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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 21, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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xfinity is your home for the return of live sports. that is going to do it for us tonight. i'll see you again tomorrow night. but now it is time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell".
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good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. i was so glad you began tonight with a former clerk of justice ginsbu ginsburg, because she was so lucky. she was so, so lucky. i think that's what we were all thinking watching it, she was so lucky to have that job, to have that proximity to justice ginsburg, to have that experience, to know her so well. >> i also just feel like we're obviously and for totally understandable reasons with what's going to happen with the succession of the court and the vacancy that's created on the court by justin ginsburg's death. but for all of the mourning of her passing, one way to honor her legacy is to make sure that we understand it. and the people who were involved working shoulder to shoulder with her when she was writing her most important opinions and doing her most incisive and long far-sided thinking about the constitution, i think have stuff
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to tell us that we should learn from in terms of how to approach this moment and how to be strategic. there is a lot in her legacy that could help us right now and i feel like i'm not ready to stop talking about that side of it. >> right. and i think, though, we can also see the glow, just the glow that she feels just thinking about justice ginsburg and just thinking about that experience of being lucky enough to work with her. i have my own little highly tangential moment, and it came during her confirmation hearings. she used to use my office at the senate finance committee as her hideout during the con fir ration hearings, because there's a kind of secret backdoor passageway from where my office was into the other building where her big, you know, tv hearing was going on. and senator moynihan from new york, my boss, the tradition is the senator from your home state
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introduces you and senator moynihan guided her through that process in that way and it was his idea to park her on my sofa, which she did for, you know, a few hours at a time, and that was kind of magical. she was -- senator moynihan had recommended her to the president, as did joe biden, which was even more important because he was judiciary chairman and even more important than that, as we learned friday night, hillary clinton had recommended her. so she came to the president with very, very strong recommendations. >> i also now feel like we need to create -- you know like flat stanley? we need to create a flat ruth bader ginsburg and park her on your couch now that we know you earned that. by actually loaning her couch space at one point in your professional life, you can claim that, like, if i did that, that would be creepy, but you could actually legit do it. >> and the effect it has, rachel, is i'm on my best behavior if she's in the room. so --
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>> all right. i'm going to kinko's right now. >> okay. >> go figure this out. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you, lawrence. well, four years ago, senator lindsey graham said, you can use my words against me, and tonight, every democrat in washington has been using lindsey graham's worlds against him, but the most important democrat in america, who is using lindsey graham's worlds against him, is jamie harrison who is the democratic nominee for senate in south carolina running against lindsey graham. the latest polls show jaime harrison tied with lindsey graham in south carolina, and jaime harrison will join us here later on tonight. and don't be surprised if he uses lindsey graham's words against him. and at the end of the hour, tonight's last word will go to steve schmidt, who is outraged at what mitch mcconnell is doing to the supreme court confirmation process and no one -- but no one -- brings more el low consequence to outrage
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than former republican presidential campaign strategist steve schmidt. i want to begin tonight with two things. the first thing is the only way the democrats can block the confirmation of a supreme court justice this year to replace the honorable ruth bader ginsburg. and the second thing is the name of the person donald trump is most likely to nominate to the supreme court at the end of this week. let's start with that first thing and with the parliamentary lay of the land in the united states senate. a lot of people think the senate is filled with complex rules that can be used to block anything or almost anything moving through the senate and it is true that there are many obscure rules of senate procedure, but most of them apply to budget issues. but you can't raise a budget point of order against a supreme court nomination. none of the delaying tactics that you might get to use on legislation can be used against a supreme court nomination.
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for days now, you have heard democratic senators say they're going to use every procedural maneuver they can to block the nomination, but you haven't heard any of them -- any of them specify what those procedural maneuvers might be. when you hear a democratic senator say they are going to hold republicans feet to the fire as i have heard more than once, that's not parliamentary language. i worked in the senate for years and i don't know what they're talking about. is twl no fire in the senate. senators aren't allowed to use their fireplaces in their offices anymore. there is only one way. there is only one way to block this nomination, to stall it, to slow down the united states senate. there is only one way for democrats to seize control of the calendar of the united states senate and throw up a roadblock to this nomination in the senate, and this parliamentary maneuver is not something that the democratic leader of the senate chuck schumer can do. it's not something any democratic senator can do. there is literally nothing democratic senators can do to block this nomination. but the house of representatives
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can do something. the democratic house of representatives can actually seize control of the calendar in the united states senate. speaker nancy pelosi can do that, and she knows that she can do that and she was very, very careful when she was asked about it yesterday by george stephanopoulos, who, before he worked in the clinton white house, was on the staff of the democratic leadership in the house of representatives. >> some had mentioned the possibility if they try to push through a nominee in a lame duck session that you in the house can move to impeach president trump or attorney general barr as a way of stalling and preventing the senate from acting on this nomination. >> well, we have our options. we have arrows in our quiver that i'm not about to discuss right now. >> if nancy pelosi delivers articles of impeachment to the united states senate, senate rules say upon such articles
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being presented to the senate, the senate shall at 1:00 afternoon of the day sunday excepted following such presentation or sooner if ordered by the senate proceed to the consideration of such articles and shall continue in session from day-to-day sundays excepted after the trial shall commence unless otherwise ordered by the senate until final judgment shall be rendered and so much longer as may, in its judgment, be needful. today on the senate floor, chuck schumer said there is only one way. those were his exact words, there is only one way. he didn't say he had arrows in his quiver. just one arrow. and it's not in his quiver. >> there's only one way, one way, for this chamber to retain its dignity through this difficult chapter. there is only one way for us to have some hope of coming
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together again, trusting each other again, lowering the temperature, moving forward. and that is for four brave senate republicans to commit to rejecting any nominee until the next president is installed. >> two senate republicans of questionable bravery, susan collins and lisa murkowski, have said they are opposed to voting on a nomination until after the election. republican senator mitt romney has remained silent so far. the three front-runners for the nomination on the trump short list for the supreme court are all federal appeals court judges. alison jones rushing of the fourth circuit court of appeals in richmond, virginia. she was confirmed to that court in the first year of the trump presidency, 53-44. amy coney barrett was confirmed 55-43 in the first year of the trump presidency to the seventh circuit court of appeals in chicago. and florida state supreme court judge barbara lagoa was
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confirmed to the 11th circuit court of appeals just last year by a vote of 80-15. and that makes judge lagoa the most likely choice for this nomination. barbara lagoa is from miami. donald trump will see her cuban heritage as helpful to his campaign in the must-win state of florida. and she went through her fbi background check for her current job just last year, so a new background check for judge lagoa would be completed faster than possibly any other nominee. and most importantly for the politics of the senate, barbara lagoa was confirmed just last year with 27 democratic votes. most democrats on the senate judiciary committee voted for barbara lagoa just last year. among the democrats on the judiciary committee who voted against the confirmation of barbara lagoa last year, senator
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kamala harris and our leadoff guest tonight, senator amy klobuchar. we're joined now by senator amy klobuchar, a senior senator on the judiciary committee. senator klobuchar, first of all, i want to dispense with some theories out there about what might happen. >> okay, lawrence. >> let's begin with impeachment. because of one very important clause inside that senate rule that i read, which sounds goopd, sounds like impeachment articles control the calendar of the senate and immediately have to be heard beginning 1:00 p.m. the next day. but inside there, it says unless ordered otherwise by the senate. isn't it true that the impeachment process can, in effect, be derailed by 51 republican votes, pretty much at any time, including kind of an immediate not guilty vote. >> you appear to be quite the expert on these rules, lawrence, and first of all, that is my understanding. but i'd want to look at it again.
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but i would like to say this. right now, our focus is on the heart of what you just said, and that is four republicans. we already have two. two more with nearly all of them that were here in 2016, made it very clear that the precedent they set and that the precedent they set was that the people should vote and pick the president and the president picks the supreme court justice. just like abraham lincoln did in the only incident next to this one when a justice died so close to the election. and that's when i'll one up you on facts. justice taney, the author of the dread scott opinion, unfortunately, died close to the election. and abraham lincoln waited. he did get re-elected, and that's when he decided to nominate a justice. so, my point here is that whatever all these rules say and yes, there are things that we can look at going forward
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especially, but right now, the best way to do this for our country and to bring our country together is for those republicans, and i put it on them, to make this call and follow their own precedent. >> what would be the case that you would make to a republican who thinks the president's nominee is the right person for the job, who agrees with all of the known judicial philosophies of the republicans of the president's nominee? what is the case you would make to that republican senator? >> sure. i'd make the case that this is about our democracy, that our country is at this moment, this boiling point, where, first of all, we need a president that brings them together. that is joe biden. but that secondly, it's our job to kind of put all of this aside. they are not be holden to mitch mcconnell. they are be-holden to the people of this country. and 62% in the reuters poll,
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62% of the american people said that the next president should pick the supreme court justice. 5 out of 10 republicans said it. so, i think in the end, the voting that's going on, the motion that's out there about the notorious rbg and what she stood for and that anything and everything was possible and that she never gave up when people told her she shouldn't go to law school. she graduates number one in her class. she goes in and does it and wins when she gets to the court, she becomes an icon in her '80s -- anything is possible. so, those are the arguments i'm going to make to my colleagues, because we are at a moment when americans are voting in droves. they are voting big. joe biden is ahead in states we never imagined. you just mentioned jamie harrison who i can't wait to see on your show coming up, these races are going in a direction that the people want them to go in. so i believe in the end that our colleagues at least a few of them have to listen to that regardless of where they are on any nominee.
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and it is our democracy that's at stake. >> well, it sounds like mitch mcconnell's worried about that, the possibility of those two vote, because he sent out that letter to all of his republican colleagues, kind of as fast as he could, because he didn't have time to kind of call them all individually. and as you know, he included that phrase that leaders include when they don't have the votes. he said, i urge you all to be cautious and keep your powder dry until we return to washington. and of course, in senate leadership speak, that means, i'm very afraid of what you might do with your powder. so just shut up and don't say anything until you get back here. >> yeah. like i said, they are accountable to the people that sent them to washington. they're accountable to our country and patriotism and our democracy. mitt romney many times has stood up for our democracy over the
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last year or two. the other thing that's going on here, they also understand the issues at hand. health care is not only on the ballot, it's going to be on the supreme court docket on november 10th when they will be deciding that critical case out of texas about whether or not people are going to be able to keep their health insurance if they have pre-existing conditions. over 100 million americans could lose their health insurance. they know as we see the smoke on the west coast that the environmental protections that so many people hold dear are eventually going to be on that court docket. money that's been flooding into the elections where you have such a conservative court that time and time again with the citizens united case on down which, a lot of people that aren't just democrats don't like that. and that's a case we need to make to the american people. not only because they need to vote like their life depends on it, to quote the great michelle obama, but also because they have to understand the great significance of this supreme court justice. it is not donald trump that
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can make this decision. it is literally in their hands right now as they go to the ballot box. >> senator, quickly, before we have to go to a break here, 27 democrats voted for barbara lagoa just last year. you were not one of them, but both of your colleagues on the senate judiciary committee, democratic colleagues, did, in fact, vote for her. what do you say to them if she comes up as the nominee? she -- they voted for her to be confirmed to the court just one level below the supreme court. what do you say to the democrats who have to now, in effect, reverse themselves on this judge? >> the supreme court is a whole other ball game, lawrence. you have old arguments already made that you want to get a justice that is -- would do -- would make ruth bader ginsburg proud, would make her family proud. you look at her last fervent wish, those are her words, my most fervent wish is i will not be replaced until a new president is installed, despite the fact that donald trump is
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now undermining her own family after she's died by questioning whether or not she said that. and, of course, as you know her, she would use the word fervent in her closing days. and the second argument is, when you are picking judges for the supreme court of the united states, it's a whole different standard. it is a whole different ball game. >> senator amy klobuchar, i know how much justice ginsburg meant to you and that she was an inspiration. a lot of people talk about what an inspiration she was to little girls around the country. some of who who have grown up to go to law school. >> and some of whom became senators. >> yes, exactly right. and inspiration to united states senators. senator amy klobuchar, thank you for joining us once again tonight. we always appreciate it. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. after this break, justice ginsburg's dying wish, as the senator just said, was to have the winner of the next presidential election pick her replace pt. and, as you just heard from senator klobuchar, donald trump is lying about that now.
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npr reporter nina totenberg was the reporter who revealed justice ginsburg's dying wish. she will join us next. and at the end of the hour, as i said, steve schmidt will get tonight's last word in his first television discussion since the death of justice ginsburg. my name is joe. i'm a sustainability science researcher at amazon. climate change is the fight of our generation. the biggest obstacle right now is that we're running out of time. amazon now has a goal to be net zero carbon by 2040. we don't really know exactly how we are going to get there. it's going to be pretty hard. but one way or another we're going to reduce our carbon footprint to net zero.
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ruth bader ginsburg has four grandchildren. she dictated her dying wish to one of her grandchildren who released that statement from justice ginsburg to our next guest, nina totenberg, who reported it friday night. quote, my most fervent wish is that i will not be replaced until a new president is installed. this morning, president trump, who knows nothing about life on the supreme court told this lie.
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he said, i don't know that she said that. or was that written up by adam schiff and schumer and pelosi. tonight in a radio interview with the bbc, justice ginsburg's granddaughter said this. >> i asked her if there was anything she wanted to say to the public, to anyone that wasn't already out there. and she said there was. and i pulled out my computer and she dictated the following sentence to me. she said, my most fervent wish is that i will not be replaced until a new president is installed. and i read it back to her. she was very happy with that. when i asked her, is that it? is there anything else you would like to say? she said, the rest of my work is a matter of public record, so that was all she wanted to add. >> joining our discussion now is npr's legal correspondent, nina totenberg. nina, thank you very much for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. i know you were a close friend of ruth bader ginsburg, and so i'm sorry for your loss.
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and i want to get your reaction to the president, what he actually said this morning, basically calli ining clara spe liar and just your reaction to it. >> well, i don't make a habit of commenting on my opinion of presidents. this president or any other president. i only know that that's what clara read to me and then i confirmed it with others who were in the room who were not family members, including her doctor who was there and presumably understand that justice ginsburg knew what she was doing and was fully competent to make that statement. i think somebody in the room suggested at some point, did she want to dictate some sort of a message, like john lewis did, that appeared after his death, and she said no, that this is what she wanted to say, that she dictated it and that was it.
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that was very ruthian. >> nina, what is your sense of the likelihood of senate confirmation? let's just presume it for a second, that if there is a justice who is rushed through at this point, and what would you expect that to do to the court? >> well, it wouldn't be good for the court. it wouldn't be good for the country. it wouldn't be good for anybody, and it probably wouldn't be good for republicans in the short run and democrats in the longer run, because as you've noted, i'm sure, lawrence, the wings of both party, the left and the right, on the left it's the woke, on the right, it's the, you know, it's the freedom caucus, it's whatever. they have an enormous amount of influence, because they are the base in a very polarized time. and what almost certainty would
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happen is that eventually either if joe biden were to win or at some other future time, the democrats would be under enormous pressure then to add a couple of justices to the court. and justice ginsburg was very clear that she thought that was a bad idea, because it would just keep flipping back and forth between whoever won the most recent election. and, you know, it's not that it hasn't happened in our history, but it hasn't happened in over a century. chief justice rehnquist who was a very conservative member of the court and chief justice was fond of saying that the crown jewel in the american democracy is its independent judiciary. and this would just abolish it. i think. and that would be the long-term effect. and i've talked to very conservative republicans, who like trump appointees, who
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actually think this is bad for the court. >> let's listen to the way donald trump talks about the independent judiciary. here he is at a rally in north carolina on saturday. >> now, we're counting on the federal court system to make it so that we could actually have an evening where we know who wins, okay, not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later. >> so, there he is, basically saying counting absentee ballots is suddenly wrong. but apparently there could be a big litigation stream initiated by the president that would then end up possibly in this supreme court. >> and you would have the very person who has just been confirmed, along with other, you know, trump appointees and democratic appointees, saying -- deciding what was the
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appropriate outcome based on the law as they saw it. and, you know, even if you assume good will by every member of the court, the court would have lost the trust of the american people. that's the problem. >> nina, what do you think justice ginsburg would advise, say, a president biden for the characteristics that he should look for in a supreme court justice? >> you know what? ruth ginsburg was one of the smartest, if not the smartest person i have ever known. and one of the things that she taught me over time was to keep your mouth shut when you ought to and i'm not putting any -- i'm not putting words in her mouth. >> i completely understand that position, nina. i have been doing the same thing with senator moynihan's memory for many years now. i can't duplicate what he would have said. nina, thank you very much for joining us tonight. and again, nina, i'm very sorry for your loss.
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>> i am, too. but i am so glad that i knew her for 48 years and that she taught me not only about the law but how to live. >> thank you, nina. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> see that's what i mean about the glow of people who were lucky enough to know ruth bader ginsburg. millions of people now are turning loss into action, political action. see seal richards joins us next on what the supreme court vacancy means to the presidential campaign. ♪ limu emu & doug you know limu, after all these years it's the ones that got away that haunt me the most. [ squawks ] 'cause you're not like everybody else. that's why liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. what? oh, i said... uh, this is my floor. nooo!
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here is something that's never happened before upon the death of a supreme court justice. "the new york times" reports democratic donors shattered records on act blue, a donation processing site, giving more than $6.2 million in the hour after justice ginsburg died. by noon saturday, donations had topped $45 million.
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in the 28 hours after her death, actblue had raised a record-setting $91 million in donations. that number is now you tonight, over $160 million. joining our discussion now is cecile richards, the cofounder of the women's political group super majority and the former president of planned parenthood. i just want to begin with your memories of ruth bader ginsburg. i would assume that as president of planned parenthood you might have been in the room in the supreme court chamber some time seeing justice ginsburg in action. >> absolutely, lawrence. and, in fact, i remember i had really had just started at planned parent hood when there was a major abortion rights case before the court. and at the time, justice ginsburg was the only woman on the court. so you can imagine this barely
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100-pound, five-foot woman sitting there with all these men representing an entire gender and basically carrying us all on her shoulders. and, of course, she was more than up to the task. but it was really extraordinary to hear men talking about the most intimate personal details of women's private medical decisions and justice ginsburg, of course, we lost that decision, she wrote a scathing dissent. she was amazing. and of course it was great to go back and see her on the court with sonia sotomayor and elaina kagan. they were a fierce trio and they made all the difference. >> i've spent every year on this program trying to get people to concentrate on the supreme court as a reason to be voting for president. this is a tragic way to get that focus. but it seems the focus has finally arrived, especially on the democratic side. we have new polling showing that more democrats now than four
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years ago believe it is very important, a very important issue. it is up to 66% of democrats and fewer republicans. it has dropped as an important issue for republicans. it's gone from 70% down to 61%. so the sense of urgency on this issue seems to be on the democratic side this year, possibly for the first time. >> i agree, lawrence. and of course that super majority we have been totally focused on women voters. and it's hard to imagine -- women were already on fire about the total failure of this administration to deal with a pandemic, about the fact that they can't send their kids back to school. they have been on the front lines providing care as health care workers. but now the loss of justice ginsburg and actually the treatment that mitch mcconnell didn't even miss a beat by immediately moving to talk about her replacement, the disrespect that's been shown by this united
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states senate leadership, women are so on fire. it's amazing. of course, we were already seeing polling that women, suburban women are against donald trump by more than 30 points and they understand what's at stake on the supreme court. not only, of course, the right to just safe and legal abortion, which with 17 cases coming up to this court, but a week after the election, five days after the election, this court will be hearing the case that would essentially overturn the affordable care act and potentially 20 million people in this country losing their health insurance. women understand that and they are organizing and they are voting and they're going to be the dominant voters this november. >> i believe one of the reasons that mitch mcconnell rushed his statement about this was because he was worried that he didn't have the votes, and he had to alert his republican members, make that declaration, we're going to be voting on this.
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>> that's right. now, look, he doesn't have the votes yet, so i don't want to acknowledge that a couple of the women in the united states senate on the republican side have said they won't for a replacement, that it should be for the next president. but this is extraordinary, to see when you have a senate that hasn't dealt with any of the problems that people care about now, rampant record unemployment, lack of health care access, this pandemic and yet they can rush back just to fill a supreme court vacancy, the hypocrisy is rank and women see it. >> cecile richards, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> good to see you, lawrence. >> thank you. well, lindsey graham says we should hold his words against him and who better to do that than the democratic nominee for senate in south carolina who is running against lindsey graham? jaime harrison joins us next. what if i sleep hot? ...or cold?
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if there is a republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say lindsey graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination and you could use my words against me and you would be absolutely right. >> and now senator lindsey graham says this -- i will support president trump in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created in the passing of justice ginsburg. i'm not going to hold lindsey graham's words against him. i'm going to leave that to my next, jaime harrison. the democratic nominee for senate in south carolina, running against lindsey graham. >> i'm democrat jaime harrison running for senate to unseat lindsey graham. i rose out of poverty, made it to yale on scholarships and kept my word to come back home and help. but lindsey graham's word. >> trump is a race baiting xenophobic religious bigot. >> no, i don't think it's a seine phobic religious bigot.
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>> we can beat this guy. but i need your help. donate now at jaimeharrison.com. i'm jaime harrison, and i approve this message. >> joining our discussion now is jamie harrison, democratic nominee for senate in south carolina, running against senator lindsey graham. and jaime harrison, the latest quinnipiac poll shows these numbers higher. graham at 48%, harrison at 48%, holding a tie in south carolina. we just talked about the fund-raising surge that some democratic organizations have seen. have you experienced any extra fund-raising surge over the weekend? >> well, lawrence, we've gotten tremendous support and we really appreciate it. and, you know, folks can continue to help us, go to jaimeharrison.com. but what we are doing is focusing on the issues here in south carolina. lindsey graham is too busy trying to be important, trying to get in front of all the
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cameras so people can see how great he is, how he doesn't keep his word. but i'll focus on the issues that people care about here, the things that people are suffering with in this state. because he's not doing his job, i need to do it for him. and i'm focusing on those issues right now here in south carolina. >> so, four years ago, when lindsey graham was running against donald trump, he said things like, i think donald trump is a conman. i think he would destroy the republican party. there is just a long list. i don't want to use your time that way. how does he explain his complete reversal, complete flip-flop on all those statements in south carolina? >> well, you know, the answer to everything for lindsey graham is brett kavanaugh. that is his go-to answer. he thinks -- >> let me just stop you there for a second. he flip-flopped on donald trump and was playing golf with him long before brett kavanaugh. >> well, lawrence, you know, one of the things that my grandfather told me is that a
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man is only as good as his word. i would not use those type of descriptive adjectives to describe anybody unless i meant it. if i meant it, i would not be golfing with that person the next day. it just shows you that lindsey graham is only focused on his own relevance and his own political power. he doesn't care about the things that people in south carolina are dealing with on a day-to-day basis, and that's why we need to send him home. it is far time for south carolina to have a senator that is going to fight for her instead of fight against her. but lindsey graham is just focused on touching the emperor's claw. we need somebody who will roll up his sleeves and do the work that the people in south carolina sent him to washington to do. >> what is the single most important issue you are trying to talk to south carolina voters about? >> it's about health care. you know, here in my state, we've had about 250,000 people who don't have health care here
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because republicans like lindsey have refused to expand medicaid. four of our hospitals have closed over the past few years. even just two years ago, 14 of our 46 counties had no ob-gyn. and there are grave health care disparities all over the state. you have lindsey that came up with this bill that doesn't protect folks with pre-existing conditions, when almost a quart over the state has pre-existing conditions. this guy is just -- he's the worst, and that's why we need to send him home. >> and senator graham is going to try to send to the supreme court a new justice who will vote against and eliminate the affordable care act. >> well, what i find disturbing, lawrence, is that lindsey graham took off almost all of august. he went golfing. he even got a tan. but now he can find the urgency. one, he's betraying his commitment to the people of
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south carolina, because he committed to not taking up a nominee in an election year, but he's doing that. and now he can find the urgency to rush a supreme court justice nomination through his committee and to the floor of the u.s. senate, but he can't find the urgency to address another covid relief act. in this state, we let 3,000 people to die. there are a number of small businesses that are on the verge of closing. and lindsey said, over our dead bodies will we allow an extension of that federal unemployment benefit. again, we need a senator who is going to fight for us and not fight against us. and lindsey graham has exhausted his time in washington, d.c. he needs to go home. he has to stop representing the state of south carolina. >> you know in the old world of polling, but i'm not sure it still holds these days, but when an incumbent was running below 50%, the conventional wisdom was the incumbent will lose, because
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the undecided voters will go to the new choice. li lindsey graham has been polling under 50%, he is now up at 48% with you, you're tied at 48%. that's a very, very, very bad poll for an incumbent in the time left for this campaign. do you believe you have the resources and the campaign team and the ground troops you need in south carolina to actually pull this off? >> lawrence, the momentum is on our side. you know, right now, i am living rent free in lindsey graham's head right now, because he understands that the people of south carolina want something different. it's been consistent in our polling that 57%, 58% of folks want somebody new to be their u.s. senator. and they're going to get somebody who is going to focus on them and fight for them. lindsey just wants to sit with sean hannity every night or fly around on air force one or golf with the president. i want to do the work of the people here in south carolina. >> jaime harrison, thank you very, very much for joining us
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tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. take care. >> thank you. and after this break, steve schmidt's first tv discussion since the death of ruth bader ginsburg. it will be steve schmidt's turn to hold lindsey graham's words against him in tonight's last word, next. ry-match-counts migraine medicine. my 9:12 no-days-off migraine medicine. it's ubrelvy. the migraine medicine i can take anytime, anywhere migraine strikes without worrying if it's too late, or where i am. one dose of ubrelvy works fast. it can quickly stop my migraine in its tracks within two hours-relieving pain and debilitating symptoms. unlike older medicines, ubrelvy is a pill that directly blocks cgrp protein, believed to be a cause of migraine. do not take with strong cyp3a4 inhibitors. few people had side effects. most common were nausea and tiredness. migraine hits hard. hit back with ubrelvy. the anytime, anywhere migraine medicine.
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you need to hire i need indeed indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a shortlist of quality candidates from a resume data base so you can start hiring right away. claim your seventy-five-dollar credit when you post your first job at indeed.com/promo xfinity is your home for the return of live sports. more dangerous and corrupt president than trump. he's harming our basic values, giving rise to hate, and he's selling out america to big corporations. i'm working to protect
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immigrants, women, communities of color, and lgbtq people. and i'm making corporations like pg&e and insurance companies play by our rules. we need experienced leadership to wipe away trump's stain on america for good. the lincoln project is a group of republican campaign professional s who are doing everything they can to save america from another four years of the president of donald trump. they are using a republican senator's words from four years ago against them. >> it's up to the american people in this next election to make the nomination for this important seat on the supreme court. >> for the last 80 years, the senate has not confirmed any nominee nominated during an election year and we should not do so this time, either. >> we're not going to nominate a supreme court justice until the
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people have spoken. >> there's going to be an election and the new president will have an opportunity to nominate someone in the senate to confirm them. >> the people deserve to be heard and they should be allowed to decide through their vote for the next president the type of person that should be on the supreme court. >> the last word tonight goes to steve schmidt, cofounder of the lincoln project. and steve, i've been watching this stuff a long time, i've seen a lot of things, i have never seen anything like this reversal by these republican senators over these four years on this very same issue. >> the hypocrisy is unspeakable, but it is what it is. but let's talk about why this is so terrible. the injured party to this action here is not the democratic party, it's the united states of america. and i think it's important for everyone to understand that what fuels a democracy is faith and
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belief in the legitimacy of the system. in particular, the legitimacy of the system through the eyes of people who are in the minority. and i don't mean minorities, i mean politically, the minority. that they understand that the system has rules that we elect our representatives, that the person who gets the most votes wins, if you lose an election, you get them the next time. and so, we've seen four years of donald trump whacking at our institutions with a baseball bat. pitting the pillars on the rule of law. assaulting the justice department, the intelligence agencies, burning it all down. and so, now look what we see here. we see all of these republican senators -- it's so breathtakingly dishonest and what they're doing is hurting the country because the faith and belief that we need to
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sustain our democracy is bleeding out of the system. this is a moment that calls for wisdom. calls for restraint. restraint is an underappreciated virtue in the functioning of a democratic republic like the united states. just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should. and by forcing this forward, if they can get the votes, they will break utterly the institution of the united states senate, shattering what was once known as the world's greatest deliberative body and they'll break the supreme court as an institution. it will become just one more profoundly distrusted institution that the american people look at and think that it was constituted unfairly. and so, it's a terrible moment. the principleless application of raw politics in the moment is going to cost the republicans their majority in the senate and
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i think it's going to put the final nail in trump's coffin. this is politically terrible for republicans, but they're willing to do damage to the country in this moment, obviously, to get the pick through on the court. >> steve, when i was working in the senate, trying to round up votes for democratic legislation which, sometimes, by the way, included republican votes that would support it, i'd encounter a senator says, look, i'd love to be with you on this, but in my campaign, i said x, therefore i can't reverse myself now. this doesn't -- that just doesn't seem like a factor in the lives of republican senators anymore. >> no. look, at the end of the day, you need look no further than the republican platform, lawrence. right? every idea, every principle, every policy was stripped out of it. it's a cult of personality. at least they're being consistent with regard to the platform. what the platform requires these
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senators to do is to be loil and 0 bead yept to trump and that's what they're doing chlgt their word means nothing. the principleless position that they have on this is just astounding and it is amazing to see all of them and what they said, just how fundamentally dishonest it is. and the truth of the matter is is that trump was also a symptom of our broken politics, but these are all the people who broke it. these are the type of people who are breaking it now and making it worse. and we're not going to be able to restore the faith and trust of the american people and government with politicians like these. it's just so staggeringly dishonest, there's almost no words for it. >> no, and i know some of these republican senators, grassley, mcconnell, for that matter, and when i was working there, if you had told me that they were capable of these kinds of reversals, i would have argued, said, no, no, they have real lines they believe in. and donald trump's done
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everything to remove any sense that they ever seemed to have of what they believed in. >> for sure. and i don't know what else you can say about it, other than these are the same people -- every one of them, they also, every one of them, knew that donald trump knew how deadly covid was. not one of them took the floor of the senate. not one of them went to the oval office. they are supine. they are weak. they are cowards, and they are a huge part of the reason that this country is in such precipitous decline tonight. >> steve schmidt, thank you once again. steve schmidt gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. well, good evening once again. day 1,341 of this trump administration.

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