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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 24, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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at least it used to be. >> now, that's the story, dick, and it's a sordid story. we are engaging in a change of the balance of power in this country. >> democrats roared this week, crushing donald trump with this blue wave. >> we won! >> oh -- my god. >> here in minnesota, we don't only welcome immigrants. we send them to washington! [ cheers ] >> an incredible wave that is hitting all over the country. >> i pledge to serve all coloradans. >> kansans voted for change. >> thank you, california! >> this resistance began with women, and it is being led by women tonight! [ cheers ] >> nevada joins to be the fifth
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state with two women senators. >> we can work together to meet the challenges our country faces. >> i will work to find common ground when possible and i will hold my ground when necessary. [ cheers ] >> thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in america. good evening. i'm lawrence o'donnell and this is a special thanksgiving weekend edition of "last word." for two long years, america waited. since election day on november 8, 2016 most americans, most voters, have been waiting for the chance to do something about what happened to this country on election night in 2016 when the candidate who came in second in the vote was awarded the presidency through the outdated and anti-democratic institution of the electoral college. american voters did not want donald trump to be president.
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but the electoral college formula gave it to him, and so for two years, most americans have disapproved of the trump presidency every day of that presidency. every single day for two years, and on november 6th, american voters rose up in resistance to the trump presidency, and on election day this year, those voters handcuffed donald trump. the day after donald trump was inaugurated, the resistant to donald trump took to the streets not just in washington but around this country and around the world in the biggest worldwide organized protest in history, and this year that resistance won the house of representatives which is exactly what we would expect to happen to a president with a 38% approval rating, which is what trump's approval rating was in the first poll taken after election day this year. throughout the fall, 38%, the
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38% raced frantically around the country holding 30 campaign rallies, saying unhinged and increasingly desperate lies. >> pre-existing conditions are safe. okay? >> the wall is under construction. >> the democrat plan would destroy medicare. >> socialist health care. where private plans are outlawed, and abolished. >> a nightmare of gridlock. poverty and chaos. >> a lot of people say, i wonder who started that caravan? >> when he wasn't on the campaign trail, the 38% president used the white house to encourage u.s. troops to commit illegal killings. >> they want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. we're going to consider it. i told them: it a rifle. >> this is what endangered republican candidates had to listen to when donald trump came to campaign for them.
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>> the one thing that has been really great about this whole endeavor, used to say, he wear as hairpiece, they don't say that anymore. tomorrow, headlines, trump in nevada was terrible what he said. >> people always said, oh, this is going to be an easy job. >> the republican candidate, trump was campaigning for, at enevery one of those rallies you just saw lost. donald trump said repeatedly that this election was about him. that he was on the ballot, and he lost. donald trump incessantly lied about democrats, and they won. it was a huge victory for democracy in a country where democracy does not always win, as we saw in the last presidential election. 7.5 million more people voted for democrats this time. the party got the most votes. the party that got the most votes actually won. this time democracy won, and
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democracy had to fight against gerrymandered congressional districts rigged by republicans to defy democracy. democracy had to fight against voter suppression in a country where republican-controlled states tried to make voting as difficult as possible, because they know democracy is their enemy. democracy won. the resistance won. and the 38% president is now having a very bad start of what promises to be an increasingly difficult road to the next election, two years from now. joining ow discussion now, joy reid, host of "a.m. joy" here on msnbc and a senior fellow at the senate of budget and policy priorities, economic policy a adviser to vice president biden. joy reid, on election night looked very good for democrats and after election night democrats continued to win as
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they continued to count votes in congressional districts around the country, and we had all said that california could take a while to get its final vote counts in some of those districts, but they certainly continued to favor the democrats. >> yeah. absolute absolutely. you mate the most important point at the beginning, lawrence, because, you know, donald trump is a minority president. right jt elected by minority of people. the country was obviously engineers and structured to allow for minority rule and we're there now because of the way the eyes senates is structured and bay of the electoral college. typically when elected by a palestine or they they attempt to expand to have a function many minority of the country supporting him. donald trump has no interest in going that. they wants to govern only 38% of the countries. his idea for having this party was to scare the begeezus out of them and say to white america you have to be terrified of this brown tide of people marching
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1,000 miles away. afraid of the idea of the obama coalition having any power. so you just need to vote on fear. on racial panic. well, it turns out racial panic is quite an effective strategy for some voters but doesn't help you in the suburbs and urban areas where there are more humans. so democrats have a natural advantage in terms of winning popular votes, because democratic-leaning voters live where most of the population centers are. so republicans got washed out in the suburbs, and in the cities. they did well in the rural and outer parts of the cities. >> and the number one issue according to the exit polls was health care, and there was a fear involved in for health care voters's we had some of those voters on this program. they were afraid that republicans would continue to try to take their health care coverage away. and would not protect the
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patients who needed coverage with pre-existing conditions, and the exit polls showed -- 35% of republicans would, that 35% is presumably the trump base and i don't see what thing thats in that kind of poll in the next two years. i don't see why voters would think that over the next two years republicans would suddenly become the protectors of their health insurance. >> well, most importantly, in the last few weeks of this election cycle, republicans looked into cameras and lied to their constituents. they said, you know, josh holly, who did win unfortunately through a lie, but also scott walker who campaigned saying he was opposed to pre-existing --
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supported pre-existing conditions even though he just signed off on a lawsuit to get rid of it and, of course, the republican party for the last, really, almost decade has been out to destroy the aca and i think people talk about the messaging strategy of democrats. the messaging strategy of democrats was relentless to focus on health care. a lot of institutions were focused on that. nancy pelosi was focused on that. chuck schumer focused on that and even though trump tried to change the subject to caravans and people you fear, democrats were able to actually address this day in and day out. and end of the day, the republican lies were found out to be what they were. lies. members of congress who said they supported reexisting conditions when they voted to get the aca lost in area after area. i'd say looking forward to 2020, the most important thing is that you have states that trump won. pennsylvania, wisconsin, and michigan, and in those states democratic senators won, and won
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handedly, and also new states came online that were competitive obviously. senator sinema and also newly competitive states like texas and georgia a map deeply unfavorable to donald trump and one. reasons he's been so panicked since the day after the election. >> and jared bernstein, the exit polls showed health care policy as an issue was twice as important as the economy as an issue. never seen that before, but a good economy is not especially reassuring when you could lose your health insurance and lose your financial solve vaenncy be of it. >> yes. no question. yes, a strong macro economy and gdp is posting good numbers, unemployment is low but that's not the kitchen table issue. the kitchen table issue is, a., is that growth reaching you? you get all the gdp growth you want, but it doesn't put food on the table or pay the rent if it's not reaching you, and
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secondly, of course health care is a key issue, and here's the disconnect with the economy. look, i like to say the following -- if you're hungry and you're starving, you go to the supermarket. they don't have to feed you. but if you're sick and go to the hospital they have to treat you. that tells you right there that health care is not a normal market good, and all of the republican nonsense about you're skin in the game and get competition into the sector, you know, you're going to compete with insurers, that completely fell flat on people who want the government to ensure they're pre-existing conditions are coverened and affordable care is out there, something they can access. meanwhile, the trump administration fought us tooth and nail as was said. a lot of lies going on out there. the problem is, i think, you were exactly rye. teed it up just right. we have won that argument but that doesn't mean health care is not under assault. it is. we have to protect tra vihat vi
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under a deep sabotage to the affordable care act that's going to be ongoing. >> and there's bad news in the exit polls for republicans including this one about younger voters. it showed 61% of voters 18 to 44 voted democrat. only 36% of those voted republican, and then for the voters 45 and above it was basically a tie between the two parties, 49%, 50%, a statistical tie. but a giant margin in favor of the democrats among the youth vote and new voters. >> yeah. you know, the problems for republicans don't get better over time. only worse. that younger cohort is the way it is because it contains more people of color, and the cohort behind them has even more people of color. as those voters get to an age where voting it important to them they're only going to lean more and more towards democrats.
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people want basic things from government. fairness, protection, and particularly among people of color, they do look to the federal government to protect them on things like health care and civil rights. republicans don't want to do that, so everyone that is not already tied to them in a deeply ideological way or part of the cult of personality of trump are going democratic. you saw younger voters increase their vote share up to the 30s. 31% of younger voters turned out. terrible news for republicans. takes a while for someone to mature into the age when they really vote consistently, but millennials, more of them than baby boomers and about to be more voters who are ma len yams than voters who are baby boomers. none is good for republicans. i will say, lawrence, it's also not good if democrats now they have power in states don't make moves immediately to shore up the voting rights act, shore up voting rights. republicans have shown how they react to demographic disaster. they suppress the votes. go after those voters and try to make it hard for them to vote. democrats who have now gotten
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back a lot of states need to protect voting rights in those states. >> and when you look at the results of the united states senate the republicans holding on, not very impressively, but holding on, and that's because democrats had more than doubled the number of senate seats to defend than republicans did. that gets reversed two years from now, and republicans will have almost double the number of seats to defend than democrats will, and so democrats will have that massive statistical advantage just going in to it, and if you're mitch mcconnell and you watch what happened to the house of representatives, you have to have a very strong fear that the united states senate is next. >> i mean, i have to say, the map in two years is so much better it's almost night and day. and really, i think it is interesting to look at, to look at what's happening in the states that republicans will be in. so just take an example.
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colorado. colorado flipped an important house seat but the entire state, almost the entire statewide races went democratic. they have really become a blue state and cory gardner has been hook, line and sinker with donald trump. susan collins, who really just did everything she could to help kavanaugh in the end, you know, she faces a very changed map. nome did democrats take the governor's race, they made real gains in maine and seems there's a lot of change at the congressional level. so i would say what's fascinating about this is looking under the cover, there's been so many transformations. the iowa delegation went from three republicans one democrat to three democrats, one republican. at the house level. they're really big changes across the country in a way that should make republicans in the senate and in the white house deeply skeptical, but let me say one word, which is joy is absolutely right. when republicans come into
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power, they think about ways to suppress the vote. it's critical that democrats come into power and expand the vote. >> thank you all for starting us all tonight. appreciate it. and when we come back, michael moore's reaction to the big wins by democrats and his predictions about what's next for democrats, and later my exclusive interview with sully sullenberger why he spoke up to vote and what he would say to president trump if he had the chance. you bought a house. okay. [ buttons clicking ] [ camera shutter clicks ] so, now that you have a house, you can use homequote explorer. quiet. i'm blasting my quads. janice, look. i'm in a meeting. -janice, look. -[ chuckles ] -look, look. -i'm looking. it's easy. you just answer some simple questions online, and you get coverage options to choose from. you're ruining my workout. cycling is my passion.
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the final hours of the election we talked about aaron he probably wasn't going to vote because he wasn't inspired enough by the candidates. >> the non-voters are the largest political party in the country. >> uh-huh. >> trump got 63 million votes. hillary 66 million. non-voters in the last election, over 100 million and usually mid-terms over 120 million. they're the largest political force. what i would say to aaron and other non-voters is, first of all, i understand why a lot of you don't vote. i understand why you think the system is corrupt. it is. i understand why you think the candidates sometimes just look like a bunch of old party hacks. they are. i understand why you're fed up and especially where i come from in the midwest why you're so
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upset how the system failed you. but here's the good news. and can i just speak to aaron directly. >> please do. >> aaron -- you have more power than lawrence or i or anyone else, because you belong to the largest political force in the country. all of the non-voters out there, you need to understand, you hold the power over this election. "you" control it. you can show up tuesday and stick to the man in a way nobody's ever been able to do it, because you, these non-voters, lawrence, are going to control this election. >> we don't know if aaron decided to vote in this election, but we do know more people turned out to vote than ever before in a mid-term election for the first time ever. the total vote across the country exceeded 100 million voters in a mid-term election. amp the election, michael moore put the democrats big wins in
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perspective. >> it is an amazing victory, and i'm not one to come on this show with a lot of optimism, as you know, from the past. nobody should miss the point. all the point you just made were right on. especially the point that this victory on tuesday was larger than the tea party victory in 2010. larger than the huge wave where democrats took over congress in 2006. it can't be stated enough or strongly enough just how -- over's to the awesome this victory was husband and what you pointed out is so important. not just the victory in terms of number of seats, not just the fact millions more americans voted for democrats as opposed to republicans. millions more, okay? the so-called popular vote, which we already know that we are the majority, because we won
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by 3 million two years ago, but this was huge. but also what you just said. how the 317 districts that moved further to the left. 117 districts that republicans actually won but the number of people that came out and voted for the democrat especially the progressive democrat, that moved. it all moved. this is the new america that you've got on your screen right now. that is the america that we live in, and what gets really -- i think confusing for some people when we put up the map and we show the big red swaths of red across the country, it has a weird and wrong impact on people, because it makes it look like the country's so red, but people don't live in those large desert and mountain and prairie areas. i mean, people live there, but small, small numbers of people live there. each congressional district is the same, exact number of votes.
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roughly 775,000 each. if there was a way to do the map where we actually built the map and showed by population how large this area of the country is or this area of the country is by population, you would see the bluest of blue. you'd need sunglasses there would be so much blue on the screen, on the map. if we actually showed the map by the size of its population. not the size of how many acres. >> right. >> a state has. so this was an election, this is -- you know, people are oh, they haven't said it, but that's because that's not a democratic election. not a one person one vote. true democracy doesn't mean that delaware gets the same number of votes in the senate as california, with 40 million people who live there. if it was a true democracy, the senate would be proportional to the actual numbers of the
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country. so -- we have to fix that. we have to get rid of the electoral college. we need to have preferential voting systems when where you vote your first and second choice pap more accurate reading of what people really want representing them. that's to come. this was a huge first step. it's one down, two to go. the next one to go is before the senate is probably the white house. and that may happen within these two years, depending on happens in congress. how far those votes in the senate -- remember, five, six republicans would have to have a -- what john kennedy called a profile in courage a moment of conscien conscience, if it comes to the point the mueller investigation and the investigations the house committees will do in terms of showing just how badly trump has violated the law, how much will republicans be able to tolerate
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their president being a law breaker, being a criminal? we'll find out. but i think that this is a very exciting time for us, and everybody, just the shots you've been showing all night on msnbc of these protests in the street. all over america that started at 5:00 p.m. on the west coast and happened 5:00 p.m. local time all over the place. i'm getting reports from people all over -- in the smallest of turn tos where there's 100 people there, and there's only 1,000 people in the town. so it's -- it's -- this is going to have to continue, though. we're not -- we're going to have to be in the streets a lot, i'm afraid, because trump believes he's going to get away with what he's going to get away -- what he thinks he's getting away with now in the justice department with matt whitaker. that's my take on everything. >> michael to that point, imagine a world today in which the democrats had not won the house of representatives. they came up one shy, or whatever it was, and they did not win the house of
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representatives. the current, what some are calls the fake attorney general, because this title of acting attorney general legal scholars are saying, many legal scholars saying he's been illegally installed there. this is an unconstitutional appointment, so i am reluctant to even give him the title. has the office. sit in that chair at that desk but i don't know what title he really has. imagine that person sitting in the justice department tonight with a republican-controlled house of representatives instead of what he's living with. which is the knowledge that come january they can pull him in to the judiciary committee at the house of representatives, put him under oath and make him answer every question about what he said to donald trump before he was appointed and what donald trump said to him. and those questions will be asked under oath, and that was not going to happen without that win tuesday night. >> you're absolutely, so right to say that and you're right. imagine if we hadn't won on
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tuesday night. first of all, i think so many anticipated that possibilities after what happened 2016. pharmaceuticals were developing an antidepressant just for democrats. they don't need that. go back to lattes and cappuccinos for medicinal purposes. seriously though, so critical what's going on in the justice department. we always had a constitutional crisis with trump's behavior prior to the election. we now have a constitutional crisis within the constitutional crisis. we now have a state of emergency within the state of emergency. this has gotten very dangerous, and -- and -- you know, it's -- it's, we haven't even touched on what happened in thousand oaks today with the people that were killed. we live in a country where an american can go into a bar and kill 12 people. go into a synagogue and kill 11 people. go into a kroger looking for black people and kill black
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people. we are in a very, very dangerous situation. all of us have to be up and active. we have to be on guard, and -- and ruth bader ginsburg, if you're recovering tonight and watching this, seriously i would do anything for you. i would -- i would literally donate a rib for you, although my ribs might not be -- might take up your whole body, but i'm just saying that -- we've got a lot of things in front of us here. a lot on our plate, lawrence, but the people are going to be heard and they're got nothing away just because they won on tuesday night. >> michael moore, thank you very much for joining us tonight. starting us off tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. thank you so much. coming up, the powerful message of hero pilot captain sully sullenberger. why he urng eurged people to vo democrats. that's next. later, obamacare was the most important issue for voters in this election. you'll meet a health care voter
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connecting people... ...uniting the world. ♪♪ captain chesley "sully" sullenberger instantly became regarded as a hero worldwide after he safely landed a passenger aircraft on the hudson river, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard. he was played by tom hanks in the movie entitled "sully." and since then he says he has an obligation to use his celebrated status for good. and in an op-ed piece this week
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he said, i feel that i now have yet another mission as a defender of our democracy. the fabric of our nation is under attack while shame, a timeless beacon of right and wrong, seems dead. this is not the america i know and love. we're better than this. joining our discussion now captain sully sullenburger. this really is an honor to have you here. i greatly appreciate you joining us here on this election special coverage. what moved you to write this op-ed piece? >> i could i not? how could i not? i felt an intense obligation to act, not just to watch. to put my voice out there, to vote, to try to make a difference. i think that's an obligation each of us have in this critical time. we can't just yell at the tv. we have to do something, we have to vote. >> you say in the piece that for most of your life you were a registered republican.
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>> yes. >> but you always voted as an american. >> absolutely. >> what does voting as an american mean to you now? >> it means not in a partisan fashion but in a fashion according to our values. in a fashion according to the threat that we're facing. this is not normal. what is happening in this country is not normal. my original title for the op-ed was "mayday, mayday, mayday" which, of course, is the international signal for distress about a grave and imminent threat that requires immediate assistance. i'm as concerned about the state of this nation as i have been in a half century since the turbulent year of 1968. and in some ways even before that. it's reminiscent in some ways of friday, november 22nd, 1963 and october 1962. i learned from my father, a naval officer in world war ii and my military service, the responsibilities, the awesome responsibilities of command. that we great
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authority comes great responsibility. i learned that a leader leads from the front. the leader should be the first to face the threat and the last to safety. not the reverse. a leader leads by example, according to core values that frame one's decision, that serve as guardrails to prevent ourselves and organizations from making egregious errors. a leader leads with respect. and in an environment with mutual respect where respect must be earned. but most important, a leader helps everyone serve a cause greater than themselves. it can't justin inwardly focused. it can't just be inwardly focused. right now that's not happening. this is one of the greatest threats this nation has faced in my lifetime. >> the things you just cited historically by date were the cuban missile crisis, the assassination of president kennedy, 1968 which saw the assassination of bobby kennedy,
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assassination of martin luther king. >> height of the vietnam war. >> yes, 16,000 dead in vietnam, that year, american soldiers. the darkest experiences of your lifetime and mine. i remember every one of them. >> and we all can remember where we were when we first heard about them. >> yes, and you're comparing this period to that kind of darkness. >> that is the threat that we face. and people who know me or have heard me or seen me know i do not exaggerate. i don't need to. >> i want you to listen to some people like you who have been in their case lifelong republicans actively working in the republican party to elect republican presidents and other republican candidates and see if you share some of their feelings. let's listen to this. >> the party of trump must be destroyed politically. >> i am urging everybody to vote straight ticket democratic in november, because i think it is imperative to get some checks and balances. >> i left the party about five
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weeks ago. i think democrats should take the house. i think we'll be safer in a divided government. >> i think it's important democrats take over the house and the senate. i think that any white house is improved by having a check and balance, this white house more than any other. >> and those are people, nicolle wallace, steve schmidt, who tried to elect john mccain president. they've all worked for the election of republican presidents prior to donald trump getting that nomination. when you hear those people talking, are they speaking to you? is that your experience as a voter? >> they're speaking with me, that is my experience. >> with you. >> right now the majority party in the house, in the senate, are not fulfilling their oath of office. they are not acting as a check and balance, and we must replace with those who will. >> there's another line that you have in your piece where you say, all leaders must take responsibility and have moral compass grounded in competence, integrity and concern for the greater good.
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the moral compass seems to be absent. i can't find it when i look at the republican leadership in washington now. >> if it is there, they're not listening to it. they're not looking at it. >> what do you think, if you could have a moment with the president of the united states, if you could a have a minute with him, what would you want to tell him about the way he does his job? >> i don't think he's either capable or willing to change. i think he is remarkably incurious and doesn't value learning. instead of talking to the current occupant of that office i am talking to the american people. i'm saying you are the ultimate check and balance. it is up to us. as i said in my piece, we cannot wait for someone to rescue us, we must do it ourselves.
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everyone everywhere must vote in massive numbers. >> your op-ed piece came out after the mass murder in the synagogue in pittsburgh about a week ago today. did that have an effect on your sense of urgency about this? an affect. >> yes, i had written this piece in its early forms a month ago. i'd been trying to shorten it since then, but, yes, this is even more of a crisis than it was when i began writing the piece. >> the way we see the president campaigning tonight as i said earlier in the show, i can't find something he said that's actually honest on the campaign trail, that is truthful, that isn't just utterly false. and so i can't actually -- i don't want to present what he's actually saying, and there are people who see that as one-sided, as if -- and my
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approach to it is, i'm trying to present what we do here on the side of the truth. and that seems to be a new challenge the likes of which we've never had, and also for voters to sort out truth has become much more of a challenge than it used to be. >> and that's one of my great concerns and that's why i compared these historic events. we're not facing a nuclear annihilation at the moment but we're facing a more pernicious challenge. this breakdown of the fabric of our society and our willingness to even agree on the same facts. >> and going forward you intend -- i know you don't want to get into specific candidates, but your suggestion to people is you should be voting against the republican control, that now controls all of washington? >> yes. as a former republican i've already voted and i voted for democrats. >> how uncomfortable is this for you? you lived your life without being public. politically.
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most people do, most people go their entire lifetimes without making a public political statement. and for people who have to do it the first time, i've always noticed that it is uncomfortable and awkward to put it mildly. >> not at all. it's freeing. it's necessary. it's useful. it is my duty. >> would you be able to sit back and watch this process and watch this election process without responding to that sense of duty? a lot of people do. a lot of people feel the way you feel, but they don't feel they have a duty to speak publicly. >> i could not let my silence or civility connote acquiescence. >> when we get past this election, do you expect to have a political voice, to continue to raise your voice at certain points politically? or have you even felt your way
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through what that's going to be like? >> i'll let you know after tuesday. >> okay, we'll hear from you when we hear from you on this. captain sullenberger, i can't tell you. this is really one of the great honors to have you here at this table. really appreciate you coming in tonight. thank you very much, really appreciate it. coming up, a health care voter whose son has a preer existing condition. joined by the new democratic congresswoman who she helped elect. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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time for tonight's winner. we weren't able to get to all of the winners on election night, so our coverage of the winners will continue. the democrats passed obamacare in the spring of 2010 and seven months later they lost everything. they lost the house of representatives and lost the senate. now the democrats have won back the house of representatives thanks to obamacare. and that is a perfect lesson in the kind of patience you need if you want to soberly analyze the politics of governing, which is infinitely more complex. more complex than the politics of campaigning. republicans warned democrats that passing obamacare would be a political loser for them, and they had reason to believe that. it always had been. democrats suffered a historic loss in 1994 after pushing similar health care legislation championed by then first lady hillary clinton. the democrats had big margins in their majorities in the house and the senate then, and they
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lost it all in the next congressional election. that time the republicans won the house of representatives for the first time in 40 years. 40 years. and they believed that was thanks to defeating the clinton health care bill. and since then republicans have come to believe that their fortunes depend entirely on opposing everything democrats say or do about health care. but not anymore. now republicans believe the only way they could win is by trying to sound like democrats. >> i completely believe that just based on my own family background that you should be -- have a right whether you have a pre-existing condition or not, to be able to get health care. >> i do protect folks with pre-existing conditions. >> i am passionate about protecting people with pre-existing conditions. >> we will always cover people like my wife with pre-existing medical conditions. >> every one of those republicans was lying about
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their support for guaranteeing affordable health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but it was a lie that they felt they never needed to tell before. the exit polls show why republicans were telling that lie. the exit polls show that among actual voters this year health care was the number one issue in this election. and this time it turned in favor of the people who brought you obamacare, the people who gave you the first legislative protections in history for people with pre-existing conditions, the democrats. tasha nelson is a health care voter. she's the mother of a 7-year-old boy named jack with a pre-existing condition of cystic fibrosis. she joined us on this program and told us she was a swing voter who usually voted republican but this time she'd be voting for jennifer wexton. she crushed the republican incumbent barbara comstock 56-43. when we come back, tonight's
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winner, congresswoman elect jennifer wexton and health care voter tasha nelson. (music throughout)
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joining our discussion now is tonight's winner democratic congresswoman elect jennifer wexton who flipped virginia's tenth congressional district for the democrats and one of her voters, tasha nelson. tasha, welcome back to the show. your vote worked. let's hear from your congresswoman-elect. jennifer wexton, you apparently
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won the biggest margin of any democrat who flipped a republican district. how did you do it? >> well, with the help of hundreds of moms just like tasha who were voting based on issues that were really important to them like health care and gun violence prevention, you know, there's no stopping these moms when they set their mind to something. >> and tasha, i know you haven't been as politically involved before as you were this time around. how does it feel to get that win? >> amazing. in the 30 states that are not part of the texas versus the u.s. aca, we can breathe a little bit easier that pre-existing conditions are not being targeted. we get to take a break. we get to be with our kids. there are still 20 states in jeopardy. >> tasha, i'm going to read this christmas card we read before when you were on the show that your son jack sent to tim kaine, and it was his health care wish for 2018, and it said that his
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wish was simply don't die. >> yeah! and you asked him what he meant, and he said i'm scared i'll get super duper sick and go to the hospital and they will say i might die. and congresswoman-elect wexton. when you see notes like that, when you meet constituents like tasha, how does that steer your view of both the issue and how to deal with the issue publicly? >> it's heartbreaking. i mean, those 6-year-olds should have to think about their own mortality, and no parent should have to go through that either, and there are things that we can do. you know, there are things that we can do at the legislative level to help ensure that everybody has access to affordable quality health care, and i hope that now with the democrats in the majority and health care voters speaking out, i think that we'll be able to finally do some good stuff. >> and tasha, you mentioned the lawsuits that republicans are around the country, attorneys
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general around the country have brought against obamacare, against the affordable care act, and they're doing that while republican candidates are out there saying, oh, no, no, we absolutely want to guarantee the coverage, affordable coverage for pre-existing conditions? >> they are. they're banking on the fact that the american public is not aware of or does not know enough about that lawsuit when they say those things. there are 20 states at risk of losing coverage for pre-existing conditions today. >> the republican language on this is simply that they are in favor of supporting legislation to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions can get health insurance, but that was never the point. the point was that that insurance be affordable because there is some price point at which you might sell an insurance policy to someone with a pre-existing condition, but that price point might be $100,000. >> exactly, and the proposals that they have in the senate now
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says, well, you can't deny coverage for someone with a pre-existing condition, but you can deny them coverage for that pre-existing condition, and you can also discriminate against them when it comes to setting a premium, and that obviously defeats the entire purpose of this, but it allows these republicans to disingenuously claim that they're protecting pre-existing conditions when they're doing nothing of the sort. >> let me just get a quick yes or no about this, jennifer wekston. when you started this campaign trying to knock off an incumbent republican, did you think you could win? >> yes. >> all right, you are a winner. we're going to leave it right there. congresswoman-elect jennifer wexton and tasha nelson, thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. tonight's last word is next. let's begin.
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the new congress will be sworn in on january 3rd. that's tonight's last word. if you missed the last word on tv, you can get the show anytime as a podcast. listen for free on apple podcasts now or wherever you get your podcasts. the 11th hour with brian williams is up next. tonight nearing 700 days of the trump presidency shattering norms left and right, insulting revered patriots with impunity, unapologetic and all the while living under the cloud of the mueller investigation. covering it all night after night, we strive to get it right, but we don't often know right then in the moment how big a story is going to be. tonight we look back and wonder if we only knew what was to come as "tthe "11th hour" gets undery on this post-thanksgiving evening. and good evening from our nbc news hbeadquarters here in

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