefs, which are fascinating. it is hard to figure out where they come from, casey davis on the program last night and was
able to talk to us today said his reaction to what happened today, he said i think it is wrong, absolutely wrong. i'm in support of her that she was going to jail, kim davis. he said the governor should have never let this happen and he could stop it right now. here's what the governor said today, which i can't fathom what casey davis is thinking when he says the governor can stop it. the governor issued a statement saying judge bunning's decision speaks for itself. he said this is obviously the correct legal process and he ended his statement by saying, i have no legal authority to relieve them of their statutory duty by executive order. matt lewis, do you have any notion of where these novel legal theories are coming from that these three clerks, out of 3,000 have decided to use as guidance? >> i think there's a couple of things at play here. the notion of nullification that has been around in recent years and i guess going back to calhoun, the notion you could simply ignore -- the state could
ignore something the federal government or supreme court does. i think that is a bogus argument. i don't buy in to that. but that's been something that has been circulated on some circles on the right. and also the notion of civil disobedience. again, civil disobedience is things that individuals, not people who work for the government engage in and there's a penalty. there's a reason there's a letter from a birmingham jail. it's because when you exercise civil disobedience you pay a price for that. so, let me also -- i would say this about huckabee. you started off playing the lindsey graham quote. the one reason that lindsey graham is the one politician that sounds -- that makes sense here is because he has no chance of winning with, right? he can talk the way that i can. i have nothing to lose, and neither does he. >> what's that say about the gop base? >> dan savage, that will be the
last word that i was going to ask you for. thank you for joining us. coming up, donald trump surrenders his independence to the republican party and elizabeth warren was asked a couple of questions about her future here in boston this week. and she gave some new answers. today, boston might as well have renamed itself brady town. you should have been here when the patriots conquering hearing conquered the nfl in court. take a look at these bbq trophies: best cracked pepper sauce... most ribs eaten while calf roping... yep, greatness deserves recognition. you got any trophies, cowboy? ♪ whoomp there it is uh, yeah... well, uh, well there's this one. best insurance mobile app? yeah, two years in a row. well i'll be...
is donald trump right? are you getting out of the race? >> you know, a broken clock is right once a day. the bottom line is i'm still here and still working. >> rand paul says donald trump capitulated to the republican party today. that's next. what super poligrip does for me is it keeps the food out. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. super poligrip is part of my life now.
>> i don't want to do a third party run. i think it would be a hard thing to do. i want to run as the republican nominee. we will make an announcement on different things the next couple of weeks. we're going to make a decision soon and i think a lot of people will be happy. >> then today donald trump said this -- >> the best way for the republicans to win is if i win
the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up. for that reason, i have signed the pledge. [ applause ] so i will be totally pledging my allegiance to the republican party and the conservative principles for which it stands and we will go out and fight hard and we will win. >> since donald trump has publicly changed his mind about so many things so many times, he was, of course, asked if he would change his mind about pledging not to run as an independent against the republican nominee.
>> i have no intention of changing my mind. i see no circumstances under which i would tear up that pledge. the question was what did i get for signing the pledge? absolutely nothing. other than the assurance i would be treated fairly. i've seen that over the last two months. they really have been very fair. i think the thing that changed is i went to number one place after i signed and in this building notified everybody i would be running for president. i think the biggest thing is i went early to number one and the rnc has treated me with great respect. >> jeb bush then tweeted a hand-written reply to donald trump, voted republican since 1972, signed jeb bush. this morning, jeb bush once again complained about how donald trump seems to get away with not providing specifics for his policy provisions. >> i think donald trump is trying to insult his way to the presidency. it's not going to work. he's out to get everybody. he doesn't have a set of plans. if he had to do the traditional thing, which is here's my policy as it relates to immigration his policy is not serious. >> joining the discussion now
maria teresa kumar, host of "changing america" by shift on msnbc, eugene robinson and matt lewis still with us. rand paul tweeted, i'm glad to see real donald trump, capitulated and change course after our debate. maria teresa, donald trump, capitulated according to to rand paul. >> he has the republican party wrapped around his little finger doing what he wants, that is all trump news. with the rnc capitulating to him. this is a real concern, lawrence, is the fact that last year the gop came out with the -- the rnc came out with an autopsy on what it should be doing with the party and one was trying to galvanize women and latino voters and how to galvanize millennials. trump represents none of that. i would urge the rnc to read the report. >> the latest monmouth poll, a national poll, shows trump at
the top of, his highest number, he's at 30. up four points from the last one. the last one was taken before the debate. so debate had only a four-point effect on the trump number. the big beneficiary in the debate that you see in this poll is ben carson who's at number two, the biggest move up. jeb bush down at eight. matt lewis, jeb bush continues to hold on to the position in the polls that most people consider the leader of the people who they can actually envision being on the ticket. >> yeah. that and 25 cents will buy him a bag of potato chips. >> so far, yeah. >> my sense is that jeb is doing the lord's work. i think he's -- it goes against his personality to take the fight to trump but he is taking
the fight to trump. it will gradually wear him down a little bit and then i think someone else will emerge, whether it is marco rubio or ted cruz and sort of benefit. jeb bush is basically jumping on the grenade so to speak. i think that jeb might be doing the party a favor here, but sacrificing himself. he's not naturally good at picking fights with donald trump. >> well, who is? the president of the hispanic chamber of commerce had a private meeting with trump where he discovered a character, who i think gene robinson knows to some extent, the private version of donald trump. let's listen to this. >> the donald that i met with for an hour and a half was quite different. this donald did not interrupt me. he was not bombastic. he listened more than he talked. he was willing to hear my point of view. we disagreed on a few things.
we disagreed on the wall, of course. we disagreed on the mass deportation of millions of people. according to the conversation he and i had, the media has mischaracterized him. that there is much more to see. i think that's part of the reason that we are excited over the fact that donald has agreed to come and sit with me october 8th in washington for a 90-minute q and a session. wherein he will be given an opportunity to explain himself more clearly. >> gene robinson, that will be a fascinating 90 minutes. i think as we know there is almost always a significant difference between the on-stage version of any politician and the backstage version. >> there certainly is. i actually spoke with mr. trump today shortly before he made his announcement. i saw on the wires he was going to sign the pledge. i just e-mailed, doesn't this take away some of your anti-politician street cred?
he's gotten where he is by not obeying the rules, and here he is obeying the rules. he was on the phone very quickly. we had a bit of a conversation. i learned two things about this move specifically. number one, i think he's done the math about an independent candidacy. you know how difficult and expensive it is to get on the ballot in 50 states and then at the end, what do you have? you have a chance to get pummelled by the republicans and democrats in a general election, if you do extraordinarily well you win a few electoral votes. the best thing you can hope is to throw it to the house of representatives where you would have no chance of winning with anyhow. he has done the math. the other thing, donald trump at this point -- least in my impression -- firmly believes he can win the republican nomination. it is not that he is an insurgent force for some other
reason are. he firmly believes he can win this. >> can i make a point. i think it is symbolic that reince priebus went to new york to have him sign the pledge. i'm reminded of napoleon summoning the pope. >> fantastic. >> yeah. maria teresa. i want to get back to the october event. the 90-minute interview with javier palomarez what have you expecting from that? >> we ran in to each over and said he was having a sit-down meeting with donald trump. he was basically telling me what should he do. my big thing is you have to engage with the other side to get a better sense of what folks are thinking. i'm very much about engagement. i shake my head because i'm concerned what we don't want is to give donald trump a platform where he's not authentic and actually speaking the truth.
i think we can't say the media is spinning him when he was very clear what he was thinking when he was talking about the latino community and the work we do. he is down in the polls in the latino community by negative 51%, lawrence. that's a fete. i don't think i have seen a poll for anyone that low historically. we know at the end of the day the only way to the white house is through the latino community. i think it will be difficult for him to come out of that hole. >> we have a new spending report showing what the ad buys are from the various campaigns. team kasich is at the top of it. this includes campaign spending, as well as pac spending on behalf of the candidate. i will tell you when you watch boston tv as i am here, the kasich ads are all over the place. he spent 3.7 million so far. donald trump has spent nothing. absolutely nothing on advertising, gene robinson. >> he doesn't need to. >> why would you, lawrence? why would he spend a dime on advertising. here we are every day talking
about donald trump. he gets more free media than you could possibly buy. so no. he may not have to buy an ad this whole campaign. >> he does make these little on-line things for free that most of the news programs show which function the same way as paid advertising because the concept is put out there. the complaint, though, that he has nothing to say about policy. let's listen to what he has said about obamacare today. >> we're going to get rid of obamacare and come up with such that's much better and much less expensive. we're going to get rid of it. we're going to repeal it. it is going to be out. it should have been out a long time ago. should have never happened. >> what more specificity could you possibly ask for? >> i don't know, details. tell that to the millions of >> we're going to get rid of obamacare and come up with such that's much better and much less expensive. we're going to get rid of it. we're going to repeal it. it is going to be out. it should have been out a long time ago. should have never happened.
>> what more specificity could you possibly ask for? >> i don't know, details. tell that to the millions of american families that no longer have to file bankruptcy because they have health care. donald, you are a business guy. you know this is nonsense. when we come back, what's going on with elizabeth warren and joe biden? elizabeth warren had something to say about that. ♪ ♪ (dorothy) toto, i've a feeling we're not in kansas anymore... (morpheus) after this, there is no turning back. (spock) history is replete with turning points. (kevin) wow, this is great. (commentator) where fantasy becomes reality! (penguin 1) where are we going? (penguin 2) the future, boys. the glorious future.
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senator elizabeth warren spoke with boston globe reporter joshua miller yesterday as part of the political happy hour series at suffolk university in boston. senator warren talked about a lot of things, including her recent private meeting with joe biden. >> you met with joe biden the weekend before lasts? >> i did. >> how did that meeting come about and what did you talk about? >> he called. >> he called you personally. >> he did. he did. actually called me twice. called me once, called me twice. and invited me down. we had lunch and we talked about policy. we talked about what is happening to america's middle class. we talked about the direction that this country has been going in. we talked about the capture of this country by those who have got money and power. it was good, long rambling policy conversation. >> what did you have for lunch? >> it was a chopped salad thing.
i was never entirely sure what it was. >> was there any talk with the vice president of a joint ticket even jokingly? >> it was -- it was a long conversation. >> okay. okay. do you plan to meet with him again? >> look, i meet with anybody who wants to talk about policy and might be able to help out here. i have met with secretary clinton. i meet of course with bernie sanders on the floor of the united states senate and other places and with vice president biden and with martin o'malley. this is important stuff. it is a lot more important than just politics. we have to make change. america's great middle class is in real trouble. it takes as many people as we can pulling in the same direction to make the kinds of changes we are going to need to
make. >> there's a lot of chat about a vice president elizabeth warren. i want to ask you the question this way. will you pledge to fulfill your full six-year senate term? >> so, i love my job. i truly love this job. it's all i'm thinking about. you just can't put a different thought in my head. i'm thinking about my job at the united states senate. i just told you, look at all the things i can get to do. i get out there and wrestle with agencies and talk about big issues and i get to get out there and fight for legislation, the kinds of things the people of the commonwealth of massachusetts sent me to do. >> do you plan to endorse a democrat. >> opposed to a republican? oh, josh, man, what did you have at happy hour before i got in here? >> do you plan to endorse a democrat before the nominating convention? >> do you think you will endorse
hillary clinton, joe biden? >> yeah. look, right now that's not where we are. but, i imagine that's what i'll do. >> okay. so if you are keeping score at home, the answer to the question did she talk to joe biden about running for vice president, i'm not sure what she said. we will have to replay that part when we come back. more on biden and warren next. ♪
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so we just don't know, right? obviously they spent a long time talking about something over what might or might not have been chopped salad. >> i find senator warren to be an extremely careful speaker in those situations. so maria teresa, it fascinates me she couldn't bring herself to simply say no we did not discuss that. >> that's what is fascinating. elizabeth warren and coy don't usually go together n. this case she was coy and playful and one of the rare times i have seen her do that. even more than when she is on the jon stewart show. so that was interesting. >> i will not replay her answer of the question will you serve out your term. but trust me there was no answer in that. there was a lot of talk about how much she loves she loves being a center. >> she is lawyering us. >> she does know how to answer the question. here's her answer. in 2013 to "the boston globe ," i quote "i pledge to serve out my term." so matt, that's what she sounds
like when she wants to answer a question. >> you know what you played the clip earlier in that excerpt there. she is playful. i thought she was incredibly charming, incredibly funny and you juxtapose that to hillary clinton. >> that is a great point. i think she is the best stage performing politician on the democratic side, gene, by far. president obama is the only one who is close. he's better, but this is the next great one. >> yeah, no. i agree. she has a way -- you know, when she starts to talk about her issues, she has a way of telegraphing a passion.
she transmits it. she's got the "it" that successful politicians have. the question is, she's not -- she's not part of a youth movement, right? she's in her 60s. so frankly the time for her to move would be now if she is going to move. >> anyone younger than bernie sanders is part of a youth movement and turns out he is part of a youth movement if you look at his audience. i want to listen to what joe biden said. team clinton let it be known how much mileage she flew as secretary of state. i think we have it mesmerized she flew 956,733 miles as secretary of state. keep that in mind when you listen to joe biden talking about his mileage. >> i have traveled as of today, 992,894 miles and met with virtually every major leaguer in the world.
i know these guys. i know them better than anyone in the administration because i have been hanging around so long. >> mari teresa, that's the vice president in florida this morning. that mileage reference is so specific to the clinton mileage thing. >> that and i love his followup. i know them better than anybody. that's toe to toe. what i found interesting is the places he's choosing to go. community colleges are the number one place where latinos are. i can bet you money that telemundo and univision are covering this in every household in the country in latino households are watching and saying he gets education and my kids. i find those two things fascinating. >> matt lewis, what are republicans rooting for? we know democrats have been rooting for donald trump to continue to dominate the republican side. they'd love to see him get the
nomination. what are professional republicans rooting for when they look at the democratic field? do they want joe biden to get in? >> they want bernie sanders, i think. be careful what you root for, right? the democrats wanted reagan in '80. give us that actor. he will be easy. be careful what you root for. the one sort of advantage of having this huge field on the republican side is that hillary doesn't know who to go after and republicans have had the benefit of sort of, you know, knowing. it is going to be hillary. now that is looking more dubious. so, i think the republicans have their hands full. a lot of people think joe biden is a joke. they make fun of him. all of his gaffes. he said that obama is clean and articulate. but joe biden is likable. if you watch the debate he had with paul ryan in 2012, he can throw elbows, too.
a new reuters poll ask asked democrats around the country in a national poll this question about hillary clinton and their second choice. the question was phrased this way. if polling indicated that hillary clinton would lose to a republican candidate for president in the 2016 election, who would you then support in the democratic primary? there's joe biden at the top of that one 40.4% say they go to biden. 28% bernie sanders. that's the kind of internal polling question the biden team maybe staring at closely. >> they must be looking at that. they are also looking at the questions about hillary clinton's e-mails trying to figure out where that heads and where it is likely to go. i think the most important thing they are looking at is, you know, what vice president biden said on the call the other day, he is looking inside, internally to see if he has the fire, the
desire, the emotional fortitude left after his recent tragedy to throw his hat in the ring again and do all that is required of a presidential candidate. i think that in the end is the most important factor. >> one of the things they will be wondering about on the biden team, this is somebody with an over 40-year record that could be relevant in a campaign. they have got to be wondering how far back is relevant? will they run only on the last eight years, will they be reaching all the way back? will some campaigns reach back to his involvement in say the anita hill hearings? how much of biden record do they have to defend? >> look, i think this is politics. you go as far as you can find. it's not e-mails. you can go back to the carbon copies in this case. i think biden is weighing that very much so. also when you talk about what happened during the anita hill
hearings, the majority of americans will understand we were talking about a very different time. he was trying to thread a different needle then. folks would understand that. if you were going to look more closely, one of the comments he said, in support or against women. is he going to have more gaffes in the matter that he did when he was talking and referring to president obama? those are things folks will be looking for. >> hbo is currently in production, i think at the moment, on a movie about the anita hill hearing. that's not one that team biden would be looking forward to at this point. >> thank you all for joining me tonight. really appreciate it. coming up, which presidential candidate actually talked to tom brady today? hint the one who talked about having his phone number. if you are running for can a business have a mind? a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought.
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today, and no presidential candidate understands that better than the current front runner for the republican presidential nomination. >> well, tom brady is a very good friend of mine. he's a great guy. for those that don't know him, he's an honorable, honest guy and truly great athlete. he's a very good friend of mine and i spoke to him a little while ago. he is so thrilled and happy. tom brady, i think what they have done is terrible. and he has been exonerated, as i understand it, because i just heard about it. i'm very happy for tom. up next, the question no one in new england wants to hear today. was tom brady vindicated, or did he get off on a technicality?
nuclear deal with iran today. seven democrats remain undecided. up next, this town, boston, went crazy today when tom brady got off the hook in federal court. ♪ (dorothy) toto, i've a feeling we're not in kansas anymore... (morpheus) after this, there is no turning back. (spock) history is replete with turning points. (kevin) wow, this is great. (commentator) where fantasy becomes reality! (penguin 1) where are we going? (penguin 2) the future, boys. the glorious future. (vo) at&t and directv are now one- bringing your television and wireless together- and taking entertainment to places you'd never imagine.
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if you were searching boston stations for the campaign commercials aimed at new hampshire voters, like i was, you were out of luck. because all the local boston tv stations stayed with the brady story for what seemed like hours and hours without a commercial break. electronic billboards shouting simply, yes! or vindicated! lashed around the city. the news that came an hour later that the nfl would appeal the judge's decision was largely ignored here in boston, as were the actual details of the judges opinion. joining us now is michael mccann, legal analyst for "sports illustrated" and a professor at the university of new hampshire school of law. professor mccann, take us through what the judge actually decided today and does it amount to tom brady really being vindicated? >> well, lawrence, what the judge decided today was that the
nfl's process for investigating and punishing tom brady was in violation of the law. that it is really about the process that the nfl used opposed to the alleged evidence against tom brady. so in that respect, it doesn't vindicate tom brady, per se, but in the course of really sharply criticizing the way the league didn't provide tom brady adequate notice as to which policies he was being punished under and question of availability of witness and evidence, clearly though it was a decision about process, lawrence, the judge very much criticized the lack of case, you could say, that the nfl had against tom brady. >> this is all coming out of a union agreement, which is being adjudicated. what does the union agreement allow in effect for the nfl commissioner to do and one of the things i saw in the judge's opinion was that there was no precedent, for example, for this particular punishment.
how did the nfl arrive at this punishment and in the material he was furnished the judge couldn't find any specific rationale for how they arrived at the four-game suspension. >> that's right. it is true there is a legal document negotiated with the players, the collective bargaining agreement. the wording of the agreement certainly suggests that roger goodell has massive authority and discretion. that doesn't mean he has complete discretion. the judge highlighted that. there is something called the law of the shop which is the idea there has to be consistency and fairness in ash administration awards. here the judge said, i don't know why tom brady was punished four games. there's no rule that underscores that or policy. there are questions in the manner in which he was judged. the judge looked at it and said i get that you have a lot of authority but it doesn't mean you can do whatever you want and that ultimately hurt the nfl. >> let's listen the fans speak. let's listen to fan reaction today.
>> i honestly believe the nfl loses money when the patriots do well because other teams aren't interested in their teams. plain and simple. >> always skeptics out there. as a fan, i don't listen to it. i don't care. people are going to say what they want to say. >> i don't think it will do anything at all. i think we will forget about this and will be a blip or something like that. but at the end of the day four super bowl rings and yards and statistics all the great stories up here. that's going to carry on. >> michael mccann, the lawyers certainly aren't going to forget about this. >> no. not at all. especially because there's going to be an appeal. an appeal that could go on for perhaps up to a year. the lawyers won forget about it and the next time a player is punished the lawyers aren't going to forget about it. they are going to say we just beat the nfl with tom brady and i should add with other players before him. there's no way the lawyers will forget about this anytime soon. >> michael mccann gets the last word. thank you, michael.
pledge of allegiance. let's play "hardball." >> i have signed the pledge. so i will be totally pledging my allegiance to the republican party, and the conservative principles for which it stand. and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win. >> good evening. i'm in for chris matthews tonight. we begin with donald trump's pledge of allegiance to the republican party. a month-long circus since that fox news debate where hu