tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 4, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
this happening," it features in-depth conversations with some of the most interesting people i know. you can download anywhere you get your podcast and do not forget to subscribe. thank you for joining us on this especially 4th of july, "rachel maddow" starts radioiight now. according to that "time" report. president obama got barely five hours of sleep each night. that's because of the elaborate routine he had when he was in the white house. after dinner with his wife and daughters, the president would draw to the retrieval room of the second floor of the white house residence. there president obama would spend four or five hours by
himself. and in that four or five hours, he do all the expected things like read briefs and going over the breaches and we know sometimes he plays words with friends on his ipad and sometimes watch sports and sometimes he wrote taunting e-mails to white house staff if their teams had lost in sports tonight. the president also ate a late night snack of exactly seven lightly salted almonds. part of what i am not sure if i really believed. during one of those late nights of alone time in the treaty room, early in president obama's presidency. the night of november 2nd, 2010, when president obama put in a call to the man who was then the minority leader and house of representatives. he called john maboehner of ohi. he had to call boehner that
night because he needed to congratulate boehner on becoming the newest speaker of the house. he had to offer his congratulations and they did so with an exclamation point that year. 2010 midterms, democrats lost six seats in the u.s. senate. they lost 63 seats in the house. 63. 63 seats that have been held to democrats instead flip to republicans. one of the biggest election swings in u.s. history. maybe the biggest. putting in the conciliatory phone calls to the guy who just kicked his team out of congress. that was not the last indignity president obama would face over that electoral loss. in addition to calling boehner in the treaty room, the next day he had to go out and face the
press. >> some election nights are more fun than others, some are automobile accide humbling. every election regardless of who wins or loses, it is a reminder of our democracy, the power rests not in those elected in office but the people that we had the privilege to serve. i told john boehner and mitch mcconnell last night, i am seager eager to figure out how to move forward. >> i wonder when you call your friends like governor strickland. do you see 19 state legislatures go to the other side, governorships and swing states, what does it feels like? >> it feels bad, jake. it feels bad. >> it is not like president obama was the first president to find himself in this bad feeling
spot two years into his first term. it is important to point out as well that a couple of great communicators, ronald reagan and bill clinton, were standing at this podium two years into their presidency getting similar questions. this is something that i think every president needs to go through because the responsibilities of this office are so enormous and so many people are depending on what we do nch do. in the rush of activities, sometimes we lose track of the ways that we connected with folks that got us here in the first place. now, i am not recommending for every future president like they take a sha-lacking like i did
last night. i am sure there are easier ways to relay -- there the president of the united states of the vernacular use of the word sha-lacking. the same thing did happen to ronald reagan and bill clinton in their first midterms of presidency. reagan's, republicans lost 26 seats in the house. >> still, it was a conciliatory, a president who met with reporters and talked about seeking bi-party solutions in congress. >> there is been compromises in both directions on all major issues and we expect to continue to work with congress in that way. >> the election results were a shock. only 50% of the candidates mr. reagan campaigned for one
yesterday. >> that was ronald reagan's first midterm of his presidency of 1982. eight years later on november 8th, 1994, the coururse o f the first midterm visited the bill clinton's presidency. >> the sound you hear is a sound of a moving ban preparing to move in a republican majority, the republicans have picked up the seven seats that they needed to take control of that chamber. we don't have a reading oen tn house of representatives. republicans need 40 seats to gain control. they are feeling confident tonight and with good reasons. there is a republican sweep that's underway. the last time the republicans took control of the house was 1953. when elvis presley was unknown and color television were just being introduced.
>> when bill clinton promised to bring in change for washington, this is not what he had in mind. it will be the worse democratic appearance and it raced like this in 50 years. >> ultimately that night, democrats lost 52 house seats. i should say that was 12 years after a similar sha-lacking of ronald reagan. sorry, never do math on live television. republicans called it their revolution at the time. it was not actually revolution. it was a strong midterm showing boo i the republican party. the president himself did find himself struggling to string together the right words when he tried to describe it the next day. >> stunned by the public of his party saying he'll work with the republican majority and gets the
voters' message. >> i think they were saying two things to me or maybe three. maybe 300. i think they were saying lo look -- we just don't like what we see when we watch washington. we don't think government can solve all the problems. we don't want the democrats telling us from washington that they know what is right about everything. >> the president had no choice but to take responsibility. this fall he went to five states where democrats won. in 13 states where mr. clinton campai campaigned, his candidate lost. the rest of the country, democrats did not want him to show up. no incumbent republicans' loss. >> if first midterm after a new president take office is a dramatic loss for the president's party. it is normal for the president's party to lose ground and sometimes to lose a lot. the only real exception of that
rule in modern time was after 9/11 when the shock of that attack and the transformation of the country and the politics there ever were seen highly unusual that cut republicans from losing seats they may have otherwise expected to lose in the 2002 midterms. with those circumstances, republicans did not lose grudou of the first george w. bush midterm. after george w. bush got elected, his party lost control of both the house and senate in 2006. that's the pattern of how it usually goes in midterms. the party that holds the white house usually has a bad night on midterms election night. that's one way of thinking of the midterm this year. you look at the first midterm of a new presidency, you are
looking at a sea of losses. there is a reason why all those bar in the bar graph goes down. it is business as usual to expect president trump's republican party to lose ground in congress this november. of course, nothing is normal anymore. how do we tell this year? how do we tell if the historic pattern is going to hold this november, in a year when democrats taking control of congress would mean a different world in washington and both in terms of policy but in terms of the myriad scandal of this administration. how do we tell if it is going to happen? i don't know. smart money these days tend to say the generic ballot to look at. which party do you want to be in control? the problem this year is that it has been all over the place. just over the past few months the polling on that question on
the generic ballot question has swung wildly from democrats being up by ten points to democrats being up by one point and democrats backup to a 10-point lead to a dead tie. here is another metric, a human one. what do the people in congress themselves think is going to happen to them this november. on that metric, we have a clear answer. you can call it the sinking ship metric if you are feeling a little bit rude. on the sinking ship metric is the sheer number of republicans who are leaving congress of their own accord before a single vote has been cast. their numbers include the speaker of the house, the top republican in congress, paul ryan who announced in april that he's retiring. he's the highest ranking republican in congress. he's leaving but he's in good company on his way out the door
for our account, 39 house republicans and four senate republicans have announced they are resigning or retiring for the cycle rather than running for re-election. republicans right now are leaving more than double the rate of their democratic colleagues. is the simple fact that so many more republican incumbents are leaving. is that alone adeterminitive sign. it is an area that's distinguished by not normal. joining is is steve cornacki. thank you for being here tonight. >> happy to be here. >> looking at the number, is it actually a lot, is this a lot of retirements on the republicans side? >> here is how i look at that number. that 39, you can take some of
those off. there are some republicans running for senate and governor. they are not really retiring and seeing opportunity this year. if you look at the core group who are retiring and walk ag in away. that number brings you down to 22. think of the last major wave election we had in the midterm. barack obama's first midterm, democrats got shalacked. half the number we got now. go back to 2006, bush's second midterm and how many did you have? you had eight. if you want to find a comparable number to the number of pure core requirement that we are seeing now. you got to go back to 1994, that would give you 20 democrats who fit the same category, that's the year democrats lost 52 seats in the house and the house lost control. what that number is telling us is that psychologically, that's
where republicans head are in washington right now. if you look at 22, there are a lot who frankly are looking at their first competitive reelection race and maybe said what, i am not in the move for that after all. maybe i don't want to lose or raise a lot of money but i am not in a lot of move for that. psychologically it is safe to say that's where republicans are. they are braving for a potential wai waive this year. >> do you think their psychological of mind is in good metric? >> they're calling donald trump to drop out of the race in the wake of the "access hollywood" tape. we know what's happening there. i feel this midterm this year, you put a lot of traditional metrics that we look at and trying to analyze it. this is a great test, that is great political test this midterm. we'll see how this thing moves,
and blaallot changes. if we are looking at what we are looking at and we'll look at a lot of traditional metrics that are pointing one direction and what history suggests it is going to happen this year. if that does not happen, one of the questions that was posed is the rules of politics was it permanently altered or 2016 an aberration? this is a key data point. i think this year, what happens this midterm? >> there is a lot more to say on this subject and the other various metrics that we got heading into november, other things i want to ask you about. don't go anywhere, steve cornacki is our guest right now. he'll be here again in a moment. there is a lot more to talk about. 2016 was not a great time for democrats. democrats have sort of been on a role ever since. the question is whether or not that's important or whether that's predictive, stay with us.
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years. the respect majority in the state house, before 2016, they did not have a senate. the iowa senate was ever so delicately that was still controlled by democrats. it had been for years until november 8, 2016. donald trump won iowa. republicans took the seats of six incumbent democrats. they took control of the senate. here it is official, iowa has become a red state. the majority of voters chose donald trump to be president of the united states. five of the six individuals representing iowa and washington are republicans, republicans will take control of the full legislature in january. the outcome of tuesday's election have left many iowans feeling fearful of the future of this state. we are a red state now.
you can feel the sort of implicit next question. is that a permanent status. is this who we are now forever? >> but, they're followed and an interesting twist o f that story. a state senator unexpectedly pa passed away right before the november of 2016. they scheduled that special for about a month and a half after the trump/clinton presidential election where iowa had gone so red. it is interesting, they scheduled the special election right in the middle of the holiday season. they scheduled two days after christmas. it was expected that democrats will hold onto that seat. when they went back to do that special election just seven weeks after the trump/clinton election, the democrats in that special did not turn in the kind of performance that hillary clinton have shown in district.
the democrats won that race by 48 points which means that district alone shifted 31 points in democrats direction. right after the trump/clinton election, 31 points. since then if you look at all the special elections that's taken place across the country, tast ki that's kind of the pattern. democrats running special elections overall have seen an average shift of over 12 percentage point. if you need to add every race in the country, that's a huge democratic tie, right? special elections are special, there are reasons to be cautious about extrapolating too much. since the trump/clinton race, democrats in special and regular elections across the country have taken away 46 seats held by republicans and many of them in
the unlikelyist places like the oklahoma state house. and kentucky, one local district that voted for trump by a margin of nearly 50 points. they just elected a democrat of the kentucky house from that district. democrats won by a margin of 37 points which means that was an 86-point swing of democrats favor. kentucky republicans are looking weak. the republican in the house lost his seat in a republican primary. the first time kentucky teacher took the republican leader's seat. of course there was the biggest slip of them all. the democrats flipping the u.s. seat of alabama that previously belonged to jeff sessions. doug jones now hold jeff sessions' seat in the senate even though trump won the state of alabama by 28 points. even when democrats have not
been winning, they have been speaking republicans in red states. mike pompeo by 31 points when he was still in the house. and the special election to replace mike pompeo when he got promoted in the trump's cabinet. the democratic candidates came to six points of the republicans. it did not win but boy, that was close. and arizona, donald trump won there by 20 points but then there was a special election, democratic candidates came within five points of winning. the math is dark and it is clear. it has been all year. question is, is this actual lly good way of judging of how the mid determinterms are going to . is it possible for democrats to turn in close shave? is it possible for them to
figure out how to turn to actual wins when it actually counts. joining us is the great steve cornacki, thank you for being here. >> sure. >> how significant is this swing that we are seeing and is it going to help predict the numbe numbers? >> there is been so many state legislatives and they are pointing in one direction. over back in 2010, there were more mixed signals of what prover proved to be a waive election here. clearly and definitely i am con ve vinced that the democratic basis energized of ways we have not seen in a long time. so that makes the question and the key variable, will the republican base match that energy on election day. so when i look at these special elections and you will look at the house and look at all the special elections for the house, this is sblesiinteresting of wh
see here, the trump margins in 16 and what happens during the special election. you mentioned the last one in the list there. arizona is eight. the most encouraging there. this was recent. this was this spring. trump won the district by 21 and republicans won by five. the republicans like to say this is about energy. this is about democrats circling the day of the special election and being energized and going out to republican voters. arizona is a state that do male in voting. everybody gets a ballot. republicans sent back ballots there. how many republicans and how many -- it is kpacomparable to t you had in 2014. it was a great year for republicans. it was not a surge in democratic turn out here. you have it similar and you had the results change 16 points. for democrats, that's the most encouraging one. if you are a republican and you want to point so tom optimism,
it would be six, and you see that's the one and that's exception there where trump won by a point. what republicans will tell you will happen is that race got nationalized in a way none of these others did. tens of millions of dollars came in and national media was there and trump was talking about it so it created this environment that they say will prevail nationally in the midterms and you will get a version of it everywhere. it is a theory. democrats are more to point to. >> right. >> and for national race, you can't national rise in the country when everybody in the house is up. you can't put tens of millions of dollars in every race. fascinating. >> i am going to keep you around a little bit longer tonight because i can't. much more to talk about. more with steve and more about what makes for a very bad prediction. stay with us. thanks for the ride-along, captain! i've never been in one of these before, even though geico has been-
ohhh. ooh ohh here we go, here we go. you got cut off there, what were you saying? oooo. oh no no. maybe that geico has been proudly serving the military for over 75 years? is that what you wanted to say? mhmmm. i have to say, you seemed a lot chattier on tv. geico. proudly serving the military for over 75 years. you ok back there, buddy?
last week the u.s. supreme court wrapped up its term this year by upholding a muslim ban and one final kick in the teeth, the announcement that supreme court justice anthony kennedy is retiring so president trump can pick his replacement because that's what he wants to be his legacy. his place on this court's number
line, justin kennedy leaving is one of those supreme court's pivot point in history that could dramatically change the court and change american policy and law and life for a very, very long time. a lot about the trump era and trump era republican politics is unprecedented stuff. a lot is happening in republican politics and in this presidency of stuff that never happens before. it is interesting -- when it comes to this supreme court vacancy at a heighten time in america's politics, turns out we have lived through this. there are a ton of almost parallels to the way it is happening right now. i should tell you from the other time this happened, we have the benefit of knowing how it all
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back pain can't win. now introducing aleve back and muscle pain. only aleve targets tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve back & muscle. all day strong. all day long. 1968 was one of the rare presidential election in modern america history. a third party candidate did all right. george wallace basically swept the south in 1968. the candidate for the american independent party, he won five states on a populous.
the court was led by chief justice earl warren, ended legal segregation in the united states and stop miranda rights. the law of the court made it the law of the land defense. >> george wallace hated it all. >> the supreme court of our country has handcuffed the police. they have rendered the decision today that absolutely -- turning people to lose everyday who are self proof and confessed murders. you read about it and seen about it. some telling us he's not to blame and society is to blame. his papa did not care to see the los angeles rams play when he was a little boy. he's mad.
>> one reason we had a break down, law enforcement has been the supreme court of the united states has by reflection of the integrity, morality of the police of this country made it impossible to convict a criminal and to arrest one. today in our nation, you can't walk the streets at public parks without fear of physical molestation. >> george wallace did not win the presidential election in 1968. but, he did all right. he did better than you may think, five states. he did well enough in '68 that he did scare the republicans. with his rhetoric on the supreme court in particular, he pushed the republican nominee that year much further to the right on that specific issue of the court. republican no, ma'minee that ye russ richard nixon. started off of a liberal by contemporary standards.
richard nixon was out there doing his best george wallace. he started talking about the forgotten americans and non shouters and demonstrators that are not racist or sick or guilty of crimes that plagues the land. nixon called them the real voice of america and he pitched himself as the law and order candidate. he promised to appoint supreme court justices who'll over turn. he said he'll restore the country to a system of laws and orders and conservative judges. that was part of nixon's southern strategy and peel off george wallace supporters and make it his own. chief justice warren saw what was happening. he saw richard knicnixon, a fro runner was threatening to roll back everything that was
accomplished. he saw it coming. in june 1968, just a few days after bobby kennedy had been assassina assassinated. chief warren told lyndon johnson that he was going to retire as soon as possible. chief justice warren did not want to run the risk that richard nixon was going to win the election. he said he was out. at '68, lyndon johnson had an opportunity to choose the supreme court justice. he was not going to pick not just any justice, he'll get to pick a chief justice. johnson decided he'll elevate somebody that was already on the bench and already on the supreme court as an associate justice. it was a dias i can. he was actual lyanne old frielyf
lyndon johnson. republicans put up the wall. slow walk the nomination hearings and when the hearing finally did take place, senators learned that not only judge fortes have been hanging around the white house of meetings and they learned that he had been taking money from a local university to teach a course. he's been moonlighting and putting 40% of his salary on the court. >> democrats started taking back their support one by one and he had to withdraw from consideration to be chief justice. he went back to his old job being a regular judge on the court. that meant president johnson had to withdraw the nomination.
that meant that is president johnson in 1998 out going lyndon johnson went from having two chances to name two new chief of justices. he went from two chances to no chances. they sort of try to gain the whole thing and they blew it. nixon did win the 1968 election. because of that failure by the johns johnson's administration to successfully appoint a new chief of justice to the bench so nixon would not get to. nixon ultimately got to. he was able to follow through to appoint conservative judges, pledge to dismantle the legacy of the warren court. by the time nixon took office, so much more came out. may 1969, fortas left the court so nixon got to pick fortas'
replacement. he got to replace earl warren as chief. he said he'll resign and it would take effect as soon as he had a successor. well, nixon got to pick a successor. with that, richard nixon took the liberal earl warren court and made it abruptly right almost over night, all because of the efforts of heading it off in 1968 got botched so badly. lbj screwed it up and george wallace in a way got his wish. there is a lot about the trump era and american politics and republican politics that's totally unprecedented. the concerns of the supreme court right now and what would happen next. the controversial fight over the new vacant court seat that's now the new background of this year's midterms election. this is not one of those unprecedented things. we have lived through this before, mistakes and all.
this is one of those times when this is history happening all over again 50 years later. how will the players handle it this time? we'll see, presumably everybody is going to be working on it one way or another in this next incredible crucial four months. exist un tinow. and today can save your life. ♪ ♪ with savings on the new sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses and automatically adjusts on both sides, for effortless comfort. it's the 4th of july special. save up to $500 on sleep number 360 smart beds. plus 36-month financing. ends sunday.
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congressional colleague. at the time she was the number three most senior democrat on that committee. she wrote this letter to the number two most senior member. >> it is brought to my attention that you seek colleagues to discuss the top democratic position. i also understood that you are asserting that you are not a candidate. i request that you reframe from characterizing my intentions. oh, "politico" obtained that letter. t she was only the third most seen more members of the committee. she was arguing she should be in contention for the top job if it opened up. >> at the time lofgren wrote
this letter, the wraranking mem was not open. it was held by long time, long, long, long time congressman john conyers. at the time of the letter would be months still until john conyers announcing his resignation and with his whole bunch of sexual misconducts against him. democrats were head up and fighting among themselves about what the process would be to pick a new leader for that committee and who'll get that particular top job on that particular committee. they were fighting about it even while conyers were still there. that's in part because of what that particular committee does. in addition to overseeing law enforcement agencies and considering legislation related to the judicial system, that committee, house judicial
committee is also has a handle on impeachments of all kinds, just in case. just in case those circumstances ever arising in congress, it is the judicial in committee handling impeachments of judges and cabinet officials. the house judiciary committee would handle that too. but, ha-ha, wake up, president trump could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot someone and he would not have to worry about proceedings against him not as well as paul ryan and republicans are in control of the house. that said, if the democratic party did win control of the house in november, well, then honestly impeachment is a thing that might conceivably come up depending -- if it did, the
democratic led house judiciary committee -- the far and advance fight who would be at the top. the committee is run by the republicans but depending on what happens this fall, that may change. now, he should get the gig because of his quote "demonstrated leadership on impeachment in the '90s." she has not just served on the proceedings, she's been on the committee staff during president nixon's impeachment hearings. jerry nadler, the number two democrat after conyers and in the end, nadler won that fight.
he got the ranking member position, which means he'll be the position to win the chairman if democrats want. as democrats continue to make head way across elections across the country, they are divided about whether they should even talk about the "i" word in public. whether or not they are talking about it in public, it is clear it is a live issue of democratic politics. it is animating and heating congressional fights among house democrats who otherwise kind of liked each other and sending everybody back in the history book on lessons on how to do impeachment rights if it eventually comes to that. when it come to the politics of the "i," there are definitely recent history of how you can screw it up. >> you were there 20 years ago when your party decided to push impeachment against bill clinton in ahm midterm year.
the election had a distinction being the rare midterms where the white house party actually gained seats. was impeachment the reason democrats gained seats? >> i don't think there is any questions about it. was that a case of the the party base and the movement basis calling the shot and party leaders are responding. this is what our people want and we need to do this. >> if you look at initial votes moer republicans and nobody knew about this. there is a lot of nervousness in politicians when something gets thrown up. let's go ahead and go with investigation. they did not know how clinton would handle it. at the end of the day, he turned it on republicans and turning it into a democratic gain.
a lot of republicans depice clinton and when this scandal coming out with monica lewinski, they could not help themselves. cable news was not a big factor as it is today. talk radio certainly fuels it. you have a rabbit republican base calling for this. for those in the swing districts, it was not quite clear cut. guys, do you know what we are getting into here? let's take a look at the facts. we all take a deep breath before he ended up voting on it. >> were you sitting there saying we are going to pay for it in a month. >> republican leadership going back to their meetings, yeah, let's get the guy and they reacted basically saying this is a turn out base. not recognizing what -- that's
exactly what happened in this cases. democrats became aroused and the president, not necessarily what he did but the way the republicans handled it. we'll look at this and do investigation, that was the republicans' message in the end. if we get elected, we'll impeach this guy. >> joining us now, once again is the great steve cornacki who did that interview with congressman tom davis, fascinating. >> yeah, it was. so he's describing the internal dynamics of the republican caucus. he's like yeah, we were wrong and we thought it is going to help us. after they get political blow back and actually lose seats after their impeachment against clinton, what happens to the republicans that were saying this is our ticket to victory and this is how we are going to ride to new political heights. >> this is the story of the end of newt gingrich's political career. he was the house speaker and
after bill clinton admitted to the affair in the summer of 1998 and newt gingrich predicted this is going to result of a gain of 40 seats in the republican's house. he had a public speech where he said that, august or july of 1998, he talked about 40 seats from this. he told congress i think i found impeachable offenses. republicans and a few democrats vote in the house and open a formal impeachment inquiry. republicans of the rare exceptions of all the history lost seats in the midterm election. days later, newt gingrich was decomposed as the speaker resigned from congress and that was it for his phase of the career. >> how, he's the husband of the vatican ambassador. that's totally normal. steve cornacki, this is a lot of fun. much appreciated. >> yeah.
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big thank you to the great steve cornacki for helping us out. this is a fascinating midterm election here. it is just starting. expect for it to accelerate as welcome to tonight's special 4th of july edition of the last word. i'm lawrence o'donnell. when the president signed a so-called executive order to reverse his policy of separating parents and children at the border, much of the news media reported it wrongly as a rare reversal for donald trump, the tough guy who never backs down, surprisingly backs down. that's what some people thought. but the truth is, backing down is what donald trump does. we can list many more examples of domd trump backing down than donald trump holding to a consistent position. he said he would never settle the trump university fraud case, and then he backed down and settled that case paying $25 million for the fraud that he